As children we were taken for check-up appointments to a doctor who helped us to establish good health habits. The same applies to dental visits, including regular cleanings and checkups, because oral health is equally important! Oral care should begin soon after a baby’s birth. Gums should be cleaned after each feeding with a damp cloth; you can begin brushing and flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they appear. Tooth decay often begins on biting surfaces, between the teeth and on exposed roots.
The most common cause of bad breath is particles of food remaining in the mouth after meals. These tiny particles accumulate between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums.
When they begin to break down with the bacteria in your mouth, the trapped food particles cause an unpleasant odor.
Persistent bad breath or taste may also be signs of periodontal disease. Gum disease is caused by the same particles that accumulate in the mouth and form plaque and calculus. Regular dental check-ups will help detect and treat periodontal disease early.
- Sour bitter or metallic taste
- Dry mouth or thicker saliva
- White coating of the tongue
- Extra post nasal drip or mucus in the throat
Other conditions of needing regular dental care:
Pregnancy: due to hormone changes pregnancy
Gingivitis (red gums, swollen tender and prone to bleeding)
Oral cancer: the American Cancer Society diagnoses an estimated 30,000 new cases each year. Oral cancers include of the lip, tongue, pharynx, jawbone, and oral cavity. Most often oral cancer occurs in people over the age of 40 years.
- Alcohol abuse
- Previous cancer
- Chronic exposure to any carcinogenic
- Family history of cancer – solar radiation
- HIV infection
Chronic long term periodontal disease
Possible signs and symptoms:
- Mouth sore that doesn’t go away
- A lump or thickening of the tissue
- Red /white patches or lesions
- Persistent sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
Tooth whitening or bleaching:
This is one of the most popular and easiest procedures that can be done to improve the appearance of your smile. Teeth whitening under the supervision of a dentist can be the safest and most effective method for obtaining whiter teeth; with time teeth become darker with age and exposure to substances like coffee, tea, tobacco red wine, and some foods. These yellow, brown, orange colored stains respond best to whitening. Other stains may be caused by exposure to a drug called tetracycline or to excess fluoride at a very early stage of tooth development. These gray stains can be lightened but results may not be as predictable.
The process to begin teeth whitening:
After you have had a professional cleansing and exam the dentist will determine if you are a candidate for the whitening process.
Bite-guards or Niteguards:
It has been said that about 15% of the population have a condition called bruxism. Otherwise known as teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw, it is more commonly done in your sleep, in which case it is a lot harder to notice unless another person hears you in the night.
Grinding occurs because the top and bottom teeth are not aligned properly; this may also be response to pain or an ear ache but more times than others Bruxism is a sign of stress.
Enough grinding could cause wear in the sitting surfaces of the teeth therefore wearing down the enamel, chipping teeth, causing sensitivity to temperature, eroding gums and bone loss, breaking down existing fillings or present dental work, putting extra stress on the temporamadibular joint causing clicking pain and dysfunction of the joint (tmj). If you find any of these signs the dentist can always fabricate a niteguard for you to wear mainly at night; it is actually custom made to fit your mouth therefore, it is not bulky or overwhelming in size.