What is dental care for healthy teeth?

Your-Health-Online Back-to-Directory A health article about dental care for healthy teeth from Your Health Online the A to Z directory of dealing with Health Problems & nutritional Self Care Strategies

Having a healthy, white smile really isn’t a mystery but in order to understand how your smile can be improved you need to have a basic understanding of how your teeth got to where they are today.

We are all born with two complete sets of teeth. Our first set is called “primary teeth.” You probably recognize them better when referred to as our “baby teeth.”

They are called baby teeth because the first appear at around 6 months of age. You could almost call these our “practice teeth.” Their role is to reserve a spot for the permanent tooth which will begin to appear as the baby teeth are pushed up and out of the way. This onset of permanent adult teeth begins to occur when we are around 6 years old.

Even though our first set of teeth is temporary, their role in our dental life is very important. In addition to being placeholders for our permanent teeth, these baby teeth are what help us to speak and how to chew.

Good Dental Health Care

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The first teeth to erupt are usually the four front teeth. You probably don’t remember what they looked like, but they are the most beautiful shade of white imaginable! When the permanent teeth push the baby teeth out of the way and erupt they too will be a beautiful translucent white. Teeth that dreams are made of!

Even if your child has just one, tiny little pretty white tooth, it is important that you launch him/her on their road to dental health. So, begin by brushing that little tiny tooth and all others as they begin to appear. It isn’t necessary to use toothpaste, just use plain water. It’s never too soon to begin good dental health practices.

Believe it or not, that first little tooth is just as susceptible to decay as adult teeth. One common problem connected to tooth decay in infants is called “baby bottle decay.” It occurs as a result from excessive amounts of sugar in the formula, juice or milk the child consumes. For this reason it is a good idea to switch from a bottle to a cup as early as possible for your child.

You also must not allow a child access to beverages such as this on a continuous basis. Nor should a child be allowed to roam around with his or her cup. When a child is thirsty between meal times, offer water. This will cut down on the possibility of tooth decay and train the child to drink more water, the healthier choice.

A leading cause of dental problems in children is dry mouth. Mouth breathing causes the mouth to dry out. A dry mouth provides a perfect environment for the bacteria that causes tooth decay and to grow.

Children tend to breath through their mouth more often than adults and appear to have more instances of colds, allergies, sinus infections and other nose and ear problems.

A child who sucks their thumb or blanket can also dry out the mouth. Older children who smoke or use alcohol also set themselves up for dry mouth.

You will set a habitual pattern for your child to follow the rest of his life and you will be able to remove particles of food that could develop into plaque which can cause all kinds of problems.

When to begin dental care for healthy teeth

The majority of people take a long time before they embark on taking dental care for their kids.

Before reaching age five, twenty five percent of children have their first cavity, and a lot more cross that number also – 50 to 70 percent of children will have at least one cavity when they are in the grade schools.

Because we are grown ups, we can value the need of the right care of our teeth. But our children should also be made abreast of the importance. You should begin dental care before a baby gets his or her first tooth. Below are given some methods:

Infant Dental Care:

1. After the baby consumes anything solid or liquid, you should rinse their gums with a damp cloth and clean the gums with it. Decay can begin even without any teeth.

2. Do not let your child go to bed with a milk bottle or formula because that would be in his mouth the whole night.

3. When the first tooth of the infant appears, you can begin the process of dental care by using a soft brush and infant toothpaste for their precious pearl.

4. Visit the dentist just after the baby gets their first teeth. The maximum number of doctors asks to see the child when he is around 1 years of age. However, if you notice anything that can be cause for concern then visit the dentist before. This will again assist them to be more adjusted getting dental care in the times to come.

5. Brush your child’s teeth twice every day, once in the morning, and once surely at night.

Children:

1. When the whole set of teeth has made its appearance, definitely visit the dentist without waiting any longer.

2. Provide guidance to your child when he brushes his teeth for the first 6 years of his life.

3. When your child grows permanent teeth, with your assistance he should learn how to floss his teeth.

4. When a child loses his tooth or teeth, take both the child and his tooth to the doctor. The teeth may be restored when kept in a bowl of cold milk for sometime.

5. After the age of seven or eight, dental care for your child can begin serious earnest.

The Basics Of Brushing

Brushing and flossing are something we all learn at an early age. The proper way to brush your teeth takes less than 2 minutes, although many people tend to spend much longer, or much less. Most adults tend to spend less than a minute, which isn’t enough time to clean your teeth. To get the right amount of time brushing, you should try using a stopwatch while you brush.

When you brush your teeth, you should avoid using pressure but instead use short, gentle strokes. You should focus on hard to reach places, and make sure that you get the areas between your teeth as well. You should also make sure you get eating surfaces as well, along with your upper and lower gums. If you focus on all areas of your mouth, you’ll get everything when you brush.

Along with using the proper brushing techniques, you will also need to use the right toothpaste as well. There are a variety of toothpastes available, designed to help you with a variety of different conditions. You can get toothpaste that will prevent toothaches, stop sensitivity, and prevent things such as tartar and gingivitis. Toothpaste is the best way to protect your teeth, therefore you should always ask your dentist what type of toothpaste he recommends for you.

To get the most out of brushing, you’ll need to have a good toothbrush. There are many different models to choose from, which can make it extremely difficult to choose one. When you make your choice, you should look for brushes that have soft bristles. Soft bristles are easy on your gums, and they will remove plaque and other debris from your teeth. A small head is also preferred, as it can easily reach hard to get places, such as your back teeth.

You should also remember to replace your brush every couple of months, or when it starts to show signs of wear. If you’ve had a cold you should replace your toothbrush, simply because the bristles can contain germs that could get you sick all over again. Toothbrushes that show wear should always be replaced, as they can have an impact on your gums. If the bristles start to get worn down, they can tear away at your gums, leading to sensitivity.

To get the most from your brushing, you should always use a bit of common sense and ask your dentist for his recommendations. Brushing your teeth will help keep them healthy, and prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Keep in mind that brushing does help your teeth, although you still need to go to your dentist for regular checkups. If you take care of your teeth and brush them on a regular basis - you will keep them free of infections and cavities.

A Look At Flossing

Along with brushing your teeth, you should also be flossing on a daily basis. Flossing will remove plaque and debris in areas that your toothbrush isn’t able to reach. A buildup of plaque can lead to gum disease or tooth decay, which is why flossing is very important. If you floss immediately after brushing, you’ll notice that your gums and teeth will be much healthier.

When you look at dental floss, you’ll notice there are two types - nylon and single filament. You can get nylon either waxed or un-waxed, in several different flavors. Nylon floss is made up of several strands of nylon material, meaning that it can shred, tear, or snag between the teeth if it gets caught on sharp teeth. Even though the single filament floss is more expensive than nylon, it will slide easily between teeth, even tight areas and spaces. Unlike nylon, single filament is impossible to shred or tear.

No matter which type of floss you choose, as long you floss regularly, it will remove debris from your teeth and gums. If you’ve never tried flossing before, you will probably be amazed at just how much debris and food particles it can remove. Flossing is recommended by dentists everywhere, as it can reach places that even the smallest of toothbrushes can’t. Food and debris will build up between your teeth, which makes dental flossing very important.

The main problem many people have against flossing is the fact that it can result in bleeding of the gums. Anytime you floss and get between your teeth and around your gums, the floss will rub against your gums, resulting in bleeding. Many people take this the wrong way, and immediately stop flossing, usually for good. Bleeding is very common, and should be expected with flossing.

When you brush your teeth, you miss a lot of food particles and debris that continues to build up in your mouth. No toothbrush is designed to get every area of your mouth, as all of them miss hard to reach places. With the areas missed by the toothbrush, the debris and plaque will continue to build up until they eventually result in a cavity or decay. To get this debris and plaque before it builds up into something more serious, you’ll need to floss.

If you’ve been afraid to try flossing due to the bleeding, you should really get over that fear and floss after you brush. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, you’ll to brush and floss your teeth. Regular checkups with your dentist will help as well, although it is up to you to continue your regular maintenance at home with flossing and brushing. If you floss on a daily basis - you’ll quickly realize just how clean your teeth and gums will be.

Dealing With Infections

Once a tooth has been extracted, bacteria will still be alive in the mouth, even more so with those who have bad oral hygiene. Infections are very common following extractions. Depending on how bad the tooth was that the dentist removed, he may prescribe you some antibiotics to take that will greatly reduce your risk of getting an infection. In some cases though, even antibiotics can’t prevent an infection.

If you go to the dentist before the extraction experienced swelling of the face, swollen gums, pain in your teeth under light pressure, or bleeding around the extraction site, then you may already have an infection. If you indeed have an infection before you get the tooth treated, the dentist will prescribe you antibiotics to use following treatment. If you have a really bad abscess, you’ll need to use antibiotics to treat the infection before the dentist will remove the tooth.

In some cases, people develop an infection after the extraction, even though they may not have been infected beforehand. The reason for this, is bacteria. Following an extraction, bacteria will be more alive in the mouth than ever before. With the extraction site being exposed, the bacteria will be able to get into the site. This can lead to an infection due to the site being exposed and the fact that you are unable to use mouthwash or brush during the first 24 - 48 hours. Not being able to sterilize your mouth means that you are unable to kills the germs responsible for bacteria.

After extractions, the first sign of infection is renewed bleeding. This normally occurs around 48 hours after the extraction. Even though it normally isn’t severe, you should still call your dentist and make an appointment to be seen. Your dentist will be able to stop the bleeding and give you some antibiotics and other prescriptions that will fix the problem.

Some dentists prefer to give patients antibiotics before they will do any type of extraction. Although you may not have an abscess, most dentists prefer to get rid of the infection before they start doing their work. They do this because they know the local anesthesia won’t work all that good with infections, and it may take them a lot of work and a lot of medicine to numb the area that you have the infection in.

In the event that the tooth has to be removed and the dentist simply cannot wait a few days, it is possible to get you numbed. Although it will take quite a bit of medicine to numb the area, it can be done. Sometimes, dentists will choose to use an IV sedation or laughing gas, in the event that local numbing doesn’t help. An IV sedation will normally put you to sleep or knock you out, so that the dentist can remove the tooth that is causing you so much trouble.

Even though infections can cause a lot of pain and need to be dealt with immediately, you may not have to take antibiotics once the dentist has extracted the tooth. If your mouth is clean and you don’t have a lot of germs, you can normally heal the would by taking care of it. Rinsing your mouth out with salt water for the first few days will keep the extraction site clean. As long as you take care of the extraction site and do what your dentist tells you, you shouldn’t have any further problems with the extraction site or the infection.

Understanding Dental Pain

Pain has always been a major issue with dentistry. The fear of pain in dentistry is so high in fact, that many people fail to go to the dentist until their condition becomes so severe that they have no other choice than to see a dentist. A majority of individuals are terrified of the dental chair, although once they are numb, they sometimes fall asleep. Although the numbing shots may be a bit painful, once they are finished - there is literally no more pain.

Most often, people will concentrate on the thought of getting the shot, which will only magnify the pain. Something that normally doesn’t hurt, can get a lot worse simply by thinking in your mind that it will be painful. In most cases, the numbing shots will work very well with one or two applications. If you are already in pain when you visit the dentist, the shots will put your mind at ease and stop the pain almost immediately.

If you have a tremendous fear of dental pain and simply cannot stand the thought of getting a shot, then you may be interested in laughing gas or IV sedation. Either of the two can help you relax before you the dentist applies numbing shots. IV sedation can either be conscious or put you out totally. Normally, IV sedation is preferred during wisdom teeth removal, as most people don’t want to hear the grinding and snapping of the teeth. It works through your veins, as the anesthesia is inserted into your arm through a vein.

If you have chosen either laughing gas or an IV sedation, your dentist will administer either of the two before he gives you shots or goes any further. Once the medicine has taken effect, you normally won’t feel anything or remember it. Laughing gas and IV sedation can put your mind at ease, so you won’t be uncomfortable during your surgery or extractions.

Although dental pain is something that many fear, it isn’t near as bad as they may think. Most of the fear stems from not knowing, or thinking that it will hurt more than it actually does. The worst part of dental work is the numbing shots, which actually don’t hurt all that bad. Once you have been numbed, you’ll find that the pain will be gone. Dental pain isn’t near as bad you may hear or think - which is why you shouldn’t fear it.

If you need dental work or if you are having a bad toothache, you shouldn’t hesitate to get to the dentist. The dentist will explain everything he is going to do in your treatment, and ask you about other forms of sedation or medicine. Even though you’ll feel the shots, the rest of the procedures you won’t feel at all.

A Close Look At Wisdom Teeth

Also known as the third set of molars, the wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth in the mouth to erupt, which normally happens around the ages of 17 - 25. For many years, there has been a lot of controversy as to the need to remove these teeth. If the teeth don’t cause any harm or pain, they are normally fine to stay in place. If they present a bad position or cause you a lot of pain or discomfort, they will need to be removed.

When the wisdom teeth first come in, they will sometimes be impacted. Impacted teeth will normally need to be extracted. Sometimes they can be pulled, although in most cases they need to be cut out by a qualified surgeon. When the time comes to have your wisdom teeth extracted, you’ll need to go to an oral surgeon and have a consultation first.

During the consultation, you’ll take a few x-rays that will let the surgeon know how bad your wisdom teeth are. He will go over the results with you, take a look in your mouth, then tell you what options you have. If he is going to pull or cut out your teeth, you’ll have the option of using local anaesthesia or going with an IV sedation. An IV sedation is the preferred way to have wisdom teeth extracted, as you’ll be so relaxed you won’t know what is going on. If you decide to just use local anaesthesia, which is numbing, you’ll be fully aware of the procedure. You’ll also hear the popping and cracking involved, which can make you feel quite uncomfortable.

Depending on the shape, size, and the formation of the wisdom teeth, the removal process can vary from easy to hard. If the root tips have managed to wrap themselves around the bone, the removal process can be very time consuming and quite painful. Once the extractions have been completed, there is normally little to no swelling involved. Your dentist will prescribe you some pain medicine, which you should use as soon as you arrive home. If you are going to use IV sedation, you’ll need to someone to accompany you, as you won’t be able to drive home.

After the removal of your wisdom teeth, your dentist will go over what you need to do to ensure the proper healing of your gums and mouth. Normally, he will give you information to go over, to make sure that you experience no problems in the healing process. Someone will need to be with you for the first 24 hours, to make sure that you ok. You won’t be able to eat certain foods for the first 48 hours, which is to be expected. Once you get your wisdom teeth removed through - you’ll notice a big improvement in your mouth - and your health.

When to seek Medical Advice from a Dentist:

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Teeth can become discolored for many reasons.
Most apply to poor hygiene.
Coffee, tea and tobacco are three culprits that come to mind.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg, however.

The problem is that by the time we realize that our teeth have seriously deteriorated in color, enough time has gone by that we usually have some type of dental health problem which must be addressed before we can even begin to think about “cosmetic” procedures. Any type of dental disease makes the enamel of the teeth vulnerable to ugly discoloration.

What are some of the common problems dentists see in their patients that lead to dental disease, destruction and discoloration? Let’s review some of what they have to say:

Abscessed tooth.
Infection of the tissue surrounding a tooth that usually fills with pus which has a very smelly odor.

Alcoholism.
Immoderate use of alcohol causes decreased production of saliva causing dryness of the mouth. Dry mouth is a leading cause of tooth decay.

Atrophic rhinitis.
This is an inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane usually a result of nasal drip due to colds or sinusitis. Bacterial changes in the mouth can increase risk for dental disease.

Cancers.
Cancers such as esophageal, pharyngeal, oral tumors, leukemia, pulmonary and stomach cancer all present severe complications due to the decay that is taking place.

Additionally, the medical treatments for these cancers can exacerbate a problem with bad breath and certain medications can cause severe discoloration of the teeth.

Oral Candida.
This is a fungal infection of the mouth cavity. Also known as thrush, it is fairly common among infants, diabetics, chemotherapy patients and people with HIV or AIDS.

Cavities
Cavities are much less prevalent today than they were in the middle of the last century. The reason is attributed to the good education with regard to dental health, but more importantly the introduction of fluoride into municipal water systems which began in 1945.

Diabetes.
People who have diabetes may also have poor teeth. This occurs because of poor control of blood sugar, the problem with most diabetics. The two situations go hand in hand. Gum disease is a problem for diabetics. And, diabetes is a problem for people with gum disease.

It can be difficult to determine which comes first, the diabetes or the gum disease, but the underlying problem is clear. High blood sugar contributes to gum disease. Diabetics have trouble controlling the high blood sugar. Gum disease is a leading cause of bad breath, hence the correlation.

The American Dental Association reports that people with type 1 diabetes 5 are at greater risk for gingivitis.

Drugs and drug abuse.
Certain drugs such as antihistamines, antidepressants, blood pressure meds, steroids, cancer therapy drugs, diuretics and oral contraceptives are all known to increase the propensity for gum disease.

Drug abuse is a different matter entirely. This is a sad footnote to our culture today. In years past this subject wouldn’t even be considered in a guide such as this. A study conducted in 2003 revealed that 12.3 million Americans 12 years old and over tried methamphetamine at least once. This number is staggering when you consider that represents 5.2% of our population.

Not only are the health risks tremendous but the damage to the teeth is often irreversible. Dentists have reported that the teeth of methamphetamine users are described as rotting, black, stained and literally falling apart and crumbling.

The drug is highly acidic and reduces the production of saliva. Users tend to grind their teeth and crave sugar in any form. The drug also remains in the system for up to 12 hours prolonging the exposure during a period when the user probably will not even consider brushing or flossing. Removal of the teeth is often the only course of action.

Eating disorders.
We have mentioned that vomiting is a known cause of bad breath. Hand in hand with vomiting are potentially dangerous disorders such as bulimia and anorexia. Bulimia involves the practice of repeated binge eating followed up by self-induced vomiting called “purging” and is normally done secretly.

The reasons for engaging in this practice are different for each participant. However, it is generally accepted by the medical community that those who suffer from bulimia eat for “comfort.” They use food as a therapy and consume large amounts to induce inner feeling of well being. It appears to temporarily drive away feelings of anger, loss, sadness and other negative, human conditions.

Each time they binge, they need to purge so they can recapture the emotional band-aids they get while binging. It is an extremely dangerous practice. The purging process is also accomplished by fasting, taking diet pills or using diuretics. Not only does the practice rapidly deplete the body of natural resources, it also creates a dry mouth situation which causes decay.

If you know of someone who you suspect may be on a damaging “binge eating” program watch for the warning signs. If you suspect they may be engaged in this behavior, intervention may be in order. Anorexia is also extremely harmful. While it may manifest itself in some of the same ways as bulimia, it is different in that the victim has a fear of weight gain and even the slightest ounce of body fat just can’t be tolerated.

Rather than binging and purging, purging is the tool of preference for people who suffer from anorexia.

Body piercing.
Our purpose of discussion that relates to body piercing is obviously directed toward oral piercing. It is not our intent to make any judgment of the practice, merely to point out some of the risks involved for those who choose to engage in this kind of activity.

The most obvious risk factor is infection which can occur when there is a lesion on any part of the body. However, as we know that the mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow, whether it is “good” bacteria or “bad” bacteria.

You might think that the risk is greater at the time of piercing and that would be correct. However, continual handling of the jewelry after placement greatly increases the odds of infection down the road.

Oral piercing may also put you at risk for blood contamination and increase the possibility of hepatitis B, C, D and G.

Damage to the blood vessels in the tongue or cheek can induce prolonged bleeding and in some cases nerve damage can occur.

Just having the jewelry in the mouth can damage the soft tissue around the teeth causing the gums to recede.

Constant clicking of the jewelry against natural and/or restored teeth can cause the enamel or veneers to crack or chip.

Oral jewelry can also create more saliva than is necessary. Some people have reported problems with speech and a pronounced reduction in the ability to pronounce words properly. Others say that their ability to chew was impaired.

Another worse case scenario is the risk of having the jewelry dislodge causing a dangerous choking situation or even swallowing the jewelry and having it end up in the digestive tract which is dangerous itself.

Finally, there is no doubt that having a foreign body in your mouth is going to create a poor environment for healthy teeth. Keeping the area around the piercing 100% clean 100% of the time is impossible.

It only takes a few tiny particles lodged in or around the entrance and exit of the jewelry stud to create tooth decay. And, that’s even before you add in the factors discussed above.

So, if you do choose to engage in the practice prepare yourself for some pretty hefty maintenance and the possibility of infection or even worse circumstances.

These examples are not the norm, of course, but if you do experience any of them, it would be prudent to contact a physician especially if they replace previously normal breath odor.

Dry mouth.
Sounds like such an innocuous little phrase, doesn’t it? Thought to be one of the leading causes of dental disease, dry mouth occurs when saliva production is reduced and carries its own nasty little package of problems.

The medical term for dry mouth is “xerostomia” (pronounced ZEER-oh-STOH-mee-ah). Saliva performs vital work in your body. It aids in digestion by using the enzymes to help break up different foods and also makes it easier to talk.

Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by rinsing away food particles from between the teeth as well as the gums.

Saliva also helps you taste the food you eat and makes it easier for you to swallow that food and is also known for neutralizing any damaging acids.

It is believed to be caused primarily by certain medications which we listed in the previously. The symptoms of dry mouth can include:

• Dry, rough tongue
• Poor sense of taste
• Burning sensation in your mouth
• Increased plaque
• Reduced saliva production

Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS and stroke are also attributed to causing dry mouth as well as pregnancy and/or hormonal changes due to menopause.

Increasing fluid intake can help to re-hydrate the mouth. It’s important to keep it moist so you don’t lose all the benefits provided by saliva production.

Gum disease/Gingivitus.
This is inflammation of soft tissue surrounding the teeth. This condition is much more serious than a single abscess. Gingivitis is the precursor to periodontitis which is the final step of gum disease that can ultimately lead to tooth loss. This will be discussed in depth a bit further on.

Impacted tooth.
An impacted tooth is one that rebelliously will not erupt into its proper position and most often results in infection, which we know is another cause of bad breath and ultimately can result in loss of the tooth.

Periodontal disease.
It’s hard to believe that in a 2002 poll of 1,000 Americans over the age of 35, it was determined that 60% of adults polled knew little or nothing about gum disease! A tragedy when you consider that gum disease is the leading factor in tooth loss, even healthy teeth.

Your teeth can appear to be healthy and disease free, when under the surface gum disease can stalwartly march on creating a condition that will ultimately lead to serious tooth loss. Bad breath is a “red flag” to help determine if this problem is prevalent in your mouth.

Healthy gum tissue forms a shallow groove at the point where the tooth meets the gum line. This disease occurs when the anaerobic, sulfur producing bacteria we discussed earlier, become trapped beneath the gum line.

This is a perfect breeding ground for the bacteria and they will settle in and take residence. Not recognizing and dealing with the problem will result in serious dental problems up to and including loss of teeth and even underlying bone disease. If you are diagnosed with serious periodontal disease, work to save your teeth needs to begin as soon as possible.

The first step that your dentist will take is probably what is called “scaling and root planing.” This is a non-surgical procedure to remove the deposits of plaque on the surface of the tooth including the root. Since periodontal disease rarely occurs in just one tooth, this will probably need to be done to all your teeth.

The dentist will scrap the surfaces of the tooth below the gum line to remove all traces of plaque clear down to the bottom of the pocket. He will then smooth the surface of the root to encourage healthy gum tissue to heal. This process also discourages plaque from reforming. Depending on how involved your case might be, the dentist may prescribe medication to assist in healing or control pain and potential infection.

More diagnostics are required before a prognosis of your case of periodontal disease can be given. Each deposit of plaque creates its own “pocket” and the dentist needs to measure the depth of the pockets that were scaled during your first visit.

Often, the scaling procedure works well to eliminate the problem and you are free from further treatment other than normal examinations. At this point you would be well served by employing a daily regimen of preventative maintenance to insure the disease does not return.

However, if the diseased pockets are deep and extending into actual bone, you may need to have surgery in order to keep the teeth. If this is the case, your dentist will refer you to a periodontist, a doctor who specializes in periodontal disease.

The periodontist will use a surgical process to aggressively penetrate the diseased areas and ferret out the plaque and bacteria. The pockets where plaque resides must be sealed off so the environment does not invite a return of the disease. In some cases bone surgery or bone grafts may be necessary to rebuild bone that was destroyed by the periodontal disease. If there was substantial tissue damage grafts may need to be used to replace the soft tissue.

This procedure involves removing gum tissue from your palate to cover the areas where severe gingivitis has penetrated too far into the gum line. Your dentist or oral surgeon may also recommend further treatment and/or medications.

Pharyngitis.
This is an inflammation in the area at the back of the mouth known as the Pharynx as usually occurs because of a virus.

This is the same area where you begin to feel a slight “scratchiness” at the onset of a cold or flu. The bacteria involved can lead to more serious streptococcus, commonly known as “strep throat.” If it progresses it can be highly contagious and because it is bacterial it will produce bad breath and possible tooth decay.

Poor dental hygiene.
We have discussed some of the leading causes of dental disease, but nothing matches poor dental hygiene as a leading cause of tooth decay and discoloration. Lack of brushing, flossing and regular checkups are the most important weapon for ridding oneself of bad breath and preventing more serious conditions from developing.

All of these conditions can leave you with teeth and that need lots of help! Fortunately we live in the modern world. Unlike those ancestors of ours, we have access to dental procedures that were nothing more than “science fiction” in centuries past.

Choosing a Dentist for your dental care:

Choosing a family dentist is much the same as choosing your family doctor. In fact, one tip would be to ask your doctor who he or she chooses to visit for their dental needs. That’s a pretty good endorsement! If that is not an option, then common sense should prevail. Do your due diligence.

Try walking through the yellow pages if you’d like, but a bit more in depth analysis might be prudent. Check with your state licensing agency to determine if a dentist you are considering is licensed to practice in your state.

Contact the office of your state attorney general to determine if there has been any malpractice claims filed against a particular individual.

Check with your Better Business Bureau to determine if there have been any complaints filed for which the dentist has failed to respond. Talk to your friends and neighbors to obtain personal referrals or recommendations.

If you have dental insurance your plan may require you to use their preferred providers. If that is the case, work from that list following the recommendations listed above. It’s your family. It’s your money. It’s your health.

Dealing With Cracked Teeth

Also known as the third set of molars, the wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth in the mouth to erupt, which normally happens around the ages of 17 - 25. For many years, there has been a lot of controversy as to the need to remove these teeth. If the teeth don’t cause any harm or pain, they are normally fine to stay in place. If they present a bad position or cause you a lot of pain or discomfort, they will need to be removed.

When the wisdom teeth first come in, they will sometimes be impacted. Impacted teeth will normally need to be extracted. Sometimes they can be pulled, although in most cases they need to be cut out by a qualified surgeon. When the time comes to have your wisdom teeth extracted, you’ll need to go to an oral surgeon and have a consultation first.

During the consultation, you’ll take a few x-rays that will let the surgeon know how bad your wisdom teeth are. He will go over the results with you, take a look in your mouth, then tell you what options you have. If he is going to pull or cut out your teeth, you’ll have the option of using local anaesthesia or going with an IV sedation.

An IV sedation is the preferred way to have wisdom teeth extracted, as you’ll be so relaxed you won’t know what is going on. If you decide to just use local anaesthesia, which is numbing, you’ll be fully aware of the procedure. You’ll also hear the popping and cracking involved, which can make you feel quite uncomfortable.

Depending on the shape, size, and the formation of the wisdom teeth, the removal process can vary from easy to hard. If the root tips have managed to wrap themselves around the bone, the removal process can be very time consuming and quite painful. Once the extractions have been completed, there is normally little to no swelling involved.

Your dentist will prescribe you some pain medicine, which you should use as soon as you arrive home. If you are going to use IV sedation, you’ll need to someone to accompany you, as you won’t be able to drive home.

After the removal of your wisdom teeth, your dentist will go over what you need to do to ensure the proper healing of your gums and mouth. Normally, he will give you information to go over, to make sure that you experience no problems in the healing process.

Someone will need to be with you for the first 24 hours, to make sure that you ok. You won’t be able to eat certain foods for the first 48 hours, which is to be expected. Once you get your wisdom teeth removed through - you’ll notice a big improvement in your mouth - and your health.

Dental Extractions

Dental extractions are among the easiest and best ways to get relief from a toothache. As the name implies, an extraction involves removing the tooth. If your pulp has died or the tooth has become severely infected, extraction may be your only route. Depending on the tooth, the dentist can do either a simple extraction or a more complicated extraction.

Simple extractions
These types of extractions, the simple extractions, are the most common in the world of dentistry. During a simple extraction, the dentist will remove the tooth by loosening the gums around the socket. He will grasp the tooth with forceps and move it from side to side until he can get it to break free from the socket and remove it.

The teeth are held to the bone by a thin piece of soft tissue. This soft tissue is known as the periodontal ligament. The dentist uses this tissue to remove the tooth. As you may know, the key to removing a tooth by pulling is to rock the tooth from side to side, which enlarges the socket in the bone and breaks the ligament that helps to hold the tooth in place.

Simple extractions, also known as pulling, don’t take long to complete. The dentist will numb you before he starts, so you won’t feel anything. Depending on the tooth, pulling it will normally take just a few minutes after you have been numbed with local anesthesia. Once completed, the dentist will place gauze in your mouth to bite on and you will be free to go.

Complex extractions
As we all know, not all teeth can be pulled. Sometimes, the tooth will be so decayed or broken off that the dentist will have nothing to grasp above the gum line. In cases such as this, the dentist will need to perform a more complicated extraction, which involves getting the tooth out below the gum line, as he won’t be able to use the standard method of pulling and rocking.

These types of extractions involve the dentist making an incision in the gums around the tooth, and raising the flap he cut to expose the bone. Once he has exposed the bone, there may be enough of the tooth exposed for the dentist to grab and remove it using the pulling method. In most cases however, the tooth will be embedded in the bone, meaning that the dentist will be unable to pull the tooth out.

With teeth that are imbedded in the bone, the dentist will need to use a drill and chip away at the bone to get to the tooth. This is known as cutting the tooth out, and happens to be very common with impacted teeth or teeth that are severely decayed. Once the dentist has cut his way to the tooth and removed it, he will sew back the flap of skin that he cut to get to the tooth. The flap of skin and the socket will heal over time - providing you take care of it.

Dental extractions are very common, and happen on a daily basis for dentists. Oral surgeons are the best for extractions, as extractions are all they do. All types of extractions, even the most complex, will take time to heal. As long as you take care of your extraction site, you’ll avoid common pitfalls such as dry sockets and other mishaps. Although they can be painful once the procedure is over - you’ll eventually start to feel a lot better once you have had the tooth or teeth removed.

Self Care strategies - dental care for healthy teeth

Pregnancy and your oral health care.
Having babies does not cause you to lose teeth. If you lose a tooth during your pregnancy it will be from some other cause. There’s an old wives tale about losing calcium from your teeth to feed your baby. Plain and simple, this is a myth.

Calcium for your baby comes from your diet and nutrition, not your teeth! If your body is lacking calcium then you need to make up for it in your diet whether it be increasing your intake of foods high in calcium or taking a supplement. That does not mean that dental care isn’t important while pregnant, it just means don’t listen to old wives tales and take your guidance from your physician.

There is one area of dental health that you should pay attention to at all times, but especially when you are pregnant. If you notice that your gums become swollen and you are pregnant, you should schedule an appointment to see your dentist and rule out periodontitis, a serious gum disease. Some research has shown that low birth weight and premature birth are linked to serious gum disease.

Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing properly taking special care to clean around the gum line. To control gingivitis, you might want to increase your cleanings to include after all food intake during the second and third trimester.

Continue regular dental visits and treatments making certain that your dentist is aware of your pregnancy. One thing to avoid if you are or suspect that you are pregnant are x-rays.

Grinding your teeth.
Do you grind or clench your teeth? The medical term for this condition is “bruxism.” Many people are not even aware they have this condition because it is done in their sleep. If you find yourself waking up in the morning with a painful jaw, earache, toothache or headache, this might be the cause.

Bruxism is potentially dangerous for the overall health of your teeth because the grinding and gnashing can wear away the enamel on the surface of the tooth. As the grinding continues and more enamel is removed the layer of actual dentin may be exposed. This can cause your teeth to become sensitive to hot and cold.

This condition would also remove you as a candidate for any type of cosmetic dental work until the tooth is repaired. Causes for bruxism are not well known, although stress, insomnia and a “bad bite” are some suggestions.

There is treatment available for bruxism and the best detection will occur at your regular dental checkup.

Sensitive teeth.
Does a shot of hot coffee in your mouth cause you to cringe with pain? Or does a nice bite of ice cream send you through the ceiling?

This is caused by exposing the layers of dentin below the enamel. The exposed portion of your tooth (above the gum line) is covered with enamel and the lower portion (beneath the gum line) is covered with cementum.

This is what protects the softer material beneath it which is called “dentin.” When the dentin is exposed the nerve endings are susceptible to changes in temperature, pressure and so on. This can be caused by combination of problems. Grinding of the teeth that creates wear on the enamel, cracking or chipping a tooth and periodontal disease are all possible culprits.

There are several different treatment options depending on the severity of the problem. That can only be diagnosed by your dentist so make certain you schedule your regular checkups.

Antibiotics and dental care.

Your-Health-Online Certain physical conditions cause interaction with some medications. The circumstances that determine whether special care needs to be taken with regard to your dental treatments are heart conditions and joint replacement.

One situation that should be approached with care is Bacterial Endocarditis. Your dentist may recommend a regimen of antibiotics prior to your dental treatment to insure that you are protected should there be any blood loss during the treatment.

This is normally done as a precaution to combat potential bacterial infection. Some of the heart conditions that would fall under this category are:

• Recent heart surgery
• Congenital heart defect
• Artificial heart valve
• Recent vascular surgery
• Heart murmur
• Rheumatic fever
• Previous bacterial endocarditis
• Pacemaker

If any of these apply to your situation or you are seeing a new dentist for the first time, make certain that the dentist is fully aware of your medical history.

The same course of action should be taken if you have had joint replacement for the same reason, a precaution to combat potential bacterial infection.

Other high risk situations apply as well. If any of the following conditions apply to you advise your dentist:

• Hemophilia
• Malnourishment
• Type 1 insulin dependent
• Cancer
• HIV
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Immunosuppression
• Also make certain that you keep your dentist apprised of any changes in your health and medications.

Other drug information.
If you take aspirin or any other anticoagulants like heparin or warfarin, make sure your dentist is aware of it. These are great drugs for preventing heart disease and stroke, but might cause a problem while undergoing oral surgery or periodontal treatments.

Pesky cold and canker sores.
These are the two most common mouth sores. They are annoying, unattractive and painful.

Canker sores are found inside of the mouth and usually begin as a bump or red spot.

No one knows what causes them but genetics does have some role. It’s believed that white blood cells in the immune system cause these nasty little things to appear in the mouth lining.

Stress, fatigue and maybe some foods are theorized to be contributors. Since there is no known cause, there is obviously no cure. Thankfully, they do disappear in 7 to 10 days

Cold sores are a different story. They appear on and around the lips as small blisters that are filled with fluid. They are sometimes referred to as fever blisters. There can also be clusters of them on the gums or the roof of the mouth.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus. Highly contagious, the virus will remain in the body throughout the lifetime. Most of the time it will remain dormant, but it does periodically activate causing the sores to appear.

The sores will usually heal in about a week or so. An ugly scab will appear after the blister breaks. About the only thing that can be done is to apply a topical ointment to treat discomfort.

If you detect any changes in the cold or canker sores, or discover some other type of unrecognizable lesion, contact your dentist for an appointment. The dentist is familiar with most conditions having to do with the mouth and can readily make a diagnosis.

Remember, you are born with two sets of teeth. The first set were your “training teeth.” The second set are irreplaceable. Treat them with the care they deserve and they will serve you faithfully throughout your lifetime.

Begin with a healthy diet.
Avoid snacking between meals.
Brush and floss your teeth after every meal.
If you must snack, make them healthy snacks Instead of snacking on junk food, try chewing on fresh fruits and vegetables, especially the crunchy foods.
Apples, pears, celery and carrots are good suggestions.
They will aid in enzyme production and the natural chewing of the crunchy foods will stimulate the gums.

Drink plenty of water.
Keep your mouth moist and avoid dry mouth.
Remember that dry mouth is a harbinger of dental disease.
We also need that water to stimulate the production of saliva.

Avoid drinking soda pop.
Americans consume gallons of soda pop a day. Most is loaded with sugar which obviously leads to dental disease and discolored teeth. Don’t be fooled by a “diet soda” label.

Even they have huge amounts of acids that are deadly to the enamel on your teeth.

The study reports that fitness water, sports drinks, energy drinks and other non-cola beverages increase the risk of damage by anywhere from 3 to 11 times! It should be mentioned that the findings are indicative of long term use. However, it appears that these drinks may not necessarily beneficial as a substitute for plain old-fashioned fresh water!

Diet change strategies:

Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.

It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.

The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.

This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.

Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

More Resources available about dental care for healthy teeth :

Dealing with a toothache
In the dental world, toothaches can include such things as cavities, infections or abscess in the teeth or gums, debris that has been trapped between the teeth and gums, and trauma to the face, teeth, or the jaw.

Sometimes, toothaches can result from medical conditions and have nothing to do with dental issues. In most cases, if the problem goes without being checked, it can lead to serious trouble and maybe even become a life threatening situation.

Abscessed Teeth

An abscess in the tooth refers to an infection that was caused by a pocket of pus residing in the tissue around the tooth. Abscesses are very serious conditions, and can lead to serious matters if they aren’t treated immediately.

When the pulp of a tooth dies due to damage or decay, bacteria will begin to grow from the dead tissue that is left. This bacteria will eventually spread from the root of the dead tooth into the tissue that is below and create a pocket of pus - the abscess.

Halitosis
Haliosis has been the cause of many relationships falling apart. People you have been close to who move away from you. Relationships that show promise but then end will a silence and no return phone calls. People wonder why and, although it seems incredibly petty, the answer is surprisingly often linked to halitosis.

The problem is that it is not socially acceptable to be telling people that their breath smells so bad and many people who suffer the problem are not aware that they have it.

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Academy of General Dentistry
211 East Chicago Ave., Ste 900
Chicago, IL 60611-1999
Ph: 888.AGD.DENT (888.243.3368)

American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
312-440-2500

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, MD 20892-2190
Phone: 301-496-4261

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Oral Health, MS F-10
4770 Buford Highway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30341
1-888-232-2306

American Academy of Periodontology
737 N. Michigan Ave.
Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60611
1-800-356-7736 (to find a periodontist in a particular region)



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SITE DISCLAIMER: Do these products “cure” anything? Of course not… but it stands to reason that if you cleanse your body and feed it the finest nutrition available, giving it everything it needs in balance, on a daily basis, that your body will do what nature intended, and give you the best possible chance to fend off sickness and disease. This dental care for healthy teeth information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any dental care for healthy teeth questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read. Any natural and/or dietary supplements that are not FDA approved or evaluated must be accompanied by a two-part disclaimer on the product label: that the statement has not been evaluated by FDA and that the product is not intended to "diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease”.
The dental care for healthy teeth resources on this site are not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the web site dental care for healthy teeth subject matter herein. The site dental care for healthy teeth contents are solely the opinion of the authors and should not be considered as a form of advice, direction and/or recommendation of any kind. If expert advice or counseling is needed, services of a competent professional should be sought. The author and the Publisher assume no responsibility or liability and specifically disclaim any warranty, express or implied for any products or services mentioned, or any techniques or dental care for healthy teeth practices described.
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