Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Information About Dry Mouth

What do I Need to Know About Dry Mouth?

Everyone has a dry mouth once in a while — if they are nervous, upset or under stress.
But if you have a dry mouth all or most of the time, it can be uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problems.
Dry mouth ...
  • Can cause difficulties in tasting, chewing, swallowing, and speaking
  • Can increase your chance of developing dental decay and other infections in the mouth
  • Can be a sign of certain diseases and conditions
  • Can be caused by certain medications or medical treatments
Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. So if you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician — there are things you can do to get relief.

What is Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet.

Symptoms Include:
  • A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, tasting or speaking
  • A burning feeling in the mouth
  • A dry feeling in the throat
  • Cracked lips
  • A dry, tough tongue
  • Mouth sores
  • An infection in the mouth
Why is Saliva so Important?
  • Saliva does more than keep the mouth wet. It helps digest food
  • It protects teeth from decay
  • It prevents infection by controlling bacteria and fungi in the mouth
  • It makes it possible for you to chew and swallow
Without enough saliva you can develop tooth decay or other infections in the mouth. You also might not get the nutrients you need if you cannot chew and swallow certain foods.

What causes Dry Mouth?

People get dry mouth when the glands in the mouth that make saliva are not working properly. Because of this, there might not be enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. There are several reasons why these glands (called salivary glands) might not work right.
  • Side effects of some medicines — more than 400 medicines can cause the salivary glands to make less saliva. Medicines for high blood pressure and depression often cause dry mouth
  • Disease — some diseases affect the salivary glands. Sj√∂gren's Syndrome, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease can all cause dry mouth
  • Radiation therapy — the salivary glands can be damaged if they are exposed to radiation during cancer treatment
  • Chemotherapy — drugs used to treat cancer can make saliva thicker, causing the mouth to feel dry.
  • Nerve damage — injury to the head or neck can damage the nerves that tell salivary glands to make saliva.

What Can be Done About Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth treatment will depend on what is causing the problem. If you think you have dry mouth, see your dentist or physician. He or she can try to determine what is causing your dry mouth.
  • If your dry mouth is caused by medicine, your physician might change your medicine or adjust the dosage
  • If your salivary glands are not working right but can still produce some saliva, your physician or dentist might give you a medicine that helps the glands work better
  • Your physician or dentist might suggest that you use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet
What can I do?
  • Sip water or sugarless drinks often
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and some sodas. Caffeine can dry out the mouth
  • Sip water or a sugarless drink during meals. This will make chewing and swallowing easier. It may also improve the taste of food
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to stimulate saliva flow; citrus, cinnamon or mint-flavored candies are good choices
  • Don't use tobacco or alcohol. They dry out the mouth
  • Be aware that spicy or salty foods may cause pain in a dry mouth
  • Use a humidifier at night
Tips for Keeping Your Teeth Healthy
Remember, if you have dry mouth, you need to be extra careful to keep your teeth healthy. Make sure you:
  • Gently brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth every day
  • Use toothpaste with fluoride in it. Most toothpastes sold at grocery and drug stores have fluoride in them
  • Avoid sticky, sugary foods. If you do eat them, brush immediately afterwards
  • Visit your dentist for a check-up at least twice a year. Your dentist might give you a special fluoride solution that you can rinse with to help keep your teeth healthy
Article Source: Colgate 

If you live in the Niles area and are looking for a dentist, please visit our website for more information: http://www.hb-dentistry.com

Our office is located at 9101 Greenwood Avenue, Suite 302, Niles, IL.  60714
Call us at  847-296-4030.

Follow us on twitter:  @hbdentistry

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Family Guide to Oral Health

Today's post is rather long, but provides valuable information for families about taking care of their teeth. Here we go:

By following the information in this guide, you and your family can have healthy teeth and gums to last a lifetime. As a parent, you can work with your children to help them understand why good oral care is important — and show them how to do it right!

Four Steps to a Bright Smile

  1. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, especially after eating breakfast and before bedtime.
  2. Floss every day.
  3. Limit the number of times you eat snacks each day.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly.
It’s easy to guide your family toward good oral health. All it takes is the right information and a little practice to keep them moving in the right direction!
In this section, learn about:

How to brush

 

How to floss



 

Fluoride – your family’s best defense

Fluoride is the best cavity fighter you can find as you guide your family to a lifetime of bright smiles! It keeps the whole family’s teeth strong — no matter what their ages.

 

How fluoride works

Every day, the enamel on teeth is attacked by acids produced in dental plaque. These acids can make teeth weaker, and can result in decay.
That’s where fluoride comes in. When it reaches your teeth, fluoride is absorbed into the enamel. It helps to repair the enamel and prevent tooth decay. It can even help stop the decay process.

 

How to get fluoride

You can get the benefits of fluoride from different places. It can work from the outside of your teeth, and from the inside of your body. To work the best, you need to get it both ways! At home, you and your family should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after eating breakfast and before bedtime.

Snacking and tooth decay

If fluoride is our greatest protection against decay, then frequent snacking can be our teeth’s biggest enemy. Every day, you and your family face snacking challenges. Here’s what you need to know:

 

It’s how often you snack that matters

The truth is that what your family eats isn’t as important as when and how often they snack! It all has to do with the “plaque reaction,” and this is how it works:

 

The plaque reaction

Everyone has plaque bacteria in their mouths. But when these plaque bacteria meet up with the sugars and starches that are found in snacks such as cookies, candies, dried fruits, soft drinks or even pretzels or potato chips, the plaque reacts to create acid, and a “plaque attack” occurs.

The fact is, most snacks that you eat contain either sugars or starches that give plaque this opportunity to make acid. And each “plaque attack” can last for up to 20 minutes after you have finished your snack. During this period, the plaque acid is attacking tooth enamel, making it weak. That’s when cavities can start!

 

Fighting back against plaque 

 

The good news is, you can take a stand against plaque! By brushing twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and by reducing the number of times you snack each day, you and your family can help prevent tooth decay.

When it comes to snacking, it’s best to choose something nutritious and to snack in moderation. It’s also better to eat the whole snack at one time! Here’s why: eating five pieces of a snack at one time exposes your teeth to possible tooth decay — for approximately 20 minutes. Nibbling on those same five pieces at five different times exposes your teeth to possible tooth decay for approximately 100 minutes. What a difference!

 

You need to watch baby’s sweets, too!

Infants are just as susceptible to decay as older children and adults. In fact, Early Childhood Cavities can be a very serious condition. See The Preventing Early Childhood Cavities section below for more information.


The Dental Checkup

The dentist is your family’s partner on the Bright Smiles pathway. Be sure to schedule regular dental appointments for the whole family. A child's first visit should take place before his or her third birthday.

Dental checkups early in a child’s life allow children to have a positive dental health experience. TIP: Take your young toddler with you to your own appointment first. That way, the dental office becomes a familiar place.

 

Your dental checkup: what to expect

 

Fluoride treatments:

Your dentist may treat your child’s teeth with extra fluoride in the form of a gel to make teeth stronger. This gel goes in a tray that fits into the mouth that children wear for a few minutes to let the fluoride sink into their teeth. It comes in neat flavors for kids!

 

Dental sealants:

These are thin, protective plastic coatings applied by the dentist to the permanent back teeth (molars). They fill in the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the teeth where foods and bacteria can get stuck and cause cavities. Once applied, sealants can last for several years.

 

X-rays:

These “pictures” show the dentist what’s going on inside the teeth and beneath the gum line. During the X-ray, your child will wear a lead apron to prevent unnecessary exposure.

 

Preventing early childhood cavities (sometimes known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay)

Early Childhood Cavities is a childhood disease that can be prevented. The following steps can help guard your baby against this painful condition – and ask your dentist or physician for more information.

It’s best not to put a bottle in bed with your baby. But if you must put a bottle in bed with your baby, put only plain water in it. Any liquid except water, even milk and juice, can cause cavities.

You can use a bottle to feed your baby at regular feeding times, but allowing the bottle to be used as a pacifier can be a major cause of cavities.
  • Hold your baby while feeding him/her. If your baby falls asleep, remove the bottle and put him/her in bed.
  • Avoid putting your baby to sleep with a bottle.
  • Avoid letting your toddler walk around with a bottle.
Click here for more information on Early Childhood Cavities.

Article Source: Colgate

If you live in the Niles area and are looking for a dentist, please visit our website for more information: http://www.hb-dentistry.com

Our office is located at 9101 Greenwood Avenue, Suite 302, Niles, IL.  60714
Call us at  847-296-4030.

Follow us on twitter:  @hbdentistry

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mouthguards For Children



Sports can be hazardous for teeth, especially for children, learn about mouthguards for children.

Video Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZumIw2xA7mA

If you live in the Niles area and are looking for a dentist, please visit our website for more information: http://www.hb-dentistry.com

Our office is located at 9101 Greenwood Avenue, Suite 302, Niles, IL.  60714
Call us at  847-296-4030.

Follow us on twitter:  @hbdentistry

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Notes On Dental Hygiene From HB Dentistry

It is important to have a great smile to present to the world -- who would ever want to jeopardize that? Surprisingly, many people aren't caring for their smile as they should, and as such, are actually putting their oral health in danger. So, today we're posting some helpful oral hygiene tips HB Dentistry to ensure you'll always have the brightest smile no matter what. 

 

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gumline. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.

 

How to Brush

Drs. Hagopian and Boghosian recommend using a soft to medium tooth brush. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth. Use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort.

When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.

To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue.

Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface. After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing.

If you have any pain while brushing or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at 847-296-4030.

 

How to Floss

Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from those surfaces. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice.

Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18″ long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.

To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place. Bring the floss to the gumline then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance. Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space.

Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.

When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.

 

Choosing Oral Hygiene Products

There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.

Automatic and “high-tech” electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove plaque. You need to brush and floss in conjunction with the irrigator. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes called Rotadent and Interplak.

Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle, this is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your doctor.

Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpastes will reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gumline so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease.

Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with brushing and flossing.

 

Professional Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing will keep dental calculus to a minimum, but a professional cleaning will remove calculus in places your toothbrush and floss have missed. Your visit to our office is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease. Keep your teeth for your lifetime.

 

Caring for Sensitive Teeth

Sometimes after dental treatment, teeth are sensitive to hot and cold. This should not last long, but only if the mouth is kept clean. If the mouth is not kept clean the sensitivity will remain and could become more severe. If your teeth are especially sensitive consult with your doctor. They may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth.