Posts

How orthodontic treatment could help you

Orthodontic treatment is the process of straightening out crooked and crowded teeth, often using appliances such as braces. Most dentists are trained to treat some minor orthodontic problems but, if they feel a patient needs specialist treatment, they will provide a referral to an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. One of the main aims of orthodontics is to straighten teeth and correct jaw alignment through braces, corrective procedures and other “appliances”. Braces are the most common appliance and there are two types: – Fixed, which are worn all the time and can only be removed by the dentist
– Removable, which the patient can take out of the mouth Most patients wear braces for between one and three years, depending on what conditions need correcting. This is followed by a period of wearing a “retainer” that holds teeth in their new positions. There may be a little discomfort du…

What will it be like living with dentures?

People who are new to wearing dentures naturally have many questions about how their life will change. New dentures may feel awkward for a few weeks until you become accustomed to them. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. During this time, it’s not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth becomes accustomed to the dentures, these problems should diminish. Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that little change in appearance will be noticeable. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile and help fill out the appearance of your face and profile. Eating will take a little practice. Start with soft foods cut into small pieces. Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth at the same time to prevent the dentures from tipping. As you become accustomed to chewing, add other foods until you return to your normal diet. Cont…

How the food you eat can cause tooth decay

When you put food in your mouth, it immediately meets the bacteria that live there. Plaque, for example, is a sticky film of bacteria. These bacteria love the sugars found in many foods. So, when you don’t clean your teeth after eating, the bacteria and the sugar can combine to produce acids which can destroy the enamel – the hard surface of the tooth. In time, this can lead to tooth decay. The more often you eat and the longer foods are in your mouth, the more damage occurs. Many foods that are nutritious and important in our diet contain sugars – such as fruits, milk, bread, cereals and even vegetables. So the key is not to try and avoid sugar but to think before you eat. When you eat is also important because each time you eat food that contains sugars, the teeth are attacked by acids for 20 minutes or more. This means that foods that are eaten as part of a meal cause less harm. More saliva is released during a meal, helping to wash foods from the mouth and reduce the effects of a…

Is bottled or tap water better for your teeth?

With many people concerned about the taste and purity of tap water, the sales of bottled water have increased significantly in recent years. Tap water goes through a process of purification designed to eliminate suspended materials, remove tastes and odors and kill microorganisms. Fluoride is added to most tap water supplies with the aim of reducing cavities. Fluoride becomes incorporated into our teeth as they develop and makes them more resistant to decay. It can reverse the progress of early cavities and reduce the need for dental treatment. Mass water fluoridation has played an important role in reducing tooth decay. The problem with bottled waters is that they usually don’t contain fluoride. So there is a risk that drinking bottled water can increase the risk of cavities for some people. If you drink a lot of bottled water, you can make up for this by using fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse. Your dentist may even suggest a fluoride supplement if they notice an increase in cavi…

The difference between canker sores and cold sores

Although canker sores are often confused with cold sores, there is a difference. Canker sores occur inside the mouth, and cold sores usually occur outside the mouth. Canker sores are small ulcers with a white or gray base and a red border. There can be one or more sores in the mouth. They are very common and often recur. They usually heal in a week or two and rinsing with antimicrobial mouthrinses may help reduce the irritation. Cold sores – also called fever blisters – are composed of groups of painful, fluid-filled blisters that often erupt around the lips and sometimes under the nose or chin. Cold sores are usually caused by herpes virus type I and are very contagious. They usually heal in about a week. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics can provide temporary relief and prescription antiviral drugs may reduce these kinds of viral infections.

How Osteoporosis medications can affect your dental health

Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones and increases the risk of fractures. It affects about 10 million Americans – of whom 8 million are women – and another 34 million are at risk of developing it. So this is a disease that affects more women than cancer, heart disease and stroke combined. But what does it have to do with your dental care? Well, many people in these categories are treated with a group of prescription drugs called oral bisphosphonates. Studies have reported that these drugs reduce bone loss, increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. But some people have been alarmed and confused by recent news reports about oral bisphosphonates because of uncommon complications that have been linked to these drugs. The drugs have been associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ), a rare but potentially serious condition that can cause severe destruction of the jawbone. The true risk posed by oral bisphosphonates remains uncertain, but researchers seem to agree t…

What dentists are doing to improve services for older adults

As people are living longer and enjoying good health for many years, dentists are increasingly offering improved services to recognize the special needs of older adults. This growing segment of the population is wearing fewer dentures and they are keeping their natural teeth longer. They are also concerned to maintain good health and a great smile for many years. However, patients in this group sometimes require special consideration because reduced mobility and dexterity may make daily oral hygiene difficult. And certain medical conditions and impairment may make them more anxious when visiting the dentist. For example, problems with vision or hearing loss may cause worry. Always let the dentist and staff know if you have any concerns so that they can adjust their treatment and their pace to meet your needs. Older patients can sometimes put up with problems such as toothaches, bleeding gums and clicking dentures because they are not aware of the wide range of treatments and techniqu…