bleeding

Menopause: Possible Mouth Changes to Watch Out For

October 28th, 2013

shutterstock_59839630Menopause is a season where women tend to feel the many changes that occur. Many focus on the bodily changes and usually overlook differences that could be found in the mouth, where hormones can lead to unfavorable consequences. While this process is completely natural, signaling the end of female fertility, women should be aware of the mouth changes they are experiencing. Here are some of the potential changes and problems that have been associated with menopause:

 

Dry mouth: Because of the hormone fluctuations that occur during the time of menopause, the decreased levels of estrogen can lead to mouth dryness. Without sufficient saliva in the oral cavity, teeth become more susceptible to tooth decay and other infections. Saliva also plays an important role in the chewing and breaking down of food, allowing nutrients to enter the body.

 

Burning mouth syndrome: This condition tends to affect the tongue, gums, and lips, and even inside the cheeks of the mouth. The burning sensation primarily comes forth from problems with taste and sensory nerves, but can also be the consequence of dry mouth, nutritional deficiency, and allergic reactions to certain foods and medications. It is important to look out for these symptoms and to consult a dentist on possible ways to ease the pain.

 

Periodontitis and mucosal changes: Gum disease is also something to look out for when hitting menopause. Mucosal changes can also results in changes in appearance of gums, where they tend to look more pale, dry and shiny. Gums also tend to bleed more due to these changes.

 

Eating disorders: Going through menopause can take a psychological toll on some women, resulting in inconsistent and improper eating habits. These eating habits can be very detrimental for teeth, leading to erosion of tooth enamel. When tooth enamel is stripped down, teeth become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and they are more susceptible to cavities.

 

While these are problems that may arise during menopause, it is always possible to discuss possible solutions to these issues. Dentists should be notified of these changes, and they can aid in alleviating these symptoms and suggesting viable treatment plans. Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cavities/DS00896/DSECTION=risk-factors

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/ADA/2013/article/ADA-10-Mouth-Changes-May-Be-Related-To-Menopause.cvsp

 

 

 

Eating Disorders and Their Effect On Oral Health

September 18th, 2013

Eating disorders continue to be a pressing issue in our nation. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), up to 24 million people of all ages and gender suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder) in the U.S. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) explains that eating disorders usually involved extreme attitudes and emotions towards weight and food issues. This disorder can ultimately have a grave impact on health, productivity and relationships. While most people know that eating disorders affect the individuals’ body, including their bones as well as their heart, these disorders also have detrimental consequences on teeth.

 

Without sufficient nutrition, gums and other soft tissue that are in the mouth may have a greater tendency to bleed. The glands that are responsible for the production of saliva may become inflamed, leading to chronic dry mouth. The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that tooth surfaces are in danger during the course of the disease when people decide to clear the contents of their stomach through their mouth. The teeth are then exposed to harsh gastric acids that can wear down teeth, leaving them thin and translucent. Teeth will become brittle and will be more susceptible to chipping.

 

The ADA also provides some treatment options to ease oral health consequences of eating disorders. Patients who purge by vomiting are advised to rinse with baking soda to neutralize the harmful effects of stomach acid. Patients should also be assessed in terms of their oral health, with treatment options including additional fluoride modalities. What is most important is that family and friends help set good examples of healthy eating habits and offer positive encouragement should surround the individuals suffering from eating disorders. Please feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

References:

 

http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/

 

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/anorexia-nervosa/features/anorexia-body-neglected

 

http://www.ada.org/2582.aspx?currentTab=2

 

https://www.unitedconcordia.com/dental-insurance/dental/age-groups/kids-teens/eating-disorders/

 

 

I’m pregnant! But what about oral health?

July 24th, 2013

During pregnancy, women tend to look towards an overall healthier way of living. Many primarily seek out medical professionals that can keep them on track with a good diet and care for the coming baby. However, many expecting mothers tend to put oral health on the back burner during pregnancy.

 

It is highly recommended that good oral health be maintained before, during and after pregnancy. Pregnancy is known to kick start hormonal changes that can increase the risk of gum disease, which can in turn affect the coming baby. Because dental procedures have the potential of influencing the baby’s growth and development, it is recommended that mothers should avoid dental treatments during critical times for the baby, notably the first trimester and second half of the third trimester. But, routine dental care can be done on mothers in their second trimester. This also means that expecting mothers should be extra careful in keeping up with good oral hygiene during these critical stages of pregnancy.

 

It is important to keep the dentist informed of all the drugs that are taken during pregnancy; this can range from medications and even prenatal vitamins that have been prescribed. Dentists can potential modify the dental treatment plan based off of the drugs that are ingested. There are key drugs, including tetracycline, which can influence the expecting child’s teeth and should be avoided during pregnancy.

 

With these pointers in mind, it is essential to understand that being pregnant does not mean that it is a ticket out of a dental appointment. In fact, it should be more of a reason to make a visit to the dentist. Regular gum exams are very important during this time, for hormonal changes increase the risk of periodontal disease. It is important to pay close attention to any changes in the gums, whether there are signs of swelling or even bleeding.

 

The months of pregnancy can be both an exciting and stressful time, but with proper maintenance of both oral and overall systemic health, expecting mothers are then set on a path to a smoother pregnancy.  If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

References:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-pregnancy

 

http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=h&iid=325&aid=1309

 

http://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/forthedentalpatient_may_2011.pdf

 

Bleeding Gums: What Can This Mean?

July 23rd, 2013

When the topic of oral health is brought up, the focus is usually placed on teeth and the possibility of getting cavities. However, there is definitely more to the mouth! Gums can be a good indicator of oral health as well as one’s overall health! Individuals may find that after brushing their gums may look red and they may even start bleeding. Many tend to dismiss these signs and just attribute them to good and thorough brushing. But wait! This is not the case.

First things first, there is a misconception that to get clean teeth, brushing needs to be done vigorously to get all the grime off. While afterwards your teeth may feel clean, your gums are not too pleased.

Remember: gums are made of soft tissue and when aggravated they can become sore and red. When choosing a toothbrush, it is important to opt for soft nylon bristle with blunt ends. Stores may carry brushes with medium or hard bristles; however they may damage the enamel on teeth and can cause swollen gums. The idea of being gentle goes the same for flossing. The goal of flossing is to remove leftover food and plaque stuck between teeth; it does not mean these particles need to be forcefully taken out. It is important to refrain from forcing the floss in between teeth; instead, carefully slide the floss up and down, following the curve of each tooth.

Aside from proper brushing and flossing, bleeding gums is actually a sign of gum disease. When proper dental hygiene is not practiced, bacteria takes over and plaque starts forming. The same bacteria that jumpstarts the formation of cavities as makes gums irritated and swollen. Bleeding gums is an early sign of gum disease, also know as gingivitis, and symptoms can be reversed with good oral hygiene. But if these symptoms are ignored, gingivitis can get worse, eventually leading to tooth loss. Be on the lookout for these symptoms:

- deep pockets between teeth and gums
- changes in the way teeth come together
- gums that bleed during/after toothbrushing
- shifting teeth
- red, swollen, tender gums

If you experience these symptoms, be sure to set up an appointment with the dentist to determine the necessary steps to keep these symptoms from getting worse. Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

References:

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/gum-problem-basics-sore-swollen-and-bleeding-gums

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003062.htm

http://www.medicinenet.com/gum_problems/article.htm

Read more at http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=4564http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=3457

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