Tricky Tooth Killers

There are attacks on own teeth everywhere we look: the food we eat, the medications we take, our hormones. Silent, and tricky, these tooth killers can harm you in ways you haven’t thought of before.

Teeth Whitening at the Mall:  Does knowing that they are more than willing to pour 35% hydrogen peroxide on your gum disease and cavities make you feel good? If it does than you need to research about the effects of teeth whitening on your oral health. If it doesn’t, you’re my kind of patient. These types of services are unaccredited and are being shut down all over the country. A typical teeth whitening requires a dental office visit, exam, and any cavities or gum disease to be treated prior to receiving the bleaching treatment.Oral Health and Diabetes (click here for teeth whitening tips)

Sports Drinks & Energy Drinks: these highly acidic beverages create pitting in the teeth and other forms of tooth erosion. Pitting and erosion results in your teeth being uneven on the surface and they are more likely to stain easier and more quickly. In addition, erosion makes your teeth more susceptible to decay. If you must drink these highly acidic drinks do it through a straw to avoid pitting and tooth erosion on the fronts of your teeth.

Pregnancy:  your hormones play a gigantic part in your oral health. Increased levels of pregnancy hormones progesterone and estrogen boost circulation, which brings more blood to the gums and puts you at a higher risk for infection. Pregnant women with bloody gums are significantly more likely to have a preterm baby, according to many studies. If you are trying to get pregnant your best bet is to visit the dentist so that you can address all your oral health issues before you conceive. (Or read our preggo article here) 

Medications: many medications and diet supplements have side effects such as decreasing salivary flow in the mouth. The lack of saliva can lead to dry mouth, bacteria, and tooth decay. Products like biotene can help with dry mouth so tell your dentist if you are experiencing dry mouth.

Using teeth as tools: using your teeth in absence of other tools might cause them some harm.  My grandma has a perfect triangle in between her two front teeth at the very bottom where she keeps her pins for sewing. See my granny uses her teeth for all sorts of things, like tearing open packages, biting her nails, and that’s just the small stuff. Her teeth have become her go-to place to store the needles for sewing which have created a permanent change in her teeth. Using your teeth for anything other than chewing is a bad idea: it can lead to chipping and cracking.

Are you a suspect in these dental crimes? Studies prove that taking better care of your teeth can improve your overall health, especially if you are pre-diabetic or your family has a history of heart disease. If it has been more than six months since your last dental exam and cleaning call a dentist near you today. (or read our oral health article) 

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Oral Health & Pregnancy: Prevention is the Key to Keep Your Teeth

Tending to your teeth is far down on your list of concerns when you are pregnant. But, it should be closer to the top. Good dental care during pregnancy is essential, not only for your own health but also for your baby’s.

Female Dentist in SacramentoGrowing belly. Random hair growth. Swollen breasts. With all the extreme changes that occur in pregnancy, it would be nice not to worry about the things in your body that stay constant, like, oh… the inside of your mouth?

Sorry, you’re not that lucky. Like it or not, even your gums are hijacked by pregnancy hormones. Increased levels of pregnancy hormones progesterone and estrogen boost circulation, which brings more blood to the gums, according to Sally J. Cram, DDS, a periodontist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association.

Low levels of plaque that might have been insignificant before you conceived can cause worrisome problems now. In fact, most pregnant women experience some degree of gingivitis, which is identified by red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Left untreated, gingivitis can escalate to gum disease. So why is this a big deal? Women with this condition are significantly more likely to have a preterm baby, according to many studies, including one published last year in the Journal of Periodontology.

If you skip brushing or flossing for just one night, within 24 hours your gums may be red, swollen, or bleeding. If you continue to put off brushing and flossing, you could develop gum disease, or periodontitis, which can cause bone loss. Bone loss equals tooth loss.

There are other barriers than just your unusual hormones. The carbohydrates you may rely on to suppress nausea (crackers, anyone?) also bathe your teeth in sugars. Pair that with the morning sickness and heartburn and your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Gum disease can also trigger a premature birth. In a study of 1300 women who gave birth, studied the dental records of the 13 percent who had delivered prematurely. They found that those who had periodontal disease were four to seven times more likely deliver prematurely than women with healthy gums.

Here’s how to keep your teeth healthy:

  • Brush and floss at least two or three times a day. However inconvenient, the reality is that it is important that you give your teeth and gums more attention.
  • Switch to a softer toothbrush if brushing makes your gums bleed.
  • Don’t skip your annual dental checkup. Try to time it to take place during your second trimester.
  • Seek an appropriate level of care, your dentist will advise you on what that is. If you’ve had gum problems in the past, you may need more frequent monitoring. If you have larger treatment you can be treated while you’re pregnant, though that’s no guarantee and special precautions will need to be taken.
  • Make sure your diet includes plenty of vitamin C.

If you show them a little extra love you can keep your teeth and gums in tip-top condition during pregnancy.

Missing Teeth: A Guide to Understanding Dental Implants

Choosing to receive dental implants is a huge decision that can affect your overall health in addition to improving your smile. The following article can help you decide if you are a candidate for Dental Implants and the added benefits of receiving them.

If you are reading this article then you probably already know what dental implants are. They replace your teeth, like dentures, only they are permanent. Implants are performed by general dentists as well as dental specialists. Your dentist can provide you with a consultation regarding your candidacy for receiving dental implants and will be able to refer you to a highly regarded and trustworthy colleague.

There are many benefits of dental implants that relate to your overall health, your well-being, and your appearance. Implants can restore your smile and your confidence and it is 100 percent normal to have questions regarding this procedure. But what attracts most people to implants are the awesome benefits:

  • Replacement  teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
  • Facial structures maintain integrity.
  • Improved nutrition and digestion.
  • Hygiene Convenience
  • Denture Adhesives no more.
  • Improved appearance.
  • Increased sense of security
  • Self confidence and self esteem
  • Full mouth restoration to natural state.
  • Ability to taste foods better.

The next thing most patients have questions about is the procedure itself. The first thing that happens is a consultation and examination with your dentist (or call around to find a good dentist!) to determine whether or not you are a candidate for implant treatment. This could include x-rays, impressions, and pictures of your teeth. What they are evaluating is the amount of bone that exists where you currently have missing teeth and the amount of bone available to support the placement of implants. In addition, the doctor will decide what types of replacement teeth that will be the best for you.

Another important factor that comes into play is your health history. Certain factors could prevent you from being a candidate for implant treatment. Your may referred to dental specialist for another evaluation for the purposes of further evaluating the bone structure and whether or not other procedures need to be done to restore the bone for esthetic and function reasons.

The next appointment will be the procedure where they place the implants. This is a surgical technique and afterwards requires a waiting period of three to nine months for the bone to grow around the implant. You will receive placement teeth during the bone remodeling phase.  When the bone has grown around the implant a small post, called an abutment, is attached to the implants. The abutments will provide a place for the permanent replacement teeth are attached.

Your replacement teeth will be made through a series of appointments and impressions after series of impressions. Plan to be at the dentist a lot. A lot of things come into play when finalizing your replacement teeth: shade, thickness, feel, comfort, and naturalness.

Make a consultation with your dentist to get started today. It is a long process from start to finish so the longer that you wait to get in the dental chair the longer you will wait for you perfect smile.