Below is an excerpt from an article found on Colgate.comthat was written by Wendy J. Woudstra No matter how conscientious you are about your oral care routine, at some point in your life you will probably experience the discomfort of a toothache. Though a cavity is the most likely culprit, it is only one of several possible causes of toothaches. Tooth Sensitivity If you are experiencing sharp pains when eating or drinking hot or cold foods, it could mean you have a cavity. It may also be a sign that you may have sensitive teeth, either from receding gums or from a thinning of your tooth enamel. While you are waiting for a dental appointment to confirm the cause of your sensitive teeth, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth may help ease the symptoms. Some Toothaches Are More Severe If the pain you are experiencing is a sharp, stabbing pain when you bite down on your food, the cause of your toothache could be a cavity or a cracked tooth. If it's a throbbing, incessant pain, on the other hand, you may have an abscessed tooth or an infection that should be taken care of as quickly as possible. To read the entire article visit Colgate.com. The remainder of the article details the following:
Below is an excerpt from an article found on Colgate.com that was written by the ADA A healthy adult produces about three pints of saliva each day. It's not the kind of thing you would give thought to very often, but that saliva plays a very important role in maintaining your health. Saliva serves many purposes. It contains enzymes that aid in digestion. Saliva makes it easier to talk, a fact recognized by those who experience stage fright and the associated dry mouth while giving a presentation. Saliva also helps prevent tooth decay by washing away food and debris from the teeth and gums. It neutralizes damaging acids, enhances the ability to taste food and makes it easier to swallow. Minerals found in saliva also help repair microscopic tooth decay. Everyone, at some time or another, experiences dry mouth, also called "xerostomia." It can happen when you are nervous, upset or under stress or as a result of medication you take or other medical therapies. If dry mouth happens all or most of the time, however, it can be uncomfortable - and it can have serious consequences for your oral health. Drying irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, which can make them inflamed and more susceptible to infection. Without the cleansing effects of saliva, tooth decay and other oral health problems become much more common. Regular dental checkups are important. At each appointment, report any medications you are taking and other information about your health. An updated health history can help identify a cause for mouth dryness. To read the entire article visit Colgate.com.
Below is an excerpt from an article found on Colgate.com that was Reviewed by the Faculty of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine What's in Your Mouth? To understand what happens when your teeth decay, it's helpful to know what's in your mouth naturally. Here are a few of the elements:
Saliva - Your mouth and teeth are constantly bathed in saliva. We never give much thought to our spit, but this fluid is remarkable for what it does to help protect our oral health. Saliva keeps teeth and other parts of your mouth moist and washes away bits of food. Saliva contains minerals that strengthen teeth. It includes buffering agents. They reduce the levels of acid that can decay teeth. Saliva also protects against some viruses and bacteria.
Plaque - Plaque is a soft, gooey substance that sticks to the teeth a bit like jam sticks to a spoon. Like the slime that clings to the bottom of a swimming pool, plaque is a type of biofilm. It contains large numbers of closely packed bacteria, components taken from saliva, and bits of food. Also in the mix are bacterial byproducts and white blood cells. Plaque grows when bacteria attach to the tooth and begin to multiply. Plaque starts forming right after a tooth is cleaned. Within an hour, there's enough to measure. As time goes on, the plaque thickens. Within two to six hours, the plaque teems with bacteria that can cause cavities and periodontal (gum) disease.
Calculus - If left alone long enough, plaque absorbs minerals from saliva. These minerals form crystals and harden into calculus. Then new plaque forms on top of existing calculus. This new layer can also become hard.
Bacteria - We have many types of bacteria in our mouths. Some bacteria are good; they help control destructive bacteria. When it comes to decay, Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli are the bacteria that cause the most damage to teeth.
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