The most common reasons are staining from coffee/tea/red wine or smoking. This can be removed with a thorough scale and polish by your Dental Hygienist. Teeth are naturally darker than “pure white” but if you would like to whiten them, discuss this with your Dentist or Dental Hygienist. There are Whitening Programmes available to suit everyone, to be done either at home or in the dental practice.
Bleeding Gums/Red and puffy gums
Inflamed and red gums are irritated by plaque and calculus. Once plaque and calculus, which is the source of the irritation has been removed, your gums will become pink and healthy again. Smoking can also be a contributing factor to poor gum health.
There can be a variety of reasons. It could be plaque between your teeth that has been there for some time or a tooth abscess. If you have a post nasal drip from sinus or hay fever, there can be a bad taste from constant mouth breathing.
Spaces beginning to appear between the teeth
Acid Damage; what is it and how does it affect my mouth?
Acid damage or erosion as it is also more commonly known is the process that causes the enamel & dentine on your teeth to dissolve away. The acid can come from either two sources: inside the person = stomach or outside the person = food or drink.
The acid from foods & drinks corrodes or breaks down tooth enamel when it comes into contact with your teeth. Sometimes the teeth have a worn or ‘sharp/edgy’ look to them. This is not normally painful although sensitivity can occur when erosion happens rapidly as is the case with medical conditions such as Bulimia.
There are two sorts of acid, although they cause the same destruction they come from completely different sources. One being from food/drinks that we put into our mouth, the other from regurgitation of acid from the stomach.
The best option to treat the regurgitation is by seeing your Doctor.
The latest information from the May 2012 NZDA News recommends diluting fruit juice with the same amount of water and not brushing your teeth for at least 40 minutes afterwards. The acid softens the teeth, if you brush straight afterwards you are going to brush away something like 2000 times more tooth tissue than otherwise would be the case. By waiting it gives the saliva time to neutralize the acidity. If you have too much acid or if you are snacking in between meals the saliva never gets a chance to neutralize the acid properly.
Here are some other helpful tips to aid with the acid caused by food/drinks:
- Limit acidic products & fizzy drinks to mealtimes only
- Drinks should be drunk quickly without holding in or “swishing” around your mouth. Or use a straw to avoid long contact with your teeth.
- Chew sugar-free gum after eating (few a few minutes) to help produce more saliva.
- Finish with a meal of cheese or milk as this will help neutralize the acid.
- Fruit is better to have fresh rather than juiced.
Food groups that help muscles and bones, also help teeth and gums. Breads and cereals are rich in Vitamin B, while fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C, both of which contribute to healthy gum tissue. Lean meat, fish & poultry provide magnesium and zinc for healthy teeth.
Milk and cheese are rich in calcium and phosphate and encourage remineralization. All foods increase the saliva production and saliva helps to stabilize the pH to 7 (neutral) in the mouth.
It is also really important to include tongue brushing in your daily oral hygiene routine! There is a selection of “bad-breath” generating bacteria that live on your tongue, not to mention decaying food particles, fungi (such as Candida) and dead cells all living near the dorsal area of the tongue!
You’ll need to use a nice soft tooth brush or a special tool (called a tongue scraper) to help clean this area. Just a couple of strokes moving from the back of the tongue forwards, then rinse well afterwards. Be careful not to place the brush or tool too far to the back of your tongue as you may cause dry reaching.
Tooth Whitening …
Many people consider white teeth to be an attractive feature of a smile. A child’s deciduous teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth that follow. As a person ages the adult teeth often become darker, This darkening is due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous and the yellower dentine thickens. Teeth can also become stained by bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco.
As white teeth are subconsciously associated with youth, they become more desirable. The procedure to beach teeth uses oxidizing agents such as hydrogen perioxide or carbamide peroxide to lighten the shade of the tooth. The oxidizing agent penetrates the porosities in the rod like crystal structure of enamel and oxidizes the interprismatic stain deposits. Over time a period of time the dentine layer which lies underneath the enamel is also bleached. Tooth bleaching will generally last from 5-7 years, with variations from factors such as cigarette smoking, and tea and coffee consumption.
Useful Products we Recommend for:
- sensodyne, colgate sensitivepro, toothmousse
- Biotene rinse, gel, GC drymouth gel
- superfloss, interproximal brushes, toothmousse
- polident tablets, denture brush
- warm salt water rinses
- Blis K12 Breath Kit- probiotic lozengers and mouth rinse to help promote long term fresh breath , tongue scraper
Jen’s Favorite Products:
·Oral B Tooth & Gum Care ..... the added Fluoride makes this a great daily rinse that is gentle enough to be used every day and is alcohol free.
·Jacks Proxy Brushes .... the variety of sizes makes them easy to use in all mouths.
Maree’s Favourite Products:
The new G.U.M Flossbrush – I like this as its easy to use & gets to those hard to reach areas at the back of the mouth. Great fun colours available!
Recaldent Gum – this is excellent if you have a dry mouth and also comes in a berry or mint flavour.
Sensodyne Rapid Relief Toothpaste – this is new by Sensodyne and it is a faster working toothpaste for sensitivity … they claim it works within 60 seconds of using! It’s quick and simple to use and gives you the rapid relief if you are suffering from sensitive teeth.
Bev’s Favourite Products:
Oral-B Satin Tape or Floss: Floss helps remove plaque and particles of food from between your teeth and just below the gum line. The satin-like feel of either Oral-B Satin Tape or Floss is gentle on your gums and comfortable on your fingers, even when wet. The taste of mint on contact leaves a fresh taste in your mouth after flossing.
Colgate Sensitive Pro-Relief Toothpaste: A new toothpaste from Colgate for sensitive teeth for instant and lasting relief. If sensitivity is localized to a few teeth this can be applied directly to each tooth as well as being used as toothpaste.
Oral-B Superfloss – This is great for orthodontic braces and bridges. The floss has a stiffened end which makes it easier to get into small spaces between brackets and spongy floss to clean around the brackets and under bridges.
Kathy’s Favorite Products:
Electric Tooth Brush –
Electric toothbrushes are more effective than a manual tooth brush with removing plaque better and faster, their more advanced designs are also able to get at hard-to-clean areas like the backs of molars and the gum line, thus helping to prevent cavities and gingivitis.
Tooth Mousse Plus- Is a great product for people who suffer from decay, sensitivity, dry mouth, tooth wear, white spots or having whitening. It provides extra protection for your teeth, easy to use and tastes delicious.