Dental Tips Blog


The Bone Around Your Teeth

Posted in Dentures

A healthy level of bone is a very important thing for your mouth. Our bone secures our teeth into place and supports them during normal activities like chewing and biting. Without adequate bone height, our teeth can become mobile and lack the stability that they need, causing them to fall out. Patients who wear dentures will also find that without enough bone support, their prosthesis will not fit properly.

Gum disease is the number one cause of bone loss around the teeth. The bone naturally resorbs away when bacteria from plaque and tartar enter into the gum pocket around the tooth. The body’s immune response sends antibodies to the area to destroy the infection, but bone support is permanently lost in the process. This bone cannot be restored, so prevention and treatment of gum disease is extremely important.

Wearing your dentures through the night, without taking them out, can cause bone tissue to fade away. Your gum tissues and bone need a rest, so leave your appliance to soak each night and then brush it clean in the morning before putting it back in. Massaging your bone and gum tissue will help trigger circulation, keeping bone levels high and supporting your appliance for a longer period of time. If you begin to develop sore spots or rocking in your denture, you may have areas of bone loss. Relining your denture or making a new appliance can effectively get your dentures back to where they fit properly.

As we age, it is normal for us to have small amounts of bone loss. Your dentist will take routine x-rays to monitor the bone height and health of your teeth, identifying any areas with abnormal loss.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mitul Patel 



Medications and Treatments That Affect Your Mouth

Do you recall the disclaimers at the end of drug commercials, where they discuss common side effects that are associated with taking that particular type of medication? Those side effects may often include dry mouth (xerostomia) but can also have other oral side effects as well.

Dry Mouth is a one of the most common side effects from prescription or over the counter medications. Drinking plenty of water, rinsing with dry mouth rinses or chewing gum containing Xylitol can help alleviate some of the symptoms.

Overgrowth of the gum tissue is fairly common for some types of blood pressure medications. This can appear to make the gums swollen and enlarged, even though there is no evidence of gingivitis or gum disease. The fibrous tissue otherwise appears healthy, with no bleeding or tenderness as with gingivitis. If the gingival overgrowth is severe it may interfere with oral hygiene or the wearing of prosthesis such as dentures or partial dentures. In rare circumstances the gum tissue may require some recontouring or removal by your dentist.

Asthma medication may be linked with increased tooth decay due to inhaling it directly against the teeth. After taking asthma medication it is important for you to rinse your mouth thoroughly with tap water. Using a fluoride rinse each day can help reverse some demineralization that has occurred with the use of the asthma medication.

Chemotherapy medications and radiation therapy can often lead to raw, sore, dry oral tissues due to radiation burns or destruction of the salivary glands. Using a topical fluoride each and every day is important in order to protect the health of the enamel and reduce the risk of tooth decay associated with cancer therapy.

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