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Mouthwash has become an essential ingredient of one's oral hygiene kit. Though not a substitute for flossing or brushing, it offers additional oral protection. Due to a host of ingredients, such as alcohol,
Chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride, menthol, methyl salicylate, fluoride, antibacterial enzymes, hydrogen peroxide, essential oils, zinc chloride and other herbs and "natural" ingredients mouthwash has a number of benefits.
Alcohol is the basic ingredient in all of them. While fluoride protects against decay, chlorhexidine protects against gum diseases. Hydrogen peroxide produces a mild bleaching effect. Herbs and essential oils produce a freshening effect.
Benefits of using a mouthwash
1. Reduces formation of tartar and plaque.
2. Protects from oral problems like gingivitis and periodontal disease, especially if it contains cetylpyridinium or essential oils. Chlorhexidine is also effective in protecting plaque formation and gingivitis.
3. Kills bacteria in the mouth and prevents cavities or decay, especially if it contains fluoride.
4. Mouthwash, to some extent, covers up bad breath due to oral hygiene or oral disease and produces a fresher breath.
5. Certain mouthwashes containing cetylpyridinium chloride and zinc chloride produce a better breath freshening effect.
6. Helps manage dry mouth, especially if containing biotene.
Types of Mouthwash
The cosmetic one is usually for freshening up the breath and is not regulated by the FDA. The therapeutic ones contain active ingredients aimed at addressing one of the issues like plaque formation, bad breath, dry mouth, or decay. They kill bacteria, reduce plaque, fight gingivitis, and control decay. They are not a substitute for brushing or flossing but supplement these two very well. These are approved by FDA and are proven in terms of safety and efficacy. Rinses with zinc chloride are effective against bad breath, those with fluoride are useful in people who are cavity-prone, and chlorhexidine helps prevent gum disease.
Choosing a mouthwash: This depends on the oral health condition, and it is always advisable that the dentist prescribes the right rinse for you.
When and how to use mouthwash: When you are done with your brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth with a capful of the mouthwash liquid. Swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds and spit it out. Avoid brushing, drinking water, or rinsing your mouth after using a mouthwash for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will give sufficient time for the active ingredients in the mouthwash (especially if it is a therapeutic one) to act in the mouth. Brushing after mouthwash removes all the effect of the rinse.
Hi, My 6th molar tooth has been broken for which 2 docs hv advised implant after extraction. One doc has Nobel biocare implant while the other has recommended astra biocare (israel based co). There is much difference in the prices for both. Please suggest whether astra is as good as Nobel? Thanks.
If hot or cold foods make you wince, you may have a common dental problem—sensitive teeth. Sensitivity in your teeth can happen for several reasons, including:
I am having pain on the left side of my mouth. Local doctors say that my gums have become very weak and my teeth are not properly gripped. I am a diabetic person. Please advise how to get rid of the problem. I am 62 years old and don't have any tooth decay.
Swelling in gums of front uper two teeth. Some times there seems blood in morning saliva in mouth when I get up in morning. Kindly suggest.
In My front upper two teeth, one is normal length but other one a bit length more than first one. Is there any treatment to bring these two teeth to same length. Tell how much it will cost?
If your diabetes is not under control, you are more likely to develop problems in your mouth. The good news is you can keep your teeth and gums healthy. By controlling your blood glucose, brushing and flossing every day, and visiting a dentist regularly, you can help prevent serious problems in your mouth.
The Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes
The warning signs of diabetes affect every part of your body. After a blood test, you may be told by a doctor that you have high blood sugar. You may feel excessively thirsty or have to urinate a lot. Weight loss and fatigue are other common symptoms. Diabetes can also cause you to lose consciousness if your blood sugar falls too low.
If diabetes is left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth as well. Here's how:
- You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. (Dry mouth is also caused by certain medications.)
- Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities.
- Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis).
- You may have problems tasting food.
- You may experience delayed wound healing.
- You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
- For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical.
Diabetes is a chronic, systemic disease and affects all parts of the body. While its effect on the nerves, eyes, kidneys, and skin is more common, their oral effects are less known. However, diabetes will vouch how they lost tooth and have dry mouth after their sugars went out of control.
- Oral Symptoms in Diabetics: There is a strong correlation between oral health and poorly controlled blood sugars. Some of the common oral indications of diabetes are as follows.
- Dry Mouth: There is less amount of saliva, which brings with it a whole lot of symptoms including soreness of the mucosa, ulcers, increased chances of infection, gum inflammation and tooth decay.
- Thrush: The saliva has higher sugar levels and attracts fungus (Candida in particular) which thrives in this dry, sugary environment. This produces a burning sensation in the mouth.
- Periodontal Disease: The gums get severely infected with gingival recession, where the gum line recedes exposing more of the tooth (tooth length seems to have increased). There is “pocket” formation, or space between the tooth and the gum which hosts a variety of bacteria. The periodontal ligament loses its strength to hold the tooth in place, and thereby teeth become mobile. If not worked upon in time, there could be multiple teeth lost.
Why People with Diabetes Are More Prone to Gum Disease
All people have more tiny bacteria living in their mouth now than there are people on this planet. If they make their home in your gums, you can end up with periodontal disease. This chronic, inflammatory disease can destroy your gums, all the tissues holding your teeth and even your bones.
Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed. Especially with increasing age, poor blood sugar control increases the risk for gum problems. In fact, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum problems because of poor blood sugar control. As with all infections, serious gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise. This makes diabetes harder to control because you are more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.
As much as it sounds alarming, it is not. There are easy, simple ways to manage these. In fact, good overall management of diabetes will ensure the oral symptoms are also maintained under control. Following are some things to do which will help in managing diabetes in general and the oral symptoms in particular:
As soon as diabetes is diagnosed, visit a dentist to take stock of the oral health condition. Any identified problem should be treated to avoid progression.
- Keep a close watch to ensure blood sugar remains as close to normal as possible.
- Switch to a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles. This will help reduce the pressure on the gums and thereby prevent gum bleeding
- After every meal, remember to brush the teeth.
- Flossing at least once a day will help remove food deposits between the teeth. Alternately, use interdental brushes.
- Rinse at least twice daily using an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Denture-wearers should always clean them daily and never go to sleep with the denture in the mouth.
- Smoking with diabetics is a strict no-no, work on quitting at the earliest.
- Visit a dentist every 3 months to ensure oral issues are identified at the earliest and treatment done with minimal intervention.
- Any dental procedure should be done only when sugar levels are under control.
Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and that includes proper dental care. Your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dentist.