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Seven Tips for Dental Health While You Travel

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

1.- Pack Travel Dental Items Right Away

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

2.- Use a Toothbrush Alternative if Needed

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

3.- Keep Your Toothbrush Clean and Dry

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

4.- Watch the Water You Use

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

5.- Bring Sugarless Gum and Tooth-Friendly Snacks

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

6.- Schedule a Cleaning Before You Go

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

7.- Prepare for Dental Emergencies

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

by Cedar Walk Family

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Ten Dental Hygiene Tips For A More Thorough Clean

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

Use Proper Brushing Technique

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

Brush Enough

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

Pick the Right Brush

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

Look for the ADA Seal

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

Floss Properly

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

Use a Mouthwash

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

Clean Your Brush

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

Change Your Brush

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

Use a Tongue Scraper

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

Stop Snacking

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

by Forest Lake Family Dental

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What Is the Depressor Labii Inferioris?

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

Location and Function

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

Causes of Facial Muscle Paralysis

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

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

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

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

Treatment for Muscle Paralysis

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

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

by Colgate

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Views: 34

What are the Different Types of Dentists?


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

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

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

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


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

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

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

Oral Pathologist

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

Paediatric Dentist or Pedodontists

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


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


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

by Edge water Dental

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Tonsils and Adenoids: What's the Difference?

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

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

Tonsils & Adenoids: Location and Function

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

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

Potential Tonsil Complications

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


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

The symptoms of tonsillitis include the following:

Redness and swelling

White or yellow patches on the tonsils


Sore throat

Difficulty swallowing

Swollen or tender lymph nodes in the neck

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

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


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

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

When to Consider a Tonsillectomy

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

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

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

Potential Adenoid Complications: Enlarged Adenoids

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

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

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

When to Consider an Adenoidectomy

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

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

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


by Colgate

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Even In Your Twenties Teeth Need Help

Are you twenty something?

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

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

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

What problems do young adult patients have?

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

Not going to the dentist

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

But then the problem starts.

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

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

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

5 common issues that bring new patients to us:

#1 problem – toothache

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

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

People also ask:

My tooth aches. What should I do?

What are the stages of root canal treatment?

#2 problem – yellow teeth

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

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

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

People also ask:

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

 How does age affect our teeth?

#3 problem – bad breath

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

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

People also ask:

How can I be sure my breath smells okay?

What is tongue scraping?

#4 problem – wobbly or missing tooth

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

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

find the tooth

hold it by the crown (not the root)

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

get emergency dental help asap to re-root the tooth

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

People also ask:

What is periodontitis?

What do I do if I knock a tooth out?

#5 problem – aching jaw

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

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

People also ask:

Why does stress make my jaw ache?

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

It’s time to take responsibility

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Spa Dental

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What Causes a Black Spot on Your Gums?

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

Causes of Dark Spots on Gums

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

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

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

Internal Causes

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

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

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

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

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

External Causes

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

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

Smoking and tobacco products

Trauma to the face or mouth

Heavy metals

Injury from graphite pencil

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

Oral Cancer

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

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

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

by Colgate

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Views: 29

How to Overcome Your Embarrassment of Going to the Dentist

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

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

Reasons for Embarrassment

My teeth will be the worst the dentist has ever seen

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

The longer you delay, the more potential for decay.

I don't want the dentist to lecture me

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

My dentist will judge my lifestyle

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

Tips to Overcome Your Embarrassment of Going to the Dentist

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

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

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

Now get out there and reclaim your dental experience!

by Delta Dental

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Views: 27

Brushing Or Flossing: What Comes First?

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

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



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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


by Tryon Family Dentistry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What causes a bad taste in the mouth?

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

1. Poor Hygiene & Dental Problems

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

2. Dry Mouth

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

3. Oral thrush

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

4. Respiratory or viral infections

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

5. Hormonal Changes

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

6. Dietary supplements

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

7. Chemotherapy and radiation

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

How to Get Rid of a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth

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

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

by Oral B

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