Did You Know About Scalloped Tongue?

Did You Know About Scalloped Tongue?

Scalloped Tongue

Written By: Poulami Saha | 23 February 2024


Do you notice a ripple effect on the sides of your tongue that is ‘extra’ or bulky? If not, that’s a great news. If not, you may have a scalloped tongue, better known as a ‘rippled tongue’ rightly spotted.
No worries; don’t freak out just yet.
While a scalloped tongue might look eerie, it is often harmless and can be caused by various factors. This blog is all about understanding the causes, treatments, and when to seek professional help.

What is a Scalloped Tongue?

Your tongue has wavy indentations along the edges, like miniature scallops. That’s what a scalloped tongue looks like. Usually, it’s caused by abnormal pressure from teeth or swelling of the tongue itself. Chronic inflammatory conditions like IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) can provide a basis for a scalloped tongue appearance. Certain conditions, such as tumours (abnormal masses of tissues that can be caused by cancerous growth), are also known to cause scalloped tongues.

Why Does My Tongue Look Like That?

While not always a cause for concern, several factors can contribute to a scalloped tongue. Let’s take a look at those in a nutshell:
  1. 1. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism): The clenching and grinding of the teeth unconsciously will cause pressure on the tongue and, in the end, result in indentations. Stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders are linked with bruxism disorder.
  1. 2. Nutritional Deficiencies: The absence of iron, B12, or niacin can lead to swellings and tongue scalloping.
  1. 3. Sleep Apnea: During sleep apnea episodes, you strain to breathe and, in some cases, even push the tongue against your teeth, which leaves bite marks on the teeth. A 2017 study examining over 1,000 Japanese adults found a higher prevalence of moderate-to-severe nocturnal intermittent hypoxia (NIH), the primary sign of sleep apnea, in people with scalloped tongues!
  1. 4. Macroglossia: An enlarged tongue could be either congenital or acquired, and it can cause the teeth to have a scalloped edge if it is against them.
  1. 5. Other Causes: Rarer reasons such as allergy, infection, inflammatory conditions, and some types of cancer can also cause headaches.

Can a Scalloped Tongue Cause Problems?

These are the almost standard white lines that appear when one has braces. Listed below are some of the ways to fix this problem:
  1. 1. Bruxism: When you clench or grind your teeth or even cough, your tongue may contact your teeth. You may overdo this in your sleep or even subconsciously during the day.
  1. 2. Stress: One might be wondering how the state of your mental health can get to the level of affecting your oral health. It’s true. Your mental stability and expression through emotions like stress and anxiety govern the dental characteristics of your hygiene. You readily grind your teeth and clench your jaws when anxious or stressed. Meanwhile, habits such as bruxism, jaw clenching, and teeth grinding put an unwarranted amount of stress on your tongue.
  1. 3. Inflammation: While scalloped edges are rarely painful, discomfort can occur if the underlying cause involves inflammation or other tongue issues. Pain can signify conditions like oral thrush and vitamin deficiencies, namely vitamin B-12, riboflavin, niacin, and iron.or certain medications.
  1. 4. Numbness: Tongue numbness could indicate nerve damage from various causes, like diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, or injury.
  1. 5. Breathing Difficulties: If breathing becomes difficult, it could be a serious concern related to sleep apnea, airway block, or other problems.
  1. 6. Changes in Tongue Appearance: These changes can point to conditions like glossitis (tongue inflammation), lichen planus (autoimmune skin condition), or vitamin deficiencies. Plus, white patches could indicate oral thrush (a fungal infection). Redness can suggest glossitis, geographic tongue (a benign condition), or strawberry tongue (associated with Kawasaki disease).

How can I Get Rid of it?

To get rid of your scalloped tongue, this comes with good practice according to your concerns, as follows:
  1. 1. Bruxism: Use a mouthguard to protect your tongue and teeth from injury. Manage stress and anxiety via relaxation techniques like meditation or therapy.
  1. 2. Nutritional Deficiencies: A balanced diet of vitamins, iron, and other essential nutrients. Consider taking them if advised by the doctor.
  1. 3. Sleep Apnea: Use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to send a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat or other suitable methods or treatments to achieve better breathing while you sleep.
  1. For macroglossia, surgery may be the last resort in severe situations.

Home Remedies for Mild Cases

  1. 1. Hydration is the Key: Don’t forget to drink enough water, as dehydration caused by excessive sweating can lead to swelling.
  1. 2. Make Dietary Changes: Vitamin B and iron are significant for a healthy diet.
  1. 3. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss daily to protect your teeth and gums.
Don’t hesitate to contact Apex for any concerns. From highlighting dental problems to covering those under a budget, we provide the best dentists in Dubai for your treatment.

Reasons Why Braces Cause White Spots on the Teeth

Reasons Why Braces Cause White Spots on the Teeth

Braces

Written By: Poulami Saha | 20 February 2024


Brace yourself for braces that will leave white spots on your teeth one day. This is not a straight-away claim; it is a noticeable reality. You can spot chalky white patches on the surface of your teeth right after removing your braces when your dentist asks. They typically appear around where the brackets are. Unwanted discolouration seems as if the junk in iron results from putting braces for a year or beyond, depending on your needs. Be it metal or clear braces, restoring teeth alignment or correcting complex dental issues comes at a cost. Fear not; these are preventable!
Whether your teeth are still on braces or just recently got rid of dental braces after orthodontic treatment completion, hold no worries or grudges. This blog will address the root cause of your problem and how to fix your issues within a period.

What Causes White Spots on the Teeth?

The process of chalky white patches results from the loss of minerals in the tooth enamel, often known as decalcification. While chewing the food, residual particles accumulate beneath braces, especially when cleaning is not meticulous. As a result, these deposits attract bacteria, producing acid, which poses a significant threat to enamel. As the acid acts on the enamel, it weakens it, giving rise to demineralised regions that manifest as white spots on the teeth. If left unchecked, they can progress to cavities.

How to Avoid White Spots from Braces?

The glaring white stains on the teeth can also instantly ruin the look of your smile. Accordingly, preventing this before these light patches can develop and increase into a big problem is good.
  1. Brush your teeth TWICE A DAY: Indeed, this action looks obvious. However, brushing your teeth is one of the best ways to remove white spots from your teeth. Teeth brushing should be done at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Moreover, your concerns will be alleviated since some electric toothbrushes are specially designed to remove stains and food debris below the brackets of your braces.
  1. Flossing: Flossing, the second part of a complete mouth-cleaning norm, is also a critical component of oral health care. Even during brushing and flossing of teeth, your oral health automatically improves. This is the stage of your life when you will have a minimal risk of stains forming on your teeth, including after the braces are removed.
  1. Acidic and Sugary Food is a Big No-No: Increase intake of neutral foods such as vegetables and fruits, and reduce acidic and sugary mixtures.
    One should realise that decalcification is the unavoidable outcome for anyone wearing braces. The degree of decalcification can be minimised to a certain extent. This simply indicates that to prevent the appearance of those white spots on your teeth, our dentists suggest that you limit yourself from drinks that contain sugary nature and acidic foods, like sour candies, soda, citrus fruits and so forth. Citric Acid in these products can damage the teeth, making them decalcify.

How to Fix White Spots on Your Teeth?

These are the almost standard white lines that appear when one has braces. Listed below are some of the ways to fix this problem:
  1. Focus on improving your oral hygiene: At times, if the white spots are mild or almost invisible, then to counter this, it is advised that you carry out rigorous teeth cleaning. Therefore, through regular home care with concentrated fluoridated treatments such as fluoride toothpaste or mouthwashes, mild white spots are easy to hide, and the enamel on your teeth can be restored.
  1. Remineralisation: There are instances where your poorly mineralised enamel can be restored using specific remineralisation agents that your professional dentist will provide. Thus, it is essential to avail yourself of any of our orthodontists to help with the remineralisation process of the teeth and thus minimise the presence of noisy spots.
  1. Cosmetic Dentistry: Teeth whitening or veneers could be a cosmetic dental treatment your doctor will advise based on how severe your brace stains are. Teeth whitening provides you with lighter or whiter teeth, while dental veneers cover the surface of your teeth, which helps prevent future stains and discolouration.
  1. Microabrasion: And the dentist can very easily cure these white spots with a buffing action, popularly known as microabrasion. It is an easy procedure involving polishing the white spot already present on your tooth. It would be advisable to apply this method since it will make your spots appear less visible.

Other Stains Caused by Braces

One myth to debunk is the fact that the colour of these stains is not primarily white. These stains are brown and yellow. Teeth act like sponges, easily soaking up colour pigments from food and drinks. This susceptibility to staining doubles with braces, as their brackets and wires create small spaces where stain particles can linger unseen.

Do White Spots Fade Away?

Approximately 70% of white spots fade or disappear entirely after braces due to improved oral hygiene after their removal. This occurs because once the obstacle of brackets and wires is gone, brushing and flossing can more effectively remove plaque and bacteria that contributed to demineralisation and caused the white spots.

When Should You Visit a Dentist?

However, some white spots require further attention. If they persist after a few months, explore professional treatments like microabrasion or whitening procedures designed to address these concerns. You should visit a dentist if you indicate a red flag like tooth infections or decay even after taking precautions. Spots and stains keep your smile from looking healthy. Hence, if you have a spotty and stained smile following brace treatment, you should seek professional help from a dentist. Consulting your dentist will help you understand your situation so you can take the best action. The earlier, the better.

If you are having them and don’t know what to do, schedule an appointment with Apex

What are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

What are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom Teeth

Written By: Samana Agha | 16 February 2024


Ah, wisdom teeth. Those mysterious third molars, shrouded in legend and often shrouded in trouble. In a perfect world, these evolutionary remnants would erupt gracefully, contributing to our chewing ability. But for most of us, reality bites – literally. Today, we step into the intriguing world of impacted wisdom teeth, exploring their causes, consequences, and management strategies.

Wisdom Through the Ages

Our ancestors had robust jaws and a rough diet. Wisdom teeth were valuable assets, grinding down fibrous plants and aiding in overall oral function. However, fast forward to the modern world, with our smaller jaws and softer diets. Now, these late bloomers often lack space to erupt properly, becoming “impacted.” This can happen thanks to various factors, like jaw size, angle of the tooth, and even genetics. Statistics reveal the widespread nature of impaction:
  1. 1. A whopping 90% of people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. (Source: American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS)
  1. 2. Only 65% of wisdom teeth actually erupt properly. (Source: Journal of the American Dental Association)

Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always announce their arrival with fanfare. Sometimes, they lurk silently, waiting to cause trouble. But when symptoms arise, they can range from mild annoyance to full-blown dental problems.
  1. 1. Throbbing pain: This can occur in the jaw, ear, or back of the mouth, making even everyday activities uncomfortable.
  1. 2. Swelling and redness: Gums surrounding the impacted tooth may become inflamed and puffy, sometimes leading to facial swelling.
  1. 3. Restricted jaw movement: Opening your mouth wide might feel like a chore, thanks to the pressure from the impacted tooth.
  1. 4. Bad breath and unpleasant taste: Trapped food debris around the impacted tooth creates a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to unpleasant odours and taste.
  1. 5. Bleeding gums: Occasional bleeding from the affected area can be a sign of inflammation or potential infection.

To Extract or Not to Extract

Not every impacted wisdom tooth needs a one-way ticket out. If they’re symptom-free and not causing problems, regular monitoring by your dentist might be enough. However, if symptoms like pain, infection, or damage to adjacent teeth arise, removal becomes the recommended course of action. This helps prevent complications like:
  1. 1. Infection: Untreated impaction can lead to severe dental infections, affecting 20-30% of impacted teeth, causing pain, swelling, and even fever.
  1. 2. Cyst formation: A fluid-filled sac can develop around the impacted tooth in 10-20% of cases, potentially damaging bone and tissue.
  1. 3. Damage to nearby teeth: Pressure from the impacted tooth can damage surrounding teeth, leading to cavities or misalignment in 10-20% of cases.
  1. 4. Jaw problems: Impacted wisdom teeth can contribute to jaw pain, joint dysfunction, and even headaches for some individuals.

The Wisdom Tooth Removal Process

Wisdom tooth removal, while not a walk in the park, is a widely performed and generally safe procedure. Here’s what to expect:
  1. 1. Consultation: First things first, you’ll have a detailed consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon to discuss your specific case, risks, and recovery expectations.
  1. 2. Anesthesia: Local anesthesia or sedation is used to minimize discomfort during the procedure, with success rates exceeding 95%.
  1. 3. The extraction: The dentist will create an incision in the gum, remove the tooth (sometimes in sections), and stitch the area closed.
  1. 4. Recovery: Expect some soreness and swelling for a few days, managed with pain medication and proper care.

Beyond the Basics

The world of impacted wisdom teeth holds more than meets the eye. Here are some interesting tidbits.
  1. 1. Not everyone has them: About 35% of people lack all four wisdom teeth, while some have more than the usual four.
  1. 2. Wisdom beyond teeth? Interestingly, the term “wisdom teeth” may not have originated from their supposed connection to wisdom, but rather from the age they typically erupt.
  1. 3. Hidden dangers: Impacted wisdom teeth can sometimes affect nearby nerves, leading to numbness or tingling sensations in 5-10% of cases.

Seeking Expert Guidance

If you suspect you might have impacted wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. A qualified dentist can assess your situation, provide personalized recommendations, and guide you through the treatment process. Early intervention is key to preventing complications and ensuring a healthy, comfortable smile. According to the ADA, 85% of wisdom teeth are removed due to symptoms or potential problems, emphasizing the importance of seeking timely care.
Remember, you’re not alone. Millions of people navigate the world of impacted wisdom teeth each year. Apex has experienced dentists who can provide reliable information, expert guidance, and a proactive approach. You can successfully manage this common dental concern and maintain a healthy, pain-free smile with expert guidance.

10 Reasons Your Teeth Are Suddenly Hurting

10 Reasons Your Teeth Are Suddenly Hurting

Teeth Hurting

Written By: Samana Agha | 13 February 2024


Waking up to pain emanating from your teeth can be like getting hit by a rogue cymbal in a silent movie – jarring, unexpected, and leaving you scrambling for relief. But before you dive headfirst into a bottle of pain relievers or start contemplating drastic measures, let’s uncover the mystery behind this sudden toothache. This blog serves as informational support and can’t replace a professional diagnosis.
  1. 1. Gum Problems: Gum disease, whether in its early stage (gingivitis) or its more advanced form (periodontitis), can definitely lead to a widespread toothache problem. Your gums are loyal soldiers protecting your teeth. When they become inflamed and infected, they lose their grip, exposing sensitive areas prone to pain, especially when chewing or even gently touching. This pain can feel like it’s coming from all your teeth, even if the problem isn’t widespread yet.
  1. 2. Sensitivity: Does your toothache tango with hot coffee or ice cream? You might be experiencing tooth sensitivity, which can feel like tiny daggers dancing all over your teeth. This could be due to several factors, like exposed tooth roots from receding gums, enamel erosion from acidic foods/drinks or even recent dental work.
  1. 3. Cavities: Tooth decay, aka cavities, doesn’t always announce itself with flashing lights and sirens. But once the decay reaches the sensitive inner layers of the tooth, the pain can hit you hard and feel widespread if multiple cavities are present. Think of it like silent termites slowly weakening your teeth’s structure, leading to a sudden, painful collapse.
  1. 4. Sinus Infection: Believe it or not, a sinus infection can cause referred pain that mimics toothache, especially in your upper teeth. Sinuses are air-filled cavities in your skull. The inflammation in these can put pressure on the roots of your upper teeth, leading to discomfort that feels like it’s coming from your teeth directly.
  1. 5. Bruxism: Do you unconsciously clench or grind your teeth at night (bruxism)? This excessive pressure can be like two armies clashing in the darkness, straining your jaw muscles and teeth, leading to generalised pain. Cracked or chipped teeth due to trauma can also cause similar widespread discomfort.
  1. 6. TMJ Blues: The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. Dysfunction in this joint, often called TMJ syndrome, can manifest as widespread facial pain, including your teeth. Imagine the joint, the hinge of your jaw, malfunctioning, leading to pain radiating throughout your entire facial structure.
  1. 7. Nutritional Necessities: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies, particularly calcium and vitamin D, can contribute to weakened teeth and gums, making them more susceptible to pain. Think of it like your body lacking the essential building blocks to keep your teeth strong and healthy, leading to vulnerability and discomfort.
  1. 8. Post-Procedure Pangs: Recent dental procedures like fillings, crowns, or cleanings can sometimes cause temporary sensitivity or discomfort, which might feel widespread. It’s like getting some construction work done on your house, there might be some dust and noise initially, but it’s temporary and leads to a better outcome in the long run.
  1. 9. Bleaching: Teeth whitening products, especially those with high peroxide concentrations, can cause temporary tooth sensitivity, which might feel like widespread pain. The process might cause some initial discomfort before revealing the final, brighter smile.
  1. 10. Underlying Medical Conditions: In rare cases, underlying medical conditions like diabetes or nerve problems can manifest as widespread toothache. Imagine these conditions as hidden plot twists in the mystery, requiring further investigation and specialised medical attention to solve.

Bonus Tips for Soothing Sudden Toothache

  1. 1. Over-the-counter pain relievers: While they won’t address the root cause, pain relievers like ibuprofen can offer temporary relief, allowing you to function as you seek professional help. Think of them as first responders, offering immediate comfort until more specialised care arrives.
  1. 2. Cold compress: Apply a cold compress to your cheek near the source of pain to reduce inflammation. Imagine the cold compress like a soothing ice pack, calming the inflamed area and bringing down the swelling.
  1. 3. Saltwater rinse: Mix a teaspoon of salt in warm water and swish gently to cleanse and soothe irritated gums. This acts like a natural disinfectant, removing irritants and promoting healing.
  1. 4. Gentle flossing: Flossing carefully can remove food debris that might be irritating sensitive areas.
  1. 5. Avoid irritants: Steer clear of sugary, acidic, or hot/cold foods that might exacerbate the pain. Opt for bland, soft foods that offer comfort and nourishment without causing additional discomfort.

Prevention is Key

While sudden toothache can be unsettling, prevention is your best defence. Here are some steps you can take to maintain good oral health and minimise the risk of future dental problems:
  1. 1. Brush twice daily and floss once a day: This regular cleaning routine removes plaque and bacteria, the main culprits behind gum disease and cavities.
  1. 2. Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, your teeth’s natural armour against decay.
  1. 3. Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings: Professional cleanings remove tartar buildup that brushing alone can’t tackle, and checkups allow early detection of problems before they become major issues.
  1. 4. Maintain a healthy diet: Limit sugary and acidic foods that can erode enamel and contribute to cavities. Choose nutrient-rich foods that support strong teeth and gums.
  1. 5. Manage stress: Stress can exacerbate jaw clenching and bruxism, which can lead to tooth pain. Techniques like meditation or yoga can help manage stress and reduce its impact on your oral health.
You’re not alone in the battle against sudden toothache. Understanding the potential causes, seeking professional help, and practising preventive measures, can help you reclaim your smile and enjoy the confidence that comes with a healthy mouth. For a prompt and accurate diagnosis and treatment plan, schedule an appointment with qualified and experienced dentists at Apex.

What’s the Best Treatment for Gum Disease?

What’s the Best Treatment for Gum Disease?

Gum Disease

Written By: Samana Agha | 08 February 2024


Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease often remains unnoticed until its consequences become severe. This chronic inflammatory condition, affecting the tissues surrounding your teeth, starts subtly with red, swollen gums, but if left unchecked, can progress to deteriorate your oral health, leading to bone loss and even tooth loss.
Understanding gum disease, its progression, and the treatment options available empowers you to take charge of your oral health and prevent its detrimental effects. In this blog, we are going to talk about everything related to gum disease.

The Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease doesn’t announce its arrival with flashing lights and sirens. It progresses through distinct stages, each with its own set of signs and symptoms:
  1. 1. Gingivitis: This is the initial, reversible stage characterised by inflamed, red, and bleeding gums. Brushing and flossing diligently alongside professional dental cleanings can reverse gingivitis.
  1. 2. Early Periodontitis: If gingivitis goes untreated, it escalates to early periodontitis. The inflammation deepens, affecting the underlying bone supporting your teeth. Pockets form between the teeth and gums, harbouring bacteria. Loose teeth might become noticeable.
  1. 3. Moderate Periodontitis: As the disease progresses, deeper pockets develop, bone loss accelerates, and more teeth become loose. Pus might ooze from the pockets, and chewing can become uncomfortable.
  1. 4. Advanced Periodontitis: In this severe stage, significant bone loss has occurred, jeopardising the survival of teeth. Shifting teeth, deep pockets, and visible gum recession become evident.

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

While the primary culprit of gum disease is plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that accumulates on teeth, several other factors contribute to its development:
  1. 1. Poor oral hygiene: Skipping brushing and flossing allows plaque to build up, creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
  1. 2. Smoking: Smoking weakens the immune system’s ability to fight infection and hinders gum tissue healing.
  1. 3. Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions like diabetes can exacerbate gum disease.
  1. 4. Genetics: Some individuals are genetically predisposed to gum disease.
  1. 5. Hormonal changes: Pregnancy and menopause can increase susceptibility to gum disease.

The Impact of Gum Disease

Gum disease isn’t just a localised oral health issue. Research suggests a link between gum disease and various health problems, including:
  1. 1. Heart disease: The inflammatory markers associated with gum disease might contribute to heart disease development.
  1. 2. Stroke: Similar to heart disease, the inflammation triggered by gum disease might elevate stroke risk.
  1. 3. Diabetes: Gum disease can worsen blood sugar control in diabetics, while poorly controlled diabetes can aggravate gum disease.
  1. 4. Respiratory problems: Studies suggest a link between gum disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  1. 5. Rheumatoid arthritis: Gum disease might worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Gum Disease Treatment

The good news is that gum disease treatment options are now readily available. The earlier gum disease is addressed, the better the prognosis. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the disease and your individual needs:

Non-surgical treatments:

  1. 1. Improved oral hygiene: Brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash are crucial for removing plaque and bacteria.
  1. 2. Scaling and root planing: This professional cleaning procedure removes plaque and tartar buildup from above and below the gumline.
  1. 3. Antibiotics: In some cases, your dentist might prescribe antibiotics to control bacterial infections.

Surgical treatments:

  1. 1. Flap surgery: This procedure involves lifting back the gum tissue to clean deeper areas and remove infected tissue.
  1. 2. Bone grafting: If bone loss has occurred, bone grafting procedures can help regenerate bone tissue and support your teeth.
  1. 3. Tissue regeneration procedures: These techniques aim to stimulate the growth of new gum and bone tissue around your teeth.

How to prevent gum disease?

Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is the cornerstone of gum disease prevention. Brushing twice daily for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antiseptic mouthwash can significantly reduce plaque and bacteria buildup. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings are equally important for early detection and intervention. Additionally, quitting smoking, managing chronic health conditions, and maintaining a healthy diet can further decrease your risk of gum disease.
Gum disease is a stealthy adversary, but by understanding its progression, risk factors, and wider health implications, you can empower yourself to take charge of your oral health. Consistent oral hygiene practices, regular dental visits, and early intervention are your weapons in this fight. Apex Dental Clinics has skilled dentists who are experienced in diagnosing and treating gum diseases and other oral health issues.