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CHRONICLES ON HEALTH

It's Time to Smile Again

"Overcoming tooth sensitivity and tender gums"
By: Vanessa ValenzuelaIt's  Time to Smile Again

Don’t let sensitive teeth or swollen gums stop you from enjoying life. Here are some tips to fight dental problems such as hypersensitivity and gum swelling:

· Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth gently yet thoroughly and make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is less abrasive for your tooth and more gum-friendly.

· Floss. Filipinos are not used to the concept of flossing as part of regular oral care, but it is necessary to clean areas of both teeth and gums that are not reached by your toothbrush.

· Use a desensitizing toothpaste. If you already are suffering from sensitive teeth, you can manage the pain by using a special toothpaste made for sensitive teeth. If you have exposed roots that hurt whenever it gets in contact with food and drinks, apply a thin layer of the special toothpaste on the exposed area. Fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwashes can also help reduce sensitivity.

· Avoid acidic food. Protect your tooth enamel from acids that can wear it out faster. If you have GERD, ask your doctor to give you an antacid that can address the problem.

· Avoid grinding your teeth. If you tend to grind your teeth while asleep, you can go to bed with a mouth guard so that you won’t damage your pearly whites.

· Stay away from tobacco. If you think that chewing tobacco is much healthier than smoking it, you are gravely mistaken. Chewing tobacco can lead to gum recession, and as mentioned earlier, receding gums can cause gum disease.

Most importantly, visit a dentist regularly. Your dentist can perform professional cleaning (called “oral prophylaxis”) and do reparative procedures to seal damaged teeth so that bacteria won’t seep in and proliferate.

Ask your dentist to show you how to use dental floss properly or how you should brush your teeth. If you have kids, teach them the value of following good oral hygiene early on so that they won’t have to suffer serious tooth and gum diseases when they grow up.
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