How could you tell you have bad breath? and save yourself the enormous embarrassment that comes with it?
When people tend to rub their noses or step back and start talking, you should get a clue. Also, if everything seems to be going well but your date suddenly pulls away when you go in for a kiss, bad breath may be the problem.
There are nine other ways to tell that you have a problem with bad breath.
1) Ask if you feel you have bad breath.
Some people try to get a whiff of their breath by cupping the hand to the nose and sniffing. This only gives you the smell of your hand. The human body tends to adopt so that you can smell other beings and things apart from yourself so you cannot perceive odor just by breathing into your hand.
If you see people tending to move away from you when you speak, ask someone whether you have bad breath. They may have noticed it but avoided telling you because they didn’t want to embarrass you.
2) Use a Dental kit:
If you are too embarrassed to ask, use a home testing kit to test your breath. The kits are available in chemists and they are very well priced. One version of it is a pocket-sized kit. If the kit comes out clear after you put some saliva on it, you are in the clear but it comes out blue, your breath is less than fresh.
Whether you want to be sure that your breath is fresh before you step in for a job interview or ahead of a date, you can quickly use the kit and remedy the problem with a breath mint or breath spray if necessary. There are different versions of it which the smallest ones similar to a pack of gum in size to fit in a pocket or purse.
You can also purchase Crest Non-alcoholic Mouthwash which has proven to be efficient in Temporarily reducing bad breath.
3) Wrist test
You can also be able to tell whether your breath is stale by licking the inside of the wrist, leaving this to dry for a minute and sniffing. The inner wrist is not constantly handling things so it can give you a true reading of your breath. You can also do this on the back of your hand. It works because if you have halitosis, sulfur salts will be transferred from your tongue to your skin.
4) Bad taste equals
Another pointer to bad breath is a bad taste in your mouth. You may not be able to smell your breath by cupping your hand to your nose and smelling it but you can certainly taste it. You may notice an odor after a heavily spiced meal or after taking an alcoholic or sugary drink. Brushing and a swirl of mouthwash usually take care of incidental causes of halitosis.
5) Halimeter test: professional use.
The best way to test your breath is to have it checked at the dentist’s office where it is tested with a halimeter. A halimeter is an instrument that accurately measures the concentration of sulfide molecules in the breath and saliva. There is a big difference in sulfide concentration between breath that is fresh and breath that is stale and this is the basis of the test. The instrument is now widely used in dentists clinics and it’s the most accurate and honest way to test the state of your breath.
ALSO READ: How to make your breath smell nice
6) Testing with cotton
Another way to test is to with a piece of cotton gauze. Use some to wipe the back of the tongue and sniff it. If it smells, then your breath smells. You may also see a yellow colored stain which is an indicator of higher than normal production of sulfide.
7) Testing with dental floss
You can find out if your breath is fresh using dental floss. Use some in between the teeth at the back which is where food particles are most likely to get caught. Smell the floss and you will get an idea of the odor others to get when you speak.
8) Test with the mirror
Here is another method: stick out your tongue. Do this in front of the mirror, bringing out your tongue as far as possible. If there is a white colored film on your tongue, you may have bad breath because of bacteria that lingers on this bio-film layer which keeps you emitting a bad smell.
9) The spoon test
You can also use a spoon to get to the back of the tongue. Invert a teaspoon and use it to scrap the back of your tongue. Do it gently so that you don’t gag. If there is a whitish coating on the spoon, sniff it. It will most likely smell bad if there is a coating.
The first step to solving a problem is being aware of it. Take the first step with these nine testing methods or the first of paying attention to a tendency to turn away or step back when you speak. Then, take the next step in finding effective solutions that are available.
However, the surest way to get rid of bad breath is to see a dentist. In Oaklands Dental Clinic, Owerri we follow you through the course of your treatment to give you a satisfying result.
We all have this craving to make our breath smell nice. Nobody wants a stinky breath, not especially not a few minutes after brushing. Whether the cause is your diet, good ole morning time, or overall dental hygiene, bad breath is just something that happens—and more often than you’d like.
Below, three New York City-based and Nigerian dentists share their expert tips on what you can do to make your breath smell nice again and how to fix your problem issues, if you need a fix, like, right now.
1. Clean your tongue – use tongue scrapper and toothbrush
According to dentist Michelle Chan, DDS, one main source of bad breath is a type of oxygen-hating bacteria in your mouth called anaerobic bacteria. Since they don’t like fresh air, they nestle deeper into your mouth’s surfaces, causing inflammation and bleeding of the gums, which, in turn, creates a stinky, sulphuric byproduct. Sexy, right? Dr. Chan suggests using a tongue scraper to remove the bacteria burrowed in the fuzzy filaments of your tongue, or in a pinch, try using a clean spoon instead, you will be amazed at suddenly a bad breath could start smelling nice by this simple method.
2. Use an oxygenated mouthwash.
Since anaerobic bacteria hate oxygen, try gargling with an oxygenated mouthwash to kill them fast, even in hard-to-reach places like your tonsils. Yep, anaerobic bacteria tend to accumulate in the contours of your tonsils and create super-pungent tonsil stones (a buildup of bacteria and debris in your tonsils). Yum! Dr. Chan also suggests gargling in the back of your throat with saltwater to dislodge the stones or seeing your ENT doctor remove them.
Recommended: HALITOSIS; Causes and treatment.
3. Stay hydrated.
Beauty editors like to respond to everything with “drink more water,” and I’m sorry in advance, but the same applies here. Dehydration reduces your saliva production, which is a problem because your spit has antibacterial and antifungal properties that keep your mouth healthy and your breath smelling good. And on a basic level, your saliva also helps break down your food, wash it away, and lubricate your teeth to prevent food from getting stuck. “If the food’s decomposing in your mouth because it wasn’t broken down or washed out, bacteria can flourish,” Dr. Chan says. “The more food you leave behind, the more feasting for the bacteria.” When these bacteria are flushed from the mouth, it increases the chances of making your breath smell nice.
4. Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash.
While we’re on the topic of dehydration, go ahead and toss all your alcohol-based rinses because ironically enough, your mouthwash could be your problem. Alcohol dries out your mouth, which leads to more bacteria growth, says dentist Debra Glassman, DDS. If you don’t want to run to the store, you can create your own by mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with a cup of warm water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. “Baking soda is a natural antibacterial, and the peppermint oil helps freshen your breath in a pinch if you run out of mouthwash,” Dr. Glassman says. This is a sure way to make your breath smell nicer.
5. Snack on apples or any other crunchy, healthy foods.
Better make a quick stop at Whole Foods (that’s romantic, right?). The hard texture of apples, celery, carrots, etc., can remove food caught between your teeth and rub away the bacteria that are clinging to them. Think of crunchy health foods as nature’s toothbrushes.
6. Chew sugarless gum containing xylitol.
Gum contributes to better breath for a few reasons: First, the act of chewing stimulates the flow of saliva, which, remember, helps flush away bacteria. Second, it helps pick up food that’s been left behind. And third, xylitol, a sweetener, is also an antibacterial. Try SuperSmile Whitening Gum which improves the breath smell, add With Xylitol, or if you’re not a gum fan, try Spry Xylitol Mints.
7. Eat probiotic foods for a nice breath.
Dr. Glassman says good breath relies on a healthy gut. Eating probiotic fermented foods like kimchi, yogurt, and kefir increases the good bacteria in your gut (the large and small intestines and the stomach). And when good bacteria thrive, there’s less room for the bad bac, which can give off a not-so-pleasant smell that travels up the digestive tract and into your mouth.
You laugh, but it works! If you’re already on your date, order a drink with mint leaves or casually ask your server for a side of parsley (you just, um, really love parsley, okay?). The mint will help freshen your breath and make it smell nice, and the parsley contains chlorophyll, which Dr. Jennifer Jablow, DDS, says fights against the aforementioned sulfur compounds.
Recommended: 10 Best Ways to Stop Bleeding Gums
9. Brush and floss Every. Single. Day.
Sure, flossing is an extra step, but it’s an essential one. Brushing your teeth helps nix the plaque and bacteria on the front, back, and the chewing surface, but flossing dislodges anything your toothbrush can’t get to between the teeth. If you don’t floss, Dr. David Wilfred says here’s what will happen:
The minerals in saliva (like calcium and phosphates) can cause the plaque to harden between the teeth (aka tartar). Tartar is full of bacteria. The bacteria colonies can multiply and burrow deeper into your gum. Over time, the tissue around the bone gets irritated, causing inflammation. Your gums start to break down, resulting in bleeding gums when you brush your teeth. If it progresses, the space between the gums and teeth grows. Welcome to gum disease.
Basically, anaerobic bacteria are the culprit behind gum disease and bad breath. So brush and floss, or bad breath will be the least of your concerns.
10. Steer clear of cigarettes.
Aside from the obvious fact that cigarettes smell bad, Dr. Iroanya Chukwuebuka David says smoking inhibits your immune system, which can interfere with your bod’s ability to fight off bad bacteria. That can lead to a quicker progression of gum disease and prevents the breath from smelling nice.
11. Don’t skip your dentist appointments.
See your dentist at least twice a year (depending on your oral condition) for cleanings, and while you’re there, don’t hesitate to bring up your concerns if you’ve tried everything and your bad breath still isn’t going away. It could be the result of multiple factors, so don’t google your self into a dark hole. Just go ahead and make yourself an appointment at Oakland Dental Clinic, Owerri in Imo State.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between professional mouth cleaning and teeth whitening? People tend to misplace one for the other.
So, today just take a quick view of what a professional teeth cleaning is, and why it is called scaling and polishing. Note that this is quite different from teeth whitening.
An extra high jet od antiseptic mouth wash was used in the process to help in the cleansing effect of the procedure.
Dental caries (tooth decay) is a major oral health problem in most industrialised countries and underdeveloped countries like Nigeria, and to narrow it down, Owerri, Imo state, affecting 60–90% of school children and the vast majority of adults.
The early manifestation of the caries process is a small patch of demineralised (softened) enamel at the tooth surface, often hidden from sight in the fissures (grooves) of teeth or in between the teeth.
The destruction spreads into the softer, sensitive part of the tooth beneath the enamel (dentine). The weakened enamel then collapses to form a cavity and the tooth is progressively destroyed.
Caries can also attack the roots of teeth should they become exposed by gum recession. This is more common in older adults.
Dental caries is caused by the action of acids on the enamel surface. The acid is produced when sugars (mainly sucrose) in foods or drinks react with bacteria present in the dental biofilm (plaque) on the tooth surface. The acid produced leads to a loss of calcium and phosphate from the enamel; this process is called demineralisation.
Saliva acts to dilute and neutralise the acid which causes demineralisation and is an important natural defence against caries. Aside from buffering plaque acids and halting the demineralisation of enamel, saliva provides a reservoir of minerals adjacent to the enamel from which it can remineralise and “heal” once the acids have been neutralised.
The enamel demineralises and remineralises many times during the course of a day. It is when this balance is upset and demineralisation exceeds remineralisation that caries progresses. When demineralisation occurs frequently and exceeds remineralisation over many months, there is a breakdown of the enamel surface leading to a cavity.
Cavities, even in children who do not yet have their permanent teeth, can have serious and lasting complications such as pain, tooth abscess, tooth loss, broken teeth, chewing problems and serious infection.
The main treatment option for a tooth cavity is to drill out the decay and put in a filling (restoration) made from various materials (e.g., composite resins, amalgam, porcelain). Extensive tooth decay may necessitate a crown, root canal treatment or even extraction of the tooth.
Fluoride is a substance that naturally occurs in some water sources. It is derived from fluorine, the thirteenth most common element on earth, and is known to help prevent dental caries.
In Nigeria, an estimated 73% of the population reside in communities served with water supplies containing a regulated amount of fluoride. The permissible range of fluoride in drinking water in Ireland is presently set at 0.6–0.8 parts per million (Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) Act 1960, (S.I. No. 42 of 2007)). This level of fluoride in drinking water is deemed optimal for the oral health of all age groups, including infants.
The dramatic improvement seen in the oral health of Nigeria since the introduction of water fluoridation in the mid-1960s – particularly among children and young adults with lifetime exposure to water fluoridation (labelled “Full Fl” in charts) – has been mainly attributed to the caries-preventive effect of fluorides in water and in toothpaste.
Fluoride works mainly by slowing down the process of demineralisation, whereby the enamel loses calcium and phosphate when exposed to acid following ingestion of food and drinks which contain sugars. It also helps to “heal” (remineralise) surfaces which show early signs of calcium or phosphate loss, such as an opaque appearance. Most benefit is obtained if a low level of fluoride is constantly maintained in the mouth throughout the day.
Fluoride delivered directly (or topically) to the tooth surfaces by toothpaste and rinses help to maintain fluoride levels in the mouth and provide added benefit to the fluoride delivered systemically via water fluoridation.
Introduced in the mid- the 1970s, fluoride toothpaste now account for over 95% of the toothpaste sales in this country. The sale of mouth rinses, many of which contain fluoride, has also increased considerably since the mid-1980s.
The main advantage of water fluoridation is that its caries reducing effects are available to everybody on the fluoridated water supply and is considered safe even for infant use. Bottled drinking waters contain highly variable amounts of fluoride depending on their source.
While it is legally permissible for bottled natural mineral waters to contain up to 5 mg/l of fluoride, when fluoride concentration exceeds 1.5 mg/l the warning “contains more than 1.5 mg/l of fluoride: not suitable for regular consumption by infants and children under 7 years of age” must be clearly carried on the bottle label (Commission Directive 2003/40/EC).
Fluoride toothpastes are an important source of additional fluoride and should be used twice a day to help maintain a constant level of fluoride in the mouth. Daily fluoride mouthrinses are particularly useful for people who are prone to high levels of decay and also for people wearing orthodontic braces; fortnightly fluoride mouthrinse programmes are used in a number of schools in non-fluoridated areas. It is advisable that fluoride mouthrinsing be carried out at a different time from fluoride toothbrushing to maximise the added benefits from these topical fluorides. Fluoride varnishes and gels are alternative forms of topical fluorides that require application by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Despite the widespread availability of fluoride toothpaste, the most recent national oral health surveys show that only 58% of Nigerian Children, especially in Owerri brush their teeth at least twice a day as recommended and that older people (aged 65+) in particular have poor oral hygiene habits. Only 52% of older people who have natural teeth (i.e., are not toothless) brush their teeth at least twice a day and 4.5% never brush.
There are no known side effects of water fluoridation at the optimal level, other than dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is mainly a cosmetic condition, commonly characterised by fine white lines or white patches on the teeth.
The risk of developing dental fluorosis is linked to the ingestion of excess fluoride during enamel formation (amelogenesis) of the permanent teeth in childhood. International research indicates that the early use of fluoride toothpaste in young children can lead to the development of fluorosis in permanent teeth.
In Nigeria, Owerri, dental fluorosis remains at the very mild to mild level as measured by the Dean’s Index. However, the increase in the prevalence of dental fluorosis when levels of water fluoridation had remained constant (at 0.8–1.0 ppm between 1964 and 2007) suggests that young children are swallowing excess fluoride from toothpaste.
As a result of this finding, in 2007 the permitted level of fluoride in water was lowered from 0.8–1.0 ppm to 0.6–0.8 ppm as a means of reducing the total intake of fluoride among young children.
Recommendations on the appropriate use of fluoride toothpaste in young Nigerian children issued by the Expert Body on Fluorides and Health (http://www.fluoridesandhealth.ie/ ) advise that children aged 2–7 years should use only a small pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste 1,000–1,500 ppm and be supervised by an adult when toothbrushing; children under 2 years of age should not use toothpaste except on professional advice.
The Nigerian Experts Body on Fluorides and Health advises:
From 0 until 2 years old:
- Start to clean a baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears.
- Brush a baby’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and water only
- Do not use toothpaste. (Professional advice on the use of fluoride toothpaste should be considered when a child below 2 years of age is thought to be at high risk of developing dental decay (e.g. children with special needs).
From 2 until 7 years old:
- Use a small pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste 1,000–1,500 ppm. (Paediatric toothpaste with low concentrations of fluoride (e.g., 500 ppm) require further research before their use can be recommended.)
- Supervise brushing twice a day, in the morning and at night just before bedtime.
- A child under seven years needs help from an adult when brushing teeth.
- A child should never eat or swallow toothpaste.
- Clean the teeth thoroughly twice every day with fluoride toothpaste.
Reduce Frequent Consumption of Sugars
There is overwhelming evidence that frequent consumption of sugars is associated with caries. Dietary advice should be aimed at limiting the frequency of sugar intake.
Studies have shown that sugar consumption remains a moderate risk factor for caries even when populations have adequate exposure to fluoride and that exposure to fluoride coupled with a reduction of sugar intake has an additive effect on caries reduction.
In a comparison of food habits in children and adolescents in 35 countries and regions covering Europe, Israel and North America, Ireland ranked as having the highest average weekly frequency of sweets consumption.
Foods and drinks containing “free sugars” (i.e., sugars which have been added to food plus sugars naturally present in honey, fruit juices and syrup) should be recognised and the frequency of their intake – especially between meals – reduced.
As shown in the Stephan curves opposite, the intake of sugar between meals increases the periods of time plaque pH dips below the critical level of 5.5. When plaque pH is lower than 5.5, remineralisation occurs.
Subjecting teeth to frequent bouts of demineralisation allows less time for their remineralisation; thus, teeth become more susceptible to decay. Detailed advice on nutrition and oral health is given here http://www.dentalhealth.ie/dentalhealth/nutrition.html
Pit and Fissure Sealants
Among children, tooth decay occurs most commonly on the pit and fissure surfaces of back teeth. Pit and fissure sealants are a safe and effective way to prevent dental caries on these vulnerable surfaces, and they are recommended for high caries risk children and should be applied as soon as the back teeth are sufficiently erupted to allow sealing.
Pit and fissure sealants may also be used in adults. Sealants must be applied by a dental professional, i.e., a dentist or dental hygienist.
Pit and fissure sealants create a thin barrier preventing the access of plaque and plaque acids to the enamel surface. Their effectiveness at preventing caries has been demonstrated in a number of systematic reviews.
However, sealants are only effective on the biting surfaces of teeth and should be seen as only one part of a comprehensive caries prevention programme which includes promotion of healthy eating and, for children over age 2 years, twice daily use of fluoride toothpaste containing at least 1,000 ppm F.
When devising a strategy for the control of dental decay for an individual patient or for a community, it is strongly recommended that a combination of these preventive measures – use fluorides, reduce frequent consumption of sugars, seal fissures – should be used, taking into account their cost and the effort required of the individual or community.
15 Proven Remedies for Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars in the very back of your mouth. Somewhere between the age of 17 and 25, these teeth begin to move up through your jawbone on their journey to break through your gum line and become part of your chewing mechanism.
Your gums may become inflamed, the affected area may bleed, and you may experience ongoing headaches or tooth pain. Here are nine remedies to help you find relief from wisdom teeth pain.
Remedies for pain relief
1. Salt water rinse
One of the most popular remedies for toothache is a salt water rinse. Rinsing your gums with warm water and dissolved sodium chloride (salt) has been shownTrusted Source to promote healthy gums and kill harmful bacteria. Wisdom teeth can sometimes hurt your other teeth or create cystswhen they erupt through your gums. So keeping your mouth clear of harmful bacteria is a good idea.
Peppermint leaves contain essential oils that can soothe pain and reduce inflammation. Try soaking a cotton ball in peppermint extract before applying it to painful gums, or rubbing the oil directly on your teeth. Peppermint tea can also be used as a mouth rinse after it has cooled down.
3. Clove oil
Cloves have been documentedTrusted Source as an analgesic and toothache reliever. Lab studies revealTrusted Sourcethat clove oil is especially potent at reducing pain. Cloves have the added benefit of fighting bacteria that can grow in your mouth and put you at risk for infection. You can purchase clove essential oil, or simply boil four to six whole cloves to make clove water, which you can then massage onto your painful gums.
Bourbon, brandy, and whiskey are pain relievers because of the numbing qualities of distilled liquor. Rubbing whiskey or another strong liquor onto your wisdom teeth as they erupt to the surface of your gum might help dull pain receptors, easing your discomfort.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is generally nontoxic and can be used to soothe and reduce inflammation around the area your wisdom teeth are trying to grow in. It also helps to heal your gums if they become scratched or cut while your teeth grow in. You can apply pure aloe vera gel to the back of your mouth, and it will cool the area down for temporary pain relief.
5. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful antibacterial agent proven to kill bacteriaTrusted Source in your mouth. But this remedy is so potent, it should never be applied directly to your teeth. Diluting tea tree oil with coconut oil, another antibacterial, and applying it to your inflamed gums could kill bacteria on your gum line. Tea tree oil shouldn’t be swallowed, so make sure you rinse and spit out any residue immediately after this treatment.
6. Crushed garlic and ginger
Crushed garlic was foundTrusted Source to be one of the most effective killers of pathogens that invade and infect the gum line. Researchers were surprisedTrusted Source when combining garlic with crushed ginger into a paste made garlic even more effective. You can crush raw garlic into a paste-like consistency before adding fresh, chopped ginger and applying the paste to your gums.
The aspirin that you take to relieve severe headaches may also help relieve your wisdom teeth pain. A recent study showedTrusted Source that aspirin is an effective pain-dulling agent for people experiencing discomfort in their mouth. Pay close attention to the label and don’t take more than the recommended dose of any kind of aspirin. Don’t pop aspirin continually for any sort of pain relief without supervision from a dentist or doctor.
Menthol is a natural analgesic, and brings a cooling sensation to your skin when you touch it. If you want to use menthol as a remedy for your wisdom teeth pain, dilute a mouthwash that contains alcohol, peppermint flavor, and menthol before applying it directly to the affected area.
Turmeric has been used for centuries as a spice and as a natural remedy for stomach pain. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities of turmeric give it tremendous potential as a toothache remedy. One source recommends rubbing crushed turmeric directly on inflamed gums, or rinsing your mouth with water that’s been boiled with 5 grams of turmeric and two cloves.
10. Cold and heat therapy
Applying an ice pack or heating pad to your cheeks can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling. Applying heat can promote healing by relieving tension and increasing blood flow.
Apply heat or cold to the affected area for 15 minutes at a time and then wait 15 minutes before reapplying. Alternate these methods throughout the day. Always finish with a cold treatment.
Wheatgrass is a powerful healer and can be used to treat wisdom teeth pain. The high chlorophyll content of wheatgrass helps to reduce inflammation and prevent the bacteria that can cause infections. It can prevent tooth decay and heal wounds.
12. Oregano oil
Oregano oil is a powerful healer that can kill bacteria and prevent infection. It can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. A 1996 study on mice suggested that its pain-relieving components are due to one of its active ingredients, carvacrol.
Oregano oil is extremely potent and must always be properly diluted. Dilute a drop of oregano oil into 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil. Use a cotton ball or your finger to apply the oil to your tooth or gums. Do this twice per day.
13. Thyme essential oil
Thyme is used as a traditional medicine to relieve the pain, inflammation, and fever that may accompany emerging wisdom teeth. A 2015 studyTrusted Source on mice supported the use of thyme extract in treating these symptoms. Further studies on humans are warranted.
Dilute a few drops of thyme essential oil into a carrier oil. Use a cotton ball or your fingers to apply it to your teeth and gums. Do this a few times a day. You can make a mouthwash by adding one drop of oil to a glass of warm water.
The active ingredient in cayenne pepper, capsaicin, is said to relieve pain and inflammation. A 2012 review reported that capsaicin can be useful in treating various types of pain in both animals and humans. It sometimes has a desensitizing effect on nerve fibers.
Capsaicin has the potential to irritate, so you should always start with a small amount to see how your body reacts.
Dilute a few drops of pure capsaicin extract or oil into a cup of water. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the affected area or use it as a mouthwash. Repeat throughout the day.
15. Lavender essential oil
This is a powerful healer that can relieve pain, reduce bacteria, and soothe inflammation. A 2015 studyTrusted Source on animals confirmed the effectiveness of lavender essential oil to relieve pain and inflammation. Further studies are warranted to discover more about its therapeutic ability.
Dilute one drop of lavender oil into 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil. Use your fingers or a cotton ball to apply it to the affected area several times throughout the day. Or add two drops of lavender oil to a cup of warm water to make a mouthwash. Use this solution three times per day. Or use cooled lavender tea to make a mouthwash.
Wisdom teeth can take up to three months to fully emerge from your gum line. But not all wisdom teeth come in at once, so you may experience some of these symptoms on and off in varying degrees for some time.
If you have sharp pain that persists, frequent headaches, bloody saliva, or feel an abscess growing underneath your gums, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. Though not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed, the Nigerian Dental Association recommends that all teenagers and young adults have their wisdom teeth X-rayed and monitored.
In Oaklands Dental Clinic, Owerri in Imo State, We bring oral health Education even before treatment.
Every tooth has a hard, outer layer called enamel. Enamel is the hardest material in the whole body. It protects the tooth’s blood vessels and nerve tissues.
Cavities are the leading cause of toothache and decay, which can actually break your teeth. Biting into something hard, loosened fillings, and sports accidents can also cause you to crack enamel or break a tooth.
A broken tooth can be painful and ultimately needs to be treated by a dentist to avoid further damage or complications. But there are some things you can do yourself to manage pain and symptoms. Let’s take a look.
Managing symptoms of a broken tooth
A broken tooth doesn’t always hurt, or the pain may come and go. But if you have exposed nerves or tooth dentin, your tooth may be very sensitive (especially to cold drinks).
If a broken tooth leaves a sharp edge it may also cut your tongue and cheek.
Until you can see a dentist, there are ways to treat pain from a broken tooth at home. These treatments will make you more comfortable temporarily, but should never replace seeing a doctor or dentist.
Rinse to clean your mouth
Gently rinse your mouth each time you eat to clear debris from around the broken tooth. You can use plain, warm water, or saline water, or a rinse made of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide.
Just don’t swish too hard. This can help to avoid infection and more pain.
Ice to reduce swelling
If your face is swelling, apply ice in 15-minute intervals as long as you need.
Cover ice cubes or a cold pack with a towel and hold it to the part of your face that’s swollen. If your broken tooth is the result of a sports impact or injury, it could take days for swelling and bruising to improve.
Use gauze for blood
Reduce bleeding by placing clean gauze inside the mouth near the affected area. Replace gauze whenever it fills with blood.
Be careful with what you eat
A broken tooth might have exposed nerve that’s extra sensitive to certain foods and temperatures.
- acidic soda, alcohol, and coffee
- cold beverages, which can cause painful zinging in exposed nerve
- nuts and celery, which can get stuck in the tiny cracks in the tooth
- anything too chewy that puts pressure on the tooth, such as steak, jerky, gum, and candy
- fruits with seeds in them, like strawberries and raspberries
- extremely sugary foods, as sugar gives organisms in your mouth more to feed on and can increase decay in your teeth
Instead, try eating soft nutritious food such as smoothies, roasted vegetables, and soup.
Chew on the other side of your mouth
Chew food in parts of your mouth that avoid putting too much pressure on the broken tooth.
Use pain medication
Following label directions or as advised by a doctor, ease pain and swelling with anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen. You may also use acetaminophen for pain relief.
Never apply pain medication directly on your gums as it could burn the tissue. And never give products containing benzocaine to children under 2 years old.
Over-the-counter tooth repair
If your tooth is broken and sharp against your tongue, you can find temporary tooth fillings at the pharmacy to soften the edge. Brands such as Temptooth, DenTek, and Dentemp make repair kits you can use at home.
Remember, this is just a temporary, short-term solution. If your tooth has been broken due to extreme trauma or injury, seek immediate medical attention.
If you want to know more about home remedies, we discuss 10 remedies for toothache pain. For more on a broken tooth specifically, keep reading below.
When your tooth is broken
Any tooth can break, though each is more vulnerable to different injuries.
You can break your front teeth when inappropriately using them to cut or open something (Remember: Always use scissors and never your teeth to open packages.)
Your back molars may be more susceptible to cracks from grinding your teeth or biting down on something hard. Prevent tooth injuries by always wearing a mouthguard when participating in impact sports.
Long term, your teeth are necessary for daily function and quality of life. Beyond just chewing food, teeth help your speech be clear, and each tooth is important for maintaining balanced space in the jaw.
Repairing a broken tooth is necessary for overall health and well-being.
To make the cost more manageable, many offices offer payment plans or dental loan plans. You can also contact a dental school if you have one in your area, or check with your local health department to see if they offer any low-cost dental services or clinics.
If left untreated, a broken tooth can collect bacteria, risking infection or abscess. A broken tooth also risks nerve damage and may lead to needing a root canal.
To prevent infection, keep your mouth clean by gently rinsing after you eat anything. You can try a rinse with hydrogen peroxide.
A small 2016 studyTrusted Source found that hydrogen peroxide improved gum inflammation over that of a control group. The study included 45 people with chronic gum inflammation.
In the study, chlorhexidine showed even better results than hydrogen peroxide, however it can cause tooth stains and people are more likely to have hydrogen peroxide on hand already or be able to easily buy it from a pharmacy.
Some people also suggest applying garlic as a natural antibiotic, but you need to be careful. Aside from the potential of accidentally chewing it and lodging tiny pieces in the cracks of the enamel, fresh garlic and its juice has the potential to burn your skinTrusted Source.
To prevent nerve damage, don’t chew or talk too vigorously, and see a dentist right away to fix the problem.
What a doctor can do
Only a dentist can actually fix a broken tooth. It’s urgent that you call a doctor or dentist right away if your broken tooth is accompanied by a fever or if you have signs of infection (redness, swelling, discoloration, or skin warm to the touch).
A dentist will also be able to assess damage and look for signs of infection. The type of treatment you need depends on the kind of crack you have.
5 things to know about a broken tooth
- A minor crack on the tooth’s surface usually doesn’t need repair.
- A chip broken off your tooth may just need polishing to soften the edge.
- A tooth cracked all the way to its core will need to be filled. If the crack hurt nerve tissue, you may also need a root canal.
- Very broken teeth may bleed and require surgical treatment to save the tooth and its root. Sometimes the break starts on the cusp (chewing surface) of the tooth and sometimes it starts down in the root (under the gums).
- If your tooth was broken by decay (build-up of plaque that causes cavities), your dentist will decide if the tooth needs to be removed.
If you break a tooth, call your dentist right away.
If the accident occurs after office hours, still call your dentist as they may have an answering service. If it’s after hours and you’re in a lot of pain, you can go to an emergency room or urgent care.
There are different kinds of breaks in teeth. It’s most important you see a dentist to treat the problem and prevent complications, no matter the cause.
But there are ways to manage the pain at home until you can get help such as ice for swelling, avoiding hard foods, and over-the-counter medication.