Archive for the ‘Canker Sores’ Category

Definitive Guide: Quick answers to your oral health questions

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Quick answers oral health questions

In the last several years, there has been a heavy push underlining oral health’s role in systemic well-being. Since the mouth is the gateway to your body, it’s crucial to pay attention to the small daily steps we can take to keep those pearly whites clean and problem-free. To answer your burning questions, from getting rid of bad breath to removing tonsil stones, here are the solutions and oral health tips:

Where is my bad breath coming from?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can come from a range of different sources. The main culprits are: food, poor oral hygiene habits, cavities, using tobacco or alcohol, tonsil stones and dry mouth. Most often, the mouth odor comes from what you eat and your dental hygiene habits. The anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria that live on the surface of the tongue and throat may derive from foods such as onions, garlic or peppers as well as other pungent foods.

It is likely that bad breath originates from plaque buildup that lingers on the teeth and gums. By failing to remove plaque through brushing, flossing and rinsing, your mouth turns into a habitable environment for the bacteria to grow and produce the foul smell.

Not filling cavities properly and skipping professional dental cleaning contributes to a rotten odor. What’s more, dentures should fit well to prevent bacteria from gathering in pockets.

Smoking or chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol dry out the mouth and cause unpleasant breath, so these habits should be avoided.

A lot of times, not drinking enough water or skipping meals can trigger halitosis. Make sure to gulp down plenty of H2O throughout the day. (more…)

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Spotlight on: College Students’ Eating and Dental Hygiene Habits

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Cheese quesadilla“I have six tests this week so I’ve combined all my meals into a massive one around lunchtime called ‘Linnerfast.’”

“Instead of brushing I take my gum with my finger and rub it across my teeth.” “YOLO.”

If you’ve found yourself saying any of these things lately, it might be time to adjust your eating health habits. In college, we tend to shift our attention toward book work and red cups, leaving our eating schedule out to dry. Yet to ace those finals (or come close) and stay up till dawn partying with a toga and laurels, you have to maintain long-lasting energy. Junk food is actually counterproductive. It gives you short-term energy from simple carbohydrates that leave you feeling sluggish and hungry. Notice the marinara sauce congealed on your chin come dawn – those late-night pizza deliveries are a great way to tack on the freshman fifteen in no time. In fact, one might say, the freshman fifteen is for underachievers. Why not go thirty? Wrong, Sir. Sugary foods don’t make the grade.

Since oral health and overall wellbeing are like the overlapping center of a Venn diagram, it’s important to look at how eating habits affect both our mouth and body. You don’t have to be perfect, but take a mental note about what you’re ingesting. This stuff directly affects you and your ability to perform. Indeed, it can be tricky with a floor full of friends and a limiting meal plan, but it can be done.

Here’s a cheat sheet of healthy alternatives to replace your rigid microwaveable mac ‘n’ cheese and cereal diet:

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Rising Smoke of E-cigarettes: More Users and Oral Health Problems

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

808629_24052868Electronic cigarettes have been hitting the market hard. The battery powered-devices that deliver nicotine vapors are gaining ground among every age group, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The most stirring result, however, are their increasing popularity in young teens. According to a CDC national survey, the number of students in middle and high school who tried e-cigarettes doubled in 2012 from the previous year, totaling 1.8 million teenagers.

What are e-cigs, and how do they impact oral health?
Electronic cigarettes are inhalers that use refillable cartridges to provide doses of nicotine and other additives. Users change out the cartridges after 110 to 180 puffs, as they are not gauged in time duration. They contain irritants, animal carcinogens and genotoxins. Frequently, they have been considered a substitute for traditional cigarettes and a method for quitting smoking. The U.S. Food and Drug Association does not regulate these devices.

Although the vapor-emitting product has not been around long enough to be tested for any possible health risks, experts say that they are likely better for you than traditional cigarettes.

This is perhaps why many kids have turned toward them as a tobacco substitute. In 2012, approximately 160,000 students in middle and high school who reported using e-cigs had never tried conventional cigarettes. Many worry that the nicotine vaporizers might be a gateway, and could be reverting the act of smoking back to being cool.

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Your Junk Food Addiction and Bad Breath

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhether you give into greasy French fries, cheesy pizza or crunchy chips, you’re probably aware that it’s not super simple to look the other way when it comes to junk food. In a 2010 study conducted by Scripps Research Associate Professor Paul J. Kenny and graduate student Paul M. Johnson, published in the March 2010 online edition of Nature Neuroscience, the duo found that the same molecular mechanisms prone to drive people to drug addictions play a similar role in overeating. Similarly, many believe that junk food has addictive properties.

We all know that fast food wreaks havoc on the body, but fewer people are aware of the side effects it has on our oral health. Bad breath, canker sores and gum disease can all arise over time in individuals who find themselves constantly consuming junk food. Since most junk and fast food lack the proper vitamins and minerals the mouth and body need to stay functioning properly, bacteria and germs are able to prosper and cause issues.

Bad breath symptoms are the most common side effect of junk food consumption – these foods are often hard to digest and cause a buildup of gas. This gas is released through the mouth, causing a pungent smell that can only be masked by gum and mints. Similarly, oral health issues such as canker sores are caused by a diet that is lacking vitamin B-12, zinc, folic acid and iron. If you are consuming a large amount of junk and fast food, your body isn’t receiving enough of these vitamins to stay healthy.

But it may be difficult to just give up junk food all together, even if you’re aware of the health concerns it causes. Scripps Research performed a study on rats that completely lost control over eating habits overtime.

“They always went for the worst types of food, and as a result, they took in twice the calories as the control rats,” Kenny said. “When we removed the junk food and tried to put them on a nutritious diet – what we called the ‘salad bar option’ – they simply refused to eat. The change in their diet preference was so great that they basically starved themselves for two weeks after they were cut off from junk food.”

While it’s not necessary to give up all junk food, it is important to maintain a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables that contain vitamins for a healthy mouth and body.

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Canker sores in children can be a pain

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Child brushing teethGetting canker sores is a real pain in the butt! And for little kids, they can be painful – making drinking, eating and even brushing teeth a difficult task. One in five people get these uncomfortable mouth ulcers, which can occur inside the mouth, cheeks, lips, throat or even on the tongue. Although these can often be confused with cold sores, they aren’t contagious and usually go away overtime. Here are some ways to avoid these uncomfortable sores or prevent them from coming back.

If you have canker sores, chances are your child will too – they have a 90 percent chance! While luckily they aren’t harmful, no one is really sure where they come from. However, one’s diet is likely to exacerbate the occurrence of them. Children are often very difficult eaters, so getting them to eat food that will prevent canker sores can pose a challenge. These often show up because our diets lack enough vitamin B12, folic acid and iron, and if your child has food allergies, they are even more likely to pop up.

Canker sores can also be caused by minor trauma in the mouth such as a cut in the mouth. So if a child accidentally bites the side of their mouth, it could turn into a canker sore later.

What is a canker sore?

Canker sores come in three different varieties, although the most common is minor. If you notice a small, red spot that can reach up to an inch in diameter – but is commonly much smaller – this is a canker sore! It will feel tingly or burn a little, and over time it will swell up, burst and leave a “open” wound. This can get really sensitive especially when eating citrus or hot foods. Often times it takes about two weeks for a canker sore to heal completely, but it usually will only be bothersome for the first three to four days.

Prevention

If your child is prone to canker sores, you may want to switch their toothpaste to something without sodium laurel sulfate. This is the detergent in toothpaste that makes it foam up, but it actually isn’t good for us. It tends to cause dry mouth, so eliminating this detergent from your child’s regular routine could help with problems later in life. Dry mouth may seem minor, but it can lead to bad breath and other oral health issues later in life.

It is important to make sure your child is practicing good oral hygiene everyday. Some children loathe the time they have to spend in the bathroom brushing and flossing, but getting them used to the habit at a young age will help them greatly later in life. Parents can brush their teeth at the same time as children so they are brushing and flossing for the correct amount of time, and they’ll have a good influence to look up to.

When your child has a canker sore, using a cotton swab with peroxide on it can help kill bacteria and encourage a faster healing process. You can also try a rinse mixture by combining 2 ounces of hydrogen peroxide and 2 ounces of water, or 4 ounces of water with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon baking soda. If your child doesn’t like the taste – who could blame them – you can also use a wet black tea bag. Tea contains tannins that will relieve the pain in the sore.

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