Good Dental Hygiene Can Prevent Cavities and Gum Disease

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Good dental hygiene is important for the overall health of your teeth and gums. Making periodic trips to your dentist for a cleaning and brushing and flossing your teeth daily can prevent cavities from forming and tartar buildup which can lead to gingivitis. There are many recommendations for good dental hygiene which can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums and avoid costly and invasive dental procedures.One of the first steps in maintaining good dental hygiene is making regular visits to your dentist. It is recommended that you see your dentist twice a year for cleanings and examinations. Your dentist will remove any tartar from your teeth that has been built up in between visits and take x-rays of your teeth to make sure the roots are strong. They can also check for cavities and fill them while they are still small. They will examine your gums to make sure they are healthy and free from disease. Often after a regular cleaning, the dentist will treat the teeth with fluoride to help maintain the strength of the teeth. Regular dental visits are essential to good dental hygiene.Following a regular daily brushing and flossing routine is also important to maintain good dental hygiene. It is recommended that you brush your teeth upon awakening, after meals and before you go to bed for the night. It is essential to brush your teeth thoroughly for at least ten to fifteen minutes in order to remove any plaque buildup and control tartar. Flossing is also important for good dental hygiene. Flossing can help prevent gum disease and cavities. Flossing removes plaque and food that remains stuck in between teeth that can decay and cause cavities. Food decay and plaque can also cause irritation to the gums, allowing them to bleed easily. Going without flossing can lead to tooth loss and gum disease. Flossing is recommended to be done at least once a day, preferably at bedtime in order to prevent receding gums, gingivitis and cavities between the teeth.There are some other important steps to good dental hygiene that may not be as obvious or well-known. Cleaning the tongue is an important part of any good cleaning regimen. Brushing the tongue or scraping it removes a layer of bacteria that can be responsible for bad breath. Cleaning the tongue also removes decaying food particles, fungi and dead cells from the surface of the tongue. Tongue cleaning is an important step in dental hygiene as it can remove some of the bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay. Practicing good dental hygiene can prevent disease and cavities and make your visits to the dentist painless and enjoyable. Getting into the daily habit of brushing and flossing, along with twice a year visits to the dentist is good preventative medicine for optimum oral health.

Posted in Dental Hygiene

Causes Of Tooth Decay

cause_of_cavities_tooth_decayTooth decay is the destruction of the enamel (outer surface) of a tooth. Tooth decay is also known as dental cavities or dental caries. Decay is caused by bacteria that collect on tooth enamel. The bacteria live in a sticky, white film called plaque (pronounced PLAK). Bacteria obtain their food from sugar and starch in a person’s diet. When they eat those foods, the bacteria create an acid that attacks tooth enamel and causes decay. The acids that cause tooth demineralization (cavity formation) are produced by specific types of bacteria (mutans streptococci and lactobacilli) that live in dental plaque.

These bacteria are living organisms just like we are. When we consume foods and beverages, we create waste products. Bacteria do the same thing. The bacteria that cause tooth decay utilize sugars (glucose, sucrose, fructose, lactose, or cooked starches) as their food source. The waste products created from digesting these sugars are the acids (especially lactic acid) that cause the demineralization of tooth enamel and dentin.

Since the bacteria that live in our mouth eat when we do, as we ingest foods which contain sugars (such as soda, candy, milk, and even fruits and vegetables) these bacteria get a meal too. And within minutes they start producing the acids that cause tooth decay. Bacteria that are exposed to sugars or carbohydrates can make acid, which attacks the crystal-like substance in the tooth’s outer surface. This process is known as demineralization. The first sign of this is a chalky white spot. Acid formation, and hence tooth demineralization, begins within minutes of the bacteria receiving a sugary meal. It can take up to several hours for saliva to penetrate the layer of dental plaque and neutralize these acids. At this stage, the decay process can be reversed. Using fluorides at home and in the dental office can help the tooth repair itself. If not treated appropriately the demineralization continues. Enamel starts to break down. Once the enamel surface is broken, the tooth can no longer repair itself. The cavity has to be cleaned and restored by a dentist. If decay is left untreated, it will reach the tooth’s pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The pulp becomes infected. An abscess (swelling) or a fistula (opening to the surface of the gum) can form in the soft tissues. Cavity prevention suggestion: Brush and floss after every meal or snack. Take the time to be thorough with your brushing and flossing. Those places that you don’t clean effectively are precisely the locations where cavities will be most likely to form. Factor in the formation of tooth decay.

Posted in Tooth Decay

Using Lasers To Remove Tooth Decay

Lasers are a fantastic way to get rid of simple tooth decay. They work quickly, the procedure is painless, and it is soothing and quiet for those who are scared of a dentist’s drill. Dr. Bart Kreiner has his own dental practice, Dr. Kreiner Family Dentistry, in Bel Air, Maryland. Here, he explains the lasers he uses to remove decay from teeth as efficiently and painlessly as he can.

I have used an Erbium: YAG laser to get rid of decay from teeth for the last 6 to 7 years. During 95% to 97% of the time, I can do that without using a local anesthetic to numb the patient. For patients who are scared of the dental drill or the local anesthetic needle, it’s a great alternative.

A laser is defined as a form of light energy. A decayed tooth holds more water than a tooth that has no decay. So the pulsed-light energy causes water to explode in the decayed tooth structure. It’s not the best explanation for that, but by and large an easy way for patients to understand.

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though this laser cannot be used for every cavity, there is a series of cavities it is successful with. For so-called flossing cavities, which begin in-between teeth, it’s not the best tool. But for cavities which are visible starting on the outside of the tooth, it works great. That is to say, if you have visible decay along the gum line or on the biting surface of the tooth, the effective way of removing the decay is to use the laser. If your dentist does not use this type of laser for your decayed tooth yet, you can ask him about it.

Thanks to the laser, we seldom have to use a dentist’s drill now to get rid of tooth decay. Only if we do tooth-color restoration, do we choose to use a drill on a cavity, to finish and polish the tooth at the end.

Posted in Probiotics Benefits