Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life that brings about many changes to your body. Your oral health is affected as well. There are specific things to keep in mind during pregnancy related to your teeth, gums, and caring for them. Let’s talk about the things you should be thinking about for your mouth while expecting a baby.
Tell your dentist about any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you’re taking, so that it’ll be easier to prescribe any drugs needed for you during dental treatment. Your dentist may also want to consult your doctor to discuss safe painkiller or antibiotic options for you during pregnancy.
If you have a dental emergency or a problem that needs diagnosis, an X-ray may be required. Radiation exposure from dental X-rays is very low, but your dentist will cover you with a leaded apron to protect your abdomen. A leaded thyroid collar will also be used to protect your thyroid from radiation.
It’s not uncommon for some women to develop pregnancy gingivitis, which is a gum problem that occurs during the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy. This condition is an inflammation of the gums that causes tenderness, swelling, and usually some bleeding during dental hygiene tasks. Your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings during pregnancy to prevent gingivitis, because left untreated it can advance to more serious gum disease.
Some pregnant women experience overgrowths of tissue called pregnancy tumors, which appear on the gums mostly during the second trimester. They are not cancerous and are usually located between your teeth. Dentists believe they are related to having too much plaque. Pregnancy tumors bleed easily and appear red and raw. Usually they go away after the baby’s birth, but some women prefer to have them removed before then. Discuss options with your dentist to see what’s best for you.
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According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, an estimated 9 million Canadians have diabetes or prediabetes. A chronic medical condition, diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t process sugar correctly. With Type 1 Diabetes, you produce no insulin at all. Type 2 diabetics don’t manufacture enough insulin or the insulin does not work properly. If you have diabetes, it impacts your whole body, including your mouth. Understanding common issues and taking a proactive approach will help you protect your oral health.
Does diabetes increase my risk for gum diseases?
Because diabetes weakens your germ-fighting abilities, you are more likely to have a higher concentration of the bacteria that cause gum disease in your mouth. High blood glucose levels can result in more severe levels of gum disease.
What other dental issues do diabetics face?
Although gum disease is the biggest oral health concern you may struggle with, diabetics should also watch out for increased chances of oral infections, thrush, dry mouth, and poor healing.
Should I tell my dentist about my diabetes?
Having diabetes changes your oral health needs. If your provider isn’t aware of the issue, he or she won’t be able to offer you the most thorough level of care. Make sure to update your dentist about any changes in your health during your regular visit.
How can I prevent problems in my mouth?
The biggest step you can take is controlling blood sugar and managing your diabetes. As well, you need to develop good home habits that include frequent brushing and flossing. Scheduling routine checkups will also help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
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Caused by bacteria in plaque, gum disease can lead to pain, inflammation, and tooth loss. Though gum disease can occur at any age, it is most commonly seen in adults. Conservative estimates suggest that 80 percent of adults in this country have some level of gum disease, but many don’t realize they have a problem.
Left untreated, gum disease can damage your oral health and impact overall wellness. Various studies have linked gum disease to larger health concerns like increased risk of stroke, osteoporosis, and low-birth weight babies. Often, gum disease begins with mild symptoms, so it may be easy to miss. To protect your mouth, it helps to understand the progression of gum disease.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
Initially, gum disease presents as inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up and the toxins released irritate the gum tissue. With this early stage, gum disease can successfully be reversed because the bone and supporting tissue are still in good shape.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
When gum disease reaches this level, pockets begin to form below your gum line, which causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth. By this point, the bone and supporting tissue have sustained permanent damage, but periodontal therapy can restore your oral health and halt further progression.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
If gum disease continues to the state of advanced periodontitis, the supporting structures in your mouth are in dire condition. Without intense therapy, you risk permanent tooth loss.
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This time of year, people scurry from store to store trying to find the right present for loved ones. From latest electronics to the hottest toys, retailers bring in the money as Americans spend spend spend…While it’s great to celebrate the season by showing your friends and family how much you care, consider investing in yourself as well. Why not renew and update your smile?
One of the first things people notice about you is your smile. A vibrant appearance conveys grace and confidence. With modern cosmetic dentistry, you can correct damage, transform your appearance, and look years younger. Consider discussing the following dental options with your dentist:
Cosmetic Bonding – For small chips or gaps between teeth, cosmetic bonding can improve your smile. Blended to match your natural teeth, the composite resin materials will eliminate imperfections to reveal a fantastic appearance.
Porcelain Veneers – Customized to fit your facial features skin tone, and coloring, porcelain veneers can close gaps, cover stains, and create a uniform appearance. Porcelain veneers look natural and are incredibly durable, creating lasting beauty.
Teeth Whitening – With in-office or at-home teeth whitening, you can remove discolorations and brighten your smile up to 10 shades. In-office whitening generates immediate results, while at-home options allow you to whiten at your leisure.
Gum Reshaping – If your teeth look small in relation to your gums, you may have a “gummy” smile. By changing the shape of gums and the gum line, your dentist can produce a more even look.
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Many people believe that dental fillings last for a lifetime. You might be lucky enough to have them last up to 20 years or so, but most fillings don’t make it that long. Materials that are used to create fillings just don’t last forever. There are several factors that impact the durability of fillings.
Type of material
Most dental fillings are either made from amalgam or composite resin:
- Amalgam is the silver metal kind of fillings that have been around a long time. It is held in place in your tooth by cuts made in your tooth structure that the dentist makes in addition to taking out the decayed part of your tooth. Because of the loss of tooth structure involved with amalgam fillings, your tooth can be weakened. Amalgam fillings usually last 10 to 12 years. If there are signs that the filling is leaking, more decay is present, or the tooth is weak, your dentist will suggest replacing the filling.
- Also known as white fillings, those made from composite resin are bonded to your tooth. During the bonding process, contamination from saliva or blood can occur. Any type of moisture in the bond can weaken its hold. Composite resin wears down faster than amalgam, and the lifespan is usually 5 to 7 years.
The filling’s location is relevant because some areas involve more chewing force than others. For example, molars do more chewing than bicuspids. As more pressure is placed on a tooth containing a filling, the more likely breakage and wear will result.
The more of the natural tooth that is removed due to decay or breaking, the more filling material is necessary to repair it. Typically, larger fillings are more susceptible to leaking and breaking in the future.
Habits like teeth grinding and nail biting affect the durability of fillings. Oral habits that cause teeth to wear faster can damage your fillings. Your diet may also affect your fillings, because sweets can increase tooth decay and stain-causing foods can cause discoloration.
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It’s hard to avoid embarrassing breath odor when you wake up in the morning. The good news is that it’s not just you; morning breath happens to just about everyone out there. Maybe understanding why it occurs and learning some tips to combat it will help you at least cut down on the severity of your breath odor in the mornings.
What it is
The main reason your breath has a strong smell after a night of sleep is that your mouth becomes dry overnight. Odor-causing bacteria thrive in a mouth that lacks saliva, which normally decreases during sleep. Bacteria grow in your mouth while you sleep, and morning breath results.
Why it happens
There are a number of reasons that your breath is worse in the mornings than any other time of day:
- Mouth breathing – your mouth becomes dry when your mouth is left open for extended time periods.
- Snoring – your mouth is often ajar while snoring, allowing it to dry out.
- Medications – certain drugs contribute to dry mouth, which gets even worse overnight. Senior adults are more likely to be on medications that commonly cause dry mouth, so this is especially a problem for that age group.
- Smoking – saliva in your mouth dissipates when your mouth temperature is increased due to smoking.
- Allergies – allergy sufferers tend to have mucous draining down their throats, creating a food source for bacteria.
What you can do about it
Although you probably can’t completely avoid morning breath, there are some ways to lessen it. Good oral hygiene makes a difference. This includes brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, and always right before bed. Make sure to brush all your teeth, gums, and tongue. Avoid eating or drinking anything after your final brushing of the day. Another important element of oral care is flossing daily to remove food particles between your teeth and under your gums. You may also consider rinsing with an anti-bacterial mouthwash to get rid of germs that cause breath odor.