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Oral Care

Medical Reference Related to Oral Health

  1. Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) - Cause

    Get information on the causes of temporomandibular disorders (TM disorders).

  2. Dry Mouth: Home Treatment and Prevention - Topic Overview

    Dry mouth (xerostomia) may make it hard for you to eat, talk, swallow, wear dentures, or taste food. In most cases, home treatment will relieve symptoms of a dry mouth. An ongoing dry mouth can lead to mouth infections, gum disease, and dental cavities.Some causes of dry mouth include dehydration, breathing through your mouth, stress or anxiety, smoking, and problems with how the salivary glands work, so you make less saliva. Low saliva production is common as you age. It also is common with many health conditions, such as Sjögren's syndrome, or with treatments, such as cancer treatments.A dry mouth can also be caused by a medicine, such as a diuretic, an antihistamine, or a decongestant. If you suspect that a medicine is the cause of your dry mouth, call the doctor who prescribed the medicine to determine whether you should stop taking it or take a different one. An appointment may not be necessary. If you are taking a nonprescription medicine, stop taking it. Call your doctor if

  3. Tonsillitis - When To Call a Doctor

    Find out when to call a doctor about possible symptoms of tonsillitis.

  4. Treating a Bad Taste in Your Mouth - Topic Overview

    Everyone gets a bad taste in the mouth from time to time. Try the following simple home treatment measures to improve the taste in your mouth: Gargle with water. Brush your teeth,tongue,roof of your mouth,and gums using toothpaste. Rinse your mouth with mouthwash. Drink liquids,chew sugar-free gum or mints,or suck on sour candies. Use plastic utensils if you have a bitter or metallic ...

  5. Abscessed Tooth - Frequently Asked Questions

    Learning about an abscessed tooth: What is an abscessed tooth? How can I take better care of my teeth and gums? Getting treatment: What medicines are used to treat an abscessed tooth? What is a root canal? What happens during removal of a tooth? ...

  6. Malocclusion and Orthodontics - Topic Overview

    What is malocclusion?Malocclusion means having crooked teeth or a poor bite. Bite refers to the way the upper and lower teeth line up. In a normal bite, the upper teeth sit slightly forward of the lower teeth. Very few people have a perfect bite.Most of the time, malocclusion is a cosmetic problem, which means that people don't like the way their teeth look. But it can also have a serious impact on self-esteem. Plus, crooked teeth can be hard to take care of, which may lead to tooth decay or tooth loss. When malocclusion is severe, it can even cause problems with eating or speaking.Orthodontic treatment can correct the way teeth and jaws line up, and that may help a person feel better about his or her appearance. Dentists who are specially trained to correct malocclusion are called orthodontists. They use a variety of tools and techniques to move teeth, and sometimes the jaw, into the right position. What causes malocclusion?Malocclusion is usually caused by problems with the shape or

  7. Malocclusion and Orthodontics - Frequently Asked Questions

    Learning about malocclusion:What is malocclusion?What is orthodontics?What are the types of malocclusion?How do thumb-sucking and pacifiers affect the teeth?Can mouth breathing affect the teeth?Getting orthodontic treatment:What is the best age to treat malocclusion?What is the early treatment for children who have jaw problems?How can removing the baby teeth help with malocclusion?What kind of surgery may be done for adults with jaw-related malocclusion?

  8. Wisdom Tooth Problems - Frequently Asked Questions

    Learning about wisdom tooth problems:What are wisdom teeth?Getting treatment:Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?How are wisdom teeth removed, and what should I expect after surgery?What is a dry socket?

  9. Oral Care Guide - Tooth Extraction

    A tooth that is severely damaged may need to be removed. A surgeon who specializes in surgeries of the mouth (oral and maxillofacial surgeon) or your dentist can remove a tooth.

  10. Tooth Decay - Topic Overview

    Is this topic for you?This topic provides information on tooth decay and cavities. If you are looking for information on: Gum disease, see the topic Gum Disease. Toothaches, see the topic Toothache and Gum Problems. Dental checkups and how to care for your teeth, see the topic Basic Dental Care. What is tooth decay?Tooth decay is damage that occurs when germs (bacteria) in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. It can lead to a hole in the tooth, called a cavity. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. A tooth has three layers. The hard outer layer is called enamel. The middle layer is called dentin. The center of the tooth is called the pulp. It contains nerves and blood vessels. The more layers that are affected by decay, the worse the damage. What causes tooth decay?Bacteria and food can cause tooth decay. A clear, sticky substance called plaque is always forming on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on the sugars in

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How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

Number of Days Per Week I Floss

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Answer:
Never
(0)
Good
(1-3)
Better
(4-6)
Best
(7)

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Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

SOURCES:

American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

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