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People suffering from diabetes have greater chances of developing certain oral health conditions. These usually include the following:

Dry Mouth

Yes, diabetics have more chances of developing an oral condition known as dry mouth, which causes the saliva flow to decrease. This oral health problem often leads to additional issues like soreness, infections, ulcers as well as tooth decay.

Gum health

Diabetics are at higher risk of developing gum inflammation. In addition to affecting white blood cells, diabetes also thickens the blood vessels, affecting the nutrient-flow within the body, as well as the mouth. As a result, the potential of the body of fighting infections is negatively impacted. As periodontitis is categorized as a bacterial infection, diabetics having uncontrolled disease have to suffer from frequent gum problems.

Health of oral tissues

Usually, people with diabetes have another problem that affects the healing potential of oral tissues- especially following dental procedures. This happens because of the impairment of the blood flow in diabetics.

Thrush: Another Complication

Patients of diabetes who heavily rely on antibiotics for fighting a variety of infections are particularly at risk of experiencing fungal infections of oral cavity. This fungus tends to live on the sugar present in the saliva of diabetics.

 

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According to dentists, proper oral care always starts from your home. If you’re engaged in the right oral hygiene practices, which includes daily tooth brushing and regular dental visits, you can prevent great trouble ahead.

So, is there a particular way to eliminate or reduce your chances of developing cavities? Well, when it comes to the prevention of cavities, there’s a lot you can do in terms of plaque removal.  This bacteria layer covering your teeth is the root cause of most dental problems and the most ideal way of combating these bacteria is regular tooth brushing, which should be done at least 2 times throughout the day. Apart from removing plaque, this habit will also take care of your gums by stimulating the gums and preventing oral problems.

Did you know that there are certain toothpastes containing abrasives, foaming agents and even detergents? But, it’s fluoride that plays an active role in cavity prevention. So, make a note of that- especially when it comes to buying your toothpaste.

If plaque isn’t removed on time, it takes the form of tartar that has even more harmful effects on your teeth and gum health. So, a great idea would be to look for anti-tartar toothpastes in the market. Also, make sure that you focus near your salivary glands while brushing your teeth as it tends to slowdown the buildup of new tartar.

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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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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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Proper Dental Care

by on March 28, 2012 | Posted in Oral Hygiene

Proper dental care helps to maintain a person’s dental health and prevents periodontal or gum disease from developing. Proper dental care involves cleaning teeth correctly and regularly. If teeth are not cleaned every day, there is a great risk of tooth decay. Early signs of decay include visible holes in your teeth, pain when biting and feelings of sensitivity or pain in the teeth. When carbohydrates in food and drinks a person consume are not cleaned from the teeth regularly, they provide fuel for cavity causing bacteria. These bacteria can start forming plaque on teeth 20 minutes of eating. So, if you take snacks frequently, you may want to clean your teeth more often than twice a day. Cleaning teeth helps prevent cavity causing bacteria from progressing to gingivitis or gum disease.

When you brush your teeth, take enough time to do a thorough job. This can be achieved by the use of proper equipment. Fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristled toothbrush that fit in ones mouth comfortably should be used. Remember to brush the inside and chewing surfaces of the teeth as well as the tongue. Vigorous brushing should always be avoided as it can irritate the gums.

Keep the equipment clean by rinsing the toothbrush with water after brushing. The brush should be stored in an upright position. Brushes should not be covered or put in closed containers as this encourages the growth of bacteria.

It is also important to replace the toothbrush after a given period of time. Invest in a new toothbrush or a replacement head for your electric or battery operated toothbrush every three to four months.

  • Teeth should also be flossed in order to reach the tight spaces between the teeth or under the gum line with a toothbrush. The following are guidelines to effective flossing:
  • Do not skimp. Break off about 18 inches of dental floss. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger on the hand and the rest around the middle finger on the other hand- leaving about 1 inch to floss your first tooth.
  • Take it one tooth at a time. Use your thumbs and forefingers to gently pull the floss from the gum line to the top of the tooth to scrape off plague. Rub the floss against all sides of the tooth. Unwind to fresh floss as you progress to the next tooth.
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Dental plaque is a soft deposit that accumulates on the teeth. It is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. The buildup of dental plaque on teeth is a normal physiologic process, occurring in both healthy mouths and mouths with and cavities. Plaque on teeth favors the development of dental diseases. It is comprised of colonies of bacteria and other microorganisms mixed with bacteria by- products, dead cells and food residuals.

Dental plaque starts when bacteria that are usually present in the mouth attach to teeth and begin multiplying. Plaque can form on teeth both above the gum line, where it is called supra gingival plaque. Failure to remove dental plaque by regular tooth brushing allows its build up in a thick layer. As it matures, different types of microorganisms appear. At the lower layers of plaque, nearest to the tooth surface, the composition of dental plaque changes in favor of anaerobic respiration. This respiration produces acids which lead to demineralizing of the adjacent tooth surface and dental caries. With time, the acids destroy the enamel resulting in tooth decay. Irritation of the gums around the teeth leads to gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth loss. The bacteria adhere to a clear sticky substance from saliva, called glycoprotein, which binds almost immediately to the surface of a freshly cleaned tooth. The combination of bacteria and glycoprotein on the tooth surface is called a pellicle or biofilm.

Plaque can be prevented in the following ways:

  • Brushing the teeth at least twice a day with a soft rounded toothbrush. Particular attention should be put to the space where the gums and the teeth meet. A toothpaste containing fluoride should be used.
  • The teeth should be flossed at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria
  • A dentist/ oral hygienist should be visited every six months for a check- up and teeth cleaning.
  • Ask your dentist if a dental sealant is appropriate for you. Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to protect them from cavities and decay.
  • A balanced diet should be eaten and a limit in the number of snacks. Snacks should be foods such as plain yoghurt, cheese, fruit or raw vegetables. Vegetables such as celery help remove food and help saliva neutralize plague- causing acids.
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