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Handy Tips

Sore Throat

A sore throat can have many causes like:

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Mouth breathing habit
  • After antibiotics course, chemotherapy or other immuno compromising medications
  • Any serious systemic illness.
  • Consider the cause: An infection in the air, enthusiastic cheering, or perhaps something more serious, such as strep throat. There are instant strep throat test strips that can tell you in less than 30 minutes if you have strep throat. Be aware, that these strips sometimes deliver false negatives.
  • Take an analgesic to reduce inflammation; aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen for an adult, or acetaminophen or ibuprofen for children, as recommended by your doctor.
  • Suck on throat lozenges if you are an adult, especially those containing menthol, benzocaine or phenol, which numbs the throat. Zinc lozenges may also be helpful. Children should suck on cough drops or hard candy.
  • Gargle with mint mouthwash or salt water.
  • Use a throat spray containing numbing agents into the back of your throat, if you're an adult.
  • Brush your tongue. Sometimes, removing the buildup on your tongue can lessen the soreness in your throat.
  • Rinse your toothbrush in mouthwash between brushings to kill bacteria.
  • Add moisture to your environment with a humidifier or vaporizer, or sit in a steamy shower or bath.
  • Eat soft or liquid foods, especially sherbets and chicken broth.

Home Remedies for Sore Throat

  • Gargling with warm salt water is also very beneficial for the treatment of sore throat.
  • A well known herbal remedy is the intake of ajwain or the bishop weed. It can treat the problem of sore throat immediately. Patient should take teaspoon of ajwain, a pinch of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle with it. It is very effective as it is very helpful in curing sore throat problems
  • Water boiled with basil leaves should be taken as a drink and also used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat.

Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is often caused by

  • Auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus.
  • Chronic ailments like Diabetes and Parkinson's disease
  • Anemia, anxiety, stress and depression can decrease saliva
  • Radiation therapy and other cancer treatments can also triggers.

It is difficult to cure dry mouth, if caused by a disease but it can be relieved. Here are some suggestions that can help you.

  1. Try Sugarless Delight

    Chew on a piece of sugarless gum, or suck on a piece of sugarless hard candy for 5 to 10 minutes every two hours. This can help stimulate your salivary glands so you will have a more sustained flow of fluid in your mouth.

  2. Brush for Hygiene

    If you have dry mouth, your teeth and gums are more susceptible to infection, which not only leads to tooth loss but also can make your mouth feel drier. So it is important to brush after every meal and floss at least once a day.

  3. Avoid Alcohol

    Alcohol is another factor that dries the mouth. So, stop your alcohol consumption. Be wary of hidden alcohol in medicines and mouthwashes, which can be as high as 26 percent. As an alternative, look for alcohol-free mouth rinse.

  4. Use a Humidifier

    This can add much needed humidity to the air and prevent you from waking up with dry mouth. You will find vaporizers in most of the pharmacies or variety stores.

  5. Bring Water Bottle

    Frequently sip water, this will help keep your mouth lubricated.

  6. Avoid Aerated Drinks

    Aerated drinks are not thirst quenchers because the acid in sodas and other carbonated drinks further dries out your mouth and can damage your teeth and gums.

  7. Limit Your Caffeine Intake

    Over indulging in caffeine will worsen a dry mouth. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee or tea a day.

    Home Remedies for Dry mouth

    • Suck on a ice cube to keep your mouth hydrated.
    • Avoid salty food.
    • Eat fibre rich food, they stimulate salivary secretion.
    • Stay away from rich, spicy and acidic food, since they dry the mouth.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is the common word given to the medical condition called Halitosis.

Causes of bad breath are

  • Poor dental hygiene,
  • Oral infections,
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Dry mouth,
  • Systemic disease like diabetes, liver and kidney diseases,
  • External agents like garlic, onions, smoking etc.

You may not always know that you have bad breath, because odor-detecting cells in your nose eventually get used to the smell. Other people may notice and react by recoiling as you speak.

If your breath smells due to your mouth, here are a few tips that might help.

  • A clean mouth is less likely to smell. Brush twice a day, thoroughly and floss daily. Flossing is particularly important, since food can get trapped between teeth and at the gum line. Decaying food is a great haven for bacteria, which releases smelly gases that make your breath smell bad.
  • The tongue is another big source of mouth odour. At the back of your tongue, bacteria can live for a long time without being disturbed. To eliminate this source of bad breath, scrape your tongue gently with a scraper or other device designed for this purpose. Usually, you will need to do this twice a day. Be sure not to press too hard and injure your tongue and avoid toothbrushes because they can make you gag.
  • Dry mouths can be a cause of bad breath. Keeping hydrated will allow your body to produce enough saliva to keep your mouth clean. Your breath smells bad in the morning, because saliva flow is reduced while sleeping. Drink ample water every day. Avoid alcohol based mouthwashes
  • Rinse your mouth after every meal with water. Swishing some water around can help you remove food particles and keep your mouth hydrated.
  • Chewing helps cure bad breath. Whether you choose sugarless gum, fennel seeds or fresh parsley, the action of chewing produces saliva and provides a pleasant odour that helps to cover bad smells.
  • Avoid foods that cause your mouth to smell, eat those that clean your mouth and tongue. Celery, carrots and other abrasive foods act as good mouth cleaners and help you avoid halitosis.
  • Gargle at night with an effective, non-alcoholic mouthwash or a 1.5% dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to wait after brushing, as the detergents in toothpaste reduce the effectiveness of the gargles . This method may help to reduce bacteria growth in the mouth while you are sleeping.

Home Remedies for bad breath

  • Squeeze a lemon in a glass of water and gargle. This will help to prevent bad breath.
  • Drinking pineapple juice reduces the foul smell of your mouth.
  • Gargle at night with an effective, non-alcoholic mouthwash or a 1.5% dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide. Be sure to wait after brushing, as the detergents in toothpaste reduce the effectiveness of the gargles . This method may help to reduce bacteria growth in the mouth while you are sleeping.
  • After meals chew sunflower seeds and drink some water. This is a good remedy for bad breath.

Sensitive Teeth

Sensitivity of teeth is when you experience a sudden shooting pain in one or more teeth. Usually tooth sensitivity (dentin hypersensitivity) is temporary tooth discomfort or pain after eating cold food, drinking cold liquids or breathing cold air. Sensitivity of teeth is usually caused due to poor oral hygiene.

Sensitive Teeth
  • Some people brush their teeth 3 to 4 times per day which results in loss of tooth enamel. Using harsh strokes when brushing can damage teeth. Hold the brush by its tip between your index and middle finger, supporting it with your thumb. This way you avoid applying too much pressure when brushing. Use a soft bristle toothbrush.
  • Look for toothpastes which are for sensitive teeth
  • Look for mouthwashes meant for sensitive teeth.
  • Try a fluoride rinse. Fluoride rinses can help decrease sensitivity.Use it once a day. Swish it around in your mouth, then spit it out.
  • For a few days, avoid drinking beverages which are either too hot or too cold. Also, avoid eating citrus fruits or foods that are acidic.
  • Most people have a habit of grinding their teeth in their sleep. This can be due to stress and happens when you are deep in sleep. The only way to control this is to get a tooth guard, which needs to be worn when sleeping. It prevents the constant friction between teeth and protects them from unnecessary loss of tooth.
  • Do not chew tobacco as it causes gum sensitivity and decay.

Home Remedies to relieve sensitive teeth

  • Use of cloves or clove oil to relieve pain. These may be found to provide temporary relief, their use burns the gum and surrounding area.
  • Grind asafoetida in lemon juice; then heat the mixture till it becomes lukewarm and apply on the affected tooth with the help of a cotton swab. This will help soothe the toothache.

Broken Tooth

Teeth are remarkably strong but they can chip, fracture or break. Teeth usually break as a result of trauma — from biting down on something hard or from a blow to the face. A child may fracture a tooth falling off a bike or curb during play. Adults with a damaged nerve usually require root canal treatment, but in children, there's a possibility the nerve can be saved if the dentist is able to treat the problem immediately. In the meantime:

  • Save the pieces. If the break was relatively clean, your dentist may be able to cement the tooth back together as a temporary measure.
  • Rinse your mouth well with warm water. If you were able to save the tooth fragment(s), rinse them under running water.
  • If an area is bleeding, apply a piece of gauze to the area for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops.
  • Apply a cold compress to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth. This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
  • If you can't get to your dentist right away, cover the broken surface of the tooth that is in your mouth with temporary dental cement, available in pharmacies.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Home Remedies for Broken Teeth

  • You can place an ice cube on the tooth; it will numb the pain and will provide temporary relief .
  • A dab with clove oil will sooth the pain.
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