Articles on human mouth anatomy

Bleeding gums/ Pyorrhoea - A Silent Killer

Dr. Vikender Yadav, Dentist
WHAT IS PYORRHOEA? Pyorrhoea (Periodontitis) is set of inflammatory disease affecting the periodontium i.e., the tissues that surround and support the teeth. It is probably the second most common disease worldwide, after dental decay.  It is usually a slow process, caused by bacteria that colonise on the teeth and in the sulcus (the space between the teeth and gums). These bacteria create acids,enzymes and toxins that decay and erode the structures that support the teeth (gums and bone surrounding the teeth). Pyorrhoea involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. So Deposits or tartar on the teeth is the single MOST COMMON FACTOR responsible for pyorrhoea or gum diseases. EFFECTS OF PYORRHOEA ON BODY AS A WHOLE Pyorrhoea results in a greater degree of bacteraemia (bacteria in blood)especially while brushing and chewing foods. There is sufficient evidence to support the fact that these harmful bacteria and the resultant inflammation can result in a relatively increased risk for:Myocardial infarction (Heart attack) as the bacteria in the blood causes platelets to aggregate resulting in clot formation in blood vessels (atherosclerosis). Cerebrovascular stroke (Brain stroke) due to atherosclerosisPremature delivery/labour pains in pregnant femalesLow birth weight babies (<2500 grams). In those over 60 years of age, impairments in delayed memory, depression and poor circulation and other brain disorders. Cancer and erectile dysfunction A strong association has been established between diabetes and periodontitis. Blood sugar levels are much more difficult to maintain in diabetic patients with pyorrhoea as compared to diabetic patients without pyorrhoea owing to the constant systemic inflammatory state,caused by the periodontal inflammation. Therefore it is a must for all diabetic patients to undergo oral screening to rule out the gum infections (pyorrhoea). HOW CAN YOU DIAGNOSE PYORRHOEA? Patients should realize that gum inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless; and in many individuals the disease has progressed significantly before they seek treatment. If you have any of the following symptoms you should visit a Periodontist (Specialists in the treatment of periodontitis and their field is known as "Periodontology" or "Periodontics".)Redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth or biting into hard food (e.g. apples) Gum swelling that occurs frequently even after professional cleaning/scaling.Progressively large gap between the teeth and their outward movement.Halitosis or bad breath, and a persistent metallic taste in the mouth.Gum recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth. (This may also be caused by heavy-handed brushing or with a stiff tooth brush.)Deep pockets (space between gums and teeth) of 6-7 mm or more require specialized cleaning, antibiotics or even surgery with bone grafting  because at this depth there is a high risk of systemic infection and tooth loss, and risk of other diseases.  Loose teeth, in the later stages.WHAT CAUSES THE PYORRHOEA? Poor oral hygiene is the single most common causative factor. Other factors include diabetes, smoking, Diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates and some systemic illnesses. HOW YOU CAN PREVENT THE PYORRHOEA· Maintain good oral hygiene with proper and effective brushing technique as well as flossing or interdental brushes prescribed by your Periodontist. · Since pyorrhoea or gum diseases usually results from the deposits/tartar on your teeth especially the deposits beneath the gums, you should undergo cleaning/scaling of your teeth every 6 months or at least once a year by a Periodontist. It makes lots of difference in cleaning by a general dentist and a Periodontist. So choose carefully before you go for cleaning of your teeth. · If you notice large gaps between your teeth over a duration of time with some loosening, then visit your Periodontist at earliest possible. · I do not recommend commercial mouthwashes because they contain synthetic chemicals that are absorbed through your mouth and are probably toxic (can cause cancer on long term use), and may prevent the formation of a healthy bacterial biome in your mouth.

Myth and Fact About Root Canal Treatment

Dr. Vijita Mehta, Dentist
Myth - RCT is a painful procedure.Fact -RCT is done to relieve pain caused by pulped inflammation or a dental infection. Slight pain postoperative can be managed with painkillers.  Myth – Getting RCT done is a very costly affair.Fact-  No, Not really. Your natural teeth are like diamonds in your mouth. With RCT, you are saving your tooth. Consider the cost of replacing your natural teeth with bridge or implant. Then, you will find out that saving your own tooth at any expense is better than losing your natural tooth forever.Myth – There should be no pain after RCTFact- The patient will feel better in a significant way after the procedure. Sometimes, there is sensitivity and slight pain after the treatment. Painkillers are there for your help. Antibiotics can be given if there is infection. Myth - RCT is done in several appointments.Fact- These days RCT can be done in single appointment provided there is no severe infection. It all depends on the tooth condition and its anatomy.Myth – A tooth should be extracted if there is pain. Fact-The RCT success is very high. A Root canal can be re-treated if there is pain/infection. Extraction should be considered as the last option as saving the natural tooth with root canal treatment has many advantages like efficient chewing, normal biting force and sensation and helps you to maintain your natural smile. Most importantly,You can continue eating the foods you love to!

Top 5 Causes & Home Remedies to Treat Bleeding Gums

Dr. Surabhi Mahajan Malhotra, Dentist
Have you ever experienced sudden bleeding from mouth while eating or brushing? We often mistake that the blood is coming from teeth. Our teeth never bleeds, its the gums which bleed.This is an early sign of gingivitis (also known as pyrohhea). Some of the causes of bleeding gums are as follows:1. Plaque deposition – Generally deposits are seen in between the teeth & the gum area. This results in pocket formation & loosening of the gums. When gums are loose they tend to bleed easily. Even slight pressure of brush or finger may cause bleeding.2. Medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease, scurvy etc. may cause bleeding gums. Deficiency of vitamin C may trigger bleeding. Also seen more in bleeding & clotting disorders.3. Hard Brushing-  Sometimes using hard or worn off brush may lead to bleeding gums.4. Ill fitting dentures or mouth ulcers 5. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menstruationHome remedies for bleeding gums 1. Maintain a good oral hygiene. Brush & floss daily.2. Use a soft bristled tooth brush. Change your brush after it is worn off.3. Incorporate a lot of vitamin c in your diet. Foods like amla, oranges are a good source. 4. Do warm saline rinses (warm water with a pinch of salt) after every meal.5. Massage your gums with fingers gently.Bleeding gums may be an early sign of gingivitis & should not be ignored. A professional dental scaling would be required. If left untreated it may proceed to severe inflammation of gums & further cause bone loss.Do not ignore bleeding gums. Make sure you visit your dentist for the correct diagnosis because prevention is always better than cure.

10 Complete 'No' for Your Teeth

Dr. Ankit Jain, Dentist
1. SMOKINGCigarettes, as well as other tobacco products, can stain teeth and cause them to fall out as a result of gum disease. Tobacco can also cause cancer of the mouth, lips, and tongue. If you were looking for one more reason to quit, think of your smile.2. STICKY CANDYAll sugary treats promote tooth decay, but some candies are harder to bear. They stick in the teeth, keeping the sugar and resulting acids in contact with your enamel for hours. If your have to take, pop a couple during a meal instead of as a separate snack. More saliva is produced during meals, which helps rinse away candy bits and acids.3. BEDTIME BOTTLESIt’s never too early to protect teeth. Giving a baby a bedtime bottle of juice, milk, or formula, can put new teeth on a path to decay. The baby may become used to falling asleep with the bottle in his or her mouth.4.CHEWING ON ICEIt’s natural and sugar free, so you might think ice is harmless. But munching on hard, frozen cubes can chip or even crack your teeth. And if your mindless chomping irritates the soft tissue inside a tooth, regular toothaches may follow. Hot foods and cold foods may trigger quick, sharp jabs of pain or a lingering toothache. Next time you get the urge for ice, chew some sugarless gum instead.5.DRINKING COFFEECoffee's dark color and acidity can cause yellowing of the teeth over time. Fortunately, it's one of the easiest stains to treat with various whitening methods. Talk to your dentist if you're concerned about discoloration of your teeth.6. CHEWING ON PENCILDo you ever chew on your pencil when concentrating on work or studies? Like crunching on ice, this habit can cause teeth to chip or crack. Sugarless gum is a better option when you feel the need to chew. It will trigger the flow of saliva, which can make teeth stronger and protect against enamel-eating acids.7. CONSTANT SNACKINGSnacking produces less saliva than a meal, leaving food bits in your teeth for hours longer. Avoid snacking too frequently, and stick to snacks that are low in sugar and starch -- for example, carrot.8. COLD DRINKSCandy isn't the only culprit when it comes to added sugar. Cold drinks can have up to 11 teaspoons of sugar per serving. To add insult to injury, cold drinks also contain phosphoric and citric acids, which eat away at tooth enamel. Diet soft drinks let you skip the sugar, but they may have even more acid in the form of the artificial sweeteners.9. POTATO CHIPSThe bacteria in plaque will also break down starchy foods into acid. This acid can attack the teeth for the next 20 minutes -- even longer if the food is stuck between the teeth or you snack often. You might want to floss after eating potato chips or other starchy foods that tend to get stuck in the teeth.10. OPENING STUFF WITH YOUR TEETHOpening bottle caps or plastic packaging with your teeth may be convenient, but this is one habit that makes dentists cringe. Using your teeth as tools can cause them to crack or chip. Instead, keep scissors and bottle openers handy. Bottom line, your teeth should only be used for eating.STAY HEALTHY STAY HAPPYDr. Ankit Jain

Best Food for Healthy Teeth

Dr. Swasti Jain, Dentist
When it comes to the health of your teeth, you really are what you eat. Sugary foods, such as candy and soda, contribute to tooth decay. One of the first areas to decline when your diet is less than ideal is your oral healthCarrotsLike apples, carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a handful of raw carrots at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Along with being high in fiber, carrots are a great source of vitamin A. Top a salad with a few slices of raw carrots, or enjoy some baby carrots on their own.CeleryCelery might get a bad reputation for being bland, watery and full of those pesky strings, but like carrots and apples, it acts a bit like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from your teeth. It's also a good source of vitamins A and C, two antioxidants that give the health of your gums a boost. Make celery even tastier by topping it with cream cheese.CheeseIf you're one of the many people who profess a love of cheese, you now have another reason to enjoy this tasty food. It is found that eating cheese raised the pH in the subjects' mouths and lowered their risk of tooth decay. It's thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.YogurtLike cheese, yogurt is high in calcium and protein, which makes it a good pick for the strength and health of your teeth. The probiotics , or beneficial bacteria, found in yogurt also benefit your gums because the good bacteria crowd out bacteria that cause cavities. If you decide to add more yogurt to your diet, choose a plain variety with no added sugar.AlmondsAlmonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar. Enjoy a quarter cup of almonds with your lunch. You can also add a handful to a salad or to a stir-fry dinner.Leafy GreensLeafy greens typically find their way onto any healthy foods list. They're full of vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. Leafy greens such as kale and spinach also promote oral health. They're high in calcium, which builds your teeth's enamel.Apples Fruits, such as apples, might be sweet, but they're also high in fiber and water. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles. The fibrous texture of the fruit also stimulates the gums. 

Wisdom Teeth Removal: Not a Painful Process

Dr. Shikha Goel, Dentist
Wisdom teeth normally erupt between the age of 18 to 24 years, time at which we are supposed to acquire wisdom, hence the name wisdom teeth. Only a few lucky people have their wisdom teeth erupted in place and most of others requires extraction. Wisdom teeth or third molars usually don’t find enough space in our jaw bones to erupt normally and thus are impacted in jaw bones.So thus all wisdom teeth needs extraction, absolutely not. We follow a basic rule if it is not hurting you and no significant radiological sign of complication is visible, we do not extract it.Wisdom teeth needs extraction in following conditions:Caries It is difficult to keep hygiene in area of wisdom teeth so a cavity may develop in top part of tooth and progresses fast enough to cause pain associated with swelling and redness of gums. A wisdom tooth by virtue of its malposition may impinge on normal healthy tooth and cause cavity in that normal tooth. Such cavities are usually not accessible unless wisdom tooth is extracted. A cyst may develop along with infection in wisdom teeth. If this cyst continues to grow it may damage bone, other teeth and cause serious complications.Removal of wisdom teeth is a small surgical procedure and a well-trained oral surgeon can accomplish it in 15-20minutes. If post-operative instructions are followed and medications are taken on time most of them can resume routine activities very next day. Infection in adjacent toothA wisdom tooth by virtue of its mal-position may impinge on normal healthy tooth and cause cavity in that normal tooth. Such cavities are usually not accessible unless wisdom tooth is extracted.CystA cyst may develop along with infection in wisdom teeth. If this cyst continues to grow it may damage bone,other teeth and cause serious complications.Most of people ask can I go to office tomorrow after extraction!Removal of wisdom teeth is a small surgical procedure and a well-trained oral surgeon can accomplish it in 15-20minutes. If post-operative instructions are followed and medications are taken on time most of them can resume routine activities very next day.

Infected Wisdom Tooth Home Remedies

Dr. Himani Sanwaria, Dentist
I will share with you, my recommendations I give to patients before I can schedule them for wisdom tooth disimpaction surgery. These recommendations work well for decades but I will also give you a secret weapon to tip the skills in your favour even more. But what can you do in the short run before your appointment to have wisdom teeth removed? Most dentists will prescribe antibiotics to kill those bacteria that you can’t reach to brush, floss and rinse away. This can be a great idea in the short term but not so wise in the long run. In case you have not read the headline after headline about the overuse of antibiotics being the cause of superbug infections, then let me catch you up. Superbugs are those bacteria that can survive even the strongest of antibiotics. These bugs can lead to pneumonia, urinary tract infections, kidney infections, bladder infections, or even blood infections. So are you sure you wanna play the antibiotics card everytime your body gets a little localized infection? I never take antibiotics unless I know my body’s immune system absolutely needs that extra help. Wisdom tooth infection is almost never life threatening. Because it is a local infection that the body almost always gets control over a week or two. Your surgeon can almost never get you in for extraction during that time frame. Here are the home remedies I always recommend:Mildly brush the infected gums with a soft toothbrush to remove as much plaque or food debris as you can.Floss properly well behind your second molar. Now that’s usually the tooth farthest back in your mouth that you can fully see.Make a warm salt water solution that mimics the body’s fluid. You make that with half a teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight-ounce cup of very warm water. You can swish hard with this to try and break some of the plaque and food debris that might have escaped your brushing and flossing.After rinsing continuously hold that warm water over the affected area until it cools down usually about 30 seconds or so. This can help reduce swelling up to tissues by a process called osmosis. Until a few years ago those recommendations helped all but the most extreme cases until I could get them in for surgery to remove the wisdom teeth to alter the plaque-trapping circumstance since then I have felt one more tool, the secret weapon, rinsing properly with electrolyzed oxidising water or EO water is that weapon. Because it’s special ability to kill every bacteria, virus and single cell organism with which it comes in contact for a reasonable period of time. 30 seconds for most bacteria and up to 2 minutes for bacilli serious, another food poisoning bacteria. The fact that your water kills all single cell life forms which have been known for decades but its acidic pH can cause damage to materials that are affected badly by strong acids. Your teeth qualify as a material damage by this acid if and only if you use it incorrectly.

The Problematic Wisdom Tooth

Dr. Pranay, Dentist
Let's get down to see some of the common facts and myths associated with the wisdom teeth...Myth: You increase the risk of disease if you wait to have them removedThey are way back there in the mouth. You can’t clean them as easily.  Of course they are going to become infected and be a breeding ground for disease throughout the mouth, right?Myth: Everyone has wisdom teethSurprisingly not everyone actually has wisdom teeth. In fact, some people have them beneath the gums that never erupt. Some people have one or two and some people don’t have any at all. All of these scenarios are perfectly acceptable unless you have symptoms indicating something is wrong.Myth: Everyone needs their wisdom teeth removedThis is probably the greatest myth of all. Not everyone needs these teeth removed. They are only extracted when they are impacted or causing other issues. If the teeth are not erupting in the proper position and putting pressure on the existing back teeth or in some cases causing infection or cysts your dentist will advise they be removed.Myth: Smoking and drinking don’t really cause harm following extractionsYou will be told you cannot smoke or drink alcohol following the procedure. Many people believe this is just a precaution mentioned by dentists. However if you smoke or drink alcohol following extractions you are opening yourself up for a whole world of hurt. Following the extractions it is important that the clots that form at the site of the extractions stay intact. If they are not allowed to heal properly and become dislodged, you will form a very painful infection called dry sockets. Smoking and drinking alcohol raise the chances of you getting dry sockets substantially so this is definitely not a myth.Well that's all for today for the fascinating wisdom teeth but hear the good news too as we are anticipating that as a process of we humans going through a phase of evolution, we might even start seeing extinction of wisdom in few decades.

Why Remove Teeth When We Can Save Them

Dr. Swasti Jain, Dentist
PROBLEM V/S SOLUTIONS and tooth removal is the last one to go forCAVITY - GO FOR TOOTH COLORED FILLINGDEEP CAVITY WITH PAIN - GO FOR ROOT CANAL TREATMENTAFRAID OF RCT - GO FOR ROTARY , PAINLESS RCTFRACTURED TOOTH - GO FOR RCT + CAP/ CROWNBAD SMELL AND BLEEDING GUMS - GO FOR TEETH CLEANING AND POLISHINGYELLOW TEETH AND STAINS ON TEETH - GO FOR TEETH WHITENINGMISSING TEETH -  IMPLANTS OR FIXED CROWNS AND BRIDGESMALALIGNED TEETH - BRACESMOBILE TEETH - GET SPLINTING DONENothing can take the place of natural healthy teeth, each and every tooth is important.Saving your natural tooth should always be your first choice when dental care is needed. Nothing, not even the most advanced bridges, and implants, can truly replace your natural tooth.If your dentist recommends extracting your tooth, ask if an endodontist can help save it with a root canal. This endodontic treatment removes the injured pulp (soft inner tissue) of your tooth and fills and seals that space.Your tooth is then restored and can function just like any other tooth for the rest of your life, ensuring comfortable chewing and a natural appearance.Endodontists can often save the most severely injured teeth.Do everything possible to save your teeth before considering extraction. Nothing is as good as your natural tooth!Benefits of Your Natural ToothFrom our experience, there is no better implant than the natural tooth. Saving your natural tooth has several benefits that cannot be received from dental implants. By saving your natural tooth, you maintain the natural structure of your mouth and jaw allowing you to continue chewing normally.When you replace a tooth with an implant, sometimes the implant does not fill the space completely. Spaces between your teeth can lead to bone loss and collapse. Your teeth then move around to fill the space. This changes the overall positioning of your teeth and may lead to the collapse of the bite, a situation known as occlusion. Not only does this alter your natural appearance it also creates chewing difficulties. More treatment is required to fix these problems. Your teeth do much more than just mechanically chew food. Teeth contain nerves that communicate with the brain. These messages tell your brain how hard to chew, thereby protecting your teeth from biting too hard. Implants have no nerves and so the sensory connection with the brain is lost and this communication is not possible.SPLINTING DONE TO FIX THEM