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By Emergency Cosmetic Dentist Raleigh NC Thomas Cooke DDS

Facts about teeth

The tooth and nothing bu the tooth!

Oral health is a good indicator of your overall health and here are some facts about teeth. Creating cracks in your teeth can cause severe pain and also tooth loss and this can happen from chewing on ice and this should be stopped. Tooth enamel is the hardest tissue in the human body but it can be destroyed by acid which can be found in fruits, soft drinks, and also a common disorder called acid reflux. Most people over the age of 35 have some level of gum disease and don’t even know it. Bad breath exists in over 70% of all people in the work environment and this can be eliminated easily. Having your teeth checked twice a year could save more than your teeth.

Cracked teeth

Many people don’t realize how easy it is to crack a tooth with some common bad habits. Chewing on ice, hard rock candy, and hard nuts is very common. On a hot summer day, after taking a big sip of your iced down beverage it is very tempting to chew on some ice. Teeth are covered with a substance called enamel which is the hardest tissue in the body. Ice chewing can crack through this protector. It may not be right away that you feel the effects of the crack from the ice. It may be 5 years later. Cracked teeth that cause pain should be evaluated by your dentist right away. Delaying evaluation and treatment may cause the cracked tooth to get worse and possibly turn into a non fixable tooth.

• Acid destroys teeth

The tooth enamel which is the outermost part of the tooth is commonly affected by acids in the foods that most people eat every day. Soda and citrus drinks can be very damaging to teeth. The average American drinks more than 50 gallons of soft drinks each year. Soda, the beverage of choice with fast food meals has something in it called phosphoric acid which if left on the tooth for very long would eat a whole right through it. Citric acid, found in most fruits, will corrode a tooth similar to the hot sun melting an ice cube. Most people do not understand why they have a cavity when they see a dentist. It is most likely that some acid exposure dissolved enough enamel away from a small area to allow for a cavity to form. It is critical that after learning about acid exposure that you do not suck on lemons or any other fruit that is high in citric acid. This will dissolve tooth structure away.

Gum disease is common if you are over 35

Over eighty percent of the American population over thirty five has some level of gum disease.
Gum disease is when the soft and hard tissues in the mouth are affected by bacteria. This tissue over time gets destroyed and does not grow back. Prevention is so important and this is mainly accomplished by seeing your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and a checkup. If your gums bleed when you brush and floss this is an indicator that you have some level of gum condition that should be treated by your dentist.

• Bad breath

Most people don’t know they have bad breath. To test to see if you have bad breath, floss your teeth and smell your floss. If your floss smells then you have a bad breath problem. You can also use a tongue scraper and apply the same test. Brushing and flossing after every meal will help reduce this problem considerably. Using a warm salt water rinse daily will also help to allow for your gums to get back to a healthy condition.

Dental checkups could save your life

When most people go to the dentist for a checkup they want to leave with clean teeth and the message that they have no cavities. The truth is that when you leave after your dental check up most good dentists will check for oral cancer routinely. They won’t say that you have no cavities and no oral cancer. You will be told though if you have any signs of abnormal tissue in your mouth that they detect during your exam. It is critical that you have yearly checkups by your dentist because early detection of oral cancer means survival and late detection could result in death.


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Thank you,
Mihirgir Bava, DMD