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3 Health Conditions And Treatments That Can Harm Your Veneers

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Health Conditions And Treatments That Can Harm Your Veneers

If you have deep tooth staining that does not resolve even after professional whitening procedures, or if your teeth are misshapen or broken, your dentist may recommend that you get porcelain dental veneers. These restorations fit over your natural teeth to hide imperfections, and while very durable, they typically do not last a lifetime. Veneers are usually more resistant than your own teeth to everyday wear and tear; however, there are certain health conditions and their treatments that may warrant replacement. Here are three medical conditions and treatments that may harm your dental veneers and what you can do about them: Acid Reflux Disease Acid reflux disease causes irritating gastric acid to migrate up into the upper digestive tract. If you have chronic heartburn that is accompanied by constant throat clearing, coughing, a bad taste in your mouth, hypersalivation, or nausea, you may have acid reflux disease. In severe cases, stomach acid can reflux high into the throat and even reach the mouth and teeth. When this occurs, your natural teeth and porcelain dental veneers may become damaged as a result of acid erosion. While veneers are generally more resistant than your natural teeth to stomach acid, the surface of your veneers may eventually show signs of acid erosion. If you have acid reflux disease, avoid trigger foods such as chocolate, citrus fruits, coffee, peppermint, onions, and garlic. Cutting down on cigarette smoking and limiting your intake of alcoholic beverages may also help reduce your acid reflux symptoms. In addition, take your prescribed medications as instructed by your physician, and try to maintain a healthy weight.  Seizure Disorder Seizure disorders such as epilepsy are typically managed with anti-convulsant medications. While effective in reducing the number of seizures as well as their intensity, anti-convulsant medications often lead to undesirable side effects. In addition to sleepiness, dizziness, confusion, and blurred vision, these medications can raise the risk for gum problems such as gingival overgrowth. This condition causes the gum tissue to grow out of control, and in certain cases, the gums can grow over the teeth, obscuring your dental veneers. This makes it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing. Like your natural teeth, veneers require care and cleaning, and when you are unable to effectively brush your veneers, the porcelain or resin surface may break down. If your anti-convulsant medication is causing problems with your gums, your physician may decide to either lower the dosage or prescribe a different medication to control your seizures which may be less likely to lead to gingival overgrowth. Autoimmune Disease Certain autoimmune diseases can cause salivary gland dysfunction. When this occurs, your salivary glands may be unable to produce sufficient amounts of saliva, leaving your oral cavity dry and susceptible to bacterial buildup. Adequate amounts of saliva help wash away microorganisms that are responsible for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infection. Subsequently, when your mouth is too dry, you may be more prone to developing one or more of these problems. Cavities, gingivitis, and infections in your mouth not only affect your natural teeth, but they can also cause problems with your veneers. If you develop a cavity or infection underneath your dental restoration, it may need to be removed in order to treat the affected area of your...

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2 Natural Oil Treatments To Help Treat A Tooth Abscess

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2 Natural Oil Treatments To Help Treat A Tooth Abscess

When you are dealing with the pain and infection of a tooth abscess, you may not have access to immediate professional dental care to get relief from the pain. With a tooth abscess, which is a pocket of infected pus inside the center of your tooth, your tooth and gums will be swollen, you may have a foul-tasting discharge in your mouth, and you may suffer from a fever. Here are two natural oil treatment methods you can use to help eliminate the pain and infection of a tooth abscess. Apply Oils Clove oil is an effective oil to help a tooth infection and abscess and is extracted from the dried flower buds of a Myrtaceae tree family. Clove oil is used to help fight off infections of bacteria and fungus, has antiseptic properties, and helps reduce pain and inflammation. To use clove oil to help reduce the swelling and infection with a tooth abscess, place a small amount of the oil onto your tooth and gum that has become swollen and infected, repeating as often as necessary to reduce the pain. Be careful not to press to hard onto the infected area in your mouth when you apply it, as this will cause you unnecessary discomfort. You can also apply some clove oil onto your toothbrush with your toothpaste and brush it onto any infected teeth in this manner. To help intense pain associated with a tooth abscess, apply some clove oil onto a cotton ball and put the cotton ball between your cheek and the infected gum. Repeat this treatment as often as necessary. Oregano oil can also be used in a similar manner, as it also fights infections related to bacteria, fungus, and viruses, and it can reduce the pain associated with an infection. As an added benefit, oregano oil can help your body fight off the infection and your chance of having infections later on, as it boosts your immune system. To use oregano oil, apply several drops of oregano oil to your abscessed gum and tooth, rubbing it into the area as often as necessary to help reduce the pain at the site. You can also apply several drops of oil into a small cup of warm water, then use it to swish around inside your mouth several times each day. Practice Oil Pulling You can practice oil pulling with an organic coconut oil, which contains many healthful benefits. But, if you are allergic to coconut, you can replace it with sesame oil. Put one to two tablespoons of coconut oil into your mouth and allow it to melt. Then, swish it around for 20 minutes, and spit it into the trash. Rinse your mouth with warm water, then brush your teeth, as usual. Coconut oil contains lipids, which bind to the plaque that has attached to your teeth, the bacteria, and other harmful toxins in your mouth. This process helps reduce and relieve pain with a tooth abscess, as the oil pulls out any infection. Coconut oil can eliminate Streptococcus Mutans bacteria that cause cavities. Then, when you spit out the coconut oil into the trash after swishing it around, the bacteria and other toxins go with it. Use these methods to help treat your tooth abscess along with its swelling and infection....

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Teen Orthodontics: What To Do When Your Young Teen Wears Homemade Braces

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Teen Orthodontics: What To Do When Your Young Teen Wears Homemade Braces

If your young teen refuses to see a professional orthodontist for care and chooses to wear homemade rubber bands on their teeth instead, you may wonder what you can do to change their mind. While some dental trends can be helpful and beneficial to your family’s dental health, such as whitening your teeth, other trends can be dangerous, including wearing homemade braces. Here’s how homemade braces damage your teen’s teeth and jaws, some reasons why your teen my be choosing to wear homemade braces, and what you can do to help them straighten their teeth safely. How Can Homemade Braces Harm Your Teen’s Teeth and Jaws? A number of teens obtain the instructions they need to make homemade braces from popular online sites, such as Youtube and social media platforms. Other teens may acquire the information from students in their school. No matter how your teen learned how to make their own braces, it’s essential that your teen knows how real braces work and how fake braces harm their teeth, gums and jaws. Traditional orthodontic treatments are designed to straighten teeth gradually with arch wires, brackets and elastic bands. The treatments generally move teeth into their new positions by placing tension on them. To accommodate and support the new teeth placements, the jawbones grow extra tissue. Most orthodontic treatments take two years or slightly longer to complete. During that time, patients typically visit their orthodontist for checkups and adjustments. An orthodontist uses the visits to monitor the braces to see if they’re moving teeth properly or if any problems arise, such as cavities or loose brackets and wires. Your teen won’t receive the great care mentioned above when they do their own orthodontic treatment. This places your loved one at risk for gum infections, tooth decay and jawbone problems. For instance, regular rubber bands may cut or injure your teen’s gums if they snap loose in the mouth. The bands may also cause pain and inflammation in your loved one’s gums and other tissues if they place too much stress on them. It’s also possible for your teen to lose teeth and bone tissue from their fake braces. One of the ways to straighten your loved one’s teeth safely and properly is to find out why they want to use fake braces in the first place. What Can You Do to Help Your Young Teen? While it may be difficult to do so, try to find out why your loved one needs to wear homemade braces. Sometimes, teens follow trends because it’s “cool” to do so. Their friends may already wear rubber bands on their teeth and may suggest that your loved one do so as a way to fit in. Some teens, and even adults, may feel uncomfortable wearing traditional braces because of how they may think the appliances will look on them, especially if the braces are metal. There are a number of misconceptions about how metal braces make people appear. For instance, your teen may think that traditional braces will make them look ugly when they smile. They might think that people will only see metal, wires and strange bands. Although metal braces can be visible, they don’t have to be ugly.  In most cases, a pediatric orthodontist can place braces with thin metal archwires on your teen’s teeth...

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Information About Pericoronitis: Its Cause And How To Treat It

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Information About Pericoronitis: Its Cause And How To Treat It

Approximately seven to eight adults out of every ten have had their wisdom teeth removed, and there is good reason for those statistics. Wisdom teeth often cause crowding of the other teeth, and partially erupted teeth can result in other issues, including a condition known as pericoronitis. This painful disorder is a common complication that occurs when wisdom teeth begin to emerge. Below is more information on pericoronitis and what options are available for treatment: What is pericoronitis? Pericoronitis is an inflammatory condition of the tissues surrounding any partially erupted tooth, but it is usually associated with wisdom teeth due to the higher likelihood of problems with emergence. In cases of pericoronitis associated with wisdom teeth, the affected emergent tooth will be partially covered by a flap of gum tissue. As a result, food particles can be easily trapped beneath the flap, and this permits this space to become a prime breeding ground for bacteria. This increased microbial activity causes swelling in nearby tissues, and it also negatively affects taste and can even produce an unpleasant odor. If the bacterial involvement becomes extensive, it can affect nearby lymph nodes and cause swelling and muscle spasms in the lower jaw and neck. Systemic illness that results in a fever, severe pain and a general sense of feeling sick is another sign of advanced pericoronitis. In addition to this proliferation of bacteria, the flap of gum tissue is vulnerable to being injured by the other teeth and during the normal activities of chewing and brushing. This can add to the pain and result in bleeding for the affected person. How can pericoronitis be prevented? Unfortunately, there is no known way to prevent the precipitating cause of pericoronitis, as the development of a gum flap can occur with any wisdom tooth eruption. As a result, the best that can be done is to carefully monitor the wisdom teeth as they erupt. It is also important to regularly visit the dentist, so they can keep a close watch for beginning signs of pericoronitis or the possibility that it could occur. Should the tell-tale gum flap begin to appear during wisdom tooth emergence, action should be taken to prevent pericoronitis. Below are several things affected individuals can do for themselves to avoid an episode of pericoronitis: Gargle and rinse after every meal – The use of a non-alcohol mouthwash after every meal is a good way to reduce the amount of trapped food beneath the gum flap. If mouthwash isn’t available, even rinsing with clean tap water is helpful in keeping this area clear of debris. Irrigate the area nightly – In addition to gargling and rinsing, the use of an oral irrigation device can be helpful in concentrating water flow into the area beneath the flap. Performing a nightly irrigation just before bed can ensure that bacterial growth is minimized during the night. Brush with care – While all teeth should be brushed, including wisdom teeth, taking extra care when brushing around the flap will help prevent bruising and bleeding. Use only a soft toothbrush when brushing, as firm bristles can be painful or cause injury. How can pericoronitis be treated? Should pericoronitis develop despite best efforts to prevent it, there are several viable options for treatment: Antibiotics – A dentist-prescribed regimen of...

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Juicy Details Regarding The Dental Dangers Of Your Toddler’s Excessive Juice Consumption

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Juicy Details Regarding The Dental Dangers Of Your Toddler’s Excessive Juice Consumption

As a parent, you most likely understand the importance of regular visits to the dentist for your toddler’s oral health. Unfortunately, certain common habits can wreak havoc on your toddler’s teeth, even with good oral hygiene. While surprising to learn, fruit juice is not a healthy beverage for your child. Although a healthy amount of juice consumption is acceptable, over consumption can lead to obesity, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, and dental problems. Children between the ages of 1 and 6 years of age should not consume more than 6 ounces of 100 percent pasteurized fruit juice per day. If more is consumed, your child’s dental health will be affected. Using this guide, you will understand the dental dangers your child will face when drinking an increased amount of fruit juice. Dental Dangers Whether you give your toddler juice drinks, fruity-flavored soda, or 100 percent fruit juice, over consumption can lead to many dental issues. Here are a few dental dangers your toddler will face when drinking a large amount of juice products: Enamel Erosion – Juice contains sugar and acidic properties that can erode the enamel on your child’s teeth. Staining – Juice contains dark pigments and acids that will discolor your toddler’s teeth. Over consumption may lead to yellow or brown stains on the teeth. Cavities and Decay – Over time, the erosion allows bacteria, acids, and sugars to build up on and in the teeth, increasing your child’s risk of cavities, infections, and tooth decay. Without proper treatment, your child may experience toothaches and possibly lose one or more teeth from the cavities and decay. Gum Disease – The tooth decay can spread to your toddler’s gums, causing inflammation and light bleeding of the gum tissue. Inflamed, swollen, and bleeding gums are signs of gum disease. Dental Correction If your child is experiencing one or more of the above dental dangers, reduce their intake of juice immediately. This will not repair the damage that has already been done to their teeth, but it can decrease their risk of future problems. If you allow your toddler to periodically drink a healthy amount of juice, do not allow them to drink from a bottle or sippy cup. Consider pouring the juice into a cup or glass with a straw. Sucking the juice up through a straw decreases the amount of contact your child’s teeth have with the sugars and acids. Allowing your child to drink a glass of water after each cup of juice is also smart. The water will rinse away any leftover acids left behind from the juice. Certain juices contain higher amounts of acids, so avoid giving your toddler the following juices: Orange Cranberry Lemon Apple Pear, grape, peach, plum, and apricot juices contain less acidic properties, but make sure they do not have added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Consult your child’s dentist to correct damage to your child’s teeth. In most cases, the dentist will conduct a thorough cleaning and exam to determine if your toddler has any cavities. If there are cavities present, the dentist will apply a filling agent to prevent further tooth decay. A fluoride treatment is beneficial for your toddler’s damaged teeth. Fluoride strengthens the enamel of your child’s teeth, preventing acids from eroding the enamel and decreasing the risk of future...

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2-Step Home Remedy For Naturally Treating Your Toddler’s Teething Eruption Cyst

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 2-Step Home Remedy For Naturally Treating Your Toddler’s Teething Eruption Cyst

If your child develops an eruption cyst while teething, they may have some discomfort until the cyst resolves itself. If so, use the following two-step guide to treating your toddler’s symptoms using natural ingredients. Ingredients And Supplies You Will Need To make the home remedy, you will need to gather the following supplies and ingredients. The ingredients can be found in natural health shops, pharmacies and some grocery stores. Small saucer Two tablespoons of cool water One teaspoon of sea salt Cotton swab Small glass of cool water Small plastic bowl with a lid One-quarter of a cup of cool water Eight drops of peppermint oil Six drops of chamomile essential oil A teething ring The sea salt used in the first step helps relieve the pain caused by the cyst. It also helps kill any germs on the surface of the gum that could lead to an infection.  The peppermint oil used in the second step also helps kill bacteria. It also reduces the inflammation and swelling around your child’s cyst, as well as relieves the pain. Chamomile essential oil is also used in the second step. It helps prevent infection, reduces inflammation by shrinking the blood vessels and alleviates the pain caused by the eruption cyst. Step 1:  Rub Your Child’s Gum With Sea Salt Water The first step in the home remedy is to cleanse and treat the eruption cyst and the surrounding area with sea salt water. This mixture is prepared by combining the salt and water in a small saucer. To improve the taste to make it easier for you to apply it to your child’s gum, you can also add a couple of drops of peppermint oil. After combining the ingredients, let the salt dissolve for about 15 minutes. Then, saturate the end of the cotton swab, and gently rub the salt water onto the cyst. Then, saturate the other end, and apply the liquid to the surrounding gum. Let the treatment remain for about five minutes, then have your child rinse their mouth with cool water. Then, go on to the second step. Step 2:  Give Your Toddler A Cold Teething Ring Coated With Peppermint And Chamomile Oils Once you have treated the cyst with the salt water, the next step is to give your toddler a teething ring coated with peppermint and chamomile essential oils to alleviate the pain and swelling. Placing the teething ring in the refrigerator to make it cold will also help with your child’s symptoms. Pour the quarter cup of water into the plastic bowl, and mix in the essential oils, thoroughly stirring after each drop to evenly disperse them. Place the teething ring in the liquid. If it is not completely submerged, add a little more water until the ring is covered. If this is required, add another drop each of the oils to maintain the concentration. Place the lid on the bowl, and put it into the refrigerator for about an hour. Keeping a lid on the bowl while it is cooling helps keeps any stray bacteria in your refrigerator from contaminating the solution and the teething ring. Once the hour has passed, remove the teething ring from the bowl, and shake off the excess water. Then, give the ring to your child, and have them use it for about 15 minutes. After they are...

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Tips For Coping With Your First Dental Visit After Childhood Sexual Abuse

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For Coping With Your First Dental Visit After Childhood Sexual Abuse

According to studies, roughly 20 percent of female dental patients experience sexual abuse as children. For these patients, dental visits are often incredibly frightening as they summon memories of the loss of control felt during the abuse. If you’ve been avoiding going to the dentist because of a history of sexual abuse, here are some tips to help you quell your fear and anxiety so you can get the dental treatment you need. Practice Relaxation Techniques Well before you schedule your dentist appointment, experiment with various relaxation techniques. Your goal is to find a technique that can effectively slow your heart rate and relax your breathing and muscles in times of stress. Relaxed breathing exercises, visualization, and both passive and progressive muscle relaxation are all techniques that you can perform whilst sitting in your dentist’s chair.  Schedule A Preliminary Visit If you’ve been avoiding the dentist for a long time because of your history of abuse, do not schedule a cleaning for your first appointment. In order to combat your fears, you’ll need to establish trust with your dentist before they attempt to actually work on your teeth. Book an appointment just to talk with your dentist. Although it can be difficult to disclose the events of your past, filling your dentist in on your special needs as a patient could make all the difference in your level of comfort once treatment starts. If your dentist isn’t willing to book this preliminary visit, they aren’t the dentist for you. During your preliminary visit, let the dentist know what is likely to trigger unpleasant memories for you. If loud noises and sudden movements bother you, ask that, during treatment, they explain the procedures they’ll be performing carefully and let you know before they turn on any noisy dental equipment. If laying down in the dental chair makes you feel exposed, you may be able to negotiate the tilt of the chair and request a body covering. In most cases, your dentist will be happy to oblige any special requests you may have, as long as they’re aware of those requests.  Establish A Stop Treatment Signal And Test It Out Anxiety can affect speech patterns, so it’s important that you establish a signal with your dentist that can let them know that you’ve become scared or anxious during treatment. Stomping your foot, holding up a finger, or blinking rapidly will all work — just be sure that your dentist knows that when you give this signal, you expect them to stop all treatment, back away from your body, and give you some time to regroup.  Don’t be afraid to give the signal to your dentist the first time they work on your teeth, either, even if you aren’t feeling especially fearful or anxious at the time. Knowing and seeing that your dentist is more than willing to cater to your stop treatment signal will help you feel more in control during future visit. Request Less Privacy Some survivors of childhood sexual abuse perceive their dentists to be more powerful than themselves, thus creating a feeling of the loss of control when left in a room alone with them. Keep the environment as public and open as possible by letting your dentist know that you’d like the dental office door to remain...

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Preventing Gum Disease When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Preventing Gum Disease When You Have Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, then you should know that studies show that there is a link between this chronic disease and periodontal disease. Studies also indicate that rheumatoid arthritis symptoms sometimes reduce if gingivitis is treated properly. This occurs when the body does not have as much inflammation to deal with. Also, treating gum disease will help to reduce tooth loss issues. After you have your gums treated successfully by your dentist, follow the tips in this piece to keep it from returning. Clean With The Right Tools Cleaning your mouth thoroughly two times a day is best to help reduce gingivitis concerns. However, toothbrushes and dental floss may be hard for you to use due to stiff and painful hands. If this is the case, then invest in a toothbrush made specifically for people with arthritis. These products typically feature wide, thick, and cushioned handles that can be gripped easily. Some of these brushes also feature revolving heads and moving handles so your hands are not stressed when brushing. If shoulder and elbow pain prevent you from comfortably raising your arm so you can brush, then think about purchasing an angled toothbrush and attaching a wooden ruler or spoon to the handle to lengthen it. Use a rubber band or an elastic hair tie to do this.  Since you may not be able to use as much pressure when you brush, make sure to buy a toothpaste with triclosan. This antibacterial agent will help to kill the bacteria in the mouth that causes inflammation to form around the gums. This will help to reduce gingivitis concerns if you are unable to remove all the plaque from your teeth. A mouthwash that is considered therapeutic and contains an antimicrobial agent is best. However, try to find a product that is alcohol-free. Alcohol can dry out the mouth. Medications you take like methotrexate can also dry out the mouth and bodily inflammation can cause salivary duct issues as well. Dry mouth reduces the amount of saliva that washes away the bacteria in the mouth, so you do not want to dry out the mouth further with an alcohol-based product. You should also think about sipping on water throughout the day too to wash away bacteria, especially if your mouth feels dry. Eat Tissue Building Foods When the gum tissues in your mouth become swollen, this is a sign that they also have been damaged by the bacteria around the teeth. Damaged tissues need to be healed with the formation of new cells before infection is able to set in. Thankfully, gums heal extremely quickly. It usually only takes a day or two for the tissues to rebuild if they are injured. However, your body will not heal as quickly from scrapes and other injuries because it will be dealing with attempts to repair joints. This may mean that your body will use all available resources to heal other parts of the body before the gums are attended to. You can help to make sure that the gums do heal fairly quickly by supplying your body with the nutrition it needs to rebuild.  Collagen is the protein that is produced by the body to rebuild connective tissues, so make sure that you consume more than enough amino acids so collagen can be formed. Foods high in amino acids include fish,...

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Root Canal Vs. Extraction: Cost And Pain Considerations

Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Root Canal Vs. Extraction: Cost And Pain Considerations

A tooth in which the nerve has died generally has two treatment options: extraction or root canal therapy, also called endodontic therapy. While you might be able to postpone your decision for a short time, eventually the tooth will become abscessed and painful; you might already be at this stage. While only your dentist can tell you the long-term prognosis for the tooth, here is information on two considerations that many patients consider first: cost and the pain involved. Cost One of your primary concerns might be how much your dental work will cost. While the cost of a root canal varies tremendously depending on where in the country you are, whether you see a specialist and other factors, the national median cost for a root canal is somewhere between $700 and $900, depending on whether you are having a front tooth (with one canal) or a molar (with up to four canals) treated. Conversely, a non-surgical extraction (which is when the tooth is not broken off below the gumline and can be extracted without the dentist cutting your gum) can cost between $75 and $450, depending on the tooth involved, whether a specialist is needed and whether the extraction needs to take place on an emergency basis. But wait! That’s not the whole story. Keep in mind that if you have a root canal, you will almost always need a crown; to neglect this part of the follow-up treatment could result in a tooth fracture, necessitating an extraction after all. And if you have a tooth extracted, it’s always wise to have it replaced with an implant or bridge to maintain the spacing of your other teeth. These costs should be discussed with your dentist ahead of time so you understand the full costs of the entire treatment plan for the tooth. Pain and Suffering When you have a root canal, you might be expecting the worst. The good news is that from the patient’s perspective, a root canal procedure is not much different than having a filling done. You’ll need to hold your mouth open for a long time and you’ll feel as though your mouth is filled with various dental materials, but you will not feel pain, since you’ll be given a local anesthetic. After the procedure is done, you’ll likely be advised to take an over-the-counter pain reliever (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) for a few days, as you will likely be sore. You will be able to return to work the next day in most cases. An extraction actually has roughly the same timeline of recuperation. You’ll be numb for the procedure, and once the anesthetic wears off, you’ll likely need an over-the-counter pain reliever. You will need to take some special care to avoid dislodging the blood clot that forms in the extraction site, but other than that, the pain should dissipate over the time span of a few days and you will be able to return to most jobs the day after the extraction. (If you have a highly physical job or you need to lift heavy items, mention this to your dentist, as he or she might advise taking an additional day or two off.) In general, apprehension over pain and suffering should not impact your decision much, if at all....

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Women And Premenopause Symptoms: Can Insomnia Threaten Your Oral Health?

Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Women And Premenopause Symptoms: Can Insomnia Threaten Your Oral Health?

If you’re in the beginning stages of premenopause and experience insomnia, it’s essential that you protect your oral health now. Premenopause or perimenopause brings on a number of symptoms that affect the way your body functions. Symptoms, such as insomnia, inadvertently harm your teeth, gums and jawbones by changing how they appear and function. You can take steps to protect your oral health from one of the most bothersome symptoms of premenopause. Your Problem: Insomnia Your inability to sleep or insomnia at night can trigger problems with your oral health during premenopause. Your body requires 7-9 hours of sleep each night to regenerate or regrow new cells. If you don’t sleep throughout the night, your immune system can’t fight off bacterial infections, including the bacteria in your mouth that cause gum disease.  During premenopause, swelling and bleeding develops in your gums, which leaves these tissues vulnerable to bacterial inflammations and infections. Bacteria is the leading cause of gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis and periodontitis are two types of gum disease. Although gingivitis is curable with the right dental cleanings and antimicrobial treatments, periodontitis isn’t. Once periodontitis develops, you can lose your teeth or develop infections of the sinuses, ears and eye sockets.  Your body also needs sufficient sleep to manage the hormones of your reproductive system. Although your hormones decline during perimenopause, getting sufficient sleep at night slows down this loss. Estrogen and progesterone protect your blood from bacteria, as well as keep your blood vessels strong and healthy. In addition to fluctuating hormones and gum inflammations, insomnia brought on by premenopause can aggravate your digestive system. You may experience bouts of gas and bloating that lead to periodic trips to the bathroom to find relief. If the bloating in your digestive system creates heartburn, you can develop tooth erosion and decay. Stomach acids are strong enough to eat through your tooth enamel. Finding ways to sleep better at night is the best way to protect your teeth and gums from insomnia-related dental problems.  Your Solutions for Insomnia: Retire to Bed Early and Eat Less for Dinner Try going to bed several hours ahead of your usual time. Even if you don’t fall to sleep right away, the extra rest gives your body time to relax and unwind. If retiring early doesn’t work, try other methods to help you sleep better at night. Drink Warm Unsweetened Coconut Milk Drinking warm unsweetened coconut milk is an excellent way to relax before bedtime. Coconut milk contains natural sleep nutrients that soothe away stress and anxious nerves. Drink one cup of coconut milk 15 minutes after dinner to soothe your digestive system and nerves. If you want to drink your milk sweet, add one teaspoon of honey to it.  Eat Smaller Meals That Fill You Up Eating a warm bowl of oatmeal for dinner instead of a full meal might also do the trick. Oatmeal contains fiber and other beneficial grains that make you feel full without overstressing your digestive system. You experience less gas in your intestines and fewer incidences of heartburn.  Oatmeal and other types of oats help balance your hormones. Hormone fluctuations can trigger problems in your thyroid, which is the gland that regulates your hormones and metabolism. If your hormones overwhelm your thyroid by making it work harder to control them, you may experience...

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