My BEST Dentists Journal


How To Keep Dental Implants Clean

Dental implants are not susceptible to the decay that afflicts natural teeth, but still require adequate cleaning to remove plaque that can stick to them and infect the surrounding tissue. Periodontal disease can destabilize the jawbone, and consequently the implant.

Cleaning single dental implants

Although a dental hygienist can clean the implant's abutment and the crown, the patient must also perform daily maintenance. Signs of improper home care include:


Red and swollen gums

Pain when chewing

Bad breath

Bad taste in the mouth

Taking a small amount of extra care when cleaning a single dental implant can shield surrounding teeth from bacteria and increase its longevity.


Brushing twice per day is necessary for patients with and without implants. Patients with dental implants must gently brush the crown, using a soft nylon brush to avoid scratching its surface. Oral bacteria can migrate into the jaw through scratches on the crown.

Using mild toothpaste

Unlike natural teeth, implant crowns have an acrylic surface that abrasive substances such as baking soda can wear away. Worn surfaces create access points for bacteria that can infect the jaw and the tissue around the implant. Brushing with a mild toothpaste eliminates this concern.

Water flossing

Water flossers have parts that can direct water flow deep inside the space between the crown and the gums where bacteria accumulate. A pulsating hydraulic force of room temperature water washes away plaque and debris and is gentle enough to apply every day.

Alternative flossing

Soft interdental brushes can achieve the same level of cleaning that water flossing provides. Standard string floss is inadvisable for use near dental implants because it can shred and enter the gum tissue causing infection. Specially designed floss consisting of shred-resistant stiff ends and a pliable middle can safely clean the area where the crown's edge meets the gumline.

Gum stimulating

Patients can gently massage the gums with stimulators to send nutrient-rich blood to the implant region. A gum stimulator is also an excellent cleaning device consisting of a long metal or plastic arm supporting a small triangular-shaped rubber or silicone tip that reaches beyond the gumline near the implant crown to scrape away plaque. It can enter the tight space between the crown and other teeth to loosen trapped debris.

Cleaning implants that support bridges and dentures

Whether a patient has a single implant or multiple implants, the cleaning methods are the same, with some variation. Additional tools in a home care arsenal can benefit patients with implant-supported bridges and dentures.

Interdental brushing

Patients can use small, narrow brushes with soft bristles to clean implant-supported bridges or dentures near the gumline where standard toothbrushes cannot easily reach. Subtle changes in design depend on which part of the mouth is cleaned.

Mouth rinsing

A mouth rinse can penetrate spaces that other home care tools can not reach. Antibacterial rinses can dislodge debris while killing germs that can cause periodontitis.

by Long Grove Dental

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Gum Infection: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Just about every area of your body is susceptible to infection, including your mouth. And if you have an infection, it’s important to get medical care promptly. In the case of your mouth, infected gums can not only be very painful, they can also be a sign of a more serious condition such as advanced gum disease, otherwise known as periodontitis.

Gum Disease Characteristics

Gingivitis is a mild form of gum (periodontal) disease. If left untreated, it can very quickly develop into an advanced form of periodontal disease, known as periodontitis which can lead to tooth loss.

Periodontal disease affects the area of your mouth just below the gum line, in the v-shaped crevice between your tooth and gums, known as the sulcus. This impacts the attachment of your tooth and causes the nearby tissue to break down. Once the tissue is damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket that can trap bacteria and lead to gum infections. Since gums provide fundamental support for our teeth, it’s vital to keep them in good health.

Gum Infection Symptoms

Although serious gum infections aren’t extremely common, they can lead to major issues if not treated in a timely manner. While most of us want to keep our teeth and gums healthy, they can be prone to gum infections if not cared for properly. Identifying the risk factors and warning signs that can lead to infected gums is an important way to help prevent further gum disease and all the side effects that come with it.

Signs of infected gums include:

Gums that are swollen, tender or bleeding

Receding gums

Pus coming from the gums

Chronic bad breath

Loose teeth

A noticeable change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, visit your dental professional right away for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Periodontal Disease Diagnosis

To check whether periodontal disease is affecting the health of your smile, your dental professional may carry out a series of tests. These include questions about risk factors and oral health. In addition, the depth of the gingival pockets is measured, the occurrence of gum bleeding is determined, and the mobility of the teeth is examined. Panoramic x-rays show whether there is bone loss. If this is the case, then it is measured to what extent.

When it comes to gum disease, good oral hygiene is of paramount importance. No treatment, including dental procedures and antibiotics, will bring long-term results if the patient does not implement an oral care routine of twice daily brushing and flossing at least once a day.

Gum Infection Treatments

As soon as you notice a gum infection, you should consult with a dental professional. Once gum disease is diagnosed, you will have numerous treatment options that will vary based on the severity of the infection. Here are some common methods to treat gum infections:

Antibiotic Therapy: Just as you’d expect with any type of bacterial infection, antibiotics are often used to treat gum infections. Your dentist may elect to use an antibiotic pill or injection directly into the gum infection site.

Root Planing and Scaling Treatment: This advanced gum disease therapy cleans deeply between your teeth—all the way to the roots.

Gingivectomy: A gingivectomy is a form of periodontal disease surgery that involves the removal of gum tissue.

Flap Surgery: If your gum disease is severe, flap surgery may be necessary involving bone or tissue grafts.

How to Prevent Gum Infections

Maintaining healthy gums and avoiding gum disease can be easy if you make good oral hygiene a priority every day. By brushing and flossing daily, you can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease and inflammation, in addition to tooth decay and other oral health problems. Poor oral hygiene is your worst enemy, so start a diligent routine and stick to it, and your smile will benefit from these healthy habits.

Brush twice a day

Brush your teeth with a stannous fluoride toothpaste such as any of the Crest Gum Detoxify toothpastes twice a day for 2 minutes each session. These anti-gingivitis toothpastes gently neutralize the bacteria trapped around the gum line leading to clinically proven healthier gums.

Floss your teeth daily

Use a product like Oral-B Glide Deep Clean floss or Oral-B Glide Scope Outlast floss picks to clean between each and every tooth to remove food particles that cause plaque and tartar buildup, and can eventually lead to gum disease. To further wash away any leftover plaque and food debris, consider adding an oral irrigator like the Oral-B Water Flosser Advanced to your routine. Its unique Oxyjet Technology uses water enriched with microbubbles of air to help eliminate plaque bacteria for healthier gums.

Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash

You may also want to use a mouthwash that kills the bacteria that causes plaque. There are a variety available and some have more than one benefit, like whitening and fighting bad breath, for a healthier mouth all around.

Visit a dental professional at least twice a year for a professional cleaning

This will remove tartar buildup that you can’t take care of at home. Tartar buildup can lead to more plaque buildup on and around the tartar in hard to clean areas which can wreak havoc on your smile.

Since prevention is the best way to avoid gum infection, it’s important to make caring for your teeth and gums a top priority. Maintain good oral hygiene by following these important guidelines to keep your teeth and gums healthy and help prevent gum infection.

by Crest

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Causes of a sore on the side of the tongue

A sore on the side of the tongue can develop for various reasons, including canker sores, cold sores, or a minor injury. Less commonly, a sore on the tongue may be a sign of cancer.

In some cases, severe, recurring, or persistent mouth sores can be a symptom of an underlying condition.


This article discusses possible symptoms of sores on the side of the tongue. It also looks at the common causes, treatments, and remedies for tongue sores, as well as when to speak to a doctor.

Signs and symptoms

Sores on the side of the tongue can look and feel different depending on what is causing them. They may be:

small and red

larger, with a white or gray center and red edges

open and bleeding

Sores on the side of the tongue can also occur alongside other symptoms, such as swelling or difficulty chewing or swallowing.

Minor conditions are responsible for most mouth sores, but sores on the side of the tongue can be a sign of an underlying condition that may require medical attention.

Canker sores

Canker sores, or mouth ulcers, are small harmless sores that can appear on the tongue. The symptoms of canker sores include:

small sores that begin as a red bump and then develop a white or gray center with flat red edges

pain and soreness

symptoms that worsen when a person eats salty, spicy, or acidic foods

Canker sores tend to heal on their own in 7–10 days. They are not contagious.

Doctors do not know exactly what causes canker sores, but the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) note that the following factors can trigger them:

minor injuries, such as biting the tongue, rubbing from braces or dentures, and food burns while eating

food intolerances or allergies

stress or tiredness

an iron or vitamin B12 deficiency

certain medications, such as beta-blockers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

stopping smoking

Hormonal changes, such as those that take place during pregnancy, and genetics can also make canker sores more likely for some people. Those with chronic conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) and celiac disease, may also experience them.


There is no permanent cure for canker sores. Often, they heal on their own without medical treatment. However, there are ways to relieve the symptoms.

People can obtain over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), from a pharmacist. There are also topical products for canker sores that people apply inside the mouth to numb the pain.

Frequent canker sores may indicate an underlying condition, such as a vitamin deficiency, which may require medical attention.

Cold sores

Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that occur due to an infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). They typically appear around the mouth but sometimes develop on the tongue.

The symptoms of cold sores include:

a tingling or burning sensation before the cold sore develops

painful, fluid-filled blisters that rupture, leak fluid, and then scab over

sores that heal and then reappear, sometimes in response to stress or an illness

Some people also experience fever during cold sore flare-ups.

Cold sores take about 1 week to heal fully. During that time, they are contagious because the fluid inside them contains HSV. For this reason, it is important to avoid picking the sores and take steps to prevent HSV from transmitting others.


There is no cure for cold sores, but for most people, neither the sores nor the virus causes serious problems. During cold sore flare-ups, people can use OTC pain medications to ease pain and swelling.

People with severe cold sores or a compromised immune system can obtain antiviral medication from a doctor. These medications shorten the duration of cold sores, but they do not entirely prevent them.

Oral lichen planus

Lichen planus is a chronic autoimmune condition that can affect the skin and the inside of the mouth. Oral lichen planus often only occurs inside the mouth, most often on the inside of the cheeks and the sides of the tongue.

The symptoms of lichen planus include:

painful ulcers

white or lace-like patches that itch

inflamed and peeling gums

raised red or purple areas on the body, which doctors call plaques

yellowish-brown plaques on the palms and soles

Several factors can contribute to lichen planus, including genetics, an injury inside the mouth, viral infections such as hepatitis C, and emotional or physical stress. The condition can clear within a few years, but for oral lichen planus, it often takes longer.


Doctors can prescribe steroid medications to relieve the symptoms of lichen planus. Alternatively, they may recommend other medications and ointments.

Severe cases may require a combination of medications and different therapies, such as UV light therapy.

by Medical News Today

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Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

Gums that bleed while flossing can be due to a number of issues; however, if it is a common occurrence, it may likely be a sign of periodontal (gum) disease. To be sure, bleeding gums while flossing and performing daily oral hygiene routines could be caused by factors other than gum disease. These include a vitamin deficiency, a reaction to certain medications, ill-fitting dentures, or even the fact that you may have just started flossing and your gums simply aren’t acclimated to the process just yet. But gum disease is an extremely common indicator, even among individuals who take the best possible care of their oral health. 

Gum disease is caused by a collection of bacteria in the soft tissues of the mouth that develops into a sticky film called plaque. If the plaque is not removed by ordinary brushing and flossing, it can transition into a harder substance known as tartar or “calculus,” which can lead to gum recession, the separation of the gum tissue from the teeth, and other symptoms. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and often leads to symptoms such as gums that are swollen, inflamed, or that bleed while brushing or flossing. 

It can be frustrating to experience bleeding gums when you feel like you do everything possible to maintain a healthy mouth, but here’s something to keep in mind: good brushing and flossing routines can remove a fair amount of plaque, but plaque and tartar can reside in areas that may not be reachable on your own.

That’s why routine visits to the dentist for exams and professional cleanings (which are typically recommended as a twice-yearly procedure for most individuals) are so important. Dental cleanings can get to plaque and bacteria in deeper, more hidden areas, making these treatments a powerful weapon in the battle against periodontal disease. 

In some cases, gum disease is present so deeply within the gums that more extensive treatment is necessary to remove the bacteria and restore gum health. The most important thing is to keep brushing and flossing daily, attend your routine dental appointments as recommended, and come in for a dental exam as soon as you notice there might be a problem. 

Remember, untreated gum disease can progress into more serious (and dangerous) stages of the condition, and even lead to general health risks linked to oral health conditions. 

by Smile For Life Dental

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Exostosis Mouth: A Complicated Term For Benign Bony Growths

If you're experiencing abnormal bone growth in your mouth, you have what's called an exostosis. The term sounds a little frightening, but don't worry – in most cases, these growths aren't a cause for any concern at all. There are rare circumstances when exostoses have interfered with oral function or denture placement and have required surgery, but that is not the norm. Most often, by practicing good oral hygiene, your mouth can be as healthy as if you had no exostoses at all. But make no bones about it, we'll give you all the info you need on the types, causes, and potential issues with exostoses to ensure your oral health keeps you smiling.

What Are the Types and Causes of Exostoses in the Mouth?

The type of exostosis you have depends on its location in your mouth. The most commonly occurring bone growths are found in the mouth's roof (torus palatinus) and beneath the tongue (torus mandibularus). Buccal exostoses are hard bony protrusions on the outside of your gums and are less common. Torus palatinus is often a singular growth, whereas torus mandibularus and buccal exostoses tend to be bilateral, meaning they happen on both sides of the mouth.

There is no known cause (etiology) of bone growing out of gums, the mouth's roof, or under the tongue. According to an article published in the Journal of International Oral Health, some causes could include genetic factors, environmental factors, excessive chewing (masticatory hyperfunction), teeth grinding (bruxism), and continued jawbone growth. Growths usually appear in the late teens or early adulthood and tend to increase in size over time. It's common for people to have exostoses in their mouths for years before they even notice they are there.

How Your Dental Professional Will Diagnose an Exostosis

Most often, your dental professional will diagnose you with an exostosis during a regular checkup. If they notice thickened or protruding bone during their structural assessment, they will likely take a photo or measure the structure to document any growth that occurs over time.

Health Concerns for Exostoses in your Mouth

Exostoses are considered a variation of normal, and most often, they pose no health concern at all. Occasionally they can develop some adverse effects, especially if they become large enough that they interfere with the functioning of your mouth. For instance, a torus mandibularus can make it difficult to speak properly if it grows to a certain size. Another potential issue is that the tissue covering bone growths is very thin and could get scratched or injured from sharp food resulting in ulcer formation. Also, if you have missing teeth and are considering dentures, all types of exostosis can potentially interfere with the placement of your artificial teeth. Some people may want a growth removed due to aesthetic concerns.

Treatment for Exostosis in your Mouth

If your exostosis is one of the rare growths in which treatment is recommended, it can be removed in a dental professional's office – usually by an oral surgeon. Using local anesthesia (numbing the specific area around a surgical operation), the surgeon will make an incision and lift the soft tissue away to expose the overgrowth. The surgeon will then trim the bone using a high-speed dental tool (or with new developments in technology, possibly a dental laser, according to Dentistry Today). They will then suture the tissue back in place.

How to Practice Good Oral Hygiene With an Exostosis

As always, practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day. Floss or clean between your teeth with interdental brushes or water flossers at least once a day, and use antimicrobial mouthrinses and tongue scrapers. Be sure to see your dental professional for regular cleanings – not only to keep your teeth pearly white and bacteria-free but also to have them check on the health and size of any hard bony lumps on your gums. Be diligent in checking for and removing any food particles that may get stuck between your growth and your gums, and ask your dentist if they have any specific recommendations for your needs.

While your exostosis may have seemed at first like a cause for alarm, hopefully, you now know that they tend to be completely harmless. If you're unsure whether or not growth under the tissue in your mouth is bone, then it's worth having a professional take a look right away to ensure it's not something more problematic. But chances are, with an excellent oral hygiene routine and regular checkups, you're going to be all smiles.

Issues and Treatment for Exostosis Mouth

Although these growths are benign, occasionally they can cause problems, especially if they become large enough to interfere with functions of the mouth. TM, if very large, can inhibit proper speaking, and all types of exostosis can interfere with denture placement. Additionally, the mucosa covering them is very thin and prone to scratches and injuries from sharp food, sometimes resulting in ulcer formation from the trauma.

In the rare instance where treatment is recommended, the exostosis can be removed in a dental specialist's office, usually by an oral surgeon. Under local anesthesia, the surgeon will make an incision and lift the soft tissue away to expose the overgrowth of bone. Typically, the bone is trimmed using a high speed dental hand piece, and the tissue is sutured back in place. Advances in dental lasers and their ability to penetrate hard tissues have shown promise for a more efficient and less invasive option, reports Dentistry Today.

Exostosis mouth is very rarely a concern for the dentist or patient. Treatment is only necessary when the nodules interfere with the normal functions of the mouth or become an aesthetic concern for the patient. Do you have bony bumps in your mouth? To keep the rest of your mouth healthy, brush twice daily with a toothpaste that repairs early teeth and gum damage. Also schedule regular dental visits. Your dentist and dental hygienist can detect oral problems early and suggest the best treatments for you.

by Colgate

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Lip Biting: Why It's Bad And How To Stop

There are a lot of different reasons people bite their lips. It's happened to everyone at least once, when they least expect it (ruining a perfectly good bite of food!). For some people, though, it seems to happen all the time, accidentally, while they're talking or eating. Others do it in their sleep. And for some lip biters, it's a habit, induced by stress or because their lips are dry and flaky. The first step to solving your lip biting problem is finding out which of these categories you fall into, and then find a plan of action for saving your lips!

The Accidental Lip Biter

If you're an accidental lip biter, but it seems to happen to you all the time, you probably need to chat with your dentist. It's possible that your bite is misaligned, called a malocclusion, or maybe you need treatment for TMD, temporomandibular joint disorder. The point is — your dentist needs to evaluate the situation so you can stop getting a fat lip every time you're out to sushi with friends.

The Habitual Lip Biter

You might find yourself biting your lip without realizing it, possibly as a nervous habit. You wouldn't be alone. Chronic lip biting is a common anxiety symptom and can even be an example of a body-focused repetitive behavior, or BFRB. Once you identify your biting as a nervous habit, you can start to consciously adjust your behavior, and even reach out to friends and family for support.

Why is lip biting bad?

Other than the pain that can come from biting your lip, there are other concerns for your oral health and overall wellbeing, too. Chronic lip biting can cause swelling, rawness and sores. Repeatedly biting the same area can even cause fibromas to develop. Additionally, you could end up with jaw pain and headaches.

Tips to kick the lip biting habit

It's important to protect your lips from damage and that can be especially tricky when you're the culprit. Whether you're chomping down by accident or biting out of anxiety, there are lots of solutions available to help you get on track to healthier lips, and a healthier you!

Exfoliate dry lips To keep yourself from chewing on rough, dry lips, be sure to exfoliate your lips 2-3 times a week before bed and then apply a thick, rich moisturizer to deeply hydrate overnight.

Moisturize constantly Keep your lips nourished to prevent the urge to chew or bite them. If necessary, find a lip balm that doesn't taste great so that if you do bite your lip without thinking, you're immediately deterred by the taste.

Practice mindfulness When you're dealing with something like lip biting, the problem is often that you're already doing it before you realize it. The practice of mindfulness allows you to be present in your body, in the moment. Take notice of what you're feeling, what's around you, what you smell and see. Take a deep breath. Can you identify any triggers that might have led you to start biting your lip? Give yourself a few more moments of breathing and awareness before resuming whatever you were doing. Hopefully, this will relax you and relieve some of the stress that may have triggered the lip biting. The more you practice mindfulness, the more this habit will begin to replace the lip biting!

Try progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) PMR is a technique often used to control anxiety and stress. It's based on the practice of tensing certain muscles at a time and then releasing them, allowing those muscle to experience a deep relaxation. By focusing the mind on a series of muscle groups, and shifting your anxious state into one of relaxation, it can help ease the physical anxiety symptoms you were experiencing, like lip biting.

Explore behavioral therapy as an option Sometimes the best route to changing subconscious behaviors is understanding the root causes and triggers and learning skills to help you moving forward. A licensed therapist will be able to guide you through this process.

by Colgate

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When Is An Extraction Absolutely Necessary?

Good oral health is essential to your overall well-being. A lack of proper oral hygiene can result in gum disease, tooth decay, and even more severe health complications. Sometimes a tooth extraction may be necessary to maintain optimal oral health. 

The experts at Hometown Family Dental Centers — with convenient locations in Fayetteville, Raeford, and Vass, North Carolina — provide sedation dentistry to put you at ease in the dentist’s chair while you undergo any of our full range of dental services to ensure your oral health. Our friendly staff always makes sure you're comfortable and relaxed during your procedure. 

Are you experiencing pain or infection in your tooth? While our dentists always strive to save your natural tooth when possible, a tooth extraction might be required in some cases. Understanding when tooth extractions are absolutely necessary can help you make more informed decisions about your oral care.

Reasons for tooth extractions

There are a few reasons your dentist might recommend extracting a tooth.

Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars, which emerge in your late teens or early 20s. They can be a source of discomfort, pain, and swelling if there’s not enough space in your jaw for them to come in correctly. 

Wisdom teeth can also push neighboring teeth out of alignment. We might recommend extracting wisdom teeth if they’re causing pain or if they’re likely to cause problems in the future.

Severe infection

An untreated cavity can penetrate deep into the tooth pulp or root, leading to an infection that may spread to surrounding tissues. Sometimes this infection can be treated with a root canal. But if the decay is too advanced or if there’s an abscess, we may have to extract the tooth.

Advanced gum disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a chronic bacterial infection affecting the gums and even the bones supporting your teeth. Advanced gum disease can cause tooth loss and other oral health problems. In severe cases, tooth extraction may be the only option to prevent the spread of infection.

Alignment problems

Orthodontic treatment often starts with evaluating the teeth to determine the best course of action. In some cases, the jaw may not have enough space for all of your teeth to fit together for a proper bite, so tooth extraction might be necessary to create space for braces or aligners.

Tooth extraction procedure

The tooth extraction procedure is relatively straightforward. After numbing the area surrounding the tooth with a local anesthetic, your dentist uses a tool to loosen and remove the tooth and root. 

Depending on the location of the tooth and its size, the dentist may need to use forceps or surgical tools to remove the tooth. Afterward, gauze is placed over the extraction site to stop any bleeding. In some cases, stitches may be necessary to close the wound. 


After tooth extraction, taking good care of the area is essential to prevent complications. You should rest and avoid physical activity for the first 24 hours. Apply ice to your cheek to reduce swelling. 

Eat soft foods, and avoid drinking through a straw to prevent dislodging the blood clot. Brush and floss your teeth gently, avoiding the extraction site. Take over-the-counter pain relievers as needed, but avoid aspirin, which can increase the bleeding risk.

Everyone's dental situation is different, and electing for a tooth extraction is a decision that’s best made with your dentist. Although tooth extractions may sound daunting, they're often necessary and can be handled without complication. 

With proper preparation and understanding of the process, you can ensure a safe, successful procedure to restore your oral health.

by Hometowm Family Dental Centers

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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 to Preserve Your Teeth as You Age

Everyone knows that human bodies weaken over time, and teeth are no exception. Often taken for granted, teeth are very important for overall health and can become weak if they aren’t cared for properly. Continue reading to learn five ways to help you preserve your teeth as you age.

5 Tips to Preserve Your Teeth

Practice proper oral hygiene – Properly brushing and flossing between your teeth twice each day will help you fight tooth decay and periodontal disease which can lead to tooth loss.

Stay on top of professional treatment – Routine cleanings and oral health examinations will help maintain your oral health and catch any negative conditions that you may develop. Early intervention is the key to preserve your teeth and oral health, and you should also make a point of having any dental crowns or fillings replaced as needed.

Limit your consumption of acidic liquids – Heavy consumption of acidic drinks such as soda, alcohol, and juice contribute to tooth erosion and decay. Do your best to drink more water than flavored liquids, and rinse your mouth with water after you do drink soda or fruit juice.

Protect your teeth when you sleep – Many people suffer from deteriorating teeth as they age because of uncontrollable tooth grinding when they sleep. Your dentist will be able to notice if you have this problem quite easily and will suggest that you wear a special mouthguard while you sleep to protect your teeth.

Lead a healthy lifestyle – Routine exercise and following a healthy diet is important for overall health and can help you preserve your teeth by reducing your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease, or other conditions that can seriously harm gum health. Make a point of eating plenty of calcium-rich foods such as low-fat dairy products or cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli to keep your teeth and bones strong.

by David DavenportViews: 15

Is Having Sensitive Teeth Bad?

Do your teeth hurt when you sip cold water or hot coffee? What about when there’s any pressure applied to your teeth? Do they feel sensitive?

Tooth sensitivity is pretty common, especially for people aged 20 to 40 (though it can affect people of all ages). If you have symptoms of pain ranging from a mild twinge to aching when your teeth are exposed to different temperatures or pressures, you can do something about it. And it’s time to answer that lingering question you may have — is having sensitive teeth a bad thing?

What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

How do you identify tooth sensitivity? “Sensitivity in teeth occurs when the nerve of the tooth is exposed to stimuli,” said Dr. Nehi Ogbevoen, DDS and board-certified orthodontist at Beverly Hills Orthodontics in Los Angeles, CA. As mentioned above, tooth sensitivity is pain ranging from mild to severe. “Sensitive teeth are one of the most common concerns among patients visiting the dentist,” Dr Ogbevoen said.

How Does It Happen?

There can be several different causes of sensitive teeth. “This can be due to the wearing down or thinning of the tooth enamel [from dietary acid or brushing too hard, for example] or gum recession exposing underlying layers of teeth,” Dr. Ogbevoen explained. Bleaching teeth, gum disease, and a cracked tooth can all create sensitivity, too.

“When the protective layers of the teeth have been compromised, stimuli such as heat, cold, and even sugar can trigger a sensation of pain to the nerve of the tooth,” Dr. Ogbevoen explained.

Is Having Sensitive Teeth Bad?

So you’re probably wondering, “Is this sensitivity a bad thing?” Not necessarily! “Sensitivity does not necessarily mean you have unhealthy teeth,” Dr. Ogbevoen said. “However, if the sensitivity is affecting daily activities such as eating, drinking, or talking, it is best to visit your dental health professional.”A dentist can recommend treatments or procedures that can be done to help sensitivity.

How Can You Treat Sensitive Teeth?

Step one: visit your dentist. It’s best to seek advice and an examination from a dental professional, Dr. Ogbevoen explained. “A thorough examination will identify any cracks, holes, or cavities in your teeth and gum recession.” He went on to say that your dentist will most likely recommend a sensitivity toothpaste, like Sensodyne, to provide sensitivity relief.

by Sensodyne

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Do Your Teeth Hurt in Cold Weather?

Do you ever find that your teeth feel sensitive when you head outside during the winter and breathe through your mouth? If so, don’t worry — you’re not just imagining it. The dental pain triggered by extreme temperatures can have several causes such as tooth decay, exposed dentin, upset tooth nerves due to grinding teeth, or a worn out dental filling.1 Learn more about tooth sensitivity and how cold weather can contribute to the pain.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity, and What Causes It?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when enamel, or the protective layer around your teeth begins to wear away.1 Enamel covers dentin, which contains tubules that connect to the nerves and cells inside the tooth.1 When dentin is exposed, the tubules allow hot or cold to reach the nerves in the tooth.1 Other causes of tooth sensitivity include gum disease, tooth whitening and brushing too hard.2

How Does Cold Weather Affect Sensitive Teeth?

If you’ve ever felt pain after biting into something cold, it’s likely caused by tooth sensitivity. Exposure to cold air can also cause you to feel the sensitivity in your teeth.2 Sudden changes in mouth temperature can also result in cracked teeth, which can cause pain and sensitivity.3 Small cracks (craze lines) in the enamel are common in adults and do not typically require treatment, but cracks that are more severe should be treated by a dental professional as soon as possible.3

Winter is also the time when respiratory illnesses like the common cold are most prevalent.4 Colds can produce too much mucus, which blocks the opening of the sinuses and lead to sinusitis.5 Toothache and face tenderness are common symptoms of acute sinusitis, along with other typical symptoms like fever, nasal stuffiness and coughing.5 If you suspect that sinusitis is causing your tooth pain, contact your health care provider.5

How to Prevent Tooth Sensitivity Caused by Cold Weather

Thankfully, there are ways to avoid tooth sensitivity when the weather drops. Brushing properly with a soft toothbrush and regular flossing to help keep your gums healthy are two super easy ways to keep your oral health in good shape.2 Try to remember to change your toothbrush out every two to three months so you’re not using a worn-out toothbrush.2

Although cold weather calls for warm drinks like hot cocoa, it’s important to keep the sugary drinks to a minimum when dealing with tooth sensitivity. Try to have sugary foods or acidic drinks less often or reserve them for mealtimes.2

Using Desensitizing Toothpaste to Help Tooth Sensitivity to Cold Weather

If you don’t have cavities or tooth damage but still have sensitivity, a simple trick to get relief is to brush twice daily with a toothpaste specialized for sensitive teeth. which can help relieve tooth sensitivity. Thanks to its unique formulation with stannous fluoride, Sensodyne works to create a protective shield over your teeth’s most sensitive areas, providing sensitivity protection with twice daily brushing. 

by Sensodyne

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Gentle Ways to Clean Your Mouth After Eating or Drinking

You may have heard conflicting information from different dentists about whether you should brush your teeth after eating. And while getting the extra food residue out of the way is important, it's also true that your teeth can be quite vulnerable to damage if you brush less than 30 minutes after a meal.The bacteria that dine on sugars and starches start to work almost immediately, producing acids that can soften your enamel. So the time just after you eat or drink, especially something sugary or starchy or acidic, is the most vulnerable time for your teeth. Here are some gentler ways you can clean your teeth and mouth after eating or drinking.


1. Rinse With Water

Just plain water can actually help a lot more than you'd expect. For example, a couple of quick swishes after you finish eating can provide these benefits:


Removing food residue from your tooth surfaces so there's less for bacteria to eat

Rinsing away any acids from your food or beverage that could soften your enamel

Rinsing away some of the bacteria (although not a lot)


After eating or drinking, you should always rinse with water immediately. If you don't have anything else on hand, just swishing water around in your mouth a few times is much better than nothing. Just remember to use plain water, not water with lemon in it.


2. Use PH Neutralizing Mouthwash

Even if what you ate wasn't particularly acidic, the bacteria in your mouth will start to turn the sugars and starches into acid within a few minutes of the time you start eating. A mouthwash with a high (alkaline) PH helps to nullify these acids somewhat.If you have plaque or tartar in your mouth, the mouthwash won't be able to reach everywhere since the bacteria hide under the plaque. But it will still help reduce the severity of the acid attack on your enamel. And the PH neutralization also helps to reduce the overpopulation of bad bacteria, since they love acids and good bacteria tend to prefer an alkaline PH.


3. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

You may not have previously considered gum to be a method of cleaning your mouth. But as long as the gum is sugar-free, it may actually help. One way it can help is because the action of chewing the gum helps to increase saliva flow and to move saliva around the mouth.Saliva helps to not only wash away any food residue, but also neutralize PH levels (since healthy saliva is typically around a neutral PH). It also brings minerals to the surface of the enamel that's been attacked by acids.You can increase the cavity-fighting potential of your gum by choosing one that contains xylitol. Because it's similar enough to sugar that bad bacteria may try to eat it but not similar enough to actually let them digest it, xylitol can help block the production of acids after eating.


4. Use Water Flosser

A water flosser is considered a gentler way to clean your teeth than brushing and string flossing. That's why people whose gums are so sensitive that flossing is a painful and bloody affair often use it. Because it uses a stream of water rather than mechanical brushing, a water flosser won't physically scrape the softened enamel away.You can also use something like a neutralizing mouthwash in your water flosser to improve the cleaning potential. Check the manufacturer recommendations first, though; some water flossers don't do well with solutions such as saltwater. Remember, a water flosser isn't a substitute for your regularly scheduled daily brushing and flossing, though.These are some ways you can clean your mouth out directly after eating without running the risk of damaging your enamel. For more information about how to keep your teeth as clean as possible without over brushing, talk to your dentist.

by New England Dental Health Services

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How to Remove Tartar from Teeth

Taking care of your teeth should always be a priority. Without good oral hygiene and checkups with a dental professional, you may be at risk for conditions such as gum disease.1 Getting tartar removed from your teeth is one way to stop gum disease from forming.1

How can you remove tartar from your teeth and prevent it from forming? Continue reading to learn more about tartar and how it can be removed.

What Is Tartar and How Can it Affect You?

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Your mouth is full of different kinds of bacteria. When bacteria stay on the teeth for too long, they form a film called plaque.1 If not thoroughly removed, acid from plaque bacteria can break down the enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities.2 Plaque that is not thoroughly removed with brushing and cleaning in between teeth (flossing) will eventually harden to become tartar, also known as calculus, which makes it more challenging to keep your teeth clean.1,2

When plaque and tartar collect above your gum line, the tissue of your gums may become inflamed and bleed easily. This is an indicator of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that can be easily reversed through daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings from a dental professional.3 However, if tartar is not removed or left untreated, gingivitis may advance to periodontitis, which can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth.3 If periodontitis is not treated, the bones, gums and tissues that support your teeth may be destroyed, and you may lose your teeth.3

You’ll know when gum disease has started to affect your oral health if you experience any of the following symptoms:3

Red or swollen gums

Painful chewing

Overly sensitive teeth

Bad breath that won’t go away

Gums that are tender or bleeding

These symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem and can negatively affect the long-term health of your teeth and gums. Taking the steps to remove tartar from your teeth and prevent it from developing in the first place can go a long way toward the health of your mouth.

How to Remove Tartar from Your Teeth

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Only a dental health professional can safely remove tartar and stop the periodontal process.1 While some cultures may tout the benefits of oil pulling on improving oral health, the ADA cannot recommend it as a dental hygiene practice due to lack of supporting scientific evidence.4

Once plaque has turned into tartar, it should be treated by a dentist, dental hygienist or periodontist who will remove it through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing.3 During this process, tartar is removed from above and below the gum line or on the root of the tooth.3 In some cases, a laser may be used to clear away hard-to-remove tartar.3

How to Prevent Tartar

You can prevent the buildup of plaque and keep it from hardening into to tartar by regularly visiting your dentist and practicing good dental hygiene at home.2 prevention is the key to oral health and your hygienist will show you the proper way to brush and floss.

some tips for preventing tartar and avoiding gum disease include: 2,3,5

Floss gently at least once a day.

Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush that isn’t too large for your mouth. The Sensodyne Sensitive Care Toothbrush is a great soft-bristled option that provides an optimal cleaning.

Use a fluoride toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity & Gum Mint Toothpaste.Sensodyne Sensitivity & Gum can help relieve sensitivity and improve gum health through effective plaque control.

See your dental professional at least every 6 months for a thorough cleaning and oral exam.

Avoid sticky, sugary foods and snacking between meals.

Don’t smoke.

Understanding how tartar forms and how it can harm your teeth may lead you to take better care of your teeth. As with many dental issues, prevention is the key to a healthy mouth, teeth and gums.

by Sensodyne

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Bad Oral Habits Lead To Oral Health Issues

Oral health is a major concern for most people. However, some fail to give due importance to their oral health. This can result in serious dental problems that can also affect overall health. Listed below are some habits that can damage your oral health:

Tongue Piercing

A tongue piercing can stick through the tissue on the roof of the mouth and damage your tooth crowns. It can irritate the soft tissue and chip your tooth enamel, leading to serious oral health issues.

Additionally, this type of jewelry can wear down the teeth and its constant motion can also irritate the gums. Pain, bleeding, or other signs of infection may occur if the oral piercing isn’t removed in a timely fashion. 

Cleaning the tongue with a toothbrush and mouth rinse twice a day can help reduce the risk of infection. Avoid eating sticky or chewy foods that can get stuck around the metal post and cause irritation. 

Teeth Grinding

One of the most common oral habits is teeth grinding, also called bruxism. It is related to stress and typically occurs while you are asleep. If not addressed right away, it can lead to severe complications such as broken and chipped teeth or chronic headaches and migraines. Moreover, it can ruin the alignment of your teeth and make them appear shorter.

If your partner notices that you snore loudly at night or your breathing pattern is interrupted while you sleep, it might be a sign of sleep apnea that can also cause teeth grinding. It is imperative to visit a sleep center immediately if you suffer from any of these symptoms.

Nail Biting

Many people bite their nails without even realizing it. While nail biting may seem like a harmless habit, there are actually several negative oral health effects that come from repetitively biting your nails. For one, you can chip and damage your front teeth from chewing on your nails. 

You also put yourself at risk for infections such as paronychia or gum disease that can result from bacteria entering your mouth via the nail bed. If you notice that you frequently have hangnails or wounds on your fingers, you could be biting your nails subconsciously. Try to break this habit for good by substituting the behavior with something less detrimental, like chewing gum instead!

by Trio Dental Care

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Seven Things You Wish You Knew About Your Teeth Much Earlier

1. Your oral hygiene is linked to your overall health

When the mouth is directly connected to several vital organs, how there can’t be a link between oral hygiene and overall health? Several studies have proved that poor oral hygiene can cause several diseases such as:

Alzheimer’s disease


Cardiovascular diseases

Diabetes complications


Kidney diseases

Respiratory diseases

With good dental hygiene, one can reduce the risk of all serious diseases and enhance overall health. Sometimes, a good quality toothbrush and toothpaste are all it takes to nip a majority of the serious diseases in the bud.

2. What you eat, shapes your teeth

Just like your diet plays a massive role in your overall health, what you eat has a huge effect on your teeth. A healthy diet makes your teeth stronger and enhances their life, while an unhealthy diet weakens your teeth and creates caries and cavities. Let’s start with the former. Calcium-rich food such as milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, black beans, and green and leafy vegetables such as cabbage, kale, and spinach are excellent for your teeth.

In contrast, acidic and sugary foods can create plaque and tartar and harm your tooth and gum line in the long run. Snacking between meals is one of the biggest causes of dental cavities and decay. Alcohol and tobacco are also harmful to your teeth and so are tea and coffee when taken in large quantities. For stronger and everlasting teeth, take a nutrition-rich balanced diet and avoid snacking on acidic and sugary foods.

3. Select the right toothbrush and toothpaste

When it comes to exceptional dental hygiene, the right toothbrush and toothpaste play a huge role from the word go. The toothbrush you choose should have soft bristles and the toothpaste should have the recommended amount of fluoride, which is tremendously beneficial for your teeth as it enhances remineralization and reduces demineralization, bacterial growth, and acid production. Expert dentists recommend toothpaste with 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride.

Now, coming to your toothbrush, apart from ensuring that it has soft bristles you must replace it regularly. A good rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush after every three months. However, if you brush more than twice a day then you should replace your toothbrush once the bristles have frayed and worn out. Usually, it’s between nine weeks and twelve weeks.

4. Know the right way to brush and floss

Brushing and flossing the right way is both an art and a science. It’s an art because you may have a unique style. Every morning when you hold the toothbrush, you are no less than an artist. You can do magic with it and give an alluring shine to your teeth. But there is a science to effective brushing. Some techniques are extremely effective and get maximum results with minimum effort.

Tilting the toothbrush to a 45-degree angle and moving it gently back and forth is extremely beneficial to the teeth. Brushing in a small circular motion is also helpful. Make sure that you don’t brush aggressively as over-brushing is more dangerous than under-brushing. Likewise, flossing has its techniques. Using a gentle rubbing motion between the teeth is the best way to floss. Take the utmost care not to snap the flossing thread when it touches the gum line.

5. Visit your dentist twice a year

As per American Dental Association, an average person should go for a dental checkup and cleaning at least twice a year. For an average person, the prestigious professional organization means that a young healthy person, who takes good care of their teeth and has no history of tooth problems, illness, or unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking. This is the best preventive and protective measure.

For elderly people and people with dental problems and habits, the frequency of regular dental checkups is higher. Even though a majority of people know this, some follow while others don’t. Even if you brush your teeth twice or thrice daily and floss every night before going to bed, you must visit your dentist twice a year.

6. There are good bacteria and there are bad

Various studies have found that an average human mouth is a host to 250 to 300 types of bacteria. Among them, a majority can cause diseases when they enter the respiratory tract or the bloodstream. But some of them are good bacteria, also known as probiotics, which keep you healthy by facilitating digestion as well as fighting dental problems and gum diseases.

Now that you know that your mouth is home to both good and bad bacteria, it’s time to know how to increase the former and reduce the latter. You can increase the good bacteria by taking probiotics and foods such as yogurt. When it comes to bad bacteria, the pH level of your mouth plays a huge role. When the pH level drops, bad bacteria proliferate. Likewise, frequent snacking can reduce the pH level and cause bad bacteria to thrive. When the mouth becomes dry, bad bacteria get a conducive environment to multiply.

7. Some dental complications aren’t normal

Dental complications come in different sizes and severity. While some may be common and can go on their own without needing any treatment, others may be serious and need emergency care. Such complications, which qualify for dental emergencies, range from dental injuries, broken teeth, cavities that have invaded the dentin, bleeding gums, tooth abscesses, and infections.

by Tru Care Dentistry

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Pimple Vs. Cold Sore: How To Spot The Difference

You may have outgrown those formative years, rife with pimples and gawky school photos, but unfortunately, the rare pimple can still strike at the most inopportune time. But is that red bump you see really a pimple — or is it a cold sore? When it's near or right on your mouth, it can be mistaken for either. Learn how to tell the difference between a pimple vs. cold sore, what the best treatments are and when you should consult your doctor.

Pimple vs. Cold Sore: Causes and Symptoms

Pimples can appear as a bump or blemish that's white, black or cyst-like, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). They occur when any of the three natural contaminants to your skin — oil, dead skin cells or bacteria — clog a skin pore, resulting in inflammation and irritation. There are a variety of pimples: whiteheads, blackheads, larger pimples commonly called "papules" and even cysts, which can be more painful. The AAD explains that pimples occur more frequently during puberty, between the ages of 12 and 17.

In contrast, the Mayo Clinic notes that cold sores can appear in patches and often look like red blisters that are crusty or oozing. If it's a first-time outbreak, a cold sore can also come with headaches, sore throats and even muscles aches. Though the term "cold sore" might make you think that these blemishes are the result of a fever or cold, they are in fact caused by a virus. Cold sores are contagious flare-ups resulting from the herpes simplex virus, explains the Mayo Clinic. They're also extremely common. The World Health Organization estimates that 67% of the global population under the age of 50 have type 1 of this virus.

Treating Pimples and Cold Sores

Benzoyl peroxide is the most common and accepted over-the-counter medication for treating pimples, according to the AAD. The solution works to kill bacteria and wash away oil and dead cells caught in your pores. However, before you try it, you should always read the product's medication label and only use it as directed.

Unfortunately, cold sores have no one-stop treatment. As the Mayo Clinic explains, there is no cure for the herpes virus, but there are ways of lessening and preventing flare-ups. When you feel one coming on, treating it with an antiviral medication may help to speed up healing and reduce the blisters' recurrence. Ask your doctor for advice on what medication might work for you.

When to See a Doctor

Both pimples and cold sores may require you to visit a doctor at some point. For a pimple, start with an over-the-counter treatment. If it doesn't work, the AAD recommends consulting your doctor for a stronger treatment plan. You should also make sure to always wash your face twice daily to help keep your pores clean.

For cold sores, be wary if:

Your cold sore has lingered for more than two weeks.

Your cold sores frequently recur.

You have a weaker immune system.

The virus irritates your eyes.

The Mayo Clinic advises seeing your doctor promptly if you encounter any of these symptoms. To prevent spreading the virus, don't share any utensils with others, and avoid kissing during flare-ups.

Knowing the differences between a pimple vs. cold sore can help you determine the cause of that red bump and navigate the right pathway to clear skin. If you develop an oral sore with painful or lasting symptoms, be sure to visit your doctor or dentist.

by Colgate

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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.

Diseases That Anxiety Makes Worse

It should be noted that in some cases, the bad taste in your mouth may be the result of a disease - like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - that is simply worse during periods of high anxiety. GERD isn't necessarily dangerous, but we know that anxiety can make the symptoms worse.

Talking to your doctor is always a good idea if you're nervous about your health. You may want to visit a dentist as well, just for a check-up, especially if you haven’t been recently.

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.

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.

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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How Does Dental Erosion Happen?

Do you see your teeth thinning or changing color over time? This could be dental erosion, which is when the minerals in your teeth slowly wear away over time. Your teeth are incredibly hard and strong because of their mineral content, but they can become thin and weak over time depending on the food you eat, what you drink, and how good your oral hygiene in. To avoid tooth erosion, avoid these foods and drinks and use these oral hygiene tips!

Dental Erosion

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but even it can be broken down, overtime, by acids and bacteria in your mouth. Plaque that works to eat away at the enamel of your teeth can erode this tougher-than-bone material weakening the tooth structure and dimming the brightness of your smile.

Dental erosion not only affects the cosmetics of your smile, but also how your teeth function. Severe enamel erosion exposes the dentin underneath which can trigger pain and uncomfortable sensitivity.

Signs of Dental Erosion

The first indication of dental erosion will manifest as grooves in the teeth or a rougher-looking tooth surface with biting edges. Teeth often will appear discolored. Other symptoms are teeth sensitivity to heat, cold, acidic drinks and foods.

Common Causes of Dental Erosion

Diet is one of the biggest contributors to dental erosion. Foods and drinks with high acidity can threaten the enamel of your teeth and trigger demineralization. Saliva works to balance out the acids that food introduce into your mouth, but if you are constantly assailing your teeth with acidic foods and drinks, the mouth doesn’t have time for repair. Brushing after acidic foods and liquids have come in contact with your teeth is essential, BUT you need to time this brushing correctly. Wait for at least one hour after eating or drinking anything acidic before brushing your teeth to allow your teeth time to build up their mineral content again.

Another tip, chew sugar-free gum after eating. This will help produce more saliva to help cancel out the acids which form in your mouth after eating.

Risks for Dental Erosion

Certain medical conditions, diseases and medications can lead to dental erosion. People who suffer from bulimia often suffer from dental erosion due to the stomach acids that are regularly impacting their teeth. People with acid-reflux issues also have more mouth acids than most.

Avoid Foods with High Acidic Content

It’s not new news that sodas and carbonated drinks can cause dental erosion and we aren’t just talking about the high sugar content of these foods. Even carbonated waters can erode teeth because of the acids involved that make the soda a soda.Any drink with carbonation—including sparkling water—has a higher acid level, reports the American Dental Association.

High acidic foods like lemons, oranges, limes contain natural acids that can be harmful to your teeth. When it comes down to it, water is still the best drink for teeth. Milk is also a great choice because it helps to neutralize the acids in your mouth.

How Can You Fix a Tooth that Has Suffered from Dental Erosion?

Some dental erosion is slight enough that no treatment is necessary other than taking active steps to prevent it from worsening. With regular dental examinations and cleanings you can keep your teeth in tip-top shape.

If you have severe dental erosion, a dental bonding procedure or well-placed dental veneer can do wonders for your smile and the strength of the weakened tooth.

by Mountain Aire Dentistry

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Abfraction Lesion: Causes And Treatment

If you've started to notice dents in your teeth where the tooth and the gums come together, you could have abfraction lesions forming. There is no need to worry, though. Your dentist can diagnose the problem and help you find the right treatment plan. Before you go to the dentist, here is what you should know about abfraction lesions.

What Are Abfraction Lesions?

Abfraction lesions are losses of tooth structure. The lesions occur gradually, The lesions occur gradually, with an indentation forming on the front of the tooth near the gumline that gets deeper with time. Abfractions are not cavities but are instead known as non-carious cervical lesions or NCCL. However, because they expose the softer portions of the teeth, like dentin, they can cause tooth sensitivity and mimic the symptoms of a cavity. Discovering the cause is an essential first step to treatment and management.

What Causes Abfraction Lesions?

Abfraction lesions have been attributed to excessive force placed on the teeth during chewing or teeth grinding. However, according to a review in Clinical, Cosmetic, and Investigational Dentistry, there are many factors, including chemical, biological, and behavioral factors, that may contribute to the development of abfractions.

For example, erosion and abrasions can also contribute to the formation of dental abfraction lesions. Tooth erosion occurs from exposure to acids, such as acid reflux or acidic foods and drinks. Tooth abrasion may be caused by improper brushing technique or the use of abrasive toothpastes. This combination causes gum recession and exposes the softer, less mineralized parts of the teeth called the cementum and dentin. Acidic and abrasive factors initiate the abfractions, but often stress from biting can deepen the lesion over time.

How Do You Treat Abfraction Lesions?

Proper abfraction treatment is based on the severity of the lesion and the reported sensitivity and aesthetic concerns. A dentist will usually fill the lesion when it extends below the gums, becomes decayed or challenging to clean, or exposes the tooth's pulp or nerve. Filling the lesion reduces sensitivity and restores the tooth structure. Your dentist may use composite or tooth-colored fillings to cover the notches and improve your smile's appearance.

If teeth grinding causes your abfractions, your dentist may fit you with a mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep. Orthodontics can also help prevent further abfraction lesions by realigning your bite and taking pressure off of certain areas of your mouth that may be prone to the damage. Although it won't cure abfractions, try a desensitizing toothpaste if your abfraction is minor. They help relieve the pain associated with tooth sensitivity and work for fast relief.

Your dentist and dental hygienist know how to recognize and modify risk factors for abfractions. If you have tooth sensitivity and you've noticed a lesion starting to form, there is no reason to worry. Talk with your dentist, and they will work with you to decide the best treatment plan for your smile.

by Colgate

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What Is Odontalgia?

Are you experiencing an intense shooting pain in your teeth or face making it hard to talk, eat, or even breathe normally? If so, you may be experiencing odontalgia. Odontalgia is the medical term for toothache and can range from mild discomfort to severe pain. It’s typically caused by a problem with one or more of the teeth, including infection, trauma, or decay. It can also be caused by an issue with the jaw, such as a malocclusion (misalignment of teeth).

Whatever the reason for odontalgia, it’s important to seek dental treatment right away. A qualified dentist can diagnose the reason for your odontalgia and provide appropriate care. Whether you need a filling, a root canal, periodontal treatment services, or another type of dental care, a dentist can help relieve your odontalgia and restore your oral health.

The team at Columbia Smiles, led by Dr. Michael Hsu, is dedicated to providing gentle, comprehensive dental care that helps patients find relief from odontalgia. Call us today at 410.834.0594 to schedule an appointment.

An Overview Of Odontalgia

Toothaches of any kind can be categorized as odontalgia, but they can vary in intensity and duration. It’s important to recognize the signs of odontalgia so that you can seek help right away. Common symptoms include:

Sharp, shooting pains

Dull ache or throbbing sensation

Pain that worsens when pressure is applied

Pain that radiates to other areas, such as the head or face

Difficulty eating or drinking fluids

Swelling of the gums around the painful tooth

Fever or chills

Unpleasant taste in the mouth

If you’re experiencing any of these odontalgia symptoms, contact a dentist right away to get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Common Causes Of Odontalgia

The most common cause of odontalgia is tooth decay, or cavities. When bacteria accumulate on the enamel of your teeth, they can create holes in the surface and eventually reach the root, leading to odontalgia. Other causes include:

Infection or abscessed tooth

Deep filling

Loose dental crown or fractured tooth

Broken filling

Sinus infection

Injury to the head, face, or jaw

Referred pain from the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or other areas of the mouth

Grinding your teeth at night

Gum disease

Hot or cold foods and beverages

Finding Relief From Odontalgia

At Columbia Smiles, we understand the pain odontalgia can cause. Depending on what’s causing your tooth pain, your dentist may recommend a variety of services, including:

Cleanings and checkups  – Regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups can help identify odontalgia-causing problems early on, so they can be treated before becoming severe.

Fillings – If tooth decay is the cause of your odontalgia, a filling may be used to fill in the decayed area and prevent further damage.

Root canal – If odontalgia is caused by an infection or abscessed tooth, a root canal may be necessary to remove the affected pulp and prevent further decay.

Crowns – Damaged teeth that are causing odontalgia may require a dental crown to protect them from further harm.

Periodontal treatment – If odontalgia is due to gum disease, periodontal treatment may be needed to restore the health of your gums.

Surgery – In some cases, odontalgia may require surgery to repair jaw or face injuries.

No matter what the cause of odontalgia is, treatment is available to help.

by Columbia Smiles

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Try Out These Easy Home Remedies For Gum Problems

If the pain is unbearable, of course, you will have to visit a dentist, but if you are suffering from mild pain then you can easily treat it at home. Here are 5 natural remedies that may provide quick relief from tooth and gum pain:

Tooth and gum pain is a common health issue that can be caused due to several reasons. It can either be simply by brushing too hard or due to tooth decay. No matter what the reason is, a toothache can be quite annoying and can even make it difficult to eat, talk or concentrate on any other work.

If the pain is unbearable, of course, you will have to visit a dentist, but if you are suffering from mild pain then you can easily treat it at home. Here are 5 natural remedies that may provide quick relief from tooth and gum pain:

Salt Water Gargle

Saltwater rinse is the most beneficial home remedy in curing gums inflamed by gingivitis. Salt has natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that ease swelling and fight bacteria-causing infections. Regular salt water gargling can help heal inflamed gums, reduce pain, combat bad breath and remove food deposits

How To Do

In a glass of lukewarm water add ½ teaspoon of salt and mix well. Swirl the solution in the mouth for a few seconds and spit out the solution. To get respite from gum pain repeat this 2 to 3 times a day

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera gel works well in treating gum disease owing to its strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It greatly helps in reducing the symptoms associated with gum disease when applied topically or used as a natural mouth floss.

How To Do

In a bowl add 2-3 tsp. of aloe Vera gel whisk well add little water to get the right consistency. Apply the gel onto the inflamed gums, let it stay for 10 minutes, and rinse off with water. You can also use this as a mouth rinse by adding enough water. Repeat this process twice daily to alleviate pain.

Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil known for its astringent property helps in warding off bacteria from the dental cavity and averts the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. While it also exhibits inhibiting effects on the bacteria causing gum disease, prevents plaque formation, makes your teeth healthier, and strengthens gum.

How To Do

In a cup of water add 2- 3 drops of lemongrass essential oil and mix well, swirl this solution for up to 50 seconds and spit out. Repeat this process 2-3 times a day for the best result.

Turmeric Honey Gel

This natural herb is well-known for its strong anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal properties which are valuable in preventing plaque and gingivitis. The active ingredient curcumin in turmeric is a potent antioxidant that helps to heal the bleeding and reddening of the gums. While honey helps in combatting oral bacteria linked with plaque formation.

How To Do

Rinse the mouth thoroughly, make a paste of turmeric powder by mixing it with honey, apply the gel on gums, let it stay for 15 minutes and swirl the water around the mouth and spit it out. Repeat this process twice daily for an instant result.

Coconut Oil Pulling

Coconut oil imbued with vast reserves of lauric acid exhibits potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Regular oil pulling using coconut oil remarkably lessens the plaque formation and improves the symptoms associated with gingivitis.

How To Do


Take about 2 tsp of coconut oil into your mouth, swish the oil well around the mouth for about 20 minutes and spit the oil out. Rinse your mouth well with water and brush your teeth.

by The Statesman

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Short-Term Tooth Pain: When To Be Worried

You are enjoying your day, going about work as usual, when suddenly you feel a jolt of sharp pain running up your tooth. Or perhaps you spontaneously get a toothache even though you haven’t been chewing on anything. Maybe your gums feel sore just randomly during the day.

What is the cause of this sudden outburst of pain? Is it something to be worried about? Our friendly team at My Dentist Upland can help you get to the bottom of this mystery discomfort. Sometimes, it isn’t a big deal, and you can continue investing in good oral hygiene to get rid of the discomfort. But in other cases, this sudden pain may be a sign of something more serious.

Let’s take a look at some of these reasons for tooth pain, and their associated symptoms, so you know when you need to make an appointment with your dental care professionals.

Tooth Cavity

One of the most common reasons for sudden tooth pain or sensitivity could be because of tooth decay. This is usually called a “cavity”. This happens when a part of your tooth decays due to a buildup of bacteria, tartar, or plaque, and you should get it taken care of before you develop an infection.

If you are feeling sudden pain in this area, this means the decay is starting to become infected, so it’s important to visit your dentist ASAP to get the cavity filled.

Grinding Your Teeth or Clenching Your Jaws

Do you deal with a lot of stress in your daily life? Most people do, but the ways in which we deal with stress can be very different. For example, some people grind their teeth or clench their jaws down even without realizing it. This constant strain on your teeth can cause tooth sensitivity and dull pain, as well as headaches.

According to Healthine, there are many reasons why you may grind your teeth. It may not always have to do with stress and anxiety, but those are big contributing factors. No matter the reason, this can cause sudden pain in your teeth as they become weak to the sustained pressure. You should visit a dentist right away.

Receding Gums

If the pain is centered around your gums, rather than your teeth, this could be a sign that you are dealing with some issues with your gums. First, it’s important to know that receding gum tissue wears over time, and can weaken with age. Gums tend to recede naturally, but rapid recession is cause for concern. Gum recession can lead to the roots of your teeth being exposed, making you more prone to infections. If you are feeling really sensitive, have the dentist take a look at your gums as well as your teeth.

Gum Infection

Another reason to focus on your gums during sudden tooth pain is due to the fact that you may have a form of gum disease. This is known as gingivitis, and can later develop into something more serious known as periodontal disease. According to the CDC, gum disease affects almost half of American adults over 30. Although it is fairly common, it is still something very serious that needs to be looked at by a gum specialist right away.

Dental Procedures or Products

Of course, it could be possible that a previous procedure or product is causing your teeth to hurt. For example, if you recently got a filling, the drill work may make your teeth more sensitive. This type of sensitivity is temporary and should go away within a couple of weeks.

Some over-the-counter dental products, especially teeth whitening strips or bleaching products, can also cause sensitivity. Usually, this is due to an adverse reaction to a chemical in the product and you should stop using it until you can identify the source of the problem.

by My Dentist Upland

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The Best Ways To Prevent Tooth Extraction By Looking After Your Oral Health

Are you worried about having to get a tooth extraction? Tooth extractions can be painful and expensive, so it’s best to avoid them if possible. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to keep your teeth healthy and prevent extraction from being necessary. In this article, we will discuss 10 ways that you can look after your oral health to help prevent the need for a tooth extraction.

1) Brush Regularly: The most important thing that you can do to take care of your teeth is to brush them twice a day. Brushing removes plaque and bacteria from the surface of your teeth, which reduces your risk of cavities and gum disease. It’s important to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and to brush carefully, making sure that you reach all areas of your teeth.

2) Floss Daily: In addition to brushing, it is also important to floss daily. Flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, which can help to prevent cavities and gum disease.

3) Use a Mouthwash: Using an antiseptic mouthwash in addition to brushing and flossing can help to reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, which can help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

4) Cut Back on Sugary Foods: Eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, so it’s important to limit your consumption. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks, including soda and fruit juice.

5) Quit Smoking: Smoking is bad for your oral health as well as your overall health. Smokers are more likely to have cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues. If you smoke, quitting is the best way to protect your teeth and gums.

6) Visit Your Dentist Regularly: It’s important to visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. During a dental exam, your dentist can spot any problems with your teeth or gums before they become serious. This can help to prevent the need for a tooth extraction.

7) Wear a Mouthguard: If you play sports, it’s important to wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth from injury. A mouthguard can also help to reduce the risk of damage from grinding or clenching your teeth at night.

8) Use Fluoride Toothpaste: Using toothpaste that contains fluoride can help to strengthen your teeth and reduce the risk of cavities.

9) Avoid Chewing Hard Objects: Chewing on hard objects like pencils, fingernails, or ice cubes can damage your teeth. This can lead to cracks and chips that may require a tooth extraction.

10) Cut Back on Alcohol: Excessive drinking can lead to dry mouth, which increases your risk of cavities and gum disease. It’s best to limit your alcohol consumption if possible.


By following these tips, you can help to keep your teeth healthy and avoid the need for a tooth extraction. Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly are all important steps to take to keep your teeth in good condition. If you’re concerned about the health of your teeth, talk to your dentist about other ways that you can prevent the need for a tooth extraction.

by Mid Bay Dental

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Ulcerative Colitis Mouth Sores

Are you one of the three million adults diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the United States? A correct diagnosis will help you find the best treatment and relief from your symptoms. If you have ulcerative colitis — a form of IBD — you might notice mouth sores on your cheeks and gums. Find out more about ulcerative colitis and how it impacts your oral health.

What Is IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two conditions — ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease. Both are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Ulcerative colitis occurs specifically in the colon and rectum, while Crohn's Disease can impact any part of the GI tract from mouth to anus. The cause of IBD is currently unknown, but the inflammation originates from a defective immune system that responds incorrectly to environmental triggers. Genetics also plays a role, as someone with a family history of IBD is more likely to develop the condition.

Prolonged inflammation can damage the GI tract and result in various symptoms. The most common include:


Abdominal pain

Bloody stools

Weight loss


What Are Ulcerative Colitis Mouth Sores?

Ulcerative colitis can also affect the oral mucosa, the soft tissue inside your mouth on your gums and cheeks. Two types of ulcerative colitis mouth ulcers exist:

Aphthous ulcerations. Also known as canker sores, these lesions appear as round white or yellow spots and can cause pain or bad breath. You are more likely to experience canker sores during ulcerative colitis flare-ups when inflammation is higher. They can take a week or more to heal.

Pyodermatitis-pyostomatitis vegetans. This rare condition mostly affects those with IBD. It appears on the body as pustules in the skin folds, such as the armpits or groin, but it can also occur in the mouth. Pyostomatitis vegetans consists of red patches with multiple yellow or white pustules, which can erupt to form ulcers. These lesions can affect all areas of the mouth and throat but rarely involve the tongue or mouth floor.

How Do You Treat Ulcerative Colitis Mouth Sores?

Systemic treatment for your ulcerative colitis to reduce inflammation usually resolves any mouth sores. This treatment most likely involves drug therapy, including anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, biologics, and other medications specific to your symptoms. Your physician will help you find the right drug to manage your IBD.

If you notice any new oral symptoms — such as mouth sores — or if the pain makes it difficult to eat or talk, contact your dentist. They might prescribe a topical cream or antiseptic mouthwash to help speed up the healing and reduce pain. Nutritional supplements might also help prevent any deficiencies from malabsorption that can lead to mouth sores.

When you have IBD, ulcerative colitis mouth sores might seem like one more thing to worry about. Thankfully, the overall treatment of your condition can help you find relief. Don't hesitate to talk to your dentist if your ulcers cause problems. They can help you care for your oral health so that you can focus on the rest.

by Colgate

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Eight Good Toothbrushing Habits

Did you know that your smile is one of the first things other people notice about you? Healthy, beautiful teeth are essential to making a good first impression. And while there are many ways to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile, it’s important to start with the basics of oral health care–brushing your teeth.

Your toothbrushing habits can make or break your smile. We all know we are supposed to brush our teeth every day, however, it’s not just important that we brush our teeth daily– the details of that habit are imperative to its effectiveness.

So, are you brushing your teeth in the most effective way? Here are 8 tips to get the most out of tooth brushing:

1. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush is a sure way to damage your gums and teeth. These toothbrushes have tightly-packed bristles that don’t bend easily, causing the erosion of dental enamel and irritation of gum tissue.

Soft-bristled toothbrushes are less dense, so the bristles bend while moving back and forth along your teeth and gums. Though this may not feel as effective as a hard-bristled toothbrush, it’s much better at cleaning your mouth without doing any damage.

2. Invest in an electric toothbrush.

Electric toothbrushes are a great option for children and adults, and they are especially great for people with limited mobilities due to arthritis, carpal tunnel, or developmental disabilities. An electric toothbrush takes some of the pressure off of you by doing most of the work. You simply hold the toothbrush against each tooth for about 10 seconds, and let it do the scrubbing!

Various studies, like this one, have also shown that electric toothbrushes reduce plaque and the risk of gingivitis more than manual toothbrushes.

3. Use the 2x2 rule.

The American Dental Association recommends that everyone brush for two minutes, twice a day. Most people brush their teeth in the morning to get rid of “morning breath”, but brushing at night (right before bed) is even more important.

In the evening, our teeth have plaque build-up along the surfaces of our teeth and gum line. Without removing it before going to bed, that plaque can turn into tartar, which leads to cavities and gum disease. Brushing at night also helps prevent surface stains from setting in so your smile stays bright.

4. Use fluoride toothpaste.

Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, remains one of the most important ingredients in toothpaste to prevent cavities and gum disease. Fluoride remineralizes tooth enamel, encourages the production of fluorapatite, and exerts antibacterial properties. Though fluoride cannot reverse cavities, it can slow down their progression.

5. Be gentle.

Be careful of how much pressure you’re using when brushing. Even if you use a soft-bristled toothbrush, pressing down too hard while brushing your teeth can also damage your enamel and gum tissue, leading to dental sensitivity, cavities, and gum recession.

To determine if you are using too much pressure, try brushing with your non-dominant hand and feel the difference! Then, switch back to use the proper combination of pressure and technique.

6. Brush your tongue.

The tongue harbors bacteria just like the teeth and gums do, so it’s very important to clean your tongue while brushing. Rinsing with water alone will not remove the bacteria or the biofilm. So, after you’ve brushed your teeth, one of the best toothbrushing habits is to brush your tongue front to back and side to side, then rinse with water. You can also use a tongue scraper, but both methods are effective.

7. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.

There are several reasons why you should replace your toothbrush often:

Bacteria build-up: As a toothbrush removes bacteria from your teeth, gums, and tongue, it accumulates bacteria in the bristles. The longer you use a toothbrush, the more bacteria it accumulates.

Worn-out bristles: At about the 3-4 month mark, the bristles on your toothbrush will likely lose their stiffness, and consequently, their effectiveness.

Sickness: If you’ve been sick, especially with a viral or bacterial infection, it’s best to switch out your toothbrush once the sickness has passed.

Accidental sharing: If someone accidentally uses your toothbrush, buy a new one to avoid the transfer of cavity- or disease-causing bacteria.

8. Follow up with flossing.

Unfortunately, toothbrushes can’t clean between your teeth. Flossing is an essential part of any oral hygiene routine and should never be neglected. Use traditional floss, floss picks, or a water flosser to remove plaque from between your teeth. This is one of the best ways to avoid cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and a multitude of other oral health issues.

by Family Dental Care

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Is Sleeping With Your Mouth Open Bad For Your Teeth?

It's normal to have a dry mouth sometimes, but if your mouth often feels dry when you wake up, you may be breathing through your mouth during the night. Since mouth breathing is linked to various dental problems, this unconscious habit may hamper your oral health.

Common Causes of Sleeping With Your Mouth Open

People with chronic nasal congestion may breathe through their mouths, especially while they're sleeping. Allergies, such as hay fever, are the most common cause of chronic congestion in kids, reports the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI). Of course, allergies can affect adults, too.

As the Mayo Clinic explains, a deviated septum may also block airflow through the nose. The septum is the thin wall of tissue that separates your nostrils. When this wall is off-center, one or both nostrils can be blocked, which makes it hard to breathe through the nose and results in mouth breathing.

Many other conditions can cause chronic stuffiness and mouth breathing, as Nationwide Children's Hospital notes. Some of these conditions include inflamed nasal tissues or tumors inside the nose.

Finally, sleep apnea can also cause mouth breathing, as the American Sleep Apnea Association explains. People with this condition stop breathing many times during the night, and when their oxygen levels drop, they may gulp in air. These frequent apnea episodes can encourage a mouth-breathing habit.

Dental Problems Associated With Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing can leave your mouth feeling uncomfortably dry, but it can also cause more serious dental complications.

One of these possible complications is tooth decay, as a study published in BioMed Research International (BRI) explains. During this study, researchers observed a group of people who breathed through their mouth and a group of people who breathed through their nose. The group that breathed through their mouth accumulated more plaque on their teeth. They were also much more likely to have large colonies of Streptococcus mutans, a type of bacteria that's associated with tooth decay.

Chronic mouth breathing may also affect the gums, as the BRI study reports. When you breathe through your mouth, air flows across your oral tissues. The surfaces of these tissues can get dried out, which may lead to inflammation or irritation of the gum tissue.

Mouth breathing may also affect the alignment of your teeth. A study published in ACTA Otorhinolaryngologica Italica reported a correlation between mouth breathing in children and malocclusion. As the National Institutes of Health describes, malocclusion is the misalignment of the upper and lower teeth. Because of mouth breathing, children may develop openbite, crossbite or overjet, where the upper teeth extend out noticeably over the lower ones.

Treatments for Mouth Breathing

Mouth breathing treatment will vary depending on the underlying reason why you're sleeping with your mouth open. If allergies are the culprit, the ACAAI notes that avoiding exposure to allergens is crucial. Taking antihistamines may be a treatment option, though you should consult your doctor first. Alternately, if a tumor or other issue is the cause, your doctor may recommend medications or surgery, as Nationwide Children's Hospital notes. To find out why you're sleeping with your mouth open, and to learn more about appropriate treatment options, talk to your doctor or dentist.

Treating mouth breathing is especially important for children. Early intervention can help prevent malocclusion from developing, as the ACTA Otorhinolaryngologica Italica study notes. If malocclusion has already developed, dentists may recommend orthodontic treatment, such as braces, to realign the teeth.

Regular dental cleanings may help control some of the problems caused by mouth breathing, according to the BRI study. Getting a professional cleaning at least once every six months may help to keep plaque accumulation under control. In between dental appointments, remember to brush twice a day and floss once a day.

Sleeping with your mouth open can leave your mouth feeling dry and uncomfortable, and worse, it can put you at risk of tooth decay and other dental problems. If you think you may sleep with your mouth open, talk to your doctor or dentist.

by Colgate

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Things You Should Do Every Year for Optimal Oral Hygiene

Here are a handful of activities you can do at home to ensure a clean, healthy, long-lasting smile.

Taking care of your teeth isn’t a “once in a while” event. Proper oral care and hygiene require daily maintenance. While we do recommend coming in for annual checkups and cleanings, there are a handful of important practices  you should keep in mind for optimal oral health at home. 

It’s vital to establish a good homecare routine in order to fight off plaque buildup and keep your gums healthy. Here are a handful of activities you can do at home to ensure a clean, healthy, long-lasting smile. 

Watch What You Eat

As with most aspects of oral health, food plays a major role in dental hygiene. If food didn’t get stuck in between our teeth, we wouldn’t have to worry as much about plaque buildup. Unfortunately, we all have to eat, right? Consider cutting back on starchy foods like crackers, bread, chips and pasta, as these carbohydrates easily stick to teeth and provide a meal for cavity-causing bacteria.

Eating crunchy vegetables and crisp fruits help clean and strengthen your teeth. Vegetables like broccoli and carrots and crisp fruits like apples and pears not only contain natural sugars, but also have great natural fiber that, when chewed, helps naturally cleanse the teeth. 

More Water, Less Sugar and Acidic Liquids

Similar to harmful foods, drinking heavily acidic and sugary liquids can wear down the enamel of your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and disease. Limit the amount of acidic juice, diet drinks, carbonated water, tea, and coffee that you consume. In addition, limit the number of sodas you drink, as these are the main culprit of cavities due to their high sugar levels (many popular soda cans have at least 10-15 teaspoons of sugar!). 

Drinking more water, particularly water containing fluoride, dilutes acid and washes away sugar residue. Water also helps prevent dry mouth(lack of saliva), which can lead to tooth decay as well.

Brush & Floss Daily

Needless to say, brushing twice a day for two minutes and daily flossing are absolutely critical to maintaining oral health. Use a soft bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush (we recommend Sonicare). Be sure to replace the brush or brush head every three months for maximum effectiveness. . In addition to frequency, it’s important to also remember technique. You should brush your teeth in slow, gentle circular strokes along the gumline making sure not to fall into the incorrect back-and-forth zig-zag or sawing motion. 

Don’t let hard-to-reach areas hold you back from flossing! Even pre-made dental flossing sticks can have a huge impact on your oral health. Get in between each tooth (and behind back teeth) to stimulate your gums, remove plaque and decrease any existing potential inflammation areas. 

Avoid Smoking & Limit Alcohol

Tobacco is extremely harmful for many reasons, especially when it comes to your oral health. Smoking cigarettes, vaping, or chewing tobacco is detrimental to your immune system, which lowers your body’s ability to fight disease and heal any affected tissue. These practices highly increase your risk of oral cancer. Smoking also causes staining of your teeth and tongue and bad breath. We highly recommend quitting cigarettes, vaping and chewing tobacco to improve your oral and overall health.

Alcohol is harmful to your oral health for a couple of reasons. In addition to its sugar content, which allows bacteria to thrive in unhealthy conditions, drinking alcohol also dehydrates you. When your mouth is dry, your saliva flow is stifled, which opens the door for bacteria to stick to enamel, leading to tooth decay. If you’re going to partake, be sure to drink water as much as possible in between beverages to neutralize the mouth and wash away any lingering bacteria. 

Use Fluoride & Rinse with Mouthwash

Fluoride is a mineral that’s known for its ability to strengthen tooth enamel and fight against bacteria and acid that lead to cavities and tooth decay. Drinking fluoride-rich water and using toothpaste containing fluoride are great ways to replenish the levels of calcium and phosphorus that contribute to the strength of your teeth.

Similarly, using mouthwash (especially those that contain fluoride) helps prevent periodontal (gum) disease and ward off potential cavities by displacing lingering bacteria that lead to plaque buildup.

As you can see, there are quite a few critical components of improving and maintaining your oral health at home. While we’ve reviewed activities that you can do yourself throughout the year, there’s still the major important element: see your dentist regularly (at least twice per year) for a cleaning and checkup. When you come in for an appointment, our doctors and hygienist perform a thorough analysis to determine the presence of gum disease or tooth decay. It’s important to catch these early and adjust your treatment plan accordingly. We highly recommend adhering to a regular cadence of appointments to maintain optimal oral health.

If you’re ready to improve your smile or have questions about anything, please feel free to contact us or schedule some time to speak with one of our dental team members. Our team is standing by to answer your questions and to make sure you receive the best care in the most comfortable environment possible. 

by Dental Arts

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What You Need to Know About Vegan Oral Care

You chose a vegan lifestyle as a commitment to your health, the world, and all the creatures who call it home. But do your oral care products share that same commitment? You might assume all toothpaste is naturally vegan, but that's actually not the case. Learn more about what makes oral care products vegan and how to make the switch to vegan-friendly oral hygiene.

What Makes Toothpaste Vegan?

Toothpaste — or floss or mouthwash or any oral hygiene product — is vegan if it does not use or contain products derived from animals. This includes any product that comes from a part of an animal's body, even if it does not require the animal's death. For example, vegans do not eat honey because it's made from bees. Many vegans take this one step further and do not use any products tested on animals. These products are labeled "cruelty-free."

How Do You Find a Vegan Toothpaste?

If you've ever glanced at the ingredients list on your toothpaste, it might have left you scratching your head. What is "calcium carbonate," and is it vegan-friendly? To play it safe, you should choose oral care products that call out "vegan" and "cruelty-free" on the packaging. This might require a little extra research, but vegan toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss are available at most retailers today.

However, if you want to know more about the products you currently use, here are some common animal by-products found in toothpaste, floss, and toothbrushes:

Glycerin. Also listed as glycerine or glycerol, this sticky liquid helps keep the toothpaste moist. Glycerin can be derived from both animals and plants, and it's almost impossible to know the source unless the product is clearly labeled as "vegan."

Bee products. Propolis, bee pollen, and beeswax are all common ingredients used in natural oral care products. Both propolis (plant resin collected by bees) and bee pollen are used in toothpaste to promote a healthy-feeling mouth, while beeswax commonly coats floss to increase comfort when cleaning between your teeth.

Boar bristles. Though less common, manufacturers can sometimes use hair from wild or captive hogs to make natural toothbrushes.

Flavorings and colors. Finally, sometimes vague mentions of "natural flavoring" or added colors can come from animal products. If you want to be sure, you can contact the manufacturer to find the source of these ingredients.

For more information, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) provides a full list of common animal-derived ingredients used in household products.

How to Make the Switch to Vegan Oral Care

Now that you know how to choose a vegan mouthwash or toothpaste, you should consider these other factors before switching to vegan oral care.

Look for a vegan toothpaste or mouthwash that includes fluoride. Many vegan oral care products prioritize other ingredients and can sometimes leave out this naturally occurring mineral. But fluoride helps strengthen your enamel and protect your teeth against cavities, so look for it while scanning those ingredient lists.

Make sure you're eating essential nutrients for oral health. It can sometimes be harder to consume vitamins and nutrients like Calcium, B-12, Vitamin D, and Vitamin A while eating a vegan diet. These all play an important role in oral health, so look to incorporate more plant-based sources of these nutrients in your daily meals.

Keep up a proper oral hygiene routine. Even when using vegan products, remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental device, and make regular visits to your dentist to monitor the health of your mouth.

With a little extra research and effort, you can easily find products and brands that align with your values. Armed with the right information and some important considerations, you can establish a vegan oral care routine that leaves you, your smile, and your world happy and healthy.

by Colgate

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Can You Die From A Tooth Infection?

Is it possible to die from a tooth infection? Hypothetically speaking, is there a timeframe for how long until a tooth infection kills you or puts you in the hospital? The answer might not be as simple as you think, but severe tooth infections can definitely be life-threatening. 

Depending on how technical or knit-picky you want to get about the science behind it, yes, you can die from a tooth infection. Although by the time an infection reaches that severe of a level, it’s not just isolated inside of your tooth. It starts in your tooth but by the point it becomes fatal, there’s a lot more going on. All that being said, don’t ignore that cavity or a tooth abscess your dentist points out on your X-ray.

Can A Tooth Infection Kill You?

How is it that a tooth infection can actually kill you? Well, when you consider that bacteria from severe periodontal disease can spread straight into your bloodstream, lungs, or brain, the concept isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds.

An infected tooth can kill you by allowing bacteria to spread elsewhere in your body. Especially your brain and bloodstream. 

Let’s say for a moment that you have an abscessed tooth. These teeth have cysts around the root that are filled with bad bacteria. Slowly but surely, this cyst or tooth abscess will start to invade the bone structures and soft tissues next to the tooth. It could easily spread into your bloodstream, nasal sinuses, nerves, face, and yes, your brain. 

Gum infections aren’t all that different. Even though there’s no tooth abscess there, you do have severe inflammation, bleeding, and colonies of bacteria living below the surface of your gum tissues. 

Here are several life-threatening situations that can tie back to a toothache and why you shouldn’t skip out on that recommended dental work:

1. Sepsis: 

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition where your body is overwhelmed with some type of bacterial infection. It can cause both tissue damage and organ failure, destroying otherwise healthy tissues inside your body. If your tooth abscess drains into an area like your sinus cavity or bloodstream, it can lead to sepsis, and sepsis can often be fatal.

2. Ludwig’s Angina: 

Ludwig’s angina is a type of infection that occurs in the floor of your mouth, involving areas like your neck and jaw. It’s a type of “cellulitis.” This dangerous infection is most often caused by oral infections (like infected teeth) or a traumatic injury to the jaw. It’s frequently seen in children. Typically it needs to be treated by draining the abscess and a round of antibiotics, but it can occasionally be fatal.

3. Necrotizing Fasciitis:  

This rare infection is fast-spreading and is caused by bacteria. It results in the decay of the fascia inside of soft tissues. And yes, it’s fatal. Symptoms include pain, swelling, fever, ulcers and blisters, and fatigue, among others.

4. Endocarditis:

Endocarditis is where the heart becomes inflamed because of a bacterial infection or some type of fungi. And yes, it’s deadly. Can you get endocarditis from a tooth infection? Yes. In fact, health experts recommend that people who are at risk for infective endocarditis be especially good about their oral hygiene habits to prevent tooth abscesses or gum infections from spreading into their bloodstream.

5. Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis:

When you get a blood clot inside of the “cavernous sinuses” (like the hollow nasal sinuses above your teeth but below your brain and eye socket) it can be deadly. Since your tooth roots lie just alongside of some of your sinus cavities, you have to be especially careful about not allowing abscessed teeth to spread infection into those areas. 

6. Osteomyelitis:

Osteomyelitis is a type of bone infection. It spreads into the bone from the bloodstream or from an infection right next to the bony structure, like an abscessed tooth. It causes painful swelling inside your bone marrow. People with diabetes, young children, and the elderly are most at risk.

7. Brain Abscess:

Can you get a brain abscess from a tooth infection? Yes. When you do, it’s called an odontogenic brain abscess. This deadly condition may be due to undiagnosed cavities or other dental infections. Death or a permanent handicap are common side effects of brain abscesses.

How Long Until A Tooth Infection Kills You?

A severe dental infection should never be treated lightly. Trying to figure out how long until a tooth infection kills you doesn’t mean you can buy time by putting off dental treatment. There are cases where symptoms may come on suddenly, or a patient may go months with a dental infection before developing life-threatening ailments. Like other deadly infections and diseases, problems may come on quicker than you expect. And by the point they become severe or life-threatening, your treatment options are more limited.

In reality, a person can die within days or weeks of a tooth infection spreading into their bloodstream. And since the severity of a dental infection isn’t easy to measure on your own without diagnostic X-rays, it’s extremely important to listen to your dentist’s recommendations when it comes to active dental disease. If you don’t trust your dentist or it seems like they’re recommending a treatment you don’t need, always, always, always get a second opinion. It just isn’t worth the risk of overlooking a potentially fatal tooth infection. 

All of that being said, you’re most likely not going to die within a week of a small cavity being diagnosed. Why? Because tooth decay goes through various stages. Such as:

1. Enamel Decay

This is where the cavity is isolated in the outer layer of the tooth structure. A dental filling is usually all that’s needed. 

2. Dentin Decay 

Once the tooth decay has ruptured through the enamel, it enters into the softer dentin layer underneath. It can grow much more quickly at this point. Larger dental fillings are required. Or sometimes inlays, onlays, or crowns.

3. Pulp Decay

The tooth decay has reached the nerve tissue inside the tooth. At this point, root canal therapy is a must.

4. Dental Abscess Formation

A fluid-filled cyst develops around the tip of the tooth root. There may be a visible blister or pocket of pus on the gums. The cyst is visible inside the bone when an X-ray is taken. A root canal or extraction are imminent. 

5. Serious Complications

Untreated abscessed teeth where the cyst spreads into the surrounding bone, sinuses, and blood vessels. 

Symptoms of a Tooth Infection Spreading to the Body

In most cases, severe tooth infections are either related to an abscessed tooth or advanced periodontal disease. In both scenarios, redness and swelling of the mouth are extremely common. However, if the tooth infection has spread elsewhere in the face, you may notice a swollen cheek, jaw, eyes, throbbing pain or difficulty breathing due to an obstructed airway. Fatigue and fever are also common. In some cases, symptoms also include neck pain, nausea, and vomiting. 

When a dental infection spreads elsewhere, it’s easy to mistake the issue for something more generalized as opposed to your tooth. Because of the close proximity of dental infections with the airway and brain, doctors may order a CT scan to determine the location of where the infected source originates. 

Should You Go To The Hospital? 

Most tooth infections need to be treated promptly by a dentist. But if it’s severe, you need to understand that there’s a risk of knowing how long until a tooth infection kills you. You should go straight to the hospital emergency room if you are experiencing facial swelling, difficulty breathing, a high fever, or such significant physical symptoms that it’s obvious there is a medical emergency going on. If you know that you or your child already has an abscessed tooth and they are suddenly lethargic or vomiting uncontrollably, emergency medical treatment is a must.

Who Is An Increased Risk For a Tooth Abscess?

Even though anyone can theoretically die from a tooth infection, there are certain individuals who are at a higher risk of fatal side-effects. Such as:

Young children

Individuals with diabetes


People who are immunocompromised

If you have an immune disease or are more susceptible to illnesses, a severe dental infection can potentially be life-threatening if allowed to go untreated. 

How To Treat Infected Teeth?

Most infected teeth can be treated through procedures such as:

Dental fillings


Pulpotomies or pulp capping

Root canal therapy/endodontics

Surgical extractions

Antibiotics as part of your restorative/therapeutic procedure

Deep Cleanings (Periodontal therapy)

Dental infections cannot be treated with antibiotics alone. However, if your infected tooth is severe, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics in conjunction with other procedures to reduce the overall bacterial load inside your body leading up to the treatment. Antibiotics will also help with making your planned procedure more comfortable, as severe infection and swelling can interfere with how effective dental numbing medications (local anesthetic) are during your procedure. 

How To Prevent Tooth Infections

The best way to prevent fatal tooth infections is to see your dentist routinely for checkups and cleanings and to treat infected teeth as soon as conditions are diagnosed. Do not wait for a tooth to start hurting before you have it treated. It is not uncommon for cavities to evolve into abscessed teeth without any painful symptoms being present. If a dental abscess is left untreated, it can spread into the head and neck causing serious complications. If you have second thoughts about your dentist’s recommendations for treatment, seek out a second opinion rather than “tough it out” before you see the infection for yourself.

by Dentistry Of Elgin

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What’s Causing Your Gums To Look White?

Everyone loves a bright white smile, but what does it mean when the gums are white in Jacksonville, FL.? While people typically visit the dentist for their teeth, the health of the gums is just as important for good oral hygiene. If a person’s gums are looking white or puffy, it often means something is amiss with their oral health and it’s essential to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

 What Causes White Gums?

Healthy gums are pink in color. From simple canker sores to anemia and serious inflammatory illnesses, there are several conditions that can cause a person’s gums to turn white in Jacksonville, FL.

Smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking, and basically anything that could cause irritating friction in the mouth, such as rough teeth, dentures, or uneven fillings and crowns, can lead to what is known as leukoplakia.

What Is Leukoplakia?

If white patches appear on the gums, tongue, the base of the mouth, and/or inside the cheeks, the medical term for those spots is leukoplakia. Leukoplakia cannot remove them with a toothbrush and though they are not usually painful, they may be sensitive to the touch or to certain foods, especially those that are hot or spicy.

Leukoplakia on the gums tends to be thicker than the gum tissue around them. They can also harden over time.

Tooth extraction or teeth whitening process can also cause a person’s gums to appear white. Other conditions that can cause white gums to include:


Anemia is usually caused by vitamin B12 and iron deficiencies. It can also be a sign of celiac or Crohn’s disease. A change in diet and vitamin supplements are typically used to manage these conditions.

Canker Sores:

Canker sores are painful lesions that develop on the gums or inside of the mouth. Common treatment includes saltwater rinses, oral ointments, or steroids.


Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can cause irritated and swollen gums as well as recession. Regular dental hygiene care is the best way to deal with periodontal issues.

Oral Thrush:

Oral thrush typically affects babies, older adults, and diabetics. As it is caused by a yeast infection, an antifungal medication may be prescribed for treatment.

The Dangers Of Oral Cancer

The growing threat of cancer in people’s lives can threaten how they go through their lives. Whilst white gums do not mean a patient necessarily has cancer, this could be one indicator to keep an eye out for oral cancer. In the case it is cancer, it would appear as white patches throughout the mouth.

Because people have many different structures in the mouth, knowing what symptoms to look for can be difficult. Generally speaking, there are some symptoms that are present through the variations of oral cancer. Those symptoms are:

A lip or mouth sore that does not heal

Loose teeth

A growth or lump inside your mouth

Mouth pain

Ear pain

Tooth pain

Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Tooth and/or jaw sensitivity

As mentioned earlier, oral cancer is one of many possibilities for white gums, they are not a guarantee. That being said, it is important to keep this in mind to protect the mouth against the issues related to oral cancer.

Preventing White Gums

To avoid the stress and worry of having white gums in Jacksonville, FL, finding effective ways to prevent them is key to healthy gums. Generally, keeping with good oral hygiene and avoiding certain foods will help.

Getting more specific though, brushing teeth is one key factor in avoiding white gums. Brushing regularly and properly is important, keeping the brush at a 45-degree angle and not pushing too hard is also very necessary for healthy gums and teeth.

Flossing teeth properly is also important. Getting well within the grooves of the teeth can help prevent infection and white gums. Keeping up with flossing a few times a day, two or three, is also important to maintaining good gum and tooth health.

Of course, avoiding tobacco products is also important. Tobacco products are one of the biggest causes of white gums, mouth infections, and oral cancer. Breaking habits can be challenging but is critical for maintaining good health.

Lowering the intake of sugary and acidic foods will also help people’s gums. Living in the United States, there are so many foods that add sugars and acids which are horrible on the teeth and gums. That’s because these foods can destroy the gums and teeth which can cause all sorts of issues including white gums.

by Caven Dental Group

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Seven Ways To Take Care Of Your Teeth When You Can´t Go To The Dentist

Taking care of your teeth is always important, but proper dental health is even more important now that dental cleanings may be cancelled due to the coronavirus. You likely (and hopefully) already have the tools needed for basic oral hygiene, like a toothbrush and floss, but maybe you don’t know why these tools are necessary or how to make the most out of them. We spoke to Dr. Ada Cooper, DMD, a dentist based in New York City and spokesperson for the American Dental Association (ADA), to get an expert’s tips for taking care of your teeth at home.

1. Get a quality toothbrush—and use it correctly

There are certain non-negotiables when it comes to at-home dental care. The first one is obvious: A toothbrush. “Whether it's manual or powered, your teeth really don't care. You just need to use it and use it correctly,” Cooper says. “When it comes to choosing a brush, be sure it’s 'soft.' 'Firm' or even ‘medium’ bristles can cause damage to your gums.”

Make sure you don’t scrub vigorously—you want to clean your teeth, but not at the expense of your gums and tooth enamel, which can weaken from too much pressure or friction from improper brushing. The ADA recommends you hold the brush at a 45-degree angle from your gums and gently sweep back and forth. This angle helps to get buildup out that’s trapped between your gums and your teeth. Make sure you get the tops and sides of each tooth, focusing on one quadrant of the mouth at a time until you’ve eventually covered the whole mouth. The recommended time you spend as a whole is two minutes, or 30 seconds per quadrant. You should do this at minimum twice a day—once in the morning either before or 30 minutes to an hour after breakfast (you may end up brushing enamel-weakening acid from the food around your mouth if you brush directly after eating) and at night, right before bed.

When you’re storing your toothbrush, don’t routinely put a cover on it, as this will trap moisture in and create a breeding ground for bacteria. Replace your toothbrush, or the head on an electric model, every three to four months to make sure your bristles are fresh and at the proper strength to do their job.

If you’re in the market for a new electric toothbrush, our favorite after testing is the Oral B Pro 3000, which features a two-minute timer that cues you every 30 seconds to change quadrants. It also has a visible pressure sensor that lights up red when you bear down too hard to keep you from damaging your teeth and gums.

Get the Oral B Pro 3000 on Amazon for $67.24

2. Use a toothpaste with fluoride

The ADA recommends using a toothpaste that includes fluoride, a mineral in your bones and teeth, as an ingredient. “Not all toothpastes contain fluoride, but you should always use one that does contain it,” Cooper says. “Fluoride is a natural cavity fighter that helps to strengthen the tooth enamel and fight tooth decay.” (Though there’s some controversy over the safety of excess fluoride use, the current science supports that it does more good than harm in dental products like toothpaste and mouthwash, as long as the products are used as directed and not ingested.)

Depending on certain needs or wants, you may also look for other active ingredients. For example, you may want a toothpaste that whitens your teeth and removes stains, for which common ingredients include baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. The best way to learn about subcategories of toothpaste that may work for you is to speak to your dentist about your concerns. When you’re shopping for a toothpaste, Cooper says you should look for the ADA seal of acceptance, which serves as a sign that the toothpaste contains the appropriate ingredients to do what it claims.

3. Don’t skimp on flossing

If you’ve ever been called out by your dentist for not flossing enough, you’re not alone. But skipping this step on the regular is detrimental to your dental health. “Brushing and flossing accomplish two different things and that’s why they’re both essential,” Cooper says, though she points out the order in which you do them isn’t important. “Flossing before brushing, brushing before flossing, it doesn’t matter to your teeth as long as you do both.”

Brushing removes the plaque and food buildup on your teeth, but flossing—or using another interdental cleaning tool like a water flosser—removes the buildup between your teeth, where your brush can’t go.

If you don’t mind string floss, stock up on some with the Oral B Glide Dental Floss, which claims to be “shred-resistant,” and more than 2,000 reviewers agree that it’s great.

Some people prefer to floss with picks, which have pre-strung floss that’s less fussy and messy to use. A pack of DenTek Triple Clean Floss Picks contains 150 fluoride-coated picks that claim to be break-resistant “even when used on the tightest of teeth.”

For those who really dislike flossing, consider a water flosser like this one from Waterpik, which uses a thin jet of water in place of floss string to clean between teeth. Our reviewer was impressed with its sleek design and how easy it was to use even on the first try.

Get the Oral B Glide Dental Floss (6 pack) on Amazon for $10.50

Get the DenTek Triple Clean Floss Picks on Amazon for $3.64

Get the Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser on Amazon for $69.99

4. Keep your diet in mind

You know that gorging on candy is bad for your teeth, but what and how you eat, and the effect it has on your oral hygiene, is more nuanced than that. “For good dental health, you should carefully choose your meals and your snacks,” Cooper says. “Eat a variety of foods from each of the major five food groups.” Eating a balanced diet affects your teeth because your body is better equipped to resist infections that could lead to gum disease. And, more directly, if you eat too many sugary or carb-loaded foods, you risk breaking down your tooth enamel.

Cooper also recommends that if you’re going to eat snacks throughout the day, you don’t graze over them. “Continuously snacking throughout the day can actually increase the likelihood that you’ll develop cavities,” Cooper says. This is because the bacteria in your mouth breaks down carbohydrates found in snacks like candy or starches into acid that then causes cavities. The longer the carbs sit in your mouth, the more acid will be created. Brushing your teeth or using mouthwash after every snack or meal is unnecessary, but washing your food down with water as you eat and especially after you’re done is enough to aid in unwanted cavities. You may also chew sugar-free gum after eating (more on that below).

5. Understand the benefits and limitations of mouthwash

Cooper cautions that mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing or flossing, but it can prevent tooth decay, reduce plaque, and prevent the early stages of gum disease. Bonus: It’s a great way to freshen your breath.

As for who should use mouthwash, Cooper says that if you have a healthy mouth, it can be a great adjunct product. If you're 65 or older and/or struggle with teeth health, though, mouthwash may camouflage important symptoms without actually treating them. For example, an infection in the mouth like periodontitis may cause your breath to smell stronger than normal, but you may not notice this if you frequently use mouthwash that masks the symptom. The best thing you can do is talk to your dentist if you’re interested in incorporating mouthwash into your routine.

If you get the green light to use a mouthwash, you can again look for the ADA seal of acceptance when shopping for one. “There are two different types of mouthwashes, therapeutic and cosmetic,” Cooper says. “Therapeutic mouthwashes kill bacteria and contain active ingredients that your doctor may feel are appropriate for you. Cosmetic washes mostly temporarily reduce bad breath and can leave your mouth with a pleasant taste, but they don’t really decrease your risk of cavities.” Some therapeutic mouthwashes must be prescribed by a doctor, which highlights again the importance of speaking to your dentist if you're trying to tackle a particular problem with mouthwash.

6. Use a tongue scraper if you want

Another common dental product is a tongue scraper, which adds a step to your oral health routine—these devices are O-shaped plastic or U-shaped metal tools that remove debris from the surface of your tongue. However, “there’s no clinical evidence that brushing or scraping your tongue will prevent bad breath or improve chronic bad breath and, in fact, bacteria can grow back just as fast as you remove it,” Cooper says. “But having said that, if you like the way your mouth feels after you clean your tongue, keep it up, by all means.”

7. Chew sugarless gum—if your dentist is on board

Lastly, Cooper says some patients ask about the benefits and risks of chewing sugarless gum. “Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum between and following meals can help prevent tooth decay,” she says. It helps increase saliva, which washes away food and other debris. “Saliva neutralizes acid that’s produced by bacteria in the mouth and it can increase the production of calcium and phosphate, which can help strengthen the tooth enamel,” Cooper says.

That said, if you have bridges, crowns, or braces, chewing gum likely isn’t a great option for you as it can get stuck in or break down the restorations, so you should speak to your dentist before you pick up a pack of Trident.

by Reviewed

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What Are Dental Crowns And Tooth Bridges?

Dental crowns and bridges are quite common operations that are performed in the dental clinic. Their major goal is to restore a tooth or teeth to full chewing function. Crowns and bridges are both fixed prosthetic devices, but they also differ in many aspects. Unlike detachable devices such as dentures, which have to be removed and cleaned regularly, crowns and bridges are fixed onto existing teeth or implants and can only be removed by a dentist.

What is a Dental Crown?

A crown, often known as a cap, is a type of dental treatment that replaces the tooth's outer layer of enamel with a new material. A tooth crown is curved and sized similarly to a natural tooth, and it makes normal contact with the opposing tooth, allowing food to be properly eaten. When it comes to function, a crown should feel like a regular tooth. It can also look like a perfectly natural tooth, depending on the material used for the crown. Consult with the best dentist in Kolkata to get help regarding dental care.

How do crowns work?

A crown is used to completely cover or "cap" a broken or damaged tooth. A tooth crown can be used to improve a tooth's look, shape, or alignment in addition to reinforcing it. It is also used to offer a tooth-like shape and structure to a dental implant crown. Crowns can be made up of different materials like porcelain or ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, metal and gold. Nowadays, gold is rarely used for crowns because they are very expensive and secondly they don’t look natural. 

While porcelain or ceramic crowns are more preferred as they are both sturdy and aesthetic i.e., the colo

r can be matched to the natural tooth.

A crown may be recommended by a dentist to:

Replace a huge filling if there is not enough tooth left.

Prevent a weak tooth from breaking.

Restore a shattered tooth.

Offer a tooth-like shape and structure to an implant.

Cover a stained or poorly formed tooth.

Cover a root canal treatment.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A bridge is a fixed dental prosthesis because it is bonded to the teeth, replaces one or more missing teeth but not all of them, and employs a false tooth or teeth instead. When there are healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth, a bridge is utilised to replace one or more missing teeth.

The bridge completely encases the neighbouring teeth, known as retainers, much like a crown completely encases a single tooth. 

For a single missing tooth, a bridge would consist of three units: one for a missing tooth, and one for each adjacent tooth. The same materials that were mentioned above for crowns can also be used to make bridges.

How do bridges work?

If someone has one or more missing teeth, a bridge may be suggested, otherwise with time, the remaining adjacent teeth progressively rotate or shift into the empty areas left by the missing teeth, resulting in a poor bite. Gum disease loosening of teeth and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may result from the imbalance caused by missing teeth.

Bridges are typically used to replace a lost tooth or teeth. They fill the gap left by missing teeth. Bridges are attached to the natural teeth or implants that surround the gap. These teeth, known as abutments, function as bridge anchors. A pontic, or substitute tooth, is affixed to the crowns that cover the abutments. Bridges, like crowns, come in different materials. Based on the location of the lost tooth (or teeth), its function, aesthetic considerations, and cost, the dentist can help select which to use. Bridges made of porcelain or ceramic can be customised to match the color of the natural teeth.

How are crowns and bridges made?

Before the fabrication of a crown or bridge, the dentist first reduces the size of the tooth or teeth to ensure a proper fit. An impression is then taken to create an accurate mould for the restoration. If porcelain is chosen, the dentist determines the appropriate shade to match the existing teeth. Using this impression, a dental lab creates the crown or bridge with the specified material. While the permanent restoration is being made, a temporary crown or bridge is placed to cover the prepared tooth. Finally, the temporary restoration is removed, and the permanent crown or bridge is cemented onto the prepared tooth or teeth. Get the best dental care services at the best dental hospital in Kolkata with our specialised crowns and bridge treatments.

How long do crowns and bridges last?

Even though crowns and bridges are designed to last a lifetime, they occasionally get loose or fall out. To protect the longevity of your crown or bridge, maintaining good oral hygiene is the most crucial measure you can take. If the bones or teeth supporting a bridge in place are harmed by dental disease, the bridge may become unsupportable. Brush twice daily and floss once every day to maintain healthy gums and teeth. Regular checks and cleanings with your dentist and hygienist are also recommended.

Dental crowns and bridges are fixed prostheses used to restore teeth to full chewing function. Crowns are caps that replace the outer layer of enamel and can improve the appearance, shape, or alignment of a tooth. They can also be used to attach a bridge or cover a dental implant. Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth by joining crowns to a false tooth. Both crowns and bridges come in different materials and are made by taking an impression and creating a permanent restoration. Good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are essential for the longevity of crowns and bridges.

by Manipal Hospitals

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The Sublingual Papilla and Your Salivary Structures

It's important to understand how saliva and your salivary structures work to maintain good oral habits and health. If you've ever been confused about words like “sublingual papilla” or “Wharton's duct,” you are not alone. Here's what you need to know about your sublingual papilla, salivary structures, and salivary stones.

What Is Your Sublingual Papilla?

Your sublingual papilla is a small protruding piece of tissue at the base of the tongue. The term "sublingual" refers to the area beneath the tongue, making its location a little easier to remember. This small piece of tissue also serves as a marker for the place where saliva empties into your mouth via your Wharton's duct (also called the submandibular duct).

Understanding Your Salivary Structures

Salivary glands create saliva that moistens your mouth to help you chew, speak, and digest. Saliva also helps clean bacteria off your teeth and protect them from decay. The salivary glands excrete saliva through tubes in your mouth called ducts, specifically your Wharton's duct.

The sublingual glands are responsible for depositing about 5 percent of your saliva. These glands are located on the floor of the mouth underneath the sublingual folds on either side of the sublingual papilla. Your other major salivary glands include the parotid and submandibular glands. Together, they release the majority of your saliva. However, there are hundreds of tiny salivary glands throughout the lining of your mouth and throat.

What Is Sialolithiasis (Salivary Stones)?

A common problem affecting the sublingual area on the floor of your mouth is sialolithiasis. This condition refers to salivary stones that form when substances in your saliva harden into a crystallized structure. This crystallization can cause swelling and pain, especially when the surge of saliva released when you eat becomes partially blocked.

The Merck Manual notes that 80 percent of salivary stones occur in Wharton's duct and the connecting submandibular glands. However, they can be found in other glands, too. Wharton's duct is particularly long and narrow, allowing for saliva buildup.

How Do You Treat Salivary Stones?

Your dental professional will sometimes detect and diagnose salivary stones during a routine dental examination, especially if you haven't experienced noticeable symptoms that have prompted you to see a dentist or physician sooner. A dentist will usually detect the presence of a stone by touch or visual inspection, especially if it is apparent near the sublingual papilla.

Treatment involves removing the salivary stone, but the exact procedure depends on the size, location, and number of stones. Sometimes, a dental professional can push the stone out by massaging the area with heat. A sialoendoscopy, a minimally invasive procedure using cameras and small instruments to diagnose and retrieve stones, may also be helpful. Shock wave treatments are also an option to break larger stones into small pieces. More complicated cases, such as if the stones become infected or recur, may require surgery. In some cases, a small incision in the papilla — also known as a papillotomy — may help your medical professional remove the stone.

Luckily, there are measures you can take at home to help dislodge a salivary stone. Try drinking lots of water and using sugar-free lozenges to help stimulate saliva flow and loosen the stone from the duct. As always, maintaining a good oral care routine with twice-daily brushing and once-daily interdental cleaning will help prevent the formation of salivary stones. It's also best to avoid smoking or using other tobacco products.

Understanding your mouth and the ways saliva circulates through it is essential to your overall oral health. Now that you know a bit more about your sublingual papilla and other salivary strictures, you are more prepared to take action a problem occurs. If you notice anything unusual on the floor of your mouth near your sublingual papilla, or you experience pain or swelling when eating, call your dental professional. You may have a simple salivary stone, which can be easily removed.

by Colgate

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Views: 40

What Causes a Scab on the Lip?

Suddenly discovering a scab on your lip can be distressing. Besides causing you discomfort or pain, it might make you feel uncomfortable because it's so visible. So what causes a scab on your lip, and what should you do if it just won’t heal? Find out more about lip scabs so you can go back to smiling painlessly in no time!

What Causes a Scab on the Lip?

Scabs can often result from cuts or wounds on your lips that are now starting to heal. They may also appear when lips are cracked because of dryness.

Cold sores may also lead to scabs around the lips. Cold sores – caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 – are tiny fluid-filled blisters that appear on and around your lips, often in groups or patches. After the blisters break, you’ll see scabs form. These scabs can last several days.

Occasionally, the scab on your lip is not a cold sore and can be a sign of something more serious. The Mayo Clinic notes that if you see a flat, raised, whitish patch on your lip, it could be a sign of lip cancer.

How to Help the Scab on Your Lip Heal

Although scabs can be uncomfortable, it’s important not to pick them off or pick at them at all. The scab forming is a sign that your body’s immune system has started to protect the wound from getting infected, so letting the scab heal on its own is essential.

That said, there are things to do to make the healing process quicker or give yourself some relief. If the scabs are the result of cold sores, antiviral medicines can help them heal faster. Your doctor may also recommend ointments that numb the blisters, dry them out, or soften the crusts of the sores. Sunblock lip balm can protect your lips from the sun, a trigger for cold sores. Cold sores usually go away on their own in a few weeks.

If the scabs are caused by any trauma, like dryness or because of biting your lips, you can try applying lip balm, beeswax, or petroleum jelly for some relief.

What to Do if Your Scab Won’t Heal

According to MedlinePlus, you will know if your scab is infected if you see redness, yellow or green pus, or excessive clear fluid around it. Increased pain could be another sign that the area is infected. In this case, you should consult with your dentist or doctor immediately to get the right treatment.

If your scab isn’t healing on its own, it’s essential to see your doctor to ensure it’s not a sign of lip cancer. Early detection means that the cancer may be curable.

In most cases, the scab on your lip will heal on its own, but if it’s been a few days and you’re wondering why the scab won’t heal, it’s definitely worth checking with your doctor or dentist. Seeking additional treatment can go a long way in making you feel comfortable and confident.

by Colgate

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Views: 48

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.

by My Dentist West Minster

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How To Fight Gingivitis In Three Easy Steps

Do you notice bleeding when you brush your teeth, have frequent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth? Are your gums red, swollen and tender? According to the Indian Dental Association, if you suffer from gingivitis, some of the warning signs are swelling, bleeding gums, bright red or purple appearance to gums, gums that are tender when touched, mouth sores, swollen gums and shiny appearance to gums. Gingivitis begins when bacterial plaque accumulates around the gumline, causing inflammation in your gum tissue. But don't worry; it's treatable. If you want to know how to fight gingivitis, it's as easy as one-two-three: brushing, flossing and professional cleanings.

Proper Toothbrushing

Your toothbrushing habits may be beyond reproach, but there is always room for improvement. Your first step in fighting gingivitis starts here. Use a soft-bristle toothbrush, small enough to get into the hard-to-reach places. To brush properly, place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gumline, and use short, gentle back-and-forth strokes on each tooth for at least two minutes of brushing. Brush your teeth in a pattern so that you don't miss any areas. Brush the outer surfaces of your upper teeth and then move to the outer surfaces of your lower teeth. Next, clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth and then the same in your lower teeth. Brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth last, and eliminate any remaining bacteria by brushing your tongue.

Throw away old and worn toothbrushes, which can harbour bacteria. Frayed bristles won't clean sufficiently, either. Ask your dentist which toothpaste is right for you as well; there are products to meet every dental need. While most toothpastes have their own whitening and cavity prevention formulas, but your dentist can recommend you a toothpaste that cares for teeth prone to the irritation associated with gum disease or tooth sensitivity.

Proper Flossing

The Indian Dental Association explains that proper flossing removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot reach- under the gum-line and between the teeth. Daily flossing is recommended because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. It stimulates gums, polishes tooth surfaces, reduces gum bleeding and prevents gum disease. This is why flossing is a key factor in preventing gingivitis.

Floss once a day, ideally before bedtime when you've already had a full day of meals. Wrap a long enough piece of floss (about 18 inches) around the middle finger of each hand. Hold the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers and slide it between each tooth making a C-shape around each tooth using a push and pull and then an up-and-down motion. Bring the floss over the gum tissue in between the teeth and do the same routine on the other side. You'll need to curve the floss around each tooth to allow it to go beneath the gumline and then once you have flossed both sides of the teeth then move the floss down so a clean area can be used to floss the next two teeth.

Take care not to force the floss, and use clean sections as your progress through your mouth, so you don't move bacteria from tooth to tooth. Be thorough by removing the floss from between your teeth slowly, in a back-and-forth motion. Ask your dentist for recommendations if you have trouble; there are waxed and un-waxed varieties, as well as floss holders if you struggle to wind and grip the floss yourself.

Professional Dental Cleanings

When plaque is not thoroughly cleaned off your teeth by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar. Tartar build-up occurs and plaque adheres to the tartar which leads to an increase in bacterial toxins and can cause gingivitis to progress into more serious forms of gum disease, like periodontitis.

Professional cleanings are the best ways to remove tartar from your teeth. And if your gingivitis has not progressed, a professional cleaning will help reverse it. This can involve scaling, which requires scraping away this hardened plaque (tartar); and root planing, used to smooth over the root to promote healing once the plaque and tartar are removed. For many people, a preventive cleaning twice a year is enough, but your dentist can help you decide the schedule that works best for you.

The sooner you get started, the better. Knowing how to fight gingivitis will give you a healthy mouth now, with no worries of gum disease in the future. Keep up the good fight!

by Colgate

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Seven Rules to Make Your Dental Check-Up Easier

The purpose of a dental check-up goes further than merely getting your teeth cleaned. It is also an opportunity for a dentist to evaluate the patient's mouth and come up with a treatment plan for any issues that may not be known by the patient. Regular visits to the dentist's clinic are an integral part of preventative dental care.

Making check-ups easier

Here are seven simple things that can be done to make a patient's visit to the dentist a lot easier:

1. Make a list of concerns and questions before the dental check-up

Patients often have a hard time remembering all the questions they have during dental visits, so it is best to write them down before appointments. Patients should talk to their dentists about any issues they are experiencing like bleeding gums, tooth pain or sensitivity, sores inside the mouth, habits like teeth grinding, or difficulty brushing and flossing due to a damaged tooth.

2. Provide updates to medical history

Patients should also provide any updates to their medical history during dental check-ups. Many health issues can affect a person's oral health like diabetes, and dentists are better equipped to treat their patients when they are fully aware of the health conditions the person is dealing with. The more informed the dentist is, the more likely they will be to recommend the right treatments.

3. Provide lists of medications, supplements, and vitamins being taken

Certain medications have side effects like dry mouth, increased blood pressure, or depression which can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Other medications have a thinning effect on the patient's blood, and that can lead to increased bleeding after dental treatments are performed. When a dentist is aware of the medications a patient takes, proper steps can be made to ensure its side effects does not lead to complications during treatments.

4. Consider low-cost alternatives

This option is particularly important for those working with a budget. Finances being tight can lead to dental anxiety since the patient finds that they continuously are worried about being able to afford the necessary treatments. When working with a budget, it is best to communicate that directly with the dentist so that cheaper treatments can be explored.

5. Ask for oral hygiene tips

Dentistry is always changing, and some things that were once recommended by dentists are now considered unhealthy. Patients should talk to their dentist about the proper way to take care of their teeth and gums. Part of a dentist's job is to educate patients about their oral health so take advantage of this.

6. Arrive early

Showing up for dental appointments on time gives the patient an opportunity to relax and calm down before treatments. That leads to a more pleasant experience since the person does not feel rushed. Patients should make it a habit of arriving at least five minutes before dental appointments.

7. Consider sedation dentistry

Those who have a hard time staying relaxed at the dentist's clinic should consider sedation dentistry. This choice involves the use of sedatives to keep patients relaxed during appointments.

by Chamblee Dental Care

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What Causes a Swollen Gum around One Tooth?

When brushing your teeth in front of the mirror, it's common to suddenly spot something you hadn't noticed before. For example, how could a swollen gum form around one tooth? And is there anything you can do about it? There are a few reasons why your gums can swell in one area, including an abscessed tooth, gum disease and improper brushing or flossing. Here are some causes of this common problem and what to do if it happens to you.

1. Hygienic Mishaps

If there is swelling around just one tooth in your mouth, it may be because you didn't brush or floss correctly, leaving behind food debris that cause tooth cavities and inflammation in the neglected area. Over time, such inadequate oral hygiene can also lead to gum disease. Be on the lookout for pale, red or swollen gums, as well as bleeding while brushing, pus coming from the tooth, a loose tooth, or persistent bad breath and taste.

2. Gum Disease

A common trigger of a swollen gum around one tooth, gum disease is a prevalent condition for which you should be on guard each time you brush. In its earliest stages, the condition's symptoms show up as red and swollen gums that, although painless, might still bleed. As the disease progresses, it can cause loose teeth due to gums that have pulled away in certain spots.

3. Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is another very common cause of local gum swelling and indicates an infection in or around your tooth. This can often come from an untreated cavity that causes germs to spread through and infect your tooth. Keep in mind that an abscess can cause irritation and ultimately cost you the tooth if left untreated. Telltale signs include throbbing pain, red or swollen gums, a swollen jaw or face, a tender or sore tooth, a fever, and even a salty taste in your mouth. Because treatment is required for an abscessed tooth, your dentist may give you antibiotics for the infection, a root canal to remove the infected pulp, or extract the tooth entirely depending on the severity.

How to Prevent Swollen Gums

It's not enough to just brush your teeth twice a day; flossing in between your teeth and using an effective mouthrinse are just as important. In addition, make sure you're brushing, flossing and rinsing with proper tools and the right technique. If you have a large space between two teeth, for instance, an interdental brush can help clean in between them. Of course, you should be going for your dental check-ups twice a year so your dentist can check not only the overall health of your teeth, but also whether your gums have receded or started to swell.

A healthy mouth and beautiful smile depend on how much care you put into both your teeth and gums. Start with oral care at home and follow it up with semiannual dental appointments to make sure your mouth health is uninterrupted from ear to ear.

by Colgate

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Eight Ways to Relieve Tooth Sensitivity

About 1 in 8 people have sensitive teeth, according to a study in the March 2013 issue of the Journal of American Dentistry. If you’ve chalked your sensitive teeth up to either bad luck or bad genetics, you might want to think again: There’s a good chance that your dental dilemmas are being triggered by improper brushing or too many sugary drinks.  

First, some background: Our teeth are coated with an outer, protective layer of enamel, then another, inner layer of dentin, says Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, DDS, a dentist at Rolling Oaks Dental in San Antonio, Texas, and a national spokeswoman for the American Dental Association (ADA). When the enamel on our teeth wears down, we’re especially susceptible to very hot, cold, sweet, and acidic foods and drinks, which work their way through the tiny tubules in the dentin and irritate the underlying nerves. When this happens, you might feel a shocking sensation that can radiate through the tooth for moments to hours.

The good news: There are steps you can take to ease and prevent tooth sensitivity. Here are eight strategies that work.

1.- Brush Gently

Vigorous brushing won’t make your teeth any cleaner, but it can increase your risk for tooth sensitivity. That’s because too-tough brushing can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, exposing the nerve and setting you up for tooth pain.

Use a soft-bristled brush with the ADA-accepted seal of approval, says Ferraz-Dougherty. Using short strokes, brush your teeth twice a day in a gentle up-and-down motion — not from side-to-side. "Almost think of it like massaging your teeth and gums versus a hard scrubbing," she adds. "As long as you're doing it twice a day for two minutes, it will be effective."

Use a Desensitizing ToothpasteVigorous brushing won’t make your teeth any cleaner, but it can increase your risk for tooth sensitivity. That’s because too-tough brushing can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, exposing the nerve and setting you up for tooth pain.

Use a soft-bristled brush with the ADA-accepted seal of approval, says Ferraz-Dougherty. Using short strokes, brush your teeth twice a day in a gentle up-and-down motion — not from side-to-side. "Almost think of it like massaging your teeth and gums versus a hard scrubbing," she adds. "As long as you're doing it twice a day for two minutes, it will be effective."

2.- Use a Desensitizing Toothpaste

Over-the-counter desensitizing toothpastes contain a compound that helps block the transmission of sensation from the tooth to the nerve, says Ferraz-Dougherty. Use it twice daily; you should notice less sensitivity within a few weeks. For very tender areas, try rubbing a bit of desensitizing toothpaste directly on the tooth, suggests the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF).

3.- Rinse With a Fluoride Mouthwash

The fluoride in over-the-counter fluoride mouthwashes can strengthen your teeth’s enamel layer, helping to [protect against] sensitivity," says Ferraz-Dougherty, who recommends choosing an ADA-approved product. (Bonus: Fluoride also can protect against tooth decay and cavities, which can also cause sensitive teeth, says the ADA.) Just remember to rinse daily with the mouthwash after brushing your teeth.

4.- Avoid Acidic Drinks

Highly acidic foods and drinks wear away your teeth’s enamel, leaving you susceptible to tooth sensitivity and tooth decay, says Ferraz-Dougherty. Plus, they can also cause the gum line to recede, which exposes the nerves. Carbonated sodas, citrus fruit-based juices, and citrus fruits are all acidic. Instead of eating citrus fruits by themselves, try adding them to a meal:  The other foods serve as a buffer, which helps lower the pH levels in your mouth. And be sure to wait at least 30 minutes after eating citrus fruits to brush your teeth. "The acid weakens tooth enamel, and brushing too soon may damage the enamel," Ferraz-Dougherty says.

5.- Skip the Tooth Bleaching

Both at-home whitening kits and in-office teeth whitening procedures can cause some temporary sensitivity, says Ferraz-Dougherty, so if you have sensitive teeth and want to brighten your pearly whites, be sure to let your dentist know about your condition. "If you have sensitive teeth, they may not recommend whitening for you," she says.  

6.- Bite Down on a Mouth Guard

If you grind your teeth — a condition called bruxism — you can wear down the enamel, which could trigger sensitivity, says Ferraz-Dougherty. Since people commonly grind their teeth at night, talk to your dentist about being fitted for a mouth guard that you can wear while you sleep. Another suggestion: Because tooth grinding is often a sign of stress, you may also need to incorporate more de-stressing lifestyle changes into your day (think: exercising, meditation, and more), advises the ADA.

7.- Consider In-Office Treatments

If you have severely sensitive teeth, you might want to consider an in-office dental treatment. Gel fluoride treatments (available in higher concentrations than you’d find in over-the-counter products), crowns, inlays, or bonding can all help cover sensitive areas on your teeth, the ADA says. For severe cases, you can also have a gum graft (a procedure that removes a section of your gum from one area of your mouth and moves it to the area where your gums have receded) or, if the pain can’t be managed, a root canal to remove the nerve. "If everything else doesn't help, these are kind of a last resort," says Ferraz-Dougherty.

8.- Visit Your Dentist

If your teeth are sensitive and nothing seems to be working, Ferraz-Dougherty recommends visiting your dentist. "If your teeth are bothered in cold weather, the question is what's causing it to be sensitive to the cold," she says. "Don't just try to cover it up." Sensitive teeth can be a warning sign of a more serious dental health problem such as a fractured tooth, worn fillings, an exposed root, or gum disease. "Figure out what's causing it, and address it," she says.

by Everyday Health

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Why is Early Detection of Oral Health Problems Important?

As you might know, many people don’t see their dentist regularly. Some believe fewer visits will save them money overall. Others, meanwhile, think their teeth will be fine with less frequent dental checkups. However, you have good reason to attend these six-month meetings. Your dentist allows for the early detection of oral health problems in Queens Creek. To learn more, here are four benefits to visiting your dentist twice yearly for checkups and cleanings.

It Would Spare You Pain

Regular dental appointments keep minor issues from becoming major ones. In doing so, they prevent the discomfort of serious oral health problems.

Consider cavities, for instance. While they can start with mild toothaches and soreness, they can lead to sharp and severe pain if left untreated. The discomfort would worsen if a cavity developed into a tooth infection. Plus, the necessary treatment would be invasive.

Thankfully, a dentist can detect a cavity before it gets too bad. That way, they’d spare you from the pain of your tooth and invasive procedures.

It Could Save Your Life

Poor oral health doesn’t just affect your teeth and gums; it can be life-threatening in some cases. For example, gum disease patients are at higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. Similarly, it’s possible to develop oral cancer inside your mouth.

Preventive dental checkups, though, make these outcomes far less likely. For one, they can keep you from getting gum disease in the first place. A dentist can also identify conditions like oral cancer — which is treatable if detected early.

It Lowers Your Expenses

While you might think fewer checkups mean more money saved, it’s actually the opposite. Indeed, getting less preventive care will only raise your expenses.

Whatever the cost of dental checkups, treatments for preventable conditions are more expensive. This fact is due to how the procedures involve more specialized knowledge. As such, a few checkups over the years won’t be as pricy as one complicated emergency service.

It Makes Socializing Easier

Waiting too long to get a checkup won’t just hurt your health; it’ll also lead to things like a crooked smile or stained teeth. In that case, you might get less confident in your appearance and feel awkward around others. Studies even show that those with poor-looking smiles suffer from poor self-esteem. At its worst, this decline in mental health could affect your relationships and even lead to depression.

Preventive care, though, can boost your teeth’s looks. Many dentists offer teeth cleanings that lead to fewer tooth stains. They also recommend ways to keep your smile straight.

As you can see, early detection of oral health problems is vital. That said, remember to visit your dentist for your next checkup!

by Queen Creek Complete Dental

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What Procedures Are Done at a Dental Checkup?

A dental checkup involves checking your gums and teeth to look for potential issues. Knowing what procedures to expect can help make the process easier for you. You might want to get an exam every six months. But if you have specific issues, you might need a more detailed exam. Keep reading to learn what you should expect.

The importance of getting regular exams

Many children and adults need to have an exam every six months or so. If the gums are bleeding or swollen, the patient might have gum disease. The dentist might need to see the patient more often in that case. In some cases, an adult with the condition might need to go to the dentist several times each year. That prevents the disease from worsening.

What to expect during an exam

Usually, the dentist will start by cleaning the teeth and perhaps doing X-rays. The cleaning involves removing the plaque and tartar using specific dental tools. That gets rid of the bacteria in the mouth and stops it from building up. Next, the patient has the teeth flossed and gently brushed.

Getting the X-ray

First, the patient will have a lead apron placed over the chest to protect it. In some cases, the patient gets another covering for the neck to protect the thyroid from the radiation. Next, the patient will bite down on some plastic. The dentist places the scanner on the outside of the mouth and takes the picture. Often, the dentist is in a protective area.

Some X-rays require repeating the process a few times. The patient might bite down in several areas of the mouth. There are a few kinds of X-rays. For instance, a full-mouth set involves checking the health of the entire mouth. Other types might get taken on each side of the mouth.

Examining the mouth

At the dental checkup, the dentist looks over the X-rays to see if there are issues such as cavities. Next, it is time to check the gums and teeth to see if these are healthy. The dentist might look over the bite, which includes how the bottom and top teeth fit with each other. If there is an issue with the bite, the patient might need to have that addressed.

The dentist will also look for signs of oral cancer. That might include looking over the inside of the mouth. It might involve feeling the jaw and inspecting the roof of the mouth as well. For a dental checkup for a child, the dentist might see if the teeth are developing correctly. Early orthodontic treatment might be necessary.

Choose the right dental checkup today

If you have not been to the dentist in a while, it is the right time to make an appointment. The dentist can determine how often you need to go back after the initial time. Knowing what to expect can help make the process easier for you. Making an appointment today is the first step toward a healthier smile.

by Media Center Dental

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Six Reasons Not To Overlook Your Dental Care

Dental care is one of the most important aspects of our personal health. The mouth and teeth are a window into what’s happening in your body. If you ignore dental problems, they can lead to serious medical complications. This article will explore six reasons why you should never overlook your dental care.

1. Dental Care Can Improve Your Overall Health

Good oral health is linked to good overall health. Studies have shown that people with gum disease are more likely to develop other chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. By taking care of your teeth and gums, you’re also taking care of your overall health.

2. Dental Care Can Save You Money in the Long Run

Preventative dental care is always less expensive than restorative or emergency dental care. By investing in regular dental checkups and cleanings, you can avoid more costly procedures down the road.

3. Dental Problems Can Cause Pain and Discomfort

Dental problems can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. If you have a toothache, it can be difficult to eat, sleep, or concentrate on anything else. You can avoid this pain and discomfort by investing in preventive care and getting dental problems treated early.

4. Dental Care Can Help You Avoid Bad Breath

Bad breath is often caused by poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, food and bacteria can build up in your mouth, causing bad breath. By taking care of your teeth, you can avoid this embarrassing problem.

5. Dental Care Can Boost Your Self-Esteem

Having a healthy, beautiful smile can do wonders for your self-esteem. When you feel good about your smile, you’re likely to flash it more often. This can boost your confidence in social and work situations.

6. It Can Help You Avoid Tooth Loss

Tooth loss is a serious problem that can significantly impact your life. Not only is it aesthetically unpleasing, but it can also make it difficult to eat and speak properly. By taking care of your teeth, you can avoid this problem.

According to the CDC, cavities, severe gum disease, and severe tooth loss are the three most common oral diseases that significantly impact one’s general health and quality of life. Dental care is not just about having a white, sparkling smile. It’s about maintaining your overall health and preventing serious medical problems. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, call us today to schedule an appointment.

by Lowell dental Arts

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How Long After A Teeth Cleaning Can I Eat?

Having your teeth professionally cleaned by your dentist or hygienist is an important way to remove built-up plaque and tartar that regular daily brushing and flossing at home can’t tackle. However, after a cleaning, your teeth and gums need a bit of time to recover before you dive back into eating normally. Here’s a detailed look at dental cleaning aftercare and when you can start eating again.

Can I eat right after a teeth cleaning?

Most dentists recommend waiting at least an hour after a professional teeth cleaning before eating anything. Here’s why:

Your mouth needs time to settle

During a teeth cleaning appointment, your hygienist scales and polishes your teeth to remove tartar, plaque, and stains. This involves some abrasion and irritation to your gums. Your gums need time to settle down before you put food particles in your mouth.

Eating too soon after a cleaning can introduce bacteria and food debris into your newly cleaned mouth. This increases your risk of developing new plaque buildup and tooth decay.

Your mouth may be numb

Many dentists use a topical anesthetic gel to numb your gums during the cleaning. The numbing effect usually lasts at least 30-60 minutes after the appointment.

If your mouth is still numb, you risk biting your tongue orinner cheek while chewing. Wait until the numbness fully wears off before eating to prevent accidental injury inside your mouth.

You just rinsed with fluoride

At the end of the teeth cleaning appointment, your dentist or hygienist may apply a fluoride rinse or gel. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities.

For the fluoride to work optimally, you need to avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes. This allows time for the fluoride to fully absorb into your teeth.

Swallowing food or beverages too soon can wash away the fluoride before your teeth fully benefit from the treatment.

How long should I wait before eating after a dental cleaning?

The general rule is to wait 60 minutes after your teeth cleaning before consuming any food or beverages.

This hour delay gives your mouth time to recover from the cleaning and allows the fluoride to work. It also prevents disrupting any clotting in your gums from the scaling.

Of course, follow your own dentist’s post-cleaning recommendations about eating. Some dentists may suggest waiting 30 minutes or up to 2 hours before eating, depending on the specifics of your appointment.

Here are some tips for the hour after your dental cleaning:

Don’t eat or drink anything besides water. Avoid coffee, tea, soda, alcoholic beverages, and citrus juices as well.

Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. This can impair healing and undo the cleaning you just received.

Don’t rinse your mouth out with any mouthwash, either. Standard mouthwash can wash away the protective fluoride applied by your dental hygienist.

Avoid sticky, hard, or chewy foods. Soft foods are best after a cleaning.

Don’t floss before eating. Flossing could disrupt a healing blood clot and delay gum healing.

Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to help soothe gums before eating.

Take over-the-counter pain medication as needed if your gums remain sore. This can make eating more comfortable.

What foods should I eat after a dental cleaning?

Within the first 24 hours after your teeth cleaning, stick to soft, cool foods that won’t irritate your gums. Some good options include:

Yogurt, pudding, applesauce, or cottage cheese

Mashed or baked potatoes

Scrambled eggs

Oatmeal or porridge

Soup, broth, or bouillon

Ice cream, popsicles, slushies, or smoothies

Jello or sugar-free gelatin

Mashed ripe banana

Meal replacement shakes or protein shakes

Avoid any spicy, salty, acidic, or crunchy foods during the first day or so. These can cause pain and prolong healing:

Chips, pretzels, popcorn

Nuts, crunchy granola

Raw fruits and vegetables

Hard breads and bagels

Spicy salsa or sauces

Citrus fruits and juices


Vinegar and vinaigrette dressings

Alcohol, carbonated beverages

After 24 hours, you can typically resume your normal healthy diet. But continue avoiding sticky foods that can get trapped between teeth for a few days. Minimize candy, caramels, taffy, gum, cookies, cakes, and biscuits that adhere to tooth surfaces.

Here are some tooth-friendly foods you can enjoy a few days after your cleaning:

Tender cooked vegetables like steamed carrots, green beans, or zucchini

Soft whole grain pasta, brown rice, quinoa

Shredded wheat cereal, oatmeal

Fish, chicken, eggs, meatloaf

Canned fruits like peaches, pears, apricots

Well-cooked beans and lentils

Hummus and avocado

Can I drink coffee after a teeth cleaning?

Most dentists recommend avoiding coffee, tea, soda, and other staining drinks for at least 24 hours after your teeth are professionally cleaned.

The tooth polishing and enamel abrasion that occurs during a dental cleaning can make your teeth more porous and vulnerable to new stains. Consuming dark beverages too soon exposes your teeth to more potential discoloration before the tooth enamel fully recovers.

Drinking very hot or cold liquids right after a cleaning can also irritate sensitive gums and teeth.

After the first 24 hours, you can generally resume coffee drinking as normal. But don’t overdo it! Remember, frequent coffee and tea drinking without proper oral hygiene leads to tooth staining and discoloration over time.

Here are some tips for drinking coffee safely after a dental cleaning:

Use a straw to minimize contact between the coffee and your teeth.

Rinse your mouth with water after finishing your coffee.

Wait at least 30 minutes after coffee before brushing. The combination of brushing too soon after acidic coffee can erode enamel.

Drink coffee in moderation, limiting intake to 1-2 cups per day.

Avoid adding sugar or sweet creamers that increase the beverage’s cavity-causing potential.

Maintain your bright smile by brushing twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and attending regular dental cleanings and checkups. Avoid constantly sipping coffee throughout the day. Follow these rules and you can both enjoy your coffee and keep your teeth looking their best!

When can I resume normal brushing and flossing after a cleaning?

It’s important not to brush or floss too vigorously in the hours immediately after your dental cleaning.

Here are some general timelines for resuming your normal oral hygiene routine:

Brushing: Wait at least 1 hour after your cleaning before brushing your teeth. Brushing too soon can damage the smooth tooth surfaces that were polished during the cleaning. After 1 hour, you can brush gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Avoid vigorous scrubbing motions.

Flossing: Avoid flossing for the first 6-12 hours after your cleaning. Flossing can disrupt healing blood clots and expose your gums to new bacteria before they have fully recovered. After 6-12 hours, you can typically resume regular flossing. Use a gentle motion and avoid snapping floss against the gums.

Mouthwash: Unless specifically instructed otherwise, wait 24 hours before using mouthwash. The alcohol in some rinses can sting and irritate your freshly cleaned gums. After 24 hours, you can resume gently swishing with an alcohol-free rinse to help prevent plaque buildup.

Water flossing: Water flossers use pressurized water streams to remove plaque between teeth. Avoid water flossing for at least 3-5 days after your professional cleaning. The pressure can irritate your gums and potentially reopen healing wounds. After several days, you can resume water flossing on the lowest comfortable setting.

Listen to any customized post-cleaning instructions from your dentist. With proper healing time, you’ll soon be able to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums again and maximize the benefits of your dental cleaning.

by CDHP Dental Health

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Seven Issues You Can Avoid By Brushing Your Tongue

Do you want to enhance your dental health and avoid certain frequent mouth problems? Take a look at your tongue! Yes, taking care of your tongue can help avoid bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, infections, and other problems. Brushing your tongue can have a surprising effect on your dental hygiene. So take your toothbrush and read on to learn about the seven problems you may avoid just by implementing this sometimes-forgotten step into your daily routine. It’s past time to pay attention to our tongues!

1.- Bad Breath

Imagine you’re talking to someone, and suddenly, their face gets scrunched up in disgust. You know immediately that the feared comment about your bad breath is coming. It can be embarrassing and make you feel bad about yourself for the rest of the day.

But don’t worry! Brushing your tongue is the best way to get rid of bad smells. There are a lot of germs on our tongues, and they love to eat leftover food and dead cells. Over time, these bacteria make sulfur chemicals, which cause that smell we all hate.

By brushing your tongue often, you remove the bacteria’s place to grow and keep them from returning. This simple step makes it much less likely to have bad breath all day.

2.- Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a problem that many people have with their teeth. It happens when your teeth’s enamel starts to break down, which can lead to cavities and, in the end, tooth loss. Did you know brushing your tongue can help keep your teeth from getting cavities?

When you brush your tongue, you eliminate germs and leftover food from your mouth. These bacteria make acids that break down the enamel on your teeth. Over time, this makes your teeth weaker. By cleaning your tongue often, you can reduce the number of bad bugs in your mouth and make it less likely that your teeth will get cavities.

So remember to pay attention to your tongue the next time you brush your teeth. It’s an easy and effective way to keep your mouth healthy and prevent tooth damage.

3.- Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common problem that affects many people, and if it isn’t handled, it can lead to serious consequences. This happens when germs in the mouth get into the gums, making them swollen and red.

Gum disease is often caused by not taking care of your teeth. Plaque builds up along the gumline when you don’t brush your teeth often or well enough. Plaque gets hard over time and turns into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist.

Gingivitis is the first step of gum disease. If it worsens, it can lead to more serious periodontitis. This advanced gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth and damage the bone structure below.

The good news is that brushing your tongue daily can help prevent gum disease. You can get rid of bad germs in your mouth by brushing your teeth and tongue twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush or tongue scraper.

4.- Infections

Infections can pose a serious threat to your dental health. Negative bacteria can build up on your tongue if you don’t brush it frequently, which might result in infections in your mouth. These infections may make you feel uncomfortable, painful, or even swollen.

Thrush is a typical infection that might happen. A fungal infection called thrush causes white patches to develop on the tongue and within the mouth. It can be rather unpleasant, and getting rid of it can require medical attention.

Glossitis is a different infection that might appear. The condition results in tongue inflammation, making it look red and swollen. Glossitis can make speech and swallowing challenging in severe cases.

You should brush your tongue to help avoid these diseases as part of your everyday oral hygiene regimen. You must use a tongue scraper or a toothbrush with gentle bristles.

5.- White Tongue

An issue that many people deal with at some time in their lives is having a white tongue. It describes the appearance of a white layer or patches on the tongue’s surface. Even though it might not always be a reason for alarm, it can point to underlying health problems.

Poor oral hygiene is one potential contributor to a white tongue. If you don’t routinely brush your tongue, bacteria and food particles may build up on its surface and cause discoloration. Additionally, this issue might be exacerbated by smoking and other drugs.

Oral thrush, brought on by an overabundance of yeast in the mouth, is another potential cause of white tongue. People with low immune systems or recently taking antibiotics are more prone to developing this illness.

A white coating on the tongue can also be caused by dehydration and dry mouth. The tongue can seem whitish if there isn’t enough saliva to wipe away dead cells and other debris from the surface.

While most occurrences of the white tongue are innocuous and transient, it’s crucial to remember that severe or persistent cases should be examined by a dentist or healthcare provider for correct diagnosis and treatment.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene habits is essential to preventing the development or worsening of a white tongue. These include brushing your teeth twice daily and gently wiping your tongue with a toothbrush or specialized tongue scraper. Along with keeping your mouth hydrated, drinking lots of water throughout the day can assist.

6.- Swallowing Problems

Many people may experience significant difficulties swallowing; therefore, you might be surprised to find that frequent tongue brushing can help. Bacteria and debris can build up on our tongues if we don’t properly clean them, which increases the risk of having trouble swallowing.

Dysphagia, or having trouble swallowing food or drink, is a typical issue. If not treated properly, this condition may cause discomfort and result in choking. You can reduce the accumulation of bacteria that could cause dysphagia by brushing your tongue daily as part of your oral hygiene practice.

Feeling like a lump in the throat or something is stuck is another concern associated with difficulties swallowing. The Globus pharyngeus, a benign disorder that produces discomfort but typically doesn’t signal any major medical issues, is frequently linked to these symptoms. Cleaning your tongue regularly might lessen the amount of bacteria that could increase this feeling.

Additionally, throat irritation and infections have been connected to poor oral hygiene. These ailments may make swallowing uncomfortable and challenging. By carefully washing it every day, you may lessen the likelihood that bacteria will grow on your tongue and cause these unpleasant infections.

7.- Taste Buds

Our sense of taste greatly influences our enjoyment of eating. Our tongue’s surface has several tiny sensory organs that enable us to distinguish between various flavors. Eating would be a drab and repetitive experience without taste buds.

When we eat, food molecules come into contact with the taste receptors on our taste buds, communicating information about the flavors of what we’re eating to our brains. Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (savory) are the basic sensations that taste receptors can identify.

Contrary to popular belief, taste buds aren’t uniformly distributed around the tongue. The tongue has various areas that are more sensitive to various tastes. For instance, the tip of the tongue is where sweetness is most easily tasted, whereas the back of the tongue is where bitterness is most powerfully felt.

Although the way taste buds work and contribute to our culinary experiences is intriguing, if they are not properly cared for, they can potentially develop problems. By allowing bacteria to build up on your taste buds, poor oral hygiene can reduce their sensitivity or leave your mouth with a persistently terrible taste.

Remember to incorporate tongue brushing in your regular oral hygiene regimen to ensure maximum tasting abilities and prevent any potential concerns related to your sense of taste!

How To Brush Your Tongue

Now that we know why brushing our tongues is so important let’s talk about how to do it right. Here are a few easy steps to take:

1. Wet the bristles of your toothbrush.

2. Spread out your tongue as far as possible without feeling pain.

3. Use a soft toothbrush to gently brush back and forth along the surface of your tongue.

4. Pay close attention to the back of your tongue, a common place for germs to grow.

5. Brush your teeth for another 30 to 60 seconds.

6. Rinse your mouth well with water or a mouthwash that kills germs.

Always use a soft-bristled toothbrush or buy a tongue scraper for a more thorough cleaning. By adding this small step to your oral care routine, you’ll get rid of bad breath, lower your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, infections, white tongue, eating problems, and even improve your taste buds! So don’t forget to brush every part of your mouth with care and attention! It will be good for your teeth and gums in general.

by Dawson Modern Dentistry

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Not at Home? How to Get Rid of Bad Breath on the Go

When you wake up in the morning, getting rid of that bad morning breath is a no-brainer: You head to the bathroom and use toothpaste and mouthwash to freshen your breath. Scoring fresh breath at home is simple, but knowing how to get rid of bad breath while you're out and about can be trickier. After all, you're not always going to be near a sink or have your toothbrush handy. That's why it's important to have a backup plan in place. That way, if you do suspect that you have bad breath, you'll have a few tricks up your sleeve to get rid of it.

Sugar-Free Gum and Candy

Bad breath can sometimes be linked to poor salivary flow, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA suggests that chewing a stick of sugar-free gum or popping a sugar-free candy into your mouth can help get rid of bad breath and — if the gum or candy is mint-flavored — leave a fresher smell behind. Chewing gum and sucking on candy promote saliva production, which helps clear the tongue and teeth of bad-breath-inducing food particles and bacteria. Keep a pack of sugar-free gum or candy in your pocket or purse so you always have a backup plan.

Portable Mini Brushes

Keeping your toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste in your pocket may not be the most inconspicuous way to score fresh breath on the go. Adding a package of mini brushes can help you banish bad breath with a quick trip to the powder room. Designed to work without water or extra toothpaste, this pocket-sized bristled toothbrush has a toothpaste gel in the center. Use it once and toss it for quick touch-ups.

Chewing Parsley

In some situations — think of eating a garlicky meal on a first date — you may not have the tools for fresher breath in your pocket or purse. You're in luck if your dinner came with a parsley garnish. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that chewing a bit of parsley or a sprig of mint can neutralize bad breath. Grab a piece and chew it quickly, and you'll have fresher breath within a few seconds.

Talking to Your Doctor

Quick fixes work well for bad breath that sneaks up on you at an inconvenient time. If you constantly suffer from bad breath, it may be more than just an annoyance. Talk to your dentist about possible causes of bad breath, which can include tooth decay, recent dental work and even digestive problems. Discuss how to get rid of bad breath that is caused by a more serious condition. Whether it's a once-in-a-while problem or a consistent issue, bad breath can be resolved with quick fixes and long-term solutions.

by Colgate

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How To Clean Your Tongue: A Three-Step Guide

We all know that brushing our teeth twice a day is an essential part of our oral hygiene routine, but you may not think about cleaning your tongue every day. 

So, should you brush your tongue? Yes! In this article we will provide you with a simple three step guide for your daily oral hygiene routine, including tips on how to clean your tongue:

Brush your teeth and gums

Scrape your tongue

Use mouthwash

As well as offering steps for how to clean a tongue, we’ll provide tips to help protect your oral health and explain why following these steps is so important to maintaining good oral hygiene.

Why are you supposed to brush your tongue?

The tongue, besides its vital role in body function, can play host to a lot of bacteria. With over 700 different bacteria in our mouth 1 – both helpful and harmful – brushing your tongue is an important step in maintaining the health of your mouth. Here are a few other reasons it’s crucial you don’t forget to brush your tongue:

Brushing your teeth alone does not eliminate the bacteria which cause plaque. Bacteria can accumulate in between the thousands of taste buds that cover the surface of our tongue. 

These bacteria can transform dental plaque into tartar. 2 Both plaque and tartar can cause gum problems in addition to other serious health problems including gum disease (also known as gingivitis) and in more serious cases periodontitis.

The tongue is a reliable general health problem indicator. 3 Changes in your tongue’s surface from tongue coating and stains to wounds and colour changes can indicate a range of health issues.Tip: Changes to your tongue give you a head start on getting underlying issues fixed. If you notice something different about your tongue, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Bacteria located on our tongue can cause bad breath. 4 Nobody wants to have – or smell – bad breath. However, as bacteria on your tongue interacts with the food and drink you consume, it creates a chemical reaction that can cause odour. 

Ultimately, understanding how to clean your tongue will help you to ensure good oral health. So, let’s move on to show you the simple steps for cleaning your tongue.

How to clean a tongue efficiently and effectively

It’s quite easy to clean and brush your tongue, so it will be simple enough to add it to your daily oral hygiene routine. Follow these three simple steps for how to clean your tongue well: 

Always start with the basics of good oral hygiene.Your tongue is only as clean as the rest of your mouth. Start your oral hygiene routine by making sure you always brush your teeth at least twice a day, for at least two minutes, with a gentle toothbrush.

Next, make sure you brush your tongue.The second step, and the most obvious one when it comes to cleaning your tongue, is brushing your tongue. This will help you to dislodge bacteria accumulated on the surface of your tongue. Here’s how to brush your tongue:

Stick your tongue out. 

Scrape from the back of your tongue to the tip with your toothbrush.

It is preferable to use the back of the brush head if it’s equipped with a tongue-scraper specially created for the spongy tongue surface. 

Rinse the tongue scraper between each passing to avoid putting the scraped bacteria back into your mouth.


Use antibacterial mouthwash. This is an especially important step if you have mouth ulcers or wounds. Antibacterial mouthwash can help these heal faster and also prevent toothbrushing from becoming painful.

Tip: Even electric toothbrushes can be equipped with a specialist tongue cleaner, like the Philips DiamondClean Smart Series with TongueCare+ toothbrush head. The integrated tongue scraper can be replaced regularly with the toothbrush head.

How to protect your oral health now that you know how to brush your tongue

Cleaning your tongue and following our steps to maintain your oral hygiene with the correct toothbrushing technique, flossing and more are only half the story. There is no better protection for your oral health than preventing issues from arising in the first place. With that in mind here are some top tips to protect your oral health now that you know how to clean your tongue well:

Limit your intake of coffee.

Reduce or quit smoking and using tobacco products.

Reduce your alcohol consumption.

Consume sugary foods and drinks in moderation.

Rinse with water, then brush your teeth and tongue half an hour after eating (or drinking) sugary or acidic foods and drinks. 

So, there you go. Should you brush your tongue? Yes! Is it difficult to do? No! There really is nothing complicated about brushing your tongue. Now you know how to brush a tongue in three simple steps, all you need to do is add this to your daily routine. In no time at all it will be second nature and your mouth will be clean and healthy.

by Philips

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What You Don’t Know About Brushing Your Teeth

Having great oral care is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re taking care of yourself and your body. That’s why brushing (and flossing!) your teeth daily to monitor your mouth for any changes should be an integral part of your day.

Everyone knows that you need to brush your teeth twice a day for a full 2 minutes – our dentists are have hammering that into our heads for generations. But, there are a lot of things about brushing that many people don’t know. It’s important to treat your teeth and gums in the best way you can, so we wanted to point out some of the things you can change about your daily regiment. 

Soft Bristles are More Effective Than Hard Bristles

It’s easy to gravitate towards firmer bristles when you’re picking out a toothbrush at the store. You may be thinking to yourself, “If I use firmer bristles, I can get all the nooks and crannies.” We get where you’re coming from, but, the opposite is actually true. When you opt for a firm-bristled brush, the bristles are naturally going to be more rigid and less likely to mold to the tooth while you’re brushing. In fact, a firmer bristle is more likely to wear away at your gums and enamel than give your teeth the clean they need. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush so you can avoid that happening. Your mouth will thank you.

You Don’t Have to Brush Hard

Along the same lines, it’s easy for you to think that the harder you brush, the cleaner your mouth will be. It’s actually better to go easy on your teeth because if you brush firmly, you stand the chance of eroding away your enamel. Your enamel is, of course, integral in the longevity of your oral history, so make sure to have a lighter hand when you brush. If you can’t do that with your manual toothbrush, consider investing in an electric toothbrush that has a pressure sensor built in. That way, you take the thinking out of brushing your teeth and let your brush do all the work.

Most People Forget to Brush the Inside Surface of Their Teeth

The inside surface of your teeth, or the side that your tongue rests against, is an often neglected area of the mouth. A lot of people focus all of their brushing attention to the surfaces of the teeth that the outside world is more liable to see. But, if you don’t brush the inside surface of your mouth, the food and beverages you consume are likely to settle there and calcify, which can create more issues in the long run. To remedy that, remember to brush all surfaces of your teeth.

You Don’t Have to Immediately Brush After Every Meal

A lot of people have started to brush their teeth directly after meals to maintain fresh breath throughout the day. While this is a prime example of having great manners, it’s not so great for your oral hygiene. When you eat, you’re inevitably going to have some acids in your mouth from your food. Brushing right after you’ve eaten is harmful because the act of brushing can help the acids in your mouth erode your teeth. To make sure this doesn’t happen, swish water around and wait a little bit before you brush.

We hope that you learned a thing or two about how to treat your teeth a little bit better. If you’re in need of a dentist to give them a deeper clean, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at All Smiles Care!

by All Smiles Care

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Five Oral Health Tips Everyone Should Follow

At this point, most of us know we should be brushing and flossing every day, but have you ever wondered if there were other things you should be doing on a daily basis to keep your pearly whites as healthy as possible? How much of a focus should you be putting on your toothbrush? Do you really need to brush your tongue? Should you be using a specific kind of mouthwash?

To answer all these questions and more, we sat down with Dr. Kristin Piper, DDS, out of Clintonville, OH, to get some advice on a few oral health tips everyone should be following.

Daily Oral Health Tips

1.- Don’t Forget Your Tongue:

First thing’s first, yes, you can definitely clean your tongue! “If you haven’t yet, think about using that tongue scraper to remove bacteria from the surface of your tongue,” said Dr. Piper. It can be a great way to go the extra mile for your mouth.

2.- Your Toothbrush Type Matters:

When it comes to toothbrushes, there really is a specific type you should be using. “There are so many types of toothbrushes out there, but some are definitely better than others,” she said. “Finding a toothbrush with soft bristles that can reach back to the crevices of your molars should be your go to. Just make sure that the toothbrush has an ADA Seal of Acceptance.”

3.- Clean Teeth Need a Clean Brush:

And speaking of toothbrushes, did you know that you should clean your brush after every use? “Unless you want new bacteria to breed and wind up in your mouth, you need to clean your toothbrush,” Dr. Piper said. “The American Dental Association (ADA) says to rinse your toothbrush after each use and allow it to air dry. And whatever you do, don’t cover your toothbrush — this can lead to bacteria buildup. So, skip the toothbrush covers unless you need them for traveling.”

4.- Out With the Old:

Thirdly, if you’ve been using the same brush for months and months and months, you should know that there’s definitely a toothbrush expiration date! According to the ADA, you should replace your toothbrush every three to four months — sooner if the bristles are looking frayed or worn.

5.- Hello, Mouthwash!

Another important oral health tip that many of us may not realize? Mouthwash can do more than just freshen breath! “Sure, mouthwash works great as a breath freshener, but it can also have oral health-boosting abilities,” she said. “Some special mouthwashes can help strengthen your teeth, reduce plaque, and fight off gingivitis before it even starts. Talk to your dentist about therapeutic mouthwashes that can help with oral hygiene if you’re interested in more than just over-the-counter mouthwashes.”

Now that you’re in the know when it comes to daily oral health tips and tricks, make sure that you’re going the extra mile and protecting your teeth from sensitivity pain every time you brush.

by Sensodyne

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Teeth But You Were Afraid To Ask The Dentist

Once, it was a simple question of up and down or round and round. Today, toothbrushing – a basic ritual of personal hygiene – is fraught with decisions: Should you use an oscillating electric brush, or a giant, rubber-flanged monster brush? Is it worth investing in mouthwash, or is tap water just as good?

The main reason we brush our teeth is to remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that grows on their surface. Some of these bacteria produce substances that irritate the gums. Others convert sugar into acid, which erodes the teeth. Bacteria also produce stinky substances that cause bad breath. But with so many potential ways of removing plaque from our mouths, how do you know what is best for your teeth? Here’s the latest scientific evidence.

What’s the most effective way to brush your teeth?

The Dental Health Foundation reports that one-in-four Brits think electric toothbrushes are for lazy people. That may be so, but unless you are particularly gifted with a manual toothbrush, they do generally result in cleaner teeth – particularly those with an oscillating head. When the Cochrane Oral Health Group – a group of dentists charged with publishing summaries of the best available evidence – looked at this issue, it concluded that, over three months, using an electric brush was associated with a 21% reduction in plaque and an 11% reduction in gum inflammation compared with manual brushing.

That is not to say that manual toothbrushes are useless, however. “They work pretty well, if you use them properly; the problem is that most people develop a system over time, and it’s not uncommon for them to miss areas,” says Derek Richards, director of the Centre for Evidence-based Dentistry in Dundee. If you prefer to use a manual brush, Richards advises choosing one with a smallish head and medium bristles to ensure that you reach all the nooks and crannies. As for technique, Richards says: “It’s about finding what works for you.”

When should I brush them?

At least twice a day – before bed, and at one other time. An ongoing area of disagreement is whether you should brush before, or after, breakfast. It depends on what you have eaten, says Rebecca Moazzez, director of the oral clinical research unit at Kings College London (KCL) Dental Institute: “The main thing to be careful of is fruit juice or fresh fruit, because they contain acid that can make the surface of the tooth quite soft.” This softening causes some of the calcium and phosphate in the protective enamel to leach out – a process called demineralisation – and if you brush your teeth at this point, you will be brushing some of these minerals away and weakening the teeth. Quite how long you should avoid brushing for remains unclear; the overall pH of the mouth seems to return to normal within minutes, but tooth surfaces may remain soft for up to an hour. “If you want to do anything after eating, I would simply wash with a fluoride mouthwash,” Moazzez says.

Do I have to use toothpaste?

“Brushing protects against gum disease, but it’s the fluoride in toothpaste that prevents tooth decay,” says Maria Therese Hosey, head of paediatric dentistry at KCL. Because of the foods we eat, our teeth are constantly demineralising and remineralising; if fluoride is present during the remineralisation process, it gets incorporated and strengthens the teeth. For this reason, adults should look for a toothpaste that contains at least 1,350ppm fluoride, and steer clear of alternatives such as bicarbonate of soda, which are too abrasive to be used for tooth-cleaning. “Think Brillo pad on a non-stick pan,” says Therese Hosey.

Ironically, failing to remove every last trace of plaque can actually be beneficial for the teeth, because it concentrates fluoride on their surface. For a similar reason, it’s best to avoid rinsing the mouth after brushing. “It means high levels of fluoride are retained on the teeth,” Richards says.

What about mouthwash?

Using a fluoride mouthwash straight after brushing is fairly pointless: you’re flushing away fluoride and replacing it with more of the same. Where it can come in handy, however, is in topping up fluoride levels in between toothbrushing – particularly if you’re at high risk of cavities. “It can also be useful if you have had something acidic to eat, so don’t want to brush,” says Therese Hosey.

Of course, mouthwashes contain more than just fluoride; many contain antiseptic agents such as chlorhexidine, which kill some of the bacteria your toothbrush misses, and help freshen the breath. But while there is some evidence that such mouthwashes can reduce plaque and gum inflammation, Richards says: “If you’re brushing your teeth twice or three times a day with a fluoride toothpaste, the additional benefit you will get isn’t likely to be huge.”

And dental floss?

Plaque accumulates between the teeth, as well as on their surfaces, and this is difficult to remove using a toothbrush alone. The risk here is gum disease, which in its early stages manifests as bleeding when you brush. When the Cochrane Oral Health Group looked at this issue, it concluded that people who brush and floss regularly experience less gum-bleeding compared with those who use brushing alone. However, it said most trials assessing this have been of poor quality.

Similarly, although there is some evidence that interdental brushes are more effective than floss at reducing gum inflammation, the quality of available evidence means it is difficult to say for sure.

Is chewing gum good or bad for teeth?

So long as it is sugar-free, chewing gum is generally a good thing for teeth. For one thing, it stimulates saliva production, which buffers the acid that erodes teeth. It can also help dislodge particles of food from the teeth.

Then there is chewing gum containing xylitol – a low-calorie sweetener that the bacteria responsible for causing tooth decay seem to prefer over sugar. If they are hoovering up less sugar, this means they are producing less acid, which is good news for teeth. What is unclear, however, is how much of this gum we would need to chew to achieve a measurable impact.

What’s the best way to look after children’s teeth?

Milk teeth eventually fall out and get replaced by adult teeth, but if they are left to get so rotten that they have to be prematurely extracted, it can have long-term consequences for your child’s mouth: “Baby teeth guide the position for the permanent teeth, so if you lose a lot of your baby teeth, you’re more likely to have problems later on,” says Richards. Tooth decay is also the number one reason for general anaesthetic use in children, which carries risks of its own.

Although official guidelines recommend brushing children’s teeth fortwo to three minutes, twice a day, as any parent will testify, getting a two-year-old to comply is like asking a crocodile to release your leg from its jaws. “The pragmatic answer is that if you are managing to brush all tooth surfaces using a fluoride toothpaste, then you are doing a pretty good job,” says Therese Hosey.

Do I really need to visit my dentist every six months?

Possibly – if your teeth are in bad shape. But seeing your dentist every six months just for the sake of it could be an unnecessary expense – particularly if they are prone to offering treatments such as a scale and polish each time you visit. The Cochrane Oral Health Group recently concluded that there was no good evidence to support six-monthly dental checkups; a finding echoed by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. It suggests that children under the age of 18 should see a dentist at least once a year, because their teeth tend to decay faster. For adults who are not experiencing any problems with their teeth, though, every 24 months should be adequate.

by The Guardian

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Associated Benefits Of Good Oral Oral Health

Your entire body is interconnected in many different ways, and your mouth acts as a window into your body. So when you think about it, it really makes sense how the condition of your teeth and gums influences other areas of the body, like your heart. Maintaining proper oral hygiene is necessary for keeping your mouth fresh and looking great, but there are many other important associated benefits of good oral health that may surprise you. Let's explore a few of these below.

Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease

Poor oral health has been linked to an increased risk of developing heart disease. Studies have shown that those with gum disease have a higher chance of suffering from a heart attack. In fact, as gum disease triggers inflammation in your mouth, it can also spread throughout your entire body. So by taking good care of your teeth, you're also taking good care of your heart.

Prevents Tooth Decay and Cavities

What happens if you don't clean your teeth every day? You're leaving your mouth prone to cavity-causing bacteria. And when bacteria is left to accumulate on your teeth, it can lead to tooth decay and eventually cavities. By staying on top of your oral health, you can eliminate plaque and keep your teeth healthy and cavity-free.

Healthier Pregnancies With Good Oral Health

Health Canada has been conducting ongoing studies that show a correlation between oral health and healthy pregnancies. Some reports indicate a link between poor oral hygiene and a higher risk for pre-term, low weight babies, which can increase the likelihood of complications. Even with studies in their infant stages, it's important for pregnant women to be diligent and take good care of their teeth and gums to avoid any potential complications.

Oral Cancer Detection

Did you know that your regular check-ups with the dentist include an examination to screen for oral cancer? So in addition to giving your mouth a good cleaning, your dentist is also monitoring your entire mouth, including your neck, cheeks, tongue, gum and lips for any abnormalities that could point to oral cancer. Early detection can drastically improve your chances of successful treatment, which is another reason why those regular check-ups are such an essential part of maintaining good oral health.

Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, diabetes is on the rise and oral health could be a contributing factor at play. When gum disease develops, the toxins and periodontal bacteria can impact insulin resistance, along with blood glucose levels - all the more reason to keep those pearly whites in good shape.

If you were wondering why oral care matters, it's important to understand that the benefits of good oral health reach far beyond having whiter and brighter teeth. There is a significant amount of research that is showing more of a direct correlation between oral health and general health. So the next time you consider skipping out on your tooth brushing or your visit to the dentist, think again for the sake of your health.

by Kemptvillle smiles

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