What Issues Can Invisalign® Fix?
Invisalign® revolutionized the way people look at orthodontic treatment. The clear aligner system from Invisalign® made it possible for people to discreetly improve their smiles. While Invisalign® allows people to love the appearance of their smile and avoids many of the discomforts of braces throughout the process, there should be more to consider when choosing orthodontic treatment. You should consider which treatment option will best treat your individual situation. While you should speak with Dr. Kyle before making your final decision, we have included issues that Invisalign® can effectively treat.
Invisalign® is very effective at treating crooked teeth. The clear aligners offer a great solution for people to align their teeth and love their smile.
Overbite & Underbite
Invisalign® can be used to treat both an overbite and an underbite. An overbite is when the top front teeth extend beyond the bottom of your bottom front teeth. An underbite is when the lower jaw rests in front of the top jaw when the mouth is closed. Invisalign® can be used to move either the top or bottom teeth into the right place so that they align properly with the mouth closed.
A crossbite occurs when teeth don’t line up properly with the mouth closed. This could be the top teeth in the back of your mouth resting inside your bottom teeth or could be one or more of your top front teeth resting behind your bottom front teeth. Invisalign® can move teeth into the proper positions and treat a crossbite.
Gaps in Teeth & Crowded Teeth
These opposite issues can both be treated by Invisalign®. Gaps in teeth occur when there are large spaces between teeth. Crowded teeth happen when there is not enough room in the jaw for all of the teeth, often causing them to overlap or twist. Crowded teeth can make it easy for food to get stuck or plaque to build up, and should be addressed to keep optimal oral health.
Limitations of Invisalign®
While Invisalign® is an excellent option for many orthodontic issues, it does have its limitations. There are times when it may be best to go with braces. For severe orthodontic issues and intrusion and extrusion, braces often offer the force that is needed. It’s also important to note that Invisalign® continues to get better and better. We can now treat more complex orthodontic situations than we could even a few years ago. If you are interested if Invisalign® is the right treatment option for you, contact our office at 714-771-1204.Learn More About Invisalign®
Debunking the Myth: Root Canals and Pain Perception
Root canals have long been feared and misunderstood and are often associated with images of excruciating pain and discomfort. However, it’s time to set the record straight and debunk the myth that root canals are extremely painful. Modern advancements in dental techniques and anesthesia have transformed the root canal procedure into a relatively painless and effective solution for saving damaged teeth.
Dispelling the Myth
The idea that root canals are painful procedures can be traced back to outdated practices and anecdotal experiences. In the past, the procedure might have been associated with discomfort due to limited anesthetic options and less precise techniques. However, dental science has come a long way since then.
Today’s dental professionals are equipped with an array of advanced technologies and improved anesthetic methods, ensuring that patients experience minimal pain during the procedure. Local anesthesia effectively numbs the area around the tooth, making the process virtually painless. Many patients report feeling no more discomfort than they would during a routine filling.
Understanding the Procedure
A root canal is a dental procedure performed to treat an infected or damaged tooth pulp. The process involves removing the infected pulp, cleaning and disinfecting the root canal, and sealing it to prevent further infection. The misconception about pain often arises from the initial discomfort caused by the infection itself, rather than the procedure to treat it.
The Importance of Timely Treatment
Delaying or avoiding a necessary root canal due to fear of pain can actually lead to more severe pain and complications in the long run. Untreated dental infections can spread, causing abscesses, bone loss, and even systemic health issues. By addressing the problem early with a root canal, patients can alleviate pain and maintain their oral health.
It’s crucial to dispel the myth that root canals are extremely painful. With modern techniques, advancements in anesthesia, and the expertise of dental professionals, the procedure is generally no more uncomfortable than a routine dental filling. If you’re experiencing tooth pain, consulting a dentist promptly can help determine the appropriate course of action and alleviate any unnecessary anxiety. Remember, maintaining good oral health through regular check-ups and timely treatments remains the best way to prevent any dental discomfort.
Handling Dental Emergencies: Your Guide to Quick Relief
Dental issues might not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to emergencies. However, dental emergencies can occur unexpectedly and often require immediate attention to alleviate pain, prevent further damage, and ensure oral health. If you believe you are experiencing a dental emergency call Orange Grove Family Dentistry at 714-771-1204.
Understanding Dental Emergencies:
Dental emergencies include a variety of critical dental issues that demand prompt professional assistance. Severe toothaches, knocked-out or broken teeth, lost fillings, broken braces, and other emergencies can occur. Recognizing the signs of a dental emergency is crucial to initiate timely action and minimize potential complications.
Immediate Steps to Take:
When confronted with a dental emergency, it’s essential to stay calm and take immediate steps to mitigate pain and prevent further damage. Here are some actions you can take:
- Toothache: Rinse your mouth with warm water, floss gently to remove any food particles, and apply a cold compress to the affected area for temporary relief.
- Knocked-Out Tooth: If a tooth is completely knocked out, keep the tooth moist in milk or a tooth preservation kit and seek dental help immediately.
- Fractured Tooth: Rinse your mouth with warm water, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling, and visit a dentist as soon as possible.
- Lost Filling or Crown: Use dental cement, which can be purchased at a local pharmacy, to temporarily cover the exposed area until you can visit a dentist.
Seeking Professional Dental Care:
While the initial steps mentioned above provide temporary relief, it is essential to schedule an appointment with a dentist promptly. Dental professionals are trained to handle emergencies and can provide the necessary treatment to alleviate pain, prevent infection, and restore oral health. Delaying professional care can lead to more significant problems and complications down the line.
Prevention and Preparedness:
Although dental emergencies are unexpected, you can take preventive measures to minimize the risk. Maintain good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, and visit a dentist for routine check-ups. Additionally, wearing mouth guards during physical activities and avoiding chewing on hard objects can help reduce the likelihood of dental injuries.
Dental emergencies can be distressing, but knowing how to handle them can make a significant difference in protecting your oral health. By understanding common dental emergencies, taking immediate steps to alleviate pain, seeking professional care promptly, and practicing preventive measures, you can minimize the impact of these situations. Remember, in any dental emergency, always consult a dentist for the best course of action. Stay prepared, stay calm, and prioritize your dental well-being.
Visit Orange Grove Family Dentistry to learn more about dental emergencies and the services that are available.
Same-Day Crowns: What You Need To Know
Dental crowns are a common dental procedure that involves placing a cap over a damaged or decayed tooth to restore its shape, size, and strength. Traditional crowns typically require multiple appointments and a waiting period of several weeks, during which a temporary crown is used to protect the tooth. However, with advances in dental technology, same-day dental crowns are becoming increasingly popular.
What are Same-Day Dental Crowns?
Same-day dental crowns, also known as same-day or single-visit crowns, are crowns that can be designed, fabricated, and placed in a single appointment at the dental office. This is made possible by computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology, which allows dentists to create custom-fitted crowns quickly and accurately.
The process begins with a digital scan of the patient’s teeth using a specialized camera, which produces a 3D image of the tooth and surrounding area. This image is used to design a virtual crown that fits the patient’s tooth precisely. The design is then sent to a milling machine, which carves the crown out of a block of porcelain or other dental material. Once the crown is finished, it can be immediately placed over the prepared tooth, eliminating the need for a temporary crown and a second appointment.
Benefits of Same-Day Dental Crowns
There are several benefits to choosing same-day dental crowns over traditional crowns:
- Convenience: With same-day crowns, patients can have their damaged or decayed teeth restored in a single visit, eliminating the need for multiple appointments and time-consuming waiting periods.
- Accuracy: The CAD/CAM technology used to create same-day crowns produces highly accurate results, ensuring a precise fit and comfortable bite.
- Aesthetics: Same-day crowns are made from high-quality dental materials that closely resemble natural teeth, providing a seamless and natural-looking restoration.
- Comfort: Traditional crowns often require multiple injections of local anesthesia and may cause discomfort or sensitivity during the waiting period. Same-day crowns minimize the amount of time the patient needs to spend in the dental chair, reducing discomfort and improving the overall experience.
- Durability: Same-day crowns are made from high-quality materials that are designed to last, providing a long-lasting restoration that can withstand normal wear and tear.
Are Same-Day Dental Crowns Right for You?
If you have a damaged or decayed tooth that requires a crown, same-day dental crowns may be an excellent option for you. However, not all patients are candidates for same-day crowns, and your dentist will need to evaluate your specific situation to determine if this procedure is right for you. In general, same-day crowns are best suited for patients with a healthy tooth structure and minimal damage or decay.
Same-day dental crowns are an innovative and convenient solution for patients who require crown restoration. With their advanced technology and accurate results, same-day crowns offer several benefits over traditional crowns, including convenience, accuracy, aesthetics, comfort, and durability. If you think same-day crowns may be right for you, call our office to find out more about this cutting-edge dental procedure.
Debunking 5 Common Dental Myths
The tooth fairy isn’t the only fable about dentistry —there are countless fairytales when it comes to dental health. Our dentist at Orange Grove Family Dentistry hears many of these dental myths every day, and we do our best to clear up any misunderstandings our patients may have when it comes to keeping their teeth and gums healthy. Now we’d like to share the truth about five common dental myths.
5 Common Myths About Teeth, Gums, and Dental Health
1. Oral health doesn’t affect the rest of the body
The health of your teeth and gums —and your oral hygiene— have a significant effect on the rest of your body. The bacteria in your mouth and inflammation associated with severe gum disease may play a role in the development of other diseases, such as:
- Infection of the inner lining of the heart, known as endocarditis
- Cardiovascular disease heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke
- Pregnancy and birth complications, such as low birth weight and premature birth
- Pneumonia, caused when bacteria in the mouth is pulled into your lungs
2. Diet soda is okay because it doesn’t have sugar in it
Diet soda may be good for your waistline and blood sugar levels, but it can still lead to tooth decay. Diet sodas are highly acidic, and the bacteria that cause cavities love acid. The acid in diet soda also eats away at your enamel to cause tooth sensitivity. Other acidic drinks include orange juice and citrus juice.
3. My teeth are unhealthy because I’m getting older, so there’s nothing I can do about it
With proper care, your teeth can last lifetime. In fact, a recent study found that 14 to 21 percent of people ages 50 and older still have all their teeth. Proper brushing and flossing, routine trips to the dentist, and a healthy lifestyle all contribute to the longevity of healthy teeth and gums.
Older adults do have more dental problems, though, especially gum disease and tooth decay that can often be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular trips to the dentist.
4. It’s only a baby tooth
While baby teeth are small, they perform big jobs. Baby teeth work like permanent teeth to bite and chew healthy foods that children need to grow and thrive, for example. These tiny teeth help a child speak clearly and smile brightly, which is important for social development and self-confidence.. There temporary teeth also hold the space for permanent teeth that are growing beneath the gum line.
Your child’s first dental visit
You should take your child to the dentist within 6 months of the first tooth coming in or their first birthday, whichever comes first. During this visit, the dentist will examine the child’s gums and jaw, count and examine any teeth that have emerged (erupted), check the child’s bite, and may include a gentle cleaning.
The dentist will also check for signs of tooth decay or other issues. Baby teeth have a thinner layer of protective enamel, so they are more vulnerable to tooth decay.
5. You only need to go to the dentist when your teeth hurt
As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this old saying is especially true in dentistry. Many dental problems begin silently, which means they don’t cause symptoms until the problem have already advanced to a serious stage and has caused damage to your teeth or gums. As tooth and gum diseases advance, they become more difficult and expensive to treat – advanced tooth and gum diseases are also painful.
Are bleeding gums normal?
No! Bleeding gums are a sign that you may have or may soon develop gum disease.
How often should you visit the dentist?
That depends largely on the health of your teeth and gums, and other factors. Most people with healthy teeth and gums benefit from having a professional dental cleaning twice a year and a dental checkup once a year, but many need dental care twice a year or even more often. If you have gum disease or want to straighten your teeth, undergo professional teeth whitening, or have other dental work done, you may visit your dentist even more frequently.
Dental visit importance
Regular dental visits to Orange Grove Family Dentistry give your dentist an opportunity to spot and address problems early, while they are easiest to treat.
But I have dental anxiety!
Dental anxiety and dental phobia are common and manageable — today’s dentistry is much more comfortable and much less stressful. Thanks to advances in sedation dentistry, you can even sleep through some dental procedures.
Our dentist at Orange Grove Family Dentistry has advanced training, skills, and technology to detect, diagnose and treat a wide variety of dental problems. We also offer teeth whitening, dental veneers, Invisalign®, and other cosmetic dental treatments to keep your smiles looking it’s best.
5 Reasons Dental Visits Are Essential
It’s easy to forget when to go to the dentist. Or even, why is it necessary at all. Your teeth seem to be in perfect condition, they’re not bothering you, and you have no discernable reason to get a cleaning or have your pearly whites checked on. Or so it may seem.
The reality is that your oral health really isn’t that simple. There are many serious reasons to schedule and follow through on a dental visit. We’re going to look at a few essential things to know about dental check ups.
1. Damage Isn’t Always Visible
The first thing to note is that your teeth aren’t always going to let you know that something bad is happening. Sure, you’ll start to experience painful symptoms after the significant damage has set it, but things might be relatively smooth before that point.
You can’t see the plaque in your gums or the infection that could come as a result. Those things require a closer look. Bacteria in our mouths will eventually work its way into our gums, enamel, pulp, and worse. That movement leads to costly, painful, and time-consuming dental work that you don’t want.
The look of your teeth could be affected, your smile will take a hit, and your confidence might not remain intact. It’s truly a slippery slope, and the best way to start defending against those things is to schedule a dental visit.
2. They Improve Your Personal Oral Routine
Your personal routine is the most important contributor to your oral health. If you have a solid oral hygiene routine, you’re going to defend against a lot of the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease.
That said, many people don’t follow a strict or effective routine. Some of us brush our teeth once at night (or every other night) and call it a day. That’s simply not enough. Visiting a dentist will show you just how effective your oral routine is. You could get the green light with a clean bill of health or you might find that there’s a lot more tartar lurking in the depths than you’d previously imagined.
In any case, you can get feedback from your dentist. They’ll know what you’re doing right, and they’ll have insightful tips on what you could be doing better. At the end of the day, you’ll leave the office with a more informed idea of how to take care of your teeth.
3. Your Teeth Will Get Fully Cleaned and Examined
There are a couple of reasons that you go to the dentist on a regular basis. Even if you’re not experiencing any trouble with your teeth, the best practice is to schedule visits for check ups and cleanings.
These are two separate events, and they both provide your dentist with the chance to do damage control or notice significant issues. The check up is intended to do just that. You might get an X-ray, examine the inside of your gums, take a look at problem teeth, and address any issues that are causing you pain.
It’s essential to have regular check ups because, as we mentioned, those issues don’t always float to the surface of our minds. They tend to develop gradually and express themselves when it’s too late to use preventative measures.
The cleaning is another instance where dentists can spot serious issues. The point of that visit, though, is to effectively “reset” your teeth back to their clean and neutral state. Dentists will clean the gum line very well, scrub the teeth, and let you walk out of the office with a whiter smile and significantly better breath in some cases. That’s just a maintenance thing, but it does a lot to boost your confidence and reassure you that you’re in good health.
4. Disease Prevention
The most common type of oral disease is gingivitis, which is also generally referred to as gum disease.
Gingivitis can be very severe or relatively mild, depending on the case. It’s nearly impossible to diagnose yourself with gum disease and find effective ways to treat it, though. There are other aspects of oral health that reflect different diseases as well. Dentists might be the first ones to spot severe signs of oral cancers, for example. They could notice warning signs in areas that don’t get covered in your regular physical with a doctor.
Your dentists might also notice signs of vitamin deficiencies, early signs of mental health issues that could be emerging, eating disorders, substance abuse signs, and much more. The teeth are a window into your behaviors and other issues that might be emerging elsewhere in your body and mind.
5. You’ll Receive Oral Health Tips
You might have a few lifestyle habits that are seriously affecting your teeth. Things like smoking and drug use are classic examples, but there are a lot more seemingly harmless things that might be doing a serious number on your oral health.
For example, eating a lot of sticky and chewy foods might be wearing down on your enamel. Those foods happen to be very sugary, so stickiness and sugar could be creating a combination of weak enamel and plaque. That’s a perfect recipe for gum disease. Your dentist might also provide general education on things you can do to improve habits and create a healthier oral situation.
Ready to Schedule an Exam?
Contact us for more information and to schedule a visit with Dr. Kyle Nishimura here at Orange Grove Family Dentistry. While you’re here, our dedicated team will start by carefully evaluating your overall oral health & wellness. As a new patient, you will receive advanced digital X-rays, a professional oral health assessment and exam, and a comprehensive cleaning. Along the way, we’ll get to know you, your special treatment preferences, and your hopes for a beautifully healthy smile.
Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Over-the-Counter Products
The first thing people notice when you smile is your teeth. Yellow or discolored teeth are not a pleasant sight and may lead you to conceal them, causing feelings of humiliation when you try to smile. That can ultimately be a big blow to your confidence and self-esteem. But you can achieve a bright, sparkling smile with some effort.
The good news is there are tons of ways to clean up the stubborn stains on your teeth. You have probably seen or heard of teeth whitening products. They offer an affordable and convenient way to achieve our cosmetic goals.
There are many over-the-counter (OTC) options available claiming to whiten teeth, and it can be overwhelming to choose that one magic product that will give you that smile you desire. Unfortunately, many of these options do not produce the result most people expect out of them.
By contrast, a teeth whitening procedure in a dental office is a far superior alternative to teeth whitening at home. A dentist will conduct an intensive examination of the teeth and choose the right method specifically customized for your needs.
There are many arguments about the best teeth whitening procedure, and people hold different opinions. To help make the decision easier for you, let’s discuss some facts about professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter whitening products.
Professional Teeth Whitening
In-house or in-office teeth cleaning procedure usually takes about an hour and a half. The two whitening agents used in the process are hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Earlier, professional teeth cleaning would require soaking your teeth in a hydrogen peroxide solution for hours to get rid of discoloration, but they would only remove surface stains. The familiarity with the technology has made the procedure more durable and faster.
In-house methods like zoom teeth whitening have become fairly popular. The dentist uses 25 percent hydrogen peroxide in the form of a gel. With the help of a syringe, they apply the gel to your teeth. The dentist then uses a plasma light that activates the bleaching agents to start the process.
Many people have reservations about professionals using the light in terms of side effects. But fortunately, the side effects are usually temporary and transient.
What Happens During a Professional Teeth Whitening Procedure?
Sitting on a chair for an in-house teeth cleaning makes many people nervous. It is not as unsettling as it sounds; instead, it is painless and harmless. The dentist will show you the tooth shade chart to help you decide the color you want to choose for the clean-up process.
To start the cleaning procedure, the dentist will carry out the following steps:
- With the help of a tool, your dentist will remove the plaque hiding in your teeth.
- To keep your gums, tongue, and cheeks safe from contact with the whitening agents, the dentist covers them with tools and barriers.
- The whitening agent is then rubbed on your teeth for about an hour. In the meantime, light is also used to make the procedure effective.
- Lastly, your dentist will use fluoride paste to regulate the sensitivity issue that the patient experiences after the procedure.
Knowing that the detailed cleaning procedure can only happen in a dental office, the next concern might be the total cost of the process. The in-house method is comparatively more costly than over-the-counter products, but it has numerous other benefits that offset the extra cost you pay.
Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening
The following are some of the reasons why professional teeth whitening is a much more effective option than buying store-bought whitening kits:
Ask yourself, will you be able to carry out the process of teeth whitening like a professional at home? Unfortunately, you can only get rid of the surface stains like those of coffee and tea.
A dentist uses stronger bleaching gels to clean up stains on a molecular level. The higher concentration of the cleaning solution penetrates deeper below the teeth’s surface, giving you fast and effective results that no at-home kit can deliver.
As a result, you get the best teeth whitening results in the form of a more long-lasting, pearly white smile which you may not have been able to achieve otherwise.
Supervision by a Professional
When you visit a dentist for teeth whitening, they will thoroughly examine your mouth and administer the entire treatment under close supervision. They may discuss your flossing and brushing habits and guide you on several matters, from choosing whitening shades to after-process precautions. The dentist will administer the treatment under their professional guidance, helping you get the desired results safely and effectively, which you can hardly achieve with home teeth whitening products.
Reduced Gum and Tooth Sensitivity
Earlier, gum and tooth sensitivity was the biggest concern of patients. As dental technology evolved, it has become easier for dentists to manage sensitivity issues. Teeth whitening kits bought from a store will not cater to your tooth sensitivity issues, and there might be potential side effects of which you may not be aware.On the other hand, a professional will carefully prevent and reduce sensitivity issues with the appropriate precautions and the help of different tools.
Another benefit only possible in a professional teeth whitening process is that your dentist provides a highly customized experience. Unlike generic whitening trays available in the stores, a dentist will give you custom-made trays specifically designed for your mouth and teeth after an intensive assessment. That results in the whitening gel working evenly across all your teeth and producing optimal results.
Over the Counter Products
As mentioned, many products on the market promise to whiten your teeth. They come in the form of crest whitening strips, charcoal powder, or whitening toothpaste with abrasive ingredients. They are easy to follow, affordable, and give instant results. You may consider these kits the best way to whiten teeth and be tempted to add them to your cart after reading their fancy taglines and tall claims.
On the downside, they typically give sub-optimal results, while some may lead to tooth sensitivity or gum irritation.
While they may be affordable and give quicker results compared to your dentist’s procedure, OTC products found at your local drugstore are not customized according to your unique teeth and smile. A dentist provides you with customized trays to take home with you that he sets up according to the alignment and shape of your teeth.
Moreover, home whitening products do not remove intrinsic stains present on the inner portion of your tooth due to some illness or another underlying health issue. For intrinsic discoloration, professional teeth whitening is a more appropriate choice.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Orange Grove Family Dentistry
At Orange Grove Family Dentistry, we provide professional teeth whitening services and other aesthetic procedures to give you a smile you deserve. Our team of highly experienced dental professionals led by Dr. Kyle Nishimura will help you understand oral health and customize the process according to your unique needs. Book an appointment and learn more about our personalized treatment plans!
How Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health
Taking diligent care of your teeth and gums daily may seem like a tedious task. After all, it involves brushing and flossing your teeth, at least twice a day, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. On top of that, you should see your dentist for routine dental exams and cleanings every six months, as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). These oral health routines have many benefits besides clean, fresh breath and a brighter smile. Better overall health is one big advantage that is often overlooked. You might find it surprising, but there is a link between poor oral hygiene and systemic (whole-body) health. Inside this article are details on the mouth body connection and tips for reducing the risk of diseases caused by poor oral hygiene.
Why Is Good Oral Hygiene Important?
Practicing good oral care from childhood through adulthood helps protect your teeth, gum, and overall health. Following daily oral cleansing habits and getting regular dental checkups reduces your risk of gum infection and gum disease (periodontal disease).
Poor oral habits cause plaque and tartar to build up on the tooth surface and along the gumline. Plaque is a creamy, sticky film that develops when bacteria mix with food particles, sugar, and saliva in the mouth.
If not removed, plaque hardens into tartar (calculus) within 24-72 hours. Tartar can only be safely removed through professional dental cleanings. Otherwise, bacteria in tartar will produce acids that gradually destroy the tooth enamel. This may lead to oral diseases or other conditions such as:
- Tooth decay
- Dental abscess
- Gum disease
- Gum tissue and bone damage
- Tooth loss
- Oral bite problems
How is the Mouth and Body Connected?
The oral cavity is a breeding ground for all kinds of harmful bacteria. The mouth is also the doorway to your body. Medical and dental professionals can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection through an oral exam. For example, mouth lesions can signal oral cancer. Similarly, chronic gum inflammation (gingivitis) may indicate the presence of diseases that affect the whole body (systemic disease).
At the same time, caring for your dental health can prevent gingivitis, gum disease, cavities, and the development of chronic medical conditions. Regular dental exams also help with the early detection and treatment of oral cancer, a life-threatening disease.
Oral cancer is primarily caused by excessive tobacco and alcohol use and poor nutrition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that oral conditions and chronic health conditions are “…actually inter-related” although they are seen as separate. In fact, researchers in a study done on 5900 participants, aged 15-75, found that periodontal disease was a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).
More on the Link Between Gum Disease and Your Health
Gum disease, also called periodontitis and periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammatory disease. According to the CDC, it affects 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older. Aging increases the risk of chronic diseases as well as periodontal disease. The CDC also reported that 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontitis.
The percentages are high despite the disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene throughout life. Another significant observation is that many people are not aware of the mouth body connection and the health consequences of the oral disease.
Gum Disease Symptoms
- Red or swollen gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that bleed when you brush
- Sensitive or loose tooth
- Tooth loss
- Spaces between the teeth and gum tissue at the gumline
- Difficulty or pain when chewing
- Receding gums
Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis and goes through different stages. While it can affect your overall health at any given time, the risk appears to increase in the advanced stages. Routine six-month dental visits can protect your dental health and prevent long-term health complications.
Medical Conditions Linked to Periodontal Disease
In an article, Oral-Systemic Health, the ADA noted that bacteria in the mouth can contribute to disease in other parts of your body. According to health experts, bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream into the body and affect the immune system.
More significantly, researchers found that the following diseases were linked to inflammation markers associated with infectious oral bacteria:
- Heart disease
Gum disease during pregnancy may also contribute to preterm labor, low–birth weight in babies, and tooth loss among moms. Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy can make your gums more prone to plaque and gingivitis (gum inflammation and bleeding). Other risk factors for the disease include smoking and diabetes.
Likewise, diseases such as diabetes, HIV infection, and AIDS can hinder the immune system’s ability to fight off infection, thereby making gum disease worse.
Tips for Protecting Oral and Overall Health
Health experts believe oral health is so important that it should be considered an essential part of general health and well-being. As such, preventing oral diseases using the following tips can help protect you from diseases caused by poor oral hygiene.
- Practice brushing, flossing and rinsing at least twice a day
- Talk to your dentist if you suspect you have periodontal disease
- Get early treatment for infections such as gingivitis
- Screen for oral cancer
- Make lifestyle adjustments, such as eating healthier and quitting smoking
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Seeking treatment for the disease in the early stages can prevent it from progressing or resulting in systemic diseases caused by poor oral hygiene. There is no cure for gum disease once it reaches the advanced stage. At this point, non-surgical or surgical treatment may be recommended to keep it under control.
Non-surgical treatments include:
- Antibiotics (to reduce inflammation)
- Routine cleanings
- Root scaling and planing (deep cleaning)
Surgical treatments include:
- Flap surgery (pocket reduction surgery)
- Soft tissue grafts
- Bone grafts
- Guided tissue regeneration
Healthier Mouth Healthier You
Everyone forgets to brush in-between meals or goes to bed without brushing from time to time. Others skip their 6-month dental checkup for various reasons. That’s being human. Sometimes life responsibilities and challenges get in the way. But now that you’re aware of the mouth body connection, you can intentionally take steps to improve your dental care routines and overall health.
How To Make Invisalign® Work Faster
Invisalign® is a clear aligner therapy used as an alternative to metal braces to straighten teeth. It is a welcome alternative for many patients. Getting the most out of your Invisalign clear aligners —when it comes to teeth straightening— can be achieved with the following 10 Invisalign tips. Read on to learn more:
1: Wear Them Regularly
This tip might seem like common sense, but it’s amazing how many people fail to follow this one simple rule. To get the most out of your aligners, you must wear them! In most cases, this means wearing them at least 22 hours a day. If you don’t do this, your treatment time will likely take longer than expected.
2: Keep Them Cleaned
You also need to keep your aligners clean. You can use toothpaste to clean your aligners or use specialty cleaners designed for just such a purpose. You can also use antibacterial soap and warm water. If you don’t clean them, your “invisible” aligners will soon lose their clarity. You can even get food stuck in them, and they can become stained.
3: Maintain Proper Oral Health
It’s also important to keep your teeth under your aligners clean with good oral health to prevent food particles from becoming trapped. If you don’t keep your teeth clean and brush and floss regularly, especially after meals, you might experience a build of plaque and bacteria beneath your aligners. This can increase your chances of decay.
4: Keep Your Case on Hand
Make sure that you keep your case with you. When you take your aligners out of your mouth to eat, putting them in the case will ensure that they are protected and you don’t accidentally throw them away.
5: Monitor Your Diet
Make sure that you don’t become overly weak because you have to eat less due to wearing an Invisalign. In many cases, since you will have limited time when your Invisalign clear retainers need to be off, you will begin skipping snacks and eat less overall. Make sure what you are eating is healthy and nutritious to maintain your health.
6: Change Your Aligners on Time and In Order
When it’s time to change your aligners, it’s important to listen to the instructions you are given. If you don’t maintain the proper schedule for changing your aligners, it can obstruct and hinder your treatment and make the whole process take longer. When answering the question “Does Invisalign work?”, it’s important to note that the way you follow instructions and maintain your aligner order will go a long way towards a successful experience.
7: Drink Plenty of Water
While it’s always beneficial to drink lots of water, when wearing the aligners, it’s that much more important. This is because your ability to produce saliva can be impacted by wearing aligners. Therefore, you will have to compensate by drinking more water than you might have previously. This is important because this will function like saliva, sweeping away acids and bits of food. Water is also the only drink you can consume with your aligners in your mouth.
8: Wear Attachments if Needed
If your orthodontist suggested attachments or buttons as part of your treatment process, make sure that you adhere to their recommendation. In many cases, these attachments can act like anchors, which in turn provide a better grip keeping your aligners from slipping and providing a more secure fit.
9: Try Aligner Chewies
Another way to encourage a better fit and a more effective treatment is to use chewies. These are small, spongy cushions that are designed to close air gaps that might exist between your teeth and aligners. They are constructed with a soft-plastic material, Styrene Copolymer, and come in a variety of flavors and colors. All you have to do to use them is bite down on them for between five and 10 minutes daily. This simple act will help your aligner sit more securely against your teeth.
10: Follow up With Retainer
Last but certainly not least, when getting Invisalign, it’s important to follow up your treatment by wearing a retainer. Your newly aligned teeth will take time to settle into the jawbone and soft tissue that houses them. This means that you will need extra help to keep them from shifting back to their pretreatment condition. Your orthodontist will instruct you to wear your custom-made retainers either all day and night or just at night, depending on your treatment plan.
Following the 10 tips listed above will help you get the most out of your Invisalign treatment. Follow them all and ask your orthodontist for additional tips to ensure a positive experience and help you answer yes to the question is Invisalign effective?
What Is A Dental Emergency?
When you take good care of your teeth, seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and brushing and flossing at home, it shows. But sometimes, life sends something unexpected your way. Dental emergencies can happen even to people with healthy teeth and gums. The trick is knowing what counts as an emergency and requires urgent dental care and what can wait to be seen and treated.
Getting help and treatment as soon as possible in the event of a dental emergency is the key to saving your tooth and smile. Here’s what you need to know to spot an emergency.
Signs of a Dental Emergency
Dental emergencies can take multiple forms, but each one usually has obvious signs. If you notice any of the following, contact a dentist as soon as you can:
- Uncontrolled bleeding from the gums or mouth
- Missing or loose permanent tooth
- Severe pain in the mouth or gums
- Severe swelling
Common Dental Emergencies
Generally, a dental emergency is an event that requires immediate care and treatment. Not getting care immediately can put you at risk of severe pain, infection, lost teeth or, in extreme cases, death. Dental emergencies can take multiple forms.
A broken tooth, particularly in an adult, is almost always an emergency. When a tooth breaks, it can expose the root, pulp and nerves. Exposure to the air can cause the pulp to become infected with bacteria, which can cause significant damage if left untreated.
If your tooth breaks, rinse your mouth out with warm water, then use a compress on the tooth to keep the swelling down.
Knocked-out teeth also usually warrant a trip to the emergency dentist. The faster you act after the tooth gets knocked out, the more likely the dentist will be able to save the tooth.
If you can find the tooth after it gets knocked out of the mouth, pick it up by the crown end, not the roots. You can try to place it back in its socket for the trip to the dentist. If it doesn’t go back in, place the tooth in a glass of milk and bring it with you.
Infections of the gums and teeth can often cause extreme pain. If you develop a toothache like no other toothache you had before, you could have an emergency on your hands. That’s especially the case if the toothache is accompanied by swelling, fever, a bad taste in your mouth and a pimple-like blister on the gums. A severe toothache can mean you have an abscess that needs to be drained by a dentist. You might also need antibiotics, and in some cases, a root canal, to preserve the tooth.
Broken Crown or Filling
Crowns and fillings help preserve teeth after they’ve been damaged by cavities or injury. While most have long lives, they can break or come loose, especially if you get hit in the mouth. Act fast if you break a crown or filling. The sooner you repair the damage, the easier it is to fix and the lower your risk of infection.
What to Do in a Dental Emergency
Act quickly during a dental emergency, as you want to get the problem treated as quickly as possible. Contact your dentist’s office immediately. If you don’t have a family dentist, you can search for “emergency dentist near me” to find a practice that’s located close to your home.
Your dentist might be able to see you right away and can give you further instructions before you come in.
If you’re dealing with a broken or missing tooth, putting the tooth in milk will help preserve it. The liquid keeps the tooth from drying out and increases the chances that the dentist will be able to use it.
If you’re dealing with a lot of bleeding or swelling, putting gentle pressure on the affected area can help. You can also try rinsing your mouth out with water.
How to Prevent a Dental Emergency
You can prevent dental emergencies in a few ways. One is by staying on top of your dental care. When you get your teeth cleaned regularly, there’s less of a risk of infection. Your dentist can also detect and treat any issues before they become emergencies.
Protecting your mouth also helps you avoid an emergency situation. If you play sports, always wear a mouthguard. Try not to bite down or chew on hard objects, such as pens, bottle caps and hard candies.
Orange Grove Family Dentistry sees patients in emergency situations and for general, preventive dental care. If you want to learn more about what you can do to protect your teeth and gums, contact us today.