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 It’s Never too Late to Straighten Your Smile

Braces as an adult? No way. At least, that was what I thought when my dentist told me that I was going to have to see an orthodontist about my crooked teeth. But my teeth were so misaligned that they were causing me pain when I chewed, so I decided to at least look into it. Turns out braces today are nothing like the ones my friends had when I was a kid. Mine were practically invisible, and I didn't need to wear them that long. I started this blog to encourage other people like me who are nervous about the prospect of wearing braces as an adult. My straight smile is so worth the trips to the orthodontist, and wearing braces was nowhere near as bad as I thought. Read on to find out more about how you can straighten your smile.

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It’s Never too Late to Straighten Your Smile

Black Or Brown Growth On The Teeth: What Is Happening In My Mouth?

by Jacqueline Byrd

Over the normal course of time, your teeth start building up a layer of plaque. This occurs despite your best efforts to brush after every meal, floss and visit the dentist twice yearly. As you eat, drink, talk, sleep, and breath the normal bacteria in your mouth feed on the carbohydrate particles that are frequently left on your teeth, despite your best efforts. As the bacteria feed on these particles, an acid starts to build up, and plaque is formed. While you can prevent the build up of plaque, it is almost impossible to prevent it all together. A small amount of plaque in and of itself isn't a big deal, but what happens when you start to see a brownish or black build up along the sides of your teeth and gums? What could be causing this to happen? What can be done about it?

Black or Brown Discoloration

Many people experience a brown discoloration on their teeth if they drink coffee, tea or use tobacco. This is not the type of discoloration being discussed. This brown or black growth occurs along the inside edges of the tooth and the gum line. Often this growth can also occur in greater quantities in spots where brushing is not easily accomplished such as in the very back of the mouth or the back of the teeth. This is a natural plaque growth that, instead of being colorless, is a frustrating color of brown or black.

Why Does it Happen?

This type of discoloration often occurs if a person has a disproportionately large amount of iron in their blood. This iron can come from the addition of vitamins into the diet or from a diet change where large amounts of iron-containing foods are ingested. Other times the discoloration can be caused by a genetic predisposition to this type of growth. Rarely, it can be caused by an infection in the mouth, which can be identified by your doctor, dentist or periodontist.

What Can Be Done?

If you feel like the cause of your discoloration could be due to iron, you can take a look at your iron intake, adolescent and adult males are recommended to have 10 milligrams of iron a day, adolescent and adult females 10-15 milligrams, and children 7 milligrams. Be sure to consult your doctor or dentist before altering your iron intake. If your discoloration is caused by an infection, it is important to follow the treatment plan of your doctor or dentist. Finally, if it is just a result of genetic predisposition, take hope in the fact that your dentist can, through time and effort, clean and scrape the growth off and you can keep it at bay with extra care during brushing and flossing with an extra visit or two for maintenance from your dentist.