Dental Treatment During Pregnancy

Why Visit the Dentist While Pregnant?

jan14_steps_pregnancy_webaIt is important to not neglect your oral health when you are expecting. While some women may delay going to the dentist until after the birth of their baby, it is important to maintain a clean oral cavity during pregnancy. There are several reasons for this.   It is known that hormone levels increase during pregnancy and can contribute to bleeding, swelling and inflammation of the gums which is commonly referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. Gum disease in pregnant women has been linked to premature delivery, preclampsia and low birth weight infants.   Some women may experience an increase in tooth decay if they develop cravings that cause them to consume more carbohydrates or sweet foods and drinks. And women with morning sickness will expose their teeth to more acids that can cause tooth decay. For all of these reasons, it is best to continue your dental visits while pregnant. It is also important to maintain good hygiene habits during your pregnancy and to brush and floss regularly.

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Genetic Testing in the Dental Office

genetic-testingDo you have any family or friends who have had genetic testing? While a decade ago, having genetic testing done may have been less common, today it is something that more people are turning to for a variety of reasons. If you have signs of a disease caused by gene changes, have testing done may help your physician confirm the diagnosis and help determine the best treatment. Some choose to have testing when pregnant to detect if their unborn child may have certain diseases. Some doctors may test your genes to see how your body reacts to and processes drugs so they can choose the best medications for you.

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Which Dental Home Care Products Work Best?

There are an abundance of dental products available today. With so much to choose from, trying to determine which products are most effective can be confusing. Below are a few helpful tips to help you select the products that will enable you to take good care of your teeth and gums.

 

Use Products with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance:

If a dental product has the ADA Seal on it, this means that is has met the ADA standards for safety and effectiveness. You may find this seal on toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, mouthrinse and interdental cleaners.

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What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

  • Oral cancer occurs more often in those over age 40.
  • It affects twice as many men as women.
  • The risk factors include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, and sun exposure.
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables may play a role in cancer development, as these food groups contain antioxidants that are thought to have cancer-preventive benefits.
  • Certain STDs such as Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) have been linked to oral cancer.
  • Your dentist will conduct an oral cancer exam and screening during your routine visits and will check your face, neck, lips, and mouth.
  • It is important to notify your dentist if you experience any of the following symptoms: a sore or lump in your mouth, throat or lip, difficulty swallowing or chewing, ear pain, a white or red patch in the mouth, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, numbness of any part of the mouth, or swelling.   Your dentist will evaluate the affected area and when indicated, refer to a specialist for biopsy and diagnosis.
  • Early detection can lead to more successful treatment of oral cancer.

TMJ Problems and How to Treat Them

What is TMJ?

TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint which connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the bone at the side of your head (temporal bone). When someone has a temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, they may experience pain in the jaw joint and muscles, stiffness, limited opening, clicking and popping of the joint when opening or closing, and sometimes a change in how the upper and lower teeth overlap. The exact cause of TMJ disorder is not known, although trauma to the jaw or joint may play a role and it can be more prevalent in those with higher stress levels.

tmj-issues

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Is It a Toothache or Seasonal Allergies?

While many people look forward to the spring and the warm weather that accompanies it, for allergy sufferers, it can be a difficult time. The pollen produced by trees, flowers and grasses can trigger an immune response that causes runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, sneezing, and congestion. But what many people don’t know is that seasonal allergy flare ups can contribute to dental discomfort.

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Five Facts About Sleep Apnea

WHAT IS SLEEP APNEA?

Sleep apnea occurs when the airway is blocked either by the tongue or muscles in the airway, causing the cessation of breathing during sleep. As the patient falls asleep, the airway collapses causing Oxygen levels to drop. The body then goes into flight or fight response, which arouses them, enabling them to breathe, increase their Oxygen levels and fall back asleep. The average sleep apnea patient has hundreds of these events per night.

sleep-apnea

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Implant or Bridge for a Missing Tooth?

Most people recognize the advantages of implants over dentures. But when does it make sense to choose an implant over a bridge to replace a single missing tooth? An evaluation of the condition of the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth can help answer this question. If these teeth have no decay and no existing restorations, then an implant may be the optimal treatment for this scenario. By placing an implant, you would avoid filing down the enamel on healthy teeth.

Implant or Bridge for a Missing Tooth

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