The Ways Medicine Affects Oral Health

EVERY MEDICATION COMES with a list of potential side effects. Sometimes those side effects include a negative impact on oral health. The Chemistry Of Medicine And The Mouth Certain medications and vitamins can be pretty hard on our teeth, even for the short time they’re in our mouths. As adults, we swallow most of our medicines in pill form, so we don’t have to worry about these problems, but it can be an issue for children. Medicine for kids often comes in the form of sweet syrup and multivitamins, and the sugars in them feeds oral bacteria and leads to tooth decay. Another culprit is asthma inhalers, which can lead to oral thrush — white patches of fungus on the tongue, inside the cheeks, and other oral tissues. These can be irritating or painful. The best way to prevent this complication from inhaler use is for the patient to rinse with water after every use. Rinsing

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Dentures Through History

TOOTH LOSS HAS BEEN a problem people have had to deal with all throughout history, and false teeth have been a solution since at least 2500 B.C. Dentures Through The Ages The oldest known false teeth were discovered in Mexico, made of wolf teeth. Millennia later, around 700 B.C., the ancient Etruscans would use gold bands or wire to attach human or animal teeth, and two false teeth made of bone and wrapped in gold wire were found in the tomb of El Gigel in Egypt. In 16th century Japan, they began to use wood as a material for false teeth. By the 1700s, carved ivory had become a popular denture material, and dentures would be crafted by ivory turners, goldsmiths, and barber-surgeons out of ivory, human teeth, and animal teeth. The Myth Of George Washington’s Wooden Teeth The first president of the United States struggled with dental health problems from his twenties

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How Does Swimming Affect Teeth?

HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED any extra sensitivity in your teeth after a fun afternoon swimming? You aren’t imagining things, though it usually takes more than just one trip to the local pool before there are any effects. But what does swimming have to do with tooth sensitivity? The Effects Of Chlorine On Tooth Enamel When you hear the phrase “swimmer’s calculus,” you might think it’s advanced math for mermaids, but it’s actually the name of what gradually happens to tooth enamel with enough exposure to acidic chlorine ions in pool water. Chlorine in pools is great for keeping them sanitary for the public to swim in, but it also changes the acidity of the water. Prolonged exposure to the diluted hydrochloric acid in pool water can wear away the tooth enamel of avid swimmers, leading to yellow and brown stains on the teeth and increasing tooth sensitivity. A few visits to the

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How Clean Is Your Tongue?

“BRUSH YOUR TEETH for two full minutes twice a day and floss your teeth once a day.” You’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve heard that, but how often have you heard that you should be cleaning your tongue every day too? The Difference A Clean Tongue Makes More bacteria likes to live on our tongues than just about anywhere else on our bodies. That’s because all those tiny crevices in the tongue’s surface are prime real estate for all kinds of pathogens. If we don’t actively keep our tongues clean, the harmful bacteria will stay put and multiply, causing bad breath and contributing to tooth decay on the inner surfaces of our teeth. Another reason to regularly get rid of all that tongue bacteria is that it can dramatically improve your sense of taste. When the tongue is covered in bacteria, the tastebuds have a hard time doing their job,

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What Are Those White Spots On My Teeth?

THERE ARE A LOT of things that can leave stains on our teeth, and stains can come in many different colors. You could see yellow stains, brown stains, or even the temporary stain from eating brightly colored candy, but what about when the stain is white? Where do those white spots come from, and is there anything we can do about it? White Spots From Fluorosis Surface stains that affect the tooth enamel sometimes appear on a tooth that is otherwise healthy. One cause of this kind of stain is fluorosis. Fluorosis occurs when developing adult teeth are exposed to too much fluoride. It doesn’t damage the teeth, but it does unevenly bleach them, leaving white spots on them before they even grow in. To avoid white spots from fluorosis, make sure to limit the amount of fluoride toothpaste you use when brushing your child’s teeth. A tiny smear (no bigger than a grain of

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Common Toothbrush Mistakes To Avoid

MAINTAINING GOOD DENTAL health isn’t just about the quantity of your brushing — it’s also about the quality. There are several mistakes many of us make when brushing our teeth, whether because we’re using the wrong tools or because we’re using the right tools the wrong way. 1. Keeping A Toothbrush Too Long How long has it been since you got a new toothbrush? The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush at least three times a year, because broken, frayed bristles can’t do as good of a job of keeping your teeth clean. 2. Racing Through Your Brushing The average time people spend brushing their teeth is 45 seconds, which obviously falls far short of the full two minutes recommended. If you’re having trouble making it through two whole minutes, try setting a timer or playing a song. 3. Brushing Too Hard You might assume that the harder you brush, the

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Daily Habits That Harm Our Teeth

OUR TOOTH ENAMEL holds the distinction of being the hardest substance in our bodies — even harder than bone! But don’t take that to mean our teeth are invincible. As hard as enamel is, it’s also somewhat brittle, so we should be careful to avoid daily habits that attack that weak point. Two of the most dangerous ones are mouth breathing and nail biting. Nail Biting: Bad For Nails, Bad For Teeth The most obvious evidence that nail biting is a harmful habit is the shredded, torn nails, but it’s just as bad for oral health, if not worse. Nail biting can erode, chip, and crack teeth. It can shift them, creating gaps, and can even affect the bite, increasing the risk of developing a chronic teeth-grinding habit. It also introduces all the dirt and germs under the fingernails to the gum tissue, where it can cause gum disease. Possibly the worst thing nail

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Dental Scaling And Root Planing: The Basics

ROUTINE PROFESSIONAL DENTAL cleanings by your dental hygienist include scaling, or the careful removal of plaque and tartar from around the gumline. Tartar in particular can only be removed at a professional cleaning, as brushing and flossing alone can’t do the trick. However, if you have symptoms of gum disease, your teeth may need an even more advanced cleaning called dental scaling and root planing. The Effects Of Gum Disease Healthy gums fit snugly around the teeth, providing a barrier that keeps bacteria away from the roots. When gums become diseased, they begin to pull away from the teeth, forming deeper pockets where bacteria can grow. That’s how plaque and tartar can build up beneath the gumline. Check out this video for the warning signs of gum disease https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1QIn9FIhVk What Is Dental Scaling And Root Planing? When you brush your teeth, you’re cleaning the visible surfaces. Dental scaling and root planing is a deeper

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Don’t Take A Vacation From Oral Hygiene!

WITH THE ARRIVAL OF SUMMER comes the season of family vacations and exciting trips to new places. We’re as excited for it as our patients, but before everyone leaves to explore parts unknown, we want to give you a few tips and reminders about taking care of your teeth while you’re away from home. Before You Go, See The Dentist The last thing anyone wants while relaxing on a beach or enjoying the rides at a theme park is for their fun to be interrupted by a toothache or dental emergency. Depending where you go on your vacation, it might be hard to get proper dental treatment. You’ll save yourself a major potential hassle by simply scheduling a dental appointment before you leave! A simple dental checkup will ensure that your teeth are clean and cavity-free when you start your trip. It’s especially important to get any restorations (e.g. crowns and fillings)

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It’s Time To Kick That Ice-Chewing Habit

CHEWING ICE MIGHT SEEM refreshing in the moment, but it’s not doing any favors for your teeth in the long run. Today we’re going to take a look at why ice chewing is such a common habit despite the dangers it poses, as well as what someone with this habit can do to stop. Compulsive Ice Eating The scientific name for compulsive ice eating is pagophagia. This goes beyond a simple habit and enters the territory of a mental disorder. Getting cravings for ice can be a sign of an eating disorder called pica, which involves a compulsion to eat things with no nutritional value, such as ice, clay, hair, and dirt. Pica is often the result of a nutritional deficiency. Iron Deficiency Anemia Studies have shown a correlation between compulsive ice eating and iron deficiency anemia, which is pretty common, with 20 percent of women, 50 percent of pregnant women, and 3 percent

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