Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Your teeth are covered with a sticky film called plaque that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque contains bacteria, which following a meal or snack containing sugar can release acids that attack tooth enamel. Repeated attacks can cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in cavities. Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. This makes it more difficult to keep your teeth clean.
When tartar collects above the gum line, the gum tissue can become swollen and may bleed easily. This is called gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. You can prevent plaque buildup and keep your teeth cavity-free by regularly visiting the dentist, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth with dental floss daily.
To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org
Monday, May 6, 2019
Dental health is not limited to your teeth. Sores or irritations can develop in and around the mouth. Fortunately, they usually heal on their own within a week or two. Mouth sores come in several different varieties and can have any number of causes, including:
- Infections from bacteria, viruses or fungus
- Irritation from a loose orthodontic wire, a denture that doesn’t fit, or a sharp edge from a broken tooth or filling.
- The symptom of a disease or disorder.
Your dentist should examine any mouth sore that lasts a week or longer. For more information about specific kinds of mouth sores, please visit our pages on canker sores, cold sores, oral thrush and leukoplakia.
To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org
Friday, April 19, 2019
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath?
What is Halitosis?
Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath, and if you’ve ever had it, you shouldn’t feel bad. About 1 in 5 people in the general population suffer from it, and many people who think they have it actually do not.
The paranoia probably stems from the social stigma people place on those who have bad breath. In some cases, the causes of bad breath are simple and preventable so others are quick to judge, but there are rare exceptions in which someone’s halitosis may actually require medical attention. Knowing what causes bad breath can help identify the difference. In most cases, bad breath isn’t serious, but if it lasts longer than a few weeks, it may be evidence of a deeper underlying problem.
Bad Breath Causes
In order to get rid of bad breath, the first thing you need to know is why it’s happening. There are basically 10 common causes of bad breath:
- Drinking and Eating Certain Foods and Drinks: Certain drinks and foods, particularly coffee, garlic and onions, are notorious for creating bad breath. We love them for their taste, but that taste can linger once it’s absorbed into the bloodstream. Not only is the smell expelled through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food.
- Plaque Buildup: When you don’t brush properly, or often enough, bacteria can form in your mouth, and it’s one of the primary causes of bad breath. This bacteria feeds on the food particles left behind on your teeth and gums and produce waste products that release foul odors. If you have braces, you should take extra care to remove food particles from your mouth to avoid bad breath.
- Infrequent Flossing: When you don’t floss, small particles of food can get stuck between your teeth and around your gums. These are tricky places where toothbrushes can’t quite reach. When food particles are left behind, they start to collect bacteria, which in turn causes bad breath and plaque.
- Tongue Bacteria: Bacterial growth on the tongue accounts for 80‒90 percent of all cases of mouth-related bad breath. Poor oral hygiene results in plaque bacteria being left behind on your teeth and gums. This bacteria produces foul-smelling waste products that cause bad breath. This can lead to gingivitis, tooth decay, and cavities.
- Smoking: Smoking is a major cause of bad breath. Your body will thank you for giving up smoking, but your friends will, too. It can lead to serious bad breath and you may not even notice it because you have been accustomed to the smell. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee of bad breath. If you’re ready to quit, ask your doctor or dentist for advice and support.
- Dry Mouth: When your mouth is extremely dry, there isn’t enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria. Over time, this can cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth. Both stress and breathing through your mouth can also be causes of dry mouth, and certain medications have dry mouth as a side effect. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Breathing through your mouth can also cause the saliva you produce to evaporate rapidly. That’s why many people who breath through their mouth when they sleep get a dry mouth and wake up with bad breath.
- Morning Breath: Your mouth produces less saliva while you’re sleeping so food particle bacteria multiply faster while you sleep. That’s why bad breath odors are typically worse when you first wake up.
- Infections: If you have an infection in your mouth from a wound, it’s an easy target for bacteria build-up. If you’re having oral surgery (having your wisdom teeth pulled for example), be sure to keep an eye on the infection. A medical professional can prescribe antibiotics to help minimize the infection. If you’re having your wisdom teeth or other teeth removed, it’s possible that you may need to deal with bad breath, as well. When your teeth are extracted, bacteria can get inside your wounds and this is what causes halitosis. Your dentist may provide antibiotics to help, but if the infection persists and causes chronic bad breath for more than a few days, you may need to see your dentist to have the wound cleaned. Bacteria can also infect your gums when they’re not healthy or when they are compromised by other health issues or physical injury.
- Medical Conditions: Bad breath can be the result of certain conditions, such as tonsil stones, respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, or liver or kidney ailments. If you suspect that your bad breath may be the result of something chronic, speak to a medical professional. Certain conditions beyond your control can cause bad breath: sinus infections, tonsil stones, respiratory tract infections, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbances, or liver or kidney ailments are just some of the medical causes of bad breath. If you have chronic bad breath and your dentist rules out any oral health problems, see your doctor for an evaluation.
- Postnasal Drip: If you have sinusitis, or inflammation of the sinuses, mucus can get caught in the back of your throat, which can cause postnasal drip. The mucus can collect bacteria, and to make matters worse, now you have postnasal drip bad breath. Often, drinking lots of water and taking a decongestant can help with sinusitis, but if you have severe symptoms or your symptoms have lasted longer than a few weeks, you should talk to your doctor.
Bad Breath Remedies and Treatments
If you’re looking for a quick breath remedy, these simple tips can help with bad breath in the short term.
- Raw Fruits and Vegetables: Biting into a crispy apple is a great way to freshen your breath before you can get to brushing.
- Sugar-free Gum: It does more than refresh your mouth with flavor—it helps remove food particles and increases your saliva production which can help freshen breath.
- Drink More Water: A dry mouth can quickly lead to bad breath and is often the culprit of morning breath. Make sure you stay hydrated and keep a glass of water on your nightstand for a quick reach when you wake up.
To read the entire article visit crest.com.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth, and is caused by a buildup of plaque. In its early stages, symptoms may include:
- gums that bleed easily
- red, swollen, tender gums
- bad breath
Some factors that can put you at higher risk of developing gingivitis include:
- poor dental care
- smoking or chewing tobacco
- crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
- medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
This might sound scary, but at this stage the disease is still reversible. Eliminating the infection can be as easy as trip to the dentist office for a professional cleaning, as well as daily brushing and flossing.
Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. This is why it’s important to schedule regular dental checkups in addition to maintaining a good dental routine of brushing and flossing.
To read the entire article visit MouthHealthy.org.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
What Causes Yellow Teeth?
Do you have yellow teeth? Are you looking for a smile makeover? It’s best to start by evaluating your whitening needs and goals by looking at the color of your teeth and your habits or other factors that may have caused discoloration:
- Diet: Certain foods that are high in tannins, such as red wine, are potential causes of yellow teeth. Some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration include drinking beverages such as coffee, soda, and wine. These substances get into the enamel of your teeth and can cause long-term discoloration.
- Smoking: Smoking is one of the top causes of yellow teeth, and stains from smoking can be stubborn. But smokers can improve their yellow teeth by quitting smoking, following a complete oral care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing, and using the right teeth-whitening products.
- Illness: Certain medical conditions or medications are also causes of yellow teeth. Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy for head or neck cancers may develop yellow or stained teeth. Also, certain types of prescription medications including medications for asthma and high blood pressure are causes of yellow teeth.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene is one of the causes of yellow teeth, but even the most diligent brushers and flossers can develop the discolored teeth that occur simply with age.
- Fluoride: Excessive fluoride exposure is also among the causes of yellow teeth, especially in children.
If any of the causes of yellow teeth have left you unsatisfied with your smile, you have many choices of whitening products. Consider the causes of yellow teeth in your expectations for teeth whitening, but be sure to check with your dentist first and follow instructions carefully.
How to Whiten Yellow Teeth
Once you’ve made the decision to invest in a whiter, brighter smile, there are a number of treatment options to consider. From in-office treatments to at-home whitening strips, gels, toothpastes, and rinses, there are a variety of ways to say goodbye to yellow teeth and achieve the perfect white smile. Here are some general details about both options to help you make an educated decision on how to whiten your yellow teeth.
- Professional Teeth Whitening: Professional teeth whitening is done at your dentist’s office and includes the application of a bleaching agent directly to your teeth. Special lights or lasers may also be used to enhance the performance of the bleach. Depending on the condition of your yellow teeth, you may have one or several treatments that range from approximately 30 minutes to an hour.
- At-home Whitening: At-home teeth-whitening options include over the-counter whitening strips and gels, both of which use peroxide-based whitening gel. Initial results are typically seen in just a few days and last for up to twelve months for products. These options are more economical.
If you want to whiten yellow teeth, it’s hard to know where to start. There are so many options available to whiten yellow teeth that it can get overwhelming. No matter what you decide, it's always a good idea to consult with your dentist about your yellow teeth before starting a whitening program.
To read the entire article visit crest.com.
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Child Cavity Prevention – the Easy Way!Children often don’t do a good job of brushing their teeth. This applies to adults too! Even meticulous brushing may not reach the deeper grooves in the back teeth. This contributes to bacteria, acids, and plaque formation, which will lead to decay. Once the tooth has decay, it is permanently damaged and will need either a filling or crown.
However, there is a way to help prevent all this from happening. The application of dental sealants will do the trick. Here’s how sealants work: The teeth are cleaned and sterilized. A thin white or clear plastic coating is applied. A curing light bonds the sealant into place. The whole procedure takes just a few minutes. There are no shots, drills or tooth structure removal. It’s completely harmless.
The addition of dental sealants is one of the best preventive things both children and adolescents can do to protect their natural teeth!