Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Trench Mouth - Could You Get It?

It's a common term that we don't hear very frequently anymore, but many people do not know that it's a real disease that most commonly affects the younger crowd, ages 25 and under. Less commonly, it has been known to affect people older than that.

It is a bacterial infection of the gums, characterized by painful sores of the mouth and surrounding mucous membranes, bleeding, foul breath, increased salivation and difficulty in swallowing and talking. Some causes are poor oral hygiene, stress, poor nutrition, smoking and immune deficiency. It can be treated effectively by your dentist with antibiotics and oxygenating rinses.
Proper hygiene is one of the best preventive strategies!

Here's an interesting fun fact:
The term "Trench mouth" actually came from epidemics that began among soldiers in the field during World War II where proper hygiene was not always possible, and conditions were unsanitary.

Keep Smiling Ya'll!

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Dehydration Contributes to Bad Breath

 Dehydration is a major cause of bad breath. When the body is dehydrated it doesn't produce enough saliva. Without enough saliva to clean away food particles, bacteria reproduces freely and causes the bad breathSaliva also neutralizes acids and prevents plaque from forming on the surface of your teeth. Consequently, adding plenty of water to your diet is a good start to having a healthy mouth. The current recommendation is to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, and remember that you can also get fluids through foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes.

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Extraction Aftercare

Aftercare for tooth extraction can vary depending on the type of procedure that was done and how your body responds to healing.

One thing is for sure, you may have bleeding for 24 hours, so don't freak out!

  • 1-2 days after an extraction:
    • Rest - try not to bend over or pick up anything heavy.
    • Change gauze - if needed, change gauze every 30 min.
    • eating- Eat soft foods and chew on the opposite side of the mouth.
    •  Avoid Swishing - Put water in your mouth gently tilt your head from side to side and spit. SO NOT swish.
    • No Straws - sucking can cause dry sockets.
    • Medications - take prescribed medication as needed.
    • No smoking - like the straw, this can create a dry socket.
    • Elevate head - when you sleep, elevate your head. This will prevent blood pooling and make healing fast.
    • Brush and floss - super gentle around the extraction site.
  • 3-10 days after extraction:
    • Saline rinse - use warm salt water to rinse the mouth.
    • Brush and floss - continue as normal.
    •  Eat - continue eating soft foods.
If you are experiencing any pain after a week or 10 days, consult your dentist immediately!

*These are basic instructions. If your dentist gives you an instruction sheet, please follow theirs*

Information is found here!

Friday, June 7, 2024

How To Sleep After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Check out this direct reprint of an article by Slumber Yard Team, if you are about to get your wisdom teeth removed! 

"Wisdom Teeth Removal

Almost 85% of Americans need to get their wisdom teeth pulled sooner or later, and boy are we jealous of those who don‘t need to go through the procedure.  It‘s a simple outpatient surgery, but the recovery can be quite grueling.  It can be even worse if you can‘t manage to get a good night‘s sleep.  Sleep is a major factor in recovery, so you can see how this situation can quickly become a downward spiral if you‘re not getting any rest.  The less sleep you get, the more painful the healing process becomes, which makes it harder to sleep — and the cycle continues.

Our Slumber Yard team member Carla actually recently got her wisdom teeth pulled.  When we asked her about her sleep experience post–procedure, this is what she had to say.

“Be prepared to readjust the way you‘re eating because you can basically only have liquids and soft foods like yogurt and pudding.  I tried noodle soup, but I stayed away after I got a noodle stuck in the holes where my wisdom teeth were.  Because you‘re eating differently, it might affect your sleep schedule.  For the first couple of days, I had a migraine from the surgery and an aching jaw, so it made it more difficult to fall asleep.  But the first two days, I did nap a lot.  I‘d say I got around the recommended six to eight hours of sleep over the days.  I‘ve heard from others that they‘ve slept much more, though, especially if your dentist puts you on pain pills stronger than Tylenol.  Yawning hurt for about a month, too, so be prepared for that.”

Wisdom tooth removal is something that most people will encounter in their lifetime.  While everyone‘s experience is different, there are some things that you can expect after wisdom teeth removal.  This guide will teach you some simple tricks and provide expert tips to help ease your recovery and help you sleep better.

How to Sleep Post Teeth Removal

After you get your wisdom teeth removed, it‘s important to be aware of how you‘re sleeping.  Sleep and good rest is important to heal faster, but you can actually prolong your healing process if you‘re not careful.

Take Your Medication

To start, make sure you take any medications your doctor prescribed.¯ This is essential for two reasons:  One, it will help fight off potential infection, and two, it will help you sleep at night if you‘re feeling pain.

Hopefully, your dentist or oral surgeon prescribed you something strong enough to ease the pain, as Carla mentioned earlier.  If not, Ibuprofen or Tylenol will help reduce the discomfort too.  You can also apply an ice pack to your cheek if you have a combination of pain and swelling.

Keep Head Elevated & Choose the Right Position

After you get your wisdom teeth pulled, you‘ll need to keep your head elevated for at least 36 hours at a 45–degree angle, even while you sleep.  The elevation will help you recover faster because blood vessel tone (constriction of your blood vessels) and blood volume tend to increase near the wound when you‘re lying flat.  This can cause the wound to throb and lead to increased pressure and bleeding, inhibiting healing.  Keeping your head at an angle also helps to reduce swelling, so you don‘t look like a chipmunk.

Remove Gauze From Mouth This next tip might go without saying, but you‘ll want to remove the gauze in your mouth before you sleep, so you don‘t accidentally choke on it.  Your dentist should tell you when you have the OK to take it out, which is normally around 30 minutes after surgery.

Follow Aftercare Instructions

In general, make sure you also schedule time to rest after your surgery, and not just when you‘re supposed to go to sleep at night.  If you strain yourself too hard after wisdom teeth removal, the healing process will only be more painful, meaning less restful sleep.  So take a few days off work, lay low, and sleep whenever you get the opportunity.

If you find it hard to fall asleep, try setting the temperature in your room between 60–67 degrees to lower your body temperature, and turn off all the lights in your room.  You should even keep your phone face down so it doesn‘t light up throughout the night.  This ensures you‘re in the perfect atmosphere to fall asleep.

Combatting the Aftermath of Wisdom Teeth Removal

When a wisdom tooth is removed, some common symptoms may occur.  We identify these common symptoms, along with medical advice from Mayo Clinic regarding best treatment practices.

Be sure to contact your doctor should you experience any of the following symptoms:
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Severe pain
  • Fever
  • Prolonged, excessive swelling that lasts two or more days
  • Pus in or around the socket
  • Numbness or loss of feeling
  • Blood or pus in nasal discharge
Foods to Aid in the Recovery Process and Support Sleep

The foods and beverages that you consume could hasten your recovery process.  These foods and beverages can actually help aid in your recovery from wisdom tooth removal.



Water:  Water is your best friend after surgery, replenishing essential nutrients and giving your body the strength to fight infection.

Ginger ale:  The bubbles and mild flavor can help ease nausea and settle upset stomachs.

Gatorade or Powerade:  These sports drinks are full of vitamins that can help replenish and strengthen your body to fight infection.

Milkshakes:  Everyone loves ice cream, but this guilty pleasure is not so guilty after wisdom tooth removal because the creamy cold of the treat is very soothing during healing.


Alcohol:  You should refrain from alcohol for at least 48 hours immediately following your procedure.

Acidic drinks:  Acidic beverages, such as certain sodas or juices, can cause severe irritation to your wound and hamper healing.

Hot and cold beverages:  Your mouth will be especially tender following surgery, so stick to lukewarm drinks and skip the hot coffees and teas.

Whichever beverages you choose, be sure to avoid using a straw so you do not risk dislodging blood clots or causing further harm to the extraction site.


There are also some foods that can help ease recovery.


Yogurt:  The cool, creamy texture of yogurt makes this healthy treat enjoyable, but the extra vitamins and minerals will also help aid your recovery.

Applesauce:  This sweet treat‘s smooth texture makes it a perfect choice for post–procedure snacking. Plus, the vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin C, will help fight infection and speed up your healing.

Lukewarm soups:  Blended soups like pumpkin, carrot, or tomato soup are rich in nutrients, while bone broth adds extra hydration.

Eggs:  Scramble some eggs for a soft, easy–to–eat meal full of protein and Omega–3 fats to help with healing.


Hard foods:  Hard, chewy foods can put a strain on your extraction site and displace the blood clot.

Spicy foods:  Spicy foods can quickly cause irritation and prolong the healing period.

Crunchy foods:  Foods that easily crumble, like potato chips, can all too easily become stuck in the wound, adding room for infection.

Grains and seeds:  These also can become lodged in your wound and increase the risk of biting the inside of your mouth and adding to your list of ailments.

Additionally, there are also some items that better prepare the body for rest to help you sleep better.
  • Almond milk:  Almonds can agitate your wound, but almond milk is a soothing, refreshing way to provide your body with the hormone melatonin to help improve your sleep.

  • Chamomile tea:  A cup of lukewarm chamomile tea before bed can help fight inflammation and promote better sleep.

  • Tart cherry juice:  This specialty beverage is so effective at improving sleep quality that it is also used to treat insomnia.
Your medical provider can help advise on the best dietary plan for your needs after surgery.

Activities to Pull You Through the Recovery Period

Recovery after wisdom tooth extraction may not be the most fun time, but for many people every day, it is a necessary evil to ensure proper health.  While you are recovering from your procedure, these activities can help keep your mind preoccupied and engaged with fun, entertaining activities that will not put a strain on your recovering body.
  • Movies, audiobooks, and podcasts:  These are easy ways to entertain yourself without putting any strain on your body.  Curl up in front of a TV or grab a pair of headphones to tune into your favorite audiobook or flick.

  • Puzzles:  Puzzles are another low–energy activity that does not require a ton of movement and can be done right from the comfort of your bed.

  • Video Games:  As you begin to feel better, you can check out a new video game for a slightly more intensive experience.

  • Read a book:  This can be the perfect opportunity to catch up on your reading and dive into that new novel you have been pushing off.
Any activities that do not require a lot of motion and can be done from bed can help keep you entertained while waiting for your body to get back to normal.

When Can I Sleep on My Side After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Unfortunately, you will need to sleep on your back.  Depending on your recovery time, you will need to sleep on your back for around three to seven days.  It is not recommended to sleep on your side or your stomach because it can squish your cheeks, adding extra pressure to the area.  It will also direct more blood to the area via gravity.  We can‘t imagine that it would be very comfortable to sleep with an elevated head while on your stomach or side, either, so try to stick strictly to your back.

If you‘re somebody who isn‘t used to sleeping on their back, try arranging pillows around your head and neck to keep you comfortable and supported.

Best Pillows to Use After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

The right pillow after wisdom teeth extraction can make all the difference in the world for your comfort and could even speed up the recovery process.  Medical experts at Mayo Clinic recommend that patients sleep on their back following wisdom tooth removal.

Back sleepers are best served by a pillow with anywhere from one to four inches of range when compressed.  This keeps the head elevated and reduces neck strain by facing toward the ceiling rather than forward.  The best pillow and mattress for back sleepers depends on a few factors, such as the material you choose.  Pillows are available in several different materials, such as memory foam and latex foam, to meet your ideal comfort level.  Your pillow and mattress firmness is another factor, with a medium firmness often working best for back sleepers.

An extra pillowcase is also a good idea to prevent any blood or fluid stains on your favorite keepsake pillowcase.

Additional Ways to Improve Your Sleep

There are a few other ways to help improve your sleep after wisdom tooth removal.

Modify Your Mattress Outfit

One tip is to modify your mattress outfit by investing in a temporary new bed setup.

Mattress toppers can be a great way to add support quickly.  Instead of upgrading your entire mattress, you could instead choose a mattress topper as a more economical way to accommodate your post–procedure sleep requirements.

You can also use extra pillows to provide added support.  A pillow below your knees can cradle your body for added support and also help minimize back pressure.

Implement a Weighted Blanket for Relaxation

Weighted blankets have increasingly become popular for their highly–touted health benefits.  These blankets typically carry a weight of at least 15 pounds and have been widely reported to provide a soothing calm that promotes better sleep.  Weighted blankets are also used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and stress.

For those who recently had wisdom teeth extracted, the added weight of the blanket does far more than just promoting better sleep.  It can also help other types of sleepers adjust to sleeping on their backs, with the blanket‘s weight gently reminding you throughout the night to remain on your back and prevent any extra, unnecessary movement.  Available in several weights, you are sure to find a version today that works best for your post–extraction sleep.

Final Thoughts

Wisdom tooth extraction is nothing new, but thankfully, there are several things you can do to reduce your downtime and promote faster, better healing.  From soft foods to lukewarm beverages, a few simple changes to your diet can help avoid unnecessary issues and help ensure a quicker recovery.– It is also important to assess what other changes you can make, from activities to even your mattress, so you can enjoy not only a comfortable place to recover but also better sleep each night too."

Monday, June 3, 2024

Myths About Cavities Explained

Cavities are no fun at all. No joke about that! However, there are a lot of myths out there about cavities. Let's see if we can play myth busters on a few of them.

MYTH: Only Sugar Can Cause Cavities:
FALSE:  Sorry mothers, I hate to take away your reason for your kid to have that candy car. Yes, sugar does cause cavities, but that is not the only culprit. If you want your kiddo to stay cavity free then you should steer them clear of bread and pasta, too. They contain starch, which is another cavity culprit.

MYTH: Extra Brushing Will Heal or Slow Down The Progression Of A Cavity
FALSE: Tooth enamel does not grow back. When you have a cavity, you need to get it filled. If you don't, you will eventually need a root canal and/or a crown. Brushing will not heal it or slow it down. Now, on the positive side, brushing will reduce the risk of obtaining more cavities and it will also keep the cavity clean and reduce the risk of infection.

MYTH: If I Have A Cavity, I Would Feel It
FALSE: Well, mostly false. If you feel the cavity and are experiencing pain, then you are probably dealing with a serious cavity that is much more advanced. When a cavity is starting chances are really good that you will not be able to feel it. Which is all the more the reason why regular dental checkups are so important.

So, it appears we have busted a few of the myths! I am sure there are many more. Do you have any that you would like to know about? Comment on this blog and we will try to find out if it is Myth or Fact!

Eating Cheese May Help To Prevent Cavities

 A study that was published in the June 2013 (yes, this goes back a little way but it is still relevant) issue of Journal of General Dentistry reveals that cheese increases the dental plaque pH level of ones mouth above 5.5 which, in essence, reduced the chances of that person getting a cavity. This does not apply to all dairy products. Milk and sugar free yogurt were also used in the study. The results showed no change in the dental plaque pH level. Which doesn't hurt your mouth or put you at risk, but it doesn't help it either. 

So why the cheese? Let me explain! The study suggests that it has to do with the saliva. Saliva creates and maintains the acidity level in your mouth. The increased chewing motion of eating the cheese creates more saliva. Combine that with the vitamins, nutrients and other compounds in cheese that can stick to the tooth enamel and the result you get is better protection against cavities.

As always, the BEST way to protect from cavities and other dental related problems is to maintain good oral health practices and visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Enjoy your cheese!

Sources: Journal of General Dentistry, May/June 2013 Issue
              Science Daily