Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ways Treat Sensitive Teeth!

Is the taste of ice cream or a sip of hot coffee sometimes a painful experience for you? Does brushing or flossing make you wince occasionally? If so, you may have sensitive teeth.
Possible causes include:
  • Tooth decay (cavities)
  • Fractured teeth
  • Worn fillings
  • Gum disease
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Exposed tooth root
In healthy teeth, a layer of enamel protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin.
Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.

Sensitive teeth can be treated. The type of treatment will depend on what is causing the sensitivity. Your dentist may suggest one of a variety of treatments:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  • Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal. If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.
Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing sensitive-tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.

Article taken from:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal treatment is necessary when the pulp (soft tissue inside your teeth containing blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue) becomes inflamed or diseased. During root canal treatment, your dentist or endodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating the insides of teeth) removes the diseased pulp. The pulp chamber and root canal(s) of the tooth are then cleaned and sealed. If the infected pulp is not removed, pain and swelling can result, and your tooth may have to be removed.

Causes of an infected pulp could include:

  • a deep cavity
  • repeated dental procedures
  • a cracked or broken tooth
  • injury to the tooth (even if there’s not a visible crack or chip)
If you continue to care for your teeth and gums your restored tooth could last a lifetime. However, regular checkups are necessary; a tooth without its nerve can still develop cavities or gum disease. Most of the time, a root canal is a relatively simple procedure with little or no discomfort involving one to three visits. Best of all, it can save your tooth and your smile.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oral Health Tips If You're 40-60!

We all know life can be busy, but don’t neglect your oral health. Your dental care is just as important now as it was when you were a kid. Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems such as infection, damage to bone or nerve and tooth loss. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day and see your dentist regularly. This simple routine can help you remain Mouth Healthy for Life.

Missing Teeth

Did you know that the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more decayed or missing teeth? If you are missing one or more teeth, there are plenty of reasons to correct the problem. Talk to your dentist for more information about improving your smile.

To learn more, visit our other Adults 40-60 pages on MouthHealthy: 

Then test yourself with the Fact or Fiction Adults 40-60 quiz. Keeping your mouth healthy now can help you stay Mouth Healthy for Life.

Article taken from:

Monday, January 28, 2013


The truth is, the best cure for gingivitis is to catch it early. This is especially true for people who are prone to developing periodontitis, associated with potential tooth loss and the need for root canals.
Gingivitis is the earliest, mildest stage of gum disease. At this stage, the gums may become red and slightly swollen and they may bleed easily. But most people experience very little discomfort on a day-to-day basis, so they may not bother to see the dentist. Even if you see your dentist regularly, schedule an extra appointment as soon as possible if you notice redness, swelling or bleeding in your gums, even if it isn’t painful. Early intervention is they key to combating the infection before it becomes serious.
Some medical conditions make you more likely to develop gingivitis. If you are pregnant, have diabetes, are being treated for cancer or are HIV-positive or have AIDS, you are at increased risk.  Even if you are perfectly healthy, you should still pay attention to your oral health and see your dentist at the early signs of gingivitis.
Also, your genes may be against you. Research has shown that approximately 30 percent of the human population overall is at increased risk for gum disease independent of other health factors.
The best early intervention for gingivitis is a professional dental cleaning. Then it’s up to you to maintain a consistent oral health care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing. In addition, your dental hygienist or dentist may recommend a mouth rinse as part of an early intervention to help keep plaque at bay.
Article taken from:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dental Veneers Explained

Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size or length and resulting in an improved appearance.
Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.
What Types of Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?
Veneers are routinely used to fix:
  • Teeth that are discolored ? either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped or broken
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
  • Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)
What's the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?
The procedure usually requires three trips to the dentist ? one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. The procedure itself involves several steps. These are: diagnosis and treatment planning, preparation, and bonding. It is important to note that one tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.
  • Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves active participation between you and your dentist. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take x-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.
  • Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about ½ millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed for an additional cost.
  • Bonding . Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished and etched ? which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer's placement.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Clean Dentures and Partials

Brushing Your Partials or Dentures

  • Clean your partials or dentures each day by brushing them with a denture brush, easily found at pharmacies and drugstores, and a mild toothpaste or paste specially designed for cleaning partials and dentures. Cleaning your partials or dentures is key to reducing mouth irritation and inflammation of your gums and minimizing bad breath. Brushing also removes plaque and other buildup from the partials or dentures.
    If you have dentures, use a regular toothbrush to brush your gums once a day to clean and toughen them. Failure to brush your gums, will lead to your dentures being loose and not fitting properly.
    If you have partials, make sure you brush the areas that come in contact with your natural teeth (where the partial hooks in and any area touching your natural teeth). If you don't brush your partials, caked-on food from the partial can transfer to your natural teeth and cause tooth decay.

Soaking Partials or Dentures

  • Remove your partials or dentures every night and soak them in a container of water or commercial effervescent solution, available at pharmacies and drugstores. The water or effervescent solution will keep your partials or dentures from drying out, and any caked-on food will be released.


  • Do not place your partials or dentures in boiling water, in a solution that has been heated or in a microwave oven. A boiling hot solution will damage your partials or dentures.
    Do not use chlorine bleach to clean your partials or dentures. Bleach can discolor the gum-colored portions of your partials or dentures.
    Do not sleep in your partials or dentures.

Read more: Instructions for Patients on Cleaning Partials & Dentures |

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Answers to Questions About Fluoride

Fluoride is a chemical ion of the element fluorine (from the Latin fluo meaning "to flow"), in that fluoride has one extra electron that gives it a negative charge. Fluoride is found naturally in water, foods, soil, and several minerals such as fluorite and fluorapatite. However, it is also synthesized in laboratories where it may be added to drinking water or used in a variety of chemical products.

Fluoride is most commonly associated with dental hygiene products and tooth protection. Most people are exposed to fluoride through treated drinking water or products such as toothpaste and mouthwash.

What does fluoride do?

Fluoride protects teeth from decay and cavities in two ways. When bacteria in the mouth combine with sugars, acid is produced that can erode tooth enamel and damage teeth. Fluoride can protect teeth from demineralization that is caused by the acid. If teeth have already been damaged by acid, fluoride accumulates in the demineralized areas and begins strengthening the enamel - a process called remineralization. Fluoride is very useful for preventing cavities and strengthening teeth, but its effectiveness is thwarted if a cavity has already formed.

How is fluoride obtained?

Fluoride may be ingested or applied topically. If foods containing fluoride (such as meat, fish, eggs, and tea leaves) are consumed, then fluoride enters the bloodstream and is eventually absorbed by the teeth and bones. Many communities add fluoride to the drinking water to ensure that the recommended levels are obtained.

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Fluoride can also be applied directly to teeth by a professional in a dental office. The teeth will readily absorb topical fluoride treatments, and the chemical will remain in the mouth for several hours. Less thorough topical fluoride treatments may also be applied at home using products such as toothpaste, mouthwash or mouth rinse, fluoride gels, or fluoride supplements.

Who needs fluoride?

Many governmental health agencies recommend that both children and adults receive some level of fluoride. Children need fluoride to protect their permanent teeth as they are forming. Adults need fluoride so that they can continue to protect teeth against tooth decay. Several groups of people could benefit especially from fluoride treatments because they have a higher risk of tooth decay. This includes people who have:
  • A history of cavities or tooth decay
  • No or little access to dentists
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Diets with high amounts of sugars or carbohydrates
  • Snacking habits
  • Braces, crowns, bridges, and other teeth restoration procedures
  • A lack of saliva or dry mouth

Is fluoride safe?

When used properly, fluoride is usually considered a safe and effective tool to prevent tooth decay. However, high levels of fluoride exposure for extended periods of time may result in harm. For example, dental fluorosis - a discoloration of tooth enamel - may occur if a person is exposed to too much fluoride. In addition, it is possible for a lifetime of exposure to high fluoride levels to lead to bone weakening and skeletal fluorosis (joint stiffness and pain).

More extreme, toxic effects and even death may result if someone consumes too much fluoride. Fluoride overdose is possible, for example, if a small child consumes an entire tube of tooth paste. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting blood, diarrhea, stomach pain, salivation, watery eyes, general weakness, shallow breathing, faintness, tiredness, and convulsions.

Why is fluoride controversial?

Although scientific research has supported the benefits of fluoride treatment in preventing tooth decay, many people question its safety and effectiveness. Several interest groups cite recent increases in dental fluorosis and fluoride levels in water that exceed optimal levels in calling for an end to fluoridated drinking water. They deem fluoride treatments unnecessary and less useful and more dangerous than originally thought.
Article taken from:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Common Dental Problems From Braces

Demineralization sounds pretty serious, and it is. It occurs when food left on teeth comes in contact with bacteria, creating acid. This acid robs teeth of calcium and phosphate, causing decalcification or "white scars." White scars look like chalky little white squares that outline the area where braces once were. These white spots can also be very sensitive. It's important to note that braces themselves do not cause staining - anyone who doesn't care for their teeth well can have white scars. However, people with braces are more prone to decalcification because braces act as an excellent trap for food. Unfortunately, these demineralization stains are usually permanent and can lead to cavities. You can avoid demineralization by brushing after every meal, flossing once a day, and cutting back on soda.
Gingivitis occurs when the tissues around the teeth become inflamed and it's the initial form of gum disease. Sufferers may experience bleeding, tenderness, redness, or swelling. Gingivitis is reversible, but don't ignore it! It can also increase the time that kids have to spend in braces.
Anyone can develop gingivitis, but the challenge of cleaning around the gum line with braces means that braces wearers should be especially vigilant. To help prevent it, be sure to brush after every meal and floss at least once a day.
Sensitivity can occur when the underlying layer of your teeth becomes exposed as a result of receding gum tissue. The roots of your teeth, which are not covered by protective hard enamel, contain thousands of tiny tubules leading to the tooth's nerve center (the pulp). When exposed, these tubules allow stimuli – such as hot or cold food – to stimulate the nerve in your tooth, causing the pain you feel. With sensitivity, you may feel pain when consuming hot, cold, or sweet drinks or food, or even when breathing cold air. It is normal for teeth to be temporarily sensitive after an adjustment, but let your orthodontist know if you have chronically sensitive teeth.
Anyone can suffer from sensitivity, but braces wearers can be especially susceptible to it. This is because braces are more difficult to clean around, and poor oral care can lead to an irritated or receding gum line. To help prevent sensitivity, brush thoroughly after every meal and floss at least once a day.
Plaque is a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms in the mouth. It is produced from the combination of saliva and food particles. Plaque combines with sugars to form an acid that is dangerous to teeth and gums, and it causes tooth decay, gum disease, tartar, and other dental problems. Everyone suffers from plaque, but as with other dental problems, the challenges of cleaning around braces mean that braces wearers must be especially careful about fighting it. Plaque begins forming only 4 to 12 hours after brushing, which is why it's so important to brush at least twice a day and floss daily.
Tartar, sometimes called calculus, is formed when plaque is left on the tooth surface and hardens. It's a crusty deposit that can trap stains on teeth and cause discoloration. Tartar can start to develop after only 24 hours, and can make it more difficult to remove newly formed plaque. It can form along the gum line, just under the gums, and around braces and other orthodontic appliances. Regular brushing and flossing is essential for preventing tartar. Once tartar has formed, only a dentist or hygienist can remove it.
Bad Breath
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, medical problems, or habits such as smoking or eating certain foods. However, bad breath that develops only after getting braces is almost certainly caused by poor oral hygiene. Bacteria feeds on food particles left in your mouth, and this bacteria creates odor. This means that any tiny bits of food that are stuck in brackets or between teeth will contribute to bad breath.
Because braces contain so many small spaces to trap food, the habits that worked great for cleaning your teeth before braces may no longer be enough. It's important to brush immediately after every meal or snack, or to at least vigorously rinse your teeth with water or mouthwash if you absolutely can't brush. Bad breath-causing odors and bacteria can also cling to removable orthodontics (like a retainer or clear aligners), so be sure to remove them before eating, even if you're only eating a small amount.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Answers to Questions About Deep Cleanings

If plaque and tartar is left on the teeth, as we mentioned before, it provides the right conditions for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria irritate the gums, which means that they bleed more easily. You may notice this if you are brushing your teeth, or eating, and sometimes your gums may bleed a bit. This is the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth by scaling and polishing them. They may also recommend an antiseptic mouthwash containing chlorhexidine (e. g. Corsodyl in the U.K.), and show you how to brush and floss your teeth effectively. Most adults have some degree of gum disease.

If gingivitis not treated and nothing is done about it, the inflammation will work its way down towards the foundations of the tooth causing a “periodontal pocket”. Again, within the confines of the pocket, the conditions are such that the bacteria can have a right old party, and cause more damage.
Gum disease can break down the support (bone) structures of the teeth, so that eventually, they will become loose. The problem is that until it gets quite severe, the person often has no symptoms. Sadly, the damage to the support structures of the teeth is irreversible. The good news is that if gum disease is caught in time, its progression can be halted and improved upon, and that is the key.

To stop gum disease from progressing, your dentist may advise periodontal therapy, or deep cleaning. This gets rid of the bacteria in the pocket and provides the necessary conditions for healing to occur.

What is the difference between an ordinary cleaning and deep cleaning?

There is some confusion about the difference between scaling and root planing. Scaling is basically the process of removing dental tartar from the surfaces of the teeth (see dental cleanings). Root planing is the process of smoothening the root surfaces and removing any infected tooth structure. If you have gum disease or gum pocketing, the gum pockets around the teeth will have deepened, thereby allowing tartar deposits to form under the gumline.
The two processes tend to blur together since during the cleaning process, the dental worker scales away tartar and performs any necessary root planing at the same time. Any roughness can be planed away to result in a silky smooth surface.

Does it hurt?

Depending on the depth of the pocket and severity of the root surface irregularity, the dentist may wish to make the area numb so that the process is comfortable for you. Don’t hesitate to discuss with your dentist or hygienist how to best manage any discomfort.
As an alternative to injectable anaesthetics, Oraqix might be an option to try with deeper pocket cleaning. It is a special non-injection device that delivers topical anaesthetic gel gently into the gum pockets thereby avoiding numbing of the lips and or tongue as can occur with injected local anesthetics. Oraqix mostly numbs the gum pocket itself so it may not be effective in eliminating sensations in the teeth themselves. Some offices may not have this device so it’s best to check with your dental office.
Sometimes if the pockets are not too deep, there may be little or no discomfort during the procedure – even without numbing. The only sensation may be the physical scraping feeling along the teeth as the area is cleaned and smoothened. A root planed root surface free of tartar has a better chance of allowing the gum tissues to heal and reattach to it. As a result, some deep gum pockets can be reduced after a deep cleaning.

How long does it take?

Typically with deeper pockets and extensive rough root surfaces, the deep scaling and root planing procedure might be broken down into quadrants of work per appointment. For example, the upper right side of the mouth might be worked on one day, and the three other parts worked on at separate appointments. Or alternatively, one half of the mouth (right or left, upper or lower) might be cleaned per appointment. This also allows for only a part of the mouth being frozen at a time and makes for more manageable, shorter appointments.

The dentist may use antibiotic gels within the periodontal pocket, again to remove any nasty bugs, or may rinse out the pocket with various medications such as chlorhexidine.

What can I expect afterwards?

  • Discomfort can vary after root planing, but one can expect it to be more sore afterwards since it’s usually in a deeper region under the gums.
  • The teeth themselves can become a bit more sensitive to temperature, and bleeding might occur for a little while.
  • Over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen work very well to alleviate discomfort, but stronger painkillers can be given should you need them.
  • Brushing and flossing can be delayed or done more gently to avoid aggravating any bruised or tender gum areas.
  • Your dentist or hygienist may recommend salt water or chlorhexidine rinses.
Article taken from:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Clean Your Tongue!

A tongue scraper is a tool used to help clean your tongue. Although there's no strong evidence that tongue scrapers are any more effective than regular brushing of the teeth and tongue, it may help curb bad breath. Tongue scrapers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and work by starting at the back of the tongue and pulling the scraper forward. This removes any excess plaque and odor causing bacteria.
Possible causes of bad breath include diet, dry mouth, gum disease, tobacco use or simply bad oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene and regular dentist visits are essential to a healthy mouth.

Other tips for avoiding bad breath include:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Scheduling regular dental visits.
If you're concerned about the cause of your bad breath, see your dentist.
Article taken from:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Adding A Mouthwash to Your Routine

f you’d like to add a mouthwash or rinse to your oral care routine, it’s important to be aware of just what a mouthwash or rinse does. Some freshen breath, others provide an anti-cavity benefit from fluoride, while others contain germ-killing ingredients to help prevent plaque buildup.
You have many options, and the right mouthwash or rinse for you is the one that meets your dental hygiene needs for the health of your teeth and gums, and taste preference.
To help choose the right rinse, keep these points in mind:
  • Alcohol—yes or no? Alcohol is a component of many mouthwashes and rinses, which can problematic if a large quantity is deliberately swallowed.   If you want to buy one type of mouthwash or rinse for the whole family, and your household includes school-aged children or teens, you may want to choose from among the alcohol-free mouthwash products that are available. Also, some recovering alcoholics avoid mouthwash with alcohol because of the potential for abuse.
  • Sensitivity. Some people find the ingredients in mouthwash irritating, especially people who have sensitive gums. Also, people who don’t usually complain of sensitive gums may find that their mouths are more sensitive for a short time if they are recovering from a dental procedure. If you have a sensitive mouth, consider an alcohol-free or natural mouthwash. Natural mouthwashes often contain ingredients such as aloe vera and chamomile for a soothing effect.
  • Plaque control. If you want a mouthwash that not only helps control bad breath but also helps to prevent plaque buildup on the teeth, look for a dental rinse that contains anti-plaque ingredients.
If you’re uncertain about which mouthwash or rinse would best meet your oral health needs, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for suggestions.
Article taken from:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Brush and Floss!


Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of any good oral hygiene routine. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, always be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Finally, make sure to use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. It makes no difference whether you choose a manual or powered toothbrush—just make sure to brush twice a day, every day!


Flossing goes hand in hand with brushing. By flossing once a day, you help to remove plaque from between your teeth in areas where the toothbrush can't reach. This is extremely important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
Article taken from:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What To Do For Dental Emergencies

Accidents happen, and knowing what to do when one occurs can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.

Here are some tips for common dental emergencies:

  • For a knocked-out permanent or adult tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your cheek and gums, or in milk. Get to your dentist’s office right away.
  • For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
  • If you bite your tongue or lip, clean the area gently with water and apply a cold compress.
  • For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
  • For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.
For all dental emergencies, it’s important to visit your dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.

There are a number of simple precautions you can take to avoid accident and injury to the teeth:

  • Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports or recreational activities.
  • Avoid chewing ice, popcorn kernels and hard candy, all of which can crack a tooth.
  • Use scissors, NEVER your teeth, to cut things.
Most dentists reserve time in their daily schedules for emergency patients. Call your dentist and provide as much detail as possible about your condition.
Article taken from:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dry mouth

A dry mouth isn't just unpleasant, it's bad for your teeth. Saliva washes away cavity-causing bacteria and neutralizes harmful acids.

"Without saliva, you would lose your teeth much faster—it helps prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems," says Meinecke.

Drink lots of water, chew sugarless gum, use a fluoride toothpaste or rinse, and consider over-the-counter artificial saliva substitutes. See your doctor if it's a frequent problem.

Above article from:

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200

The Facts About Teeth Bleaching

Dental bleaching is a safe, effective, and cost efficient means to achieve a winning smile. Countless people may now have white teeth and brilliant smiles, previously thought only available to celebrities. While unlikely to land you a lead role on television, whiter teeth may well improve your appearance and even brighten your outlook on life! Although generally successful in whitening teeth, dental bleaching is not for everyone.
Are you a candidate for dental bleaching?
Naturally, prior to any treatment, a thorough examination and diagnosis should be performed, evaluating the potential benefits the technique may offer you. Teeth that have become stained from age, coffee, tea or smoking are ideal candidates. Patients with healthy, natural, and unrestored teeth often achieve dazzling results.
Teeth darkened with extrinsic, or surface stains, respond better to bleaching than deep, intrinsic discoloration caused by fluorosis or tetracycline. These types of stain are less likely to produce dramatic results.
Bleaching is generally not indicated for sensitive or worn teeth; those with large fillings or dental crowns and teeth affected by periodontal disease.
If your dentist determines that you are a candidate for tooth bleaching, an impression of your teeth is made to prepare a custom fitted tray. Within a day or two, you will receive the appliance, bleaching materials, and instructions on use for home bleaching. This approach requires wearing the tray about one hour a night, for 10 to 14 days.
If you simply can't wait, or choose to have more effective results, you may decide to have your teeth lightened immediately. Your dentist may recommend an in-office bleaching system using a higher concentration of the bleaching agent while you sit in the dental chair. Due to possible damage to soft tissue, the gums need special protection under careful dental supervision. This approach is customarily used in conjunction with dentist-supervised at-home bleaching.
Depending on your personal habits--such as smoking and drinking coffee or tea--bleaching may produce many years without reversal. Of course, under the dentist's supervision, you may choose to touch up the teeth with periodic (once a month, perhaps) use of the bleaching tray.
The active ingredient in most of the whitening agents is 10 percent carbamide peroxide (CH4N2O2), also known as urea peroxide; when water contacts this white crystal, the release of hydrogen peroxide lightens the teeth. There are many brands on the market, many of which are approved by the American Dental Association.
Some patients may experience slight gum irritation or tooth sensitivity, which will resolve when the treatment ends. Many years of study have confirmed that bleaching is safe, effective and long-lasting.
No one can really predict how much lighter your teeth will become, since every case is different. Typically, there is a noticeable improvement in whitening, sometimes quite dramatic. The success rate depends upon the type of stain involved and your compliance. Bleaching does not lighten artificial materials such as resins, silicants or porcelains.
Article taken from:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bad Habits Getting in the Way of Your Dental Health?

Just imagine: you brush your teeth after every meal, floss regularly, and religiously visit the dentist twice a year – but you still don’t have good oral hygiene, because all that effort is undermined by the bad dental habits that you also engage in, sometimes unconsciously. Find below the worst crimes committed by an unsuspecting dental deviant.
Sipping soda.
How many times do you drink soda in a day? You may love the taste of soda, but anything too sugary-sweet and acidic can promote tooth decay. Meanwhile, too much coffee and iced tea can cause teeth discoloration in the bargain. It may be a good idea to switch to fresh fruit juices or plain water, but if you really like your soda, sip it through a straw and thereby minimize your exposure to soda. Be sure the straw is positioned toward the back of the mouth, not resting against your teeth.

Chomping on ice.
How many times have you slurped down an ice-cold soda and then munched on the leftover ice cubes or crushed ice? The brittleness and cold temperature of ice cubes can actually cause teeth to fracture. At the very least, they can cause microscopic cracks in the surface of the enamel, which could lead to bigger dental problems over time. In fact, other hard food items, such as popcorn kernels, and fruit pits, tend to stress the teeth and should also be avoided.

“Teething” vs. scissors.
How often have you used your teeth to tear open a bag of potato chips, maybe to uncap a bottle of ibuprofen, even to rip a price tag off a piece of clothing? Using your teeth as a tool can be hard on your teeth, traumatizing them or causing the edge of a weakened tooth to chip off or even fracture. A too sharp edge may even wound your gums or scratch your teeth. Why not just keep simple tools such as a pair of scissors, a nail-cutter, and even a pair of pliers handy to do your dirty work? It will save your teeth.

Grinding your teeth.
You may be mad, you may be nervous or anxious, you just may be antsy with little to do but twiddle your thumbs, but whichever the case, grinding your teeth can wear them down. Your dentist may suggest wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth from unconscious grinding at night. However, during the day time, perhaps it’s best to pause, stop the grinding, and channel your energy elsewhere.

Too-firm brushing.
Do you like firm rather than soft bristles on your dental toothbrush? With age, the gums push back and the roots of the teeth become exposed, often increasing sensitivity. The root is covered with cementum, which is worn away more easily than enamel. A brush with too-firm bristles may irritate the gums and lead to sensitive teeth. Do you also brush your teeth too firmly, moving from side to side rather than in an even, circular motion? A brush handled too roughly, will also exacerbate the problem. It’s best to ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend a toothbrush tailored for your needs, and try a gentler hand with the brushing.

Swallowing toothpaste is harmful for kids.
Good habits are best taught early… Does your child like the minty taste of toothpaste, and ask you to put more than a pea-sized dollop on his toothbrush? If your child, whose teeth are still in the early stage of development, uses too much toothpaste – to the point of ingesting it regularly – this can have harmful effects on his dental health. Ingesting too much fluoride can cause a condition known as fluorosis, where white or brown spots can form on the teeth in severe cases.
Article taken from:

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Restrictive diets and poor eating habits can deprive you of the vitamins and nutrients necessary for a beautiful smile.

It's especially important to get enough folate, B vitamins, protein, calcium, and vitamin C—all of which are considered essential for healthy teeth and gums.

"Poor nutrition can affect your entire immune system, increasing your susceptibility to many disorders and infections, including periodontal disease," says Halpern.

Above article from:

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200

Friday, January 4, 2013

Teeth grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can affect your jaw, cause pain, and even change the appearance of your face.

"People who have otherwise healthy teeth and gums can clench so often and so hard that over time, they wear away their tooth's enamel, causing chipping and sensitivity," says Halpern.

Stress and anger can increase nighttime teeth grinding. "Finding ways to alleviate these feelings can help, but it's also important to see your dentist, who can recommend solutions like a custom night guard," advises Perle.

Above article from:

Jeffrey Cohen, DMD
4324 Forest Hill Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
Tel:(561) 967-8200