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Common Oral Practices that Damage Teeth

Common Oral Practices that Damage Teeth

Maintaining a healthy set of teeth does not stop in proper dental hygiene. It needs a lifetime of routine care to prevent damage. A strong covering called enamel protects our teeth, which is the hardest tissue of the body. To put the importance and hardness of enamel in perspective, it has a hardness score of five on the Mohs scale, comparable to apatite and stainless steel (5-5.5 Mohs). However, this hard covering can still be damaged by unhealthy oral habits and practices that you are unwittingly doing. It is critical to know what oral practices are damaging your teeth and how they compromise your oral health.

Here are some oral practices that are damaging to teeth:

The three main reasons why you continue to have cavities are lifestyle, diseases and bacterial strain.

Eating Habits

Using Abrasive Products

With the advent of YouTube and Google, do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth whitening remedies have been damaging teeth more than helping them. Various products are proven effective in cleaning and whitening your teeth. However, you have to have knowledge of the accurate concentration and frequency of use.

For instance, hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent that is available to procure in supermarkets and pharmacies. A 3% dilution is safe for home use. However, prolonged exposure, even at a low concentration, is damaging to the teeth's enamel. The degree of enamel damage depends on the frequency and duration when teeth are exposed to the peroxide solution.

Activated charcoal also gained hype in the cosmetic industry, being an all-around remedy. In dentistry, activated charcoal is now a popular ingredient in toothpaste, claiming to whiten and remove stains in teeth. However, its efficacy as a whitening agent remains unproven. A 2017 review on the effect of charcoal-based dentifrices concludes that there is no sufficient data on the effectiveness and safety of charcoal toothpaste. In addition, dental clinicians are advised to counsel their patients to use these with caution. Activated charcoal is a mild abrasive that can wear down teeth enamel with daily use. It is also insoluble in water, meaning it can accumulate in the crevices of your teeth when not rinsed thoroughly.

Misuse of Teeth

The most common misuse of teeth is opening a pack of chips. What is worse is using our teeth to tear the hard plastic that holds tags on new clothes. Remember that our incisors are made to cut through food and not non-food materials. The pressure on your teeth due to a sudden snap can cause cracking or jaw injury.

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common habit brought on by nervousness and anxiety. Nails are made of keratin, which is considered one of the strongest non-mineralised tissues in nature. With this definition alone, we can concur why nail biting is bad for the teeth. Some damage seen due to nail biting are tooth chipping and misalignment. This may seem not as bad, but broken teeth may cause serious illnesses that we will tackle later.

Moreover, nail biting is an unsanitary habit that can increase the risk of infection. We use our hand for almost everything, increasing the possibility of transferring bacteria from the hand to the mouth. Skin infection may also occur on the skin lesion. Chronic nail biters unwittingly chew on them until it bleeds.

Bruxism and Chewing Ice

Are you one of the people who chew on the remaining ice cubes on their drinks? If so, you are unknowingly damaging your teeth. Chewing on ice can cause cracks and chips on the teeth as it can damage teeth's enamel. Abraded enamel leaves the teeth vulnerable to tooth decay and acid attacks. Since you just ate a meal that automatically increases your mouth's acidity, chewing ice can further increase the damage to your teeth.

Although not an uncontrollable oral practice, teeth damage is a typical consequence of bruxism. Individuals with bruxism unknowingly grind their teeth and clench their jaws while sleeping or concentrating. You can prevent teeth damage by using a mouthguard and stress relieving exercises.

Using a Stiff Bristle Toothbrush

Using hard bristled toothbrushes with vigorous strokes may seem to benefit your teeth, but this practice is scraping away the outer covering of the teeth and irritating your gums.

Stiff Bristle Toothbrush

There is a reason why dentists around the world recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes. This is to clean your teeth as gently as possible without damaging the enamel and scratching the gums. Remember that brushing is a means to take care of your teeth and not to harm it. Using harsh materials can cause more harm than good. Abraded teeth increase cavity formation, while inflamed gums can be an entry point for bacteria, leading to gum infection.

Results of Bad Oral Practices

Tooth sensitivity happens when the enamel of the teeth are worn off. You will feel sudden sharp pain with eating or introduction to hot or cold food. In some cases, fever comes with inflamed gums. If left untreated, bad breath happens while bacterial build up starts, working their way inside the cavity. It's like riding an elevator down the roots causing severe gum infection or, worse, systemic illnesses of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Take Away

A healthy mouth is made up of a set of strong teeth. However strong they are, they can only withstand a certain amount of pressure and abrasion to resist breakage. You can only preserve your teeth by finding effective solutions and breaking unhealthy oral practices damaging your teeth.

Get clean and healthy teeth with Lumoral light-activated technical mouthwash. Lumoral cleanses the teeth at the cellular level by killing harmful bacteria without damaging the teeth's enamel. It leverages a patented dual light photodynamic therapy (PDT) system to target biofilm-forming bacteria that causes plaque buildup and gingivitis. Use this twice a week together with regular brushing and flossing to achieve a set of teeth for a bright smile.

For more information, please contact us at info@lumoral.com. Or click the button below to buy one now.

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Why Do You Get Cavities Despite Having Good Oral Hygiene?

Why Do You Get Cavities Despite Having Good Oral Hygiene?

Suppose you are wondering why you continue to get cavities despite practising good oral hygiene. In that case, it's because other factors contribute to tooth decay and cavity formation even when you diligently brush your teeth and practice interdental cleaning. To trace why this happens, let's briefly summarise how cavity formation happens and take a look into your mouth. First, human saliva plays a big part in keeping an alkaline and healthy oral environment, supplying nutrients, and helps in early digestion. Cavity formation is a result of a change in the oral environment when food is introduced. Some bacteria, specifically Streptococcusmutans, thrive and multiply on this sudden environmental change.

Streptococcusmutans is the primary bacteria identified to cause plaque formation. Streptococcus species are part of the normal flora which help protect us from foreign pathogens and aids in digestion. However, S. mutans are strong lactic acid producers after the metabolism of simple sugars. Therefore, if there are available carbohydrates, S. mutans will continue to convert these to lactic acid while it creates biofilm enabling it to latch on the surface of the teeth. If not removed, it will expand the biofilm and produce an acidic environment solubilizing teeth enamel, leadingto cavity formation, gum disease, and worse, chronic illnesses of the heart and others. With this said, why do you still keep on having cavities even though you practice good oral hygiene? Here are some factors to consider.

Factors that Contribute to Dental Cavities

The three main reasons why you continue to have cavities are lifestyle, diseases and bacterial strain.

Eating Habits

Are you eating healthy? Food intake can contribute to or help fight cavity formation. We can't help but eat regularly to live. However, what we eat can contribute to how the community of bacteria reacts within our mouth. The type of food and frequency of eating result in a sudden change of pH within the mouth, thereby initiating biofilm formation and plaque buildup.

Eating sugar-rich carbohydrates results in a sharp decrease in the pH level. A lower pH level means an acidic state, which demineralised and weakens teeth. The frequency of food intake also plays a role in cavity formation. Snacking in between regular meals results in the same acidic pH level despite the amount you eat. This means that your mouth will continue to be in an acidic state, promoting plaque-forming bacteria to grow, weakening the teeth's surface, and limiting the time for remineralisation. Allowing enough time for teeth to remineralise is equivalently important as keeping it clean. It strengthens the teeth through calcium-enriched saliva, while proper oral hygiene keeps them clean from bacteria.

Medication

Dry mouth is a characteristic side effect of maintenance medication taken for heart disease and other illnesses. Some examples of drugs that affect saliva production are antihistamines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids, anti-hypertensives, diuretics and other medicines for mental illnesses treatment. If you are taking one of these prescriptions, you should expect a decrease in saliva production. A decrease in saliva production limits the regular flushing that preserves the alkalinity of the mouth. Human saliva is generally alkaline in pH, which supports the reintroduction of minerals to strengthen the teeth and helps maintain a balanced oral microbiome. To counter this problem, you may drink alkaline water to help wash and cleanse the mouth while introducing an alkaline environment.

Diabetes

If you have a pre-existing disease like diabetes and other health conditions that affect the pH of salivary production, you are at higher risk of developing a dental cavity. Diabetic patients are at increased risk for cavity formation due to an increased salivary glucose level, dry mouth, and the need for frequent snacking. Diabetes is characterised by elevated salivary glucose due to uncontrolled blood sugar level. This high amount of sugar feeds the Streptococcus mutans strain that proliferates quickly. Aside from sugar-filled saliva, hyperglycemia causes dry mouth. This doubles the risk of cavity formation as S. mutans continue to multiply, providing an acidic environment for a long time because of the limited supply of saliva. Eating in small amounts frequently is also recommended to maintain a sugar level. As we have covered earlier, this promotes an acidic environment and prevents remineralisation, thereby weakening the teeth.

Streptococcus Mutans Strain

There are many strains of S. mutans, and some of them are more virulent. Some types have a high adhesive property making them tougher and more aggressive. Virulent Streptococcusmutans strains have specific adhesive proteins called SpaP and Cnm. These strains are resistant to the antimicrobials present in human saliva and exhibit high acid tolerance and adhesive property. This means they are not killed even with a regular supply of healthy saliva. They continue to multiply in a highly acidic environment and attach themselves firmly to the teeth's surface, making them harder to remove. If you are infected with super-strong S. mutans, regular dental hygiene will be ineffective in removing these strains. You will need a more powerful agent and dental practice to help you counter this type of strains.

Take Away

Understanding other factors contributing to the formation of dental cavities is essential in developing an individualised dental care routine. This means that regular oral hygiene is not enough to control the number of bacteria. You need to either amplify your dental hygiene practice or work together with a lifestyle change. Either way, the fact remains that you need to act on these oral challenges to prevent chronic oral and systemic illnesses from happening. Unless you need to eat frequent small snacks like diabetic patients, you can reduce plaque and cavity formation with healthy eating habits. For individuals with compromised health issues, exploring new and advanced dental care kits that can help you manage oral hygiene in addition to regular brushing and flossing.

Elevate your oral hygiene to a new level by including Lumoral into your oral health care routine. Lumoral helps control and fight plaque-building bacteria. It targets the source, S. mutans, effectively killing it even in biofilm and preventing biofilm formation from the start. Lumoral is a scientifically proven and extensively researched method for prevention of oral diseases. Bring home your own Lumoral kit today!

For more information, please contact us at info@lumoral.com. Or click the button below to buy one now.

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Mouthwashes and their Limitations and Risks

Mouthwashes and their Limitations and Risks
It’s true that mouthwashes fight plaque-causing bacteria and provide fresh breath. Studies have proven the effectiveness of mouthwashes that dentists around the world recommend its use. However, there are many types of mouthwashes available on the market, and they have their specific use, limitations and risks. Let us delve into them so you'd know which one to get on your next trip to the grocery or pharmacy.

Limitations and Risks of Different Types of Mouthwashes

1. Cosmetic mouthwash

Cosmetic mouthwashes do not contain an active ingredient to help fight bacteria in the mouth. It temporarily masks bad breath; think of eating mints but only in liquid form and without the calories. Some whitening mouthwashes are also considered cosmetic because they do not offer any therapeutic use.<

Risk:

Some whitening mouthwash may increase tooth sensitivity and produce soft tissue irritation due to peroxide or alcohol content.

2. Therapeutic mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwashes are classified into two: over the counter (OTC) and prescription mouth rinse.

a. OTC therapeutic mouthwash

A mouthwash falls under the category of therapeutic if it contains active ingredients clinically proven to kill plaque-causing bacteria targeting the root of halitosis, gingivitis, tooth decay and gum disease. Active ingredients are defined as the component responsible for providing the therapeutic claims of the product. Some common active ingredients included in mouth rinses are:

* Cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC)

CPC is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent to support oral health, proven effective in fighting plaque-formation and gingivitis. Its mode of action is to damage the protective barrier of the bacteria leading to its death.

Side effects

Some side effects of using CPC-containing mouth rinse are taste alteration and teeth staining.

* Hexetidine

0.1% hexetidine is classed as a safe broad-spectrum oral antiseptic to fight bacteria and fungi. It inhibits the growth of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria by interfering with vital metabolic processes. Hexetidine mouthwash is proven effective in reducing gingival bleeding, inflammation and plaque buildup. Hexitidine also has an antifungal property, making it effective against mouth sores.

Risk:

Some side effects of using 0.1% hexetidine mouthwash are the change in taste, teeth stains and hardened dental plaques.

* Fluoride

Fluoride is an effective agent in preventing caries. Its mode of action is to avoid the loss of minerals, promote mineralisation, and strengthen the teeth. Fluoride is a standard component in therapeutic mouthwash in the form of 0.2% sodium fluoride, proven effective in reducing cavity formation.

Risk:

Too much fluoride can make the teeth brittle. It is possible to have too much fluoride with the use fluoridated water, fluoride-containing toothpaste, and fluoride mouthwash.

* Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient due to its bleaching and antimicrobial property. The peroxide content present in common brands are low, ranging from 1.5% to 3%. At this range, minimal side effects are observed, making it safe for daily use.

Side effects

Hydrogen peroxide can produce a mild burn sensation in the mouth.

Risk

Commercial mouthwashes contain a safe amount of hydrogen peroxide. This ensures the safety of the consumers. The health risk of using hydrogen peroxide mouth rinse comes from improper dilution and self-made mouthwash. High concentration and prolonged use of hydrogen peroxide mouthwash may result in soft tissue necrosis.

b. Prescription therapeutic mouthwash

Chlorhexidine is the preferred therapeutic mouthwash in treating gum diseases. It eliminates and prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth and aids in gum healing and sores. Highly effective and fast-acting, killing bacteria in 30 seconds. It has substantial adherence properties on soft tissues, making it an efficient preventive and therapeutic agent against harmful pathogens.

Side effects:

Some side effects of chlorhexidine are teeth stain, change in taste and hardened tartar. In some rare cases, chlorhexidine may cause allergic reactions and soft tissue irritation. Chlorhexidine is also reported to damage the cells that are responsible for healing, prolonging the restoration time.

Risk:

More than two weeks of use of chlorhexidine mouthwash can result in oral microbiome disruption. This can lead to increased saliva acidity due to an imbalance in the amount of bacteria and disruption of microbial processes. Our teeth weaken in the presence of an acid, promoting demineralisation. Another risk of having an imbalanced oral microbiome is the risk of developing oral diseases like periodontitis. Oral microbiome is also essential for the immune system and digestion.

3. Specialised mouthwash + PDT system

Specialised mouthwashes contain photosensitisers used together with light. Photosensitisers (a special dye) are light-sensitive agents that attach themselves to the target bacteria's protective wall. Upon light exposure, the dye absorbs the light stimulating it to an excited stage. It then releases the absorbed light by producing heat or produces high-energy oxygen that ruptures the protective covering of the bacteria, eliminating them simultaneously. Unlike mouthwashes that affect a wide range of bacterial strains, the PDT system is highly focused, only targeting the effect on teeth and the gumline and leaving the rest of the oral cavity unaffected. This ensures that the normal flora of the mouth remains undisturbed, restoring a balanced oral microbiome.

Side effects:

The light therapy system is proven safe. The maximum side effect would be a warm sensation during application.

General Mouthwash Precaution

Children 6 years and below should not use mouthwash unless prescribed by a dentist. The limitation is set due to the likelihood of ingesting a large amount of liquid due to their undeveloped swallowing reflex that may cause nausea and vomiting.

Bottom Line

Mouthwashes only serve as additional support in oral hygiene. It is vital to brush and floss in between teeth regularly. Choosing the most effective and safe oral aftercare is essential in keeping a healthy mouth. Keep yourself updated on new products that can help you take better care of your oral health.

Lumorinse mouth rinse is the most potent mouthwash solution that targets plaque-producing bacteria. It is a part of the Lumoral system to effectively prevent the development of gum inflammation, periodontitis and cavity formation. Furthermore, it removes teeth stains with continued use.

Visit our website to learn more about the benefits of using Lumoral. For more information, please contact us at info@lumoral.com. Or click the button below to buy one now.

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