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While your dentist may recommend many different ways for keeping your teeth free from dental decay, one thing that almost every dentist focuses on is the use of fluoride toothpaste.
If you’re curious about what this “fluoride” thing is, then here’s some information to make the term more familiar to you. Basically, fluoride comes from the element fluorine and is found in many things around you including water, juices and soda. Furthermore, fluoride is also added to community drinking water. Fluoride plays an important role in preventing dental decay by regulating the flow of saliva and reducing dental plaque. Fluoride toothpaste also promotes the prevention of dental decay through re-mineralization of the teeth where acid produced by bacteria has already started weakening the teeth.

A Word of Caution
While fluoride toothpaste has countless benefits in addition to keeping the tooth enamel sturdy, it is recommended to be careful when making children less than six years of age use fluoride toothpaste. Most children have a habit of swallowing more toothpaste than required while brushing the teeth. And as a consequence, enamel fluorosis can be developed if more fluoride is ingested than is necessary. Enamel fluorosis tends to discolor the tooth enamel. So, supervising children when they’re using fluoride toothpaste for tooth brushing is extremely imoprtant.

 

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If you don’t know why your teeth are sensitive, it’s time to find answer to the following questions:

Are you brushing properly?

Did you know that poor tooth brushing can result in wearing down of your enamel with the dentin being exposed at the same time? It may also result in making your gums recede from the teeth.

What state are your gums in?

The state of your gums further worsens the situation. Once your gums start receding from the teeth, the root surface is also exposed.

Could it be a dental problem?

Your teeth may experience sensitivity because of tooth decay- especially in the region near your gumline. In some cases, inflammation in the gum tissue can also cause tooth sensitivity because of supporting ligaments that expose the surface of the root. Plaque buildup is yet another factor that contributes to tooth sensitivity.

What about teeth grinding?

If you clench or grind your teeth often, the enamel may start wearing down, which eventually exposes the underlying dentin.

Are your teeth cracked?

If you have chipped or broken teeth, the build up of plaque accelerates, and bacteria from the plaque may make their way into the pulp, causing inflammation and tooth sensitivity.

What did you have for lunch?

If you regularly have drinks or foods that contain acids, you have more chances of developing enamel erosion, which makes your teeth even more sensitive.

 

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When you’re preparing your child for his/her first dental visit, there are things that you need to keep in mind.  A good idea would be introducing the child to the dental clinic’s staff and the dentist first and letting him know how friendly these people are. But if your child is having trouble with developing a comfortable feeling at the dentist’s office, talk to your dentist about rescheduling a couple of short visits so that the child develops a sense of trust.

One of the biggest mistakes that most parents make is that they attempt to explain the process to the child, which tends to worsen the situation.  You shouldn’t be using phrases like “Be brave!” or “It won’t be that painful.”  Remember, it’s a dental visit, not some battle field that your child has to fight in.  Make sure that your child gets an idea that dental visits are normal and a fun experience.

Dental appointments typically last for half an hour, depending on the nature of the examination.  The main goal behind the dental checkup is to observe any underlying oral health problems and develop a treatment strategy before it’s too late to fix those dental issues.

 

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Choosing toothpastes can be a real headache, especially when you don’t have your priorities set before you enter the super market to buy one for yourself. Here are some toothpaste varieties that you should know about:

Toothpaste and abrasiveness

There are certain toothpastes that are comparatively less abrasive than others. For example, toothpaste containing baking soda is quite useful in helping with tooth sensitivity in individuals who experience gum recession or people who have abraded their teeth because of improper tooth brushing practices.

Does Your Toothpaste claim to whiten the teeth?

There are some verities that claim to whiten the teeth and if you’re interested in buying such toothpastes, make sure that your toothpaste contains whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. These toothpastes play an important role in maintaining the tooth shade for people who have had dental bleaching done.

Do you wear dentures?                                                                                                               

If you are a denture-wearer, you know very well how important it is to keep your dentures clean and odorless. So, talk to your dentist about a suitable denture cleaning toothpaste for proper denture maintenance.

Should it have fluoride?

No doubt, fluoride is an essential element in any toothpaste. Fluoride plays an important role in strengthening the enamel and fighting decay and toothpastes with the right amount of fluoride can be highly effective in removing stains, polishing the teeth and giving your mouth a refreshing feeling

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When it comes to choosing toothpaste, the job can be really confusing- especially when you have a variety of toothpaste available in the market. So, when buying toothpaste, it is better to first consider your oral needs and then invest in the right product.

Fluoride-based toothpaste

Yes, fluoride is an essential element in any toothpaste. It doesn’t matter whether you use your toothpaste in gel, powder or paste form, what matter more is the fluoride content in the toothpaste and the ability of the toothpaste to clean your teeth and protect them from cavities.  Fluoride plays an important role in strengthening the enamel and fighting decay and toothpastes with the right amount of fluoride can be highly effective in removing stains, polishing the teeth and giving you a refreshing feeling.

Are your teeth sensitive?

If you have a problem of tooth sensitivity, you should consider using a desensitizing paste that contains potassium nitrate or strontium chloride. These types of toothpastes take around four to six weeks to yield results, so have patience and consult your dentist in case of any problems with the use of the toothpaste.

Shouldn’t it offer tartar control?

If a toothpaste advertises “tartar control”, it means it contains pyrophosphate. Even though this agent hasn’t been proved to remove tartar, it has been found to be linked with reducing the formation of tartar.

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So, your teeth hurt badly and you can sense that something is wrong. Ignoring a toothache can prove to be the worst mistake that you could ever maker- especially in terms of your oral as well as overall health. So, it’s recommended to consult your dentist right away and try to figure out the causes of the problem.

Possible causes of a toothache

  • One of the biggest reason people have these toothaches is the development of cavities within the mouth. But that shouldn’t be an excuse to keep you from getting a dental visit in order to determine if the problem is something else.
  • Another cause of toothaches is bacterial infection in the tooth’s nerve that is also known as tooth abscess.
  • Gum diseases are yet other culprits.
  • Teeth grinding is also a factor that contributes to tooth pain.
  • In some cases, the ache results from being hit in the teeth or jaw while a person engages in sports activities.
  • People with infections of the ear or sinusitis also experience frequent toothaches.

Tips for easing the pain

You can always use an over-the-counter pain medicine for temporary relief.

Another strategy would be rinsing the mouth with warm salt water.

Gentle flossing of the teeth can help get rid of any food bits that could be causing the pain.

 

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Tooth Health: Fizzy Drinks & Teeth

by on April 3, 2012 | Posted in diet

Have you ever counted the number of pop or soda glasses you consume every day? While fizzy drinks are simply irresistible for most people, they are one of the major contributors to most dental and health problems.

A majority of fizzy drinks have sugar in surplus amounts that participates in tooth decay and other dental problems. But, how could a single glass of pop harm you? You may not know this but just one glass actually has sugar in an amount equal to around three to four chocolate bars. Now, you can easily imagine the harmful effects the continuous supply of excessive sugar will have on your teeth.

Apart from excessive levels of sugar, most fizzy drinks contain phosphoric acid along with citric acid that actually offers a sour flavor to the drinks you consume. These acids are actively involved in tooth enamel erosion, which can have severe dental health consequences. Once your enamel has softened, the erosion from these acids starts at a much faster rate, which keeps on weakening your teeth as time goes on.

At the end of the day, limiting your intake of sugary beverages is the most ideal solution for preventing severe consequences. Remember, good oral hygiene practices combined with regular dental checkups will always keep you away from getting into dental trouble.

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Avulsed and Subluxated Teeth

by on April 2, 2012 | Posted in General dentistry

Avulsed and subluxated teeth are conditions whereby a tooth and root that is hit with force from the jaw bone becomes relaxed and misaligned, but still connected to the jaw. This condition occurs when one damages his or her teeth through a car accident, sports injury, or any changes that brought trauma to the face. It needs adequate attention. In a situation where the tooth is blown out of the mouth, it should be located and placed right away in a non- acidic fluid like water or milk and brought as soon as possible together with the patient to the dentist for immediate care. The longer the tooth stays out of the mouth affects the success of re-implanting it.

If the implant becomes successful, the treated tooth will be preserved for unspecified period of time. One possible complication of this kind of injury is that the chance for the roots to adhere could not be determined. The therapy would commonly require identifying the capability of the tooth and root and the status of the tooth socket. The tooth will then be glued back to its own socket. It is necessary to undergo root canal therapy and establish stabilization of the tooth by connecting it to nearby teeth or temporary splinting. To check the stability of the tooth, regular x-rays are needed.

Whenever the tooth is sublaxated, the therapy will include adjusting the tooth into correct and normal position as well as splinting to the closest teeth as necessary for steadiness. Further treatment depends on the assessment of the tooth nerve.

Symptoms of avulsed tooth injuries following trauma to the mouth include:

  • Pain, bleeding, swelling, bruising at the affected site.
  • Laceration (cut) to the lip, tongue, mouth of face.
  •  Teeth or a tooth that is loose.
  •  A tooth that has been partially knocked down and appears longer than the tooth next to it.
  • A tooth that has been knocked out and pushed out toward the lip, or pushed in toward the tongue.
  • A tooth that has been knocked up into the socket- the tooth looks shorter than the teeth next to it.
  • Unusual looseness/ mobility of the jaw.
  • Malocclusion: when biting, teeth do not meet together normally, teeth are misaligned and the bite feels off.
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Causes of Mouth Sores

by on April 1, 2012 | Posted in General dentistry

A mouth sore is either an open sore, developed on the inner side of the mouth or a laceration in the mucous membrane of the mouth. They have a small and round appearance. They cause serious pain and can really impede your oral activities.    The types of mouth ulcers are diverse, with a multitude of associated causes including: physical abrasion, acidic fruit, infection, some medical conditions, medications, cancerous and nonspecific processes. Once formed, the ulcer may be maintained by inflammation and/or secondary infections. There are two main types of mouth ulcers. They are aphthous ulcers (canker sores) and cold sores. (Fever blisters, oral herpes).

Amongst the various reasons that causes mouth sores is emotional stress. People who are usually stressed are more prone to having mouth sores.

With regards to diet and nutrition, there are more than a few reasons, mainly if recurring mouth ulcers are a difficulty. A number of people can be anemic (lacking sufficient iron) or folic acid. Perhaps, zinc insufficiently is one of the major nutritional grounds. There are a good number of patients, suffering with recurring ulcers, having food allergies or hypersensitiveness.

The other leading reason of this problem is the unintentional damage to your gums, tongue or inner cheek lining. For instance, eating hot foods, mistakenly biting cheek lining or tongue, a pointed broken tooth and badly- fitting dentures may be a contributing factor. A sharp edge of a tooth, accidental biting( particularly common with canines and wisdom teeth), abrasive, or excessively salty food or even poorly fitted dentures, dental braces or trauma from a toothbrush may injure the mucosal lining of the mouth resulting in the ulcer. These ulcers heal when the source of the injury is removed for example, by replacing or removing the poorly fitted dentures.

Chemicals like alcohol or aspirin that come in direct contact with the mucous membrane of the mouth may cause necrosis (pre mature loss of living tissues), forming an ulcerated surface. Similarly, sodium lauryl sulfate, one of the key components of most toothpaste, has been found to have an involvement in increased occurrence of this oral disorder.

It is quite frequent for smokers to have multiple oral ulcers within a week of smoking cessation. The time duration varies from individuals to individuals and may range from a year to a month. Oral nicotine supplements have shown some reduction in the occurrence.

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Cracked tooth syndrome (CTS) is a dental condition in which a partial crack extends into the dentin. It may also occur in the pulp of the tooth. This condition is when a cusp of a tooth cracks and begins flexing upon biting causing a very sharp pain. A cracked tooth hurts because this crack exposes the inside of the tooth (dentine) that has very small fluid filled tubes that leads to the nerve (pulp). Flexing of the tooth opens the crack and causes movement of the fluid within the tubes. When you let the biting pressure off, the crack closes and the fluid pressure stimulates the nerve and causes pain.

There are different types of cracks which include:

  • A craze. This is a surface crack that shows as a line on the tooth enamel. It does not need a treatment. If there are cosmetic reasons for treatment, the tooth with the crazed enamel can be treated with a veneer or bonding.
  • A fracture. This is a crack usually through the cusp of a tooth that causes part of the tooth to grow weaker and even break off. A fractured cusp usually can be restored with a crown. However, if the fracture extends into the nerve or the jawbone, then a root canal or extraction will be necessary.
  •  Then there is a split. This is a vertical crack that extends so deeply into the tooth that it can separate into pieces. Depending on the location and severity of the split, the tooth may be saved or need removal.

Cracked teeth may cause pain when chewing or biting. The sensitivity or pain can be mild or intense. It may be painful only when you eat certain foods or hen you bite in a specific way. There is no constant ache as in the case of a cavity or an abscess. The tooth may be more sensitive to cold temperatures.

If the crack widens, a piece of tooth might break and an infection may develop. This can happen in the gum near the tooth.. This is also known as fistula. It is not easy to diagnose cracked tooth syndrome because the pain is not predictable. By having regular dental checkups to monitor any emerging cracks, one can help preserve the teeth in good health.

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