Gums can itch for various reasons. But is it serious? What does it tell you? Should you worry if your gums always seem to be in need of scratching?
Gums protect and keep the teeth in place. If they feel itchy, this can be a sign of bacteria build-up between your teeth and gums. Itchy gums are preventable and treatable. Although in some cases, it could be an indication of a more serious dental problem.
Let’s start with the symptoms of itchy gums.
Every symptom can be a telltale sign what’s causing the itchy gums. Here are some symptoms to take note of:
What’s Causing Itchy Gums?
To determine the right treatment for itchy gums, you need to figure out its cause together with your dentist. Here are some of the possible causes of itchy gums.
Preventing Itchy Gums
The best way to prevent gums from becoming itchy is by keeping them clean. Good dental hygiene habits can help prevent plaque from building up and avoid a wide range of oral health issues. Quitting smoking is another way to prevent itchy gums as this habit increases the risk of gum diseases and slows down healing.
If you have been diagnosed with gingivitis, getting it treated early will help prevent the need for invasive treatments. Regular dental cleanings will also help your teeth stay free of plaque. Your dental hygienist removes plaque deposits using special tools, making the gums less prone to inflammation and bleeding.
See a Dentist
If you feel itchiness in your gums, consult with our friendly dentists. Identify what’s causing your itchy gums and protect your oral health.
It is well known that one of the main factors that encourages tooth decay is sugar. Many people try to limit their intake of sugar, but did you know many carbohydrates that we snack on can also raise your risk of developing a cavity?
Certain types of carbohydrates can also increase the chance of tooth decay because as they are chewed they stick onto and in between the teeth where bacteria waits to digest them. Some carbohydrates are better than others. Those carbohydrates that are unrefined like fruits, vegetables and whole wheat/grain products are not as likely to cause decay as refined carbohydrates. Unrefined carbohydrates are more likely to be complex molecules which are harder for the oral bacteria to breakdown.
Unlike unrefined carbohydrates, refined carbohydrates are those that are broken down easily in the mouth by bacteria which in turn causes increased acid production. Refined carbs may include; white bread, rice cakes, white rice, pancakes, waffles, pasta, crackers, granola bars, potato chips and cereals.
Tooth decay needs a few factors in order for it to commence, sugar/refined carbohydrates + cavity-causing bacteria= drop in pH which can initiate the breakdown of the tooth. This equation is the total sum of the tooth decay process.
There are a few superfoods and beverages that can help prevent tooth decay. It is recommended to include these when snacking between meals as they may actually help prevent tooth decay.
Cheese- The fat content of many cheeses provides an invisible fat barrier on the teeth and prevents penetration of cavity-causing acid. As well, the calcium content helps to buffer the mouth and chewing hard cheese may stimulate salivary flow. Hard cheeses are best such as cheddar, Monterey Jack and Mozzarella.
Fruits and Vegetables- The majority of fruits are complex unrefined carbohydrates. The crunch of most produce can help stimulate saliva which buffers the mouth and neutralizes pH. Good choices are apples, carrots, and celery. Avoid dried fruits for snacks as they can stick to the teeth and may raise pH.
Tea- Contains catechins and polyphenols, which can inhibit cavity-causing bacterial growth. As well, drinking tea may help wash sticky food out of the teeth and neutralize the oral pH.
Water- Naturally washes food from the mouth and buffers the pH of the mouth. If water contains fluoride, it is even more beneficial as fluoride can help strengthen teeth and remineralize the tooth structure. In many areas water is non-fluoridated so you will not reap the benefits of fluoride. If you drink bottled water, Nestle is one of the few that have fluoride in it.
Dark Chocolate- High quality dark chocolate may actually help prevent decay. Theobromine, a content of dark chocolate is antibacterial and can actually destroy certain cavity-causing bacteria.
As you can see these types of superfoods can help prevent decay. Eating these foods on a regular basis may help minimize your chance of developing cavities.
Bad breath (halitosis) usually isn’t serious. Anyone can experience it at any time of the day. It’s usually temporary and is resolved by cleaning your mouth. But if it’s chronic there may be an underlying cause that requires immediate attention.
Preventing Bad Breath
How Your Dentist Can Help
If your bad breath continues to be a problem, your dentist can help. Your dentist can examine your mouth and detect any issues that may be contributing to it.
Your dentist may also refer you to a physician or specialist if they determine the problem is related to another health condition.
If it’s related to your oral health, your dental team will help you manage the problem. They may recommend specific products, such as toothpaste or mouthwash, to prevent bacteria from building up on your teeth.
You may be referred to a periodontist if you’re diagnosed with gum disease. Gum disease can lead to a receding gumline which starts the formation of deep pockets. Bacteria can build up in these areas and can only be removed through professional dental cleanings.
Maintaining Fresh Breath Every Day
Keeping your breath fresh may require you to change some habits. Your dentist will help make the adjustment easier for you, but your cooperation remains the most crucial.
If you’re concerned about your chronic halitosis, discuss it with your dental team. Bad breath happens and taking action to remedy it is nothing to be ashamed of.
When you have braces, cleaning your mouth will require extra effort. You’ll need to brush after every meal to avoid food debris from getting stuck on the holes in your bracket.
Setting aside good oral hygiene may lead to dental problems. If you’ll take good care of your braces, you’ll also feel more comfortable wearing them. You can also prevent having to wear your braces for a longer period.
Here are tips to help you brush and floss more effective with your braces on.
Don’t forget to floss at least once a day. And when you floss, cover the bottom part of your wires too. You can also ask your hygienist to show you the best way to floss. You can also look into flossing products that are specially made for orthodontic appliances, such as braces.
Pay more attention to what you eat. Refrain from eating sticky food, such as caramel, as they’re likely to get stuck on your braces and can be difficult to remove.
You’ll also want to avoid or be extra careful with hard and crunchy food as they can get trapped in your braces and cause your wires to snap or loosen. You may be thinking, how about food that’s supposedly good for the teeth, such as carrots and apples?
Yes, they’re healthy but they may also present problems when you have braces on. If you must indulge in them, it will help to cut them in small or thin pieces first.
Aside from being cautious with what you eat, you also need to watch what you use your mouth for. Don’t bite on hard objects, such as pens or ice. Don’t use your teeth as a tool for opening packets or packages. This can damage your braces and also cause harm on your teeth, gums, and jaw.
Wearing Protective Devices
If you’re engaging in sports or physical activities, low or high contact, consider getting yourself a custom mouthguard. This will help protect your teeth and braces in the event of an impact.
The good thing about custom-fitted mouthguards is that they are designed to be comfortable to the wearer. They fit snugly because they follow the shape and size of your mouth. You don’t have to worry about them falling off when you move.
They may be pricier than store-bought mouthguards but the benefits you’ll enjoy from them are far better. They’re more effective at doing their job, that is to protect your mouth.
Fixing Your Braces
Should your wires break or your brackets get removed, come to the dental office right away. Your dentist or orthodontist can fix your wires and reattach any loose or fallen brackets.
Let your dentist know if you have wires that are poking your gums. These wires need to be put back in place or if necessary, get cut.
Always examine your mouth and if there’s anything bothering you, advise your dental team.
Seeing Your Dentist Regularly
During adjustments, you may feel discomfort or tightness. This should go away soon. If not, consult with your dentist.
Keep up with your appointments. Failing to see your dentist regularly may cause your teeth to shift. The periodic adjustment is part of the treatment process and if you’ll delay it, then you’ll also be wearing your braces longer. It will take more time for you to achieve the results you want.
During appointments at the dental office, your hygienist can also perform professional cleanings to give your mouth additional protection.
If you or your child is interested in getting braces, please let us know. We’ll assist you in booking an initial consultation with our orthodontist.
Be on your way to a better and healthier smile. Call our office today.
When the temperature drops, your skin is not the only part of your body that can get damaged. Your mouth can also be exposed to various dental woes. Watch out for these common mouth complaints during the cold season.
More Tips to Keep Your Mouth Healthy During Winter
You can’t escape the intense cold weather altogether but can keep your mouth protected against the common dental woes. Here are tips to maintain good dental health throughout the winter.
Keep your good dental care habits regardless of the season. Avoid problems that may warrant complex treatments and keep your smile healthy throughout the year.
We’re aware of the dangers of smoking, but its impact on oral health isn’t always discussed. Smoking exposes you to a higher risk of mouth infection. The best way to protect yourself is to quit the habit, but that’s easier said than done.
But, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do. Smokers can still take preventive measures to reduce harmful effects by following these oral hygiene tips.
1. Brush Properly
Smoking can make you more susceptible to gum disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you’re twice the risk for gum disease compared to non-smokers. You need to commit to your oral hygiene routine even more. Brush properly at least twice a day and use a good quality toothbrush.
2. Choose the Appropriate Toothpaste
Consider using a toothpaste specially formulated for smokers. There are toothpastes targeting nicotine and tobacco stains to keep your teeth white. There are also the fluoride toothpaste variants that protect the gums. If you’re interested in teeth whitening treatments, let your dentist know.
3. Avoid Stain-Causing Food and Beverages
Reduce intake of highly acidic food and beverages. Coffee, for example, can stain your teeth and attack your enamel. Giving it up can protect your teeth from potential damage. If you must have your cuppa, drink water afterward to help wash away any residue.
4. Eat More Tooth-friendly Food
Opt for food high in calcium and fibre. They help strengthen the enamel, neutralize mouth acids, and act as a natural teeth cleaner. Trade some of your sweets and starchy snacks for crunchy fruits and leafy green vegetables.
5. Clean Your Tongue
Your tongue is a potential breeding ground for bacteria, resulting in bad breath and a dulled sense of taste. Remember to always clean your tongue when you brush your teeth.
6. Rinse with a Mouthwash
According to a study, cigarette smoking promotes the growth of bacteria. To help counter this, rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. Swish it in your mouth properly before spitting. You can ask your dentist for mouthwash recommendations.
7. Maintain your Dental Appointments
Timely professional dental cleanings are crucial for your oral care. Your hygienist and dentist are a team working to remove tartar and debris buildup and check your mouth for potential dental issues, including oral cancer.
8. Do a Regular Self-Check
Examine your mouth between dental appointments and be diligent with your oral hygiene routine at home. Advise your dentist if you ever feel pain, numbness, or discomfort. Look out for bleeding, swelling, lesions, or sores in your mouth. If you find anything unusual, let your dentist know.
Butting Out for Good with the Help of Your Dental Team
Of course, butting out for good is the best way to prevent smoking-related oral health issues. If you’re struggling and need help to quit smoking, talk to your dental team or physician about smoking cessation strategies.
If you don’t see yourself quitting anytime soon, you can still protect your mouth with the help of these dental care tips.
For more oral hygiene information, contact Rundle Dental.
No matter how well you brush, there are areas your toothbrush can’t reach. Back teeth or molars that are used for chewing have fissures or tiny grooves. When bacteria and food debris penetrate these grooves, it can lead to cavities.
Dental sealants are a form of plastic coating that can protect your molars. When applied, they make tooth surfaces smooth and easier to clean. They also help keep food particles out. Here’s a quick overview on how dental sealants work.
Both kids and adults can receive dental sealants. Sealants can help reduce the risk of tooth decay, which can happen to anyone. Here are more benefits of getting dental sealants.
Application is quick and easy. It only takes a single visit to the dental office. Your dentist will clean the area before the procedure. The procedure is also pain-free, making it suitable for kids.
Sealants have no known side effects. The amount of BPA in dental sealants is too small to cause harm. It’s also worth noting that your dentist will recommend a dental sealant only when necessary. Here’s the response of the Canadian Dental Association to frequently asked questions about Bisphenol A and their position on the use of sealants.
Since dental sealants are white or clear, they aren’t noticeable when you talk or open your mouth. After the treatment, your teeth will look as they did before except that the unsightly fissures are now gone. This benefits patients who aren’t comfortable with visible dental work.
Dental sealants are durable enough to withstand the normal pressure of chewing. Although they’re not permanent, they can last for several years. How long before you’ll need to have them reapplied depends on various factors, such as teeth clenching or grinding. During your routine checkups, your dentist will let you know when it’s time for reapplication.
Your dental team can verify if your insurance will cover the cost of dental sealants. They’re a good investment because they can save you money by preventing cavities. Any corrective dental procedure can be expensive, so preventive dental care is cost-effective.
Dental issues can cost you time and pain. A severe toothache, for example, can be so debilitating you might be absent from school or work. You’ll spend less time in the dental chair if your teeth are healthy. Your teeth shouldn’t have to disrupt your daily life.
If you never received dental sealants as a kid, you may be wondering if your kids should get them. It helps to talk with your dentist or hygienist to learn more about the importance of the procedure, feel more comfortable about it, and decide whether it’s right for you and/or your kids.
Your kids may benefit from getting dental sealants as soon as their molars start to erupt. Let us know if you would like to come in and learn more about sealants. You’re always welcome at our dental office.
Nobody wants cavities. But they’re a common dental problem affecting people of all ages. Cavities are essentially holes that form due to decay on the tooth surface. They can be painful and sensitive.
Dental cavities can lead to serious gum diseases if left unaddressed. These preventative measures can reduce your risk of developing tooth decay and cavities.
Some people are more prone to cavities. To find out your cavity risk level, schedule a visit to your dentist for a comprehensive oral exam. Share information about your lifestyle, medical history, and oral hygiene routine.
Based on this information, your dental team will recommend an appropriate dental care plan for you. Your dentist may advise you to come in more often if you’re susceptible to cavities.
Your brushing technique is crucial.
First of all, you need the right tool for the job. Select a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect your tooth enamel and gums. You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or once it starts to fray.
When you brush, be sure to reach all tooth surfaces. Remember to brush your tongue as bacteria thrive there too.
Sugared and dark-coloured beverages aren’t good for your teeth and can cause cavities.
If you drink pop, tea, coffee, or hot chocolate daily, it may be hard to replace with water. At least drink water right after so the harmful additives of these beverages get washed away.
Of course, water is the best choice when you’re thirsty. It contains no sugar or acids that damage teeth. It’s also good for the body.
Consuming too much sugar and carbohydrates can increase your risk for dental cavities. Plan and prepare your meals so when hunger hits you’re not tempted to grab overly-processed fast food.
Stock up on healthy snacks but limit constant snacking throughout the day. The mouth produces less saliva during snack times as compared to actual meal times.
It’s fine to occasionally indulge in sweets and chips, but don’t forget to drink your water and brush your teeth afterwards.
Dental sealants are a form of plastic coating applied on the surfaces of your molars. They cover the crevices on the teeth, keeping food out and teeth protected.
Sealants can last for many years and are worth considering to help guard against cavities.
Make flossing a daily habit and you’ll reap the benefits.
Flossing is an inexpensive way to protect your teeth from cavities. It helps you clean between your teeth where your toothbrush doesn’t reach.
Even if you haven’t been a daily flosser to this point, it’s never too late to start. Make it part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
Butting out once and for all is easier said than done, but it’s possible.
Try downloading apps that educate you about the good things that happen to your body each day after you stop smoking. There are even apps that track the amount of money you save from kicking the habit.
There are tremendous benefits to your body as a non-smoker. It’s also advantageous to your oral health. You’ll eliminate the staining and bad smoker’s breath. And quitting reduces the risk of oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth loss.
You can prevent cavities by being mindful of your daily habits. Maintaining your schedule of dental hygiene appointments is also crucial. Cavities can be expensive, especially once they progress. Routine dental care is always cheaper and easier.
Anyone can experience tooth sensitivity, and there are no telltale signs when it’s coming. However, it’s most prevalent among those aged 20 to 40.The condition occurs when the tooth’s protective layer, the enamel, wears away. This exposes the dentin beneath the enamel, leading to sensitivity when eating or drinking things that are hot, cold, sweet, or acidic.
With heightened sensitivity, you may experience sharp bursts of pain in your teeth. This can cause mild to severe discomfort that can last for hours. Thankfully, there are ways you can relieve sensitivity.
Finally, always keep up with your dental visits. If you feel tooth sensitivity is getting worse, let your dentist know. He or she will be able to recommend treatments for the sensitivity, such as fluoride gels or varnishes.
You take great care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist as scheduled. But are you doing everything you can? Just like carrots are good for our eyes and water for our skin, specific foods deliver healthy benefits to our mouths. If you’re already being diligent with your oral hygiene routine, then you’ll also want to take great care about what food you put in your mouth. Let’s explore the best foods for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Our teeth are composed of minerals. These minerals are lost and replenished during the remineralization process which naturally occurs in our teeth. However, when the acidity level is high, minerals are lost and not naturally replenished. This can cause the teeth’s outermost layer, the enamel, to corrode. Calcium is crucial as it helps keep the bones healthy and strong. It works better, though, when combined with phosphorus. They help replenish lost minerals on the teeth. Here are food choices that are great sources of calcium.
Crunchy foods promote salivary flow. They also serve as natural teeth cleaners, removing food residue on the tooth surface. They’re easily portable to snack on daily at school, work, or play. Introduce these healthy foods to kids when they’re young. Sweets are fine when enjoyed sparingly.
Vitamin D is good for your overall health as it helps with optimum calcium absorption.
As you plan your meals, don’t forget to incorporate the best foods that will benefit your body and oral health.