A Guide to Understanding Dental Implants

A Guide to Understanding Dental Implants

We often forget how much of an important role good teeth play in our confidence, in the way we carry ourselves. People who have a tooth or a few teeth missing may grow self-conscious, rarely displaying their smiles and losing their enthusiasm in engaging openly in conversation. They may also develop poor eating habits when chewing becomes difficult, and this causes further complications to their health. In such cases, dental implants play the role of a substitute, acting as a restoration alternative for missing teeth.

Dental implants go beyond dentures – they replace the missing teeth with artificial roots to facilitate their entire function, and to work against jawbone loss. They do this by stimulating the jawbone and in the process help in maintaining facial features as well. By addressing missing roots, dental implants bring the stability and support necessary for eating different types of food; chewing is no longer a major hassle for the individuals using them.

Types of Dental Implants

Different types of dental implants use different connectors, coating, and size options. There are numerous approaches to placing implants, but their forms can be roughly categorized under the following:

  • Endosteal Implants (Endosseous)

This is the most commonly used type of implant for teeth. Prosthodontists may sometimes recommend them as an alternative to removable dentures. The types of endosteal implants range from threaded, to smooth or bladed. Endosteal implants are safe, effective, and widely used.

Endosteal implants are placed by drilling into the jawbone and inserting a titanium screw that replaces the root. The soft tissue and bone have to heal around the root before you complete the treatment; this may take up to a few months. Individuals with endosteal implants most often say that the results of the procedure feel natural and stable.

  • Subperiosteal Implants

This type of implant is rarely used in this day and age. They used to be utilized to keep dentures in place for individuals with insufficient bone height. Subperiosteal implants are placed on the jawbone in the gum tissue, and a metal implant post in the gums holds the dentures.

The treatment for this type of implant is done in a process involving two appointments, so it takes a lot less time than with endosteal implants. However, the result is not as natural and stable as when the latter is used. This is because a subperiosteal implant does not go into the jawbone – rather, it rests on top of the bone with a soft tissue holding it in place.

Coatings, Connectors, and Sizes

Dentists will look into individual cases to determine what the treatment is among the variety of options.

  • Coating

Your implant can have several different types of coating or surface treatments depending on the nature of your case is. More often than not, the implant is made of titanium, while the outer surface may vary.

A coating increases surface roughness, allowing the implant to heal and become stronger over time. Surfaces can be acid-etched, grit-blasted, or Zirconia-based. Zirconia is a transition metal that is ceramic-like in appearance.

  • Connectors

All types of implants require the screw to be placed in the jaw and attached to the abutment on top. The 3 main types of connectors are Internal Hex connectors, External Hex connectors, and Internal octagon connectors.

  • Sizes

The size of the implant required depends on which part of the mouth it is going to be placed in. Individual spacing and bone availability are determinants of implant sizes. These may vary from the Standard Platform, between 3.5 mm and 4.2 mm in diameter, placed at the front; to Wide Platform, from 4.5 mm to 6 mm in diameter, placed in the back of the mouth; to Narrow Body, which serves mainly as a temporary support.

Winning Back Your Smile

Today, thanks to major advancements in dentistry, dental implants are more or less indistinguishable from the teeth they replace. Through the wonders of modern technology, the structural connection between the implant and the living bone enables the teeth to match impeccably. If maintained properly, dental implants could work for a lifetime. Your prosthodontist will assess your particular case and recommend the most suitable implant option. Making the right decision could make all the difference in helping you win back your smile and confidence.


Understanding Tooth Decay: Symptoms and Treatment

Understanding Tooth Decay: Symptoms and Treatment

The health of your teeth is critical to your overall health and well-being. Poor dental health is a problem faced by individuals all over the world; taking precautionary measures to safeguard your health against the risk of tooth decay and cavities. This may make all the difference in preventing further complications. Cavities left untreated can cause serious issues that are likely to be very difficult to treat at a later stage.

Tooth decay mainly occurs when plaque collection results in acid that builds up and erodes your teeth. If this sounds severe and unmanageable, it’s because at least one of those two things is certainly true!

When plaque builds up it manifests as a wide range of issues, including dental abscesses, dental caries (holes found in the teeth), and gum disease.

What Occurs When Your Dental Health is Not Good?

It is not unusual for bacteria to build up in your teeth if accumulated food particles are left undetected, resulting in the formation of plaque. The acid produced as a result of plaque erodes the enamel on the surface of the teeth, and this is a serious dental condition.

Brushing and flossing daily is very important because these activities actively work at getting rid of sticky plaque. Instead, if it is allowed to build up, it can attack your teeth and result in cavities. But what is a cavity, exactly? Is it really a matter of concern, or is it something that can be dealt with by using simple methods?

What is a Cavity, and What Does it do?

Cavities are permanently damaged portions of the hard surface of your teeth that cause holes in their surface. Untreated cavities are very hard to treat because they often produce several different issues that need to be addressed one at a time.

Eventually, tooth abscesses and infections can even get into the bloodstream and pose an active threat to your overall health. So the simple answer to the question put forward earlier is: no, they cannot be addressed through simple methods.

Having said that, cavities are unfortunately a widespread problem across the board. They are most prevalent among children and older adults. They need to be treated properly to ensure that the patient does not run the risk of serious health problems and complications.

Symptoms of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a very tricky thing – it sometimes goes undetected because it doesn’t necessarily cause pain until cavities develop. However, if you are dealing with dental caries there are certain symptoms that will show up:

  • Toothache: especially if it happens at regular intervals; often, a sharp pain may occur without an immediately detectable cause.
  • Tooth Sensitivity: you may feel a sharp pain or unpleasant sensation when consuming foods that are cold, hot, or sweet.
  • The Appearance of Dark Spots: tooth decay can cause grey, brown, and black spots to appear in different parts of the teeth
  • Regular Bad Breath: tooth decay can also result in prolonged bad breath
  • A Lingering Unpleasant Taste in the Mouth: quite often, patients suffering from tooth decay have reported that they are not able to taste food properly because of a lingering unpleasant sensation in the mouth. Sometimes, this can be due to poor oral hygiene over a long period, but it can also come from tooth decay which is a lot more serious.

How is Tooth Decay Treated?

Treatment of tooth decay largely depends on individual cases and what stage it is in.

  • If it is at an early stage, your dentist may address the issue by prescribing the right diet, including how much sugar to consume and the duration of intervals between your meals. They may also apply paste or fluoride gel to clean the area, both of which strengthen the enamel and make your teeth more resistant to acids from plaque formation.
  • Your dentist may recommend that a filling or crown be done, wherein the dental decay is removed by filling the hole.
  • Root canal treatment may be required if the tooth decay has spread to the center of the tooth (called the ‘pulp’).
  • In some cases, where the tooth is irreversibly damaged, the dentist will have to remove it. You could have it replaced with an implant or partial denture.

Schedule Regular Appointments with Your Dentist

As the old cliche goes, prevention is better than cure – but it’s also undeniably true. This is why it’s imperative that you visit your dentist regularly and get your teeth checked for symptoms associated with tooth decay.


Why a Regular Dental Appointment is Important

Why a Regular Dental Appointment is Important

Fixing regular appointments with the dentist is more than just a good habit, it is a necessity if you want to actively work towards your health and well-being. If not quarterly, you should schedule a visit at least every 6 months.

Particles from the food that we eat every day get stuck in between teeth, and in the gums, leaving your mouth susceptible to a range of oral diseases, not to mention a broader range of overall health problems. In light of this fact, it is critically important to move dental appointments several notches up in your list of priorities. A preventive approach to health care is far wiser to adopt than a corrective one.

Confronting Bad Breath

Bad breath is a much more common problem than you’d think; according to Harvard Health, nearly 30% of the population faces this problem at some point or the other. But if you regularly experience bad breath, chances are you’ve got Halitosis, a condition not to be taken lightly. In such a case, visiting the dentist is an absolute must.

Moreover, this is a good reason to schedule regular appointments with the dentists and take preventive measures if necessary. In the case of Halitosis, your teeth will be thoroughly examined to narrow down the root cause of the issue. This is immensely beneficial as it determines the course of action prescribed by the dentist.

Maintaining Oral Hygiene

Normally, a dental appointment involves two main aspects: check-up, or examination; and the cleaning process – what is known as prophylaxis.

During the examination, your dentist will check for cavities and any lingering issues of bad oral hygiene. He may take X-rays in order to determine if there are bacteria in between the teeth. In addition, he will most likely check for plaque – a layer of bacteria that sticks in the mouth – as well as for tartar. Plaque and tartar can’t be eliminated just by brushing because they become hardened layers over time; your dentist will have to help you address these issues in a focused way.

Next, your gums will have to be checked for cleanliness. This is usually done with a specialized tool that looks deeply into the spaces between the gums and the teeth. Deeper spaces there indicate the possibility of gum disease. Dental check-ups are, of course, not limited to gums and teeth – your dentist will also carefully examine your tongue, throat, and neck for symptoms.

Your dentist will then proceed to deep-clean your teeth, utilizing specific instruments and tools to remove tartar, in a process that is known as scaling. Once scaled, your teeth will most likely need to be polished using a gritty paste that fights off any stains. He will then use floss to ensure that the areas between your teeth are cleaned.

Routine Checkups to Help Prevent or Detect Oral cancer

A visit to the dentist isn’t just about checking and cleaning teeth. Granted, maintaining oral hygiene and confronting lingering dental issues are the primary goals – but it’s wise to remember that it’s your dentist who will be able to detect any early signs of oral cancer. Naturally, the ramifications are serious if the symptoms are left undetected.

The dentist will use a special light to look for dead tissue brought on by cancerous tumors, in a process known as the VELscope cancer exam. It only takes a couple of minutes but it is completely effective. A person who pays regular visits to the dentist – say, every 6 months – has little to no chance of facing late-stage oral cancer.

Protecting Your Overall Long-Term Health

Good oral health plays an important role in an individual’s well-being when you consider the fact that all your body organs are connected in a complex way. Needless to say, a regular visit to the dentist also contributes to maintaining your overall health, confronting the risk of serious ailments developing at a later stage.

Finding a reliable long-term dentist is extremely important. It can make all the difference in your quality of life.


How Did Fluoride Toothpastes Get Such a Bad Reputation?

How Did Fluoride Toothpastes Get a Bad Reputation?

When it comes to oral hygiene, selecting the right toothpaste is one of the most important decisions one can make. With a plethora of options available out there in the market, making an informed decision can prove to be more difficult than one might imagine.

In this article, we are going to examine the nature of fluoride toothpaste to help illuminate why they have got a bad reputation over the years.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a chemical compound found in the earth, with small amounts occurring in water, plants, and air. Almost all water has a certain amount of Fluoride, although the quantity varies depending on its source.

Although it is a naturally occurring compound in the environment, it would be a mistake to automatically assume that it is good to ingest. On the contrary, it can be poisonous when ingested in large quantities. When excess fluoride collects in the inside of the tooth, you can develop a serious condition called dental fluorosis. It is critical to ensure that your child’s oral hygiene is monitored and maintained regularly so that the possibility of developing fluorosis is kept at bay.

What Happens When You Get Dental Fluorosis?

We have already seen that an excess of fluoride deposits causes fluorosis. As a result, you might observe an alteration in the color of tooth enamel. In most cases, the discoloration shows up as distinct, tiny white specks or dark brown stains. In some cases, you may also see pitted enamel that may become difficult to get rid of at a later stage.

Teeth that are not affected by this condition are smooth, glossy, and creamy white. If you notice that your child has white streaks or spots, or if you find one or more discolored teeth, it is absolutely critical that you contact a dentist right away to avoid any long-term oral issues.

For several decades, dentists have measured the severity of fluorosis on the following basis:

  • Questionable
    Slight changes can be detected in the enamel, ranging from tiny white flecks to periodic but barely-noticeable white spots
  • Extremely Mild
    Paperwhite spots, small and opaque, can be observed scattered over a small part of the tooth surface.
  • Mild
    Slightly more extensive white opaque spots are observable on the tooth surface, but affect less than half of the area.
  • Moderate
    White opaque spots affect more than half of the enamel surface.
  • Serious
    Enamel surfaces are badly affected, resulting in teeth pitting that become discrete.

When Does Fluorosis Occur?

When children begin using fluoride toothpaste at a young age, especially below eight, they often tend to swallow toothpaste instead of spitting it out. In such cases, the likelihood of their developing fluorosis is high.

In most cases, the severity of dental fluorosis is low. In its more severe forms, the noticeable changes become distinct and are often difficult to fight at a later stage.

The following are measures that parents can take to prevent fluorosis:

  • Closely monitor the brushing habits of children under 8 to ensure they do not swallow toothpaste.
  • Use nothing more than a small amount of toothpaste between the ages of 3 and 6.
  • Find suitable alternatives to fluoride toothpaste for young children.
  • Schedule appointments with your dentist regularly.

Reducing the Risk of Developing Physical Ailments

Over time, bones and ligaments may weaken as a direct result of fluorosis. Therefore, fluoride-free toothpaste may help in preventing structural damage to occur in your body. Generally, fluorosis can develop at its earliest stages from the consumption of toothpaste.

So, what exactly is fluoride-free toothpaste?

Certain brands replace fluoride entirely with charcoal, clay, or baking soda. While these alternatives may not be as strong as the former in their bacteria-fighting properties, they will most certainly safeguard individuals against the risk of developing fluorosis.

Is it Advisable to Use Fluoride-Free Toothpaste?

From the perspective of a dental expert, fluoride toothpaste does help in promoting oral health, preventing bacterial build-up, and safeguarding your tooth against the risk of developing cavities.

However, you may also consider opting for fluoride-free toothpaste for children under the age of 8 to use; this is especially important for parents who are unable to monitor their children’s brushing habits.


Why Cleaning Your Tongue is an Essential Part of Oral Hygiene

Why Cleaning Your Tongue is an Essential Part of Oral Hygiene

Is brushing your teeth enough to ensure that your oral health is intact? Well, you wouldn’t be the only one to think so; most people brush twice a day and floss regularly, but they tend to ignore a part of the mouth that is highly prone to bacteria – the tongue. The back of your tongue is home to the highest number of microorganisms in your mouth, and they can contribute to a wide range of oral issues, including gum disease, dental decay, and halitosis (bad breath.) These problems are much more common than one might assume; 90% of the population face dental or oral problems at some point in their lives.

By all means, enjoy that refreshing cup of coffee every morning, but also keep in mind that your tongue is affected by anything that you consume. Bacteria accumulate in the regions of the tongue that lie between the taste buds and other tongue structures. Therefore, it is really important to ensure you inculcate the discipline of cleaning your tongue as a vital part of the oral cleansing process.

Why Cleaning Your Tongue is Monumentally Important

A study conducted in Japan, appearing in the January 2014 issue of BMC Oral Health, showed that participants in the research who cleaned their tongues daily for a prolonged period had much less bacteria in their mouths than those who did not make it a practice. Brushing your teeth alone does not, unfortunately, get rid of all the bacteria. Brushing or scraping protects your mouth against odors and also eliminates the possibility of accumulated food particles causing bad breath.

Moreover, regular tongue cleaning helps in keeping the taste buds healthy, thereby making your meals more enjoyable. Trapped food debris is one of the main factors in the coating of taste buds over time, largely reducing the intensity of flavors. A visible white coating may even develop on the tongue if bacteria are allowed to accumulate over a long period.

Remember, Tongues Can Get Cancer

Too often, oral cancers go unnoticed in their early stages. Therefore, it is critical for you to inspect your tongue on a regular basis. Check the bottom and top, as well as the sides, for any changes, patches, or cuts, and keep track of how long they are visible.

Your dentist will examine your tongue during your routine appointments, and this should be a regular occurrence if you’re over 40. In India, a large-scale dental research study showed that when several thousand people were checked for oral cancer regularly over a certain period, the death rate reduced drastically.

The Tongue-Cleaning Process

Making tongue-cleaning an integral part of your dental care is a matter of adding a few seconds to your daily routine. Start with the back of your tongue, applying gentle but steady pressure in both directions. Adding a bit of taste helps the brush move easily across the tongue. Don’t miss the underside – bacteria can easily lodge themselves there as well.

While it’s absolutely fine to use your regular toothbrush and toothpaste to clean your tongue, studies have shown that tongue cleansers are nearly ten times more effective in eliminating bacteria, especially the ones associated with halitosis. It can be tricky though, and it has to be done consciously. There are several crevices and elevations on the tongue – the bacteria will lodge themselves in these areas unless removed carefully.

After a proper round of brushing and scraping, it is essential to rinse your mouth to ensure that all particles, including that of the paste, are washed off. A little mouthwash may also help; anti-bacterial ones can get rid of any remaining bacteria that may not have been killed in the cleaning process.

Benefits of a Clean Tongue

  • Better Mealtime
    As we saw earlier, tongue cleaning can play a vital role in keeping your tastebuds intact. It can free them up to absorb flavors with the intensity required to truly savor every bite of the meal.
  • Better Breath
    Bad breath is caused by a number of underlying issues, but one of them is most certainly accumulated bacteria in the tongue. Sometimes, however, all it takes to get rid of the issue altogether is cleansing parts of the tongue that were previously left unnoticed.
  • Healthier Teeth
    Your teeth are in continual contact with your tongue. Anything that is lodged in the latter can easily become a major dental issue. Bacteria that are allowed to linger on the tongue are often the cause of tooth decay as well as gum diseases. Therefore, when it is cleaned, your teeth are also benefiting in the process!

Make it a Habit

You should inspect and clean your tongue once a day. Allow it to become an essential part of your oral hygiene care. Scrape your tongue properly but gently – you don’t want to face the adverse effects of excessive scraping either! Remember, don’t expect changes overnight; tongue cleansing is a discipline that works over time.

Pay regular visits to your dentist for hygiene checkups – he may guide you with tips and tools to improve the tongue cleaning process.


Geriatric Dentistry: What, Why, How

Geriatric Dentistry: What, Why, How

It’s no secret that oral health is a vital aspect of well-being. However, much too often, dental hygiene and health are taken for granted, resulting in long-term problems that can be hard to rectify as one grows older. Among the elderly population, poor oral health certainly poses a risk to their general health. Thus, it is absolutely critical for dental care to address and continually manage this issue properly.

Geriatric Dentistry refers to a field of dentistry that emphasizes delivering dental care to the elderly population. It involves the diagnosis and treatment of issues that are associated with age-related ailments. It is important to keep in mind that older individuals are more susceptible to dental problems, oral conditions, and periodic illnesses. Geriatric dentistry is built on the foundation that the elderly should be recognized as a distinct group in the provision of dental care.

Addressing Dental Care for an Increasingly Ageing Population

Today, human beings across the globe are aging at a rapid rate, with the section of people falling under the “elderly” category significantly large. Needless to say, this phenomenon is thanks to the fact that advances in modern medical technology and medicine have been steadily growing.

Scientists predict that, between the years 2045 and 2050, the life expectancy of the world’s population will have increased to 77 years. Thus, geriatric dentistry plays a crucial role in ensuring that this section of the population gets the right care for the maintenance of their oral health.

However, when you get right down to it, this is no simple task. Age-related dental problems are much more common than was once predicted; ironically, one of the contributing factors to this is the ability of elderly people to retain their natural teeth due to successful prior dental treatments involving sophisticated, modern methods. As they get older, they face the risks associated with accumulating oral problems.

Why is Geriatric Dentistry Critical for the Elderly?

The elderly are susceptible to all manner of dental problems, including teeth loss, dry mouth, oral cancer, periodontitis, and severe tooth pain. Let’s look at some of the central problems that geriatric dentistry can address.

Dry Mouth

Chronic dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is prevalent in the elderly population. Though the root cause remains unclear, it is generally associated with dehydration. The condition can result in cracked lips, fissured tongue, and caries, in turn affecting the individual’s taste, ability to feel pleasure, and general well-being.

Oral Mucosa Changes

When the oral mucous membrane – which encompasses the epithelium and connective tissue – changes, the patient may find himself more susceptible to the effects of pathogens. This could result in significant thinning over time, compounded by stippling. This also makes patients more susceptible to oral cancers.

Teeth Changes

As one age, the effects of chewing, stretching, and talking, manifest most commonly in the form of dental erosion; the outermost layer, enamel, fails to regenerate, exposing inner layers to all kinds of damage. Thus, it is really critical that this issue is routinely addressed through the practice of geriatric dentistry.

Periodontal Disease

The risk of facing periodontal disease is prevalent in elderly patients, the extent of which largely depends on each individual’s oral history. As one age, health conditions manifest in a way that makes one more susceptible to anaerobic bacteria which can infect the insides and cause inflammation.

While age doesn’t directly cause periodontal diseases, it certainly increases the chances of its development. A significant aspect of geriatric dentistry is developing the right methods and applying the right tools to combat this issue.

Successful Provision of Oral Care for the Elderly

Oral health therapists can focus on the following areas to address dental problems among the elderly:

  • Developing and maintaining a proper oral hygiene care routine, with a schedule indicating precisely at which hours of the day the patient’s dental assessments are to be done.
  • Cultivating a safe environment that is free of distractions, for successfully providing oral care.
  • Promoting trust among the elderly patients and the oral therapist or dentist.
  • Specialized training in the use of non-verbal gestures and cues, in the form of facial expressions, signs, symbols, and innovative modes of communication.
  • Developing cutting-edge communication techniques for patients who are suffering from dementia.

Soaking in the Significance of Geriatric Dentistry

Elderly patients are confronted with high levels of plaque, ailments, and debris, becoming dependent on others to take care of their oral health; this is no simple matter, and this is where professionals must come in.

Geriatric dentistry is not a one-stop solution for getting rid of the dental problems that elderly people face, but a comprehensive field of study that aims at continually and organically developing the right tools and methods to address them.


Sedation Dentistry: What, Why, How

Sedation Dentistry: What, Why, How

It is important for people, especially children, to visit the dentist for routine check-ups to ensure that their teeth are clean and oral hygiene is maintained. Dreading an appointment with the dentist is something of an old trope in modern civilization, but if the figures are to be believed, it’s also a stark, alarming reality; over a 100 million people across the world avoid visiting the dentist out of fear or anxiety. Therefore, the emergence of sedation dentistry is critical to the issue of dental health.

Do your nerves rattle when you’re perched on the dentist chair, dreading the first contact of his tools with your teeth? Do you freeze up while your palms get sweaty when you’re just sitting in the waiting room waiting for your turn? Fear not – today, there’s a reliable method that allows you to bypass the process while you get your dental health in place. While there are many apprehensions about the practice of sedation dentistry, it is becoming increasingly commonplace. Millions across the globe have benefited from this modern procedure.

What Exactly Does Sedation Dentistry Mean?

To put it very simply, a sedation dentist is a qualified professional who administers a sedative to induce a relaxed state in the patient, easing their anxieties and allowing for greater cooperation from him or her during a procedure.

Sedation dentistry involves the use of specialized sedative techniques, cutting-edge equipment, medications, and detailed analyses of patients, all geared toward successful dental treatments. Most dental boards make it mandatory for dentists to undergo training to become skilled in its practice and application.

Why is Sedation Dentistry Necessary?

The fear of pain and the anxieties associated with unsuccessful procedures are the primary causes for people to feel highly nervous before they visit the dentist. Over time, modern techniques have been developed to address this widespread problem.

Putting off a recommended treatment out of fear can become a long-term and recurring problem, to the extent that a patient’s oral health can be put in serious jeopardy. Sedation dentistry helps you get the attention your teeth need today in order to prevent bigger problems later.

States of Sedation During a Procedure

There are different levels of sedation that can be administered in dental procedures. The patient’s medical history is studied by the dentist, and his level of discomfort is carefully assessed to determine the level of sedation that is necessary.

  • Minimal Sedation: wherein the patient is fully awake but in a more relaxed state. You retain the ability to respond and verbal cues and gestures
  • Moderate Sedation: wherein the patient remains awake but in a relaxed, dreamlike state. Some patients at this level of sedation may not remember the process. In most cases, they are able to respond to verbal gestures.
  • Deep Sedation: wherein the patient is close to a state of unconsciousness, but he can be awakened if necessary.
  • General Anesthesia: wherein the patient is unconscious, and is only awakened after the procedure is complete

How it’s Done: The Various Methods of Sedation Dentistry

There are a number of tested and safe methods to leverage the relaxing effects of sedation dentistry:

  • Laughing Gas
    One of the most prevalent forms of sedation dentistry is the use of Nitrous Oxide, commonly known as “laughing gas”.The National Institutes of Health (NIH) have thoroughly researched all aspects of the use of laughing gas, concluding that it is absolutely safe, painless, and reliable. Nitrous Oxide greatly reduces your anxiety rather than just putting you to sleep.
  • Enteral
    Enteral sedation entails the use of a pill or liquid that is taken orally. Similar to local anesthetics, it is used along with nitrous oxide to diminish the levels of discomfort associated with dental procedures.
  • Intravenous (IV) Sedation
    Another widely-used method to combat dental anxiety involves the sedative being injected directly into the patient’s vein, ensuring that he enters a deeper level of sedation. With this method, you may still remain awake, but you won’t feel the effects of the procedure as much.
  • General Anesthesia
    General anesthesia is a form of sedation that allows you to fall asleep through the dental procedure. Essentially, it is a drug or set of drugs injected into the vein, often in combination with the inhalation of a gas-based anesthetic. Since this is a relatively strong method of sedation, recovery time at the dental clinic is imperative.

It’s Time to Schedule an Appointment

Don’t let your fears get in the way of properly maintaining your oral hygiene and dental health. As we’ve seen today, sedation dentistry covers a wide range of methods and tools to address your specific needs. Your dentist will carefully assess your situation and choose the right form of sedation to ensure that your procedure is smooth, safe, and successful.


Halitosis: Everything You Need to Know

Halitosis: Everything You Need to Know

Everyone faces the problem of bad breath every now and then. Let’s face it, the oft-ignored but dreaded “morning breath” is hardly an uncommon issue among human beings. On the other hand, one could temporarily experience bad breath as the result of an excessive intake of garlic, onions, or coffee; quite simply, no one is truly immune to the condition. But for some people, bad breath is a daily struggle, something that could have long-term harmful social and psychological effects.

Bad Breath is a Problem, Halitosis is a Condition

According to ‘Harvard Health’, around 30% of the population suffers from a recurring experience of bad breath – one that has a tangible impact, yet with little or nothing to offer in terms of a traceable cause.

Halitosis, derived from the Latin word for “bad breath”, most often shows up first thing in the morning, or right after a meal. People who have this condition suffer from the issue frequently, and in some cases, almost permanently. While the root cause of Halitosis remains unclear, medical professionals and researchers have established various methods of managing the problem.

Identifying and Treating Halitosis

If you routinely experience bad breath, and you are sure you cannot narrow it down to regular garlicky meals or poor oral hygiene, the chances are that you’re dealing with Halitosis. This ought not to be taken lightly; an appointment with your dentist is imperative.

You will most likely have to undergo a thorough examination to understand the nature and extent of your particular experience with this condition. This in itself could prove to be immensely beneficial, if effective long-term solutions for self-management, oral hygiene regulation, brushing techniques, flossing, and rinsing methods are provided.

Your dentist may also be able to examine your teeth to determine if your condition is caused by cavities needing to be filled; he can then take the required action. Techniques such as polishing and scaling can greatly reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease, further diminishing the possibility of Halitosis having long-term effects.

Potential Causes and Triggers of Halitosis

There are several underlying factors that may contribute to Halitosis, especially considering the fact that there are several sources of bacteria that could affect oral hygiene.

●Consumption of Certain Foods
Items such as garlic and onion, when absorbed in the bloodstream, can trigger bad breath. It may then become very difficult to reverse the effects.

●Oral Health Care
Good oral hygiene involves proper methods of brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups. If food particles remain in the mouth after a meal, they can collect in the teeth, gums, and tongue, and do significant damage that may not be easy to detect till it’s too late. Thus, oral health care should be taken seriously and inculcated as a regular discipline.

●Inadequate Cleaning of Dentures
When dentures are not cleaned properly and regularly, they may end up collecting food particles, fungi, bacteria, resulting in severe experiences of bad breath.

●Bacteria on the Tongue
Certain bacteria found in the back of the tongue may interact with amino acids in foods, resulting in odor-producing sulfur compounds.

●Periodontal Disease
A major symptom of periodontal disease, a condition of the gums, is bad breath. It may also cause an unpleasant sensation in the mouth. Consulting a dental professional is a must if one is dealing with this condition.

Xerostomia, or dry mouth, is often a key aspect of dealing with Halitosis. Saliva production can rapidly decrease, resulting in the mouth being unable to cleanse itself off food particles. Dry mouth can be caused by certain types of medication, regular tobacco use, salivary gland disorders, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Regular smoking of cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco, aside from being generally detrimental to one’s health, can stain the gums and teeth, making you immune to a number of oral problems. They can also directly cause bad breath and compound existing symptoms of Halitosis.

Managing Halitosis

There are no miracle cures for Halitosis but it’s not all bleak. The condition can be prevented or diminished if the following practices are routinely followed:

  • Brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly
  • Cleaning your tongue and the roof of your mouth as part of your cleaning routine: though the effects may not show immediately, this can make a great difference to your oral health and hygiene in the long run.
  • Taking out dentures, if they are being used, and cleaning them regularly.
  • Reducing or quitting smoking altogether
  • Consuming healthy foods that make you chew, thus allowing saliva to flow properly and do its job of cleaning the mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum may also prove to be beneficial.
  • Paying regular visits to the dentist: routine check-ups can help you understand your oral health better, and moreover, can prevent an onset of Halitosis. On the other hand, if you are already suffering from the condition, it is wise to consult a professional who can thoroughly examine your particular case and recommend a successful dental management plan.

Halitosis is Not a Life Sentence

Halitosis can cause a tremendous amount of distress, discomfort, and anxiety, to those who suffer from it, affecting their quality of life. However, by empowering themselves with the right information and inculcating the right methods, the condition can be successfully managed towards leading a healthier life.


Flossing – the Good, the Great, and the Flossome!

Flossing – the good, the great, and the Flossome!

You might brush every day, twice a day, and that might do very little to the plaque build-up in your teeth, so put your faith in flossing. Dental and oral care depends on more than just brushing your teeth twice daily. You also have to integrate flossing into your daily oral and dental care routine.

Many folks find the sensation of floss in between their teeth to be quite uncomfortable, and, as a result, avert from using dental floss as a part of their daily dental and oral routine. Brushing your teeth might not be enough to get rid of plaque and keep you safe from tooth decay. In order to reinforce your teeth against these issues, flossing ought to be a part of your daily routine. Doing so, you can keep that smile of yours white and pure while maintaining an optimum level of dental hygiene.

Food tends to end up in between your teeth, especially the starchy and sticky ones. These are the culprits when it comes to causing plaque build-up and ultimately, gum diseases. No wonder you see toothpicks in restaurants, as food getting in between your teeth doesn’t just give you an unsettling sensation, but is also bad for your overall dental health.

More often than not, you fail to notice the food that gets stuck in between your teeth. What’s more, you’ll brush and brush your teeth and still not entirely clean those spaces in between your teeth, but ultimately that’s where the problem lies. It is hard to flaunt a perfect smile with your pearly whites as these particles stain your teeth and make them look horrendous.

What does it do?

Let’s look at a great analogy: Say, you have 2 sweatshirts, one brown, and one white. Which one is more likely to show coffee stains? You guessed it right, the white one, obviously. Your teeth, if they are in constant contact with plaque, tend to stain with tartar. One effective way to remove the said stains would be to floss. Flossing daily would prevent any tartar buildup in your teeth, and give you the best smile possible.

We all know that one guy whom you would rather stay away from because every time he opens his mouth, ugh! Bad breath is a prevalent threat to general dental hygiene. One of the best ways to not be that guy would be flossing. Regular flossing gets rid of any food particle that is stuck in between your teeth, in turn cleansing your mouth from the bad breath.

How to floss?

If you are someone who is dental health-conscious, you would know for a fact that just brushing isn’t enough to keep your teeth clean. You HAVE to floss and you HAVE to do it RIGHT. Before we go into the how part of it, we will see the when part of it. Doing it before brushing your teeth would be ideal, as that gets rid of any remnant bacteria or plaque that comes out from in between your teeth, in turn making the cleaning process easier.

Flosses come in all shapes and sizes. Based on what works for you, you can choose your type of floss. It ranges from your standard thin, nylon floss, super flosses that help you in case you have braces on, to dental tape that comes in handy if you have gaps in between your teeth.

You can also make a choice as to getting flavored or non-flavored variants if need be, as those are widely available as well. Plus, there are also options to choose between wax-coated or non-wax-coated flosses.

You could even resort to floss picks that are daily disposable, as they are easy to use and also reach every nook and corner of your mouth that might be hard to reach with regular floss.

Another option when it comes to flossing is the electric water flosser which uses water pressure to remove the plaque from in between the teeth.

Now for the how part: Make sure to spend 5 to 10 minutes, thoroughly running the floss between every gap between the teeth to ensure perfect cleaning. Just doing it for the front teeth and being done with it is of no avail, as the risk of gum disease doesn’t go away as long as some semblance of plaque stays in your mouth.


Flossing is a practice that just cannot be ignored by anyone who makes a choice to be dental health-conscious. At face value, it might seem like a chore, but every minute that you do it is a minute that you prolong your teeth’ health. So make the right decision, and begin flossing today!


To Eat or Not to Eat – A dental Conundrum

To Eat or Not to Eat – A dental Conundrum

Don’t you like chocolate? Of course, you like chocolate. There’s nothing wrong with liking sweet food. But keep this in mind. Eating sugary, starch-filled, sweet foods doesn’t just make you happy and healthy, it feeds the bacteria in your tooth as well. So before you go ahead eating the whole box of chocolates you bought yesterday, just give your oral hygiene a thought.

Excess of sweets can cause not just tooth decay and plaque build-up, it can also lead to adverse problems such as gum disease. Let’s take a look at the logic behind it. Once you are done eating, these sugars react with this pre-existent plaque, resulting in the formation of acids, which weaken your enamel. Once you have weak enamel, you open doors to tooth decay and gum diseases, in addition to an increase in plaque build-up as well.

This blog post will be your guide through what kind of food that you would have to avoid, and what to eat if you are planning on maintaining your oral hygiene at an optimal level.

What should I eat?

It is imperative that your diet is rich in fiber if you are planning on maintaining near-perfect oral hygiene. Fiber can stimulate your salivary glands, and get you salivating. You might remember this from your elementary biology lessons, saliva helps in breaking down food. Well get ready for a surprise, they don’t do just that.

Your saliva is also a neutralizing agent to the acid formation that happens once you eat sugary or starch-filled food. 20 minutes after you have your sweet food, your saliva starts working on the acid to make it neutral and protects your enamel. Saliva has this ability because of its composition that includes calcium and phosphate. It also replenishes your mineral deposits in the areas from which the acid eroded the minerals.

This is exactly why chocolate was touched upon in the beginning – Processed chocolate which contains artificial sweeteners might be bad for your teeth, but cocoa nibs are definitely one of the good guys when it comes to ensuring your dental and oral hygiene.

Stick with cocoa pits instead of going for full-blown processed chocolate bars with sugar and whatnot, as studies have concluded that cocoa helps in getting rid of the harmful bacteria in your mouth.

A diet filled with Vitamin K2 is ideal for healthy teeth. Vitamin K2 is an important factor that helps keep your teeth clean and your body healthy as they provide phosphorus, which strengthens your enamel and muscle mass in general.

Dairy products are an excellent source of K2, while you can also resort to foods such as eggs, chicken, and beef for a steady supply of K2.

What should I not?

Let’s get the most obvious out of the way first. If you want healthy teeth, avoid smoking and drinking. Alcohol and smoking would dry your mouth out. As you now know the benefits of saliva, think about what a dry mouth would lead to – An increase in the acid effect, resulting in weak enamel, and ultimately plaque build-up, gum disease, and decay.

Stay away from sticky sweets. As mentioned before, these sweet nourish the bad bacteria present in our mouths, ultimately leaving your mouth unprotected against bacterial invasions.

Once again, as mentioned before, too much starch isn’t good for you. Starch is hard to break up and consume, so remnants of it remain in your mouth, attracting more and more plaque as it stays. So scoot away from bread, potato chips, and rice as much as you can.

Carbonated drinks or sodas are laced to the brim with added sugar. Hence increased consumption of these drinks would leave your mouth dry and susceptible to bacterial attacks more often than not. Make sure that your encounters with soda are not frequent, while an occasional drink wouldn’t hurt as much as gorging on it.

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Apart from maintaining the mentioned diet and avoiding said foods, it is also imperative to note that brushing twice a day and flossing regularly would decrease your risks of total tooth decay and damage.

Apart from that, you should also be sure to have bi-yearly visits to your dentist. Dr.Latha’s DentalKraft is your go-to if you are looking for dentists near Pondicherry or Kalapet. Dr.Latha’s DentalKraft totes some of the best dentists in Pondicherry. Filled with dentists who are not only professional but also caring, you can never go wrong with Dr.Latha’s DentalKraft, be it any issue ranging from plaque clean up to treating of gum diseases.

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