Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wisdom Teeth – Pain, Removal, Recovery And Cost

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, often called third molars, are the teeth at the very back of your mouth that grow at around the age of 18 to 25. They commonly cause problems as our jaws are smaller than they were hundreds of years ago and often there is not enough space in our mouth to accommodate them. They have become useless just as our appendix has and often need to be removed if they develop problems.
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth are third molar teeth that do not fully come through the gum into their correct position in the mouth.  This may be because the tooth is growing sideways and hitting the tooth in front or because there is not enough space for it to come through.
Wisdom Teeth Pain

Pain from wisdom teeth can vary from just a mild discomfort to a severe infection.  The pain is caused as the teeth are coming through the gums which can take a number of months, like when a baby is teething.  When the wisdom teeth are only part way through the gum this can trap food and bacteria making the area very difficult to clean causing inflammation and pain.  Your dentist can clean the area for you and prescribe antibiotics and a mouthwash for you to use. However, if the problem is recurrent you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed. As your wisdom teeth are coming through you may also experience pain when opening your mouth which is an indication you need to have them removed. Being so far back in your mouth it is very hard to clean your wisdom teeth and keep them healthy which may lead to them developing cavities.  It can be difficult for your dentist to place a filling so far back in your mouth, so they may recommend that you get the tooth removed.
Wisdom Teeth Removal

A dentist can remove your wisdom teeth or if they are difficult to extract you will be referred to a specialist called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Before you can have them removed you need to have an x-ray so the dentist can see the shape of the roots, the angle of the teeth and whether they are near any facial nerves. You can have the surgery with local anesthetic while you are awake or you have the option to have it done with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon where they will give you a general anesthetic so you are asleep.
Recovery Following Removal Of Wisdom Teeth
Recovery after having your wisdom teeth removed can take up to one week. The length of recovery depends on how difficult the teeth were to remove. There may swelling and discomfort following the extraction which will restrict you to only eating soft food. Ibuprofen can help with the pain and swelling and applying ice packs to your cheeks will also minimize any swelling. You may have the taste of blood in your mouth for a few days after the extraction. If it’s only a small amount which makes your saliva pink it is nothing to worry about, but if it’s more severe then contact your dentist for advice.
For the week after the removal of your wisdom teeth your dentist will ask you to use a mouthwash to keep the area clean and may put you on antibiotics as well. If you had stitches placed during surgery you may need to go back to have them removed. Often they put dissolvable stitches in which fall out naturally. In about 5% of cases people can develop a dry socket, this is more common in lower wisdom teeth. Avoid smoking, drinking and strenuous activities during the recovery period.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Cost
The cost of having your wisdom teeth removed can vary greatly depending on how difficult the extraction is and whether it is with an oral surgeon. Having them removed by a specialist is also significantly more expensive than having them done by your dentist. If you have your wisdom teeth removed with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon there will be additional fees.

A Family Dental Care Center

2030 West Main St.

Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why Sports Drink Put Your Teeth at Risk

Advertisements for sports drinks make it seem that you really need it to power yourself up during and after your workout sessions, but what they’re not telling you is that sports drinks may cause your teeth to degenerate and weaken over time.

Disadvantages of Sports Drinks
Sports drinks may be filled with energy-boosting carbohydrates and electrolytes, but what commercials neglect to tell you is that the they contain the high amounts of sugar. The complex blend found in sports drinks are actually a medley of teeth-destroying ingredients, due to acidity and high sugar levels.
Drinking sports drinks several times a day is just like eating candy – if you are not careful, it can lead to tooth enamel damage, making you more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Researches done by the Academy of General Dentistry found out that the acidity of sports drinks is destroy the teeth after five days of consistent use.
Damage Caused by Sports Drinks
While we’re taught that sugar is one of the main reasons of tooth degeneration, it is actually the acid in the drinks that causes its potency. Acid is the main ingredient that breaks down your tooth’s enamel, which in turn makes them highly sensitive to touch and temperature changes.
A research done by Mark Wolff, chairman of the department of cardiology and comprehensive care in New York University College of Dentistry, and his colleagues found out that submerging cow’s teeth in top-selling sports drink for at least ninety minutes causes damage to the strength of the teeth. Sports beverages are more damaging than ordinary sweet drinks, not only to the teeth’s enamel, but also to the dental tissue found under the enamel called dentin. The research found that the top-selling sports drinks caused the dentin to soften, plus other sports drinks caused the teeth to stain.
What If You Brush Your Teeth?
While it may be the best option – grabbing your toothbrush and scrubbing the sports drinks off your teeth in order to prevent the negative effects – brushing your teeth directly afterwards may even further destroy your teeth. Since the enamel of your tooth softens after you drink a sports drink, your teeth are still highly sensitive to the harsh ingredients of some toothpastes. Let your saliva do the cleansing – it can effectively fend off the acidity of sports drinks and re-mineralize your teeth.
If you must drink sports drinks – use straw so that your teeth is not as exposed to the drink and drink plenty of water before and after. It also helps to consume your sports drink in one go, rather than drinking it slowly over a long duration of time.

A Family Dental Care Center
2030 West Main St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

How Diabetes Affects Gum Disease

Gum disease is a rather lesser known health problem associated with patients who suffer from diabetes. In fact, it is considered as the “sixth complication of diabetes.” It is so common though, that one out of three diabetic patients suffer from it at some point in their life.
Poorly managed diabetes can lead to gum disease, not just in adults but in children, too. The condition causes a restriction of blood flow, weakening the gums and leaving it prone to infection. Aside from that, patients with unmanaged diabetes have higher levels of glucose in their mouth. This turns the mouth into a breeding ground for disease causing bacteria.
How To Tell If You Have Gum Disease
The symptoms of gum disease as a result of diabetes can manifest itself in many ways. These signs can appear by themselves or in groups, and can include the following:

  • Pain in the jaw, face and mouth that does not improve even with regular dental care
  • Pain when chewing
  • Odd taste in the mouth
  • Holes and dark spots in your teeth
  • Loose teeth and receding gums
  • Sores and ulcers that do not heal

While these symptoms are telltale signs of gum disease, it is still recommended to consult a dental health expert to get a more accurate diagnosis. Gum disease varies depending on the level of the condition. It often starts off as gingivitis, which is the mildest condition and is characterized by red, tender and swollen gums which easily bleed even after flossing and brushing. Gingivitis can be forestalled by regular dental visits and a proper home health care program.
When gingivitis is untreated, it can lead to mild periodontitis. At this stage, the bone around the teeth starts to erode, requiring prompt medical attention from your dentist. When left untreated, mild periodontitis becomes severe and is characterized by significant tissue loss around the teeth and eventually, teeth loss.
Apart from gum disease, diabetes can also cause dry mouth, which leads to soreness, tooth decay and infections.
Taking Control
If you suffer from gum disease caused by diabetes, it is important to take control of both problems, because having one or the other can lead to a vicious cycle. If either of the conditions is left uncontrolled, they can directly affect and worsen one another. If this continues, it increases the chances of complications from either of the diseases.
Like most people, you may not be informed about the connection between gum disease and diabetes, so it is important to have yourself diagnosed for both. You may choose to include blood glucose tests in conjunction with your regular dental examination. For concerns and questions regarding either condition, feel free to set an appointment with your family dentist and health care provider.

A Family Dental Care Center
2030 West Main St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Women and Dental Health

A woman’s oral health needs are unique, and they change over time. Brushing, flossing and regularly visiting your dentist are important in keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. However, there are times in your life that you need to take extra care of yourself and visit your dentist more than usual. This is especially when your body goes through changes such as pregnancy, menstruation, puberty and menopause.

When There Are Changes In The Body
During puberty, hormones will start to fluctuate, making gums susceptible to gingivitis. This causes the gums to swell, become red and tender and bleed easily. The same thing happens during menstruation. During this time, women are also more prone to developing cold sores and canker sores, which can be painful and disturbing.

Gingivitis also develops during pregnancy, and in fact is something very common among many pregnant women. Hormonal changes during this time changes the way the body responds to plaque, thereby exaggerating the way the body responds to it. The plaque irritates the gums, causing tenderness, sensitivity and bleeding. Hormones also cause changes in the composition of saliva, reducing its capacity to fight bacteria. Some women experience dry mouths, too, which make the mouth more prone to cavity formation.
The menopausal stage also brings about quite a number of oral conditions such as dry mouth, a change in taste perception and regular burning sensations.

Other Health Conditions
There are also some health conditions that are generally associated with women, and these include osteoporosis and eating disorders.
Almost 90% of all eating disorder sufferers are female. One side effect of most eating disorders is the development of dental health problems. Eating disorders can cause malnutrition, which can affect the health of the gums and soft tissue inside the mouth. Chronic dry mouth can cause problems. Throwing up frequently exposes the teeth to acids which damages the enamel and causes breakage and damage.
Women are also four times more likely to develop osteoporosis, which causes bone loss in many areas of the body, including the jaw. Research shows that this occurrence may lead to tooth loss because the density of the structure supporting the teeth is decreased. Combined with gum disease, osteoporosis speeds up tooth loss.
Given these possible risks, it is really important to visit your dentist regularly so that he or she can also address oral health problems brought about by changes you experience in your body.

A Family Dental Care Center
2030 West Main St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Eat Healthy To Keep Your Teeth Healthy

What you eat can directly affect your oral health, and your food choices can spell the difference between strong, healthy teeth or a mouth that’s full of cavities.
While dental procedures and professional care can cure many teeth problems, it’s better and cheaper to avoid them in the first place by proper oral health habits and eating right. Here’s a quick list of the best foods for your gums and teeth, and why they are so:
Chicken, Meat, Cheese and Milk
These foods are bundled together as one in the list because they provide similar nutrients that are helpful for teeth health. They provide phosphorus and calcium which are important for the remineralization of teeth. Remineralization is a natural process that involves the depositing of minerals into tooth enamel after they are removed by acids.
Fruits and Vegetables
The best choices when it comes to fruits and vegetables are crunchy and firm ones. Think apples, pears, and celeries. These choices have high water content, which dilutes the effects of fructose (fruit sugars) and stimulate the production and flow of saliva. Saliva washes away food particles and buffers mouth acids, and protecting the teeth against decay.
Other great choices are fruits rich in Vitamin C, which is known to strengthen blood vessels and connective tissues in your jaw. Vitamin C also reduces inflammation, which can help with cases of gingivitis. Citrus fruits are a rich source of this nutrient, but they are highly acidic and should be taken in moderation. You can get lots of vitamin C from other fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, cantaloupe, kiwis, and pineapples.
Fatty Fish
Fatty fish like wild salmon, tuna and mackerel are rich in Vitamin D, which is critical for oral health. Vitamin D allows the body to absorb calcium. Vitamin D from wild fish makes it easier for your bones (and teeth!) to absorb calcium from the other foods that you are eating.
Green Tea
Green tea contains phenols known as catechins, which are antioxidants that control bacterial infection and fight inflammation. Regular intake of green tea can reduce the occurrence of periodontal disease and lower the risk of teeth loss, especially for older individuals.
Onions and Garlic
Most of us avoid onions and garlic for the fear of having bad breath, but eating them raw can actually be good for the oral cavity. Raw onions and garlic have antimicrobial compounds that kill cavity causing bacteria inside the mouth. If you really can’t stomach either of them raw, then you can have them cooked, as cooked onions and garlic is better than none at all.
Sugar Substitutes
Sugars from the food we eat feed bacteria found inside our mouth, increasing the risk for developing tooth decay. Sugar substitutes taste like sugar but are not digested the same way, and are better for the mouth. Some substitutes include aspartame, saccharin, sucralose and sorbitol among others.
Your Best Drinks
When it comes to drinking to your oral health, your best bet is always water. Milk and unsweetened tea are also good choices. Limit your consumption of sugary drinks as much as you can, and avoid sipping on sugary juices and sodas throughout the day, as it exposes your teeth to cavity causing sugars.

What About Bad Food?
Given this list of foods that are bad for the teeth, then it’s helpful to have a list of what to avoid. Instead of going through a very extensive list, here’s something you may want to remember – anything starchy or sugary feeds the bacteria that causes problems in your oral cavity. When these starches and sugars come into contact with plaque, they produce acids that attack your teeth right after you eat. Repeated attacks can cause enamel breakage, which leads to tooth decay. Foods high in acids are also bad choices because they damage the enamel.
It can be difficult to avoid these foods entirely, but it helps to eat them in moderation, or as part of a bigger meal. Of course, it’s important to follow up with proper oral care activities such as flossing, brushing, use of mouth wash and regular visits to your dentist.

A Family Dental Care Center
2030 W. Main St.
Jeffersonville, PA 19403