When Your Child’s Tooth Takes a Hard Knock?

What to do when a tooth comes loose

A child’s tooth can be easily knocked out by a fall or a sports accident. Here’s what you should know if it happens to your child.

My child’s tooth was knocked out. What should I do?

First, examine the child’s mouth to assess the injury. If it seems to be more serious than a knocked-out tooth, consider going to the hospital so a physician can examine the child’s face, mouth and gums. If the injury is limited to a knocked-out or loose tooth, call your dentist.

What if a baby tooth is knocked loose but not completely out?

If a tooth is knocked loose, call your dentist for advice on how to proceed. He or she will likely advise your child to eat a soft diet for the next few days to allow the tooth to re-implant into the jawbone. Depending on the injury’s severity, your dentist may also suggest an x-ray. This is a precautionary measure used to determine whether a nerve or secondary tooth may be damaged.

What if a baby tooth is knocked out completely?

There is no cause for alarm. Losing one or more front baby teeth may give your child a temporary lisp, but no permanent effect on speech development or eating will result.

What if a permanent tooth is knocked out?

Call your dentist immediately for an emergency appointment. It is critical to get your child and his or her tooth to the dentist within 30 minutes of the accident, as it may be possible to successfully re-implant the tooth.

Keeping the tooth in good condition and receiving care immediately make the odds of successful re-implantation much higher. Follow these steps before your emergency appointment:

  • Recover the tooth.
  • Rinse it lightly with water to clean off debris, but do not scrub. (Scrubbing can damage root cells that are needed to re-implant the tooth in the jawbone.)
  • Keep the tooth moist. If your child is old enough not to swallow the tooth, it can be placed between his or her cheek and gum. Otherwise, wrap it in a clean cloth or gauze soaked in milk, salt water or tap water to completely cover it.

taken from deltadentalins.com

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Preventative Care for a Healthy Smile

Check out this great video on Preventative Care for a Healthy Smile!

taken from Delta Dental Insurance.

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‘Tooth Squeeze’ — Your Teeth Under Pressure

your teeth under pressure

High and low altitudes are known for making your eardrums feel funny. But did you know that atmospheric pressure can also affect your teeth? Called “tooth squeeze” or barodontalgia, this phenomenon is most common among scuba divers, pilots and mountaineers, but it can affect anyone who ventures to extreme environments.

How it works

Gases contract or expand to match the level of pressure around them. Since air is a gas, any pockets of air in your teeth will also expand or contract. In normal environments, these changes would be too small to notice. But in any extremely high-pressure environment (like under the ocean), or a low-pressure environment (like in a plane or on a high mountain), the effect on your teeth will be intensified.

Why would there be air in your teeth? Tiny leaks around fillings, crowns and dentures can allow small amounts of air to enter the teeth, setting the stage for barodontalgia. Or maybe untreated tooth decay has created small holes in your enamel.

Who’s at risk

Tooth squeeze is more likely to affect people who go through frequent or sudden changes in atmospheric pressure, such as:

  • Underwater divers
  • Submariners
  • Pilots and air crew
  • Airline passengers
  • Mountain climbers

You are less likely to experience problems if you have healthy, intact teeth. Your risk goes up if you have fillings or have had other restorative dental work done. Untreated decay or infection can also worsen under pressure.

What happens to your teeth

The effects of barodontalgia can include:

  • Tooth pain
  • Loose fillings, crowns or dentures
  • Inflamed tooth pulp
  • Root infection
  • Dental cysts
  • Broken teeth
  • Bleeding gums

What you can do

Before. If you expect to explore the skies or the bottom of the sea soon, these tips can help lower your chances of barodontalgia:

  • Get a dental exam. Your dentist can identify and treat any signs of decay or infection and replace old fillings or crowns.
  • Maintain your oral health. Regular dental visits and proper oral hygiene can prevent decay.
  • Wait after treatment. Don’t fly or dive within 24 hours of any dental treatment involving anesthesia. If you’ve had oral surgery recently, wait at least a week.

During and after. Already got tooth squeeze? Here’s what you can do:

  • Avoid hot or cold foods and drinks. Sudden temperature changes in your mouth can make the pain worse. If you’re on a long flight, for example, skip the coffee and ice cream and stick to items that are at room temperature.
  • Visit your dentist immediately. Once you’re on land, make an emergency appointment. Your dentist can fix any loose restorations and treat the causes of your pain.

taken from deltadentalins.com

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How Vegetarians Can Ensure Good Oral Health

Being vegetarian can affect oral healthHealth concerns about fat and cholesterol, among other reasons, have prompted many people to become vegetarians. While a vegetarian diet can have great overall health benefits, vegetarians need to be aware of how this lifestyle choice can affect their oral health. By eliminating certain food groups, vegetarians can risk missing out on some key nutrients that are essential for good oral health.

Should vegetarians be concerned about oral health?

Some adult vegetarians are knowledgeable about nutrition and maintain healthy diets by consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes to get the nutrients they need. But according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an adult eating a vegetarian diet for a prolonged period of time can be at increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease from a lack of vitamin D and calcium.

A lack of vitamin D and calcium can cause teeth to soften over time, which makes them more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease. However, vitamin D is produced naturally in the body with sun exposure, so deficiencies are rare. Deficiencies in calcium are more common but can be easily remedied with the proper diet.

The potential for nutritional deficiencies is greatest among children and teenagers who decide to become vegetarians without knowing enough about their nutritional needs. Also, some vegetarians – especially vegans, who do not consume any food of animal origin – are at risk for nutritional deficiencies in vitamin B2 and vitamin B12 as well as calcium and vitamin D, according to the AGD.

Balanced diet is the key — for everyone

According to the AGD, studies have shown that by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, vegetarians can get all the nutrients they need. Adding vegetable margarines, soy milk, nutritional yeast and extra servings of green leafy vegetables to the diet will lessen the risk of vitamin deficiencies. A daily multivitamin is also a good way to supplement a vegetarian diet.

The AGD recommends that anyone considering adopting a vegetarian diet seek counseling from their physician or a nutritionist to learn about substituting foods to get all the necessary nutrients. And since diet is an important part of an individual’s medical history, patients should always inform their dentist if they adhere to vegetarian or other special diets.

A healthy diet and good oral health care habits are the best defense against problems with gums and teeth. Eating a balanced variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes will help vegetarians — and anyone — achieve a healthy, well-rounded diet and a healthy smile.

taken from deltadentalins.com

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Treatments for Gum Disease

procedures for treating gum disease

Once a patient is diagnosed with gum (periodontal) disease, dentists will use procedures other than regular cleaning (also called prophylaxis) to treat the disease. In the early stages of gum disease, most treatment involves non-surgical procedures; however, in more advanced stages, surgical procedures are often required. The following are detailed descriptions of these procedures.

Non-surgical procedures

  • Scaling and root planing: While a regular dental cleaning is for the visible portion of teeth, scaling and root planing is a special cleaning that removes plaque and tartar (also known as calculus) from under the gumline (in periodontal pockets) and smoothes the root surfaces to promote healing. A scaling procedure is the only way to remove calculus from this area.

    In some cases, antibiotics or antimicrobials may be used to supplement the effects of scaling and root planing. In most cases of early gum disease, scaling and root planing in addition to continued daily cleaning at home will achieve a satisfactory result of reversing gum disease.

  • Periodontal maintenance/supportive periodontal therapy: Following a scaling and root planing, specialized deep cleanings can minimize the recurrence or progression of gum disease.

Surgical procedures

  • Pocket depth reduction procedures: Your dentist will open up the affected gum tissue so that disease-causing bacteria and calculus build-up can be removed. Some cases may require smoothing and recontouring the damaged bone and root surfaces to allow the gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone during healing. The procedure also repositions the gum tissue so that it is easier to keep clean.
  • Regeneration: Your dentist will treat the affected gum tissue in the same way as in pocket depth reduction procedures, with the additional procedure of using membranes, bone grafts or tissue-stimulating proteins to stimulate the body’s natural ability to regenerate healthy bone and gum tissue.
  • Soft tissue grafts: Your dentist will take healthy gum tissue from the roof of the mouth (palate) or other areas of the mouth and use it to repair receding gums and cover exposed root surfaces.

taken from deltadentalins.com

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