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Saturday, August 30, 2008

What causes tartar build-up?

Dental tartar (or calculus) is a yellow or brown layer of mineral deposits on the teeth surface created by hardened dental plaque. Besides the cosmetic problem, dental plaque that is accumulated on calculus causes inflammation of gums, and can lead to gum recession and gum disease.



The bacteria of dental plaque produces acids that cause the loss of calcium from the tooth enamel (demineralization). Calcium, phosphorus and other minerals from saliva form crystals and harden the plaque structure. The main ingredient of this compound is calcium phosphate. It is a hard insoluble material that bonds to the tooth enamel along the gum line. Tartar's calcium deposits on teeth make the surface of the tooth rough providing an ideal medium for further accumulation and growth of dental plaque. The repeating new cycles of acid production, calcium loss and calcium phosphate composition result to the build-up of new tartar layers on teeth.



Tartar Build-up Prevention


  • Proper brushing and flossing are necessary to reduce plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Use tartar control toothpastes.
  • Prescription mouthwashes can help prevent decay.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.


Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)


Contact http://www.toothtourism.com/ today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tooth Discoloration

Discolored teeth is a common problem for people; causing embarassement while they are talking to someone or laughing. Unfortunately, this is a normal occurence as teeth can become discolored by foods we eat or by changes in the tooth material. Fortunately, there are ways to treat this less than ideal situation.



Discoloration can be divided into three catagories:



  • Extrinsic discoloration - Extrinsic discoloration occurs when the external layer of the tooth (the enamel) is blemished by coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.

  • Intrinsic discoloration - Intrinsic discoloration is when the internal structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow color. The causes of extrinsic discoloration include unnecessary exposure to fluoride during early childhood, the maternal use of tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy and also the use of tetracycline antibiotics in children 8 years old or younger.

  • Age-related discoloration - Age-related discoloration is combination of extrinsic and intrinsic reasons. In addition to stains caused by foods or smoking, the dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Chips or other injuries to a tooth can also cause discoloration, especially when the soft tissue has been smashed.


Other causes for discoloration are: Chewing tobacco, poor dental hygiene, dental materials such as amalgam restorations (especially silver sulfide-containing materials), eating certain foods, genetics, and age.



Preventing Tooth Discoloration


Making some changes to your lifestyle can help prevent teeth discoloration. For example, if you are a coffee drinker and/or smoker, consider cutting back or quitting all together. Also, brushing your teeth after every meal will help to prevent some stains. Going for routine check-ups and having your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every 6 months is a sure bet for whiter, brighter teeth.



Treating Tooth Discoloration


  • Using proper toothbrushing and flossing techniques
  • Avoidance of the foods and beverages that cause stains
  • Bondings
  • Veneers
  • Using over-the-counter whitening agents
  • In-office whitening procedures performed by your dentist


Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)




Contact http://www.toothtourism.com/ today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

How to treat Halitosis

Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, is a serious cause of embarrassment and shame. Several people with bad breath aren't aware there's a problem. Generally, bad breath occurs from poor oral hygiene habits, but it could also be a sign of other health problems.




Treatment of Bad Breath


  • Visit your dentist at least every six months for checkups to keep your mouth free of plaque buildup and other problems that may lead to bad breath.
  • Maintain your diet and watch/avoid your consumption of foods such as alcohol, coffee, dense proteins, garlic and onions, and sugars. These are all bad-breath offenders.
  • Try to breathe through your nose. Breathing through your mouth can lead to having a dry mouth, which creates a breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria.
  • Keep a regular log of your eating habits and medications, as these can cause bad breath, then try to avoid them.
  • Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day to remove food particles and plaque, and floss between teeth once a day, preferably in the evening after you eat.
  • Try using a fluoride mouth rinse with antiseptic ingredients and a pleasant mint flavor. This helps to protect your teeth, and the flavor masks odor problems.


Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)


Contact http://www.toothtourism.com/ today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Common Causes of Tongue Problems

Tongue problems include pain, swelling, or a change in how the tongue looks, white lining, a split, covered appearance, or positioning off to one side. Changes in appearance of the tongue may be a sign of a primary tongue disorder or may be a symptom of other disorders.



Possible causes of tongue problems/pain include:

  • A viral ulcer or "canker sore" commonly appears on the tongue for no apparent reason.
  • Injury (biting the tongue) can cause painful sores.
  • An allergic reaction to food or medication.
  • Smoking will irritate the tongue and make it painful.
  • Oral sex or antibiotic side effects (such as thrush).
  • A "hairy" appearing tongue (hairy leukoplakia) is a complication of AIDS.
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Strong chemical toothpaste/mouthwash.
  • Very hot drinks/foods
  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Dentures that irritate the tongue
  • Oral herpes (ulcers)
  • Neuralgia
  • Referred pain from teeth and gums
  • Referred pain from the heart



Treatment


Treatment depends on the cause of the tongue problem.


  • Ankyloglossia may not require treatment unless you have speech or swallowing difficulties. Surgery to release the tongue can relieve the problem.
  • Medicine may be prescribed for mouth ulcers, leukoplakia, oral cancer, and other mouth sores.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines may be prescribed for glossititis and geographic tongue.
  • Glossitis and geographic tongue are treated by treating the cause of irritation or inflammation.



Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)


Contact http://www.toothtourism.com/ today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding or clenching of the teeth, often during sleep or while under stress.



The causes of Bruxism are not really known, several factors may be involved. Stressful situations, problems in sleeping, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth may contribute. In cases involving children the grinding may be due to the top and bottom teeth not being in proper alignment.



In adults, mental factors seem to be associated with Bruxism, including:

  • anxiety, stress or tension
  • suppressed anger or frustration
  • aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personality type



Symptoms of Bruxism


  • abraded teeth
  • facial pain
  • oversensitive teeth
  • tense facial and jaw muscles
  • headaches, dislocation of the jaw
  • a popping or clicking in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • tongue indentations
  • damage to the inside of the cheek
  • teeth that are worn down, flattened or chipped
  • worn tooth enamel, exposing the inside of your tooth
  • increased tooth sensitivity
  • jaw pain or tightness in your jaw muscles


Prevention


If your Bruxism is related to stress, you may be able to prevent it by using strategies to help you learn to relax. Also, try cutting down on stimulants such as tobacco and caffeine. In both children and adults, tooth damage related to Bruxism can be prevented by wearing a night bite plate or a bite splint (a dental appliance worn at night to stop teeth grinding).



Treatment


Treatment of Bruxism depends on the following factors:

  • Your age, overall health, and medical history
  • Extent of the disease
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the disease
  • Your opinion or preference



Treatment Options

Behavior modification - Training the patient how to rest his/her tongue, teeth, and lips properly, and learning how to rest the tongue upward may relieve uneasiness on the jaw while keeping the teeth apart and lips closed.


Mouthpiece - A specially-fitted plastic mouth appliance may be worn at night to absorb the force of biting. This piece of equipment may help to prevent future damage to the teeth and help in changing the patient's behavior.


Biofeedback - Biofeedback involves an electronic instrument that measures the amount of muscle activity of the mouth and jaw. This is especially helpful for daytime bruxers.



Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)



Contact http://www.toothtourism.com/ today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What is Trench Mouth?

Trench mouth is a progressive painful bacterial infection of the gums and mouth with ulceration, swelling and sloughing off of dead tissue from the mouth and throat due to the spread of infection from the gums. It's generally seen in people who are under the age of 35 and is rare in developed countries. Trench mouth mostly occurs in individuals with poor nutrition and a severely poor living situation.



Trench mouth increases when bacteria, usually present in the mouth, are allowed to grow out of control. It is this overabundance of harmful bacteria that is responsible for the infection of the gums. In turn, the infection damages gum tissue.



Signs and Symptoms of Trench Mouth


  • Foul taste in the mouth and bad breath. These are two of the first signs of trench mouth.
  • Painful gums. Gums may be very painful, causing severe discomfort.
  • Bleeding gums. Gums may bleed easily and for no apparent reason.
  • Gums may appear very red or swollen.
  • Grayish film on the gums. This is caused by decaying gum tissue.
  • Ulcers between the teeth and on your gums. These are crater-like and may be filled with food debris and plaque.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your head and neck. This does not happen with every case of trench mouth.


Causes of Trench Mouth


  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Lowered immune system due to conditions like AIDS


Treatment


Good oral hygiene is vital to the treatment of trench mouth. Thorough tooth brushing and flossing must be performed as often as possible, at least twice a day and preferably after each meal and at bedtime. Salt water rinses (one-half teaspoon of salt in one cup of water) may be soothing to sore gums. Hydrogen peroxide, used to rinse or irrigate the gums, is often recommended to remove decayed gum tissue. Your dentist may prescribe pain relievers and antibiotics.



Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)


Contact http://www.toothtourism.com/ today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Temporomandibular Disorder

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves related with unending facial pain. Problems that prevent the multipart system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony may result in temporomandibular disorder.


The TMD joint is one of the most complicated joints in our body. It collapses forward, backward, and from side to side. During chewing, it sustains an enormous amount of pressure.



TMD Causes


Most frequently, the cause of a temporomandibular disorder is a blend of muscle strain and anatomic problems inside the joints. Sometimes, there is a psychologic component as well. Definite causes include muscle pain and tightness, internal joint derangement, arthritis, ankylosis, and hypermobility.



Symptoms of TMD


  • jaw discomfort
  • headaches
  • pain radiating behind the eyes, in the face, shoulder, neck, and/or back
  • earaches or ringing in the ears
  • clicking or popping of the jaw
  • locking of the jaw
  • mouth motions are limited
  • clenching or grinding of the teeth
  • dizziness
  • sensitivity of the teeth without the presence of an oral health disease
  • numbness or tingling sensation in the fingers


Treatment for TMD


Treatment is often based on the following:

  • your age, overall health, and medical history
  • the extent of the disease
  • your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the disease
  • your opinion or preference


The two common types of treatment are known as "conservative" and "reversible". Conservative treatments are simple and used most often because most patients do not have severe, degenerative TMD. These treatments do not invade the face, jaw, or joint tissue.



Reversible treatments do not cause permanent changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth.



Self-care practices like eating soft foods, applying heat or ice packs, and avoiding extreme jaw movements (eg. chewing gum), are also useful in easing TMD symptoms. Relaxation and stress reduction can also help patients deal with the pain.



Need to find a dentist? Let ToothTourism.com do the work for you. Our Canadian medical professionals have traveled the globe to meet English speaking board-certified dentists who welcome the dental tourist (that's you!)




Contact http://www.toothtourism.com/ today for more information on how you can find affordable dental treatments abroad. To speak with a Tooth Tourism representative call (toll free): 1-800-644-9124, Mon - Fri, 9am-5pm PST.