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Gum disease may go by many names (periodontal disease, gingivitis and periodontitis) but they all refer to the infiltration of bacteria-laden plaque into the gums. Left untreated, the condition worsens, and a wide range of symptoms can develop, including:

  • Bleeding when brushing
  • Red, swollen, sore gums
  • Infections, that could spread beyond the gum and to other parts of the body
  • Extreme pain

What types of periodontal therapy are available?

Scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing is essentially a deep clean of your teeth and gums, with the aim of removing any plaque or tartar that has spread below the gums, causing the periodontal disease. However, it is more involved than a general professional clean. During the scaling, the bacteria is removed from the surface of the tooth and the periodontal pockets. Next, the root surfaces are smoothed, and any infected tooth structure is removed. This part of the process is known as planing.

A tongue scraper is a small, metal, or plastic tool that helps remove bacteria, food debris, and dead cells from your tongue. Not only does this help freshen your breath, but it also reduces your risk of developing cavities and other gum diseases. Tongue scrapers come in different shapes and sizes, and you can find them at most convenience or drug stores.

What are the benefits of using a tongue scraper?

Tongue scraping has many benefits, especially when used together with brushing and flossing. These include:

  • By removing the bacteria that cause bad breath, you can kiss your morning breath goodbye.
  • One of the most important benefits of tongue scraping is that it helps remove bacteria from your tongue. Brushing and rinsing alone only remove the outer layer of bacteria, but the cells beneath it still thrive.
  • Researchers discovered that using a tongue scraper twice a day can improve your sense of taste.
  • The process of digesting your food begins in your mouth. The enzymes in your saliva help break down your food for easy digestion. Tongue scraping helps activate those enzymes for better digestion.

Have you or a loved one cracked their tooth? The crack provides access for bacteria to enter and cause infection. When you crack a tooth, it’s important to know what to do until you can get to a dentist to avoid further injury. Here is a guide to help you. 

Evaluate the Damage

If your tooth simply cracked on a piece of food or you lost part of a tooth that was already rotting, then you can simply apply ice to the area to reduce swelling and pain. If your tooth was damaged due to an accident or head/face trauma, then you should see a medical doctor or go to the emergency room right away. You want to address all bodily damage in addition to your lost or fractured tooth. A dental emergency is serious. Call your dentist right away if you are experiencing severe pain, vomiting, dizziness, or other problems after chipping or cracking a tooth.

If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have oral health problems like cavities, and infections of the gums and bones that hold your teeth in place because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the area. If you have diabetes and you're over 50, your risk is even higher. Dental problems and age go hand-in-hand, whether or not you have diabetes.

Healthy Mouth Tips

Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes. You may need to postpone some dental work if your blood sugar isn’t under control. Bring a snack and your diabetes medicine with you to your dental appointment to take after your treatment.

You should check your mouth and teeth regularly for any problems. Tell your dentist if you have pain, ulcers that don’t heal, or a loose tooth. Also, watch for any of the following signs of gum disease:

  • Bleeding, red, or swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Lingering bad breath or taste
  • Discomfort or a difference in how your teeth feel when you bite down

Tooth pain can bring your life to a halt. Knowing the cause of the pain is the first step to fixing it. Are you experiencing any of these five common causes of tooth pain?

A Cavity

At first, cavities might not cause any symptoms, but they can eventually lead to a toothache, especially if the cavity gets large and close to the nerves inside the teeth. Severe cavities typically cause sharp pain that's bad enough to wake you up when you're asleep, and the pain often gets worse when you lie down. In addition to limiting foods high in sugar and starches, you can help prevent cavities by: brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, regularly flossing your teeth, not using tobacco products, and seeing a dentist at least twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups.

A Tooth Injury

Sometimes toothaches come from trauma or injury that you might not think twice about. An example might be a fender bender that made you slam your upper teeth against your lower teeth. In other cases, you might have tooth pain from wear and tear or injury to ligaments that cushion your jaw when you chew.

Not only can quality oral health help improve the function and appearance of your smile, but recent studies have also found that better oral health can lower your risk of a variety of chronic illnesses, including stroke. Published in the journal Scientific Reports, one study highlights the recently discovered link between oral bacteria and hemorrhagic strokes. This type of stroke occurs when blood vessels in the brain rupture, causing bleeding.

Inflammation of the gums, also known as gingivitis, is a common condition characterized by swollen, often tender, and easily bleeding gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more severe form of gum disease, known as periodontal disease.

Severe periodontal disease can result in tooth decay, bone loss, and even tooth loss. Some studies have even reported a potential link between tooth loss and greater risk for having strokes.

Staying hydrated helps us in many ways including getting rid of waste, promoting skin elasticity, and keeping muscles healthy and moving. But water isn’t just great for your body, it’s also great for your oral health.

Water strengthens teeth

Flouride, an essential part of tap water, is “nature’s cavity fighter” and provides many benefits to your teeth. Flouride mixes with tooth enamel in developing teeth and helps prevent tooth decay. It also works with saliva to prevent plaque. Dentists also agree that thanks to fluoride in the water, half of the kids in the U.S. between five and seventeen have never had a cavity in their permanent teeth.

Why are teeth so durable? Because your enamel is one of the strongest parts of your body. Chipping a tooth, however, is easier than you think. You can crack a tooth on a glass bottle, water fountain, ice cubes, or during childbirth. Teeth bonding can help repair chipped teeth and prevent them from further damage. Is it the right move for you?

What is Tooth Bonding?

Tooth bonding (dental bonding) is a cosmetic dental procedure that repairs a chipped, cracked, or otherwise broken tooth. It also helps with discolored teeth, gaps between the teeth, and even lengthening a tooth that’s shorter than the rest.

The “bond” is a composite resin that goes over where your tooth broke to make it look as good as new. Unlike a crown, the composite color will be similar to the color of the tooth, so it continues to look natural. Why choose tooth bonding, even for a small chip? Many people are most concerned with their smile, but fixing chips and cracks is also vital for your overall oral health. It helps you chew properly and prevents further damage that could even threaten the health of the surrounding teeth.

A beautiful smile begins with taking care of your toothbrush. That’s why you should take special care of it to avoid the formation of germs, fungi and bacteria.

Clean your toothbrush after each use

The first habit to keep in mind — and the most important — is rinsing your toothbrush after every brushing. It’s vital that you make sure that no toothpaste or food residue remains on the brush.

Find a suitable place to store your toothbrush

Ideally, you should keep it in a container, located vertically with the head pointing up to allow it to be ventilated and completely dry. Make sure it’s kept separate from other toothbrushes to avoid the transmission of viruses and bacteria. And don’t forget to protect your toothbrush while you travel!

Just because you have some pain in your tooth doesn’t mean you should rush to the family dentistry to have the tooth pulled out. Look for certain signs and symptoms which may indicate that the tooth needs to be extracted.

When Should You Consider Tooth Extraction

When should a tooth be extracted? When a tooth becomes infected, damaged or decayed beyond repair. If a tooth cannot be repaired with a crown or dental filling because of trauma caused by an accident or extensive decay, tooth extraction may be your only option. A tooth that’s severely decayed or damaged can no longer remain in the mouth, and prolonging its removal can risk worsening the infection and can cause general health issues.

Similarly, impacted wisdom teeth occur when there’s a lack of room for the wisdom teeth to erupt, which causes them to grow sideways and damage other teeth. This can result in jaw pain, discomfort, overcrowding, tooth decay and gum infection. Other reasons teeth need to be extracted can include: Extra teeth that are blocking other teeth from coming in; if baby teeth do not fall out in time to allow permanent teeth to come through; to create room for teeth that are being moved into place with braces.

Kids bring joy to our lives. But when it comes to brushing their teeth and creating healthy oral hygiene habits, the process can be a challenge. Here are some ways you can not only get them to brush their teeth but also enjoy themselves while doing it.

Show Them the Way

Since kids are like sponges and absorb everything around them, show good oral hygiene habits while they’re watching. If they see you happily brushing, they’re much more likely to follow your example.

Create a Routine

Use your routines during mealtime, clean up, chores, and brushing teeth as teachable moments. Everything you do can be a learning experience. And the more you do it, the more it becomes routine and part of what you do every day.