Posts Tagged ‘Dentists’

Gum Disease (One of the Major Causes of Bad Breath) Myths

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

gum disease myths

Many people fail to treat gum disease, even though it can cause severe damage if left untreated.  This is probably because most people fail to understand how serious gum/periodontal disease can be.   Statistics say that around 75%-80% of people have a for of gum disease, ranging from mild to severe. 

Here are some common MYTHS that you need to discard:

1.  Bleeding gums are not a big deal.  FALSE!  Many gum symptoms (i.e. bleeding/receding/red/swollen gums/bad breath) are all key signs that you might have periodontal disease.  If you notice that certain foods, flossing, and/or brushing can cause your gums to bleed, it’s best that you go to the dentist and get a diagnosis.  Gum disease not only can lead to tooth decay and loss, but it may help instigate disease in the heart, diabetes, and so on.  It may also be a sign of other serious issues in your body!

2.  Flossing every day is not important.  FALSE!  A good oral hygiene regimen requires that you floss on a daily basis as one of the main ways, besides brushing, to prevent gum disease.  Allegedly, only 13.5% of Americans floss that often.  Not a good sign! 

3.  Periodontist visits are intimidating, and they’ll pull your teeth if you go in for treatment.  FALSE!  Experts on gum disease have received specialized training to help with your dental problems– everything from the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease.  Also, technology and treatments are always improving, so visits are becoming more and more comfortable.  If you avoid gum disease treatment, the gums will continue to recede and you’ll lose your tooth naturally. 

4.  Once a tooth is lost from gum disease, you can’t get it back.  FALSE!  Gum disease may be one of the main causes of tooth loss in people over age 18, but periodontists are extremely knowledgeable in placing dental implants.  These are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth.   Dental implants have a 98% success rate, and according to surveys, over 70% of people are extremely satisfied with the results of their dental implants. 

5.  Practicing poor oral care is the only way to get gum problems.  FALSE!  Neglecting your oral hygiene can definitely be a reason for gum disease progression, but other important factors need to be acknowledged.  Tobacco use, stress, a poor diet, and even genetics can alter how your body reacts to bacteria in the oral cavity. 

6.  Gum disease gets better on its own.   FALSE!  With the right care, it may clear up eventually, but it is an infection that needs immediate attention.  Just imagine if you had these open sores on your skin–just because it is in your mouth doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

7.  Bleeding gums are normal.  FALSE!  There is a reason as to why your gums are bleeding.  It does happen to almost everyone, but there has to be an actual injury to the gums causing them to bleed.

So, all in all, these statements are NOT true, and gum disease is something that you need to treat ASAP. 

Source:  The Mouth Doctor, Perio

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Protect Your Smile / Stop Halitosis

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

white smile

As you get older, you’ll realize how important proper oral hygiene is.  There are ways you can keep tabs on your oral health every month or so.  Check your mouth for white and red patches, tongue flakiness, pigmented lesions, and sores with uneven borders.  Oral cancer is rare with non-smokers, but it’s still possible to get it.  In order to check yourself for it, look at your outer and inner lips, and all sides of the tongue.  Look on the outside and inside if you cheers, and if there’s ever abnormalities that last longer than 14 days, ask a dental expert about it. 

Here are some things that you can pay attention to in order to protect your oral health:

Canker sores: these tend to pop up when people are stressed.  You can try a topical pain reliever directly on the spot.  Dentists can also use a soft-tissue laser to get rid of them.

Fix bad breath: If you’re not sure that you have bad breath at any given moment, use a cotton ball or gauze pad on the back of your tongue and smell it.  Whenever you brush your teeth, make sure to also get the back of your tongue, since this is where bacteria really like to proliferate.  Alcohol is found in most mouthwashes, but the problem with that is that alcohol helps dehydrate — thus drying the gums and reducing saliva flow.  After this, the bacteria multiples and causes the halitosis to worsen.  Keep in mind that TheraBreath sells an alcohol-free mouthwash!

Back of the mouth: Make sure to get this area when brushing, especially along the gum lines.  If you have a hard time accessing that area when brushing, slighty open the mouth.

Floss, floss, floss!  This is especially needed to prevent tartar buildup.  Toothbrushes can only get so far between the teeth–only 1 millimeter under the gums.  The problem is that gum pockers are usually 3-4 millimeters, which is deeper.  The bacteria feeds off the particles that get caught in these pockets, and if you don’t take care of the issue, you’ll have tooth decay and in extreme cases, jawbone loss.  Keep in mind that 80% of adults allegedly have a form of gum disease!

By practicing good oral hygiene, you’ll help keep your smile white and clean!

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Secrets from Dentists

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

kids bad breath

There are many things that people may not realize regarding oral care and its relationship to overall health.  Dental health is a very important thing and should not be neglected.  Here are certain things that you may not have known about dental care and dentists:

Pay More Attention

  • Just because your mouth may not hurt, does not mean it is healthy. 
  • Your oral health can affect the rest of your body
  • People with HEALTHY gums should go to the dentist twice a year.  Most people do not.  If your gums are NOT healthy, you should go even more. 
  • People tend to brush their front teeth more, and many people have periodontal disease in their back teeth because of this
  • People tend to spend around 2-3 minutes total brushing per day, even though proper oral care requires at least ten minutes of brushing and flossing each day.  Kids tend to spend even less time than adults. 

Bad Breath

  • Chewing gum or mints is not going to cover up the smell from smoking cigarettes.  This is because the smell is deeply ingrained in the mouth and gum tissues.
  • Most dentists won’t tell you if you have halitosis unless you ask.
  • People need to floss since brushing does not go deep into the gums.  If a person brushes and flosses properly, gets regular cleanings, and STILL has bad breath, then he or she should check into diet and health complications.

Children’s Teeth

  • Dentists may secretly blame parents when their kids’ teeth go bad.
  • Cavity-causing bacteria CAN be spread from person-to-person via saliva.  This includes parents to children– if a parent tastes a baby’s food, and puts the same spoon back into the baby’s mouth, the baby is at risk.
  • Children with dental problems, like toothaches, tend to have more problems in school.
  • There’s a significant risk of infection with any kind of mouth piercing if it is not performed in a sterile environment.  Also, tongue piercings tend to chip the front teeth.

Patient Concerns

  • Having metal fillings removed can release more mercury than leaving them in.  Metal fillings are much more durable than tooth-colored fillings.
  • People are exposed to more radiation standing outside for an hour than they are when they have dental X-rays taken.
  • People are getting teeth pulled that don’t need to be just because they can’t afford to fix them.
  • Very few insurance companies cover dental implants, even though they’re better than dentures
  • Teeth that are not aligned correctly can cause migraines
  • Bleeding gums is one of the first signs of diabetes
  • Did you know that teeth get whiter when they dry out?  If you go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened, and your mouth is left open for an hour, the teeth could be two shades whiter from dehydration alone. 
  • Cosmetic dentistry only works in a healthy mouth.  Always treat your gum disease first.
  • When you go to the dentist, check to see if the magazines in the waiting area are up-to-date…this shows if they pay attention to detail.

Here is an interesting quote by dentist Damian Dachowski: “When someone meets you for the first time, the first thing they notice is eyes. Second is teeth, and third is hair. But people spend way more money on their hair than their teeth.”

Source: Reader’s Digest

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Robots Helping Out Dentists

Friday, December 4th, 2009

In Palm Beach County, FL, the health department is giving local dentists a new tool to help others, called the “Sim Man“. It may not be an actual human, but dentists can use it to simulate real life scenarios and even help save lives.

People can use it to play different medical roles and have the “Sim” character function as if it was a real patient. The robot can mimic functions of a real patient with the breathing and blood pressure, so it can be monitored and cared for properly.   The exercise is believed to aid medical professionals in reacting properly in actual crises.  One thing the robot could be lacking from a real human, though, is bad breath.

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