Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why my teeth are uneven? Why my teeth are looking dirty? Why do I have foul smell from my mouth?

The milk teeth start appearing at 6 to 9 months of age. The first milk tooth to appear is the lower front tooth. However the order of eruption of different teeth may vary in some children. All the milk teeth erupt by 3 years of age. The milk teeth come out from 6 years onwards till about 10 years of age. The permanent teeth takes place by 6 years of age. Between the ages of 6 - 9 years the child has some milk teeth as well as some permanent teeth. This period is called the mixed dentition period.
By about 12 years all the milk teeth should be shed off and replaced by the permanent teeth. As the permanent teeth start emerging they wear off the roots of the milk teeth. Thus the milk teeth loose their support in the bone and become mobile. The milk teeth are ultimately shed off and are replaced by the permanent teeth. Nowadays, permanent teeth start coming out, but milk teeth have not yet erupted, so permanent teeth finds space available and then seen uneven. So it is better to consult doctor as first milk teeth get erupted.

It is normal to find the milk teeth in children to be spaced. These spaces between the teeth help later in accommodating the bigger permanent teeth. Thus absence of spaces between the milk teeth in children may be a fore warning that the child may not have adequate space to accommodate the bigger permanent teeth which may erupt in a crowded arrangement. Here also development of JAWS plays a important role. The movement/exercise due to chewing and speaking does have some effect for better growth. Eating hard foods also make jaws and teeth stronger.
The cutting edge of the newly emerged front permanent teeth (incisors) are not even. They show elevations called mammelons that correspond to their developmental lobes. These in due course wear off to form a flat cutting edge.
Deep inside the tooth is the dental pulp or the vital tissue comprising of nerves, blood vessels and other tissues. This tissue is protected by the outer covering of dentin and enamel. When the cavity becomes large and deep the caries may reach the inner vital tissue of the pulp. Thus the area of pulp adjacent to the dental decay may get infected and inflamed. Pulpotomy is the procedure where the superficial part of the infected pulp adjacent to the area of dental decay is removed leaving behind the pulp present deeper inside
Habits like biting nails, pencils, etc besides causing wear of the teeth can cause injury to the gums and supporting structures around the teeth. In addition the pressures they exert on the teeth may force them into abnormal positions which may necessitate orthodontic treatment
Tongue thrusting is a habit wherein the person forces the tongue against the back surface of the front teeth while swallowing. This habit can produce proclination of the front teeth and spaces between them. The dentist may have to train the patient on the correct swallowing method by some exercises and use of habit breaking devices.
Bacteria from unremoved food particles and sugar by-products produce lactic acid, which dissolves calcium in the protective enamel layer. When decay spreads to the sensitive pulp tissue, pain starts. Milk is recognized to be a greater producer of lactic acid. And no matter how much calcium you take, without magnesium only soft enamel can be formed. Soft enamel will lack sufficient resistance to the acids of decay.
Morning hours have rush time through the routine of brushing the teeth and rinsing our mouth, but after dinner we do not bother to clean the teeth. Most of us do not have habit to clean our teeth and gargle after eating Lunch and in-between the meals. Ideally, teeth should be cleaned thoroughly after every meal, but not many adults, let alone children, do this. It is only when one is in pain that one visits the dentist. Very often it's too late to save the teeth even by a qualified dentist.

So how to keep teeth healthy and smile, beautiful?
The correct diet and nutrition play an important role in ensuring strong teeth and healthy gums. Sugar, natural or processed, is your teeth's deadliest enemy and is the prime cause of tooth decay. Retention of sticky foods that are not quickly diluted by saliva also pose a major risk in the formation of dental cavities. Even apparently harmless wafers/chips are retained on the tooth for a long period of time & eventually broken down into carbohydrates & sugars leading to decay. 
Children should be given carbohydrates in their natural forms (as far as possible). They should be encouraged to eat hard fruits in whole instead of juices. This helps cleanse and stimulate teeth. Sticky/soft foods like white bread, pastries, aerated drinks, doughnuts, sweet rolls and processed cereals, one of the biggest causes of tooth decay, should be cleaned immediately from the teeth.

The longer food remains in your mouth, the greater the chance for decay. Rinse your mouth immediately after eating, especially if you've just had something sweet, to prevent the formation of plaque. Rinsing after meals and brushing teeth with soft toothbrush every time is essential to keep tartar and plaque at bay. So after Breakfast, Lunch, Evening Snack, Dinner make four times minimum.Carry a small baby brush in your beg/purse to use it after anything you eat in between, while away from home. Keep one such brush in your work place/office too and use it without forgetting.
Morning, after getting up, use Neem (LIMBDO)  or Babool(BAVAL) stick (DATOON) or even easily available Neem leaves. Chew these leaves or small thin sticks. It will take out saliva from the mouth every time. It will also help in cleaning the tongue.  One can go for a small walk/jog and find the above on the way/ around in the garden. The use of fluoridated toothpaste markedly reduces the occurrence of dental decay. Most of the toothpaste are sweet in taste which is not at all required, but companies wants children to like it and increase their sales. Foaming also may not be useful as such.
Crash dieters, or diet on and off pattern, tend to have a lack of, or decrease in certain vitamins, most notably Vitamins D, B-12 and calcium. They also tend to lack certain minerals like magnesium and proteins in their diets. These are very important vitamins especially for the health of the teeth and gums. Dieters also tend to take diet pills that may cause a decrease in saliva flow as a side effect. This decrease in saliva flow tends to increase the acid levels in the mouth, which may cause an increased level of cavity formation. CRESH Diet should be consulted with experts first.

Tongue cleaning is very important. It helps to reduce bad breath and improve oral hygiene status because a large number of bacteria reside in the rough corrugated surface of tongue. Most dental professionals advise that poor oral hygiene, such as not brushing, not flossing, or not rinsing enough is the leading cause of gum disease and tooth decay. Drink water few sips after every half-an-hour, gargle/rinse your teeth to avoid bad breath problems.

Smoking, chewing beetle nut and tobacco are also factors that adversely affect oral hygiene. These habits can cause bad breath, decay, gum disease, damage to tooth enamel, eventual tooth loss and in many cases even lead to oral cancer.

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