What causes teeth to decay?
Tooth decay, also known as a cavity, occurs when bacteria living in your mouth make acid that begins to eat away at your teeth. Untreated tooth decay may cause infection, extreme pain and the loss of tooth. The decay process begins with the unnoticeable damage to the enamel of your teeth and then steadily progresses to deeper layers of the tooth, eventually leading to the pulp. The pulp of your teeth contains highly-sensitive blood vessels and nerves. Proper oral hygiene includes brushing your teeth regularly, flossing regularly and brushing your tongue. If possible brush your teeth twice a day – morning and night.
The top causes of tooth decay include: Poor Oral Hygiene, Improper Nutrition, Foods, any Foods and Drinks, Dry Mouth Issues, Tooth Grinding, Genetics, Age and Avoiding the Dentist.
Why do my gums bleed?
The main cause of bleeding gums is the buildup of plaque at the gum line. This will lead to a condition called gingivitis, or inflamed gums. Plaque that is not removed will harden into tartar. This will lead to increased bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and bone disease known as periodontitis. Bleeding gums can happen for a number of reasons, from gingivitis to a side effect of pregnancy. Changing your oral care routine can also make your gums bleed. We recommend brushing and flossing regularly and getting your semiannual dental visit in to stop your gums from bleeding. Certain medicines also increase the likelihood that your gums will bleed. If changing your oral care habits, adjusting your medications, and maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t help your gums stop bleeding, your next step should be to make a dental appointment.
Why are my teeth sensitive to cold?
When the hard enamel is worn down or gums have receded, causing the tiny dentinal tubule to be exposed, pain can be caused by touching your teeth with hot or cold foods and beverages, or exposing them to cold air. Exposed areas of the tooth can cause pain and even affect or change your eating, drinking, and breathing habits. Taking a spoonful of ice cream, for example, can be a painful experience for people who have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is one of the most common complaints among dental patients. Some toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients that may be too harsh for people who have sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity can be reduced by using a desensitizing toothpaste; having your dentist apply sealants and other desensitizing and filling materials, including fluoride; and decreasing the intake of acid-containing foods.
If a tooth is highly sensitive for more than three or four days and reacts to hot and cold temperatures, it’s best to get a diagnostic evaluation from your dentist to determine the extent of the problem.
What can I do if I have dry mouth?
To relieve your dry mouth try chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate the flow of saliva. For some people sugar-free gum or sugar-free candies may cause diarrhea, decay or cramps if consumed in large amounts.
To relieve your dry mouth you can try limiting your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your mouth drier. Also don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying. You could stop all tobacco use if you smoke or chew tobacco. Sipping water regularly can help (and that’s a healthy thing to do) to keep the saliva flowing and has shown to relieve the symptom. There are also some over the counter products made by Biotene that have helped many of our patients with their dry mouth symptoms.
Are there any dental problems associated with diabetes?
Yes, if diabetes is left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth. Here’s how:
You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry (dry mouth is discussed above)
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
Regular dental visits are important. Research suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by Dr Kirkwood and the talented Hygiene department can help immensely.