All posts in Did You Know

Preventing Gum Disease Decreases Health Risks

Simple Ways To Prevent Gum Disease

When it comes to oral health, people think more of teeth health. Hence, we consider proper oral hygiene practices, avoiding food and drinks that stain teeth, regular dental visits, we think we are only looking after our teeth. While it’s true that taking care of your teeth is important to stay healthy, most people forget the gums. They are an essential part of the mouth, but are are just as important to overall health as your teeth.

Gingivitis is early stage gum disease and is rather common. Signs may include red and puffy gums that bleed easily when tooth brushing.The condition often resolves with good oral hygiene. However, it is also common that mild cases may go unnoticed, presenting no distressing symptoms until it progresses to its more serious form – periodontitis.

Periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss and has been associated with a risk of serious diseases. This starts from swelling of gums and redness to complete destruction of the tooth’s bones, which is responsible for tooth loss. It has also been discovered that those with periodontitis have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and even pregnancy complications.
So how can gum disease be prevented? There are several proven ways.

Practice good oral hygiene everyday. Brush at least twice a day, floss daily, have mouth rinses. It can prevent plaque build-up and freshens the breath. Flossing removes food debris between teeth where toothbrushes can’t reach.

Quit smoking. It is strongly associated with gum disease. It weakens the immune system, making it harder to fight off gum infection. It also increases the risk of developing gum disease and makes treatment much more difficult.

Eat foods healthy for gums. Include green vegetables to your diet, such as broccoli, celery and green peppers. Consider also shiitake mushrooms, carrots, onions; among fruits, best are citrus fruits and apples. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are dairy products good for the gums.

See your dentist every 6 months for check-up and cleaning. Your dentist can detect if you have early symptoms of gum disease and can treat them right away before they get serious. Have a dental cleaning every six months to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Taking Care of Your Gums in Lynnwood

Bring down your health risks by taking care of your gums. At our Lynnwood dentistry, your gums are just as important as the teeth they support. See us for a consultation.

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Study: Gum Disease and High Blood Pressure Medication

An Association Not To Be Ignored

There’s a new study that suggests gum disease may interfere with high blood pressure control. From the dental surgery department at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, researchers reviewed medical and dental records of more than 3,600 patients diagnosed with high blood pressure.

The study found that comparing to those with good oral health, patients with gum disease do not respond as well to medications for high blood pressure. They are also 20% less likely to achieve healthy blood pressure goals.

Medical doctors should also consider their patients’ oral health, especially those who are being treated for hypertension they should also advise patients vigorously to seek dental care if they see signs of periodontal disease. In the same vein, dental health practitioners should keep in mind that oral health is indispensable to overall health.

The findings suggest that those with gum disease may require closer blood pressure monitoring due to the association, and those with high blood pressure might benefit from regular dental care, according to the research. The study was published in October this year in the journal Hypertension.

It is important to be aware that good oral health is as important as managing the lifestyle that control blood pressure – such as low salt diet, regular exercise and weight control. In other words, if you as a patient are under medication for high blood pressure, be sure that you also take care of the health of your teeth and gums. Gum disease is just as highly prevalent and its most serious form – periodontitis – can lead to a host of oral problems.

Learn more about Gum Disease

Our team at Song Dental Center in Lynnwood, give serious consideration to our patients who are also hypertensive. We don’t ignore the association of oral health impacting medical conditions. Don’t be afraid to ask for more details.

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These Five Culprits Can Cause Teeth Sensitivity

Causes and Treatments of Teeth Sensitivity

When you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, it is a sign that there is an issue in your mouth that you have to look into. Learn more about common causes of sensitive teeth, and how to solve them.
The outer layer of your teeth – the enamel – is worn out. It can also happen that the outer layer that protects your roots – the cementum – is also worn away. This is called dental erosion which happens when your teeth are exposed to too much acid (like from soda, acid reflux, or excessive vomiting). Over time, they weaken the outer layer and cause damage to your teeth. Use a straw instead if you cannot avoid these beverages, or see a specialist for acid reflux and excessive vomiting.

A cavity has penetrated into dentin of your teeth. Dentin is the second protective layer of teeth, and this means the enamel has already been compromised. Dentin involvement can cause serious sensitivity and if caught early, a fluoride treatment can work. Otherwise, it can only be mechanically restored by a filling, a root canal, or a dental crown, depending on how much damage is involved. Tooth extraction can also be considered.

Your gums have receded, exposing nerves. This may be due to gum disease, brushing your teeth too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush, sustaining a gum injury, smoking, or even just genetics. Treatment will depend on what is causing gum recession.

There is a crack in your tooth. A cracked tooth can expose the tooth’s pulp, the soft tissue containing nerves and blood vessels, leaving it open to irritation. A crack can appear after trauma to the mouth, chewing hard foods, and simply having brittle teeth. Grinding and clenching your teeth can also lead to cracks. See your dentist for treatment so that the break doesn’t get worse.

You just had a teeth bleaching session. Bleaching can cause your teeth to become sensitive. If you bleach only occasionally, you might not experience this side effect. But if you do it regularly, or use a bleaching kit that’s too strong, or get them professionally whitened, the peroxide in the bleach can wear down your teeth’s enamel. It can be aggravated, causing sensitivity. If using a desensitizing toothpaste will not help, then you must see your dentist, who may apply a sealant on your teeth to protect the open tubules.

Treating Tooth Sensitivity in Lynnwood

Teeth sensitivity is more common than you think. So when it happens to you, find out when you visit your Lynnwood Song Dental Center.

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Wisdom Teeth: To Extract or Not To Extract

The Problem With Wisdom Teeth

You ask anyone who had to pay a visit to the dentist to pull their wisdom teeth out are not just being told so by their dentists only, but time and again, the molars are proving to be a nuisance. They are dreaded for a variety of reasons – from being painful to causing tooth decay, gum infection, and even tumors. For many, the cost for extraction is worth it.

Wisdom teeth have been around since the beginning of man. Our ancient ancestors used their wisdom teeth the same way we use our other eight molars – to grind food. Though that was when their diet was so tough – raw meat and plants that were so fibrous and hard to chew. All their molars were needed for them to be able to eat and survive.

Wisdom teeth usually grows in when you’re in your late teens, and by that time, the other 28 teeth have taken up all the available space in the dental arch. As such, they get trapped or impacted in your jaw, making them grow in at odd angles and press against back molars, causing pain and swelling. They may be difficult to clean, tooth brushing unable to reach them They can create food traps, attracting bacteria and causing infection and tooth decay, eventually, gum disease, if left untreated. Since tooth decay will eventually destroy wisdom teeth, it seems reasonable enough to take them out.

Resolving Reasonably in Lynnwood

If you have all your wisdom teeth, whether you’re experiencing issues with them or not, or if they’re coming in right now, do have a consult with our dentist in Lynnwood. We can give you advice on possible issues that may arise, including determining early the path of eruption.

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Emergency Dental Health Plan: A Must Have

Times When You Need a Plan Most

Children, adolescents and adults are exposed to unforeseen dental incidents in and outside the home. All may require immediate attention and, sometimes, an impromptu visit to the dental clinic. Not all dental clinics have an emergency plan with insurance companies that provide medical cover. However, it is helpful to patients to avoid too many unplanned expenses when trying to get emergency dental care in any clinic. Here are instances when one requires emergency dental health care.

A broken tooth is usually the result of accidents, such as biting on a hard object, a fall, an injury during sports, or some other incident that caused trauma to the tooth. The broken tooth can harbor dirt which may lead to a bacterial infection. You will require treatment immediately. A dental clinic which offers emergency services is the place to visit. Hence, it is a good idea to have an emergency dental health care program to make it easier for you to fix your broken tooth.

You might be missing a filling or a crown. Sometimes, by accident, your dental filling came off or maybe your crown broke. This constitutes a dental emergency. It is possible for a patient to unintentionally swallow them or else get stuck in the throat. In some instances, you might not be able to go to work or school the following day. The situation may not just affect your appearance, but may make talking or eating uncomfortable. Emergency dental care covers such incidences.

A severe toothache is one of those painful conditions that affects your entire body, including your mental state. Pain causes discomfort that can put your daily activities on hold. If a toothache becomes unbearable and no medication or home remedy can resolve it, then you need immediate medical attention. The best way to take care of this is by ensuring you have an emergency dental care program and see your dentist the soonest possible time.

Have you experienced bleeding gums and exposed nerves?

Bleeding gums may be due to a variety of causes, and most are not that serious. But then, when bleeding does not stop the situation requires an emergency visit to the dentist. On the other hand, pain can be unbearable in instances of exposed nerves. sometimes you may just experience a lot of sensitivity and pain due to exposed nerves. Nerves are delicate and sensitive and when they are exposed, eating and drinking can be impeded. It’s time to see your dentist.

An Emergency Dental Health Plan in Lynnwood

We do our best to accommodate high-priority patients. To that end, we accept both same-day emergency appointments and emergency walk-ins.

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Why Your Teeth are Sensitive to Hot or Cold Food

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Sometimes, while eating either hot or cold food, a pinching pain from a tooth shoots up and might catch you by surprise. This pain occurs because of tooth sensitivity, a rather very common yet curable condition. Cells within the tubes in dentin are stimulated by the hot or cold temperature of the food or drink, sometimes even by air, and causes that sudden, intense pain.
Experiencing tooth sensitivity is not a spur of the moment episode, does not develop overnight and there are several underlying reasons. Sensitivity follows a pattern, starting with acquiring sensitivity to cold foods due to bad oral practices. If this is ignored, it is likely to escalate to sensitivity to hot foods. When this happens, it may indicate the presence of a serious dental condition.

What may cause teeth sensitivity to cold and hot food?

A cavity or a decayed tooth may be a major reason behind the tooth sensitivity to hot foods. A cavity exposes the inside of the tooth to entry of food debris, saliva and bacteria that interact and lead to the beginnings of decay. When there is tooth decay and if left untreated, further severe oral issues may follow. Another cause of tooth sensitivity is enamel breakdown. The enamel becomes thin at the gum line; as it weakens it breaks down exposing the inner dentin which is sensitive to temperature changes. The pain can travel to the roots and can be excruciating.

Infections can also induce sensitivity.

Accumulation of plaque leading to hardened tartar can irritate the gums causing them to swell and inflame. This can end up with gingivitis. At this point, teeth can become sensitive to coldness and hotness. Likewise, improper brushing can also irritate the gums. Harsh and robust brushing with hard-bristle toothbrush can weaken the enamel and expose dentin. Finally, bad eating habits, like consuming too many acid-based processed foods, can also cause sensitivity.

So how does one prevent tooth sensitivity?

One must maintain proper oral hygiene with the correct brushing technique and frequency, right toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. Drink plenty of water to wash away traces of acidic or sugary food and drink. Regular visits to the dentist are important to oral well-being; routine check-ups can keep one abreast of the condition of teeth, gums, and mouth.

Sensitive No More in Lynnwood

Suffering from tooth sensitivity? Whether that’s hot or cold sensitivity, it is commendable to see your dentist right away. Our team at Song Dental in Lynnwood address this issue immediately to prevent further progress of this otherwise common and treatable condition.

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Numbness: How Long does the Feeling Last?

Understanding How Numbing Work

Most people who’ve had dental procedures done that may involve pain or discomfort have used local anesthesia. Hence, Novocaine, a brand name for an injectable local anesthetic has been quite popular even for those who haven’t used it. However, its heyday was some 30 years ago and has since been replaced by Lidocaine. The classic drug Novocaine was observed to have some side effects, notably allergic reactions ranging from mild to serious. By the 1980s, nearly all dentists had stopped using Novocaine in the United States, and lidocaine became the most frequently used local anesthetic. The newer drug lasts longer, works better and less likely to cause allergic reactions.

How do these local anesthetics work?

They are numbing agents because they are primarily vasoconstrictors, narrowing your blood vessels so less blood flows to the site, creating a numbness. They also include chemicals to prevent the constriction from breaking down, making the numbness last longer. They also contain sodium hydroxide, which helps the numbing drug work, and sodium chloride, which helps the drug get into your blood.

How long does the numbing work?

That really depends on several factors. However, Lidocaine is reported to begin numbing a particular area in 90 seconds or so, and numbness can last for about 60 to 90 minutes or longer. Then again, that depends on any of the following conditions.

The dose. The higher the dose, the longer the numbing effect will last. The amount will in turn depend on the type of procedure to be done, the number of nerves involved, and size of the area to be treated. A root canal would require a higher dose than a simple filling procedure.

The individual. Numbing effects vary from person-to-person. Medical conditions can affect the breakdown of the drug, making it shorter-acting, or can prolong its effects because a medical condition could not metabolize Lidocaine. Some individuals have conditions that make them less sensitive to local anesthetics and so these people may require higher doses.
Presence of infection. The tooth to be worked on may be infected Anesthetics are less effective when used on an infected area. The infection causes the tissue to become more acidic, reducing the effectiveness of the drug during dental procedures. More Lidocaine is needed in these cases.

Educating You About Anesthetics in Lynnwood

Need to know more about the actions of local anesthesia, how it feels and what to expect next? If you think you need a dental procedure done, consult with your Lynnwood dentist right away.

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What Is Wrong With Pale-Looking Gums?

Most Causes of Pale Gums

As far as appearances go, the color of a person’s gums is just as important as the teeth’s. It indicates the person’s hygiene or state of health. Healthy gums are generally pinkish, and consistently so, though some people can have gums paler or darker than others. So, if you should notice a change in the color of your gums, it is best to consult your physician or dentist. Gums that are pale-looking can be caused by several conditions, such as the following.

Anemia

It’s a very common condition whereby the body does not get sufficient oxygen-rich blood. It often results when other diseases interfere with the body’s ability to produce healthy red blood cells or abnormally increase red blood cell breakdown or loss. Anemics are generally pale, easily fatigued, have pale or yellowish skin and eyes, and suffer from headaches or chest pains. Their gums can also look pale.

There might be medical conditions resulting to anemia, like very heavy menstruation, pregnancy, liver, spleen, or kidney conditions, hypothyroidism, or bleeding in the stomach or intestines. Treatment is generally a 6-month prescription of iron supplements and iron-rich foods. Menopause is a natural condition known to decrease blood flow, which can cause the gums to become pale and dry.

Oral leukoplakia can cause thin, white patches to develop on the gums and other parts of the mouth. While cause is unknown, they are usually found in individuals with poor oral hygiene, are smokers or alcoholics. Leukoplakia are generally harmless or can be precancerous. The doctor may choose to monitor leukoplakia patches or surgically remove them.

Oral lichen planus is a web-like, slightly raised white threads throughout the gums’ mucus membranes. Sometimes it can be erosive in character becoming ulcers or open sores, treatable with topical corticosteroids or systemic steroids. A biopsy may have to be taken to rule out other medical issues. Though there’s no cure, treatment involves limiting the flare-ups and the severity of symptoms. A balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising, and quitting smoking can help to manage the condition.

Seek medical advice or go to your dentist if symptoms of infection accompany pale gums. Symptoms as bleeding, swelling, painful and receding gums, gum abscess, loose teeth, foul breath, difficulty swallowing, pain in jaw or the face, and fever. If paler than usual, see a doctor or dentist to rule out anemia and other underlying conditions. Certainly, the best recourse to keep gums healthy is consistent oral hygiene.

Looking Out For Gum Health in Lynnwood

If you are bothered by pale-looking gums, come to us for a consult. Lynnwood dentistry looks after gum health as well. We can advice how to always keep your gums in the pink of health.

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Oral Health and Diabetes Link

New Study: Declining Dental Visits of Diabetics

A very large study involving 2.5 million people is saying that diabetic adults are less likely to go to the dentist than people with prediabetes or who don’t have diabetes. This is quite alarming considering that, for people living with diabetes, regular dental check-ups – paired with proactive dental and diabetes self-care – are important for maintaining good oral health.
Researchers at New York University’s College of Nursing and East Carolina University’s School of Medicine found that people with diabetes were the least likely to obtain oral healthcare.

An annual phone survey examined the 2004-2014 data collected of U.S. adults 21 and older, thus, 248,203 people with diabetes, 30,520 with prediabetes, and more than 2.2 million people without diabetes. The percentage of annual dental visits declined from 66.1 to 61.4% among diabetics, from 66 to 64.9% among pre-diabetics, and from 71.9 to 66.5% among people without diabetes. Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to visit the dentist than were white people during the entire decade. Single people and men were also less likely to visit the dentist than women and married people.

The findings are cause for concern. Those who need dental care are the ones to be the least likely to have it. Regular dental visits are highly recommended to potentially help with blood glucose control and preventing complications from diabetes. Are diabetics not aware of links between diabetes and oral health care? The study didn’t break down those with dental insurance, but affordability played a role in the number of dental visits for many.

The researchers say that providers and professionals should promote oral health among diabetics and encourage them to have dental visits at least annually. Increasing access to dental services is vital to achieving this goal.

These findings have been published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Understanding the Link in Lynnwood

Regular dental visits are opportunities for prevention, early detection, and treatment of periodontal disease. Lynnwood dentistry disseminates ample information on the association of oral health and diabetes. We have our fair share of this special population and we see to it that proper co-management is working for the benefit of our patients, here in Lynnwood.

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Tips to Not Get Cavities?

Natural Home Remedies That Strengthen Teeth

While cavities and tooth decay are conditions treated by dentists and that cavities are best countered by dentist-recommended fluoride use, there are some people who prefer to use natural home remedies, rather than products containing fluoride. Here are some helpful tips to get along without fluoride.

Oil pulling is an ancient practice of teeth-cleaning that, though not scientifically proven, can contribute to oral health. This Ayurveda system is simply swishing a tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil around in the mouth for a prescribed period, then spitting it out. Oil tends to pull plaque and bacteria with it, thereby, cleaning and even freshening the mouth. Studies are needed to prove that it re-mineralizes enamel as well.

Vitamin D supplements may help reduce the incidence of dental cavities significantly, that’s according to a 2013 study. The vitamin has a known mineralizing effect, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel.

Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can reduce levels of bacteria that damage enamel, according to a 2015 study results. Having less of this bacteria makes the enamel better able to withstand decay.

To better prevent enamel damage, certain foods containing phytic acid must be avoided. A 2004 study suggested that phytic acid may also break down minerals in enamel and lead to tooth weakening. Examples of these foods are maize, wheat, rice, rye, kidney bean, pinto beans, black-eye beans, and broad beans. However, more collaborative trials are needed. And lastly, another natural and cavity-prevention technique is to avoid overly sugary foods and drinks. It is one of the best remedies, yet cannot be adopted alone.

Dental Expert Advice in Lynnwood

Dental experts in Lynnwood say that these home remedies work best together with dentist-recommended techniques, such as brushing, preferably with fluoride toothpaste.

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