21 01, 2016

Women and Oral Health

Orlando Dentist Discusses Women’s Oral Health

Although all teeth are created equal, there are some very specific issues that affect women’s dental and oral health. WebMD has some great information that we share below. If you have any questions or need to schedule a dental exam in the Orlando area, we would love to hear from you. Watson Dental Care has been serving the Orlando area for more than 30 years and can assist with the specifics of women’s oral health.

Introduction to Women’s Oral Health

Did you know that women can be more at risk for oral health problems at different stages in their lives? Women’s oral health actually depends on their different stages of life. For many women, these changes are directly related to surges in sex-hormone levels, such as in puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, lactation and menopause. Women are also more likely to be diagnosed with TMJ, myofascial pain, eating disorders and Sjögren’s syndrome (which causes dry mouth).

Hormones affect not only the blood supply to the gum tissue but also the body’s response to the toxins (poisons) that result from plaque buildup. As a result of these changes, women are more prone to the development of periodontal disease at certain stages of their lives, as well as to other oral health problems.

When Are Women More at Risk for Dental Health Issues?

There are five situations in a women’s life during which hormone fluctuations make them more susceptible to oral health problems – during puberty, at certain points in the monthly menstrual cycle, when using birth control pills, during pregnancy, and at menopause.

Puberty and Dental Health

The surge in production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that occurs during puberty can increase the blood flow to the gums and change the way gum tissue reacts to irritants in plaque, causing the gum tissue to become red, tender, swollen, and more likely to bleed during brushing and flossing.

The Monthly Menstrual cycle and Dental Health

Due to the hormonal changes (particularly the increase in progesterone) that occur during the menstrual cycle, some women experience oral changes that can include bright red swollen gums,swollen salivary glands, development of canker sores, or bleeding gums. Menstruation gingivitis usually occurs a day or two before the start of the period and clears up shortly after the period has started.

Use of Birth Control Pills and Dental Health

Women who take certain birth control pills that contain progesterone, which increases the level of that hormone in the body, may experience inflamed gum tissues due to the body’s exaggerated reaction to the toxins produced from plaque. Tell your dentist if you are taking an oral contraceptive.

Pregnancy and Dental Health

Hormone levels change considerably during pregnancy. An increased level of progesterone, in particular, can cause gum disease any time during the second to eighth month of pregnancy – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Your dentist may recommend more frequent professional cleanings during your second or early third trimester to help reduce the chance of developing gingivitis. Tell your dentist if you are pregnant.

Schedule an appointment with us here at Watson Dental if you are a woman experiencing any oral health issues, especially ones that may correlate to any of the above. Watson Dental is here to help and provide you the best options and care!

Original Source: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/hormones-oral-health

3 06, 2015

Heat Stroke and Dental Health

woman-faintedOrlando Dentist reviews heat stroke and dental health

Summer is coming very soon and the heat is greater than ever. With the effects of climate change, temperatures all over the world are increasing, and millions of people are suffering physically, mentally and even financially. One of the most serious complications that the heat can bring is heat stroke, also known as sunstroke. This medical emergency often leads to death if not addressed immediately.

How Does Heat Stroke Affect Dental Health?

While dental health is the least of your worries when you suffer heat stroke, once you have recovered from the illness, it may have repercussions on your teeth. Heat stroke may be caused by or lead to dehydration, which also affects the saliva production of the body. With the lack of saliva, the mouth becomes more exposed to bacterial infections and you may develop oral mucositis, gum disease and tooth decay.

If you did have a heat stroke and recovered successfully, make it a point to visit our dental clinic on Vineland Road in Orlando, FL. Our dentist Dr. Sangalang will observe whether dehydration has caused any major problems in your teeth and gums. You will be given treatment suggestions and home care instructions to ensure that these effects are reversed.

Heat Stroke and Its Symptoms

Heat stroke can strike at any moment, which makes it similar to a cerebrovascular accident, commonly known as stroke. The symptoms of heat stroke are:

  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • throbbing headache
  • muscle cramps
  • palpitation
  • difficulty breathing
  • poor sweating
  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • loss of consciousness

The body temperature of an individual suffering from heat stroke is around 104 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 degrees Celsius, similar to convulsion. However, the heat is not caused by fever but rather by the body’s inability to cool down.

Risk Factors of Heat Stroke

You are at higher risk of getting a heat stroke if:

  1. You have a history of heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps, fainting or heat syncope, and heat exhaustion.
  2. You are aged 50 and above.
  3. You do not drink plenty of water or have a history of dehydration.
  4. You are exposed to direct sunlight.
  5. You have a history of body temperature problems (hypothermia or hyperthermia).

Preventing Heat Stroke

If you are at high risk of getting a heat stroke or you are exposed in a very hot environment, here are some things you should do:

  • Drink lots of water, preferably cold.
  • Stay in a shaded area away from the direct heat of the sun.
  • Fan yourself if you have no access to an air-conditioned environment.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher to repel UV heat.
  • Wear loose and light-colored clothing to repel heat.
  • Wear a cap or hat.
  • Don’t exercise in an unshaded area.
  • Minimize fieldwork with open exposure to the sun.
  • When exhausted, replace water with a sports drink that helps replenish electrolytes. Lack of sodium in the body can increase the risk of heat stroke.

Summer is a wonderful time to go out and have fun, but if the heat of the sun can bring danger to the family, it’s better to stay indoors and keep on your air conditioning. In the event that you or a loved one do suffer from heat stroke, make sure you call 911 and get proper first aid treatment. After recovery, you may call us at (407) 351-3213 to get a dental exam and minimize the complications of heat stroke on your dental health.

15 04, 2015

What Happens to Water Discharged Down Dental Drains?

Dental professionals utilize a somewhat large amount of water when working with patients as they often need to clean mouths and rid them of residue. Despite the large use of water used within dental practices, many dental professionals are unaware of what exactly happens to the water when it goes down the drain. It is said that dental practices use an average of 57,000 gallons water every year, which can be very wasteful especially because most water used within a dental practice is not recycled.

Once the dental professionals allow the water to go down the drain, it enters into the city’s sewers. The public works system uses downward, sloping angles so that the water is always flowing in the correct direction. It often goes as deep as 40 feet below the city before it elevated back up to the top and then continues the process of flowing in a downwards motion.

The water will finish its underground descending journey when it arrives at a water treatment plant. At the water treatment plant, the water will be filtered using screens to get rid of anything large in the water system that can cause backups in the pipes and water treatment system. The water is then placed into large holding chambers where microorganisms feed off of the non-water items within the water. These types of microorganism do not have to be added into the water but come to it naturally but are still observed to ensure that they are not causing any harm to the system.

Once the water leaves the large holding chambers, it goes into another tank called a clarifier. Clarifiers are used to let solid objects in the water sink so that is only on the bottom of the tank. The water at the top of these tanks continues its journey while the solids and sludge at the bottom of the tank is often used as a fertilizer after they are treated to become biosolids. The water that was at the top of the tank is then transported into secondary system that utilizes sand to get rid of any small debris that may not yet have been cleaned from the water.

Once the water has been filtered by the sand, it makes its final step in the treatment process by being placed inside of a chlorine cleaning tank. The chlorine gas used in the water rids the water of any bacteria that may be left as well as getting rid of many of the microorganisms who helped to clean the water in an earlier step. Once the water has been sufficiently disinfected, it will be released into a nearby river or lake.

This is the general process that occurs once water goes down a dental drain, but it varies per city. It is important for dentists to conserve water when working to be environmentally friendly and make the water treatment process easier.

4 04, 2015

How to Prepare for Spring Sports

As the coming of spring is prefaced by warmer weather and allergies, many are no doubt excited about the opportunity to play outdoor sports once more. There are, however, a few things to remember as you start getting ready to play spring sports. Taking care of your teeth even as you condition the rest of your body is important for your overall oral health.

Sports and Tooth Damage

Teeth might not be your first thought when you think about sports injuries, but they are nevertheless one of the most common types of injuries. In fact, the American Dental Association has estimated that as much as 39 percent of all knocked out teeth occur during some sports accident. Even if you don’t practice martial arts or contact sports, tooth injuries are always a lurking hazard because you never know when you might fall and hit your jaw wrong.

A few different types of tooth injuries of differing levels of severity can be caused by trauma. The most dangerous is avulsion, or when a tooth is completely knocked out. For avulsed teeth, seeing a dentist is absolutely vital to making sure your tooth can be replaced.

Your teeth can become chipped or displaced as a result of an accident. Though less serious than avulsion, professional attention is still vital. A dentist can help recreate chipped portions and perform surgeries to get your teeth back to their original state.

How to Prevent Tooth Injury

Tooth injuries of any type are always a potential risk when playing sports, so knowing how to protect your teeth is very important. The best way to protect your teeth from trauma of any type is to wear a mouthguard. Typical sports store carry inexpensive, “off the shelf” mouthguards that at least minimally protect your teeth. Stock mouthguards are the least protective type of mouthguards, however, because no generic piece can fit a person’s jaw properly.

Mouth-formed protectors is a more helpful type of mouthguard because, as the name implies, the mouthguard conforms to the shape of the user’s mouth, increasing its cushioning ability. The lining of the mouthguard molds to the shape of the athlete’s teeth, making adding to the protective power of the mouthguard.

The best mouthguard, however, is the custom-made, dentist-produced one. A custom-made mouth protector is created to fit the teeth of the user, making it a slightly more expensive but safest option.

If you would like to custom-make a mouthguard to protect your teeth while playing sports, be sure to contact a dentist to get recommendation for how best to proceed. Call Dr. Gabriel Sangalang at (407) 351-3213 to set up an appointment to discuss possible tooth protection today!

6 03, 2015

How Does Disney Portray Dentistry in Disney Films?

When you think of Disney films, what normally comes to mind is delightful children’s animations, probably not dentistry. There is, however, a notable dentist in recent Disney films–Dr. Philip Sherman, the so-called villain in Finding Nemo. Dr. Sherman, though a amiable man, tries to rescue Nemo from dying in the sea, but unknowingly separates Nemo and his father instead. He plays a pivotal role in the movie but might not project the image most dentists would want.

Seen from the perspective of the fish, Dr. Sherman is certainly a terrifying being. He wields powerful technology for seemingly sadistic purposes, especially since his patient’s reactions are definitely exaggerated. From Finding Nemo alone, it would appear Disney solely portrays dentists as frightening creatures who act erratically and unpredictably. This does not exactly foster amicable feelings between patients and dental care providers, especially young patients.

Fortunately, Finding Nemo is not the only film by the Disney franchise that mentions dentistry, Walt Disney himself actually created several short films about proper tooth care even before his debut with Mickey Mouse. In 1922, Dr. Thomas McCrum commissioned the then-impoverished Disney to film a short video elaborating on the need for good oral hygiene. Tommy Tucker’s Tooth features two boys, Tommy Tucker, who meticulously brushes his teeth, and Jimmie Jones, who is careless with his teeth and misses many life opportunities because of it. The film became widely circulated as an educational tool to encourage children to be more mindful of their teeth.

The popularity of the film led Walt Disney to create Clara Cleans Her Teeth in 1926 as a sort of sequel to Tommy Tucker’s Tooth. Clara, played by Disney’s niece, is an impetuous girl who refuses to see a dentist until an animated dream makes her change her mind. Here, Disney’s emphasis is on the importance of seeing dentists when there are teeth troubles. Clara’s life appears to change once she can painlessly eat with her friends once more.

Soon after, Disney’s Mickey Mouse caught the attention of the public. So it wasn’t until 1945, when Disney was making educational films for the military, that he touched the subject of dentistry once more. Disney created an eight-minute educational video called Dental Health to teach the basics of dentistry to the soldiers of the time. The video covered a wide range of topics, from how teeth function to different types of infections to the role of nutrition in proper oral care.

More educational dental videos followed. The Disney Company in 1971 animated Teeth Are For Chewing to expound on the virtues of good dental hygiene practices. Twenty years later, a live-action short film featuring Goofy called Goofy About Dental Health was made to teach children how to maintain healthy teeth.

Although the most recent example of dentistry in Disney films is through the villain of Finding Nemo, Dr. Sherman, through the years, the Disney Company has made many educational videos explaining why proper dental hygiene and dentist visits are important. You cannot let dental anxiety or the stigma of a bad experience keep you from the care you need. Contact your dentist in Orlando at (407) 351-3213 to make sure your teeth stay healthy as well!

5 02, 2015

All About Fluoride

Check out this infographic All About Fluoride.

Fluoride

16 01, 2015

The True Value of Your Smile

Your smile may seem like a simple, straight forward thing, but there is more power in it than you think. It is the first thing a person will notice about you, it is more memorable than a frown and can tell others a lot about you before you even say anything. A nice smile can go a long way. Here is exactly how far.

What’s in a Smile?

Researchers have conducted smile studies for many years. Past studies show that genuine smiles promote positive social interactions, add value to conversations and influence how a person is viewed. A smile is one of the most important means for building and establishing rapport and is a universal sign of happiness. In fact, the very act of smiling can boost your mood. But that is not all.

According to a survey from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7 percent of adults think a smile is a key social asset. But researchers at Bangor University took their research one step further. They used computer software to test college students’ responses to a genuine smiles.

The Experiment

Basically, the research examined responses to two types of smiles: polite and genuine. Students played a game against computerized opponents with higher or lower chances of winning. In later stages of the game, researchers asked students to choose their opponents and measured their preferences. Surprisingly, the college students (usually highly motivated to earn money) preferred genuinely smiling opponents even when they were less likely to pay. Through their findings, researchers calculated the economic value of a genuine smile based on the effect it can have on people’s decision-making.

The Results

Bangor researchers reported that each smile is worth exactly one third of a penny. This might sound surprisingly low, considering how much value we place on a smile. It’s also funny to think of smiles in monetary terms. However, if you smile 10 to 15 times over the course of a short interaction, those pennies can add up quickly and impact your decision-making. Think of the impact. Smiles, in the form of social currency play a bigger role than you think and are a valuable reward that people will pay to receive. A genuine smile from a car salesman may have you buying more add-ons than you intended. But, that’s just the economic value. The true value of a smile goes beyond what can be measured in coins.

How Much Value Do You Place on Your Smile?

A smile can change your mood, improve your confidence and even impact your health. Unfortunately, many people feel dissatisfied with how their smile looks and are too embarrassed to smile. Instead, they hide behind their hands or smiling with closed lips.

Don’t let this be you. Your smile is powerful and you should use it accordingly. If you are unhappy with stained, misshapen or misaligned teeth, you can visit Watson Dental Care. We provide several treatments to enhance the natural beauty of your smile including teeth whitening, dental veneers and Six Month Smiles.

Imagine how wonderful it will feel to have to have full confidence in your genuine smile once more. Call (407) 351-3213 to find out more today. We believe in smiling, absolutely.

Meta description: The saying is a penny for your thoughts, but Bangor University found that it should be a third of a penny for your smile. Find out about new research that determines exactly how valuable genuine smiles are.

12 11, 2014

The Dangers of Gum Disease

Periodontal infections can begin simply enough. Swelling of the gums, maybe some bleeding—it doesn’t seem like such a big problem in the early stages. However, if gingivitis does progress into periodontitis, not only is your oral health at risk, but the disease could move systematically to other parts of the body. This can present some very major problems. Only with early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease can you take a proactive approach against what could become a dangerous infection.

There are many adults in the United States who suffer from periodontal disease, as many as 47 percent age 30 and over. That is about 64.7 million Americans with mild to severe periodontitis.

Stages of Periodontal Infection

Your mouth is always full of bacteria, and not all of it is bad. However, when bacteria begin to break down the carbohydrates and sugars in your mouth, they produce acids as a byproduct. When these substances get trapped along the gum line, the soft tissues of the mouth can become irritated and inflamed. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and the more severe stage is called periodontitis.

Gingivitis

During this phase of gum disease the symptoms can be fairly mild, including swelling, bleeding, and redness. Usually the symptoms and infection can be reduced and eliminated with daily brushing and flossing. Also, a general cleaning from a dentist or hygienist could clear up the infection. During this phase there is no bone or tissue loss.

Periodontitis

When gingivitis is left untreated the infection can become more serious, leading to periodontitis. This is when inflammation is serious enough to form pockets between gums and teeth. These deep pockets harbor bacteria which can lead to destruction of the supportive bone and tissue surrounding the teeth.

Why Gum Disease is Dangerous

Modern research shows that periodontal infection is linked to several other health risks, not just tooth loss. These illnesses include diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.

Gum Disease and Diabetes

Not only are people with diabetes more likely to suffer from gum disease, but periodontal infection can increase blood sugar. This means the relationship between gum disease and diabetes goes both ways. People with diabetes, who suffer from gum disease, are more likely to suffer from diabetic complications.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Another systematic health risk associated with gum disease is heart disease. Again, the cause-and-effect relationship is not yet determined. However, scientists believe the inflammation caused by the infection is responsible. At the very least, gum disease can exacerbate a pre-existing heart condition and could lead to a stroke. This is why the periodontist is likely to ask about any family history of heart disease.

Gum Disease and Cancer

Another frightening connection is the link between periodontal infection and some forms of cancer. Research shows advanced gum disease correlated to a 63 percent higher risk of pancreatic cancer, a 50 percent increased risk of kidney cancer, and a 30 percent increased risk of blood cancer.

Preventing Gum Disease

Yes, controlling gum disease can save your teeth, but can also keep many other health problems from developing into something dangerous. One of the things you can do to control gum disease is brushing and flossing regularly. Your oral health should be a daily priority to help keep teeth and gums clear of infection. A daily oral health care regimen should include brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day.

Another thing patients can do to prevent gum disease is visiting the dentist twice a year for examinations and professional cleanings. By receiving these exams the dentist can gauge your periodontal health. They can also assess any risks connected with the disease, and diagnose any existing infection. They can also provide treatment in both mild and moderate cases of the disease.

Treatments for Periodontal Infection

If gum disease is serious enough, the dentist may recommend treatment. Usually the dentist will try some less invasive procedures before resorting to oral surgery. A non-surgical treatment includes professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from along the gum line. Another non-surgical treatment is scaling and root planing. This is where deep cleaning is done by scraping away tartar and smoothing any rough spots along the tooth root.

When gum disease is serious enough, there are some more extensive treatments as well. The dentist could use flap and pocket reduction surgery to clear below the gum line and reduce the gap or depth of pockets. Other treatments include soft tissue grafts, bone grafts, or guided tissue regeneration.

If you think you could be suffering from gum disease, do not delay meeting with the dentist. Contact us today and get in touch with our dentist for diagnosis and treatment of your condition.

27 10, 2014

What Are You Doing to Prevent Pediatric Dental Disease?

Some parents know that cavities and dental decay need to be prevented in children, but few know exactly the best way to go about it. As a result, childhood dental decay is the primary chronic childhood illness. In fact, tooth decay is five times more common than asthma. Fortunately, dental research has resulted in more effective preventative techniques and restorative treatments. But more importantly, home dental care is required to preserve those sweet little smiles.

Pediatric Oral Health Crisis in the United States

  • Each year an estimated 17 million children go without professional dental care

  • 89 percent of children visit their physician, but only 1.5 percent see a dentist in their first year

  • Over 20 million children lack appropriate dental insurance

  • More than 25 percent of children aged 2 to 5 years have dental decay

  • More than 50 percent of children aged 12 to 15 years have dental decay

  • Over 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental decay

  • The most prevalent unmet health need of children is dental care

If left untreated, dental decay can impact a child’s overall health and well-being. Even their quality of life can suffer, all starting with their teeth. If a child’s teeth become diseased, injured, or improperly developed, it can lead to malnutrition, dangerous infections, dental pain and problems with speech development. Dental infections also have been linked to stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and heart disease. Don’t let children become another set of poor statistics. It is time to change the trend.

Common Questions About Pediatric Dental Disease in Infants, Children

1. How Early Should Child Dental Care Start?

Well, truthfully it should start right away. Baby teeth begin to form before birth. By the time they are born, all 20 of a child’s primary teeth are fully formed in the jaw. Though these teeth do not generally begin to break through the gums until about six months of age, newborns still need oral health care. Start by simply rubbing a warm washcloth along their gums after feeding. Then, when teeth do begin to appear make the switch to an infant toothbrush and fluoride-free toothpaste.

2. When Should a Child First Visit a Dentist?

A child can have a visit with the dentist as early as six months old. Usually these early visits only include a quick exam so the dentist can assess the condition of child’s oral health. Mostly, these appointments are meant as an introductory phase. They are designed to help children become more comfortable visiting the dentist early, that way later appointments run more smoothly.

3. When Does Thumb-Sucking or Pacifiers Impact Oral Health of a Child?

Many parents worry about thumb sucking or pacifiers. Though it is true these can lead to crooked or crowded teeth, it is not an immediate problem for infants. In fact, thumb-sucking is completely normal and most children will stop the behavior on their own by age two. If not, you may need help to wean your child around this time to keep any problems from developing. Just do not dip your child’s pacifier in honey, sugar or sweetened liquid or it can lead to early decay.

4. Should Children Use Fluoride Toothpaste?

When first teaching a child to brush their teeth, it is important to start with fluoride-free toothpaste. Younger toddlers tend to swallow toothpaste, and, if they swallow too much, it could lead to fluorosis. So, just to be safe, children should start using fluoride toothpaste once they are able to spit out the excess. Also, some dental treatments that might improve a child’s dental health include fluoride therapy and dental sealants.

5. Do Parents Really Need to Worry About Baby Teeth?

Primary teeth are deciduous teeth, meaning they will fall out to make room for permanent teeth. Some take this to mean they do not have to worry about taking care of primary teeth. If they are just going to fall out, then dental decay will be eliminated when teeth fall out. This is just not the case. It is important to take care of baby teeth, to teach children about dental health care early, and ward against pediatric dental disease. Early oral health problems can impact a child for many years to come.

What To Do About Pediatric Dental Disease

Some children may be prone to dental decay, oral infections and gum disease. Outside of oral health care at home, children still need to maintain semi-annual appointments with a dentist. At the first sign of dental pain, it is important to contact us right away.

22 09, 2014

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