Posts for: November, 2017
So what's hydration got to do with your teeth? Xerostomia, commonly known as a dry mouth, is a condition in which the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and cleanses it of bacteria. A lack of it, makes for an uncomfortably dry mouth that is also more susceptible to infection and disease.
- Dryness or a sticky feeling
- Frequent thirst
- Burning sensations or redness in the throat or on the tongue
- A sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or tasting food
A dry mouth can commonly be associated as a side effect of certain medications or medical conditions, but can also be caused by damage to the salivary glands because of injury or surgery.
- Stay Hydrated
- Chew sugar-free candy or gum
- Add moisture to your living spaces
Although these are just a few general tips about xerostomia, if you are experiencing the symptoms of a dry mouth often and it is interfering with your life, call our dental office at 918-455-0123 for an appointment.
Some people brush, floss, and even have great oral hygiene, but still have problems with dental decay! So, what gives? Many times the answer lies in acid build up. When acids are allowed to erode tooth enamel long enough to leach calcium and other minerals from the enamel and dentin, a process called demineralization occurs. This rapidly leads to tooth decay unless reversed by increased oral hygene and professional dental cleanings. Acids responsible for tooth decay come from the wastes of mutans streptococci and lactobacilli bacteria that thrive in dental plaque, a substance that is the leading cause of gum disease as well.
ACID: THE SOURCE
Dietary sugars comprise the bulk of tooth-decaying acids, including table sugar, cooked starches, fructose, glucose, and lactose. In fact, as soon as you bite down on a sugary cookie or into a French fry, bacteria start digesting sugars, breaking them down and eventually excreting them as demineralizing acids. As this bacteria colony grows and becomes more organized, plaque develops and forms that tough, yellowish coating that you often see on the tops of teeth at the gumline.
PROBLEM: THE PLAQUE
Dental plaque is a sticky film that harbors bacteria and also keeps the bacterial acids pressed against the tooth enamel. Since hardened plaque cannot be removed by brushing alone, it is important that a person receive a professional cleaning at our office to keep your teeth throughly free of tartar.
TOOTH DECAY: THE SYMPTOMS
Early tooth decay and cavities remain asymptomatic until demineralization creates a hole deep enough to reach the tooth's inner tissues and nerve endings. Eventually, tooth decay will cause tooth sensitivity, a toothache, vague pain when biting down on the affected tooth, or if the decay creates an infection, even pus that seeps out around the gumline may be noted. If treatment is delayed long enough, a decaying tooth may loosen, crumble, and ultimately fall out, which leaves an empty or partially empty socket.
PREVENTION: THE ANSWER
Getting regular dental check-ups, brushing for two minutes twice a day, effective flossing, limiting sweets, and eating fruits or crunchy vegetables for snacks are the best ways to keep your teeth healthy, white, and where they should be: in your mouth for a lifetime!
When was the last time that you ever gave your toothbrush any serious thought? Sure, you hopefully use it every day (and ideally twice), and you know that with just the size of a green pea of toothpaste that it shines up your teeth nicely, not to mention preventing bacteria, plaque, and inflammation from reeking havoc in your mouth!
Today, we want to focus in on the top FIVE things that you should never do with your toothbrush! Take a look.
LOCATION. Location! Location! Location! Not just important in real estate. If you have your toothbrush too close to the toilet, you are brushing your teeth with what's in your toilet! In other words, keep your toothbrush stored as far away from the toilet as possible.
GERMS. Not rocket science, but the average toothbrush harbors ten million microbes of bacteria! Many families keep their toothbrushes jammed together in a cup holder on the bathroom sink, but this can lead to cross-contamination. Family members' toothbrushes should be kept at least an inch apart. Don't worry, they won't take it personally!
FREQUENCY. Don't delay replacing your toothbrush. It's best to purchase a new one (including electric toothbrush heads), every three to four months, but by all means get one sooner if the bristles are broken down because of your frequent and vigorous brushing. Remember, brush longer, NOT harder to remove the bacterial film coating. The average patient only brushes for about 45 seconds, once daily, and research now shows that it takes a minimum of about two minutes of active brushing to be effective. Take the challenge and time your brushing cycle. You may be surprised! And finally, if you have a cold or the flu, replace your toothbrush after you recover.
STORAGE. Another consideration about the storage of your toothbrush is to keep it out of reach from toddlers. The last thing that you want for your toothbrush is for it to be chewed like a pacifier, dipped in toilet water, or be used to probe the dusty heating ducts.
SHARING. The phrase "sharing is caring," takes on a whole other meaning in this case! Although your parents probably taught you the importance of sharing, back when you were the one "exploring" the world with your new found toddler toy, their toothbrush, some things should never be shared, and your toothbrush is certainly one of them!