Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Having Dentures does NOT mean No More Dental Visits!

We hear this time and time again in our office, "I have dentures now so I no longer need your plan". As good as that may sound to you as a denture patient, the reality of it is quite the contrary.  You see, getting dentures is not an end game for going to the dentist.  The ADA recommends that you still have your check-ups every year and also be checked for oral cancer. Denture patients run a higher risk of it.

Having no dental coverage at all can lead to very costly dental bills, even if you have dentures. Broken, ill-fitting dentures or even if you are just going for that routine check-up, your dental bill can add up quickly.  Fact: most problems with dentures happen in the first 2 years. Those that have had dentures for 5 years or more are less likely to have any significant problems with them, however, those twice yearly check-ups are still highly suggested.

Keep Smiling! 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Is Running Affecting Your Oral Health?

We all know that exercising is great for your health. One of the primary reasons for running is that it helps lose weight, fight heart disease, and relieve stress. However, running can also have hidden negative effects on one of the most important parts of your body...your teeth.

When you add all the carbs, sports drinks, and protein bars that are likely consumed during or after a workout, your mouth has the perfect environment for cavities. Sugar feeds decay-causing bacteria and our defenses against these bad bacteria that live in our saliva.

While most runners breathe through their mouth, the mouth is usually dry during the entire run which slows saliva rates and makes it harder for the mouth to clean itself. Therefore, when the mouth is dry, your teeth are at risk.

Here are a few things you can do to save your teeth during a workout!
  1. Stay hydrated
  2. Pop a sugar-free mint or a piece of gum after a workout (helps your saliva glands to start working again)
  3. Brush and floss regularly

Remember oral hygiene is very important!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Braces for...Your Pet?

 If you are a pet owner and, like me, your pet is your baby, it's likely you will spare no expense to ensure that they are healthy and happy.  Maintaining your pet's oral health is as important as making sure that they are vaccinated or that they are receiving regular veterinary care. (Goodness knows there are already twice as many vaccinations for dogs as opposed to humans, and medications can get pricey as well as just the simple costs of office visits for wellness check-ups.) Pets should have regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Animals are susceptible to many of the same physical ailments as humans, including dental issues! They can get cavities, periodontal disease, abscesses, broken teeth...just about anything a human can get, they can get, including crooked teeth! Of course they feel the pain of these ailments, just as we do. But did you know that your pet may actually be a candidate for braces?  Now, braces are not for every dog or cat...it will depend on their age, type of malocclusion and their ability to tolerate the discomfort of wearing braces, but there are a variety of specialists available out there who practice veterinary dentistry, including canine orthodontics. Expect to pay a lot of money!  Canine dentistry is not cheap.  It may even be more expensive than what we would pay for our own braces!  A good option may be to find a good pet insurance plan and find out if it covers dentistry and orthodontics. Check with your veterinarian.  He or she can probably recommend one.

Keep your pet smiling!

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Your Oral Health and The Benefits of Green Tea

Did you know that green tea has many health benefits? If not, you're in luck! Green Tea is a natural antioxidant and it's great for your digestive system. Aside from that, it also has oral health benefits!

The following tips are just a few ways your mouth can benefit from drinking Green Tea:

1. It can help to prevent and reduce Periodontal Inflammation
2. Evidence has shown that it can prevent and destroy Oral Cancer Cells
3. Inhibits the Formation of Dental Plaque
4. Repels Odor-Causing Bacteria, giving you better breath! 

Just a couple of cups a day can make a difference. Additionally, there are dental products out there that have Green Tea as an ingredient.  Look for these products in your local health food stores.  

This is another great reason to enjoy your afternoon tea!
Keep Smiling! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

What is Dental Sleep Medicine?

 By definition, according to the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine,  Dental Sleep Medicine is an area of practice that focuses on the management of sleep-related breathing disorders, including snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, through the use of oral appliance therapy and/or upper airway surgery.

More and more dentists are entering into this field of treatment.  The way it works is this: A qualified physician diagnoses the condition through a series of studies done on the patient,  then the dentist provides treatment; ( i.e. usually a custom fitted oral device, worn during sleep and designed to keep the airway open by supporting the jaw and tongue.)

A loved one may notice heavy snoring or interrupted breathing patterns that can happen many times during the sleep cycle, however, if you live alone the following signs could be an indication that you may need to be checked out:

                  Mild to heavy daytime sleepiness
                  Morning headaches
                  Decreased libido
                  Inability to concentrate

Additionally, if you are overweight  you may have a higher risk for sleep apnea.  Essentially, through oxygen deprivation and lack of refreshing sleep, this disorder can wreak havoc on your body over time. It can put you at risk for high blood pressure, stroke and even heart attack, not to mention the risk of sudden death while sleeping due to the closing of the airway.

Many people have this disorder and are unaware of the danger it poses.  It is effectively a silent killer.  If you think you or a loved one may have this, contact your healthcare provider and arrange for a screening.  It could save your life!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Are Aging And Halitosis Linked?

Attention senior citizens... are you noticing that your breath is starting to smell more often? If so, check out this article "What factors contribute to halitosis in elderly patients?" Written by Alex Dagostino, DrBicuspid.com associate editor.

"May 31, 2022 -- Older adults are more susceptible to chronic oral health concerns, including caries, periodontal disease, and halitosis. Researchers evaluated the prevalence of halitosis and associated factors among older adults in a new study published May 25 in the Journal of Oral Biology and Craniofacial Research.

The aging population will be a challenge to health systems, including aspects related to oral health. One of those factors is bad breath, which affects millions of people worldwide. Although many oral hygiene products can improve bad breath or mask it, these resources do not address the root problem.

"Halitosis is considered a serious health problem, as alterations in breath odor may lead to a great social impact, causing personal discomfort and social embarrassment," wrote the authors, led by Laura Barreto Moreno of the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil.

The two main causes of halitosis are tongue coating and periodontal diseases. Previous research has indicated that patients with gingivitis or periodontitis have a greater chance of having halitosis than those with good periodontal health. In addition, age can affect the ability of an individual to perform proper oral hygiene, including the removal of tongue coating.

Researchers evaluated the prevalence of self-reported halitosis and associated factors among older adults. Individuals over the age of 60 were included as participants. Sociodemographic factors, presence of other health problems, use of medication, smoking and alcohol exposure, access to dental care, toothbrush frequency, use of dental floss, number of present teeth, and the need for dental prostheses were considered.

About 570 participants were included in this study. Nearly 36% of participants self-reported halitosis, demonstrating the high prevalence of this condition among the elderly.

A total of 85% of participants reported health issues and the continuous use of medication. There was no significant association between self-reported halitosis and these variables. However, several medications can cause the reduction of saliva flow, which is often associated with halitosis.

It is important to highlight that halitosis was measured by self-perception within this study. However, self-perception is currently considered a true outcome, referred to as patient-reported outcome measurements.

Self-perception as a primary measurement is a potential limitation of this study, as self-perception may not reflect reality as measured clinically or by the perceptions of those who have close relationships with the person. Still, quality of life is often affected when the individual is aware of the issue, and the validity of this study is considerable.

Factors contributing to halitosis

Many factors may be associated with halitosis in older adults, including oral health conditions, the presence of other health issues, the use of medication, hyposalivation, and sociodemographic and behavioral factors. It can be hypothesized that physiological, behavioral, and health impairments of older adults make them more susceptible to developing halitosis.

Findings in the study indicated an association between higher levels of education and lower self-reported halitosis. Education level is one of the most important factors associated with oral health since it is associated with greater knowledge and better oral hygiene practices, the authors noted.

Similarly, those with no access to dental care were more likely to self-report halitosis. Individuals with higher levels of education tend to visit dentists more frequently; therefore, they have a lower prevalence of oral health concerns.

Another factor associated with halitosis was the number of teeth present. Since halitosis can have both oral and nonoral origins, it can be presumed that some causes are dependent upon the presence of teeth in the mouth. This study did not account for dental caries or periodontal diseases, which is a limitation.

The study authors concluded that older adults are more likely to self-report halitosis. This condition is associated with lower age and lower level of education, no access to dental care, and higher number of present teeth.

"The evaluation of halitosis is important due to the high prevalence of this condition, including its consequences, strong social restrictions, impact on quality of life, and possible association with systemic diseases," the study authors wrote. "

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Foods You Should'nt Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extractions

 Many people leave their doctors office following a surgical extraction with a list of generic "do's and don'ts, but a lot of people don't have a clear understanding of which types of foods to stay away from until the gums are healed. Below is a list of suggestions (straight from a dental assistant) to help with the decision making process.

Foods and Beverages to Avoid

Chips of any kind
Crunchy cereal
Alcoholic beverages
Carbonated beverages (these can interfere with the natural clotting that occurs after the procedure. The clotting is important to protect the open socket.)
Piping hot beverages

In addition to these foods and drinks, smoking is an irritant and should be avoided following an extraction. Both smoking and drinking through a straw can be harmful as the sucking motion can cause the bleeding to begin again.
As with any surgical procedure, check with your doctor or dentist if you experience excessive pain, bleeding or anything out of the ordinary.

Remember: A good rule of thumb is if it's crunchy, don't eat it!

Keep smiling!

Friday, June 3, 2022

How To Keep Your Teeth Clean

We all brush and hopefully floss our teeth on a daily basis. But did you know that there are other important questions you should ask, so you can keep your mouth as clean and healthy as possible?

When should I brush my teeth?

  1. You should brush your teeth at least two times a day, once in the morning before breakfast and once at night before you head to bed.
  2. Try to avoid brushing your teeth right after a meal because this could damage your teeth, especially if you just had anything containing acid. *This is because the acid softens the enamel on your teeth*

Should I use a manual or electric toothbrush?
This depends on what you feel comfortable using. (They both are equally good.)

What type of toothpaste should I use?
Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. (Fluoride helps prevent and control cavities.)

How to brush your teeth?

  1. Your toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle, brush in small circular movements several times on all surfaces of the tooth.
  2. Brush the roof of your mouth
  3. Brush your tongue, this will freshen your breath.

How to Floss?

  1. Take a section of floss
  2. Slip the floss between your teeth
  3. Floss up and down about 10 times
  4. Floss at least once a day, the best time is right before bed.

You can use normal floss (waxed or unwaxed) or you can use the floss picks/gliders.

After brushing and flossing you should use mouthwash. Mouthwash helps get rid of any last bits of bacteria or leftover food that you may have missed while brushing and flossing.