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Periodontal Diseases

Gum Diseases, also known as periodontal diseases, are usually caused by a build-up of bacteria and plaque that inflames and infects the gums. Plaque is a clear film on the teeth to which bacteria sticks, and if it’s not removed with brushing and flossing, it will turn into a hard material called tartar. Tartar and bacteria deposits around and under the gum line are the main causes of periodontal diseases.

There are two types of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • Gingivitis is a milder form of gum disease, in which gums become red, swollen, and may bleed easily.
  • Periodontitis is a much more serious oral health condition in which the inflammation spreads deep below the gum line and involves the bone and tissues that hold teeth in place. Periodontitis can cause deep pockets of infection, which may result in the loss of teeth and their surrounding bone if it’s left untreated.

Fortunately, there are several procedures available to treat these oral health problems, depending on the severity of the disease.

The primary goal of any treatment for periodontal disease is to control and eliminate the tartar and bacterial infection around the teeth and under the gums. Treatments range from deep cleanings to oral surgery.

Gum-Disease-PicturesPeriodontal Disease Prevention

The best ways to prevent gingivitis from graduating to periodontitis are to:
  • Brush your teeth after every meal.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Avoid tobacco products.
  • Get regular dental checkups and cleanings.

Dental Fillings

Overview

A filling is used to treat a small hole, or cavity, in a tooth. To repair a cavity, a dentist removes the decayed tooth tissue and then fills the space with a filling material.

Causes

Tooth decay is damage to a tooth that can happen when harmful bacteria in your mouth make acids that attack the outer layer of the tooth called enamel. This can lead to a small hole in a tooth, called a cavity. More severe decay can cause a large hole or even destruction of the entire tooth. If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss.

When a tooth is exposed to acid frequently—for example, if you eat or drink often, especially foods or drinks containing sugar and starches—the repeated cycles of acid attacks cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals. A white spot may appear where minerals have been lost. This is a sign of early decay.

Tooth decay can be stopped or reversed at this point. Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources. But if the tooth decay process continues, more minerals are lost. Over time, the enamel is weakened and destroyed, forming a cavity.

Treatment

There are several types of filling material currently available to repair cavities, including tooth- colored (composite) fillings and silver-colored (amalgam) fillings. Composite resin materials are increasingly used to fill teeth because many people prefer tooth-colored fillings and because composites continue to improve.

There are also treatments called crowns, used to repair badly broken-down teeth. Crowns can be made of Ceramic (tooth colored), gold or other metals like stainless steel (usually used on baby teeth). Ceramic is the most common material because of good strength and aesthetics.

Generally, dental fillings and crowns do not last a lifetime.

Amalgam-vs-Composite-Dental-Fillings

Oral Cancer

Oral-Cancer-Screening

Overview

Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth and the back of the throat. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40 and affects more than twice as many men as women. Most oral cancers are related to tobacco use, alcohol use (or both), or infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV).

Causes

Tobacco and alcohol use. Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarette smoking, puts you at risk for developing oral cancers. Heavy alcohol use also increases the risk. Using both tobacco and alcohol increases the risk even further.

HPV. Infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus has been linked to oral cancers.

Age. Oral cancers most often occur in people over the age of 40.

Sun Exposure. Cancer of the lip can be caused by sun exposure.

Diet. A diet low in fruits and vegetables may play a role in oral cancer development.

Symptoms

If you have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, see a dentist or a doctor.

  • A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in your mouth, lip, or throat
  • A white or red patch in your mouth
  • A feeling that something is caught in your throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
  • Swelling in your jaw
  • Numbness in your tongue or other areas of your mouth
  • Pain in one ear without hearing loss

Diagnosis

Because oral cancer can spread quickly, early detection is important. The exam is painless and takes only a few minutes. During the exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will check your face, neck, lips, and entire mouth for possible signs of cancer.

Treatment

When oral cancer is detected early, it is treated with surgery or radiation therapy. Oral cancer that is further along when it is diagnosed may use a combination of treatments.Your doctor may refer you to a specialist.Other health care professionals who may be part of a treatment team include dentists, plastic surgeons, reconstructive surgeons, speech pathologists, oncology nurses, registered dietitians, and mental health counselors.

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Know everything about your toothbrush

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Q- Why do we need toothbrush for brushing our teeth?

The toothbrush is an oral hygiene instrument used to clean the teeth, gums, and tongue and helps in effective plaque removal.. It consists of a head of tightly clustered bristles mounted on a handle which facilitates the cleaning of hard to reach areas of the mouth. Toothbrushes are available with different bristle textures, sizes, and forms.

Q-How many times we need to brush our teeth?

It is generally recommended to brush after every meal. But Twice daily is must.

Q- How to choose a toothbrush?

The size of a toothbrush is important because if the head of the toothbrush is much bigger, then, this might not be able to get into the narrow spaces such as areas in the back of the mouth. A hard toothbrush can seriously damage the teeth and this may even cause the gum line to recede. So a soft toothbrush should be used for efficient cleaning as well as gum health.

Q- Which is better- electrical or manual toothbrush?

Manual toothbrushes and Electric toothbrushes can brush the teeth thoroughly clean if you use them in the proper way.

Both manual and electric toothbrushes come in many shapes and sizes and are typically made of plastic moulded handles and nylon bristles. The most recent toothbrush models include handles that are straight, angled, curved, and contoured with grips and soft rubber areas to make them easier to hold and use. Some people choose an electric toothbrush over a manual toothbrush particularly those who have issues with their shoulders and hands or are suffering from other motor functions.

Q-How to clean the toothbrush?

Thoroughly rinse toothbrushes with tap water after brushing to remove any remaining toothpaste and debris. Store the brush in an upright position if possible and allow the toothbrush to air-dry until used again. If more than one brush is stored in the same holder or area, keep the brushes separated to prevent cross-contamination.

Soaking toothbrushes in an antibacterial mouth rinse after use decrease the level of bacteria that grow on toothbrushes.

Q-Where we Should keep the toothbrush?

Do not routinely cover toothbrushes or store them in closed containers. A moist environment such as a closed container is more conducive to the growth of microorganisms than the open air.

Q-When should we discard our toothbrush?

Replace toothbrushes at least every 3–4 months. The bristles become frayed and worn with use and cleaning effectiveness will decrease. Toothbrushes will wear out more rapidly depending on factors unique to each patient. Check brushes often for this type of wear and replace them more frequently if needed. Children’s toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently than adult brushes. The ADA recommends that consumers replace toothbrushes approximately every 3–4 months or sooner if the bristles become frayed with use.

Q- If we belong to same family, can we share a toothbrush?

Do not share toothbrushes. Sharing a toothbrush could result in an exchange of body fluids and/or microorganisms between the users of the toothbrush, placing the individuals involved at an increased risk for infections. This practice could be a particular concern for persons with compromised immune systems or existing infectious diseases.

Q- How to brush teeth?

You can brush in a circular motion/Fones’ technique or Modified Stillman’s technique.

Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

 

grinding

Teeth grinding

Bruxism includes various behaviours like:-

  • Gnashing of teeth
  • Grinding of teeth
  • Clenching of teeth
  • Gritting of teeth

Signs of teeth grinding-

  1. A chipped tooth
  2. You have a headache when you wake up
  3. TMJ pain disorder
  4. Chronic grinding of teeth
  5. Pain in jaws
  6. Loosening of teeth from the gums
  7. Losing of teeth
  8. Fracturing of teeth
  9. Wearing away of teeth and enamel
  10. Receding gums/Recession
  11. Recurring headaches
  12. Tooth pain

Treatment which really help include:-

  • Using a warm, wet washcloth on the jaw in front of earlobe
  • Massaging jaw muscles, the neck, and face to relieve tension on trigger points
  • Getting physical therapy
  • Doing exercises to relax the jaw
  • Using muscle relaxants to relax the jaw

Treatments for bruxism designed to reduce symptoms or get rid of teeth grinding include:

  • Reducing stress
  • Don’t open your mouth too wide.
  • Drinking more water
  • Getting more sleep
  • Not chewing gum or on other objects as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
  • Consciously relaxing the face and jaw throughout the day
  • Buying a teeth grinding mouth guard
  • Avoiding alcohol, which increases the urge to clench the teeth
  • Avoiding caffeine, which can make you jumpy and tense
  • Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food.
  • Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth.
  • If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.

The most popular and widely used of these solutions is mouth guards which are custom fabricated according to your mouth.

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Know about your toothpaste

 

toothpastes-place-in-history

Ques-Why do we need toothpaste to brush our teeth?

Ans-Toothpaste is a medium which helps to clean our teeth by foaming action and aids in getting rid of bacteria, lodged food particles, debris and stains between the teeth.

Ques- How much toothpaste should be used every day?

Ans-For proper and efficient cleaning of teeth, only a pea sized amount is sufficient.

Ques- Can we use mouthwash instead of a toothpaste?

Ans– No, not at all. Mouthwash can just freshen your breath and has an antibacterial action for a little time but can’t remove the food particles and debris.

Ques-Can we use medicated toothpastes for long term?

Ans-No, medicated toothpastes should be used only after consulting your dentist for specific problem. These should be used till the time they are prescribed for. Otherwise, they can have adverse effects too.

Ques- Choosing a right toothpaste-a dilemma?

Ans– You have to know your teeth in order to pick toothpaste that is right for you.

After all, nobody knows your teeth better than a dentist!

Most importantly, the type of paste you use won’t make much of a difference if brushing technique is not followed.

Ques-Does the color coding on toothpaste signifies the composition?

Ans-No, they’re EYE MARKS/COLOR MARKS which are artefacts in the manufacturing process which help in identifying where product packaging is to be cut or folded.

Ques- What are the best natural alternatives for toothpaste and brush?

Ans– Neem twig(datun), Acacia (kikar/babool) are the best traditional well known natural cleaning aid for teeth from centuries in our culture. Even clinical researches have proven the same.

Ques- Do Whitening toothpastes bleach teeth?
Ans- Whitening toothpastes alone can’t make whiter teeth. They can help in maintaining the white smile achieved after in-office bleaching or take away home-bleaching kit.

Ques- Which brand of Toothpaste is best?

Ans– All the toothpaste brands are similar. You are safe to brush with quality IDA-approved standard toothpaste to maintain your teeth.

 

Bad Breath (halitosis)

bad-breath1

Bad breath or halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems.

All the food eaten begins to be broken down in your Mouth.

If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing — even mouthwash helps to get rid of the odor temporarily.

The odor doesn’t go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.

If you don’t brush and floss teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath.

How to Prevent bad breath??

  1. Practice good oral hygiene.
  2. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque.
  3. Brush teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch).
  4. Don’t forget to brush the tongue.
  5. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness.
  6. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day.
  7. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day.
  8. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
  9. See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year for oral examination and professional teeth cleaning and detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
  10. Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products.
  11. Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist.
  12. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best.
  13. Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review.
  14. Make a list of the medications you take as drugs cause bad breath.

 

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Baby’s Oral Health

 

 

baby-bottle-tooth-decay

It’s never too early to start taking care of your little one’s teeth. Proper oral health care should start when 1st tooth erupts. Follow these guidelines

Just say no to Bottles in bed

Never put your baby to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled with milk, formula, fruit juice, or the sweet liquid. The sugar in these beverages can cause cavities in baby’s teeth, leading to ‘Baby bottle tooth decay’. Give your baby a bottle when it is going to sleep, fill the bottle with water instead.

Be sure your baby drinks fluoridated water

By the time your baby is 6 months old, he or she will require some fluoride for healthy teeth. Most babies can get all of the fluoride they need from the water they drink. Keep in mind that bottled water usually doesn’t have fluoride, however if you have questions for fluoride, talk to your dentist.

Clean your baby’s gum

Twice a day, gently wipe your baby’s gum with a wet, clean, soft cloth. You should start doing this even before your baby’s 1st tooth erupts. The average age is 6 months, but some infants don’t get their first tooth until they are 14 or 15 months old. Some babies see their first tooth when they are as young as 3 months old!

Brush new teeth   

Once the first tooth erupts in, you can clean them using soft, flexible children’s toothbrush and water. Gently brush its first teeth with a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste .switch to a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste once your child is age 2.

 

See a Dentist  

Whether it’s the first tooth or first birthday, no matters which happen first –It’s time for your child first dental appointment. Your dentist will examine your child and advice you on any concerns you have, such as thumb sucking .

images-of-cute-babies-with-mother

Xerostomia (Dry Mouth)

Dry mouth,  refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer. Less often, dry mouth may be caused by a condition that directly affects the salivary glands.

Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aids in digestion.

Decreased saliva and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.

Signs And Symptoms :

  • Sensation of dryness in mouth or throat, and saliva that seems thick and stringy.
  • Halitosis
  • Difficulty in chewing, speaking and swallowing
  • Alterations in sense of taste
  • Discomfort when wearing dentures
  • Frequent occurrences of tooth decay/dental caries
  • Gum irritation and periodontal disease
  • Dry or grooved tongue
  • Mouth sores and dryness, cracked lips.

Causes

Dry mouth is caused when the salivary glands in the mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. These glands may not work properly as the result of:

  • Medications like anti epileptics, anti cholinergics
  • Aging
  • Nerve damage
  • Other health conditions like Cancer , HIV Infections etc.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use
  • Recreational drug use

Treatments:-Treatment is indicated according to the cause. Various treatment modalities are :

  1. Change medications that cause dry mouth.
  2. Recommend products to moisturize your mouth.
  3. Prescribe medication that stimulates saliva production.
  4. Protect your teeth by regular check ups
  5. Sip water frequently
  6. Chew sugar-free gums
  7. Breathe through your nose, not your mouth
  8. Try over-the-counter saliva substitutes

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Advantages of dental cleaning

 

  1. Cavity prevention

The whitish film that builds up on your teeth is called plaque and is the leading cause of tooth decay. This acidic substance eats away at the tooth and leads to cavities. Plaque can be removed by brushing, flossing and dental cleanings.

  1. Stop tooth loss

Gum disease, is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. As gum disease advances, plaque moves further down the tooth where it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to loosen and fall out. The chance can be greatly reduced through regular dental cleanings combined with good oral hygiene habits.

  1. Bright smile

Drinking coffee, tea and wine or using tobacco can stain your teeth. A dental cleaning removes stains and you get the clean polished teeth.

  1. Fresh breath

Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent persistent bad breath. Even if you brush and floss regularly, getting a cleaning is a great way to keep your mouth healthy.

  1. Boost your overall health

Regular dental cleanings lower your risk for some diseases, like heart disease and stroke. Many life-threatening medical conditions can be detected in their early stages during a routine oral exam.

  1. Save money

You may be able to save money in the long run by helping to protect your oral health and potentially avoiding more costly and extensive procedures.

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