In honor of baby Perella #2, we thought we'd share how important it is to take good care of your teeth if you are pregnant.
While most pregnant women recognize how important their own overall health is for their baby's health, many may ignore a critical component--their oral health. In fact, a survey of American children's oral health conducted on behalf of Delta Dental found that nearly 4 out of 10 American mothers neglect to visit a dentist during pregnancy, which is significant to helping prevent harmful oral and overall health problems for themselves and their babies.
"Expectant mothers and women who are planning to become pregnant need to pay special attention to their oral health and should schedule a dental checkup and cleaning to address any dental problems," said Dr. Bill Kohn, DDS, Delta Dental's vice president for dental science and policy. "Dentists can identify and treat teeth and gum problems, lowering the risk for more serious, ongoing health problems for both a mother and her baby."
While having a healthy mouth is always important, pregnancy can intensify dental problems. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can exaggerate the way gum tissue reacts to plaque, increasing the risk for gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. Some studies have suggested that pregnant women with moderate-to-severe gum disease may be more at risk to give birth to low-weight or pre-term babies.
The good news is that dental hygiene habits are controllable, but some pregnancy side effects may wreak havoc on a woman's oral health. For instance, nausea and vomiting affect 80% of all pregnant women. The stomach acid from vomiting can erode tooth enamel--making teeth sensitive and more vulnerable to decay. A woman may also feel less willing to follow her usual pattern of regular brushing and flossing.
Most moms-to-be also experience cravings. The additional snacking can lead to increased tooth decay. Giving in to cravings for sugary foods can be worse for expectant mothers' teeth, since sugar is a major cause of tooth decay.
Along with visiting the dentist, we recommend the following tips to help prevent oral health complications during pregnancy.
- Brush your teeth twice daily with flouride toothpaste and floss once daily
- Limit foods containing sugar to mealtime only. If you do indulge, drink a glass of water while snacking and brush your teeth once you're done.
- Choose water or low-fat milk to drink and avoid carbonated beverages.
- Opt for fruit rather than fruit juice to meet the recommended daily fruit intake.
- If you suffer from "morning sickness", rinse your mouth out with water and baking soda solution afterward. The combination will neutralize the acid. Also, brush your teeth gently and if you chew gum, use the kind with xylitol as the main sweetener.
We are ready to start bringing Invisalign to our patients!
We are so excited to be able to provide this alternative to traditional wire braces to our patients and we want you to start thinking about how Invisalign can work for you. Over 70% of our patients are candidates for Invisalign. This can be due to a number of conditions:
Our Invisalign treatment is comfortable to wear and easy to live with. You will visit with us about every 6 weeks to check your progression and get new aligners. The average treatment time is from 6 months to a year. And because the aligners are removable, you can still enjoy your favorite foods (just remember to take them our before you eat!).
Additionally, Invisalign is more than just "clear braces." When your teeth are straight, they are easier to clean, which will lead to healthier gums and better overall health.
But the main reason you will love our Invisalign is the confidence you will gain when you finally get that smile you've been wanting for so long!
Make your appointment for your FREE Invisalign consultation to see if they are right for you.
If you've ever broken a tooth, it can be alarming, especially if it's one of your front teeth.
Teeth are remarkably strong, but they can chip, crack or break. This can happen in several ways:
- Biting down on something hard
- Being hit in the face or mouth
- Having cavities that weak the tooth
- Having large, old amalgam fillings that don't support the remaining enamel of the tooth
When a tooth chips or breaks, it may not hurt. However, your tongue usually feels the sharp area very quickly. Minor tooth fractures usually don't cause pain, but if a large piece of the tooth breaks off, it can hurt. The nerve inside the tooth may be damaged. Extreme discomfort also can happen when nerve endings in the dentin are exposed to air, or to hot or cold foods or drinks.
What You Can Do
For cracked teeth, there is no way to treat a cracked tooth at home. You need to see you dentist. Sometimes the tooth looks fine, but it hurts only when you eat or when the temperature in your mouth changes (because you drink something hot or cold, for example). If your tooth hurts all the time, it may have a damaged nerve or blood vessels. This is a serious warning sign. You will know if you have a cracked tooth if it does not hurt to bite on the tooth, but pain occurs when you release the bite.
If you have a broken tooth, see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can figure out if the break was caused by a cavity, and if the tooth's nerve is in danger. A damaged nerve usually will require a root canal.
Until you can get to your dentist's office:
- Rinse your mouth well with warm water
- Apply pressure with a piece of gauze on any bleeding areas for about 10 minutes or until the bleeding stops. If this doesn't work, use a teabag with pressure on the area to stop the bleeding.
- Apply a cold pack to the cheek or lips over the broken tooth. This will help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
- If you can't get to your dentist right away, cover the part of the tooth that's in your mouth with temporary dental cement. You can find this at a drugstore.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
What Your Dentist Will Do
Since there are several types of tooth fractures and breaks, each one requires different treatments. These include:
- Minor cracks: Also called "craze lines", these are surface cracks that affect only the outer white surface of the tooth, called the enamel. Minor cracks rarely need treatment. However, your dentist may lightly polish the area to smooth out any rough spots.
- Cracked tooth: This type of fracture involved the whole tooth, from the chewing surface all the way down to the nerve. The piece remains in place, but the crack gradually spreads. Cracks can sometimes be repaired with filling material. The tooth often will need a crown to prevent the crack from getting worse. If the pulp (nerve and other live tissues) is damaged, you may need a root canal as well.
- Chips: Minor chips don't always need treatment. Your dentist may suggest repairing the damage with filling material to prevent it from getting worse or to make the tooth look and feel better. If the chip is very small, the dentist may polish and smooth out the chipped area.
- Broken Cusp: These breaks affect the pointed chewing surface (the cusps) of the teeth. They usually do not affect the pulp and are unlikely to cause much pain. Your dentist may repair the damage to restore the tooth's shape. Frequently, however, an onlay or crown will be required.
- Serious Breaks: These breaks go deep enough to expose the nerve. They almost always cause the tooth to hurt and be sensitive. Usually, the broken part of the tooth will bleed. You will need root canal treatment to remove the exposed nerve and probably a crown to restore the tooth to normal function so you can eat and chew properly.
- Split Tooth: This means that the tooth has split vertically into two separate parts. Some teeth, such as your back teeth (molars), have more than one root. It may be possible to keep one of the roots, which will then be covered with a crown. First, you will need rooth canal treatment. Second, the dentist will remove any roots that cannot be kept. Third, you will need a crown to cover the root and replace the tooth. In some cases, when a root cannot be saved, the tooth will have to be removed.
- Decay-induced break: In this case, the tooth has broken or crumbled because a cavity weakend it from the inside out. Your dentist will evaluate the cavity and recommend the best way to restore the tooth. In some cases, if the decay is extensive and goes down to the bone, the tooth may have to be removed.
L to R: Brooke, Chris, Kelly, Dr. Perella, and Holly.
Our staff recently participated in our first training session for Invisalign. We are very excited to be able to provide this treatment to our patients in the near future.
Because perfection takes time, we will keep you posted on when we will launch this new treatment!
In the meantime, you can learn more about Invisalign here. www.invisalign.com
Despite improvements in dental care, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss -- mostly due to tooth decay, gingivitis (gum disease), or injury. For many years, the only treatment options available for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. But, today, dental implants are available.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.
What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
- Improved Appearance: Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.
- Improved Speech: With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.
- Improved comfort: Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.
- Easier eating: Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence without pain.
- Improved self-esteem: Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.
- Improved oral health: Dental implants don't require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.
- Durability: Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.
How successful are dental implants?
Success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed. In general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime.
Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?
In most cases, anyone healthy enough to undergo a routine dental extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bone to hold the implant. They also must be committed to good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Heavy smokers, people suffering from uncontrolled chronic disorders such as diabetes or heart disease, or patients who have had radiation therapy to the head/neck area need to be evaluated on an individual basis. If you are considering implants, a preliminary exam by your dentist is reccomended to see if they are right for you.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Dental Implants?
In some cases, dental implants are covered under your dental insurance. It just depends on the type of insurance plan you have. You should contact your dental insurance company to find out exactly what will be covered.
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