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Five Signals Your Mouth Can Give You About Your Health

You probably give your teeth about 10 minutes of attention a day (if that) and think brushing and flossing every day means you’re in perfect oral health.

But oral hygiene deserves a bit more time, because your teeth may offer clues to other health problems. Several studies have shown a clear link between oral problems and serious health conditions in other parts of the body. Take a look at a few of these five symptoms, and be a little more aware of your pearly whites.

Symptom: Flat, Worn Down Teeth
While many people are aware that tooth grinding is a common problem, most people are surprised to learn they grind their own teeth! This is because people most often grind their teeth at night, when they’re not even aware of it. If you notice cracking or worn down teeth accompanied by jaw pain and headaches, it could be a sign of teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth at night, also known as bruxism, is a major sign of emotional or psychological stress. Relaxing before bed can help, but it may not stop the grinding.

Symptom: Sores
Sores in the mouth are a common occurrence for most people. Many bite the insides of the mouth or lips, creating sores that usually heal in a couple of days. Crater-like sores inside or outside the mouth are canker sores, which can be caused by stress, hormones, allergies, or some type of nutritional deficiency. However, if you see red or white sores that stick around for longer than a week or two, its time to see your dentist. These sores can sometimes indicate oral cancer, and your dentist could do an oral exam to identify the cause of the sore.

Symptoms: Cracking, Crumbling Teeth
Some may assume that teeth naturally deteriorate or fall away with age, which is not true. If you notice crumbling teeth or thin, translucent enamel, it could be a sign of a larger problem. You could have acid coming up from the stomach and into the mouth, dissolving valuable enamel. This condition is known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease, otherwise known as acid reflux disease. Other symptoms of this problem may be dry mouth or heartburn. Leaving this untreated can cause problems not only for the mouth, but also for the rest of the body.

Symptom: Bad Breath
You probably don’t think twice about bad breath, chalking it up to the garlic-laden dinner from the night before. However, odor that sticks around for more than two weeks could be a sign of gum disease. When the bacteria that causes gum disease mixes with normal mouth bacteria, it creates a strong smell. A lingering smell could also point to a host of other problems, including a respiratory disease, diabetes, gastric reflux or even kidney failure.

Symptom: White Web-like Pattern on Inner Cheeks
White, lacy patterns on the inside of your cheek is most always a sign of Lichen Planus, a type of skin disease. The disease can manifest on other areas of the skin like the hands or scalp through red, shiny bumps.

Bad Breath, Be Gone!

So how do you keep good smelling breath to stick around longer? We have a few tips to keep you and your mouth smelling fresh throughout the day.

  • Chow down on some veggies! These guys will balance out the bad-breath-causing acid in your body.
  • Consuming hard texture foods like apples and celery are beneficial for rubbing away any bacteria or residue left on your teeth.
  • Stay hydrated! Drink 48 oz – or about 6 cups – of water a day to keep bacteria under control by lubricating your mouth without any acidic chemicals involved.
  • Like we went over in previous posts, brush, floss, and clean your tongue as well as rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash. Chewing sugarless gum also helps!
  • Tea anyone? Having a cup of tea can wash away smelly germs while preventing any bad-breath-bacteria from forming
  • Having some yogurt keeps your mouth smelling nice and sweet from its probiotics

Sugarless Gum is a Tooth’s Bestfriend

Having a munch on some sugarless gum can have some benefits for keeping your smile spotless! Not only does it remove any food particles from the surfaces of your teeth, but also stimulates saliva production which can promote healthier, stronger teeth and reduce acid levels in your mouth that can cause tooth decay. It even aids any tooth sensitivity! So why only sugarless gum, you ask? Studies have shown that the sugar substitute in sugarless gum, Xylitol, fights against any bacteria that forms in your mouth. With that being said, Xylitol is a great cavity-fighter to keep your mouth a happy and healthy place for your pearly whites!

Dr. Verwest receives 2016 Spectrum Award


The City Beat News (CBN) awarded Pediatric Dentistry of Ft. Myers, Dr. Tim M. Verwest, DMD the 2016 Spectrum Award of Excellence in Customer Satisfaction.

The Spectrum Award was established to spotlight companies providing exceptional service and experiences to their customers. Research is done annually and is independent and unbiased. Spectrum Award winners are rated using exclusive research and proprietary algorithms.

CBN draws upon many information sources and weighs and distills them into a single score for the year to identify top companies across the country. Only those businesses earning CBN’s highest ratings are honored with the City Beat News Spectrum Award for Excellence in Customer Service.

Everything You Need to Know About Teething

Lucky for you, cutting teeth doesn’t happen all at once. (So you have about three fussy years ahead of you!)  Transitioning from their gummy grin to a mouthful of pearly whites takes about three years to complete.  By the age of 3, your little one should have a complete set of chompers to care for (but you’ll need to help out for a few more years until he gets better at it).


Even before your baby made his entrance into the world, his teeth were developing.  In the womb, tooth buds, or milk teeth, start to form.  Although it is possible for a baby to be born with teeth, most will sprout their first tooth between 4 and 7 months old.

Want to know the exact order of emergence of your child’s teeth? Check out this guide.


If you’re one of the lucky ones, your baby will breeze straight through the teething process.  If you’re one of us, the tired ones who go through every trick in the book to ease the pain, you’ll probably be experiencing a few of these symptoms:

  • Drooling (which can lead to a facial rash)
  • Gum swelling and sensitivity
  • Irritability or fussiness
  • Biting behavior
  • Refusing food
  • Sleep problems

It’s important to note that teething can cause a variety of problems, but if the symptom worries you and you’re not sure of the exact cause, check with your doctor as soon as possible.


There’s no miracle cure to speed up the process, but you can try a few tricks to help ease the pain.

  • Try using a frozen washcloth, refrigerated pacifer or teether, or a frozen carrot (a large one so that you can hold on to one end).
  • Rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger.  The pressure distracts their brains from the pain.
  • Try an over-the-counter, topical anesthetic to numb the gums. Be aware of 2 hazards associated with numbing gel: 1) The FDA warns that benzocaine productsshouldn’t be used on children under 2 without guidance from a doctor.  In rare cases, it causes methemoglobinemia, a condition in which the amount of oxygen in the blood drops to dangerous levels. 2) Your baby might swallow some of the medication with their saliva, numbing his throat and relaxing his gag reflex which could cause choking.
  • Check with your doctor (again, check with your doctor) and they might suggest an over-the-counter acetaminophen or ibuprofen (but NEVER aspirin!)
  • Some parents swear by homeopathic teething drops and tablets, but the FDA has recalled many of these products due to safety concerns.  Check with your doctor first.
  • Who better to ask than other parents dealing with the same issue? Check out the suggestions from a few other parents at BabyCenter.

Even before the first tooth emerges, you should be cleaning your baby’s gums at least twice a day by gently wiping them with a clean piece of gauze or washcloth.  Once the first tooth erupts, pull out the toothbrush! Make sure it’s soft-bristled and size appropriate for your little one, and gently brush the tooth with water.  When two teeth appear that are touching, you should start flossing.


Sit tight and try to maintain some sanity.  The teething process will take about three years.  After that, you’ve got about a three year break before you debut in your new role as the Tooth Fairy.