Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can mouth cancer be prevented or found early?

Our bodies are made up of many small units called cells. These cells have a limited lifespan. The process of forming new cells and dying of older or injured cells is a continuous one. For some reason, this process may get disturbed and cells can start to grow out of control. When this happens, it is called cancer. These cells either invade the surrounding areas or spread to distant parts of the body through the blood or lymph circulation (metastasis).
Mouth cancer, also called oral cancer, is a major health concern in India. It is the most common cancer among men and the 3rd most common cancer among women. Chewing tobacco in its many forms causes nearly 90% of the cases. Some oral cancers begin as leukoplakia a white patch, red patches, or non-healing sores that have existed for more than 14 days. In Indian subcontinent Oral submucous fibrosis is very common. This condition is characterized by limited opening of mouth and burning sensation on eating of spicy food. This is a progressive lesion in which the opening of the mouth becomes progressively limited, and later on even normal eating becomes difficult. It occurs almost exclusively in India and Indian communities living abroad.

Causes of Mouth Cancer
1. Tobacco
Smoking and other tobacco use are associated with about 75 percent of oral cancer cases, caused by irritation of the mucous membranes of the mouth from smoke and heat of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Tobacco contains over 60 known carcinogens, and the combustion of it, and by products from this process, is the primary mode of involvement. Use of chewing tobacco or snuff causes irritation from direct contact with the mucous membranes.

2. Alcohol
Use of alcohol and other toxic liquids is another high-risk activity associated with oral cancer. There is known to be a very strong synergistic effect on oral cancer risk when a person is both a heavy smoker and drinker. 

3. Human papillomavirus
Infection with human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly type 16, is a known risk factor and independent causative factor for oral cancer. HPV16 (along with HPV18) is the same virus responsible for the vast majority of all cervical cancers and is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US. Oral cancer in this group tends to favor the tonsil and tonsillar pillars, base of the tongue, and the oropharynx. Recent data suggest that individuals that come to the disease from this particular etiology have a significant survival advantage, as the disease responds better to radiation treatments than tobacco etiology disease.

4. Ultraviolet light
More than 30% of patients with cancers of the lip have outdoor occupations associated with prolonged exposure to sunlight.

5. Irritation
Chronic (long-term) irritation to the lining of the mouth caused by poorly fitting dentures has been suggested as a risk factor for oral cancer. But multiple research studies have shown no difference between denture wearers and non-denture wearers in the occurrence of oral cancer. As poorly fitting dentures can tend to trap proven causative agents of oral cancer beneath them, such as alcohol and tobacco particulates, denture wearers should have their dentures evaluated by a dentist at least every 5 years for optimum fit. All denture wearers should remove their dentures at night and clean and rinse them thoroughly every day.

6. Vitamin deficiency
Vitamin A deficiency is associated with an increased risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx.

7. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
Patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) are at a higher risk for oral squamous cell carcinoma. Post-HSCT oral cancer may have more aggressive behavior with poorer prognosis, when compared to oral cancer in non-HSCT patients. This effect is supposed to be owing to the continuous lifelong immune suppression and chronic oral graft-versus-host disease.

How will I know if I have mouth cancer?
Mouth cancer commonly starts as one of the following:

  • An ulcer or wound in the mouth or on the tongue that does not go away
  • A swelling over the cheek and gum (which may be painful or painless)
  • Diiculty opening the mouth completely and swelling in the neck
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Difficulty in swallowing or moving the tongue
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
  • A lump or mass in the neck
  • Weight loss
  • Some patients may go to the dentist with sudden loosening of teeth or pain in the jaw.

Can mouth cancer be prevented or found early?

Mouth cancer is often (but not always) preceded by some changes in the mouth. These changes serve as warning signs for cancer. Some patients may have white (leukoplakia) or red (erythroplakia) patches in the mouth. These patches bleed on removal and can be painless or painful. Stopping the use of tobacco and alcohol and eating a healthy, nutritious diet may help prevent progression of these patches to a cancer.
Quitting tobacco is an important step in the prevention of mouth cancers. Chewing betel nut and leaves (paan with supari) has also been found to increase the risk of cancer and should be stopped. Looking at your mouth every day can also find early signs and help in diagnosing cancer at an early stage.

Regular dental checkups, that include an examination of the entire mouth, are important in the early detection of oral and oropharyngeal cancers and precancerous conditions.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Why Do People Grind Their Teeth?

Sometimes, people grind their teeth without causing any symptoms or problems to oral health. However, regular and persistent teeth grinding can cause pain and discomfort in your jaw and it can wear down your teeth. Bruxism is the medical term for the grinding of teeth or the clenching of jaws.

What causes bruxism?
Most cases of teeth grinding occur subconsciously during sleep. It is usually associated with contributing factors, such as stress or anxiety. Grinding teeth (Bruxism) also affects people when they are awake, although this is more likely to be clenching the teeth and jaw, rather than grinding. Most people do it subconsciously while they are concentrating.

The following factors may be associated with bruxism (whether by cause or effect) :

  • Disturbed sleep patterns and other sleep disorders (obstructive sleep apnea, hypopnea, snoring, moderate daytime sleepiness
  • Malocclusion, in which the upper and lower teeth occlude in a disharmonic way, e.g., through premature contact of back teeth
  • Relatively high levels of consumption of caffeinated drinks and foods, such as coffee, colas, and chocolate
  • High levels of blood alcohol and Smoking
  • High levels of anxiety, stress, work-related stress, irregular work shifts, stressful profession and ineffective coping strategies
  • Hypersensitivity of the dopamine receptors in the brain
  • Disorders such as Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases
  • Obsessive–compulsive disorder[citation needed]
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Use of NAC (acetylcysteine) may increase glutamate and dopamine to some extent
Signs and Symptoms :
Nighttime grinding and clenching can wear down tooth enamel, chip teeth, increase temperature sensitivity, and cause severe facial pain and jaw problems, such as temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ). Most kids who grind, however, do not have TMJ problems unless their grinding and clenching is chronic. 
Patients may present with a variety of symptoms, including :
  • Anxiety, stress, and tension
  • Depression
  • Earache
  • Eating disorders
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Loose teeth
  • Tinnitus
  • Gum recession
  • Neck pain
  • Insomnia
  • Sore or painful jaw
Treatment :
1. Dental guards and splints : A dental guard or splint can reduce tooth abrasion. Dental guards are typically made of plastic and fit over some or all of upper and/or lower teeth. The guard protects the teeth from abrasion and can reduce muscle strain by allowing the upper and lower jaw to move easily with respect to each other.

2. Biofeedback (Behavioural therapies) : The principle behind biofeedback in treating bruxism is to automatically detect bruxing behavior, and provide a conscious or subconscious awareness signal to the user so that the user can decrease that behavior, preferably even while asleep. 

3. Botox : Botulinum toxin (Botox) can lessen bruxism's effects. An extremely dilute form of Botox is injected to weaken (partially paralyze) muscles and has been used extensively in cosmetic procedures to 'relax' the muscles of the face.

4. Repairing damage : Damaged teeth can be repaired by replacing the worn natural crown of the tooth with prosthetic crowns and bridges. To protect the new crowns and dental implants, an occlusal guard should be fabricated to wear during sleep.

5. Other treatments, such as muscle-relaxation exercises and sleep hygiene, may also help manage your symptoms. 

6. Making some simple lifestyle changes, such as giving up smoking, reducing alcohol consumption and managing stress may also help in reducing the habit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mouth Ulcers : Causes and Treatments

What are mouth ulcers?

A mouth ulcer is a painful sore in the mouth. It appears on the tongue, the lips, and the gums or inside the cheeks. The first sign of the ulcer may be a tingling, burning sensation inside the mouth. They can occur either single or in clusters. They are usually white or yellow in color, surrounded by red halos. Usually they heal within 7 to 10 days.

Common Causes of Mouth ulcers

  • Nutritional deficiencies such as iron, vitamins, especially vitamin B12 and C
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Food allergies
  • Stress
  • Infections particularly herpes simplex
  • Biting the cheek
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Bowel disease
  • Skin disease
  • Coeliac disease (intolerance to a protein called gluten, found in wheat, rye and barley)
  • Crohn's disease
  • Reiter's syndrome (urethral discharge followed by conjunctivitis and arthritis)
  • HIV infection

 What are the symptoms?

  • A round sore or sores inside the mouth
  • Swollen and red skin around the sores
  • Tenderness
  • Problems with chewing or toothbrushing because of the tenderness
  • Irritation of the sores by salty, spicy or sour foods
  • Loss of appetite

How are mouth ulcers treated?
Fortunately, most mouth ulcers do not need specific treatment and heal naturally without medication they heal within 7 to 10 days. You can help a mouth ulcer to heal faster by using a soft toothbrush and avoiding hard foods. By keeping mouth clean and healthy.

Treatment includes:
 Topical antihistamines, antacids, corticosteroids, topical anaesthesia or applications meant to soothe painful ulcers may be helpful.  Oral supplements of vitamin B12 and C , iron can be taken.

Ulcers persisting longer than three weeks may require the attention of a medical practitioner.

Some Home Remedies for Mouth Ulcers

  • Extract the milk of coconut and gargle with this 3-4 times a day.
  • Keep 1 glass of chilled water and 1 glass of hot water ready at hand. Gargle alternately with hot and cold water.
  • Boil 2 cups of water. Add 1 cup fenugreek leaves and remove. Cover and keep for sometime. Strain the water and gargle 2-3 times a day.
  • Boil 1 tsp of coriander seeds in 1 cup of water. Remove when slightly warm gargle. Repeat 3-4 times a day.
  • Chew on 5-6 tulsi leaves and sip some water. Repeat 5-6 times a day.
  • Eating raw tomatoes helps rid mouth ulcers. Can also gargle with tomato juice 3-4 times a day.
  • Mix 7 parts of sugar candy (mishri) with 1 part of camphor. Apply on the blister.
  • Mix a pinch of turmeric powder to 1 tsp glycerine and apply.

Things to be remembered :

  • A mouth ulcer is the loss or erosion of the delicate epithilium lining tissue of the mouth (mucus membrane).
  • The most common cause is mechanical injury, such as accidentally biting your cheek.
  • In most cases, mouth ulcers are harmless and resolve by themselves in a few days without the need for medical treatment.
  • Aphthous ulcers are recurring ulcers with no known cause that affect around 20 per cent of the population.
  • If your mouth ulcers don’t clear up within a few days, or if you are troubled by frequent attacks, see your doctor.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Gingivoplasty : A Smile Makeover

Gingivoplasty is the process by which the gingiva are reshaped to correct deformities. Gingivoplasty is the shaping procedure that follows the removal of excessive gum tissue and thins the remaining gums tissue so that they fit and look natural around the tooth.A thorough dental cleaning or dental scaling and root planing, if needed, is recommended prior to the gingivectomy in order to remove tartar (calculus) from the teeth surface. Calculus free teeth help in fast recovery and healing after the surgical procedure. The gums are numbed with local anaesthesia before starting the procedure. Most of the modern dental offices use today a soft tissue laser for performing the gingivoplasty procedure. During the procedure the dentist adjusts the shape of the edge of the gums to achieve natural contours. After the procedure a periodontal dressing is placed around the tooth covering the gums to protect them until full healing.

Follow Up :

  • Normally the gums will be completely healed within one to two months after the gingivoplasty procedure, depending on the extend of the gum surgery. 
  • The dentist may prescribe pain medication and an antibacterial mouthwash (usually containing chlorhexidine) to ease any pain and prevent possible infections during the healing period. 
  • Some bleeding may occur initially but usually stops within 24 hours. The periodontal dressing is placed by the dentist over the gums to protect the soft gum tissue and make the patient feel more comfortable. 
  • Eating a soft diet is recommended to prevent gum irritation and avoid removing the periodontal dressing from the wound. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Invisalign ( Invisible Orthodontic Treatment)

The Invisalign system is a series of clear aligners used to straighten teeth. The Invisalign aligners are made after the orthodontist takes impressions of your teeth and sends them to a lab.  The lab makes the Invisalign aligners custom made clear aligners especially for you using computerized technology.  After a couple of weeks the clear Invisalign aligners arrive at the office of your orthodontist and the first set of Invisalign aligners are tried on your teeth.

The Invisalign aligners are clear and are barely visible to others compared to metal orthodontic Braces with brackets and wires. The number of Invisalign aligners will depend on the individual patient and the orthodontic problem. The Invisalign aligners are generally fairly comfortable.  There can be some discomfort or mild Pain when a new Invisalign aligner is placed as it exerts pressure on the teeth to move them.  Unlike traditional metal orthodontic Braces, there are no brackets to come off or wires to break and poke.  

The disadvantages of Invisalign are:
The Invisalign system is for adults not everyone is a candidate for Invisalign. Children and younger teenagers will require the more traditional orthodontic technique. Also the Invisalign system is designed for only certain tooth movements. The cost of Invisalign may be significantly more than with metal braces. The Invisalign Aligners are removable and require motivation to be worn consistently by patients.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Loose teeth are commonly caused by periodontitis, an infection that can destroy the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Because poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of periodontitis, certain home remedies may help strengthen your teeth in some cases when used along with proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist.

Black Pepper and Turmeric
A mixture of black pepper and turmeric can be massaged into the gums to build stronger gums. To use this treatment, combine even amounts of black pepper and turmeric root in a small bowl and crush the ingredients together. With clean fingertips, gently massage the mixture onto your gums and teeth for 1 to 2 minutes. Rinse your mouth with cool and clean water. Avoid eating or drinking anything for 30 minutes after treatment. This remedy can be used daily as long as it doesn't irritate your gums.

Table Salt and Mustard Oil
A mixture of table salt and mustard oil can help to strengthen the gums, preventing loose teeth as your age progress. Combine 1/8 tsp. table salt with 2 drops of mustard oil. Gently massage the mixture onto the gums with your fingers for 1 minute before rinsing your mouth with cool water. Use this treatment once per day as needed, as long as no irritation occurs. Avoid using this treatment if you have open cuts or sores in your mouth.

Amla Fruit
Amla fruit, commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine, can help to strengthen the gums and support connective tissue health. To use amla fruit to strengthen loose teeth and gums, combine even amounts of amla extract and clean water in a cup, and stir to combine. Rinse your mouth with this mixture once per day as needed. Avoid eating or drinking for 1 hour after rinsing your mouth with the amla mixture.

To Stop staining teeth
Use cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, and broccoli are all sources of minerals that create a protective film on teeth and help prevent red wine, cola, or coffee stains from penetrating the enamel. Strawberries have bleaching elements to brighten your smile, while hard, crunchy foods such as carrots, nuts, and seeds help slough off plaque. Chewing raw veggies also stimulates saliva, which neutralizes acids and strengthens teeth using vitamins and minerals from the foods.

Bust bacteria 
Kiwis, oranges, limes, cranberries, and strawberries are rich with vitamin C, a powerful killer of oral bacteria. Green tea contains catechins that kill bacteria in the mouth. Spicy foods such as wasabi have phytochemicals that inhibit the growth of germs.

Smell sweeter
Some herbs naturally freshen the breath you exhale. Mint and parsley kill bacteria in the mouth. Also they contain monoterpenes, substances that move rapidly through the bloodstream to your lungs to counter the odor in your mouth.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Dangers of Oral Piercing

Oral piercings are piercings placed in the mouth, the most popular of which is the tongue piercing. Piercing the tongue has a long history in religious and performance practices. Most of the oral piercings quickly heal because of the plentiful blood supply to the area. There is however a risk of tooth or gum damage with many oral piercings. For this reason it is important to keep an eye on oral piercings and seek help in the event of any changes. In many cases oral damage can be avoided by using suitable jewellery and flexible materials such as Bioplast and PTFE.

Some common types of oral piercings are :
Smiley Piercing : Smiley piercings also known as upper lip frenulum piercings and are pierced through the thin tissue connecting the gum and the centre of the upper lip. This piece of tissue is very thin and smiley piercings are fairly painless.
Tongue Web Piercing

Tongue Venom Piercing : A tongue venom piercing is a set of two tongue piercings, placed laterally near the front of the tongue. Venom piercings can be pierced at the same time or separately and placement will depend on the size, shape and anatomy of your tongue.

Tongue Web Piercing : Tongue web piercings are pierced through the tongue frenulum, which is the tissue that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. The size of the tongue frenulum varies a great deal from person to person and some people may not be able to get this piercing.

The Different Risks Involved with Oral Piercings
  • Infection : Our mouths contain millions of bacteria, which can lead to infection after an oral piercing. Handling jewelry once it has been placed in the mouth also increases your chances of getting an infection.
  • Pain and swelling : Pain and swelling are common symptoms of oral piercings. In extreme cases, a severely swollen tongue can actually close off the airway and restrict breathing.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth : Contact with oral jewelry can fracture teeth. Teeth that have restorations, such as crowns or caps, can also be damaged if the jewelry strikes them.
  • Injury to the gums : Not only can metal jewelry injure soft gum tissue, it can cause the gums to recede. In addition to looking unattractive, recessed gums leave your tooth root more vulnerable to decay and periodontal disease.
  • Interference with normal oral function : Jewelry in the mouth can cause excessive saliva flow, impede your ability to pronounce words correctly, and cause problems with chewing and swallowing.
  • Blood-borne diseases : Oral piercings have been identified by the National Institutes of Health as a possible factor in transmitting hepatitis B, C, D and G.
  • Endocarditis : Oral piercing carries a risk of endocarditis, an inflammation of the heart valves or tissues. The wound created during oral piercing provides an opportunity for oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream, where they can travel to the heart.
  • Prolonged bleeding : If a blood vessel is punctured by the needle during piercing, the result can be difficult-to-control bleeding and serious blood loss.
Warning Signs After an Oral Piercing
  • If you notice any of the following warning signs after getting an oral piercing, contact a health care professional right away:
  • Yellow or green discharge from the piercing site (Note: A whitish or clear discharge is normal)
  • Scarring or thickened tissue that builds up and darkens around the piercing site
  • Increased redness, pain and tenderness, or swelling at the piercing site
  • A pimple-like abscess on the piercing site
  • Bleeding or tearing after the initial healing of the piercing
  • A low-grade fever that is persistent in the days following piercing

Thursday, July 12, 2012

3Mix-MP Therapy : A painless therapy

What is the LSTR 3Mix-MP Therapy?

LSTR stands for Lesion Sterilization and Tissue Repair. LSTR 3Mix-MP therapy is a novel caries, pulpal and root canal treatment system. By using an anti-bacterial drug combination, the therapy aims to eliminate causative bacteria from lesions, and after sterilization, the lesions are repaired or regenerated by the natural tissue recovery process.
After sterilization, softened dentin will re-calcify, so both softened dentin as well as carious dentin can be intentionally left. An inflamed pulp, even with spontaneous pain, will recover after LSTR 3Mix-MP treatment. In root canal treatment, complete root canal preparation or root canal obturation is not essential due to the medication of 3Mix-MP which can successfully eliminate the causative bacteria from dentin walls of the root canals.. The principle and clinical procedures of LSTR 3Mix-MP therapy are quite different from the conventional endodontic treatment procedures, so it is necessary for to follow the specific and proper procedures for LSTR 3Mix-MP therapy. This procedure should not combined together with conventional procedures. The concept of this therapy is 'do not remove', 'Do not touch' and ‘Leave it' as much as possible.’


1. Painless treatment
2. Avoid removing the nerve
3. Remineralization of dentinal dentin
4. Effective for endodontic diseases

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wisdom tooth Pain

"In ancient Arabic, wisdom tooth stands for “tooth of maturity” or “the adulthood teeth”. Those are usually the last ones to erupt in the mouth and hence it is called the "last tooth". Due to the fact that wisdom teeth cause pain when they are erupting they are referred to as "love teeth" in Korean."

A wisdom tooth, in humans, is any of the usual four third molars. Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. About 35% of the population do not develop wisdom teeth at all. Sometimes the wisdom tooth fails to erupt completely through the gum bed and the gum at the back of the wisdom tooth extends over the biting surface, forming a soft tissue flap or lid around the tooth called an operculum. Teeth covered by an operculum can be difficult to clean with a toothbrush. Additional cleaning techniques can include using a needle-less plastic syringe to vigorously wash the tooth with moderately pressured water or to softly wash it with hydrogen peroxide. However, debris and bacteria can easily accumulate under an operculum, which may cause pericoronitis, a common infection problem in young adults with partial impactions that is often exacerbated by occlusion with opposing third or second molars. Common symptoms include a swelling and redness of the gum around the eruption site, difficulty in opening the mouth, a bad odor or taste in the mouth, and pain in the general area which may also run down the entire lower jaw or possibly the neck. Untreated pericoronitis can progress to a much more severe infection.

How to get rid of wisdom tooth pain?
If you prefer not to use any of the drugs/medicines then there are a variety of methods that could assist in the problem :

  • Salt Water – Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater is a simple yet effective form of wisdom teeth pain relief. All you need to do is add a tablespoon of salt to a glass of water and gargle the solution for a few moments. As well as pain relief this method will also help to kill any bacteria around the wisdom tooth, reduce infection and remove any food debris from the area which could cause irritation.
  • Ice – Applying ice to the painful area can give you instant but temporary relief from the pain you are suffering. This can be accomplished by sucking on an ice cube or holding an ice pack to the painful area.
  • Clove Oil – Clove oil is a surprisingly effective natural form of wisdom teeth pain relief. Simply apply the oil using a cotton bud or finger directly onto the painful area and you should feel almost instant pain relief.
  • Massage – Very gently massaging the affected are can provide a certain amount of pain relief from your wisdom teeth buy promoting blood circulation in the area which in turn increases your gums healing ability. However if your gum is particularly swollen this can worsen the situation so use caution.
  • Tobacco/Smoking – Tobacco is bad for your health in all situations but a particularly bad idea when in need of wisdom teeth pain relief. It will cause further irritation to your gums, increases adrenaline production (which makes you feel more pain), and the nicotine blocks endorphins (which means you feel even more pain). Stopping smoking, chewing tobacco, or using snuff really will do wonders for your pain.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Links between smoking and gum diseases

There has always been a significant link between smoking and gum disease. According to a new study at Ohio State University, smoking causes the body to turn against its own helpful bacteria, leaving smokers more vulnerable to gum disease, and tooth decay. Smokers suffer from a much higher rate of oral disease than the non smoking population.

Some of the FACTS in the relationship of SMOKING and PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE :

1. Smokers have more dental and periodontal disease than non-smokers. Many studies show that smokers have fewer teeth, more cavities, 67% higher chance of tooth loss and more bone loss than non-smokers.
2. A survey conducted found that 50% of our patients are smokers compared to a national average of 20%-22% smokers in the population. This indicates that more people with serious periodontal disease ARE SMOKERS.
3. The highest percentages of our patients with advanced disease were young female smokers. Smoking is particularly harmful to this group of young patients and advanced disease means more complex and costly treatment with less favorable results.
4. The nicotine in cigarettes causes constriction of blood vessels. This results in less visible signs of inflammation, less gum bleeding and disruption of your defense mechanism to mouth bacteria.
5. Smoking causes an increase in many of the harmful bacteria responsible for gum pockets, bone loss and gum infections.
6. The results of periodontal (gum) treatment and wound healing are less favorable in smokers compared to non-smokers. Gum problems may reoccur more frequently in-patients who are smokers.
7. Smoking alters your defense mechanism against oral bacteria. Studies show 50% reduction of action of white blood cells responsible for killing bacteria in smokers.
8. The gum tissues around the upper front teeth are often greatly affected by the chemicals of cigarettes.
9. Periodontal disease gets a head start with smokers because smoking masks the telltale signs of gum disease.

"Quit Smoking Is The Only Way To Prevent Oral health problems."

The best way to prevent or reverse smokers gum disease is to quit smoking. While gum health depends greatly on a person’s dental hygiene and routine dental checkups, prevention and effective treatment of gum disease should include a smoke-free lifestyle. Quitting smoking is important to allow the body to respond completely any dental treatment and restore the health of your gums. Smoking is an addiction and quitting is a challenge but one that is well worth the benefits.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cavities (Don't wait until it hurts)

Cavities or dental caries are the decayed areas of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities are referred as the disease of civilized people because of the changed food habits causing them.
They are one of the most common dental problems all around the world due to the shifting food habits of the people over past few years. The trend of eating more of soft and junk food, staying away from diets rich in fruits, fibers and vegetables along with high intake of refined sugar and carbonated soft drinks is one of the main reasons for Dental Cavities. They are especially common in children and young adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities , including infants and older people.

Your mouth like many other parts of your body, contains many types of bacteria. Some of these bacteria thrive on food and drinks that contains sugars and cooked searches, also known as fermenting carbohydrates. When these carbohydrates are not cleaned away from your teeth, the bacteria present in your mouth can convert them into acid within no time. The bacteria, acids, food particles and saliva then from into Dental Plaque- a sticky film or layer coats your teeth. The acids in plaque attack minerals in the mouth in the tooth hard outer surface called the Enamel. This erosion causes tiny openings or holes in the enamel cavitiesOnce the spots of enamel are worn away, the bacteria and acid can reach the next layer of your teeth, called Dentin. This layer is softer and less resistant to acid than enamel, so once tooth decay reaches dentin, the decay process speeds up. As the tooth decay continues, the bacteria and acid continue to reach deeper layer of your teeth, that is Pulp. The pulp contains nerves and blood vessels which causes toothache, sensitivity and pain. Further it may lead to swelling called tooth abscess. Tooth decay most frequently occurs in back chewing teeth- molars and premolars. These teeth have lots of natural grooves, pits and fissures.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Computers and dentistry

The use of computers in dental office and in dental education has become the standard of practice. Mobile and miniature devices habe replaced standard textbook, paper databases, even live lectures and redefined the learning process itself.

The digital dental office :
The concept of high tech electronic and fully digitized systems to manage a dental office and integrated clinical tasks is becoming the standard model of current practice. A rapidly developing management product is the internet based software provided by an application service provider (ASP). This product exists in two different platforms :

  • web-hosting
  • web-based

The history of the development of the dental software is brief. For the first time the computers have been used in the dental medicine in the 1960s[1]. Since then computers and information technologies spread progressively in the dental practice. According to Atkinson, J. in the year of 2000 85,1% of all dentists in the United States use computers

There are many kind of dental software, which depends on specific task, that they do to help the dental practice. One classification is given from Schleyer and Kirsher. They categorize three main categories of dental software: administrative, clinical, and for internet. The clinical category from other side is categorized in: electronic dental records, electronic dental designs, dental imaging software, and software used for diagnostics and treatment

Zimmerman recognizes the following types of computer software, depending from their task: administration and management of patients documentation. electronic archives of the documentation. telecommunication computer - aided education computerizing instruments and techniques in the dental office software helping the clinical decision making. All classifications of dental software are relative, since there are software products, designed for realizing more than one task. A larger classification based on the specific task shows more types of tasks and software. 

This classification of dental software is:

  • Dental administration management
  • Dental practitioners records management
  • Dental schedules and dental scheduling
  • Patient dental records management
  • Dental billing
  • Dental imaging processing
  • Dental diagnostics
  • Dental treatment helping
  • Computer aided dental education
  • Software for usage of dental instruments and other techniques used in the dental practice

Free dental software
There are several types of free dental software: shareware, freeware and open source dental software. Most frequently the free dental software is provided as shareware. This means, that the dental software license allows its usage only for evaluation purposes.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How to get rid of bad breath?

Bad breath can be as embarrassing as smelly armpits, if not more. Also referred to as halitosis, bad breath is generally described as ‘unpleasant odours’ that originate from the mouth and are exhaled while breathing.  It is a general misconception that eating certain foods causes halitosis. In fact, spicy foods containing copious amounts of garlic, onions, or even fish, meat, and cheese only alter the intensity of bad breath. Similarly drinking alcohol, smoking, as well as obesity are simply factors of bad breath. The real culprit that causes bad breath is the millions of bacteria that live in the mouth.

How to get rid of bad breath?
1. Mouth sprays, rinsing with mouthwash after meals, chewing gum, or sucking on mints for a period of time. However, these are only temporary bad breath remedies.
2.  Cleaning the tongue – The aim of this is to clear out halitosis-causing bacteria from the mouth by either brushing or swiping the tongue with either a toothbrush, tongue cleaner, or scraper.
3. Gargling – Gargling with mouthwash right before bed is a scientifically proven way of preventing bad breath for a number of hours, though this should not be done immediately after brushing as certain ingredients in the mouthwash could be inactivated by those in the toothpaste.
4. Gargle with diluted hydrogen peroxide – This should be done after the tongue-scraping routine. To make the mixture one should mix water with hydrogen peroxide then gargle for 45 seconds twice a day. The characteristics of this chemical help to kill the excess bacteria that leads to bad breath.
5. Do not forget to floss – Flossing is the most basic thing to remember for those people who want to have a good smelling breath. This is the only way to remove rotting food and other debris in between the teeth that cannot be reached by the regular toothbrush. Always remember a clean mouth leads to fresh breath.
6. Stay hydrated – It is important to maintain water levels in the body because water is the only way to flush out toxins. Toxins in the body are one of the causes of bad breath. The minimum amount of water should be taken is six to eight glasses a day.
7. Prevent Bad Breath by Visiting Your Dentist. Visit your dentist for regular check ups and cleanings. This is the best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene.

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