Does My Breath Stink?

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis can be caused by a number of factors including health problems, smoking, certain foods and poor dental health habits. If the cause of bad breath is not the result of chronic conditions such as diabetes, sinus infections or kidney disease, then chances are there is a build-up of bacteria in the mouth that gives off gases or odors.

The best recommendation is to practice good oral hygiene.  There are also a few natural remedies that can help combat bad breath, such as:

  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Chewing a piece of lemon or orange rind.
  • Taking probiotics or eating foods that are rich in probiotics, such as yogurt.
  • Eating raw fruits and vegetables such as apples or celery.
  • Gargling with salt water.
  • Consulting a physician about colon cleansing.
  • Chewing a tablespoon of fennel seeds or making fennel tea.
  • Drinking cinnamon tea.
  • Chewing on fresh parsley.
  • Mixing apple cider vinegar with water and gargling.

Trying these natural remedies can help in keeping breath fresh; however, the best remedy is to practice good oral health by brushing and flossing teeth daily.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

WHAT IS TMJ SYNDROME?

The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. When this joint is injured or damaged, it can lead to a localized pain disorder called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.

The main symptom of TMJ syndrome is pain or stiffness in the jaw joint and in the surrounding areas. Other symptoms can include:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Ear pain or ringing of the ears (tinnitus)
  • Shoulder or neck pain
  • Popping or clicking sound coming from the jaw
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Blurred vision, dizziness or vertigo

The exact cause for developing TMJ syndrome is difficult to determine. There are many factors that can contribute to this condition. In some cases, pain may be the result of a jaw injury or another medical condition such as arthritis. In other cases, it can be caused by correctable action such as poor posture or excessive gum chewing. In many cases, TMJ syndrome is the result of habitually clenching or grinding of the teeth.  Stress and anxiety can also play a role in the onset of the condition.

TMJ syndrome can occur on one side of the jaw or both. It is usually a temporary condition and in most cases symptoms can be relieved with self–care and home remedies. Taking anti-inflammatory medications and applying ice or cold compresses to the jaw are suggested ways to relieve pain. Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum while pain is present is also recommended.  Additionally, practicing relaxation techniques and self-massage or stretching techniques have proven effective to reduce pain associated with TMJ syndrome. If these practices are not effective, your dentist can have you fitted for a dental splint or mouth guard to maintain proper alignment of the teeth and prevent grinding. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to treat the condition.

If you are experiencing symptoms associated, you can speak to your doctor or dentist about treating the condition.

To make an appointment at Flushing Hospital’s Dental Department, please call 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Often Do You Floss Your Teeth ?

Using Dental Floss

How frequently do you floss your teeth ?
• Once a day
• Once a week
• Once a month
• Never

The American Dental Association recommends that we floss our teeth once a day. It doesn’t make a difference at what time of day, the important thing is to do it whenever it is convenient for your schedule.
Flossing helps to remove a build up between the teeth called plaque which can lead to gum disease and cavities if not properly removed.
Speak to your dentist about what type of flossing material is best for you.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Adult Braces

closeup of smile with white teeth

All too often, when people hear the word “braces” they associate it with a young child or adolescent with a mouth full of metal brackets. However the association of braces with children is quickly changing as more and more adults are reaping the benefits of advances in orthodontic care.

Due to improvements in hardware and technique, braces have become more obtainable and aesthetically pleasing for anyone, including adults, who are self-conscious about their smile.

“More adults are seeking orthodontic treatment to create a beautiful, healthy, straight smile,” stated Dr. Rekha C. Gehani, Chair of Orthodontics at Flushing Hospital Medical Center.

Braces offer many health benefits including improving dental hygiene and aligning teeth that are out of place. If your teeth are misaligned or crooked there may be biting or chewing issues and food buildup between teeth, which can put you at risk for developing oral diseases.

There are several kinds of braces available to adults; the type of braces your dentist may recommend depends on the severity of your dental problems. Some braces that may be suitable are:

  • Ceramic Braces – less noticeable than metal
  • Lingual Braces – invisible from the outside
  • Invisalign – nearly invisible (removable)

If you are interested in learning more about adult braces, you can schedule an appointment at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center. Call 718-670-5521.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Cavity Prevention Tips

Father and son (5-7) brushing teeth in bathroom, low angle view

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) parents should instill in their children the importance of good oral hygiene at an early age, ensuring that this ritual will continue when they become adults.

It is suggested that good oral hygiene be factored together when children are taught how to keep themselves healthy.

The ADA provides these age-by-age tips:

Babies, Toddlers and Pre-School

  • After each feeding, clean the baby’s gums with a clean wet gauze pad or washcloth
  • When teeth start to appear, brush them with a child’s size toothbrush and plain water
  • Begin flossing when at least two teeth begin to touch
  • Start dental visits by the child’s first birthday and make visits regularly
  • Brush teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste and be sure to floss daily
  • Supervise your children while they are brushing their teeth to prevent them from swallowing the toothpaste

School-Age Children and Adolescents

  • Until they are six or seven years old, continue to brush your children’s teeth twice a day with a child size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste
  • Continue to assist with flossing as needed
  • By age six or seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth twice a day but may require supervision until about age 10 or 11
  • Ask the dentist about dental sealants, protective plastic coating that can be applied to chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts
  • Remind your adolescent about practicing good oral hygiene

 If your child has dental problems, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your child at Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Dental Center call 718-670-5522.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

toothache, hurts of bad tooth, stomatitis, mouth ulcer

At any time our bodies can throw us for a loop with unexpected symptoms to sometimes throw us off our game. Ideally it would be great to have a live-in doctor for a quick fix but home remedies are the next best thing.

Toothaches are an annoyance that isn’t always the most affordable fix. If you aren’t able to get to the dentist immediately and the pain is too much to handle, this home remedy fix might offer you some relief until your appointment.

There are essential oils that help ease toothache pain include chamomile, myrrh, peppermint, and tea tree. Apply one drop of any of these or a drop of “Toothache Oil” to the tooth and the surrounding area to ease the pain.

Toothache Oil

1/8 ounce carrier oil

6 drops tea tree oil

4 drops chamomile oil

2 drops myrrh oil

2 drops peppermint oil

Place the carrier oil in a clean container and add the essential oils. Gently turn the container upside down several times or roll it between your hands for a few minutes to blend. Apply one drop on the aching tooth and the surrounding gum, as needed.

These remedies are only suggestions for temporary pain relief. If you develop a toothache, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible. The dental department at Flushing Hospital Medical Center is available to treat your dental pains. To schedule an appointment please call, 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

History of Dentures

Dentures isolated on a white background.

Dentures have been around for thousands of years. It is believed that they were first used around 700 B.C. by the Etruscans in ancient Italy. These were made from either human teeth or animal teeth.

Until the 1,800’s the most commonly used material for making dentures was ivory that came from elephants, walruses, and hippos. In fact, it has been found that the first U.S. President George Washington’s dentures were also made of ivory, although many have mistakenly believed they were made of wood.

In the late 1700’s a man by the name of Alexis Duchâteau crafted the first porcelain dentures, however these were not popular as they were not sturdy and often chipped. People were also not happy with the fact that they were too white and didn’t look real.

In the 1820’s an English silversmith named Claudius Ash developed a set of dentures that were made of porcelain teeth mounted on 18-karat gold plates, with gold springs and swivels. This was a large improvement to the dentures that had been made previously.

In the 1850’s craftsmen began to make dentures from a hardened rubber called vulcanite into which porcelain teeth were inserted. During the twentieth century other materials came in to use such as acrylic resin and plastics.

Jamaica Hospital’s Department of Dentistry provides the community with the latest and innovative technologies in dental care.  Our inter-disciplinary staff is specially trained to provide the highest quality care and is dedicated to making your visit as comfortable as possible.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5522.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

5 Reasons Why Dental Hygiene Matters

Female dentist smiling with man in chair

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Flushing Hospital wants you to think beyond your teeth and gums and learn how good oral care has some surprising benefits for your overall health.

Here are five surprising reasons why oral care matters for a healthy body.

  • Healthy gums for a healthier heart

One health concern may lead to another. Studies have linked oral inflammatory disease with elevated heart disease risk. Gum disease from extended bacterial exposure can lead to cardiovascular disease as it may increase the inflammation level throughout the body. Your dentist should ask about your heart health and family history of heart disease.

  • A healthy mouth could mean a healthier pregnancy

Regular checkups with a dentist and hygienist become even more important during pregnancy. Women who are pregnant should take extra care to keep their teeth at their best, not just for themselves, but for their babies too. Pregnant women with poor oral health may be at higher risk of delivering pre-term, low birth weight babies than pregnant women with good oral health.

  • There’s a link between gum disease and diabetes

People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. However, new studies suggest that serious gum disease may actually contribute to diabetes as it affects blood glucose control. This two-way link is a wake-up call to take care of your teeth, especially since the incidence of diabetes is rising.

  • Early screening for Oral Cancer

As part of regular examinations, dentists should check all soft tissues to ensure they are healthy. All dentists are trained to do a cancer screening as part of ongoing dental checkups, by inspecting the gums, tongue, lips and cheeks for anything suspicious or any unusual changes. A precancerous lesion can begin as a small white or dark red patch that may not be causing you any noticeable symptoms. Keep in mind that only about one-half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years, so detecting early signs of the disease is crucial.

  • Trying to lose weight? Brush your teeth!

Brushing your teeth signals you have finished eating and may help with portion control. Use this trick to your advantage – have a healthy meal and then, before you are tempted to overeat or indulge in sweet desserts, go and brush your teeth. This will tell your brain that mealtime is over. While brushing cleans your teeth and freshens your breath.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Smoking Effects Your Oral Health

Teeth bad company.

It is no secret that smoking can have a great number of adverse effects on the health of the smoker. It is only natural that oral health would be one of the areas most negatively affected by oral smoke inhalation. The most ideal option to reverse the damage to your teeth caused by smoking is to quit smoking but, in most cases it is easier said than done.

Smoking can cause many serious problems for teeth and oral structures. Gum disease is among the most common oral problems, putting smokers at an increased risk. Smokers are four times more likely to develop this problem than non-smokers. Gum disease occurs when plaque build-up is present. As a result tooth loss can occur. Due to the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke, smokers are twice aslikely to suffer tooth loss than non-smokers.

Smokers are at a higher risk for developing leukoplakia, leading to throat, lung, and oral cancers. It can cause the salivary glands to become swollen and contribute to the break-down of bone structure. In addition smokers also have a harder time recovering from dental procedures such as plaque removal treatments, dental implants, and tooth removal.

Due to an increased and steady buildup of plaque and tarter, the teeth of a smoker are less attractive in appearance. Smoking also stains the teeth and can cause bad breath. In some smokers, the tongue can develop a condition known as black hairy tongue, due to a growth that may grow as a result of tobacco use. Smokers may also lose the sensation of taste and smell.

While quitting smoking is the most effective way to ensure better oral health, regular dental visits are a must. Given all of the risks and complications of smoking on oral health it is very important that smokers do not skip regular checkups with their dentists. During these visits, dentists can watch for signs of developing gum disease and oral cancers. Everyone should visit their dentist twice a year, but those who smoke should consider more frequent visits.

The Dental Department at Flushing Hospital Medical Center specializes in a wide selection of dental services. To schedule an appointment, please call 718-670-5521. The journey to quit smoking can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. Flushing Hospital’s smoking cessation team wants to help you develop a plan leading to your “quit day”. For more information please call 718-206-8494.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How To Brighten Your Smile At Home

ThinkstockPhotos-83406284

3 Natural Ways to Whiten Your Teeth At Home

Without a doubt winter is the toughest season on our teeth, with all those coffees, teas and hot cocoa’s we drink to keep us warm. So how do you keep your pearly whites their whitest without breaking the bank? Here are three easy, natural and budget-friendly home remedies to keep your smile looking it’s best all through winter!

You will need your favorite toothpaste, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and half a teaspoon of water.

Mix these together and apply to your teeth with a standard toothbrush. Brush as normal. Use this remedy once a week until you reach your desired results. Once you have achieved sparkling teeth, try to limit yourself to using this remedy just once a month.

For a fruity take on whiter teeth, you can try mashing up a strawberry and mixing it with a small amount of baking soda to create your own whitening toothpaste. The acids in the strawberry work to polish and whiten your teeth. Limit this remedy to about once a month.

Rinsing your mouth with coconut oil (called ‘oil pulling’) is a unique, old, remedy that people swear by to help whiten teeth. It won’t make a difference by “bleaching” per say, but lauric acid in coconut oil can rid your teeth of bacteria found in plaque that can make them yellow. It is also supposed to promote gum health, and help keep your breath fresh.

You will need about a tablespoon of natural coconut oil. This can be found in health food markets if not available in your local supermarket.

Before you brush your teeth, scoop out a tablespoon or a little less (depending on the size of your mouth) of coconut oil. You can either soften it, or just put it in your mouth. Push, swish, and “pull” the oil through and around your teeth for 10-15 minutes, then spit it out, rinse with water, and brush your teeth.

Remember to brush after every meal and floss after snacks. Now that you have these teeth whitening tips you can be on your way to a brighter smile!

To schedule a dental appointment at Flushing Hospital, please call 718-670-5521.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.