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Everyone wants a white, healthy smile. You can spend money on chemical-based at-home whitening treatments or just look in your cupboards.  Chances are, you have several natural whitening remedies in your kitchen right now. Here are eight things you can do to whiten your teeth at home, without all of the chemicals.

Brush with baking soda

Baking soda is a natural abrasive that acts as a great all-purpose cleaner. You can use it around your home to clean a variety of surfaces, draw out odors, polish metal surfaces, clean countertops, exfoliate your face and, yes, whiten your teeth. You can either mix a small amount of baking soda with your regular toothpaste or just use it straight with a little water. The baking soda scrubs away surface stains, leaving your teeth whiter.

Take caution when using baking soda to whiten your teeth. The abrasive nature that removes stains can also damage the enamel. This is especially true if you consume a lot of acidic foods and drinks, like lemons, soda and coffee.

Rinse with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic. Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide once a week helps prevent new bacteria from growing in your mouth. Mix a 50/50 solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide with water. The rinse also helps prevent canker sores.

You can also use hydrogen peroxide to kill bacteria on your toothbrush; just soak the end of your toothbrush in a cup filled with it for 10 minutes before use. A bacteria-free toothbrush is a great way to start your oral hygiene routine.

Eat chocolate

Chocolate has natural antibacterial properties. Eating chocolate neutralizes bacteria in your mouth, helping prevent tooth decay. For the best results, choose a dark chocolate with a low sugar content.

Eat strawberries

Strawberries contain malic acid, a substance shown to remove stains from teeth. Eating strawberries may help remove stains or at least prevent new stains from forming. To boost the stain removing power of strawberries, crush them up and mix them with baking soda to use as a whitening toothpaste. The previous warning about baking soda still applies. Don’t use this remedy too often or if you have weakened enamel. Strawberries also contain natural sugar, so rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards to prevent tooth decay.

Eat an apple

Apples stimulate saliva production to help wash away harmful bacteria that can damage or discolor your teeth. They also have a natural abrasive effect to help remove food particles from your teeth. Chewing an apple has a similar effect as brushing your teeth. Like strawberries, apples also contain malic acid, which can naturally remove stains.

Eat dairy products

The lactic acid in dairy products prevents tooth decay and strengthens enamel. Cheese also stimulates saliva production and the fat keeps bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Eating hard cheese after every meal has been shown to promote a healthy smile. Cheese is also high in calcium, which can strengthen teeth and prevent bone loss.

Eat raisins

According to Dr. Oz, raisins stimulate saliva production. As has been mentioned, saliva washes away bacteria and helps neutralize acid.

Have a tooth whitening salad for lunch

Take advantage of all of these delicious foods that whiten and strengthen teeth by combining them into a healthy salad. Mix apple cubes, strawberry quarters and raisins together and top it with a little parmesan cheese. It is sure to be the tastiest thing you have ever done for your teeth.

 

Even though these things can go a long way to giving you a gleaming white smile, it may not be enough if you have significant discoloration. Considering getting your teeth professionally whitened and then use these techniques to maintain it.

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Gum disease, when left untreated, can cause a host of dental problems. In fact, gum disease is one of the biggest factors in tooth loss. As the disease undermines the tooth’s support structure, the tooth becomes loose and weak. Eventually, the tooth falls out or is pulled out or broken by forces that would not normally harm your teeth.  To prevent advanced gum disease from ruining your smile, watch out for these four signs that you may have a problem.

1. Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums is the first sign of gum disease. Most people initially notice their gums bleeding when they brush their teeth.  If brush your teeth too hard, causing damage to the gums, you can expect them to bleed. This is not necessarily a sign of gum disease, but may lead to gum disease if you continue to do it. When gently brushing your teeth with a soft brush, however, you should not experience bleeding. If you do, then there is a good chance you have developed early stages of gum disease. Bleeding gums can also be a sign of other illnesses, such as diabetes or blood clotting disorders, so make sure to see a health professional as soon as you notice the bleeding.

2. Discolored gums

If your gums are healthy, they should be a uniform pink color and a firm texture. If your gums look red or purple or appear swollen it is a sign of gum disease. Look closely at the areas around and between your teeth. In early stages of gum disease these areas are the first to show signs. If they are red and puffy you should visit a dentist as soon as possible.

3. Loose teeth

As gum disease advances it can move into the surround bones and ligaments. The infection damages the bone and ligament tissue, undermining the support structure of your teeth. In a healthy adult, the teeth should be firm and stable. If you can wiggle any of your teeth it is a sign that the supporting tissue has been damaged. Ignoring this sign of gum disease almost guarantees tooth loss.

4. Bad breath

There are many causes of bad breath; bacteria on the tongue, kidney disease, poor diet and gum disease are just some of the causes. Recent research suggests that 90% of bad breath is caused by oral bacteria. Plaque buildup under the gums is one of the main causes. Your dentist offers treatments that can reduce or eliminate this buildup. Along with traditional cleaning methods, lasers can be used to target and remove plaque. Gums and mints may cover up the bad breath, but they do not treat the underlying cause. It may be embarrassing to talk about, but ignoring persistent bad breath could put your health at risk.

If you notice any of these signs of gum disease, visit your dentist as soon as possible. Early intervention can save your teeth and prevent the need for more costly treatments in the future.

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Diabetes is a metabolic disease that results in high blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, you are susceptible to a number of related conditions, including an increased risk of oral health problems. Understanding this increased risk can help you stave off oral disease and keep your teeth healthy.

Common Conditions among Patients with Diabetes

Gum Disease

One of the most common oral complications found in patients with diabetes is gum disease. There are two types of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue. As the disease progresses it can cause the gums to bleed, appear red and puffy and become painful or tender. The gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where plaque and bacteria accumulate. If your gums bleed when you gently brush them with a soft toothbrush, you may have gingivitis.

When gingivitis is left untreated, it develops into periodontitis. At this stage, the infection causes damage to the jawbone and ligaments that support the teeth, making them loose. The gum tissue further recedes, leading to exposed nerve endings that can make the teeth very sensitive. If you have loose teeth that are extremely sensitive, you may be suffering from periodontitis.

There are several reasons why a person with diabetes has an increased risk of gum disease. If you are diabetic, your saliva may contain increased amounts of sugar. This extra sugar makes it easier for bacteria to thrive inside your mouth. When your diabetes is poorly controlled, you are even more susceptible to these bacteria, because you heal more slowly. People with diabetes are also prone to dry mouth. Dry mouth can irritate the gums. The lack of saliva to wash away bacteria allows them to set into the irritated gum tissue, promoting further gum disease.

Thrush

Thrush is a fungal infection common in people with diabetes. It presents as white sores on the mouth and tongue. Underneath the white patches, you see red tissue that bleeds easily. People with diabetes are more susceptible to thrust because they frequently take antibiotics. Your mouth maintains a natural balance of bacteria and fungus. If antibiotics kill too many bacteria, the fungus is able multiply more easily, leading to fungal infection. High blood sugar also contributes to the spread of thrush, because the fungi feed off of the extra sugar.

Tooth Decay

The presence of high levels of sugar in the saliva can also promote tooth decay. The bacteria in the mouth turn sugar into acid. The increased acidity damages the enamel that protects your teeth from decay. The presence of gum disease exacerbates this problem, as pockets between the gums and teeth house more plaque and bacteria. Tooth decay that is left untreated causes significant pain and can even lead to oral abscesses.

 

Preventing Oral Health Issues

Control Your Diabetes

All of these conditions are most common in individuals with uncontrolled diabetes. If sugar levels are kept in check, you are less likely to have oral health problems. Follow all of your doctor’s orders. Take medications as prescribed. Avoid sugary foods and simple carbohydrates that can raise your blood sugar levels. Drink plenty of water to combat dry mouth.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Everyone needs to practice good oral hygiene, but if you have diabetes, the increased risk for oral disease makes it especially important.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Brush your teeth after any meals.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid acidic foods and beverages, like coffee.
  • If you do smoke or drink coffee, brush your teeth immediately afterwards.
  • Floss every day.
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings.
  • Use a mouthwash recommended by your dentist.
  • If you wear dentures, take them out and clean them every day.
  • If you notice any problems, make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.

Just because you are diabetic doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to suffering from oral health issues and losing your teeth. Take precautions to prevent illness; and, know the signs of illness so that you can get help before it is too late.

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Diet And Oral Health

by on May 3, 2012 | Posted in diet, General dentistry

sugar is bad for teethA number of lifestyle factors as well as an unhealthy diet can be damaging for your oral health. Here are some of the factors that can lead to a poor oral health:

Smoking:

We all know that smoking is a bad habit that is responsible for causing various health conditions. Smoking pipes, cigarettes and cigars can cause gum infections, tooth decay, as well as oral cancer. 

Sugar consumption:

Eating foods or drinking beverages that have a high sugar content can cause infections in the gums, cavities and might even lead to tooth decay. Due to sugar consumption, bacteria easily attack the gums and teeth, leading to formation of plaque on your teeth. If this plaque isn’t removed, it will harden to form tartar that can only be scraped off your teeth by an experienced dentist. 

Alcohol Consumption:

Drinking alcohol adds to dental health issues as it can lead to a dry mouth, which allows germs to attack your gums and teeth. This causes various dental health conditions. 

Medication:

There are some medications, like certain antibiotics that can cause teeth staining. 

Gain or Loss in Weight:

Gain or loss in your weight can negatively affect the way your dentures fit in your mouth. To maintain a proper dental health, it is extremely important to keep your weight in check. A diet rich in high-fibre fruits and veggies can combat tooth decay as well as maintain a healthy weight.

 

 

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Wisdom teeth which are actually third molar teeth, last in line, on both sides of the upper and lower jaws. The usual eruption time of wisdom teeth is between the ages of 14 to 18 years.

The name is just a misnomer as not an iota of wisdom is associated with the eruption or presence of wisdom teeth; rather these teeth tend to bring trouble at times. As they are erupting late and the jaw is already crowded, there is often little room for wisdom teeth. This results in incomplete eruptions, eruptions staying within the gums or other tooth problems. When they fail to erupt out of the gums, the condition is known as impacted teeth.

Impacted teeth may remain silent without causing any trouble but can cause problems in the form of infection of the gum or bone. In order to avoid trouble with wisdom teeth, regular dental visits are necessary. The dentist can predict even before their eruption that there is enough room for them on the jaw. The ideal approach typically is getting them removed before they become a source of trouble.

The removal of wisdom teeth can be performed by the dentist in his clinic as an out-patient procedure. All four wisdom teeth can be removed in one go and the procedure is completed in an hour.

 

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Symptoms:

The common symptoms associated with malocclusion are:

  • The alignment of teeth is disrupted.
  • Appearance of the face is not normal.
  • Chewing or biting is difficult.
  • Difficulty in speaking normally.
  • Breathing through the mouth with open lips.

 

Signs:

The most important sign of malocclusion is improper alignment of teeth with problems in eating and speaking.

Diagnosis:

The diagnosis of malocclusion is based upon:

  • During regular dental visits, the dentist may note misalignment of the teeth and the case may be referred to an orthodontist.
  • Complete history and physical examination by the orthodontist is undertaken.
  • Further help in the diagnosis is made by taking x-rays of the teeth, face and head.
  • Photographs of the teeth and face are taken.
  • Impressions of the teeth are made by using plaster models.

 Treatment:

Malocclusion is a very common occurrence and almost every person has some degree of malocclusion, but most of the times no treatment is required.

Treatment when required involves orthodontics and surgery which is rarely required.

The usual procedures are:

  • Tooth extraction.
  • Dental braces.
  • Surgical corrections include:
  1. Orthognathic surgery for reshaping the jaw.
  2. Use of wires, plates, or screws for stabilizing the jaw bone.
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So, you fear visiting the dentist’s office and at the same time, you’re also concerned about your dental health. Well, here are a few tips that’ll help you cope with this fear:

  • Remember that the most important decision that you’ll make regarding your oral health is the selection of a dentist. So, be very wise with choosing your dentist- preferably someone you’re comfortable with or who is known for their outstanding patient satisfaction results.
  • It is better to consume a high-protein diet before a dental checkup. His is important because protein has calming effects on the mood, which is something you can’t expect from the consumption of sugary foods.
  • It is recommended to avoid having a caffeinated beverage before your visit as caffeine induces nervousness.
  • Try your level best to focus on keeping the breathing regular and slow. When people are experiencing nervousness, they tend to hold their breath. As a result, the oxygen levels are affected, causing the person to become more anxious.
  •  In case, the dentist’s office doesn’t have a radio or TV, try to do something that relaxes you during the examination. You could use your iPhone or play around with your phone while you’re out there.
  • It is also recommended that the most comfortable and convenient time is selected fir the visit.

 

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diabetes and oral care

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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X-rays are an integral part of medical as well as dental health management. They play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. There is lot of concern among the general population regarding the harmful effects of x-rays; but they are safe if standard guidelines and safety measures are followed.

 

Dentists with the help of x-rays can observe and detect signs of disease which are normally not visible by the routine examination. The x-rays or radiographs help the dentists in making accurate assessment of the disease process, and the condition of the underlying structures and bones can also be noted. There are many uses of x-rays; they help in diagnosing abscesses, cysts, and tumors. Impacted, unerupted, missing, or extra teeth can be visualized. In periodontal disease, the location, severity, and the depth of the cavities can be accurately noted. By using x-rays, the condition of teeth, soft tissue, surrounding bones, etc. can also be seen. Without x-rays, the correct diagnosis can be missed very easily.

A full series of x-rays is taken of all adult new patients and kept as record for future reference. The number of x-rays, interval between them and follow-up directions are determined by the dentist according to the type and severity of the disease. Multiple x-rays are needed in some conditions like root-canal treatment, periodontal disease, etc.

The use of radiographs in children is done taking into account their growth and development.

 

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diseases that are associated with tooth brushing

 

Your Gum Health Is Important

 

Did you know that regular tooth brushing plays an important role in preventing gum disease and gingivitis? Well, what regular tooth brushing actually does is that it removes the plaque and germs that are present in your the mouth, which are the root cause of most gum diseases.

 

Avoiding Periodontitis

 

Brushing your teeth will also help avoid periodontitis, which is a serious gum disease that can eventually break down the teeth as well as the bones around your mouth. It’s mostly a painful experience with the sufferers experiencing tooth loss as well as tooth abscesses.

Preventing Heart Diseases

Yes, it’s a fact and now one of the hottest topics in the world of health research. Your oral health has a strong connection with your heart and can affect your heart health in a positive or negative manner. The inflammation building up in your mouth as a result of periodontitis or other oral problems can eventually affect other areas in your body, with your body being at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Recent studies have also revealed that patients with good oral health practices are less likely to have problems with circulatory functions in their arteries as well as blood vessels.

Preventing a Diabetic Lifestyle

Surveys and research have also found a link between your chances of developing diabetes and poor oral hygiene. The more you take care of your oral health, the less you are at risk of developing health problems like diabetes.

Protecting your memory

 While most people are at higher risk of suffering from dementia in older years of their life, people having good gum and mouth health are less likely to experience this condition. Dementia is in some way related to poor blood circulation, which is something that can be improved if teeth are brushed on a regular basis.

 

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