Healthy Teeth & Mouth

Healthy Teeth & Mouth

Healthy Teeth & Mouth
Your mouth is a complex system that you rely for a number everyday functions, from talking to enjoying a meal. But during the course of a day, bacteria build up in your mouth. Skipping good oral hygiene is fertile ground for cavities to develop. Ignoring your oral health also allows the bacteria to grow, causing inflammation (gingivitis) of the gums, which could lead to periodontitis, putting you at risk of tooth loss. Learn how to maintain healthy gums and healthy teeth with expert advice from Sharecare.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    The first permanent molars usually erupt between ages 6 and 7 years. For that reason, they often are called the "six-year molars." They are among the "extra" permanent teeth in that they don't replace an existing primary tooth. These important teeth sometimes are mistaken for primary teeth. However, they are permanent and must be cared for properly if they are to last throughout the child's lifetime. The six-year molars also help determine the shape of the lower face and affect the position and health of other permanent teeth.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered
    Biting your lip is a common nervous habit, and you may not even realize you're doing it. Chewing on your lip once in awhile won't cause any problems, but if you do it all the time, you could  damage your mouth.

    Try to be more conscious about biting your lip, and stop yourself whenever you find that you're gnawing on it. If your lips are dry, sore or swollen, use a moisturizing lip balm.

    You may not be able to control lip chewing if you're biting your lip at night when you sleep. If this is the case, ask your dentist to give you a splint for your teeth to prevent injury.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    2 031 03-2 read my lips

    Lips can become dry and lose their shape as people age. But lump lips can mean cancer. Learn how to protect your lips from damage as Dr. Oz discusses lip health in this video.


  • 1 Answer
    A
    A answered
    Your lip twitches when the muscles that connect to your lip contract involuntarily. Muscle twitching or spasms can occur for many reasons and may be triggered by stress, fatigue, or a side effect from a medication. Twitches of lips, eyelids, and calf muscles usually go away within a day or two, but they can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious condition or disease. If your twitch is persistent, it's a good idea to see your doctor.
  • 2 Answers
    A
    Plaque produces substances that irritate the gums, making them red, tender or bleed easily. After a while, gums may pull away from the teeth. Pockets form and fill with more bacteria and pus. If the gums are not treated, the bone around the teeth can be destroyed. The teeth may become loose or have to be removed. In fact, periodontal (gum) disease is a main cause of tooth loss in adults.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 3 Answers
    A

    Normal, healthy gums help anchor teeth firmly in place. If your gums are red, tender or swollen, it could be an indicator of periodontal disease, an infection of these tissues that support your teeth. There are several warning signs that can signal a problem:

    • Gums that bleed easily
    • Red, swollen, tender gums
    • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
    • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
    • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
    • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
    • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

    If you have any of these symptoms, schedule a visit with your dentist.

    See All 3 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    If you have a gum graft (surgery for advanced gum recession), your dentist will tell you how to care for your gums. This may include using a special mouth rinse or changing what you eat. A bandage or dressing may be placed over the graft to help it heal.

    Since gum grafts are a kind of surgery, the area may be tender or sore and it may swell. Most patients can resume their normal routine the next day. However, you may need to avoid chewing where the surgery was done for some time, up to a week or two.

    • The success of the tissue graft depends on several things. Here are some things you can do after surgery to help your gums heal:
    • Avoid smoking or using any kind of tobacco.
    • Do not drink alcohol.
    • Eat a well-balanced diet so your body gets all the nutrients it needs.
    There are other things that can slow down healing. These include clenching or grinding the teeth, diet or nutrition problems, and some medications or medical conditions. Be sure to tell your dentist if any of these things apply to you.

    After your gums have healed from surgery, keep your teeth and gums healthy by brushing gently twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Also be sure to clean between teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner.

    Your dentist may provide instructions on additional cleaning methods or may recommend oral hygiene products to use at home. Look for products that display the American Dental Association's (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This means that a product has met the ADA's standards for safety and effectiveness.
  • 2 Answers
    A
    Some factors increase the risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease:
    • Tobacco smoking or chewing
    • Systemic diseases such as diabetes
    • Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
    • Bridges that no longer fit properly
    • Crooked teeth
    • Fillings that have become defective
    • Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
    See All 2 Answers
  • 3 Answers
    A
    If you don't practice good oral hygiene, which includes brushing and flossing daily, you could develop periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissues and bone that support the teeth. Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. When someone has periodontal disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth. As the disease worsens, the tissue and bone that support the tooth are destroyed. Over time, teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Treating periodontal disease in the early stages can help prevent tooth loss later.

    It can be hard to know if you have periodontal disease. That's why good oral hygiene, regular dental checkups and periodontal exams are so important.
    See All 3 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    Healthy gums help serve as an anchor to keep your teeth in place. If your gums are pink (not red) and don't bleed when you brush or floss, those are good signs. Gums that are unhealthy can be red or swollen or tender, but not always. During your dental visit, your dentist or hygienist will perform a periodontal exam by using a periodontal probe to gently measure the depth of the pockets surrounding each tooth. When teeth are healthy, the pocket dept is usually 3 millimeters or less. Generally, the more severe the disease, the deeper the pocket.

    It's important to realize that you can have periodontal disease and not know it; that's why regular dental visits and periodontal exams are so important. If caught early enough, it can be reversed with treatment in the dental office and good oral care at home.
    See All 2 Answers