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.
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.
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!
Most people just brush their teeth day in and day out, not knowing that this won’t remove all the harmful bacteria in their mouth.
For you to gain the best oral health, you need to brush both your teeth and your tongue.
Bacterial Live and Proliferate on Your Tongue
Biofilm, a specific type of bacteria, makes up a huge amount of the bacteria in your mouth. Similar to other bacteria, biofilm will contribute a lot to creating different oral health problems for your teeth, gums and mouth. These bacteria live on your tongue in the ridges and spaces you can’t see. A few hours after brushing your teeth, these bacteria can transfer from your tongue to your teeth. Mouthwash alone won’t eliminate them, which is why brushing your tongue is very important.
Tongue Brushing Tools and Techniques
Toothbrush – Focus on brushing your tongue after you’ve brushed your teeth. You can use the bristles of your toothbrush or a specialized brush with a built-in tongue cleaner. Start brushing by reaching to the back of your tongue, and working forward toward your mouth’s opening. You must brush the entire tongue’s surface with gentle pressure. After that, rinse with water.
Tongue Scraper – This is a flat, soft and flexible plastic tool that is used mainly for brushing your tongue. When using a scraper, start from the back of your tongue going forward. Since it lacks bristles, it may be more difficult for you to reach certain areas. After each swipe of the tongue, you must rinse the scraper. Avoid using the scraper with too much force to prevent tongue sores and bleeding. And since the center of the tongue has the bulk of bacteria, concentrate on this area when scraping.
Cleaner – This is an excellent tool for brushing your tongue because this is a scraper with bristles. It combines the best of a scraper and a toothbrush. The bristles, though, are rubber.
How Often Should You Brush Your Tongue?
Cleaning your tongue, a Prescott, AZ dentist says, must be done at least once in the morning and once in the evening before going to sleep. Whenever you feel your mouth is dry or has a foul taste in midday, cleaning your tongue immediately will be the best solution.
Aside from that, consider using a mouthwash rinse after brushing your tongue to moisturize your mouth and to kill other bacteria.
Indeed, maintaining fresh breath and a healthy mouth is not just about brushing your teeth. Make it a habit to give your tongue sufficient attention to ensure fresh breath and good oral health. Call us today!
Cases of missing teeth among young children are often deemed cute occurrences (which is probably why there’s a popular song about missing teeth). But when you’re old, missing teeth can be a health risk.
Apart from a sagging facial appearance that can make you look sad and older, missing teeth can also have other negative consequences. One is the high likelihood of “shifting” – teeth can move a bit toward the gap. This movement creates spaces between the teeth that will not only alter alignment and bite but can also make teeth prone to harmful bacteria buildup that can lead to gum disease. A more serious consequence is bone loss, which will put you at greater risk of losing more teeth as you get older.
One of the best solutions to missing teeth is a dental bridge. What it does is it literally bridges the gap created by one or more missing teeth. It is made of two or more crowns (depending on the missing tooth’s location). One crow will serve as the replacement for the missing tooth, and the other/s for the anchoring tooth or teeth (called abutment teeth).
Maintain the healthy shape of your face (no more hollow areas).
Maintain your proper teeth alignment and bite.
Preserve your original teeth better.
There are different types of dental bridges that your dentist can put in for you depending on where your missing tooth or teeth are, and they are:
Cantilever bridges – These are the type of bridges used when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing teeth. Cantilever bridges are not used that often anymore because they are not ideal as restorative solutions for missing tooth at the back of the mouth where there’s usually a lot of pressure on surrounding teeth.
Maryland bonded bridges – These are also called a resin-bonded bridge or a Maryland bridge. They are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums held together by a metal or porcelain framework. Metal or porcelain wings, usually placed on just one side of the bridge, are anchored or bonded to your existing teeth.
Traditional bridges – These consist of a crown for the tooth or implant on both sides of the missing tooth, with a pontic or a dummy tooth in between. Traditional bridges are the most frequently used type of bridge and they are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
The application of dental bridges takes multiple visits to the dentist, which can take several weeks. But once the bridges are permanently placed in, you’re sure to feel a big difference in the way your mouth feels and functions. Ask your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist about the best treatment for you.
A root canal is necessary if there’s damage to the pulp or nerve of the tooth. This kind of damage can lead to severe infection that can manifest through swelling, pain, and even high fever.
While it seems like a root canal would be painful, typically, it’s not. It’s also not a particularly lengthy procedure. The entire treatment can be accomplished in a single appointment if the dental clinic has all the necessary equipment. It’s now less common for root canal therapy to take two or more scheduled appointments.
When Are Multiple Visits Required?
However, multiple visits to the dental clinic for root canals are required if the patient is dealing with some pains or complications. Special restoration, such as the application of a dental crown, is included in the procedure.
For example, with the two-visit approach, the different tasks are divided into two sessions. The first appointment is concentrated on cleaning and shaping the tooth’s root canal system. The second appointment is for the application of medication and actual restoration. This is usually scheduled a week or so after the first appointment.
For restoration, filling and sealing are put into place, and if the crown is ready, that’s included in the appointment as well. Dentists recommend this approach in order to better monitor how the root canal (and the issue it addressed) is healing. Every appointment of a multiple-visit approach can take 30 minutes to an hour.
Today, the single-appointment approach has become more popular with the help of advanced dental technology. A lot of folks prefer this because of their busy schedules. Everything that needs to be done (including X-rays) can all be accomplished in the same place. In a single sitting, a root canal treatment can be completed without the quality getting compromised. Single appointments can take just 30 minutes to over an hour if there are no complications present.
Steps to Ensure a Flawless Procedure
If you need a root canal, most dentists’ advice is to set aside adequate time for it in your schedule. Setting aside adequate time is particularly important if you wish to have the entire treatment done in a single appointment. You don’t want to rush your dentist. Allow him enough time to carry out every aspect of the procedure flawlessly, says the Prescott, AZ dentist. If possible, make sure you don’t have anything planned after the treatment. It’s good to rest immediately afterwards to ensure speedy recovery, especially if you have experienced pains, swelling and other discomforts prior to the treatment.
Written by Horizon DDS, January 16th, 2017 | Comments Off on How Long Do Root Canals Take?
Single Tooth Replacement – Why Choose an Implant Over a Bridge?
If you have lost an adult tooth and you want to replace it with something that’s not removable, you have two options: a permanent bridge and a single tooth replacement with a dental implant.
A permanent bridge is a good option if you have teeth around the missing tooth. Now, if you don’t have those, and the tooth in question is possibly a back molar, the better single tooth replacement option would be a dental implant. A dental implant will replace not just the natural tooth but also the root permanently.
Dental implants take much longer to put into place and they require good oral health. If you have gum disease and other oral health issues, you’ll have to treat them first for the safest “installation” of the implants. Dental implants definitely offer the best, look, feel and function. Just like your natural teeth.
Implants often outperform dental bridges because they do not affect the health of neighboring teeth; when a bridge is applied, the teeth on both sides of the missing tooth actually need to be ground in order to support the cemented bridge. This means that from having healthy, proper shaped teeth, you end up with altered ones just to accommodate the bridge, which isn’t an issue with dental implants.
Another advantage you get with a dental implant is that it can actually preserve your jawbone better since it integrates with the bone. With a bridge, on the other hand, the bone that used to surround the (missing) tooth will deteriorate over time and then will create an uneven gum shape, which isn’t pretty and/or healthy.
Likewise, as already mentioned a dental implant is very stable; plus, it’s so much easier to clean than a bridge. You can brush, floss and rinse your implant like you would your regular teeth. Meanwhile, with a bridge, the cement can wear away over time due to various activities (this includes your oral care practices), and the changing shape of the gums. It’s worth noting that when the cement holding the bridges slowly washes out, this can create room for bacteria and germs to proliferate, which then can lead to decay of the teeth anchoring the bridge. The area with a bridge can really appear discolored or unhealthy even if you implement the best oral health practices regularly.
So, if you need a single tooth replaced and you have the money for a dental implant, go with this option — it will provide a better set of oral health benefits as well as value for your money. Contact your local Prescott Valley dentistat Horizon Dental Group today!
Written by Horizon DDS, October 27th, 2016 | Comments Off on Single Tooth Replacement
Pregnancy can bring a diverse array of changes in a woman’s body. Simply put, if you are pregnant, these changes may require you to modify how you perform some activities or even avoid these until you have given birth.
If you are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant, you might be curious about numerous issues, including dental care. Here is what you need to know about pregnancy dental care.
Pregnancy Dental Care
If there is only one thing that pregnant women need to know about dental care during pregnancy, then that would be the fact that they need to take good care of their teeth and gums while still carrying their babies in their wombs. During pregnancy, women undergo hormonal changes that can leave them vulnerable to gum disease. In turn, gum disease can adversely affect the health and development of the baby while still in the womb. You have to continue practicing good oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist regularly.
Ideally, if you and your partner are still planning to get pregnant, you should visit your dentist for professional cleaning and examination.
Once you have confirmed that you are pregnant, it is critical that you inform your dentist that you are carrying a baby. During pregnancy, urgent procedures can still be performed. However, elective procedures are best done once the baby is born. Your obstetrician may also give you advice about special precautions that your dentist may have to take.
Keep Your Dentist Informed
Apart from informing your dentist about your pregnancy, you will need to inform him or her about the medications and supplements you are currently taking as well as their dosage. Your dentist will use this information to tailor your treatment plan.
Should you need to have an X-ray done, your dentist will use the proper precautions to protect you and your baby from any possible adverse effects.
If you are experiencing morning sickness, your dentist may recommend that you switch to a different brand of toothpaste. You will also need to rinse your mouth with either water or mouthwash each time you vomit.
Pay Close Attention to Your Diet While You are Pregnant
During pregnancy, you have to be mindful of your diet for two crucial reasons. The first and most important reason is the health of your baby. You will need to eat a balanced and healthy diet and add more foods which are high in calcium and other minerals essential to the development of the teeth and bones of your baby.
The next reason why you should be mindful of your dietary habits during pregnancy is that frequent snacking, especially if you indulge in sweets, can put your teeth and gums at risk of succumbing to tooth decay.
After you have delivered your baby, be sure to visit your Prescott Valley dentist once you have fully recovered. Inform him or her about any dental issues you may have experienced.
Written by Horizon DDS, October 10th, 2016 | Comments Off on Pregnancy Dental Care | What You Need To Know
Why Do I Have White Marks on My Teeth? | More About Calcium Deposits
You wake up one morning, go about your normal routine, and check your reflection on the mirror. You immediately notice a few distinct white marks on your front teeth and the first thing that goes through your mind is: “Why do I have white marks on my teeth?”
Do you need to be alarmed? Should you schedule a visit to your dentist ASAP?
It is likely that those white spots have developed over time so whether it seems you just woke up one day with white marks on your teeth, it is highly likely that those calcium deposits on your teeth developed over time.
“Calcium deposits on my teeth? How did I get these?”
Those calcium deposits are simply signs that you are dehydrated and are no cause for alarm; you do not have to visit your dentist immediately. Unlike other body parts that take days or even weeks to show signs of dehydration, your teeth can show signs of dehydration overnight. Often, these marks appear when you sleep with your mouth agape.
The chalky marks on the surface of the teeth may also appear in runners who run hard and with their mouths wide open.
Typically, these white marks disappear later in the day. However, take note that in order to rehydrate your teeth and eliminate these white marks, you do not necessarily have to drink more water. Your teeth will be rehydrated when the level of saliva in your mouth returns to normal.
You should not bother thinking about whitening your teeth to eliminate these marks because these are not caused by staining.
But what if these white marks do not disappear after a day?
Sometimes white marks on teeth may be caused by overexposure to fluoride. Eventually, these white marks progress to mottling of the teeth and eventually, to tooth decay. Left unchecked, overexposure to fluoride can lead to the teeth becoming more porous.
Loss of Minerals
In some cases, white marks appear due to the loss of minerals in the teeth, a condition also known as hypocalcification. People who wear braces and practice poor oral hygiene may also have white marks after the braces have been removed.
Among the recommended treatments for these conditions are topical remineralization therapy, resin infiltration system, prescription pastes, microabrasion, composite bonding and porcelain veneer.
If you are unsure what caused the white marks on your teeth, wait up to one day and allow your teeth to be rehydrated. At the end of the day or the following day, check if you can still see the white marks. If they are still there, visit your Prescott Valley Dentist to identify the true cause of these white marks.
Written by Horizon DDS, June 09th, 2016 | Comments Off on Should You Be Concerned About White Marks On Your Teeth? | Calcium Deposits