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Posted by: Georgi 

Most of us simply assume that using our toothbrushes will suffice when it comes to our teeth, but sometimes toothbrushes can actually be the cause of some dental problems. In between the bristles lurks germs, bacteria, fungi, and viruses that can survive for several months on your toothbrush, most importantly without your knowledge. Scientists have discovered that a single toothbrush can more than 10 million bacteria. How scary is that?

These lingering microorganisms will multiply over time and can actually become a serious detriment to your dental health and other bodily issues. Here are some examples of microorganisms that could be causing problems in your mouth and in your body and live on your toothbrush.

Acid Producing Bacterium: Streptococcus
Streptococci stick around the oral cavity area. Mutans streptococcus produces acid that is effective at attacking tooth enamel minerals. This can cause several tooth disorders such as tooth decay and dental caries (or in layman’s terms: cavaties.)

Strep throat is caused by the bacterium beta-hemolytic streptococcus. Dental plaque is filled with tons of streptococcus sanguis. This type of bacterium will not only modify its environment in order to ensure that other strains of streptococcus will not survive and take over, but it will also attempt to damage other portions of your body. During dental cleanings, this strain of the bacterium has been known to slip through into the blood stream and find its way into heart valves and cause a whole lot of damage to the heart and its arteries.

Herpes simplex virus or Oral Herpes
More commonly known as cold sores, this type infection is usually found on the inside of the mouth or on the lips. Herpes simplex is extremely contagious. Once a person has become infected with the virus, there is no cure and they are stuck with the condition for the rest of their lives. Outbreaks usually occur frequently when the person first becomes infected, but the outbreaks slowly decrease over time.

Bacteria…from the Toilet?
While it may seem normal to keep your toothbrush in the bathroom, like most Americans do, it’s probably going to be near the toilet. While this may be convenient for you, it is actually extremely unsanitary. Every time the toilet flushes, bacteria is able to become airborne and is capable of traveling up to five feet away from the toilet in any direction. Store your toothbrush as far as possible from your toilet in order to prevent toilet bacteria from infecting your toothbrush.

Influenza virus or the Flu
Have you ever wondered why you might have a sore throat for a while or a cold and you’ve been doing everything to get it to go away but it just doesn’t seem to want to leave your body? You might actually be re-infecting yourself each time you use your toothbrush. You also want to make sure you don’t infect others in your family with your toothbrush, so keep it separated from the other toothbrushes. One suggestion is to get a toothbrush holder that contains separate slots for each toothbrush.

Cleaning and Replacing Toothbrushes
Cleaning and replacing your toothbrush on a regular basis is one of the best hygienic moves you can make for both you and your family. Using the same toothbrush for a period of time more than three months can actually cause microorganisms to infect or re-infect your mouth and teeth over and over.

Allowing your toothbrush to dry out between brushings is a way to keep microorganisms from becoming attracted to your toothbrush if it is placed in a damp and dark environment. First rinse your toothbrush in order to sure all lingering food debris has gotten off of the bristles. Next, shake your toothbrush dry after each use and store in an upright position so gravity can help get the water away from the bristles. If you want to be extra careful, try having two toothbrushes, one for the morning and one for the night to ensure that each toothbrush will be dry by the time you use it next.

Other techniques such as soaking the toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide, mouthwash, or diluted beach are popular. While these may be somewhat effective, there’s no way to truly prevent microorganisms from building up in your toothbrush except for actually replacing your toothbrush with a new one.

Posted by: Georgi 

Oral Herpes, commonly known as cold sores, is a very common health condition that is caused by HSV (Herpes Simples Virus). This condition mostly affects the lips and mouth causing very painful sores on the roof of the mouth, the tongue, lips, the inside of the cheeks, and on the gums. Sometimes it can even spread out to the face and neck areas. Oral herpes is known to cause symptoms such as muscle pain and aches and fever.

Generally, HSV is categorized into two – HSV-1 and the not so famous HSV-2. While both of these viruses cause genital and oral lesions and sores, they have very unique and different DNAs. Statistics indicate that HSV-1 is responsible for over 80% of oral sores and only around 20% of genital lesions. HSV-2 on the other hand is responsible for over 80% of all genital lesions and only 205 of oral sores, the exact opposite of each other. Further studies indicate that in adolescents, over 40% of herpes on the genitalia is as a result of the HSV-1 due to the reported cases of genital/oral contact in this stage.

But when all is said and done, the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is a characteristic DNA virus responsible for causing oral and genital sores. The virus finds its way into the human body through abrasions, tiny cuts, skin breaks, or even via the mucous membranes. Many people get this virus via direct contact with an individual having the virus, with or without apparent lesions. In the case of kids, they will get infected by simply coming in contact with someone who is infected. Adults and adolescents will most often get affected by the virus via skin contact, kissing, or through sexual contact as is the case with HSV-2.

Be advised that oral and genital herpes can recur as the virus can sometimes be in a dormant state within the human nerve cells. Sometimes different conditions in the human body facilitate the active multiplication of the HSV, leading to a new crop of sores and lesions. The reason behind the occurrence of sores and lesions is because as the cells multiply and start to mature, different HSV particles will start to shatter the cell membrane as they find their way out of the human cell.

Period of incubation – the period between contact with an infected person and the show of symptoms is approximately between 2 and 12 days, with many people averaging around 4 days.

Illness duration – it takes around 2-3 weeks for the sign and symptoms to occur, such as tiredness, fever, irritability, and unexplained muscle aches. Note that at the site of infection, moments before the blisters or sores start to appear you might experience some itching, tingling, pain, or burning sensation, all which are symptoms of an outbreak of the same. After these symptoms, clusters of wounds will erupt, wounds which will break down very fast but to the naked eye they look like small shallow grayish sores with a red base. After a few days, the blisters will become scabbed or crusted and will start to dry out and turn yellow in color.

Oral sores symptoms
- At the onset of your oral herpes condition is when you will experience the strongest pain, which will make eating and swallowing anything, including liquids very difficult and unbearable.

- Oral sores tend to affect the gums, lips, throat, at the front of your tongue, roof of your mouth and in the cheeks, and can also extend to the neck, face, and chin.

- With time, the gums may turn to red in color, may start to bleed, and experience some mild swells.

- Lymph nodes on the neck will be very painful and more often than not will appear swollen

When to see a doctor
- Since oral sores are very painful, it goes without saying that drinking and eating will be very difficult. If you go without eating for several days you may become dehydrated, hence you should seek medical attention immediately you find it difficult to drink or eat as normal.

- You should also seek medical attention immediately you experience any of the following symptoms:-, drowsiness, dry mouth, and irritability.

- If you have an infant of 6 weeks old of under, you should seek urgent medical attention if you notice oral sores. The condition can worsen in infants and young kids. Commonly, as the oral sores continue to spread to the face, chin and neck, the HSV-1 virus can affect the brain of an infant and may become detrimental to the growth and health of that infant.

- You should also contact your doctor immediately you feel your immune system is getting weak and weaker by the minute. This is because a weakened immune system subjects you to more serious health complications and opportunistic infections.

Posted by: Georgi 

Canker sores are described as painful and very uncomfortable sores inside the mouth. Their cause is still very vague but researchers and experts believe it could be a combination of different agents and factors, predisposing factors of an individual. Biologically, white blood cells affect the mouth by targeting specific spots, meaning that spots that have some autoimmune disorders could be more susceptible to canker sores.

Otherwise referred to as aphthous ulcers, canker sores as mentioned are painful, very annoying in responding to treatment, not to mention very persistent. The sores would mostly be found in your inner lips, cheeks, gums, or your sublingual parts of the mouth. While canker sores are very tiny in size, they can be felt as large and very sensitive when touched. Common symptoms of canker sores include a tingling or burning sensation in the mouth.

The condition will start to manifest as a tiny whitish sore that manifests itself as a wound that has pink edges surrounding it. While these first symptoms could mean any of the many dental health problems that are common in today’s society, the presence of fever, swelled lymph nodes, and listlessness could allay your fears and narrow down your dental issue to canker sores.

There are some canker sores conditions that have been linked to mouthwashes and toothpastes that have sodium lauryl sulphate as an ingredient. This ingredient, which is very common in most brands today, is believed to make the mouth dryer than usual, thus predisposing the dry parts of the mouth to canker sores. Normally, switching your toothpaste to one that doesn’t have this ingredient will help manage the condition and reduce the sores.

Some experts feel that individuals with high levels of stress could be more vulnerable to canker sores. Periods of intense stress could significantly affect one, perhaps because of the high respiratory rates that tend to make the mouth dry. Sleep aids and tranquilizers, generally medication taken to relieve stress, can also cause dry mouth, and the upshot is the breakout of sores.

Dietary deficiencies could also be attributed to causing canker causes. Significantly low levels of Vitamin B and C variants can lead to canker sores. Note however that in most cases, B complex vitamins are used to treat emotional imbalances and stress, thus making it clearly hard to determine whether the predisposing condition of sores is because of a deficiency of Vitamin B, the presence of stress, or a combination of the two. Lack of iron, calcium, selenium, folic acid, and zinc has also been associated with canker sores.

With that being said, it is to be mentioned that canker sores can disappear on their own without treatment. Most treatment options available though concentrate mainly on reducing pain or boosting one’s immunity to facilitate a natural healing process. Some home remedies that will help with canker sores include hydrogen peroxide mixed in water and then applied evenly on the affected areas. But when all is said and done, nothing beats good oral hygiene, the easiest and simplest way to treat canker sores. Remember that prevention is better than cure!

Posted by: Georgi 

Leukoplakia is the medical term for a condition, where white thick patches develop on the bottom of the mouth, inner cheeks or the tongue. This is generally regarded as a condition prior to cancer, as nearly 3% of patches on the body generally prove to end up cancerous. Most often, oral cancer springs up near these patches.

The most common type of oral cancer is “Squamous cell carcinoma”. This could lead to disastrous results on the tissues surrounding the area if neglected. It could easily spread to other areas of the body aggressively.

There could be several reasons attributed for reaching this condition. Rough teeth, improper dentures, poor oral hygiene and continuous use of tobacco contribute to the causes. Leukoplakia is commonly prevalent in older people after the age of 40, as they develop nearly 95% of oral cancers during this period. Patients who are HIV positive or those who develop Epstein – Barr virus along with others can develop this disease. This is also true for patients after transplants who take immune-suppressants, as they end up with compromised immune systems.

Leukoplakia is the direct result of improper oral hygiene. It is necessary to look after the mouth, as failure to care can lead to Periodontitis or Gingivitis. Statistics and research prove that people suffering from Periodontitis could easily be linked to developing oral cancer. Any infection that occurs in the mouth makes it highly susceptible to developing the disease.

Dentists are of the opinion that one can easily prevent periodontitis. Regular brushing of the teeth and flossing will prevent this condition from occurring. This, combined with checkups regularly, will help to avoid the risk of severe dental issues from surfacing.

Visit the dentist regularly and check for occurrences of Leukoplakia. Just like with other cancers, a patient can survive the condition if it is detected in the early stages. A dentist will perform a biopsy, if he detects any white patches and send a sample of these deadly white tissues for chemical analysis and microscopic studies. The results of the biopsy will indicate the seriousness of the case and the dentist can decide the immediate treatment for preventing the development of further metastasis.
The appearance of patches itself can be arrested by regular checkups. The dentist is able to treat the problem, as they generally occur because of improper oral hygiene. The dentist can take corrective measures by prescribing new dentures, removing or repairing, damaged rough teeth, plaque or tartar to reduce the chances of developing this condition.

If the patient notices strange patches in the mouth in between health checkups, they should notify their dentist immediately so that he can evaluate the case. It is entirely possible that the patient has contracted thrush or a yeast infection, which also manifests itself in white patches. The dentist will arrest the problem if detected in the early stages, hence even conditions such as thrush should be brought to the dentist’s notice immediately.
It is advantageous to prevent problems, such as Leukoplakia from developing, even though it could be benign for the most part. Regular dentist checkups and excellent oral care will reduce the chances of a patient contracting this condition and turning malignant.

Posted by: Georgi 

Oral thrush is a health condition caused by a fungus known as Candida — Candida is a yeast infection that will normally attack the mouth, and is always characterized by the presence of creamy white lesions in all parts of the mouth namely the tongue, the roof of the mouth, the gums and the inner cheeks. The tonsils will also spot some white lesions that appear like cottage cheese, which tend to bleed if they are scraped or rubbed.

While oral thrush is a condition that mostly affects newborns and toddlers, it isn’t uncommon to find it in adults too. Needless to mention, oral thrush in adults can be a source of poor self-esteem as it is very uncomfortable to have and sufferers will always be self-conscious of their condition. Like all yeast infections in the mouth, oral thrush isn’t a life threatening health condition but it is always advisable to seek immediate medical attention to curb it in its onset stages so it will not spread.

The good news is that you can treat yourself off this condition right at home, thanks to some effective and time tested home remedies that have always proven very effective. Home remedies are quite affordable and will considerably enhance and accelerate the healing process instantly.

- To get rid of bacteria and yeast in the mouth, rinse your mouth using warm salty water three times a day, particularly after meals. This way, you get to remove food remnants in an effective manner.
- Natural unsweetened yoghurt has also proven to be a great home remedy for oral thrush, acting as a natural antibiotic. Drink yoghurt, retain it in the mouth for a few minutes before you swallow it, and repeat it several times a day for more effective results.
- Onions and garlic are other equally effective home remedies for oral thrush, thanks to their potent anti-bacterial properties. Try putting some raw onion and garlic while eating food. You can also try using garlic supplements if the bad ‘garlic breath’ is your concern
- If you already have the disease, you might want to try and avoid hard solid foods and replace them with soft liquid-like foods so you will not bruise your lesions and worsen their condition, making them difficult to respond to treatment positively.
- By the same token, avoid sugary food as sugar is fodder to yeast. Eating sugary foods will make the yeast multiply in the mouth and spread to unaffected areas. If you are the kind of person who cannot live without eating something sweet, you might opt for fresh fruits which are not only sweet but also rich in vitamins and nutrients, unlike taking over processed sweet products.
- Did you know that sleep also affects your oral thrush condition? Why and how? Lack of sleep leads to emotional and physical stress, great contributors of yeast infections. A normal human being deserves at least 6-7 hours of sleep every day so the body can get enough rest and become less prone stress.

Posted by: Georgi 

Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is a common mouth infection that affects the bones and tissues that supports and surrounds your teeth. This disease is caused by plaque, which comes as a result of the food that you eat getting mixed up with the bacteria and yeast that subsists in your mouth. Plaque then forms over your teeth and if it is not removed by brushing regularly, regular flossing, and going for regular dental checkups, it could result in a gum disease where the gums become infected then inflamed.

If the current research findings are anything to go by, there is reason to worry about gum disease, as it has been linked to other diseases affecting the other parts of the body. There is enough evidence to believe that periodontal diseases are linked to stroke, diabetes, heart complications, pregnancy, and diabetes, reason enough to take necessary precaution and safeguard your health. But how exactly does this happen? Because the bacteria in plaque that gets sandwiched between your teeth and gum can get into your bloodstream, which then will travel in the body causing serious health complications?

The relationship between periodontal disease and heart complications is such that the bacteria in the mouth when it gets entrapped in the bloodstream once the gums become inflamed, mix with platelets, cells responsible for blood clotting. The bacteria and the cells can then lodge into blood vessel walls. It is these clots that lead to a life-threatening heart disease. But, when you keep your gums healthy and take care of your oral health, you can significantly reduce your risk of getting a heart attack.

As for gum disease and stroke, it is the fatty deposits stuck in the carotid arties that lead to stroke. This happens when the gums are inflamed as up to 40% of the bacteria that contributes to the fatty deposits come from the mouth. Stomach ulcers is also linked to gum disease in that if the bacterial count that stays in your mouth is high, some of it will travel to the stomach lining thus causing gastric ulcers. If no action is taken against the bacteria, it will be a vicious continuous cycle that causes infection and re-infection of ulcers.

Pregnant women are also not spared by this disease, a problem which poses serious health risks to the unborn babies. So serious is gum disease in pregnant women that those who suffer from it are 8 times more likely to have a premature birth of an underweight infant.

To be able to overcome gum disease which in effect will significantly reduce the risks of developing life threatening diseases, it is always recommended that you observe good oral hygiene. This you do by brushing your teeth the right away, at least twice a day, flossing in between meals every day, and eating a healthy well balanced diet. You should equally avoid such things as sugary snacks, alcohol and tobacco which are known to facilitate the multiplication of bacteria in the mouth. Last but not least, you should schedule regular appointments with your dentist.

Posted by: Georgi 

A Dry mouth could appear like a normal thing that brings an uncomfortable feeling in the throat and mouth, but if left untreated, it could lead to serious dental health conditions such as tooth decay or plaque, due to a significant decrease in saliva. Some good news however is that there are affordable dental options to take care of the problem and reinstate back your smile.

Causes of the dry mouth syndrome
There are a number of factors that contribute to this condition. While it is believed that everyone will experience a dry mouth at some point in their lives, the severity will vary from one person to another. The exact number of individuals who suffer from this condition is also unknown as the disease easily disappears on its own or with the use of some common treatment options. Some of the causes of dry mouth include:-
• Diseases that affects moisture-producing glands in the human body such as Sjorgren’s syndrome or diabetes
• Emotional anxiety or stress that causes a hormonal imbalance in the body. This justifies the reason why dry mouth is more prevalent in pregnant women and those who are on their menopause stage.
• Breathing for an extended period of time with the mouth open
• And the use of medication… almost 400 different types of medication cite the dry mouth syndrome as a common side effect

Relationship between dry mouth and Alcohol and tobacco
Alcohol is known to draw water from the body which when coupled with other factors could contribute to dehydration. When you take alcohol, too much water is lost thus leaving the body susceptible to dehydration. Tobacco also poses the same problems as alcohol because the continuous inhalation and exhalation of smoke will eventually lead to a dry mouth.

Symptoms
• Sore throat, sore mouth
• Insufficient, stringy, or thick saliva
• Difficulty chewing or swallowing something
• Difficulty talking
• Dry skin at the mouth corners
• Cracked lips
• A burning sensation inside the mouth, especially in the tongue
• An infection in the mouth
• A change in the sense of taste

Effects of the dry mouth Syndrome
In adequate supply of saliva means the tissues found inside the mouth will dry, thus becoming inflamed and more vulnerable to infections. The burning sensation could be as a result of inflammation. Still on point, because of a short supply of saliva to keep the mouth hydrated and wash away remnant food particles and stuff, plaque can accumulate very fast, which in turn will trap bacteria. Your teeth will also be susceptible to decay. Lack of enough moisture will also make it difficult for one to talk, chew, or swallow anything because the tongue will be sticking to the mouth. This condition could even end up drying your nasal passage.

Treating the dry mouth syndrome
There are some affordable treatment options, such as sugar-free candies or specially formulated oral rinses that are meant to trigger the flow of saliva. Treating this condition could also entail increasing your fluid intake, especially drinking lots of water.

Posted by: Georgi 

Mouth Cancer is caused due to several reasons. Tobacco in any form can be a contributory factor for developing this disease. People, who consume alcohol, are also more prone to developing cancer than those who refrain from it. Cancer can also be contracted, if one is over exposed to sunlight rays. However, nearly a quarter percentages of people contract this disease, in spite of never using tobacco in their lives.

We are all aware that cancer is one of the most life threatening diseases today, the world over. It is possible to contract any type of cancer, depending on which part of the body it occurs. One of them is Mouth Cancer. Any growth in the mouth, caused by unwanted growth cells, can develop into a cancer. It could happen in the jaw, gums, cheeks, lips, tonsils etc. “Squamous cell Carcinoma” is another medical term that is used to denote this type of cancer. They are a sheet of cells that cover the mouth parts and very susceptible to cancer formation.

Mouth Cancer is the direct result of excessive bad habits, such as alcohol consumption, tobacco chewing and smoking. It is possible to contract the disease when one is overexposed to UV rays. If one develops any sort of Candida infection in the mouth or suffers from direct lack of Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A, E, C, in the diet, they risk the chance of developing mouth cancer. It is possible to get a biopsy of the mouth done to diagnose any of the persisting symptoms. Endoscopy, X-rays, MRI scan and CT scans also detect this type of cancer if one is anxious to diagnose the problem.

If it is detected in the initial stages, it is possible to treat the cancer depending on the severity of the case. It is possible, to avail of any of the three options available. One is surgery; the others are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Anticancer drugs are injected into the patients during chemotherapy by using intravenous injections. The victim is liable to experience adverse reactions with chemotherapy. Some of these are weight loss, nausea, mouth sores, hair loss and vomiting etc. Beta rays kill deadly mouth cells of cancer in radiation therapy. This is possible when the tumor is still tender. Most surgeons insist on using all the three options to treat mouth cancer as preventive measures for safeguarding general health.

One can take the right precautions to make sure that the risk of Mouth Cancer is reduced by avoiding excessive use of alcohol and smoking too much. This can reduce the chances of contracting this type of cancer. Tobacco chewing is a dangerous practice, which is a major cause and should be avoided at all costs. A healthy diet will help to reduce the chances of contracting this deadly disease. Combat this disease by incorporating rich vitamins and minerals in the diet and keeping this deadly disease of mouth or skin cancer at bay.