Things You Shouldn’t Be Putting In Your Mouth

Don’t Put These In Your Mouth

There are some everyday things, including certain foods, that could be harmful to teeth and gums, and therefore, have no place inside your mouth. Or you shouldn’t be using your mouth, your teeth for that matter, to perform anything with them. Let’s look at these no-no items to think about.

Lemons. These fruits are delicious and nutritious snacks and you wonder what harm they can do. Lemons are highly acidic and people have a habit of sucking on them and keeping them in their mouth for longer periods of time than they would food. Sucking on lemons can lead to enamel erosion and disrupts the acidic and basal balance in the mouth.

Ice. Many of us love to chew on ice or ice chips. Though natural teeth are strong, subjecting them to habitual ice crunching can cause fractures, cracks or chips, and can certainly damage synthetic crowns. It can also affect the stability of teeth in their sockets or filling material on a tooth. They may not be visible to the naked eye but cracks may soon harbor bacteria and lead to tooth decay.

Can bottle caps and Plastic bottle tops. Some people use their teeth to open can bottle tops and those made of plastics. Can bottle tops can cause a tooth or two to split down the middle. You may lose the tooth entirely and need an implant and implant crown. Plastic caps can not only cause teeth fractures but muscle and temporomandibular joint pain and problems. That twist of the head and jaw can put a strain on chewing muscles and joints.

Nails. The habit of nail-biting can flatten the edges of your front teeth. Over time, teeth can wear faster and cracks on the enamel can appear, until they become hypersensitive. The biting action also puts the jaw in an unnatural position that can stress your joints, can cause grinding and clenching – and this prolonged pressure and friction can cause pain in your teeth, ears, and jaw.

Hard candy and Potato Chips. Hard candy lingers in the mouth and takes a long time to dissolve, maybe up to ten minutes. It’s high in sugar and there are no health benefits associated with hard candy. Sometimes candy is chewed and that can lead to cracked teeth and cuts on the inside of the mouth. Potato chips are no good either; they’re loaded with starch, which becomes sugar that can get trapped in and between the teeth and feed bacteria. The acid in chips can linger and lasts a while.

Great Teeth-Sparing Ideas in Bellevue

Know more about everyday items, including foods, that you may not have any idea about being harmful to oral health. Come by Overlake Dental in Bellevue and have a consult with your Bellevue dentist.


Canker Sores and Helpful Home Remedies

Easy Ways To Keep Pain Down

Canker sores are small, white or grey ulcers on the soft parts of the mouth, such as the tongue, inside of the cheeks, and just inside the lips. They have redness around the edges and can be irritating and sometimes painful. They reappear again and again over time, though they are not contagious. What causes these ulcers to appear is not really clear, but they are associated with a weakened immune system, stress, or an allergy to a certain food.

Though canker sores can heal on their own, you would not want them to stay around. Here are some tips for you so they can disappear much faster and not cause infection.

You can use a topical gel to apply directly on the sore to prevent them from getting irritated. Special patches or bandages are also available to be placed over the canker sore. You can also mouth-rinse to provide relief. Mouthwashes have antiseptic properties to prevent infection and to numb the inside of the mouth. And to promote healing, use a salt rinse.

Take vitamin B12 supplements that reduce pain from the canker sores, the number of ulcers and outbreaks. Drink chamomile tea which is said to have anti-inflammatory qualities, or rinse the mouth with it, or place a chamomile tea bag that has been soaked in warm water over the sore. You can also combine the tea with honey, drinking both for a synergistic effect as honey has some known antiseptic properties.

Using aloe vera gel directly onto the canker sore may help to soothe irritation, as well as reduce pain and inflammation. Likewise, clove oil, one of the most popular, historic remedies for mouth sores, can also be applied by soaking it in a piece of cotton wool and place directly over the sore for a while.

It’s true that canker sores will go away without treatment but the aforementioned home remedies can diminish the pain and irritation. However, if you note the sores have been bothering you for 3 or so weeks, it’s time to see your dentist or your doctor. It can be a sign of an underlying condition, like gastrointestinal disease. See your specialist right away if you have stomach pain, unexplained tiredness for more than a few days, a rash or sore on another part of the body, a fever and irritated eyes.

Home remedies may not work for all. Please ask your dentist or doctor for professional advice.

Dealing with Mouth Sores in Bellevue

Know more about mouth sores when you pay Overlake Dental a visit. Keeping regular appointments with your dentist keeps you well updated about your state of oral health, and needless to say, catches early signs of dental problems.

Mid-age Tooth Loss May be Linked to Heart Disease

Not Just Another Link

You have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease if you’ve lost some teeth during your midlife. This isn’t really new because the link has been known for a hundred years. However, this preliminary study excludes all other traditional risk factors such as high blood pressure, poor diet, and diabetes. It’s just tooth loss alone in your 40s and up that can lead to heart disease.

This was the conclusion of the preliminary research led by Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, LA, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, MA. The research team focused on tooth loss and coronary heart disease. It involved thousands of participants, both men and women, ages 45-69, who were later followed up in two large studies: the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS).

At the start of the study, began in 1986 and another in 1992, the participants enrolled had no coronary heart disease. They were asked about their number of natural teeth when they enrolled and their tooth loss assessed in the next 8 years. The results were quite amazing.

Teeth Loss

Those who started off with most to all of their natural teeth and lost 2 or more of them in midlife had 23% higher risk of developing coronary heart disease when compared to those who had not lost any tooth. It did not matter of the quality of diet, amount of physical activity, body weight, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. However, no significant increase in risk was found for those participants who said that they had only lost one tooth. And regardless for those who had any number of teeth at the start, if they lost 2 or more during the study, they were 16% more likely to develop the heart disease. Further, if the participants had fewer than 17 teeth at the start, the risk is 25%.

In conclusion, this suggests that if you’re in midlife and losing a higher number of teeth lately, it may be associated with coronary heart disease independent of the baseline number of natural teeth and traditional risk factors. However, it was admitted that the findings present some limitations as feedback were based only on participants’ reports. The study is not yet published as a peer-reviewed paper.

Watching Oral Health in Midlife Can Save the Heart

Your Bellevue dentist says all the more must you be mindful of your oral health when you reach your 40s. Regular dental appointments do more in saving you from unnecessary tooth loss.

Why Do I Have White Spots On Teeth?

Causes and Treatments for White Spots

There is no serious medical concern involve when there are white spots appearing on teeth. When you see them they can bother you in a sense you don’t know where they come from and what they portend. So let us look at some of the causes of white spots on teeth and what we can do.

You may have dental fluorosis. This is usually observed in people, who when younger as children, had too much fluoride use. It may be caused by fluoride treatments and high use of fluoride toothpaste, and may or may not be coupled with a highly fluoridated water system. The condition is found in a child’s permanent teeth before their eruption, or during the first eight years of life. It is irreversible.

Another is enamel hypoplasia. Just like in fluorosis, it happens while the permanent teeth is still forming. It is caused by improper development of the teeth enamel, and later in life will make one highly prone to tooth decay and cavities.

Poor dental hygiene is another, especially on those wearing braces. Also when the diet is high in acidic and sugary foods.


Depending on the cause, there are several treatments that can be offered. Your dentist may go for enamel microabrasion, a procedure that uses some acidic and abrasive chemicals and a micromotor to remove the white spots. This is usually followed by bleaching that makes the resultant teeth color more uniform in appearance.

In-office teeth whitening can be done to reduce the obvious appearance of white spots and other stains. These use stronger bleaching formulas that work faster and safer than if over-the-counter kits bought at drugstores or supermarkets.

You can opt for dental veneers, a more costly option yet may be indicated if the white spots are more pronounced. Sometimes called porcelain veneers, they are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are bonded to the front of the teeth that have white spots, brown stains, or are otherwise chipped or damaged. Veneers can change the color, shape, size, or length of teeth if need be.

Solutions For Spots in Bellevue

If you see white spots and it concerns you, come in for a consultation at Overlake Dental in Bellevue by Dr. Lee. Our friendly staff and dental experts will assist you with blemishes, stains or white spots on teeth.

Bad Breath Foods: What To Avoid and What To Enjoy

Good and Bad Foods For Your Breath

Good oral care routine can help your breath smell fresh and clean. However, if your diet is full of strongly scented foods, you can expect to carry in your mouth, clinging to your teeth, gums, and your tongue, the aromas of these foods. If you don’t carry with you at all times your reliable oral hygiene kit, use it whenever possible after a meal, you can end up with a not-so-fresh breath at the end of the day.

Halitosis: Chronic Bad Breath

But if you have chronic bad breath or halitosis, know that there are certain foods out there that can make the condition worse. Onions and garlic are the usual culprits, these food ingredients being high in sulfur contents. It’s the same with spicy foods, like curry and similar hot, exotic dishes.

Fish, like tuna, contain dense proteins which are used as a food source by the anaerobic, sulphur-producing bacteria present already in an odorous mouth. Those whose diets revolve around fish must apply a splash of lemon or vinegar onto the dish before eating as it helps reduce the fishy odor. Other food sources rich in proteins are meat and dairy products like milk and cheese.

Coffee and juices can contribute to halitosis as these beverages are acidic and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can also cause dry mouth, a condition where saliva flow is hampered. The dry environment allows bacteria to proliferate and survive, and the condition can cause a foul-smelling odor. It is good to always have the mouth hydrated by plain water to keep the odors away.

On the other hand, there are food choices that prevent bad breath. This also means they can mask bad breath if already present. So while these foods can help, the source of halitosis still needs to be addressed.

High fiber foods help prevent bad breath, such as fresh produce like fruits and vegetables. Apples and pears,
oranges, melons, and berries, also celery, carrots, and cucumbers are high in fiber and are abrasive, able to get rid of odour-causing plaque. They have high water content, preventing dry mouth and flushing away bad breath. Eating these foods also promote saliva production in the mouth. Parsley is probably one of the most well-known claims to treat bad breath, perhaps owing to its strong and natural deodorizing flavor.

Fresh produce are also a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals that build strong and healthy teeth and promote the health of gums. Drinking green and black teas, because they contain polyphenols, is said to help eliminate sulphur compounds and reduce oral bacteria.

Consult with Our Bellevue Dentist

Know more about which foods to avoid and which to enjoy more where bad breath is concerned. Better still, have that dental appointment with your Bellevue dentist Dr. Lee, and have halitosis managed and cured.