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What is a Cavity? What it is, how it Forms and Treatment

Cavity is a word that is often thrown around but few people actually know what exactly a cavity is. Everyone can however agree that it is painful and treatment isn’t exactly the most pleasant process. You might be wondering what exactly a cavity is, how it forms and how it is treated.

What exactly is A Cavity?

A dental cavity is actually considered a disease. It is the most common chronic disease in adolescents and children. Nearly 90-percent of adults aged 20 and over have had at least one cavity in their lifetime.

The simplest and most accurate description of a cavity is a hole in the tooth. You have bacteria in the mouth which you use to break down food. This process produces an acid which unfortunately erodes enamel which is the protective layer of your teeth.

The hole in the tooth then exposes the nerves inside the tooth which is why you feel pain when you have a cavity.

How Cavities Form

There are several events or factors that play together to form a cavity. The process isn’t intimately understood even by dentists but on face value, here is what you need for a cavity to occur;

  • Saliva and teeth
  • Bacteria
  • Food
  • How many times these three come together

Generally speaking the bacteria that you use to break down food mixes with proteins naturally found in food and your saliva. This mixture adheres the tooth as a layer known as plaque.

The bacteria in the plaque 'eats' food just as you do. Anything that goes into your mouth is eaten and digested by the bacteria snugly settled in your teeth. The bacteria prefer foods that digest quickly such as processed foods and sugar.

Just as humans do after eating, the bacteria must excrete. The result here is acid which if concentrated on one area erodes tooth calcium over time.  

This process isn’t a problem if the plaque doesn’t stay in place for too long. The tooth has a natural ability to regenerate the lost calcium if given the time to do so. Cavities come about when the plaque stays in place for too long, continues to secrete acid which in turn erodes calcium or more practically drills a hole in your tooth.

Cavity Treatment

Fortunately, cavities are relatively simple and straightforward to treat. This process is commonly referred to as a tooth filling. The dentist drills into the tooth to remove all the decayed and damaged part and fills the hole with silver, amalgam, gold or porcelain.

If the cavity is extensive, you may require a root canal or dental crown.

The best way to protect against cavities is to stay away from sugar and processed foods as much as possible. Also brush at least twice a day especially after meals and before bed. Visit the dentist regularly so any issues can be spotted before they become serious. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/29/2017
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Causes for Cold Sores in the Mouth

Cold sores are small, painful sores or blisters which are typically filled with fluid. These may appear on the mouth, lips and even nose. These cold sores are caused by a virus and typically only stay for a few days. Cold sores may however recur because unlike ordinary viral infections, this particular virus does not completely leave the body even after the sore disappears.

Causes for Cold Sores

The virus responsible for cold sore is known as HSV or herpes simplex virus. HSV comes in two varieties; Type 1 and Type 2. The one specific to cold sores is Type 1.

Cold sores are contagious and typically spread through close contact with an infected person such as kissing. You may not always notice that the other person has the virus and their skin may appear normal. This is because the virus continues to be active even while the skin is shedding it. The virus may also be spread via saliva.

Active sores that look like blisters are very contagious. The risk of spreading however goes once the blister has dried and crusted over. The sore should heal in a few days. It is not always clear why the cold sore may return once it has healed.

Most people erroneously believe that you can get cold sores from sharing washcloths, towels and other contaminated surfaces. The risk of spread is minute in this case.

Other conditions that may trigger cold sores include;

  • Flu, fever or cold
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes such as during adolescence and menstruation
  • Changes in the immune system
  • Skin trauma

What Happens When You Are Infected

Once you are infected with the virus, penetrates the nerve cells. It then travels along the nerve until it reaches the ganglion. The ganglion is basically a collection of nerve cells. The virus may dormant at this stage and you might not show any symptoms. Once active, the virus begins to multiply again and continues to travel through the nerve and finally to the skin. This is when the blisters on the lips appear.

Treatment for Cold Sores

Cold sores typically resolve naturally in a few days. The symptoms can however be severe for people who are infected for the first time. Such an attack may include bleeding gums, multiple painful sores, swollen glands and fever. You may seek medical attention if you experience severe symptoms although these typically resolve in a week or two.

It is imperative that you visit a doctor as soon as possible if you have a weak immune system such as is the case with chemotherapy patients. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/11/2017
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A Guide to Proper Flossing

Brushing twice a day or after every meal is commendable but it might not be enough if you are not flossing. Gum disease often starts between the teeth and at the gum line so flossing can help to remove plaque that is notorious for causing gum disease. A toothbrush is not able to effectively rich these areas where plaque may accumulate over time.

The trick therefore isn't simply to floss every day but to do it properly.

Proper Flossing Technique

The first step is to wash your hands thoroughly since they'll be going in your mouth.

Step 1: Wind the Floss

Start with about 18 inches of dental floss, winding a large potion around the middle finger of one hand (whichever you prefer). Repeat the same on the other hand, making sure to wind the floss on the same finger on each hand.

Step 2: Hold the Floss

Use the thumb and forefinger of each hand to hold the floss. Make sure to hold tight.

Step 3: Insert the Floss in Your Teeth

With a gentle rubbing motion, guide the floss slowly in between the teeth. Do not snap or jerk the floss into place because this can injure your gums.

Step 4: Begin Flossing

Once the floss is at the gum line, make a C-shaped curve, placing the floss against the first tooth. Slide the dental floss gently between the tooth and the gum. Use up and down motions, rubbing gently against the side of the tooth. Repeat the process with each tooth not forgetting the back side of each of the last teeth. Use a clean area of for each tooth as you go along.

Different Types of Dental Floss

There are a few varieties of dental floss and a brief look at each type may help you choose the best one for you.

Un-waxed Floss: is made from thin nylon yarn. 35 strands are twisted together to make the floss strong. Although this type of floss is particularly good for closely spaced teeth, it is prone to fraying and breaking than waxed floss.

Waxed Floss: is coated with a thin layer of wax. It is less susceptible to fraying and breaking than the former but may be difficult to insert in tight spaces and closely spaced teeth.

Polytetrafluoroethylene Floss: is made from a similar fiber found in high-tech rain gear. It is good for cleaning closely spaced teeth and around the gums.

Dental Tape: is available in waxed and un-waxed varieties. It is flatter and broader than your traditional floss. Works better than traditional floss but may be difficult to use on closely spaced teeth.

Your dentist can recommend the best type of dental floss and possibly a brand that works best for your particular set of teeth and flossing requirements.  Speak to your dentist about proper flossing the next time you go in for a dental checkup.

 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/3/2017
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5 Common Flossing Errors and How to Avoid Them

If you are brushing your teeth at least two times a day and are flossing daily, you are on the right track to preserving your oral and dental health. The only problem is, it might not help much if you are not flossing correctly to begin with. There is actually an art to proper flossing that unfortunately many people miss.

Identifying some of the most common flossing mistakes and how to avoid them may help you to take better care of your teeth and avoid cavities, gum disease and other dental health issues.

Mistake #1: Using the Same Section of Floss Throughout

The whole idea of flossing is to remove plaque and harmful bacteria from between your teeth. This isn’t the case if you are using the same section of floss over and over again. All you are doing is removing plaque from one area and depositing it in another.

Solution: Cut a long piece of floss, about 18-inches, and use a clean section for every new area.

Mistake #2: Snapping the Floss into Place

Some teeth are closer together than others and the temptation might be to force or snap the floss into place between the teeth. Forcing the floss nicks your gums causing cuts and injuries. In addition to this, your gum-line may begin to recede or get exposed to gum disease.

Solution: when you come to spaces where teeth are too close together, slide the floss back and forth gently to work it into place.

Mistake #3: Forgetting the Back of the Last Teeth

You may be flossing all your teeth properly but forgetting those at the very back. You may also neglect teeth that have big spaces next to them. Neglecting these areas over time leads to plaque buildup and gum disease and/or cavities soon follow.

Solution: Get the back of the each of the last teeth and the back of teeth with wide open spaces next to them.

Mistake #4: Flossing Once in A While

Flossing isn’t exactly the most mentally stimulating activity you can take part in but regular flossing is mandatory if you want to maintain good oral hygiene. The plaque builds in the course of a few hours so flossing once a week or once in two weeks may not be doing much for your oral health. Accumulated plaque and the bacteria that come with it can also find its way to the blood stream in case you expose your gums while flossing.

Solution: It's ok not to floss once in a while but make it a daily routine. Make it into a ritual and within a few weeks it should be engrained as a habit that you cannot forget or miss.

Mistake #5: Not Paying Attention While Flossing

Lastly, it's easy to lose concentration and daydream your way through the flossing. This makes it likely that you skip one or two teeth.

Solution: Have a clear method as to where you start and stop. Pay attention to the progress you are making so you don’t skip any teeth.

Knowing these common mistakes can help ensure that you don’t make them yourself. Also ask your dentist for any suggestion or flossing tips to ensure that you get the most benefits out of the process. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 10/30/2017
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Why It Is Important to Replace Missing Teeth

Losing a tooth in the course of one’s life is not uncommon. People lose their teeth to tooth decay, accidents, cracks and gum disease amongst many other reasons.

 

Importance of teeth

 

Our teeth play a vital role in our lives.

 

  • Teeth are important for chewing and biting. Without teeth, we would not be able to bite or chew food to enable digestion.
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  • Teeth are important for maintaining face structure. The teeth contribute to the overall structural components of our face.
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  • Teeth contribute to our appearance. They are of high aesthetic value. A healthy set of teeth contributes to a beautiful smile and is a boost in self-confidence.
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  • Teeth are important for speech. They assist in the sounding of words.
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Why you should replace missing teeth

 

We often don’t take the loss of a tooth seriously. However, even the loss of a single tooth can set off a chain reaction with serious repercussions. There are many reasons to replace a missing tooth including:

 

  • A loss in functionality of some teeth. When you extract a tooth, the function of the opposing tooth is immediately compromised. For example, the opposing tooth can no longer be used for chewing as there is no surface against which to chew. In reality then, you will be losing two teeth not just one.
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  • When a tooth is extracted, you are basically removing a supporting surface for the adjacent teeth. Teeth adjacent to the gap will tilt or lean as a result of the lack of support. The result is an unstable bite. This in turn affects your ability to chew food properly. You may either not enjoy eating or fail to chew food properly and develop digestive problems.
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  • In addition to developing an unstable bite, there are chances of developing gum pockets around the leaning or tilting teeth. These gum pockets will trap food debris as well as bacteria. This can lead to the build-up of plaque and the development of cavities. It can also result in gum disease.
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  •  The missing tooth will result in the moving of your back teeth further back into your mouth. The result is the exposure of the roots of these back teeth. Exposure of the roots will result in the decay of the teeth. Because the roots of the teeth are exposed, the decay will occur much faster than with teeth whose roots are covered.
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If you have any missing teeth, talk to your dentists about getting implants and having your teeth replaced. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 12/8/2014
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Which Foods Give You Bad Breath - Part 2

One of the reasons why people go to the dentist is to deal with bad breath. Having bad breath is not only damaging to your teeth but can also ruin your social life. There are cases where bad breath is caused by medical conditions or oral infections. In most cases, bad breath is caused by the food we eat.

 

 Naturally, it is not teeth that give you bad breathe but bacteria that are found in our mouths. When food particles are left on your teeth and gums, bacteria multiplies and releases waste products that not only cause tooth decay and gum diseases but also make your mouth smell. This can ruin people’s mood anytime you speak. To ensure that this does not happen, it is important to know the foods that give you bad breath. Here are some of them: 

 

  1. Garlic: When the body is digesting garlic, allyl methyl sulfide is released to the bloodstream. This is transferred to the lungs and air. Garlic is also released on the skin. This is the reason why it is ranked as the top food that causes bad breath.
  2. Onions: Onions smell great when put in food and salads. This vegetable also adds flavor in food. However, when eaten, they produce a smelly compound, halitosis, which stays in your mouth and causes bad breath. Halitosis is expelled from the body every time you exhale.
  3. Alcohol: Many people love alcohol because it relaxes them and is considered a social drink. When alcohol is taken, it creates an environment where bacteria can grow in the mouth. This is because alcohol makes the mouth dry and reduces saliva in the mouth. This makes bacteria multiply in the mouth causing bad breath. 
  4. Coffee: This is the most popular drink in the world. People love coffee because of the smell and the taste. However, this drink is responsible for bad breath. Acidity and enzymes in coffee are responsible for bad breath when it mixes with saliva.
  5. Indian curry: This curry is included in food because it acts as an anti-bacteria agent. However, the spice usually leaves you with bad breath after eating.
  6. Horseradish: This is sauce that is commonly used in beef sandwiches. It is responsible for adding flavor to the sandwich. This flavor comes from isothiocyanate, which originates from plants. This compound is responsible for bad breath. 
  7. Dairy products: These include milk, cheese and other milk products. 
Posted by: Admin Admin on 12/6/2014
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What's Living in My Mouth?

If it was possible to take a look at the organism living in your mouth you would be very amazed. The mouth is not a sterile place and is full of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi. These organisms are not harmful as such as long as there numbers remain in just the right quantity. These organisms are found in all corners of the mouth including the tongue and the teeth.

 

They are helpful to the function of the body and their duties include:

 

  • Keeping at bay harmful bacteria that are not good for your health.
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  • They feed off each other therefore managing the population in the mouth.
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  • They feed on the food that gets stuck in the teeth, helping to keep the mouth clean.
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One strain of bacteria that occurs naturally in the mouth but is responsible for cavities is the Streptococcus mutants. It is believed that it may have started out like good bacteria but due to changes in diets and introduction of refined sugars, it mutated such as to produce excessive acidic compounds from sugars. The large quantity of acids produced may have overwhelmed the body’s natural defence to neutralize the acids effectively.

 

The body was designed such as to manage these organisms that have taken residence in the mouth. As long as the environment is left at optimal conditions, these organisms will continue to work in the body as they were meant to offering protection from harmful pathogens. The undesired pathogens such as the cavity causing bacteria however should not be allowed to thrive in the mouth.

 

Observing ideal hygienic practices will ensure that your mouth is healthy. Managing your intake of refined sugar is the first thing that you can do. When you eat healthy and avoid sugary food and drinks, you will starve the bacteria of their primary source of food. Also you will make your teeth and gums stronger to resist the effect of the acids. Regular brushing of your teeth and flossing will also remove any food debris that can be used to manufacture the acidic compounds that are harmful for your oral health.

 

Regular visits to the dentist will ensure that you get professional cleaning once in a while. You will also get advice on the best care to take to ensure that the organisms in your mouth do not cause harm to your oral health.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 12/2/2014
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What To Do If You Break A Tooth

While your teeth are very strong, they can break under some circumstances, causing pain and a considerable amount of anxiety and discomfort. Incidents such as falling or biting something hard can cause your tooth to break. When your tooth breaks, you may not experience pain but your tongue typically feels the sharp area rather quickly. Breaking your tooth can be upsetting. However, you do not need to worry provided you can see a dentist rapidly. Recognizing the treatment for a broken tooth could help with pain management until you receive a permanent solution from your dentist.  These measures are vital in helping you deal with a broken tooth.

 

  • Dental appointment

If possible, see your dentist 2-3 hours following the breakage. Anything longer decreases the chances of reviving your tooth while increasing the likelihood of infection or losing the whole tooth. Your dentist will assess the damage and establish the appropriate treatment course.

 

  • Recognize the various types of breaks

Teeth can break, chip, or fracture. Chipped and broken teeth are more severe than fractures. However, you should still exercise care and receive medical attention to any form of tooth breakage. When huge pieces of your tooth break off, the tooth nerve could cause considerable pain when exposed to air, saliva, cold, or hot stimuli such as beverages or food.

 

  • If possible, save the pieces of your broken tooth

You can do this if you are mindful at the time of breakage. It is essential that you prevent your tooth from drying. Therefore, you should store it in water and take it to your dentist. You can also rinse your tooth pieces under water while taking care not to lose them. 

 

  • In case of pain, take a pain reliever

You can take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for instance ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These medications will relieve the pain before you obtain stronger medication from your dentist.

 

  • Rinse your mouth

You should use salt water to rinse your mouth. It is important to gargle with salt water to help prevent possible infection.

 

  • Apply gauze in case of bleeding

Apply gauze to the affected area for about 10 minutes until you stop bleeding. If gauze does not stop the bleeding, wash with cold water. This helps in contracting your blood vessels, thereby controlling the bleeding.

 

  • Use a cold pack to reduce swelling

Place a cold pack to your cheek to reduce swelling while awaiting treatment.

Treatment for a broken tooth will depend largely on the severity of the damage. A badly broken or damaged tooth may need a more costly and lengthy procedure. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 12/1/2014
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What are Cavities?

Cavities are holes in your teeth resulting from tooth decay. Cavities typically occur in older adults, teenagers, and children although everyone is prone to have them regardless of age. They commonly cause tooth loss in young individuals. They develop due to a blend of factors including oral bacteria, frequent snacking, and sugary foods /beverages. If untreated, they become larger and affect the teeth's deeper layers. They can also lead to infection and severe toothache. Regular visits to your dentist and maintaining good flossing and brushing habits help prevent cavities.

 

Types of Cavities

Coronal

 

These cavities commonly affect adults and children.

 

Root cavities

 

As you age, your gums recede, leaving parts of your tooth root bare. As a result, the exposed areas decay easily because you no longer have enamel to cover your tooth roots.

 

Recurrent decay

 

Decay can develop around existing crowns and fillings. This occurs since these areas tend to accumulate plaque, which could ultimately result in decay.

 

 

Symptoms

 

The symptoms of cavities differ depending on the location and extent. When a cavity is in its initial stages, you may not experience any symptoms. However, your dentist may inform you that decay has begun and will recommend steps to prevent it from worsening. Cavities develop below your tooth's surface where you cannot see them. The best way to spot and treat them involves regular dental visits. As the decay increases in size, it may produce symptoms such as:

 

  • Tooth pain particularly after having hot, sweet, or cold beverages and foods
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  • Visible holes or pits in your teeth. Cavities on your front teeth are the easiest to spot and will appear like black or brown spots. Cavities that exist in other parts of your mouth are frequently not noticeable without undergoing an X-ray
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  • Tooth sensitivity
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  • Pain when biting down
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  • Pus around your tooth particularly when you press your gums
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Treatment of Cavities

 

Cavity treatment depends on the severity and your situation. Various treatment options exist including:

 

Fillings

 

Dentists install fillings by eliminating the decayed areas and replacing them with various materials such as silver and porcelain. Numerous dentists consider gold and silver alloy to be more durable than resin or porcelain. However, these materials are rather visible hence; dentists normally place them on your back teeth.

 

 

Caps or Crowns

 

Dentist will use this option if the decay is extensive, leaving a weakened tooth. With this option, your dentist will remove the weakened or decayed area and fit a crown over the remaining tooth. Crowns are typically made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain joined to metal.  

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/27/2014
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Ultimate Toothbrush Guide

The toothbrush is the primary tool when it comes to the maintenance of good oral health. Like all dentists will tell you, brushing your teeth is the most effective way to fight plaque and other bacteria that causes tooth decay. You will find many options when it comes to choosing a toothbrush to use for your teeth. When it comes to dental care it is prudent to go with the option that suits your circumstances.

 

  • Electronic or manual toothbrushes
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A manual toothbrush is what many people use as it is most commonly available. Electronic toothbrushes can be considered expensive from the initial cost to the purchase of new heads every three months and accessories such as chargers. Electronic toothbrushes though expensive are considered to be more effective as they clean more deeply. Your choice between the two will be decided by your budget. Manual toothbrushes still do carry out the function of cleaning teeth so they are not an inferior choice.

 

  • Size of toothbrush head
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An ideal toothbrush head should be small so as to reach all corners of the mouth and easily maneuvered. A big toothbrush head may limit the reach of the toothbrush to the back of the mouth.

 

  • Bristles on the toothbrush
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The toothbrush bristles come in soft, medium and hard. People always go with their preference as some may feel soft bristles are not effective for them or hard bristles are too clumsy in the mouth. As much as personal preference plays a part in the choice of toothbrush, a softer bristle is better as it does not injure the gum. Soft bristles are also more effective in reaching between teeth and their flexibility makes them ideal when brushing behind the teeth.

 

  • Handle on the toothbrush
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  • This may seem to be a non-issue, but the handle is important to how effective the teeth cleaning will be. The handle should make it easy to use the toothbrush. A handle that is too rigid or too soft may hinder the controlling of the toothbrush over the teeth. They are some handles that snap as they cannot bend to the task of reaching all corners of the mouth. The handle should be flexible enough to accommodate your movements as you brush your teeth.
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Choosing a toothbrush may either seem too easy if you don’t care about the toothbrush you use or too daunting if you do not know where to start. Talking to your dentist will help you understand what you should look for in the toothbrush that you use. Remember, for teeth cleaning to be effective, toothbrushes have to be replaced every three months.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/25/2014
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Treating Mouth Sores

Mouth sores are small and painful ulcers that appear in your mouth and often make talking and eating uncomfortable. In most instances, they are harmless and resolve on their own without needing treatment. However, you should seek treatment if they do not clear within a few days or if you experience recurring attacks. To help alleviate pain and promote speedy recovery, various treatment options ranging from topical ointments to mouth rinses exist.

 

Mouth rinses

If you experience numerous sores, your physician may prescribe a mouth rinse to decrease inflammation and pain. Oral suspensions of tetracycline can also decrease pain and promote fast recovery. However, tetracycline can make you vulnerable to oral thrush.

 

Topical pastes

Prescription and over-the-counter pastes that have active ingredients for instance benzocaine can help alleviate pain and hasten healing when applied to individual sores once they emerge. Your physician may recommend you apply the paste 2-4 times daily.

 

Topical anti-inflammatory medications

Steroid medications can topically reduce inflammation from mouth sores. These medications typically need a prescription. You should use this medication according to your physician's directions.

 

Topical antibiotics

Your physician or dentist may prescribe these medications if you face the possibility of getting bacterial infection. Signs of infection include redness, fever, and pus discharge. 

 

Nutritional supplements

Your physician may prescribe a nutritional supplement if you consume low quantities of vital nutrients for instance folic acid and vitamin B-6.

Besides medical treatment, various home remedies can also treat mouth sores including:

 

Lysine

Lysine deficiency could trigger mouth sores. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a diet that comprises this important amino acid. You can obtain lysine in food and as a supplement. Dietary lysine is safe. However, elevated doses of supplements have been associated with gallstones. Moreover, if you suffer from liver or kidney disease, you should take the supplement under your physician's advice.

 

Iron and Folic Acid

Also called vitamin B3 or folate, folic acid may be an essential vitamin for mouth sores since it helps in healing wounds. Together with iron, folate is essential for red blood cell production and oxygen transportation in your body. Deficiencies in folic acid and iron may contribute to frequent mouth sores. Therefore, nutritional supplementation helps in delaying or diminishing their recurrence.

 

 

 

Yogurt

You can control mouth sores considerably with yogurt. Yogurt helps cure these sores as well prevent their occurrence. However, you must consume yogurt in its non-sweetened form. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/24/2014
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Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a silent disease that is often not noticed until it has reached its advanced stages. It begins with the growth of bacteria in the mouth and often ends with tooth loss if not treated properly.

 

Common causes of gum disease

 

  • Plaque resulting from poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gum disease. The buildup of plaque can result in gum disease if proper dental hygiene is not practiced for an extended period of time.
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  • Hormonal changes that result in gum sensitivity can make it easier for gum disease to develop. These changes may occur during pregnancy, menstruation, menopause and puberty.
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  • Drugs that cause a reduction of saliva flow can also cause gum disease. Saliva has a protective effect on the gums and teeth. Restricting or reducing the flow of saliva will result in growth of bacteria in the gums.
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  • Drugs that can result in the abnormal growth of the gums can cause gum disease. These drugs include Procardia, an anti-angina drug and Dilantin, an anticonvulsant.
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  • Illnesses that affect the condition of the gums can result in gum disease. These diseases may result in a change in gum condition indirectly e.g. HIV and cancer result in the suppression of the immune system thus allowing for the free growth of bacteria in and around the gums.
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  • Habits that affect the condition of the gums such as smoking can result in gum disease.
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  • Genetics.
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Symptoms of gum disease

 

Gum disease can progress silently and often goes unnoticed until it is in its more advanced stages. However some of the most common symptoms of gum disease are:

 

  • Gums bleeding during or after brushing teeth
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  • Receding gums
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  • Reddening of the gums. The gums are also tender and swollen.
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  • Teeth become loose or shift in their sockets.
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  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.
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  • The development of deep sockets in the gums around the teeth.
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  • A persistent bad taste in the mouth accompanied by bad breath.

 

Gum disease may still be existent even in those who don’t exhibit the above symptoms. The disease may only affect a few teeth in some people while in other people it may affect the entire gum. Because the disease may progress silently, it is advisable to see a dentist on a regular basis. Your dentist will be able to pick up on the signs and symptoms of the disease early and treat the disease to prevent its progression. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/15/2014
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Relationship of Toothache & Sinus Infections

A painful tooth associated with a sinus infection is actually not a toothache; it originates from pressure that builds up inside your head, giving the impression of a toothache. Sinusitis is the infection or inflammation of your sinuses. Normally, sinuses are air-filled. However, when blockage occurs and fluid fills your sinuses, germs can develop, causing an infection. Your sinuses serve the function of warming and moistening inhaled air before reaching your lungs. They also help guard you against infection by generating mucus to trap dirt particles and other pollutants. Conditions that contribute to sinus blockage include allergic rhinitis and the common cold.

 

Link between tooth pain and sinus infections

A sinus infection or sinusitis could produce a toothache, particularly in your upper rear teeth, which lie close to your sinuses. Actually, pain in your upper teeth is rather common if you suffer from a sinus condition. If you experience a persistent toothache, you should initially seek consultation from your dentist, who may recommend an exam. Your dentist will consider probable dental causes for your toothache for instance periodontal disease or cavities. A sinus infection generates tooth pain because sinuses lie in close proximity to your upper jaw. Hence, the ensuing sinus pressure could at times generate teeth pain.

 

Types of Sinus infections

  • Acute sinusitis

You will typically experience an abrupt onset of cold-like signs such as a stuffy, runny nose as well as facial pain that does not disappear after 10-14 days. Acute sinusitis normally lasts four weeks or less.

 

  • Subacute sinusitis

This condition describes an inflammation that lasts 4-8 weeks.

 

  • Recurrent sinusitis

People with this condition have numerous attacks annually.

 

  • Chronic sinusitis

The symptoms of this inflammation last eight weeks or longer.

 

Causes of Sinus Infections

Sinusitis originates from excess mucus or a swelling of your nose and sinus lining. This can arise because of an allergy or a cold. You could also get a sinus infection if irritation occurs on the linings of your sinuses, causing a headache, pain, and at times fever. Your mucus will normally be green or yellow if you have an infection.

 

Symptoms

Pressure and pain in the face

Mucus accumulation leads to a sense of heaviness in the face in addition to pain from enhanced nerve pressure.

 

 

Pain during movement

Facial pressure and pain when leaning forward or moving your head could be an indication of a sinus infection. This occurs because the inflammation distorts your balance. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/13/2014
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Pregnancy and Dental Care

Timely and appropriate dental care can result in enhanced pregnancy outcomes besides improved comfort for the woman. It is essential to maintain good oral health while pregnant. This is because pregnancy produces hormonal changes that raise the likelihood of developing gum disease that could affect your baby's health. The increase in hormone levels throughout pregnancy causes gums to bleed, swell, and trap food, leading to gum irritation. Preventive dental work is essential while expectant to prevent oral infections such as gingivitis, which researchers have linked to pre-term birth. A considerable number of women ignore dental care during pregnancy. Consequently, many will make appointments with their gynecologist but fail to visit their dentist. However, expectant women should include dental care as part of their wellbeing for various reasons:

 

Gum Disease

Hormonal changes arising from pregnancy could change the manner in which your gums respond to plaque, causing inflammation and irritation. Studies reveal that pregnancy could increase the bacterial amount in your mouth. Therefore, maintaining a good oral/dental regimen that comprises flossing and brushing is vital.

 

Tooth Extraction

You should avoid tooth extractions during your first and third trimesters because the fetus at these stages is vulnerable to developmental malformation. However, research indicates that tooth extraction is safe for mother and child during the second trimester. On the other hand, you should avoid dental X-rays throughout your pregnancy.

 

Dental Work

You should visit your dentist for dental work such as crowns and fillings to decrease the likelihood of infection. Ideally, you should postpone unnecessary dental work until delivery. However, at times you may require emergency procedures such as root canal.  You should postpone elective treatments for instance teeth whitening until you deliver your baby. It is also imperative to avoid exposing your developing baby to any risks.

 

Medications during pregnancy

Currently, studies offer conflicting data regarding the potential adverse effects on your developing baby from medications used throughout dental work. If dental work is necessary, your dentist should minimize the amount of anesthesia. The anesthesia will be effective provided you are comfortable. Dental work frequently needs antibiotics to treat or avoid infections. Your dentist may prescribe medications such as amoxicillin following the procedure.

 

Dental care tips when pregnant

  • Inform your dentist of your pregnancy as a precautionary measure
  • Inform your dentist of the medications and dosages you are currently taking
  • Do not miss your dental appointment merely because you are expectant
  • Consume a healthy and balanced diet
Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/11/2014
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Overall Oral Healthcare

Oral health care is important because it affects your health in general. When your mouth, teeth and gums are well taken care of, your entire body will look and feel good. Oral health care does not just involve brushing and flossing. Your mouth and teeth must look healthy and have no smell. Oral hygiene does not just contribute to healthy teeth and gums. You will also feel good about yourself. Here are some ways to ensure that this is possible:

 

Get Information

 

For you to enjoy oral health, you need to understand your oral needs. You can get information from your dentist or hygienist on best dental practices with regards to the dental challenges that you face. If there are any dental conditions in your family history, a dentist can assist you in taking precautions to prevent them and health measures when you suffer from these conditions. There are times when a patient’s teeth suffer because of a sickness or a medical condition such as diabetes and dental appliances. This might require you to change your dental hygiene to accommodate the change.

 

Daily Dental Routine

 

Dental information is useless when you do not apply it. After getting information from the dentist, make sure that you follow this routine on a daily basis. If you are experiencing changes in your body such as pregnancy and medical treatment, be sure to follow the additional instructions that your dentist will offer you as part of your oral health. Brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis. Additionally, you can develop an oral plan that fits your schedule.  Children should also follow a dental routine at an early age so that they can have strong and healthy teeth as adults.

 

 

Balanced Diet

 

One of the major causes of poor dental health is poor eating habits. It is therefore important to eat a balanced meal every day so that your teeth remain healthy and strong. If you like snacks, it is important to eat very little of these snacks as they tend to cause cavities and gum diseases.  These foods produce acid and cause teeth to decay. If you need to snack, ensure that you brush your teeth afterwards.

 

Oral health care results with clean teeth that are free from cavities. Your gums will also look pink and not bleed when you are brushing. You will also be free from bad breath. If your gums are bleeding and you suffer from bad breath, make sure that you see your dentist.   

Posted by: Admin Admin on 11/9/2014
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How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush

Brushing your teeth is one of oral hygiene practices that people should follow on a regular basis. To brush your teeth well, you need a toothbrush and toothpaste. Dentists recommend that you should take at least seventy seconds to brush your teeth every day. With such regular brushing, it reaches a point when you need to replace the toothbrush. Staying with it longer than necessary is discouraged.

 

Toothbrushes can breed germs, fungi and bacteria. This is one of the reasons why you need to change your toothbrush after some time. The following answers how often you should change your toothbrush:

 

  • After you experience mouth infection, cold or flu: Germs hide in the bristles of toothbrushes after you fall sick or have a dental condition. After you get better, these germs can still hide in these bristles putting you at a higher risk of getting re-infected.
  •  
  • After three months: Dentists agree that you should have a new toothbrush every three months. Children’s toothbrushes should be replaced regularly. Toothbrushes also wear out. The bristles become loose and cannot reach the corners of the mouth. There are studies that show that they are ineffective after three months of use. They cannot remove plaque from gums and teeth effectively.  
  •  

To ensure that your toothbrush is safe for use, make sure that it dries completely. You should always shake it well to remove the water and store it uprightly after use. You should invest in a toothbrush holder as this ensures that toothbrushes are well separated from each other and well aerated.

 

If one of the family members is suffering from a cold or flu, ensure that his or her toothbrush is stored away from other toothbrushes. Here are other ways to take care of toothbrushes so that they can be effective when you use them:

 

  • Traveling: When traveling, it is important to protect the bristles of the toothbrush from getting moist or damaged. You can also invest in a toothbrush case. Ensure that you let the brush dry after using it.
  •  
  • Never cover your toothbrush or store it in a container. This will encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi.
  •  
  • Do not share your toothbrush. This increases the risk of mouth infections.  When you exchange saliva with someone else, there is a higher chance of infection.  
  •  
  • Rinse your toothbrush well after use. You can use warm water for cleaning and also to remove dust and debris. 
Posted by: Admin Admin on 10/17/2014
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How Do I Keep My Teeth Healthy At Work?

The workplace is where most people spend the better part of the day. The long hours during the day may keep you too busy to brush your teeth and floss. There are simple things that you can do while in the office to help keep your teeth healthy and safe until you get home to brush and floss. Some offices may not have an enabling environment where you can get to the bathroom to brush after eating a meal.

 

  1. Limit your tea and coffee in take – Large quantities of tea and coffee especially when taken without cream can stain your teeth. When at the office limit the amount of these beverages that you take. Also remember to rinse your mouth after taking the tea or coffee so that you can wash away any remnants that may stain your teeth.
  2. Drink lots of water –You can also drink a lot of water while at work. This not only helps to wash away food debris from the teeth but also helps to keep your mouth hydrated. A dry mouth is a ripe environment that bacteria can thrive therefore it is important to stay hydrated.
  3. Limit sugars – In the office it is easy to rely on sugary foods to keep the energy up. However, you should limit the amount of sugary foods that you take while in the office as sugars are great for fueling the reproduction of bacteria. Substitute the sugary drinks and foods with fresh fruits and use safe sweeteners.
  4. Eat fruits and vegetables that clean teeth – Vegetables and fruits such as apples help to clean teeth as you bite into them. You should always have these foods at hand in the office. Options also include carrots and celery. You can eat this food last after a meal in order to help you keep your teeth clean.
  5. Limit use of teeth to eating – At work, you may have a shortage of tools that are readily available at home such as bottle openers. Do not use your teeth to open bottles or bite into hard objects. Instead keep such tools at a drawer in the office or in your bag so that you can protect your teeth.

 

There is so much that you can do to keep your teeth healthy at work. If you have ideal facilities, you can take time to brush and floss as soon as you get time to do so.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 10/16/2014
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Gum Disease Symptoms

Gum disease is a silent disease. Many people affected by gum disease don’t realize it until the disease is in its advanced stages. In some cases, there is no pain even in the advanced stages of gum disease.

 

Healthy gums

 

You can only recognize the symptoms of gum disease if you understand what healthy gums ought to look like. Healthy gums should:

 

  • Be pink in color
  • Should be firm to the touch
  • Should keep your teeth firmly in place. You should therefore not have any lose teeth if your gums are healthy.

 

Early symptoms of gum disease

 

When gum disease is in its early stages, it is referred to as gingivitis. The symptoms associated with this stage of the disease include:

 

  • Reddening of the gums
  • Swelling of the gums as a result of inflammation
  • Gums bleeding during or after brushing teeth or flossing teeth. This should not be confused with the bleeding that may occur when using a toothbrush with hard bristles.

 

Symptoms of advanced stages of gum disease

 

If the stage of gingivitis goes untreated, the gum disease continues to progress by affecting the teeth and the bones that support the teeth. This results in a condition known as periodontitis. The symptoms associated with this stage of gum disease include:

 

  • A constant unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Constant bad breath
  • The development of abscesses in the gums as a result of the collection of pus under the teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth making it difficult to eat or bite

 

Symptoms associated with ulcerative gingivitis

 

There are rare cases where the periodontitis stage of gum disease goes untreated. This results in the development of a condition known as acute necrotising ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). The symptoms associated with this condition are more severe than other stages of gum disease. They include:

 

  • The formation of painful ulcers on the gums
  • Bleeding of gums even when not brushing or flossing
  • Painful gums
  • The gum tissue between the teeth begins to recede
  • There is a constant metallic taste in the mouth
  • The formation of excessive saliva in the mouth
  • Constant bad breath
  • The development of a fever
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Difficulty in speaking.

 

See a dentist

 

If you have noticed any of the signs and symptoms of gum disease, it is imperative that you see your dentist as soon as possible. Because the disease can sometimes be painless, people are unaware that they have developed gum disease. It is therefore advisable to have regular checks with your dentist to ensure that the disease is identified early and proper treatment administered. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 10/9/2014
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Electric Toothbrushes

Oral hygiene is extremely important in dental care.  You need to regularly clean your teeth to ensure that they are healthy. Regular brushing of teeth also ensures healthy gums remain healthy and fresh breath. This is the main reason why experts encourage regular brushing of teeth. It is important to brush your teeth at least two times in a day. You are also advised to brush them using a good brush.

 

Electrical brushes are a good invention and a blessing to dental care. This is because they are more effective than manual toothbrushes. However, they will cost you more.  Electrical brushes are preferred because of the benefits associated with them. These include:

 

  1. These toothbrushes will massage your gums while you are cleaning your teeth. Massaging your gums is an effective way of preventing gum diseases. This is because massaging your gums will help in circulation. Massaging with an electrical toothbrush is faster and takes a shorter time than a manual toothbrush.
  2. An electric toothbrush has a small head. This makes it easy for it to reach the back of your mouth and small spaces between your teeth that would have otherwise been impossible to reach. This will get rid of all the plaque that might stick between teeth to form cavities.
  3. Electric toothbrushes have longer handles than manual toothbrushes; this makes it easy to use. All you have to do is to guide it along your mouth and it will do the cleaning for you.
  4. Electric toothbrushes are also fun to use. This means that you will probably brush for the required length of time, which is two minutes because the process is easy.
  5. These toothbrushes come with new technology and features designed to make the process of brushing teeth easier. Some of the new technology and features include:
  • Several brushing modes that cater for different needs like sensitive teeth, teeth whitening or gum massaging.
  • Signals that will indicate when you are applying too much pressure in brushing your teeth.
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  • The new models have timers that you can use to monitor how long you have been brushing your teeth. It should not be less than two minutes.
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  • It has reminders for when you should be replacing the head of your toothbrush.
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  • The toothbrushes can accept different types of heads, allowing you to choose the type of bristles that you prefer.
Posted by: Admin Admin on 9/22/2014
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Dry Mouth

Dry mouth describes a condition that normally originates from reduced saliva production. At times, this condition can make it hard for you to speak and could result in malnutrition. Severe dry mouth and the dysfunction of salivary glands could produce permanent and significant throat and mouth disorders. Furthermore, they can impair your life. Everybody experiences dry mouth occasionally, especially when upset or nervous. However, when you frequently have a dry mouth, this could be an indication of severe medical problems. A dry mouth could affect your capacity to enjoy food and the condition of your teeth.  Decreased saliva produces problems because saliva aids the prevention of tooth decay by restricting bacterial growth and removing food particles.

 

Symptoms

  • A dry feeling in your mouth
  • Frequent thirst
  • Cracked lips
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing and speaking
  • Increased tooth decay, gum disease, and plaque
  • A burning sensation in your mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Pale gums

 

Causes

You experience a dry mouth when your salivary glands are not functioning properly. This might lead to insufficient saliva production. Numerous factors are responsible for this condition:

 

Medications

This condition is a common side effect of several nonprescription and prescription medications. Drugs that could produce this condition include those that treat anxiety and depression, decongestants, hypertension medications, and antihistamines.

 

Aging

Aging is not a risk factor for this condition. However, older people have a higher likelihood of taking drugs that may cause this condition. Furthermore, older persons have a higher likelihood of experiencing other medical conditions that could produce this condition.

 

Nerve damage

A surgical procedure or injury that results in nerve damage of your neck and head area could produce this condition.

 

Dehydration

Conditions that contribute to dehydration such as diarrhea and excessive sweating could produce a dry mouth.

 

 

 

Other medical conditions

Dry mouth could arise from other health conditions or their treatments for instance diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and Parkinson's disease.

 

Treatment

The treatment for this condition will largely depend on the cause. If you suspect certain medications are responsible for your dry mouth, discuss with your physician. Your physician may adjust your dosage or switch you to another medication that does not cause a dry mouth. Your doctor might also recommend medications such as pilocarpine to stimulate the production of saliva. In severe instances, your dentist might recommend fluoride-filled teeth coverings to protect you against cavities. Other home remedies that could manage this condition include drinking water particularly during a meal. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 9/20/2014
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Do I Really Need to Floss?

Dental floss is a tool that is used to eliminate food and bacterial accumulation from between teeth. Floss is available in plastic or nylon form. It is important to include flossing in your dental routine in order to reach spots that your brush cannot reach. Most people either overlook this activity or believe it is a low-priority since they are ignorant of its importance or unsure of how to floss correctly. Most people do not realize that flossing plays a significant role in their dental health. While your toothbrush cleans the external surfaces and tops of your gums and teeth, floss cleans the tight spaces between your teeth as well as the gap between the base of your gums and teeth. Dentists highly recommend flossing because plaque accumulation can result in gum disease and tooth decay. It is also important to use floss correctly to prevent gum damage.

 

Types of Dental Floss

Floss is available in various colors, flavors, and materials. You will have a wide array of floss types from which to choose when making a purchase. Some floss originates from dental ribbon instead of nylon or plastic. Ribbon floss provides a smoother feeling and is more comfortable that ordinary floss.  For instance, if your gums bleed or ache, you should use ribbon floss.  Generally, two floss types exist:

 

Nylon

Nylon floss can be waxed or un-waxed. It is also available in various flavors. This floss type comprises numerous strands hence may at times shred or tear particularly between teeth that have tight points of contact. This is the most common type and has been available for a long time. Nylon floss is also cheaper and varies in thickness.

 

PTFE

Also called monofilament floss, this type is more expensive and slides easily between your teeth even if you have tight spaces. This type is resistant to shred and uses newer technology.

 

Benefits of Flossing

Effectiveness

Brushing alone is less effective than when you include flossing in your dental routine. Brushing merely cleans your teeth's surface. Flossing is necessary because it cleans out your teeth gaps where bacteria frequently reside. If you do not floss, you are more likely to experience plaque accumulation, which can result in cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. Furthermore, flossing helps improve your mouth's appearance, dental hygiene, and overall health.

 

Financial

Since flossing helps improve your dental health, you will save money by avoiding huge dental bills from costly procedures. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 9/17/2014
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Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes is a condition that can affect your entire body including your mouth. Dental care is especially vital for diabetics since they face a higher likelihood of experiencing problems related to oral health because of poorly managed blood sugars. Uncontrolled diabetes weakens your white blood cells, which help in fighting against infections that could occur in your mouth. Therefore, you must observe your oral health to enable early treatment and diagnosis.

 

Dental problems affecting Diabetics

 

Cavities

The mouth naturally comprises of numerous kinds of bacteria. When sugars and starches interact with the bacteria, plaque develops on the teeth. As a result, the plaque acids attack your enamel, resulting in cavities. Elevated levels of blood sugar lead to a higher supply of starches and sugars.

 

Gum inflammation (periodontitis and gingivitis)

 

Diabetes causes your blood vessels to thicken, slowing down the flow of waste products and nutrients from body tissues such as your mouth. When this happens, your body's capacity to fight infections decreases. Since periodontitis is a bacterial infection, uncontrolled diabetes may lead to recurrent and threatening gum disease.

 

Dry mouth

 

Uncontrolled diabetes can reduce saliva flow, leading to a dry mouth. This can further contribute to soreness, infections, ulcers, and tooth decay.

 

Slow Recovery

 

Uncontrolled diabetes leads to slow recovery following oral surgery or dental procedures since the disease can affect the flow of blood to the site of treatment.

 

Thrush

 

Diabetics who take antibiotics frequently to fight various infections are particularly vulnerable to a fungal infection of the tongue and mouth. This fungus thrives on elevated sugar levels in your saliva if your diabetes is uncontrolled.

 

Dental Care in Diabetics

 

If you are diabetic, you can prevent gum and tooth problems by:

 

Brushing your teeth twice daily

 

You should brush your teeth at night and in the morning. Ideally, you should also brush after snacks and meals. You should use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste. It is also important to avoid harsh or vigorous scrubbing, which can cause gum irritation.

 

Flossing

 

This helps eliminate plaque between the teeth and under the gum line. In case manipulating the floss proves challenging, a floss holder would be beneficial.

 

 

Be committed in diabetes management

 

This involves monitoring your levels of blood sugar and following your physician's instructions. Controlled blood sugar levels decreases the likelihood of developing gingivitis among other dental issues.

 

Avoid smoking

 

Smoking enhances the likelihood of developing severe diabetic complications such as gum disease. Therefore, you should seek assistance in quitting the habit. 

Posted by: Admin Admin on 9/13/2014
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Caring for Braces

Healthy teeth and gums can be achieved by maintaining a consistent daily dental cleaning routine. When you have braces you should be keen and patient when cleaning your teeth this is because braces have countless of tiny spaces that trap food which if not cleaned well will result to plaque, and may lead to other dental problems such as cavities, swollen gums, permanent stain and bad breath. To prevent this you should:

 

  • Always brush your teeth after every meal and at bedtime.
  • Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash at least once a day.
  • Clean in between your teeth once or twice a day.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.
  • Always clean your toothbrush and any other dental cleaning appliance after use.
  • Eat healthy foods and avoid hard foods, sticky foods and sugary foods.
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When brushing your teeth employ the usual brushing technique but exercise caution and patience to ensure you do not damage your arch wire and braces or injure your gums. When brushing your teeth you should;

 

  • Use Orthodontic toothbrushes, Inter-dental toothbrushes or power toothbrushes which can remove plaque more effectively than manual toothbrushes
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or as soon as the bristle start to wear down.
  • Change your rubber bands after your eat.
  • Use the same brushing motion on the entire tooth surfaces.
  • Clean your braces brushing gently from the top then to the bottom.
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At the end of your oral cleaning routine your braces should look clean and the edges of the brackets should be seen clearly.

 

Flossing is essential for cleaning in between the teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach to remove food particles and plaque. When flossing:

 

  • Choose a thread with a stiffen end that threads it through the gap between each teeth.
  • Curve the floss around each tooth gently moving up and down the side of each tooth
  • Do not floss too forcefully or put too much pressure you could damage your braces or injure your gums.
  • Floss at night to ensure your teeth are absolutely clean at bedtime.
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Wearing braces requires patience and discipline. Proper oral care at home helps contribute to the long-term health of your teeth and gums. It is far easy to take care of your braces than to have them replaced often. Be sure to ask your dentist for information on how to best take care of the braces. Clean braces will mean a clean and healthy mouth coupled with fresh breath.

Posted by: Admin Admin on 6/5/2011
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