Why do our kids have tooth decay?

 

By: Alvin Danenberg, DDS, DrBicuspid.com 

 

DYK that the primary reasons our kids have tooth decay and gum disease are because of nutritional deficiencies? Some of the top causes related to this issue are acidic and sugary drinks, compromised gut bacteria, and a sedentary lifestyle.

👩🏾‍⚕️ Worried about your kids? DrBicuspid has some advice! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Our kids have tooth decay not because they’re deficient in fluoride.

Our kids have bleeding gums not because they don’t brush and floss twice a day.

The primary reasons our kids have tooth decay and gum disease are because their nutrition is deficient, their drinks are acidic and sugary, their healthy gut bacteria are compromised, and their lifestyles are sedentary.

These deficiencies also manifest in childhood as obesity, high blood pressure, depression, skin eruptions, allergies, and a host of other diseases. Improper nutrition and lifestyles early in life sow the seeds for many of the degenerative diseases that plague us later in life.

4 behaviors

When it comes to avoiding tooth decay and taking care of oral health, brushing and flossing are important, but four other behaviors are just as important.

I tell my patients that having healthy bacteria in the gut promotes healthy bacteria in their saliva, which allows for normal function in the mouth. This also assists in preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

“I also tell them that a healthy body improves gut health and metabolism.”

I remind my patients and their parents to avoid refined carbohydrates. Avoiding these can help prevent the proliferation of unhealthy bacteria and help maintain a healthy acid level in the mouth.

One way to provide the necessary arsenal for saliva to remineralize teeth is to make sure essential nutrients and trace minerals are included in their diets.

I also tell them that a healthy body improves gut health and metabolism. I encourage an active lifestyle of playing outside, rather than sitting in front of a TV or playing video games.

Way of eating

I pull the parents of younger patients aside and remind them that their kids will eat the way Mom and Dad eat. Kids learn by example. Healthy snacks could include fresh fruit and nuts, almond butter spread on celery sticks, slices of raw cheeses, and cut up pieces of colorful sweet peppers. Healthy drinks could include filtered water, unsweetened seltzers, teas without sugar, and kombucha.

My thought is that if they are eating a healthy diet at home, and if they are given healthy meals and snacks for lunches at school, then whatever minimal cheating they do is not so bad.

Dental visits should be pleasant. Children shouldn’t have to be concerned about tooth decay or gum disease if they are getting the nutrients their bodies need to thrive. Kids should clean their mouths appropriately but they must eat nutritiously. Their mouths will thank them and their overall health will thank them.

 

Source: bit.ly/kidstoothdecay

Dentists say this common ingredient could be messing with your mouth

By: Zoe Weiner, MSN

 

The best part of brushing and swishing mouthwash (aside from the whole “no gum disease or cavities” thing) is that “ahh”-inducing feeling you get right after you’ve finished cleaning your teeth.

And now, thanks to flavoring with essential oils, natural toothpaste and mouthwash can give your mouth the same minty-freshness as the old-fashioned stuff most of us grew up on.

But no matter how much you love that cool and tingly breath after a particularly satisfying brush sesh, there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to putting those sweet-yet-spicy smelling essential oils in your mouth.

 Read on and learn its effects to your oral health via MSN ! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

The best part of brushing and swishing your teeth (aside from the whole “no gum disease or cavities” thing) is that “ahh”-inducing feeling you get right after you’ve finished. And, thanks to flavoring with essential oils, these days natural toothpaste and mouthwash can give your mouth the same minty-freshness as the old-fashioned stuff most of us grew up on. But no matter how much you love that cool and tingly breath after a particularly satisfying brush sesh, there can be too much of a good thing when it comes to putting those sweet-yet-spicy smelling essential oils in your mouth.

“Using essential oils in the mouth sounds like a great, natural idea, but this should be done on occasion—not every day,” says Dr. Mark Burhenne, creator and author of AsktheDentist.com. “The powerfully antibacterial nature of essential oils means regular use can actually upset your oral microbiome over time by killing off the good bacteria your mouth needs to fight cavities and gum disease.” As in—yes, your mouth has a microbiome.

In some studies, essential oils have been proven to be just as effective as chlorhexidineAKA the main ingredient in prescription-strength mouthwash. But, while we’re all for going the natural route with your oral care, in this case, it may not be the best idea. “[It] might sound like a good thing, but [essential oils are] not beneficial for long-term oral health,” says Dr. Burhenne. “If you’re using mouthwash, chances are you’re trying to make it a daily habit. But killing all the bacteria in your mouth should be something you avoid on the whole.”

“Killing all the bacteria in your mouth should be something you avoid on the whole.” —Dr. Mark Burhenne

Think about using these heavy-duty oils the same way you’d use an antibiotic. “On occasion, you need a bacterial ‘clean slate’ to get an infection under control. But if you were to use antibiotics every day of your life, you’d limit your immune system’s ability to fight off any infection or disease,” he explains. “Since your oral microbiome is the mouth’s immune system, keeping it free of bacteria isn’t actually a good thing.”

In lieu of swishing with essential oils or alcohol for the sake of fresh breath, Dr. Burhenne suggests making a mouthwash of your own by mixing turmeric, L-arginine, calcium carbonate, whole cloves, baking soda, xylitol, blue-green algae, and anise. It’s essential oil, alcohol, and fluoride-free, but will still give your mouth the full cleanse it needs.

If you’re going to use essential oils in toothpaste, just know that a little bit goes a long way. “When I’m trying a toothpaste that uses essential oils, the best gauge I’ve found is to pay attention to how strong the scent of the oils is,” says Dr. Burhenne. “A light scent of peppermint is probably a sign your toothpaste has just a minuscule amount of oils in it, whereas a very strong scent might mean you’ve got too many bacteria-killing oils for daily use.” Noted—so, as within your skincare, just keep that EO use light.

 

Source: bit.ly/essentialoilsformouth

DIY braces? Orthodontists say to think twice before straightening your teeth solo

By: Joanna Clay, University of Southern California; Medical Xpress

 

👩🏽‍⚕️ Are you considering straightening your teeth through DIY braces?

If so, you might want to check out this article via Medical Xpress – Medical and Health News before jumping into the decision! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

A couple of years ago, the story of a college student 3-D printing his own braces went viral. Fast forward to now and you’ve likely seen billboards or social media ads for a whole new slate of DIY aligner companies, which cut out the orthodontist chair and send trays straight to your doorstep. They’re both attempting to democratize the quest for straight teeth, but experts and graduates from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC say it’s important to get a doctor’s OK when considering the DIY route.

The first thing to remember is that orthodontics isn’t just about looks, said  and USC alum Nehi Ogbevoen.

“We not only want to improve aesthetics but also the function of the bite,” he said. “We’re trying to plan your bite and smile and how they are going to age over the next 30, 40 years.”

Oftentimes, an orthodontist will want the patient up to date with their dentist visits. They’ll also do X-rays prior to treatment, making sure there are no signs of gum disease or large cavities.

If the DIY retailers don’t ask for X-rays, Ostrow experts and alumni say to think twice.

“There’s a lot of things we can catch on an X-ray—for example, impacted teeth,” Ogbevoen said. “There are other things we can catch that, if you aren’t seeing a dentist regularly, can be really scary.”

People are often lured by the DIY price, which can be around $2,000. For comparison, traditional metal braces or Invisalign typically run from $5,000 to $8,000, although the latter has options for mild alignment issues that are less costly. And in general, DIY aligners are for more mild issues.

But, experts say, if you have an undiagnosed disease or issue, DIY aligners could worsen the situation, costing more in the long run.

Consider consultations when getting DIY braces

Hany Youssef, Ostrow faculty who also has a private practice in Orange County, had a patient come in with negative side effects from a DIY kit.

He said although orthodontics can be cost prohibitive, there are a lot of options. He recently quoted $1,500 for a patient with mild alignment issues. The more severe the case, the more it’ll cost, he said.

If you’re considering DIY, Youssef suggests getting a consultation from a dentist or orthodontist, an initial visit is usually free, and bring up your interest in the treatment. It might be suitable for folks with milder issues but either way, a dentist or orthodontist’s OK is important. Some of the direct-to-consumer companies say orthodontists do consult on the treatment, others emphasize getting assigned to a specific orthodontist. But no matter what it says on the website, experts say to ask a lot of questions before signing up.

The American Association of Orthodontists has a tip sheet for people considering the direct-to-consumer route, offering suggested questions to ask yourself and the company. They include asking about comprehensive X-rays, licensed orthodontist consultations, how the best treatment is evaluated and how emergencies will be handled.

Glenn T. Sameshima, chairman and program director of USC’s Advanced Orthodontics Certificate Program, said the popularity of DIY aligners does bring up an important topic in orthodontics: accessibility. Insurance coverage is roughly the same as it’s been the last few decades, he said. And the same goes for treatment costs. Sameshima, who has a private practice, said coverage is commonly around $1,500 lifetime. Some dental insurance carriers are more generous and offer 50 percent coverage.

But in the end, this DIY aligner popularity—some of it spurred by expiring aligner patents—could be good for the industry overall, he said. For the first time in a while, there’s competition, which could start to bring costs down.

And although orthodontics can be costly, preventative care is often well-covered, which can help ward off the need for braces. And if braces or aligners are needed,  (such as USC) often offer discounted rates.

“I see a future, 20 to 30 years from now, when they’ll be able to do a combination of clear aligners and braces, with 3-D printing bringing these costs down,” Sameshima said.

 

Source: bit.ly/DIYbraces

How can boosting Your Vitamin And Mineral Intake Protect Your Smile?

 

By: Lucy Wyndham, Dental News

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47.2% of American adults have some form of periodontal disease. But with the right vitamin and mineral consumption and effective dental care, the nation’s tooth decay could be significantly improved. The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

A steady dose of fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water which your teeth rely heavily on as research has found that it can reduce the rate of cavities by 60%. 95% of all leading brands of toothpaste contain fluoride and there are also prescription only ones available for those who need extra protection against cavities. Fluoride Alert details a whole host of ways in which you increase your fluoride consumption, including consuming processed foods and drinks, drinking tea, eating products which have been treated with a fluoride pesticide, such as, dried fruit and cocoa powder and cooking food in Teflon pans.

Calcium and vitamin D

Calcium is well documented for keeping muscles, joints, and bones strong, but it’s just as powerful in protecting your teeth. Calcium keeps the teeth and gums healthy by replacing lost calcium particles. Therefore, it’s essential that your diet is packed full of dairy products, tinned salmon, almonds and dark green leafy vegetables. You’ll also need to keep your vitamin D intake high as this helps calcium absorption. Vitamin D is absorbed from sun exposure, from taking nutritional supplements and from eating a healthy diet of fatty fish, foods which have been fortified with vitamin D such as cereals and egg yolks.

Don’t forget phosphorus

Phosphorus is the second largest mineral found in the body, with 85% of it found in the teeth and bones alone. It works hand in hand with calcium and vitamin D to keep your teeth healthy and looking good. As long as you’re eating a well-balanced diet you should be consuming enough phosphorus to keep your dental hygiene in top condition. However, if you’re looking to up your intake of phosphorus- rich foods turkey, tuna, and sunflower seeds all rank highly. These high protein foods help to boost the absorption of this vital mineral.

To keep your teeth healthy you must ensure you look after them by following a good hygiene routine. However, the vitamin and minerals you consume play a pivotal role, too. In order to keep your teeth strong, healthy and pearly white fluoride, calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus are a must.

 

Source: http://www.dentalnews.com/2018/07/13/how-can-boosting-your-vitamin-and-mineral-intake-protect-your-smile/

 

What your dental hygienist wants you to know about the importance of oral health

 

By: Heather Jackson, Loma Linda University Health

 

Whether the topic is flossing and brushing or baby teeth and cavities, your dental hygienist has important advice. Remember these key takeaways from Loma Linda University Health to help you properly care for the gateway to the rest of your body. The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Whether the topic is flossing and brushing or baby teeth and cavities, your dental hygienist has important advice. A dental hygienist knows that oral health evaluations can be as important as other medical examinations. Loma Linda University School of Dentistry dental hygiene specialist, Danielle Ellington, RDH, MEd, offers six tips for ensuring a healthy mouth.

Before reaching voting age eligibility, approximately 78 percent of Americans have at least one cavity, according to the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), and 80 percent of the U.S. population has some form of periodontal gum disease.

Ellington says neither condition should be taken lightly because their impact goes well beyond the mouth.

“What some people do not understand is that oral health can affect the health of the rest of the body,” Ellington says. “For pregnant women, oral health can affect their unborn child. And for both genders, oral health maladies have been linked to cardiovascular and neurological problems.”

Ellington also adds that responsible oral health care can save not only your mouth but your life.

“We want to encourage the public to value their oral care,” she says. “Your oral care is about more than just the color of your teeth. As a society, we have become so focused on oral aesthetics that we are missing more important aspects of oral health.”

Here are Ellington’s six tips to help you properly care for the gateway to the rest of your body.

  1. Floss before there is loss. Flossing can make a difference between a healthy mouth and needing a substantial amount of periodontal treatment, Ellington says. Simply sliding a cord of thin filaments between your teeth (flossing) once a day reduces the accumulation of plaque often caused bysugary foods. The limitation of deserts and carbonated drink intake, combined with regular flossing, can greatly reduce tarter build-up, bone loss, and bleeding gums that lead to the need for periodontal treatment.
  2. A follow-up is not a suggestion. Ellington says that when a dental hygienist schedules a recall — also known as a follow-up appointment — it is more than just something to consider putting on a patient’s calendar. Recalls are tailored specifically to each patient’s current level of oral health, she says. If you have significant plaque or tartar accumulation, inflammation, and bleeding, you are a high-risk patient who needs to be seen sooner than later. Frequent dental appointments enable a hygienist to perform professional cleanings that can maintain the health of your gums.
  3. Watch what you eat. Pay attention to your diet because it can dictate whether you have an acidic (lower pH) or alkaline mouth (higher pH), Ellington says. An acidic mouth puts you at a higher risk for cavities. If you eat a lot of fruit, processed foods, and carbohydrates, your saliva will be at a higher risk for a lowerpH. If you tend to eat foods such as meat or meat substitutes, dairy products, nuts, and legumes, your saliva will have a higher pH and your teeth will be more prone to tartar build-up. She recommends a diet that encourages a neutral pH—foods such as avocado, broccoli, celery, cucumber, lemon, peppers, and spinach.
  4. Water is a super liquid. Ellington says not to underestimate the need for regular water consumption. A lubricated mouth is less susceptible to developing cavities. A hydrated mouth also significantly reduces the susceptibility of teeth to stains. She recommends something as simple as ending a meal with water.
  5. Be candid and complete about your health history. Ellington wants patients to know that no medication or dietary supplement is too small to mention. It has a significant impact on the clinician’s ability to make accurate evaluations and perform effective care. For example, if a patient has taken baby aspirin for several years, it can interfere with their blood vessels ability to stop bleeding during a procedure. She adds that without an accurate medication history a dentist may not be able to properly treat or keep a patient safe.
  6. All teeth matter. Frequently, parents do not realize their baby’s teeth are important to their adult teeth as they maintain space for emerging adult teeth. Ellington says many parents think cavities in their children’s baby teeth don’t matter because they will fall out and be replaced by adult teeth. What they may not know is that bacteria from a diseased baby tooth may be passed on to an arriving adult tooth. She also advises parents to avoid transferring bad bacteria to their children through shared utensils or kissing. Some parents “clean” a pacifier with their own mouth if it falls on the floor and then return it to their child’s mouth. Each person has their own microflora — their own bacteria habitat — in their mouth, and transferring a parent’s saliva to a child can increase the likelihood it will develop cavities or gingivitis.

 

Source: https://news.llu.edu/clinical/what-your-dental-hygienist-wants-you-know-about-importance-of-oral-health

7 Soft Recipe Ideas Dental Patients Often Overlook

 

By: Anna Medaris Miller, US News

 

Distract yourself from pain – and expedite healing – by getting creative in the kitchen. Here are some soft food ideas from USNews! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

RX: Soft foods

As if getting your wisdom teeth out, your tonsils removed or your mouth otherwise manipulated, injured or operated on isn’t painful enough, such procedures often also deprive patients of enjoying one of life’s essential pleasures: good food. A soft foods diet “definitely is not fun and makes you appreciate your teeth,” says Joy Dubost, a registered dietitian in the New York City area who has undergone two oral surgeries. But thinking outside of the applesauce-and-broth box can make the situation easier and often, healthier, since having a variety of nutritious foods is important for healing. Here are some creative and satisfying soft recipe ideas that will please your taste buds – and your dentist:

Butternut squash hummus

Bored of regular old hummus and unable to chomp on crunchy chips you’d otherwise dip into it? Try one of Joel Gamoran’s favorite and seasonally appropriate snacks: butternut squash hummus, which you can easily make by blending roasted squash, tahini, lemon and garlic, says the national chef for Sur La Table and host of the TV series “Scraps.” “Eat this with a soft pita or just a spoon,” Gamoran says. Outside of taste, the nutrients in the squash alone can support the healing process: Vitamin B6, for instance, is among the B complex vitamins linked to better outcomes among adults post-dental surgery, while its high vitamin A and vitamin C content can help stave off infection.

Deviled eggs

Scrambled eggs are a great soft food staple for oral procedure patients (hello, protein!), but that’s not the only way to prepare an egg that’s easy on a sore mouth. Deviled eggs are a great alternative, Gamoran says, not to mention perfect for sharing as an appetizer with friends and family if you’ve also grown sick of recovering in isolation. With deviled eggs, Gamoran says, “you actually feel like you are eating something substantial.” For an extra taste jolt, flake smoked fish like trout or salmon into the egg yolks, he suggests.

Mushroom risotto

When Phoebe Lapine got her wisdom teeth removed, she was in too much pain post-procedure to care much about her soup and smoothie diet, she recalls. But now as a chef and culinary instructor based in New York City, she enjoys plenty of mouthwatering soft recipes, even with perfectly capable chops. “Risotto is the first thing that comes to mind, as a more elegant alternative” to standard post-op fare, she says. Try a savory recipe with wild mushrooms for a nutritional boost and added (but still soft) texture. The fungi are rich in vitamin D and some B vitamins, both of which have been linked to improved healing after some dental procedures.

Mashed cauliflower

Nothing beats comfort food when you’re feeling lousy, and fortunately, comfort food can be both soft and healthy. Mashed cauliflower, for instance, is a staple in Gamoran’s house, no matter the family’s state of oral health. Simply steam or boil cauliflower, drain it and mash it with cream cheese and chives, he suggests. You can also, of course, mash sweet or white potatoes rather than waiting until it’s comfortable to eat, say, crispy roasted potatoes, says Nancy Farrell, a registered dietitian in Fredericksburg, Virginia. “Modifying the food texture still allows for consumption of the important nutrients in foods and beverages – nutrients that are necessary for proper healing and regeneration of tissue,” she says.

Seasoned sauerkraut

If you underwent anesthesia for your procedure, it may take some time for your gut to “wake up,” says Farrell, also a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “A sluggish GI tract can lead to constipation for some people until things are normalized,” she says. “That is why prebiotics and probiotics are helpful.” Try making “a tender, soft-cooked, seasoned sauerkraut” as a side dish, she suggests. As a prebiotic food, it works by “feeding” the good bacteria in the gut, the Mayo Clinic reports. Other sources of fiber – even dropping a powdered supplement in your smoothies, as Dubost recommends – can also support good digestion.

Granita

Milkshakes all day, every day are not exactly the responsible option if you want to be able to eat popcorn or steak anytime soon. Proactively eating smart, Farrell points out, “is especially important during times of illness and periods of healing.” So try cool sweet treats like fruit smoothies with creative spices like ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg instead, Dubost says. And while not a health food, a spin on shaved ice called granita can still deliver some nutrients and soothe a sore mouth, Gamoran finds. Just mix equal parts simple syrup with any blended fruit or juice, toss it in the freezer and scrape it every 30 minutes with a fork. Once it reaches a consistency of your liking, dig in!

Pho

Whether you’re orally impaired or not, pho is a dish that should be in your meal rotation, Gamoran says. The Vietnamese noodle dish is super soft, he says, and you can easily make it your own or with broth from a restaurant. Other all-too-often forgotten varieties of soup can be welcome alternatives to canned chicken noodle. Farrell loves squash soup, lentil soup, pea soup, tomato soup and, mouth willing, stews with soft meat for added protein and other nutrients. “Nutrition is a science, and the variety of foods and beverages in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer can and should be the core foundation of your medicine cabinet,” she says.

 

Source: https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/slideshows/7-creative-soft-food-ideas-to-ease-dental-procedure-recovery?onepage

When Should I Have my Wisdom Teeth Removed?

By: Consumer Guide to Dentistry 

 

Wisdom teeth removal is a common oral surgery, but as is the case with tonsils, their removal is not always necessary. This begs the obvious question: When should wisdom teeth be removed? Learn more! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Wisdom teeth — also referred to as third molars — are typically the last of the permanent teeth to erupt (push their way through the gums). The majority of permanent teeth begin to erupt around the age of six or seven. Most children have 28 of their 32 permanent teeth fully erupted by age 13. The, remaining four (wisdom teeth) tend to erupt between the ages of 17 and 21.

Wisdom teeth removal is a common oral surgery, but as is the case with tonsils, their removal is not always necessary. This begs the obvious question: When should wisdom teeth be removed?

Healthy Wisdom Teeth

Before we jump into when removal of wisdom teeth might be necessary, let’s flip the script and begin with when removal is unnecessary.

If your wisdom teeth have erupted fully, are positioned correctly and are not interfering with your bite alignment, it’s unlikely your dentist will recommend removal. Healthy wisdom teeth that are not causing any jaw pain or positioned in a way that makes them difficult to clean, do not need to be removed.

Unfortunately it’s not always quite so simple, and often wisdom teeth are problematic enough that removal is warranted.

When Removal is Necessary

Although many people who have their wisdom teeth removed tend to be 20 years old or younger, you shouldn’t think of removal as an age-specific thing. Rather, timing of removal is tied to whether or not there is a problem with their development/eruption, or whether their presence is causing dental pain or problems in the mouth, such as bite misalignment.

Generally speaking, the following symptoms could be indicative of wisdom tooth issues and warrant removal:

  • Tender, red, swollen or bleeding gums at the back of the mouth
  • Jaw pain and/or swelling
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Soft tissue infections at the back of the mouth
  • Cysts
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Damage to adjacent molars

A primary concern related to wisdom tooth eruption is spacing. There may not be enough room as the teeth come in, which can cause wisdom teeth to press against the neighboring teeth, causing pain, swelling and potential bite irregularities. This is referred to as impacted wisdom teeth (Impacted teeth may erupt horizontally instead of vertically, preventing them from developing correctly.)

Even if the wisdom teeth are able to  erupt without pushing excessively against other teeth, there still may not be adequate space for proper brushing and flossing, leaving you at risk for  decay, gum disease and other issues. Swelling of the gum tissue can compound this problem and exacerbate dental concerns.

Although wisdom teeth removal is typically associated with one of the aforementioned issues, there is another instance in which healthy wisdom teeth may also be removed. If you’re receiving orthodontic care with braces to help correct bite irregularities, removal of wisdom teeth may help to make room for crowded teeth to be re-aligned and simplify the process.

Trust Your Dentist

Given the common nature of wisdom teeth issues and removal, dentists typically begin monitoring their development with patients around the age of 14. X-rays are used to identify potential complications like impacted teeth, and indicate the need for removal. Your dentist can also monitor the effect on surrounding teeth to determine if there is the potential for spacing issues that could cause discomfort, swelling, etc.

Most dentists recommend removal of wisdom teeth (when warranted) before the teeth have fully developed and their roots have taken hold. This makes their removal easier and can lessen recovery time.

It’s important to note that you don’t need wisdom teeth in order to have a healthy, balanced smile. Unlike missing other teeth — which can cause bite irregularities and other dental problems — your wisdom teeth do not play an essential role in oral health. That said, your dentist is unlikely to recommend removal if there are no dental concerns associated with your wisdom teeth. Removal after the age of 30 is rare, but your dentist will nonetheless continue to monitor wisdom teeth as latent issues can surface at any time.

Later in life, wisdom teeth can become cracked due to wear, just like every other tooth. If the cracks become large enough to warrant significant tooth restoration, such as a root canal and crown, dentists do not typically recommend repairing the wisdom tooth. In such cases, removal may be recommended.

If you’re experiencing pain or tenderness around your back molars, speak with your dentist.

For more information, check out our comprehensive extraction guide.

Source: https://www.yourdentistryguide.com/news/wisdom-teeth-removed/

How Seniors Can Prevent Tooth Loss?

By Lucy Wyndham, Dental News

 

You may have noticed that tooth loss is very common during aging, but are there ways you can do to prevent it? Tips shared by Dental News! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Sadly, about 27% of seniors over the age of 65 have no remaining teeth, as per the NIDCR. A study by CW Douglas indicated that in 2000, 35.4 million people in the US wore dentures, and the number will increase to 37.9 million by 2020. The Silberg Center for Dental Science advises that loss of tooth among seniors has a lot of effects including affecting their social life adversely. Therefore, in your senior years, it is better to use natural and non-invasive ways to strengthen your teeth. Just like there are various ways to ensure that kids brush their teeth, there are specific constraints that seniors should heed to improve their dental health and more importantly, to beat tooth loss. Below are some natural and lifestyle tips that can help you in curbing the loss of teeth as you age.

Mind what you eat

The University of Rochester Medical Center informs that when you eat or drink too much sugary or starchy foods, you are not only feeding yourself but also the bacteria in your teeth. When sugars in your mouth get into contact with plaque, the resulting acids can attack your teeth for 20 minutes after you finish your food. If this repeats for long, the enamel covering your teeth gives in to decay, and this could potentially lead to loss of teeth. Therefore, healthy nutrition as you age is paramount. Such foods include fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, green and black tea, sugarless chewing gum(it produces saliva that removes food particles from your teeth) and foods with fluoride. All these provide various essential nutrients and minerals to your teeth, thereby keeping them healthy.

Quit smoking

Proven observatory studies by the NIDCR conclude that older seniors who smoke are more likely to have less or no remaining teeth over a given period. CDC reports that smoking reduces your body’s immunity, making it harder for gum disease to heal. When this condition of the gum advances to periodontitis, it can break down the bone and tissue that holds your teeth and make them lose. Assuming that the more you live, the more you smoke, then there is a high chance that such addiction could mean disaster to your choppers; you need to quit smoking.

Replace missing teeth and see the dentist more often

Many studies show that teeth gradually move out of position if there are gaps next to them. You might not notice because such movements are gradual, but they weaken both the teeth and the gum. This means that if you already lost a tooth or 2, you should seek the intervention of a dentist without delay to prevent further damage. Also, medics recommend that you see a dentist every 6 months, but since older teeth are more delicate, you should make it more frequent.

Aging gracefully does not come easily but with effort. While preventing tooth loss, you should think about eating healthy, preventing gum disease and quitting habits such as smoking. The benefits of healthy teeth include evading the high cost of replacement and the ability to eat hard foods even at old age. And what about maintaining that warm smile that you’ve had for decades?

Source: http://www.dentalnews.com/2018/09/14/seniors-prevent-tooth-loss/

Beyond tooth decay: why good dental hygiene is important

 

Most of us are aware that poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath, but not brushing your teeth could also have consequences for more serious illnesses.

Check out the other diseases you can acquire with poor oral hygiene via Medical News Today. The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

In this spotlight feature, to coincide with National Dental Hygiene Month, we peer beneath the plaque to investigate what other – perhaps unexpected – health conditions are affected by poor dental health.

Alzheimer’s disease

In 2010, researchers from New York University (NYU) concluded that there is a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease, after reviewing 20 years of data on the association.

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association recommend that we should brush for 2 minutes, twice daily.

However, the number of participants in the NYU study was fairly small. The researchers analyzed data from 152 subjects enrolled in the Glostrop Aging Study – a study looking at psychological, medical and oral health in Danish men and women. The study spanned a 20-year period and ended in 1984, when the subjects were all over the age of 70.

Comparing cognitive function at ages 50 and 70, the NYU team found that gum disease at the age of 70 was strongly associated with low scores for cognitive function.

Study participants were nine times more likely to have a score in the lower range of the cognitive test – the “digit symbol test” (DST) – if they had inflammation of the gums.

Although this study took into account potentially confounding factors like obesity, cigarette smoking and tooth loss unrelated to gum inflammation, there was still a strong association between low DST score and gum inflammation.

In 2013, UK-based researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) built on the findings of this study, by comparing brain samples from 10 living patients with Alzheimer’s with 10 brain samples from people who did not have the disease.

Analysis showed that a bacterium – Porphyromonas gingivalis – was present in the Alzheimer’s brain samples but not in the samples from the brains of people who did not have Alzheimer’s. What was interesting was that P. gingivalis is usually associated with chronic gum disease.

The team followed up this research in 2014 with a new mouse study, the results of which were published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Medical News Today spoke to co-author Dr. Sim K. Singhrao regarding the findings.

Dr. Singhrao says that there is sufficient scientific evidence to show that two of the three gum disease-causing bacteria are capable of motion (or “motile”) and have been consistently found in brain tissue.

“These motile bacteria can leave the mouth and enter the brain via two main routes,” he explains. “They can use their movement capability to directly enter the brain. One of the paths taken is to crawl up the nerves that connect the brain and the roots of teeth. The other path is indirect entry into the brain via the blood circulation system.”

In a patient who has bleeding gums, says Dr. Singharo, the gum disease-causing bacteria will enter the blood stream every time they clean their mouth and even when they eat food.

He continues:

P. gingivalis is particularly interesting as it has found ways to hitch a lift from red blood cells when in the blood stream and instead of getting ‘off the red blood cell bus’ in the spleen, they choose to get off in the brain at an area where there are no immune checkpoints. From there, they spread to the brain at their will. In addition, in older individuals, the blood vessels tend to enlarge and become leaky.”

“The published work confirmed P. gingivalis placed in the mouths of mice finds its way to the brain once gum disease becomes established first,” Dr. Singhrao concludes. “Furthermore, our hypothesis is strengthened by the recent results demonstrating that the chemicals released by the brain’s immune system in response to P. gingivalis reaching the brain ‘inadvertently’ damage functional neurons in the area of the brain related to memory.”

Pancreatic cancer

A research team from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, MA, were the first to report strong evidence on a link between gum disease and pancreatic cancer, back in 2007.

Researchers are unable to prove whether the periodontitis bacteria are a cause or result of pancreatic cancer – current research can only prove that the two are linked.

The type of gum inflammation associated with pancreatic cancer in the study was periodontitis, which affects the tissue that support the teeth and can cause loss of bone around the base of the teeth.

The other main kind of gum disease – gingivitis; where the tissue around the teeth becomes inflamed – was not linked to increased cancer risk. However, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis if persistent. Gingivitis happens when bacteria in the plaque around the base of the teeth build up due to bad dental hygiene.

Examining data on gum disease from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which involved a cohort of more than 51,000 men and began collecting data in 1986, the Harvard researchers found that men with a history of gum disease had a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer compared with men who had never had gum disease.

The greatest risk for pancreatic cancer among this group was in men with recent tooth loss. However, the study was unable to find links between other types of oral health problems – such as tooth decay – and pancreatic cancer.

The researchers suggest that there may be a link between high levels of carcinogenic compounds found in the mouths of people with gum disease and pancreatic cancer risk. They argue that these compounds – called nitrosamines – may react to the digestive chemicals in the gut in a way that creates an environment favorable to the development of pancreatic cancer.

However, a follow-up study from the team in 2012 was unable to prove whether the periodontitis bacteria are a cause or result of pancreatic cancer – the study could only prove that the two were linked.

“This is not an established risk factor,” admitted author Dominique Michaud. “But I feel more confident that something is going on. It’s something we need to understand better.”

Heart disease

Perhaps more well established is the association between dental hygiene and heart disease.

“The mouth is probably the dirtiest place in the human body,” said Dr. Steve Kerrigan.

In 2008, MNT reported on research from joint teams at the University of Bristol in the UK and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, who found that people with bleeding gums from poor dental hygiene could be increasing their risk of heart disease.

The researchers found that heart disease risk increased because – in people who have bleeding gums – bacteria from the mouth is able to enter the bloodstream and stick to platelets, which can then form blood clots, interrupting the flow of blood to the heart and triggering a heart attack.

“The mouth is probably the dirtiest place in the human body,” said Dr. Steve Kerrigan from the Royal College of Surgeons, explaining that there are up to 700 different types of bacteria co-existing in our mouths.

Prof. Howard Jenkinson, from the University of Bristol, added:

Cardiovascular disease is currently the biggest killer in the western world. Oral bacteria such as Streptococcus gordonii and Streptococcus sanguinis are common infecting agents, and we now recognise that bacterial infections are an independent risk factor for heart diseases.”

The Bristol University researchers investigated how the bacteria interact with platelets by mimicking the pressure inside the blood vessels and the heart. Prof. Jenkinson’s team found that the bacteria use the platelets as a defense mechanism.

By clumping the platelets together, the bacteria are able to completely surround themselves. This platelet armor shields the bacteria from attack by immune cells and makes them less detectable to antibiotics.

Although some of the associations we have looked at in this spotlight feature are still under investigation, good dental hygiene remains important for lowering risk of a variety of conditions.

The American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) recommend that we should brush for 2 minutes, twice daily. The ADHA guidelines also stress the importance of flossing daily and rinsing with mouthwash. You can read the full recommendations on the ADHA website.

 

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283649.php

What to do to keep gums healthy

 

Practicing good oral hygiene is the most important action that a person can take to prevent and treat gum disease. Most people tend to overlook their gums when it comes to oral health and focus on getting a bright, white smile instead. However, healthy teeth require healthy gums.

Here are tips from Medical News Today on how to keep your gums healthy! The Oral Surgery DC Team

 

Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, a person can take many steps to prevent and even reverse gum disease. These include:

  • brushing the teeth properly
  • choosing the right toothpaste
  • flossing daily
  • taking care when rinsing out the mouth
  • using mouthwash
  • having regular dental checkups
  • stopping smoking

This article examines how these step can help keep the gums healthy. We also provide diet tips for healthy gums and explain how to spot the signs of gum disease.

7 ways to keep the gums healthy

Adopting the following habits will help a person care for their teeth and gums properly, which, in turn, will help prevent gum disease.

1. Brush the teeth properly

Brushing the teeth properly is key to having a healthy mouth and gums. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommend that people follow the guidelines below:

  • Brush at least twice a day using a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles begin to fray.
  • Brush the teeth at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
  • Move the toothbrush in short strokes.
  • Press gently.
  • Clean the insides of the front teeth by turning the brush vertically and making several short strokes along each tooth.

2. Choose the right toothpaste

The toothpaste aisle in most stores will contain many varieties of toothpaste, from whitening products to formulas containing baking soda.

When choosing toothpaste, a person should ensure that it contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of approval on the packaging.

3. Floss daily

Many people neglect daily flossing, but the ADA recognize this habit as an important part of oral care.

Flossing removes food and plaque from between the teeth and gums. If the food and plaque remain in these areas, this can lead to tartar, which is a hard buildup of bacteria that only a dentist can remove. Tartar can lead to gum disease.

4. Rinse your mouth out with care

Many people rinse their mouth out after brushing their teeth. However, oral hygiene practices should complement the effectiveness of fluoride products, such as toothpaste.

When a person washes their mouth out with water after brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, they wash away the fluoride.

Conversely, when a person rinses their mouth out after eating, they may rinse away food and bacteria that can lead to plaque and tartar.

5. Use mouthwash

According to the ADA, there are two types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic. Both are available over the counter.

A therapeutic mouthwash can help:

  • prevent gum disease
  • reduce the speed at which tartar builds up
  • reduce the amount of plaque on the teeth
  • remove food particles from the mouth

However, people should not use mouthwash as a replacement for brushing and flossing.

A person should look for the ADA seal. This seal indicates that the manufacturer has demonstrated enough evidence to support the product’s safety and effectiveness.

The ADA state that children under the age of 6 years should not use mouthwash.

6. Get regular dental checkups

Dental checkups typically include a professional cleaning of the mouth. Professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar from the teeth. Professional cleaning can also help eliminate the plaque that a person may have missed when brushing their teeth.

With regular visits, a dentist can help identify the early signs of gum disease and gingivitis, a condition in which the gums become inflamed. Early detection can help prevent more severe problems from occurring.

7. Stop smoking

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking makes a person more susceptible to gum disease because it weakens the immune system.

The CDC recommend quitting smoking immediately to help reduce the risk of developing gum disease. The use of other tobacco products can also increase a person’s risk.

Diet tips

What a person eats can directly affect the health of their teeth and gums. Different foods can have a positive or negative impact on gum health.

Some of the foods that people should incorporate into their diet include:

  • high-fiber fruits and vegetables, as these can help clean out the mouth
  • black and green teas, which help reduce bacteria
  • dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, as these foods help increase saliva production
  • foods that contain fluoride, which include water and some poultry and seafood products
  • sugar-free gum, as chewing it will increase saliva production

It is best to avoid the following foods and beverages:

  • carbonated soft drinks that contain phosphoric and citric acids as well as sugar
  • alcohol, as it can dry out the mouth
  • sticky candies and sweets that stay in the mouth for a while
  • starchy foods that can become stuck in the teeth

 

Signs and symptoms of unhealthy gums

People should be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum disease. Most gum disease starts with mild symptoms, but it can progress over time.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. People with gingivitis may have red, swollen gums that bleed easily. They may also have chronic bad breath.

Most people with gingivitis do not experience any pain or tooth loosening. A person can treat and reverse gingivitis with good oral hygiene and dental care.

Over time, untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs when plaque and tartar spread below the gumline.

The bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums and trigger an inflammatory response, causing the body to destroy the tissues and bone that support the teeth

As periodontitis progresses, this damage worsens, leading to deepening pockets of space between the teeth and the connective tissues.

Periodontitis does not always cause symptoms initially. However, people may notice the following symptoms as the disease progresses:

  • receding gums, which can make the teeth appear longer
  • loose teeth
  • pus between the teeth or at the gumline
  • chronic bad breath
  • bleeding gums
  • red, puffy gums

Risk factors to avoid

Several risk factors can increase a person’s chances of getting gum disease. Some of these, such as aging, a person cannot control or avoid.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, the following are some of the most common risk factors for developing gum disease:

Some diseases that affect the body’s inflammatory system can also increase the risk of gum disease. These diseases include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

When to see a dentist

A person should see their dentist if they experience bleeding or pain in their gums that lasts for longer than a week. Swollen and red gums that bleed easily are a symptom of gum disease.

Some other signs and symptoms to look for include:

  • gums that pull back from the teeth
  • gums that bleed easily
  • swollen, red gums
  • sensitive teeth
  • teeth that feel loose in the mouth
  • pain while chewing
  • dentures no longer fitting correctly

 

Summary

Gum disease can lead to tooth loss. However, most people can prevent gum disease by adopting proper oral hygiene practices.

Steps to take include brushing the teeth regularly with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and taking care when rinsing out the mouth. ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste is available to purchase online.

Simple at-home oral care and dental checkups can help prevent and reverse gum disease. If a person begins to show any of the signs of gum disease, such as pain in the gums that lasts for longer than a week, they should see their dentist.

 

Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323534.php