Periodontal health which refers to the condition of the structures that support your teeth is an important part of your oral and overall health. However, periodontal health becomes even more important when you’re pregnant. Bad oral health can have detrimental effects on the health of your unborn child and can lead to low-birth weight babies and giving birth to a pre-term baby, according to reports by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).
Periodontal disease ( gum disease) is a set of chronic, bacteria-induced, inflammatory diseases that attack the gum tissue and in more severe cases, the bones supporting the teeth. Early signs of periodontal disease usually include tenderness, swelling and redness. Symptoms can also include bleeding gums when flossing or brushing, receding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. These signs shouldn’t be ignored, especially if you’re pregnant.
Fighting Periodontal Disease.
Prevention is the best tool you have to fight periodontal disease. Here are some steps you can take to keep your gums in tiptop shape.
- Brushing your teeth properly twice a day- angle your toothbrush at the gum line to help disrupt the bacterial growth that eventually leads to periodontal disease, and make sure you don’t brush too hard.
- Floss daily and clean behind the back molars on the top and bottom of your mouth.
- Use antiseptic mouthwash to rid your mouth of the bacteria that can cause gum disease.
- Get regular checkups at Hendersonville Family Dentistry to ensure you have no signs of periodontal disease and that your oral hygiene habits are effective.
We urge women to care for their periodontal health during pregnancy to avoid complications. If you have any questions regarding periodontal health and how it affects you and your baby’s overall health, please contact our office for more information.
Risk Of Oral Cancer
Cancer has become a common rod, and it seems like there is a new research about it every day. We know antioxidants are important. We know some cancers are more treatable than others. We know some lifestyles and habits contribute to our cancer risk.
Smoking increases our risk of cancer, as does walking through a radioactive power plant. There is a direct link to oral cancer that you may not know about-the link between HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) and oral cancer. A person with HPV is at an extremely high risk of developing oral cancer. In fact, smoking is now second to HPV in causing oral cancer!
Devices That Help Detect Oral Cancer
There is a test and a vaccine for HPV; please discuss it with your physician.
There are some devices that help detect oral cancer in it’s earliest forms. We all know that the survival rate for someone for someone with cancer depends greatly on what stage the cancer is diagnosed. Talk to Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones if you have any concerns.
Please be aware and remember that when it comes to your own health, knowledge is power. When you have the knowledge to make an informed decision, you can make positive changes in your life. The mouth is an entry point for your body. Care for your mouth and it will care for you.
Are You Still Getting Cavities?
You may brush your teeth twice or more every single day, floss to make sure you’re reaching every nook and cranny in your mouth, and you might even use an oral rinse to top it off. Somehow you are still getting cavities. Maybe you’ve noticed friends and family members whose oral cleaning routines aren’t as diligent as yours but don’t get cavities nearly as often as you do. Why is that?
Some people are more susceptible to cavities for a number of reasons, not all of which are to do with improper teeth cleaning.
Are You More Susceptible to Cavities?
- Diet-the culprit of why you might be more prone to cavities could be as simple as what you are eating. If you are eating too many snacks and beverages filled with sugar is a major issue when it comes to your oral health and should be the first place you look to cut down for the sake of your teeth.
- Oral Bacteria-There are oral bacteria, or microbes, that are more aggressive than others when reacting with sugars in the mouth. This means that the bacteria that naturally forms in some people’s mouths can be more damaging than the bacteria that forms in other people’s mouths.
- Dry Mouth-If you experience a feeling of dryness in your mouth regularly, this could affect your oral health. Saliva is essential combat to cavities because it washes away destructive food particles, sugars, and bacteria in the mouth naturally.
- Gum Recession- If gums recede far enough, the roots of the teeth can become exposed past where the tooth enamel naturally covers. This means that the base of the tooth is vulnerable and any bacteria that would naturally build could cause decay much easier, which results in cavities.
- Tooth Shape- Teeth that have naturally deep grooves are more susceptible to cavities because they are more likely to catch food particles, sugars, and destructive bacteria easily. These grooves are more difficult to properly clean regularly and are close to the root of the tooth so any erosion that does happen is more likely to have more destructive results because of it’s proximity to the vulnerable part of the tooth.
Stay Clear of that Candy!
At Hendersonville Family Dentistry we know how tempting candy can sometimes be on our sweet tooth, but it’s important to remember that every candy and sugary treat you consume elevates your risk of developing tooth decay, which can break down your teeth.
While not all bad in moderation, when eaten in excess, candy taycan lead to big problems, especially if good oral hygiene habits are not followed. We have a few helpful tips if you just can’t stay away from all those treats.
Helpful Tips When Consuming Candy
- Consume candy and other sweets during meals when your saliva can help neutralize the acids that are found in some candies, especially the sour variety.
- Avoid sticky or hard candies, which can stay in your mouth longer than you think, resulting in acids being constantly exposed to your teeth. This leads to cavities and tooth decay.
- Make sure the water your drink contains fluoride. Water that is fluoridated has been shown to help prevent cavities.
- Make sure to maintain your daily oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice a day, and flossing at least once.
- Visit our office twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings with Dr. Harbin & Dr. Jones. During your visit we can help catch problems such as cavities early to reduce the effects they have on your teeth, as well as give you tips for improving your oral health.
Your Child’s Oral Health
The food you feed your child can have a lasting effect on his or her oral health.In fact, diet plays a major role in whether a child develops cavities and decay, which can lead to many dental visits and potential tooth loss. So what should you feed your child to ensure he or she has a healthy smile for life.
Foods & Beverages To Avoid
Remember that some seemingly healthy foods can present the threat of decay too. Some of the most common culprits are sticky foods like peanut butter, raisins, and granola bars, which can stick to the teeth after eating. Make an effort to serve only water to your child any time other than meal times. During meals, allow your child to have milk or juice, but in limited serving sizes. Most importantly, never allow your young child to sleep with a bottle or “sippie cup” full of juice or milk. Doing so can cause rapid tooth decay: a condition known as “baby bottle caries.”
So as long as your child is brushing regularly and eating a healthy, balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, you should have little or no problem with tooth decay. For more information, please contact our office 615-822-8262 and Dr. Harbin and or Dr. Jones will be happy to answer all of your questions and concerns.
How Can A Dentist Help Me
We have to let you in on a little secret. Did you know while you are asleep, your mouth may be very active. If you find yourself waking up with headaches, facial pain, neck aches, or a sore jaw, you may have tooth grinding, a condition we also call bruxism.
We see many people who experience some extent of tooth grinding, but a very small percentage of the population actually experiences symptoms severe enough to warrant visiting a doctor. If you continually experience any of the symptoms listed above, we encourage you to give us a call at 615-822-8262 so we can diagnose and treat the problem.
Common Treatments for Teeth Grinding.
- Reducing your stress level to help relax your jaw muscles and prevent grinding.
- A custom-made night guard to cushion your teeth and protect them from damage.
- Changing your eating habits. Coffee, tea, or alcohol before bed can increase your chance of nightly grinding.
- If your jaw or teeth are misaligned, Dr. Harbin and Dr. Jones may also recommend a brace to decrease grinding.
Grinding your teeth can have serious consequences that if left untreated can lead to tooth fractures and damage.
If you think your teeth may not be getting the rest they need at night, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Harbin or Dr. Jones. Call us today to schedule your appointment.
Do You Use Your Toothbrush Everyday?
When’s the last time you gave your toothbrush any serious thought? Sure, you use it everyday ( ideally twice), and you know that with a dollop of toothpaste it waxes up your pearly whites nicely, not to mention preventing bacteria, plaque and inflammation.
What are the things you should never do with your toothbrush? Here’s a brush-up on toothbrush no-no’s, from Hendersonville Family Dentistry.
Five Toothbrush No-No’s
- If you have your toothbrush too close to the toilet, you’re brushing your teeth with what’s in the toilet. In other words, keep your toothbrush stored as far from the toilet as possible.
- The average toothbrush harbors ten million microbes. Many families keep their toothbrushes jammed together in a cup holder on the bathroom sink, but this can lead to cross contamination. Family members toothbrushes should be kept an inch apart. Don’t worry, they won’t take it personally.
- Don’t delay replacing your toothbrush. It’s best to purchase a new one every three to four months, but by all means get one sooner if the bristles are broken down because of your frequent vigorous brushing. If you have a cold or flu, replace your toothbrush after recovery.
- Store your toothbrush out of the reach for toddlers. The last thing you want is for your toothbrush to be chewed like a pacifier, dipped in toilet water, or used to probe the dusty heating ducts.
- Sharing is caring right? Here is the thing: As important as sharing is, there are some things you don’t share and your toothbrush is one of them.