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What's in toothpaste and how does it work?
December 18th, 2014
Dr. Annette Warren and our team recommend that you brush your teeth two to three times a day, for at least two minutes each time. But have you ever wondered what’s in toothpaste and how it actually works? The mouth is home to more than 500 types of microorganisms that feed on leftover food that gets stuck on and around your teeth. Toothpaste is the best line of defense against all those pesky microorganisms (especially when you brush two to three times a day). Here’s how it works.
Toothpaste contains mild abrasive additives that combat microorganisms and fight plaque. When you brush, the abrasives in toothpaste dislodge food particles and microorganisms more effectively than if you simply brush your teeth with water. The abrasives also work to remove food stains and polish the surface of the tooth. Some toothpastes include ingredients like triclosan and Xylitol. These chemicals prevent the growth of bacteria that produce plaque. Plaque not only causes cavities, but it can also lead to more dangerous issues like periodontal disease.
Fluoride is key ingredient in toothpaste. As the microorganisms in your mouth feed off the leftover food particles, they leave behind acid and sulfur byproducts that wear away the enamel of the teeth. This is the fancy, technical way of saying that the acid on your teeth causes cavities. As for the sulfur byproduct –well, that’s just a fancy, scientific name for bad breath. Fluoride works to fight the acid and help protect the teeth. By brushing, the fluoride is incorporated into the tooth enamel, which in turn makes the tooth more resistant to acid and plaque.
Flavoring and Sweetening Agents
Not all toothpaste tastes the same, right? The type of flavoring or sweetening agents added to the toothpaste doesn't have anything to do with fighting microorganisms and plaque, but taste is one of the most important selling points in finding a toothpaste brand you like. Flavoring agents mask the taste of some of the other ingredients in toothpaste, and without those agents chances are nobody would be brushing their teeth two to three time a day.
Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
December 11th, 2014
When your wisdom teeth start to emerge it can definitely be painful, but it can be even worse if your wisdom teeth become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are trying to erupt but are unable to do so because there is not sufficient room for them to emerge. This usually means that your wisdom teeth are painfully lodged in your jawbone.
While you may not see any real signs of the emerging wisdom teeth when they are impacted, what you can’t see can still definitely hurt you. Some of the indicators of impacted wisdom teeth are listed below.
- Jaw Pain: Pain in the back of your jaw is a common indicator of impacted wisdom teeth. The pain often concentrates in the area around your gums.
- Changes in the Mouth: You may notice some changes in your mouth when you have impacted wisdom teeth. Reddish gums, swelling in the jaw, bleeding gums, and bad breath can all be indicators that you are dealing with impacted wisdom teeth.
- Headaches: If you suddenly start having headaches, especially at the same time as some of the other issues mentioned above, they may indicate impacted wisdom teeth.
- Chewing Issues: Problems with chewing normally can indicate impacted wisdom teeth. If you are having trouble making the chewing motions because your mouth won’t quite open and close as easily as it used to, impacted wisdom teeth may be the culprit.
If you are suffering from impacted wisdom teeth, the best solution is usually going to be removal. This is not a problem that will resolve naturally, and in fact, your pain and other symptoms may worsen as your wisdom teeth become increasingly impacted. At Impressions Dental, Dr. Annette Warren can review the details of wisdom teeth removal surgery with you and help you determine if this is the best solution for your situation.
DIY Cures for Bad Breath
December 4th, 2014
Are you afraid to open your mouth because you have bad breath? You’re not alone bad breath or Halitosis happens to everyone, at one time or another. If you have chronic bad breath there could be a number of reasons, including:
- Gum disease
- Sinus problems
- Bacterial infection in your mouth
- Strong odor from something you ate
- Dry mouth
The good news is, none of the causes of bad breath are serious, and they can all be treated. There is a long list of DIY home remedies that have proven effective. Before you try any of them you should be evaluated by Dr. Annette Warren to make sure you do not have a serious oral infection. Of course, you should also always practice good oral hygiene. If you go a week without brushing your teeth, your bad breath is going to be horrible!
1. Cinnamon Mouthwash
Cinnamon is known to help prevent bacteria in your mouth, and lemon has strong citrus properties that will eliminate your bad breath problem.
- Put a half teaspoon of cinnamon in a jar or bottle that has tight fitting lid.
- Next add the juice from two lemons freshly squeezed lemons.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a cup of lukewarm water and pour into your jar.
- Shake the jar well and set it aside for two to three hours.
- Before using the mouthwash always shake it well.
- Gargle and swish one to two tablespoons of the mouthwash for about a minute
Black and green tea are beneficial in prevent bad breath. Black tea aids in controlling plaque and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Green tea contains antibacterial properties that fight off the natural occurring germs in your mouth, keeping your breath fresh. Both black and green tea contains polyphenol, a property that can prevent the formation of the foul odor caused by bacterial growth.
- Steep a black of green tea bag in one cup of hot water and drink one to two cups a day to keep your bad breath away.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains natural antiseptic and anti-fungal properties that help kill bacteria and fungi in your mouth, caused by particles of food left behind.
- You will need one teaspoon of tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and lemon oil.
- Combine all three in eight ounces of lukewarm water and stir well. Use daily as a mouthwash to get rid of your bad breath.