Your risk of developing diabetes increases as you age. More than one in four adults age 65 and older have diabetes, and many people go undiagnosed, which means they do not get the proper care or treatment for this serious condition.
What is diabetes? It occurs when your body fails to properly turn food into energy. Your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to regulate blood glucose levels, and sugar will build up in your body. If left untreated, diabetes can result in kidney failure, blindness, loss of function in the feet and even death. It’s important to remain vigilant for the symptoms of diabetes as you get older, so your doctor can check them out.
One often-overlooked indicator of diabetes is in your mouth. Medical professionals have noted correlations between diabetes and dental health. Are you worried about developing diabetes or suspect you could be at risk? Read on to learn how your mouth could signal the development of this serious disease, and contact our office in Sun City if you want to learn more.
What Is the Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health?
People who have diabetes have a higher risk of getting gum disease. What is the link between the two? One symptom of diabetes is dry mouth, when you fail to produce enough saliva. This condition can have the side effect of fostering gum disease.
When saliva production falls off and gums become dry, sores and ulcers may grow in the mouth. These may lead to infections in the gums, which is part of gum disease. People who smoke increase the risk of developing gum disease because smoking exacerbates dry mouth. When you have diabetes, your immune system may also become weaker, so you have less chance to fight off infection.
It’s not a one-way street from diabetes to gum disease, either. Researchers also suspect gum disease can play a role in developing diabetes as well. Periodontal disease can impact a person’s ability to control their blood glucose levels, and this can lead to a quicker progression for the disease.
What Are Some Oral Signs of Diabetes?
You may begin to exhibit signs of diabetes well before you get diagnosed with the disease. Some symptoms of diabetes are well known, such as extreme thirst and frequent urination. This reflects the increased pressure on the kidneys. Many people also report weight loss despite being more hungry and increasing their calorie consumption.
The oral health signs of diabetes, however, are not as well-known and may be less obvious unless you are a trained professional, such as a dentist. These are a few signs you should be on the lookout for:
- – Dental thrush: This infection is caused by yeast in your mouth. People who have dentures can also develop thrush, so be aware of that tendency if you wear them.
- – More tooth decay: If you have gone years without a cavity and get six of them in two appointments, this may be a sign of diabetes, unless you really let your oral health habits slide.
- – Feeling of burning in your mouth: Some diabetes patients report experiencing this unpleasant side effect.
- – Development of periodontal disease: If your gums are swollen, bleeding or oozing pus, you may have gum disease and should get to our Sun City office immediately.
- – Mouth sores that won’t go away: The return of these sores indicates diabetes.
Why Is It Important to Get Regular Dental Checkups?
Getting checkups at our Sun City dental office every six months can help ensure you are not one of the millions suffering from undiagnosed diabetes. Our dentist takes special care when giving examinations to older adults to look for signs of gum diseases, periodontal distress or any other symptoms of diabetes.
When we see you regularly, we know what is normal for your mouth. We can note any changes and advise you accordingly. By flagging these warning signs, we can give you a heads up that you should go to your physician to get the situation checked out.
The link between diabetes, gums and teeth means you should take special care with your dental hygiene habits. Brush and floss daily to discourage gum disease, and get regular dental checkups. Contact our office in Sun City today to set up your next appointment.
You probably think about foods in terms of how they will impact your body, your waistline and your digestive tract. But did you know there are healthy foods for your smile as well? The fruits, veggies, meats and other things you eat can have a big impact on your teeth, gums and mouth, as well as your overall dental hygiene.
Adding these foods to your diet can decrease your risk of cavities. Some will clean away bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, and others will brighten your teeth, ridding them of stains and yellowing. Indulge in these foods for good oral health before your next visit to our dental office in Sun City, and you’ll see surprisingly good results.
What Foods Strengthen Teeth?
Finding the right foods for healthy teeth and good oral health depends on the vitamins and minerals they contain. You want to pick the ones that will help strengthen your teeth. Here are a few things to look for in your food:
- – Calcium: Helps build the enamel that protects your teeth from decay
- – Vitamin A: Assists your body with absorbing the calcium that strengthens your teeth
- – Phosphorus: Contributes to enamel growth and improves jawbone density
- – Catechins: An antioxidant that kills plaque-causing bacteria
- – Vitamin C: Stimulates gum health
Try the following foods and beverages chock full of these vitamins and minerals to strengthen your teeth:
- – Carrots. Rich in Vitamin A, carrots also give your teeth a workout because they’re hard to chew.
- – Green tea. This has a huge number of catechins.
- – Kiwis and oranges. Both contain loads of vitamin C — kiwis, surprisingly, have even more than oranges — as well as acid that can help clear bacteria from the mouth.
- – Sesame seeds. Though these seeds are small, they contain a lot of calcium. As a bonus, their tough shell acts as a sort of exfoliant for your teeth, removing harmful plaque as you chew.
- – Cheese. Cheese brims with calcium, plus it produces saliva, which helps wash away bacteria. Stick to low-fat, hard cheeses to see the most oral health benefits.
What Are Some Foods That Are Good for My Smile?
In addition to looking for foods rich in the above vitamins and mineral, you should also add crunchy foods with a high water quotient to your diet. These are naturally abrasive. They will whisk away stains and bacteria on your teeth, leaving them whiter and cleaner. Such foods include:
- – Celery: You have to chew this vegetable longer than most, which means more cleansing action.
- – Cucumbers: Cukes have one of the highest water contents of any fruit or veggie.
- – Apples: You’ve probably heard people say that if you don’t have access to a toothbrush after a meal, you can eat an apple instead for a similar effect. The acid in the apple also helps remove plaque.
What Foods Are Good for My Overall Oral Health?
Finally, some foods will deliver multiple benefits to your teeth. They have the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you need, and they stimulate saliva production in your mouth, which whisks away tooth decay-causing agents. A few wonderful all-purpose choices to promote oral health include:
- – Yogurt: It contains calcium, and it also has probiotics, which promote the production of good bacteria that can balance out the bad bacteria in your mouth as well as in your gut.
- – Plums and eggplant: This deeply colored produce has loads of anthocyanins, which can lower your risk of oral cancer.
- – Flaxseed: This excellent source of fiber has polyphenols, which fight bacteria production and bad breath.
- – Fatty fish: Salmon, tuna, tilapia and more are loaded with vitamin D.
Good food for your teeth pays dividends by protecting you from tooth decay, gum disease and more. Add these to your diet to stay strong — and contact us at our office in Sun City if you have further questions about what you should consume to boost your oral health.
As you age, heart health can become a major concern in your life. You have likely taken steps to protect your heart by doing things such as increasing how much you exercise and adding omega-3s to your diet. You may even have made an effort to reduce the stress in your daily life to give your heart a break.
But you may not be doing everything you can to protect against heart disease. Many of our patients do not realize that there is a correlation between dental health and heart health. By improving your oral hygiene and paying attention to certain telling factors, you can further protect your ticker. Plus, when you practice good dental habits, you get the side benefit of having fewer cavities and fewer other tooth complications.
Read on to learn more how heart health affects your teeth and vice versa, and remember to call our office here in Sun City if you have any questions about these correlations.
What Is the Connection Between Heart and Dental Health?
Dental health can serve as an indicator of heart health and vice versa. Your mouth is an important part of the body. It acts as the gateway to other systems, such as the lungs and digestive system. When you have problems in your mouth, it can lead to problems elsewhere. This is where the link between the teeth and heart comes in.
Researchers have noted that bacteria can spread from your mouth to other body parts, such as the heart. Bacteria develops in your mouth in many ways — such as through tartar and plaque buildup and sometimes through infections, such as gum disease.
When this occurs, there’s a chance bacteria can enter the blood stream. That could lead to:
- – Atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries
- – Stroke
- – Endocarditis, an infection affecting the lining of the heart
Can Gum Disease Cause Heart Disease?
While there has been no definitive research on the link between heart and gum disease, there is a lot of circumstantial evidence that the two are related. The chronic infections characteristic of periodontal disease can pass on to other parts of the body, most notably the heart. Some estimates have found the majority of heart disease patients also suffer from gum disease. The two have many risk factors in common, such as:
- – Diabetes
- – Obesity
- – Smoking
A poor diet can also lead to both heart and gum problems. The gingivitis in your mouth can spark bacteria to break off, travel through the blood stream, and connect to blood vessels, which sparks heart problems. Plus, when the bacteria gets into the blood stream, it also increases inflammation. C-reactive protein levels then rise, boosting the risk of stroke or heart disease.
What Are Some Oral Signs of Poor Heart Health?
Sometimes you will see evidence of impending heart trouble manifesting in your mouth, through the appearance of your teeth and gums. If you notice any of these things, you should make an appointment with us to get them looked at, and you also may want to notify your physician, especially if you have a history of heart trouble. Possible signs of heart health problems in your mouth include:
- – Pus gathering on gums
- – Bad, sour taste in your mouth
- – Red or bleeding gums when you floss or brush
- – Receding gums
- – Chronic bad breath
- – Loose teeth
- – Teeth shifting to new positions in your mouth
Why Is It Important to Get Regular Dental Checkups?
Your dentist can monitor your mouth for these signs of ill heart health. The link with teeth is something our dentist recognizes and keeps an eye out for. Because we see many older patients, we understand how critical it can be to have someone looking out for signals your heart could be in trouble.
Our experience makes us the best place for older adults seeking oral care. We will keep our eyes peeled for any indication your heart health could be deteriorating, based on your regular dental exams. We do this as part of our regular services, which is why it’s critical to get your checkups every six months. Contact our Sun City office today to make your appointment and learn more about the links between heart and teeth health.
Do you floss your teeth regularly? This one healthy habit can save you money, time and even a little anxiety. When you floss, you rid your mouth of the plaque that causes tartar and eventually leads to cavities. Do it every day, and you may avoid the cost of having a cavity filled, the time it takes to block out a dental appointment and the nerves you may feel when you come to get a filling.
Still, some people fail to floss. They may never have gotten into the habit, or they may think it’s not that important.
We recommend our patients in Sun City treat flossing like a part of their daily routine. When you incorporate it into your nighttime care, you won’t even have to think about it. Flossing will become second nature, and that will benefit you as you age. Even if you have never made flossing a priority before, it’s not too late to start today.
What Are the Benefits of Flossing?
The biggest benefit to flossing is removing harmful plaque before it builds into tartar, which causes cavities. Your teeth will also look brighter, and you can avoid periodontal disease, which has been linked to a greater risk of developing heart disease.
Additionally, maintaining good oral health as you age can help preserve your teeth and allow you to avoid costly procedures or needing dentures.
How Do I Floss Correctly?
Many people never learned how to floss properly. In our Sun City dental office, we recommend keeping it as simple as possible so you will practice this habit consistently. A few pointers:
- – Move your floss methodically up and down: You don’t want to saw at the gums. Try to keep the floss in the form of a C cupped around the tooth.
- – Make sure to get the back teeth: Bacteria breed in the back of your mouth, where it’s harder to brush, too.
- – Watch for bloody or puffy gums: If you notice your gums swell or you draw blood when flossing, call our office in Sun City immediately. Healthy gums do not do this, and it could be a sign of gum disease.
- – Get soft floss if you have sensitive gums: Don’t skip flossing because you worry it may hurt. Instead, look for a brand that advertises itself as softer or try a floss tape.
How Often Should I Floss?
Ideally, you should floss every day. Do it when you brush your teeth at night so you won’t forget. You may also choose to floss again when you have something stuck in your teeth or between your dentures and your teeth.
What If I Have Trouble Flossing?
As you age, it may become more difficult to use traditional floss you wrap around your fingers. There are other options that may be easier for those with arthritis or other difficulties, such as:
- – Floss picks: These single-use picks are easy to maneuver around your mouth.
- – Water flossers: Use this high-powered electric sprayer to clean the spots between your teeth.
Still have questions about flossing? Get in touch with us to discuss your concerns or make an appointment at our Sun City office to receive pointers on flossing.
Reaching for your mid-day pick-me-up? You may think it’s healthier to drink diet soda or coffee rather than indulging in a candy bar or giant muffin. Although those sugary snacks may impact your waistline, drinks can impact your teeth just as significantly.
Whether you choose a sugar-free beverage or one with alcohol, you may end up with teeth staining or sensitivity. You could even get a cavity. So which drinks should you avoid, and is there anything you can do to prevent these problems? Here’s the lowdown on how different drinks affect your teeth, based on our experiences with patients in our Sun City dental office.
The Effects of Coffee on Your Teeth
Is coffee bad for your teeth? We hear that question a lot from the people who come to our office. The answer depends to some degree on how you take your coffee and how often you drink it.
Do you drink coffee at least once a day? Then your teeth will see staining over the long term. The acidity of the drink will also begin to wear away at your tooth enamel. Your teeth may become sensitive as the enamel weakens. If you drink coffee less frequently, say once a week or less, the long-term effects will be less pronounced, though they still may develop over time.
Adding sugar or sugary creamers to your coffee can also impact your teeth. It fosters bacteria and may lead to tooth decay. Drinking your coffee black will eliminate that issue.
Does Wine Cause Tooth Decay?
Winding down with a glass of wine at the end of the day can be relaxing and provide benefits to your heart. If you drink red wine, though, you may be damaging your teeth at the same time.
The dyes, tannins and acid in wine have the same effect as coffee. They stain the teeth and attack your enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity. You may think you’re in the clear if you drink white wine, but some types are also tough on enamel.
Is Juice Bad for Your Teeth?
Yes, it is. Juice has a similarly poor effect as wine. The sugars in juice, even though they come from plants and not from added cane sugar, cause decay. Citrus juices can be especially impactful. The acid in orange juice, grapefruit juice and lemonade hastens the decay process by attacking the enamel. You can get sensitive teeth and cavities from indulging too much in these juices.
What Impact Does Tea Have on Your Teeth?
Black tea discolors and stains your teeth much like coffee and wine. It is somewhat less acidic than those beverages, but it can still lead to tooth sensitivity. Green tea has less of a staining effect, while some herbal teas do not cause stains, though they can encourage bacteria production in the mouth.
How Do Sugary Drinks Like Soda Affect Your Teeth?
As you might expect, soda is the worst offender in terms of tooth damage. The sugars in soda react with the bacteria in your mouth to form acid that eats away at tooth enamel and results in cavities. Soft drinks also have high acid content, hastening tooth decay. Diet soda isn’t any better. While it’s made with imitation sugars, they still have high levels of acid and can result in the same amount of tooth erosion as regular soda.
How to Prevent Tooth Problems From Your Favorite Beverage
Does this mean you can never have a glass of wine or tip back an icy glass of pop again? Well, no. While your Sun City dentist would certainly prefer you keep those indulgences to a minimum, for your teeth’s sake, we realize you are not going cold turkey on all these drinks. Luckily, there are ways to minimize the impact of sugary or acidic beverages. Try these tips:
- – Wash your mouth out with water after drinking a sugary or tannin-filled drink, which will help remove bacteria
- – Water down juice, coffee or tea to dilute the acidity
- – Drink through a straw to limit beverages’ interaction with your teeth
- – Substitute water for at least one cup of soda, coffee or tea each day
- – If you must drink soda, have a root beer — it has the least impact on teeth of any type of soda
- – Enjoy a piece of cheese after a sugary drink, which can help neutralize the acid left behind by the beverage
- – Get a fluoride treatment to better protect your teeth
Keep Your Smile Beautiful by Getting Regular Dental Checkups in Sun City
Another way to combat tooth decay and staining is to make regular trips to our dentist here in Sun City, Arizona. At our six-month dental cleanings, we examine your teeth for signs of decay, staining and sensitivity. If you experience problems, we can address them quickly through a host of remedies, including fluoride treatments. Contact our office to set up an appointment.
Did you know that 75 percent of seniors ages 65 and older have all or some of their natural teeth? That would have been unthinkable just a hundred years ago, when nearly everyone of that age wore dentures. Advances in oral hygiene in older adults have adjusted expectations, and with the right care, you can be among the 75 percent.
As you get older and your body changes, it becomes more important than ever to practice good oral hygiene habits to preserve your teeth and stay healthy. Aging can impact oral health in different ways for different people. Some develop sensitive teeth, while others get dry mouth. Some lose their teeth, while a lucky few have a full set with no cavities. Separate aging factors can affect oral health as well, such as the development of diabetes and heart disease.
The Importance of Oral Hygiene and Preventative Care in Sun City
Our practice emphasizes preventative dental care for older adults in Sun City. We believe that if you know how to care for your teeth, you can help keep them healthy over the long-term.
Preventative care involves being proactive with your oral health. It means addressing potential problems before they happen by knowing things such as the causes of gum disease and how dental care affects your overall health. When you are equipped with this knowledge, you make better choices for your mouth and may head off tooth decay or gum recession before they start. This saves you the expense and time associated with major dental procedures.
Common Dental Problems Among Older Adults
Not taking care of your teeth can lead to serious dental issues. At the same time, diseases common among older adults can complicate what might otherwise be a minor annoyance. Here are some of the most prevalent dental problems you may face:
- 1. Dry Mouth
Medications prescribed for other conditions may spark dry mouth, which can, in turn, cause tooth decay. Not enough saliva can result in cavities as well as root rot. You may lose teeth if you suffer from dry mouth for months.If you can’t change your medication, you can encourage saliva production by chewing sugarless gum. Drink more water, too, and let it stay in your mouth before swallowing to wet your teeth. Avoid caffeine and alcoholic drinks, which also encourage dry mouth.
- 2. Diabetes
Roughly one in four people over age 65 suffer from diabetes. One side effect of diabetes can be dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay.Other symptoms include thrush, an infection that occurs in the mouth, and gum disease. The latter is caused by damage to blood vessels going to the mouth, making the gums more susceptible to infection. Diabetics’ high blood sugar can also elevate levels of sugar in saliva, leading to bacteria production.
- 3. Sensitive Teeth
Over the years, tooth enamel and gums can wear away, resulting in sensitive teeth. This can become even worse if you have used a hard-bristled tooth brush or sawed away at your teeth too aggressively while brushing.
- 4. Heart Disease
Researchers have found connections between heart and gum disease. When your mouth is healthy, it’s one less component that can lead to coronary issues.
- 5. Gum Disease and Recession
When plaque builds on the teeth and gums, it can lead to gingivitis, one of the main causes of gum disease. The tissue around the teeth can become infected, and in some cases, this can prompt teeth to loosen or even fall out. Gum disease may become worse if you are on medication that inhibits the production of saliva. The best prevention for gum disease is regular brushing, flossing and dental appointments in Sun City.Gum recession causes include aging as well as a lifetime of poor dental habits. If you want to know how to prevent gum recession, the Number 1 solution is to take better care of your teeth, no matter how old you are. Those who grind their teeth or have parents with gum recession are also more likely to develop it themselves. Symptoms include sensitive teeth and the development of gum disease and tooth decay.
How to Care for Your Oral Health for Older Adults in Sun City
If you want to avoid the oral health pitfalls that can befall older Americans, use these preventative methods:
- – Brush two times a day with a soft-bristled brush, or try an electronic toothbrush, which may reach areas you can’t with a regular brush
- – Floss at least once a day
- – Clean your dentures daily, if you wear them
- – Remove dentures at least four hours every 24 hours
- – Avoid sugary foods, especially if you have diabetes
- – If you smoke, quit
- – Get regular fluoride treatments from your Sun City Dentist if your drinking water does not contain fluoride or you frequently drink bottled water
The Most Important Preventative Care for Seniors: Get Regular Checkups and Dental Care
We focus on providing dental care for older adults in Sun City. You must get regular checkups with a dentist to ensure your lifelong dental health. You should also call us immediately if you experience any type of dental problem, and we can get you in with our Sun City dentist to address it. Contact us today to learn more about oral health and older adults.
Your smile is one of the first things people notice when they meet you. First impressions last. You should never underestimate the importance of a knockout smile. A smile shows that you feel good about yourself and that you take care of your health too.
We all want to look and feel our best. Composite resin bonding improves the appearance of your teeth. Below, we discuss this treatment in detail. To help you make an informed choice about whether or not the process is for you, we aim to answer the most common questions about composite resin bonding.
Common Questions and Answers About Composite Resin Bonding
Take a look at these frequently-asked questions and answers to find out if you’re a good candidate for composite resin bonding in Sun City, AZ:
What is composite resin bonding?
Composite resin tooth bonding is an inexpensive, quick and minimally-invasive route to a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. Dental bonding is also sometimes used to fill cavities because it looks aesthetically better than silver-colored fillings.
The cosmetic dentistry procedure involves our Sun City, AZ dentist, Dr. Daniel Donoho, molding and shaping composite resin on your teeth to provide you with a whiter, straighter smile. Dr. Donoho can complete your composite resin bonding in just one appointment.
Who should use it?
You should consider dental bonding under the following circumstances:
- To repair cracked or chipped teeth: Many incidents, including sporting injuries, falls and car accidents, can cause cracked or chipped teeth. A chipped tooth can look unsightly and make you feel embarrassed. Treating your chipped tooth without delay prevents potential further damage and improves the look of your tooth and your smile. Bonding enables our dentist to replace any lost tooth material with natural-looking, durable resin.
- To repair small fractures: A cracked tooth makes you feel less confident and can adversely affect your dental health. A quick dental bonding treatment will easily conceal and repair any fractures.
- To protect a part of your exposed tooth’s root due to receding gums: You can experience significant discomfort or pain when your root is exposed. Tooth bonding can often correct this easily.
- To change the shape of your teeth: Composite resin can create additional width to your teeth to make them look more proportionate.
- To close spaces between your teeth: Gaps between your teeth can make them appear misshapen, misaligned or asymmetrical. Dental bonding makes gaps smaller and sometimes closes them entirely. Composite resin can close a single gap or multiple gaps between your teeth.
- To make your teeth look longer: Resin bonding can add additional length to your teeth. It can also create a more even edge, resulting in a more beautiful smile that enhances and complements your natural face shape.
- To repair decayed teeth: Because composite resins look far more natural, it’s often used instead of amalgam fillings.
- To improve the appearance of discolored teeth: If your teeth don’t respond well to professional teeth whitening treatments, you can opt for composite resin bonding. Also, if you have sensitive teeth, you’re probably not a good candidate for whitening treatment. Dental bonding can help in these situations.
- To enhance your teeth’s appearance after wearing braces: It’s common to undergo dental bonding after having braces removed. The treatment masks staining you developed while wearing the braces.
What are the benefits of composite resin bonding?
Composite resin bonding has many benefits, including:
- It’s an inexpensive cosmetic dental procedure: Composite resin bonding is less expensive than dental crowns.
- It looks natural: Composites come in a wide range of colors. Thus, allowing for almost invisible tooth restoration.
- It strengthens your tooth structure: Composites restore your tooth’s original physical strength.
- It’s a good alternative to tooth removal: Composite restoration bonds to your tooth and restores its original strength. Hence, this process can preserve a tooth that might not otherwise be salvageable.
- It’s versatile: Composite bonding can repair worn, chipped or broken teeth.
- It’s quick: One tooth treatment takes between 30 minutes to one hour.
- It doesn’t usually involve anesthesia: Unless you have cavities, you most likely will not need anesthesia.
Are there any drawbacks to composite resin bonding?
The benefits of dental bonding far outweigh any negatives. Dental bonding material is fairly resistant to stains, but it’s not as stain-resistant as crowns. Composite resin bonding isn’t as strong and won’t necessarily last as long as fillings, crowns or veneers.
Is composite resin bonding a new treatment?
No, although composite resin use for restoring teeth has significantly increased over the last 60 years.
Is composite tooth bonding a radical procedure?
Certainly not. You’ll find minimal tooth removal with cosmetic tooth bonding, and the procedure is often performed without anesthetic. The process is painless for most people.
Do composites look natural?
When you have a skilled cosmetic dentist apply your composites, they look completely natural.
Am I too old for composite resin bonding?
You’re never too old for treatment.
How much does composite resin bonding cost?
According to figures from Everyday Health, the average cost for the procedure is between $300 to $600 per tooth. Compare this to paying between $700 and $1,500 per tooth for porcelain veneers as quoted by the Consumer Guide To Dentistry. Fortunately, when it’s done to fill cavities or for structural reasons, many dental insurance plans cover the cost of composite resin bonding.
It’s tempting to choose a professional who provides this service at a below-average price or is offering services for a cost that seems too good to be true. However, it’s crucial to consider that you need to live with your teeth for the rest of your life. You need to choose an experienced dentist who has a track record of achieving consistently good results.
The cost of composite resin bonding may be affected by location. Your treatment typically costs less if you live in a rural area as opposed to a large city. Your dentist’s experience and reputation can also affect the price of treatment. Call us here at Donoho Dental Associates, PC to learn more about your specific cost of composite bonding cost.
When it comes down to your health, the composite resin bonding cost is a small price to pay for a healthy mouth and attractive teeth.
How about financing options?
The majority of dentists — and that includes us here at Donoho Dental Associates, PC — work with you to find a payment plan or financing options that suit your budget if your insurance doesn’t cover your bonding procedure.
We not only work with many insurance companies, but we offer discount plans and financing options. We list the major insurance carriers, discount plans and financing options we accept on our website, but we may accept others. If you don’t see your plan listed, give us a call at (623) 633-7356.
How long does tooth bonding last?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, tooth bonding usually lasts from three to ten years on average before it needs to be repaired or replaced. Your tooth bonding also could last longer than ten years. Factors that may affect the longevity of your tooth bonding include your oral habits and the amount of bonding done.
What should I expect from the consultation and treatment planning stages?
Dr. Donoho conducts a thorough evaluation and examination of your teeth and gums to determine whether your dental problems are solvable with tooth bonding. He discusses the cosmetic and clinical issues, such as tooth discoloration, spaces and gaps between teeth, chips, cavities, cracks and fractures that tooth bonding can resolve.
Our dentist might speak to you about other treatments, like veneers or crowns, if your teeth are badly damaged or you have other dental issues that could affect the longevity and success of this specific treatment. Dr. Donoho could also ask you to undergo teeth whitening before your treatment to match the color of the composite to your natural teeth.
Our dental team will ask you to wait between 14 and 21 days before you get your composite resin bonding if you do elect to whiten your teeth. Your teeth will then be ready to ensure the creation of a durable bond.
If you are changing the shape of your teeth or lengthening them, your dentist in Sun City will take impressions of your teeth before your treatment. You then have a preview of what your teeth will look like after treatment. Dr. Donoho may use this model as a template or guide while he’s doing the procedure.
What happens during the treatment?
Our dentist finds the right color for your bonding by using a shade guide to find one that closely matches your tooth. He’ll be able to find an almost exact match since there are a wide variety of dental bonding shades.
You should only need anesthesia if you have a chip near a nerve, you’re getting a filling or if your tooth needs to be drilled to modify its shape.
The Bonding Process
Prior to beginning the composite resin bonding procedure, your teeth are cleaned to remove debris. Dr. Donoho roughens your tooth surface and applies a conditioning liquid to help the material stick to your tooth. Next, he applies a putty-like tooth-colored resin. It’s then molded and smoothed into shape. A bright light hardens the material. Then, your tooth is trimmed, shaped and polished to fit in with your other teeth.
The entire procedure takes around 30 to 60 minutes per tooth. Dr. Donoho checks your teeth and makes sure you’re happy with them at the end of your appointment. This process will include:
- Refining the bonding solution: Our dentist removes small areas of the bonding material from your teeth using a fine dental drill. Your teeth will then be more even and uniform.
- Checking symmetry: Donoho checks the length and width of your teeth to make sure they are symmetrical with the others.
- Checking your bite: Our dentist checks the alignment of your bite. If it’s not aligned perfectly, Dr. Donoho further refines the bonding.
- Etching the surface: He uses a tool with a rotating head to lightly etch the surface of the treated tooth. You tooth then has a natural appearance comparable to your other teeth.
Is there a recovery period?
No. You’ll experience no recovery time after your procedure. You can go straight back to work and resume all your regular activities. We may advise you to avoid certain foods and drinks, such as red wine and coffee, that might stain your teeth initially.
What is the aftercare of composite resin bonding?
You don’t need to take any special steps to look after bonded teeth.
What kind of upkeep do I need?
Simply follow good oral hygiene practices:
- Brush twice daily
- Floss once daily
- Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash once or twice daily
- Visit our dentist for regular teeth-cleaning and check-ups
Additionally, these tips will keep your bonding looking better for longer:
- Steer clear of chewy foods on the day of your dental bonding treatment
- Cut down on red wine, coffee and tea
- Quit smoking
- Don’t chew on pens
- Refrain from biting your nails
- Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth
- Visit our dental office in Sun City, AZ if you feel any sharp edges on a bonded tooth or if you have any other concerns
What should I look for in a cosmetic dentist?
When you choose dental bonding, you make an investment in your looks and your quality of life. You need to select a dental professional who provides outstanding results. It’s often a good idea to ask your friends and family for a recommendation. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) recommends that you ask your dentist for more information before you get started:
- References: References are a simple way to get an idea of the quality of care provided.
- Before and after photos: Before and after photographs enable you to see other patients’ results. You can then decide if the dentist is a good fit for your needs. You should closely examine the images to ascertain whether or not you like the final results. Check to see if the patient’s teeth look natural and ask yourself if you would like a similar look. Bear in mind that poor quality photos with bad lighting could be hiding poor aesthetic results.
- Proof of continuing education: You want to choose a dentist who is up-to-date with the latest cosmetic dentistry techniques.
- Accreditation: Choose a dentist with American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accreditation.
- Comfort: You should choose a cosmetic dentist you feel comfortable with. Remember that you’ll be working together to develop a treatment plan. Therefore, choose a provider who listens to your concerns and needs. It’s time to find a new cosmetic dentist if you meet with one who makes you feel uncomfortable, dismisses your worries, shames you about the condition of your teeth or pressures you to undertake more treatment.
Composite resin restorations cover a range of uses. Our cosmetic dentist uses his artistry to provide you with the utmost in longevity and aesthetics. Dr. Donoho has spent years perfecting and mastering bonding techniques. He’ll share the science, benefits and limitations of the procedure with you.
Composite resin bonding is a good option if you want to achieve a brighter, straighter look to your teeth. Our dentist and team can answer any further questions you have about the procedure. Call us at (623) 633-7356 or contact us via our online form.
Tooth loss can happen to anyone at any age. Thankfully, losing your natural teeth doesn’t have to mean living without an attractive smile.
Wearing dentures is an affordable solution if you’re missing at least one tooth. There are many reasons why you might lose your teeth. Trauma, gum disease or decay can result in tooth loss. Whatever the cause of your dental problem, dentures offer a long-term, pain-free solution. You can also continue eating all the foods you did before but with a more complete-looking smile.
Tooth loss is a common problem in the U.S. today. The American College of Prosthodontists indicates that approximately 178 million Americans have at least one tooth missing and 35 million U.S. citizens have lost all their teeth.
When it comes to seniors, the American College of Prosthodontists says that as many as 23 million older people have lost all their teeth. Taking these figures into consideration, and, with so many people needing to wear dentures, it’s crucial they fit well and are comfortable.
Losing your natural teeth isn’t the most pleasant of thoughts. However, as dental technology moves forward, dentures have become more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you’re considering getting new dentures or if the ones you currently have are uncomfortable, this guide helps you to learn about dentures, including their fit, comfort and more.
Where to Start When You Need Dentures
If you think you might benefit from getting dentures, the best starting point is to visit your Sun City, AZ dentist. Dr. Daniel Donoho is experienced in cosmetic and general dentistry, including custom, partial and full dentures.
Getting Dentures for the First Time
Dentures are removable replacements for your missing teeth and the surrounding tissue. There are two main types of dentures: partial and complete. As their names suggest, your dentist recommends partial dentures when you have some natural teeth remaining and complete when all your teeth are missing. There are also alternatives to partial and complete dentures:
- Partial Dentures: A removable partial denture, also known as a bridge, is usually made up of replacement teeth that are affixed to a natural-looking, gum-colored plastic base. Connected by a metal framework, a bridge ensures your denture stays in place while you’re wearing it.
Partial dentures are recommended for you if you have at least one natural tooth left in either your upper or lower jaw. Your partial denture fills in the gaps created by your missing teeth while also preventing your other teeth from changing position in your mouth.
A precision partial denture has internal attachments instead of clasps that attach to nearby crowns. It is a natural-looking dental appliance that is removable.
- Complete Dentures: You wear complete dentures, also known as full dentures, after your teeth extraction, and your gums have begun the healing process, which usually takes between 8 to 12 weeks.
Full dentures are either immediate or conventional. Immediate dentures are made in advance, and you wear them upon teeth removal. Because of this, you don’t need to wait for weeks without teeth as your gums heal. One aspect to keep in mind is that gums and bones shrink throughout the healing period after tooth removal.
Because of this, immediate dentures will require more adjustments to fit your mouth properly during the process of healing. Therefore, immediate dentures should only be used as a temporary stop gap until you receive conventional dentures.
- Alternatives to Dentures: Dental implants that support cemented bridges can eliminate the need for a denture. These are usually more expensive than dentures, and not everyone is a suitable candidate for them.
Where some of your teeth can be saved to preserve your jawbone and give support and stability for a denture, you can choose to get an overdenture. An overdenture fits over some of your remaining teeth.
How Dentures Are Made
You are required to attend several denture fitting appointments over a few weeks during your denture creation process. Your dentist will identify what dentures would suit you and then:
- Take measurements and impressions of your jaws to find out how much space is between them and how they relate to one another.
- Create wax forms, models and/or plastic patterns in the exact shape of the dentures you’ll wear. You’ll have the chance to try out the models many times. While these are in place, your dentist will assess your denture for fit, shape and color.
- Cast the final dentures and make adjustments as needed.
Common Questions About the Fit and Wear of Your Dentures
As a new denture wearer, you may have many questions about the wear and fit of your dentures, including these:
Will my new dentures feel weird?
As you might imagine, it will take some time for you to get used to your new dentures. They may feel a little odd for a few weeks. Given time, your tongue and cheek muscles learn to keep them in place, and you’ll find inserting and removing them will become second nature.
You may also experience an increase in saliva flow as well as some irritation or discomfort when first wearing your dentures. Again, this eventually improves. If you feel your denture fitting problems are not improving with time, consult your dentist.
Will it be difficult to eat with my new dentures?
You might need a bit of practice to learn to eat with new dentures. Feeling a little discomfort for some weeks is perfectly natural. A good way to get used to wearing your new dentures is to start by eating soft foods you cut into manageable pieces. Ensure you take your time to chew slowly using both sides of your mouth. As you get used to your new dentures, you can slowly return to eating as normal.
Be cautious with hard and hot foods. Also, take extra care with shells or bones. Avoid foods that are very hard or sticky. You should not chew gum or use toothpicks either.
Will my dentures make me look different?
Dentures are created to resemble your natural teeth closely. You’ll see no huge change in appearance when you’re wearing them. You may notice your dentures make you look better as they fill out your face.
Will my new dentures change how I speak?
After getting dentures, you might find you have difficulty pronouncing some words for a short time. If you’re affected, take the time to practice saying these words out loud. Given time and repetition, you’ll learn how to speak properly again.
Sometimes, your dentures may click while you’re talking. In this case, contact your dentist. Be aware that your dentures may slip from time to time, especially while you smile, laugh or cough. All you need to do is get them back into position by biting down, then swallowing. If problems persist or you need any other help or advice, speak with your dentist.
Will I wear my new dentures 24/7?
Your dentist will tell you how long you need to wear your dentures and when you should remove them. During the first days after you receive your dentures, you may be instructed to wear them 24 hours a day — even when you sleep.
Even though this may be uncomfortable for a while, it’s the best way to ascertain any areas on the denture that may need adjusting. Once your dentist makes any and all adjustments to your dentures, you should be able to take out your dentures before retiring to bed. This will allow your gums to rest before putting them back into your mouth in the morning.
Denture Adhesives — What You Should Know
The first questions you likely have about dentures adhesives is whether you should use them for your new dentures. Eating can be tough when you’re getting used to your false teeth. Even the best fitting dentures can slip in your mouth. If you’re wondering how to make dentures more comfortable, using a denture adhesive may be the answer. It will offer confidence that your new dentures will stay firmly in place throughout your meals.
Denture adhesives offer a strong, all-day hold that gives you confidence when you’re eating out or consuming tougher foods. Another plus is that the adhesive helps to seal out particles of food, so they don’t get stuck underneath your dentures.
How to Use Denture Adhesive
Before you apply the adhesive, ensure your false teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried. Follow the instructions on the packaging to gain a firm hold. Using the right amount of the product may take some trial and error to get right, but you’ll soon get used to it.
Although there are many benefits to using denture adhesive, never rely on it if you have ill-fitting dentures. You should instead speak with your dentist. Bear in mind that you should not feel any long-term discomfort when eating with dentures. Using adhesive to keep them in place can make your mealtimes a more enjoyable experience.
Denture Adhesives Safety
Denture adhesives are safe to use as directed. You should suffer no ill effects if your dentures fit well and the product is used to provide added stability. In the case of using adhesives to mask a problem like an ill-fitting denture, you could damage your hard and soft tissues. Additionally, this could result in bone loss.
Situations Where Denture Adhesives Should Not be Used
Yes. There are certain circumstances when your dentist will tell you to avoid using denture adhesives. These include:
- When oral hygiene practices can’t be kept up.
- When you have an allergy to any ingredients in the adhesive.
- When you’ve been using the adhesive for a long time without regularly visiting your dentist, and you find you need to use it more frequently or in greater volumes. You may need a denture adjustment or new dentures in this case.
- When you use adhesive as a fix for badly constructed or poor-fitting dentures. If you feel your dentures don’t fit your mouth correctly anymore, contact your dentist without delay.
Types of Denture Adhesive
There are two distinct types of denture adhesive. These are:
- To apply powder adhesive, you simply sprinkle a thin layer over the tissue-bearing surface of your denture. Shake off any excess and then press the denture into place. You may find this method preferable to applying paste adhesive as power is easier to clean off the tissue and denture.
- Apply this type of adhesive to either a dry, or better yet, a wet denture. Avoid placing any adhesive close to the denture edges. If you find it oozes out, use less product. Apply a series of small dots or three short strips of adhesive to upper jaw dentures down the center and along the ride area. Lower jaw dentures should have a series of small dots or three short strips applied in the center of the ridge area.
How to Take Care of Your Dentures
Even if you wear full dentures, it’s crucial to practice good dental hygiene. Brush your tongue, the roof of mouth and gums each morning with a soft-bristled brush. Then, insert your dentures. Getting into the habit of cleaning your teeth every day helps remove the plaque and stimulates your tissue circulation. Brush your dentures daily to keep them plaque and food-particle free. Brushing your dentures also helps your false teeth from getting stained.
According to the American Dental Association, you should:
- Rinse your dentures before you brush to remove any debris.
- Use a non-abrasive cleaner and a soft brush to clean your dentures so they don’t get damaged.
- Cover your dentures in water and keep them in a safe place when you’re having a rest from them.
- Buy products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means they’ve been evaluated for effectiveness.
- Clean all areas of your mouth thoroughly when you’re brushing, including your cheeks, tongue, the roof of mouth and gums to remove any lurking plaque deposits. By making this a habit, you also reduce your risk of bad breath and oral irritation.
You can always use plain soap and water when you’re cleaning your dentures. Never use toothpaste — it’s far too abrasive and can be damaging. Also, never use bleach or powdered household cleaners on your dentures.
What to Do If Your Dentures Cause You Pain
Modern designed and manufactured dentures should feel comfortable in your mouth. You shouldn’t experience full blown pain under any circumstances. Often, poor-fitting dentures are a cause of soreness, but there are also other conditions of the mouth that can cause mouth pain. If your mouth is sore and you’re wondering how to make your dentures fit better, follow these steps:
- Improve the fit of your false teeth temporality. Use denture adhesive to lessen your pain until you can get to your dentist.
- Use a topical, oral pain-relieving ointment on your gums. You can do this until you can see your dentist.
- Care for your dentures properly. When you allow your dentures to dry out, they can change shape. Leaving them in hot water can make them warp. When you’re not wearing your dentures, keep them in a water-filled container.
- Return to your dentist to get an opinion on what’s causing your mouth pain. Your dentist may need to make only a few simple adjustments to your dentures.
- Ask your dentist if you need to have your dentures relined. After your teeth have been removed and as your gums and mouth begin to heal, they undergo shrinkage and changes. Therefore, you might need your dentures relined.
- Take older dentures to your dentist for an examination. A set of false teeth should last for somewhere between five and seven years. Bear in mind that your bones and gums change and shrink as you age and the actual alignment of your jaw changes. Ill-fitting dental devices can be the cause of facial problems, sores, pain and infections.
- Discuss the possibility of denture stomatitis causing your pain. A thrush or yeast infection of the mouth, stomatitis can make your mouth very sore and is often caused by wearing dentures for too long or by poorly fitting ones. Signs of stomatitis include sore, red areas in the corners of your mouth and red areas on your gums under your dentures.
- Ask your dentist about cheilitis. Cheilitis is also known as cheilosis and is a painful infection that’s also caused by yeast overgrowth. Yeast tends to accumulate in moist areas of your mouth when your dentures don’t fit correctly, and cheilitis causes cracking at the corners of your mouth as well as inflammation.
Home Remedies for Denture Pain
When you can’t get to the dentist and your denture pain is driving you crazy, there are some useful home remedies that can tackle your pain for a while:
- Gargling with warm salt water when you have sores or reddened areas in your mouth can provide some much-needed relief. You should rinse every three to four hours. The salt water toughens the inflamed or sensitive tissue, shrinks any swollen tissue and cleans out bacteria.
Create a saltwater rinse by adding a little salt to some warm water. Gargle with this twice daily as a preventative measure.
- Cloves are a well-known and ancient remedy for dental pain. To utilize their painkilling benefits, add half a teaspoon of prepackaged ground cloves to a little olive oil and dab it straight onto your sore.
- Cut a fig in half and place it between your cheek and the sore area on your gum. You need the open side of the fruit to touch your gum while you sit back and relax for a while.
- Try massaging your gums twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush to lessen any pain.
Denture pain should never last long. If your pain is persistent or your dentures feel uncomfortable, speak to your dentist about how to make your dentures fit better. You should have any out-of-the-blue pain immediately evaluated as you might need to get your dentures refitted.
Getting a Denture Fitting or Denture Relining in Sun City, AZ
You may still feel a little concerned if you’re planning on getting dentures, but that’s normal with any big change. When you persist with wearing your new dentures, you’ll soon find your worries subside, and they begin to feel like a part of you.
Dentures give you a reason to show off your smile again, perhaps after many years of living with the pain of tooth decay. After a period of adjustment, you can speak, eat and drink as usual without any fear or worry of embarrassment.
Taking good care of your dentures and seeing your dentist every six months for regular checkups goes a long way to maintaining your oral health. If you’re interested in getting dentures, speak to your dentist today. To learn more about partial, full or custom dentures, contact our office, Donoho Dental Associates, PC today at (623) 633-7356 or complete our contact form to schedule a denture fitting or reline appointment with Dr. Donoho.
Have you been experiencing headaches? Does your jaw pop when you chew your food? Is there buzzing in your ear? You may have thought all these symptoms were unrelated, but in fact you may be suffering from a temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ or TMD.
This disorder can cause severe pain that radiates beyond your jaw. TMJ is common in older adults. In fact, roughly 15 percent of adults will suffer from TMJ disorder during their lifetime.
Luckily, TMJ can be treated, and there are ways to lessen the severity of your symptoms as well. Here’s a look at what causes this disorder and how you can alleviate your discomfort.
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
Many things cause TMJ, which encompasses any type of jaw or jaw muscle pain. The causes tend to vary between different people, and most cases of TMJ differ quite a bit.
One of the most common causes of TMJ among mature adults is arthritis, which can cause inflammation in the jaw and make movement painful. If you have arthritis, TMJ may be at the root of your jaw problems.
Other things can also cause TMJ. The most common include:
- – Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth: The constant pressure of the clenching of teeth can hurt the jaw
- – Stress: People under a lot of stress tend to clench their teeth and tighten their facial muscles
- – Genetics: You may be predisposed to TMJ based on the shape of your jaw or bite
- – Injury: If you broke your jaw in the past, it may not have set properly, or your bite could be impacted
The cause could also be a combination of those factors and more. Sometimes a patient won’t ever know what exactly caused the TMJ.
Symptoms of TMJ in Older Adults
Just as there are many causes of TMJ, there are also many symptoms of the disorder among mature adults. In addition to the headaches, jaw popping and buzzing in the ear, symptoms can vary wildly from patient to patient.
Most people, however, do experience one symptom in common, and that’s pain in the jaw area. It could simply be a tenderness of the jaw or it may be a piercing pain. This discomfort often radiates to the neck, shoulders and ears.
Some people have trouble opening their mouths wide, while others feel pain when they speak or chew. Your face may feel tingly or tired. You could find your bite goes slightly off, with the mouth feeling as though it doesn’t close correctly.
Finally, some TMJ sufferers find their jaws become stuck in the open position, leading TMJ to erroneously be referred to as lockjaw, which is an entirely different disorder involving a tetanus infection. Jaws that get stuck open can signal your dentist to TMJ, and this can actually hasten diagnosis and treatment.
Other symptoms of TMJ disorder could include:
- – Toothaches
- – Earaches
- – Dizziness
- – Unexplained tooth sensitivity
- – Late-morning peak of any of these symptoms
Diagnosing TMJ Disorder
Your dentist or physician can diagnose TMJ. They may reach their conclusion based on a comprehensive description of your symptoms combined with a physical exam. They may do X-rays in order to see your bite and eliminate other possible diagnoses. In addition, they could request an MRI or CT scan to get a better idea of how your bones fit together and where your TMJ disc is located.
Treatments for TMJ Disorder in Mature Adults
Once you have received our diagnosis, we can work with you on a treatment plan to alleviate and eventually eliminate your pain. You may try just one treatment at a time, or we may recommend you attempt several at once, depending on the severity of your symptoms. Here are a few options:
- – Use an Anti-Inflammatory or Muscle Relaxers: Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter drugs can help decrease inflammation in your jaw. If something stronger is needed, we can prescribe muscle relaxers to give your jaw a break.
- – Try Relaxation or Meditation: Relaxing your jaw can help decrease your pain. We may suggest practicing meditation or another relaxation technique to help your jaw soften and slacken.
- – Get Orthodontic Treatment: Sometimes TMJ symptoms can be relieved by proper alignment of the teeth and jaw. Getting braces or other treatment can alleviate stress on the mouth.
- – Buy a Mouth Guard: Using a mouth guard can reduce the pain from TMJ disorder. Oral splints may also be helpful in alleviating pressure.
- – Reduce Stress: Yes, reducing stress can be easier said than done. You may be at an age where you have a lot to worry about, from nurturing your retirement nest egg to dealing with aging parents or grown children. You may want to consider antidepressants or counseling to help you get through a difficult time and relieve your anxiety.
- – Undergo Surgery: If you have tried a number of treatment options and none seem to help, you may consider getting surgery. Options include minimally invasive procedures such as arthrocentesis or a more extensive option such as open-joint surgery.
Preventing TMJ Disorder in Older Adults
Treatment may lessen your symptoms, but TMJ can return. Using preventive techniques, you may be able to avoid or at least stave off a relapse. Try these ideas to keep TMJ at bay:
- – Eat softer foods
- – Practice good posture
- – Periodically relax your jaw
- – Avoid chewing hard substances, such as ice
- – Do jaw stretches
- – Stop grinding your teeth
With the right combination of treatment and preventive measures, you can make TMJ a bad memory. If you need assistance with diagnosis or easing your symptoms, contact Donoho Dental today via our online form or give us a call at 623-633-7356.
How long do dental bridges last? Dental bridges generally last for at least eight to 10 years before you may need it repaired or replaced. In some cases, people continue using the same bridge for up to 20 years or more.
If you are missing teeth, your dentist may recommend dental bridges to replace one or more upper or lower teeth. Bridges are mostly removable devices (some are permanent) comprised of a porcelain crown fused to metal or porcelain bridges All-porcelain dental bridges are more aesthetically pleasing and applicable to replace front teeth, while porcelain fused to metal bridges are stronger and designed to replace molars and pre-molars.
Durability of dental bridges depends on the quality of materials used to make them and how well you take care of them. Bridges replacing back teeth may not last as long as bridges replacing front teeth because of powerful chewing forces stressing back bridges.
What Are Common Problems With Older Dental Bridges?
Unless bridges are properly cleaned every day using a toothbrush, toothpaste or other appropriate cleaner, oral bacteria can sneak under the bridge and through crowns and start decaying abutment teeth. If compromised enough, deteriorating abutment teeth may fracture. Underlying metal could break as well if removable bridges are mishandled or handled roughly.
If your bridge is damaged or does not feel comfortable, please call our dental office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Caring for Dental Bridges
Brushing bridges at least twice daily is essential for removing food trapped within components of the bridge. You should also brush the gummy area where the bridge replaces teeth to ensure no mouth debris is trapped under your bridge. After cleaning your bridge, hold it under running water for a minute to further help remove particles and bacteria.
Avoid eating hard, chewy foods if you have bridges replacing molars or pre-molars. Chewing forcefully stresses bridgework and may contribute to premature damage. If you crave nuts or chewy foods, cut them into small pieces and eat them one or two at a time to reduce stress on your bridges.
Our dental hygienist can show you how to properly care for your bridge if you would like more information about maintaining your bridge in the best condition possible.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of dental bridges for replacing missing teeth, please call our office today at (623) 633-7356. For patients who have received bridges from Donoho Dental Associates and need their bridges evaluated for damage, we invite them to stop in at their convenience.
Shrinking gums and loss of jawbone density due to aging are the two top reasons why denture wearers need adjustments and relines. Although some gum recession can be attributed to aging, too much gum recession may indicate ongoing gingivitis, or gum disease.
If you wear dentures and do not practice good oral hygiene habits, you could be at risk for gum disease. Smoking, certain medications and diabetes also promote gingivitis development and the need for a denture adjustment.
How Do You Know If Your Dentures Need Adjusted?
Most people know why dentures need adjustment as soon as signs of improper fit develop on their gums (pressure sores, blisters) or interfere with denture functioning. In addition, chewing difficulties involving dentures sliding and moving around in the mouth are clear indications your dentures need to be refitted.
Is wearing your dentures uncomfortable? If you have worn your dentures for some time, you should not even be aware you’re wearing them. Experiencing soreness near the incisors, feeling pain when you bite down and constantly removing and replacing your dentures in an attempt to get them to “fit” means you are due for an adjustment or reline.
Ordinary functions like chewing, biting and speaking all rely on the optimal functioning of your tongue and teeth. That’s why new denture wearers may talk differently until they get used to their dentures. If speech nuances begin changing because your dentures are loose and no longer fit your mouth shape, it’s probably time to have your dentist adjust your dentures to fit more securely.
What Are Denture Adjustments and Relines?
When a dentist relines dentures, he removes a thin layer of the old denture surface and replaces the layer with dental putty. This “impression” denture is then placed in your mouth to create a base for existing denture crowns. Finally, this impression substance is removed and replaced by hardened, gum-colored acrylic formed perfectly to your mouth’s unique contours.
Most denture wearers need their denture relined once every two or three years to maintain excellent contact with your gums for an appropriate hold.
Although denture adhesives work to keep dentures in place, they should not be used as a long-term solution for dentures that need to be adjusted or relined. Denture adhesives may contribute to gingivitis, halitosis and “bad” tastes in the mouth by allowing bacteria to accumulate under loose dentures.
Dental adjustments involve dentists utilizing oral computer scans to record a series of bite registrations while you’re wearing your dentures. This scan indicates where irregularities occur that may or may not be rectified through an adjustment. In some cases, you may need a new set of dentures or a denture reline to fix ill-fitting dentures.
If you think your dentures may need to be adjusted or relined, please call Donoho Dental Associates today at (623) 633-7356.
Hundreds of medications exist that interfere with your oral health and many dental procedures, such as extractions, dental implants and gum surgeries. Drugs causing xerostomia (dry mouth) contribute to a variety of teeth and gum diseases — especially chronic halitosis, tooth decay and gingivitis.
When your mouth is dry, the lack of saliva means plaque-causing bacteria can’t be rinsed off teeth between brushings. Consequently, bacterial accumulations promoted by the stagnant, airless environment in your mouth encourages the development of decay, cavities and inflammation.
Telling your dentist you’re taking medications causing dry mouth will help your dentist determine whether you have an underlying cause for xerostomia. Reasons for chronic dry mouth include aging, nerve damage, dysfunctional saliva glands, some autoimmune diseases and smoking.
Your Medical History and Dental Treatment — What Your Dentist Should Know
Even if you’re going to your dentist for a simple cleaning and fluoride, always tell the dentist if you are taking antiplatelet drugs, such as low-dose aspirin or Plavix.
Antiplatelet drugs (blood thinners) prevent blood clots from forming in blood vessels by stopping platelets from aggregating. Platelets are similar to blood cells and circulate freely in your bloodstream. When they “sense” damage occurring to blood vessels, they flood the damaged area and bind together to form clots.
During dental procedures that involve cutting into capillaries extending through your gums, blood affected by antiplatelet medications flows faster and is less apt to clot normally. Fortunately, your dentist has tools and procedural techniques that make receiving dental treatment safe and effective if you take antiplatelet drugs.
Bisphosphonates are a group of medications your dentist should know about prior to dental treatment. People with bones weakened by osteoporosis or other bone density disorders take bisphosphonates to help prevent stress fractures and maintain bone health. Some people develop a bone problem called osteonecrosis of the jaw while taking bisphosphonate, which could worsen following certain dental procedures.
Medical conditions dentists need to know about before starting treatment include:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Drug allergies
- Cancer/chemotherapy/radiation treatment
It is also helpful for your dentist to know about past dental procedures, traumatic injuries to your neck, jaw and head and if you suffer from a psychological issue that may cause you to experience extreme discomfort during the procedure that could prevent its completion.
At Donoho Dental, we not only focus on providing our patients with superior, advanced dental treatments, but we also ensure they receive personalized care that always exceeds their expectations. Call Donoho Dental Associates today at (623) 633-7356 to learn more about what your dentist should now before you have dental work.
Losing a significant amount of weight changes your total body composition, including the possibility your gums and mouth shape may no longer accommodate your dentures. If you wear full dentures and lose more than 20 pounds, you might notice a difference in the way your dentures function.
For example, people experiencing problems with weight loss and dentures often report blisters and sore spots developing on gums where ill-fitting dentures rub and irritate gums and looseness (poor retention) to the point that dentures slip off the alveolar bone. For people who have worn dentures for years before losing weight, bone resorption may have already occurred and weight loss simply exacerbates looseness.
Talk With Your Dentist
If you’re planning to go on a diet and exercise program, talk to your dentist about possible problems with your dentures. Even though you may not initially notice looseness or gum sores, the long-term effects of improperly fitting dentures could cause oral health issues. Developing symptoms of candidiasis (oral thrush), a fungal disease producing white lesions on your inner cheeks or tongue, may mean your dentures need to be relined or replaced due to weight loss.
In addition, your mouth naturally harbors an organism called Candida albicans that is harmless until something triggers an overgrowth. When dentures don’t fit securely against your gums, food particles and dead skin cells easily accumulate under the dentures, creating an airless, protein-rich environment in which C. albicans can flourish.
Other denture problems occurring after losing weight include pain while chewing, ear and head pain due to your mouth hurting and improper biting dimensions due to improper alignment of upper and lower denture crowns. A misaligned bite can also contribute to ear pain that feels like an earache or temporomandibular joint disorder.
Research Regarding Dentures and Weight Loss
A review of articles documenting possible correlation between weight loss and dentures (Denture Fit and Stability: Effect of Weight Loss — www.cadth.ca) found no empirical proof that weight loss affects full or partial denture stability or fit. Prosthodontists suggest that denture wearers who lose 20-plus pounds and need to replace or reline their dentures because of improper fit are actually suffering from fluid loss and/or minimal reduction of cheek fat. Although dentures may feel looser or tighter, the impression aspect of dentures remain adapted to gum ridges.
If you wear dentures and are thinking about losing weight, talk to your dentist about your concerns and how you can recognize signs of improperly fitting dentures before they cause more serious issues. For more information on dentures, please call Donoho Dental Associates today at (623) 633-7356.
While most of your taste buds are located on your tongue, a few are found on the roof of your mouth (palate). Wearing a full upper denture covers some of these taste buds and puts the taste buds on the tip and edges of your tongue in contact with the acrylic plate of your upper denture. Regardless of what you eat during the first few days of getting used to your new dentures, your brain will detect that “plastic” taste and combine it with other tastes.
Fortunately, this is just a short-term problem. After a while, your brain and taste buds adapt to the minor interference presented by your dentures and that funny taste vanishes. Nerve receptors involved with taste will naturally start to focus more on the foods you put in your mouth and ultimately ignore your dentures.
For new denture wearers, it’s mostly the ability to taste sweet foods that’s affected, since the palate contains “sweet” receptors. Alternately, your tongue contains many “salty” receptors. This is why people adjusting to new dentures may not be able to taste sweet foods as well as they can taste salty foods.
Aging, Dentures and Taste
Taste buds naturally decline in their ability to detect food sensations as we age. This decline is so gradual, however, that we tend not to notice it. If you are over 60 and still experience altered taste sensations even after adjusting to new dentures, it could be that your taste buds are simply “getting old.”
Talk to your dentist if you’re concerned about your ability to taste, or see your primary care physician to determine if something else is interfering with the functioning of your taste buds.
Reduced Taste and Cleaning Your Dentures
Neglecting to thoroughly clean your dentures may affect the way food tastes. When food debris remains on dentures, bacteria break down this debris and excrete substances that not only smell bad, but taste terrible, too. Brushing your dentures twice a day and soaking them in a denture-cleaning fluid at night may help reduce or eliminate unwanted taste sensations.
Eating With New Dentures
It takes a little time to get used to new dentures. In addition to your taste buds adjusting to dentures, you may have problems sensing how hot food is, so be careful when consuming hot drinks or foods.
During the first week of wearing your new dentures, eat mostly soft or semi-solid foods like eggs, cooked vegetables, chopped meats, fish and pudding. You will naturally gain more confidence as you eat with your dentures and eventually move on to harder, crunchier foods. Using denture adhesives when eating food that requires extra biting forces (corn on the cob, for example) helps protect your oral health against bacteria and food particles, the two primary reasons for halitosis and altered taste sensations in denture wearers.
For more information on full or partial dentures, please call Donoho Dental Associates today at (623) 633-7356.
Fluoride is a mineral commonly found in oceans and other natural water sources. Research on fluoride has shown that it’s not just effective in reducing cavities in both kids and adults, but also in repairing early stages of tooth decay. No matter what your age, fluoride can help fight cavities and keep your teeth strong.
Tooth Decay, Cavities and Complications
Tooth decay and cavities are common even in adults, and you might take them for granted. They have lasting and serious complications, however, and should be taken seriously. Some complications of tooth decay and cavities include:
- – Tooth abscess
- – Pain
- – Chewing problems
- – Broken teeth
- – Shifts in the position of permanent teeth
- – Pus surrounding a mouth
When you develop tooth decay and cavities that become severe, it could lead to complications such as:
- – Nutrition problems or weight loss due to difficulty eating and painful chewing
- – Pain that can interfere with your daily life routine, like going to work or school
- – Tooth loss that may affect how you look and lower your self-esteem and confidence
- – Tooth abscess in rare cases that can be severe or cause life-threatening infections
Overview of Fluoride
Fluoride is taken in each day by your body, but is also lost on a daily basis as well. The water and food you consume helps provide your body with this important mineral.
Tooth demineralization is the process by which you lose fluoride, and is when the sugars, acids and plaque bacteria in your mouth attack your tooth enamel. By drinking fluoridated water and eating healthy foods, you can get this fluoride back. When this is not enough, however, visiting your Sun City, AZ dentist for a thorough fluoride treatment can help.
Your enamel is your tooth’s outer layer — generally the part that’s visible, or the crown of your tooth. It consists of mineral crystals that are closely packed together. Each day, your enamel loses these minerals, but gains them back. The process of losing the minerals is known as “demineralization.” The process of gaining new minerals is referred to as “remineralization.”
Fluoride treatments help to speed remineralization and strengthen your teeth from the inside and outside. This whole process strengthens your tooth enamel. Fluoride is also used for stopping bacteria from forming acids. Fluoride defends your teeth from sugar, plaque bacteria and acid to help prevent tooth decay. Early stages of tooth decay can also be reversed with fluoride varnish treatments.
What Is Fluoride Varnish for Adults?
Everyone in your household should be using a toothpaste containing fluoride. But, being an adult, your risk of decay is higher and therefore you may require more intensive fluoride treatments, such as a fluoride varnish treatment.
Fluoride varnish treatment for adults is applied by your dentist and contains a higher amount of fluoride than you would find in your toothpaste, mouthwash and water. Most dentists recommend fluoride varnish treatments periodically.
Dosage of Fluoride Varnish
These treatments contain a stronger fluoride concentration that your dentist applies to your teeth directly, allowing it to stay on your teeth and dissolve over a period of a few hours. You get these treatments at your dentist’s office, since they may not be available in over-the-counter kits. A five percent concentration form is typically used — however, they do come in other concentrations and have a variety of flavors.
The fluoride varnish treatment typically comes in a saline or salt preparation in a resin or alcohol-based solution that’s fast-drying. Each manufacturer will vary in how they dispense this fluoride concentration. Although five percent is the typical sodium fluoride concentration, there are others that contain only one to 2.5 percent. Some come in a polyurethane base, while others come in a shellac base.
History of Fluoride Varnish for Adults
The introduction of fluoride varnish came about in 1964 by Colgate Pharmaceuticals in Canton, Massachusetts, and carried the brand name Duraphat. For over 25 years, it has been a standard topical fluoride treatment by professionals in Canada, Western Europe and Scandinavia. The FDA approved its use in the United States in 1994 as a desensitizing agent and cavity liner.
Conditions That Put Adults at Risk for Fluoride Loss
The quality of your life and general health is affected by your oral health. When you have good oral health, you lower your risk of things like:
- – Gum (periodontal) disease
- – Tooth decay
- – Tooth loss
- – Oral and throat cancer
- – Facial and mouth pain
- – Oral sores and infection
- – Other disorders and diseases that can limit your capacity in chewing, biting, speaking, smiling and psychosocial well-being
You increase your risk for oral diseases with things like tobacco or alcohol use, as well as having an unhealthy diet. Chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases can also increase your risk of oral diseases. This is also the case with poor oral hygiene.
Conditions That May Be Helped by Adult Fluoride Varnish
There are certain conditions that can increase your risk of tooth decay, making fluoride varnish treatments more beneficial to you. Some of these conditions include:
Fluoride varnishes are approved through the American Dental Association (ADA) for dental hypersensitivity. This is when you have fluids that create pain and nerve pressure due to open dentinal tubules. Fluoride varnish forms a calcium layer that prevents fluid flow by blocking the tubules.
Since varnish can stay on your tooth surface for several hours, it has an advantage over rinses, gels, pastes and foams. Varnish treatments are ideal if you experience sensitivity to dental products such as whitening treatments. If you have sensitivity after procedures like scaling and root planing, fluoride varnish could also help to reduce your hypersensitivity.
This is a condition that is quite common and increases as you get older. It not only gets worse with age, but also contributes to dentinal hypersensitivity. Around a third of the 78 million adults in the United States who are 60 years old or older are at risk of tooth recession.
Since dentinal hypersensitivity is more common in this demographic, treating hypersensitivity is imperative. What’s more, since fluoride varnishes are known for treating hypersensitivity, it is often used in gingival recession cases.
The American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs assembled a group of scientists in 2005 to produce scientific evidence to back up and evaluate how effective fluoride is in preventing caries. That same year, the Journal of the American Dental Association published the scientists’ recommendations that supported fluoride varnish treatments for people who were at a higher risk for caries.
If you eat a lot of sugary foods, are a frequent snacker or have a family history of caries, you are at a greater risk of tooth decay and could benefit from getting periodic fluoride varnish treatments.
Dry Mouth Conditions
Certain medications and diseases cause dry mouth conditions. When you don’t have enough saliva, it can be difficult for you to wash away food particles and neutralize acids, which increases your risk of tooth demineralization.
If you have braces, bridges, crowns or other dental work in your mouth, this can also increase your risk of tooth decay around your orthodontic appliance brackets, or at the area where your underlying tooth structure and crown meet.
Your dental hygienist and dentist will let you know if a fluoride varnish treatment will benefit you. You likely would be able to have it done during your normal dental appointment.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a type of infection that occurs in your gums and the tissues that surround your gums which hold your teeth in place. When you have plaque build-up under and along your gum line, it can lead to gum disease.
There are two types of this condition:
- – Gingivitis: This is a milder form that good oral hygiene can reverse. When you have gingivitis, your gums get swollen, red and may bleed easily.
- – Periodontitis: This is a more serious type of gum disease that damages your bone and soft tissues that support your teeth. Your gums form pockets (spaces) and pull away from your teeth in periodontitis, which causes an infection. As the plaque begins spreading and growing, your immune system will fight the bacteria.
This process, along with the bacterial toxins, can break down the connective tissue and bone that holds your teeth in place. If left untreated, your gums, bones and tissue can become damaged, which can lead to your teeth becoming loose and having to be extracted.
Fortunately, you can prevent gum disease. By practicing good oral hygiene, receiving professional cleanings and having a fluoride varnish treatment done periodically, you can lower your risk of gum disease.
The Benefits of Fluoride Varnish for Adults
Although fluoride treatments are used on kids after cleanings, as an adult, you also can benefit from a fluoride varnish treatment, perhaps even more so than children. You may be a good candidate for this type of treatment if you display the following characteristics:
- – You have sensitive teeth.
- – You have frequent tooth decay.
- – You have exposed tooth roots and gum recession that leave you vulnerable to decay.
- – You don’t brush or floss your teeth frequently.
- – You have a dry mouth.
- – You drink soda frequently, or other drinks that are acidic.
- – You have multiple fillings or crowns.
- – Your teeth have developmental defects.
- – You have braces, which can trap plaque in the brackets.
Fluoride varnish is an amazing development in the dental industry. The benefits of varnish treatments include:
- – Come in various flavors.
- – Dry quickly and set even when you have saliva present.
- – Can be used even if you have a strong gag reflex, since trays are not used.
- – Are shown to reduce your risk of cariogenic bacteria.
- – Are quickly and easily applied.
- – Are applied without a lot of equipment.
- – Adhere to your teeth well, due to its sticky consistency, which allows it to stay on your teeth longer.
- – Involve no risk of dental fluorosis, even if swallowed.
- – Contain higher concentrations of fluoride in varnish than in gels or foams.
- – Involve ingesting only small amounts of fluoride, since the treatment only requires small amounts.
Fluoride varnish also helps by seeping into your tooth enamel and drawing phosphate and calcium, which your saliva naturally contains. The natural healing process of your teeth is enhanced by the minerals in fluoride, which helps them resist future tooth decay. It attacks your mouth’s acid-producing bacteria and strengthens tooth enamel. It even makes it harder for bacteria to get stuck on your teeth, according to one study.
The Side Effects of Adult Fluoride Varnish
When used properly, most experts claim that fluoride treatments don’t present many side effects, and if there are any, they’re typically mild and rare.
Because of the adherence and color of varnishes, there might be a slight change in your tooth coloration, which is temporary. However, as you eat and brush your teeth, the varnish slowly wears away, fading the yellowish color.
Other potential fluoride varnish side effects may include:
- – Your teeth may develop white spots, although only your dentist can usually notice them
- – Vomiting, nausea or abdominal pain
- – Allergic rashes
- – Mouth sores
You may experience more serious side effects, like gastrointestinal bleeding or bone problems. However, these are extremely rare and typically only happen when you are exposed to a higher dose of fluoride for an extended time.
Despite its rare side effects, fluoride is supported by many public health agencies, since it has a lot of benefits.
The Safety of Adult Fluoride Varnish
Is fluoride varnish safe?
The use of fluoride varnish is effective and safe when used appropriately for controlling and preventing dental caries and other dental problems. In fact, this treatment has been cleared by the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health as a medical treatment to use as a root desensitizer and cavity liner. This is because it reduces your teeth’s sensitivity to touch and temperature that usually happens when you have a root surface exposed, caused by receding gingiva.
Although fluoride varnish is typically thought to be well-accepted and safe, there is still very little published data on its side effects. However, even though many preparations of fluoride varnish have around 50,000 ppm of sodium fluoride, very small amounts are applied.
Also, since very little fluoride is actually ingested over any length of time, because it sticks to your teeth, and because the application only calls for small amounts, there is very minimal risk of any type of acute toxic reactions to the varnish.
Your dentist may not apply fluoride varnish if you show any signs of:
- – Stomatitis
- – Ulcerative gingivitis
- – Large, open lesions
There also are no confirmed allergic reactions associated with varnish, according to the ADA. If any fluoride varnish allergic reaction occurs, it could be in a person who is sensitive to rosin, also referred to as colophony. Colophony is a type of contact sensitizer you find in the varnish, as well as some products in your home, like nail varnish, cosmetics, chewing gum, plasters and some types of dental material.
A person with a hypersensitivity to colophony might have an allergic stomatitis or dermatitis reaction to the varnish, although this is rare.
How Fluoride Varnish Is Applied
Topical fluoride varnish application should be part of your entire preventative care routine that involves education on maximizing tooth brushing benefits, professional interventions and dietary control.
Before you receive any fluoride varnish treatment, your dentist may recommend that you drink and eat normally and that you not take any fluoride supplements for a minimum of two days following your treatment.
The fluoride varnish treatment your dentist uses will be a stronger concentration of fluoride than what you would find in your everyday toothpaste or mouthwash. The treatment typically takes a few minutes and is applied with a brush or cotton swab.
The varnish is left on your teeth for at least a few minutes. However, in some cases, the fluoride varnish is left on your teeth for a number of hours, allowing it to release fluoride into your cervical and interproximal areas, where the fluoride is needed the most. If you continue to experience dentinal sensitivity, you may be advised by your dentist to come in every six months for a reapplication.
After Fluoride Varnish: How Long Before Eating?
Your dentist will likely advise against eating or drinking for a minimum of 30 minutes so that the fluoride can be absorbed by your teeth, repairing your microscopic carious areas. He may have you come back in for another fluoride varnish treatment every three, six or 12 months, depending on the status of your oral health.
If you have an increased risk of developing caries, he may recommend other preventative measures, which could include prescription or OTC therapeutic products like fluoride gels or mouthwash, along with antibacterial mouthwash.
You may notice some slight discoloration of your teeth after the treatment. However, again, this is only temporary. You may be advised by your dentist to not brush your teeth until the morning following your treatment.
Other Fluoride Varnish Considerations
There are other considerations you should keep in mind when it comes to fluoride varnish treatments. They are as follows:
- – Crowns: If you have crowns that have leaky margins, damaged teeth, areas of abfraction or areas with exposed dentin or tooth erosion areas, these areas can get stronger with fluoride treatments, as well as be less sensitive to cold and hot and be more resistant to decay.
- – Mid-Adult Years: When you reach your mid-adult years, you become more vulnerable to gum disease. When you get past 50 years old, you are more susceptible to root decay. Because of this, fluoride varnish treatments are good, since they can help prevent, or at least slow down, root decay.
- – Dosage: Fluoride varnish is presently available in unit-dose and multi-dose applications. With technology advancing continuously, clinicians are able to deliver more efficient, effective and comfortable treatments. Not to mention, you can get a fluoride varnish treatment in a flavor of your choice. For instance, you can now leave your dentist’s office with a delicious taste of raspberry in your mouth.
- – Tooth Decay and Drills: Back in earlier days, dentists would deal with tooth decay with the use of drills. Although drills are still used today and are fairly important in many cases, they don’t fix the underlying issue, which is the bad bacteria. This is why you end up having to come back frequently to get more fillings. Tooth decay progresses slowly. Of course, you need the drill and the filling to repair a full-on cavity hole. However, you can catch the decay in its early stage by having fluoride varnish treatments, which will reverse the decay.
Get Fluoride Varnish for Adults at Donoho Dental Associates
Today, it’s easier than ever to keep your teeth strong so they last much longer. The combination of good oral hygiene practices and fluoride treatments will help ensure your teeth stick with you, even as you age. Keep in mind that not everyone is a good candidate for fluoride varnish treatments.
Donoho Dental Associates can let you know if a fluoride varnish treatment will benefit your teeth.
If so, you can easily have it done during your regular check-up appointment. Talk with our Sun City, AZ dentist, Dr. Daniel Donoho, today to see if you should incorporate fluoride treatments into your regular dental hygiene regimen. He can set up a consultation with you before your appointment to give you the details of the treatment, as well as the benefits and any possible side effects, so you can make an informed decision.