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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

Safety First: Protecting Your Teeth in Sports

July 18th, 2013

When people go out for a game of basketball or soccer, many don’t usually think about teeth. Dentists recall numerous stories where patients have come in with chipped or even missing teeth due to an intense game on the court. In order children and a

dults, sports injuries tend to be common. It has been estimated that 13-39% of dental-related injuries happen when an individual is engaged in sports. About 80% of the injuries are located in the front teeth or even the tongue and cheek. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes high rate of sports-related dental injuries in today’s youth and continues to look for means for prevention. 

Even if an individual takes one to the mouth and ends up with a missing tooth, a dentist is able to save the tooth. Cracks and chips in tooth can be repaired through using tooth-colored materials that are just as strong as the original tooth. Although dentists can easily come to the rescue, these injuries can turn out to be pretty serious and procedures are not a small cost. Dentists have strongly recommended the use of mouth guards for football players. With this movement, mouth guards have been able to prevent about 200,000 injuries annually.

There are various means of protection when playing a sport. Here are two types of protection that are recommended:

Mouth guards: like it was previously mentioned, mouth guards have done a great job in protecting sports players. They can prevent injury to one’s teeth, tongue and lips. Dentists tend to recommend athletes to get a custom-fit mouth guard; however, individuals can opt for ready-made mouth guards that can be found in sporting-goods stores.

Helmets
: people usually do not think that protecting their head means protecting their teeth as well. As a matter of fact, helmets are very effective in protecting both the head and the oral cavity in high speed and impact sports. These sports usually include hockey, football, bike riding, and skating. It is important to note that there are helmets specially made for a certain sport. When purchasing a helmet, be sure to check and see if the helmet fits correctly.

Sports are definitely a healthy way to distress and have some fun. But make sure that safety is first! If you have any more questions, 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.aapd.org/m

edia/Policies_Guidelines/P_Sports.pdf

http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Dental-Emergencies/Sports-Safety/article/Sports-Safety-Avoiding-Tooth-and-Mouth-Injuries.cvsp

http://www.ada.org/news/6955.aspx

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