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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Risks of using antibiotics when treating gum disease

Risks of using antibiotics when treating gum disease

The oral cavity naturally houses a number of microorganisms; they make up the normal flora of your mouth. These microbes benefit their host by acting as a protective barrier against non-indigenous pathogens by producing byproducts such as fatty acids, peroxides and bacteriocins. They also help strengthen the body’s immune system by introducing small amounts of antibodies.

However, they can also cause various oral diseases from caries, gingivitis to periodontal infections. Gum disease is a common diagnosis to receive when it comes to oral diseases. In fact, 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease increases with age. 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.How do you know if you have gum disease?

There are telltale signs of gum disease. These are: 

- Bad breath

- Swollen gums

- Bleeding gums

- Sensitive teeth

- Painful chewing

Diagnosis

A professional dentist or dental hygienist will measure the pocket (sulcus) between the tooth and the gums using a dental probe. The average space measures less than 3mm and does not bleed—factors include the depth of the sulcus, inflammation, bleeding and other variables. These will help diagnose if you have gingivitis, periodontitis, or advanced periodontitis.

Gingivitis

The first stage of gum disease where biofilms start to irritate the gums, resulting in tender, inflamed or bleeding gums.

Periodontitis

When deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth due to tartar build-ups, the gum line starts to recede. The sulcus is filled with bacteria and pus, leading to a slight bone loss.

Advanced periodontitis

Characterised by generalised or moderate bone loss with destroyed periodontal ligaments. The teeth lose more support leading to tooth loss when left untreated.

Treatment

Treating gum diseases varies depending on their gravity. Acute gum infection may be treated with a non-surgical technique, while a chronic oral condition requires surgical procedures.

  1. Scaling

Scaling removes tartar build-ups and bacteria from the tooth surface and under the gums—a common practice when you visit your dentist for your regular teeth cleaning.

  1. Root planing

Root planing is a procedure used to remove bacterial derivatives that cause inflammation and slow healing. This also smoothens the surface of the root, reducing further tartar biofilm accumulation.

  1. Antibiotics

Antimicrobial therapy is extensively used in dentistry as preventive and treatment measures. Painful chewing, bleeding gums can manifest with plaque build-up and periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases are reported to be the most common cause of tooth loss. The introduction of antimicrobial drugs has saved millions of lives that transformed the healthcare industry in treating infectious diseases. However, improper use of antibiotics has resulted in antimicrobial resistance.

What is Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

AMR is a global concern affecting the healthcare industry. AMR naturally happens when bacteria are exposed to antibacterial drugs. Susceptible bacteria are killed or inhibited, while non-susceptible bacteria live and acquire resistance and multiply. This phenomenon is similar to humans taking a vaccine, where the vaccinated individual will develop immunity to the bacteria or virus.

Contributing factors to antimicrobial resistance

  1. Overuse

Antibiotics have been overused in health care and agriculture which have led to bacteria strains which are resistant to most of the known antibiotics. Nowadays, most dental practices are moving away from antibiotics because of the reduced effectiveness and increasing knowledge from associated side-effects on complex oral microbiomes. 

  1. Misuse

Inappropriate choice of antibiotics largely contributes to AMR. The prescribed drug is not suitable to eliminate the infection-causing bacteria giving it immunity to the antibiotic used. This may root in the lack of sensitivity testing done prior to drug prescription or the harmful effect of word of mouth.

For example, patient A took antimicrobial A that has cured him. He then recommends the same drug to patient B that may have the same symptoms. However, patient B’s infection was caused by different bacteria, which is non-susceptible to drug A. This will now lead to AMR.

  1. Poor adherence

Some patients do not fully comply with the antibiotic therapy prescribed. Reasons such as inadequate information, financial situation or personal belief may contribute to their poor adherence.

- Inadequate information

Lack of information about the negative effect of non-compliance during antibiotic therapy is why patients do not complete the prescribed treatment. Patients have the tendency to stop taking medicine whenever they feel better or casually take their medication at a random time. This is a definite no in taking antibacterial drugs. The patient must follow the full course of treatment together with the correct time and dose to completely eradicate the source of infection.

- Financial situation

Antibiotics are costly and not everyone can afford to purchase a full course treatment.

  1. Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

PDT is the latest non-invasive treatment used in dentistry using photosensitizers and light with specific wavelengths.This system produces singlet oxygen and reactive oxygen to eliminate infection-causing pathogens in the mouth.

PDT’s main advantage over antibiotic therapy is that it provides a broad range of action against pathogens without the threat of producing AMR.

PDT produces reliable results in the treatment of periodontitis. PDT also offers an effective and professional way to remove plaque and therefore reduces the incidence of caries, a method of primary prevention. 

Why include Lumoral to your oral hygiene routine

- Lumoral provides patented dual-light PDT. Dual-light PDT has shown excellent antibacterial properties in repeated use without resistance formation.

-  Lumoral is the first most reliable addition to brushing from biofilm management, resulting in a 99.9% bacterial reduction in tooth biofilm.

- Lumoral is proven effective against Streptococcus mutans bacteria, the main culprit of tooth decay and against periodontitis causing Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans bacteria.

- Lumoral is excellent for continuous use as the strong antibacterial cleaning effect is directed to dental plaque and it doesn’t cause a change in normal bacterial flora or bacterial diversity.

- This technology helps increase teeth’s smoothness resulting in a naturally bright smile.

Prevent gum diseases and take home your Lumoral Kit today

Lumoral is a professional-level personal oral hygiene device that can be used in the comfort of your own home. It is certified by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA), meeting Australian standards of quality, safety and efficacy. It prevents gum inflammation and eliminates unhealthy bacteria. Use Lumoral 10 minutes twice a week to take your oral health to a new level.

For more information, please contact us at info@lumoral.com

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Understanding your dental care costs and how you can reduce them

Understanding your dental care costs and how you can reduce them

Let’s face it: dental care costs are more expensive than we think. In fact, 4 in 10 people in Australia opt to postpone or avoid a visit to the dentist due to the fees needed, based on data by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Not only that, the total spent on dental services has reached $10.5 billion in 2017 to 2018.

But of course, dental services wouldn't balloon into a billion dollar industry if not for the small costs that added up. Whether you’re one of those who have high dental costs or you’re one of those who delays oral check-ups due to dental fees, we’re here to help.

In this blog, we’ve provided a round-up of current dental fees along with some tips on how to take care of your oral health, so you’d be able to reduce your costs in the long run. Read on.

How much does these dental services cost

Regular Check-ups

Based on the Australian Dental Association’s (ADA) survey, a periodic check-up that includes an examination, scale and clean and fluoride treatment could reach an average of up to $215.

Scaling and cleaning alone costs $93 to $165. Fluoride     treatment fees gauge from $41 to $76 while the examination itself amounts to $41 to $76.

If you’re on a tight budget, look for the more affordable ones that fit the lower range we provided. The most practical ones will cost you around $160 for basic regular dental care. Beware of going for cheaper services as their quality might be compromised.

Also take note that price may vary depending on your location in Australia. Based on ADA’s survey, prices tend to be higher in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) while rates are more affordable in Southern and Western Australia.

Teeth whitening

We all want that perfect set of white teeth, but how much will you have to pay for it?

The actual cost for teeth whitening could range from $500 to $1500 depending on your state or location, the procedure you’ll choose as well as the condition and colour of your teeth.

If your teeth are still in good condition, it’s still best to take active care of them so you’d be able to reduce dental fees in the long run. 

How to reduce dental care costs

Maximise your work’s dental plan

Most employers offer a dental plan as part of their healthcare benefits. These plans typically cover X-rays, cleanings, basic procedures such as fillings and extractions. If you’re lucky, your employer could pay half or more of the premium costs for the dental plan. Talk to the human resources personnel in your workplace and learn how to either get one or maximise what they currently offer.

Check the nearest university dental schools

There are universities that charge 30 to 40% less than private dentists but you’ll be handled by supervised students. Don’t worry though as they can still provide excellent care.

Take care of your oral health

As they say, health is wealth. If your teeth are in good condition, then you need not worry that much about dental services fees. Take proactive care of your oral health and prevent any problems from arising.

How to care for your teeth so they’ll last longer

Never underestimate the impact of your oral health on your wallets. Along with getting a dental plan, consider the following practices to maintain good dental hygiene so you’ll need less dental services in the long run.

     
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Use a soft-bristled brush with the combination of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily and wash with mouthwash to clean the areas that are not reachable by your brush.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months or earlier if the bristles are worn. Stiff bristles of old brushes may cut your gums and lead to bleeding.
  • Schedule a regular check-up with your dentist.
  • If you feel anything unusual in your mouth, see a doctor immediately.

Enjoy the feeling of perfectly clean teeth with Lumoral’s dental care products. Lumoral is a professional personal oral hygiene device and a method for home use. Lumoral prevents gum inflammation and eliminates unhealthy bacteria causing tooth decay, supporting healthy flora.