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What does Diabetes Mean for my Teeth?

in Did You Know? by Bella Dental Clinic Leave a comment

People suffering from diabetes have a lot of problems to deal with, and some of these problems have to do with their dental care. Our Federal Way dental clinic cautions diabetic patients to be careful with their teeth, for their condition puts them at greater risk of tooth and gum problems.

One of the symptoms of diabetes is poor circulation, and this hurts your ability to fight dental infections. It also means that your saliva becomes saturated with glucose, and this is feeding the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Compared to a person with a controlled blood sugar level, diabetics are highly susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

On top of all this, gum disease is turning around and aggravating your blood sugar level, trapping you in a vicious cycle. Diabetic patients with gum disease need more medication to regulate their condition, and their blood sugar becomes more manageable only after their gum disease is brought under control. Spare yourself this grief by taking the necessary measures to keep your teeth healthy.

Canker Sores

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What are canker sores? How do you get them, and how do you get rid of them? The answers are never easy, because nobody is entirely sure what causes these sores. However, if the pain is bothering you, your Federal Way Dentistry recommends these measures to combat these little nuisances.

Canker sores are usually attributed to an irritation of the sensitive tissues of the mouth. Protecting these areas from anything that might poke, burn, or otherwise aggravate them is a good first step. You might want to avoid hot or acidic foods, and cut back on gum or anything else that subjects your mouth to needless chewing.

The pain from a canker sore should go away after a few days, and the sore should be completely gone within a couple of weeks. If it persists longer, or if it is a particularly large or painful sore, then you might need dental help.

Are Toothpicks a Good Substitute for Floss?

in Did You Know? by Bella Dental Clinic Leave a comment

Some people like to use a good toothpick or other fancy pick-like device to get in between their teeth. If you ask our Federal Way Dentistry, however, it’s a mistake to try to use a toothpick in place of flossing.

Though toothpicks have some small value, it is a truly limited value and one that can be outweighed by the potential drawbacks. You can put them to good use in extracting an irritating piece of food from between your teeth after a meal, but there’s still a whole world of plaque down there that your pick simply cannot reach. Some people try to force the pick in far enough to get at these tough-to-reach places, which puts them at risk of grinding away at the fragile gum tissues or even leaving tiny splinters of wood behind.

So use a toothpick if you must, but never let anything take the place of your floss!

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

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Many patients come to our Federal Way Dentistry with concerns about sensitive teeth. It’s a tricky problem, as your sensitivity could just as easily come from too much dental care as it can from poor dental care.

Tooth decay and receding gums are both negative factors that can cause your teeth to be sensitive. Brushing too little invites infection, and brushing too much strips away fragile tissues. Unfortunately, you can also expect some sensitivity from antibacterial mouthwashes, tooth whiteners, whitening toothpastes, and other products that are actually helping your teeth. You can even expect some short-term sensitivity after a routine dentist appointment.

If you want to conquer tooth sensitivity without sacrificing your oral hygiene, talk to your dentist. There may be some way to change your dental routine in order to be less harsh on your gums.

How to Stop Grinding

in Did You Know? by Bella Dental Clinic Leave a comment

Are you suffering from bruxism, or teeth-grinding?  Your Federal Way Dentistry can help you get rid of this problem before it takes its toll on your jaw or tooth structure!  Try following these easy tips to rid yourself of bruxism:

  • A lot of grinding is caused by stress.  Identify anything that might be stressing you out, and figure out how to deal with it.

  • Pain in the teeth or jaw area can cause you to grind.  If you are experiencing any pain, alert your dentist so he can help you find relief.

  • Cut back on alcohol.

  • Cut back on caffeinated substances, like coffee, soda, and tea.

  • If you often chew items that are not food, like pencils, bottle caps, or gum, your jaw muscles are getting used to clenching.  This might aggravate your grinding problem.

  • If you grind during daytime, you can train your jaw muscles to relax by holding the tip of your tongue between your teeth.

  • If you grind at night, try relaxing your jaw muscles.  Hold a warm compress against your cheek for a few minutes before going to sleep.

How Does Mouth-Breathing Affect your Teeth?

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Does your child frequently breathe through his or her mouth? This is fairly common. About half of all children under the age of eight do some mouth-breathing from time to time. If he or she hasn’t grown out of the habit by eight years old, though, it might be wise to bring this to our Federal Way Dentistry.

One of the problems with excessive mouth breathing is that it dries up your saliva. Your mouth requires this saliva to protect it against harmful microbes, so a lack of sufficient moisture can invite serious dental problems. People with dry mouths are highly prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and other such conditions. Spare your child these problems and be on the lookout for mouth-breathing!

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