My BEST Dentists Journal


Every part of your mouth plays a part in oral health

Your mouth — also known as the oral cavity — shapes the appearance of your face and helps you eat, speak and breathe. It takes many parts working together to handle so many important jobs. 

Get to know the functions of the different parts of your mouth, and you’ll gain a greater appreciation for the importance of great oral health. To see a diagram of the parts of the mouth, go to the bottom of the blog.

Smiling is one of your mouth’s key functions. During stressful times, smiling can help you reduce the effects of that stress on your body.


Most adults develop 32 permanent teeth. They are embedded in the upper and lower jaws and kept in place by the roots. Your teeth tear and chew your food, give your face its shape by supporting your cheeks and lips, and play a major role in speech.


The upper (maxilla) and lower (mandible) jaws help support your teeth and assist in chewing and speaking. The alignment of your jaws also helps give your face its shape.


Gums are soft pink tissues that cover and protect the alveolar bone, the part of the jawbone that supports your teeth. Gum health is important because gum disease can lead to loss of teeth and bone support. 

Lips and cheeks

Lips and cheeks work together to assist with speech and making expressions. They also keep food and saliva in your mouth when you chew.


This powerful muscle is anchored to the floor of the mouth. The tongue is a key component in chewing and swallowing food. Adjusting the shape and position of your tongue helps you form certain words. In addition, your tongue helps clean food from your teeth.

Frenums — lingual and labial

The lingual frenum is a flap of tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, allowing the tongue to move about and help you speak. The labial frenum connects the upper lip to the gums between the two central incisors.


The hard and soft palates make up the roof of the mouth, with the hard palate at the front and the soft palate at the back. They play a role in speech and separate the mouth from the nasal cavity, allowing food and air to go through different passages.


This small flap of tissue hangs at the back of the soft palate. The uvula helps the soft palate keep food and drink from entering the nasal cavity. It is also believed that the uvula assists with speech and has small saliva-producing glands that help keep your mouth and throat moist.

Temporomandibular joints (TMJ)

The temporomandibular joints are located on both sides of your head. They’re unique in your body because they are two joints that function as one unit connected by the lower jawbone. They must work together to open and close your mouth and move your lower jaw forward and from side to side. In addition, they help you chew, speak and swallow. 

Oral mucosa

The oral mucosa is the protective soft tissue lining the covers your gums and everything else in your mouth, except your teeth. Working with the salivary glands, the oral mucosa is vital to your health because it keeps your mouth moist and clear of food and other debris, and helps you speak, chew and swallow. It also defends your body from germs that enter your mouth. 

Salivary glands

There are six major salivary glands and hundreds of very tiny minor salivary glands in your mouth that produce saliva to break down food, making it easier to swallow. Saliva also moistens your mouth for speaking and chewing, in addition to washing bacteria from your teeth and gums to help prevent cavities and gum disease.

Keep the many parts of your mouth healthy with a consistent oral health routine and regular dental visits so you can maintain a healthy smile, good nutrition and clear speech. 


by Delta Dental

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Why Would Your Tongue Be Tingling?

The human body does some pretty weird stuff, but tingling tongue is one of the stranger symptoms a person can develop. While the causes of a tingling tongue can vary widely, sometimes a tingling sensation in the tongue is a sign of serious problems. If you’re experiencing this in conjunction with any of the following, please call 911 or arrange to go to the emergency room:

weakness or numbness in the arm, leg, face, or on one side of the body

facial droop

trouble speaking

difficulty understanding or confusion

loss of vision

dizziness or loss of balance

severe headache

Any of these symptoms combined with a tingling feeling in your tongue may be signs of a stroke, and an indicator that you need immediate medical attention. Again, please contact emergency services immediately.

With that warning out of the way, there are other causes of tingling tongue. Some may require medical treatment, some may necessitate lifestyle changes, and some may clear up on their own. Let’s take a look at some of the more common causes of this sensation and what you should do about them.

One cause of this that may require medical treatment is nerve damage due to a dental procedure. Damage to the lingual nerve can occur as the result of a tooth extraction, particularly the wisdom teeth. While most of the time this damage heals itself within a few months, tingling tongue may last longer in some patients. If the symptom persists for more than about six months, it’s time to consult a medical professional.

Allergic reactions can cause a tingling feeling in the tongue or other parts of the mouth. This may also manifest as an itching or prickling sensation, and is generally due to either hay fever or a food allergy. Common food allergies that can cause tingling tongue include:




Fish or shellfish 

Peanuts or tree nuts


While allergic reactions are generally not serious and can be treated with an antihistamine and by avoiding the triggering food in the future, some allergic reactions can be life threatening. If you start to experience tightness in the throat, difficulty swallowing or breathing, or swelling of the lips and mouth, please call 911 immediately.

Canker sores, sometimes called cold sores, are small, shallow, round sores that occur on the lips, inside the cheeks, or on the gums. The science behind what causes cold sores is still not clear—they seem to be triggered by any number of things including allergies, viruses, hormonal changes, nutritional issues, or minor injuries. They can cause tingling tongue, which should fade when the canker sores do; it generally takes about a week. While dealing with canker sores, avoid spicy, sour, or otherwise strongly flavored food that might irritate them and make the problem worse. If they don’t fade away in a week or so, it’s time to see a doctor.

There are other causes for tingling tongue that, while relatively rare, may require attention from a doctor. Multiple sclerosis, anemia, and hypoglycemia can all include tingling tongue as a symptom. This means that while tingling tongue may seem amusing or at worst annoying, it’s a symptom that you may need to consult your doctor about should it last for more than a week or two on its own.

by Plage Dentistry

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What Is Teeth Shaving?

If the shape of your teeth bothers you, or you're set to get a dental appliance that requires a tooth alteration for it to fit correctly, you may be a candidate for teeth shaving. While this procedure has become a bit of an at-home craze in recent times, we do not believe you should ever do it at home! Instead, if you have cosmetic concerns about your teeth, you should discuss them with your dental professional. To recontour or reshape your teeth can achieve therapeutic and cosmetic goals. But that doesn't mean you should take the task into your own hands. Let's go over what teeth shaving is, why your dental professional might think it's right for you, and the dangers of doing it at home.

You may be wondering, why exactly do teeth get shaved down? Teeth shaving is a clinical procedure that has been around for decades. It presents an option to help dental professionals achieve improved results for their patients. Shaving teeth down is typically a painless procedure done by a professional and does not usually need anesthesia. Let's go over the exact reasons for it!

Occlusal Equilibration

As noted by the International Congress of Oral Implantolagists, occlusal adjustment (equilibration) is the "modification of the biting surfaces of a tooth." It refers to reshaping the cusps (pointed tops) on the back teeth biting surfaces. The back teeth have numerous hills and valleys (called cusps and fossae) that help you chew your food. Ideally, your teeth should fit evenly together for a proper bite. If your bite doesn't fit, it can lead to a lot of dental problems. For example, it could cause wear and grinding, muscle spasms, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.

When to shave down your teeth depends on your dental professional's recommendation. Occlusal adjustment through teeth shaving may take several dental visits to make your bite even and bring it into harmony. Your bite may feel different for a while, but the benefits will be well worth it!

Cosmetic Recontouring

The reshaping of front teeth for aesthetic reasons is also common. But again, even if the reason is cosmetic, a dental professional should do the teeth shaving. Cosmetic recontouring involves gently reshaping and polishing the front teeth to make crooked teeth appear straighter or more attractive. Enamel recontouring is probably the most common form of teeth shaving. It is usually accomplished in one visit after careful planning and close consultation with your dental professional.

Functional Reasons

In many cases, teeth are reshaped for functional reasons to accommodate a device or treatment. Also known as an odontoplasty, practical reasons to have your teeth reshaped include:

To fit the clasps and rest seats (or anchor points) of a removable partial denture.

To remove some of the enamel's outer layers, so there's more space between tipped teeth in the process of replacing a missing tooth.

To "slenderize" teeth, which facilitates orthodontic treatment in cases of severe crowding.

For example, a study published in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry noted the positive effects of odontoplasty on a group of patients undergoing a crown lengthening procedure to manage extensive crown destruction.

Risks of At-home Teeth Shaving

It's completely normal to feel like there's something about your smile that you'd like to fix. But this isn't your regular at-home beauty routine. Did you know that the enamel of our teeth cannot grow back? Because of this, it's dangerous to attempt to shave your own teeth. You could permanently damage your teeth, cause pain and sensitivity to your mouth, and make your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay if you wear down your own enamel.

We believe that for the safety and health of your mouth, communication is key! You should feel comfortable bringing teeth shaving up with your dental professional if you'd like to do it for cosmetic reasons. And they may even suggest it themselves if you need a specific dental appliance or procedure that requires it. So don't be shy! Speak with your dental professional about your goals of getting a healthier, more attractive, and more easy-to-care-for smile.


by Colgate

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What Happens if You Lose a Filling

When you have a cavity, you get a filling. How long a filling lasts depends on care and everyday wear and tear. Eventually, fillings need to be replaced. Sometimes, they fall out. Here’s what to know if that happens to you.

What to Do if a Filling Falls Out

The first thing you should do if you lose a filling is to call your dental office and let them know what happened. If it’s a weekday, you should be able to get in that day as most offices have emergency times set aside. If your filling falls out on the weekend, leave a message or call the weekend emergency number.

What to Expect at Your Dental Appointment

Your dental professional will examine and X-ray your tooth to determine your best option. Here are three options he or she may consider:

1. You may get a new filling

If your dental professional thinks your tooth can be repaired, you may get another filling. There are different types of filings. If it’s a molar or a premolar, you may have the choice of an amalgam (silver) filling or composite and glass ionomer (tooth-colored) material. If it’s a front tooth (incisor or canine), the best aesthetic choice is a composite and glass ionomer filling. Since your back teeth do the most work (lots of chewing), your dental professional may use amalgam filling because it’s a more robust material and will last longer. One thing to note, since many fillings are highly visible, many dental professionals let their patients make the decision.

2. You may need a root canal, crown, or cap

If there’s a deep cavity or exposure to the tooth's nerve, your dental professional will refer you to a specialist for a root canal and a crown.

3. You may need a tooth extraction

In rare situations, the loss of a filling or fractured tooth may be so severe that the only option is extraction. If this happens, your oral surgeon and dentist will present a treatment plan to replace your tooth with a fixed or removable bridge or a dental implant.

How to Protect Fillings

Many things can contribute to a filling becoming chipped or broken. It can include tooth wear from grinding or clenching to bacteria leaking into the fillings' margins and causing decay or simply because the filling is old and a replacement is needed.

Left untreated, a lost or chipped filling can lead to a root canal and possible tooth loss. To help keep your fillings from falling out, routine dental care appointments are essential. During these appointments, your dental professional can uncover potential problems. He or she may identify open margins or uneven wear before you realize you have a problem. You’ll also learn proper oral hygiene instructions to help control bacterial plaque, a leading cause of tooth decay.

If a filling does fall out unexpectedly, contact your dental professional for repairs. No filling will last forever. That’s why it’s essential to keep up with regular visits with your dental professional. He or she will help determine when is the best time to be proactive and replace a restoration.


by Colgate

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Views: 12

A Healthy Mouth Helps Maintain a Healthy Body: Here’s How

We all know how important brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly is for our teeth.  But it might surprise you to discover how closely it is linked to overall body health.  Not only can your oral health be a keen indicator of certain health conditions, issues with your teeth and gums can actually affect the rest of your body.  So, courtesy of The Bondi Dentists, here’s a brief peek into the link between your oral health and the health of your whole body.

So what is the connection?

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that the mouth, like many other areas of the body, it a hotspot for bacteria.  However, when your health is balanced, most of these bacteria are relatively harmless.  The problem comes when you get out of balance and these bacteria become too numerous or travel to other areas of the body where we lack natural defences.

Here’s where the mouth is especially important.  The mouth is a major entry point for the body, the point where the digestive and respiratory tracts meet the outside world.  The bacteria in our mouth are usually kept under control by good oral care and the body’s natural defences.  But without good oral hygiene, these bacteria can thrive and reach levels that lead to infection, like gum disease and tooth decay.

Your daily brushing and flossing aren’t the only things that have an impact on a healthy mouth.  One of the main players of our natural defences is our saliva.  Saliva washes away food residue and helps to neutralise the acids in our food and those created by bacteria.  It keeps the numbers of bacteria down and helps to prevent damage from the bacteria that grow between our daily care sessions.

One problem is that certain medications, such as antidepressants, diuretics, painkillers, antihistamines, and decongestants, can reduce saliva flow and make the mouth more vulnerable.  If you find that you often have dry mouth, one way to combat this and encourage saliva flow is with sugarless gum.  This will get the salivary glands working and help to restore the natural balance of the mouth.

The Bondi Dentists Pro Tips – How to Brush Your Teeth the Right Way

However, even with the best of care, we sometimes encounter problems.  When the gums become severely infected, a condition known as periodontitis, the inflammation and oral bacteria that result can actually lead to other problems.  Studies have suggested that periodontitis might be linked to a number of other diseases.  And it goes both ways, as well.  Certain diseases can reduce our resistance to infection and make oral health issues more severe.

Here are a few of the conditions that oral health may contribute to:

Pneumonia – Pneumonia is an infection of the respiratory tract.  Bacteria in the mouth can be pulled into the lungs, where they begin to spread and create infection, either in the form of pneumonia or other, similar respiratory diseases.

Cardiovascular Disease – Although the connection isn’t fully understood as of yet, studies suggest a strong link between oral health and cardiovascular issues. People with gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) have two to three times the risk of having a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular event.

Endocarditis – When bacteria from the mouth or other parts of the body spread through the bloodstream, they can attach to the endocardium, the valves or inner lining of the heart.  An infection in these areas can seriously compromise the function of the heart and become life threatening.

Complications in Pregnancy and Birth – Periodontitis in particular has been linked to low birth weight, premature birth, and other pregnancy complications.

Before you start to get worried, remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  The most important thing that you can do is take care of your mouth and teeth and make sure any issues are addressed by a dentist promptly.  All the diseases above are influenced most heavily by periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease which can be helped by your dentist.

So what can I do to protect my teeth and my health?

The best methods to protect your oral health – and your overall health – are the same ones you’ve been taught ever since you were a kid.  So, it should be no surprise, but it’s always worth offering a gentle reminder:

Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

Floss every day.

Make sure to use a mouthwash to get rid of stubborn food particles after flossing and brushing.

Maintain a healthy diet with a low sugar content.

Limit snacking times, rinse with water after snacks, and give your saliva a chance to build up.

Try to replace your toothbrush every three months, or sooner if the bristles are worn or splayed.

Avoid tobacco use.

Schedule dental checkups and cleanings regularly.

Probably the most important thing is to check with your dentist as soon as a problem arises.  If you have regular checkups, this isn’t likely to be an issue, but it may be important if you take certain medications, if you have a chronic condition like diabetes, or if you’ve been recently ill.

by The bondi Dentists

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Is There A Connection Between Oral Health And Mental Health?

In all realms of healthcare, we are seeing an increasing focus on mental health as we continue to learn how essential it is to both quality of life and physical health.  Mental health has an impact on a person’s ability to care for himself or herself in any realm, of which oral health is an important one.  Poor oral health and significant dental disease can also affect the brain and may play a role in significant cognitive disorders.  The connection between oral health and mental health is reciprocal, and we will explain the various connections in this week’s blog.

How Mental Health Affects Oral Health

Impaired mental health tends to negatively impact the way a person cares for his or her teeth.  Patients with mental challenges like dementia or other disabilities are unable to perform the necessary tasks to maintain good oral health.  Poor mental health often leads to a lack of focus and inconsistency that causes extremely poor oral hygiene.

Mentally challenged patients, due to poor plaque control, have a significantly higher risk for dental diseases like cavities and gum disease.  Many patients who suffer from mental health problems also take multiple prescription medications that affect the mouth.  These medications often cause the side effect of severe dry mouth, which leads to even more plaque accumulation.

How Oral Health Can Affect Mental Health

The connection in the other direction still needs more research, but the most recent studies are showing that poor oral health has a negative effect on mental health over someone’s lifetime.  

The scientific research is studying the plaques (diseased areas) in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease who had died.  Researchers found bacteria specific to chronic periodontal disease in the brain.  Another study collected cerebrospinal fluid from living patients with Alzheimer’s disease and found the same.  

The important consideration is that these particular bacteria are not present in healthy mouths.  There is not enough evidence at this time to show that periodontal disease causes Alzheimer’s disease, so research is ongoing.  The studies are suggesting that chronic gum disease could be a risk factor for dementia.  

What Can I Do to Protect Both My Oral Health and My Mental Health?

Because the link goes both directions, it is important to protect both your oral health and your mental health.  Since we are not mental health experts, we will leave any advice on how to preserve your mental health to them.  We are, however, oral health experts, and by following the recommendations we provide, you can ensure your best oral health throughout your lifetime.

Commit to Daily Oral Hygiene Routines for Great Plaque Control

Few people have a healthy respect for the dangers of dental plaque.  It is responsible for cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.  Research connects it to heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.  And still, many people remain unconcerned about effectively cleaning their teeth.

A good oral hygiene routine must include brushing the teeth twice each day and flossing every night.  Plaque collects on the teeth within a few hours of brushing or flossing, so this must be a consistent routine.  When you do not remove plaque every day, it begins to mineralized, or harden, on the teeth in the form of tartar or calculus.  The bad news here is that you cannot remove tartar with a toothbrush and floss.  It requires specialized dental tools for removal.

See Your Dentist Consistently for Preventive Care

More than 90% of dental diseases are preventable.  When you see your dentist on a consistent schedule for professional teeth cleanings (which remove all the plaque and tartar buildup from the teeth) and full mouth evaluations, you can take preventive action.  Your dentist will spot any warning signs or risk areas of dental disease.  He or she will give you tips on better oral hygiene or dental treatments that can stop the disease before it starts.

In general, the average adult should see his or her dentist every six months for professional teeth cleanings and oral evaluations.

Follow Through on any Necessary Dental Treatment

Preventive dental visits are wonderful for keeping your teeth healthy.  In addition, if you have any active dental problems, you should follow through on the recommended treatment.  Bacterial infections in the mouth spread and grow without intervention by a dentist.  Cavities get larger and move toward the nerve inside the tooth.  Gum disease worsens and destroys more and more of the supporting tissues around the teeth.  These disease processes will continue unless you have dental treatment.

by Rockland Dental Specialists

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Brushing Or Flossing: What Comes First?

Usually, dentists emphasize the importance of practicing good dental hygiene to avoid oral issues like bad breath, gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay.  

However, sequencing seldom gets mentioned. Which comes first – brushing or flossing? People don’t usually ask this question because they are confident about their oral care routine. While sacrificing your time to keep your mouth healthy is commendable, it doesn’t hurt to get into the nitty-gritty of oral care. 



You need food to survive. Since you’re eating daily, it makes sense to brush your teeth every day to remove plaque and food particles that can cling to your teeth. According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth two times a day for two minutes using a fluoride-based toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance and a toothbrush with soft bristles.   

After your meal, wait at least 30 minutes before you start brushing. Brushing is essential to prevent plaque from building up and coating your teeth. As you know, plaque is the main culprit for tooth decay and gum disease.  

When plaque isn’t removed within 48 hours, it will turn and harden into tartar. Not only does this cause yellow spots on your teeth, but tartar is powerful enough to put your teeth and gums in serious trouble. Unfortunately, brushing and flossing cannot remove tartar. The only person who can scrape tartar off is you, the dentist.  

Flossing is just as important as brushing. Although the technique used in flossing is more complex compared to brushing, you must not give up. With practice, you will soon get used to it. The ADA strongly encourages you to floss every day to boost your oral. Flossing is different from brushing because it reaches the narrow crevices between your teeth that the bristles of your toothbrush can’t reach. When these areas are missed, plaque can build up and cause tooth decay.   


Does it matter which comes first? It actually does. It may sound surprising, but several studies have proved that flossing should be done before brushing. Furthermore, when you floss first, fluoride is retained between your teeth.  

Flossing is the act of removing plaque, food residues, and bacteria between the teeth. If you do it after brushing, you’ll remove the fluoride in these narrow spaces, leaving them vulnerable to cavities.  


It might feel challenging, but with dedication and practice, you will eventually get used to flossing. For most people, brushing is a piece of cake. They can easily do it in the morning and before going to bed. Unfortunately, people struggle when adding flossing to the routine because the technique is more complicated and tedious than brushing since you will be working on each tooth.  

Sadly, many Americans do not realize the value of flossing. A survey from the American Dental Association found that only 16% of respondents floss once a day, and they are only compelled to do it because something got stuck in their teeth.   

Meanwhile, 8% said they never flossed at all. More than half of those who don’t floss daily said they don’t want to do it because flossing takes so much time.  

While it’s true that adding flossing to your daily routine will only make it longer, nothing can take its place. Flossing is essential because it provides extra protection against tooth decay and cavities. It also minimizes your risk of developing gum disease.  

How do you develop a habit of flossing? To get in the habit, dentists recommend you choose a specific time to do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the morning, after your lunch, or before bedtime.  

However, we recommend that you do it before bedtime to remove all food debris collected within the day. But if you’re just starting, choosing a time based on your preference is okay. It’s better than nothing.  


Get a floss and strategically place it beside your toothbrush so you won’t forget it. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. Keep it visible so you won’t skip this step. Challenge yourself to complete a one-week streak. Don’t worry if you miss a day or two as long as you do it again tomorrow. Consistency is key to success.  


by Tryon Family Dentistry

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Views: 29

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive To Cold/Hot Foods

Millions of Americans deal with temperature sensitivity in their teeth. Whether it is felt when drinking hot coffee or tea, or when biting into a popsicle, it isn’t uncommon to feel a sharp pain in one or more teeth caused by temperature. If you are concerned about your own cold or hot sensitivity in your teeth, consider asking your dentist during a routine checkup.

What Causes Hot/Cold Sensitivity in My Teeth?

There are many different causes but generally temperature sensitivity is caused by issues with enamel. Enamel is the outside of layer of teeth that protects them from tooth decay caused by bacteria leftover by food. Underneath the layer of enamel are tiny microscopic tubes. If these tubes are exposed you can feel a sharp pain after ingesting something hot or cold. Even cold air could cause pain in your teeth.

How To Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

To prevent tooth sensitivity from occurring you should consider how to keep your enamel intact. Enamel is often eroded because of a lack of brushing and flossing. Additionally if your gums recede over time due to poor dental health the newly exposed areas of the tooth may have weakened enamel. Enamel does not regenerate so taking care of it is important. Aside from brushing twice and flossing once daily, you should be going to the dentist every six months. Your dentist can help correct dental problems as they arise as well as provide dental sealants that can protect your molars and your enamel.

What Can I Do About Temperature Sensitivity?

There are a variety of things you can do if you experience dental sensitivity. First, you should consider speaking to your dentist about the problem and getting specific recommendations from them. Because dental sensitivity is linked to enamel loss, it could be a warning sign of tooth decay or gum disease. Many dentists recommend the following advice for patients dealing with temperature sensitivity.

Change Your Toothpaste: Another cause of sensitivity is the brand of toothpaste you are using. Many toothpastes that are designed to whiten teeth and remove stains can also increase sensitivity. There are toothpastes designed for individuals with sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth consider using this toothpaste to see if it helps. Generally it takes over a month of active daily use before you will start to notice the effects of the toothpaste.

Brush Properly: Aside from tooth decay, another harmful factor to your teeth is how you brush. While it is important to brush daily and brush often, it is also important to do it correctly. Brushing with too much force or with hard-bristled tooth brushes that don’t have give can lead to damaging your enamel.

Avoid Acidic Foods: You should also moderate how much acidic and sugary foods you eat. Even healthy organic foods such as tomatoes, oranges, and lemons can be unhealthy for your teeth. Lots of tomato sauce or orange juice can cause damage to your teeth over time, so make sure to limit your interaction with highly acidic foods.

by All Star Dental

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How to Overcome Your Embarrassment of Going to the Dentist

Has your oral health gotten so out of control that you’re embarrassed about going to the dentist? You’re not alone. As many as 20% of people refuse to go to the dentist due to anxiety, some of which stems from embarrassment about the physical state of their mouth.

Yet avoiding checkups, cleanings, and regular routine care because you’re too ashamed to go to the dentist could leave you worse off, no matter your mouth’s condition.

Reasons for Embarrassment

My teeth will be the worst the dentist has ever seen

Reality: A dentist sees many patients every day, a majority of which come in because of problems like decay, chipped teeth, and even gum disease. A dentist’s job is to keep teeth healthy and to fix any issues they might find.

The longer you delay, the more potential for decay.

I don't want the dentist to lecture me

Reality: Most dentists are pretty understanding. Whether it’s financial constraints or not having enough time, dentists understand why people avoid appointments. They’re happy to help and want to keep you coming back so your smile stays healthy!

My dentist will judge my lifestyle

Reality: Dentists understand that everyone is different. Whether you’re a smoker, a night grinder, or even an infrequent brusher, the more they know about your habits, the better they can assist you.

Tips to Overcome Your Embarrassment of Going to the Dentist

Communicate your concerns. Explain to your dentist why you’re embarrassed before your visit. Sharing your concerns with the dentist and dental staff will help them adapt their treatment to your needs and put you at ease while you’re in the chair.

Think of the benefits. Addressing any existing issues with your teeth is the only way they’re going to get better, and the rewards go deeper than just your smile. Your mouth is the gateway to your overall health; taking care of your teeth is the foundation to a healthy body.

Try relaxation techniques. Even after you’ve mustered your courage, walking through the dental office door can be stressful. Approaches like deep breathing or even acupuncture can help keep you calm for your appointment.

Now get out there and reclaim your dental experience!

by Delta Dental

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Views: 27

What Causes a Bad Taste in your Mouth and How to Get Rid of It

Experiencing a bad taste in your mouth is an experience we all have from time to time. If it’s a mild experience, then simply brushing your teeth or a quick rinse may rid of a nasty or bitter taste in your mouth.

Of course, a bad taste in your mouth may occur for multiple days or even weeks. If this happens, then you’re likely to be dealing with a cause beyond something you’ve eaten or drunk.

If an unpleasant taste in your mouth is causing you to eat less or avoid certain foods it may also mean you miss out on nutrition your mouth and body needs. The taste can vary, and you may have a metallic taste in your mouth or a different sensation.

To keep your mouth and teeth healthy you need to ensure bacteria that are built up when you eat and drink are regularly cleared out with daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash.

If not, you may notice a bad taste in your mouth andit is a key reason to ensure when brushing that you reach difficult areas such as your wisdom teeth.

Your symptoms will let you and dental professionals have a better sense of what may be causing your bad taste but for now, we’ll run you through some of the most common causes and treatments.

What causes a bad taste in the mouth?

If you’ve experienced a bad taste in your mouth, you’ll likely be wondering where the problem might come from. The causes of a bad taste in the mouth are wide-ranging but some of the most common are the following.

1. Poor Hygiene & Dental Problems

An unpleasant taste in your mouth can be a sign of several oral issues. One of the most common is gingivitis, which results from a build-up of plaque if you fail to brush and floss regularly. Other common root causes of a bad taste in the mouth are abscesses, infections, and wisdom teeth coming through.

2. Dry Mouth

A lack of saliva can also contribute to a bad taste in the mouth as your saliva removes food debris and bacteria after eating. However, certain prescribed medication, diabetes, smoking, and a blocked nose can leave you with a dry mouth which can slow down the mouth’s natural processes.

3. Oral thrush

A yeast infection of the mouth, known as oral thrush, is another reason you may experience a bitter taste in your mouth. If you spot white bumps, redness, and have trouble swallowing and a dry mouth, you should see a dental professional as these are all symptoms of oral thrush. This condition is also most likely to be seen in babies, the elderly, or those with suppression of their immune system.

4. Respiratory or viral infections

Viral infections are also a common cause of a bad taste in the mouth. If you experience a metallic taste in your mouth and nausea these can be early signs of Hepatitis B so be sure to check these with a medical professional. Alternately, if you are struggling to taste then a viral infection such as tonsillitis or the common cold can lead to an unpleasant taste and may be accompanied by congestion or an earache.

5. Hormonal Changes

Many women report a metallic or bitter taste in the mouth and throat in the first trimester of pregnancy or when going through menopause. This condition is medically referred to as dysgeusia and is caused by variations in your hormone levels. In particular, varying levels of estrogen have been linked to this metallic taste in your mouth.

6. Dietary supplements

Taking supplements for a vitamin deficiency and a bad taste in the mouth have also been connected and if you take supplements containing calcium, chromium, copper, iron, vitamin D, zinc, or a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin this may be a cause. If you are doing so raise this with your doctor or dentist and they can make recommendations to treat this bad taste in your mouth.

7. Chemotherapy and radiation

Finally, if you are undergoing treatment for cancer and a salty taste in your mouth is bothering you, this is a commonly reported side effect of chemotherapy on your tongue’s taste receptors. Speak to your health advisor for more support on this.

How to Get Rid of a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth

The first step when looking for a remedy to a bitter taste in your mouth is to ensure you are maintaining good oral hygiene and brushing and flossing daily to get rid of plaque and bacteria. Finding an Oral B mouthwash that works for you will help to remove particles and reduce plaque. Antibiotics including clarithromycin and metronidazole and other medications you may be prescribed after an operation can also cause side effects for your sense of taste. In terms of how to get rid of a bad taste in your mouth from antibiotics or after surgery, it’s recommended to tryusing a tongue cleaner or a saltwater rinse with one tablespoon of salt.

Beyond these preventative steps, a deep clean of your mouth from a dental professional can be a remedy for a bitter taste in your mouth. If these treatments don’t tackle the bad taste in your mouth, a medical professional may suggest pain relief options or medication help your mouth produce more saliva.

by Oral B

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What Causes a Black Spot on Your Gums?

First, we recommend taking a moment to breathe and relax. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, dark spots rarely indicate a serious condition like cancer and are usually benign. Spots in the mouth are often not fully black but may appear that way as they can be hard to see. We’re here to help walk you through the causes of dark spots in your mouth and what they mean.

Causes of Dark Spots on Gums

Oral conditions like dark spots on your gums have various causes and can be challenging to diagnose. These spots can either be harmless or the result of an underlying disease, so it's essential to speak to your doctor if you believe you have any symptoms.

What exactly causes black spots on your gums? There are two categories of answers: those with internal causes and those with external causes.

Did you know: Internal causes are called endogenous and external causes are called exogenous.

Internal Causes

Internal pigments that cause skin colour changes can also modify your gums' colour to black, grey, blue, or brown. Blood vessels can even dysfunction or rupture, leading to discolouration.

Melanin can be altered by a variety of diseases and disorders that affect the production of this pigment. Cells in your body that produce melanin are called melanocytes.

Tuberculosis and Addison's disease can affect your adrenal glands and cause changes in pigmentation.

HIV, also called the human immunodeficiency virus, can lead to pigmented lesions in the mouth.

According to a research article published in the Journal of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine and Radiology, haemangiomas are most common soft tissue benign tumours, composed of blood vessels, and occur in the head and neck region (60%) and less commonly in the oral cavity; oral cavity if affected involves gingiva followed by the lips, tongue and palate.

External Causes

Exposure of your mouth to pigment produced outside the body can lead to discolouration in the form of dark or spots on the gums. Sources outside the body can also affect your body's production or regulation of pigment or iron, leading to a change in colour. These black dots can be caused by:

Drugs (prescription, over-the-counter and illegal)

Smoking and tobacco products

Trauma to the face or mouth

Heavy metals

Injury from graphite pencil

An old filling (also known as a dental amalgam)pushing into the gums

Oral Cancer

In rare cases, benign lesions that don't require treatment may transform into oral malignant melanoma, a type of oral cancer. A doctor will look at a range of factors to see if the lesion qualifies as melanoma. According to a research article published in the Journal of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine and Radiology, melanoma constitutes only 3–5% of all cutaneous malignancies, and oral melanoma is an aggressive neoplasm which accounts for less than 0.5%.

If you believe you have oral cancer symptoms, we recommend leaving the diagnosis up to the professionals and speaking to your doctor. If you exhibit symptoms, they may perform a biopsy (laboratory tests of your tissue) to confirm melanoma.

Remember that cancer is a rare cause of any dark spots in your mouth. A more benign explanation is much more likely, so don't stress. You've done a great job informing yourself of the possible causes, so be sure to make the next step for success and schedule an appointment or regular check-ups with your doctor.

by Colgate

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Even In Your Twenties Teeth Need Help

Are you twenty something?

If you went to the dentist in the last six months, that’s brilliant. You’re doing the right thing. But, if you’ve let your preventive oral care slip, then now’s the time to book an appointment to get back on top of looking after your teeth in your twenties.

As dentists, we’re concerned that the teeth of people over twenty aren’t getting the attention they need. So adults can regularly access dental checks and hygiene appointments, we offer planned payment schemes.

By supporting preventive care for women and men in their late teens, early twenties and upwards, we believe we can minimise tooth decay and gum disease leading to tooth loss in later years.

What problems do young adult patients have?

When we look into the mouth of twenty year olds, it’s true that in general people have healthier teeth now than they used to. Fluoride products, better diets and improved oral health education are working. Gone are the days when brides would exchange their teeth for dentures before their big day. Nowadays dental practices focus more on offering effective preventive care. Our aim is to help young people keep their teeth healthy for life.

Not going to the dentist

With the NHS footing the bill for routine care and clinically necessary children’s dentistry, more and more young people are getting effective preventive treatment until they leave school. Although too many children still have to have dental extractions and fillings, teenagers are entering their twenties with better teeth than in the past.

But then the problem starts.

Once school is over, people move away from home and become busy with work and life. Unless their mouths actually hurt, many people don’t feel the need to go to the dentist.

But a dentist is trained to spot concerns before they develop into problems that hurt. Regular visits to a dentist will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and, in the long run, will save you money too.

Preventive care does what it says – it prevents costly treatments caused by neglecting the need for regular dental checks.

5 common issues that bring new patients to us:

#1 problem – toothache

This usually means there’s dental decay. The treatment is usually a filling. Once your dentist needs to place a filling the tooth is weaker than it was originally because, however ‘good’ the filling, it’s only a repair.

Unfortunately, some patients are able to ignore the initial signs of dental decay, often by using too many over-the-counter pain-killers, and leave it so late the root is infected. Root canal therapy is even more invasive than a simple filling, and commonly a prosthetic crown is needed too.

People also ask:

My tooth aches. What should I do?

What are the stages of root canal treatment?

#2 problem – yellow teeth

Permanent teeth are naturally a range of shades from cream to beige. As you get older (yes, even in your twenties teeth may begin to show signs of wear!) and dental enamel weakens, teeth appear less pearly.

The life-style choices you make also change the colour of our teeth. So eating curry and drinking a lot of coffee or red wine, for example, and certainly smoking, all contribute to staining teeth. A dentist can offer advice on how to lighten the colour of your teeth.

Further problems can arise as a result of using tooth whitening products that are either too abrasive or corrosive. It is far better to pay more and get tailored professional advice and supervision from a dentist. Trying methods that seem cheaper in the short-term may lead to more costly treatments later to restore the damage done.

People also ask:

What’s the best way to make my teeth lighter?

 How does age affect our teeth?

#3 problem – bad breath

Patients in their twenties often come in to see us because they’re aware their breath isn’t too good. As most cases of halitosis originate in the mouth, your dentist is the best professional to help. It’s important to treat the cause of the problem, not just mask it with mouth wash or breath fresheners. In a few cases bad breath indicates a problem with digestion or medications, in which case your dentist will refer you to a different health care provider.

Bad breath is more than a social problem. It is a reliable indicator that you have either tooth decay or gum disease that needs treating. It’s a symptom of reduced well-being that should not be ignored.

People also ask:

How can I be sure my breath smells okay?

What is tongue scraping?

#4 problem – wobbly or missing tooth

A wobbly or knocked out tooth can be caused by an accident. We often get calls from people who have knocked a tooth. Our practices have advice on the answer machine to help you cope.

Treat a knocked out tooth as a dental emergency. If your tooth is knocked out:

find the tooth

hold it by the crown (not the root)

place it in milk (or in the side of your mouth between your lip and gums)

get emergency dental help asap to re-root the tooth

Missing or wobbly teeth are also caused by periodontal disease. Preventive care can help you to identify gum disease before it develops into gingivitis. If you visit the dentist regularly your hygienist can set up a programme targeting gum health to prevent periodontitis and possible tooth loss.

People also ask:

What is periodontitis?

What do I do if I knock a tooth out?

#5 problem – aching jaw

One of the problems (or joys?) of getting older is that we have more responsibilities to feel stressed about. Clenching or grinding teeth can lead to extra pressure exerted on the jaw bone. Left untended Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) may develop.

Moreover, dentists recommend  orthodontic treatment for reasons other than pure aesthetics.  Having teeth that are out of alignment can also cause pain over the years as adults age. If teeth are aligned properly, then the pressure of chewing, biting and even talking are more evenly distributed.

People also ask:

Why does stress make my jaw ache?

Can I get my teeth straightened now I’m older?

It’s time to take responsibility

Suddenly life catches up with us, and it starts to show in our teeth.

As we get older we take on lots of new responsibilities. We have work, family ties, and we have to look after the health of others. But we do need to make time to look after ourselves too.

Keeping our teeth in good shape helps project confidence and contributes to our systemic health. If you are in good dental health and interested in regular access to dental checks and oral hygiene care, then it makes sense to apply to your local dental practice to become a plan patient.

Most dental practices these days offer regular access to routine dental care through a regular monthly payment plan. Think of it as your dental fitness membership scheme.

If you’re making a monthly payment, you’re more likely to attend dental or hygiene appointments. Going to your dentist every six months will help you to maintain good oral health. As you get older, you’ll be glad that you’ve made this investment in your future.

We recommend you contact your nearest dental practice to find out how they can support your ongoing, regular dental care.

by Spa Dental

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What are the Different Types of Dentists?


There are many types of dentists and deciding what type of dentist you need may be confusing. From fixing misaligned teeth to performing complicated oral surgery, there are many types of dentists who will help you achieve the best oral health.

Curious about what other types of dentists there are? We’ve compiled a list of the types of dentists and dental specialists.

General DentistsA general dentist is your primary dental care provider and has one primary goal: to help you maintain a healthy smile. Dentists diagnose and treat minor to moderate dental conditions and perform extractions, gum care, bridges, crowns, and fillings to help you improve your overall health.

EndodontistsEndodontists are dentists who specialize in maintaining teeth through endodontic therapy (procedures, involving the soft inner tissue of the teeth). Patients typically need a root canal when there is inflammation or infection in the roots of a tooth. This type of specialist performs root canal procedures on patients which involve removing unhealthy pulp at the bottom of the tooth, filling the space and then sealing it. This procedure can save teeth that would otherwise have to be removed.


An orthodontist is a dental specialist who works to prevent, diagnose and treat facial and dental irregularities in the jaw and its structures such as malocclusions (bad bites). You would visit the orthodontist to identify if/when braces (or other options like Invisalign®) are needed. This dentist specializes in corrective retainers and appliances to improve your bite and smile.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

This type of dentist is responsible for any type of surgeries that involve the mouth, jaw, or face such as removal of wisdom teeth and placement of dental implants. Typically, you will see an oral/maxillofacial surgeon if you have suffered trauma to your face, jaw, or mouth, if you suffer from cysts or tumours, or if If you wish to receive dental implants.

Oral Pathologist

An oral pathologist is a specialist who studies the different causes of diseases that occur in the mouth and the diseases that change the jaw, lip, teeth, and cheek structures. You would visit an oral pathologist if you have abnormal colouration in your gums (they should be pink), and growths on an x-ray. These specialists will often biopsy areas of concern and have them tested to determine the underlying disease or condition.

Paediatric Dentist or Pedodontists

A paediatric dentist (or pedodontist) specializes in dental care for infants and children. Paediatric dentists perform dental procedures that are similar to general dentists. However, because of their specialized training, they are equipped to handle many difficult behavioural situations and treat many types of patients, including infants, young children, and adolescents.


A periodontist specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the soft tissues within the mouth, including the bones and gums and are experts in the area of oral inflammation. You would visit a periodontist whenever you feel like your gums are sensitive or you notice bleeding. This dentist would diagnose and treat both gingivitis and periodontitis.


A prosthodontist specializes in the replacement of missing teeth or the repair of your natural teeth. This specialist will make use of caps and crowns to correct any areas of concern within the patient’s mouth. A prosthodontist is also involved in the dental implant process and can work with patients who experience any type of head and neck issues.

by Edge water Dental

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What Is the Depressor Labii Inferioris?

The depressor labii inferioris is a facial muscle that allows you to pull your lower lip down or to the side. While this muscle has very limited movement on its own, it plays an important role in the complex structure of facial muscles that allow us to make such detailed and precise facial expressions.

Location and Function

When you pull your lower lip down or to the side, you activate your depressor labii inferioris. This facial muscle originates from the outer surface of the mandible (lower jaw) and stretches upward to attach to the skin of the lower lip. Working together with the orbicularis oris, the depressor labii inferioris moves the lower lip, making it one of the key muscles used to form expressions of sorrow, doubt, perseverance, and diligence.

Causes of Facial Muscle Paralysis

The depressor labii inferioris, like other facial muscles, can be affected by many causes of facial muscle paralysis. These forms of paralysis can leave you with limited muscle function or total muscle paralysis.

Bell's Palsy: Bell's Palsy is a type of paralysis that can affect the muscles controlled by the facial nerve, including the depressor labii inferioris. Facial muscles may become weak or, in some cases, may not be able to contract at all - affecting your ability to make facial expressions. Bell's palsy can also disrupt your sense of taste and make your smile appear asymmetrical or crooked.

Head Trauma: While Bell's palsy is the most common source of facial paralysis, a study published in Craniomaxillofacial Trauma & Reconstruction notes that head trauma, as well as injuries arising from surgery, may damage the facial nerve and result in facial muscle paralysis. If the lower facial muscles are affected, you may have difficulty eating, drinking, and speaking.

Tumors: Tumors that press on the facial nerve may also cause facial paralysis, interfering with the muscles' ability to function. If you're unable to move your lower lip, your depressor labii inferioris may be one of the muscles affected.

Treatment for Muscle Paralysis

Dental professionals can help diagnose and treat problems that result in facial paralysis or the loss of muscle function. Mild cases of Bell's palsy may not require treatment, though a doctor may recommend medications like an oral steroid or therapeutic treatments for more severe cases. They may also recommend MRI or CT scans to diagnose the cause of facial paralysis if there's a possibility that a tumor is to blame.

If you're worried that your smile is asymmetrical or you experience facial paralysis of any kind, your dental and medical team can work with you to address the cause of the problem and help restore the normal function of your facial muscles. Be sure to speak with your dentist if you notice any numbness or loss of function in or around your mouth.

by Colgate

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Tonsils and Adenoids: What's the Difference?

How often do you think about tonsils and adenoids? Not very much, I'll bet! For many people, the first time they learn anything about these organs is when they or their children experience issues with them. When they're functioning normally, tonsils and adenoids are hardly ever a topic of conversation. But from both an oral care and immune health perspective, the tonsils and adenoids play a crucial role in keeping your body infection-free.

When we think of a robust immune system, building healthy habits like getting quality sleep, staying hydrated, and nourishing our bodies with healthy foods come to mind. But did you know that your tonsils and adenoids are your immune system's first line of defense? Let's dive into some common questions about the difference between adenoids and tonsils, their essential functions, and their potential complications and treatments.

Tonsils & Adenoids: Location and Function

Tonsils are a pair of lymph nodes at the back of the throat. With just a light, you can view your tonsils when you open your mouth. They can appear larger in children under nine and usually shrink significantly during the teen years.

Adenoids and tonsils are part of the more extensive lymphatic system that includes lymph nodes found in the neck, armpits, and groin. This system clears away infection and keeps body fluids in balance. Tonsils and adenoids work by trapping the germs coming in through the mouth and nose to prevent them from invading the body. Because they work as mechanisms to fight infection, they can become infected and enlarged. At this point, you may be wondering, "what are the different complications for adenoids vs. tonsils, and how are they similar?"

Potential Tonsil Complications

Many people encounter a tonsil issue at some point in their life. The tonsils are susceptible to a few conditions, especially in school-aged children who come into frequent contact with germs.


Tonsillitis, an inflammation of the tonsils, is typically caused by a virus and bacterial. It can affect children from preschool-age to mid-teens. Tonsillitis is rare in adults since its immune system function declines post-puberty.

The symptoms of tonsillitis include the following:

Redness and swelling

White or yellow patches on the tonsils


Sore throat

Difficulty swallowing

Swollen or tender lymph nodes in the neck

Your dental or medical professional can take a swab of your throat to determine the source of your inflamed tonsils. While tonsillitis is not contagious, what causes it can be. So it's essential to practice regular hygiene like frequent hand-washing.

If bacteria are the cause, such as the strep bacteria involved in strep throat, antibiotics may help treat the swelling. Otherwise, rest and adequate hydration can help you recover. Tonsillitis is most common in children between the ages of 5 and 15, but adults can also get inflamed tonsils.


Tonsilloliths commonly referred to as tonsil stones, form when debris gets caught and builds up within the tonsillar crypts. Tonsillar crypts are the naturally occurring crevices in your tonsils. A standard component of tonsil structure, the number of crypts varies from person to person. Ideally, they should remain free of debris.

Symptoms of tonsil stones include bad breath, odorous clumps in your mouth, and throat irritation. Luckily, some people can treat tonsil stones at home. If you have many crypts in your tonsils, you may be more prone to forming stones and developing an infection. Prevention measures include good oral hygiene like regular brushing, flossing (also known as interdental cleaning), and the use of a water flosser and mouthwash. If you can't dislodge a tonsil stone at home, a dental professional can.

When to Consider a Tonsillectomy

Many tonsil issues are treated nonsurgically. However, there are several reasons that their removal will improve your quality of life!

Enlarged tonsils that cause difficulty breathing while sleeping or chronic throat infections are two main reasons to get them removed. And did you know that, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the tonsillectomy (or adenotonsillectomy) accounts for more than 15% of surgeries performed on children under 15?

You're probably wondering who helps you decide if a tonsillectomy is right for you or your child. An Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist (ENT) is the healthcare professional that will confirm you need a tonsillectomy and will be the one to operate. The procedure usually takes 20 to 30 minutes under local anesthesia. Pain and inflammation during recovery can take as long as two weeks to subside. Your child will likely miss about a week of school as they recover. Adults getting their tonsils removed may need longer to heal fully.

Potential Adenoid Complications: Enlarged Adenoids

Adenoids are small lymph tissues at the upper airway behind the throat that excel at fighting infections in babies and young children. As children age, their bodies develop other methods to combat germs, reducing the importance of adenoids. They can start to shrink once a child surpasses age five, and by the time kids reach their teen years, their adenoids have practically disappeared.

Adenoids can become swollen when fighting off an infection. While the swelling can dissipate independently, the adenoids themselves become infected or continue to be swollen after you have recovered. A doctor might recommend a surgical solution if the swelling or infection becomes chronic.

A doctor should see your child if you think they have enlarged adenoids. Symptoms to look for include difficulty breathing via the nose or consistently breathing through the mouth, snoring, middle ear infections or fluid in the ears in school-aged children, or frequent sinus issues. While not always the case, tonsils and adenoids can become enlarged at the same time.

When to Consider an Adenoidectomy

The removal of adenoids glands is referred to as an adenoidectomy or adenoid removal. A doctor might recommend an adenoidectomy for your child if their enlarged adenoids cause breathing issues due to partial airway blockage. Sleep apnea and chronic ear infections can result from these breathing issues. Like with a tonsillectomy, an ENT doctor can perform the procedure on an out-patient basis, which includes putting the child under general anesthesia. Minor and temporary side effects from this surgery are sore throats, bad breath, and earaches.

Any time you are concerned about you or your child's oral health, it is essential to consult a dental professional. At the same time, issues involving your tonsils and adenoids may require a visit to an ENT Specialist. They can determine your best treatment for problems arising from swelling, pain, recurrent illness, or sleep issues caused by the lymph nodes in your mouth.

Tonsils and adenoids are a vital part of the immune system, but they, too, can be a source of chronic or recurring issues. You, your dentist, and your ENT Specialist can work together to help keep you or your child's oral cavity painless and infection-free.


by Colgate

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Ten Dental Hygiene Tips For A More Thorough Clean

Brushing your teeth every morning and night doesn’t guarantee you’re giving your mouth all the attention it needs. Even a regular oral hygiene routine could be leaving gaps if you engage in a few not-so-great habits with your time at the sink. By understanding proper brushing technique and ensuring you have the right tools in your cabinet, you can make sure you have all of your bases covered when pursuing a more thorough clean. Consider the following dental hygiene tips to help you take your care routine to the next level.

Use Proper Brushing Technique

A quick wash of your bristles isn’t enough to banish leftover food particles and polish your teeth. Instead, use a technique echoed by the American Dental Association (ADA): Start with your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and use short back and forth strokes across the sides and tops of your teeth. Then, hold the brush vertically and use several shorter strokes to focus on the backs of your teeth of the front anterior teeth where plaque builds up often.

Brush Enough

Many people brush regularly, but simply don’t brush enough for their teeth to stay clean. The ADA recommends brushing for at least two minutes, twice daily. Having trouble gauging your routine for this duration? Try listening to short song, cue up a two-minute YouTube video or set a timer on your phone to give yourself the time you need to thoroughly clean your teeth.

Pick the Right Brush

Always look for a brush whose head and bristles are small enough to reach into the crevices of your molars, where food debris can hide after you eat. According to the International Dental Health Association, most adults require a small- or medium-sized toothbrush for this purpose.

Look for the ADA Seal

Not all toothpastes are created equally. For the best clean, look for a product carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which meets strict manufacturing regulations that promise an effective clean with a dosage of fluoride suitable for adults and kids past a certain age. This seal ensures you’re using a product the ADA guarantees will do a safe and thorough job every time you brush.

Floss Properly

Like brushing, flossing must be done properly so that, when you reach between teeth, you actually get to the germs that are stuck there. Ideally, use a piece of floss up to 18 inches in length, allowing you to use a fresh area of floss every few teeth without reinserting bacteria you just removed. Keep in mind the floss should rub against the teeth in a motion that creates a forward or backward ‘C’ shape, wrapping the floss around each tooth.

Use a Mouthwash

A product such as mouthwash can go where toothbrushes and floss can’t in order to rid your mouth of the same debris that irritates the gum-line and causes gingivitis. Add mouthwash to your oral care regimen to get the most thorough clean you can, even when you’re on the go.

Clean Your Brush

You don’t need special equipment or covers to keep the brush itself clean. In fact, the ADA warns that covering your toothbrush can actually breed new bacteria and introduce it into your mouth. Instead, just rinse your brush after each use and allow it to air dry. You should also avoid sharing brushes with others, even your kids.

Change Your Brush

Bristles deteriorate with time and usage, so if you’re using the same toothbrush beyond a few months, you may not be getting the best clean anymore. Rather, make a point of getting a new brush every three to four months – or at your semiannual dental checkup.

Use a Tongue Scraper

Some toothbrushes now come with a ridged tooth-scraper on the back of the brush. After brushing, bacteria can still remain on the tongue, so be sure to brush or scrape your tongue as part of your daily routine. Not only will it banish bacteria, but cleaning your tongue can also help freshen your breath.

Stop Snacking

Hungry for a midnight snack? Brushing well may clear your teeth of bacteria and food particles, but if you eat a snack afterward, you’ll need to brush again before bed. Having a snack before sleep (without brushing) can allow food particles and sugar to remain on your teeth for too long, providing fuel for bacteria that feeds on it.

by Forest Lake Family Dental

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Seven Tips for Dental Health While You Travel

If you’ll be joining the ranks of people who are traveling again this summer, this is a good time to pay attention to your dental health. When you’re on a trip and away from your dentist, you should take steps to prevent dental problems from occurring. These tips can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums, so you can focus on enjoying your trip instead of dealing with dental issues.

1.- Pack Travel Dental Items Right Away

Since you’ll need to keep using your toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and other dental items at home until the day you leave, purchase separate ones for your trip. Pack those items right away, so you won’t forget to do so later on. Having separate dental items for your trip means you won’t have to worry about forgetting to pack your regular ones while you’re doing last-minute tasks before heading out.

2.- Use a Toothbrush Alternative if Needed

If you do forget to bring your toothbrush with you, there are still ways to keep your teeth clean until you’re able to buy one at your destination. Rinse your mouth with water to get rid of bacteria on your teeth and gums. You can also use your finger to brush. Just wash your hands, put toothpaste on your finger and gently clean your teeth.

3.- Keep Your Toothbrush Clean and Dry

Your toothbrush can increase your risk of dental problems if you allow bacteria or other germs to build up on it. Always rinse your toothbrush after using it during your trip. If possible, let your toothbrush air dry. If you can’t do that, you should put your toothbrush in a clean, resealable plastic bag by itself to lower the risk of germ exposure.

4.- Watch the Water You Use

When you’re in the great outdoors or in an area without clean water, make sure you brush with bottled water. This helps lower your risk of getting ill from contaminated or unclean water sources. If your toothbrush is exposed to potentially unsafe water, you should replace it with a new one if possible or rinse it thoroughly with bottled water.

5.- Bring Sugarless Gum and Tooth-Friendly Snacks

Sugarless gum provides a great way for you to reduce your risk of tooth decay while you’re on a trip. You might not be able to brush your teeth right away after eating when you’re traveling, but you can prevent tooth decay by chewing sugarless gum instead. This gum causes you to produce more saliva, which helps move bacteria away from your teeth. Bring packs of sugarless gum with you, along with snacks that promote healthy teeth, such as string cheese or cheese cubes, plain almonds or other nuts, fresh fruit and carrot sticks or other raw vegetables.

6.- Schedule a Cleaning Before You Go

If it’s time for your next dental cleaning and exam, make sure you schedule that before going on your trip. Having your teeth checked for potential problems means you can have these taken care of before you go. This helps lower your risk of having a dental emergency when you’re traveling. You’ll also be able to enjoy your trip more with freshly cleaned teeth. If you know that you need dental work done, you should also have this taken care of prior to traveling. Otherwise, you could end up having to find an emergency dentist while you’re on vacation. Keep in mind that you should have dental cleanings done twice a year.

7.- Prepare for Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies might happen when you travel, even if you’re careful about your dental health. Being prepared for these emergencies ahead of time can provide you with peace of mind when you’re on your trip. Bring your dentist’s contact information with you, so you can call about any problems you’re having, such as minor tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, a chipped tooth, gum inflammation or a cracked tooth. Your dentist can provide you with guidance on what to do next and might even be able to recommend a dentist in your location. If you’re overseas, you can contact the U.S. embassy or consulate near your location for assistance.

by Cedar Walk Family

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Why Should We Eat Food Slowly And Chew Properly

When you dig into your dinner or nosh on a post-workout snack, you're probably focused on satisfying your cravings and fueling your body. But whether you're indulging in a treat or eating healthy, the way you chew might be affecting your overall enjoyment of a meal. Chewing food might seem simple and instinctive, but how you chew may impact your oral and gut health. Learn more about how and why to chew correctly, and you'll probably relish your food even more.

The Purpose of Chewing

Since the dawn of time, chewing has been the primary way of breaking down food into smaller, more digestible particles that can easily pass through the digestive tract. Of course, different foods take a different amount of chewing to break down, and early hominids likely used their teeth to grind down plants and breakthrough tough meat sources. Today, most foods are tender enough to be pulverized with a moderate amount of chewing, but there's still something to be said for taking your time to chew slowly and mindfully.

Here are some of the benefits of prolonged and thorough chewing your food:

Chewing helps to signal the beginning of the digestive process. As your body releases saliva to help break down food, it also relaxes the stomach ahead of digestion to allow food and nutrients to pass through more easily.

Chewing food slowly gives the stomach enough time to signal the brain for satiety. Chewing food slowly actually reduces food intake between meals, meaning it can be a great tip to help you curb overeating and increase your satisfaction at mealtimes.

When food particles are left on the teeth, they provide fuel for bacteria that can cause tooth decay. Prolonged and thorough chewing produces more saliva, which helps remineralize teeth and restore your mouth's pH after eating acids and sugars.

How to Chew Food Properly

There's no perfect way to chew your food, as factors like the type of food and the condition of your teeth can affect how you break down what you eat. There are, however, some guidelines to make sure your food has been properly chewed before you swallow. You might, for instance, choose a goal of "chews" to hit before you swallow, such as 20. You can also make sure your food is completely pulverized before you swallow and begin digesting.

If you tend to eat too quickly (and chew too fast), you can set some rules for eating to help you do so more mindfully. Only eat at prescribed times and while sitting at a table. Make sure you avoid other activities when eating instead of taking the time to focus on your food and your satiety level. Then, always brush after meals to clean away leftover food particles.

Chewing your food might seem like a no-brainer, but the way you eat can contribute a lot to your overall health. Take time to slow down, eat mindfully and chew slowly, and you could find you eat less and enjoy your food even more.

by Colgate

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Four health conditions linked to gum disease

Gum diseases are among the most common chronic human diseases, affecting between 20 to 50% of people worldwide. They happen when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up on teeth. The earliest stages of gum disease are treatable and reversible (gingivitis). But some people develop a chronic destructive form of gum disease, which is irreversible. This disease progresses to tooth loss. A growing body of evidence shows that gum disease can also make people more likely to develop other serious health conditions.

Here are a few of the common health conditions linked to gum disease and how they are connected.

1. Alzheimer’s disease

Several large studies and meta-analyses agree that moderate or severe gum disease is significantly associated with dementia. For example, one study showed suffering from chronic gum disease for ten years or more was associated with a 70% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s than those without. Research has also shown a link between gum disease and a sixfold decline in cognitive ability.

Initially, it was thought bacteria were directly responsible for this link. P. gingivalis, bacteria common in chronic gum disease, was found in the brains of people who had died of Alzheimer’s disease. Toxic bacterial enzymes called gingipains were also found, which are thought to worsen gum disease by preventing the immune response from turning off and hence prolonging inflammation.

However, it’s not certain whether bacteria in the brain, a modified immune response or other factors – such as damage from systemic inflammation – explain the link. But taking care of your oral health could be one way to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular disease is also firmly associated with gum disease.

In a large study of over 1,600 people aged over 60, gum disease was linked with an almost 30% higher risk of first heart attack. This link even persisted after researchers adjusted for other conditions (such as diabetes and asthma), or lifestyle habits (such as smoking status, education and marriage) that are known to increase a person’s risk of a heart attack.

More recently, studies have also shown that systemic inflammation caused by chronic gum disease causes the body’s stem cells to produce a hyper-responsive group of neutrophils (a type of early defence white blood cell). These cells may damage the lining of arteries by damaging the cells that line the arteries – triggering the build-up of plaques.

3. Type 2 diabetes

Gum disease is a known complication of type 2 diabetes, and chronic gum disease increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The processes that link the two diseases are the focus of much research, and it’s likely that inflammation caused by each condition affects the other. For instance, type 2 diabetes raises the risk of gum disease by increasing inflammation in the gums. Gum disease has also been shown to contribute to impaired insulin signalling and insulin resistance – which can both exacerbate type 2 diabetes.

Several clinical trials have shown an intensive dental cleaning can improve blood sugar control in diabetic patients for several months, further showing the links between the two diseases.

4. Cancers

Gum disease is also linked to a greater risk of developing many types of cancer. For instance, patients who reported having a history of gum disease were shown to have a 43% greater risk of oesophagal cancer, and a 52% greater risk of stomach cancer. Other research has also reported people with chronic gum disease had a between 14-20% higher risk of developing any type of cancer. The same study also showed a 54% higher risk of pancreatic cancer.

It’s not clear why this relationship exists. Some think it has to do with inflammation, which is a factor in both gum disease and cancer. Inflammation disrupts the environment that cells need to stay healthy and function properly and is a factor in the progression of both gum disease and tumour growth.

Improving gum health

Gum disease is preventable and reversible in the early stages.

While some risk factors for gum disease can’t be changed (such as your genetics), you can change your lifestyle to reduce your overall risk. For example, eating less sugar, avoiding tobacco and alcohol and reducing stress can all help. It’s also important to know that certain medications (such as some antidepressants and hypertension drugs) may lower saliva production, which can increase your risk of gum disease. People taking these medicines need to take extra precautions, such as using special gels or sprays to increase saliva production, or making sure to take extra care while brushing their teeth.

Of course, the most important things you can do to protect yourself from gum disease (and subsequently your overall health) are brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and avoiding using mouthwash after brushing – and taking care not to rinse after brushing to allow the fluoride to remain on your teeth. Interdental cleaning at home (such as flossing) and regular dental visits will also help you keep your oral health in check.

by The Conversation

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What Is The Gingival Sulcus?

Much like the cuff of a sleeve fits snugly against the wrist, the gum tissue in your mouth fits tightly around each tooth. Think of the gingival sulcus as the space between the edge of the sleeve and the wrist, with the sleeve representing your gums and the wrist representing a tooth. Knowing how to keep this space clean and its role in your oral health can help you avoid gum issues down the line.

What is the Gingival Sulcus?

The sulcus is “the point at which the tooth and gums meet,” or the natural space between the surface of the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue (also known as the gingiva). The cementoenamel junction, located at the bottom of the sulcus, helps keep the gums attached to the tooth surface. When the gum tissue is healthy, it is firm, pink to brown, and fits tightly around the tooth. A good sign of a healthy gingiva sulcus is a depth of 3mm or less, which your dental professional will periodically measure.

Measuring the Sulcus

Your dental professional may choose to conduct a periodontal screening assessment to determine your risk of developing gum disease. They will take a small ruler, called a periodontal probe, and place the probe just under the gum tissue to measure the pocket depth. The probe enters the gingival sulcus and gently presses against the spot where the gum tissue attaches to the tooth surface. In the sleeve example, it is easy to picture this concept by putting your finger under the cuff of your sleeve.

An Opening for Gum Disease

It's critical to thoroughly brush the area where the gums meet the teeth and floss between the teeth to keep the entire gingival sulcus clean. When plaque is allowed to build up on the gums at the base of a tooth, it can cause gingivitis, when the gums become inflamed and irritated. Luckily, you can reverse gingivitis with excellent oral care. However, if the plaque continues to build, the inflammation can lead to the gums detaching from the tooth, causing the space between the teeth and gums to deepen and allow even more plaque to accumulate. This deepening of the sulcus, also referred to as the development of a periodontal pocket, is an early indicator for periodontal disease. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research classifies periodontal disease as a site with gum attachment loss of at least 3 millimeters and a pocket depth of at least 4 millimeters. 

Unfortunately, gum disease is common among Americans—half of the people over 30 have periodontitis. While some risk factors are unavoidable due to genetics, age, medications, and health history, other preventable risks include smoking tobacco and unhealthy diet choices. 

Maintaining Gum Health

When plaque has packed into and invaded the gingival sulcus, further complications can arise, such as tooth loss. To stop the damage, your dental professional may recommend a more involved type of dental procedure called scaling or root planing to access the area under the gumline. If the damage caused by the bacteria is more severe, a dental professional can improve the health of the gums with surgical methods, such as a gum graft.

Whether or not you have periodontal disease or are at risk for it, the key to maintaining a healthy gingival sulcus is excellent oral care as well as regular dental checkups. Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and clean between your teeth with an interdental device like floss, water flossers, or other interdental cleaners. Remember, plaque and bacteria can build up in the space between your teeth and gum. The more you care for that area, the healthier your gums, teeth, and smile will be.

by Colgate

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What Is Tooth Dilaceration?

There are many ways that your teeth malformations can affect you or your child. What is tooth dilaceration? What causes curved tooth roots? We’ve got the answers to your top questions, so you know what’s going on with you or your child’s tooth.

Tooth Dilaceration: What You Need to Know

If the crown (top) or root of a tooth has an irregular bend, this is known as a tooth dilaceration. This leads to a curved section of your or your child’s tooth, including the crown, root, or root tip. It can occur in any tooth type but is much more likely to occur in primary teeth, also known as baby teeth.

It's crucial to receive an accurate diagnosis by a dental professional, as tooth dilaceration can alter other dental care recommendations that you or your child receives. Even if not treating the dilacerated tooth directly, its presence may alter their approach to your other teeth.

Diagnosis and Causes

Because x-rays take two-dimensional images of your mouth, it can be difficult to capture the image and diagnose your dilacerated tooth fully. For this reason, cone-beam computer tomography (CBCT) is often used by your dental professional to help provide a clearer image of your condition, leading to more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

According to the International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, the exact prevalence and range of causes are not fully understood. The typically understood causes are injury to your or your child's baby teeth, developmental issues, and various medical conditions.

The causes of dilaceration may include:

Developmental problems due to genetics or disease

Medical conditions, including cysts and tumors

Traumatic injury to your baby tooth or teeth

Baby tooth or teeth that did not properly grow out

Presence of an extra tooth or teeth

Prevention and Treatment

Because other health problems and trauma cause tooth dilaceration, it is sometimes impossible to prevent. Your best bet not to develop this condition is to avoid injury to your or your child's mouth and stay ahead of other oral health issues through proper dental care.

Regular visits to your dental professional can help catch this condition early to prevent associated issues from occurring. If your dilaceration is minor, you may likely require no treatment.

According to the International Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, treatment varies based on numerous factors. If you do require treatment, options will vary depending on:

Its severity and the underlying cause

The position and direction of the affected tooth

The amount of space around the affected tooth

The amount of root formation

Recommendation of your dental professional

If you do require treatment, the options typically require surgical intervention. Depending on your individual needs, your dental professional may recommend traction (putting pressure on your tooth) to guide your or your child's tooth or extraction of the tooth.

It’s vital to intervene with your dental professional as early as possible to prevent complications, so you’ve made the right choice to inform yourself about this condition. You’ve done a great job by acquiring an understanding of the causes and treatments for tooth dilaceration.

by Colgate

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Seven Ways To make Oral Hygiene Easier At Work

You spend most of your day at work. Be sure to bring good habits and the right supplies with you.

Oral hygiene is important throughout the day, not just in the mornings and evenings. That means paying attention to your teeth and gums even while you’re at work. It may not seem that easy to keep up with your oral care at the office, especially when you’re busy with multiple tasks, or working long hours. But there are many ways to make oral care more convenient while you’re on the job. Look after your teeth with these seven workplace tips.

1. Consider your smile

Think about the number of co-workers, clients and managers you come face to face with in a typical workday. That just might be the motivation you need to look after your mouth at work! Wouldn’t you want your smile to be at its cleanest, and your breath at its freshest? Perhaps there’s never been a deal killed because of onion breath or a shred of lettuce in your teeth, but the bottom line is it still might not be the good impression you hope to make.

2. Get over yourself

Are you too embarrassed to brush your teeth at the workplace sink? Let it go. “I think there’s nothing wrong with going into a public washroom to brush your teeth,” says Jacki Blatz, a dental hygienist and owner of Dentique Dental Hygiene Centre in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. “It’s part of your everyday routine for oral care, just like fitness may be part of your everyday routine.”

3. Stock up on supplies

Keep a toothbrush, paste and dental floss stored in your work station, not in your purse or briefcase. An Academy of General Dentistry survey found that you’re 65 percent more likely to brush your teeth at the office if you use this strategy instead of carrying your supplies around with you.

4. Eat for optimal mouth health

Try to avoid frequent sugary snacks at work. When you’ve got the munchies, fruits and vegetables make for good choices because they can scrub your teeth somewhat. Cheese is also a great way to finish your meal or satisfy a snack craving, because it increases saliva flow and helps to clear sugar from your mouth.

5. Chew gum

If you’re unable to brush right after a meal at work, pop a stick or two of sugarless gum. “It will actually pull bacteria and food particles from your teeth,” says Blatz. Gum sweetened with xylitol will stimulate the flow of saliva, which also helps to cleanse your teeth.

6. Remember that water is wonderful

Stay hydrated at your desk by sipping water, not sugary pops and juices. And if you don’t brush right after eating, you can try doing a few swishes with water as well as drinking it. “You can remove as much bacteria by vigourously swishing your mouth with water as you can by vigourously swishing with mouthwash,” notes Blatz.

7. Be a good boss

If you’re an employer or manager, you might help to raise awareness among your staff about the importance of good oral hygiene and disease prevention. A study in Japan showed that this kind of workplace strategy actually led to a decrease in the cost of dental care among the employees.

by Lisa Bendall

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Five Preventive Tips To Protect Your Oral Health From Infection

Prioritizing your oral health is essential as it's linked with gut health. So, wonder how to protect your teeth from infection? Here are 5 tips.

A dental infection is usually a pus-filled area like a sac or boil which has been caused due to bacterial activity triggered by unfavorable conditions in the oral environment which includes poor oral hygiene, excessive sugar consumption, and tobacco and alcohol use. So, if you’re wondering how to protect your teeth from infection, you’ll find the solution here.

Read the causes of dental infection

Dental infections can originate in various situations, such as:

1. Poor oral hygiene can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems, including infection.

2. Infections can be contracted from procedures or instruments in the mouth hence sterilization and infection control protocols should be strictly followed.

3. More likely in patients who have diabetes or any autoimmune diseases.

How to spot an oral infection?

Dental infection, once initiated in the mouth, can spread rapidly and damage the adjacent supporting structures and even lead to eventual tooth loss. Hence, it is imperative to protect your teeth from infection and spot the early signs.

Common signs of dental infection include:

Bleeding from the gums

Pus discharge

Foul odour from the mouth

Foul taste in the mouth

How to treat dental infection?

If you have been diagnosed with an infection, there are ways to treat it. These may include medication or certain dental procedures which can physically drain the infection.

Antibiotic therapy is always the first line of treatment for an infection.Some infections are unresponsive to medication or need further physical treatment which can be done with various dental procedures.A dental laser is very effective in treating gum infections and creating a sterile environment and root canal or endodontic treatment helps in treating tooth-related infections.

How to prevent an oral infection?

As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, good oral hygiene is essential for keeping your teeth healthy and free from infection. Here are 5 tips to protect your teeth:

1. Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste to brush your teeth twice daily. Fluoride helps to strengthen your tooth enamel and protect against tooth decay.

2. Floss at least once a day. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from the spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach.

3. Use an antiseptic mouthwash to help kill bacteria that can lead to infection.

4. Eat a balanced diet that includes crunchy fruits and vegetables, which help to clean your teeth and gums. Avoid sugary and starchy foods, which can increase your risk of cavities and gum disease.

5. Visit the dentist frequently for cleanings and examinations. Your dentist can detect early signs of infection and provide treatment before it becomes a more serious problem.

By taking these steps, you can help protect your teeth from infection and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.


by Dr Diksha Tahilramani Batra

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How To Properly Brush Your Teeth in Four Steps

Proper and routine tooth brushing techniques are the first line of defense in the fight against tooth and gum decay. For healthy teeth and gums, consider the following tooth brushing techniques.

Choose The Right ToothbrushFirst, the right toothbrush is the foundation on which to lay a proper tooth brushing strategy. The wrong kind of toothbrush can strip enamel and dentin from the surface of the tooth. This can cause discomfort and sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages.A soft to medium bristle brush is optimal. Also, be sure to replace the brush about every four weeks, before the bristles splay. Splayed bristles are jagged and rough against the tooth’s surface and can wear down the protective enamel and dentin.When toothbrushes are manufactured, the bristles are rounded into soft, even domes. Over time, the domes wear out and become serrated, and start to scrape at the tooth like a knife. Positioning the toothbrush correctly will also protect enamel and dentin while cleaning off plaque and bacteria.

Proper Brush PositionMost people brush with a ‘sawing’ motion. This does not clean the plaque that sticks around the edges of the tooth or in between the teeth. Holding the brush incorrectly causes it to skip over the surface of the tooth, leaving plaque and tartar to build up over time. By positioning the brush at the correct angle, the surface of the tooth is contacting with the brush and getting cleaned at all levels.Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and brush in a gentle, circular motion, being sure to make contact with all sides of the tooth. To properly clean the insides of the top and bottom teeth, angle the brush vertically and make an upward, swiping motion.

Don’t Brush Too Hard!Also, be careful not to scrub too hard or fast. Too hard, and gums can, over time, recede from the base of the tooth. This can lead to sensitivity, gum infections, and gum decay. Brush too fast and quick, and the tooth will not get fully and properly cleaned. Each brushing session should last about two minutes.If proper techniques are employed, teeth only need brushed twice per day; once in the morning, and again at night before bed and after all meals are taken. However, flossing can be unlimited.

Don’t Overdo ItToo much of a good thing is rarely a good thing and brushing too frequently is no different. Frequent and improper brushing will weaken the tooth and cause the gums to recede.

In addition to a proper tooth brushing regimen, visiting the dentist for routine cleanings is a proven way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

The caring and keeping of one’s natural teeth is an important health issue. Using the right toothbrush, replacing it frequently, and positioning it correctly over the tooth will protect the enamel and gums. Failure to follow these simple steps can lead to pain, decay and gum disease, and expensive, preventable dental procedures.

by Ramon Bana, DDS

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Orange Juice and Toothpaste: Why They Don't Mix

Some things just go together: peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, burgers and fries. But orange juice and toothpaste? Not so much.

If you've ever decided to drink a glass of OJ right after brushing your teeth, you probably regretted it. As it turns out, a key ingredient in toothpaste is responsible for making orange juice taste totally different after you've brushed. But there are sweet solutions for brushing your teeth and still drinking a morning cup of orange juice.

Orange Juice and Toothpaste: Understanding the Taste Combo

The taste buds on your tongue play a big role in determining how foods, drinks, and toothpaste will taste. And how they'll taste in combination with each other. Besides your tongue, other parts of your head and throat are instrumental in your ability to taste. These include your:

Roof of your mouth (soft palate)


Nasal cavity

Epiglottis (throat flap that aids in breathing and preventing food from going down your windpipe)

Back of your throat

With your taste receptors, you're able to detect five different flavor types:


Savory (sometimes called Umani)




When orange juice and toothpaste get together, they affect your body's ability to taste sweet and bitter flavors. And that plays a big part in making your morning OJ taste so gross.

Meet Sodium Laurel Sulfate

If you read the ingredients on numerous tubes of toothpaste, you'll find most contain sodium laurel sulfate. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a surfactant – or a type of soap. It's found in many beauty and household products, not just toothpaste. SLS creates suds or foam while you brush and helps clean your teeth.

SLS does two things that can transform OJ from a sweet, refreshing drink into a glass of bitterness:

Suppresses the receptors on the taste buds that can pick up on sweet flavors. So, for a while at least, you're not able to taste "sweet" no matter what you drink.

Breaks up phospholipids, the fatty compounds that help reduce bitter tastes. By blocking the receptors that sense bitterness.

OJ and other citrus juices usually have a mixture of bitter and sweet flavors. Under normal circumstances, you're able to taste the sweetness. But when your sweetness receptors are out of commission – and there's nothing to block your bitterness receptors – you're going to get a mouthful of blech.

I Love OJ and Must Brush My Teeth: What Can I Do?

To avoid the unpleasant taste of orange juice and toothpaste:

Eat and drink first, then brush your teeth. Just keep in mind that you should wait about 60 minutes after eating/drinking any citrus foods before brushing to avoid damaging your teeth's enamel.

Eating, waiting for 60 minutes, then brushing might shake up your morning routine, but the upsides are:

It'll feel good not having "breakfast teeth" the rest of the day.

You'll get OJ's plaque-causing acid and sugar off your teeth sooner than if you waited until your next brushing, which usually occurs at the end of the day.

You also might drink a glass of water during those 60 minutes to further ensure you won't damage your enamel when brushing after consuming citrus.

Switch to a toothpaste that doesn't contain SLS. If you aren't sure which toothpaste to use, you can always talk to your dental professionals to see what they recommend.

One tip: Many kinds of toothpaste for sensitive teeth are SLS-free.

Many taste combinations that seem yucky to some might appeal to others – chocolate and potato chips, anyone? But unless you adore a truly harsh taste in your mouth, toothpaste with SLS and orange juice won't do. We've given you solutions for solving your morning problem. Now it's up to you to banish the bitter and savor the sweet!

by Colgate

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Gum Surgery — What Do I Need To Know?

If your dental professional has recommended that you see a periodontist for gum surgery, you're probably wondering what exactly that means and what to expect from your procedure. We'll break down what a periodontist is, what conditions require gum surgery, and what you can expect when you go into your appointment so you can walk away smiling.

What is Periodontics?

According to the American Dental Association, there are currently twelve dental specialties recognized by the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards. Periodontics is the specialty that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions and diseases that affect your gums. The American Academy of Periodontology states that periodontists receive up to three years of additional training after dental school to perform non-surgical and surgical procedures that include gum surgery, dental implant placement, and cosmetic procedures.

What Conditions Require Gum Surgery?

There are different types of gum surgery depending on what you're experiencing and what exactly your periodontist is treating. Some of the most common conditions that require gum surgery include:

Gum recessionIf your gums are receding or pulling away from your teeth and exposing your roots, you have gum recession. The roots of your teeth don't have the same hard, protective enamel as the crowns of your teeth, so an exposed root can cause tooth sensitivity and is susceptible to tooth decay.

Some main causes of gum recession range from periodontal disease, brushing too hard, trauma from an injury or accident, ill-fitting dentures, genetics, and use of tobacco products. For brushing issues, your dental professional can show you how to brush without further damage. Periodontal disease is often treated with a non-surgical procedure called scaling and root planing. If you have ill-fitting dentures, they can be refitted for you.

More severe cases of gum recession may require a surgical procedure called a gum graft. Your periodontist will take tissue from another part of your mouth and attach it where your gums are receding. This surgery prevents further recession, reduces tooth sensitivity, and can improve the aesthetic of your smile.

Gummy smile or uneven gumsIf you have more gum tissue covering your teeth than you consider normal, you have what's called a gummy smile (also known as excessive gingival display if you want to sound like a professional). There are two surgery options available to you to remove tissue and show off more of your pearly white teeth. One is called a gingivectomy, where they surgically cut away a portion of your gumline. The other is called crown lengthening, in which they do the same thing but also remove some of the bone so that more of the tooth surface is above your gumline.

A decayed or broken tooth below the gumlineIf your tooth is damaged beneath your gumline, or if you don't have enough tooth above the gumline for a restoration, your periodontist may need to utilize a crown lengthening procedure to expose more of your tooth.

Periodontal diseasePeriodontal disease is caused by bacteria built up around your gumline and has turned into plaque (a soft, sticky, colorless film). According to statistics published in the Journal of Dental Research, nearly half of adults over 30 in the US have some form of gum disease. Left untreated, your tissue and bone will be destroyed by the plaque, and pockets can form around the roots of your teeth. The pockets may begin to collect more bacteria, your teeth may loosen, and your teeth could even fall out.

If you have deep pockets around your teeth from gum disease, your dental professional may refer you to a periodontist for a periodontal pocket reduction surgery. In this procedure, your gums will be folded back so they can deep clean the bacteria out of the pockets, then they will be sutured back into place, providing you with more of a chance that you can hold onto your natural teeth for the long run.

How Can You Prepare for Gum Surgery?

After your dental professional refers you to a periodontist for gum surgery, your first visit will be an initial consultation. At this appointment, they may:

Take additional X-rays of your mouth and head.

Review your medical history,

Ask what medications you take, including over-the-counter products, vitamins, and supplements.

Depending on the procedure you have planned and your medical history, there are some medical conditions for which your dentist may recommend antibiotics as a preventative measure to fend off infection (antibiotic prophylaxis). According to the American Dental Association, there are very few circumstances in which antibiotics should be used for preventive measures before dental procedures.

If you're undergoing general anesthesia, your periodontist will probably recommend that you avoid food and drink for eight hours before your procedure. Be sure to follow their recommendations for your specific needs. If you have a chronic condition, like diabetes or hypertension, they will monitor you during the procedure for any complications relating to the anesthetic. Most periodontal procedures can be comfortably performed using local anesthesia only.

Recovering From the Procedure

After gum surgery, you'll be informed how to clean your teeth and gum tissue without disturbing your healing gums. The types of food you can eat may be limited for a period of time, and you may be prescribed pain medication.

While you're recovering, contact your dental professional if you have any questions or concerns. Don't wait until an oral infection develops or complications occur. Call your dentist as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary.

You can rest assured that your dental team will be behind you every step of the way, from preparation to recovery. Surgery never sounds like fun, but it can be vital in helping you to get your oral health back into a condition you can smile about. Hopefully, with this information, you feel confident and comfortable about what to expect with your procedure. You can do this!

by Colgate

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Views: 30

Water Flossing vs. Traditional Flossing

Brushing your teeth isn't the only thing keeping your mouth and teeth healthy. Flossing is crucial for cleaning between your teeth, removing food and plaque, and preventing diseases in your teeth and gums. Thankfully, you can try various flossing products, not just the strand of waxed string that has been around forever. Water flossers use a steady stream of fresh water to clean between your teeth. Learn the pros and cons of both methods, traditional flossing, and water flossing, and find the best fit for you.

Traditional Flossing

Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque. Without flossing, plaque build-up can lead to gingivitis or gum disease. That's why it's so essential to add flossing to your daily oral care routine. Traditional flossing or manual flossing involves moving sections of waxed or non-waxed string between your teeth and under your gumline to remove bacteria and food debris.

Water Flossing

A water flosser is a hand-held device that squirts fresh water between your teeth, removing food debris and plaque. Often the flosser tool connects to a water tank you refill when needed.

Do Water Flossers Work?

According to the American Dental Association, water flossers effectively clear food debris and plaque between and around your teeth. Water flossing can be an excellent alternative if you have trouble flossing manually or have braces preventing you from moving floss between your teeth.

Water flossing vs. regular floss

Traditional floss is the "gold standard" recommended by dentists and dental hygienists. It's proven to be effective in preventing gingivitis and gum disease if done correctly and regularly. Also, floss containers are small and portable: you can take floss wherever you go in your purse, backpack, or desk drawer.

Water flossers can be an excellent alternative to traditional flossing for people who have trouble with manual flossing. If you have had dental work that makes flossing difficult such as braces or bridges, water flossers can help you keep your teeth clean. There is also less waste in your trash bin after you floss because you aren't throwing away string sections.

However, a water flosser typically includes a water tank and needs electricity to work. A water flosser isn't as convenient and portable as traditional floss.

According to the ADA, the best way to floss is to use devices designed for cleaning teeth, such as string floss and water flossers, for disease prevention and oral health. If manual flossing is difficult for you, water flossers are a good alternative for clearing food debris and plaque. The most important thing is that flossing is a part of your daily oral care routine and that you aren't using inappropriate items to floss, such as your fingernails or pieces of paper. Floss at least once a day after brushing to ensure your teeth are clear of debris and plaque in those hard to reach spaces.

by Colgate

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What is gum pain?

Gum pain is a common symptom of canker sores on the gums that can result from mouth injury, viral infections, emotional stress, hormonal shifts, a weakened immune system, or a diet low in nutrients.

Gum pain is also a common symptom of gum disease. Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and periodontitis are characterized by gum infection, bleeding, and pain. Gum pain also results from swelling and tenderness due to excess fluid (edema) in the gum tissues.

Less common causes of gum pain include vitamin deficiencies and a rare disease known as Behcet’s syndrome. This disorder causes chronic inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body and may result in mouth sores that produce gum pain.

Gum pain can be a sign of a serious condition. Seek prompt medical care if your gum pain is persistent or causes you concern. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you experience gum pain along with high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit) or difficulty swallowing or breathing.

What other symptoms might occur with gum pain?

Gum pain may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition.

Gum symptoms that may occur along with gum pain

Gum pain may accompany other symptoms affecting the gum including:

Bad breath

Bleeding gums

Bright red or red-purple appearance to gums

Gums that are tender or sensitive

Painful mouth sores or ulcers

Receding gums

Swollen gums

Other symptoms that may occur along with gum pain

Gum pain may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:



Loosening or loss of the teeth


Swollen lymph nodes beneath the jaw or along the neck

Tongue pain

Weakness, tiredness or light-headedness

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, gum pain may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious condition that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency setting. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have gum pain along with other serious symptoms including:

Difficulty swallowing or breathing

High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)

Loss of teeth

What causes gum pain?

Gum pain results from a number of factors, including dental disease and vitamin deficiencies. Dental diseases are the most common cause of gum pain. Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and infection of the gum line involving the teeth and bones (periodontitis) are common causes of gum pain. The pain is associated with an increase in fluid. Canker sores, which are not serious but are painful, open ulcers that often develop on the gums, are another common cause of gum pain. Canker sores are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in the mouth and gums.

Gum pain can occur as the result of vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) causes gums to become soft, tender, spongy and painful. Individuals with scurvy may lose some or all of their teeth. A rare disorder known as Behcet’s syndrome, a condition that causes chronic inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body, leads to numerous symptoms, including sores in the mouth that may cause gum pain.

Gum causes of gum pain

Gum pain may be caused by gum disorders including:

Bacterial infection or abscess

Canker sores (aphthous ulcers)

Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)

Periodontitis (infection of the gum line involving the teeth and bones)

Substance abuse, especially methamphetamine use

Serious or life-threatening causes of gum pain

In some cases, gum pain may be a symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that should be evaluated immediately by a health care provider. These include:

Behcet’s syndrome (disease characterized by widespread inflammation of the blood vessels)


Questions for diagnosing the cause of gum pain

To diagnose your condition, your doctor or licensed health care practitioner will ask you several questions related to your gum pain including:

How long have you felt gum pain?

Where do you feel the gum pain?

Do you have any other symptoms?

What medications are you taking?

What are the potential complications of gum pain?

Because gum pain can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in serious complications and permanent damage. Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, it is important for you to follow the treatment plan that you and your health care professional design specifically for you to reduce the risk of potential complications including:

Abscess or spread of infection

Chronic pain/discomfort

Difficulty speaking

Difficulty swallowing

Endocarditis (heart infection originating in the mouth)

Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)

Heart disease

Periodontitis (infection of the gum line involving the teeth and bones)

Sepsis (life-threatening bacterial blood infection)

by Health Grades

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Dental issues could be the cause of your bad breath

Having bad breath can cause a negative impact on your daily life, affecting both your relationship with others and your self-esteem. Although this condition is easy to control, it still affects around 25% of the population.

Usually, it disappears after brushing your teeth or using a mouthwash. However, on some occasions doing so will only mask the odor or make it disappear for a brief period.

If this is your case, your bad breath could be related to dental issues instead of the food you eat.

In this article, we will discuss the relationship between bad breath and dental issues and explain how to solve it.

How does bad breath occur?

Halitosis, commonly referred to as bad breath, is caused by different factors.

Usually, it is caused by food that possesses strong smells, such as garlic and onion. After eating these types of food, the scent impregnates the oral cavity.

However, halitosis is also caused by bacteria involved in oral diseases. When food residues are left in the mouth, they begin decomposing as bacteria break them down.

Moreover, large amounts of bacteria present in different oral diseases, such as gums disease and infections, can produce an unpleasant odor.

Bad breath and oral diseases

Whenever there is an oral disease, there is enormous bacterial colonization behind it. The most common dental issues responsible for bad breath include conditions such as:

Gums disease: gingivitis and periodontitis are caused by tartar build-ups, which are made of a combination of proteins, minerals, and bacteria. Thereby, as long as the tartar is not removed, bad breath will not disappear.

Infections: abscesses and other oral infections possess large amounts of bacteria. When they remain confined inside the bone, they usually don’t produce odor. However, once they start draining into the mouth through the gums, the bad smell is released, and bad breath occurs.

Furthermore, it is also common to experience a type of infection called pericoronitis. It often develops when the third molars are erupting, causing pain, swollen gums around the tooth, and bad breath.

Dry mouth: saliva acts as the mouth’s natural defense system. It regulates its pH (acidity level), helps remove food leftovers after eating, and controls the bacteria population, keeping the flora at standard levels.

However, certain conditions and medicines can decrease saliva production, leading to dry mouth.


As there is not enough saliva, odor-producing bacteria are increased. Moreover, this results in the development of gums diseases, increasing bad breath.

Unfortunately, brushing your teeth will only mask the odor. It is vital to attend dental consultation to undergo the appropriate treatment.

Luckily, most times, professional cleaning is enough to eliminate halitosis completely.

Although bad breath is a common condition that can impact daily life directly, affecting thousands worldwide, it can be easily prevented by maintaining good oral health.

If brushing your teeth is not helping you eliminate it, the cause is most likely related to a dental issue, such as gums disease. Make sure to book an appointment with your dentist, and he will get rid of your halitosis so you won’t have to worry about your breath anymore.

by Votre Dentisterie

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reducing Inflamation By Tooth Brushing

Creating a dental health routine is extremely important for not only our oral health but our overall health as well. From the time we can hold a toothbrush we are taught to and encouraged to care for our teeth. However, after decades of performing this routine day and night, the desire to brush for dental health can turn into nothing more than a cumbersome habit. Remembering why you brush your teeth can help motivate you to take impeccable care of your teeth, which in turn can help you take better care of your body. So ask yourself: when you brush your teeth, what are you brushing for?


Over the many years you’ve spent brushing your teeth, it’s fair to say that not every brush has been beneficial. Whether you were aware or not, not brushing correctly does little for your dental health. Creating healthy habits and brushing your teeth for two minutes each day is the best and only way to remove all the harmful bacteria from your mouth and prevent the development of plaque and subsequent tooth decay. Admittedly, it can be difficult to brush for two minutes twice each day when you feel rushed to get to work or too tired to even stay awake. But, what if you could see the good you were doing while you brushed your teeth? Would that help you brush better?

When it comes to keeping your teeth and body healthy, seeing really can be believing. After a recent trial that involved a plaque-identifying toothpaste, researchers found that people who could see the bacteria on their teeth after brushing, brushed much better than those who could not see it at all. However, there was more to this trial than just clean teeth. Brushing with this toothpaste that illuminated plaque and encouraged  better brushing habits also lead to a statistically significant drop in inflammation throughout the entire body.


To understand the worth of their toothpaste the company provided a 60-day supply of toothpaste to randomized trial participants. Half of the volunteers received toothpaste with plaque-identifying agents, the other half received seemingly identical toothpaste that contained no such agent. Those who could see the plaque, brushed their teeth with much more care to remove it. But, when researchers tested the inflammation levels in the participants bodies with a high sensitivity c-reactive protein called hs-CRP (this is the same protein used to mark sensitivity to strokes and heart attacks), something eye-opening happened. This testing lead to the discovery that those who brushed their teeth with the plaque-identifying toothpaste had statistically significant drop in total body inflammation.


This trail is wonderful as it adds to the body of knowledge that is beginning to understand how the health of the mouth influences the health of the entire body. Reducing total body inflammation through consciously executed daily oral habits is an easy way that you can reduce your risk of chronic illness, and it only takes two minutes twice each day. Inflammation is dangerous for your body because it stresses out your immune system. Inflammation is an immune response that is important in fighting off harmful bacteria, however when it is constantly fighting bacteria, the system and the tissues they are fighting in become stressed. Chronic inflammation of the gum tissue is known as periodontal disease, and if not treated can cause the loss of teeth and underlying bone tissue. Knowing that brushing your teeth can help you keep your entire body healthy is quite an incentive to reassess your habits and make sure you’re brushing correctly for the right reasons.

As your Melbourne, Florida dentist, we know a million reasons for you to brush your teeth. Fresh breath, fighting stains, preventing cavities, and periodontal disease are all great example of the power of brushing. But, now you can add reducing whole body inflammation to that list. If you need help creating a beneficial habit to keep your mouth and entire body healthy, ask us at your next appointment. We would be happy to refresh your memory on the proper way to brush and floss, so that when you brush you brush with purpose, and for the best reason of all – your health!


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Maintaining a Healthy Mouth

What does the health of your mouth have to do with your overall health? In a word, plenty.

Your mouth is a window into what's going on in the rest of your body. Experts suggest that oral symptoms can help detect more than 90% of all systemic diseases - a disease that affects or pertains to your entire body.

Oral Health Problems

Taking good care of your mouth, teeth and gums should be a priority, as they are the first point of contact for the impact you are going to make on the world. While a healthy mouth helps you ward off medical disorders, an unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems. Some of the risks you face include:

Cardiovascular disease

Bacteria can travel from your mouth, through your bloodstream, to the arteries in the heart, causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). This leads to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. If you want to put your heart into everything you do, you need it to stay healthy.


It’s a vicious circle, where diabetes makes you more prone to gum disease, and serious gum disease contributes to diabetes as it affects blood glucose control. This two-way link should be a wake-up call to take care of your teeth, given the rising incidence of diabetes in the region.

Lung infections

Periodontal disease basically means you have more bacteria breeding in your mouth, and are therefore more likely to inhale germs, leading to lung infections like pneumonia.

Tongue health

Did you know that your tongue is actually covered in tiny bumps, called papillae. This surface can harbour a lot of bacteria, more than in the rest of your mouth, which can lead, not only to bad breath, but can affect your sense of taste. Overgrowth of bacteria can turn your tongue yellow, white, or even black and hairy-looking.

Best Practices for a Healthy Mouth and Teeth:

An able body can help you stay adventurous. In order to take life head on you need to:

• Brush and floss your teeth daily, following it up with a swish of antiseptic mouthwash.

• Visit your dental professional regularly to have your mouth examined.

• Maintain a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks.

Poor dental care can have consequences far beyond a simple toothache or some unsightly stains that affect your appearance. Good dental health provides the assurance you need to face the world head on, confident in the knowledge that you are healthy, inside and out.

by Listerine

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How to Recycle a Toothbrush

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. That is a good idea as far as dental health is concerned, but it is bad news for the environment. The standard toothbrush is made of a hard plastic handle and a set of soft nylon bristles. Most come in plastic packages. These petroleum products do not biodegrade, they release toxic chemicals if incinerated and they suck up valuable fossil fuels. There are a few toothbrush manufacturers who have found ways to make their toothbrushes from recycled materials and turn old brushes back into usable products at the end of their lives. Get more information about them below. We also share information about some super eco-friendly alternatives to the typical plastic toothbrush.

Consider a toothbrush made with some recycled materials

There is a great company called Preserve that makes new consumer products – including toothbrushes – out of recycled #5 plastic. The company has a partnership with Whole Foods to collect old yogurt and margarine tubs, water filters, Burts Bees lip balm tubes and other items. They take all that plastic, melt it down, and turn it into toothbrushes, razors, and food storage containers. If you purchase a Preserve toothbrush (they are available at Whole Foods and many other grocery stores that specialize in organic and natural foods) you can return it to the company when you are done with it. It will go in with all their other recycled products and become a new toothbrush or other handy household item. To recycle your toothbrush, take it to a participating Whole Foods retailer and look for their Gimme 5 bin. You can also mail your old toothbrushes (send six at a time to save on postage costs) directly to Preserve. You have to pay the cost of shipping, but the company essentially pays you back by sending you a coupon for $6 off a purchase in their online store.

How to recycle other toothbrush brands

Colgate has a partnership with TerraCycle to recycle unwanted toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, dental floss containers, and the packaging those items come in. They turn them into plastic lumber and other types of consumer products. To recycle your toothbrushes and related items, all you have to do is mail them to TerraCycle using the instructions on their website. However, to earn points with TerraCycle (which are redeemable for donations to the school or nonprofit of our choice) the company requires that you save up about 100 pieces before putting a package in the mail. See if any of your neighbors or your children’s friends use Colgate products and want to go in on a shipment with you. Or check with your dentist to see if they collect toothbrushes. Evergreen Family Dentistry in Memphis, Tennessee, advertises their participation in TerraCycle’s toothbrush recycling program on their website.

How to recycle an electric toothbrush

It is important to note electric toothbrushes contain rechargeable batteries, which you are required to recycle. Rechargeable batteries can contain heavy metals such as nickel, zinc and cadmium that can be very damaging to the environment and human health. Check with your local solid waste district or any electronics recycling organizations in your community to see if they have drop-off locations for rechargeable batteries. If they do not, visit Call2Recycle, a website devoted to sharing information about battery recycling programs, to find a recycler near you. The body of your electric toothbrush can be tough to recycle since it contains lots of plastic and metal parts that cannot be separated easily. Government or private electronics recycling programs may be able to take your entire electric toothbrush and recycle it, but the availability of these services varies from community to community. Check with your local providers to learn what they take and what they do not.

How to minimize the waste from your toothbrush

There are several other ways to minimize waste from toothbrushes and their packaging. When you no longer want to use your toothbrush for cleaning your teeth, hang onto it and use it for household cleaning instead. Toothbrushes are great for scrubbing faucets, floors and rings and other jewelry. You can buy toothbrushes with replaceable heads. That way you can keep the handle, which is the biggest part of the toothbrushes, and only replace the part that wears out quickly. EcoDent and Radius are two examples of companies that make toothbrushes with replaceable heads. If you want to compost your old toothbrush rather than putting it in the trash, look for toothbrushes made of bamboo or wood. The handles can definitely go in your compost bin, but there is some evidence that certain types of nylon are also compostable. Read more about eco-friendly toothbrush options on author Beth Terry’s fantastic blog My Plastic-Free Life. Some toothbrushes come in packages that are plastic in the front and cardboard in the back. While that plastic cannot be recycled, the cardboard can. Place it in your recycling bin along with other paper products you plan to recycle.

by Recycle Nation

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Taking Care of Swollen and Bleeding Gums

Have you ever brushed or flossed a little vigorously only to see your gums bleed? Healthy gums usually recover quickly from mild trauma. If your gums remain swollen and bleeding for several days or longer, you may have underlying problems that need addressing.

Possible Causes of Bleeding Gums

Healthy gums are generally pink and firm to the touch. However, if your gums appear red, swollen or puffy, these could be signs of gum disease. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, the most common cause of gum issues in adults. A 2012 Australian Government Department of Health report on Dental Health states that moderate or severe periodontitis (gum disease) is present in 22.9% of the Australian population.

Gum disease is not the only cause of swollen or bleeding gums, however. Other causes include:

Bleeding disorders

Pregnancy and hormonal changes in women

Wearing dentures that don’t fit properly

Brushing too hard

Incorrect flossing


Blood thinner medication

Preventive Measures

Gum problems can affect anyone, but it’s good to know that proper oral hygiene helps prevent swollen, and bleeding gums. To maintain good oral hygiene, make sure you brush for a good two minutes at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day.

To brush your teeth correctly, use short, gentle strokes and pay extra attention to the gumline, your back teeth and any fillings, crowns or restorations you have; and consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Start a flossing routine once an evening before you go to bed. Proper flossing between the teeth, curving the floss around the tooth in a “C” shape and gently moving it up and down as well as under the gumline is essential. Make sure you use a new section of floss for each tooth, so you’re not transferring plaque from tooth to tooth. As flossing helps to remove plaque bacteria and food debris, it’s a vital preventative step in avoiding gum disease.


The best treatment for gingivitis is a professional dental scale and clean to remove tartar and plaque. If you have swollen or bleeding gums, book an appointment with your dental health professional as soon as possible. Only your dental health professional can assess your teeth and gums and offer the correct advice and possible treatment.

by Colgate

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Brush Together And Improve Your Oral Health Together

Brush together & stay together

During these turbulent times, there is a romantic way to keep your teeth healthy. We looked at something we should all be doing twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste… brushing your teeth!

Sabka Dentist wanted to check how many people share this very personal routine with their spouse or better half. We did a small survey and below given is what we found:

Do you brush your teeth at the same time as your partner?

Only 3% couples brush their teeth alongside a partner on a “most of the time” basis. While, 88% of all couples never do. Now, it might not be the typical scene that comes to mind when you think of a couple in love but brushing your teeth with your partner does come with its benefits.

There are some people who say: “When you brush your teeth next to the same person every single day for 30 years you discover love.” Sabka Dentist also says the same thing. Here are our five reasons why you might want to start brushing your teeth as a couple.

Eye contact and “the spark” -Tooth brushing is usually a fairly simple and quiet activity. But there’s more to great communication than words. For two minutes twice a day, use this as a chance to gaze into your partner’s eyes. It’s amazing how prolonged eye contact can help strengthen your connection.

It helps make brushing fun -Let’s be honest, trying to speak with a mouth full of toothpaste is almost impossible to do without making a fool of yourself which is often followed by a good laugh. Also, it can often lead to some cute moments and fun to spice up your romance.

You can make sure you both are brushing correctly -This one is important. By brushing together, you can make sure you’re both brushing with correct technique and not in a way that actually harms your teeth (such as scrubbing with an electric toothbrush). If you’re not sure what correct brushing technique is here’s a reminder:

While using a manual toothbrush, make small, round movements over all surfaces of the teeth. The bristles of the toothbrush must point towards the gums. Always ensure that you brush all the different sides of your teeth and top surfaces of your teeth diligently.

If you are using an electric or ‘power’ brush the important thing is to make sure you don’t apply pressure and let the brush do the work. A brush is already doing a lot of the cleaning and scrubbing action therefore if you press down or move the toothbrush too vigorously you can cause tooth wear or attrition, particularly around their necks where softer dentine is often exposed. To avoid this, just hold the toothbrush in place over your teeth and move from tooth to tooth making sure you brush each quadrant of your mouth for 30 seconds each

It helps make it routine -By brushing together, it helps cement it as a good routine and add that extra layer of accountability so that you don’t end up forgetting to brush or that try and cut corners and brush for less than 2 minutes. It also may help encourage other good oral health routine habits such as interdental brushing or flossing.

Finalize it with a kiss -You know the feeling of getting into a bed with freshly laid clean bedsheets? Well kissing with a freshly clean mouth is your mouth’s equivalent. It feels extra nice, is a lovely way to end your night, and is a fitting reward for keeping your oral health in tip-top shape!

Above all, whether or not you brush with or without your partner, the important thing to remember is that oral health really does matter and it’s important to look after your teeth and mouth.

A good oral health routine not only keeps your breath fresh and your smile free of tooth decay, it also helps stave off heart disease, diabetes and also strokes. It all means a happier healthier and longer life spent together.

by Sabka Dentist

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Three Effective Methods to Remove Biofilm

Biofilm is the dental technical term for the white, sticky layer of plaque on your teeth. Removing biofilm from your teeth and gumline is critical for your oral health. Read on to learn three ways to remove biofilm.

What is Biofilm?

Biofilm is a layer of bacteria that can accumulate inside or on your body. The sticky white plaque that forms on your teeth and around your gums is a type of dental biofilm. Plaque needs to be removed because it can harden to tartar, also known as dental calculus, which can't be removed at home. Left untreated, biofilm can inflame your gums leading to gingivitis and gum disease.

1. Brushing

Dental professionals recommend brushing your teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush for at least two minutes, twice to three times a day, to remove plaque. Most people don't brush their teeth for that long, so biofilm can hide on your teeth and gumline. Brushing after meals and setting a timer for two minutes can help ensure you're brushing your teeth enough.

When you're brushing, use short back-and-forth strokes or little circles to clean the outside surfaces, inside surfaces, and chewing surfaces of all of your teeth. Remember to brush around your gumline and your back teeth. These places are often skipped, so be diligent.

2. Flossing

Brushing alone won't remove all of the plaque since it can build up between your teeth or underneath your gumline, and it's tough to reach these areas with a toothbrush. To remove biofilm from these hard-to-reach areas, dentists recommend cleaning between your teeth once per day with floss, flossers, interdental brushes, water flossers, or other interdental cleaners.

Some people have difficulty using floss, but everyone needs to clean between their teeth. If you have limited mobility, large spaces between your teeth, or if you wear braces, ask your dental professional about alternative flossing methods or for a demonstration to ensure you're doing it correctly.

3. Professional Cleanings

Professional cleanings are an important part of plaque removal. Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may not fully remove the bacteria. When it remains on your teeth, you could suffer from oral health problems like gum disease. As a general rule, you should have a professional cleaning every six months. However, your dentist may prescribe more frequent visits depending on your oral health.

Your dental professional will carefully remove plaque and tartar from above and below your gumline with special instruments during a professional cleaning. They may also floss between your teeth to get rid of any hidden plaque.

Biofilm can cause oral health problems, so it needs to be removed promptly. A good oral hygiene routine that includes brushing, interdental cleaning and regular visits to your dental professionals for professional cleanings will help you effectively remove plaque and keep your mouth healthy.

by Colgate

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Views: 39

Medications That Cause Tooth Decay and Other Oral Health Issues

When you visit the dentist for a teeth cleaning, they often remind you to brush and floss your teeth regularly. They may also remind you that your diet and how well you take care of your teeth determine how likely it is you’ll develop tooth decay, including cavities. Cavities occur when there’s damage to the surface of your tooth (enamel). The cavity, a small hole on the tooth, can cause tooth pain and infection. In serious cases, you could even lose a tooth.

But sometimes, even the most diligent person may not be able to avoid tooth decay. This is especially possible if you take a medication known to cause tooth decay. Below, we will talk about medications that are known to cause oral health side effects.

How do medications cause tooth decay?

Medications can cause tooth decay in various ways. But first, let’s talk about how tooth decay happens in general.

The outer layer of your teeth (the enamel) has minerals that protect your teeth and keep them strong. The enamel can lose minerals and become damaged when it comes into contact with acid. Acid is created when bacteria in your mouth comes into contact with sugars and starches (from the food and drinks you consume). If your teeth encounter acid often, the enamel continues to lose its minerals. Over time, your teeth get progressively weaker and become damaged enough to form cavities.

Some medications create an environment that makes your mouth more acidic. One way this can happen is by causing dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, you have less saliva. Saliva is more important than most people realize, and the average person makes three pints of it a day. It has enzymes that break down starches in your mouth, and helps return minerals to your tooth enamel. The more saliva you have, the less acidic your mouth is. Without an adequate amount of saliva, tooth decay can happen.

Other medications, especially liquid forms, have sugar as an ingredient. Excess sugar in the mouth is also known to cause tooth decay. 

How can I spot signs of tooth decay?

When tooth decay begins, you might not have any symptoms. As tooth decay worsens, you might notice the following: 

Tooth pain 

Tooth sensitivity  

Stained teeth

An infection in the mouth that can cause pain, swelling, and fever

What medications cause tooth decay?

Various medications are known to cause tooth decay. Most commonly, medications can cause tooth decay by causing dry mouth.

Most recently, the FDA warned about dental problems with dissolvable forms of buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction. These include the sublingual (placed under the tongue) and buccal forms (placed between your gum and cheek). While buprenorphine can cause dry mouth leading to tooth decay, its benefits clearly outweigh its risks for tooth decay.

And, buprenorphine is not the only medication that causes dry mouth. Hundreds of medications can cause dry mouth, including a broad group of medications called anticholinergics. Anticholinergic medications treat a wide range of medical conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, and nausea. These include hyoscyamine (Levsin) and scopolamine (Transderm Scop).

Below is a list of specific medication groups that can cause tooth decay due to dry mouth over time: 

Antihistamines (e.g., Benadryl)

Decongestants (e.g., pseudoephedrine)

Opioid pain medications, like hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Norco)

High blood pressure medications (e.g., propranolol)

Antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine)

Muscle relaxants (e.g., cyclobenzaprine)

Parkinson’s disease medications (e.g., benztropine)

Some medications are sweetened with sugar, which can also cause tooth decay. People who take these medications for a long time are at the greatest risk. Examples include:

Children’s syrup-based medications (e.g., Children’s Tylenol)

Chewable antacid tablets (e.g., Tums)

Some antifungal medications (e.g., nystatin liquid suspension)

Which medications cause other oral health side effects?

Medications can cause oral side effects other than tooth decay. For example, some medications can stain your teeth and cause tooth discoloration. These include: 

Tetracycline antibiotics

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) 

Inhaled corticosteroids (e.g., Pulmicort)

Chlorhexidine (Peridex)

Gingival enlargement (overgrowth of gum tissue) is also a side effect of some medications. It can lead to difficulty eating, swelling, and inflammation. Some medications that may cause gingival enlargement include phenytoin (Dilantin), cyclosporine (Sandimmune), and amlodipine (Norvasc).

Other medications can cause bleeding, which raises the risk of bleeding from the gums. These include medications that lower your blood’s ability to form clots. This includes anticoagulants like warfarin (Coumadin) or rivaroxaban (Xarelto) and NSAIDs, like aspirin.

Some medications can also cause a rare side effect called osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). This occurs when part of the jaw bone breaks down. Oral bisphosphonates (commonly prescribed for osteoporosis) and cancer treatments like chemotherapy can cause ONJ. Though bisphosphonates and chemotherapy are widely used, ONJ is not common — it affects fewer than 1 in 10,000 people.

How can I take care of my mouth if I have to take these medications?

There are general steps you can take to prevent tooth decay and maintain good oral health. This includes using a fluoride toothpaste, fluoride mouth rinse, or drinking tap water with fluoride in it. If you take medications that put you at higher risk for tooth decay, you might need more fluoride. Make sure your dentist knows what medications you take.

Other general steps to maintain good oral health: 

Have regular appointments with your dentist

Brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly

Eat a balanced diet that is low in foods with excess sugars and starches

Quit tobacco products if you smoke or use smokeless tobacco

If you take medications known to cause tooth decay, talk to your healthcare provider if you notice signs of damage. Your provider may be able to prescribe another medication that doesn’t cause these side effects.

But, stopping your medication may not be an option, so there are some steps you can take to prevent tooth decay. If your medication causes dry mouth, drink water often. And avoid drinking acidic fruit juices. Your healthcare provider may recommend an artificial saliva product to keep your mouth from becoming dry.

The bottom line

Tooth decay and cavities can happen for multiple reasons. Unfortunately, some medications can cause tooth decay by causing a dry mouth or creating an acidic environment in the mouth. 

Practicing good dental hygiene such as brushing, flossing, and getting regular dental care is important. Always let your dentist know what medications you take so they can be aware if you are more likely to experience tooth decay. If you think you are having symptoms of tooth decay, contact your healthcare provider immediately. 

by Good Rx Health

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Steps to Prevent Dental Caries

Cavities occur when plaque sticks to a tooth and produces an acid that eats through the enamel and creates a hole or cavity, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). The cavity could get larger and eventually affect the tooth root if it’s not repaired with a filling. Cavities are typically caused by eating carbohydrates and poor oral hygiene habits, and they require a trip to the dentist. It is easy to learn how to prevent cavities. Take some precautions, and follow a few simple steps.

Watch What You Eat

If you have a sweet tooth, you’re more likely to get cavities because frequent snacking throughout the day on sugary and starchy foods leaves cavity-causing acids on the teeth. Snacking also increases the amount of time the acids are on your teeth, which increases your chances of cavities. To minimize your cavity risk, cut back on sugary drinks, such as sodas, energy drinks and juices. Drink plenty of plain water instead. Skip the sweets, snacks and candies. Opt for fresh fruits and veggies as healthier alternatives. Eliminating sugary snacks in your diet will improve your oral health, and it will also improve your overall health.

Keep Those Dental Appointments

As many as 23.7 percent of American adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have untreated cavities, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If it’s been a while since your last dental appointment, it’s time to schedule a visit. Going to the dentist is one of the best ways to prevent cavities. At your visit, your dentist will take X-rays and examine your entire mouth. He will check for cavities and gum disease to determine whether you need additional treatment.

There are some cavity-fighting treatments available at your dentist’s office. They include cleanings and dental sealants. Dental cleanings keep your teeth in pristine condition by removing plaque and tartar buildup. The dental hygienist can also polish your teeth so they’ll appear whiter.

According to the ADA, dental sealants are a protective plastic coating placed in the deep grooves on the chewing surface of the back permanent teeth. These sealants can prevent cavity-causing bacteria from affecting your teeth, and the sealants typically last for several years.

At your visit, your dentist will also give you advice on how to prevent cavities by taking charge of your oral hygiene at home.

Fight Cavities on the Home Front

Cavity prevention starts at home. If you floss regularly, brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and rinse with mouthwash, you can prevent tooth decay. A prescription fluoride rinse, can reduce cavities by 55 percent when it is used as a supplement to your oral care routine.

by Mulberry Dental Clinic

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The Unexpected Link Between Obesity And Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a common cause of bad breath, loose teeth, and painful chewing. If left untreated, it can lead to gum recession or even tooth loss, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In this case, we're talking about periodontitis, a more severe form of the disease that affects nearly half of U.S. adults over 30. Gingivitis, a milder form of periodontal disease, may cause swelling or bleeding gums, but it can be reversed through proper oral care, notes the Mayo Clinic.

Both forms of gum disease are due to inflammation, says the CDC. Over time, oral bacteria may infect the gums and cause plaque buildup. Untreated plaque can harden in as little as 48 hours, forming a tough substance called tartar, explains Humana. In the long run, dental plaque and tartar may cause gum inflammation, or gingivitis, a disease that can progress to periodontitis.

Stress, cigarette smoking, ill-fitting bridges, and damaged fillings only make things worse. The same goes for certain conditions and medications. For example, people with uncontrolled diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease than healthy individuals, according to Cedars-Sinai. Obesity seems to play a role, too, but there are ways to reduce its impact on your teeth and gums. 

Obesity, a risk factor for gum disease

Obesity is commonly associated with heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders, and liver problems, reports a 2020 review published in the journal Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism. As the scientists note, excessive adipose tissue promotes inflammation, affecting the heart, kidneys, liver, and other vital organs.

A recent study presented in the Journal of Dental Research suggests that obesity-induced inflammation may also contribute to periodontal disease. 

Researchers found that mice fed a high-fat diet experienced more inflammation due to weight gain compared to those on a low-fat diet. The number of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in their bodies increased, too. These cells regulate immune function and can expand in response to cancer, infection, or inflammation, explains a research paper featured in Nature Reviews Immunology.

Some of them can become osteoclasts, a type of cell that may affect bone density and volume. Therefore, they have the potential to worsen gum disease and destroy the bones that support our teeth, notes the Journal of Dental Research.

Several other studies confirm the link between obesity and gum disease, according to clinical research published in Medicina Oral, Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal. This association may be due to chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and other complications of obesity. What's more, excess body weight can lead to diabetes, a risk factor for periodontal disease.

On the positive side, it's possible to avoid or reverse these complications by losing the extra pounds and taking better care of your teeth and gums. 

by Health Digest

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Using a Floss Threader: Flossing Made Easier

Many are aware that flossing is a vital step in your oral care, but fewer know what tools are available to make it less of a chore. Floss threaders might be what you've been looking for if you have braces, a permanent retainer, a bridge, or another orthodontic device. We're here to help navigate why flossing is important and how to do it correctly with a threader.

Why Floss?

Cleaning between your teeth with floss or a flossing device is an essential part of your dental care routine, especially if you have a dental appliance. Why is flossing so important? The best way to care for your oral health is to avoid problems before they start.

Cleaning between your teeth removes food debris and plaque, preventing cavities and gum disease. If plaque isn’t cleaned, it hardens into tartar that requires a dental professional's help to remove. Food matter that is not adequately removed will contribute to bacterial growth and tooth decay.

Remember that the most important part of flossing is not the type you use but that you do it effectively and regularly. By educating yourself on proper flossing technique and making it part of your daily routine, you’re making a great step for your oral health.

Tips for cleaning between your teeth effectively:

Choose a time of day that’s convenient for your schedule to floss so that you can devote the proper time and attention to the task.

Don’t reuse floss as it could be damaged or contain harmful bacteria.

Schedule regular visits to your dentist or dental hygienist.

What Are Floss Threaders?

The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth with a flossing device once a day and brushing twice a day. This part of your routine can be especially challenging if you have an orthodontic device like braces, a permanent retainer, or a bridge.

Luckily, floss threaders are here to help.

These helpful tools make it easier to floss effectively for those who find it difficult due to their dental appliance or other challenges. Not only can it be an ordeal to clean difficult to reach areas, but braces and other devices can fray the floss and force you to start over.

Floss threaders are loops of thin material that make it easier to clean difficult to reach areas of your teeth and gums with floss. They’re disposable, work with any regular floss, and are easy to find online or at any store with a dental section.

Helpful tip: If you’re having trouble finding a flossing device that works for you, it’s a good idea to consult your dental professional. It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment with the pros if you’re experiencing pain or bleeding when flossing regularly.

How to Use a Floss Threader

Flossing with a threader is much like flossing normally but may take extra time and effort as you master the technique. You’ll be glad to have made the extra effort to avoid health problems down the line like cavities or gum disease that will require the help of a dental professional to treat.

How to properly use a floss threader:

Break off between 12-18 inches of your favorite floss.

Run approximately 5 inches of one end of the floss through the loop of the threader.

Run the floss threader through your dental appliance and into a gap between your teeth.

Remove the loop of the threader and floss normally. Press the floss into your gumline, form it into a C-shape, and run it gently up and down the sides of both teeth.

Repeat for each tooth, including the outside of your back teeth. Discard the threader after use.

If this process sounds challenging, don’t worry! Keep in mind that it will get easier with practice, and the first time will be the most difficult. Cleaning between your teeth is a vital step in your dental routine, and floss threaders may be the tool you’re missing to make flossing easier. You’re now set up for success after informing yourself on the best way to use floss threaders.

by Colgate

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Why Are My Teeth Sensitive To Cold/Hot Foods

What Causes Hot/Cold Sensitivity in My Teeth?

There are many different causes but generally temperature sensitivity is caused by issues with enamel. Enamel is the outside of layer of teeth that protects them from tooth decay caused by bacteria leftover by food. Underneath the layer of enamel are tiny microscopic tubes. If these tubes are exposed you can feel a sharp pain after ingesting something hot or cold. Even cold air could cause pain in your teeth.

How To Prevent Tooth Sensitivity

To prevent tooth sensitivity from occurring you should consider how to keep your enamel intact. Enamel is often eroded because of a lack of brushing and flossing. Additionally if your gums recede over time due to poor dental health the newly exposed areas of the tooth may have weakened enamel. Enamel does not regenerate so taking care of it is important. Aside from brushing twice and flossing once daily, you should be going to the dentist every six months. Your dentist can help correct dental problems as they arise as well as provide dental sealants that can protect your molars and your enamel.

What Can I Do About Temperature Sensitivity?

There are a variety of things you can do if you experience dental sensitivity. First, you should consider speaking to your dentist about the problem and getting specific recommendations from them. Because dental sensitivity is linked to enamel loss, it could be a warning sign of tooth decay or gum disease. Many dentists recommend the following advice for patients dealing with temperature sensitivity.

Change Your Toothpaste: Another cause of sensitivity is the brand of toothpaste you are using. Many toothpastes that are designed to whiten teeth and remove stains can also increase sensitivity. There are toothpastes designed for individuals with sensitive teeth. If you have sensitive teeth consider using this toothpaste to see if it helps. Generally it takes over a month of active daily use before you will start to notice the effects of the toothpaste.

Brush Properly: Aside from tooth decay, another harmful factor to your teeth is how you brush. While it is important to brush daily and brush often, it is also important to do it correctly. Brushing with too much force or with hard-bristled tooth brushes that don’t have give can lead to damaging your enamel.

Avoid Acidic Foods: You should also moderate how much acidic and sugary foods you eat. Even healthy organic foods such as tomatoes, oranges, and lemons can be unhealthy for your teeth. Lots of tomato sauce or orange juice can cause damage to your teeth over time, so make sure to limit your interaction with highly acidic foods.

by All Sytar Dental

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Four Best Home Remedies for Tooth Pain and When To See a Dentist

Can I treat my toothache at home?

Tooth pain can be all-consuming, making it hard to concentrate on or enjoy anything else. And a toothache doesn’t only impact your teeth or the inside of your mouth. If active infection is present, you may experience pain and swelling around the tooth in question. You may also have a fever, headache, or experience bitter-tasting drainage and a foul odor from the infected tooth.

Whether your tooth pain is dull, sharp, sporadic, or constant, you likely just want it to go away, and you want it to go away fast. But how do you know when you can use home remedies for tooth pain and when you need to see your dentist?

4 Home Remedies for Tooth Pain

Most toothaches are felt in the tissue around your tooth, not inside the tooth itself. Gum pain can point to a mouth sore, an abrasion, something stuck between your teeth, or an infection. If you are experiencing pain and are waiting to get in to see a dentist, stick to soft foods like yogurt and eggs and avoid anything exceptionally hot or cold. Soft, mild-temperature foods paired with a home remedy can help to relieve or stop a toothache, depending on its source.

1. Warm Saltwater Rinse

You probably know that gargling with warm salt water can help with a sore throat. But warm salt water can help your toothache too. Salt water can help gently rinse away food particles that are stuck between your teeth. And rinsing with salt water also serves as a disinfectant and helps reduce inflammation. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with an 8-ounce glass of warm water and rinse as needed. Do not swallow the mixture.

2. Cold Compress

Cold can help soothe a toothache. You can make your own cold compress by wrapping a thin, soft towel around an ice-filled plastic bag. Or you can opt for a ready-made cold compress. Apply to the painful area for 20 minutes and repeat every few hours as needed.

3. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse

Similar to a saltwater rinse, hydrogen peroxide can help relieve tooth pain temporarily. Use a 3% solution to help reduce pain and inflammation, diluting the hydrogen peroxide with at least an equal amount of water before rinsing. Do not swallow.

4. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

The most effective over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medication recommended by dentists is ibuprofen. Motrin and Advil are both popular choices and can be purchased in tablets, softgels, and oral suspension formulas. As with any OTC medication, be sure to follow the directions given by the manufacturer and your dentist.

Types of Tooth Pain and When To See Your Dentist

Now that you have learned 4 home remedies you can try, here are four common types of toothaches and how to determine if they warrant a dental visit.

1. Dull, Persistent Ache

This is most often caused by something that has become lodged between your teeth and gums. In rarer cases, it can be caused by an abscessed tooth or habitual teeth grinding. Most of the time, a gentle flossing and tooth brushing combined with one of our aforementioned home remedies for tooth pain will dislodge any food and you should feel the ache disappear. However, if the ache persists, it is always wise to go ahead and see your dentist before symptoms progress.

2. Temperature Sensitivity

Sensitivity to hot and cold isn’t uncommon, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious. If the pain goes away quickly, you may simply have worn enamel or mild gum recession. Try a sensitive toothpaste and limit your exposure to hot or cold foods or beverages for a few weeks (providing your symptoms do not worsen) to see if the discomfort goes away. If the pain lasts for 30 seconds or more, the temperature sensitivity may be due to tooth decay, dental fractures, worn fillings, exposed roots, or gum disease. In these cases, you should contact your dentist and schedule an evaluation.

3. Sharp Pain

If you are experiencing tooth pain that is sharp or jabbing, it is also time to schedule a visit to your dentist’s office. Home remedies for tooth pain will rarely work in these situations as this type of toothache is usually caused by a loose filling or crown that has fallen off. If this doesn’t apply to you, it is possible that your sharp tooth pain results from a fracture, wear, or tooth decay.

4. Throbbing Pain

This type of pain may be caused by loosened, knocked-out, broken, or cracked teeth. It can also be an indication of a jaw fracture. You may also be experiencing discolored, bleeding gum tissue or a strange taste in your mouth. All of these reasons warrant that you seek emergency dental care. If you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency, do not hesitate to call our Griffin or Hampton locations. Our team is ready to assist you as quickly as possible.

by Allred Family Dentistry

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Dental Plaque Germs: What You Need to Know

You may have heard of plaque and understand that it's bad for your dental health, but what exactly is it? What conditions are caused by plaque? We're here to cover everything you need to know about plaque buildup and empower you to prevent it from progressing into other dental problems.

What Is Dental Plaque?

Plaque is the sticky material that continually forms on your teeth, especially after snacks, meals, and drinks. This thin film contains bacteria (that some call dental germs) that can cause dental problems by releasing acid.

Bacteria feed on the sugars and starches in your diet and help break down carbohydrates with the acid it releases. Along with the acid and carbohydrates, these bacteria combine to make what we call plaque (also known as biofilm).

Risk factors for plaque buildup and related problems include:

Improper dental hygiene

Diet high in sugary or starchy foods or drinks

Medical history of radiation therapy

Smoking and the use of tobacco products

Dry mouth

Plaque Gets Tougher to Beat

It's essential to prevent the dental and health problems associated with plaque buildup by removing it regularly. This is best accomplished through a dental routine that includes brushing and cleaning between your teeth.

It’s crucial to stay on top of plaque buildup because if it’s not removed, plaque will harden into tartar. Tartar contributes to gum disease and requires the help of a dental professional to remove it properly.

What role does plaque (containing bacteria or dental germs) have in teeth removal? Untreated plaque buildup contributes to serious health conditions, some of which may require removing your teeth.

If plaque is not adequately and regularly removed, it can lead to:


Bad breath

Tartar buildup

Weakened enamel

Tooth infection, decay, or loss

Gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis)

Pain or bleeding when brushing or flossing

Gum Disease

Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) may go undetected as it’s typically painless. Despite this, it can cause serious dental and health problems and should be taken seriously as it will get harder to treat as it progresses.

Gum disease has two main stages:

Gingivitis: In the early stage, this form of the disease can cause your gums to become inflamed, red, or swollen. You may also experience bleeding or pain when brushing or flossing. These symptoms are typically reversible through proper dental care and diet.

Periodontitis: This advanced form of gum disease can cause tissue and bone loss, and you may experience it even if you’re otherwise healthy. At this level of progression, your teeth may loosen, and the pain or discomfort may progress.

Because it can be challenging to recognize or diagnose gum disease on your own, it’s a great idea to schedule regular visits to your dental professional.

Treatment and Prevention

When it comes to plaque, treatment and prevention overlap greatly. The best method to prevent conditions like gum disease and tooth decay from developing or worsening is proper dental hygiene. This includes healthy habits, a balanced diet, and regular visits to your dental professional.

Tartar, gum disease, cavities, infection, and tooth loss will require your dental professional's help to treat. To avoid this, it’s vital to consume a healthy diet and practice a dental routine that thoroughly removes plaque before it causes problems in the first place.

Steps to prevent plaque buildup and associated problems include:

Gently clean your teeth for two minutes twice daily using a soft-bristled brush

Clean between your teeth once a day using a flossing device or interdental brush

Use toothpaste, mouth wash, or water that contains fluoride

Avoid sugary and starchy items in favor of a balanced diet

Limit snacking between meals

Chew sugar-free gum or consume dairy products to promote saliva production that helps protect your mouth

Medications to increase saliva production may be helpful if you suffer from dry mouth

Use antibacterial mouthrinse after meals or brushing to help prevent gum disease

Schedule regular visits with your dental professional.


by Colgate

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Calcium-Rich Foods for Your Oral Health

For this post, we will focus on the foods you can eat that will nourish your teeth from within, preserving them (and other key components of your body) with vital minerals. Calcium-rich diets that also include regular amounts of Vitamin D are essential to promote healthy teeth and bones. A thoughtful diet can make a difference for the overall health of your mouth.

Calcium: It Does a Body Good

According to the National Institutes of Health, Calcium is the most abundant mineral in your body. When you think about calcium, you probably associate it with your bones. 99% of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and your teeth. However, 1% of the body’s calcium is put to use for other functions, including vascular contraction, hormonal regulation, muscle function, and even nerve signal transmission.

The majority of the calcium in your body goes toward bone growth and maintenance. As bones grown and age, they continually secrete and reabsorb calcium to rebuild and form. When it comes to oral health, one of the bones that matters most is the jaw bone, which is what your teeth are attached to. Your teeth themselves require calcium to maintain their structure.

The Helpful Friend: Vitamin D

An abundance of calcium in your diet is great, but teaming it up with Vitamin D is better. Unlike Calcium, Vitamin D isn’t naturally present in foods, though it is often added (sometimes to milk) and is available as a vitamin supplement in multi-vitamins. The best place to pick up copious amounts of natural Vitamin D? Your favorite sunny place outside!

Vitamin D is produced hormonally when UV rays strike the skin and trigger a reaction within the liver and the kidney to convert it and make it usable. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut, which allows the calcium you consume to reach the places in the body where it’s needed. You need Vitamin D as much as you need Calcium. Just another reason to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine!

Thinking Beyond Dairy

Dairy products are a quick, easy, and delicious way to get your daily calcium intake. An egg yolk contains a healthy dose of natural Vitamin D. Yogurt, string-cheese, soymilk, cottage cheese and other foods in the dairy family are all great options that can be low-fat, low-sugar, yet satisfying. However, not all of us like or can eat dairy. There are a variety of options if that’s the case for you.

Dark, Leafy Greens. Kale, Broccoli, Bok Choy, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, and Brussels Sprouts are fantastic options for getting calcium and other key nutrients into your diet. Broccoli and Sprouts take well to roasting. Collard Greens and Bok Choy do well in soups. Kale is versatile and delicious in a variety of ways. Experience and find out what you and your family love best. We found a delicious recipe for shaved brussels sprouts pasta here.

Fish. If you’re a little bit adventurous, NIH recommends sardines (with the bones) as a good source of calcium. Other fish, including salmon, is a fine alternative if you’d prefer other varieties. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor about what type and amount of fish is appropriate for your diet.

Fortified Foods. Some foods are fortified for Vitamin D and Calcium for added health benefits. Read labels carefully and you can find fortification in such foods as bread, cereals and even tortillas. Some soy products, including soy milk, may also be fortified.

National Nutrition Month is about thinking a little bit more about what you eat and making choices that will help you feel great and live stronger. Adding more Calcium and Vitamin D to your diet will help nourish your teeth and mouth, as well as the rest of your body. Adding another serving of these important nutrients can make a difference for the life of your teeth and for your body as a whole.

by O´ttraford Dental

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Snacks To Avoid If You Don't Want It Stuck In Your Teeth

Have you ever chowed down on a salad only to avoid smiling until you could find a mirror, afraid that pieces were lingering in your teeth? It's a fact of life — food gets stuck in teeth! Some foods, though, are worse than others. Here is a list of the top 3 foods that gets stuck in teeth and what to do about it:

Foods That Get Stuck


Whether it's a muffin, a salad or whole-grain bread, seeds can be anywhere. Raspberries and blackberries are particularly annoying as their tiny seeds can wedge between your teeth or under your gums and feel nearly impossible to remove. If you're not going to have a brush or floss handy, try strawberries or blueberries instead.


While popcorn can actually be a pretty healthy snack, without extra butter, of course, it can cause serious problems if a piece gets stuck in your teeth. Those thin hulls tend to slip between the tooth and gumline and can lead to an abscess if not removed. Rather than prying around with your fingernail, try flossing and brushing. Once you get it loose, your gums might be sore, so rinse your mouth with warm salt water to prevent inflammation.

Potato chips

Just think back to the last time you finish eating some chips — how long did you spend trying to get them out of your teeth? Loaded with starch, this snack feeds the plaque inside your mouth, and once you've got potato crumbs stuck in every nook and cranny of your molars, the acid production just keeps on coming. As an alternative, try flavored kale or lentil chips! They're crunchy, satisfying, and healthy.

Tips and tricks

If you seem to get food stuck in your teeth all the time, there might be a cause. You could have a gap or space between your teeth, or possibly a cavity that food is getting stuck in. Another possibility is periodontitis, which can cause pockets in the gums in which food can get caught. If this is a chronic issue, talk to your dentist to get treatment.

No matter what you're eating, as long as you are prepared with some gum, floss or just avoiding the worst foods for getting stuck, you'll be set to smile with confidence.

Swish water around your mouth to loosen up food particles. You can do this discreetly during a meal or at a social event without anyone knowing.

Chew sugar-free gum to help unstick any stubborn food pieces. Plus, it'll freshen up your breath.

Keep floss with you. Just excuse yourself to the restroom and do a quick smile check — floss will be your best friend in getting embarrassing or painful food pieces out of your teeth.

Can't get it out? Don't panic! Your dentist can help. You won't be the first person to call for an emergency appointment to get a poppy seed out of a crevice, so don't be shy.

by Colgate

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Ten Tooth Fairy Ideas That Will Delight Your Kids

The Tooth Fairy is one busy fairy. She makes her way all around the world slipping treats under kids’ pillows in exchange for their teeth and she does it without waking anyone up. Talk about talent! However, with her doing so much work on her own, sometimes she needs a little help from parents to really bring the magic. Here are some fun Tooth Fairy ideas for making special memories with your child:

1. Read a Tooth Fairy Bedtime Story

To get kids into the spirit and introduce them to the Tooth Fairy, read a book about her when they lose their first tooth. You could even make it a tradition where you break out the book every time she’s about to pay a visit. Scholastic has a list of Tooth Fairy books that make for great bedtime reads!

2. Make a Tooth Fairy Pillow to Store Precious Baby Teeth

Don’t risk losing a tiny tooth under a regular-sized pillow before the Tooth Fairy can get her hands on it. Instead, make a Tooth Fairy pillow that has a little pocket to hold your kiddo’s baby tooth until it’s time for the big exchange. You can put the Tooth Fairy pillow under their larger pillow or just set it on their nightstand. For super light sleepers or kids who are apprehensive about a nighttime visit from a fairy, add a ribbon and hang the pillow from their doorknob. There are plenty of cute pillows available for purchase or to do a craft with your little one, try this whimsical DIY Tooth Fairy pillow (bonus: it’s a no-sew project).

3. Call the Tooth Fairy on the Phone

The Sacramento District Dental Society has a hotline where kids can call the Tooth Fairy to see what she’s up to and get educational tidbits about oral health via a pre-recorded message. The number is (916) 446-1310. Give her a ring!

4. Write a Letter to the Tooth Fairy

Have your little one write a Tooth Fairy letter thanking her for the visit. You can even leave a response for them to find in the morning. Of course, the letters will have to be Tooth Fairy sized, so cut out a small piece of paper for your message. You can also make a small envelope using paper and tape. Or, buy some adorable, tiny envelopes on Etsy ideal for Tooth Fairy notes.

5. Let the Tooth Fairy Know She’s at the Right House

The Tooth Fairy has to be tired after flying around to so many houses every night. Make sure she doesn’t miss yours by giving her a sign that she’s at the right home. Go outside with your child before they go to bed and leave a little trail of glitter up your walkway or on your porch to signal that a tooth awaits. You can find biodegradable glitter on Amazon that’s safe to use outdoors on your lawn. While you have the glitter around, you could also leave a few fairy footprints on a windowsill for your child to find in the morning.

6. Leave Behind a Tooth Fairy Receipt

Create a Tooth Fairy receipt and leave it with the money under your child’s pillow. It can have your child’s name, address, age, how many teeth were under the pillow and how much money was left. There are a ton of free Tooth Fairy receipt printables online that you can download and customize.

7. Include Tooth-Friendly Gifts

Of course, kids are thrilled to find money under their pillow but you might also want to consider adding some smile-related gifts, especially for the first tooth. Include things that encourage amazing oral hygiene like a cool toothbrush, delicious, kid-friendly toothpaste, new dental floss and a timer that lets kids know when their two minutes of brushing are up. When these items come directly from the Tooth Fairy, it can make kids even more motivated to put them to good use.

8. Oops, the Tooth Fairy Dropped Her Wand

Like we said, the Tooth Fairy must be exhausted so it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that she’d occasionally drop a wand. Any little kid would be thrilled to find the Tooth Fairy’s wand in their bedroom the morning after her visit. Anders Ruff Design has a tutorial for an easy, yet incredibly cute, DIY Tooth Fairy wand involving felt and a paper straw. It would be perfect to leave on the scene.

9. Add Sparkle to Your Money

One of our favorite Tooth Fairy ideas is to sparklify (yup, that’s definitely a word) coins or dollar bills. After all, a magnificent being like the Tooth Fairy would never leave behind ho-hum currency. To give the appearance of fairy dust, you can paint coins using metallic paint and then sprinkle them with glitter before letting them dry. Or, use glitter spray on dollar bills. If you live in the Naperville area, parents can stop by Innovative Pediatric Dentistry on National Tooth Fairy Day, Friday, February 28, between 8am and 4pm to have their dollar bills coated in fairy dust (glitter spray) for free at our Tooth Fairy event.

10. Meet the Tooth Fairy

While all of these Tooth Fairy ideas are fun and can make the tradition even more special, you know what will really take things up a notch? Actually meeting the Tooth Fairy! We won’t just be making dollar bills sparkle at our Tooth Fairy event on Friday, February 28. When you swing by between 8am and 4pm, kids can meet the Tooth Fairy and take pictures with her. We’ll also be giving out goody bags.

by Innovative Pediatric Dentistry

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Understanding Pegged Teeth

Many conditions can affect the size and shape of your teeth. When your teeth are smaller, this is sometimes called pegged teeth. You might be wondering, what are the causes of peg-shaped teeth? What can I do to change their appearance? We’re here to help you understand this condition, its causes, and what you can do about it.

What Are Pegged Teeth?

Pegged teeth (also known as peg teeth or microdontia) refers to those with a cone-shaped appearance that are significantly smaller than typical teeth. This condition typically affects one or both of your lateral incisors, which are found on the sides of your two front teeth in the top and bottom rows. It’s rare to have this condition affect all of your teeth.

Types of pegged teeth include:

Partial microdontia: Refers to only some of your teeth having a small size.

Generalized microdontia: Refers to all of your teeth having a small size.

Relative microdontia: Refers to average-sized teeth appearing to be small relative to those with a large jawbone.

It’s important to keep in mind that pegged teeth is a distinct condition from those who have a primary (baby) tooth that never fell out due to a missing permanent (adult) tooth. Pegged teeth are those which come in smaller than your other adult teeth or smaller than average adult teeth. For this reason, it can be hard to recognize pegged teeth in children, so it’s a great idea to check in with your dental professional if you’re concerned about your child’s teeth.

What Causes Pegged Teeth?

Because pegged teeth refer to their appearance and not an exact underlying condition, they have various distinct causes.

Causes of pegged teeth may include:

Inherited genetic traits from your parents

Ectodermal dysplasia

Williams syndrome

Hutchinson’s teeth from congenital syphilis

Genetic disorders

Developmental and congenital issues

It’s important to consult your dental professional for their expert insight on this condition, as it’s difficult to determine the underlying cause on your own. They can help ensure that your pegged tooth doesn’t indicate that you are at risk of other related health concerns.

Treatment Methods

Fortunately, a pegged tooth often does not present any health concerns or symptoms. Many are interested in treating a pegged tooth (or teeth) cosmetically to improve their appearance and confidence. Rest assured that no two smiles are exactly alike, and there is no such thing as a “normal smile.”

However, there are various options available to help change the appearance of pegged teeth. The right choice for you will depend on your needs, health history, symptoms, and your dental professional's expert recommendation.

Options to restore or replace pegged teeth may include:




Bonding and reshaping

Keep in mind that pegged teeth often do not cause any symptoms, so your choice to seek treatment will often rely on your desired cosmetic outcome. Because there are various underlying causes of this condition, it’s important to check in with your dental professional to avoid other oral health problems and confront any issues early on. You’ve done a great job educating yourself on pegged teeth and what you can do about them.

by Colgate

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Six Reasons Why You're Never Too Busy To Brush

Picture this: it’s late, you’ve come home from post-work drinks with colleagues, stopped for a kebab on the way, and all you want to do is crawl into bed as soon as you get inside. So, you decide not to journey to the bathroom and skip brushing your teeth for the night.

Or, you’re on your way out to an appointment after a quick breakfast, knowing you won’t return home until late in the day. You’re running behind and might miss the bus – there’s no time to brush your teeth this morning.

Sound familiar?

We're encouraging busy Queenslanders to make oral health a priority. There are a number of good reasons to make brushing your teeth a must, read on to find out why a twice-daily brush should always be on your schedule.

1. Tooth decay

There are few times that decay in your body is a good thing, and tooth decay is no exception.

Tooth decay is a preventable disease that happens when bacteria in the plaque on your teeth create acid out of sugar and carbohydrates in food and drink. The acid attacks the tooth’s surface, eventually leading to holes, or cavities, in the teeth.

2. Stinky breath

Ever worried that your breath smells? If you haven’t been looking after your teeth, you might have reason to.

Bad breath can be embarrassing, but it can also be a sign of poor oral health. Most commonly, bad breath is caused by the bacteria in your mouth breaking down old food and dead skin cells left on your teeth, gums and tongue. While these bacteria are naturally occurring, if you don’t brush regularly the bacteria can build in number with a constant supply of food left in your mouth.

3. Gum disease

Gum disease is inflammation of the gums caused by a build-up of plaque and calcified plaque (called calculus), and it’s exactly as unpleasant as it sounds.

Inflammation just in the gums is called gingivitis, which causes the gums to become red, swollen and tender, and bleed when you brush or floss. Gingivitis can be reversed, but you’ll want to get onto it quickly, because if left untreated it can turn into the much more severe periodontitis, which causes bone around the teeth to be destroyed.

Even though it can be painless as it develops, periodontitis can destroy the connection between your tooth and jaw bone, causing space in the gums where bacteria can collect, and possible permanent bone loss and tooth loss.

4. Infections

Tooth decay and gum disease can both lead to infection in the mouth, which can be very bad news.

An infection around the root of the tooth or gum can cause the gum to swell and pus to develop, creating pus-filled pockets called abscesses. Oral infections can spread to cause serious infections in the jaw bones and tissue surrounding the mouth. In some instances, tooth and gum infections can even cause death.

5. Overall wellbeing

Don’t be fooled, oral health is not just about your teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque and calculus not only cause inflammation in the gums, but cause inflammation in other parts of the body as well. That’s why poor oral health is linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes-related complications.

6. Look who’s learning

If you’re a parent or grandparent of young kids, you've probably spent at least a few minutes at night trying to wrangle your young ones into brushing before bed. But why would children see tooth brushing as important if the adults in their lives don’t lead the way?

Studies show that the oral health of a child is linked to how well their mum looks after their teeth during and after pregnancy. This is because parents can pass on bacteria (both the helpful kind, and the kind that cause decay) to newborn babies, as well as teaching them how to look after their teeth well once they’re born. How well the older generations of a family look after their oral health can have a big impact on the oral health of kids for their whole lives.

Top tips for healthy teeth (and gums and tongues)

Have we convinced you to up your oral health game? Follow these tips to keep your pearly whites clean and healthy:

brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste

visit the dentist regularly

don’t smoke

limit your sugar intake – remember many packaged foods that appear healthy may have added sugars

look out for acids that are hidden in “healthy” drinks – diet soft drinks and sports drinks contain strong acids that can dissolve the enamel in teeth

drink plenty of tap water

chew sugar-free gum

and choose healthy snacks like fruits, cheese and vegetables.

by Queensland Health

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Inflammation In The Mouth Caused By Braces

Half of all young people wear braces. More and more adults are also choosing to have their teeth straightened with braces. The aim is to correct misalignments of teeth and jaws through the intervention of the orthodontist. Treatment often lasts for several years. The first few days, in which the oral cavity has to get used to the new braces, are difficult. But don't worry, you don't have to suffer helplessly at this stage. There are some tricks and tinctures available to soothe the lining of the mouth and help heal inflammation in the mouth.

Your child will get braces

In most cases, orthodontic treatment is best between the ages of ten and thirteen. At this point the change from milk teeth to permanent teeth has taken place and the jaw is still growing. Corrections to teeth and jaws can now be carried out quickly and effectively.

Many teenagers are not thrilled when they get braces. They are afraid of attracting attention as a result. You can take this worry away from your child, because nowadays braces are part of puberty. It's almost more noticeable not to wear one. Nevertheless, it is all the more important that the young people get used to the braces quickly and without pain. This is much easier if complaints from the braces are treated as soon as possible.

Quick help with inflammation in the mouth

Admittedly, the first few days with braces are uncomfortable. The unfamiliar pressure on the teeth, increased saliva flow and stressed oral mucosa can cause pain. You don't have to take pain pills straight away to alleviate this. Because there are different methods and natural remedies that work well too. Try it.

Orthodontists usually supply their patients with special wax. Use it to avoid touching the oral mucosa and the braces. This will avoid irritation and inflammation in the mouth. By the way: You don't have to be economical with the wax. You can buy a new one at any time in a pharmacy or drugstore. Since wires and brackets put a strain on the lining of the mouth, you should use the rolled pieces of wax to avoid irritation. So that the wax holds as firmly as possible, use it generously. In the case of fixed braces, it is best to press it against a bracket in the area of ​​the sore spot in order to obtain a reliable hold.

Inflammation in the mouth: watch out for bacteria!

Sticking wires, archwires, brackets, and increased saliva flow can cause sores in the mouth and inflammation of the gums. Swelling, redness and bleeding gums can quickly develop. Even small lesions often cause uncomfortable pain. Prickly wire ends can be bent with a spoon or tweezers so that they are no longer in the way. Brackets are covered with wax. You should treat the irritated mucous membrane and wounds as quickly as possible. When choosing the agent, not only the pain-relieving, but also the antibacterial effect is crucial.

Mouth sores - of course, painless

Healing-supporting ointments or a tincture based on natural bee products are ideal. There is a lot of power in the gentle natural remedies and they promote the body's self-healing powers. Treating mouth wounds on a natural basis is not only beneficial for young people. Especially Manuka honey convinces with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect. Because the high-quality honey from New Zealand contains the active ingredient methylglyoxalthat reliably kills bacteria and also promotes healing. The Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, have been using honey to care for wounds for centuries. In the meantime, many natural remedies use the beneficial effects that have been proven by various studies. Manuka honey from the flower nectar of the South Sea myrtle has an antiseptic and antioxidant effect and supports tissue regeneration.

Tips for the first few days with braces

Regardless of whether the braces are fixed or loose - teeth and the oral cavity need a few days to get used to the new braces. There are a few things to keep in mind during this time. Most of the time, the symptoms will disappear after a few days.

New braces - that helps:

cool food and drinks.

Ice Cream

Suck ice cubes

frozen yogurt

Cold through cool packs

Thoroughly brush your teeth. Danger: soft toothbrush or use an electric toothbrush with a special brush head for braces!

soft food

rinse with saline solution

New braces - you should do without them:

Avoid acidic drinks such as orange, lemon or apple juice, but also fruit tea

hard foods like dry bread or nuts

sticky sweets like chewing gum, wine gum, or chewy candies

Braces pain: when should you go to the dentist?

Usually only the first few days are uncomfortable with the new braces. Fixed braces in particular, in which the brackets are firmly anchored to the teeth, cause discomfort. The tensile load from the wires can also be uncomfortable. After about two to three days, the pain in the tooth, gums and jaw should be significantly less. If the pain is unchanged, you should visit the orthodontist again. You may be able to loosen the braces a little, thereby relieving the pain. The dentist can also shorten annoying wires. If the pain from the braces is a burden even after days, do not wait until the next check-up appointment. Make an earlier appointment for a check-up.

by Conasin

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Views: 53

Tongue Brush Vs. Toothbrush: Which Is Better?

Are you wondering about how to take the best care of your tongue? Well, just by asking, you're on the right track. Cleaning your tongue is an important part of your oral care. And using a toothbrush to brush your tongue isn't the only option for taking care of your tongue. A tongue brush or tongue scraper may provide a more thorough clean than most toothbrushes when it comes to the tongue. As you read on, we'll look at tongue cleaning in general and why it's different than brushing your teeth. Then we'll look into the benefits of tongue brushes and tongue scrapers.

Tongue Cleaning

Cleaning your tongue helps eliminate oral bacteria accumulating on the tongue's surface, mostly toward the back. Certain bacteria on the back of the tongue interact with amino acids from food and produce smelly sulfur compounds that give you bad breath. One study says that although tongue cleaning reduces this odor, tongue cleaning combined with a rinse is even more effective.

Tongue vs. Enamel

Due to the differences between the tongue's surface and tooth enamel, toothbrushes may not clean the tongue as thoroughly as you'd like them to. The tongue's surface may feel soft against your teeth, but it is quite rough and covered with tiny crevices, making it easy for bacteria to hide. The first job of toothbrushes isn't handling these little spaces; it's to clean the hard, smooth surface of tooth enamel and reach into much larger grooves.

Tongue Brush vs. Tongue Scraper

Tongue brushes and tongue scrapers penetrate the tiny fissures on the tongue and clean out harmful deposits. Tongue brushes look like your toothbrush but have a wide surface that brushes the surface of the tongue. Tongue scrapers, on the other hand, curve to fit the natural shape of your tongue and are either plastic or metal. According to a recent study, tongue cleaners, in general, reduce the number of bacteria on the tongue. And the plastic tongue scraper in this study was the most effective in removing the bacteria. However, more research needs to be done to determine which tool is the best for cleaning the tongue.

If you want to try cleaning your tongue with a tongue brush or scraper, make sure you rinse them with clean water before and after using it. To clean your tongue, dab a small amount of toothpaste on your tongue brush. Begin at the back tongue and work your way forward, using gentle circular motions with the brush or smoothly dragging your scraper. Once you've cleaned your tongue's surface, rinse your tongue. Make sure to avoid pressing too hard with the tongue brush or scraper. You don't want to make your tongue bleed or feel sore in any way. That's not the goal.

Now you know all about cleaning your tongue. Of course, you can brush your tongue with a toothbrush. But a tongue brush or scraper can help you refine this practice and keep your tongue as clean as possible. Remember to be gentle when you clean your tongue. If you want to start cleaning your tongue, try a brush or scraper today. Or ask your dentist what they recommend.

by Colgate

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Views: 51

What Is Supragingival Calculus?

Your dental professional has probably told you about bacteria and plaque and their effects on your oral health. But do you know about supragingival calculus? Read on to learn what supragingival calculus is and how establishing a good oral care routine can prevent bacteria buildup in the mouth.

Calculus vs. Plaque

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), calculus forms when sticky plaque on the teeth is not removed and is left to harden. Once it hardens, the calculus — also called tartar — sticks to the tooth like a barnacle to a boat. The American Academy of Periodontology notes that while dental plaque can be removed at home, calculus must be removed by a dental professional, as it strongly adheres to the tooth surface.

A review in the International Journal of Dental and Health Sciences (IJDHS) explains that plaque can form on any surfaces inside the mouth where nutrients are available to feed the bacteria. As colonies of bacteria (called biofilm) develop in the mouth, they collect the minerals found in your saliva and in the foods you eat. These minerals, which include calcium and phosphorous, stick to the biofilm and harden with it over time, creating a rock-like adhesion on the tooth called calculus or tartar.

Types of Calculus

According to the IJDHS review, there are two types of dental calculus: supragingival and subgingival. The difference between the two types is the location of the calculus relative to the edge of the gum tissue.

If you think of the edge of the gums like a shirt sleeve and imagine the tooth is like your hand in the sleeve, you can get a better image of this classification. The parts of your hand and wrist that extend visibly outside the sleeve would be considered supragingival (above the gumline), whereas anything unseen below the sleeve would be considered subgingival (below the gumline). Calculus above the gumline can appear whitish or yellowish in color.

Removing Supragingival Calculus

While your dentist and dental hygienist can typically detect supragingival calculus visually, dental professionals also receive extensive training using equipment other than their eyes. One such example, according to the IJDHS review, is an instrument known as a dental explorer, which helps the dental professional feel and remove calculus. A scaler is another common handheld instrument used to remove calculus above the gumline, as a review in the Saudi Dental Journal notes. In addition to these, new technologies — such as ultrasonic and laser tools — have also emerged to help dentists and hygienists detect and remove calculus.

It's important to remove calculus as soon as it's detected to prevent further bacteria buildup and retain gum health. The ADA notes that as supragingival calculus develops, the gums can become swollen and bleed easily. This condition, termed gingivitis, can worsen into a more serious form of gum disease if left untreated.

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

To ensure that your oral care routine reduces and minimizes calculus formation, focus on controlling plaque buildup at home. You can decrease your chances of developing calculus deposits by establishing good oral care habits, such as brushing your teeth twice a day, cleaning between them with floss and using an oral rinse. At your routine dental visits, your dental professional will remove all existing calculus deposits and help get your smile in tip-top shape.

by Colgate

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Views: 55
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