5 Things You Should Know About Oil Pulling

Oil PullingOil pulling is a not a new concept. Reports indicate that oil pulling has existed for thousands of years; however, it has reached a mainstream audience only recently.

What is oil pulling? It’s a simple technique that involves swishing a specific type of oil for about fifteen to twenty minutes before spitting it out.

But what is this technique doing on a dental site? In addition to problems like eczema and arthritis, oil pulling is said to cure bad breath as well whitening your teeth.

Is oil pulling really that good and can it solve your dental problems? Let’s find out:

1. Oil Pulling Is Not a Substitute for Brushing or Flossing

Oil pulling does not mean you don’t have to brush or floss anymore. While oil pulling does have its benefits, it is not a substitute for brushing or flossing.

Plaque is a sticky film that accumulates on your teeth and needs to be removed manually. This can be done with the help of brushing and flossing. Oil pulling can also help remove plaque. Oil pulling reduces plaque’s ability to stick to teeth. Daily oil pulling can also help remove tooth stains.

Various studies have shown the effectiveness of using oil pulling to remove plaque. Although oil pulling can help reduce the presence of plague, it cannot completely remove it. Those who practice oil pulling will have to continue brushing and flossing regularly.

2. Oil Pulling Is Not for Everyone

Although oil pulling is a fairly easy technique, it’s not for everyone. Children should avoid oil pulling. There’s a risk of the oil entering the body and causing the child to become ill.

3. Choose Your Oil Carefully

Oil pulling requires the use of specific oils. This mainly includes sesame, sunflower or coconut oils as these oils have great benefits. Coconut oil is known for its anti-microbial agents. Also, coconut oil helps fight tooth decay. Dr. Ippisch of  Advanced Dentistry in Santa Cruz, CA says, “coconut oil contains Vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties that help kill bacteria making it work like mouthwash.” Using the wrong types of oil can be harmful.

4. More Is Not Always Better

The recommended time to swish is around five to ten minutes, doing it for longer a period of time will not give you better results. Oil pulling for longer periods may cause your jaw to hurt. You’ll want to start with five minutes and work up to ten minutes.

5. Do Not Swallow the Oil

You must spit out the oil once you are done swishing, and then you can swish with water to make sure your mouth is clean and doesn’t feel odd. Make sure not to drink or swallow the oil as it may have negative effects on your health.

Make oil pulling a part of your dental routine; however, do not use oil pulling as a replacement for your regular oral hygiene routine. If you have sensitive teeth and gums, you should contact your dentist before you try oil pulling.

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Everything You Need to Know About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation DentistrySedation dentistry is a field of dentistry that allows you to undergo even the most complex and painful dental procedure without any experiencing any pain.

Dental phobia is one of the most common phobias with both children and adults being afraid of undergoing a dental procedure due to the pain involved.

This used to be a problem years ago, but now thanks to sedation dentistry, dentists can do their job more efficiently, and patients can feel relaxed while being treated.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to a technique that is used to relax and calm a person undergoing any kind of dental procedure. This technique is suitable for individuals having dental anxiety issues.

When you look at it, sedation dentistry is for everyone who is afraid of pain or is anxious. It’s okay to sedate both adults and children.

Common Types of Sedation Dentistry

Oral sedation via pills is the most common type of sedation to be performed by dental specialists and is typically for those patients who do not like needles.

Normally, one pill is taken an hour before the dental treatment. During this type of sedation, the person is typically awake but doesn’t feel pain.

Nitrous oxide is a second option for sedation dentistry. In this type of sedation technique, the patient is made to breathe in nitrous oxide. The gas sedates the person, putting them into a state of mild sleep.

A final option is deep sedation and general anesthesia. This is used when a very painful procedure is to be performed, such as a root canal. Only some dentists are allowed to use this form of sedation, as it puts the person into deep sleep from which they must be woken at the end of the procedure.

Benefits of Dental Sedation

Dental sedation benefits both the dentist and the patient. On the one hand, it enables you to stay calm while on the other hand, the dentist is able to perform his or her job without the worry of a nervous or anxious patient.

Sedation dentistry not only take the pain away, but it also allows the dentist to be precise and complete the job in a quicker manner too.

How Long Do The Effects of Sedation Dentistry Last?

For the most part, a patient may remain somewhat drained and drowsy for the entire day after being sedated. However, this largely depends on the type of sedation used.

Nonetheless, most dentists will suggest that you have someone else drive you home after the treatment in case sedation was used.

Do All Dentists Use Sedation?

While sedation is a commonly used technique in dentistry, still not all dentists use it. It’s recommended that you speak to your dentist first before you undergo a procedure to learn about the types of sedation that are offered, if any.

It should also be noted that not all dental procedures require sedation, and it typically depends on each individual case. If you have anxiety about having a dental procedure done, speak to your dentist about sedation dentistry.

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Teeth Grinding: What Causes It and How to Treat It

cause of teeth grindingTeeth grinding is when you grind, gnash or clench your teeth either in your sleep or even when wide awake. It is basically a habit that turns into a problem that requires intervention.

The medical term for teeth grinding is “bruxism.” Many of us do it without even realizing it. In fact, a lot of people do it in their sleep, which is called sleep bruxism.

If you are waking up with a headache and a sore jaw, then there’s a possibility that you’re grinding your teeth.

The main reasons for teeth grinding include:

  • Stress
  • Not taking proper care of your teeth
  • Avoiding dental check-ups
  • Eating food that damages teeth

Many people tend to neglect this condition because they are unaware of its impact on dental health. There may not be a medical cure to this, but there are various ways to reduce and even eliminate teeth grinding completely.

Let’s have a look at some of the ways in which teeth grinding can be treated.

Reducing Stress

Stress is one of the most common reasons of falling prey to bruxism. You must take steps to reduce stress if you wish to reduce teeth grinding.

To deal with bruxism that results from stress, one needs to indulge in stress management activities and then re-examine the scenario to see if it helped reduce the grinding.

Stress levels can be reduced by taking care of simple things such as getting sufficient sleep or taking part in regular exercise like yoga.

Consuming Healthy Foods

Junk foods not only impact your oral health but can also cause you stress. As a result, eliminating – or at least minimizing – these foods can help alleviate the occurrence of bruxism.

Instead, munch on healthy fruits and vegetables which can have a very good effect on your health. In addition to this, you might concentrate on avoiding unhealthy foods, such as foods that are rich in sugars or that stick to your teeth.

Avoiding Caffeinated or Alcoholic Beverages

Drinks having caffeine such as coffee or chocolate shakes further increase your grinding habit and lead to more problems. Decrease the consumption of such drinks to reduce teeth grinding.

Exercising Before Going to Bed

There are exercises to help you reduce teeth grinding. It’s all about relaxing your jaws.

One simple exercise is to place a warm washcloth over your cheek and let it rest there. You can also have someone massage your neck and shoulders thoroughly to get you relaxed. You can even listen to music as a means of letting stress go and relaxing.

Seeing a Dentist For Teeth Grinding

Excessive teeth grinding can lead to cracked or broken teeth. Your dentist can diagnosis any issues, and offer solutions such as crowns or bridges to repair any damage that may have been done to your teeth.

If you are experiencing symptoms of teeth grinding or Bruxism, such as waking up with headaches, tooth or jaw pain, it’s time to see your dentist. With a general examination your dentist can diagnosis your problem and offer ways to help you to reduce or get rid of your habit of teeth grinding.

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Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments for TMJ

tmj disorder solutionIt’s important to pay attention to the signs your jaw gives you. Jaw aches and discomforts can be a sign of something major, including temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ disorder.

Jaw aches coupled with frequent clicking and popping is a sign of TMJ syndrome. The issue is caused due to flawed alignment of the jaw and can be extremely painful.

The TMJ is a hinge that connects your lower jaw to the skull’s temporal bones that are positioned in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw vertically as well as horizontally, so that you can speak, bite, chew, and yawn without any trouble.

Any problem with the TMJ can cause extreme pain in doing even the simplest jaw-related movements.

Signs and Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

There are several symptoms of TMJ disorder that need to be kept in mind. Sadly, a lot of these symptoms are often neglected due to a lack of knowledge. These symptoms include:

  • Any pain in the jaw that radiates to the neck and/or shoulders. The presence of muscle spasms around the area is also a sign of the disorder.
  • TMJ disorder causes you to feel pain around the ear as well, especially when you talk, eat or yawn. You’ll notice a ringing sound in your ear, which most people believe is a sign of a problem with the ear, when it is due to TMJ disorder. The pain is often presented with other problems such as nausea, headache, dizziness and vomiting.
  • Swelling of the face and mouth is also a sign of the disorder. This swelling makes it difficult to move your jaw and there may even be a clicking sound when you do so.
  • If you feel your jaw isn’t aligned properly, you should turn to a doctor and get checked for the presence of the TMJ disorder.

Treatment Options

Experts recommend using treatment methods which are conservative because safety is the top-most priority when it comes to treatment of jaw joints and muscles.

Adaptable steps that could help in reducing TMJ pain include:

  • Avoiding foods that are hard to chew.
  • Icing the affected area.
  • Avoiding jaw movements like wide yawning, chewing gum or sticky substances.
  • Adapting to muscle-relaxing and stress-reducing techniques.
  • Taking pain medications such as Ibuprofen may provide relief from jaw discomfort.
  • A bite guard helps in reducing pain. It is a plastic stabilizing splint that is fixed over your upper and lower jaw that prevents excessive movement of the jaw.

Your best option, however, is to visit your dental health care specialists and practice methods that he/she recommends according to your condition.

These solutions will help control pain, but they’re not a permanent solution as they revolve around changing your lifestyle rather than finding a permanent fix to your problem.

Irreversible Treatment Options (Surgery)

If your condition is serious, you must visit a doctor and get treated.

Leaving the condition unchecked can cause problems such as arthritis, and even tissue diseases. In severe cases your dentist may perform surgery to treat the problem.

If you have noticed any such signs, waste no time and get in touch with TMJ doctors today.

Three Tips for Helping Your Little Ones Get Ready for the Dentist

child-visit-dentistIf your child, like most other children, are a little bit nervous about visiting the dentist, you’ve no doubt started to scratch your head to find ways to calm them down and get them over the nerves and jitters that they’ve been dealing with.

This can be a pretty tall task for any parent!

But according to Dr. Rafiq, a dentist in Woodhaven Michigan there are definitely some things that you can do to help your children overcome their fear of the dentist and even get them to start looking forward to these regular meetings to make sure that their smile is exactly where it needs to be.

Here are three tips and tricks to help you talk to your child about visiting the dentist in a way that makes things a lot easier for everyone involved.

Start visits to the dentist at a young age

The earlier that your child starts to visit the dentist, the less stress they are going to have simply because the process is going to become normal quite quickly.

A lot of the fear that children have when it comes to visiting the dentist is a fear of anticipation, getting nervous about things that haven’t even happened yet or aren’t likely to happen, either. By visiting the dentist frequently when they are young, and by looking through kid-friendly dentist information, they can set different expectations and they won’t worry about visiting the dentist later on in life.

Keep early visits simple, straightforward, and quick

It’s also really important that you and your dentist do absolutely everything in your power to make sure that the first few visits that your child makes to the dentist are relatively simple, very straightforward, and as quick (and painless) as humanly possible.

This deflates a lot of the nerves that kids feel about visiting the dentist, and again, it sets different expectations for your children moving forward.

Be open, upfront, and honest about the experiences they will have at the dentist

Children can get very overwhelmed when it comes to new and somewhat scary experiences, especially when a stranger in a laboratory coat is going to be poking and prodding their mouths!

By being upfront, open, and honest with your children about the experience they are going to have, and by answering all of their questions as best you can before and during the visit, you shouldn’t have any problem alleviating the anxiety and nervousness that your child would otherwise feel.