Losing a tooth can be a cosmetic disaster if it is a tooth that shows when you smile., but missing teeth anywhere in your mouth can also cause oral health problems that you may not be aware of. An open space where there used to be a tooth can start a chain reaction of dental problems that can lead to crooked teeth, oral hygiene issues and even jaw problems.
1. One lost tooth can lead to problems
When just one tooth is lost, the foundation of your teeth is weakened. Other teeth can begin to shift out of place, beginning with the teeth that surround the space where the missing tooth used to be. If you lose a tooth in the back of your mouth and do not replace it, several years down the road you may find yourself with crooked teeth. Oral hygiene becomes complicated by missing teeth because cleaning gapped or crooked teeth can be difficult. Food particles left behind are a primary cause of gum disease, which can lead to tooth decay and the loss of more teeth.
2. TMJ disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder can be caused by missing teeth or a misaligned bite. The jaws are designed to handle chewing action when the teeth are properly aligned. When they are not, extra stress is put on the jaw joints and muscles. TMJ disorder has painful symptoms including headaches, neck pain and even back pain.
3. Sleep problems
In addition to pain, TMJ disorder can affect your sleep. A misaligned bite can contribute to sleep apnea or snoring by causing you to hold your mouth in a position that lets your tongue fall back and block the air passageway.
The best way to replace a missing tooth
Problems caused by a missing tooth can be avoided by having the tooth replaced. Dentures involve wires or adhesive to hold them in place, and at one time, this inconvenience was the only way to replace a missing tooth. Today there is a better way. Dental implants are almost permanent tooth replacement option. Implants become a permanent part of your jaw through a process known as osseointegration. They function almost exactly like natural teeth, and there are no special cleaners or dental products required for them.
If you would like to learn more about missing teeth, why they should be replaced and why implants are the next best thing to your natural teeth, call your Beverly dentist for a consultation appointment. Implants work best to replace teeth that have been recently lost, so if you already have missing teeth, make the call now.
People with type 2 diabetes have in increased risk of sleep disturbed breathing resulting in intermittent night time hypoxia and fragmented sleep. They are also up to 20 times more likely to suffer from obstructed sleep apnea.
Prior studies have suggested that poor sleep is related to a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes. If blood glucose levels are improved during the night, it reduces oxygen desaturation during sleep. A group of resesarchers in Spain found that type 2 diabetes and elevated fasting blood glucose are independent predictors of daytime sleepiness and poor sleep quality . This was a controlled study in which the majority of type 2 diabetics reported poor sleep. They reported additional symptoms such as peripheral neuropathy, restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.
Taking precautionary antibiotics before your dental procedure is no longer recommended and in fact may be more harmful than helpful, according to the American Heart Association.
THE NEW GUIDELINES
The updated guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) say that many patients who have taken precautionary antibiotics prior to dental procedures may no longer need them. The AHA now recommends that only people who are at the greatest risk of bad outcomes from infective endocarditis (IE) should receive short-term preventive antibiotics before routine dental procedures. IE is an infection of the heart’s inner lining or the heart valves, which results when bacteria enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart.
RISKS VS BENEFITS
The new guidelines are based on the most current evidence that illustrates that the risk of taking preventative antibiotics is greater the benefits to the patient. These risks include adverse reactions to antibiotics and the development of drug-resistant bacteria.
The overuse of antibiotics has caused a huge increase in the number of bacteria that are now resistant to them. When this happens, new antibiotics must be created to treat these drug resistant bacteria. The overuse of antibiotics has caused a huge increase in the number of bacteria that are now resistant to them. When this happens, new antibiotics must be created to treat these drug resistant bacteria.
The guidelines emphasize that maintaining good oral health and practicing daily oral hygiene are more important in reducing the risk of IE than taking preventive antibiotics before a dental visit.
SOME PATIENTS STILL NEED PREVENTATIVE ANTIBIOTICS
There are, however, some patients who should take preventative antibiotics when undergoing dental procedures. These include those who have a high risk of developing a cardiac infection.
Patients need to ask their primary care doctor or cardiologist whether or not to pre-medicate with antibiotics prior to dental work. They should be aware that antibiotics may lead to a worse outcome than if none are used.
While visiting the dentist twice yearly to have your teeth cleaned may seem like an unnecessary burden, there are actually many health benefits to having regular dental checkups.
Here’s what you need to know.
Twice-yearly visits to the dentist can:
- Prevent serious dental problems like gum disease, assess your overall general oral health, identify any problems before they become more serious, and screen for oral cancer. This will save money in the long run!
- Keep your teeth free of plaque, which is the leading cause of tooth decay. Plaque is caused by bacteria, which can eat away at your tooth enamel and lead to cavities—a leading disease in children! Brushing and flossing are the bet ways to prevent plaque buildup, but seeing your dentist twice a year is also essential to removing the plaque.
- Stop gum disease: tooth loss is often caused by plaque build up and unchecked build up can lead to periodontal (gum) disease and this can loosen teeth.
- Many drinks and some food can stain your beautiful white teeth. Dental cleaning can remove stains and leave you with a brighter smile!
- Taking good care of your teeth and gums by having regular dental cleanings and daily brushing and flossing is a great way to prevent the conditions that cause halitosis (bad breath)!
When thinking about good oral hygiene, do you consider the health of your gums as well as your teeth? You may be surprised to learn that many people remember to brush, but neglect their gums. Since caring for both is an important part of maintaining good oral health, here are 3 simple ways to help keep your gums healthy.
To achieve optimum cleaning, there are some important basics to remember. First, always wash your hands before you start to avoid transferring bacteria from your hands into your mouth. Second, use the right tools. This includes, any American Dental Association (ADA) recommended toothpaste and a soft, round-bristled toothbrush. Harder bristles can damage both your tooth enamel and gums. With these tools in clean hands:
- Always brush at a 45 degree angle along gum line
- Do 2-3 teeth at a time, applying soft pressure in a rolling, back and forth motion until all teeth have been cleaned
- Rinse mouth before gently brushing your tongue from back-to-front to remove odor-causing bacteria
- Do a final rinse to remove any remaining food particles
Flossing is a crucial step in oral hygiene that is often over-looked. Done properly, it removes food, bacteria and plaque that get between teeth and below the gum line, making your next dental check-up less painful and reducing your risk of gum disease. Here’s how to do it well:
- Start with an 18-inch piece of floss
- Wrap around fingers for more control
- Floss each tooth from gum line towards top/bottom of tooth in zigzag motion
- Unwind more floss and move to the next tooth
Maintain dental check-ups
Scheduling regular appointments every six months is necessary to maintain optimum oral health. This is when your dentist does deep cleaning to remove tartar and plaque build-up before checking for early signs of gum disease, cavities, oral cancer and other issues that are significantly easier to treat when caught early on.
Learn more about keeping your gums healthy
Contact your Beverly dentist and schedule an appointment. He or she and their dental team can teach you the latest techniques for brushing and flossing and answer any questions or concerns you have about maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Considering teeth whitening in Beverly? Here are 3 things to keep in mind
If you want to improve your smile by whitening your teeth, you may be tempted to buy an at-home whitening product or whitening toothpaste. These products may seem inexpensive, but you could actually end up wasting money if you buy a product that isn’t right for the job. If you have stained or yellow teeth, understanding why your teeth are stained can help you choose the correct teeth whitening method.
1. Talk to a dentist before whitening
A dental exam and consultation before beginning teeth whitening can help you to decide what type of whitening product to use. Some stains do not respond well to whitening products. Yellow teeth or teeth that are stained lightly by tobacco or coffee use can usually be whitened, but teeth that are closer to brown than yellow or that are a blue or gray color often do not respond well to teeth whitening. Whitening does not work on artificial teeth, crowns or teeth that have been treated with cosmetic bonding or veneers.
2. Professional vs home whitening
If you have stains that are likely to be improved by whitening, you can choose to use home teeth whitening products or have professional teeth whitening performed in a dental office. Professional whitening products are stronger, and they can actually be safer because they are used by professionals. A professional whitening service begins with your gums being protected to keep the bleaching solution from contacting them. If you choose home teeth whitening, try to pick a product that has a customizable tray. This will help to protect your gums for the bleaching agent. You may also purchase a professional whitening kit from the dentist that is made to be used at home.
At-home whitening products may cost less than in-office whitening, but professional whitening usually gives visible results faster. At-home products usually must be used for a period of time before results can be seen. If safety is a primary concern or if you have sensitive gums or teeth, in-office whitening may be recommended by a dentist.
3. Maintaining a white smile
Stains can return after whitening, so repeat whitening treatments may be necessary. You can reduce staining by cutting down on consumption of staining foods and beverages like red wine or coffee, and by quitting smoking and other tobacco use.