How Crooked Teeth Are Actually Detrimental To Your Health, Not Just Your Vanity

How crooked teeth may cause gum disease

Crooked and misaligned teeth not only interfere with proper chewing, but may also increase your chances of gum disease.

Dental Health With Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bites

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There are several reasons why some people’s teeth grow in crooked, overlapping, or twisted. Some people’s mouths are too small for their teeth, which crowds the teeth and causes them to shift. In other cases, a person’s upper and lower jaws aren’t the same size or are malformed, resulting in either an overbite, when there is excessive protrusion of the upper jaw, or an under bite, when the lower jaw protrudes forward causing the lower jaw and teeth to extend out beyond the upper teeth.

Most often crooked teeth, overbites, and underbites are inherited traits just as the color of your eyes or size of your hands. Other causes of misaligned bites are early loss of baby or adult teeth; improper fit of dental restorations (for example, fillings or crowns); gingivitis (gum disease); undue pressure on the teeth and gums; misalignment of the jaw after an injury; tumors of the mouth or jaw; or common oral health problems in children such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, pacifieruse beyond the age of three, or prolonged use of a bottle.

What Problems Come With Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bites?

Crooked teeth and misaligned bites can:

  • Interfere with proper chewing.
  • Make keeping teeth clean more of a challenge, increasing the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis.
  • Strain the teeth, jaws, and muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth.
  • Make people feel self-conscious about their appearance and affect their self-esteem.

How Do I Know if My Teeth Are Crooked or My Bite Is Misaligned?

While you can see for yourself if teeth are crooked, your dentist can determine if the problem warrants treatment. Your dentist will look for the following signs:

  • Abnormal alignment of teeth
  • Abnormal appearance of the face
  • Difficulty or discomfort when chewing or biting
  • Speech difficulties, including a lisp

Your dentist will usually refer you to an orthodontist — a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of crooked teeth and misaligned jaws.

What Tests Can I Expect at the Orthodontist?

The orthodontist will likely take X-rays, photographs of your face, and teeth impressions to determine if and what type of treatment is needed. X-rays provide information on the position of your teeth and roots and if any teeth have yet to come through the gums. Special cephalometrics or panoramic X-rays show the relationship of the teeth to the jaws and the jaws to the head. Your orthodontist may also want to take regular photographs of your face to further examine the relationship between the teeth, jaws, and head. Finally, impressions may be made of your teeth. This is done by having you bite down on a soft material that is later used to create an exact copy of your teeth.

How Are Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bites Treated?

Once a diagnosis is made, your orthodontist can decide the best treatment for your teeth or misaligned bite. For some people, a removable retainer (to stabilize the new position of teeth) will be all that’s needed to correct the problem. Removal of one or more teeth may be required if overcrowding is the main problem. For most people, braces are necessary to correct the problem. In rare and extreme cases, such as an extreme overbite or underbite, an operation may be necessary.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr., DMD on January 28, 2015

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Human Teeth Healthier in the Stone Age Than Today

Human Teeth Healthier in the Stone Age Than Today

Image result for stone age man teeth

Food manufacturing progress altered oral bacteria, leading to chronic problems, researchers say.

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2013 (HealthDay News) —

Something to think about next time you’re in the dentist’s chair: Ancient humans had healthier teeth than people do today, researchers say.

This decline in oral health over the past 7,500 years is the result of changes in oral bacteria due to human evolution and industrialization, the study authors said. These changes have led to chronic oral and other health problems, according to the report published Feb. 18 in Nature Genetics.

“The composition of oral bacteria changed markedly with the introduction of farming, and again around 150 years ago,” explained study leader Alan Cooper, a professor and director of the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, in a center news release. “With the introduction of processed sugar and flour in the Industrial Revolution, we can see a dramatically decreased diversity in our oralbacteria, allowing domination by caries [cavities]-causing strains. The modern mouth basically exists in a permanent disease state.”

The international team of researchers examined DNA that had been preserved in tartar — calcified dental plaque — found on 34 prehistoric northern European human skeletons. They used these samples to analyze how oral bacteria changed from the Stone Age to the last hunter-gatherers, medieval times and later with the introduction of food manufacturing in the Industrial Revolution.The evolution of human behavior and diet have had a negative impact on oral health, the investigators said.

“This is the first record of how our evolution over the last 7,500 years has impacted the bacteria we carry with us, and the important health consequences,” Cooper said. “Oral bacteria in modern man are markedly less diverse than historic populations and this is thought to contribute to chronic oral and other disease in post-industrial lifestyles,” he pointed out.

Study lead author Christina Adler, now at the University of Sydney, added that “dental plaque represents the only easily accessible source of preserved human bacteria.” And, she said in the news release, “Genetic analysis of plaque can create a powerful new record of dietary impacts, health changes and oral pathogen genomic evolution, deep into the past.”

The researchers said their research is being expanded to include other periods in time, other areas of the world and other species, such as Neanderthals.

Why Falling Asleep Without Brushing Your Teeth Is Actually Pretty Darn Gross

Brushing is important for reasons beyond fresh breath.

Brushing is important for reasons beyond fresh breath.

Why Falling Asleep Without Brushing Your Teeth Is Actually Pretty Darn Gross

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing those pearly whites twice a day, but what happens if you don’t?

You probably already know that the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing those pearly whites twice a day. You also probably know that brushing your teeth is one of the easiest ways to avoid scaring off your date.

But brushing is important for reasons beyond fresh breath. Skip a session, and you’re on your way to encouraging the growth of bacterial buildup in the form of plaque, which can lead to cavities and gum disease.

“In the middle of the day, [run your tongue] across your teeth right around the gum line. You’ll find something sticky or fuzzy,” Deepinder “Ruchi” Sahota, DDS, a dentist in Fremont, California, and a spokesperson for the ADA, tells The Huffington Post. “That’s plaque.”

Brushing, thankfully, “disrupt[s] that bacteria so it doesn’t stay in place,” she says, because if left in place, it starts to attack your teeth. Plus, the longer that plaque sits in one place, the more likely it is to become tartar, “that hard, yellow, rough material you sometimes feel in between your teeth” that can cause inflammation and bleeding in the gums, she says. Leave that untreated for too long, and you could risk losing teeth.

While there’s not exactly a precise timeline of when plaque becomes risky, “you can start the process of a cavity by not brushing once, absolutely,” says Sahota, especially if your occasional forgetfulness is more frequent than you’d like to admit. (We won’t tell.)

However, doing a so-so job brushing can be just as bad, Sahota warns. That twice-a-day routine is no joke, preferably with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush. Each brushing session should last about two minutes and cover all surfaces of the teeth, not just the parts we see when we smile, she says. The ADA also recommends flossing once a day and seeing a dentist regularly to take care of the rest (like that tartar, which only a dentist can truly clean, she says).

Also, no cheating: Gum, mints and mouthwash are no brushing replacements. All three can give your mouth a fresher feel, says Sahota, but “brushing and flossing are the only ways to effectively, physically remove the plaque.”

Banish Dry Mouth; Saliva Protects Your Teeth

How To Get Rid Of Cotton Mouth Quickly and Easily

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How To Get Rid Of Cotton Mouth Quickly and Easily
Last Updated: 3rd October 2016

What Is Cotton Mouth?

The majority of us have probably experienced the feeling of “cotton mouth,” or xerostomia, at one point or another, however, for some individuals a severely dry mouth is part of their everyday life. As its nickname suggests, the term “cotton mouth” describes the feeling of having a mouth that is so dry that it almost feels as though you have a mouth full of cotton wool.

How To Get Rid Of Cotton Mouth Quickly and Easily

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What Does Cotton Mouth Do?

As you have probably figured out, a dry mouth occurs when the mouth becomes dry. We need saliva to keep our mouths moist and, when saliva production slows down, everyday tasks can become uncomfortable, and we run the risk of developing oral health issues.

A dry mouth can make simple tasks such as chewing and swallowing food uncomfortable and even painful due to the lack of saliva present that would normally aid these processes. Even if your mouth is not dry to quite this extent, thecotton mouth can still impact your life in various ways such as impairing the taste of food, making you feel constantly thirsty and even making it near impossible to wear dentures.

Saliva also plays a part in keeping our mouths clean as it controls bacteria and fungi in the mouth which, in turn, helps to prevent and fight infections. A lack of saliva in the mouth can, therefore, increase your chance of developing problems with your oral health such as gingivitis, tooth decay, and even oral thrush.

What Are the Symptoms Of Cotton Mouth?

Although the most common complaint of cotton mouth is a severely dry mouth, there are other symptoms to look out for. These can include:

  • A sticky feeling in the mouth
  • Frequent thirst
  • Sores in the mouth or on the surrounding area
  • A dry throat
  • A burning or tingling sensation
  • A red or raw tongue
  • Problems speaking
  • Problems tasting, chewing, and swallowing
  • Dry nasal passages
  • Bad breath
How To Get Rid Of Cotton Mouth Quickly and Easily

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Do I Need To See My Doctor?

There are many things that can cause cotton mouth, and these can range from prescription medications to lifestyle factors such as simply being dehydrated, in addition to everything in between. Unfortunately, dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription drugs and, if you suspect that this is the cause of your cotton mouth, sharing your concerns with your doctor will be the safest and most effective route for you to take.

A severely dry mouth can also be a side effect of an underlying medical condition that remains undiscovered and untreated. If you suspect that some infection or disease could be causing your cotton mouth then paying a visit to your doctor for a fullcheck-upto be on the safe side is the best course of action.

If you have paid a visit to your doctor and seem to be in good health but still find that you are struggling with cotton mouth, then do not despair. The chances are that your cotton mouth is being caused by one of your small daily habits that you have probably overlooked. If this is the case, then do not worry as there are a range of subtle changes you can make to your daily routine that will provide you with some relief from your cotton mouth quickly and easily.

Detox juice

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1. Drink More Water

It may seem like a fairly obvious suggestion,but the best cure for a dry mouth is to drink more liquid, however, you will need to ensure that you are taking regular sips throughout the day rather than big gulps when your mouth first begins to feel dry.

Ensure that you are taking a sufficient amount of water on board because even if you start drinking can after can of soda in a bid to increase your fluid intake, it is still likely that you will suffer from a dry mouth. You may do this with good intentions, but most soda and fizzy drinks are not very hydrating despite initially seeming to quench your thirst.

Sipping water at regular intervals throughout the day is the best way to ensure that you stay hydrated. Once you begin doing this, you will quickly notice a multitude of health benefits, including effective relief from your cotton mouth.

2. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

As I’m sure you are aware, alcohol dehydrates the body, and one of the main effects of dehydration is a dry mouth. Alcohol decreases the body’s production of an anti-diuretic hormone which the body uses to reabsorb water, and this causes increased urination, meaning that the more alcohol you drink, the more fluid you will lose.

If this fluid is not replaced then the body becomes dehydrated and, usually, the individual will develop cotton mouth. Even if you do not drink in excess, if you are not sufficiently hydrated before consuming alcohol then it is possible todevelop cotton mouth after just a couple of beverages.

You do not have to cut alcohol out completely,however, if you regularly consume a couple of units each week your cotton mouth will be eased if you cut down. If you are unprepared to limit your alcohol intake then, at least, ensure that you are drinking a sufficient amount of water to stay hydrated.

cappuccino

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3. Limit Your Caffeine

Like alcohol, a high caffeine consumption can cause dehydration in the body and lead to the individual suffering from a severely dry mouth. As caffeine is a diuretic, it causes increased urination which means that your body loses more fluid than it normally would. If this fluid is not being replaced then, the cotton mouth can occur.

If you cannot bear the thought of getting through the day without caffeine then do not worry, you don’t have to give it up completely. Simply reduce your intake if you are drinking it excessively by swapping every other caffeinated hot drink for a decaffeinated or herbal variety. If caffeinated sodas are your vice then simply alternate these with glasses of water or cordial to increase your water intake while still receiving your caffeine fix.

4. Change Your Mouthwash

By doing something as simple as changing the type of mouthwash that you use you can reduce your chance of suffering from the cotton mouth. The majority of mouthwashes are made from alcohol-based solutions and, as already discussed, alcohol is widely known to cause dehydration in the body and is frequently associated with dryness of the mouth due its diuretic properties.

This means that by simply avoiding regular, alcohol-based mouthwash solutions you can significantly reduce your chances of suffering from thecotton mouth. If you switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash that has been specifically designed for individuals with dry mouths, you will still gain all the benefits associated with good oral health without it having a negative effect on your saliva production.

Selecting mouthwash that contains the ingredient xylitol is particularly effective in preventing a build up of gingivitis-causing plaque and preventing tooth decay while helping to keep your mouth moist.

quit smoking

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5. Don’t Use Cannabis

One of the most common side effects of smoking cannabis is a severely dry mouth. Many users complain of cotton mouth so severe that no amount of liquid seems to quench their thirst while they are smoking cannabis and in the period after.

If you regularly suffer from thecotton mouth and are a cannabis user, then the quickest and easiest way to relieve your symptoms would be to stop using the drug.

6. Stop Smoking

It is not just smoking cannabis that can cause cotton mouth but smoking tobacco too.  Studies have shown that smoking or chewing tobacco appears to be a major cause of developing a dry mouth.

They conclude that the salivary flow rate in smokers is significantly lower than in none smokers and that the individuals who regularly smoked were far more likely to suffer from a dry mouth.

It has also been found that other oral disorders that are frequently associated with having a dry mouth, such as halitosis and gingivitis, were also more likely to be found in those individuals who smoke than in those who do not.

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7. Breathe Through Your Nose

One common cause of a severely dry mouth which is frequently overlooked is an individual’s breathing pattern. A simple way to avoid developing a dry mouth is to breathe in and out through your nose rather than using your mouth. When we use the mouth to take in oxygen, the air hits the inside of our mouth and can cause our tongue and gums to dry out, causing a dry sensation that can make swallowing and eat incredibly difficult.

Breathing in through the mouth is particularly problematic when it occurs during sleep because of the longperiod that it takes place over. The mouth is not designed for the unnaturally dry conditions that the tongue and gums are subjected to during this process; this means that the feeling of discomfort will be more pronounced during the night, and your body will wake you up multiple times by telling you that you are thirsty.

Although it can be difficult to adjust to, breathing using your nasal passages instead of your mouth is one simple way to relieve cotton mouth quickly and easily.

air purifier

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8. Alter Your Air

Not only could you try to change the way that you breathe in during the night, but you could also alter the air that you are breathing in, to help combat cotton mouth. The air that you are breathing in could be lacking in moisture, and this could be drying out your mouth and gums during the night and having a negative effect on your saliva production.

Why not try adding more moisture to the air at night by using a room humidifier? These handy little devices are now widely available in stores, however, if you are on a budget and cannot afford one you could always try to make your own using an online tutorial.

Other ways to add moisture to the air that you are breathing include drying clothes indoors, boiling the kettle more frequently or simply getting a houseplant. You could also add moisture to the air and cure your cotton mouth by using a facial sauna or, failing that, you could take a hot shower and spend a few minutes inhaling the steam as it is released into the air.

breath mints

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9. Stimulate Your Saliva

Another simple way to provide temporary relief when you are suffering from thecotton mouth is to stimulate your saliva glands. If your saliva production is low and your mouth is dry as a result, why not give your mouth a helping hand by popping some sugar-free chewing gum or a hard candy into your mouth to stimulate your saliva glands and aid production.

This is a really simple solution to easing the symptoms associated with cotton mouth and by simply keeping a packet of gum in your pocket you can quickly and easily alleviate the discomfort that a severely dry mouth brings.

10. Fake It

If you have tried various methods to cure your cotton mouth but you are still struggling with the discomfort that it is bringing you, purchasing an over the counter saliva substitute is yet another option that you could consider.

Over the years, these products have gained in popularity and are now widely available from most good chemists. These products are ideal if you are in a situation where you require a quick cure for your dry mouth and chewing gum and candies are not appropriate. They are specifically designed to provide quick, temporary relief for those individuals who are suffering from the cotton mouth when their own saliva glands just do not seem to be working as they should.

Just remember that it’s always good to try out natural remedies before anything else. It helps to know that the treatment you are using are less likely to have side effects.

What Dentists Know About Diabetes: Expert Q&A

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9 Toothbrushing Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

9 Toothbrushing Mistakes — and How to Fix Them

Brush ‘Em Good, Brush ‘Em Right!

Image result for brushing teeth

By Lindsey Grant
WebMD Feature Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS


Admit it — brushing your teeth is so second-nature you barely think about it. But doing it right is key for a healthy mouth. It can help you avoid problems like cavities and gum disease.

Sharpen your skills with these easy-to-follow tips:


1. Choose the Right Tool


Just any old toothbrush may not be the one for you. Think about the size of your mouth, says Richard H. Price, DMD, consumer advisor for the American Dental Association. “If you are straining to open wide enough to let the brush in, the brush is probably too big,” he says. It should feel good in your mouth and in your hand, so you’ll use it often.
Know your bristles, too. If they’re really stiff, they can hurt your gums. A soft brush is best.

Electric or manual? “It’s an individual preference,” says Michael Sesemann, DDS.

Price agrees. “It’s not the toothbrush, it’s the brusher.”

Electric toothbrushes can make it easier to do a better job, especially if you have arthritis or other trouble with your hands, arms, or shoulders.


2. Give It Time


Are you brushing enough? Twice a day is recommended, but Sesemann says three times a day is best.

It should take at least 2 minutes each time. He says most of us fall short. He also suggests you divide your mouth into four sections and spend 30 seconds on each. To make the time go faster, Sesemann says he watches TV while he brushes.

Some electric toothbrushes have built-in timers and can track how you’re using it by syncing to your smartphone.


3. Don’t Overdo It


Brushing more than three times a day might not be ideal, Sesemann says. That’s because too much can wear down your teeth’s outer shell, called enamel, and damage your gums.

Also, “don’t bear down too hard,” he says. “Use a lighter touch.”

If you use an electric brush, “you let the bristles do the work and just guide the toothbrush,” Price says.

Be gentle. It doesn’t take a lot of force to remove plaque, he says.


4. Perfect Your Technique


Is your way the right way? Wide, side-to-side strokes can scrape your gum line, Sesemann says. Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and make an up-and-down motion. Use short strokes.

Brush outer and inner tooth surfaces, back molars, and your tongue.

“Don’t forget about those hard-to-reach areas,” Sesemann says. If you aren’t thorough, plaque has time to sit in your mouth and cause damage.


5. Switch Things Up


Do you always begin in the same place? Dentists say most of us do.

“Start in a different place so that you don’t get lazy,” Price says. By the time you get to the last area of your mouth, you may be bored. Stay aware of what you’re doing.

“Keep track of where you are going and where you have been. Make it to all the surfaces,” Sesemann says.


6. Pick Products Wisely


The kind of toothpaste you use matters, Sesemann says. The ones that brighten or control tartar can be harsh. “An increase in whitening particles can be harmful and sand away tooth structure.”

Go back to plain old fluoride toothpaste, he says. If you want to lighten your smile, you can always switch between whitening toothpaste and regular.


7. Control Your Sour Tooth


Energy drinks, diet sodas, and sour candies — even healthy things like apple juice, orange juice, and coffee — have acid that can soften tooth enamel, Sesemann says.

If you do go for that stuff, wait half an hour before you brush. That gives your saliva time to restore tooth enamel.

“The mechanical action of brushing softened teeth is the perfect recipe for wearing away enamel,” Sesemann says.


8. Avoid ‘Potty Mouth’


Most of us store our brushes in the bathroom — not the cleanest place in the house.

To keep yours tidy, stand it up in a holder. If you leave it on the counter, you could expose it to germs from your toilet or sink. And don’t let two brushes touch if they’re stored together.

Let yours air dry — a moist brush is more likely to grow bacteria. Use a cover that lets air in when you travel.


9. Let It Go


How old is your brush? You should get a new one every 3 or 4 months.

Also, give it the eye test. “Once the bristles lose their normal flexibility and start to break apart, change your toothbrush,” Price says.

Frayed or broken bristles won’t clean as well.

If you can’t decide which toothbrush to buy, ask your dentist which kind is best.

Going to the Dentist is Much Less Scary Than What Happens if You Don’t!

Coping With Dental Phobia

Going to the dentist is less painful than it used to be. So is talking to your dentist.

And because a little distraction goes a long way, iPods for your listening pleasure, big-screen televisions, iPads, and virtual reality glasses that put your eyes and mind in another realm are common items in the modern dentist’s office. So is calming décor — fresh flowers, miniature waterfalls, and bright, inviting wall colors.

To truly calm your fears, it never hurts to remember that inside the dentist’s white coat is a person who cares as much about your comfort as your teeth. “Look at the doctor as someone who’s also a friend,” Hershkowitz says.

Putting off a dentist visit because of fear? Hershkowitz has these suggestions for talking to your dentist. If he doesn’t respond or comply with your requests, find another one.

Talk it over. “A good dentist should begin a visit by asking you open-ended questions about what bothers you so he or she knows what not to do,” Hershkowitz says. A simple “Tell me about any difficulties you’ve had during past dentist visits” may help you open up and relax. “If you talk about it first, it will remove the anxiety.”

Be prepared. Ask your dentist in advance what you can expect during your visit and how procedures, such as injections, are handled. “There’s nothing wrong with asking the doctor, “What will you do to let me know I’m in control?'” says Hershkowitz.

Give a cue. Establish a sign, such as raising your hand, to let your dentist know if you’re uncomfortable and need him to stop working immediately.

The 6 Biggest Dental Problems For People Over 50

Andrea Atkins

ABEL MITJA VARELA VIA GETTY IMAGES

SPECIAL FROM Grandparents.com

Smile! There’s good news from the world of dentistry: Older American are keeping their teeth longer than ever before and the average number of teeth people retain into old age is increasing, says Judith Ann Jones, DDS, a spokesman on elder care for the American Dental Association and director of The Center for Clinical Research at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

But Jones is not all smiles. As people keep their teeth longer, there are more problems that are likely to arise, which is why keeping up with regular dental visits is so important. Here are the most common problems, and what you can do about them:

Tooth decaytooth decayYes, people over 50 can get cavities. You can get them on the surfaces of teeth that have never been a problem before, but you can also get them around old fillings or at the root of your tooth. “As you age, the root of your tooth becomes softer and sometimes more exposed,” Jones explains.

The Fix: Flouride is not just for kids, Jones says. “Fluoride is one of the 10 most important health measures developed in the 20th century.” Almost 80 percent of people in the United States have fluorinated water, but if you don’t, you should probably add a daily fluoride rinse to your brushing habit. Or ask your doctor about a stronger fluoride prescription gel. If you are starting to get cavities, even if your water has fluoride, consider a fluoride rinse. Ask your dentist if that’s right for you.

Dry mouth
Saliva protects us against tooth decay. But if you’re not producing it, your teeth may be at risk. The calcium and phosphate present in saliva prevent demineralization of your teeth, Jones says. How do you know if you have dry mouth? You’ll have a sticky feeling in your mouth, trouble swallowing, dry throat, and dry, cracked lips. You may notice a metallic taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath. You may or may not feel thirsty. Dry mouth is often caused by medications, and as people age, they take more medications. It can also result from smoking or from a blow to the head that somehow damages the salivary glands.

The Fix: If you have dry mouth, you should try to stimulate saliva production. Jones says some people just sip water all day while others find that chewing sugar-free xylitol candies or gum helps. Your dentist may prescribe a prescription saliva substitute or recommend over-the-counter formulations for you to try.

Gum diseasemature tooth painIf your gums are swollen, red, or bleed easily, you’ve got gingivitis, an early form of gum disease that can progress and be dangerous. Untreated gingivitis often becomes periodontitis, which is when the gum pulls away from the tooth and creates pockets which can become infected. If this condition develops and continues unchecked, it could cause the loss of bones in your jaw and eventually, the loss of the teeth themselves.

The Fix: The best fix for this condition is regular dentist visits, Jones says. You may need to visit your dentist more frequently so that your teeth can be cleaned and your gums treated for the condition. People who don’t have good access to dental care are more likely to have gum disease, Jones says.

Oral cancer
More than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancers this year, and more than 8,000 will die from it, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. Oral cancer incidence definitely increases as you get older, Jones says, and is very often linked to smoking and heavy alcohol use. Recently, the number of cases has risen because doctors have discovered that the Human Papilloma Virus also can cause oral cancer.

The Fix: Only about half of people who develop oral cancer survive the disease, Jones says. The best hope for survival is to discover it at its earliest stages—in which case there is an 80 percent chance of surviving for five years. Your dental exam should include a check for oral cancer. Your dentist will hold your tongue and check the soft tissue in your mouth as well as your throat and jaw. If he or she does not, find another dentist, Jones says.

Tooth crowdingmature dentist mouth openAre you noticing that food is getting stuck in new places in your mouth? Or that the overlapping tooth that was cute in your teens now seems to be overlapping even more? You’re not imagining it. As you age, your teeth shift, according to Lee W. Graber, D.D.S., M.S., M.S., Ph.D., Past President of the American Association of Orthodontists. And that can be problematic, not because you’ll look different, but because it can make your teeth more difficult to clean, leading to more decay. It’s also of concern because misaligned teeth can lead to teeth erosion and damage to the supporting tissue and bone, Graber says. Add to that the tendency of older adults to have periodontal disease, and you could end up losing your teeth even faster.

The Fix: If your teeth have really shifted, you could see an orthodontist, who may fit you with a retainer, spacer, or even braces. This may not be necessary, but you should discuss with your dentist whether your teeth are shifting at your regular check up. If they are, it may mean only that you need to go to the dentist more regularly for more frequent cleanings.

Link May Exist Between Oral Health and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Link May Exist Between Oral Health and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Category: Today’s Dental News Written by Dentistry Today

Poor oral health may cause rheumatoid arthritis, based on a new study.

Researchers from the University of Louisville determined that poor oral health can raise the risk of rheumatoid arthritis based on the presence of an enzyme that is around when a person has gum disease. This enzyme, called peptidylarginine deiminanse, has also been associated with rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which one’s joints become swollen and painful.

The problem with this enzyme is that it results in the body transforming some proteins into a form of protein called citrulline. The body often confuses citrulline and thinks it will cause problems and attacks it as a result. This produces inflammation in people who deal with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Previous studies have pointed to links between oral health and rheumatoid arthritis, with many determining that the problem is more widespread among people with gum disease.

The researchers analyzed other forms of oral bacteria and concluded that none had any impact on rheumatoid arthritis.

More research on the relationship between oral health and rheumatoid arthritis could prove to be valuable. There is also a large amount of evidence that connects oral health and systemic problems. Many studies have shown the correlation between gum disease and a higher risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and numerous other health problems.

 

Bacteria-Causing Gum Disease May Lead to Oral Cancer Growth

Bacteria-Causing Gum Disease May Lead to Oral Cancer Growth

Category: Today’s Dental News Written by Dentistry Today

Fatty acids from bacteria present in gum disease may cause Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS)-related lesions and tumors in the mouth.

The information comes from a study by Case Western Reserve University. The researchers analyzed how byproducts in the form of fatty acids cause the growth of the lesions.

This finding could result in early saliva testing for bacteria. The person could then possibly be treated for signs of cancer or cancer before it would become malignant.

The information appears in the Journal of Virology.

The study primarily looks at the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis and Fusobacterium nucleatum, both of which are connected to gum disease. People with periodontal disease show high levels of these bacteria in their saliva.

KS affects many people with HIV because their immune systems can’t battle many infections. KS initially appears as lesions on the mouth that could turn into malignant tumors. Early detection is a key to surviving the disease.

The goal of this study was to pinpoint why most people don’t develop this type of cancer and what it is that spares them from it.

To compile the data 21 patients were studied. The first 11 had an average age of 50 and dealt with severe chronic gum disease. The other group of 10 maintained good oral health and had an average age of 26.

Numerous aspects of the saliva of each participant were studied. The research team was interested in the two bacteria, specifically, in addition to five short-chain fatty acids.

After first testing the byproducts, researchers concluded the fatty acids impacted the replication KS. They then introduced clean versions of the fatty acids into cells with the KS virus to see what the reaction was. Essentially, the body was prevented from trying to stop the growth of KS.

The study magnifies the importance of oral health for people with HIV.