Archive for September 2015
As a woman you know that your health needs are unique. You know that brushing and flossing daily, diet, exercise and regular visits to your doctor and dentist are all important to help you stay in good shape. You also know that at specific times in your life, you need to take extra care of yourself. Times when you mature and change, for example, puberty or menopause, and times when you have special health needs, such as menstruation or pregnancy.
Did you know that your oral health needs change at these times too?
During these particular times, your body experiences hormonal changes. These changes can affect many of the tissues in your body, including your gums. Your gums can become sensitive, and at times react strongly to the hormonal fluctuations. This may make you more susceptible to gum disease.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is caused by the bacteria and toxins in dental plaque, a sticky colourless film that constantly forms on the teeth. Gum disease affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, usually causes the gum tissue to swell, turn red and bleed easily. There is usually little or no pain at this time.
Sometimes swelling and bleeding can be seen only by the dentist. If left untreated, gum disease can progress to a more serious stage where the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth are damaged or destroyed. If still not treated, teeth eventually become loose and may be lost.
Your teeth and the structure of your mouth play important roles in your ability to eat and speak and stay healthy.
Most of us take our teeth for granted … until something goes wrong. Our teeth help us chew and digest food, play an important role in speech, and impact our health overall. And by brushing up on your dental health knowledge, you’ll be taking the first step toward giving your teeth the attention they deserve.
How much do you know about your pearly whites?
The Development of Teeth
Humans have two sets of teeth, primary (or baby) teeth and then permanent teeth, which develop in stages. Although the timing is different, the development of each of these sets of teeth is similar. Here are some facts about how people develop teeth:
- Teeth tend to erupt in parallel, meaning that the top molar on your left side should grow in at about the same time as the top molar on the right.
- Tooth development begins long before your first tooth becomes visible. For example, a baby’s first tooth appears at around six months of age, but development of those teeth actually begins during the early second trimester of pregnancy.
- The crown of a tooth forms first, while the roots continue to develop even after the tooth has erupted.
- The 20 primary teeth are in place by age 3 and remain until around 6 years of age when they begin to fall out to make way for the permanent set of teeth.
- Adult teeth start to grow in between 6 and 12 years of age. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth.
- Permanent teeth are larger and take longer to grow in than primary teeth.
The Parts o the Tooth
A tooth is divided into two basic parts: the crown, which is the visible, white part of the tooth, and the root, which you can’t see. The root extends below the gum line and anchors the tooth into the bone. Your teeth contain four kinds of tissue and each does a different job. These include:
- Enamel. Enamel is the visible substance that covers the tooth crown. Harder than bone, enamel protects the tooth from decay. Enamel is made up of phosphorous and calcium.
- Dentin. Underneath the enamel you find dentin, which is calcified and looks similar to bone. Dentin is not quite as hard as enamel, so it is at greater risk for decay should the enamel wear away.
- Cementum. This tissue covers the tooth root and helps anchor it (cement it) into the bone. It is softer than enamel and dentin; the best way to protect this softer tissue from decay is by taking good care of your gums. Cementum has a light yellow color and is usually covered by the gums. But with inadequate dental care, the gums may become diseased and shrink, exposing the cementum to harmful plaque and bacteria.
- Pulp. Pulp is found at the center of your tooth and contains the blood vessels, nerves, and other soft tissues that deliver nutrients and signals to your teeth.
Types of Teeth and What They Do
Teeth help you chew your food, making it easier to digest. Each type of tooth has a slightly different shape and performs a different job. Types of teeth include:
- Incisors. Incisors are the eight teeth in the front and center of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). These are the teeth that you use to take bites of your food. Incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt, at around 6 months of age for your first set of teeth, and between 6 and 8 years of age for your adult set.
- Canines. Your four canines are the next type of teeth to develop. These are your sharpest teeth and are used for ripping and tearing food apart. Primary canines generally appear between 16 and 20 months of age with the upper canines coming in just ahead of the lower canines. In permanent teeth, the order is reversed. Lower canines erupt around age 9 with the uppers arriving between 11 and 12 years of age.
- Premolars. Premolars, or bicuspids, are used for chewing and grinding food. You have four premolars on each side of your mouth, two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. The first premolars appear around age 10 and the second premolars arrive about a year later.
- Molars. Primary molars are also used for chewing and grinding food. These appear between 12 and 15 months of age. These molars, also known as decidious molars, are replaced by the first and second permanent premolars (four upper and four lower). The permanent molars do not replace, but come in behind the primary teeth. The first molars erupt around 6 years of age (before the primary molars fall out) while the second molars come in between 11 and 13 years of age.
- Third molars. Third molars are commonly known as wisdom teeth. These are the last teeth to develop and do not typically erupt until age 18 to 20, and some people never develop third molars at all. For those who do, these molars may cause crowding and need to be removed.
Your mouth is important. Don’t take your teeth or oral health for granted. For good dental health, brush and floss your teeth regularly, don't smoke, eat a healthy diet, and see your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and checkups. A healthy mouth makes for a healthy body ... and a pretty smile.
Src:Dental health . everyday health . Connie Brichford | Medically reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD . 28Nov2011 . web . 7Sep2015
What Do Sore Gums Mean?
Millions of Americans have experienced sore gums. You're brushing or flossing and notice a painful sensation in your gums. Sometimes, your sore gums may even start bleeding while you're brushing or flossing.
Since the pain from sore gums isn’t usually very severe, and it’s such a common problem, many people don’t pay much attention to sore gums. Fortunately, addressing sore gums isn’t usually very difficult, especially in the early stages of gum disease.
Sore Gums And Gum Disease
Sore gums, or gums that are swollen or bleeding, are most often linked to gum disease. There are two stages of gum disease, both of which may cause sore gums.
- Gingivitis: This is the early and mildest form of gum disease; sore gums are often one of the first signs that you may be suffering from gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious gum disease. (1)
- Periodontitis: Advanced form of gum disease with more serious implications, such as possible tooth loss and other health problems. (2)
If you notice sore gums, consult with a dental professional for evaluation and advice.
Stop The Pain From Sore Gums
When you notice sore gums, here are a few things to consider that might help you pinpoint the cause of your discomfort.
- Am I eating right? A healthy and well-balanced diet can help prevent sore gums and gum disease. A diet that includes plenty of Vitamin C and calcium may minimize your risk for gum problems. (3)
- Do I use tobacco? Tobacco use has been associated with gum disease and increases your risk for sore gums.
- Am I stressed out or overwhelmed? Stress raises the levels of cortisol in your body, which increases the likelihood of inflammation. Inflamed, sore gums can be a side effect of a stressful lifestyle.
- Do I take proper care of my teeth and gums? Maintaining a diligent oral hygiene routine is the best way to keep your teeth healthy and help prevent sore gums.
In conclusion, sore gums can be a warning sign of gum disease and should be taken seriously. Early gum disease can progress to serious infection that can cause tooth loss and may have other overall health implications. Taking good care of your teeth and gums will help you maintain good oral health now and in the future.
Src: General Oral Hygiene . Oral Care Topics . Crest . web . 7Sep2015
There are many ways to help your kids have better dental health. You can encourage your kids to brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. You can take them for regular dental checkups every six months. You can make sure they avoid sugary treats and juices. But good nutrition for kids is one of the easiest ways to improve dental health. Here are 5 foods you can add to your child's diet to help them have healthier teeth, based on recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA):
Do you know how many bacteria live on your toothbrush? Brace yourself! Researchers have found that a single toothbrush can be loaded with as many as 10 million germs and bacteria. In fact, recent studies even found that your toothbrush could be a breeding ground for tiny microorganisms.
Tooth decay is an infectious disease — and it is a reality. All children are at risk. The ODA Special Report Tooth Decay in Ontario's Children: An Ounce of Prevention -- A Pound of Cure is a call to action for parents, government and the community — we all need to work together on prevention.
Tooth Decay Facts: Did you know?
- it is the second most common cause of school absenteeism
- it is five times more common than asthma in children age 5-17
- it can be transmitted by sharing a spoon with young children or licking their pacifier
- it is preventable in almost all cases
If you want to maintain strong teeth for your lifetime, you need to ensure you are eating enough whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables and lean meats.
Some other healthy snack choices include:
- nuts and seeds
- peanut butter
- plain yogurt