Pregnancy and Oral Health

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Amanda Orvis, RDH

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Being pregnant comes with various responsibilities and it is important that you continue to maintain your normal brushing and flossing routine throughout your pregnancy.

For most women your routine dental visits are safe throughout your pregnancy. Make sure when calling to make your dental appointments you let your dental office know what stage of your pregnancy you are in. Let the office know if you have had any changes in your medications or if you have received any special instructions from your physician.  Depending on your specific situation and your treatment needs, some of your dental appointments and procedures may need to be postponed until after your pregnancy.

Dental x-rays are sometimes necessary if you suffer a dental emergency during your pregnancy, or if they are needed for diagnostic purposes. It may be wise to contact your physician prior to your dental appointment to get their approval to have x-rays done if they are necessary.

During pregnancy some women may develop a temporary condition known as pregnancy gingivitis which is typically caused by hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy. This is a mild form of periodontal disease that can cause the gums to be red, tender and/or sore.  It may be recommended that you be seen for more frequent cleanings to help control the gingivitis. If you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy, please contact your dentist.

During your pregnancy you may have the desire to eat more frequently. When you feel the need to snack try to choose foods that are low in sugar and that are nutritious for you and your baby. Frequent snacking can cause tooth decay. It is also a great idea to incorporate fluoridated mouth rinse into your daily routine. There are several different brands to choose from. Make sure to look for the ADA seal of approval which guarantees safety and effectiveness

If you experience morning sickness anytime throughout your pregnancy you can try rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. This mixture lowers the acidity present in your mouth. This acidity can cause erosion of the enamel. Your gag reflex may also become overly sensitive during your pregnancy, so switching to a smaller toothbrush head may be beneficial.

Please remember that the body goes through many changes during pregnancy and maintaining your normal brushing and flossing routine plays an important role in your overall health.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.ada.org/sealprogramproducts.aspx

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDgQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.idph.state.ia.us%2FIDPHChannelsService%2Ffile.ashx%3Ffile%3DA6FAA346-C53D-49A5-AB8D-6198A087A02A&ei=gJO3UsDwH8bbyQG8sYHYAw&usg=AFQjCNFlpM4U5Hwp3J00K0jdNoM5DHzOXw&bvm=bv.58187178,d.aWc

http://www.google.com/imgres?sa=X&hl=en&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4GGNI_enUS478US479&biw=1600&bih=714&tbm=isch&tbnid=nldgrSnzOgvsAM:&imgrefurl=http://www.myhealthyspeak.co.in/index.php/management-of-pregnancy-gingivitis-3&docid=73o889OPRA5FCM&imgurl=http://

www.myhealthyspeak.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/23.jpg&w=176&h=117&ei=9JO3UvFL6GSyQHXi4DAAg&zoom=1&ved=1t:3588,r:88,s:0,i:375&iact=rc&page=4&tbnh=93&tbnw=137&start=75&ndsp=28&tx=80&ty=49

What is a filling?

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Becky Larson, RDH

What is a filling?

As a dental hygienist, I find that more often than not, my patients are confused.  Dental professionals tend to speak a “different language” and it can be very hard to understand.  A dental filling is a very common procedure that is performed at the dental office.  This post will go over what a dental filling is.

Unfortunately, teeth are prone to decay.  When decay occurs on one or more surfaces of a tooth, a hole or cavity forms.  A dental filling is the standard treatment used to fix a tooth with one or more areas of small decay.  By placing a filling, a dentist is able to restore a tooth back to its normal function and shape.  When a dentist gives you a filling, he or she first removes the decayed tooth material with a dental drill, cleans the affected area, and then fills the cleaned out cavity with a filling material.

A filling also helps to prevent future decay because it closes off spaces where bacteria may enter.  Materials used for fillings include gold, porcelain, composite resin (tooth-colored fillings), and amalgam (an alloy of mercury, silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc).

It is important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for placing fillings.  When decay is left untreated it can cause the tooth to fracture, cause an abscess or infection, and/or destroy the inside or pulp of the tooth. As a result, more extensive treatment such as a crown, root canal, and/or extraction may be needed.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/procedures/fillings/article/what-is-a-filling

https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001055.htm

What is an ABSCESS all about anyway?

AnnC

Ann Clark RDH

abcess

Diabetes and Dental Care

Sharma RDH

Sharma Mulqueen RDH

Diabetes and Dental Care

What do brushing and flossing have to do with diabetes? Plenty. If you have diabetes, here’s why dental care matters — and how to take care of your teeth and gums. 

When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums. The good news? Prevention is in your hands. Learn what you’re up against, and then take charge of your dental health.

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Cavities and gum disease

Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar level is key. The higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of:

  • Tooth decay (cavities). Your mouth naturally contains many types of bacteria. When starches and sugars in food and beverages interact with these bacteria, a sticky film known as plaque forms on your teeth. The acids in plaque attack the hard, outer surface of your teeth (enamel). This can lead to cavities. The higher your blood sugar level, the greater the supply of sugars and starches — and the more acid wearing away at your teeth.
  • Early gum disease (gingivitis). Diabetes reduces your ability to fight bacteria. If you don’t remove plaque with regular brushing and flossing, it’ll harden under your gumline into a substance called tartar (calculus). The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva — the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. This is gingivitis

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  • Advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Eventually, periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth and your teeth to loosen and even fall out. Periodontitis tends to be more severe among people who have diabetes because diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows healing. An infection such as periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, which makes your diabetes more difficult to control. Preventing and treating periodontitis can help improve blood sugar control.

Proper dental care

To help prevent damage to your teeth and gums, take diabetes and dental care seriously:

  • Make a commitment to managing your diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar level, and follow your doctor’s instructions for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range. The better you control your blood sugar level, the less likely you are to develop gingivitis and other dental problems.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush in the morning, at night and, ideally, after meals and snacks. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums. Consider using an electric toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush well.

Floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth and under your gumline. If you have trouble getting floss through your teeth, use the waxed variety. If it’s hard to manipulate the floss, use a floss holder.

  • Schedule regular dental cleanings. Visit your dentist at least three times a year for professional cleanings.
  • Make sure your dentist knows you have diabetes. Every time you visit your dentist, remind him or her that you have diabetes. Make sure your dentist has contact information for your doctor who helps you manage your diabetes.
  • Look for early signs of gum disease. Report any signs of gum disease — including redness, swelling and bleeding gums — to your dentist. Also mention any other signs and symptoms, such as dry mouth, loose teeth or mouth pain.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking increases the risk of serious diabetes complications, including gum disease. If you smoke, ask your doctor about options to help you quit.

Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and that includes proper dental care. Your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes/art-20043848?pg=2

https://www.perio.org/consumer/diabetes.htm

http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth

Tooth in a Tube

Kara

Kara Johansen BS RDH

If your dentist said that there was a procedure he/she could do to prevent and reverse cavities would you do it?

Well, guess what, there is such a procedure! As a hygienist I would have appointments that were very frustrating. These patients use mouthwash, brush two times a day, floss 2 times a day, they don’t rinse out their toothpaste, they come to their 6 month appointments, have great nutritional habits, don’t smoke or drink, and don’t take medications. However, some of these fabulous patients still get cavities. Then the dentist says that he/she is going to “watch” the tooth hoping that through good oral hygiene habits it will get better. Most of the time, honestly, the “watch” areas do not resolve. Finally we found a solution. This miracle procedure is made possible by MI Paste Plus aka Tooth in a Tube.

What is MI Paste?

Mi paste

Besides good oral hygiene our body has ways of remineralizing or strengthening our teeth. In our saliva we naturally have Calcium and Phosphate. These are minerals like fluoride and can reverse small cavities. However, when we have habits that decrease saliva flow and the mouth becomes more acidic. MI Paste is a product that helps balance out the decrease in saliva and acidity of the mouth. MI Paste has Calcium and Phosphate and MI Paste Plus has fluoride.

  • MI Paste and MI Paste Plus (with fluoride) contain RECALDENT™ (CPP-ACP); Casein Phosphopeptide (CPP) are natural occurring molecules which are able to release calcium and phosphate ions and stabilize Amorphous Calcium Phosphate (ACP)
  • RECALDENT™ (CPP-ACP) is milk derived with lactose content less than 0.01%*
  • MI Paste and MI Paste Plus are water-based, sugar-free topical tooth crèmes
  • 5 Flavors melon, mint, strawberry, tutti-frutti and vanilla

(http://www.mi-paste.com/about.php)

Who benefits from MI Past Plus?

When a patient comes into our chair we access their cavity risk level. Here is the list of low risk patients.

Low Risk-

  • Fluroide exposure
  • Occasional sugary foods and drinks at meal time
  • No cavities in mother, care give/or siblings for past 24 months (for patients ages 6-14)
  • Has a dental home- patient of record, recieves regular dental care
  • No special Health care needs
  • No Chemo/Radiation Therapy
  • No Eating disorders
  • No Medications that reduce Salivary Flow
  • No drug or alcohol abuse
  • No tobacco/electronic cigarette
  • No new carious lesions
  • No missing teeth in past 36 months
  • No visible plaque
  • No unusual teeth shapes
  • No fillings between the teeth
  • No exposed root surfaces
  • No fillings with a large ledge
  • No spaces where food gets caught
  • No braces
  • No dry mouth

After a patient has been given a risk level the clinician will decide if they are eligible for MI Paste Plus. Looking at the low risk evaluation most people would say yes to one or more of the list above. If you have said yes to one of the above listed items you are at high risk for cavities. Most people would benefit from MI Paste Plus.

What can MI Paste Plus do for You?

  • reduce sensitivity
  • reduce symptoms of xerostomia (dry mouth) : medications, medical conditions, chemotherapy, decreased salivary gland function, smoking, drug use, and stress
  • it can help remineralize weak enamel
  • remove white spot lesions. Your dentist can also use MI paste Plus to remove weak enamel and white spot lesions on the teeth with a process called enamel microbrasion. Ask one of our Dentists about this procedure. imagesCAD5OMMG

How to Apply? (from the MI Paste web site)

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste in the morning and at night
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of MI Paste to your teeth’s surface using a cotton swab or gloved finger
  • Leave undisturbed for 3 minutes
  • Expectorate (spit) but do not rinse; leave the excess to slowly dissolveIt’s that simple!Your dentist will likely use one of the following methods to apply MI Paste/MI Paste Plus:Custom Tray Application:
  • Fill a custom tray with MI Paste
  • Place it in your mouth
  • Leave undisturbed for 3 minutes
  • Remove tray and spread remaining MI Paste over tooth surfaces with a gloved finger

Where do I purchase MI Paste?

MI paste cannot be purchased at your pharmacy or local grocery store. You can buy MI Paste Plus from your Dentist or on amazon.com.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

 

Picture Sources:

www.dentaleconomics.com

www.mi-paste.com

Dry Mouth

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Ann Clark RDH 

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
Is due to inadequate function of the salivary glands.  It can be temporary due to stress, nervousness or being upset, but if it is continuous it can lead to serious health problems.  Your saliva works in your mouth to help:  talk, chew, spit, wash away food, lubricate for eating, buffers acids, remineralize tooth enamel, and to aid your taste buds.  When your salivary production shuts down your mouth is greatly affected. Saliva is needed to moisten the mouth and digest foods.  It keeps you healthy and prevents infection by controlling bacteria in the mouth.  It is essential to help you taste what you eat and drink.  If untreated, severe dry mouth can lead to increased levels of tooth decay or thrush, an infection of the mouth.
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Causes for Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. Most often xerostomia is a side effect of the increased amounts of medications people take as they age. However, it can be a sign of a possible systemic disease like Sjogrens. Lots of times dry mouth is caused by the medications used to treat the ailment. These may include asthma, urinary incontinence, parkinson’s, epilepsy, stroke, mumps, alzheimer’s, diabetes, HIV, hepatitis C, lupus, arthritis, scleroderma, sarcoidosis, hypothyroidism, depression. The most common medications that cause dry mouth are related to high blood pressure, relaxants, depressants, heart disease, and antihistamines. Dehydration, fever, diarrhea, burns, exercise, blood loss, vomiting, radiation, menopause, surgical removal of glands and cigarettes can also cause dry mouth.
What can I do?
If dry mouth is effecting you it is critical to support your existing healthy oral pH. Dry mouth can cause an increased acidic environment which leads to a higher risk for dental decay. Here are some tips to help with dry mouth:
  • moisten the air overnight (humidifier)
  • avoid sugary and acidic foods
  • use Fluoride toothpaste
  • use Fluoride gel or rinse before bed
  • limit coffee
  • eliminate rinses with alcohol
  • stop tobacco use
  • drink water regularly
  • chew sugarfree gum over candy-the xylitol ingredient promotes production of saliva
  • breath through your nose
  • avoid histamines and decongestants
  • use OTC salivary substitutes: Mouth Kote and Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray contain xylitol. Cellulose containing products like Biotine Oral Balance
  • use rinses like Biotene or Act Total Dry Mouth
  • possibly alter your medication or dosage…always consult your medical doctor first.
  • visit your dentist regularly for exams, 2 exams per year
  • come in for your cleaning schedule treatment planned by your dentist

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

 

Sources:

1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-mouth/expert-answers/dry-mouth/faq-20058424

2. http://www.medicinenet.com/dry_mouth/article.htm

3. http://www.aquoral.com/

4. gnackdds.com for picture source 

“They are just baby teeth. So what does it matter”?

Peggy

 

Peggy Storr BSRDH

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Many people think that dental care of baby (primary) teeth isn’t really necessary. They aren’t permanent teeth and they will be lost eventually. The truth is that as soon as those little teeth appear, they should be cleaned daily. A tiny smear of toothpaste should start about the age of 1, as should the first visit to the dentist. Many of the baby teeth will be in your child’s mouth until he or she is 13 years old.

Look in your child’s mouth. White spots or lesions are early signs of demineralization or decay of the teeth. These lesions can be reversed with proper homecare and administration of fluoride and or MI Paste.

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www.recaldent.com

Early-Childhood-Caries1

http://www.babyorganics.co.id/general/dental-caries-on-children/

Decay (cavities or caries) in baby teeth is a serious health concern that is now known to be contagious. Dental decay is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever in children. While decay in permanent teeth has declined, decay in baby teeth is increasing. Left untreated, cavities can lead to dental pain that can affect a child’s eating, speaking, and learning. It can lead to expensive treatment, malnourishment, disruption of growth and development, and may even cause life threatening infections. If the dentist simply pulls the decayed tooth, it can affect how the permanent teeth grow in. The space from the baby tooth must be preserved or the permanent teeth may erupt in a crowded and incorrect position.

Most people are surprised to learn that cavities are contagious. But bacteria, particularly Mutans Streptococci, are responsible for tooth decay and bacteria can be transmitted from one person to another. If mom cleans the baby’s pacifier by putting it in her own mouth, or shares a spoon, she can transfer bacteria to the baby. Being mindful of diet is a first step in prevention of tooth decay. Dipping a pacifier in honey or sugar is a bad idea, as is letting a child go to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or anything other than water.

Chewy, sticky foods (such as dried fruit or candy) are best if eaten as part of a meal rather than as a snack. If possible, brush the teeth or rinse the mouth with water after eating these foods. Minimize snacking, which creates a constant supply of acid in the mouth. Avoid constant sipping of sugary drinks or frequent sucking on candy and mints. The sticky sour candies kids love so much are the worst as they stay in the mouth longer and cause significant increases in the acid that cause tooth decay.

Dental sealants can prevent some cavities. Sealants are thin plastic-like coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars. This coating prevents the buildup of plaque in the deep grooves on these surfaces. Sealants are often applied on the teeth of children, shortly after the molars come in.

Fluoride is also recommended to protect against dental caries. People who get fluoride in their drinking water or by taking fluoride supplements have less tooth decay. Numerous studies report that products containing Xylitol decrease tooth decay. Gum or mints for children who are beyond the choking stage are recommended. Xylitol needs to be among the first three ingredients.

Dental disease can impact the total well-being of a child and is largely preventable.  So while they are “JUST BABY TEETH”, they are a vital consideration in the health of your child.  A healthy mouth contributes to the overall health every child.

Sources:

1. Ezer, Michelle, S, DDS, Swoboda, Natalie A DDS and Farkouh, David DMD, MS; Early Childhood Caries: The Dental Disease of Infants

2. Chow AW. Infections of the oral cavity, neck, and head. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolin R, eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009:chap 60.

3. Sleeper, Laura J, RDH, MA and Gronski Ashley; The Benefits of Xylitol; http://Dimensionsofdentalhygiene.com/June 2014

4. http://www.thedentalleif.net

5. http:// twoothtimer.com

Dental Sealants

Kara

Kara Johansen BSRDH

No one likes cavities right? Is there something that can prevent decay in just one short dental visit! YES! Here it is folks, SEALANTS!

No matter how amazing we are at flossing and brushing our mouth is filled with bacteria. Plaque is the home for bacteria. As we go throughout our day we have breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch..etc. Bacteria also enjoy snacks. Bacteria especially like fermentable carbohydrates, and sugary treats. After they have processed the food it excretes acid onto our teeth and that causes a cavity.

Permanent damage to the tooth is nothing to mess with. There are small grooves in the top biting surface of our teeth that are too small for our tooth brush bristles to fit in. Often children are benefiting from dental sealants. However, adults have the same risk of decay but are not receiving the same tooth saving service.

sealants

Sealants are a plastic covering for the pits and fissures that are applied by your dentist or hygienist. The tooth is first cleaned; the sealant material is placed, and then hardened with a curing light. The sealant can last for a very long time before they may need to be redone. Your dentist will check them at each maintenance appointment.

A sealant is one of the best ways to prevent decay. They are cost effective, easy to keep clean, and will protect the integrity of your teeth. If you have any more questions I am sure your dentist, hygienist, or dental assistant would love to answer them.

Image source:polkadotdental.com

ADA Division of Communications in cooperation with The Journal of American Dental Association(2003). For the Dental Patient…Dental Sealants Protecting Your Teeth.JADA, volume 134, pages. doi:http://www.ada.org/sections/professionalResources/pdfs/patient_28.pdf