What Kind of Toothbrush and Toothpaste Do You Recommend?

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What Kind of Toothbrush and Toothpaste Do You Recommend?

Great question!

I always recommend a soft toothbrush.  I prefer the bristles to be all the same length.  The head of the brush will look flat rather than ramped up.  When brushing, I recommend that you angle the bristles so they are pointing toward the gums (so that is up for the uppers and down for the lowers) and place the bristles half on the tooth and half on the gum.  The target area is the space underneath the gum.

The microorganisms in your mouth want to survive just as much as you do, and they can outsmart you.  They hide where you do not go.  They want a warm moist environment.  If they can snuggle deep under your gums by eating their way there, they will.  They can even morph into anaerobic bacteria verses aerobic bacteria.  Anaerobes are very difficult to control, so you want to clean this area underneath your gum from the get go.  Do not let it get out of hand.  You want to avoid sweeping your brush back and forth.  You want to place it in this one position and vibrate it against your teeth and gums.

Then actually lift it off, and replace it one or two teeth ahead.  You must be methodical about this and you must stay in the moment.  Most people are “out the door” in their heads after 20 seconds of brushing!  The other important piece of information is flossing. If you don’t floss, the microorganisms will hide between your teeth.  It is simple.  You have clean 360 degrees around the neck of each tooth to stay healthy.  Every 24 hours this should be done to out smart the bugs. I encourage you to make this a game you know you can win!!!!!

As far as toothpaste, I like Tom’s without Fluoride.  It is easy to purchase.  There are other products that you can get at dentist’s offices or online that are very good.  Tooth & Gum Tonic is great.  They were recently sold and you can go on line to see who is manufacturing it now.  Kiss My Face also has a holistic approach to mouth wash and toothpaste. Even finding out about oral health products can be a journey.

Thanks for your inquiry.

Dr. Dian M. Olah

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What can I do to make my gums healthier and stop them from receding?

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What can I do to make my gums healthier and stop them from receding?

This is a short question that requires a long answer!

Generally, gums recede because of poor oral hygiene, degenerative diseases, poor nutrition, clenching and/or grinding your teeth, poor occlusion (the way your teeth come together) and/or a combination of all these.  Stress plays a huge role and can cause degeneration. By saying this, I mean that it can lower your immune system, which can result in your gums reacting more to plaque (the bacterial film that accumulates on your teeth until it is removed).  Your repair mechanisms become compromised.  People tend to clench more at their jobs, in thought, or in their sleep when they are under stress.

Ways to care for your gums include impeccable home care.  Brush your teeth thoroughly with a soft toothbrush and floss them.  Getting correct instructions on how to brush and floss is important.  Your hygienist should show you how to do this and actually have you do it while you are at the office.  I know people who spend a great deal of time on their teeth yet they are not effective.  Getting correct instructions is a must. And being able to duplicate the technique is imperative. Practice, practice, practice while you have your coach present! Vitamins like B complex and Vitamin C are important.
 
A muscle relaxing splint similar to a night guard can be very helpful to take the “load” off your teeth at night when you uncontrollably clench and grind.  This is an appliance that your general dentist can make for you.  I do not advise you to purchase a night guard over-the-counter, as they are soft and you will still clench on them.  You may take the load off your teeth but you increase the load on your jaw joint with these over-the-counter appliances.

Regular professional cleanings are also essential. Keep in mind that even having your teeth cleaned twice a year may not be enough to control your inflammation.  It takes about 90 days for the microorganisms to multiply sufficiently to cause tissue breakdown in deep pockets.  Deep pockets are the spaces between your tooth and your gum that are 4 or more millimeters deep.  Your hygienist or dentist will measure your pockets to see if any 4mm spaces exist.  If so they will recommend that you get a professional treatment about every 90 days or 3 months.
 
If you learn and practice these recommendations it can be easy and rewarding. Bleeding gums are the easiest way for bacteria to get into your blood stream and play havoc with your health. It is worth your while to learn how to care for your teeth and gums and this will extend your life!

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Why Aren’t My Gums Pink?

Why Aren’t My Gums Pink?

I have a couple of questions. 1. Why aren’t my gums pink? and  2. Do red gums automatically mean that there’s something wrong, especially if my gums have been pink in the past?

Some people naturally have different colored gums.  When we make dentures for individuals, I can choose from about 8 different shades of pink. They range from a pale pink to a brownish pink. If your gums are red, it usually means you have inflamation.  We humans are often habitual in our behaviors.  This means that every day when you brush your teeth you may brush the same way.  So if you miss an area, you miss it almost every day.  Plaque build-up will cause redness in the areas you miss.  Examine the gumlines very carefully.  Often you will see a thick white line of plaque right on the gum line.

Different medications affect your saliva, either decreasing your saliva or changing your pH.  Even your diet cant effect your saliva.  When your saliva is out of balance you can get red tissues.

Sleeping with your mouth open can dry it out, and lead to red tissues.  Mouth breathing in general may cause this.

And of course, if you have hard deposits that lie under your gums, you will have inflamation in these areas.

Some mouth washes help your saliva, some dry you up even more.  Some kill so many bacteria including your healthy flora that will lead to red tissues.

There are systemic problems that can lead to red tissues in your mouth, as well.

 

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