Listen to Your Tongue! It May Be Telling You About Your Oral Health

The tongue is one of the most used muscles in the body, and yet, the average person rarely gives their tongue any real attention. One thing you may not know about the tongue is it can speak volumes about your oral health. In fact, every good dentist will examine your tongue during a visit. Here is a look at a few things your tongue can tell you about your oral health.

1. Your tongue appears white.

The tongue has these finger-like formations referred too technically as papillae. If these papillae get inflamed, they can appear to take on a white appearance because bits of food and bacteria will collect between the formations. Many things can lead to the appearance of a white tongue with papillae inflammation as the root cause, such as:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene habits

The tongue may not even be consistently white; you may also notice white patches on certain parts of the tongue.

2. Your tongue has a darker tone or may even look black.

Believe it or not, black hairy tongue is a legitimate oral health condition. If your tongue appears black and even looks like it has grown some kind of weird growth, this rare condition may be to blame. Once again, this kind of issue is normally caused by the overgrowth of papillae on the tongue. However, with a darkened tongue, it can mean the papillae have collected stains from foods you eat or bacterial growths. Thankfully, this unsightly and uncomfortable condition tends to rectify itself quickly with a good oral hygiene plan and perhaps some dentist advice.

3. Your tongue always feels dry.

The tongue should feel moist and supple pretty much all the time. Due to the fact that the tongue is used for speaking and chewing and swallowing food, a dry tongue can get in the way of normal everyday actions. If your tongue always feels dry or appears dry, there may be a health problem to blame that deserves professional attention. A dry tongue may be a sign that you are not taking in enough fluid, which is easy enough to solve. However, the condition can also mean you have elevated blood sugar levels, you are breathing with your mouth open more often than you should, or have certain autoimmune diseases.

Ready to Talk About Oral Health Care in Woodbury?

You may not always give your tongue attention, but it is deserving of some observance when it is trying to tell you something is wrong with your oral health. If you see something odd about your tongue, reach out to us at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule an appointment.

 

Does it Matter Which Mouthwash I Use?

For many people after brushing and flossing, they take a swig of mouthwash to freshen their breath and make their mouth feel cleaner. However, since there are so many types of mouthwash available today, you may wonder if it matters what type of mouthwash you swish around your teeth and gums. To help answer your questions here is some information about which mouthwash might be right for you and your mouth.

Fluoride Mouthwash

Containing sodium fluoride, fluoride mouthwash is best used if you are mainly concerned about preventing cavities and tooth decay. However, you may want to use this sparingly. Since fluoride is commonly found in toothpaste and tap water, too much fluoride can actually be detrimental to your health, so you should always discuss this with your dentist.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

The most common type of mouthwash and the one used by most people today, antiseptic mouthwash does contain alcohol. As for what it does for you, its primary benefit is stopping bacterial growth in people who may have a mouth infection. Along with this, it is also very helpful in combating halitosis, commonly known as bad breath. When used in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing, antiseptic mouthwash can be very effective. However, using it too often can result in tooth discoloration.

Cosmetic Mouthwash

Though a cosmetic mouthwash doesn’t generally contain any ingredients aimed at helping prevent tooth decay or gum disease, it can be very effective if you simply need something that can freshen your breath or hide bad breath for a little while.

All-Natural Mouthwash

Gaining in popularity with more and more people, an all-natural mouthwash is very similar to antiseptic and fluoride mouthwashes in that it has ingredients that help prevent cavities, tooth decay, infections, and halitosis. However, the key difference is that an all-natural mouthwash is alcohol-free and uses only natural ingredients. When compared to other types of mouthwashes, many people like an all-natural option because they feel its ingredients make it safer to use.

No matter which type of mouthwash you choose to use, you’ll reap quite a few benefits from doing so. By making the use of mouthwash a regular part of your dental care routine along with brushing and flossing, your teeth and gums will thank you.

 

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If your wisdom teeth do not hurt, but your dentist has suggested that you consider taking them out, you may want to know the reasons behind the suggestion, and whether the process is necessary. Here is what you need to know about wisdom teeth extraction.

 

It May Be a Preventive Measure

Your dentist may recommend removing your healthy molars as a preventive measure. If your teeth are not a source of pain, currently, it does not mean that everything is okay with them. Your wisdom teeth may get stuck or impacted, if your jaw is not big enough to accommodate them, and this means that your teeth may not break through your gums. A wisdom tooth that is impacted often crowds other teeth, creating pain in your gums. If you do not remove the teeth early enough, you could have problems after future surgery, including, fractured teeth, or severe numbness. These issues could last for a couple of days or a lifetime.

 

When Is Removal Necessary?

If your wisdom teeth cause you pain, then it may be a good idea to have them taken out. Other reasons to remove them include:

 

When They Cause Sinus Issues

If you have problems with your wisdom teeth and lead to pain or congestion of the sinus, you should consider removing them.

 

Wrong Alignment

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you may experience crowding problems with your other teeth. It may be necessary to remove your wisdom teeth, and in some instances, undergo a treatment to have your other teeth straightened.

 

If They Cause Damage to Your Other Teeth

Your molars may push the rest of your teeth around, leading to excess pain in the mouth, which may cause pain, and lead to difficulties when biting.

 

When They Cause Jaw Damage

Cysts may form around your new molars. If left untreated, they can damage your nerves, and in some instances, they can harm your jaw.

Before deciding to remove your wisdom teeth, your dentist will examine your mouth’s shape and the teeth’ position to make an informed decision. If you are not ready to extract your molars, you may have to wait for a couple of months to see if there will be any change before removing them. However, if you experience pain or swelling, then removing them might be a good idea.

What is a Tooth Abscess?

Tooth problems have become common in the daily life of individuals. It begins with a little pain when chewing, bad breath, or sometimes yellowing of teeth. It can stay for months unnoticed, but when it blows up, your dental health becomes an issue. One of the most severe tooth problems that should be avoided at all costs are a tooth abscess. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that is frequently caused by a bacterial infection. It occurs in different parts of a tooth. There are two common types of tooth abscess; periodontal abscess, which occurs at the gums, and periapical abscess, which appears on the tip of a tooth.

 

Causes of a Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess, especially, periapical abscess, is caused by an untreated dental cavity or sometimes injuries as a result of dental work. It occurs when bacteria invade the delicate dental pulp and affect nerves, connecting tissues and blood vessels. The entry of the bacteria is mostly through a crack on the tooth or a dental cavity. It then moves downwards of the root, which consequently causes inflammation and swelling at the tip of the tooth.

A dentist treats this condition by draining the tooth and removing the infection. Sometimes draining becomes difficult, but they can still apply the root canal treatment. When the condition worsens, it can call for the total removal of the tooth.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms of a tooth abscess include:

  • The sensitivity of your tooth during chewing or biting.
  • Severe throbbing toothache that can cause pain on the jawbone, ear, and neck
  • Swelling in your cheeks and the face
  • Difficulties in swallowing and breathing
  • Fever
  • High sensitivity to temperature
  • Swollen lymph nodes on the neck or under the jaw

 

Factors that Increase Chances of Developing Tooth Abscess

  • Poor dental hygiene – this occurs when you do not take proper care measures to your teeth e.g., not brushing your teeth twice a day.
  • Dry mouth – dry mouth can result in tooth decay.
  • Sugary foods – frequent consumption of sugary foods can increase the chances of developing dental cavities.

If you are experiencing severe dental pain or you have any of the above-mentioned common symptoms of a tooth abscess, please contact your dentist today to book an appointment.

 

Dental Bonding: Common FAQs About the Procedure

Overall, how happy are you with your smile? Your smile is a big part of who you are and your personality, so being satisfied with it is important. Dental bonding can be a simple and straightforward way to make cosmetic changes to the teeth. Take a look at some common questions about dental bonding for cosmetic purposes and the answers you should know as a patient.

Does dental bonding hurt?

Dental bonding is not a painful procedure. The dentist will use a local anesthetic to make sure the soft tissues of the mouth and your teeth are numb before they get started. Some people feel a little mild tenderness when the procedure is done and the anesthetic wears off. However, this discomfort should not be concerning as it should pass rather quickly.

What kinds of issues can be fixed with dental bonding?

One of the great things about dental bondings is just how versatile the procedure can be. Therefore, it can be used to mend or change a wide array of small imperfections that can make an individual self-conscious about their smile. A few examples of how bonding material can be used to repair imperfections include:

  • Closing gaps between teeth
  • Mending small cracks or chips in teeth
  • Creating a smoother shape to a tooth with a serrated edge
  • Filling in teeth that are too small to make them larger
  • Covering small areas of discoloration

How long will the dental bonding process take?

The dental bonding process is usually done within one appointment in just a few hours. The dentist will use the composite bonding material to make the necessary changes to the tooth’s shape, and then they will use a special UV light to cure the material. The material will then be shaped and formed further to make it smooth like the rest of your teeth.

Reach Out to Our Woodbury, MN Office for More Information

In the end, a simple dental bonding procedure can really change how you feel about your smile. If you would like to schedule a consultation to determine if bonding could work for a smile problem you have, contact us at Woodlane Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for information.

 

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQs

Having a nice bright smile is so important. When you smile, it lights up your whole face, and the world smiles back at you.

If you feel self-conscious about the way your teeth, gums, or bite look, you may try to hide them by smiling less often. […]