Useful Dental Tips
Maintaining good oral hygiene is one of the most important things you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only enable you to look and feel good, they make it possible to eat and speak properly. Good oral health is important to your overall well-being. Most common dental problems being tooth decay , tooth sensitivity, gum and bone problem, foul breath.
Gum and bone problems
Healthy gums are firm and don't bleed. They fit snugly around the teeth. Snugly around the teeth.
Gingivitis - gums are mildly inflamed, may appear red or swollen and may bleed during brushing.
Periodontitis - gums begin to separate and recede from the teeth. This allows plaque to move toward the roots, supporting fibers and bone.
Advanced Periodontitis - supporting fibers and bone are destroyed. Teeth become loose and may need to be removed.
Tooth sensitivity can be caused due to
Wrong or aggressive brushing can wear down the protective tooth enamel causing the teeth to become sensitive.
Failure to clean well causes gums to pull back/recede, exposing the roots of the teeth. The roots are more vulnerable to decay since they have never been exposed to fluoride resulting in root caries causing more pain.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is breath that has an unpleasant odor. This odor can strike periodically or be persistent, depending on the cause. In many people, the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth (particularly on the back of the tongue) are the primary causes of bad breath. The mouth's warm, moist conditions make an ideal environment for these bacteria to grow. Most bad breath is caused by something in the mouth. Some types of bad breath, such as "morning mouth," are considered to be fairly normal, and they usually are not health concerns. The "morning mouth" type of bad breath occurs because the saliva that regularly washes away decaying food and odors during the daytime diminishes at night while you sleep. Your mouth becomes dry, and dead cells adhere to your tongue and to the inside of your cheeks. Bacteria use these cells for food and expel compounds that have a foul odor.
In addition, bad breath can be caused by the following:
- Poor dental hygiene - Infrequent or improper brushing and flossing can leave food particles to decay inside the mouth.
- Infections in the mouth - Periodontal (gum) disease
- Respiratory tract infections — Throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections
- External agents - Garlic, onions, coffee, cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) - This can be caused by salivary gland problems, medications or by "mouth breathing."
- Systemic illnesses - Diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others
- Psychiatric illness - Some people may perceive that they have bad breath, but it is not noticed by oral-health-care professionals or others. This is referred to as "pseudohalitosis."
A person may not always know that he or she has bad breath. This phenomenon is because odor-detecting cells in the nose eventually become accustomed to the constant flow of bad smells from the mouth. Others may notice and react by recoiling as you speak.
Other associated symptoms depend on the underlying cause of bad breath:
Poor dental hygiene - Teeth are coated with film or plaque, food debris trapped between teeth, pale or swollen gums
Infections in the mouth - Gums may be red, swollen and bleed easily, especially after brushing or flossing; pus may drain from between teeth; a pocket of pus (abscess) at the base of a tooth; loose teeth or a change in "fit" of a denture; painful, open sores on the tongue or gums
Respiratory tract infections - Sore throat, swollen lymph nodes ("swollen glands") in the neck, fever, stuffy nose, a greenish or yellowish nasal discharge, a mucus-producing cough
External agents - Cigarette stains on fingers and teeth, a uniform yellow "coffee stain" on teeth
Dry mouth - Difficulty swallowing dry foods, difficulty speaking for a prolonged period because of mouth dryness, a burning sensation in the mouth, an unusually high number of dental caries, dry eyes (in Sjögren's syndrome)
Systemic (bodywide) illnesses - Symptoms of diabetes, lung disease, kidney failure or liver disease
A dentist or physician may notice the patient's bad breath while the patient is discussing his or her medical history and symptoms. In some cases, depending on the smell of the patient's breath, the dentist or physician may suspect a likely cause for the problem. For example, "fruity" breath may be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes. A urine-like smell, especially in a person who is at high risk of kidney disease, can sometimes indicate kidney failure.
Your dentist will review your medical history for medical conditions that can cause bad breath and for medications that can cause dry mouth. Your dentist also will ask you about your diet, personal habits (smoking, chewing tobacco) and any symptoms, including when the bad breath was noticed and by whom.
Your dentist will examine your teeth, gums, oral tissues and salivary glands. He or she also will feel your head and neck and will evaluate your breath when you exhale from your nose and from your mouth. Once the physical examination is finished, your dentist may refer you to your family physician if systemic problems are the most likely cause. In severe cases of gum disease, your dentist may recommend that you be seen by a periodontist (dentist who specializes in gum problems).
You will need diagnostic tests if the doctor suspects a lung infection, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease or Sjögren's syndrome. Depending on the suspected illness, these tests may include blood tests, urine tests, X-rays of the chest or sinuses, or other specialized testing.
How long bad breath lasts depends on its cause. For example, when the problem results from poor dental hygiene, proper dental care will begin to freshen the mouth immediately, with even more impressive results after a few days of regular brushing and flossing. Periodontal disease and tooth abscess also respond quickly to proper dental treatment. Bad breath resulting from chronic sinusitis may be a recurring problem, especially if it is caused by a structural abnormality of the sinuses.
Bad breath the results from a systemic illness may be a long-term problem that can often be controlled with proper medical care.
Complete Oral Health Screening
The first dental visit
"Mouth is gateway to body" we would like to take record of your mouth by examining the health of the teeth and gum (Oral Health Status) and your general body health (Medical Health Status). radiographic records (Digital Xrays) and pictorial view of your mouth to help you understand the status of your mouth. Physician referal and opinion is advised (if your medical conditions demonds). complete treatment plan for your mouth is elaborated and the subsequent appointments are given.
- Rinse after eating at all times to help cleanse leftovers.
- Flossing should be done to remove food particles left between teeth even after brushing.
- Tongue cleaning helps to cleanse the surface of the tongue of any deposited food particulate and prevents bad breath.
- Eating foods that are sticky and high in sugar content are harmful to the teeth and can cause cavities. Eat foods that are crunchy and self-cleansing, on the other hand, like salads, fruits, meat and low fat dairy products, which are good for general as well as oral health. Avoid frequent snacking in between meals as at increases the risk of food being leftover on the tooth surfaces and hence increases the risk of cavities. Frequency of food intake is more harmful than the length of chewing.
- Using a fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash helps to strengthen the tooth surface against cavities.
- Fluoride is also applied in the form of gels, varnishes or foams by the dentist for preventing cavities.
- Bleeding from gums or bad breath may be the first signs of gum disease. They may be associated with hormonal changes. Do not ignore these signs, as they need immediate attention to avoid further damage.
- Tooth decay can be prevented by application of sealants on the biting surface of the grinders in the form of thin plastic, tooth colored coating.
- Habits such as thumb sucking, nail or lip biting can be harmful to the teeth and supporting structures and hence must be discouraged. Professional intervention can be sought to help break these habits.
- Irregularities of teeth can be treated as soon as noticed and can be corrected by the modification of growth patterns. Early treatments can either simplify or rule out the necessity for orthodontic treatment at a later stage sometimes starting from the age 7-8 onwards, which may be related to development.
- People in sports involving any risk of trauma should use protective appliances such as mouth guard etc. to avoid trauma to teeth and supporting structures.
- Visit the dentist once in every six months for a check-up so that any problems can be detected early, if present. First visit for a child should be soon after the first birthday even in the absence of any visible problems for hygiene maintenance and other advice from the dentist.