Dental Diagnosis & Treatment Recommendations
Bad breath, also called HALITOSIS; can be embarrassing and in some cases may even cause anxiety. It’s no wonder that store shelves are overflowing with gum, mints, mouthwashes and other products designed to fight bad breath. But many of these products are only temporary measures because they don’t address the cause of the problem.
Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with consistent proper dental hygiene. If simple self-care techniques don’t solve the problem, see your dentist or physician to be sure a more serious condition isn’t causing your bad breath.
Signs & Symptoms :
If you have bad breath, review your oral hygiene habits. Try making lifestyle changes, such as brushing your teeth and tongue after eating, using dental floss, and drinking plenty of water. If your bad breath persists after making such changes, see your dentist. If your dentist suspects a more serious condition is causing your bad breath, he or she may refer you to a physician to find the cause of the odor.
Bad breath odors vary, depending on the source or the underlying cause. Some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odor, while others have bad breath and don’t know it. Because it’s difficult to assess how your own breath smells, ask a close friend or relative to confirm your bad-breath questions.
Most bad breath starts in your mouth, and there are many possible causes. They include:
- Food :The breakdown of food particles in and around your teeth can increase bacteria and cause a foul odor. Eating certain foods, such as onions, garlic and spices, also can cause bad breath. After you digest these foods, they enter your bloodstream, are carried to your lungs and affect your breath.
- Tobacco Products :Smoking causes its own unpleasant mouth odor. Smokers and oral tobacco users are also more likely to have gum disease, another source of bad breath.
- Poor Dental Hygiene :If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles remain in your mouth, causing bad breath. A colorless, sticky film of bacteria (plaque) forms on your teeth. If not brushed away, plaque can irritate your gums and eventually form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums (periodontitis). Your tongue also can trap bacteria that produce odors. Dentures that aren’t cleaned regularly or don’t fit properly can harbor odor-causing bacteria and food particles.
- Dry Mouth :Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odors. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia (zeer–o-STOE-me-uh) can contribute to bad breath because production of saliva is decreased. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath,” and it worsens if you sleep with your mouth open. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by a problem with your salivary glands and some diseases.
- Medications :Some medications can indirectly produce bad breath by contributing to dry mouth. Others can be broken down in the body to release chemicals that can be carried on your breath.
- Infections in Your Mouth :Bad breath can be caused by surgical wounds after oral surgery, such as tooth removal, or as a result of tooth decay, gum disease or mouth sores.
- Other Mouth, Nose & Throat Conditions :Bad breath can occasionally stem from small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with bacteria that produce odor. Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, which can contribute to postnasal drip, also can cause bad breath.
- Other Causes :Diseases, such as some cancers, and conditions such as metabolic disorders, can cause a distinctive breath odor as a result of chemicals they produce. Chronic reflux of stomach acids (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) can be associated with bad breath. Bad breath in young children can be caused by a foreign body, such as a piece of food, lodged in a nostril.
Almost everyone experiences bad breath once in a while. But for some people, bad breath is a daily problem, and they struggle to find a solution. Approximately 30% of the population complains of some sort of bad breath. Halitosis (Latin for “bad breath”) often occurs after a garlicky meal or in the morning after waking. Other causes of temporary halitosis include some beverages (including alcoholic drinks or coffee) and tobacco smoking. Some people may not be aware of their own halitosis and learn about it from a relative, friend, or coworker, causing some degree of discomfort and distress. In severe cases, bad breath may negatively impact personal relationships and a person’s quality of life.
You can find below information about prevention
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, after meals, with a fluoridated toothpaste.
- Avoid tobacco smoking and chewing tobacco-based products.
- Rinse and gargle with an alcohol-free mouthwash before bed.
- If you have dry mouth, make sure to drink enough fluids throughout the day and use over-the-counter moisturizing agents, such as a dry mouth spray, rinses, or dry mouth moisturizing gel. If you don’t see any improvement, you may want to schedule a visit with an oral medicine specialist. Oral medicine doctors provide comprehensive care for mucosal diseases, salivary gland disorders, orofacial pain conditions, and oral complications of cancer therapies, among other things.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Remember, oral causes are responsible for most cases of bad breath!
Dry Mouth or XEROSTOMIA; refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Dry mouth is often due to the side effect of certain medications or aging issues or as a result of radiation therapy for cancer. Less often, dry mouth may be caused by a condition that directly affects the salivary glands.
Saliva helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing acids produced by bacteria, limiting bacterial growth and washing away food particles. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. In addition, enzymes in saliva aid in digestion.
Decreased saliva and dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food.
Signs & Symptoms :
If you’re not producing enough saliva, you may notice these signs and symptoms all or most of the time :
- Dryness or a feeling of stickiness in your mouth
- Saliva that seems thick and stringy
- Bad breath
- Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing
- Dry or sore throat and hoarseness
- Dry or grooved tongue
- A changed sense of taste
- Problems wearing dentures
- Dry mouth may result in lipstick sticking to the teeth.
If you’ve noticed persistent dry mouth signs and symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor. Treatment for dry mouth depends on the cause.
Dry mouth is caused when the salivary glands in the mouth don’t make enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. These glands may not work properly as the result of:
- Medications :Hundreds of medications, including many over-the-counter drugs, produce dry mouth as a side effect. Among the more likely types to cause problems are some of the drugs used to treat depression, high blood pressure and anxiety, as well as some antihistamines, decongestants, muscle relaxants and pain medications.
- Aging :Many older people experience dry mouth as they age. Contributing factors include the use of certain medications, changes in the body’s ability to process medication, inadequate nutrition, and having long-term health problems.
- Cancer Therapy :Chemotherapy drugs can change the nature of saliva and the amount produced. This may be temporary, with normal salivary flow returning after treatment is completed. Radiation treatments to your head and neck can damage salivary glands, causing a marked decrease in saliva production. This may be temporary or permanent, depending on the radiation dose and area treated.
- Nerve Damage.An injury or surgery that causes nerve damage to your head and neck area can result in dry mouth.
- Other Health Conditions.Dry mouth can be due to certain health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (thrush) in your mouth or Alzheimer’s disease, or due to autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS. Snoring and breathing with your mouth open also can contribute to dry mouth.
- Tobacco & Alcohol :Drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco can increase dry mouth symptoms.
- Recreational Drug Use :Methamphetamine use can cause severe dry mouth and damage to teeth, a condition also known as “meth mouth.” Marijuana also can cause dry mouth.
If you don’t have enough saliva and develop dry mouth, this can lead to :
- Increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease,
- Mouth sores,
- Yeast infection in your mouth ( thrush ),
- Sores or split skin at corners of your mouth, or cracked lips,
- Poor nutrition from having problems with chewing and swallowing.
There are different ways of relieving the symptoms of dry mouth. Some people find that sipping water, or sucking sugar-free sweets, helps in the short term. It is very important to use sugar-free products, as dry mouth can make you more likely to have tooth decay. Chewing sugar free gum can also help as it encourages your mouth to make saliva. Your dental team might recommend products such as rinses, gels, pastes and lozenges which you can get from the pharmacist.
Gum Disease ( Gingivitis ) is a common and mild form of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes irritation, redness and swelling (inflammation) of your gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. It’s important to take gingivitis seriously and treat it promptly. Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease called periodontitis and tooth loss.
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene. Good oral health habits, such as brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and getting regular dental checkups, can help prevent and reverse gingivitis.
Signs & Symptoms :
If you notice any signs and symptoms of gingivitis, schedule an appointment with your dentist. The sooner you seek care, the better your chances of reversing damage from gingivitis and preventing its progression to periodontitis. Healthy gums are firm and pale pink and fitted tightly around the teeth. Signs and symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Dusky red or dark red gums
- Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
- Bad breath
- Receding or Tender gums
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor oral hygiene that encourages plaque to form on teeth, causing inflammation of the surrounding gum tissues. Here’s how plaque can lead to gingivitis :
- Plaque Forms on Your Teeth :Plaque is an invisible, sticky film composed mainly of bacteria that forms on your teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in your mouth. Plaque requires daily removal because it re-forms quickly.
- Plaque Turns Into Tartar :Plaque that stays on your teeth can harden under your gumline into tartar (calculus), which collects bacteria. Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove, creates a protective shield for bacteria and causes irritation along the gumline. You need professional dental cleaning to remove tartar.
- Gingiva Become Inflamed (Gingivitis) :The longer that plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth, causing inflammation. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. Tooth decay (dental caries) also may result. If not treated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and eventual tooth loss.
Gingivitis is common, and anyone can develop it. Factors that can increase your risk of gingivitis include:
- Poor oral care habits. Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Older age
- Dry mouth
- Poor nutrition, including vitamin C deficiency
- Dental restorations that don’t fit properly or crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
- Conditions that decrease immunity such as leukemia, HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment
- Certain drugs, such as phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek) for epileptic seizures, and some calcium channel blockers, used for angina, high blood pressure and other conditions
- Hormonal changes, such as those related to pregnancy, menstrual cycle or use of birth control pills
- Medical conditions such as certain viral and fungal infections
Untreated gingivitis can progress to gum disease that spreads to underlying tissue and bone (periodontitis), a much more serious condition that can lead to tooth loss.
Chronic gingiva inflammation has been thought to be associated with some systemic diseases such as respiratory disease, diabetes, coronary artery disease, stroke and rheumatoid arthritis. Some research suggests that the bacteria responsible for periodontitis can enter your bloodstream through gum tissue, possibly affecting your heart, lungs and other parts of your body. But more studies are needed to confirm a link.
Trench mouth, also known as necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (NUG), is a severe form of gingivitis that causes painful, infected, bleeding gums and ulcerations. Trench mouth is rare today in developed nations, though it’s common in developing countries that have poor nutrition and poor living conditions.
You can find below information about prevention
- Good Oral Hygiene :That means brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice daily — in the morning and before going to bed — and flossing at least once a day. Better yet, brush after every meal or snack or as your dentist recommends. Flossing before you brush allows you to clean away the loosened food particles and bacteria.
- Regular Dental Visits :See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly for cleanings, usually every six to 12 months. If you have risk factors that increase your chance of developing periodontitis — such as having dry mouth, taking certain medications or smoking — you may need professional cleaning more often. Annual dental X-rays can help identify diseases that are not seen by a visual dental examination and monitor for changes in your dental health.
- Good Health Practices.Practices such as healthy eating and managing blood sugar if you have diabetes also are important to maintain gum health.
Tooth sensitivity is a common dental problem that involves discomfort or pain in teeth when encountering certain substances and temperatures. There are three main causes of tooth sensitivity which are sweet foods (candy, certain fruits, and vegetables), acidic foods (certain fruits, lemon, vinegar, and tomatoes) and hot/cold fruit & drinks (tea, coffee, ice water, and soda).
As you can see on teeth structure on the picture, in healthy teeth enamel protects the underlying layer of dentin, which is softer than enamel. The tooth roots are protected by gums. But if the enamel is worn down or if the gum line recedes by time, then the dentin becomes exposed and dentin is connected to the nerve that triggers pain in sensitive teeth.
Signs & Symptoms :
People with sensitive teeth may experience pain or discomfort as a response to certain triggers. You may feel this pain at the roots of the affected teeth. The most common triggers include:
- Hot foods and beverages
- Cold foods and beverages
- Cold air
- Sweet foods and beverages
- Acidic foods and beverages
- Cold water, especially during routine dental cleanings
- Brushing or flossing teeth
- Alcohol-based mouth rinses
Your symptoms may come and go over time for no obvious reason. They may range from mild to intense.
There are some factors that contribute to sensitive teeth may include :
- Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush. This can wear down enamel, causingdentin to become exposed, or encourage gum recession.
- Gum withdrawal.
- Inflamed and sore gum (Gingivitis)
- Cracked teeth,
- Teeth grinding or clenching,
- Plaque buildup,
- Acidic foods or long-term use of mouthwash. Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids, These can encourage enamel reduction.
- Dental procedures. Teeth may be sensitive after a professional cleaning, root plaining, crown replacement,and other tooth restoration procedures.
The pain is often sharp and sudden, but it is temporary. Sometimes, the pain may shoot into the tooth’s nerve endings. Fortunately, sensitive teeth can be treated and the condition can improve.
You can find below information about prevention
- Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day. Consider using toothpaste specially designed for sensitive teeth. Use small, circular movements with a soft-to medium-bristled brush. Try to avoid brushing your teeth from side to side.
- Change your toothbrush every two to three months, or sooner if it becomes worn.
- Don’t brush straight after eating – some foods and drinks can soften the enamel of your teeth, so leave it for at least an hour before you brush.
- Have sugary foods, and fizzy and acidic drinks, less often. Try to have them just at mealtimes.
- If you grind your teeth, talk to your dental team about whether you should have a mouthguard made, to wear at night.
- If you are thinking about having your teeth bleached, discuss sensitivity with your dental team before starting treatment.
- Visit your dental team regularly, as often as they recommend.
Impacted wisdom teeth are third molars at the back of the mouth that don’t have enough room to emerge or develop normally. Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to come into the mouth (erupt). Most people have four wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth — two on the top, two on the bottom.
Impacted wisdom teeth can result in pain, damage to other teeth and other dental problems. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth may cause no apparent or immediate problems. But because they’re hard to clean, they may be more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease than other teeth are. Impacted wisdom teeth that cause pain or other dental complications are usually removed. Some dentists and oral surgeons also recommend removing impacted wisdom teeth that don’t cause symptoms to prevent future problems.
Signs & Symptoms :
Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause symptoms. However, when an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected, damages other teeth or causes other dental problems, you may experience some of these signs or symptoms:
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Jaw pain
- Swelling around the jaw
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Difficulty opening your mouth
See your dentist if you experience symptoms in the area behind your last molar that may be associated with an impacted wisdom tooth.
Wisdom teeth (third molars) become impacted because they don’t have enough room to come in (erupt) or develop normally.
Wisdom teeth usually emerge sometime between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people have wisdom teeth that emerge without any problems and line up with the other teeth behind the second molars. In many cases, however, the mouth is too crowded for third molars to develop normally. These crowded third molars become trapped (impacted). An impacted wisdom tooth may partially emerge so that some of the crown is visible (partially impacted), or it may never break through the gums (fully impacted). Whether partially or fully impacted, the tooth may:
- Grow at an angle toward the next tooth (second molar)
- Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth
- Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is “lying down” within the jawbone
- Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause several problems in the mouth:
- Damage to Other Teeth :If the wisdom tooth pushes against the second molar, it may damage the second molar or increase the risk of infection in that area. This pressure can also cause problems with crowding of the other teeth or require orthodontic treatment to straighten other teeth.
- Cysts :The wisdom tooth develops in a sac within the jawbone. The sac can fill with fluid, forming a cyst that can damage the jawbone, teeth and nerves. Rarely, a tumor — usually noncancerous (benign) — develops. This complication may require removal of tissue and bone.
- Decay :Partially impacted wisdom teeth appear to be at higher risk of tooth decay (caries) than other teeth. This probably occurs because wisdom teeth are harder to clean and because food and bacteria get easily trapped between the gum and a partially erupted tooth.
- Gum Disease :The difficulty cleaning impacted, partially erupted wisdom teeth increases the risk of developing a painful, inflammatory gum condition called pericoronitis (per-ih-kor-o-NI-tis) in that area.
You can’t keep an impaction from occurring, but keeping regular six-month dental appointments for cleaning and checkups enables your dentist to monitor the growth and emergence of your wisdom teeth. Regularly updated dental X-rays may indicate impacted wisdom teeth before any symptoms develop.
Everyone wants a bright, attractive smile, and many of them want to achieve it without having to resort to dental procedures. One easy and obvious choice is to whiten teeth during normal tooth brushing by using a tube of toothpaste specially formulated to whiten your teeth.
Please do not forget, tooth whitening will be much less effective for people who frequently drink or eat things that stain the teeth, such as coffee, tea, soda, wine, and berries. If a food or beverage is acidic, it will make your teeth more susceptible to staining, even if it doesn’t stain the teeth itself.
Signs & Symptoms :
The common symptoms of tooth discoloration include stains on the enamel ranging from white streaks to yellow tints or brown spots and pits. You may also notice changes in the color of the enamel. The enamel may lose its whiteness and start appearing darker. In other cases dentin may appear more significantly making your tooth look yellowish.
There are several reasons why teeth may darken. These include:
- Foods/drinks :Coffee, tea, colas, wines, and certain fruits and vegetables.
- Tobacco use :Smoking or chewing tobacco can stain teeth.
- Poor dental hygiene :Inadequate brushing and flossing to remove plaque and stain-producing substances like coffee and tobacco can cause tooth discoloration.
- Disease :Several diseases that affect enamel (the hard surface of the teeth) and dentin (the underlying material under enamel) formation can lead to tooth discoloration. In addition, treatments for certain conditions can also affect tooth color. For example, head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration. In addition, certain infections in pregnant mothers can cause tooth discoloration in the infant by affecting enamel development.
- Medications :The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolor teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before the age of 8). Mouth rinses and washes containing chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can also stain your teeth. Antihistamines (like Benadryl®), antipsychotic drugs, and antihypertensive medications can also cause teeth discoloration.
- Dental materials :Some of the materials used in dentistry, such as amalgam restorations, especially silver sulfide-containing materials, can cast a gray-black color to your teeth.
- Advancing age :As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth gets worn away revealing the natural yellow color of dentin. Also with aging, the tooth lays down more dentin, which decreases the size of the pulp. This reduces the translucency of the tooth, which makes for a darker appearance.
- Genetics :Some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others.
- Environment :Excessive fluoride either from environmental sources (naturally high fluoride levels in water) or from excessive use (fluoride applications, rinses, toothpaste, and fluoride supplements taken by mouth) can cause teeth discoloration.
- Trauma :For example, damage from a fall can disturb enamel formation in young children whose teeth are still developing. Trauma can also cause discoloration to adult teeth.
In severe cases, teeth discoloration may negatively impact personal relationships and a person’s quality of life.
You can easily prevent tooth discoloration by making some simple lifestyle changes. If you are a coffee drinker and/or smoker, consider cutting back or quitting all together. Also, improve your dental hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly and getting your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every 6 months. If your teeth appear to be an abnormal color without ready explanation, the abnormal tooth color lasts despite following good oral hygiene practices, and if other symptoms are also present, makes an appointment to see your dentist.
Dental plaque, also known as tooth plaque, microbial plaque and dental biofilm, is a soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth. Plaque is an extremely sticky, colorless to pale yellow deposit of biofilm that regularly forms on your teeth. When saliva, food, and fluids combine they produce bacteria deposits, which collect where the teeth and gums meet. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce acids that attack your tooth enamel and can damage your gums. If not treated, the damage could become permanent. It contains millions of bacteria that feed on the food and drinks you eat every day. If bacteria deposits from plaque on teeth aren’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, they can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and tartar buildup.
Signs & Symptoms :
There are several symptoms why dental plaque and tartar build up
- Cavities : the acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can cause low pH level and can eat away at your tooth enamel.
- Gingivitis : Accumulation of plaque bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums.
- BadBreath : Plaque buildup from poor dental hygiene can also cause your breath to smell bad.
There are several reasons dental plaque and tartar build up
- When saliva, food, and fluids combine in your mouth they produce an environment that allows the bacteria to grow and deposit which collect on teeth and gums and especially where the teeth and gums meet. Common foods that contribute to plaque formation and growth include those containing carbohydrates, or simple sugars, such as sucrose and starches, found in soft drinks and candy.
- Eating foods high in sugar like cakes, sweets, and fruit can cause an increase in plaque bacteria. Plaque bacteria can lead to gingivitis, caries and advanced gum disease,
- Plaque hides between teeth and under the gum line. There’s no way to avoid it entirely so it’s important to maintain a good oral routine to keep it from accumulating.
- Certain foods, especially carbohydrates (foods containing sugars or starches), are big contributors to plaque growth such as milk, soft drinks, cake, and candy.
There are some complications possible to you may face
- it is unsightly so your smile won’t look as good.
- plaque and tartar contain large amounts of bacteria, and will lead to bad breath
- plaque and tartar will irritate your gums, so they will become red, swollen, and bleed easily- early forms of this are called gingivitis.
- The longer this is left untreated the bacteria in the plaque release toxins into the gums and bones. this will cause the gums and bones to dissolve away, making your teeth loose. This is called periodontitis.
How to Prevent dental plaque and tartar
- To prevent plaque buildup, brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft, rounded-tip bristled toothbrush. Pay particular attention to the space where the gums and teeth meet. Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
- Floss between teeth at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria.
- Use an antibacterial mouth rinse to reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.
- See your dentist or oral hygienist every 6 months for a check-up and teeth cleaning.
- Ask your dentist if a dental sealant is appropriate for you. Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating that are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to protect them from cavities and decay.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit the number of between-meal snacks. If you need a snack, choose nutritious foods such as plain yogurt, cheese, fruit, or raw vegetables. Vegetables, such as celery, help remove food and help saliva neutralize plaque-causing acids.
Mouth sores are common ailments that affect many people at some point in their lives. These sores can appear on any of the soft tissues of your mouth, including your lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, and floor and roof of your mouth. You can even develop mouth sores on your esophagus, the tube leading to your stomach. Mouth sores, which include canker sores, are usually a minor irritation and last only a week or two. In some cases, however, they can indicate mouth cancer or an infection from a virus, such as herpes simplex, candida…etc.
Signs & Symptoms :
In most cases, mouth sores cause some redness and pain, especially when eating and drinking. They can also cause a burning or tingling sensation around the sore. Depending on the size, severity, and location of the sores in your mouth, they can make it difficult to eat, drink, swallow, talk, or breathe. The sores may also develop blisters.
Most mouth sores occur as a result of irritation. Many things can irritate the mouth and lead to sores, including :
- Poorly fitting dentures
- A sharp or broken tooth
- Food or chemicals injury / irritating
- Braces or other devices, such as retainers
- Burning the mouth on hot food or beverages
- Tobacco products
In other cases, mouth sores may develop due to :
- Radiation therapy, certain medications, diabetes, including beta-blockers
- Food Alergy or Highly acidic foods
- Menstrual cycle or hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Stress, Anxiety or Depression
- Vitamin or mineral deficiency : A deficiency in certain vitamins, such as B-3 (niacin), B-9 (folic acid), or B-12 (cobalamin), can make you more prone to getting canker sores. Zinc, iron, or calcium deficiencies can also trigger or worsen canker sores.
Medical conditions and diseases that cause mouth sores include :
- Herpes Simplex and Zoster, which causes cold soreson the mouth and can also produce genital sores.
- Lichen Planus, a chronic condition that causes an itchy, inflammatory rash in the mouth or on the skin.
- Chronic Canker Sores, which have a red, flat edge and white or greyish patches surrounding them.
- Gingivostomatitis, a common infection that is particularly prevalent in children. The sores are similar to canker sores, but they occur alongside symptoms of a cold or the flu.
- Hand, foot, and mouth disease, which causes small, painful red patches to appear on these parts of the body. It is most common in children.
- Leukoplakia, which causes white-grey patches to appear nearly anywhere in the mouth.
- Autoimmune Diseases, which may cause mouth sores to form.
- Leukoplakia : Leukoplakia is a white or grey area that develops on the tongue, inside of the cheek or on the floor of the mouth. Leukoplakia is typically not painful or contagious.
- Sialadenitis : This is a bacterial infection that occurs when there is an interruption of salvia flow from the salivary gland to the mouth. The gland is firm and can be painful with swelling of the area. If the infection spreads, one may experience fever, chills and malaise.
- Tooth Abscess : A tooth abscess occurs when there is a bacterial infection in the nerve of the tooth. Symptoms of a tooth abscess include severe toothache with pain, sensitivity to hot and cold beverages or food, fever, and swollen lymph nodes.
- Erythroplakia, a red patch that appears on the floor of the mouth and can be cancerous or precancerous.
- Oral Cancer, which can cause sores and lesions in the mouth.
- Burning Mouth : Burning mouth syndrome is a painful burning sensation that occurs in the mouth, tongue, palate, gums, inside of cheeks and throat areas. It can persist for months or years.
- Candidiasis : “Thrush,” it is a fungal infection that occurs in the mouth or throat due to an overgrowth of yeast. Symptoms include: white spots inside the mouth or on the tongue, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and cracking at the corners of the mouth (cheilosis).
- Cold Sores : Called “fever blisters,” appear as clusters of red, raised blisters outside the mouth—typically around the lips — although they can develop under the nose or under the chin. They are highly contagious and can break open, which allows the fluid in the blisters to leak out and spread the infection. They typically scab over until they heal.
- Inflammation of the eye
- Any sores in people with a weakened immune system (such as people with HIV infection)
There are many different types of mouth sores than can develop around or in the mouth. Some are painful, some are unsightly and some may be a sign of something more serious. If your mouth sore does not go away within 10 days, you should consult your dentist. If you suspect you have an infection, consult your dentist as soon as possible to eliminate complications.
Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism).
Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder. People who clench or grind their teeth (brux) during sleep are more likely to have other sleep disorders, such as snoring and pauses in breathing (sleep apnea).
Mild bruxism may not require treatment. However, in some people, bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw disorders, headaches, damaged teeth and other problems.
Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.
Signs & Symptoms :
If you have any of the signs & symptoms listed below or have other concerns about your teeth or jaw, make an appointment with your doctor.Treatment for bruxism depends on the cause. If you notice that your child is grinding his or her teeth — or has other signs or symptoms of bruxism — be sure to mention it at your child’s next dental appointment.
- Teeth grinding or clenching, which may be loud enough to wake up your sleep partner
- Teeth that are flattened, fractured, chipped or loose
- Worn tooth enamel, exposing deeper layers of your tooth
- Increased tooth pain or sensitivity
- Tired or tight jaw muscles, or a locked jaw that won’t open or close completely
- Jaw, neck or face pain or soreness
- Pain that feels like an earache, though it’s actually not a problem with your ear
- Dull headache starting in the temples
- Damage from chewing on the inside of your cheek
- Sleep disruption
- Indentations on your tongue
Doctors don’t completely understand what causes bruxism, but it may be due to a combination of physical, psychological and genetic factors.
- Awake bruxismmay be due to emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration or tension. Or it may be a coping strategy or a habit during deep concentration.
- Sleep bruxismmay be a sleep-related chewing activity associated with arousals during sleep.
These factors increase your risk of bruxism:
- Stress :Increased anxiety or stress can lead to teeth grinding. So can anger and frustration.
- Age : Bruxism is common in young children, but it usually goes away by adulthood.
- Personality Type :Having a personality type that’s aggressive, competitive or hyperactive can increase your risk of bruxism.
- Medications & Other Substances :Bruxism may be an uncommon side effect of some psychiatric medications, such as certain antidepressants. Smoking tobacco, drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol, or using recreational drugs may increase the risk of bruxism.
- Family Members with Bruxism :Sleep bruxism tends to occur in families. If you have bruxism, other members of your family also may have bruxism or a history of it.
- Other Disorders :Bruxism can be associated with some mental health and medical disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), epilepsy, night terrors, sleep-related disorders such as sleep apnea, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In most cases, bruxism doesn’t cause serious complications. But severe bruxism may lead to:
- Damage to your teeth, restorations, crowns or jaw
- Tension-type headaches
- Severe facial or jaw pain
- Disorders that occur in the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), located just in front of your ears, which may sound like clicking when you open and close your mouth
How to Prevent Bruxism
- Try stress management and biofeedback techniques
- Consider supplementing with vitamin C, magnesium, B-vitamins and valerian
- The best natural treatments may include a combination of cognitive behavior therapy and the use of a mouth guard.
Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well.
Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems. They’re especially common in children, teenagers and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities, including infants.
If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to a severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay.
Signs & Symptoms :
You may not be aware that a cavity is forming. That’s why it’s important to have regular dental checkups and cleanings, even when your mouth feels fine. However, if you experience a toothache or mouth pain, see your dentist as soon as possible. The signs and symptoms of cavities vary, depending on their extent and location. When a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms at all. As the decay gets larger, it may cause signs and symptoms such as:
- Toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that occurs without any apparent cause
- Tooth sensitivity
- Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth
- Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
- Pain when you bite down
Cavities are caused by tooth decay — a process that occurs over time. Here’s how tooth decay develops :
- Plaque Forms :Dental plaque is a clear sticky film that coats your teeth. It’s due to eating a lot of sugars and starches and not cleaning your teeth well. When sugars and starches aren’t cleaned off your teeth, bacteria quickly begin feeding on them and form plaque. Plaque that stays on your teeth can harden under or above your gum line into tartar (calculus). Tartar makes plaque more difficult to remove and creates a shield for bacteria.
- Plaque Attacks :The acids in plaque remove minerals in your tooth’s hard, outer enamel. This erosion causes tiny openings or holes in the enamel — the first stage of cavities. Once areas of enamel are worn away, the bacteria and acid can reach the next layer of your teeth, called dentin. This layer is softer than enamel and less resistant to acid. Dentin has tiny tubes that directly communicate with the nerve of the tooth causing sensitivity.
- Destruction Continues :As tooth decay develops, the bacteria and acid continue their march through your teeth, moving next to the inner tooth material (pulp) that contains nerves and blood vessels. The pulp becomes swollen and irritated from the bacteria. Because there is no place for the swelling to expand inside of a tooth, the nerve becomes pressed, causing pain. Discomfort can even extend outside of the tooth root to the bone.
These factors increase your risk of getting cavities :
- Tooth Location :Decay most often occurs in your back teeth (molars and premolars). These teeth have lots of grooves, pits and crannies, and multiple roots that can collect food particles. As a result, they’re harder to keep clean than your smoother, easy-to-reach front teeth.
- Certain Foods & Drinks :Foods that cling to your teeth for a long time — such as milk, ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, dried fruit, cake, cookies, hard candy and mints, dry cereal, and chips — are more likely to cause decay than foods that are easily washed away by saliva.
- Frequent Snacking or Sipping :When you steadily snack or sip sugary drinks, you give mouth bacteria more fuel to produce acids that attack your teeth and wear them down. And sipping soda or other acidic drinks throughout the day helps create a continual acid bath over your teeth.
- Bedtime Infant Feeding :When babies are given bedtime bottles filled with milk, formula, juice or other sugar-containing liquids, these beverages remain on their teeth for hours while they sleep, feeding decay-causing bacteria. This damage is often called baby bottle tooth decay. Similar damage can occur when toddlers wander around drinking from a sippy cup filled with these beverages.
- Inadequate Brushing :If you don’t clean your teeth soon after eating and drinking, plaque forms quickly and the first stages of decay can begin.
- Not Getting Enough Minerals :You may not get the required amount of mineral for your teeth and gums.
- Younger or Older Age .In the United States, cavities are common in very young children and teenagers. Older adults also are at higher risk. Over time, teeth can wear down and gums may recede, making teeth more vulnerable to root decay. Older adults also may use more medications that reduce saliva flow, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
- Dry Mouth :Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which helps prevent tooth decay by washing away food and plaque from your teeth. Substances found in saliva also help counter the acid produced by bacteria. Certain medications, some medical conditions, radiation to your head or neck, or certain chemotherapy drugs can increase your risk of cavities by reducing saliva production.
- Worn Fillings or Dental Devices :Over the years, dental fillings can weaken, begin to break down or develop rough edges. This allows plaque to build up more easily and makes it harder to remove. Dental devices can stop fitting well, allowing decay to begin underneath them.
- Heartburn :Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause stomach acid to flow into your mouth (reflux), wearing away the enamel of your teeth and causing significant tooth damage. This exposes more of the dentin to attack by bacteria, creating tooth decay. Your dentist may recommend that you consult your doctor to see if gastric reflux is the cause of your enamel loss.
- Eating Disorders :Anorexia and bulimia can lead to significant tooth erosion and cavities. Stomach acid from repeated vomiting (purging) washes over the teeth and begins dissolving the enamel. Eating disorders also can interfere with saliva production.
Cavities and tooth decay are so common that you may not take them seriously. And you may think that it doesn’t matter if children get cavities in their baby teeth. However, cavities and tooth decay can have serious and lasting complications, even for children who don’t have their permanent teeth yet. Complications of cavities may include :
- Tooth abscess
- Swelling or pus around a tooth
- Damage or broken teeth
- Chewing problems
- Positioning shifts of teeth after tooth loss
When cavities and decay become severe, you may have:
- Pain that interferes with daily living
- Weight loss or nutrition problems from painful or difficult eating or chewing
- Tooth loss, which may affect your appearance, as well as your confidence and self-esteem
- In rare cases, a tooth abscess — a pocket of pus that’s caused by bacterial infection — which can lead to more serious or even life-threatening infections
Good oral and dental hygiene can help you avoid cavities and tooth decay. Here are some tips to help prevent cavities. Ask your dentist which tips are best for you :
- Brush with Riched Minerals Toothpaste After Eating or Drinking :Brush your teeth at least twice a day and ideally after every meal, using mineral-containing toothpaste. To clean between your teeth, floss or use an interdental cleaner.
- Rinse Your Mouth :If your dentist feels you have a high risk of developing cavities, he or she may recommend that you use a mouth rinse with minerals.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly :Get professional teeth cleanings and regular oral exams, which can help prevent problems or spot them early. Your dentist can recommend a schedule that’s best for you.
- Consider Dental Sealants :A sealant is a protective plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of back teeth. It seals off grooves and crannies that tend to collect food, protecting tooth enamel from plaque and acid. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends sealants for all school-age children. Sealants may last for several years before they need to be replaced, but they need to be checked regularly.
- Drink Some Tap Water :Most public water supplies have added some minerals, which can help reduce tooth decay significantly. If you drink only bottled water that doesn’t contain some minerals which one’s some benefits for your tooths and gums.
- Avoid Frequent Snacking & Sipping :Whenever you eat or drink beverages other than water, you help your mouth bacteria create acids that can destroy tooth enamel. If you snack or drink throughout the day, your teeth are under constant attack.
- Eat Tooth-Healthy Foods :Some foods and beverages are better for your teeth than others. Avoid foods that get stuck in grooves and pits of your teeth for long periods, or brush soon after eating them. However, foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables increase saliva flow, and unsweetened coffee, tea and sugar-free gum help wash away food particles.
- Antibacterial Treatments :If you’re especially vulnerable to tooth decay — for example, because of a medical condition — your dentist may recommend special antibacterial mouth rinses or other treatments to help cut down on harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Combined Treatments :Chewing xylitol-based gum along with some minerals and an antibacterial rinse can help reduce the risk of cavities.
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