Some symptoms like gum redness, puffiness and bleeding could have surprisingly little to do with your oral hygiene.
Inflammation in the form of red, puffy, or tender gums could be a sign of periodontal disease (better known as gum disease). “Inflammation or discomfort is caused by bacteria that accumulates around the teeth and proliferates when it is not mechanically removed by flossing, brushing, and your six-month dental cleaning appointment,” says Mazen Natour, DMD, a prosthodontist in New York City. It’s important to treat it so it doesn’t advance to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease that causes gums to recede from teeth and form pockets that can become infected.
Most ACV addicts say the tonic helps improve digestion and gut health. And in fact, some studies do suggest that drinking the vinegar every day can help with digestion, weight loss, protecting your heart, balancing your pH levels, even banishing bad breath.But a daily ACV habit might also be doing some serious damage to your teeth, says Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a Manhattan-based dentist and prosthodontist.
“Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body—said to be 10 times stronger than bone and the only substance in nature stronger than diamond. That’s because its role is to protect your teeth from bacteria. But acid can erode your teeth enamel, and ACV is very acidic,” Natour says.
Several studies have shown a link between gum disease—known as periodontitis—and heart disease, as well as increased risk for stroke, according to Mazen Natour, D.M.D., Manhattan-based prosthodontist.That’s because the same bacteria causing periodontitis symptoms like inflammation, bleeding, and bone loss around teeth can travel through the bloodstream to the arteries, Dr. Natour says.“Bacteria can latch onto the walls of the arteries that are feeding the heart, and cause small blood clots,” he says. “By doing so, the risk increases of restricted blood flow to the heart.”
If you find yourself instinctively clenching your jaws, warming up may just be the answer. This method is best done using a heating pad; while lying down, rest one side of your face on a heating pad for 15 minutes, then repeat on the other side. The heat increases the local blood supply, improves circulation, and helps relax the muscles. According to Mazen Natour DMD, Manhattan-based prosthodontist, “Heat helps relax the muscles and may alleviate tension, reducing the potentially destructive grinding.”
You’re brushing a little too enthusiastically.While it’s great to have a regular brushing routine, more pressure and speed doesn’t mean a healthier mouth—in fact, it could have the opposite effect, notes Mazen Natour, DMD, a Manhattan-based prosthodontist. This can be especially true if your toothpaste contains abrasive agents, such as choices that aren’t approved by the American Dental Association, he adds.
“If you brush too hard or too often, you might wear away the thin enamel layer and expose the dentin layer,” he says.
If your teeth are already yellowing, check with your dentist for professional whitening options as well as advice about changing your habits, he suggests. There are several choices for getting your pearly whites back to a selfie-ready smile.
Not flossing can lead to bad breath, cavities, infection, and gum inflammation and recession, says Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a Manhattan-based prosthodontist. In extreme cases, gum recession and disease can even lead to the teeth falling out completely.And yet, a third of Americans admit that they don’t floss daily, according to an analysis of information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
“YOU CAN SWALLOW YOUR SPIT DURING CLEANINGS—BUT WE WOULDN’T”
When the dental hygienist has the suction tool in your mouth during cleanings, let them use it. “Usually during a cleaning, it’s not just your spit in your mouth,” Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a Manhattan-based prosthodontist. During cleanings, your mouth is also full of water from the cavitron (the ultrasonic scaler that the hygienist uses to clean your teeth), blood from inflamed gums, and tartar debris that the hygienist has scraped off of your teeth.“Although all of this isn’t necessarily harmful, I believe the majority of patients would find it gross to swallow—if it were me, I would just let the hygienist suction whatever fluid is building up,” Natour says.
While most bad breath is caused by bacteria that’s already in your mouth (as part of the normal digestive process but also as a result of gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth, sinus problems and other health issues), what you eat and drink can exacerbate the problem. For example, all of these everyday foods can cause bad breath by reacting with the existing bacteria, including giving you dry-mouth, which magnifies the stink. And at this time of year, the list of what causes bad breath gets even longer, according to Mazen Natour, DMD, MScD, a New York City-based dentist and prosthodontist.“The cakes, sweets, and candies that are in abundance around the holidays can be extremely bad for your teeth,” Dr. Natour explains, and what’s bad for your teeth is bad for your gums as well. As a result, there’re more bacteria in your mouth that can cause smelly breath. On top of that, holiday meals tend to be particularly loaded with ingredients that interact with bacteria to create a stink.
Gum disease is no joke. When it gets severe enough, it can even lead to tooth loss.The good news is that having gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, is one of the few occasions in which you can turn back time. “It’s still a reversible situation,” Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a clinical assistant professor in the Ashman Department of Periodontology and Implant Dentistry at the New York University College of Dentistry, tells SELF. When gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, however, the bacteria spreads below the gum line and can even affect the bone, which may eventually lead to tooth loss.
From a cavity to infected gums to a sinus infection to too much exercise, a toothache can have a lot of (sometimes surprising) causes. Our guide outlines all the possible reasons, plus how to treat it and keep the pain from returning.Ignoring discomfort just gives the underlying cause time to get worse, and it’s easier to treat tooth pain before it becomes a serious problem, says Manhattan-based prosthodonist Mazen Natour, DMD. “You don’t want something that could have been fixed very easily with a simple filling to become a big production like a root canal or a crown,” says Dr. Natour. Untreated tooth pain, he adds, could eventually even lead to the loss of a tooth.
Tip of the Day: If you don’t want to get a professional whitening treatment done prior to your wedding day, you can still take precaution to avoid adding more stains. “Use a straw when drinking anything that is not clear and might stain teeth, such as red wine, tea, coffee, orange juice,” says Dr. Mazen Natour DMD, Manhattan-based Prosthodontist. “This also applies to foods, like tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, and yes, even smoking!”
A lot of it comes down to lack of saliva production while you’re sleeping, says Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a Manhattan-based prosthodontist. Saliva normally clears out odor-causing bacteria. So overnight, when we’re not producing enough of it, the smelly bugs can multiply.In most cases, morning breath is nothing to worry about. But in some situations, unusually bad breath could indicate an underlying health problem. It’s often the first sign of gum disease, which is linked to heart disease and strokes. Other times, it indicates an infection like an abscess or a gastrointestinal problem like GERD, says Dr. Natour. Talk to your doctor if your breath is suddenly stinking more than usual.
This case report demonstrates the use of an innovative covers screw and a Conical Explant Kit at the second stage surgery. The technique is minimaly invasive, preserves the keratinized tissue, and reduces the patient’s discomfort and treatments time.
We all know the drill: Floss, brush, visit the dentist bi-yearly, repeat. And while that routine is the key to a healthy mouth, lesser-known culprits, like the season’s trendy foods, may be working against your good-for-you habits. “Fall foods related to Halloween and Thanksgiving are high in sugars and are not so good for your teeth,” Mazen Natour, DMD, a Manhattan-based prosthodontist says. It’s safe to say that moderately indulging won’t cause the Austin Powers effect, but just in case, go easy on these autumn favorites.
Remember, the general public isn’t used to having a front row view into other folks’ mouths, but dentists and dental hygienists see this all the time. There are many people out there who have years of plaque buildup on their teeth. “We do see these types of patients in our practice,” Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a Manhattan-based dentist and prosthodontist, tells SELF. “At least once or twice a week, we get a new patient that hasn’t seen the dentist in 10-plus years.”
Aside from the obvious risks (like, for instance, excessive pain), Manhattan-based prosthodontist Mazen Natour, warns that wisdom tooth extractions can cause a host of complications — all of which are more likely at the hands of an inexperienced dental surgeon. Speaking to Allure, Natour explains, “[Tooth] extraction is generally easy for a professional, but for a non-professional, no one should attempt this…You can bleed a lot, you can cut yourself, [you could] break the tooth, [or] get an infection…This video is sending the absolute wrong message” If the thought of a potential oral infection doesn’t scare you enough, know that improper wisdom tooth removal can cause irreversible facial paralysis. So, while this video is certainly entertaining in a sick, twisted kind of way, please heed Dr. Natour’s warning and do not try this at home. Or anywhere, for that matter.
But for as popular as they are, the appeal clearly isn’t universal: “It makes me cringe,” says Mazen Natour, a Manhattan-based prosthodontist who also endured the video, adding that he sees people with horribly neglected teeth and gums every week at his New York City practice. Natour says that while he can’t say for sure how long that kind of buildup would take, his best guess is that it likely resulted from a decade or more of neglect. And that, strangely, could be the lone silver lining to these clips, he says. Natour hopes people will find them motivating, a chance to pause and perhaps think, “I don’t want this to happen to me, and I need to get my act together,” he says.
At least once or twice a week, we get a new patient that hasn’t seen the dentist in 10-plus years. We do see these types of patients in our practice,” Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a Manhattan-based dentist and prosthodontist, tells SELF. People may put a lot of time between dental visits due to neglect, a fear of the dentist, or being on a budget, he say
Manhattan-based Prosthodontist Dr. Mazen Natour, DMD, tells us these are mostly extreme, overdue cases of plaque build-up. “If you noticed, there was a lot of bleeding and the buildup invaded the gum space into the bone, which caused an irreversible gum and bone recession,” he says. “In one case shown, the patient will lose her or his teeth — the anterior lower teeth — to the extreme damage done by the plaque and the bone loss that followed.”
“I don’t recommend using chlorhexidine long term, however,” cautions Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a Manhattan-based prosthodontist and a clinical professor at New York University College of Dentistry. “We typically prescribe chlorhexidine mouth rinses for one week prior to dental implant surgery and two weeks after. If you use them for longer than that, you may stain your teeth permanently.”
Dr. Mazen Natour, DMD, is a prosthodontist — an expert in the restoration and replacement of teeth — in practice in New York.
“In theory this is a great idea,” he told Healthline.
But he has a list of unanswered questions.
“It’s possible, but you have to be careful, because you cannot just make a gap out of nowhere,” Natour explains. “One option is to push teeth, if there’s room and that’s a long procedure—several months of orthodontic work. You have to make sure you can do it without make any permanent damage. Another option is to take a burr and cut into the two central teeth to create a gap, but you have to carefully study the proportion and size, and that might involve veneers or crowns.
“At night the saliva flow is reduced tremendously and saliva is a natural lubricant. It flushes things away from the teeth,” says Mazen Natour, professor of periodontology and implant dentistry at the NYU College of Dentistry. “By having saliva at a reduced flow at night, things tend to stick easier and faster.” Natour adds that if you’re only brushing in the daytime, you’ve got a lot of hours and meals between brushing for plaque to build up on your teeth. “As a personal opinion, if you really want to choose to brush once a day, I would say [brush] at night.”
That being said, clear drinks like Prosecco and champagne aren’t as harmful as bubbly drinks with deeper shades (i.e. Coca Cola and other dark-shaded sodas). ‘Anything that is not clear or still can – and will – potentially cause damage if not consumed in moderation,’ said prosthodontist Mazen Natour to Allure.
Yes, Prosecco is indeed acidic, but that doesn’t make it as harmful as its bubbly cousins with deeper shades(i.e. sodas with additive colorants),” says New York City-based prosthodontist Mazen Natour. “Prosecco also does not have the heavy concentration of tannin, which is present in red wines and black tea, or the added colorant in soda, so all in all, it’s probably the least harmful of what you can drink,” he says. “Now, don’t get me wrong, it still has sugar in it, and it’s still a bubbly drink — bubbles are notorious for eroding enamel due to their high concentration of phosphoric, malic, citric, and tartaric acids. They melt the enamel.”
“Most have to work to achieve pearly whites,” Dr. Mazen Natour, DMD, Prosthodontist, says. “And some are more susceptible to gum disease and cavities [than others].” Whether you’re bleaching or born with it, though, you still have to take special care of your set.
While citrus is loaded with vitamin C, which can fight off colds and aid in fat burning, too much can affect your teeth. Excessive citrus fruit consumption or habits such as sucking on lemon, lime, or orange wedges and letting them touch your teeth can make your teeth more susceptible to staining, explains Dr. Natour. “Over time, the acidity from citrus fruit will erode the enamel, creating small perforations and creating an entry for more staining.”