Dental Plaque

Dental Plaque

Dental Plaque

Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless or yellowish film that forms on your teeth.  It develops along the gum line from a combination of saliva, food and fluids that contain bacteria.

Dental plaque starts building up on your teeth 4 to 12 hours after brushing.  Another good reason to brush thoroughly at least twice a day and floss daily.

Dental Plaque

How Plaque Affects your Teeth

Though plaque is mostly colorless, it can produce acid, which in turn affects your oral health. Over time, if the plaque is not removed it will harden into tartar or dental calculus.  The tartar becomes strongly bonded to the tooth’s enamel and only a dental professional can remove it.

Conditions Related to Plaque and Tartar

  • Cavities – the acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can cause low pH level and can eat away at tooth enamel.
  • Gingivitis – accumulation of plaque bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums.
  • Bad Breath – plaque buildup from poor dental hygiene can also cause bad breath.

Who may be more likely to get plaque?

Although everyone has dental plaque, you may be more susceptible if you:

  • Consume a lot of sugary or starchy foods or drinks
  • Have dry mouth due to medications
  • Have a history of head/neck radiation
  • Smoke

How to Combat Plaque

Staying on top of your oral health and preventing plaque buildup on teeth is the best way to prevent tartar.  The American Dental Association recommends to Brush and floss every day.  Visit your dentist every 6 months.  Adults who see their dentists regularly are less likely to have plaque related dental diseases.

If you need some additional information on dental plaque, don’t hesitate to call the office of Dr. Abeyta in Albuquerque, NM at (505) 293-7611.  They practice an integrative approach in creating a beautiful smile and healthy functioning body. Did you know that your smile can tell how healthy you are? Healthy teeth and jaws translate to a pretty smile, healthy breathing, and a healthy body.  Whatever life brings, they’d love to be your partner in oral health!

Tongue Tie in Babies

Tongue Tie in Babies

Tongue Tie in Babies

 

Tongue tie in babies is a condition at birth that restricts the tongue’s movement.  It happens when the frenulum, a small tag of skin that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is too thick or short.  Doctors and lactation consultants now recognize that having a tongue tie can seriously affect breastfeeding and other aspects of developmental growth such as speech, chewing and swallowing.

Breastfeeding and Tongue Tie

Have you ever seen a baby nurse?  They are like a little bird, widely opening their mouth, latching onto the food source, and using their tongue, in a back-and-forth motion, to extract the milk.  When the tongue is restricted, it can’t efficiently pull out the milk.  The baby will be frantically sucking with little results. 

A tongue tie in an infant will also affect the mom.  The restricted tongue doesn’t work like a normal tongue.  Instead of long extended motions, it has tiny little movements, which tend to rub on the same area causing rawness and discomfort.  This can also attribute to engorgement, mastitis and plugged milk ducts.

How Do You Fix a Tongue Tie?

A tongue tie can be treated by snipping or cutting the frenulum. This procedure is referred to as Lingual Frenuloplasty and is very fast and simple.  Don’t let the word “snipping” scare you.  Babies cry very little during the procedure and moms often notice an immediate improvement in their ability to nurse.  

What Happens if Tongue Tie Goes Untreated?

The consequences of an untreated tongue tie can be many and varied.  For growing infants, it can impact things like:

  • Inability to chew solid foods
  • Persistence of drooling
  • Delayed development of speech
  • Behavior problems
  • Dental problems starting to appear
  • Loss of self-confidence because they feel and sound ‘different’
  • Strong, incorrect habits of compensation being acquired

If your baby is having difficulty latching or staying attached to your breast and is not gaining the proper weight, consult your doctor or dentist.  They will help you figure out if your baby’s tongue-tie is the culprit and the best course for treatment.  

At Dr. Alicia Abeyta’s, they are here for you and your family in these challenging times.  Call today to schedule your appointment to find out more about infant tongue tie at (505) 293-7611.

Can a Dentist Really Help TMJ?

Can a Dentist Really Help TMJ?

Can a Dentist Really Help TMJ?

If you’re wondering if a dentist can really help TMJ, the answer is “yes”.  With the latest technology, including Digital Occlusal Analysis called Tscan, a dentist can detect occlusal disease.  Occlusal disease is the destructive process that results from a bite in which the teeth are misaligned.  An uneven bite causes strain in the jaw muscles, which ultimately leads to discomfort, pain and TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder).

Can a dentist really help TMJ

What is TMJ?

On each side of your head is a temporomandibular joint.  These joints attach the lower jawbone to the skull.  When the jaw is correctly aligned, it works like a well-oiled machine but when the jaw is misaligned, it not only impacts the joints themselves but the nerves, muscle groups, and blood vessels that surround it.  Pain that starts in the jaw can resonate throughout the body causing headaches, vertigo, neck and upper back pain, numbness, and many other issues.

TMJ Treatment

What makes Dr. Abeyta and her team so unique is that they never take a one-size-fits-all approach to TMJ. There are many factors that can contribute to TMJ.  The first step is to find out the cause.  The second step is to create an individualized treatment plan that might include:

  • TMJ Botox Trigger Point Therapy – The muscles of the head and neck can be overworked and tense from TMJ dysfunction. Botox is a safe method that helps to relieve chronic muscle head and neck pain along with chronic headaches.
  • Occlusal Guard Therapy – An appliance that fits over the teeth to protect the teeth from excessive wear and repositions the jaw into a comfortable and stable position to allow for proper blood flow into the joint to allow repair and healing.
  • Myofunctional Therapy – Treatment for disorders of the muscles and functions of the face and mouth. It is characterized by an abnormal lip, jaw, or tongue position during rest, swallowing, or speech.
  • TMJ Acupuncture Therapy – Addressing whole body needs, this form of treatment incorporates Oriental Medicine to reduce inflammation and balance the mind, body, and spirit.

TMJ treatment will have you feeling better and living better so that you can take part in this summer’s most enjoyable events, like picnics and hiking.

To learn more about TMJ and treatment options schedule your appointment today with Dr. Abeyta at (505) 293-7611, or Contact us by email. 

Is There a Connection Between Gum Disease and Strokes?

Is There a Connection Between Gum Disease and Strokes?

Is There a Connection Between Gum Disease and Strokes?

Is there a connection between gum disease and strokes and if so, how can we take better care of our teeth? Strokes are the fifth common cause of death in the US. 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. As we learn more about how our oral health impacts our overall health, we have to wonder is there a link between gum disease and strokes.

Is there a connect between gum disease and strokes

What is a Stroke

A stroke is caused when a blood vessel bursts in the brain, or when oxygen to the brain is blocked by a blood clot.

Strokes cause physical signs such as:

  • A drooping face
  • Weakness in the arm
  • Slurred or impaired speech

A stroke can happen to anyone, at any age, though they are more common in:

  • People who are 65 and older
  • African Americans
  • People who lead sedentary lives or smoke or are overweight

Recent studies have shown that people who have suffered a stroke, typically had poor oral health with gum disease.

What is Gum Disease

Gum disease has multiple stages.  In the first stage, bacteria build up, causing the gums to become inflamed and to bleed when you brush your teeth. Although the gums may be irritated, the teeth are still firmly rooted. At this stage, no irreversible bone or other tissue damage has occurred.

When this first stage is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. In a patient with periodontitis, the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets collect food and can become infected.

The best way to avoid gum disease is to maintain proper dental hygiene and follow your dentist’s guidelines:

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • See your dentist twice a year for a check-up

What is the connection between gum disease and strokes?

Studies have shown that the abundance of bacteria, associated with gum disease, can get in the bloodstream, causing inflammation that makes the blood more likely to clot, which in turn can lead to a stroke.

More in-depth studies are underway to determine whether inflammation from gum disease results in vascular inflammation, or the other way around. In fact, the inflammation associated with gum disease has also been linked to conditions such as certain types cancers, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

With so many people effected by gum disease and strokes, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of your oral health.

Patients who have suffered a stroke may need support in maintaining oral health care, especially if they have cognitive or physical limitations which prevent them from remembering to complete or perform the tasks regularly.

The office of Dr. Abeyta strives to be the best choice for quality care and overall excellence.   They invest in education for themselves and their patients to support our commitment to excellence and empower patients with the knowledge they need to achieve whatever goals they have for their health. Our team is honored to partner with you in caring for your health.  Call today to schedule an appointment at (505) 293-7611.

 

 

Are Missing Teeth Ruining Your Smile?

Are Missing Teeth Ruining Your Smile?

Are Missing Teeth Ruining Your Smile?

 

 

Are missing teeth ruining your smile and causing other oral issues? All your teeth serve a function, so depending on which tooth is missing, issues with chewing, swallowing and speaking can cause unwanted dental issues. Replacing missing teeth with a bridge can ensure you maintain a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.

Are Missing Teeth Ruining Your Smile

Bridge Savvy

Typically, a dental bridge has two crowns placed on either side of a missing tooth. The bridge can be attached to real teeth or dental implants. An artificial tooth called a pontic, fills the gap of the absent tooth. Bridges can be constructed from gold alloys, non-precious alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain is often bonded to either a precious or non-precious metal.

Bridges Can Be Permanently Attached or Removable

Fixed or permanent bridges are applied by one of two methods. The first method involves placing crowns on the abutment teeth. The second method bonds the artificial teeth directly to the abutment teeth.

Removable bridges are either attached to the teeth with metal clasps or by precision attachments.

Why Bridges are Important

Benefits of Dental Bridges Include:

• Restoring your natural smile.
• Maintaining your face’s natural shape.
• Restoring normal speech functions.
• Proper chewing habits to decrease stress on other teeth and alleviate TMJ.
• Preventing other teeth from shifting.
• Improving oral health which in turns improves overall health.

How Long Does the Process Take?

Fitting a crown requires at least two office visits. Initially, the dentist will remove any decay, shape the tooth, and fit you with a temporary crown of either plastic or metal. On the next visit, the temporary crown will be removed, and the final crown will be fitted and adjusted. Lastly, the crown is cemented into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth.

Will My Bite Be Different?

Dental bridges are an integral part of modern dentistry. At Dr. Abeyta’s dental office, you will receive the strongest and properly fitted dental bridges in all of Albuquerque, NM.

The team at Dr. Abeyta’s creates natural-looking and well-fitting bridges for their patients. They are happy to give you the smile transformation you desire.

If you are curious about whether dental bridges are right for you or have any questions about the procedure, call (505) 293-7611 or fill out the contact form.