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Can Plaque Cause Tooth Loss?

April 13, 2021

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 11:11 am

If you’ve ever gone too long between brushing your teeth, you know how slimy and dirty your teeth can feel. Some people lovingly call this layer of grime “teeth sweaters.” But it has a real name: plaque. Plaque is common but it can cause poor oral health if you ignore it. Read below for more information on what plaque is and how to deal with it.

What is Plaque?
To best understand what exactly plaque is, let us paint you a picture of the inside of your mouth after a meal. After enjoying your delicious food, someone else (or something else) is enjoying the leftovers. Oral bacteria are natural and normally present in everyone’s mouth. 

These bacteria feed off tiny bits of leftover food on your teeth – kind of gross, but it’s true! As bacteria eat the food, they digest and process it. Finally, the bacteria produce plaque as an aftereffect of digestion. This process happens with any food you eat, but the bacteria especially love carbohydrates and sugar. 

Plaque sticks to any and all parts of your teeth. In fact, the plaque on the sides of your teeth and near your gums can be different than the kind of plaque found in the grooves on the chewing surface of your teeth. 

Effects of Plaque on Teeth

The real problem with plaque is that it contains acid, which ruins your teeth. Over time, acid can erode your enamel and harm your gums. While plaque is totally normal, it’s still important to keep it at bay. 

The buildup of plaque can cause:

  • Tartar
  • Gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Eroded enamel
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad breath

In summary, plaque is the basis of most oral health problems. Left untreated, many of the oral health problems listed above can lead to tooth loss and other oral health complications down the road.

What Causes Plaque?

You can’t avoid plaque completely. Plaque is simply the natural outcome of oral bacteria. Either the bacteria naturally reproduce or you pick up new bacteria from your environment. And some oral bacteria are actually good for you. 

So the idea isn’t to completely get rid of bacteria in your mouth. But certain foods (like sugar) and bad habits (like not brushing and flossing) can cause excessive plaque and harmful buildup that hardens into tartar and can wreak havoc on your oral health.

Fighting Plaque

The benefits of good oral hygiene go far beyond just your mouth. A healthy mouth is important for a healthy body and a joyful life. 

To keep your mouth healthy and plaque-free:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice every day, especially in the morning and before bed. Saliva helps wash food off your teeth, but you have less saliva while you sleep, so it’s important to go to bed with very clean teeth to give the bacteria less to enjoy. Also, be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months to keep it clean.
  • Floss and clean between your teeth every day. A lot of plaque hides along and under the gum line, and flossing is the only way to get to this hard-to-reach plaque that brushing will miss.
  • Mouthwash can help loosen up plaque before or after you brush your teeth, and most have ingredients to fight bacteria. You might be sensitive to mouthwash and mouthwash should never replace regular brushing and flossing, so talk to your dentist about using it.
  • Eat less sugar. Especially avoid sugary drinks, which prolong your mouth’s exposure to sugar all day. Sugar is sneaky, you might be surprised how many snacks and beverages actually contain it. If you do have snacks with sugar, rinse your mouth with water right afterward.
  • Eat fewer snacks between meals. If you eat all day long, it’s like giving the bacteria in your mouth an all-day buffet. Eat a healthy meal, then either rinse your mouth or brush your teeth, then give your mouth a break from the plaque process.
  • See your Portales dentist. You can do a lot to fight bacteria and plaque every day, but professional cleaning is still necessary at least twice a year.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants for an added layer of protection against plaque and tooth decay.

To schedule a professional cleaning for your teeth, or to develop a new relationship with your Portales dentist, contact Peter L. Thompson, DDS today! Dr. Thompson is taking new patients and would love to serve all your oral health needs, and help you keep plaque at bay.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Can Poor Oral Health Cause Diabetes?

March 13, 2021

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,Diabetes — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 11:37 am

Diabetes is a chronic and complicated disease that affects how your body processes sugar—its main source of energy. Diabetes symptoms mostly affect your heart, eyes, nerves, and kidneys, but it can affect your whole body, including your mouth.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 29 million Americans have diabetes, and almost 2 million new cases are diagnosed each year. Managing your blood sugar is very important if you have diabetes and will help keep symptoms at bay. Taking good care of your oral wellness is actually one key to managing blood sugar.

Diabetes & Your Mouth 

Diabetes can show itself in your mouth by causing:

  • Gum disease: This condition is surprisingly common among most adults and has an even stronger correlation with diabetes, but it can and should be treated.
  • Dry mouth: Diabetes tends to cause a decrease in saliva, which can be uncomfortable and cause bad breath.
  • Decreased ability to taste: Diabetes can make it difficult to fully taste and enjoy your food. Try new spices to improve your meals, but be careful not to use too much sugar.
  • Oral infections: Yeast (thrush) is especially common because diabetes affects your immune system. People with dentures and diabetes are at an increased risk of developing oral infections.
  • Slow healing: Diabetes can affect your ability to recover from injury and illness. Cold sores or cuts in your mouth may stick around longer if you have diabetes.

Gum Disease & Diabetes

You’d be absolutely shocked at the high number of bacteria that live in your mouth every day. Most of them are totally normal and fine. But, certain types of bacteria can be bad for your oral health and overall health. 

Since bacteria live off the sugars in your mouth, people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing gum disease from the bad bacteria. In fact, 22% of people diagnosed with diabetes will also get gum disease. In turn, gum disease infections can cause your blood sugar to elevate, which is the exact opposite of what you want. Thankfully, treating gum disease has been shown to also treat high blood sugar.

Gum disease is common and treatable and can vary in severity from a minor inflammation with sore and bleeding gums, to a major issue of receding gums, pus surrounding the teeth, and eventual tooth loss. If you have diabetes, it’s important to keep an eye on your oral health and practice good hygiene to prevent gum disease from starting or getting worse. Gum disease is linked to a number of other health problems, so you really don’t want to ignore any signs that it might be developing.

Prevention & Protection

The ADA recommends controlling your blood sugar, brushing and flossing your teeth, and seeing the dentist in order to protect your mouth from symptoms of diabetes. Controlling gum disease and practicing great oral hygiene is known to help manage diabetes.

If you’re looking for a dentist in Portales, make an appointment at Peter L. Thompson, DDS today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Hot on the Trail with Oral Pathology

February 27, 2021

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,Dental Services — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 11:33 am

When it comes to your oral health, we hope you never have any pains or problems. Good preventive care will help you always feel your best! But even with the best habits, dental problems do happen. In that case, oral pathology is the science and medicine that helps diagnose and treat whatever is making you ache. If you think you have oral disease, don’t be embarrassed, but get help as soon as possible.

What is Oral Pathology?

Sometimes things go wrong, even in the healthiest people. If you have pain, bleeding, or unusual symptoms in your mouth, oral pathology helps us find the answers you need.

According to the American Dental Association: “Oral pathology is the specialty of dentistry and discipline of pathology that deals with the nature, identification, and management of diseases affecting the oral and maxillofacial regions.” In other words, oral pathology is the science that understands the causes and effects of these diseases. Common practices include clinical examinations, lab testing, and taking the whole body health and chemistry into consideration.

Pathology is important because if you have a certain problem, we want to know exactly what it is so that we can offer the right treatment. For example, viruses and bacteria are completely different kinds of organisms. Both can make you sick, but in order to get the proper treatment, we want to know what exactly is causing the problem. 

For example, let’s say at your last checkup, Peter L. Thompson, DDS noticed your gums bled more than usual and have started to recede. These are early warning signs of gingivitis and gum disease. But why now? Your gums have been healthy for your whole life. After a brief discussion, we rule out any dietary, hygiene or lifestyle changes. But you are taking a new medication – a medication that is known to cause dry mouth, a common risk factor for gum disease. Aha! And there we have it. Oral pathology has done it again!

Oral pathology takes into consideration your personal health background to consider what existing medical conditions might be affecting you specifically. This is why it’s a great idea to have a good relationship with your Portales dentist that includes sharing any and all health problems and medications – even if you think they don’t have anything to do with your mouth. Your oral health and your overall health go hand-in-hand!

Oral Diseases

According to the World Health Organization: “Risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, poor oral hygiene, and social determinants.” Any of these combined with your personal risk factors can make you and your mouth unhealthy.

The main categories of oral diseases are:

  • Pain: Any number of problems can cause pain in your mouth, jaw, and neck.
  • Infections: Can be caused by fungus, bacteria, or viruses.
  • Cancer: Warning signs include a discolored tongue or gums, open wounds, or lumps in your mouth or throat.
  • Cavities: Called dental caries, lead to tooth decay and other complications.
  • Gum Disease: A common but treatable infection and inflammation of the gums.
  • Tooth Loss: Many oral diseases can cause tooth loss. Your Portales dentist can treat the problem and also talk with you about tooth replacement options.

Anything that prevents you from comfortably speaking, smiling, chewing, and swallowing is an oral problem. While accidents and injuries aren’t diseases, but they can certainly harm your oral health.

A healthy mouth is key for a healthy body and a happy life. The best way to protect your oral health is through good oral hygiene and healthy lifestyle habits. This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes
  • Flossing or cleaning between your teeth once every day
  • Seeing the dentist regularly, usually two times per year
  • Eating a healthy diet and avoiding/limiting smoking, sugar, and alcohol
  • Drinking lots of water and getting good sleep
  • Understanding how your overall health affects your oral health

If you’re experiencing any oral health problems and are wondering why we would love to help you find answers. Contact Peter L. Thompson, DDS today to make an appointment if you have any concerns about your oral health!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Pregnant Moms & Oral Health: Brushing & Flossing for Two

October 27, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 8:05 am

There are so many things to be concerned about when you find out you’re expecting. Eating right, taking enough vitamins, getting enough rest, telling your husband there is absolutely no way you are naming your firstborn son Bud Light… but what about your teeth? There’s an old saying—“you lose a tooth for every baby”—but those beliefs are outdated, thank goodness! Still, at Dr. Peter Thompson at Peter L. Thompson, DDS has some important information to share about pregnancy and oral health.


Taking Care of Yourself is Taking Care of Your Baby

Moms-to-be can become so focused on preparation for the new bundle of joy that they neglect their own health—but try to remember that taking care of yourself is taking care of your baby. If you are pregnant, remain proactive about your oral hygiene routine and don’t skip your regular dental visits. Your teeth and gums need special attention during this time, so be on the alert for symptoms like bleeding gums and dry mouth. 

Gingivitis & Gum Disease

Hormonal changes and diabetes during pregnancy can cause pregnancy gingivitis (inflamed, tender and irritated gums)—about 75% of pregnant women end up with it. Left untreated, gingivitis can become periodontitis, an even more severe form of gum disease that leads to actual bone loss. Older mothers have a higher risk of gum disease in general, and research has linked preterm delivery and low birth weight to gingivitis—sufferers were seven times more likely to have either or both conditions. Researchers also estimate that advanced gum disease could be linked to about 18% of premature births in the United States.

Gum disease may also contribute to preeclampsia, a potentially dangerous condition that affects about 5% of pregnant women, leading to a sharp increase in blood pressure. The only cure for preeclampsia is giving birth, which can put the baby at risk if it happens prematurely. Additional potential complications of preeclampsia include hemorrhage, stroke, and kidney failure. A handful of studies have linked gum disease with preeclampsia, but more research is needed to show a true cause-and-effect relationship.

Acidity & Dry Mouth

Not every pregnant woman has morning sickness, but if you are one of the unlucky ones, keep in mind that along with nausea, stomach acid can make its way into the mouth and erode your teeth. Try rinsing your mouth with water or a fluoride mouthwash to help control the acidity level. This is not only a protective measure for your teeth but may help with nausea a bit as well.

Dry mouth during pregnancy can put pregnant women at higher risk for tooth decay and dental infections. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum to enhance saliva production—try to find sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol, which has been shown to be effective in preventing cavities.

If you’re hungry a lot—which is not unheard of while pregnant—frequent snacking keeps teeth in constant contact with sugars. Bacteria feed on these sugars, speeding up acid production which creates more opportunities to weaken a pregnant mom’s tooth enamel. Be aware of your snacking habits and be sure to rinse your mouth frequently with water after eating or drinking.


How Does Mom’s Oral Health Affect Her Baby?

It’s quite simple: the bacteria in Mom’s mouth is the link to the baby’s health. When a pregnant woman has excessive oral bacteria, pathogens can enter the bloodstream via the gums, travel to the uterus, and trigger the production of chemicals suspected to induce preterm labor. After the baby is born, a mom in poor oral health can still pass harmful bacteria to her newborn in a process known as vertical transmission. This can lead to negative dental consequences down the road for the baby—no one wants to see an active toddler with cavities. 

Good oral hygiene—brushing at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once each day—is your own insurance policy to reduce the risk of dental infection in your newborn baby. Good nutrition and balanced meals limiting acidity and sugar have the most benefits for both Mom and baby

Most important of all, don’t forget that when you’re brushing and flossing during pregnancy, you’re doing it for two! If you have any questions or concerns about pregnancy and your dental health, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Don’t Have a Stroke – Your Dentist Can Help

August 27, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,Patient Care — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 8:13 am

You might be surprised to hear that the state of your oral health has a lot to do with preventing a stroke. There’s a certain kind of bad oral bacteria that cause gum disease, travel to other parts of your body, and cause harm.

A stroke is a common but dangerous medical condition that causes a lack of blood in the brain. The effects of a stroke can be long-term and life-changing. People of any age can experience a stroke, but it’s most common in adults 40 years and older.

Oral Wellness
The Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center lists favorable oral health among its top five factors that prevent stroke, and a growing number of studies are finding the link between certain kinds of oral bacteria and the harm they cause to your brain. For example, these bacteria can travel into your head through your bloodstream, causing brain bleeding and dementia. This sounds scary—and it certainly can be. But with good, simple oral hygiene, you can take care of your mouth and prevent a lot of other overall health issues. There are also a number of companies that provide testing for these bacteria using saliva samples.

Gum disease is incredibly common and can range anywhere from slightly tender and red gums to a mouth full of discolored, receding gums. Adults over 30 years old have a 50/50 chance of developing gum disease. But that doesn’t mean you have to accept it or live with the consequences.

You can prevent gum disease (and many other oral and systemic health problems) by:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice every day
  • Flossing or cleaning between your teeth once every day
  • Establishing a good relationship with your dentist and having regular appointments
  • Limiting snacks between meals as well as foods high in sugar or acid

The Stroke Connection

Not all oral bacteria are bad-in fact, some are necessary for digestion and immunity-but research continues to prove some bacteria are especially harmful. Cardiovascular disease is just one condition that can be deeply affected by your oral health. Others include mental health, diabetes, pregnancy, and arthritis. There are three main links between “bad” oral bacteria and heart health:

  • Cholesterol: gum disease increases your risk of developing bad cholesterol (LDL) and its buildup in blood arteries.
  • Chemicals: oral bacteria can cause your blood artery walls to become thin and more vulnerable to cholesterol.
  • Stickiness: oral bacteria can cause your blood artery walls to become very sticky, which attracts more plaque and cholesterol buildup.

You can see how each of these three circumstances has the potential to put your health at risk, especially in combination; they can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).  When this kind of buildup happens in your brain, blood flow slows or stops.  The brain becomes starved of blood, causing a stroke.  Brain cells without blood can die within minutes and prove fatal – or cause lifelong health problems to stroke survivors.

The good news is that science is getting better at finding the dangerous bacteria that cause these problems. If you have signs or a diagnosis of gum disease, ask your doctor about your risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Your Dentist is Your Partner

Dentists are medical professionals who can do a lot to save your health and even your life. If you have any concerns about your oral health, Dr. Peter Thompson in Portales can answer your questions and help you start taking better care of your overall wellness. Make an appointment at Peter L. Thompson, DDS today!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

The Tooth About Teeth Grinding

July 27, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,Dental Services — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 9:48 am

Headaches in Portales are a dime a dozen. We all know the frustration of having your day interrupted by throbbing, shooting pains in the head. If you suffer from frequent headaches that never seem to go away, Dr. Peter Thompson would like you to know about bruxism, or teeth grinding.

At Peter L. Thompson, DDS, we love spreading the news about all things dental health, so here is some headache information that just might change your life.

Bruxism & Headaches

You may not be aware of it, but everyone clenches and grinds their teeth at some point and to some degree. It’s a natural reaction to stress. During the day, you might catch yourself doing it and make a conscious effort to stop, but during the night, you are unaware of it and will naturally grind much harder. Unfortunately, some people in Portales have such problems with bruxism that they may experience:

  • Frequent, painful headaches
  • Damaged, worn-down teeth and surrounding tissues
  • TMJ/TMD

According to Dr. Noshir Mehta, chairman of general dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and director of its Craniofacial Pain Center, the upper and lower teeth come into contact for as much as 40 minutes of each hour. The force exerted on some teeth, such as the first molars, can be about 250 lbs, as opposed to the 20-40 lbs involved in regular daily chewing.

If you grind your teeth and have frequent headaches, don’t panic. Bruxism is easily treatable with custom-fit nightguards that Dr. Peter Thompson will personally fit for your teeth. To find out more about how we can make your headaches disappear, contact Peter L. Thompson, DDS today.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

What’s Lurking in Your Saliva?

July 13, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 8:38 am

Saliva. Just the word can conjure an array of images in your imagination. From salivating at a delicious meal to studying Pavlov’s dogs to watching a baseball player spit, life is full of saliva! And that’s a good thing because saliva is very important for oral and overall health. Problems with saliva can lead to dry mouth, cavities, and bad breath. Read more below from Portales dentist, Dr. Peter Thompson to learn more about your saliva.

Composition of Saliva
Saliva is 98% water. It also contains electrolytes, mucus, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. Saliva travels to all parts of your mouth via “saliva ducts.” Saliva is made in your salivary glands and the contents come from your blood. Ancient doctors believed saliva and blood were “brothers” when it comes to a person’s wellness.

Because saliva is so similar to blood, research is growing on how to use saliva samples to test for diseases. Saliva samples are already used to test for HIV, but studies are finding you can also detect breast cancer, oral cancer, gum disease, and viral hepatitis in your saliva! Saliva samples can also help doctors understand a person’s immune system.

Functions of Saliva

Your saliva is hugely important for hygiene, digestion, wellness, and more. Some functions of saliva include:

  • Calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions keep teeth healthy and strong
  • Antibacterial compounds fight disease in your mouth and prevent cavities and infections
  • Helps you taste your food
  • Moistens your food and enzymes break it down to aid digestion
  • Washes food and debris off your gums and teeth
  • Maintains countless overall health functions that we learn more about every day

The more you chew, the more saliva you make. If you have problems chewing, or if your mouth seems overly dry, it’s important to see the dentist right away. People usually make less saliva at night, which is why it’s extra important to brush your teeth before bed.

Health Risks & Benefits of Saliva

Your health depends on your saliva and having just enough of it. Without saliva, you would be very uncomfortable, have trouble eating, and your breath would smell awful. Smoking, certain diseases, and prescription medicines can cause saliva deficiency.

It can also be a problem if your body makes too much saliva (hello, drool). A dentist or doctor can treat you for either too little or too much saliva. Remember to avoid contact with another person’s saliva if they have a contagious illness because spit can carry those germs.

Treating a saliva imbalance can have many benefits for your overall health, including things like:

  • Acne
  • Cholesterol
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Cancer
  • Stress
  • Heart problems
  • Allergies
  • Cold body temperature
  • Sleep problems
  • Inability to absorb calcium
  • Trouble conceiving children

It’s easy to take your spit for granted, but you’ll notice right away if anything is wrong with it. If you have any questions about saliva or how it’s related to your health, make an appointment at Peter L. Thompson, DDS today. We can help you achieve your best oral health and overall wellness!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Feeling Worn Down?

May 13, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,Patient Care — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 7:44 am

As people get older, the body naturally begins the process of breaking down—and unfortunately, that includes our teeth. Worn teeth are somewhat inevitable, but diligent oral hygiene and quality dental care from Dr. Peter Thompson can help save as much of your natural teeth as possible.

It is extremely common for adults to have tooth wear beyond the degree that is healthy for their age, and unfortunately, severe tooth wear ages them as well.

Some of the problems caused by worn-down teeth include:

  • Temperature-sensitive teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Chipped teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Bite-related problems
  • Headaches
  • TMJ and jaw joint issues
  • Nerve exposure, leading to severe toothache

If you suffer from bruxism (grinding and clenching teeth), some tooth wear may be alleviated by using a nightguard while you sleep, but there are other causes for tooth wear:

  • Malocclusion (teeth and bite misalignment)
  • Abrasion (external forces on teeth including hard bristle toothbrushes or teeth whiteners)
  • Erosion (chemical or acid breaking down of teeth)

Restorative dentistry may be recommended in cases of severe tooth wear, particularly if significant tooth damage should occur. However, it is important to identify the cause of tooth wear before undergoing treatment—and Peter L. Thompson, DDS can help! Saving your teeth is the most important thing to your Portales dentist—and for your health in the long run.

If you’re concerned about tooth wear, please make an appointment with us today.

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Crowning Glory: Esthetic Dental Crowns

March 27, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 1:37 pm

The first known dental crowns were made as far back as 200 A.D. when Etruscans used gold to create crowns and bridges. Can you imagine what the process must have been like without the technology we have now? If you’d rather not, Peter L. Thompson, DDS can’t blame you!

Thanks to digital x-rays and impressions, dentists today can create crowns that blend in so well with the rest of the mouth, you’ll forget you weren’t born with them. The updated materials appear very natural, especially ceramic and porcelain.

But I Love Gold!

Gold is still an option for crowns today, and it’s not a bad option in terms of durability—they’re extremely fracture-resistant and seal well to prevent recurrent tooth decay. However, gold is usually the most expensive material for the creation of crowns, and most people want their dental restorations to be a secret only they know—especially if the tooth in need of crowning is an incisor or canine. (more…)

Mouthwash: More Harm Than Good?

February 27, 2020

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 1:49 pm

At Peter L. Thompson, DDS, we know a lot of people feel they’re adding a layer of tooth decay and gum disease prevention to their oral hygiene routines when they swish with mouthwash—which may be true, but it depends on the mouthwash. If you floss and brush properly, mouthwash isn’t always necessary, and certain types could even be harmful to your oral health.

Think about it this way: do you take antibiotics when you don’t have an infection that requires them? Like antibiotics, certain mouthwashes can kill beneficial bacteria and either create or aggravate problems. (more…)

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