How to Handle a Dental Emergency
By AYOMIDE OLADIPUPO
Updated May 2, 2019
From a broken tooth to losing a tooth altogether, a dental emergency can happen anywhere, at any time. It is very important for everyone to understand what needs to be done if such a problem occurs.
Like any emergency, it is important to stay calm and assess the situation. You should call for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) if you feel the dental emergency warrants immediate care and attention, but not all problems require that. Here are the most common dental emergencies with a link to the recommended courses of action for each.
Broken or Cracked Tooth
Kreativ Clinic, Budapest
What causes a tooth to break or crack can vary from biting down on a hard piece of food, or being hit in the mouth playing a sport. Regardless of how a tooth breaks or cracks, chances are the nerve of the tooth will be exposed, causing a great deal of pain and discomfort. An exposed nerve is hypersensitive to temperature, especially cold and requires immediate treatment from a dentist. Here, you will find information on what you should do immediately after a tooth breaks or cracks in order to keep yourself comfortable until you can see your dentist.
A Lost or Knocked Out Tooth
Known as an avulsed tooth, having a tooth knocked out can be very frightening, and very painful at the same time. When a tooth is knocked out, there is a great deal of hemorrhaging that occurs, which needs to be dealt with immediately, but did you know it is sometimes possible to save your lost tooth and have it reimplanted?
Because time is of the essence when a tooth has been knocked out, understanding how to inspect, clean, and reimplant a tooth that has been knocked out prior to seeing your dentist will hopefully increase the chances for successful reimplantation of the lost tooth.
Cut Inside the Mouth
A cut inside the mouth, also known as a soft tissue laceration is common with most traumatic dental emergencies because the tissues inside and around the mouth are very delicate. Sometimes, a laceration can occur on the outside of the mouth, depending on how the trauma occurred.
When dealing with a laceration, it is very important to make sure that any hemorrhaging from the wound is controlled. Uncontrolled bleeding may lead to shock, which may cause death if not treated immediately.
Bitten Lip or Tongue
If you have never experienced biting down on your lip or tongue, consider yourself very lucky. Biting down on either one of these delicate areas is very painful, and may cause a lot of bleeding. There are times when biting your lip or tongue may require medical attention. Learn how to deal with a dental emergency involving biting down on your lip or tongue.
Jaw Fracture and Dislocation
A fractured jaw or a dislocated jaw are both considered to be very serious dental emergencies.
The amount of force necessary to break or dislocate a person’s jaw will undoubtedly cause significant trauma, and possibly other serious life-threatening complications.
Understanding how to correctly handle a dental emergency involving a possible broken or dislocated jaw should become an important part of every family’s first aid protocol.
Preparedness Is Key
Preparing for a dental emergency should become part of your basic first aid preparedness plan. Dental emergencies can happen out of the blue, in almost every situation related to a potentially traumatic experience. Without proper knowledge of how to handle a dental emergency, a lost tooth may, unfortunately, become the least of your worries.
Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.
Here are some tips for common dental emergencies:
For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, in milk, or use a tooth preservation product that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Then, get to your dentist’s office right away.
For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.
When you have a dental emergency, it’s important to visit your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Here are some simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:
Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.
Most dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients. Call your dentist and provide as much detail as possible about your condition.
The sound and appearance of dental tools seem downright frightening. When you walk into a dentist’s office, the whirr of a drill or the sharp hook of a device you can’t even describe can send chills down your spine. It can even cause some of us to fear the dentist, which makes for an unpleasant trip each time you have to go. However, there are ways to try to remedy the situation. By knowing what each tool does, you might be less anxious every time the dentist goes near your mouth. Here’s a brief guide to help you understand basic dental tools, and assist in calming your nerves and putting your mind at ease.
This is probably the least scary of all the dental instruments, but it’s important nevertheless. The mouth mirror is a small mirror attached to a metal stick. The purpose of this instrument is two-fold. First, it allows the dentist to view places in the mouth that ordinarily would take an act of physical contortion to see. This makes it easier to find tooth decay or other potential oral problems that would otherwise go undetected. Second, it gives the dentist an easy way to move your tongue or push on the inside of your cheek without doing so with their hands.
A sickle probe, also known as a dental explorer, is one of the scarier dental tools, but it’s beneficial in finding signs of cavities or periodontal (gum) disease. This instrument has a long handle with a sharp-looking hook on the end. This is primarily used to explore the pockets between teeth, while also scraping away tartar and plaque. If you have a visible cavity, the dentist may also use the sharp tip to investigate. It may look medieval, but it’s a necessary tool for preventative dentistry.
While a sickle probe is effective at removing small areas of plaque and tartar, scalers are more essential for the removal of a greater buildup. Most patients who require scaling have more significant issues with periodontal disease, but everyone experiences some form of plaque buildup. When you eat or drink, tiny particles such as sugars and acids stick to your teeth, and bacteria forms. This harmful bacteria eventually causes tooth decay, and while brushing and flossing help remove most of this plaque, additional removal is sometimes required. A scaler scrapes off excess plaque, and while it’s not necessarily comfortable, it will prevent you from losing your teeth to decay.
Saliva Ejector or Suction Device
Unlike some other dental tools, a saliva ejector is one of the easier to deal with, and many times, the source of a bit of comedy. When a dentist is exploring your mouth, they often need a dry surface. A suction device is a long tube attached to a vacuum that removes saliva from your mouth. You may hear some vacuum sounds and feel the ejector stick to your cheek or tongue, but it’s nothing that should startle you. During treatments that involve the use of water, you may be regularly instructed to close your mouth in order to help the device clear the accumulated water.
Perhaps the most feared of all tools is the dental drill. The sound of it is enough to send some patients into a frenzy. However, it’s the most effective way to remove tooth decay before filling a cavity. This electric drill spins at over 250,000 rpm while shooting water into your mouth. If the drill didn’t administer water, it would get hot enough to damage the tooth. While the dental drill can feel uncomfortable because of vibrations on your teeth, it’s usually not painful when you receive a local anaesthetic.
Speaking of anaesthetics, the dental syringe is what delivers the numbing blow to your mouth. They’re a bit longer than a typical needle or syringe so the dentist can hit the correct spot when administering the anaesthetic. As with a shot, the initial injection may cause discomfort for a moment, but this is quickly numbed by the anaesthetic. If you’re a bit squeamish around needles, it’s probably in your best interest not to look at it, but it happens so quickly that it’s nothing you should fear. Many dentists also administer a topical anaesthetic prior to using the syringe, in order to dull the initial needle prick.
If you need a crown, cap, or mouthguard, your dentist may have to get a mold (or mould) of your teeth. These molds are nothing to fear, however; they’re small frames filled with a soft substance and are placed in your mouth. When you bite down, it provides a perfect mold of your teeth. The molding material doesn’t taste great, but it’s nothing you can’t tolerate for a few seconds, and some dentists even have flavoured versions available for kids of all ages.
Now that you know a bit more about the tools that go into routine dental practices, you don’t have to hide under a blanket of fear – or under any blanket for that matter. In the hands of your dental professionals, these tools are harmless, and the ones that sound or look menacing are typically offset by something, such as an anaesthetic, that will help you to remain comfortable. You might even impress your dentist by showing how much you know about each instrument.
What Are the Most Common Dental Problems?
By AYOMIDE OLADIPUPO April 11, 2019
Dental problems are never any fun, but the good news is that most of them can be easily prevented. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, eating properly and regular dental check-ups are essential steps in preventing dental problems. Educating yourself about common dental problems and their causes can also go a long way in prevention. Here is a list of common dental problems.
Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be downright embarrassing. According to dental studies, about 85 percent of people with persistent bad breath have a dental condition that is to blame.
Gum disease, cavities, oral cancer, dry mouth, and bacteria on the tongue are some of the dental problems that can cause bad breath. Using mouthwash to cover up bad breath when a dental problem is present will only mask the odor and not cure it. If you have chronic bad breath, visit your dentist to rule out any of these problems.
Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is the second only to the common cold as the most prevalent disease in the United States. Tooth decay occurs when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and/or starches of the food you eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel.
You can get cavities at any age—they aren’t just for children. As you age, you can develop cavities as your tooth enamel erodes. Dry mouth due to age or medications can also lead to cavities.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and going to your regular dental check-ups.
Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay. Your dentist can recommend further treatments that may help reduce your risk.
Gum (Periodontal) Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding the teeth. It is also one of the main causes of tooth loss among adults. Some studies have indicated that there may be a link between heart disease and periodontal disease.
Everyone is at risk for gum disease, but it usually occurs after age 30. Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors. Diabetes and dry mouth also increase your risk. The symptoms include bad breath, red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, and painful chewing.
The two major stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Regular dental check-ups along with brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily play an important role in preventing gum disease. You should see your dentist if you have any signs of gum disease so you can get treatment to prevent further complications, such as tooth loss.
Oral cancer is a serious and deadly disease that affects millions of people. The Oral Cancer Foundation estimates that someone in the United States dies every hour from oral cancer, but it is often curable if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. It is most often seen in people over the age of 40.
The biggest risk factors are tobacco and alcohol use, including chewing tobacco. HPV—a sexually transmitted wart virus—also increases the risk.
The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer include sores, lumps, or rough areas in the mouth. You may also have a change in your bite and difficulty chewing or moving your tongue or jaw.
Regular dental visits can help catch oral cancer early. You may ask your dentist whether an oral cancer exam is part of their usual checkup. If you notice any of the symptoms or have trouble chewing, swallowing, or moving your tongue or jaw, see your dentist.
There are several types of mouth sores and they can be pesky and bothersome. Unless a mouth sore lasts more than two weeks, it is usually nothing to worry about and will disappear on its own.
Common mouth sores are canker sores (aphthous ulcers) that occur inside the mouth and not on the lips. They are not contagious and can be triggered by many different causes. They are only a concern if they don’t go away after two weeks.
Fever blisters or cold sores are caused by the Herpes simplex virus and occur on the edge of the outer lips. They are contagious and will come and go but are not completely curable.
Mouth sores are also seen in oral thrush or candidiasis, a yeast infection of the mouth that can be seen in infants, denture wearers, people with diabetes, and during cancer treatment.
Tooth erosion is the loss of tooth structure and is caused by acid attacking the enamel. Tooth erosion signs and symptoms can range from sensitivity to more severe problems such as cracking. Tooth erosion is more common than people might think, but it can also be easily prevented.
Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects millions of people. Basically, tooth sensitivity involves experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot drinks, cold drinks or ice cream. Some people with sensitive teeth even experience discomfort from brushing and flossing. The good news is that sensitive teeth can be treated.
Sensitive teeth can also be a sign of a cracked tooth or a tooth abscess, which needs to be treated by your dentist to prevent losing a tooth or getting an infection in your jaw bone. If you suddenly develop tooth sensitivity, make an appointment with your dentist to see if there is a source that needs to be treated.
Toothaches and Dental Emergencies
While many toothaches and dental emergencies can be easily avoided just by regular visits to the dentist, accidents can and do happen. Having a dental emergency can be very painful and scary. Common problems that require an urgent trip to your dentist include a broken or cracked tooth, an abscessed tooth, or a tooth knocked out in an accident.
Go to a hospital for trauma care if you have a fractured or dislocated jaw or severe cuts to your tongue, lips, or mouth. If you have a tooth abscess that is causing difficulty swallowing or you have developed a fever or facial swelling, get emergency care as well.
While an unattractive smile is not technically a “dental problem,” it is a major reason why many patients seek dental treatment.
An unattractive smile can really lower a person’s self-esteem. Luckily, with today’s technologies and developments, anyone can have a beautiful smile. Whether it’s teeth whitening, dental implants, orthodontics or other cosmetic dental work, chances are that your dentist can give you the smile of your dreams.
Symptoms of Dental & Oral Disorders
Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis
Toothache & Infection
A toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve in the root of a tooth or surrounding a tooth is irritated. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain. Pain may also occur after an extraction (tooth is pulled out). Pain sometimes originates from other areas and radiates to the jaw, thus appearing to be tooth pain. The most common areas include the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or TMJ), ear pain, sinuses, and even occasional heart problems.
Bacteria growing inside your mouth can contribute to gum disease and dental decay, both of which can cause pain. Often, gum disease will not result in any pain.
You can prevent the majority of dental problems by flossing, brushing with fluoride toothpaste, and having your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year. The dentist may apply sealants and fluoride, which are especially important for children’s teeth.
Toothache occurs from inflammation of the central portion of the tooth called pulp. The pulp contains nerve endings that are very sensitive to pain. Inflammation to the pulp or pulpitis may be caused by dental cavities, trauma, and infection. Referred pain from the jaw may cause you to have symptoms of a toothache.
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Toothache and jaw pain are common complaints. There may be severe pain to pressure, or to hot or cold stimuli. The pain may persist for longer than 15 seconds after the stimulus is removed. As the area of inflammation increases, the pain becomes more severe. It may radiate to the cheek, the ear, or the jaw. Other signs and symptoms that may lead you to seek care include the following:
Pain with chewing
Hot or cold sensitivity
Bleeding or discharge from around a tooth or gums
Swelling around a tooth or swelling of your jaw
Injury or trauma to the area
These signs and symptoms may sometimes be associated with dental decay, tooth fracture, or gum disease (periodontal disease). Dental decay or an area of redness around the tooth’s gum line may point to the source of pain. If you tap an infected tooth, it may make the pain more intense. This sign may point to the problem tooth even if the tooth appears normal.
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A toothache needs to be differentiated from other sources of pain in the face. Sinusitis, ear or throat pain, or an injury to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that attaches the jaw to the skull may be confused with toothache. Pain from a deeper structure (called referred pain) may be passed along the nerve and be felt in the jaw or tooth. In order to pinpoint the source of the pain and get relief, call your dentist or doctor.
When to Seek Medical Care for a Toothache
You should call your doctor or dentist about a toothache when:
Pain is not relieved by over-the-counter drugs
You experience severe pain after a tooth is pulled; this may occur on the second or third day after tooth extraction. This is a result of the clot falling out and bone exposed until a new clot and cover the exposed bone. The condition is known as alveolar osteitis or “dry socket syndrome.” If you develop this condition, you should see a dentist within 24 hours.
Pain is associated with swelling of the gums or face, or you have discharge around a tooth; fever is an important sign of infection in dental disease. Simple dental decay (caries) does not cause fever. These signs may signify an infection surrounding the tooth, the gum, or the jaw bone (mandible). Fever and swelling may indicate the presence of an abscess. Dental abscesses may require antibiotics and surgical opening (drainage) of the abscess. When this procedure is recommended to be done inside the tooth (endodontic drainage), “root canal” therapy is performed.
Broken or knocked-out teeth occur from an injury; unless associated with more severe injuries, your dentist should be contacted as soon as possible. Swallowed teeth and permanent tooth loss are considered dental emergencies. Tooth loss due to injury (traumatic loss) is treated differently in children who have lost their primary teeth than in older children and adults with injury to their secondary — or permanent –teeth. If a child’s permanent (adult) tooth is fully knocked out, try to gently rinse it off and re-implant it as soon as possible and seek dental care. If you are not able to get it back in place it in a small amount of milk or even water and seek dental care.
Pain is present at the angle of your jaw; if every time you open your mouth widely you have pain, it is likely that the temporomandibular (TMJ) joint has been injured or inflamed. This can occur from an injury or just by trying to eat something that is too big. Your dentist may be able to suggest solutions to this problem.
Wisdom teeth are causing pain; as wisdom teeth (third molars) are coming into the mouth — or erupting — they cause inflammation of the gum around the visible portion of the crown. The gum overlying the crown may become infected. The tooth most commonly involved is the lower third molar. The pain may extend to the jaw and ear. There may be swelling in the affected area so that the jaw cannot be closed properly. In severe cases, pain in the throat and the floor of the mouth may make it difficult to swallow.
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Any history of trauma, chest pain, or heart disease, or rashes may suggest causes of pain other than purely dental origin. These symptoms with toothache or jaw pain indicate that you should visit your doctor or a hospital’s emergency department.
High fever or chills: This may indicate a more widespread infection that might require more than antibiotics by mouth.
Recent head or face injury: If you experience headache, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, or other symptoms that concern you after an injury to your face or mouth, you may have a more serious injury in addition to your dental injury.
A facial rash associated with a toothache: This condition may improve with medication. The doctor should be able to decide what is appropriate.
Any jaw pain occurring with chest pain: Although jaw pain is most commonly caused by dental disease, it is sometimes referred pain from other areas. People with heart disease, especially people who have had stents placed, people with diabetes, or those who have had heart surgery may have jaw pain as a symptom of heart attack or angina. If your jaw or tooth pain is associated with lightheadedness, sweating, or shortness of breath, you should see a doctor.
Trouble swallowing or excessive pain or bleeding from gums: If you have a history of a weakened immune system, diabetes, or steroid use, you may be more susceptible to infections. Infections can often be more severe and extensive or caused by unusual organisms. Dental and gum infections in people with these conditions may require more aggressive treatment. An abscess may need draining or IV antibiotics, for example.
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Exams and Tests for Toothaches
A thorough medical history and oral exam usually lead to an appropriate diagnosis.
Sometimes, X-rays called periapical and Panorex views (panoramic X-rays of the teeth and jaw) are taken. Rarely, lab evaluation, including ECG tracings of the heart, will assist the doctor. If the cause is something other than a dental or jaw problem, the doctor may prescribe drugs directed at the problem. If the condition is more severe, the doctor may admit you to the hospital for further care. You may be referred to a dentist for further treatment.
Treating a Toothache at Home
Over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used. Take these as directed on the package while you arrange a dental appointment.
Avoid very cold or hot foods, because they may make the pain worse.
You may get relief from biting on a cotton ball soaked in oil of cloves. You can get oil of cloves at most drug stores.
For jaw pain:
Aspirin may be helpful for problems in the joint of the jaw in adults.
Acetaminophen (not aspirin) should be used for children and teenagers.
If pain happens every time you open your mouth widely, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may be the source of the pain. Yawning or taking a large bite of food may worsen the pain. An appointment with your doctor or dentist will help you find the cause.
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Medical Treatment for Toothaches
In most cases, toothaches or jaw pain signifies a problem that must be cared for by a dentist.
A referral to a dentist for follow-up will usually be arranged. In some cases, the doctor may try an injection around the tooth for pain control. If there is swelling in the gums or face, or you have fever, antibiotics may be prescribed.
At the dentist’s office, fillings, pulling teeth, or other procedures may be performed as required. A tooth extraction will be the most likely procedure with a primary (baby) tooth. On permanent teeth if the problem is severe, root canal therapy (cleaning out the nerves and blood vessels and sealing off the root canals of the tooth) and crown procedures are generally performed.
An antibiotic will usually be prescribed if a fever or swelling of the jaw is present. Such procedures are generally done in stages, with pain and infection being cared for immediately, and reconstructive procedures being performed at a later time (weeks to months). You will be able to return to work or school while you recover. Dentists and oral surgeons may plan additional procedures at the most appropriate time.
If causes other than the teeth or jaw are responsible for the pain, management will depend on the condition.
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Toothache Treatment Follow-Up
After toothache treatment at your dentist’s office, continue to practice good dental care. Routine and prompt follow-up appointments with the dentist should relieve your dental pain faster.
When you leave the emergency department, take the medications as prescribed and keep your follow-up appointment. If you have any concerning signs or symptoms, call your doctor.
Stopping smoking may help improve some dental conditions. If you are having trouble quitting, talk to your doctor about assistance.
Most people can avoid toothaches and severe dental problems with regular dental care. Have your dentist’s telephone number easily available in case of an emergency.
Maintain a healthy diet. Bacteria thrive on refined sugar and starch and need this in order to burrow through the enamel on your teeth. Watch what you eat and be careful about food that sticks to and between your teeth. Brush your teeth after eating.
Establish a good program of cleaning your teeth to remove the food particles. Brush your teeth after eating and brush your gums to encourage healthy gum. Use a soft toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste as recommended by the American Dental Association. Floss between teeth daily. Water jets are effective at removing trapped particles, but flossing your teeth does a more thorough job when done carefully. Rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash to help get rid of bacteria that cause plaque and early gum disease.
Prevent tooth decay with fluoride. Fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay in children. Fluoride is a natural element and is found in many water supplies and vegetables. Check and see if your tap water is fluoridated. If your water is not fluoridated, your dentist can prescribe fluoride tablets or fluoride supplements for children younger than 10 years.
Arrange to have your teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist at least twice a year. It may help in preventing both decay and gum disease. Dental X-rays may be needed every three to five years to identify problem areas.
Keep your bridge or dentures clean. Your dentist can offer suggestions. Even if you do not have all of your original adult teeth, you can prevent new dental problems if you try these preventive tips.
Wear a protective dental guard or headgear while playing sports to help prevent injury.
Do not smoke. Tobacco smoking may make some dental conditions worse.
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Outlook for Toothaches
For most common causes of toothache, the prognosis is good with appropriate dental care. Following good dental hygiene, such as brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash, and routine check-ups by the dentist, helps to prevent dental problems.
For conditions other than dental and jaw problems, prompt diagnosis and treatment usually improve long-term outcome.
By AYOMIDE OLADIPUPO.
for Your Teeth
on April 7, 2019 — Written by AYOMIDE OLADIPUPO
They say you are what you eat. And in no better place can that be seen than in your teeth. That’s because many foods and beverages can cause plaque, which does serious damage your teeth. Plaque is a bacteria-filled sticky film that contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. After you eat a sugary snack or meal, the sugars cause the bacteria to release acids that attack tooth’s enamel. When the enamel breaks down, cavities can develop.
Cavities are the most common chronic disease faced by people aged six to 19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They cause complications like pain, chewing problems, and tooth abscesses. And if you don’t brush or floss your teeth, your plaque will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar above the gums can lead to gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.
How can you prevent plaque from wreaking havoc on your mouth? Besides brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing and visiting a dentist regularly, try to avoid or limit the foods below.
1. Sour Candies
It’s not surprising that candy is bad for your mouth. But sour candy contains more and different kinds of acids that are tougher on your teeth. Plus, because they’re chewy, they stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay. If you’re craving sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily.
Think twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. When you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. Now transformed into a gummy paste-like substance, the bread sticks to the crevices between teeth. And that can cause cavities. When you’re craving some carbs, aim for less-refined varieties like whole wheat. These contain less added sugars and aren’t as easily broken down.
We all know that drinking alcohol isn’t exactly healthy. But did you realize that when you drink, you dry out your mouth? A dry mouth lacks saliva, which we need to keep our teeth healthy. Saliva prevents food from sticking to your teeth and washes away food particles. It even helps repair early signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral infections. To help keep your mouth hydrated, drink plenty of water and use fluoride rinses and oral hydration solutions.
4. Carbonated Drinks
We all know that little, if any, good comes from soda or pop, even if it’s got the word “diet” on the can. A recent study even found that drinking large quantities of carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Carbonated sodas enable plaque to produce more acid to attack tooth enamel. So if you sip soda all day, you’re essentially coating your teeth in acid. Plus it dries out your mouth, meaning you have less saliva. And last but not least, dark-colored sodas can discolor or stain your teeth. A note: don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking a soda; this could actually hasten decay.
All it contains is water, so it’s fine to chew ice, right? Not so, according to the American Dental Association. Chewing on a hard substance can damage enamel and make you susceptible to dental emergencies such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth, or loosened crowns. You can use your ice to chill beverages, but don’t chew on it. To resist the urge, opt for chilled water or drinks without ice.
Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are tasty as both fruits and juices, and are packed with vitamin C. But their acid content can erode enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay. Even squeezing a lemon or lime into water adds acid to a drink. Plus, acid from citrus can be bothersome to mouth sores. If you want to get a dose of their antioxidants and vitamins, eat and drink them in moderation at mealtime and rinse with water afterward.
7. Potato Chips
The crunch of a potato chip is eternally satisfying to many of us. Unfortunately, they’re loaded with starch, which becomes sugar that can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed the bacteria in the plaque. Since we rarely have just one, the acid production from the chips lingers and lasts awhile. After you’ve gorged on a bag, floss to remove the trapped particles.
8. Dried Fruits
You likely assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack. That may be true, but many dried fruits — apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins, to name a few — are sticky. They get stuck and cling in the teeth and their crevices, leaving behind lots of sugar. If you do like to eat dried fruits, make sure you rinse your mouth with water, and then brush and floss after. And because they’re less concentrated with sugar, it is a better choice to eat the fresh versions instead!
8 Reasons why you should be brushing your teeth twice a day
Posted April 7, 2018 by AYOMIDE OLADIPUPO
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day should be an integral part of your day, just as its vital you eat. There are many reasons why it’s important that you brush your teeth twice a day, some of the reasons are obvious whilst others are less commonly known. Here are eight reasons why you should be brushing your teeth everyday:
Maintaining a fresh breath: When you don’t brush your teeth regularly, bacteria build up occurs in the mouth which can cause a variety of problems. To prevent bacteria building up, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day as well as chewing sugar free gum after each meal.
Prevents gum disease: You are at risk of plaque build-up on the teeth when you don’t brush often. Plaque is an accumulation of bacteria and food that occurs in everyone’s mouth. However, this plaque can lead to Gingivitis, a yellow lining on the base of the tooth that meets the gum. This is often the first stage of gum disease which causes inflammation of the gums and bleeds when you brush them.
Removes teeth stains – Toothpaste contains mild abrasives that removes debris and surface stains such as include calcium carbonate, aluminium oxides dehydrated silica gels, phosphate salts hydrated and silicates.
Reduces your chances of getting a heart attack or stroke – The Bacteria build-up from your mouth can travel down into the bloodstream, increasing the likelihood of cholesterol build up in the arteries. This can therefore elevate the chances of getting a stroke or heart attack.
Be kissable – Let’s face it, who wants to kiss someone who has a smelly breath or food in their teeth? Brushing your teeth is the most effective way to get rid of bacteria in your mouth, remove food.
Saves you money – Curing is always more expensive than the cure, and is usually a lot more hard work! Brushing your teeth twice a day will not only improve the your gum and teeth health, but it will help in preventing problems in the future, ultimately leaving you with reduced dental bills.
Have a healthy baby – Gum disease has been shown to increase the chance of premature birth and low birth weight. If you are pregnant, keep in mind that the bacteria build-up from in your mouth from not brushing your teeth can get into the bloodstream of your baby, putting them in risk. It can also be one of the many causes of delayed conception and impotence.
Prevent Dementia – Some studies have shown that Poor gum health increases in your risk of developing dementia by a 30% to 40%.
Those 3 minutes of brushing, twice a day can really save your life and prevent many serious diseases! The helpful and friendly dental team at Convent Garden Dental Clinic can provide you with even more information keeping your teeth in top condition. For more information, give me a call today on 08025331843.
AYOMIDE OLADIPUPO APRIL 6 2019.
Your smile is often the first thing that others notice about you.While a set of sparkling white teeth can make anyone appear more attractive and healthier, discolored teeth can seriously hamper a person’s self-confidence. People with stained or yellow teeth may even feel too conscious or embarrassed to smile in public.Teeth tend to lose their color and shine as a person grows older. In addition to this, there are several other factors that can cause yellow or stained teeth.Advertisements
What Causes Yellow Teeth?
Yellow teeth can be a result of:Thinning tooth enamel due to aging
Breathing through the mouth (due to blocked nasal passages)
Excessive fluoride intake
Poor dental hygiene
Excessive consumption of beverages like wine, tea, soda, and coffee
Certain food items
Tobacco and cigarettes
Trauma or accidents that impact the teeth
Discoloration of the teeth may also occur due to additional factors such as:High doses of antibiotics
Preventing Yellow Teeth
Here are a few ways to prevent your pearly-white teeth from turning yellow:Brush your teeth twice a day. This is the most important step in a proper dental care routine.
Floss your teeth at least once a day to help remove plaque from areas where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
Rinse your mouth with water after meals or drinking caffeinated beverages to remove any leftover food or residue from your teeth. This will help prevent stains and decay.
Cut back on coffee, tea, and other food and beverages that may stain your teeth.
Visit your dentist for a dental cleaning every 6 months.
Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco, as these habits are harmful to your oral health and can cause stained teeth, gum disease, and even oral cancer.
When to See a Doctor
If you have severely discolored or stained teeth, consult your dentist about various treatments options available to you.You should also visit your dentist if the color of your teeth appears abnormal without any known cause or if you experience any additional symptoms.A lot of people prefer professional treatment to remove the yellow tinge from their teeth. However, such treatments can be time-consuming, expensive, and even harmful.Advertisements
Commercial toothpaste may contain several harmful ingredients such as triclosan, sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, microbeads, and diethanolamine, to name a few. Additionally, many toothpaste products are flavored with artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.According to the American Dental Association, you must consult your dentist before using a bleaching product for teeth whitening. This is especially important for people with several dental fillings, crowns, and extremely dark stains.Natural Treatment Options for Yellow Teeth
Thankfully, there are several other effective and safe methods to get rid of stained and discolored teeth. These easy-to-follow home remedies can help restore your “million-dollar smile.”Here are some ways to whiten your teeth naturally.1. Brush Your Teeth with Baking Soda
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, boasts natural whitening properties and is a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste.Advertisements
Being mildly abrasive in nature, it helps scrub away surface stains and plaque accumulated on the teeth.Plaque buildup can contribute to several oral health issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.A review published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry found that toothpaste containing baking soda removed plaque from teeth more effectively than toothpaste without baking sodaBaking soda also facilitates plaque removal by neutralizing acids produced by plaque-causing bacteria.Mix ¼ teaspoon of baking soda with a little toothpaste. Brush your teeth with this gritty mixture, and then rinse with warm water. Use this remedy once or twice a week.
Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water. Brush your teeth with the paste. Do this a few times a week.
Note: Excess use of baking soda can strip your teeth of its natural protective enamel. Do not use it for more than a few weeks.
2. Mouthwash with Hydrogen Peroxide Solution
When it comes to whitening your teeth the natural way, the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide cannot be ignored.Advertisements
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent. It also helps in eliminating the bacteria in your mouth, thus preventing bad breath.A study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry found that brushing with commercial toothpaste containing baking soda and peroxide twice a day led to 62% whiter teeth in 6 weeks.Another study published in the Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology highlights the efficacy of a hydrogen peroxide mouthwash in removing stains and plaque.Mix 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of water. Use this solution as a mouthwash twice daily.
Alternatively, combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Gently brush your teeth with this mixture a few times a week for 2 or 3 weeks.
Note: Overuse of hydrogen peroxide may erode your tooth enamel. Do not use these remedies more often than recommended.
3. Try Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an excellent ingredient for the maintenance of oral health. Using it for oil pulling will help whiten and brighten your teeth.Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, which is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria present in the mouth. These bacteria can lead to plaque formation and other oral issues that may cause a yellow tinge on your teeth.A study published in the Nigerian Medical Journal reports that oil pulling using coconut oil could be an effective adjuvant procedure in decreasing plaque formation and plaque-induced gingivitis.A 2016 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Hygiene found that edible oil pulling therapy is natural and safe and has no side effects, and it can be considered as a preventive home care practice to maintain oral hygiene.Put 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin coconut oil in your mouth.
Swish it around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not gargle.
Spit out the milky solution.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
Brush your teeth.
Do this once daily in the morning before you eat.
4. Reap the Benefits of Holy Basil
The leaves of holy basil have whitening properties and can also help in protecting your teeth from problems such as periodontitis (pyorrhea), an advanced form of periodontal disease.A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry found that holy basil mouthwash has an antiplaque effect and is effective against plaque-forming bacterial strains. It can potentially be used as an antiplaque mouthwash with prophylactic benefits.Place a few holy basil leaves in the sun for a few hours. Grind the dried leaves into a powder. Mix the powder with your regular toothpaste and use this mixture to brush your teeth.
Another option is to make a paste of holy basil leaves and mustard oil and use it to clean your teeth.
5. Orange Peel can be Beneficial
This is one of the most popular natural remedies to whiten yellow teeth. The acidic property of orange peel makes it a powerful bleaching agent. This helps reduce the yellow tinge on your teeth.Moreover, orange peel contains limonene, which makes it highly effective in removing teeth staining, especially stains caused by smoking.A study that can be found in the American Journal of Dentistry states that toothpaste containing d-limonene was significantly effective in reducing smoking stains on teeth and d-limonene alone inhibited the development of further smoking stains.Rub a long strip of orange peel over your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Repeat this remedy twice daily, until you are satisfied with the results.
6. Partake Apples
Eating a crunchy apple can help make your teeth whiter by scrubbing them like a toothbrush.According to a study that can be found in the Insisiva Dental Journal (2012), apple juice possesses the ability to whiten the surface of the tooth enamel that changed color due to immersion in coffee solution so that it may return to its original color prior to discoloration.Try to eat at least one or two apples daily to get rid of the yellow stains on your teeth.
Chew thoroughly so that the acidic nature of the apple and its fiber-rich rough flesh get ample time to work on your teeth.
You can also consume other crunchy food items including raw carrots, cucumbers, and broccoli.7. Use Indian Lilac Twigs as a Toothbrush
Indian lilac, also known as neem, can also be used to get whiter and brighter teeth.Regular use of neem also helps get rid of bad breath and prevents dental cavities, plaque, gingivitis, and other oral health problems, owing to its astringent and antiseptic properties.A 2017 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry found that neem contains isoprenoids such as nimbin, nimbinin, and nimbidin, which have antibacterial effects against oral streptococci and prevent them from adhering to the tooth surface.Moreover, it showed a reduction in plaque and gingivitis, comparable to standard fluoridated dentifrice.There are a few different ways you can use neem for whiter teeth:Use neem twigs as a toothbrush to brush your teeth daily. Simply chew on the broken end of the twig until it becomes soft enough to brush your teeth with it.
Extract the juice of neem leaves and rub it on your teeth once daily. Leave it on for a few minutes, and then use a soft toothbrush to brush your teeth. Rinse it off with warm water.
Mix a few drops of neem oil in your regular toothpaste and then brush your teeth.
8. Trust the Potential of Strawberries
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and can help make your teeth whiter.A 2013 study published in the Journal of Dentistry found that strawberry juice had a positive effect on the re-whitening process of coffee-stained teeth.Grind a few strawberries to make a paste. Rub the paste on your teeth gently. Use this remedy twice daily for a few weeks to get rid of the yellow tinge on your teeth.
Alternatively, you can mix the pulp of one strawberry with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and spread the mixture onto your teeth. Let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth with toothpaste to get rid of the residue.
The following two remedies optimize the antimicrobial properties of two natural ingredients that are not usually associated with sparkly white teeth.However, if science is to be believed, both turmeric and apple cider vinegar can prove especially beneficial for addressing oral plaque buildup, which is essentially the underlying cause of yellow teeth.Thus, trust these remedies to work as adjunctive treatments for banishing stubborn teeth stains.Turmeric Paste
Believe it or not, this bright yellow spice can also be effective in whitening your teeth!When used for brushing the teeth, turmeric powder acts as a gentle abrasive and helps remove surface stains, thus revealing whiter teeth.Turmeric comes with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibiotic properties, mainly due to the presence of a component called curcumin.This spice can also be useful in treating other dental problems such as toothache and gingivitis.A 2011 study published in the Food Chemistry found that components of turmeric had inhibitory effects on the virulence properties of S. mutans bioﬁlms (which are responsible for tooth decay and plaque formation) and suggested that it can be useful for controlling dental bioﬁlms and subsequent dental caries formation.A 2013 study published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine highlights the role of turmeric in the treatment of periodontal diseases and oral cancers.Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder in 1 teaspoon of water. Use this paste to brush your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes. Repeatedly rinse with water and spit it out until the liquid comes out clear. Do this once daily.
Alternatively, put 4 tablespoons of dried, organic turmeric root powder in a bowl. Add in 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 3 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil. Mix the ingredients thoroughly with a spoon or fork. Use this paste to brush your teeth once or twice daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar works as a natural disinfectant and cleaning agent. It can also be used to whiten your teeth naturally.Acetic acid, the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, helps kill bacteria and reduce the risk of plaque or other oral problems.In a 2014 animal study published in the Journal of Sichuan University, researchers found that apple cider vinegar has a bleaching effect on teeth. However, it may soften the teeth.Dilute raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in an equal amount of water.
Swish the solution in your mouth for 1 minute.
Rinse your mouth with plain water.
Do this a few times a week only.
Note: Avoid overuse of apple cider vinegar, as it can erode the enamel on your teeth.
Choose your toothpaste according to your oral healthcare requirements.
Along with choosing the right toothpaste, it is also important to pick the right toothbrush. Both manual and electric toothbrushes can be used to clean your teeth efficiently. Choose the one you are more comfortable with.
Do not share your toothbrush with anyone.
Rinse your toothbrush before and after every use to keep bacteria from accumulating on the bristles.
Brush your tongue along with your teeth to remove bacteria and bad breath.
Buy a new toothbrush every three or four months.
Use a mouthwash to help freshen up your breath.
Avoid brushing right after eating very acidic foods, which can weaken your enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with water.
A healthy diet goes a long way in maintaining good oral health.