January 30th, 2011
Bad breath can be extremely inconvenient and lead to awkwardness in social situations. Dentists can offer great advice on how to combat it and one of these pieces of advice will probably be to tighten up your home oral hygiene routine. By taking extra care to brush and floss you are removing the bacteria in your mouth which causes bad breath. Strangely though, some of the products you might use to take care of your mouth can actually make the problem of bad breath worse.
The thing about some products is that they can make your mouth drier, which allows the bad breath bacteria to stick to your gums, teeth, tongue and the inside of your cheeks. If you suffer from bad breath and are using tooth paste which contains peroxide or baking soda, these ingredients might be making your mouth dry which means it is harder to remove the bacteria which is making your breath smell.
Products containing alcohol can often have the same effect: by keeping your mouth drier, the bacteria are harder to remove. A number of mouthwashes contain alcohol and it is imperative that if you use of these products that you rinse your mouth thoroughly with water afterwards. If you don’t then the alcohol will hang around in your mouth, keeping conditions dry and ideal for bacteria to flourish.
Be gentle with your mouth too as the bacteria causing bad breath thrives in conditions where the enamel on your teeth is starting to break down and cavities are forming. You may want to use a tooth brush with softer bristles or review the way you are brushing and do it with less force. Speak to your South East London dentist for more expert advice.
January 23rd, 2011
If you grind your teeth during your sleep you are doing what is known as bruxism. This nocturnal practice is as common as snoring but can pass unnoticed in many sufferers. It is worth dealing with though as it can have consequences on the oral health of the patient.
Stress can be a major factor in teeth grinding and dentists suggest that imperfect alignment of teeth can also play a part. It needs to be stopped, whatever the cause as it can lead to your teeth cracking or becoming chipped or worn down. If teeth grinding leads to these problems then you may have to have a tooth replaced or a crown fitted. It is best to avoid having these procedures because they can be inconvenient, time consuming and, in severe cases, invasive.
Keep visiting your dentist every six months and report any unexplained pain in your teeth which might be caused by grinding your teeth in your sleep. If your dentist feels that stress might be the cause of your teeth grinding then you may be referred to a mental health specialist.
If your dentist determines that the problem lies with the alignment of your teeth then he or she can easily fit you a mouth guard. These simple devices take the strain of the grinding during the night and stop your teeth from being damaged by the constant process of teeth rubbing against one another.
If you are worried about teeth grinding during your sleep contact your South East London dentist and ask for more advice and an examination. It’s worth doing so that you don’t permanently damage your teeth.
January 16th, 2011
Central apnea sufferers have a tendency to stop breathing for short period while they are sleeping. Needless to say, this can have a big impact on their lives and is often intertwined with other, serious problems. As evidence of central apnea can be found in the mouth, your dentist might be able to help, given that, during your six month check ups, your mouth will be thoroughly examined by them.
It is the failure of the brain to keep sending the signal to breathe which causes central apnea during sleep. Usually central apnea is associated with far more serious conditions which affect the general health of the patient. It is unlikely that central apnea will occur in isolation of conditions like heart disease. The morbidly obese and stroke victims also have a higher propensity of suffering from central apnea.
The effects in the life of a central apnea patient can be huge. The disruption to sleep can lead to chronic fatigue during the day and activities like driving can be rendered more problematic. Hypertension can also result, leading to a greater risk of heart failure and strokes.
Dentists might be able to help because they are often able to diagnose the other type of apnea. Obstructive apnea is not brain related, it is caused by the muscles at the rear of the mouth relaxing during sleep and blocking the airways. If your dentist determines that you have apnea but it is not of the obstructive variety then you will be able to see another medical professional to find out if you have central apnea.
Obstructive apnea can be alleviated by wearing certain oral devices during sleep but if you have central apnea then the underlying condition with which it is associated will need to be addressed. Talk to your South East London dentist for more advice.
January 9th, 2011
Every time you eat, drink and talk you are relying on having a healthy, fully functional mouth. To be able to do these activities in comfort throughout your life it is imperative that your look after all the parts of your mouth and ensure that they remain free from diseases which can compromise their functionality.
The main way in which teeth and gums can become diseased is by allowing plaque to build up. Plaque is a substance which is formed by the food you eat and, if left to its own devices, it will attack the enamel which protects your teeth. Once enamel has been broken down then cavities can form. These are small holes in the teeth which can be very sensitive and need to be filled.
Plaque can also affect the gums and cause them to be diseased. If plaque builds up on the gum line of teeth, the gums will become inflamed, reddened and more sensitive. This condition, called gingivitis, must be stopped before it progresses into periodontitis. If it gets this far then your teeth will be at great risk of falling out as the bones which hold them in place will have become inflamed.
You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss too to ensure that your teeth and gums stay free from disease. It is much better to avoid these conditions occurring than having to deal with the consequences. Even with advances in modern dentistry some of the procedures to deal with teeth and gum disease can be invasive and inconvenient. If you are worried about tooth and gum disease, talk to your London SE1 dentist to get more advice.
January 6th, 2011
Sleep apnea sufferers experience disruption to their breathing when they sleep. The consequences of it can be very serious indeed, ranging from chronic fatigue during the day after an unsatisfactory sleep to a greater risk of heart failure. Your dentist is one of the medical professionals who can help you with diagnosis sleep apnea
The two varieties of sleep apnea are called central apnea and obstructive apnea. Central apnea patients usually have a serious underlying condition like heart disease or morbid obesity. Their brain fails to send the signal to breath during the night. For obstructive apnea patients the problem lies with the muscles at the rear of their mouths which tend to relax during sleep, thus restricting the flow of oxygen to the lungs. Sufferers wake frequently during the night as the brain sends an automatic signal to the body to rouse it if insufficient air is being taken in.
Having such a disrupted sleep pattern can cause greater risk of heart failure and strokes. This is because hypertension is more likely. During your check ups with your dentist, they have access to the parts of the mouth which can cause obstructive apnea and might be able to offer a diagnosis. There are certain oral devices which can be worn to relieve obstructive apnea and you can discuss the options with your London SE1 dentist.
The risk of heart failure from sleep apnea is just another reason to visit your dentist every six months so that the state of your mouth can be monitored. Keep him or her up to date with your health so that a problem like sleep apnea can be dealt with before anything serious should occur.
January 1st, 2011
In the fight against the plaque which can damage your teeth and gums, fluoride is a substance that can help. Plaque attacks the hard coating on teeth known as enamel. Fluoride can help strengthen enamel, lessening the likelihood of cavities forming and tooth decay occurring.
Fluoride is found not just in many tooth pastes but also tap water itself. Studies have shown that consumption of fluoride can reduce levels of tooth decay by between forty and sixty per cent. It is not without controversy, however. Some have suggested that it can be harmful to humans and campaigns exist to stop governments adding fluoride to the water supply.
Young children who consume too much fluoride over a period of time can develop a condition called dental fluorosis. This can occur if a large amount of fluoride tooth paste is swallowed too. Bu this is a rare condition and the three hundred million or so people around the world who drink tap water fortified with fluoride every day seems to be compelling evidence that fluoride is beneficial rather than harmless.
Children under two ought not to use tooth paste containing fluoride however. Once over that age, fluoride has been proved to be crucial in the development of strong teeth which are more able to cope with the fight against plaque. If you find out that your area does not have as much fluoride in the tap water then you might want to consider taking fluoride supplements to help strengthen your teeth.
Your London SE1 dentist can give you plenty more advice about fluoride, help you choose the right tooth paste and decide when is appropriate to expose your young child to it.