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Monday, June 18, 2018

How cancer treatment affects oral health

When someone is undergoing cancer treatment, its important that they involve their dentist in their program of care.
They should schedule a dental exam and cleaning before the treatment actually begins and then repeat it periodically during the course of treatment.
Its important that they tell the dentist that they are being treated for cancer and that they also discuss any dental procedures, such as extractions or insertion of dental implants, with the oncologist before starting the cancer treatment.
Its therefore a good idea to ensure that the dentist and oncologist have each others details to enable them to discuss any issues to help the patient.
And the dentist and physician should be informed about any issues such as bleeding of the gums, pain, or unusual feeling in the teeth or gums, or any dental infections.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene during cancer treatment is vital to reduce the risk of infection and to help aid the treatment process.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Periodontal disease: what it is and how to avoid it

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth.
There is a very slight gap (called a sulcus) between the tooth and the gum.
Periodontal diseases attack this gap and cause a breakdown in the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues.
When the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket and, as the disease gets more severe, the pocket usually gets deeper.
The two major stages of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to periodontitis, which is a more serious, destructive form of periodontal disease.
There are several factors that have been shown to increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
– Systemic diseases such as diabetes
– Some types of medication
– Crooked teeth
– Bridges that no longer fit properly
– Fillings that have become defective
– Smoking
– Pregnancy
And there are a number of warning signs that can suggest a possible problem:
– Gums that bleed easily
– Red, swollen, tender gums
– Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
– Persistent bad breath or taste
– Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
– Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
– Any change in the fit of partial dentures
However, its also possible to have periodontal disease with no warning signs.
Its therefore important to have regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations.
If you have developed periodontal disease, the treatment will depend on how far it has progressed.
You can take steps to prevent periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.
Good dental hygiene practices such as brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth, eating a healthy diet and having regular visits to the dentist will make a huge difference.

Monday, June 4, 2018

What to do if you have problems with your dentist

Choosing the right dentist for your needs is an important part of giving yourself the best oral health possible.
Sometimes you may find that things are not working out for the best and it’s important to take steps to resolve any problems rather than just put off your dental care.
First, talk to your dentist about any concerns. They will probably be able to accomodate your needs if you tell them what you are looking for.
In some situations, you may feel that you want to look around at alternative options – maybe there are other dentists who meet your needs better, taking into account factors such as location, office hours, fees and emergency arrangements.
If you are comparing fees, ask for estimates on full-mouth x-rays and a preventive dental visit that includes an oral exam and tooth cleaning.
If you have any doubts about treatment your dentist has recommended, it may be a good idea to set your mind at rest by getting a second opinion from another dentist.
However, even in the best dentist-patient relationship, problems can sometimes occur. If your dentist is not able to resolve your concerns, you can contact your state or local dental association.
They have established systems of peer review that provide an impartial and easy way to resolving misunderstandings regarding the appropriateness or quality of care.
If you are not completely satisfied with the dental treatment you are getting, it’s important to take steps to put it right – whether you sort it out with your own dentist or find another one.

Monday, May 28, 2018

How to make visiting the dentist easy for kids

Your child should have their first trip to the dentist by the time they are 18 months old and it’s good to make the process as easy as possible for them from the start.
Dental staff are used to dealing with young children and they will know how to make them feel comfortable.
Sometimes, children under three may be treated on the parent’s lap. In this case, the parent sits in the dental chair facing the dentist, and the child is on their lap.
The dentist will tell the child what he or she is going to do in terms they can understand. They will usually have fun dental toys they can use to help.
They will start with an oral examination checking the teeth present and looking at the development of the jaw, gums and soft tissues.
Naturally, as in any new situation, some children are initially unsettled but this is usually short-lived as they get used to it.
Parents can help by ensuring they are calm and relaxed as any anxiety will transfer to the child.
With older children, the parents may stay in the background though sometimes children behave better when the parent is not in the room!
Work with your children and your dentist to find the best way of ensuring they get the treatment they need with minimum worries for everyone.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Tips for people with difficulty handling a toothbrush

There are many people who find it difficult to look after their dental health properly because they have problems handling a toothbrush.
This can be due to a severe physical disability or simply basic dexterity problems.
There are a few simple steps you can take to make it easier for people who find it difficult to hold on to a toothbrush or dental floss.
Here are some simple ‘home remedies’:
– Use a wide elastic band to attach the brush to the hand
– Enlarge the brush handle with a sponge, rubber ball or bicycle handle grip
– Wind an elastic bandage or adhesive tape around the handle
– Lengthen the handle with a piece of wood or plastic such as a ruler, popsicle stick or tongue depressor
– Tie floss into a loop for easier handling
– Use an electric toothbrush or commercial floss holder
Your dentist will be able to provide specific guidance and further tips for people who need an easier way to handle a toothbrush and floss.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Daily dental tips to cut down on plaque

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums. If you let it build up on your teeth, it can lead to several problems.
The best way to remove plaque from the tooth surfaces is by brushing and cleaning between your teeth every day.
You should brush your teeth twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush. The brush should fit your mouth comfortably, allowing you to reach all areas easily.
When you use toothpaste that contains fluoride, this helps protect your teeth.
You can help even more by cleaning between the teeth once a day with floss or interdental cleaners. This removes plaque from between the teeth in areas the toothbrush can’t reach.
By taking a few steps each day to look after your teeth – and visiting your dentist regularly, you’ll be able to enjoy healthy teeth and a great smile all your life.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The causes of bad breath

Bad breath – also known as halitosis – is an unpleasant condition that can cause a great deal of embarrassment.
And, for many people, it’s made even worse by the fact they don’t even know that they have it.
There are many possible causes for bad breath so, if you think you might have the problem, talk to your dentist.
What you eat affects what you breathe out. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to objectionable breath odor and even dieters may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.
If you don’t brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath.
Bad breath can also be caused by dry mouth (xerostomia) which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases.
One of the reasons why it’s especially important to talk to your dentist about bad breath is that it may be a sign of an underlying medical problem such as respiratory tract infection or gastrointestinal problems.
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can also be a warning signs of gum disease.
Smoking can also cause bad breath, stain teeth and reduce your ability to taste foods.
For all these reasons, you shouldn’t put up with the problem of bad breath. Talk to your dentist and find out what might be causing the problem.