What Your Teeth Say About Your Health

What Your Teeth Say About Your Health

Your body is a little bit like a puzzle. It gives you clues to help you figure out what’s going on within your body. Did you know your mouth can give you hints about things that may be happening elsewhere in your body? Here’s a list of some of the signs your mouth can give you to pay attention to certain other aspects of your health.

Worn teeth and headache

If your teeth are showing extensive wear, you may be grinding your teeth. This would be even a stronger possibility if you’re also experiencing regular headaches, which can be caused by the muscle tension related to teeth grinding. This condition also indicates that you are likely under too much stress, and that you are unconsciously coping with it by grinding your teeth.

Gums covering teeth

If your gums begin to grow over your teeth and you are on medication, it may mean that your medication is at fault. Some medicines can cause your gums to overgrow, and the dosage needs to be adjusted.

Mouth sores

An open sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks can be an indicator of oral cancer. Numbness and unexplained bleeding in your mouth are other signs. Smokers and people over age 60 are at the most risk, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect others too. See your dentist to make sure all is okay.

Cracked teeth

If your teeth begin to crack or wear extensively, you may have gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). It’s a digestive disease that allows stomach acid to flow back into your food pipe and mouth. This acid can cause your teeth to deteriorate. Additional signs of GERD are acid reflux, heartburn, and dry mouth.

Unclean dentures

If you wear dentures, make sure you remove and clean them regularly. Inhaling food debris from your dentures that makes its way to your lungs can lead to pneumonia.

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Can Germs Live on my Toothbrush

Can Germs Live on my Toothbrush?

Chances are you would be disgusted at the thought of leaving your eating utensils on your bathroom counter exposed to germs, and never washing them but continuing to eat with them. This is essentially what you’re doing if you leave your toothbrush sitting out, and never sanitize or change it. Let’s talk about how to keep your toothbrush from being a germ-infested threat to your health.

Your toothbrush can be contaminated by bacteria, saliva, blood, and food particles with each use. Even after you rinse it with water, your toothbrush may appear clean but germs linger on the bristles. Some of the sources of bacteria on your toothbrush include:

  • Your mouth, which transfers germs to your toothbrush during use.
  • The environment, because bathrooms are often the most contaminated room in your house.
  • The packaging, since toothbrushes aren’t sold in sterile packages they can arrive with germs already on them.

Here are some tips to guard your toothbrush from germs:

  • Before and after you brush your teeth, wash your hands to get rid of germs.
  • Rinse your toothbrush well with water, and then allow it to air dry.
  • Store the toothbrush upright so that water can drain from it while drying.
  • Consider storing your toothbrush in a dry area outside of the bathroom, away from humidity and toilet spray
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or more often if you notice worn bristles.
  • Do not share your toothbrush with anyone.
  • Do not soak your toothbrush in disinfectant or mouthwash, which can lead to cross contamination
  • Do not bother microwaving your toothbrush or running it in the dishwasher, because these tactics may damage your brush.

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Stop the Pop!!

Whether you call it pop, soda, soft drink, or something else, these terms all refer to a sugary, carbonated drink popular all over the country. It is estimated that Americans consume over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year. These beverages can cause serious health problems, including negative effects on your oral health.

Soft drinks are one of the most significant reasons for tooth decay, and it impacts all age groups. From babies drinking it out of bottles to teenagers drinking it all day long to older adults sipping it in retirement homes, it is deteriorating tooth enamel and eroding gums of everyone who consumes it.

Why are soft drinks harmful?

The high sugar content in the drinks is the root cause of trouble, and the high acid content adds to the threat. The sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to create an acid, which adds to the acid from the drink itself. Then this mixture attacks your teeth. Each time you take a drink of the carbonated beverage, an acid attack begins in your mouth. During this time, your tooth enamel is weakened and cavities are just waiting to form. You may think that the risk goes away by drinking sugar-free soft drinks. Although these are less harmful, they are still acidic and can lead to decay.

How can I avoid harming my teeth?

The ideal way to rule out risks from soft drinks is to cut them out of your diet completely. If you think you just can’t live without them, here are some suggestions:

  • Substitute other drinks. Try drinks with less sugar, like 100% fruit juice and milk.
  • Set a good example. Drink alternatives yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
  • Sip with straws. This helps keep the sugar from direct contact with your teeth.
  • Rinse with water. After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the amount of sugar and acid hanging onto your teeth and gums.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse. Using fluoride in your daily dental routine helps to reduce decay and strengthen enamel. Also ask your dentist about the possible need for professional fluoride treatments.

Schedule your appointment at our Clinton NJ dental office

Stress and Teeth Grinding

Stress and Teeth Grinding

Life can be full of frustrations, demands, deadlines, and inconveniences. For lots of people, stress is a way of life. The problem is that when you’re constantly stressed out, your health can pay the price. There are many health conditions that are caused or worsen due to high stress levels, but did you know that your mouth may be affected in the form of teeth grinding?

What is teeth grinding?

The condition of grinding or gnashing your teeth together is called bruxism, and often includes clenching your jaw. It commonly happens while sleeping, so that you may not even realize you’re doing it. Sometimes a sleeping partner hears it, or your dentist may recognize the signs of unusual wear on your teeth.

What does my stress level have to do with it?

Teeth grinding has been linked to stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that people who are stressed from daily life and don’t have adequate coping methods are more likely to grind their teeth. Experts say that both adults and children facing stress sometimes cope by grinding their teeth.

How does teeth grinding affect me?

Grinding your teeth has more negative effects than you might think. It often causes headaches, earaches, and sleep problems. It can cause chipped, loose, cracked, or sensitive teeth. Tooth enamel can suffer excessive wear, and gum tissue may be damaged. Teeth grinding also often causes a painful jaw disorder of the temporomadibular joint, commonly called TMJ.

What can I do about it?

Your dentist may recommend wearing an over-the-counter or custom mouthguard at night, to protect your teeth from further damage. Medications usually are not helpful, although a muscle relaxant before bed may help prevent jaw clenching. The ideal treatment is to try to reduce or eliminate stress that may be contributing to your teeth grinding. Relaxation therapy, stress management, corrective exercises, and counseling are some of the options that dentists suggest to help you remedy the problem.

We treat patients from Clinton NJ and the surrounding area

Tips about Receding Gums

Tips about Receding Gums

Receding gums not only look unattractive, they can harm your health. If you notice that your gums are receding, ask your dentist for help so that you can reverse the problem instead of allowing it to worsen. The goal is to catch gum recession early and get it under control before it turns into periodontal disease.

What exactly is gum recession?  It’s the condition in which the outer tissue on a tooth begins to wear away toward the root, leading to exposure of your tooth enamel and eventually your tooth’s root. If untreated, receding gums lead to periodontal disease. The best way to avoid this problem is to prevent it from starting in the first place. This is easily done by performing good oral hygiene techniques. Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush using a circular motion and mild pressure. Also, floss your teeth every day.

If you see that your gums are starting to recede, it’s likely that practicing better dental hygiene will restore your gum health over time. A deep cleaning by your dentist will help kick-start your hygiene routine at home. In some cases, an even deeper cleaning called root planing may be necessary.

For more advanced cases of gum recession, your dentist may need to take tissue from other areas and use it to cover exposed roots. This can boost your gum tissue and make it healthy again. If you experience pain and increased sensitivity due to exposed roots, your dentist may prescribe medications to help.

The main thing to remember about receding gums is that quick action is important. Good dental care is key in both preventing it and in correcting the problem after it has begun. If you notice that your gums are pulling away from your teeth or experience sensitivity, start the healing process as soon as possible by asking your dentist for treatment advice.

We look forward to seeing you in our Clinton NJ dental office

Cavities Not Just for Kids

Cavities: Not Just for Kids

Once you’re an adult, you don’t have to worry about cavities anymore. Right? Wrong! It’s true that you should have mastered oral hygiene techniques, but there are different factors that can contribute to cavities that weren’t a big issue during childhood. What are some of the things that put you at risk for cavities once you’ve reached adulthood, and what can you do about them?

Diet

Often your diet is worse as an adult without even realizing it, and what you eat and drink directly affects your teeth and gums. Sugar is the biggest offender and all types of sugar counts, not just the obvious candy or sodas. Limit your consumption of juices, milk, crackers, sweetened coffee, fruits, and vitamin or energy drinks.

Grazing

Many people tend to “graze” on foods and drinks all day long. If you snack frequently, you’re giving bacteria a constant supply of sugars to mix with and damage your mouth. Even though it’s tempting to sip on coffee or soda all morning, it’s better to drink it in one sitting. Also consider using a straw to avoid your teeth completely.

Receding gums

If your gums pull away from your teeth, your tooth roots can be exposed to plaque. Older patients with gingivitis, or gum disease, are more likely to form cavities. If the roots of your teeth are uncovered, you are more susceptible to plaque buildup and tooth decay.

Previous fillings

Fillings you received earlier in life can contribute to adult cavities. The filling may weaken with time, allowing bacteria into any cracks. Your dentist will check existing fillings for wear and replace them if needed.

Medical conditions

People with lower saliva flow due to various illnesses are at higher risk of cavities. Cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation are at more risk, as are smokers. People with limited manual dexterity may be unable to clean their teeth sufficiently.

Ways to decrease your risk

Brush with a fluoride toothpaste after meals, floss daily, and rinse with a fluoride mouthwash. See your dentist twice a year, and also inquire about fluoride treatments.

Schedule your appointment at our Clinton NJ dental office

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt:
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese:
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries:
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds:
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread:
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.


Our dental office is located in Clinton NJ

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

In many households, the bedtime routine is no fun. One of the trickiest parts for some parents is getting their kids to brush their teeth. However, it’s not a part of your child’s routine that should be skipped. To help make taking care of their teeth fun for children, here are some ideas for parents.

Toothbrushes:
Provide your kids with fun toothbrushes! By choosing a brush decorated with their favorite character or color, your children will think of their toothbrush more like a toy than a dental tool. Consider getting more than one toothbrush, so each night they can choose the one they want to “play” with at the time.

Toothpaste:
Children are picky about their toothpaste flavors just like their foods. Select toothpaste that you know your kids will like. Some of the flavor options include bubble gum and fruits, as well as the standby mint.

Floss:
If they start flossing at a young age, your kids will likely view it as part of their oral hygiene routine all of their life. Try using some of the fun flossing tools on the market today, because they may help get your child interested in flossing. There are many colors and shapes to choose from, so keep trying until you find one that motivates your child.

Rewards:
Enticing your children with rewards is often an easy way to encourage them to perform a task without arguing. Consider making a rewards chart and giving them a sticker each time they brush and floss. By the end of a week filled with good dental hygiene, a special reward will await them!

If you need a dentist in Clinton NJ contact us today

Avoiding Pregnancy Gingivitis

Avoiding Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy brings many kinds of excitement and joy to a mother’s life, but gum problems aren’t one of them. Pregnancy gingivitis not only causes gum trouble, it can also lead to higher risks for preterm labor and problems with the newborn baby. If you are pregnant and notice swelling or inflammation of your gums, you might have pregnancy gingivitis. It results from plaque buildup that irritates your gums, and can harbor bacteria that gets into your body. The bacteria can travel to your uterus and affect your pregnancy and unborn child. How can you avoid pregnancy gingivitis?

Oral hygiene

Brush and floss your teeth properly. Try to brush after all meals and snacks, especially those high in sugars or starches. See your dentist for frequent cleanings, aiming for two to three times during your pregnancy. This will remove more plaque from your teeth that you can at home, serving to lower your risk for plaque buildup.

Education

Consult your dentist before, during, and after your pregnancy. You will learn how to best care for your mouth, and what to watch for in case a problem does arise.

Nutrition

Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy will not only benefit your overall health and that of the baby, but will also limit your sugar intake which promotes plaque formation.

Dental care

Try to have dental procedures performed before you become pregnant. Some emergency procedures are safe during pregnancy, but it is best to have treatment done before pregnancy.

Bacteria control

Avoid sharing food and utensils so that you don’t transfer bacteria from person to person. Your goal is to limit the amount of bacteria in your mouth as much as possible.

Xylitol gum

Chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva, which help equalize the acids in your mouth and fight plaque buildup. The ingredient xylitol has been shown to help prevent bacteria from being able to stick on your teeth, therefore fighting tooth decay.

We look forward to seeing you in our Clinton NJ dental office

FAQ about Dental Veneers

FAQ about Dental Veneers

Porcelain veneers can transform your smile from one that embarrasses you to one that you’re proud to show off. A thin shell of porcelain is bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to improve the shape and color. If you’re looking to close gaps between your teeth, reshape your teeth, or brighten stained teeth, porcelain veneers may be your answer. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about veneers.

How do veneers work?

Made from durable and natural-looking porcelain, veneers are customized to fit your teeth. Your face shape, skin tone, eyes, height, and even your personality are considered when designing your dental veneers. They are bonded securely to your teeth to give you the smile you always wanted.

Is it a long process to get them?

The process for getting veneers usually takes about four to six weeks. At your first appointment, your teeth will be shaped and their surface will be slightly roughened. Impressions will be taken to create models of your mouth so that the veneers can be personalized for you. At the next appointment, your teeth will be cleaned and polished before a special adhesive is used to bond the veneers to your teeth. A high-intensity light is used to set the adhesive.

What will my teeth look like while I’m waiting for veneers?

After your teeth have been prepared for veneers, usually you will be fitted with specialized temporary veneers. These interim veneers look better than your original teeth, so you won’t feel self-conscious during the waiting period.

How long do veneers last?

Porcelain veneers typically last from ten to twenty years. Porcelain is very strong and durable, and resistant to stains and wear.

What are the advantages to veneers?

Since the bond to your original teeth is strong, porcelain veneers can be treated just like your own teeth. They appear very natural because the porcelain looks similar to your tooth enamel. Veneers can also protect your teeth from further damage if they are chipped or worn down, so they not only cover your teeth with a layer of protection but also create a beautiful bright smile.

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