Diabetes and Your Mouth

Here are a few of the recent statistics on diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association:

  1. Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  1. Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke.
  1. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.

Maintining optimal dental wellness and Healthy blood glucose (or blood sugar) control includes steps like following… a balanced meal plan, engaging in an active lifestyle with sufficient physical activity, and taking blood glucose-lowering medications as you need them over the years. You might also need other medications to control your blood pressure and lipids (cholesterol).

  • Control your blood sugar levels. Keep a log of your levels.
  • Use your diabetes-related medications as directed, changing to a healthier diet and even exercising more can help. Good blood sugar control will also help your body fight any bacterial or fungal infections in your mouth and help relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • If you wear any type of denture, clean it each day.
  • Lead a physically active lifestyle
  • Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and floss correctly daily.
  • See your dentist for regular checkups.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Diabetes Care: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/diabetes/faq/faq20.html

Visit the following links to learn more:

http://www.diabetes.org/in-my-community/american-diabetes-month.html#sthash.NLprUZLf.dpuf

http://www.diabeticlivingonline.com/monitoring/blood-sugar/13-diabetes-tips-to-improve-blood-sugar-control

SPRING IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER! ARE YOUR KIDS SIGNING UP FOR SPORTS? DON’T FORGET THAT MOUTHGUARD

As your children get ready for football, baseball, soccer and other spring sports, dentists are urging parents during February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month to purchase mouth guards for their children! Also, it’s important to know what you should do if physical contact cause a child’s tooth to be displaced.

Studies show 13 – 39 percent of dental injuries treated in children occur while playing sports with children ages 7 – 11 most at risk.

The best protection is a properly fitted mouth guard. The Academy of General Dentistry estimates mouth guards prevent more than 200,000 injuries each year. Most are priced at around $8-15 and are available in sporting goods retailers and drug stores. How long a mouth guard lasts depends on use, with most typically wearing out after several months of repeated use.

If, however, your child loses a baby tooth, don’t worry; it was going to fall out eventually. Some bleeding is normal. Simply have your child bite on clean folded gauze or a cloth until the bleeding subsides.

In the event a permanent tooth is displaced, take these steps to save it:

-Locate the tooth immediately and pick it up by the crown, not by the root.

-Gently wash the tooth with water.

-Don’t use soap, scrub the tooth, dry the tooth or wrap tissue or cloth around it.

-If possible, reposition the tooth in the socket immediately by carefully using your fingers to push the tooth back into the socket.

-If it can’t be replaced in the socket, put it in milk or in the mouth (next to the cheek).

-See your dentist as soon as possible, preferably within 30 minutes to an hour of the injury.

Taking Care of Your Sick Kids and Their Teeth

 

Did you know when your little ones are under the weather, helping them take care of their teeth can will make them feel better sooner?

Nurse those little ones back to health while helping them care for their teeth by doing this!

Their Teeth Need Nursing Too!

Have your kids drink plenty of water when they are sick. If they drink something like fruit juice or a sports drink, it’s best to have them rinse thoroughly with water after so the sugars in those other drinks don’t sit on their teeth all day.

A big one is to give your kids a new toothbrush after they shake off and are out of the woods with what is ailing them.

Help them set a routine for good dental habits when they are sick:

Keep some floss by their bed – that way if they don’t want to crawl out of bed to make it to the bathroom for floss, it’s already there in short reach.

Giving a little reminder to brush their teeth when they are able to make it to the bathroom – Get all the ‘must do’s’ knocked out in one trip.

Now, let’s talk about… vomit. Yeah, it’s gross, but here a good tip to follow when your kids throw up. Rinse their mouth with water, waiting at least 1 hour before brushing their teeth. Vomit contains stomach acids. Brushing your kids’ teeth after they throw up is not a good idea. It will scratch tooth enamel. Instead, have them rinse their mouth with some water or a fluoridated mouthwash. The mouthwash will help them get the taste out of their mouth and clear out the germs and bacteria there. Then, after an hour, they can brush their teeth.

 Keep the Kids Healthy

It’s horrible to see our kids sick. Here are some things you can do to ensure their illness goes away faster.

Aside from the obvious – (taking them to the doctor to determine what’s ailing them),

Plenty of rest is a top priority. Most will want to sleep or rest, but when some want to stay up and watch movies or play video games, talk with their buddies on the phone, etc. – nix all of that. Encourage them to sleep, take it easy and stay unplugged. They can catch up with the BFF’s after the flu flies the coup!

Drink plenty of fluids! Keep ‘em hydrated and make sure the vitamins they need to keep the old immune system fueled for fighting off that bug!

Have them wash their hands often!

 It’s no fun being sick! Follow these suggestions and you will help your children kick that bug quicker all while keeping them thinking (and maintaining) good dental health.

Dental Abscess: What is it and How do I Get it Treated?

 

Okay, first the facts!

Gingival, Periodontal and Periapical  – No these aren’t the names of any Roman Gladiators, they are the three types of dental abscesses.

Symptoms of dental abscesses include pain, a bad taste in the mouth and fever

Dental abscesses are caused by a bacterial infection

If the symptoms of a dental abscess appear, the individual should visit a dentist immediately

Treatment for an abscess may involve root canal surgery

If a dental abscess recurs after treatment, the tooth may be extracted

To minimize pain, it is best to avoid cold drinks and food and use a softer brush

If untreated, an abscess can lead to worse conditions such as cysts or maxillary sinusitis.

 

Symptoms of a dental abscess.

Symptoms of an abscess in your tooth or gum may include:

An intense, throbbing pain in the affected tooth or gum that may come on suddenly and gets gradually worse

Pain that spreads to your ear, jaw and neck on the same side as the affected tooth or gum

Pain that’s worse when lying down, which may disturb your sleep

Redness and swelling in your face

A tender, discoloured and/or loose tooth

Shiny, red and swollen gums

Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink

Bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste in your mouth

 

What to do if you have a dental abscess?

You should see a dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a dental abscess. Avoid visiting your GP, as there is little they can do to help.

 

Treatments for a dental abscess

Dental abscesses are treated by removing the source of the infection and draining away the pus.

Depending on the location of the abscess and how severe the infection is, possible treatments include:

Removing the affected tooth (extraction) – this may be necessary if root canal treatment isn’t possible

Root canal treatment – a procedure to remove the abscess from the root of an affected tooth before filling and sealing it

Incision and drainage – where a small cut (incision) is made in the gum to drain the abscess (this is usually only a temporary solution and further treatment may be needed)

 

Bottom line – Call your dentist at any early stages of pain or discomfort.

We are here for you!!

I’m an Adult – Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed

Ok, you’ve made it past the teen years with your wisdom teeth intact and you’re wondering how much longer they will remain in your mouth. This is a good question to ask your dentist.

Most will tell you that if the teeth do come, and there is plenty of room in your mouth for them, then there’s no reason to perform an extraction. You can still practice good oral hygiene with wisdom teeth as long as there’s enough space in the mouth.

However, if the dentist feels the wisdom teeth are posing a threat to your dental health by creating an area that is difficult to brush and keep clean, they will recommend getting the teeth removed, even if you’re much older than the typical wisdom tooth removal patient.

Some people don’t have to ever worry about wisdom tooth removal, because they don’t have any. Just as a small number of people grow an extra set of teeth, a small number do not have wisdom teeth and never have to deal with the question of whether to have them pulled.

But what about if they are impacted? An impacted wisdom tooth is one that can’t fully grow in because it is running into some type of barrier, usually another tooth. They can be caused by the size of the jaw or the orientation of the tooth in the gum, before it grows in. Impacted teeth are very common and happen in the majority of people whose wisdom teeth grow in.

Impacted teeth can be painful and can also result in other unpleasant side effects, including:

-Infection

-Swelling

-Bleeding of the tissue around the tooth

-Bad breath

Impacted teeth cannot grow in properly, and so dentists will recommend their removal in most cases.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Teeth

  1. Your teeth are unlike anyone elses.

Just like fingerprints: They are all you! Did you know dental records are sometimes used to identify human remains? Even identical twins do not have identical teeth.

  1. The icebergs in your mouth.

Just about one third of each tooth resides under your gums. Healthy, happy gums healthy are just as important as your teeth. It’s good to check your gums to make sure they appear pink in color, and firm to the touch.

  1. There are 32 Choppers in there!

Counting from your front teeth to the back, you’ll count eight incisors (your front teeth), four canine teeth, eight premolars, and 12 molars.

  1. The hardest part of your body is not your biceps – it’s your enamel!

You enamel – the outermost layer of your teeth, is like a hard shell, protecting the rest of the tooth. Enamel is mostly made of calcium and phosphate, like your bones, but is stronger because of the specific proteins and crystallites that form it.

  1. Enamel isn’t indestructible.

The enamel protecting your teeth is TOUGH, but it can chip or crack, and is still susceptible to decay. Sugars and acids, like in soft drinks, join forces with with bacteria in your mouth and attack your enamel…  And THAT is the start of tooth decay. Soft drinks can do some major damage if you drink them often, or sip on them throughout the day.

  1. If you see yellow, you are seeing decay.

No, not just a coffee stain. Enamel contributes to your teeth’s white appearance. When it decays, your teeth may start to turn yellow. If you are feeling any tooth pain, decaying enamel could also be to blame as well.

  1. Enamel doesn’t grow, but dentin does!

The layer that lies beneath the enamel is called dentin. It’s also harder than your bones. The small channels and passageways in dentin transmit nerve signals and nutrition through the tooth. The three types of dentin are: primary, secondary, and reparative. Dentin continues to grow and change throughout your life where enamel stays the same.

  1. Three hundred type of bacteria are living in your mouth.

There are up of 200 to 300 different species of bacteria contained in plaque. Streptococcus mutans, (the big trouble maker for poor tooth health), converts sugar and other carbohydrates into the acids that eat away at your teeth.

  1. Enemy Number 1 – Plaque!

White, sticky and constantly growing. If you don’t get rid of plaque by regularly brushing and flossing, it will harden and develop into tartar. Brush and floss those teeth at least twice daily and make sure you see your dentist for regular cleanings.

  1. You are a saliva machine!

Your body produces about a quart of saliva every day! That’s about 10,000 gallons over a lifetime. Saliva is integral in helping your overall health. It makes food easier to swallow and contains enzymes to jumpstart digestion. Saliva washes away lingering food particles on your teeth, and contains calcium and phosphate – that neutralizes the acids in plaque that cause damage and decay.

So now you know 10 more things about your teeth! If you have any additional questions about healthy teeth and gum maintenance, contact us here at Nicollet Station Dental!

Call 612-338-5557, or email us at  info@nicolletstationdental.com

What To Do During A Dental Emergency

shutterstock_165405326Dental emergencies can be frightening and painful. They also seem to happen when it is least convenient like during the Holidays. Often people are unsure of what to do during an emergency so we have put together some guidelines to help get you through.

What constitutes a dental emergency?
-Bleeding That Will Not Stop
-A Loose or Knocked Out Permanent Tooth
-Injured Jaw
-Painful Swelling
-Painful Toothache

Who should you contact?
Always remember to contact your dentist right away if you experience a dental emergency. In the case, your dentist’s office is closed and you are experiencing unbearable pain or bleeding that will not stop, it is best that you go straight to the emergency room.

What can you do at home during a dental emergency?
-Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water and rinse out your mouth to relieve irritation and swelling.
-If the tooth has been knocked out, put it in a glass of milk until you can see your dentist.
-Floss around the tooth if you are experiencing pain in one specific area. It could be possible something has gotten stuck between your teeth.
-Use a cold compress. This will help reduce swelling and numb irritation.

How to prevent dental emergencies?
-Brush and floss daily
-Avoid foods that are tough or very chewy
-Visit your dentist regularly

Dental emergencies are never fun, but knowing how to handle them can help relieve pain, stress and possibly save a tooth! Again, if you experience a dental emergency please reach out to us right away so that we can help.

How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy This Holiday Season

12-12-2013-the-holiday-food-fightWith the Holidays among us, we worry so much about the impact it can have on our body, we often forget the impact it can have on our teeth. A few factors contribute to this. First, people tend to indulge in sweets more often than they do the remainder of the year. Second, people tend to snack more throughout the day, and without a break, your saliva doesn’t have a chance to clean the bacteria off your teeth. Third, people travel more and tend to get out of their regular routine and can often forget to grab a toothbrush or forget to brush normally.

But don’t stress! We have tips for protecting your teeth while also enjoying the Holiday!

Avoid Foods That Stain Your Teeth
Think red wine, coffee, and soda. Try to avoid these as much as possible.

Try To Avoid Snacking All Day Long
Keeping eating to mealtimes is ultimately the best, but try hard to not snack too much throughout the day.

Drink Plenty Of Water
Drink plenty of water so the food you’re eating doesn’t stick and stay on your teeth for long.

Brush, Floss, and Rinse
Try hard to remember your toothbrush and mouthwash, but in case you forget always keep a small container of floss with you. That way you can clean in between your teeth after snacking.

Limit The Amount Of Sugar
It can mean making some tough decisions. But choose where you really want to indulge and try to pass on the other sugary foods.

Happy Holidays and healthy eating from all of us at Nicollet Station Dental!

Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are a great tool to improve your smile at any age and offer immediate results.  Veneers can be used for an impressive number of cosmetic corrections, ranging from teeth whitening to orthodontic adjustments.

Portrait of mature woman sitting in countryside

Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.

Few cosmetic dental treatments offer the comprehensive results and aesthetic benefits that veneers can provide. In one treatment, veneers can correct surface flaws such as chips and cracks well as change the shape of teeth, often making these enhancements an ideal solution for patients with proportionately small, worn, irregularly shaped, or pointed teeth.

Call and schedule your consultation today if you are having the below issues:

  • Teeth that are discolored — either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
  • Teeth that are worn down
  • Teeth that are chipped or broken
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
  • Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)

How To Kick Bad Breath!

rid-bad-breathHave you ever worried that you might have bad breath? Bad breath (also known as halitosis) is a condition that most of the time can be taken care of.  It can result from poor dental health habits and can be made worse by the certain types of foods you eat and possibly other unhealthy lifestyle habits.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Poor oral health – If you skip brushing and flossing teeth daily, food particles can stay in your mouth, fostering bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This bacteria can cause major bad breath.

Alcohol – Our bodies consider alcohol as a toxin. Alcohol is converted into an acetic acid, which causes bad breath in addition to tooth decay.

Tobacco products – The strong smell of the smoke left behind from cigarettes or cigars can linger in your mouth causing halitosis.

Coffee – Not only can coffee stain your teeth, it can leave a stench in your mouth that is hard to get rid of.

Lack of H2O – When your mouth gets dry harmful bacteria can begin to grow. This can result in bad breath but also in tooth decay.

Garlic and onions – Garlic and onions both contain the compound allyl methyl sulfide. This compound is known to cause bad breath so try to reduce the consumption of foods that have these ingredients.

Medications – Some medications can cause bad breath, especially drugs that dry out your mouth.
So how can you fix bad breath?
-Brush your teeth and floss daily
-Avoid using tobacco products and limit alcohol consumption
-Avoid drinking coffee when possible
-Drink plenty of water
-Limit the consumption of foods that contain garlic and onion
-Replace your toothbrush
-Visit your dentist regularly

Hopefully, this helps! If you have any questions or concerns around your breath, always feel free to reach out and ask for our help!