Posts Tagged Dental Care

How Does Smoking Leads to Gum Problems

Smoking and chewing tobacco products causes gum problems. The severity of risk depends on the frequency of these products you use. More you smoke and chew tobacco products, the more will be the risk of gum problems.

Tobacco products contain nicotine and nitrosamines which are harmful and causes dental diseases and some times leads to the risk of oral cancer. In this article we will discuss how smoking and chewing tobacco leads to gum problems.

Affects the bone and soft tissue
Smoking and chewing tobacco interfere with the attachment of bone and soft tissue to the teeth. Formation of pockets between the teeth and gum leads to the build up of plaque and leads to gum problems.

Interfering with functioning of normal cells
Smoking and chewing tobacco products interfere with the normal functioning of gum tissue cells and are susceptible to gum diseases.

Reduces the flow of blood
It reduces the flow of blood to teeth and gum. Therefore the oxygen and nutrients are not supplied to the gum tissue and gums become inflame and swollen. This creates gap between the teeth and gum, and builds plaque which later leads to gingivitis. If it is untreated, condition becomes worse and leads to periodontal diseases.

Reduces saliva secretions
Smoking and chewing tobacco reduces saliva secretions in mouth. Saliva helps to remove the debris in mouth to protect from dental diseases. Decrease in the saliva secretions makes the mouth dry and there is bacteria growth which leads to gum problems.

Irritates gum tissue
Chewing tobacco contains toxic chemicals that irritates the gum tissue and therefore receding of gums takes place. Therefore root becomes exposed and becomes sensitive to hot and cold. This in turn leads to infection to gum tissue.

Smoking and chewing tobacco not only increases risk for gum diseases, but is also responsible for dental problems like tooth decay, discoloration of teeth, sensitivity to hot and cold, and oral cancers.

Many of these problems can be cured, but the best way of treatment is quitting smoking and other tobacco related products.
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How Radiation Therapy is Helpful in Oral Cancer

Radiation therapy involves using radiation for curing difficult diseases such as cancer. Radiation therapy involves high energy radiation used to destroy cancer cells. It is effective for treating small tumors where surgery is not required to cure. It is also used in combination with surgery. After surgery, radiation therapy is used to destroy if any cancer cells left in oral cavity. Radiation therapy destroys both normal and cancer cells but normal cells gets repaired by themselves.
Prior to the radiation treatment, CT scanning is done to:

  • Measure the size of tumor to decide the dose of radiation required for treatment.
  • Give the exact position of the the tumor where radiation therapy is needed.

In radiation therapy, the complete dose of radiation is break down into small segments and given in regular intervals. This gives the time to repair normal cells and also prevents discomfort to patient.

Types of radiation therapy
Radiation therapy are classified into following types.

1. Based on the type of radiation given:

  • X-Ray radiation
  • Gamma radiation

2. Based on the position of radiation:

  • Internal radiation
  • External radiation

X-Ray radiation:
In this technique, the source of radiation is X-rays. X-rays are the first form of radiation source. The equipment that produce X-rays as radiations are linear accelerator and betatron. Depending on the amount of energy produced, X-ray radiation is used to destroy cancer tumors. The more energy produced, the deeper will be the penetration of X-rays. This has fewer side effects as the radiation is limited to particular area.

Gamma radiation:
The effect of this radiation is same as x-ray radiation but here gamma rays are used as a source of radiation. In this gamma rays gives radiation spontaneously as they decompose.

Internal radiation:
Internal radiation is also called brachytherapy. It uses radio active materials to deliver radiation directly to the cancer cells. Radio active materials includes tubes or seeds. Radioactive substances are passed into these tubes. In some cases radio active pellets are placed directly on cancer cell. These can be removed after completion of radio therapy.

Prior to this radiation general anesthesia is given to prevent discomfort to patient. Then x-rays are taken to ensure that they are placed in a appropriate position. The advantage of internal radiotherapy is it has less effect on other parts of body as it directly given to tumor.

External radiation:
In this, a beam of radiation is delivered from machine to cancer cells from outside of the body. This is similar to taking x-ray but patient exposed to high radiation. Now a days advanced techniques in external radiations used are 3 dimensional radiation therapy (3-D CRT) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

Prior to these techniques, CT scanning or MRI scanning was done to locate the cancer position. Then, radiation is sent from various angles to the cancer site. This lowers the effect of radiation on other parts of the body.

Radiation therapy is used alone if the tumor is small and can be cured where surgery is not required. Radiation therapy in combination with surgery to destroy if any cancer cells left out after surgery.
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Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is performed for people who require improvements in their dental health and for the one’s who are effected with dental infections like teeth decay, gum diseases, etc. Cosmetic dentists perform the treatment based on the type of the problem the person is facing.

Types of cosmetic dentistry

  • Teeth whitening
  • Teeth bleaching
  • Dental veneers
  • Dental bonding
  • Enamel shaping
  • Crowns/bridges/braces
  • Dental implants
  • Tooth restorations
  • Composite fillings, etc

Benefits of cosmetic dentistry:

  • Most of the cosmetic dentistry treatments are painless
  • Treatments carried out takes no long procedures and need less appointments with dentist
  • After treatment your confidence will increase
  • You will have better health
  • Faded and damaged teeth will be removed and implanted
  • Improves the appearance of teeth
  • Improves your personal and social life
  • Boosts your self-esteem
  • Through this treatment you can have natural looking teeth
  • Cosmetic dentistry is completely different from other traditional dentistry methods like restorative and general dentistry
  • Some materials used in cosmetic dentistry make teeth stay stronger for long time

Materials used in cosmetic dentistry procedures:

  • In some treatments like tooth restorations and fillings, metals like gold, amalgam, etc., are used
  • Presently composite and porcelain materials are used in order to make the teeth look more naturally in structure
  • Silver fillings are replaced with mercury
  • Metals like cast gold and zirconia are used to strengthen the teeth

Materials used in cosmetic dentistry treatments do not have side effects and in fact gives natural look to your mouth.

How long cosmetic dentistry treatments will last?
It depends on the treatment and the precautions. After treatment you have to maintain your teeth in good and hygienic conditions by taking proper care like brushing your teeth twice a day with dentist recommended tooth pastes and gels, visiting the dentist after treatment at least once in a month and take some suggestions from the dentist, have healthy dietary habits, etc. These all will make your cosmetic dentistry treatment last for a long time without any problems, otherwise it leads to re-treatment.

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What is tooth whitening and why is it necessary?

Tooth Whitening is a treatment that is given to the people with stained and with parts discolored. It is not a dental procedure, but is a part of cosmetic treatment. It improves your teeth color and makes them bright. The procedure should be repeated from time to time to if you want to make your teeth look bright all the time.

This treatment is mostly done to the people who have the stained teeth, people who get older will have dark teeth, people who smoke regularly, people who drink tea, coffee and wine. People with white spots on their teeth were also required to take this treatment. Apart from this, there are many other reasons for tooth whitening.

Types of tooth whitening?
Usually there are two procedures of tooth whitening:

1. Dentist supervised teeth whitening and.
2. Self whitening your teeth.

Dentist supervised tooth whitening

  • Here a gum-shield is kept in your mouth and a gel used for whitening your teeth is put on the trays and you will be guided to do it daily.
  • Another whitening product given by doctor to whiten the teeth is, carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide which is called as active ingredient.

Self whitening your teeth
In this procedure, after the doctor’s treatment they will suggest you to apply some gels which is used for whitening for a period of two to four weeks.

How teeth whitening helps you?
This treatment helps your teeth stain free and makes it look good and bright for a long period of time. But there are some side effects during the cold and if there is no proper care taken after the treatment. But these symptoms does not stay longer. If it stays for a long time, you should consult a dentist.

How long the effect of tooth whitening helps your teeth?
After the person is treated with tooth whitening it stays for a long period of time if he is away from smoking and drinking and it varies from person to person and the treatment done.

Precautions to be taken after the treatment

  • Stay away from the smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Avoid the foods that makes your teeth stain.
  • Foods like sugar contained and drinks must be avoided.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Make sure to have a dental check-up at least once a month.

These precautions may help your teeth look bright for a long period of time without any effects and further treatments.
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Benefits Of Having Dental Braces

Today braces have evolved considerably as a cosmetic treatment. Having braces is to align your teeth. This can help your teeth to prevent from tooth decay in due to crooked, crowded or overlapping reasons. Braces can prevent many dental problems and helps to have a correct bite. Teeth that have being aligned by the braces have a proper bite pattern. Braces helps to position the teeth with regard to a person’s bite, which directly helps to improve your oral health.

To obtain a good smile and good facial appearance
Everyone wants a good smile. An attractive smile can do wonders, built confidence, improves self-esteem, which directly improves quality of life. According to the UK survey, nearly 1 million people in the UK started having orthodontic treatment. So to obtain a good smile people are going for braces. This also becomes worth to have a beautiful smile.

To built up positive self-image, self-esteem and self-confidence
“A Good Smile Can Improve Your Quality of Life”. Wearing braces helps in building up self-confidence and improves the self-image. After the braces are taken off it makes you feel popular within your self by making you look attractive. When a person finds himself attractive it automatically makes him feel positive towards the society.

To get the proper proportion of teeth and lips with the face
Everyone knows that braces helps to straighten crooked teeth. In additional to straighten teeth, orthodontist are also able to correct irregularities of facial structures in the mouth and jaw. The goal of the orthodontic treatment is to achieve the balance between the teeth and face.

Reduce the risk of injuries of the front teeth
Teeth that are protruding outwards are likely to face problems like lip-bite, cross bite and overbite. Most people get injured due to this protruding teeth. Mostly upper jaw teeth are effected due to this protrusion of the teeth. This protrusion of teeth can be cured by having the orthodontic treatment at a right age.

To improve oral function and oral hygiene
For an healthy teeth, proper alignment of teeth should be done. Spacing between the teeth leads to the storage of food between them, which causes the onset of cavities. To remove the spacing between the teeth, orthodontic treatment is recommended. Dental braces covers the gap between the teeth and not only protects them from oral diseases but also gives a good appearance.

Helps to avoid cross bite, upper lip bite
Oral problems like cross bite, upper bites, and overbites leads to bleeding of gums, which causes formation of ulcers. A person suffering from such problem is advisable to have a orthodontic treatment at an early stage. If the process of treatment starts at an early stage, it prevent the extraction of teeth. Otherwise, extraction of teeth becomes compulsion at adult stage which could be slightly painfully.

Therefore, there are various reasons to have dental braces. Having them helps to prevent from various oral problems like upper front teeth protrusion, overbite, open bite, cross bite, crowding and spacing. To avoid all this the treatment should be done. Which helps to maintain both oral hygiene as well as to maintain the look of your smile.
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Benefits and Risks of Dental Patches

Dental patches are also called adhesive patches. They are mucoadhesive patches that contains local anesthetics that is used to numb the area of the site and to reduce the pain. Dental patches are alternatives to topical anesthetics. It penetrates the drug to the gum tissue. Dental patches are used to produce anesthesia in minor dental surgeries. It is not used in major dental surgeries as it has less duration of action.

How it works?

  • Dental patches are adhesive patches containing local anesthetic agent.
  • Dental patches does not apply on the broken or damaged skin. It may cause irritation.
  • Before applying the dental patch, the area is cleaned and dried.
  • Then patch is placed over the surface of the area where anesthesia is needed.
  • It takes 3-4mins to anesthetize the area.
  • Then anesthetic agent gets released slowly from the patch and penetrates into the gum tissue.
  • Anesthetic action can lasts up to 45 minutes.

Anesthetic agent in dental patches:
Anesthetic agents used in the dental patches are lidocaine and priloaine. Lidocaine is mostly used as it is more potent.

Benefits of dental patches:

  • Dental patches are safer to use
  • Activity lasts for about 45 minutes
  • Does not induce any pain
  • Used to anesthetize in diabetic patients

Side effects of dental patches:

  • Swelling of the skin under the patch
  • Redness of the skin under the patch
  • Blurred vision
  • Skin rashes
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headache

Contraindications with dental patches:

  • Patients with heart problems are contraindicated to dental patches. Lidocaine increases the heart beat
  • Patients with liver damage
  • In pregnant women it may affect the fetus
  • Patients taking over the counter medicines

Limitations of dental patches:

  • It is not suitable to apply over large surface
  • It is not suitable for children and old age people
  • It shows allergic reactions to some medications

Compared to other topical anesthetics, dental patches are more preferred as it has more duration of action.
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Oral Health Considerations During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the unique incidents in a woman’s life that accompanies physiological and hormonal changes. This can include changes in respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal as well as changes in oral cavity, which increases the susceptibility to oral infections. This is why it is important to take care of your health including oral health.
This article discusses some tips that you need to follow during pregnancy.

1) Follow good oral hygiene practice to prevent oral problems
Good oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day or after every meal and flossing at least once a day can help you prevent many dental problems.

Brushing removes plaque (white sticky film) from the teeth and flossing removes tiny leftover food particles from between the teeth. Irregular brushing and flossing will let bacteria in the plaque react with left over food particles and form acid. This acid attacks the teeth. Since changes in oral health are common in pregnancy, you must take extra care.

2) Visiting the dentist regularly
Never skip your dental visits simply because you are pregnant. Regular visits to the dentists is the part of oral hygiene routine. Visiting the dentist regularly help in diagnosing dental problems if any and treating it in its early stage before it requires a complex procedure. Not only you will be diagnosed, but also you will be given guidelines for how to take care of your teeth and gums.

3) Eat tooth friendly diet
Including a plenty of food that is rich in proteins, calcium and vitamins will support your baby’s health and protect your teeth. See to it that you avoid too much of sugary and starchy food, which hastens tooth decay and gum problems.

4) Inform your dentist that you are pregnant
Dental procedures are avoided during first trimester and the second part of third trimester because these are the phases when your baby’s development is critical. This is why it is important for you to inform the dentist about your pregnancy as soon as you know about it. If required, treatment can be done in the second trimester. Meanwhile, pain can be subsided by taking some painkillers that are safe during pregnancy.

5) Tell your dentist about the medications you are taking
When you are at dentist’s office, tell him about the medications you are taking including the vitamins like folic acid. This is important because your dentist needs to alter the treatment plan based on this information.

Pregnancy does need not mean denying good oral hygiene, instead you should take extra care in order to make sure that both you and your unborn enjoy optimal health.
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Effect of Food on Teeth

Teeth are important for chewing food. It is important to maintain oral hygiene. Intake of food also effects the teeth and gums. So it is better to know what type of foods are better for healthy teeth and what type of food causes dental problems.

Good food for teeth
1. Fiber rich foods: These foods increases the saliva secretions. Fibers have detergent effect which removes the bacteria from teeth.

2. Vegetables: Vegetables containing more water content are best food for teeth. These water content removes the bacteria from mouth and also neutralizes the food we take. Sources of water containing vegetables are carrot, beat root.

3. Fruits: Fruits containing water content are recommended for healthy teeth. This water content removes the food particles from mouth and prevents bacterial growth and protects teeth and gums. Sources for this fruits are grapes, apple.

4. Cheese and milk: Cheese stimulates the saliva secretions there by removes the bacteria. Milk and their products contains calcium and phosphates. Calcium makes teeth more strong and phosphates remineralize the teeth on enamel.

5. Tea: Green and black tea contains polyphenols which interacts with plaques on teeth and kills the plaque. Taking tea prepared with fluoride water shows more effective for removing dental decay.

6. Chewing gums: Chewing gums increases the secretions of saliva which prevents the teeth from decay. Chewing sugar free gums is recommended as sugar may cause decay problems.

7. Fluoride foods: Fluoride helps to prevent dental decay and gum problems. So foods with fluoride content like sea foods and cereals are best suitable for healthy teeth.

8. Vitamin-C: Vitamin-C helps to keep gums healthy and reduces many periodontal diseases. It has an anti oxidant property which prevents the inflammation of gum. Sources of vitamin-c are guava, oranges, lemon are best foods to make teeth healthy.

Worst food for teeth
1. Sticky foods: Sticky foods are the worse food for teeth. These may get stuck in the teeth and leads to dental decay. This can be avoided by rinsing mouth after eating.

2. Acidic foods: Acidic foods destroys the enamel on teeth and there by teeth gets effected. Acidic foods like citrus fruits removes the enamel and teeth become sensitive. So it is better to limit acid foods.

3. Sugary liquids: When we take sugary juices, the exposure of enamel with the sugar takes place and enamel gets destroyed. Sources of sugary liquids are soft drinks and juices.

4. Medications causing dryness of mouth: Medications which causes dry mouth should be avoided. This may dry the mouth and promotes the growth of bacteria and leads to dental problems.

5. Tobacco products: Tobacco products reduces the saliva secretions in mouth and mouth becomes dry and promotes bacterial growth.
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The Soft Tissue Laser Dentistry Procedures

This procedure is used because it is clean as well as less invasive than surgical methods. This process heals much faster when compared to conventional surgical procedures. This laser is used after the removal of the calculus and the tartar to selectively remove the infected or diseased tissue lining which are pockets around the teeth. It also removes the bacteria that cause gum disease and it also promotes healing of your gums around the teeth.

The soft tissue laser dentistry procedure includes the following:

Lengthening the Crowns:
The gum tissues are reshaped by the dental lasers and also the bone to expose healthy as well as solid tooth structure which is to aid in the placement of dental restoration that includes crowns and fillings. It is done when the tooth is to be fixed.

Gummy Smile:
To improve the appearance of the gummy smile the dental lasers are used to reshape the tissue of gum which is not only improves the appearance of the smile but also to expose the healthy tooth structure.

The Attachment Of Muscles:
For the children, who are tongue tied and also for the babies who are unable to breast feed adequately due to the limit tongue movements the ideal treatment option is laser frenectomy.

Soft Tissue Folds:
For the soft tissue folds, that are caused by the ill-fitting dentures, the dental laser may be used to the painless and suture free for the removal of the soft tissue folds.

Removing Swollen Tissue:
Dental laser is used to remove the excess tissue which is caused due to the medications, poor oral hygiene or the systemic diseases.


Tips For Choosing the Right Tooth Pastes for Yourself

Numerous dental care products are available for cleaning the teeth and tongue. It is essential to know that how a tooth paste can get rid of bad breath and control tooth decay. So many tooth paste brands are available in the form of paste, gel, or powder. Despite so many types of toothpaste that are there, there are some ingredients common to most varieties. These include:

  • Abrasive agents in the tooth paste help you to remove food, bacteria, and some stains from your teeth.
  • Flavoring artificial sweeteners are often added to toothpaste to make people taste better.
  • Humectants used in paste and gel prevent the toothpaste from drying out.
  • Thickeners are the agents used in tooth pastes to achieve and maintain proper toothpaste texture.
  • Detergents like sodium laurel sulfate is used for getting foam in toothpastes.
  • Fluoride helps in protecting your teeth against the acids released by the bacteria when plaque is formed in the mouth. It does this in two ways. First, fluoride makes your tooth enamel stronger and less likely to suffer acid damage. Second, it can reverse the early stages of acid damage by re mineralization in areas that have started to decay.
  • Choose a tooth paste which is suitable for people who have sensitive teeth that are easily irritated by hot or cold temperatures.

As toothpaste plays an important role in maintaining oral health, it is advised to follow the above important tips, before choosing one. Read the rest of this entry »