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Monalisa Dental Center| Dr. F. Alethawy

Monalisa Dental Center| Dr. F. Alethawy

  • Posted: Sep 08, 2016
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Our dentist at Monalisa Dental Center is a highly qualified professional here to treat you with the latest in dental technology. Our priority is to make your visit to the Centre an enjoyable experience.

We love to see you smile, really, we do. That’s because we take great pride in offering the most up-to-date cosmetic dental techniques in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. We know that every great smile–your smile–is the sign that we’ve done our job to provide the highest level of care in the industry.

Our Services

Monalisa Dental Centre offers a full range of dental procedures, from total smile makeovers to the most basic fillings. Our goal is to make you look and feel your best so that you smile with confidence again. The professionals at Monalisa Dental Centre understand that every situation is unique and we will do our best to satisfy your needs – and your budget!

On this page, you’ll find some of our most popular dental treatments. We’ve provided a general overview of each procedure to give you a better understanding of the services we offer.

An Insight on Dental Implant Surgery

An Insight on Dental Implant Surgery

  • Posted: Jan 30, 2016
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Dental Implant Surgery

First things first, what is dental implant surgery? Dental Implant Surgery is a procedure that dentists and surgeons use to replace damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth.

In the past, such teeth replacements were done with either bridges or dental dentures. Today, thanks to advancement in technology, dental implants are the ideal solution for lacking teeth. Good news is, these implants look just like our natural teeth. In fact, they are hard and almost impossible to identify from natural teeth.

Aesthetically speaking, we all deserve a beautiful and healthy smile even if it means getting dental surgery. Before tackling the dental implant surgery procedure, here is what you need to know. Dental implant surgery is for you if at all you;
• Want to improve speech
• Want good dental health and oral hygiene
• Have missing teeth
• Are not able to wear dentures
• Want to boost your self-esteem
• Want to reclaim your smile and beauty

Now, here is what happens during surgery;

Step 1 – Your dentist will come up with an individual treatment plan that will be adhered to; for you and only you. This is because different patients need different kinds of treatment depending on their degree of damage.

Step 2 – The second step consists of surgically burying the dental implant (which is meant to replace the tooth root) underneath the gum. By so doing, the implant is well protected during the healing stage which takes up to 12 weeks to heal.
Step 3– As soon as the gum is healed and after the implant is joined to the jawbone, an abutment is attached to securely hold the teeth in place. In dentistry, abutments are more of connecting elements. Once the abutment is secure, a replacement tooth (crown) is then attached in place.
The overall success rate of dental implant surgery according to different dental professional is over 90%. This is in terms of long term success rates in all dental implant patients. Moreover, your dentist should be able to give you sound advice and adequate information in regard to your treatment option.
Dental Implants after Care
After a successful dental implant surgery, you must take care of your wound. Bleeding and swelling is normal in the first 24 hours after the procedure. To ease your pain, take some prescribed pain medication and lie down.
On the day of surgery, take soft foods and liquids. Drink plenty of water or any other drink of choice and avoid very hot foods or drinks.

Finally and most importantly, good oral hygiene plays a major role in the overall healing process. Your dentist might prescribe an oral rinse for you. If not, warm salty water is also a good oral rinse. Rinse well and spit out maybe two or three times a day. When the surgical areas are healed, brush gently until you are sure that you are completely healed.

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How Dentist Provided Oral Appliances Can Help with Snoring and Sleep Apnea

How Dentist Provided Oral Appliances Can Help with Snoring and Sleep Apnea

  • Posted: Mar 05, 2015
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Snoring is an exceptionally common problem for people of all ages and genders. Though not usually harmful, snoring can disrupt sleeping and cause tension in relationships. Snoring is also one of the symptoms of sleep apnea, a severe condition that is hard to identify. Dentists have the opportunity to successfully treat both snorers and mild sleep apnea sufferers in a variety of ways, with the most effective being with oral appliances.

Muscles relax during sleep and this includes those inside your mouth (tongue, tonsils, soft palate, walls), which will vibrate during breathing. Relaxed oral muscles can partially block the airway and force air to travel through a smaller passageway. The narrower the passageway, the more vibration of the muscles and the louder snoring becomes. Not a serious problem on its own, snoring can however cause issues for people living with the culprit. Snoring is a warning sign of a more serious condition; a significant amount of people who snore also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the soft muscles of the throat block the airway completely. The brain usually recognises that the airway is disrupted and will wake the sleeper up in order to re-open the passageway. Sufferers of sleep apnea usually experience daytime fatigue due to interrupted sleep alongside other potential symptoms such as headaches, mood swings and memory problems. People with sleep apnea are at risk for high blood pressure and stroke. If you snore loudly and frequently, experience extreme fatigue and stop breathing or gasp in your sleep, you may be suffering from sleep apnea.

Dentists have a great opportunity to help and treat people with snoring and mild sleep apnea with the use of oral appliances. These appliances fit into two basic categories: mandibular advancing devices (MAD) and tongue-retaining devices (TRD). Each type of device uses difference methods to help open the airway and allow the patient to breathe easier. Both types of appliance have been proven to work effectively and help treat snorers and sleep apnea sufferers, though do not cure the condition.

Mandibular advancing devices fit over upper and lower teeth and push the lower jaw forward to improve airflow while tongue-retaining devices are custom-made applicants that hold the tongue forward during sleep using suction. MAD appliances are currently the most widely used and have the appearance of a sports mouth guard. The presence of at least several healthy teeth are required for use of a MAD device, with TRD appliances are considered for suitable for patients with few or no teeth and/or a large tongue. Use of a TRD can cause tongue irritation over long-term use.

There are no guarantees that an appliance will successfully work for every patient, and there are various side effects including dry mouth, teeth discomfort and tissue irritation. Some tooth movement is also possible. Oral appliances must be provided by a dentist or orthodontist for the best fit possible. Therapy using oral appliances can take several weeks or several months. Patients are usually encouraged to take other steps to ease their snoring and sleep apnea alongside using the oral appliance. Suggestions for patients may include improving overall health and weight, reducing alcohol consumption before bed and avoiding sleeping on their back.

Dentists have a vital role to play in treatment of snoring and sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy is remarkably effective in assisting sufferers, with the treatment helping to reduce frequency and loudness of snoring and therefore improve sleep patterns. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition but dentists can work alongside sleep specialists to enhance the quality of life of sufferers.

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Overcoming Dental Anxiety and Phobia

Overcoming Dental Anxiety and Phobia

  • Posted: Mar 05, 2015
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For one reason or another, fear of going to the dentist is extremely common around the world. Almost anyone can be affected by dental anxiety and it is characterized by a general unease about visiting a dentist. A more serious condition is dental phobia, a condition that causes intense, unreasonably fear of visiting a dentist. A person with dental phobia will do everything possible to avoid going and only visit when forced by extreme pain. It is important to treat both dental anxiety and phobia as these conditions can contribute to the neglect of teeth, which can in turn threaten both oral and overall health.

The difference between experiencing dental anxiety and phobia is not a fine science. Most people can live with mild anxiety about dental exams and visiting the dentist. Dental phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear or dread that can prevent people from receiving professional dental care for years, even decades. Feeling tense before an appointment is relatively common, but physical terror or sickness while waiting are signs of a more serious condition. People with phobia may cry at the thought of a dental exam, find it difficult to breathe during the appointment and/or have difficulty sleeping the night before.

There is not one clear reason why people experience dental phobia and anxiety. Fear of pain is a major contribution for many people, caused by a previous dental experience that was particularly unpleasant. Older people who experienced painful procedures as children often report this reason. Dental technology has improved greatly in recent years, and now many treatments are much less painful or completely pain-free. Loss of control is another common theme of dental anxiety; it can be difficult to see or understand what is going on at the dentist and this leads some people to feel helpless. The closeness of a dentist or hygienist can also contribute to unease and discomfort. Fear of needles and anesthesia is common in hospitals and this can overlap at the dentist surgery too.

Regular dental appointments are an important part of maintaining good oral, and overall, health. Dental phobia is therefore a risk factor for gum disease and early tooth loss. Poor oral health has been linked to conditions such as heart disease, which can be life threatening. On the cosmetic side of things, discolored or damaged teeth can severely affect a person’s self esteem and confidence. Visiting the dentist can improve the condition and appearance of teeth.

The first step to overcoming dental anxiety and phobia is to acknowledge the problem and talk about your fears. If a dentist is aware of your terror surrounding dental examinations, he or she will be able to work with you to make appointment easier and more comfortable. Patients with extreme phobia may need to be referred to a mental health practitioner. If lack of control is a major contributor to your fear, you could ask your dentist to explain everything they are doing during the exam or treatment and stop when you make a signal such as raising your hand.

Many modern dental surgeries use a range of distraction techniques (television, music, artwork) to ease their patients, while others specialize in using technology to lessen pain. It may be necessary to change dentists until you find one to suit your needs. If you have not had a dental exam recently, you may be surprised at how much equipment and technology has changed for the better. There have been many recent innovations with the purpose of reducing dental anxiety, such as the computer-controlled anesthetic delivery device known as ‘the Wand.’

A good tip is to visit the dental practice before your first appointment so you know what to expect on the day. Booking an appointment in the morning helps reduce time dwelling and thinking about the exam. Remember that your first appointment is likely to be limited to a dental check-up, with no needles or serious procedures. Consider bringing a friend or family member if you feel company may help you feel more comfortable.

Like other mental disorders, dental phobia can be treated. Sharing your fears and anxiety with your dentist and the dental practice staff will help them treat you in a more successful way. Clarification and understanding of procedures can help with anxiety. If you haven’t visited the dentist in a long time, you may be pleasantly surprised how much has changed.  Dental exams are important to maintain good oral health; it is critical not to let dental anxiety risk your overall well-being.

More information visit Art & Science Dental

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What Restorative Dentistry Can Do For You

What Restorative Dentistry Can Do For You

  • Posted: Mar 03, 2015
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Restorative dentistry involves managing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease in teeth and their supporting structures. The aim is, as the name implies, to restore teeth to a functional and aesthetic state after damage and decay. The goal is usually to preserve existing teeth as much as possible. The type of restoration depends on a variety of factors, including the extent and nature of the damage. If you have chipped, fractured or decayed teeth, you may be considering one of the following restorative procedures.

Fillings

The most common dental restoration is the filling. Most often used to treat teeth affected by plaque, the decayed part of the tooth will be removed and a gold, silver amalgam, or composite resin will be used to fill the remaining hole. Not only limited to decay, fillings can also be used to repair cracked and broken teeth. Amalgam is the traditional material used to treat cavities, but composite resin is becoming popular due to its natural tooth color. The material also bonds better to the tooth and requires less surrounding space to be removed to fit.

Inlay and onlay restorations

For teeth that are too damaged for a regular filling, inlay and onlay restorations are an option. These are indirect restorations, meaning that they are created outside of the mouth, usually with dental impressions of the prepared tooth. An inlay repairs between cusps (raised point on surface) of a tooth while an onlay is usually larger and covers one or more teeth including the cusp area. Like fillings, these types of restoration can be made from a variety of materials such as porcelain or composite resin. Inlays and onlays are a treatment option more conservative than a crown but usually stronger and longer lasting than a filling.

Crowns

When there is not sufficient tooth structure to support a filling or regular inlay/onlay restorations, a crown is usually the next step for treatment. A dental crown acts as a ‘cap,’ fully encasing the visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. This helps restore the tooth’s functionality, shape, size, appearance and strength. A crown can also be used to cover a dental implant, hold a bridge in place and/or protect a weak tooth from breaking.

Bridges

To replace missing teeth, the two most popular restorative options are bridges, implants and dentures. Bridges replace missing teeth by using the surrounding teeth as support for a false tooth (or teeth). The false tooth material is made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these and is usually cemented permanently in place. Bridges help relieve stress on remaining natural teeth and restore proper function. Crowns on the neighboring teeth help to anchor the bridge in place. Replacing missing teeth in this way can improve smile as well as bite, providing better aesthetics, comfort and functionality.

Implants

Dental implants are a more modern option to replace missing teeth and involve replacing a tooth root with a small metal post. The post is then fitted with a replacement tooth, designed to compliment or match remaining teeth. The metal implant provides a strong foundation for the fake tooth since it is attached directly to the jawbone and is often considered a more natural option than dentures. Not everyone is a candidate for implants however; a strong jawbone is needed in addition to healthy gums.

Dentures

A removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue, dentures are made of acrylic resin sometimes combined with metal attachments. When all teeth are missing, complete dentures are used. When some teeth remain, partial dentures are an option, retained by metal clasps attached to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants and bridges are commonly chosen over dentures as they provide the closest experience to having natural teeth. As previously mentioned however, not all patients are eligible for these treatments.

There are now plenty of options for people with damaged or missing teeth due to decay or injury. Restorative dentistry can significantly change the functionality and appearance of teeth, impacting positively on many aspects of a person’s life. If you have fractured or missing teeth, do not hesitate to contact your dentist to consider your options.

for more information visit clear dental

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How to Encourage your Child to Visit Family Dentist?

How to Encourage your Child to Visit Family Dentist?

  • Posted: Feb 27, 2015
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Unlike adults, children may not be aware of the importance of regular visits to the dentist. Therefore we must use some tips and tricks in order to make their visit as enjoyable.

There is no need to wait until its start to pain! The first visit to the family dentist has to made as soon as his first tooth appears (about 1 year). It is very important because when the teeth are healthy, the baby and the dentist can meet in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Parents should set an example by showing a positive attitude to visit the dentist. You should not share your own negative experiences with the child as parent’s fear gets transmitted directly to their children. If possible, allow the children to assist in the office when you go to the dentist so that he can get convinced that nothing bad can happen. This will help him to gain confidence and he will be more relaxed and willing to visit the dentist.

Parents can also consciously prepare their child or his first visit to the dental office. This can be done by sharing their friendly pictures or videos for educational purpose, or by narrating funny stories about dentists. This will also help your child to feel comfortable and he will look forward for the visit to the dental clinic. Words like “fear” or “pain” for example “should not be afraid” or “will not hurt at all,” etc. should be avoided as much as possible because the child might get feared because of their repetitive use. You should also avoid threats like “if you do not brush your teeth, then you will have to go to the dentist.” Instead, you should encourage them to brush teeth after every meal and tell them that if they do this then they will be rewarded by the dentist twice an year, as per the condition of their teeth!

It is important to accompany your child in the treatment rule during his first visit in the dental clinic. Once he gains confidence, try to encourage him to visit the treatment room alone next time around. The child should be praised at the end of every visit. You can reward him with a hug and give him his favourite chocolates as well. All this will make him happy and he will look forward to his future visits to the dental clinic. All the best!

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What Restorative Dentistry Can Do For You

What Restorative Dentistry Can Do For You

  • Posted: Feb 26, 2015
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Restorative dentistry involves managing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease in teeth and their supporting structures. The aim is, as the name implies, to restore teeth to a functional and aesthetic state after damage and decay. The goal is usually to preserve existing teeth as much as possible. The type of restoration depends on a variety of factors, including the extent and nature of the damage. If you have chipped, fractured or decayed teeth, you may be considering one of the following restorative procedures.

Fillings

The most common dental restoration is the filling. Most often used to treat teeth affected by plaque, the decayed part of the tooth will be removed and a gold, silver amalgam, or composite resin will be used to fill the remaining hole. Not only limited to decay, fillings can also be used to repair cracked and broken teeth. Amalgam is the traditional material used to treat cavities, but composite resin is becoming popular due to its natural tooth color. The material also bonds better to the tooth and requires less surrounding space to be removed to fit.

Inlay and onlay restorations

For teeth that are too damaged for a regular filling, inlay and onlay restorations are an option. These are indirect restorations, meaning that they are created outside of the mouth, usually with dental impressions of the prepared tooth. An inlay repairs between cusps (raised point on surface) of a tooth while an onlay is usually larger and covers one or more teeth including the cusp area. Like fillings, these types of restoration can be made from a variety of materials such as porcelain or composite resin. Inlays and onlays are a treatment option more conservative than a crown but usually stronger and longer lasting than a filling.

Crowns

When there is not sufficient tooth structure to support a filling or regular inlay/onlay restorations, a crown is usually the next step for treatment. A dental crown acts as a ‘cap,’ fully encasing the visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. This helps restore the tooth’s functionality, shape, size, appearance and strength. A crown can also be used to cover a dental implant, hold a bridge in place and/or protect a weak tooth from breaking.

Bridges

To replace missing teeth, the two most popular restorative options are bridges, implants and dentures. Bridges replace missing teeth by using the surrounding teeth as support for a false tooth (or teeth). The false tooth material is made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these and is usually cemented permanently in place. Bridges help relieve stress on remaining natural teeth and restore proper function. Crowns on the neighboring teeth help to anchor the bridge in place. Replacing missing teeth in this way can improve smile as well as bite, providing better aesthetics, comfort and functionality.

Implants

Dental implants are a more modern option to replace missing teeth and involve replacing a tooth root with a small metal post. The post is then fitted with a replacement tooth, designed to compliment or match remaining teeth. The metal implant provides a strong foundation for the fake tooth since it is attached directly to the jawbone and is often considered a more natural option than dentures. Not everyone is a candidate for implants however; a strong jawbone is needed in addition to healthy gums.

Dentures

A removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissue, dentures are made of acrylic resin sometimes combined with metal attachments. When all teeth are missing, complete dentures are used. When some teeth remain, partial dentures are an option, retained by metal clasps attached to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants and bridges are commonly chosen over dentures as they provide the closest experience to having natural teeth. As previously mentioned however, not all patients are eligible for these treatments.

There are now plenty of options for people with damaged or missing teeth due to decay or injury. Restorative dentistry can significantly change the functionality and appearance of teeth, impacting positively on many aspects of a person’s life. If you have fractured or missing teeth, do not hesitate to contact your dentist to consider your options.

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How to Make the Most out of a Dentist Visit

How to Make the Most out of a Dentist Visit

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2015
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No matter your age, routine dental appointments have much to offer for both your oral and overall health. Prevention is one of the most important parts of dental health since regular examinations and good oral hygiene can avert most dental diseases. For some people, visiting the dentist is a struggle due to anxiety or time issues. Here are some tips how to make the most out of a visit to the dentist, so that every moment will count while you are there.

Know what to expect

Understanding what dentists are looking for can help anxiety if you haven’t visited in a while. During a routine check-up, your dentist will complete a thorough examination to evaluate your current oral health. A dentist is trained to detect things in your mouth that can affect your oral and overall health such as bleeding, inflammation, decayed or damaged teeth, early signs of cavities, growths or cysts and signs of grinding or clenching. If you have any existing fillings, crowns or dentures, these will be inspected as well. A summary of the findings will be relayed to you.

A medical history review is an essential part of the appointment to help the dentist understand whether there are any health conditions that may be associated with oral health problems or affect the success of dental treatments or procedures. A dental exam may also include a medical history review, oral cancer screening, gum disease evaluation and a soft and hard tissue examination (bone and teeth). X-Rays may be necessary to find issues not seen through other methods. An appropriate treatment plan will be provided if the dentist detects any potential problems.

If your appointment is for dental treatment, you may want to read up on the procedure on reputable medical websites before you go. For some people, knowing what is going to happen during the specific procedure can lessen anxiety.

Be prepared for your check-up

Taking some time to prepare for a dentist appointment is helpful to make the most of the time and also reduce stress. Appointments are typically not very long in time, so the more ready you are, the better. Getting a good night’s sleep is the number one tip here, along with wearing comfortable clothing and avoiding food and drinks with caffeine or sugar in them during the day of your visit. Make sure you eat a healthy snack of meal before your check-up, remembering to brush and floss afterwards. Hunger can cause some people to become more stressed.

Bringing a list of medications (including supplements) you are taking is helpful, including the name and current dosage. Dry mouth can be caused by certain prescription drugs. Saliva plays an important role in reducing plaque, so dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Some drugs have the side effect of thinning blood; this is important for a dentist to know before starting any treatment as it can increase the risk of bleeding. Be prepared to update your dentist with your medical history. Diabetes for example can also cause dry mouth.

Ask for advice

You and your dentists are partners in your oral health. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your teeth and gums, your dentist is the person to ask. Most likely they will be able to offer reassurance and guidance. Make a checklist of issues to review with your dentist before arriving for your appointment, so you won’t forget what to ask. Your concerns may cover issues such as teeth sensitivity, bleeding gums, mouth sores, teeth grinding and problems with brushing or flossing. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best technique and equipment for at-home dental care. With dental technology developing at a fast rate, it is possible your dentist is aware of new products you have not heard of.

Schedule your next appointment

Don’t forget to schedule your next dental check-up on the way out! Routine appointments are an important part of good oral health. Annual check-ups are common, though some people will be recommended to visit the dentist more often. Regular visits help your dentist provide the best care possible as they are able to monitor your oral health. Prevention helps avoid the most common dental problems and injuries.

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3 Diseases Your Dentist May Spot Before Your Doctor

3 Diseases Your Dentist May Spot Before Your Doctor

  • Posted: Feb 18, 2015
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Not only limited to oral health, your dentist can also spot emerging medical problems. While they may not be able to treat the disease, dentists can help diagnose conditions early by noticing warning and clues from inside your mouth. Here are three more reasons not to miss your regular dental appointment!

Diabetes

This disease is one of the most obvious to spot from a dentist’s point of view. People with untreated diabetes are more likely to have periodontitis (inflammation around the gums) most prominently alongside other symptoms. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes reduce the gum’s ability to protect against bacterial infection and this can cause abscesses and infection between the gums or on the root of a tooth. If a patient has had no history of periodontitis and good oral health otherwise, gum inflammation can be a strong warning sign of diabetes.

Other symptoms of diabetes include bad breath and an unusually dry mouth. A fruity-smelling breath is the telltale sign of excess production of acetone, one of the by-products of ketenes. Ketenes are the result of fat being used as an alternative source of energy to glucose due to lack of insulin. Diabetes prevents the body from producing or properly using insulin. The disease can also cause dry mouth, which increases plaque build-up due to lack of saliva. Diabetes is considered to be under-diagnosed but dentists are able to detect warnings signs to prompt patients to visit their doctor for a diagnosis.

Heart disease

Recent studies have shown severe periodontal disease to be strongly associated with the risk of heart disease. People with good oral health are less likely to develop heart disease than those with periodontitis. A 2004 study in the Journal of Period ontology suggests that up to 91% of patients with heart disease also have inflamed gums. One theory is that inflammation in the mouth increases inflammation in other parts of the body such as arteries. This potential link means that periodontitis may play a role in heart attacks or strokes.

The good news is that the risk for heart disease can be reduced when the inflammation is treated. Patients with family history of heart attacks or strokes are advised to spend more time on their at-home oral care routine, to prevent periodontitis from being added their other at-risk factors. Brushing teeth and flossing daily help to counteract the bacteria and plaque, which cause the inflammation of gums. Regular dental check-ups are also recommended.

Acid reflux disease

Most people at one time or another experience acid reflux, when acid moves up into the esophagus from the stomach after ring of muscle called the gastro esophageal sphincter fails to close properly. The most common symptom is heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest. If acid reflux symptoms are felt more than twice a week, the problem may be acid reflux disease. Heartburn isn’t the only symptom of acid reflux; it is possible to reflux without even knowing it. Acid reflux also can often happen at night.

The effects of heartburn can be clearly seen in the mouth. The constant uprising of stomach acid can wear away at the enamel of teeth and become thinner from the back. Upper back molars are especially at risk. A 2008 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics points to a third of adults with dental erosion also suffering from gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease. A persistent sour taste is another indicator, which dentists may pick up on. Reflux disease can cause erosion of the esophagus, which can sometimes lead to esophageal cancer. Acid reflux disease can be treated with medication and lifestyle changes.

Many people are reluctant to visit the dentist, but appointments are beneficial to your overall health as well as for good oral care. A regular check-up could potentially be a lifesaver with dentists being potentially able to spot diabetes, heart disease and acid reflux disease as well as other conditions from oral indicators. A dentists’ work goes far beyond checking the health of a patient’s teeth.

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10 Easy Ways to Help Prevent Tooth Decay

10 Easy Ways to Help Prevent Tooth Decay

  • Posted: Feb 17, 2015
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Tooth decay is a problem for children, teens and adults. Plaque, a sticky bacteria substance, is continuously forming on teeth and gums. When foods containing sugar are consumed, plaque feeds on the sugars and produces acids. The acids attack tooth enamel (the tooth’s hard outer layer) causing tooth decay over time. A sign of early tooth decay is a ‘white spot’ appearing on the tooth enamel. At this stage, tooth decay can be stopped or reversed. If this does not happen, the enamel may be destroyed and form a cavity. Here are ten tips to prevent tooth decay from occurring.

1. Use fluoride toothpaste

Fluoride is a mineral found in soil, water and some foods that can prevent, reduce or stop early tooth decay. It decreases the ability of the plaque bacteria to produce acid and prevents mineral loss in tooth enamel. For most people, using fluoride toothpaste twice a day provides adequate protection. The widespread use of fluoride (averaging 95% of all toothpaste sales in developed countries) is seen to be a major contributor to the decline of tooth decay over the last 30 years.

  1. Reduce snacking on sugary foods and drinks

Eating and drinking foods and drinks with a high sugar content between meals is a lot more damaging to teeth than consuming them with a meal. Snacking on sugary and starchy foods causes repeated acid attacks on teeth. More saliva is produced during meals, so eating sugary foods during this time is preferable to help break down the resulting acid. Healthier snack alternatives include cheese, fruit and vegetables.

  1. Consider dental sealants

Dental sealants provide a protective coating to the surface of back teeth. The resin material acts as a barrier to plaque and acids, which can cause tooth decay. The biting surface of back teeth is one of the most susceptible areas for tooth decay due to the grooves, pits and fissures that exist. It is difficult to clean these areas, especially when the grooves are deeper.

  1. Drink soda through a straw

Water is the best drink around for good oral health, but if soda is something you simply cannot give up, consider drinking it with a straw. This can help minimize the sugary and acidic soda damaging teeth, most effective when the straw does not come in contact with the teeth. Keep in mind that while diet soda has less sugar then the regular kind, it still contains a lot of acid, which may cause tooth decay

5. Regular dental cleanings

Visiting your dentist for regular teeth cleanings and oral exams is an important part in maintains good dental health. Professional teeth cleanings help to get rid of plaque build-up. A dentist can help spot problems early when they are easier and less expensive to treat. Most dentists also practice preventative care, to help stop problems before they even happen. Your dentist can advise you the best cleaning techniques and oral hygiene routines.

  1. Eat more crunchy vegetables and fruit

Foods with fiber (carrots, apples, celery) have a detergent effect in your mouth when eating. The crisp texture wipes away bacteria that can cause tooth decay. The amount of chewing required to eat fibrous food also stimulates an increase in saliva flow, which is the best natural defense against cavities. Saliva begins to neutralize acids around 20 minutes after eating.

  1. Drink water after eating

Water provides an excellent mouth rinse, washing away both bacteria and the remnants of food that can turn into plaque by bacteria. Water also neutralizes the effects of acidic and sugary foods. Tap water in many countries includes fluoride, which also helps prevent tooth decay in a similar manner to fluoride toothpaste. Tooth decay is more likely to occur in a dry mouth, so drinking water frequenting is a great way to combat this.

  1.  Brush teeth twice a day

One of the most important parts of your at-home oral hygiene routine is brushing your teeth at least twice a day. One of these brushings should take place before going to bed. Brushing should be avoided shortly after consuming acidic foods and drink (fruit, soda or wine) to give saliva a chance to neutralize the acid. If it is not possible to brush after mealtimes, rinsing your mouth with water is good practice.

  1.  Consume more calcium

Teeth are composed of calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals. Eating calcium rich foods can help protect teeth against acids and rebuild tooth enamel. Calcium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, a selection of fortified beverages (soy, rice, juice), canned salmon or sardines (with bones) and dairy products.

  1. Floss teeth regularly

Along with brushing teeth, flossing should be performed at least once daily to remove plaque and food particles adhered to teeth and gums. The area between teeth is particularly vulnerable to cavity formation but is difficult to reach with toothbrush bristles. Flossing before sleeping is just as important as brushing teeth.

 

Through small lifestyle changes it is possible to avoid, stop and reverse tooth decay. Visit your dentist for more tips and advice on how to prevent tooth decay.

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