Is Chocolate Bad for Your Teeth?

Whenever you devour a bar of chocolate, do you think how it will affect your teeth? As much as you might despise thinking about it, eating chocolate is bad for your teeth. Although it has some pros, the cons of eating chocolate easily outweigh them. First, like coffee, cigarettes and red wine, chocolate can stain your teeth. Dark chocolate, especially, is a potential culprit of causing deep stains, which can only be removed through professional cleaning methods.

Another disadvantage of eating chocolate is that it promotes bacterial growth. Streptococcus, the bacteria typically known for causing “strep throat”, can also cause tooth decay. Chocolate contains sugar, something that is infamous for causing cavities and tooth decay. However, this sugar content is dissolved quickly and thus has no time to increase the level of acids (which is responsible for causing plaque).

It is important to keep in mind that chocolate is not all bad for our teeth. Dark chocolate especially has many antioxidants that stop the growth of certain bacteria that produce enamel eroding acids. Chocolate also has another beneficial ingredient, the cocoa butter, which acts as a teeth coating and prevents plaque from sticking to our teeth.

However, one should remember that the chocolate we consume today is not available to us in its purest form and is adulterated to taste better. All these added flavors and preservatives reduce the benefits of chocolate, both on our physical and oral health. It is therefore important that you keep your chocolate consumption in check and take it more seriously.

Chocolate has its own good and bad effects on both our body and teeth. These effects will be dependent on the type of chocolate and the quantity in which it is consumed. If you do eat a lot of chocolate, make sure you schedule regular checkups with your dentist to ensure your teeth aren’t affected by it.

Why Snoring Can Be More Than Just Annoying?

Snoring is typically common in men and overweight people, but can affect just about anyone. You may flick away the habit as merely ‘annoying’ or ‘embarrassing’, but it is surely more than that. Some of the causes and effects of snoring are relatively benign, but the condition can also be a warning sign of much more severe health issues, which if left untreated, could prove fatal. Snoring is usually the result of:

  • Blocked nasal airways
  • Bad muscle tone in the tongue and throat
  • Long soft uvula and/or palate
  • Large throat tissue

Health Risks Associated With Snoring

Snoring is not only annoying but can also prove hazardous for your health, both physical and oral, if not treated appropriately. Some of these health problems include:

Xerostomia is a lack of salivary production in the mouth which causes it to dry and in turn triggers various oral health problems, such as bad breath, tooth decay, burning mouth syndrome, gum disease, sores and infections. Saliva is important for cleansing the mouth as it washes away the food debris, acids and bacteria. Absence of saliva also encourages the accumulation of dead cells in the mouth which in turns causes a foul smell. Additionally, without saliva, dangerous bacteria in our mouths can grow at a quick rate and result in painful infections and sores.

  • Your sleep will be disrupted frequently. Snoring can wake you up in the middle of your sleep without you even realizing it. This is especially harmful if you are a light sleeper or have trouble going back to sleep.
  • People who snore try to keep the muscles of their throat tight enough to ensure proper airflow, which can lead to light sleeping.
  • You will get a poor night’s sleep. Frequent sleep disruptions and uncomfortable sleeping can result in constricted blood vessels in the lungs that can eventually lead to pulmonary hypertension.
  • Disturbed sleep patterns and an exhausted mind and body will usually protest in the form of headaches
  • Obesity
  • Feeling weary and sleepy during the daytime. When you don’t get a good night’s sleep, it is no surprise that you will not function well during the day. Your performance will be affected and you are likely to have mood swings.

All these health risks show why you should pay more close attention to your snoring habit and get it fixed without delay.

How to Prevent Crooked Teeth

There are both health and aesthetic concerns attached with crooked teeth. Not only do they lead to gum disease, they also cause speech problems. For helping children and adults to prevent crooked teeth, it is important that we practice good oral hygiene habits from childhood.

As bad as they look, crooked teeth can also cause bad breath. Unless you have eaten raw garlic chunks, the bacteria present in our mouth usually cause bad breath, which is difficult to eliminate in the presence of crooked teeth. Other problems related to crooked teeth are swallowing problems, speech difficulties or a change in facial appearance.

The Role of Genetics

Sadly, even if you practice a good dental hygiene regime religiously, you may still end up dealing with crooked teeth. This happens because of genetics. If one of your parents had crooked teeth, chances are you and your child can fall victim to it. However, this does not mean in any way that you should not look after your teeth. Regular dental hygiene practices and frequent visits to your dentist can assist in preventing other dental conditions caused by crooked teeth.

Early Detection Helps

Closely monitor your own and your child’s teeth and gums so you can identify crooked teeth. When you detect them early, it helps to have them corrected as they grow. This early detection may also prevent the need for braces. Thanks to the recent dental correction methods, such as Invisalign, patients do not need to rely on bulky metal braces to correct their smile.

A few studies have established that a better-looking smile boosts your self-confidence. This enhanced level of self-esteem also leads to better cognitive ability. For this reason, make sure you keep your children from thumb or dummy sucking as soon as possible, so that they don’t develop crooked teeth.

The Importance of Wearing a Mouth Guard When Playing Sports

A mouth guard is a crucial piece of sports equipment that must be worn while playing all sports, particularly contact sports. These sports include hockey, skateboarding, football, boxing and even gymnastics. By wearing a mouth guard, you make sure any activity posing a risk of injury to the face or mouth can be prevented. While some people believe a mouth guard is not important if you are wearing braces, they should know that a mouth guard not only protects your tongue, cheeks, lips and teeth from injury but it can offer protection to your braces’ brackets and wires.

The kind of dental injuries that can occur in the absence of a mouth guard are broken teeth, fractured bridgework or crowns, cheek and lip injuries, fractured jaws, root damage to the teeth and concussions. Mouth guards are obligatory in contact sports, such as hockey, boxing and football, as there is a greater risk of injury. Players in other sports, such as wrestling, volleyball, baseball, and basketball can also benefit from a mouth guard as they will reduce the risk of injuries to the mouth.

Using a mouth guard reduces the risk of tooth dislocations, tooth fractures and soft tissue cuts while playing sports. The guards also protects efficiently against jaw fractures and concussions as they absorb the energy of a forceful blow to the chin.

Generally, there are three kinds of protective mouth guards:

  • Stock: Preformed and ready to wear
  • Boil and Bite: These mouth guards are customized and molded by softening in boiling water
  • Custom-made: Tailor-made by a dentist to fit an individual’s mouth, providing maximum protection

Mouth guards may vary in price and comfort level but they all are designed to provide maximum protection. According to The American Dental Association that the most effective mouth guards should be:

  • Easy to clean
  • Resilient
  • Tear-resistant and durable
  • Should not obstruct your breathing
  • Comfortable

Regardless of the type of mouth guard you choose, you should wear one at all times when playing any sport.

What Your Dental Hygienist Wishes You Knew

For starters, your dental hygienist genuinely wishes you would stop avoiding them and visit only when things get out of hand. They want you to know that early visits are not only physically beneficial for you, but also financially. As you go along, your dental hygienist also secretly wishes you knew that:

  • Cavities do not largely contribute to tooth loss. You would be surprised to know that more than cavities, periodontal disease contributes to tooth loss. Dental hygienists spend most of their career portion trying to diagnose, prevent, fight and control the severely damaging effects of gum disease. It is therefore important that you set your next preventative appointment with your dentist and inquire about your periodontal health.
  • You will not get cancer from dental X-rays. What most patients presume and fret about these days is that dental x-rays can cause cancer. Conversely, you are exposed to more radiation standing outside in the sun for half an hour than you are from a complete set of oral x-rays.
  • Being straightforward and honest with your dental hygienist and other dental care professionals about your medical history will save a lot of time. Certain medical conditions have a significant overall impact on your dental health. Dentists are trained to assess medical histories and research the connection between dental health and general health.

Being honest and direct with your dental hygienist will save not only time, but can also put a stop to life-threatening complexities as you can get prompt dental care. Furthermore, your dentist can design your periodontal and/or preventative care based on your unique needs.

So, now that you are aware of some of the things your dental hygienist wishes you knew, pay heed to them in order to effectively maintain your oral health and avoid severe dental complications.

How to Avoid the Side Effects of Teeth Whitening?

Your smile is precious, and it makes sense you would want to keep it in a way that is most visually appealing… but at what cost? Many people go for teeth whitening options to give those pearly whites an added boost of shine and whiteness, but few are actually concerned about its harmful side effects. It is in no way implied you should completely say no to teeth whitening, but just work towards avoiding its negative effects so you will be left with a set of healthy and happy teeth.

  • Don’t overdo it. The most common side effects that come with teeth whitening are sensitivity and soft tissue irritation. So, whether you are using whitening strips or fruit juice (lemon, strawberry, etc), avoid overusing it. This is because the acid or whitening material in excess might affect your tooth enamel and cause sensitivity.
  • Avoid breathing through the mouth right after a teeth whitening session, and also stay away from consuming hot or cold foods. This is because shortly after the teeth are whitened, they are sensitive and so these actions can cause even more discomfort.
  • If you have sensitive teeth and must use whitening products on them, remember to switch your regular toothpaste with a ‘sensitive’ one for the time being, or even for a longer period of time. You can also rub the anti-sensitivity toothpaste on your teeth and leave it for about thirty minutes.
  • Be careful when putting the whitening gel on your teeth. Avoid your gums from coming in contact with the gel as it can cause soreness.

Although temporary, the side effects of teeth whitening can cause inconvenience and so you should take the necessary precautionary steps beforehand. This way, you can derive maximum benefit from the teeth whitening treatment you undergo.