Dental Tips Blog

Apr
23

Regular Teeth Cleaning Is Essential

No matter how diligent anyone is at taking care of his or her mouth, a dentist is the only one who can truly clean the mouth thoroughly. Harmful bacteria grow in the mouth no matter how often one brushes and flosses. While bacteria growth in the mouth is completely normal, leaving it untreated can cause serious oral and overall health problems. It is important for everyone to visit the dentist on a regular basis in order for the teeth to be properly cleaned. Dentists have special tools used to remove plaque and bacteria that can be harmful to the teeth, gums, and entire mouth.

Plaque is a film that is formed from the colonies of bacteria in the mouth that covers the teeth. Plaque produces an acid which is destructive to the teeth and gums when it is not regularly removed. Tartar forms from plaque that is not properly removed. When plaque calcifies and mineralizes into a hard substance, this is known as tartar. Tartar promotes the growth of more harmful bacteria and begins the destructive process of gum disease and tooth decay.

A professional dental cleaning is essential to ensure a healthy mouth. Dentists use professional tools used to deep clean the gums and surface of the teeth. These tools help to loosen and remove plaque and tartar from the teeth to protect the mouth from decay, tooth loss, and gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends that everyone visit the dentist at least once a year for a routine exam and teeth cleaning. By keeping regular appointments, build up of tooth damaging plaque and tartar can be removed to promote a healthy, beautiful mouth.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hamir Contractor, Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates

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May
9

Dry Tooth Brushing

Have you ever heard of “dry” toothbrushing? That is, brushing your teeth without the use of water or toothpaste? It turns out that dry toothbrushing before your normal oral hygiene routine can dramatically improve your oral health and help prevent tooth decay, cavities and gum disease.

By brushing with a dry toothbrush, you can pay closer attention to areas of plaque buildup. Visually seeing these without foaming toothpaste getting in the way can dramatically improve plaque removal. Areas that are often missed – like inside the lower front teeth, and outside of the upper back teeth are more likely to be cleaned adequately when using a dry toothbrush.

One theory behind this method is that minty toothpastes tend to create a “clean” feeling in your mouth, whether or not there is still plaque along the gumlines. People then think that since their mouth feels fresh, it is fresh, and inadvertently skip over areas that need more attention. You’re also more likely to brush for an appropriate amount of time when you use a dry toothbrush. This is because it takes longer for your mouth to feel clean when you are brushing without something on your toothbrush bristles. Like dentists and hygienists’ say, proper plaque removal requires brushing for at least two minutes twice each day (and don’t forget to clean those areas in between by using dental floss or a water flosser.)

After brushing with a dry brush, you can go back and brush with a fluoridated toothpaste. This freshens breath and allows fluoride to come into better contact with your tooth enamel. Try dry toothbrushing at least once a day before your normal oral hygiene routine. You and your hygienist will notice a difference at your next routine dental cleaning appointment!

Posted on behalf of Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates

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May
9

Oral Cancer

According to the National Institute of Health, about 35,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. About 7,600 people die from oral cancer annually.  Cancers of both the mouth and throat are included in oral cancer.  There has been a steady increase in the rate of occurrence of oral cancers for the past five years.

Until recently, the primary risk factors for oral cancer were tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption.  Tobacco use combined with alcohol poses the greatest risk for developing oral cancer.

More recently, exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) especially HPV16 has been identified as the most common cause of oral cancers.  Other causes include sun exposure that cause cancers of the lip and some studies have linked diets low in fruits and vegetables to an increased risk of oral cancer.  The risk of developing oral cancer increases with age although oral cancers linked to HPV typically occur in patients between 20 and 50 years old.

Symptoms of oral cancer include white or red patches inside your mouth or on your lips, a sore in your mouth or on your lip that fails to heal, bleeding in your mouth, loose teeth, pain or difficulty in swallowing, a lump in your neck, and numbness in the lower lip or chin. All of these can be symptoms of other illnesses and not related to cancer, but if you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor or dentist.

Early detection of mouth cancer is very important.  Oral cancer has a high survival rate if detected and treated early, but most oral cancers are not detected until they are well advanced.  Survival rates are much lower for oral cancers detected at an advanced stage.

Regular dental cleanings and check-ups will help detect oral cancers.  As part of your dental check-up your dentist will conduct a short, painless oral cancer examination.

 

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