Sunday, August 25, 2013

Everyday Habits That Damage Your Teeth

Sugar, wine, and, yes, opening bottles with your teeth can hurt your smile

You plan meals, grab drinks, & play sports without  giving much thought to our teeth.  But you might not realize how food, beverages, and activities can wreck the health of your pearly whites. Twenty-five percent of the U.S. adults over age 65 have lost all their teeth- here's how you can protect your teeth.
Sugar and Teeth
Sugar is the No. 1 enemy of your teeth, and the longer it stays in your mouth, the worse it is. Sugar is consumed by acid-producing bacteria in your mouth.  The acids eats away @ tooth enamel.  Avoid foods like jelly candies, stick in your teeth longer than other foods and bathe them in sugar.  Dried fruit such as raisins are no better.  Reach for fresh fruit instead.

Beverages and Teeth
Soda is just plain bad for teeth, sugar -free or not. You are bathing teeth in an acid environment. Club soda is harmful, too, because of the acidity, and so are juices with added sugars.
Alcohol, even just a glass of wine, is also acidic and can erode the teeth.  In addition, alcohol dries out your mouth, reducing saliva production. Saliva bathes the teeth and helps remove plaque and bacterial accumulation from the teeth's surface.  Less plaque equals less risk for bacterial acids to cause decay. Rinse your mouth  with water between drinks.
Other Risks to Teeth
If you use your teeth snap off bottle caps, remove clothing tags, or open plastic bags,  stop immediately.  Smokers should also consider how the habit affects oral health.  Nicotine yellows teeth and can also cause oral cancer.  Chewing tobacco is even worse because the tobacco and associated carcinogens come into direct contact with the gums and soft tissues and stay there for a longtime.  Also ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medicines might cause dry mouth 
(Xerostomia). According to the American Dental Association, more than 500 medications---from pain relievers to antihistamines---can do so. Dry mouth inhibits saliva production and increases your risk of cavities
If you play contact sports, pick up a mouth guard @  a sports store or have your dentist make you a custom one for maximum protection and comfort.
You don't even have to be awake to damage your teeth. Research has shown that as many as 8% of Americans grind or clench their teeth (Nocturnal Bruxism), especially @ night. If this is you, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have an occlusal (night) guard fabricated .
Chewing on Ice , other objects such as pen, pencils & bobby pins can cause wear & tear on the tooth enamel surface covering the tooth.  If worn or chipped already, the ice can crack and damage the tooth structure.



Friday, August 23, 2013

The 4 Common Problem Areas With New Dentures

 Have you just got new dentures made or getting some soon? There are four common problem areas you might want to be aware of and prepare

 1. Denture Irritation

 Minor irritation, especially on eating, is one of the common problems with new dentures. Your dentist can make small adjustments at the review appointment to remove any irritations. If they are causing any severe irritation, remove your dentures. Just before you can attend your dentist, try to wear the dentures again as any areas of irritation will show up on the gums so the dentist will know exactly where the problems lie.
 Several review appointments and adjustments may be necessary before the dentures are adjusted exactly as needed.

2, Denture Fit

 Dentures may feel a little loose at first, especially lower complete dentures. It takes some time for the dentures to ‘bed-in’. The muscles of the cheeks, lips and tongue need time in getting used to the dentures. These areas need this time to learn how to keep the denture in place without your thinking about it. Wearing the dentures for the first night after fitting may help you adjust, but after this take them out every night .However even the best complete lower dentures will never feel as secure as upper dentures. This is unfortunately one of the unavoidable lower denture problems. While getting used to dentures, it may be useful to use a denture adhesive. There are many types including gels, pastes and strips. Adhesives can give extra confidence when eating and speaking as your mouth is adapting to dentures. However in the long term they are not usually necessary with well-fitting dentures.

 3. Eating with Dentures
 Getting used to eating with your new dentures will also take time and is one of the common early denture problems .Start with liquids and soft foods such as soups, soft bread and eggs. Avoid harder-to-eat foods at the beginning. Build up your exposure to these harder foods over time, once you are more comfortable. Have patience and stick at it! You will soon master eating more difficult foods. You will need time to learn new mouth movements and learn where to chew down on
 Tips for eating with dentures at the beginning include:

 ●Cut food into small pieces.
 ●Don’t bite up and down on food with your front teeth. This may dislodge the dentures.
 ● Use the side and back teeth more at the start. Use a sideways chewing motion to eat food.
 ●Don’t tear or pull food when eating off a fork.
 ●Having food on both sides of the mouth can help keep the dentures balanced. It is important that you stick with learning to eat more difficult foods.
 ●This will enable you to get a healthier, more varied and balanced diet.

 4. Speaking with Dentures

 Again, speaking normally will take practice. The first three days or so are the most difficult. The dentures themselves will feel awkward to speak with. This problem will also be compounded by increased saliva flow in the first few days .Practice and a little patience are needed in these few days. Your speech will soon return to normal as you get used to things.Some words will remain difficult for longer. Practice saying these words aloud.

 ★Getting Used to Dentures: Other Possible Problems
 As you have read, getting used to dentures can be difficult and take some time. There are also other possible factors to keep in mind:
 As noted, there will be increased salivary flow. This generally lasts only a few days as a natural reaction to a foreign object in the mouth. As your mouth gets used to the denture, the saliva flow will return to normal.
 Certain extreme movements such as coughing, sneezing and yawning may dislodge the dentures.
 This is normal until you get used to these strong dislodging forces on the dentures. Cleaning your dentures is a new skill that will also need time to learn.

 ★Denture Problems in the Longer Term
 Common denture problems are a result of poor oral and dental hygiene. If not looked after, plaque can accumulate causing gum disease around, and decay of, remaining natural teeth. Fungal infections such as thrush are also a common problem under dentures if they are not cleaned properly and if not removed every night. A very small percentage of people can be allergic to the acrylic used in dentures.
 A different type of plastic material can be used in this case. Some people will find it very difficult to adjust to wearing a denture. Problems may include constant gagging and an inability to eat with the dentures

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Narional Tooth Fairy Day- August 22 2013

 August the 22nd is National Tooth Fairy day, a day to celebrate one of childhood’s favorite visitors

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sippy Cups & Healthy Smiles

 If you’re the parent of a toddler, you probably have a lot of sippy cups in your home. They’re great for tiny hands, but they can hurt tiny teeth.

Juice, milk and sweet drinks all have sugar. Sucking on a sippy cup with liquids that have sugar in them can cause tooth decay from the long exposure....

Decay can affect bone structure and may harm the development of a child’s adult teeth. You can help prevent tooth decay in your child by following these tips:

• Don’t let your toddler suck on a sippy cup with juice or other sugary drinks throughout the day. Try to save the sippy cup for meal times.

• Don’t put your child down for a nap or to bed at night with a sippy cup filled with milk – use water instead.

• Feed your child a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Limit sugary and starchy snacks like chips and cookies.

• If your child uses a pacifier, don’t dip it in honey, syrup or sugar.

• Brush your child’s teeth twice daily with a soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste if over 2 years of age.

• Clean and massage gums in the areas where there aren’t teeth yet.

Take your child to the dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges and no later than their first birthday. Regular dental visits that include cleanings, an exam and sealants will get your child off to a great start for a lifetime of healthy smiles

The Importance of Your Uvula

What Does That Dangly Thing in the Back of Your Throat Do?

 The uvula is one of the weirdest looking features of the human body. Yet despite its infamy, scientists have spent centuries puzzling over its function.

The hangy ball's full name is the “palatine uvula,” referring to its location on your soft palate. Not to be confused with the uvula vermis, a lobe of the cerebellum, or the uvula vesicae, in the urinary bladder.

Through history, scientists have had many theories about the uvula. Among them:

That it once helped guide the flow of food and water, and, in humans, was a mere remnant from previous mammals who had to lean down to eat and drink.

That it induces the gag reflex. And therefore isn’t the best place to get a piercing.

That it contributed to “chronic cough.” A problem that 19th-century doctors treated with a “simple” “clipping” procedure.

That it contributes to cardiovascular problems like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sleep apnea.

Even today, some doctors treat sleep apnea by having the uvula removed. Unpleasant as that sounds, much of the recent uvular research has come about by studying uvulopalatopharyngoplasty patients (uvula-less people).

Several such studies have concluded that the uvula is really good at excreting saliva. A lot of saliva, in a really short amount of time. Another study compared the soft palates of eight different mammals, and found that a small, underdeveloped uvula was found in only two baboons.

Don’t Leave Us Hanging

So what does the dangly throat thing do?
Because the uvula is basically unique to humans, scientists basically agree that it primarily serves as an accessory to speech. You know what it’s like to have your throat go dry before talking to a large group? The uvula is there to provide the proper lubrication for complicated human speech.
In time, we’ll likely learn that the uvula does some other cool things to boot, but to quote one study on the subject, it “may be another marker of human evolution that differentiates man from other mammals.” For now, that’s pretty cool

. More

Friday, August 16, 2013

Significance behind the Oral-Systemic Connection

oral perio systemic
The mouth has been recognized as a portal of entry for many infections that affect general health. Among these infections are the two leading oral diseases—caries (tooth decay) and periodontal disease (gum disease)—both of which remain some of the most prevalent and widespread health issues seen around the world today. Throughout the average lifespan, a majority of the population will experience some degree of one or both diseases, as well as a number of other complications that may arise if the diseases are left untreated.
Impact of Oral Diseases: Physical and Emotional Well-being
The overall consequences of both dental caries and periodontal disease are profound; however, these consequences are often underestimated in terms of quality and longevity of life. The side effects associated with these diseases—such as pain and/or eventual tooth loss—interferes with daily functions like breathing, eating, swallowing, speaking and even language development—which are all vital to health and development. Sleep deprivation, as a result of discomfort from the oral cavity, may affect cognitive abilities and performance at school or work, which ultimately promote social-economic ramifications. It is estimated that children lose more than 51 million school hours each year due to dental-related illnesses, and employed adults miss out on more than 164 million hours of work each year on account of oral diseases.
The pain associated with caries and periodontal disease often precipitates compromised masticatory functions (or the ability to chew and swallow certain foods). As a result, people who suffer from dental diseases tend to eat foods that have diminished nutritional content, which is an important determinant of overall health that is not often considered. The downstream effect eventually leads to loss of energy, altered mood, and a weakened immune system. Inadequate nutrition is also associated with an increased risk for periodontal disease, meaning there is implication for a bi-directional relationship between the two.
While psychological conditions, such as stress and depression, are linked to periodontal disease, we also recognize that people who suffer from these emotional disorders will usually have impaired oral hygiene to begin with—placing them at even greater risk for a number of oral diseases. Self-esteem is often undermined as a byproduct of these conditions, as verbal and non-verbal communications become restricted, and social interaction and intimacy are hindered as a result. This cascade of events often sets the stage for a self-replicating cycle that continues to undermine oral health and quality of life, especially in populations with limited access to healthcare.
Impact of Oral Disease on Overall Health
Today we know that the consequences of periodontal disease are not limited to the oral cavity. Although periodontal disease starts as a local infection in the mouth—certain gram negative, anaerobic bacteria and their associated toxins can gain access to the blood supply, and travel to organs distant to the oral cavity. At that point, not only will bacteria disseminate throughout the entire body, but it also creates a systemic inflammatory response, which may increase the risk for other conditions, such as heart disease, pneumonia, and type-2 diabetes.