When Does Teeth Whitening Not Work?

Ad Min - Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Teeth whitening is a process by which the stained or yellowed teeth are bleached and made whiter. Teeth whitening process can be done professionally in the dentist’s office or it can be carried out by individuals at home. The products that can be used for teeth whitening are available over the counter and can be obtained from your dentist. You can carry out teeth whitening at home under the supervision of your dentist or according to instructions given along with the product.

How does teeth-whitening work?

Teeth whitening products either available at the dentist’s office or over the counter, use two common combinations of chemicals namely, carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. They are available in the form of pastes or powders which must be mixed with water. These products, when applied to the teeth sets off a chain of reactions, which is responsible for removing stains from the teeth. These chemical reactions are oxygenation and diffusion. Oxygenation breaks down the molecules of the stain and diffusion is for diffusing the debris away created by breaking of molecules. This is a cyclical process which starts at the surface of the tooth, the enamel and proceeds further down. This is how stain removing action gets completed.

Reasons why teeth whitening does not work

There are many reasons for teeth whitening procedure to go wrong.

Doing it on your own
The best thing to do about teeth whitening is, get it done by your dentist in his office. There are very few chances of it being going wrong. Dentists are experts. They know what they are doing. They use the best products they know should work and moreover they know your requirement, your medical history and your teeth. When dentists do the teeth whitening in the office, they already have asked you about what medicine you are on. How bad the stains on your teeth are, and how much chemical will be needed, and for how long, for it to take effect.  So, if you have a choice and budget for this, you must opt for the teeth whitening done by the professional at the clinic.

Lack of preparation
One of the main reasons for failure in teeth whitening is the preparation or rather lack of it. The teeth will receive the chemicals well if they have been prepared to receive it. It means that when teeth whitening is done in the clinic, the dentist prepares the teeth by removing tartar, and cleaning them of any plaque. So when you apply the product, it will have to deal with the stains on the teeth only, nothing else.

Products bought over the counter
Another reason for failure to whiten the teeth can be the material itself. Many products contain abrasive material and do not contain the bleach at all, which clears the stains by polishing away at them rather than whitening the enamel. When the product you are using for bleaching the teeth is not strong enough, then the desired effect is not seen. Hydrogen peroxide is an active ingredient in most teeth whitening products. In some countries, hydrogen peroxide has to be less than 0.1% in the product sold over the counter, which is not enough to work on stains. This is why the home-kit used by individuals at home is not very effective at teeth whitening.

Strong chemicals in the product
Teeth whitening agents which are bought over the counter may also be more concentrated than you need. When you apply this paste, it may corrode the enamel on your teeth make them sensitive.

Not following instructions
Sometimes, the user does not follow the instructions fully. Like, you are asked to pour the content of the product into the mouth guard like tray and hold it for some time. If the tray is removed before suggested time, the chemical reaction doesn’t get completed. In this case, the stains do not get removed at all, or are removed in part.

Misinterpreting the stains on your teeth
Then there is misinterpreting the stains on your teeth. In some cases, the enamel on the teeth wears away and becomes thin, which allows the colour of dentin to show on the teeth. This colour is not a stain, but the natural colour of the teeth which cannot be whitened.

Skipping steps in the treatment
Some of the times the user does not read and follow the instructions fully and skips some of the steps. For example, when the treatment needs to be repeated every week for a few weeks and you forget to repeat it at the stipulated time, then the result may not be what you had expected.

Very high expectations from teeth whitening procedure
There are some people who expect too much from the teeth whitening procedure. It cannot totally whiten your teeth. The usual result you get is a shade or two lighters than your original shade. Do not expect to change your shade which is genetic.

Decay in the tooth
The less common reason could be a decay in the teeth which appears as a stain. This decay cannot be whitened with any product. It has to be treated by the dentist.

You must allow the tooth to rehydrate before reapplying the teeth whitening product.

Inhibited by previous dental work
When there is previous dental work done on the teeth, they prevent the chemicals in the product to work effectively.

Replaced teeth and crowns
You can whiten your original teeth only. Replaced teeth or crowns cannot be whitened.

Intensity of the stain
We must also remember that the darker the stain, the more intense treatment it will require. And even after repeated treatments, we cannot get rid of some stains at home.

Medicines taken for other diseases
Other reasons for teeth whitening not working includes medicines taken for any other ailment or diseases like cancer.

What we should remember is that we can whiten our teeth only to our original colour with which we are born, not whiter than that.

When should Wisdom teeth be removed?

Ad Min - Thursday, March 11, 2021

Teeth that appear after all the permanent teeth have erupted and appear right at the back of the mouth. They get their name as they erupt when a person is older and mature. A total of four wisdom teeth appear, two on the top jaw and two on the bottom jaw. But not every adult has wisdom teeth, it is not seen in many. They are the widest of the molar teeth, they aid in grinding food.

Many think that wisdom teeth bring immense pain and hence it is important or safer to remove them. Not everyone has problems with wisdom teeth, only some have associated issues. It is important to check with the dentist if there are symptoms that affect oral health. During daily brushing and cleaning, for maintaining good dental health any unusual symptoms or signs noticed should be checked with the dentist.

Signs that show the need for wisdom tooth removal

  1. Pain

This is one of the first signs noticed if there is some issue with wisdom teeth. But this should not be confused with the normal pain that comes with each tooth eruption. The pain felt with impacted wisdom teeth is severe and increases with time. Impacted wisdom tooth results when the teeth do not have space to erupt or develop normally. They will get caught in the jaw bone itself being embedded in it or stay just below the jaw line.

  1. Infection

When you see infection inside the mouth, especially in the last tooth it is an indication that further checking needs to be done. Inflammation is seen in the area where the wisdom tooth will emerge. Tissues get swollen, tenderness and redness are seen – these are signs of infection. When the wisdom tooth is partially impacted, infection chances are high. This condition though is seen mostly in the lower molars and not in the upper jaw areas.

  1. Cysts

Cysts developing in the teeth, particularly wisdom teeth, is also a sign that points to its extraction. Teeth will develop in a sac in the jaw bone. These sacs form over the partially erupted or impacted teeth. These sacs will attract bacterial infection, which can also spread to other neighbouring teeth and damage them. Along with the teeth decay, damage to the jaw bone is also noticed. Besides cysts, tumours also can develop when the wisdom teeth are impacted.

  1. Affecting neighbouring teeth

Sometimes, wisdom teeth may affect and damage the dental health of the neighbouring teeth. Wisdom teeth sometimes do not get enough space to erupt. They will then push against the adjacent teeth. The molars then will be pressured and overcrowding of teeth will be seen. This situation can also lead to increased chances of infection as food debris becomes lodged between crowded teeth. If the situation is severe it will also need orthodontic treatment.

  1. Gum disease

Another concern that crops up due to wisdom teeth is gum disease. An impacted wisdom tooth is stuck in the gums. This will cause the gum tissue to be swollen and tender. Bleeding from the gums can also be seen in some cases. Pain is felt severely as the gum tissues are also infected. The health of the gum tissues gets eroded and they are unable to provide support to the teeth.

  1. Widespread tooth decay

Decay is seen in the case of partially impacted wisdom teeth. It is very difficult to clean this type of teeth. Brushing and flossing will not be able to clean the wisdom tooth. This will attract plaque and tartar formation and attract more bacterial action. The decay will then spread to neighbouring teeth also and the dental health gets affected. If the wisdom tooth is crooked, then the root of the tooth can also affect the root of adjacent molars.

The procedure of wisdom teeth removal

Wisdom teeth removal is done when the tooth is impacted and will bring in decay to adjacent teeth and affected oral health. Impacted teeth – partial or full will need dental surgery to remove. This is because the wisdom tooth is stuck in the jaw bone and will need to be extracted by cutting the jaw bone. If there is an infection, then the procedure will be done after the infection is cleared. Dentists will prescribe antibiotics and pain killers to help with the infection cleaning.

The dental surgery is conducted under anaesthesia. After the area is numb, the dentists will begin the procedure. If there is any gum tissue over the tooth, then it is removed first. Then the anchoring of the tooth is removed. The root that connects the tooth to the bone is removed to ease the process. Then the impacted tooth is removed. Sometimes the dentist will remove the tooth in pieces and not as a whole tooth. After the surgery is done, stitches will be placed, they will dissolve in a few days’ time.

As surgery has been performed, the pain will be felt for a few days but it will soon diminish. Dentists will be prescribing pain killers to tide over this pain and to cut off any infection. Care should be taken after the surgery as this will aid in the easy recovery. Numbness in the area will be felt for some time after the surgery so one should be careful not to bite in the area where the surgery has been done. The swelling will be seen in the cheeks, placing a cold compress will help to bring down the swelling.

Consuming food and drinks should also be taken care of. Drinking from straw should be avoided for the first few days. This is because a blood clot will be formed while healing, using a straw will dislodge it and bring in more bleeding. Soft food can be taken as this will help to reduce the strain and pressure on the teeth in general. If the bleeding or the pain is severe and unbearable then check with the dentist, they will be able to guide you on what needs to be done.

Cosmetic dentistry and Oral health

Ad Min - Monday, February 15, 2021

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on the aesthetic appearance of teeth. The appearance of teeth, positioning of teeth, colour and brightness of teeth, their alignment etc. are all covered by this branch of dentistry.

Correcting the gum, bite and altering the appearance is possible by using different cosmetic dentistry procedures. Some patients may have acquired conditions like discoloration of teeth due to prolonged medicine intake. In such situations, cosmetic dental medicine provides the much-needed confidence boost.

Proper oral function is one of the basic requirements in making sure the body obtains nutrition in the right form. If the oral function is impaired then the effect is seen in the overall health of the body. Oral hygiene is improved through this method, cleaner and healthier and sparkling teeth also makes sure there is no plaque or tartar build up in the mouth. Possible bacterial infections are cut off and oral health is promoted. 

Teeth whitening

Getting sparkling shiny teeth is everyone’s dream. Removing discolouration from the teeth is possible through different teeth whitening procedures. It is not just about adding sparkle; the procedure also involves cleaning the teeth, removing the plaque and tartar build-up in the mouth and removing possible infection sites.

Food debris gets stuck in the mouth and can even remain without proper oral hygiene. Bacteria get attracted to these sites and they work on the sugary content of the food and release acids that harm the teeth. The strong dental enamel covering of the teeth is eroded by this action. Teeth that have deposits of plaque can lose their colour and become yellowish.

Teeth discolouration is also triggered through habits like smoking and using tobacco, food stains get absorbed into the teeth when the enamel is lost. Coffee, wine, berries also bring about change in the teeth colour. All these concerns can be restored by teeth whitening techniques, and oral health is also preserved along with it.

Gum Corrections

Gum tissues or lining can get damaged due to lack of proper hygiene or due to genetics. Bacterial action can cause the gums to recede from their normal position and more teeth become visible. In this situation, when more teeth are visible – it can lead to a rise in damage to the teeth in general and also increased teeth sensitivity. Roots of the teeth get exposed and loss of teeth due to tooth decay is also seen. Surgery can be conducted to fix this issue and cover the overexposed teeth. Gum tissue also obtains extra support and can be strengthened against possible infections.

Sagging of gum tissues is typically seen when the health of the gum lining is compromised. Cosmetic surgery can help fix issues in gum lining. Usually they are performed along with other procedures like dental veneers or dental crowns. Besides providing much needed oral health support, it improves the overall appearance of the teeth.

Teeth restorations

Teeth sometimes get cracked, chipped or fractured due to trauma to the mouth. This can be due to falls, accidents or sports injuries. This requires restorative treatment procedures like crowns, fillings, bridges. They help restore the structural and to some extent the function of the teeth.

Fillings can be used to treat cavities formed in the teeth. The decay formed in the inner pulp area of the tooth is removed and then sealed with filling material. This helps prevent further decay of the teeth and also stops the surrounding teeth and tissues from getting affected.

Crowns may be placed on top of the teeth, to give shape to teeth that are been broken due to a fall and also give strength to damaged teeth. When teeth are lost, other remaining teeth gradually slip into the gap left by the tooth. This will result in misalignment of the teeth and also results in a change of facial structure. Bridges help with replacement teeth in these gaps to restore oral health and support the surrounding teeth as well.

Teeth alignment

Not all of us are blessed with a perfect smile. Most people have teeth that are crooked, misaligned, or jutting out. Straightening them or aligning them is not just for good appearance, but also required for good oral function. Not correcting alignment issues can lead to oral and dental problems affecting jaws, teeth and also the bone structure.

Traditionally, metal braces are used to shift teeth to their aligned position. But now there are Invisalign braces that are easy to remove and wear and not visible at all.

Having too many teeth is also an issue that affects teeth alignment. With proper treatment, the teeth that jut out are aligned and if required the ‘extra’ teeth are extracted.

Sometimes, the top and bottom jaws are not in contact with each other – creating issues like overbite, underbite, crossbite etc. These also result in issues for the jaw bones and wear and tear in the teeth. There are procedures that can correct these issues and reduce the associated jaw and neck pain.

Dental implants

You may lose teeth due to aging, accidents etc. Earlier, dentures were the only answer to this problem. But now dental implants are available, and they are a more permanent solution.

The replaced teeth are fixed into position in the jaw bone and they are fitted with natural looking teeth. Implants help support neighbouring teeth and loss stop bone loss. Prevention of sagging muscles and premature aging are also some of the other benefits of dental implants.

As you can see, cosmetic surgery is not just about improving appearance, it also improves dental health.

Is a painful cavity a dental emergency?

Ad Min - Thursday, February 11, 2021

Most people experience some kind of dental pain at some stage in their life. The pain can range from minor to major in terms of intensity and duration.

Dental cavities may cause some discomfort and pain, but most cavities typically do not cause major emergencies. When pain persists, it persuades people to visit their dentists. But small and minor pains due to cavities may also develop into severe pain and can be considered as an emergency.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a hole in your tooth. Cavities are also known as dental caries or dental decay. Cavities in the teeth leads the decay in the tooth right up to the roots of the tooth and gums.

Causes of Cavities

The main culprit of dental cavities is poor dental hygiene. Our mouth has saliva which breaks down food and turns it into sugar. Then there are remnants of sugar left over from starchy foods. There are also sugars that are left behind in the mouth from sticky sweet foods. All these leftover sugar in the mouth become food for the bacteria which are already residing in the mouth.

The bacteria break down sugar and create a thin film on the teeth called plaque. Plaque in turn attracts more bacteria. Acids are formed as a by-product of plaque creation due to the breakdown of sugar by bacteria. This process can go on, and bacteria multiplies as a result.

This causes the enamel of the teeth to decay and expose dentin and pulp underneath. When the decay reaches the root of the tooth in the gums, the exposed nerves create a sensation of pain, and may increase in intensity if left untreated.

When does the pain become unbearable?

As the decay progresses, the teeth develop sensitivity and pain.

The decay usually begins on the top layer of the tooth which is the enamel. When the decay progresses, it moves to the second layer which is dentin. Then untreated decay reaches the pulp, which is when you start getting sharp pain in the tooth. The holes in the tooth keep getting larger and goes deeper. This starts affecting the dental tissues.

When the cavities reach a stage where it has created abscess and infection, it is called an emergency because it results in unbearable pain.

Why a dental cavity becomes an emergency

When the cavity goes untreated and reaches the pulp, the bacteria and infection reach the roots of the tooth where dental tissues lie. The roots are sensitive to infection and create shooting pain in the tooth. It also makes the site inflamed and the inflammation in turn creates more pain. The infection at this stage can spread quickly and you may find an entire side painful to touch. This is called a dental emergency and you have to get immediate treatment for the toothache.

When you find yourself in this throbbing pain, seek an emergency appointment with your dentist.

What to do till you see your dentist

Having cold compress put onto the affected site is a good remedy for the intense pain. There are many pain-relieving gels available in the market over the counter. You must also ask for pain relievers over the counter.

Even when you have taken the pain reliever, do go and see the dentist because the  pain is only a symptom. The cause is still there and if you keep taking pain relievers over the counter the end result could even be loss of teeth.

What emergency treatment you can receive from the dentist

When you see the dentist for the emergency treatment of your cavity, he will examine you and decide on how much damage has been done. He may then decide to do a root canal treatment or may be start on a course of treatment to subside the swelling and infection. He may prescribe antibiotics for the infection and then decide whether or not the tooth should be removed.

How to prevent cavities

Cavities are considered dental emergency if the pain is unbearable and if you find shooting pain in the middle of the night when no dentist is available.
You can avoid such emergencies with simple steps take regularly.

  1. Good oral hygiene routine

It is vital to have a rigid routine of taking care of your teeth. Regular brushing and flossing is a must. When you get up in the morning do robust cleaning. Use a good fluoride toothpaste and good quality firm toothbrush. Flossing your teeth before going to bed is a must because brushing does not remove particles of food from between the teeth.

  1. Regular check up

Visit your dentist regularly because even if you do not have any pain or dental issues it is advisable to go for regular checkups so that minor issues do not turn into major troubles.

  1. Taking steps for bruxism

If you have the habit of grinding teeth during sleep. It is best to consider treating it. Talk to your dentist and get yourself mouthguard so that teeth do not create any problem in the future.

  1. Following the dentist’s instructions

Going to see the dentist regularly is of no use if you do not follow his instructions.  Sometimes when we do not have any dental problems we tend to ignore the instruction given by the dentist. Do follow their advice because small things turn big in no time and then you may be required to spend money to treat dental issues which could have been avoided.

How do dental implants help with bone loss and gum diseases?

Ad Min - Monday, January 18, 2021

Bone loss can occur in bones of a person leading to many orthopaedic diseases, prominent among them being osteo porosis where bone density decreases, making the bones brittle and porous which in turn make them susceptible for fractures.

What is bone loss?

When teeth are lost for whatever reasons, the bone which was supporting it gets absorbed in the body again, this process of bone being reabsorbed by the body is called resorption in dental and oral care parlance.

Causes of bone loss

There are numerous reasons for bone loss among which periodontist is the main reason and most common. Bone loss occurs because teeth are lost or missed. The main reason for losing teeth is periodontitis. When you do not take good care of your mouth and teeth, you end up having periodontitis which is a disease of the teeth and gums.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is a disease caused by bacteria in the mouth. Lack of dental hygiene causes these bacteria to grow and multiply in the mouth feeding on the sugar left behind in the mouth. These bacteria eat away at the roots of the teeth and the jawbone, and then eats the ligaments that connects the tooth to the bone. This causes the teeth to fall out, creating gaps in the line of teeth. When the teeth are lost, the bone underneath the teeth have no pressure of chewing, which makes them get reabsorbed in the body, because chewing pressure is the motivation for the bone to grow and stay put. Slowly major portion of the supporting bone gets reabsorbed and bone from the jaw gets lost. The bone loss occurs very fast after the tooth is lost. About 25% of bone loss occurs in the first year itself after a tooth is lost.

The most common reason for bone loss is when this place, created by tooth loss is left alone, without taking any steps to keep the bone in place. When multiple teeth are lost, the bone loss is greater through resorption process.

The loss of bone occurs in alveolar bone which is surrounding and supporting the teeth. Alveolar bone is responsible for the ridges that imbeds the teeth in them. When teeth are lost, these ridges waste away from all sides leaving the surface flat.

Dentures as a replacement of the natural teeth do not help in getting back the lost bone because they do not exert pressure on the bone with chewing. Compared to natural teeth, the pressure applied on jawbone by dentures is less than 10%.

Sinus cavity that lies above the jawbone of upper molars is another reason for the resorption of the jawbone when upper molars are lost. With no teeth, the air pressure in the sinus cavity induces the resorption of the bone that lines the sinuses. Infection in bones is another cause of bone loss.

Dental implants and bone loss

Dental implants can prevent bone loss after teeth loss if the procedure can be done in time. Dental implants are a procedure where a metal (Titanium) screw is implanted in the jawbone and allowed to remain there till bone tissues grow around it making it secure in the bone. Then a crown is placed on it with the help of abutment which holds it in place. The implants can prevent further bone loss because the tooth exerts enough pressure on the jawbone to stimulate it and let it grow. When many teeth are lost, the implants can support a bridge built on them. Since implants are inserted in the jawbone, they take the pressure of chewing and help getting the bone remain in place and grow. When two implants support a bridge of 4 teeth, the pressure provided by the implants can equal of about 70 to 90 % of natural teeth. This helps prevent bone loss to quite an extent.

Bone grafting

When bone loss severe in some individuals, the option of bone grafting is still open. Bone grafting is needed to provide enough bone to get ridges on the jawbone so that crowns can be fitted snugly on them after dental implants have been inserted. When bone loss has occurred for missing molars, the dentist will require enough width to place them on. Bone grafting can be useful in such cases.

In cases with severe gum disease, the bone loss is acute. Bone grafting can come to the rescue for dental implants in restoring the lost bone and repair the damaged surrounding bone around the teeth.
When bone grafting technique is used for dental implant, in severe bone loss incidents, the grafting not only helps replace the lost bone, but also provides motivation and stimulation to the jawbone to regrow and develop so that eventually it replaces the bone graft with the individuals own replenished bone.

The material used for bone graft is varied depending upon the need of the patient. The new technology used for bone grafting is dynamic and make uses of cutting age materials that requires minimum period of healing.

In many dentistry practices, the technology used is minimally invasive which is explained in detail to the satisfaction of the patient.

Many times, if the bone loss is not extensive, then the bone graft and implant can be placed during one surgery procedure without having to go through the procedure twice. In severe bone loss, the dentist prefers to call the patients twice for the surgery, once for bone graft and the other for placing the implant, depending on how well the bone graft is healing and new bone is surfacing.

When sinuses have slid down quite a bit, the surgeon has to lift the membrane separating the jawbone and sinuses.

There are instances when there is no need for bone graft even in a severe bone loss case.  The 3D CT scanner gives a 360degree view which allows the dental team to see and measure the exact amount of bone needed for the place where implants are going to be placed, and in many cases the enough bone can be found for use. In this technology, with 4 implants, the surgeons can make the bridge for the entire mouth with enough bone available without separate surgery in another area of the body.

Different teeth replacement options to choose from

Ad Min - Friday, January 08, 2021

There are several reasons are behind missing teeth. Age, accidents, trauma to the mouth and oral region, tooth decay, diseases, hygiene habits or even genetics. Whatever be the reason for losing teeth, replacing the lost teeth is possible. This helps to maintain and promote oral health, not to forget the support it gives to self-confidence and speech.

Dental clinics provide different treatment options, one can choose these treatment procedures based on their need, suitability and also costs. The major options that one can opt for in teeth replacement is discussed.

Dental Implants - This is one of the most reliable tooth replacement options that one can go for. They are almost similar to the natural teeth. They are anchored in the jawbone like a natural tooth. A single tooth or multiple teeth replacements are possible using this procedure. The procedure is a bit lengthy as it involves cutting the jawbone and inserting the ‘root’ of the replacement tooth into it. This procedure is durable and lasting almost close to a natural tooth that one can get. It does not require any additional care, following normal oral hygiene practices will be sufficient. Neighbouring teeth are not affected by this procedure and are cost effective if taken care of. The only downside to this procedure is that jawbone health needs to be good to go for this treatment as the root needs to be supported in the jaw bone.

Dentures - A simpler option to replacing teeth is dentures. These dentures are replacement teeth that are removable and can be used for people who have lost some of their teeth. If a replacement is required for the whole set of teeth then complete dentures are recommended by dentists. The replacement teeth are placed in areas where teeth are lost. They can be removed and cleaned and slipped on with ease. Clasps are available to hold the removable dentures in place. Dentists made these dentures by obtaining a mould of the lost teeth and making exact replicas of the natural teeth, if metal supporters are visible then that is a sure give-away sign. But now, one can also avail the clasps made of gum coloured material that help to merge with the colour of the gums. They are not as costly as dental implants and can be repaired easily. They might feel a bit uncomfortable to wear and are not that sturdy as other dental prosthetics and hence one needs to be careful in handling them.

Implant supported bridge - If there are missing teeth in a row, then implant supported bridge is best suited. This helps to tide over the issue of having dental implants for each teeth. This will be able to support missing teeth in a row, the teeth at the end will be secured. So the teeth in the middle do have to be rooted in the jawline. This is a better option for those who have lost teeth in a row and serves as well as dental implants and are long lasting. This might need to be replaced at a later time for a healthier option, of course depending on the recommendation from the dentist. This is also a good option when looked at from the aesthetic side, the replaced teeth look like natural teeth and provide the same structural and functional support. Cleaning the teeth is similar to cleaning natural teeth and does not require any specific care. They are long lasting if even proper care and does not usually require replacement.

Tooth supported bridge - A similar procedure when there is a single tooth missing is achieved by tooth supported bridge. This bridge is placed supported by the neighbouring tooth. This device will have two crowns which are placed on the natural teeth and abutment crowns are placed on the replaced teeth. For providing lasting support they are usually cemented in place using metals or alloys like silver, gold or amalgams etc. The advantage is that the procedures are less when compared to dental implants. The bridge helps in reducing individual implants. This procedure does not require much time at the dental clinic and will be over in a few visits. Once the device is placed, it requires proper attention while cleaning. Food particles can get under the bridge. This is a small area and cleaning it requires greater focus as it is difficult to remove the food. Tooth decay or other gum diseases can happen if unchecked.

Resin bonded bridge - Often used as a temporary measure, the procedure helps teeth in the front. The front teeth are usually very delicate and are not as strong as the molars and their chewing strength. This non-invasive treatment helps in replacing front teeth. The neighbouring teeth are not shaped too much, dentists will remove only a small amount of enamel for fixing the abutment teeth. The wings are attachment to the replacement teeth. As it is fragile, it can pop off sometimes when hard food is chewed on and will require replacement from the dentist. But this is often a better option than removable dentures. It provides the person with continued support in speech and also oral function such as keeping the other teeth in their position and not shifting.

Flipper - A temporary structure that helps when one or two teeth need replacement. As the names suggest they can be flipped in and out of position. They help to give confidence to the wearer by removing the embarrassing situation of losing teeth and this procedure does not require much time. This is often chosen by many as a stop-gap arrangement when they are thinking of more durable solutions. They are useful as they can be slipped in after tooth extraction. Keeping the remaining tooth in position after tooth removal as other teeth tend to slip from their position when there is a gap in the teeth row. This procedure is not costly but as the device is delicate it needs care in handling.

Is Teeth Whitening Harmful To Teeth

Ad Min - Monday, December 28, 2020

A perfect sparkling smile and confidence go hand in hand. Many are conscious if their teeth are not perfectly white. Teeth lose their colour and they become dull, some even have a yellowish tinge. Reasons are varied – some lose their colour due to aging, some are affected due to long term medications and some others with other dental issues like decay or gum disease or even injuries to the mouth.

Teeth whitening mainly involve bleaching the teeth and reduce the stains that are present in the teeth. This is one of the main types of dental services for which patients visit dental clinics. But now, there are many over the counter products that one can use at home for perfect white teeth. One needs to be careful while doing whitening treatment at home as they are risks involved.

Whitening procedure

Teeth have several parts with varied functions. The outermost layer of the teeth is the dental enamel. This layer gives protection to the teeth and for this reason it is very hard. Immediately following the dental enamel is the inner dentine. This forms the core of the teeth and contains the pulp region. This area has the nerve endings and blood vessels nourishes the teeth. The innermost part is the root, which embeds the tooth into the bone.

It is the outermost layer of enamel that discolours mostly. It absorbs food stains from coffee, tea, and wine or even from fruits like berries. Discolouration is also seen due to smoking or using tobacco. Lack of personal oral hygiene can cause plaque formation on the teeth and cause discolouration. Some medications if used for a long time will also change the colour of the teeth. Aging can change the wear of the enamel and sometimes trauma caused to the mouth can interfere with enamel formation in children and bring about discoloured teeth.

Teeth discolouration when checked can show different coloured teeth – some yellow, some brown, black or some spotted. When the outer enamel coating erodes off the inner dentine layer is visible which leads to the teeth being yellow. Food stains such as coffee, tea or lack of oral hygiene can result in brown teeth. If there is decay in the tooth or the pulp area, this will change the colour of the teeth to black. Some teeth will have white spots on them -this is caused by too much fluoride in the water that is consumed.

The type of teeth whitening procedure depends on the type of stain. There are two different types of strains – extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic as the word suggests is exterior stains. These stains are seen outside the teeth – on the dental enamel. Food stains, stains from smoking are all in this category. Intrinsic are the stains found interior of the enamel. The stains work through the enamel covering and accumulate inside and discolour the teeth. Age related stains are both intrinsic and extrinsic – as some are caused by food stains and some caused by those which collect inside the enamel.

Depending on the stain, the treatment procedure is planned by the dentist. If the stain is minimal and extrinsic, then the dentist will clean the teeth and apply the whitening gel and brighten the teeth. In some cases, the dentists will make an impression of the teeth. This will be used to make mouth guards or mouth trays. This will contain the whitening gel. These guards need to be slipped on to the teeth and allow the gel to work on the discoloured teeth. It will need to be used anywhere between 2 weeks to 4 weeks.

Some gels can be left in the mouth/teeth for about 8 hours continuously. This will help to reduce the time of the whitening procedure. The latest and fastest method that is used is laser whitening. In this procedure, the dentist will apply a bleaching agent on the teeth and then apply laser light over it. This will help in removing the discolouration. This process is quite fast and is completed within an hour.

How safe is teeth whitening?

Teeth whitening is one dental procedure that is used by many of all ages. It is also one of the most popular dental treatments available. There are however few side effects associated with whitening. All of them are minor and does not damage the oral health of a person.

Tooth sensitivity
Teeth whitening uses peroxide for whitening the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in these whitening gels and some people are sensitive to this chemical.  Feeling slight pain or discomfort during the procedure or being affected when consuming hot or cold food is one of the symptoms associated with teeth sensitivity. But this is a minor concern and will go off within a time. If one feels such an issue during the procedure, this should be discussed with the dentist. This will help them to change the concentration of the peroxide present in the whitening gel but still give the desired effect.

Gum irritation
Peroxide affects the gum lining and irritates the tissues. Some might experience inflammation in the gums due to the whitening agents. This is called a chemical burn, the tissue will turn white due to the effect of chemicals. Restoration of the tissues happens within 24 hours. Washing the area with warm water will help promote the restoration process at a faster rate. In dental clinics, the gums are protected from the effect of peroxide by covering them with guards. Some clinics apply a protective gel over the gum lining for extra protection.

Dental restoration
Some are worried that the dental restorations that they have done will be affected by teeth whitening. The concern is that the whitening agents will cause the mercury from the amalgam to be washed away at a faster rate and cause other health concerns. That is not the case however, dental restorations are not affected by the teeth whitening procedure and procedures like dental crowns and implants are all well protected from any adverse action.

Causes Of Toothache In Children

Ad Min - Saturday, December 19, 2020

If anyone has ever experienced any dental problems, they would know that the symptom that signal towards any dental issue is toothache. It is a warning sign send out by the body. In the case of children, toothache will also be accompanied by other symptoms like a drooling mouth or general mouth pain. The drooling mouth is usually seen in the case of smaller children.

Difficulty in opening their mouth, having severe pain when they are chewing food can all be seen. It is important that when such symptoms are seen, to have a dental check up at the earliest. These dental consultations will help to diagnose the real cause of the tooth pain and also help take precautionary measures that will stop the problem from escalating.

Tooth decay

Decay in the tooth is seen in all irrespective of age. Infection in the teeth attacks the structure of the teeth and decay progresses. Food debris can get stuck between the teeth, if personal hygiene is lacking then it helps accelerate the decay. The food debris attracts bacteria to it. The sugar in the food is acted upon by the bacteria and releases acid. This acid can erode the protective coating of the tooth. Teeth sensitivity is experienced by some in this situation. Later if unchecked, the decay will spread to other areas of the tooth. It can damage the whole tooth and also spread to neighbouring teeth.

Loss of teeth, bad odour in the mouth, bleeding from the teeth are all symptoms that show up when there is tooth decay. Timely action is required in this situation. Decay can be corrected to some extent by practicing good personal hygiene, but sometimes additional help from a dentist will be needed.

Gum disease

This problem is seen quite commonly in children. The main reason for gum disease is plaque build-up in the teeth. In children, a mild form of this disease called gingivitis is seen. The gums become sensitive to touch, will be red, and swollen. Bleeding can be seen while brushing. The good news is that the severe form of gum disease is seldom seen in children. Lack of personal hygiene and plaque build-up is quite common in children. Mainly because they have not quite grasped the importance of brushing and flossing.

Proper techniques in brushing and flossing should be taught to children. If they do not brush, then what will be consequences, how their health is going to be affected – all these need to be discussed with the children. A complete dental examination accompanied by dental X rays will help dentists to get a clear picture. Later treatment plans are made according to the severity of the problem in children.

Tooth grinding

Bruxism is a medical term for grinding teeth or clenching the jaws. Mostly seen when children are sleeping and they do it unconsciously. This habit is more pronounced if the children are stressed. They usually outgrow this habit. But the pressure this habit places on dental health is enormous. Improper alignment of teeth is one of the main causes of this problem.

When they grind their teeth, the dental enamel can be worn out, sometimes even chipping the teeth due to the pressure of grinding. Mouth pain, earache and tooth pain is also experienced due to this grinding. If severe, they will also experience jaw problems as they clench and unclench their jaws. It is when the warning symptoms come up is this problem checked as children might not be aware they are grinding their teeth while sleeping.

Dentists usually check for worn out dental enamel, tooth sensitivity etc. Dentists will also check if they have any problems at school or if they are worried about anything. Mouthguards are prescribed by dentists to help ease the pressure from tooth grinding.

Tooth abscesses

Decay in the tooth will affect the structure and function of the tooth. Pus is seen at the base of the teeth in tooth abscesses. Pus formation is seen as the reaction of the body to fight against infection. If the pus is not able to drain out then it collects near the bottom of the teeth. An abscessed tooth will be red, swollen and painful. Swelling and pain can be reduced by applying a cold compress on the jaws. Chewing will also be a problem for the children as the infected tooth is not able to stand the pressure of chewing. If unchecked, this infection can be spread to other parts of the body. This requires advanced care from the dentist.

To ease the toothache, the pus that is formed at the base of the tooth is drained out. Antibiotics are prescribed to stop the infection, to save the teeth root canal treatment might also be needed. If the tooth cannot be saved then dentists will recommend removing the infected tooth.

Fractured/Chipped tooth

Dental injuries are caused due to accidents, sports accidents or falls. Children are quite active and these dental injuries are common. Chipped or fractured teeth are the outcome of these mishaps. Pain to the mouth and teeth, cuts or bruises in the cheeks, bleeding due to accidents are all symptoms. Treatment aims at reducing the pain and swelling in the oral region. Chipped or fractured tooth requires comprehensive treatment. If the teeth are chipped or fractured, chewing or movement puts more pressure on them.

The chipped tooth can be saved using a covering. If the fracture goes to the gum, then it becomes difficult to save the tooth. If it is milk teeth, then there is no issue as the permanent teeth will replace the milk teeth but otherwise other forms of treatment need to be planned.

Toothache though looked on as a simple issue that will be resolved after a few days of discomfort might not always be the case. It signals underlying dental concerns some of which are discussed above. It is important that the oral health of children is given due importance and they are checked by a dentist at least twice a year to help solve dental problems.

What Are the Procedures That Dentists Usually Conduct?

Ad Min - Monday, November 16, 2020

Dentists all over usually perform procedures that are developed to look after the needs of families and individuals to keep their natural teeth healthy and in working condition as long as possible, and keep the gums and mouth bacteria free to prevent gum disease and other oral health problems. The dental procedures are garnered to cater to people to safeguard their dental health to the maximum and stop any dental problem from getting worse.

Common dental procedures include the following:

  • Teeth cleaning including deep cleaning
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Dental sealants
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental bonding
  • Dental fillings and crowns

Dental cleaning

When you register for your routine check-ups, usually you will be advised to contact your dental office for appointments twice a year, for check-ups and for dental cleaning. The dentist will begin by checking your mouth for any anomaly. Then he will proceed to clean the plaque and tartar from the teeth and gum line and from between the teeth. The dentist will remove all tartar with scraping it out with special instrument. Tartar cannot be removed with brushing. Brushing and flossing regularly will not allow tartar to build on your teeth in the first place.

After the cleaning is done, the dentist will brush your teeth with a powerful electric brush which will deep clean the teeth and wash away any tartar that could have been left behind by scraping. After deep cleaning the dentist will floss your teeth and may be able to find trouble spot if your gums are bleeding. After flossing you get rinsing which will remove all debris from brushing, scraping, and flossing.

Fluoride treatment

This is a protective treatment for the teeth which will protect against cavities for many months. A foamy gel or a sticky paste is put into a mouth guard like device which fits in your mouth and left for a minute to take effect. Fluoride varnish can also be applied on the teeth.

Dental sealant

This is a plastic like clear material brushed gently onto the teeth. This procedure is followed for people who have deep indents on the surface of their chewing teeth. Deep ridges tend to trap food particles in them which then become very difficult to clean. This then is an invitation to bacteria and plaque which produces acid and decay follows. The best way to combat this situation is to use sealants and seal these ridges. This takes only 2 to 3 minutes. It is an easy and affordable procedure to prevent cavities.

Teeth whitening

Teeth whitening is a procedure is carried out because it provides a fast and easy way to improve the appearance of your teeth. People whose natural colour of the teeth is yellowish, or if they have stained teeth due to substance abuse want to whiten their teeth. Many people whose teeth get stained due to their lifestyle, also get their teeth whitened.

This is very popular procedure which can be carried out at the dental clinic by your dentist. This procedure is gaining in popularity and there are over the counter kits available, but the procedure will last long and will be done accurately if you get it done in the dentist’s office. The dentist can offer this service in routine way regularly after the people reach the age of twenties. The dentist puts the whitening solution in a tray which works like a mouthguard. This tray is put across the teeth. The solution gets soaked up by the teeth and oxidization process starts. The teeth reflect less light and appear colourless which makes them look white and bright.

Dental bonding

Dental bonding is a procedure where the dentist uses solution to restore cracked teeth to improve appearance. The bonding solution is also used to restore chipped tooth in addition to closing the gap between teeth, change the shape and size of the teeth and covering stained teeth. These procedures are carried out not only to make the tee look prettier but also to improve the oral health of the patient. The procedure for dental bonding is simple and usually the dentist can try to finish it at one go.

The dentist will roughen up the tooth by scraping it and prepares it for the bonding material application. The bonding material is mixed with the appropriate matching colour of the adjoining teeth and then apply the solution on the surface of the tooth. After the application the dentist will shape the tooth according to the look of the neighbouring teeth to make it look natural. It hardens immediately and the patient is happy to have a restored tooth.

Dental fillings and crowns

Dental crowns are basically a restorative treatment for lost and missing teeth. Dental frowns are also used for badly stained teeth where no other method can be useful make them white and natural. There are many causes for losing teeth. Many people suffer tooth loss over a period of time.

Some people encounter accidents and lose teeth. Some have missing teeth due to old age. Some lose teeth because of dental decay and infection. Many people have stained teeth because of smoking and tobacco or having a lot of red wine.

For all these and more reasons, people need to get their teeth restored. Dental caries is a major reason why the dentist must use dental crowns. When you lose a lot of tooth material because of cavities, the dentist will clean the tooth from inside, remove the bacteria and infection and fill the tooth with dental filling. After this, the tooth needs to be capped otherwise the filling may fall off, or the tooth stands out among natural teeth because of its different colour.

The cap that covers the entire surface of the tooth is called crown. Finally, when the crown is fitted, it looks like other natural teeth. This procedure is also used for cracked or chipped teeth.

Is Wisdom tooth removal necessary?

Ad Min - Sunday, November 08, 2020

Many people do not even notice when their wisdom tooth is coming out. It erupts normally as other permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth are the third molars and are usually seen at the back of the mouth and almost the last to erupt. As they erupt quite late in the developmental stage of a person, they are called wisdom teeth.

The thought generally accepted is the wisdom teeth will cause problems and hence it is better to remove them. But that is not always the case. Dentists are the best judge of this. They will assess the oral health and condition before deciding whether wisdom teeth need to be removed or not.

When is removal of wisdom teeth recommended?

Wisdom tooth removal may usually be recommended under the following scenarios:

Gum problems
If there are inflammation and infection in the gum lining, then the health of the teeth will be affected. Bacterial action causes swelling and redness in the gum tissues. When the health of the gum lining is affected, it can also affect the health of the teeth. The gums are not able to provide the necessary support to the wisdom teeth and oral health can get compromised. To avoid this situation, dentists recommend removing the wisdom teeth and restoring the health of the gum tissues.

Damage to neighbouring teeth
Wisdom teeth, when they erupt, can push the other molars and cause problems on their positioning and with the bite. This can exert pressure on the teeth in the mouth and cause pain. It becomes difficult to speak and consume food in some cases. If the wisdom tooth has not erupted properly then food debris can collect near the root of the teeth. This can attract bacterial action and tooth decay. If there is decay in the wisdom teeth, there are high chances of this spreading to neighbouring teeth and damaging them as well.

Chewing and jaw problems
Wisdom teeth can push other molars and exert pressure, this can result in problems in chewing as they are pushed out of their desired position. Teeth can also scrape against the cheek and cause minor injuries there. Accidentally biting your cheek while consuming food, infections in the soft tissues of the mouth also can result. Jaws would have to take in extra pressure due to the positioning of the teeth. Cysts are observed formed near the new wisdom teeth. This can directly affect the health of the jaws and weaken them. The movement of the jaws can be quite painful due to this condition.

Impacted teeth
Some wisdom teeth erupt without any problem, where as some are not able to erupt smoothly. They are stuck below the surface of the gums (impacted) and cause problems to the gums and neighbouring teeth. It can be impacted partially or completely depending on if it has erupted or not. Some impacted teeth do not cause any problem at all to oral health. Whereas some will cause immense pain due to the pressure they exert on account of their position. Impacted teeth cause problems like gum diseases, cysts, tooth decay etc. If the problems are severe then dentists usually suggest the removal of wisdom teeth.

Tooth cavities
Infections near the gum lining of the teeth, due to the wisdom teeth being impacted can cause swelling. This can pull the gum lining away from the root of the teeth. This can promote bacterial action; food debris can get collected in the space and if unchecked can lead to cavities. Cavities destroy the teeth and bring down oral health. The unchecked bacterial action can spread to other neighbouring teeth as well. Oral health can be damaged and bring about more complicated dental problems. If cavities are formed and there is severe damage to the wisdom teeth, then usually they are removed.

Wisdom teeth erupt long after the other permanent teeth are in position. The space in the mouth is occupied by other teeth and the wisdom teeth sometimes do not get enough space. This can lead to overcrowding of teeth in the mouth. Teeth are pushed and pressured against each other. Overcrowding of teeth can result in the uneven positing of the teeth in the mouth. This can lead to food particles getting locked in between the space in the mouth. This invites bacterial action and when unchecked can lead to cavities and tooth decay. If there are ‘too many teeth’ in the mouth, then teeth are removed to make space.

Deciding whether wisdom tooth extraction is required

The wisdom tooth is not extracted if it erupts smoothly, there is no damage or pressure exerted to the neighbouring teeth and if there are no other dental concerns. If the teeth are impacted, then dental surgery is required to remove the teeth. This is conducted under anaesthesia; this requires cutting open the jawbone to remove the impacted teeth. If it’s an issue of dental cavities, then depending upon the extent of damage, the treatment is planned. After the required procedure, dentists will prescribe medicine to help with the pain and to stop further infection. Guidance must be taken from the dentist on the aftercare procedures to be followed.

Dental consultations must be done at least twice a year, with a gap of six months is usually recommended. This helps to diagnose oral health and what measures need to be taken to improve it. Ignoring the pain and other dental discomfort and not seeking expert dental help can sometimes make the dental issue progress faster. Making oral health a priority and making oral hygiene a top priority will help to maintain oral health. Brushing and flossing twice a day will help to keep away most of the common dental problems at bay.

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