Dental Cyst

What is a cyst?

A cyst is a pathological cavity in tissue that is filed with fluid or soft material and usually grows from internal pressure generated by fluid being drawn into the cyst cavity from osmosis (hydrostatic pressure). The upper and lower jaw are the bones with the highest risk of developing cysts in the human body. This is consequence of the abundant amount of epithelial tissue remnants that can be left in the bones of the jaws. The tooth enamel is formed from ectoderm (the precursor germ layer to skin and mucosa), and so remnants of epithelium can be left in the jaws during tooth development. Cysts that can develop from tissues that would normally develop into teeth are called as odontogenic cysts. Some are inflammatory while others are developmental. Odontogenic cysts are radicular cyst, dentigenous cyst, keratocystic, buccal bifurcation cyst, eruption cyst, primordial cyst, gingival cist of the newborn, gingival cyst of adult, lateral periodontal cyst, calcifying odontogenic cyst and glandular odontogenic cyst.

Cysts of the jaws that are called non-odontogenic cysts are developed from the other tissues, not from those involved in tooth development, and consequently may contain structures such as epithelium from the nose.

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On this radiograph you can see a radicular cyst.

How do cysts grow?

All the cyst grows by osmosis. Osmosis process causes the bone around the cyst to resorb, and this may cause movement of teeth or other vital structures such as nerves and blood vessels, or even resorb the roots of teeth. In some extreme cases undiagnosed dental cyst can grow so big that can put a jaw bone at risk of fracture. Cysts usually dont have symptoms. Most comonly they are discovered on routine dental radiograph. On an x-ray, cysts appear as dark, round areas with light white borders. Cysts can be unilocular and multilocular. Some cyst can become infected and this can be the first simptom in their diagnostics. Sings and symptoms of the cyst depend on their localization and size. If the cyst has not grown beyond the normal anatomy of the bone, then there will be no visible or palpable. Most cysts grow slowly and the surrounding bone has time to increase its thickness around the cyst, which is the organisms attempt to isolate the lesion. Some cyst can grow out of anatomical proportions of the bone. When this happens cyst is possible to inspect by palpation.

Every cyst need a thorough examination by a dentist or maxillofacial surgeon. Treatment and therapy for the cyst will depend on the type of the cyst and her localization. Some smaller radicular cyst will require endodontic therapy. In some cases, for example if the cyst has been present for some time, and if patients immune system is compromised for any reason root canal therapy wont be adequate choice. In this cases dentist can suggest apicoectomy or even tooth extraction. Bigger cysts must be removed by surgical procedure called cystectomy. This procedure is done in local anesthesia and it include surgical removal of the cyst.

The best prevention for dental cyst are regular check ups, usually twice a year. Since the dental cysts are mostly asymptomatic it is very important to diagnose them in early stage. Early diagnostic will prevent any long term consequences on oral health.

7 Ways To Get Straighter Teeth

Everyone dreams of a perfect smile, just like the one Hollywood stars have. But the road to get straighter teeth is not that simple. There are many options to choose from, but always do that under the advisory of your dentist or orthodontist. Below you will see the ways you can actually upgrade the appearance of your teeth. All techniques have advantages and disadvantages, and some will be appropriate for your case while others won’t.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Veneers

If there is no major orthodontic treatment needed, one of your options might be veneers. Of course, you would definitely need to consult with a dentist or orthodontist first. Veneers are meant to correct slight imperfections including chipped teeth, diastemas, shorter teeth, discolorations, misshaped teeth, and more. They can’t be used for teeth that require orthodontic treatment such as rotated, intensely inclined, crowded, bad oral hygiene and more.

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If there is an option for veneers, it is a quick and painless way to improve your smile. When your smile needs to be upgraded only a little bit, so that you get straighter teeth, your options definitely include both veneers and Lumineers. Make sure that you get in touch with your dentist to discuss this furthermore.

 

Composite Bonding

This is another part of cosmetic dentistry, that does not include any orthodontic appliances. It actually involves the use of composite, the same as the one meant for fillings. It is a procedure that can better the look of teeth that don’t have to be treated with orthodontic appliances. The indications are almost the same as for veneers. The dentist will use high-quality composite on the surfaces of your teeth and change their shape and form. It is not painful at all and it’s a very affordable option.

Metal Braces

Metal braces used to be one of the most popular ways to get straighter teeth. But as dentistry becomes more advanced, people are looking for a much more aesthetic option. But this doesn’t mean that the traditional braces are not often used. On the contrary, they are still one of the first orthodontic techniques which provide great results. The length of the treatment depends on the individual case of the patient. It can last from less than a year up to several years. Also, these conventional braces are the least expensive compared to the other types. That is the main reason why a lot of people still decide to get them, combined with their efficiency. In the past metal braces were very much different from the modern ones. These days another option is self-ligating brackets, a more advanced option compared to the classic one.
Metal Braces

The metal braces are made of several components. The first one is metal brackets, which are placed on every single tooth. These brackets are connected with a wire, that helps in the movement of teeth. The metal rings that are placed on the molars are called bands. You will often see colorful elastic bands around the brackets as well. These are just a part of the basic components, but there are many more used for different cases. With time, the teeth will come into the desired position, completely changing the smile of the patient for the better. Yes, the metal braces are visible, but it is not a strange thing to wear them since a lot of people do. If you are not comfortable with this treatment option, you might want to look at the more aesthetic ones.

Ceramic Braces

This is another efficient way to get straighter teeth. They look very much like the metallic one, with the only difference that the material is ceramic and less noticeable. The ceramic material means that they come in a tooth-colored hue or a clear one. That is the only big difference that separates them from the metal type. The technique is completely the same, with the same end results. These brackets are still visible, and people will know that you’re going through orthodontic treatment. When it comes to the other parts, they can also be done in a ceramic material that is barely noticeable. It all depends on the choices of the patient in agreement with the orthodontist.

The length of the treatment is similar to the traditional type and can last from several months to several years. Of course, the biggest advantage is higher aesthetics. Just like with any other procedure this one also has several disadvantages. The main one is that they are more expensive compared to the metal braces. Another thing you have to remember is to avoid staining foods and liquids. The ceramic braces can be colored and oral hygiene is very important during the treatment.

Lingual Braces

Lingual braces are not a special type, just a separate technique. Both metal and ceramic braces can be placed on the front surfaces of the teeth, but also on the lingual ones. It is the most aesthetic option, since no one will notice that you actually have braces. In other words, you can still wear braces without anyone knowing. The effect is almost the same as with the traditional technique. It can be only a bit slower, but that’s not the case with everyone. The benefits are really important to most patients. As mentioned, everyone seems to be looking for a way to straighten teeth without having braces. This method provides an amazing smile without any visible parts of the braces. No wires or brackets in the front.

The disadvantages are minimal if you provide perfect oral hygiene. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your everyday routine will become even longer and more detailed. You’ll have to make sure that every surface is perfectly clean to avoid dental decay. But this thing also applies to the traditional braces as well. Some patients need extra time to get used to the lingual braces while talking, but that’s only temporary. They are not an option for every single patient, so the best thing to do is consult your orthodontist first. You also want to consider that the price is higher from the previous two types.

 

Invisalign

These days Invisalign is one of the most requested methods to get straighter teeth. This technique has plenty of advantages and it became a favorite among patients very fast. The almost isn’t a single person who hasn’t heard of Invisalign. It includes sets of aligners, which are made of a transparent material, meaning it is almost invisible. The patient gets the aligners during the visit at the orthodontist, and is advised on how to use them. People usually need some time to get used to wearing them, but the good thing is that you can remove them to eat, brush your teeth, and at any other time that you like. This is not an option with braces because they are fixed and glued to the teeth.

One of the disadvantages of Invisalign is that not all patients can opt for it. It is definitely not meant for more severe misalignments. The second one is the price of the whole treatment. If you are willing to pay and enjoy the comfort that Invisalign provides, you will certainly be happy with the results. The visits to the dentist are usually every second or third week.

Mobile Appliances

Mobile appliances are a very diverse group of orthodontic appliances. They are commonly used with younger kids at a certain age. Not a lot of orthodontists will recommend them for adults. Each one of these mobile appliances addresses a certain problem in the mouth and the patient can take them out of the mouth. They are used during the period of growth, when they are most effective. Mobile appliances can deal with bad habits as well.

Dental Restorations

Although not recommended, some patients still decide to deal with their slightly malpositioned teeth by getting crowns or bridges. Every dentist will first advise you to try out orthodontic treatment. If you are not interested in any of the options that it offers, there is a way to get straighter teeth with fixed restorations.  This only applies to the patients who are not ready to go through months of orthodontics and improve their smile. The indications are also limited. Dental restorations are expensive, so get ready

to expand your budget. We have to repeat that this is far from the best solution, especially if you have healthy teeth and you’re only bothered by their appearance.

7 Ways To Strong Teeth

A shiny smile with perfect teeth is every person’s dream. But unfortunately because of the fast lives we live it can be really hard to eat and drink properly without damaging our teeth. Also, visiting the dentist can be a very traumatizing experience for most people. Some get scared just by the thought of going to the dental office. Others are scared by the pain. Aside from good oral hygiene, there are several other things you can do to keep your teeth strong. That way you will minimize the unwanted, sometimes painful visits. Proper brushing and flossing are always a must. But when it comes to protecting the enamel of your teeth there are also other simple steps that you can take.

A lot of people don’t understand the need of going to the dentist. If you want to have a great smile and avoid cavities or losing teeth, you should schedule checkups at least twice a year. This is definitely the first step to strong teeth. What’s really important is to brush twice a day and floss, while using the right techniques. The substance that is on the surface of our teeth is called enamel. That is the same exact substance that protects them and prevents damaging agents to penetrate deeper. If you manage to keep your teeth and gums clean at all times, the chances of having cavities are minimal. Here are some other tips that you can easily implement in your everyday life.

1. Food and Drinks
As you probably already know there are foods that are good for your teeth and there are the ones that can cause a lot of damage. The bacteria in our mouth use sugar from the food we eat and from the drinks we drink. They feed on those ingredients and produce acids that cause harm first to the enamel. That is why dentists recommend that you should limit the intake of sugar. This doesn’t mean that you completely have to stop eating foods that contain it. It is very good to know which types of products are very saturated with sugar.

With the proper nutrition, you can really protect your teeth from caries. For example, try to keep your hands from candy, cookies, cereals, dried fruits and more. It is always a better idea to go with fresh fruit. Today there are many versions of sweets, snacks, and candy you can get and contain a low sugar level. Apples are another great snack. They are actually called a natural toothbrush because they really stimulate the saliva flow. These crunchy fruits require chewing and will clean the surfaces of your teeth. Drinks are another thing you have to pay attention to. First of all, always choose water. It doesn’t contain any calories and it rinses the surfaces of your teeth. Sodas and fruity drinks are loaded on sugar. They also contain acids that cause direct damage to the enamel.

You have to make sure that you include vitamins and minerals in your diet. Calcium is the most important element that protects the enamel. You can find it in dairy products such as milk and cheese. If you don’t eat dairy foods, there are many other items that contain calcium. Vitamin A and D are very important for the health of your teeth. You can always get them as supplements of just buy foods that are rich in these Vitamins. Green leafy vegetables are usually packed with Vitamin A. Salmon, tuna, egg yolks, soy milk, kale, spinach are great sources of Vitamin D. Magnesium is found in almonds, black beans, spinach, bananas and more. Always include a lot of vegetables and fruit in your everyday meals. Scientists proved that a proper, healthy diet can reduce the risks of cavities up to 60%.

2. Fluoride
Fluoride is another preventive measure you can take. It is also a mineral that is a part of the tooth’s structure. Just like calcium, it will make the enamel much stronger. It is already proven that fluoride can even reverse the initial damage of the enamel caused by bacteria and acidic products. It will make your teeth much more resistant and there are many simple ways you can involve it in your regular daily routine.

Dentists recommend using a toothpaste that contains fluoride. You can literally find one in every single store. You should also use it for your kid’s teeth. Other products that can have fluoride in their ingredient list are mouthwash, floss, gel, foam and more. Before getting any fluoride supplement always make sure that you contact your dentist. Overuse of this ingredient can lead to fluorosis. That is why it should always be overseen by a specialist.

3. Use the right products
The first thing that a lot of people don’t know is that they should regularly replace their old toothbrush. Every person should first try to learn the right brushing technique. If they are brushing the wrong way, the chances are that their toothbrush will be damaged very soon. It is recommended to get a new one every three months. That way your brushing will always be effective and you won’t be using a damaged one.

When it comes to mouthwash, some can contain alcohol on their ingredient list. You should definitely avoid those brands. Instead, just read the label and choose one that is alcohol-free. Unfortunately, alcohol can cause damage to your gums and make your mouth very dry.
There are many different types of toothpaste on the market. At times it can be very confusing to choose the right one. Every single person has a different need when it comes to toothpaste. Some people are prone to caries, so they need one that contains cavity-protecting agents. Other want to have white teeth, so they can get a whitening one. Of course, you should always consult with your dentist, on which type is the best for you.

4. Avoid smoking

Smoking is one of the worst habits to have. It also has a very damaging effect on your oral cavity. First of all, if you smoke you will never have white teeth. Tobacco causes a lot of staining. You’ll have to spend a lot of money on bleaching techniques that can also be damaging if not done properly. What most people don’t know is that smoking can really speed up the decay process. It also causes dry mouth. This bad habit has the ability to lower the saliva flow and make the enamel more susceptible to bacteria and their acids.

5. Avoid using whitening kits without dentist supervision

There are many different whitening options that you can try these days. In-office bleaching is always the best idea. It is always supervised by a professional that exactly knows what he’s doing. The whitening agents are strong and can cause damage both to hard tissues of the teeth and to soft surrounding tissues. There are people that tend to use store-bought kits and not follow the instructions. Because of that they can damage the teeth’s enamel.

6. Chew gums

Xylitol gums are a very simple way to protect your teeth. First of all, the act of chewing really stimulates the saliva flow. That means that your teeth will be cleaner and there will be fewer bacteria. Saliva will wash off the acids from the enamel that can cause harm. Another thing to know about xylitol is that it’s a sugar alcohol that is not harmful to you. That is because bacteria recognize it as regular bad sugar and try to eat it. Fortunately, they can’t process it and they will stay without a source of food. If you don’t consume other sugars, the bacteria will starve and die. That way you will not be exposed to caries. Other types of gums contain sweeteners and are not recommended. You should really be careful on the gums you’ll choose and always check the ingredient list.

7. Take care of teeth grinding

Teeth grinding is a very common bad habit. Sometimes people are not even aware they are doing it. Others, they just choose to ignore it. The mechanical forces of grinding cause a lot of damage to your teeth and also the soft surrounding tissues. It usually leads to loss of enamel and dentin exposure. That is why this bad habit should be taken care of in time. Once you notice that you are grinding make sure to schedule a visit to the dentist. They usually recommend night guards that will avoid direct contact between teeth and ease the forces.

8. Take care of dry mouth

Dry mouth is another common condition that affects a lot of people. Not having enough saliva in the mouth makes the enamel more vulnerable to caries. Saliva washes the bacteria and acids off the teeth’s surfaces. It also removes the food left-overs that can serve as food for bacteria. Some people can experience dry mouth as a result of a certain medication they are taking. If you notice these changes always turn to your doctor. Make sure to hydrate properly, because dehydration also leads to dryness. Drink a lot of water and avoid sugary drinks and sodas. That way both you and your teeth will stay protected.

These are very simple but useful ways to have a bright, healthy smile. They can easily become a part of your everyday routine. If you have any doubts or questions, just ask your dentist. He is trained to give you advice and to help you have strong teeth.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw with the skull. It is the only mobile joint on the head, and it is responsible for the most important functions such as chewing, swallowing and talking. Each person has two temporomandibular joints.

Temporomandibular disorders are very common among people. This is a group of conditions that affect the joint and can be caused by different factors. The thing about TMD’s is that the exact reason behind the disorder is very hard to be determined. In most cases, several causes are involved and should be examined. These disorders affect the joint, muscles and the jaw. Different people present different symptoms, and treatment is usually required.

Face portrait of woman with toothy pain. Isolated

Causes of TMD

The exact reason that causes Temporomandibular Disorders is still not determined. Doctors believe that it is actually a group of different factors that influence the health of the joint. These causes can have a direct effect on the joint and its parts, or originate from the jaw and muscles that surround it.

Different types of injuries that happen in the area of the joint, jaw and temples are associated with TMD. In other words, trauma and strong forces that occur in the head and neck region are very likely to cause these disorders. A strong blow is the most common reason determined so far.

If the cartilage of the joint is affected by arthritis that will cause TMD. Other types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis also play a big role in the diagnostic process.

Long-term teeth grinding and jaw clenching does lead to changes in the joint. These people wake up in the morning with severe pain in that area, and with time the symptoms progress significantly. If the bruxism is mild and in the beginner stages, then there might not be any damage to the joint.

There are several other diseases that affect the connective tissue and might lead to TMD. Genetics also has a part in the history of the disease. Anyways, these are only risk factors that increase the chances of getting a TMD. So far, there aren’t any specific information on what causes this condition.

Symptoms of TMD

The first symptom that patients notice is a pain. It is located in the area of the joint. People have a hard time opening their mouth, and they feel sharp pain each time they do. The unpleasant feeling can irradiate towards the temples, ears, neck, and back of the skull. That is why many people confuse TMD with other diseases and conditions. The pain and tenderness can be present in one of the joints or in both. Chewing, yawning, speaking and swallowing can be very hard and painful.

Also, a large portion of patients experience pain in the neck and chest area, earaches, headaches, and toothache. When they open and close their mouth, the joint might produce sounds that weren’t present before. Popping and clicking do happen very often, and in some cases are accompanied by pain. Another very unpleasant thing that can happen is locking of the joint. The patient’s mouth stays locked in a certain position, and they are not able to move it from there. It causes panic, and it is very uncomfortable.

Treatment of TMD

A lot of people experience TMD throughout their life. For most of them is just temporary, as a result of bruxism and stress. Once this bad habit disappears, the pain also goes away. Temporomandibular disorders are usually not a serious problem. But there are patients that are seriously affected by the condition, and that prevents them from having a normal life.

In the majority of cases, TMD can be treated non-surgically. Certain lifestyle changes have to be done. If the disorder is caused by stress and grinding, there are many stress-relief methods that can be helpful. Bruxism is treated usually with mouth guards and mouth splints.

You might need to implement a lot of soft food in your diet. Protect your joint by avoiding chewing gums, and other foods that require a lot of chewing. Massage is a proven method that relaxes the muscles and helps with the function.

Only a small number of people are sent to an oral or maxillofacial surgeon for a further consultation. Surgical procedures are only recommended after the patient has tried all of the other options.

Dental Phobia

Scheduling regular dental checkups is essential for the health of your teeth and mouth. Aside from brushing and flossing you should visit your dentist at least twice a year. Taking a seat at the hot dental chair is definitely not a pleasant experience for most people. Some experience a slight anxiety just with the thought of undergoing a dental procedure. Others are affected by an extreme fear that cannot be controlled. Fear is a normal response, that is a part of the human nature. Also, a grown-up person should be able to find ways to control it.

What is Dental Phobia?

This is a condition that is also known as dental fear, dentophobia, dental anxiety, and odontophobia. A wide number of people are affected by dentophobia, and that has a direct impact on their oral health. Dental phobia and dental anxiety are a bit different in terms of intensity.

Dental anxiety is characterized by fear, but it is a normal thing to happen. Most of us feel very anxious before visiting the dental office because we are aware that some of the procedures can be painful. There are certain factors that can trigger this anxiety. Some people get nervous by only thinking about it, others when they walk into the office, smell the dental materials, or when they sit on the dental chair. For some patients, the anxiety starts the moment when they hear the sound of the drill. This is the most common trigger factor. It is a controllable fear, that doesn’t prevent patients from scheduling a regular checkup.

Dental phobia, on the other hand, is an unbearable fear, and these people can’t cope with the thought of visiting a dentist. This is a serious condition that leads to many other problems. These patients neglect their oral health and end up losing their teeth. Even if you floss and brush regularly, visiting the dentist is a must. Dental caries appears in spite of perfect oral hygiene and it has to be taken care of by a dentist. Another problem that these people are struggling with is gum disease. In time, if they don’t get these conditions treated, they can lead to fractured teeth, bad appearance and even loss of teeth. This situation might affect their self-confidence, and make things even worse.

Causes of Dental Phobia

Most of the patients that avoid a dental visit have had a very unpleasant previous experience. Unfortunately, this can lead to dental phobia especially with kids. If they suffer from strong pain during the procedure, the chances are they will not want to do it again.

Pain is the main reason that people develop dentophobia. It is a defense mechanism, that patients develop. This has to be dealt with from the early start, otherwise, it will have a negative impact to the oral cavity.

Other causes include a feeling of not being in control, fear of a medical emergency, not trusting the doctor, embarrassment and more.

Symptoms of Dental Phobia

There are several symptoms that people with dental phobia and anxiety experience. First of all, they feel an unpleasant feeling each time they think of going to the dentist. They usually don’t get any sleep the night before the checkup. When they arrive there, the patients will become even more anxious, start sweating or even feel the need to vomit. The breathing and heart rate is accelerated. Different patients show these symptoms with different intensity. Some of them don’t even want to get close to a dental office. Others, do experience all of this but end up getting the procedure anyway.

How to Overcome Dental Phobia

Patients that are experiencing these symptoms usually have had an unpleasant dental situation in the past. The first step is to find a dentist that you will feel comfortable with. Some of them will only make you more nervous. Others will have just the right words and attitude and will help you overcome the initial steps.

Once you decide that you have to schedule an appointment you have to work on your fear. Start by being positive, and telling yourself that you can do it. If you are feeling too nervous, just try and calm yourself by listening to music or reading. Occupying your thoughts with something else will do the job. There are many relaxation techniques that you can do, that will help you control your breathing, heart rate and relax the muscles.

When you visit the dental office, during the first appointment the dentist will only do a checkup. There will be no drilling, sounds or pain. Just being in the room, and talking to the dentist might make you feel more prepared for the next visit. The best time to go is early in the morning, and make sure to always take a friend with you. The best procedure to start with is a simple oral cleaning that doesn’t hurt and doesn’t cause any discomfort.

Let your dentist know that you are suffering from dental phobia during the first encounter. They have to be aware of this. When they are performing a procedure, you have to agree on a sign, just to let them know when you need them to stop. While you are sitting on the chair you can bring your headphones and play your own music.

Each time that you visit the dentist, he will be able to give you details on the procedures he will perform. That way you will be familiar with everything that will happen and you won’t have to worry about anything unexpected. They will let you know more about the length of the procedure, the type of pain, and what they are doing. Some people find this very helpful. Different types of sedation are available, but you have to discuss them with your dentist first.

If you are still struggling with dental phobia after this, there are specialists that you can visit and talk to. They will be able to provide you with more help.

All You Need to Know About Dental Erosion

What is Dental Erosion?

Dental erosion is a very common condition that results in tooth wear and loss of tooth’s hard substances. Besides caries, there are several conditions that cause this loss and are not generated by bacteria. The process of erosion is very similar to the one that happens during caries, but the causes are completely different and should be distinguished. This condition is a chemical process that is caused different types of acids that teeth get in touch with.

How Does Erosion Happen?

When the acid comes in touch with the hard tissues of a tooth they start a process of dissolution. The enamel is the first substance that they attack, and affect the hydroxyapatite, which is the main component. That way it weakens the structure of the tooth and it makes it much more susceptible to other damaging factors. The acids cause the pH levels in the mouth to drop and leads to loss of enamel and in a lot of cases dentin.

What are the Causes of Dental Erosion?

Intrinsic and extrinsic acids are the reasons why a lot of people experience erosion. The extrinsic acids come from food and drinks that people consume often, while the intrinsic is a result of a gastric reflux.

A lot of different conditions and diseases that affect the gastrointestinal system can cause a backflow of the gastric contents. It those acids comes in touch with teeth on a regular basis that will definitely cause erosion. Such conditions include Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, chronic drinking, bulimia, anorexia and much more. Pregnancy and morning sickness can be very damaging to the teeth, that is why every pregnant woman should consult her dentist and have regular checkups. Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition that might accelerate the level of erosion of teeth.

There is a large number of drinks and foods that we eat every day but we are not aware that they cause erosion. Each one of these factors can be damaging to tooth’s hard tissues mostly if they are consumed excessively. The first ones ranked on this list are the carbonated drinks, that can be especially harmful to children. These drinks contain high levels of phosphoric and citric acids and if they get in touch with the surfaces of teeth, that can lead to many problems. Another thing that people do is keeping these drinks for a longer time in their mouth or even gargle. The longer the contact is, the stronger the effects will be. A number of fruit drinks are extremely harmful due to the citric acids. If you think that juices are very healthy, you should think twice. They not only contain acids but also added sugar. If your favorite drink is wine, here’s some bad news for you. The pH levels of wine are around 3.5 which causes an acidic environment in the mouth. Unfortunately, sports and energy drinks, vitamin waters and vitamin C tablets are the drinks you should also avoid.

When it comes to food, all of the citric fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes can be damaging if they are consumed too often. Apples are another fruit that might lead to erosion. If a person’s diet is rich in sugars and starch the chances are there will be some type of dental erosion.

Certain types of medicine, such as aspirin, antihistamines, vitamin C and iron products are correlated with this condition. Workers in some industries that are constantly exposed to acids or their fumes, might notice changes in their teeth.

What are the Symptoms of Dental Erosion?

The signs vary depending on the stage of the condition. When the erosion is still in the incipient stages the patient will only experience sensitivity due to the loss of enamel. This feeling will be much stronger if there is a significant enamel loss and the dentin is exposed. Patients will experience sharp pain when they eat/drink hot, cold or sweet drinks or food.

The most obvious symptom of erosion is a loss of dental tissues. Once patients notice that their teeth don’t look like they used to before, that is the moment when they visit a dentist. In the first stages there is only a slight loss of enamel, and if the condition is not treated it will progress. The most commonly affected surfaces are the palatial ones of the upper frontal teeth and the occlusal surfaces of the lower molars. In the beginning, there will be flat and shiny facets that are shallow. Once the condition progresses, these lesions become deeper and the dentin is exposed. The occlusal surfaces might even lose their normal morphology and become flat surfaces.

Another thing that changes is the appearance of the teeth. They will become more yellow, mostly because of the exposed dentin. In some cases, the fillings will remain the same as before and will be prominent and very visible. Since the teeth structure is damaged, some of the teeth might break, crack or chip.

How to Manage Dental Erosion?

The treatment depends on the severity of the case. If the condition is in an early stage, then it can be treated with changes in the lifestyle. Dentists tend to find the real cause and eliminate it. It can be drinking a lot of carbonated drinks, fruit juices or a digestive disorder. These factors should be taken care of, otherwise, the erosion will only progress.

If there’s already a more severe substance loss, then that requires a more extensive treatment. In these cases, the dentists also start with discovering the reason and working on eliminating it. The loss of the dental tissues might really change a person’s lifestyle and make it much harder. That is why the teeth have to be protected with restorations. In most cases, the erosion can be treated with fillings. But for the more severe ones, dental crowns might be necessary. That is why you should always schedule regular checkups with your dentist.

How to take care of your child’s teeth?

Taking really good care of your child’s baby teeth is of an utmost importance. People very often think those baby teeth shouldn’t be taken care of the same way as the permanent teeth since they fall off. But, of course, that this is not true. Many parents are struggling with questions on how and when they should start taking proper care of their kid’s oral cavity. They all want the best for their children but are not familiar with many of the issues.

The importance of baby teeth

You might not think that baby teeth are not as important as permanent teeth but they really are. The milk teeth are essential for the proper growth of the baby’s jaws and development of the muscles. They also hold the space for the future permanent teeth. They help the child eat, smile, talk and swallow. If baby teeth are extracted prematurely there might be problems later on with the permanent teeth. It can lead to several malocclusions and crowded or crooked teeth. If baby teeth are not taken care of, that can lead to dental caries, gum inflammation, and other conditions. This can cause damage to the permanent teeth that are placed inside the jaw bones.

When should you start taking care of your kid’s teeth?

Good oral hygiene should start even before the baby teeth erupt. This is a constant process of keeping the oral cavity clean at all times and removing all of the food remains and bacteria. This care should start right after the baby is born and continue until the kid learns how to properly do it by himself. The first visit to the dentist should be during the first year after the baby is born. Your dentist will examine your baby and help you with any questions that you have. After that, the dentist will schedule regular check-ups, just to make sure that everything is developing at the right pace.

Taking care of the gums

Right after your baby is born you should start taking care of the gums. You can use a soft and wet washcloth or a special baby toothbrush to clean the gums and remove bacteria. It is also easier and better if you add just a tiny bit of toothpaste. With several gentle movements just go over the gums with the washcloth and that’s pretty much it. The best time to do it is right after feeding and the easiest way is to wrap the washcloth around your finger.

Teething


Babies start teething between 4 and 7 months old. Of course, there are some exceptions when babies grow their first teeth before 4 months or after 7 months. Usually, there is no need for worry, but just to be safe you should visit a dentist. Some babies don’t show any signs at all when their milk teeth start to erupt, while others can be fussy, irritated and have trouble sleeping. They will produce more saliva than usual and their gums might be a bit swollen and red. All of this is a normal process. There are certain medications that might help your baby, and ease the symptoms of teething, but you should always talk to the dentist first.

Once the first teeth appear in the mouth you should start brushing them with a special toothbrush for children twice a day. Use just a little bit of toothpaste on the toothbrush. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended for kids older than 3 years. Always make sure that your child spits out the toothpaste. Swallowing it will be harmful. If you need any help with the advice you can always turn to your dentist. The brushing should be done in the morning and right before going to bed. You shouldn’t give your baby any type of food or drinks after you’ve washed their teeth before going to bed.

You should start with flossing when the primary teeth are getting close one to another. That is usually between the ages of two and six. They will learn how to floss themselves around the age of 10.

Parents usually brush their children’s teeth until the age of two or three, but there isn’t a general rule about this. After that, you should educate them on how they should do it and when they should do it. Some kids have a hard time understanding the importance of oral hygiene, but you have to be persistent. You should supervise them every time they brush, floss and rinse. You can try and make the whole experience more fun for them by letting them choose their toothbrush or toothpaste. You should always let them know when they’ve done a good job, and even reward them sometimes.

How to prevent caries?

If you notice white spots or discoloration on your baby’s teeth it might be a sign of dental caries. If the caries is not treated on time, it can lead to permanent damage to the milk teeth, or even affect the permanent teeth. That is why you should schedule regular dental checkups.

There are certain factors that can increase the chances of caries. The first one is always improper oral hygiene. If you don’t brush their teeth twice a day. Another factor that has a very big influence is the bottle of milk or juice. If you let your baby go to sleep with a bottle full of milk or juice is the same thing as letting them go to sleep with a mouth full of sugar. Many parents are not aware of this fact and tend to do this. This is a very bad habit that causes caries to spread on many teeth in the mouth. If your kid eats a lot of sweet food that will also increase the chances of tooth decay. Instead, choose food that is rich in calcium that protects the teeth.

How to regulate the fluoride intake?

Fluoride is very important for preventing tooth decay. It is important to know whether your kid is getting enough fluoride. You can turn to your pediatric district to let you know if the kids are getting enough fluoride with tap water or if they need supplements. Your dentist should be the one to prescribe the supplements.

How to fight the bad breath?

Many people out there are struggling with bad breath. This can cause many insecurities and difficulties especially if you need to communicate with other people at all times. The busy everyday life and bad habits are just a small part of the factors that can lead to an unpleasant breath. Poor oral hygiene, alcohol, smoking, decayed teeth, respiratory problems are the possible causes of this condition. But what can you do to fight the bad breath? Here are some tips that will help you have a fresh breath at any time of the day.

Brush and floss properly

This might sound like a cliché to many of you. The thing is that there are a lot of people that skip brushing twice a day. Others, on the other hand do not know how to brush properly. All of this affects your breath. If you do not brush the food particles left in your mouth will just add to the problem. Also the plaque that collects on the surfaces of the teeth contains bacteria that are one more cause of the unpleasant problem. This is why brushing twice a day and flossing once are very important. Other things that can help are the mouth washes and tongue cleaners.

Regular visits to the dentist

Caries and gum disease cause bad breath. Bad breath is an early sign of gum disease. Regular visits to the dental office are a must in keeping your oral health. Also the dentist will be able to find the proper reason behind your bad breath problem and give you advice on how to handle it. It is recommended that you schedule regular checkups at least twice a year.

Drink a lot of water

Water can do wonders for your body, including your mouth. Having a dry mouth can increase the chances of caries and many other diseases in the oral cavity. The dry mouth creates a perfect environment for bacteria to grow and people that have a dry mouth often have a bad breath also. A lot of people experience unpleasant breath in the morning because of the lower levels of saliva during the night. That is why it is important always to stay hydrated. Many patients have more serious problems with dry mouth that is caused by other diseases or medication. Those patients might need artificial saliva and of course need to be supervised by a dental professional. Chewing sugar-free gums also stimulates saliva flow.

Quit smoking

Young woman breaking cigarette over white background

This bad habit can cause many problems and diseases, especially in the oral cavity. Not only that smoking can cause oral cancer, the nicotine also dries your mouth and lets bacteria grow. This disrupts the normal functions of the oral cavity and leads to an unpleasant breath. Smoking is not healthy, so try to quit if you can.

Eat properly

Eating healthy is a big deal for having a fresh breath. Food that is rich with protein and vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, celery and more are very important in keeping the bad breath away. They help in balancing your diet. Also, fruits such as apples and other crunchy fruits help the oral cavity because they act like a natural toothbrush. So it turns out that vegetables and fruits are not only healthy for your body, but also for your teeth.

Onions, garlic, food that contains a lot of sugar should be avoided.

Avoid coffee

Try to drink natural, green juices instead of coffee. Coffee creates an environment with high levels of acid, perfect for bacteria. On the other hand, green juices provide a neutral environment in your oral cavity and are healthy at the same time.

Chewing gums with no sugar

Chewing gums that don’t contain sugar are perfect for improving your unpleasant breath. These gums help by increasing the saliva flow, remove bacteria and some of the teeth stains. The gums should not have any added sugars, because sugar creates an acidic environment that is perfect for bacterial growth.

Sinusitis

Many people that are suffering from sinusitis are also fighting bad breath. The infection of the sinuses should be treated by a professional. Other respiratory infections can also have a role in unpleasant breath, since they might cause nasal secretion that comes into the mouth. Tonsillitis is also commonly associated with this problem.

Treat systemic diseases

People that are suffering from diseases such as diabetes, metabolic disorders, cancer, kidney problems, liver diseases can have bad breath. The medications that they take can cause dry mouth that leads to unpleasant breath. Patients with this type of diseases should consult a professional.

The two most important things in having a fresh breath are to have a good oral hygiene and to visit the dentist regularly. If you are brushing and flossing properly, but you still have problems, then you should definitely visit a professional.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

Have you ever felt an uncomfortable or even throbbing pain while you were drinking cold water? Well if yes, then you are a part of the many million people that are experiencing tooth sensitivity. This condition is also known as dentin hypersensitivity and it happens once the dentin is exposed directly to the oral cavity. The dentin is protected and covered by enamel on the tooth’s crown, and the dentin of the roots is protected by the cementum. It contains millions of small dental tubules that if they are exposed and come in touch with hot or cold they transfer the sensation to the nerve endings. There are many different reasons that can cause exposure of the dentin and lead to this hypersensitivity.

 

Causes

Tooth sensitivity affects 57% of the population. In some cases, it is just a sign of a small problem that can be solved very easily, but in others, it might point out to more serious concerns. There are many different factors that can damage the enamel and lead to a vulnerable dentin.

  1. Brushing your teeth too hard

There are many people that do not know how to brush their teeth properly. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush is only one of the mistakes that you can make. An inappropriate technique of brushing, such as moving the toothbrush from side to side (horizontally) can cause great damage to the enamel. Patients that use very abrasive toothpaste and brush their teeth way too many times a day have a greater chance of having hypersensitive teeth. That is why you should choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid using a hard grip while brushing your teeth. Everyone should adopt a proper brushing technique, and if you do not feel sure if you are brushing your teeth properly, you can always turn to your dentist and ask for advice.

  1. Tooth erosion

Acidic foods and drinks tend to cause erosion of the enamel, especially if teeth are exposed to them continuously. Citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, oranges, kiwi, soda, high-sugar carbs, sports drinks and more can damage the enamel. The best way to avoid that is to limit the intake of those types of food and drinks. Milk, cheese, yogurt can be helpful in fighting the acidic bacteria in your mouth.

  1. Teeth whitening

Tooth hypersensitivity appears as one of the possible side effects of teeth bleaching. The hydrogen-peroxide and carbamide-peroxide that are used during the bleaching process are strong bleaching agents and if they are not used properly or used too much can cause enamel damage. This is why you should always be very careful, especially if you are using at-home whitening kits. The best way to get your teeth whitened is at a dental office, where the whole process will be supervised by professionals.

  1. Bad habits

Bruxism, or also known as tooth grinding is a common bad habit. Many patients don’t even know that they have it. The grinding causes strong masticatory forces and leads to loss of enamel. If it is not treated properly can cause a lot of damage. If you have also been feeling pain and sore jaw muscles when you wake up, then it might be a sign that you should visit the dentist. The therapy includes mouth guards that will protect the teeth.

  1. Periodontal disease

This is one of the most common diseases in the modern society. The periodontal disease is caused by bacteria present in the dental plaque and tartar. It leads to gum recession and loss of the bony support around the tooth. Once the gums shrink back the surface of the root is exposed and teeth become sensitive. The main reason for periodontal disease is plaque build-up, which can be avoided by proper oral hygiene.

  1. Tooth decay

Tooth decay destroys the tooth’s substances. It starts in the enamel and spreads to the dentine. That way it leaves the dentine exposed and it causes pain. Decay can also be present around old dental fillings. With time fillings can change and that might cause a leak between the filling and the tooth. It is a perfect way for bacteria to enter and form a cavity. Those cavities also cause tooth sensitivity. With regular visits to the dentist and good oral hygiene, you can avoid having tooth decay.

  1. Cracked or broken teeth

If there is a crack in your teeth that leaves a lot of dental tubules exposed and causes tooth sensitivity. Also with broken teeth, the source of the pain comes from the exposed dentin. If you have a cracked tooth or a broken one make sure to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

  1. Post-treatment sensitivity

This type of sensitivity appears after dental treatments such as placement of a crown or a bridge, after bleaching, root canal treatment, and in most of the cases is temporary. If the pain doesn’t stop, you have to visit your dentist.

  1. Using mouthwashes and rinses too often

Mouthwashes and rinses can contain chemicals that if used too much can cause damage to your teeth. That is why all of them come with instructions on how to use them. Make sure to always read and follow the instructions very carefully.

 

How can sensitivity be treated?

The treatment depends on the factor that causes the hypersensitivity. During your visit to the dentist, he will do a dental exam and ask you questions about when and how the sensitivity occurs. That will help him to determine the reason and to carry out a treatment plan. There are many products that you can use and will help you in relieving the symptoms. There are many desensitizing kinds of toothpaste that are available that are made for sensitive teeth. They contain fluorides and other compounds that block the painful sensation to get to the nerve and can be very helpful. There are also desensitizing pastes that you just apply on your teeth without a toothbrush. Other products that contain fluorides such as gels, rinses, sealants and varnishes can be used to reduce the pain and discomfort. Most of these products can be used at home. Once the dentist treats the primary reason that causes the condition, the sensitivity should disappear. If the problem is caries, it can be solved very easily by placing a filling. If the sensitivity is caused by a periodontal disease, a periodontist will make sure to provide the necessary treatment and so on. If there are things that you feel that are stimulating the hypersensitivity, such as cold drinks, hot drinks, ice-cream, acidic fruits, try to avoid them, at least until you have visited a dentist.