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Featured Healthy Tips

Missing Teeth

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As soon as a tooth is lost the bone will degenerate and the teeth on either side will shift or tip into the empty space. If there is a tooth directly above or below the space it will over erupt, as there will not be anything to prevent it from coming out of the gum tissue. The majority of bone degeneration will occur within the first six months but will slowly continue for years. The movement of the adjacent teeth will not occur immediately; rather it will become noticeable after three to five years. How fast it occurs will depend on the density of bone in the area, your bite and how well your teeth occlude or interlock with each other.

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If you have missing teeth and you do not replace them, these movements will occur. These movements may create gum problems and /or decay and could lead to the loss of other teeth. As you lose more teeth, you will be forced to chew in other areas, and this often leads to tooth fracture from overloading, excessive wear and or TMJ (jaw joint) problems. Eventually more extensive and expensive dentistry may be required in the future.

There are several reasons that you want to replace a missing tooth or teeth. A tooth has many functions some being to chew, to speak, to keep the facial muscles and tissue in a proper position, to smile, and to keep the other teeth from shifting. Once a tooth is lost this whole balance is disrupted and it leads to many various problems.

For certain teeth, such as your wisdom teeth, it is unlikely that you will need to replace them. As adults we have three molar teeth and we do most (about 80%) of our chewing from the first molar to the first premolar/canine area. About 20% is done in the second molar area, and very little is done in the wisdom teeth area. Therefore, we seldom miss or need our wisdom teeth if they are absent or removed. The second molar does at times need replacing, depending on each individual’s situation.

missing teeth of 6 yrs. old girl……missing baby teeth
In children, baby teeth maintain space for the developing permanent teeth. If baby teeth are lost early, crowding problems may be unnecessarily created and may require orthodontic treatment to correct. Baby teeth are generally not replaced with another tooth; however, an appliance (space maintainer) is often placed until the permanent tooth erupts.

Source: This article was published in WhereinCity Medical on 22nd. Oct.2009

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Health Alert

Mouthwashes are Injurious to Oral Cavity

The mouth washes which   some of us use are not good for the oral health.
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1. The mouth washes bring about the mucosal changes.

2. No doubt the mouth washes are bactericidal but later they lead to the accumulation of fungus.

3. Most of the mouth washes which we use are alcohol based and their long term effect is same on the teeth as caused by alcohol and cigratte on the teeth.

Mouth washes should not be used as a daily supplement to hide the bad breath they are to be used just for 2-3 weeks and not beyond that,most of the mouth washes are to be used after the surgery when patient is not able to brush the teeth to keep the good oral hygeine and they should be strictly be prescribed by the dental surgeon/physician.

Alcohol free mouth washes should be used as the alcohol based mouth washes lead to xerostomia (dryness of mouth) which further leads to aggravation of bacteria and further many dental diseases,the long term use of mouth washes (alcohol based) cause the same effect as caused by alcohol and cigrattes on the teeth.

The mouth washes which we take from the chemists contain chlorhexidine gluconate which when taken in excess or without prescription by the doctor may cause gastric upsets.

The immunocompromised patients whose immune system is weak if they take mouth washes without prescriotion by the doctor may end up with many systemic diseases.

Mouth washes should  also be avoided in infants…mostly people take mouth washes to hide the bad breath and when their is not adequate water over the tongue…but this is a wrong concept.

Normal saline is recommended onspite of using mouth washes to keep up the good oral hygeine.

Source:http://www.whereincity.com/medical/topic/dental-health/articles/679.htm

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All-about-tooth-and-tooth-therapy

Crowded Teeth

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What is Crowded or Crooked teeth?
Crowded or crooked teeth that overlap, protrude, or recess in a haphazard fashion can often be perceived as a personal disfigurement. If you feel embarassed to smile, then you should consider having your teeth straightened out.
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Apart from looking aesthetically unpleasing, crowded teeth also affect the general dental condition of your mouth. They tend to attract food deposits, which get trapped in the narrow spaces, and are difficult to keep clean with routine oral hygiene. This leads to higher incidence of tooth decay and gum disease.

What causes orthodontic problems ?

Most orthodontic problems like crowding,spacing,protrusion,extra or missing teeth and jaw growth problemshave a genetic origin.

Why is treatment important ?
Crooked,crowded and irregular teeth are hard to clean and maintain,these problems can contribute to tooth decay,gum problems and tooth loss.A bad bite can also cause an abnormal wear of tooth surfaces,difficulty in chewing,speaking and abnorml stress on supporting bone and tissueand possible joint problems,children and adultswhose malocclusion are left untreated may go through life feeling self conciousness,hiding their smiles with tight lips or keeping a protective hand.

The objective of any corrective therapy is to create an illusion of well-aligned teeth in relation to lip position when you smile. Such an illusion can sometimes be achieved by means of cosmetic contouring, the technical term used to reshape teeth. In more involved cases, it may be necessary to use bonding to build-out a portion of a tooth to create the impression of alignment. As the cases get more complex, we may need to veneer or crown the teeth to achieve the necessary objective.
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A child with severely crowded teeth. Such a case will need orthodontic treatment to achieve an acceptable result.
It may be necessary on occasion to extract certain teeth in conjunction with orthodontics, particularly in cases where crowding is extreme.

What about the problems of teenagers ?
When you think of orthodontics you tend to think of teenagers.And the fact is that orthodontic treatment in most cases begins between 9 and 14 years of age.It is important to know for the parents that some orthodontic problems are easier to correct in the early stages.

Does orthodontic treatment have any harmful effects ?

There is some discomfort or pain in the teeth after fixing the braces,which usually subsides within a week,the myth that the orthodontic treatment weakens the tooth is not correct.

Does extraction of teeth necessary for orthodontic treatment  ?
It depends on the severity of the problem,severly crowded,irregular teeth which are out of alignment cannot be aligned without the extraction of teethand no residual space is left after the treatment.

Till some years ago, orthodontic treatment was the only solution to crowded teeth. But now we have an alternative in cosmetic dentistry. We may add that orthodontics is still widely used in the younger population, while cosmetic procedures are more useful in professionals who may not have the time necessary to carry out the orthodontic procedures. Cosmetic dentistry is also useful in the older generation, who may not have an ideal gum or bone condition necessary to withstand the orthodontic forces.
Laminating with ceramic veneers can provide a pleasing result. This patient is a female adult who did not have the time to go in for orthodontic treatment. The protruding tooth was reduced to first bring it into alignment with the other teeth, and then both the front teeth were veneered.
The other two side teeth were cosmetically contoured to change their alignment, thus giving a fairly acceptable result.

Crowded teeth may require a combination of treatments in order to achieve an aesthetically and functionally satisfactory result. Individual problems require individual solutions, and the final decision about the right treatment procedure for you will be made by your dentist.


Resources:

http://www.lakshdeep.com/crowded.htm
http://www.whereincity.com/medical/topic/dental-health/articles/670.htm

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Featured

What Makes Our Teeth Resilient to Wear and Tear

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Despite all the crunching and munching at every meal, our teeth remain stronger to go under some more tests each day, and now   researchers have attributed this resilience to the microscopic “basket-weave” structure of human tooth enamel.

Tooth enamel, which forms the outer coating of teeth, is a strong but brittle substance.

Although the brittleness of teeth is comparable to that of glass, they can last a lifetime without cracking to pieces.

“It’s a bit of a mystery as to why they don’t just fall apart,” Live Science quoted co-author of the new study Brian Lawn, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, as saying.

For the study, the researchers extracted teeth from humans, sea otters and a few other animals, and subjected them to loading from a metal rod, sort of a worst-case scenario bite.

Lawn explained that the study was aimed to “see how much force [the teeth] could withstand before they break.”

The team found that the basket-weave-like microstructure of the enamel kept any cracks that did form from propagating through the enamel and breaking apart the tooth.

This finding explains why dentists can examine the teeth of older people and find that “the teeth are full of cracks, and yet the teeth remain intact,” said Lawn.

Enamel thickness and the size of teeth can also affect how resilient they are to a lifetime of chomping.
Anthropologists could use the above information about enamel to piece together dental evolution in primates and animals in general.

They can even use it to speculate what early humans might have chowed down on.

The structure of enamel could also be used to develop similarly resilient substances, including better replacement teeth.

Click to see:->Prevention of Tooth Dekay

Sources: The Times Of India

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Tooth Abscess (Dental Abscess)

What is a Tooth Or Dental abscess?

A Tooth abscess or Dental abscess occurs when the nerve of a tooth has become infected. This is usually due to dental decay, but may also be caused by injury to the tooth. Pus is formed, which can only escape through the root of the tooth. This causes pressure under the tooth, which makes it painful if touched. The pain is intense and throbbing may affect the side of the face.

You may click to see pictures of different tooth abscess

An abscess usually develops as a complication of dental caries, which gradually destroys the layer of enamel on the outside of the tooth and the inner dentin, allowing bacteria to invade the soft central core, or pulp, of the tooth. Eventually, a dental abscess may form. the pulp may also become infected if a tooth is damaged by a blow to the mouth.

An abscess may also form as a result of certain forms of gum disease. Periodontitis is usually caused by a buildup of dental plaque in a pocket that forms between a tooth and gum.

Usually the abscess originates from a bacterial infection that has accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth. This is usually but not always associated with what is commonly described as a dull throbbing excruciating ache.

A tooth abscess typically originates from dead pulp tissue, usually caused by untreated tooth decay, cracked teeth or extensive periodontal disease. A failed root canal treatment may also create a similar abscess.

There are two types of dental abscess. A periapical abscess starts in the dental pulp and is most common. A periodontal abscess begins in the supporting bone and tissue structures of the teeth.

A dental abscess can be extremely painful and may cause the affected tooth to loosen in its socket.

What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of an acute tooth abscess is a toothache or a persistent, throbbing pain at the site of the infection.Putting pressure or warmth on the tooth can induce extreme pain.

In some cases, a tooth abscess may perforate bone and start draining into the surrounding tissues creating local facial swelling. The lymph glands in the neck in some cases will become swollen and tender in response to the infection.
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The main symptoms of a dental abscess develop gradually and may include:-

· Dull aching around either or both of the cheekbones.
· Severe pain on touching the affected tooth and on biting or chewing.
· Loosening of the affected tooth.
· Red, tender swelling of the gum over the root of the tooth.
· Release of pus into the mouth.

If the abscess is not treated, the infection may make a channel from the tooth to the surface of the gum, and a painful swelling, known as a gumboil, may form. If the gumboil bursts, foul-tasting pus is released and the pain decreases. In some cases, the channel may persist, leading to a chronic abscess that discharges pus periodically. If the infection spreads to surrounding tissues, your face may become swollen and painful, and you may also develop a fever. If you suspect that you have a dental abscess, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible.

What should you do if you get a dental abscess?

You should seek advice from a dentist urgently to get the abscess drained. It may be possible to drain the pus through the tooth itself so the tooth can be saved (root canal treatment). If not, the tooth will need to be extracted to prevent the abscess recurring.

Sometimes, a dental abscess may burst. This allows the pus to drain and can ease the pain. The process can be encouraged by using a hot salt-water mouthwash (a teaspoon of salt to a cup of water).

Do not apply any heat directly to the face – a hot-water bottle, for example – as this will make the swelling worse. However, something cold on the face may ease the swelling, while painkillers occasionally help reduce the pain. In severe cases, antibiotics may be necessary.

Treatment:
Your dentist will ask you about your symptoms and examine your teeth and gums. He or she may take an x-ray of your mouth to confirm the diagnosis.

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One treatment for an abscessed tooth is to extract it, thereby removing the source of infection. However, in select cases a root filling or root canal therapy may be able to save the tooth by cleaning the source of infection in the pulp chamber and root canal system (for more information see Root canal therapy). Another possible treatment of an abscessed tooth is an invasive surgery through the cheek.The doctor will then remove the tooth, ridding the source of infection. Finally, the doctor will insert a tube through the cheek routing it the site of the tooth so any other pus may drain out through the tube in to either a Jackson-Pratt bulb or directly onto a surgical sponge.

If the abscess has been caused by decay, your dentist may try to save tooth. under local anesthesia, a hole is drilled through the top of the tooth to release the pus and relieve the pain. if there is a gumboil, a small cut may be made in the boil to drain the pus. The cavity is then cleaned with an antiseptic solution. a small tube may be left in place for a few days to allow any remaining pus to drain, and you will probably be given a course of antibiotics. Once the infection has cleared up, you will probably need root canal treatment. If it is not possible to save the tooth, it will be extracted.

To treat an abscess caused by gum disease, your dentist may use a probe to scrape out the plaque from the pocket between the affected tooth and gum. afterward, the pocket is washed out with an antiseptic solution. In severe cases, the tooth may be extracted.

What is the prognosis?
Most treatment is successful, but a small area of infection may persist and further treatment may be required.

Untreated Consequences:
An untreated severe tooth abscess may become large enough to perforate bone and extend into the soft tissue. From there it follows the path of least resistance. Largely dependent on the location of the infected tooth; the thickness of bone, muscle and fascia attachments, the infection then spreads either internally or externally.

External drainage may begin as a boil which bursts allowing pus drainage from the abscess, intraorally (usually through the gum) or extra orally. Chronic drainage will allow an epithelial lining to form in this communication to form a pus draining canal (fistula). Sometimes this type of drainage will immediately relieve some of the painful symptoms associated with the pressure.

Internal drainage is of more concern as growing infection makes space within the tissues surrounding the infection. Severe complications requiring immediate hospitalisation include Ludwig’s angina, which is a combination of growing infection and cellulitis which closes the airway space causing suffocation in extreme cases. Also infection can spread down the tissue spaces to the mediastinum which has significant consequences on the vital organs such as the heart. Another complication, usually from upper teeth, is a risk of septicaemia (infection of the blood), from connecting into blood vessels. Brain abscess, while extremely rare, is also a possibility.

Depending on the severity of the infection, the sufferer may feel only mildly ill, or may in extreme cases require hospital care.

How can a dental abscess be avoided?

Keeping your teeth healthy is the best way to prevent dental abscess.
Try to avoid cavities by reducing your intake of sugary foods and drinks – have them as an occasional treat, at mealtimes only. Brush your teeth twice daily using a toothpaste containing fluoride. To get the most benefit from the fluoride, do not rinse the toothpaste away after brushing.

Visit your dentist regularly, at agreed intervals. This way, problems can be diagnosed early and your treatment will be more straightforward.Remember that even if the abscess drains by itself, you should seek advice from your dentist for further assessment.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose
Resources:
http://www.charak.com/DiseasePage.asp?thx=1&id=68
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tooth_abscess
http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/dentalabscess.htm
http://www.dentalgentlecare.com/decay_process.htm

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