Tag Archives: dry mouth

Is it possible to reverse tooth decay?

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decayed teeth

Have a problem with tooth decay?  Tooth decay or otherwise called caries has been a vast predicament that affects most dentate people. According to the United States Surgeon General’s report, caries is stated to be the most common chronic childhood disease of children aged 5 to 17 years and is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.

How does our tooth get caries?

Tooth decay is a demineralization process of hard tissues in our mouth that are contributed by four major factors namely bacterial microorganism, sugar (carbohydrates), tooth surface and time. Without this four factors decay would not occur. A community of haphazard collection of bacteria on your tooth is called plaque.

This bio film of plaque is capable of fermenting carbohydrate substrates (sugars like sucrose and glucose) and producing acid causing the plaque pH to fall below 5 within 1-3 minutes. Repeated falls in pH results in demineralisation of tooth surface and leads to carious lesion formed.

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Oral Health: Relationship between the body and mouth I

diagram of a human digestive system

Relationship of the mouth to the body

As stressed in previous articles, oral health can influence our general health and vice verse. In fact, some changes in our general health are often reflected in the oral cavity and at times, can even precede clinical diagnosis of the systemic condition.

What are the common body changes that affect our oral health?

Hormonal changes in the body can often be a source of drastic oral health changes despite patients having fairly good oral hygiene. A hormone imbalance in the body, such which occurs during pregnancy or puberty spurt, can modify behaviors of cells in our body, in particular our immune system. Continue reading

Oral Health Pt 3: Importance of saliva

Continued from Pt 2

Saliva and oral health

Saliva is an integral part of oral health and many people do not actually realise the importance of saliva has in our mouth. The role of saliva is often underplayed due to lack of awareness. Saliva has many important functions and it is unfortunate that most people would only realise this when they have a chronic case of xerostomia or dry mouth, which is often hard to manage as treatment available involves mainly palliative care rather than a cure.

Function of saliva

There are three major salivary glands found in the mouth, along with many more minor ones. Each of the major salivary glands produces slightly different quality of secretion, some being more watery and others with a thicker consistency. All these secretions are combined together in the mouth to form salivaSaliva consists of mainly water (95%), enzymes, salivary proteins and ions.  Continue reading

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Oral Health Part 2

Continuation of Part 1

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A visit to the dentist

Every dental office will treat anyone having diabetes mellitus (DM). On your first visit, you will be asked to fill out a personal medical and dental history for the use of the dentist. Any critical information pertaining to diabetes should be added to the medical and dental history record, which would include information on dosage, time schedules, method of administration, previous adverse experiences with insulin control, number of hospitalizations, and physician recommendations. A good rapport with your dentist is necessary to treat any complications in your mouth.
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Dentures and sore gums

Denture Picture taken from propagandica.wordpress.com/2008/12/

Denture Picture taken from propagandica.wordpress.com/2008/12/

Dentures are artificial teeth placed inside the mouth to replace missing teeth for better function, speech and esthetics. Sore gums are often the main complaint of a denture wearer.

Causes and remedies for denture sore gums

Ill fitting denture

A denture that is not fitting properly may have pressure spots while functioning. Frequent pressure on these spots may cause sores and ulcers if they are not dealt with. Usually, you need to return to the dentist for review and they will identify the pressure spots and trim if off. If you have ulcers, the dentist would prescribe ulcer relieving agents. You can also apply aloe vera gel or eucalyptus oil or simply salt water gargling to speed up the healing.

If the denture really does not fit well (hindering speech, difficult to chew, poor esthetic), you may need to redo a new one.

As you aged, your jaw bone will resorb if there are no teeth to maintain its level. Thus, the denture would have to be relined, rebased or remade to fit the changing bony contours.
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