- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes. This is best done the last thing at night and one other time during the day.
- Clean in between your teeth daily with interdental brushes or floss.
- Use mouthwash daily.
- Chew sugar-free gum in between meals.
- Cut down on the amount of sugary foods and added sugar in your diet, and also reduce the number of times per day you consume sugary foods by limiting sugar consumption to mealtimes.
- Visit your dentist as often as they recommend.
How do these medications affect dental treatment plans?While osteonecrosis of the jaw can occur spontaneously, it more commonly occurs after dental procedures that affect the bone or associated tissues (for example, pulling a tooth). Be sure to tell your dentist if you are taking any medications for bone health so he or she can take that into account when developing your treatment plan. It’s not possible to say who will develop osteonecrosis and who will not. Most people (more than 90 percent) diagnosed with ONJ associated with these medications are patients with cancer who are receiving or have received repeated high doses of antiresorptive agents through an infusion. The other 10 percent (of people with ONJ) were receiving much lower doses of these medications for the treatment of osteoporosis. It may be beneficial for anyone who will be starting osteoporosis treatment with antiresorptive agents to see their dentist before beginning treatment or shortly after. This way, you and your dentist can ensure that you have good oral health going into treatment and develop a plan that will keep your mouth healthy during treatment.
Continue regular dental visitsIf you are taking antiresorptive agents for the treatment of osteoporosis, you typically do not need to avoid or postpone dental treatment. The risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw is very low. By contrast, untreated dental disease can progress to become more serious, perhaps even involving the bone and associated tissues, increasing the chances that you might need more invasive treatment. People who are taking antiresorptive agents for cancer treatment should avoid invasive dental treatments, if possible. Ideally, these patients should have a dental examination before beginning therapy with antiresorptive agents so that any oral disease can be treated. Let your dentist know that you will be starting therapy with these drugs. Likewise, let your physician know if you recently have had dental treatment.
Talk to your physician before ending medicationsIt is not generally recommended that patients stop taking their osteoporosis medications. The risk of developing bone weakness and a possible fracture is higher than those of developing osteonecrosis. Talk to your physician before you stop taking any medication.
Symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw include, but are not limited to:
- pain, swelling, or infection of the gums or jaw
- injured or recently treated gums that are not healing
- loose teeth
- numbness or a feeling of heaviness in the jaw
- exposed bone
Good oral health involves more than having a beautiful smile; it is key if we are to enjoy food, feel confident about interacting with others and avoid oral pain. Statistics however show that many Americans could improve in this department. Over 90% of Americans have had at least one cavity, and one in four has untreated tooth decay. Meanwhile, around half of all adults above the age of 30 have gum disease – according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Oral Health report. Dentists recommend brushing and flossing twice daily, but for those with gum disease and frequent plaque build-up, one gadget that should be present on your bathroom countertop is a water flosser.
How does a Water Flosser Work?Water flossers usually consist of a small nozzle that sprays pressurized water, connected to a water reservoir by a tube. Water flossers clean teeth and gums through a combination of water pressure and pulsations, which remove food residue and plaque from teeth. They work similarly to dental floss, but the pressure means that tiny pieces of food you don’t even notice can be efficiently removed. Water flossers can reach areas that floss cannot get into; for instance, beneath the gum line at the front of teeth. Users can alter the pressure according to their needs. Therefore, those with sensitive gums may use a lower setting, while those after a power clean can set their flosser on high pressure.
Are Water Flossers Effective?The effectiveness of water flossers was put to the test in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry. Participants in the study were assigned to one of two groups. Group One used a manual toothbrush plus a water flosser, while Group Two used a manual toothbrush and waxed dental floss to clean between teeth. The results showed that the water floss group had a 74.4% reduction in whole mouth plaque and an 81.6% reduction in plaque between teeth. The dental floss group meanwhile, had a 57.7% and 63.45% reduction in plaque in these respective areas. The scientists noted that the water flosser was, therefore, a superior way to keep plaque at bay. It also indicates that dental floss is still a good way to improve oral health, even though it was less effective than the water flosser.
When Might Your Dentist Recommend a Water Flosser?Your dentist may recommend this method of daily cleaning if you have frequent plaque build-up or if your gums tend to become inflamed. If you have a condition like gingivitis, you may be recommended to wait until bleeding has stopped to use a water floss. However, a water flosser is not enough to treat more serious periodontal disease, and you should always consult with your dentist. You may be recommended a root scaling and planing treatment and perhaps later, a water flosser can play a role in the maintenance of your gum health. Water flossers also work well for teeth that are difficult to clean. For instance, if you have wisdom teeth that have not been removed, then teeth may be very tight and it may be very difficult to get dental floss in between then, but a water flosser may be a good alternative. Because a water flosser cleans plaque and removes trapped food so effectively, it is ideal for teeth in odd positions, but it can also form part of a daily oral health routine for anyone wishing to obtain an optimal clean. Studies have shown that it is more effective than standard brushing and flossing, so if you are worried about decay and gum inflammation and disease, ask your dentist if a flosser is suitable for you. Flossers have removable tips, so one machine can be used by more than one family member. Fallon, Jacqueline. “Is Water Flossing the Perfect Tool for Better Oral Health?”. The Dental Greek, 11 Dec 2018
What causes underbite?Several factors, including genetic makeup, environmental factors, or other illnesses can cause an underbite. Some of the factors that cause an underbite include: · Genetic factors, like the famous Hapsburg jaw (many members of the German-Austrian royal family in the 17th and 18th centuries had a distinctive underbite). · The upper jaw is aligned too far backwards, or the lower jaw is aligned too far forwards · The upper teeth are tipped backward, the lower teeth are slanted forward, or the teeth are overcrowded · Thumb sucking, pacifier overuse, mouth breathing, or tongue thrusting, which can shift the teeth · A broken jawbone that has healed improperly · Cleft lip or palate · Inherited conditions, like Treacher Collins syndrome or nevoid basal cell carcinoma
Complications and Symptoms of Underbite.An underbite is typically not a difficult condition to spot. Both its conditions and symptoms are usually clear and easy for a dentist to spot, even in younger children. The symptoms of an underbite depend, in part, on how severe the misalignment is between the top and bottom teeth. Perhaps the most commonly noticed is a visible protrusion of the lower jaw beyond the upper front teeth. Noticing overcrowding in the teeth and an aching jaw is also very common. There are many difficulties that can come with an underbite, many ranging beyond the mouth. Here are some of the most common effects:
- Speech difficulties
- Pain in the jaw or mouth
- Frequent headaches
- Ear discomfort or dysfunction
- Stomach issues
- Sleep apnea
1. Braces/InvisalignYou will need a treatment plan to realign your jaw and align your teeth, once an underbite is detected. In milder cases, your underbite may be correctable with orthodontic treatment alone. Invisalign (or other clear retainers), when it’s an option, creates fewer calcifications and uses safe ingredients that are free of BPAs and carcinogens. This option however may not work for children. Invisalign has been successfully used on class III underbites, but it may require tooth extractions. Metal braces are generally the go-to method for kids. Before or instead of braces, your orthodontist may recommend specialized headgear. A reverse-pull headgear uses metal bands attached to the upper back teeth and wraps around the head to pull the jaw into place. Another potential orthodontic treatment is an upper jaw expander, which involves fixing a plastic and wire device to the roof of the mouth, expanded by turning a key daily. Over the course of roughly a year, the palate expands to correct the bite.
2. Tooth ExtractionOvercrowding in the teeth can create an underbite, particularly in the upper or lower front teeth. In the case of overcrowding, tooth extraction may be necessary to relieve the pressure this causes and aid the jaw in relaxing into its natural position.
3. Tooth ReshapingTooth reshaping is a cosmetic dentistry option, in cases where the teeth do not fit in the mouth properly. In this treatment, the bottom teeth may be shaved down and reshaped slightly, and veneers fitted to the upper teeth. This can realign how the jaw fits together and is appropriate for some mild cases of an underbite. The benefit of tooth reshaping is that it’s relatively painless, since it only alters tooth enamel, and lowers the incidence of tooth decay.
4. SurgeryFor severe underbite or older patients, jaw surgery (also referred to as orthognathic surgery) may be necessary. This typically is recommended in conjunction with orthodontic treatment. Jaw surgery can realign the position of your upper and lower jaw, and create proper bite patterns in extreme cases of prognathism. The typical recovery time for a surgery can range between ten and 12 weeks.
5. “Facelift” Dentistry“Facelift” dentistry aims to correct bite problems using their specialized JawTrac and VENLAY technology—designed to prevent the need for braces and jaw surgery. This dentistry, available only to adult patients, claims the ability to correct underbites in as little as three weeks by harnessing electronic jaw tracking readings. These are based on the projected natural position of the jaw without having been shifted by a malocclusion.
Differences Between Underbite and OverbiteIn proper alignment, when the mouth is closed, the top front teeth extend very slightly over the lower teeth and jaw. Extreme cases of this are called an overbite, where the top front teeth extend an extreme amount over the lower teeth. An underbite creates the opposite effect when the mouth closes, pushing the lower jaw and teeth to the front. Both an underbite and an overbite can make patients self-conscious, causing issues with breathing, chewing, and speaking. However, the difference is simple: an overbite looks like the upper jaw and teeth are too far forward, and an underbite presents as a protruding lower jaw and teeth.
Underbite StatisticsEstimates for underbite prevalence claim they occur in 5-10% of the population. One global study took a closer look at the incidence in different nations. The U.S. has a 5% incidence, while China has a whopping 15% of the population with an underbite—perhaps due to genetics. Burhenne, Mark. “What is an underbite? Causes, Treatments”. Ask the Dentist, 11 Dec 2019 https://askthedentist.com/underbite/
Maintaining great personal hygiene has never been more important, given the current pandemic situation that many of us across the world find ourselves in.
Advice around how to do this is something that we all should take note of. Especially, regular handwashing with soap for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer gel when this is not possible.
It is important to remember that being as hygienic as possible doesn’t just help protect you, but it also protects those around you.
The Oral Health Foundation has provided the following advice to help avoid catching or spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Do not share a toothbrush
You should never share your toothbrush with anybody else, no matter how close you are to them.
This is one way that viruses and blood-borne diseases can be caught from other people.
You should make sure that toothbrush heads are also kept apart from each other wherever you and the rest of your household store your toothbrushes.
Keep the toilet lid closed before you flush
If you store your toothbrush anywhere near your toilet, every time someone flushes, some of the toilet sprays will fly out and land on your toothbrush.
There has already been research conducted that suggests that the virus can be spread via faecal matter (poo).
Make sure you close the lid before you flush and keep your brush at a safe distance away from the toilet.
Change your toothbrush regularly
It’s important to change your toothbrush, or brush head, at least every three months. Perhaps even earlier if the bristles become frayed.
This helps to ensure you are brushing your teeth effectively. A worn brush can’t do the job it needs to.
Changing your brush regularly also helps prevent the spread of bacteria.
Clean your bathroom regularly
Many of us store our toothbrushes, towels, flannels and other intimate items in our bathrooms.
Due to this reason, it is important to keep the bathroom clean at all times to ensure that there is no spreading of germs and viruses.
Visiting the dentist
It is important to maintain regular visits to your dental team. It’s best to always call ahead before any appointments, especially during this period of uncertainty. You can ask about any special check-in procedures your dental office may have, or if they have any paperwork you can complete online before your visit.
Be prepared for your appointment to either be delayed or canceled. This is for the safety of both staff and patients. Emergency treatment may still be available but other, more routine procedures, may be postponed for the foreseeable future. Communicate with your dentist about your needs to make sure you receive essential care, without putting yourself or others at unnecessary risk.
Don’t forget the basics
Our oral health should always be a priority. In addition to visiting your local dental team when possible, don’t forget the simple day-to-day habits that will help you keep a healthy mouth.
Brush daily with a fluoride toothpaste last thing at night and at least one other time during the day.
Cut down on how much and how often you have sugary foods and drinks and drink plenty of water.
Consider using a mouthwash and clean between your teeth every day with interdental brushes or floss.
Bushel, George. “COVID-19: our guide to looking after yourselves and others through better oral hygiene”. Oral Health Foundation, 23 Mar 2020 https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/covid-19-our-guide-to-looking-after-yourselves-and-others-through-better-oral-hygiene
When you have a cold or the flu, taking care of your body is your top priority and that includes your mouth.
Here are some simple ways to care for your dental health when you’re not feeling well:
Practice Good Hygiene
When you’re sick, you know to cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Don’t forget to keep up your dental and toothbrush hygiene as well.
According to the Center for Chronic Disease, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. The number one rule is not to share your toothbrush anytime, especially when you are sick.
You also probably don’t need to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Unless your immune system is severely compromised, the chances of reinfecting yourself are very low. But if you’re still in doubt, throw it out. Especially if you’ve had your toothbrush for 3-4 months then it’s time to replace it anyway.
Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops
Read the label before you pick up a bag at the drugstore intending to avoid ingredients like fructose or corn syrup. Many cough drops contain sugar, and it is like sucking on candy. Sugar is a culprit when it comes to cavities. The longer you keep a sugary cough drop in your mouth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria has to feast on that sugar, which produces the acid that can weaken tooth enamel and cause cavities and decay.
Swish and Spit After Vomiting
One unfortunate side effect of the stomach flu, among other illnesses, is vomiting. You might be tempted to brush your teeth right away, but it’s better to wait. When you vomit, stomach acids are coming in contact with your teeth and coating them. If you brush too soon, you’re just rubbing that acid all over the hard outer shell of your teeth.
Instead, swish with water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of water and 1 tsp. baking soda to help wash the acid away. Spit, and brush about 30 minutes later.
Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Mouth
When you’re sick, you need plenty of fluids for many reasons. One is to prevent dry mouth. Not only is it uncomfortable, but dry mouth can also put you at greater risk for cavities. The medications you might be taking for a cold or flu, such as antihistamines, decongestants or pain relievers can also dry out your mouth, so drink plenty of water and suck on sugarless cough drops, throat lozenges or candies to keep that saliva flowing.
Choose the Right Fluids
The safest thing to drink is water. Sports drinks might be recommended to replenish electrolytes when you’re sick, but drink them in moderation and don’t make them a habit after you’ve recovered because unless they are a sugar-free version, they contain a lot of sugar.
You might also want something to warm you up. When you have a cold or the flu, you may want something comforting to get through it, like tea. Try not to add sugar or lemon. Sugar can help to fuel cavity-causing bacteria, and lemon is acidic. It’s something to keep in mind once you’re feeling a 100% again, as well.
Did you know that a baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth months of pregnancy? That’s why making smart food choices early in pregnancy can help set your child up for healthy teeth throughout their lives. During your pregnancy, a sufficient quantity of nutrients especially vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and phosphorus are needed.
To assist you in making healthy eating choices, the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Policy Center have compiled this list of tips to follow during pregnancy:
• Eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products such as cereals, bread and dairy products like milk, cheese, cottage cheese or unsweetened yogurt.
• Eat fewer foods high in sugar, including candy, cookies, cake, and dried fruit and drink fewer beverages high in sugar including juice, fruit-flavored drinks, soft drinks.
• For snacks, choose foods low in sugar such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, and unsweetened yogurt.
• Read food labels so you can choose foods lower in sugar.
• If you have trouble with nausea, try eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day.
• Drink water or milk instead of juice, fruit-flavored drinks or soft drinks.
• Drink water throughout the day, especially between meals and snacks. Drink fluoridated water (via a community fluoridated water source) or if you prefer bottled water, drink water that contains fluoride.
• To reduce the risk of birth defects, get 600 micrograms of folic acid each day throughout your pregnancy. Take a dietary supplement of folic acid and eat foods high in folate and foods fortified with folic acid, including:
o Asparagus, broccoli and leafy green vegetables such as lettuce and spinach
o Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
o Papaya, tomato juice, oranges or orange juice, strawberries, cantaloupe and bananas
o Grain products fortified with folic acid (bread, cereals, cornmeal, flour, pasta, white rice.)
Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and also helps rinse away food particles. If you like sweets and other sugary foods, eat them with meals or shortly after mealtime.
Be picky if it’s sticky-
When it comes to picking healthy snacks, many people put dried fruit at the top of the list. But many dried fruits are sticky and sticky foods tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food. If you find yourself eating a lot of dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins, make sure to rinse your mouth with water and brush carefully.
Limit your alcohol intake-
Try to drink a lot of water alongside your alcoholic drinks. And remember: Too much alcohol can dry out your mouth.
Take it easy on the hard candies-
Some candies are more problematic than others. Hard candies can put your teeth at risk because, in addition to being full of sugar, they are also known to cause broken or chipped teeth. (Be careful not to break or chip your teeth when eating nuts as well!)
Watch out for starchy foods-
These are sneaky because they often get trapped in your teeth. If you choose to indulge in chips and cakes, take extra care when you floss that day to remove all the food particles that can lead to plaque build-up.
You can still have fun-
So, what can you eat? Lots of stuff! Prioritize lean protein, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Make sure to vary your diet. Eat whole grains and choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods. The holidays are a great time of year to start thinking about healthy habits. If you do snack, make it a nutritious choice such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables for your overall health and the health of your teeth.
Scaling and Root Planing is a process of deep cleaning below the gumline that helps to treat gum disease.
Why Do You Need It?
Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria known as plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth. However, if they aren’t cleaned well the bacteria in plaque will cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form gaps known as pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and can’t be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease may lead to bone and tooth loss.
If gum disease is caught early and hasn’t caused any damage to the structures below the gum line, professional cleaning is needed. If the pockets between your gums and teeth are too deep, scaling and root planing might be required.
What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing?
This deep cleaning process has 2 components. Scaling is when your dentist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) on top of and below the gumline. Your dentist can then begin root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots to assist your gums to reattach to your teeth. Scaling and Root Planing could take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.
After Care Tips
After a deep cleaning, you may have sensitivity in your teeth and gums for a couple of days up to a week. Additionally, your gums could also be swollen, feel tender and bleed. To prevent infection and control pain or assist you to heal, your dentist can prescribe a pill or mouth rinse. Your dentist may also insert medication directly into the pocket that was cleaned. Your dentist can schedule a follow-up visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. Good dental care is essential to help keep gum disease from becoming serious or reoccur. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, clean between your teeth daily, follow your diet, avoid using tobacco and visit your dentist often.