Can Adults Prevent Tooth Loss As They Age?

Causes And Recommendations

Many are of the opinion that losing some or all your teeth is part of the aging process, hence, inevitable. While baby teeth are shed, as they are replaced later, it is a physiologic occurrence. Losing adult teeth is not. The daily stresses you put on your teeth can cause them to wear but they are still designed to last a lifetime. It is certain habits and conditions, mostly preventable, that can contribute to the loss.

Gum disease, specifically periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. In its advanced stage, it eventually destroys the gums, the ligaments and the bone that are supporting the teeth. Eventually it leads to the loss of the teeth involved. Poor oral hygiene and poor nutrition contribute to the development of gum disease.

Cavities or dental caries can also lead to loss of teeth. Very common across all age groups, it was reported that 92% of persons between the ages of 20 to 64 years old have on average 3 cavities in their mouth. Untreated caries can damage a tooth down to its pulp, spread to neighboring teeth, and harm the gums. Poor oral hygiene, sugary diet, and some genetic factors can cause cavities.

Injury or trauma to the teeth can lead to their loss. Accidents like falls, vehicular mishaps, sports injuries, fights, and other forms of trauma that injure the mouth may lead to the loss of teeth. Another form of injury that can be detrimental to your teeth are ill-fitting, loose, or old dental appliances, like bridges, that need to be replaced. Unattended cracks, chipped, and broken areas on teeth due to injury can leave them exposed to bacterial attacks that may lead to loss of teeth.

Certain health issues can exacerbate tooth loss. Examples of these conditions are osteoporosis, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Described as thinning of the bones, usually in old age, osteoporosis involves the bones of the wrists, hips, spines, including that of the jaw. Diabetes is well studied to link with gum disease as high blood sugar can disrupt the normal blood flow to gum tissue. Cardiovascular disease also has links to periodontal disease.

The key is to adopt early prevention techniques to keep at bay the development of gum disease, dental caries. A mouth guard or a sports guard may significantly prevent trauma or injury to the teeth during sports and in instances of teeth grinding. Healthy habits such as cessation of smoking, moderation of alcohol, and avoidance of overly sweet, starchy, and acidic foods and drinks. Proper oral hygiene, a balanced and nutritious diet, not to mention regular dental visits, can ensure you keep your teeth or most of them for the greater part of a lifetime.

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Bellevue Dentistry And The Oral Health of Older Adults

Your Bellevue dentists are particularly conscientious towards the oral health of the aging community. Make your appointment sooner with us to ensure healthy, long-lasting teeth.

Are Bleeding Gums While Flossing A Grave Concern?

Causes of Bleeding Gums

If you have ever experienced bleeding gums while you’re flossing, you need not be too alarmed as it is quite common and can happen to you from time to time. However, there might be instances when bleeding gums may require a visit to a dentist. It is worthwhile to know what causes gums to bleed while flossing.

Firstly, you might be flossing infrequently.

Irregular flossing can make your gums too sensitive to this routine. Even first-time flossers experience bleeding. You need not worry if the bleeding stops quickly enough. All you have to do is floss consistently, once a day, everyday, until your gums get used to your habit. Bleeding should subside in a few days, likely in a week. This is true unless you are suffering from gum disease.

Another cause for bleeding gums is if you floss too harshly. Vigorous flossing applies too much pressure on your gums. Gums are soft tissue, rich in blood supply, and as such they are able to repair themselves in cases of light trauma or injury or tear. Continue to brush and do once daily flossing to decrease the chances of bleeding gums.

If there is plaque buildup, which develops along and below the gumline, it can lead to bacterial attack and a buildup of tatar that can only be professionally removed. If in-office cleaning is not done and poor oral hygiene still prevails, the gums can be affected. Inflammation and infection can set in and make the gums bleed through brushing or flossing. The best thing to do is reestablish proper oral hygiene and have professional teeth cleaning done.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, a serious form of gum disease can cause gums to easily bleed. Periodontitis is generally caused by plaque buildup. It can cause damage to the soft tissue, making them inflamed, swollen, and hypersensitive to even flossing. Unattended periodontitis can lead to bone destruction and tooth loss. You must see your dentist right away.

Be more gentle with your gums while flossing and determine if you are flossing the right way. Be mindful about your oral hygiene routine by brushing twice a day and flossing once daily. If your dentist says you might have sensitive gums, you may be prescribed a water flosser, a technology that is effective and efficient as well as a traditional floss. In most instances, an electric toothbrush does better cleaning and is also for sensitive gums.

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Regular Dentist Visits To Ensure Gum Health

If you’re having gum problems, and limited to bleeding gums, come see us at Overlake Dental.

How To Keep Your Mouth Healthy While Pregnant

Oral Health Tips For Pregnant Moms

Knowing how pregnancy can affect your teeth and gums, here are helpful tips to follow when it comes to taking care of your oral health. They are not any different from your regular routine, except that you have to keep in mind that any neglect can impact your baby’s future health.

Inform your dentist right away if you are pregnant. Your dentist may need to modify the timing and procedure of some treatments scheduled for you. Your dentist should also know the medications prescribed to you and other important advice from your doctor.

Brush with fluoride at least twice a day, in the morning and before you retire to bed. Take your time brushing with fluoride for no sooner than two minutes each time. Fluoride helps fight plaque and keep cavities at bay. Remember that pregnancy enables women to be more susceptible to oral bacteria that builds up plaque. This increases your risk for pregnancy gingivitis. Consider an electric toothbrush which is more thorough than a manual one. Choose a soft-bristled brush and mind to change your brush every so often when the bristles become frayed.

Floss at least once a day before sleeping. Brushing does not always rid your teeth of debris sometimes hiding in between the teeth. There are some spots your brush cannot reach or areas in your mouth that are difficult to clean, such as crooked or impacted teeth, if you have them. Left-over food in between teeth is attacked by bacteria to form plaque, and this can do harm to the gums.

Manage your pregnancy cravings by steering away from frequent indulging in sweet and starchy foods. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet advised by your doctor. Plan your diet around fruits and vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates like cereals and bread, dairy products like milk and cheese, and lean protein like chicken and certain fish.

Visit your dentist at least 2 times for routine check-ups during your pregnancy. Let your dentist examine the state of your teeth and gums, look for caries and gingivitis which are risks higher in pregnant women. There are simple and cautious treatments, like professional cleaning, that are safe for you and your baby.

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Keeping A Healthy Mouth While Pregnant

Do you have more questions and concerns about your oral health while expecting? Schedule a check-up with your Bellevue dentist right away.

The Best Time To See The Dentist During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Dentist Visits

Pregnant women often wonder if it is safe to see their dentist. How will it affect their baby? Experts say it is not just safe to see the dentist but it is highly recommended to do so. Pregnant women also have issues that need to be addressed to ensure the oral health of both mother and child.

Generally, routine examinations and cleanings are recommended. Any major dental procedure or other unnecessary treatment is better postponed after the delivery. Certainly it is safest that before your pregnancy, see your dentist so that x-rays and other treatment can be planned and undertaken.

Your first 13 weeks of pregnancy, or the first trimester, is a critical period when your baby’s major organs are under development. During this time, only check-ups and routine cleaning are allowed. If possible, you should not have anesthesia, surgery or drugs. By week 14 to 20, the second trimester, elective dental treatment can be considered. This is the quietest and safest time during a woman’s pregnancy.

The third trimester, which is from the 25th week and before childbirth, is a difficult time for the mother. Her body is heavier, sitting in the dental chair can be uncomfortable for her; likewise, her baby’s placenta at this time is very susceptible to outside factors. In acute conditions like tooth pain and infection that can cause stress to mother and child, the appropriate treatment can be carried out. Otherwise, it is recommended to postpone planned operations or procedures after delivery.

During any time in a pregnancy dental treatment can be done, though there are more suitable times than others. However, in the event of a dental emergency, such as one involving an infection, you must see your dentist promptly. In cases of preventive therapy – such as cleaning, fluoride application, fissure sealants, and others, your dentist can apply modifications to keep you and your baby safe. Taking dental x-rays come with shielding, as per the ADA guidelines.

When seeing your dentist at any time while expecting, you must mention the medicines you are taking and any specific instructions of your physician. This will guide your dentist to better have the best possible care for you and your baby. Nonetheless, sticking to your oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist at least twice during your pregnancy, significantly decreases the risk of infection.

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Worry-Free Dental Health in Bellevue

While you are expecting, be sure to visit our Bellevue dentist, here at Overlake Dental, for a safer, secure, and worry-free pregnancy.

Understanding the Effect of Pregnancy on Oral Health

Oral Warning Signs During Pregnancy

Now that you are pregnant and are preparing for the arrival of your baby, you are probably hounded by a thousand and one things to do. Your health and that of your baby are your prime concerns. This is the time you ought to think about your oral health because the health of your teeth and gums can be linked to your baby’s health.

Pregnancy can affect your teeth and gums leading to conditions like gingivitis, bleeding gums and sensitive teeth can appear and ultimately influence the health of your baby. You must know the warning signs to be able to manage your mouth health especially during this time.

Elevated hormones trigger the body through incredible changes, helping the development of your baby. However, some of these hormonal changes also affect the tissues in the mouth.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

More than 60% of pregnant women develop pregnancy gingivitis, an early swelling and infection of the gums aggravated by the changing hormones. However, pregnancy per se does not cause gingivitis; it can be aggravated if there is a pre-existing condition. If untreated, it can proceed to periodontitis, characterized by bone and tissue destruction, and ultimately loss of the teeth. Poor pregnancy outcomes can also result from untreated periodontitis, including preterm birth and low birth weight.

During pregnancy, gums may also bleed which is also a symptom of pregnancy gingivitis. This is again due to the hormonal changes that encourage bacterial growth in the mouth, making gums sensitive to brushing or cleaning.

Due to changes in behavior, eating habits of pregnant women make them a risk for cavities. They tend to have more cavity-causing bacteria in their mouth that can be transmitted to the mouth of their babies. If babies born of these pregnancies are introduced to early snacking of sugary foods, or have long contact with their feeding bottles, they tend to develop early childhood cavities. This can also lead to extensive dental care in early life.

Morning sickness is also caused by elevated hormones and vomiting is a common symptom. The acidic content in the vomit can damage tooth enamel causing brittleness. This can make teeth extra sensitive, eroding the outer enamel leading to tooth sensitivity. Likewise, changes in the composition of saliva in around late pregnancy and even during lactation may temporarily predispose to caries and erosion.

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Learning More from our Bellevue Dentists

For more information regarding your oral health while you are expecting, visit your Bellevue dentist here at Overlake Dental.