Posts for tag: mississauga
We all love (well, most of us!) that morning cup of coffee. Some of us have it black, and some of us have it with milk or cream and sugar. Well, it turns out, the effect of coffee on our teeth is primarily related to the way we drink our coffee. So, how can coffee affect our teeth?
Staining Our Teeth?
Yes! Staining occurs from the pigment in the foods and drinks we consume. Coffee, on its own, has a very dark pigment and therefore contributes mainly to staining on tooth surfaces. If you add milk or cream to your coffee, the pigment is not as dark, but it can still contribute to staining. Getting stained teeth from coffee has to do with your genetics, saliva and the type of bacteria in your mouth.
Yes! Because coffee has an acidic PH level, it can contribute to tooth erosion. It is possible that over time, tooth erosion can occur. Also, coffee has a diuretic effect, meaning it contributes to fluid loss, which can cause a dry mouth. Have a glass of water right after your coffee, to rinse out the coffee from your mouth as well as replenish fluid.
Halitosis? (Bad breath)
Yes! Coffee consumption can lead to bad breath because it gets trapped in the rough surface of the tongue and because it dries out your mouth.
Cavities or Tooth Decay?
It depends. Coffee on its own is not a precursor for cavities, but when milk/cream/sugar is added to coffee, the sugars can lead to cavities. Frequency and exposure time are more of a risk factor than quantity, so the slower you drink your coffee, the more of a risk for cavities.
As always, make sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once. See your dental hygienist regularly for cleanings and your dentist for check-up exams. In addition, drink a glass of water after you have your coffee, to rinse the coffee/sugar from your mouth. Also, consider reducing the amount of sugar you put in your coffee. Even milk and cream have natural sugars that can lead to cavities.
A night guard is a slightly flexible tray made of pliable plastic that fits either on the top or bottom jaw, over your teeth. The purpose of a night guard is to protect the teeth and jaws from wear due to habits such as grinding and clenching while sleeping. Grinding is when the top and bottom teeth rub together. Clenching is when force is applied from the jaws to press the teeth together, like a firm bite. Both habits can be subconscious and are a form of a sleep motion disorder.
How Does a Night Guard Help?
The night guard, if worn correctly and consistently, prevents wear on the biting surfaces of the teeth from tooth on tooth contact at night. The guard absorbs the forces from the jaws and acts as a cushion. While wearing a night guard, the force of the jaw is evenly distributed throughout the jaw and teeth. There are several different types of night guards to choose from, depending on your needs and what will work best for you. Some are thin or thick, some can be worn on the top teeth or the bottom teeth. It is important to talk with your dentist about what type of night guard will work best for you.
- Try to wear your night guard every night. It can only protect your teeth if you are wearing it
- It can be a difficult adjustment to start wearing a night guard. Give it a couple of weeks, and you will start feeling comfortable with it
- Inspect your night guard periodically for chips and cracks. If there are any, the night guard may need to be replaced as it might not be working as efficiently
- Clean your night guard every day with a separate toothbrush and some warm water. Never use hot water on your night guard as it may warp the plastic
- You night guard should fit snug on your teeth. If it feels loose or too tight/uncomfortable, it may need to be adjusted
If you believe you may be clenching or grinding your teeth and would benefit from a night guard, or have any questions about night guards. We encourage you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Lichen planus is a chronic, inflammatory disorder affecting the skin and lining mucosa. While it can affect other areas of the body, it is often only found in the mouth, where it is called oral lichen planus (OLP).
Who does it affect?
It affects only about 2% of the population, the majority of which are women over the age of 50. The cause is still not well understood but may be related to genetics and immunity. Lichen planus is not contagious and cannot be transmitted from person to person.
Appearance and symptoms of OLP
- Reticular OLP appears as white, lacy patches inside your mouth, most commonly on the inner cheeks. This type of OLP is usually asymptomatic.
- Erosive OLP is a more painful form in which the oral tissues are red and swollen, and ulcerations develop.
Getting a diagnosis
To get a definitive diagnosis of oral lichen planus, you will need to visit a healthcare professional. A biopsy is usually required to rule out any other potential disorders.
Oral lichen planus can be managed but not cured. Usually, medical treatment is not needed unless there is a painful outbreak. Topical steroids or immune response medications are potential treatment options.
Other considerations when dealing with OLP
- Spicy foods, coarse foods and citrus fruits may increase oral discomfort caused by OLP. Very hot (temperature) foods may also cause discomfort.
- If there are lesions on the gums making brushing painful try using gentle brush strokes and an ultra-soft toothbrush. Use a low-abrasive, mild flavoured toothpaste and avoid mouthrinses containing alcohol.
- Tobacco and alcohol can further irritate the oral tissues affected by OLP and should be avoided.
- Mouth injuries can trigger OLP. Avoid biting on inside of your lips and cheeks and try eating softer foods that won't scratch your oral tissues.
- Emotional stress may make the symptoms worse.
Oral lichen planus and oral cancer link
While it is very rare, there is some evidence of an association between oral lichen planus and an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Proper diagnosis of OLP and periodic monitoring is recommended.
If you suspect you have oral lichen planus, it is essential to consult with your doctor or your dentist. If you have any questions about your oral health, contact us today!