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Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Stress is the body’s internal and external reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional response. Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious.

Too much stress is known to be bad for us but did you know that stress can also cause issues to your dental health?

Dental Issues That Can Be Caused By Stress

Poor Dental Hygiene

When a person is under stress they tend to lose focus on basic habits and this includes being diligent with maintaining their dental hygiene. If you do not take care of your dental hygiene, your dental health as well as your general health will begin to suffer. This is especially true if you already suffer from periodontal disease as skipping any part of your dental hygiene program can worsen the periodontal disease. Another issue with being under stress is your nutrition changes. Most people dealing with stress tend to develop very unhealthy eating habits. This can include snacking on larger than normal amounts of sugary foods and drinks. These changes will increase your risk for tooth decay.

A good way to combat stress in your life is to maintain a routine of regularly exercising. Exercising regularly can help you relieve some of that stress and give you an extra energy boost. Exercise will also boost your immune system which is always a plus.

Teeth Grinding (also called Bruxism)

One of the main reasons why people grind their teeth is due to stress. Bruxism can occur day or night but it is usually a subconscious act. Stress is not the only cause of bruxism but it does make it worse. Some of the dental issues associated with bruxism include:

-Headaches

-Ear Pain

-Worn Down Teeth.

-Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Issues

-Sensitive Teeth

-Chipped or cracked teeth

-Receding gums or teeth with notches in them at the gum line

Your dentist may recommend a night guard to wear while you sleep to minimize the damage caused to your teeth. Usually, if stress is the cause the bruxism will stop when the stressor is removed.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores come in many forms. These can include:

-Canker sores. These are small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red.  There has been vigorous debate regarding what causes canker sores. Some believe it is an immune system issue, bacteria, or even a virus. Consensus is that stress can increase the risk of them showing up. Canker sores are not known to be contagious.

Canker sores generally last about 7-10 days. Spicy foods as well as highly acidic foods should be avoided as they tend to irritate the sores. One of the best forms of relief comes from a dentist prescribed medicine called Debacterol. This medicine is applied directly to the sore and can reduce symptoms as well as the length that the sores are present.

-Cold sores (or fever blisters). These sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are highly contagious. Cold sores are blisters that are filled with fluid that often appear on or around the lips. They can also appear under the nose or around the chin area. Emotional stress can trigger an outbreak. Other triggers include fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion.

Cold sores often heal on their own in about a week’s time. Treatment is available, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Ask your doctor or dentist if either could help you. It is important to start treatment as soon as you feel or notice the cold sore forming. The sooner you start treatment the effects of the cold sore will be reduced.

Periodontal Disease

Stress can lead to depression. And studies have shown that patients who are depressed have twice the risk of a poor outcome from periodontal disease treatment compared to those who are not in a depressed state. You can not make depression or the stress disappear, of course. But most experts agrees that learning healthy coping strategies can help reduce the risk of periodontal issues getting worse.  Also, people who are depressed tend to have poor overall hygiene and that includes dental hygiene.

Conclusion

Keep in mind we all have stress during the course of our day. Developing proper techniques for dealing with that stress can make a world of difference in the maintanence of our dental health as well as our overall health. As always, see your dentist regularly for dental examinations along with professional cleanings to ensure you keep your smile as healthy as can be!

Remember, eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene help reduce your risks of periodontal disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss daily.

We have all experienced the dreaded foul taste associated with orange juice after brushing. Most adults are aware of this phenomenon but many kids have yet to experience the displeasure firsthand. The question arises, why does tooth brushing change our tastes so dramatically to be able to turn sweet orange juice into a bitter tasting drink?

Main ToothPaste Ingredients

Toothpaste is generally in the form of a paste or a gel that serves the main purpose, of cleaning and maintaining our teeth and gums. Toothpaste has the ability to be abrasive, in order to remove light staining as well as dental plaque from around our teeth. Today, there are also many toothpastes to serve other roles, including teeth whitening, to relieve tooth sensitivity, and to relieve bad breath. These toothpastes use many different ingredients to specifically fit your dental needs and preferences. So what are the main ingredients of toothpaste?

-Abrasives - These ingredients make up the majority of most toothpastes (usually very close to 50%). These abrasives work to physically remove plaque and light stain. Some tooth pastes used white mica as their abrasive. White mica is a very mild abrasive and also gives tooth paste its trademark shimmer in the light. Many other brands use baking soda as an abrasive.

-Fluoride – The addition of fluoride to toothpaste gives the added benefit in replacing weaker ions with stronger fluoride ions in enamel. There are different types of fluoride used and these include Sodium Fluoride (most common), stannous fluoride, olaflur, and sodium monophosphate. In studies, it has been shown that stannous fluoride is  effective  in decreasing tooth decay and also controlling gingivitis and sensitivity.

-Surfactants (detergents) – Most toothpastes contain an ingredient known to cause the very familiar  foaming action. This ingredient is called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and is also found in other personal hygiene products like shampoo. The foaming action increases a toothpastes effective cleaning power. Surfactants also help to remove plaque and stains and form a slippery barrier so that it is more difficult for plaque to adhere.

Other Ingredients – These can include antibacterial agents (like triclosan or zinc chloride), tooth enamel remineralizers (like calcium phosphate), and flavorants (like peppermint or spearmint).

Which Ingredient Is The Culprit?

It is believed that we perceive flavors based on interactions between taste molecules and the receptors on our tongues. Different molecules will interact with different receptors ( bitter, salty, sweet, etc.). The culprit in tooth paste is believed to be Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). SLS has been known to suppress the receptors in your mouth responsible for the taste of sweets. It has also been found to destroy phosholipids. Phospholipids act as inhibitors to your bitter receptors. So, the theory is that by inhibiting sweet receptors and destroying phospholipids, SLS is able to dull the sweetness and promotes the bitter taste in orange juice.

SLS is found in about 99% of all toothpastes sold in the world today. It is believed that this foaming detergent is also responsible for giving people canker sores. Patients who have found that switching to an SLS free toothpaste helps reduce the number of canker sores they get over time.

Mint oil is also a culprit. Mint is a very strong flavor, it can easily overpower the subtleties of orange juice flavor.

Conclusion

Now you finally have an answer to that question that has been in the back of your mind all of these years! Now that you know why orange juice and toothpaste taste so bad together, try to remind yourself that it is better to brush after breakfast than before. Remember to practice good oral hygiene daily as well as visiting your dentist regularly to maintain a healthy and bright smile.

For many of us, whiter teeth are a sign of youth, beauty, and vitality. If your teeth look dull and lifeless, you may lose some self confidence causing you to miss out on precious moments in life. As we age, our teeth will lose some of their natural whiteness, changing instead to a yellowish, even brownish/gray tinge. This occurs from our daily habits like drinking coffee, possibly smoking, or drinking red wine.

We are bombarded by magazine and television ads displaying models with perfectly white teeth. After awhile, you begin to wonder whether you can have whiter, brighter teeth too? Luckily, there are many options out there to do just that. The traditional way has been to go to the dentist and have them professionally whitened under controlled conditions. Today, we have other options like teeth whitening toothpastes. Are these toothpastes effective at whitening our teeth?

What Is Special About Teeth Whitening Toothpastes?

Most of us use toothpaste every day just to maintain our dental hygiene. It is a product we are all very familiar with. Manufactures have now found a way to add an extra element to your favorite toothpastes allowing the addition of teeth whitening materials into the mix to give you an added benefit.  Some are more abrasive to help remove surface stains, some have peroxide and other additive ingredients to actually allow for some deeper whitening to occur. It should be noted that teeth whitening toothpastes do work, but they will NOT whiten your teeth as effectively as your dentist can. Also, each individual’s results will vary.

Teeth whitening toothpastes commonly contain the following ingredients:

-Hydrogen peroxide. The same teeth whitening ingredient used in most teeth whitening strips. This is found in the new Colgate Optic White toothpaste.

-Sodium Hydroxide. This is another ingredient used to whiten teeth. Crest 3D white toothpaste utilizes this as it’s main teeth whitening agent.

-Sodium Tripolyphosphate. Do not be scared off by the long name. This chemical is effective in removing stains from the enamel on your teeth.

-Blue Covarine. This chemical is present in some teeth whitening toothpaste. Blue covarine has the ability to adhere to the surface of teeth creating an optical illusion that can make our teeth appear less yellow.

-Abrasives. These abrasives, such as baking soda, will provide a perfect cleansing and polishing on the teeth surface and over time will remove light stains that make our teeth appear yellowish or brown.

When used twice a day, teeth whitening toothpaste generally takes from two to six weeks to make teeth appear whiter and brighter. Teeth whitening toothpastes that contain blue covarine can have an almost immediate effect on your smile.

Teeth Whitening Toothpaste Conclusion

Americans spend over $1.5 billion on toothpaste per year and it is a rapidly growing market. Many of the toothpastes have become quite specialized, especially those geared towards teeth whitening. But do teeth whitening toothpastes really work? The simple answer is yes, but to what degree?. If your teeth are brown and discolored, it will not work as effectively as a professional teeth whitening. The difference being, that the dentist uses chemicals specifically designed to whiten teeth (and applied under very controlled conditions) whereas many of the teeth whitening toothpastes on the market use much lower concentrations of these whitening agents, or none at all. Don’t get overly frustrated if using teeth whitening toothpastes don’t do much for you. They are helpful in some mild degree of whitening, but will not give you the super white smile that actual professional whitening will. They are best used as an adjunct to a professional whitening, to help keep your teeth whiter and brighter longer, or for younger people to brighten up an already nice smile. Teeth whitening toothpastes are a cost effective way to brighten your smile, discontinue use if they begin to cause sensitivity.

It is always recommended you see your dentist for professional cleanings and dental examinations. This is a perfect time to discuss teeth whitening options and what method would work best for you. Teeth whitening can be a very personalized choice and each program can be tailored to each patient’s needs and expectations. Find out today how to get your teeth whiter and brighter.

Most of us worry before we sit in the dental chair and we know the questions that are coming…”Have you been flossing and brushing regularly?” So what do we do, weCosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS frantically brush, floss, and use a mouth rinse right before our appointment. And when we finally sit down in the chair and we get asked that dreaded question we always answer “yes, I brush and floss all the time”. You hope they believe you but deep down you know they know you are not being entirely truthful. How can they tell? What are the Signs?

Signs You Are Not Brushing and Flossing Regularly

Brushing and flossing is such an important part of maintaining not only our dental health but studies have proven our general health as well. Signs that you are not brushing and flossing properly include:

-Increased Tooth Decay. There are other factors, like diet, that cause tooth decay but not brushing and flossing will definitely lead increased incidence of tooth decay over time, especially tooth decay between teeth. If you have any tooth cavities or the beginning stages of cavities, it indicates that flossing is a weak point in your home dental hygiene regimen.

-Inflammation. This might be one of the most obvious tell tale signs that you are not brushing and flossing regularly. Plaque, bacteria, and food debris will sit in between the teeth when we do not brush and floss properly. This causes the body to start the inflammatory process to remove the irritant. As a result your gums will begin to appear pink, puffy, and bleed very easily.

-Cuts or Abrasions on Gums. This is an indicator you are not flossing regularly or just not flossing properly. You need to be careful when flossing around teeth and do not force the floss.

Conclusion

The bottom line is you need to take the time to practice good dental hygiene to ensure a lifetime of smiles. Once it becomes a habit it will become second nature and be a seemless part of your daily routine.

The moral of the story is simple, make flossing a part of your daily regimen! The benefits to your dental health are tremendous.