Trick or Treating with Your Favorite Dentist

Trick or Treating with Your Favorite Dentist

Trick or Treating with Your Favorite DentistTrick or treating with your favorite dentist can be spooky fun.  Did you know some dentists give out candy and goodies for Halloween? The American Dental Association surveyed dentists to find out just how many dished up sweet treats, a whopping 76 percent.  Others paired candy with a toothbrush and a reminder card to brush daily.

Then there were dentists who opted to give something other than candy, whether it be for cavity awareness or other health reasons. If you’re looking for sugar-free Halloween ideas, here are some monster big ideas that aren’t nightmares for teeth.

Don’t “glow” bump in the night –

What child doesn’t like glow sticks.  They come in all sorts of colors and shapes from straight sticks to bracelets, necklaces and mini light sabers.  They are a great add-on to kid’s costumes and they’ll help parents keep track of their little ghosts and goblins.

Water bottles to wash away the sugar –

Charging from house to house as a super hero or evil villain is thirsty work.  Dentist can provide trick-or-treaters small bottles of water to wash away any sugar residue left behind from snacking on sweets between houses.

Sugar-free sweets –

Trick or TreatGum can actually be good for your teeth.  Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after meals and sweets can help rinse off and neutralize the acids released by the bacteria in plaque, which are harmful to tooth enamel. Both the act of chewing and the flavor of the artificial sweeteners in the gum stimulate ten times the normal rate of saliva flow.  Just make sure to ask parents before handing it out and always look for brands with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Trinkets for treats –

Toys like paddle ball, yo-yos, bouncy balls, finger puppets and other fun items come in bulk online or in discount stores and make great little treats.  Help them “spook” up their costumes by handing out plastic spider rings, vampire teeth or pumpkin bags.

Stickers and stamps –

Pre-inked spooky stamps and ghoulish stickers let kids leave their mark on just about anything.  Make up cards with a link to a downloadable Brushing Calendar and a reminder that November 1st is National Brush Day

Spooky pencils –

Pencils with Fall designs, not those boring yellow ones, and erasers shaped like pumpkins or witches are a fun and useful treats kids can take to school after the Halloween fun is over.

What does your dentist offer to little trick-or-treaters?  Call to set up your appointment with Dr. Alicia Abeyta, DDS in Albuquerque to see what she and her team are brewing up this Halloween.

Visit Your General Dentist

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Why Regular Dentist Visits May Keep You Out of the Hospital

Most people don’t look forward to going to the dentist. We know that we should, but many people wait until they feel a problem, like tooth pain, before they schedule a visit. Unfortunately, they might be gambling with more than just the possibility of losing a few teeth.

A lot of what your dentist does during your (hopefully) biannual visits falls under preventative care. Emerging evidence suggests that the benefits of this type of care may extend beyond a healthy mouth.

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Plaque, Tartar, Gingivitis, and Periodontitis

Plaque, composed mostly of mucus and bacteria, naturally builds up on your teeth. Good brushing and flossing habits are the first line of defense against plaque. In the real world, though, they are often not enough.

When you allow plaque to remain on your teeth, it hardens and becomes tartar. Only a cleaning at your dentist’s office can remove tartar. If you don’t have it cleaned off, then the bacteria will begin to cause inflammation around the tooth. At its early stage, this is called gingivitis, and although it sounds bad, the process is still reversible at this point.

However, if you continue to allow the problem to go untreated, it will escalate to periodontitis. In periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth, and the spaces they leave become infected by bacteria from the tartar. While fighting this bacteria, your body eats away the bone and tissue that holds your teeth in your mouth. Unfortunately, tooth loss is only the first impact of periodontitis.

Other Impacts of Periodontitis

In recent years, scientists have begun to observe a correlation between periodontitis and serious medical issues elsewhere in the body. There is even evidence to suggest that the inflammation-causing bacteria in periodontitis may infiltrate the bloodstream, travel to the heart, and contribute to coronary artery disease, choking off the arteries that allow the heart to move blood throughout the body.

A 2014 study published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at the relationship between periodontitis and health care costs related to coronary artery disease, cerebral vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and pregnancy. This study found when periodontitis was treated, healthcare costs related to these four were reduced by an average of 41.4%. Amazingly, healthcare costs related to pregnancy were reduced by 73.7% when periodontitis was treated. (1)

In the end, the time and expense involved in regular check-ups and cleanings at a good general dentist are much more bearable than the consequences of skipping them.

Source:

1 – http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(14)00153-6/pdf

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Tobacco Use and Your Teeth

Tobacco use and smoking can cause problems for your teeth, from discoloration and staining to cancer.

woman stopping smoking to save her teeth

Have you seen someone walking down a sidewalk with yellow teeth, lips, and even a yellow tongue? These are all evidence of a heavy smoker. But it is what lies behind the color, that a tobacco user should be even more wary of.

Research has shown repeatedly that any tobacco use can lead to serious oral health issues. From gum disease to oral cancer, tobacco is often involved. The American Cancer Society has estimated that 90% of people with oral cancer have used tobacco in some form. They also say that smokers and tobacco users are 6 times more likely to get some form of oral cancer than non-tobacco users.

An even scarier number is the 40-50 % death rate among people who are diagnosed with mouth cancer. Are you really willing to take those chances?

Some people think that some forms of tobacco are safe compared to others. This is not true. All tobacco use is harmful to your health.

Pipe smokers, although they generally use tobacco less often, are more likely to get cancer of the lips. Chewing tobacco users are 4 to 6 times more likely to get some form of oral cancer. They are also at higher risk of tooth decay, due partially to the sweeteners added to tobacco.

Of course, smoking puts the lungs and throat all at risk for cancer.

So, what can a tobacco user do to help protect themselves?

#1. Quit.

I know you know. And I know you have probably tried. Keep trying and you can do it just like millions have before you. Just know the sooner you quit, the lower your risk for oral cancer. Research shows that after 10 years free from tobacco, the risk from periodontal disease is not much different then if you had never used tobacco!

#2. Get regular checkups.

Early detection of oral cancers, teeth issues and gum disease can greatly improve the outcome. See your dentist as often as you can.

#3. Keep your mouth and teeth clean.

Start with proper brushing. Good brushes, good technique, good habits, and flossing all make a difference. Heat and carcinogens from cigarettes and tobacco are very harmful to teeth and gums. Take extra care of your teeth and gums.

#4. Can’t quit? Cut back.

Everyone understands how addictive tobacco is for millions of people. Talk to your dentist or doctor if you truly want to cut back or quit, and ask for help.

In the meantime, continually remind yourself what tobacco use does to your teeth!
Dr. Abeyta’s dental hygienist offers a comprehensive approach to preventative care. Prevention is the core of good dental and periodontal health. Some of our hygiene procedures include regular oral examinations, cleaning and fluoride treatments, ultrasonic teeth cleaning, sealants, oral cancer screenings, and periodontal scaling and root planing.

Sensitive Teeth – Causes and Solutions

Sensitive Teeth – Causes and Solutions

TMJ Therapy by Dr. Abeyta

Many dentist visits begin with sensitive teeth.

Your sensitive teeth can be caused by things both in and out of your control. From brushing to infection, let’s look at a few reasons this might happen to you.

#1. You are brushing too hard!

We all want nice white teeth, and sometimes we brush too hard or too often. Unfortunately, over brushing or brushing with too much force can actually harm your teeth! You can wear down the enamel covering your teeth. This exposes the softer and more sensitive layers of your teeth. Sometimes the effect can be quite painful!

Use a softer bristle brush and be gentler with your teeth.

#2. Your diet is causing problems.

If you already have issues with your teeth, like cavities or gum disease, and you eat acidic foods like grapefruits, lemons, pickles, or even tomato sauce, you are asking for trouble. If your teeth feel pain when you eat these foods, don’t eat them, and check with your dentist to see if there are other problems that need addressing.

#3. Grinding your teeth

People that grind their teeth are damaging the enamel, and this can expose the tubes and channels that lead down the tooth to the nerves.

#4. Wrong toothpaste?

There are some tooth whitening type toothpastes that have chemicals designed to whiten teeth. These chemicals might be harming your teeth and gums. Consider switching toothpastes if you use one of these whitening pastes and you have sensitive teeth.

#5. Too much mouthwash.

Some of the mouthwash sold contains alcohol and other chemicals that have been shown to cause pain to sensitive mouths.

#6. Oral health issues like gum disease and excessive plaque.

Gum disease and periodontal issues may lead to sensitive areas prone to pain. Excessive plaque causes the degradation of enamel.

#7. Recent dental procedures.

I guess this is common sense – but if you have had oral surgery or other dental work recently, it is very likely your mouth is tender and surely susceptible to any and all types of irritants. Of course, if your sensitive teeth do not improve, you need to let your dentist know!

In any case, sensitive teeth are no laughing matter and can be quite painful. If it persists no matter what you do, be sure to make an appointment and get it checked. Only an office visit can determine the most likely cause of your tooth sensitivity and the best solution for your particular situation.

Please call (505) 293-7611, or Contact us by email, to schedule your New Patient Experience with Dr. Abeyta.

Wisdom Teeth Pain

If you have wisdom teeth pain, you really don’t care about why they are called wisdom teeth!

wisdom teeth pain in Albuquerque

But it is curious, isn’t it? Why in the world would teeth be called wisdom teeth?

The answer is really simple. Wisdom teeth normally appear between ages 17 and 25 which traditionally has been known as the “age of wisdom”.

Wisdom teeth come from an earlier time in our evolution when a spare set of molars was handy to have around. In the age of chewing raw meat, nuts and plants, and when there were no dentists, it was very common for teeth to be knocked out or fall out, and those extra teeth came in handy.

Not everyone has these teeth, but the numbers say about 90% of all people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. This means that no teeth have fallen (or been knocked) out to make room for the extra tooth. On average, people have four wisdom teeth but you can have more. There are dentist’s stories of removing up to nine teeth! Ouch.

Wisdom tooth pain comes from several different areas. Swelling, limited jaw movement, or even pain when chewing can also be associated with wisdom teeth issues.

Wisdom teeth can get infected below the gumline, even if they never break through, and can cause lesions, tumors, and damage to other teeth.

Since wisdom teeth roots form during the teenage years, it is easier to remove them at that age before they fully develop. The older the patient, the more opportunity for wisdom teeth pain due to the movement against other teeth, infection, and the teeth trying to break through.

Of course the longer you wait, the more after effects there will be. Swelling around the area of wisdom teeth removal will continue after the procedure for 2-3 days and might involve you looking like the proverbial chipmunk with a mouth full of winter nuts (but no wisdom teeth!) Just keep your head elevated and utilize ice packs to help the swelling down. You might even show signs of bruising if the teeth were particularly difficult to remove.

Bleeding can be helped with biting on a moist tea bag believe it or not! Any pain can be helped with anything from prescribed painkillers to mild pain relievers like aspirin.

Eat lots of ice cream, yogurt, pudding, smoothies and before you know it, you face will look normal, the bleeding will heal and you will have no more wisdom teeth pain!

If you have any questions, ask Dr. Abeyta. She knows all about wisdom teeth pain!

Tooth Pain – What To Do

Here are some guidelines on tooth pain – what to do.

men holding his jaw because of a tooth ache

Pain tells you something is wrong. It might be a minor wrong or it might be a major wrong, but you should still pay attention. Tooth pain is usually caused by nerves inside the tooth. The level of pain depends on the level of stimulus to the nerves.

In this article about tooth pain, let’s look at some of the common reasons you might be experiencing pain.

#1. Sensitivity to hot or cold foods and liquids.

A very common issue is sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids. This can be caused by several things, including small decay in a tooth, or a loose filling or even because you brush too hard! Often this pain is temporary and will be gone soon.

Make sure you keep the area very clean, maybe a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, and try using a softer toothbrush (and go easy on the gums!) If the pain persists- of course call us and let’s check it out!
#2 Sensitivity to hot and cold after a dentist visit.

Sometimes dental works can cause inflammation of the gum as well as inside the teeth, in the area of pulp tissues. Again, this should be temporary and should recede in several days. With a more difficult procedure, it might take longer. You can use your favorite (or dentist recommended) mild pain reliever to help. If it persists – call us!

#3. When biting you experience sharp pain.

Pain from biting is usually associated directly with one specific area and might be anything from a loose filling to a cracked tooth to decay in the tooth. On this type of pain it is best to go ahead and make that appointment. Often what could be a minor issue can worsen quickly if ignored.

#4. Pain stays after eating hot or cold foods.

If the pain hangs around, normally this points to damaged pulp in the tooth which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Abscesses, decay and other issues can turn into severe pain if not taken care of early.
These four things are common ailments of the mouth and can cause tooth pain. Hopefully this will help you understand more about what might be going on and what to do about it.

Please call (505) 293-7611 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Abeyta.