4 Things Chemotherapy Patients Need To Know About Tongue Hyperpigmentation

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things Chemotherapy Patients Need To Know About Tongue Hyperpigmentation

Chemotherapy can cause a wide range of unpleasant side effects. Some of them, like hair loss, are very well known, while other side effects may surprise you. One possible side effect of chemotherapy that you likely were not warned about is tongue hyperpigmentation. Here are four things you need to know about this lesser-known side effect. What are the signs of tongue hyperpigmentation? If you develop tongue hyperpigmentation, you will notice that you have brown or black discolored patches on the surface of your tongue. This discoloration may first show up a few weeks after you start your treatment. If you notice this side effect, make sure to mention it to your oncologist. How does chemotherapy cause this side effect? The exact way that chemotherapy changes the color of your tongue still isn’t known. Some researchers have suggested that chemotherapy agents may be able to boost the hormones that stimulate your melanocytes. Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin and give your tissues their color, so when these cells are stimulated, they produce more melanin, which then builds up in your tongue, creating dark patches. More research needs to be done to prove this theory. Is tongue hyperpigmentation serious? Chemotherapy-induced tongue hyperpigmentation is a distressing cosmetic problem, but fortunately, it won’t harm your health. However, the main concern is that dark patches on your tongue can be caused by lots of different things, not just chemotherapy, so your oncologist may tell you to see your dentist for further investigation of the discoloration. How can your dentist help? Your dentist can examine the discolored areas of your tongue to see if they look suspicious. Dentists have a lot of experience with pigmented lesions inside the mouth, so your dentist should be able to tell based on the size, shape, and color of the lesion if it warrants further investigation. If your dentist thinks the lesion might be cancerous, he or she will need to take a biopsy of the tissue. If cancer is found, you will need to follow up with your oncologist.   If your dentist determines that your discoloration is merely a side effect of chemotherapy, no further treatment will be required. Tongue hyperpigmentation that is caused by chemotherapy will start to fade as soon as your treatment is over, and generally, will go away completely in the following weeks or months. If you develop dark patches on your tongue during chemotherapy, your oncologist may tell you to see your dentist for an...

read more

5 Ways To Curb Bad Breath Naturally

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Ways To Curb Bad Breath Naturally

If you find that you are suffering from bad breath and you want to try natural methods to curb it. There are a few things you can do to quickly reduce or eliminate bad breath. Here are five ways you can easily get rid of bad breath naturally.  Water If your mouth gets dry then it can become a haven for bacteria. One of the fastest ways to dislodge some of this bacteria is to put some water into your mouth and wash it out. While it won’t completely eliminate bad breath it will go a long way in making your breath smell better. Get An Orange If you can get an orange then you should peel it and eat it. The citric acid in the orange will stimulate your salivary glands. When your salivary glands are stimulated then saliva will start flowing through your mouth. However, if no oranges are available you should still try to eat something, since eating will also cause saliva to flow and relieve bad breath. Chew On Cloves Cloves are great for curbing bad breath. In order to make use of them just pop one into your mouth and bite down to release the clove’s oil into your mouth. Keep moving the clove around in your mouth so that the oil can permeate through your mouth. The secret to the effectiveness of cloves in curing bad breath is that they contain eugenol and eugenol has anti-bacterial properties. Suck On A Cinnamon Stick If you have cinnamon sticks at home you can break off a piece and chew on it to relieve bad breath. Cinnamon sticks have antiseptic properties and will kill a lot of bacteria in your mouth on contact. Create A Tongue Scraper Over time your tongue can accumulate a lot of bacteria and this can lead to bad breath, so in addition to brushing your tongue regularly it is always good to practice tongue scraping.You can use a metal or plastic spoon to create a tongue scraper, if you do have not have a commercially manufactured one readily available. Scrape your tongue by placing the spoon on the back of your tongue and pulling it forward. You can repeat this process four times.  Preventing bad breath the natural way requires that you know and try out different methods to see which one works best for you. Once you discover what is right for you it should be easy for you to maintain fresh breath at all times.  For further assistance, contact a local general dentist, such as one from Brookside Dental...

read more

3 Alternative Ways To Clean Your Tongue When Brushing It Sets Off Your Gag Reflex

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Alternative Ways To Clean Your Tongue When Brushing It Sets Off Your Gag Reflex

Having a clean mouth that is not a haven for bacteria includes not only having clean teeth and gums, but also a clean tongue. While many people simply brush their tongues with their regular toothbrush and paste after brushing their teeth, this can be difficult if you have a sensitive gag reflex like 10 to 15-percent of adults do. Don’t worry, because you can still clean your tongue without gagging when you try one of these alternative tongue-cleaning techniques. 1. Try a Tongue Scraper You can purchase a tongue scraper online or in a local drugstore, and it is very affordable and simple to use. These scrapers consist of a handle that is similar to a toothbrush handle, yet slimmer, and a loop at the end made of either plastic or stainless steel. It won’t make you gag since the device is much slimmer than the head of a toothbrush. To use a tongue scraper properly, simply scrape your tongue three times from the back of it to the front. Scrape once in the middle and once on each side. Scraping just after you brush and still have a light coating of toothpaste in your mouth is a good idea to really get your tongue clean and free of bacteria. 2. Opt for a Bacteria-killing Mouth Rinse If you have an extremely sensitive gag reflex, then even a tongue scraper may set it off when you attempt to clean the portion of your tongue closest to your throat. If that happens to you, then first simply clean your tongue as far back as you can with a scraper or toothbrush. Then, follow up by using an antibacterial mouth rinse and make sure to swish well to make sure it hits the back of your tongue. Choose an alcohol-free mouth rinse, as dentists now recommend limiting rinses that contain alcohol to only occasional use due to their association with increased oral cancer risk. 3. Consider Oil-Pulling Oil-pulling used to be dismissed by modern medicine practitioners as a tradition with little real benefit. Now, it is believed that oil-pulling can have great oral-health benefits when the right antibacterial oil is used, such as coconut oil. Swishing coconut oil in your mouth for a few minutes before or after brushing can help clean your tongue by killing bacteria on it. You can’t have a truly healthy mouth without having a clean tongue. For more information, contact Sun Dental & Orthodontics or a similar...

read more

Toothy Tidbits: Oral Hygiene Facts & Tips

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Toothy Tidbits: Oral Hygiene Facts & Tips

Most people know that the most effective way to have healthy teeth and pleasant breath is to execute oral hygiene on a daily basis. A yearly trip to the dentist is another way to ensure that your teeth aren’t pitted with cavities and other scary issues. A lot of what we know about oral hygiene came about by necessity, and other tips evolved due to increased knowledge and improved technology. Interesting Facts About Oral Hygiene Some little known facts about the history of oral hygiene include: Grooves were found in the teeth of prehistoric humans. This suggests that when prehistoric men and women had to deal with an annoying piece of food caught in their teeth, they may have removed it with a strand of hair from a horse or even a tiny twig from a nearby tree. Dr. Levi Spear Parmly was a dentist way back in 1815. He is credited with introducing the American public to the idea of using a strand of waxed silk thread to remove bits of food between the teeth. The economy of WWII resulted in creating plastic dental floss. Before that time, costly silk threads were the standard flossing tool. Technique Versus Genetics Every once in a while you may meet someone who proudly states that he or she has never had a cavity. You may wonder if proper technique is the key to a cavity-free mouth or if genetics play a part. Some interesting percentages include: More people – about 53 percent – floss their teeth before brushing them. However, in reality, it doesn’t matter if you do this before or after cleaning your teeth. What is most important is that you floss daily. Picking a convenient time is one of the best ways to make this practice into a habit. About 97 percent of people will have a cavity at least once in their lifetime. The other lucky 3 percent have just the right combination of saliva flow, tooth morphology and composition. Helpful Tips for Effective Oral Hygiene A few tips that will help you make the most of daily brushing include: Many people put too much toothpaste on their toothbrush. An amount that is about the size of a pea is enough to do a thorough job. It is best not to rinse out your mouth after brushing. Spit out any excess toothpaste and then go on with your day. This ensures that the benefits of the fluoride and breath freshening ingredients last longer. Purchase a new toothbrush about four times a year, or when it starts looking worn. Always replace the toothbrush after you recover from an illness, such as a cold or strep throat. Bacteria can live in the bristles and reinfect you. Gargling with mouthwash and swishing the mixture through your teeth is an effective way to add extra freshening power to your mouth. It also helps dislodge any food particles that are stuck in between your teeth or in your gums. A healthy mouth isn’t the only benefit of taking appropriate care of your oral hygiene. A gorgeous smile and pleasant-smelling breath also give you a boost of self-confidence that will help you in many aspects of your life. Talk to a general dentist to learn...

read more

4 Things You May Be Doing During Your Toothbrushing Routine That Aren’t Good For Your Teeth

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things You May Be Doing During Your Toothbrushing Routine That Aren’t Good For Your Teeth

Like most adults, you have been brushing your teeth for many years and have gotten into a routine that you don’t think much about. Because you have a routine, you may not notice that you’re making some brushing mistakes that might cause problems for your dental health. Here are some things you may be doing that you should reconsider. Using A Toothbrush with Firm Bristles You may think that it doesn’t really matter what kind of toothbrush you buy. If you do pay attention to the kind of bristles your brush has, you might opt for a brush that has firm bristles, thinking that it will allow you to scrub your teeth more effectively. However, a toothbrush with firm bristles may be irritating to your gums. Not only that, but if you scrub too hard with a toothbrush with firm bristles, over time you might erode tooth enamel, making your teeth weaker. Starting to Brush in the Same Spot It is not surprising if, when you start brushing your teeth every day, you start at the same spot out of habit. However, doing this can lead to trouble because you might start out strong, brushing vigorously, but as you continue to brush, you may not give the rest of your teeth the same level of attention and finish them quickly. To make sure that you focus on all your teeth equally, make a conscious decision to start brushing in a different spot every time. Not Watching Yourself After brushing your teeth for so many years, you might brush your teeth without looking at yourself doing it. However, watching yourself brush helps you to keep your attention on your teeth. This attention will help you remember to brush each tooth and your gum line, and as you watch yourself in the mirror, you can ensure that you’re using the proper technique as you brush. Not Taking Enough Time to Brush Many people rush through their brushing regime as part of their overall morning routine, but it’s a good idea to leave about two minutes free for toothbrushing time. This will give you the time to clean all sides of every tooth. Now that you know what you need to do to make your brushing regimen a good one, avoid the behaviors described above. Find a good dentist in your area who can help you improve your daily dental regimen so that your teeth can remain beautiful. For more information, contact Silverado Family Dental or a similar...

read more

Frequently Asked Questions About Retainers

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Frequently Asked Questions About Retainers

In a way, retainers are like the baby versions of braces. If your orthodontist has recommended that you wear a retainer, you may have many questions about to expect from the experience. These answers to commonly asked questions can help you better understand what a retainer is and why you might need one.  Q: What is a retainer?  A: A retainer is a custom-made mouthpiece fits in the roof of the mouth and includes a wire that fits around the front of the teeth.  Q: How do you get a retainer? A: Retainers are made to fit the individual. They’re created to conform to the roof of the mouth and the shape of the teeth. No retainer can properly fit anyone aside from the person for whom the retainer was built. To get a retainer, you must work carefully with an orthodontist who takes a cast of your mouth. The cast is then sent on to a technician who builds the retainer around the cast.  Q: Under what circumstances would you wear a retainer? A: Retainers get worn to either change or retain the shape of the mouth or change the behavior of the mouth. For example, retainers can be designed to make the teeth grow together, eliminating gaps between the teeth. Retainers can also be made to prevent the tongue from thrusting forward between the teeth while talking. Retainers are frequently used after braces are taken out of the mouth to prevent the mouth from going back to its old shape.   Q: Does the retainer make it hard to talk? A: Some retainers make it difficult to talk at first. Your family orthodontist may ask you to practice reading aloud for the first few days that the retainer is in your mouth. With practice, you will learn to talk around the retainer.  Q: How can you care for a retainer? A: Clean your retainer on a daily basis. Have your family orthodontist show you how to clean your retainer, because retainers get cleaned in different ways, depending on the type of retainer.  Q: Can you eat while wearing a retainer? A: You should take out your retainer before eating. Keep in mind that many retainers are lost when they get wrapped up in napkins and left on the table. Keep a case for your retainer on hand at all times, and keep that case in your bag or backpack. Do not put your retainer on the table when you take it out. For more information about retainers, speak with a family orthodontist. He or she will be able to tell you more about...

read more

Hate The Gap In Your Front Teeth? Cosmetic Procedures That Can Give You The Smile You Want

Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hate The Gap In Your Front Teeth? Cosmetic Procedures That Can Give You The Smile You Want

Having a gap in your front teeth gives you a unique smile that you can love. If you hate the gap you own, however, you may want to consider any of these cosmetic procedures. With cosmetic dentistry you can have the smile you’ve always wanted, and finally be gap-free! Composite bonding  If the gap in your teeth is small, you may want to consider composite bonding to make the space less noticeable. This cosmetic procedure requires no sedation or pain management, and doesn’t involve drilling. A special glue is placed on the edges of your teeth to harden and is then filed to look natural in appearance. This bonding material is mixed to be the same color as your teeth, so the results are realistic and attractive. This procedure is great because it can be reversed. If you don’t like having a smaller gap in your teeth after all, your dentist can simply file away the composite bonding and put your smile back in its original state. Braces If your gap is very wide or due to having missing teeth, then braces can be a great solution for you. You can get clear, traditional metal, or behind-the-teeth versions to help improve your smile. Braces will not only help close the gap in your front teeth, they will help straighten your other teeth as well for a beautiful, even smile over a period of a few months to a few years. Talk to your dentist to find out the best braces for your situation to give you the best results. Veneers Veneers are porcelain caps that are placed over your existing tooth to change its appearance. People get veneers to make their teeth appear larger, straighter, or to fill in gaps in their teeth. This option may be for you if you want more permanent results than composite bonding but don’t want to wait for braces to change your teeth.  Getting veneers is a more invasive procedure than composite bonding since your teeth will need to be shaped in order for the veneers to take hold, and requires minimal pain management to perform. If you are considering cosmetic dentistry to repair the gap in your front teeth, veneers may be an excellent option for you. If you hate the gap in your front teeth, there are many ways you can fix the issue. Whether you get braces, composite bonding, or veneers to repair the space in your teeth, the results can give you the smile you have always...

read more

Could Chocolate Really Be Better Than Fluoride?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Could Chocolate Really Be Better Than Fluoride?

In recent years, the dental industry has begun to pay a lot of attention to a chemical present in chocolate, theobromine, which has properties that could make it a possible substitute for traditional sodium fluoride or stannous fluoride in toothpastes. However, before you toss out your regular toothpaste and start brushing with some chocolate syrup, you should understand where the science comes from and how the two are being compared. How Does Fluoride Help Your Teeth? The enamel on your teeth is the hardest material in your body, harder even than your bones. However, even though it is extremely hard, it is not very durable. It is vulnerable to acids from both foods and plaque causing bacteria. These acids cause the enamel to demineralize, resulting in cavities. Fluoride bonds with the enamel making it harder and more durable, and also provides some benefit to help the enamel remineralize onto your teeth. This prevents cavities from forming, thus keeping your teeth healthier. Is Theobromine Better Than Fluoride? There have been a few studies on theobromine and the results seem to indicate that it is as effective as fluoride. Some indicate that it could be better at remineralization and can make enamel harder than traditional fluoride. While the American Dental Association does not currently endorse any non-fluoride toothpaste, another study indicates theobromine-based toothpastes can be as effective as traditional toothpastes. Whether or not the ADA will eventually endorse theobromine toothpastes is yet to be determined, but clinical studies are ongoing. Why Even Look for an Alternative to Fluoride? The reason people are searching for an alternative to fluoride is because of the perception that sodium fluoride is toxic. It is true that sodium fluoride is mildly toxic, but the amounts required for a lethal dose would require consuming absurd quantities of fluoride products. To put this in perspective, a single 6.4 ounce tube of toothpaste contains 192 mg of fluoride. To meet the median toxicity, a 200 pound (90 kg) man would need to eat (not use) 11 tubes of toothpaste in a day. However, even with this mild toxicity, some people are concerned about the risk of an overdose, so researchers are looking for a safer product. It certainly seems theobromine is as effective as fluoride at preventing cavities. Because people are constantly searching for something new or “healthier,” theobromine toothpastes are here to stay. However, for the rest of the population, standard fluoride toothpastes will remain the dentifrice of choice. For more information, ask people like Adwen P Yap DDS – Family Dentistry about what might be best for your...

read more

3 Tips On Making Dental Care Easier For Parents Of A Special Needs Child

Posted by on Jun 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Tips On Making Dental Care Easier For Parents Of A Special Needs Child

Children with special needs require extra patience and care when it comes to helping them perform tasks that make them anxious or upset. If you’re the parent of a special needs child and your child hates brushing and flossing, here are a few tips to make it easier. Be Creative Brushing and flossing is a twice daily necessity, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Incorporate your child’s favorite things into the mix. If your child still requires your full assistance but doesn’t like to cooperate, give them an incentive. Perhaps you don’t like them to play games on your smart phone all the time, so save their daily allotment for when it’s time to brush and floss. Let your child pick a favorite tune to listen to while you clean their teeth – they’ll know that when the song ends, teeth time is over.  Give Them Options Children like to be a part of their care routines, even if they still require mom and dad’s help. To help them feel like they have a say in their dental hygiene, give them some options to choose from. Bring your child to the store and let them pick a toothbrush or two. Buy multiple flavored toothpastes and switch it up every time it’s time to brush. While some children can’t handle options and will further meltdown, there are some who become more cooperative the more say they have in a matter. You know your child best, so give them the options you think they can handle. Model the Behavior As a parent, it can be easy to fall behind on self care. Remember that regular self care isn’t just for you, but it also models good behavior to your child as well. Not only should you model how to properly blush and floss, but also model how important it is to visit the dentist regularly. Bringing your child to your visit with a professional dentist, like HP Family Dental, gives them the opportunity to observe what happens without experiencing it. This allows them to comprehend it in a different light, and it may even make your child more interested in their own dental care.   The daily brushing and flossing routine doesn’t have to be a time of anxiety and upset for you or your child. By implementing one or all of the tips above, even your child can begin to look forward to this time. Think outside the box and incorporate some of your child’s favorite things into this routine to help them build positive associations and get them interested in their dental...

read more

Jack Fell Down And Broke His Crown: What To Do If Your Dental Crown Breaks While Away On Vacation

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Jack Fell Down And Broke His Crown: What To Do If Your Dental Crown Breaks While Away On Vacation

There is nothing that can ruin a vacation faster than a throbbing toothache. Unfortunately, this is what often follows after losing a dental crown that is not put back in place relatively quickly. The problem is, the idea of cutting your vacation short to run to a dentist can probably sound just about as bad as dealing with a toothache. The good news is, you do not have to choose between these two extremes. This is because it is possible to temporarily reattach your own dental crown in just a matter of minutes with limited supplies. What You Will Need warm water cornstarch petroleum jelly cotton swabs Clean The Crown And Underlying Tooth The first thing you will need to do is ensure that there are no food particles or other debris stuck inside the crown or your underlying tooth. This is extremely important as the last thing you want to do is to cement bacteria or food inside your crown where it can cause decay. In order to clean your dental crown, simply run the crown until warm water ensuring that you rinse both the inside and outside thoroughly. You may wish to lay a towel over the sink drain while you are doing this so that the crown is not lost if you accidentally drop it in the sink. Mix A Temporary Cement Begin by placing approximately a teaspoon of petroleum jelly in a bowl or other mixing dish. Slowly add cornstarch to the bowl and stir until it forms a thick putty-like substance. This putty will serve as the cement to keep your dental crown in place. Reattach Crown Using a cotton swab, fill your dental crown with a generous amount of the temporary cement you mixed in the previous step. Place the crown directly over your tooth and then bite down gently until you can feel that the crown is seated properly on top of your tooth. If a bit of the cement seeps out from beneath your crown, don’t worry about it. This is completely normal. Simply use a wet cotton swab to wipe away the excess cement before it is able to dry. It can take several hours for the dental cement to cure completely. Therefore, you should try and avoid eating and drinking during this time. Visit Your Dentist While this emergency dental repair will get you through the rest of your vacation pain free, it will not serve as a permanent solution. Therefore, you will still need to make an appointment to see your dentist (like those at Larchmont Dental Arts LLC) as soon as you return...

read more