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A chipped or knocked out tooth can be a very painful condition. Tooth injuries are most often caused during a sports activity or when you take a nasty fall. And such accidents can hamper your general well-being, your ability to enjoy food, your appearance and your precious smile.
Different types of tooth injuries:
- A minor chip: A minor tooth fracture usually involves chipping of the enamel only
- A major chip: A deeper fracture can involve chipping of both the enamel and the dentin of a tooth
- A serious fracture that exposes the nerve and blood vessels in the centre of the teeth
- A fully displaced teeth: Here the tooth is forced upward, downward or to the side
- A knocked off teeth: One that lands in your hand or shatters in the ground after impact
- Trauma injuries: A more serious accident that involves head, neck and facial trauma
- Wear and tear: Cavities or chewing and biting on hard objects like pencils, ice cubes, or hard chocolates can also lead to tooth injury
- Fighting the fight: When 'I'll break your teeth' ceases to be an empty threat
How are tooth fractures treated?
Treatment depends on the extent of your fractures. A knocked out teeth can be re-implanted in many cases. A permanent tooth that is re-implanted within 30 minutes has the highest chance of success. Here's what you can do to save your tooth:
- Collect your broken tooth: Carefully collect the tooth fragments to not cause any additional damage which may prevent re-implantation. Avoid touching the root part of the tooth. Wash it gently in lukewarm water and keep it in a small bowl of milk. Avoid scrubbing or scraping to remove dirt.
- Reinsert your teeth if possible: Once you rinse your teeth, try to reinsert your teeth in the cavity. This may be a painful exercise, so proceed only if you think you can bear through it. You can store it between your cheek and gum to prevent drying or in a bowl of whole milk.
- Take care of yourself: If there is bleeding, give your mouth a good rinse to clear off the blood that is blocking the view. Identify the source of bleeding and press in with a sterile gauze or cloth.
- Give yourself a treat: This is a great way to get your mind off the pain and works wonders for children. Treat yourself with an ice lolly/ frozen pop to ease out the pain. If there is any cut on your gums or lips, another equally tasty home remedy is to cover it with sugar which will temporarily stop the bleeding and the sweetness will help you to forget the pain for the time being.
- Go to a dentist: Even if it is a minor chip, it is always advisable to see a dentist, as the cut may be sharp and can eventually end up hurting your tongue.
Your teeth need to last your lifetime, so take good care of them, especially when faced with an injury. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dentist.
HIV is a systemic disease which affects all parts of the body. The oral cavity also has some tell-tale symptoms which indicate HIV / AIDS. A careful examination and detailed history of symptoms is essential. In some cases, the oral manifestations could be the area where HIV is suspected. This can help in reducing morbidity and improves prognosis. The oral lesions that occur in HIV patients can vary and differ significantly in children and adults. While there are a variety of oral lesions in HIV-infected individuals, listed below are some common infections seen in HIV patients. These are a combination of fungal, viral and bacterial infections.
- Candidiasis: Candida is an opportunistic fungus that is normally present in the oral cavity and with reduced immunity of HIV, recurrent bouts of the infection begins to show up. It can be in the form of regular thrush which is whitish and cannot be scraped off (pseudomembranous candidiasis), hyperplastic candidiasis (white patches which can be scraped off) or erythematous (reddish patches). Candida can involve any part of the oral mucosa including the pharynx and the palate.
- Herpes Simplex: This is the most common viral infection seen in patients with HIV/AIDS. There could be primary or secondary infection of herpes virus, especially inside the mouth and the vermillion border of the lips.
- Herpes zoster: This virus, when already present in the body, can be reactivated with HIV/AIDS and with oral herpes. The distinction with herpes simplex is from their distribution. These are unilateral, along the distribution of the maxillary or mandibular nerve. The lesions appear both on the facial skin and the oral mucosa. While the facial ones break open and form crusts, the mucosal ones coalesce to form larger lesions.
- Hairy Leukoplakia: This is present in about 20% of asymptomatic HIV patients. Onset of hairy leukoplakia is an indication of rapid progression of HIV with increased CD4 counts. The typical lesion is a non-movable, hairy lesion along the side of the tongue and can spread to the top and the undersurface of the tongue. There are large amounts of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) identified from biopsies of hairy leukoplakia.
- Cytomegalovirus: If the ulcers have a necrotic base with a halo surrounding it, it is CMV infection, usually seen on any oral mucosal surface.
- Periodontal disease: This is one of the bacterial infections that manifests itself in HIV patients. It can take two forms such as Linear Gingival Erythema (LGE) which can subsequently lead to Necrotizing Ulcerative Periodontitis (NUP). The oral hygiene is generally good with minimal plaque and there is rapid bone loss and soft tissue reddening and swelling. The, mouth, therefore is certainly a window to one’s health.
Diagnosing HIV with Western Blot Test-
It is a series of blood screenings are performed to test for HIV. The enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), also known as an enzyme immunoassay (EIA), is the first test that your healthcare provider will order to screen for HIV. ELISA, like the Western blot test, detects HIV antibodies in your blood. Antibodies are proteins your immune system produces in response to the presence of foreign substances, such as viruses. If you test positive for HIV on the ELISA test, your provider will order the Western blot test to confirm HIV infection. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.
Sugar is an all pervasive substance that is found in most food items although specific ones such as candies, colas and sweet delicacies tend to have more of it. While it may taste great on the tongue, it may not be so good for your body as well as your teeth. Teeth are especially affected by sugar as an ingredient in all items of food. Some of the ways it affects your dental health are discussed below –
Sugar from colas, sodas and other carbonated beverages: Sugar that gets into your body in the form of carbonated beverages are the worst in terms of the nooks and crannies that it gets into. As it is in liquid form, it can swirl around the toughest corner and deposit sugar there. This will encourage the growth of harmful bacteria, causing a host of problems.
Dissolving tooth enamel: Tooth enamel is the topmost layer of teeth. This is the layer which is visible to the naked eye and is white in color. Foods such as chewy candies can leave a hard lump of sugar lodged in your teeth which the saliva in your mouth will not be able to dissolve away. This will keep producing acids and result in the dissolving of the enamel. Enamel protects the nerves of the teeth and thus will result in extreme pain and even tooth decay.
Encourages the growth of plaque: Plaque is an obstructive and sticky substance that forms on many parts of your body, including the teeth. Plaque is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and these bacteria feed and grow on the sugar from the foods that you eat. These bacteria can cause cavities, gum infections, bad breath, destroy the enamel among causing other dental problems as well.
Some of the other related problems that can be caused by sugar on your dental health are:-
Reduction in the size of your back teeth due to erosion from acids formed from sugar.
Gum infections of various kinds which may end up requiring surgery.
Changes in the bite of a person i.e. the way upper and lower teeth come together.
Sugar may also affect the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which in turn may also cause digestion problems.
Causes bad breath due to buildup of bacteria.