Charcoal Toothpaste is all the rage for teeth whitening. Activated charcoal is also found in other popular items like supplement pills and cosmetic face masks. It is believed that activated charcoal toothpaste can be used for teeth whitening as well as giving you fresher breath. Does activated charcoal toothpaste actually make your teeth whiter or give you fresher breath over traditional toothpastes.
What Is Activated Charcoal Toothpaste?
Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from bone char, coconut shells, peat, petroleum coke, coal, olive pits or sawdust. The charcoal is then “activated” by putting it under very high temperatures. These high temperatures change the charcoal’s internal chemical structure by decreasing the size of its pores and increasing its surface area. Once the charcoal undergoes this change it is now more porous than regular charcoal. This activated charcoal does not contain any toxic substances that are present in charcoal briquettes used in BBQ’s. Activated charcoal is commonly used in water filters. The porosity of activated charcoal allows it to bind to everything that comes its way. This can include stains, bacteria, tartar and plaque, as well as viruses. Activated charcoal is also commonly used in patients suffering from a drug overdose or poisoning.
This is a controversial topic but there has been no long term research to date to prove that activated charcoal toothpaste is safe. What we do know is the following:
-Activated charcoal toothpaste should not be used daily. The activated charcoal toothpaste is quite abrasive and can damage your tooth’s enamel. Wearing down your enamel can thin the outer layer out making your teeth appear yellower due to underlying dentin showing through. This tooth enamel erosion can also increase tooth sensitivity significantly. If you do choose to use an activated charcoal toothpaste it is recommended not to be used daily and to use a soft touch when brushing.
-Lack Of Fluoride In Activated Charcoal Toothpastes. Most activated charcoal toothpastes do not contain fluoride. Fluoride is essential in keeping our teeth strong to defend against tooth decay. The British Dental Journal found that activated charcoal toothpaste may actually increase tooth decay. But this evidence needs to be researched further. Activated charcoal toothpastes can be used in conjunction with a regular toothpaste for people who are seeking a whiter smile, but it cannot be used in place of it.
-Increased Staining. For obvious reasons, introducing a fine black powder can leave stains especially in teeth with fine micro cracks. This can also occur on dental restorations like white composite fillings, porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns.
Does Activated Charcoal Toothpaste Make Teeth Whiter?
Toothpaste that contains activated charcoal may help to remove teeth staining due to the activated charcoal’s abrasiveness. The activated charcoal also has the ability to absorb surface staining through its porous nature. To date there has been no evidence that it has a natural teeth whitening effect. Current teeth whitening products work by not only removing surface teeth stains (also called extrinsic stains) on the surface of teeth but also those below the surface (also called intrinsic stains). There just is not enough scientific evidence to prove that activated charcoal toothpastes are effective in whitening your teeth. No matter how dedicated you are to using activated charcoal toothpaste for teeth whitening, a major lightening of tooth color can only come from teeth whitening treatments that have the ability to penetrate below the external surface of our teeth. Therefore, the only recommendation that can be given right now is to use activated charcoal toothpaste to remove surface staining.
Alternatives To Activated Charcoal Toothpaste For Teeth Whitening
Your teeth whitening alternative options include:
-American Dental Association (ADA) approved teeth whitening toothpastes
-In office teeth whitening
-Dentist supervised at home teeth whitening
Charcoal Toothpaste For Teeth Whitening Conclusion
Charcoal toothpaste is safe for use as a teeth whitener. It is not to be used daily and as long as you need to understand charcoal toothpaste has definite limitations when it comes to teeth whitening. At this time, activated charcoal toothpaste is not the answer if you are looking for significantly whiter teeth. Your dentist can offer you better options. As always see your dentist regularly for a healthy, happy smile.
What causes sensitive teeth can be a tricky answer. There are many different factors that go into what causes sensitive teeth. The different senses involved are temperature, sweets, touch, and pressure. When pain and discomfort is what causes sensitive teeth it is usually a sign of a dental factor happening. This can include tooth decay, trauma to teeth, or even overall wear. below we will answer what causes sensitive teeth in more detail.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
There are two very different types of what causes sensitive teeth:
-Sensitivity Of The Dentin. This type of teeth sensitivity occurs when the dentin layer of a tooth is exposed. Dentin is supposed to be covered by enamel above the gum line and by cementum (bone like connective tissue covering the root of a tooth) below the gum line. The dentin is made up of tiny openings called tubules. Inside each tubule there is a nerve branch that comes from the tooth’s pulp (the nerve center of the tooth). When the dentin is exposed, these nerve branches can be affected by hot, cold, or certain foods. This causes tooth sensitivity. Dentin exposure is a major factor in what causes sensitive teeth.
When the outer protective layers of enamel or cementum wear away the dentinal tubules becomes exposed to external factors. This dental sensitivity can affect one tooth or multiple teeth. Dentin exposure can be be what causes sensitive teeth in multiple ways. These can include:
- Overly Aggressive tooth brushing. The enamel layer can be worn away from brushing too hard or even using a toothbrush that is too hard over a long period of time.
- Dental plaque build up. The presence of plaque along root surfaces can cause tooth sensitivity.
-Tooth Wear. This type of wear occurs over time from teeth clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism).
-Untreated Tooth Decay.
-Recession of Gum Tissues. When the gums recede they expose the tooth’s uncovedred roots. Receding gums are often caused by periodontal disease or by overly aggressive brushing. Receded gums are very common and approximately 80% of all people have some form of gum recession by the time the age of 65. Gum recession is a major factor in what causes sensitive teeth in many people.
-Periodontal surgery (gum surgery) that exposes the tooth’s roots.
-Frequently eating acidic foods or liquids.
-Pulpal sensitivity. This is a reaction of the tooth’s pulp. The pulp consists of blood vessels and nerves in the center of each tooth. Sensitivity of the pulpal tissue tends to affect only one tooth. Causes of this type of sensitivity can include:
-Tooth Decay or dental infection.
-Placement of a recent dental restoration.
-Excessive pressure from teeth grinding or clenching your teeth.
-A cracked or broken tooth. If you feel a sharp pain upon biting, you may have a broken or cracked filling. Pain when you release your bite is a sign of a cracked tooth.
Your dentist will be able to diagnose what causes the sensitive teeth for you.
Dental Treatment For What Causes Sensitive Teeth
Once what causes sensitive teeth for you is determined treatment can begin. If it is due to a dental infection or trauma the course of action will be direct dental treatment in form of a root canal or dental crown or treatment of gum recession. If what causes sensitive teeth for you is not as easy to detect your dentist will recommend products to protect your teeth and seal the dentinal tubules and reduce or take away tooth sensitivity.
Desensitizing Dental Products
When the causes of sensitive teeth are not so obvious, there are still many dental treatments to help contain what causes sensitive teeth for you. These can include:
-Fluoride Gel. This will help to strengthen the tooth’s enamel and reduce discomfort and pain from tooth sensitivity.
-Sensitive Teeth Toothpastes. These are recommended as well to help seal up exposed dentinal tubules. These have been known to produce excellent results in as little as 2-3 weeks. Excellent brands include sensodyne, colgate, crest, and Tom’s of Maine.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth Conclusion
Coping with and figuring out what causes sensitive teeth can be quite frustrating for patients. Many times the causes of sensitive teeth is easily diagnosed and treated and other times it need smore investigation and time to pinpoint the reason for the tooth sensitivity. As soon as you experience any dental sensitivity that causes pain and discomfort contact your dentist. This will give them a chance to diagnose quickly what causes sensitive teeth for you. The sooner the sensitivity is addressed by your dentist the happier you will be in the long run.
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Wishing Everyone A Happy And Healthy Veterans Day 2019
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that should be treated immediately. Below you will find some common questions patients ask about periodontal disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is classified as an infection of the soft and hard tissues supporting your teeth. Periodontal disease is caused when plaque begins to build up on the teeth and eventually hardens (also known as tartar). In the initial stages of periodontal disease, the gum tissues become inflamed and there may be some bleeding upon brushing and flossing. This initial stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment from your dentist and maintaining a regimented routine of at home dental hygiene. If gingivitis is left untreated, the disease can continue to progress. The next stage is known as periodontitis. In this stage of periodontal disease the plaque and tartar build up below the gumline. Continued irritation and inflammation of the gums occur, this response will create periodontal pockets (increased space between your teeth and gums) that become infected. As periodontitis progresses and worsens, the periodontal pockets get deeper and the bone that supports the teeth begins to be lost. If periodontitis is left untreated, it will eventually lead to loss of teeth.
During your dental visits, your dentist or hygienist will examine the tissues surrounding your teeth visually, using instruments, and thru radiographs. If inflammation is present or the gums bleed easily that will be the first sign of periodontal disease being present. Further examination will occur using an instrument called a periodontal probe. This probe can measure the bone height surrounding your teeth. Normal periodontal pocketing is around 3mm. As bone loss and inflammation occurs this number can rise dramatically. Generally a pocket depth above 4 mm along with bleeding is a hallmark sign of the presence of periodontal disease.
What Are Common Signs Of Periodontal Disease?
Unfortunately for many, periodontal disease can be a silent disease until it becomes quite advanced. Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include the following
-Inflamed or tender gums that are red in color.
-Bleeding upon brushing, flossing, or when consuming harder to chew foods.
-Teeth appear longer due to receding gum tissues.
-Loose or moving teeth.
-Development of a dental infection in the gum tissues. Usually presents itself as a pimple. Can also be a sign of an infection related to a bad tooth.
-Sores in the mouth
-Unexplained, chronic bad breath
-A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bring them together.
What Are Typical Periodontal Disease Treatments?
Depending on severity of periodontal disease, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. A periodontist is a dentist that specializes in the gum and bone tissues of the mouth surrounding your teeth. There are a few options available. These include:
1. Scaling And Root Planing (also referred to as a deep cleaning). This dental hygiene cleaning will include the normal removal of plaque and tartar but will also smooth the root surfaces that are exposed or just below the gum line. This will help rid the oral bacteria that contribute to the development and progression of periodontal disease.
2. Periodontal Flap Surgery. This type of surgery opens the gum tissues up giving the dentist greater access to teeth, gum tissues, and bone. They can then debride the areas fully along with planing of roots. The tissues will be replaced and allowed to heal. Your dentist may decide a dental bone graft or gingival tissue graft may be necessary as well. A bone graft will help restore some missing bone to give added support in hopes of saving the affected teeth. A gingival tissue graft will help cover exposed roots to decrease sensitivity as well as give a better cosmetic result following surgery.
What Follows Treatment Of Periodontal Disease?
You will be placed on a maintenance therapy program. This will include oral hygiene instructions for at home along with necessary tools and education. It will also include the possibility of more frequent visits to the dental hygienist for follow up visits to keep the disease state under control. Some patients will require a more frequent schedule. The normal is every 6 months but for many cases it can increase to every 3 months to keep the disease from progressing further.
Can Periodontal Disease Contribute To General Health Issues?
Clinical studies have given us lots of data that periodontal disease does in fact affect our general health. These issues include:
-Cardiovascular Issues (Heart attack or stroke). Both periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are considered chronic inflammatory diseases. The medical community believes that inflammation is probably the factor that associates the two disease states.
-Low Birth Weight Babies and PreTerm Pregnancies
-Difficulty in Controlling Diabetes
Can Children Develop Periodontal Disease?
It is rare to find periodontal disease in children but it is possible. More so for adolescents and teenagers. This does not mean we should not educate our children on the importance of dental hygiene. Children should be educated and develop a routine to avoid any issues as they get older. The warning signs of periodontal disease include swollen, bleeding gums that are red in color. If your child has these symptoms call your dentist to ensure he/she is cared for swiftly.
What Can Be Done At Home To Prevent Periodontal Disease?
The #1 way to prevent development of periodontal disease is visit your dentist regularly and maintain a diligent schedule of dental hygiene at home. This should include brushing at least 2x per day (recommend after every meal), flossing at least once a day, and using an antibacterial mouth rinse.
Is Periodontal Disease Contagious?
The actual periodontal disease state is not contagious since it is an inflammatory process. However, the bacteria that causes periodontal disease can be spread thru saliva. This is most often common from mother or father to newborn baby prior to full development of immune system. It has also been shown to have a genetic component. It is believed that approximately 30% of the world’s population may have some genetic susceptibility to the development of periodontal disease. Modern DNA testing can shed some light on these factors as well. Once such company is called OralDNA. MyPerioPath is used to test for the detection of oral pathogens that cause periodontal disease. MyPerioPath can help provide early detection of oral pathogens to enable the personalized care in treatment of periodontal disease.
Can I Wait To Get Periodontal Disease Treatment?
The earlier that periodontal disease can be treated the cheaper and easier it will be to manage the outcomes. At the earliest sign of periodontal disease see your dentist and it could just involve a professional cleaning and some dental hygiene instructions. If you wait it could progress to periodontal flap surgery and tooth loss.
What Are The Stages Of Periodontal Disease?
The stages of periodontal disease are as follows: