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!
Perfectly aligned teeth are not that common. If you see someone with really straight teeth alignment, it’s quite likely that she wore braces — that’s because most people just don’t naturally grow their teeth that way. On top of that, there are certain habits that affect proper teeth alignment such as thumb sucking and pacifier use. Plus, other variables contribute to the problem as well.
So, what are the common teeth alignment problems most people suffer from? A Prescott, AZ dentist rounds up eight of them below:
Malocclusion – This condition is also known as “poor bite” and it basically means you have crooked teeth. It is often hereditary and it’s frequently associated with other dento-facial deformities.
Deep overbite – This is when your upper teeth cover the entire row of your lower teeth when you bite. This condition may not be unsightly and it also may not look like a big problem but when lower teeth bite into the palate or gum tissue behind the upper teeth, this can lead to bite discomfort and bone damage.
Underbite or lower jaw protrusion – This is the complete opposite of an overbite and it tends to look more unnatural. It can create speech difficulty, with the lower jaw protruding to some degree longer than the upper jaw.
Crossbite – This is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. This can make biting and chewing difficult, which is why early orthodontic treatment is recommended for correction.
Overjet or protruding upper teeth – While it may seem similar to a deep overbite, an overbite doesn’t necessarily mean that the upper front teeth protrude a lot; with this case it does. It’s a serious problem because it makes the lower front teeth quite prone to injury. Typically, this condition is associated with a lower jaw that is shorter in proportion to the upper jaw.
Open bite – This when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. You can see an open space between the upper and lower rows. Apart from the fact that it doesn’t look nice, this teeth alignment issue overworks the molars.
Teeth crowding – This usually happens when the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are just too big.
Teeth spacing – When teeth are small or a few teeth have been removed, this causes “shifting,” which then creates spaces between teeth. It doesn’t look nice and it also makes the gums more prone to damage.
Thankfully, all these teeth alignment problems have solutions. Consult your dentist if you have any of these issues to see which corrective treatment is most suitable for you.
Aging gives birth to a lot of health woes, which is why it becomes more and more important to pay close attention to your well-being as you continue to get older. It can be a lot of work, but you can be certain that your efforts will have a huge impact on your overall health.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Teeth As You Age
For example, with oral care, taking care of your teeth as you age will involve additional steps and even special products at different stages in your life. But if you commit to all of these, you do not only get to preserve your teeth and their proper functioning — you also avoid health complications associated with common mouth diseases for aging folks.
If you want to get serious with your oral health in order to feel and look good throughout your life, a Prescott, AZ dentist has these tips for you:
Use soft-bristle toothbrushes – they’re kinder to aging teeth and gums.
Consider an electric toothbrush, especially if meticulous brushing is difficult for you. An electric toothbrush doesn’t need much manipulation to effectively clean your teeth.
Use sonic air floss instead of waxed nylon flosses. This product may be a tad expensive but you can use it for a long time. The advantage provided by this special kind of floss is that it’s so much easier to use and you can avoid cutting your gums as you try to dislodge food debris between your teeth and gums.
If you have dentures, make sure to clean them regularly and to use the appropriate cleaning agents. Don’t clean your dentures with toothpaste – that’s a big no-no. Also, it’s healthier to remove your dentures before going to sleep; doing this will help preserve your gums.
Use a mouthwash to maintain the pH balance of your mouth and prevent bad breath-causing bacteria from proliferating.
Drink water often. Water can also contribute to maintaining the right pH level of your mouth. Plus, it contains fluoride which can help prevent tooth decay.
If you still smoke, better stop. Smoking dehydrates the mouth and a dehydrated mouth is the perfect breeding place for bad breath- and tooth decay-causing bacteria. Likewise, it increases your risk for lung and other cancers.
Eat healthier. Getting loads of vitamins and minerals from your meals will boost your immune system. A healthy immune system will make you less prone to oral diseases.
Since you were a young kid, you’ve heard the adults tell you to limit your consumption of sugary treats. They reasoned out that food laden with sugar can lead to tooth decay, or even worse, tooth loss.
“How does sugar cause tooth decay?” you might ask.
It’s actually not the sugar in food
Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not exactly sugar itself that causes tooth decay and other dental problems.
Sugar is just one of the major factors involved in a series of events that occur after eating sugary and starchy food.
A glimpse into your mouth’s eco-system
Much as you would like to believe that your mouth is clean and free from bacteria, the truth is that it is home to hundreds of bacteria.
Now, some of these bacteria may be harmful, but there are also beneficial bacteria that can be found inside your mouth.
When you consume food rich in sugar, you are essentially feeding the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Some of the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and then release acids.
In turn, these acids corrode the teeth’s enamel, the protective layer of the tooth. Over time, these acids can create a hole in your teeth. Left unchecked, these holes can go to the deeper layers of the teeth which lead to toothaches and even tooth loss.
Little helpers inside your mouth
Your teeth are constantly bombarded by acids that corrode the enamel. But your teeth are not defenseless.
The acids in your mouth remove minerals from the enamel through a process known as demineralization.
But another key process takes place inside your mouth: remineralization. In this process, the minerals leeched away from the teeth’s enamel are replaced and the teeth are strengthened.
Your saliva plays a crucial role in this process, providing the teeth with minerals like calcium and phosphate. These minerals help repair the teeth.
Your teeth need your help
However, the saliva can only do so much. When you eat too much sugary and starchy food, your teeth has little time to repair themselves.
This is why it is crucial to limit your intake of treats laden with sugars and starch.
But apart from limiting your consumption of sugars and starches, a Prescott, AZ dentist says there are a few other things that you can do to protect your teeth against cavities.
For one, you should add more fruits and veggies to your diet. These facilitate the production of more saliva. Dairy products, on the other hand, are rich in the minerals that help strengthen the teeth. Drinking green and black teas can also control the population of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Dentists also recommend drinking fluoridated water and brushing the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and even reverse it during the early stages. Schedule an appointment with our doctors today!
Dentists recommend regular dental care to preserve your oral health. They can also help you in finding the most suitable yet affordable treatment. Routine oral health care is a great way to achieve a healthy mouth and teeth for years to come. Regularly visiting your dentist for basic dental care exams and cleaning is a great start!
Reputable Prescott, AZ dentist, Dr. Mark Costes suggests scheduling a visit with your local dental hygienist to clean and polish your teeth every six to nine months. Also, you need to have routine examinations and X-rays. Based on the findings from these examinations, additional preventative dental care may be suggested to ensure good oral health longterm.
Dental Exam and Common Procedures
Complete Oral Examination – This will detect problems such as deteriorating fillings and conditions affecting your overall health such as oral cancer and gum disease. Your dentist will explore each tooth, gums, the tongue.
Panoramic X-ray – This refers to taking a shot of all of your teeth as well as your upper and lower jaws to gain a clear picture of your mouth’s condition. It shows the entire mouth in one image, identifying problems like fractures, bone abnormalities, infections, tumors, and impacted teeth. This imagery method is often used when planning treatments like dentures, braces and implants.
Dental Surgery – This includes everything from a simple tooth extraction to a complicated procedure like dental implant surgery. It is primarily done to relieve pain as well as to boost the appearance and function of your smile. It can be performed in a dentist’s office without having to be referred to another office.
Dental Care Basics
Brush at least twice a day – Do not rush when you brush. Proper brushing will require at least two minutes. Also, do not neglect the gum line, areas around fillings, crowns and hard-to-reach areas.
Clean in between teeth – Your toothbrush can’t reach all the areas to be cleaned. As such, it is very crucial for you to use floss or interdental cleaners to clean the areas that the toothbrush cannot reach. Brushing your tongue is also important since this will remove bacteria to ensure fresh breath.
Eat a balanced diet – Make it a habit to eat a balanced diet that contains foods from the five major food groups. You need to limit snacks containing high levels of sugar.
Visit your dentist regularly – Dental visits must be done every six months or more for early detection of any dental problem including tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Routine fluoride application is also a must. This can be done during your routine dental examination and cleaning.
Basic dental care will involve your daily participation. Your smile will greatly depend on these dental care basics, so always keep them in mind and put them into practice. Call us today to set up your appointment!
If you think smoking is bad enough because it destroys your lungs, then you haven’t gotten to the most obvious effects yet.
Tobacco and cigarettes contain tar and nicotine that build up inside your mouth. These gather in between teeth, allowing more bacteria to take refuge in these spaces and attack the surrounding teeth. Since there are about 600 bacterial species that make up the oral microbiome, just imagine how much the act of smoking further aggravates the problem by boosting the growth of the bacteria.
One of the most important things to understand about how smoking affects your mouth is that it also has other effects on your teeth. When plaque or tartar accumulate and harden around your teeth, for example, they create stains, usually yellowish and black in color, that can give you a less attractive smile.
The stains can be very difficult to remove and often cause damage to the surface of your teeth as well. Your teeth are coated with a protective layer called enamel; once the enamel is damaged, bacteria can freely contaminate and infect the core of your teeth, which eventually leads to rotting and extraction.
Another serious effect of smoking is gum disease. Because the nicotine coats the teeth and gums in plaque, oxygen is blocked from properly reaching the bloodstream. This prevents gums from healing as fast as it can, causing in the further development of different kinds of oral diseases. Although smoking can severely damage one’s dental condition, there are ways that can help you treat the damage it has done on your gums and teeth.
Brushing and flossing the right way
Brushing your teeth and flossing should be done the right way in order to achieve optimal results. Brushing three times daily and flossing after every meal is the typical advice, but keep in mind that you also have to do these correctly — you have to use the right strokes and perform the right procedures to remove every bit of tartar stuck on the surface of your teeth. By making a real effort to make a habit out of brushing and flossing regularly, you prevent the cavities from spreading further to your other teeth.
Installing crowns or veneers
When the degree of staining on your teeth is too serious too remove, you can simply cover it up with dental crowns or veneers. These dental solutions can be easily installed by your dentist and would not take too much time to accomplish. They serve as protective coverings and come in a porcelain white color to improve not just function of the teeth, but also their appearance.
Do not allow your teeth to deteriorate and completely lose their beauty. Visit a Prescott, AZ dentist today; these credible dental experts have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to help bring back the perfect smile you lost from smoking.
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!
After brushing, you check your teeth and gums in the mirror and you notice something unusual. It’s either your teeth have become longer or your gums have become smaller.
What’s happening here? The answer: gum recession.
Gum recession is a condition wherein the area where the teeth and gums meet pulls back. When this happens, more of the tooth becomes exposed. This also creates what a Prescott, AZ dentist calls pockets which can leave your teeth and gums vulnerable to the build-up of bacteria. Left unchecked, gum recession can lead to damage to the supporting tissues and bones, and eventually, tooth loss.
Gum recession is fairly common and most people do not know they have receding gums until the condition has progressed to a more advanced stage.
There are, however, a few signs that indicate that a person has receding gums. These include increased tooth sensitivity and longer-looking teeth.
What causes gum recession?
There are several possible causes of gum recession.
Periodontal or gum disease is the leading cause of gum recession.
This bacterial infection destroys both the gum tissues and the supporting bones of the teeth.
Another common cause of this condition is poor oral hygiene.
If you fail to properly and regularly brush and floss your teeth, plaque can easily build up in your mouth and eventually form into tartar.
But sometimes, too much of a good thing can be bad. Take brushing, for example. If you brush your teeth too hard or if you do not brush your teeth properly, you risk wearing away the enamel on your teeth and cause your gums to recede.
Some people have receding gums simply because they are genetically predisposed to suffer from this condition.
According to some estimates, about 30 percent of people will get receding gums even if they take great care of their teeth and gums.
Pregnant, menopausal, and young girls undergoing puberty are also vulnerable to gum recession as changes in their hormones adversely affect their gum tissues.
Cigarette smokers and people who use tobacco products are also highly likely to have receding gums. This is because these people have more plaque on their teeth which can cause gum recession.
If you have bite problems or crooked teeth, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to gum recession if you do not seek the appropriate treatment. Your condition places too much force on the gums and bones which may cause recession. The same thing can happen to people who clench and grind their teeth.
Gum recession may also be caused by piercings on the lip or tongue. When your body piercing jewelry rubs against your gums, this can cause irritation and eventually gum recession.
Gum recession is a serious concern and you should immediately see your dentist for the appropriate treatment.