Posts for: November, 2017
People with diabetes have special concerns when it comes to dental care. In fact, 1 in every 5 cases of total tooth loss is linked to this widespread health condition. November is National Diabetes month, so it’s a good opportunity for us to answer some frequently asked questions about oral health and diabetes.
Q. Can I get a dental implant to replace a missing tooth even if I have diabetes?
A number of studies have shown that people with diabetes can be good candidates for dental implants, but there are some concerns regarding dental implant treatment, which involves minor surgery. Wounds tend to heal more slowly in people with diabetes, who are also more infection-prone than those without diabetes. In diabetic individuals with poor glucose control, research has also shown that it takes longer for the bone to heal after implant placement. We will take these (and other) factors into account when planning your implant treatment. However, in many situations even poorly controlled diabetes does not necessarily preclude dental implant treatment.
Q. I’ve heard people with diabetes have a higher risk for gum disease. Is that true?
Yes. Research shows that people with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease, especially when their diabetes is poorly controlled. The reverse is also true: untreated periodontal disease can worsen blood sugar levels. So it’s important to manage both of these inflammatory conditions. If you notice the early signs of gum disease, such as inflamed or bleeding gums, please bring this to our attention. Early gum disease (gingivitis) is much easier to treat than more advanced forms—which can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Q. If I have diabetes, how can I protect my oral health?
Keep doing your best to control your blood sugar levels with exercise and a healthy diet—and stick to an effective daily oral hygiene routine, which includes both brushing and flossing and coming in for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Make sure to let us know what medications you are taking and update us on any changes. If you notice any mouth sores, swelling or inflammation, bring this to our attention as soon as possible.
Would you like to help your child avoid the pain of cavities? Dental sealants offer a simple way to reduce your son or daughter's tooth decay risk. Dr. Stephen Pratt, Stephanie Winterton and Dr. Christopher Flint, who practice family dentistry at Hobble Creek Dental Care in Springville, UT, explain how sealants can protect your child's teeth.
What are sealants?
Sealants fill nooks and crannies in your child's pre-molars and molars located in the back of the mouth. Because these grooves are so small, it's impossible to remove cavity-causing plaque from them with a toothbrush. The longer plaque remains on a tooth, the greater the chance that tooth decay will occur. Adding a coating of plastic resin to the teeth prevents plaque from forming in the depressions in your child's teeth.
Why are sealants recommended for children?
Newly erupted molars and pre-molars are particularly susceptible to tooth decay. Coating the teeth with sealants prevents cavities from damaging these teeth and also helps your child avoid fillings and other dental procedures. Although fillings restore teeth damaged by tooth decay, they also tend to weaken them, which can increase the risk of a crack or fracture in the future. Sealants prevent complications, like cracks, by stopping cavities from ever forming.
Can adults get sealants too?
Sealants are also helpful in protecting your teeth from cavities. Although many dental insurance carriers cover sealants for children, the same coverage generally isn't available for adults, who must pay for the sealants out of pocket.
Is the sealant process painful?
Applying sealants to your child's teeth only takes a few minutes and is completely pain-free. Before the sealants are applied, the teeth are cleaned and dried thoroughly. Adding an etching solution to the teeth helps ensure the resin sealant material will adhere properly. After the solution is applied in our Springville office, the liquid resin sealants are painted on your child's pre-molars and molars with a small brush. A special curing light hardens the sealants, turning them into a strong, solid coating that plaque can't penetrate.
Interested in learning how you can protect your child's teeth with this important family dentistry service? Call Springville, UT, dentists Drs. Pratt and Winterton at Hobble Creek Dental Care at (801) 489-4541 to schedule an appointment.
Teething is a normal part of your baby’s dental development. That doesn’t make it less stressful, though, for you or your baby.
This natural process occurs as your child’s primary teeth sequentially erupt through the gums over a period of two or three years. The first are usually the two lower front teeth followed by the two upper front ones, beginning (give or take a couple of months) between six and nine months. By the age of three, most children have all twenty of their primary teeth.
The disruption to the gum tissues can cause a number of unpleasant side effects including gum swelling, facial rash, drooling, disrupted sleep patterns and decreased appetite. As a result a child can become irritable, bite and gnaw to relieve gum discomfort or rub their ears. Every child’s experience is different as well as their degree of pain and discomfort.
As a tooth is about to erupt, you may notice symptoms increasing a few days before and after. The symptoms will then subside until the next tooth begins to erupt. In a way, teething is much like a storm—you mostly have to ride it out. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t lessen your child’s discomfort during the teething episode.
For one thing, cold, soft items like teething rings, pacifiers or even a clean, wet washcloth your child can gnaw on will help relieve gum pressure. Chilling the item can have a pain-numbing effect—but avoid freezing temperatures, which can burn the tissues. You can also massage the gums with a clean finger to relieve pain. But don’t rub alcohol on their gums and only use numbing agents (like Benzocaine) for children older than two, and only with the advice and supervision of your healthcare provider. The use of acetaminophen or ibuprofen might also be used under the advice of your doctor.
If you notice your child has diarrhea, extensive rashes or fever, contact your physician immediately—these aren’t normal teething symptoms and may indicate something more serious. And be sure to consult with us if you have any other questions or concerns.
Teething can be a difficult time for your baby and family. But with these tips and a little “TLC” you can keep their discomfort to a minimum.
If you would like more information on caring for your baby’s developing teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teething Troubles: How to Help Your Baby be Comfortable.”