All too often, a child ends up coming out of the dentist's office announcing they have a new cavity. It's so common, many of us don't think much of it, even with regular dental check ups. Cavities are the most common infectious diseases seen in children. It's more common than dozens of other common childhood problems, such as asthma and diabetes.
So what causes tooth decay in kids?
Cavities are caused by three main factors. Without all three of them coming together at the same time, it is impossible to get tooth decay. The perfect storm for a dental carie includes the tooth, the bacteria that causes the decay, and the food that feeds the bacteria. Without all three of these things, the bacteria can't survive to create a cavity. Unfortunately, these things are prevalent in virtually every human mouth.
Bacteria is first passed to the child usually through their parents. While breast feeding does not give a newborn the bacteria that causes tooth decay, sharing saliva does. This could mean “washing” a pacifier with your spit, or sharing a spoon or straw. Once the bacteria is in the baby’s mouth, it feeds off of sugars found there, and quickly colonizes.
Preventing tooth decay While bacteria may end up being inevitable, providing that bacteria with the food it needs to thrive doesn't have to be. There are plenty of things you can do to help make it difficult for the bacteria in your child's mouth to create a cavity. Here are just a few:
Eating ice cream is a fun past time for many people, but for those with painful tooth sensitivity it can be an experience to be dreaded and avoided. While teeth that are sensitive might not actively hurt like a toothache, they can flair up with intense pain when exposed to heat, cold, or sugar. These reactions are relatively common, and over half of the population have tooth sensitivity at one time or another.
Tooth sensitivity is thought to be caused by receding gum lines, and the dentin on the roots being exposed. The roots of your teeth don't have a protective cap of enamel like the tops of your teeth do. When they come in contact with the elements they are sensitive to, such as breathing in sharp cold air or enjoying a cold soda pop, the nerves in the roots can react strongly.
Other causes for tooth sensitivity can include cracked teeth or fillings, bleaching, tooth grinding, or even gum disease. If you have sensitive teeth, it is best to see your family dentist and bring the issue up with them. They can take a look in your mouth and make sure there is nothing serious that is going on. If there is a problem, they can help you put together an action plan to take care of it.
Methods for controlling sensitive teeth If the problems causing your sensitive teeth are not serious, your dentist may recommend a toothpaste for sensitive teeth. These toothpastes contain chemicals that reduce the sensitivity of the nerves in your teeth, helping to calm their reactions when exposed to the trigger food or drink. Pastes meant for overnight use or fluoride gels are sometimes also recommended.
If you bleach your teeth frequently in order to get a whiter smile, scaling back on how often you do it may also help relieve your dental pain. Bleach may make your smile whiter, but it can also irritate your nerves, causing painful sensitivity. Pain from bleach is usually temporary. It's best to ask your dentist about whether you should continue bleaching if it is causing you pain, and stop the treatment if the dentist recommends it. (1)
If the problem causing your sensitivity is serious, you may require surgery in order to repair the problem. As we age, our gums tend to recede naturally, and gum disease can worsen the problem. If your gums are exposing the roots, you may need a graft of tissue placed over the exposed area in order to treat the problem. Serious dental problems should be handled right away, because they tend to only get worse over time.
If you have painful sensitive teeth, seeing a dentist should be your first line of defense in resolving it. Your teeth require regular care in order to stay healthy, including seeing your dentist twice a year, and both brushing and flossing your teeth daily. With good care and a helpful dentist, you can go back to enjoying cold or hot treats without the pain of sensitive teeth.
Contact Landerhaven Dental Associates at 440-720-0544 for a consultation or for more info on tooth sensitivity. http://landerhavendental.com
Resources: 1 https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tooth-sensitivity#2
Our teeth are one of the most important parts of our body. We need them to help receive almost all of our vital nutrients, to be social, and sometimes to hold or open things. Protecting our teeth from harm is extremely important. If you grind your teeth at night or thrive on participating in high impact sports, a mouth guard is critical to keep your smile intact.
Choosing a mouth guard is somewhat dependent on the reason you are getting it for. If you're unsure of the type of mouth guard you should use, here are 3 great tips to get you started.
Grind your teeth? Get a bite plate.If you wake up to dull jaw pain, or perhaps from a disgruntled sleeping partner that is annoyed by the sound, you need a bite plate. A bite plate looks very similar to the mouth guards for sports, but with the addition of a special feature called a “Ramp.” The ramp helps to keep your teeth aligned properly, and protect them from damage in case they do rub together.
Mouth guards for sportsThere are several options available to protect your teeth during sports. Almost all sports stores carry a ready made mouth guard you can wear immediately to protect your teeth. The downside to these ready made mouth guards is that they don't fit your teeth and mouth shape perfectly, so can be uncomfortable or perhaps not even fit at all.
Mouth guards and bracesMouth guards can be worn with braces and definitely should. After all, if you have gone to the considerable expense of braces, it makes sense to protect them from the damage sports or other injuries may cause. Most mouth guards are designed specifically for your upper teeth, since they are the most in danger of damage, but your dentist may make you a mouth guard for your lower teeth as well if you have a fixed appliance that needs protected.
You brush and floss every day in order to keep your smile bright and beautiful, but it isn't always enough. A dental cleaning goes well beyond removing stains and lifting off tartar. It can also help improve your health. A regular dental cleaning lifts the hardened on plaque, called calculus, off of your teeth. Plaque and calculus are both harmful to your body, and can result in a host of issues from an unsightly film to major cavities. Luckily, regular cleanings can help in the fight against plaque, and they can also do a few other amazing things for your body.
Regular dental cleanings help keep your teeth and gums healthierGetting regular cleanings can prevent gum disease, and help give you a healthier mouth. Many adults suffer from gum disease, the reddening and irritation of the gums, but with regular cleanings it can be successfully reversed. If you choose not to get your teeth cleaned however, this can result in the disease advancing into a more serious form, where the gums pull away from the teeth and pockets can form. Serious problems can occur such as tooth and bone loss.
They can even save you from a heart attackEvery time you receive a dental cleaning, your gums experience a reduction in inflammation. This means better blood flow and ultimately better heart health. Your heart isn't the only part directly connected to your dental health either, poor dental hygiene is associated with a number of other serious diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and even poor birth weight.
Save money through preventative maintenanceSmall cavities can quickly turn into big ones. What might just require a filling one day, could mean a root canal a little farther down the road. Taking care of your teeth through regular dental cleanings can stop cavities from forming in the first place, and alert the dentist to issues in your mouth before those small problems turn into larger ones with potentially devastating consequences. Even when things are going well in your mouth and there are no cavities, a dental cleaning can stop future cavities from happening in the first place, and no cavities is a lot better than an extra filling.
They may even save your lifeDentists are looking for more than just cavities when they are looking in your mouth. They can also spot oral cancer in the early stages, when it is still easily treatable. In the US alone, one person dies from oral cancer every hour. That's a huge number of people who may have been able to receive help if they'd had a dental screening in time.
Sleep Apnea is a deadly condition affecting millions of people, many of whom are unaware they are suffering with it. Beyond the noisy interruptions of snoring, apnea is the actual blockage of airflow from the tongue and soft tissue falling posteriorly during sleep to close your airway. Bed partners may notice the stoppage of breathing and the coinciding gasp your body creates to get air into your lungs again. The outward signs of apnea are excessive daytime sleepiness, inability to focus in everyday tasks, inappropriate episodes of falling asleep (while driving or in conversation), irritability, and other cognitive problems. The hidden dangers include hypertension and other heart diseases due to a lack of oxygen in the body, weight gain, depression, and an increased risk of car accidents.
Diagnosis is made through a physician-interpreted sleep study which can often be completed at home with modern monitoring equipment. This study will quantify how frequently and for how long breathing is interrupted and your body’s response. Treatment has historically centered on using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine which maintains a constant flow of air to open the airway. Through the years, many improvements to these machines now allow for multiple fittings, variable air pressures for breathing in and out, and the ability of the machine to “learn” your breathing patterns. Treatment for apnea is lifelong to eliminate the health risks.
But it’s not always that easy. CPAP machines, and the masks associated with them, are difficult for many people to tolerate. Studies have shown up to 70% of users discontinue wearing them within a year. People assume getting older includes changing sleep habits, and accept the fatigue in life. Also, a certain percentage of the population believe that weight gain and that not being in good physical condition is a part of life. The effects of apnea are life-changing in a chronic way, and many people just let it happen.
Dental appliances to treat apnea have been around for almost 20 years, and there are now over a dozen of them widely used for treatment. They all function by having an upper and lower component which are joined in some way- by springs, straps, hook or rod mechanisms- to hold the lower jaw in a forward position. This opens the airway to allow for improved air flow, and eliminates the apnea events. Success and tolerance is fantastic, and apnea treatment with these appliances is exploding in use. The danger of apnea has always caused us to avoid “snoring appliances” because we understand the risks of undiagnosed apnea. Now, in concert with your physician, we can offer an alternative apnea treatment with a track record of success and tolerance over years of research and patient review. Please let us help! If you are concerned you may have symptoms of apnea, or have already been diagnosed and are not willing or unable to use CPAP for treatment, an appliance will be your key to future health. Whether the call to our office is for you or someone you love or a neighbor or friend, it is a call that will save someone’s life.
Wow, this is a hot topic. At this point, most of us have heard of sleep apnea and have a basic understanding that it means you stop breathing while you are sleeping. In extreme circumstances, someone can stop breathing for one to two MINUTES. Try holding your breath that long right now, and you will understand how serious that is. Snoring is often a component of sleep apnea and can be an indicator before the official diagnosis is made that something may be wrong. Also, a bed partner may indicate you stop breathing or gasp while you are asleep. The long-term effects of sleep apnea are serious and include negative effects on blood pressure, diabetes, cognitive abilities, driving, daytime sleepiness, and the ability to live a “normal” life. To this point, the most common method of treatment is use of a CPAP device to provide a constant flow of air into your nose to keep the airway open. There are different versions of this device to vary air flow and multiple masks for comfort. Some people simply cannot tolerate these devices. There are dental devices that can be used to treat sleep apnea which are worn to hold the lower jaw in a more forward position. This opens the airway and prevents the closure that causes the stoppage of airflow. It is an exciting treatment option for those people who NEED an apnea treatment option but cannot tolerate a CPAP device.