My BEST Dentists Journal


Signs You're Using The Wrong Toothpaste

When you search for toothpaste, the ads say it all — look for something that will give you minty-fresh breath and shiny white teeth. But what happens when your toothpaste gives you more than what you've bargained for, say chapped lips or rashes around your mouth?

Chances are, you're probably allergic to your toothpaste, which can definitely happen, as Colgate says toothpaste can contain a laundry list of ingredients that can cause a localized reaction. These include gluten, fluoride, fragrance, and flavorings like cinnamon. In an article written for Dental Buzz, dental hygienist Trish Walraven even called toothpaste a cosmetic, which we use because it tastes good — and not because it provides your mouth and teeth with any extras.

How do you know you're allergic to your toothpaste?

Toothpaste allergies can develop even if you've been using your toothpaste for some time. Colgate says one of the most common signs of a toothpaste allergy is having cheilitis, or very chapped lips, which can be accompanied by rashes around the mouth. Very Well Health says toothpaste allergies can also present symptoms of contact dermatitis inside your mouth, including mouth sores, gums, and a tongue which is swollen and sensitive, as well as lips that are itchy and peeling. 

Toothpaste allergies are usually confirmed through a patch test, where samples of different chemicals are placed on your back and examined at 48 hours, and then again at 72 or 96 hours. The allergy is confirmed if the patch test site is red, has blisters, or has mild swelling (via Very Well Health).

Best alternatives for commercial toothpaste

If you feel commercial, minty fresh toothpaste is not for you, SELF says there are several alternative brands to commercial toothpaste that you might want to consider. These brands will contain ingredients that may help you clean your teeth, including charcoal (which whitens surface stains), baking soda (which kills plaque but does nothing to kill bacteria), bentonite clay, cinnamon (watch out for allergies!), and sea salt. 

But none of these ingredients have been approved by the American Dental Association, so it may be best to see your dentist and get his thoughts on what toothpaste alternatives he might recommend before making a switch that doesn't pay off in the end. If you switch toothpaste and continue to have issues, a visit is definitely in order to your doctor or dentist.

by The List

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Blue Or Gray Teeth: Causes And Ways To Fix Them

Everyone knows that anything from smoking to poor oral hygiene can result in yellow teeth. As such, having a blue or gray tooth can be scary. Here’s what you need to know.

You probably know that everything from smoking to poor oral hygiene can result in yellow stains on your teeth. But what’s up with blue or gray teeth? Yes, there’s a chance that the teeth might have died, but that isn’t the only possible explanation. Sometimes tooth discoloration is natural and simply a cosmetic problem, but it may also signify dental trauma or another oral health problem.

Let’s talk about the causes of blue or gray teeth and what you can do to get a bright, white smile.

Causes Of Blue Or Gray Teeth


Aging brings a lot of changes, including dental ones. As you get older, your enamel will wear down, allowing the yellow dentin underneath to show. However, your teeth may also turn a grayish-blue color as you age.

Dead Teeth

There’s always the chance that your tooth is turning blue or gray because it’s dead. A healthy tooth consists of nerves and living pulp. If you notice a tooth or two turning gray, blue, black, or dark pink, the nerves and pulp within the tooth may have died. Infection, trauma, and decay can cause teeth to die and turn a different color.

Dentinogenesis Imperfecta

If you have dentinogenesis imperfecta (hereditary opalescent dentin), your teeth may become translucent or take on a yellow-brown or blue-gray appearance. This rare genetic condition can also result in misaligned and weakened teeth, leading to wear, breakage, and tooth loss.

Dental Restorations

Dental restoration procedures can help correct many dental problems, including chips, cracks, discoloration, decay, and missing teeth. Unfortunately, they can also cause discoloration. Over time, the materials used to restore your teeth and fill your cavities (like dental amalgam, acrylic, glass ionomer, and porcelain) may look blue or gray when showing through your teeth’s translucent enamel or a porcelain surface.

Dental Trauma

After an injury to your tooth, gums, or any nearby tissue, your tooth might not receive a sufficient amount of blood and turn blue or gray. Sometimes, your tooth might heal itself and return to its original color, but other times, it may stay discolored or die.

Exposure To Antibiotics As A Fetus Or Child

Being exposed to tetracycline before the age of eight can result in teeth discoloration — often in the form of blue-gray or yellow-brown horizontal stripes — later in life. Unfortunately, stains resulting from early antibiotic exposure won’t go away on their own, no matter how much you brush and floss.

Root Canals

You might experience tooth discoloration if any pulp tissue or material used to fill the canals was left inside your tooth during a root canal. Root canal medications like Ledermix (whose active ingredients include demeclocycline hydrochloride and triamcinolone acetonide) and Ultracal XS (which contains calcium hydroxide) can also cause tooth discoloration.

To determine the cause behind a gray or blue tooth, your dentist will carefully examine your teeth and gums. They may also order an x-ray to get a better view or perform a pulp test to spot any signs of pulp necrosis.

What Are Some Treatment Options For Blue Or Gray Teeth?

If you have a blue or gray tooth and don’t like the way it looks, don’t worry! There are plenty of safe professional treatment options, such as:

Whitening Treatments: Whitening treatments are known for working on yellowed teeth, but they can also improve the color of blue or gray teeth, whether they are naturally that color or have died. You can use at-home bleaching solutions, laser teeth whitening treatments, or whitening gels, strips, and toothpastes to improve your teeth’s appearance. However, if your teeth are discolored due to being exposed to tetracycline at a young age, your teeth may bleach unevenly.

Veneers: In addition to improving the appearance of chipped, cracked, or misaligned teeth, dental veneers can hide any blue or gray teeth. These semi-permanent, custom-made covers are thin and will fit seamlessly onto your front teeth. Not only can you pick your veneer’s specific shade of white, but you can also choose from different types of veneers, like porcelain veneers and Lumineers.

Crowns: You can also opt for dental crowns. These tooth-shaped caps can be placed over discolored or damaged teeth, improving their appearance and restoring their shape, size, and strength. Common materials for crowns include porcelain, stainless steel, resin, and ceramic.

Need Professional Help?

If you’ve noticed any teeth discoloration, see a dentist as soon as possible. Not only will they be able to tell if the discoloration is due to trauma, pulp necrosis, or something else, but they can determine the best method for improving your tooth’s appearance.

by Espire Dental

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What is Median Rhomboid Glossitis? Occurrence, Symptoms, And Treatment

If you have an abnormally smooth, dark pink, or red flat area on your tongue, you may have a condition called median rhomboid glossitis (MRG). The name may sound serious, but unless you have any additional fungal infections along with this condition, you probably won't require treatment. We'll break down the potential causes of your MRG and the occasions when you should seek diagnosis and treatment so you can ensure your oral health keeps you smiling.

What Is Median Rhomboid Glossitis (MRG)?

Think median rhomboid glossitis is a complicated name to remember? Try throwing its other names into the mix – central papillary atrophy and glossal central papillary atrophy. Don't worry. For this article, we'll stick with calling it MRG.

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, MRG occurs more often in men, ages 30 to 50. However, anyone can have it, and around 1 percent of the total population is affected. MRG is a smooth, dark pink or red, flat area near the back of your tongue. Your tongue gets this appearance when it's missing filiform papillae, small bumps formed by mucous membrane cells that make up your tongue's surface. Filiform papillae are the only papillae that don't have taste buds, so this shouldn't affect your ability to enjoy food. The shape this condition takes is usually abstract and asymmetrical.

What Are the Symptoms of Median Rhomboid Glossitis?

Median rhomboid glossitis is often asymptomatic, meaning you may not notice you have it at all until a dental professional diagnoses you during a routine care assessment. There is rarely soreness or pain associated with this condition, and it's not contagious. However, some people experience a burning sensation when they eat.

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for Median Rhomboid Glossitis?

According to a review published by the Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews, about 100 identified fungi species can be found in the human mouth. Most of them don’t cause problems unless there are irregularities.

MRG is believed to be caused by a chronic fungal infection related to the candida group of microorganisms. The fungus Candida lives in most people’s mouths and digestive systems of healthy individuals in low numbers, but it can cause fungal infections when they multiply.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), MRG occurs more often in the following types of patients:

People with diabetes and people with another immunocompromising disease.


People undergoing antibiotic, steroid, or chemotherapy treatments.

Denture wearers, especially if they don't take their dentures out before bedtime.

People with dry mouth.

Individuals with low levels of iron, B12, or folate.

People who eat a high-sugar diet.

How Do You Treat Median Rhomboid Glossitis?

Because symptoms and pain don't usually accompany MRG, there isn't usually a recommended treatment for the condition. A doctor may recommend adjustments in lifestyle to rid yourself of risk factors, like:

Quitting smoking

Taking dentures out before bedtime

Taking vitamin or mineral supplements

Reducing sugar in your diet

Drinking more water and taking other steps to improve dry mouth

According to a study cited in the Journal of the American Dental Association, more than 500 medications cause dry mouth. If your medication is causing dry mouth, your dental professionals may be able to recommend alternatives that will have less of an impact on your oral health.

Your doctor may recommend a culture or lab biopsy to be safe and determine if medication is necessary. If they notice any additional aggressive fungal conditions are accompanying your MRG, they may recommend an antifungal rinse or tablet to kill the organisms and reduce symptoms you may experience.

Practicing good oral hygiene is always recommended and can help reduce the risk of additional microorganism growth in your mouth. Brush at least twice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Clean between your teeth with interdental brushes or water flossers at least once a day. Consider using other helpful products like an antimicrobial mouthrinse and a tongue scraper. And see your dental professional for regular checkups so they can catch any developing conditions early.

If you notice any abnormal changes in your oral health, it's always a good idea to visit your dental professional to be safe and ensure that it won't develop into anything more severe. When you work with your dental professional, you're best positioned to maintain a level of oral health you can smile about.

by Colgate

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Excessive Saliva? What It Could Mean

If someone uses the phrase “mouth-watering,” it’s usually a compliment or a sign that they’re appreciating good food. But if your mouth is literally watering, that’s a little different. Excessive saliva, known as hypersalivation, can cause you discomfort and embarrassment and might also lead to other complications. Find out what causes excessive saliva and how to treat it.

What Is Saliva and What Is Its Purpose?

Saliva is derived from blood, which helps maintain the health of hard and soft tissues in your mouth. Healthy saliva flow can wash food away from the teeth and gums, breaks down food for easy swallowing, enhances your ability to taste, and prevents cavities and other infections. Saliva even keeps the surface of your teeth strong by contributing high levels of calcium and fluoride. So, while reduced saliva flow, known as dry mouth, can cause swallowing and digestion problems, excessive saliva in your mouth is also a cause for concern.

Causes of Excessive Saliva

Drooling in infants and toddlers is normal and may often happen while they’re teething. Drooling or hypersalivation in adults is usually associated with infections or nervous system disorders.

Hypersalivation in adults is primarily caused by:

Mononucleosis or sinus infections

Strep throat or tonsillitis


Heartburn or GERD


Use of certain medicines

Reaction to pesticide poisoning or snake or insect venom

Nervous system disorders that cause difficulty with swallowing, like cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, autism, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Some people who have excessive saliva are at an increased risk of aspirating saliva, foods, or fluids into their lungs. This can cause problems if they’re also facing issues with bodily reflexes, for example, coughing or gagging. Excessive saliva over time can also cause skin breakdown around the chin and lip area.

How to Treat Excessive Saliva

Treatment for excessive saliva depends on your overall health and other symptoms that you may be having. It is best accomplished by a multidisciplinary team, from primary care physicians to speech therapists, neurologists, and dentists. If you find yourself having excessive saliva in your mouth, it’s essential to consult with your doctor to determine the best treatment plan.

A study in New Approaches in Diagnostics and Treatment recommends that treatment interventions, including speech and swallowing therapy, medications, Botox, and use of oral prosthetic devices, among other things, be used. MedlinePlus notes that a speech therapist can determine if hypersalivation increases the risk of you breathing foods or fluids into your lungs.

Having excessive saliva can be quite uncomfortable, so you must seek out treatment as soon as possible. Consult with your doctor so that together you can find a treatment plan that manages the excessive saliva and makes you feel comfortable and confident.

by Colgate

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Tips To Avoid Teeth Cavities And Save Them From Decay

Brushing teeth is an age-old concept that is core to our everyday hygiene. It’s a routine that we have followed since childhood and still maintain. It can help prevent various oral problems like cavities, decay, gum disease and more. 


It simply means holes in the outer part of the teeth known as dentin. An average person’s mouth is filled with bacteria and germs that attach themselves to the surface of the teeth. It reacts with saliva mixed with protein and forms a whitish layer called plaque. If it is not removed in time then the acid might lead to tooth decay, cavities and other oral issues. It can dissolve the enamel of the tooth exposing the dentin to bacteria and germs present in the mouth. This might lead to pain and decay of tooth. 


Brushing and flossing of regularly in the morning and before going to bed can help in removing germs and bacteria from the mouth.

Using a fluoride based toothpaste can help in protecting teeth from bacteria and germs attack.

Use a floss to remove any food particles stuck between your teeth.

Rinse your mouth with a good mouthwash to kill bacteria that leads to plaque formation.

Eat or drink dairy based products like milk, cheese, yogurt and more as they are rich in calcium.

Avoid eating sugary and carbohydrates based food items and clean your mouth after consumption of sticky products.

Eat a balanced diet and avoid the temptation of snacking in between your meals.   

Drink at least 4 to 6 liters of water. It can wash off any bacteria from the mouth and diminish the dry mouth situation.

Visit an East Dulwich dental care clinic regularly for dental exam and teeth cleaning. Ask him or her to prescribe fluoride supplement that can strengthen your teeth.  


Using a fluoride based toothpaste can help in the initial stage when a cavity is formed. You can even ask your dentist to prescribe you adequate fluoride supplements in your daily diet.

If the size of the cavity has increased, exposing the dentin then tooth filling is required. It will help in keeping the bacteria from reaching the inner surface of the teeth causing pain and decay.

If the cavity has spread to the pulp then root canal can help in curbing the spread of cavities to the healthy teeth.

If the damage is severe and the above-mentioned procedures cannot help, then the only solution is to remove the tooth. It is done to save the patient from pain and agony of a decayed tooth and replaced with the help of dental implants.

Following the above-mentioned points can help in keeping your teeth healthy. 

by Dulwich Dental Office

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Tongue Cleaning: Necessary or Not?

You know brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing are staples of good oral hygiene, but is brushing your tongue really necessary? In short, yes.

Why is my tongue important?

Though the tongue often plays second fiddle to your pearly whites, it’s actually a critical body part. Without a tongue we wouldn’t be able to speak, chew, taste, or swallow food.Your tongue is an organ made up of a group of muscles that each have a specific job. There is a small muscle at the tip of the tongue that moves quickly, using the surface of the teeth to create certain sounds, such as pronouncing the letter ‘L’. This muscle also moves food from the front of the mouth to the back, where it mixes with saliva and breaks down into digestible pieces. Other muscles in the tongue allow it to change shape and move in different directions. Additionally, muscles at the back of the tongue make it possible for us to articulate hard sounds of speech, such as the letters ‘K’ and ‘G’. These rear muscles also move food into the esophagus in small, controlled amounts to prevent choking.

The muscles that make up your tongue are covered with moist, pink tissue known as mucosa and tiny bumps called papillae, which are covered in thousands of taste buds and give the tongue its rough texture.

What happens if I don’t brush my tongue regularly?

Just as bacteria can build up on your teeth and create plaque, it can also accumulate between taste buds and other crevices on your tongue. Along with dead skin cells and food debris, bacteria become trapped on the tongue and need to be physically removed with brushing or scraping. If not cared for properly, your tongue essentially becomes a sponge spreading bad bacteria throughout the mouth, which can cause a number of health issues including:

Bad Breath – The most common side effect of bacteria buildup on the tongue is halitosis. The odor-causing bacteria tends to congregate at the back of the muscle, so be sure to get your brush back there! 

Duller Tastebuds - The biofilm that builds up and coats your tongue can also cover your taste buds, leaving your sense of taste dulled.

Black, Hairy Tongue – While it sounds like a horror movie, this is a real condition that occurs when the papillae become stained from leftover food and drink particles. These remnants give the tongue a dark, furry appearance. 

Oral Thrush – This occurs when bacteria levels in your mouth go beyond the normal range and naturally occurring yeast grow out of control.

Periodontal Disease – Because bacteria buildup on your tongue can spread to your teeth and gums, it increases the likelihood of gingivitis (red, inflamed gums). If left untreated, the inflammation can advance to periodontal disease, which occurs when the gums pull away from the teeth and the space in between becomes infected. Not only can this lead to loss of teeth, chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease is linked to more severe health issues, such as a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and miscarriage.

How do I keep my tongue healthy?

A healthy tongue should be pink in color with papillae (tiny bumps) covering the surface. The best way to ensure your tongue stays healthy is to brush it every time you brush your teeth. Be sure to brush front to back and side to side, as bacteria hide in hard-to-reach places. Just be careful not to over brush, as that can cause irritation. Some patients prefer to use a tongue scraper and, though not necessary, inexpensive scrapers are generally available where toothpaste and dental floss are sold. Remember - a  healthy tongue color isn’t a guarantee of good dental health, so don't forget to schedule regular dental exams and cleanings.

by Ledgeview Dental Care

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Are You Eligible For Dental Implants? Four Determining Factors

Dental implants represent the pinnacle of prosthodontics as the closest we have come to recreating natural teeth. Implants are permanent, as strong or stronger than natural teeth, and visually indistinguishable once they are installed. While the vast majority of people are eligible for dental

implants, there are rare cases where the procedure is not viable. Here are four factors that affect your eligibility for dental implants.

1. Gum and Jawbone Health

The gums and jawbone both play a very important role in the success of dental implants. The titanium root of a dental implant fuses with the jawbone to stay in place. This process is called osseointegration, and it will fail if the jawbone isn't dense enough to secure the implant. In some cases, oral surgeons are able to overcome this limitation by grafting bone tissue from other parts of the body.

Gum tissue provides further support and protection for implant roots and a platform for the crown to rest on. Gum degradation presents another obstacle for implant installation because it is usually a symptom of periodontal disease. Patients with periodontal disease will often continue to lose gum tissue unless they make significant changes to their dental hygiene habits, and the risk of infection after implantation is greater.

2. Age and Facial Development

Because dental implants require a firm foundation, any future changes in the shape or size of the jaw could prove disastrous for implant success. For this reason, most dentists will frequently decline to perform implant installation on patients under the age of 18. However, dentists may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis after analyzing the level of development of the jaw.

Many adults will be glad to know that there is not an upper limit on the age of eligibility for dental implants. As long as the patient doesn't have significant risk factors and the jaw is healthy, implants can provide permanent tooth restoration even for adults age 80 or older.

3. Current Medications

It is wise to understand the risks and potential side-effects of all medications you are taking before you consider any surgical procedure, and dental implant surgery is no exception. In particular, you should be aware of medications that may interfere with anesthesia used during dental implant surgery.

Avoid aspirin and NSAID (Advil) pain relievers for the week before your procedure to prevent excessive bleeding. Also remember to disclose any prescription medications you are taking to your dentist so they can give you more detailed information on what is safe. If you are in need of pain relievers leading up to your surgery, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is recommended.

4. Other Risk Factors

There are a few other health conditions and habits that could act as risk factors for people considering dental implant surgery. Tobacco and alcohol use can both inhibit healing in gum and bone tissue, and tobacco smoke promotes dry mouth and increases the risk of infection. Abstaining from these and other recreational drugs will reduce the chance of implant rejection.

Patients suffering from systemic diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and certain autoimmune diseases are at greater risk of infection or implant complications. Osteoporosis, medications used for osteoporosis and other bone deterioration diseases, contribute greatly to implant complications as well. Finally, dentists may decline patients with psychological problems or other conditions that make it difficult or impossible to care for the implant post-surgery.

Dental implant installation is one of the safest types of oral surgery, and most people will be eligible currently or with small changes to their lifestyle. If you are considering dental implants, visit your dentist to answer your questions and help you achieve the smile you've always wanted!

by Drs. Davis & Meyer

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Is Your Tongue Healthy? Does It Matter?

Tongues often get overlooked when people are on a quest to have a beautiful smile. When you think about it, tongues play an important role in helping you to taste food and speak properly.

Your tongue can also reveal things about your health. A healthy tongue should be pink, pain-free, and covered in tiny projections called papillae. Changes in its color, texture, or sensations could indicate issues with your oral health along with other conditions within your body.

Why Isn’t My Tongue Pink?

Some people’s tongues naturally have lighter or darker patches. This is normal provided that yours still fits within the range of pink shades.

Geographic tongue is a condition that affects around 1 to 3% of the population. It causes red patches on the tongue. These may have red and gray borders. The condition is considered harmless, but some people note that they experience burning sensations.

Tongues that appear white may have a coating of debris and bacteria that are causing inflammation within the papillae. This can sometimes be remedied by increasing your oral hygiene. Dental cleanings also help to keep bacteria levels down in your mouth.

White patches on your tongue and in other areas of your mouth could indicate oral thrush. Younger children and senior adults are more likely to develop this condition. The infection is easily cleared up with medication, but it could indicate underlying diseases such as diabetes.

A bright red tongue can mean multiple things about your health. Vitamin B deficiencies present with this as a symptom. Certain illnesses, such as scarlet fever, may temporarily cause your tongue to turn red.

Is a Hairy Tongue Bad?

Healthy Papillae on your tongue create a velvety appearance. They should all be fairly uniform in height and barely noticeable when you look in the mirror.

Occasionally, these papillae enlarge in response to changes in your body. The hairy papillae may also appear to be black, brown, or yellowish shade.

Hairy tongues may be due to an overgrowth of bacteria. Certain medications, such as an extended round of antibiotics, can cause the papilla to change their length. People with diabetes or who are undergoing radiation treatment may develop a hairy tongue.

Although it may be unsightly, a hairy tongue may not always be preventable if you need to take certain medications.

In other instances, correcting your health issues can cause your tongue to return to normal.

People who are missing several teeth may not be able to chew foods that help the papilla to shed properly. Tooth replacement can return normal functioning to the mouth that affects the growth process in the papillae.

What Does a Sore on Your Tongue Mean?

Almost everyone has experienced the discomfort of a sore tongue. Sores from burns and other common accidents are usually not anything to worry about. These should heal within one to two weeks unless there is a problem.

Sores that do not heal could be indicative of oral cancer. Recurring sores along the side of your tongue can also clue us in to an issue with nighttime tooth grinding. 

During dental exams, we take a look at your tongue. If we notice unusual symptoms, then we let you know what to do next. Take a moment to look at your tongue every now and then during your oral hygiene routine. Many changes in its texture or color are easily corrected with early care.

by Noble Dental Care

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Views: 42

When Is The Best Time For Toothbrushing?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is necessary for good oral health. However, the frequency of toothbrushing is not the only thing you should care about. The timing of this oral hygiene practice also matters. Below are a few tips to help you brush your teeth at the right time.

In the Morning

Bacteria can build up in your mouth within a matter of hours. Everyone has some oral bacteria that feed on food remains and produce acids. The acids can erode and damage your teeth if you leave food remains and bacteria on your teeth for a long time. Brushing your teeth in the morning helps get rid of the bacteria before they cause serious damage to your teeth.

In addition, your saliva production also increases when you sleep. The saliva helps to wash bacteria from your teeth, but some of them remain in your mouth. Lastly, brushing in the morning will also help you get rid of the morning breath, which stems from bacteria's action in your mouth as you sleep.

After Breakfast

Many people argue on whether to brush before or after breakfast. Either of them will help you keep your mouth clean. However, brushing after breakfast has a slight edge over brushing before breakfast. By brushing after breakfast, you get rid of both the overnight and breakfast debris. That way, the bacteria don't have much to feed on during the rest of the day.

In the Evening

Brushing in the evening or at night is beneficial for multiple reasons. Specifically, evening brushing:

Helps you to get rid of bacteria and acids that accumulate on your teeth during the day

Ensures that you don't go to sleep with bits of food on your teeth

The second benefit only applies if you brush after your supper. Also, resist the temptation for late-night snacks after brushing. Snacks, which tend to be sugary, might undo the benefit of nighttime brushing.

After a Sugary Snack

You don't have to brush your teeth after every single meal. For most people, brushing in the morning and evening is enough to maintain a clean and healthy mouth. However, you should consider brushing your teeth after a sugary snack.

Bacteria love sugar. The germs will feed on the sugar and turn it into acid, which can soften your teeth and damage the enamel. Make a habit of carrying an oral hygiene kit that includes a toothbrush and tube of toothpaste. That way, you can brush anywhere.

Ideally, you should have a definite snack time so that you don't snack every hour of the day. You might struggle to brush your teeth after every sugary snack if you spread the snacks all through the day. An alternative is to snack immediately after meals before brushing your teeth so that you can brush away the sugary remains.

Some Minutes After Eating

Brushing after eating is good, but you shouldn't do it immediately after your meal. For one, acidic and hot foods soften your enamel and make them susceptible to damage. Waiting for some time allows for the temperature and acidic effect to subside. Brush before breakfast if you can't wait afterward.

Don't forget that you need to brush for at least two minutes to ensure you cover every surface of every teeth. Otherwise, you might not reap the full benefits of clean teeth.

Hopefully, your oral hygiene practice will help you prevent oral or dental problems. However, oral hygiene is not the only thing that affects your dental health. Thus, you might develop dental problems despite your best efforts. Contact your dentist.

by Venice Dentist

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Four Common Causes Of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is an irritating health condition that many older adults deal with on a daily basis. Dry mouth is characterized by reduced saliva production, and it can cause complications like difficulty eating, bad breath, mouth sores, and an increased risk of tooth decay. This guide will cover four common causes of dry mouth.

1. Existing Health Conditions

Dental patients are often surprised to learn that dry mouth is not a direct result of aging. In the absence of other factors, saliva output does not decrease significantly even into advanced age. The increased incidence of dry mouth in older adults is largely due to a higher rate of chronic diseases that reduce saliva production.

Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, or Sjogren's syndrome are some of the biggest contributors to dry mouth. Autoimmune diseases can cause inflammation in the salivary glands that reduces their saliva capacity. Fungal or bacterial infections such as tuberculosis can cause a unique type of inflammation called granulomatous reaction that enlarges and irritates the salivary glands.

2. Medical Side Effects

In addition to higher rates of health conditions that cause dry mouth, elderly adults are more likely than younger adults to take medications that may cause dry mouth as a side effect. Several medications can contribute to dry mouth by slowing saliva production or thickening saliva. Antidepressants, antihistamines, and Alzheimer's disease medications are frequent offenders.

Naturally, the risks of dry mouth do not compare to the risks of many other health conditions that are treated with prescriptions. However, you should still talk to your doctor to see if an alternative is available. Medications can cause reactions from person to person, so an alternative medication may provide effective treatment without the irritating side effect of dry mouth.

3. Habits and Lifestyle Choices

Anything you consume can have an impact on your oral health, and tobacco and alcohol are not excluded from this list. Alcohol is a diuretic, and your body will produce less saliva when it is dehydrated. With long-term use, both alcohol and tobacco can cause chronic reduced saliva flow. Alcohol and tobacco will also worsen bad breath caused by dry mouth.

Sometimes, dry mouth issues arise from daily habits that haven't even caught your attention. Dry mouth can be from breathing through your mouth too often or failing to hydrate properly throughout the day. Dietary changes may help as well: both salty and sugary foods contribute to dry mouth. Your dentist can give you personalized recommendations to help you manage dry mouth with simple lifestyle changes.

4. Nerve Damage

Some cases of dry mouth originate from nerve damage that prevents saliva production signals from reaching the salivary glands. Diabetic neuropathy is a classic example of this because the nerves around the salivary glands are very susceptible to changes in blood pressure. Disease or surgeries that affect the nerves in the neck and head can cause dry mouth.

People with dry mouth from nerve damage will often experience secondary symptoms. Numbness or shooting pain in the neck or jaw is common. Some dental patients report a continuous burning sensation on their tongue or anterior palate, a condition known as burning mouth syndrome. Your doctor can help to determine if dry mouth is another symptom of existing nerve damage.

No single solution is available for dry mouth due to its wide variety of causes, but that doesn't mean it's a problem you have to live with. A few easy changes can help you enjoy your food more and keep your entire mouth healthy. If you want solutions to dry mouth or any other dental health concerns, visit your dentist today.

by Doctors Davis and Beyer

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Six Signs That You May Have Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the most common oral disease among American adults. In fact, it’s so common that there’s a 50% chance you already have it if you’re over 30.

Also called gum disease, it starts with mild gum inflammation called gingivitis. If not treated, the condition worsens, loosening your teeth. Eventually, your teeth could fall out.

The good news is that periodontal disease is treatable. Learn to recognize the signs of this condition so you can protect your smile. At Arcadia Perio, our team of dental professionals, led by J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, and Andrew Peterson, DMD, are here to help.

Telltale signs of periodontal disease

Your gums protect your jaw and the roots of your teeth. Healthy gums help hold your teeth in place and seal out harmful bacteria. Strong oral hygiene keeps your teeth and your gums clean, but if you don’t brush and floss regularly, periodontal disease can develop.

Here are some of the most common signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease. 

Bleeding gums

Healthy gums don’t bleed, but periodontal disease can make them more sensitive. If you notice bleeding gums when you brush or floss or at your regular dental cleanings, it may be a sign of periodontal disease.

Puffy gums

Puffy gums are another visual cue that could indicate periodontal disease. When bacteria builds up on your teeth, it can infect and inflame surrounding gum tissue. Healthy gums are pink, but periodontal disease may make them red, puffy, and tender.

Receding gumline

If you have periodontal disease, gum tissue may begin pulling away from your teeth. Your gums should fit snugly around the base of your teeth, but inflammation can make them recede and reveal too much of your tooth roots.

Bad breath

Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, could be a sign of periodontal disease. Excessive bacteria buildup on teeth and under gums can cause bad breath or a permanent bad taste in your mouth. 

Tooth sensitivity

Receding gums and other symptoms of periodontal disease can make your teeth feel sensitive. Pain when consuming food or beverages that are hot, cold, or sweet is one of the most noticeable signs of tooth sensitivity. You might also notice pain when biting or chewing, no matter the food’s temperature.

Loose teeth

When periodontal disease progresses, it can cause teeth to loosen in their sockets. You might notice a tooth that’s obviously loose, or the signs may be more subtle. Slowly loosening teeth can shift in your mouth, changing the way your teeth fit together when you bite down.

Stop the damage of periodontal disease

Good oral hygiene is your best defense against periodontal disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. Use a fluoride mouthwash for extra protection.

Along with at-home care, visit your dentist for routine dental cleanings. Everyone should get a professional cleaning once or twice a year. And if you notice symptoms of gum disease between appointments, don’t wait to seek treatment.

by Arcadia Perio

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The use of heartburn medication is associated with decreased severity of gum disease, according to a recent University at Buffalo study

The research found that patients who used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) -- a class of drugs commonly prescribed to treat heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers -- were more likely to have smaller probing depths in the gums (the gap between teeth and gums). When gums are healthy, they fit snuggly against the teeth. However, in the presence of harmful bacteria, the gap deepens, leading to inflammation, bone loss and periodontitis, also known as gum disease.

The findings, published last month in Clinical and Experimental Dental Research, may be linked to the side effects of PPIs, which include changes in bone metabolism and in the gut microbiome, says lead investigator Lisa M. Yerke, DDS, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Periodontics and Endodontics at the UB School of Dental Medicine.

"PPIs could potentially be used in combination with other periodontal treatments; however, additional studies are first needed to understand the underlying mechanisms behind the role PPIs play in reducing the severity of periodontitis," says Yerke.

Additional investigators include first author and UB alumnus Bhavneet Chawla, and Robert E. Cohen, DDS, PhD, professor of periodontics and endodontics in the UB School of Dental Medicine.

The study sought to determine whether a relationship exists between PPI use and gum disease. The researchers analyzed clinical data from more than 1,000 periodontitis patients either using or not using PPIs. Probing depths were used as an indicator of periodontitis severity.

Only 14% of teeth from patients who used PPIs had probing depths of 6 millimeters or more, compared to 24% of teeth from patients who did not use the medication. And 27% of teeth from patients using PPIs had probing depths of 5 millimeters or more, compared to 40% of teeth from non-PPI users, according to the study.

The researchers theorized that PPIs' ability to alter bone metabolism or the gut microbiome, as well as potentially impact periodontal microorganisms, may help lessen the severity of gum disease.

Additional studies are under development to determine if this relationship can be found in other populations of patients with gum disease, and to learn to what extent the relationship can be directly attributed to PPIs, says Yerke.

by University at Buffalo

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Anxiety Could Explain the Bad Taste in Your Mouth

Anxiety can cause a lot of unusual symptoms. But one of the strangest is the way that anxiety affects taste. Anxiety may genuinely cause a bad taste in your mouth, as though you've eaten something gross. It's one of the weirder symptoms of anxiety and while it's not dangerous, it is potentially distressing or irritating.

The good news is that a bad taste from anxiety is easy to understand, and generally fairly easy to reduce. In this article, we'll look at the most likely causes of bad taste, and the simple things you can do to reduce it.

Bad Taste = Anxiety?

Most people find it hard to believe that anxiety can affect your taste buds, but anxiety really does make a big difference for how your mouth adjusts to flavors. Bad taste is almost never the only anxiety symptom, however. So take this free 7 minute anxiety test to see what else is a symptom of your anxiety and what you can do to treat it.

Causes of Bad Taste From Anxiety

Bad taste in one's mouth seems like such an unusual anxiety symptom. That's because it's difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. It definitely affects many people with anxiety, but the reason for the bad taste may be linked to any or all of the following (or something else that’s not on the list):

Taste Changes The most likely reason is that stress causes your taste buds to change. How they change differs from person to person, but there is evidence that under periods of intense stress, a person's sense of taste is altered with it [1].

Mouth Breathing Anxiety also leads to rapid breathing - usually through the mouth. This type of rapid breathing may cause your tongue to dry up and ultimately taste a bit drier and less pleasant, which could be the cause of the unusual taste.

Over-thinking Similarly, when you have severe anxiety - especially panic attacks - it's not uncommon to be more sensitive to issues that are already pleasant. For example, you may have already had a bad taste in your mouth, but it wasn’t really bothering you or you weren’t even aware of it. During a panic attack, you may be more sensitive to things like taste, making you become more conscious and concerned about the bad taste that was already there.

It's also possible there are other issues at play here as well. We mentioned GERD, earlier, and acid reflux can create a bad taste that may be altered by anxiety. It's also possible that you're creating more mucus, which can have an unpleasant flavor. Salivary changes may create a bad taste as well, and it's possible for stress to allow bad smelling bacteria to flourish. It's difficult to know the exact cause, and it's possible that it could be any or all of those issues.

What is Your Anxiety Score?

When anxiety starts to become overwhelming it may be a sign that you have moderate to severe anxiety. With this free 7 minute anxiety test, you can receive:

Take the anxiety test today to gain better insight into your anxiety and its symptoms.

How to Address the Bad Taste

The good news is that improving the taste in your mouth is easy. If you often find that you have a bad taste in your mouth during times of anxiety, then finding something that tastes better is the solution. See if there is a breath mint you like, or a tic tac (although avoid peppermint if you think you may have GERD). There may be some gum available or water you can drink. These will all reduce the bad taste.

Ultimately, however, the long term and preventative solution is to make sure you're addressing your underlying anxiety - which is really the root of the problem.

by Calm Clinic

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What Causes A sweet Taste In The Mouth?

Eating sugary or sweet foods can cause a temporary sweet aftertaste in the mouth. However, a persistent sweet taste in the mouth can be a sign of a more serious condition.

A sweet taste in the mouth can be a signal of the body having trouble regulating blood sugar, which may be due to diabetes. There is also a range of other possible causes, each requiring specific care.


Unlike an aftertaste caused by eating foods containing sugar or artificial sweeteners, a persistent sweet taste in the mouth is typically caused by an underlying medical condition.

These conditions can be serious and will often require medical attention, so it is vital to receive a proper diagnosis.


Diabetes is a common cause of a sweet taste in the mouth. Diabetes affects how well the body can use insulin, which has a direct effect on the body’s ability to control blood sugar.

Uncontrolled diabetes can result in high levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes can sometimes cause a sweet taste in the mouth and is often accompanied by other symptoms.

Additional symptoms include:

reduced ability to taste the sweetness in foods

blurred vision

excessive thirst

excessive urination

extreme fatigue

Diabetic ketoacidosis

Diabetes may also cause a serious complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. This happens when the body cannot use sugar for fuel and begins using fat instead. This causes an acid called ketones to build up in the body.

Excess ketones in the body can cause a sweet, fruity smell and taste in the mouth. Diabetic ketoacidosis may cause other symptoms, including:

extreme thirst



nausea and vomiting

abdominal cramping

Low carb dieting

People who are on low carbohydrate diets may find that they develop a similar fruity, sweet taste in the mouth. Carbohydrates are a common source of fuel in the body and going without them makes the body burn fat instead.

This process is called ketosis and causes ketones to build up in the bloodstream, producing a sweet taste in the mouth.

Anyone embarking on a low-carb or ketogenic diet should get guidance from a nutritionist or healthcare professional. Getting advice might help prevent harmful levels of ketones building up in a person’s body.


Certain bacterial infections can trigger a sweet taste in the mouth. Infections that affect the airways can interfere with how the brain responds to the taste senses.

Even simple infections, such as a cold, flu, or sinus infection, may cause the saliva to have more glucose in it. Glucose is a type of sugar, so may cause a sweet taste in the mouth.

If this is the case, the sweet taste will usually clear up when the infection is treated.

Neurological conditions

Nerve damage can also cause a persistent sweet taste in the mouth. People who experience seizures or who have had a stroke may experience sensory dysfunction. This can affect their senses, including taste and smell.

The outcome of this damage is complex and may be different in each case. In some cases, people may experience a sweet taste in their mouth that does not go away or that comes and goes.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Some people with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) also complain of having a sweet or metallic taste in their mouth.

This is due to digestive acids that back up into the food pipe (esophagus) and eventually the mouth. This taste may seem to originate at the back of the mouth. Managing GERD with dietary and lifestyle changes will reduce symptoms.


Pregnancy is another possible cause of a sweet taste in the mouth. Pregnancy causes changes in a woman’s hormones levels and digestive system, both of which can affect taste and smell.

Pregnant women may experience unexplainable sweet or metallic tastes in the mouth. The underlying cause could still be another condition, such as GERD or gestational diabetes, so any woman experiencing persistent changes in taste should talk with a doctor.


Some medications may also be to blame for a sweet taste in the mouth. Chemotherapy drugs often alter a person’s sense of taste.

This is a minor side effect of drugs that are used for serious illnesses, but doctors will still want to check and be sure that it is the medications causing the symptom.

If the sweet taste is affecting a person’s diet or quality of life, doctors may be able to prescribe an alternative.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is an uncommon cause of a sweet taste in the mouth, but it should not be overlooked. Rarely, tumors in the lung or respiratory tract can raise a person’s hormones levels and affect their sense of taste.


Some causes of a sweet taste affect the respiratory and olfactory systems directly, while others affect the hormones or neurological system.

A doctor will usually perform a physical exam in addition to diagnostic tests. They will also ask a person about their medical history or any medications they are taking.

Possible tests include:

blood tests to check for bacterial or viral infections, hormone levels, and blood sugar levels

CT scans or MRIs to check for signs of growths and cancers

brain scans to check for nerve damage and to test neurological response

an endoscopy to check for signs of digestive disorders

Once the cause of the unusual taste is determined, doctors will help the person find a working treatment plan to keep their symptoms in check.

Treatment will vary greatly depending on the cause. For instance, someone with diabetes may find relief with insulin therapy, exercise, and a healthful diet, but someone with a respiratory infection may require antibiotics. It is best to discuss the individual case with a doctor.


Experiencing an unexplained sweet taste in the mouth just once is not usually cause for concern. However, if the sweet taste happens frequently or for long periods of time, it is a good idea to see a doctor.

A proper diagnosis is the best way to treat an underlying condition early and avoid serious complications.

by Medical News Today

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Four Types of Mouth Lesions

Mouth lesions are very common. They can be caused by viruses, fungi, bacterial infections, dentures that don't fit correctly, sharp tooth edges, or a loose orthodontic wire. Read on to learn about the common conditions that can cause mouth lesions along with their symptoms and treatment options.

1.- Canker Sores

Canker sores can emerge in multiple areas of the mouth, including the tongue, inside the cheeks, gumline, and lips. While medical professionals aren't exactly sure what causes them, the consensus is that the immune system is related. Acidic foods, a mouth injury, hormonal changes, and emotional stress are believed to trigger canker sores.

Signs and Symptoms: Canker sores look shallow and round. They last approximately seven to 10 days and then go away on their own.

Treatment: There's no way to prevent or make canker sores disappear. You can reduce the pain, though, by rinsing with warm water, avoiding spicy or acidic foods, and relieving pain with over-the-counter pain relievers.

2.- Cold Sores

Also known as a fever blister, the herpes simplex virus causes these sores. The virus is transmitted via saliva or skin contact. The sores appear as bunches of tiny blisters on the lips. The virus typically remains dormant when a person is initially infected. Sores can emerge due to various reasons, such as a cold or fever, emotional stress, overexposure to the sun, or even dental treatment.

Signs and Symptoms: The initial clinical symptoms of herpes simplex virus include nausea, vomiting, headaches, a sore throat, fever, and blisters—vesicular lesions—on the gum tissue and oral cavity. These symptoms typically occur about a week after exposure, and then it will be inactive until stress or a change in the immune system causes sores to reappear.

Treatment: Unfortunately, there is no cure for the virus that causes cold sores. Treatment options to speed up healing include the medicines Valtrex, Zovirax, and Famvir.

3.- Oral Thrush

Thrush occurs when the Candida albicans fungus collects in the mouth. The painful lesions might bleed on contact. Some medications may cause thrush as a side-effect, but it also occurs in babies, people with compromised immune systems, people who wear dentures or use inhalers with corticosteroids.

Signs and Symptoms: The signs of thrush are red and inflamed lesions or white lesions on the tongue, cheeks, gums, or tonsils. They can be painful and bleed on contact. Other symptoms include loss of taste and dry mouth.

Treatment: Treatments can range from antifungal medication, diet changes, improved oral hygiene, and saltwater rinses.

4.- Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is caused by a virus, like cold sores. This virus is common in young children under five and typically not very serious. However, it is very contagious. The CDC advises parents to sanitize surfaces and wash the child's hands and yours often.

Signs and Symptoms: Symptoms include painful red lesions on the inner cheeks and tongue, a red rash on the hands and feet, fever, sore throat, and general malaise. Symptoms emerge three to six days after contraction.

Treatment: The virus usually runs its course in seven to 10 days. A topical oral anesthetic can help with mouth sore pain, while pain medications like acetaminophen can relieve some symptoms like pain and fever.

Prevent the Spread

To avoid spreading the viruses that cause mouth sores, don't kiss anyone or share utensils or drinking glasses when the lesions or blisters are present. Maintaining good oral health is a good start when it comes to preventing oral infections from forming. Brush and clean between your teeth with floss, flossers, or interdental toothbrushes at least twice each day to prevent plaque, gingivitis, tartar build-up, cavities, and bad breath. And remember to schedule regular checkups with your dental professionals.

by Colgate

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Can You Drive After a Root Canal Treatment?

Need a root canal and wondering whether you can drive after the procedure?

Even though you may be in some pain or notice sensitivity, you can usually drive, return to work, and generally go about your normal routine.

Most of the time, a dentist or endodontist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the affected tooth rather than a general anesthetic, which would make driving unsafe afterward.

There may be circumstances when your doctor will recommend against driving, so be sure to talk about post-procedure activities prior to the day of your root canal.

Is it safe to drive after a root canal?

A root canal procedure is done to remove the pulp from the center of a tooth. The procedure is relatively simple:

The tooth is numbed with an injection of a local anesthetic.

Once numbing takes effect, your dentist will create a small opening on the top or crown of the tooth and remove the pulp inside.

The area inside is cleaned and a filling is put in place to seal the opening.

Your mouth should remain numb for a while, allowing you to get home before any discomfort sets in.

What to consider before driving after the procedure

If you start to experience pain that would distract you from concentrating on the road, having someone drive you may be a safer choice.

If you’ve had a filling or root canal procedure before, use that experience to gauge your ability to drive. That said, every root canal appointment can be a little different. Consider getting a ride if:

you have a low tolerance for pain and pain affects your ability to concentrate while driving

the root canal is accompanied by other oral procedures, as spending a long time in the dentist’s chair can be tiring or cause headaches that can interfere with your ability to drive

When to have someone else drive after the procedure

There are three other specific circumstances in which a driver would be necessary:

Allergic reaction to lidocaine or bupivacaine. These are both common numbing agents used in root canal procedures. The Journal of Dental Anesthesia and Pain MedicineTrusted Source reports that such allergies are rare, but reactions can occur within seconds of injection. You may not know you have this allergy until after the fact. If you have a negative reaction to the anesthetic, see if someone can drive you home.

Use of sedation or general anesthesia. If you are given sedative medication or put to sleep for any medical procedure, guidelines from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists suggest that you not drive immediately after the procedure or at any time in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Use of narcotics for pain relief. If you are given a narcotic medication at the dentist’s office, you will need a ride home. These medications can cause drowsiness, making driving unsafe.                                                                                       

Why general anesthesia may be used

severe anxiety about the procedure

a severe gag reflex that could interfere with the procedure

cognitive impairments that might affect the ability to follow instructions

having multiple procedures during the same visit

When it might be safe to drive yourself home

If you’ve received a local anesthetic, there’s usually no set time to wait before getting behind the wheel.

Your doctor may wait several minutes after the procedure ends to make sure there’s no bleeding or other complication. If everything looks good and you’re experiencing no excessive pain, you should be able to drive shortly after the procedure ends.

If, however, you’re feeling nauseated or otherwise uncomfortable, you should wait until the feeling passes before driving.

When can I go back to work?

Your mouth may feel numb for a few hours after a root canal. You may have some slight sensitivity and mild pain when the numbing goes away.

Everyone’s reaction to a root canal is unique, as is everyone’s pain tolerance and reaction to treatment. In general, you should be able to work and carry out your normal activities the same day as a root canal.

If your job involves strenuous labor, you may need to take the rest of the day off to avoid the risk of excessive bleeding.

When can I do other activities after a root canal?

Aside from work, keep the following tips in mind regarding other regular activities:

Avoid exercise for a day or two to prevent bleeding complications. Give yourself a couple of days to let your mouth start to heal.

Don’t eat until the numbness is gone. The American Association of Endodontists recommends not eating until the numbness is gone so you don’t accidentally bite your tongue or the inside of your cheek.

Stay away from hot food and beverages for the next day or two, especially while your tooth is especially sensitive.

Eat soft foods like yogurt, eggs, and liquids.

Avoid hard, crunchy food like nuts and seeds.

Avoid alcohol if you’re taking prescription pain relievers.

Brush and floss as you normally would, taking care to be gentle around the affected tooth.

How can I prepare for a root canal?

A root canal procedure can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours and may require two visits.

In some ways, it’s not that different than having a traditional cavity filling procedure. For example, a local anesthetic is almost always used, meaning you won’t lose consciousness during the procedure.

But because it is somewhat time consuming, you will need to plan around your workday and the availability of a driver if you believe this is necessary.

Plan ahead with your dentist

If you’re planning on getting a ride, talk with your dentist or endodontist to get an idea of how long your specific procedure should take.

This will give your designated driver an idea of when you’ll be ready for pickup. You may also want to ask the office staff to call your driver when you’re done or the doctor is almost finished.

When should I see my doctor?

While some pain and tooth sensitivity are normal after a root canal, you should contact your doctor’s office if you experience any of the following symptoms:

pain that hasn’t lessened or is increasing after a few days






temporary filling become loose or comes out completely

If the pain or bleeding is severe, then get a ride to and from the doctor.

If fever or a rash or other symptom is interfering with your ability to concentrate, get a ride rather than try to make it through traffic on your own.

The takeaway

Root canals seem to have a reputation of being painful. But according to an article in the International Journal of Health SciencesTrusted Source, they’re generally well-tolerated with low rates of complications.

Because most root canal procedures are done with a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and usually don’t cause much pain or discomfort, you should be able to drive home or to work safely after the procedure.

If you receive sedation medication or general anesthesia, you’ll want to get a ride home. Talk with your dentist or endodontist about what to expect.

Be honest with yourself. If you’re anxious about the root canal or you have had complications from previous oral procedures, make plans to get a ride. Otherwise, drive home safely and relax for a while.

by Healthline

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Five Reasons You Should Consistently Use Mouthwash

Could your dental hygiene routine use a boost? Perhaps you should consider adding a mouth rinse to your daily ritual. If done correctly in accordance with the instructions on the label, mouthwash can greatly benefit your oral health! Here are just a few reasons you might consider to buy some on your next shopping trip.

1. Mouthwash helps to prevent gum disease.

Using mouthwash daily can greatly improve your health in a number of ways, including preventing gum disease. When the bacteria in plaque linger on your teeth, they release acids that can irritate the gums. This leads to an infection known as gingivitis—the first stage of gum disease. Every time you rinse with mouthwash, however, you can kill the bacteria that otherwise wreak havoc on the gums. With daily usage, you can protect your gums and keep them free from the damage of gum disease.

2. It helps you to reduce bad breath.

While mouthwash does not necessarily kill bad breath for good, it can certainly reduce it temporarily. Mouthwash kills odor-causing bacteria that prevail even after thorough brushing and flossing. That said, if your halitosis is symptomatic of a greater issue, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, a daily mouth rinse will only mask the problem and you should instead consider discussing the issue with a doctor.

3. You can ward off tooth decay with mouthwash.

Using fluoride rinse is a great way to prevent cavities. Not only does it strengthen your enamel, but it also remineralizes your teeth—effectively halting the decaying process. Mouthwash also helps to prevent plaque buildup, which means you also have less harmful bacteria to release acids onto your dental enamel. Therefore, combining mouthwash with a regular brushing and flossing routine is a great way to keep your teeth safe from cavities.

4. Your mouthwash can serve different purposes depending on your oral health needs.

There’s a mouthwash to help with any number of oral health issues. If you need a little extra help controlling plaque buildup, for example, there’s antibacterial mouthwash available to assist. For those who don’t have enough fluoride intake to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, there’s fluoride rinse! And if you’re suffering from gingivitis, you may need a prescription mouthwash to ward off the infection. Mouth rinse is a powerful addition to any oral healthcare regimen.

5. If you’re pregnant, mouthwash is particularly beneficial.

Mouthwash is highly recommended for pregnant women as an extra measure to combat “pregnancy gingivitis.” Unfortunately, this oral health issue can increase the likelihood of pregnancy complications and premature labor. Therefore, mouthwash is an important step in ensuring a happy and healthy pregnancy.

by Caputo Dental

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Do I Need A Root Canal If My Tooth Is Dead?

Covid, global warming, and now you have a dead tooth. What else could go wrong? The happy news is that dead teeth can be treated. At Midtown Endodontist NYC the angst, discomfort from this malady is easily alleviated. In the hands of Drs. Steven Lipner  and Chiyoon Ahn and with the aid of an ultra-modern microscope dead teeth become beautiful, functional members of your smile.

What is a Dead Tooth?

A tooth is considered dead when the living tissue in the center of the tooth is invaded by bacteria and causes the tissue to necrose (die). The living tissue is composed of an artery, a vein, and a nerve. We call this organic tissue the pulp. It lies in the center of the tooth. It goes from the crown of the tooth to the very tip of the roots. This chamber in the top part of the tooth is called the pulp chamber, as it goes down the root it is simply called the canal of the root.

Treatment Options for a Dead Tooth

When a cavity, crack, fracture or trauma broaches the integrity of the pulp chamber inflammation immediately results, with an increase of blood flow to the pulp. This inflammation can at times be reversible without treatment, however If the inflammation proceeds to infection bacteria will be present. At this point the condition is irreversible and cannot be solved with antibiotics alone. The patient then has two choices:

Root canal therapy which preserves the tooth 

Extraction-which may need an implant to restore the missing tooth

When the pulp is infected it will die. Gas and pus will form inside the teeth and, if left untreated,  the infection will spread to the jaw bone creating a dental abscess. This will cause patients to have pain and their gums are swollen. When they lie down there is a throbbing pain. Hot temperatures make the tooth worse. Cold temperatures give a little relief or they cannot feel the cold at all. There is pain upon percussion or chewing food. There can be a general feeling of malaise or fever. The sooner endodontic treatment is instituted the easier the course of treatment and the faster the recovery will be. 

What is Root Canal Therapy?

RCT is a conservative relatively non-invasive procedure that, contrary to popular belief, relieves pain, swelling and infection in one or two dental visits.

The Root Canal Therapy Process

Patient is diagnosed by using an x-ray, followed by a clinical exam and a review of their medical history.

Insurance: Out of pocket expenses are discussed. 

Local anesthetic is given right by the tooth (from now on the patient doesn’t feel anything at all). 

A rubber dam is applied to isolate the tooth from the rest of the mouth. 

A small hole is drilled into the top of the tooth exposing the pulp chamber. 

Endodontic files clean all of the infected organic material in the canals. 

Pus is drained through the tooth, alleviating a lot of the discomfort immediately. 

The tooth is reamed, prepped and sterilized. 

The canals are obliterated with gutta-percha to prevent reinfection. 

Once the tooth is asymptomatic a core and crown are placed to restore the tooth to its original form and function.

by Midtown Endodontist NYC

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When Should Tooth Fillings Be Replaced?

Fillings decay over time for many reasons, some preventable and some not.

Number one reason is that chewing the food can damage fillings over time and cause them to deteriorate.  If you clench your teeth or grind the teeth (stress related) that can also hurt the teeth. The tooth can also decay underneath the fillings.  Tooth-colored fillings are weaker then silver (Amalgam) fillings, so they are not good options for teeth that are subjected to a lot of force like molars. Tooth-colored filings can break more efficiently, so they need their replacement much earlier than silver counterparts.


You should feel some sensitivity in the tooth. This is the first sign. Paying attention to these physical symptoms can let you know if it’s time for the dentist appointment. Tooth became sensitive to sweets, pressure, and temperature.

When you bite into any hot, cold or sweet food, you will notice or feel sensitivity or pain after they contact the tooth, which could be a sign of fillings needing to be replaced. You could have same pain during flossing or when toothbrush encounters the spot, or when you touch the teeth with your finger.


Sometimes, you will feel pressure while biting the food. This can signal a damaged filling or damaged dental pulp.  Dentists can use specialized tools and x-ray to determine the spot, cracks or decay beneath the sauces. It’s best to replace your fillings in the early stages before you start to feel more pressure and discomfort.

Sharp Pain

In addition to pressure, you can start noticing the sharp and throbbing pain. Like pressure, it can go in a few minutes. It can be symptomatic while you are exposed to cold air during winter which is usually indicating the need for a new filling.

A toothache

Some people will experience a toothache. Inflammation may cause the pain in the dental pulp, which can happen as a result of a filling needing replacement.  If a toothache lasts longer then three days, schedule an appointment to prevent further complication with your dental health. If the pain last too long, pulp can develop an irreversible pulpitis, which eventually leads to necrosis.

Dark Spots

In addition to a physical sensation, sometimes you can see a sign that your fillings need replacement. One indication is that you encounter holes or dark spots during brushing or flossing. Paying attention to these signs is important cause you can minimize the risk of infection in your oral cavity by checking to your dentist as soon as possible.

Feel the tooth surface for roughness

Most people love the feeling of clean and fresh teeth. If you notice a tooth that never feels smooth after brushing or flossing you may need to check your fillings.

Keep an eye if anything makes roughness worse or better.

If any tooth is cracked, broken or you are missing the filling, you should make the appointment with a dentist.

Remember, always wash your hands with the soap and warm water before touching your mouth. This will minimize the risk of infection by introducing harmful bacteria into your mouth.

by Advanced Laser Dentistry

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How Long Does It Take For Bleeding Gums to Heal?

Most of us work hard to keep our dental health in check, making sure we brush twice a day as well as floss. And for those of us who do put the time into our oral health, it can feel frustrating to still see some blood in the sink. It seems like we’re doing everything right, so what the heck is going on?

If you’ve been seeing a little bit of blood in the sink every time you brush, or have just started a new flossing routine and noticed your gums are red and inflamed, here’s what may be happening — and how long it should take for your bleeding gums to heal.

What Causes Bleeding Gums?

According to Dr. Samantha Rawdin, DMD, prosthodontist at Gallery 57 Dental in Bronx, NY, one reason you may be seeing blood in the sink after brushing and flossing is that you’re dealing with gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. “Leaving plaque and food debris on [tooth] surfaces causes inflammation of the gums, and the inflammation is what causes the bleeding,” Dr. Rawdin says. Luckily, gingivitis is reversible.

Another reason for bleeding gums? You’ve just started a new daily flossing routine, and you’re being a little too rough with your mouth, explains Dr. Rawdin.

How Long Before Bleeding Gums Heal?

If you’re starting a new flossing routine, Rawdin says it can take a week or so for your gums to settle down and potentially stop bleeding. If you’re dealing with gingivitis, individual prognosises vary, so it’s best to talk with your dentist first. After talking with your dentist, using an antigingivitis toothpaste like parodontax — which has been shown to significantly reduce plaque and bleeding gums.

However, if the plaque between your teeth has mineralized and become stuck, you’ll likely need to call in the pros, as you may be dealing with tartar. According to Rawdin, “no amount of brushing or flossing” will remove tartar, which means you’ll need to have your teeth professionally cleaned at your dentist’s office.

How to Floss Properly

If you’ve been to the dentist and he or she doesn’t see any gingivitis or tartar, Rawdin says that it’s possible you may be flossing incorrectly. “To properly floss, take a piece of floss that’s approximately shoulder-width in length (about 18 inches) and wrap it around your index fingers so that there's about an inch of floss when held tight between your hands,” says Rawdin. “Then you'll slide the floss between the teeth. There's a small triangle of tissue between each of your teeth — pass the floss on one side of the triangle, hugging the tooth by making a small C shape with the floss, gently allowing it to pass just under the edge of the gums until you feel resistance, and slide the floss up and down a few times to scrub the plaque off of the teeth.”

Repeat that same process on the other side of the triangle of tissue before moving to the next tooth. Ideally, Rawdin says you want to use a new section of floss between each tooth to avoid redepositing the bacteria you’re removing.

Feel like your flossing and brushing game is on point and your gums are still bleeding? Talk to your dentist, there may be an underlying cause that will need some further investigating.

by Parodontax

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Proper Flossing Technique

It’s the question every dentist asks: “Do you floss daily?” Unfortunately, for many of us, the answer is no. Adding another step to your oral hygiene routine might seem like a hassle, but there are big benefits to making sure that you take your dentist’s advice and add flossing to your oral care routine. Gum disease begins at the gum line and between teeth. Daily flossing is an important part of helping remove the plaque from these areas where a toothbrush doesn’t completely reach. Even though you’ve been brushing and flossing our teeth for years and years, you may be surprised to learn you aren’t doing it properly. To truly reap the benefits of flossing, you need to use proper technique. We dive into the importance of flossing and the right way to get it done.

What is the importance of flossing?

Flossing dislodges food particles trapped between the teeth and under the gums where toothbrushes can’t reach. Imagine that the spaces between your teeth are like your kitchen floor. It gets dirty, but regular sweeping and mopping help keep it clean. Unfortunately, the longer you neglect them, the more buildup forms and the harder it is to clean. That’s what happens when you skip flossing: the spaces between your teeth gather plaque, making it harder and harder to keep them clean. When left unchecked, bacterial buildup can lead to cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.

What is the Right Way to Floss?Proper flossing removes plaque and food particles which is important to your oral health. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended. To receive maximum benefits from flossing, use the following proper technique:

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around one of your middle fingers. Wind the remaining floss around the same finger of the opposite hand. This finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty.

Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.

Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Never snap or force the floss into the gums, as this may cut or bruise delicate gum tissue.

When the floss reaches the gum line, gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, then, gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.

Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up and down motions. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget the back side of your last tooth.

Use clean sections of floss as you move from tooth to tooth.

To remove the floss, use the same gentle rubbing motion to bring the floss up and away from the teeth.

Once you’re finished, throw the floss away. A used piece of floss won’t be as effective and could leave bacteria behind in your mouth.

What are the types of floss?

The first step in banishing plaque from the tight spaces between your teeth is finding a product that you like and will use every day without fail. There are two types of floss from which to choose: nylon (or multifilament) floss or PTFE (monofilament) floss. Nylon floss is available waxed and unwaxed, and in a variety of flavors. Because this type of floss is composed of many strands of nylon, it may sometimes tear or shred, especially between teeth with tight contact points. While being more expensive, single filament (PTFE) floss slides easily between teeth, even those with tight spaces between teeth, and is virtually shred-resistant. When used properly, both types of floss are excellent at removing plaque and debris. The important thing to remember with floss, is that you choose a product with the ADA seal. That means the product has been endorsed by the ADA and verified to be safe and effective.

How do I make sure not to forget?

Even if you have the floss and know how to use it, you might still find yourself forgetting to clean between your teeth after you brush. You can try a few different techniques to see if it helps trigger your memory. It’s important to know that it doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing. A good trick to remember is to keep your floss where you’ll see it, like next to your toothbrush. That way, when you brush your teeth, you’ll remember to floss as well. Another thing about floss is that the best time of day to floss is whenever it fits best in your schedule! The trick is to make sure that, like brushing, you floss every day prior to going to bed. If you don’t like a brand of floss, don’t be afraid to shop around to find a size, shape and flavor that you like. Your dentist can likely give you samples if you don’t want to buy a new box just for a test drive. Flossing is just as important as brushing; that’s why your dentist always asks if it’s part of your oral hygiene routine. All it takes it a few extra minutes. Your gums and teeth will thank you!

by Westermeier Martin Dental Care

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What to Do About Black Triangles Between Your Teeth

Black triangles between your teeth, called open gingival embrasures, are one of the conditions people often want to fix.

Repairing these openings isn’t just cosmetic, though. There are important health reasons to mind the gaps.

What are open gingival embrasures or black triangles?

The simple answer is that they’re triangle-shaped gaps between your teeth. Roughly 67 percent of people over 20 years old have them.

It’s important to understand how they develop and what to do about them, because they can lead to further problems with your oral health.

What causes them?

If you notice gaps forming between your teeth, it’s important to discuss it with your dentist.

Black triangles can appear between your teeth for several reasons, and some causes are related to the health of your teeth and gums.

Gum recession

Plump, pink, healthy gum tissue hugs your teeth, filling the spaces between them.

Age, smoking, and periodontal (gum) disease can cause gums to recede or pull away from the teeth. This can expose the roots, leaving them vulnerable to bacteria, plaque, and cavities.

Bone loss

Gum disease, osteoporosis, and other conditions can cause a loss of bone near the base of a tooth. When bone is lost, the gum tissue in that area may also recede. This leads to the formation of black triangles.

Dental hygiene habits

Gum tissue is sensitive. If you brush your teeth too aggressively, you can damage your gums over time.

A 2011 studyTrusted Source found that other dental hygiene cleaners — tiny wand-like brushes used to scrub between teeth — can also lead to black triangles if too big for the space.

Orthodontic treatment

If you’ve had orthodontic care, small gaps may form between your teeth as they move into new positions.

Sometimes, orthodontic bands or other parts of the appliance can damage the gums, too.

A 2018 studyTrusted Source found that the likelihood of adults with braces developing black triangles between their upper and lower incisor teeth was 22 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

Triangular tooth shape

Some people have rectangular teeth, where the width of the tooth at the gum line isn’t much different than the width at the biting point.

Some people have teeth narrower at the gum line so that the tooth has a more triangular shape. Triangular teeth are more likely to develop these gaps.

Thin, fragile tissue

The thickness of gum tissue varies from person to person.

A 2013 reviewTrusted Source found that thin gum tissue is less resilient, so if you have a crown, a dental implant, or periodontal surgery, your gums may not restore themselves to their previous fullness afterward.


How can you get rid of the gaps?

Depending on the cause and severity of the gap, a number of treatment options exist.

Here are several to consider and discuss with your dentist or oral surgeon.

Gentle dental hygiene

Flossing your teeth and brushing twice daily is the advice from the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA emphasizes the need to floss with care to avoid hurting your gums.

Check out this article for easy steps to perfect flossing.

If the black triangles between your teeth are minimal and your gums are healthy, changing your dental hygiene habits may allow your gums to return to normal.

Hyaluronic acid treatment

In some cases, your dentist can regenerate gum tissue with injections of hyaluronic acid.

Some advocatesTrusted Source prefer this process to surgical corrections as it’s less painful and has a quick recovery period.

Because this treatment is relatively new, there’s little research on how long the effects last.

Composite resin

Some people elect to have their dentist fill the gaps with composite resin bonding.

Depending on your individual needs, your dentist might recommend using a pink resin, a tooth-colored resin, or both to flesh out the black triangles between your teeth.

This process doesn’t require surgery and takes some time to complete — a period of months, in some cases — because the resin is applied in thin layers so it looks natural, and your gums can adapt to the smaller space.

Your dentist can also add tooth-colored composite veneers to round out the appearance of the teeth.


If black triangles formed between your teeth because of a procedure or process that moved your teeth, you may be able to close the gaps by moving teeth together with braces.

Orthodontic treatment takes time, but the aesthetic results may be worth the time and cost.


Your dentist can cement ceramic or porcelain veneers to the surface of the tooth to fill in gaps and create a more even smile.

Most of the time, applying veneers involves altering the surface of your natural tooth so the veneer and tooth form a strong bond. Experts say veneers last between 18 months and 20 yearsTrusted Source.

Surgical remedies

In advanced cases of gum recession, some periodontists recommend tissue grafting. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in gum disease and dental implants.

In this procedure, your periodontist removes a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth and grafts it over the receded areas around your teeth. Bone grafts may also be necessary to build up the bone at the base of your tooth.

Depending on how much of your gum tissue has pulled away from your teeth, your periodontist may also be able to use a pinhole technique to loosen the gum and reattach it using collagen strips.

This procedure is considered less invasive because it doesn’t require large incisions or sutures that can disrupt blood supply to the area.

In one small study of five participants, pinhole surgical repair was 96.7 percentTrusted Source effective in repairing black triangles between teeth.



The bottom line

Black triangles called open gingival embrasures can form between your teeth when your gums pull away from your teeth.

Age, harsh dental hygiene methods, gum disease, bone loss, and the size and shape of your teeth and gums can all contribute to the formation of these triangles.

Appearance isn’t the only reason people want to correct triangles. They can trap food and bacteria, which causes further dental problems.

There are a range of treatments available, starting with changing your toothbrushing and flossing habits.

Depending on the severity of the condition, your dentist, oral surgeon, or periodontist might recommend hyaluronic acid injections, composite resin bonding, veneers, braces, or surgical corrections.

If you notice black triangles forming between your teeth, talk to your dentist to decide which intervention makes the most sense in your case.

by Healthline

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Why Is There a Hole in My Gums, and How Can I Treat it?

We all experience sore or inflamed gums from time to time. But what does it mean when you find a hole in your gums?

A “hole” in the gums can appear as an area that’s become pocketed, cratered, or indented compared with the surrounding tissue. There are several things that can cause this to occur. The most common is gum disease.

Keep reading as we dive deeper into the potential causes, how they’re treated, and the steps you can take to prevent them.


What can cause a hole to appear in the gums or gumline?

Let’s take a look at the things that can cause holes to form in the gums. For each cause, we’ll break down what it is, what the hole may look like, and any other symptoms to look out for.


Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease. Gum disease happens when plaque builds up on your teeth. Plaque is mainly made up of bacteria that eat the sugars from our food to get the energy they need.

As the bacteria eat these sugars, they also produce waste products, which can cause your gums to become irritated and inflamed, and bleed easily. This is called gingivitis.

When this inflammation spreads further into gum tissue and affects the bone, it can become periodontitis.

The American Dental Association estimates that periodontitis affects 47.2 percent of adults over the age of 30 in the United States.

Periodontitis can cause loss of tissue and bone. As this happens, the gums can pull away from the teeth, creating pockets or holes in the area between your teeth and gums.

Other symptoms of periodontitis include:

red, swollen gums

gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss

sore gums

bad breath

receding gums

sensitive teeth

loose teeth

discomfort or pain when chewing


Sometimes infections can cause holes to appear in the gums. This can happen due to viruses or bacteria.

One example of this is a condition called herpetic gingivostomatitis, which is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV). This condition most commonly occurs in children who’ve initially contracted HSV, but it can also sometimes happen in adults.

Herpetic gingivostomatitis causes lesions to appear in the mouth, including on the gums. These lesions can appear concave or cratered and may form ulcers.

The condition can include other symptoms like:

red, swollen gums


loss of appetite



swollen lymph nodes

It typically resolves on its own.

Other infections can cause holes to appear in the gums, although these are rarer. An example is actinomycosis, a bacterial infection that can affect the mouth and jaw. In rare cases, this infection has been documentedTrusted Source to lead to holes in the gums.

Open tooth socket

Another cause of a hole in the gums is an open tooth socket, which is present following a tooth extraction. This “hole” heals over time, filling with bone about 8 weeks after the extraction.

Pain and swelling are common following an extraction. It’s important not to disturb the area too much as it heals. Doing so can lead to a dry socket, a painful condition in which the nerve and bone of the healing tooth socket are exposed.

Necrotizing periodontal disease

Necrotizing periodontal disease is a rare form of gum disease. It typically comes on suddenly and is associated with tissue death (necrosis). It’s mostly observed in people with a weakened immune system.

In necrotizing periodontal disease, gum tissue can appear cratered or punched out. Painful ulcers may also appear. Necrotic areas can also be covered by something called a pseudomembrane, which is white or yellow in color.

Additional symptoms include:

severe pain

spontaneous bleeding

bad breath

receding gums

swollen lymph nodes


Where can holes in your gums appear?

The location of a hole in your gums depends on what’s causing it. For example, an open tooth socket is found at the site of an extraction.

In periodontitis and necrotizing periodontal disease, the holes or pockets typically occur in the general area where the gums meet the teeth.

Meanwhile, infections may cause holes to appear at any location on the gums.

What does a hole in your gums look like?

The following pictures provide an idea of what a hole in the gums may look like.

How a hole in your gums is treated

How exactly a hole in the gums is treated depends on the cause. Let’s explore some potential treatment options.

Scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing is used to remove plaque that’s located both above and below your gumline. It’s used to treat periodontitis. You may know this treatment as “deep cleaning.”

This treatment is a two-step process:

Scaling. During scaling, a dentist removes plaque that’s found on the teeth and in the pockets around the gumline.

Root planing. Root planing involves scaling the roots of the teeth, which are located deeper under the gumline. Planing helps smooth out the roots, which can help them reattach to your gums.

Scaling and root planing is an outpatient dental procedure. Often, a local anesthetic is used to minimize discomfort. Depending on the severity of periodontitis, more than one appointment may be needed.

Periodontal surgery

If periodontal disease has become severe, periodontal surgery may be recommended. There are several types of periodontal surgery. Some examples include:

Flap surgery. In flap surgery, a small incision is made in the gums. The gum tissue is then lifted, so plaque can be removed from the deeper surfaces of the tooth. This can help your gums fit more snugly against your teeth.

Regenerative procedures. The gum tissue is folded back and plaque is removed. A piece of material, which can be made from proteins or bone, is placed to help regenerate lost tissue and bone.

Gum grafting. Gum grafting helps treat receded gums. It involves taking gum tissue from another area of your mouth and using it to cover the exposed area of the tooth.


In cases of severe periodontal disease or a bacterial infection, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics. These are medications that kill bacteria or slow their growth.

Preventing or slowing gum disease

There are many ways you can help prevent conditions that can lead to holes in your gums.

Brush and floss daily

Brushing and flossing your teeth each day helps reduce plaque buildup. It’s one of the best ways to prevent gum disease.

Follow the tips below:

Brush your teeth using a fluoride toothpaste for about 2 minutes twice each day.

Aim to use gentle circular motions when brushing. Avoid hard, back-and-forth motions.

Angle the bristles of the brush toward your gumline, so they can clean the area between the gums and the teeth.

Make sure to cover all sides of your teeth and to also brush your tongue.

Floss daily with dental floss to help clean the space between your teeth. Options include pre-threaded flossers or water flossers (Waterpiks).

Limit sugary foods

Sugary foods help feed the bacteria in your mouth, contributing to the development of plaque. Because of this, aim to limit your consumption of sugary foods like candies, cakes, and carbonated beverages.

See a dentist regularly

Plaque can accumulate on your teeth, despite regular brushing and flossing. Because of this, see a dentist for routine teeth cleanings. For most people, this means going to the dentist every 6 months.

It’s also important to see a dentist if you notice any concerning symptoms related to your teeth or gums. A dentist can help figure out what may be causing them and recommend a treatment.

If you don’t have insurance, there may be low-cost dentist options available to you.

If you smoke, quit

Smoking is a big risk factor for gum disease and many other health conditions. If you smoke, try to take steps to quit.

This can be difficult, and it may take several quit attempts. Consider reaching out to your doctor or another healthcare professional to develop a cessation plan. Having support can make all the difference.

by Healthline

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What’s the Best Toothpaste for Children?

Tips to Select the Best Children’s Toothpaste

As parents, you want what’s best for your children. You provide them love and support, and you strive to keep them healthy. One of the most prominent strategies parents employ to help their kids grow strong and stay healthy is monitoring what they eat. Parents seek to ensure their children are consuming proper servings of food each day. Eat those veggies! Have an apple for a snack! With so much attention paid to what our children put in their mouths to eat, it should be no surprise that the children’s toothpaste they use is important too.

At We Make Kids Smile, we want to help parents make the best choices for their children. Though no one knows their child or their needs better than the parent, we love the opportunity to offer our expertise and share our experiences to help parents choose the right toothpaste for their children.

There are many great kinds of toothpaste on the market, and we’d do parents a disservice if we tried to point them toward just a few. After all, caring for kids’ teeth is our job and our pleasure. We’re here to provide some insights that might be helpful so you can select the best children’s toothpaste for your child.

1. Look for that ADA Seal of Acceptance.

The Seal was developed back in 1931 and is a way to help those in the dental industry make educated and informed recommendations regarding the efficacy and safety of products to their customers. As dental professionals, we know those companies have taken the time and spent the resources to test their products and make sure they demonstrate safety and efficacy.

2. Pay attention to the flavor.

If you have a picky child, you know that if they have one bad experience with something, the likelihood of them trying it again is slim to none. With toothpaste flavors, this is no different. If your child hates the test once, not to mention dislikes the concept of the toothbrush itself in their mouth, then you are going to be hard-pressed to get them to try it again. This is why many children’s toothpaste options are available in more child-friendly flavors.

Though adults appreciate the fresh taste and long-lasting mintiness of a mint-based toothpaste, children aren’t as likely to enjoy that taste quite yet. Children’s toothpaste that tastes like bubblegum, fruit, and even chocolate tends to appeal to a child’s sense of taste. And if your child is a bit more stubborn, they might appreciate a tasteless variety.

3. Texture matters.

Kids are more sensitive to textures than you might think, and many kids will struggle with toothpaste texture. In these cases, dentists often suggest a toothpaste that does not have that gritty texture found in many adult toothpastes. In particular, a gel toothpaste can be an effective solution for children with autism or other sensory issues. To that end, combining a non-gritty gel instead of a toothpaste combined with a soft-bristled brush can create a far more enjoyable tooth-brushing experience.

4. Make it fun.

Of course, the best way to help kids develop a positive tooth-brushing routine is to make it fun. Many parents let their kids choose their toothbrush from a supply that they have on hand. After all, some children might enjoy a different toothbrush for each day of the week. As long as worn-out toothbrushes are disposed of and replaced with new ones periodically, there is no reason you can’t keep a supply of a few active toothbrushes on hand.

Also, why not have your child brush their toy’s teeth too? Keep a toothbrush bin in your child’s bathroom or in whichever bathroom they will use, with a brush for them and a toothbrush for Teddy too. Even better, make tooth-brushing a family experience with mom, dad, sister, and brother all sharing in the experience. Your teeth (and your dentist) will thank you for it!

5. Find the fluoride.

A natural cavity fighter, fluoride is naturally occurring in various water sources across the globe. It is naturally present in some beverages and foods, but the fluoride level in each varies quite a bit. The ADA suggests the addition of fluoride to dental products to help protect teeth from cavities.

How soon is too soon for your child to brush their teeth?

It is crucial to start your child off early so they can develop a lifelong habit of good dental hygiene. Parents can start cleaning their children’s teeth before their teeth even sprout through the gums. By using a soft, wet cloth or a clean finger brush, parents can gently wipe their baby’s gums to help remove bacteria. Not only will this help prevent damage to those growing teeth underneath the gums, but your baby will become familiar with the feeling of something in their mouth.

Tooth Care From 0 to 3

Once those teeth appear above the gumline, you can start gently brushing them once or twice a day. One of those times each day should be after their last meal and before they go to bed. Getting into this habit now will help familiarize your child with brushing their teeth and will set them on the path to good dental practices. At this stage of the game and until the age of three, parents should only use the amount equivalent of a grain of rice of low-fluoride toothpaste.

Tooth Care From 3 to 6

Once your child turns three, the amount of toothpaste used should be about the size of a pea. At this stage of the game, we suggest parents encourage their children to swallow as little toothpaste as possible. Teaching them to swoosh in their mouth and spit into the sink can even be a fun, albeit a bit messy, experience for little ones.

We know swooshing means clean-up. Remember that a little mess now is worth it so they can develop a lifetime of good dental habits. Sing a song like “Row, row, row your boat” to your child while they brush as a way to teach them how to handle their toothbrush as it makes its way across their teeth.

Tooth Care After Age 6

Once your child is six years of age, you may determine it is time to switch your child to an adult toothpaste. However, this isn’t necessary, as it is far more critical to make this change when it is right for your child. Six-year-olds often have a mind of their own, we know, so follow their cues. If they love the flavor of their toothpaste and brushing time is going well, there is no need to change unless they experience dental problems.

by We Make Kids Smile

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What’s that pink spot on a tooth?

Have you ever noticed a lightly discolored “pink spot” on a tooth and wondered what it was? You are looking at lesions that occur either internally or externally due to a resorptive process that results in significant loss of tooth structure.

Have you ever laid the patient back, started your examination, and then noticed a tooth that just didn’t look right? You might even question what your eyes are seeing. Does that tooth look pink?

During an examination, dental hygienists may notice what seems to be a lightly discolored pink spot located at the cervical region of a tooth or even found in the crown showing through (figure 1). In both locations, this appearance, or “pink spot,” has to do with granulation tissue present underneath the enamel.

These pink spots are destructive and often insidious types of lesions that can occur either internally or externally on the tooth, resulting in significant loss of tooth structure. Both lesions have to do with a resorptive process that is occurring—often trauma-induced. When you discover these lesions, you can break down the resorptive processes based on their location: external or internal.

External cervical resorption

External cervical resorption (ECR) is a type of external resorption that begins at or near the cementoenamel junction. Typically, patients present asymptomatic, and the lesion is simply discovered on routine exams or at prophylactic appointments. This type of resorption can occur in any type of tooth throughout the mouth. Still, a higher percentage of these lesions is noted in the maxillary anterior teeth and the maxillary and mandibular first molars.

For this type of resorption to occur, some type of damage has happened to the periodontal ligament and protective cemental layer in that area. Factors such as trauma, orthodontics, bleaching, periodontal surgery, and therapy can predispose the patient to this resorptive process. Even the transmission of feline herpesvirus and herpes zoster virus has been mentioned as a possible cause. So don’t forget to check those fur babies, because felines can present with resorptive issues on their teeth too!

ECR can be differentiated from root caries due to its pink hue and tactile sensation. During the examination, you will find that the dentin surrounding an ECR lesion is usually hard, whereas decay/caries typically feels sticky. When a clinician performs probing around this type of lesion, it will typically bleed—often profusely—because of the highly vascular granulation tissue, a result of the resorptive process.

Schwartz et al. described the process, noting that “osteoclasts initially penetrate the tooth through a small entry point and colonize this region. Clastic cells in association with fibrovascular tissue then spread in a circumferential and apicocoronal direction around the root canal system. Numerous irregular resorptive channels are created that can interconnect apically with the periodontal ligament.” If caught early enough, removal of the granulation tissue and restoration may be sufficient to resolve the issue. More invasive resorptive processes sometimes involve trichloroacetic acid treatment for the resorptive lesion, root canal therapy, surgery, or even loss of the tooth to correct.

To aid in deciding upon treatment, Heithersay developed a classification system from 1 to 4 based on the extent of the resorption into the tooth.

- Class 1 is the best situation and is confined to a shallow portion of the dentin around the cervical area. As the resorption increases, so does the extent.

- Class 2 approaches the pulp chamber but shows little involvement into the radicular dentin.

- Class 3 extends more so into the coronal one-third of the root.

- Class 4 extends beyond this area, deeper into the root system.

Typically, class 1–3 lesions can be predictably treated. Class 4, which extends into the radicular dentin, has a poorer long-term prognosis, and extraction is usually the outcome. Technology is making it more straightforward to diagnose and treatment plan with newer classification systems combining CBCT technology now being used as a guide in practice.

An internal resorption pink spot was historically referred to as the “pink tooth of Mummery,” named for the anatomist who described the condition. Like an ECR lesion, in this type of resorption, patients are typically asymptomatic, and the lesion is only noted either by its pink color that patients may notice prior to their visit or from routine radiographs.

In order for this type of resorption to occur, some type of damage had to take place inside the predentin layer, with inflammation present. Predisposing factors for this type of resorption include caries, trauma, restorative procedures, and heat. Vital pulp tissue is needed for this type of resorptive process to continue.

If the lesion becomes significant in size, necrosis of the pulp usually occurs, at which point the patient will begin to have typical pulpitis-related symptoms. Since the vascular tissue becomes necrotic, the tooth’s color may appear darker or gray with discoloration. Root canal therapy will resolve this type of resorptive process. As long as the process has not resorbed a significant portion of the tooth, prognosis is favorable. Repairs can be made with bioceramics, even in situations where the lesion has perforated to the external surface.

CBCT imaging or taking angled radiographs can help determine which type of resorptive process is being presented. Periapical radiographs are not great at giving you an accurate picture of the lesion’s size, but if you discover a possible resorption lesion upon clinical examination, you can use a periapical radiograph to determine if the lesion is indeed external or internal.

Start by taking a baseline radiograph of the lesion using a paralleling technique and a beam-aiming device, such as a Rinn instrument. With your second periapical radiograph, make a mesial horizontal shift with the tube head. If the process is on the tooth’s external surface, the resorptive lesion will move as the radiograph is shifted. Internal resorptive processes will always stay centered in the tooth when the angle is changed. 

With external resorption, one can typically trace the root canal space through the lesion.

Finding a “pink spot” during an exam can be a little disheartening. Clinicians never like to deliver bad news or have to prepare a patient for a poor prognosis. Luckily, the incidence of both of these conditions is low; however, early diagnosis and treatment are always best to ensure your patients’ health and retention of their teeth. Cheers! 

by RDH

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How To Get A Stuck Piece Of Dental Floss Out Of Your Mouth

If you’ve been flossing your teeth for more than a few years, you’ve probably run into this problem before: you’re flossing your teeth like normal, and the floss suddenly snaps off between two teeth. Getting it out seems impossible, and you’re stuck trying to pry out the tiny piece of thread that refuses to budge.

The good news is that this happens to pretty much everyone at least once, and it’s usually a pretty simple fix. There are a few ways you can go about the removal process, but as long as you stay calm and don’t panic over your temporary problem, you should be able to fix the problem in no time at all!

Why Is Dental Floss Getting Stuck Between My Teeth?

The main reason for dental floss getting stuck in a place that makes it difficult to remove really comes down to how much space is in your mouth. Whether this space is due to your oral hygiene routine or just your teeth themselves depends on how much time you usually spend cleaning your teeth.

In some cases, the floss may have gotten snagged on some buildup of plaque or tartar. If you’re just getting back into the habit of flossing your teeth or if you’re flossing an area of your mouth that’s especially tricky to reach, you may have a buildup of hard matter between your teeth that can snag or trap a thread of floss.

If you’ve been flossing religiously for ages, but your floss is still getting snagged, it could be a question of space. In many cases, dentists and orthodontists today are less eager to pull teeth today than they would have been years ago, which means that you probably have less space between your teeth than your parents or grandparents.

While having more teeth is absolutely not a bad thing (it can actually be a plus, most of the time), it may reduce the amount of room in your mouth. In turn, this means that the tighter fit between teeth may be more likely to trap your dental floss.

Finally, the brand of floss itself may play a role. If you’re using an off-brand or relatively cheap brand of floss, you may have to deal with more breakages than normal.

Will Dental Floss Just Dissolve?

Once you’ve lost a bit of floss between your teeth, you may be tempted to just shrug and leave it there. After all, if we put it in our mouths on a regular basis, it’s got to be pretty biodegradable, right?

Unfortunately, while dental floss is perfectly safe for use, it doesn’t exactly dissolve if left on its own. Most dental floss is made of either nylon or Teflon with a flavored coating or some other waxy polish.

Both nylon and Teflon are relatively tough fibers that are hardy enough to hold up to the digestive acids in your stomach, let alone the saliva in your mouth. While both are usually free of any dangerous chemicals or compounds, they’re still pretty tough. This means that it’s probably not going to go away on its own if you leave the broken thread stuck between your teeth.

Even if it did dissolve, having a bit of thread stuck between your teeth for days on end would be an extremely uncomfortable or awkward experience. As a general rule, we’re all usually pretty aware of foreign objects inside the body, and it would be easy to fixate on that tiny bit of floss to the point where it would become a distraction.

For this reason, if you’ve gotten a piece of floss stuck between your teeth, the best thing to do really is just to get it out as soon as possible. You’ll feel so much better once it’s gone, and you won’t have to deal with the constantly nagging reminder of the tight fit between your teeth.

Steps To Take When Dental Floss Is Stuck

Regardless of the cause, once you’ve got some floss stuck in your teeth, you should focus on getting it out as soon as possible. Again, this is a problem that a lot of people deal with on a regular basis, which means that getting that floss loose is usually pretty simple.

To dislodge a stuck piece of dental floss:

Stay calm. Stressing out over a stuck piece of floss will usually only make the problem worse, so it’s extremely important that you keep calm and don’t panic!

Stay away from sharp objects. Your first instinct may be to reach for a pair of tweezers or a toothpick. However, this is usually a bad idea, as you run a higher risk of cutting or tearing your gums.

Rinse your mouth. Rinsing your mouth with lukewarm water will reduce any swelling around your gums and can often dislodge the floss itself for a quick fix! In addition, if you’re already bleeding from the flossing, this will help stop the flow of blood.

Try a water flosser. If possible, use a water flosser to create a sustained stream of water that will force the bit of floss out from between your teeth until you can remove it completely.

Pull from one side. If the previous two entries haven’t help, don’t try to grab the stuck floss from both ends. Rather, get a grip on one end only and pull in a smooth motion.

Why Did My Dental Floss Break?

As mentioned previously, dental floss tends to break either because it’s caught on something hard or sharp or else because it’s thin and fragile enough to easily tear. If the first is the case, the cause may go deeper than simple tartar buildup.

If you have any crowns or fillings in your smile, depending on the material your dentist or orthodontist used, you may have some sharp edges lurking in the back of your mouth. While you yourself may not notice these sharp edges throughout the day, they can often be enough to catch and tear a thin piece of dental floss.

If you don’t have any dental implants (and if you’re certain the problem isn’t your teeth), you may want to take a closer look at the dental floss that you use. It can be tempting to cut costs by purchasing a cheap brand of floss the next time at the store, but that cost may come back to bite you.

Pay attention to the brand of floss you use. If you notice that one brand or another breaks more often than it should, it may be time to consider permanently switching.

Finally, make sure you’re not flossing too aggressively. Any additional strain on your floss could not only risk breaking the strand in your mouth, but could also increase the risk of damaging or even potentially injuring your gums if you press too hard and cut the skin.

by Dental Care Report

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Ten Great Eating Habits for a Healthy Mouth

There’s more to a healthy mouth than brushing and flossing. The foods we consume and our eating habits also play an important role over the long-term. If you want to stand the best chance at maintaining optimal oral care, take a look at our 10 great eating habits for a healthy mouth below.

1. Stick to Water with Food

Technically water is the only liquid our body needs and when it comes to oral health, it’s the only drink we can fully rely on. This is especially true when eating food, which begins the process of bacteria growth.

Drinking soda, alcohol, acidic fruit juices, milk and pretty much everything else, simply add to this process.

However, water and a few other drinks like green tea are perfect for washing down excess food remnants and rinsing our mouths. Whenever you eat, water is an essential companion. In fact, even if you’d prefer a different drink, it doesn’t harm to have some water afterward.

2. Chew Xylitol Gum after Meals

Water’s not the only good thing for your teeth following meals. If you’re not an obsessive brusher (it can actually be bad to over brush), then chewing gum is a great way to break down the food and bacteria left behind.

Of course, this needs to be sugar-free. An even better option is xylitol gum which specifically targets the bacteria associated with plaque and tartar. However, it’s not a good idea to chew this throughout the day as it can have a laxative effect.

3. Avoid Excess Sugar and Candy

We all know this one, but it’s worth a reminder. Sugary foods like candy are one of the prime causes of cavities and should be avoided as much as possible. Not just for oral health, but overall health as well.

If you simply must have a sugary treat, follow it up with some water to ensure the excess sugar is not coating your mouth. It’s also a bad idea to consume such foods if it will be a long time before you next use a toothbrush.

After your evening meal, sure; at 10 am at the office? Not so good.

4. Maintain a Healthy Diet

An overall healthy diet is integral to oral health. This isn’t just because of food coming in to contact with your teeth and gums; you also need the underlying nutrients that make-up and maintain them. Poor nutrition also makes it more difficult to avoid and fight off infections.

Furthermore, foods that tend to bad for us (excess sugar and carbohydrates), also promote the bacterial growth that leads to decay and gum disease.

5. Get Enough Vitamin C

Out of all the vitamins, Vitamin C is one of the most important for oral health. In fact, a lack of Vitamin C can lead to weak gums that bleed when you brush or even bleed of their own accord!

This is because collagen helps build the connective tissues found in our gums and Vitamin C contributes to the body’s production of collagen.

Oranges and orange juice are a great way to get the essential vitamin, but it doesn’t hurt to take a supplement.

Calcium is also important for strong teeth, just as with bones.

6. Consume ‘Teeth Cleaning’ Foods

Did you know that some foods actually clean our teeth? This is achieved in a similar way to brushing (the friction of chewing the food). Certain foods also help kill bacteria!

The best teeth cleaning foods include apples (not a very acidic fruit), carrots, celery, and cucumber. It’s best to eat these in their natural and uncooked state. A crunchy raw carrot, for example, is much better than a soft mushy one.

7. Brush at the Right Times

It’s common to brush teeth right after eating, and while this advice isn’t necessarily wrong, brushing after eating certain foods can actually irritate the gums and speed up the erosion of tooth enamel.

This applies mainly to acidic foods like citrus fruits because you’re essentially brushing that acid around your mouth. Experts suggest waiting at least 30 minutes after consuming anything acidic before brushing. It will also help to drink and rinse with water beforehand.

8. Consult a Dentist

If you have concerns about how your eating habits are affecting your oral health, your first port of call should be a dentist, who can assess your teeth and gums and offer professional advice. Of course, this is not necessarily free (especially if you need to have some procedures done).

9. Don’t Overdo Citrus Fruits

It’s not often you hear ‘don’t eat fruits,’ but citrus fruits which are particularly acidic can damage tooth enamel, irritate gums and give rise to bacteria if consumed in excess.

Just don’t overdo it, consume the fruit along with other foods and remember to drink some water afterward.

10. Don’t Strain Your Teeth

There’s a physical element to eating that can put physical strain on your teeth and jaw – for example if you eat a lot of tough meat and hard candy.

While a healthy mouth is a strong mouth, you might not be starting from such a healthy point. The risk of damaging teeth just by eating is also more pronounced in the elderly population.

By following the above tips and combining them with regular brushing and flossing, you should be on your way to a healthy mouth and overall good health.

by GetHow

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Are Toothpicks Bad for Your Gums?

Whether it’s some leftover spinach from your salad at lunch or a poppy seed from your bagel at breakfast, food will inevitably get stuck in your teeth. The frequency that this occurs and how you get that food out matters. While it may be easy to grab a toothpick, think twice before using it regularly as a way to remove pesky leftover food in your teeth.

Frequency of Food Getting Stuck in Your Teeth

If food gets stuck in your teeth every once in a while, there’s likely no cause for concern. However, if you are getting food stuck in your teeth on a daily basis, you may need to talk to a dentist. There are a number of reasons you could be dealing with food getting stuck between your teeth. If you have a filling that has broken down or was improperly shaped, food may be susceptible to getting stuck in it. Teeth can also move around and create spaces that weren’t there before. In these cases, you should contact a dental professional as they can help remedy the issue or provide you with the options for how to properly remove the food.

Is it Okay to Use a Toothpick?

The answer is that it’s not your best option and should be avoided if possible. Dental professionals say that if you have nothing else to use and something is stuck in your teeth, using a toothpick very carefully is okay. It’s not ideal and continued use is not suggested. There are multiple reasons why dentists don’t want you using a toothpick to clean your teeth or dislodge some leftover food. Below you will find why it is not advised to use toothpicks.

Breakage: A toothpick is a small piece of wood. With that, it could easily break and get lodged into your gums. The larger problems a toothpick could create is reason enough to opt for another method.

Infection: Most of the time people will pick up a toothpick at the end of a meal out of a community toothpick holder. With everyone’s dirty hands grabbing out of the same container, there is a risk of infection. It could be even worse if you have an open sore or wound in your mouth.

Alternatives to Toothpicks

The best way to remove food from your teeth is with dental floss. Flossing has major benefits for your oral health (and overall health) that it makes sense to use it. It can also hit many of the hard to reach places in your mouth without risking damaging your gums or infection. In addition to dental floss, a healthy oral care routine can keep your mouth clean and free from plaque and other harmful bacteria. It’s important to floss at least once a day, brush at least twice a day, use mouthwash, and attend your regular dental checkups at least every six months. Using a soft bristled brush can help keep your teeth and gums healthy without putting any harmful pressure on them. For those who are unable to floss due to arthritis or any issues with their hands, pre-threaded floss holders can help with this. In addition, flossing properly is important. Between each tooth you will want to create a “C” motion around your tooth to get everything from top to bottom.

by Glo Modern

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Why You Need a Yearly Dental Checkup

Before you know it, that time of year has rolled around again and you get the call: your dentist is expecting you in the office in just a few days.

You might outwardly groan, but deep inside you know a regular dental checkup is a good thing.

At Portrait Dental in Katy, Texas, Dr. Minh Nguyen makes these regular checkups a priority. We see the benefits of them every day, so we’d like to share why they are important.

The exam

A regular dental checkup includes two basic parts: an examination to make sure your overall oral health is good and a cleaning to keep your teeth and gums in good shape.

At your visit, a dental hygienist conducts an exam of your mouth to look for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and other potential concerns, including oral cancer. They’ll usually take an X-ray to look for any cavities as well.

There’s no reason to assume anything is wrong, but it’s a great idea to check just in case. If you are getting regular checkups and your dentist does find an issue, it’s likely they caught it before it got too bad. 

If you wait years between your checkups, you could develop a serious problem so it’s best to maintain a regular schedule.

The cleaning

Once your exam is finished, the hygienist begins removing plaque (a clear, sticky layer of bacteria) and tartar from your teeth with a tool called a scaler. You may hear a scraping sound during this process, but you don’t need to worry. The greater the buildup of tartar, the longer this cleaning process takes.

Once this is done, your teeth are polished with a gritty toothpaste to remove any surface stains from your teeth. The hygienist then does an expert flossing to remove any food particles or plaque from between your teeth.

Finally, Dr. Nguyen does an exam to ensure everything looks good before you go on your way.

What should you do between checkups?

Your regular checkups will go much better if you practice good oral hygiene between visits. This includes vigorously brushing your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using mouthwash to help control bacteria and keep your breath fresh.

Don’t neglect to schedule your next dental checkup. If you miss it, small problems could become big problems, leading to gum recession and tooth loss. Gum disease is even linked to more chronic health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The lesson is clear — go to your regular dental checkups. To schedule a visit, contact us by phone or use our convenient online scheduler to make your appointment today. We’re here to keep your mouth healthy!

by Portrait Dental

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What Can Happen When Food Gets Stuck in Your Teeth?

Some people may not have the issue of food getting stuck in between their teeth. Many times it all depends on different factors including what kind of food they are eating and if they have any gapped teeth or inflamed gums. Either way, if someone has been noticing that food is getting stuck in their teeth it is important that it’s removed and someone keeps a good dental hygiene routine.

Having a good routine when it comes to daily oral hygiene is important if someone begins noticing changes in their teeth it may require that slight adjustments be made to compensate. Doing this can fend off other issues from occurring and it will help someone keep everything in order in their day to day life.


Most of the time food getting stuck in certain areas of someone’s mouth is not a big issue. It can be from the type of food that is being chewed or if the food is more sticky or chewy in consistency. However, if there is pain or someone notices that the gums are bleeding it could indicate that there is something for the dentist to take a look at.

Although it typically is not something that needs an emergency dental appointment, making a note to talk to with the dentist at your next bi-annual cleaning would be a good idea. If an issue does irritate a person or if it becomes painful, making an appointment to visit a dentist may be the best idea.


Everyone knows that brushing and flossing every day is important. However, if you have noticed that food keeps getting stuck in a specific area of your mouth or between certain teeth it could benefit from slightly adjusting your routine.

If food continues getting stuck between two certain teeth, adding some extra brushing to that area could be beneficial. Although over-brushing is never a good thing. Adding an extra 15-20 seconds of lightly brushing the area can help in strengthening the gums.

When flossing, be sure and floss between the two teeth where the food keeps getting stuck. This will help to ensure that all of the food is removed, even particles that you can’t feel. The flossing will also strengthen your gums, which over time can help to fight off pieces of food getting stuck.


A salt water solution can both clean the teeth and gums, and also help in healing areas of the mouth. Although, many people do not realize that salt can be a healing agent when used properly. Adding a bit to some water and swishing it around your mouth can help strengthen gums, too!


Using a toothpick can help in dislodging food or particles that are stuck in-between a person's teeth. Someone can use their fingers most times, but if the piece of food is small enough it may not be enough to dislodge it. Never use anything metal to do this. Instead, use a toothpick and get the piece of food dislodged and free from between the teeth.

If you have been noticing that food keeps getting stuck in a certain spot, or if there is pain that continues for an extended time, having a quick chat with your dentist could be beneficial. Most of the time it could be an issue that is easily resolved if dealt with sooner rather than later. Contact your dentist to make the best decisions for your oral health and gums. 

by Bellevue Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry

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Does Mouthwash Expire?

When the urge to clean strikes, you may find yourself with an armful of bathroom products, including mouthwash, that makes you wonder how serious to take their expiration dates. The mouthwash may seem OK based on its appearance and smell, yet its expiration date may tell another story.

Usually, mouthwash is good for a maximum of 2 to 3 years from the manufacture date.

Most mouthwash contains alcohol or another astringent, which starts to dissolve after 2 or 3 years and essentially waters down the liquid. This may encourage bacteria growth, which makes expired mouthwash potentially unsafe to use.

Common mouthwash ingredients such as fluoride, hydrogen peroxide, and essential oils also deteriorate over time, making them less effective.

Read on to learn more about the risks of using expired mouthwash, as well as some tips for putting your leftover liquid to good use.

Is it safe to use expired mouthwash?

Expired mouthwash may contain bacteria and rancid ingredients, making it unsafe for use. Plus, it may not be effective in:

cleaning your teeth, gums, and mouth

preventing tooth decay

eliminating bad breath

Signs that your mouthwash is past its prime include changes to its color, a strange smell, and an unusual consistency. Natural mouthwash options, some of which require refrigeration, have even shorter shelf lives.

If you have a mouthwash bottle with no date and you’re unsure about it, stay on the safe side and don’t use it.

What could happen if you use expired mouthwash? 

Due to the breakdown of its active ingredients, expired mouthwash is likely ineffective and possibly harmful. This is true for both therapeutic mouthwash and cosmetic mouthwash, which tastes good and temporarily relieves bad breath.

Therapeutic mouthwash, which is used to treat conditions such as plaque, tooth decay, and gingivitis, may include active ingredients such as fluoride, hydrogen peroxide, and essential oils. Over time, fluoride and hydrogen peroxide lose their potency, which makes them less effective at whitening your teeth, improving your oral health, and preventing cavities.

Some mouthwashes contain essential oils, which usually have a shelf life of a few years. Changes to their composition over time weaken their strength and effectiveness. Especially if they’ve been exposed to light, heat, and oxygen, or mixed with other ingredients.

The alcohol or antiseptic in mouthwash starts dissolving after a few years. This leads to watery mouthwash and may encourage bacteria growth.

In 2020 and 2021, Sunstar Americas, Inc. voluntarily recalled a prescription oral rinse because of microbial contamination with the bacteria Burkholderia lata. The product, Paroex Chlorhexidine Gluconate Oral Rinse USP, 0.12 percent, is used to treat gingivitis.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)Trusted Source said that using the product could potentially cause oral and systemic infections requiring antibacterial therapy. In some individuals, it could cause life threatening infections, including pneumonia and bacteremia.

These incidents highlight the potential of mouthwash to contain harmful bacteria.

How should you dispose of expired mouthwash? 

If you decide to get rid of expired mouthwash, you can simply pour it down the drain.

But if you prefer to repurpose it, there are several household uses for mouthwash. It’s OK to use expired mouthwash for many of these uses, though it may be slightly less effective. It’s not advised to use the expired rinse for any skin care purposes, though.

Here are a few ways to use mouthwash for household purposes:

Eliminate odors and freshen your clothes by adding 1 cup of mouthwash to a load of laundry.

Blend a bug-repellent plant spray using one part mouthwash and two parts water.

Use mouthwash as a toilet bowl cleaner.

Add a capful of mouthwash to a vase to extend the life of fresh flowers.

Use mouthwash to dampen a towel to clean your mirrors and windows.

The bottom line

If you’ve managed to hang on to a bottle of mouthwash long enough for it to expire, chances are you don’t use it very often. Expired mouthwash contains ingredients that weaken and become rancid with time, so it’s unlikely to provide many benefits. Plus, the alcohol has probably already dissolved, leaving you with a watery liquid that’s possibly bacteria-ridden.

The deterioration of mouthwash ingredients may even cause the plastic bottle to break down. This makes the expired mouthwash even riskier. All in all, any bottle of mouthwash that’s 2 to 3 years old, even if it’s within its expiration date, probably isn’t worth the risk. Go ahead and find a way to use it around your house or toss it.

Your health and peace of mind are worth the price of a new bottle of mouthwash, which is sure to provide all of the oral health benefits you’re after.

Store mouthwash away from direct sunlight in a dry, cool place. If you usually forget to use mouthwash and want to get into the habit, place it in a visible location.

by Healthline

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Have a Filling That You Have a Cavity In Between your Teeth?

Interproximal cavities, more popularly known as the cavities in between your teeth, are actually pretty common. They start to form when there is a breakdown of the outer, calcified enamel of the tooth that is caused by bacteria in your mouth.

Cavities are easily preventable, even if you seem to be finding them with every dentist visit. The more information you have on interproximal cavities the better!

Did you know?

35% of your teeth’s surface are in between other teeth. If you decide to skip flossing one day, then only two-thirds of your teeth are getting cleaned! Think of it this way–not flossing is like washing your hands but not scrubbing in between your fingers. Gross!

Dental cavities are one of the most prevalent diseases amongst the general population. But, the good news with this is that they are easily preventable.

Once a cavity is treated, the tooth will stop decaying. So don’t wait until the pain becomes unbearable, because the earlier you treat the decaying tooth, the less damage will occur. And the less treatment you will have to receive!

Symptoms of Interproximal Cavities

Many of the symptoms occur when the cavity has penetrated into the dentin, known as the second hard layer of tissue beneath the enamel. Symptoms of these cavities include:

Sensitivity to cold

Sensitivity to sweets or sugar

Trouble chewing on the tooth with the cavity

How can I prevent cavities?

Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. While doing this alone is great, it is still important to make sure your technique is up to par. Use circular motions on the fronts and chewing surfaces of your teeth and small, up-and-down motions on the backs. Remember to pay some attention to the back molars too!

Floss every day. This is another really important technique you’re going to want to master for optimal results. Start by winding 18” of floss around the middle finger of each hand. Use your thumb and index fingers to pinch the string while leaving 1-2” length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss in between teeth while using a zig-zag motion. It is important to remember not to snap the floss in between your teeth. Contour floss around the side of each tooth.


When receiving your yearly x-rays from My Dentist, we’re looking for the earliest signs of tooth decay. We can tell when you’re about to develop a cavity by observing the dark areas developing around the outermost layer of your tooth, known as the enamel.

If there seems to be a suspicious amount of decay, a mouth rinse or dental paste with extra fluoride may be prescribed to you.

Holy Molar! You already have a cavity

We’ve all been there and there’s no point in beating yourself up for it. The best way to bounce back from having a cavity is to focus on taking better care of your oral hygiene, which will help prevent future cavities. But for now, this one will be easily treated with a dental filling by your dentist.

by My Dentist Westminster CO

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Health Issues that Could Arise from Poor Oral Health

Did you ever skip brushing your teeth because you were just too tired to stand there and mindlessly scrub at your gums for two minutes? While skipping out on one or two cleanings is not ideal, it is not something that can cause serious damage, but poor oral health can lead to many health issues and can increase the risk for much deadlier diseases.

Having excellent oral health is much more than just making sure your pearly whites are nice and bright. If you really think about it, your mouth is a prime entrance into your body and having poor oral health can produce destructive outcomes for you whole functioning body. Today, we will be discussing what type of health issues that could arise from maintaining poor oral health. 

There can be many different instances where your body is ending you signs that something could be wring, however, we have to make sure we heed these warning signs and schedule an appointment for a professional opinion.

Such signs as bleeding gums, aching teeth and even a bad breath smell can all be indicators that something is not quite right. Better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to your health and practice good hygiene for your teeth and gums!

Poor oral health can lead to many diseases and health issues, below are the most common problems that can arise from not maintaining proper health and self-care practices. 

Cardiovascular disease.- This can happen as a result of poor oral health and can put you at a greater risk for heart disease. This is a perfect example of what could happen if bacteria enters your bloodstream.

If your gums happen to be inflamed due to the same bacteria that causes periodontal disease, this bacteria can enter your bloodstream and create plaque to form and harden around your arteries. 

Diabetes may not be a direct cause of poor oral health, but diabetics are more susceptible to infection and gum disease. Periodontal disease can spike blood sugar levels thus creating difficulty controlling elevated levels of blood sugar. 

Cancer.- Not only can you develop oral cancer by poor oral health and extracurricular activities such as smoking and chewing tobacco, but other cancers such as kidney, blood, and pancreatic cancers have been linked to poor oral health. 

Kidney disease can occur as a result of poor oral health due to the fact that their immune systems are weaker. 

Dementia can be linked to poor oral health as a result from the gum disease, gingivitis. This can happen when the bacteria spreads from the mouth to the nerve channels through the bloodstream. 

Respiratory infections can form as a result of more bacteria leaking through the bloodstream or even by breathing bacteria (accidently) into the lungs. Once there, bacteria can cause infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

While you may be tired after a long day, remember, brushing your teeth for a few minutes now could save you from a worse fate later. 

by Impeccable Smiles

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How long do dental crowns last?

The average lifespan of a dental crown is between 5 and 15 years. How long a crown lasts mostly depends on how well it’s placed, how well it’s taken care of and how it’s used.

A well-cared-for crown could last indefinitely, but it’s rare for a crown that has been well-fitted to crack or malfunction sooner than five years. This is why most dental insurance providers cover crown replacements after 5 years.

If the crown is misplaced or needs to be adjusted, this will usually be noticed by the patient and should be fixed by the doctor promptly. Once the adjustment period is over, it’s up to the patient to take good care of their new crown to make sure it lasts as long as possible.

What factors affect crown longevity?

Overall the most important factors that determine how long a dental crown will last are: oral hygiene, chewing and biting habits, crown material, and frequency of dental check-ups.

Oral hygiene tips for healthy teeth (and crowns):

Brushing all your teeth thoroughly, at least twice a day.

Flossing between every tooth, every day.

Using mouthwash, every day.  

Chewing and Biting Tips:

Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.

Refrain from eating foods or drinks that are too hot or too cold.

Avoid chewing hard materials like ice or pencils.

Never use your teeth as a tool, such as opening a plastic container with your teeth.

Never leave pieces of food (such as popcorn or meat) stuck between your teeth or your gums. They are a common cause of infection.

Recommended frequency of dental checkups:

One or more follow-up visits to your dentist in the first several weeks after your crown is placed. These check-ups are to make sure that your mouth is healing property from the procedure.

A cleaning appointment with your dentist once every 6 months, at least. You can schedule more frequent appointments if you have a history of oral disease or want to make sure your mouth health is being regularly checked by a professional.

Crown Material

Some crown materials are sturdier than others.

All-metal crowns, such as gold crowns, are the strongest type of dental prosthetics there are. All-metal crowns are impossibly hard to chip, but nowadays most people prefer more aesthetic alternatives.

Zirconia crowns are very strong as well. Zirconia is a metal oxide material derived from Zirconium metal. Crowns made from zirconia have an appearance that is similar to real teeth and are very strong compared to other ceramic dental prosthetic materials.

Emax crowns are another type of ceramic crown. They have an even closer resemblance to real teeth, but are a little less resistant to chipping. This does not mean that they will chip easily, but they have less of a chance of lasting longer than 15 years. 

by LPA Dental Lab

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Precautions While Using Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide will act as a teeth bleacher. It whitens your teeth and gives you an attractive smile. It is a highly reactive chemical that is made from both oxygen and hydrogen. It is a key ingredient for most of the teeth whitening products like toothpaste and mouthwash.

A tooth contains natural molecules in enamel and the dentin. These molecules reflect the light and are responsible for their color. The chemical peroxide has a greater whitening power for your teeth. It will create a reaction and has whitening factors because the chemical will pass through your tooth and break down complex molecules. Normal concentrations are around 3% and can go as high as 10%.

Even though Hydrogen Peroxide is used to help you achieve that pearly white smile, there are certain precautions that you must take while using Hydrogen Peroxide.

Is There Any Risk When Using Hydrogen Peroxide?

There is a risk of hydrogen peroxide will be overused. It can damage the enamel on your teeth and the tissue inside your mouth. Because of its highly reactive chemical, it may cause gums and mouth irritation. Thus, limit your use to only 2 times a week.

Other Precautions That You Must Observe:

Please bear in mind that hydrogen peroxide is not for swallowing since it can react faultily to your natural acids that help digest food properly. It can cause burns to your esophagus.

This chemical is unable to change the shade of fillings, gold teeth, ceramic teeth, porcelain teeth, or other restorative materials. This is due to the hydrogen content that cannot penetrate the surface layers of these materials. However, it can affect more porous dental work such as cement and dental amalgams.

It is important that you keep hydrogen peroxide away from children. If your children have swallowed a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, it is advised that you should let your child drink water or milk.

by Koren Family Dental

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How Common Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease affects about 20%-50% of the world’s population. And more predominantly among the older population in high-income countries. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease. It affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth.

Sadly, this is a very common problem among adolescents and adults alike. Therefore, it must be treated with special care by a periodontist.

This article walks you through the prevalence of periodontal disease among different populations, symptoms, causes, and more.

Prevalence of Periodontal Disease in Adults in the United States

According to a recent CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) study, 47.2 % of U.S. adults have periodontitis, a more advanced form of periodontal disease. This means that 64.7 million Americans have periodontal disease. Half of those above 30 and above have severe periodontal disease. The same study states that prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent among adults 65 years and older. These findings are based on the data collected as a part of the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

These findings suggest that more people have periodontal disease than previously thought. And there is a disparity among specific population groups. For example, at 56.4%, the disease is higher among men than women, 38.4%. In addition, the rate is highest among Mexican Americans at 66.7% when compared to other races. The other segments that see a high prevalence of periodontal disease include smokers, people living under the federal poverty level, and less education.

Is Periodontitis a Serious Disease?

Contrary to popular myth, periodontitis in adults is extremely common. It is a severe infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other health complications, including increasing one’s risk for oral cancer.

The bacteria causing periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream affecting other parts of the body. As the disease progresses, it can lead to rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory disease, heart disease, and diabetes.

Diagnosing Gum Disease

Firstly, periodontists rely on visual assessment to check the patient’s oral health. But, this visual method of diagnosing indicates only the presence of the disease. To assess the severity of periodontitis, you need to rely on more advanced diagnostic methods to determine Clinical Attachment Loss (CAL) or Radiographic Bone Loss (RBL). The periodontist then measures the pocket depth with a periodontal probe. A depth of 4mm indicates the presence of periodontal disease. Pockets deeper than 5 mm may indicate severe periodontitis and cannot be cleaned well.

New tests offer genetic and biological information to better determine the appropriate treatment regimen for each patient.

Can You Reverse Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease is broken into four stages:


Slight Periodontal Disease

Moderate Periodontal Disease

Advanced Periodontal Disease (Periodontitis)

Of these, gingivitis is the only stage that can be reversed as the bacteria has not yet had time to attack the bones. However, once a patient reaches stage 2, the infection has already spread to the bones, possibly destroying them. At this stage, the disease is only manageable and not preventable.

Hence, it is vital to catch periodontal diseases early before they move on to peridontitis.

At What Age Do Most People Get Gum Disease?

The chance of periodontal disease increases as you grow older. That is why it is most commonly seen in older adults. For example, clinical attachment loss was significantly higher among adults of ages 60 to 69 years when compared with those aged 40-50 years.

Due to the slow nature of the disease, it can even develop early in life and can go undetected until the patient is older. Unfortunately, by this time, a great deal of damage would have happened.

Causes and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the tissues and bones surrounding the teeth. The early stage is called gingivitis. During this period the gums become red and swollen, a clear sign of bacterial infection. In the more severe cases, the gums pull away from the tooth. In chronic periodontitis i.e, the advanced stage, you may witness a loss of gum tissue and bones, resulting in the teeth falling off. The disease, however, progresses pretty slowly.


Periodontal disease is quite common but preventable. The prevalence of periodontitis can be attributed to poor oral health and hygiene. Generally, oral diseases like periodontal disease start with the development of plaque.

Sugars and starch in your food, together with the bacteria in your mouth, form a film called plaque.

The plaque hardens into tartar under your gumline. It is filled with bacteria and is difficult to move at this point. You need a dental cleaning to get rid of it.

Plaque causes gum disease or otherwise called gingivitis which is the inflammation of the gums. Good dental care and treatment can reverse the disease at this stage.

Ongoing gum inflammation leads to periodontitis, a form of severe periodontal disease. This causes pockets to form your teeth and gums. These eventually fill with plaque, tartar, and bacteria. If not treated, they can lead to loss of tissue and bone, with your teeth falling off.


The first thing to remember is that healthy gums generally are pink and fit snug around your teeth. So even though the signs of periodontal disease are pretty subtle, it is not entirely without any warning.

The symptoms of periodontal disease include:

Gum Inflammation

Red and Tender Gums

Pus Between Teeth and Gums

Spaces Developing Between Teeth

Bleeding Gums (Especially While Brushing and Flossing)

Halitosis (Chronic Bad Breath)

Change in Bite

Receding Gum Lines

Calculus (Plaque or Tartar Buildup)

Pain when Biting or Chewing

Loose Teeth or Loss of Teeth

Foul Taste in the Mouth

Inflammatory Response

Risk Factors

Research shows that gum disease is associated with other systemic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Several factors increase the risk of periodontal diseases. The risk factors can be both modifiable and non-modifiable.


Smoking & Tobacco Use – Smoking is of the leading factors for periodontal disease. Furthermore, it also affects oral microbial flora. Smokers are three times more likely to have severe periodontal disease than non-smokers. They also have more chances of tooth loss, alveolar bone loss, and poor outcomes of all forms of treatments. Moreover, nicotine can directly or indirectly cause periodontal tissue breakdown. Smokers with periodontal disease can develop cancerous lesions in the future.

Poor Oral Hygiene – Poor dental health aids bacterial deposition and build-up of dental plaque, leading to inflammation in periodontal tissues. Due to this, there is a high prevalence and increased severity of periodontal disease.

Hormonal Changes in Females – The increased progesterone during mensuration and ovulation disrupts the repair of collagen fiber and causes the blood vessels to dilate. Similarly, pregnant women also show signs of gingivitis. Finally, estrogen deficiency also reduces bone density leading to bone loss.

Diabetes Mellitus – Diabetes mellitus can play a significant role in the initiation and progression of periodontal disease. It is also associated with periodontal ligament destruction leading to loss of teeth.

Medications – Medicines like tricyclic antidepressants, atropine, antihistamine, and beta-blockers can reduce saliva flow. This leaves the patient vulnerable to periodontal disease.

Stress – Stress reduces the flow of salivary secretions, which leads to increased dental plaque formation. People under stress can have poor oral hygiene. Furthermore, depressed individuals can have a higher cortisol concentration in the gingival crevicular fluid. And hence may respond poorly to treatment.


Age – Older adults have increases chances of periodontal disease than other age groups.

Heredity – Genetics, along with environmental and demographical determinants, increase the threat of periodontal disease among different racial and ethnic populations.

Can You Stop Periodontitis?

Severe periodontal disease is called Periodontitis. At this point, it starts damaging the bone and is not reversible. However, your periodontist can treat and stop the progression of the disease. Gingivitis and mild cases require non-surgical treatment by a general dentist. However, moderate and severe periodontitis requires a surgical intervention to save as many teeth as possible.

With proper treatment and good oral health practices, periodontitis is manageable.

Brush twice a day, for at least 2 minutes every time.

Floss once a day.

Stop smoking and tobacco use.

Maintain a healthy diet.

Limit acidic and sugary foods.

Regular dental cleanings and exams can help spot the disease early.


According to World Health Organization (WHO), developing countries have a high prevalence of calculus and bleeding gums among adolescents. 35% to 70% of those in developing countries have calculus deposits, while 4% to 34% in the developed nations.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently working with organizations such as the American Academy of Periodontology and the American Dental Association to improve the surveillance of periodontal disease in the adult U.S. population. In addition to that, state and local authorities should implement oral health policies to reduce the burden of disease and improve the quality of life of people.

Furthermore, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year. Your dentist can perform it at your bi-annual check-up.

by Dr Dalesandro

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Should I Brush My Teeth Before or After Breakfast?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two whole minutes each time. However, they do not have a recommendation for what time of day works best. Most people brush right before bed, but in the morning, it differs a little bit more. Even though you may not prefer to have minty toothpaste in your mouth before drinking orange juice, some experts suggest that it may be the best option for the health of your smile. Continue reading to learn more from your family dentist in Center about why before breakfast is the best time of the morning for you to brush.

Why Should You Brush Your Teeth Before Breakfast?

At some point in your life, you have probably experienced morning breath. This occurs because when you are sleeping, plaque-causing bacteria in your mouth multiply and leave an unpleasant taste and odor for you to encounter when you wake up. Brushing your teeth right away when you wake up helps to rid your teeth of this harmful plaque and bacteria. Brushing also coats your teeth with a protective barrier against the acids in your food.

Another reason that brushing teeth before breakfast may be a better idea is because you should wait at least 30 minutes after eating acidic foods. So, if you are eating, brushing your teeth, and then rushing out the door, you could be damaging your enamel which has been softened by your morning toast, juice, or coffee.

Can You Still Brush Your Teeth After Breakfast?

If brushing your teeth after breakfast makes more sense for your routine, that is okay. However, you should be taking precautions so that you don’t wear down your protective enamel. Here are a few popular breakfast foods that are particularly harmful if you brush your teeth immediately afterwards:

Dried fruit

Fruit Juice

Citrus fruit



Breakfast foods like omelets, yogurt, and whole grain cereals tend to be better options to start your morning. If you can, wait between 30 minutes and an hour before brushing your teeth after breakfast to make sure you aren’t hurting your protective enamel. Drinking some water or chewing sugar-free gum is a good way to clean your teeth after you eat and before you brush your teeth in the morning.


In conclusion, before breakfast is the best time to brush your teeth in the morning. But if you take the right precautions, you can make brushing after breakfast work too. This way, you can keep your enamel safe from harm.

by Family Dental Center of East Texas

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Healthy Nutrition for Healthy Teeth


Daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing are essential to a healthy smile, but did you know nutrition has an effect on your dental health, too?

Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from all the food groups promotes healthy teeth and gums. A balanced eating plan that includes fruits, vegetables, protein foods, grains and dairy provides essential nutrients for optimum oral health as well as overall health.

Foods for Optimum Oral Health

Calcium-rich foods, such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese, and fortified soymilk help promote strong teeth and bones. Other sources of calcium include tofu (made with calcium sulfate), canned salmon, almonds and some dark green leafy vegetables.


Phosphorus, a mineral found in eggs, fish, lean meat, dairy, nuts and beans is good for strong teeth.

Vitamin C promotes gum health, so eat plenty of sources, including citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, potatoes and spinach.

Smart snacking also can keep your mouth in good shape. Resist the urge to snack frequently — the more often you eat, especially between meals, the more likely you are to introduce acid attacks on your teeth. If you do snack, choose wisely. Forgo sugary treats such as hard or sticky candy and opt for nutritious choices such as raw vegetables, fruits, plain yogurt and popcorn. Remember to brush after snacking to keep cavities at bay. If you can't brush, rinse your mouth with water to get rid of food particles.

Caring for a baby? Avoid putting your infant, toddler or young child to bed with a bottle. Sucking on the bottle bathes the teeth and gums in liquid which can contribute to tooth decay. Only breast milk and infant formula are recommended for infants younger than 12 months. And for children one to five years of age, the amount of juice, flavored milks, and other sugar-sweetened drinks should be limited.

In addition to healthful eating, oral health problems can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene, such as brushing teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day, flossing once a day, drinking fluoridated water and seeking regular oral health care.

by Eat Right

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Does Toothpaste Expire, and Is It Safe to Continue Using It?

Toothpaste expires, but using toothpaste past its expiration date isn’t harmful. It just isn’t beneficial. That’s because the active ingredients become less effective over time.

Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA) require toothpaste to have an expiration date. Each individual tube of toothpaste should have its own expiration date printed on the box and tube. It’s usually about two years after the toothpaste was manufactured.

Expiration dates explained

Toothpaste’s expiration date is mainly due to its active ingredient, fluoride. Research shows that fluoride may degrade and become less effective at preventing cavities over time.

Fluoride is the main ingredient that helps fight cavities and keep teeth healthy. It works by supporting healthy tooth enamel. Enamel is the shiny, white, visible part of the tooth, and it’s the tooth’s first line of defense against decay.

Preventing enamel loss is extremely important because once enamel is worn down (by decay and other environmental damage), it can never grow back.

The FDA requires an expiration date on all food and medicine to ensure safety and quality. When toothpaste contains fluoride to fight cavities, the fluoride is considered a drug, so the FDA regulates expiration dates on fluoride toothpaste.

The ADA also sets national standards for dental practices across the country, including toothpaste expiration dates. You should only buy toothpaste with the official ADA Seal of Approval. The ADA regulates quality and safety of all dental practices and products.

Toothpaste is a huge part of global oral health practices, but it’s not as important as simply brushing your teeth. The friction and movement of tooth brushing is the most important way to clean teeth as well as prevent cavities and decay.

That said, dentists always recommend toothpaste because it contains ingredients that benefit oral health.

Toothpaste usually contains:

fluoride to support healthy tooth enamel and fight cavities

detergents and abrasives to remove plaque buildup

antisensitivity agents to make teeth less sensitive

antimicrobials to prevent buildup (plaque), which causes cavities


humectant, which keeps toothpaste moist

thickening agents

peroxide to remove tooth stains

Tips for oral hygiene

Oral health is closely linked with overall health. This link is currently a hot topic for science and research.

Experts recommend these tips for optimal oral health:

Brush your teeth twice a day, with fluoride toothpaste, for two minutes each time.

Floss (it doesn’t matter if you floss before or after brushing).

Don’t snack between meals.

Don’t drink sugary beverages.

Don’t smoke.

Limit your alcohol intake.

As for other dental products:

Floss doesn’t expire but may lose its flavoring over time.

Prescription mouthwash expires. Over-the-counter mouthwash technically doesn’t expire, but it’s very likely to start growing bacteria or fungi. Always pour mouthwash into a separate cup before using it to prevent germs from sticking on the bottle.

Replace toothbrushes every three to four months (unless you get sick and vomit, in which case you should brush your teeth and toss the toothbrush).

Many dentists recommend both flossing and using mouth wash. But if you choose one, dental professionals still recommend flossing over mouthwash, except in cases where a prescription mouthwash may be recommended to treat a specific condition.

What can I do with my expired toothpaste?

If your toothpaste has expired, don’t use it to brush your teeth. Instead try toothpaste for:

polishing metal

cleaning the bathroom sink

removing crayon from walls

removing gummy residue off the bottom of an iron

buffing your fingernails

The Takeaway

Toothpaste expires because it contains fluoride, which may degrade over time. Fluoride is the active ingredient in toothpaste that fights cavities.

Both the FDA and ADA set regulations and standards for toothpaste expiration dates. Check printed expiration dates before purchasing or using toothpaste.

by Healthline

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Five Bad Brushing Habits That Could be Hurting Your Teeth and Gums

If you make it a habit to brush your teeth at least two times a day, then kudos to you. However, bad brushing habits can negate the positive benefits that would normally come along with regularly performing oral hygiene. A local dentist says that typically only a few minor adjustments need to be made to elevate your toothbrushing’s effectiveness in a safe manner. As you continue reading, learn about 5 bad habits to correct so you can enjoy the absolute best in dental health!

#1 – You Brush Too Hard

While it may seem logical to apply more pressure when brushing your teeth to ensure their cleanliness, it can actually be detrimental in a couple of ways. For starters, the enamel (the hard, outer layer of the teeth) is not infallible. Thus, vigorous toothbrushing can damage it, which is significant given that the human body can’t regenerate the calculus material that forms the enamel.

Another issue associated with aggressive toothbrushing is gum irritation. This can result in bleeding, discomfort and gum tissue damage. Thankfully, these tips will help to prevent any of these problems from arising:

Use careful pressure when brushing.

To thoroughly clean your teeth, brush for around two minutes.

Hold the toothbrush properly when brushing (flat for chewing and outside surfaces, vertical for inner surfaces)

#2 – You Use Hard Bristles

A hard-bristled toothbrush can possibly be problematic. Just like vigorous toothbrushing, it can lead to enamel and gum damage due to the combination of the abrasives that are usually contained in toothpaste and the firm bristles.

A remedy, then, is to purchase a toothbrush with soft bristles. By following how the dentist says to brush your teeth, you can rest assured that your ivories will be well-protected.

#3 – You Keep Your Toothbrush Past Its Expiration Date

Just like anything else in life, there is a limit to how long a toothbrush can be used. Dentists typically recommend replacing a toothbrush every 60-90 days to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that could compromise your oral health.

However, if you’ve suffered from a sickness like a common cold or the flu, it’s best to replace the toothbrush immediately to prevent any re-contamination that could make you sick in the future.

#4 – You Brush Too Soon After Eating a Meal

There’s no denying the fact that it’s important to brush your teeth after consuming food or beverages other than water. That’s because the leftover particles, if not removed, can contribute to tooth and gum decay.

It’s still important to know, though, when it’s safe to brush your teeth. As a general “rule of thumb,” you should wait around 30 minutes to brush your teeth after a meal. This allows time for your saliva to neutralize the acids released from what you’ve consumed, and to prevent any unwanted enamel damage.

#5 – You Don’t Clean Your Tongue

When it comes to the structure of your mouth, to use a sports analogy, the tongue could be considered a “free agent.” It can roam wherever it wants, making contact with your teeth and all the different areas of your mouth. Because of its mobility, the tongue, if not cleaned properly, can contribute to the demise of your oral health by carrying debris to other parts of your mouth.

To prevent this from happening, be sure to clean your tongue with your toothbrush after you’re done with your teeth. You may also consider using a tongue scraper, which is an apparatus that’s designed to glide over your tongue to free up anything trapped between the bumpy papillae.

Now that you’re aware of some of the potential pitfalls when cleaning your teeth, you can make the necessary improvements. For further help with maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile, contact your local dentist to schedule a visit today!

by Dhillon Family Dental

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What’s the difference between Emax and Zirconia Crowns?

Emax and Zirconia are two different kinds of ceramic materials used in the production of dental prosthetics. To choose between them, it’s important to know what the differences are between emax and zirconia crowns. 

What Are Emax and Zirconia Made Of?

Emax is a Lithium Disilicate glass. It’s an all-ceramic material made from quartz, lithium dioxide, phosphor oxide, alumina, potassium oxide, and other components.

Zirconia is another name for Zirconium Dioxide. It’s a white, powdered metal oxide that is also ceramic.

Emax crowns and zirconia crowns are commonly produced from a solid block of each material. These are called monolithic crowns.

What Are the Differences Between Them?

The biggest difference between Emax and zirconia is that Emax crowns are more translucent and zirconia crowns are stronger.

Emax is known for having a naturally translucent appearance that allows light through just like natural teeth. Zirconia traditionally had a denser, more opaque look, but improvements in technology have significantly diminished this effect.  Multi-layered zirconia crowns can achieve an impressive translucency while still being much stronger than Emax.

Zirconia crowns have a flexural strength of 800-1200 megapascals, while Emax crowns average between 380-500 megapascals.

Zirconia can also retain its strength even when it’s thinner. This means the dentist doesn’t need to remove as much of the patient’s original teeth to fit the crown on top. Zirconia crowns can be as thin as 0.5mm, while the minimum thickness for Emax is 1.5mm-2mm.

When to Use Which?

The answer to this question depends very much on the doctor’s opinion. Every mouth is unique and an experienced doctor will know all the details that must be taken into consideration.

Overall, if the decision is between the two, it’s more likely that zirconia will be chosen for the posterior teeth (back) and Emax for the anterior (front). This is because the back teeth usually require more strength and less aesthetic beauty, and the opposite is truth for the front.

Cosmetic zirconia has improved so much though, that many doctors find it perfectly suitable for both anterior and posterior restorations, with the strength benefits outweighing the minimal aesthetic difference.

by LAP Dental Lab

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Can Poor Oral Health Lead to Poor Brain Health, Dementia or Worse?

Are you aware of all the serious health risks that exist when you have poor oral health?

When you lack proper oral hygiene, you run the risk of suffering from tooth decay, gum disease, periodontitis and more.

If left untreated, these dental health complications can progress to more serious, life threatening conditions.

Did you know that you can also develop brain-related complications when you neglect your oral health care?

That’s right: studies found a link between poor oral health and poor brain health.

What that means for you?

Your oral health can affect your brain health. And this is perhaps one of the most dangerous outcomes that can result from bad dental hygiene.

Not sure if you have poor oral health?

Here are some examples of poor oral hygiene:

Bad brushing habits

Neglecting to floss

Grinding your teeth

Eating foods high in sugar

Smoking or chewing tobacco

And much more…

Teeth brushing tip: for good oral health, you should brush your teeth 2-3 times per day and floss daily.

our Teeth and Your Brain Are More Connected Than You Think

Did you know your teeth are directly connected to your brain?

In fact, there are multiple nerves in the oral cavity that attach to your brain. For instance, the trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve that connects to your teeth, gums, jaw and more.

As a result, an untreated tooth infection can quickly become a brain infection. This happens when the tooth infection spreads to the bloodstream, which carries bacteria straight to the brain.

At this point, the bacterial infection attacks neurons found in the brain, which puts you at risk of memory loss and other life altering complications.

In severe cases, a brain abscess can form. This a rare condition in which pus invades the brain.

Symptoms of a Brain Infection From Teeth:




Nausea and vomiting

Trouble remembering

Increased confusion

Reduced mobility

Vision changes

And more…


Special note: if you think you might be experiencing a brain infection from poor oral health, visit your trusted dentist right away.


Dementia And Poor Oral Health

The Most Common Brain Disease Caused By Poor Dental Hygiene

Dementia is a very common condition that causes memory loss. It is also one of the most common brain diseases caused by poor dental hygiene.

At times, the memory loss caused by dementia can be so extreme that it impacts daily functioning.

Though dementia usually occurs in old age, it can happen much sooner if there are oral health complications involved.

Read on to learn more about the link between neglected oral health and dementia.

How Poor Dental Health Causes Dementia:

Gum Disease And Dementia — Did you know you are more likely to develop dementia if you suffer from gum disease? In fact, studies found a connection between gum disease and cognitive decline as well as a direct link between periodontal disease and dementia. Some studies even suggest that gum disease can be a catalyst for Alzheimer’s. If you have the early stages of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, as your dentist how you can keep the disease under control.

Tooth Infection And Memory Loss — Did you know an untreated cavity can lead to dementia? A tooth infection can result in memory loss when the infection spreads to the brain. When your cavity reaches the tooth’s root, the infection threatens nerves and blood vessels, which directly connect to the brain. Stop the infection from spreading by maintaining proper oral hygiene and be sure to visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Tooth Loss And Dementia — Did you know a mouth full of teeth is less likely to develop dementia later on in life? Studies show that severe tooth loss and dementia are connected. While the reason for the connection remains unproven, there is certainly a link. If you have lost a lot of teeth over the years, you might be at a higher risk of getting this brain disease.

What You Can Do To Keep Your Teeth Healthy & Thriving

Protect Your Brain Health By Preventing Poor Dental Health

Do you want to minimize your risk of developing brain diseases like memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s?

You can prevent poor brain health by maintaining proper oral hygiene.

Here are the top three things you should do to keep your teeth healthy and thriving:

Brush your teeth 2-3 times per day

Floss your teeth at least once per day

Visit your family dentist regularly.

by AppleSprings Family Dentistry

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Myth Versus Fact: Differences in Oral Health Between Men and Women

For all the obvious differences between men and women, you might not think that oral health would be one of them. Or, at least, the differences wouldn’t be all that big. After all, anatomically speaking men and women are the same—both have teeth, gums, a tongue and jaws. But what this blog will demonstrate is: the many differences in oral heath, and how they can be quite different.

For example, some of the things this blog will explore are:

Whether it’s men or women who are better at looking after their oral health.

The effects of gum disease on pregnant women.

If men and women experience bad breath for the same medical reasons.

This blog will also explore which sex is affected more by sleep apnea (and for those who aren’t sure what sleep apnea is, we cover that too) and temporomandibular joint disorder (We also explain what that is for those who don’t know).

Myths and facts of the differences in oral health between the sexes

Whether the contrasts are rooted in biology, behavior or hobbies and activities: here’s some information to get you thinking about how you can take the best care of your mouth, and by extension your body. This blog is by no means exhaustive, but for those who are curious: keep reading to learn the differences in the oral health between men and women.

Myth: Men and women have different mouth structures, which affect their oral health

As we mentioned, there’s no anatomical difference between men and women’s mouths. They each have teeth, a tongue, gums and jaws. Both have baby (milk) teeth and then adult teeth, and both sexes are susceptible to gum disease as well as oral cancer.

Where the difference between the sexes actually lies

The difference lies in what’s going on in the rest of the body. Women, for example, undergo more hormonal changes through their lives than men. And it’s these hormonal changes which can negatively affect the health of their teeth if proper at-home care isn’t maintained, and care from a dentist isn’t given.

For example, 60-75% of all women experience gingivitis during pregnancy, which in turn can lead to gum disease and associated problems including temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)*.

Unfortunately, dental issues aren’t the only medical concerns that can be caused by sore, bleeding gums. Gum disease in pregnancy is also a risk factor for low-birth weight babies. This is why women should pay extra attention to their oral health routines during times of hormonal fluctuations (menstrual, pregnancy and menopause).

Men, on the other hand, are at a higher risk for oral and throat cancer, oral Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea**.

Fact: men and women’s preferred physical activities can impact their oral health

While individual hobbies and interests vary, regardless of sex, it’s a statistical fact that men—on average—play more contact sports than women. Contact sports leads to tooth injury as well as soft mouth tissue damage and other periodontal issues.

Any person engaging in contact sports or activities should discuss protective equipment such as custom-made mouth guards, with his or her dentist. A custom-made mouth guard from your dentist is far better for your oral health because, unlike an over-the-counter mouth guard, a custom-made mouth guard is fitted to your teeth and gums. Also, when you go for your regular checkup you can take your mouth guard to make sure it’s still in good condition to protect your teeth.

There is also some evidence to suggest that mouth guard may play a role in minimizing the effects of concussion. While they can obviously not prevent concussion all together, it’s believed that having a well-fitting mouth guard in place can support your jaws and reduce the result of an impact.

Myth: men are more proactive about their oral health than women.

A study in the American Journal of Periodontology showed that women are almost twice as likely to have visited the dentist in the past year as men. Women also have a better attitude towards the importance of dental care, and therefore are more committed to daily oral hygiene practices.

Men tend to visit the dentist only when there is an urgent matter at hand. Married men are actually more likely to visit the dentist compared to single men, in part because the women in their lives make their appointments for them.

It’s true! Especially Moms. When they make appointments for themselves or the kids, they often book a time for their husband to get one too.

Fact: women and men both experience bad breath, but for different reasons.

Bad breath can be a sign of poor dental care or an underlying medical issue, and it affects both men and women. However, the reasons between the two sexes can vary. Men, for instance, are on average more likely to be smokers, which affect breath freshness, and they are also more likely to be on medications used to treat heart and blood pressure issues.

As previously mentioned, women are more prone to gum disease, which is also a risk factor for halitosis (the medical term for bad breath).

Reasons you may have stinky breath that have nothing to do with your sex include having a sinus infection, tonsil stones or eating pungent foods such as garlic.

Learn the differences in oral health between men and women

When you know better, you do better. Because, as the saying goes, knowledge is power, and knowing the warning signs your body exhibits can help you stay healthy for longer. This is especially true when it comes to knowing the risk factors—behavioral and biological—that can affect your dental health. Don’t wait until you’re in pain or to suffer a serious injury: regular checkups to your dentist can help you maintain optimal oral health.

Prevention is better than a cure

Knowing that women are more susceptible to gum disease can help them to stay on top of their oral health, and make sure that if they see blood after brushing and flossing that they speak with their dentist.

Visiting the dentist regularly can prevents serious problems from occurring. And it can let your dentist help you identify warning signs if you aren’t doing everything at home that you could (or should) be doing.

To find out more information, or to request a consultation call us today. If you’re in the NW Calgary area, call or visit Dentrix Dental Care at 403-288-5500 for our Market Mall location; or 403-289-9908 for our North Hill location.


* A quick note on temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)

The temporomandibular joint connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint becomes damaged or otherwise injured it can lead to a disorder known as TMD. Causes of TMD include:

Injury to the jaw

Injury to the teeth

Misalignment of teeth

Misalignment of jaw

Teeth grinding

Poor posture



TMD is one of the most difficulty things to diagnose. Firstly, most people have never heard of it, and so struggle to associate earache, a headache, or neck and back pain with the health of their jaw.

Some of the signs and symptoms of TMD are:

Jaw joint pain

Ear pain/earache

Jaw clicking or popping

Popping sounds in ears

Stiff or sore jaw muscles

Locking of the jaw

The treatment for TMD depends on which signs and symptoms you are exhibiting. One treatment which has had quite a bit of success is Botox, as it provides relief by relaxing the muscles around the jaw joints.

If you are exhibiting any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please don’t hesitate to call your local dentists in Calgary for a checkup.

**A quick note on sleep apnea

Sleep apnea affects 3 in 10 men and 1 in 5 women, and occurs when air stops flowing to for lungs for more than 10 seconds. What happens when you stop breathing, even for 10 seconds, is your body wakes you to start the breathing again. You don’t consciously wake up but your brain kick starts your body into breathing again. This can happen between 50 to 100 times per hour. So, it’s no surprise that people with sleep apnea wake up tired and lethargic.

According to a study from 2014, people with sleep apnea are responsible for more car crashes than drunk drivers. Less concerning statistics include: people with sleep apnea find it difficult to concentrate and retain information.

by Dentrix Dental Care

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Foods To Avoid Following Periodontal Grafts

Periodontal grafts are one of the ways to deal with receding gums. Receding gums leave the tooth and the roots of the tooth exposed. This can lead to bacteria growth that eventually can cause gum disease. The graft covers the exposed tooth and root and helps prevent bacteria from growing.

Grafts take time to heal. It is important to give good care after a graft to insure healthy gums. That includes watching what you eat. There are foods that help the recovery from gum grafts and there are foods to avoid.


Diet Can Damage Gums

The foods you eat can damage the gums in different ways. Some food is abrasive to the gums. Some food sticks to the teeth and gums and is difficult to clean. Some food is acidic or high in sugars, which can promote bacterial growth that can damage the graft site. There are also foods that contain nutrients that can help with the recovery from gum grafts. Think about avoiding these foods.

Foods You Chew – For the first day after periodontal grafts, it is best to follow a liquid diet. Chewing food can damage the graft site.

Hard Foods – Hard foods such as pretzels and raw vegetables can cause abrasions around the graft site. It is better to stick with soft food to prevent this damage.

Sticky Foods – Candy, peanut butter and other foods can stick to the teeth and gums. They are difficult to clean and trying to remove them can cause trouble for the periodontal graft.

Sugary Foods – Bacteria live sugar and eating foods high and sugar will lead to more bacteria that can damage the graft.

Acidic Foods – Acidic foods can damage the graft site and may cause more swelling of the gums.

There is a long list of foods to avoid following periodontal grafts. It is easier to concentrate on eating foods that are good for the recovery. Foods high in vitamin A and Vitamin K can help with recovery.

Water is something that can wash away debris from the teeth and gums without causing any damage. If you are getting a periodontal graft, make sure to discuss your diet for after the surgery.

by Excellent Dental Specialists

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Finding a Bone Spur in Gum Tissue? Here’s What To Do

If you feel something sharp with your tongue or finger and you've recently had an oral procedure, it may be a bone spur in your gums. While the presence of a bone spur can be upsetting, does it require that you schedule a visit with your dental professional? We're here to walk you through what a bone spur is, what causes it, and when it requires treatment.

A Sharp Situation

Dental bone spurs (also known as bone spicules) are small bone pieces that become dislodged from the surrounding tissue but are still trapped in your gums.

After a tooth extraction or other dental procedure, this bone fragment may feel like a sharp bone sticking out of your gums or an uncomfortable object creating pressure. The piece of bone protruding out is part of your body's natural process of removing stray bone from the affected site.

Bone spurs in your gums may be associated with:

Dental procedures (including a bone spur after tooth extraction)

Traumatic injury

Decay, infection, or disease

Potential Complications

Understandably, the presence of an unfamiliar object in your gums would be alarming, but rest assured that your dental professional is well-equipped to help diagnose and treat this condition. The bone spur may erupt from your gums harmlessly on its own but may require treatment to prevent associated oral problems.

Complications associated with a bone spur in your gums may include:

Pain, discomfort, or irritation

Redness and swelling of your gums

Need for removal of the bone spur


Treatment Options

It can be easy to mistake a bone spur for a fragment of your tooth or other tissue dislodged during an oral procedure. Your best bet is to follow up with your dental professional for their expert insight and recommendation.

With a quick oral exam or radiographic imagine like an X-ray, they should be able to determine if your problem is indeed a bone spur and if it is problematic enough to require treatment. If it does, they will likely recommend extraction of the bone spur to reduce your discomfort and avoid infection. Otherwise, they may monitor the natural eruption of the unwanted material from your gums to ensure it doesn't contribute to other concerns.

To avoid worsening the problem, you should:

Avoid attempting to remove the bone spur on your own, as this could damage your gums or the surrounding tissue or lead to infection.

Continue to practice your normal oral care routine, brushing gently and being careful not to aggravate your sensitive gums affected areas.

Rinse with antiseptic mouthrinse to dislodge any food matter, maintain your gum health, and fight infection.

Consider the use of over-the-counter pain medications to reduce swelling and discomfort. Be sure to use them as instructed on the packaging.

Schedule regular visits with your dental professional at least every six months to stay on top of your oral health.

Keep in mind that even though bone spurs can cause stress, your dental professional is ready to provide treatment or reassurance. You've made a healthy decision to read up on this unique condition, what causes it, and what you can do while waiting for a dental appointment.


by Colgate

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Tooth Extraction Healing Time: What's Normal?

"It's like pulling teeth!" You've probably heard this common phrase when something was exceptionally challenging for someone to do. That's because, historically, pulling teeth has been viewed as a difficult and painful operation. But thanks to improvements in anesthetics, tools, and procedures, tooth extraction can be surprisingly – not that bad at all. But what should you expect from the healing process after your procedure? We'll break down what you need to know in the weeks following tooth removal to ensure you have a successful recovery you can smile about.

What is Tooth Extraction?

Tooth extraction is the removal of a tooth and can be performed for various reasons, like:

Damaged TeethIf you have a damaged or broken tooth that your dental professional deems is beyond repair, they will likely recommend its removal.

Tooth DecayLikewise, if your tooth has decayed to the point that it can no longer be treated with a filling, root canal, or crown, it may be best for your oral health to have it pulled.

Periodontal DiseaseWhen bacteria builds up and forms plaque underneath the gums, it can cause gum disease. Its severe form is called periodontal disease, and it can erode your gum tissue and bone. This can cause your teeth to loosen and potentially require their extraction.

Crowded TeethIf you have a smaller jaw that doesn't fit all of your teeth, if you have extra teeth, or if you have a tooth growing into or on top of the tooth next to it – your dental professional may extract a tooth to eliminate overcrowding.

Learn more about tooth extraction.

How Long Does Pain Last After Tooth Extraction?

You can expect some bleeding for up to 24 hours after your extraction, and you mustn't do anything to disturb the blood clot that forms in the socket where your tooth used to be.

For most people, the pain tends to decrease after the third day. After about a week to ten days, granulation tissue forms, which protects the extraction site until bone can form there. You'll likely have a follow-up appointment after two weeks for your dental professional to assess your healing and to ensure you're on your way to a successful recovery.

If you're having a wisdom tooth extracted, the healing time may take longer. It could last several weeks, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

The First 48 Hours After Tooth Extraction

The first two days after a tooth extraction is when the most aftercare and attention is needed. Here are some tips to make the most of this time:

Leave the gauze your dentist placed in your mouth for a few hours to allow the blood clot to form. Then you can change it as often as needed.

Rest for at least 24 hours after the extraction.

Raise your head slightly when lying down.

Avoid rinsing your mouth right away, as it can dislodge the clot that's forming, affecting your healing time.

Avoid drinking with a straw and spitting.

Avoid hot liquids and or alcohol.

If possible, avoid blowing your nose and sneezing.

Don't smoke or use any tobacco products for at least three days following the procedure.

Take pain relievers as prescribed. They can also reduce inflammation.

Reduce or minimize swelling with an ice pack on your cheek for 10-20 minutes at a time.

Day 3 And Beyond

Once your blood clot has formed, take these simple precautions to prevent other issues until your gum has healed completely:

Rinse your mouth with a saline rinse or warm salt water to kill bacteria.

Continue regular brushing and using water flossers or interdental brushes, but avoid cleaning the teeth next to the extracted tooth.

Eat soft, healthy foods and snacks that don't require a lot of chewing, like soups, yogurts, and similar foods. Avoid foods like nuts, hard candy, steak, and chewing on ice.

What Are Some Recovery Concerns?

If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should contact your dental professional:

If pain after your tooth extraction increases rather than decreases.

If gum swelling after your tooth extraction gets worse with time.

If your blood does not clot and your bleeding does not improve (a condition called dry socket).

If you experience a high fever, nausea, or vomiting.

If you have severe pain that spreads to the ear.

Or if you have drainage from the wound that tastes or smells foul.

Learn about dry socket prevention.

According to a study published in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, caries and periodontal disease were the most common causes of extraction in their study population. Thankfully these conditions are preventable by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Consider using other helpful products like an antimicrobial mouthrinse and tongue scrapers. And be sure to see your dental professional for regular appointments. By visiting your dental professional regularly, you are better positioned to catch adverse effects on your teeth early so you can prevent avoidable extractions.

Recovery time and healing differ for everyone, but now you should be better prepared for what you can expect after your procedure. Ask your dental professional if you have any questions – they're certain to give you the best aftercare advice for your specific needs. With an experienced dental professional and some good self-care after your procedure, the next time you hear "It's like pulling a tooth!" you may respond, "So it's not that bad?" In fact, it may just make you smile.

by Colgate

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What is herpes esophagitis?

The esophagus is a muscular tube that carries food and drink from your mouth to your stomach.

Herpes esophagitis is a viral infection of the esophagus. It’s caused by the herpes simplex virus. Type 1 and type 2 can both cause herpes esophagitis, although herpes type 1 is more common.

Still, herpes esophagitis isn’t very common in healthy people. People who have weakened immune systems, such as from autoimmune conditions, cancer, HIV, or AIDS, are at an increased risk.

Herpes esophagitis can cause:


damage to the esophagus

throat tissues

painful or difficult swallowing

chest pain

If you have the condition, your doctor will watch you very closely and check for other illnesses or health problems.


How herpes esophagitis is transmitted

There are two types of the herpes simplex virus.


Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the cause of most cases of herpes esophagitis.

It’s the same virus type that causes cold sores. It’s generally passed through mouth-to-mouth contact as well as through saliva containing the contagious agent.

You can develop a throat condition through close contact with someone who has mouth ulcers, cold sores, or eye infections.

If you’ve acquired HSV-1, it’s important that you wash your hands with soap and warm water to help prevent transmitting the virus to others. You should avoid contact with people who have an active outbreak.

If you know or suspect that you’ve acquired HSV-1, contact your doctor immediately and inform anyone whom you’ve had close contact with. HSV-1 can also be transmitted to the genitals during oral sex.


Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is another form of the virus. It’s often considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). HSV-2 is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact and causes genital herpes.

HSV-2 rarely causes herpes esophagitis, but engaging in oral sex with someone who has an active herpes HSV-2 outbreak could lead to some people developing herpes esophagitis.

If you’re having a herpes outbreak, make sure to practice safer sex by using a condom or other barrier method. And always inform your partner.

The key to preventing herpes from being transmitted is early detection and starting treatment immediately.

Risk factors

Most people with strong immune systems won’t develop herpes esophagitis, even after acquiring the herpes virus.

Your risk increases if you have:


leukemia or other cancers

an organ transplant


any illness that compromises your immune system

treatment of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

treatment with high-dose corticosteroids like prednisone

People who have alcohol use disorder or take long-term antibiotics are also at greater risk. Taking certain oral medications or using steroid inhalers can affect your esophageal lining, which increases your risk.


Symptoms of herpes esophagitis

Symptoms of herpes esophagitis involve the mouth and other areas of the body. The primary symptoms include open sores in the mouth and painful or difficult swallowing.

Swallowing may be painful due to the inflammation and ulceration of throat or esophageal tissues. The mouth sores are called herpes labialis.

Other signs of the condition may include:

joint pain



general malaise (not feeling well)



Diagnosing herpes esophagitis

Your doctor will ask you about your medical history. They may also look into your esophagus with a small, lighted camera called an endoscope.

Bacteria, fungi, and a range of other viruses can also cause esophagitis. Other conditions such as strep throat or hand, foot, and mouth disease may mimic the symptoms of herpes esophagitis.

Your doctor can use diagnostic tools to confirm that you have herpes esophagitis. These tests include:

throat and mouth swabs (viral culture or molecular tests)

urine molecular tests (genital herpes only)

These tests can help your doctor identify the source of the condition. Your doctor will know that you have herpes esophagitis if they find the herpes virus specifically.

Antibody tests are only useful to identify a previous infection, not a current one.

Treatment for herpes esophagitis

Medication can help treat esophagitis caused by the herpes virus. Over-the-counter pain relievers may help ease the pain. Your healthcare provider will also likely prescribe one of three antiviral drugs:

acyclovir (Zovirax)

famciclovir (Famvir)

valacyclovir (Valtrex)

If your pain is severe, you may need prescription pain medication. Your doctor might also prescribe the antiviral medication on a long-term basis to prevent you from developing recurring outbreaks.

by Healthline

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Mouth Lesions: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Mouth lesions are very common. They can be caused by viruses, fungi, bacterial infections, dentures that don't fit correctly, sharp tooth edges, or a loose orthodontic wire. Read on to learn about the common conditions that can cause mouth lesions along with their symptoms and treatment options.

4 Types of Mouth Lesions

Canker Sores

Canker sores can emerge in multiple areas of the mouth, including the tongue, inside the cheeks, gumline, and lips. While medical professionals aren't exactly sure what causes them, the consensus is that the immune system is related. Acidic foods, a mouth injury, hormonal changes, and emotional stress are believed to trigger canker sores.

Signs and Symptoms: Canker sores look shallow and round. They last approximately seven to 10 days and then go away on their own.

Treatment: There's no way to prevent or make canker sores disappear. You can reduce the pain, though, by rinsing with warm water, avoiding spicy or acidic foods, and relieving pain with over-the-counter pain relievers.

Cold Sores

Also known as a fever blister, the herpes simplex virus causes these sores. The virus is transmitted via saliva or skin contact. The sores appear as bunches of tiny blisters on the lips. The virus typically remains dormant when a person is initially infected. Sores can emerge due to various reasons, such as a cold or fever, emotional stress, overexposure to the sun, or even dental treatment.

Signs and Symptoms: The initial clinical symptoms of herpes simplex virus include nausea, vomiting, headaches, a sore throat, fever, and blisters—vesicular lesions—on the gum tissue and oral cavity. These symptoms typically occur about a week after exposure, and then it will be inactive until stress or a change in the immune system causes sores to reappear.

Treatment: Unfortunately, there is no cure for the virus that causes cold sores. Treatment options to speed up healing include the medicines Valtrex, Zovirax, and Famvir.

Oral Thrush

Thrush occurs when the Candida albicans fungus collects in the mouth. The painful lesions might bleed on contact. Some medications may cause thrush as a side-effect, but it also occurs in babies, people with compromised immune systems, people who wear dentures or use inhalers with corticosteroids.

Signs and Symptoms: The signs of thrush are red and inflamed lesions or white lesions on the tongue, cheeks, gums, or tonsils. They can be painful and bleed on contact. Other symptoms include loss of taste and dry mouth.

Treatment: Treatments can range from antifungal medication, diet changes, improved oral hygiene, and saltwater rinses.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease (HFMD)

Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is caused by a virus, like cold sores. This virus is common in young children under five and typically not very serious. However, it is very contagious. The CDC advises parents to sanitize surfaces and wash the child's hands and yours often.

Signs and Symptoms: Symptoms include painful red lesions on the inner cheeks and tongue, a red rash on the hands and feet, fever, sore throat, and general malaise. Symptoms emerge three to six days after contraction.

Treatment: The virus usually runs its course in seven to 10 days. A topical oral anesthetic can help with mouth sore pain, while pain medications like acetaminophen can relieve some symptoms like pain and fever.

Prevent the Spread

To avoid spreading the viruses that cause mouth sores, don't kiss anyone or share utensils or drinking glasses when the lesions or blisters are present. Maintaining good oral health is a good start when it comes to preventing oral infections from forming. Brush and clean between your teeth with floss, flossers, or interdental toothbrushes at least twice each day to prevent plaque, gingivitis, tartar build-up, cavities, and bad breath. And remember to schedule regular checkups with your dental professionals.

by Colgate

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8 Common Dental Problems and How to Prevent Them

Cavities/Tooth Decay

Cavities are permanently damaged areas in or around the surface of your tooth that results to tiny holes. This one of the most common dental problems and can happen even to infants. They are caused by plaque from food high in sugar or starch content settling on the surface of the teeth. Bacteria inside your mouth feeds on sugar and starch thus leading to the protective coat of your teeth (enamel) to slowly deteriorate. This then leads to tooth decay which will most likely need fillings. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) about 60-90% of kids worldwide have cavities. You might think that’s normal because they’re kids and they’re crazy for cavity-causing candies. Based on World Health Organization’s statistics, almost 100% of adults worldwide have dental cavities. Why is that? Because of our diet! Cavities or tooth decay are caused by what you consume. Though they might also be caused by bacteria living in your mouth, consumption of sugary drinks such as sodas, frequent snacking and smoking are main causes of cavities among adults. For children, they get cavities because of the sugar they consume and also because they do not have the proper discipline to follow proper oral hygiene. But, how do you know if you have cavities? There are some symptoms that should urge you to pay your doctor a visit.

Tooth ache


Sudden pain when eating or drinking something cold or sweet

Visible holes on the surface of your teeth

Tooth stains

Pain when biting

 Once you get these symptoms, set an appointment to see your dentist. Actually, for sure once you get the constant toothache or the sudden piercing pain when you eat, you’d visit your dentist without being told to. How do you prevent cavities?

Avoid food with high sugar or starch content – food and drinks like soda, ice cream, cakes, candy cookies, etc. are very high in both starch and sugar.

Make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly – if you do consume these foods, brush your teeth after eating to prevent plaque buildup.

Rinse your mouth – if you can’t brush right then and there, rinse your mouth with clean water.

Drink more water – if you can stay away from other beverages that isn’t water, do so. Manufactured drinks have chemicals and loads of sugar that causes plaque.

Visit your dentist regularly – ask for tooth sealant options or fluoride gels


Gum Disease

Gum disease is one of the most common dental diseases adults get. It has three developing stages starting from gingivitis. Gingivitis is a gum disease that is reversible but, if not treated accordingly, may lead to a more serious problem call periodontal disease. Periodontal disease must be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will lead to stage three of gum disease also known as advanced periodontal disease which causes teeth to fall loose. Some would think gum disease isn’t serious. But, the numbers don’t lie. World Help Organization (WHO) said 15-25% of adults from around the world aged 35-44 years old have severe periodontal disease. This means they would lose majority of their teeth by the time they reach 50. What are the symptoms of gum disease? Sometimes we grow accustomed to the condition of our oral health that we don’t realize we’re already showing signs of gum disease. For instance, there would come a time that we’re used to the smell of our own breath that we don’t know we’ve had bad breath for quite a while already. That’s already a sign of gingivitis. Here are the other symptoms of gum disease:

Bleeding gums – do your gums bleed when you floss or brush? That’s not supposed to always happen. This is an early sign of your gums weakening.

Bad breath – if you notice the bad breath despite maintaining a rigorous oral hygiene routine, consider gingivitis.

Swollen, red or tender gums – healthy gums are supposed to possess a pink color and tight around the base of your teeth. If you see swelling, redness or tenderness around the base where your teeth meets your gums, see a dentist right away.

Loose Teeth – loose teeth might be signs of severe periodontal disease already. Don’t take it lightly. Get it treated as soon as possible to lessen the risk of needing replacement.

Pus development – if you start noticing pus around the base of your teeth, this is a sign of a more serious infection that could easily spread to other parts of your mouth. Have it treated right away and your dentist might prescribe antibiotics.

 Much like every other common dental problems, you can prevent gum disease. Since gum disease is also caused by bacteria found in plaque that attacks the ligament of your gums, it can easily be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene habits. We can’t stress enough how brushing your teeth at least three times a day makes a difference. It’s not just a proverbial advice given to you when you were a kid. It helps makes a whole lot of difference when you’re older. Paying your dentist a visit every other month or so for general cleaning would also be a wise move and would severely contribute to keeping up your oral health to its prime level. Using a tartar-control toothpaste will also help keep tartar and plaque at bay. 

Bad Breath

 Nothing is more embarrassing than bad breath. Sadly, bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common oral problem across all ages. But, as much as we might think this is common, it’s usually a sign of other dental problems. Studies show about 85% of people with bad breath are suffering some other dental problem that is to blame. Bad breath is common symptom of gum disease, cavities or oral cancer. But, don’t fret! Just because you have bad breath does not automatically mean that you have a serious dental problem. It could be cause by what you’ve been eating. There are certain foods that causes bad breath such as garlic, onions, sweets or liquor among many others. Some spices also causes an odor in your breath. For instance, you’ve been eating meals with lots of garlic. The strong garlic smell will eventually stick to the surfaces inside your mouth and cannot be easily removed with one or two brushes. Same is to be said for cumin. This is why brushing after every meal helps control bad breath as well as other oral problems. Bring a small bottle of mouthwash with you as well if you can’t brush right after. Or at least gargle with fresh water after you eat. If the odor persists, visit your dentist just so other serious oral conditions can be ruled out. 

Dry Mouth

 Sometimes called xerostomia, dry mouth is simply what it’s called. This is a condition where saliva glands are not able to produce enough saliva to keep the inside of the mouth moist. Saliva has antibacterial components that helps keep plaque off of teeth surface. It is caused by several things such as smoking, prescription medication, aging or stress. People who are on medication or chemotherapy are at very high risk of dry mouth. Same goes for the older population. The absence of moisture in the mouth contributes to more plaque buildup, cavities and eventually, tooth decay. Common symptoms of dry mouth could be as simple as chapped lips, mouth sores and bad breath but, more serious symptoms can manifest such as gum irritation and a burning feeling in the mouth. Though there is no absolute cure for dry mouth, drinking more water is proven to help keep the mouth hydrated.

Tooth Crowding

Tooth crowding isn’t only an aesthetic dental problem. It can cause alignment issues that eventually can cause temporomandibular jaw disorder or TMJ. Misaligned bites can cause jaw problems that might need surgery to fix. Fixing tooth crowding would be the best way – though lengthy procedure – prevent jaw disorders and misaligned bites. This naturally for many. When baby teeth falls out and new teeth comes out in a peculiar position, crowding may ensue. Teeth also shift without the person knowing so it may eventually result to getting them realigned. Braces are the go-to treatment for teeth crowding with severe realignment needed. Depending on the crowding, orthodontists might even suggest extraction to make room for teeth to shift. If it doesn’t require extensive realignment, one might opt for clear aligners called Invisalign. It requires more discipline since they need to be taken out when eating, cleaned before putting them back on and replaced every fortnight. But, for those who don’t want the aesthetic disadvantage of mental braces, this would be the way to go. Visit an orthodontist to see if you have teeth crowding. 

Root Infection

 If you’ve heard of or tried a root canal treatment, then you know a root infection is a serious problem. It’s painful and very uncomfortable. A root infection occurs when bacteria infects the root part of your tooth. It enters the center of your tooth and attacks the pulp tissue inside. You will experience what you might rule off as a generic toothache. Eventually, an abscess will form indicating that the root infection has developed to a more severe case. If you do not see any abscess but have persisting pain, visit your local dentist. Possibly, a root canal procedure might be advised and though many people think it is a painful process, it’s actually not. Dentists give their patients anesthesia and one would hardly feel any pain. You would feel the movement and pressure of the tools but there won’t be any pain until the anesthesia wears off. The healing part is where the pain comes in along with a bit of swelling that an ice pack can’t alleviate. During a root canal procedure, the dental surgeon or endodontist drills a hole through the middle of your tooth. He then takes a file to grind away the damaged surface and provide access to the root. Once the opening has been made, a special suction tool is used to suck out all the pus and infected tissue. It is then sealed with a gutta percha which is a hardening material that will keep bacteria from entering the root again as well as strengthen the tooth. 

Tooth Loss

Many of the common dental problems we’ve already discussed can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease eventually leads to this if not treated immediately. Tooth decay can also lead to an extraction if the tooth can no longer be saved. Same goes for root infections. Consequently, when this happens you only have two options: dentures or dental implants. Of course, as we age, our teeth also weaken from all the years of chewing, biting and grinding. Even if you don’t have any serious dental problems, you are still at a risk of tooth loss because it does come with age. WHO’s (World Help Organization) study shows that 30% of people in the world who are between the ages of 65-74 have no natural teeth. That’s the reason why seniors need dentures. Harsh truth but that’s the cycle of life. It’s not something to dread though. Because of dental technology and techniques innovations, it’s now possible to permanently restore teeth with dental implants. Dental implants are permanently lodged into your jaw, making them durable, strong and long-lasting. They look and feel like natural teeth and restores function completely. The procedure is done over several sessions as to give the patient to heal but has been the choice of many older patients. Of course, dentures are still an option for those who want a more affordable and quicker solution. There are partial and full dentures one can get depending on the severity of tooth loss. Go over the options with your dentists. If you’re in the Carolinas, particularly in the Charlotte area, visit the best dentists in Charlotte, NC. 

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is the deadliest dental problem one can encounter. A study done by the Oral Cancer Foundation shows the drastic numbers of oral cancer. Oral cancer is considered to be a head and neck cancer. Of all the head and neck cancer cases in the United States, 85% of that is oral cancer. In the US alone, approximately 54,000 diagnosed cases have been reported resulting to 13,500 deaths per year. The numbers alone is enough to emphasize the seriousness of this dental problem. Oral cancer death rates are higher than other kinds of cancer because it doesn’t present any pain or primary symptoms. It starts with a small pinkish growth in the mouth. It’s unlikely to be noticed since our mouths don’t innately have smooth surfaces and are naturally pink or reddish in color. Which is why a visit to your dentist will help.Dentists know what to look out for on regular checkups and would be able to recommend further testing if needed.Oral cancer is commonly caused by smoking and drinking. Smokers – heavy or light – need to undergo regular dental checkups and cleaning to decrease the chance of getting oral cancer.  Same goes for those who like to indulge in alcoholic drinks.

Common Prevention

All of these common dental problems can be prevented and kept at bay with very simple day-to-day oral hygiene measures. Brushing in the morning and before bed alone won’t be enough to make sure your oral health is on tip top shape. Much like everything else, you have to spend some money on your dental needs. Pay your dentist a visit regularly. Get your teeth checked and cleaned on a regular basis as well. These might be simple steps but you lessen the chances of you getting dental problems that can lead to something worse. Aside from these, limit your intake of foods that will contribute to the buildup of plaque on your teeth like the following:

Sweets – hard or soft candies, caramel, chocolate, cookies, etc.

Carbonated drinks – they’re very high in sugar which bacteria feeds off of

Snacks – most store-bought snacks have loads of sugar, sodium and other preservatives that are harmful to your teeth enamel

 If you’ve been smoking for a while now, you might want to start decreasing your nicotine intake. Smoking leads not only to teeth stains but can lead to oral, throat and lung cancer as well. If you don’t smoke, keep it that way. For those who are heavy drinkers by habit, drink more in moderation. Alcohol also contributes to many dental problems especially if you don’t have a habit of brushing after. Develop and religiously practice a healthy dental habit as well. Expand to more than just brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed. Include flossing every other day and gargling with mouthwash after you brush to help get rid of bacteria. And, as basic as this sound, drink more water. Water helps keep your mouth hydrated and clean. Also, use a toothpaste brand that’s high in fluoride. That will help strengthen the enamel around your teeth!

by Friendly Dental Group

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Do I Need to Have My Fillings Replaced?

It’s hard to imagine a world without dental fillings. With estimates suggesting that 92% of American adults between ages 20-64 have dental caries, tooth fillings have become a modern-day necessity for preventing tooth loss. 

However, like all dental treatments, fillings don’t last forever. Chewing and grinding wears down fillings over time. In some cases, tooth decay can occur underneath the filling. From the staff at Trusty Dental, here’s a breakdown of when you may need to replace your fillings.

Signs that you may benefit from replacing your fillings 

The lifespan of your fillings depends on your eating and chewing habits, as well as the type of tooth restoration. 

Amalgam or silver fillings tend to last longer, but they’re less aesthetically pleasing and are only used on the back teeth. You can expect your amalgam fillings to last between 5 and 25 years and your composite fillings to last between 5 and 15 years.

In the early phases of filling failure, there are no symptoms. Your best bet is to get regular dental check-ups. Dental decay can occur beneath the filling, and this type of decay is only visible on an x-ray. Aside from ordering an x-ray to check the state of an older filling, our staff at Trusty Dental may also look for spots and irregularities in the filling. 

With older fillings, you may notice pressure or pain when eating and sensitivity to hot or cold foods. You may even notice small pieces of the filling in your mouth, which is a sign that the filling needs to be replaced immediately.

Tooth-colored fillings can get stained. So if you see your tooth-colored fillings darkening, it doesn’t necessarily mean the fillings are damaged. However, you can have the filling replaced if the darkened filling presents cosmetic concerns.

Other reasons to remove old fillings 

Patients who have amalgam fillings or silver fillings sometimes opt to have them replaced with composite fillings due to the following reasons:

The mercury in amalgam fillings contracts and expands when exposed to temperature changes, causing long-term damage to the tooth.

Silver fillings are noticeable, whereas composite fillings are tooth-colored. 

Allergic reactions can occur due to the materials used in the fillings.

According to the American Dental Association, dental amalgams are a safe option for dental restorations. The amount of mercury that leaks during the placement and the removal of the fillings is too small to cause any issues. 

However, if you experience any adverse effects, you can opt to have your amalgam fillings removed.

by Trusty Dental

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