Why Cavities in Children Are a Big Deal

When it comes to caring for your child, you probably focus on their overall health, their safety, their well-being and improving their intellect and social skills. How much thought do you put into their oral health? It’s okay if you reluctantly said, “not much.” If you did, you’re not alone. Many parents, especially those with babies and toddlers don’t think twice about the gum and soon-to-be teeth health of their new little bundles of joy.

Being a new parent is challenging and it is understandable that your little one’s oral health isn’t a priority. After all, how could you think about scheduling your baby’s first dental appointment when he or she doesn’t have any teeth in yet?

Unless you’re a dental professional, you likely don’t have an accurate view of a child’s teeth development. You may know that at some point your child will grow all his or her baby teeth and at some point, all those teeth will fall out and be replaced with permanent teeth. Knowing this, you may think it is okay if your child gets a cavity or two on their baby teeth. After all, the teeth will fall out anyway. Your child will have well-established oral hygiene routines down by the time the adult, permanent teeth come in.

Children’s cavities though, are things to take seriously. Pediatric tooth decay can lead to additional dental health issues in the future, lower a child’s quality of life and self-confidence and even potential serious overall health problems and death from infections. The most common complications from childhood cavities and therefore, reasons why parents should take their child’s cavities seriously include:

Tooth Decay of Permanent Teeth

Tooth decay of the baby teeth doesn’t always stay isolated in those teeth. If left untreated, the cavity can grow into the root of teeth and infiltrate the permanent teeth coming in underneath.

Abnormal Growth of Permanent Teeth

Permanent teeth that inherit the decay of the corresponding baby teeth may grow in crooked or misshapen. When this occurs, there is an increased risk of further, additional tooth decay and gum disease, and a misaligned bite that can lead to a low self-consciousness and self-esteem. It is likely potentially expensive, long-term orthodontic work will be needed.

Death or Serious Infection

Untreated cavities can lead to abscessed teeth. These teeth are very painful and are often surrounded by germ filled pus. When an abscessed tooth is not dealt with right away, the germs and bacteria from the infection and pus can get into the bloodstream, causing life-threatening health conditions.

Difficulty Eating and Speaking Clearly

Besides causing a misaligned bite, cavities can make a child’s teeth hurt and be uncomfortable. Both the immediate and future misalignment of teeth and bite can make it more difficult and painful for a child to bite, chew, breath and speak properly.

Potentially Serious Heath Concerns Later in Life

One’s oral health has been linked to one’s overall health. Cavities, while likely less of a health threat to children can lead to serious health conditions when they become adults. Heart disease and infections of the heart have been linked to cavities.

Cavities, like other dental health issues are best treated when caught early. In fact, prevention is the best course of action. Avoiding cavities altogether is the best and cheapest route.

To prevent cavities, or to slow the progress and reverse the damage of cavities, it is important to make your child’s oral health a priority. Parents can help their children avoid cavities by scheduling their first dental appointment by the age of one, instill proper, regular at-home oral hygiene habits, watch their child’s diet, encourage their children to drink plenty of water and have regular dental appointments scheduled every six months.

Do You Know the Reasons for Using CT Scans in Dentistry?

Diagnosing dental infections is not an easy task. The normal eye cannot identify some of the oral infections easily. The dentists must rely on special equipment to diagnose them. The use of X-Ray imaging has improved dental diagnosis and treatment. However, the X-Ray images are insufficient. They do not give a full view of all areas within the mouth. That resulted in the growth of cavities and dental infections in hidden areas. To solve the insufficiencies of the X-Ray, the dental CT scans were adopted by the dentists.

The CT scans provide a clear view of the teeth, soft tissues, jawbone and nerve pathway in 3D. All this is captured in a single scan. The imaging process is very simple. The CT scan equipment produces a cone shape X-Ray light. The beam rotates around the head of the patient. That enables it to produce 200 2-dimensional images. The images will be taken to specialized computer software. The software converts the 2-dimensional images to 3-dimensional images. The 3D images provide a better view of the teeth, gums and other mouthparts. Thus, diagnosing oral infections will become easier. The imaging scan is useful in the diagnosis and treatment of the following complex conditions:

  • Dental implant placement
  • Reconstructive surgery planning
  • Examining the jaw, nerves, nasal cavity and sinus cavity
  • Surgical plans for impacted teeth
  • Diagnosis of oral disorders and TMJ

Most dentists have adopted the use of CT scans. However, they are not encouraged to use it for every patient. That is because exposure to radiation is not safe. Listed below are reasons why the dental CT scan is gaining popularity.

Accurate diagnosis

The dentists need an accurate diagnosis of the oral conditions of their patients. That would determine how they will fight the infection. Apparently, diagnosis precedes treatment. Inaccurate diagnosis will lead to incorrect treatment. The diagnosis process will be inaccurate if a proper oral examination is not done. The CT scans reveal every part of the mouth. Nothing can be hidden from the scan. Due to its accuracy in diagnosis, the scan will enable the dentists to provide the right treatment. That will completely destroy any kind of oral infection. The patients will benefit from it. After the treatment, they will enjoy good oral health.

Quick dental procedures

The CT scan helps to speed up the diagnosis and treatment of oral infections. The imaging machine takes a very short time to capture the images. Due to the clarity of its images, dentists can detect oral infections much faster. That enables the patients to receive treatment faster. The dentists, on the other hand, are able to serve more clients. That will aid in boosting their revenues and profits.

The Causes of Common Dental Issues

As long as you can remember, you’ve heard the words “cavities” and “gum disease” many times. Chances are you’ve had at least one cavity and one bout of gingivitis (low-level gum disease) so far in your life time. These tend to be the most common dental issues patients are familiar with. As there is a lot that goes on in the mouth as well as a wide range of foods and drinks that enter it throughout the day, many other dental issues can also occur. Some of these you may or may not have experienced:

  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Chronic Bad Breath
  • Chronic Dry Mouth
  • Canker Sores
  • Tooth and Jaw Pain

Causes of Dental Issues

There are multiple causes of the aforementioned common dental issues. Many causes are things a patient can do something about. Below are the common dental health issue causes:

Poor dental health and hygiene. Poor dental health as the result of improper or sub-par at-home oral hygiene is the most common cause for the majority of common dental issues. The lack of flossing and inconsistency of teeth brushing can leave decaying food particles in the mouth which cause tooth decay and gum disease which can then lead to additional oral health problems such as bad breath, lost teeth and weakened jaw bones.

Trauma. Trauma to the teeth or gums as a result of an injury can damage and weaken protective tissue that can make one’s mouth more susceptible to tooth decay, broken or chipped teeth, jaw injury and lost teeth. Most common accidents to the mouth involve the breaking, cracking, chipping or losing of teeth. Should any of these happen, patients are to go to the nearest dentist or ER room ASAP as prompt treatment is needed to save the teeth.

Underlying overall health conditions. Autoimmune diseases such as HIV and health conditions such as diabetes can put one at an increased risk of dental health issues by making one’s teeth and gums more vulnerable to infection and disease. These aforementioned conditions also lower the mouth’s ability to fight off disease and infection.

Underlying oral conditions. Tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, bad breath and canker sores can all be the results of tooth decay, gum disease or another oral infection. A sore jaw, dry mouth and chronic bad breath can be the result of TMJ, bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding and jaw clenching) or another dysfunction in the functioning of the mouth.

There are many different causes to common dental issues. Some of the causes can be more easily reduced or dealt with by the oral hygiene habits of the patient. Others are more outside of the patient’s control and will require the help of a trained dental professional.

What Makes Someone An Ideal Candidate For Invisalign?

Invisalign’s popularity increases every year, and it’s no wonder why. This orthodontic treatment is celebrated as one of the easiest, most enjoyable solutions for tooth alignment and bite correction. That’s why Invisalign’s transparent removable aligners are inconspicuously fixing smiles all over the world.

Unfortunately, Invisalign may not be the best option for everyone. While consulting with an Invisalign provider is the only absolute way to determine if Invisalign is right for you, we have composed a list of factors to consider.

Severity of Misalignment and Bite

The severity of your bite is the most significant determinant of whether or not you are a good Invisalign candidate. Issues such as large overbites may require more advanced orthodontic treatment procedures in order to adequately shift the jaw, and Invisalign isn’t quite able to handle this.

However, as long as the case isn’t too severe, Invisalign can treat the following dental problems:

  • Gapped teeth
  • Crowded teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite

Your Age and Maturity Level

While Invisalign and Invisalign Teen are perfectly suited for older teenagers and adults, children and younger teenagers are not always the ideal candidates. For one thing, their teeth may still be growing, and they may not possess a high enough maturity level to be responsible enough for this type of treatment.

Young children are more likely to remove their aligners too frequently. Unlike adults, young children tend to get frustrated when aligners feel uncomfortable or sore. This may cause kids to feel discouraged and take them out which can severely slow the progress of their treatment, and could even damage their teeth.

What’s more, children play! This makes them likely to lose or damage their aligners which again can slow or even reverse the progress of treatment. It is very important to assess the maturity level of your child before pursuing this orthodontic treatment.

Commitment to Your Smile

One of the best features of Invisalign can also curtail treatment progress if you are not committed… the fact that you can remove them.

You are required to remove your aligners when you eat and drink, with the exception of water. However, your aligners must remain in your mouth for at least 22 hours each day. To put it simply, if you are not dedicated, your aligners will not work. This requires a level of maturity and commitment, but the results are well worth the effort.

Talk to Your Orthodontist

Don’t fret if your case is too severe for Invisalign, there are still treatment options available to you, like traditional metal braces or even clear braces. Your Invisalign specialist will be happy to consult with you about alternative treatment options.

There are a lot on online assessments that help you determine your candidacy for Invisalign orthodontic treatment, and while this is a great start, it’s important to remember only a trained professional can make a final assessment.

What to Do When You Have a Toothache – Natural Cures for Tooth Pain

A toothache is generally the cause of tooth decay or infection. There may be a sudden pain when some food comes in contact with a dental cavity. If you do not brush properly, some food particles stuck between the teeth which may cause infection or cavity. Infection can be at the root level or in the gums. This is also called as a tooth abscess. Its main symptoms may include pain while chewing food, bleeding in gums, and bad smell in the mouth. If you have severe pain or deep cavities then you must visit the doctor but before that, you can also take some natural cures at home to have relief from a toothache or to cure cavity. So here are some natural cures that can be taken at home:

Rinse with Salt Water: Mix 1 tbsp of salt in one glass of warm water, rinse your mouth with this. Warm salt water is a natural disinfectant which can be used to lose the food particles those are stuck in the teeth.

Rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide: You can rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide directly or by diluting it in water. It is temporary pain reliever. It will kill the bacteria and will give you relief from pain.

Cold compress or Icing: Cold compress is one of the best methods to get relief from pain. Use an ice bag or wrap ice in the towel and keep it on the affected area for about 15-20 minutes. Repeat this every few hours.

Alum: It is also known as fitkari India, and is used by Ayurveda. Apply alum powder to tooth or bleeding gum, keep it for half an hour. Repeat the process for few hours in a day.

Clove: It has been used throughout the history for a toothache as it reduces inflammation. Dab cotton ball with clove oil and apply on affected area. You can also chew clove directly and release its oil and keep it on the same place for half an hour. Diluting clove oil in water can be used as mouthwash also.

Garlic: Garlic has many medicinal properties. Grate garlic clove and make a paste from it, apply it on the affected area, it will kill bacteria. You can chew garlic directly also.

Apple Cider Vinegar: It has antiseptic properties which may kill bacteria causing toothache. Apply vinegar using a cotton ball on the tooth and soon you will get relief from pain.

So to prevent tooth infections or tooth decay, you must follow good oral hygiene practices which include brushing your teeth twice a day especially before going to bed, rinse mouth after having a meal, once in a day use an antiseptic mouthwash, avoid eating chocolates and food having high sugar content.

The Best At-Home Oral Hygiene Routine

The regular care and maintenance of your teeth and gums are crucial in preventing tooth decay and gum disease. While we all have likely been taught at an early age to make sure to brush our teeth every day, is it enough to maintain a healthy, white smile?

It’s a common belief that a simple brushing of the teeth, regardless of how long or thorough it is, is enough. While it is recommended that patients to brush their teeth every day, there is a better way to do it.

First, when it comes to brushing your teeth, it ought to be done twice a day; once in the morning and once in the evening just before bedtime. When you sleep, the saliva production decreases, drying out the mouth. A dry mouth creates an ideal environment for plaque to form and bacteria to grow. Brushing your teeth right before bedtime and in the morning shortly after you get up will minimize the bacteria activity and plaque build-up.

When you brush your teeth, a quick brush-over won’t cut it. Plaque and bacteria live and thrive in the crevices on teeth surfaces and between teeth. A quick brushing of the surface of teeth will fail to clean off the majority of plaque-causing debris. It is recommended that patients brush their teeth for a solid two minutes. In these two minutes, try to brush all surfaces of the teeth as well as gently massaging the gums and gently scraping the top surface of the tongue. Be sure to not brush too hard or too vigorously as this can scrape off tooth enamel and injure and irritate gum tissue. A soft-bristled toothbrush is also recommended.

Don’t Forget About Flossing

Even if you have an impeccable teeth brushing routine, it isn’t enough to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. As mentioned earlier, plaque-causing debris and bacteria tend to accumulate between teeth. The spaces between teeth are too small for a toothbrush to adequately clean.

This is where flossing comes in.

Many patients exclude flossing from their at-home oral hygiene for many reasons including the tedious, time-consuming nature of it and the fear of cutting their gums and causing them to bleed.

Flossing, however, is the best way to dislodge those stuck food particles that will turn into cavity-causing plaque. As effective as flossing is in removing hard-to-reach food particles, it should take the place of teeth brushing. Both are necessary for proper oral hygiene.

Patients should floss at least once a day. Flossing does take a few minutes, but healthy teeth and gums will be your reward.

Use Mouthwash for Extra Clean

Mouthwash is a great, optional add-on to your at-home oral hygiene routine. Mouthwash can aid in producing a clean mouth by washing debris from the surface and crevices of the surface of teeth as well as dislodging food particles in between teeth.

Mouthwash often contains alcohol, an anti-septic that produces a burning, fresh clean feeling in the mouth. Mouthwash can also help freshen breath.

How Safe Is the Root Canal Treatment?

The root canals are the most controversial topic in the dental world. Most people tend to question the safety of the procedure. That is because of the misleading information that is being shared on the internet. That is why most patients would prefer an alternative treatment. However, in some cases, treating the pulp cavity remains the only alternative. The dental experts have no choice but to advocate for root canal safety. In fact, the modernized dentistry has increased the safety of endodontic procedures.

The root canal is the perfect solution to treating dental cavities that affect the root of the teeth. The treatment involves the removal of infected pulp. After the removal, the teeth are properly cleaned. After cleaning, dental filling materials are fixed in the tooth to cover the space left by the pulp. The procedure allows the patients to keep their teeth. However, the tooth is dead because the living tissue was removed. Apparently, it is a perfect solution since it prevents loss of teeth.

The safety of this treatment depends on how it is done. According to various researches, the bacterial infections in the root canal are at 100%. The researchers argue that in most cases, only 44% of the bacteria are removed. Hence, the remaining 56% of the bacteria will continue causing damage to the neighboring teeth. That would culminate in serious long-term dental problems. Listed are ways in which root canal can lead to more dental problems.

  • Infections both inside and outside the pulp cavity
  • Negative immune response due to pulp cavity filling
  • Irritation of tissues by accumulation of cholesterol crystals
  • Cystic lesions on the affected root
  • Scar of healing tissue in the root canal area

After the root canal treatment, the remaining bacteria might lead to further infection if not contained. That is why the dental patients are given antibiotic treatment. The antibiotics have their own negative side effects. Apparently, the antibiotics are not effective in pain and swelling reduction. That shows they might not be helpful for patients that have undergone root canal procedure. To be assured of quality treatment, consider the following aspects.

Quality of treatment

You need to ensure you are getting quality treatment. Hence, do not just choose any dentists available in your area. Check their past successes in delivering effective treatment. Take time and read the reviews shared by their previous patients about them. Dentists that provided quality and effective treatment will have numerous positive reviews. Avoid dentists with many complaints from past clients.

Competence of dentists

The skills and knowledge of the dentists limit their proficiency in delivering root canal treatment. To be guaranteed of better treatment, look for a highly qualified dental expert. They should have the essential credentials that prove they are qualified. Make sure your preferred dentist is licensed.