Category: Blog

Proper Oral Hygiene: No Compromise

Living with Mouth Bacteria Everyday

Some dental experts say that the quality of life of patients can be impacted by their state of oral health. If oral health is compromised, quality of life suffers. Hence the importance of restorative, endodontic, orthodontic, periodontal, or oral surgical specialists. Likewise important are the procedures or highly sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and devices. But do these really improve the state of oral health? Yes, when the need arises they are vital helps, and even irreplaceable.

For the dental care professionals, preventive measures do more for oral health than curative procedures. By that, we mean hygiene of the mouth and all its structures. But if your regular dental appointments for the purpose of hygiene happen twice a year, or say, every three months, who looks after your hygiene in between those times?

Obviously it is your commitment to the practice of good oral hygiene that will keep your structures in their healthy state.

Proper and regular brushing, flossing and mouth rinses are specifically meant for bacteria in your mouth, which has been said as one of the dirtiest places you’ll ever know. Just ask your dentist. All the different types of food and drink we take in over the course of the day naturally leave remnants that cling to teeth, gums, tongue and other mouth structures.

They attract bacteria, very especially if they are starchy and sugary. Bacteria reproduce over a few hours only and pretty soon they will colonize in areas you don’t even see. Irregular or improper brushing can leave them untouched. Your next dental appointment might show cavities already. Indeed, dealing with mouth bacteria is a daily grind.

Expert Home Care Advice in Bellevue

This simply puts into focus the quality of your daily home care for the mouth. If you show up at your dentist’s clinic with periodontal disease, it means your home care has been very faulty. Every patient’s oral health is a direct reflection of their home care.

Proper oral hygiene at home is the cornerstone of good oral health. Experts will say so. Regular dental appointments are opportunities for you and your dentist for serious oral health discussions. The expert can give proper instructions on the manner of brushing and flossing, type of toothpaste and brush if need be, foods that should be part of your diet and which to avoid.

Our Bellevue dentist, Dr. Lee can also recommend procedures to be done to minimize or completely address risks that compromise your oral health, or that a medical condition that can impact your mouth health should be seen by a doctor.

Let our Bellevue dentist sit down with you for some really serious oral hygiene talk. It will serve you in good stead for as long as you want healthy teeth and gums.

Do You Have Enough Calcium in Your Diet?

Living Mouth-Healthy with Calcium

Did you know that calcium is mostly stored (about 99%) in teeth and bones, yet it plays a vital role in many body functions outside of teeth and bones?

To name some, calcium is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system, it helps in muscular function, and aids in transmission of nerve impulses. Overall, it is the most abundant mineral in your body. And how’s your oral health? Are you getting enough of calcium in your diet?

Your teeth enamel is the strongest, hardest substance in your body, even stronger than bone itself. It is the teeth’s first line of defense. Composed of amorphous calcium phosphate providing structural support, enamel does not break down easily and can repair itself because its calcium content stimulates recalcification and prevents tooth sensitivity. Hence, the mineral is also vital in the formation of young dentition and continuously necessary to maintain adult teeth enamel throughout its lifetime.

Calcium also attracts fluoride, increasing the amounts that get absorbed by the enamel. As we know, fluoride increases tooth enamel resistance to bacterial attacks that lead to cavities and decay. Fluoride also strengthens teeth by replacing some of the phosphorus in enamel. Calcium is better absorbed alongside vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium while boosting teeth and bone mineral density.

Your jaw is also calcium-rich and depends on calcium for its constant remodeling – resorption and deposition of bone. A strong and healthy jaw is necessary to support children’s and adult teeth and prevents early loss of teeth. As we age, the more we need calcium to support teeth and bones.

Osteoporosis, arthritis and other conditions affecting bone, such as lifestyle, should be a concern for you. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a diet rich in calcium can help healthy teeth and bone longevity.

Children need calcium to develop strong teeth and bones while adults need calcium to maintain them. There are many foods abundant with calcium. Cheese, yogurt, and milk are dairy products and are most of the best sources of calcium. Dairy products neutralize damaging acids that eat away teeth and are rich in casein, an enamel-protecting substance.

How to Increase Calcium Intake by our Bellevue Dentist

Leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli and bok choy are also healthy sources of calcium. Adults can get their calcium similarly but you can also have this beneficial mineral from dietary supplements and multivitamins.

Know more about calcium’s benefits from your Bellevue dentist. It is one mineral you cannot do without if you want to have healthy teeth and bones.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation in Bellevue Dentistry

Approaching the Anxious and Fearful Patient

Nitrous oxide has been proven an effective and safe anesthetic used in hospital based procedures but more popular in dental practise. Administered by inhalation, this odorless, tasteless gas has analgesic, anxiolytic, and amnestic properties. It can be considered the right approach for the anxious dental patient.

With various methods and levels of sedation available, nitrous oxide use is a form of conscious sedation. The patient does not fall asleep and can still talk with the dental staff , though he might not remember everything about the procedure done to him.

Some dentists administer IV or IM sedation for deep sedation in which highly fearful patients will benefit in order to have dental work completed. Relaxed patients are less likely to gag or move during procedures. It also becomes easier for the dentist to work.

Nitrous oxide affects the brain by blocking pain-signaling neurons. It also increases the activity of GABA receptors, which leads to decreased anxiety. Also, patients feel content and even euphoric with release of dopamine, a nitrous oxide effect.

However, nitrous oxide effects differ from patient to patient. Some patients feel giddy and even laugh. Others feel relaxed and light-headed. Some patients’ arms and legs feel heavy while others experience tingling in their arms and legs.

The gas is used during basic dental procedures such as dental fillings, occasionally used for routine cleanings for patients with severe dental anxiety. Nitrous oxide isn’t as strong as other sedatives; though not for major surgeries, it is used in hospital settings. It can be initially given to patients in preparation for heavier sedation. It is especially helpful for children and those patients with special needs. Well tolerated, it does not cause allergic reactions and does not have any lingering effects.

There are a few situations contraindicated for nitrous oxide sedation, such as pregnant women in the first trimester, COPD patients and those with upper respiratory tract infections, those with middle ear issues, those with psychological disturbances, and current or recovering drug addicts.

Nitrous oxide is a proven an asset to a dental office. With right usage and precautions, right administration, appropriate candidates and proper consent, it can be considered indispensable in dental practice.

Anxious and Fearful No More in Bellevue

Nitrous oxide can be safely used in both children and adults here at Overlake Dental. If you have such anxieties, you need not worry. Your procedure will be as safe, smooth and anxiety-free. Only in Bellevue.

Fluoride is Also for Adults | Bellevue Dentist

The Adult Side of Fluoride Benefits

We’ve known always about fluoride’s benefits. Fluoride is the agent that strengthens young developing teeth by fighting decay-causing bacteria and, hence, is mainly for children’s benefit. New research, however, uncovered that topical application of fluoride can fight tooth decay in people of all ages – from children to adults.

If your drinking water is fluoridated, then brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is sufficient for most adults with healthy teeth. However, some people with certain conditions may be at increased risk of tooth decay, so additional fluoride treatment can be beneficial.

These adults should have fluoride treatments: Those who suffer from Dry Mouth Syndrome, a condition caused by certain diseases, certain medications (such as allergy medications, antihistamines, antianxiety drugs, and high blood pressure drugs), and those who’ve had head and neck radiation. Their dry mouths, resulting from lack of saliva, make them prone to tooth decay.

Those who have gingivitis and its more severe form, periodontitis, carry the increased risk of attracting bacteria to exposed root surfaces leading to tooth decay. In periodontitis, gums tend to recede and expose the gum line or may create pockets for lodging of bacteria. These situations need fluoride treatments to decrease the chances of attacks and decay.

Those who wear crowns, bridges, or braces create small hiding places where food debris can lodge and form cavities. The appliances also make it harder to keep teeth always clean even with brushing. These adults need regular fluoride exposures.

Fluoride forms are available as fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses. While over-the-counter products have weaker fluoride content, a dentist’s prescription can get you a stronger one. You can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. Your dentist should know just what form is suitable to your needs and just how strong it needs to be for you.

Fluoride for Everyone in Bellevue

Ask your Bellevue dentist about fluoride treatments if you have these conditions – dry mouth, gum disease or are wearing crowns and other dental appliances. You might be just a another regular guy without these setbacks, but you can still benefit from fluoride experience.

The Drill Versus the Laser in Bellevue

Traditional and Technology: To Each Its Own

Tooth decay is the most prevalent health hazard in the world today, affecting all age ranges without regard for socio-demographic barriers. As such, it should translate to as many dental visits and treatments provided by the concerned health providers.

Unfortunately, majority of affected people do not readily seek dental treatment at first instance or go for regular check-ups, or be at least compliant to instructions. And, hence, the prevalence of the condition.

Perhaps one reason for the lapses is a painful or unsettling experience with the dental drill, a very common phobia. The purpose of this electronic device is to remove decay from affected teeth; when in use it makes a high-pitch noise and patients feel its vibrations as well. Nonetheless, drills are still the most inexpensive way to remove tooth decay and many dentists consider them essential to their armamentarium.

The dental laser has been considered as alternative to the drill. FDA-approved and ADA-endorsed with seal of approval, the laser is accepted as a safe technology. Using amplified light as the form of energy, the laser can cut through teeth and tissue. The light is adjusted at different wavelengths for different applications, such as when removing tooth decay, as whitening enhancement, when cutting bone, or detecting cavities. In practice, most dentists use lasers only for tooth decay, lesion removal, and gum problems like for reshaping and re-contouring gum tissue.

What are the advantages of dental lasers? No pain is associated with lasers, in fact, no anesthesia is necessary. Target areas are pinpointed excluding surrounding areas. They don’t cause vibrations, while bleaching and swelling are greatly reduced, hence, more comfortable for patients.

However, laser dentistry is not for all dental situations, such as very large cavities, cavities with previous fillings, and is not used for shaping or polishing fillings.

In Pursuit of Patient Safety and Comfort in Bellevue

Over at Overlake Dental, we do a lot of laser dentistry where indicated. In the hands of our expert professional, lasers are precise and safe instruments. Consult with us about lasers and its many applications, not just with tooth decay.