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 may lead to many problems.
Conventional fixed bridge – The conventional fixed bridge is a tooth replacement that is attached with cement to the adjacent natural teeth. If you have one or two missing teeth on a single side this can be a good method of replacement. If the two teeth adjacent to the space are healthy and the supporting structure (bone and gum tissue) are adequate a fixed bridge can be placed.
Removable partial or full denture – A partial or full removable denture is a set of artificial teeth that are not fixed permanently to natural teeth. This set consists of usually plastic teeth set in an artificial plastic or plastic and metal framework that rests on the gum tissue. A partial denture is used for people who have multiple spaces on one or both sides or whose teeth are not strong enough to support a fixed bridge. A complete denture is just that, it replaces all the teeth on either the top or bottom jaw. The full denture can be the most difficult restoration to get accustomed to.
Implants – Implants are used to replace a single tooth, many teeth on one side, or used to support an entire fixed or removable bridge replacing all the upper or lower teeth. The implant is placed in a hole which is drilled into the patient’s lower or upper jaw. Depending on the number of teeth being replaced, one or more implants are placed in the bone. If necessary a substructure is fabricated and then a crown, bridge or denture is securely fastened to the substructure or implant. Implants are useful for patients that have tried but can’t wear conventional dentures.
Flipper – This is probably the cheapest option to restore missing teeth, however it should be seen as a temporary solution. The expected longevity of a flipper should only be a few months, though with meticulous care and minimal use with chewing, it could last a bit longer. Flippers are similar to removable partial dentures, except they are made from weaker materials.
There are other methods such as using a combination of crowns and partial dentures that can keep the retaining clips out of sight. From the available options, the most appropriate treatment will depend on various factors including the number of teeth missing; therefore it is advisable to consult your dentist about the right solution for you.
Dry mouth, known medically as Xerostomia, is one of the main causes of halitosis (or bad breath). Dry mouth can be caused by a number of medical conditions. Most of these conditions are nonlife-threatening, making dry mouth more of a nuisance than anything else.
Drink water frequently to keep your mouth moist and loosen mucus. Carry water with you to sip throughout the day and keep water by your bed at night.
Suck on sugar-free hard candies, ice chips, or sugar-free popsicles. Chew sugarless gum (gums containing xylitol). These sucking and chewing actions help stimulate saliva flow.
Moisten foods with broths, soups, sauces, gravy, creams, and butter or margarine. Eat soft, moist foods that are cool or at room temperature.
Avoid commercial mouth rinses or mouthwashes that contain alcohol or peroxide. These ingredients may further dry out your mouth.
Avoid salty foods, dry foods (for example, crackers, toast, cookies, dry breads, dry meats/poultry/fish, dried fruit, bananas) and foods and beverages with high sugar content.
Avoid drinks containing alcohol or caffeine. Alcohol increases water loss by triggering frequent urination. Alcohol, as well as caffeine, also dries out the mouth. Also avoid acidic beverages, such as any fruit juices.
To prevent or treat dry mouth, you can protect your teeth by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste and scheduling regular dental checkups. Oral cavities can lead to the growth of unhealthy bacteria, which eventually leads to dry mouth and bad breath.
It is true that your pearly whites lose their luster as we age. Some common foods, drinks and even mouthwashes can stain teeth. But, Do-it-yourself remedies can help whiten teeth, and avoiding substances that stain teeth can stop further discoloration.
Use these steps to whiten your teeth:
Home teeth whitening – Talk to your dentist about at-home tooth whitening products like kits, strips and toothpastes may lighten stains. But, for deep stains, you may need to seek your dentist’s help.
Home remedies – Some people prefer the age-old home remedy of baking soda and a toothbrush to gently whiten teeth at home. Also, some foods such as celery, apples, pears, and carrots trigger lots of saliva, which helps wash away food debris on your teeth. Chewing sugar-less gum is also a tooth-cleansing action.
Tooth whitening and dental work – Approach tooth whitening with caution if you have lots of bonding, fillings, crowns, and bridges. Bleach will not lighten manufactured teeth, so they will stand out among newly whitened natural teeth. In order to match your whiter teeth, you may need new dental work, including veneers or bonding.
Preventing teeth stains – As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel may wear away. The underlying layer, called dentin, is yellower. That’s why it is important to try to avoid staining teeth. If you take care with foods and drinks that discolor teeth, the results of whitening can last longer.
To keep teeth white, don’t light up – Smoking is one of the worst offenders, when it comes to staining teeth. Tobacco causes brown stains that penetrate the grooves and pits of tooth enamel. These stains are hard to remove by brushing alone.
Foods that cause teeth stains – Some common foods, which discolor teeth, are coffee, tea, dark sodas and fruit juices. These teeth stains develop slowly and become more noticeable as we age. Deep color fruits and veggies such as blueberries, blackberries and beets leave their color on teeth as well. Eat them for your health and prevent tooth stains by brushing teeth and rinsing mouth immediately after eating.
Think as you drink – A glass of red wine, cranberry juice or grape juice also stains teeth easily. Remember to rinse your mouth after you have these drinks.
Don’t forget daily maintenance – One simple strategy can help maintain white teeth: brush. Brush at least twice and floss at least once daily. Brushing helps prevent stains and yellow teeth, especially at the gum line.
Visit your dentist – See your Calgary dentist for regular checkups and professional cleaning. The abrasion and polishing methods dentists use can remove many teeth stains caused by food and tobacco.
Your body is a complex machine. The foods you choose and how often you eat them can impact your general as well as your oral health. If you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable.
Foods that contain sugars of any kind can contribute to tooth decay. To control the amount of sugar you eat, read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels on foods and beverages and choose options that are lowest in sugar. Common sources of sugar in the diet include soft drinks, candy, cookies and pastries. Your physician or a registered dietitian can also provide suggestions for eating a nutritious diet. If your diet lacks certain nutrients, it may be more difficult for tissues in your mouth to resist infection. This may contribute to gum disease. Severe gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Many researchers believe that the disease progresses faster and is potentially more severe in people with poor nutrition.
For good oral hygiene, keep these tips in mind when choosing your meals and snacks:
Drink plenty of water
Eat a variety of foods from each of the five major food groups including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein (e.g. lean beef, fish, dry beans, peas), low-fat and fat-free dairy products
Avoiding following types of foods is a way to maintain good oral hygiene:
Carbohydrates – Refined carbohydrate-laden foods (chips, bread, pasta, crackers, etc.) can be as harsh on your teeth as candy.
Chewy, sticky foods such as raisins, jellybeans, caramel, honey etc.
Candy and gum
Carbonated soft drinks
Fruit and vegetable juices
Limit the number of snacks you eat. If you do snack, choose something that is healthy like fruit or vegetables or a piece of cheese. Foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm to teeth than eating lots of snacks throughout the day, because more saliva is released during a meal. Saliva helps wash foods from the mouth and lessens the effects of acids, which can harm teeth and cause cavities.
Remember to visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings – typically twice a year.
For good dental health, always remember to brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. With regular dental care, your dentist can help prevent oral problems from occurring in the first place and catch those that do occur in the early stages, while they are easy to treat.