My BEST Dentists Journal


Does Taking Vitamin K2 Benefit Your Oral Health?

Eating a healthy diet is an essential part of practicing good oral hygiene. By ensuring you get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients your body requires and limiting any foods and beverages that can damage your teeth, your body can better protect your oral health. But is Vitamin K2 one of those vitamins that can benefit your teeth and gums? And if so, is taking a supplement beneficial? We'll give you some crucial details about Vitamin K2 so you can make choices for your oral health that you can smile about.

What is Vitamin K2?

Vitamins are essential for your body to perform a variety of essential functions. Most people can get enough vitamins by eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, and you can use vitamin supplements if you aren't getting enough of them through whole foods.

Vitamin K is absorbed with fats in your diet and is stored in your body's fatty tissue (it's fat-soluble). This vitamin comes in two types – vitamin K1 (the chemical compound phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (the chemical compound menaquinone).

Where Does K2 Come From?

Vitamin K1 is mostly found in dark leafy greens and vegetable oils. Vitamin K2 can be found in:

Blue Cheese

Hard cheeses like gouda and swiss




And natto (a fermented Japanese food made from soybeans)

What Are the Benefits of Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K is essential for strong, healthy bones and plays a vital role in blood clotting. A study published in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal says that vitamin K2 is also useful in keeping blood vessels' walls clear of calcium deposits.

How does Vitamin K2 affect your oral health?

So far, there haven't been any scientifically valid human studies on the effects of vitamin K2 on oral health. There have only been discussions and hypotheses put forward about the potential benefits of vitamin K2 for your teeth, such as one published in Medical Hypotheses. This hypothesis suggests vitamin K2 may play a role in preventing cavities; however, more research needs to be conducted on the subject.

How Much Vitamin K2 is Recommended?

According to the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, you can get the recommended amount of vitamin K by eating a well-balanced diet, and the recommended daily amount depends on age, sex, and whether or not you're a woman who is breastfeeding:

0-6 months 2 micrograms

7–12 months 2.5 micrograms

1–3 years 30 micrograms

4–8 years 55 micrograms

9–13 years 60 micrograms

14–18 years 75 micrograms

Adult men 19 years+ 120 micrograms

Adult women 19 years+ 90 micrograms

Pregnant/breastfeeding teens 75 micrograms

Pregnant/breastfeeding women 90 micrograms

Should You Take Vitamin K Supplements?

An article published by John Hopkins Medicine references various studies in which vitamin supplements have been shown to have a negligible effect on the health of the participants. They recommend eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and minimizing the sodium, sugar, trans fats, and saturated fats that you eat to best care for your health.

The Mayo Clinic echoes the sentiment, recommending vitamin supplements only if you can't get certain vitamins in your regular diet. For instance, if you're a vegan or vegetarian, you may not get enough vitamin K2 without eating any meats or cheeses. Some medical conditions may require vitamin supplements if you aren't able to absorb enough nutrients naturally.

If you have any questions about vitamin K2, your health and dental professionals can provide you with the best recommendations for your individual needs.

Vitamin K2 does have some essential benefits, but the impact of K2 on oral health is yet to be proven. You should receive a sufficient amount of menaquinones with a healthy diet, and the best way to take care of your oral health is by practicing good oral hygiene. Be sure to brush at least twice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Consider using other helpful products like an antimicrobial mouthrinse and tongue scrapers. And be sure to see your dental professional for regular appointments. Vitamin K2 may not be a supplement that's known to protect your oral health at this time, but practicing good oral hygiene is a perfect supplement to make you smile.

by Colgate

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How To Keep Your Tooth Enamel Strong For A Long Time

The surface of your teeth is called enamel. It helps protect them from decay. Some wear and tear is normal, but there’s plenty you can do to keep that barrier strong.  Take these simple steps for a healthy mouth and a winning smile. 

1. Limit Sugary Foods and Drinks

Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar from foods and drinks. Then they make acids, which soften and wear away your enamel. Chewy candies that stick on your teeth are can also cause damage. Soft drinks may have extra acids.

Soft drinks with artificial sweeteners are a smarter choice than ones with sugar, but they’re also acidic and will wear down enamel over time.

The best choice when you’re thirsty? A glass of plain water. Many flavored waters are acidic.

2. Eat Foods That Protect Enamel

Calcium in food counters acids in your mouth that cause decay. It also helps keep your bones and teeth strong.

Milk, cheese, and other dairy products help protect and strengthen enamel.  Choose low-fat or fat-free items to help keep calories down.  If you don’t eat dairy, look for foods with calcium added.

3. Avoid Over-Brushing

You can wear down your enamel if you brush too fast and hard. Hold a brush with a soft bristle at about a 45-degree angle to your gums. Then move it back and forth in short, gentle strokes, about the distance of one tooth.

Wait for up to an hour after eating sweets or citrus fruits before you brush your teeth. Acidic foods can soften enamel and may make it easier for you to damage it.

4. Use Fluoride

The American Dental Association (ADA) calls fluoride “nature’s cavity fighter” because it strengthens your enamel and helps repair the early stages of tooth decay. Fluoride also makes your teeth more resistant to acids that come from foods and from bacteria in your mouth.The ADA recommends fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears and throughout your life. Rinsing with a mouthwash that has fluoride can also help prevent cavities and keep your enamel strong.

by Dean Dentistry

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Four Home Remedies for Abscessed Teeth

You're experiencing some serious pain in your mouth, and you think a dental abscess (an infection in the teeth or gums) might be to blame. Are there any home remedies for abscessed teeth that will help ease the discomfort while you're waiting for your dentist appointment?

You have a few options for easing the pain, but home remedies won't get to the root of the issue and aren't likely to cure the abscess. Instead, think of home remedies as stop-gap measures. They'll help you in the short term, but they won't replace a visit to the dentist.

How to Cope with Dental Abscesses at Home

You're likely to come across a few recommended home remedies for abscessed teeth. While each option has its advantages, some also have a few risks or potential drawbacks. If your dental abscess is causing severe pain and you have to wait before your dentist can see you, understanding how each remedy can help and what its risks are may help you choose the best one for you.

Clove oil. Eugenol, the active ingredient in clove oil, has helpful anaesthetic and antibacterial properties. Applying a small amount of clove essential oil to the site of a dental abscess can temporarily numb the area, easing your pain. But there are a few drawbacks to clove oil. It can be strong-smelling and spread to other parts of your mouth accidentally. Additionally, if you ingest a lot of clove oil by mistake, it may require a trip to the emergency room. Ingesting too much can lead to a variety of symptoms, such as shallow breathing, a burning throat, rapid heartbeat and dizziness.

Salt water rinse. A salt water rinse can help wash away germs and pus from an abscess. Salt water can also soothe discomfort. While rinsing can provide some relief when you have an abscess, keep in mind that salt water alone won't be enough to clear up the infection.

Peppermint tea bags. Some claim that placing wet, cool peppermint tea bags on a dental abscess will help ease the pain. While placing a cooled tea bag on an abscess won't hurt you, it's also not very likely to help you either. There isn't enough evidence to say whether peppermint tea is helpful for any condition. The cold temperature of the tea bag may be somewhat soothing. If you happen to have some tea bags handy, you can try this home remedy. But don't rely on it to heal your abscess.

Don't use alcohol. One popular but ineffective home remedy has people soaking a cotton swab with alcohol (often whiskey or vodka) and applying the cotton to the abscessed area. While the alcohol may temporarily numb the pain, it won't clear up the infection. Any relief will be temporary, and this method is obviously not recommended for children with tooth pain. While alcohol can reduce pain, the use of alcohol as a pain reliever can be incredibly dangerous, as you often need a lot of alcohol to get any numbing effects. It's best to give this home remedy a pass.

Along with trying out natural home remedies to treat a dental abscess, people often turn to over-the-counter pain relievers. While pain medication may help improve your comfort, it's also a temporary measure. You'll still want to see your dentist to remove the source of the infection and heal the tooth or gums.

How Your Dentist Can Treat an Abscess

Your dentist might use a variety of treatments to heal a dental abscess, explains South African Dental Association. In some cases, your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to kill the germs. They might also clean the area around the tooth to remove debris, pus and germs, or perform a root canal if there has been considerable damage to the pulp of the tooth.

Although a home remedy can provide some relief, don't put off your visit to a dentist. The sooner you schedule treatment, the sooner your mouth will feel better and begin to heal.

by Colgate

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Effective Home Remedies for Mouth Smell

Regular dentist visits and proper oral hygiene are critical for a healthy mouth. But there are other things you can do to help fight off bad breath and halitosis. Home remedies for bad breath can make a big difference to your oral hygiene over time, when used in conjunction with your daily dental care and visits. So adopt these simple but effective habits to treat bad breath.


Drinking enough water is one of the simplest steps you can take to curb bad breath. When your mouth doesn't have enough moisture to produce saliva, odor-causing bacteria can develop. Side effects from certain medications, medical conditions and diseases can deprive you of that necessary moisture, but not getting enough water can also contribute to dry mouth in otherwise healthy people.

Staying hydrated is important, particularly before and after heavy exercise, when rapid breath can increase dry mouth. While it's a healthy practice in and of itself, be sure to drink water when you first wake up. Dry mouth can occur while you're asleep, so hydrating first thing in the morning gives you a jump on a night's worth of collected bacteria.

Brush and Floss

Daily tooth brushing along with flossing are the most important actions you can take to ward off bad breath. According to the Indian Dental Association (IDA), bad breath is caused by the decay of food particles that are not removed from the mouth by brushing and flossing, and therefore you should brush and floss your teeth daily. 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.

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. The Indian Dental Association warns that sugar containing foods increases plaque formation and extends the length of time that bacterial acid production can occur, therefore you should reduce your sugar intake.

The IDA further notes that Cheese is considered as an anti-cavity food, it stimulates the flow of saliva, which helps repair early cavity formation. Fruits and vegetables act as natural cleansers, due to their high fibre content. The IDA also suggests to integrate plenty of fresh vegetables into your daily meals and eat fruit, nuts and celery or carrot sticks as snacks.

Use a Mouthrinse

Use a mouthrinse after every meal that can help 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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Views: 13

Do You Have a Normal Teeth Bite? Here’s How to Tell

A bad bite. No, we’re not talking about a day-old sandwich or a mosquito sting. We’re talking about teeth! Specifically, how your upper jaw and lower jaw come together to form your smile. In a normal bite, teeth fit together with the top teeth slightly overlapping the bottom and the back teeth fitting together like a puzzle. But with a bad bite, your teeth are misaligned.

Chances are, you’ve heard of overbites and underbites. But did you know, there’s actually several kinds of bad bites? Four to be exact: overbite, underbite, crossbite and open bite. On top of that, you might also see other signs of a bad bite, like crooked teeth, crowded or gap teeth or other alignment issues that cause concern. 

At Davis Orthodontics, we’re experts in turning bad bites into healthy, straight smiles that last a lifetime. So let’s talk about how you can tell if you have a bad bite versus a normal teeth bite and why it’s important to fix your bite alignment.


A bad bite, also called malocclusion, can look different from person to person. As we mentioned earlier, there are four kinds of bad bites: overbites, underbites, crossbites and openbites. So what do each of these look like?


With a normal bite, teeth have a slight overbite with the front top teeth sitting over the lower front teeth. But if your molars don’t fit together like a puzzle with your overbite, you might have an overbite that’s considered misaligned. Do your top teeth bite down on your lower gums? Do your top teeth protrude over your bottom teeth?

If so, these are signs of a problematic overbite. An overbite can cause tension in your jaw and face muscles, resulting in headaches. It can cause difficulties or discomfort with chewing your food or cause uneven wear on your tooth enamel.


This is when your lower jaw extends past your upper jaw, causing your lower teeth to protrude and sit past your upper teeth. Like the other three bad bites we talk about here, genetics and habits from childhood like prolonged thumbsucking and tongue thrusting can play a role in causing an underbite.  

An underbite is less common than an overbite but can lead to the same jaw stress and chewing challenges. You might even experience sleep apnea with an underbite or difficulty with enunciating certain words or sounds.


Unlike an overbite or underbite which describes an entire row of teeth, a crossbite happens to single teeth or a group of them. A crossbite is when upper teeth bite inside your lower teeth and it can happen with back or front teeth. You might have developed a crossbite if your baby teeth didn’t fall out during childhood or if your adult teeth had a delay in erupting. In these cases, your jaw and other teeth respond by developing a crossbite.

Open bite:

There are two kinds of open bites but both look like upper and lower teeth that don’t touch. One kind is when your front top teeth don’t touch or slightly overlap your front bottom teeth like in a normal bite. The second kind of open bite is when your back top and bottom teeth don’t touch each other when your mouth is in a resting position. Some signs of an open bite include:

A lisp

Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Your tongue sits in a different position

Your teeth are showing irregular wear

In addition to genetics or childhood habits, an open bite can be the result of your jaw growing apart instead of parallel to one another.


So we’ve covered what you need to know about bad bites, but it’s also helpful to know about other misalignment issues that can affect your oral health and smile. Crooked teeth, gap teeth and crowding teeth are common issues that we see and treat at our Simpsonville, Spartanburg, Clemson, Anderson, Walhalla, Greenville and Greer offices.

When these misalignment issues are corrected, our patients not only feel more confident in their new smiles, but can also enjoy the benefits of healthier teeth and gums.  

Crooked teeth:

Sometimes teeth grow in a less-than-ideal direction and when your teeth don’t sit vertically or are twisted, they can affect proper bite alignment. Crooked teeth can impact how effectively you brush and floss and even how well you can chew. 

So what causes crooked teeth? Well, genetics can play a big role. So does poor oral hygiene: periodontitis, or severe gum disease, can cause teeth to shift, loosen or fall out. Trauma to your teeth from sports or accidents — a baseball, a fall — can also cause gaps and shifting. An interesting fact?

Our teeth naturally move to fill gaps left by teeth that have prematurely fallen out. And when teeth move to fill spaces, they might not shift into a straight position. Crooked teeth can also be caused by poor nutrition, either in childhood or adulthood.

Speaking of childhood, crooked teeth can begin when you’re young. Infant habits like thumbsucking, mouth breathing, or tongue thrusting that extend from babyhood into early childhood can impact the direction of teeth. Prolonged thumbsucking and tongue thrusting can push out your top front teeth, while mouth breathing can cause your jaw to develop lower and further back.

Crowded Teeth:

When you have a mismatch between the smaller size of your jaw and the size of your teeth, your teeth might not have enough room and end up sitting too closely together. Crowded teeth can cause issues with your oral hygiene — it might be hard to floss or brush effectively into the nooks and crannies when teeth are too tight together. Insufficient brushing and flossing can then lead to tooth decay or gum disease.

Of course, it also goes without saying that many people want to fix their crowded teeth to feel more confident about their smile, either with braces or clear aligners like Invisalign®. These are both options we offer at Davis Orthodontics.

Gap Teeth:

Let’s be honest, sometimes having gap teeth is endearing, like when kids have a gap in their front teeth during the transition from baby to adult teeth. For teens and adults though, gap teeth aren’t always preferable. While it’s not typically necessary to treat gap teeth for oral health reasons, some prefer treatment for aesthetics. Also called “diastema”, gap teeth refers to teeth that have space between them wider than half a millimeter.

Gap teeth sometimes happen when your jaw is larger than the size your teeth need, or conversely, when your teeth are smaller or some are missing. If you’re missing your lateral incisors — the teeth on either side of your two top front teeth — this can cause gapping between teeth and it’s something that Dr. Buddy can treat easily at his Simpsonville and Greer offices. Missing lateral incisors is genetic and happens to about 2% of people. 


Now that we’ve covered what a bad bite looks like, what are signs you might feel or experience when you have dental malocclusion? 

TMJ discomfort:

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) hinges your lower jaw to your skull. It gives your jaw the ability to move for things like speaking, yawning and chewing. If you have a bad bite, your TMJ might not properly align, resulting in some pain when you open and close your jaw. You might also experience some stiffness, soreness, or hear a clicking noise.

Teeth grinding and clenching your jaw:

Do you grind your teeth at night? Or during the daytime? Grinding your teeth — or clenching your jaw — is a sign that your teeth might be misaligned, which puts stress on your jaw. In turn, the stress can lead to headaches and jaw pain. Over time, teeth grinding can also wear down the enamel on your teeth and you might experience more tooth sensitivity or be more prone to tooth decay.


Most of us get headaches at one point or another. But if it seems like you get headaches a lot and you’ve ruled out other causes — like stress, computer use or diet — your headaches could be the result of a bad bite. A misaligned jaw can cause tension on facial joints like your TMJ as well as put strain on the tissue and ligaments around your jaw.

Trouble with speaking:

Another way you can tell if you have a bad bite versus a normal bite is if you have difficulty pronouncing sounds or enunciating clearly. Misaligned teeth can show up in a lisp. Or sometimes a smaller jaw doesn’t allow room for your tongue to move freely and it takes extra effort to form words correctly.

Facial Asymmetry:

When you look in the mirror, does your face seem asymmetrical? If so, it might be because of a bad bite. Proper bite alignment and straight teeth help define the length and shape of your face, the symmetry of the left and right sides and the structure of your jawbone.


Ultimately, only a specialized certified orthodontist like Dr. Buddy, Dr. Adam, or Dr. Sarah can correctly diagnose if you have a bad bite or if your teeth form a normal bite. An orthodontist has the expertise in not only aligning your teeth into a straight smile, but also in assessing the alignment of your face and jaw overall and considering your long-term oral health. 

At Davis Orthodontics, we treat each patient with their specific needs and goals in mind. If your bad bite needs braces, we use cutting edge technology to help you step-by-step through the process. If crooked teeth can benefit from Invisalign, we can plan a convenient and discreet treatment that fits into your lifestyle.


Remember those symptoms we mentioned earlier? The TMJ pain, the headaches and teeth grinding? These life-interfering symptoms are greatly alleviated once you have a normal bite and teeth position. Your quality of life can improve dramatically, whether it’s becoming pain-free or having a straight smile… or both. Yep, when it comes to your teeth, you can pretty much have it all!

by Dr Buddy

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Eight Causes of Throbbing Tooth Pain, and What to Do

Throbbing tooth pain is a sign that you might have tooth damage. Tooth decay or a cavity can give you a toothache. Throbbing tooth pain can also happen if there is an infection in the tooth or in the gums surrounding it.


Toothaches are typically caused by an infection or inflammation in the tooth. This is called pulpitis.

The soft pink pulp inside your tooth helps to keep it healthy and alive. Tooth pulp contains tissue, nerves, and blood vessels.

A cavity or crack in the tooth lets air and germs inside the tooth. This can irritate and infect the sensitive pulp nerves, leading to tooth pain.

Other symptoms

Along with throbbing pain, other symptoms of a toothache can include:

constant dull ache

sharp pain when you bite

pain when you eat something sweet

sensitive or tingly teeth

pain or tenderness in the mouth

pain or aching in the jaw

mouth or gum swelling


bad taste in the mouth

a bad smell in the mouth

pus or white fluid


Both adults and children can get a toothache. See a dentist immediately if you have any signs or symptoms. You will likely need a dental exam and an X-ray to find out what’s causing the tooth pain.


Here are eight possible causes of throbbing tooth pain.

1. Tooth decay


Tooth decay or a cavity is the most common reason for tooth pain. It can happen when bacteria “eat” through the hard enamel outer layer of a tooth.

Bacteria are part of normal mouth and body health. However, too much sugar and other foods on your teeth can cause too many bad bacteria.

Bacteria make a plaque that sticks to your teeth. Some kinds of bacteria give off acid that can lead to holes or cavities. Tooth decay might look like small white, brown, or black spots on your teeth.


Your dentist can repair a hole or fix a weakened area in the tooth to help stop the throbbing pain. You may need:

teeth cleaning to get rid of plaque

a filling to patch up the cavity

antibiotics to clear up infection

2. Tooth abscess


An abscessed tooth is when part or all of the pulp inside the tooth dies. The dead tissue makes a “pocket” of bacteria and pus called an abscess. Tooth infection or inflammation can cause an abscess.

A damaged tooth can lead to a tooth abscess if it is not treated quickly. This happens when a hole or crack lets in bacteria into the tooth.


Treatment for a tooth abscess includes:

antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection

draining and cleaning out the abscess

cleaning and treating the gums, if the abscess is caused by gum disease

root canal, if the abscess is caused by decay or a cracked tooth

implant, which involves replacing the tooth with a synthetic one

3. Tooth fracture


A tooth fracture is a crack or split in the tooth. This can happen by biting on something hard like ice. You may also get a tooth fracture in a fall or if you get hit in the jaw or face with something hard. In some cases, a tooth fracture can develop slowly over time.

A tooth fracture can lead to throbbing pain. The fracture allows things to get into the tooth and irritate or infect the pulp and nerves, triggering pain.

This may include:


food particles




Your dentist can repair a fractured tooth with dental glue, a veneer, or a filling. You may need a cap or crown on the tooth, or your dentist may recommend a root canal.

4. Damaged filling


You can damage a filling with normal biting and chewing, by biting something hard, or by grinding or clenching your teeth. A filling may:




wear away

pop out


Your dentist can repair or replace a damaged filling. You may need a crown on the tooth if it has become too damaged for a new filling.

5. Infected gums


A gum infection is also called gingivitis. Infected gums can lead to gum disease or periodontitis. Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults.

A gum infection can be caused by:

not cleaning your teeth and mouth properly

a poor daily diet


hormonal changes

some kinds of medications

health conditions like diabetes

cancer and cancer treatments


Bacteria from infected gums can build up around the tooth roots. This can cause an infection in the gum tissue that results in a toothache.

Gum disease may shrink gums away from the tooth. It may also break down the bone that holds teeth in place. This can loosen teeth and cause cavities.


A gum infection is normally treated with antibiotics. You may need regular cleanings by your dentist to remove plaque. A medicated mouth wash can help soothe gum and tooth pain.

If you have gum disease, you may need several treatments to help save your teeth. Treatment includes a “deep cleaning” called scaling and root planing to keep your teeth and gums healthy. In severe cases, dental surgery may be needed.


6. Grinding or clenching


Grinding your teeth is also called bruxism. It usually happens during sleep. Clenching your teeth means biting down hard. Grinding and clenching can happen because of stress, genetics, and over-developed jaw muscles.

Grinding and clenching can cause tooth, gum, and jaw pain. They can lead to tooth erosion by wearing away the tooth. This increases the risk of cavities, tooth pain, and fractured teeth.

Signs of tooth erosion include:

small cracks or roughness on teeth edges

teeth thinning (biting edges look slightly transparent)

sensitive teeth (especially to hot, cold, and sweet drinks and foods)

rounded teeth

chipped or dented teeth and fillings

teeth yellowing


Treating the cause of grinding and clenching teeth helps stop tooth pain. Wearing a mouth guard during sleep can help stop adults and children from grinding their teeth. It may also be helpful to practice stress relief techniques or seek counseling from mental health professional.

7. Loose crown


A crown or cap is a tooth-shaped cover. It usually covers the whole tooth down to the gumline. You might need a crown if a tooth is cracked or broken, or if a cavity is too big for a filling.

A crown holds the tooth together. It can be made of metals, ceramic, or porcelain. Dental cement holds a crown in place.

A crown can become loose through normal wear and tear. It can also chip or crack like a real tooth. The cement glue holding a crown in place may wash out. You may damage a crown by clenching or grinding your teeth or biting something hard.

A loose crown can trigger throbbing tooth pain. This happens because bacteria can get under the crown. The tooth may become infected or damaged, triggering nerve pain.


Your dentist may remove the crown and treat the tooth if there is a cavity or tooth damage. A new crown is put on the repaired tooth. A loose or damaged crown can be repaired or replaced with a new one.

8. Eruption of a tooth


New growing (erupting) teeth can cause pain in the gums, jaw, and surrounding teeth. This includes teething babies, children getting new teeth, and adults growing wisdom teeth.

A tooth can become impacted if it’s blocked from growing through the gums. Or it may grow in the wrong direction, such as sideways instead of up. This can be caused by:

crowding (too many teeth)

a baby tooth that hasn’t fallen out

a cyst in the mouth


An impacted tooth may damage a neighboring tooth’s roots. A newly erupted tooth and an impacted tooth may also cause other teeth to move or loosen. This sets off pain in the gums and teeth.


You can soothe pain or tenderness from an erupting tooth with an oral numbing gel or general pain medication. Treatment for an impacted tooth includes minor dental surgery to make room for the tooth. This may involve removing extra teeth or opening up blockages.

Other causes


Other causes of throbbing tooth pain include:

food or debris stuck between your teeth

abnormal bite

sinus infection (pain in the back teeth)

heart disease, such as angina (pain around the teeth and jaw)

When to see a dentist


A tooth infection can spread to the jaw bone and other areas of the face, throat, and head. Call your dentist immediately if you have other symptoms along with a toothache. These can include:

pain that lasts longer than a day

pain when biting or chewing



red gums

bad taste or smell

difficulty swallowing

If your tooth has broken or come out, go to the dentist or emergency room immediately.

Self-care tips


Try these tips to soothe throbbing tooth pain if you cannot see your dentist immediately:

Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.

Gently floss to remove food or plaque between teeth.

Apply a cold compress to your jaw or cheek.

Take over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen.

Try home remedies for toothaches like clove oil to numb the gums.

The bottom line


See your dentist or doctor if you have throbbing tooth pain. It may be due to an infection. Early treatment can help keep your teeth and body healthy.

Regular dentist visits help to prevent serious teeth problems before they cause pain. Check with your health insurance to find out if you’re covered for regular check-ups and teeth cleaning.

If you cannot afford a dentist, call some local dental schools. They often offer free or cheaper teeth cleaning and minor dental procedures, like fillings.

by Healthline

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Reasons Why Your Mouth Is Unhealthy

Oral hygiene isn’t something we consider too often. Aside from brushing our teeth and attending our biannual dentist checkups, we leave our teeth to look after themselves. However, that doesn’t mean that our mouth is in the best shape it can be. There are many reasons why you might have unhealthy oral hygiene. We’ll cover some common issues and warning signs.

Warning Signs

Waiting until symptoms become serious is a mistake. If you go to your dentists twice a year, they should pick up on most problems before they cause any pain. However, some things can happen quickly. If you notice any of the following symptoms, book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

Ulcers, cold sores, or other tender areas in the mouth that don’t heal within a few weeks

Bleeding or swollen gums when brushing and flossing

Chronic bad breath

Sudden onset of sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages

Toothache or pain

Receding gums

Pain when eating, chewing, or biting

Jaw clicking

Cracked or broken teeth

Dry mouth

5 Causes of Dental and Oral Diseases

So, what are the five reasons your mouth is unhealthy?

1.   Smoking

Nicotine is notoriously bad for the health of your teeth. Smoke causes discolouration and poor gum health. Gums recede and struggle to heal as less oxygen gets into the bloodstream.

2.   Bad Habits

It’s not enough to just brush your teeth twice a day. Brushing technique and flossing all come into the equation. Two minutes of brushing thoroughly twice a day is the best way to ensure you keep your teeth in top condition.

Moreover, sugary drinks, coffee, tea, or red wine can harm your teeth. Try to drink through a straw and rinse your mouth out with water afterwards.

3.   Family History

Genetics plays a part in oral hygiene. Family background can influence your mouth structure, how susceptible you are to certain diseases, and also certain habits. It isn’t much you can do about your genetics. To mitigate gum disease or tooth decay risks, speak to your dentist about the steps you can adopt and ensure you’re extra vigilant about brushing and flossing.

4.   Medical Conditions

Diabetes and other medical conditions are often responsible for specific mouth issues. People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop oral problems and gum diseases than others. High blood sugar levels in the bloodstream lead to more sugar in the saliva, which is the perfect condition for bacteria to build up. Bacteria causes tooth decay and gum disease.

Furthermore, certain medicines can dry your mouth out and further the risk of oral disease. These include antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, high blood pressure medications, and muscle relaxants.

5.   Hormone Changes

Hormone changes might also impact the health of your mouth, particularly if you’re pregnant. Hormone changes can further the risk of gum disease and pregnancy tumours. Both are significant and need treatment straight away to avoid harming the baby. Pregnant women are also at risk of developing dry mouth (xerostomia), leading to plaque, gum inflammation, and tooth decay.

Moreover, pregnancy can cause behavioural attitudes that might hurt your oral hygiene. For example, food cravings may lead to more consumption of sugary foods. Morning sickness can make it hard to brush your teeth. Plus, the acid from frequent vomiting may be harmful.

Similarly, hormone changes during menopause might increase the risk of gum disease and burning mouth syndrome (BMS).

Types of Dental and Oral Diseases

There are different types of dental diseases. You’ll likely experience one of them within your lifetime, even if you’re extra vigilant about your oral hygiene. Types of oral diseases include:


Gum disease (gingivitis)


Cracked or broken teeth

Sensitive teeth

Oral cancer

Diagnosing Oral Diseases

If you approach your dentist with symptoms you’re concerned about, they will conduct an oral exam. They will inspect your teeth, mouth, throat, tongue, cheeks, jaw, and neck. They may also take an x-ray of your mouth or gum probe.

Treating Oral Problems

Even if you’re on top of your oral care, you’ll still need to attend regular checkups with your dentist. They will be able to point out any warning signs you haven’t noticed, offer treatments, and give advice about the general care of your mouth.

by Toorak Dental Studio

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What Is Veillonella?

The word "veillonella" has a lovely ring to it. Although it may evoke images of a sweet-smelling flower or beautiful rose bush, this term isn't a flower you grow in your garden. But it is part of your normal bodily flora and naturally occurs in your mouth. Oral flora is responsible for the periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay that affects many people.

What Is Veillonella?

This common germ is a small cocci bacterium that is anaerobic – meaning it doesn't need oxygen to survive. In fact, it needs carbon dioxide to grow. If you were to look at it under a microscope, you'd see it is round in shape, appears in pairs, masses, or short chains, and doesn't move around very often.

Although there are around 200 types of bacteria that grow in your oral cavity, a study published in the Journal of Bacteriology found that Veillonella and Streptococcus bacteria work together in the early formation of plaque on your teeth. As these two bacteria colonize and grow, they lay a matrix that supports the growth of other varieties of bacteria that live in plaque.

How Does Veillonella Form?

Bacterial communities are not formed randomly. Believe it or not, they're quite selective. The way they develop supports the growth of many species of bacteria at once. Veillonella, for example, doesn't ferment dietary sugars like Streptococci. However, it does use the lactic acid produced by Streptococci's sugar fermentation to create its own. Essentially, Veillonella bacterium could not survive if it didn't coexist with Streptococci. In turn, other species of bacteria need the environment created by Veillonella and Streptococci to survive.

The problem for you? When your tooth enamel is exposed to these bacterial acids over a prolonged period, dental decay begins. Additionally, the acidic conditions caused by this bacterium underneath the gumline eventually destroy the teeth' supporting structures, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

What Can You Do to Prevent Veillonella?

It can be discouraging to think that as soon as you're done with your oral hygiene routine, Veillonella and other disease-causing bacteria begin to rebuild their homes in your mouth. For this reason, your oral hygiene routine cannot be hit or miss. Regularly removing plaque from your teeth needs to be a priority to disrupt bacterial colonies before they can cause any harm. And while you can't eliminate them from your mouth (some bacteria are actually helpful), there are things you can do to keep your oral flora from getting out of hand:

Brush at least two times a day, and clean between your teeth at least once a day with floss, water flossers, or other interdental cleaners.

Replace your toothbrush regularly, at least every three months. Old worn brushes don't clean well and eventually harbor bacteria, which defeats the toothbrush's purpose.

Make sure to clean your tongue too. It is also the home of Veillonella and other related bacteria.

Don't "feed" the flora. Limit your intake of sugars and carbohydrates to cut down the number of times a day you expose your teeth to the acids that allow flora to build up and irritate the gums.

Schedule regular professional dental hygiene appointments (at least twice a year) to have plaque and tartar buildup removed, so bacterium doesn't become trapped underneath your gumline.

Most flora in your mouth is harmless to you unless they have the opportunity to organize and grow. Don't let these culprits make you a victim of bad breath, tooth decay, or gum disease. Keep a diligent oral care routine and remember: The only flora that needs feeding is in the garden outside.

by Colgate

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When is Tonsillitis an Emergency?

When is Tonsillitis an Emergency?

Tonsillitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the tonsils, which are the two small glands located at the back of the throat. In most cases, tonsillitis is not a medical emergency and can be treated with rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers.

However, there are certain cases when tonsillitis may require emergency medical attention. Some signs and symptoms that may indicate a medical emergency include:

Difficulty breathing: If you have severe swelling in your tonsils, it can cause difficulty breathing. If you experience shortness of breath or feel like you can't catch your breath, seek emergency medical attention right away.

Severe pain: Tonsillitis can be painful, but if the pain is severe and not relieved by over-the-counter pain medication, it may require emergency medical attention.

High fever: A high fever (over 103 degrees Fahrenheit) can be a sign of a bacterial infection, which can lead to complications such as sepsis. If you have a high fever, seek medical attention.

Difficulty swallowing: If you are having trouble swallowing due to severe tonsillitis symptoms, it can lead to dehydration. If you are unable to drink fluids, seek medical attention.

Pus or abscess formation: If you notice white or yellow spots on your tonsils or experience difficulty opening your mouth, it may indicate the formation of an abscess. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek an emergency room near you for medical attention as soon as possible.

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, the lymph nodes at the back of the mouth and top of the throat. Your tonsils and immune system prevent infection in the body by filtering out bacteria, but they can be impacted by a viral infection. This infection is most common in young children but can affect people of all ages.

Symptoms of tonsillitis may include:

Swollen tonsils

Sore throat


Painful swallowing

Chronic tonsillitis occurs when you have several episodes of tonsillitis over a long period of time or if tonsillitis symptoms persist after treatment. In some cases, surgery to remove the tonsils, a tonsillectomy, would be the recommended step to treat chronic symptoms.

What causes Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including viral and bacterial infections. Some of the most common causes of tonsillitis include:

Viral infections: Many cases of tonsillitis are caused by viruses, such as the common cold virus, influenza virus, or the Epstein-Barr virus (which causes mononucleosis). These types of infections typically resolve on their own within a week or two.

Bacterial infections: Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus) is a common bacterial cause of tonsillitis, which is also known as strep throat. Other bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus or Haemophilus influenzae, may also cause tonsillitis.

Fungal infections: In rare cases, tonsillitis may be caused by a fungal infection, such as candidiasis.

Environmental factors: Exposure to irritants in the environment, such as pollution or cigarette smoke, can also cause inflammation of the tonsils.

Immunological factors: Certain immunological disorders or deficiencies can also increase the risk of tonsillitis.

Genetics: In some cases, tonsillitis may be hereditary, and a family history of recurrent tonsillitis may increase the risk of developing the condition.

It is important to identify the underlying cause of tonsillitis in order to determine the most appropriate treatment.

Treating Tonsillitis

Treatment for tonsillitis depends on the underlying cause and severity of symptoms. Here are some common treatments for tonsillitis:

Rest and fluids: Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated.

Over-the-counter pain relievers: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve pain and reduce fever.

Antibiotics: If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, antibiotics may be prescribed to help clear the infection.

Corticosteroids: In some cases, corticosteroids may be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms.

Tonsillectomy: If tonsillitis is severe, recurrent, or causing complications such as difficulty breathing, a tonsillectomy (surgery to remove the tonsils) may be recommended.

Home remedies: Gargling with saltwater, using throat lozenges or sprays, and avoiding irritants such as smoking or pollution may help relieve symptoms.

It is important to see a doctor if symptoms of tonsillitis are severe or persist for more than a few days, or if there are signs of complications such as difficulty breathing or swallowing. In some cases, untreated tonsillitis can lead to more serious complications such as rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation.

Chronic Tonsillitis

Chronic tonsillitis is a condition in which the tonsils become inflamed and infected repeatedly over a long period of time, often for several months or years. It is usually caused by bacterial or viral infections that are not completely treated or resolved, which can lead to recurrent episodes of tonsillitis.

Symptoms of chronic tonsillitis can include persistent sore throat, bad breath, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and frequent or recurrent episodes of tonsillitis. In some cases, chronic tonsillitis can lead to complications such as abscess formation, difficulty swallowing, or difficulty breathing.

Complications of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis, if left untreated or poorly managed, can lead to a range of complications, including:

Abscess formation: Tonsillitis can lead to the formation of a pocket of pus (abscess) in the tonsils or throat, which can be painful and may require drainage or surgical removal.

Difficulty breathing or swallowing: In some cases, tonsillitis can cause swelling of the tonsils and throat, which can make it difficult to breathe or swallow.

Rheumatic fever: Untreated strep throat (a bacterial infection that can cause tonsillitis) can lead to rheumatic fever, which can cause inflammation of the heart, joints, and other organs.

Kidney inflammation: Strep throat can also cause a condition called post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, which is inflammation of the kidneys that can lead to kidney damage.

Spread of infection: Tonsillitis can be contagious, and if left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as the ears or sinuses.

Sleep apnea: In some cases, chronic tonsillitis can lead to sleep apnea, a condition in which breathing stops and starts during sleep.

Developmental delays: In young children, recurrent tonsillitis may lead to developmental delays or other health problems.

It is important to seek medical attention if you or your child experience symptoms of tonsillitis or any complications that may arise from the condition. Proper treatment and management can help prevent these complications from occurring.

by ER Of Texas

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What Causes Cheek Swelling?

Noticing that your cheeks are swollen can be upsetting. Not only can the swelling be uncomfortable, but it might be noticeable to others. If your cheeks are swollen, you may wonder what prompted it and what you can do about it.

Common Causes of Cheek Swelling

There are many possible causes of swollen cheeks. In some cases, the swelling may result from an injury or trauma, such as a fall or burn. It may also occur after surgery to the jaw or other nearby areas. Sometimes, the swelling is unilateral, which means it occurs on just one side of the face, while other times, it's bilateral, meaning both sides of the face are affected. Your doctor or dentist will assess your symptoms against the following possible causes to determine the source of the swelling.

Salivary Gland Infection: A large pair of salivary glands known as the parotid glands are located in the cheeks, reports the National Institutes of Health (NIH). If these glands become infected, they can swell, causing the appearance of swollen cheeks. Sometimes, the infection affects just one of the glands, but if both glands are involved, the infection is called parotitis or parotiditis.

Tooth Abscess: A tooth abscess may lead to cheek swelling. This infection occurs when bacteria enters the pulp of a tooth, which may happen if you have a cracked tooth or a large cavity that hasn't been treated. In addition to cheek swelling, people with tooth abscesses may have pain, fever, tooth sensitivity or a bad taste in the mouth, reports the Mayo Clinic.

Angioedema: Angioedema, a skin reaction, may be associated with swollen cheeks, too. This reaction can be triggered by foods, medications and common allergens, such as pollen, explains the Mayo Clinic. People with angioedema may experience swelling around their eyes, lips or cheeks. The affected areas can also be red, painful or warm.

Sinus Infection: Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is a common condition that can make your cheeks swollen, explains the U.K.'s National Health Service. This infection may develop after a cold or flu and will usually go away on its own within a few weeks. In addition to swollen cheeks, people with sinusitis may have pain, headache, fever, a blocked nose or even a toothache.

Home Remedies for Swollen Cheeks

If you have swollen cheeks, you may wonder if there's anything you can do at home to make yourself more comfortable. The NIH explains that raising the head of your bed or elevating your head with extra pillows can help reduce facial swelling. If the swelling began after an injury, the NIH suggests applying a cold compress.

However, home remedies aren't always enough. If the swelling doesn't go away, or if it gets worse, the NIH recommends seeing a medical professional. Swelling that's sudden, painful or accompanied by a fever should always be evaluated by a doctor or dentist. If your facial swelling is making it hard for you to breathe, seek emergency treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are many possible causes of swollen cheeks, and a doctor or dentist can evaluate your cheeks, face and oral cavity to determine the source of the swelling. This evaluation will include asking questions about your medical history, such as when the swelling began, as well as evaluating your other symptoms. They may also ask questions about your allergies and current medications.

After determining the cause of the swelling, your doctor or dentist can recommend an appropriate treatment, if necessary. Treatment will vary based on the cause of the swelling. For example, if it's determined that the swelling is a symptom of an abscessed tooth, treatments may include antibiotics or a root canal, explains the Mayo Clinic.

Swollen cheeks can be uncomfortable, and they can be caused by many different conditions. If you're concerned about swelling in your cheeks or elsewhere on your body, talk to your doctor or dentist.

by Colgate

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Top Tips On How To Whiten Yellow Teeth

When brushing twice a day and flossing doesn’t help improve your yellow teeth, it’s time to consider other options. Teeth become yellow due to stains – both deep and surface-level – as well as other causes that sometimes aren’t under our control. Whether the discoloration is due to staining or other factors, several over-the-counter (OTC) products can improve tooth color, and your dentist can also offer preventative advice on how to whiten yellow teeth.

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

Although coffee and cigarettes leave stains on your teeth over time, thin tooth enamel also makes teeth look yellow. Tooth enamel is the hard, white surface of your teeth, and underneath it is a pale brown substance called dentin. Thick enamel looks white, but thin enamel allows dentin tones to show through, making teeth look yellow from the outside. Enamel naturally wears thin as people age, but acids from foods and drinks such as sour candies, oranges and soda also thin the enamel by eroding its surface. Carole Palmer, head of the Division of Nutrition and Oral Health Promotion at Tufts University, tells Tufts Now that even chewable vitamin C tablets are acidic.

Saliva neutralizes acid and washes it away, but people suffering from dry mouth miss out on this protective effect. For example, children who breathe through their mouths due to blocked nasal passages can prevent saliva from remoisturizing the mouth when it’s closed – putting them at risk of developing thin tooth enamel. 

Other Causes

Other causes of yellow teeth include antibiotic use or excessive fluoride intake in young children, which can cause yellow-stained adult teeth later. However, according to dentistry professor Mauli Simrativir, antibiotics and high fluoride levels cause blotching, rather than an overall yellow tone to the teeth. Sometimes yellow teeth just run in the family.

Preventing Yellow Teeth

Avoiding smoking, coffee and soda helps prevent yellow teeth, or you can get into the habit of drinking those darker beverages through a straw. Drink milk or plain water after eating or drinking something acidic to help reduce the acid’s eroding effect. Brushing and flossing also help, and avoiding snacks between meals allows your saliva to dilute the acids in your mouth too.

If you’re concerned that you or your child suffers from dry mouth, consult your doctor, and always use fluoride products per your dentist’s advice.

Whitening Yellow Teeth

OTC products such as Colgate Optic White Toothbrush and Whitening Pen is a convenient and affordable way to get five shades whiter teeth, can lift yellow tones in your teeth by removing stains and providing a mild bleaching effect when used as directed. Other products include whitening trays and even mouthrinses.

Discolorations are generally responsive to bleaching procedures, and dentists can advise on how to whiten yellow teeth depending on your case. Your dentist can provide bleaching kits to take home and use over a period of time, as well as in-office bleaching procedures. However, he or she might recommend waiting until all your child’s permanent front teeth have appeared before using a bleaching treatment, so that newer teeth aren’t a different color than bleached baby teeth.

With so many ways to treat yellow teeth, there’s no reason to hide a beautiful smile.

by Kempton Smile

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Five Signs of a Healthy Mouth

Great oral health is incredibly important. Not only does it make for a gorgeous smile, but it’s also an important indicator of your overall health. Of course, there are obvious signs of poor dental health, such as cavities, loose teeth and never visiting the dentist. But there are other signs that your mouth is in healthy shape, such as these following five criteria.

1. White Healthy Teeth

A bright, white smile is about more than just aesthetics. They can also signify good oral health Several things can cause yellowish stains on your teeth, such as gingivitis, dental decay, tobacco usage, and more. One of the best ways to keep a bright white smile is to have a good dental hygiene routine. Therefore, if your teeth are naturally white, you’re doing something right!

2. Pink, Firm, Healthy Gums

Your gums should be pink and firm to the touch, rather than swollen, red, or tender. Red gums can be an indication of poor oral hygiene and gum disease. Gums that are too pale, on the other hand, might be a sign of anaemia. There should also be no flaps or pockets in the gums, and they should lie flush against your teeth. Lastly, it is important that they aren’t receding, so your teeth look longer. If you’ve avoided any of these issues, and your gums are pink and firm, you likely have healthy gums!

3. Your Gums Don’t Bleed

Bleeding gums while flossing or brushing are a sign that you may have gingivitis. This is an infection in the gums and the earliest stage of gum disease. Gingivitis usually occurs due to poor oral hygiene, which allows bacteria to build up along your gum line and cause your gums to become inflamed. If you find your gums don’t bleed when brushing or flossing, that’s generally a great sign for your dental health!

4. Clean Breath

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a variety of factors, but having pleasant, clean breath and a decent taste in your mouth is usually a great sign of a healthy mouth. It means that your mouth is generally free of bacteria and food particles associated with bad breath. Bad breath can also be indicative of dry mouth, stomach issues, tonsillitis or other issues. Clean breath is a good sign that these health issues are not occurring.

5. No Sensitivity

Minor tooth sensitivity can occur from time to time. However, persistent sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink is a sign of deteriorating enamel. Your dental enamel is key to safeguarding the root of your tooth. When it wears away, it exposes the dentin layer of your tooth, which has tiny, microscopic tubules that provide access to the nerve. Without your enamel intact, the nerve of your tooth is exposed to outside stimuli. By keeping your teeth in good health with a proper oral hygiene routine, you can ensure you’ll be able to enjoy hot and cold beverages.

by King Streets Dental Group

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What to Do About Black Triangles Between Your Teeth

As electric-white movie star smiles become increasingly popular, more and more people seek to correct their dental imperfections.


Black triangles between your teeth, called open gingival embrasures, are one of the conditions people often want to fix.

Repairing these openings isn’t just cosmetic, though. There are important health reasons to mind the gaps.


What are open gingival embrasures or black triangles?

The simple answer is that they’re triangle-shaped gaps between your teeth. Roughly 67 percent of people over 20 years old have them.

It’s important to understand how they develop and what to do about them, because they can lead to further problems with your oral health.

What causes them?

If you notice gaps forming between your teeth, it’s important to discuss it with your dentist.

Black triangles can appear between your teeth for several reasons, and some causes are related to the health of your teeth and gums.

Gum recession

Plump, pink, healthy gum tissue hugs your teeth, filling the spaces between them.

Age, smoking, and periodontal (gum) disease can cause gums to recede or pull away from the teeth. This can expose the roots, leaving them vulnerable to bacteria, plaque, and cavities.

Bone loss

Gum disease, osteoporosis, and other conditions can cause a loss of bone near the base of a tooth. When bone is lost, the gum tissue in that area may also recede. This leads to the formation of black triangles.

Dental hygiene habits

Gum tissue is sensitive. If you brush your teeth too aggressively, you can damage your gums over time.

A 2011 studyTrusted Source found that other dental hygiene cleaners — tiny wand-like brushes used to scrub between teeth — can also lead to black triangles if too big for the space.

Orthodontic treatment

If you’ve had orthodontic care, small gaps may form between your teeth as they move into new positions.

Sometimes, orthodontic bands or other parts of the appliance can damage the gums, too.

A 2018 studyTrusted Source found that the likelihood of adults with braces developing black triangles between their upper and lower incisor teeth was 22 percent and 36 percent, respectively.

Triangular tooth shape

Some people have rectangular teeth, where the width of the tooth at the gum line isn’t much different than the width at the biting point.

Some people have teeth narrower at the gum line so that the tooth has a more triangular shape. Triangular teeth are more likely to develop these gaps.

Thin, fragile tissue

The thickness of gum tissue varies from person to person.

A 2013 reviewTrusted Source found that thin gum tissue is less resilient, so if you have a crown, a dental implant, or periodontal surgery, your gums may not restore themselves to their previous fullness afterward.

How can you get rid of the gaps?

Depending on the cause and severity of the gap, a number of treatment options exist.

Here are several to consider and discuss with your dentist or oral surgeon.

Gentle dental hygiene

Flossing your teeth and brushing twice daily is the advice from the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA emphasizes the need to floss with care to avoid hurting your gums.

Check out this article for easy steps to perfect flossing.

If the black triangles between your teeth are minimal and your gums are healthy, changing your dental hygiene habits may allow your gums to return to normal.

Hyaluronic acid treatment

In some cases, your dentist can regenerate gum tissue with injections of hyaluronic acid.

Some advocatesTrusted Source prefer this process to surgical corrections as it’s less painful and has a quick recovery period.

Because this treatment is relatively new, there’s little research on how long the effects last.

Composite resin

Some people elect to have their dentist fill the gaps with composite resin bonding.

Depending on your individual needs, your dentist might recommend using a pink resin, a tooth-colored resin, or both to flesh out the black triangles between your teeth.

This process doesn’t require surgery and takes some time to complete — a period of months, in some cases — because the resin is applied in thin layers so it looks natural, and your gums can adapt to the smaller space.

Your dentist can also add tooth-colored composite veneers to round out the appearance of the teeth.


If black triangles formed between your teeth because of a procedure or process that moved your teeth, you may be able to close the gaps by moving teeth together with braces.

Orthodontic treatment takes time, but the aesthetic results may be worth the time and cost.


Your dentist can cement ceramic or porcelain veneers to the surface of the tooth to fill in gaps and create a more even smile.

Most of the time, applying veneers involves altering the surface of your natural tooth so the veneer and tooth form a strong bond. Experts say veneers last between 18 months and 20 yearsTrusted Source.

Surgical remedies

In advanced cases of gum recession, some periodontists recommend tissue grafting. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in gum disease and dental implants.

In this procedure, your periodontist removes a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth and grafts it over the receded areas around your teeth. Bone grafts may also be necessary to build up the bone at the base of your tooth.

Depending on how much of your gum tissue has pulled away from your teeth, your periodontist may also be able to use a pinhole technique to loosen the gum and reattach it using collagen strips.

This procedure is considered less invasive because it doesn’t require large incisions or sutures that can disrupt blood supply to the area.

In one small study of five participants, pinhole surgical repair was 96.7 percentTrusted Source effective in repairing black triangles between teeth.

by healthline

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How Acidic Drinks Affect Your Teeth

Many people are aware of the damage sugary drinks can do to your teeth. Did you know that acidic drinks also pose a risk? We’re here to help you get informed on why acidic beverages are harmful to your teeth, what the biggest offenders are, and how to avoid potential damage.

Why Are Acidic Drinks Bad for My Teeth?

Acidic drinks are loved by many but can be tough on your teeth if consumed regularly. A drink's acidity level is determined by how much acid it contains from citrus or other additives. The pH scale measures this trait, but what pH is bad for your teeth? Any pH level below 7.0 is considered acidic, and the lower the number, the more harmful to your teeth.

Enamel is the strong outer layer that protects your teeth. Acidic drinks can wear enamel down, weakening it and causing long-term tooth erosion. It's essential to care for your teeth because tooth erosion is permanent. Enamel isn't a living cell and doesn't naturally repair itself as your skin does.

According to the American Dental Association, you can experience several side-effects from improper enamel care.

Consuming acidic drinks could lead to:

Tooth pain

Tooth sensitivity (to hot, cold, and air)

Discoloration of your teeth

Increased risk of cavities

Abscesses or loss of teeth (in extreme cases)

If you don't take care of your enamel, you may require more advanced dental care like a filling, crown, root canal, or tooth extraction.

Fun fact: Your enamel is the strongest material in the human body. It is even stronger than your bones.

Common Acidic Drinks to Avoid

It might surprise you how many drinks are acidic and pose a risk to your enamel's health. Even beverages that offer health benefits like fruit juice can be tough on your teeth. Any flavor or type of drink can be acidic, depending on the ingredients, additives, and formulation.

It's essential to remember that even sugar-free drinks can be acidic. Carbonation raises every drink's acidity, so any bubbly beverage is likely to be harmful to your dental health over time.

Is acidic coffee bad for your teeth? Is sugar-free soda okay? Let's take a look.

Here are some acidic drinks to avoid:


Tea, both hot and cold

Carbonated drinks

Alcohol, especially wine

Juice, especially those high in citrus

Sports drinks

Soda and soft drinks (even sugar-free types)

How Do I Protect My Teeth From Acidic Drinks?

We recommend using moderation when consuming acidic drinks as the first step to protect your smile.

Even though your enamel will not regenerate, saliva does a great job maintaining your teeth' hard outer layer. Letting saliva do its job and consuming items that stimulate saliva production can give you the best chance to fight against acid and erosion.

Every type of acidic drink will cause tooth erosion over time. The more acidic the substance, the more damage it will cause. With this in mind, completely cutting acidic beverages from your diet is the only way to avoid adverse effects altogether. Not to worry, there are still ways to lower the amount of damage done when you consume acidic beverages.

Tips to protect your teeth from acidic drinks:

Use moderation: Many people will consume acidic drinks on occasion, so it's vital to limit the amount you drink.

Rinse with water: Tap or bottled water can wash away acids left in your mouth from other drinks. Consider rinsing with water after enjoying an acidic drink to limit the amount of damage it can do.

Reach for a straw: Straws can help acidic drinks go past your teeth and down your throat. Straws can be helpful but won't prevent all the dental erosion from acidic beverages.

Don't brush right after drinking: Reaching for your toothbrush too quickly after a drink can make things worse. Wait an hour after consuming an acidic drink before you brush to give your saliva a chance to harden the enamel naturally.

Build healthy habits: While it can be challenging to make changes to your routine, doing so will have lasting effects on your dental health. Buying a reusable water bottle can be a convenient way to establish a new habit to avoid acidic drinks and save money.

Consume dairy: Dairy products provide a protective film on enamel to prevent cavities.

Chew sugar-free gum: This easy option can promote saliva production. Saliva is healthy for your teeth because it removes some of the acids and even repairs enamel.

Practice good dental hygiene: We recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes twice daily to limit decay and cavities. Also, be sure to use floss, an interdental brush, or a water flosser to clean between teeth once a day.

Talk to your dentist: When in doubt, consulting with an expert is the safest option. Your dentist can advise dietary choices for your long-term dental health.

While we've provided some easy tips to limit the damage caused by acidic drinks, there's no way to prevent it entirely. Restricting your consumption of these drinks is the best bet for your dental health. Luckily, you've done a great job learning about tooth erosion caused by acidic drinks and are now prepared to make changes to your diet and build new habits.

by Colgate

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What Is A Dentigerous Cyst?

If you have a permanent tooth that's coming in and a clear sack of fluid has formed around it, you may have what's called a dentigerous cyst. You may not even be able to tell it's there, and your dentist found it during a routine checkup. You're probably wondering what caused this growth or if it poses any risks to your health that you should be concerned about, and what you should do to treat it. We'll give you all the info you need to know about these growths so you can feel confident about your health, treat your cyst, and get your gums back to a condition you can smile about.

What Is A Dentigerous Cyst?

A dentigerous cyst is a smooth, round sack of clear fluid that slowly develops in the gums where an adult tooth is coming in. The Mayo Clinic says that they're the most common cyst to impact the jaw, and they're mostly found on the lower jaw (mandible) around wisdom teeth, but they can form around other teeth. They are generally painless and usually benign (not harmful); however, they can cause damage if they continue growing. According to the American Dental Association, cysts could harm "the roots of nearby teeth or destroy the bone that supports your teeth."

How Are Dentigerous Cysts Found?

Because these cysts grow slowly and are often near the back of your mouth, you probably wouldn't even know one is there until your dentist tells you about it. They could see it in a routine examination. If your dental professional is checking on your wisdom teeth coming in, they may use a radiograph (x-ray) and discover it, or an orthodontist may notice a dentigerous cyst during a consultation for braces or clear aligners.

These growths can get big enough that you would feel it, but that is rare. If you have a larger cyst, it could impact the teeth on either side of the growth, adversely affecting the roots of those teeth and potentially even moving those teeth out of position.

What Are Treatment and Recovery Like?

Your general dentist may be able to remove your cyst if they have special surgical training, but you'll likely be referred to an oral surgeon. Oral surgeons frequently encounter many types of cysts while removing wisdom teeth.

First, you'll receive a local anesthetic. Then your oral surgeon will likely remove the tooth and the cyst. If your cyst is small, your dental professional may be able to drain the cyst or remove the cyst by itself. For larger, more severe cysts, your surgeon may perform a bone graft if you've experienced bone loss.

Healing time can take anywhere from a week to a few months, depending on the severity and size of your cyst. It usually only requires one procedure, but you may have to return for post-surgical visits so the surgeon can check the healing progress.

by Colgate

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Median Rhomboid Glossitis: Occurrence, Symptoms, And Treatment

If you have an abnormally smooth, dark pink, or red flat area on your tongue, you may have a condition called median rhomboid glossitis (MRG). The name may sound serious, but unless you have any additional fungal infections along with this condition, you probably won't require treatment. We'll break down the potential causes of your MRG and the occasions when you should seek diagnosis and treatment so you can ensure your oral health keeps you smiling.

What Is Median Rhomboid Glossitis (MRG)?

Think median rhomboid glossitis is a complicated name to remember? Try throwing its other names into the mix – central papillary atrophy and glossal central papillary atrophy. Don't worry. For this article, we'll stick with calling it MRG.

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, MRG occurs more often in men, ages 30 to 50. However, anyone can have it, and around 1 percent of the total population is affected. MRG is a smooth, dark pink or red, flat area near the back of your tongue. Your tongue gets this appearance when it's missing filiform papillae, small bumps formed by mucous membrane cells that make up your tongue's surface. Filiform papillae are the only papillae that don't have taste buds, so this shouldn't affect your ability to enjoy food. The shape this condition takes is usually abstract and asymmetrical.

What Are the Symptoms of Median Rhomboid Glossitis?

Median rhomboid glossitis is often asymptomatic, meaning you may not notice you have it at all until a dental professional diagnoses you during a routine care assessment. There is rarely soreness or pain associated with this condition, and it's not contagious. However, some people experience a burning sensation when they eat.

What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for Median Rhomboid Glossitis?

According to a review published by the Journal of Patient-Centered Research and Reviews, about 100 identified fungi species can be found in the human mouth. Most of them don’t cause problems unless there are irregularities.

MRG is believed to be caused by a chronic fungal infection related to the candida group of microorganisms. The fungus Candida lives in most people’s mouths and digestive systems of healthy individuals in low numbers, but it can cause fungal infections when they multiply.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), MRG occurs more often in the following types of patients:

People with diabetes and people with another immunocompromising disease


People undergoing antibiotic, steroid, or chemotherapy treatments

Denture wearers, especially if they don't take their dentures out before bedtime

People with dry mouth

Individuals with low levels of iron, B12, or folate

People who eat a high-sugar diet

How Do You Treat Median Rhomboid Glossitis?

Because symptoms and pain don't usually accompany MRG, there isn't usually a recommended treatment for the condition. A doctor may recommend adjustments in lifestyle to rid yourself of risk factors, like:

Quitting smoking

Taking dentures out before bedtime

Taking vitamin or mineral supplements

Reducing sugar in your diet

Drinking more water and taking other steps to improve dry mouth

According to a study cited in the Journal of the American Dental Association, more than 500 medications cause dry mouth. If your medication is causing dry mouth, your dental professionals may be able to recommend alternatives that will have less of an impact on your oral health.

Your doctor may recommend a culture or lab biopsy to be safe and determine if medication is necessary. If they notice any additional aggressive fungal conditions are accompanying your MRG, they may recommend an antifungal rinse or tablet to kill the organisms and reduce symptoms you may experience.

Practicing good oral hygiene is always recommended and can help reduce the risk of additional microorganism growth in your mouth. Brush at least twice a day, and don't forget to brush your tongue. Clean between your teeth with interdental brushes or water flossers at least once a day. Consider using other helpful products like an antimicrobial mouthrinse and a tongue scraper. And see your dental professional for regular checkups so they can catch any developing conditions early.

If you notice any abnormal changes in your oral health, it's always a good idea to visit your dental professional to be safe and ensure that it won't develop into anything more severe. When you work with your dental professional, you're best positioned to maintain a level of oral health you can smile about.

by Colgate

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Canker sore in the throat: Remedies, causes, and more

A canker sore in the throat can be painful, but home remedies — such as sucking an ice cube or using a salt water gargle — may provide relief. Vitamin B supplements may help manage persistent canker sores.

Also known as mouth ulcers or aphthous ulcers, canker sores are small lesions that develops in the mouth or throat. They usually appearTrusted Source on the inside of the cheeks or lips, but they can sometimes affect the back of the throat and tonsils.

The sores typically heal on their own and are not contagious. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and home remedies can ease symptoms and aid healing.


Canker sores affect the mucous membrane, the soft protective layer lining the throat and mouth. They look like a small grey or white spot with a red border. They may appear slightly sunken, with raised edges. Most are only a few millimeters acrossTrusted Source.

Pain is the main symptom of a canker sore. A person may feel a tingling or burning sensation in the affected area. Eating spicy or acidic foods can worsen the pain, and it may also hurt to move the mouth to speak or chew food.

A canker sore can appear on a tonsil. In these cases, a person may have a sore throat that only affects one side of the throat, which they may mistake for tonsillitis.


There are three types of canker sore:




Minor canker sores are a few millimeters in size, whereas major canker sores are 1–3 centimetersTrusted Source across. Herpetiform canker sores are multiple tiny canker sores, each about the size of a pinhead.

Major canker sores can take up to 4 weeksTrusted Source to heal and may cause scarring. They cause more pain than a minor canker sore and can make it difficult to eat or drink without discomfort. In rare cases, major canker sores may not heal at all.

Herpetiform canker sores can join up to form a larger area, which can leave a scar. This form of canker sore is much less commonTrusted Source than a minor canker sore.

Treatments and home remedies

Canker sores usually heal without treatment. However, some remedies and medication can help ease pain.

Home remedies

People can make a saltwater rinse by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. They can swill the rinse around the throat and tonsils up to three times a day.

Drinking cold water or sucking on ice cubes may numb the pain a little. Eating soft frozen yogurt or ice cream could also help. It is best not to eat anything with sharp edges to avoid irritating canker sores further.

If a person has recurring canker sores, the following lifestyle changes may help:


avoiding spicy or acidic foods

reducing stress

taking an iron or B vitamin supplement.

Medical treatments

Medication can ease pain and reduce swelling, which can help encourage a canker sore to heal more quickly.

People can look for OTC gels and creams that contain an anti-inflammatory or pain relief agent and apply these directly to the ulcer. Some gels coat the canker sore to form a protective barrier that stops further irritation.

It can be difficult to reach a canker sore in the throat. Mouthwash can be a more effective way of reducing pain, swelling, and the risk of infection. A medicated or antimicrobial mouthwash is likely to be best.

For a severe canker sore, a person may need prescription medication. Tablets can reduce inflammation and help a severe ulcer heal.

Laser therapy at a low level may helpTrusted Source in cases of severe or recurrent canker sores. Although it is not a cure, it can speed up healing by drying out and disinfecting a canker sore.

Causes and risk factors

It is not clear why some people are more likely than others to develop canker sores. However, there could be a genetic link, as canker sores tend to run in families.

Some potential causes of canker sores include:

stress and hormonal changes

mouth or throat injuries

iron or vitamin B deficiencies

consuming spicy or acidic foods

People with a weakened immune systemTrusted Source have a higher risk of developing canker sores. These people may include those with HIV, leukemia, or rheumatoid arthritis.

A temporary immune deficiencyTrusted Source can increase the risk of canker sores in the short term. This deficiency can happen after an illness, during pregnancy, or with certain medical treatments, such as chemotherapy.

Some underlying medical conditions can increase the risk of canker sores. These include Behçet’s disease and inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis.

How long do they last?

After a canker sore appears, the pain should start to ease within a few days. A minor canker sore should heal and disappear completely within a weekTrusted Source.

It can take up to 4 weeksTrusted Source for major canker sores to heal, and they may leave a scar.

Some people are prone to canker sores and may get them multiple times. It is common for a person to get a canker sore between three and six timesTrusted Source per year.

A person should see a doctor if a minor canker sore lasts for more than 2 weeks, is very painful, or causes difficulty eating or drinking. A doctor can look at the canker sore and the inside of the mouth. They may ask the individual questions about their eating habits.

Sometimes, teeth or gum problems can increase the risk of canker sores. A dentist can examine the mouth and suggest possible treatments.

Canker sores vs. cold sores

Both canker sores and cold sores are small, painful lesions that cause a burning or tingling sensation.

However, canker sores appear inside the mouth while cold sores appear outside it, usually around the lips.

The herpes simplex virus causes cold sores. They are contagious and spread through close contact, such as kissing or sharing a drink. Canker sores are not contagious.


A canker sore in the throat can be more difficult to treat than one in the mouth. A medicated mouthwash may help if it is hard to apply a cream or gel directly onto the ulcer.

People who are prone to canker sores may find that they appear repeatedly. Avoiding foods that can irritate the throat and trying to reduce stress can help limit the frequency.


It is advisable to see a doctor if a minor canker sore does not clear up within 2 weeks.

by Medical News Today

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Causes And Symptoms Of Sore Tongue

Most people experience a sore tongue at some point in their lives. Usually, a sore or swollen tongue is not a cause for concern, but it can be uncomfortable and painful in certain cases.

Causes and Symptoms of Sore Tongue

There are a number of reasons as to why your tongue may be sore. Usually not a major health emergency, a painful tongue goes away on its own. Below are common causes that can contribute to your tongue feeling sore:

Bites or injuries: Accidentally biting down on your tongue while eating can cause injury and swelling. For those prone to seizures, teeth often bite down on the tongue and result in injury.

Oral thrush: A fungal infection caused by Candida, the condition often leaves painful white or yellow lesions on the tongue. Your doctor or dental professional may recommend antifungal medication for treatment.

Canker sores: A small, round bump usually making an appearance on the tongue, inner cheeks, or inner lips, can make eating or talking painful. Canker sores are not contagious and usually go away on their own.

Cold sores: Highly contagious, these blisters are caused by the herpes simplex virus and can appear on the outside of the mouth. In some cases, a cold sore can cause pain and a burning sensation on the tongue.

Burning mouth syndrome: A condition that results in burning, numb, or tingling sensations on the tongue. The syndrome is often painful and can last years with no visible indications. See your doctor or dental professional for a more accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

Geographic tongue: Known as benign migratory glossitis, the condition occurs when the bumps on the tongue, papillae, disappear and create a map-like appearance. Some people experience burning or pain that can be curbed with topical numbing medications.

Tongue tumors: A sore spot or lump on the tongue, a tumor can cause swelling, numbness, pain, and bleeding. If you think you may have a tongue tumor, see your doctor right away.

Nutritional deficiency: A Vitamin B-12, iron, or hemoglobin deficiency can lead to a sore, burning tongue. Multivitamin supplements and a proper diet can help alleviate the condition.

Allergies: Reactions to certain foods, bug bites, and other allergies can result in a swollen tongue. A severe reaction can inhabit breathing and must be treated right away.

Maintain Good Oral Habits

Keeping your oral health intact is key in tracking your tongue’s appearance, avoiding infections, and treating problems early.

Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste

Use an electric toothbrush for additional plaque and tartar removal

Replace brush heads and manual toothbrushes every three months

Floss every day

Visit your dentist at least twice a year

Use an alcohol-free mouthwash if your tongue is sensitive or you’re prone to dry mouth

Use a tongue scraper tool to better clean the muscle, but avoid aggressive scraping

Sore or swollen tongue usually goes away on its own with proper oral care. If you notice any changes on your tongue, unexplained inflammation, or persistent pain then see your doctor or dental professional right away.

by Crest

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Top Reasons Why You May Have A Bump On Your Gums

It can be alarming when you notice a bump on your gums, especially if it’s painful. While any time you experience changes in the soft tissues of your mouth or have oral pain, you should visit your dentist, not every bump is a sign of a serious issue. In this post, we’ll cover the causes and what to do to get relief. 

Why Is There a Bump on My Gums?

Here are a few common reasons why you might have a bump:

An Abscess – An extremely sensitive, painful bump on your gums that looks like a pimple is likely an abscess. An abscess is due to a bacterial infection and occurs as pus collects under the gum, forming a bump or boil. 

There are different types of abscesses, including a periodontal abscess, which is usually caused by periodontitis (advanced gum disease), and a periapical abscess, which is an infection at the tip of your tooth’s root from tooth decay or an injury. A periapical abscess usually presents as a bump on the gums above or below the affected tooth.

If you do have an abscess, it will often be accompanied by other symptoms including:

Swollen gums

Bad breath

Sensitivity to hot and cold




Facial swelling

Persistent pain that may spread to the ear, jaw and neck

It’s important to have an abscess evaluated and treated. It won’t go away on its own. While it can drain and provide temporary relief, the infection will still be present and can spread to the jaw and supporting tissues. In rare cases, a dental infection can reach the brain and cause serious health complications. 

Treatment for an abscess will involve treating the infection, whether through periodontal care or a root canal, and, sometimes, antibiotics. We might also drain the abscess to give you immediate relief. 

A Canker Sore – We’ve had patients at our Naperville dental practice visit worried they had an abscess and it turned out they had a canker sore, or aphthous ulcer. Even though canker sores are benign and don’t cause serious issues, they can be extremely painful.

A canker sore usually looks like a flattish, yellow or white bump or blister on the gums surrounded by a red border. The sores can appear in a cluster and they make talking and eating difficult. 

Canker sores are not contagious and no one knows exactly what causes them, though it’s thought that the following can play a role:


Vitamin deficiencies

Food allergies



Mouth injuries

Certain medications 

The mouth ulcers don’t usually require treatment and tend to resolve on their own within two weeks. 

Cyst – A cyst will look like a small, liquid-filled bubble, or bump, on the gums. Dental cysts tend to pop up around the root of diseased, malpositioned or impacted teeth. Many times, cysts are painless. However, they can grow larger and put pressure on the teeth and jaw or become infected, both of which will cause pain. 

While you should have a cyst looked at by your Naperville general dentist, whether it requires treatment or not will depend on its cause and size. Most cysts resolve on their own, however, some need to be removed surgically. 

Oral Fibroma – An oral fibroma appears as a smooth, hard bump on the gums. A fibroma is a tumor-like mass of connective tissue that’s almost always benign. Fibromas develop when an area of the mouth is constantly irritated or traumatized, such as from a habit like biting the inside of your cheek or from ill-fitting dentures or another oral appliance.

Treatment will depend on the size, location, type and cause of the fibroma. You may need to have your dentures or oral appliance re-fitted so that it stops irritating your mouth. 

Though fibromas aren’t usually painful, if they get larger, they can become easily irritated, leading to discomfort. In those cases, surgical removal could be recommended. 

Bony Growth – A bony, round, hard bump on the gums is known as a dental torus (or tori plural). It’s a bony protrusion that grows on top of existing bone. The bumps are usually smooth and covered completely in gum tissue. 

The different types of dental tori are classified by their location. For example, a torus mandibularis is located on the inside of the lower jaw on the side nearest the tongue. A torus palatinus is a protrusion from the roof of the mouth, or palate. 

Dental tori don’t usually interfere with function or cause pain. Rarely, a tori will continue growing and become irritated or get in the way of dentures. In these cases, it may need to be removed. 

There isn’t a known cause of bony growths on the gums but some experts think bruxism, genetic factors, diet and/or stress on the jaw from a bad bite may be the cause. 

Oral Cancer – While most bumps are benign, occasionally, a small growth or lump on the gum tissue is a sign of oral cancer. It might be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

A red or white patch on your gums

Thickening of the skin

A sore that bleeds and/or won’t heal

Jaw or tongue pain

Loose teeth

Sore throat

Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Risk factors for oral cancer include:

A family history of oral cancer 

Heavy drinking

Tobacco use

Having human papillomavirus (HPV) 

Being over age 40

Having a weakened immune system

A lack of fruit and vegetables in the diet.

Can I Pop a Bump on My Gums?

No. You should never pop a bump on your gums. Even popping a harmless bump will cause irritation and pain, making the situation worse. 

Though an abscess will sometimes drain on its own, popping it can damage the soft tissue and it will release bacteria into your mouth. If an abscess does drain on its own, gently swish with a saltwater rinse to get rid of the foul-tasting liquid and keep your mouth clean. 


How to Get Rid Of Bumps on Gums

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to get rid of bumps on your gums at home, in most cases. You should see your dentist for treatment if the bump doesn’t go away after a few weeks or it is accompanied by the signs of an abscess or oral cancer we noted above. 

While you’re waiting to see your dentist, you can alleviate pain by:

Swishing with a saltwater rinse (½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water)

Avoiding irritating the bump when brushing or flossing or wearing an appliance

Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever as needed

Sticking with a soft foods diet

To prevent painful bumps on your gums in the future:


Practice good oral hygiene

Break repetitive habits that cause oral irritation like biting the inside of your cheek or grinding your teeth

Maintain a well-rounded, healthy diet

Manage stress

Avoid heavy drinking and using tobacco products

Keep up with regular dental exams and cleanings

by Naperville Dental Specialists

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Plaque And Tartar On Teeth: Causes, Types, And Removal

Just as many people ask “what is plaque on teeth?” as “what is tartar on teeth?” So we’re going to take a look at both. While you’ve probably heard that each of these is bad, you might not have learned exactly what they are. In this article, we’ll answer all your questions, from “what does plaque vs tartar on teeth look like?” to “what causes plaque and tartar and how do they build up?” Most importantly, we’ll address how to prevent plaque and tartar buildup on teeth and how to remove them once and for all. Let’s take a look at all you need to know about dental plaque and tartar.

What is plaque? And what is tartar?

Let’s begin with the basics. What is plaque? And what is tartar? Well, they’re actually two different things, let's start by taking a look at plaque: what is it and what is it made of? The dental plaque that you can find on teeth is a sticky and colorless layer that builds up on the tooth surface due to the accumulation of bacteria and food debris. Among other oral diseases, the accumulation of bacterial plaque is the main cause of cavities and gingivitis, hence its need for removal.

Next, what is tartar and what does it look like on teeth? The tartar on teeth is simply the calcification of dental plaque, which is why it's also referred to as dental calculus. While bacterial plaque is colorless, tartar is usually yellowish or brown. When we don't brush our teeth properly, the accumulation of plaque can solidify, giving rise to tartar. Tartar or dental calculus can build up on or between the teeth and in the gums, where it is more difficult to remove.

What is the difference between plaque and tartar on teeth?

Essentially, tartar is the next level of plaque. Unlike plaque, which is sticky, tartar is hard.

Their consistencies go hand in hand with another main difference between plaque and tartar: plaque removal from teeth is simple vs tartar removal, which is a bit more complicated. If you have tartar buildup on or between your teeth, you’ll need to go to the dentist immediately in order to remove it and prevent possible dental diseases.

So overall, when discussing plaque vs tartar on teeth, tartar is the progressed and more dangerous plaque.

How does plaque or tartar buildup form and what is it made of?

Bacterial plaque is formed by the accumulation of food debris on the tooth surface, which is colonized by various bacteria found in the oral cavity that feed on these debris. So, what exactly is the plaque on teeth made of? Just that; the combination of food remains, along with bacteria and other elements. They build up on the teeth and create the sticky substance known as dental plaque.

Your next question might be, so how does tartar form and build up? Tartar or dental calculus buildup forms when dental plaque is not cleaned. When the bacterial plaque comes into contact with saliva, there is a reaction that calcifies the plaque, turning it into tartar. Tartar buildup on or between the teeth should be avoided at all costs, as we mentioned earlier, because it’s more difficult to remove and more dangerous to your oral health.

What causes dental plaque and tartar buildup on teeth?

Now that we understand what they are, we need to look at what causes dental plaque and tartar buildup on teeth. The main cause of dental plaque is usually not maintaining good oral hygiene. If plaque is not properly removed by brushing and using floss, it will accumulate and calcify, forming tartar or calculus teeth. Since both are interrelated, it could be said that poor oral hygiene is also the main cause of tartar on teeth.

That being said, when talking about what causes plaque and tartar on teeth, we should also consider that sometimes oral hygiene can be difficult to maintain, like with braces. Plaque caused by braces is relatively frequent, since these devices make it difficult to thoroughly brush the teeth and gums, and may facilitate the buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth around the device.

Although poor oral hygiene is the main cause of both, it is also true that plaque and tartar on the teeth don’t come from bad brushing exclusively. There are other factors that can influence their development, for example, if we eat a lot of sugar, the pH of our saliva will be altered and we're more likely to create and accumulate dental plaque and tartar buildup. On the other hand, there are people who naturally have a more acidic pH, which creates the ideal climate for plaque and other oral diseases such as cavities.

Types of bacterial plaque and dental calculus on teeth

Depending on where the problem is located on the teeth, there are different types of dental plaque and calculus. Let’s take a look at the types below.

Types of plaque on teeth

Dental plaque can be located in various places in the mouth, and depending on where it accumulates, determines the type. Let’s take a look at the types of bacterial plaque on teeth:

Marginal plaque is on top of the tooth's surface

Coronal plaque is located plaque on the border of the teeth and gums

Subgingival plaque accumulates in the pits of the gingival sulcus and within the periodontal pockets, causing tartar pockets in the gums.

Types of tartar or dental calculus

Like plaque, tartar or dental calculus can also appear in various places around the mouth, but unlike plaque, there are only two types of dental calculus:

Supragingival tartar is found on the border of the gums and teeth

Subgingival tartar accumulates under the gums, and can form in the periodontal pockets.

How to remove plaque and tartar from teeth

How to remove plaque buildup from teeth

Want to know how to get rid of plaque buildup? When it comes to the removal of plaque on teeth, we need to maintain proper dental hygiene, brushing and flossing after every meal. In addition, we can complement this with clinic visits for professional dental cleaning from time to time. We can count on these to achieve a deeper cleaning of the oral cavity. So luckily, knowing how to get rid of plaque buildup doesn’t require much.

How to remove tartar from teeth

Wondering how to get tartar off teeth? Unfortunately, calculus teeth or tartar removal is not as simple as cleaning dental plaque. To remove hard tartar from the teeth you will have to go to your dentist. During the consultation, the hygienist or dentist will perform a dental cleaning in the event that calculus is found on the dental surface, breaking the tartar off the teeth. But if you want to know how to remove tartar from teeth when it's found under the gums, a tartarectomy or dental curettage will be necessary for tartar removal. With the help of a curette or an ultrasonic cleaner, the professional will help you remove the tartar by breaking it off your teeth and gums.

How to avoid and prevent plaque and tartar buildup

Now, the most important part, how to avoid plaque buildup and how to prevent it from turning into tartar. For starters, good hygiene is vitally important. It's as simple as using the toothbrush with toothpaste and dental floss after meals. This way we can avoid the accumulation of plaque, the formation of tartar and the diseases that may arise. Also, remember that professional dental cleanings are a great resource in avoiding and preventing plaque and tartar buildup.

by Smile 2 Impress

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What Causes Submandibular Gland Swelling?

Most of us treat our salivary glands with an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality. But if something goes wrong with them, we'll quickly notice the problem. We rely on these glands to supply the saliva we need to chew, swallow and speak and to wash food debris away from our teeth. Submandibular gland swelling can be associated with dry mouth, infection and other conditions. However, most causes of gland swelling can be treated.

Where Are the Submandibular Glands?

Firstly, what is the submandibular gland? There is one walnut-sized submandibular gland on each side of the face, just in front of the curve of the lower jaw at the back of the mouth. Along with your other salivary glands, these glands supply saliva that contains enzymes to help break down food and minerals that reduce the damaging effects of food acids on your tooth enamel. Saliva also makes the food you chew wet and easy to swallow.

Causes of Submandibular Gland Swelling

If you feel swelling underneath your lower jaw, it could be a swollen submandibular gland. Swollen submandibular glands are usually caused by tiny stones blocking the ducts that channel saliva into the mouth. According to the Merck Manual, these stones can develop from the salts in saliva, especially if a person is dehydrated. When a stone blocks a salivary gland, a condition known as sialolithiasis, an individual may experience swelling and pain over the affected gland. Why these stones form isn't clearly known, though they can be associated with liver disease and gout. According to The Journal of Medical Research, sialolithiasis is the most common salivary gland disease, and the submandibular gland is affected in 83 percent of cases.

Salivary gland infections can result from blocked ducts. In these cases, swelling of the gland may be accompanied by redness and pus.

More rarely, salivary gland swelling occurs due to a tumor. Merck Manuals explains that swelling caused by a cancerous or noncancerous tumor on the salivary glands may be firmer than swelling caused by an infection. A cancerous tumor will likely be very hard and fixed to the gland tissue, while a noncancerous tumor may be movable.

See your dentist to determine what's causing your submandibular gland swelling. They will help you put an effective treatment plan in place.

Treatments for Swollen Salivary Glands

Early treatment of a swollen salivary gland — particularly when caused by a stone — could save you from developing an infection. The National Health Service recommends increasing your saliva production by drinking plenty of water and chewing sugar-free gum. The Government of Alberta suggests gently massaging the stone to help dislodge it.

If you are unable to treat it at home, your doctor or dentist may be able to push the stone out by pressing the submandibular gland or pull it out by using a small instrument, according to Merck Manuals. In rare cases, the stone may need to be removed surgically. If you suffer from a condition that causes salivary gland stones, receiving treatment to alleviate other symptoms may also reduce your risk of developing stones.

If you have an infection in your submandibular gland, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics and, if necessary, drain any pus from an abscess. Swelling caused by a tumor can be addressed by removing the tumor through a surgical procedure. Cancerous tumors should be treated urgently and will likely require monitoring.

To ease the pain of submandibular gland swelling, apply a warm compress to the gland area and rinse your mouth with salt water.

How to Prevent Salivary Gland Swelling

Maintaining a thorough oral care routine reduces mouth bacteria and is an effective first step in preventing swollen salivary glands. Increase your water intake and avoid smoking and using chewing tobacco, because these habits may increase your risk of mouth infections.

Submandibular gland swelling may be caused by a blocked salivary gland that can be easily treated. However, make sure to see your doctor or dentist for an accurate diagnosis to assess this oral care condition.

by Colgate

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Six Gums Symptoms You should not Ignore

Gum disease affects a large number of Americans but it is surprisingly easy to ignore its signs. Since many people often focus their attention on issues with their teeth and since gum disease is often painless, the signs of gum disease can be ignored until they’re very severe. Unfortunately, while it is easy to disregard the symptoms of gum disease, its consequences are not; indeed, gum disease is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. Fortunately, paying attention to the early symptoms of gum disease can allow you to deal with the issue before it leads to more serious effects.


Maintaining a regular tooth brushing regimen in conjunction with frequent flossing is both the best way to prevent gum disease and a chance to detect symptoms of gum disease before they become severe. Here are six signs that you shouldn’t neglect gum disease.

1. Pain

While typically the pain does not develop until gum disease has increased in severity, any pain in your gums should not be ignored; for many people, the first symptom of gum disease they notice is tenderness or discomfort in the gums or teeth.

2. Swollen gums

While safe disease-free gums look solid and pink in color, gums that have gum disease can swell, turning red or purple in color.

3. Bad taste in the mouth

Do you have in your mouth a persistent bad taste that won’t go away no matter how much mouthwash you ‘re using? It might just be a symptom of gum disease.

4. Bad breath that persists

Bad breath that doesn’t dissipate with daily tooth brushing or flossing can be a symptom of gum disease, like an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

5. Bleeding gums

Normally, healthy gums don’t bleed from daily tooth brushing or flossing; if your teeth bleed during your usual oral hygiene routine, you may have developed gum disease.

6. Lose teeth or spaces that grow between teeth

Changes to the spacing of the teeth are one of the more severe possible effects of gum disease. As your gums decay due to the effects of gum disease, spaces between your teeth can grow. This may allow pockets to grow which will cause bacteria to build up in your mouth. In turn, when you close your mouth or cause your teeth to feel loose, those pockets can affect the way your teeth line up.

What to do if you have these symptoms

If you are exhibiting any of the above gum disease symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist.

by Pacific NW Dental

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Sugar Habit? How to Curb It and Prevent Tooth Decay Symptoms

Who doesn’t love the rush of sugar a fizzy drink or a piece of candy offers? Most people consume a fair amount of sugar each day. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, you should limit added sugars to 10 percent of your daily calories. However, many people’s added sugar intake exceeds this limit. Unfortunately, consuming high quantities of sugar can result in tooth decay symptoms, such as dental caries (commonly known as cavities), gum recession, and tooth sensitivity. The good news is that you don’t have to cut out sugar. By just cutting back on the amount of sugar in your diet, you can avoid having tooth decay.

How Do Sugars Cause Tooth Decay?

Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on the surface of your teeth. When you consume sugary foods or drinks, the bacteria in plaque will produce acids. These acids will attack your tooth enamel. The stickiness of plaque keeps these acids in close contact with your teeth, ultimately destroying your tooth enamel. This is when cavities can form.

If plaque stays on your teeth, it hardens into tartar, which can cause gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease.

Which Sugars Cause Tooth Decay?

When sugars are added to foods to sweeten them, they add calories but don’t add any nutritional value. They are known as added sugars, unlike the naturally occurring sugars that exist in fruits and milk. Foods like candy, cookies, cakes, and muffins not only offer no nutritional value, the high amount of sugar they contain can adhere to your teeth, resulting in tooth decay. Sugar-containing drinks, including sodas, juice, sweetened coffee, or tea, are also very harmful because they provide a constant sugar bath for your teeth.

You might wonder if all types of added sugars cause tooth decay. For instance, you might be curious if dextrose (a type of sugar that comes from corn) is bad for your teeth. The answer is yes. While refined sugar found in candy or sweetened cereals is typically the most harmful, all added sugars can create plaque and cause tooth decay. This is especially the case when they’re consumed in excess.

Tips to Prevent Tooth Decay

Swap Added Sugars with Natural Sugars. While it might be nice to treat yourself now and then with a dessert, try to reduce the number of times in a day or week that you consume added sugars. Replace them with fruit. Remember that unsweetened cranberries, raspberries, and blackberries have the lowest amount of sugar, while mangoes have the highest.

Check the Food Labels. Don’t forget to check the labels on everything you buy so that you can avoid foods with high quantities of added sugar. Since ingredients are typically listed in order of weight, if a type of added sugar is listed as one of the first few ingredients, it’s likely that that food is high in sugar and should be avoided.

Have a Good Oral Care Routine. Along with paying attention to your diet, it’s also essential to follow a thorough oral care routine to prevent tooth decay naturally. If you don’t brush regularly, plaque builds up on your teeth, increasing your chance to experience tooth decay. That’s why it’s important to brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth with floss or another type of interdental cleaner.

Sugar can be hard to avoid, but paying close attention to what foods you’re buying and eating can help you stay away from tooth decay. Avoid added sugars and instead, have some raspberries for dessert. And of course, maintaining good oral hygiene will leave you with a healthy mouth for many years to come.

by Colgate

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What Your Mouth is Telling You – Symptoms And Warning Signs of Possible Diseases

Even when you feel physically well, your mouth could be telling a different story by revealing some warning signs of possible disease.

When the inside of your mouth becomes sore or painful, chances are, it’s trying to tell you something, and several conditions could be oral warning signs of bigger issues. Don’t ignore your symptoms—a serious illness could be brewing and delaying treatment could worsen it. It is not unusual for these early warning signs to be detected during your regular dental exam and is often the first opportunity for diagnosis and treatment.

1. Thrush

White streaks or lesions on the inside of your mouth or throat or on your tongue may indicate a case of thrush. This is an oral yeast infection that occurs in both adults and children. The environment in your mouth is receptive to this disease when the yeast that normally resides there goes off balance, and an infection develops. Thrush most often occurs when the immune system is weak from chemotherapy treatments or steroid drugs.

Thrush is normally treatable if you are in good health. If left untreated, patches of these lesions can affect your ability to eat and swallow. When thrush continues to reoccur, even after treatment, it can be a symptom of an undiagnosed disease like diabetes or AIDS and should be investigated by your family doctor.

2. Oral Cancer

Most oral cancers begin as thin, flat cells known as squamous cells. They can appear as red or white patches, or a combination of both, lining the throat, tongue, lips and other areas of the mouth. It can feel like a lump or an irritation or even cause numbness in the tongue. Other symptoms include difficulty chewing or swallowing, or feeling like something is stuck in your throat.

Oral cancer becomes increasingly more common as people get older, usually after the age of 40. Risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, and exposure to sunlight. Part of your routine dental checkup includes a screening for oral cancer. Depending on the results, your dentist may refer you to your primary doctor or another specialist.

3. Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Mouth blisters, fever, sore throat and loss of appetite are all signs of hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD). The disease originates from a virus and is common in children, but can quickly spread to adults through contact with saliva or blister fluid. Lesions are more common in the mouth but they can also develop on your hands and feet.

Your dentist can be the first to spot HFMD, as oral lesions are the first clinical signs that it exists. It can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

4. Diabetes

Red, sore, and bleeding gums are signs of gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease), but did you know they also can be a symptom of diabetes? If sore gums are accompanied by chronic bad breath and oral fungal infections, it may signal that something else is going on.

The high blood glucose levels that accompany diabetes allow germs to build up, and can eventually lead to tooth loss. In this case, more than one disease could be at work. When gingivitis is left untreated, it leads to periodontitis, a gum infection that creates deep pockets of germs and pus between the teeth. Treatment depends on how much to the teeth, gums, or jawbone has already sustained. Your dentist will discuss both non-surgical and surgical treatment options. You may also need blood work and medication from your family’s physician.

Your mouth can speak volumes about you and your health. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis for preventative dental care will ensure that your mouth is being well taken care of.

by Arkansas Family Dental

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How To Floss Your Back Teeth

If you’re brushing your teeth without flossing, you’re leaving the job half-finished! While brushing is a great way to remove plaque, tartar, food debris, and oral bacteria, it is not enough to completely clean your mouth on its own.

This is because a simple brushing cannot reach in-between the teeth. Flossing is the only way to remove plaque and bacteria from areas in between your gums and teeth. This is often a challenge for many patients, particularly when it comes to flossing your back teeth. Here are a few tips and tricks from the team at Honest Teeth that will make flossing your molars a bit easier:

Start With The Proper Length Of Dental Floss And Good Technique

Proper flossing technique is critical for cleaning your rear molars. To floss, you’ll want to dispense about 18-24 inches of dental floss from your container. Then, wrap the ends around your index and middle fingers.

Pull the floss between each of your teeth in a “sawing” motion to dislodge debris and clean the surface of the tooth. Need an example? This video from eHowhealth provides a great visual of proper flossing technique.

Use A Longer Piece Of Floss To Reach Your Back Teeth 

When it’s time to move onto your rear teeth, it can be helpful to use a slightly longer piece of floss. Unwind the floss from your fingers somewhat, so that you can use the longer length for more maneuverability. 

Consider A Floss Pick If You’re Having Trouble With Your Rear Teeth 

If you are having trouble flossing your back teeth due to issues with manual dexterity or a strong gag reflex, a floss pick may be a viable alternative to traditional floss.

Floss picks use a hard, plastic head with a piece of floss stretched between its two tips, and they have been proven to be nearly as effective as traditional floss at safeguarding the health of your gums, so they are a viable alternative if you are struggling with proper flossing technique.

A Water Flosser May Also Be A Good Option 

Water flossers, such as the widely-known WaterPik, have been proven to be very effective at removing plaque from the teeth. If you are having problems flossing your rear teeth with traditional dental floss or a floss pick, a water flosser may be a good option for you. 

Flossing Is Better Than Not Flossing, No Matter How You Do It! 

Whether you use traditional dental floss, floss picks, or even a water flosser like the WaterPik, the most important thing to do is floss regularly with your chosen product. Regular flossing along with proper brushing is the single best way to protect your oral health.

by Honest Teeth

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Brushing, Flossing Could Help Shield Your Brain From Dementia

Add risk of developing memory problems later in life to the list of consequences linked to poor oral health.

Not taking care of your mouth and teeth has already been associated with heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and preterm birth. Now, a new study finds that folks with gum disease or tooth loss have evidence of shrinkage within the hippocampus, a brain area essential for memory.

"Retaining more healthy teeth without periodontal disease may help to protect brain health," said study author Dr. Satoshi Yamaguchi, an associate professor at Tohoku University Graduate School of Dentistry in Sendai, Japan.

The new study was not designed to say how, or even if, the number of healthy teeth or gum disease status causes dementia or memory problems, but previous research suggests that simmering inflammation may be a smoking gun.

"It has also been suggested that the pathogen of periodontal disease itself may invade the brain and damage nerve tissue," Yamaguchi said. "Fewer teeth reduce chewing stimulation, which can also lead to brain atrophy."

The new study included 172 people (average age: 67) with no memory problems at the outset. Participants had dental exams and took memory tests when the study started. They also had brain scans to measure the volume of the hippocampus at outset and again, four years later. Researchers also counted the number of teeth and checked for gum disease.

People with mild gum disease who had fewer healthy teeth and those with severe gum disease who had more healthy teeth showed a faster rate of shrinkage in the left hippocampus.

The increase in the rate of brain shrinkage due to one less tooth was equivalent to nearly one year of brain aging for people with mild gum disease, the study found.

Among folks with severe gum disease, an increase in brain shrinkage due to one more tooth was equivalent to 1.3 years of brain aging.

"It is important to retain more teeth, but retaining more teeth with severe periodontal disease may be detrimental to the brain," Yamaguchi said.

"Regular dental visits are important to control the progression of periodontal disease, and teeth with severe periodontal disease may need to be extracted and replaced with appropriate dentures," he said.

The study was published online July 5 in Neurology.

The message is clear: Take care of your oral health, said Dr. Saul Pressner, a dentist in private practice in New York City who reviewed the findings.


"Generally, good oral hygiene, flossing daily, using a water flosser, and regular twice-yearly dental checkups can all help prevent the onset and progression of periodontal disease," Pressner said.

Percy Griffin, director of scientific engagement at Alzheimer's Association, also reviewed the findings.

"This research adds to existing evidence connecting oral health and cognition," Griffin said. "We've previously seen some data to date linking periodontal diseases and cognitive decline, but this research looks specifically at the number of teeth."

Still, more research is needed in larger and more diverse groups of people to draw any definitive conclusions, Griffin said.

"We don't know at this time whether things like brushing your teeth will reduce your risk of developing cognitive decline as you age," he said. "What we can say is good oral hygiene is important for overall health and healthy aging."

Griffin noted that there are several other modifiable lifestyle risk factors, including exercise and diet, that can reduce your risk for thinking and memory problems as you age.

What This Means for You

What's good for your oral health also benefits your brain. Brushing and flossing may help preserve brain areas critical to thinking and memory.

by Denise Mann

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What Causes Bleeding Gums?

Are your gums bleeding or inflamed? Don't panic. It's common and usually treatable with a dentist's help. There are six main reasons why your gums may be bleeding when you eat or brush your teeth, so let's break them down.

Gum Disease

Gum Disease or Gingivitis is the main cause of bleeding gums. Signs of gingivitis include:

Gum Bleeding

Puffy Gums

Redness around the gum line

If left untreated, gum disease can lead to a more significant gum condition known as periodontal disease. In time, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, but brushing and flossing regularly can help prevent gum disease from developing.

Health Conditions

Some health problems, including vitamin deficiencies and generalised bleeding disorders can cause bleeding gums. If you have such as disorder, tell your doctor about any new bleeding so they can make sure there's no underlying issue. Hormone changes, such as during pregnancy can increase inflammation around the gums, which might cause bleeding. Luckily this type of bleeding is usually temporary- just make sure you maintain good oral hygiene.


Certain medications can make you more prone to bleeding. Medicines that might cause bleeding gums include:

Antiplatelet drugs eg. Aspirin




Don't stop taking medicine without speaking to your doctor, but make them aware of your situation.

Brushing Technique

It's great to brush your teeth twice a day- in fact, it's recommended. however the gum tissue is delicate and brushing too hard might cause some bleeding. Make sure you're using gentle circular motions rather than aggressive back and forth movements.

Dental Surgery

Have you recently had oral surgery such as wisdom tooth removal? It's not uncommon for gums to bleed as part of the healing process, but contact your dentist if it's heavy or especially painful.

Dentures and Braces

If your dentures or braces don't fit properly, they'll irritate the gum tissue. Your dentist can adjust these devices, so make an appointment if your dentures or braces are too tight or loose.

Treating Bleeding Gums

Treatment depends on the underlying problem, but here are some tips for managing the condition.

Book professional cleaning twice annually at your dentist

Switch to an electric toothbrush for more effective cleaning

Floss or use interdental brushes to remove food particles.

by Sleep Dentistry Melbourne

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Bad Teeth May Cause Serious Health Problems

Everyone wants a friendly smile, and perfect teeth make that so much easier to achieve. But the impact of bad teeth on your life goes far beyond aesthetics. A less-than-perfect smile could contribute to a number of overall health risks. Some of the problems associated with crooked and damaged teeth are preventable, while others can be managed with orthodontic procedures.

In all cases, good oral hygiene and taking care of your teeth help prevent serious health problems, but what happens when you have poor dental health?

How Crooked Teeth Can Affect Your Health

There's a difference between crooked teeth and teeth that are "bad" on account of cavities, neglect or gum problems. Each of those problems could have an effect on your health. Misaligned teeth, also known as malocclusion, like an over or underbite, could lead to the following health issues:

Excessive wear on certain areas of the teeth

Teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) that could result in headaches

Temporomandibular joint disorders that can cause strain on the jaws, teeth and facial muscles

Difficulty brushing and flossing, resulting in dental caries and gum problems.

While many of these outcomes can be prevented with timely care, oral conditions, such as gum problems and dental caries, can lead to other medical issues.

Conditions Related to Poor Dental Health

An unhealthy mouth, regardless of the cause, could trigger problems like gum or periodontal disease, gum problems, tooth loss, mouth sores and a build-up of plaque. All of these issues introduce germs into your mouth, which can affect your entire body and lead to serious medical conditions, such as:

Respiratory infections. Patients with dental caries and periodontal disease constantly breathe in germs from tooth cavities and problematic gums, and over time this can lead to respiratory tract infections, pneumonia and pulmonary diseases, such as COPD, according to a study in the Journal of Periodontology.

Diabetes. This condition creates a "two-way street", with diabetes sufferers having an increased risk of gum problems due to a compromised immune system that makes them more susceptible to bacterial infections. At the same time, a patient with severe gum problems could have a stronger chance of developing diabetes, because efficient blood sugar control becomes more challenging.

Dementia. It may sound surprising, but there's even a link between dementia and oral health. A report published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows a correlation between tooth loss in seniors and poor performance in memory and walking speed.

The risks presented by poor dental health make it imperative to maintain a healthy mouth. If you have crooked teeth or a bad bite, it may be worth your while to consider orthodontic treatment to correct the problem. For other types of bad teeth, oral hygiene is paramount. Brush and floss daily to keep your mouth clean, and protect and soothe sore gums with regular use of an antiseptic mouthwash.

Keep your mouth healthy and take care of your teeth throughout your life, and you'll reap the long-term benefits in the form of a pain-free mouth and overall body health.

by Colgate

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What Not To Do When Brushing Your Teeth

Everyone knows how important oral hygiene is, so we are going to go over common mistakes people make when brushing their teeth, by telling you what not to do!

What NOT to Do:

1. Don’t Brush Your Teeth just ONCE a day. Millions of bacteria and a significant amount of plaque can grow in your mouth within 24 hours. While most dentists recommend brushing your teeth after each meal, you should at least brush after breakfast at before bed. 

2. Don’t Brush Too Often. This rule may seem to contradict the one above, but what we mean by brushing too often is four or five times a day. Brushing three times a day is ideal, as too much brushing wears away tooth enamel and can irritate your gums. Brushing too often can lead to infection and inflammation.  

3. Don’t Brush at a 90-Degree Angle. Instead, brush at a 45-degree angle. This allows the brush to get close to your gum line, where most dental problems start.

4. Don’t Brush in a Straight Line. Circular motions are best for brushing, as brushing in a back and forth motion can make your teeth rough and dull from ridges in the enamel. 

5. Don’tBrush Too Roughly. Brushing your teeth should not be like using sandpaper on rough wood. Be gentle on your teeth; being too rough can damage enamel and irritate your gums.

6. Don’t Use a Stiff–Bristled Brush. If you haven’t noticed by now, rougher isn’t better. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, which will decrease the trauma to your teeth and gums. It will remove the same amount of “stuff” and it won’t wear down your teeth or gums. 

7. Don’t Floss After Brushing. Floss BEFORE brushing. Flossing removes particles a brush will miss. By flossing before you brush, it exposes surfaces that will benefit from fluoride in toothpaste, which is great for overall oral health. 

by Dental Save

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How to Take Care of Your Teeth When Sick

When you are sick, it’s easy to forget about your oral health. Your body is fighting off illness and germs, and taking care of your teeth seems like it would be a waste of time. But this is when you need to take the most care with your teeth. When you can’t eat or drink generally because of the sickness, brushing your teeth at least once daily will help keep bacteria from attacking your mouth and throat by removing plaque that might form on the teeth. Ideally, it would help if you brushed your teeth after every meal and after swallowing your last drink. Brushing becomes even more critical when you’re sick as bacteria causes plaque to form on the teeth. Sore throats can also make it hard to brush.


Brushing is not just for seeing if any food particles are stuck between your teeth or for the look of your smile. It’s asking you to take care of yourself by removing those bacteria from the surface of your teeth and gums that can cause bad breath and tooth decay. After brushing, you should use fluoride toothpaste because it helps strengthen healthy tooth enamel. Even though you are sick, it’s essential to do your best to keep your teeth as clean and healthy as possible. It can help prevent tooth decay and cavities from forming on the surface of your teeth, making you more likely to have healthier teeth in the future. You can help keep your teeth healthy by brushing with fluoride toothpaste after every meal and after drinking fluids. If a refill is needed, talk with your parents about refilling your prescription at the pharmacy. When you don’t have any problems but brush twice a day, it’s even better for you because plaque is permanently removed. Keep your toothbrush in a hard case and clean it regularly. Avoid sharing toothbrushes with anyone else.

Before brushing, take a warm washcloth and wet it under running water. If you have braces or retainers, wrap them around your finger and gently massage your teeth with side-to-side motions until all of the plaque is removed.

Use fluoride toothpaste designed especially for kids or adults with sensitive teeth. Brush vigorously to remove bacteria from the surface of spaced teeth, followed by small back and forth motions to clean between teeth. Floss daily to help remove plaque that remains on hard-to-reach areas.

Use a soft toothbrush and small bristles, so you are not pressing too hard on your gums. Keep your toothbrush at least six feet from the sink, and do not place it on the counter.

Avoid Sugary Foods

Sugar is not suitable for most people, and you should avoid sugary foods if you are sick. It includes candy, pastries, sweets, soda pop, and fruit juices. Remember to brush your teeth after eating these foods and before going to bed so that when you wake up the following day, they don’t have time to stick to your teeth overnight. Avoid sugary drinks because they can cause tooth decay, just like a piece of candy would.

Stick with Water

When taking care of teeth when sick, stick with fluids such as water, juice, soup, and broth. Drink six to eight glasses of fluids a day. If you cannot drink fluids, try using mouthwash to help keep oral bacteria from attaching.

Look for Alternatives to Soda Pop

Another important factor when you are sick is avoiding sugary sodas. Plain soda pop usually has too much sugar, which makes your body have a craving for more. It can lead to tooth decay and cavities. In addition, traditional soda contains phosphoric acid, which is not suitable for your teeth. Try to drink plenty of water, juice, and soup.

Know When You Need Help

If your mouth is sore or bleeding, you might have a condition such as a dry socket or abrasion. See a dentist immediately to ensure you are not at risk for an infection. If you experience any fever, heavy pain when opening your mouth, swollen gums, or an unusual odor coming from your mouth, seek medical attention without delay. While being sick isn’t the best situation for your teeth, it’s essential to do what you can to keep them healthy and robust so that they continue to protect the health of your entire body throughout life.

Know The Best Medicines to Use When Experiencing Pain In Teeth

The best medicines to use when experiencing pain in the teeth are prescription only. These medications will help minimize the pain and swelling caused by infection. Once the infection has been treated, you can brush your teeth and perform regular mouth care to get them as clean as possible.

How to Brush Your Teeth Without Causing Pain and Swelling

Two parts of your dental routine are a clean toothbrush and toothpaste. The top and bottom of the toothbrush are designed with small bristles on each end that can gently clean between teeth without causing pain or bleeding.


Both regular and electric toothbrushes should be replaced every three months due to bacteria growth and the development of cavities. These bacteria can cause gum disease and other oral illnesses.


Toothpaste comes in various flavors to provide you with variety and pleasure. These flavors are designed to help you improve the way you feel about brushing your teeth. The taste is not as intense as with sugary food or drinks. This toothpaste also provides you with fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay and cavities.

Tips for Regular Dental Care and a Healthy Mouth

To care for yourself when having a cold or flu, there are several ways that you can do so to ensure that the process is quick and painless. The first way to do so is to drink plenty of water. It will help flush your system of any bacteria and will also help moisturize your mouth, ensuring that you have a healthy mouth and are less susceptible to infection. If you are experiencing a sore throat, you should gargle with salt water to soothe and reduce swelling and pain.

If possible, avoid sugary drinking when you are ill, as this can cause tooth decay. Lastly, it is essential to avoid smoking due to the damage it causes to your teeth and gums when combined with an illness. You should also make sure that you brush twice a day if possible, once in the morning and once at night before going to bed. It will ensure that your mouth and teeth are as clean as possible.

Tooth decay is a significant issue that can affect anyone at any time. Many people brush their teeth the wrong way and drink sucrose-laden beverages, which can lead to tooth decay. Having cavities on the surface of your teeth can be painful, especially when you are sick. A dental cleaning is the only way to remove them from the back of your mouth.

by Atlantic Dental Group

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What happens when you ignore an infected tooth?

Your tooth feels sore but you decide to ignore it since the pain comes and goes anyway. Do you often see yourself in this situation? Should you ignore the discomfort?

Don’t wait until your tooth keeps you up at night. If you’re seeing dental pus on your tooth, it’s most likely due to bacterial infection. An abscess or infection can occur due to various reasons. It can be caused by a severe cavity, previous dental work, or injury. 

Your dentist will drain the pus and treat the infection. Depending on the severity of the issue, your tooth may still be saved. Otherwise, you may require an extraction. 

How would you know if you have an infected tooth?

If you feel pain on your teeth that keeps coming back or worsens over time, that may be a sign of an infected tooth. Here are other symptoms to look out for:

Increased sensitivity

Bad breath that doesn’t go away even after brushing


Swelling in the area

Breathing difficulties

Unpleasant taste in the mouth

If you’re having trouble breathing or swallowing, be sure to contact your dentist right away or go to the emergency room. These symptoms may be life-threatening. 

It’s best to get the affected tooth examined as early as possible. This way, you can keep the infection from worsening and prevent the need for comprehensive treatments.

Why you shouldn’t ignore a tooth infection

An abscessed tooth won’t heal on its own. Even if the pus drains naturally, you’ll still need to see your dentist. A severe tooth infection can be potentially life-threatening. 

Here are possible complications when you leave an infected tooth untreated.

Tooth loss. An infected tooth may still be saved with root canal therapy or crown. If the problem persists and you don’t receive proper treatment, the affected tooth will continue to weaken. You may need dental implants to restore tooth function but this option warrants sufficient jawbone. 

Bone infection. The infection can spread to the facial bones, which can then lead to surgical bone removal. Removing the infected bone can help contain the infection. If surgery isn’t necessary, the bone structures may still weaken. This can eventually lead to tooth loss as the jaw struggles to support the teeth. 

Sinus infection. Since the sinuses are connected to the roots of several upper teeth, an infection involving any of these teeth can also affect your sinuses. As the infection spreads, you may experience headaches, eye immobility, or drooping eyelids, among many others. 

Bloodstream infection. If the infection spreads to the entire bloodstream, it can lead to septicemia. The body fights infection by increasing antibodies and supplying more blood to the area. If the infection from the dental abscess spills and reaches the bloodstream, it can circulate throughout the body. This condition is life-threatening and often requires long-term hospitalization. 

Death is the worst possible effect of a tooth infection, but this can be prevented. Even if you’re unsure if your toothache is considered a dental emergency, still get in touch with your dentist. Don’t ignore an infected tooth. Early diagnosis and treatment can be life-saving.

by Centennial Smiles Dental

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Apical Abscess: Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment

Apical abscesses are one of the most common dental abscesses and can develop into serious dental issues. If you experience symptoms, it's essential to visit a dental professional promptly for diagnosis and treatment. Arriving at your appointment armed with a basic knowledge of what the abscess is can also help.

What Is an Apical Abscess?

A dental abscess is your body's inflammatory reaction to an infection in the tooth's nerve. The abscess itself is a collection of pus arising from a source of infection at the tooth's root, which can break through the tissues and discharge into the mouth.


Apical abscess symptoms depend on if the infection is considered to be a chronic or acute apical abscess.

A chronic apical abscess occurs gradually with little or no discomfort and occasional discharge of pus. On an X-ray, a chronic abscess will display bone destruction as dark regions in the bone, also known as radiolucencies.

An acute apical abscess occurs quickly and involves pain without stimulation. Though X-rays may appear normal, symptoms of acute apical abscesses include:

Tooth pain that wakes you up at night

Pain when not chewing

Extreme tenderness to pressure on the tooth

Pus and swelling of surrounding tissues

Malaise, fever, or swollen lymph nodes

Severe dental abscesses can even lead to sepsis, which is a life-threatening infection in the bloodstream. These severe manifestations can require hospitalization.


Your dentist will tap your teeth to assess sensitivity, take X-rays and possibly recommend a CT scan for further evaluation. Your history of symptoms will also aid the diagnosis.

Sometimes, it can be unclear which tooth is causing the abscess. If this is the case, your dentist may insert a gutta-percha point—a flexible material—into the draining opening of the abscess. An X-ray will then trace the opening of the abscess straight to the primary source of infection.


Acute apical abscess treatment starts at the source of infection. Your dental professional may need to drain the infection and deliver antibiotics if the infection has spread for large swellings. For dental abscesses contained in the mouth, your dentist may recommend root canal therapy or extraction of the infected tooth.

If you have any signs of an abscess, it's important to visit a dental professional. An infection can cause severe problems and spread to other regions of the body, making it a higher risk to your health. Arming yourself with this information can help you keep an eye on your dental health and make appointments with your dentist as necessary if an urgent concern arises.

by Colgate

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Can Kissing Affect Your Oral Health for Better or Worse?

Kissing the ones we love is among the most natural expressions of affection. Kisses can be romantic but shared with our children and friends and even used as a greeting. An amorous kiss—which the French call a lover’s kiss and is more crudely referred to as swapping spit—is actually the intertwining of two oral microbiomes. In fact, one study—Shaping the Oral Microbiota Through Intimate Kissing—found that a 10-second kiss can transfer as many as 80 million bacteria and that couples who kiss each other at least nine times a day tend to have a similar microbiome! Kissing also releases endorphins, burns calories, exercises your facial muscles, releases tension, and boosts your immune system.

Kisses: A Biological Exchange

The aforementioned study was conducted by Dutch scientists and published in the journal Microbiome. The researchers discussed how the human mouth can be more home to more than 700 varieties of bacteria and that the people closest to us tend to shape those communities. Your oral bacteria exist not just on your tongue and in your spit but on your teeth, lips, and cheeks. Therefore, even non-amorous kissing can lead to an exchange of biological data, and such bacteria can be both good and bad.

Kisses: The Oral Health Benefits

Some people may get a bit squeamish thinking about how a kiss is an exchange of saliva and bacteria, but there is real health value within such exchanges. Kissing promotes saliva flow, and saliva is essential to keeping the mouth moist and washing away food particles, bacteria, and acid. Your saliva also contains agents that can inhibit bacterial growth as well as the formation of plaque. There are organisms in saliva that help prevent fungal infections, such as oral thrush, and stop the growth of streptococcus mutans, which is a bacterium that is among the leading causes of tooth decay.

Your mouth is an integral aspect of your immune system and is often referred to as the window to systemic health. Kissing exposes you to new bacteria and thus makes your oral microbiome more robust. This makes you more resistant to infections, viruses, diseases, and so forth.

Kisses: The Oral Health Risks

Not all oral bacteria are good for you, and an exchange of bad bacteria can make your mouth less healthy. If your partner has periodontal disease, for instance, the bacteria associated with that disease will be transferred to your mouth and can make you more prone to oral health issues. A person with poor oral health is likely to transfer bacteria that introduce acids, which can result in bad breath and eventually lead to tooth decay. So, while kissing can diversify and strengthen your oral microbiome, kissing many different strangers would likely undermine your oral health overall.

Your oral health risk, however, extends beyond bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay. Kissing is among the fastest and most effective ways to transfer infectious microbes. These microbes include bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses and can spread through your saliva. The Academy of General Dentistry warns that you can share more than 500 disease-causing microbes with just a single kiss! Some of the illnesses that are commonly transferred between kissing partners include:

The Common Cold—Upper respiratory tract infections are caused by a wide range of viruses. You can easily spread your cold to another or vice versa through simple contact with a cold virus.

Mono—Infectious mononucleosis, which is also known as glandular fever and the kissing disease, is an infection caused by the Epstein–Barr virus. It can cause fever, a sore throat, and swollen glands.

Herpes infection—Epstein-Barr is just one virus in the herpes family. There are many others, such as herpes simplex, which causes cold sores, and varicella-zoster, which causes chickenpox.

Hepatitis B—HB is an infectious disease that affects the liver. It is most commonly transmitted through blood, but saliva does carry the HB virus and can infect another.

Meningococcal disease—This disease is a potentially fatal condition that involves acute inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Studies have shown that this disease can usually only be transmitted through deep kissing.

Warts—Warts are transferable through kissing, especially when the trauma is recent.

How to Kiss in Good Health

Kissing can have both a positive and negative impact on your oral health. There are, however, some practices that you can embrace in order to mitigate the downsides.

Be particular. Ideally, you should know something about a person’s oral health and overall health before you kiss them. Be aware that having multiple sexual partners increases your risk.

Bad breath happens to us all on occasion. But be wary when meeting someone new, or the halitosis seems frequent. It can indicate gum disease or tooth decay, which are both transmittable.

Never kiss anyone when you or they are sick or have sores on the mouth.

Be diligent with your oral care. Brush and floss twice a day without fail. Be sure to visit your dentist twice a year to have your oral health examined and your teeth professionally cleaned.

Drink plenty of water. Not only is it great for your overall health, but it helps to avoid bad breath and washes away the food particles, bacteria, and acid that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

Need a breath freshener? Sugar-free xylitol gum is an excellent option. It helps avoid dry mouth, lowers acid levels in the mouth, and makes it more difficult for bacteria to adhere to your teeth.

Avoid kissing babies on the lips. The bacteria linked to tooth decay is not naturally occurring in newborns. It must be introduced, and you can inadvertently do that with a kiss on the lips.

Kiss With Confidence

Kiss your loved ones with confidence by ensuring the healthiest mouth possible. Great oral health starts at home with diligent oral hygiene.

by Scottdale Dental Excellence

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What a Tooth Sensitive to Pressure Means for Mouth Health

Some people experiencing tooth sensitivity might not be able to handle hot or cold temperatures, while some people might be sensitive to pressure. Biting down on something and feeling pain can be a jarring sensation. Find out what’s causing this sensation and how to treat it so that you can feel comfortable again!

Why Does My Tooth Hurt When I Put Pressure on It?

The most common reason you might be experiencing pain when you put pressure on that tooth is dentin hypersensitivity, also known as tooth sensitivity. Dentin hypersensitivity is caused by the exposure of your dentin (the layer under your tooth enamel). Exposure can be due to the loss of hard dental tissue (erosion or abrasion) or soft tissue loss (gingival recession). As a result, the dentinal tubules are exposed to oral environments, triggering a painful response when you bite into food or apply any other kind of pressure to the tooth.

Dentin sensitivity is not the only thing that can cause pain when you bite down or touch your tooth. This symptom could be caused by decay, a loose filling, or a cracked tooth. It’s also possible that the damage goes beyond the dentin and affects the pulp tissue inside the tooth.

What Treatment Options Are Available to Me?

Since the pain you’re experiencing could be caused by various things, you must consult your dentist as soon as possible. A dentist will determine if your symptoms are being caused by dentin hypersensitivity or if it’s something else. If you are experiencing dentin hypersensitivity, your dentist might recommend using a desensitizing agent that can be applied in-office.

Consulting with your doctor can also help you figure out if you have a cavity or if you need to replace a crown or a filling. Those procedures can take care of the pain symptoms you’re experiencing.

If your tooth is cracked, your dentist will determine if that crack has extended into the pulp. If it has been, the AAE recommends that the tooth be treated with a root canal procedure. A crown is usually placed over it to protect the crack from spreading. Early diagnosis is key here – it can help save your tooth. That’s why it’s essential to see your dentist regularly. They might notice a problem with your teeth that you haven’t yet and help you get treated.

Aside from seeing your dentist regularly, it’s important to keep up a good oral care routine. This should include brushing twice a day and cleaning between your teeth daily with floss or another interdental cleaner. Brushing your teeth correctly is also important to ensure you don’t wear down your enamel and gums.

If your tooth hurts when you put any pressure on it, it’s normal to feel concerned. While many different things could trigger this symptom, the good news is that your dentist can help you figure out what is causing this problem. And remember, urgency is key here. The sooner you get to the dentist’s office, the quicker you’ll get some relief!

by Colgate

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If You’re Making These Brushing Mistakes, Your Immunity Is At Stake

Brush your teeth twice a day to keep your immune system healthy by keeping away the germs from your mouth. But you must do it the right way. Read on to know the common bruising mistakes you should avoid.

Brushing your teeth regularly is not just about getting those perfect smiles, it can an offer more benefits than you can imagine. Keeping your teeth clean not only prevents cavities and bad breath, but it helps ward off many diseases. Interestingly, research also says that brushing your teeth more frequently can limit your calorie intake and help to keeping your weight in check. Brushing our teeth at least twice a day is also crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system.

The base of every tooth is protected by a protective gasket, which prevents bugs from entering the body and cause infection. This means a good oral hygiene is essential to have a better immune system. Oral hygiene involves multiple parts and brushing is the most important one. It helps removes the food particles and plaques attached to the gums and teeth. Plaque is a byproduct of bacteria and sugar, and it leads to tooth decay and gum disease.

Dentists recommend brushing teeth twice a day and flossing one-two times a day. People with diabetes or autoimmune disease must brush and floss more often. One must also visit a dentist at least twice a year.

How poor dental hygiene can compromise your immunity

Tooth decay and gum disease resulting from poor dental hygiene can affect your immune system. The bacteria from your mouth can enter into your bloodstream through diseased gums. In response to this bacterial infection, your immune system triggers the liver to release C-reactive protein or CRP. Usually this protein is released in the body when there is any kind of inflammation. While this process doesn't do any harm, CPR when released in high amount can lead to the development of other health conditions, such as heart disease. Thus, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day to keep your immune system healthy. You may have already developed the habit of brushing your teeth twice daily, but are you doing it the right way? If you are doing it the wrong way, it may harm your gums. Here are some common bruising mistakes you should avoid:

Using A Brush With Hard Bristles

A brush with hard bristles may cause damage to your gums. Some people think that the harder the bristles are, the more they'll clean. But this is not true. In fact, soft bristles can clean your teeth more effectively. Also, choose the brush size that's appropriate for your mouth.

Putting Too Much Force When Brushing

While brushing, be gentle with your teeth as too much force may damage your enamel. Do not keep your brush flat, instead hold the brush at 45-degree angle. Avoid making long strokes, as short, side to side strokes can do the job better.

Using the Same Toothbrush For Months

Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush after every 3-4 months. Once the bristles start wearing out, replace it. If you are sick, the germs can live on the brush. So, get a new brush when you recover.

Rushing To Finish

People usually rush to finish the process. But dentists say one should brush for at least 2 minutes and spend 30 seconds for each quadrant of your mouth.

Not Brushing Your Tongue

Bacteria can reside on your tongue too and that could lead to bad breath. Clean your tongue at least once a day using a brush or a tongue scraper.

Keeping Your Toothbrush Locked

Do not store your toothbrush on the sink counter as this will make bathroom particles to get on it. Always, keep your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet. Also, don't keep your toothbrush locked, let it air dry.

by the Health Site

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Three Of The Most Common Oral Health Issues

Your teeth do more than just make your smile look beautiful. Without your pearly whites, it would be impossible to enjoy your favorite foods or even speak clearly. Unfortunately, there are some common health problems that not only affect your teeth, but your entire mouth. The good news is that once you are aware of them, you can be even more proactive about your oral health. Here are the three most common oral health issues and what you can do to prevent them.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 80% of people have had at least one cavity by age 34. Tooth decay occurs when the enamel that provides protection is gradually broken down. This is usually due to harmful oral bacteria that gradually builds up in your mouth. When these bacteria feed on carbohydrates (simple sugars and starches), they produce acids that create cavities.

What can you do to protect your teeth from decay? Here’s a few tips:

Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once each day to remove plaque, food debris, and bacteria from your mouth.

Watch Your Sugar Intake: Moderation is key when it comes to the sweet stuff. Limiting your consumption of sugar decreases your chances of tooth decay.

Use Fluoride: The most important ingredient to look for is fluoride when choosing a toothpaste. This helps to protect your enamel from decay.

Visit Your Dentist: Your biannual visits allow your dentist to clean the plaque and tartar that are hard to reach yourself.


While gum disease is very preventable, approximately half of U.S. adults who are over the age of 30 are suffering from some stage of it. This condition is when the tissues that hold your teeth into place become infected, usually due to poor oral hygiene. Initial symptoms are usually mild, like swelling and occasional bleeding. Over time, though, gum disease can cause the soft tissues and bone holding the teeth in place to weaken. If the issue goes untreated, you risk possibly losing your pearly whites, as well as the infection spreading into the body.

In addition to the tips listed above, be sure to also avoid tobacco products.


In the United States alone, there are about 54,000 new cases of oral cancer every year.  While smoking and excessive alcohol use are common risk factors for oral cancer, almost anyone can suffer from the disease. Early detection is vital in protecting yourself! During your regular checkups, your dentist can perform an oral cancer screening and check for any abnormalities. Patients who are diagnosed with oral cancer before it has a chance to spread will have a much more favorable prognosis.

While oral health problems can occur, you can do your part to protect your smile! With proactive care and regular visits to your dentist, you will keep your teeth and gums in tip-top condition for years to come.


by The Castleberry Center

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Oral Health And Other Health Issues, Is There A Connection?

Oral health can no longer be separated from overall health. Unless you are free of dental disease, particularly gum disease – and the other oral health issues that harm overall health – you can never be truly healthy.

Gum Disease

Gum disease can increase the risk and severity of many more serious health problems, including heart disease. Thus, you must be clear about this; the effect of dental disease on overall health is far more serious than its relationship to teeth and gums. In fact, moderate to severe gum disease can;

Severely stress the immune system

Lower resistance to other infections

Increase the severity of diabetes

Contribute to respiratory disease

Contribute to low preterm birth weights

Interfere with proper digestion

Actually reduce life expectancy

If gum disease is not acknowledged as an obstacle to achieving overall health, any efforts to treat other existing diseases, improve health, and extend life will not be effective and will fall short of desired goals. Every person who cares about his or her health and every dentist who wants to successfully treat patients must understand this important relationship. The reality is that ‘you cannot be healthy without healthy gums and teeth!’

Other Oral Health Issues that can Harm Overall Health

Along with amalgam fillings and gum disease, there are other oral health issues that can negatively affect systemic health, including:

Infected root canals

Jawbone infections

Non-biocompatible dental materials

The impact of these oral health issues on overall health is determined by the seriousness and duration of each, and how many are present in an individual.

The fact is that is that a large percentage of the population is affected by some, or all of the above oral health problems. For example, an individual could have periodontal disease (the most serious form of gum disease), suffer from chronic mercury poisoning, have an infection from a failed root canal, a jawbone infection, and allergic reaction to dental materials – all present at the same time. Of course, many variables exist, as someone can have advanced gum disease and only have a few amalgam fillings. In that scenario, the effects of gum disease on overall health would be much greater than the effects of mercury. I’m sure you can imagine all of the possibilities that exist – none of them good.

But what is important to consider here is that if you are dealing with any, some, or all of the oral health issues that can damage overall health you should let your Vancouver dentist know about them as he or she may be looking for other causes of your health problems than those related to these oral health issues. That can be frustrating for both you and your dentist. Although there is no way of knowing exactly how much these oral health issues are contributing to your medical problems but that isn’t the point – as there is no doubt they are contributing to them to some degree. If you want to do all you can to improve your oral and overall health it means that you will have to take the necessary steps to work with your East Vancouver dentist to eliminate these oral health problems and repair the damage done by them.

by EastVan Dental

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Five Classifications of Hypophosphatasia

Many factors impact the health of your teeth. You can control some of these factors — like your oral care routine or diet — however, other factors like genetics reside outside of your control and may cause negative effects. Hypophosphatasia is a rare genetic disorder that can weaken bones and teeth. Learn more about the types of hypophosphatasia, its role in oral health, and how it's treated.

What Is Hypophosphatasia?

Hypophosphatasia (HPP) disrupts the process of mineralization of bones and teeth. This inherited disease is caused by a mutation in the tissue nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP) gene. The mutation interferes with the metabolism of alkaline phosphate, which affects the mineralization process and impairs the body's ability to deposit calcium and phosphorous into developing bones and teeth. These minerals help make your bones and teeth rigid, strong, and able to withstand daily use.

What Are the Types of Hypophosphatasia?

HPP is classified by the degree of severity and timing of symptoms, and HPP affects males and females equally. The most severe form of HPP is life-threatening, while the least severe classification only causes dental abnormalities. Generally, the younger the person is when diagnosed, the more severe and problematic the condition. Here are the five types of hypophosphatasia and their symptoms:

Perinatal HPP. The physician will typically diagnose a child with perinatal HPP at birth or with an ultrasound before birth. It manifests as skeletal abnormalities that include deformed chest walls and long bones. On an X-ray, the bones will show signs of hypomineralization, also known as a decrease in mineral content. This type of HPP can be fatal, with a high incidence of stillbirth or death soon after birth.

Infantile HPP. The physician will diagnose a child with infantile HPP by the age of six months. Its main characteristics include rickets and fractures, which are detected by an X-ray. The lack of minerals combined with a defective metabolic process impacts the infant's ability to develop, and this type of HPP can be fatal.

Childhood HPP. The signs and symptoms of childhood HPP appear after six months of age. The physician usually diagnoses it when the child fails to develop and reach motor skill milestones. The most common symptom includes the early loss of baby teeth — including the root — before age five. This differs from normal tooth loss, where the teeth fall out gradually after the roots resorb from age five through the preteen years.

Adult HPP. The adult classification often presents early in life but remains undiagnosed until adulthood. Adult HPP can include unspecific musculoskeletal disorders, slow healing, and frequent fractures of the femur and the foot's metatarsal bones. It manifests as a softening of bones, and adults may lose teeth prematurely or suffer from chronic joint and muscle pain.

Odontohypophosphatasia. The final and least severe category of HPP only affects the teeth. Odontohypophosphatasia symptoms include abnormal tooth development and premature loss of permanent teeth.

How Do You Treat Hypophosphatasia?

Until recently, HPP treatment only included managing and alleviating symptoms caused by the disease. This varied from ventilator support for infants with respiratory insufficiency to low-calcium diets and pain relief techniques. Your physician might also recommend seeking genetic testing and counseling to establish the likelihood of passing the disorder to future generations.

In October 2015, the Food and Drug Administration approved asfotase alfa for use in the United States after clinical trials showed promising results in treating HPP presenting before the age of 18. Asfotase alfa (AA), also known by the brand name Strensiq, is administered through injections. Drug Design, Development and Therapy notes that AA treatment results in improved skeletal mineralization, leading to increased respiratory status and infant survival. It can also alleviate other complications related to bone abnormalities to improve physical function, mobility, and growth.

If you know the HPP gene runs in your family or notice early signs of this disease, seek the advice of a medical professional. Your physician or dental professional can help you determine the best way to alleviate symptoms and take care of your bones and teeth.

by Colgate

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What Is Proper Tongue Posture And Why Does It Matter?

When you think of proper posture, you probably think of sitting up straight. Keeping your back and neck in the proper position is certainly important, but they're not the only parts of your body to be concerned about. You've probably never given any thought to the position of your tongue, but proper tongue posture is important, too. If your tongue isn't in the correct position, you could experience dental and orofacial problems.

An Overview of Proper Tongue Posture

When your tongue is at rest, the tip of your tongue should touch the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth, as a study published in Radiology and Oncology notes. The tip of your tongue shouldn't rest low on the floor of your mouth.

The proper position of the tongue varies during speech, as the textbook Clinical Management of Speech Sound Disorders explains. For example, to make sounds such as "a" and "√¶," the tongue should be held lower than its neutral position. In contrast, to make sounds like "i," "u" and "g," the tongue should be held above its neutral position. The tongue retracts in the mouth to make sounds like "o" or "u."

The Academy of Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy notes that, when swallowing, the tongue should be held against the roof of the mouth. Some children push their tongues forward through their teeth when they swallow, which is an improper tongue positioning known as a tongue thrust, according to Rady Children's Hospital.

Issues Linked to Improper Tongue Posture

Abnormal tongue positioning has been linked to dental and orofacial issues, including problems with tooth alignment and issues with speech.

Speech Issues

The Radiology and Oncology study notes that speech dysfunctions, such as articulation disorders, are linked to poor posture of the tongue. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) reports that people with articulation disorders make speech errors. They may make distorted sounds when they speak, or they may substitute one sound for another.


As the National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains, malocclusion means that the teeth aren't aligned properly. In the Radiology and Oncology study, children with poor tongue posture were reported to have a higher incidence of anterior open bite, a type of malocclusion where the front teeth don't touch when the mouth is shut. This may be because the tongue puts pressure on the teeth, which can shift their position over time.

How Improper Tongue Posture Is Treated

Orofacial myofunctional therapy is a treatment that may help people learn the correct resting posture of the tongue, as the ASHA explains. This treatment, which is performed by speech-language pathologists, may involve exercises that target the tongue. Rady Children's Hospital notes that children should also be encouraged to consciously rest their tongues in the proper position and to be aware of their mouth posture. Correcting improper tongue positioning can help resolve speech dysfunction.

Other complications of improper tongue positioning, such as malocclusion, are addressed by dental professionals. Malocclusion may be treated with braces or other orthodontic appliances, and in rare cases, a dentist may recommend surgery to reshape the jaw, notes the NIH.

Proper posture is important. Just like slouching at your desk isn't good for your back, holding your tongue in an incorrect position isn't good for your dental health. If you're concerned about your tongue posture, talk to your dentist.

by Colgate

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What It Means If Your Teeth Feel Rough

You may have a friend who's a little rough around the edges. Perhaps you saw an early rough cut of a movie. Or maybe you're always telling your kids to stop the rough-housing. These are manageable situations that won't affect your oral health. But when your teeth feel rough, that's a different story. Sometimes this is due to tartar build-up. But often, rough teeth signal an issue with your enamel health and indicate that it may be eroding. Join us as we make this rough situation a little smoother by looking into the causes and prevention options below.

Tooth Enamel

Before diving into the cause and prevention of "rough teeth", we should break down what exactly feels rough when you touch the tooth with your tongue. More than likely, you are feeling the enamel: the outer layer of your teeth. It's the hardest substance in your body and acts as a shield against any germs or harm that could attack your teeth. While enamel is tough and strong, it still has vulnerabilities that can lead to erosion. When enamel erodes (usually from acid), this impacts the smoothness of your teeth. Fortunately, you're able to address and treat the erosion so your enamel is as healthy as possible. In return, your teeth won't feel so rough.

Causes of Enamel Erosion

There are many factors, scenarios, and situations that could be contributing to your enamel erosion and leading to rough teeth. The most likely causes for your enamel erosion include:


Foods with acid can erode your teeth, but citrus fruits (especially lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits) are quite acidic. Although they have health benefits, these foods should be enjoyed in moderation.


The combination of sugar and acid found in nearly every fizzy drink is astounding. Try limiting your intake to 1-2 (or fewer) such beverages per week, rather than making them a daily treat.

Acid reflux

The highly acidic regurgitation from acid reflux doesn't help your enamel. If you suffer from acid reflux, it's best to avoid any foods or drinks that may trigger the unfortunate condition.


Pregnancy is also linked to causing increased acidity, which leads to erosion. Be sure to brush and use mouthwash regularly.


Swimming a lot in a chlorinated pool with the water occasionally coming into contact with your teeth could lead to erosion. It is recommended to let only non-chlorinated water pass through your mouth.

What do all these factors have in common? Acid. It doesn't need to be eliminated, but limited — especially the acid in your diet. Moderation is easier than you may think.

Strengthening Enamel

Can you restore your tooth enamel? Unfortunately, you cannot. However, you can strengthen it through remineralisation. To do this and fortify spots on your teeth that are beginning to erode, you must use oral hygiene products that contain fluoride and calcium.



Many products can protect your teeth and prevent the eroding from getting worse.

Preventing Enamel Erosion

You've learned that you can strengthen your enamel. But what does it take to fortify your teeth to prevent enamel erosion? Good question. There are three big things you can try that should help:

Drink fluoridated water

The fluoride in water helps fight tooth cavities by remaining in your saliva, allowing it to absorb into your enamel.

Chew sugarless gum

By chewing on gum, you stimulate saliva production, which can cleanse your enamel and remineralise your teeth.

Brush with enamel-strengthening toothpaste

Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste designed to harden your enamel and protect against cavities.

There are simple dietary, life, and oral health choices you can make to avoid tooth erosion, strengthen your enamel, and rid yourself of rough teeth. If you're unsure where to start, talk to your dentist. They'll make sure your rough going turns into smooth sailing.

by Colgate

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Rash Around the Mouth? Perioral Dermatitis And What It Means For You

You try to take care of your skin, but despite applying sunscreen and regularly cleansing and moisturising your face, you may still notice a rash around your mouth. As far as skin conditions go, MedlinePlus notes that rashes around the mouth are most likely to affect young women and children, but can ultimately affect anyone. This condition is called perioral dermatitis, and its causes might surprise you. By understanding what it is and how to treat it, you can soothe your rash to reveal healthy, glowing skin once again.

Rash Around the Mouth: Causes

People with sensitive skin are most likely to suffer from perioral dermatitis, as it's generally associated with topical products. This means the very products you use to keep your skin and mouth healthy could be causing your rash break-out. Here are some of the most common causes of the condition:

Topical steroid creams

Inhaled steroids

Poor skin hygiene, such as failing to wash your face regularly

Using too many irritating topical products

Fluoridated toothpaste


Hormonal changes or taking oral contraceptives

An oral infection

Different individuals may experience different symptoms of perioral dermatitis, but it generally manifests as red, flaky skin around the mouth, a burning sensation, bumps, and even an accompanying rash on the nose, forehead and cheeks.

Treatment Options

Perioral dermatitis is typically treated by a dermatologist, but your treatment plan will vary depending on the cause of the rash. MedlinePlus recommends stopping the use of any products that could be irritating your skin, including new make-up, harsh cleansers and sunscreen. Instead, substitute your usual cleanser with warm water and, with your doctor's permission, a mild soap. You can also talk to your doctor about any steroid medications you may be taking or applying, and adjust your dosage to account for your rash.

For stubborn cases, the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology suggests stopping the use of fluoridated toothpaste. If your dermatologist thinks your rash may be due to using fluoridated toothpaste, consider using a fluoride-free toothpaste instead. It's unlikely that you'll have to swap out your toothpaste forever, since the condition can resolve itself with changes to your hygiene routine, habits and even hormones.

Your dermatologist may also be able to prescribe antibiotics to help clear up your skin and get rid of the embarrassing and often painful rash around your mouth. Together, you can come up with a treatment plan to help soothe your skin and balance out your complexion.

Even if you're taking all the necessary steps for a healthy skin, a rash can still break out around your mouth and make you feel like your favourite products and make-up are suddenly working against you. The good news is that, once you isolate the issue, you can work with your dermatologist and dentist to follow treatments and use products that help keep your skin calm, clear and rash-free.

by Colgate

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A Healthy Mouth Equals A Healthier Heart

When it comes to our bodies, everything is interconnected in a complex ecosystem. In fact, recent studies suggest that there is a link between our oral health and our cardiovascular health, and that proper oral hygiene can reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke!

The Connection Between Gum Health And Heart Health

Inflammation caused by gum disease can possibly contribute to an increased risk for heart problems. Since the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body, gums that are infected or bleeding allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

Once inside, some types of bacteria cause low-level inflammation of blood vessels but do not show as a blood infection. This makes treatment very difficult once the bacteria have become established in the body. The constant low-level inflammation can induce atherosclerosis–the hardening of arterial walls–which can lead to blockages.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Everyone knows that a healthy diet and exercise is good for your heart, but if you are not practicing good oral hygiene, your cardiovascular health may be at risk. Fortunately, the worst offenders (gum disease and tooth decay) are completely preventable! Follow these guidelines to help keep your mouth (and heart) healthy and disease-free:

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes while gently massaging the gums

Floss every day

Brush your teeth or rinse with water after eating or drinking throughout the day

Don’t skip your regular dental cleanings and checkups

As research continues, it’s likely that there will be more links found between gum disease and heart disease. Establishing good dental hygiene habits now and sticking to them will help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and a myriad of other problems.

by Island Family Dental

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Facial Nerve Anatomy

The next time you enjoy a delicious treat, you can thank your facial nerve. Why? Because it allows you to taste your food and to smile about it. This nerve is also referred to as the seventh cranial nerve. And it controls your taste sensation for the front two-thirds of the tongue as well as the muscles you use to make facial expressions. Needless to say, it's a pretty important nerve.

As you read on, we'll look at your facial nerve's location and function. We'll also examine what causes facial nerve problems, conditions related to the facial nerve, and how to maintain your oral hygiene with these conditions.

Location and Function

The facial nerve (seventh cranial nerve) starts in the brain stem and travels through the base of the skull. The nerve exits the skull at an opening in the bone near the ear's base called the stylomastoid foramen. The facial nerve has five main branches, the anatomy of which can vary somewhat between individuals.

The role of the facial nerve is to transmit information to and from the facial structures. And the various branches of the facial nerve allow the facial nerve to provide sensation to different oral and facial structures. The seventh cranial nerve has four main components with unique functions, as the University of Iowa explains:

Branchial Motor: These fibers make up the largest component of the nerve. It supports the muscles responsible for your facial expression.

Visceral Motor: This component is responsible for the salivary glands and mucous membranes

Special Sensory: This portion of the nerve provides taste sensation to the front two-thirds of the tongue.

General Sensory: This part provides general senses from the external auditory canal and auricle.

Causes of Facial Nerve Problems

Damage to the seventh cranial nerve can result in several conditions, depending on which nerve branch has been affected. Impairment of the nerve may temporarily paralyze certain muscles in the face, which can affect your speech or cause difficulty eating and drinking.

The most common condition affecting the function of the facial nerve is Bell's Palsy. According to The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there's good news: 85 percent of cases experience spontaneous recovery, and most individuals eventually recover normal facial function. Other medical conditions that may impair the facial nerve include Lyme disease, salivary gland tumors, stroke, and trauma, such as a skull fracture. Very rarely, nerve paralysis may result from dental treatment involving local anesthesia, according to a report in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology. If you're having a procedure with anesthesia and you have concerns, talk to your dentist about their process of protecting people from facial nerve damage.

Facial Paralysis and Bell's Palsy

So what is Bell's Palsy? Bell's Palsy is a condition where there's a sudden weakness in the facial muscles. When someone experiences Bell's Palsy, half of the face may appear to droop, and they may have trouble making facial expressions. This muscle weakness is associated with swelling or inflammation of the facial nerve, though the exact cause is unknown. In most cases, the paralysis is temporary and doesn't come back later in life.

What to do if you experience Bell's Palsy or other types of facial paralysis? Medical and dental professionals can work together to help you resolve concerns with the function of the seventh cranial nerve. A doctor will take tests to determine whether your muscle weakness is related to Bell's Palsy or another condition and recommend the appropriate treatment. They may suggest physical therapy or medications to help you recover and ensure no further damage is done to the nerve.

Can you go to your dentist for Bell's Palsy? Although your dentist can help you keep your oral health care on point if you're experiencing Bell's Palsy, it's best to check in with a doctor too.

Oral Hygiene Maintenance

Facial paralysis may make it difficult to brush and floss properly, especially on the face's affected side. Therefore, it's essential to pay special attention to your oral hygiene if you're experiencing facial nerve damage. Some issues with the seventh cranial nerve may also affect saliva production and lead to dry mouth. Talk to your dentist about a rinse or other treatment that might help you if you're experiencing dry mouth.

It's also important to let your dentist know if you're experiencing facial paralysis or if you have in the past. With professional attention and a regular oral care routine of brushing twice a day and flossing daily, you can help ensure your mouth stays healthy while receiving treatment to address the nerve problem.

Now you know the 411 on your facial nerve anatomy. As we discussed, the facial nerve does a lot to help us with our facial expressions and taste. It's important, and if it becomes damaged, facial paralysis can occur, like Bell's Palsy. If you're experiencing any facial paralysis, contact your doctor right away. Also, stay connected with your dentist to ensure you're caring for your teeth in the best way possible as you treat your paralysis. It'll keep your smile healthy as you heal.

by Colgate

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Types Of Abnormal Tongues And What They Look Like

While your tongue may appear to be a small part of your body, there’s nothing tongue-in-cheek about it playing a starring role for you. Without your tongue, you’d be unable to speak, taste, chew, and swallow properly. It also aids your body from certain germs and bacteria. When certain conditions or abnormalities are affecting your tongue, those everyday things can be extremely burdensome. Fortunately, nearly all of the different types of tongue issues can be easily diagnosed and treated.

What Are Some Tongue Abnormalities

Your tongue can be affected in several ways. Some abnormalities are more prevalent than others. Those include:

Macroglossia: Also referred to as ‘large tongue,’ macroglossia most often occurs when a congenital or acquired condition is present. Treating another disease, like hypothyroidism or tuberculosis, can often reduce the size of the tongue. Surgery is also an option. Your eating and speaking could improve with tongue reduction surgery.

Scrotal tongue: Also referred to as ‘fissured tongue,’ scrotal tongue is present in about 20% of the world population. The main symptom of scrotal tongue is the grooves that appear on the tongue’s surface. They look wrinkly and textured and sometimes can hide bacteria, which, when infected, can burn when eating spicy or acidic foods. Other than that, it’s relatively harmless and shouldn’t affect your speaking, tasting, or chewing. Brushing your tongue twice a day with a cheek and tongue cleaner will undoubtedly help.

What Are Some Common Tongue Conditions

Some tongue conditions are quite common can be quickly diagnosed and treated. They include:

Hairy tongue: When your tongue develops a fuzzy texture from infrequent brushing, it’s known as hairy tongue or ‘black hairy tongue.’ While they appear to look like hairs, it’s actually papillae on the surface of your tongue that have overgrown. About 13% of the population, mostly men, are affected by it, according to the American Academy of Oral Medicine. When these papillae give your tongue its texture don’t shed properly, they tend to overgrow, trap bacteria, and turn to black, which looks like tiny black hairs. While the look of it, bad breath, and abnormal taste can be somewhat disturbing — it’s harmless. Regular brushing of your teeth and tongue can effectively treat it. A tongue cleaner is a useful aid in removing bacteria from your mouth.

Abnormal tongue colors: When your tongue is a pinkish hue, it means you got a healthy one. But when it turns specific colors, it may need further attention. Vitamins, antifungal medication, and other dry mouth remedies may be needed for treatment. Consult your medical professional to diagnose and treat properly.

White: A white tongue could be dry mouth or oral thrush.

Red: If you have a B12 vitamin deficiency, you may have a red tongue.

Pale: Anemia tongue, or glossitis, turns the tongue to a pale color.

Kawasaki disease: A much more severe condition that causes heart disease in children, known as Kawasaki Disease, occurs when your red blood cells become inflamed. The majority of cases are boys five years old and younger. A virus is the most likely source — causing cracked, swollen, bright red lips, swollen hands and feet, swollen neck lymph nodes, a fever lasting five or more days, red, bloodshot eyes, rashes, and strawberry tongue. A strawberry tongue is when your tongue becomes swollen, bright red, and bumpy. Immediate medical attention is required if you feel you or your child experiences these symptoms.

Sjögren’s syndrome: Most often found in women, it can affect the entire body, but the most common symptom is little moisture in the eyes and mouth — leading to dry mouth. Dry mouth indicates a lack of saliva production, which in turn can cause cracking and burning in the mouth and on the tongue, making it extremely difficult to speak, chew, and swallow. Plus, bacteria aren’t washed away as much, leading to tooth decay. See your dental or medical provider immediately if you feel these symptoms are affecting you.

While it may not be top of mind, what’s going on atop your tongue is essential. Be sure to clean it twice every day after brushing your teeth. If you experience any of the symptoms or conditions above— seek professional help from your dentist or doctor as soon as possible to keep your tongue and mouth happy and healthy.

by Colgate

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Six Dental Problems You Can Fix Yourself

1.- Sensitive Teeth

Causes:Exposed nerve roots, often from receding gums

Treatment: Lay off the whitening, tartar-control, and baking-soda toothpastes—they’re abrasive and can contain phosphates, which make teeth sensitive. Don’t brush too hard, which can lead to other dental problems, such as recessed gums, says Sherri Worth, D.D.S., a celebrity cosmetic dentist. If pain persists, visit your dentist for a prescription fluoride treatment to toughen up your choppers.

2.- Lost Tooth

Causes: Physical trauma

Treatment: Rinse it off and push it back in right away, then bite down gently on a soft cloth or moistened tea bag to hold it in place. Knocking out a tooth tears the periodontal ligaments, but some might still cling to the tooth. If reconnected early enough, they can reattach to the gums.

The tooth will feel strong in a few days and could be good as new in a month or two, says Dr. Worth. Want to make sure? See a dentist.

3.- Burned Palate

Causes: Hot food

Treatment: You might not think this can cause dental problems, but burning the roof of your mouth softens the tissue, making it more prone to infection, says Pia Lieb, D.D.S., a cosmetic dentist in New York City. She recommends using Kenalog in Orabase, a corticosteroid paste that creates a protective coating on the burn and speeds healing.

4.- Burned Tongue

Causes: Hot drinks

Treatment: Rinse your mouth with a solution of 1 teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water. “It’s actually very soothing,” says Dr. Worth. The salt can draw infection to the surface of the tissue, where the body eliminates it, and salt helps neutralize the acidic environment that fosters bacteria.

5.- Jaw Soreness

Cause: Possibly temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, which can lead to splitting headaches marked by pain radiating down the front of your ears to your jaw. The improper alignment of your jaw leads to unconscious grinding of the teeth, often at night.

Treatment: “Your muscles are looking to find comfort, so you move your jaw around constantly,” Dr. Lieb says. Try sleeping on your side or back with a supportive pillow, instead of facedown.

6.- Canker Sore

Causes: There are numerous possible causes—but Doritos, salsa, and other sharp and spicy foods can further irritate the sore. Avoid mixing them.

by Romak

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How to Avoid Common Tooth and Gum Problems

Tooth and gum problems can be painful, inconvenient, and sometimes costly to treat. Awareness of these issues and their causes is an essential step in preventing them. Here is a list of the most common dental problems and how they can be avoided:

Bad Breath

Bad breath (or halitosis) is a condition in which a person’s breath has an unpleasant smell. It is caused by several factors, but the most prevalent are the following: odour-causing foods, poor dental hygiene, oral infections, or dryness of the mouth. Bad breath can often be resolved by brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove bacteria. Brushing the tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper is also helpful.

In some cases, an underlying illness can be associated with bad breath:

A fishy odour might be a sign of kidney disease.

A fruity smell can be associated with diabetes.

A rotten egg-like odour can be a sign of liver disease.

Here are some ways to prevent bad breath:

Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.

Clean all corners of your mouth, including hard-to-reach areas like the back of the tongue.

Floss at least once a day to remove tiny food particles stuck between teeth.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent dental problems worldwide. According to the Canadian Dental Association, about 60 to 90 percent of school-aged children and close to 100 percent of adults have tooth decay. This condition occurs when plaque forms on teeth and produces acids that eat away at the enamel. If not removed, plaque can result in the formation of cavities (dental caries) in the teeth.

Tooth decay is mainly caused by:

Failure to brush regularly

Excessive consumption of sugary foods and beverages


Dry mouth

Lack of fluoride

With regular basic oral hygiene, tooth decay can be prevented. Use a toothpaste or mouth rinse containing fluoride, as this mineral helps build teeth’s resistance to decay by hardening the enamel. When a tooth has already been damaged by plaque, a dental filling may be required to stop the decay from affecting other teeth. Other treatment options include fitting a crown to replace the damaged part of the tooth or root canal to remove the infected pulp.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores can be mild (e.g. irritation after biting one’s cheek) or more serious (when caused by an underlying illness). Common mouth sores include canker and cold sores, which can appear on the tongue, gums, inner cheeks, or lips.

Non-contagious canker sores may result from a number of factors, including:

Hormonal changes


Weakening of the immune system

Lack of vitamins (like iron or B12)

Preventive measures to keep mouth sores at bay depend on the type of sore. To avoid those that result from biting the inner cheek, chew food carefully and slowly. Exercise care when eating hot foods to lessen the likelihood of burn-related sores.

Cold sores are contagious, but over-the-counter creams and gels are helpful in treating pain or discomfort; prescription medications may be necessary to aid in staving off an outbreak. For canker sores, try dabbing the affected area with a paste of baking soda and water. (Always consult your doctor for appropriate treatment if a mouth sore is accompanied by fever, or if you experience drooling or difficulty chewing or swallowing.)

Tooth Sensitivity

The nerves of teeth are covered by a microscopic layer called dentin, which can become exposed due to a number of factors: gum disease, receding gums, age, brushing too hard, and teeth-whitening products. This exposure can cause irritation and pain when eating food and beverages that are hot, cold, acidic, or sugary. Teeth exposed to cold air can also lead to sensitivity. Some people with sensitive teeth may feel discomfort when brushing and flossing.

Brushing properly using a soft-bristled brush, flossing at least once a day, and cutting back on acidic food and drinks are some steps to avoid tooth sensitivity. For people who are already experiencing this problem, a dental checkup is advised to determine the cause of the sensitivity and the appropriate treatment.

Gum Disease

Periodontal disease occurs when gums are infected by plaque. Two types of gum disease are:

Gingivitis – Milder and reversible, gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, or bleeding gums.

Periodontitis – A more advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis is caused by plaque that spreads beyond the gum line. Gums can deteriorate and bones supporting the teeth may get brittle. If left untreated, tooth loss can occur.

Proper oral care like regular brushing and flossing to remove plaque and bacteria is crucial in the prevention of gum disease. Patients diagnosed with certain health conditions (like diabetes) are at a higher risk of developing gum disease and should talk to their dentist for proper preventive care.


Inflammation of the tissues within the tooth (called the pulp), emerging wisdom teeth, or gum infections can lead to a toothache. Biting your nails or chewing food that is too hard (like popcorn kernels or candy) may cause cracks in the teeth (or break a tooth entirely), causing discomfort. Never use your teeth to hold objects or open a bottle; these behaviours could result in small cracks that can eventually lead to bigger, more painful ones. If you experience a cracked tooth, see your dentist. He or she will determine the proper treatment, depending on how severe the damage is and which tooth is affected.

by Springdale dental

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Why Cleaning Behind the Back Teeth Is So Important

Cleaning The Hard-To-Reach Places In The Mouth

The American Dental Association (ADA) supports a daily dental routine that prevents tooth decay and gum disease problems. Therefore, it is vital to brush each morning and evening and to floss once a day. When cleaning the teeth, make sure you focus on all the teeth and their surfaces. This means that you must concentrate on cleaning exterior surfaces, contours on the teeth, and the area behind the back molars in your mouth.

Why You Should Always Clean Back Of The Very Back Teeth

Behind the very back teeth or molars lies soft tissue pockets - pockets that can easily collect plaque and bacteria. Therefore, to ensure optimal dental health, you need to clean this area back of the molars. If you fail to clean behind the very back teeth, you can end up having problems with decay and infections.

How To Clean The Back Teeth And Behind Them

When you clean the back molars and the area behind the teeth, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line. Use short strokes and move your toothbrush back and forth to clean all the surfaces - inside, outside, and on top of the molars. Clean the grooves and crevices, and place your brush behind the tooth, softly brushing the tissue and the side of the tooth. You may want to use a toothbrush with a smaller head to better navigate the brush and make it easier to clean.

by Dr. VanBrunt

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How Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health and Wellness

Researchers know there’s a synergistic relationship between oral health and overall wellness. The American Dental Association says that the “mouth is a window into the health of the body.” Your Colorado Springs dentist wants to help you maintain your oral health because your teeth and gums affect your physical health and mental well-being.

Gum Disease and Health

Periodontitis, AKA gum disease, is an infection that damages the gums and can destroy the jawbone. Periodontitis is preventable, with good dental hygiene. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, gum disease is also associated with several other diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. Periodontitis causes your gums to be chronically inflamed, which causes other conditions related to chronic inflammation. Treating gum disease can help manage these conditions.

Oral Health Impacts Wellness

Dental hygiene and overall health isn’t limited to just your gums. Cavities, they are painful and can impact your ability to eat healthy. As a person looses more teeth, it can be more difficult to speak and chew. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, pregnant women with poor oral health have a higher risk of premature birth or low birth weight. Sadly, millions of Americans do not get preventative dental care from the best dentist, which means they live with one or more oral diseases that are highly treatable.

Prevent Dental Problems

What can you do to take care of your oral health? For your overall health and wellness, see your dentist twice a year for a cleaning to remove the tartar that traps bacteria in your mouth. Talk to your dentist about problems with your teeth. If you notice bleeding gums or have persistent bad breath, you may be dealing with periodontitis or another oral disease. If you have loose teeth, let your dentist know. Tell your dentist about any health problems and medications you take, as some can affect your dental health.

Brush twice a day. Floss every day. Your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse with antibacterial properties. Choose dental products with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval, indicating effectiveness and safety. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Limit snacks, especially sugary foods that can stick to your teeth and cause bacteria to flourish. Drink plenty of water.

Your dentist can help you keep your mouth healthy, which leads to better overall health and wellness. You want to keep your happy smile, so take care of your teeth.

by HollowBrook Dental

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Seven Reasons Dentists Are Vital For Your Oral Health

Maintaining oral health is vital to your overall well-being. In fact, many experts believe that there is a strong correlation between oral health and overall health. That’s why it’s so important to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Oral Health And Overall Health

There are a number of ways that oral health and overall health are connected. For one, poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of different types of infections, which can then spread throughout the body. Additionally, dentists at Worden Dentistry have indicated that there is a link between gum disease and several chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

7 Reasons Why Dentists Are Vital For Oral Health

Here are seven reasons why dentists like dentist Tyler Texas are vital for your oral health:

They Can Help Prevent Cavities:

Cavities are one of the most common dental problems, and they can be painful and expensive to treat. However, cavities are also preventable. Regular visits to the dentist can help identify early signs of cavities so that they can be treated before they become a serious problem.

They Can Help Prevent Gum Disease: 

Gum disease is another common dental problem that can lead to a number of serious health issues. Again, regular visits to the dentist can help identify early signs of gum disease and ensure that it is properly treated.

They Can Help You Maintain A Healthy Smile: 

Because your smile is one of the first elements that individuals notice about you, it’s critical to maintain it looking great. Dentists can assist you in achieving and maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile.

They Can Help You Avoid Painful Dental Procedures: 

Dental procedures can be painful, but they are often necessary in order to maintain oral health. However, if you visit the dentist regularly, you can avoid many of these procedures altogether.

They Can Help You Save Money: 

While dental care can be expensive, it is often less expensive than the alternative untreated dental problems. By visiting the dentist regularly, you can avoid more costly treatments down the road.

They Can Help You Prevent Bad Breath: 

Bad breath is not only embarrassing, but it can also be a sign of poor oral health. Dentists can help you identify the cause of your bad breath and treat it accordingly.

They Can Help You Achieve Overall Health: 

As we mentioned before, there is a strong correlation between oral health and overall health. By visiting the dentist regularly, you can help ensure that your mouth and your body remain healthy for years to come.

Dentists Are Smile Shapers!

Overall dentists are the smile shapers and they help you in many ways to maintain your oral health which is connected to your overall health. So, it’s important to visit them regularly for the sake of your health!


As you can see, there are many reasons why dentists are vital for oral health. If you want to maintain a healthy mouth and a healthy body it’s important to visit your dentist regularly. So don’t wait and schedule an appointment today!

by Insider Up

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Should You Buy A Vibrating Toothbrush?

There are many types of electric toothbrushes, including vibrating toothbrushes. Learn what to consider when selecting a new toothbrush. The American Dental Association (ADA) in the United States notes that they can be distinguished by the type of head movement they use. Some electric toothbrushes use a side-to-side movement to clean the teeth, while others spin in a circle. Other brush heads vibrate at high speed. If you're shopping for a powered toothbrush, you may wonder how effective these vibrating models are. How can a vibrating toothbrush benefit your dental health?

Why Vibrating Toothbrushes Boost Oral Hygiene

Some vibrating toothbrushes have speeds up to 32,000 strokes per minute, as an article from the International Journal of Preventive and Clinical Dental Research (IJPCDR, Ukraine) notes. This vibration is theorised to benefit dental health in several ways.

The article explains that the rapid vibration of the toothbrush may help move fluid around the teeth, dislodging from hard-to-reach areas, such as between the teeth and along the gumline. This may make it easier to keep your mouth clean and healthy. The main cause of cavities and periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is the sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth. Therefore, removing it is very important for your oral health.

The IJPCDR article also mentions that some studies have shown that acoustic vibrations, such as those from a vibrating toothbrush, can make it harder for oral bacteria to stick to hard surfaces, such as your teeth. This may also contribute to keeping your teeth clean, but more research is needed to prove the effects.

Effectiveness of Manual Toothbrushes

If you're happy with your tried-and-true manual toothbrush, you don't necessarily need to trade it in for a vibrating model. As the ADA reports, manual toothbrushes can be just as effective as powered toothbrushes. As long as you follow the best tooth brushing practices, either type of toothbrush can help to keep your teeth and gums clean.

For some people, powered toothbrushes — including vibrating toothbrushes — may provide other desirable benefits. It is recommended to switch to an electric toothbrush if necessary. Arthritis or a decline in mobility may make it difficult to brush your teeth. Using an electric toothbrush can help eliminate a lot of the physical movement required to brush manually, doing most of the work for you. People with dental appliances, such as braces, may also prefer powered toothbrushes. If you're not sure which type of toothbrush is best for your needs, ask your dentist for advice.

Tooth Brushing Best Practises

No matter which type of toothbrush you choose to use, it's important to remember tooth brushing best practices. Proper tooth brushing can help you prevent cavities and gum disease. To effectively clean your teeth, keep these tips in mind:

Brush at least twice a day.

Brush no more than three times a day, and brush lightly.

Brush for at least two minutes, and fix a standard routine.

Always use a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles.

Fix a standard routine. Always use a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles. Change your toothbrush regularly. Electric is fine, but not always necessary.

There are many potential health benefits associated with vibrating toothbrushes, and for some people, they're easier to use than manual toothbrushes. If you like your manual toothbrush, rest assured that it can be just as effective as a high-tech model. For more help choosing the right toothbrush for you, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist.

by Colgate

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