Dental Tips Blog

Feb
26

Morning Sickness and Dental Care

Posted in Fillings

Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life, but is often filled with some minor annoyances.  One of those common problems is morning sickness.  Morning sickness is almost always caused from changes in hormone levels, causing stomach upset, vomiting, and a feeling of ‘queasiness’ especially upon waking.  Some women say they have morning sickness throughout their pregnancy, but most report that after the first trimester, morning sickness is resolved.

Morning sickness that is accompanied by vomiting can cause tooth and tooth enamel decay and erosion resulting in cavities that will need fillings, caps or other tooth restorations.  If you are experiencing morning sickness with vomiting, a few steps can help protect your mouth and teeth during this time.

If you are experiencing severe morning sickness, talk to your obstetrician about ways to help control it.  Frequent and small snacks may be helpful. If you are vomiting enough to lose weight, you should contact your obstetrician. If your morning sickness causes mild vomiting, remember to rinse your mouth after vomiting to remove the acid from your teeth.  Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after when the acids are in your mouth, as you do not want to ‘push’ the acid into your tooth enamel.  Instead, rinse your mouth with some water with a small amount of baking soda, and then brush.  Never swallow this rinse, as it contains the stomach acid as well as baking soda.  A teaspoon of baking soda is generally enough to make sure that your mouth is clean and you have removed the acids associated with vomiting.

If your morning sickness does start to impact your teeth, or if you notice when vomiting that your teeth ‘ache’, contact your dentist.  He or she can recommend some additional strategies to help with this, and offer you an anti-microbial mouth rinse that may also be of benefit.

Posted on the behalf of Windy Hill Dental Associates

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Feb
14

What Are Dental Cavities?

Posted in Fillings

You may have some minor tooth pain or sensitivity  and wonder if you have a cavity, or perhaps your dentist told you that you had a cavity that needed to be ‘filled’ and you were wondering what really caused this ‘hole in your tooth’.  This article will help explain what a cavity is and how to prevent them in the future.

A cavity results from tooth decay.  Tooth decay causes the enamel of your tooth to be destroyed.  Enamel is the outer layer of your teeth.  Almost anyone can get a cavity, although they are more common in children and adults also get cavities as they age.  As the tooth decays and enamel is destroyed a tiny hole appears in your tooth.  It is this hole that causes pain and sensitivity.  Most cavities are restored by placing a dental filling.  Severe tooth decay may require more extensive procedures such as placement of a crown or cap.

The cause of tooth decay is always a formation of plaque on your teeth.  Plaque most commonly happens after eating or drinking sweet and sugary things that leave a sticky film of bacteria on your teeth. These bacteria will cause an acid to form and this is what destroys the tooth enamel.

The easiest way to remove the bacteria that causes plaque is to brush regularly, use dental floss at least once a day, and to limit sweet and sugar laden foods and drinks.  If you are going to have something sweet to eat for dessert or as a treat, immediately brush after eating to help eliminate the formation of plaque.  For children, sealants are a way to help decrease the risk of cavities by decreasing the amount of plaque formation on back teeth.  Sealants apply a plastic protective covering over large tooth surfaces.  The most important thing you can continue to do is to have regular dental check-ups and cleanings to have your teeth examined and cleaned.  These routine examinations will help detect cavities before further damage occurs, and catch things that are small.

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