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Archive for June, 2015

Keeping Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy

Friday, June 26th, 2015

dentist Gold Coast Did you know that pregnancy could affect your oral health? It’s true; hormonal fluctuations throughout pregnancy can place an expecting mother at a heightened risk for conditions like gum disease. This is because certain hormones increase blood circulation to soft tissues in the mouth, thus making them more susceptible to inflammation and possibly infection. We recommend that expecting mothers practice good oral hygiene, keep regular dental appointments, and eat a healthy diet low in sugary foods and drinks. If gum disease is present, our dentist provides treatments such as cleanings that improve gum health.

Gum Disease and Pregnancy

Pregnant women are very susceptible to gum disease. Although gum disease is common, it can progress into a very troubling and devastating condition. Advanced gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. This disease also destroys soft and hard oral tissues including bone. Since hormonal fluctuations lead to gingival inflammation, the gums can easily become infected – especially if a patient is not practicing proper oral hygiene.

The Importance of Correct Oral Hygiene

We strongly encourage all patients, especially expecting mothers, to adopt a thorough oral hygiene routine that includes at least twice daily brushing and nightly flossing. Patients should brush their teeth for about two to three minutes. Not only should the surfaces of teeth be brushed, the gums and tongue should be brushed as well. Flossing is just as important as brushing and is best done just before bed. Flossing helps disrupt colonies of bacteria that form along the gum line and cleans in between the crevices of teeth.

Why Regular Cleanings and Checkups are Necessary

Even if you are pregnant, receiving regular checkups and cleanings is important. During dental examinations, we will look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease and if potential problems are present, we will utilize treatment that is healthy for both babies and mothers to be. Cleanings are important as well since they help remove substances left behind by brushing and flossing. Professional cleanings gently scrape away tartar deposits (a major contributor of gum irritation and infection).

If you are expecting a child, we encourage you to let our team know so that we can best serve your needs. Call us today to schedule a checkup or cleaning with one of our skilled dentists.

Teeth Grinding: More than just a bad habit, it’s a dental concern

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

dentist 60622When you feel stressed, angry, or anxious, do you clench your teeth? Perhaps your significant other or roommate has complained that you grind your teeth in your sleep. While the act of grinding and clenching teeth is very common – especially when people are under duress – it is not a quirky, benign behavior.

Bruxism (the act of clenching and grinding teeth) is actually very destructive to your oral health. This habit can cause tooth fracturing and breakage along with permanent enamel damage and TMJ disorder. Fortunately, our dentist treats the side effects of bruxism with restorative dentistry and can help you protect your teeth by prescribing custom night guards.

How Bruxism Affects Dental Health

Clenching and grinding puts unnecessary stress on teeth. The force and pressure applied by bruxism will weaken tooth enamel over time. Enamel damage is permanent, and when tooth enamel is worn down, the less durable structures of teeth (the dentin) are exposed. The bacteria that cause cavities easily affect dentin, and as a softer structure, it means that grinding and clenching can chip away or break parts of a tooth. Patients who grind and clench their teeth often require dental restorations like crowns to rebuild their occlusions and restore teeth to their proper shape and size.

TMJ Disorder

In addition to weakened teeth that may fracture or become infected, bruxism affects the health of the jaws and connecting joints. These joints, also called the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) are responsible for all mouth movement and when patients grind and clench their teeth, they put extra pressure on this joint. Over time, pressure from bruxism can cause the TMJ to malfunction. TMJ disorder is a painful condition that affects overall quality of life and oral health. Our dentist offers treatment depending on the underlying cause of TMJ dysfunction.  To protect teeth, our team may prescribe a custom night guard and repair damage done by TMJ disorder with restorative procedures.

To schedule a dental checkup or cleaning, call Ora Dental Studio today.

Tips to Protect Tooth Enamel

Friday, June 5th, 2015

dentist West LoopDid you know that tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body? Tooth enamel is made of very strong minerals. It surrounds the outer layer of teeth and protects them from cavity-causing bacteria. Even though tooth enamel is incredibly strong, it can be damaged. Wear and tear on teeth along with strong acids can strip away the minerals that keep enamel healthy and strong.

When enamel is damaged, patients have an increased risk for tooth breakage and caries. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk for enamel damage by altering your diet and receiving preventive dental care. Our dentist provides enamel-strengthening treatments along with restorations like fillings or crowns.

How Dietary Choices Affect Tooth Enamel

The main culprit behind enamel damage is acid. Drinking and eating acidic foods weakens tooth enamel over time by stripping away its mineral content. Acidic foods and beverages are a daily part of many people’s diets. Drinks such as coffee and soda along with foods like oranges and lemons can harm tooth enamel – especially if these items are consumed too often. Moreover, many processed and packaged foods contain acidic flavoring agents and preservatives that harm teeth as well. Our team recommends that patients read the labels on drinks and food and avoid highly acidic ingredients as often as possible. If foods or beverages like citrus fruits and soda are consumed, we recommend drinking water throughout the day to dilute their acid content and rinse away particles that harm teeth.

Preventive Treatments

Another option that patients have for protecting tooth enamel is through preventive dentistry treatments. One popular way to strengthen tooth enamel is by receiving fluoride treatments. A fluoride treatment is a prescription gel or foam that helps remineralize tooth enamel. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is scientifically proven to improve the health of teeth.

If you are wondering about the health of your teeth, we recommend that you call Ora Dental Studio to speak with a member of our team or to schedule a dental checkup. During your appointment, we can evaluate if preventive treatments or restorative procedures are necessary.

Call us today to reserve an appointment with one of our skilled dentists.