Good oral health is about more than just brushing and flossing. A healthy mouth requires a mix of balanced nutrition, solid hygiene and regular preventive care. Sometimes, just one small factor can throw off the balance and leave your oral health really out of whack. Your dentist in Toledo wants you to know about these surprising causes of oral health problems so you can make sure they don’t happen to your smile. We’ve got the top three here — can you think of any more to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
#1: Additives in toothpaste
When a patient comes in with complaints of increased tooth sensitivity or they present with annoying sores that come and go, we’ll always ask one thing first — what toothpaste are you using? Many times, people grab a paste off the shelf at random, not realizing the additives for “whitening” or “extra tartar control” solutions have chemicals that can cause real tooth sensitivity and even canker-like sores. If you’re using one of these pastes and have noticed pain or discomfort following use, switch to a different blend and see if your symptoms subside.
#2: Skipping fluoride
Speaking of toothpaste, is yours approved by the ADA (American Dental Association)? If not, you could be missing out on the enamel-strengthening benefits of the mineral fluoride — especially if you also drink filtered water. (Tap water in the US has been treated with fluoride to improve dental health.)
Fluoride strengthens teeth against the acids that cause decay, and regular exposure through fluoridated tap water or toothpaste can give your teeth a significant boost to protect against cavities. Make sure you’re not accidentally using a fluoride-free paste by checking for the ADA stamp of approval.
#3: Living with dry mouth
Saliva is your mouth’s self-cleansing and anti-infective agent, responsible for washing away the food particles, acids and bacteria that cause tooth decay. Chemicals called “immunoglobulins” are also present, which help prevent decay and other diseases. Without sufficient saliva, cavities (dental caries), gum disease and other infections can accelerate rapidly.
Sometimes dry mouth is caused by insufficient hydration, and simply sipping more water throughout the day can help. But other times, patients are dealing with dry mouth as a side effect of medication — and simply upping the amount of H2O you drink throughout the day may not help. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor about the symptom, and try to stimulate saliva flow by chewing on sugar free gum in addition to upping your water consumption. Chewing gum and lozenges that contain the sweetener Xylitol have been shown to actually help prevent tooth decay.
Questions? Get In Touch With Us Today
If you’ve got questions about any of these factors affecting oral health — or if you’d just like to schedule your six month checkup and cleaning with your family dentist in Toledo, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Dental Group West! We’re your dental office in Toledo providing comprehensive care for you and those you love most.