Maintaining proper oral hygiene and going for regular dental checkups is fair enough in preventing dental problems. However, you might be faced with a dental emergency that requires immediate treatment.
•A severe toothache is one of the most common dental emergencies, and may be a symptom of an infection.
•Excessive bleeding in the mouth is usually caused by a deep wound, so seek professional help immediately.
•Broken or chipped teeth may lead to severe pain or infection, but they are not an immediate emergency; just make an appointment right away.
Always have a number you can contact your dentist by, even after hours, just in case of emergencies.
You can eliminate bad breath using some or all of the following tips which are all recommended by the dentist:
– Brushing your teeth twice daily ensures bits of food don’t remain trapped in your teeth (a common cause of bad breath).
– Another tip is to use a tongue scraper to keep your tongue nice and fresh.
– Sugar-free chewing gum not only provides a minty aroma; it increases the saliva in your mouth which rinses the surface of your teeth, eliminating bad odours.
“Bad breath is often caused by ineffective oral hygiene, medical conditions like diabetes and medication side effects.”
How a dentist treats a cracked tooth will depend upon the size of the crack and its location. Sometimes, if the damage is so insignificant the dentist may even choose to take no action and simply monitor the situation over time. However, in the majority of cases some restorative or repair work will be necessary.
General treatment options include:
• Reattaching the chipped segment with special glue
• Filling the crack with a plastic resin
• Covering the chipped tooth with a crown
When a crack penetrates into the tooth pulp “root canal treatment may be necessary” or an extraction may be required if the tooth is beyond repair.
Dental veneers can enhance the appearance of your teeth. Veneers are thin shells which are affixed to teeth to hide imperfections.
- Dental veneers can fix the appearance of discoloured, chipped, misaligned or uneven teeth.
- Your dentist will assess your teeth to identify if veneers are a good solution for you.
- Your dentist will prepare your tooth to roughen it, so the bonding will be strong.
“After a veneer is successfully placed on the tooth, your dentist may ask you to return for a check-up to see how the new veneer is going. There may be a need for additional X-rays and adjustments.”
When you have a cavity filled, you will want to make sure you do your best to help protect the filling. Depending on the substance used for the filling your dentist can advise you on how long it will need to set and how to look after it in the following days.
- You should continue to brush your teeth twice a day, but do so gently and using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Take extra care when chewing, trying to avoid chewing on the filling for two days if possible.
- Do not consume exceptionally hot or cold food and drinks as this could lead to tooth sensitivity.
“With the proper care, your filling will set securely and your tooth will be protected for years. Talk with your dentist about the best filling material of your tooth, and treat your mouth with care in the days after the procedure.”
Toothbrushing and flossing takes centre stage in every dental care routine, but you shouldn’t forget to look after your gums too, for the following reasons:
- Gum tissue protects the teeth, and unhealthy gums can lead to tooth loss.
- Receding gums is a condition that occurs when gums pull away from the teeth, and can cause sensitivity and pain.
- Receding gums increase your risk of gum disease which can also cause tooth loss due to infection.
To keep your gums healthy, be gentle when brushing and don’t skip dental appointments, as they can help prevent problems before they appear.
Acid reflux (also known as GERD or heartburn) can affect your overall dental and oral health. When you have acid reflux, stomach acids can get pushed up into the esophagus and even into the mouth. This damages the enamel on teeth and can also affect the gums.
Here are some basic measures to take if you’re suffering this condition.
- Make appointments with both your GP and your dentist.
- Identify any lifestyle changes that will help the condition, such as healthier eating habits.
- Stay hydrated to prevent dry mouth and complications like enamel erosion.
You should also be more vigilant than ever with your dental health routine and avoid skipping dental appointments.
Brushing your teeth will protect you against cancer. Pancreatic cancer among other chronic diseases has been linked to poor dental hygiene and gum disease.
- Two types of oral bacteria, Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis, have been linked to pancreatic cancer.
- Pancreatic cancer is usually diagnosed late because there are no early symptoms, thus highly fatal.
- Pancreatic cancer is more common in men than in women.
- Smokers are at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer.
Quit smoking, brush and floss your teeth daily and visit the dentist regularly for checkups to prevent gum disease.
Many individuals are forced to visit the dentist as a result of poor (or nonexistent) flossing techniques. However, flossing does not necessarily have to represent a chore. How can you turn this daily necessity into an enjoyable routine?
- Pick a time each day when you have time for flossing.
- Many people floss when they brush teeth at bedtime
- Floss before brushing for the best results
- Focus on the bonuses of not developing cavities.
- Keep a spare kit close by while away from home.
“Who would want to be forever caught in pictures with bits of salad in between their teeth anyway?”