Blog Archives

Dental Crowns

If you damage your teeth, your dentist can use a dental crown to restore its function, appearance, and shape. You may require a crown under various circumstances such as when you have a broken tooth, a huge filling in your tooth, and a root canal. This hollow and artificial tooth can also cover a decayed or discolored tooth and protects your tooth against further damage. Crowns are frequently necessary when a huge cavity threatens the current health of your tooth. Dentists usually bond dental crowns to your tooth using dental cement. While beneficial to your dental health, the materials and procedure can be relatively costly.

 

When a dental crown is necessary

Various situations require tooth restoration with a crown. They include:

 

Large filling

At times, a large filling requires replacement with a crown because your tooth shows signs of cracks and stress around the filling.

 

Undesirable tooth appearance

Crowns can make your teeth appear beautiful and natural if they have an undesirable appearance because of shape, color, or spaces between your teeth.

 

Root Canal

This treatment leaves your tooth hollow and predisposes the remaining part to cracking. Therefore, a tooth that has undergone root canal frequently needs restoration with a dental crown to prevent fracture.

 

Types of Crowns

Crowns originate from various materials. Depending on the tooth that requires a crown, your dentist will recommend a material or blend of materials that suit you.

 

Metal

These crowns are generally durable and will not break or chip. They also endure chewing and biting forces well. The major drawback is the metallic color especially gold, which looks artificial especially on your front teeth.

 

Porcelain

These crowns appear very natural and are more brittle compared to composite or metal crowns. They are also prone to chipping. Due to this factor, dentists will not place them on your back teeth.

 

Composite

These crowns appear natural and will not chip easily as porcelain crowns do. However, they typically wear more rapidly from chewing. Brushing your teeth tends to eliminate the polished surface of these crowns, causing them to stain easily.

 

All-resin

These crowns are more affordable than other types of crowns. However, they erode over time and tend to fracture easily than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

 

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns

These crowns appear natural and are more durable than composite or porcelain crowns. They will not chip as easily as ceramic and porcelain crowns do. However, the metal may be visible if your gums shrink.

 

Crowns are strong and typically last for approximately 10 years or longer if you care for them. It is important to floss and brush your crown as you would your natural teeth. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/30/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Dental Apps for Children

It is advisable to teach your children about oral health very early in life. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children develop good dental hygiene habits. The dental habits that children develop are what they carry to adulthood. Therefore, it is crucial for parents to teach them these habits early.

 

Parents should find a way to teach children these crucial lessons in a simple language that they will understand. In addition, parents should make these lessons fun for the young ones. Technology is an effective tool to use to teach these valuable lessons. There are several creative and fun applications and games that you can use to teach your children lessons on oral health.  Some of the apps that you can choose include:

 

Monster Mouth DDS

The purpose of this application is to familiarize children about what to expect from the trip to the dentist. The game has ghastly creatures that act as patients of the dentist. The children can choose from nine horrifying creatures and all them suffer from different dental conditions. The ailments include bad odor, plaque filled teeth and even broken teeth. Through this game children will learn to identify the dental conditions and the procedures that will be used to treat these conditions. The best part is that children get to learn about dental health in a creative, engaging and fun way.

 

Sugar Bug Blast

This is a game that encourages your children to use dental tools like polishers, scrubbers, mouthwash and toothbrushes when dealing with sugar bugs. The game uses Barbie to offer children these important lessons. By playing this game children learn the importance of cleaning their tooth in order to deal with their sugar bugs.

 

Kids’ Dental Health Lite/Kids Dental Health

 

This application acts as an interactive book. The children get to choose a character in the story and have the story read to them or read the story on their own. Kids Dental Health is well and colorfully illustrated. It helps in teaching children about how and why they should brush their teeth. The app also helps in teaching the children the importance of healthy eating, flossing and making regular visits to the dentist.

 

There are many applications that can help your child to learn the importance of oral hygiene and oral health in general. When children are entertained and have fun while learning these lessons, they can stop associating dental health with fear and pain.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/29/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Debate About Mercury Fillings

For over 150 years, dentists have been using mercury fillings in the sealing of cavities. Mercury is used in blend containing copper and silver. There has arisen a debate on whether the presence of the mercury metal is harmful for patients. This is because the mercury leaches into the body and is said to have harmful effects on the body.

 

Those against the use of mercury in the fillings argue that it is toxic to humans therefore should not be used. It is absorbed by the body and finds its way to organs such as heart, kidneys, liver and the brain. It can cause adverse effects such as autism, skin changes, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s.  Also wrongful disposal of these fillings by dentists causes pollution to the environment.

 

Those who advocate the use of these mercury fillings say that there is no proof that they are harmful to the health of patients. In fact they are still considered the best choice when it comes to choosing fillings to use. The other alternative fillings only last half as long and they also contain synthetic material that is proven to cause harm to the body.

 

Advocates of the use of mercury fillings also argue that the body already has a limit set for acceptable mercury levels in the body. Therefore if it is in low quantity below this level as found in the mercury fillings, then it cannot have any adverse effects on the body. It is with such studies that some countries have not banned the use of mercury fillings for dental practices. Other countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Norway have banned the use of mercury fillings.

 

There are contradicting studies when it comes to the effect of mercury fillings. Some studies show that there is no supporting evidence to prove that the mercury fillings are harmful to human health while others show that there is some truth to the claim on its adverse effects. This is one debate that is not going away soon until a study proves the effects of mercury as harmful.

 

If you are not sure whether to use mercury fillings or not, you can talk to your dentist who will let you know if the fillings is appropriate for you. There are many other non-controversial fillings that are available. Mercury fillings are preferred as they are considered more durable and stronger than alternatives. There are some fillings which use inorganic mercury which is considered inactive in the body.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/28/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Can My Dentist Help Me Quit Smoking

Smoking is a popular habit. Every year, statistics show that people pick up this habit. Smoking is popular among the young and old alike. There have been numerous campaigns against smoking. The campaigns mainly focus on the effects of smoking on your health. However, lung cancer is not the only thing that you have to worry about when you are dealing with smoking. Smoking also affects your oral health. It is important to note some of the effects that this habit has on your oral health.

  1. Bad breath- one of the things that you have to worry about when smoking is bad breath. Nicotine gives your mouth a pungent smell that will not only be uncomfortable for you but also annoy the people around you.  
  2. Stains on Teeth- smoking will cause permanent staining on teeth that is extremely difficult to remove. To remove these stains you might need professional cleaning from your dentist which will cost more.
  3. Receding gum line- this habit will also lead to the receding of your gum line. This will expose the roots of the teeth from the gum line. This exposes your teeth to many infections.
  4. Development of tartar and plaque- tobacco will lead to the development tartar and build up of plaque. This is difficult to remove with regular brushing of teeth and can lead to tooth decay and serious  
  5. Increased sensitivity- when your gums are exposed because of smoking they become more sensitive to hot or cold things. This can be uncomfortable especially when you want to eat. It has the ability to affect your nutrition.
  6. Smoking also affects the way your mouth will heal after dental work has been done. Smoking will reduce the rate of healing after dental work.

It is advisable to think of ways to quit smoking for the sake of your oral health. Your dentist can be helpful in developing strategies for quitting smoking. Some of the things that you can do include:

 

  • If you are a smoker, you are at a greater risk of getting oral cancer and periodontal disease. You are advised to have your dentist screen you regularly to check for any signs of these diseases.
  •  
  • Sugarless gum can really be helpful. Chew sugarless gum and drink water to help you with the cravings.
  •  
  • You can also develop a routine that will help you deal with your cravings and help you quit smoking.
Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/27/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Can Food Damage Your Teeth?

Tooth damage is caused by the erosion or cracking of the enamel over time resulting to tooth decay and other dental health problems. This can be attributed to a number of factors including:

 

  • The type and amount of bacteria you have in your mouth - some bacteria are good, and some are bad for your oral health.
  • How much of sugar you eat.
  • How much of high acidic foods and beverages you take.
  • Whether you use fluoride products like fluoride toothpaste - lack of which will lead to dental decay.

 

Certain types of foods can also be a cause of tooth damage. These foods include:

  1. Sugary foods.

Many foods have sugar in them either in the form of glucose, maltose, sucrose or fructose.  Processed foods like chocolate, cakes and soft drinks contain extra sugar which is harmful to your teeth. Sugar reacts with the bacteria in plaque and produce harmful acids which corrodes your enamel leading to tooth cavities.

  1. Acidic foods and drinks.

Acidic foods and drinks cause dental erosion. They wear away the enamel leaving the dentine uncovered which makes your teeth sensitive. Some foods and drinks are more acidic than others. The acidity of a product is measured by its pH value. Any food product with a pH value lower that 5.5 are more corrosive while those with a pH value of 7 are in the middle between acid and alkali.

 

Foods with a pH value below 5.5 include vinegar, red wine, lager and grapefruit while foods such as walnut, carrots and mineral water have a higher value than pH 7.

  1. Not eating enough vegetables and fruits.

Eating a balanced diet is vital for your oral health, fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins which help prevent gum disease, tooth loss and bad breath. When you do not eat enough vegetables and fruits it can cause dental problems like scurvy.

 

Eating and chewing naturally weakens your tooth enamel. The most efficient way to protect yourself from damaging your teeth is by:

 

  • Brushing your teeth after every meal.
  • Using sugar free chewing gum which makes your mouth to produce more saliva and those containing Xylitol help reduce tooth decay. Saliva helps cancel out the acid in your mouth after eating or drinking.
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
  • Eat healthy well balanced meals.
Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/26/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Can Drinking with a Straw Benefit You?

Drinking straws can be greatly beneficial for your oral hygiene and general well-being; they are convenient, easy to use and portable. There are different types of drinking straws made from different materials including stainless steel, paper, re-useable plastic and disposable biodegradable plastic materials. The benefits of using straws include:

  1. Protection against tooth decay.

Using drinking straws can help protect against discolouring, tooth decay and cavities. You should position the straw to the back of your mouth and do not rest it on your teeth. This will limit the time of contact between your teeth and your beverage minimizing exposure to bacteria and sugary substances that can stick on your teeth and cause enamel erosion and decay.  If you allow your teeth to come into contact with the drink you are taking then you will not get this benefit.

  1. Promotes good hygiene.

Most restaurants offer drinking straws for their customers as a courtesy and as a health precaution. It is more hygienic to use a drinking straw when using utensils meant for public use to avoid contracting germs and communicable diseases. The most important thing to ensure is that the straw is well wrapped before you use it to ensure cleanliness.

  1. Drinking straws are convenient.

Using drinking straws on the go is convenient, it ensures you do not spill beverages on yourself especially hot drinks and coloured drinks which can leave stains on your outfits. For a lot of women drinking straws are convenient because they do not smear their lipstick or lip-gloss all over their glass and their lips when taking a drink.

  1. Drinking straws are safe. 

Drinking from straws allows you to consume controlled amount of liquid this will ensure that:

 

  • You avoid burning your tongue and mouth with hot drinks.
  • Using a straw controls the amount of liquid you take therefore reduces the possibility of getting choked.
  • For individuals with sensitive teeth using a straw ensures you experience less sharp pain when drinking a cold beverage because you regulate the amount that gets to your mouth.

 

Drinking straws can be beneficial to a lot of people especially to those who want to drink more water, using straws makes drinking water easy. It is also for those who have:

 

  • Sensitive teeth or dental problems.
  • For the sick being nursed and need to be feed.
  • For young children.
  • For people who prefer to use straws.
Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/25/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Brushing And Family Fun

For some reason, brushing teeth has always seemed to be a chore to many especially children. This is can be considered puzzling as teeth brushing is meant to safeguard the health of the teeth. Parents should therefore make brushing of teeth a regular activity that is ingrained in the lives of their children. The parents should start by ensuring that children understand the importance of brushing teeth for their wellbeing. When they understand this, they will see the importance of this activity and be glad to carry it out at all times.

 

Brushing teeth should not be deemed to be forced upon children but it should be taught to them. When children feel like the activity is imposed upon them, they may rebel against it and take any opportunity not to brush gladly.  It should be gradually introduced into their routine and they will not have a problem with it in future. Making this a fun activity instead of a chore will make it more accepting to the child.

 

  • Make a game out of it

Children respond to games. Race the child to the bathroom and challenge him or her to who will reach first and start brushing.

  • Make it fun

Incorporate songs, fun toothbrushes, toothpastes and holders as stimulants that will make brushing time fun.

  • Make it a family activity

 

Let it be a time for everyone to brush. This will be encouraging to the little ones and when they see everyone doing it, they will accept it as part of a routine.

 

Making the act of brushing teeth fun is effective if done the right way. The activity should take at least two minutes for the mouth to be well cleaned. Rushing through it in the name of fun and games will make it counterproductive. You should use the opportunity to teach the children the right way to brush their teeth to ensure all parts of the mouth are reached during the exercise.

 

It should be fun and exciting but you should ensure that all products used are safe for children and the whole family. The toothbrushes should be effective and well designed. The toothpaste that you choose should be safe and not have ingredients that will cause harm to the health of the family. With fun brushing exercises and proper instructions, the child will come to appreciate brushing teeth and will always associate the activity with a fun memory.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/23/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums occur when the gum is irritated or damaged. This can be caused by gum disease that occurs when plaque accumulates on the gum. It could also be because of damaging the gum during brushing and flossing. Apart from these, bleeding gums can be a sign of serious health disorders. When plaque accumulates on the teeth it leads to the gums getting inflamed in a condition called gingivitis.

 

When the plaque is not removed it can turn into tartar when it hardens and can cause serious gum and jaw disease, periodontitis. It is best to follow the correct brushing and flossing procedures to promote good oral health. This will ensure that you get rid of plaque that forms on the teeth and gum. You will also protect your gums from damage when brushing. Using a toothbrush with soft bristles is also helpful to protect your gum.

 

Other factors that can cause bleeding gums include:

  • Changes in hormones when a woman is pregnant
  • Dentures that do not fit
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Leukaemia
  • Lack of Vitamin K
  • Use of blood thinners
  • Scurvy
  • Brushing hard and longer than necessary
  • Flossing the wrong way
  • Gum or teeth infection

 

When you discover that you have bleeding gums, you can talk to your dentist or doctor who will assess to find out the cause of the bleeding. You can take care of your oral hygiene and do it the right way in order for the bleeding to go away. Bleeding can be excessive and this is an indication that something is not right. You should be very concerned when the bleeding continues for a very long time, is not controlled by treatment and if there are additional symptoms.

 

Based on the cause of the bleeding gums, there are a few things that you can do apart from observing proper oral hygiene. You can rinse your mouth with salty water or diluted peroxide mouthwash. If your bleeding is due to deficiency in your diet, you should take the supplements that will help you to correct the problem. Have your doctor change any medication that is causing your gums to bleed so that you can stem it.

 

You can use a piece of gauze that is soaked in ice water to stop the bleeding by applying pressure on the gum. This is an effective procedure that you can do right away when the gums start to bleed.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/22/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Best Vitamins For Your Smile

As you age, your gums and teeth also change. Proper dental care and consuming a healthy diet could help you maintain a strong and beautiful smile. Certain minerals and vitamins also help encourage oral health. In spite of these benefits, numerous people tend to overlook the significance of good nutrition in maintaining a beautiful smile. While a healthy mouth and beautiful smile are indeed pleasing, paying attention to your oral health is of great importance.

 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is beneficial in developing healthy gums and teeth. This vitamin also comprises beta-carotene, which has anti-oxidant properties. These anti-oxidants aid in the elimination of free radicals, which describe chemicals that hasten decay in your body. This vitamin is also an important element of the production of your tooth enamel. A deficiency in this vitamin could lead to overgrown gums, gum disease, and bleeding gums. A diet lacking in this vitamin will result in the slow recovery of gum infections. Moreover, a lack of this vitamin is associated with abnormal tooth and bone formation.

 

Vitamin C

Also called ascorbic acid, this vitamin is water-soluble. It aids the absorption of iron and promotes the development of strong gum tissue and teeth. A deficiency in this vitamin results in loose teeth, bleeding gums, and mouth sores. It is advisable to take this vitamin daily. Lack of this vitamin increases your susceptibility to infection, gum disease, and bleeding. Furthermore, if you suffer from periodontal disease, you have an increased likelihood of swelling and bleeding.

 

Vitamin D

This is one of the major elements that your body requires for appropriate phosphorus levels and calcium absorption, which are vital for your bones and teeth. This vitamin also helps keep tooth cavities at bay, thereby enhancing your smile. This vitamin functions alongside calcium since Vitamin D enhances calcium absorption. Adequate calcium is essential to your teeth's structure. A diet that lacks or is low in vitamin D could result in burning mouth syndrome.

 

Vitamin B complex

This vitamin is also vital to maintaining oral health. This is because a deficiency could cause your lips to crack and bleed.  A deficiency could further produce lesions and open sores outside and inside your mouth. Besides discomfort, open sores increase the likelihood of viruses, bacteria and other contaminants entering your blood stream. Deficiencies in this vitamin could also worsen gingivitis and cause sores in your tongue, gums, and other soft mouth tissues.

 

Vitamin B3

A deficiency in this vitamin could cause canker sores and bad breath. Therefore, you should increase your intake of foods such as fish and chicken.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/21/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Benefits of Regular Dental Check Ups

Oral health is a priority. You must take steps to ensure that you have healthy teeth. One of those things is regular dental checkups.  Going to the dentist is not a cup of tea for everyone but it is necessary. It is advisable to have a personal dentist that checks your teeth regularly. Most people only make visits to the dentist when they have a painful toothache that they cannot ignore.  By the time you have a toothache, the problem has already escalated.

 

There are many reasons why you should schedule regular checkups with your dentists. These reasons include:

 

  1. Routine dental checkup will ensure that dental problems are prevented. Your dentist will examine your teeth thoroughly at each visit to give you advice on ensuring that your teeth remain healthy. They will give you advice on how to clean your teeth and nutrition so that you do not develop any dental problems.
  2. Dental problems can be easily detected before they get out of hand. If you need cavity filling or your teeth require cleaning, it can be done as soon as possible. Notably, when these corrective measures for dental problems are done early they are cheaper. Oral cancer is a condition that can be cured if detected early. Visits to the dentist will guarantee early detection in case you develop the condition.
  3. Regular checkups also save you money in the long run. You will note that small corrective procedures before a dental problem escalates are cheaper than major procedures. Major procedures like root canal therapy will cost a fortune compared to dealing with a cavity filling. You also have to consider whether your insurance covers such a procedure.
  4. Anybody who has ever had a toothache will tell you that the pain is unbearable. People get toothaches when they assume the problems that they have until they become extreme. If you visit your dentist regularly, you can avoid toothaches.
  5. This is also the only way to ensure that you have a beautiful smile that everyone admires. A beautiful smile means that your teeth are healthy and they are the right color and well-shaped. This is not only exclusive to celebrities. You can have this smile if you follow guidelines given to you by your dentist.

 

It is advisable to schedule dental appointments at least once every six months. However, you might need extra appointments if your teeth develop problems and they have to be treated. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/20/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Bad Breath Causes

Bad breath is a condition known as halitosis and is used to describe disagreeable odour in the breath. The bacteria that cause bad breath needs an oxygen free environment to survive hence they are found between your teeth and the groove of your tongue. As the bacteria breaks down the food debris they release volatile sulphur compound, which produce the unpleasant odour in your mouth.

 

There are different types of breath odour which include:

 

  • Oral malodour or morning breathe; is often experienced when waking and starvation can also lead to the same kind of odour. Oral malodour can be rectified by;
  1. Eating.
  2. Rinsing the mouth with fresh water.
  3. Tongue cleansing using a scraper after brushing your teeth may help.
  • Malodour is a type of breath odour associated with what you have ingested and depends on your lifestyle. Foods such as spices, cauliflower or habits such as smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol can result to a distinctive bad breath.

The causes of bad breath include:

  1. Some foods and drinks.

Some foods and drinks such as onions, cabbages, garlic and alcohol contain sulphur, which creates odours that linger in the mouth and digestive system when ingested.

  1. Tobacco.

Tobacco causes deterioration of the lungs and gum disease which can cause bad breath.

  1. Infections.

Mouth and respiratory tract infections like tonsillitis, bronchitis and other lung infections and tumours can cause bad breath.

A postnatal drip for example, is caused by inflammation or infections in the throat, sinuses and nose. As the fluids drip down the back of the throat, they accumulate and cause bad breath.

  1. Anxiety.

Being anxious may increase the level of volatile sulphur compound therefore causing bad odour.

  1. Poor dental hygiene.

Poor oral cleaning habits like failure to remove food particles from in between the teeth, along gum lines and in braces can leave plaque causing bad breath.

  1. Dry mouth.

A dry oral environment can be caused by problems with the salivary glands which cause dryness. Also having your mouth open dries it out. This often happens when you are asleep and is a major cause of morning breath.

 

The best way to get rid of bad breath is by:

 

  • Maintaining a good oral hygiene.
  • Drink lots of water to moist your mouth.
  • Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.
  • If you wear dentures periodically soak them in an antiseptic solution.
Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/19/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby bottle tooth decay describes a condition that occurs in toddlers and infants. Your baby's teeth are important despite being temporary. Children require strong and healthy teeth to speak, chew food and smile. Therefore, it is important you ensure good oral care in order to protect your baby's teeth. This decay occurs due to long-term and recurrent exposure of your child's teeth to liquids comprising sugars for instance sodas and fruit juice. This condition could be serious and could result in infection and pain if untreated.

 

Causes

This condition occurs when you expose your baby's teeth to excess sugar. As a result, bacteria in your baby's mouth thrive on the sugar, multiply, and generate acid as waste product. The acid then attacks your baby's tooth enamel and teeth, leading to tooth decay. Tooth decay can also arise when you put your baby to bed with a bottle or when you use a bottle as a pacifier. This condition could also begin with the transmission of bacteria from mother to child. The transmission of these bacteria occurs through saliva. If your toddler or infant receives insufficient fluoride, he or she may also face an increased likelihood of developing tooth decay. Sugar is present in items such as:

 

  • Milk
  • Juice
  • Infant formula
  • Snacks

 

Symptoms

The caries that originate from decay can occur in any of your baby's teeth. However, they are frequently visible on their upper teeth. They can emerge as brown or dark spots on your baby's teeth. Common tooth decay symptoms include:

 

  • Teeth cavities
  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Fever arising from tooth or gum infection
  • White spots on your baby's teeth
  • Painful toothaches
  • Mouth pain and infection could arise
  • Irritability and swelling of the face and cheeks may accompany infection

 

Potential Complications

Severe or widespread tooth decay could result in the following complications:

 

  • Crooked permanent teeth
  • Serious infections
  • Pain
  • Increased likelihood of tooth abscess

 

Preventative Tips

 

  • Reduce sugar consumption particularly between meals.
  • Gradually dilute the contents of the bottle with water over a 2-3 week period.
  • You should not use sweeteners on a pacifier.
  • Avoid extended use of pacifiers.
  • Restrict the quantity of juice your child receives.
  • Promote healthy habits and restrict sweets.
  • Your child should not go to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar contained in the liquid will sit on your baby's teeth for hours.  If it is necessary for your child to have a bottle, it should contain water.
Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/17/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Are You Grinding Your Teeth?

Grinding or clenching your teeth from time to time is not uncommon. It is medically known as bruxism. Occasionally, grinding or clenching your teeth is not harmful at all. However, it can become harmful if it occurs on a regular basis. This is because it can result in the damage of teeth as well as in the development of other dental complications.

 

Causes of bruxism

 

Teeth grinding is usually caused by stress or anxiety. Simply observe people under stress, anxiety or who have been angered by an event. You’ll notice that they have a clenched jaw.

 

Bruxism can also occur during sleep. In this case, it may also be caused by stress or anxiety that has not been dealt with. Bruxism during sleep can also be the result of a missing or cracked tooth as well as an abnormal bite.

 

How can I know if I grind my teeth while sleeping?

 

Many people who grind their teeth are unaware of the habit as it occurs while they are asleep. Many of these people wake up with common symptoms of bruxism which include:

 

  • A headache
  • A sore jaw

 

In most cases, people learn that they grind their teeth when they are informed by a loved one of the habit. If you suspect that you grind your teeth in your sleep, you should talk to your dentist. Dentists can examine your jaw and mouth to determine if the signs of bruxism are present. Some signs that dentists look out for include:

 

  • Jaw tenderness
  • Tooth abnormalities

 

Why you should be concerned about grinding your teeth

 

If teeth grinding is so common and natural, why should you be concerned about it if it occurs while you’re sleeping? Firstly, grinding or clenching your teeth while sleeping is not normal. Chronic grinding of the teeth can result in damage to the teeth. It results in wearing down of the teeth into stumps. You may need to have crowns, bridges, implants, a root canal or dentures to correct the damage.

 

The fact that your jaw is clenched for an extended period of time can also result in damage to the jaw. In some cases, the effects to the jaw may result in affected hearing. Some people with bruxism have experienced hearing loss as a result. You may even suffer a change in the appearance of your face. In worst cases, patients develop Temperomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMD or TMJ). This is a disorder of the jaw nerves and muscles resulting from injury to the temperomandibular joint. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/15/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Are Dental X-rays Necessary?

There has been some buzz about dental X-Rays. Are they really necessary, why do we need them, how are they useful to diagnosis and treatment plan? Well, we’re going to attempt to address some of these concerns.

 

Dental X-Rays are essential to a dentist’s diagnostic and treatment procedures, since they are able to detect underlying oral issues which physical examinations cannot detect. Through dental X-Rays, a dentist can find out whether you have cavities, issues in the jaw bones and surrounding ligaments, tumors and gum diseases and infections.

 

How often?

 

How often you should have an X-ray done however differs from one patient to the next. Your dentist should consider such factors as your age, levels of risk and your overall health before deciding to recommend dental X-rays for you.

 

What needs to be dispelled is the notion that everyone should have dental X-rays taken every time they go for annual dental check-ups. Instead, they should be tailored on individual basis. The ADA determined that barring arising issues requiring X-Ray diagnosis, healthy children may have dental X-rays taken every year or two and healthy adults do so every two to three years.

 

What’s the risk?

 

We are all continually being exposed to radiation we can do little about, phones, microwaves and other electronics, so definitely we want to limit any further exposure owing to the risks associated with radiation. There was a study released and published in April’s issue of Cancer that linked frequent dental X-rays to greater risk for brain tumors and meningioma’s, particularly if they are done in childhood.

 

From 1989, the American Dental Association recommended that dental X-Rays be taken only when necessary for diagnosis or treatment of a patient. The ADA also published some guidelines to assist dentists to limit the exposure to radiation to the lowest levels possible. Such guidelines include having on protective aprons and acquiring X-ray machines with lower radiation emissions.

 

Final Word

 

There is a lot of information being released and a lot of studies are being conducted to try and pin down the risks versus gains of dental X-Rays, which is a good thing. However, it’s important not to get carried away amid the mountains of contradicting information. What you need to know is that you should probably allow your dentist to carry out dental X-Rays only if a problem is detected or suspected and needs to be looked into.

 

For your annual or bi-annual routine check-ups, try to find out why the dentist wants to take the x- ray, and if it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, ask the dentist to forego the procedure. This is especially true for children, whose tissues are not as yet fully developed and therefore more susceptible to damage. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/14/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Antacid Tablets Bad for Teeth

Most people use antacids to reduce the level of acid in their mouths. This is a common habit that might be causing oral health problems. There is no conclusive evidence that antacids can help in reduction of acid levels in your mouth. Notably, most of the tablets that people take are bought over the counter. This means that it very easy for them to over use them.

 

When you overuse antacids, you reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. Your stomach needs to retain a certain level of acids in the stomach for digestion and it will react by producing more acid. This is what leads to the frequent heartburns that people suffer. It is important to note that these acids also affect the condition of your teeth. Excess acid in your mouth can cause tooth erosion.

 

Tooth erosion refers to the wearing out of the enamel as a result of acidic foods dissolving it. Stomach acids also cause erosion. This happens when people vomit or during severe heartburns. Tooth erosion can be severe and expensive to treat and you might need to replace your enamel when they are eroded.  There are several ways to prevent tooth erosion. Some include:

 

  • You should reduce the amount of acidic foods and drinks that you take. If it’s possible limit the intake of these foods to meal times.
  •  
  • It is also advisable to avoid brushing your teeth soon after taking citrus fruits or acidic drinks. You should wait for at least half an hour before you brush your teeth. Instead of brushing your teeth, you are advised to rinse your mouth immediately after taking acidic foods or drinks.
  •  
  • Saliva in your mouth helps in reducing the acidic levels in your mouth. Therefore you can use sugar free gum to stimulate saliva production.
  •  
  • Avoid over using antacids. Only use them when necessary and have a dosage that you are following.

 

Dental care is a priority. You should put effort in learning the things that might not be good for your teeth. This helps you in preventing damage to your teeth. If you have a dentist that you regularly see, they can easily detect tooth erosion as soon as it starts to happen. If the erosion on your teeth is extreme, then you might have to get veneers or composite filling to correct the problem. It is advisable to get a cosmetic dentist for such a procedure.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/13/2014
Comments: 1

Amalgam Fillings vs. Composite Fillings

When you are undergoing a dental procedure to restore your tooth, you will be faced with the decision of what type of filling ought to be used for your tooth. Many dental patients are unaware of the benefits and draw backs of the choices available to them. It is important to understand your choices so that you can make an informed choice.

 

There are two main types of filling available today. These are amalgam fillings and composite fillings. Your dentist will probably refer to them as ‘silver’ and ‘white’ filings respectively based on their physical color.

 

Composite fillings

 

You’ll find that many dentists recommend composite filings. These types of fillings have been used in dental restoration procedures for over 40 years now. They are comprised of a plastic resin. The resin is soft initially. However, it hardens over time and cures to full strength when it is exposed for a short period to the light spectrum’s blue range. The resin is therefore glued into its position on a microscopic level.

 

The gluing process for composite fillings can be a difficult one as the area has to be kept perfectly dry. This can be difficult especially in cases where the patient suffers from bleeding gums. A small amount of liquid introduced to the area will result in the retardation of the process.

 

Composite fillings can be used for filling in small cavities and other small spaces that need to be filled. Many people prefer composite fillings because they come in a wide variety of colors. This means that they will match with the natural color of your teeth. These fillings also do not have a darkening effect on teeth over time.

 

Amalgam fillings

 

Amalgam fillings are comprised of metal alloys. Some metals popularly used for amalgam fillings include copper, tin and silver. These types of fillings have been used for over 100 years in dental practice. They are not glued onto the tooth but are held in place by the shape of the cavity.

 

Amalgam fillings cannot be used for filling small cavities. Amalgam fillings also come in only a single color i.e. silver. Patients cannot therefore get fillings that match with the color of their teeth as is the case with composite fillings.

 

Amalgam fillings that contain silver have a tendency of darkening the tooth. The silver element percolates into the tooth causing it to darken.

 

Make up your mind

 

Amalgam fillings are harder than composite fillings. Amalgam fillings therefore wear down slower than composite fillings making them a better choice for longevity.

 

Talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of the different types of fillings so that you can make an informed decision. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/12/2014
Comments: 1

Am I Happy With My Smile?

A perfect smile is important. It creates the perfect first impression that you need in an interview or any social interaction. However, the perfect smile is an investment. You need to give proper care to your teeth to be happy with your smile. There are fundamentals in oral health that you have to consider when you need that perfect smile. Some of the things that you must do include:

  1. Follow proper oral hygiene- brushing your teeth regularly is a something that has been reinforced at an early age. Most people simply brush their teeth as a routine that they do every day. However, this routine is extremely important to have the perfect set of pearly whites that will stand out when you smile. When brushing your teeth, you need to ensure that you brush using the right procedure. You also need to use the right brush. Dentists recommend that you should brush your teeth at least twice in a day for two minutes.
  2. Schedule regular visits to the dentist – dentists are expert in teeth. They will offer you advice on the best way to take care of your teeth. They will also be able to tell you when your teeth are developing any problems. Early intervention is the best way to prevent serious tooth conditions that might affect the quality of your smile.
  3. It is also important to note the different factors that affect the health of your teeth. Some of the things that affect the quality of your teeth include habits like smoking that might affect your gums, breath and teeth. Your diet is also important. How you eat will affect the condition of your teeth. Some foods are good for your teeth and some require caution when taking them.
  4. If you are not happy with your smile, it is not the end of the road. You can see dentists who will be able to recommend corrective procedures that will rectify your smile. Most of the procedures are categorised as cosmetic dentistry. Some of the procedures that you can get to improve your smile include teeth bleaching and veneers. Cosmetic dentistry does not just aim at getting your teeth to look healthy; they also want them to look nice.

It is possible to have a smile that looks and feels good. Giving your teeth proper care and getting necessary corrective procedures when needed is the only way to guarantee success.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/11/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Alligators and Secrets to Human Tooth Regeneration

Humans typically have two sets of teeth-primary and adult. While it is normal to lose the baby teeth, losing adult teeth is permanent, causing a source of distress and discomfort among countless of people. However, scientists have gained a comprehension of the distinct molecular and cellular mechanisms behind alligators' tooth regeneration. An international team of researchers believes it has unearthed how alligators grow 2,000-3,000 teeth in their lifetimes.

 

The Research

Dr. Cheng Ming, a professor at USC has been researching on the regenerative traits of alligators' teeth. According to the professor, these reptiles can lose their teeth numerous times and subsequently regenerate them. According to research, most of these reptiles can regenerate their teeth up to 50 times. The secret behind this is that an alligator's body comprises stem cells that start forming a new tooth once they lose one.

 

Scientists therefore believe that alligators hold the key to helping them replicate regeneration in humans. The first of its kind, the research led to the discovery of stem cells at the bottom of every alligator's tooth. They discovered the stem cells in a tissue layer called lamina. The scientists say this tissue is proof of tooth development in humans and alligators. According to Prof. Cheng, the major difference is that our tissue becomes inactive following the development of adult teeth.

 

Findings

The scientists discovered that alligators are ideal models for tooth replacement in humans due to their well-organized teeth that resemble mammalian teeth in structure and form. According to Dr. Cheng's discovery, alligators have their teeth embedded in the dental bone's sockets similar to humans. The research team discovered that every alligator's tooth is an intricate unit of three elements - the dental lamina, a replacement, and functional tooth in varied developmental phases. It was further discovered that the alligators' teeth structure enables them to transition smoothly from one phase to the next.

 

Ultimately, the research team wants to recognize stem cells that can function as a resource to encourage tooth renewal in humans who have experienced tooth loss. However, in order to achieve this goal, the researchers must initially comprehend how renewal occurs in other animals but not people. This team further intends to identify the molecular networks that are responsible for repetitive renewal with the hope of applying the ideology to regenerative medicine. However, it is important to note that the research is in its preliminary phase. Therefore, the researchers still have a lot to prove for them to apply the findings to humans. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/10/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

Aging and your Teeth

In spite of maintaining excellent dental care, your gums, teeth, and jawbone experience changes as you age. Moreover, as you age, you have a higher likelihood of taking medications or experiencing a disease that could affect your oral health. Currently, a considerable number of people over 65 years maintain some of their natural health. However, older individuals still face increased incidences of gum disease, mouth infections, dental decay, and tooth loss. While these problems can cause frustration, you can take measures to maintain good oral health.

 

Changes that occur as you age

 

Tooth Changes

 

Activities such as cleaning and chewing will cause wear and tear over time. People who grind or clench their teeth experience more wear and tear compared to others who don’t. You may observe that your teeth also darken over time. This happens since with aging, dentin gets darker and thinner. Simultaneously, your enamel thins, permitting the darker dentin to become visible. Staining from tea, wine, tobacco, and coffee also cause teeth discoloration. Numerous older individuals also experience more plaque accumulation. This might not be age-related. It could arise from physical changes that can make it more challenging to floss and brush every day. For instance, you may be unable to clean your teeth well following a stroke or with arthritis.

 

Gum Changes

 

As you age, your gums recede from your teeth and shrinkage of your jawbone occurs. These changes are moderate. Age alone will not result in a major loss of teeth-supporting structures. If your roots are bare, your teeth could become sensitive. You can use fluoride rinses to reduce this sensitivity. These rinses are also helpful in preventing decay on your crowns and exposed teeth roots.

 

Oral changes

 

Numerous oral changes do not originate from aging. Instead, they are side effects of medications or other medical conditions. For instance, numerous medications and some illnesses cause changes in how things taste. Taste changes can ultimately result in nutritional problems.

 

Solutions for aging teeth

 

Various cosmetic solutions can treat your aging teeth including:

 

Teeth Whitening

 

As you age, the external layer of your tooth enamel wears down thereby exposing the underlying layer, which is typically yellower. Beverages and food can also discolor your teeth. You can whiten your teeth professionally or by purchasing a whitening kit.

 

Dental bonding

 

Teeth bonding involve the use of a plastic resin to repair your tooth. This procedure takes a shorter time and is less costly compared to porcelain veneers. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/9/2014
Comments: Leave a comment

6 Surprising Toothpaste Uses

Typically, toothpaste is used to clean teeth. However, toothpaste provides a wide array of uses ranging from healing to cosmetic purposes. You should try out these surprising uses and benefit from the wide range of functions that your basic toothpaste has to offer.

 

Alleviate irritation

 

One unusual toothpaste use is the alleviation of skin irritation originating from bites and skin rashes. Place some toothpaste over a wasp, bee, or other insect bite to aid with the irritation and reduce swelling. You could also apply toothpaste to blisters or sores. Toothpaste helps in drying them up and enables your wounds to heal faster. It is advisable to apply the toothpaste overnight for effective results. Toothpaste provides rapid relief, particularly a mint-flavored one.

 

Clean jewelry

 

You should use a soft toothbrush with a small quantity of toothpaste to brush jewelry that appears dull. You should then rinse and polish your jewelry and bring out its shiny appearance using a soft cloth.  You should also soak metal that is extremely dirty in a cup of water that contains dissolved toothpaste. However, you should not use toothpaste to achieve a white finish on your pearls. This is because toothpaste causes damage to the surface.

 

Clean fingernails

 

The next time you wish to pamper your nails, use a nailbrush with a dab of toothpaste. You will attain stronger, shinier and cleaner nails. Toothpaste has a similar effect on your nails as it does your teeth.

 

Eliminate smells

 

After chopping some food items such as onions and garlic, the smell of these items tend to linger on your hands. This can at times be frustrating or even cause embarrassment. Nevertheless, toothpaste could eliminate the pungent smell that permeates your skin. You simply need to scrub your fingertips and hands briefly using toothpaste. Toothpaste will help to remove every trace of smelly odors, leaving your hands smelling fresh. You could also use toothpaste to clean smelly bottles. In instances where you have forgotten to clean out your baby's bottles immediately, you could mix some water and toothpaste in the water and scrub until you remove the stains and smell. You should then remember to rinse thoroughly.

 

Reduce blemishes and bruises

 

For this function, it is advisable to use some type of menthol toothpaste. In this case, you should apply toothpaste to a blemish or bruise before going to bed and remove the toothpaste the following morning. You should repeat this process for a couple of days. Your blemishes will disappear and so will your bruises.

 

Stain removal

 

Toothpaste is effective on tough stains. For clothes, dab some toothpaste on the stain directly and rub vigorously until the spot disappears and then wash normally.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/8/2014
Comments: 1

3 Signs You Might Have a Cavity

Anyone who has ever had to deal with a cavity knows how excruciating it can be. The best way to deal with a cavity is to have it treated before it becomes a problem. Regular visits to the dentist can help you spot it just as it is forming therefore deal with it then. Before your next appointment though, anything can happen. By knowing what to look out for can help you know when a cavity is forming and therefore go to the dentist early enough for treatment.

 

  • Pain

Pain is perhaps the best indication that something is wrong. When a cavity is forming, you will most likely feel pain when you eat or when an object comes into contact with the tooth. You should have your dentist check it out. Using pain killers may alleviate the pain but without treating the root cause of it, the situation may get worse.

 

  • Bad breath

If you follow a regular dental routine but are suffering from bad breath, it may be a sign of cavity. Bad breath is an indication of bacteria which is the cause of the plaque that causes the cavity. Where there is a high buildup of bacteria there is a presence of an infection which is what causes the cavity to appear.

 

  • Sensitivity

If when eating or drinking, your tooth is sensitive to heat or cold, then you should check for cavity. A sensitive tooth will react to any sensation. When your tooth has a cavity it means that the nerves underneath are exposed to the elements. This is why you will react to heat or cold. With a cavity even cold air rushing into your mouth will be felt by the sensitive tooth.

 

These three are the major signs that you have a cavity. You can also have your teeth examined if you notice any kind of discoloration on the enamel.  When your tooth starts chipping or breaking, then the cavity may have progressed to a critical level. Get in touch with your dentist to have the situation remedied as soon as possible.

 

A cavity may occur even with the most stringent efforts to have proper oral hygiene. Having the cavity treated at the beginning will save you money and also the excruciating pain that will have you seeking the services of the dentist whether you want to or not. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 8/7/2014
Comments: 1