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Clinical Discourse on “Mercury Free Dental Fillings”

Dental cavities are common and dental fillings prevent the loss of tooth structure and save the tooth. Amalgam(is a type of alloy mixture used for fillings) – commonly called the “Silver Filling” was considered the gold standard of fillings due to its strength, resistance and the ease of use. But it has a few disadvantages such as, it contains Mercury which is an industrial pollutant. Many countries in Europe have banned the usage of the same due to its potential toxicity and side effects. Even in India there has been an advice to decrease the usage of the same.

Continue reading Clinical Discourse on “Mercury Free Dental Fillings”

How a decayed portion is restored in our tooth?

Human tooth is made up of calcium and we all know the outer portion is strongest part enamel  which easily sticks to the food particles which generates acids leads to a state called cavity. This cavity could be replaced using one of the well known methods tooth filling .

Continue reading How a decayed portion is restored in our tooth?

WHY AND WHEN IS A ROOT CANAL TREATMENT PERFORMED?

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The tooth consists of three layers. The outer layer is called enamel, the layer underlying the enamel is called the dentin and the innermost layer of the tooth is called the pulp. The pulp is the only living structure in the tooth. When the pulp is infected, a root canal treatment is to be performed to save the tooth. Continue reading WHY AND WHEN IS A ROOT CANAL TREATMENT PERFORMED?

Why Should You Make Dental Hygiene Your Priority!

Riya was very nervous that day. It was the last round of her job interview and she had to meet the CEO, for a face to face meeting. She was an excellent candidate for the role and she knew she would sweep the interview with the job and a great salary, if her skills were the only deciding parameter. She had also dressed up very aptly for the interview, looking her professional best. But still, something was bothering Riya very much.

Riya had been suffering from bad breath for the past one month. She had been postponing her dentist appointment for the past one week and today, she landed in a catch 22 position. She wished she had visited the dentist earlier or at least maintained good dental hygiene in the recent past. Not just Riya, but a lot of us do not pay much attention to the most essential part of our body, that is our mouth.

Dental hygiene is not only about the teeth but also concerns gums, tongue and the mouth cavity.

A research by Bristol University suggests that oral hygiene might be directly linked to cardio-vascular diseases. The research says “cardiovascular disease is currently the biggest killer in the western world. Oral bacteria such as Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus sanguinis are common infecting agents, and we now recognise that bacterial infections are an independent risk factor for heart diseasesNot just the heart disease, but other deadly illnesses like Alzheimers and pancreatic cancer have been linked to bleeding of gums and presence of bacteria in the mouth. Although tooth decay is the most common dental problem that occurs in all age groups today, other problems that could arise are gum disease (gingivitis), dry mouth (xerostomia), abscessed tooth, joint disorders, etc.

Those with poor oral hygiene are more at risk of developing gingivitis, especially those who have diabetes, as their resistance to infection is lower and also smokers. Women also have high chances of developing gingivitis during pregnancy. Stress, which weakens the immune system and genes can also lead to this condition.

Here are 3 simple reasons on why dental hygiene should be your top priority:

Overall physical health: A healthy mouth is good for your entire body. Dental hygiene is linked to a lot of health conditions as the nerves present in the mouth’s cavity are mostly linked to the brain. Any issues that arise out of the nerves related to dental hygiene can prove fatal to the functioning of many essential organs in the body such as ear, heart, etc. So, it is essential to pay attention to dental hygiene.

Boost confidence: Good dental hygiene ensures that your mental happiness and confidence quotient is also high, especially if you are a working professional.

Be a good role-model: When it comes to dental hygiene, it is of core concern especially if you are a parent. Children consume all kinds of junk like chocolates and candies than anyone else does. Hence, they are the most susceptible to dental problems. As a parent, if you introduce good dental hygiene habits in your lifestyle, your children will emulate you in the same.

Here are 3 simple things you could practice every day to maintain good dental hygiene:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day
  2. Floss in between the teeth gaps and your tongue
  3. Rinse your mouth after every meal

And, apart from these measures, it is advised that one visits the dentist once in 6 months to check on their dental hygiene status and also to get latest tips from the dentist on oral hygiene.

Nutrition and Dental/Oral health go hand in hand!

Don’t we all wish our tooth remained like a kid’s first set of pearly shiny whites? Those cute little smiles are never affected by decay or cavities? We, unfortunately, do not understand the harm that candies, juices and lollipops can do to our teeth. Dental health is more important than most of us actually realize. And nutrition plays a very big role in this. People with 25 or more teeth tend to eat more nutritiously says a study. So in order to limit those chewy chocolates, and getting to brush twice a day, it’s up to us to keep an eye out for these common dental problems that affect us severely.

We obviously need healthy teeth and gums to eat nutritious and tasty food. And we need to eat nutritious foods for healthy teeth. That’s how the cycle works. When we were kids, usually our diet is what influences the teeth development. And once it’s grown, with all teeth in place, what we consume (food) plays a role in maintaining an oral dental health.

Now let’s have a look at a few food items that can actually help with your oral hygiene!

  • Cheese and milk:

Dairy does mouth well!

Cheese is an important ally. I’m sure all of us love to eat cheese burst pizzas and what we eat has a direct impact on your oral health, and foods like cheese can be of big help. Consuming dairy products is vital to maintain good oral health as many doctors and studies have proved the fact that eating cheese will prevent cavities and reduces the acid in our mouth. The study indicates that the rising level of pH from eating cheese may have occurred due to the increase in saliva production to help clear away food particles which could be caused by the action of chewing. Since cheese and milk contains calcium and phosphorous it infiltrates the layer of plaque by surrounding your teeth to remineralize the tooth enamel and prevent erosion plus makes our teeth much stronger.

  • Fibre-rich fruits and vegetables:

If you are craving for sugar, then firm and crunchy fruits such as apple, pears and peaches are your best bet. They have enormous water content that dilutes the effects of sugar and stimulate the flow of saliva and in turn fights the bacteria and helps create mineral defences against tooth decay. Vegetables also help in neutralizing the acids present in our mouth. Thus fresh fruits and raw vegetables that help our oral hygiene are:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Melons
  • Pineapple
  • Pears
  • Tangerines
  • Broccoli (Helps synthesize three proteins in bone needed for strength; Broccoli and leafy greens also noted for its role in blood clotting)
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices
  • Canned fruits in natural juices
  • Snacks that nurture your dental health:

We all love to munch and snack in-between our meals. Unfortunately, a lot of us choose foods like chips, sweets etc., foods that will injure by promoting tooth decay. Instead we can choose nutritious and tooth-friendly, high-protein foods such as cheese, milk, yoghurt, nuts, eggs, meat, poultry and fish, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Here are a variety of snacks and drinks low in sugar and high in nutrition are best:

  • Plain yogurt, hard cheese, hard-boiled eggs
  • Apples, sliced mango, raw vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable enchilada, sushi
  • Hummus, baba ghanouj
  • Naan bread, tortilla
  • Cashews:

We all knew about cashews for centuries that it’s good for our body, but never did we realize it also benefited our teeth. The cashew nuts possess herbal health benefits that include killing bacteria and germs and eliminate tooth decay. According to the research, cashew nuts contain magnesium, calcium and phosphate which are all important nutrients of dental health. Cashew nuts help maintain healthy gums and teeth. The chewing of cashews produces plenty of saliva, which neutralises the bacteria Streptococcus mutants that causes cavities. We can just eat an ounce of cashews every day to get rid of cavities. Go nuts and snack on cashews!

  • Water:

Fluoride is a natural substance not a medication. Fluorides can greatly help dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay. Studies have consistently shown that fluoridation of community water supplies is safe and effective in preventing dental decay in both children and adults by at least 25%.Thus by simply drinking water, a lot of people can benefit from fluoridation of cavity protection whenever they are at home or work.

Apart from all these, we should brush our teeth twice a day after eating and drinking sugary drinks, to remove the plaque bacteria that create the destructive acids. Sugar-free soft drinks can erode your teeth, too. If you cannot brush after every meal, brush at least twice a day.

 

8 Tips To Reduce Dental Cavities

That searing pain which runs through the jaw up to the head. We all have experienced it. The pain which doesn’t let us sleep, eat or pretty much do anything. The culprit behind those pain attacks is cavities. In fact, according to WHO, almost all the adults in the world have cavities. Cavities, if ignored for extended periods of time, could lead to lasting damage to the nerve cells and jaw finally resulting in tooth fall. Cavities cannot be easily prevented since all the food we eat contains sugar, but we can reduce the impact of cavities by following certain measures. Here are some tips to reduce the occurrence of dental cavities.

  • Brush, Floss, Rinse

    The basic protection from cavities starts with the most basic step; brushing. Brushing of teeth at least twice a day would help prevent cavities. Once before breakfast and another one just before going to sleep. Brushing helps cover the teeth with a fine layer of Fluoride. This acts as a shield from the bacteria which causes cavities. Flossing after every meal would help remove the particles stuck in between the teeth, preventing the decay of enamel.

  • Say ‘NO’ to refined sugar

Sugar, when mixed with saliva produce bacteria. The mixture then forms a substance known as ‘plaque’. If the plaque is not brushed away, it would lead to cavities. Sugar accelerate the decay process and hence, it needs to be taken in moderation.

  • Eat fiber-rich and fresh foods

Nuts, apples, cheese, wheat products, fresh vegetables are known to break the plaque and prevent cavity formation.

  • Drink water, water and more water

Drinking water helps in reducing the risk of cavities. Drinking lots of water would cause an increase in the production of saliva which act a natural shield against cavities.

  • Sugar-free gum

All those chewing gum ads hold relevance after all. Chewing a sugar-free gum constantly produces saliva. The chewy action also helps remove morsels of food hiding in the crevices of the teeth, reducing the risk of cavities.

  • Eat healthy

Many people associate cavities with oral health alone, but diet plays an important role as well. Not having all the vitamins would lead to teeth not receiving the required nutrition from the circulatory system and causing cavities inside the teeth. Eating foods that are rich in Vitamins A, C, E and K as well as phosphorous, calcium, and magnesium are recommended to keep your teeth healthy.

  • Go easy on the soft drinks

Soft drinks are available everywhere. In movies, in school canteens, in restaurants, in fast food outlets & even airports. And they are the best companions of any meal too. But they should be avoided as they are acidic in nature and could damage the enamel (the protective layer covering the teeth) thereby accelerating tooth decay.

  •  TEA can help your TEETH

Drinking black and green tea helps in reducing plaque buildup. It also prevents the bacterial activity in your mouth and brings the risk of cavities to a minimum.

Following these procedures would help the teeth remain healthy and in turn make you look good. And since most of them are home-made remedies, they would be convenient as well.

Oral Care During Festive Season

Festivals are synonymous with feasting. The Festival season is always marked by good food, sweets, and a sense of euphoria along with exchanging gifts. There is a feel of festivity in the atmosphere with people sharing their joy, merry songs in the spirit of the festival and decorating their homes and surroundings with colorful lights. Food plays a big part in these celebrations, and often caught up in the festive spirit people forget to observe caution and binge on food and sweets. People look forward to big treats such as homemade sweets, laddoos, Mysore pak, jalebi, chocolates, etc. This splurge in the festive season is often responsible for the resulting tooth decay, toothache, and other such dental problems.

The festive season is an excuse to stuff them with food. While they worry about their bulging waistlines, they completely disregard the effect that sweets or snacks can have on their teeth. Dental hygiene is one area that one should be wary of during the festive season. Sweets, cakes and snacks contain a generous amount of sugar which is the main cause of tooth decay. The aerated drinks that are included along with the feast in the festive meals are acidic and cause severe tooth erosion. These two things work in sync and affect the health of your teeth. The sugary foods deteriorate and decay the teeth while acidic drinks cause erosion of the protective covering – thus making the teeth soft targets for attack by bacteria. It is advised that you do not eat/binge between meals. It is better to eat sweets with the meals rather than eating them between meals. This step helps by allowing your teeth to re-mineralize and recover after a meal has been consumed. Make sure you use a dentist recommended mouthwash after every meal. This helps protect the teeth against plaque and foul smell/halitosis.

People with the history of tooth decay can follow a few tips to prevent further damage which are:-

  • Sugar-free gum or mints can help keep your mouth busy when faced with sugary temptations.
  • Chocolate – especially dark varieties – in moderation, can offer health benefits and is less likely to stick to teeth when frozen.

Since systemic diseases like diabetes and hypertension/high Blood Pressure go hand in hand, people with the history of these diseases need to make sure that they keep their blood sugar level under control, failing which they will be at a very high risk of dental caries, early gum disease [gingivitis], and advanced gum disease [periodontitis]

It is also important that you brush your teeth at least twice on a daily basis and use the right brushing technique such as the bass/modified bass brushing technique, followed by flossing and usage of prescribed mouthwashes. Kindly visit us at any one of our Dental Centres in case of any kind of dental problem or for a thorough dental assessment.

Courtesy Dr. Vignesh N, Apollo WHITE Dental, Puducherry.

“Taking Care of Your Teeth During Festivals”

With the festive season in the air, all of us relish the possibility of gorging on all kinds of delicacies. But beware, uninvited guests in your mouth (bacteria) may find your food just as tasty. The bacteria that cause the common diseases of the oral cavity- tooth decay and gum disease, are normally present even in a healthy mouth and only need the right environment to multiply into numbers that can cause disease.

Here are a few tips to help protect the oral cavity:

While it may cruelly impractical to avoid eating sweets altogether, the prudent thing would be to avoid binge eating.

Rinse your mouth vigorously even at the risk of losing the pleasant, lingering after tasting your favourite sweet. Sticky carbohydrates being the favoured food or oral bacteria that colonize tooth early and rinsing is a good way of preventing their accumulation anywhere in the mouth.

After eating a particularly sticky sweet, you can consider brushing, especially those who already have a number of decayed teeth or diagnosed gum problems.

Brushing twice a day is mandatory at all times only that this is to be done very diligently. Interdental aids such as floss or interdental brush must be used at least once a day, preferably in the night.

An antibacterial mouthwash may be used at least for as long as the festive season lasts.

Children are more prone for disease during this time as there may be a tendency for excessive eating and no care, what with more interesting things to do such as playing with friends and relatives. Parents are often too held up with other things to pay the extra attention they need at this time.

So exercise extra vigil to ensure that children continue to take care of their teeth even while enjoying their sweets.

When it comes to older individuals, there is probably an increased prevalence for diseases such as diabetes. Uncontrolled eating may not only spoil teeth but also worsen blood sugar levels, which could in turn lead to several complications including gum disease.

In brief, festive offers may be good when it comes to buying clothes, sweets or other household good, but make sure it does not include- a buy a goody get a disease free offer. The festive season comes with its set of new challenges that require an even vigil on the maintenance of oral hygiene.

Courtesy Dr. Arun K V, Consultant Periodontist, Apollo WHITE Dental SPA, Chennai.