If you’ve recently been placed on medication or a strict diet after being diagnosed with diabetes, you may still be struggling with the demands of your new lifestyle. After dealing with multiple doctor’s appointment and pharmacy waits over the past few months, the last thing you may feel like doing is making an appointment with your dentist — however, receiving proper oral care is more important now than ever before. Read on to learn more about some of the effects diabetes can have on your teeth and gums, as well as what you should do to keep your mouth in great condition while managing your diabetes.
How can diabetes affect your mouth?
For cases in which your diabetes was diagnosed before you began showing many symptoms, you may find that diabetes has a minimal effect on your mouth. However, if your symptoms were more severe or haven’t yet responded well to stabilizing medication or insulin, you could experience chronic dry mouth or even minor yeast infections on your tongue or inner cheeks. Because poorly-managed diabetes can affect your circulation, this condition could cause your gums to recede and even lead to tooth loss if proper preventive measures aren’t taken.
What should you change about your oral routine after a diagnosis of diabetes?
Even if you’re not dealing with many symptoms or your blood sugar reading is remaining steady with the help of diet or medication, it’s a good idea to schedule more frequent cleanings with your dentist to help keep a professional eye on your mouth. During these cleanings, your dentist will be able to check the condition of your gums, measure any pockets between your gums and teeth that could indicate the beginnings of periodontal disease, and treat any minor sores or abrasions that could be prone to slow healing. Cleaning your teeth and treating them with fluoride will also help eliminate any tartar buildup that could attract bacteria — because diabetes can make you more prone to developing infections, keeping bacteria at bay is a must.
To keep your mouth as pathogen-free as possible between dental visits, you’ll also want to invest in an electronic toothbrush and water flosser. These high-powered devices are much more efficient at removing food particles and other debris that can harbor bacteria. You may even be able to use tax-free dollars from your health savings account or flexible spending account to help purchase these items. Talk to a dentist, like Randolph Dental Group, for more help.Learn More
Did you know that the day after Thanksgiving is officially National Flossing Day? It was named such in 2000 by the National Flossing Council. All you have to do to celebrate is remember to floss your teeth – and then dedicate yourself to flossing at least once per day for the following year. To help inspire your participation in this important holiday, here’s a look at a few benefits of flossing, and how to make your flossing routine easier.
Benefits of Flossing
Flossing removes plaque, which is a combination of food, saliva, and oral bacteria from between your teeth. In doing so, it reduces your risk of developing cavities between your teeth, where your toothbrush is not generally able to reach. Flossing also improves the health of your gums, since it reduces the levels of bacteria that cause gum disease. Have you been seeing some pink in the sink after brushing? This is an early sign of gum disease, and upping your flossing routine in honor of National Flossing Day is the key to staving it off before it gets worse.
Another lesser-known benefit of regular flossing is that it is good for your heart. Those with gum disease have been found to be twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. It is thought that the bacteria that cause gum disease can travel to the heart, causing inflammation in the arteries and increasing the risk of blockages. By fighting gum disease with regular flossing, you’re protecting yourself against heart attacks, strokes and more.
Some people don’t floss daily because they find doing so difficult. If you’re in this camp, here are a few tips to help you succeed on National Flossing Day this year.
Other people don’t floss because they forget or think they don’t have the time. If you’re in this camp, here are a few tips to help you out:
Are you ready to celebrate National Flossing Day by making flossing a daily habit? Your teeth (and the rest of your body) will thank you if you do.
For more information, contact Terry Droske DDS or a similar dental professional.Learn More
If you have had an incident occur where impact had caused one of your teeth to come completely out of the socket, you will want to act quickly in having your mouth evaluated by a professional emergency dentist. This will increase the chances of being able to save the tooth and have it reattached into place. Here are some steps to follow after a tooth becomes knocked out to help save the tooth so it can be reset in the mouth.
Time is of great importance when handling a knocked out tooth, as root exposure can cause it to become dried out. This would make it impossible to reuse the tooth and require a need for a false one to be constructed for that spot of the mouth instead. Get to a hospital or emergency dentist in less than an hour from when the tooth was knocked out. This will increase your chances of being able to save the tooth.
Clean The Tooth
After the tooth comes out, grasp it by the crown portion and rinse under a faucet to remove any surface dirt from the tooth. This will help reduce the chance of bacteria getting into your mouth when you try to reinsert the tooth. Make sure to push the drain stop down so the impact of the water does not cause the tooth to fly down the drain when you rinse it.
After the dirt is cleaned off, you can try to place it back into the socket. Make sure to turn the tooth so it is facing the correct direction before pushing the root end into the empty socket. Use a piece of gauze to help keep the tooth in place by biting down upon it.
Transport The Tooth
If you cannot reattach the tooth, it will need to be transported safely to the emergency dentist in an attempt to reuse it. To help keep the root area from drying, submerge the tooth in a container filled with milk. Water is not recommended as a medium for storage, as minerals in the composition of the liquid can cause the roots to deteriorate.
If you do not have milk or a container readily available, place the tooth in the space between your bottom lip and fronts of your existing teeth. Your saliva is safer for transport than bringing the tooth in a dry state, as the moisture from your mouth can be enough to keep the roots intact if you arrive to the dentist promptly. Do not under any circumstance wrap a tooth in a paper towel, as the cellulose in paper products dries the exposed root area so it will not be able to be attached in the mouth.
Inform The Dentist
Call the dentist as soon as the incident occurs to let them know you are on the way to their practice or to a hospital. This way, they will be prepared for your arrival and will be able to take you in to be seen immediately. For more information, contact Milan Simanek DDS or a similar dental professional.Learn More
Pregnancy can be very hard on a mother’s teeth. During pregnancy, the baby takes many of the nutrients that a mother needs to maintain her healthy teeth. By the time the baby is born, the dental damage can be extreme in some cases. If you are a breastfeeding mother experiencing dental pain, you probably have a lot of questions about the safety of having emergency dental procedures completed as you nurse your newest little one. Below are the answers to some of those questions.
Can teeth safely be pulled while breastfeeding?
Absolutely! If a dentist recommends a tooth to be extracted, he or she is doing so with good reason. A dentist will recommend a tooth be pulled if there is a serious infection growing in it and it cannot be salvaged with a root canal and crown. The infection in the tooth is far more dangerous to you and your nursing baby than any of the medications used during an extraction and recovery.
Can antibiotics be taken while breastfeeding?
Yes. Antibiotics are safe to take while breastfeeding. When teeth are extracted, the dentist will likely prescribe an antibiotic to protect you from an infection while the area heals and to kill the infection that has already been causing you problems. Your nursing baby will not usually suffer any negative effects from you taking an antibiotic. However, if you are worried, you will be able to “pump and dump” breastmilk expressed after taking medication.
Can pain relievers be taken while breastfeeding?
Yes. In many cases, the dentist will prescribe ibuprofen to be taken during the days following the extraction. Ibuprofen is safe for your baby and it will help to control the inflammation, swelling and pain that you experience after the extraction. Oftentimes, a dentist will do his or her best to avoid prescribing any kind of narcotics to nursing mothers; however, in some cases, Tylenol with codeine can be prescribed for use in moderation. Your dentist, your doctor and your baby’s pediatrician should work together to come up with the best medication treatment for your personal situation.
Can you put off extractions while you are breastfeeding until your baby has been weened?
Technically, you could, but there is honestly no reason to do so. Your baby is not going to suffer any negative effects from the procedure. Putting off the procedure will only prolong your personal discomfort and could eventually lead to complications caused by the infections growing in your mouth.
Any further questions about dental extractions while breastfeeding can be answered by your dentist, doctor or pediatrician. A company like Hernandez Dental can give you more information.Learn More
If you have a toothache or an injury to your mouth or tongue, you want to know how to treat the problem and control the pain. The information below will help you to control the pain and treat the issue on your own until you are able to get in to see the dentist for professional treatment.
How to treat a toothache
The first thing you need to do when you are experiencing a toothache is to control the pain. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever to get some relief. You can also bite down on an ice cube until it melts to numb the area and stop the pain. Although an ice cube does offer instant relief, the pain will return fairly quickly.
Clove oil can also be used to help get relief from the pain of a toothache. You can take a cotton ball and soak it directly in some clove oil. Place the cotton ball on or next to the tooth that’s hurting you. Be prepared for a bit of stinging in your mouth when you first put the cotton ball in place. However, the stinging sensation will go away and the tooth will feel better. The relief from clove oil is longer lasting than that of ice.
Be very gentle when you brush your teeth; you may want to switch to a soft-bristle toothbrush until your toothache is gone.
How to treat a cut in the mouth
If you have a cut in your mouth, the first thing you need to do is make sure it isn’t bleeding too badly. If it is, you need to get in for immediate treatment. If it’s simply causing you pain or irritation, you want to take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory. This will help with the inflammation and the pain. If your mouth is swollen, put an icepack on the outside of it.
Do not eat salty, spicy or acidic foods, because these foods will cause you more pain. You also want to refrain from hot foods and stick to cold ones. Don’t use a mouthwash that contains alcohol until the cut has healed; this will sting badly.
Make an appointment to get in to see your dentist any time you have a toothache or you have an injury to your mouth that’s concerning you. Sometimes you will even need antibiotics to treat an infection, and this is something you don’t want to put off.Learn More
If you’re one of the 29% of adults suffering from dry mouth, you understand too well the unpleasant symptoms associated with it. Dry mouth, however, isn’t just a nuisance – it can also lead to serious dental problems, such as gingivitis, tooth decay, and even thrush. Below is an overview of the damaging effects of dry mouth, currently available treatment options for the condition, and a promising new treatment option that may be available in the near future.
Why Dry Mouth is So Damaging to Your Dental Health
There are a number of medications, diseases, and infections that can lead to the unsavory effects of dry mouth, but while many people suffer from this unpleasant disorder, they see it as more of a daily annoyance than a real medical problem.
Saliva, however, is crucial to proper dental health. This antimicrobial and germ-fighting fluid not only helps you to swallow foods and properly form words, but it also acts as a layer of protection between foods and liquids that are consumed and your teeth’s enamel. Without that protection, gingivitis and decay are much more common, and this can lead to further issues such as tooth loss and jaw bone damage.
Current Treatment Options
The treatment options available are as numerous as the causes. With the help of your doctor and dentist, you can find a treatment option that works best for you.
If medication is the suspected cause, a dosage adjustment or change in prescription may be a necessary first step. If the medication is vital to your health, however, or medication isn’t the suspected cause, there are other options available. Your dentist may prescribe a special oral rinse to increase moisture levels in your mouth, or you may be prescribed an over-the-counter saliva substitute. While the treatment options available today can certainly help to reduce the ill effects of dry mouth and increase production of saliva, there isn’t a treatment that works for everybody or a cure that can treat the condition permanently.
A New Hope for the Future of Dry Mouth Treatment
With the help of silk fibers and stem cells retrieved from the salivary glands of rats, researchers believe they may have found the ultimate treatment for this unpleasant and health-harming disorder.
According to Professor Yeh, the researcher leading the study, “salivary gland stem cells are some of the most difficult cells to grow in culture and retain their function.” The cells they’ve generated, however, had the same characteristics of those found in the salivary glands of the mouth. If research findings are as promising as they appear now, this be-all-end-all of treatment could certainly be the next great dental discovery.
If you suffer from dry mouth, it’s time to stop ignoring the symptoms. With the help of your doctor and dentist, you can get your symptoms under control and prevent further dental damage from occurring. While researchers are currently hopeful for a more universal treatment option, it’s important to get your symptoms under control now without the treatment options currently available.
For more details, contact a dental clinic like Wallington Dental.Learn More
Getting your braces removed can be one of the best days of your life. However, you might not be finished with wearing dental appliances. Your orthodontist could recommend wearing a retainer for a period of time after the braces removal. Here are some important things to remember about caring for the retainer.
Keep the Retainer Out of Heat
The retainer is mostly composed of plastic. As such, it can easily warp if it is exposed to heat. Do not expose your retainer to heat, such as hot water. You also need to be careful to not place the retainer in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight.
One other reason to avoid heat on the retainer is that it can also dry out and crack. If you are storing the retainer, place it in its appropriate container in cool water.
Wear the Retainer as Directed
Although you might be tired of wearing dental appliances, it is important that you wear the retainer as directed. In the weeks and months following the removal of your braces, your teeth can easily shift. Until your teeth have adjusted to not having the braces, you need to wear the retainer.
It is likely that your orthodontist will direct that you wear it day and night and only remove it for meals, brushing, and flossing. Your orthodontist might modify his or her directions as time passes, depending on the placement of your teeth. You could be reduced to only wearing it at nighttime.
Properly Clean Your Retainer
Cleaning the retainer is not overly complicated, but it is important that you correctly do it. Simply wash it with liquid soap and lukewarm water to remove the debris on the appliance. After you rinse the retainer off, store it in its proper container if you are not required by your orthodontist to wear it.
You should never use bleach or toothpaste on the retainer. Both substances are too harsh and can affect the shape and condition of the retainer. To avoid breaking the retainer, place a towel on the sink to provide cushion in case you drop it. Otherwise, it could break if it hits the floor.
An orthodontist, like those at Cazes Family Dentistry LLC, can provide you with other ways you can care for your retainer. To save money on a replacement and to ensure you are getting the most benefit from it, follow your orthodontist’s recommendations during the period you are required to wear it.Learn More