What You Should Know About Dental Health And Aging
Aging brings about various indications of physical, physiological, and mental degeneration. Dental health is among the most common concerns for older adults. As you get older, the risk of experiencing dental problems also increases.
Because of impairments in the normal bodily processes associated with aging, older people may find it more challenging to perform oral hygiene and self-care.
The most common dental conditions experienced during old age are:
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
The golden years are considered cavity prone years. Cavities during old age are commonly caused by dry mouth. Xerostomia or dry mouth is not a normal process in aging; rather, it is a result or a side effect of various medications, which are usually taken by older adults to treat or control high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, and other illnesses that come with aging.
Dry mouth can lead to cracked lips, fissured tongue, caries, and mucositis. A Prescott, AZ dentist recommends increased fluid intake and avoidance of alcoholic and carbonated beverages to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent cavities.
Periodontitis or gum disease
Dental health and aging are linked together in many ways. As a person grows older, he may start to experience receding gums, which exposes the roots of the teeth. This increases the risk of developing decay.
In addition, poor dental hygiene also causes the buildup of plaque, causing the gums to become irritated and swollen.
In general, gum disease, in its early stages, is painless and does not present any symptoms. As such, it is often left undiagnosed and untreated until it is in the advanced stages. Advanced gum disease affects not only the gums, but also the bones and ligaments supporting the teeth.
Good oral hygiene through regular and proper brushing are very helpful in preventing periodontitis. Regular visits to a dentist for professional cleaning are also advised to remove hardened plaque.
Root and coronal caries
The four elements needed for dental caries to form are the tooth surface (enamel or dentin), fermentable carbohydrates, bacteria, and time. Dental caries could lead to advanced gum disease and tooth loss when left untreated.
Regular brushing using fluoride-containing toothpaste remains to be the main preventive measure for dental caries.
Because older adults may not be fully capable of caring for themselves, it is important to have a caregiver who can help them maintain their personal hygiene, including dental care. It is essential to discuss dental care and self-care with professionals such as dentists and doctors.
How to prevent gingivitis?
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2009 and 2010, around 47 percent of Americans suffer from the different stages of gum disease.
A trusted Prescott, AZ dentist says that Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. And left unchecked, gingivitis can worsen into periodontitis.
When gingivitis progresses into gum disease, your body’s immune system begins to fight back the plaque that causes irritation in the gums. However, this immune response can harm the tissues supporting your teeth. Apart from that, a noticeable space between the gums and the teeth develops, making the gums more vulnerable to infection.
Gingivitis occurs when the plaque bacteria build up on the tissues around the teeth. Although plaque is naturally found in the human mouth, it is essential to remove it through proper oral hygiene in order to prevent gingivitis.
One of the reasons why there are many people with gingivitis is because it can be difficult to detect due to the absence of pain. However, there are a few other symptoms that you or your dentist can check for. Among the symptoms of this dental issue are the swelling, reddening, and bleeding of the gums.
Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of gingivitis. However, some conditions can leave a person vulnerable to this problem. These include pregnancy, diabetes, consumption of tobacco products, substance abuse, stress, autoimmune diseases, and the use of some types of medications. If you’re suffering from Gingivitis, call us to schedule an appointment today!
If you want to know how to prevent gingivitis, here are some guidelines offered by dental professionals.
In order to prevent gingivitis from wreaking havoc on your gums, there are four crucial things that you need to do.
First, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Make sure that you spend two minutes brushing your teeth, preferably with an antibacterial toothpaste. Avoid brushing too forcefully.
Pay special attention to every part of your mouth, including the tongue. Make sure that you brush your teeth before going to bed because bacterial growth occurs at a faster pace during sleep.
Next, floss at least once a day to remove food particles stuck between the teeth.
Third, use a mouthwash especially formulated to remove plaque and the bacteria that cause gingivitis.
Finally, visit your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleaning. However, if you notice the signs of gingivitis in your mouth, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
8 Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Most people think that their teeth will always be healthy, strong and functional, and so they usually take these for granted. A reputable Prescott, AZ dentist emphasizes that proper and efficient dental care is very crucial throughout the human life cycle.
Here are some tips for healthy teeth and gums that will help you achieve a bright, big smile.
How to Achieve and Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums
1. Deal with dental visit anxiety – If sitting on a dentist’s chair often makes you anxious, help yourself feel calm by bringing your headphones and a music player to your next appointment. This is indeed a great way of relieving your anxiety. Most of all, you must communicate with your dentist so he can help you.
2. Floss first before you brush – Flossing first will make brushing more effective since it will remove the food that gets trapped in between your teeth. There are floss holders you can buy from a drugstore if handling floss agitates you. After flossing, brush your teeth gently and rinse with a recommended antibacterial mouthwash to totally eliminate any leftover plaque.
3. Regularly replace your toothbrush – Over time, toothbrush bristles flatten, wear down and fray. Replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months is highly recommended. To avoid harboring germs, consider replacing your brush if you are sick.
4. Be gentle when using toothpicks – A toothpick is a good alternative to floss; however, be very gentle when using it because it can easily damage your gums and it may even break off below your gum line.
5. Consume cheese – The whey protein and casein in cheese will help keep your tooth enamel in its excellent form because it reduces demineralization. Moreover, cheese has tooth-building calcium. But do not forget to include vitamin D-rich foods in your diet because this vitamin can help your body absorb calcium.
6. Remove teeth stains with baking soda – If you love drinking red wine, coffee or other tooth-staining beverages, your pearly white teeth can become dim. Brushing your teeth using baking soda at least twice a month will help brighten your smile. You can use toothpaste containing baking soda if plain baking soda irritates your teeth and gums.
7. Control your acid reflux – Preserve your tooth enamel and oral health by controlling your acid reflux. Avoid consuming foods and drinks that can trigger reflux, such as tomatoes, coffee and tea, chocolate, mint, and caffeinated drinks.
8. Brush your tongue – Brushing or scraping your tongue each time you brush your teeth can help prevent bad breath. Your tongue can host different bacteria that cause bad breath, so giving it a scrub will help minimize or eliminate odor-causing compounds.
Your teeth and gums can stay healthy and happy throughout your life with proper care. Most importantly, there will be fewer risks for gum disease and tooth decay if you always have healthy teeth and gums. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!
Horizon Dental Care Tips for Eliminating Bad Breath
Also known as halitosis, bad breath can be embarrassing for you when there are lots of people around you. This is caused primarily by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria cause inflammation, thereby giving off noxious gases that smell unpleasant.
Studies have shown that 80% of bad breath has an oral source. Gum diseases, trapped food particles on your tonsils, cracked fillings, and unclean dentures – all of these can lead to bad breath. Medical conditions can likewise cause bad breath. These include liver disease, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections.
The good thing is that there are tips for eliminating bad breath that you can try.
The key to preventing and eliminating bad breath is good oral hygiene. You need to floss and brush your teeth after every meal in order to reduce the build-up of odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Using mouth rinses can also prevent cavities as well as reduce bacteria-causing plaque. A reputable Prescott, AZ dentist recommends using an antibacterial or antiseptic rinse that will kill bacteria instead of a cosmetic rinse that only promises fresh breath.
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
1. Watch What You Eat
What you ingest will greatly affect what you exhale. The food gets digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, and is expelled when you breathe. As such, you need to eat a balanced, healthy diet and regular meals. Eating watery fruits and vegetables like raw carrots and apple slices can help clear your mouth of any food particles or debris. Diets, like very low-carb ones and extreme fasting, can actually give you bad breath. Moreover, avoid consuming breath busters like onions, garlic and spicy foods.
2. Stay Hydrated
If you cannot brush your teeth after each meal, you must drink a lot of water as this can help hasten the process of cleaning debris and harmful bacteria in between your teeth. To help deodorize some offensive breath odors, drink milk.
3. Avoid Drinking Too Much Coffee
Coffee can be very tasty; however, this has a tough smell that can stay on the back of your tongue. Drink herbal or green tea instead.
4. Avoid Smoking
Cigarettes and other tobacco products can give you horrible breath. Moreover, smoking can stain your teeth and damage your gums. Opting for nicotine patches can help tame your desire. If you think you need a bit of help, make an appointment with your doctor and tackle how you can easily and successfully quit smoking.
5. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
One cause of dry mouth is alcohol. You can suffer from bad breath if you consume too much wine, beer and hard liquor.
6. Chew Gum
If you chew gum 20 minutes after having a meal, it can help with your saliva flow. Choose sugarless gums to help reduce cavities. This also has a cooling effect, giving you a nice fresh breath. Avoid sugary mints because the sugar will just sit on your teeth and may worsen the problem.
These tips can help make your mouth feel clean and fresh. Indeed, it is very easy to keep your teeth and gums healthy and to improve your breath at the same time. Schedule an appointment with us today!
5 Things You’re Doing That Cause Bleeding Gums
Habits That Cause Bleeding Gums
Do your gums often bleed? That probably happens often because of certain practices. It may also be due to health conditions that you’re not aware of. If you wish for your mouth to be healthier and for bleeding to stop, it’s crucial to know the real causes.
So, what usually causes bleeding gums?
You floss too hard.
Flosses can often cut through the fleshy tissues of your gums if you don’t know how to handle them properly. Also, there are flossers that really are too sharp, so even if you’re careful, they cut your gums anyway. Get instructions from your dentist on how to properly floss to prevent injuring your gums, or how to be more meticulous in choosing flossers for your teeth. Perhaps invest in sonic air floss, which uses a strong jet stream of water instead of a waxed string to dislodge food debris between teeth and gums.
Brushing too thoroughly with a hard-bristled brush.
If you think a hard-bristled brush performs better in getting rid of food particles, bacteria and germs in the mouth, you’re wrong. Such a toothbrush can leave scratches on your teeth’s enamel and they can also cut your gums especially if you brush too hard. Use a soft-bristled brush instead and brush more gently to prevent scratching both your teeth and gums.
You’re using a mouth appliance that doesn’t fit well.
The wrong fit of mouth appliances (such as dentures and mouth guards) can constantly put pressure on teeth and gums, and this can lead to bleeding. They can also move out of place, especially when you’re eating or talking, which can injure your gums. This is why it’s imperative to visit your dentist regularly and have him check the fit of the mouth appliance you’re using.
You don’t brush regularly.
Not brushing regularly encourages the proliferation of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. Gum bleeding is one of the symptoms of periodontal disease and if this gum disease is not treated right away, it’s not just gum bleeding you’ll experience — you may lose your teeth eventually as well.
You’re taking medication.
There are certain drugs for the treatment of certain illnesses that have a blood-thinning effect. If you take these regularly, gum bleeding is always a risk. Therefore, you should consult your physician on what you can do to reverse this side effect of your medication, or perhaps have him recommend a different drug that doesn’t have this particular side effect.
Relaxing at the Dentist: Facts About the 4 Sedation Dentistry Types
From a simple tooth cleaning to invasive procedures, using sedation is a great technique to get patients relaxing at the dentist. How it will be used will depend on the patient’s level of fear or comfort.
Sedation dentistry makes use of a certain medication to help patients feel relaxed while undergoing dental procedures. According to a Prescott, AZ dentist, the levels of sedation used will include the following:
Minimal sedation. The patient is awake but relaxed.
Moderate sedation. The patient may slur his words when speaking and won’t remember much of the procedure.
Deep sedation. The patient is on the edge of consciousness. General anesthesia. The patient will become completely unconscious.
4 Types of Sedation Dentistry
1. Inhaled Sedation
Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is the common agent used for inhaled sedation. This is a colorless, odorless and non-irritating kind of gas. It is combined with oxygen and administered via nasal cannula or face mask a few minutes before the procedure. The gas will help the patient feel relaxed. This type of sedation is used only for procedures that will allow patients to go home right after the procedure.
2. Oral Sedation
Oral sedation will have minimal to moderate effectiveness. The patient will just take a pill an hour before the procedure for minimal sedation. A larger dose will be given to produce moderate sedation.
Generally, this is the commonly used type of sedation dentistry. The patient will feel drowsy and groggy, and can even fall asleep. However, he can still be easily awakened by gentle stimuli. After the procedure, he will need assistance on his way home since the sedative effect of the drug can still be active.
3. Intravenous Sedation
Intravenous or IV sedation, otherwise known as deep dental sedation, is an invasive procedure. The anesthetic medication will be administered through the intravenous route. Since the medication is directly delivered into the bloodstream, it causes rapid effects. It will instantly lower the patient’s ability to recognize any stimuli.
IV sedation will provide a higher degree of muscle relaxation, so it requires very strict monitoring before, during and after the dental procedures. The patient will also be assessed for allergies to any IV medication and the existence of other comorbid medical conditions. This type of sedation dentistry will allow the dentist to continuously regulate the level of sedation.
4. General Anesthesia
General anesthesia will make the patient completely unconscious. In other words, he will be in a deep sleep with reduced sensory perception. Since this type of sedation has a very high sedative effect, constant patient monitoring must be done during the dental procedure. Medications will be administered via face mask. After the procedure, the patient will feel uncomfortable and dizzy, so assistance is highly advised for those who will undergo this type of sedation dentistry.
For patients who need help relaxing at the dentist, sedation dentistry is highly indicated. Also, this is used for those who have phobias undergoing dental procedures and those suffering from mental health conditions. So call us to schedule your appointment today!