Pregnancy

What to Expect When Your Expecting: Dental Facts

In the excitement of preparing to welcome your new bundle of joy into the world, don’t forget to take care of yourself and your oral hygiene when you’re expecting. Your oral health is more important than ever at this special time in your life.

Luckily, if you have good oral health, most of your habits will not change. For instance, your normal routine dental visits are safe for you and your baby. However, it is important you let your doctor know during your visit that you are expecting and to inform your doctor of any new medications you are taking. You may also continue to perform your normal hygiene routines at night using toothpaste and mouthwash.

During your visit, your doctor may want to perform x-rays of your teeth. Since you will be covered with a lead apron, the x-rays will not be harmful to you or your baby. However, you should talk with your dentist about your pregnancy to get his professional opinion and to determine if the x-rays are necessary.

One major problem that affects pregnant women is an increased risk for gingivitis. This is a mild form of gum disease that inflames the gums causing tenderness and soreness that makes your gums appear red or darker pink in color. You can combat gingivitis by having more frequent cleanings during pregnancy or by simply making a more concerted effort to keep your teeth clean. When left untreated, it can lead to a more serious gum disease.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that your baby’s teeth will develop between the third and sixth months of your pregnancy. During this time, it is even more important that you are consuming ample amounts of key nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium, and phosphorous to help your baby’s teeth grow in strong and healthy.

In general, what you eat will also affect the baby and your teeth, so make sure you are choosing your diet wisely. One tip is to choose foods that are low in sugar, but high in nutrients. Some of these foods include yogurt, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.

Finally, a common issue that plagues women is dreaded morning sickness. This causes nausea and vomiting, especially in the first trimester. This can make it especially difficult to brush your teeth and practice good oral hygiene. One suggestion is to try rinsing your mouth with a small amount of baking soda mixed with water in order to combat the stomach acid attacking your teeth and partially causing morning sickness.

Overall, the most important thing during pregnancy is to take care of yourself and your teeth in order to take care of your baby. But remember that good oral hygiene does not stop after the baby is born. It is important to continue taking care of your teeth and keeping your baby’s gums and teeth clean after he/she is born.

Masters Dental

The Cure To Bad Breath

Worried about your breath? Having bad breath can affect everything from your love life to your interview skills. Bad breath makes everyday activities nerve wracking and embarrassing. If you’re suffering from bad breath, we are here to help.

Before you can cure your bad breath, you must figure out what is causing it. Everyone has morning breath every once in awhile, or a smelly mouth after eating garlic or onions. Brushing and mouthwash cover up these odors, but they don’t actually go away until the foods have passed through your body. However, some people have bad breath that won’t go away. Halitosis is the medical term coined for bad breath, affects about 30% of the population. This can be caused by many different factors.

One of the most common factors of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If you neglect brushing and flossing, food particles may remain in your mouth for an extended period of time, allowing bacteria to flourish and grow. The bacteria develop into plaque, which will harden and become difficult to remove. Eventually, this will develop into gum disease, which could release an odor, contributing to halitosis.

Another cause for bad breath could be dry mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by many different factors, but a few common causes include smoking, breathing through the mouth, and a side effect of some medications. Dry mouth can cause odors because it reduces saliva flow. Salvia washes away dead cells in the mouth, neutralizes the acids produced by plaque, and moistens the mouth. Without it, bad breath will persist.

So how do you cure bad breath? We recommend seeing your dentist immediately to get a proper diagnosis if you notice recurring bad breath. Your dentist can provide the appropriate treatment depending on what is causing the problem. There are a few healthy habits that will help you prevent bad breath in the future:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Brush twice a day and floss at leas once a day
  • Replace your toothbrush every few months
  • Don’t forget to clean your tongue!
  • See your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings
  • Eat a fiber-rich diet
  • If you wear dentures, clean them once daily at a minimum
  • Try alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid drying medications (diuretics, pain relievers, etc.) unless medically necessary

If you have any other questions about halitosis, feel free to contact us today!

Mouthwash

Ask The Dentist: Can Mouthwash Replace Brushing?

You’re running late for an important meeting, and you hurriedly swish around a bit of mouthwash instead of taking the time to brush your teeth. We’ve all been there. Although this shouldn’t be a problem every once in awhile, keep in mind that mouthwash can never replace tooth brushing.

Mouthwash can be a wonderful supplement to your dental routine, but it should never replace another routine necessity such as brushing. Although mouthwash may feel like it cleans your teeth as good as brushing, remember that its main purpose is to freshen the breath, not cleanse the mouth.  Even mouthwashes with fluoride cannot replace brushing and flossing, which are the only ways to remove plaque. Plaque is the hard substance that is formed when the bacteria in your mouth stick to your teeth, and it can only be removed physically or mechanically.

You can think of this like washing your car. How clean would your car get if you only sprayed it with water? You must use soap and scrub the dirt off to properly clean your car. Similarly, you cannot just rinse your teeth with mouthwash and expect them to be clean – you must brush and floss to remove the plaque.

Choosing to skip brushing leaves your teeth exposed to all of the food, acid, and bacteria contained in your mouth. This can turn to plaque and eat away at your enamel, causing serious oral health problems. Unfortunately, mouthwash cannot prevent this – only proper brushing and flossing can.

Aside from failing to remove plaque, many mouthwashes contain alcohol. This can dry out your mouth, which is normally already dry during the night. Alcohol slows saliva production, and saliva is a natural plaque reducer. Some also argue the alcohol-containing mouthwashes are linked to cancer. We recommend using an alcohol-free mouthwash, but if you prefer an alcohol-containing mouthwash, use it sparingly.

If you notice persistent bad breath even after brushing, you may need to consult with your dentist. Of course bad breath in certain situations is normal, such as after eating onions or garlic, but if you bad breath continues you may have gum disease. If you cannot remove your bad breath with brushing and mouthwash, you should make an appointment with your dentist to inspect the possible causes.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us today!

Tooth ache

Do I Need A Root Canal?

Do you have harsh pain when chewing or applying pressure to certain teeth? Do you have a tooth that is ultra sensitive to hot or color temperatures? Is that toot discolored with swollen gums or a recurring pimple on the gums? If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, you may need a root canal.

A root canal is the treatment that is used to preserve an infected or decayed tooth. Root canals are performed when a tooth’s pulp is damaged beyond repair. The pulp is the tissue inside of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels. If your tooth is cracked, seriously injured, or has an untreated cavity, the pulp may become infected due to bacteria exposure.

The bacteria can enter the injured tooth and cause an infection or abscess on the inside of the tooth where the pulp is located. The abscess forms a pocket filled with pus near the roots of the tooth.  When this happens, you may experience any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of bone around the root of the tooth
  • Drainage problems in the tooth
  • Swelling that can spread to the face, neck, or head

This is where a root canal comes in. Root canal is the name for the treatment used to save a tooth that has a damaged pulp and/or root. The root canal can save the tooth from having to be removed. If an infected tooth pulp goes untreated, the tissues around it may become infected. Bacteria can damage the bone in your jaw around the tooth, and you may experience severe pain and swelling. The root canal procedure involves removing the damaged nerve and pulp and cleaning and sealing the tooth.

If you think you may need a root canal, you need to visit your dentist right away. Your dentist will be able to examine your teeth, take an X-ray, and look at your dental history in order to properly identify which tooth is affected and why.

The root canal procedure may take more than one office visit, but despite the root canal’s reputation, it is designed to relieve pain not create it.  Although getting a root canal may not be the most fun thing on your to-do list, it is necessary to save a damaged tooth. Root canals are advantageous to extracting the tooth for many reasons. Root canals allow you to save your natural teeth, which allow you to eat a wider variety of foods than a replacement implant. Tooth extraction and replacement is more expensive than a root canal, requires more treatment, and may not last as long.  The root canal is the generally preferred treatment of choice for a damaged tooth pulp.

If you think you may be suffering from tooth pulp damage, please contact us today to schedule an appointment.