Month: November 2017

The Reason Saliva Is Important For Your Mouth

You may think saliva is gross. Simply look at the unpleasant stream of drool coming out of the mouth of a baby. You walk in the mall and see a teenager hack up a big wad of spit onto the sidewalk.

You notice your saliva increases when you’re hungry and the thought of dinner race around in your mind. You wake up in the morning and grab a glass of water because your mouth is uncomfortably dry.

Everyone has saliva. As unpleasant as you think it is, it serves an important, critical role in maintaining dental health. Saliva is your body’s natural mouth rinse.

Besides keeping the mouth moist and clean, saliva also balances the pH of the mouth, breaks down food for digestion and triggers the taste receptors to the brain that helps one to taste food.

There is an increase in saliva production during the day when your body is awake and when you consume most of your meals. During the night when your body is asleep and not eating, saliva production goes down.

Saliva keeps the inside of your mouth and the outer surfaces of teeth and gums wet, making it more difficult for food particles, sugar and carbohydrate molecules to stick and get stuck on teeth and gums.

With less food particles remaining in the mouth, the less that will decay and cause potential tooth decay and gum disease.

Before modern dentistry, saliva, and drinking water, were the only dental hygiene options available. Today, there are many kinds of toothpastes, toothbrushes, dental floss and mouthwash.

Modern dentistry, however, doesn’t completely replace the necessity of saliva. Oral hygiene complements saliva in caring for your mouth.

For instance, you brush, floss and rinse in the morning and the evening. What about the in between time while you’re out and about? You’re likely not going to be carrying around a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash.

There are dental floss picks you can use to remove food particles from in between teeth. Saliva, however, constantly produces the moisture inside your mouth that it needs to minimize germ and possible plaque build-up.

How is Saliva Produced?

Saliva comes from a set of salivary glands that are located on the bottom of the mouth and in front of each ear.

Saliva is produced in the glands and are transported into the mouth through a various system of small ducts.

Saliva production is controlled by both automatic and sensory innervation, meaning that its production is part automatic and part triggered by sensory impulses.

If you find that your mouth is drier than normal or is chronically dry, there may be an underlying health issue affecting the flow of saliva into the mouth such as salivary stones.

What is Saliva?

Saliva is primarily composed of water (around 99{70d46295a9912f84359651e6c3abf96c22b154ba0e054ec76996ffa62650c75d}). Other ingredients include electrolytes, mucus, enzymes, epidermal growth factor, and cells. Some of the enzymes of saliva act as pain-killers, and attach to B-12, which protects the stomach.

Saliva is important in keeping the mouth clean, making the digestion of food easier, balances the mouth’s pH levels and enhances the flavoring and taste of food and drinks.

As gross as you may think saliva is, it is important. If you notice a constant dry mouth or extremely bad breath, schedule an appointment with your dentist as there could be an issue with the salivary glands.

How To Choose The Right Implant Dentist

Do you have a missing tooth? The impact of missing teeth goes far beyond aesthetics. If you’re considering dental implants for those gaps, now is the best time to seek an implant dentist.

The real cost of missing teeth

The most obvious impact of lacking pearly whites is the effect they have on the appearance of a person. Our looks affect the way we feel. Lack of pearly whites therefore have profound social and psychological effects. Many people with missing teeth are self-conscious, especially when it comes to smiling or laughing.

The impact of having no teeth is far reaching where dental health is concerned. The loss of pearly whites affects the jaw bone. This is because stimulation is required to maintain and improve the density of the jaw bone. Therefore, a person who has lost teeth is likely to suffer loss in jaw bone width over time.

The effects go even further if the bone loss is not arrested. If the loss continues, it will cause a change in the shape of the person’s face. This will eventually result in the partial collapse of the face.

Some people are only concerned about the loss of pearly whites in parts of the mouth that are easily noticeable such as the front. However, loss of teeth at the back of the mouth results in a change in bite. This is because they provide vertical support for the face. If they are not there, they will cause the front pearly whites to be crushed together.

Best solution

The best way to solve the issues caused by lost pearly whites is to replace them. This is what dental implants were designed to do. They replace the roots of the missing tooth. They consist of a rod made of titanium that is inserted into the jaw bone. The jawbone eventually grows around the titanium rod and holds it in place. This rod acts as the root and provides support to a tooth replica that is screwed to the top.

What to expect

When you approach an implant dentist for implants, they will examine your mouth to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. This will involve x-rays to see the density of your jaw bone.

If you are cleared for the procedure, you will be provided with a plan outlining the suggested procedure. If you approve the plan, the dentist will proceed with the surgical insertion of the implants. Once you have healed from the surgery, the false teeth can be fitted and inserted.

How To Fix Half Broken Tooth

Discovering that you have a broken tooth can be pretty scary. But you do not have to worry because it can be repaired. There are several cosmetic and restorative treatments available today that can repair damaged teeth. The right procedure for you will depend on the extent of damage on your tooth, based on your dentist’s assessment. Below are five procedures that can help repair a broken tooth.

Dental Bonding

Lasting up to 10 years, composite bonding can a repair cracked, chipped, discolored, misshapen, decayed and gapped tooth. The procedure starts by roughening the tooth and putting on conditioning liquid. Putty is then applied, molded and smoothed before it is hardened using UV light. Once it dries, it is then shaped and polished to match the rest of the teeth.

Veneers

Veneers are basically covered for the teeth. Usually made of porcelain, it is bonded to the front of the tooth to transform its appearance. It can last for up to 30 years with proper care before it will require replacement. Veneers are a great option for many people, but this might not be a good one for those who grind their teeth as it can wear the appliance down.

Crowns

A broken or chipped tooth that causes pain when you drink or chew might require a crown. One of the most common restorative dental treatments, a crown is a cap that covers the tooth to protect and improve appearance. Otherwise, your damaged tooth will not be able to withstand the pressure that comes with chewing. Crowns are made for every patient to perfectly match the rest of their teeth.

Root Canal

A crack in the tooth that extends to the pulp is treated with a root canal. Root canal therapy involves removing decayed tooth matter and the nerve. It has a reputation for being painful but only minor pain and discomfort is expected when done right. A toothache, swelling, and sensitivity might necessitate a root canal. Otherwise, these problems can lead to serious problems like bone loss and abscess.

Dental Implant

A crack that extends below the gum line means that tooth can no longer be treated and can no longer be saved. In this case, you will need to get it extracted. A dental implant works as an excellent replacement for your natural tooth. They act as the new root of your tooth, securely placed in the jawbone to ensure a lasting fit.

If you think you have broken or cracked your tooth, get it examined immediately. Doing so will help avoid further damage and even possible infection. Prompt treatment can also help save your tooth, thanks to modern dental technology. Talk to your dentist to learn more about the effects of a broken tooth and how you can prevent it.

Traditional Tooth Paste Ideas

Most patients know tooth paste is important to proper, adequate dental hygiene.

Unfortunately, our default choices actually puts our dental health at risk.

Sure, they claim to be cavity and gingivitis fighting, whitening, breath freshening and overall safe to use. Isn’t that what we want?

A closer look at the ingredients found in most traditional tooth pastes, however, will reveal that they likely cause more harm than good.

The common, hazardous ingredients in regular tooth pastes include:

  • Fluoride
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Triclosan
  • Glycerin
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Artificial Sweeteners

Why are these bad?Fluoride may be the ingredient you may have heard the most about. This chemical is found all around us in the air we breathe and the tap water we drink. Fluoride supposedly is the tooth paste ingredient that fights and prevents cavities. This ingredient, however, is in a form that is toxic when too much of it is ingested. In fact, just putting some in your mouth twice a day when brushing your teeth can put you at great risk of dangerous accumulations in the body.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is the ingredient used to create that iconic tooth paste foam. This chemical, however, is an unnatural substance that isn’t found or produced by the body.

Triclosan is a chemical added to tooth paste as an antibacterial agent to fight gingivitis. However, a Mayo Clinic article states that studies have shown that triclosan is often an unnecessary additive that can negatively affect the immune system.

Glycerin is an ingredient in tooth paste that gives it that moist, pasty texture. Glycerin, however, leaves a coating over teeth that keep them from getting essential minerals.

Titanium dioxide is seen by some as carcinogenic. As the mouth is composed of much soft tissue, the tiny particles of this toxic chemical can easily get absorbed into the body, causing damage to its cells.

Artificial sweeteners are compounds that we’re taught to avoid in our diets. Why do we consume them in our tooth paste if they are bad for the body? Sorbitol and saccharin are two such artificial sweeteners that are commonly found in tooth paste.

With all these harmful ingredients in tooth paste, how can one take adequate care of their teeth and gums?

Over the years more natural, and safer alternatives have hit the market.

Here are just a few of the options:

Bicarb Soda

Bicarb soda is the combination of coconut oil, baking soda and peppermint oil. It is easy to make and is a great tooth whitener. Use caution when brushing because of the abrasive nature of baking soda.

Activated Charcoal

Charcoal has been used for thousands of years as a way to clean one’s mouth and whiten one’s teeth. The charcoal naturally binds to toxins in the mouth whereby reducing the bad bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. It is important to only use activated charcoal designed for cooking.

Sea Salt Mouth Wash

Another teeth cleaning alternative is simple sea salt and warm water. To reduce the amount of your fluoride intake, use filtered, bottled water. Limit the amount of sea salt to two teaspoons maximum. Avoid iodized table salt as many of the health-boosting minerals have been taken out.

Gargle with the salt water for 20 seconds and you’re done.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has become a popular, natural alternative for a variety of health and body uses from shampoo to face scrubs. Coconut oil is also a great way to clean and whiten your smile.

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which contains antifungal, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Coconut oil can be applied to a toothbrush in a solid state or be “pulled,” or swished in the mouth for 5-20 minutes in its liquid form. For oil pulling, apply two tablespoons of warmed coconut oil directly into the mouth.

When caring for your teeth and gums, you don’t have to be limited to traditional tooth paste which can cause more harm to your dental health than good. Bicarb soda, activated charcoal, sea salt and water and coconut oil are a few natural, safe tooth paste alternatives that are effective in reducing tooth decay and gum disease.