Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that helps to prevent tooth decay. It’s added to community water systems, toothpaste, and mouth rinses, and in appropriate quantities, it can help to keep your child’s teeth strong and free of decay. However, it’s possible to get too much of a good thing. Excessive fluoride exposure can lead to severe dental fluorosis. Here are three things parents need to know about this condition.
What is severe dental fluorosis?
Severe dental fluorosis is a cosmetic condition that causes major changes in the appearance of your child’s teeth. When children are exposed to too much fluoride while their teeth are still developing, their enamel can become hypomineralized.
Children with severe dental fluorosis have brown or black stains on the surface of their enamel. All of the enamel surfaces are affected by this discoloration, and this can make your child’s teeth look severely corroded.
Discoloration isn’t the only sign of severe dental fluorosis. Pits—either confluent or discrete—will be present on their enamel. This pitting can be severe enough to change the shape of your child’s teeth and make them look deformed.
How much fluoride is too much?
The recommended daily allowance of fluoride varies based on the age of your child. Children between one and three years old should only have 0.7 mg per day, while those between four and eight need 1 mg per day.
Tap water will provide much of your child’s fluoride needs. For children who don’t have a high risk of tooth decay, fluoride toothpaste isn’t necessary until they are three years old. If your dentist thinks your child has a high risk, you’ll need to brush their teeth with a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste. You should only apply a rice grain-sized amount of toothpaste to their toothbrush. This doesn’t look like much, but it’s enough to get their teeth clean without putting them at risk of severe dental fluorosis.
Children between three and six years old should use fluoride toothpaste even if they don’t have a high risk of tooth decay. It’s still important to use a very small (about the size of a pea) amount, though. Since young children tend to swallow their toothpaste instead of spitting it out, make sure to supervise your child while they brush. If your child swallows their fluoride toothpaste, they will be exposed to too much fluoride and could develop severe dental fluorosis.
Can severe dental fluorosis be reversed?
Preventing severe dental fluorosis is the best strategy, but if your child develops this condition despite your best efforts to prevent it, treatments are available. These treatments include composite restorations and veneers.
Composite restorations are tooth-colored resins that are applied to the front surfaces of the teeth, sculpted by the dentist and then hardened in place with a special light. This treatment is noninvasive and can be used to cover up the pitting and discoloration on your child’s teeth.
Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are permanently fixed to the front surfaces of the teeth, and like composite restorations, they hide the appearance of severe dental fluorosis. The dentist may need to shave away some of your child’s enamel to make room for the veneers, but they will try to preserve as much of your child’s natural teeth as possible.
Both composite restorations and veneers will restore the look of your child’s teeth. After examining your child’s teeth, your dentist will recommend the most appropriate treatment for their situation.
Fluoride is good for your child’s teeth in low doses, but if they’re exposed to excessive levels of this mineral, their teeth could become severely discolored and pitted. If you think your child has severe dental fluorosis, look for dental services by Bloor Smile Dental or another facility right away.Learn More
Although dentures can be a godsend for people who are missing teeth, they don’t come without their problems. False teeth will never feel completely natural, and they often take some time to feel comfortable and adjust to your mouth. If you are thinking about getting dentures or are a new denture wearer, you should be aware of common denture problems and solutions for them.
Not fitting properly
The most common problem with dentures is that they don’t fit properly after a while. When you put your dentures on for the first time, it’s immediately after getting your remaining teeth pulled. Because of this, your gums are swollen when you first receive them. Your dentures will fit tight for the first few days. As the swelling goes down, they’ll become comfortable, but then, they often become too loose.
Your prosthodontist will give you instructions on when to come back to get them adjusted. Make sure you keep your appointments. Even if your dentures don’t feel loose the day of the appointment, they may begin to feel loose shortly afterward, and you’ll wish you went. They may have to be adjusted several times in the first six months to ensure they fit properly.
Pain while eating
Eating will be difficult when you first get your dentures. Since you have no sensation in your false teeth, it’s almost like eating with someone else’s mouth. It will take some practice and time to get used to it. Start with soft foods. Eggs, mashed potatoes, pasta, and yogurt are all great foods while getting used to your dentures.
When you chew your food, don’t limit the food to one side of your mouth. Chew evenly throughout your whole mouth so the dentures don’t push to one side or move forward. You also need to be careful about eating foods that are too hot. You have a greater chance of burning your mouth since you can’t feel the heat on your teeth. Take extra care to test temperatures with your hands, lips, and tongue before popping hot foods into your mouth.
Two common fungal infections contracted by denture wearers include Cheilitis and Stomatitis. These are both yeast infections in the mouth. Cheilitis is painful and causes cracking and swelling in the corners of your mouth. When dentures don’t fit properly, the yeast can built up in of your mouth that are extra-moist.
Stomatitis is another infection that triggers yeast build-up. The causes of denture-induced stomatitis include not properly cleaning your dentures, not taking your dentures off at night, and traumatizing your gum tissue with dentures that don’t fit properly. These infections are another reason to ensure that you have your dentures adjusted in a timely manner. You also want to make sure that you use proper cleaning solution to soak your dentures at night. Only sleep with your dentures in, if your prosthodontist instructs you to do so. Signs of stomatitis include pain, swelling, and rashes in the mouth.
Dentures popping out
One of the most embarrassing things that can happen with dentures, is them popping out of your moth while you’re talking to someone or eating. Even properly adjusted dentures can pop out from time-to-time. It’s simply a downside of having false teeth. To avoid this, you should purchase denture adhestive.
There are three different kinds of denture adhesive. These include cream, powder, and strips. Cream is basically like a denture glue. It generally provides the best hold out of the three options; however, it often leaves a residue that can be difficult to clean off of your dentures and gums.
If the residue bothers you too much, you can try a denture powder. It’s a powder that you shake onto your dentures, and then pop them in your mouth. Your saliva will mix with the powder and create a paste. The powder is a little messy, and it isn’t as strong as cream.
Another popular option is adhesive strips. It’s basically a double-sided tape for your dentures. The strips are thick, so they also provide a cushion between your gums and your dentures. Many people prefer the cushion and the lack of messes.
Dentures can be frustrating at the beginning, but it’s better than having missing and damaged teeth. After a while, you will get used to them, and the hassle will be minimal. If you find yourself having any of these issues, remember these solutions so you don’t suffer and contact a professional if you need denture repair.Learn More
You may not think of your teeth as being made of living tissue, but they are, and like other tissues, they can die. Dead teeth are also called non-vital or necrotic, and they’re a big problem. Here are five things you need to know about necrotic teeth.
Are teeth alive?
To understand how teeth can die, you need to understand a bit more about the tissues that they’re made of. The white, outer layer of your teeth, called the enamel, isn’t a living tissue. Enamel is made of minerals like calcium. The dentin is the layer of teeth beneath the enamel, and while it’s softer and more sensitive, it’s also made of minerals, and isn’t alive. Beneath the dentin, at the center of the tooth, is the pulp. The pulp is a living tissue and it’s made of blood vessels and nerves. When dentists talk about necrotic teeth, they mean that the pulp inside the tooth is dead.
How does pulp die?
Pulp dies when bacteria makes its way through the enamel and dentin and into the pulp. The bacteria leads to infection and inflammation of the pulp, but since the pulp is trapped inside your tooth, the swelling damages the pulp and eventually kills it.
There are lots of ways that this can happen. If you have a large cavity that eats its way through the enamel and dentin, bacteria and food particles will have an easy pathway to reach the pulp. The same thing can happen if you have a traumatic injury to your tooth (like a crack or serious chip) that exposes your pulp. It can also happen if your teeth are moved too quickly during orthodontic treatment.
What are the signs of necrotic teeth?
When pulp first becomes infected or inflamed due to bacteria, you can expect pain and sensitivity to hot and cold. At this point, you should have your toothache treated by a dentist, but if you don’t, the pulp will die. When the pulp dies, you’ll experience relief from the toothache. Once the nerves and blood vessels inside the pulp are dead, there’s no way for pain signals to be transmitted from that tooth. Your tooth may also take on a grey or black color due to the dead pulp.
Are necrotic teeth serious?
Your toothache will stop when your pulp dies, but that doesn’t mean that your problems are over. Once the pulp is dead, the inside of your tooth becomes a pathway for bacteria. Bacteria can travel down beneath your teeth and form an infection at the base of your tooth, known as an abscess. Abscesses can be life-threatening, so you don’t want to let your tooth get to this point.
How are necrotic teeth treated?
Necrotic teeth are treated by removing the dead pulp from inside the tooth and replacing it with an artificial filling material. This procedure is known as a root canal treatment, and you’ve probably heard about it before. Despite the horror stories you may have heard about root canal treatments, they’re a routine dental treatment and aren’t anything to be afraid of.
If an abscess has formed beneath your tooth, root canal treatment may not be enough. Your tooth may need to be pulled out to allow the infection underneath it to drain. Your dentist may also give you a prescription for antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
The pulps inside your teeth are alive, and like other living tissues, they can die. If your severe toothache suddenly goes away, you should be concerned, not relieved, as this could be a sign that your pulp has died. If this happens to you, make sure to see your dentist right away. If you have a kid complaining of a toothache as well, you should take them to a kids’ dentist as soon as possible in case they have exposed pulp.Learn More
More than one-quarter of diabetics over 50 have lost all of their teeth, and many of them choose to replace their missing teeth with dentures. Dentures are a great way to replace all of your teeth, but when you have diabetes, you may suffer from complications such as denture stomatitis. Here’s what you need to know about this condition.
What is denture stomatitis?
Denture stomatitis is a type of fungal infection that develops inside your mouth. It’s caused by a fungus called candida; this fungus is also known as yeast. This infection doesn’t always cause symptoms, so you may not know there’s something wrong until your dentist points it out. Other people suffer from symptoms like red, swollen gums and pain while wearing their dentures. You may also see white patches on your gums; these patches are the yeast colonies.
Does diabetes cause it?
Diabetes is a known risk factor for denture stomatitis. If your diabetes isn’t well-controlled, your high blood sugar levels can contribute to the development of denture stomatitis. This is because the yeast feeds on the high levels of sugar in your saliva, and since the yeast is so well-fed, it can grow out of control.
High blood sugar levels aren’t the only reason that so many diabetics have denture stomatitis. Diabetes causes other changes inside your mouth, such as a reduced flow of saliva. Saliva lubricates your gum tissue, so if you don’t have enough of it, your dentures can rub against your gums and damage them, which makes them more susceptible to fungal infection. Diabetes also weakens your immune system, so when the fungus takes hold in your damaged gums, you can’t fight it off very well.
Do all diabetics with dentures develop this condition?
Denture stomatitis is a very common complication for diabetics who wear dentures, but it doesn’t happen to everyone. Studies have shown that about 61% of diabetics develop this complication, compared to only 38% of denture wearers without diabetes. Controlling your blood sugar levels, keeping your mouth moist, and taking out your dentures when you go to sleep can help prevent this complication.
Is it dangerous?
Denture stomatitis can be uncomfortable, but as long as it’s treated quickly, it’s not serious. You need to get it treated so that you can wear your dentures without any discomfort, and to make sure that it doesn’t spread to other parts of your body. The yeast, if it’s not treated, can enter your bloodstream and spread to other areas of your body.
How is it treated?
Denture stomatitis is treated with antifungal medications. These medications work by killing the candida fungus that is responsible for the infection. Antifungal medications come in multiple forms, like gels, pills, and lozenges. Your dentist may tell you to stop wearing your dentures until the infection is gone; this is to allow your gums a chance to heal.
How can you prevent a recurrence?
Denture stomatitis can recur, but you can prevent this by making some small changes in your lifestyle. Make sure to clean your dentures regularly and take them out every night when you go to sleep. Your dentist may recommend using artificial saliva to keep your gums lubricated and protected from your dentures. You may also need to work with your family doctor to control your blood sugar levels more effectively.
Denture stomatitis is a common problem for diabetics, but if you’re careful, you can prevent it. If you think you already have this condition, see your dentist right away for treatment. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a long time, you could have this condition without knowing it, and should schedule a checkup soon at a denture clinic in your area.Learn More
Oral lichen planus is an autoimmune disease that makes your immune system attack the soft tissues inside your mouth, leaving them swollen and irritated. It usually affects the insides of your cheeks, your tongue, or your gums, but it can also affect other areas like the roof of your mouth. Here’s what you need to know about this potentially serious oral health problem.
What causes it?
Researchers still aren’t sure what makes your immune system turn against the tissues inside your mouth. They have a few theories as to what makes your white blood cells attack your own healthy cells instead of bacteria. Some diseases like Hepatitis C seem to trigger this reaction. Allergens that come in contact with your mouth, like foods, have also been implicated. Even seemingly harmless medications like ibuprofen may be involved in causing this condition.
Who gets oral lichen planus?
Oral lichen planus can affect anyone, but it’s more common in older people. Studies have shown that the average woman with oral lichen planus is 61, and the average man with the condition is 58. It’s also much more common in women than in men: about 75% of people with oral lichen planus are women.
Is it a common condition?
Oral lichen planus is fairly rare. One study found that it affects about 1.27% of the general population. The same study also broke down the prevalence rate along gender lines, reporting that 0.96% of men and 1.57% of women suffer from it.
How do you know you have oral lichen planus?
This condition causes many visible symptoms inside your mouth. You may see lots of small white dots on the surface of your tongue or other tissues. These dots tend to form a lace-like pattern. In addition, some areas may be red or swollen, and if your gums are affected, they may peel. Some people also get painful sores inside their mouths; these sores may be mistaken for other conditions such as canker sores.
How serious is this condition?
On its own, oral lichen planus is usually not serious, though it is chronic and can be painful. The real risk with oral lichen planus is its tendency to become malignant. People with oral lichen planus have an increased risk of getting oral cancer, particularly squamous cell carcinoma. For this reason, it’s very important that patients with oral lichen planus see their dentist regularly for oral cancer screening.
Can it be treated?
Oral lichen planus can’t be cured, but dentists can offer many treatments that will ease your symptoms. The main treatment is corticosteroids. These medications work by both reducing the swelling in the area and reducing the immune response. Corticosteroids are given in many forms, including gels, mouthwashes, and injections.
Immunosuppressants can also be helpful. These medications work by reducing your immune system’s strength, which gives your damaged tissues a chance to heal. The problem with immunosuppressant drugs is that they don’t just stop the immune response in your mouth; they stop it in your whole body, which leaves you more susceptible to illness.
If these medications don’t work, dentists still have more options. Oral lichen planus can be managed with photochemotherapy, which uses long wave ultraviolet light, or even with laser treatment. These treatments are usually just a last resort but are effective when they’re needed.
Oral lichen planus is a painful, chronic condition that affects the inside of your mouth. If you think you have it, you need to see a dentistry clinic in your area right away for treatment. It can’t be cured, but there are many treatments that can ease your discomfort and make your mouth heal faster.
Many people are apprehensive about visiting the dentist. While most fears are general fears of having work carried out, some people suffer from more specific fears that arise due to a bad experience or misunderstanding of the procedures involved. One of the most common fears is a fear of local anesthetic which causes you to “go numb”. Below are three root causes of this fear and how to get over it:
Underlying Fear of Suffocating or Choking
While local anesthetic itself will not cause suffocation, many people feel that the physical changes experienced while numb could possibly lead to choking or an inability to breathe. The reason for this is that having local anesthetic administered into the mouth can oftentimes stop people from experiencing the feeling associated with swallowing or breathing. However, this is not dangerous and is merely due to the brain shutting off signals from these regions, rather than shutting off these regions themselves.
Local anesthetic administered at small dosages will not affect your body’s ability to carry out simple motor functions such as breathing or swallowing. In particularly high dosages, it is possible that your body’s functionality will be affected; however, these dosages should never be administered by medical professionals. Rather, the dosages are kept at a small level so that they only reduce your body’s ability to feel pain.
Losing Control of Your Body
One of the common side effects associated with local anesthetic is drooling around the mouth. This occurs because feeling around the area is temporarily shut off, meaning your brain has difficulty in noticing drooling and taking steps to prevent it occurring. As such, many people are worried about going numb, as it relates to a loss of control in particular areas.
It’s understandable that people are worried about losing control of their body, as they may be worried about injuring themselves without noticing. For example, some people are worried that they may accidentally burn themselves whilst eating because their mouth is unable to detect the temperature of the food.
For other people, the fear of losing control comes from a sense of embarrassment associated with feeling numb. Slurred conversation and drooling aren’t particularly attractive traits, so it’s understandable that people would want to retain control of their body to avoid embarrassing themselves.
However, it’s important to understand that everyone has to visit the dentist at some point – you’re in good company! While it may be embarrassing at first, people will understand that the problems are associated with recent dental work and will not judge you on your behavior. With that said, if you can’t seem to get over this sense of embarrassment, then it may be a good idea to schedule your appointments for weekends or a time when you don’t have to return to work. This will give you the space you need to fully heal before facing people, allowing you to avoid the embarrassment you may have experienced otherwise.
Misinterpreting Numbness as a Threat
Numbness isn’t a natural feeling experienced by humans and your body is wired to interpret numbness as a threat. The feeling of numbness often occurs due to other factors, such as infection, poor supply of blood to the area, or even poisoning. As such, it’s understandable that experiencing numbness can trigger panic responses in some people due to the negative connotations associated with the feeling.
Although your logical brain knows that the numbness is caused by local anesthetic and will disappear soon, your body may have an instant reaction to the anesthetic. These are very primitive reactions that don’t have an easy fix; however, it’s important to remain calm and rational if you are have this feeling. Education is the key; while it may not be possible to completely remove your body’s response to the anesthetic, understanding why the medication is required and how it works can help calm you down.
For more information, talk to the dentist at a local clinic like Sidney Harbour Dental Center.Learn More
Most people recognize that sugar is bad for many aspects of their health, especially their teeth. Unfortunately, many people do not fully understand the relationship between sugar and tooth decay. Furthermore, current research and dental trends focus on reducing the effects of sugar rather than adopting a holistic approach that eliminates sugar from the diet. Below are the things you need to understand about sugar and your oral health.
What Does Sugar Do to Your Teeth?
Have you been told that sugar causes cavities? While it is true that sugar contributes to cavities, it does not cause them directly. Sugar causes bacteria that live in your mouth to produce acid. It is this acid that eats away at your enamel and causes cavities. Each time you put sugar in your mouth, it takes about twenty minutes for the bacteria in your mouth to break down the sugar. While the sugar is being broken down, the bacteria continues to produce acid. This means that if you take a bite of something sugary every twenty minutes as opposed to eating it all at once, you will continually produce acid for an extended period of time, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
Understanding Current Trends and Research
Researchers know that sugar consumption is directly related to the development of cavities. In fact, your dentist has probably told you that sugar is not good for your teeth. However, much of the current research is focused on ways to combat the effects of sugar and protect your teeth from your sugar consumption rather than how to recognize and reduce your overall sugar consumption. This is largely due to funding for research paid for by the sugar industry, which seeks to focus on ways that consumers can continue to eat sugar. This means that you are more likely to read articles and hear news about how you can combat the affects of sugar rather than ways that you can effectively cut sugar out of your diet.
Ways to Cut Back
The best way for you to protect your teeth from cavities is to reduce the amount of acid produced in your mouth. This means limiting the frequency and amount of your sugar consumption. To reduce the amount of sugar in your diet and keep it out in the long term, you need to make slow, consistent changes to how and what you eat. The first step is to recognize which foods have sugar and when you tend to eat them. Then, figure out ways to meet your psychological and physical needs with foods that do not contain sugar.
One thing you should avoid when trying to cut out sugar is artificial sweeteners. These can actually make you crave more sugar, making your battle more difficult in the long run.
Ways to Combat
Since it is difficult to completely cut sugar out of your diet, you should still be aware of ways that you can combat the effects of sugar on your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water or chewing an acid-neutralizing gum can help to reduce the amount of acid that comes in contact with your teeth. Having your dentist place sealants and scheduling regular cleanings to remove the plaque in your mouth can also reduce tooth decay caused by sugar in your diet. Consuming sugary snacks at once as opposed to snacking on them throughout the day can also reduce the damage you face.
Ultimately, the best way to prevent sugar-related tooth decay is to reduce or eliminate sugar from your diet. However, for most people this is an unrealistic goal. In these instances, it is important to know when you are consuming sugar and how to combat its effects. For more tips on your dental health, contact a local clinic like Forest Lawn Dental Centre.Learn More