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!
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!
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.
Annually, people from all over the world celebrate World Oral Health Day on March 20.
But beyond this important day, it is crucial for people to pay attention to their oral health and take better care of their teeth and gums. Your oral health impacts your self-confidence, personal relationships, and even your overall health.
In fact, poor oral health has been associated with the increased vulnerability to a host of diseases ranging from diabetes to heart disease to some forms of cancers.
When it comes to some dental health factors, there are some risks that you can do nothing about. These factors include your age, sex, and the genes you have inherited from your parents.
But there are also other risks factors that you can control. These include your lifestyle and habits and your behaviors. Some of the risk factors that you can change include tobacco use, your diet, alcohol consumption, and oral hygiene.
Making key changes in these areas can help boost your oral health while minimizing risk factors.
When you are looking to modify your diet, one of the first things that you need to check is your sugar consumption. That includes sweets and soft drinks which increase your vulnerability to oral diseases. As much as possible, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks.
If you are a smoker, you need to be aware that your habit is wreaking havoc on your oral health. In fact, many studies have associated tobacco use with a long list of conditions ranging from gum disease to oral cancer.
While you do not have to totally avoid drinking alcohol, keep in mind that excessive consumption can leave you vulnerable to dental caries and oral cancer.
The easiest thing to modify is your oral hygiene. By simply brushing and flossing your teeth properly and regularly, you can protect your teeth and gums from a diverse array of conditions, including tooth decay and gum disease.
Beyond World Oral Health Day
Celebrating World Oral Health Day is a good way to underscore the importance of the health of your teeth and gums.
However, taking care of your oral health is something that you need to constantly remember every day, and not for just one day in a year. Take charge of your oral health by contacting us today!
If you have lost a tooth or a few teeth, one of the treatments your dentist will recommend is a dental bridge procedure. This is a highly recommended treatment if you wish to preserve the healthy structure of your mouth despite the loss a tooth or more.
You may be unsure about this solution especially with all the other options available, but if you’re gravitating toward this treatment, here are five things you need to know about it.
Compared to other types or restorative dentistry solutions, it’s definitely more affordable.
And if you’re just focused on appearance, it can achieve the same natural “look” that dental implants can produce because a crown would also be used to replace your missing tooth or teeth.
For a successful dental bridge procedure, you would need to have healthy surrounding teeth that would serve as an anchor for the bridge, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. Here’s something that you need to understand about the placement of a dental bridge: surrounding teeth need to be reshaped for the crown to fit securely and hold the bridge in place. This is something you need to think about especially if you care a lot about the health of remaining good teeth.
There three main types of bridges: traditional, cantilever and Maryland.
The first type, which is the traditional bridge, has a crown attached to each side of the artificial tooth. A cantilever bridge, meanwhile, is an artificial tooth attached to only one crown, and a Maryland bridge is an artificial tooth bonded to existing teeth on both sides.
When your teeth have been reshaped, the dentist will make an impression of the missing tooth and the surrounding teeth.
The will be used to customize a bridge that fits your mouth perfectly. While that is being created, your dentist will provide you a temporary bridge to use. You can expect your permanent bridge to be completed in a few weeks and once it’s ready, there’ll be evaluations on how it fits and affects your bite so it can be improved for your comfort.
And lastly, dental bridges can last you over a decade but you need to practice good oral habits.
You need to care for your dental bridge just like your real teeth because there’s always the risk of developing gum disease if you don’t.
A dental bridge procedure is a great option to consider especially if you’re not a good candidate for dental implants. It’s a quicker process to restoring the original look of your teeth and preventing your original teeth from shifting. Contact our dentists today to schedule an appointment!
In recent years, the use of Invisalign has increased, especially among the younger set. One key reason behind that trend is because these clear aligners are virtually invisible. Compare that with conventional metal braces which can be awkward, especially for self-conscious teens, and you can certainly see Invisalign’s appeal to this demographic.
But according to a Prescott, AZ dentist, Invisalign is not for everyone. There are simply dental and bite problems that Invisalign cannot provide a solution for.
Fortunately, there is another option that your dentist can recommend: lingual braces.
The term lingual refers to the tongue and these braces are called such because these are installed on the inside surface of the teeth. Like Invisalign, these braces are also virtually invisible, even within close range.
But before you decide on using these braces, also known as invisible braces, you need to learn about their advantages and disadvantages.
Again, one of the chief advantages of using invisible braces is that they eliminate the hassle of looking awkward. For teens and young adults, this benefit is often more than enough to convince them to choose this option.
Invisible braces are more effective than clear aligners in correcting complex problems like rotations and large gaps between teeth.
Because invisible braces are installed on the inside surface of the teeth, discoloration of the teeth will not be much of a problem. The discoloration will occur on the part of the teeth which is not visible to other people.
But despite these benefits, invisible braces still pose a few challenges and disadvantages.
For one, you will go through a longer period of adjusting to these braces. It is not unusual for patients to experience some problems associated with speech. Plus, it will take some time to get accustomed to the feeling of wires and brackets on the inside surface of your teeth.
Another downside of these braces is that they are more difficult to clean. If you have gum problems, these may be adversely affected by your braces.
Installing these braces can also be challenging for dentists. For one, because of the location where the braces will be installed. Your dentist will have to face a few difficulties and use smaller and lighter wires. In turn, this can translate to longer treatment periods compared to both Invisalign and traditional braces. This may also mean that you have to spend a longer time on the dental chair.
Finally, lingual braces can cost more than conventional braces.
If you are interested in learning more about lingual braces contact your Prescott dentist at Horizon Dental Group today. The professionals at Horizon Dental Group are dedicated to helping you develop a confident smile.
Written by Horizon DDS, January 23rd, 2017 | Comments Off on Lingual Braces – Pros and Cons
Bruxism or the act of grinding of teeth (especially during sleep), can lead to a diverse array of problems. For one, chronic teeth grinding can fracture or loosen teeth. Worse, it can lead to teeth loss. Bruxism can also result in problems associated with the jaws and even affect the appearance of your face.
But what causes bruxism?
According to a Prescott, AZ dentist, the causes of bruxism remain unknown. However, there are a few factors which have been linked to this condition. What are these?
Stress and anxiety
Bruxism is often associated with people who are facing a huge amount of stress and anxiety. Some people unconsciously grind their teeth while under stress while others grind their teeth during sleep.
If you are undergoing a stressful period in your life, you may experience sleep problems which can trigger bruxism. Additionally, you might clench and grind your teeth while being anxious or stressed.
Some patients who take medications for their depression and anxiety may also grind their teeth.
Obstructive sleep apnea
If you have been diagnosed with the condition known as obstructive sleep apnea, you are at a greater risk of grinding your teeth while you sleep.
The primary reason behind this is because this condition interrupts your breathing during sleep.
Furthermore, you are highly likely to grind your teeth during sleep if you talk and behave violently during sleep, or experience sleep paralysis and hallucinations during sleep.
Some types of medication can cause grinding of the teeth as a side effect. Such drugs include those that are used to alter a person’s mood.
If you are a heavy drinker, a smoker, a user of recreational drugs, or a heavy drinker of caffeinated drinks, you are more likely to grind your teeth.
Bruxism in children
Bruxism can occur in one out of five children. According to some experts, this figure could be higher, considering the fact that some parents may not notice teeth grinding in their children.
Teeth grinding in children can start after the eruption of the first teeth and may continue upon the appearance of permanent teeth. Usually, children outgrow their bruxism. But sometimes, children can grind their teeth as a response to stress.
You can take control over your condition by looking for ways to manage your stress. It also helps to eliminate foods and beverages which can trigger the grinding of your teeth.
If you are suffering the side affects of teeth grinding, your Prescott Valley dentist can recommend the use of a mouth guard to protect your teeth from damage.
Written by Horizon DDS, January 20th, 2017 | Comments Off on Bruxism | Causes & Prevention
Do you feel parched all the time? Does your mouth frequently feel as dry as a desert? Dry mouth can be annoying, inconvenient, embarrassing, and often painful. In many cases, dry mouth is nothing to worry about and is simply caused by temporary conditions such as hunger or thirst from missing a meal or drink, nervousness, or stress.
But if dry mouth persists or is already a long-term condition, then it is important to take a serious look into it. If left untreated, dry mouth can lead to other dental and health problems. At the same time, it can also be a symptom of another serious health condition. When you have dry mouth, you may experience the following symptoms:
– You have difficulty eating, discerning taste, and speaking.
– You suffer from a burning, rough and/or sticky feeling in the mouth.
– You often experience cracked lips, gum sores, irritated gums and tooth decay.
– You have bad breath that doesn’t go away.
A Couple Causes of Dry Mouth
Decreased saliva flow or insufficient saliva production is the reason why your mouth is dry. Saliva plays an important role in your dental health and digestive processes. It keeps the mouth wet and moisturized so you can speak and move your mouth efficiently. It allows you to chew, taste, swallow and digest food properly. It also protects your teeth from decay and infection, thanks to its ability to cleanse the mouth and reduce bacterial and fungi growth.
Thus, you need to know why there is a lack of sufficient saliva, so you can work toward the proper treatment of your dry mouth. Visit the doctor so you can be examined for the following possible causes:
Medical condition – Medical conditions associated with dry mouth include nerve damage, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, systemic lupus, Sjogren’s Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis.
Medical treatments – Some medical procedures can affect the way your body produces saliva including chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Side effect of medication – Hundreds of medicines can make your saliva glands less active. The most common ones are hypertension medicine and medication used for managing depression.
Dry Mouth Treatment and Prevention
Aside from following your dentist and doctor’s treatment plan, you can also reduce dry mouth with some lifestyle changes.
– Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
– Reduce your intake of food and beverages with too much salt and sugar.
– Drink lots of water throughout the day.
– Chew sugarless gum to activate the production of saliva.
Tooth loss can dramatically reduce your quality of life. That’s why many patients see dentures as a life-saving solution. Despite the emergence of newer tooth restoration options, dentures continue to be a popular choice for patients all over the world because of its convenience, ease of use and affordability.
Dentures today offer a more comfortable and snug fit compared to past models. High-quality, well-fitting dentures are now made of sophisticated materials that do a good job of mimicking the appearance of natural teeth.
While most major complaints about dentures have been solved with modern denture technology, some common denture problems still remain.
If you’re thinking of getting dentures, it’s important to ask yourself, What are some possible denture problems? This way, you can make the necessary preparations to reduce or manage these complaints.
Excessive saliva production
First-time denture wearers often experience saliva overflow. This is brought about by the presence of a foreign object inside your mouth, causing your salivary glands to work harder than usual. As your body gets more used to the dentures, saliva production will gradually go back to normal. Mints or hard candies can help you temporarily manage the uncomfortable sensation.
Another sensation that might cause you to feel uncomfortable is the feeling as if your dentures are too large or taking up too much space in your mouth, to the point that your lips feel stretched. If the dentures have an exact fit, this sensation is most likely a normal part of the adjustment period. The only way to make it go away is to wear your dentures more often – eventually, your mouth will learn how to accommodate them.
Some first-time wearers also complain about dentures feeling unstable, making them fear that their fake teeth might accidentally slip out of their mouth altogether. To give dentures a more secure hold, apply a denture adhesive. However, it’s a different matter if the slipping is caused by ill-fitting dentures due to improper measurements or because the gum tissue and jawbone have already shifted or shrunk after some time. If this is the case, consult your dentist immediately.
Mouth sores, inflammation and pain
Another possible problem is pain and inflammation. This is common during the early stages and can be relieved with a warm water and salt gargle and medicines prescribed by your dentist. But if pain and sores continue to persist, check with your dentist to make sure it is not caused by poor fit. Also, prevent inflammation due to bacterial infection by following the proper dental and denture cleaning and care routine.
Questions or problems with your dentures? Don’t attempt to solve them alone. Contact your trustedPrescott, AZ dentist for professional help.
Written by Horizon DDS, December 16th, 2016 | Comments Off on Denture Problems | Potential Issues You Should Be Aware Of