Friday, 4 January 2019

Dry Mouth at Night: The Causes and Management Tips

Below is an article written by by Diana Tosuni-O'Neill RDH, BS and found on Colgate.com 

Have you ever woken up from a sound sleep with a dry mouth at night? Dry mouth, or xerostomia, can be caused by something as simple as sleeping with your mouth open or as complex as a side effect of medication. Read on to find out what may be at the root of your nighttime lip smacking.

Signs of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can be as simple as the salivary glands not producing enough saliva to keep the mouth moist. Saliva is key to washing debris from your teeth and remineralizing tooth enamel. With too little of it, you may be at risk for tooth decay.

Aside from increasing your risk for cavities, dry mouth can be uncomfortable. If you are experiencing dry mouth at night, some noticeable morning signs are:

  • A sticky feeling in your mouth
  • Thick or stringy saliva
  • Bad breath
  • Dry or sore throat
  • Cracked or chapped lips
  • Mouth sores
  • Changed sense of taste

What Causes Xerostomia?
The occasional case of dry mouth at night may simply be due to dehydration, but age, medical conditions and habits can also contribute to its symptoms. The Mayo Clinic reports that several medications can cause dry mouth, such as muscle relaxants, depression and anxiety medications and antihistamines. It's also associated with diabetes and the autoimmune disorder Sjogren's syndrome. Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can change or damage the salivary glands, as can nerve damage to the head and neck area.

Frequent tobacco and alcohol use can lead to xerostomia. Besides putting you at risk for oral cancer, smoking causes changes in saliva production. Alcoholic drinks and tobacco also irritate an already dry mouth and contribute to bad breath.

To read the entire article visit Colgate.com

The remainder of the article details the following:

  • Ways to Manage Dry Mouth at Night

Dentist North Little Rock AR
Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Friday, 28 December 2018

Antimicrobial Therapy for Gum Disease

Below is an article written by by Tracey Sandilands and found on Colgate.com 

Antimicrobial therapy is a form of oral treatment used to eliminate or reduce the development of bacterial infections in the mouth. The therapy aims to prevent periodontal diseaseresulting from infections, which can cause painful, bleeding gums and loosening of your teeth.

Preparation and Treatment
If your dentist decides you will benefit from antimicrobial treatment, they will likely start with scaling and root planing. This process removes plaque and calculus (tartar) from the sulcus area around the teeth using either a scaler or instruments as well as an ultrasonic scaling device. In severe cases where there are periodontal pockets greater than 5-6 mm deep, the dentist may recommend that the patient be seen by a periodontist to evaluate the area with deeper pocketing and determine if gum surgery may be necessary. The scaling and root planing and gum surgery treatments require local anesthesia to reduce the patient's discomfort. The dental hygienist performs the scaling and root planing procedure.

During gum surgery, the periodontist makes an incision into the gum tissue, flaps the tissue back and cleans and scales the surface of the affected teeth and bone to remove the diseased tissue and infection. The gum tissue is then put back in place and sutured and the gum tissue will heal, and the periodontist will check the area a week or so after surgery. The use of an antiseptic mouthwash or antibiotic medication may be recommended for the next seven to 10 days.

Antiseptic Mouthwashes
Mouthwashes containing antiseptic ingredients help control the reproduction of the bacteria, which grow on the gum tissue in the mouth, and help to clean out the pockets around the individual teeth. The ingredients in antiseptic mouthwashes may include chlorhexidine, essential oils, and metal salts Sn11 and Zn11 to help control dental plaque and halitosis.

To read the entire article visit Colgate.com

The remainder of the article details the following:

  • Antibiotic Medications
  • After Treatment

Dentist North Little Rock AR
Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Friday, 21 December 2018

What Is the Best Age for Braces?

Below is an article written by by Steve Auger and found on Colgate.com 

Responsible parents always want what is best for their children, even if the kids don't see it that way. That means yearly physicals, regular dental checkups and an orthodontist appointment if you suspect your child needs braces. While you're preparing for the visit, brush up on the best age for braces.

What Do Braces Do?
Orthodontic treatment solves multiple mouth issues. Some of those issues include teeth crowding, missing or extra teeth, tooth spacing and improper bites. Orthodontic issues are referred to as malocclusions. Malocclusions that aren't fixed can cause problems down the line, including worn enamel, tooth decay and issues with chewing and speaking.

First Visit to the Orthodontist
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends scheduling a child's first orthodontist visit by age 7 or at the first visible sign of a malocclusion. At that age, the child's teeth and jaw are still developing, making orthodontic issues, such as tooth crowding, easier to address.
Your child might be a bit apprehensive about the visit. A good orthodontist will take measures to put your child at ease, like giving them an office tour and introducing them to the staff. Once your child is more relaxed, the orthodontist can conduct the initial exam to determine if treatment is needed. Photographs and X-rays of the mouth and teeth will be taken to help the orthodontist decide how to proceed.

To read the entire article visit Colgate.com

The remainder of the article details the following:

  • Types of Misalignment
  • Adapting to Braces
  • Not Just for Children

Dentist North Little Rock AR
Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

6 MouthHealthy Holiday Snacks (That Are Almost Too Cute to Eat) (3 of 3)

Below is an excerpt from an article found on MouthHealthy.org

Sweet as the holidays may be, sugar-packed treats can wreak havoc on your pearly whites. This season, ring in the festivities with healthy and fun holiday snack options that fill your mouth with joy.

Pita Tree Appetizers
 







The low-fat sour cream in this recipe is a source of vitamin D, which strengthens bones and teeth.
Get the recipe >> 

Grinch Poppers













Be good for goodness sake to your teeth with these Grinch Poppers. For a healthier and more MouthHealthy alternative, swap the sugary and sticky marshmallow for another piece of banana. 
Get the recipe >>

To read the entire article with all healthy snacks please visit MouthHealthy.org

Dentist North Little Rock AR
Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

6 MouthHealthy Holiday Snacks (That Are Almost Too Cute to Eat) (2 of 3)

Below is an excerpt from an article found on MouthHealthy.org

Sweet as the holidays may be, sugar-packed treats can wreak havoc on your pearly whites. This season, ring in the festivities with healthy and fun holiday snack options that fill your mouth with joy.

Black Olive Penguins










These penguins will waddle their way into your heart - especially because they’re filled with cream cheese, which has calcium. 
Get the recipe >>

Cheesy Reindeer













Rich in calcium, cheese is always a MouthHealthy favorite. To get perfectly round eyes and noses, the author of this recipe used a juice box-sized straw to cut round pieces of black olive and a larger straw for the red pepper nose.
Get the recipe >> 

To read the entire article with all healthy snacks please visit MouthHealthy.org

Dentist North Little Rock AR
Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

6 MouthHealthy Holiday Snacks (That Are Almost Too Cute to Eat) (1 of 3)

Below is an excerpt from an article found on MouthHealthy.org

Sweet as the holidays may be, sugar-packed treats can wreak havoc on your pearly whites. This season, ring in the festivities with healthy and fun holiday snack options that fill your mouth with joy.

Egg Snowmen










These adorable snowmen - made with hard-boiled eggs, carrots and peppercorns - will melt your heart before melting in your mouth. Eggs are a source of Vitamin D, which is needed to help absorb, carry and deposit calcium in the bone that supports your teeth. Carrots - which are crunchy, firm and full of water - help to scrub your teeth clean like a natural toothbrush.
Get the recipe >> 

Spinach Artichoke Frittata Trees
 










You won’t need to cut down on these trees! Dairy products like milk contain calcium, eggs are a source of Vitamin D and leafy greens like spinach are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. (Just be sure to floss before flashing a smile beneath the mistletoe!) 
Get the recipe >> 

To read the entire article with all healthy snacks please visit MouthHealthy.org

Dentist North Little Rock AR
Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Sunday, 4 November 2018

What (and How) to Eat When You're Having Dental Issues: Braces or Canker Sore

Below is an excerpt from an article found on MouthHealthy.org 

You know that what you eat directly impacts your health, and that includes the health of your teeth and gums. But it can work the other way around too. If you have an orthodontic appliance, such as braces, or have had certain dental problems or procedures, the health and comfort of your teeth and gums can directly impact what you eat. Here are some tips for what to eat and how to avoid these common dental issues.

Braces
Braces are delicate, and any foods that are sticky, chewy or hard can easily cause them to break, including:

  • ice
  • nuts
  • popcorn
  • hard candy
  • gum

Any food that you need to bite into to eat is prime for breaking braces. You can get around this by cutting the food, such as corn off the cob or rib meat off the bone, or slicing apples and chopping carrots into small, bite-size pieces. You may also experience problems eating after your braces are tightened-teeth may feel sore. The first few days are the worst, so try eating softer foods like those listed below until the soreness passes:

  • scrambled eggs
  • oatmeal
  • soup with soft vegetables or pureed or cream soups
  • soft cheeses, including cottage cheese
  • smoothies and milkshakes

Canker Sores
There is no cure for canker sores but you may be able to reduce how often you get them by avoiding foods that irritate your mouth. Spicy foods, acidic foods like pickles and sauerkraut, and citrus fruits can cause irritation. If you have canker sores, help ease discomfort by eating bland foods until your sores heal, such as: 

  • low-fat milk and other dairy foods
  • cooked, canned and frozen vegetables
  • mashed potatoes (fortify by mixing in powdered milk to boost nutrition)
  • cooked or canned fruit, including applesauce
  • hot cereals like oatmeal and cream of wheat (make with milk instead of water to boost nutrition)

If you get mouth sores, try these tips to make eating easier and speed healing:

  • Choose cool or room temperature foods.
  • Blend and moisten dry or solid foods.
  • Drink through a straw to bypass mouth sores. 
  • Eat high protein, high calorie foods to speed up healing time. For example, add protein powder to milk shakes or powdered dry milk to fortify mashed potatoes and soups.

The lists above are partial, please read the entire article at MouthHealthy.org to view the full lists.

Dentist North Little Rock AR
Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155