It is common knowledge that sugar causes tooth decay. Sugar on its own is not the enemy, but it is what happens in our mouth after we consume too much sugar?
Your mouth alone is a home to 700 different species of bacteria. Some are beneficial to your oral health, while others are harmful.
The harmful bacteria produces acid when they encounter and digest sugar. This acid will strip minerals from your tooth enamel.
Weakened tooth enamel will cause tooth sensitivity, discoloration, cavities, and will make your teeth more prone to chips and breaks.
Sugar also lowers your mouth’s pH, making it more acidic. When the pH in your mouth drops below 5.5 the acidity begins to dissolve the beneficial minerals and destroy the tooth’s enamel.
This causes small holes or erosions in your teeth, which over time will lead to cavities.
Your saliva plays a crucial role in the natural remineralization process which helps to restore and strengthen your teeth. It contains essential minerals like phosphates and calcium, which continuously help to protect your teeth.
Fluoride also helps to repair damaged and weak tooth enamel.
The bad news is that if you’re eating a lot of starches and sweets every day, there’s only so much the remineralization process can do to prevent the effect sugar has on your teeth.
It’s crucial that you do your part by limiting how much sugar you consume, so your mouth can do its natural job of repairing the damage and maintaining healthy teeth.
Sugar is sugar no matter what name the food manufacturers use on the label.
Limit the consumption of natural sugars such as:
While also avoiding the hidden offenders:
No matter what form sugar comes in, too much of it will cause cavities. The best thing you can do for your health is to learn why too much sugar is bad for your teeth, and make healthy choices that prioritize both your oral health, and your overall health.
Tooth enamel is the thin, outer layer of your tooth. Its main purpose is to protect your teeth against tooth decay. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body (even stronger than bone)
Despite its strength, foods and drink as well as plaque and bacteria in your mouth can discolor, weaken and destroy tooth enamel. And once your enamel is gone, it is gone for good.
The main causes of tooth enamel damage are acids found in the acidic foods and liquids you consume:
Aside from acidic foods and drinks, there are also other contributing factors to tooth enamel damage:
Tooth enamel damage often shows up as hollows in the teeth and a general wearing away of the tooth surface resulting in the exposure of the dentine underneath. If your teeth start losing enamel, you might notice:
Once your tooth enamel is damaged, it can’t be replaced. Good dental care is the best way to keep your mouth healthy. Follow these steps to prevent your tooth enamel:
One of the best ways to ensure that you protect your teeth’s enamel is to partner with your dentist. Your dentist can detect any enamel erosion and offer advice on how to prevent it.
Additionally to using a fluoride toothpaste, your dentist may suggest you use a fluoride mouthwash.
If an affected tooth does need treatment, your dentist might suggest bonding a filling onto the tooth. In more severe cases you might need a crown.
If you haven’t seen your dentist for a while, book an appointment today.
Do you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night? If so you might need a Night Guard. Many patients who suffer from a condition called Sleep Bruxism benefit from wearing a Night Guard.
Bruxism is defined as the involuntary clenching and grinding of the teeth. This can happen due to stress, anxiety, frustration or tension. It can also be a coping strategy or a habit during deep concentration.
Sleep bruxism, (forceful grinding of teeth) happens while a person is asleep. Although sleep bruxism is most common in children, adolescents, and young adults, it can affect people of any age.
Can a Night Guard Help with Teeth Grinding
Most cases of Bruxism can easily be treated by wearing a night guard while you sleep. Night guards are also known as dental guards or mouth guards.
A night guard puts a soft barrier between your teeth. When you clench your jaw, or grind your teeth, the night guard helps to lighten the tension and give cushion to the muscles in the jaw.
Night guards not only help to prevent face and jaw pain, but also protect the enamel of your teeth.
Should You See your Dentist About Teeth Grinding?
If you experience pain in your jaw or neck from grinding your teeth, chronic headaches or you suffer from TMJ (temperomandibular joint disorder), your dentist might be able to help.
A dentist can identify if your teeth grinding occurs alongside other conditions, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which may require further testing or treatment.
Although there is no cure to completely stop teeth grinding, a mouth guard can significantly decrease the impact on your teeth, as well as help to relieve the symptoms of bruxism.
If you experience any of the symptoms associated with sleep bruxism, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr.Blum.
One in Eight Adults Have Sensitive Teeth
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, that’s 40 million adults in the United States suffering from sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is painful, like a stabbing sensation from the tooth into the gums and jaw, and is usually associated with cold foods or drinks, but some also feel pain from hot, acidic, or sweet foods and drinks.
What is Causing Your Teeth Sensitivity?
If you are experiencing teeth sensitivity, it could come from one or a mix of many factors. These include:
Anatomy of a Tooth
Tooth sensitivity is caused mainly by the deterioration of tooth enamel. Let’s take a look at the different parts of a tooth to understand why.
Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, the first thing you need to do is let your dentist know. Tell us about your habits and come in so that we can look at your mouth. While you’re at home, there are some things you can use to decrease sensitivity on the daily.
Preventing Teeth Sensitivity
The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true when it comes to sensitive teeth. Our recommendations:
We can identify problems before they become disasters, and problems that cause tooth sensitivity need to be addressed before they get worse. Protecting the structural integrity of your teeth and gums is essential for good oral health, which influences your overall physical health and quality of life.
If you are experiencing food sensitivity, schedule an appointment with Dr. Blum so we can properly diagnose the root cause, and discuss treatment. There are many different treatment options available to ease your discomfort, and help you feel your best.
At Dr. Blum’s & Associates, we are here for you and your family! If you are staying closer to home and not venturing out quite yet, there are some simple things you can do to maintain your dental health until you’re ready to make your next appointment.
With so many of us working from home today our normal routine ends up on the back burner. We put appointments off that we know we should schedule. One thing gets piled on top of another and it all just seems like too much!
Here’s the good news…There are simple things you can do to ensure that you are taking care of your teeth until you can get to your dentist.
Here’s something to think about…in the world, we’re living in today, where we feel like we don’t have control over much of anything, isn’t it nice to know that YOU CAN control your oral health?
We all have bad habits. Maybe you’re not good at texting people back, or you crack your knuckles, or watch too much reality TV. We get it, but bad oral habits are dangerous. It’s easy to forget to make good oral habits, but we’re here to help. Even if you don’t think you have bad habits that are harmful to your teeth, keep reading.
Once you’ve grown your adult teeth, that’s the only set you get, and we’d like to help you keep those teeth in good shape forever. Today, we’d like to show you three habits you should break now for a healthier 2020 and beyond.
Sugar is the enemy of healthy teeth. When it comes to sugar affecting your teeth, you might immediately think of soda, but it’s not the only thing that contains sugar. Carbohydrates in food get broken down into sugar, even the carbs found in fruits and vegetables. Don’t stop eating your fruits and vegetables, just watch out for sugars that linger on your teeth.
Sugars and artificial sweeteners, especially in drinks, are often accompanied by citric and phosphoric acids. These eat away at your teeth, making them weaker.
Bruxism (clenching or grinding your teeth) is a destructive habit that many of us don’t realize we have. To be fair, it often happens in our sleep when we can’t help it.
Clenching your teeth, especially the edges of your incisors and canines, damages the structural integrity of your teeth and can cause pain in the mouth, jaw, face, and head.
Your teeth should touch as little as possible. Here are a few tips:
We talk a lot about flossing because it’s so overlooked and underappreciated. Brushing gets all the attention, but flossing is even more important than brushing. Not flossing is a major cause of decay and bone loss, and it’s a bad habit harmful to your teeth.
The spaces between teeth and all-around your gumlines are where oral biofilm (plaque) collects, and plaque is what damages your teeth. Brushing helps, but it doesn’t do enough.
And remember to schedule your routine teeth cleaning at least twice a year, or as often as your dentist recommends.
Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to break those bad habits that harm your teeth. Call Dr. Blum and Associates today to make an appointment and learn how to put good oral health habits in place. Clean, healthy teeth and gums are truly the gift that keeps on giving.
We love the holidays at Dr. Blum and Associates. But what we don’t love is tooth decay or tooth pain! When it’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday you celebrate, it often begins to look a lot like some holiday feasting is about to take place. We have some tips for how to keep your teeth healthy during the holidays.
We don’t mean you have to carry a toothbrush and toothpaste around in your pocket to have healthy teeth during the holidays. You can enjoy everything the season has to offer without sacrificing your oral health. Here are a few foods and drinks to be aware of so that your smile can be both merry and healthy.
These are some foods and drinks that affect your dental health during the holidays:
You can still enjoy holiday treats by practicing a little preventive maintenance. Here are some good strategies to protect your teeth and healthy smile:
In these winter holidays, maintain clean, strong teeth so that those you love can see your healthy smile. As always, don’t forget to get your regular checkups and cleanings at Dr. Blum and Associates. Schedule yours in advance, whether you’re preparing for the holidays or cleaning up after them.
As grown-ups, we realize that our teeth require consistent care. Starting proper dental habits when children are very young translates into better oral health for life. Truth be told, the disregard of a kid’s teeth and general oral wellbeing can have genuine results that could last well into adulthood.
Here is a tip to make sure your kids are brushing correctly and taking care of their teeth as they grow. The American Dental Association’s recommendation is to stand behind your young children and have them look up at you in the mirror as brushing time daily. This causes the mouth to hang open more for better reach and allows them to emulate you to learn to brush properly.
It is also important to educate your children that certain kinds of foods and beverages can cause discoloring or decay. The ADA Healthline.com website suggests being careful and educated with the following:
It’s not surprising that candy is bad for your mouth. But sour candy contains more and different kinds of acids that are tougher on your teeth. Plus, because they’re chewy, they stick to your teeth for a longer time, so they’re more likely to cause decay. If you’re craving sweets, grab a square of chocolate instead, which you can chew quickly and wash away easily.
Think twice as you walk down the supermarket bread aisle. When you chew bread, your saliva breaks down the starches into sugar. Now transformed into a gummy paste-like substance, the bread sticks to the crevices between teeth. And that can cause cavities. When you’re craving some carbs, aim for less-refined varieties like whole wheat. These contain less added sugars and aren’t as easily broken down.
We all know that little, if any, good comes from soda or pop, even if it’s got the word “diet” on the can. A recent study even found that drinking large quantities of carbonated soda could be as damaging to your teeth as using methamphetamine and crack cocaine. Carbonated sodas enable plaque to produce more acid to attack tooth enamel. So if you sip soda all day, you’re essentially coating your teeth in acid. Plus it dries out your mouth, meaning you have less saliva. And last but not least, dark-colored sodas can discolor or stain your teeth. A note: don’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking a soda; this could actually hasten decay.
In their natural form, coffee and tea can be healthy beverage choices. Unfortunately, too many people can’t resist adding sugar. Caffeinated coffee and tea can also dry out your mouth. Frequent drinks of coffee and tea may also stain your teeth. If you do consume, make sure to drink plenty of water and try to keep the add-ons to a minimum.
Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are tasty as both fruits and juices and are packed with vitamin C. But their acid content can erode enamel, making teeth more vulnerable to decay. Even squeezing a lemon or lime into water adds acid to a drink. Plus, acid from citrus can be bothersome to mouth sores. If you want to get a dose of their antioxidants and vitamins, eat and drink them in moderation at mealtime and rinse with water afterwards.
The crunch of a potato chip is eternally satisfying to many of us. Unfortunately, they’re loaded with starch, which becomes sugar that can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed the bacteria in the plaque. Since we rarely have just one, the acid production from the chips lingers and lasts awhile. After you’ve gorged on a bag, floss to remove the trapped particles.
You likely assume that dried fruits are a healthy snack. That may be true, but many dried fruits — apricots, prunes, figs, and raisins, to name a few — are sticky. They get stuck and cling in the teeth and their crevices, leaving behind lots of sugar. If you do like to eat dried fruits, make sure you rinse your mouth with water, and then brush and floss after. And because they’re less concentrated with sugar, it is a better choice to eat the fresh versions instead!
There’s no doubt a cold sports drink is refreshing after a good workout. But these drinks are usually high in sugar. Like soda or candy, sugary sports drinks create an acid attack on the enamel of your teeth. Drinking them frequently can lead to decay. A better way to for your kids to stay hydrated after sports or play is to chug sugar-free, calorie-free water.
Source: ADA Healthline.com and WebMD.com