Dental Care tips for Older People

Somewhere at the back of our mind, we are all aware of what might happen to our teeth when we get old. The biggest thing that haunts us is whether we will be able to retain our teeth throughout the stretch of our lifetime. Well we definitely can, provided we are willing to care for them from an early age. Proper dental care should be taken even at an older age from a dentist or a hygienist to ensure that we don’t end up losing our teeth. Here is a complete guide that will hold one in good stead in his old days.

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Plaque Deposition – Resulting in Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

Yes, there are other things to take care of other than dental anxiety and tooth sensitivity when we get old. The deposition of bacteria known as ‘plaque’ is quite common in the teeth and the gums. This plaque needs to be cleared otherwise it can cause inflammation in the gums, which can eventually affect the bone under the teeth. This is the bone that supports the tooth roots. Hence, any damage caused to the bone may lead to loose teeth. However, it is important that one realises that he is suffering from gum disease. Common symptoms include receding gums, bad breath, bleeding gums while brushing, etc.

It also has to be kept in mind that plaque deposition that causes gum inflammation can also cause tooth decay, especially when exposed to sugary fluids and drinks. Due to receding gums, a decay at the gum edge is possible as a result of the ‘neck’ of the tooth not being well protected by the enamel.

Plaque Removal – Cleanliness Tips

Gum disease and Tooth decay can be cured by the thorough removal of plaque content from the teeth. It is advisable to make use of fluoride toothpastes for this purpose. Other than this, other special toothpastes are also available in the market like total care, tartar control, etc. One should ideally look for the BDHF accredited products. The ideal toothbrush to use would be a small-headed, medium textured one. Woodsticks and floss can be used to clean between the teeth. However, when we get hold, our physical strength and power to move gets restricted. So, one might not feel at ease while gripping the toothbrush, especially the ones suffering from Arthritis. Electronic toothbrushes and thick handled ones are the best for such people.

Often, older people suffer from a dry mouth as a result of the side effect of the medicines that are prescribed to them. The chances of tooth decay increase in the prevalence of dry mouth. Many might feel that sipping through drinks throughout the day might help. This is not the right thing to do as the regular intake of sugary fluids will only make matter worse. A visit to the dentist at such a stage will provide clarity on what has to be done in order to maintain cleanliness.

Dentures – The Perfect Replacement for Lost Teeth

It might so happen that despite all the care, one ends up loosing teeth. Dentures can be the perfect replacement at such a situation. But, it is important that one knows a thing or two about dentures before actually putting them to use. One should be in sync with the following points.

  • Dentures should be replaced every five years as the shape of the mouth keeps changing throughout the period of ones’ life.

  • One might experience pain and discomfort initially, but regular check ups by the dentist can help in eliminating the pain.

  • One should always keep their old dentures. This makes it easier for the dentist to prepare a set of new ones.

  • After wearing dentures for a few days, if there is a persistent discomfort with soreness in the mouth, speech and eating, then one must go back to the dentist without wasting anymore time.

  • It is important to provide rest to the mouth from wearing dentures at least for a few hours in the day. Often dentists might ask you to leave them aside at night while sleeping. If this is not possible, consider keeping them aside for a few hours anytime during the day according to your convenience.

  • Poorly fitted dentures can lead to mouth ulcers.

  • It is important to clean the dentures at least once every day. Cleaning it over a basin of cold water is advisable. This will ensure that it does not break if dropped. The surfaces can be cleaned by using a toothbrush along with a toothpaste or a denture cleaner.

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Dental Guide: 10 Facts To Consider Post-Tooth Extraction

Many of us have had to experience the aftermath of a tooth extraction sometime or the other in our lives. Those who minutely followed the post extraction directives provided by the dentist might not have suffered too much of an issue in the recovery phase. However, there are plenty of us for whom it was not a complete smooth sailing. Given below is the course of action one should ideally take during the recovery period, immediately after an extraction is done.

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Things To Keep In Mind Immediately After An Extraction:

  1. The first thing to do is to take it easy for the rest of the day. Exercises and workout should kept limited and emphasis should be laid on resting for the better part of the day.

  2. One should avoid hot food or drinks initially. Due to dental sedation, one might not feel any pain or sensation till the anaesthetic wears off and as a result, one might end up burning his mouth.

  3. It is advisable to not eat on the side of the extraction site for the first day and a half. This might damage the blood clot and increase the chances of an infection in the socket. This will hamper the healing procedure.

  4. One should keep his head higher at night while sleeping to resist any kind of bleeding. Just as a precaution, sleeping with a towel on the pillow is wise in case there is bleeding.

  5. For the first 24 hours especially, alcohol should be avoided at any cost. Alcohol can encourage more bleeding, which is not prescribed at all. It can also have a detrimental impact on the overall healing process.

  6. After an extraction is done, it is imperative to maintain dental hygiene by brushing at regular intervals. But, one needs to be careful with the extraction site and undertake measures to not further damage the wound.

  7. A little bit of bleeding is normal post a tooth extraction. In such a case, a little bit of pressure should be applied to the socket to stop the bleeding. Ideally, placing a folded piece of handkerchief directly over the extraction site and biting on it for around 15 minutes should work.

  8. One should not do anything that increases the blood pressure as it leads to further bleeding. So, for the first 36 hours at least after the extraction, one should avoid smoking cigarettes.

  9. One should expect some tenderness and pain for the first few days after the tooth extraction is done. Simple pain relief pills should ease the discomfort in such cases. It has to be kept in mind that anything containing aspirin should be avoided as it can thin the blood slightly. As a result, one might experience further bleeding. It’s best to consult the doctor or the dentist before deciding to have any pill.

  10. Another source of severe pain is when one acquires infection in the socket. In such a case, there is no blood clot in the socket and the bony socket walls are exposed and become infected. This particular pain can sometimes be worse than a toothache as small pieces of bone work their way to the surface of the socket. A visit to the dentist is a must at this time as he might place a dressing in the socket or even prescribe a course of antibiotics in order to gain relief from the infection.

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Crossbites: Know the effective ways to fix them

The prevalence of crossbites among humans is very unfortunate as it can lead to severe dental complexities. A crossbite is caused due to misalignment in the teeth, leading to the teeth coming together, but either inside or totally outside of its proper positions. It is also often referred to as a ‘bad bite‘ as the two rows of teeth don’t meet properly. In the case of a normal bite, the upper teeth generally sit a little towards the outside of the lower teeth at the front, sides and the back of the mouth. Usually, the most common crossbite occurs when the top back teeth are inside the lowers on just one side. Hence, when the bite isn’t right, proper dental care must be taken to fix the teeth at the earliest.

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The possible effects of Crossbite

The several problems that may arise from a crossbite includes:

  • misaligned bites may result in various types of dental problems, health & emotional issues, dental anxiety, etc.

  • Tooth decay and gum disease might become a definitive, if not treated properly.

  • stress on the jaws can lead to the prevalence of chronic jaw problems & headaches.

  • One may associate pain in the neck, shoulder and back area of the body as well as a result of crossbite prevalence.

The Treatment

A visit to the dentist is a must when suffering from crossbites. Ideally, one should preferably look to get treated while still a teenager, but the option is also open for adults just in case they get affected at a later age. Generally, in the most commonly occurring crossbite, the upper tooth can be widened. Here we will talk about two types of dental braces that can be used for treating Crosssbites.

  • Quad Helix Expander

  • Rapid Maxillary Expander

Quad Helix Expander

This is one type of a fixed brace that is designed in a ‘W’ shaped form and consists of four loops. This helps in widening the upper tooth arch. On the proper fitting of the expander, it compresses so that it can gradually expand and push the back teeth outwards. In the initial period, it might cause mild to low discomfort. The expander needs to be in place for a total time period of six months ideally. Three months to correct a crossbite and another three months to hold the correction. Once the quad helix expander is removed, there might be chances of the crossbite reverting back to its original position. To prevent this, the crossbite will have to be retained for a year after the expander is removed. A retainer (removable brace) will be fitted for the purpose of retaining the crossbite for a year. The success of the entire procedure will depend on how accurately the retainer is used after the removal of the expander.

Rapid Maxillary Expander

The rapid maxillary expander is another kind of a brace that is attached to the upper teeth. The difference in this expander is that it consists of a screw in the middle of the palate. For two weeks straight, the screw is turned twice per day. This helps in the expansion of the upper jaw in rapid time. One might experience some discomfort for the initial few days. The pain can be controlled obviously with the help of any prescribed pain relief pill or even a paracetamol. No kind of damage should be associated with the fixed brace expander as it only needs to be in place for a minimum of three months. Once the expander is removed, it is replaced with a removable retainer. However, it has to be kept in mind that in order to avoid permanent decay around the fixings, a lot of consistency has to go in with cleaning the teeth properly. Too much of fizzy drinks should be avoided and a lot of emphasis should be given on brushing. It is almost needless to mention the importance of using fluoride mouthwash. In order to ensure that the improvement is permanent, the removable retainer has to be put to correct use for a year after the expander has been removed.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: The Primary Symptoms & the Possible Causes

Snoring is a phenomenon that lot of you must have encountered in your life at some stage or the other. A lot of reasons can be related to for snoring such as age, physiology, lifestyle, nasal & mouth defects, etc. Apart from these reasons, the prevalence of disorders can lead to snoring too. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is one such disorder.

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What is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

Snoring can seem to be a joke or a matter of embarrassment for most of you, but in actuality can be linked to a kind of a sleep disorder. Apnoea is referred to the state when you stop breathing. Ostructive Sleep Apnoea occurs due to an oral or a physiological defect as the soft tissue at the back of your throat relaxes during sleep, blocking the airway as a result and causing you to snore loudly. Thus, during sleep apnoea, the level of oxygen in the blood decreases as airflow is considerably reduced. As a result, we stop snoring and stop breathing temporarily. The pause in breathing generally lasts for around 10-20 seconds and can happen innumerable times in a single night. The brain reacts by disturbing the sleep and kick-starts breathing once again, which is accompanied by a choke, gasp or snort. If you are suffering from OSA, you are being robbed of restful sleep. It’s very important to know the primary symptoms and causes that lead to OSA so that effective precaution can be taken.

The Primary Symptoms to be wary of include:

  • The tendency of feeling fatigue, tired and sleepy during the daytime, which is a clear indication of a diminished overnight sleep.

  • Repeated observations of breathing cessation during the sleep at night.

  • Disruption of sleep often leading to you waking up at night primarily because of loud snoring, and a choking or gasping sensation.

  • Waking up with a dry mouth and a sore throat every time is also a popular symptom that might suggest the prevalence of OSA.

  • You might associate yourself with depression and mood swings. Generally, you motivation levels might be low and you might be suffering from high stress levels.

  • The tendency to sweat, especially during the night and also the prevalence of a considerably decreased libido.

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The Main Causes of OSA include:

  • The deposition of fat around the upper airway leads to obstruction in breathing. For this reason, maximum people who are obese or overweight suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. However, this does not mean that thin people don’t develop this disorder.

  • High Blood Pressure along with excessive hypertension accounts for one of the major causes of OSA.

  • The chances of OSA are doubled among people who have narrowed airways. Those who have narrowed airways consistently suffer from chronic nasal congestion at night.

  • One of the well known causes of OSA is excessive smoking. Thus, people who are smokers and suffer from this disorder need to make a conscious effort to either cut down on the amount they smoke or stop it altogether.

  • People who are victims of Diabetes are at an increased risk of acquiring this particular disorder.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is more likely to be seen among men over women, as men have this tendency of developing a heavy upper body. Apart from this, people who have a history of OSA victims in the family are always at an increased risk of acquiring the disorder.

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Dental Care Tips: Choosing the Right Toothpaste for the Right Purpose

We all recognize the contribution that toothpastes have made in maintaining dental hygiene in our lives. But do we recognize whether we are using the right toothpaste that is apt for our teeth? Choosing a toothpaste might appear to be a ‘No Brainer‘ most times, but it does require a certain degree of knowledge. You must know what kind of teeth or teeth problems you are dealing with and based on that, the selection for the most apt toothpaste must be made. Here is what you must know.

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For Whitening Purpose

As the name suggests, toothpastes for whitening purpose mainly helps in getting rid of the yellow and brown stains that plague our teeth. This toothpaste mainly contains polishing agents and mild to moderate abrasives that prevents the consistent accumulation of dental plaque which causes the teeth to lose its’ colour. It has to be kept in mind that if there is no marked improvement even after repeated use of whitening toothpaste over a period of time, then one must visit the dentist to figure out what the problem actually is.

For Tartar Removal

Effective dental care should be taken in order to prevent tartar from accumulating on the teeth. Tartar can be referred to as a hard calcified deposition that occurs on the teeth and eventually lead to its’decay. It’s a solidified form of plaque buildup that accumulates over a period of time. There are toothpastes that are designated towards the removal of tartar. Toothpastes that are designated for the removal of Tartar contain certain entities such as Pyrophosphates, Zinc Citrates, etc that prevents the solidified plaque from depositing. Now it goes without saying that you must not use a tartar removal toothpaste for the purpose of teeth whitening and vice versa.

Prevent Sensitivity

Whether you are a proud owner of straight teeth or not, you would definitely not want them to be associated with sensitivity. Sensitivity leads to consistent tooth pain and considerable pain in the gums as well. Before coming down to a conclusion, you might want to pay a visit to the dentist. He might prescribe a toothpaste with desensitising agents that might help you in reducing the sensitivity. A toothpaste that is designated for preventing tooth sensitivity ideally contain the ingredients like Potassium Nitrate, Sodium Fluoride, Sorbitol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Titanium Dioxide, etc.

Anti-Cavity

You are all definitely aware of what tooth cavities are. Whether you are sipping through your favourite sugar drink or resorting to frequent snacking, there is a good chance for the formation of cavities if you do not end up washing your mouth properly. Another reason of cavity formation is the prevalence of bacteria as well. Cavities are basically encouraged by the bacterial plaque when in contact with sugar. A chemical reaction results in the formation of an acid that is detrimental for the teeth. Now in this case, any random toothpaste will not be of any use. Anti-cavity toothpastes with mineral fluoride content will help prevent consistent decaying of teeth due to cavities. Mineral Fluoride aids the teeth by creating a cover or coating on it. This does not allow the bacteria inflicted plaque to form its’ plaque on the teeth. Cavities constantly worsen the quality of your teeth. Anti-Cavity Toothpaste should be used in order to prevent this detrimental scenario.

Thus, choosing the correct toothpaste is very important to ensure that your teeth are subjected to proper dental hygiene and care.

Symptoms confirming that you suffer from Occlusal Disease

The way our teeth meet when our jaws bite together is known as Dental Occlusion. The destructive outcome that is produced from a bite when the teeth are not aligned can be referred to as Occlusal Disease. The muscles and jaw joints can withstand the teeth force when they are properly aligned. But when they are not, the straight teeth imbalance can lead to problems both in the muscles and the jaw joints along with the teeth.

occlusal-disease

People suffering from occlusal disease often leave it unattended. Aligned teeth are not only a big part of our facial aesthetics, they can also relieve us from a lot of discomfort. But before treatment, one should realise that he is suffering from the disease in the first place. Here are the symptoms.

Discomfort in the TMJ (Temporo-Mandibular Joint)

The joint that connects our lower jaw with the skull is known as Temporo-Mandibular Joint. It is this joint that allows us to open and close our mouths and chew the food we eat. When the teeth do not meet properly due to improper alignment, considerable discomfort and grinding pain can be associated with the jaw joints. This does not make the opening/closing of the mouth and chewing of food any easier. Thus, discomfort in the TMJ is one primary symptom.

CDH (Cervical Dentin Hypersensitivity)

CDH is a kind of sharp dental pain that arises from exposed dentin surfaces in response to an external stimuli and not connected to any other dental disease. Sensitivity in the teeth is a common phenomenon. But we often get perplexed when sensitivity occurs due to daily activities like sipping coffee or a cold drink, when there is no reason to be. Many of you might be unaware that occlusal disease is one of the major reasons for the occurrence of CDH.

Tooth Hypermobility

Sometimes during a dental examination, it might come to the forefront that the second molars radiographically suggest that they have ample amount of support from the bones, but at the same time have a highly considerable amount of mobility. You can be certain that this is a clear symptom of Occlusal Disease. This can lead to the overloading of some teeth, which might have to be extracted in order to restore the occlusion balance.

Teeth Irregularities

One of the more popular symptoms to fathom this disease is by monitoring our teeth. It might appear that your teeth is flattening out and breaking with the prevalence of fillings and crowns. The teeth may also appear to be loose and one might experience sensitivity at just the mere change of temperature or might undergo toothache without quite being able to understand the reason for it. At this stage, straight teeth might seem far-fethched. These are indications that you might be suffering from imperfect occlusion.

Gums, Muscle and Headache Problems

You might doubt that you are suffering from Occlusal Disease when you find that your receding gums are growing worse. Imperfect occlusion means that the jaw is not in the right place and therefore, the muscles have to work that bit more and tend to wear out. This leads to consistent headaches contributing to the overall discomfort that is experienced. This can also lead to muscle spasms and pain near the eye and the neck region, and at times can extend to the back muscles as well.

Thus, apart from facial aesthetics, occusal disease can have a much larger bearing on your health. It’s important that it is addressed at its’ infancy in order to avoid fatal consequences in the future.

Dental Tips – ‘How to ensure Dental Hygiene’

Whether the objective is to maintain the standard of teeth, have the prettiest of smiles or stay away from serious dental diseases, dental hygiene is significant. Regularly visiting clinics to the dentist for treatment is fine, but a lot has got to do with how we personally attend to our teeth on a regular basis in order to ensure a high degree of dental hygiene. One should adhere to the following.

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Know the fundamentals of brushing & flossing

Yes we all know that brushing everyday is important. But it shouldn’t be for the sake of it. One should brush keeping in mind all the important technicalities. The ideal brush would be a one with soft bristles which fits perfectly into the back corners of the mouth. The bristles should be used at an angle of 45 degrees and the brush should be used in an up-and-down motion consistently. However, brushing can turn out to be ineffective sometimes. This is where flossing is important. Flossing can remove substances from the greater depths of the teeth where the bristles might not reach. Dental flossing is highly recommendable and should be done at least once everyday.

Fluoride Toothpaste and Mouthwash

It is always advisable that fluoride toothpaste is used on a regular basis. This is because fluoride is an essential nutrient that considerably slows up the process of tooth decay. However, in the case of mouthwash, it should be used before brushing as any non-fluoride mouthwash used after brushing tends to wash away the fluoride content in the teeth. Another option that one can avail is using fluoride mouthwash after brushing to help retain the fluoride levels in the teeth. And if someone wants to use a mouthwash without fluoride, he might as well use it before brushing or several hours after.

Things to Avoid

One should stay away from things that constantly contribute to dental pollution. Among the things that top the list are tobacco, alcohol, Coffee, etc. Apart from the worst case scenario of mouth cancer, tobacco can damage dental health by accumulating nicotine stains on the teeth and considerably deteriorating mouth odour. On the other hand, beverages like soda and alcohol can result in diminishing levels of calcium in the body due to high levels of phosphorous content. One should look to avoid too much intake of these things on a consistent basis.

Calcium and Vitamins are important

Dental care can be undertaken not only with regards to what we do to our teeth but also the food we take in on a regular basis. Calcium intake is important for the health of the teeth as well as the bones in our body. Favourable options for calcium consumption include milk, other dairy products, yogurt, broccoli, etc. Depending on the age of the individual, one might avail calcium doses or supplements too. Vitamin D is also essential in the protection of gums. Other things that contribute to dental hygiene include potassium, iodine, etc.

Don’t forget to clean your tongue

We often lay so much emphasis on cleaning our tongue that we forget the fact that we have a tongue too and it requires equal amount of cleaning and care. Halitosis is a state of bad breath and not cleaning the tongue regularly can easily lead to it. This is because bacteria keeps accumulating on the top surface of the tongue and if left unattended, it can lead to foul breath. Thus, keeping the tongue clean is equally important to ensure a good dental hygiene.