Monthly Archives: May 2015

8 Grave Problems In Your Mouth

Your mouth is sensitive and can easily deteriorate. You need to practise good oral hygiene as a part of routine. Once your mouth is affected it takes too much of time and money to heal. Here is a list of 8 problems that you should be aware of.

1. Cold Sores

Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. It is not developed from fevers or colds but they can trigger it. The virus which causes cold sores is passed usually by sharing utensils, or any other close contact. Cold sores are a top mouth problem. Ointments available over-the-counter may help in healing.

2. Thrush

Thrush is caused by candida yeast and is more commonly seen in babies or older people. Weakened immune system, diabetes, antibiotics, or certain medications can promote the growth of candida. Wiping away the patches on your own will cause soreness. Consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

3. Black Hairy Tongue

Black hairy tongue is a painless condition which occurs when the little bumps on your tongue grow and trap bacteria. This makes the tongue look black. Use of antibiotics, poor oral hygiene, drinking too much caffeine, smoking etc can lead to this. Using a tongue scraper and brushing the tongue is all that is needed to treat it. In case of worse condition, certain medications are necessary.

4. Leukoplakia

Leukoplakia occurs due to badly fitting dentures, rough teeth, smoking, and consuming tobacco. It is usually painless and can show up as plaque or white patches in the mouth. Leukoplakia can also be a precancerous condition and cannot be scrapped off. Consult a dentist in case of constant patches or other changes in your mouth.

5. Gum Disease

Gum disease occur due to unhygienic oral practices. Over the time bacteria in plaque accumulate along the gum line and leads to gingivitis. It is the first stage of gum disease. Red and bleeding gums are the symptoms of gum disease. Poor diet, smoking and stress can make the condition worse. Good oral hygiene will help in preventing periodontal disease.

6. Chipped Teeth

Munching on ice, clenching or grinding teeth, exposing teeth to extreme heat and cold can lead to chips and cracks in your teeth. Small chips and cracks are not bothersome but anything beyond that could lead to soreness or permanent tooth damage. To fix such badly damaged teeth, your dentist can offer tooth contouring, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, and crowns.

7. Bad Breath

Special attention should be given to bad breath as it can embarrass you in public. When teeth are not brushed, food particles remain within them that promote the growth of bacteria and cause bad breath. Constant bad breath in your mouth arises due to various reasons. Dry mouth, continuous breathing through your mouth, tooth decay, gum disease can all lead to bad breath. You can fight bad breath by regularly brushing your teeth and tongue, avoiding food triggers and drinking plenty of water.

8. Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease. Increased inflammation causes the gums to recede, and forms pockets between the gums and the teeth. These pockets trap plaque, tartar, and food debris which eventually makes way for infection and abscesses. Advanced gum disease damages the bone that supports teeth. Consult your dentist to treat receding gums as it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults.

10 Secrets To Whiter Teeth

Yellow teeth have always been a topic of embarrassment. It makes your smile gloomy. For having that perfect smile we all need a set of white shiny teeth. Avoiding proper oral hygiene and consuming certain foods can stain your teeth. The following steps will help you restore your sparkling smile.

1. Tooth Whitening Kits

Tooth whitening kits contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These chemicals help in removing superficial and deeper discolouration. Depending on the kit, the compounds are either in the form of gel that is put into upper and lower teeth molds or the compounds are brushed on with a toothbrush.

2. Whitening Toothpastes

The toothpaste and liquids that we use regularly remove certain stains but most of them do not contain the bleaches required to remove deep stains. They might not make your teeth shiny, so instead opt for a tooth whitening toothpaste.

3. Home Whitening Strips

Usually whitening strips contain about 5% hydrogen peroxide impregnated strip of polyethylene. People can apply this at home for few minutes a day for a week.

4. Home Remedies for Whiter Teeth

Mixing baking soda with lemon juice has been claimed by many to help whiten teeth. The flow of saliva and the scrubbing action of fruits like pears, apples and carrots also help in lightening the teeth. Sugarless gum helps in stimulating saliva to wash teeth and neutralize acids in foods.

5. Dental Work and Tooth Whitening

If you have had dental work like crowns, veneers, bonding, tooth implant or filling done, you should be extra cautious with tooth whiteners. Whiteners are useful on natural teeth and not on altered teeth. This results in having teeth of different shades which might look ugly.

6. Don’t Smoke

Tobacco is one of the worst materials which stain teeth. It discolours the teeth and makes them brownish. Products that contain tobacco can lead to many dreaded issues like cancer, gum disease etc. They also contribute to bad breath.

7. Preventing Teeth Stains

The outer layer that covers the teeth i.e. tooth enamel wears away with age. Below the enamel is dentin that is yellowish in colour. As you age, consuming foods and fluids that attack and stain enamel may cause dentin to be exposed. Avoid eating foods that stain. That is the best way to prevent the stains.

8. Medications That Can Stain Teeth

There are other compounds that can stain your teeth. Following is the list of some of these substances:
•Mouthwashes that contain cetylpyridinium chloride
•Iron-containing medications
•Excessive Fluoride
•Some antipsychotics, antihistamines and high blood pressure medications
At times the teeth are so stained that whitening methods don’t work. If your teeth do not respond to whitening, consult your dentist for other options.

9. Daily Maintenance Can Help

Practising a good oral hygiene is a must. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing regularly will keep all dental problems at bay. Make sure you rinse your mouth thoroughly after consuming food. Select a toothbrush which is recommended by dentist.

10. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

It is essential to visit a dentist twice a year. Regular check up helps you in maintaining good oral health. Pearly white smile is a sign of good dental care.

6 Useful Tips To Control Tartar

A deposit which forms on teeth when plaque hardens is known as tartar. It develops quickly with age. It is yellow and brown in colour and can be noticed easily on teeth. When plaque is not removed from teeth, it hardens and converts into tartar. It can only be removed by dentists since it bonds strongly with enamel. It is important you maintain a hygienic mouth and get rid of tartar.

Here are few tips on how you can control tartar:

1. Brush Regularly

It is very essential that you brush twice a day for at least 5 minutes. Make sure you use an appropriate toothbrush with soft bristles. Brush gently and clean each and every tooth including the gaps. Also ensure that hard to reach surfaces are also cleaned.

2. Use Electronic Toothbrush

Research has shown that powered or electronic toothbrushes can get rid of plaque than manual ones. You can use whichever toothbrush; just ensure that it is approved by the dental association which proves that the toothbrush has undergone thorough quality control tests.

3. Use Toothpaste with Fluoride

You can prevent the growth of tartar on your teeth by using toothpaste with fluoride. Along with this it can also repair enamel damage. Triclosan is a substance present in some products that fights the bacteria in plaque.

4. Floss Regularly

Flossing is as important as brushing. Even if you brush twice, it is important you floss once a day. Dental floss is one of the major ways of removing plaque. It also reaches remote areas in teeth and keeps tartar at bay.

5. Watch Your Diet

The bacteria in your mouth increase on starchy and sugary foods. They release acids when they are exposed to such foods. It is important that you limit the intake of sugary foods. Maintain a healthy diet. Keep a tab on your food habits. You don’t have to give up sweets or snacks, but just limit the munching. Also drink plenty of water throughout the day.

6. Stop Smoking

Smoking and consumption of tobacco is injurious to oral health. It can give rise to tartar if proper precautions are not taken.

Keeping good oral hygiene is essential for healthy living. You must visit a dentist at least twice a year to prevent the development of plaque. Once tartar is formed on your teeth, only a dentist can clean it properly.

Diabetes Problem: Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Diabetes can harm your eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves and mouth. It might be surprising but even oral health of people who have diabetes can be affected. Such people are at higher risk for periodontal diseases which is the infection of the bone and gum that holds the teeth in place. Gum diseases can cause difficulties in chewing. Dry mouth is another symptom of undetected diabetes and it can cause ulcers, soreness and tooth decay. Smoking and consuming tobacco worsens these problems.

Ways diabetes can affect your mouth:

Too much glucose in your blood, caused due to diabetes can lead to infection, pain and other oral problems. Glucose is present in your saliva, which helps in keeping the mouth wet. If diabetes in not under control then high glucose levels in your saliva leads to the growth of bacteria. These bacteria strive on the food and forms a sticky layer called plaque. It generally occurs by eating sugary and starchy foods. Plaque is the root cause of cavities, bad breath and gum diseases.

If you have diabetes, gum diseases can turn out to be more serious and take longer time to heal. Also it can make the glucose in your blood hard to control.

Effects of plaque:

If untreated for a longer duration, plaque hardens into tartar and accumulates above gum line. It becomes complicated to clean and brush between teeth. Gums bleed easily and become red and swollen. This is a sign of gingivitis.

If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis. In this, the gums pull away from teeth and form spaces which later on get infected.

The infection can last for a longer time. The plaque continues to grow. If periodontitis is not cured, the bones, gums and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. This loosens the teeth and you may need to remove them.

Common mouth problems from diabetes:

Gingivitis: Unhealthy and inflamed gums which appear red and swollen.
Periodontitis: Gum disease that can change from mild to severe.
Candidiasis: The growth of naturally occurring fungus which the body cannot control.
Dry Mouth: Lack of saliva which raises the risk of tooth decay.
Oral burning: A burning sensation inside the mouth caused by uncontrolled level of glucose.

It is advisable for you to always check your mouth for signs of diabetes. If you encounter any problem, you should visit your dentist right away. Tender, swollen and bleeding gums are some of the signs of gum disease. At time you may not know what you are suffering from until a serious damage is done. The best way to prevent all these is by visiting your dentist twice a year and practicing good oral hygiene daily.

Enamel Damages: Effects, Causes & Prevention

Enamel is like a shell that protects the soft part of the teeth. It is tough and is considered as the hardest substance in the body. If proper care is taken, it can be easily prevented from getting damaged.

Light can shine through enamel. The layer beneath dentin makes a tooth look light or dark. Having excess of tea, coffee, cigarettes, wine, and other substances can stain the outer layer of your teeth and make it yellow.

In-spite of being tough, tooth enamel can breach. It can be eroded by bacteria and acids from foods. This leads to cavities and permanent damage. It can also be chipped and cracked and can’t re-grow.

Effects of damaged enamel

Cavities are not the soul problem of damaged enamel. The inner layer of enamel gets exposed which leads to tooth decay.

Teeth with damaged enamel are sensitive and can react to extreme cold or heat. Sipping a cup of hot coffee or cold-drink can be painful and less pleasant.

Causes of damaged enamel

1. Oral hygiene

Not rinsing the mouth properly after eating can promote the growth of bacteria. This happens because the bacteria in the mouth grow on sugars from sweet food. This forms acids that can destroy enamel and give rise to gingivitis.

2. Acidic foods

The intake of certain foods must be limited as it causes teeth to stain. The acid present in juices, sodas and drinks is harmful. Some of them are harsher than battery acid. Over the time, they can erode and shrink the size of tooth.

3. Wine consumption

If you are a regular consumer of wine, you have a high risk for enamel erosion. This happens because, when you sip wine many times a day it exposes your enamel to harmful acids. It is always advisable to have a glass of wine with a meal instead of sipping it for hours together.

4. Digestive Problems

Tooth enamel can be damaged by certain health conditions. Sometimes the acids from stomach enter mouth due to frequent vomiting and cause tooth erosion. Stomach disorders, acid reflux and other eating disorders can lead to this.

5. Dry Mouth

Saliva plays an important role in mouth. It takes care of acids in the mouth that erode your teeth and helps in restoring tooth enamel. Dry mouth can be caused by various reasons and if it is caused by the side effects of health conditions, the acids stick around longer and cause more damage.

6. Grinding Teeth

Teeth grinding or bruxism is another cause of enamel damage. The continuous friction and clenching can fracture your enamel. It becomes worse when you sleep and are unable to control it. You can take advice from your dentist to get rid of this.

7. Opening packages with teeth

Never use your teeth to open bottles, containers or packages. These might chip or crack the enamel.

Ways to prevent tooth enamel erosion

Prevention is better than cure. You can prevent enamel erosion by taking the following simple steps.
1. Brush your teeth gently with soft bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

2. You can consume some milk or a piece of cheese after a meal to zap the acids.

3. Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol is another way to stop acid damage since it helps in the formation of saliva.

4. Take care of your dental hygiene.

5. Do not use toothpicks; floss your teeth once in a day.

6. If you are using teeth whitening products than follow the directions correctly since they can be bad for your teeth.

7. Lastly you can always consult your dentist to keep your oral hygiene intact.