Managing Burning Mouth syndrome

UnknownYou have probably sipped a cup of coffee that was too hot or tried soup that didn’t cool down, and scalded your tongue and mouth. This is only temporary, but it is an unpleasant feeling that you have probably dealt with and forgotten about. However, if you feel this sensation on a regular basis and all day long, then you might have Burning Mouth Syndrome.

Around 5% of Americans are affected with BMS, short for Burning Mouth Syndrome, and it often affects the lower lip and the top of the tongue, as well as the mouth’s roof. Asides from the burning feeling you will likely experience, you might also feel a gritty feeling in your mouth. Changes in your taste buds could also be affected by BMS.

As of now, the cause of the condition is not known. However, there has been some researched done and some believe that it is a neuropathic condition. However, there some culprits, asides from general damage to nerves, that are behind the condition.

Some of the other culprits include having a nutritional deficiencies, such as having a lack of zinc, iron and vitamin B12. Various medications and some conditions such as diabetes, can lead to a dry mouth and so can hormonal changes. Also, Candidiasis can be the culprit, and so can acid reflux.

There may be a link between BMS and anxiety, as well as depression. However, there is more research that is needed before it can be determined if these conditions can cause BMS. As for treatment options, there may be a few for you.

The first thing you will want to do is to visit your primary care physician and have them review your medical history, as well as receive a physical exam, as these can help find what is causing your mouth to burn. The tests you may do include blood tests, which can determine if you have vitamin deficiencies, as well as infections or underlying conditions. You might be tested for allergies.

The treatment that you will receive depends on what exactly is causing BMS. If it is dry mouth causing it, then medications designed to treat dry mouth may help you. If it is a vitamin deficiency, then you might end up taking vitamins as a form of treatment. You might also have to stop using a new toothpaste or mouthwash that you recently switched to, and if that is when BMS first started.

If diabetes or a thyroid problem is the cause of BMS, then your doctor will address the problem. Sometimes, people are prescribed medicine to help relieve pain from nerve damage. Essentially, your doctor will let you know what you can do to treat BMS.

There are also steps you can take to treat BMS. For example, you can drink water on a regular basis and instead of chewing regular gum, go for gum that has no sugar in it. Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Staying away from foods that are acidity, hot and spicy is also a good idea.

The good news is that BMS is not a life or death matter, but it is a quality of life matter. It can be uncomfortable dealing with it on a regular basis, and one of the best things you can do is to visit your dentist. They might be able to help you out, or you can find a doctor who has experience with dealing with patients who have had BMS, as they may be able to help you out.

Will I get Cleaner Teeth with an Ergonomic Toothbrush?

original_447679_MVzFz9iM5ss7LkJoOR74zqeTuThe modern toothbrush was originally invented way back in 1938 and since then the daily practice of tooth brushing hasnít changed much. The toothbrush itself on the other hand has undergone dynamic changes. Walk down the oral hygiene section of your local supermarket and marvel at the many different models available each with their own specialized advantages.

The science at the heart of toothbrush evolution, according to the manufacturers, is ergonomics ñ this is the science of how the functional design of the implements can improve the usefulness for the people who use them. Specially designed ergonomic toothbrushes have a handle designed to increase the efficiency of the job.

There are many styles and varieties of ergonomic toothbrushes for both manual and electronic types. Manufactures who produce them say the special designs will enhance oral hygiene and create a more comfortable cleaning process. Some are reputed to give the gums a stimulating massage while cleaning the teeth. Ergonomic toothbrushes also last longer than their traditional counter parts.

But how do all these promised advantages actually perform? New York City Dentist Dr. Catrise Austin DDS, of VIP Smiles, says that the molded handles that the ergonomic toothbrushes have are lighter and give a better grip so you can hold a brush more comfortably. The heads are also designed for an improved cleaning process. Some models will have bristles that form a convex shape enabling a good cleaning for lower front teeth.

ìErgonomic toothbrushes have been developed to make the job easier, especially when cleaning harder to reach areas of the mouth. Cleaning the lower front teeth or the back molars on the top is easier accomplished with a light-weight easy to grip toothbrushî, explains Dr. Catrise Austin.

Traditional Models vs. Ergonomic Toothbrushes.

Other than the comfort factor however, an ergonomic toothbrush does not promise any huge cleaning advantages over the simple flat shaped cleaning implement. Most of us will never even notice the differences. ìIf you have a good teeth cleaning technique the toothbrush you use will not matter that much,î says Dr. Austin.
Ergonomic toothbrushes are best for people who have not yet developed the manual dexterity required to properly clean their teeth, more specifically small kids who are still developing their techniques. People with reduced motor skills such as those recovering from a stroke or suffering from a stroke may also benefit from the comfort and design of an ergonomic toothbrush.

Not the Brush but the Method of Brushing

According to Dr. Catrise Austin, the cleanliness level and efficiency of a good tooth brushing job is more dependent on the methods or practices you employ rather than the brush you choose to use. For best results, she says, you should brush three times a day. ìBrushing after each meal will ensure reduced levels of plaque and will avoid the formation of painful cavities.î

Flossing your teeth is also highly recommended. If your personal location or schedules do not allow you to brush after each meal chewing sugar-free gums or rinsing with mouthwash can also promote oral hygiene.

For best results when brushing your teeth it is a good idea to spend at least two full minutes reaching every area of your mouth. But be careful you heavy handed brushers, being overly assertive on your pearly whites will actually damage their protective enamel and begin to cause staining and sensitivity. This can be best avoided by choosing a brush with softer bristles.

Whether you choose to use an ergonomic toothbrush or a regular type, it is important to remember to replace worn toothbrushes at regular intervals. A toothbrush with bristles that point in every direction except up is probably overdue for replacement.

7 Top Reasons Why People Avoid Going To The Dentist

dentistDid you have a painful experience in the past that makes you afraid of the dentist? Is getting bad news regarding your dental health something you dread? Whatever your reasons are, you definitely aren’t the only one. It is very common for Americans to skip going to see the dentist altogether. Approximately 65 percent visit the dentist. However, some states have much lower percentages. For example, in Mississippi, only 51.9 percent visit the dentist.

This goes beyond just being unfortunate. In fact, it can be quite dangerous. One of the key factors to overall dental health is regular dental visits. According to Jennifer Shin, DDS, a New York City dentist, we use our teeth numerous times a day. They get a lot of abuse, so if you go to see a dentist two times per year, it gives them a chance to assess any changes that need to be addressed. If the problems are discovered early on, there is a higher chance that the solutions will be inexpensive, quick and easy. However, an undiagnosed cavity may result in a toothaches, which requires more expensive and extensive treatments.

Why We Are Afraid Of The Dentist

So why do people avoid visiting the dentist? There are several different reasons:

Cost. One of the major factors that prevents many people from having regular dental checkups done is high prices. According to a recent survey, 44% of individuals who were not going to the dentist was because they didn’t have dental insurance. John Dodes, DDS, author of the book Healthy Teeth: A User’s Guide and Forest Hills, NY dentist, says that if you take good care of your mouth and teeth that your annual dental visits won’t be expensive. He adds that adding a few easy things to your routine such as flossing your teeth and rinsing with Listerine or another therapeutic mouthwash can help to get your mouth healthy and keep it that way.

Dental anxiety. According to David Keen, DDS, a Beverly Hills, California dentist, many people fear the dentist office. He says, there are several things that can be done to help minimize the fear. One thing that can be very effective in making it a positive experience is to discuss your fears with your dentist and listen to nice music to make the environment soothing and pleasant so that it’s more like a spa-like atmosphere. The best method for creating a positive dental experience is usually communication.

Fear of needing to have dental work done. Dr. Dodes says that in his 40 years of practicing dentistry that most patients aren’t afraid of having their teeth cleaned. What they do fear is hearing bad news about dental problems they might have. Denial and avoidance are both very strong emotions that sometimes are a factor into why individuals don’t go to see their dentist as frequently as they should.

Afraid of dental instruments. Dr. Dodes says that the main reason why people are afraid of bad news is because the treatment could be painful or involve a scary procedure that involves scary dental instruments. Fortunately, that isn’t the case very often these days. According to Jeffrey Gross, DDS, a Cleveland area dentist, there are be many advances in dental care in recent years, including laser dentistry, which doesn’t normally require Novocain. In addition, the drills that are used these days are very advanced and there isn’t much discomfort or noise.

Bad memories. Even highly advanced dental equipment and techniques can’t get rid of bad memories from past dental visits. Dr. Gross says that one of the reasons why many people are afraid of dentists is because they were told as children to not be afraid. This actually made them afraid and the fear lasted for many years. Today, dental visit are quite different. Many dentists provide TVs, music and new high-tech procedures to help erase bad memories.

Too busy or too lazy. We all have lots going on in our lives, so sometimes people just simply don’t want to make the effort to visit the dentist. Gross says, we are creatures of habit. If it isn’t something that’s part of our routine, then it just turns into something we need to “get around to.” After skipping one or more visits, it’s not part of our routine anymore. That’s why so many dental offices these days make a big effort to remind people to get their visits set up. There are programs that have been designed to specifically address these issues and solve them.

Afraid of getting lectured. No one want to get a lecture regarding their dental health. If you have neglected brushing and flossing your teeth for a long time, you might be afraid of getting lectured. Dr. Gross says that reprimanding or lecturing is the last thing he thinks of. Those kinds of comments are really counterproductive. Just having to go into the dentist office is enough of a reprimand. However, many patients do fear they are going to get a lecture. This is often caused by guilt since they know they should be doing better, and they just don’t want to hear about it any more.

The best thing you can do to address your personal fears for avoiding going to dentist is to discuss them with your dentist. Let him or her have a chance to reassure you and help you get back on the path to good dental health.