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If a dental emergency should happen to your child, please remember to act quickly. Stay calm-a parent’s apprehension can be transmitted to the child. Bring the child to us with the tooth replanted or kept moist in transit. We’ll take care of you immediately.

A child, learning to ride a two-wheeled bicycled, loses her balance, falls, hits a rock and knocks out a front tooth. What do you do?

If the tooth is replaced in the tooth socket immediately, the chances are good that this tooth can be maintained for many years.

Do something and do it now
The success of this replantation procedure is directly related to how soon the tooth is replaced in its socket. If possible, just rinse the tooth with tap water and gently replace the tooth in its socket and come to the office. Otherwise, wrap the tooth in a clean, moistened cloth-or put it in a cup of water or milk-and get to the office, now. Never scrape the tooth or allow it to dry out.

Remember, time is of the essence
If the tooth is left out of the mouth for more than 30 minutes, the chance for successful replantation drops significantly.

We consider replantation successful if we can keep the tooth in position at least during a child’s growth period. By maintaining the space, the replanted tooth prevents tipping of adjacent teeth. If it’s necessary to replace the injured tooth, it’s much easier to do it when the child is older – when all the permanent teeth are in.

For some reason, most people get an unpleasant feeling at the thought of visiting their dentist.  But staying on top of your dental health can save you from even worse unpleasantness later.Aside from the regular check-up appointments – which dentists stress are highly important and can prevent or catch problems early – there are several signs that it may be time to pay a visit to your dentist.

Generally, anything out of the ordinary may indicate it’s time to call your dentist, whether it be tooth pain, bleeding gums or discoloration.

Tooth pain

Toothaches are a common reason that people might need to make that appointment.  Some symptoms would include a dull throbbing in the jaw that leads to the ear, hot or cold sensitivity, or an obvious sharp pain.

Pain comes in different degrees and has different causes. Usually tooth pain that causes you to wake up in the middle of the night is an automatic visit to the dentist.

But some tooth pain could be triggered by clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth while you sleep. Often, using a nightguard will relieve this pain.

Gums

Bleeding gums are another reason to make an appointment with the dentist.  If your gums bleed when you floss for longer than a week, see your dentist.  Bleeding during brushing, or for no reason at all, also warrants a visit.

Other problematic symptoms for the gums include discoloration or inflammation.

If their tissue is not a coral pink, or a light shade of pink, if it starts to turn red in color, that means there is some type of inflammation caused by bacteria or other immune system issue.  Swollen gums are also a reason to see the dentist.

Inflamed or bleeding gums are often a sign of periodontal disease.  Smoking, hereditary diseases such as diabetes, and the lack of proper oral hygiene cause periodontal disease, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Headaches

People often don’t connect headaches with dental problems, but can they can be related.  Headaches that are felt in the morning, especially accompanied by soreness or stiffness in the neck, could be due to clenching or grinding during the night. These headaches can also be prevented by nightguards.

Other symptoms

Other things to be on the lookout for are a bad odor in your mouth, pressure or “bubbles” above your teeth, or white patches on your tongue.

Pressure or “bubbles” that form above the teeth could be infections.  And white patches on the side of the tongue that cannot be wiped off could be a sign of oral cancer.

But dental problems do not always present themselves in identifiable ways, which is why it is important to regularly see your dentist rather than wait for the pain to set in.

The tooth actually does not feel decay until it has progressed, sometimes for years.  If they feel pain, it’s too late.

McCormick said teeth are like bones – neither have nerves in them. So the pain of decay is not felt until it reaches the core of the tooth, by which time it is too late.

Franklin said it is important to brush your teeth three times a day – after every meal – and consistently floss.  The best dentistry is preventive dentistry.

 

The Science of Dentistry

Got Bad Breath?

February 2, 2012

There’s no way around it – bad breath is embarrassing. Chronic bad breath can seem like a nemesis, constantly foiling your plans and preventing you from engaging in social activities. We know what to avoid food-wise: anchovies, onions, garlic, etc., but what else can you do?  Consider these helpful tips to help you overcome bad breath and start smiling again!

1. Brush and floss daily

This seems like a no-brainer, but let’s be honest. How often do you really floss? If you’re like most people, then it’s about as often as you flip your mattress. Debris builds up between teeth, decays, and emits a foul odor. Flossing removes the debris, and it’s absolutely essential for fresh breath.

2. Scrape your tongue

Bacteria hides beneath your taste buds, but a gentle, cost-effective tongue scraper can effectively remove a good percentage of this bacteria. Tongue scrapers last for years, and it might just be the most important thing you do to eliminate odor-causing bacteria.

3. Replace your toothbrush

Your toothbrush’s damp bristles can become a host for bacteria over time. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months for a fresh approach to fighting bad breath.

4. Use alcohol-free mouthwash

Buyers beware! Many popular mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can mask odors, but ultimately exacerbates the problem by contributing to dry mouth. Consider using an alcohol-free rinse or a baking-soda solution to actually rid your mouth of bacteria.

5. Drink water

Sipping water throughout the day can wash away debris and prevent dehydration, a common cause of bad breath.

6. Go green

Certain herbs and spices act as natural breath fresheners that kill odiferous bacteria. Try adding fresh mint, parsley, coriander, tarragon, rosemary, or cardamom to your diet. Steep these herbs in hot water for a few minutes and enjoy a breath-freshening after-dinner elixir.

7. Introduce vitamin-rich foods

Studies show that foods rich in vitamin D (yogurt, cheese, milk) and Vitamin C (citrus fruits, berries, melons) can counter bad breath and create an environment inhospitable to bacteria.

8. Avoid liquid offenders

Minimize your intake of notorious bad-breath allies like coffee, wine, and whiskey.

9. Chew sugar-free gum

While this isn’t a permanent solution, sugar-free gum can stimulate the saliva glands and provide temporary relief. And because it’s sugar-free, it won’t contribute to decay, which can heighten the problem. Try to find gum that

Oral dryness, or xerostomia as it is also known, is the health condition in which due to malfunctioning, the salivary glands do not produce enough saliva.

However, people struggle quite rarely with such a condition in its toughest form, and the symptoms generally last for shorter periods of time.

Dry mouth is a condition which brings about bad breath, which is an even more frustrating condition. Saliva production is extremely important, and when there is not enough saliva in the mouth, bacteria and microbes multiply faster and may cause other unpleasant symptoms, such as the bad breath condition itself.

One of the main causes of xerostomia is dehydration. When the human organism does not receive enough fluids, the mouth will be dry too. This is why it is extremely important to hydrate properly, and make sure you drink at least 2 liters of fluids every day.

Dehydration may easily be a condition which is triggered by other underlying health complications, such as constant vomiting, diarrhea, sweating in excess or feverish states.

Then, yet another important cause of xerostomia might be factors such as smoking, or chewing tobacco regularly.

Cigarettes contain chemical ingredients that actually hinder saliva production; therefore, smokers can experience quite frequently xerostomia.

People who are undergoing some medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, might also experience short term or long term oral dryness. It has been scientifically proven that these invasive medical procedures actually destroy the salivary glands.

Yet another quite common side effect of chemotherapy is frequent vomiting, and this might bring about xerostomia as well.

Prescription medication, such as the psychotic drugs might also have as side effect the oral dryness condition. These drugs are specifically prescribed for patients struggling with conditions such as Bipolar Disorder or different stages of depression.

The main ingredients in these drugs affect the secretions and glands of the human organism, hence the possibility of struggling with oral dryness when taking these types of prescription medications.

Oral dryness can also be a side effect of health conditions such as diabetes, Mumps Hypertension, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease or Sjorgen’s syndrome.

Whatever the reason may be, if dry mouth lasts long enough cavities start popping up all over the place. It is very important to see your dentist to figure out what kind of preventative treatment would work for you.

Oral Sex = Oral Cancer

September 25, 2011

In other countries, the leading cause of oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancer is tobacco; in the United States, it’s oral sex. Shocking?

Dr. Maura Gillson of Ohio State University reported her group’s findings to the American Association for the Advancement of Science this past weekend.  It is now thehuman papillomavirus (HPV)  that is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer (67% of all oropharyngeal cancers), and the more oral sex one has, and the more partners one has, the greater the risk of getting these cancers, which tend to grow in the middle of the throat.

“An individual who has six or more lifetime partners — on whom they’ve performed oral sex – has an eightfold increase in risk compared to someone who has never performed oral sex,” she said.

Gillison also reported that  “every birth cohort appears to be at greater risk from HPV and oral cancers than the group born before them.” And indeed, Swedish researchers undertook longitudinal studies of HPV related oral cancers and found that between 1970 and 2005, the HPV was responsible for 23 percent in 1970 until 2005 when it accounted for 93 percent.

Is there good news here? Well, researchers say that survival rates from HPV related oral cancers are higher than survival rates from tobacco related oral cancers. For now, the advice to parents and health educators is to talk about oral sex.

HPV can also cause cervical cancer and there are vaccines available for teens and young women for that virus; however it is unknown whether or not these vaccines are preventative for oropharyngeal cancer caused by HPV. Gillison reported that currently the highest percentage of mouth and throat cancers is among young, white men, but the reason for that is not known. Perhaps men should also be vaccinated against HPV?

Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco studied 600 adolescents over 10 years and found that oral sex is much more common than vaginal sex, noting “teens don’t consider oral sex to be sex. Parents and health educators are not talking to teens about oral sex. Period.”

 

From The Science of Dentistry

Shocking. One word that sums up the latest study conducted by the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. According to their research, chronic periodontal disease indicated, strangely, by missing molars, appears to be associated statistically with breast cancer.
The study involved 3273 randomly selected subjects aged 30-40 years. Of those selected, 1676 (group A) received an oral examination. Group B, consisting of the remaining 1597 did not receive an examination. 26 subjects in group A and 15 subjects in group B had breast cancer. The incidence of breast cancer was 1.75% in subjects who had periodontal disease and/or any missing molars, and 0 in subjects who had periodontal disease but had no missing molars. For periodontally healthy subjects with no missing teeth the breast cancer incidence was 1%. For group B the respective incidence was 0.94%. Female gender (odds ratio (OR) 13.08) and missing any molar in the mandible (OR 2.36) were explanatory variables for breast cancer. Of the subjects with periodontal disease and any missing molars in the mandible 5.5% had breast cancer in comparison to 0.5% of the subjects who had periodontal disease but no missing molars in the mandible (P < 0.02).

Periodontal disease begins innocently enough as gingivitis, but unfortunately, the disease progresses very quickly if it’s not treated properly, and promptly. Once periodontal disease becomes irreversible, your risk for losing teeth increases substantially. Taking the above information into consideration, missing teeth, especially molars, appears to be the somewhat strange connection between periodontal disease and breast cancer.

I really strongly advise everyone to take any signs of “pink in the sink” very seriously. The first sign of gum disease is red, bleeding gums. Believe it or not, bleeding gums is not a normal occurrence when you are brushing your teeth. If you are consistently finding your gums bleed while you are brushing your teeth, speak with your dentist about how to halt the progression of gum disease; before it’s too late.

 

From The Science of Dentistry

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