Painless Dental Care

Do you dread going to the dentist?  Does the thought of having dental work such as a root canal fill you with fear and anxiety? It should not. There are now so many good options for both relaxation and pain relief, there is no reason to fear the dentist.

If you are having a minor dental procedure such as a filling, local anesthesia may be enough to give you the pain relief you need. Topical anesthetics can be applied to the tissues of the mouth to prevent pain on the surface level.  Your dentist may swab you mouth with a topical anesthetic to numb the site before administering injectable anesthetics.  Injectable local anesthetics are used to prevent pain in a specific area of your mouth while you are receiving dental treatment.  They work by numbing the tissues in your mouth and blocking the nerves that sense and transmit pain.

If you are having a more complicated dental procedure or if you have a dental phobia or a severe gag reflex, you may need or want to have more than just local anesthesia.  In this case, Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedatives may be used along with local anesthetics to keep you relaxed and comfortable while you are receiving dental treatment.  Your dentist can use these medications to induce minimal or moderate sedation where you achieve a relaxed state but can still respond to speech or touch.

It is important to talk with your dentist about your fears and anxiety level as well as your medical history before you receive dental treatment.  This will help you and your dentist to decide the level of pain relief/sedation that is most appropriate for you.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.




The Effect of Medications on Your Oral Health

The medications that you take, whether they are over the counter or prescribed by a doctor, have a significant effect on your oral health.  For this reason, it is important to make your dentist aware of any medications you are currently taking or about to begin taking.

The most common side effect of medications is dry mouth.  This can be detrimental to your oral health by increasing your risk for tooth decay.  The saliva in your mouth functions to help prevent food from collecting around your teeth and neutralizes the acids produced by plaque.  If they are not neutralized, those acids can damage the hard surfaces of your teeth.

Inhalers are medications used by many people with breathing problems such as Asthma and COPD.  Inhaling medications through your mouth can negatively affect your gums, the lining of your cheeks and your tongue by causing an oral infection called oral candidiasis or “thrush.”  Rinsing your mouth after using an inhaler can help to prevent thrush from occurring.

Cancer treatments can also have a significant effect on your oral health.  If you are going to be undergoing treatment for cancer, it is a good idea to first visit your dentist so that she or he can ensure that your mouth is as healthy as possible before you begin treatment.  Your dentist may also prescribe therapies to keep your mouth healthy while you are undergoing cancer treatment.

If your dentist is not aware of the medications you are taking, make him or her aware at your next dental appointment.  If the medications you are currently taking are negatively affecting your oral health, it is important to make your dentist aware of this so he or she can prescribe the appropriate dental treatments to protect your oral health.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.


Dental Care When You Need It The Most

It is Saturday morning and you chip your front tooth playing in a pick-up basketball game with some friends.  You have an important presentation with some potential clients out-of-town on Monday at 3PM.  How are you going to get your tooth fixed in time for your presentation?  You want your audience to focus on your presentation, not your snaggle tooth!

Does your Dentist handle dental emergencies?  Does he or she offer extended hours?  If not, you may want to find one who does.  Dental emergencies have a way of occurring at the most inopportune times.  For this reason, many dental practices are offering emergency dental care and extended office hours.  If your current dental practice does not offer these services, you don’t want to wait until you experience a dental emergency to find this out.

Extended hours provide more time to handle dental emergencies and enable working professionals to schedule dental appointments before and after working hours.  Extended hours also allow stay-at-home mothers to schedule dental appointments during times when their spouses or other family members can keep their children.  This prevents them from having to pay babysitting fees or shuffle multiple children to their dental appointments.

So you call your dental office and find out that they do handle dental emergencies and they do, indeed, offer extended hours.  Thank goodness!  You go in at 7AM on Monday morning and by 9AM, your tooth is fixed.  Just in time to catch an 11AM flight so you can make your presentation at 3PM.  Now, if you can just convince your potential clients to go with your firm…

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.


The Relationship Between Your Dental Health and Your Cardiovascular Health

We know that brushing and flossing your teeth, and eating a healthy diet promotes good oral health, but can it also help to reduce your risk for heart disease?  Maybe so.  Did you know that the plaque that builds up on the surfaces of your teeth and gums is the same plaque found in the arteries of patients who suffer from cardiovascular disease?

When plaque builds up on the surfaces of your teeth and gums, it can cause serious dental problems such as cavities and gum disease.  Brushing twice daily and flossing at least once daily helps to prevent the build up of plaque and the problems associated with it.   However, once the plaque has been allowed to build up and has hardened into Tartar, it is hard to remove using a toothbrush and floss.  Many times, it must be removed by a dental hygienist using special dental instruments.  This is why getting regular dental cleanings is so important.  It is recommended that most patients receive a professional dental cleaning every six months.  If you have oral health issues such as tooth decay or gum disease, you may need to have your teeth professionally cleaned more frequently.

Your diet also has a significant effect on both your oral health and your cardiovascular health.  Eating a well-balanced diet that is high in fiber and nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains and vegetables and low in sugar and starches helps to prevent dental health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease and cardiovascular problems such as, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Have you stopped to consider the relationship between your oral health and your cardiovascular health?  Your oral health may be a good indicator of your cardiovascular health.  If you are currently experiencing problems with your oral health, you may want to take a closer look at both your diet and your dental hygiene.  It may also be a good idea to schedule a physical exam with a qualified physician to see what is going on with your cardiovascular system.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.



Protecting Your Dental Health

Remember the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”  Well, this is certainly true when it comes to your dental health.  Taking preventative measures to protect against tooth decay and gum disease can save you the time, money and pain associated with these serious dental health problems.  So what is the best way to protect your dental health?  Practicing good oral hygiene including brushing your teeth two times per day and flossing your teeth at least once per day is a great way to start.  Visiting a dentist for regular dental cleanings and checkups is also very important.  It is recommended that most adults visit a dentist every six months for a routine dental cleaning and checkup.  If you have issues with your dental health, you may need to see a dentist more often.

Other preventative measures include sealants, fluoride treatments and antimicrobial rinses.  These may be prescribed by your dentist according to your individual needs.  Sealants are a clear protective coating that is placed over the biting surfaces on the teeth in the back of the mouth. They are used to prevent cavities by shielding your teeth against bacteria and plaque.  Sealants are commonly prescribed for children but can also be used in adults.  Fluoride treatments can take the form of gels or varnishes that are painted onto the teeth or supplements that can be taken orally.  They are commonly prescribed for children when there is not an adequate intake of Fluoride from available food and water sources.  Antimicrobial rinses can be used to control plaque buildup which can lead to periodontal disease.  For more information about any of these preventative measures, contact a qualified dentist in your local area.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.



Choosing the Right Toothbrush

With all the different types and brands of toothbrushes available on the market today, how do you choose the one that is right for your needs?  When choosing a toothbrush, you must first decide if you want to go with a manual (disposable) one or a powered (electric) model.  Experts differ on which of these types is the best for your oral health, however, all agree that the most important thing is to brush effectively with some type of toothbrush at least twice per day.  Electric models can be safer on your teeth and gums if you tend to brush too vigorously, however, the cost for electric toothbrushes tend to be much higher than manual toothbrushes.

Whether you choose an electric or a manual model, it is important to factor in both the size and the bristle variety.  You should select a toothbrush that is the right size to allow easy access to all the surfaces of your teeth.  For most adults, a head that is 1/2 inches wide and one inch long will work the best.  It is also important to select a toothbrush with a handle that is long enough for you to comfortably hold it in your hand.  As far as the bristle variety, you can choose from soft, medium and hard bristles.  Soft bristled toothbrushes are the most comfortable and safest for most people as medium and hard bristled toothbrushes can damage your gums, root surfaces and protective tooth enamel if you brush too hard.  If the bristles have rounded tips this will offer even more protection against damaging your teeth and gums.

If you are shopping for a new toothbrush, it is a good idea to get a recommendation from your dentist as far as which type will work best for your specific needs.  It is also a good idea to select a toothbrush that has the seal of approval from the American Dental Assocation (ADA).

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.