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Archive for August, 2016

Pregnancy and Gingivitis

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

dentist Chicago LoopCaring for oral health is something everyone should be vigilant about … brushing twice daily, flossing, and visiting the dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and dental exam should be considered as standard care. However, for women considering pregnancy, the need for this vigilance is even more important.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissues, and this is usually considered one of the first signs of the onset of gum disease. During pregnancy a woman experiences hormonal changes … an increased level of progesterone makes the bacteria that causes gingivitis more prevalent and active.

This does not mean that every pregnant woman is going to develop gum disease. But it does indicate that women susceptible to issues related to gum disease are more likely to experience symptoms of gingivitis or the more advanced stage of periodontitis during pregnancy. If symptoms have advanced, the patient may see gum tissue pulling away from teeth or teeth may feel loose.

Some of the symptoms of gingivitis include red gum tissue. Normal healthy gum tissue is pink. Gums may bleed during brushing; bleeding without provocation indicates a worsening condition. Gum tissue may appear puffy or swollen as well. Bad breath may be present.

The onset of gingivitis can contribute to the development of sores in the mouth known as pregnancy tumors. Not to be confused with cancerous tumors, these sores often go away after birth. But their presence may make eating and speaking uncomfortable.

Women who experience chronic gum disease should see their dentist right away after discovering they are pregnant. It is important to advise your dental provider of your condition as well as how far into your term you are. Your dentist can prescribe an antimicrobial rinse. Brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste is also recommended.

Failure to care for your teeth during pregnancy can be problematic for your newborn. Chronic gum disease is attributable to premature births and underweight babies.

There are steps you can take before, during, and after pregnancy to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Brushing thoroughly with a fluoridated tooth paste at least twice every day (an electronic toothbrush is a great aid that helps to control the pressure exerted during brushing as well as provides a signal when you’ve brushed the recommended two minutes); floss daily rinsing thoroughly to rid the mouth of bacteria; and keep regularly scheduled dental appointments.

Are you overdue for a dental appointment? Schedule one with our team today!

The Effects of Tobacco and Nicotine On Your Dental Health

Monday, August 15th, 2016

dentist ChicagoDuring the 1960’s the surgeon general pronounced that tobacco use was hazardous to your health. Unfortunately, tobacco products are also exceedingly addictive making them dangerous and difficult to give up. These facts were based on overall health, however further research has proven that tobacco can wreak havoc on your dental health. Your dentist can provide assistance to patients wishing to break the nicotine habit.

As if cancer, lung, and heart disease were not motivation enough to give up tobacco, the likelihood of developing periodontitis increases dramatically for tobacco users. With this condition, the patient is likely to experience tooth loss and the ill effects experienced with serious gum disease.

When tooth loss occurs, choices become limited as to what type of restoration is available. While dental implants restore a lost tooth to near normal, bone loss in the jaw from tobacco use may make the patient ineligible for this solution. Also, unless smoking is no longer applicable, your dentist will very likely decline to place dental implants as this is a primary contributor to implant failure.

And there are the physical side effects such as yellow, stained teeth; chronic bad breath; coughing or wheezing; the wrinkled appearance around the lips; and the change long time tobacco users might experience in the sound of their own voice.

With tobacco use, any oral injury or sore can take much longer to heal. In addition, receding gum tissue is more prevalent. Plaque build-up increases which is a major contributor to gum disease, and also leads to the potential for dental decay.

Wear and tear to dentition can result in broken teeth, and this can produce the need for endodontic (root canal) therapy to affected teeth.  Diseased teeth that might have been salvaged for non-smokers could require extraction, and jaw bone loss and gum disease are very problematic for tobacco users.

But possibly the worst affliction attributed to tobacco use is oral or throat cancer. These cancers are extremely difficult to treat if not caught early. Tobacco users should see their dentist every six months to have plaque build-up removed and an exam looking for any lesions. If a persistent sore develops between exams, see your dentist right away – it could save your life.

Purchasing tobacco products is extremely costly, but that pales in comparison to the price you pay for terrible oral health. If you have further questions about oral health, contact our team at Ora Dental Studio to talk to our caring experts!

Common Causes of Worn Dentition

Friday, August 5th, 2016

dentist BucktownTeeth can become worn down for a variety of reasons … grinding and clenching (due to anxiety), an ill-fitting or poorly placed restoration, a malocclusion (where teeth are not aligned correctly), overlapping or crooked teeth … the causes can be numerous. Your dentist can identify the problem and recommend a solution.

Grinding and clenching – Patients afflicted with this habit often don’t even realize they’re doing it. Nervousness and anxiety are often released through grinding, frequently starting subconsciously during periods of sleep. This act can truly become a habit where you are grinding and clenching while awake as well. The pressure you are putting on your teeth and jaws can wear away dental enamel resulting in uneven dentition and broken teeth.

Once realized, relief can sometimes be achieved with an adjustment. If that does not work a night guard is recommended. There are different varieties, and your dentist will work with you to find the one that will work best for you. A customized mouth guard is a much better choice than acquiring a generic, one-size-fits-all apparatus you can buy at the local store. After all, if it does not fit well, you will not wear it.

Restoration problem – A filling or crown can be completed, but within a couple of days you feel something isn’t right. It can be too high and need adjusting or a margin might be incorrect. If you don’t get it fixed, you might start chewing differently. This is also another reason you might start grinding teeth and clenching your jaw.

Malocclusion – When the upper teeth do not align properly with the corresponding lower teeth, this is a malocclusion. But when you chew, your teeth are supposed to meet – if not they might slide off each other. You may not realize it is happening, but over time this could result in worn down enamel.

The same type of problem may be occurring if you have crooked or overlapping teeth. The best way to correct a malocclusion or a crooked smile is to straighten teeth. This will not only enhance your appearance, but your dental health will get a boost when teeth are properly aligned.

Your dentist has a solution for these problems. With preventative care you may be able to avoid having to deal with issues resulting in worn dentition … be proactive and visit your dentist every six months.

Contact us at Ora Dental Studio to schedule your next cleaning or checkup!