Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Does Bottled Water Have Fluoride?


Drinking water with fluoride can reduce your risk of cavities by 25%! Still, not all bottled water has nature’s cavity fighter. ADA dentist Dr. Matthew Messina explains what to look for when buying or drinking bottled water.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

What Is Proper Oral Hygiene?


You may have grown up hearing about the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth. You do both of those on a daily basis, yet when you visit your dentist, he or she finds a cavity or the start of gum disease.

If this happens regularly, it may be an indication that your oral health hygiene practices are not as they should be.

What is the right way to go about maintaining your teeth and gums?

Proper Dental Hygiene

Brushing is the most basic element of keeping your teeth and gums healthy and free of disease and decay. Many patients, both children and adults, however, brush the wrong way.

Brushing

It is recommended that the toothbrush used is of soft to medium firmness. The brushes with the hard, or very firm bristles can scrape off and damage one's tooth enamel. They can also scratch and cause injury and discomfort to the soft, sensitive gum tissue. To maintain their cleaning effectiveness, toothbrushes should be thrown out and replaced every three months.

Correct teeth brushing involves a gentle circular motion over the teeth and gums. Too many patients are overzealous in their brushing too violently and applying too much force on the teeth and gums.

With the busyness of life, few patients brush the required two minutes. There are some fun ideas and tips for both kids and adults to get the full two minutes of brushing in, such as listening to a favorite song or a friendly, family competition.

Flossing is another important part of proper dental hygiene. Many patients are either nervous about flossing, are too impatient to properly floss or think that flossing is unnecessary with daily, thorough teeth brushing.

Flossing is a must in order to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. Flossing gets to plaque, decay, and lodged food particles in between teeth and along the gum line, two places where a toothbrush can't reach.

Proper flossing can be tedious and takes time. Both sides of each tooth need to be flossed. Gently slide the floss along one side of the tooth, going just below the gum line. If you've never flossed or you typically don't go down far enough, your gums may be sensitive and bleed a little. Some bleeding the first few days of flossing is normal. If your gums bleed excessively or they bleed long after you've established a flossing routine, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as you may have gum disease that requires professional treatment.

Flossing needs to be done at least once a day, preferably twice a day. Nightly flossing before going to bed will greatly reduce the formation of cavity causing plaque and tartar.

Regular dental office visits is the third important component of healthy oral hygiene. Patients are encouraged to schedule routine dental cleanings and check-ups every six months. As important as it is to have a professional look at and examine your teeth, some patients go for sometimes years between dental office visits. The longer a patient goes between dental check-ups, the higher the risk one has for getting gum disease and tooth decay. The dentist has the tools and equipment to examine and thoroughly clean your teeth. He or she can clean your teeth better than your flossing and brushing can. Tartar build-up, for example, can only be removed with dental equipment.

A dentist is a certified professional who has extensive training and knowledge in dental care. He or she can spot possible dental concerns that patients would easily overlook.

Proactive treatment is the best and most effective way to maintain a healthy mouth.

Proper, daily teeth brushing and flossing and regular, six month professional cleanings and examinations are all important for a clean, healthy mouth.

If it has been more than six months since your last dental office visit, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. At your appointment, your dentist will be able to give you suggestions on how to better your oral hygiene routine.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sensitive Teeth? You May Have These Dental Issues


It's a chilly day and as you walk by the grocery store, you catch a whiff of yummy French onion soup. As your mouth begins to water, you come to the sobering realization that while the soup may taste good, it will be a pain (literally) to enjoy.

The same kind of intense, dull tooth and jaw ache happen when enjoying overly cold delights such as ice cream.

You probably think you just have sensitive teeth and there's nothing you can do about it. You just keep using sensitive teeth toothpaste and hope for the best.

Your sensitive teeth could be simply that, but it could also be a greater dental problem that your dentist should look at.

Possible Dental Conditions

Sensitive teeth are a telltale sign that the enamel of your tooth or teeth has been worn down and weakened. The tooth enamel is the hard, protective barrier that protects the inside of the tooth, including the tooth pulp. The pulp of the tooth is where blood vessels and nerves of the tooth are. It is also where the tooth roots are that affix the tooth to the jaw.

When the nerves of the tooth pulp are exposed, as when the tooth enamel is weakened, tooth sensitivity and pain often result.

The wearing away of tooth enamel has many causes which prompt a visit to your dentist. The most common dental issues that result in the weakening of tooth enamel include: tooth decay, broken or chipped teeth, teeth grinding, and gum disease.

Tooth Decay (Cavities)

Tooth decay is the most common destroyer of tooth enamel. Tooth decay is the result of poor and inconsistent dental hygiene practices, a poor diet, and being a part of a high-risk group, such as those who smoke and who have certain health conditions such as diabetes that can lower one's immune system functionality.

Cavities are formed when germs and bacteria of leftover food particles decay and interact with saliva, producing a sugary substance that eats away at teeth enamel.

Cavities can be easily treated with fillings or a crown (if the tooth decay affects a large area of a tooth).

Broken or Chipped Teeth

Teeth enamel can also be weakened due to injury and trauma such as when a tooth is broken or chipped. Teeth that are broken and/or chipped should be treated by a dentist immediately. Permanent adult teeth don't grow back once they fall out or get broken. The best chance to save the tooth in either case is to have a dentist treat it immediately.

If broken or chipped teeth aren't immediately treated, a host of dental treatment options will be employed to preserve what is left of the tooth including crowns, inlays, onlays and veneers. Many of these dental treatments are considered cosmetic dental procedures and may likely not be covered by dental insurance.

Teeth Grinding or Clenching

Sometimes tooth enamel is worn off by the excessive grinding and clenching of teeth. The rubbing of the teeth surfaces and the extreme pressure put on the surface of the teeth can easily break down the enamel over time.

This condition of clenching and grinding of teeth is called Bruxism. Most patients with Bruxism often clench or grind their teeth at night while they are asleep. Most aren't aware that they have it.

Patients with Bruxism can be treated with the use of specialized mouth guards that are worn at night while the patient sleeps. The soft rubber mouth guard cushions teeth which protect them from further damage of grinding and clenching.

Gum Disease

Sometimes tooth sensitivity is caused by gum disease. Gum recession, (when one's teeth look unusually long) is a sign of moderate gum disease. When there is moderate gum disease, the pockets of gum tissue around the roots of teeth loosen and deepen, causing the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, exposing parts of the teeth that are normally protected and covered by gum tissue.

As these gum pockets widen and deepen, there is a greater chance that food particles will get lodged inside and begin to infect the roots of teeth (the part of teeth that anchor them to the jaw). If gum scaling and planing aren't performed by the dentist, the gum recession will worsen and lead to teeth being lost and the bone tissue of the jaw becoming weak and compromised.

If your teeth are sensitive, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist and find out the source of the sensitivity. The sensitivity could indicate a serious dental condition that can further negatively affect your wellbeing and quality of life.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Get a Natural Look With the Composite Filling


Getting a tooth filling is never a first choice for anyone visiting a dentist, but sometimes there is no other option available. You dentist will give you a choice of which type of filling to get but again your options could be limited depending on your insurance cover. Some covers restrict the type of filling you can get and so it is important that you talk to your insurance provider about what options are available to you. You should be able to negotiate with your insurance provider about getting the option that most suits you. You may have the option of paying for the procedure with cash if that is more convenient for you.

Many dentists will recommend that you get the composite (tooth colored) filling and for good reason. It is a procedure that has been researched on and perfected, and is used by many dentists around the world. It is a reliable choice that offers a long-term solution for those requiring a filling. This option enables you to have fillings that match the color of your natural teeth. There are numerous benefits to this:

· You get natural looking teeth despite having fillings. There are those who opt to get silver fillings, which definitely do not look like your natural teeth.

· Your appearance will not be affected by an inconspicuous filling that might make you more self-conscious.

· You solve the actual problem of needing fillings so that the pain and sensitivity you were suffering gets a solution.

Composite (tooth colored) filling are a safe and reliable option that dentists have been using for many years. Dentists have managed to develop this method so that it can blend in with your natural teeth so that it is not immediately obvious that you have a filling. They also make them strong and durable so that you can go about eating and chewing as normal. The pain and sensitivity you were suffering from should go away after the filling is complete. It also takes a shorter time to recover from this procedure so that you can get to your normal routine as soon as possible.

They not only look natural, but they also feel natural. This adds to the slightly high cost of this procedure. Also, it requires more technical skill on the part of the dentist. The result is worth it so you will not regret spending a lot of money on the procedure. However, you definitely need to shop around for qualified cosmetic dentists so that the procedure is done correctly. Also, make sure to find out if your insurance cover allows you to shop around for different dentists or if they limit who you can go to for the procedure.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Gum Disease And Its Relation With Our Health


A lot of dental problems happen because of what we eat and drink. When we suffer from any sort of dental disease the first impact is on our gums leading to gum diseases such as gingivitis and Periodontitis. So today's point of discussion is how gum disease relates to other problem in our overall body.

Gum Disease is classified in two categories - Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease.

Gingivitis: This is a less severe form of gum disease but causes gums to be red, swollen and also bleed. In this stage patient will feel a little uneasy because of the swollen gum. The prime reason why patients suffer from this disease is due to lack or oral hygiene. The condition can be cured by professional dental treatment and following proper oral care. Diabetes, Smoking, Aging, Puberty, Pregnancy and HIV are the most common factors that cause gingivitis.

Periodontal Disease: Gingivitis if left unnoticed and untreated can lead to Periodontal Disease. As time passes by plaque spreads below the gum line and starts to irritate the gums because of the toxins released by the bacteria. These toxins cause inflammation which leads to deterioration of bones and gums. The gums then start to separate from teeth and creates pocket which eventually becomes infected. As time passes by, the pockets become deeper causing further damage to underlying gum tissues. The end result is that the tooth tends to become loose and is removed.

Periodontal Disease has many forms such as those mentioned below:

• Aggressive Periodontitis: This is not a very common problem and is mostly seen in younger patients. The common symptoms include bone destruction and the condition being carried forwarded to the next generation.

• Chronic Periodontitis: This is inflammation in the tissues that support the teeth. This form of Periodontitis is the most common globally which results in pocket formation and recession of gingivitis. Although it is very common among adults but can happen at any age.

• Necrotizing Periodontal Disease: In this stage of Periodontitis, the gum tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone are practically dead. It is commonly found in patients suffering from HIV or any sort of malnutrition.

Research has proved that Periodontal Disease is linked with many other diseases in our body. During the initial stages of the research it was thought that the disease happen due to the bacteria present in our teeth. However after further investigation it was proved that inflammation was the root cause of the diseases. This is the reason why I have always laid emphasis on the fact that it is advisable to treat periodontal disease at an early stage so that inflammation can be cured. Treating inflammation before any further damage will save you from the risk of getting infected by:-

• Diabetes: Patients who are suffering from this problem are more prone to periodontal disease because they are more open to be infected. Patients suffering from periodontal disease will find it difficult to control blood sugar. This eventually results in uncontrolled diabetes.

• Heart Disease: Research has laid emphasis on the fact that periodontal disease can also lead to heart disease. Researchers have agreed upon the fact that inflammation is the main reason for it.

• Osteoporosis: Research has proved that there is a direct link between Periodontitis and Osteoporosis. Reason being osteoporosis leads to tooth loss as density of tooth is reduced.

• Respiratory Problem: The bacteria in our gums can travel to our lungs leading to various respiratory problems.

• Cancer: It has been proved that men who suffer from gum disease are more likely to develop kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer and blood cancer.

Early identification and treatment is extremely important to prevent further damage of gum tissues and bones. Following proper dental hygiene is the most important factor in controlling gingivitis.


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Monday, November 6, 2017

The Importance of Proper Dental Hygiene and Care


Ever since you were little, either your parents, dentist or both have told you the importance of proper dental hygiene and care. You know that brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis will cut down on bad breath and lower your risk of cavities and gum disease.

But what is the big deal? If you develop gum disease or tooth decay, can't the dentist easily fix it at your six month check-up and cleaning?

Tooth decay and gum disease are bad news and not things to take lightly. Yes, cavities can be treated with fillings and crowns, but these dental procedures will cost you. Crowns, especially can be expensive and require multiple trips to the dental office.

Most American adults have some form of gum disease. Fortunately, in most cases, the severity isn't that great and the disease can be stopped and reversed with professional dental procedures like deep cleaning, root planning and scaling and root canals. Sometimes improved at-home dental oral hygiene can be enough to reverse a patient's gum disease.

Like cavities, treating minor gum disease can be expensive and time-consuming with multiple appointments needed.

What happens when a patient who doesn't practice sufficient, proper at-home dental hygiene has moderate to severe tooth decay and gum disease?

First, the extent and invasiveness of the necessary dental procedures to treat them will increase which means more expenses, more time in the dentist chair and a longer recovery time. A root canal, for instance, will be more expensive, painful and take longer to recover from than a filling or deep cleaning, for example.

There is likely going to be more pain and discomfort and one's ability to chew and bite may be hindered. If you don't daily brush and floss your teeth and the plaque builds up on your teeth and along the gum line, your teeth and gums will become more sensitive and the decay weakens them. Infection-like symptoms such as pain, discomfort, swelling and bleeding are likely to occur, which can make everyday life miserable. The discomfort can be constant or it can come about with chewing or consuming hot or cold foods and beverages.

If nothing is done about the gum disease or tooth decay and infrequent, poor dental hygiene is continued, tooth loss and the breakdown of the jaw bone can occur. The loss of teeth and the disintegration of the jaw bones will make proper eating and clear speaking difficult. On top of that, one's once proud, bright, straight smile will be destroyed by embarrassing gaps.

Patients may think that a few missing teeth are no big deal, but it is missing teeth that prevent people from smiling and experiencing the positive effects of showing off their beautiful, natural smiles. People who don't smile are seen as unhappy, negative, self-conscious and anxious. Social and professional opportunities can be missed as friends and others will avoid someone who doesn't smile and bosses will more likely pass over employees who don't smile, and therefore, lack confidence, for jobs and promotions.

Missing teeth can also cause other teeth to grow crooked, which will require even more dental work to be done.

Patients who don't practice daily, proper, dental hygiene risk needing expensive, extensive dental procedures, a lower quality of life, missing teeth and compromised jaw bones.

When your dentist stresses the importance and need for proper dental hygiene, don't ignore it. You will be glad you didn't in the future.

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Friday, November 3, 2017

Why Teeth Sensitivity and Toothaches Should Be Treated ASAP


Grimacing after each sip of hot coffee in the morning or taking painkillers every few hours to ease the throbbing pain of a toothache is not normal. It is an indication that something is wrong.

If you have tooth sensitivity or a toothache, you're probably miserable. You may think that if you continue taking Tylenol and using an ice pack, the pain will eventually go away. After all, that usually works for other body pains.

Maybe you decide to live with the pain because you're afraid of what the dentist will find. You've heard that tooth sensitivity and toothaches are symptoms of deep tooth decay and that likely treatment will range from crowns to a root canal. You don't want the hassle of undergoing a dental procedure or paying for extra dental work.

The reality is that the longer you let your tooth sensitivity and toothache to continue without getting professional treatment, the worse the pain and the damage to your tooth and gums will be.

If your tooth ache or tooth sensitivity is caused by tooth decay, it is important to have a dentist look at it sooner rather than later. The earlier the cavity is removed, the less the chance of it destroying more of the tooth and spreading to nearby teeth and gum tissue.

If left unchecked, what began as a toothache or tooth sensitivity could result in lost teeth and even possible gum and jaw issues.

Losing teeth and getting severe gum disease is nothing to take lightly. Missing teeth can cause eating and speaking difficulties as well as ruin your beautiful smile. They can even lead to the other teeth to grow in crooked which will require further dental work to correct your smile.

Severe tooth decay and gum disease can weaken a tooth's roots as well as the jaw bone that holds the teeth in place. A weakened jaw bone will less likely hold the tooth in place and it will reduce the patient's ability to have dental implants inserted to replace lost teeth.

Tooth sensitivity and toothaches indicate that somewhere the nerves in and around your teeth are exposed. This will only happen if the enamel (he tooth's hard, outside layer) has been compromised.

Tooth decay (or cavities) are almost always the culprit of weakened and destroyed tooth enamel, though in some rarer cases, a tooth's enamel is weakened because of trauma to the tooth. In the instance of tooth trauma where there is a crack on the tooth or if the tooth is broken, it is important to see the dentist immediately as it is a dental emergency.

Toothache pain and tooth sensitivity are not normal and they can greatly hinder the proper functioning of your mouth as well as lower your quality of life.

Both conditions likely indicate tooth decay or gum disease, though that isn't always the case. Regardless of the cause, it is better to have the pain and discomfort of toothaches and tooth sensitivity treated by a professional sooner rather than later as the decay and pain will only get worse.

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