Dentists Cutting Back on Opioids

teeth, health, smile, dentistOpioid addiction has been linked to dental procedures as the drugs are regularly used during the extraction of wisdom teeth. Used in anaesthesia and as a pain killer, opioids are known to be addictive and even small doses over a short period can lead to addiction problems.

According to statistics:

– 25% of patients prescribed a short course of opioids were still on the drug a year later

– 75% of opioid abusers began with drugs prescribed by a dentist or doctor

– 80% of heroin addicts started on opioids

It is also estimated that children prescribed opioids in elementary school “have a one-third chance of lifetime illicit use”.

Further information on the topic can be found at

Bleeding gums: take action now!

teeth health smile dentistIf you experience bleeding from your mouth, it could be a sign of gum disease.

Key takeaways

– Gum disease starts with build up of plaque on teeth which irritates the gums, causing redness, puffiness and bleeding

– If this plaque build up is not removed, it can lead to gum recession, sensitivity and eventual tooth loss.

– Your dentist can assess the root cause of your bleeding gums and ensure you receive the most suitable treatment

Don’t mistake your bleeding gums for normal. Any bleeding from your mouth should be evaluated by a professional.”

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Marvellous Mucus

teeth health smile dentistToothpastes of the future might contain artificial mucus which protects teeth against cavities. Researchers believe beneficial proteins contained in mucus may prevent bacteria from attaching itself to your teeth.

Key takeaways

– Artificial mucus is not the same as mucus in the nose

– Artificial mucus might be manufactured and added to toothpastes and chewing gum

– Brushing teeth twice daily with toothpaste remains the most effective way to remove bacteria

Toothpastes might change but your dentist can still help you with your oral care.

“Now they want to harness these proteins by making synthetic mucus”.

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Bruxism: A Grinding Problem

teeth health smile dentistMore commonly known as teeth grinding, bruxism needs to be properly treated when it occurs. Early indicators of bruxism are headaches or a sore jaw in the morning caused by grinding the teeth while asleep. Known causes of bruxism include tobacco, caffeine and alcohol as well as stress, fatigue and sleep disorders but a dentist should be consulted to find the proper cure.
A dentist will likely recommend a custom-fitted night guard, or splint, which will:
– Protect the teeth
– Support the jaw joint
– Aid in chewing
As stated in a recent article “many times people have no idea they grind their teeth” and more information can be found at,

Severe gum disease strongly predicts early death from liver cirrhosis

teeth health smile dentistA recent study, presented at The 2017 International Liver Congress in The Netherlands, has demonstrated a potential link between periodontitis and mortality in patients with liver cirrhosis.

Key takeaways:

– Gum/teeth health was assessed in 184 patients with liver cirrhosis

– Severe periodontitis was associated with higher risk of early death, even when adjusted for variables such as gender, age, smoker status, alcohol consumption

– See your dentist to determine if you have gum disease

Further studies are now required to determine if improving gum care can improve outcomes in patients with liver cirrhosis.”

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Should You Be Concerned About White Marks on Teeth?

teeth health smile dentistMany parents worry about their children’s dental health, as youngsters are especially at risk of developing fluorosis.

Key takeaways:

– Dental fluorosis are stains, flecks, or lines that appear on the teeth enamel.

– Fluorosis appears in childhood due to excessive intake of fluoride, whether it is through water sources, mouth washes, or other oral health products.

– Although fluorosis stains are permanent, a dentist can remove them using a whitening treatment.

If you have children, it’s a good idea to teach them that it’s never too early to start looking after their smile.

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How to prevent and manage dental fluorosis

teeth health smile dentistThe painless white or brown spots ruining your smile is a case of dental fluorosis. It only develops in children, after the primary teeth fall out.

Key takeaways:

– Dental fluorosis is as a result of drinking water with too much fluoride and using too much toothpaste (contains fluoride).

– Flouride is a great tooth cleaning agent but in excess amounts, it causes a deficiency of important minerals in enamel.

– The spots can be treated through masking or whitening by a dentist.

Proper use of toothpaste is one way of prevention.

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7 Things That Are Secretly Ruining Your Teeth

teeth health smile dentistEveryone knows it’s important to look after your teeth but not everyone realises that some lifestyle choices can have a negative effect on your oral hygiene.

Key takeaways:

– Managing the levels of bacteria in your mouth is the best way of maintaining good oral hygiene. Bacteria feed off the sugar in your mouth and produce acid that subsequently destroy your tooth enamel

– Your saliva is designed to wash sugar away, however, having a dry mouth or drinking/eating too much sugar can have a detrimental effect on your teeth. Avoid a dry mouth by sucking on sugar-free sweets, and wearing mouth-guards if you have a tongue piercing or grind your teeth

– Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks to keep those pesky bacteria under control and your smile in tip top condition

Your dentist can also provide useful advice: “There are plenty of other less-obvious things you can do to keep those pearly whites healthy and happy.”

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