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Archive for the ‘Dental Problems’ Category

Burning Mouth Syndrome, or BMS, is a complex problem that involves mouth, lip, and tongue discomfort. Most cases of BMS occur in adults who are middle-aged or older, but it can occur at any age. The key symptom of BMS is a burning sensation on the tongue, lips, throat, gums or palate. Many people report a sensation in their mouth as though it has been in contact with scalding water. Some people with BMS also report a soreness or a metallic taste in the mouth.

The exact cause of BMS remains uncertain, and researchers have proposed a range of possible causes including changes associated with menopause, nutrition deficiencies, damaged nerves and oral infections such as oral thrush. Some people report that their burning mouth pain persists for years.

Fortunately, many people with BMS can find some relief by working with a doctor or dentist to pinpoint the cause of their case of BMS and then treating those symptoms. For example, if your doctor or dentist determines that your BMS may be due to oral thrush, treatment with an antifungal medication may relieve the problem. If nutrition deficiency or psychological factors are the causes, then vitamin supplements or anxiety medication may be the answers.

Some cases of BMS are caused by vitamin deficiency anemia, which can cause changes in the appearance of the tongue if left untreated. No matter how you developed BMS or how you treat it, be sure to follow a regular oral care routine of twice daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to keep your mouth as healthy as possible. Avoid alcohol-based mouth rinses, as they they can irritate the condition.

Medications As The Major Cause Of Dry Mouth

If you suddenly experience symptoms of dry mouth, it may be because you’ve started taking a certain type of medication. Medications are a major cause of dry mouth. In fact, medications cause approximately 90 percent of all cases of dry mouth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry.

You may not be able to discontinue your medication, but you should keep your dentist informed when something in your overall health changes and you start taking medication.

For example, antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories and anti-hypertensive medications are just some of the many types of drugs that can contribute to a dry mouth. In addition, chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or lupus and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, can also cause it.

Even stress and anxiety can contribute to dry mouth, as can the medications you might take for them. It is important to communicate with your dentist about issues concerning your overall health because anything that increases your risk for dry mouth also increases your risk for gum disease. Your dentist or dental hygienist may advise you to pay special attention to your daily oral care routine, and to schedule an additional dental cleaning during a time of increased risk, such as during pregnancy or before starting chemotherapy.

If your dry mouth is persistent and severe, talk to your doctor about whether you can reduce the dose of the medication that is causing the problem, or possibly switch to a different medication. Everyone responds differently to medications, so switching to another drug that serves the same purpose may yield the same benefits with less dry mouth.

Tooth sensitivity is among the common causes of a toothache. The phrase “tooth sensitivity” refers to tooth discomfort or feelings of toothache in one or more teeth. The pain of tooth sensitivity is usually sharp, sudden and shooting. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the layer of a tooth underneath the enamel (called the dentin) or the layer covering the root (called cementum) is exposed along the gum line due to receding gums. The exposed areas respond to hot and cold, and sometimes to sweet and spicy foods, and trigger pain.

The causes of tooth sensitivity vary, and if you have sensitive teeth, it may be due to several of these factors:

  • Overzealous brushing. You can have too much of a good thing. Brushing your teeth with too much force, or with a hard-bristle toothbrush, may wear down tooth enamel, expose the cementum or dentin and cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Gum disease. Inflamed gum tissue pulls away from the tooth, leaving vulnerable areas exposed.
  • Tooth grinding. Grinding your teeth can cause the enamel to wear away and leave the dentin exposed.

If you have sensitive teeth, don’t neglect your daily oral care routine. Just be sure to use a soft toothbrush and soft floss. You can also try a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Several brands are available, and you should notice some improvement with regular use of any of them. Also, try spreading some sensitizing toothpaste along the exposed cementum or dentin area before bed to help reduce sensitivity. Just use your fingertip or a cotton swab to rub the toothpaste directly onto the exposed spot.

Toothaches have many causes, from gum disease to jaw clenching, but tooth root sensitivity can also cause a tooth to ache.

The tooth root includes the lower two-thirds of the tooth, and it is usually buried in the jawbone. But when gum disease develops, the bacteria that cause the disease can also dissolve the bone around the tooth root. The combination of dissolved bone and receding gums means that more of the tooth root is exposed. Without protection from healthy gums and healthy bone, the root often becomes sensitive to hot and cold and to sour foods. In some cases, the sensitivity is so severe that you may avoid very hot, cold or sour foods.

If the root exposure is not severe, try using a special toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth that contains fluoride and other minerals. The extra fluoride and minerals will help to strengthen the exposed root and make it less sensitive.

The best way to manage root sensitivity and to prevent gum disease with a consistent oral health care program of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing. Try a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid irritating your gums, which can increase the risk of root exposure and sensitivity.

Bruxism - Special treatments are available for bruxism.

We know what you’re thinking: brux what? Bruxism is simply the clinical term for teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can happen at night (sleep bruxism) or during the day. Sometimes it occurs in conjunction with jaw clenching. Telltale signs of bruxism include chronic headaches, earaches and jaw pain. Even worse, bruxism can wear down tooth enamel. What’s the cause of bruxism? The official verdict is still out. But most medical and dental professionals believe that stress or suppressed frustration and anger can provoke bruxism or sleep bruxism. Fortunately, there are ways to put an end to the grind. A little meditation or yoga can be great for stress relief. Dentists also offer many proven treatments for bruxism!

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Tooth Infection or Dental Abscess: What is it?

A tooth infection is also known as a tooth or root abscess. It is a pus-filled swelling. The infection is usually a result of tooth decay. The damage to your tooth is not caused by bacteria, but usually by certain dietary habits that are common in our modern industrial society.

Tooth Infection Image

Tooth With Infected Pulp

What Causes a Tooth Infection?

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What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease, starts when the bacteria in dental plaque irritate the gums and cause infection. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious conditions.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal (gum) disease. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene, which leads to plaque buildup.

Other factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.

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