Your oral and dental health may be more important that you think. Let’s take a look at how the overall health of your mouth, teeth and gums can impact your general health.
Your oral health can provide clues to your overall general health. Sometimes, conditions which occur in the mouth can also affect the rest of your body. Bacteria live in your mouth just as they do in other parts of your body. Most of the time, the bacteria is harmless and under normal circumstances your body’s natural defenses keep the bacteria from causing problems. Daily brushing and flossing can keep these bacteria under control. Unfortunately, if proper home care is neglected the bacteria can reach levels that may lead to infections including decay and gum disease.
Some over-the-counter AND prescription drugs can reduce the amount of saliva your mouth produces. These medicines include decongestants, antihistamines, pain relievers, diuretics and antidepressants. One of the purposes of saliva is washing away food. It also neutralizes acids produced by bacteria. A normal presence of saliva protects you from an overgrowth of bacteria.
Modern medical research correlates a greater occurence of bacteria and inflammation assiciated with periodontitis (several gum disease) with instances of some diseases. Some diseases such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can also lower the body’s resistance to infection and oral health concerns can be greater.
Several major health conditions have also been linked to oral health: Endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart) and other cardiovascular disease may be linked to inflammation and mouth infection. Periodontitis has also been linked to permature birth and low birth weight.
Diabetes can create your gums at risk since this disease lowers resistance to infection. Research indicates that gum disease makes it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Regular perodontal care can improve control of diabetes.
Protecting your oral health is as easy as practicing good oral hygiene every day: Brush your teeth at least 2x per day – use fluoride toothpaste. Floss every day. Pursue a health diet and limit between-meal snacks. Get a new toothbrush every 90 days. Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings. Avoid tobacco use (all forms).
Be sure to share your health concerns with your dentist. Make the dentist aware of medications you are taking and changes in your overall health. Taking care of your teeth and oral health is an investment in your wellbeing.
The dentists at Bearable Dentistry want only the best for you and your oral health. Your dentist has concerns about oral piercing and wants to let you know some of the common risks associated with this popular practice.
Excessive drooling and difficulty speaking. Mouth jewelry can cause excessive saliva production and can affect your ability to pronounce words clearly.
Bad breath. Bacteria breeding around your piercing can cause bad breath.
Damage to teeth and gums. Teeth may be chipped or cracked from contact with the jewelry. Lip and tongue piercings that rub against gums can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, exposing the root.
Infection. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and the site of oral piercings may easily become infected. Food particles that collect around the pierced site are breeding grounds for bacteria.
Allergic reactions. The metal may cause an allergic reaction at the pierced site. You can develop sensitivity to metal even though it has not bothered you in the past.
Swelling. Your tongue – the most popular piercing site in the mouth – could swell large enough to block your airway.
Prolonged bleeding and nerve damage. Piercing can cause uncontrollable bleeding. Some people report temporary or permanent nercedamage after a mouth piercing.
Choking. You can choke on any studs, barbells or hoops that come loose in your mouth.
If you already have a piercing, keep the following tips in mind:
Contact your dentist or physician immediately at any sign of infection.
Keep the piercing site clean by using a mouth rinse after every meal.
Minimize clicking jewelry against teeth.
When taking part in sports, take out the jewelry and use a mouthguard.
Consider removing the jewelry before it causes a problem.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact Bearable Dentistry. We can also check your mouth during your next dental visit if you have concerns.
Dental patients who are undergoing cancer treatment receive a little extra care at Bearable Dentistry. We may get involved with the patient’s cancer care team to gain understanding of proposed therapies, so together we can determine the best oral care plan. Patients who are receiving chemotherapy and head/neck radiation treatment are at a high risk for caries (dental decay). They may need more than an ordinary fluoride toothpaste to help manage this risk. Your Bearable Dentistry dentist may prescribe a special high fluoride toothpaste to help prevent dental decay. The American Dental Association indicated that patients at high-risk for dental decay can benefit from additional sources of fluoride. One option is to substitute a regular fluoride toothpaste with a prescription strength toothpaste containing 5000 ppm fluoride. Bearable Dentistry dental health professionals dispense Clinpro 5000 to patients at high risk of developing dental caries.
*Some content is reprinted in part from an article writen by Jennifer Garvin which appears in the American Dental Association publication on May 7, 2018*
“In continuing efforts to keep prescription opioid pain medications from becoming a source of harm in communities, the ADA is supporting several proposals highlighted in the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018.
The Opioid Crisis Response Act, Senate Bill 2680, is a bipartisan legislation package containing more than 40 proposals from six Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (known as HELP) hearings on the opioid epidemic. The hearings produced testimonies from the National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state governors, expert witnesses and families touched by the crisis. The committee unanimously passed the legislation on April 24, 2018.”
The American Dental Association recently expressed support for mandatory continuing education for opioid prescribers, limits on the number of pills that can be prescribed for initial acute pain and mandatory use of prescription drug monitoring programs.
Your Bearable Dentistry dentists are participating members in the American Dental Association and the Idaho State Dental Association. They support the efforts of these professional associations to keep opioid pain medications use limited to those patients who will benefit from their use and to avoid the damaging effects of opioid misuse in our community. Your Bearable Dentistry oral health professional can help you understand pain management for dental pain.
If you have heart disease, a heart condition even as minor as a murmur, or have recently had heart surgery, it’s important to let your dentist know about your condition before your visit. Taking this extra precaution can be vitally important to safeguarding your health.
Why It’s Important
Even routine dental procedures, such as cleaning, can cause bleeding in the mouth, which then allows oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream and possibly travel to the heart. For a patient with a heart condition this bacteria poses the potentially dangerous risk of endocarditis, or inflammation of the heart valves or tissue. Because of this, for patients with cardiac issues, antibiotics are recommended prior to any dental visit, even routine cleanings.
In general, patients who have suffered a heart attack should wait six months before undergoing any type of dental treatment, and must communicate any medications they are taking, especially any anticoagulants, or blood-thinning drugs. Patients with stable angina (regular chest pain) should consult with their doctors, but those with unstable (irregularly occurring) angina are usually advised not to undergo non-essential dental procedures. Emergency dental care should be performed either in a hospital setting or an office with cardiac monitoring capabilities.
Other things to keep in mind to protect your heart health before visiting the dentist include:
Learn what your dentist can do in the case of medical emergency, and find out if there is oxygen and nitroglycerin available if needed.
Be sure your dentist has your complete medical history, including any relevant bloodwork, and names and contact information for other healthcare providers with whom they may need to consult.
Always be sure to let your dentist know if you have any health concerns before an appointment, and particularly if you might have a heart condition. Your continued good health depends on it!
The Bearable Dentistry dentists want you to have strong, healthy teeth for your entire life. That’s why they recommend preventive care to keep troublesome dental problems away. Modern technology has given dentists the tools to diagnose caries (dental decay), periodontal disease, oral cancer and other problems early. Early detection provides for the most minimally invasive treatment and leads to the best outcome for our patients.
Diagnosing cavities early allows your dentist to perform restorations in a minimally invasive way. They can also perform minimally invasive esthetic procedures like no-prep veneers and diastema closures with composite filling material – less expensively than other cosmetic procedures. Besides spending less time in the dental chair, minimally invasive treatment offers another benefit – cost savings. Identifying dental concerns early on can help you avoid costly procedures. See your Bearable Dentistry dental hygienist and dentist regularly to keep your smile healthy and looking it’s best.
There are a growing number of research studies which indicate that e-cigarettes pose negative health consequences for users. Medical Daily states that when “e-cigarettes first emerged in 2004” they “quickly became popular” as a so-called healthy alternative for individuals who wanted the experience of smoking tobacco without inhaling the toxins associated with traditional cigarettes. Unfortunately, a number of studies have suggested that e-cigarettes create negative health concerns. Dr. Irfan Rahman, professor of Envinronmental Medicine at the University of Rochester, studied how e-cigarettes may affect oral health. “We showed that when the vapors from an e-cigarette are burned, it causes cells to release inflammatory proteins, which in turn aggravate stress within cells, resulting in damage and that could lead to various oral diseases,” he said. Dr. Rahman also co-authored a study which examined the artificial flavoring used in e-cigarettes. That study indicates that the flavors induce tissue damage and have a toxic effect on white blood cells – the worst impact came from cinnamon, vanilla and buttery flavored “e-juices”. The study also noted that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.
Hypodontia and Agenesis terms which refer to the condition of development of adult teeth. Hypodontia refers to a lack of one or more teeth. In medicine, agenesis refers to the failure to develop during embryonic growth and development.
Hypodontia is often familial and can also be associated with genetic disorders. Possible causes are genetic, hormonal, environmental and infectious. It is one of the most common anomalies of the human dentition and is characterized by the developmental absence of one or more teeth. Many studies have reported that the prevalence of congenital absence of permanent teeth varies from 3% to 11% among European and Asian populations.
There are several ways to deal with hypodontia (missing teeth). Dentures, partial dentures, bridges and implants can be used to restore the space(s) left by missing teeth. Closing the space will help keep the remaining teeth from shifting out of place and will preserve the patient’s bite. A correct bite helps ensure jaw alignment and prolongs the life of your teeth.
Ask your Bearable Dentistry professional about ways to improve your bite and preserve your teeth by replacing missing teeth.
Too many people mistakenly believe that they need to see a dentist only if they are in pain or think something is wrong, but they are missing the bigger picture. A dental visit means being examined by a doctor of oral health, capable of diagnosing and treating conditions that can range from routine to extremely complex.
The team approach to dentistry promotes continuity of care that is comprehensive, convenient, cost effective and efficient. Members of the team include dental assistants, lab technicians and dental hygienists. Leading the team is the dentist, a doctor specializing in oral health who has earned either a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree, which are essentially the same.
Dentists’ areas of care include not only their patients’ teeth and gums but also the muscles of the head, neck and jaw, the tongue, salivary glands, the nervous system of the head and neck and other areas. During a comprehensive exam, dentists examine the teeth and gums, but they also look for lumps, swellings, discoloratioins, ulcerations – any abnormality. When appropriate, they perform procedures such as biopsies, diagnostic tests for chronic or infectious diseases, salivary gland function, and screening tests for oral cancer.
In adition, dentists can spot early warning signs in the mouth that may indicate disease elsewhere in the body. Our dentists are trained to recognize situations that warrant referring patients for care by dental specialists or physicians.
The team of oral health care at Bearable Dentisty provides comprehensive care to patients in all stages of development. Dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and our experienced office staff work together as a team to provide our patients with complete care. From that first phone call, the Bearable Dentistry staff will get you the care you need. Your comfort is our first concern.