All posts by strongroots

What is Bruxism? (Teeth Grinding)

Bruxism is the technical term for grinding and clenching of the teeth that may cause facial pain. People who grind and clench their teeth, called bruxers, unintentionally bite down too hard at inappropriate times, such as in their sleep. In addition to grinding teeth, bruxers also may bite their fingernails, pencils and chew the inside of their cheek. People usually aren’t diagnosed with bruxism until it is too late, as many people don’t realize they have the habit. Others mistakenly believe that their teeth must touch at all times. About one in three people suffer from bruxism, which can easily be treated by a dentist.

 

via Know Your Teeth – Infobites – What is Bruxism? — Search By Keyword, Letter or Phrase – 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327).

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Overcoming Fear of the Dentist: Causes and Treatments

“Few people look forward to a spell in the dentist’s chair. But serious anxiety prevents millions of Americans from seeking proper preventative care. The consequences of this problem may go far beyond dental pain or lost teeth. Gum disease is a serious infection that can affect other parts of the body. Studies now link it to illnesses including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Fortunately, many dentists are specially trained in handling fearful patients; a variety of methods and treatments are available to reduce pain and alleviate fear in the dentist’s chair.”

via Overcoming Fear of the Dentist: Causes and Treatments.

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Women urged to maintain periodontal health during pregnancy

Women urged to maintain periodontal health during pregnancy

“When a woman becomes pregnant, she knows it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure both the health of herself and the health of her baby. New clinical recommendations from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and the Eurpean Federation of Periodontology (EFP) urge pregnant women to maintain periodontal health as well. Research has indicated that women with periodontal disease may be at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such giving birth to a pre-term or low-birth weight baby, reports the AAP and EFP.

Periodontal disease is a chronic, bacteria-induced, inflammatory condition that attacks the gum tissue and in more severe cases, the bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can lead to tooth loss and has been associated with other systemic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“Tenderness, redness, or swollen gums are a few indications of periodontonal disease,” warns Dr. Nancy L. Newhouse, DDS, MS, President of the AAP and a practicing periodontist in Independence, Missouri. “Other symptoms include gums that bleed with toothbrushing or eating, gums that are pulling away from the teeth, bad breath, and loose teeth. These signs, especially during pregnancy, should not be ignored and may require treatment from a dental professional.”

via Women urged to maintain periodontal health during pregnancy.

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Diabetes & Dental Tips

“If you have diabetes, make sure you take care of your mouth. People with diabetes are at risk for mouth infections, especially periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease can damage the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place and may lead to painful chewing problems. Some people with serious gum disease lose their teeth. Periodontal disease may also make it hard to control your blood glucose (blood sugar).

Other problems diabetes can cause are dry mouth and a fungal infection called thrush. Dry mouth happens when you do not have enough saliva—the fluid that keeps your mouth wet. Diabetes may also cause the glucose level in your saliva to increase. Together, these problems may lead to thrush, which causes painful white patches in your mouth.

If your diabetes is not under control, you are more likely to develop problems in your mouth. The good news is you can keep your teeth and gums healthy. By controlling your blood glucose, brushing and flossing every day, and visiting a dentist regularly, you can help prevent serious problems in your mouth.”

via Diabetes: Dental Tips.

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Dental Tips for a Younger Smile and Appearance

Dental Tips for a Younger Smile and Appearance

Your mouth is more than just a pretty smile. It’s also a gateway to your overall health. Keeping that gateway clean may keep you healthier longer — and looking younger.

“Just as white, straight teeth convey youth, a smile with crooked, discolored, worn, or missing teeth is associated with an aged look,” says Edmond Hewlett, DDS, professor of restorative dentistry at UCLA’s School of Dentistry. “The adage ‘long in the tooth,’ used to describe older persons, reflects the fact that gum disease causes gums to recede and teeth to appear longer as a result.”

Keeping a youthful mouth comes down to two simple, proven, and practical steps:

  • Brush and floss daily
  • See your dentist every six months

“Taking the time to brush and floss is what’s needed,” says Anthony M. Iacopino, DMD, PhD, dean of the dentistry faculty at Canada’s University of Manitoba, professor of restorative dentistry, and an American Dental Association spokesman. “Brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist is so easy to do, it’s not expensive, and everyone should be doing it.”

What’s Stopping You?

“Folks don’t take [oral health] seriously,” says Samuel Low, DDS, MS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology and professor emeritus of periodontology at the University of Florida.

“They take their looks seriously and the smile is a priority, but people don’t think about their gums. Brushing takes time, and flossing is one of the most difficult habits. Only 25% of people floss and I don’t think people see the benefits,” says Low, who estimates that it takes two to three minutes per day to floss properly, but “these days, people are crunched for time.” Low is a stockholder in Florida Probe Corporation, a dental technology company.

Looks aside, there’s another reason to make time for dental care. If you don’t, it could affect your health.

Inflammation, Periodontal Disease

Inflammation can happen when bacteria and debris, such as bits of food, enter the blood vessels around the teeth. Inflammation is your body’s response to such invaders. And if it happens over and over again, you could wind up with long-term (chronic) inflammation.

“The mouth is one of the major contributors to high levels of inflammation in the body,” says Iacopino, who has consulted for Colgate and Johnson & Johnson.

Chronic inflammation is linked to chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s not clear if the inflammation causes those diseases or is a marker of some other cause. But either way, it’s not a good sign.

Then there’s periodontal disease, which affects 80% of Americans. It’s caused by extensive bacterial buildup along the gums and teeth. Periodontal disease is the top cause of tooth loss.

Bacterial buildup, inflammation, tooth decay, and periodontal disease happen quietly and slowly. That’s why so many people don’t know it’s happening.

When done consistently and correctly, brushing and flossing reduce bacteria or plaque buildup. That helps prevent inflammation and gum disease.

via Dental Tips for a Younger Smile and Appearance.

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Be Prepared for your Child to be Difficult

Prepare for Some Fussing

“It is normal and age-appropriate for a young child to cry, whine, wiggle, and not want to be examined by a stranger,” Dr. Haugseth points out. “Stay calm and remember that the dentist and her staff are used to working with children and have seen their share of tantrums.” Let the dental care professionals guide you; they might ask you to stay at a distance or to hold your little one’s hand, which will provide comfort and prevent him from grabbing any dental instruments.”

via 8 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists.

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Do Not Bring Your Kids With You To The Dentist

“Do Not Try to Relate”

Some parents take their children with them to their own dentist appointment, but experts say this is a mistake. Parents themselves might feel anxious about the visit without even realizing it, and their child might sense those fears. Telling “war stories” about extractions, root canals, or other negative experiences will also trigger anxiety, especially because your child may not even have those procedures. Taking your child to a sterile, adult office also gives the wrong impression, whereas most pediatric dentists make their offices kid-friendly — some have video games, pleasing pictures on the walls, and movies or TV shows kids enjoy.”

via 8 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists.

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How To: Kids Pretend Visit

Consider a Pretend Visit

Before the first dentist appointment, play pretend with your child to be the dentist and the patient, Dr. Berg says. All you’ll need is a toothbrush. Count your little one’s teeth by starting with the number 1 or the letter A. Avoid making drilling noises or lining up other “instruments.” You can even hold up a mirror and show her how the dentist might look at and check her teeth. Then let your child role-play by using a toothbrush to clean the teeth of a stuffed animal or doll. The key is getting her familiar with the routine so that she’s more comfortable for the real visit.

Picture books with detailed illustrations and easy-to-understand language can also help children get a sense of what to expect. Read Spongebob Squarepants’ Behold No Cavities! A Visit to the Dentist or Dora the Explorer’s Show Me Your Smile!: A Visit to the Dentist.

via 8 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists.

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Watch Your Words: Kids + Dentists

How to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists: Watch Your Words

“Don’t use the ‘S’ (shot),’H’ (hurt) or ‘P’ (pain) words with children. Let the staff introduce their own vocabulary to children to help them get through difficult situations,” Dr. Berg suggests. Instead, tell your child that the dentist is looking for “sugar bugs” so he can clean them off their teeth. “My favorite thing to have parents tell their child is that we are going to check their smile and count their teeth — that’s it, nothing else,” says Michael J. Hanna, D.M.D., a pediatric dentist in McKee Rocks, Pennsylvania, and a national spokesperson of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Use positive phrases like “clean, strong, healthy teeth” to make the visit seem fun and good rather than scary and alarming.

via 8 Tips to Help Kids Overcome Fear of Dentists.

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