Posts for: November, 2017
November is National Diabetes Month—a good time to look at the connection between diabetes and oral health. While it’s important for everyone to take care of their teeth and gums, it may be especially important for people with diabetes.
People whose diabetes is not well controlled have a higher risk of infections in the mouth, especially gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Advanced periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults. Not only does diabetes put you at risk of oral health problems, it goes both ways. Periodontal disease can lead to higher blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and may increase the risk of complications such as heart and kidney problems.
But here’s some good news: People who take good care of their teeth and gums may have better blood sugar levels and, conversely, better blood sugar levels generally result in better gum health. Many people successfully avoid complications of diabetes by taking good care of themselves, including their teeth and gums. Here are some things you can do to help control your diabetes:
- Eat right, exercise and watch your weight for better blood sugar control.
- Keep up with your oral hygiene routine at home.
- Schedule regular dental visits and cleanings.
Better oral health combined with better blood sugar control will reduce your risk of complications from diabetes. Your dental care team can help you maintain the best oral health for better diabetes control.
What your dentist in McDonough, GA wants you to know
There are many people out there with damaged smiles. If you look around, you can see tooth damage, dental decay and bright red gums. Chances are, the people with damaged smiles haven’t kept good oral hygiene habits. Thankfully, you can avoid a damaged smile and keep your smile looking great by following a good oral hygiene program. It’s easier than you think and Dr. Robert Brooks at Brooks Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in McDonough, GA wants to help you take good care of your smile.
The goal of your oral hygiene program is simple; it’s to remove bacterial plaque as frequently and completely as you can. Plaque contains many millions of harmful bacteria which produce toxins that can destroy the hard and soft tissues of your mouth including your gums and teeth.
The ways to remove plaque are also simple. A good oral hygiene program doesn’t have to take a big chunk of time out of your day. In fact you should be able to thoroughly clean your mouth in just a few minutes each day. You should:
- Brush your teeth each time you eat and before you go to bed. Remember to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid damaging your teeth and gums. Always use toothpaste with fluoride to protect your tooth enamel. Brush in a gentle circular motion along the gumline and the surfaces of your teeth.
- Floss every day at least once. You can use a single piece of floss or floss picks, whichever you prefer. Remember to guide the floss in between each tooth, wrapping around each tooth surface.
Your oral hygiene routine wouldn’t be complete without regular visits to your dentist every year for a dental exam and x-rays, and your dental hygienist every six months for a professional cleaning. You can’t take care of your smile alone. For more information about oral hygiene and other cosmetic and family dental issues call Dr. Robert Brooks at Brooks Cosmetic & Family Dentistry in McDonough, GA today!
It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.
As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”
Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.
When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.
You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?
We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.
Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”