We all want to smile and show our teeth, but sometimes the lack of confidence that we have stops us from doing just that. Our teeth should last a lifetime, and with good care and attention they will serve us well, but that doesn’t mean that we don't have issues with our teeth. We are drawn to a bright beautiful smile, but it doesn't have to be difficult to attain. Most often, people with good teeth have taken a lot of care of them over the years, from regular brushing to impeccable oral hygiene with flossing and visits to the dentist. With negligence or the worry of not being able to afford treatment, we go through life not being able to smile or feel confident with our smiles. It’s time for that to change! It isn’t just the look of your teeth though that can affect you as there are many conditions associated with poor oral health that can affect our lives daily.
Common problems we face
There are plenty of things that can affect our teeth. The first thing that is the most common for those who don’t like their smile, is teeth crowding. But there is a list of other issues that arise from poor hygiene and other things. Such as:
Bad Breath also is known as halitosis.
Gum (Periodontal) Disease.
Toothaches and Dental Emergencies.
Whilst most of these can be avoided, some of them may need a little bit extra help. Poor dental hygiene doesn’t just affect our teeth; it is said that there could be a link between poor oral hygiene and heart disease. We all use our teeth every day and there are natural wear and tear that can’t be avoided, but just like any other part of our body, it must be taken care of. Even people who have impeccable oral hygiene may face some type of issue when it comes to their teeth, but it does eliminate risks. Here at ALIGNERCO, we promote good oral health as well as helping you get the confidence back once and for all. Let’s delve a little deeper into the problems further. The most common issue for millions of people across the world is:
Tooth Decay/Cavities and Tooth Loss
When we brush our teeth, we often miss areas near the gum line which leads to plaque build-up. This is best removed by a dentist in a deep clean but it also contributes to the way in which our gums age. Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny holes and often get bigger over time. Cavities, also known as tooth decay, can be caused by many things including, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well enough. If a cavity is left untreated, it may spread outwards across the enamel and deeper inside towards the root of the tooth which can cause pain, sensitivity, or tooth loss. It isn’t always possible to know you have a cavity without a trip to the dentist but here are some common signs:
Toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that occurs without any apparent cause.
Mild to sharp pain (tooth sensitivity) when consuming anything sweet, hot, or cold.
Visible holes or pits in your teeth.
Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth.
Pain when you bite down.
The good news is however that you can work to prevent cavities; prevention is better than the cure in this case and it’s certainly going to be what saves your teeth! So let’s look at what is really beneficial for them.
Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking, the sooner the better.
Rinse your mouth with water or a recommended mouthwash.
Visit your dentist regularly for checkups.
Consider dental sealants.
Drink tap water to release any hidden bits of food.
Avoid frequent snacking and sipping.
Eat tooth-healthy foods.
Consider fluoride treatments.
Floss regularly and floss properly.
Tooth loss is something that everyone should be cautious of, even if you have great teeth! Generally, with age we can be more susceptible to losing teeth, due to wear and tear, and tooth loss itself can be a great difficulty and adjustment. When we look deeper into the reasons for tooth loss we can see that some of the causes may be:
Physical injury or trauma.
Other diseases and risk factors.
Stress is an important factor to highlight because our stress and anxiety levels play a vital role in our physical health. Those who suffer with stress or anxiety may be more at risk than those who don’t. This is because you are more likely to also grind your teeth. Tooth grinding is particularly common and more common with women than men but it can damage your teeth over time. Speaking with your dentist about this is the best way to tackle the problem and to focus on having a calmer routine and eliminating anxiety but this itself is a difficult area. A lot of these can be eliminated or the risk reduced by our lifestyle and how we take care of our teeth. If we don’t practice great oral hygiene then we will ultimately suffer and our teeth will not be able to take care of themselves.
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease and is a common occurrence for many people all across the world. If you think that gum disease is only acquired through people who don’t brush your teeth...think again! In fact, gum disease can affect anyone but most often it occurs from poor management. You could be predisposed or have another condition that affects you but gum disease can lead to tooth loss. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, you must ensure that you have a regular and impeccable oral hygiene routine, to ensure that plaque doesn't build up and that you don’t lose your teeth. Some of the symptoms associated with gum disease are:
Bad breath that won't go away.
Red or swollen gums - this is often associated with the inflammation of the gums caused by plaque build-up.
Gum infections or regular abscesses.
Tender or bleeding gums that occur with brushing.
Painful chewing - this may relate to chewing anything, even soft foods.
Loss of teeth.
Sensitive teeth to heat, cold, sugar.
Receding gums or longer appearing teeth - receding gums are the most common problem, so be sure to inspect your gum line often.
If any of your symptoms align with the above, then it’s probably best to see a dentist and they can put you a treatment plan together that will help combat the signs. A dentist may use a probe and place it down in between the tooth and the gums to determine where the attachment of gum starts. The earlier you catch it the better, as it can be slowly reversed and a great routine will allow you to keep your teeth intact and therefore you will most likely not lose any teeth. Any type of gum disease may at some point need medication. You may need to have some type of antibiotic to combat infections and some of these may include doxycycline, tetracycline, and minocycline (Arestin). You will want to ask about the types of toothpaste that are best. Some nonprescription kinds of toothpaste that are marked as antibacterial may contain fluoride and an antibiotic called triclosan to reduce plaque and gingivitis but it is always good to get recommendations. Some kinds of toothpaste on the market today are: Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Multi-Protection Mouthwash is an excellent complement to Crest® PRO-HEALTH® Advanced Toothpaste. Mouthwash such as Listerine can contribute to reducing bacteria build-up and also will kill germs in the mouth because of its high alcohol concentration. You should be using this frequently, at least twice daily as well as brushing. Having a great routine is going to help you.
This may seem like something that isn’t necessarily connected to your oral health but it is a problem that can knock your confidence. We have all suffered with some form of bad breath at some point; it may be related to what we eat or the type of medication we take but it may also be connected to poor hygiene. Bad breath is known medically as halitosis. Some of the first signs that you may have bad breath are:
A white coating on the tongue especially at the back of the tongue.
Post-nasal drip or mucus build-up that drips down the throat.
Morning breath (can be common from lack of hydration)
A burning tongue.
Thick saliva and a constant need to clear your throat.
A sour, bitter or metallic taste.
It is unlikely that someone will let you know that you have bad breath however if it someone close to you that you trust, they may just let you know. However, if you have experienced bad breath for a while, you are more than likely going to want to know how to get rid of it. By brushing frequently, using mouthwash, keeping hydrated and using a tongue scraper, you can help eliminate the odours. Maintaining a good diet will also help as often fatty and sugary foods lead to a buildup of bacteria in the mouth easier. Is bad breath always from your mouth? Well, that is a question that has been looked at many times. In fact, it is believed that bad breath could stem from your gut. If this is the case then you would need to get more information relating to your gastrointestinal issue. More than likely it is going to be related to acid reflux, otherwise called heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This is when the acid comes to the back of the throat or mouth and can cause issues. It may be triggered by stress and anxiety so practising mindfulness will greatly help.
If you suffer from dry mouth, then you will know that it can be uncomfortable and annoying. It also can be connected to having bad breath, so you really need to get on top of your dry mouth before it becomes problematic for you. How does it feel? Dry mouth is the feeling that there is not enough saliva in your mouth and this can be a natural occurrence if you are nervous or dehydrated. If you often have a dry mouth, then it can lead to further issues. There are ways to improve dry mouth and to give your saliva glands a boost. If you want to learn to help your dry mouth then here is what you can do:
Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies to stimulate the flow of saliva.
Limit your caffeine intake as caffeine is known to dry your mouth out.
Don't use mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
Cut out smoking entirely.
Sip water regularly.
You can speak to your dentist further about dry mouth and acquire some further tips on how to manage it. However, hydration is key and will greatly assist.
Infections are common if you already have a pre-existing problem such as gum disease. Root infections tend to also be an issue. These can lead to abscesses which can be very painful and sore. Bacteria can enter the innermost part of the tooth through a cavity or a chip or crack in your tooth. This will cause an infection and lead to serious inflammation. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus and it should be treated with antibiotics. Some of the symptoms of an infection may be:
Severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck, or ear.
Sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures when eating.
Sensitivity to the pressure of chewing or biting on one side of the mouth.
Raised temperature or a general feeling of unwellness.
Swelling in your face or cheek.
Tender, swollen lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck.
One of the biggest questions you may ask is, do I need a root canal? Well, this may be needed if there is a deeper cause but it is best to be prepared and know what to expect. During a root canal procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned and sealed. Whilst root canals often have a bad reputation for being particularly painful, your dentist will offer you a local anaesthetic and most people report that it is a very similar experience to having a filling. Afterwards however you may be advised to use ice and painkillers for a less uncomfortable experience.
Oral cancer is fairly common and it is often connected to smoking. However, it is also important that you maintain great oral hygiene so that you can at least prevent it in some way. Some of the causes of oral cancer are:
Tobacco use of any kind, cigarettes, cigars, etc.
Heavy alcohol use.
Excessive sun exposure to your lips.
A sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).
A weakened immune system.
If caught early it has a very high recovery rate so it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of it. Often it starts with a pink growth in the mouth which can be difficult to spot because our mouths are not super smooth all over but if you have regular dentist trips then they would be able to determine what it was immediately, which is what makes oral hygiene so vital to many areas of your physical health. Oral cancer is a type of cancer that can spread if it is not treated quickly - often to the surrounding lymph nodes which may result in surgery. By brushing often and getting to know your mouth you can start to get a feel of what is normal for you and when something doesn’t feel right, going to the dentist is the best place to start.
Without a perfect smile, we may feel a little low about our teeth. They may not be straight enough or white enough and teeth crowding is a very common issue that affects many people. Crowding is the lack of space for all the teeth to fit normally within the jaws and often happens when our teeth are first growing. This may lead to the teeth growing in at an odd angle and becoming rotated. This leads to an uneven smile. Although there isn’t a known cure for this, there are treatments that can greatly help your teeth and give you the smile that you had always dreamed of. This may include some type of tooth extraction or oral surgery to remove teeth but this can be invasive and uncomfortable and not always necessary. There is also the option of braces. Although you can go down the traditional route of braces, this isn’t always a feasible answer if you are looking to straighten your teeth in adulthood. That is what invisible braces make a fantastic alternative. With the option to look at teeth straining, ALIGNERCO can create a simple three-step treatment plan that will allow you to straighten your teeth at home at an affordable price. The way in which invisible braces work is quite ingenious. After impressions of your teeth are taken then you can move onto giving yourself that smile you always dreamed of. A customized treatment plan will be designed to your needs by a specialized team of dental experts who will give you the best plan for your needs. Over the weeks, you will notice a change in your smile and you can look at affordable payment plans that will give you back the confidence that you deserve.
How invisible braces work
Invisible braces work on the same principles as traditional braces, which uses a controlled force to gradually move your teeth and after each phase of your treatment, different teeth can be moved or changed to align better. They will be made and moulded to your teeth and you should aim to wear them for as much of the day as possible as this will give you the very best results. Invisible braces are an effective solution for so many teeth problems, including crooked or protruding teeth to more serious problems like malocclusion, overbite or underbite. The options are endless as to how much they can assist you. They come with plenty of positives, too. Including:
They are discrete - if you are a mature adult wearing invisible braces, you do not have to worry about other people noticing.
They can be taken out - traditional wire braces cannot be removed but invisible braces can, for eating, sleeping or any other number of reasons.
They are not as uncomfortable as traditional braces - getting used to your invisible braces may be tricky at first. But over time you will start to notice that the discomfort is much more bearable.
To maximize the benefits of invisible braces and to create a positive impact, then it's vital to use the right technique and even the special brushes provided to you by your dentist. Maintaining impeccable oral hygiene is still important and will always be a top priority. Taking care of your teeth is so important, to ensure that you keep your teeth looking and feeling good and that you also have a healthy outlook on your oral hygiene. Be sure to keep a good routine and remember that dental hygiene is so important. If you want to fix your teeth and smile then that too is something that is easy to solve. With all the technology of today, such as veneers, teeth whitening, and invisible braces, you can certainly get your confidence back and hold on to it! Speak to your dentist about the best way forward for your issues and start enjoying your smile and your teeth again!