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GENERAL DENTISTRY FAQs 

Do tooth whitening toothpastes really work?
Teeth whitening toothpastes seem to be popping up everywhere and you've got to wonder if they really work.      
             
Whitening toothpastes, like all other toothpastes, contain mild abrasives to remove surface stains. Teeth whitening toothpastes may have additional polishing agents and special chemicals that are more effective against stains than regular toothpastes. While whitening toothpastes can make your teeth appear a little lighter, by getting rid of stains, they do not actually bleach your teeth.      
             
Teeth whitening toothpastes are ideal for people who smoke, drink coffee and tea and eat certain foods that can stain your teeth. Teeth whitening toothpastes are also good to use after you have undergone a teeth whitening procedure to keep surface stains from building up on your teeth.
 
What Causes Bad Breath?

Most of your bad breath problems can be traced to poor oral hygiene. Bacteria that builds up on the back of your tongue or in between your teeth is the main culprit. These bacteria like to breed on the tongue, cavities, poorly fitting bridges or crowns and in crevices caused by gum diseases. Bad breath is also caused by foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), badly maintained dentures, Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products. Medical conditions like dry mouth (also called xerostomia); other diseases and illnesses like respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux and liver or kidney problems are also reasons for Bad breath.
    
            
      Bad breath can also be caused by antihistamines, nasal sprays and some anti-depressants. They can dry up your saliva, which leads to bad breath.
Unexplained tooth movement?

There are various reasons why your teeth may have moved, one of the commonest is drifting due to loss of attachment in periodontal disease which is caused mainly by poor oral hygiene. It can also be due to other causes and so a dental check-up is vital here.

Why do my gums bleed? 
The most common reason for bleeding gums is a result of gingivitis where the gums are inflamed due to irritation from dental plaque bacteria. Dental plaque is formed due to poor oral hygiene. Other causes for bleeding gums could be bleeding disorders, brushing too hard, hormonal changes during pregnancy, leukemia, scurvy and vitamin- K deficiency.
 How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?
Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush, and the manufacturer states otherwise. Some electric rechargable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every 6 months. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 - 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.
   
 

 

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