My BEST Dentists Journal


Chlorophyll: The Cure for Bad Breath?

Chlorophyll is the chemoprotein that gives plants their green color. Humans get it from leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, and spinach. There are claims that chlorophyll gets rid of acne, helps liver function, and even prevents cancer.

What does the research say?

Another claim is that the chlorophyll in a shot of wheatgrass can stave off bad breath and body odor.

Is there any scientific evidence to back this up? Are you really getting what you’re paying for when you buy a chlorophyll supplement or a shot of wheatgrass at the health food store?

“There was a study conducted back in the 1950s by Dr. F. Howard Westcott, which showed that chlorophyll can help combat bad breath and body odor, but the results of that research have basically been debunked,” says Dr. David Dragoo, a Colorado physician.

There hasn’t been any research since to support that chlorophyll has any effect on body odor, though some people continue to use it.

“The National Council Against Health Fraud says that since chlorophyll cannot be absorbed by the human body, it can therefore have no beneficial effects on folks with halitosis or body odor,” Dragoo explains.

Does it help with other ailments?

Other widely circulating claims are that chlorophyll can ease symptoms related to arthritis, cystic fibrosis, and herpes. But again, Dragoo doesn’t buy it. “As far as factually verifiable research, there is no truth to the fact that chlorophyll can be effectively used to treat those illnesses,” he says.

Vegetables rich in chlorophyll, such as leafy greens, have plenty of health benefits on their own. Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD, and the author of “Eat Your Way to Sexy,” says that the lutein found in leafy greens, for example, is great for the eyes.

Even without scientific evidence, Somer says it’s fine for people to think chlorophyll is good if it causes them to eat more vegetables.

Somer also affirms that no scientific evidence exists to support chlorophyll’s deodorizing properties. The suggestion that it reduces breath, body, and wound odor is unsupported. It’s obviously still a widely held belief, she notes, given the post-meal parsley that restaurants use to garnish plates.

While chlorophyllin has been used since the 1940s to neutralize certain odors, studies are outdated and show mixed results.

The most recent studyTrusted Source of people with trimethylaminuria, a condition that causes a fishy odor, found that chlorophyllin significantly decreased the amount of trimethylamines.

As for claims about chlorophyllin reducing bad breath, there’s little evidence to support it.

by Healthline

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What is gingivostomatitis?

Gingivostomatitis is a common infection of the mouth and gums. The main symptoms are mouth or gum swelling. There may also be lesions in the mouth that resemble canker sores. This infection may be the result of a viral or bacterial infection. It’s often associated with improper care of your teeth and mouth.

Gingivostomatitis is especially common in children. Children with gingivostomatitis may drool and refuse to eat or drink because of the discomfort (often severe) caused by the sores. They may also develop fever and swollen lymph nodes.

Contact your doctor if:

symptoms worsen or persist more than a few days

your child experiences fever or sore throat

your child refuses to eat or drink

What are the causes of gingivostomatitis?

Gingivostomatitis may occur because of:

herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), the virus that causes cold sores

coxsackievirus, a virus often transmitted by touching a surface or an individual’s hand contaminated with feces (this virus can also cause flu-like symptoms)

certain bacteria (Streptococcus, Actinomyces)

poor oral hygiene (not flossing and brushing your teeth regularly)

What are the symptoms of gingivostomatitis?

Symptoms of gingivostomatitis can vary in seriousness. You may feel minor discomfort, or experience severe pain and mouth tenderness. Symptoms of gingivostomatitis may include:

tender sores on the gums or insides of cheeks (like canker sores, they are grayish or yellow on the outside and red in the center)

bad breath


swollen, bleeding gums

swollen lymph nodes

drooling, especially in young children

a general feeling of being unwell (malaise)

difficulty eating or drinking due to mouth discomfort, and in children a refusal to eat or drink

How is gingivostomatitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will check your mouth for sores, the main symptom of the condition. More tests are not usually necessary. If other symptoms are also present (such as cough, fever, and muscle pain), they may want to do more tests.

In some cases, your doctor may take a culture (swab) from the sore to check for bacteria (strep throat) or viruses. Your doctor may also perform a biopsy by removing a piece of skin if they suspect other mouth sores are present.

What are the treatments for gingivostomatitis?

Gingivostomatitis sores usually disappear within two to three weeks without treatment. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic and clean the infected area to promote healing if bacteria or a virus is the cause of gingivostomatitis.

There are some actions you can take to relieve discomfort.

Take medications prescribed by your doctor.

Rinse your mouth with a medicated mouthwash containing hydrogen peroxide or xylocaine. These are readily available at your local drugstore. You can also make your own by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water.

Eat a healthy diet. Avoid very spicy, salty, or sour foods. These foods can sting or irritate the sores. Soft foods may also be more comfortable to eat.

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers may also help. Continue to brush your teeth and gums, even if it hurts. If you don’t continue to practice good oral care, your symptoms could worsen. You’ll also be more likely to develop gingivostomatitis again. Gently brushing with a soft toothbrush will make brushing less painful.

How to prevent gingivostomatitis

Taking care of your teeth and gums may decrease your risk of getting gingivostomatitis. Healthy gums are pink with no sores or lesions. Good oral hygiene basics include:

brushing your teeth at least twice a day, especially after eating and before going to sleep

flossing daily

getting your teeth professionally examined and cleaned by a dentist every six months

keeping mouth pieces (dentures, retainers, musical instruments) clean to prevent bacteria growth

To avoid the HSV-1 virus that can cause gingivostomatitis, avoid kissing or touching the face of a person who is infected. Do not share makeup, razors, or silverware with them.

Frequently washing your hands is the best way to avoid the coxsackievirus. This is especially important after using public toilets or changing a baby’s diaper and before eating or preparing meals. It’s also important to educate children about the importance of proper hand washing.

What is the outlook for gingivostomatitis?

Gingivostomatitis can be mild, or it can be uncomfortable and painful. Generally, sores heal in two to three weeks. Treating the bacteria or virus with the right antibiotics or antiviral agents may help to expedite healing.

by Healthline

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Building The Dentist-Patient Relationship

In the world of healthcare, it is crucial to create a meaningful and lasting relationship with your patient. Relationship marketing is the term used to describe the business strategies used to build relationships with customers (or prospective customers). Such connections are bound to form naturally over time, however, making the dentist-patient relationship strong and mutually beneficial requires a conscious effort from you and your team.

At Keating Dental Lab, we care deeply about strengthening our relationships with our doctors and want to help you to do the same with your patients. Below, we have outlined some key tips and tricks to keep in mind when building the dentist-patient relationship.

Why Your Patients Are Scared Of You (And What You Can Do About It).

Compared to other health care professions, dental care has historically been characterized as generating more fear and anxiety from patients. Therefore, the development of trust security between the practitioner-patient relationship is an essential professional skill that needs to be learned by future dentists. No matter the level of the procedure, a thorough explanation of the process can work wonders in helping the patient to remain calm because it demonstrates your level of knowledge and professionalism. Furthermore, allowing the patient to pause the procedure at any time of discomfort gives them control to reduce anxiety. Using different forms of verbal and non-verbal communication will help you convey a sense of concern for the patient’s fears.

Practicing strong communication skills are one of the most important things you could do to strengthen your relationships with your patients. Clinicians who take the time to clearly communicate procedures and after-care will be viewed as more trustworthy than those who leave those tasks to the front desk. An extra step in making sure patients understand the material you feed to them is to have them relay back the discussed information to you.

Additionally, make sure that the patient feels involved in their healthcare decisions by driving shared decision-making. Although you may feel that you know what is best for the patient, you also have to keep in mind that cultural and personal preferences may not always agree with your professional opinion. As a dentist, it is your responsibility to make sure that your patient understands the pros and cons of each decision that they make for themselves.

Every Dental Patient Matters

Last but not least, always keep in mind that every patient is equally as important as the last one. Just because you’ve known a patient longer or they bring in a bigger profit for your practice does not mean they deserve extra care and attention. Practicing empathy towards patients can help you connect with them on a personal level by making them feel understood. Research has suggested that this increases patient satisfaction, regardless of the care outcomes. A general assessment of care quality and patient satisfaction surveys showed that 65 percent of patient satisfaction can be attributed to clinician empathy.

This finding is critical as providers work to crack the code of a good patient satisfaction score. At the end of the day, building a positive dentist-patient relationship begins and ends with the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated.

by Keating Dental Lab

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What To Do if You Have a Cracked Molar

When it comes to eating, your molars do a lot of work. So it’s no surprise that if one of them gets a crack, it’s a big deal. You need them. Here’s a look at cracked tooth symptoms and cracked tooth treatment if you’ve cracked one of your molars.

How Does it Happen

Cracks are a common occurrence for your molars because they are in the back and side of your mouth and absorb most of the force when you chew. Eating hard types of foods (like hard candy) and chewing on ice can lead to a cracked tooth that needs repair. Grinding your teeth can too. You may not know the exact moment when it happens. It isn’t always painful when it does. If you experience pain or sensitivity while chewing or eating or drinking hot or cold foods, you may have a crack. Please make an appointment with your dental professional to have it checked out.

Waiting For Your Appointment

Here’s what you should do until your dentist can see you.

If you’re in pain, make a note of where your pain is coming from

Avoid chewing on that side to keep the crack from worsening

Keep hot and cold liquids away from that area

Minor Cracks in The Tooth

Good news. If your dentist discovers your crack is a minor one that only affects your tooth's hardened outer layer, he or she may decide you don’t need anything done. These are referred to as craze lines, which are hairline fractures.

They’re superficial, and your dental professional may able to polish them away.

Treatment for Cracked Molar

There are times when you may not even know you have a cracked molar. Your dental professional may discover it at a routine appointment. Another reason why keeping up with routine check-ups is vital.

If the crack has gone beyond the enamel, treatment will be needed to prevent problems such as an infection or a deeper fracture. Treatment will be based on the severity of the crack. Your dentist may recommend a crown, root canal, or tooth extraction. If your dentist thinks a crown is best, a filling material can repair the crack. If the inside of your tooth is damaged, your dentist may suggest a root canal to remove the damaged tissue. The root canal will be recommended if there’s an infection. Tooth extraction is the last case scenario if the tooth is too far gone and can’t be saved.

Molars are an important part of your dental structure. If you think you've cracked one of your molars, it’s wise to have a dental professional look at it. If it’s painful or sensitive to hot and or cold, the sooner you see your dentist, the better. A hairline fracture is a best-case scenario. Early treatment is optimal because it can mean the difference between a crown, a root canal, or an extraction. Practice good oral hygiene and keep up with your routine cleanings and check-ups to keep your teeth (including those hard-working molars) healthy.


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Views: 33

Straight Teeth Don’t Mean You Don’t Need an Orthodontist

There are several reasons why having straight teeth doesn’t mean you don’t need orthodontics. Here are a few examples:

Narrow Palate or Upper Jaw

A narrow palate or upper jaw often causes teeth to become crowded, which is usually visible because the teeth come in crooked trying to fit into the space available. However, this condition can also cause another issue that can’t be seen unless you look inside the patient’s mouth.

For some people with narrow palates, their teeth are straight, but their upper teeth fit inside of their lower teeth in the back of their mouths, which means their teeth aren’t properly aligned. This misalignment can cause teeth to wear unevenly or eventually cause pain when chewing.

Midline Shift

A midline shift occurs when the teeth are straight, but they are off-center. This can be the result of a couple issues. If there is a crossbite in the back of the mouth, it can cause all of the teeth to be shifted more to one side. A midline shift can also be caused if you have lost a tooth on one side, but not the other. This allows the teeth to shift unevenly into that space and therefore shifting the midline.

Overbite or Underbite

Along with crossbites, we discussed these conditions and the problems that they can cause in a previous post. Individuals with an overbite or underbite can have perfectly straight teeth, because the bite is not aligned properly, it can lead to jaw pain and uneven wearing of the teeth if not corrected.

Open Bite

We recently shared a post about the problems that can be caused by thumb sucking or using a pacifier after a certain age. One of the issues is called an open bite. While the teeth look straight when the jaws are closed, there is a gap between the top and bottom teeth. An open bite can also be the result of a tongue thrusting habit which can be addressed with orthodontic treatment. An open bite is normal as baby teeth fall out and adult teeth are coming in, but not all open bites correct themselves.

Having an open bite once the adult teeth are in can cause back teeth to wear unevenly and may cause painful chewing or a speech impediment. Extreme cases of open bite even allow food or liquid to escape between the teeth if the tongue isn’t properly placed to block the gap. Having an orthodontist examine your child’s teeth as their adult teeth are erupting – around age 7 – will enable you to find out if they may have an open bite that requires orthodontic treatment.

All of these issues should be treated to ensure optimal dental health. 

by Charleston Orthodontic Specialists

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Narrow palate: what problems and how to solve them

The narrow palate is a fairly common dental condition mainly in children, but it is not always easy to identify. If diagnosed, it can be treated and avoid repercussions on the body’s health.

What is meant by a narrow palate?

In the development of human anatomy, the width of the palate develops thanks to the action of the tongue. When the palate does not develops the right width, the main reason is an incorrect pressure of the tongue and the excessive contrast of the facial muscles. The narrow palate is therefore due, especially in children, to:

incorrect positioning of the language;

hypertonus of facial muscles (thumb sucking, mouth breathing, wrong swallowing).

The symptoms of a narrow palate can be:

malocclusions (misalignment of the dental arches, deep bite, …);

dental overcrowding;

vault of the deep palate.

The symptoms of a narrow palate may not always be ascertained with a self-diagnosis. To identify with certainty the presence of a wrong development of the palate it is advisable to contact a competent dentist who can carry out a diagnosis also making use of technological instruments.

What does it mean to have a tight palate?

In the presence of a narrow palate there is a condition of lack of space for the teeth, so it is very likely that there may be dental overcrowding.

Another consequence is the lack of alignment between the two dental arches. The lower arch, not finding the right correspondence with the upper arch, leads the jaw to deviate in order to act correctly during the phases of chewing and swallowing, but this results in a visible asymmetry.

A narrow palate also involves breathing difficulties. The jaw bone is in fact at the base of the nasal cavities, so if it is tight, the passage of air will be lower and the patient will be forced to breathe with his mouth. So at the base of some breathing problems, especially in children, there may be a problem with a narrow palate and it will therefore be useful to consult, in addition to an otolaryngologist, also a dentist.

Added to this are problems with phonation and swallowing.

The main causes of the narrow palate

Incorrect palate development may be due to hereditary or environmental factors. The main causes are therefore the following:

genetic factors;

incorrect habits (prolonged sucking of the thumb or pacifier, position of the wrong tongue);

trauma to the face.

How to work on the narrow palate?

Orthodontic treatment is required to correct the palate. The dentist will insert a fixed palatal expander, anchoring it to at least four teeth. The action of the force exerted by the expander moves the palate outwards gradually enlarging it.

The orthodontic appliance does not compromise the aesthetics of the patient because it is not visible on the outside. The success of an orthodontic treatment with a palatal expander depends very much on the age of the patient.

In pediatric age it is much easier to get effective results in a short time, a condition that is not always possible in adulthood, when the conformation of the palate is now structured.

by Sanident

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Parulis Fistula: Dental Abscess Treatment and Symptoms

Parulis Fistula

Fistulas can occur in many different areas of the human body where bone or tissue are present. When faced with an area of chronic infection, the body’s natural response is to create a fistula. Persistent inflammation occurring on your gums can lead to the creation of puss which in turn can cause a puss corridor. Sometimes, the passage becomes lined with specialized cells produced by the body to fight infection which in turn lead to the formation of granulated tissue around the puss. When this corridor reaches the surface, it’s known as Parulis Fistula. The condition is sometimes called a fistula on the gum or a gum boil.

Dental Fistula Symptoms

A fistula on the gum may or may not be painful. It usually looks like a reddened or yellowish, inflamed pimple or ulcer on your gum tissue. It may bleed easily, and if you press on it, pus may come out.

A Serious Matter

A fistula on the gum is a serious condition that can lead to dental complications or even tooth loss. If left untreated, the infection could potentially spread and possibly destroy bones in the jaw and face. In rare cases, the infection can seep into the bloodstream and cause you to become septic.

Dental Abscess Treatment at Home

There are ways to treat a fistula on the gums. Rinsing your mouth with a solution of warm water and salt up to three times a day can be helpful. Salt is a natural anti-bacterial agent which may help to reduce the infection while the warm water will aid in increasing blood circulation. These are two important factors in healing the fistula. You can also try dampening a tea bag and holding it on the gum fistula. This treatment may help to relieve swelling and encourage the puss to drain, however, it is always recommended to visit your dentist.

Seek Help

If you have a gum fistula, it is necessary to seek the help from your dentist. They will be able to provide endodontic therapy also known as endodontic treatment or root canal therapy if needed.  They can also prescribe antibiotics to ensure the fistula does not worsen or cause lasting damage. In some cases, you may need surgical intervention and removal of the tooth to repair damage posed by the fistula. Some dentists may also want to drain the infection to help speed up the healing process.

A fistula on the gum is a serious issue and can have lasting effects and harrowing complications. If you suspect that you have a parulis fistula, gum boil, an appointment should be made to see a dentist as soon as possible, even if you are not experiencing pain. Rinsing your mouth with a solution of salt and warm water or applying a dampened tea bag may provide some relief while you are waiting to be seen by your dentist.

by Maiden Lane Dental

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Three Questions to Ask Your Dentist On Your First Visit

Regular dental visits are extremely important for maintaining healthy teeth and a perfect smile. Finding a dental practice and a dentist that’s right for you isn’t a very difficult job when you know what you are looking for and are aware of the questions you should ask your dentist. Good communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Your connection with your dentist depends on how effectively you communicate with them.

Discussing your health concerns, dental habits, fears, and apprehensions with your dentist makes a big difference. After all, this is the person who will look inside your mouth every 6 months. Hence, you must be comfortable with your dentist, especially when asking questions! Here are three questions that you must ask when going to a new dentist.

Question 1: How Can We Improve My Dental Health?

Dental health can be improved when you and your dentists work together towards the same goal. Share your routine with your new dentist and get the necessary guidelines about brushing and flossing. You can ask about what kind of toothbrush you should use and how often should you replace it. Ask your dentist to demonstrate the right way to brush and floss. Your dentist will guide you about the frequency of your dental visits. You can discuss the oral hygiene products that you are using or wish to use. Your dentist will give suggestions about your fluoride intake, night guards, and bad breath. Be sure to inform your dentist about any pain, discomfort, or anything out of the ordinary that you’re experiencing.

Question 2: How Is My Current Dental Health?

A new dentist will most probably examine your entire oral cavity, including teeth, gums, jaws, tongue, and throat. You’ll be checked for lesions, wounds, bumps, cavities, plaque, tartar, or signs of teeth grinding. They’ll assess your overall dental health and will be able to give you a proper analysis. Once this is done, they’ll discuss your treatment options and preferences. This is a good time to ask your dentist any questions about your current oral health, and any ways you can improve your oral health.

Question 3: What Ways Can I Optimize My Dental Health Through Diet and Hygiene?

Your diet and oral hygiene impact your oral health in many ways. Ask your Dentist about ways you can adjust your daily routine to support any dental treatments or needs you may have. What foods may impact your teeth for better or worse? What daily habits will support your goals? Your Dentist may be able to advise specific changes that will help to support what they are doing to treat or maintain your oral health.

by Peppermint Dental & Orthodontics

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Remedies To Prevent a Mouth Infection

Mouth infections signs that you have a mouth disease incorporate, tooth ulcer, excited gums and internal cheeks, and most ordinarily, blister. Mouth infections can be caused by nervousness, poor sustenance, and smoking, which all put weight on the resistant framework. Gum sicknesses increment the measure of microscopic organisms in the mouth, which can likewise lead to mouth infection.

Golden Seal

Golden seal has been on old fashioned most loved in Europe and the United States for treating and forestalling disease. It has astringent and antibacterial properties and slaughters a few infections, while decreasing irritation. All encompassing Online suggests including 2 tsp. of dried herb to some bubbling water. Enable it to soak for 15 minutes and strain. Flush your mouth a few times every day with the tea.


As indicated by Holistic Online, myrrh has been a mainstream solutions for mouth infections for quite a long time. Powdered myrrh is rich in tannins, which makes it useful for lessening aggravation. You can break up 200mg to 300mg of myrrh powder in warm water or include 4 mL of myrrh tincture to a glass of water and wash the mouth for two to 3 minutes. This ought to be completed a few times each day when you brush.

Heating Soda

Heating pop has been utilized for a considerable length of time as a cure for some ills. It is useful for mouth bruises since it diminishes irritation and eliminates microorganisms. As indicated by Health-911, you can spot heating pop straight onto the distressed region, or break up 1 tsp. into some warm water and use as a mouthwash.

Lemon Balm

As indicated by Ayurvedic Remedies, a day by day mouthwash produced using lemon emollient concentrate dispenses with oral microorganisms. Lemon analgesic highlights clean and antiviral properties, and can help counteract bruises in the mouth and kindled gums. You can add five drops of oil to your normal mouthwash, or apply it specifically to the influenced region.

Aloe Vera Mouth Wash

To utilize an aloe vera mouthwash Swish the juice in your mouth for 30 seconds. Release the arrangement. Rehash a few times each day.

Tea Tree Oil Mouth Wash

To utilize a tea tree oil mouthwash mean three drops of tea tree oil to some warm water. Rinse the arrangement in your mouth for up to 30 seconds. Release the arrangement. Rehash a few times each day.

Sage Mouth Wash

To utilize a savvy mouthwash bubble 1 to some water. Include 2 tablespoons of crisp sage or 1 teaspoon of dried sage to the water. Give it a chance to stew 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and let the water cool. Utilize the answer for wash a few times each day.

by Medium

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Is it ever too late to save a tooth?

Sometimes, letting go is the best option. If a tooth is causing you significant pain, or may cause you pain down the road, your dentist may recommend extracting, or removing, a tooth. While far from ideal, extracting a tooth may be the most prudent decision for your overall oral health. There are, however, basic oral hygiene steps you can take to cut down on culprits such as gum disease or infection and potentially save your teeth.

Reasons a tooth might be extractedA tooth may need to be removed for a variety of reasons, ranging from illness, to accident, to more standard procedures like wisdom teeth removal. Some of the most common issues that may lead to tooth extraction include:

A broken tooth: Leaving a chipped or broken tooth untreated can lead to all sorts of problems, including intense pain when exposed to hot or cold food. While other treatments, such as veneers, a dental implant or a root canal, can usually be used to save the tooth, in some cases, extraction is the best option.

Deep tooth infection: A tooth can become infected if its inner dentin is exposed. If left unchecked, dental infection can spread into the face and neck, and may even be fatal in extreme cases.

Gum disease: Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque between teeth and near the gum. If left untreated, mild gum disease can become periodontitis, which can weaken the gum and destroy bone.

Crowded teeth: This means there isn't enough room in your mouth for all of your teeth to grow in. If left untreated, teeth crowding may result in serious jaw pain and an increased risk for gum disease. In many cases, especially for younger patients, teeth crowding can be corrected through an orthodontic intervention, such as braces or a retainer, rather than tooth extraction.

Wisdom teeth growth: Wisdom teeth are typically the very last adult teeth to erupt, often in a person's teenage years or early 20s. These teeth may grow in at an angle that either impacts other teeth near them or damage the cheek and gum. Both could result in severe mouth pain.

In most cases, the extraction procedure itself is relatively quick. A dentist will typically apply localised anesthesia before loosening and then removing the problem tooth.

Recovering from tooth extractionFollowing a tooth extraction procedure, your dentists will probably ask you to take certain precautions to ensure your socket stays clean and to mitigate pain. These will typically include sticking with soft foods in the days or weeks following extraction and trying your best to chew on the unaffected side of your mouth. In some cases, your dentists might give you a prescription to pain relief medication to reduce inflammation, or recommend an over-the-counter treatment, as needed.

If you experience ongoing severe pain, bleeding or a fever in the first one or two weeks following the extraction of a tooth, contact your dentist for a follow up appointment.

How to save your teethYou can prevent tooth extraction that results from gum disease or tooth infection by looking for the warning signs of these illnesses and staying on top of your daily oral hygiene. That includes brushing twice a day and flossing. Teeth crowding, meanwhile, can be eased through orthodontia such as brace, Invisalign or a retainer. Be sure to follow all instruction from your dentist and orthodontists to properly clean and use your recommended orthodontia and you be able to mitigate the need for any of your teeth to removed.

In some cases, tooth extraction simply can't be prevented, no matter your oral health practises. There isn't really anything you can do to prevent wisdom teeth from coming in, for example. Wisdom teeth removal is an extremely standard procedure, and it's common for anywhere from just one to all four wisdom teeth to be extracted. Whatever your reason for needing a tooth to be extracted, it's important that you understand that your dentist has your overall oral health at heart.

Tooth extraction can be anything from a routine procedure to a serious intervention. Whatever your needs, the team at City Dentists is here to help! City Dentists takes the convenience of its patients to heart, with its central location by the Wellington train station, professional staff and modern offices. Our experienced dentists and dental hygienists can determine if a tooth needs to be removed, or if not, what steps you can take to save it.

by City Dentists

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Long term risks of untreated gum diseases

Oral health can affect many aspects of your life, from eating, smiling, and laughing to your confidence and self-image. When people think about maintaining their oral health, they often pay more attention to their teeth than to their gums. No matter what age you are, gum disease can strike and create significant issues that impact your oral health for years to come.

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth. It’s mainly caused by bacteria from plaque build-up. In some people who are susceptible to gum disease, the body over-reacts to the bacteria around the gums and causes too much inflammation. In others, the inflammation doesn’t clear up properly. The result of the intense gum inflammation is that it also affects the bloodstream, and is believed to slowly damage blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.

Unfortunately, gum disease is a very serious problem that leads to severe consequences. If left untreated, gum disease – also known as periodontal disease – can result in substantial health issues and make individuals more susceptible to a range of conditions, including cancer of the kidney, pancreas and blood. In the beginning stages of gum disease, plaque hardens and turns into tartar. Once tartar is built up on your teeth, professional attention is required to remove it. During this phase of gum disease, called gingivitis, patients will experience gums that bleed when they brush and floss. Other early signs of gum disease include bright red, inflamed, or swollen gums. While there are no irreversible, long term effects at this point, it is essential to seek help immediately. Gum disease can quickly turn from mild to severe as tartar, full of dangerous bacteria and deposits, starts to spread down below the gum line.

Left untreated, gingivitis can turn to periodontitis. As tartar advances, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming periodontal pockets which harbour even more bacteria. These pockets allow the infection to live on in an area that you can’t reach with brushing or flossing. As your body tries to fight the infection, its antibodies also attack many of your healthy cells, so the condition of your gums and the underlying bone will rapidly deteriorate. The effects of periodontitis include receding gums, bone damage, and tooth loss. In fact, periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

The long-term effects of periodontal disease don’t stop with dental health. As bacteria continue to grow, it can leach into your bloodstream and travel throughout your body causing problems. In fact, research has shown that the same oral bacteria that cause tooth decay have been found in the plaques that line your arteries, contributing to heart disease. Your body reacts to these bacteria by sparking an inflammatory response. For this reason, periodontal disease can aggravate other inflammation-causing illnesses, such as rhuematoid arthritis, respiratory disease, kidney cancer, and even blood cancers like leukemia.

Periodontal disease has also been found to increase blood sugar, which is why it is so troublesome in people who have diabetes. In fact, people with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease, and the mere presence of periodontal disease can signal the development of diabetes later in life–even if patients haven’t shown symptoms of diabetes yet.

Since periodontal disease causes health problems throughout your body, it decreases your overall immune response, which can put you at a higher risk for other infections. There is also a correlation between serious gum disease and overall physical health problems. Although the mechanism behind the correlation is still unknown, it can result in substantial health issues and make individuals more susceptible to a range of conditions, including cancer of the kidney, pancreas and blood.

by Surya Dental Care

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Nine Astonishing Food Items That Are Beneficial For Your Teeth

Most of us have this misconception that brushing thrice or four times in a day is the only way to get stronger teeth. Healthy food not only improves our metabolism and immunity but it also develops the condition of our gums and teeth. The daily intake of vitamins should be quite high and make sure you are well aware of the food items which is filled with nutrients.

Take a look at the food items which we have mentioned here, they play a huge role in improving your teeth.

1.- Apples for Fiber: Eating apples could be useful in several ways but did you know that it can do wonders to your teeth? The fruit is rich in fiber and it also washes away the bacteria in your mouth due to which dentist highly recommend people to eat apples.

2.- Foods Items High in Vitamin C: Citrus fruits fall under the category of Vitamin C and it helps in building up stronger and healthier teeth. Go for strawberries, oranges and grapes to get a good amount of vitamin C. Among vegetables, try having a lot of broccoli in order to get some ascorbic acid.

3.- A Lot of Cheese: Cheese, as we all know, is a delectable thing to eat. Hardly anyone has said no to it but who knew that even cheese is great for teeth. It helps in escalating the pH and it also helps in forming more saliva in the mouth.

4.- Several Glasses of Water: Water actually washes off a lot of disease from a person’s body. Drinking around 15 to 20 glasses of water every day is a great way of having decay free and healthy teeth. So, don’t forget to have a lot of water even if you do not get much time.

5.- A Meaty Meal: Try eating a lot of red meat to ameliorate the state of your teeth. Organ meats are also great and extremely advantageous. So, a proper meaty meal will help you to fetch a strong set of teeth.

6.-Garlic to Prevent Tooth Decay: There is no doubt that garlic elevates the taste of a particular cuisine. Therefore, eating quite a lot of it does not sound like a bad idea right? Moreover, garlic also helps to fight tooth decay. Hence, what could be better than this?

7.- A Bowl Full of Yogurt: Having a certain amount of curd or yogurt after lunch does help in making your teeth robust. Thus, make it a point to have a bowl full of curd almost every day.

8.- Have a Lot of Pears: This acidic fruit also happens to benefit your teeth in quite a few ways. It offsets the acid in the mouth and makes the teeth healthy.

9.- Almonds: You can have almonds with almost everything, be it chocolates, cakes or custards, the nut goes with almost every food item. You should have a handful of almonds to get a good amount of protein and calcium and this in a way is advantageous for teeth.

Eating well should be our utmost priority no matter what. The above mentioned food items are definitely beneficial for your teeth and gums but you also need to look after the other things to ameliorate it.

by Whispering Creek Dentistry

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How Good Is Yogurt For Your Teeth Health?

Yogurt is considered a superfood! Not just for your overall health, but for your dental health too. Because yogurt has recently become so popular for people who are looking to improve their health, it’s easier to find than ever. Studies conducted over many years have consistently shown that yogurt can benefit the body and teeth in many different ways.

How Yogurt Can Improve Oral Health

Below are a few of the ways that eating yogurt can improve your dental health and that of your entire family:

Improves the health of gum tissue – In a recent study of 1,000 adults, it was proven that the adults who ate the most yogurt had the healthiest gum tissue. This is due to probiotics found in yogurt. Probiotics are good bacteria that helps to slow the growth of germs and ‘bad bacteria’ that can cause gum disease.

Strengthens tooth enamel – Yogurt is packed with calcium, which helps to strengthen the bones and the teeth. Calcium will maintain the bone density, which is especially important for growing children. For adults, calcium will help keep the tooth enamel strong and healthy.

Balances PH levels in the mouth – The types of bacteria that can cause dental cavities and tooth decay tend to thrive in highly acidic environments. Yogurt is able to help balance the PH levels in the mouth, lowering the acidity and ridding the mouth of germs and bacteria.

Helps fight bad breath germs – Lastly, eating 6 ounces of yogurt each day can help reduce hydrogen sulfide, which is a compound that contributes to bad breath. The probiotics in yogurt help to keep the smelly bacteria in check.

If you’re purchasing yogurt to improve the health of your family, we recommend going with sugar-free, plain, Greek yogurt. This is because Greek yogurt has the highest number of probiotics. If it’s tough to get your family to eat sugar-free, plain yogurt, feel free to add some fresh fruit or a little bit of artificial sweetener to the yogurt.

For more tips on keeping your family’s teeth healthy or to make an appointment for routine dental cleanings and exams, please contact your dentist today.

by Meadows Family Dentistry

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Foods that can whiten or stain your teeth

Teeth whitening continues to be a goal for many people and in addition to the teeth whitening services that are offered at your dental office, and in addition to the different over-the-counter teeth whitening remedies, it is good to be aware of foods that can both help to keep your teeth white and food/drinks that can stain your teeth.

First let us start with the good news. There are five different foods that are known to help keep your teeth white, and they also all offer additional nutritional and health benefits.

1. Cheese : That’s right! Good news for dairy lovers is that cheese, (along with other dairy products, including yogurt and milk), contain lactic acid, along with calcium, which is a known enamel-fortifying mineral, and lactic acid and calcium work to strengthen your teeth and whiten them. In addition, chewing on cheese promotes the saliva production in your mouth, and this helps to wash away any food particles that could stain your teeth

2. Cauliflower : Cauliflower is one of those foods that take a long time to chew. When a food takes longer to chew, that stimulates the saliva production in your mouth more than usual. Saliva is a natural cleanser for your mouth and by eating cauliflower, you can be sure to keep those pearly whites bright

3. Celery : Like cauliflower, celery is another food that takes a long time to chew, so it also stimulates saliva, which washes away food particles and keeps your gums healthy. Other benefits of celery include being a fibrous vegetable that is low in calories and being rich in nutrients

4. Strawberries : Strawberries are not as obvious of a choice to be a food that can help to keep your teeth white, due to their dark color, but strawberries contain the enzyme, malic acid, which naturally works to make your teeth whiter

5. Apples : When you chew on apples, you need to chew quite a few times, and the act of chewing is a natural mouth cleanser. The texture of apples also affords a bit of a scrubbing action in your mouth, and this helps to keep your teeth shining bright

It is also good to be aware of food and drinks that can cause your teeth to be stained. These food and drinks include:

1. Blueberries : Unfortunately, the dark color of the blueberries is known to cause stains on teeth. If you do want to eat blueberries, it is good to wash out your mouth with water after, or even better yet, brush your teeth after eating them

2. Coffee/Tea: Drinking black coffee or black tea is another known culprit of teeth staining. If you need to have your morning coffee, try adding in a splash of milk or if you want to drink tea, opt for a green, herbal or white tea

3. Tomato sauce/ketchup : Tomato sauce, along with any other sauce that is tomato based is known to stain teeth because of the high level of acidity in them, along with the bright color. If you can, choose another kind of sauce that is not tomato based or use mustard instead of using ketchup

4. Popsicles : Although a popsicle can be very refreshing on a hot summer day, they are loaded with sugar and food coloring, which can cause stains on your teeth. If you do have a popsicle, it is important to thoroughly brush your teeth afterwards

5. Red wine: Although there are some health benefits of drinking red wine, red wine is notorious for staining teeth. Make sure you flush your mouth with water after, or you might choose to have a glass of white wine to switch it up

If you are concerned about the color of your teeth and would like to know more about what teeth whitening options are safe and will be most effective for you, Contact your dentist today.

by Avenue Dental Studio

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How to Combat the Most Common Winter Mouth Issues

When the weather drops, seasonal drinks, delectable treats, and the holiday season aren’t far behind. However, the change in temperature also poses its unique set of challenges, like dry mouth and chapped lips. If you want to keep your smile and your oral health in pristine condition this year, keep reading to learn how to effectively combat winter mouth issues.


The holiday season may be something you look forward to each year. But the chronic tooth sensitivity? Not so much. Since your mouth is used to your normal body temperature, time outside in the frigid air can lead to sensitive teeth. Therefore, it’s a good idea to breathe in through your nose when you are outside, so the oxygen bypasses your teeth and goes straight to your lungs. Additionally, use a straw when you drink hot or cold beverages and make sure to use toothpaste with fluoride in it.

Dry Mouth

Although this whole year has felt a bit like cold and flu season, this particular period is when patients seem to be the most vulnerable. Subsequent symptoms, like a snuffy nose that causes you to breathe through your mouth, can cause your mouth to become dry. Not only can this lead to bad breath, but it can also result in infection and tooth decay. To prevent this from happening, make sure to drink plenty of water, especially if you are sick. It is also a good idea to avoid caffeine (which can cause dehydration) and chew on sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist.

Chapped Lips

Together, wind, cold, and sun are a recipe for chapped lips. Unfortunately, this can be extremely painful and negatively impact your beautiful smile. Luckily, you can protect your lips by drinking lots of water and wearing a lip balm that contains SPF 15. Make sure to apply it often, especially after you’re finished eating since it likely rubbed off during the process.

Canker Sores

Canker sores are white or red lesions that develop on the soft tissue of your mouth. Although they can happen at any time of the year, they are especially prevalent during the holiday season when people’s intake of acidic foods increases. To prevent this painful sore from hindering your dining experience, do your best to limit spicy and acidic foods. If one does pop up, swish with salt and warm water to clean the sore and promote healing.

This holiday season, you should be focusing on time with your loved ones, not struggling with the above winter mouth issues. Therefore, do your best to drink plenty of water, use lip balm, and stay healthy!



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Chronic gastrointestinal problems? Your dirty mouth may be partly to blame

Intestinal pathogens can lurk in the mouth and—at just the right moments—interlope in the gut to help trigger severe, recurring bouts of inflammation, researchers found. The study, based on human and mouse data, suggests that microbes lying low around our choppers may play a role in persistent gastrointestinal conditions such as Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis.

“Our findings suggest that the oral cavity may serve as a reservoir for potential intestinal pathobionts that can exacerbate intestinal disease,” the researchers, led by Koji Atarashi of Keio University School of Medicine, concluded.

Atarashi and colleagues wound up researching mouth microbes after noticing that the fecal microbiome samples of patients with chronic gut troubles tended to have far more oral bacteria than healthy people’s samples. They hypothesized that the oral germs—guzzled in the roughly 1.5 liters of saliva we swallow each day—may intermittently move through the gut and provoke aberrant immune responses and inflammation.

To test out the theory, the researchers had germ-free mice take in saliva from two patients with Crohn’s disease. Saliva from one patient had no effect on the mice. But saliva from the other did—it caused a raging immune response in the rodents' intestines. The researchers sifted through the bacteria in that saliva sample and found that a drug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strain—2H7 (Kp-2H7)—was behind the immune mayhem.

In subsequent mouse tests, the researchers found that Kp-2H7 couldn’t colonize the intestines of healthy, wild-type mice. But if the researchers fed the rodents antibiotics that Kp-2H7 resisted, the germ could get a foothold in the gut and cause persistent flare-ups of inflammation. Likewise, Kp-2H7 could also cause inflammation in mice genetically engineered to be prone to colitis. Thus, genetics and microbiome-disturbing factors, like antibiotics, played a role in the development of inflammatory conditions, too.

To shore up the results, the researchers repeated the experiment from the beginning. They took more saliva samples, this time from patients with ulcerative colitis, and again gave them to germ-free mice. And they again saw inflammation from some saliva samples and pinned it down to a Klebsiella strain. This time it was Klebsiella aeromobilis 11E12 (Ka-11E12).

Going back to the fecal microbiome samples that started it all, the researchers looked specifically for Klebsiella strains. They found that patients with inflammatory bowel diseases had significantly higher aggregated relative abundance of Klebsiella strains in their poop than that of healthy people.

In an accompanying editorial, immunologist Xuetao Cao of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences concluded:

These data strongly indicate the pathogenic role of oral cavity-derived Klebsiella strains in inflammatory diseases, although so far the data are correlative.

The data needs far more work to repeat, verify, and extend the significance of the findings to patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. That said, Cao notes that this preliminary data hints that oral treatments to eject Klebsiella strains from the oral microbiome may have a future in helping to treat such conditions.

by ARS Technica

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Mouth Infection Types and Symptoms

Mouth infections come in a wide variety and range from minor to potentially life threatening. Some mouth infections are avoidable by practicing good oral hygiene and last only a few days. Other infections are more severe and can last much longer, requiring medicine or surgery. There are many different types of mouth infections, but these are some of the most common that are seen in both adults and children:

1. Dental Caries is the medical term for cavities, or tooth decay. This happens when bacteria from residual sugars and carbohydrates in the mouth produce acid that eats away at a tooth’s enamel and it’s underlying layer, called dentin. Caries caught in the early stages can be reversed, although if not treated quickly, the decay can eat away at the tooth down to the root.

2. Gingivitis is a gum disease that occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth and causes inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue. Plaque is a naturally occurring bacteria-filled film that sticks to the teeth and produces toxins that irritates the gums. Your gums can become red, puffy, and bleed and if not treated, can become periodontitis.

3. Periodontitis is a serious gum disease that damages the soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. Plaque buildup causes slow deterioration and can cause loss of teeth if not treated. There are three main types of periodontitis – chronic, aggressive, and necrotizing. When left untreated, periodontitis can enter your bloodstream and affect other parts of your body.

4. Thrush is a condition that occurs when yeast-shaped fungus overgrows on the tongue and in the mouth. While anyone can get thrush, it’s most common in infants and older adults – people with generally weakened immune systems. This fungus is usually kept under control by the bacteria in your mouth, but certain illnesses and medications can disrupt the balance in your body.

5. Canker Sores are small, shallow lesions that develop on your gums or on the soft tissue in your mouth. Unlike cold sores, canker sores are not contagious and do not appear on the surface of your lips. Caused by acidic or spicy foods, most canker sores go away on their own in a week or two. However, if they worsen, they can leave scarring.

6. An Abscessed Tooth is a pocket of pus that can form in different parts of the tooth due to a bacterial infection. This is caused by bacteria entering the teeth and gums through a cavity or existing gum disease. It can also be caused by a foreign object, such as as popcorn kernel, getting embedded into your gums. If left untreated, the infection can cause the pain to radiate to your jaw bone, neck, or ear. It the rarest of cases, it has been known to cause sepsis.

Symptoms of a Mouth Infection

Although the treatment and types of infections are all very different, they are known to cause the same symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your dentist right away to avoid complications or an increased risk of serious health conditions.

Symptoms may include, but are not limited to:

Severe, throbbing toothache

Pain in your neck, jaw bone, or inner ear

Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures


Foul-smelling breath

Bitter taste in your mouth

Swelling in the face and/or cheek

Sensitivity when chewing or biting

Gums that are red or puffy

Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing

This is not a comprehensive list of all symptoms related to mouth infections, but these are the most common.  When brushing and flossing, be aware of any discoloration or changes in your mouth that could be a sign of a possible infection.

Ways to Prevent a Mouth Infection

Many of these mouth infections are very common.  In fact,  1 out of 3 Canadians have a need for dental work due to mouth infections, despite having a significant decrease in dental decay over the last 40 years.

There are easy ways to prevent mouth infections and to keep your mouth healthy. By washing your hands frequently, you reduce the risk of getting foreign bacteria in your mouth that can cause infections, or worsen existing conditions.  The importance of brushing and flossing twice a day cannot go unmentioned. Cleaning your teeth using proper brushing techniques is crucial to removing the plaque off your teeth and having a health mouth.

Other ways to prevent mouth infections include not using tobacco products, eating health snacks and having a nutritious diet, and of course visiting your dentist for regular bi-annual cleanings and checkups.

Your dentist will be able to check your mouth using scanners and x-rays to determine any dental issues you may be experiencing, as well as identify any issues you have with your gums or teeth. 48% of Canadians who have not seen a dentist in the last year suffer from gum disease. Seeing a dentist can help existing mouth infections from worsening and prevent infections from happening.

by Altima Dental

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Can I Stop a Cavity From Getting Worse?

Your tooth starts to hurt and you’re pretty sure you have a cavity. Several questions start to linger: Do you have to get it taken care of right away? Will it get better on its own? Will it get worse, and is there a way to prevent it from getting worse? To understand the answers, first you need to know what a cavity is, and then you can take several steps to help improve the situation.

What Is a Cavity?

A cavity is a tiny hole in the tooth that slowly expands over time. A cavity is caused by decay that occurs when acid eats away at the protective enamel on the tooth’s surface. Once that enamel is gone, the cavity slowly eats away at the rest of the tooth. Eventually, the cavity hits the blood vessels and nerves in the tooth, which is when you start to feel pain.

The best thing to do when you have a cavity is to go to the dentist to get it filled. However, if you can’t go immediately, there are some things you can do in the meantime to prevent the cavity from worsening.

Preventing a Cavity From Getting Worse

Keep in mind that these steps will not get rid of the cavity. Cavities don’t go away on their own. Cavities slowly expand to the point where they can move into the pulp and pulp chamber of your tooth, causing you pain – which could eventually lead to needing a root canal. Therefore, try to get to the dentist as soon as you notice a cavity. Don’t wait to feel the pain.

Brush Carefully

Everyone knows that brushing is vital to keeping teeth and gums healthy. If you have a cavity, it becomes even more important. Brushing at least twice a day helps prevent getting even more cavities. When you’re brushing, focus on the cavity, trying to remove any food particles.

Stay Hydrated

When your mouth is very dry, it allows bacteria to accumulate, which can cause cavities. Drinking lots of water will help keep your mouth moist and stop additional cavities from forming.

Use Fluoride

Fluoride prevents bacteria from multiplying and builds enamel, which helps make teeth as strong as possible to prevent cavities from forming. If you’re able to identify a cavity early on and apply a fluoride treatment, it can help slow the tooth decay.

Rinse With Salt Water

Salt water has been used for years to treat infections and wounds. It is effective because of its antiseptic properties. Salt water can also help destroy bacteria that cause cavities. As soon as you feel a cavity coming on, swish with salt water to help slow its expansion.

Avoid Refined Sugars

The worst possible thing someone can do if they have a cavity is to expose it to acid, since it can make the cavity worse. Cavities expand if they are surrounded by the acid in sugar. Therefore, if you have a cavity, you should try to avoid sugary foods and beverages. If you do happen to indulge in something sugary, rinse out your mouth with water immediately afterward. Better yet, brush your teeth and floss to slow the rate of tooth decay.

Chew Xylitol Gum

Chewing gum that contains Xylitol can actually do wonders for your mouth. Xylitol is a natural alcohol that destroys bacteria and fights off infections. If you chew gum that contains Xylitol after eating, it can help prevent the formation of cavities. But again, once you have a cavity, nothing can reverse the decay.

by Dr Ernie Soto

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Do Vegetarians Have Fresher Breath?

Take the ‘meat’ out of a meet and greet!

Have you ever had a juicy burger or steak for lunch only to find people desperately avoiding your bad breath on a crowded train? Well maybe not, but avoiding or reducing your meat intake might help prevent bad breath and potentially embarrassing situations.

Bad breath, or halitosis, is a problem that affects 40% of the adult population at some time in their lives . Poor oral hygiene, gum disease and smoking all contribute to bad breath, but your diet also plays an important role.

The diet factor

The age-old tale about garlic and onions affecting your breath is true, but other foods such as meat and cheese are also culprits. Protein-rich foods that get stuck in teeth crevices attract the germs around the tongue and mouth that contributes to bad breath. Following a vegetarian diet or reducing your meat intake will help prevent the build-up of germs, and therefore may help to avoid those unpleasant odours.

Did you know?

A recent study of 11,000 vegetarians and healthy eaters concluded that a daily intake of fruit was associated to a 20% reduction in mortality from heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancers of the stomach, lung, pancreas, large intestine, and rectum.

A balanced diet

Vegetarians and vegans, not to mention fruitarians and raw foodists, all have one thing in common – a high intake of fruit and vegetables. Meat, dairy and other high protein foods are good sources of iron, calcium and vitamins, but many fruit and vegetables can offer alternative sources . A healthy salad for lunch, or meat alternatives like calcium-rich tofu are good options to maintaining healthy teeth and fresher breath.

Can’t beat the meat

Good news, there is help out there if you’re not quite ready to give up meat or dairy. To avoid bad breath, brush your teeth (including your tongue) twice a day using germs-fighting dental products such as Colgate Total Toothpaste, which helps fight germs build up for up to 12 hours.

Dental floss is your friend, always pack some and use it every day, especially after eating meat. Drink a great deal of water to prevent halitosis by washing away thick mucus and germs, and to keep the mouth flowing freely with saliva . Finally, eat a balanced diet of fruit, vegetables and grains and try to limit your meat intake to twice a week.

by Colgate

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Odd conditions in your mouth could indicate internal health issues

When doctors stick that annoying tongue depressor in your mouth, it isn't just an unintentional attempt to make you choke. In addition to checking out your throat, they are also taking a look at your tongue, which can tell them a lot about your internal health.

A healthy tongue is typically pink and covered by small nodules, called papillae. However, don't panic at any slight deviation from this description. Many tongue and mouth conditions are harmless, including canker sores, which are believed to be caused by stress and typically go away after two weeks. Geographic tongue, a condition that causes reddish spots that look like a map, is also usually harmless. Other conditions could be more serious and require a trip to the doctor or dentist.

White coating or white spots on your tongue or mouth

This could be a symptom of oral thrush, a yeast infection that develops inside the mouth, family physician Daniel Allan told the Cleveland Clinic blog Health Essentials. The patches, which may have the consistency of cottage cheese, are more common in the elderly (especially denture wearers) and people with weakened immune systems. People with diabetes and those who take inhaled steroids or antibiotics are also susceptible, Allan said.

White patches could also be a sign of leukoplakia, a condition in which the cells in the mouth grow excessively. The condition, which is common in people who use tobacco, can be a precursor to cancer, reports WebMD.

Bright red tongue

A red tongue could be an indicator for deficiency in folic acid and vitamin B-12. It could also be a sign of scarlet fever, an infection that causes the tongue to have a red and bumpy appearance resembling a strawberry. “If you have a high fever and a red tongue, you need to see your family doctor,” Allan said. “Antibiotics are necessary to treat scarlet fever.”

Black and 'hairy' tongue

Just as hair does on your body, papillae grow on your tongue throughout your lifetime. For some people they become extra long, which makes them more likely to harbor bacteria. 

“Typically [black and hairy tongue] is brought on by smoking, drinking coffee and dark teas, or poor dental hygiene,” Jack Der-Sarkissian, a family physician with Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, told Readers' Digest. While it is important to take care of, you may be able to avoid a visit to the doctor or dentist for this one. “Removing the offending cause, like smoking, and brushing the tongue or using a tongue scraper, may be all you need,” Der-Sarkissian said.

Sore or bumpy tongue

Traumas such as biting your tongue or scalding it can cause pain in your mouth. But pain can also be an indicator of something more serious, like oral cancer. “A lump or sore on your tongue that doesn’t go away within two weeks could be an indication of oral cancer,” says Allan.

Burning tongue

A burning sensation could mean you have developed an allergy to your toothpaste. The ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which makes toothpaste foamy, may cause the stinging. “Someone might be using one toothpaste their entire life, and then suddenly, their mouth starts hurting,” otolaryngologist Dale Amanda Tylor told Readers' Digest. Switching to toothpaste without SLS could help reduce irritation, but for other causes, a doctor may need to prescribe antibiotic rinses or pills, Tylor said. 

Health experts recommend that you check your tongue every day when you brush and consult with a medical professional if you notice conditions that do not go away within two weeks.

by Kim Hayes

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What's the connection between acid reflux and coughing?

Acid reflux is a condition that occurs when acid from the stomach moves upward into the food pipe. The acid causes irritation of the tissue lining, which leads to heartburn – a burning sensation in the chest.

The American College of Gastroenterology estimate that over 60 million Americans experience heartburn a minimum of once a month. Some research indicates that over 15 million Americans may experience heartburn every day.

Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week can lead to a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause ulcers and permanent damage if left untreated. GERD also increases the risk of esophageal cancer.

Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux or GERD but a chronic cough is also a symptom.

Acid reflux and coughing.

Chronic coughing is usually defined as a cough that lasts for 8 weeks or longer.

Although chronic coughing is not a typical symptom of acid reflux, GERD is associated with at least 25 percentTrusted Source of cases of chronic cough, according to some research. Other research suggests GERD is a factor in 40 percentTrusted Source of people who have a chronic cough.

While a link exists between chronic cough and GERD, it does not mean that GERD is always the cause of the cough. Chronic cough is a common problem, and a person may simply have these two conditions at the same time.

How reflux leads to coughing

Of course, in some cases, chronic cough may be caused or made worse by acid reflux. There are two possible mechanismsTrusted Source to explain this occurrence.

The first suggests that a cough occurs as a reflexive action set off by the rising of stomach acid into the food pipe.

The second mechanism proposes that reflux moves above the food pipe and causes tiny droplets of stomach acid to land in the voice box or throat. This type of reflux is known as laryngeal pharyngeal reflux (LPR). LPR may lead to the development of a cough as a protective mechanism against the reflux.


LPR, also known as silent reflux or atypical reflux, is similar to GERD, although it frequently has different symptoms.

When stomach acid comes into contact with the vocal cords and throat, it can cause inflammation leading to symptoms such as:



throat clearing

the feeling that something is stuck in the throat

The amount of stomach acid needed to irritate the lining of the throat and voice box is quite small. Only 50 percent of those with LPR experience heartburn.

Treatment for a chronic cough caused by acid reflux aims to reduce the reflux that is causing or worsening the coughing. This is often done through medication.

Lifestyle and dietary changes are also quite effective, particularly for those with mild to moderate symptoms. In severe cases of reflux, surgery may be considered.

Lifestyle changes

People with chronic cough caused by acid reflux can try making the following lifestyle changes to improve their symptoms:

Maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI): This can reduce some of the pressure on the stomach, lessening the amount of stomach acid forced up the food pipe.

Wearing loose clothing: This reduces pressure on the stomach.

Stopping smoking: Smokers are at a higher risk of developing GERD.

Eating slowly and avoiding overeating: Large meals inhibit the closure of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing stomach acid to rise up into the food pipe.

Not lying down after or during meals: People should wait for approximately 3 hours before lying down after meals.

Elevating the head of the bed: Those with nighttime acid reflux could try raising the head of their bed with blocks or wooden wedges. Doing so may lessen the amount of rising acid.

Dietary changes

Some foods and drinks trigger acid reflux. The most common offenders are:





fried foods


high-fat foods



spicy foods

tomatoes and tomato-based foods

Food triggers vary from person to person, so keeping a diary of food intake and symptoms can be a useful way for people to discover which foods contribute to symptoms.

If a cough persists for 3 weeks without improving, a doctor should be consulted.

Medical advice should also be sought if the cough is severe or gets worse, is accompanied by blood or chest pain, or if it is difficult to breathe.

A cough associated with other symptoms of acid reflux or LPR should also be seen by a doctor.

by Medical News Today

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Five Reasons You May Be Having Difficulty Swallowing

Dr. Alexa Lessow at Lexington ENT & Allergy has treated numerous patients with dysphagia, the medical term for problems with swallowing. Sometimes determining the reason it hurts for you to swallow can be a complex undertaking, because it can be a symptom of quite a few different conditions. 

Each year, about 1 in 25 adults in the United States have problems swallowing. By preventing you from swallowing normally, dysphagia can lead to malnourishment  and other health problems. 

In this post we discuss five of the most common reasons you may be having difficulty swallowing. If you have pain or discomfort when you swallow and can’t determine why, seek treatment sooner rather than later. Early treatment can make a difference. 


Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is more commonly known as acid reflux. It’s the most common reason for esophageal dysphagia, which is one of two categories of swallowing problems. GERD may make you feel like food is stuck at the base of your throat or in your chest. 

GERD can make your esophagus narrower, or create strictures, and it can also cause ulcers. Both strictures and ulcers make it more difficult to swallow. Heartburn is often used to describe occasional acid reflux, but GERD is a chronic condition. 

2. Parkinson’s  disease

There are several neurological conditions that can impact your ability to swallow, and Parkinson’s disease is one of them. It causes oropharyngeal dysphagia, the second category of swallowing problems. With oropharyngeal dysphagia, you struggle to move food from your mouth to your throat, and you may gag, choke, or cough when you try. 

In addition to Parkinson’s disease, neurological damage, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy can cause oropharyngeal dysphagia. Physical therapy is often a successful approach to treating dysphagia caused by neurological issues. 

3. Cancer

Cancerous tumors can cause either esophageal or oropharyngeal dysphagia, depending on where the tumor forms. Tumors can create physical barriers to swallowing, and may form in your throat, esophagus, or stomach. 

Cancer treatments, too, can affect your ability to swallow. Radiation therapy, in particular, can cause oropharyngeal dysphagia. 

4. Thyroid issues

Your thyroid gland is located at the base of your throat, just under your Adam’s apple. Some conditions make the butterfly-shaped gland enlarge or develop nodules, which causes it to press against your esophagus. That pressure impedes your ability to swallow comfortably. Women experience thyroid issues more often than men. 

5. Herpes 

There are a great many herpes viruses. Some herpes simplex viruses can cause infections in your mouth or esophagus, and those infections can make it hard to swallow. Herpes esophagitis is sometimes accompanied by heart pain. 

It is important to note that if you have sudden difficulty swallowing, this may be due to an allergic reaction, for which you should seek medical care immediately.

by Lexington ENT & Allergy

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Treating And Avoiding Bad Breath, Go Beyond Brushing

Daily tooth brushing along with flossing are the most important actions you can take to ward off bad breath. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), if you neglect to brush and floss daily, food particles can linger in your mouth, causing bad breath. So, it's recommended to brush two times a day for at least two minutes.

Today, flossing has become an integral part of daily oral care and the American Dental Association recommends you floss once daily at least. Correct flossing after each meal consistently cuts down on plaque, bacteria and odor-causing food particles. Flossing helps stop periodontal disease as well, another cause of bad breath.

Clean Your Tongue

Cleaning your tongue can effectively decrease halitosis-causing compounds. These compounds form on your tongue and in your mouth when bacteria and amino acids combine, emitting an unpleasant sulfur-like smell. So cleaning your tongue regularly is important in fighting halitosis. Products like tongue cleaner, remove up to 96 percent more odor causing bacteria to eliminate bad breath.

Eat Healthy

It's common knowledge that certain foods like raw onion or garlic cause bad breath. Such foods, when ingested and excreted by the lungs, cause halitosis. But avoiding acidic foods (like vinegar) or high-fructose foods (like sugary cereal) cuts down on bad breath too. Both acids and sugars increase production of bacteria and bad breath.

Instead, choose a diet that curbs intestinal upset and odor-causing bacteria. According to Aetna, you should moderate your sugar intake and choose foods that increase saliva flow, including:

Whole grains like brown rice

Dark green and orange vegetables

A variety of fruits and

Proteins such as fish, beans, nuts or seeds.

Use a Mouthrinse

Use a mouthrinse after every meal like Colgate® Total Advanced Pro Shield™, which helps reduce plaque and gingivitis and freshens breath. Mouthrinse alone is not an effective remedy but should be used in addition to regular brushing and flossing.

Use Traditional Remedies

Home treatments passed down over the years are a good complement to your daily dental care. Herbs such as fennel, for example, have long been used in some cultures as a breath sweetener. Fennel increases saliva production, and contains numerous antibacterial properties, and a few sprigs will do the trick after or between meals.

Fresh breath is a sign of a healthy mouth, and a healthy mouth is often a good indication of your overall health. These home remedies for bad breath are habits you can take up in your own home, and they're integral to fighting and preventing the underlying causes of bad breath.

by Colgate

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Major Cause For Periodontitis That Leads To Tooth Loss Identified

Periodontitis, a form of severe gum infection, is recognized as one of the major causes of tooth loss. It is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and weakening of the supporting structures of the teeth, leading to tooth loss.

However, due to lack of adequate knowledge in terms of risk factors associated with periodontitis, management of the condition remains difficult. Now, a research team from Okayama University, Japan, has identified oral bacteria as the major cause for periodontitis.

Previous studies have associated the nature of the oral microbiome as well as genetic 'polymorphism,' the most common type of genetic variation among people, with the developing of periodontitis. However, till date, no study has simultaneously assessed the importance of these two risk factors.

In the new study, the research led by Assistant Professor Naoki Toyama from Okayama University, Japan have emphasized that oral microbiome plays greater role in the development of periodontitis than an individual's genetic makeup. The researchers believe that their findings, published in International Journal of Environment and Public Health Research, could guide clinicians in designing better strategies for diagnosing and treating periodontitis.

How to keep periodontitis at bay

Are microbes associated with the presence of periodontitis or it is the host genetic factors that facilitate the development of the condition?

In their study, Dr. Toyama and colleagues found that the " -diversity" of the microbes (the ratio between regional and local species diversity) was significantly different between the periodontitis and control groups. In addition, the presence of the bacteria species, P. gingivalis and the bacterial families, Lactobacillaceae and Desulfobulbaceae, was found associated with periodontitis. But they didn't find any link between genetic polymorphism and periodontitis. Based on their findings, the team concluded that our oral microbiome affects the status of periodontitis more than our genes.

Dr. Toyama noted that the findings would motivate clinicians to pay more attention to microbiome composition rather than the genetic identity of the individual in the routine work of periodontal examination, and design customized treatment strategy for the condition.

Also, this finding reinforces the importance of regular tooth cleaning to keep periodontitis at bay and prevent tooth loss.

How To Fight Oral Bacteria

Bacteria living on tooth surfaces thrive on sugars from leftover food in your mouth and produce acid as a waste product. Over time, high levels of acid can soften and erode your enamel, eventually leading to tooth decay. Here are 3 ways to prevent plaque build-up that supports disease-causing bacteria.

Brush and floss at least once a day: This can remove most of the plaque buildup. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen your enamel. Make sure you wait for 30 minutes to an hour after eating before brushing to reduce the acid level in your mouth. Get dental cleanings twice a year to remove hard to reach plaque.

Reduce intake of sweets: The bacteria in your mouth love sugary foods, and the more they feast on sugar, the more they produce acid. So, cut back on sugar-rich snacks and instead choose fresh fruits, raw vegetables or dairy products to beat your hunger pangs.

Try decay-fighting supplements: If you have low saliva flow, you can use an artificial saliva supplement or products containing xylitol, an alcohol-based sugar, to improve your mouth hygiene. Xylitol also inhibits bacterial growth.

However, consult a dentist first before taking any dental supplement.

by The Health Side

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Poor Nutrition: A Cause of Bad Oral Health

Many people are surprised to find out that poor nutrition can be a leading cause of bad oral health. Typically, when we think about maintaining our oral health we primarily consider our daily hygiene practices like brushing and flossing as well as regular visits to the dentist.

While these factors are very important, so are our nutrition choices. If you are looking to improve your oral health through your diet, here are a few key points to consider so you can avoid an unpleasant trip to an oral surgeon in Richmond Hill.


Sugar is a major culprit when it comes to bad oral health. Many foods including those that are considered healthy like fruits and vegetables contain sugars. However, it is typically processed foods that contain the highest amount of sugar. Richmond Hill oral surgery clinics suggest reading the packaging on the food you are consuming so you can get a sense of which products are the highest in sugar.

Of course, we often think of sweet treats when considering which foods are high in sugar. However, many drinks like sodas and fruit juices are also very high in sugar.


One little known fact that many oral surgeons in Vaughan share with their patients is that foods consumed as part of a meal are usually less damaging to our teeth than those consumed on their own as a snack. Why is this? Because when we are eating a meal our bodies’ salivary glands are stimulated and they release liquids and enzymes that help wash away food from our mouths. This means less food is left behind and makes it harder for bacteria to thrive. So, if you want to indulge in foods that are more sugary or acidic, consider doing so during a meal rather than as a snack.

Nutrient-Rich Diet

If you are looking to improve your oral health through diet changes, it is not just about cutting out the bad stuff. It is also about incorporating nutrients. A diet that is well-balanced and contains all of the required nutrients gives your body a better chance to fight periodontal disease. Without proper nutrients, your body is less able to fight foreign invaders and keep bad bacteria at bay.

While flossing, brushing and regular visits to your dentist are an important part of maintaining good oral health, it is also crucial to examine your diet. If you find that many of the foods you are consuming are acidic or high in sugar, you may be negatively contributing to the health of your smile. This can lead to a whole host of problems and potentially a very unpleasant trip to an oral surgeon in Vaughan.

by Arenson Dental

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Lysine For Cold Sores: Does It Work?

Cold sores, which are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), can be uncomfortable and make you feel self-conscious. They usually develop on or near the lips but can form inside the mouth, too. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than half of all Americans will have an HSV-1 infection by their 20s, making this a common concern.

If you experience regular cold sore outbreaks, you might be wondering how to best treat your cold sores and prevent them from reoccurring. Besides prescription treatments, some people have tried lysine for cold sores, as well as other natural cold sore remedies. But is lysine worth trying, and will it really help to prevent these sores?

What Is Lysine?

Lysine is one of nine essential amino acids, which are compounds that combine to form proteins, as the NIH notes. Your body needs these to grow, repair itself and digest food. The human body doesn't produce these essential amino acids on its own, so instead, you get them from food or from taking supplements.

Lysine, in particular, also plays a role in helping your body develop collagen and absorb calcium, and it aids in the production of carnitine, which may help to lower cholesterol levels, according to PennState Hershey Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

Meat, cheese, eggs, beans (especially soybeans) and fenugreek are all good sources of lysine. And while most people get an adequate amount of lysine from their diet, those who exercise a lot or those who follow a vegan diet and avoid beans might be lysine deficient.

Will Lysine Help Prevent Cold Sores?

Lysine is occasionally promoted as a natural remedy for cold sores. The Mayo Clinic lists it as an alternative treatment option, available as either an oral supplement or a cream, and PennState Hershey Milton S. Hershey Medical Center notes that lysine supplements may potentially help to reduce the occurrence of cold sore outbreaks, though not all experts believe it works.

One theory on why lysine is thought to help reduce cold sore outbreaks is that the amino acid may interfere with the activity of arginine, another amino acid, and block herpes replication, according to an article in Clinical Advisor.

So far, studies focusing on lysine for cold sores in humans haven't drawn any firm conclusions. One study, published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, revealed that lysine supplementation of less than 1 gram per day wasn't effective at treating or preventing cold sore outbreaks, but higher doses — above 3 grams per day — seemed to have a positive effect on patients. In contrast, a Cochrane review found that lysine offered no preventative effects against cold sores.

Other Cold Sore Treatment Options

While it's uncertain whether taking an oral lysine supplement or using a cream containing lysine could provide the results you may be looking for, it's worth noting that you have many other cold sore treatment options.

The Mayo Clinic assures that blisters do typically clear up on their own within two to four weeks, but if you are interested in a quicker recovery, your doctor might prescribe an oral medication, such as valacyclovir or acyclovir, to help speed up the healing process. At-home treatments, such as using a cold compress, applying lip balm or using an over-the-counter cold sore cream, can also help ease your discomfort.

Another way to cope with HSV-1 is to learn what triggers your outbreaks and try to avoid those triggers. Some people find that stress often leads to the formation of blisters, for example. Practicing stress reduction techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing, might help you relax and avoid an outbreak.

Ultimately, the best thing to do if you're curious about trying lysine for cold sores is talk to your doctor. They can give you advice on the benefits or drawbacks of using a supplement and can recommend other treatments to keep your cold sores under control.

by Colgate

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Difference Between Sensitive Gums, Gingivitis and Gum Disease

Gum sensitivity and soreness are not uncommon, but they shouldn't be ignored. Spotting and addressing these types of early precursors to more serious issues is a critical aspect of preventative oral care.

How can you tell the difference between occasional sensitivity and progressive problems like gum disease? It starts by understanding the difference between sensitive gums and the hallmarks of gum disease.

Sensitive Gums: What Do They Mean?

Gum soreness, characterized by minor inflammation and slight gum pain, can often be a symptom of gingivitis, but in other cases it’s not quite so concerning. When it is localized and infrequent, one of the more common non-gingivitis causes is improper traumatic brushing and interdental cleaning.

If you’re brushing too vigorously, flossing with tenacity, or improperly using interdental brushes or picks, you might be overly harsh on your gums. If you use a toothbrush with stiff bristles, switching to a soft or even extra-soft bristled toothbrush might be a quick way to address your sensitivity. Stiff bristles can cause unnecessary irritation to the gums, potentially leading to gum receding over time, and can also damage the teeth and even lead to enamel loss and tooth sensitivity. Soft-bristled brushes are equally effective, yet much gentler on gums and teeth.

For more information on finding the right tools to suit your oral care needs, read our guide on how to choose the right toothbrush.

While it is one possible cause, in many cases people are too quick to assume that sore gums are a product of harsh brushing. As a result, these individuals are hesitant to brush along the gum line altogether. To their surprise, the redness and irritation persists. This is because the bacteria are the primary cause of gum troubles - not brushing. Allowing bacteria to accumulate along the gum line only exacerbates the problem, which can progress into a more severe outcome such as gum disease.

If you experience sensitive gums and irritation, you should adopt a strict oral hygiene routine to combat it: brushing twice a day, cleaning between teeth, eating a healthy diet and drinking water. A toothbrush designed for sensitive gums can make oral care more comfortable if sensitivity persists.

Gingivitis: When Gum Disease Starts to Show

Gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease, is not always painful, and therefore not easy to identify. Most common symptoms are persistent redness and swollen gums. Bleeding of the gums after brushing or flossing is also quite common. Know that under no circumstances is gum bleeding normal - if it doesn’t cease after a week or so of attentive oral care, consider visiting your dentist. (Ideally you’ll be rooting out any problems before bleeding occurs through your twice-annual preventative visits).

When you do visit, your dentist will likely explain that the bleeding is due to improper gum care. There are other causes (e.g. drugs or pregnancy) but improper care is most typical. As noted, many people brush around the gums less when they experience gum irritation or bleeding, when they should be brushing more and better to remove plaque buildup along the gumline.

The good news is that gingivitis is a reversible condition that is easily managed with proper at-home treatments. This problem will not go away on its own; rather, it will take a strict dental care regimen to remove plaque and mitigate gum disease. You should:

Brush twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush to soothe sensitive gums

Clean at least once per day between all teeth, paying attention to hard-to-reach areas

Use specialized anti-gingivitis products like mouthwash or toothpaste

Visit your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and exam.

Your dentist or hygienist will likely show you areas of concern in a mirror, while providing tips and instructions for how to properly brush, clean between your teeth, and mouthrinse. With diligent daily oral care, you can reverse and eliminate your gingivitis before it reaches the next level.

Periodontitis: When Gum Issues Become Serious

Unchecked gingivitis can evolve into the later stages of gum infection: periodontitis. In addition to severe gum irritation, bleeding, pain or sensitivity, you may experience loose teeth, exposure of the tooth root, unpleasant breath and/or identifiable pockets (spaces that fill with plaque) between the gums and teeth. This is a condition best avoided!

Unfortunately, when gum disease reaches this phase, loss of the supporting structures around your teeth has already occurred, which is irreversible. As a result, more invasive procedures and extensive routine at-home care are necessary to manage the problem. As such, understanding the severity of the disease and the importance of treatment is crucial to minimizing bone loss and ultimately tooth loss.

In-office dental treatments are necessary to treat periodontitis - including tooth scaling and root planing to remove plaque from pockets and make the disease more manageable. Your dentist may also recommend antibiotics. For people with more advanced bone and gum degeneration, surgical treatments targeting gum pockets and bone loss may be necessary. Routine dental visits are also essential, to monitor disease progression and implement new treatments when needed.

Preventative Dental Care Is the Hallmark of Disease Mitigation

Recognize the path from gingivitis to periodontitis. It’s not a coincidence that one leads to the other. Gum disease is progressive! And its prevention goes beyond just brushing. While poor oral hygiene is certainly the most common cause of gingivitis and a catalyst for gum degeneration, other factors may increase your risk, such as:



Systemic diseases, such as diabetes

Family history


Even healthy people with good brushing habits can develop gum disease as they age or through other life factors (e.g. stress). For these reasons, look out for the warning signs of periodontitis and implement preventative measures as early as possible. With proactive action, you can prevent it from evolving further.

by Sun Star Gum

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Why Your Strep Throat Keeps Coming Back

“It feels like swallowing razor blades.” This is a common reaction that can be understood by anyone who has picked up strep throat. A common ailment that mostly affects children, strep throat is responsible for up 40% of sore throats amongst children during a given year in the United States. Overall, around 11 million people get strep throat infections annually; although it is generally not a very dangerous disease, it nevertheless leads to approximately 1800 deaths each year. For some people, it transcends a one-time malady and becomes a recurring problem.

What is Strep Throat?

“Strep throat” is actually an informal term for streptococcal pharyngitis, a bacterial infection that affects the back of the throat. The bacteria in question is Streptococcus pyogenes, but it is also referred to as “group A Streptococcus” (GAS). In a given year, most cases of strep throat occur in young children, though adults can also become infected. Schools and daycare centers are traditionally the most likely settings for the disease to be passed on, and that’s why adults who do become infected are typically teachers or parents.

The strep bacteria is passed from one person to another through close, direct or indirect contact. Once in the body, the bacteria infects the throat and tonsils situated at the back of the throat and causes the area to become inflamed. When a person coughs or sneezes, minuscule respiratory droplets get expelled and bring the bacteria along for the ride. For this reason, strep throat is fairly contagious, and it can even be passed by someone who doesn’t have any of the symptoms associated with the disease.

What Are the Symptoms of Strep Throat?

The most common and obvious symptom of strep throat is throat pain; the inflammation of the tissues at the back of the throat can be so severe that even basic swallowing becomes an excruciating task. Beyond throat pain, though, there are a number of other symptoms that can accompany strep throat:

Sore throat

Pain swallowing

Tonsillitis (tonsils red and swollen)

Small red spots inside the mouth (palatal petechiae)

Swollen or tender lymph nodes



General body aches

Scarlet fever (rash on other parts of the body)

Vomiting or nausea

There are times when the symptoms of strep throat can even mimic elements of a viral infection, such as the common cold or influenza. In fact, a virus can be generally ruled out if a person has a cough, runny nose, pink eye, or even a raspy voice. These symptoms aren’t associated with strep and probably indicate another condition.

Recurring Strep Throat

For many people, getting strep throat is a one-off incident that is unpleasant for a while but then doesn’t come back once it has been cured. But for some unlucky people, the infection keeps coming back. This condition, known as recurrent strep throat, is defined by the number of times you get the infection in a year; this typically means getting strep more than seven times in a given year. The obvious question here is: why does it keep coming back? There unfortunately isn’t one universal answer to this question, but there are several different factors that may be the culprit, either individually or in combination:

Antibiotic Resistance: As a bacterial infection, antibiotics are the medication of choice for strep throat. However, some types of the Streptococcus bacteria are actually resistant to some types of antibiotics.

Not Finishing the Course: When antibiotics are prescribed, it is crucially important to finish the entire course of medication. Some people stop taking the drugs as soon as they get better, and this can lead to a resurgence of the infection.

Compromised Immune System: In people who have an underlying condition that weakens the immune system, even a relatively simple bacterial infection like strep throat can be prone to recurring again and again.

Unknown Carrier: Some people are carriers of the bacteria and they don’t even know it since it’s possible to have it without ever developing symptoms. If this person is encountered regularly in day-to-day life, it is possible to keep getting infected by the same person.

Lingering Bacteria: This is mostly a concern with toothbrushes or toothbrush holders. If you have a strep infection and continue brushing your teeth as normal, the bacteria can actually stay on the brush. Then, even as you think you’re getting better, a new infection is already potentially getting underway.

How Do I Treat and Prevent Recurrent Strep Throat?

As noted above, strep throat is a bacterial infection that is treated in the same way as most other bacterial infections: with antibiotics. Since only a doctor can prescribe antibiotics (like amoxicillin), this means you’ll need to see a doctor if you think you might have strep. And even though the symptoms might be clear and there is clear evidence of inflammation in the back of your throat, strep can’t be diagnosed without a throat swab and subsequent lab work. Once diagnosed by the doctor, prescribed antibiotics can work remarkably fast. Indeed, a lot of people start to feel noticeably better within 24 hours; even if you feel better quickly, though, it is imperative to complete the entire course of antibiotics.

The good news is that the tests for strep throat have improved significantly, and now doctors like those at TrustCare can give you a rapid strep test and throat culture that can actually produce test results within a few minutes. Practically speaking, this means that the severe throat pain that you go to the doctor with can be diagnosed quickly, and you can usually get your prescription shortly afterwards.

Preventing recurrent strep throat can be doable or tricky depending on the reason for the recurrence. If the antibiotics you have initially been prescribed don’t seem to be doing the trick, your doctor may have to change the dosage or select a different medication. For most people though, preventing strep throat is not unlike trying to avoid a cold or the flu: wash your hands frequently, avoid sharing dishes or utensils with other people, and be wary of people you interact with at school or work who seem to be sick.

by Trust Care Health

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Prosthodontics: How This Dental Specialty Can Help You

From eating great food to communicating to smiling – your teeth are essential for some of the most important things in your life. And you only get one set of adult teeth, so they're definitely worth holding onto.

But sometimes life happens and you may lose a tooth for any number of reasons. In fact, it happens often enough that there's a whole field of dentistry devoted to restoring and replacing them. It's called prosthodontics. If you have missing or damaged teeth and you've been referred to a prosthodontist, we'll let you know exactly what they do so you can feel confident they're the right specialists to help you restore your winning smile.

What Is a Prosthodontist?

Prosthodontists are dentists who have received 3 years of additional specialized training to perform more complex procedures to restore and replace teeth. They stay up-to-date with the latest tooth restoration and replacement technologies and are aware of all the factors that can cause missing and damaged teeth.

There is a multitude of treatments they are qualified to perform, but the three main types of procedures include:

The restoration of damaged teeth with crowns, veneers, or bonding

The replacement of missing teeth with bridges or dentures

And the insertion and restoration of dental implants

Interesting Fact: The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that 3 million Americans have dental implants, and that number is growing by about 500,000 every year.

Some of their other areas of expertise include:

Geriatric dental care

Oral restoration for conditions such as cleft palates

Oral reconstruction for issues related to cancer

Maxillofacial (face and jaw) procedures

And even oral procedures to treat snoring and sleep disorders

A prosthodontist can work in tandem with every type of dentist, from your general dentist or pediatric dentist to oral surgeons and even ear, nose, and throat specialists when needed.

When Should You See A Prosthodontist?

Most general dentists can fit crowns, replace teeth, and insert implants, too, but prosthodontists are considered to have a higher level of expertise because of their additional training. So when should you see a specialist?

Your general dentist or orthodontist will likely refer you to a prosthodontist if you are experiencing complicated problems that involve surgery on bone and tissue, in addition to the more common dental work you need to have done.

You don't always need a referral to make an appointment, but beware that insurance companies typically require one to cover any of the cost of your visit. If you make an appointment for a prosthodontic procedure without a referral, you could end up paying out of pocket.

In any case, be sure to ask your provider about care coverage before your appointment.

What to Expect at Your First Appointment

Your first appointment will likely be a consultation so your prosthodontist can determine the best course of treatment. Before your visit, ask if they want you to bring X-rays from your general dentist if they have them. Whether you bring X-rays or not, they may need to take more while you're there. They will do a thorough examination, discuss your current dental issues, and give you an overview of the next steps based on your individual needs.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay and Tooth Loss

Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2 percent of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. Luckily this condition is preventable by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day. Floss or clean between your teeth with interdental brushes or water flossers at least once a day; use an antimicrobial mouthrinse and a tongue scraper. Be sure to see your dental professional for regular cleanings and check your teeth and gums' health. If you notice any changes or sensitivity in your gums, don't wait until your next checkup – make an appointment with a dental professional right away.

If you've already experienced tooth loss or have any other conditions that you may need to see a prosthodontist for, these specialists thankfully have a skillset and a wide range of expertise to treat complex dental issues effectively. And while those issues that can lead to a prosthodontist referral may initially seem daunting, it can be comforting to know that you're in the hands of an expert specially trained to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

by Colgate

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Six Signs To Identify Dental Problems Before They Become Worse

Your body has a way of sending you signals when it needs help. A headache is often the first indication of dehydration. Fatigue could be a sign of sleep apnea. As long as you pay attention to the messages your body provides, you can identify and reverse problems before they take control of your body.

Your oral health is no exception! We tend to think of our mouth as a separate entity from our body, but the truth is that oral health and general wellness are closely linked together. If you have an unhealthy mouth, these signals are trying to let you know. 

Bad Breath… All Day Long!

Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, can develop for a few different reasons, but the main trigger is poor oral health. 

As soon as you eat or drink, food particles breakdown all around your teeth. If you don’t brush and floss regularly to remove food remnants, they accumulate into a thick coating of plaque that spreads over your teeth, tongue, and gums. Odor-causing bacteria thrives inside this plaque and emits the foul odor we call “bad breath”. 

Your eating habits have the power to reduce or aggravate bad breath because they directly influence the types of particles that cover your mouth until the next time you brush and floss. 

Bad breath sounds like it would be easy to identify, but many people can’t assess the odor of their own mouths. If you suspect that halitosis is influencing your oral health, you can ask a close friend or spouse to check your breath and give honest feedback. You can also perform a breath test yourself by licking your wrist, giving the saliva time to dry, and then smelling it. 

Your oral hygiene habits set the pace for your mouth health. If you’ve been slacking on your brushing and flossing, you can begin to improve your oral hygiene habits with these techniques: Brush and floss at least twice a day, Scrape your tongue each morning with a tongue scraper, Replace your toothbrush every two to three months, Start oil pulling, Drink plenty of water.

These simple yet effective steps will prevent bacteria from building up and generating a foul odor. 

Sensitivity to Hot and Cold Foods and Drinks

The sensation caused by sensitive teeth is nearly impossible to describe, but there’s no mistaking that awful zinging feeling whenever you drink something too cold or hot. In addition to the pain it causes, sensitivity is also a sign of an unhealthy mouth. 

Factors like brushing too hard, overuse of acidic beverages like soda and coffee, and excessive use of whitening products all expose tiny canals that lead right to your dental nerves. As soon as anything hot or cold reaches the nerves, you experience a “zing”. 

Gum disease is also known to cause severe tooth sensitivity since gums recede from the teeth and lose their support system. If you have gum disease, you also probably have excessive plaque in your mouth, which also erodes tooth enamel and exposes nerve endings. 

There are a few ways to treat sensitivity teeth, but it’s important to ask for your dentist’s advice before you choose: Desensitizing toothpaste, In-office fluoride treatment, White fillings or crowns, Root canal, Laser gum therapy, Chronic Sinus Infections From an Unhealthy Mouth.

The bacteria that live in your mouth and gut are responsible for maintaining balanced immune responses throughout your body. This means that the health of your mouth directly impacts the strength of your immune system.

If you always seem to be coming down with a cold or sinus infection, that could be your body’s way of sending SOS messages  Anything that harms or alters the microbiota communities in your mouth or digestive system has the potential to trigger immune dysfunction that leads to chronic sinus infections. 

Improving your unhealthy mouth will create a direct improvement on your sinuses as well. 

Dry Mouth

You have three main salivary glands and hundreds of minor salivary glands that are responsible for producing saliva in your mouth. Saliva is essential to the health of your teeth and gums, so when you develop dry mouth, it puts our oral health in danger.

Consider the roles that saliva performs:

Neutralizes acids in the mouth

Washes away food debris, bacteria, and other lingering toxins

Keeps the mouth moist and hydrated, even while eating dry foods or exercising

Breaks food down with enzymes and carries it from the mouth to the gut.

Bombarding your mouth with potent sugars and acids all day, every day compromises your mouth’s ability to produce saliva. This leads to a dry, unhealthy mouth.

Remain alert for these possible dry mouth symptoms: Chronic bad breath, Cracked lips and inner cheeks, Difficulty tasting foods, Pain and inflammation on the tongue, Frequent tooth decay, Trouble speaking, swallowing, and chewing, The feeling of sticky or stringy saliva.

Dry mouth can be treated in a few different ways. The first step is to improve your general oral health with more frequent brushing, flossing, and dental appointments. Adjust your diet to nutritious, wholesome foods, and switch to medications that don’t cause the side effect of dry mouth. If those changes still don’t resolve your dry mouth, ask your dentist about other professional treatments. 

Tooth Discoloration From an Unhealthy Mouth

Poor oral care is a common cause of tooth discoloration. If you fail to brush and floss regularly, it’s all too easy for bacteria, acid, and plaque to accumulate and harden into tartar. Plaque and tartar both create an unsightly yellow coating around your teeth that leads to other issues like bad breath, decay, and tooth loss. 

Fortunately, it can all be avoided with better oral hygiene! The simple actions of brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist twice a year help prevent discoloration before it begins.  

Digestive Issues

The mouth is so much more than another part of the body. It’s where everything begins. There’s a direct and powerful link between oral health and whole body wellness.

As the entry point to the digestive system, the condition of your mouth directly influences your gastrointestinal health. This explains why poor oral health is shown to contribute to inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. 

When an unhealthy mouth becomes overwhelmed by pathogens, oral bacteria can constantly move into the gut and trigger serious complications. Some strains of bacteria found in unhealthy saliva are even resistant to antibiotics and believed to trigger intense gut inflammation. 

How to Improve Your Unhealthy Mouth

When you break a bone, you head to the emergency room. When your car breaks down, you head to the mechanic. So why wouldn’t you schedule an appointment with your dentist when you start to notice signs of an unhealthy mouth?

by Ablantis Dental

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What Causes Ear and Throat Pain On One Side When Swallowing?

Are you experiencing ear and throat pain on one side when swallowing? There are many possible causes of one-sided pain in the throat and ear, including viral infections, nerve problems, digestive issues and other infections. Some of these conditions may cause a sharp pain in the throat when swallowing on one side, while others also cause ear pain. Here are some of the possible conditions that can result in one-sided ear and throat pain when swallowing.


If the tonsils are inflamed from a bacterial or viral infection, it is called tonsilitis. This condition is more common in children, but anyone with tonsils can experience this infection at any age. Tonsilitis can cause pain in the throat and ear when swallowing due to swollen lymph nodes on one side of the neck and it may be accompanied by a fever.

Postnasal Drip, Allergies and Sinusitis

Postnasal drip is caused by excess mucus and salvia that can irritate the throat. Viral infections that impact the sinuses or allergies can contribute to postnasal drip and throat pain. The ears, throat and sinuses are all connected, which can result in ear and throat pain when swallowing, usually on one side. Most postnasal drip conditions can be controlled with over-the-counter medications, relieving allergies or nasal congestion.

Strep Throat or Mono

Mononucleosis (mono) or strep throat can cause sharp pain in the throat when swallowing and may also result in ear pain. These are both contagious diseases that result in an infection that can impact the throat and the ears.

Tooth Infection

An abscessed or infected tooth can cause pain in the ear and throat that may be worse when swallowing. The infection in the tooth can cause the lymph nodes to swell, putting pressure on the ear and throat. Most infected teeth will also result in a toothache along with the pain in the throat and ear.


The epiglottis is the flap at the back of the throat that prevents food or other substances from traveling down into the windpipe or airway into the lungs. Epiglottitis is an inflation of the epiglottis that can result in a sharp pain in the throat when swallowing on one side or in the back of the throat. This condition can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia

There are multiple nerves in the throat that can be irritated and cause pain. The glossopharyngeal nerve is one of these nerves that can be damaged or aggravated, resulting in ear and throat pain on one side when swallowing. This type of neuralgia can be managed with medication or treatment of the source of nerve irritation.

Acid or Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

Reflux conditions involves the backup of stomach digestive juices into the esophagus and throat. Gastrointestinal acid reflux disease, or GERD, or laryngopharyngeal reflux can result in irritation of the throat and larynx that can cause pain when swallowing. In some cases, ear pain may also be caused by reflux conditions.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ/TMD)

Temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ/TMD, occur in the jaw joint, resulting in pain that is usually on one side of the jaw. This can result in throat and ear pain that radiates from the jaw joint and may be worse when swallowing. TMJ can be aggravated by dental problems, jaw clenching or bruxism (teeth grinding). Medical treatment and lifestyle changes can manage pain and discomfort caused by TMD.

Oral and Throat Cancers

While more rare, sharp pain in the throat when swallowing on one side can be a symptom of oral or throat cancer. Oral cancer can be deadly if not detected and treated early, and often does not have any symptoms in the early stages. Pain when swallowing can indicate cancer and should be investigated by a doctor when there are no other obvious causes.

When to See a Doctor for Ear or Throat Pain When Swallowing

Ear and throat pain on one side when swallowing can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, some common and others that are very serious. Many times, it is a temporary symptom of a cold, flu or other type of viral infection. However, when you have continuing throat or ear pain, you may need to see a doctor. If your ear and throat pain are accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you may want to see your primary physician or an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT):

Fever (above 100 degrees)

Difficulty swallowing

Problems breathing

Lightheadedness or dizziness

by Find Local Doctors

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Globus Sensation: Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Have you ever felt like you had a lump in your throat? This condition is known as globus sensation, or globus pharyngeus, and it's more common than you might think. In fact, according to an article in the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP), it has been reported to occur in as much as 45% of the general population. Here's what to know about this condition, including if it requires medical treatment.

Causes of a Lump in the Throat

The exact cause of globus sensation is unknown. However, as the BJGP article outlines, there are many suspected causes, including:

Stress or anxiety (during times of emotional stress, affected patients may report a 96% increase in symptoms)

Post-nasal drip

Gastro-oesophageal reflux

Muscle spasm in the throat


Women under the age of 50 experience globus sensation three times more frequently than men in the same age group, as a case report in Frontline Gastroenterology explains. However, for people above age 50, there is equal distribution among men and women.

Other Symptoms

Common symptoms of globus sensation as stated in the Frontline Gastroenterology report include:

The feeling of a ball-like sensation in the throat



A scratchy sensation like that of a hair in the back of the throat

For up to 75% of patients, symptoms can persist for years and may be accompanied by constant clearing of the throat and coughing. The sensation may go away with eating.

It's important for those experiencing these symptoms to seek evaluation from a physician to rule out more serious problems, such as abnormal growths or cancers. Some of the more concerning symptoms to watch out for include difficulty in swallowing, pain upon swallowing, pain in the throat, weight loss and hoarseness.

Traditionally, patients over the age of 40 who have a history of smoking and alcohol consumption are at a greater risk of developing abnormal growths, as the Frontline Gastroenterology report explains. Make sure that you see a qualified professional for evaluation if you experience any of these symptoms.


The treatment of globus sensation must be tailored to the individual based on the suspected cause and related symptoms. A medical professional will have you complete a physical exam and describe your symptom history. Treatments may be provided by general practitioners, speech and language therapists or other appropriate medical personnel. As the BJGP article outlines, a few common treatment options are:

Vocal hygiene. This would include such measures as drinking more water, limiting your daily intake of coffee and avoiding inhaling smoke.

Medications. If associated with gastric reflux, symptoms can often be minimized with appropriate antacids.

Voice therapy. A speech and language therapist may help patients improve their symptoms.

Exercises. The Frontline Gastroenterology report explains that speech therapy exercises may help relieve tension in the throat.

Globus sensation may be annoying, but rest assured, it is not life threatening and can be managed quite successfully with appropriate medical guidance.

by Colgate

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Persistent mouth problems should be checked to rule out oral cancers

Difficulty swallowing, bad breath, a mouth sore — usually these are temporary issues that tend to pass fast. However, when such problems persist, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out more serious conditions, including oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers. These cancers, which fall within the broader category of head and neck cancers, affect the areas in and around the mouth.

“The oral cavity contains the structures we can easily see, including the mobile tongue, floor of mouth, gums and cheeks, to name a few,” said Abhinand Peddada, MD, a radiation oncologist at Renown Health, whose areas of interest include head and neck cancer, gynecologic cancer, and brachytherapy. “The oropharyngeal structures are a little more difficult to visualize and include tonsils, base of tongue — the part of the tongue that does not move — and epiglottis, to name a few.”

According to Peddada, common signs and symptoms of cancers affecting these areas include a palpable neck mass, sore throat, persistent mouth sore, difficulty swallowing or choking when swallowing, pain radiating to one or both ears, changes in voice, persistent bad breath and spitting up blood.

“Many of the above symptoms occur with other nonmalignant conditions and should not be a cause of alarm,” Peddada said. “However, any symptom that is persistent despite conservative measures needs to brought to the attention of a medical professional for further evaluation.”

A good place to start is with your primary care physician. From there, if oral cancer is suspected, a referral may be made to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor or another specialist for potential diagnosis and staging.

“Often, special instruments, found in most ENT and radiation oncology offices, such as fiber-optic scopes, are required to visualize these cancers, especially oropharyngeal,” Peddada said.

As far as what causes these cancers to develop, two of the most well-known risk factors are heavy tobacco and alcohol use, but a sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV) can increase your risk for oral cancer as well.

“Cessation of tobacco and alcohol will significantly reduce the risk of developing head and neck cancers,” Peddada said. “More importantly with the rising incidence of HPV associated cancers, vaccination for HPV is strongly recommended.”

When it comes to treating people already diagnosed with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers, the protocol typically depends on the stage and location of the cancer and may involve surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of approaches.

“It is critical that the treatment of head and neck cancer is done with a multidisciplinary approach,” Peddada said. “In addition to an ENT specialist, radiation oncologist and medical oncologist, effective therapy mitigating long-term aftereffects will require concurrent nutritionist, dental care, swallow therapy, lymphedema therapy, and social and psychological support. It is important for patients to seek care in a comprehensive medical center for the best outcome.”

by Brandi Vesco

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Caring for Your Teeth in Your 30s, 40s and 50s

As we age, our bodies need different types of care – and our teeth are no different. The dental care and teeth-cleaning routine that worked for you in your 20s may need to be tweaked as you enter various life stages. For beautiful, healthy teeth that last a lifetime, here are guidelines for caring for your teeth into your 30s, 40s and 50s.

In your 30s

By the time you reach your 30s, most issues you may have had with tooth decay and orthodontia are on the decline. You may have had braces in your teens, and some cavities in your 20s, but good oral hygiene practices are, for the most part, paying off.

An issue 30-somethings may experience is heightened sensitivity from teeth grinding – whether one is conscious of the grinding behavior or, as is more common, it occurs in your sleep. In addition, brushing too hard can cause the gums to recede, triggering tooth sensitivity. Be gentle when brushing and flossing. Your dentist can make you a custom-fitted guard to keep your teeth from grinding against each other. A toothpaste for sensitive teeth will help with the pain.

Gum disease or periodontitis is sometimes related to changes in hormones that occur during pregnancy. Let your dentist know if you’re pregnant and make sure to do a good job with flossing. Your gums may get puffy and bleed, but it usually resolves after you have your baby.

In your 40s

When you and your teeth are over 40 years old, the fillings you got earlier in life may wear out. Silver- colored fillings wear out quicker, but tooth-colored fillings also only last about 15-20 years. Fillings can crumble or fall out entirely. It is important to continue seeing your dentist for cleanings and exams every six months. Your dentist can identify whether fillings are breaking down and help prevent decay in the area.

Receding gums tend to be first noticed in adults over 40, although the receding gums can begin much earlier. As gums pull away from the teeth, the root becomes exposed, causing temperature and touch sensitivity, as well as an increased risk of decay. In many cases, tooth sensitivity related to receding gums can be resolved with a change in tooth-care practices; more advanced cases may require skin grafts.

The 40s are also a good time to consider professional teeth whitening. Discolored teeth can make you look older, and a whiter smile can boost your confidence with your appearance.

In your 50s

Saliva is one of the things that keeps your mouth healthy. It breaks down food and washes it away so that bacteria don’t grow. Dry mouth is a problem for many people in their 50s due to hormonal changes that occur with aging, and as a side-effect of many common medications. Drinking lots of water and chewing sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva and keep the mouth rinsed, not giving bacteria a chance to grow.

If you have any missing teeth, it’s time to look into getting dental implants or dentures. A space in your mouth contributes to other teeth shifting and can cause additional tooth loss or gum disease.

by Dr. Steven Hagerman, DDS

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Five Scary Reasons To Take Your Teeth Seriously

Even if you brush your teeth daily, you may still have dangerous bacteria growing inside your mouth. Not only could that lead to periodontitis (an advanced form of gum disease that comes with symptoms such as bleeding when you brush and gum pain), but studies also find a link between poor oral hygiene and major health issues.

Here are some ways that missing the mark on oral care could harm your heath. Plus, expert tips on how to keep your mouth healthy.

#1 It may hurt your heartPeople with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease compared to those don’t have periodontitis. Researchers aren’t exactly sure of why this might be, but one theory is that harmful bacteria from your mouth enters your blood stream and attaches to fatty plaques in your heart’s blood vessels, leading to inflammation and upping your risk of clots that can trigger heart attacks.

#2 Your memory could sufferSome research suggests there may be a tie between poor oral health and an increased risk of dementia. One study that followed 118 nuns between the ages of 75 and 98 found that those with the fewest teeth were most likely to suffer dementia. Experts think oral bacteria may spread to the brain through cranial nerves that connect to the jaw or through the bloodstream, and may contribute to the type of plaque that’s been linked to Alzheimer’s.

#3 It can hurt blood sugarPeople with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than those without diabetes. While this may be because diabetics are more susceptible to infections, there’s also been research that finds gum disease could make it harder to control your blood sugar, and that treating it helps improve diabetes symptoms.

#4 It may affect breathingGum disease may increase your risk of getting respiratory infections, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia, according to the Journal of Periodontology. The infections might be caused when bacteria from the mouth are inhaled into your lungs, possibly causing your airways to become inflamed. 

#5 It could hurt your fertilityWomen of childbearing age with gum disease took an average of just over seven months to become pregnant—two months longer than the average of five months that it took women without gum disease to conceive, discovered researchers in Western Australia. Other research finds that pregnant women with gum disease might have higher odds of miscarriage.

Expert teeth-cleaning tipsHow can you tell if you’re hitting the mark when it comes to good oral care? “Generally, your teeth and gums should not bleed, be painful, or feel rough or sharp to your tongue,” says Pam Atherton, RDH, a dental hygienist for Dr. John Carlile, DDS in Skaneateles, NY. “Your breath should be fresh for at least a couple of hours after brushing in the morning and after having eaten breakfast.” One of the easiest ways to prevent gum disease is to clean your teeth properly, so try these tricks for a healthier mouth.

Rinse your mouth. If you use mouthwash twice a day, you’ll slash your risk of gum disease by 60%, says Marjorie Jeffcoat, DMD, Professor of Periodontology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia. Ideally you should aim to rinse for about 30 seconds with a mouthwash that has microbial protection to fight plaque and gingivitis, such as Listerine.

Floss first. You should floss before you brush your teeth, rather than after, says Jeffcoat. “That way you’ll be able to brush away any food that was stuck between your teeth to prevent bacteria from growing.” If you find dental floss hard to hold onto, Atherton suggests trying floss picks, such as Plackers dental flossers, instead.

Get the right toothbrush. Soft or extra soft bristles are best. “Gum tissue can’t make a callous; therefore, when a person uses a medium or hard-bristled toothbrush, it literally scratches the tissue away over time, exposes the root surface underneath and leads to possible bone loss,” says Atherton.

Brush smart. To really clean your teeth, aim to brush them for a full two minutes. “Make sure you brush both your tongue and cheeks as well as the chewing surfaces to improve the removal of harmful bacteria in the crevices,” says Atherton. To get your kids to brush the full two minutes, sing Happy Birthday To You or the Alphabet Song twice through at a normal speed for each half of your mouth. And be sure to replace your toothbrush about every three months.

by Holly C. Corbett

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How Do I Know if I Have TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder, otherwise known as TMD, can stem from a variety of causes such as arthritis, loss of cartilage, clenching or grinding, physical impact or injury, and overuse of the temporomandibular joint.

When left untreated, TMJ disorder can become a quite painful and disruptive. Commonly characterized by a clicking or popping of the jaw when speaking or eating, the symptoms of this condition vary widely and may include:


Worn teeth (from grinding and improper bite)

Facial pain

Jaw or neck pain

Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing

Ear ache


Tinnitus (ringing ears)

Shoulder pain

Neck pain

Tingling or numbness in the arms and fingers

Difficulty opening and closing the mouth

TMJ disorder can significantly detract from your overall quality of life, and many of our patients at True Dentistry have achieved relief from their symptoms through customized treatment plans designed by our dentists.

They can perform a comprehensive oral exam and test the function of your jaw to reveal the specific causes of your symptoms. With the right course of therapy they may be able to restore full function and comfort to your jaw joint and facial musculature.

To discover if your symptoms are related to TMJ disorder, please schedule a consultation with one dentist today.

by True Dentistry

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Seven Types of Common Mouth Infections

Mouth infections are the worst. They often lead to unbearable toothaches that leave you unable to get any sleep at night and unfocused during the day. It does not stop there, though. A mouth infection can spread to other areas of your body if it enters your bloodstream, including vital organs like the brain and liver.

Understanding mouth infections

Mouth infections are usually the result of tooth decay making its way into the pulp chamber of a tooth. Once this occurs, the pulp and the nerves inside become exposed to bacteria, food particles and other debris in the mouth. This usually ends up causing an infection.

Let us take a look at seven common types of mouth infections:

1. Dental cavities

Also known as caries, cavities are typically the result of tooth decay. According to research conducted at A.T. Still University, it is the leading cause of tooth loss for children under the age of 12. Dental caries are caused by bacteria called Streptococcus mutans.

2. Gingivitis

Gingivitis can be caused by different species of bacteria and is the earliest stage of gum disease. When bacteria gets into the crevices of a person's gums, toxins that irritate the surrounding gum tissue are created. This leads to inflammation. Once the gums become inflamed, it often leads to bleeding when brushing teeth. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, about 50 to 90 percent of adults in the U.S. have gingivitis. The infection can still be reversed at this point, but it will lead to periodontal disease if left unchecked.

3. Periodontal disease

With periodontal disease, pockets of pus begin to form underneath the gum line, leading to more inflammation and bone tissue loss. This eventually leads to teeth becoming loose and eventually falling out. It is actually the most common reason for tooth loss in adults.

4. Hand, foot and mouth disease

Children under the age of 12 are most likely to develop this disease. It is caused by the virus known as Coxsackie A16. It usually starts with a sore throat and fever, and then moderately painful blisters begin to develop on the tongue and cheeks. This infection typically lasts no more than a few days.

5. Herpangina

This disease is related to hand, foot, and mouth disease. It affects mostly children under the age of 10 during the summer and fall months. Sore throat, difficulty swallowing and feeling feverish are common symptoms of this infection. It is often accompanied by blisters that develop in the back of the child's mouth. Herpangina normally lasts for about three to five days.

6. Thrush

An overgrowth of Candida Albicans fungus leads to this infection. It is most common in people diagnosed with HIV.

7. Canker sores

These are lesions in the mouth and gum tissue. It is more common in teenagers and children and can take a few weeks for the sores to heal.

by Roy Dental

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Four Signs of a Facial Nerve Injury

It’s probably more common than you think. Facial nerve injuries can have a significant impact on your daily life. The specialty team at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada, with offices in Summerlin and East Side Las Vegas, Nevada, are often tasked with using their extensive surgical skills to provide treatment for facial nerve disorders.

These Harvard-trained surgeons share expert insight regarding the role of your facial nerves in speaking, chewing, and expressing yourself, as well as four common signs and symptoms of facial nerve injury.

Role of your facial nerves

The trigeminal nerve, which has three divisions, is responsible for various movements and sensations in your mouth, face, and jaw.

The ophthalmic division of the trigeminal nerve, for instance, transmits sensory information to your brain from your upper eyelids, forehead, and scalp. The maxillary nerve controls motion and sensory information from your cheeks, upper lip, and nasal cavity. The mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve provides sensory information and motor (movement) function to the ears, lower lip, chin, and jaw.

Depending on the damage done, facial nerve injuries can affect several areas of oral and facial function. They may occur due to trauma, certain cancer treatments, or conditions such as Bell’s palsy. 

More rarely, the damage may be linked to wisdom tooth extraction, corrective jaw surgery, and other dental procedures. Signs and symptoms of damage may begin within moments to hours of the injury.

Four signs of facial nerve injury

1. Pain

Often compared to an electrical shock, nerve (neuropathic) pain is a shooting, stabbing, or burning discomfort in areas linked to the distribution of the damaged nerve. In the case of facial nerve trauma, these areas may include the:






Neuropathic pain is difficult to address and often does not respond to traditional pain medicines, such as over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen, aspirin, or naproxen.

2. Hypersensitivity or decreased sensation

Facial nerve damage can cause numbness or lack of feeling in the tongue, gums, cheeks, jaw, or face. Conversely, an injury may also result in heightened sensitivity in the same areas. This can make even the lightest touch on the skin’s surface extremely uncomfortable.

People with diabetes experiencing similar pain in their legs due to peripheral nerve damage often report immediate and exquisite pain if a sheet brushes their feet when sleeping.  

3. Loss of taste

Your facial nerves play a critical role in your ability to taste the foods and beverages you consume. Facial nerve damage can also affect the way you sense texture on the front portion of your tongue. This can significantly impact the appeal of many foods you eat.

4. Loss of facial muscle movement

Lack of motor function due to nerve damage, as well as the loss of sensation and other symptoms linked to facial nerve injuries, can greatly interfere with your ability to speak clearly or smile. These issues also create problems with chewing and swallowing.

Treating facial nerve injury

Effective treatment for facial nerve injuries depends on the underlying cause and the persistence and severity of your symptoms. If your symptoms last longer than expected or fail to respond to medication and other conservative treatment, your Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates specialist may eventually recommend surgical repair to restore facial nerve function.

by Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates

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Corrective Jaw Surgery Can Improve Your Breathing, Chewing, and Speaking Issue

It’s common to take steps to help teens and young adults develop a healthy and even smile through orthodontics. Braces and dental aligners are almost a rite of passage in some circles. There are times, however, when your child’s physiology requires more than simply alignment. In some cases, teeth are strategically removed to make room.

Other times, corrective jaw surgery becomes necessary, when orthodontic techniques alone aren’t enough to bring your child’s mouth into balance. Jaw surgery is typically scheduled after full physical maturity is reached.

Reasons for corrective jaw surgery

Jaw surgery can be necessary for a wide range of conditions, correctively or pre-emptively. Surgery may be recommended to help with:

Biting and chewing mechanics and fit

Excessive wear on teeth

Speech or swallowing difficulties

Jaw closure issues

Relieving pain associated with temporomandibular joint disorders

The ability to fully close the lips

Injury or birth defect repairs

Obstructive sleep apnea

Types of jaw surgery

Corrective jaw surgery isn’t a single procedure, but rather a collection of techniques that may be performed on the chin, upper jaw, or lower jaw, either separately or in combination. The surgical procedures are then adapted to the individual. Surgeries may be conservative or aggressive, based on the needs of the patient.

Maxillary osteotomy (upper jaw)

Procedures on the upper jaw typically address problems such as:

Protruding or receding jaw

Open bite, where molars touch but front teeth do not


Too little or too much of the teeth show during a smile

Facial growth issues in the mid-face region

Mandibular osteotomy (lower jaw)

Surgery for the lower jaw typically addresses receding or protruding jaw issues. Both upper and lower jaw procedures involve separating bone beyond your teeth, allowing the jaw to move as a unit, then moved to its new position and fastened with screws and plates during healing.

Genioplasty (chin)

Surgery on the chin is usually performed to augment a receding chin. A piece of the chin bone is typically cut and positioned forward, then fastened in place with screws and plates.

What to expect from jaw surgery

Because of the cutting and fastening of bone, jaw surgery is usually performed under general anesthetic in a hospital, and your stay is typically two to four days.

Surgical incisions are generally made inside your mouth, so scars are typically hidden, but in some cases, there may be external cuts required. Screws and plates used to secure bone in place usually remain there permanently, integrating with your bone tissue. If extra bone is needed to augment your jaw, this is typically taken from a rib, hip, or leg.

After surgery, you can expect recovery to take between six weeks to three months, depending on the extent of the surgery. Your doctor from Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada provides you with appropriate instructions to aid your recovery, such as foods you can eat, how to care for your teeth as you recover, and what activities you can return to during the stages of recovery.

by Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Nevada

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Don’t Let Dental Infections Catch You Unaware

The key to having a healthy mouth and great teeth is consistency. The more consistent one is with regular dental visits, coming in at least twice a year for cleaning and examinations, the less likely one is to have oral health problems.

Unfortunately, another fact about general dentistry is that most people put off visiting the dentist and many people do not even come in once a year. This leads to additional and completely preventable problems.

The consequences are not worth skipping appointments

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 27 percent of all Americans suffer from untreated cavities and decay. Considering how easy it is to keep cavities and decay at bay with regular cleaning, it becomes more apparent why dentists keep telling patients to come in regularly for these services.

In addition to the fact that more than 1 in 5 people have cavities needing treatment, while 14 percent of adults across the United States believe that the condition of their oral health is “poor” or “bad.”

We can prevent even the serious problems with general dentistry but cannot help people unless they walk through the door. Therefore, educating people and spreading the word about good oral health and hygiene are our top priorities. Unfortunately, there has been a downturn over the last decade or so in the number of people who make it a priority to visit the dentist at least once a year.

Measuring the frequency of a person’s visits by the year, we hope to see two visits but are satisfied if there is at least one. In the years between 2002 and 2012, the percentage of people who visited a dentist in 12 months dropped from 44.5 percent to 42 percent.

If you have been on the fence about seeing the dentist, there are many reasons you should consider coming in. Here are some that are not often spoken about, even in general dentistry.

Oral cancer screenings with general cleanings

A common reason that people need to consider visiting a dentist at least once every six months is the addition of oral cancer screenings. In general dentistry, it is much easier to detect oral cancer during a routine examination. Lesions that may appear on the mouth, tongue, and throat are often a giveaway that further investigation is warranted. If we are able to catch a condition like cancer early, we have a much better opportunity to help you fight it and win.

However, oral cancer is not the only condition that first manifests in the mouth. There are a number of viral and bacterial infections with symptoms originating in the mouth, often before anywhere else.

This is because the mouth provides an excellent snapshot of the overall condition of the body, telling us everything from vitamin deficiency to whether or not one is drinking enough fluids during the day.

by Dr hai, DDS

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How Autumn Can Cause Oral Health Issues?

It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that weather can affect your health, but many people do not realize that this also includes your oral health. While autumn brings all kinds of wonderful things with it like brightly colored trees, comfy sweaters and hot chocolate, the cooler temperatures can also cause problems with your oral health.Here are three of the most common issues you might experience, when the weather turns colder.

1. A Sore Jaw

Many people experience achy joints during the cooler weather. Well, you jaw is attached to a very important joint called the temporomandibular. If you have TMD (grinding of the teeth), this can be made worse by the cold.Fortunately, there are many effective treatments for TMD so you should speak to your dentist if this is a concern.

2. Dry Mouth

Cooler temperatures are often accompanied by drier air, so your mouth can dry out more easily. And to further exacerbate this, you are less likely to drink enough water in the cold than you are in the hot weather.Dry mouth can be a factor in a number of dental issues including bad breath, more frequent tooth decay, problems wearing dentures and gum irritation.Addressing dry mouth can be as simple as drinking more water and using a humidifier at home or in your office. If problems persist however, your dentist can recommend alternative treatments.

3. Tooth Sensitivity

If you have sensitive teeth, you may be more likely to notice it in the autumn once the temperature starts to cool. If you experience pain or sensitivity when eating cold foods such as ice cream, you may experience a similar sensation when cold wind is blowing on your teeth.

The sensitivity can be even more severe if you like to enjoy a hot soup or cocoa after coming inside from the cold. Using a toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth can help but if your teeth are more sensitive than they normally are or if they are only sensitive in a certain spot, it could be a sign of a cavity, so you will want to visit your dentist to be sure.

If you have been dealing with any of the issues above associated with the autumn weather and would like to discuss them further, call to your Dentist today, to rule out any underlying problems and to help you with strategies to keep your teeth healthy at any time of year.

by Dr Amanpreet Chopra Dentistry

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Four Facts to Know About General Dentists

When it comes to general dentists, most of us rarely give the job much thought. Sure, we know dentists clean teeth and go to school, but beyond that most of us do not have a clue. Here are a few interesting facts that will help you better understand and be more appreciative of all the things our dentists do for us.

4 Facts about general dentists

The following are four interesting facts to know about general dentists.

1. Dentists are in demand

While you hopefully have had no trouble in finding the right dentist for you, the current demand for dentists is high. With fewer people attending dental school and more environmental factors affecting our teeth than ever before, the need for dental professionals will only continue to increase. Chlorine in pools and drinking water, the increased frequency of antibiotic use and the consumption of sugary and acidic drinks are all contributors to this rise in dentistry demand.

2. More than tooth brushers

Beyond the routine cleaning and maintenance of patient oral health, dentists have many responsibilities. Your general dentist handles the diagnosis of dental and gum diseases, cosmetic procedures, teeth whitening, patient education, surgery and implants, extractions and so much more. The variety of work done by general dentists goes beyond what most professions require, making dentistry a very interesting and challenging industry.

3. Only 20% specialize

While it may seem like every dental professional would be clamoring for specialized spots, the majority of dentists prefer general dentistry. With only 20% of dental students choosing to specialize according to the American Dental Association, the other 80% are general dental practitioners. Those that do specialize can choose from one of the 10 recognized areas of dentistry: Dental Anesthesiology, Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontics and Prosthodontics.

4. Art meets science

For many dental professionals, the pull of dentistry, as opposed to other medical fields, has to do with the change for artistic expression. Dentists must combine their medical knowledge, practical skill and understanding of aesthetics on a daily basis. To create the most beautiful smiles, dentists must be able to apply a creative and artistic eye to the teeth of their patients. By combining an understanding of balance, symmetry, and aesthetic beauty with education and medical training, dentistry is the perfect career for anyone who loves art and science.

The bottom line

General dentists can have extremely varied and challenging careers. Oral health is interconnected with overall health, so finding a trusted general dentist is important.

by Dr Ping Hai, DDS

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How Your Dentist Can Diagnose Dental Issues Early

Many people think going to the dentist for regular checkups is just about keeping your mouth clean and maintaining a bright smile. In a lot of cases, your dentist is the first line of defense when it comes to early diagnosis of dental issues as well as other health problems.

According to research, over 90 percent of all diseases have oral manifestation, which means regular dental visits are not limited to oral hygiene, so you should schedule a visit to the dentist even if you don’t currently have a dental issue.

How your dentist can diagnose dental issues early

If you are visiting a dentist for the first time, make sure you tell them about any dental issues you are having and also provide them with your complete medical history. When they have all the necessary information on hand, your dentist will be on the lookout for symptoms of serious dental issues as well as other health risks.

A routine dental checkup will help your dentist know if you have cavities, which are decayed areas of your teeth. Cavities can be treated by your dentist drilling away the decayed part of your teeth and replacing it with filling made of either porcelain, composite resin or metal.

If you suffer from gum disease or bleeding gums, it could be caused by plaque buildup inflaming your gums. It could also be caused by diabetes. If you have bleeding gums but you have not been diagnosed with diabetes, your dentist will likely be the first person to notice the symptoms during a routine checkup and will tell you to go see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

Another dental issue your dentist can diagnose early is oral cancer. If you are having difficulty swallowing, numbness in your tongue or experiencing pain in your jaw, you should schedule an appointment if the symptoms persist for over a week. Your dentist will check your face, lips and mouth for any signs of oral cancer. Even if you don’t exhibit the symptoms, many dentists perform the test during routine checkups as a preventive measure. If the test performed by your dentist confirms that you have oral cancer, you will be able to start treatments before it spreads, giving you a better chance of beating the disease because it was caught early.

Tobacco use increases your chances of having cavities, gum disease and oral cancer, which is why dentists and doctors recommend not smoking. If you are a smoker and want to quit, ask your dentist for recommendations on how to kick the habit.

Routine visits to the dentist can also help detect early signs of heart disease. Studies have shown that people with periodontal disease are more likely to have cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart disease.

Bottom line

Dentists usually help you maintain good oral hygiene, but they can also spot signs of other diseases which can help you start treatment early and prevent them from getting more serious. Make sure you schedule regular appointments with your dentist to deal with your dental issues and also catch potential problems.

by Ping Hai, DDS

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Why Do I Have a Bad Taste in My Mouth?

Everybody has a bad taste in their mouth occasionally. It usually goes away after brushing your teeth or rinsing out your mouth.

However, in some cases the bad taste sticks around due to an underlying cause. Regardless of what’s causing it, having a bad taste in your mouth can ruin your appetite, possibly leading to nutritional deficiencies and other problems.

If the bad taste doesn’t go away after a day or two, work with your doctor to figure out what’s causing it. Also be sure to tell them about any changes in your appetite or sense of smell.

Read on to learn more about the causes of a bad taste in your mouth and get some tips on how to keep your mouth tasting fresh.

What’s considered a bad taste?

The definition of a bad taste varies from person to person. For some people, the unpleasant taste in their mouth is metallic. For others, it may be bitter or foul, depending on the cause. You might even notice a diminished sense of taste during meals.

Oral causes of a bad taste in the mouth

Poor hygiene and dental problems

The most common reasons for a bad taste in your mouth have to do with dental hygiene. Not flossing and brushing regularly can cause gingivitis, which can cause a bad taste in your mouth.

Dental problems, such as infections, abscesses, and even wisdom teeth coming in, can also cause a bad taste.

Other symptoms of dental problems include: bad breath, bleeding, red, or swollen gums, sensitive teeth, loose teeth.

You can avoid most common dental problems by regularly flossing and brushing your teeth. It’s also important to regularly visit your dentist for cleanings and exams. You can also add an antibacterial mouth rinse to your dental routine for added protection.

Dry mouth, sometimes called xerostomia, happens when your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva. This can cause a dry, sticky feeling inside your mouth.

Saliva reduces the growth of bacteria in your mouth and helps to remove bits of food. When you don’t have enough saliva, you might have a bad taste in your mouth due to extra bacteria and leftover food there.

Several things can cause dry mouth, including: over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications, aging, stuffy nose causing mouth breathing, nerve damage, tobacco use, autoimmune conditions, diabetes.

If you have dry mouth, work with your doctor to figure out what’s causing it. Most people with dry mouth find relief through lifestyle changes, medication adjustments, and OTC or prescription mouth rinses.

Oral thrush

Thrush is a type of yeast infection that grows in warm, moist areas, including your mouth. Anyone can develop oral thrush, but babies, older adults, and people with suppressed immune systems are more likely to get it.

Oral thrush can also cause: white bumps, redness, burning, or soreness, trouble swallowing, dry mouth.

Regularly flossing, brushing, and rinsing out your mouth can help prevent oral thrush. Also try to limit your intake of sugar because yeast feeds on it.

Always contact your doctor if you have white spots in your mouth, even if you don’t have any other symptoms.

Respiratory infections

Infections in your system, especially viral infections, can affect the taste in your mouth. Tonsillitis, sinusitis, colds, and middle ear infections frequently affect your senses of taste and smell.

Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver. One of its early symptoms is a bitter taste in your mouth.


The hormonal fluctuations of early pregnancy can cause many sensory changes. You might crave foods you’ve never wanted before or suddenly find certain smells repulsive. Many women also report having a bad taste, usually a metallic one, in their mouth during their first trimester. While the taste may be annoying, it’s usually harmless and goes away later in your pregnancy. Learn more about the metallic taste in your mouth during pregnancy.


Women who are going through menopause or are about to often mention having a bitter taste in their mouth. This is usually caused by dry mouth, which is a common symptom of menopause.


Bile and acid reflux have similar symptoms and can happen at the same time. They’re caused by either bile, a fluid made in your liver that helps digestion, or stomach acid moving up through your esophagus.

Vitamins and dietary supplements

Many vitamins and supplements can cause a metallic taste in your mouth, especially if you take them in large amounts.

Cancer treatments

There are many chemotherapy medications used to treat cancer. Treatment with chemotherapy usually involves a combination of these, and many of them can cause a metallic or sour taste.

Neurological conditions

Your taste buds are connected to nerves in the brain. Anything that affects these nerves can cause a bad taste in your mouth.

The bottom line

If you have an unexplained bad taste in your mouth, make an appointment with your doctor to find the underlying cause.

During your appointment, make sure you tell your doctor:

All the medications and supplements you take.

Any other symptoms you have, even if they seem unrelated.

Any previously diagnosed medical conditions.

by Healthline

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If Your Breath Smells Like This, Have Your Kidneys Checked Immediately

Bad breath can be the source of embarrassment and frustration, making you self-conscious with every exhalation. And while most of the time this unfortunate symptom can be treated with improved oral hygiene—including brushing, flossing, and getting regular teeth cleanings— sometimes the root cause is something completely unrelated to your dental habits.

One new study has found that in some rare cases, a particular brand of bad breath can signal a serious kidney condition. In fact, some experts say that if your breath smells like this one thing, you should have your kidneys checked by a doctor immediately. Read on to find out what to look out for, and how to help ease your symptoms once you've noticed the problem.

If your breath smells like fish, it could be due to kidney failure.

If you've noticed that your breath—or your sweat or urine, for that matter—smell like rotting fish, it could be the result of kidney failure, a new study published in the quarterly medical journal, Hippokratia, has found.

This disorder is known as trimethylaminuria or fish odor syndrome. "In trimethylaminuria, the body is unable to turn a strong-smelling chemical called trimethylamine–produced in the gut when bacteria break down certain foods–into a different chemical that doesn't smell," explains the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS).

There are other possible causes of this symptom.

Trimethylaminuria is not frequently associated with renal failure, and the Hippokratia study is the first of its kind to link the two conditions. However, in that particular case study, the researchers found that one 28-year-old suffered from fish odor syndrome as a result of his kidney disease, ultimately getting relief from the syndrome only after having a kidney transplant.

In other cases, fish odor syndrome can be caused by mutations in the FMO3 gene, excessive protein consumption, liver disease, an increase in certain gut bacteria, poor hygiene, gingivitis, and more. Some women with a faulty FM03 gene experience increased symptoms at the start of menstruation, or when taking oral contraceptives.

Diagnostic tests, usually conducted by urine sample, can help you determine whether your symptoms are the result of fish odor syndrome or from some other cause.

Unfortunately, even when the symptom doesn't indicate a serious underlying cause, it can still trigger serious psychological distress to those who suffer from it. "The strong body odor can interfere with many aspects of daily life, affecting a person's relationships, social life, and career," reads the Hippokratia study. "Some people with trimethylaminuria experience depression and social isolation as a result of this condition."

The researchers behind the Drug Discovery Today study confirmed these same findings, adding that "although the disease is considered benign, its psychological burden can be devastating." They warn that many patients suffer from "strong feelings of shame, embarrassment, social isolation and even suicidal tendencies, among others."

For this reason, experts recommend a two-pronged approach to treatment, after ruling out serious causes like kidney disease. First, you should consult your doctor for tips on dietary changes that can lessen symptoms, and second, speak with a counselor who can help assess and address your emotional wellbeing.

by Lauren Gray

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You Might Be Brushing Your Teeth Wrong

Brushing your teeth is such a routine habit that you may forget that there’s a right and a wrong way to do it. But proper brushing is super important for preventing tooth decay and gum disease! Here are a few things you may be doing wrong in your dental hygiene habits and what to do instead to make sure your smile stays healthy now and into the future.

You’re Rushing and Brushing Too Hard

Hard and fast may be great for your SoulCycle workout, but not so for your teeth. Whether you’re rushing out the door to work in the morning or groggily stumbling to bed in the evening, there’s a tendency to rush through your dental hygiene routine just to get it over with. If you’re not going to brush for 2 whole minutes, you may think you can make up for it by applying more pressure and scrubbing your teeth harder. Not true! It’s much more important to be thorough and gentle. Brushing too hard can actually weaken your tooth enamel, making your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay and sensitive teeth. Plus, you can actually irritate an injure your gums by brushing too hard. Take the time to do it right and your smile will thank you!

You’re Using the Wrong Toothbrush

Despite what some ads and commercials might have you think, there is no single brand of toothbrush that most dentists recommend. That being said, there are some guidelines you should always follow when choosing a toothbrush. First, get a soft-bristle brush. We know there are medium bristle and hard bristle options out there, but we’re sort of confused as to why they exist, because they’re not good for your teeth (they can be really hard on your tooth enamel, which can lead to cavities and sensitivity). So stick to a soft bristle brush and only buy a hard bristle one if you’re going to use it to clean the grout in your bathroom.

Believe it or not, size is important too. If you have a smaller mouth, choose a brush with a smaller head that allows you to reach the tighter spaces in the back of your mouth. We’d hate to see your back molars getting neglected just because your toothbrush is too big!

Your Toothbrush Is Ancient

Once you’ve found your perfect toothbrush, try not to get too attached. It’s going to be a three-month relationship at most. That’s right: the lifespan of a toothbrush is only about three months. After that, the bristles get worn out and start sticking out every which way, which makes it hard for them to effectively remove plaque and debris from the surfaces of your teeth. If your toothbrush looks fluffy like a feather duster (or Guy Fieri’s hair), it’s time to toss it.

by Dental On Cue

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How can gingivitis be avoided?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It is directly caused by the bacterial plaque: a soft, sticky and colourless bacterial film constantly being formed on our teeth and gums.

Classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen and sensitive gums which may bleed when brushed. Another sign of the disease is that gums may have receded from the teeth and, consequently, the teeth appear to be elongated. Another symptom is bad breath or halitosis.

Simple gingivitis may be prevented through good oral hygiene:

Correct brushing and appropriate use of dental floss to eliminate plaque, bits of food and control tartar build-up.

Toothpaste containing pyrophosphate may be used by persons with excessive tartar.

Schedule regular check-ups with the dentist. Once tartar is formed, only a professional can remove it (prophylaxis). Depending on how fast the tartar accumulates, a professional cleaning may be required every three months or annually.

Proper eating habits assure an adequate nutrition for the jaw and teeth.

Avoid cigarettes and other types of tobacco.

The processes of some illnesses which may cause or worsen gingivitis should be treated or controlled. 

by ASSSA Medical Services

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Four Things You Can Do To Reduce Plaque Buildup

It can be ridiculously easy for children to get plaque on their teeth. Almost all kids love candy and snacks which means that they’re very vulnerable to the bacteria that builds up on teeth and hardens into plaque. Plaque ruins enamel, which is the protective outer layer of the tooth. Without enamel, we’re much more susceptible to tooth decay and even the breakdown of the bone beneath your teeth and gums. This is why it’s so important to do everything you can to prevent plaque in both your children’s teeth and your own. Here are 4 things you can do to prevent plaque buildup.

Avoid Sugar and Starch

Sugary and starchy foods like soda, candy, cake and bread have a lot of carbs which can cause them to stick to your teeth and create plaque. There’s no way we’re going to recommend NEVER giving your kids these delicious treats. Just make sure that they’re followed by a good brushing right after, and you should be able to reduce the chances of plaque buildup.

Brushing and Flossing Daily

The most important thing you can do to avoid plaque is brushing and flossing with the proper techniquesevery day. This means brushing at least twice, and flossing at least once per day. When brushing, make sure you massage your gums with the toothbrush and get the small areas between your gums and teeth. The same goes for your children since plaque tends to gather in these spaces.


Many foods contain acids that can damage your teeth. However, on the opposite ends of the spectrum, there are foods that can actually help build up and strengthen your teeth. Foods such as yogurt, cheese, fruits and celery can all be great for your teeth. Celery contains material that scrubs food away from the surface of your teeth, and generates saliva, which also helps clear bacteria from your mouth. Any food containing calcium is also great for your teeth since calcium protects against periodontal (gum) disease and keeps your jaw bone strong and healthy.

Regular Dentist Visits

Plaque buildup is unfortunately pretty inevitable. Even if you do everything you can to prevent it on you and your child’s teeth, you can’t keep it off alone. Visiting a dentist every six months will help take care of the difficult to reach plaque, or plaque that has already hardened and can’t be easily brushed away. The more you visit your dentist the less likely that plaque will get the chance to turn into tartaror cavities.

Avoiding plaque altogether is basically impossible, but there are things you can do to reduce it, and get rid of it whenever it does accumulate. This is the main goal of proper oral healthcare, and it will help you avoid cavities, tooth decay, gum disease and so many other dental issues in the future. Make sure you’re showing your kids a good example on how to take care of your teeth, and they’re much more likely to carry these good habits into their future.

by Coral West Dental

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How Seasonal Allergies Can Affect Your Oral Health

Did you know that seasonal changes can impact your oral health? Many allergy sufferers experience tooth, throat and mouth discomfort while experiencing sinus issues and hay fever. Here’s how seasonal allergies can impact oral health and what you can do about it.

Bad Breath and Sore Throat – Bad breath can be related to untreated nasal congestion, which can lead to a sore throat developing and its resultant bacteria creating a foul mouth odour. Postnasal drip causes this and because you can’t clean your throat, it’s difficult to get rid of.

Dry Mouth – A stuffy nose means encourages mouth breathing, which dries out your mouth. It’s also caused by a reaction to certain antihistamines that relieve nasal congestion and sneezing. Saliva protects teeth from decay by washing away bacteria and food particles which is why a dry mouth is more prone to cavities and tooth decay.

Toothaches – Painful teeth may be an allergy symptom. Sinus pain is caused by pollen and dust impacting one’s immune system. This causes mucus to build up in your sinuses where they become congested, pressurising your teeth and nerves and causing sensitivity and toothaches.

So how can you prevent the above form occurring?

● Stay hydrated: Drinking lots of water keeps your mouth hydrated. This counteracts a dry mouth as it washes away the buildup of mucus.

● Gargle with salt water: Salt draws mucus out of the sinuses. Gargle with a solution consisting of a teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of water to reduce and flush away accumulated bacteria, relieving throat pains and reducing bad breath and plaque.

● Treat your teeth: Regular brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is important to maintain good oral health and also reduce the effects of dry mouth.

● Treat your allergies: Avoiding anything that causes or triggers your allergies. Treat them with prescriptions after consulting with your doctor, ensuring it has no side effects.

● Talk to a dentist: Probably the most effective and useful step is talking to a dentist. At Apple dental, our professional dentists can identify root causes of your oral problems. Whether its allergy-related or not, we’ll figure it out and provide the ideal treatment.

by In the Cove

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How Preventive Dentistry Can Save You Time And Money

Your oral health affects your daily routine and overall well-being. Preventive dentistry is the key to good oral health. It can save you both money and time in the future. On the other hand, restorative dentistry may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. With that being said, it is critical to prevent dental problems from arising.

Preventive care routines can help you keep any problem from developing. It goes without saying that it’s easier to treat a health problem at the initial stage. The same goes for dental problems.

From cavities and gum disease, oral issues tend to get worse over time if not addressed early. It can be too late when you’re already developing the late stages of periodontitis.

Preventive dentistry is a great way to minimize your risk of dental problems. Below you can find out how preventive dentistry can save you a lot of time and money. It all comes down to regular check-ups and proper oral hygiene.

Regular Dental Visits

For most people, there are a lot of day-to-day things to worry about. This is especially true for those with a tough business schedule. They have a hard time managing commitments at work and balancing their personal life.

Dental visits are the last thing they want to do. This is why they often put off dental check-ups. However, it can be more harmful than they think!

Why Is It Important To See Your Dentist Regularly?

Preventive check-ups give dentists an opportunity to identify disease and intervene in a timely manner. Your dentist will be able to detect early signs of a dental issue if any. It will not only reduce pain but also eliminate additional costs.

Regular dental appointments can keep you safe from a diverse range of oral problems, including:


Gum Disease

Tooth Decay


Sleep Apnea

TMJ Disorders

Oral Cancer

All of these conditions have one thing in common: they are much easier to treat when detected early. By the way, the treatment is most effective when performed early.

For instance, periodontitis is likely to turn into a more serious stage if it goes unnoticed due to lack of regular check-ups.  However, if periodontal disease is caught early, you will be able to treat and manage it more easily.

What’s Going To Happen During Your Visit?

During your visit, your dentist and hygienist will evaluate the health condition of your gums and will also check for:

Any signs of lesions or pits that could point out to the beginning of a cavity or tooth decay

Any abnormalities in your mouth, including signs of TMJ and oral cancer

If the dentist finds any lesions or pits, they will be filled before developing any symptom of cavities.

These visits also involve examination of current restorations, meaning your dentist will check existing crowns, fillings, and so on.

As for your gums, your dentist and hygienist will make use of a periodontal probe (special diagnostic instrument) to examine their condition. Periodontal probing allows the dentist and hygienist to measure the pocket depths around teeth. The pockets or gaps start to form around teeth as the gums pull away from your teeth.

Any depth above 3mm is a reason for concern because it increases the risk of bacterial infection.

How Often Do You Need To Visit Your Dentist?

For each patient, the dentist determines the most suitable frequency based on his or her health condition. While some people need to see a dentist twice a year, others need to make appointments more often. Your dentist will suggest the number of annual check-ups that suits you best.

What Does It Involve?

In general, hygiene appointments include:

Teeth polishing – Removal of plaque and stain

Oral hygiene recommendations – It may also include special periodontal brushes, electric toothbrushes, rinses, fluorides, and so on.

by Dentistry On Danforth

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