Dental health issues
We’ve all been told since young that brushing our teeth twice a day is the key to getting those healthy pearly whites. However, as we get older, our daily habits as well as the food and drinks we consume do play a part in potentially damaging our oral health.
With mask mandates becoming a thing of the past, more people are able to see our chompers. But if you don’t take good care of your dental hygiene, they might be able to smell them too. If you want to maintain a healthy mouth without ghastly bad breath or icky teeth – we gotchu. Here are 8 dental health issues to look out for and how to achieve Chip Skylark-worthy teeth.
1. Thick build-up of plaque & tartar
If you’ve ever run your tongue against your teeth after going camping for a night or two, you’ve probably felt a thick, icky substance resulting from the prolonged absence of proper brushing. That, my friend, is the build-up of plaque and tartar.
Apart from poor oral hygiene, plaque and tartar build-up can be caused by frequent consumption of starchy and sugary food and drinks mixing around with the bacteria in our mouth, so lay off the boba every now and then. If untreated, the build-up can lead to gum problems, enamel loss, and tooth decay.
Removing plaque and tartar can easily be done at home by maintaining proper oral hygiene, especially with a toothpaste that’s specially formulated to target plaque removal. Heavy tartar build-up, however, can only be removed by a dentist.
That persistent ache you feel in your gums is probably a condition known as gingivitis. It is a painful inflammation of the gums that makes them look swollen and red instead of snug and pink.
PSA for picky eaters: make sure to incorporate foods into your diet that are high in vitamin C.
Gingivitis is usually caused by improper oral hygiene, poor nutrition – especially a lack of vitamin C, and often shows up in diabetic patients. Like most dental problems, gingivitis can be prevented at home with thorough and frequent brushing, as well as regular flossing.
3. Chronic bad breath
Really, really bad breath can be caused by either not brushing your teeth properly or frequently enough, or even neglecting to brush your tongue, the breeding ground for a ton of oral bacteria. Stinky breath can get significantly worse with the consumption of caffeine, garlic – arguably staples of an all-Singaporean diet – and even smoking.
You can alleviate bad breath by scraping or brushing your tongue thoroughly to remove any odour-causing bacteria that linger, especially after a lunch of garlicky chicken rice and kopi peng.
Staying hydrated helps to prevent a lack of saliva. A dry mouth is what spurs the development of plaque, which directly contributes to bad breath. To further stimulate saliva production, you can chew on some sugar-free gum or suck on some mints.
4. Bleeding gums
If you’ve seen spots of blood in the sink after you spit out your toothpaste, that’s probably not a good sign. Bleeding gums can be caused by a deficiency of vitamins A, K, C, and magnesium, as well as vigorously taking your frustrations out on your teeth when you brush them.
Don’t fret too much, as bleeding gums can be taken care of by practising standard oral hygiene habits with a soft bristled toothbrush so as to not aggravate the gums.
The one dental problem we all hope to avoid is cavities. As its name suggests, cavities are tiny holes or openings on the surfaces of your teeth which indicate permanent damage. These are usually caused by poor oral hygiene, and overindulgence of sugary foods and drinks.
You may be able to spot the early signs of a developing cavity if your teeth look discoloured or are stained black or brown. You may even experience pain when biting down on foods.
Untreated cavities can lead to severe toothache, infections, and in worst cases, the need for extractions. Make sure to brush, floss – not the dance – and check in with your dentist regularly to prevent cavities from developing.
6. Sensitive teeth
If you’ve ever felt a sharp pain while enjoying a bite of ice cream, that is what we call sensitive teeth. Symptoms usually include sensitivity in response to hot and cold foods. Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by either a cracked tooth, tooth decay, or enamel and fillings that have worn away.
Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush usually does the trick to relieve pain. But if you still need a little relief, gargling with warm salt water helps too as salt is an antiseptic ingredient. If the pain still persists and is affecting the way you eat and drink daily, it’s time to head on down to the dentist.
7. Tooth erosion
Another dental problem to look out for is tooth erosion. Usually caused by gastric acid and common among folks who consume a lot of alcohol or ladies who are pregnant, tooth erosion occurs when acid attacks the enamel, causing the weakening of the tooth structure. Loss of enamel texture may leave teeth looking oddly silky, glossy, or have a “melted” appearance.
It’s always best to get your teeth looked at by a professional if you suspect that you’re currently experiencing a dental health issue. For those of us seeking prevention and not cure, some studies believe that products rich in calcium – like milk and yoghurt – have protective properties against tooth erosion.
8. Loose teeth
If gum problems aren’t treated properly, it could lead to loose teeth. Without proper support from your gums, your teeth will start to become loose due to bacterial infections attacking your gums, tissue, and surrounding bones. Big yikes.
Those with late stage gum disease will need to go for a special dental cleaning procedure to remove the hardened plaque that has cultivated under their teeth and gums. To prevent such a scenario, brush your teeth 2-3 times a day and floss daily. As an even better preventative measure, schedule dental cleanings twice a year to maintain good oral health.
Protect your oral health with specially formulated products
From chronic bad breath to cavities, there are a multitude of dental health issues to safeguard yourself from. Protect your precious pearly whites and keep these dental health issues at bay with regular visits to the dentist, as well as caring for your teeth at home through the use of reputable dental products.
As arguably the main name that comes to mind when you think of reliable toothpaste brands, Colgate has a product that’s specially formulated to target oral dental health issues stemming from pesky plaque build-up. The Colgate Total Plaque Release toothpaste contains a powerful formula of amino foam and zinc minerals to combat dental woes at the root.
Zinc slows down the growth of bacteria in your mouth, in turn stopping the release of toxic byproducts in your mouth. And while amino acids are usually lauded for their benefits to the human body’s immune system, they’re also able to help strengthen your gums^, eventually making them healthier and stronger.
Another benefit of the amino foam is that it creates small and dense bubbles which are able to penetrate through the dirt and uproot even stubborn plaque along the gumline.
True to its name, Colgate Total Plaque Release works to remove 3 times more bacteria plaque* along the gumline as compared to other non-antibacterial toothpastes, and helps to strengthen gums^ to keep them healthier and stronger. All these benefits and more, neatly packaged into a gentle cleaning experience.
Get your hands on Colgate Total Plaque Release conveniently from Shopee, Lazada, and Fairprice. Apart from keeping your mouth squeaky clean, it also comes in 2 refreshing flavours, ooh-la-la. You’ll be in your ele-mint with their refreshing Gentle Fragrant Mint and Reviving Cool Mint flavours, for minty fresh breath and teeth that are as sparkly as the gates of heaven.
Learn more about Colgate Total Plaque Release
This post is brought to you by Colgate.
Photography by Tasha Sun.
*Vs regular non-antibacterial fluoride toothpaste after 3 months continuous use.
^By reducing gum problems caused by plaque.
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