Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, get their name by being the last teeth to come in, between the ages of 17 and 21 when you gain maturity or wisdom. Sometimes they do not have enough room to grow normally. When that happens, your dentist may refer to them as impacted or crowded and they may need to be removed. Not everyone’s teeth develop in the same way. Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing any pain or other problems they may be affecting your oral health. The most common problems are decay, infection, crowding, or damage to other teeth. Those next to the wisdom teeth are more prone to developing gum problems. It’s important to see your dentist regularly so he or she can monitor the progress of your wisdom teeth.
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Acid reflux is a serious problem that affects more than 20% of Americans and can also cause permanent and severe loss of tooth structure. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach contents reflux back into the mouth. This can lead to tooth erosion when those contents settle on the teeth. Certain foods, beverages, and habits are known to cause acid reflux and as a preventive measure, individuals should be aware of the products they consume. Spicy, fatty, fried foods, citric fruits, citrus beverages, and even dairy products can lead to acid reflux. A good way to tame acid reflux is to avoid eating acidic foods, avoid brushing for one hour after reflux episodes, rinse mouth with water, take a sugar- free antacid, or chew sugarless gum. If you consider your acid reflux severe, consult a medical expert
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Diabetes is a disease that causes your pancreas to produce an insufficient amount of insulin. Over 1.9 million new cases of adult diabetes are reported annually. Did you know that diabetes can increase your risk for periodontal disease? According to the American Dental Association, if you have diabetes, you should have your teeth cleaned every 3 months. If you have diabetes and experience any of the following warning signs of periodontal disease, make an appointment to see your dentist.
Persistent bad breath or unusual taste in your mouth.
Bleeding gums when you brush or eat
Red, swollen, or tender gums
Or, change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Your dentist can help prevent diabetes from negatively impacting your oral health.
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According to the American Dental Association, chewing a piece of sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay. Chewing gum prevents decay by increasing the amount of saliva in the mouth. Increased saliva helps to carry important minerals like calcium and phosphate to your teeth, as well as to neutralize acidic bacteria, and to sweep away debris. Gum with sugar does increase saliva in the mouth, but the added sugar causes plaque bacteria to accumulate in the mouth There are many sugarless gums sweetened with aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol that are approved by the ADA. Look for the ADA seal of approval to ensure that your gum is sugarless. This seal is your assurance that the gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.
You may have seen recent headlines claiming there is no indication that flossing improves oral health. But according to the American Dental Association, flossing should still be a part of your daily oral health routine. Researchers at the ADA have found that flossing daily resulted in a significant reduction of cavities because flossing can reach food and debris that would be left behind by brushing alone. Flossing also helps prevent periodontal disease, gingivitis, and plaque buildup. To maintain good oral health, the ADA recommends brushing twice per day, flossing once per day, and visiting your dentist regularly. And always ask your dentist for instructions on how best to use dental floss or other flossers.
Sleep apnea occurs when your breathing is interrupted in your sleep. This common yet dangerous condition’s most common side effect is snoring, though not all people who snore have sleep apnea. There are 2 types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the tissue at the back of the throat closes during sleep; while central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to trigger your muscles to breathe. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in:
high blood pressure
irregular heartbeat or heart attack
Sleep apnea can be treated by adjusting your sleep habits, continuous air pressure (or CPAP), and other oral devices.. If the sleep apnea persists, surgery is also an option. Your doctor and dentist can work together to find the treatment that is best for you.
Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth. A titanium post is placed in the bone under the gums and acts as a root to hold the tooth in place. Mini implants are smaller than regular dental implants and are used to hold removable dentures or a temporary tooth. Mini implants can be a great option for people whose jawbones are not large enough for regular implants. Because they are smaller, mini implants usually heal faster and require fewer dental visits. The mini implant can be placed in as little as two hours and regular eating can usually begin the same day. With mini implants, you will be able to bite, chew and speak normally. Ask your dentist if he thinks mini implants could be right for you.