My BEST Dentists Journal


Problems Caused by Impacted Teeth

Many people across the country struggle with different dental issues. Impacted teeth is a common oral/dental problem that can often cause pain and discomfort in the mouth and jaw area. A lot of people often dismiss impacted teeth as a simple toothache, and don’t get the dental care they need in order to address the issue, ultimately leading to worsening problems.

What Is an Impacted Tooth?

An impacted tooth is simply another term for a tooth that has not completely broken through the gum tissue. A tooth can become impacted when there is not enough room within the jaw to accommodate the tooth. Some people naturally may have more impacted teeth than others, but the most common impacted teeth are a person’s third molars, also known as wisdom teeth.

4 Problems That Impacted Teeth Can Cause

Impacted teeth can cause someone a variety of issues from pain to even cysts, or lesions within the jaw. It is important to keep an eye out for any symptoms you think you may have with an impacted tooth and discuss these with your dentist or an oral surgeon.

1. Pain

The most common issue that comes along with an impacted tooth is pain. Whenever a tooth grows or erupts incorrectly, it can create pressure or get irritated easily, causing pain. Many people experience pain at the site of the impacted tooth, and others experience jaw pain under the impacted tooth.

2. Infections

The mouth is full of bacteria, both good and bad. If you have an impacted tooth that is struggling to erupt or is slow to break through, bacteria can infect the site. Food also can get stuck between crowded teeth causing cleaning issues, swelling, and infection.

3. Damage to Other Teeth

Whether it is your permanent adult teeth or wisdom teeth coming in, impacted teeth have the ability to cause damage to nearby teeth. When trying to break through the gum, the impacted tooth can push into or ‘crash’ into the other teeth around them, causing sensitivity and damage. They can also cause resorption of the roots of adjacent teeth.

4. Cysts

Cysts are another common problem caused by impacted teeth and occur when fluid forms around one of the eruption sites of a tooth. Cysts can result in pain and possibly damage to the roots and bone of surrounding teeth.

Do You Have an Impacted Tooth?

Don’t let tooth pain control your life. If you think you have an impacted tooth, you should consult with an oral surgeon and see what your next steps might be.

by OMS Nashville

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Salty Taste in Your Mouth?

You expect your mouth to taste salty after a few potato chips. But if you haven’t been snacking and your mouth tastes salty, what’s going on?

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist Michael Medina, MD, explains the most common reasons for a salty taste in your mouth and what you can do about it.

Why does my mouth taste salty?

In most cases, a salty taste in your mouth isn’t a medical emergency — but it is a sign that you shouldn’t ignore. The most common reasons for a salty mouth include:

1. Dehydration

Your saliva (spit) naturally contains a small amount of salt. But when you’re not well hydrated, the salt in your saliva becomes more concentrated. Imagine a sprinkle of salt in a glass of water versus that same amount of salt in a teaspoon of water. The teaspoon of water will taste saltier because there’s less water to dilute the salt.

“Dehydration changes the quality of your saliva,” says Dr. Medina. “Often, you can get rid of the salty taste by drinking enough water each day.”

But if you have a heart or kidney condition, don’t reach for a giant jug of water just yet. “People taking diuretics for heart or kidney disease may need to limit their water intake,” Dr. Medina cautions. “If you have any health conditions, ask your healthcare provider how much water you should drink each day.”

2. Dry mouth

Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth is when your salivary glands don’t make enough saliva. People with dry mouth may notice taste problems, including a salty or metallic taste. Usually, you’ll have other symptoms, too, like bad breath and a constant sore throat.

Dry mouth becomes more common as people age, but it can signal certain health conditions like diabetes. “Many people get relief from over-the-counter products like lozenges and mouthwashes designed to lubricate your mouth,” says Dr. Medina. “If these things don’t help, talk to your provider. Long-term dry mouth can increase your risk of tooth decay.”

3. Medications

Certain medications can cause dry mouth as a side effect, leading to a salty or metallic taste in your mouth. If you’re taking any prescription medications and notice a dry mouth, talk to your healthcare provider. They may be able to switch your medication or recommend home remedies, such as dry mouth lozenges, to combat the problem.

Medications that can cause a dry mouth or salty taste include:

Antidepressants, especially tricyclic antidepressants.

Antihistamines, which treat allergy symptoms.

Chemotherapy for cancer treatment.

Diuretics, usually prescribed for heart or kidney disease.

Pain relievers, including prescription or over-the-counter pain medications.

Sedatives, used to treat anxiety, panic disorders or sleep disorders.

4. Postnasal drip

Allergies or a long-term sinus infection can cause a constantly drippy nose that drains down your throat. Known as postnasal drip, this symptom can also cause a salty or “off” taste in your mouth.

“If you have postnasal drip, you might feel like you always want to clear your throat or cough,” says Dr. Medina. “Postnasal drip can also affect your taste and smell. See your provider to find out why it’s happening.”

5. Neurological disorders

Any abnormal taste, including a lingering salty taste, can mean your brain’s taste signals aren’t working as they should. But this cause is rare.

“The brain contains nerves that are connected to taste,” explains Dr. Medina. “Rarely, a problem with those nerves, such as a brain injury or tumor, can interfere with taste. Usually, however, you would notice other symptoms, like seizures, vision changes, headaches or loss of smell.”

When to see your healthcare provider for a salty mouth

A salty taste by itself is often due to dehydration or a dry mouth. See your healthcare provider if you have a salty taste and:

Change in your voice or hoarseness.

Lump in your neck.

Swelling of salivary glands in front of your ear or under your jaw.

Trouble chewing or swallowing.

Other health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or an autoimmune condition.

“Many times, you can get rid of a salty taste with proper hydration and dry mouth products,” notes Dr. Medina. “But it’s important to find out the cause so you can get proper treatment.”

by Cleveland Clinic

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Five Things You Can Do If Your Gums Are Bleeding

Gum bleeding is not a healthy or normal sign. It indicates that there is infection, and it should be attended to, not ignored since it will not go away on its own and will worsen with time.

First understanding why your gums are bleeding will help to control it. We have bacteria in the mouth that includes germs that irritate the gums. That gum irritation takes the course of an infection. At first the infection causes the small blood vessels in the gums to expand to allow white blood cells to attack and defeat the bacterial. This expansion of small blood vessels (capillaries) allows both white and red blood cells to pass through readily. Since the capillaries are wider this is an indication that there are infective germs at work on your gums. Wider capillaries are more fragile, and you may see more bleeding when you brush. This is not a warning to stop brushing and flossing. On the contrary, the solution is to reduce the number of bacteria on an ongoing basis.

1. First things first. Remove the bacteria before they cause damage by brushing on the surface of the teeth up and down to the gum line. Where the brush does not reach, use floss between the teeth. Use a water pick to remove larger specks of food. There are mouth rinses that are antibacterial and anti cavity that will help you control bleeding gums that are useful.

2. If your toothbrush looks wilted, its time for a new one. An electric brush cleans your teeth four times faster and better than a manual brush but change the bristles frequently as well. Remember to floss every day, not just before you visit the dentist.

3. Sugar filled foods and drinks will cause damage when the residues stay in the mouth for a long time. Brush and floss after meals. Most important, rinse your mouth after a sugar filled snack or drink to wash away the particles that encourage bacterial growth.

4. Certain habits can cause bleeding gums to turn into missing teeth. Smoking of any kind is the number one culprit. This causes different effects including dry mouth. Copious saliva protects against oral bacterial infections. When smoking, medications, menopause, or surgery cause changes in salivary function. As the mouth becomes drier the mouth becomes more vulnerable to the damaging effects of harmful oral bacteria.

5. See your dentist on a regular basis for a cleaning and an exam to catch small problems before they get larger. Bacteria that stay on the teeth for longer than a day will harden and form hard deposits that brushing cannot remove. These deposits shield bacteria from the brush and will get thicker over time. A professional cleaning will remove these deposits, allow the gums to heal, and bleeding will diminish or cease entirely, stopping progression from bleeding gums to tooth loss.

When you follow these steps, the chances of destructive gum disease, and frequent cavities will diminish. Early treatment and avoiding these problems will result is a more comfortable life.

by Dr Korwin

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Views: 27

What Are Damon Braces? Five Things You Should Know

Many of us need braces. Perhaps your child will too. And usually, after they come off, you come up smiling in more ways than one. A healthy, straight smile gives most of us more confidence. But what if you could gain that confidence a little bit faster? Well, you can — with Damon braces.

What Are Damon Braces and How Do They Work?

Damon braces aren't your traditional braces. Nope. Rather, an orthodontic treatment uses self-ligating braces, which means the brackets themselves have a component that closes around the wire to keep it attached. In contrast, traditional braces attach the archwire to the brackets with rubber bands. The Damon braces connect to a memory wire that attaches to the slide brackets without the tightness and pressure found in traditional braces. And then, over time, they're set to move your teeth gradually. You may need a tooth extraction or palatal expander as Damon braces use less force than conventional braces.

What Are The Advantages of Damon Braces

Damon braces have a lot going for them, most notably:

Appearance: Their clear brackets make them more aesthetically pleasing because they are virtually invisible, making them much less noticeable than traditional braces.

Faster Treatment: Patients with Damon braces finish over seven months before those with conventional braces.

Fewer Office Visits: With faster treatment comes fewer visits to your orthodontist to have them adjusted.

Less Pressure and Pain: Since they gradually move your teeth, there's less pressure resulting in less pain.

Less Friction: Less friction means less erosion of your teeth.

Less Plaque and Bacteria Build-up: Damon braces consist of fewer materials in your mouth, and thus, fewer places for plaque and bacteria to set up camp.

What Are The Disadvantages of Damon Braces

With life and Damon braces, you take the good with the bad. Drawbacks for them include:

Metal Wiring: While you can get clear brackets, metal wires are still the only choice for Damon braces.

Irritation: Like anything new, it will take time to adjust to the feel of braces cemented onto your teeth, which could irritate your gum tissues.

Cost: Less pain, adjustments, and time come with a slightly higher price.

What Do Damon Braces Cost

So — what is the cost?  Here's the rundown on the price for Damon braces and some possible payment options.

Cost: As far as average cost of traditional braces and ceramic braces are concerned, an indicative price on internet suggests twenty five thousand onwards for traditional braces while something like between forty to seventy thousand rupees for the latter. However, it will vary based on your city and dentist. But it depends on your location and complexity of your orthodontic treatment as Damon braces tend to cost more than traditional braces.

Insurance: Many dental insurance plans and FSAs can be used toward Damon braces.

Financing: Some orthodontists offer financing and payment plans if needed.

How Do You Care for Damon Braces?

If Damon braces are for you or your child, you should protect your investment. Here's how:

Before you brush, rinse with water to help loosen any food lodged around your braces.

Use a brush designed for braces to brush at the gumline at a 45-degree angle.

Next, place the toothbrush on top of the brackets, angling down to brush on top of each bracket.

Then, reposition to slowly brush the bottom of the bracket and the wire, angling the toothbrush up.

Be sure to brush every tooth at the gumline and above and below the brackets to remove plaque and food debris.

Start flossing daily:

Try a floss threader to make flossing with braces easier. 

Consider water irrigators to help flush out food particles in tight spaces.

After brushing, help prevent cavities by rinsing with mouthwash to help remove bacteria for a healthier mouth.

Now you know all the ins and outs of self-ligating Damon braces as an alternative to traditional braces. For any questions on getting that smile of your dreams, speak to your orthodontic professional.

by Colgate

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Top Six Dental Hygiene Tips You Must Follow

“Say cheese”. Who doesn’t want to look good while smiling but it won’t be possible without a healthy dental hygiene. However, having a perfect smile is not the only motivation to take care of oral hygiene. Because there are bacteria that can badly affect your teeth over time in the form of cavities, gum disease, and others. So, to help you smile, laugh, eat, and drink freely, here’re some helpful dental hygiene tips you must follow.

1. Brush Your Mouth Properly

This is obvious but many people still overlook this simple but vastly important habit. Some people brush their teeth but don’t pay much attention to mouth in general.

To start, remember to brush both inner and outer surface of teeth with back-and-forth and up-and-down motion. Another common mistake while brushing is that people try go too hard on teeth which results in bleeding gums. Always brush lightly to avoid that.

When you are done with teeth, brush the roof of your mouth and the surface of your tongue. Keep your hands light on those too.

Incorporating the habit of cleaning the whole mouth is beneficial because not only it keeps your teeth and gums healthy, it prevents bad breath and many other mouth diseases.

2. Floss Regularly

The number of people who floss is comparatively lower those who brush teeth. However, you should not take flossing lightly just because you have brushed your teeth. Because flossing helps you remove food residue and other substances that are between the teeth. These are the tiny, small spaces a brush can’t clean and that’s why flossing is recommended.

3. Limit (or More Preferably, Stop) The Intake of Sodas and Alcohol

Other than being bad for your health, sodas are also popular for their part in tooth decay and gum disease in patients. Yes, you love these sodas and other beverages, but you have to limit or stop taking them for the sake of your teeth and your health. If you really want to take a drink, choose fresh juices and milk.

4. Avoid Smoking

Smoking is notorious for causing oral cancer and lung cancer, but still a wide population of the world is still hooked to it. Although the above ill effects of smoking are enough for you to stop or stay away from smoking, they are not it.

Regular smoking leads to enormous oral and dental problems like bad breath, increased risk of plaque, discoloration of teeth, increased risk of getting white patches in mouth called leukoplakia, and increased risk of gum disease. Furthermore, frequent smoking is also linked with decreased success rate of dental implanting.

5. Increase The Intake of Calcium and Vitamin-Rich Food

When you are cleaning teeth correctly and staying away from harmful things and habits, it’s time to consume healthy food for your teeth (and for your health).

We talked about taking milk and fresh juices, they are gold for your teeth – consume them frequently. Also, increase the intake of other dairy products. Moreover, take food that contains vitamin D and vitamin B complex as they are important for gum strength.

6. Visit Dentist Regularly

It goes without saying but let us state that again to aware people of the importance of regularly visiting a dentist for healthy teeth.

by Revitalizing Smiles

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Common Issues During Orthodontic Treatment

Orthodontic treatment certainly helps in achieving a bright, beautiful smile. The time you spend wearing braces and the efforts you put for getting used to the braces is actually an investment for getting good health and confident smile. However having braces on your teeth can be a challenging task in your life. Challenges are not limited to just having to adopt braces, but you have to also keep yourself away from bad breath.

This blog tries to address bad breath issue. There’s no reason for you to believe you have to accept bad breath just because you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Here are some Fresh Breath Tips From KnightSmile Dental Practice:

Choice of Food:

Here are some of the food items causing bad breath during orthodontic treatment:

Garlic and onions.

Coffee and alcohol.

Sticky foods, for example chocolate.

Foods that are loaded with sweetness can contribute to bad breath.

Beverages having sugar contents.

Chewing sugarless gums acts as remover of food and dead cells from teeth, gums and tounge. Not just that, it promotes production of salvia. We encourage you to discuss with our team the type of food you should take during orthodontic treatment.

Stay Hydrated

Water not only flush the mouth but also produces salvia, which acts as a constant cleansing agent. It dissolves substance of food and drink from your mouth. A continuous dry mouth leads to bad breath as it reduce production of saliva which removes bacteria and excess food from your mouth – both of which cause bad breath.

Brush often

Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day. If possible brush teeth with fluoride toothpaste first thing in the morning and before you go to bed. This removes food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath. Not just teeth, you should brush your tongue as well because tongue holds a lot of bad smell bacteria which can causes bad breath. You should brush your tongue gently without being harsh on it.


Flossing with braces might seem tricky, but it is a necessity. Ask our team at KnightSmile Dental Practice to teach you the best way to floss effectively with braces. Flossing can remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, where your toothbrushes can’t reach. Flossing should be done at least once a day to avoid bad breath during orthodontic Treatment.

Mouthwash Use

Mouthwash generally provides a temporary cure for bad breath, but sometimes it acts well to get away from being noticed for bad breath. An antiseptic mouthwash acts better as it kills bad bacteria. It works more than just an ordinary mouthwash. Look for mouthwashes with hlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorine dioxide, zinc chloride and triclosan, or if you are confused, use the mouthwash recommended by our dentist for the best results. You should swish the mouthwash around in your mouth for 30 seconds. Mouthwash certainly help to avoid bad breath during your orthodontic treatment.

Smoking or chewing tobacco

Bad breath is one of the side effects of smoking and tobacco apart from many other life threatening effects that smoking and tobacco cause. Smoking and tobacco should be strictly avoided to keep away from bad breath and severe deceases like Cancer.

Together, you and our team at KnightSmile Dental Practice, can keep your mouth healthy and fresh during and after your orthodontic treatment.

by Knight Smile Dental

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Five Reasons to Get a Night Mouth Guard

If your dentist suggests you can benefit from a night mouth guard, you might want to listen to them. Dentists don’t recommend this piece of equipment to everyone, and if they are suggesting one for you, there is a specific reason for it.

A night mouth guard is required for people who grind and clench their teeth at night. According to the American Sleep Association, approximately 10 percent of adults and 15 percent of children grind their teeth at night: a condition called sleep bruxism.

Along with preventing you from grinding your teeth into a damaged state, a night mouth guard has many other impressive benefits.

1. Prevent Headaches and Facial Pain

An adequately designed night mouth guard “shuts down” the muscles that you use for chewing. This allows these overworked muscles to get some much-needed rest at night.

When you spend the entire night grinding and clenching, you’ll often find yourself experiencing facial pain and headaches throughout the day. By using a night mouth guard, your muscles will relax, and you’ll prevent future headaches and facial pain.

2. Improve Sleep Patterns

Your night mouth guard positions the jaw in a strategic way that serves to relax all the surrounding muscles as well. Additionally, they’re designed to be lightweight for maximum comfort. These factors help improve your sleep patterns and the overall quality of sleep you get every night.

3. Achieve a Better-Looking Smile

Everyone wants a nice smile. Well, wearing a night mouth guard can help to protect your smile for better-looking teeth overall. Nightly grinding and clenching of your teeth and jaw can lead to chipped teeth, damaged fillings, and even excessive wear and tear of your teeth.

4. Avoid Costly Corrections

Unfortunately, sleep bruxism isn’t a condition you can ignore and hope it’ll go away. Allowing sleep bruxism to continue without treatment can cause severe damage to your enamel and jaw joints. These issues can require extensive and costly repair treatments. You can save yourself a lot of money and time by wearing your guard every night.

5. Prevent Future Dental Issues

Your teeth may appear stationary, but they can actually “drift.” This is especially common in patients who grind their teeth. Over time, this drifting will cause your smile to change and possibly become crooked. You can avoid teeth drifting by wearing your night mouth guard, which also acts as a kind of orthodontic retainer.

For older patients who are starting to experience bone loss, the night guard acts as a splint and helps prevent teeth from developing excessive mobility.

by Gentle Care Dentistry

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Dry Mouth at Night: The Causes and Management Tips

Have you ever woken up from a sound sleep with a dry mouth at night? Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be caused by something as simple as sleeping with your mouth open or as complex as a side effect of medication. Read on to find out what may be at the root of your nighttime lip smacking.

Signs of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can be as simple as the salivary glands not producing enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. Saliva is key to washing debris from your teeth and remineralizing tooth enamel. With too little of it, you may be at risk for tooth decay.

Aside from increasing your risk for cavities, dry mouth can be uncomfortable. If you are experiencing dry mouth at night, some noticeable morning signs are:

A sticky feeling in your mouth

Thick or stringy saliva

Bad breath

Dry or sore throat

Cracked or chapped lips

Mouth sores

Changed sense of taste

What Causes Xerostomia?

The occasional case of dry mouth at night may simply be due to dehydration, but age, medical conditions and habits can also contribute to its symptoms. The Mayo Clinic reports that several medications can cause dry mouth, such as muscle relaxants, depression and anxiety medications and antihistamines. It's also associated with diabetes and the autoimmune disorder Sjogren's syndrome. Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can change or damage the salivary glands, as can nerve damage to the head and neck area.

Frequent tobacco and alcohol use can lead to xerostomia. Besides putting you at risk for oral cancer, smoking causes changes in saliva production. Alcoholic drinks and tobacco also irritate an already dry mouth and contribute to bad breath.

Ways to Manage Dry Mouth at Night

If your dry mouth is caused by dehydration, treating it could be as simple as making sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day and before going to bed. Xerostomia caused by medication and other health conditions might need more help to stimulate saliva production, such as:

Sipping water frequently

Chewing sugar-free gum

Using a bedroom humidifier

Sucking on sugar-free lozenges

Make sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for optimal oral health care. If you are experiencing dry mouth, regular cleanings can help prevent dental decay and gum disease. Your dentist may also recommend a hydrating rinse. No matter the cause of your nighttime dry mouth, you and your dental team can work together to find a solution.



by Colgate

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Views: 28

How to Fight Gingivitis in 3 Easy Steps

You may have heard the word gingivitis before, but do you know what it is and what to do if you have it? Gingivitis can make your gums swell, hurt or bleed when you brush, and it can make your breath smell. If you've noticed these symptoms, you may have gingivitis. But don't be scared! It's treatable and often reversible. And the best part is that you can start treating gingivitis in three steps:

Brushing at least twice a day

Flossing daily

Professional and preventative cleanings from your dentist

How Do You Get Gingivitis?

Gingivitis occurs when bacteria build up around your gumline causes your gums to become inflamed. That inflammation causes your gums to bleed easier than healthy tissue. Your dentist wants you to take care of your teeth when you show signs of gingivitis like bleeding gums because it's an early stage of gum disease. If you start reversing gingivitis with brushing, flossing and professional cleaning now, it can save you worry and more serious treatments later.

How to Fight Gingivitis with Proper Toothbrushing

The first step in fighting gingivitis is brushing your teeth using these tips.

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush that is small enough to get into the small places like your back molars is an excellent place to start.

Start brushing with the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line.

Use gentle and short back-and-forth strokes on each tooth. Don't press too hard.

It doesn't take a lot of pressure to remove plaque buildup, but it does take time. Brush your teeth for at least 120 seconds/ 2 minutes. You can divide your mouth into quadrants, or start in the same place every time. Use whatever technique feels comfortable so long as you don't skip over any teeth. Make sure you get both the front and back sides of your teeth too. Lastly, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth and then your tongue to remove the last of the bacteria.

When was the last time you replaced your toothbrush? Toss old and worn toothbrushes as soon as they get frayed bristles, or every three months. They won't clean your teeth as well, and old toothbrushes can store bacteria. Talk to your dentist about which kind of toothbrush and toothpaste is right for you.

How Does Flossing Help Reverse Gingivitis?

Toothbrushes can't always clean between your teeth so bacteria and food can hide, irritating your gums and causing gingivitis. That's where flossing comes in. According to the ADA, dental floss removes plaque between your teeth and under your gum line, removing these irritants and helping reduce inflammation.

The best time to floss is around bedtime after you're finished eating for the day as part of your nightly brushing routine. There are many flossing products out there. Whichever you choose, ensure you are flossing with a clean section of floss, so you aren't moving bacteria to other teeth. Be gentle and don't force the floss. Slide the floss between each tooth and the front and back using push-pull and up-down motions.

Just like brushing, ensure you are not skipping any tooth or rushing the process. Taking care to do the job right can help reduce inflammation and treat gingivitis.

If you're overwhelmed with flossing product choices, ask your dentist for a recommendation on the right type of flossing product for your oral care needs.

Professional and Preventative Dental Cleanings

Brushing and flossing can remove bacteria and plaque when it's still soft. However, plaque will harden over time and become tartar. When new plaque builds on tartar, it can progress into more severe stages of gum disease like periodontitis. That's why it's so important to clean your teeth! If your gingivitis has not progressed to a more serious stage, a professional cleaning can help reverse it.

Your dentist may decide that you need dental scaling or root planing. Scaling involves scraping away tartar with dental tools. Root planing smooths over the tooth root to promote healing after your dentist removes the tartar buildup.

Preventive cleanings twice a year and consistent brushing and flossing will help fight gingivitis. Visit your dentist so you can find out the best treatment for you. You don't need to be scared. Gingivitis is a sign that your teeth and gums need help! Learning these tips now will help you fight off gum disease later.

by Colgate

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Views: 27

Rampant Caries: What Are They?

Even with excellent oral hygiene, anyone can get dental caries (cavities) in their lifetime. However, rampant caries can stem from various factors, such as poor diet, mouth pH, root recession, and weakened enamel. Anyone of any age is susceptible to cavities, but luckily some treatments can restore your oral health and get your smile back on track.

What Are Dental Caries?

You can classify dental caries as one of three ways based on where they occur in the mouth.

Interproximal caries - On the sides of the tooth or in between teeth

Pit and fissure caries - In the deep grooves on the biting surface of the teeth

Root caries - On the root surface of the tooth or teeth, found most often when a patient has gum recession

Dental caries are irreversible tooth decay where the hard structures of the tooth demineralise from acids in the mouth. The bacteria in plaque on your teeth and gums produce acids that attack tooth enamel. " Rampant caries" is a condition characterised by wide-spread and rapidly growing cavities and is a term used to describe a mouth with dental caries present in more than ten teeth. With the proper education and good oral care practices at home, dental caries is preventable.

Caries in Various Age Groups

In early childhood, toddlers can develop rampant caries if they drink formula, milk, or low-pH fruit juice in a bottle or sippy cup right before bedtime. When a child's mouth isn't cleaned before bedtime, the low pH allows the oral bacteria to feed on the sugars in the drink all night long. Demineralisation thrives in environments where acid is present to attack the teeth. This process has been termed "baby bottle tooth decay."

Adolescents can be affected too if they drink low pH, high-sugar drinks, like soda, sports drinks, or energy drinks. Adolescent caries present a challenge to dental professionals because they often involve permanent teeth. This condition can affect a teenager's confidence in smiling and socialising and can also cause pain and discomfort that prevents the patient from attending school or work. In adolescents, cavities may be a sign of poor nutrition. Teens can improve their oral health by decreasing the amount of sugar in their diet and picking up healthy habits, such as chewing sugar-free gum, drinking plenty of fluoridated water, and improving their oral care routine at home.

Adults and the elderly can also experience rampant caries, especially those affected by dry mouth. When saliva production decreases due to aging, radiation therapy, or certain medications, the mouth's ability to fight demineralisation diminishes because saliva acts as a natural cleaner of the mouth. Dry mouth creates a perfect storm for cavities to appear and progress deeper into the tooth.

How Do You Treat Rampant Dental Caries?

You can treat dental caries with restorative treatments that include removing the diseased portion of the tooth, then placing a filling to strengthen the tooth. If you lose too much of the tooth to rampant decay, the dentist may choose to place a crown on the tooth to protect it. The type of restoration depends on how much of the healthy tooth remains and the tooth's location.

When it comes to taking care of your teeth, the best course of action to avoid rampant dental caries is prevention. Maintaining a good oral care routine with daily flossing and twice-daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste is the best way to ensure your teeth are set up for success. However, if your rampant dental caries gets ahead of you, there are plenty of treatment options available. Talk to your dentist and they will work with you to find the best course of action for your smile.

by Colgate

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Views: 28

Brushing Your Teeth Harder is Not Better

Have you ever spilled a drink on yourself and stained your jacket? The usual procedure is to rush to some water and scrub vigorously so you get the stain out of the clothing fibers. Aggressive scrubbing helps in this situation, leaving you with stain-free pants, but when it comes to brushing your mouth, teeth and gums, brushing harder to clean better is definitely not the best solution. When you brush your teeth too harshly, you might actually be causing more harm than good and our family dentists in Alexandria, VA will explain why that is here in this post!

Why aggressive brushing hurts your teeth.There are a number of reasons why brushing more aggressively actually harms your mouth more than it does good. Some think that if more force is applied to the teeth while brushing them, the brush remove more plaque, but this is not true. Over-brushing your teeth can be very harmful to the health of your teeth and your gums.

The primary concern for over-brushing is the possibility of eroding your tooth enamel. When you aggressively brush your teeth, you can actually erode your enamel, thus leaving your teeth prone to cavities. People also tend to believe that a firm toothbrush cleans better than a soft bristle toothbrush which also is not true. These brushes are actually more harmful and pose a larger risk of enamel erosion than soft bristles.

How does aggressive brushing affect your gums?There are many reasons why aggressive brushing harms your gums. People who have plaque build-up on their teeth usually see some type of gingival recession take place and this same effect takes place the harder your brush. This will cause the appearance of black triangles in between your teeth which makes your teeth look longer than they used to.

Over-brushing your gums can cause them to recede and reduce in size, which could lead to exposing your tooth roots. Not only can this be unsightly, but it can lead to tooth/root sensitivity and cavities in spots you can no longer reach with your toothbrush.

What is the proper way to brush your teeth?

Choose the right tooth brush! Our family dentists here in Kingstowne, Virginia can happily recommend the ideal type of toothbrush for your mouth here in our office! It’s important to make sure your toothbrush has soft and flexible bristles. Aggressive and hard bristles can wear down your tooth enamel and gum line at a faster rate and we don’t recommend buying brushes with hard bristles. It is also very important that you replace your toothbrush once every 2 to 3 months, or as soon as the bristles start to look worn or bent. Brushing with an old brush may be ineffective at removing bacteria and food.

Change the way you hold your toothbrush. Keep a light grip on your tooth brush, similarly to how you may hold a pen. A lighter touch often leads to softer brushing and firmer grasps normally lead to pushing down harder than needed to clean your teeth effectively.

Brush in circular motions. Brush using a circular motion, making sure your toothbrush is at a 45-degree angle against your gum line. Brushing at an angle is the best way to remove bacteria from the teeth without pushing the bacteria down below the gum line. A key idea here is if you see the bristles on the toothbrush are bending while you brush, you’re brushing with too much unnecessary force.

Regular brushing and flossing pays for itself! This point might be obvious to some, but brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is critical to healthy teeth. Although this will help limit how much bacteria build-up there is, it’s also important to see your dentist regularly too as brushing & flossing will not remove all plaque that professional cleanings can.

Schedule regular cleanings with our dental office. It’s recommended that Dr. Phuong Phan sees you in our office at least once every 6 months for a cleaning. By staying on top of your cleanings you can help avoid serious dental issues later in life.

by Kingstowne Dentistry

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Time to brush away oral care mistakes

A healthy set of teeth is one of the indicators of your well being. Failure to take care of it is the same as letting your physical health down the drain. There are many dental myths that are passed on by word of mouth. Here is the truth about some dental misconceptions.

MYTH: The harder you brush, the cleaner your teeth will be. 

Brushing too hard can actually harm your teeth by wearing off the enamel and even the gums. You should always brush for minimum 2 minutes twice daily with a soft bristled brush.

MYTH: Flossing isn’t necessary.

Once a child’s teeth start to fit closely together, usually between age 2 to 6, parents should start teaching their children to floss. Flossing is advised once daily preferably before bedtime. If done improperly, flossing can cause damage to gums and teeth. So one should always learn a proper method of flossing from a dental practitioner.

MYTH: We should not clean our tongue.

The top surface of tongue can be cleaned using a plastic or metal tongue cleaner/ scraper or a soft bristle toothbrush. However, toothbrushes are not as effective as tongue cleaners/ scrapers. Using a tongue cleaner helps improve your sense of taste, appearance of tongue, removes bacteria and reduces bad breath. Make sure your tongue scraper doesn’t have any uneven or rough edges so that it should not cut the surface of your tongue or harm your taste buds. Apply gentle pressure for avoiding any damage.

MYTH: Mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing.

For patients with periodontal diseases Listerine can be used because it reduces the bacteria that cause the disease. Whereas patients who are cavity prone can use high fluoride rinses. Alcohol based mouthwash can irritate canker sores more than helping it. Mouthwash can lead to fresher breath, but it may be short lived. If a patient has poor oral hygiene and doesn’t brush effectively, there is no amount of mouthwash that can mask the effects of poor health. Long term use of alcohol based mouthwash cause teeth erosion and enamel loss. The next time you plan to grab a mouthwash, read the label first. Avoid ones with low pH and alcohol content. Switch to an alcohol free mouthwash. You can naturally cure bad breath by maintaining good oral hygiene. Brush twice daily and keep hydrated. Saliva plays important role in keeping your mouth clean. Consuming milk and yogurt are also well known cure for bad breath.

MYTH: Cleaning or removing plaque from teeth makes them weak.

Regular dental cleaning may help lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Plaque carries bacteria that can damage tooth enamel and lead to dental cavities. But if you remove plaque regularly, you can prevent permanent tooth decay and gum disease. Bigger problem arise, if plaque stays on your teeth and hardens into tartar( calculus). Dental cleaning or scaling is advised atleast twice a year and visits can increase if you have persistent problem. Whatever your age, you can and should have healthy teeth. Regular tooth cleaning by the dentist helps us from gum problems.

Prevention is better than cure. So even if you are not experiencing dental pain, it is recommended to see your dentist twice a year for regular cleaning and examination.

by The Tribune India

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Dental Infection Control Basics

We all became disinfection experts during the pandemic. You might have loaded up on antibacterial or disinfecting cleaners, sprays, wipes, soaps, and hand sanitizers. And, of course, masks are the new fashion accessory/barrier against infection.

But would your home pass a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) inspection? Maybe, maybe not. But if your dental office follows CDC-developed oral care center policies and guidelines, it'll make the grade.

Since being exposed to airborne and bloodborne diseases is a fact of life in modern dentistry, the CDC established protocols to prevent infection risk. These protocols include ones for instrument and equipment cleaning and the cleanliness of the office, clinical surfaces, and even dental professionals' hands. CDC criteria also exist for personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette.

Learn about the measures dental offices take to ensure you and your family avoid infections of any kind.

Instrument and Equipment Cleaning

The CDC details how dental instruments and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected unless there are disposable alternatives. Instruments and equipment are classified into three categories based on the risk of infection transmission: critical, semi-critical, and non-critical.

Critical instruments are used to penetrate soft tissue or bone, and they can also encounter blood. Instruments under this classification include scalers, scalpels, forceps, and bone chisels. Critical instruments should be sterilized after each use. Acceptable sterilization methods include autoclaving (done in a special sterilization machine), dry heat, or heat/chemical vapor.

Semi-critical instruments come into contact with mucous membranes (such as the inside of your cheeks) or non-dry skin. These instruments include mirrors, reusable impression trays, and amalgam condensers. They should be sterilized with dry heat after each use.

Non-critical instruments are those that touch only intact skin. They include blood pressure cuffs, X-ray heads, and pulse oximeters. These instruments can be reused between patients after receiving intermediate-level disinfection.

Intermediate-level is classified as a hospital disinfectant or "tuberculocidal," meaning it kills the bacteria that causes tuberculosis and a host of other bacteria and viruses. Some dental offices are also using what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies as List N disinfectants to add an extra layer of protection against coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Hand Hygiene

As we've learned, hand washing is imperative in preventing the spread of disease. According to the CDC, a 60-percent-alcohol-based hand sanitizing solution is acceptable except in one scenario: A dental professional with visibly soiled hands must wash thoroughly with antimicrobial or plain soap and water.

In addition to washing dirty hands, the CDC recommends performing hand hygiene under these other three conditions:

After the dental professional uses bare hands to touch equipment contaminated by blood, saliva, and other secretions.

Before and after the treatment of each patient.

Before putting on gloves and immediately upon glove removal.

Surface Contamination and Office Cleanliness

Cleanliness and infection prevention applies to more than just dental instruments. According to the CDC, a dental office contains two types of surfaces: clinical contact surfaces and housekeeping surfaces.

Clinical contact surfaces include light handles, drawer handles, faucet handles, countertops, chairs, and other items you or your dental pro would touch during a procedure. Clinical contact surfaces, if not protected with barriers such as a clear plastic wrap, bags, and sheets, should be cleaned between patients with an EPA-registered hospital or List N disinfectant. Those surfaces should also be cleaned after every workday.

Floors and sinks are examples of housekeeping surfaces to be cleaned and disinfected periodically throughout the day. Walls, chairs, and other surfaces should be cleaned regularly.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Other Protection Measures

In a profession that requires extremely close physical contact, dental professionals need to protect their patients – and themselves. The CDC recommends dental pros wear surgical masks, goggles or face shields, gowns or other protective clothing, and sterile gloves during any dental procedure.

Respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette are normally recommended, as well. This includes posting signs for procedures to follow if coughing or sneezing, practicing hand hygiene, and providing tissues and face masks as needed.

And during times of viral outbreaks:

If a dental pro is practicing in a community with a moderate to a substantial risk of airborne transmission, N95 respirators or disposable equivalents are advised.

All dental health care personnel should wear face masks and practice hand hygiene.

You'll undergo a health screening that typically includes taking your temperature and answering some questions – as well as being required to wear your own face mask and practice hand hygiene.

Education and Training

Dental offices should offer ongoing education and training to their employees to ensure policies and procedures are practiced correctly. The CDC recommends the training covers safety guidelines for both employees and patients.

Like any business, a dental office must maintain the records of safety and cleanliness training as required by the federal and state governments.

We trust our dental professionals with the care and health of our mouths. But with dental infection control, you can trust them to do what's needed for your overall health. Next time you visit your dental office, notice how sparkling clean and fresh the environment is. And know that every effort went into ensuring each surface, instrument, piece of equipment, and person working there is a model of disinfection.

by Colgate

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What Are The Consequences Of Overgrown Gums?

When most people think of their oral health, their teeth are the first thing that comes to mind; but your gums are just as important! That said, if you’ve recently noticed that your gums seem a little overgrown, you might be feeling a little concerned. Even though this might not seem like an immediate issue, it’s potentially dangerous to your teeth and can also compromise your smile’s appearance. Keep reading to learn more from your dentist about what causes overgrown gums and what the consequences are, along with some possible treatment options for getting your gums back to normal.

What Causes Overgrown Gums?

The most common cause of gingival hyperplasia, or overgrown gums, is gum tissue responding aggressively to the irritants of plaque or tartar. Just like how gum disease can lead to receding gums, it can also lead to excessive tissue growth! And even after this overgrowth occurs, recession is still a possibility.

Gum overgrowth can also occur due to genetics and a condition called gingival fibromatosis, in which healthy gum tissue grows so excessively that it can completely cover teeth if it isn’t removed by a professional. Additional causes for overgrowth include hormonal imbalances, pregnancy, and even leukemia. The only way to identify the cause of gum overgrowth with absolute certainty is to have a dentist perform a medical examination.

What Are the Consequences of Overgrown Gums?

Many consequences of gum overgrowth are aesthetic; it can easily produce an uneven gumline and lead to a gummy, undesirable smile. However, there are also health issues that can stem from overgrown gums. As most types of overgrowth are a result of inflammation, it can be potentially dangerous to teeth and bones since your body’s immune system can also attack gum tissue as it’s trying to destroy the invasive bacteria. Overgrown gums can also trap tartar, bacteria, and other irritants beneath the gumline that accelerates swelling and the development of tooth decay.

Treatment Options for Overgrown Gums

If your gum overgrowth is a result of gum disease, improved oral hygiene combined with anti-inflammatory medications can often reduce swelling, and the problem can sometimes go away on its own. However, for more serious causes including gingival fibromatosis, treatments such as gum recontouring (also called crown lengthening) can be used to restore your gums to a healthy and natural-looking state.

Gum overgrowth is not something to take lightly; it won’t just affect the look of your smile, but also its overall health! Talk with your dentist if you’re interested in receiving treatment for your overgrown gums; it’s relatively straightforward and certain to improve your oral health.


by Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists

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What A Missing Tooth Does To Your Leftover Gum Tissue

Your gums are an important feature of your mouth. They sit snugly against your teeth, providing a protective seal to keep out dangerous oral bacteria. When you lose a tooth and end up with missing teeth in San Antonio, TX, that area of your gums no longer has anything to protect.

So, what happens to the excess gum tissue? Before talking about your gums, let’s talk about what causes you to lose your teeth in the first place.

What Causes Tooth Loss?

The most common cause of tooth loss is gum disease. When your gums become irritated, they pull away from your teeth, creating an empty space into which bacteria fall. Under the gums, they attack your jawbone and the structures that support your teeth. Eventually, your teeth become loose, and fall out.

Trauma is another cause of tooth loss. Any type of injury to the facial region can loosen a tooth, or knock it out completely.

Of course, regardless of whether the core issue is gum disease or trauma, you’re left with missing teeth in San Antonio, TX. And that’s when you will start to see some gum-related issues.

Effects To Gum Tissue After Losing A Tooth

Your gum tissue provides a protective seal around your teeth when it’s gone. When the tooth falls out, the gums no longer have anything to seal around. As a result, the gum tissue begins to shrink back.

Not only that, but the quality of your gum tissue decreases, becoming thin in the area around the empty space. Both of these factors can affect the adjacent teeth. Your gums can recede against these teeth, exposing more surface area. Your roots can even become exposed. This increases your risk for tooth decay and sensitivity.

Other Gum-Focused Effects Of Tooth Loss

Tooth loss has a significant impact on your overall oral health, not just on your gums. Not only do you lose gum tissue, your jawbone begins to weaken around the area where your tooth used to be. This can cause your teeth to shift in your mouth, moving into the empty space. When this happens, your bite changes, which can lead to uneven wear on your teeth and problems with your temporomandibular joint.

What To Do To Prevent Damaged Or Unhealthy Gums After Losing Teeth

With all that being said, you don’t have to accept that your gums will be affected after losing one tooth or several teeth. Instead, you can work with a periodontist and prosthodontist to repair your smile and restore the health of your gums.

Below are some treatment options, as well as their pros and cons:

Dental Bridges:

A dental bridge can cosmetically fill the gap caused by a missing tooth located between two adjacent teeth. This helps avoid movement of the adjacent teeth and completes your smile. However, it still means that bone will be resorbed at the site of the missing tooth. The resorption process could put your gums at risk for developing gum disease. Plus, you will need to replace your dental bridge about every 15 years depending upon the quality of the materials used.

Dental Implants:

Dental implants are surgical solutions that permanently replace your missing tooth with a prosthetic one. Once placed, the implant should last a lifetime. You will only need to get the crown (the visible part) restored after a couple of decades of normal wear. Unlike dental bridges, dental implants allow your bone and gums to function normally. However, dental implants are more costly than bridges.


What if you have a full arch of missing teeth in San Antonio, TX? If you want, you can try traditional dentures that are removed every evening. Traditional dentures will restore your smile visually but cannot protect your gums. Additionally, dentures may irritate your gums as the bone under your gum line begins to shift due to progressive bone loss.

Full Arch Dental Implants:

Want to give your whole mouth a smile makeover after losing all the teeth in one arch? Full arch dental implants are overdentures supported by a few precisely placed dental implants. They keep your gums from receding and, with proper care, keep your mouth looking and feeling its best. Like single dental implants, full arch dental implants are more expensive than dentures. Yet they’re superbly comfortable and don’t need to be removed.


by Excel Dental

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Do You Need a Crown After a Root Canal?

So you need a root canal. You're probably exploring your options and wondering, "Can I get a root canal without a crown?" A crown might supply the finishing touch you need to protect your tooth and keep it strong for years to come. However, a crown isn't necessary in every case. Ultimately, your dentist or endodontist will let you know what's best for your tooth, but you can explore which situations you might get a root canal without a crown.

Is a Crown Necessary After a Root Canal?

During a root canal procedure, the small, threadlike tissue in the tooth's center - the diseased or damaged pulp — is removed. The remaining space is then cleaned, shaped, and filled. Though root canals save teeth from decay, they cannot restore teeth to their former strength. Sometimes a tooth needs a little reinforcement.

A dentist or endodontist might choose to place a dental crown after a root canal for several reasons. These include:

To strengthen a fragile tooth. A previous injury, the removed tissue, or the trauma of drilling can all leave a tooth more fragile after a root canal. Placing a dental crown can provide the strength it needs to last and prevent any future damage.

To prevent infections. An infected or injured tooth is automatically at higher risk for recontamination. A dental crown provides an extra layer of protection against infection so you can avoid an extraction.

To protect from sensitivity. A root canal can leave some nerves feeling extra sensitive to temperature. Get a dental crown to tolerate the heat or chill better.

To provide a natural-looking appearance. Without the pulp, a tooth might appear gray or deeply stained. Restore the whiter shade and match the surrounding teeth with a dental crown.

When Can You Get a Root Canal With No Crown?

Dental crowns provide some fantastic benefits. In fact, a study in the Journal of Endodontics found a 90% survival rate for teeth placed with crowns after a root canal procedure. However, a dental crown isn’t always necessary. Ask yourself some of these questions to see if you would benefit from a crown:

Where is the tooth located? If the tooth receiving a root canal is in the back – so your molars or premolars — the chances are greater you’ll need a dental crown. This is because these teeth must withstand all the pressure of chewing and grinding, so they might require the extra strength a crown can provide. On the other hand, the front teeth — your canines and incisors — might be perfectly fine without a crown, depending on the level of excavation.

What is the condition of the tooth? The more injured or infected the tooth, the greater likelihood that you will need a dental crown. If the dentist or endodontist must excavate a large amount of the tooth during the root canal procedure, you will probably need a crown to reinforce the tooth. Molars and premolars that maintain a large amount of tooth and are at low risk for fracture might still be suitable for filling-only restorations after a root canal.

Has this tooth been restored before? Similarly, if the tooth has undergone several restoration procedures — including the root canal — it will most likely need a crown to maintain its appearance and function.

In the end, your dental professional will help you determine the best option for restoring a tooth after a root canal. If you’re worried about the cost or appearance of a crown, bring those concerns to your dental professional so you can work together to find the best solution for your smile.


by Colgate

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Views: 35

What Is Dental Tourism?

Ready for your annual vacation? Did you schedule your snorkeling excursion? Your museum tours? Your root canal? Wait … what?

When you think of tourism, you probably think of tropical beaches or famous attractions in a foreign city. But some people plan their vacation around dental tourism.

Here's what you need to know about this unique way of traveling, including the why and where of dental tourism. (Plus, the downsides.) And we'll provide ways to get lower-cost dental care without a passport.

Reasons for Dental Tourism

The Washington Post looked at data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to report on U.S. citizens' dental and medical tourism expenditures. From 2008-2018, spending increased about 29 percent, with 2018 showing $2.6 billion spent.

Why do tourists travel to foreign countries to seek dental care? A couple of reasons stand out.

Reason One: low-cost dental care

Dental care in the United States can be expensive, even with insurance. Dental tourists spend less in another country, even with travel, lodging, meals, and incidentals added to the dental bill. The Washington Post article noted an 18 percent savings that included a dental procedure plus travel expenses. The Ontario Academy of General Dentistry reports that procedure savings alone can range from 40 to 75 percent.

Dental care costs can be less expensive in foreign countries due to:

Lower labor and real estate (office) costs due to a lower cost of living

Less expensive malpractice insurance or no mandates on buying malpractice insurance

Much less student loan debt incurred by dentists

Reason Two: combining pleasure and unique experiences with low-cost dental care

You might be able to secure low-cost dental services in the U.S. (see below). But can you see Egyptian or Mayan pyramids, Machu Pichu, the Roman Coliseum, or giant Buddha statues?

Also, some dental destinations provide resort-style accommodations along with dental care.

You might opt to have your dental procedure when you first arrive at your location – and recover while seeing the sights. That can also allow you any follow-up visits while you're there.

Popular Destinations for Dental Tourists

Dental tourism has become so popular, there are now dental travel agencies you can find on the web. As with any travel agency, dental travel agencies specialize in finding the best spots to fit your needs.

Since many countries want people to leave with a positive experience, some dental offices promoting tourism have:

Upgraded their facilities and equipment

Hired U.S. dental school graduates

Started providing English-speaking staff

Became American Dental Association (ADA) members (Yes, the ADA has an international membership branch, the members of which are subject to the same ADA standards as in the U.S.)

In fact, when seeking a dental tourism spot, it's probably a good idea to look for an ADA membership.

Countries promoting their destinations for dental tourists include:

North America: Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala

South America: Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru

Africa: Egypt, Morocco

Asia: India, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey

Europe: Croatia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Poland, Serbia, Spain, The Czech Republic, Ukraine

Downsides of Dental Tourism

While dental care costs less in dental tourism destinations, that doesn't mean traveling for care is best for you. There are potential downsides – and even dangers – associated with traveling for dental procedures.

Dental Standards: Standards for foreign dental practices might not be the same as those in the U.S. For example, infection control standards can vary widely. The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) provides valuable information and checklists to consult before you travel.

Language Barriers: If dental professionals in other countries speak little or no English and you don't speak the country's language, misunderstandings can occur that might be problematic. Check on the languages spoken at your dental tourism office.

Care Continuity: If you receive dental care in another country, the foreign dentist might not know your dental history. When you return, your own dentist might not know what treatment you received or why it was performed.

It's best to forward your dental records to your foreign dental office. And for a proper follow-up, forward your foreign records to your own dentist.

Issues Within Specific Countries: Check out Centers for Disease Control (CDC) information on vaccines needed, safe travel tips, and health notices for dental tourism countries. And visit the U.S. Department of State site for travel advisories and U.S. contacts once you've arrived.

Ways to Save Money for U.S. Dental Care

Affordable dental care within driving distance isn't out of reach. There are plenty of low-cost (or free) dental options in your own backyard.

Dental and Dental-Related Schools: At dental schools, future dentists provide supervised care at a reduced cost, usually based on a sliding income scale. Depending on the school, dental students offer services like root canals, crowns, and even orthodontics.

Dental hygienists are on the front line of preventative dental care. So, check out local dental hygiene schools for free or low-cost checkups and cleanings.

The ADA has a handy tool to find the nearest accredited school to fulfill your dental needs.

Free or Low-Cost Dental Health Clinics: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides a directory of clinics receiving federal funds. And your town might have state-funded or locally funded health centers, as well. Check with local social service agencies for referrals.

Promotional Rates and Student Discounts: Ask your dental provider about special rates and discounts. If your family has a unique need, your dental office might be able to help or refer you to foundations for financial support.

Plus, ask your dental office about setting up a payment plan or financing before a procedure. Even if you won't save money, it might ease your financial situation to make monthly payments rather than pay your bill in a lump sum. After all, they want their communities to be all smiles.

Your Home Oral Care Routine: Prevention is a key part of saving money at the dentist. Be sure to:

Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice daily.

Clean your teeth daily by flossing or using an interdental device.

Visit your dentist regularly.

Avoid sugary foods and drinks, especially when snacking.

Traveling for dental care might save you money and seem like a pleasurable way to combine travel and dentistry. Just make sure you do your research on dental tourism destinations – the specific dental practices and their countries. You deserve affordable, high-quality care wherever you are.

by Colgate

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Are There Alternatives to Root Canal Treatment?

A root canal is a procedure in which a tooth damaged by decay, infection, or trauma is restored. During a root canal, the chamber of your tooth—which houses the tooth’s blood supply and nerves—is cleaned out and sealed with a biocompatible material, allowing you to keep your natural tooth and avoid an extraction.

While root canal therapy is considered a safe and effective way to retain a tooth that would otherwise need to be removed, some people want to consider all their options before making a decision. You have a few possibilities when it comes to alternatives to root canal treatment!


In the majority of cases, if you forgo a root canal, you will eventually need to have your tooth extracted. When root canal therapy is necessary, the tooth is damaged to the point that it is no longer alive. Without a root canal, the tooth will continue to deteriorate and will need to be pulled.

Once your tooth is pulled, you’ll need to consider replacement options so that the rest of your teeth won’t shift in its place to fill the gap. Your replacement options could include a dental implant, which is considered the most secure restoration, a dental bridge, or partial dentures.

Whichever you choose is all about your personal preference and your candidacy for these procedures [1].

Ozone Gas Therapy

When the inner tissue of your tooth is affected by trauma, decay, or infection, you may have the option of pursuing ozone gas therapy to clean the chamber of the tooth. Research shows that ozone gas therapy can reduce bacteria in an infected tooth that would otherwise need a root canal [2].

The gas will help clean the tubules—tiny channels that extend from underneath the toothenamel to the inner chamber—where bacteria can travel. The gas will penetrate further than your dentist can reach, and while this therapy is unlikely to save your tooth or restore it to its original state, it may delay the need for you to make an immediate decision about extracting your tooth.

Calcium Hydroxide

If you’re looking for alternatives to root canal therapy, you may have the option of cleaning out the tooth chamber with a calcium hydroxide solution. This solution has been shown to help remove dead tissue from inside the tooth and reduce bacteria growth [3]. The procedure will need to be done by an experienced dentist or endodontist—a specialist at saving teeth—for the best results.

Again, while this therapy may be available to you, it’s unlikely to permanently restore yourtooth, although it may help reduce bacteria growth and decrease your discomfort while you’re making a decision about your tooth.

The Choice Is Yours!

You have alternatives when it comes to root canal therapy, although your affected tooth will most likely require an extraction at some point. If you’re looking for other options to save your tooth, schedule an appointment with your dentist or endodontist today to find out more about your candidacy for these procedures!

by Your Dental Health Resource

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What Causes Cheek Swelling?

Noticing that your cheeks are swollen can be upsetting. Not only can the swelling be uncomfortable, but it might be noticeable to others. If your cheeks are swollen, you may wonder what prompted it and what you can do about it.

Common Causes of Cheek Swelling

There are many possible causes of swollen cheeks. In some cases, the swelling may result from an injury or trauma, such as a fall or burn. It may also occur after surgery to the jaw or other nearby areas. Sometimes, the swelling is unilateral, which means it occurs on just one side of the face, while other times, it's bilateral, meaning both sides of the face are affected. Your doctor or dentist will assess your symptoms against the following possible causes to determine the source of the swelling.

Salivary Gland Infection: A large pair of salivary glands known as the parotid glands are located in the cheeks, reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If these glands become infected, they can swell, causing the appearance of swollen cheeks. Sometimes, the infection affects just one of the glands, but if both glands are involved, the infection is called parotitis or parotiditis.

Tooth Abscess: A tooth abscess may lead to cheek swelling. This infection occurs when bacteria enters the pulp of a tooth, which may happen if you have a cracked tooth or a large cavity that hasn't been treated. In addition to cheek swelling, people with tooth abscesses may have pain, fever, tooth sensitivity or a bad taste in the mouth, reports the Mayo Clinic.

Angioedema: Angioedema, a skin reaction, may be associated with swollen cheeks, too. This reaction can be triggered by foods, medications and common allergens, such as pollen, explains the Mayo Clinic. People with angioedema may experience swelling around their eyes, lips or cheeks. The affected areas can also be red, painful or warm.

Sinus Infection: Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is a common condition that can make your cheeks swollen, explains the U.K.'s National Health Service. This infection may develop after a cold or flu and will usually go away on its own within a few weeks. In addition to swollen cheeks, people with sinusitis may have pain, headache, fever, a blocked nose or even a toothache.

Home Remedies for Swollen Cheeks

If you have swollen cheeks, you may wonder if there's anything you can do at home to make yourself more comfortable. The NIH explains that raising the head of your bed or elevating your head with extra pillows can help reduce facial swelling. If the swelling began after an injury, the NIH suggests applying a cold compress.

However, home remedies aren't always enough. If the swelling doesn't go away, or if it gets worse, the NIH recommends seeing a medical professional. Swelling that's sudden, painful or accompanied by a fever should always be evaluated by a doctor or dentist. If your facial swelling is making it hard for you to breathe, seek emergency treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are many possible causes of swollen cheeks, and a doctor or dentist can evaluate your cheeks, face and oral cavity to determine the source of the swelling. This evaluation will include asking questions about your medical history, such as when the swelling began, as well as evaluating your other symptoms. They may also ask questions about your allergies and current medications.

After determining the cause of the swelling, your doctor or dentist can recommend an appropriate treatment, if necessary. Treatment will vary based on the cause of the swelling. For example, if it's determined that the swelling is a symptom of an abscessed tooth, treatments may include antibiotics or a root canal, explains the Mayo Clinic.

Swollen cheeks can be uncomfortable, and they can be caused by many different conditions. If you're concerned about swelling in your cheeks or elsewhere on your body, talk to your doctor or dentist.

by Colgate

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Chewing Tips After A Filling

Getting a tooth filling can be a quick, simple procedure. You go in, get an x-ray if necessary, receive a localized anesthetic, your dental professional will drill out the area of tooth decay. They'll place your filling – all within about an hour (of course, if you need more than one filling, it could take longer and may require more than one visit). Your tooth sensitivity, however, could last for a day or two and will make eating a bit more of an effort than you're used to. Luckily, we have some chewing tips that will help you protect your freshly repaired tooth, help you avoid unnecessary pain, and keep you smiling.

What Is a Tooth Filling?

Most often, fillings are used to fill a decaying portion of a tooth (a cavity). According to The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 92% of people aged 20-64 have had cavities in their adult teeth, so it's not by any means uncommon – but by practicing good oral hygiene, you can effectively prevent this tooth decay and avoid the fillings required to treat them.

Learn more about cavity prevention.

Fillings aren't only for cavities, though. They can also be used to fix teeth damaged by grinding (bruxism) and broken teeth. According to the Mayo Clinic, it's rare for bruxism to be so severe that it causes damage, but regular dental checkups can help you catch adverse effects early.

How Long After a Filling Procedure Should You Wait to Eat?

If you're wondering if you can eat after a filling, it's best to wait until after your local anesthetic wears off to ensure you don't chew on your tongue or your cheek without realizing it.

For silver fillings, it's typically recommended that you wait 24 hours before eating. If you get a resin filling, they set immediately, so you may be able to eat right away. Be sure to ask your dental professional if they have specific recommendations for your filling type and individual needs.

Learn more about filling types.

How to Chew After a Filling

By paying attention to what you eat after a filling and how you eat it, you can protect your new filling and lessen any pain.

Chew on the opposite side of the mouth from your fillingIf possible, avoid chewing with the tooth you just had filled to prevent pain and damage.

Chew slowly, bite lightlyTake your time and try not to bite all the way through. A lot of the pressure of chewing is from your top teeth and bottom teeth pressing together. By keeping your jaw loose, you can minimize pain.

Keep your mouth closedThis isn't just to practice good manners – sometimes cold air can cause pain in sensitive teeth.

Skip sticky foodsSome fillings take time to set after you leave the dentist's office. Eating sticky or gummy food could dislodge a new filling, so it's best to avoid them for a little while.

Avoid very hot or cold drinksHigh and low temperatures can trigger pain in sensitive teeth.

Pass on the sweetsSugary foods and drinks can trigger sensitivity in your tooth and could even promote bacterial growth around or under your new filling.

Avoid hard foodsFoods like nuts, hard candy, or ice can cause more pressure on your tooth when you chew. Tough foods like steak, too. That pressure can dislodge your fresh filling if it hasn't properly set yet.

Your dental professional is in the best position to give you recommendations based on your filling type and individual needs, so be sure to follow their advice. If your teeth are still sensitive after a couple of weeks, or if your pain gets worse instead of better, follow up with your dental professional so they can help determine causes and solutions. You could require a minor, painless adjustment, but it could also be a sign of a more serious issue.

Now that you know some tips for chewing after your filling procedure, you should be able to get through the day or two of post-filling sensitivity with confidence. Be sure to practice good oral hygiene so you can avoid more tooth filling procedures in the future. Brush at least twice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Consider using other helpful products like an antimicrobial mouth rinse and tongue scrapers. And visit your dental professional for regular appointments, and you'll be able to maintain a level of oral health that makes you smile. You can do this!

by Colgate

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How to Help a Child Who Won't Brush Their Teeth

Has your kid's oral care turned into a daily battle? Does your child act like brushing and flossing are a chore? If your child or toddler refuses to brush their teeth — or do it properly — you can use these tips for making brushing fun and keep you both smiling.

Why Brushing Is Important At Any Age

Some parents might fall under the false assumption that it's not a big deal if children don't brush their teeth twice a day. They will lose those baby teeth anyway, right? But by not brushing now, your child can experience tooth decay, pain or discomfort, problems eating or speaking, and issues with the eruption of their permanent teeth. Plus, not brushing at a young age can set up bad dental hygiene habits in the future.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions in kids, affecting about 20 percent of those between 5 and 11. If your child won't brush their teeth, there are a few ways you can establish this healthy habit.

How to Get Your Child to Brush Teeth Properly

Start teaching your child to brush their teeth as soon as they can hold a toothbrush. During those early years, you'll need to assist them until you are confident they can do it independently. Some children refuse to brush their teeth at all, but if you're only struggling to get your child to use proper technique, these activities might help:

Educate with Fun Books & Videos. If you can't convince your child that proper oral care is important, maybe your child's favorite book or TV character can. Many popular books, TV shows and online videos are designed for teaching children how to take care of their teeth and encourage healthy oral care habits.

Teach Through Play. Kids often learn through play, so use age-appropriate dental activities to help your kids learn about dental hygiene and encourage proper brushing. For example, use a poster board to draw a smiling face with teeth. Use a marker to color those teeth yellow, and allow the kids to paint the teeth white. Talk about the importance of cleaning teeth, so they stay white and healthy.

Use a Timer. One of the biggest obstacles to proper brushing is getting your children to brush for the entire two minutes. Turn this into a game by using a timer to help them understand the proper brushing length. You can use an hourglass timer or even an app on your phone to keep your kids on track.

Make a Special Dental Visit. Regular dental checkups can be another way to encourage proper brushing. Your child's dental professional can demonstrate proper cleaning techniques and give them tips for a sparkling and healthy smile. Make these visits a fun activity by combining them with fun family time — like a trip to the local park or museum or a picnic with healthy snacks.

How to Make Toothbrushing Fun

No matter how often you explain the importance of clean and healthy teeth, some children will still refuse to brush. If you're tired of the tears and fights, try these tips for making brushing fun for that child who just won't brush their teeth.

Lead by Example. Toddlers often love to mimic what their parents are doing. Use that to your advantage by brushing together. Watching you brush your teeth can make the process more interesting for your toddler, and you can set a great example simultaneously. If you're courageous, let your toddler practice brushing your teeth while you brush theirs. Funny faces are encouraged.

Sing and Brush. Everything is more fun with music, and teeth brushing is no exception. Find a song about brushing to sing to your child, or make some simple lyrics on your own. You can even let them pick out one of their favorite tunes to play — bonus points if the song lasts for two minutes to encourage thorough brushing.

Play Games. Use props, games, or apps to add an element of fun to toothbrushing. Bring along a favorite stuffed animal or doll, and let your child practice brushing its teeth while you brush theirs. Pretend a dirty puppy is hiding in their mouth and "chase it away" with the toothbrush. Or take advantage of mobile apps that play music or use characters to encourage kids to brush their teeth.

Let Them Choose. Practicing oral care is not an option, but you can still empower your child with choices when it comes to teeth brushing. Take your child to the toothbrush aisle at the store and let them choose a toothbrush or toothpaste in a fun color or with their favorite character. You could even have multiple toothbrushes available and let them choose which one to use when it's time to brush.

A Note From the Tooth Fairy. Kids love getting money from the tooth fairy. If your child refuses to brush their teeth, place a note from the tooth fairy on the bathroom mirror informing them that there's no payment for teeth that haven't been properly brushed. And the tooth fairy knows everything (wink, wink).

Reward. Sometimes a little extra motivation is all that's needed to encourage brushing. Create a simple progress chart, and let your child place a sticker every time they finish brushing their teeth. This visual aid gets them involved in the process and helps them stay focused on the task. You can also provide little rewards — like an extra story at bedtime or the ability to choose the next family board game or five minutes of extra screen time — to motivate them even more.

When Your Child Still Refuses to Brush Their Teeth

If you've exhausted all these ideas and your toddler still won't brush, there might be an underlying issue. Sensitive teeth can make practicing oral hygiene particularly unpleasant. Ask your child if they're experiencing pain when they brush their teeth. If they are, speak to your child's dental professional about the issue and see if some products or practices can relieve some of the pain.

No matter the reason for your child's resistance to oral care, remember that a large part of passing along good habits to your child is practicing good habits yourself. Brush at least twice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Clean between your teeth with floss, interdental brushes or water flossers at least once a day. Consider using other helpful products like an antimicrobial mouthrinse and a tongue scraper. And visit your dental professional for regular checkups. When your child sees you prioritizing healthy habits (especially if you make it fun), they're more likely to do the same. That's something you can both smile about.

by Colgate

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The History of Toothpaste may go back further than you had ever imagined

Hopefully, we all use toothpaste at least twice a day, but can you imagine a time in history when this main ingredient for oral health did not exist? Actually, the use of toothpaste may go back much further than you may have thought.

It seems like those ancient Egyptians were big on oral hygiene and it is said that they started using a paste to clean their teeth as far back as 5000 BC, even before toothbrushes were invented. It is known that the Ancient Greeks and Romans also had used some form of toothpaste, or a tooth cleaner.

Though our ancient ancestors were most likely concerned with the same oral hygiene issues that we have today – cleaning the teeth and gums from food particles and keeping the breath fresh, the ingredients were quite different and varied. It has been reported that ancient Egyptians used ingredients like ashes, burnt eggshells, pumice and even a powder made of ox hooves. The Greeks and Romans, who liked even a more abrasive teeth cleaner, used crushed bones and shells, with a little powdered charcoal and bark to help freshen the breath. Historians suggest that the world’s oldest-known actual formula for toothpaste was created by Egyptians, in the year 4 AD. They used crushed rock salt, mint, dried flowers, and pepper mixed together to create an abrasive powder. The people in China and India, who until this day incorporate exotic herbs in their recipes, first used toothpaste around 500 BC and used ingredients such as ginseng, herbal mints and salt.

In the year 1780, it was know that people cleaned their teeth with a powder that was mostly made, oddly enough, of burnt toast! Early versions of tooth cleansers in the 1800’s were in powder form and included ingredients such as soap, chalk and ground charcoal. In 1873, Colgate was the first to mass-produce toothpaste in jars, and then, in the 1890’s, produced it in tubes, similar to what we know today.

By the early 1900’s, in the U.S., toothpaste was still only used occasionally, despite country-wide dental problems, until a well-known advertising man named Claude Hopkins, helped its use become a daily habit. Being know for turning unknown products into household names (i.e. Quaker Oats), he was commissioned to create a national ad campaign for Pepsodent Toothpaste. His winning ad scared consumers about a dangerous film lurking in their mouth that would rob teeth of their whiteness, unless they used Pepsodent Toothpaste religiously. This successful campaign had Americans jumping on the daily tooth brushing with toothpaste bandwagon! The rest is history.

Fluoride, known for its cavity-fighting benefits, was introduced into toothpaste in 1914. Up until 1945 toothpaste contained soap, but was then replaced by other ingredients to make it more like the smooth paste or emulsion that we use today.

by Park Wiew

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Views: 49

The Six Main Reasons Teeth Turn Yellow

Maybe you’ve looked through your selfies-with-friends photos lately and noticed that your smile appears off-color compared to the others. Or perhaps you’re just seeing a bit of yellow creeping into teeth that used to be whiter. What gives?

First, some info on how teeth can get this way: Enamel is the outer layer of your teeth and is generally white to whitish-blue-gray, as well as somewhat translucent, according to dentist Harold Katz, DDS, founder of The California Breath Clinics.

The layer just beneath, called dentin, becomes visible as the enamel layer becomes thinner. The color of dentin? You guessed it: yellow.

Fortunately, there are some changes you can make to keep enamel stronger and prevent that dentin from peeking through—as well as reduce the food stains that can cause yellow teeth. Here are some common habits to switch up:

1. You’re overusing mouthwash or choosing one that’s too acidic.

One of the toughest environments for your teeth is a dry mouth, Katz says. That’s because saliva has a combination of minerals, enzymes, and oxygen compounds that keep the pH balance in your mouth neutral—reducing the acid that can wear away enamel. Saliva also bathes the teeth regularly to knock out bacteria and to prevent stains from adhering to the enamel. 

How to prevent it: “What is disheartening is that many commercial types of mouthwash are very acidic, and if used very frequently, may destroy precious tooth enamel,” says Katz. So, if you’re taking frequent swigs of mouthwash to keep your breath fresh, you may want to consider other strategies, like brushing more frequently and getting regular dental cleanings.

2. You’re loading up on acidic fruits and vegetables.

Just as more acidic mouthwash can thin out tooth enamel, so too can acids in the diet, says Katz. These include citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, pineapples, vinegar, carbonated beverages, some sports drinks, and certain salad dressings that are vinegar-based.

That doesn’t mean you need to cut all of these out of your life, but it’s a good idea to sip some water after eating or drinking them, advises Katz.

How to prevent it: He suggests consuming more water to prevent staining as well, especially from choices like blueberries, dark tea, and red wine.

3. You’re a coffee fiend all day long.

Although researchers have suggested that coffee can yield some health benefits, it’s a beverage that can be tough on your teeth, says dentist Katia Friedman, DDS, of the Friedman Dental Group.

“Sipping two or three coffees every day allows the enamel of your teeth to be in constant contact with a staining agent,” she says. Since enamel is porous, these stains can settle in and cause yellowing if they’re not regularly rinsed and brushed away. 

It’s not the quantity that’s a concern, it’s the sipping that can be especially damaging, she says.

How to prevent it: Drinking coffee more quickly, or even through a straw, can reduce the amount of time the staining agents linger in the mouth, she says.

4. You’re a smoker.

The chemicals in cigarettes and pipe tobacco have a staining effect on teeth because they cling to enamel, says Friedman, and the longer you smoke, the more visible this becomes.

Smoking has also been associated with a bevy of other oral health issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and dry mouth—so consider whiter and stronger teeth just one more reason to consider quitting.

How to reverse it: Quit smoking. 

5. You skimp on good oral hygiene habits.

If you haven’t made resolutions for the new year yet, here’s a good one: floss. Friedman says that being less-than-consistent on brushing and flossing can cause an accumulation of plaque on your enamel. 

This can thin that protective layer, and also cause your teeth to appear yellow from the film of bacteria.

How to reverse it: A good home-care regimen, coupled with an in-office cleaning at least once a year, can go a long way toward scrubbing that yellow out, she says.

6. You’re brushing a little too enthusiastically.

While it’s great to have a regular brushing routine, more pressure and speed don't mean a healthier mouth—in fact, it could have the opposite effect, notes Mazen Natour, DMD, a Manhattan-based prosthodontist. This can be especially true if your toothpaste contains abrasive agents, such as choices that aren’t approved by the American Dental Association, he adds.

“If you brush too hard or too often, you might wear away the thin enamel layer and expose the dentin layer,” he says.

How to reverse it: If your teeth are already yellowing, check with your dentist for professional whitening options as well as advice about changing your habits, he suggests. There are several choices for getting your pearly whites back to a selfie-ready smile.


by Your Tango

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Can a Loose Tooth Tighten Back Up?

A loose tooth is no big deal when you’re a kid. Some kids even welcome a wobbly tooth since it means a visit from the Tooth Fairy! But if you’re an adult, a loose tooth is more like a nightmare come true.

Loose teeth in adults can result from poor dental hygiene, advanced gum disease, a facial injury, teeth grinding, or even pregnancy. There’s a chance that a loose tooth will tighten back up, but it depends on the cause. It’s best to immediately consult your dentist if you’re an adult with a loose tooth.

Learn how to notice a loose tooth, what causes one, and how to fix a loose tooth.


Loose teeth lack structural support and are in the process of detaching from the bone and gum. You might notice that a tooth feels “off” and wiggly while brushing, flossing, or eating. Beyond the looseness, you may also experience bloody gums, swollen gums, and gum recession.


Adult teeth should last a lifetime. If you have a loose tooth as an adult, there’s a clear reason.


Gum disease is the result of continuous poor dental hygiene. If you don’t brush, floss, and have routine cleanings, tartar and bacteria can build up under your gums and cause an infection — gum disease. Advanced gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. Gum disease is treatable when caught early, and if your loose tooth is the result of gum disease, there’s a chance that it could tighten back up with treatment and better hygiene practices.


A fall or blow to the face is a common way for adult teeth to chip, break, or loosen. Also, grinding or clenching teeth can wear down the tissue to the point that teeth can become loose. If your loose tooth is the result of grinding or clenching, your dentist may be able to treat the issue with a special mouthguard before your teeth become permanently damaged.


During pregnancy, changes in hormone levels can affect the periodontium — the ligaments and bones in the mouth that support teeth and hold them in place. Teeth can feel loose when the periodontium is affected.

Fortunately, these changes will resolve on their own after pregnancy. Still, see your dentist if you experience loose teeth during pregnancy so you can rule out other triggers, like gum disease.

And remember — it’s safe to go to the dentist while pregnant! “Preventive, diagnostic, and restorative dental treatments are safe throughout pregnancy,” notes the American Dental Association.


Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens the bones in the body and makes it easier for them to break. Hip, spine, and wrist bones are affected most often by osteoporosis, but the disease can weaken any bone in the body.

“Research suggests a link between osteoporosis and bone loss in the jaw,” reports the National Institutes of Health. The bone in the jaw supports and anchors the teeth. When the jawbone becomes less dense, tooth loss can occur, a common occurrence in older adults.”


Can a loose tooth be saved? Yes, but it depends on the reason the tooth is loose.

If a tooth is loose because of gum disease, it might tighten back up with consistent and proper dental hygiene. A deep cleaning with a hygienist called Scaling & Root Planing is typically the best treatment option.

If a tooth is loose because of an injury, it likely won’t tighten back up. Depending on the severity and type of damage to the tooth, your dentist may remove it and replace it with a dental implant or bridge.

If a tooth is loose during pregnancy, it will tighten up after pregnancy has ended. Even so, it’s a good idea to visit your dentist if a tooth is wiggly during your pregnancy to confirm the cause.

If a tooth is loose due to osteoporosis, you have a couple of treatment options. Regenerative bone and gum grafting can help rebuild the bone and tissue around the teeth. Once rebuilt, dental implants can be installed to strengthen and restore your smile. Composite bonding is another option for reshaping the teeth to hide gaps.

If you’re an adult, a loose tooth might be the first sign of a more significant issue that needs to be addressed.

by Ponderosa Dental Group

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Five Reasons You Might Experience Pain When Swallowing

You wake up in the morning, swallow and — ouch! Pain when swallowing may be a sign of other issues affecting your throat. Luckily, your symptoms can often be soothed with home remedies or treated with over-the-counter medicine or antibiotics. A sore throat will often resolve on its own, but if your sore throat is severe or lasts longer than a week, the Mayo Clinic suggests seeing your doctor.

Sore Throat Symptoms

A sore throat is uncomfortable and can make eating and drinking challenging. The Cleveland Clinic lists some common symptoms that often accompany this condition:

Throat pain when swallowing

Swollen or sore glands in your neck

Red tonsils with white patches on them


Identifying these signs and symptoms may help you determine what is causing your throat pain. However, if the symptoms get worse or persist, see your doctor. Below are five possible underlying causes of throat pain when swallowing.

1. Cold Virus

Colds can be a real bummer. A runny nose, sneezing, coughing and a sore throat are hallmark symptoms of the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Colds can be soothed with over-the-counter medication and typically resolve on their own within seven to 10 days. If you notice white spots on your tonsils, the CDC notes that you may have a bacterial infection and not a cold virus.

2. Strep Throat

If you don't have a cough and you notice white spots on your tonsils, swollen lymph nodes or tiny red spots on the roof of your mouth, you might have strep throat. The CDC states that strep throat is caused by group A Streptococcus (group A strep) bacteria. To determine if you have strep throat, your doctor will do a rapid strep test or analyze a bacterial culture sample to see if group A strep is present.

3. Tonsillitis

If your tonsils are swollen and your rapid strep test is negative, you might have tonsillitis. Symptoms of tonsillitis and strep throat often overlap — meaning it's best to see your doctor to confirm what's causing your symptoms.

Tonsillitis simply means inflammation of the tonsils, as the National Institutes of Health explains. It could be a result of group A strep or, more commonly, a virus. If bacterial tonsillitis is a recurring problem, particularly in children, your doctor may recommend surgery for tonsil removal. However, most cases of tonsillitis resolve quickly with antibiotics (if bacteria is causing the infection) or can be soothed with over-the-counter medicine.

4. Oral Thrush

Oral thrush can be another culprit of painful swallowing. The CDC explains that an overproduction of a naturally occurring fungus called Candida can cause oral thrush. Because it is a fungal infection, it's typically treated with a course of antifungal medication, and mild cases often resolve within seven to 14 days.

5. Esophagitis

Another possible cause of painful swallowing is esophagitis. Esophagitis is the inflammation of the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth and stomach, as Harvard Medical School outlines. These are the typical symptoms:

Difficult or painful swallowing


Pain in the chest or throat

Acid reflux

Esophagitis can be caused by acid reflux, an allergic reaction or oral medications. It can also be caused be a bacterial, fungal or viral infection. If you are experiencing symptoms of esophagitis, contact your doctor for further testing.

What to Do Next

Several conditions can cause pain when swallowing, and your dentist or doctor can help to make a final diagnosis. To alleviate your throat pain at home, try these home remedies outlined by the Mayo Clinic:

Gargling with salt water

Drinking plenty of fluids

Using a humidifier

If your sore throat doesn't get better or your notice red or white splotches in your throat or on your tonsils, it's a good idea to talk to your dentist or doctor to make sure you don't need antibiotics or other medications. Having a sore throat is a pain, but after just a few days of rest, most people begin to feel much better.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

by Colgate

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Views: 32

What Is Anemia Tongue?

As small as it is, the tongue is one of the strongest muscles in your body, particularly when chewing and swallowing food. And although five-year-olds use it to express their disapproval, it's prone to certain ailments of its own. For example, if you have anemia, tongue function and appearance can feel the effects almost as much as your energy level.

What Is Anemia Tongue?

Also referred to as glossitis, this condition causes the tongue to become inflamed and is characterized by several things when your iron levels are low. The tongue's appearance can morph into multiple shades of red and swell slightly in size. The surface of the tongue can smooth out and hide its natural texture, as well. These small bumps you feel on your tongue – also known as papillae – play a crucial role in the eating process, and thousands of taste buds are housed inside them. Papillae alteration can affect how you eat and speak.

Signs and Symptoms

If you think you're suffering from an anemia tongue, schedule an appointment with a dental professional for a proper diagnosis. Here are some traits to look for before making the call:

Swollen tongue

Change of tongue color

Difficulty or inability to chew, swallow or speak

Tongue pain and tenderness

Reduction in or loss of tongue papillae

What Are The Causes?

A variety of conditions can lead to tongue inflammation, some more common than others—these include:

Allergic reactions. Medications, hot or spicy foods, and even certain mouth care products can irritate the tongue's papillae.

Injuries. Any mouth trauma resulting from burns or the use of oral appliances like dentures can inflame the tongue.

Oral herpes. Certain diseases, such as oral herpes simplex, can cause blisters, swelling, and tongue pain.

Dry mouth. Saliva is necessary to keep the tongue moist and free of bacteria that can aggravate the tongue's surface.

Of course, the low iron levels defining anemia are your first stop. Iron aids the body in making red blood cells. When you're deficient in them, the tongue's tissue receives a lack of oxygen, much like the rest of the body.

Types of Glossitis

Tongue inflammation resulting from anemia can take a few different shapes:

Acute Glossitis. Usually, the result of an allergic reaction, this type of glossitis onsets suddenly and is accompanied by more pronounced symptoms.

Chronic Glossitis. This results in a constant inflammation of the tongue and might result from another health condition.

Idiopathic Glossitis. This form of glossitis may be linked to celiac disease. Its origin is unknown but can cause inflammation of the tongue mucous membrane and muscle.

Atrophic Glossitis. The tongue loses its original color resulting in a dark-red tongue. This form also leads to a loss of a large number of papillae.

Pernicious Anemia Tongue Symptoms

Pernicious anemia causes the tongue's surface to look smooth and appear red instead of the pinkish color of a normal tongue. The tongue might also appear thick or beefy in texture. Some tongues might even be swollen or seem to have cracks. Further, patients with this blood disorder might also have ulcers in their mouths.

In addition to the appearance of the tongue, other symptoms of this disorder are as follows:

A numb or tingling feeling in hands and feet

Weak muscles


Decreased appetite

Weight loss


Fast heart rate

Because these symptoms can overlap with other blood disorders or health issues, it's essential to seek a diagnosis from your doctor. They can typically determine the deficiency through a blood test.

What Are The Treatment Options?

A trip to a dental professional is the best place to start if you suspect you have an anemia tongue. They will look for blisters, a lack of papillae, and signs of inflammation on your tongue. Blood and saliva samples might also be taken during your exam for further testing.

At home, antibiotics, diet changes, and proper oral care are all forms of treatment you can use to combat glossitis. Keep in mind a healthy mouth starts with good brushing and flossing. Keep your teeth and gums as healthy as they can be, and being anemic won't mean being in oral pain.

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

by Colgate

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Views: 34

Top Five Common Habits To Damage Your Teeth

Most of us know that forgetting to brush or floss regularly is an invitation of dental problems. But those are not the only bad habits that could harm your teeth. Check the list below to make sure your dental health is not affected by any of the 5 common habits.

1.-Binge eating sweets

Everyone likes a bit of sweets, right? Especially the chocolate! We do think you everyone deserves to have some sweets on occasions and enjoy a variety of food in life. However, excessive consumption of sweets and treats that are high in sugar can lead to frequent tooth decays. It is recommended to have sweets close to meal time. Remember to brush your teeth or rinse with water immediately after consuming a high sugar treat.

2.- Smoking

Smoking cigarettes is the number one preventable risk factor for oral health problems. It has significant impact on gum disease, tooth decay, and even mouth cancer.

3.- Chewing on Ice

It’s natural and sugar free, but is it harmless? Munching on hard ice cubes could chip or even crack your teeth. If this is you, it might be good to consider replacing the habits with sugarless gum.

4.- Using your teeth as a tool

Whether it’s a fingernail or a package, most of us have been guilty of using our teeth as a tool at some point. However, doing so is a quick way to break or damage your pearly whites.  Instead, keep scissors and bottle openers handy. Keep your teeth for chewing.

5.- Skipping routine maintenance

Prevention and early detection of diseases in the mouth are the best possible care you can give to your teeth. Tackling problems early on will save a lot of bother in the long run, it might save your tooth from an extraction.

by Lara Village Dental

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Views: 27

How to Manage Brittle Teeth

Did you know your tooth enamel is stronger than your bones? So, if your teeth chip or fracture easily, there's usually an underlying reason your teeth are so brittle.

It's essential to find the cause for your brittle teeth so that you can seek treatment. Or at least learn to care properly for them to fortify your smile.

What Causes Brittle Teeth?

Though tooth enamel is tough, several habits and conditions can cause the enamel structure to weaken, and the teeth become brittle.

So, if your teeth are prone to breaking, it might be due to one of the following causes.

Grinding and Clenching Teeth: These habits wear away dental enamel.

Poor Oral Care: Decay, cavities, lack of pulp – all can result in brittle teeth due to:

Inadequate brushing, which eventually destroys the tooth pulp

Overbrushing, which can erode enamel

Lack of or inadequate fluoride, which defends your teeth against all sorts of bad stuff

Nutritional Deficiencies: A range of vitamins and minerals are essential for healthy dental enamel. When your body's deficient in these essential nutrients, your teeth can weaken.

For example, research published in General Dentistry found that vitamin A deficiency causes tooth brittleness. And a lack of vitamin D results in poor absorption of minerals like calcium and phosphorus, vital for enamel strength.

Causes of nutritional deficiencies are eating disorders and poor diets in general. Also, some medications prevent your body from absorbing nutrients.

Acids: Eating disorders can also sometimes result in acid damage to enamel if a person vomits frequently or sucks on lemon wedges.

Other conditions and habits that produce enamel-weakening acids include:

Gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD)

Severe morning sickness

Too much sugary food and beverages (especially a soda pop habit)

Dentinogenesis Imperfecta: In this inherited condition, the dentin doesn't form correctly, resulting in the abnormal formation of the middle layer of the teeth. This results in:

The teeth becoming discolored

The teeth possibly becoming weaker, resulting in fracturing.

Dehydration and Dry Mouth: If your body's not producing enough beneficial saliva to clean your mouth and neutralize acids, issues leading to brittle teeth can result.

Aging Teeth: When people age, the pulp and nerves supplying the teeth shrink, an article published in the University of Missouri Extension explains. This process reduces the amount of fluid moving into the tooth enamel. Dry dental enamel is weaker and more prone to breakage.

Older teeth have also received more exposure to chewing forces and acids that gradually cause thinner, more brittle enamel.

We want your teeth to be as strong and healthy as possible, so check out the available treatments for brittle teeth. And learn the numerous ways you can manage your life to prevent or reduce the chances of having brittle teeth.

Brittle Teeth Treatments

Sorry to report that tooth enamel doesn't regrow. But dentists can treat brittle teeth to improve the enamel's strength. Ask your dental professional about these treatments:

Fluoride supplements and fluoride gels to remineralize teeth

Dental sealants to the chewing surfaces to protect teeth from fractures and decay

Veneers, thin shells that cover the teeth, to help prevent tooth breakage

Crowns, thicker and strong coverings for teeth, to help prevent cavities and breaks, especially after a root canal procedure

Managing or Preventing Brittle Teeth

Fragile teeth require special care, but there are many actions you can take to achieve a healthy and attractive smile:

Ask about veneers or crowns to cover up the damage if your teeth are already chipped or fractured.

Treat causes affecting your sleep and eating behaviors with relaxation techniques, behavior therapy, or psychotherapy. Ask your dentist and doctor to advise you on the help you deserve.

Seek medical attention for conditions that produce acid reflux or excessive vomiting.

Reduce the wear and tear on your teeth with a mouthguard to wear at night.

Talk with your doctor about your medications. Perhaps you can find substitutes that won't cause dry mouth and will let you absorb essential nutrients.

Sip water only throughout the day.

Consume a healthy diet that includes calcium-rich dairy products, plus fruit and vegetables. And avoid eating/drinking acidic or sugary foods/beverages that might damage tooth enamel.

Break your sugar habit or addiction. Need some help? The Cleveland Clinic offers a 10-day plan.

Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Brittle teeth don't have to hold you back. With a proper diagnosis of the cause, treatment and management techniques can improve the strength and appearance of your teeth – and your smile.

by Colgate

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How a Dental Cleaning Helps Prevent Bad Breath

If you're new to dentistry, you might be wondering what cleanings have to do with inadequate breath prevention. Bad breath is a common problem and one that no one wants to talk about, but dental cleaning can fix it. It's embarrassing and can happen for many reasons, including eating certain foods, having gum disease, or not brushing your teeth regularly. In this article, we'll discuss the connection between oral hygiene and halitosis (bad breath).

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is caused by the presence of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). VSCs are produced when bacteria in your mouth break down proteins and dead cells on teeth, gums, and tongue. If you suffer from bad breath, you may have an overgrowth of harmful oral bacteria.

What do dental cleanings have to do with bad breath?

Cleaning appointments help prevent VSCs from forming in your mouth. During a routine appointment, we'll thoroughly examine the health of your teeth and gums. If plaque or tartar is present (two leading causes of gum disease), we'll remove them using special tools like scrapers and power washers.

If you have gum disease, your gums will appear redder than usual or may bleed when you're brushing your teeth. Plaque is a sticky yellow film that forms on surfaces of the mouth where saliva mixes with food debris. It's made up of bacteria cells, dead skin cells, proteins from saliva, and food particles. If not removed regularly, plaque can harden into tartar (also known as calculus). Tartar causes gums to recede from the surface of teeth, which can lead to bone loss around your roots.

Cleanings are essential for both prevention and treatment of bad breath because they remove harmful bacteria before it has a chance to cause tooth decay or gum disease. At your next appointment, be sure to bring up any concerns you have about bad breath and how it's impacting your life. 

What can a cleaning do for my breath?

A dental cleaning will help remove the bacteria that cause bad breath and keep your mouth clean. During a regular dental appointment, our hygienist or dentist may look for signs of gum disease. This is an infection caused by plaque buildup along the gum line. Once detected, oral hygiene instructions can be given to help prevent the recurrence of gum disease.

Professional cleaning is an excellent way to prevent bad breath and maintain oral health! If you suffer from halitosis, you should make an appointment to see your dentist or hygienist.

What can I do at home?

Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste using an ADA-approved soft bristle brush. Floss once per day to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Use mouthwash that contains 0.12% chlorhexidine gluconate or higher to kill bacteria in areas where it's hard to reach, like under the gums. In between your cleanings, brush the tongue with a soft toothbrush to help remove bacteria and freshen your breath.

Clean up after yourself! If you have been snacking on stinky foods like onions or garlic, drink water to rinse out your mouth before going in public. Avoid smoking as second-hand smoke can also cause bad breath.

How often should I get a cleaning?

The American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist every six months for a dental cleaning to help maintain good oral health and prevent gum disease or other problems that can lead to bad breath. If you have certain risk factors for developing periodontal (gum) disease, including smoking, diabetes, pregnancy, or taking certain medications, follow your dentist's advice for how often you should visit the office.

by South Florida Dental Arts

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Is Popcorn Bad For Your Teeth?

Popcorn is a very popular snack. In fact, the Popcorn Board estimates that Americans eat 15 billion quarts of it every year, or 45 quarts per person. If you love popcorn, you've probably been frustrated by the hulls that sometimes get stuck in your teeth. These hulls can be annoying, but is popcorn bad for your teeth?

Oral Health Risks Linked to Popcorn

There are several potential oral health risks associated with snacking on popcorn:

Cracked Teeth

Chewing on hard objects, such as unpopped popcorn kernels, can possible crack your teeth, as the American Association of Endodontists warns. If you crack your tooth, you may feel pain when you're chewing. Exposure to temperature extremes, such as consuming very hot or cold foods and drinks, could also make a cracked tooth hurt. The pain may come and go, so an absence of pain doesn't mean that the cracked tooth isn't a concern. Cracked teeth, unlike broken bones, can't heal on their own.

Damaged Restorations

Popcorn kernels may also damage dental restorations, such as dental implants. A review published in the Journal of Oral Implantology suggests that regular popcorn consumption could contribute to the failure of dental implants. Biting unpopped kernels puts stress on the implant, and over time, the metal screw can weaken, loosen or break.

Gum Abscesses

Abscesses, or gum boils, are another possible risk associated with snacking on popcorn, as the textbook Periodontology for the Dental Hygienist notes. If popcorn hulls get trapped beneath the gums, the tissue can become inflamed. If the popcorn hull remains in place, pus may become trapped within the gum tissue, resulting in an abscess. These abscesses look like shiny, red lumps on the gum tissue, and sometimes, you may see pus around the gumline.

Oral Care After Snacking on Popcorn

To remove debris from your teeth after enjoying a bowl of popcorn, remember to brush and floss. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing your teeth, along with a fluoride toothpaste. Floss gently between each of your teeth, taking care to clean under the gumline to remove any stray kernels.

Avoid using toothpicks and other sharp objects to attempt to remove kernels. The Mayo Clinic warns that using toothpicks could injure your gums. For help removing particularly stubborn debris, see your dentist.

Tooth-Friendly Snacks

Since there are some oral risks associated with eating popcorn, lovers of this snack may be curious about tooth-friendly alternatives. Other tasty, empty-calorie foods, such as cookies, cakes and chips, may seem better than popcorn since they don't have kernels that can get stuck in the teeth. However, these foods contain a lot of sugar, which feeds the oral bacteria that can cause tooth decay, as the American Dental Association (ADA) explains.

For optimum dental health, the ADA recommends reaching for healthier snacks. Fruits and vegetables are a tooth-healthy option because their high levels of water and fiber help to keep your teeth clean. Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, may also benefit your teeth because of their high calcium content.

So, is popcorn bad for your teeth? Unfortunately, it isn't the most tooth-friendly snack. If you like eating popcorn, just remember to brush and floss your teeth afterward. And when possible, try to opt for tooth-healthy snacks instead.

by Colgate

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What Is a Root Cavity and How Can You Prevent It?

Cavities and tooth decay are kids' stuff, right? According to the Indian Dental Association, dental caries or tooth decay is a public health problem in India with a prevalence as high as 60- 80% in the Indian children. But your risk for developing cavities doesn't end once you become an adult. In fact, when it comes to adults, the National Oral Health Programme of the IDA notes that nearly 85-90% of adults have dental cavities. Adults — particularly older adults — may develop a root cavity, which is a type of tooth decay that forms on the roots of the teeth.

How Do Root Cavities Develop?

Whether a cavity forms on the root of the tooth or on a part of the tooth that is exposed, the way the cavity develops is the same. Cavities form as a result of acids produced by bacteria that naturally live in the mouth and feed on sugar. According to the Indian Dental Association, cavity-causing organisms feed on sugar and turn it into acid, which attacks tooth enamel and causes tooth decay.

However, in the case of root cavities, the acids eat away at cementum, which is the material that covers tooth roots. The Indian Dental Association notes that tooth roots are covered with cementum, a softer tissue than enamel. They are susceptible to decay and are more sensitive to touch, hot and cold. The development of root cavities is actually twice as fast as other types of cavities, according to a review in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR).

One factor that can contribute to the development of root cavities is the recession of the gums. When gums pull away or recede from the teeth, they leave the roots exposed. According to the Indian Dental Association, root decay can develop when your gums recede enough to expose your tooth roots as well as the cementum that covers them. After prolonged exposure, your tooth roots can start to decay.

Who Is at Risk for Root Cavities?

According to a research study published in the IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences, approximately 38% of patients between the ages of 55 and 64 years have root caries , and 47% of those between 65 and 74 years have experienced root caries. One reason for the higher rates of root cavities in older adults is that older people are more likely to have gum recession than younger people are. It's also more common today for older individuals to retain their teeth throughout their life.

But, much like other types of cavities, how well a person cares for their teeth directly influences their risk of decay. If older people lose their dexterity, brushing and flossing can become increasingly difficult, so it's important for them to find ways to maintain proper oral hygiene on their natural teeth. As per a research study published in the IOSR Journal of Dental and Medical Sciences, the risk factors associated with the high prevalence of root caries among older adults Includes decreased salivary flow or xerostomia, exposure of root surfaces due to periodontal (Gum) diseases, chronic medical conditions, physical limitations, poor oral hygiene, changes in dietary habits.

How to Treat a Root Cavity

Treatment for root cavities is similar to that of other cavities. If a dentist detects the cavity early on, they might be able to stop the decay process and protect the tooth from further damage. According to Healthy Mouth Healthy Body, the treatment for tooth decay depends on how bad it is. You may be able to reverse slight tooth decay by using fluoride.

When a root cavity is severe enough to cause a person pain or to interfere with the functioning of the tooth, it's usually necessary to fix the cavity by restoring the tooth. Restoration involves a dentist removing the decayed area of the tooth, then filling it with a restorative material, such as a composite resin or amalgam filling.

What You Can Do to Prevent Root Cavities

It is possible to prevent the formation of root cavities and other types of cavities. These steps can help you avoid tooth decay anywhere on your teeth, as the ADA outlines:

Brush your teeth at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste. (If you have difficulty brushing, the NHP recommends using an electric toothbrush.)

Good oral hygiene is the first step to prevent tooth decay. Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice daily.

Clean between your teeth using floss or an interdental cleaner. Limit sugary snacks between meals and also limit added sugars and high-acid foods.

Avoid foods that get stuck in grooves and pits of teeth or brush /rinse soon after eating them. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after meals.

Chew sugar-free gum with xylitol, which can promote salivary flow. Whenever possible, drink some tap water as public water supplies have added fluoride, which help in reducing tooth decay significantly.

Additionally, if you have receding gums, ask your dental professional if there is anything more you can do to restore your gum health and reduce your risk of developing root cavities. By working as a team, you and your dentist can take steps to treat and prevent these cavities.

by Colgate

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Tooth Nerve Pain: Causes, Pain Relief, and Home Remedies

The nerves in the teeth are located in the pulp—the bundle of nerves at blood vessels at the center of the tooth. Nerve pain in teeth falls into two categories:

Pulpal Sensitivity: If you have nerve pain that is focused on one individual tooth, the problem is likely affecting the tooth pulp. Causes of nerve pain in teeth that affect the pulp include a cracked, chipped, or broken tooth, tooth decay or infection, a recent tooth filling, and pressure from clenching or grinding your teeth.

Dentinal Sensitivity: Dentinal sensitivity refers to nerve pain in the teeth that is more widespread. This type of nerve pain in teeth occurs when the tooth enamel is damaged or eroded away and external stimuli such as heat, cold, and acid, reach the nerve endings in the dentin layer of the tooth. Causes of dentinal sensitivity include use of teeth whitening products, receding gums, and untreated cavities. In addition, brushing the teeth too hard and recent gum surgery that exposes the tooth roots can cause nerve pain in teeth.

Tooth Nerve Pain Relief and Treatments

Depending on the cause of your tooth nerve pain, there are several possible dental procedures that can solve the problem. Two of the most common procedures for tooth nerve pain are fillings and root canals.

Fillings: If you have tooth nerve pain caused by a simple cavity, a filling is the most common dental repair. When you have a tooth filled, the dentist numbs the area, removes the decayed material, and replaces it with a filling.

Root Canals: A root canal is performed if tooth nerve pain is due to a tooth that is severely infected or decayed. During a root canal, a dentist removes the damaged nerve and the pulp from inside the tooth, cleans the area, and seals it. The nerves inside teeth are not essential for healthy tooth function, and a root canal will cure some types of tooth nerve pain.

Home Remedies for Tooth Nerve Pain

The area near your tooth nerve pain may be sensitive before or after your dental procedure, but it’s important to follow a regular oral hygiene routine to prevent additional tooth decay or disease. 

by Crest

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Should I Brush My Teeth before My Dentist Appointment?

Not sure what to do before your dentist appointment? Don’t sweat it. This doesn’t have to be a stressful process, and it doesn’t require a lot of prep work. Whether you show up with a mouth full of food or with pristinely clean teeth, you’re going to receive top-quality oral care. Read on to learn if you should brush your teeth before a dentist appointment.

You Can Brush Your Teeth before Your Appointment…But You Don’t Have to

There is no downside to brushing your teeth before a dentist appointment. Many patients do this because they are worried about having bad breath at the dentist. If you don’t have a chance to brush your teeth though, don’t worry. The dental hygienist is going to eliminate anything you would have cleaned on your own.

If you’re not getting a teeth cleaning during your dentist appointment, you still have nothing to worry about. For example, you may be seeing the dentist for a follow-up appointment after oral surgery or braces. If your dentist needs you to brush your teeth for the appointment, you can always do it at the office. That’s not necessary in most cases.

Can I Eat before My Dentist Appointment?

You can eat before your dentist appointment. Ideally, you should eat a few hours before your appointment to give your mouth a chance to naturally clean itself. That may not be an option with your schedule. If you have to squeeze in a meal before your dentist appointment, it’s not going to impact the outcome.

Other Steps You Can Take before a Dentist Appointment

If you’re seeing a new dentist for the first time, make sure you have your insurance information available for the appointment. You should also prepare to arrive 15 minutes in advance to complete your new patient forms. Have your old dentist office transfer your records to the new dentist office, if applicable, and ask any questions you may have about parking, office hours, insurance coverage, etc.

Should I Brush My Teeth after My Teeth Cleaning?

After your dentist appointment, you should still plan to brush your teeth on your normal schedule. The teeth cleaning is thorough, but it is ineffective against new food and drinks. Brush twice a day, floss once per day, and see your dentist at least once every six month. Those simple steps will give you the best chance at having a beautiful, healthy smile.

Don’t Feel Self-Conscious! Clinton Dental Center Offers Judgement-Free Dentistry for Everyone

If you’re worried about the state of your smile, don’t be. Clinton Dental Center provides non-judgmental dentistry for children and adults. It doesn’t matter if it’s been years since you’ve seen the dentist. We will welcome you with open arms. We want you to get in a place of good oral health, regardless of former neglect or dentistry issues.

by Clinton Dental Center

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Teeth-Brushing Do's And Dont's

Human teeth and gums require regular maintenance to help them ward off disease and decay. You can encourage your ongoing dental wellness by brushing your teeth regularly. When properly performed, this form of preventative care can remove plaque and reduce the tartar buildup that promotes dental problems.

Even the most essential and helpful hygiene practices can fail to deliver their promised benefits if you incorporate them incorrectly. Here are some do's and don'ts to keep in mind as you brush your way to better oral health.

Do Brush Twice a Day

Even in an age when people recognize the need and value of regular tooth brushing, some 75 percent of Millennials brush their teeth only once a day. This routine flies in the face of the American Dental Association's recommendations, which specify that people should brush their teeth twice a day.

A lackadaisical brushing schedule allows bacteria, sugars, acids, and food particles to linger on your tooth enamel. This biofilm, known as plaque, comes off fairly easily if you address it in a timely manner. If you let it harden into tartar, however, only a professional dental cleaning can remove it.

Don't Brush Right After Eating

You might have an understandable urge to brush your teeth right after a meal. Unfortunately, while this practice can remove unsightly food particles and freshen your breath, it can also contribute to the deterioration of tooth enamel, especially if you brush immediately after consuming acidic foods or drinks.

Citrus fruits (or juices), tomatoes, coffee, alcoholic beverages, and sweets also contain acids that can erode enamel. This damage figures prominently in the development of cavities, but it can also thin your enamel over time, making your teeth more sensitive and vulnerable to breakage.

If you brush your teeth immediately following a meal, the friction from your toothbrush can actually increase acid erosion. Your saliva needs time to start breaking down acidic substances before you can safely brush them away. Allow 15 to 20 minutes for this process to occur before you brush.

Do Brush With Care

Your toothbrush can do your teeth more harm than good if you wield it too aggressively. Excessive pressure can contribute to premature enamel wear while also irritating the tissue at the gum line. In some cases, this irritation can lead to receding gums, an unattractive issue that can expose the tooth roots.

Fortunately, proper brushing technique can remove fresh plaque from your teeth without much force. Simply place the bristles against the gum line at a 45-degree angle and move the brush in small circular or back-and-forth motions, using light pressure. Then rotate the bristles to sweep the loosed plaque from each tooth.

Don't Use the Wrong Tools

Even with the most careful brushing technique, you must still consider what kind of toothbrush will remove plaque as safely and gently as possible if you want to avoid tooth or gum damage. A soft-bristled brush can clean your teeth just as effectively as a firmer type of toothbrush, making it a sensible default choice.

Your choice of toothpaste can also make a difference in protecting your tooth enamel. Dentists recommend fluoride toothpastes as an essential tool for combating tooth decay. Toothpastes that bear the American Dental Association (ADA) stamp of approval should contain the right level of fluoride to safeguard your teeth.

If your tooth enamel has already decayed or eroded, you may suffer from chronic tooth sensitivity. People who have this issue tend to experience pain when their teeth come into contact with cold, hot, or sugary substances.

Look for an ADA-approved toothpaste specially formulated to reduce this sensitivity. If over-the-counter products fail to help, you may still benefit from a prescription toothpaste. Even in the worst-case scenario, you can most likely solve this problem by receiving crowns or other restorations.

Now that you understand some essential tooth brushing dos and don'ts, make sure that you put them into practice correctly alongside other dental best practices.

by Michael G. Landy DDS

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What would happen if you didn’t brush your teeth for a year?

What would happen if you tossed your toothbrush for a year?

"Probably nothing good," said Matthew Messina, dentist and American Dental Association spokesman.

Most people who stop brushing their teeth will develop cavities (tooth decay) and/or periodontal disease (gum disease). Both can be painful and both can cause teeth to fall out.

When bacteria in the mouth isn't brushed away, it can also push immune systems into overdrive and cause a host of problems in other parts of the body. Bacteria under the gum line with access to the blood line can be particularly dangerous, Messina said. A dirty mouth has been linked to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, heart attacks and even MRSA in the case of dentures. MRSA or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacteria resistant to a variety of medications that can infect the bloodstream and lining of the heart.

Everyone's health is different. So, someone could go without brushing for a year and get gum disease and no cavities. Others might have it the other way around. Some could come down with serious health problems. In rare cases, people with healthy diets and good genes could go without cavities, gum disease and health problems, Messina said.

But, even for those who would escape major problems, their teeth would be covered in plaque.

"It's not a lovely feeling," Messina said.

Food particles would stick around. Meaning, the taste of salmon from Saturday dinner would mingle with Sunday brunch.

Morning breath would be a constant, and smell worse every day without brushing.

"It’s not going to be good for relationships with other people," Messina said. "You aren’t going to have a lot of friends."

The ADA recommends brushing teeth twice daily and flossing once daily. Toothbrushes should be changed when frayed, about every four months.

by USA Today

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You're Probably Forgetting To Brush This Part Of Your Teeth

Despite most of us thinking that we’re brushing our teeth correctly or flossing frequently enough, dentist visits are often full of surprises. Irritation, cavities, gingivitis ― the list of our maladies goes on and on.

It’s always important to go back to basics and make sure that you’re brushing your teeth with proper technique. When it comes to ways people are brushing their teeth incorrectly, Jessica Hilburg, DDS and associate dean for clinical affairs at the NYU College of Dentistry, is the expert.

She told HuffPost that there’s one important part of your mouth that too many people skip over.

“Sometimes people forget to brush the insides of their teeth, the surfaces that face the tongue and the palate,” Hilburg told HuffPost. ”Sometimes people forget these areas because we don’t see them when we look in the mirror. Food and plaque can buildup in these areas so it’s just as important to brush there as it is on the front of our teeth where we can easily see.”

Hilburg also said not brushing your teeth long enough (she recommends brushing for at least two minutes twice a day) and using the wrong amount of pressure while brushing is also incorrect.

“Applying too much pressure while brushing could damage gums and be abrasive to the teeth,” she said. “Applying too little pressure while brushing just isn’t as effective and will not remove the plaque as well as using gentle pressure. [Also] just rubbing the toothbrush back and forth in long strokes will not do as good a job as the short strokes because the short strokes allow you to get in between the teeth much better.”

She added, “The ‘right amount of pressure’ is pressure that feels comfortable, does not crush the bristles of the toothbrush (too much pressure) and of course leaves your teeth feeling and looking clean.”

If you want to double check your brushing techniques and times, Hilburg suggests following the instructions on the American Dental Association’s website.

“It should take two minutes to brush your whole mouth ― 30 seconds for top teeth surfaces that face the lip and cheek, 30 seconds for top teeth inside surfaces and same for bottom teeth ― a total of two minutes. The chewing surfaces should be brushed while doing the sides,” Hilburg said.

“Regardless of the technique used even if you aren’t as organized as I’ve described, tooth brushing should touch upon all surfaces—inner, outer and chewing surfaces.”

Hilburg also gave HuffPost suggestions about the right type of toothbrush and toothpaste people should use ― and what to avoid.

“Using a soft toothbrush is recommended, as bristles that are too hard can damage gums and may not be flexible enough to remove the plaque,” Hilburg said. “Soft bristle toothbrushes are best whether they are manual or power brushes. Choose a size toothbrush that feels comfortable and isn’t so large that it won’t fit on the sides of your teeth comfortably.”

Hilburg added, “A toothpaste with fluoride will help decrease the risk of decay and cavities. If any toothpaste felt irritating then of course a person should avoid it.”

In order to maintain good oral hygiene, Hilburg also recommends flossing daily, brushing your tongue and using an interdental cleaner (a small pointy brush) as well. And don’t forget the inside of your teeth!

by Carly Ledbetter

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What Are Mouth Germs?

Germs may be responsible for most infections and diseases, but did you know that countless germs live in healthy people, too? In fact, there could be more of these tiny microbes in your mouth at this very moment than there are people on earth. And that's even true right after you brush your teeth! So what exactly are mouth germs, and what happens to them when you practice good oral hygiene? We'll let you know all about these tiny inhabitants of your mouth so you can maintain a level of oral health that you can smile about.

What Are Mouth Germs?

Mouth germs are microorganisms that live in your mouth that can cause tooth decay, infection, and diseases. There are four main kinds of germs:

Bacteria According to a review published by the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, you may have over 700 species of these single-celled microorganisms in your mouth. It's normal for them to live there, but it's necessary to practice good oral hygiene to keep bacteria from having adverse effects on your mouth. When bacteria collect on your teeth, they form a thin, sticky layer of plaque. The plaque feeds off sugary foods or carbohydrates, which creates acid that attacks tooth enamel. This can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and without treatment, it can even lead to tooth loss.

Fungi According to a review published by the Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews, about 100 identified fungi species can be found in the human mouth. Most of them don’t cause problems unless there are irregularities. For instance, the fungus Candida lives in most people’s mouths and digestive systems in low numbers. Still, when Candida multiplies, it can cause creamy white lesions to form in your mouth called oral thrush (also known as oral candidosis).

Protozoa Protozoa are single-celled microorganisms that can be parasitic. According to an article published in Periodontology 2000, "few parasites affect the oral cavity, but an increasing body of literature claims that oral protozoa are more common than previously appreciated." Entamoeba gingivalis and trichomonas tenax are free-living amoebas that can become invasive and may play a role in periodontitis.

And viruses Viruses are smaller than bacteria, get inside living cells, and cause them to multiply. Herpes, HPV, and HIV are examples of viruses that can affect the mouth in adverse ways. Viruses are nearly always bad for your health, but they can exist inside of you without any negative effect. Most adults have the most common form of herpes, the Epstein-Barr virus. It's one of the most prevalent viruses in the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and it's dormant in most adults.

How Do I Get Rid of Germs in My Mouth?

There is no way to get rid of all the germs in your mouth, but you can protect your oral health from bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses by taking good care of your health and practicing good oral hygiene. Be sure to eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Brush at least twice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Consider using other helpful products like an antimicrobial mouthrinse and tongue scrapers. And be sure to see your dental professional for regular appointments. By visiting your dental professional regularly, you are better positioned to catch the adverse effects of germs early so you can effectively maintain oral health that makes you smile.

by Colgate

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What Dental Hygienists Do When Root Planing And Scaling Teeth

Every time your dental hygienist scales your teeth with that hook-like instrument, you’re one step closer to a healthy, beautiful smile.

Regularly scaling teeth above your gumline removes plaque and tartar built up since your last dentist visit. Then, after your dental hygienist polishes your teeth to remove stains, you might feel an extra boost of confidence in the way you present yourself.

Cleaning your teeth by scaling and polishing also serves a serious purpose: preventing periodontal (gum) disease.

If gum disease develops, your hygienist will need to implement a deeper type of cleaning. Called scaling teeth and root planning, this non-surgical procedure treats – and hopefully reverses if it's in the early stages – periodontal disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Did you know that healthy gum tissue fits tightly around each tooth? So when bacterial plaque and tartar accumulate around and under the gums – causing inflammation – periodontal disease develops.

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease causes pockets to form in your gum tissue around your teeth. As the gum tissue detaches from your teeth, this could affect both your teeth and supporting bone in your mouth – perhaps even leading to tooth loss.

That's when scaling and root planing comes into the picture.

What Is Scaling and Root Planing?

A two-step procedure, the deep cleaning is known as scaling teeth, and root planing might take more than one appointment. To minimize any discomfort, you might need a local anesthetic.

The goal is to thoroughly scale all plaque, bacterial toxins, and tartar deposits from your teeth and root surfaces.

Step One: Scaling

Dental scaling dives deeper into the gumline with manual hand instruments, ultrasonic instruments, or both.

If your hygienist – or dentist – uses an ultrasonic scaling device, sonic vibrations will remove the plaque bacteria and tartar (calculus) from the tooth surface and underneath the gumline.

A manual dental scaler can do the same thing. Or it can supplement the ultrasonic device by removing particles the device can't break loose.

Step Two: Root Planing

Root planing involves an even deeper dive with detailed scaling of the root surface to smooth out rough areas.

Smooth root surfaces keep bacteria, plaque, and tartar from re-adhering underneath the gumline. Root planing decreases gum tissue inflammation, allowing your gums to heal and reattach themselves more firmly to your teeth.

If needed to prevent infection, your dentist might administer medicine directly into the area undergoing the procedure.

After your deep cleaning, you'll need to schedule a follow-up visit with your dentist.

What Should I Expect After the Procedure?

If you had local anesthesia, you might have pain and anti-inflammation medicine on hand after the effect wears off. Or your dentist might prescribe pain medication and something to prevent infection. An oral rinse to aid in infection prevention might be in order.

The medicine and rinse can help you experience pain for a couple of days and teeth sensitivity for about a week. And your gums might be swollen, tender, and even bleed.

Most people get the good news that inflamed gum tissue is once again firm and pink at your follow-up dentist visit. Other positive signs are that the bleeding stopped, and the pockets surrounding your gum tissue are smaller.

If all looks good, you might not need any further treatment. You can then set up periodic maintenance visits.

However, if the pockets have become deeper, additional treatment might be in order. Some advanced conditions might require periodontal surgery. Your scaling and root planing treatment, though, often lessens the amount of surgery you need.

How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease can develop without warning. It is essential to follow through with regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations. A good home care routine is vital in preventing gum disease from developing. You know what to do:

Brush with a soft toothbrush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

Replace your toothbrush when the bristles are worn.

Floss daily to clean between your teeth and bridgework, crowns, or implants.

Use an antimicrobial mouthwash.

Eat a balanced diet.

Don't smoke! Or stop using tobacco. (We know it isn't easy, but you can do it!)

Whether you call it deep cleaning – or scaling teeth and root planing – this procedure is critical to keep your teeth and gums healthy. And lets you show off that confident smile.

by Colgate

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Periodontal Disease & How You Can Prevent It

Have you experienced tender or bleeding gums? Periodontal disease is the infection and inflammation of the gums, ligaments, and bone surrounding your teeth. It's important to know the causes, treatments, and steps to prevent gum disease so you can protect your oral and overall health.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal means "around the tooth," so periodontal disease refers to the infection and inflammation of the gums, ligaments, or bone that surround your teeth and can vary in severity. The early stages include gingivitis, where the infection is found only in your gums, and they become inflamed, red, and may even bleed. Gingivitis is treatable, and the effects can be reversed if caught early enough.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Poor oral hygiene or uncontrolled bacteria from dental plaque and the toxins produced by that bacteria cause periodontal disease. If not removed, plaque biofilm can spread below the gumline. Those toxins cause infection and inflammation in the gums and destroy the tissues and bones that support your teeth.

Next, your gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming periodontal pockets, or spaces between the teeth and the gum tissue starts to recede. When these pockets become infected and deepen, more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Eventually, this destruction will cause your gums to recede and your teeth to become loose, and you may even have to remove them.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Because the effects of periodontitis and severe stages of periodontal disease cannot be completely reversed, it's important to establish a preventative care routine before the disease progresses.

If you practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth daily and done correctly, this will remove the plaque from your teeth and prevent build-up. Also, interdental brushes and water flossers may be helpful to remove plaque from between the teeth. It is also recommended to visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar in places that are harder to reach. If you already have periodontal disease, your dentist or periodontist may recommend more frequent visits and implement a more aggressive treatment plan.

Knowing the following factors that can put you at risk for gum disease is important for prevention:


Crooked or crowded teeth, braces, and bridges

Grinding, gritting, or clenching teeth

Tobacco use



Poor nutrition



Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Symptoms can be varied across the spectrum—from no symptoms in the beginning stages to extreme pain. Other warning signs of periodontal disease include:

Red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums

Gums receding or pulling away from the tooth

Abnormal tooth sensitivity, especially around the gumline

Loose teeth or painful chewing

Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth

If you recognize any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a dental professional for an evaluation. They will examine your gums with a dental probe to look for infection. They also may take new X-rays to compare with older X-rays and identify any changes to your teeth or bones. If a referral to a specialist is needed, your dentist will refer you to a periodontist.

Periodontal Disease Treatment

If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, treatments may vary depending on the severity of your case. Some of these treatments include:

Scaling and root planing. For gingivitis or the early stages of gum disease, non-surgical treatments may be available to restore periodontal health. Scaling is a deep cleaning technique that carefully removes plaque and tartar from your teeth both above and below the gumline. Root planing removes plaque and tartar from the root surfaces, smoothing rough spots that trap and hold bacteria. Once the teeth are clean, the gum tissue can begin to heal.

Periodontal gum surgery. A pocket reduction procedure may be an option if the periodontal pockets surrounding your teeth become so deep that they are difficult to clean with regular at-home oral hygiene and a professional care routine. During this procedure, the periodontist makes incisions in your gums to flap back the tissue, providing more access to the roots for more effective scaling and root planing below the gumline and cleaning out the bacterial infection. This will allow for the reattachment of the gum tissue to the teeth.

Gum graft surgery. If periodontal disease progresses and gums begin to recede, the periodontist might recommend surgery to reshape gums or graft new tissue to cover exposed tooth roots. During this surgery, the periodontist takes gum tissue — usually from the roof of your mouth — to cover the root and protect your tooth from decay, bone loss, and further recession.

Regenerative procedures. When periodontitis has destroyed the bone supporting your teeth, regenerative procedures may help reverse some of the damage. After the periodontist exposes the root and removes the bacteria, they may graft bone to the surrounding area of the tooth to encourage your body to regenerate the lost bone and tissue. In time—if adequate bone is present—you may then be a candidate for dental implants to replace teeth that have been lost.

Extraction. In the worst cases of periodontitis, bone loss is so severe that the tooth cannot be saved and must be removed.

Other Health Implications of Periodontal Disease

Unfortunately, the impact of periodontal disease goes beyond your mouth, and researchers are finding more and more links between gum disease and your overall health. Some of these health problems include:

Heart disease. Infection in your gums may increase the risk of clogged arteries and even worsen existing heart conditions.

Stroke. Likewise, periodontal disease may increase the risk of stroke caused by blocked arteries.

Respiratory disease. Bacteria from the mouth may spread to the lungs, causing lung infections or worsening existing lung conditions. Immunocompromised adults with gum disease may be at increased risk for severe pneumonia.

Premature birth. Gum disease during pregnancy may increase the likelihood of delivering the baby too early and the possibility of low birth weight.

Diabetes. Periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar than those with healthy gums.

Don't ignore those tender or bleeding gums. The sooner periodontal disease gets diagnosed and treated, the faster you can return to a healthier mouth.

by Colgate

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How Oral Care Can Prevent Heart Disease

It's no secret that routine oral care can give you a healthy mouth, but prioritizing dental hygiene can also positively impact your overall health. Though it's preventable, heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States. Explore how to reduce risk factors of heart disease and the link between oral and heart health.

Bacterial infections in the mouth can travel through blood vessels and infect other areas of the body. When serious ailments like gum disease (periodontitis) occur in the mouth, those harmful bacteria can make their way to the rest of the body. These microorganisms can cause inflammation of the heart valves leading to heart conditions such as:

Heart Disease


High Blood Pressure

How Can Oral Care Prevent Heart Disease?

A healthy oral care routine can go a long way in preventing complications from heart disease. Daily dental hygiene can protect harmful bacteria from entering your body. These simple yet effective tips can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease:

Brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day

Interdental cleaning daily

Replacing your toothbrush head every three months or after being sick

Routine visits to a dental professional

What Healthy Foods Support Oral and Heart Health?

A balanced diet and regular physical activity are both part of a healthy lifestyle. By focusing your diet on foods that support oral and heart health, you can prevent serious medical conditions from occurring. While foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats should be avoided, foods that promote oral and heart health include:

Leafy greens help lower blood sugar and boost saliva production

Almonds are high in calcium and low in sugar

Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity and strengthen teeth and gums

Salmon is full of vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. It can prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and heart disease

How Can I Support National Heart Month?

February is National Heart Month in the United States. It's an excellent opportunity to start the conversation on the importance of cardiovascular health. Here are some ways you can get involved:

Inspire loved ones to prioritize heart health

Encourage others to wear red on the first Friday of February

Volunteer at a Heart Month event or plan your own

Share a heart-healthy recipe with friends

Engage your social media with Heart Month facts

Learn CPR

When you make oral care a priority, you're doing the same for your overall health. Complications brought on by heart disease are largely preventable, so it's important to stay informed and make the necessary lifestyle adjustments so you can live a happy, healthy life. If you have concerns about heart disease or gum disease, consult with a medical or dental professional to develop a solution that meets your goals.

by Colgate

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How long should I wait to brush my teeth after eating?

As you probably know, brushing your teeth is one of the most important components of your oral hygiene routine. It removes food particles, bacteria and plaque from the surface of your teeth and your gums, keeping your mouth clean and healthy between professional cleanings.

Our Calgary dentists recommend you brush at least two times a day, ideally first thing in the morning, and right before bed. If you want to add an extra brushing session each day to optimize your oral health (and keep your breath fresh!), it might make the most sense for you to brush after every meal.

Tip: Try An Electric Toothbrush

If you're brushing regularly but find that a regular toothbrush isn't doing the job for you, try an electric toothbrush! The small, round, rotating heads of electric toothbrushes can make it easier for some people to clean those hard-to-reach spots.

Brushing After Eating or Drinking

Some foods and drinks, particularly those high in carbohydrates and sugars, can stimulate the growth of oral bacteria that attack your tooth enamel. By brushing your teeth after you eat, you reduce this bacteria and help protect your enamel from damage.

For the best results, use toothpaste that contains fluoride to prevent tooth decay, and triclosan to reduce plaque and gingivitis. However, be sure to consult with your dentist before using a fluoride toothpaste, to make sure it's right for you.

It’s important to note that brushing your teeth immediately after eating can in some cases have a negative effect on your tooth enamel. If you have consumed something acidic, you should avoid brushing your teeth for about 30 minutes afterwards.

Foods that contain citric acid, like oranges, grapefruits and lemons, can soften tooth enamel for a time, and brushing too soon after eating them may damage the enamel while it’s in its weakened state.

In general, try eating nutritious foods that are low in sugar and carbohydrates after eating something acidic. This will help reduce the harmful acids that such foods can create.

In addition, prolonged exposure to phosphoric acid, which is often found in soft drinks, can erode your tooth enamel, exposing the more sensitive tissues beneath. Acid erosion can cause permanent damage to your teeth, so to keep it to a minimum, limit snacking between meals and limit your consumption of soft drinks and sugary snack foods.

by deer Valley Dental Care

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Are You Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard?

When it comes to brushing your teeth, there is such a thing as proper technique. Brushing too hard — or using the wrong toothbrush — can damage your teeth and gums, leading to problems like enamel wear and receding gums, which can, in turn, lead to tooth sensitivity, says Gene Romo, DDS, a Chicago-based dentist and consumer advisor for the American Dental Association (ADA).

“People tend to brush aggressively, thinking it’s the only way they can get their teeth to feel clean and look whiter,” Dr Romo says. “That’s counterproductive because not only does it cause recession of your gums, but you’re also wearing away the white, glossy enamel on your teeth, making them look yellow and darker.” And when that happens, you’re putting yourself at risk for developing sensitive teeth.

Not sure if you’re brushing too hard? Take a look at your toothbrush. If you’ve been using it for three months or less, it should still appear relatively new. “If it looks beat up and flat, that’s a sign you’re brushing way too hard,” Romo says.

The Proper Way to Brush Your Teeth

It requires a lot of mindfulness, but you can change your hard-brushing ways, Romo says. Follow these tips to brush correctly to help relieve tooth sensitivity and prevent damage to your teeth and gums:

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Choose one with the ADA seal and replace it every three months — or sooner if it frays.

Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. That way, the bristles can reach and clean underneath your gumline, Romo says.

Gently move the brush back and forth. Use short, tooth-wide strokes to clean the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of the teeth, the ADA recommends. (If you have a lot of gum recession, your dentist may recommend you try the roll technique. Instead, Romo says.) If you’re using an electric toothbrush, let it do all the work and just lightly glide it over your teeth instead of pushing it against them. To make sure you’re using a gentle grip, try holding your toothbrush in your non-dominant hand.

Slow down. Dentists recommend that you brush for two full minutes — 30 seconds in each quadrant of your mouth — twice a day. Use the timer on your phone or choose an electric toothbrush that alerts you every 30 seconds. “For people who have never tried it, it can feel like an eternity. You don’t know what two minutes feels like until you brush that long,” Romo says. But when you’re not rushing to finish, it will keep you more mindful about brushing too aggressively.

Sticking with these tips can help you keep your teeth clean and your mouth healthy while eliminating symptoms of tooth sensitivity.

by Sure Dental

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What can be done about a Large Cavity?

When there is a large cavity that is unable to be treated with a dental filling, it’s important to see the dentist about a dental crown or, in severe cases, a root canal treatment. Dr. Nicolas Dovey of Del Sur Ranch Dental in San Diego, CA is a general dentist who can assist patients with various dental health needs. When patients have developed holes in their teeth known as “cavities,” it is essential that they seek the help of an experienced 4s ranch dentist to address the problem before it becomes more significant, more expensive, and more damaging to the rest of the tooth.

Especially large cavities, or aggressive tooth decay, may require restorative treatment to save the tooth and strengthen the tooth’s health and surrounding structure.

What are the causes of dental cavities?

Dental cavities are typically caused by poor oral hygiene. Plaque is a sticky film that develops from food debris, saliva, and bacteria that constantly forms on the surfaces of your teeth. If plaque is not treated and removed, it can harden into tartar, which is more difficult to remove. Tartar buildup can lead to dental cavities by providing a place for bacteria to thrive and damage the tooth enamel. Other factors contributing to dental cavities include dry mouth, frequent snacking, acidic drinks, and certain medical conditions.

What are the symptoms of a dental cavity?

• Toothache• Sensitivity to hot and cold• Tooth discoloration

Dental cavity treatment options

Fill the cavity. The most common method of addressing cavities is by placing a dental filling. Fillings used to be made with materials such as silver amalgam, which is formulated with mercury and toxic to the human body. Instead, we use composite resin bonding to fill the tooth with a biocompatible material that is tooth-colored and aesthetic.

Place a crown on top of the tooth. In situations where a very large filling is needed, the tooth’s structure may be compromised. This can leave it susceptible to further damage if not protected. In a case like this, Dr. Nicolas Dovey of Del Sur Ranch Dental will not only fill the tooth, but place a dental crown over the tooth as well.

Extraction. If the cavity has left the tooth beyond repair, it may require permanent extraction. After the tooth has been removed, Dr. Nicolas Dovey will speak to patients about tooth replacement options. These include partial dentures, complete dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants.

by Del Sur Ranch Dental

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What is a Dental Emergency?

By now, you’ve probably heard the news that dental offices throughout the country are closing their doors to non-emergency patients. This is true; at the advice of the CDC, ADA, and other organizations, many dentists are taking steps to limit contact between their staff and their patients.

These postponed appointments are a critical step in limiting the spread of COVID-19, a new virus that has infected nearly 2 million people around the globe. However, this new policy doesn’t mean that you have to suffer toothaches alone. Many dental offices are still providing emergency care to their patients, and Steger Smiles is no exception.

What is a Dental Emergency?

Currently, the Steger Smiles staff only sees patients whose needs constitute a dental emergency. If you need to see a dentist right away, all you have to do is call us! We’ll be happy to put you into our schedule as soon as we can.

However, this policy can raise an interesting question: what exactly IS a “dental emergency”? According to the ADA, a dental emergency is any condition that causes a patient severe pain or is potentially life-threatening. Several cases fall into this category, such as:

A knocked-out or fractured tooth

A dental abscess (an infected pocket of pus in the tooth)

Bleeding gums that won’t stop

After surgery treatments (like dressing changes or stitch removals)

If you are experiencing one of the conditions listed above, it’s alright to call your dentist and make an urgent appointment. However, if you want a routine cleaning, professional teeth whitening, or any other non-essential treatment, it’s probably best to wait until the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

Signs You Need Dental Care

Let’s say that you wake up tomorrow feeling… a little off. Something’s not quite right in your mouth. Ordinarily, you would call the dentist right away – but now, you’re not sure. After all, does this REALLY count as an emergency? Here are a few signs that you should get immediate dental care:


Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something needs attention. Oral pain can be any number of things, from a cavity to a gum infection. If you are experiencing intense pain that persists throughout the day, it’s best to have a professional look at your mouth.


In most cases, swelling in the mouth indicates an abscess. This means that a tooth or gum has become terribly infected, resulting in a pocket of pus in the mouth. Left untreated, abscesses can become very dangerous and even fatal! If you notice swelling and tenderness in your gums, make sure you call the dentist ASAP.


Admittedly, some people’s gums bleed all the time. They may bleed during brushing and flossing. They may bleed due to hormone changes (if you’re pregnant). In most instances, bleeding gums stop pretty quickly, which tells you there is nothing to worry about. However, if your gums keep bleeding long after the initial incident, it might be a sign of greater problems.

Broken or Lost Teeth

Knock out one of your teeth; you MUST get to the dentist as soon as you can. Most dentists can re-implant a missing tooth – but it’s much harder to do 30 minutes after the incident. Similarly, fractured or chipped teeth that cause severe pain need to be dealt with as quickly as possible.

by Steger Smiles

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Why Do My Teeth Feel Like They Tingle?

Everyone loves that fresh, clean feeling after their dental cleanings. Yet, if other sensations are felt, such as tingling, it often causes people to worry.

While the source of the tingling may not be serious, it can be a sign that there is something that needs correction, like you are brushing your teeth too hard.

You Have Nerves And Blood Vessels In Your Teeth

The enamel of your teeth—the hard outermost layer of your teeth—is the hardest substance in your body. However, just because the enamel is hard doesn’t mean that everything inside the structure of your tooth is equally tough.

Under the dentin—tooth layer directly below the enamel—you have your dental pulp, which includes highly sensitive nerves and blood vessels to keep your teeth alive. These nerves help you determine how much pressure you need when biting food, assist with speech as you move your mouth and tongue around your teeth to shape words, and more.

So, temporary discomfort, tingling, and other responses to doing things like scraping your teeth on a fork are to be expected due to the nerves in your teeth. However, if your teeth tingle with no clear indicator or will sporadically start and stop tingling, it may be time to visit our dental clinic for a checkup.

Reasons Why Your Teeth May Tingle

There can be many reasons why your teeth may start tingling. Some of these issues can be resolved at home, but for others, you will need to access dental services to fix the source of your dental discomfort.

Hard teeth brushing – When you use a hard-bristled toothbrush or simply brush your teeth too hard, you can wear down the enamel of your teeth. The more worn-down your enamel, the more of your sensitive dentin is exposed, and the more likely that your teeth will tingle. There is no way to replace the enamel, but you can work on using a more gentle toothbrush and toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth.

Teeth grinding or clenching – Often an unconscious action, bruxism—grinding your teeth in your sleep—or clenching your teeth can make your teeth tingle. Repeated clenching or grinding of your teeth can wear them down, exposing your sensitive dentin and potentially developing cracks in your teeth with the excess pressure. Using a custom nightguard can help protect your teeth in your sleep.

Cavity – Pain is a common response when a cavity develops; however, it is not the only response you may feel. For a small cavity, your tooth may just tingle initially. As the cavity progresses, the tingle can change to pain until the issue is addressed.

Acidic foods and drinks – Foods and drinks that are highly acidic can erode the enamel of your teeth, leaving them more sensitive and prone to tingling. Rinsing your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and drinks can help reduce the impact.

An issue with a dental filling – A dental filling can become loose over time, especially as your tooth expands and contracts around it. Your tooth may start tingling when a filling becomes loose and starts to move, which can only be corrected by having the dental filling replaced.

by Tailor Dental

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Teeth And Genes

In most cases, you can thank your biological parents for your eye color, your blood type and your height, but what about your straight and bright smile? Do you have a predisposition to problems like gum disease and cavities due to your genes?

Jagged 2 Gene

Genes do play a role in the shape, development and structure of your teeth. A research team at the University of Zurich studied mice and determined that the Jagged 2 gene is necessary for healthy teeth development. Without it, teeth crowns were malformed and enamel was lacking.


Tooth decay and gum disease

Despite following a healthy diet, implementing a good oral care routine, and regular dentist checkups, you may find that you are still plagued by cavities and gum problems. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine identified the cause of your tooth decay and gum disease, or periodontitis, could be your genetics.

After studying hundreds of samples and dental records and publishing two papers, Dr. Alexandre Vieira, an assistant professor of oral biology, and his team, determined that tooth decay and gum disease can be influenced by individual variations in the gene beta defensin1 (DEFB1), which helps fight germs.



If your mother or father can curl their tongue, chances are you can too thanks to your genetics. Also, if your grandparents and parents have lived to a ripe old age, you too have a higher chance of enjoying a long life.

Amelogenesis Imperfecta

In some cases, mutated genes can cause a malfunction of the protein in the enamel, the protective outer layer of the tooth. This can result in teeth that appear yellow, brown or grey, and teeth that break easily due to the lack of enamel protecting the teeth against cavity-causing germs.

According to the American National Institute of Health, approximately 14,000 people in the United States are affected by Amelogenesis Imperfecta.

Dentinogenesis Imperfecta

Affecting 1 in 6,000 to 8,000 people, this genetic disorder causes discoloration of teeth to a translucent blue-gray or yellow-brown color and weak teeth that are prone to breakages. Both baby (primary) teeth and adult teeth can be affected.

If you are concerned about your genes and your teeth, speak to your dentist and remember to protect teeth against decay by brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, use of anti-bacterial mouthwash and flossing daily.

by Colgate

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Why do I need gum surgery and what can I expect?

When you think about the health of your mouth, you probably think about strong, clean teeth. Many people fail to think about the health of their gums, too; but the health and wellness of your gums is just as important to the overall health of your mouth as the health of your teeth. At Metro Dental Care, Dr. Norouzinia, a board-certified periodontist, helps Denver patients eliminate gum disease, and improve the health and aesthetics of their gums every day. If your dentist has recommended gum surgery to you, the health of your gums may be at risk. Continue reading to learn more about why gum surgery is needed, and what to expect.

If you’re looking for superior periodontal care in the Denver area, schedule a consultation with Dr. Mike Norouzinia! He is a board-certified periodontist, which means that he specializes in prevention, and treatment of periodontal disease, as well as the placement of dental implants. Call us today at 303.534.2626 to get started.

At-Risk Patients

Some patients are at a higher risk of needing gum surgery over others, because some patients have an increased risk for developing periodontal disease, or gum disease. Though not all gum surgery procedures treat periodontal disease, the majority do. The most common cause of periodontal disease is improper, infrequent brushing and flossing, or failure to receive routine dental cleanings. However, someone with one or more of the following risk factors can develop periodontal disease sooner (and develop a more aggressive infection) than other patients without risk factors. These include:

Age (nearly 70% of patients 65 and older have advanced periodontal disease)


Frequent tobacco use

Certain medications, such as heart medicine

Existing health issues such as heart disease, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis

Gum Surgery Procedures

The most common gum surgery is gingival flap surgery, and occurs in conjunction with a deep cleaning process for your teeth and gums after advanced periodontal disease has been diagnosed.

When you receive routine exams, you may remember part of the process where your dentist places a tool near each gum line of the tooth and announces a number. This is a measurement between the top of your gum line to where the gum connects to each tooth. In healthy patients, this number typically falls between one and three millimeters. For patients with periodontal “pockets” due to gum disease, this number is higher; that means the gums have begun to pull away from the tooth. Swift treatment through gingival flap surgery (or in some cases, scaling and root planing) helps to reverse the effects of periodontal disease. During this procedure, the gums are separated from the teeth so that your dentist can deep clean your teeth and teeth roots with special tools. Once teeth cleaning and restoration are complete, the gums are put back into place and stitched. With quick treatment, Dr. Norouzinia can stop the growth and reverse effects of periodontal disease.

Other gum surgeries may include:

Guided tissue regeneration: This surgical technique aids in restoring damaged gum and bone tissue from periodontal disease. Dr. Tran places a small piece of fabric mesh between the damaged bone and gum to prevent excessive gum tissue growth from impeding healthy bone restoration.

Soft tissue grafting: Gum grafts are the answer for receding gum lines that leave teeth exposed and more vulnerable to sensitivity or decay. Though gum graft procedures can vary, the most common procedure is a connective-tissue graft. This procedure sources soft tissues from underneath the roof of your mouth (called the palate) before stitching them into place in the area of gum recession. The incision in the palate is then closed.

Gum contouring: Finally, not all gum procedures are restorative. Gum contouring treatments are a cosmetic service that reshapes the gum line, for patients with “gummy” smiles or uneven gum lines. Dr. Norouzinia or another member of our team finely shapes or reduces gum tissue to create a more symmetrical, aesthetic gum line for your unique smile. For some patients with excess gum tissue, this procedure can actually reduce their chances of developing periodontal disease.

by Metropolitan Dental Care

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What Is Veillonella?

The word "veillonella" has a lovely ring to it. Although it may evoke images of a sweet-smelling flower or beautiful rose bush, this term isn't a flower you grow in your garden. But it is part of your normal bodily flora and naturally occurs in your mouth. Oral flora is responsible for the periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay that affects many people.

What Is Veillonella?

This common germ is a small cocci bacterium that is anaerobic – meaning it doesn't need oxygen to survive. In fact, it needs carbon dioxide to grow. If you were to look at it under a microscope, you'd see it is round in shape, appears in pairs, masses, or short chains, and doesn't move around very often.

Although there are around 200 types of bacteria that grow in your oral cavity, a study published in the Journal of Bacteriology found that Veillonella and Streptococcus bacteria work together in the early formation of plaque on your teeth. As these two bacteria colonize and grow, they lay a matrix that supports the growth of other varieties of bacteria that live in plaque.

How Does Veillonella Form?

Bacterial communities are not formed randomly. Believe it or not, they're quite selective. The way they develop supports the growth of many species of bacteria at once. Veillonella, for example, doesn't ferment dietary sugars like Streptococci. However, it does use the lactic acid produced by Streptococci's sugar fermentation to create its own. Essentially, Veillonella bacterium could not survive if it didn't coexist with Streptococci. In turn, other species of bacteria need the environment created by Veillonella and Streptococci to survive.

The problem for you? When your tooth enamel is exposed to these bacterial acids over a prolonged period, dental decay begins. Additionally, the acidic conditions caused by this bacterium underneath the gumline eventually destroy the teeth' supporting structures, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

What Can You Do to Prevent Veillonella?

It can be discouraging to think that as soon as you're done with your oral hygiene routine, Veillonella and other disease-causing bacteria begin to rebuild their homes in your mouth. For this reason, your oral hygiene routine cannot be hit or miss. Regularly removing plaque from your teeth needs to be a priority to disrupt bacterial colonies before they can cause any harm. And while you can't eliminate them from your mouth (some bacteria are actually helpful), there are things you can do to keep your oral flora from getting out of hand:

Brush at least two times a day, and clean between your teeth at least once a day with floss, water flossers, or other interdental cleaners.

Replace your toothbrush regularly, at least every three months. Old worn brushes don't clean well and eventually harbor bacteria, which defeats the toothbrush's purpose.

Make sure to clean your tongue too. It is also the home of Veillonella and other related bacteria.

Don't "feed" the flora. Limit your intake of sugars and carbohydrates to cut down the number of times a day you expose your teeth to the acids that allow flora to build up and irritate the gums.

Schedule regular professional dental hygiene appointments (at least twice a year) to have plaque and tartar buildup removed, so bacterium doesn't become trapped underneath your gumline.

Most flora in your mouth is harmless to you unless they have the opportunity to organize and grow. Don't let these culprits make you a victim of bad breath, tooth decay, or gum disease. Keep a diligent oral care routine and remember: The only flora that needs feeding is in the garden outside.

by Colgate

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Black Tartar On Teeth

Do you have a black substance on your teeth that brushing or flossing won't remove? It's likely black tartar, also called calculus. Tartar can harbour bacteria, make teeth and gum cleaning difficult, lead to gum disease and other more severe oral health issues. Fortunately, a dental professional can remove black tartar and help you get your oral health back on track.

Find out what black tartar is, how a dental professional removes it, and what you can do to prevent tartar build-up in the future to keep your smile bright!

What is Black Tartar?

When bacteria builds up around the gum line, it creates a layer of plaque – a soft, sticky, colorless film that can be removed by brushing and flossing. Untreated plaque can harden and turn into calculus, which requires professional cleaning to be removed. Tartar turns black as a result of being stained. This black discoloration could be caused by:

Bleeding gums

Dark beverages


How long tartar has been on your teeth

Tartar makes practicing good oral hygiene more complicated and can provide more places for bacteria to hide, often leading to more severe oral health issues.

What Complications Can Arise?

Plaque and tartar both cause gum disease. In its earliest stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. According to the Journal of Dental Research, nearly half of adults over 30 in the US (47.1 percent) have some form of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. This more severe form of gum disease can cause your teeth to loosen or even fall out.

How To Remove Black Tartar From Your Teeth

If you have tartar build-up on your teeth, a dental professional can help with a procedure called scaling and root planing. They will use manual tools (like stainless steel scrapers) and ultrasonic vibrations to remove tartar from your teeth and gums. They can also smooth out your teeth roots to ensure your gums reattach after the procedure. Depending on your teeth and gums' condition, scaling and root planing can require one or more visits to remove all tartar effectively.

When it comes to using sharp objects near sensitive gum tissue, it's best to leave the job to the professionals – so resist the temptation to buy a plaque scraper from your local grocery or drug store.  According to the American Dental Association, dental hygienists spend at least two years at a college or university to receive their degree. This extensive training ensures that they know how to safely and effectively use dental scalers and other tools to treat you in the best way possible.

How To Prevent Black Tartar

Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent tartar from collecting on and between your teeth. Some care tips:

Brush 2x a day If regular brushing is already part of your routine, double-check that you are using the correct technique. Use a tartar control toothpaste that's designed to remove as much plaque as possible.

Clean between your teeth once a day. Use a water flosser or interdental brush to get between your teeth and under your gum line to remove irritants like bacteria and food debris and help reduce inflammation.

Add a mouthrinse for extra protection. An over-the-counter anti-microbial mouthrinse will help treat infection and control bacterial growth in your mouth. Ask a dental professional for their recommendation.

See your dental professional for regular appointments –they can identify any developing conditions early for treatment and remove plaque before turning into tartar.

While black tartar on your teeth isn't something to celebrate, it isn't difficult to get rid of. If you think you already have tartar buildup on your teeth, contact your dental professional right away. They can do what's necessary to get your oral health back to a condition you can smile about.

by Colgate

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Four important facts about brushing your teeth

Being a dentist for 15 years, I often hear this from my new patients after I explain to them how to brush their teeth: ‘ I have been brushing wrong all my life and was never shown how to do it correctly!’

When it comes to brushing teeth, there are four factors to consider:

 The type of toothbrush you use

 The way you brush your teeth

 When you brush your teeth

The type of toothpaste you use

1. Toothbrush type

Many different types of toothbrush are available these days. Weather it is the latest model of an electric toothbrush or an eco-friendly bamboo brush, one factor is of overriding importance: use a soft brush. An abrasive brush can do much more harm than good to your teeth. Vigorous brushing and scrubbing with a hard brush combined with incorrect technique can lead to significant sensitivity and loss of tooth structure. Below is a typical defect caused by use of a hard toothbrush and incorrect technique.

I am often asked if an electric toothbrush is better than a manual brush. The answer is that there is really no difference as long as correct brushing technique is used. An electric toothbrush can be particularly beneficial if any limited dexterity is present.

2. How to brush the teeth

Many different brushing techniques have been suggested and studied by dentists and researchers.

One proven technique is to place the brush at an angle of 45 degrees against the teeth and gently start from the gum and brush towards the edge of the teeth in circular motion.

It is important to brush all surfaces of the teeth: inside, outside and chewing surfaces of both upper and lower teeth.

As a rule of thumb, a good brushing should take 2–3 minutes.

Apply gentle force when brushing. Avoid scrubbing your teeth, as this can remove enamel and irritate the gums, resulting in gum recession and loss of tooth structure.

If using an electric toothbrush all you need to do is to hold it on each tooth surface for 2–3 seconds. Make sure to gently brush your tongue at the end, and don’t rinse your mouth, as some residue of toothpaste is beneficial for your teeth. Below is a short video from the Australia Dental Association to help understand this technique better.

3. When to brush your teeth

Brushing at least twice a day – in the morning and at night before bed – is best. Brushing at night is particularly important as the rate of dental decay is much higher at night. As discussed in past posts, the main reason for dental decay is the bacteria in dental plaque, which, in the presence of food particles, produce acid and cause cavities.

During the day we have two natural defences against tooth decay.

The first is our tongue, which constantly moves and cleans our mouth and teeth, removing remaining food particles and plaque.

The second is our saliva, which constantly rinses our mouth and is also antibacterial in nature. At night the movement of the tongue is limited and saliva production is significantly reduced, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to cause decay and cavities our teeth. So the bottom line is to make sure to brush really well at night.

4. Toothpaste

The most important factor about a toothpaste is the presence of fluoride. Over the course of time, fluoride slowly gets absorbed into the teeth, making them significantly stronger against tooth decay. However, as a helper to clean your teeth, toothpaste plays a much less significant role than brushing technique. Avoid abrasive toothpastes like Charcoal toothpastes that can remove your tooth structure.

So, next time you brush your teeth, focus on the points above. Take your time and make sure you have reached all teeth surfaces. More importantly, use the correct technique and a soft brush to avoid any damage to your teeth and gums.

Keep brushing!

by Dr Omid Salar

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