Dental Tips Blog


Why Cleaning Between Teeth Is So Important

Posted in Gum Disease

Toothbrushing seems to get most of the focus from dental patients, but yet all of them know that they’re still expected to floss. However, the majority of people don’t floss anywhere close to how often they should. Even the very best toothbrushing methods will not ever clean the bacteria from between teeth. Just why is it so important to use something else to clean between teeth?

1. Cavities easily form between the teeth

Cavities between the back teeth are a common occurrence for people that don’t clean between their teeth every day, or have frequent acid exposures from their diet. These cavities start right where the teeth touch one another, or around existing restorations. Brushing won’t keep these areas clean or reduce the risk of them getting decay.

2. Gum disease and bone loss starts between the teeth

Bacterial plaque seep deep below the gumlines, causing gingivitis and eventually bone loss and periodontal disease. This is the number one reason most adults lose their teeth. As bone loss becomes more severe, teeth become mobile and can fall out. Cleaning under the gumlines between the teeth will reverse gingivitis symptoms within 2 weeks and eliminate the risk of periodontal disease.

3.  Bad breath and visible tartar on your teeth affect what others think of you

When bacteria hide between your teeth and under your gums, it creates a bad odor. These bacteria can also calcify and build up to eventually create heavy tartar deposits on your teeth that cannot be removed except by your dentist. In other words, bad oral hygiene can affect your social life.

Posted on the behalf of Dr. Sarah Roberts, Crabapple Dental



Oral Signs of Anemia

Posted in Gum Disease

Anemia is a condition that may be easily visible to your dental care provider during your routine appointment. Symptoms of anemia may be heavy bleeding during routine dental care like cleanings, flossing or brushing. You may also have pale gingival tissue or a swollen tongue. As a dental patient with anemia, you will be at an increased risk for periodontal disease and may be more susceptible to oral infections.

Being anemic occurs when a person does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout their body. If you are anemic you can bleed easily, may feel cold, loss of concentration, or become tired easily. Not only does anemia mean you’re likely to experience problems with gum disease, it can place you at risk for heavy bleeding during a medical emergency or surgery.

Treating anemia is done by replacing iron back into your body. Typically the biggest recommendation is to increase iron-rich foods in your diet, such as leafy greens, meat and certain beans or nuts. Iron supplements may also be given if needed. In some cases, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may also need to be avoided, as they may be a cause of the anemia.

Managing your anemia can help prevent chronic health problems and increase your ability to maintain a healthy smile. Otherwise you may continue to suffer from bleeding gums, which could discourage you from practicing much needed oral hygiene on a routine basis. If you believe your oral hygiene practices are efficient, but you continue to experience bleeding during flossing, let your dentist know. A proper examination can determine the difference between existing oral diseases like periodontitis or if it’s more likely to be something such as anemia.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts



What are the Dental Implications of Stevia Use?

Posted in Gum Disease

Choosing between sugar, alternative sweeteners, and sugar substitutes can be overwhelming. Add to that, you must also consider if any of them affect your dental health differently than others. There are many forms of natural sweeteners, and Stevia is one of them. The sweetener is derived from a native plant in South America.

Some clinical research has suggested that the use of stevia prevents plaque from forming on the teeth, reducing the risks of tooth decay. Because stevia harms the bacteria that form plaque, it is able to disrupt congregation of biofilm on the teeth. Unfortunately, some dentists still debate whether or not research has been adequate enough to show that stevia is less aggressive than traditional sugar in regard to contributing to tooth decay. Stevia has ultimately made its way into oral care products like mouth rinses and toothpastes, to help inhibit bacterial formations in the mouth. Many are eager to sing its praises as a healthy sweetener that doesn’t cause dental complications the way sugar (sucrose) does.

Reduce sugar intake

What one thing everyone can agree on, is that no matter if you’re using stevia or not, you should take extremely dedicated care to keep your teeth clean. Simply reducing sugar intake is not enough to completely avoid tooth decay. While some sources have been clinically shown to reduce plaque on the teeth, it is still important to manually remove bacteria, acids, food and plaque regularly. Areas that are more likely to develop tooth decay are between the teeth and in the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Cleaning under the gumlines between the teeth is the only effective method to avoid developing gingivitis and gum disease or periodontal disease, no matter how well you brush.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts


Medications and Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

If you are taking any type of medication on a regular basis you may have noticed a change in the way your mouth feels, or food tastes.  This article will talk about how to take care of your mouth and oral health if you are taking any medications on a regular basis.

Many medications that you may take on a regular basis may cause dry mouth.  This is a very common side effect, and while you may just consider it an annoyance, severe dry mouth can cause dental problems.  Dry mouth is caused from a lack of saliva.  Saliva is what helps keep your food from becoming ‘stuck’ in your teeth, and helps keep plaque from developing.  If you suffer from dry mouth, you are more likely to have increased cavities, plaque, periodontal disease (gum disease) or tooth decay.  Your gums and tongue can also become dry making it hard to swallow and more susceptible to small tears, sores or bleeding.

Medications that can cause dry mouth include over the counter cold medications, medications that may be prescribed for motion sickness, dizziness or vertigo, and some medications that may help with urinary incontinence.  Other medications called anti-cholinergics may also cause dry mouth.  If you are using any of these medications on a regular basis, you should make sure to talk to your dentist about how to prevent and treat dry mouth.

If you have dry mouth on a regular basis, talk to your dentist about ways to help keep your mouth moist.  A moist mouth helps keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Posted on behalf of Crabapple Dental Associates



Tooth Tattoo Sensors: Latest Oral Health Technology

Posted in Gum Disease

Dentists have long understood that pathogenic bacteria play a central role in oral pathologies. Various kinds of bacteria in the mouth are associated with tooth decay, periodontal diseases, oral mucosal diseases, endodontic diseases, and even oral cancer. Early detection and monitoring of pathogenic bacteria is thus a critical component of oral disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Traditionally, dental practitioners have relied on microbiological tests to detect, diagnose and monitor oral health conditions that have pathogenic bacteria as an underlying cause or factor. These conventional tests however, are limited for a number of reasons. For one, many conventional microbiological tests do not pick up on bacterial agents that have a very low infectious dose (the amount of bacterial cells required to start an infection). Also, conventional microbiological testing requires collecting oral specimens and performing culture analyses in a laboratory. This process is technically complicated and the cultures can be difficult to interpret. Also, the need to wait for test results delays treatment.

New advances in oral microbiological testing hold promise for faster and more accurate detection and diagnosis of bacterial oral conditions. Recently, a wireless oral sensor has been developed that is able to measure and report levels and types of pathogenic bacteria in the mouth. The sensor is an ultra-thin film that is pressed onto the surface of a tooth, hence the name ‘tooth tattoo’. The sensor’s detection ability rests in its layer of specially designed peptides which bond with specific bacteria. An antenna built into the sensor powers the device and transmits data to a handheld reading device.

Compared to traditional oral disease detection and diagnostic methods, tooth tattoo sensors provide onsite detection and monitoring without the need for time-consuming laboratory testing. They are faster and more accurate at detecting even very low levels of pathogenic bacteria, and allow for better, more customized treatment of oral pathologies. Tooth tattoo sensors are still being developed and tested but may eventually become a regular feature of general dental care.


The Importance of Flossing

Posted in Uncategorized

Chances are if you’ve ever stepped foot inside of a dental office, your dentist or hygienist has told you that you should be flossing your teeth. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things that nobody likes to do. But here’s the thing…your dentist or hygienist doesn’t tell you do floss just for the kicks of it, it really is important. Here’s why:

  • Flossing prevents bone loss and helps you keep your teeth longer
  • Flossing helps prevent periodontal disease (gum disease)
  •  Flossing reduces the risk of dental decay
  • Flossing can improve other systemic health conditions

What is the correct way to floss? Simply snapping the floss up and down between the teeth won’t do it. Instead, wrap the floss tightly around each tooth in a “c” shape. Slide the floss up and down under the gums several times against each tooth. You won’t go too far. This allows for optimal plaque biofilm removal in areas that cause gum disease and tartar buildup.

Most people say they don’t floss because when they do, their gums bleed. The truth is, gums are almost always likely to bleed if you don’t floss, and it may take flossing every day for up to 2 weeks before your gums don’t bleed anymore. This is because of conditions such as gum disease or gingivitis that require time to reverse. Cleaning an infected wound on your arm won’t reduce the swelling or discomfort in a single day.

If you need help flossing, or physically can’t do it, ask your hygienist for help. There are a variety of options and accessories available that she can assist you with! Choices such as water flossers or threaders may be all you need to floss more efficiently.

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