Archive for March, 2014

Diabetic Dental Care

Friday, March 28th, 2014

People with diabetes are more likely to have oral health problems. Infections and gum irritations are harder to treat in diabetics, and can more easily progress into advanced stages. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it’s vital to be extra careful about practicing good dental hygiene and maintaining optimum oral health.

Some of the dental issues that diabetic patients face include:

  • Higher risk of gum disease like gingivitis and periodontitis
  • Increased risk of cavities
  • Trouble fighting bacteria, allowing increased plaque buildup on teeth
  • More tartar, which irritates the gums
  • Higher risk of tooth loss if gum disease reaches advanced stages
  • More susceptible to bacterial infections, which can delay the healing process
  • Higher risk of dry mouth, which often causes cavities

Unfortunately, oral health problems can also affect your overall health. If you have diabetes and also gum disease, it is harder to control your diabetes. Severe gum disease elevates blood sugar, which in turn puts you at higher risk of diabetic complications.

As a diabetic, follow these recommendations for dental care:

  • Visit the dentist at least every six months, and discuss any changes in your condition or medications.
  • Brush a minimum of twice daily, and floss every day.
  • Consider using an anti-bacterial toothpaste or mouthwash to prevent gum disease.
  • If you wear dentures, properly care for them to avoid oral thrush.
  • Discuss scaling and root planning procedures with your dentist, which can clean your teeth better so that bacteria can’t cling to them as well.

Another thing to remember is to report any health issues to your dentist if you have any dental procedures scheduled. Complications like trouble regulating your blood sugar level can impact the safety of certain procedures, such as oral surgery or implant placement. It can also affect your ability to heal properly.

BRS Dentistry – Dental office in Richmond VA.

What Makes a Pediatric Dentist Different

Friday, March 21st, 2014

In young babies, thumb sucking is a good self-soothing option. As children grow, this habit can cause dental problems. Roughly 18 percent of children from ages two to six suck their thumbs. As permanent teeth grow, ask your dentist for advice about how to get your child to break the habit. The following tips may help speed up this process:

Don’t pressure your child too soon
Talk with your pediatrician and dentist to determine the best age to work on quitting. Many health care providers don’t worry about thumb sucking until permanent teeth start to come in, usually around age five or six.

Establish a reward system
Encourage your child to stop thumb sucking through positive reinforcement. Try stickers on a chart and small prizes after so many days of progress.

Start small
Begin the process by working with your child on curtailing the habit in public. Slowly move on to more difficult times, such as bedtime.

Be patient
Realize that your child will have slip-ups and setbacks. Don’t punish or yell at your child because these actions can actually make your child upset or nervous, which may lead to more thumb sucking.

Use peer pressure
If you child sucks his or her thumb around other people, talk with your child about what the kids say about this behavior. Sometimes, this discomfort is enough to motivate your child to quit.

Consider additional help
Look into purchasing a thumb guard. These devices make thumb sucking difficult, if not impossible, and may give your child an additional boost with giving up this habit.

Your child’s health is our priority at BRS Dentistry in Richmond Virginia

Ouch! I Have a Mouth Sore!

Friday, March 14th, 2014

There are few things more irritating than having a painful, swollen sore in your mouth. It bothers you while eating, talking, and even just sitting around. There are a number of types of mouth sores with different causes. Some are infections from bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Or they can be a result of an ill-fitting denture, broken tooth or filling, or loose orthodontic wire. Mouth sores can also be a symptom of a medical condition. Here are some details about common mouth sores.

Canker sore
These small sores occur inside your mouth, and are white or gray with a red outline. They aren’t contagious, but are recurring and can happen one-at-a-time or several at once. Experts believe that lowered immune systems, bacteria, or viruses are risk factors. Canker sores often heal by themselves in about a week, and topical anesthetics or antibacterial mouthwashes may provide relief.

Cold sore
Also called fever blisters, these sores occur outside of your mouth around your lips, nose, or chin. These blisters filled with fluid are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, and are extremely contagious. Once you have been infected with the herpes virus, it remains in your body and occasionally flares up. Cold sores usually heal in about a week on their own. Topical anesthetics may help, and your dentist might prescribe antiviral medications to reduce outbreaks.

Candidiasis
Also called oral thrush, candidiasis is a result of the yeast Candida albicans reproducing in large quantities. It usually happens to those with weakened immune systems, and is common with people wearing dentures or with dry mouth syndrome. Candidiasis is also linked to taking antibiotics. Controlling candidiasis is done by preventing or controlling the cause of the outbreak. Ask your dentist for advice.

Leukoplakia
Common with tobacco users, leukoplakia are thick white patches on the inside of your cheeks, gums, or tongue. In addition to tobacco use, they can also be caused by ill-fitting dentures or continual chewing on the inside of your cheek. Leukoplakia is linked with oral cancer, so your dentist may advise a biopsy if the patch looks suspicious.

 

 

Schedule a dental check up visit today at BRS Dentistry in Richmond VA.

Pulling Baby Teeth

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Losing baby teeth shouldn’t be a rite of passage to be feared. It’s a natural part of the process of growing up, and usually doesn’t hurt nearly as much as getting the teeth in the first place. As a parent who desires to make the process as painless as possible, here is some advice about baby teeth and the best ways to lose them.

At around age six, most children begin to lose their primary teeth to make room for permanent adult teeth. They often fall out in the order they come in, so the bottom front two teeth are the first to go, followed by the two top teeth. Most kids lose all their primary teeth by around age 13. Dentists suggest allowing the teeth to fall out on their own, because they typically come out right before the permanent tooth is ready to make its appearance. If your child has a loose tooth, it may be met with excitement. After all, a visit from the tooth fairy may be imminent! However, the idea of losing a tooth hurting or bleeding may strike fear in your child.

Either way, you can’t let a loose tooth hang on forever. Waiting for it to fall out by itself decreases the risk of bleeding, and can reduce the chance of infection. However, a dangling tooth or a child afraid of swallowing the tooth will be reason for a parent to get involved. Here are some tips:

  • Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth with their finger or tongue.
  • Since your child can tell exactly how loose the tooth is and how much force is painful, encourage the child to pull the tooth on their own. Offer a piece of gauze or tissue to get a firmer grasp on the tooth.
  • Allow food to do the job. Have your child bite an apple or popsicle.
  • Don’t be tempted to tie the tooth with a string to a door and slam it. This is not a painless way to pull a tooth!

 

 

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