The invention of cutlery, knives and forks in the West, chopstick in the East, changed the way we eat, and apparently the way our jaws align. Several centuries ago the top and lower jaws of humans usually met so that the front teeth touched. But since the use of cutlery the lower teeth usually sit behind the front teeth. This is because we once used our teeth to bite all of our food, like we still do with an apple. Jaws that met at the front were useful for this. Now we eat pre-cut food, so our jaws align slightly differently.
This change to cutlery is not the only explanation for the change in our jaws. The eating and chewing of slightly tough food apparently alters out jaws too, causing them to grow slightly more forward. Perhaps the change in our jaws is the combination of both factors.
We might expect this jaw change to cause problems. But this very slight overbite is fine. Our jaws suffer the minimal wear if they are not leaning to one side, and if they have the slight overbite. So this is regarded as the new ideal.
If our jaws are not aligned correctly there will be problems. misaligned jaws can make chewing and speaking difficult. And over time the teeth tend to wear unevenly.
Overbite – while slight overbite is normal a more extreme overbite needs correction. This can sometimes be done with braces as a teenager, sometime by combining braces with headgear, sometime by surgery in extreme cases.
Occasionally veneers can be used to bring the teeth slightly forward, removing the overbite.
Underbite – This is where the bottom jaw comes too far forward. Like overbite the less extreme cases may be cured with braces, and more extreme cases altered by surgery.
Crossbite – This is where the lower jaw leans to one side, not neatly meeting with the upper jaw. Crossbite tends to cause uneven wear on teeth that grows worse over time. This may require braces at an earlier stage, or surgery latter on.
Talk to the dentist about any jaw issues. Early treatment can prevent problems latter on.
We have known about the effects of bad bacteria on the teeth and gums for many years. It is only over the last generation that we have started to understand the effects of bad gut bacteria on out mental and physical health. If we have a lot of bad bacteria and a shortage of good bacteria in our gut then we suffer tiredness, clouded thinking, depression, and are prone to Heart Disease and Alzheimer’s in old age.
Bad bacteria in our gut and mouth will increase problems with tooth decay, gum infections and often leave us with bad breath. So it is in our best interest to minimize the bad bacteria and replace as much of this a possible with good, healthy bacteria.
We can get good bacteria from probiotic supplements and fermented foods, like Kimchi, Yogurt, Sauerkraut, Miso, Kefir, sourdough bread, and almonds. We can help maintain this good bacteria by eating prebiotics, which is the fibre found in vegetables, and rice or potatoes left in the fridge overnight.
We can greatly reduce the bad bacteria in our mouth by daily brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash. The only downside to this is that the good bacteria is often killed as well, so we need to constantly replenish the good bacteria with a healthy diet.
Some foods will target bad bacteria. Cashews will kill a significant amount of bad bacteria in the mouth, including the bad bacteria that causes tooth decay. Xylitol sweetener will also kill some types of bad bacteria, though this needs to be taken in moderation lest it cause gas. Garlic is also very useful for reducing bad bacteria.
– Probiotics in fermented foods like Kimchi, Yogurt and Sauerkraut.
– Prebiotics in vegetables and cold rice or potatoes.
– Some foods to fight bad bacteria like Garlic, Cashews, Green Tea, and Xylitol sweetener.
– Less Processed foods
– Reduce artificial sweeteners, especially Aspartame. Use Xylitol or Stevia instead.
– Keep sugar to a minimum.
General dental care, the Brushing, Flossing and use of Mouthwash that we all know about, will fight bad bacteria in the mouth. But we really need to support his healthy practice with a healthy diet.
By improving our gut health we improve every aspect of out lives, including our dental health. We need to reinforce this with diligent daily brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash.
Dentists are concerned with the health of our gums as much as they are concerned with our teeth. Bad dental hygiene, failure to brush, floss and use mouthwash every day, will raise the risk not only of tooth decay but also of gum infections. These gum infections can be quite serious.
Gum infection generally fall into two categories, Gingivitis and Periodontitis (Periodontal Disease). Both are serious, but periodontitis, which can develop from untreated Gingivitis, is far worse.
Symptoms of Gum Disease include:
– Dark red or faded pink gum. Sometimes gums go a deep purple.
– Bleeding gums
– Sore gums
– Gums that recede from the root of the tooth.
– Teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
– Persistant bad breath
Gingivitis is the more common type of gum disease. It is caused by bacteria infecting the gum, usually because the teeth and not being cleaned every day.
Gingivitis is painful, but it will clear up after a few weeks of regular brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash. A healthy diet will also help the body fight the infection.
Periodontal Disease is a more serious infection. If often develops from Gingivitis that has not been left untreated. It is not only a more severe infection, it also involves a different, more persistent, strain of bacteria.
Periodontal Disease will soon lead to loss of bone in the jaw, followed by loss of teeth. This damage is not reversible. Even after the disease is treated the patient will need surgery to replace the lost teeth, and to help restore the badly damaged gums.
Periodontal Disease will not clear up on its own. It requires serious dental treatment, including antibiotics. Often the dentist will sent a patient with Periodontal Disease to a specialist for full treatment.
Periodontal Disease can only be cured if caught in the very early stages. After it has spread the infection can never be fully removed, only managed by ongoing use of prescription mouthwash and diligent cleaning.
If is estimated that perhaps 40% of the western population over 50 has Periodontal disease, which must be constantly managed.
Good dental hygiene greatly reduces the change of contracting Gum Diseases. Twice daily brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash will prevent a lot of inconvenience.
An adult usually has 32 permanent teeth, though some individuals only have 28 permanent teeth as the wisdom teeth either never emerge or need to be removed.
Not all these teeth are identical. The back molars are different to the front incisors, as are the canine teeth between them teeth. But the underlying structure of the teeth are basically the same. All teeth have a central nerve, a surrounding pulp, a mid layer of dentin, and an outer layer of hard enamel.
We can only see the top part of the tooth that is above the gum. Beneath this outer visible section of the tooth is the root, hidden in the gum. This root varies in size between individuals, but is often larger then the outer section. It provides the anchor for the tooth and allows blood to flow into the tooth’s central nerve. The root is attached to the jawbone via the periodontal ligaments.
The visible part of the tooth has several layers behind the hard outer enamel. If the hard outer layer is damaged, perhaps by decay, then these inner layers are exposed. This is a serious problem, with the tooth almost always continuing to get worse till it fails completely. The tooth itself will probably be painful at this stage, and sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.
The layer immediately beneath the outer enamel is the dentin. This dentin layer is slightly yellow in colour, and less rigid, less brittle than the outer enamel. It is necessary for support of the tooth, as the outer enamel is too brittle for this. Dentin is a mixture or organic and mineral components.
Dentin provides some of the colour of the tooth as the outer enamel is semi-transparent. We see some of the colour of the dentin when looking at a healthy tooth.
If the dentin is exposed to the outside, when the enamel is damaged, the tooth becomes sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. This is because the channels through the dentin conduct the heat/cold directly to the nerve inside the tooth. The enamel is needed to provide some insulation for the tooth nerve.
Diligent brushing and flossing goes a long way to preventing dental decay and gum problems. Use of mouthwash also helps, though this does not replace brushing and flossing.
Our teeth have a much better chance of staying healthy if we look after then every day.
It is too easy to feel negative when we read about all the bad habits and bad food that damage teeth. So we should perhaps take a different approach and look at what we should eat and should do to benefit our teeth.
Anything that keep our mouth moist tend to help, because bacteria thrive in a dry mouth. Any any food that provides vitamins, minerals or good bacteria also helps strengthen teeth and gums.
Crunchy Food like celery or raw carrots, almost anything that works in a salad, will help clean teeth and keep our mouth moist. These are also foods that benefit our health.
Cashews have an element in them that fights the bad bacteria in our mouth that causes tooth decay. Cashews have a lot of calories, but other wise are healthy.
Green Tea fight bad bacteria in the mouth and keeps things moist. It even works when it is chilled. So have one or two cups per day. The decaffeinated variety works as well as the regular type.
Cheese, natural yogurt and other dairy products provide calcium for strengthening teeth, and good bacteria that help replace the bad decay causing bacteria. Many dairy products also have vitamin D which benefits teeth.
Vitamin C in many fruits helps strengthen gums, and is generally healthy for us. though the citrus fruit is acid, which is bad for enamel. So drink water after eating fruit.
Water is the most basic, yet essential part of out diet. Water cleans the teeth and keeps things moist. Tap water also provides some fluoride, which strengthens tooth enamel.
Sugar Free gum keep the mouth moist, and if the gum is sweetened with Xylitol it helps fight the bad bacteria in the mouth.
Xylitol sweetener isn’t just for chewing gum. We can use it in tea or other drinks, where is helps fight bad bacteria without adding calories.
Natural Chocolate is healthy, though the sugar content is bad for us. 70% cocoa chocolate is good for teeth, as is chocolate drinks without sugar. Sweetent these with Xylitol
Green tea give us fresh breath.
Chew parsley or basil for fresh breath.
Sugar free gum with xylitol is good for breath.
Strawberries freshen breath and help whiten teeth.
Cherries get rid of the smell of onions and spicy food.
Ginger also reds rid of the smell of spicy foods, and gives us fresh breath.
Chlorophyll is substance found in green vegetable, or available as a liquid. This is great for deodorizing the body, including our breath.
If we look after our teeth we have far fewer problems with decay, gum infections or bad breath.
Fluoride was initially added to the drinking water in places like the USA because research had shown its benefits. Populations that already drank water with natural fluoride content were show to have less dental decay. So small amounts of fluoride were added to tap water, and there was a noticeable improvement in dental health.
There is some controversy over fluoride in tap water. It is known that high levels of fluoride will cause problems, raging from tooth discolouration to cognitive issues (poor memory than thinking), especially in developing children. But the levels that cause problems are far higher than the small levels found in tap water. And fluoride does occur naturally in foods, so we always have some of it on our body system. Indeed, like copper or sodium it seems we need a small amount of these trace elements to survive. But we suffer if we have excessive amounts.
Fluoride helps to harden the enamel of a tooth’s surface. It even helps when teeth show early signs of decay; fluoride can actually help repair enamel than has decalcified, the first sign of decay. A constant low level supply of fluoride, as in drinking water, is the best way to apply fluoride to our teeth.
Government put fluoride in drinking water on the basis that ‘prevention is better than cure’. It is better, and cheaper, to prevent tooth decay problems in the population than it is to undergo expensive dental work latter on.
Strangely, the trend to drinking more water, which started in the 1990’s, had actually made dental problems worse, at least in some ways. While drinking water is certainly healthy, and while is certainly helps cleans teeth, the trend has been towards bottled water, which is usually fluoride free.
We might do well to add fluoride to our dental routine, perhaps by using mouthwash several times per day, it we insist on drinking bottled water.
We need a small amount of fluoride to help fight dental decay. Discuss the best options with your dentist.
In many dental situations the functionality and appearance fit together. Neatly aligned teeth will look good, and they tend to work well. Occasionally the appearance of the teeth might not affect the function, but there is no reason no too look good if the function is already good.
Implants Dundas Dental
An implant will replace a lost or badly damaged tooth. While certainly a health natural tooth is the best option, which is why we all should try to keep our natural teeth, an implant is the next best thing. In facts, it is so similar to the natural tooth the patient soon forgets that the implant is artificial.
Modern implants are made from lithium desilicate or zirconia. These are both extremely strong, and lithium disilicate (almost always used for front teeth) looks realistic and natural.
Braces Dental Denistone
These are common on many teenagers, and even a few adults. Braces will align individuals teeth and jaws for improved function, and improved appearance. the idea is to produce a neat set of teeth that fit properly together, making speaking and eating easier.
Whitening Dentist Telopea
Teeth whitening is one of the few examples of a purely cosmetic procedure. It lightens and whitens the teeth to make them look better, and perhaps match the patient’s skin tone.
One health advantage of white teeth is easier cleaning- it is easy to see if white teeth and clean or not.
Adults who never had braces but who require some alignment can use Invisalign. This is a series of clear plastic aligners that correct most minor orthodontic problems. They are not conspicuous, and can be removed for eating.
At one point there was concern that mouthwash might increase the risk of oral cancer. But this proved unfounded. It was only the mouthwash containing alcohol that was under suspicion.
A mouthwash containing alcohol apparently does raise the risk of oral cancer, but it depends on the exposure. Research indicates that alcohol mouthwashes would need to contain 25-40% alcohol, and be used three times per day for a full minute to really increase the risk of cancer. This is a fairly high amount of alcohol exposure.
More commonly, when people do use mouthwash it is gargled for half a minute, twice per day. This level of alcohol exposure is a little high, but probably not too bad.
There is a possibility that some individuals already had oral cancer, and were using mouthwash to remove the oral cancer sores. So the alcohol mouthwash was correlated with the cancer, even as it was not the cause.
Ironically, alcohol mouthwash can cause the mouth to dry out, leading to more bacteria and bad breath. This means it causes the very problems that it is supposed to remove. It is best to avoid alcohol mouthwashes.
Alcohol free mouthwashes are readily available. These can be used two or three times daily, and your teeth, not to mention you breath, will be benefit.
Dentist Newington – Types of Mouthwash
Antiseptic / general mouthwashes – The most common type. It does a decent job of killing off germs and bacteria, especially if you have already brushed you teeth, and it gives you fresh breath.
Fluoride mouthwashes – These are designed for sensitive or slightly damaged teeth. If the outer tooth enamel is damaged the fluoride in these mouthwashes will help re-calcify the enamel, and reverse the damage. It takes a few week to feel the benefits, but these mouthwashes can stop decay from getting worse, and reverse the process if we start using them early on.
Cosmetic Mouthwash – These just freshen the breath. they do no harm, but it would be better to use an antiseptic mouthwash that helps fight decay and bacteria.
Natural Mouthwashes – Mouthwashes with all natural, non-chemical ingredients. They shouldn’t cause any harm, but their effectiveness varies.
Prescription Mouthwashes – An extremely strong mouthwash that fights infections and gum disease. This will only be used for a short period, until the infection is removed.
Braces make regular brushing and flossing is difficult, but mouthwash still work well here . Mouthwash adds that extra bit of protection. We also recommend a Waterpik for cleaning between the teeth as flossing with braces is difficult.
Some of us were blessed with naturally straight teeth. But most of us needed either braces as teenagers, or some corrective dental work latter on. A few of us needed both.
Some of us still have less-than-straight-teeth as adults. These teeth alignment problems can be fixed with braces; it is possible to have braces at almost any age. But many adults dislike the look of braces, thinking they look too ‘teenage’, or just finding them inconvenient.
An alternative to braces is Invisalign. These will rectify most teeth alignment problems, without the inconvenient or appearance of braces.
Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth, rather like a small mouthguard. Over time each aligner brings the teeth closer to the correct shape. it may take anything from 6 month to 2 years to achieve the final result.
Invisalign, unlike braces, can be easily removed for eating and drinking. So they cause minimal inconvenience. Talking with Invisalign might be slightly unusual at first, but this is very mild compared to braces. Invisalign are the easy way to get straight teeth with minimal hassle.
Invisalign will require dental visits every few weeks; the clear retainers will constantly need to be replaced. Otherwise, people will hardly notice that you are receiving treatment.
Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing problems.
We have two major sets of teeth, with all the inital baby teeth being replaced by the adult teeth by about the age of 12. But our wisdom teeth, the 3rd molars at the back of the mouth, do not emerge till we are in out late teens or early twenties.
Wisdom teeth probably do not emerge earlier (perhaps cannot) because their is insufficent room in the mouth. Our mouths and jaws increase in size as we age. But often when the wisdom teeth do emerge there is still insufficent room in the mouth. So the teeth cannot emerge correctly, or they push other teeth out of alignment. Sometimes they stay buried in the gum.
Many people need one of more wisdom teeth removed.
Dundas Dental – Signs of Wisdom tooth Issues.
-Swelling in the jaw and lower face
-Habitually biting the jaw
-Red inflamed gum near the partially / full covered molar
-Gum and jaw pain
-Tooth partly covered by gum, which is difficult to clean
-Infections and pus from the gum
-Sore lymph glands beneath the jaw
-Difficulty swallowing or opening the mouth
-A wisdom tooth pushes other teeth out of alignment
-A wisdom tooth causes the gum to be misshapen
-A wisdom tooth that emerges at an odd angle, no good for chewing
Unfortunately wisdom tooth problems rarely go away on their own. Often one of more teeth need to be extracted. Occasionally the issue can be rectified cutting the gum away from a partially covered tooth, but this is rare. Wisdom Tooth extractions are a fact of life for most people.
A Wisdom tooth extraction is performed under local anesthetic, or sometime complete sedation. Often two teeth are taken out at the same time. The jaw will be sore and swollen for several days afterward. But the situation is not permanent, and the patient is far better off once the wisdom teeth issues are rectified.