How can I improve my oral hygiene?

If you’ve ever worried about your oral hygiene you’ve probably already experienced that sinking feeling when you go to kiss that special someone and they pull back. It’s not really personal; they probably don’t think you have good enough oral hygiene; even if it doesn’t show through the smell of bad breath.

That’s why I regularly visit my dentists near Castle Hill and you should always find the tile to visit yours.

Oral hygiene has been shown to have a direct effect on your overall health; any bacteria and disease in your mouth can travel through your bloodstream and into your body causing a variety of issues.

Fortunately it is possible to improve your oral hygiene; here’s how:

Brushing

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and especially before bed. This is when bacteria will have the most amount of time to attack your teeth and start to cause issues. Brushing straight after you eat is also a good idea if you are susceptible to cavities.

It is important to brush your teeth gently; if you push too hard you can damage your gums.

Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well!

Go Electric

If you currently use a manual toothbrush it’s a good idea to switch to an electric one. The oscillating motion of the brush will dislodge more plaque and bacteria than a manual brush.

Floss As Well

Flossing is essential to remove anything between your teeth. Failing to do this encourages plaque to form which will damage the enamel on your teeth and can even affect your gums. This will make it easier for bacteria to get into your gums and start to cause damage.

As well as flossing at least once a day you should use a good quality anti-bacterial mouth wash. This will help to remove the unwanted visitors in your mouth.

It is important to note that most commercial mouthwashes simply mask bad breath. You should invest in a therapeutic mouth wash that will actually help to strengthen your teeth and gums.

Avoid Grinding Your Teeth

This is one way of quickly eroding your tooth enamel; the hard stuff that protects your teeth from bacteria.

If you start o notice tooth sensitivity, or your teeth are starting to grind don then you are grinding your teeth; it’s possible you’re doing this while you sleep.

Your dentist can give you a special guard to help you at night and you’ll need to be aware of the issue and stop yourself from doing it during the day.

Visit Your Dentist

To ensure you have the best possible oral hygiene and any issues are picked up quickly you should visit your dentist at least every 6 months or as directed by your dentist.

They can remove excess plaque and examine your teeth properly to ensure there are no problems that you can’t see or feel. Prevention is better than cure but catching any issues early is definitely the next best thing.

Why Do People Get Tonsil Stones?

If you were to ask the average person where can stones develop in the human body, the most common answers would be the kidneys or the gall bladder. However, unbeknownst to most, the tonsils can also develop stones.

The function of the tonsils is to fight and prevent infection that come into the body through the mouth. They help to trap viruses, bacteria and other harmful foreign invaders however, they can often become infected themselves which is why most people believe they are a waste of space

Tonsil stones typically form when the tonsils become coated with debris. Examples of this type of debris include:

  • Dead cells
  • Food
  • Mucus

If not removed, the debris is fed upon by harmful bacteria and their remains calcify to form the stones – which can also be referred to as tonsilloliths or tonsil calculi.

It is common for those affected by tonsil stones to not know what they are. In fact, they are so common that they are identified in about 10 percent of the CT scans performed in the United States. If left untreated, tonsil stones can contribute to the growth of bacteria in the throat and can emit an unpleasant smell.

You may be asking yourself “why do you get tonsil stones?” Well there are actually a few reasons why you could get them and I’ve discussed this below.

Causes of Tonsil Stones

As previously mentioned, the tonsils are small mounds of tissue in the back of the throat. The mounds of tissue are also filled with nooks, spaces and crannies where materials such as mucus, dead cells, food and bacteria can become trapped.

Recurring Infection

This can occur in anyone, but those who have chronic tonsil inflammation or tonsillitis can be prone to developing tonsil stones. Those who are affected generally have small tonsil stones on their tonsils - it is very rare to be affected by a large tonsil stone.

Diet

A person's diet may also be a factor in whether or not tonsil stones develop in the back of their throat.

In fact, dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt can increase a person's chances of getting tonsil stones. These foods not only contain calcium, but they can also promote the formation of mucus. Seeing as this is one of the biggest contributors to tonsil stone development, it only make sense that you should avoid it.

You should also avoid junk food and fizzy drinks. They promote almost no nutritional value so you won’t be able to fuel your immune system enough so that it can fight harmful bacteria effectively. It’ll also incorporate even more bad bacteria and fungi into your mouth as well.

If you are prone to developing tonsil stones, these foods should be cut from your diet or eaten in moderation.

Tobacco/Alcohol

Tobacco and alcohol are also thought to be contributing factors to tonsil stone development. Both of these substances can have a drying effect on the mouth and throat which effects your salvia levels.

In order to keep bacteria activity at bay, you need to have sufficient levels of saliva. If you don’t then the bacteria and fungi will be free to do what it wants – feed on debris and cause infection.

Poor Hydration

For the same reason above, if you don’t drink enough water your salvia levels will drop which makes it easier for infection to be caused.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene can also lead to the development of tonsil stones. If bacteria is allowed to remain in your mouth due to not brushing and flossing, and food particles begin to accumulate, tonsil problems can become noticeable quickly.

In order to prevent infection, you need to be incorporating new, good bacteria into your mouth and clearing out old, harmful bacteria.

Treatments

The old adage is true, prevention is the best medicine. With that said, one of the best ways to treat tonsil stones is to implement a vigorous oral hygiene routine. The routine should consist of brushing and flossing after every meal and using an alcohol free mouthwash to gargle. The mouthwash will reach the back of the throat and help to remove the stones without drying out the mouth.

However, if you don’t want to do this then you can gargle with salty, warm water. This can be especially effective if the tonsil stones are causing discomfort.

Final Words

Tonsil stones are common in those who suffer with tonsillitis and inflammation in the throat. The only way to prevent them is to have the tonsils removed. Good oral hygiene and a proper diet can reduce the chances of tonsil stones developing.

Oral Hygiene and Your Overall Health

From early on in your life, your parents insisted you brush your teeth before you go to bed and visit your dentist at least one a year. They were on to something. As a child, you complied out of obligation. As an adult, have you kept healthy oral hygiene? Well, you should.

Interestingly, it seems that there is more to oral hygiene than sporting a beautiful smile of pearly white teeth and having amazingly fresh breath. Recent research indicates that there are important connections between oral hygiene and our overall health. Untreated conditions like cavities and gum disease may lead to more problematic health concerns like diabetes and even heart disease. Some studies even link poor health hygiene in pregnant women to pre-mature births or delivering low weight babies.  This is certainly concerning and deserves attention.

It also appears that some of the bacteria that is always present in our mouth can become harmful to our immune system or respiratory system, especially if it accumulates and grows over long period of time. In aging population, or in people who produce less saliva, bacteria can more easily be transferred to the lungs since they are not swallowed as frequently with saliva. This could lead to complications such as aspirational pneumonia. Since pneumonia is one of the leading cause of death in people living in long term care facilities, it is important for our elders to practice good oral hygiene. Studies have shown that elderly people tend to neglect their oral hygiene. Understanding the correlation between oral health and overall health can help s convince them to continue to practice healthy oral hygiene throughout their older years.

For people with diabetes or HIV, their immune system is already compromised. In their case, having poor oral hygiene increases their chance of getting ill. They must be even more careful than the rest of the population. Healthy oral hygiene practices recommended suggest that people brush their teeth every day, at least twice a day with a good toothbrush and dentist recommended toothpaste. They should floss daily. If dental floss is too difficult to manipulate, dental picks are a viable alternative. Eating healthy food and avoiding snacking between meals is a good recommendation for anyone, diabetic or not. Something else to remember is to replace your toothbrush at least four times a year, or even sooner if you find that the bristles are damaged or frayed. Some toothbrushes use discoloration to indicate that it is time to replace them.

Another excellent oral hygiene practice is to visit your dentist regularly. Visits should include check ups, clean ups and x-rays. The dental team will assess the condition of your mouth, your gums, your teeth and their health. They will clean and scale each tooth, ensuring that it does not have cavities. If you have a cavity, they will guide you through the appropriate treatment. Your dentist Bankstown even consults for implants and bone grafting products. Whatever your query, you should rely on the expertise of your dental team.