Articles, information and frequently asked questions about Preventive dentistry

The Concise Guide to the Best Dental Tools and Technologies to Treat Tooth Sensitivity

Do you experience excruciating agony all day long when going about your normal business, such as flossing, cleaning your teeth, or eating? Then you might just be experiencing tooth sensitivity if the answer is yes. Despite how frequently it occurs, there is still a chance that it will cause excruciating pain. For many people, tooth sensitivity is a common issue. 

It can also refer to dentin hypersensitivity. It happens when the tooth enamel, which serves as our teeth’s protective coating, thins or wears away. You can get a brief, sharp sensation or a persistent one. Other dental issues, such as exposed tooth roots, a cavity, a broken tooth, or gum disease, can occasionally cause sensitivity. This article will give you valuable advice.

Why it’s Important to Seek Treatment

If you have sensitive teeth, some activities like eating, drinking, and brushing could cause sudden, brief pain in your teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically a result of exposed tooth roots or cracked tooth enamel. The dentin of your tooth becomes visible if the enamel begins to erode or wear away for any reason. 

When this occurs, nerve signals travel from the tooth root to the brain, which means that activities like eating popsicles or drinking hot beverages—which ordinarily have no effect—can suddenly result in pain. Teeth sensitivity can occasionally go away on its own, particularly if it was caused by a filling or root canal that was recently completed. If your teeth are sensitive and the issue continues, see a dentist. You can have eroded enamel or exposed tooth roots.

What Are the Various Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity?

If you frequently experience sensitive teeth, see your dentist. He or she can find any underlying causes of your dental pain or rule them out. In certain circumstances, your dentist may suggest:

Professional Treatment Alternatives:

  • Apply fluoride varnish to exposed areas – To bolster tooth enamel and lessen pain, your dentist may administer fluoride to the sensitive parts of your teeth. Fluoride varnish can stop fluid flow in exposed dentin tubules, preventing the continuous, intense pain that patients with dentin hypersensitivity are all too familiar with. Fluoride varnish works by providing a long-lasting mechanical barrier to stimuli.
  • Use a bonding agent to seal the teeth’s surface – By applying a protective coating of composite resin to the tooth, especially in the area of the tooth that is damaged and producing increased sensitivity, dental bonding improves sensitive teeth. A specialized dental bonding light hardens the composite resin substance.
  • Gum grafting can be used to cover the retreating gum. An example of dental surgery is a gum transplant. The condition of gum recession, in which the gums pull away from the teeth and reveal the roots below, is treated by it. Your risk of dental decay, sensitivity, and bone loss surrounding teeth increases if the roots of your teeth are exposed. Gum grafting replaces the tissue around your teeth that has degraded, improving your overall dental health.
  • Using a root canal, treat the sensitivity – Your dentist may suggest a root canal to treat issues in the soft core of the tooth if your sensitive teeth are really painful and other treatments are ineffective. Despite the fact that this procedure may seem extensive, it is thought to be the most effective way to cure dental sensitivity. 
  • Mouthguard – Sometimes grinding your teeth can make them more sensitive. Although wearing a mouthguard won’t always solve your hypersensitivity issue, it will lessen your discomfort from teeth grinding. It can be the best choice if you frequently grind your teeth, which is known as bruxism.

Treatment for sensitive teeth is also available at home.

  • You might also think about exercising caution when consuming or drinking acidic foods and beverages, such as carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, and wine, as these can all gradually wear away small portions of dental enamel.
  • Use a straw while consuming acidic beverages to prevent direct contact with your teeth.
  • Drink water to neutralize the acidity in your mouth after an acidic meal or beverage.
  • Fluoride, which maintains strong enamel, is naturally present in tea.
  • Calcium also helps to maintain the strength of the jawbone and enamel. 

Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and floss every day to prevent sensitive teeth from coming back. Instead of scrubbing vigorously or harshly, use soft motions, and stay away from abrasive toothpaste. To determine the problem, you should see your dentist before attempting any at-home remedies.

To identify what is causing the sensitivity, they can do tests and check for indications of dentin exposure. From there, you can decide whether you need in-office treatments or at-home treatments. And ultimately, you won’t find this to be such a delicate subject.

How to Clean Your Teeth Properly

Most likely, you believe that you already know how to clean your teeth. After all, don’t we all learn how to wash our teeth when we are very young? You might be shocked to learn that there are many myths about how to clean your teeth effectively. Some persons could have received incorrect instruction when they were young. In other instances, mistakes gradually crept in. In any event, it’s important to ensure that you truly understand how to clean your teeth. The 10 steps are listed below.

Pick the appropriate toothbrush
The safest option for the majority of individuals is a toothbrush with soft bristles. Medium- and hard-bristled brushes may really cause harm to the gums, tooth enamel, and root surface depending on how hard you brush your teeth and how strong your teeth are. Use a synthetic toothbrush instead since natural bristles can harbor germs. All of your teeth must be accessible with the brush head’s size. Pick a toothbrush with a handle that is comfortable for your hand.


Dispose of used toothbrushes
An excellent toothbrush won’t last very long in that state. Usually, a toothbrush needs to be discarded after only a few months of use. Keep an eye out for symptoms that the bristles are wearing down. Get a new toothbrush if the bristles are ragged and can’t stand up straight.


Brush twice daily
Even one daily brushing is far superior to none at all, but two daily brushings are actually required. Plaque may develop from food in just eight hours, therefore cleaning your teeth just once a day ensures that there will be a significant amount of plaque present.


Choose the proper toothpaste
You must use fluoride-containing toothpaste. Plaque is removed by fluoride, and tooth enamel is also strengthened. Many various tastes and functions are available in toothpaste brands, including whitening, desensitizing, and tartar control. Pick a brand that suits your preferences.


Apply the right methodology
Apply toothpaste first in a pea-sized quantity. You should clean your teeth in little circular strokes rather than straight lines. While cleaning the front of your teeth, slant the brush at a 45° angle. Open your mouth widely and point your toothbrush in the direction of the gum line to clean the interior of your teeth.

Be kind
Brushing your teeth vigorously does not imply that you are doing a better cleaning. In actuality, brushing too forcefully can harm the gums and tooth enamel. Toothbrushes that wear out extremely rapidly are a clear indication that you are brushing too vigorously.

Don’t forget to brush
Since brushing your teeth might be monotonous, it’s typical to do it too quickly. Spend at least ten seconds on each location as you carefully work your way around your mouth. Overall, cleaning your teeth should take 2 minutes.

You should tongue-brush
In fact, there are other uses for your toothbrush. It is difficult to get rid of the germs that thrive on the tongue. Brushing is required since mouthwash is ineffective. Simply use fresh toothpaste to brush your whole tongue, going as deep into your mouth as is comfortable.

Your toothbrush in water
Your toothbrush will be covered with a lot of unpleasant germs once you’ve finished brushing. If you don’t clean your brush between uses, you’ll just introduce those bacteria when you try to brush your teeth again. Put your toothbrush somewhere to dry after briefly washing it under the running water.


Apply floss
The part of brushing your teeth that is most frequently overlooked is flossing. Avoid making this error. Even if cleaning your teeth is beneficial, it cannot complete the task by itself. The only technique to eliminate food particles that become lodged between the teeth is to floss. At least once a day, floss between all of your teeth.


To maintain good oral health, you must brush your teeth. Costly and uncomfortable dental issues are both possible. Brushing your teeth is the only method to get rid of the germs in plaque, which if left unchecked will lead to cavities and gum disease. Because brushing your teeth is so important, it’s a good idea to double-check that you are actually doing it right.


Why should we go to the dentist often?
Dentists can prevent issues as well as solve them. They may be able to detect the beginning of gum disease and tooth decay. It’s critical to take charge of your dental health by seeing the dentist regularly so they can identify any problems early, before they become serious.

We highly suggest a dentist in Kingman if you’re seeking a good dentist.


Protecting your overall health also means protecting your mouth
Did you know that the condition of your mouth may affect other parts of your body? For instance, a growing amount of studies shows a connection between cardiovascular health and dental health.

According to research conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, women who receive dental treatment have a decreased chance of developing heart disease, having fewer strokes, and experiencing other negative cardiovascular consequences. The signs of several chronic illnesses, such diabetes, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, can also start in the mouth. If your dentist notices something concerning during one of your regular checkups, he or she can alert you to it and suggest that you consult your primary care physician.

How To Perform A Dental Cleaning Procedure

It is important to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. A dental cleaning in Grande Prairie is a professional tooth cleaning that is performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. This type of cleaning is different from the type of cleaning that you can do at home with your toothbrush and floss. A dental cleaning will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. Tartar is plaque that has hardened your teeth. A dental cleaning will also polish your teeth.

What is dental cleaning?

Viva Dental Care say “A dental cleaning is a professional tooth cleaning that is performed by a dentist or dental hygienist. This type of cleaning is different from the type of cleaning that you can do at home with your toothbrush and floss. A dental cleaning will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. The problem is that these bacteria excrete acid as they digest sugar in your diet. Tartar is plaque that has hardened your teeth. A dental cleaning will also polish your teeth.”

A professional dental cleaning is also able to clean below your gumline, this is something that is not possible at home.

Why is it important to get a dental cleaning?

It is important to get a dental cleaning because it will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that can cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. Tartar is plaque that has hardened on your teeth and can only be removed by a professional.

During the dental cleaning your dentist or hygienist will also be checking for any Periodontal pockets around your teeth which could indicate bone loss, again this is not noticeable at home.

How often should you get a dental cleaning?

It is recommended that you get a dental cleaning every six months.

What happens during a dental cleaning?

During a dental cleaning, the dentist or dental hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. They will also polish your teeth.

How can you prepare for a dental cleaning?

You should brush and floss your teeth before your dental cleaning. This will help the dentist or dental hygienist to remove any plaque and tartar that you may have missed.

What should you do after a dental cleaning?

You should continue to brush and floss your teeth twice a day and see your dentist or dental hygienist for regular checkups and cleanings.

What are the risks of a dental cleaning?

There are very few risks associated with dental cleaning. The most common risk is bleeding gums.

What are the benefits of a dental cleaning?

The benefits of a dental cleaning include clean teeth, fresh breath, and healthy gums.

How much does a dental cleaning cost?

The cost of a dental cleaning varies depending on the dentist or dental hygienist, it is usually £85+/-.

Where can you get a dental cleaning?

You can get a dental cleaning at a dental practice, dental clinic, or dental school.

Conclusion:
A dental cleaning is a professional teeth cleaning that is performed by any dentist in Grande Prairie  or from any other location, they are also performed by a dental hygienist. This type of cleaning is different from the type of cleaning that you can do at home with your toothbrush and floss. A dental cleaning will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. Tartar is plaque that has hardened your teeth. A dental cleaning will also polish your teeth.

A Guide To Getting Rid Of Cavities

Many people experience a cavity at some point in their life, and if you have, you know how annoying they can get. Although they are annoying, they are a true tell tale sign that you should be paying more attention to your oral hygiene. It is no surprise that people want a beautiful white smile from good oral hygiene, but it is also important to understand that your oral health is connected to your overall health and it should be monitored regularly. In this article, we will give you a guide to getting rid of cavities.

What Is A Cavity?

A cavity is damage that is permanent and targets the hard surface of your teeth. This is caused by bacteria and decay that has been left untreated in the crevices and holes in the teeth. Cavities are not just susceptible for some, everyone can get cavities if they often drink sugary drinks and snack too often as these people are more susceptible. If the damage is not fixed, cavities grow which will result in a more intrusive treatment. When treatment is put off, you will experience toothache and infection which can result in the tooth being removed completely.

What Makes A Person More Susceptible To Cavities?

Everyone has their own indulgence, whether this is their daily can of pop, unhealthy snacking throughout the day or even smoking. Some indulgences make you more susceptible than others, but there are other factors that are unavoidable which can also cavities. These include, how old you are and where your teeth are situated. If you are someone who suffers from heartburn, then this will also make you more susceptible to getting cavities.

Molars are far back in your mouth, they also have crevices and grooves to grind the food where food often gets stuck. This makes them at a higher risk of getting cavities. If you are not brushing your teeth correctly, then you should be brushing twice a day, floss once, and rinse with mouthwash after every clean to reduce the risk of cavities. 

How Do I Prevent Cavities?

The obvious way to prevent a cavity is to maintain good oral hygiene. Yes, you have heard this a thousand times, but brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day can seriously improve your oral hygiene. If you are more prone to getting tooth decay or issues with your teeth, then use fluoride products after eating or drinking or rinse your mouth out with antiseptic mouthwash to remove any food that may be stuck and to rinse the sugar from your mouth.

If you go to your dentist regularly, you will understand more about your oral health and what you have to do to help prevent cavities and other unwanted oral issues. Another fantastic way of reducing the risk of cavities is to drink plenty of tap water due to it containing essential minerals as well as fluoride. Regular snacking and sugary drinks should also be limited. By following this action plan, you are well on your way to preventing cavities. 

How Do I Get Rid Of Cavities?

Visiting a dentist regularly can help to prevent tooth decay. If you are starting to develop symptoms like toothache or sensitivity, your dentist will treat the cavity. If you are lucky enough to get the cavity treated early enough, you will not need to undergo extensive treatment to get this resolved, but if you leave it, it will become worse and the treatment will become more extensive.

The extent to the treatment can vary from patient to patient, it could be something as simple as a fluoride treatment or something much more intrusive such as tooth removal or a root canal. Fluoride treatment is a great and non-intrusive treatment that helps to build your enamel back up which will then reverse the decay if caught early enough.

The most common treatment for a cavity is a filling. A filling isn’t painful and is a very simple treatment to perform. The dentist will remove the decay from the tooth and will then fill that area with a composite material. This will in turn protect the designated area where you will be able to get on with normal life.

In conclusion, a cavity can be removed if caught in time. To help prevent cavities, you should brush your teeth twice a day, floss once and rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash after each wash.  By doing this, you can seriously reduce the risk of getting cavities. If you already have a cavity, you should book an appointment at your closest private dentist for a speedy resolution.

Tips to Avoid Dental Emergencies During the Holidays

Tips to Avoid Dental Emergencies During the Holidays

If there’s one time of any year that practically everyone looks forward to, it would have to be the holidays.

After all, for most people, the holidays are synonymous with family get-togethers, gift-giving, and of course, lots of food and drinks.

Indeed, the holidays are the best time for merry-making. However, one dental emergency could put a damper on all that.

A cracked tooth, the sudden onset of a toothache, or an accident that knocks out several teeth are things you don’t want happening to you or anyone you care about during the most wonderful time of the year.

The problem is that, unlike us, dental emergencies don’t take a break during the holidays. They can happen to anyone at any time. A dental emergency can even hit you in the middle of Christmas dinner or a summer holiday.

No one wants to be on the receiving end of holiday emergency dental care. If you want to steer clear of any dental emergency during the holidays, here are some tips to help you do just that.

Bite Into Food With Care

With all the delectable dishes laid out in front of you it’s easy to get carried away.

Before you know it, you’d be wolfing down plate after plate, which shouldn’t really be a problem. After all, it’s the holidays, and you’re just eating stuff that you don’t eat all the time.

However, it would be best to be mindful of the hardness of the food you’re eating. You wouldn’t want to end up with a chipped or broken tooth or a bleeding mouth because you bit into a piece of meat with a bone shard you didn’t realize was there. The same goes for eating hard candy, nuts, or even popcorn.

Keep The Horseplay To A Minimum

Missing brothers or cousins so much you’d instinctively wrestle them to the ground like you used to when you were kids is perfectly normal, but you need to dial it back a little.

Any sort of horseplay could easily lead to a dental emergency like a cracked, or worse, a knocked-out tooth.

And if you’re the type of family that considers playing in Christmas Day football or basketball matches as tradition, make sure all of you are wearing mouth guards to protect your teeth.

Then again, with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging on, it’s best not to engage in any close-contact horseplay at all. The rough and rowdy greetings could wait for the next holiday season when we all hope the coronavirus has gone away.

Remember That Your Teeth Are Not Bottle Openers

Not all bottled beverages have screw-on caps. If your family bought bottled beer or soda with crown cork bottle caps for the gathering, resist the temptation to show off and open the bottles with your teeth.

Tooth enamel may be the hardest substance in your body, but it is no match for the metal used in bottle caps. If you’re in the habit of removing bottle caps with your teeth, it would only be a matter of time before you crack or chip a tooth.

In the same vein, you should also refrain from using your teeth to open packages or crack open a nut. There are scissors and nutcrackers for that.

Don’t Take A Break From Proper Oral Hygiene

You may be taking a break from work for the holidays, but you should never give practicing proper oral hygiene a rest.

With all the food and drinks available to you over the holidays, you’d be consuming high amounts of sugar. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and eventually convert it into acid, which will eat away at tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

Before bacteria feasts on the sugar in your mouth, make sure you brush and floss after every meal. You could also use a mouthwash for good measure if you so choose.

Don’t Get Too Drunk

Without a doubt, the holiday parties and family gatherings you’ll be attending will ply everyone with alcohol, which is fine as long as you limit your consumption.

If you get carried away and end up having too much to drink, your risk of tripping, slipping, and falling will multiply, and so will your risk of suffering a dental emergency.

Most importantly, whatever you do, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel after a night of binging. When you drink and drive, you’re not just in danger of a dental emergency. You could also seriously hurt yourself, your passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists on the road by driving drunk.

Don’t let a dental emergency spoil your holidays. By following the tips above, your chances of coming out of the holiday season with all your teeth intact and your oral health in excellent condition will be pretty good.

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How Can I Protect My Teeth During Pregnancy?

How to Protect Teeth with Dentistry Treatment in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is more or less a time of happiness for the woman conceiving and their partners. The body undergoes specific changes after a woman becomes pregnant; for example, some hormones start to overexpress, and some physiological changes are also seen. Like the rest of the body, the teeth also get affected. Let us discuss a little about the different aspects of dentistry treatment during the pregnancy stage.

Problems of Teeth related to Pregnancy

Several studies have been conducted to find a relation between pregnancy and teeth problems. The consensus of these studies depicts that hormonal imbalance and changes in diet are the two most typical causes of dental problems during this condition. The treatment for the diverse issues differs and is administered according to the extent of the symptoms. The usual problems are discussed below:

·    As mentioned earlier, pregnancy induces the overexpression of several hormones in the body. The dental hospital in Coimbatore states that this apparent hormonal imbalance can negatively affect the health and conditions of the teeth. As a preliminary measure, using the ongoing dental practices and visiting the doctor will suffice.

·        Scientific evidence suggests that a link exists between periodontal disease in the mother and premature birth of the fetus with the low-birth-weight at a rate of 18%. Prematurely born babies are known to exhibit problems with vision and hearing. In addition, reports of an increase in the risk of brain injury in premature babies are also present. So, treatment of gum disease during this period is advisable.

Causes of the Common Dental Problems

Apart from the evident biochemical change, some other factors may need pregnant females to undergo dentistry treatment. Some of the usual causes behind these issues are listed below:

1.    Gum infection/gingivitis: This is generally observed during the second trimester. Symptoms include the swelling of gums, occasional bleeding, and pain in the gums, mostly during brushing and flossing.

2.    Periodontal disease: This condition is often the result of untreated gingivitis. The issues are caused by the infection of the supportive structures of the tooth. If not treated, it could lead to tooth loss for the patient.

3.    Pregnancy epulis / pyogenic granuloma: It is an outgrowth usually seen in the outer surface of the gums. It is characterized by red color, swelling, and periodic bleeding.

Although the gum problems subside after pregnancy, in some cases, the gum diseases have been observed to progress even after the pregnancy term ends. Such developments may require further specialist treatment.

·         Morning sickness: The abundance of hormones during pregnancy soften the intestinal muscles that inhibit the regurgitation event. Dental experts say that the teeth can get covered by intestinal acids due to pregnancy-associated morning sickness or gastric reflux (throwing up the ingested food and drink). Recurring vomiting or reflux can damage the surface of the enamel and intensify the risk of tooth decay.

Pregnant women can utilize the following practices to minimize the damages occurring in the teeth due to the intestinal backflow:

  1. Do not brush immediately after a round of vomiting. The teeth become coated with stomach acid, and the action of brushing could damage them further.
  2. After a round of vomiting, rinse your mouth with plain tap water.
  3. After that, wash your mouth with a fluoride-containing mouthwash. If you don’t have mouthwash, smear any fluoride-containing toothpaste over the teeth and rinse thoroughly.

·       Gagging while brushing

In some cases, women have experienced a gagging sensation or retching when brushing, especially in the back teeth. Therefore, it is important to brush all the teeth during pregnancy. In addition, the would-be-mothers may apply the following practices to minimize this event:

  1. Take your time during brushing and do it slowly.
  2. Use a toothbrush with a small soft head. If you cannot find it for adults, use the ones available in the market for children.
  3. Be calm at all times. Closing your ice and concentrating on breathing may help in some cases.
  4. You can also listen to music or pursue a hobby of your liking, provided it is not stressful or puts undue pressure on your health.
  5. Switch to a different brand if the flavor of the toothpaste is causing the retching. Alternatively, you can use water while brushing and then use a fluorinated mouthwash. Revert to using fluoride-containing toothpaste as soon as possible.

·       Craving during pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is normal to have a craving for specific foods as per the best dental hospital in Coimbatore. Although, a pregnant woman should avoid sugary snacks as much as possible as it increases the chance of tooth decay. They can eat low sugar-containing snacks during the craving. Otherwise, you can avail of some healthier options like fresh fruits and berries. Always wash your mouth with fluoride-containing toothpaste after having snacks with added sugar in high amounts.

·       Maintaining calcium levels

During pregnancy, ingesting of calcium should be increased to assist the bone development of the fetus along with the dental requirement of the mother. The following practices can be a source of naturally available calcium:

  1. Milk, cheese, fruit yogurt (plain or sugar-free)
  2. Calcium-rich drinks like milk, low-sugar flavored milk like almond or soy milk.
  3. Cheese and yogurt are recommended for individuals with lactose intolerance.
  4. Certain nuts like cashew or almond.
  5. Foods that contain Vitamin-D like fatty fish, eggs, margarine, Vitamin D-added milk, bread, cereals, or vitamin D supplements.

During pregnancy, the teeth also get affected adversely due to many reasons. So, for expecting mothers, taking care of the teeth as per the dentists’ advice is also a prime concern. Apart from consuming the required food and maintaining usual dental hygiene practices, a regular checkup with your dentist is recommended during the pregnancy.


Author Bio: 

Lesli is a Content Writer and loves to blog about health-related articles. She enjoys learning and specializes in guest blogging, blog publishing, and social media. She is an avid reader and loves writing impeccable content pertaining to health care. 

I Grind My Teeth In My Sleep, What Can I Do?

If you wake up every day with sore and fatigued jaw muscles and aching teeth, it may be because you have a habit of tooth grinding during sleep. Scientifically known as bruxism, this condition is not only dangerous for your teeth but also indicates an underlying problem with your dental or physical health. 

Why Do I Grind My Teeth In My Sleep? 

According to the Bruxism Association, there are various causes of tooth grinding. 

  • Stress and Anxiety – perhaps, the most common reason for bruxism is stress and anxiety. People often find themselves grinding their teeth during exam days due to increased stress
  • Sleep Disorders – according to the American Sleep Association, bruxism can also be caused due to various sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnoea. In this condition, breathing during sleep is interrupted frequently, which  affects the quality of sleep and leads to tooth grinding. 
  • Lifestyle Habits – people who smoke or drink alcohol often grind their teeth, either during the day or while sleeping. Excessive caffeine intake has also been linked with bruxism. 
  • Medications – brxusim can also results as side effect of certain medications, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
  • Genetic Predisposition – research has shown that bruxism also runs in families. It is commonly seen that people with bruxism often have close relatives or family members that are also suffering from the same condition. 

What Problems Can Result From Grinding Teeth? 

The habit of excessive tooth grinding can lead to various problems. 

  • Tooth Wear – one of the most common complications of bruxism is tooth wear. As you grind your teeth, a thin layer of the outer protective enamel is removed; ultimately, the entire enamel layer is lost, leaving the tooth vulnerable to teeth cavities. Not only this, the loss of enamel makes the teeth sensitive to hot or cold foods and drinks. 
  • Temporomandibular Joints Problems – tooth grinding puts excessive pressure on your jaw joints, leading to various complications like clicking or popping sounds while opening or closing the mouth, and even jaw joint dislocation. 
  • Headaches – constant tooth grinding puts a lot of pressure on the face and jaw muscles, leading to spasms and headaches. 
  • Tooth sensitivity – excessive grinding damages the outer protective layer of the teeth, which can cause sensitivity to hot or cold foods. 

Jaw Clenching While Awake, What Can I Do? 

Management of bruxism involves treating the underlying cause. If you feel that you or a loved one grinds their teeth, take them to a dentist immediately. Your dentist will identify the underlying cause and then recommend the appropriate treatment. Sometimes, treating bruxism involves a team effort by your dentist, healthcare specialist or psychiatrist. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Bruxism? 

Bruxism can cause a variety of problems. The sleep foundation highlights the following symptoms of daytime or sleep bruxism:

  • Jaw soreness
  • Loose or painful teeth 
  • Flattened teeth 
  • Headaches 
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty in opening or closing mouth
  • Frequent jaw dislocation 
  • Sensitive teeth 

Perhaps, the most harmful consequence of tooth grinding is the flattening of teeth. When the teeth are flattened, they cannot effectively cut the food we eat into smaller pieces so that it can be digested properly. This can lead to various medical condition like indigestion, heartburn, and other gastric issues. 

What Is The Treatment For Teeth Grinding? 

According to the Sleep Foundation, there is no treatment currently available that can completely cure bruxism. However, there are several approaches available that can reduce its frequency and damage to one’s oral health. 

The first step in the management of bruxism is identifying the underlying cause. If it is because of stress, it will be managed through psychological treatment. Your dentist may also inject a botox injection for facial muscle relaxation. Similarly, if the underlying cause is a sleep disorder, your dentist will refer you to a sleep medicine specialist for further treatment.

For other medical-related reasons, your dentist will refer you to your physician. Your dentist will give you a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw joints from damage while your treatment is being done. A mouthguard is an appliance that prevents the teeth from excessive wear while grinding. 

Mouthguard For Teeth Grinding?

Your dentist may give you a mouthguards, also called night guards, if you grind your teeth. According to the Bruxism Association, a mouthguard is a removable appliance, just like a retainer, worn to prevent the teeth from damage due to excessive grinding. In some cases, dentists also prescribe mandibular advancement devices (MAD). These devices work by keeping the lower jaw in a slightly forward position – thereby preventing jaw clenchign and tooth grinding. After a thorough examination, your dentist will recommend an mouthguard or a mandibular splint, depending on the severity of your condition and individual dental needs. 

Teething grinding is a severe problem that can lead to many dental and medical complications. However, timely diagnosis and dental care can go a long way in minimising the damages associated with this problem. If you, or a loved suffers from night or daytime bruxism, you should take them to a dentist right away.

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Cooking For A Happy, Healthy Sweet Tooth

Sweet treats and a healthy smile—can they go hand in hand? Rising awareness of the dangers of sugar has many parents wondering how to please their children’s taste buds without contributing to the formation of plaque and cavities. Here are some simple ways to protect your children’s teeth while pleasing their taste buds with sweet, healthy treats.

The Foundations of a Tooth-Friendly Diet

Before launching into some tooth-friendly replacements for sugar, let’s cover some healthy eating habits that provide the nutrients for teeth that are strong and cavity-free.

Wholefood Vitamins and Minerals

The two most important minerals for strengthening tooth enamel according to the American Dental Association are calcium and phosphorus. Calcium is abundant in foods such as cheese, milk, almonds, and dark leafy green vegetables. Phosphorus is present in meat, eggs, and fish.

To maximize these key minerals and their uptake in the body, it’s best to go for grass-fed, organic animal products (and to ingest milk in its probiotic-rich fermented forms). Nuts and seeds should be soaked overnight in the fridge to reduce anti-nutrients like oxalic acid.

Cod Liver Oil and High-Vitamin Butter Oil

Dr. Weston A. Price—a renowned dentist who studied primitive cultures in the early 1900s—observed that communities that still ate a traditional diet ingested ten times more vitamin A and D than people in the modern world. He also noted that these fat-soluble vitamins, when paired with Vitamin K2, significantly improved the body’s retention and utilization of dietary minerals for strong teeth and bones.

To increase these key vitamins in your family’s diet, Dr. Price and the Weston A. Price Foundation recommend consuming quality fermented cod liver oil and grass-fed butter oil daily (including before and during pregnancy) to prevent many of the most common dental issues in children and adults.

Sweets that Please Your Teeth as Much as Your Taste Buds

In addition to the dietary guidelines set out above, your family can enjoy a number of healthy sweets that won’t harm your teeth or contribute to the development of diabetes later in life.

1. Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And as it turns out, an apple a day may keep the dentist away, too. Raw, crunchy foods like apples, carrots, celery, and cucumbers can help to dislodge plaque and cleanse your mouth so that bacteria are cleared away instead of settling down and causing cavities. For a tooth-friendly treat that is low in natural sugars, try green apples rather than red. Your body will thank you!

2. Chewing Honey

As one of the most intense natural sweeteners, honey may seem like a surprising ingredient to include in a “tooth-friendly” ingredient list. However, a 2014 study demonstrated that chewing honey can reduce oral bacteria more effectively than antibiotics. It also helps acid levels in the mouth to drop off much more quickly after a meal than either sucrose or sorbitol did under the same conditions.

3. Stevia

Stevia is a naturally sweet leaf from South America that is typically ground into a powder and sold in its powdered or crystallized form. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), stevia does not produce lactic acid when ingested, which is one of the main by-products of refined sugar that eats away at your teeth.

4. Xylitol

A sweetener that is derived from the natural sugar alcohol present in birch fibers, xylitol may be the star of the show when it comes to tooth-happy sweeteners. This powdered substance prevents the acid attack that typically occurs for up to 30 minutes after eating and can reduce acid-forming bacteria by up to 90%.

As if that weren’t enough, this sweetener raises the concentration of amino acids and ammonia in the saliva, increasing the pH of the oral cavity. When the pH of the mouth is above 7, calcium and phosphate salts in your saliva move to the weak areas of tooth enamel and actually begin to repair it!

5. Cranberries

Cranberries can be eaten fresh or dried and contain polyphenols (just like black tea). A study from the Dentistry Journal indicates that polyphenols may prevent plaque from attaching itself to teeth, lowering the chance of cavities. Be sure to buy cranberries with no added sugar as this tart fruit is often sweetened.

6. Raisins

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which may help to kill bacteria in the mouth that cause cavities. These delicious little treats can also help to control some of the bacteria associated with gum disease and are easy to send with your children for a healthy school lunch. As with any dried fruit, consume raisins in moderation as a complement to fresh, raw, and whole foods.

Tooth-Friendly Habits to Develop in Your Family

Complete your family’s tooth-friendly program by rinsing your mouth with water after each meal, brushing everyone’s teeth twice daily, and flossing once a day—preferably after meals containing stringy fibers or red meat.

Visiting the dentist every six months is a great way to check that you and your children are using effective brushing techniques and to catch demineralization in its tracks for a lifetime of strong, happy, and healthy teeth.

Image sources

https://unsplash.com/photos/vuDXJ60mJOA
https://unsplash.com/photos/9HbL0mGRpL8
https://unsplash.com/photos/B_YxU_bY3PY
https://pixabay.com/photos/stevia-leaf-sugar-plant-sweetness-74187/
https://pixabay.com/photos/trees-birch-white-trunk-forest-690727/
https://pixabay.com/photos/backdrop-background-berry-cranberry-22024/
https://pixabay.com/photos/raisins-dried-vine-useful-617416/

Written by Aaron Smith

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Teens and Dental Opioids: A Guide for Parents

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Drug abuse is one of the priority concerns among parents in many regions of the world. Over the last few years, the number of teens using various drugs for non-drug purposes has increased tremendously. Although there is adequate drug education in schools, experts believe parents have an essential role to play in helping their children stay away from drugs.

Most doctors associate drug abuse with hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine and crystal meth. While these drugs still result in the worst cases of abuse, addiction, and overdose, other new dimensions continue to emerge. According to studies, prescription drugs are currently the leading cause of drug abuse and overdoses in the US. This is particularly common among high school teenagers with reports indicating that as many as 20% of high school seniors take prescription drugs with no underlying medical condition. 

Prescription drugs and abuse 

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Prescription drugs are a group of FDA-approved medicines. While prescriptions exist in almost all drug doses, most abuse cases stem from pain relievers. Opioids, in particular, are very effective in relieving pain. Opioid prescriptions come in various names including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Popular brand equivalents are oxycontin (oxy), Percocet and Vicodin. There are several other opioid painkillers on the market, some offering instant pain-relief while others promise to reduce the overall distress. 

Unfortunately, prescription drugs offer both desirable and undesirable symptoms. Like cocaine and heroin, opioids can result in feelings of euphoria and temporary “high.” This euphoric feeling is what most drug users chase, and it can quickly develop into a habit or addiction. Due to the habit-forming nature of prescription pain relievers, their use should remain under careful monitoring and control by doctors and parents alike. 

Dental opioids in teenage drug abuse

Dental opioids are popular prescription drugs among teenagers. Although most dentists believe it is unnecessary, teenagers and some adults use dental opioids for pain relief following dental procedures such as root canal. Doctors can prescribe pain relievers following surgery or accident. Whenever this is the case, it is essential to find out about the duration your child will have to take prescriptions. This can help prevent drug abuse and unnecessary use. However, a significant number of teenagers resort to using opioids and other potent pain relievers to deal with oral pain. 

The euphoria one gets from using opioids, and pain prescriptions are short-lived. As such, most teenagers end up using higher doses to achieve the initial “high.” It is common for teenage parties, especially seniors, to feature prescription pills for entertainment. Using drugs for non-medical purposes is the primary cause of overdoses as there is no more control of the dosage one takes. 

Preventing and managing dental opioids in teenagers

It is recommendable to find alternative pain-relief therapies that can avoid over-dependence on the prescriptions. According to the American Dental Association, regular dental procedures like removal of wisdom teeth do not require strong pain relievers. Studies have shown generic NSAIDs like ibuprofen to be sufficient in offering relief for mild pain. Nonetheless, there are rare cases of severe oral pain that may require stronger painkillers and opioids. It is essential to know your options and requirements.

According to experts, parents and teenagers should choose the most reputable doctors and facilities close to their residence. A simple search string like the best dentist near me can begin your quest for a competent dentist in your region. However, drug abuse prevention goes beyond choosing a credible, trustworthy doctor. Two best practices include:

  1. Have an open discussion with the doctor and your child
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Parents must learn to talk openly with their children about drug use and abuse, including the adverse effects of over-indulging in various substances. More importantly, you should talk frankly with the doctor to enable them to determine the best care for your child’s unique needs. Understanding what your kid is going through and communicating any information regarding opioids use is the best way to plan their medication. Teenagers and kids require awareness education to help them understand the importance of proper drug use, avoiding sharing medication, and prospects of using drugs for recreational purposes.

  1. Control the use of painkillers

When your doctor prescribes painkillers or opioids for pain relief, make sure you only purchase the exact dosage. If there are any leftovers, dispose of them properly. Proper control is crucial in preventing abuse and addiction. It is also essential to know all the options available for pain relief and choose the best drugs for your kid. Opioid painkillers can be useful in reducing dental pain. It is possible to use these options safely. However, both the doctor and parent must ensure effective control of choices and dosage.

Conclusion

No parent wishes to see their kid turn into an addict. There are various things that parents can do to help their teenage children understand the prospects of drug use and abuse. By having the right discussions at home, kids can grow up well-aware of the risks and characteristics of opioids and drug abuse, as well as how to find help. It is also essential to choose reputable clinics and medical facilities that are licensed to offer dental services in the area. Before accepting any opioids or prescriptions, make sure you discuss its usage, dosage, prospect side effects, effectiveness, active ingredients, classification, and any other vital information.  

Diabetes and teeth – what’s the link?

Diabetes has become a rapidly growing disease in recent times partly due to our poor lifestyle choices. This disease has many consequences in the body including on oral health. 

Poorly controlled diabetes may cause:

  • Increased oral infections because blood supply to the gums may be reduced if the blood vessels are compromised. High blood sugar levels over time will accelerate any gum disease you may have, and also compromise your immune system. This means that your body will not be able to fight off the infection easily. 

Fungal infections are also more common, in part due to the compromised immune system but also by the dry mouth that is often associated with diabetes. 

  • A dry mouth is a common symptom of diabetes. This lack of saliva production encourages bacterial growth that will increase tartar build-up and encourage gum disease. Over time and without the proper treatment, gum disease can progress to more severe periodontitis. This type of infection takes a long time to treat. In severe cases, it can cause tooth loss.
  • Bad breath (halitosis) may also be a symptom due to the dry mouth and gum infections. 

What can you do?

  • Controlling your blood sugar levels is key to great oral health if you have diabetes. Ensure you’re taking the correct medications and dosages that your doctor has prescribed and make regular doctor’s appointments to ensure the medication dosages don’t need to be adjusted. This will help you prevent all the possible complications of diabetes on your dental health, like gum disease.
  • Develop great daily oral hygiene habits. This includes:
  1. Brushing your teeth at least two times daily. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste to gently brush your teeth in a circular motion. Fluoride will keep the teeth strong and protect against tooth decay. Prevent brushing too hard as this may cause irritated gums. If you have snacked on particularly sticky foods, clean your teeth immediately after, if possible. Some dentists advise using an electric toothbrush which does most of the brushing for you. Remember to change the brush head regularly to ensure your teeth are being cleaned properly.
  2. Use floss to clean food debris from the hard-to-reach areas. There are many commercially available products that can make flossing easy, like the waxed varieties and the various types of flossing devices.
  3.  Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and to clean your teeth professionally. Your dentist will be alerted to any dental problems before they become serious. 
  4. It is very important that your dentist knows you are a diabetic so that they can be on the lookout for any complications. Remind them at every visit of this. Be sure to mention any irregular symptoms that you may be experiencing like xerostomia (dry mouth), a tooth that may feel loose or any oral pain.  Your dentist needs to be aware of your diabetes because he may prescribe some medications that may interfere with your diabetic medications. 
  5. Examine your mouth regularly for signs of inflammation like redness, gums that are bleeding and swelling. Make a dental appointment if you notice any of this. 
  6. Eat a balanced and healthy diet as directed by your doctor or dietician. A good diet will help you to control your blood sugar levels together with your prescribed medicines. Cut out sugary snacks and carbonated drinks which will help control your blood sugar levels and prevent tooth decay. 

Ensure you adopt a healthy lifestyle which includes giving up smoking. Smoking increases the numerous problems of diabetes, like gingivitis. Seek advice on how to stop smoking if required.  

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