How Cheese Can Aid in Cavity Prevention

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cheese can aid in cavity preventionIt is well known that dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese offer many benefits to strengthening bones and overall health, but a recent study has found that cheese can be very beneficial toward preventing cavities. Many people know that the oral bacteria which form plaque are the root cause of tooth decay, so how can a food source that is loaded with bacteria offer any benefit to dental health? Keep reading to learn about how cheese and other foods can aid in cavity prevention.

Cavity Prevention with Cheese?

The results of a recent study found that eating cheese causes the body to release more alkaline saliva which has a high pH level. This alkaline saliva helps the body regulate plaque accumulation which leads to tooth decay. The researchers also discovered that cheese leaves a protective coating on teeth when it is chewed which can help block the destructive acids oral bacteria produce resulting in cavity prevention.

Other Foods That Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay

Fibrous foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are all great choices for anyone who wants to follow a healthy diet while also fending off tooth decay. These types of food cause the mouth to salivate which helps regulate dental plaque.

Try eating more of these food types to help improve your oral health and help with cavity prevention while also visiting Harris Dental for routine oral health examinations.

Photo credit: Christian Bauer

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Periodontitis & Peri-Implantitis – What’s the Difference?

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There are some dental problems that are common and affect the majority of people around us. While it can be attributed to bad oral habits, there can be other related reasons as well that could be the cause of dental problems. In addition, there are periodontal problems that are commonly seen.

Periodontitis 101

Periodontitis is the most common form of periodontal disease. Almost 80 percent of the people around us are affected by periodontitis, irrespective of their gender, sex, or age. In common parlance, periodontitis is caused by inflammation and infection of the gums and is manifested by bone loss around the teeth. Over a period of time this takes a serious turn and slowly eats away at the jawbone. This is turn weakens the area around the teeth and loosens them completely, resulting in possible tooth loss. This will increase the possibility of plaque. Dental sockets or loosed areas get infested with plaque. The entire dental zone gets weakened to the point where other infections can start nesting and cause more harm than can be comprehended.

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Types of Periodontitis

There are different kinds of periodontitis. Chronic, aggressive periodontitis, Necrotizing Ulcerative periodontitis, to name a few. Most of these are symptomized by loosened teeth, very sensitive dental zones, swollen and discolored gums, bad breath, and bumps around the gums.

Treatments for Periodontitis

When one is affected by periodontitis it entails deep cleaning. Just brushing and flossing does not help. Scaling and root planing is necessary to remove the plaque and other infections that have set in. It is also necessary to visit your dentist. If the condition is too serious, often bone surgery is recommended.

Peri-Implantitis 101

Peri-Implantitis, on the other hand, is a localized lesion involving bone loss around an implant. It is serious condition. Normally implants are known to last a lifetime. Peri-Implantitis causes premature disintegration and loosens the implants. It comes to a point where the implants have a tendency to come off. The area gets inflamed along with occasional bleeding. The symptoms are similar to that of periodontitis. The treatment procedures are also very similar to that of periodontitis, but more intense and often surgery based. Peri-Implantitis cannot be cured just by good oral hygiene or external treatments, and entails surgical procedures.

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How Sleep Apnea is Linked to Dentistry

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Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders, and it is caused by irregular breathing patterns during the course of one’s night time sleep cycle. Given that the REM stage is the most crucial for physical and mental recovery and that the frequent episodes (some patients experience multiple each night) of sleep apnea interrupt the process; most people suffer from extreme fatigue during their waking hours.

It is worth pointing out that this condition can also be potentially life-threatening, as it restricts precious airflow. Since sleep apnea only occurs at night, a majority of individuals are never aware they even have it. Oftentimes a spouse will be the one to notice the symptoms, but you may want to see your doctor if you are feeling more tired than usual. A simple sleep test will reveal whether you have the disorder, and your doctor will take the appropriate measures to counteract its effects.

How Sleep Apnea and the Dental Field are Connected

Despite being a medical condition caused by a malfunctioning throat tissue, the treatment methods for sleep apnea entail the use of dental devices. Two options are available to treat the disorder, and those are oral appliances (OAs) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Patients who are suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea are generally prescribed OAs, especially if the individual’s condition does not improve with the use of CPAP.

Though simple in design, an OA (a device resembling an oral retainer or mouth guard) can work wonders for people who are diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Why? The custom fit mold works to keep the patient’s tongue and soft tissues responsible for restricting air flow from collapsing during the night. This means there are no interruptions in your sleep cycle and that you are getting adequate amounts of oxygen.

All About OAs

While you can purchase over the counter oral appliances, these are typically not recommended as they are manufactured in only one size; the mold may be loose and not properly prevent the tissues from closing. If you have sleep apnea, the best option is to get a custom-fit device directly from your dentist.

It may cost more up front, but you will know that it is working. Due to the many variables at work, the evaluation process can take some time. It may take a few weeks or months before you can get the appliance, in which case your dentist will prescribe other treatment methods for your sleep apnea.

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Tips for Parents When Bringing Children to the Dentist

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What is it about the dentist’s office that strikes fear into the heart of children? Ok, this may be a stretch, but I certainly remember never wanting to go when I was a kid. Perhaps it was the thought of all those metal trinkets and tools that made me feel uncertain, and not knowing what they would be used for. Though there are some similarities about having to go to the doctor, the experience is a bit different.

Tackling Your Child’s Fear of the Dentist

While getting a shot is no fun, children can better understand the need to visit a medical clinic. They actually feel sick when they go to the doctor, which makes them more apt to get well. It is hard to explain to a child the concept of preventative maintenance that the dentist’s job is to keep their mouth healthy.

As a parent, I fully appreciate and understand the frustration associated with having to convince your son or daughter that they do not need to be afraid of the dentist. Here are some tips to help ease your child’s concerns and get them excited about the experience.

4 Tips for Parents to Make Your Little One Enjoy Visiting the Dentist

  • Bring them in as early as possible
  • The younger your child is when he or she visits the dentist, the less likely they will be to be afraid. They will learn early on that the dentist is there to help them and that the office is not a scary place. It is recommended to take your son or daughter for their visit check-up or wellness visit when they turn one, or when their first tooth becomes visible.

  • Don’t discuss the details, but also don’t lie
  • This can be a tricky topic, especially if your child is old enough to make sense of the experience. Instead of telling them exactly what is going to happen (no kid wants to hear they are going to have a cavity removed or have their teeth probed with a metal pick), keep the conversation brief and say that the dentist is going to check their mouth and clean their teeth. To avoid giving them a false sense of security, you also should not say nothing is going to happen, because that may not necessarily be true.

  • Take your child with you to your visit
  • Not only will this establish a sense of trust (seeing mom or dad get their teeth cleaned can give them confidence), it will also give your son or daughter the opportunity to see exactly what to expect. A pretend visit can alleviate a lot of their apprehension and concern. However, only do this if you yourself are not afraid to go, as your child will likely detect these feelings.

  • Be there for them
  • Holding your child’s hand or just being in the room when they are getting their teeth cleaned is enough to keep them calm. Being in a room with strangers (especially ones will strange outfits) can be understandably scary. Make sure to praise them after the appointment is over and tell them how proud you are. Encouragement is the best way to improve their self-esteem.

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Uneven Gums and the Benefits of Contouring

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A smile makes your day. However a smile is made of things like even gums and the perfect set of teeth. Dental problems could effect your ability to smile thereby making you more self-conscious. One of the problems is that of uneven gums.

How Receding and Uneven Gums Happens

Uneven or receding gums is a common problem. Rightly said, it is more of a cosmetic problem than anything else that is commonly seen amongst adults 40 years and over as well as some teenagers. Some children may be born with uneven gums, while for those over a mature age it has been something that has happened over a period of time. Uneven gums or a receding gum line can be attributed to various factors. Dental hygiene being one of them, the other causes may be attributed to a bad lifestyle.

  • Brushing hard and recklessly
  • Incorrect brushing and flossing techniques
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Grinding teeth
  • Piercing of oral parts
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Movement and shifting of teeth amongst adults
  • Periodontal disease

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Picture above: Uneven gums before and after contouring.

Symptoms of Uneven Gums

The symptoms of uneven gums are manifested by sensitive teeth and gums. The teeth feel uneven at the gum line and often the beginning of the root is visible. The gums and teeth are often discolored. They look out of shape and large in comparison to the gums.

Though an uneven gum line is not painful, it can be esthetically painful and unpleasant to look at. It makes the teeth look larger than they naturally should, the gum line thinner and the lips relatively thinner as well. Often dentists refer to this as a “gummy smile”. This can be corrected with the help of gum contouring.

What is Gum Contouring?

Gum contouring is easy these days as it is done with the help of laser therapy. It is virtually painless with little or no bleeding. Using a gum contouring laser treatment, the dentist sculpts and reshapes the gums and brings them to the desired length as would be needed by the patient. The process is usually done with the help of local anesthesia and the patient is conscious during the process.

Before you know it, uneven gums will look natural again and brings back that wonderful smile.

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