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How can Sinusitis Affect Your Oral Health

sinusitisThe oral and nasal cavity are very closely connected one to another. That is why a lot of conditions and diseases can be easily transferred from the mouth to the nose and the other way around. Sinuses are cavities located in the bones, that have several different functions. There are also many different sinuses located in separate bones. They are located on the bones of the skull and help with the resonance of the voice, hearing and more. All of these cavities can get inflamed, so the condition is called sinusitis. We are talking about respiratory inflammations that affect more than one system. The close anatomical connections of the digestive, respiratory and oral tracts leads to the possibility that the inflammation can spread from one place to another. Since most patients are not aware of the fact that sinusitis has a lot to do with the mouth, we are here to let you know more about this condition and the effects it has on your oral health.

What Is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis, or also known as rhinosinusitis, is an inflammation or infection of the sinuses. It is closely connected to the dental health since a part of these cavities are located around the oral cavity. The symptoms can also affect the mouth and dentists are often the ones that notice signs of sinusitis. It appears with both children and adults. Treatment is needed in all of the cases, first to ease the symptoms and also to prevent further complications.

What Are The Symptoms?

causes of sinusitisThe most common symptoms of sinusitis are high fever, pain in the face area, nasal mucus, no smell sensation, intense pain or a headache, plugged nose, and more. Sometimes that pain can spread to the mouth area, cheeks, teeth, throat, ears, temporal lobes. Another very frustrating thing is the nasal congestion that leaves patients breathing on their mouth. If this condition lasts for a longer time, it can cause a dry mouth. Constantly breathing through the mouth will result with xerostomia, a faster thriving of bacteria, gum inflammation, bleeding, dry mouth, throat and more. When it comes to the mucus draining from the nose, it can have a clear color, or it can have a strange discoloration. Shades of yellow or green point out that the condition might be caused by bacteria. Coughing is another symptom that often appears, and can even persist for a longer period of time. Bad breath is present together with the dry mouth. It all depends on which sinuses are affected and how long the inflammation is present.

Types

Although different sinuses can be affected, the two main types of sinusitis are acute and chronic. An acute one is a type that lasts for a short amount of time, and the symptoms are taken care of. If patients leave the condition unattended, and the symptoms are only halfway treated, this may lead to a chronic sinusitis. The acute form lasts less than 4 weeks. According to doctors, if the inflammation persists for more than three months, that is when it becomes a chronic one. With this type, it is really hard to properly find a way to treat it, because in most cases it leaves several permanent changes, especially in the tissue underlining the walls of the cavities. IF those altercations happen, doctors will have a harder time treating the condition, so that is why you should always ask for help the moment you notice symptoms.

Causes

Sinusitis can be caused by many symptoms. This is considered to be a respiratory condition so the most common causes are allergies, bacterial infections, many types of irritating substances, a nasal polyp, a number of other medical conditions, respiratory infections, viral infections, deviated nasal septum and more.

Acute Sinusitis

The acute form of this respiratory condition appears usually when there is some type of viral infection in the track. It can be caused by influenza, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses and many more. With the proper treatment, the symptoms should disappear within a week. Bacterial infections caused by Haemophilus Influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae also appear often. This type requires a more intense and persistent treatment with the right medication. Fungal infections are rare and should be treated right away. They are connected with immunodeficiency. Tooth infection is another cause that can lead to an acute sinusitis.

Chronic Sinusitis

If the condition persists for more than three months, it is officially a chronic one. This form is divided into two large groups: with or without a polyp. Nasal polyps cause a condition called chronic hyperplastic sinusitis. It is still not completely clear if only one factor causes the hyperplasia, or if it is a combination of multiple. Some of the ones that are a part of everyday life are pollution, allergies, dust, bacterial infections and more. The form without a polyp is also a persistent one that lasts for more than three months. It all starts with the same symptoms and if not treated, it causes permanent changes in the structure of the cavities. The common factors that cause it are an untreated bacterial infection, or one that was not treated properly, frequent irritation with allergens, pollution, smoke, and more.

Sinusitis And Oral Health

What most people are not aware of is that a sinus inflammation and oral health are very closely connected. One of the main things that will surprise you, is that conditions of the teeth can lead to sinusitis. There is a sinus cavity located in the upper jaw called a maxillary sinus. The inflammation of this sinus can travel from other cavities, or it can be the primary source of inflammation and infection. This type of sinusitis is called a maxillary and can often be misdiagnosed. The same thing applies to all of the types from this condition. Although a lot of people suffer from it, doctors can mistake it for a number of other conditions.

The maxillary sinus is the largest one of them all. If it is inflamed the process can spread to all the other cavities. It is located in the back part of the upper jaw on both sides. It is above the posterior teeth, and there are cases where these teeth with the tip of their roots are even a part of the wall of the sinus. This is an easy entry point of infection, so that is why sinusitis is very important to dentistry. A detailed x-ray shows whether the apexes are close to the sinus, or they are separated with bone tissue. This is also important for dentists before they decide to extract posterior maxillary teeth.

odontogenic sinusitis

A sinusitis that is caused by a tooth infection is called an odontogenic sinusitis. In the past, research showed that a very low percentage of the cases had an odontogenic origin. Latest studies show the complete opposite. Almost 40 percent of all cases of sinusitis are somehow connected to the oral cavity. This is definitely a worrying number, so everyone should know more about how the sinuses and dental health are connected. This type of inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection. If there is a process happening at the apex of the tooth, it can easily reach the wall of the sinus, and the infection will spread inside the bone cavity. Another way to go is an extraction of a tooth, that ruptures the wall of the sinus, and leaves an open path for bacteria to get inside. Since the x-rays don’t always show the exact amount of bone between the sinus and the tooth, dentists can have a wrong impression on whether they should remove the tooth or not. If the sinus is opened after the extraction, every single dentist should take care of it, or send the patient to an oral surgeon so that the condition is treated immediately.

Symptoms of Maxillary Sinusitis

dry mouthIf the opening of the maxillary sinus happens during extraction or a dental procedure, patients usually have symptoms right away. The range includes a headache and aches in the affected area, unpleasant feeling, discharge, nosebleed, circulation of air from the nose to the mouth, liquids coming out from the nose and more. All these symptoms will make patients visit the dentist once again and get the situation taken care of.

Bad Breath

This is a symptom that accompanies all types of sinusitis if they persist for a longer period of time. If there is nose congestion, the patient will start breathing on their mouth. This leads to a dry mouth and bad breath. The condition affects the throat as well, which leads to that bad smell. Dry mouth is characterized by a lower flow of saliva, making it easier for bacteria to cause decay. Saliva actually helps with cleaning the teeth and removing food remains.

Treatment

antibioticsThe most important thing about sinusitis is treating it on time. In an ideal case, a medical professional will recognize the symptoms and start treating it right away. It all depends on the cause of the inflammation. If it’s a bacterial one, it will be treated with antibiotics. Maxillary sinusitis is almost always connected with the prescription of antibiotics. There is a number of other medication that is meant to ease the symptoms.

10 reasons why people have bad breath

Aldo, we know that bad oral hygiene and stomach problems are the most common problems of bad breath, it can also appear as a result of protein-rich diet, drugs, medications and respiratory dysfunction.
At the end, every 5th male or women are constantly unhappy because of bad breath, and they can not find the cause why it happens. Maybe we can solve some problems, and find some hidden problems.

Drugs and medication

Most of the drugs (antihistaminic, diuretics, antipsychotics, drugs for muscle relaxation) can cause dry mouth ( halitosis). That causes that we do not have production of saliva. When our mouth is dry, the number of bacteria rises, and as a result, we have bad breath.

medications

When you have your medication schedule, you can not skip your therapy, but you can clean your tongue, and dismiss bad breath.

Respiratory system infections

Bronchitis and similar infections of the respiratory system are very common causes of bad breath, because of lungs and sinuses mucus production.

Bacterial infection is going to produce bad breath more than virus infection. The cure is antibiotics. Also, hydration and drinking lot water is something that can dilute mucus and solve bad breath.

Skipping a meal

When you skip a meal, your body is not producing enough saliva. Food particles, from a meal that you earlier had, stay in your mouth for some time and causes bad breath.

Dental caries ( tooth decay), Mouthwash and oral rinses

When you have caries, and your teeth are broken, and food particles with that, you can also have bad breath.

You must go to your dentist and fix your dental problem.

Before buying your mouthwash and oral rinses, you need to consult with your dentist. Some products that you can find in almost all drug stores, shops etc. are nothing more than just perfumes which in the short term make nice smell in your mouth. Often contain alcohol, which dries our mouth, and in the future makes new bad breath. Its very important when you choose your mouthwash and oral rinses which besides nice smell and taste, also have antiseptic action, destroy bacteria which produce bad breath.

One American Institute for microbiology made a successful study of natural products which can solve our bad breath problem. They came to a conclusion that one cup of green or black tea can refresh your breath. Tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols. In laboratory tests, they have reduced bacteria production which produces bad breath. In that way, they reduce the occurrence of sulfur by 30%.

breathing on the mouth

If you are breathing in the mouth, your saliva level is low, your mouth is dry, and the number of bacteria rises. That happens if a person has a cold, allergies, polyps, chronic sinusitis…

Doctors recommend that you keep this in mind and provide better hydration for yourself.

Obesity

obesityA recent US study has shown that people with an increased body weight index have a greater risk of developing an unpleasant breath.

This occurs because in their digestive system live specific microbes that produce gases and amplify bad breath.

avoiding carbohydrates

if your diet is based on high protein and low carb regime, as famous Atkins diet, bad breath can be a result of that. That kind of diet leads to ketosis, a state in which organism transfers fat and proteins in energy, and causes a lot of acid in the body. That causes bad breath.

The only solution it that situation is to increase your carbohydrate intake.

Diabetes

fruity(sweet) breath, you have high blood sugar.If you have diabetes type 1, your breath can tell a lot about your condition. If you notice that your breath has a sweet taste, it can be possible that you are in the condition called diabetic ketoacidosis… Cute, fruity breath known as ketoacidosis, which resembles the nail polish smell, can be an indication of serious health problems (cause a heart attack or kidney failure ) and is characteristic of diabetes. Other symptoms are nausea, neck tightness, frequent urination…

This problem occurs when the body, due to lack of insulin, cannot digest and use sugar as a fuel.

If you have noticed these symptoms, and you do not have a diagnosis, its required to visit a doctor.

fish breath, problems with the kidneys.

Serious problems with the kidneys, such as their laborious work or even failure, can be read through mouthwash resembling the odor of ammonia and can be compared with the smell of urine or fish. Kidneys clean blood, and when their work is disturbed, they are unable to remove toxins from the blood, and they travel through the body and come out in the form of bad breath through the respiratory system. If you feel this unpleasant smell from your mouth, be sure to consult your doctor.

acid(sour) breath-GERB.

GERB or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a digestive disease caused by the return of gastric contents to the esophagus, causing problems with digestion.

This disorder can cause various disorders such as frequent heartburn, dental enamel damage, frequent inflammation of the throat, as well as poor gastric acid-induced acidic odor.

What can you do to take care of your self?

Prevention and oral hygiene in the first place.

Prevention-Regularly visit a dentist

– it would be desirable at least once in six months. A dentist can help you discover the causes of bad breath, and perform a professional examination and cleansing of the dental cavity. It can also refer you to further medical examinations if the problem of breathing from the mouth is not associated with the oral cavity or insufficient hygiene.

dental hygiene

Conduct the proper hygiene of the oral cavity

– wash your teeth behind each meal with a toothbrush and a paste containing fluorine, a toothpick, and rinse the mouth with a mouthwash. What is very important, and many people ignore it, is cleaning up the language. Change your toothbrush every 2-3 months. If you use a dental prosthesis, take it out in the evening, and thoroughly clean it before re-using it in the morning.

TOOTH LOST DURING THE PREGNANCY- TRUE AND FALSE THINGS ABOUT IT

Even though we live in a modern world with all benefits of science in many different areas: from medicine, technology to space science and many others, many people still have doubts and dilemmas regarding their health. Pregnancy is special for every young couple. It turns their world upside-down. Thus it’s understandable since that future parents are afraid and more susceptible to become suspicious about all their knowledge regard health.

There is common belief that each pregnancy leads to at least lost of one tooth. The main reason for this is another mislead: calcium from future mom is used for integration in baby’s bones. This myth called “Tooth lost during pregnancy” is frequently used as an excuse for bad oral hygiene.

So, what we can do to help our teeth and gums stay healthy and beautiful during this period?

Oral healthcare

There are definitely changes in oral status among pregnant women. What is new is that hormonal disbalance is present and it affects gums. Consequently, the blood flow in gums is changed and with a dental plaque, that is normally present in every person regardless is she pregnant or not, there is a greater chance for development of gingivitis. This condition is presented with swollen gums that are red and prone to bleeding during teeth brushing and flossing. Beside that, in pregnancy, there is an increased number of bacteria called Prevotella intermedia that are responsible for the development of gingivitis. When a woman with recently healthy, non-bleeding gums get affected with gingivitis it is absolutely normal that she experience the fear of bleeding, so she starts avoiding teeth brushing. This, of course, leads to worsening of present symptoms.

What can we do?

– proper oral care is crucial! If we avoid brushing properly the symptoms get worse with more inflamed gums that will bleed and hurt more. The main cause of this infection is dental plaque that stays on teeth becoming harder to remove since the gums get more swollen
– brush your teeth at least twice a day
– use soft brushes
– use dental floss or interdental brushes
– use dental liquids with fluorides and avoid liquids with chlorhexidine

Visit your dentist

Many women in a period of pregnancy avoid dental appointments thinking it is not so important to take care of their oral health during pregnancy, but most importantly many of them believe that dental interventions are contraindicated in this period and may hurt the baby in some way. The fear, that is usually unfounded, of anesthesia, potential antibiotics or radiography is the main reason for avoiding dental check-ups in pregnancy.

What can we do?

– Definitely, the best option is that we have regular check-ups even before planning a pregnancy. That way we can be sure that the future mother has healthy teeth and gums. This way the need for potential dental interventions is minimalized and periodic check-ups are just prevention.
– Even if your dentist notices any problem with your oral health during your pregnancy it all can be fixed in a way that both mother and baby stay safe. By making an individual plan for each patient, your dentist will diagnose any problem and discuss the best and the safest way to deal with it and not jeopardize yours or your’s baby health.
– It is important to know that bacterias that causing caries and gingivitis can be transferred to your baby after birth. By visiting your dentist during the period of pregnancy not only you protect your health and your baby’s health, but you can get useful information and instructions for oral health for you and your baby.

Frequent vomiting during pregnancy

Emesis gravidarum or vomiting in a period of pregnancy is usually present in the morning during the first couple of months of pregnancy. This way, teeth get often in contact with strong stomach acid that can damage superficial layer of teeth known as enamel. Acid can literally dissolve enamel and make teeth sensitive to hot or cold drinks or food and even more prone to caries. After vomiting, people usually brush their teeth right away. Since the teeth are damaged by stomach acid, brushing teeth can only make it worse by making greater damage to teeth caused by a mechanical destruction of previously chemically damaged teeth.

vomiting pregnancy

What can we do?

– Make sure to brush your teeth right after you wake up and before vomiting. It is important not to brush your teeth right after vomiting. Instead, make the solution of water and Sodium bicarbonate (dissolve one coffee spoon of Sodium bicarbonate in 2 liters of water) and wash out your mouth.
– Make sure you use a soft brush and that you brush all of your teeth equally.
– If your vomiting is more frequent than 3 times per day make an appointment with your physiatrics for a consult.

Healthy diet

It is common misbelief that “Future mom should eat for two persons”. Frequent food intake can be related to teeth loss caused by a greater amount of caries lesions that can not be fixed by conservative or endodontic treatment, especially when it’s associated with poor oral hygiene and without control of dentist. Types of food that are consumed during the pregnancy are of great importance for mother’s general health so as for baby’s health and proper development.

What can we do?

– Consume enough water during the day. Avoid sodas with sugar, fast food, snacks, and candies.
– The balanced diet is the most appropriate. Higher amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain bread, milk, cheese, eggs, chicken breasts, and fish should be your first choice.
– Consult your gynecologist regard additional intake of Folinic acid since it’s deficiency can lead to malformation of baby’s upper lip and palate.

Stress

Stress in all conditions and ages has a negative influence on the entire body. It can affect endocrine glands and that way regulate hormones in our body. As a result, the salivation in our mouth can be reduced due to stress. Lack of saliva affects oral bacterial flora in the way that it stimulates their growth. On the other hand, saliva contains many significant components that help us to reduce infections and inflammation in our mouth but also mechanically washes away dental plaque.

With right knowledge of oral health and with regular visits to your dentist there should be no problem with your’s and your baby’s teeth during pregnancy so as after the birth. When you are well informed during regular check-ups your teeth should be healthy before you get pregnant and you can easily keep this status during pregnancy. So, don’t believe the myths. You hold the key to your life’s happiness and health. Use it wise.

Teeth bleaching

Teeth bleaching or teeth whitening is one of the most common cosmetic procedures in dentistry. This procedure provides a better-looking smile and restores the natural shade of your teeth, or even provides a shade that is whiter than your natural one. White teeth are often associated with beauty, so there probably isn’t a single person that wouldn’t like to have a pearly white smile. By removing different stains and discolorations caused by extrinsic or intrinsic factors that can affect your natural teeth color, the whitening procedure will be able to remove the stains and help in improving the teeth’s color. The term teeth bleaching is associated with using bleaching products. Most of the bleaching products are based on hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide.

What can cause a change in the natural color of your teeth?

The enamel is a transparent tooth substance that covers the dentin. The dentin, on the other hand, is a colored substance that has a great importance in determining the natural color of the teeth. The color mainly depends on the color of the dentine and the thickness of the enamel. If the enamel is thinner it allows the dentin color to show through more, and it provides a greater light reflection. But if the enamel is thicker there is less reflection and less exposure of the dentin color. The enamel contains pores in his structure and that is the main reason why different discolorations and stains can happen to the natural teeth color.

There are a lot of internal and external factors that can cause discoloration of the teeth.

External factors:

The external factors include a lot of things that out teeth come in touch with every day. The most common ones are dark-colored drinks such as tea, red wine, soda, sports drinks, coffee, food, smoking. Another factor that can cause teeth staining is improper oral hygiene. Dental plaque and calculus are very common among people, and the color of the calculus can vary from yellow, grey, brow or even black. The chlorhexidine that is a part of a lot of antiseptic mouthwashes can also be an external factor.

Internal factors:

The internal factors are a result of a change in the tooth structure. This group of factors includes dental decay, amalgam fillings, dental trauma, antibiotics (tetracycline and minocycline), disorders, fluorosis, dentinogenesis imperfecta, amelogenesis imperfecta, enamel hypoplasia and more.

Age is also a factor that contributes to teeth coloring, as we grow older the enamel becomes thinner and more translucent which allows greater dentine exposure.

Where can you get your teeth whitened?

There are two ways that you can get a brighter smile. The first and safer one is visiting a dentist and getting an in-office treatment. And the second one is using home whitening systems that are usually inexpensive and are becoming more popular every day.

1. In-office bleaching

In-office bleachingJust like it was mentioned before, this is the safest way to get your teeth whitened. Most of the dentists offer this service in their dental offices. Before getting your teeth whitened the dentist will get information on your medical and dental history, he will do a dental exam and probably will perform a prophylactic cleaning to remove all of the plaque that is present on the surface of the teeth. If there are any tooth decays, cracks or gum conditions, they have to be accessed first before proceeding with the whitening procedure. There are special shade guides that are used to measure the patient’s teeth color before the whitening and to further compare the effects and the results of the procedure. The bleaching can last for a different time and it depends on the results that the patient wants to get and on his lifestyle.

The bleaching agents that are used are based either on hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is almost three times stronger than carbamide peroxide so that is why it is used in solutions that contain 3%-15% hydrogen peroxide, or if the bleaching agents are based on carbamide peroxide they can contain 10%-45% carbamide peroxide. These substances have the ability to penetrate in the structure of the enamel and that is how they dissolve the stains that cause discoloration.

Both vital and non-vital teeth can be treated and bleached.

Vital whitening:

There are several different methods of in-office vital teeth whitening. All of these methods include placing a bleaching agent on the surface of the teeth. All of the methods last from 30 to 90 minutes, are painless and are always supervised and controlled by a dentist. The number of appointments depends on the shade that the patient wants to get, the severity of the discoloration and the method that is used. Before starting the whitening procedure, the dentist will protect your gums and the papilla by applying a light-cured protective layer or a liquid rubber dam. Other protective materials that are used are also face bibs, gauze, retractors, protective eyewear. All of this protection is needed because the whitening agents can cause damage and irritation of the soft tissues.

Light-accelerated bleaching is one of the most common methods used in the everyday practice. This method uses a bleaching agent and a light energy that can come from LED, halogen or plasma arc lights and it is considered that the light will accelerate the process of whitening. The light energy should accelerate the molecules of the peroxide without causing any damage to the pulp of the tooth and causing hypersensitivity.

A lot of dentists prefer not to use any light to activate the bleaching gel. There are a lot of researches that show that the bleaching systems work the same with and without being activated by light. The procedure lasts from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the product that is used. Once the bleaching gel is applied the procedure can be divided in more cycles, and after every cycle the gel is rinsed off the teeth and a fresh gel is applied. The whole procedure can be carried out in one cycle, where the doctor only adds more bleaching gel.

Laser teeth whitening is probably the most expensive whitening procedure at the moment. This procedure also includes applying a bleaching gel that contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, and the gel is activated and heated by a laser.

Non-vital bleaching

The non-vital or internal method is used for teeth that have previously had an endodontic treatment or also known as root canal treatment. These teeth have internal stains from blood or other liquids that have colored them during the treatment or after it. With these types of stains, the external methods of bleaching are not successful. The procedure starts by properly cleaning and filling the root canals. After that the dentist places a whitening agent inside the pulp chamber and seals the tooth with a temporary filling over the whitening product. The whitening product has to be replaced a couple of times depending on the case. This method is commonly known as the “walking bleach” method.
non-vital bleaching

Another option for devitalized teeth is placing a bleaching agent in the pulp chamber, but the cavity is left open, and it is combined with external bleaching of the tooth.

The in-office method of teeth bleaching is recommended because it is the safest way in getting your teeth whitened, the dentists are highly-professional and trained in preventing any risks and complications.

2. Home whitening systems

whitening-toothpasteAfter your visit at the dentist’s office and after the treatment, the dentist might also provide you with a home whitening system for you to use. He will first take impressions of your teeth and provide you with mouthpiece trays that are made based on those impressions. You will also be given a whitening gel. The doctor will give you clear instructions on how to use the whitening system, for how long and how many times a day.

There are also a lot of available whitening products over the counter. These products are available as whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, mouth trays, whitening gums, paint-on whiteners, rinses and more. All of these products contain bleaching agents, but much less than the whitening agents that are used for in-office whitening. They come with instructions on how to use them to avoid any risks and complications.

Positive effects

The latest bleaching agents include fluoride in their ingredients, which helps with hypersensitivity and increasing the enamel hardness. The fluoride combined with potassium nitrate are a great improvement in the quality of the bleaching agents because they offer a whitening process which is more comfortable for patients, relief from sensitivity and improved oral health. Ultradent is the first company that presented this technology, and their products do not need to be activated by light and are widely used around the world.

ultradent-bleaching

Risks

Some patients might experience hypersensitivity after their bleaching treatment. This is usually only a temporary complication and it happens in the first couple of bleaching treatments. This hypersensitivity is caused by the bleaching agent, that has a very low pH, that causes the dentin tubules to open up and make them very sensitive to thermal changes. Also light activated teeth whitening is considered to increase the risk of post whitening sensitivity, mostly because of the heat that is produced. This heat affects the liquid in the dentin tubules and causes dehydration and sensitivity. To avoid hypersensitivity, the best way to get whiter teeth is to visit a dentist’s office. If there is sensitivity present, the bleaching treatments should stop and those patients can use special toothpaste that can ease the discomfort.

Another thing that might happen after the bleaching procedure is to get uneven results. The teeth might be more stained in some areas compared to others. Also in order to prevent uneven staining patients need to avoid certain drinks and food that might color the teeth after a bleaching treatment.

Over-bleaching can happen to people that use bleaching products very intensively. This can cause damage to the teeth’s substances and change their color to overly white and very translucent.

There are some bleaching products that can cause damage to the enamel, especially if they are not used according to the instructions.

The hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide that are used during the bleaching are caustic substances and if they are not used properly they can cause damage and irritation to gums and oral tissues. If the tissues are not protected properly during the whitening, the bleaching agents can cause burns to the oral mucosa, and patients will feel burning sensation. Over the counter mouth trays are not custom made for every individual, so they are one of the most common reasons for tissue damage. This is why it is very important for teeth bleaching to be supervised by a professional.

Some people can get addicted to this procedure, and keep visiting the dentist or keep using at-home bleaching systems, even though their teeth are white enough. This condition is known as bleachorexia.

How long will your teeth stay white?

The teeth whitening procedure does not provide permanent results. Your teeth will get stained again with food, drinks, tobacco and more. If you can avoid drinking colored drinks, smoking and certain types of food the results of the procedure will last much longer. The results vary from patient to patient, but they usually need another treatment after six months or a year. If you want to maintain the results of the treatment as long as possible you have to brush your teeth and rinse after eating of drinking, you can use a whitening toothpaste, floss regularly, and avoid drinking beverages and eating food that can stain your teeth.

Who should avoid teeth bleaching?

People that already have sensitive teeth and gums, pregnant women, children under 16, people with gingival recession, people that have defective restorations and more should avoid this type of treatment. Another thing both patients and dentists have to take care of is teeth damaged by a cavity. Untreated decay should first be properly removed and treated with a filling before the bleaching procedure. The main reason behind this is that the bleaching agents can reach to the dental pulp and cause further damage.

Diode Lasers

Diode Lasers

Pasted File at January 8, 2018 3_34 PM

Diode lasers slowly became the most commonly used lasers in dentistry. FDA first approved them over 20 years ago. Since then there has been a great advancement in technology. Each year different brands present new, better lasers that make the work of dentists much easier. Plus, they provide a better experience for patients when they visit the dental office. Lasers are definitely a better option compared to conventional dental treatments and procedures. Among the many advantages, you will find less to almost no pain, quick procedure, less bleeding, faster healing process and more. Diode lasers are available in wavelengths from 800 through 1064 nanometers. The ones that feature 810nm are the most common ones. They can literally be used in every single field of dentistry.

NSK Dio500 Laser

This is a brand new laser type that has a great use in many different fields of dentistry. It was constructed for an odontological application. It makes the job of our dentists much easier and your experience much more pleasant. Just like any other laser the pain is almost completely done. The procedures are done with just a little bit of anesthetic. The bleeding is literally minimal and the healing process is very fast. There is no need for stitches. The NSK Dio 500 laser is ideal for soft tissues. Thanks to the many advancements in dental technology, with this laser dentists, can perform many procedures in oral surgery such as tongue and lip straps, stimulating treatment, use it in endodontics, conservative periodontics, abscess incision, frenectomy, gingivectomy, bleaching, mouth ulcers, peri-implantitis, hemostasis and more.

How do diode lasers work?

These lasers have active mediums that involve gallium, arsenide, and aluminum. They have a great effect on tissues that contain a lot of pigments, collagen, hemoglobin, and melanin. That is why diodes are very successful in treating soft tissues. These tissues highly absorb the wavelengths and that is how the laser carries out its effect. The diodes are cleared for the following procedures: excising, incising, coagulation, ablation. They can be used in two modes, the first one is continuous waves and the second one pulsation. The first mode is usually applied for most surgical procedures, while the pulsed mode for procedures that require a lot of accuracy and control.

Uses

Diode lasers find their use in oral surgery, pediatric dentistry, orthodontics, endodontics, general dentistry, periodontics and more. The FDA has already approved a large number of procedures that can be performed with these lasers. Among them you will find: teeth whitening, diagnostics of dental caries, pulpotomy, decontamination of root canals, aphthous ulcer treatment, herpetic lesion treatment, coagulation, reducing the bacterial levels and treating inflammation, removing coronal pulp, detection of subgingival calculus and more.

Detection of caries and subgingival calculus

This is a diagnostic measure that helps dentists located caries and subgingival calculus. For this purposes, they usually use a diode laser with a wavelength of 655nm.

Disinfection of pockets and root canals

LASER4

A lot of people are affected by periodontal disease. Pocket cleaning, scaling and root planing is very commonly used procedures in dentistry. Diode lasers can be of great help in this field. The whole point is to remove all the harmful bacteria and granulation tissue present in the pockets. That way the tissue will get a chance to heal. Bacteria such as Prevotella Intermedia and Porphyromonas Ginigvalis are just a part of the pathogens that cause this disease. Thanks to diode lasers they can be effectively destroyed. Dental offices use wavelengths between 810 and 980nm. The pathogenic bacteria absorb the laser waves and that is how they are destroyed. The laser penetrates deep into the tissue and has an immense effect on treating the disease. After the treatment dentists note a drastic reduction in the numbers of bacteria. Diode lasers are also commonly used in decontaminating root canals. The whole procedure is much easier, the patient doesn’t feel almost any pain and is not stressed.

Gingival contouring

Dental aesthetics today is more important than ever. A lot of patients come to the dental office asking for the perfect smile. For those who are not happy with how their gums look there is a procedure named gingival contouring. With this type of treatment, professionals reshape the gingival tissue in many different ways. Some patients are experiencing hyperplasia of the tissue. That means that there is extra soft tissue surrounding their teeth. In some cases, it can even cover them. The best treatment option is to reshape the gums and make them look great again. Diode lasers are very useful for this procedure. If the doctors do a surgical procedure where they excise the extra tissue with a scalpel, the healing process can take a long time. Plus, there is a lot of blood that can impair visibility. There is also a chance of post-operative infection and pain. With the laser, they avoid all of these unwanted effects. The healing time is extremely fast, there is just a slight discomfort and the patient doesn’t go through the trauma of seeing blades.

Dental surgery

Diode lasers are very useful in dental surgery. Among the many procedures available, dentists usually use them for gingivectomy, frenectomy, vestibuloplasty, operculectomy, uncovering unerupted teeth and more, removing tissue around implants, treating lesions such as fibromas, ranulas, mucoceles and more. These lasers are a much better option than conventional surgery. There are less bleeding, a faster healing process, and less post-operative pain.

Uses in orthodontics

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Diode lasers are usually applied to soft tissues before starting an orthodontic treatment. In some cases, patients are in the need of a frenectomy. If it’s performed with a laser the healing process is very fast and the braces can be applied in only several days after the procedures. Also if there are some teeth that are covered with gum tissue, they can be uncovered with diode lasers.

Crown troughing

This might be the most common procedure performed with these lasers. Dentists use them to prepare the soft tissue before getting an impression. It is very useful especially for restorations such as crowns and bridges. The procedure takes up to one minute without any pain. It makes the job of dentists much easier and it’s a pleasant experience for patients.

Six Worst Foods For Your Teeth

Eating properly is of great importance for the health of your teeth. There are many types of food that you eat on daily basis and you are not aware of the harm they are doing for you. Literally, every harmful food will show the negative effect first on your teeth and later on other parts of your body. Caries is a chronic disease that affects the teeth and their hard tissues. It all starts with bacteria that use the food that you eat as their own. For example, most bacteria enjoy sugar and they transform it into acids. Those acids affect your enamel and that is how caries happens. From then on, it spreads into the dentin and it can even affect the dental pulp. This is just one of the reasons why you should know which types of food are harmful to your teeth. Also, some drinks can have damaging effects, and those should be excluded from your diet too.

Candy

candy
All types of candies that you enjoy are bad for your teeth. This is probably bad news for you, but it is time to forget about candy. For example, sour candy is very chewy and can really stick to your teeth. You will find it very hard to remove them and during that time they can cause a lot of damage. Also, sour candy releases many kinds of acids that harm the hard tooth tissues. All other types of chewy candy is a bad idea for the same reason. They stay on your teeth for a long time and are a dangerous and unhealthy snack. Hard candies, on the other hand, don’t really stick to your teeth. But, unfortunately, they are also bad for your smile. It takes quite a while for them to dissolve in your mouth, and that is a great way for bacteria to enjoy all the sugars that are being released. Plus, there are people that want to bite down on these candies, which can lead to broken and chipped teeth. There are many downsides to eating candy, so now you know why you have to quit them.

Citrus Fruits

citrus fruits
All types of citrus fruits can cause damage to your smile. They might be very good for your general health but they are not good at all for your teeth. Oranges, lemons, grapefruits all contain large doses of Vitamin C. In other words, those are acids that can cause erosion of your teeth. Lemon and pomegranate juice are unfortunately the worst for the health of your smile. They are the fruits that are literally packed with Vitamin C. Orange juice, on the other hand, is less acidic. Since you can’t always avoid citrus fruits you should only eat and drink them from time to time. After that, make sure to rinse your mouth with water.

Crunchy Snacks

crunchy-snacks
All of the crunchy snacks such as potato chips are packed with starch. That is an ingredient that has the tendency to stick to your teeth and get trapped in the places between your teeth. It is really hard to completely remove food from those places and it ends up being transformed in plaque. Harmful bacteria use the starch as their own food. Plaque build-up leads to caries and periodontal disease. That is why when you finish a bag of chips you should brush your teeth and floss to avoid these conditions.

Dried and Canned Fruit

dried-fruits
While dried fruit is a healthy way to get your snack, it is not good for your smile. The first thing you will notice is that they are very sticky. Dried grapes, apricots, plums can really be delicious, but it takes quite a while to chew them and half of that stays stuck in your teeth. Another huge problem is that they are made of sugar. A large part of their content is natural sugar that is a great food for bacteria. If you really love eating dry fruits, you should at least rinse your mouth with water after that. The better alternative is to switch to natural fruits.

Canned fruits contain much more sugar compared to any other type. They are also packed with it and that makes them very bad for teeth. They are also not healthy and you should avoid them at all costs.

Bread

bread
A lot of people can’t imagine having a meal without bread. The thing is that white bread is packed with refined carbohydrates. When you eat bread the saliva transforms the starch into carbohydrates that can get stuck between your teeth. That is where they become the food of bacteria and lead to plaque build-up. That is the reason why you should switch to whole wheat bread.

Pickles

pickles
The main problem with pickles is that they contain a lot of acids. Just by eating them you expose your teeth to erosion. That same acid is what makes the pickles taste sour. But it also damages the enamel and it can cause caries. We are not saying that you should avoid eating pickles at all costs, just be careful not to overdo it. Right after you finish eating it is a good idea that you rinse with water.

All of these types of food can cause a lot of damage to your smile, especially if you eat them on daily basis. You have to be very careful when it comes to your diet. Eating them from time to time shouldn’t be dangerous. It only becomes bad if you tend to enjoy chips and candy, for example, every single day. Proper oral hygiene is another thing that you have to take care of. Regular brushing and flossing will remove all food remains are there will be nothing left for bacteria to feed on. When you eat highly-acidic foods you shouldn’t brush your teeth right away since you can make the enamel even more vulnerable. All you need to do is rinse with water. Regular dental check-ups are a must.

Bruxism

Bruxism is a term used to describe a condition that includes teeth grinding and or jaw clenching. This bad habit is very common and it affects a wide number of adults and children. Teeth grinding can happen at any age and it is usually accompanied with the rhythmical clenching of the jaw. If this happens only occasionally it shouldn’t cause any serious problems. But if it happens on regular basis, the consequences will be more severe. There are two types of bruxism, one that happens while patients are awake (awake bruxism), while the other one happens during sleep (sleep bruxism).

Knowing about bruxism, the symptoms, and the early diagnosis can be very important in improving the outcome of the therapy.

What are the Symptoms of Bruxism?

A lot of people are not aware that they are suffering from bruxism. That is mostly because it happens during sleep and it doesn’t show any symptoms for a long time. That way patients are not really aware of what they are doing during the night. In most cases, other people such as wife or husband, hear the sounds of clenching when they accidentally wake up at night. Since patients do it unconsciously, in the morning they wake up with a sore feeling in the jaws and teeth. It can also happen in daytime, when it is associated with stress, lifting heavy objects or doing other tasks.

Knowing the symptoms of bruxism can be very important. If the disorder is mild, it usually doesn’t cause any problems. The thing with bruxism is that patients become aware of it, once the changes become more serious and irreversible. If you are familiar with the signs and symptoms, you will know when to seek for further dental help.

Headaches and facial pain are the most common symptoms that can point out to teeth grinding. These patients experience three times more headaches compared to the ones that do not suffer from bruxism. In the beginning, the headaches cannot be connected with this condition, and it can be very hard to properly diagnose it.

Bruxism-pain

Facial pain is another sign that you might be suffering from teeth grinding. You will feel a sharp pain located in the temporomandibular joint, earache, sore and painful muscles and more. With time, facial muscles can become enlarged. When they wake up in the morning, people usually experience pain in the area of the joint, and unfortunately, that can lead to several TMJ disorders.

Teeth do suffer a lot of damage from the pressure and force during clenching and grinding. Most of the patients notice their worn-down teeth and that is the moment they decide to visit the dentists. Cracks and chips can occur. The damage cannot be reversed, and if the condition is not treated the loss of tooth substance will continue to happen. In more advanced stages, teeth might become mobile and some patients even lose their teeth.

What are the Causes of Bruxism?

There is a variety of factors that can lead to bruxism. There isn’t any strong evidence that point out to only one reason, or completely explain the process. The latest research strongly associates bruxism with sleep problems, stress, medication, alcoholism, and smoking. There is also a theory that connects teeth grinding with genetics. In other words, it can appear more frequently in one family compared with another.

The first and most important one is stress. Stress and anxiety are a part of the everyday life, and play a big role in a lot of diseases and health disorders. Unfortunately, it can be really hard to influence on this factor or eliminate it, since it doesn’t only depend on us. We are affected by the environment at all times, and that can have a big impact on bad habits such as teeth grinding and jaw clenching. In most cases, people aren’t aware that they are suffering from this condition, and when they are- they don’t associate it with stress. People that work in stressful work environments are constantly under some type of pressure are more likely to develop this disorder.

Bruxism can also happen as a side effect to several types of medication. Certain antidepressants are known to lead to this disorder. The one that is placed high on the list is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Sertraline, paroxetine, and fluoxetine are several examples of this type of antidepressant. Common drinking and smoking are strongly related to this condition. Also, many types of drugs are known factors that cause bruxism.

Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, snoring, violent dreams, hallucinations can lead to teeth grinding. Obstructive sleep apnea is a very common disease that should be taken care of in time. Sleep paralysis is also commonly associated with teeth clenching.

Unfortunately, your favorite caffeinated drinks might be causing you to clench your jaws and grind your teeth. Overly-consuming coffee and tea can lead to bruxism. We are talking about six and more cups a day.

Aggressive people, overachievers, people that are easily affected by anxiety do show the tendency to develop bruxism more often. Also, patients that are suffering from mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s might show symptoms of jaw clenching. ADHD, dementia, epilepsy might also be connected with this conditions.

How to Treat Bruxism?

The treatment mostly depends on the severity of the case. The first step, just like with any other condition is to find the reason that provokes the clenching and grinding. The dentist will be able to help you determine the factor and advise you on how to reduce or eliminate it. If it is stress, then there are numerous relaxation techniques that you can try. They will reduce the anxiety levels and help you relax and sleep much better. Stress management therapy is another way to go. Yoga and meditation can be extremely helpful. Massage, listening to music, cognitive behavior therapy, reading, are also options to look at.

The damage that has been caused to the teeth should be taken care of immediately to prevent any further complications. All of the lost substance should be repaired. It mostly depends on the amount. If there is only a slight loss, it can be done with fillings, if not crowns and bridges might be necessary.

Mouth guards and mouth splints are prescribed for patients to wear while asleep. They significantly reduce the forces that do the damage. These guards and splints will even out the pressure and protect your teeth and joint. They are not a solution to the problem, but these appliances will ease the symptoms and probably prevent further damage.
All of the bad habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, and drug use should be at least reduced. The same thing applies for caffeine intake.

Pregnancy and Oral Health

When you are expecting your body will go through a lot of changes. Some of those will appear in your oral cavity. It is very important to know what kind of changes will happen and to know the proper ways to take care of your oral health. There are many conditions that are related to pregnancy and appear more often in pregnant women. Some of these women get too obsessed with overthinking things about the baby and don’t pay too much attention to their teeth. The thing is that they don’t get how important the oral well-being is both for their body and for the baby.

Why do These Changes Appear?

The changes are a result of the many things that happen in the body of an expecting mom. First of all, the hormone levels are significantly altered. The hormonal changes lead to an increased blow flow in the oral tissues and also an immune system that is more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.

Which are the Most Common Oral Problems During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy Gingivitis

pregnancy-gingivitis

This is by far, the most common problem that a lot of expecting moms experience. The wild hormones are responsible for this condition. The symptoms are identical with the regular gingivitis. You will experience bleeding from the gums, especially when you are brushing your teeth. The gums will be red and inflamed. They will also be more susceptible to bacterial invasion. That is why the gingivitis should be treated from the start. If not it might progress to periodontal disease, which is very hard to control during pregnancy. The second trimester is the time when gingivitis is most likely to occur. If you notice any of these changes, you should schedule a visit to your dentist.

Morning Sickness

The morning sickness and vomiting are the biggest enemies of your teeth. The acids that pass through your mouth are strong and can lead to dental erosion. You will experience bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Although you might think that the best idea is to brush your teeth right after the vomiting, you shouldn’t do that. Because of the acids tooth’s structure is already weakened, by brushing your teeth immediately, you only damage the enamel even more. Instead, you should rinse your mouth with water several times. Baking soda is another good idea, that will help you restore the normal pH levels in the mouth. All you have to do is mix a tablespoon of baking soda with water and swish it in your mouth. This is only a temporary condition, but it is good to visit a dentist for further advice.

Pregnancy Tumors

Although the name might sound scary, these formations are not malignant and are only temporary in most cases. Pregnant women tend to develop these tumors during the second trimester. That is when they notice weird-looking lumps localized near the upper gum line. The gums will be red and inflamed, and the tumors look like raspberries. They might bleed and cause discomfort when eating or talking. The pregnancy tumors tend to disappear right after the baby is born. In the cases where they cause a lot of difficulties, the tumors can be removed.

Increased Risk of Caries

Unfortunately, expecting moms are at a greater risk of dental caries. This happens for several reasons. Because of the hormonal changes the body might have a lower ability to fight bacteria. Also, pregnant women tend to eat much more sugar, which is high on the list of risk factors for caries. Not having the proper oral hygiene is also a cause of tooth decay. Morning sickness and the acids that go through the mouth weaken the enamel. That increases the chances of getting dental caries.

How to Deal with Oral Problems During Pregnancy?

First and foremost, don’t ever forget to take care of your oral health. Providing the perfect oral hygiene is of utmost importance. You should schedule regular checkups with your dentist. He will be able to follow the changes in the mouth and give you advice on many topics. You should let him know that you are pregnant as soon as you know. That is important mostly because of medication. If he is prescribing you any medication, he should be aware of the fact that you are expecting. That way he can make sure that everything he does is safe for the baby. Antibiotics and pain medicine shouldn’t be prescribed during pregnancy.

A lot of dental procedures should be avoided during pregnancy. Usually, dentists only do procedures that are necessary. The recommended time to get dental work done is the second trimester. But, it would be ideal if that could wait until the baby is born. If you are aware of any dental problems that you have and you are planning on having a baby, you should take care of your teeth first before getting pregnant.

You will be advised to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You should use floss to completely remove the tartar between your teeth. Pregnancy gingivitis is correlated with bad oral hygiene. Some of the studies even show that having gum disease during pregnancy is connected with the risk of a premature birth. Your diet has a huge impact on your teeth. You should avoid foods and drinks that contain a lot of sugar.

All of the dental problems associated with pregnancy can be avoided with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dental office. But if some of those occur, then you should go to the dentist as soon as possible. Gingivitis should be stopped and treated in the early stages before it progresses into periodontal disease. Pregnancy tumors are usually not treated, but if they cause a lot of discomforts they can be removed. In 50% of the treated cases, the tumors tend to appear again shortly after the removal. Right after the birth, these formations disappear.

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes is becoming one of the most common diseases in the world. Unfortunately, every day there are thousands of new people diagnosed with it. This is a condition that prevents your body to properly process sugar. There are two types of diabetes, and both of those lead to high blood sugar levels. The disease affects many parts of the body and damages different organs. It can cause problems with the kidneys, eyes, heart and even the mouth. A lot of people are not aware they are suffering from this condition and ignore the many warning signs. Also, the ones that are already getting treatment don’t understand the effects diabetes can have on the oral health.

diabetes

What are the Oral Symptoms of Diabetes?

One of the first symptoms of this disease is a dry mouth. It is caused by a reduced salivary flow and it leads to a burning sensation appearing in the mouth and tongue. The xerostomia can be caused by some of the medication that patients take. This sensation is especially strong in people with uncontrolled diabetes. The tasting sensation might also be altered due to the lack of saliva. Other symptoms include a higher caries incidence, gingivitis and periodontitis, bad breath, bacterial and fungal infections and more.

Diabetes and Gum Disease

periodontal-disease
Diabetics very often suffer from problems with their gums. It all starts as gingivitis or an inflammation of the gums. They appear as red, swollen and bleed spontaneously or when brushing. This is a result of poor oral hygiene or uncontrolled diabetes. If patients notice these signs they should pay a visit to their dentist. There, they will get the proper advice on how to treat the inflammation. Luckily, this is a reversible condition that can be stopped with the appropriate measures.

If the gingivitis is not treated it will progress to periodontitis. This condition affects the supporting tissues of the teeth and the surrounding bone. It is the most common oral disease and patients with diabetes are unfortunately more susceptible to periodontitis. The ones that have uncontrolled levels of blood sugar are at a greater risk of being affected. People with diabetes have trouble with fighting the bacteria responsible for the gum inflammation, therefore need to pay much more attention to their oral health and hygiene.

If diabetics don’t visit their dentists regularly and don’t have that ideal oral hygiene, the periodontitis will progress to advanced stages. That is when the advanced loss of bone and tissue happens. Periodontal disease is a complication of diabetes, but also once it’s present it complicates the process of controlling the disease. The severe periodontal disease causes an increase in blood sugar. In the same time, the body is much more susceptible to infections and has less power to fight bacteria.

Diabetes and Fungal Infections

diabetes-fungal-infection
Oral candidiasis is a common opportunistic fungal infection associated with diabetes. It is caused by Candida Albicans and it usually appears in moist and warm areas of the body, including the mouth. With diabetics, thrush can appear as a primary infection in the mouth, but it can also occur as a secondary one, due to xerostomia or use of antibiotics.

Unfortunately, people with diabetes are more likely to develop oral candidiasis. The reason for this is the high levels of blood sugar. As with any other complication, uncontrolled diabetes has greater chances of oral infections. Another very important factor is the weaker immune system that diabetics have. Smoking, dentures and poor oral hygiene are the other predisposing factors for a thrush.

The symptoms are characteristic and can be recognized very easily by a dentist. They include white lesions located in the mouth, specifically on the tongue, oral part of the cheeks and the back parts of the oral cavity. Patients might experience a change in their perception of taste and dry mouth. The tongue will be red, and also bleeding might be present. Cracks on the skin at the corners of the lips are very common.

Diabetes and Bacterial Infections

Oral bacterial infections happen very often with diabetics. These patients have a weaker immune system that can’t fight the bacteria the same way a healthy organism would do. Diabetics have a dysfunctional defense mechanism and that causes recurrent infections. Also, wound healing is slower.

Diabetes and Caries

The lowered immune system, the decreased salivary flow, and susceptibility to bacterial infections lead to a higher risk of caries with diabetics.

How to Take Care of Your Oral Health if You are a Diabetic?

Your care should start with scheduling regular visits to the dentist. Scientists proved that the good oral health can help with controlling the levels of blood sugar. These two have a very close correlation. If you are taking really good care of your teeth and gums that might prove very useful in regulating the disease.

First of all, if your blood sugar levels are under control, you shouldn’t be experiencing any problems. That way your body will be stronger and able to fight any type of bacteria or fungi that can cause an infection. You will be advised to brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush, and floss once a day. If you are wearing dentures they should also be cleaned every day. Aside from this, professional care will be required. Deep cleanings, fillings, and other regular procedures should be performed if necessary.

Implementing the proper diet that will help you have the disease under control is another important thing. Smokers should tend to quit that bad habit. Exercising and physical activities are highly recommended.

You should schedule visits for at least twice a year. If you notice any weird symptoms, sensations or feelings you should immediately call for an appointment. Infections are very common and should be treated as soon as possible, otherwise, the complications will be hard to treat. That is why you should make oral hygiene and regular dental visits your priority.

Dry Mouth- Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

What is a dry mouth?

dry-mouth
Dry mouth, or also known as xerostomia, is a condition where the salivary glands in the mouth do not produce enough saliva. It can happen to everyone to have a dryer mouth than usual, but as long as it’s temporary it’s probably not a big deal. If this starts happening very often, or if it’s a condition that’s been present for a longer time, that raises red alarms. If you are dehydrated you might also feel that in your oral cavity, and it is a temporary thing that will go away once you hydrate properly. Also, the same thing can happen if you are anxious or nervous.

What is the importance of saliva?

Saliva is one of the most important factors in your mouth that keeps the whole oral cavity safe from bacteria and help with many functions. First of all, saliva contains many proteins that neutralize the harmful products of bacteria and also acids. It also cleans the surfaces of the oral cavity from food leftovers and bacteria. This is how it fights against caries. Saliva is very helpful in the whole process of digesting the food. Once you bite onto food, saliva moistens the bite and helps it move through the oral cavity and esophagus without damaging any tissues. Also, the digesting process starts in the mouth, with the enzymes that the saliva contains. It effectively helps your ability to taste the food.

Saliva fights against fungi and viruses, and it protects your mouth from ulcers and sores. If the glands don’t produce enough saliva, that will affect all of the functions in the mouth, including chewing, swallowing and speaking.

Symptoms

The symptoms of a dry mouth are very easy to notice. You will start feeling a very dry and sticky feeling that you usually don’t feel. You will notice that you have less saliva in your mouth and that it is thicker. Your taste perception might change. You will experience difficulties in speaking, chewing and swallowing. Because the lubricating effect of saliva is missing that might cause sores, cracks, dry lips and pain. You will be always thirsty, but drinking water won’t help much. The condition will cause problems with your tongue also, where you will feel weird tingling sensations. Your throat and nose will be dry, and that might lead to infections. The whole appearance of the oral cavity will be changed. The surfaces will evidently be dry, shiny and a deeper shade of red. You will notice gum inflammation, dental caries, and bad breath. A burning sensation is also very likely to happen.

What are the problems that a dry mouth can cause?

A dry mouth can cause many problems, some of them even can even have a huge impact on the everyday life. Of course, the problems with teeth and gums are the most noticeable ones, but not the worst ones. People that are affected by xerostomia have a much higher incidence of caries and gum disease. They suffer oral infections much more often than people with normal saliva flow. Yeast infection, or also known as thrush is the most common one. They will also notice sores and cracks, especially located at the angles of the lips. Patients with dentures are the ones that have a lot of trouble dealing with dry mouth. This condition makes it almost impossible for them to wear the dentures. You will not be able to enjoy food like before, you will have a hard time chewing, swallowing and also the sensation will not be the same.

Causes

Xerostomia can be caused by diseases and conditions that affect the salivary glands but that happens less often. The most common causes of this condition are certain medication, general medical conditions, aging, smoking,

1. Medication
medication
Tons of medication that are used to cure certain diseases can cause side effects such as xerostomia. Drugs such as antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, bronchodilators, the ones used to cure anxiety, nausea, obesity, pain, psychotic disorders, Parkinson’s disease are the ones that can lead to a dry mouth as a side effect.

2. Diseases

Many general medical conditions can affect the salivary glands. Sjogren’s Syndrome is an autoimmune disease that attacks the glands in the mouth and eyes. It is a very serious Syndrome and people that have it are really struggling with the symptoms. They have a much higher incidence of tooth decay and gum disease, and the older ones have a hard time with dentures. Other autoimmune diseases that can cause xerostomia are systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, hypertension are just a part of the more common diseases that can lead to this condition.

3. Aging

Aging is a perfectly normal process that cannot be stopped. Many older people have trouble with dry mouth. The main reason for this is not just the process of aging but also the many additional factors that are present. Older people very often take many medications because of their health problems.

4. Radiation therapy

Therapy treatments that are used to fight against cancer can affect the salivary glands. Chemotherapy and radiation, especially if they are done in the area of face and neck can reduce the saliva flow. In some cases, the condition will only be temporary, while in others there might be permanent damage. It all depends on the doses of radiation used in the treatment.

Other causes of dry mouth include smoking, nerve damage, conditions that cause dehydration, drugs, and alcohol abuse.

Treatment

The treatment of xerostomia depends on the cause. If you experience any of these symptoms you should visit your dentist. He will determine the cause and help you treat the condition. If you’ve been taking medication that is causing a reduced saliva flow, then there is an option to change them with another type or reduce the dose. To lessen the symptoms dentists usually prescribe special products that act like an artificial saliva, or even medication that stimulate the salivary glands.
dry-mouth-relieve