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Book Clinic Appointment with Dr. Shyam Padmanabhan
Root Canal Treatment
Teeth Cleaning Procedure
Teeth Whitening Procedure
Chronic Skin Allergy Treatment
Tooth Extraction Procedure
Dental Extractions Procedure
Skin Rash Treatment
Gap Closing (Dental) Treatment
Artificial Teeth Treatment
Treatment of Root Canal Treatment (RCT)
Wisdom Tooth Removal Procedure
Teeth Scaling & Polishing
Braces Treatment for Adults and Teens
Teeth Cleaning (Scaling) Procedure
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Patient Review Highlights
Nobody is happy with their teeth and everybody wants whiter, brighter teeth. In the last few decades, tooth whitening is one of the most commonly done cosmetic dental procedures. Majority of these people are in the age of 10 to 25, who are very conscious about their looks.
What needs to be understood is that dental whitening is permissible to a certain extent. Not many people realize this and continue to use the tooth whiteners even after the desired result is achieved in an effort to get it a couple of more shades lighter. This is something that needs to be watched for.
Safety of tooth whitening: Talking about safety of tooth whitening, some of the supposedly unsafe aspects are listed below.
Most products used currently are tested both on patients and in laboratory and are proven to be completely safe. However, overuse or misuse of these products can lead to issues. The active chemical ingredient in most of these products is hydrogen peroxide - most contain about 10% carbamide peroxide which breaks into hydrogen peroxide and urea. There are claims that this is carcinogenic. However, this is not the case and there is no strong correlation. Also, if the application is done correctly, there is very minimal exposure to hydrogen peroxide directly.
The second issue that most people associate tooth whitening is with tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. Both these symptoms are directly related to the percentage of carbamide peroxide. It is shown that products with more than 10% produce more teeth sensitivity and gum irritation than those that contain less than 10%. Improper tray selection can lead to gum irritation. Also, patients who are overzealous and go about whitening their teeth further can end up with severe sensitivity. The explanation in these cases is the enamel is worn off by the chemical leading to exposed dentinal tubules which, even when exposed due to caries, can cause sensitivity.
Listed below are some ways to avoid or reduce sensitivity-
1. When using the bleaching tray applicator, use it only for the recommended period of time. Do not keep it longer to make the teeth whiter.
2. Use a paste that is meant for sensitive teeth. The potassium nitrate in these will help relieve sensitivity.
3. Use a product with fluoride so that the teeth can remineralize. This can be used before and after tooth whitening for up to 4 minutes.
2. Breast feeding
3. Ceramic crowns or bridges in the front teeth - these cannot be bleached
4. Gingival disease with gum recession and exposed root - the sensitivity is sure to quite high
To avail the best results, always use clinically proven products under the supervision of a dentist.
Those who have experienced it would vouch for the fact that toothache is one of the worst pains. There could be times when the attack happens out of nowhere and you are crying for relief.
The tooth has 2 parts - the visible part called the crown and the invisible part called the root which is embedded in the jaw bone and covered by the gums.
Both the crown and the root have 3 layers from inside out. The crown has enamel, dentin, and pulp. The enamel is the mineralized part of the tooth, dentin has fine sensory dentinal tubules, and the pulp receives nerve and blood supply to the tooth through a small orifice at the end of the tooth called the apex. On the root surface, instead of enamel, there is a softer substance called cementum. The dentin and the pulp continue through the tooth, but are thinner in the root portion of the tooth.
The mouth has the largest amount of bacteria in the body. These act on the food deposits on the tooth and produce acid which leads to breakdown of the enamel. The only symptom when enamel breakdown happens is food lodgment, and it continues till treatment ensues. Once the breakdown reaches the dentin, sensitivity sets in, and most people go for treatment then. If not, the next layer is the pulp, when there is severe pain. This acute pulpitis causes pain in spurts and can be unbearable.
On the root surface, if there is periodontal disease and the gum line goes down, then cementum gets worn off (far more easily than enamel) and decay reaches the dentin and pulp (again faster than in the crown).
- Dental examination, clinical testing, and x-rays would be diagnostic. Tapping the tooth would reproduce the same pain and that is indicative of acute pulpitis
- Antibiotics and pain killers would be given to control the pain
- Once the infection subsides, root canal therapy is initiated. Using the decayed portion to gain access to the root, thin instruments called reamers and files are used to clean out the pulp space completely. They are then shaped to accommodate an inert substance called gutta percha which ensures infection does not seep into the tooth again.
- With RCT, the tooth is weakened, and therefore a crown needs to be placed. This could either be a ceramic crown or a full metal crown based on economic and esthetic reasons.
The best way to avoid this is regular visits to a dentist so that decay is identified in the early stages and treated with the minimal cost and maximum natural tooth preservation.
Enamel loss is nothing but tooth-enamel erosion, and this is quite a pathetic kind of oral condition. If the eroded enamel does not get restored, then your oral condition will get deteriorated to a great extent.
Teeth enamel plays the most important role in protecting teeth and if this layer gets eroded, then your teeth will get heavily damaged. Your teeth will not only get eroded, but the real dental color will also get changed.
Why enamel erosion occurs?
- Drinking excessive hot or cold: your enamel is very much sensitive to hot or cold food items as a result of which email loss is invited.
- Having fruit drinks: Citric acid in the fruit drinks is the element that can cause enamel erosion.
- Sugary diet: Excessive sugary diet is the very prominent cause of this kind of dental condition, and
thus you should take more and more of non-sugary foods.
- Environmental factors: There are many environmental factors that are responsible for enamel loss, and they are corrosion, stress, tear, wear, friction and others.
- Medications: Few medications are there that can cause enamel erosion and these medicines are antihistamines, aspirin and many more.
- Gastrointestinal troubles: These kinds of troubles are prone to the frequent erosion of tooth enamel and thus these problems need to be resolved as soon as possible.
- Using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash: There are many talented dentists who are strongly recommending the usage of both fluoride mouthwash and toothpaste so that tooth decay can be easily prevented. These products are now commercially available over-the-counter.
- Routine dental check-up: Daily dental check-up is needed so that oral condition can be checked so that the causes and signs of enamel loss can be detected, and then only perfect treatments can be easily applied.
- Taking vitamin-D supplements: there are many drugs and supplements that are enriched with vitamin-D, and they can be taken on a regular basis so that decayed enamel can be easily restored in a safe manner. Coconut oil can be taken in addition to these supplements for getting greater oral benefits.
- Cosmetic restoration options: There are many enamel-restoration options that can be cosmetically performed. Some of the popular options are crowning, filling, and others. On the other hand, leading a healthy lifestyle is also very important in this regard.
Dental problems can be very painful and take the smile off your face completely. Those who have experienced sensitivity would vouch for it. It just will not allow you to enjoy the hot coffee or a favourite sweet or a cold smoothie. The pain that shoots down the tooth after any of these would leave the person shuddering.
The tooth has 3 layers, from the outside in these are the enamel, the dentin and the pulp. The outermost enamel is mineralized and the hardest structure in the body. The next layer, dentin, has fine tubules, and when the enamel is worn off exposing the dentin, sensitivity sets in. The enamel is thinner in some portions of the tooth like the neck and the roots, therefore sensitivity onset is quicker in these areas. Some of the common reasons for sensitivity are listed below:
- Tooth decay: As caries progresses from enamel to dentin, sensitivity sets in, especially hot and cold foods.
- Wear and tear: Excessive brushing of teeth can lead to wearing of teeth, especially near the neck areas, leading to loss of enamel and resulting in sensitivity.
- Dental damage: Chipped or broken tooth can lead to sensitivity.
- Gingival disease: This leads to loss of gum cover over the tooth, leading to exposure of dentin and therefore, sensitivity.
- Bruxism: Clenching of teeth, common in people with high levels of stress, can lead to enamel wearing and subsequent sensitivity.
- Dental treatment: Some dental procedures like scaling, crowns, root planing and some fillings can cause transient sensitivity.
- Highly acidic food items: Citrus fruits, tomatoes, tea, etc. can lead to tooth sensitivity.
- Bleaching agents: Most tooth whitening agents result in sensitive teeth.
- Excessive use of mouthwash: The mouth rinses contain high amount of alcohol which can also lead to tooth sensitivity.
Management: As with all health conditions, the first step in management is to identify the problem. Whether it is dental decay or recent dental treatment, food habits or tooth whitening agents, the cause needs to be identified and then treatment begins accordingly.
- For lost enamel, be it decay or damage, the tooth again needs to be restored to its original form to cover the dentinal tubules and reduce sensitivity.
- For habits, be it food related or bruxism, in addition to treating the tooth, the habit per se needs to be addressed to prevent recurrence.
- For associated dental products like whitening agents or mouth rinses, talk to a dentist to switch to a less harmful product.
- De-sensitizing pastes are also available that can be used on a regular basis to reduce the problem.
Tooth sensitivity is annoying but there are ways to manage it effectively.
A missing tooth can be responsible for causing different health issues. Along with these, a person loses his ability of chewing with missing teeth, develop problems related to speaking and his overall facial appearance also gets affected.
In case of a missing tooth or several missing teeth, it is best advised to get dentures fitted. Dentures are false teeth, which are fitted in the oral cavity in place of lost natural teeth.
- Shifting of tooth: When a tooth is lost, the surrounding teeth start drifting or moving in the open gap where the lost tooth used to be. The surrounding teeth are shifted out of the alignment. This affects the appearance of your face, and your teeth seem crooked and misplaced. It is necessary to replace a missing tooth with dentures in order to restrict the shifting before it is too late.
- TMJ Syndrome: After a tooth is lost and the surrounding teeth start shifting, the alignment is changed. This gives rise to problems with biting and creates issues with the jaws. The upper jaw and the lower jaw fail to meet correctly, and this causes strain and damage to the jaw joint. This phenomenon is called TMJ syndrome.
- Decay of tooth and gum diseases: After the shifting of surrounding teeth when a tooth is lost, the teeth alignment changes. This makes it difficult for a person to reach several areas in the gum with a toothbrush or floss. This makes plaque and bacteria accumulate in that area and they cannot be reached or cleaned. Tooth decay and gum diseases or periodontal diseases that are likely to affect those spots. These diseases and disorders cause further tooth loss.
- Alteration in facial appearance: A missing tooth should be replaced properly and a dentist must make sure that the root of the missing tooth is removed. In case the root is not removed totally, bone deterioration is likely to occur. Bone loss occurs in the jaw area, and this may result in a change or alteration in your facial appearance. A timely replacement of a missing tooth will prohibit bone loss from the jaw area, and you will be saved from any kind of alteration in your facial appearance, which might affect your looks and self-esteem greatly.
A missing tooth should never be ignored and in case you lose a tooth, you should see a dentist as soon as possible. By filling up a missing tooth, you will be able to save yourself from several issues related to the mouth and gums.
Poor dental habits often invariably lead to complicated dental issues and hence expensive treatments. And to maintain the general good health of your teeth, brushing is not enough. It is very important to regularly floss too.
Difference between brushing and flossing:
For those who consider brushing and flossing to be similar, here is where the difference lies. While you brush your teeth, it's only the surface that gets cleaned. But the dirt that gets accumulated between the gaps of your teeth can only be cleaned by using a thin nylon thread, and that process is known as flossing. Avoiding flossing can lead to cavities and decay, and also gum diseases at times.
1. Reduces the risk of heart diseases:
Periodontal diseases, that is, diseases of the teeth, gums and mouth, can lead to heart diseases. Thus maintaining oral health can reduce the risk of any major ailments manifold. It can also help you to avoid the risk of diabetes and high body mass index.
2. Cleaner breath:
Flossing cleans the dirt between the teeth that gets accumulated when we eat. The accumulated food, if not taken out, starts decaying and creates bacteria and results in bad breath, leaving a bad impression.
3. Cleaner and glossier teeth:
Flossing regularly keeps your teeth clean and white. It also makes your teeth gleam, making your smile more attractive.
4. Keeps you healthy while you are pregnant:
During pregnancy, some women suffer from enamel wear and gum diseases. Thus, flossing regularly even while you are pregnant can help you maintain your dental health.
Types of dental floss:
1. Waxed and unwaxed dental floss:
Waxed dental floss is much smoother than the unwaxed version, and as a result, moves more easily between the teeth. On the other hand, unwaxed dental floss can be a little rough to use in the beginning.
2. Teflon Floss:
Made of Teflon, this type of floss is extremely easy to navigate between the teeth and rarely gets stuck between teeth.
3. Thread Floss:
This one works just like the other flosses, but is simply made of a different material, that is, nylon.
4. Tape Floss:
As compared to the other type of flosses, this particular floss is a little thick and is suitable for people who have wider gaps between their teeth.
You can also stick to flossing aids for maintaining proper dental hygiene. They are usually perfect for people who find the conventional forms difficult to adapt to. However, such aids maybe more expensive than regular flosses.
You can also use a tooth pick or an interdental brush in case you wish to avoid flossing. Just make sure that the dirt comes out, no matter which method you take up! Keep Smiling!