Dentist - Liberty
115 Blue Jay Drive Suite 104
Liberty, MO 64068
816-781-7123
 

     

Call Today 816-781-7123

115 Blue Jay Drive
Suite 104
Liberty, MO 64068

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies?  If you are taking allergy medication you may also experience dry mouth which is one of the most common side effects of these medicines.  Unfortunately dry mouth can also cause bad breath, increase the risk of tooth decay and gingivitis.  Here are a few ways to beat the unpleasantness of dry mouth.

1. Brush at least twice a day with Biotene fluroide toothpaste.  You can also use other Biotene products like the oral rinse, moisturizing gel, and mouth spray.

2. Try to breathe through your nose especially while you are sleeping.

3. Keep a water bottle handy at all times.

4. Limit coffee and alcohol as they tend to dehydrate you.

Our blog from July of last year "Dry Mouth" has more information on causes and symptoms.

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Dental Care and Pregnancy

It's important for you to take good care of your teeth and gums while pregnant. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby.

Below are some tips to help you maintain good oral health before, during, and after pregnancy.

Before You Get Pregnant

Try to make a dental appointment before getting pregnant. That way, your teeth can be professionally cleaned, gum tissue can be carefully examined, and any oral health problems can be treated in advance of your pregnancy.

Dental Care While Pregnant

  • Tell your dentist (and doctor) if you are pregnant. As a precautionary measure, dental treatments during the first trimester and second half of the third trimester should be avoided as much as possible. These are critical times in the baby's growth and development and it's simply wise to avoid exposing the mother to procedures that could in any way influence the baby's growth and development. However, routine dental care can be received during the second trimester. All elective dental procedures should be postponed until after the delivery.
  • Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking – including medications and prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor – as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you. Your dentist may need to alter your dental treatment plan based on this information. Certain drugs -- such as tetracycline -- can affect the development of your child's teeth and should not be given during pregnancy.
  • Avoid dental X-rays during pregnancy. If X-rays are essential (such as in a dental emergency), your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby. Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in past decades.
  • Don't skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnant. Now more than any other time, regular periodontal (gum) exams are very important because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist or periodontist as soon as possible.
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce oral health problems.

Coping With Morning Sickness

  • If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, change to a bland-tasting toothpaste during pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands.
  • Rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness and have bouts of frequent vomiting.

Eating Right for Your Teeth and Baby

  • Avoid sugary snacks. Sweet cravings are common during pregnancy. However, keep in mind that the more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay. Additionally, some studies have shown that the bacteria responsible for tooth decay are passed from the mother to the child. So be careful of what you eat.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby's first teeth begin to develop about three months into pregnancy. Healthy diets containing dairy products, cheese, and yogurt are a good source of these essential minerals and are good for baby's developing teeth, gums, and bones.

 

After You've Had Your Baby

If you experienced any gum problems during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have your entire mouth examined and periodontal health evaluated.

(Source: WebMD)

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5 Things To Know About Your Toothbrush  

tbIf you brush the recommended amount – twice daily for at least two minutes per session – then you’ve spent a lot of quality time with your toothbrushes over the years.

But how much do you really know about your toothbrush? Here are five quick facts to bring you up to speed.

1. Opt for soft bristles over hard ones unless otherwise instructed by your dentist. Soft bristles are more pliable and can get between teeth easier. Hard bristles can make brushing painful and may also wear away gums and tooth enamel.

2. If you were still enjoying the warm summer weather the last time you replaced your toothbrush, you’re definitely overdue for a new one. Toothbrushes need to be replaced when they get frayed and worn, which is typically every three months. Particularly vigorous brushers will probably need to replace more frequently.

3. It may be tempting for teething tots, but don’t let young children chew on the toothbrush head. It drastically shortens the life of the bristles.

4. To maximize the effectiveness of brushing, pick up your toothbrush right after a meal. It helps remove the food debris that bacteria feed on while giving teeth a dose of fluoride right when they need it most.

5. Bedtime brushing = better ZZZZs. Repeating a relaxing bedtime routine (including brushing your teeth, of course) eventually gets your body programmed to start winding down when you start the routine.

While these are all very good tips, the important thing to remember is that brushing twice daily is a necessity, not an option if you want to keep your pearly whites for a lifetime!

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Practicing good oral hygiene and receiving regular dental exams are critical to good oral health.  The signs and symptoms of cavities and other oral health problems can vary depending on their extent and location.  For instance, when a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms at all.  You may not be aware that a cavity is forming, and once the decay penetrates through the enamal it can advance rapidly.  If it reaches the nerve of the tooth one treatment option is a root canal and crown.  Another option is extraction, however, lost teeth contribute to other issues such as poor bite, poor chewing, possible TMJ problems and poor facial support.  The options to replace lost teeth are coslty.  Partial dentures, porcelain bridges, dental implants are hundreds to thousands of dollars more than you would have paid for a simple filling.

Dental problems treated early are smaller, more comfortable, easier to treat, and less expensive.

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Acid Reflux is a common condition where the acid from the stomach is able to leak up into the esophagus.  People with acid reflux are at greater risk of periodontal problems and tooth erosion.  Long term exposure to the acid begins to thin and dissolve away the protective coating of the teeth (enamel), leaving them weakened.  When the enamel wears away, the sensitive inner dentin layer of the tooth is exposed, and can lead to other serious complications with the teeth and mouth. 

If you suffer with acid reflux, it is important to see your family physician and take steps to get it under control to help protect your oral health.

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Daniel Colgan

 Dr. Colgans office provides gentle, compassionate care to all of our patients at our dental practice in Liberty MO. We make your comfort and dental health our top priority.

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