Published on July 31, 2017 by

Dry mouth—also called xerostomia—results from an inadequate flow of saliva. It is not a disease, but a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics and many others.

Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, offering first-line protection against microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

Some of the common problems associated with dry mouth include a constant sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages. In some cases, dry mouth can be an indicator of Sjögren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) syndrome. Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands, the tear-secreting and salivary glands as well as other organs.

Without saliva, extensive tooth decay can also occur. Your dentist can recommend various methods to restore moisture. Sugar-free candy or gum stimulates saliva flow, and moisture can be replaced by using artificial saliva and oral rinses.

Spring tips for a healthy mouth

Published on May 4, 2017 by

Doing some spring cleaning? While you’re busy beating rugs, cleaning curtains and organizing cabinets, don’t forget to check your bathroom counter! Add these four items to your checklist to include dental hygiene in your battle plan.

  1. Replace old or worn toothbrushes

Get in the habit of changing your toothbrush every three months. The ability of a toothbrush to reach small crevices decreases as its bristles wear down. Bacterial and viral infections are another reason to switch out an old toothbrush for a new one. Infectious agents can thrive among the bristles, with the potential to re infect you, so make sure to toss your toothbrush after every cold.

  1. Check the expiration date on your mouthwash

Most mouthwash has a shelf life that should be indicated on the bottle. Using mouthwash past the expiration date can affect not only its taste but also its effectiveness, so double check that yours is still good to go.

  1. Replenish your floss supply

The recommended length of floss is 18 inches per flossing session. With a daily flossing schedule, that adds up to roughly 45 feet of floss a month! Stock up to avoid running out.

  1. Schedule a dentist appointment

With cleanings recommended for every six months, regular visits to the dentist should already be a part of your schedule. If you’ve been skimping on these visits, or a new problem has popped up, call our office to set up an appointment. Seeing your dentist regularly is a good way to spot – and stop – problems before they become bigger, pricier and painful. Spring and fall are excellent times to book cleanings, as these seasons may be the least likely to conflict with potential vacation plans.

Back To School Preparations

Published on August 26, 2016 by

 

It is almost time for school to start and as you and your family prepare for that first day of class, here are some useful tips for keeping smiles looking great all year.

Like most families, your mornings will be busy but it’s critical that you don’t rush out the door without remembering to brush your teeth.

When packing your child’s lunch, don’t be fooled by the clever marketing of sweet drinks like juice boxes and sport drinks filled with sugars. There may be little or no opportunity for your child to brush his or her teeth at school and as a result these sugary drinks can increase the risk of tooth decay.

A good school time snack is one that is high in protein such as an oatmeal bar or Greek yogurt. A piece of fruit also makes for a healthy snack. Look for foods that do not have refined carbohydrates and that are not high in sugar. High protein snacks minimize hunger and reduce the desire to snack all day.

Some feel the need for a sweet treat while studying. Hard candy and gum are bad choices because of the length of exposure to teeth. Remember the cause of tooth decay is not sugar; it’s the amount of time sugar has in contact with teeth. Therefore, it’s best to choose chocolate over hard candy and gum because it has a much shorter exposure time to the teeth and thus lowers the risk of cavities. However, if you must chew gum, select a gum sweetened with xylitol. Chewing gum sweetened with xylitol is actually a good way to help prevent cavities. The act of chewing gum produces saliva which helps to reduce the acid content in your mouth and the xylitol in the gum actually inhibits cavity causing bacteria in your mouth.

Remind your college students to take their good health habits with them to college. This means they should also remember to take their orthodontic retainers. An electric tooth brush would make a perfect gift for their dorm hygiene kit.

When studying, students should skip the caffeinated sodas and energy drinks full of sugar. They are a recipe for disaster. Drink water! It’s healthier for your body and your teeth.

Parkview Dental and Prosthodontics encourages parents to make dental exams a normal part of their children’s back-to-school preparation. When you make your list for getting your kids ready to start a new school year, be sure that bringing them for a routine check is priority. Dental appointments are easier to keep when you schedule them during the weeks before your child’s calendar fills up with classes, after-school sports and homework. Make adental check up become part of your preparations for a new school year. Oral health is an important part of overall physical health.

Smiles are Super-Duper (free) Mood Boosters!

Published on August 23, 2016 by

Forcing yourself to smile can boost your mood when you’re feeling a bit blue. Studies show that smiling helps the brain with the release of chemicals associated with happiness.

Smiles are Impossible NOT to Share!

Smiles are contagious, and scientists in Sweden set out to prove it. Hundreds of smiles later the results showed that people had trouble frowning when looking at others’ smiles.

Smiles are Nature’s Stress Relievers

Smiles trigger the release of endorphins, which helps your body fight stress.

Women Smile More….

There could be a million reasons why women are statistically more prolific smilers, but even baby girls tend to smile more than baby boys.

Types of Smiles

POLITE: We turn up both corners of our lips, but there’s no engagement with our eyes. This type of smile is usually reserved for strangers and politicians.

ASYMMETRICAL: You know how you raise one side of your lips higher than the other, when someone’s joke isn’t quite funny? This is also referred to as a fake smile, one that tends to shine in those awkward moments!

EMBARRASSED: Head down, eyes averted … perhaps a quick dry wash of the hands. We call this the embarrassed smile, most commonly found in bad workers and inept Disney sidekicks!

GENUINE: Our lips raise up and part, our teeth may even show. Our eyes light up and crow’s feet appear on our skin around the edges of our eyes. Yep, this is the real McCoy—the holy grail of smiles, that we only break out when we’ve really been touched.

LOVING: This smile is a genuine smile with a subtle angling of the head to suggest deep affection. Mom’s are known to have this smile mastered from day 1!

SYNCHRONIZED: Combine the GENUINE and LOVING smiles with a forward-leaning body movement toward the recipient and you’ve got synchronized smiling for when you’re really enjoying the vibe

When Do I Need To Premedicate For My Dental Work?

Published on May 21, 2016 by

 

 

Patients do not know if premedication with antibiotics is necessary for them due to a medical condition or procedure they had done.

Antibiotic prophylaxis (or premedication) is the act of taking antibiotics one-hour before certain dental procedures like cleanings, extractions, and root canals.  The bacteria we naturally have occurring in our mouths can enter our bloodstream due to everyday things we do like eating, brushing, flossing along with dental treatments mentioned earlier.  For the healthy immune system, this bacteria will not cause harm; however, it can pose a risk to those immune-compromised individuals.  For these reasons, patients have been told to take an antibiotic before their dental treatment.

Recommendations have changed for those who need to take antibiotics before their appointment.  Two types of patients who are to follow the premedication guidelines are people with prosthetic joints/orthopedic implants and those with heart conditions.

 It is imperative to talk to your physician well before your dental visit to ensure you are following their most recent recommendations.  Your doctor can provide you with a note for your dental team. This way you can avoid interrupting your necessary dental care, and you can be ready for your upcoming visit.

Early Detection of Oral Cancer Increases Survival Rates

Published on February 9, 2016 by

Early Detection of Oral Cancer Increases Survival Rates

As with other forms of cancer, the chances of surviving oral cancer are greatly increased when you catch it in its early stages. In fact, survival rates are as high as 81 percent when oral cancer is detected early, compared to a survival rate of 17 percent or less with late intervention. And while nothing can take the place of a thorough oral cancer screening by a dentist or physician, regular self-exams at home can increase the likelihood that an oral cancer lesion will be detected early.

 

As you examine your mouth, you are looking for the following:

  • Reddish patches
  • White patches
  • Raised, lumpy, or thickened areas
  • A sore that fails to heal within about two weeks, or that bleeds easily

Now you know what to look for, time to start checking.

  • Use a flashlight or other bright light to see inside your mouth.
  • Remove any dental appliances (retainers, dentures).
  • Facing a mirror, look and feel inside your lips and at your front gums.
  • Pull your cheek out to see the inside, as well as the back gums.
  • Tilt your head back and check the roof of your mouth.
  • Stick out your tongue and check all surfaces, particularly the sides and underneath.
  • Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in both sides of the neck and under the lower jaw. Other signs of oral cancer include a chronic sore throat, hoarseness, and difficulty chewing or swallowing.

Attending routine recare appointments will also help detect any signs of oral cancer.

New Year Resolutions for your Teeth

Published on January 7, 2016 by

 

 

New Year’s resolutions are an important part of welcoming in the New Year because it provides you with some direction to move forward with. Resolutions encourage you to go beyond what you’ve been doing so far and challenge yourself in ways you never thought you could.

While you may have your own resolutions you want to achieve, why not try adding some New Year resolutions for your teeth into the mix? Healthier teeth can lead to a brighter smile and more smiling puts you and the people around you in a happier mood.

Below are 8 resolutions that are great for your teeth and can improve your oral health. Try picking one for “2016” and let us know how it goes!

What is the best mouthwash?

Published on November 12, 2015 by

 

Taking care of your oral health involves a daily regimen of brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent tooth decay and bacterial infections. Though you may have asked us which toothbrush to use, few patients ask about mouthwash. However, different mouthwashes you might choose will have varying effects on your oral health. So which type is best for you?

Gum Health

Antiseptic mouthwashes are designed to reduce the majority of bacteria on and near the gum line. Using an antiseptic mouthwash can help decrease your chances of developing gingivitis. If possible, look for a mouthwash with antibacterial or antimicrobial ingredients.

Fluoride

Fluoride is beneficial for oral health and can help prevent tooth decay. If you drink a lot of bottled water without fluoride, we may recommend that you purchase a rinse with fluoride in it.

Bad Breath

Although mouthwash is designed to prevent bacterial build-up within the mouth, many people use it to combat bad breath. Most mouthwashes will help eliminate the bacteria that cause bad breath, and some are specifically designed to do so. However, if bad breath is a chronic problem that requires daily treatment with a mouth rinse, contact our office to discuss your symptoms.

Considerations

If you are unsure as to which mouthwash is right for you, contact our office or ask our dentist or dental hygienist at your next appointment. Also, be sure to keep mouthwash out of the reach of children, as it contains alcohol and other substances that could be harmful to them.

Bridge verses Crown

Published on October 19, 2015 by

If you have teeth that are cracked or decayed beyond repair, you might be wondering what you can do to regain your smile. The answer is probably in crowns and bridges.

What Is a Dental Crown? Called a crown because it sits atop the original tooth, a dental crown is a cap that goes over the decayed or injured tooth. It is essentially a hallowed-out tooth-shaped cover that protects the tooth from further damage and helps to hold it together. It is often placed after a root canal as well as added protection.

There is no reason to fear getting a crown. They are long-lasting, painless, and look completely natural. After the tooth is shaped to fit the cap, the crown is cemented onto the original tooth, providing a strong and long-lasting base. It is customized to look exactly like your own teeth and is perfectly fitted, sized, and colored. Your mouth will both look and feel better.

Sometimes, a crown might be needed even on a healthy tooth, especially if you need a dental bridge.

What Is a Dental Bridge? If you have a huge gap in your mouth left by one or more missing teeth, you need to close it. Not only will you be able to eat and speak better, but if you don’t fill in the gap, your other teeth will start to shift, causing misalignment problems.

One of the ways to fix this is a dental bridge. Like the name suggests, this is done by building a bridge of teeth across the gap. Your dentist will form false teeth to fill the gap, based on your personal mouth and needs. However, there will be an extra tooth or two on each side of the bridge. These are actually just crowns that will anchor the bridge in place.

A bridge will be placed by fitting a crown on either side and sliding the bridge down into the gap. If everything fits properly, it will then be cemented in place, leaving you with a natural-looking smile again.

Waking Up With Jaw Pain???

Published on September 24, 2015 by

If you are waking up with jaw pain, tension headaches, or facial pain, you may be suffering from a condition known as bruxism. This means you could be grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. Some people aren’t even aware they are grinding or clenching their teeth at night, until a visit to us reveals significant tooth enamel loss. Fortunately, there is a non-invasive and effective solution for teeth grinding, and the tooth enamel damage it can cause, in custom-fabricated nightguards.

Causes of teeth grinding

Tension, stress, and anxiety experienced during the daytime can carry over to an individual’s sleep, and lead the person to grind his or her teeth together or clench the teeth unknowingly. Sleep apnea is another condition that can result in bruxism. Regardless of the cause, however, frequent clenching and teeth grinding wears down the chewing surfaces of the teeth, reduces tooth enamel, and can result in a cracked or chipped tooth, crown, or filling.

Nightguards for teeth grinding

Custom nightguards are fabricated to fit like a glove and protect your teeth from the adverse effects of bruxism. Nightguards are created through a non-invasive process that simply takes an impression of the bottom and top rows of teeth. The result is a nightguard that is flexible, comfortable, and personalized to your mouth.

Benefits of nightguards

Nightguards are helpful to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of dental damage incurred as a result of teeth grinding. They can reduce the discomfort associated with a sore jaw, headaches, tooth sensitivity, ear pain, and facial pain that many patients experience as a result of clenching or grinding of their teeth. In severe cases of bruxism, patients can develop loss of hearing, jawbone misalignment, and TMJ. Therefore, customized nightguards can help prevent the progression of teeth grinding into these more serious conditions.

At-home tips to reduce or prevent teeth grinding

Although it’s important to wear your nightguard faithfully if you grind your teeth at night, you can follow a few self-care tips to help to prevent your teeth grinding from worsening.

  • Reduce tension and stress. Whether you take a warm bath before bed, listen to soothing music, or exercise, practice stress-relieving activities to wash away the tensions of the day.
  • Avoid alcohol. In some patients, alcohol increases teeth grinding tendencies.
  • Avoid caffeine. In some individuals, caffeine increases the likelihood of teeth grinding.
  • Focus on relaxing jaw muscles. Make a conscious effort to keep your jaw relaxed. A warm washcloth against your cheek, sticking your tongue between your teeth, and avoiding chewing pencils, pens, and gum are all ways to train the muscles of your jaw to stay relaxed.

If you suspect you may be grinding your teeth at night, schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Idiculla.