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Some common myths about your teeth Diet sodas are okay to drink.” “Flossing creates spaces between teeth.” “Baby teeth aren’t important.” “My tooth doesn’t hurt, so it should be okay.” How many of these have you heard before? I would like to share the truth about these common oral health myths I hear from patients almost every day. Read on to learn about them and how to keep your mouth healthy. 1. “You only need to go to the dentist if your teeth hurt.” You might be aware of the saying “prevention is better than cure.” What is relatively less heard of is that diagnosing and curing a tooth problem at an earlier stage is much easier and cost-effective than if it were to be addressed later. Even if you aren’t experiencing dental pain, we recommend seeing a dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and exams. Some dental issues are asymptomatic but can still cause infection and need treatment. If you were to wait too long, the treatment needed may be more expensive than if the disease were caught before it worsened. Also, the tooth has a lesser chance of being saved at a later point in time. Altogether, prevention saves you both time and money in the long-run. 2. “Flossing can create spaces between your teeth.” Flossing does not create spaces between your teeth. In fact, flossing helps prevent decay between your teeth. When you floss, you’re removing food debris nestled around your teeth and gums, which helps keep them healthy and removes harmful bacteria. When you begin a flossing routine you may experience bleeding gums, but after a few weeks of steady flossing, the bleeding tends to decrease. If your gums still bleed with flossing over time, the gum disease might be more severe and I recommend seeing your dentist to help determine the cause and proper treatment plan. Sometimes if you have plaque and tartar buildup in between and behind your teeth, it can be difficult to floss. A hygienist can help remove that buildup and make it easier for you to establish a successful flossing routine. Learn how to floss. 3. “It’s only a baby tooth.” Baby teeth are very important! They provide the necessary space for permanent teeth to line up underneath the gums and grow in properly. Cavities in baby teeth—if not addressed right away—can cause tooth loss much earlier than is natural, resulting in a space. If this happens, a dentist can make an artificial space maintainer until the permanent tooth grows in, but baby teeth are the best natural space maintainers. It is important to make sure that your child’s teeth are as healthy as possible. If a child isn’t brushing and flossing their baby teeth, odds are they won’t brush and floss their permanent teeth either, which leads to more severe and expensive dental issues as they get older. So all in all, it is more than just a baby tooth. 4. “It doesn’t matter what time of day I brush.” While we recommend each of our patients brush their teeth at least twice a day, brushing at a certain time does have an impact on your oral health. At night when we sleep, our salivary glands produce less saliva. During the day our saliva flow is higher and it provides a cleansing effect that we don’t get at night. In general, those with dry mouth (whether naturally or due to medication) have more cavities because they have less natural saliva cleansing their mouth and washing away food particles. So, when we don’t brush our teeth at night before bed, those food particles sit on our teeth all night and contribute to tooth decay over time. Brushing in the morning not only fights decay but also helps fight bad breath. Furthermore, choice of diet plays an integral role in oral health. It is recommended to brush right after consuming food and drink high in sugar and carbohydrates to prevent cavities. 5. “Diet sodas are okay to drink because they don’t have sugar in them.” Though diet sodas don’t have cavity-causing sugars in them, they still are highly acidic. Our mouth has acid-loving bacteria that contribute to cavities. Diet sodas have a pH level of about 2-3, while water is neutral at a pH level of 7 (for reference battery acid is very acidic at a pH level of 0). The acid in diet soda eats away at enamel (the outer protective layer of our tooth surface) causing tooth sensitivity. Some people tend to slowly sip their sodas throughout the day, which is actually more hazardous. Every time you take a sip, the bacteria in your mouth begins to work with the acid and attack your enamel. It takes about 20 minutes for your mouth to neutralize that acid again and each time you sip that 20-minute attack starts over. Besides soda, other acidic beverages like orange juices, citrus juices, etc. can also cause similar damage. The healthiest alternatives to keep your body hydrated are water, vegetable juice, and milk. 6. “Oral health is not connected to the rest of the body.” Your oral health is connected to your systemic (overall) health and there are many correlations between your mouth and body. A mouth with severe tooth decay and periodontal disease is more likely to cause bacteria to enter into the bloodstream and result in other health issues. Studies have found a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Learn more in our blog post about oral health and heart health. 7. “My teeth are unhealthy because I’m aging.” Aging is not an automatic factor in deteriorating oral health. Those who take care of their teeth during their childhood and adult years will still have healthy teeth in their senior years. Similarly, just because you are young doesn’t mean your teeth will be healthy. I have seen plenty of cases where patients in their 20s and 30s have such severe dental decay that they have to rely on dentures and bridges. In general, oral hygiene is important no matter your age, so be sure to brush and floss throughout your entire life to keep your mouth healthy. Be Proactive About Your Dental Care I encourage you to be proactive in keeping your teeth healthy. Putting off regular dental check-ups will likely lead to problems. A little time invested each day can save you countless hours of trouble – not to mention money – in the future. If you’re experiencing problems or have questions about your oral health, request an appointment below and Dental Associates will help keep your oral health in optimal shape!
Seasonal allergies can affect your mouth Watch out for the allergy season. You may find yourself sneezing or suffering from itchy, watery eye but here is a reminder that it can impact your teeth and gums as well. Here’s what to look out for and how to protect your mouth as we at dental professionals at Stoma Advanced Dental Care, concern about your oral health. Tooth pain Sinus pain, pressure and congestion caused by allergies can feel an awful lot like a toothache. The body’s immune reaction to the allergens in your system causes mucus to build up in the sinus cavities, which in turn, causes congestion, pressure and pain. When the maxillary sinuses, which are located just above the roots of the upper molars, are affected it can cause the molars, and sometimes premolars, to be sensitive to cold, biting or chewing, and sometimes even cause a throbbing sensation. The pain flares up as you sit, stand or lie down. Antihistamines can ease the pressure. But the pain may be a symptom of tooth decay. Talk to your dentist to determine whether it’s a result of allergies or decay. Dry mouth Allergies themselves, along with allergy medications (antihistamine), decongestants, and oral inhalers can make your mouth become extremely dry as a side-effect. Plus, when your nose is stuffy you tend to breathe through your mouth (especially while sleeping). The lack of saliva creates a dry mouth and a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, which can cause bad breath, tooth decay (cavities), gingivitis, and periodontitis. If you suffer from dry mouth, drink plenty of water to keep your oral tissues moist, and alleviate dryness. Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol is recommended to encourage saliva production and xylitol is proven to help reduce cavities. There are also oral rinses and other solutions that may alleviate symptoms. Mouth breathing Research indicates that mouth breathing can change the shape of your face and alter appearance. This is especially true for children because they are still growing. When breathing through the mouth, the tongue rests on floor of the mouth, causing cheek muscles to relax onto the upper teeth. This long-term pressure can lead to crooked teeth, dental overbites, as well as palate malformations Sore throat Postnasal drip causes an irritated sore throat, a persistent cough and making it hard to sleep at night. The soreness and constant need to clear your throat leads to additional dryness and irritation that eventually contributes to bad breath, but since it originates in the throat, brushing your teeth won’t help. Tips to keep oral health in check Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water and warm drinks like herbal tea (to keep both your mouth and body hydrated). Not only can this counteract the effects of dry mouth, it can also help your body flush away the excess mucus. Gargle with warm salty water relieves your throat and reduces harmful bacteria. Gargle and spit until all the water is gone. The salt can help draw mucus out of your sinuses, relieving your symptoms. It also cuts down on harmful bacteria in your mouth and throat, reducing the effects of bad breath and plaque. For those with high blood pressure, skip the salt. Just warm water is fine. Keep brushing and flossing is especially important when you’re experiencing dry mouth, so make sure you’re brushing twice and flossing at least once a day. Treat your allergies. Controlling your allergies can help reduce their impact on your mouth. Talk to your doctor about long-term treatment options. Talk to your dentist. Continue going to scheduled dental appointments. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, mention it to your dentist. Your dentist can help you figure out whether it’s allergy-related or caused by other problems. Allergies may seem only seasonal, but there could be underlying health conditions that need attention.
Braces and Oral Hygiene When you have braces, oral hygiene is more important than ever. Brackets and rubber bands make perfect hiding spaces for food debris and plaque, which can lead to cavities and teeth staining if not removed properly. As an orthodontic dental hygienist, I see exclusively orthodontic patients. When my patients come in for a hygiene appointment, I remove their rubber bands and wires then clean their teeth to remove any plaque buildup, concentrating on areas around the brackets where buildup is often more prevalent. I also provide braces care tips and educate my patients on the best ways to keep their teeth clean and lessen the risk of cavities and staining during treatment. If you have braces, read on to learn proper braces aftercare and how to keep your teeth clean too! How Often Should You Brush with Braces? How often you should brush when you have braces depends on how often you eat during the day. I recommend brushing after every time you eat, but at least three times a day. If you can’t brush after a meal, then rinse your mouth with water to wash away larger food particles until you’re able to brush. Having brackets and wires on your teeth makes it a little more difficult to brush and it also takes longer. I typically tell my patients to bump up their brushing to three minutes instead of the usual twosince it takes more time and effort to get around all the brackets. It’s important not to press too hard when you brush to protect the braces but also avoid damaging your gums. What Should You Use to Brush and Floss with Braces? Here are a few recommendations for tools to use to brush and floss braces. Just remember to find a toothbrush and floss that works best for you and that you’ll be able to use every day. Brushing An extra soft toothbrush will make it easier to brush. Turn it on an angle and go straight down and then also angle up from the bottom. Try making circles around the brackets to remove food and plaque that hides underneath them.   If you’re having trouble getting all the debris out from around your braces, try a water flosser like Waterpik. This can help rinse the hard-to-reach spaces.   An interproximal brush (or proxy brush) is a great tool for a quick clean if you don’t have time to brush and floss after a meal. It has a tapered brush on one end to slide underneath your wires and remove plaque so it doesn’t embed itself on your teeth and around the brackets. Just be careful while using it so you don’t loosen brackets.  As for the type of toothpaste to use, always choose one that has fluoride in it to help strengthen enamel and protect your teeth. Also, it’s best to stay away from whitening toothpaste to avoid creating different shades on your teeth that become visible when your braces are removed. Flossing My favorite floss for braces patients is called a Platypus Ortho Flosser. It’s flat on one side so you don’t have to thread it in and out yourself. You can just push it under the brackets and wires for a quick and easy clean. Plackers Dental Flossers are also a great tool and they provide the same function.   Superfloss is floss with a stiff end that’s easy to slide under braces wires. Once it’s under your wire, use the spongy part in the middle to help clean around brackets. It also has regular floss on the end to remove plaque from under the gumline (like regular floss).    A floss threader makes flossing with braces easier as well. You insert regular dental floss in the oval end of the floss threader, then use the pointed end to gently slide the threader under your wire. Once it’s threaded under your wire, you can remove the threader and use the floss as normal (repeat these steps between all teeth).  Don’t Forget about the Mouthwash! Once a day, be sure to use a mouthwash to strengthen teeth and protect enamel. Read the active ingredients to choose a mouthwash with fluoride but without alcohol. Alcohol can dry out your mouth, decrease saliva flow, and cause bad breath and even cavities. How to Care for Braces To keep your braces in tip-top shape, follow the rules for foods to avoid with braces. The more your brackets break, the longer your treatment will take. If you do break a bracket, call your orthodontist right away to get it fixed so teeth don’t start moving and negate the progress you’ve already made. Altogether, a good oral hygiene routine with proper tools and care will help your braces treatment to go more smoothly.
27 Aug 2018 Tackling toothache      |    27 Aug 2018   |   Cavities Decay Mouth Pain The treatments for tooth pain may be as simple as improving your oral health care routine, or as complicated as oral surgery. Tooth pain, is usually caused when the nerve in the root of a tooth or surrounding a tooth is irritated. The degree of tooth pain can range from mildly annoying to excruciatingly painful. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth is the most common causes of dental pain. Pain may also occur after an extraction (tooth is pulled out) or sometimes originates from other areas and radiates to the jaw, thus appearing to be tooth pain. The most common areas include the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or TMJ), ear pain, sinuses, and even occasional heart problems. The treatments for tooth pain may be as simple as improving your oral health care routine, or as complicated as oral surgery. The dental causes of tooth pain fall into several categories: Dental Causes Of Tooth Pain Tooth Damage: Damage to the tooth (chipped or broken due to trauma, broken or damaged filling, crown, or dental implant) are causes of tooth pain.  Tooth Decay is one of the most common causes of tooth pain, and it has several degrees of severity. Cavities are holes in the teeth that penetrate the tooth enamel and underlying dentin and which can lead to tooth pain. Abscess, which is an infection of the nerve and pulp inside the tooth, is a more severe form of tooth pain. Gum Disease (periodontal disease) includes redness and swelling of the gums, but these symptoms can contribute to tooth pain, as well as gum pain. Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is left untreated, and the inner layer of the gums pulls away from the teeth, forming pockets that collect food debris and bacteria.   Non-Dental Causes Of Tooth Pain Some causes of tooth pain are not directly related to your teeth. Pain can be associated with any of the following conditions: Sinus Infection can cause pain in teeth when the pressure of fluid-filled sinuses creates pain in the upper back corners of your mouth. Cluster Headache pressure has been associated with tooth pain. Heart Attack pain can radiate into the lower jaw. Diabetes - uncontrolled blood sugar can increase your risk for tooth decay. Nerve Diseases a condition called trigeminal neuralgia is associated with a sharp pain on one side of the face. Drug Abuse o  Methamphetamine has been associated with tooth pain. Vitamin Deficiency of B12 has been associated with tooth pain. You can prevent the majority of dental problems by flossing, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year.
10 REASONS YOU (MAY) HAVE BAD BREATH TEN REASONS YOU (MAY) HAVE BAD BREATH We were inspired to create this article based on content we spotted on WebMD. No one likes to feel self conscious about their breath! This article talks about 10 reasons why you may have bad breath and how you can combat them. HAPPY HOUR Grabbing a drink with your girls or drinking a couple brews with your bros could give you more than a hangover. Even though it’s a liquid, alcohol can actually dry out your mouth, which encourages the bacteria that cause halitosis, the medical term for bad breath. Drinks with caffeine, spicy foods, and cigarettes can, too. A dry mouth from not making as much saliva while you sleep also explains “morning breath.” It’s always a good idea to make sure you are getting plenty of water in a day to combat dry mouth. YOUR TONGUE Bacteria on the tongue is the leading cause of bad breath. Clean yours with your toothbrush, a teaspoon,   or a tongue scraper. Scrapers will do a slightly better job. A LOW-CARB DIET When you cut out carbs and boost the amount of protein you eat, your body starts burning fat for energy. That process makes compounds called ketones, which can cause bad breath. In this case, better dental hygiene won’t solve the problem, since that’s not the root cause. Sugar-free gum can help mask bad breath or a clove rinse can be helpful as well. THE COMMON COLD Respiratory tract infections like colds and bronchitis can also give you bad breath. That’s because odor-causing bacteria like to feed on mucus. And if you have a stuffy nose, you’re more likely to resort to mouth-breathing, which can dry out your mouth. AN ULCER A type of bacteria that causes ulcers, Helicobacter pylori, can also trigger bad breath, according to a study in the Journal of Medical Microbiology. Treating the bacteria may get rid of the stink. Your doctor can test you for H. pylori and prescribe antibiotics for it. MEDICATIONS More than 400 prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including antidepressants and allergy remedies, can stifle saliva flow. Saliva helps wash away food and bacteria, keeping bad breath at bay. Changing your medication isn’t always an option, so the American Dental Association recommends you stay hydrated and chew sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist. TONSIL STONES These small white-ish clusters — made up of hardened bacteria, food particles, dead cells, and mucus — get trapped in the ridges of your tonsils and the back of your tongue. They’re generally harmless except for the smell. They’ll often dislodge on their own, but you can sometimes speed the process by gargling with salt water. DRIED FRUIT It’s very high in sugar, and odor-causing bacteria love to feed on sugar. A 1/4 cup of raisins has 21 grams of sugar; the same amount of dried apricots has 17 grams. That’s like eating 4-5 teaspoons of pure sugar. Plus, dried fruit is sticky, so it can get trapped on and between your teeth. After a snack, be sure to floss and brush to help keep bad breath at bay. ACID REFLUX /  HEARTBURN These are two symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), a common digestive disorder. Your bad breath may be from some undigested food coming back up, or it could be that irritation from stomach acid is giving you postnasal drip. Ask your doctor for help if you get heartburn often. CRACKED TEETH AND FILLINGS These can trap food particles and breed bacteria, resulting in cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Ill-fitting dentures can cause the same problems. All the more reason to schedule your regular cleanings and exams at Samarth Dental Clinic