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Is Sparkling Water Bad For My Teeth?

Monday, March 19th, 2018

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A carbonated drink, such as sparkling water, contains that satisfying fizz and crisp popping feeling that many of us love. But are those carbonated bubbles putting you at risk for tooth decay or dental issues? We’ve been asked that question, so let’s take a look at the answer!

Dental Erosion

As you likely know, erosion can be caused by many things both inside and outside the body. Factors such as vomiting and reflux, as well as acidic or harmful foods and beverages top the list. Carbonation gives beverages a lower pH, or in other words, a higher level of acidity (1).

So it begs the question – does that then mean that sparkling water can weaken your enamel, like other acidic foods and beverages?

What We Know About Sparkling Water & Your Teeth

The short answer: It turns out sparkling water is fine for your teeth!

That’s also backed by the American Dental Association, for those who are interested.

Studies have looked into how sparkling water compares to regular water, including how it can impact your teeth. The two forms of water—regular and sparkling—used in the commonly cited study showed no difference in their effect on the tooth enamel. This suggests that even with the increased acidity of sparkling water compared to flat water, there is no difference to your teeth.

So Where Can You Run Into Trouble?

The real danger to your teeth is in drinks that are sugary AND acidic, such as carbonated, sugary sodas or fruit drinks. The sugars found in these drinks increase likelihood of cavities, bacteria, and decay, on top of the risk of the higher acidity.

Another reason sugary, carbonated drinks are so much more potentially dangerous than flat or sparkling water is the high frequency in which they are consumed. The increased exposure to these elements erodes and damages the enamel over time (1, 2).

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Adding lemon or lime juice to your sparkling water, or drinking sparkling water that contains citrus flavors will have higher levels of acidity than plan water or unflavored sparkling water. This could increase the risk for damage to your tooth enamel, over time, more than unflavored sparkling water (2).

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Drink Safely

Plain drinks, such as water, or drinks containing high concentration of calcium, such as milk, can help reduce the risk of erosion. Water with fluoride naturally helps fight cavities, washes away food debris, and keeps to maintain a moist, healthy environment inside the mouth (2).

Another tip is to drink the beverage all in one sitting or with a meal, rather than sipping on the drink all day long, which increases the acidic exposure time to your teeth. All-day sipping should be left to regular water! (We don’t even have to mention how that’s also probably best for your waistline!)

Mineral water contains additional mineral content of nutrients like calcium phosphate. These added minerals can help neutralize the potential damage of drinking the slightly more acidic sparkling beverage (3).

Last, if you do opt to drink beverages containing sugar, be sure to avoid and limit how many and how often you indulge in this practice. Limiting the frequency of which you drink flavored sparkling or carbonated soda and fruit drinks will help minimize the potential for erosion and damage (1).

Your Aim: Avoiding Too Much Acidity in Your Mouth

Your best dental health option is to avoid too much acid in the mouth. Plain water is the best choice when it comes to safe beverages for your oral health. But if you are choosing between a soft drink and sparkling water, the sparkling water is a much safer choice, and much more similar to plain water, than something with the sugar content of a soda or juice (3). Be sure to ask us if you have ANY questions.

Watch For Warning Signs

No matter what your dietary and beverage choices, it’s a smart idea to keep an eye out for warning signs that enamel erosion is occurring. Symptoms like tooth sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures, changes in color, or notches on the tooth can indicate weakening of this hard outer layer. Although tooth erosion is a gradual process, it’s problematic for the long-term health of your teeth, so be sure to tell us at the first sign of trouble.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice 

Do you have concerns about how your nutrition impacts your oral health? If you see any warning signs of cavities or enamel erosion, schedule an appointment right away. We are here to help with all your dental needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!

Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!



How To Take Care Of Your Dentures

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

hagen dental dentures

Dentures are a fantastic option for anyone who has lost some or all of their teeth. Dentures benefit both your appearance and your health in a variety of ways. The loss of teeth can impact daily activities like smiling, eating, and speaking. These things are easy to take for granted until a problem arises.

Dentures improve eating and speaking ability (after some practice) by restoring the dimensions of your oral cavity. They also give the wearer a full set of teeth for a wide, confident smile. They can be made to mimic the look of natural teeth, and serve to support the cheeks, lips, and facial muscles to keep the facial tissues from sagging and creating a more aged look (1).

Caring For Dentures

Just like natural teeth, dentures require good daily oral hygiene habits to keep your mouth free of infection, irritation and complications. Regular cleaning also prevents denture stains and bacteria buildup (2).

Clean Your Dentures Every Day

You wouldn’t skip brushing your teeth daily – nor should you skip brushing and cleaning your dentures! Ideally, you should clean your dentures after each meal, but at a minimum, this should be done when you take them out every night.

To clean, remove the denture from your mouth and rinse off any food particles. Brush the denture gently using denture cleaning and a brush specially designed for cleaning dentures. You could also use a soft-bristled toothbrush. The key is to avoid any damage to the dentures that harder bristles could cause (1).

Avoid Using Toothpaste On The Dentures

Although dentures are used as replacement teeth, they are composed of different material than bone, so different cleaning applications are required. A non-abrasive cleanser – such as gentle liquid dish soap – is effective on dentures. Toothpaste, bleach, and powdered household cleansers, however, often contain abrasive particles that can damage the denture base or the denture teeth, so these should never be used to clean your dentures (2, 3).

Because denture cleaners are not designed to use in the mouth, be sure to rinse the denture well after cleaning or soaking it. Some of the chemicals from the soap may not be suitable for ingestion. We recommend denture cleansers that carry the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This symbolizes safety and effectiveness (1).

Handle With Care

Your dentures can be delicate! Dropping them onto a hard surface can result in cracks, chips, or breakage. We recommend standing over a sink filled with water or over a folded towel while you are cleaning the denture to avoid damage if you accidentally drop it (2).

Keep Your Dentures Wet

While your denture is out of your mouth, store it in water or a denture cleansing solution. Alternatively, you could use a solution of half water and half mouthwash. A denture that dries out can lose its shape, warp, or lose its pliability. Avoid storing it in hot water, which can also warp its shape (2).

Avoid Denture Adhesives

There are instances in which denture adhesive could be helpful. However, a typical denture should seal to the gums with just a light layer of saliva and a good fit. If you find you are requiring adhesive to comfortably wear your dentures, it could signal adjustments or replacement is necessary (2).

Give our office a call to schedule a check-up if this is happening to you.

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Caring For Your Mouth When You Have Dentures

Give Your Mouth A Break

To avoid irritation of the tissues covered by dentures, they should NOT be worn 24 hours a day. Typically, a good rule of thumb is to take the dentures out at bedtime and put them back in when you wake up. Ideally, your mouth should get at least 8 hours break from their wear (1, 3).

Check The Fit Regularly

Always pay attention to the fit of your dentures. If something doesn’t feel right, schedule an appointment to have it checked out. Ill-fitting dentures can cause irritation, mouth sores, or infection. We are trained to evaluate and repair any damage to the equipment, and to modify for any changes in the fit of your dentures.

Brush Like Usual

It’s still important to brush your gums, tongue, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth every morning and night, just as you used to brush your teeth. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush. This habit is helpful for increasing circulation in the oral tissues, removing plaque from the mouth, preventing bad breath, and starting the day clean before putting in your dentures (1, 3).

Diet Still Counts

Just as it is important for those with natural teeth to eat a balanced diet and avoid excessive sugars and acids, so too is this habit important for denture-wearers. A healthy diet plays a key role in the health of your mouth, whether you have a full set of natural teeth, a partial set, or a full set of dentures!

Regular Oral Exams

Even if you’ve lost all your natural teeth, regular oral exams are important. The dental examination can detect signs of disease, infection, or any changes in the health of your mouth, neck, throat, and head.

Dentures last about 5 to 10 years, and sometimes need work, alterations, and tune-ups to keep them functioning at their best. Regular dental checkups help to ensure your dentures are working best for you as changes occur in your mouth and as wear and tear happens to your dentures.

Schedule An Appointment With Hagen Dental Practice

Do you have questions about your dentures or your oral health? We are here to help with all your dental and denture needs! Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!




This Is Why Cold Weather Can Hurt Your Teeth

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Did you know 1 in 8 people have tooth sensitivity?

Many people notice more tooth discomfort in the cold winter months than the warmer spring and summer seasons. The cold temperatures and chilly, windy air of wintertime are here to stay for a few more months and could be to blame for some of this stinging and zinging pain.

But why? Read on as we explore some of the factors involved in this cold weather phenomenon (1).

Taking a Closer Look at Cold Weather

Your teeth are very sensitive to temperature, and can vary up to 120 degrees when exposed to different hot or cold environments as well as hot or cold foods and beverages. Like most material, teeth actually expand and contract slightly as they change temperature.

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Teeth contract with exposure to cold temperature, and then expand as they warm back to body temperature. Your teeth are able to adapt to some extent, but tiny cracks and fissures can form over time due to the stress of this movement. The cracks shouldn’t affect the integrity of your teeth, but they can cause a lot of discomfort when cold air or liquid comes into contact!

Amalgam fillings (those made of mixed metal) will actually expand and contract more rapidly than the natural bone of teeth, meaning teeth with metal fillings could hurt even more than other teeth in the bitter, cold weather (1, 2).

Exposed Layers

The enamel is the outer, protective layer of your teeth. If the enamel has started to wear away, the next layer – the dentin – becomes exposed. Dentin is very sensitive due to the nerve endings found in this layer. This layer of the tooth can sense extreme changes in temperature more readily, and will create nerve irritation without the full shelter of the enamel that is typically covering it.

Dentin exposure can be caused from the tiny cracks mentioned above, damage to the tooth, long term wear and tear from rough brushing, home whitening kits, or even highly acidic foods (1, 2).

Root exposure will also cause abrupt pain when this part of the tooth comes in contact with cold air or liquid. The root of the tooth can become exposed by brushing too hard or with cross friction. They can also become exposed due to gum recession from grinding or gum disease. Dr. Hagen can help with determining the cause of gum recession, as well as give tips on proper brushing motions (3).

Jaw Tension

It’s not uncommon to unconsciously clench your jaw in colder weather. Some people have a tendency to tighten up their muscles (often the arms, shoulders, jaws, etc.) in an attempt to keep warm. This can put unnecessary and painful pressure on your jaw and the teeth (1).

Sinus Pressure

Seasonal allergies and sinus issues can show up during cold months. Sinus infections, fluid backup and pressure in the sinuses will often cause tooth pain because of their proximity to the oral cavity and teeth. Many people will mistake this feeling as tooth pain when it is really the referral from nearby tissues. Figuring out the cause of the sinus issue will help alleviate the oral pain in this case (1).

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What to Do About Sensitivity or Pain

Tips for reducing cold weather tooth pain start with protection and prevention. Try breathing through your nose instead of your mouth, or wearing a scarf or mask over your mouth while you’re out in the elements (4).

Good oral hygiene habits are of upmost importance when it comes to preventing sensitive teeth and other painful tooth difficulties. Be sure to brush and floss regularly to reduce your risk of decay or infection.

Hagen Dental is your resource for figuring out the cause of your tooth pain. We can perform an examination and do x-rays, if needed, to discover the issue. Switching to sensitive toothpaste can often help ease the discomfort. Other times, we may recommend painting a protective varnish on any teeth that show wear and tear of the enamel and are particularly sensitive.

Though many times the pain can be an easy fix, it is extremely important to get checked. Pain, whether temperature related or not, can signal more serious underlying issues with the health of your teeth and mouth. Tooth pain can be caused from defective fillings, recessed gums, tooth grinding, infection, cavities and other problems. Often times, the cold will just exacerbate the pain that was actually caused by one of those issues.

We want to catch cavities, infection, damage, or other disease sooner than later in order to keep you healthy. Let us know if you have any pain, discomfort or other issues so that we can help!

Schedule An Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

We are excited to meet you and your family. Please call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button on our website to schedule your next visit!  Or, give us a call at (513) 251-5500 today!.




Don’t Just Dream Of A White Christmas…Do Something About It!

Monday, December 18th, 2017

tooth whitening options

This time of year is often packed with an increase in family fun, get-togethers, vacations, smiles and laughter, and more picture-taking than ever! With all those photo-ops and smiles, it’s easy to start worrying about the state of your smile. Are you dreaming of a whiter smile this Christmas?

Check out these brightening and whitening tips for whiter teeth this year and always!

Simple Tips To Whiten, Brighten, And Minimize Stains At Home

1. Use A Whitening Toothpaste

Today’s whitening toothpastes are not as harsh on your teeth as those in the past. New formulas help to whiten and brighten, as well as prevent new stains from taking hold as you sip on coffee or wine this holiday season! Ask us about specifics based on your oral health.

2. Try An Electric Toothbrush

Did you know that the vibration of an electric toothbrush can help prevent bacteria from sticking to surfaces in your mouth? No matter what brush you’re using, be sure to replace the bristles every three months. (Or sooner if you see signs of wear and tear and bent bristles). Worn bristles don’t clean as well, meaning particles can remain and cause stains or damage to your enamel.

3. Brush Your Tongue, Too!

Your tongue can accumulate bacteria, just like any other part of your mouth. This can contribute to discoloration on teeth surfaces. Be sure to rinse your brush well after brushing, so that it is fresh for next time (1).

4. Rinse After Acidic Foods Or Beverages

Acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits and soda, can leave behind damaging acid on the teeth. Rinse your mouth with cool water to wash away any residue and prevent erosion. Bacteria buildup and damage can also occur from sugary juices and sports drinks, so drink them in moderation and rinse afterwards too.

5. Sip With A Straw

Beverages that have a tendency to stain your teeth, such as iced tea, coffee, fruit juices, or even sodas are a common source of discoloration. The stains these beverages cause occur slowly, over time, and can seem to sneak up on you after years of usage. The next time you’re out shopping, buy some straws – and start sipping through a straw to minimize the contact these drinks have with your tooth enamel (1, 3).

6. Choose Lipstick Wisely

Do you enjoy wearing lipstick or gloss? Color tints containing cherry reds, wine hues, and blue tones give the effect of making teeth look whiter. Stay away from orange undertones in your lip color, which can bring out the yellow appearance of your teeth (1).

7. Fruits And Vegetables

Diets high in fruits and vegetables have been shown to benefit both your body and your teeth. Crunchy, raw fruits and veggies like celery, apples and carrots help rub away plaque as you chew. They also cause increased saliva production in the mouth, which helps neutralize acidity, wash away bacteria, and keep the mouth fresher.

Strawberries and pineapple have been found to be particularly helpful in keeping the teeth white and bright, though studies show they are more helpful for prevention than removal of stains (2, 3).

Professional Tips For Whiter, Brighter Smiles

Professional whitening, depending on your exact needs, is one of the best way to get teeth as white as possible. You’ll see results faster and more fully than with the daily habits and tips we’ve discussed so far. If you want significant results, we recommend getting a professional whitening treatment, then maintaining your results to prevent new stains with the tips listed above for as long as possible. Here is what to expect with a professional whitening service at our office:

Zoom Whitening

Zoom whitening is the top professional whitening procedure for several reasons. It’s fast, easy, and pain-free, and you see results in just one visit. It has been shown to be safe and effective, without harm to the other tissues in the mouth.

Ask us about our whitening program called “Whitening for Life.” With a one-time fee, you will receive custom-fitted whitening trays along with our professional-strength whitening gel! Twice yearly, at the completion of your hygiene visits, you’ll receive free whitening gel for as long as you remain a patient of record.

Here’s what that means: You can have a brilliantly white smile, free from staining or darkness. And the best part is that you will be able to maintain your white smile for a lifetime!

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Maintain Your Procedure With Healthy Habits

After any whitening procedure, it’s important to keep up with regular dental hygiene habits and maintenance for better and longer results. This means brushing and flossing daily. And don’t forget to rinse with water after dark or staining foods and drinks.

It also means keeping on schedule with your regular professional dental cleanings. And, as described, another benefit of being a practice member at our office: Our “Whitening for Life” program that will keep your teeth oh so white! (4).

We Are Ready To Help You Have A White Christmas & New Year!

merry christmas white teeth

We’re wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season! We’re here to answer questions, help you make the best decision for your goals, or schedule your next whitening procedure. Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.



Pucker Up! Don’t Make This Mistake Under the Mistletoe

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

What’s The Mistletoe Tradition All About?

Did you ever wonder how the custom of kissing under mistletoe came to be? This tradition has roots that stem way back, and today’s tradition was shaped over time from several historical beliefs and practices surrounding the little herb.

Several ancient cultures touted the healing properties of mistletoe for various ailments, lending to its popularity. In the first century, it became a romantic symbol of vivacity and fertility amongst Celtic Druids, because it could blossom even during the cold of winter (1).

During Medieval times, mistletoe was thought to possess mystical powers that would bring good luck and ward off evil spirits during the month of December. It became a popular December decoration due to the beliefs about its power (2).

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Mistletoe was also considered and declared a symbol of love and friendship in Norse mythology, which led to the tradition of “stealing a kiss” under the mistletoe.

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is said to have caught on in England. Before Christmas trees were popular, a common decoration was a “Kissing Bunch”, or “Kissing Bough”. These were wooden hoops, composed of holly, ivy, rosemary, bay, fir, or other evergreen plants, and shaped into a ball. Apples, candles or ribbons were often used to decorate these boughs. The finishing touch on these bunches was a large mistletoe hung from the bottom (3).

The original custom stated that before you kissed someone, you had to pick a berry from the sprig of mistletoe. Once all the berries were gone, no more kissing was allowed (2)!

Don’t Be Caught With Bad Breath Under The Mistletoe

No matter where the tradition stemmed from, it’s engrained in our culture today. And with the holiday season upon us, you just might find yourself standing under a sprig of mistletoe at your next social gathering! We have tips to help you avoid being caught off guard with bad breath so that you’ll be ready for your next smooch under the mistletoe!

kissable breath dental tips

10 Ways To Stay “Kiss-ably” Fresh

The easiest way to stay fresh and “kiss-ready” is to adopt great oral hygiene habits and keep your oral cavity healthy. This prevention-minded attitude will help you maintain the freshness of your mouth and avoid problems that can creep up and lead to smelly breath. Check out this list of tips to keep your breath fresh (4)!

1. Brush Daily

You should always brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time. This removes plaque, debris and harmful bacteria before it can accumulate and cause damage.

2. Floss Daily

Flossing reaches the third of the tooth’s surface that can’t be reached by brushing alone. If food and debris isn’t removed from between teeth, bacteria will grow and odors will develop.

3. Brush Your Tongue

Brushing or scraping your tongue will keep the folds and taste buds on the surface of the tongue clean and free of residue.

4. Mouthwash

Rinsing with mouthwash can help decrease the amount of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. A mouth rinse can also temporarily mask the odor of an underlying dental issue. Keep in mind that we can help determine the cause of the odor and offer treatment if needed.

5. Visit Us

Regular visits to your dentist are crucial in maintaining proper oral health. These exams also give us a chance to detect any oral hygiene issues that could cause or lead to bad breath early on.

6. Avoid Tobacco

Tobacco products contribute to bad breath, dry out your mouth, and leave unpleasant smells that linger – even after you’ve brushed your teeth. We recommend quitting your use of tobacco.

7. Stay Hydrated

Dry mouth conditions can lead to bad breath. Staying hydrated with plenty of water will not only keep your mouth from becoming too dry; it will also help wash away food particles and bacteria that would otherwise lead to bad odors.

8. Chew Sugarless Gum

Wondering what to do if you are stuck somewhere and unable to brush before a social event? Sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva production and wash away food debris.

9. Munch On Fiber

Fibrous foods such as carrots, celery, apples and nuts are great low-sugar snacks to help keep teeth clean and increase your saliva production, minimizing bad breath.

10. Quick Rinse

Swishing with a quick rinse of water is another option if you are unable to brush after eating or drinking a particularly sugary meal or beverage. Swishing water is not a replacement for brushing, but can help knock down sugar buildup that would otherwise help feed odor-causing bacteria in the mouth until you are home and able to brush your teeth properly.

Regular Dentist Appointments Are Important, Too!

Keeping consistent with your professional cleanings and dental exams ensures we can catch issues early and do our part to keep your teeth, gums, and tongue healthy and ensure your breath stays fresh – all year round! Give us a call to schedule at (513) 251-5500.




Mouth Sores: The Basics You Should Know

Monday, December 4th, 2017

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True dental health involves the entire mouth, so we’re trained to examine and identify problems with all the tissues of the mouth! Sores and irritations are common occurrences in the mouth.

Read on to learn about the most common oral sores, some of their causes, what you can do, and more.

Causes Of Mouth Sores

Sores in the mouth can stem from a variety of causes, including:

  • Infections from bacteria, viruses or fungus (1).
  • Irritation from a broken tooth, filling, piercing, loose orthodontic wire or other sharp appliance, or a denture that doesn’t fit (1).
  • Sores can be a symptom of a greater disease or disorder (1).
  • Immune system challenges and problems (2).

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The Most Common Mouth Sores

1. Canker Sores:

Canker sores develop in the soft tissues of the mouth, including the tongue, gums, uvula, or insides of the cheeks. They are typically white or gray sores with a red border. The good news about canker sores is they are NOT contagious. Their cause is hard to pinpoint, but could be related to other immune issues, oral hygiene issues, food irritation, stress, bacteria, viruses, or even trauma to the soft tissue (2).

Canker sores will typically heal on their own; however, it can take several days up to two weeks. If they are painful or causing problems with eating or talking, over-the-counter mouthwashes and pain killers designed for this type of sore can provide relief and help during the healing process. While a canker sore is healing, spicy, acidic, and overly salty foods should be avoided to minimize irritation and pain (2).

 2. Cold Sores:

Cold sores are also known as fever blisters. They present as a group of fluid-filled blisters around the lips, under the nose, or even around the chin. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex type 1 virus, and are VERY contagious. The initial infection of this virus will often be confused with a cold or flu. The main difference is that painful sores and lesions will emerge throughout the mouth (3).

Once a person is infected, the virus stays in the body and will cause periodic attacks. Some people notice that stress or other immune challenges can bring on an eruption. Cold sores will usually heal in about a week by themselves. If the blister is painful, over-the-counter topical medications can provide some pain relief. If the breakouts are severe or frequent, we can also prescribe antiviral drugs (3).

3. Thrush:

Thrush is a fungal infection that occurs when the yeast known as Candida albicans becomes overgrown in the oral cavity. It can reproduce rapidly in large numbers, causing an overgrowth and subsequent thrush infection (4).

Thrush is most common in people with weakened immune systems, in which the body’s own defenses can’t keep the Candida albicans in check. This population includes the very young, the elderly, or those who are affected by other diseases, such as diabetes or leukemia. Dry mouth syndromes and denture use both also make thrush more likely. Another risk factor is antibiotic treatment, which decreases the normal bacterial flora in the mouth, and gives Candida yeast a chance to flourish (4).

The best way to prevent and control thrush is focusing on good oral hygiene as well as controlling or preventing the conditions that make Candida more likely to reproduce rapidly (4).

cincinnati dentist4. Leukoplakia:

Leukoplakia are patches that form on the inside of the cheeks, gums or tongue. They are thick and whitish in color. They are caused by excessive cell growth (5).

Leukoplakia can result from irritations in the mouth, such as ill-fitting dentures or appliances, or in the case of people who are in the habit of chewing on the insides of the cheeks. These lesions are also common among tobacco users. Leukoplakia can, in some cases, be associated with oral cancer. We need to evaluate the lesion and might recommend a biopsy if the leukoplakia patch looks dangerous (5).

Removing and quitting those irritations that can result in leukoplakia are the first steps in treatment. For example, quitting tobacco or replacing anything ill-fitting appliances in the mouth are one of the first recommendations when dealing with leukoplakia from these causes (5).

We Are Here To Help!

While none of this is medical advice, these are some of the basics to know about when it comes to mouth sores. All mouth sores that last longer than a week should be examined by a dentist! Have you noticed new or recent sores in your mouth? Do you have a question about an unusual change in your oral soft tissue? It’s important that you have us analyze and take a look to rule out anything sinister or life-threatening. Whether for your next appointment or for another reason, be sure to give us a call at (513) 251-5500.



Understanding Your Teeth: Each Tooth Has A Job To Do!

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Have you ever wondered why we have so many varied teeth? What are all the types of teeth that make up our smile? These different shapes and sizes aren’t by accident – they all play a role! Teeth are important for and have various roles in chewing and digesting food, support aspects of our facial structure, and play a part in our speech and language capabilities (1,2).

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Types of Teeth

A full set of adult teeth include 32 permanent teeth, including the four wisdom teeth. These 32 teeth can be divided into four categories: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars (3).


Incisors are the thin teeth with a sharp biting surface located in the front of the mouth. There are four on the top and four on the bottom. They are the teeth that comprise the majority of our visible smile (1,4).

These front teeth are used primarily for taking initial bites of food, cutting or shearing food into smaller chewable pieces, and pulling the food into our mouths. They also play an important role in proper speech and pronunciation as we speak. Additionally, they support the lip tissues (2, 3, 4).

Incisors are also the very first to arrive in the mouth, both in their primary form (baby teeth) and permanent, adult form (1, 4).


Canines are also known as Cuspids, or “fangs” for slang. These are located just behind the incisors, at the “corners” of the dental arches, and are our longest type of tooth. There are two canines in the top row and two on the bottom – one on each side, respectively. These are the sharpest of all the teeth, with very jagged, pointed biting surfaces. Their function is to grip food and tear it apart, as well as help guide the mouth and jaw into the best biting position (1,3,4).cincinnati dentist


Moving further back into the mouth, we get to the premolars, which are also known as Bicuspids. These teeth have a flatter biting surface. They are used primarily for tearing, crushing, and grinding food during chewing. This part of the chewing process makes food more easily consumable and more easily swallowed. There are a total of eight premolars (1, 3, 4).


There are a total of twelve molars, including the wisdom teeth. They come in sets of four and are termed “first molars”, “second molars”, and “third molars”. Molars are the largest of all the teeth. Similar to the premolars, they have a large, flat biting surface. The function of all twelve molars is to chew, crush and grind food (1,3).

The wisdom teeth are the four molars which are often termed “third molars”, since they erupt into the mouth last; typically in the late teen years (although some people never develop them at all)! Many people get their wisdom teeth removed if they do not have enough room for them; they are located so far back in the jaw that they can cause crowding issues or bite misalignments if they are left to grow in (1, 4).

Some people consider wisdom teeth to actually be a fifth category of tooth. However, for functional classification, wisdom teeth fall into the “molar” category. For those who have room to allow their third molars to grow in, these teeth are used for chewing, crushing and grinding food – just like the other eight molars (1, 3).

A Clean And Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body!

Oral health is not only important for a great looking smile! The health of your teeth plays a role in ensuring ease of eating and digestion, proper speech, proper facial structure, and of course and plays a part in your overall health. At Hagen, we know the importance of keeping all your teeth healthy and strong – no matter what their shape or size. Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.




Is Your Baby Teething? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Monday, June 12th, 2017

baby teething 101

Wondering if your little one is teething yet? Most babies have their first tooth by the time they are six months old, and the symptoms of teething can begin two or three months prior to the first appearance of a tooth.

It’s common for the very first teeth to be the two bottom center teeth, and appearing next is usually the top two center teeth. After that, the teeth tend to grow outward (1).

Teething can be a tough time for your baby, so it’s important that you know the signs of teething and how to help soothe your little one.

top signs your baby may be teething

What Are the Signs?

Although the teething process varies from infant to infant, there are a couple of common symptoms to look out for. If a few or all of these signs stand out to you, your infant could be teething already!

Crankiness and Irritability

It’s normal for babies to fuss every now and again, but excessive crankiness may be a sign of teething. It’s hard to be cheerful when you’re not feeling well. So understandably, your baby might be irritable when he or she is experiencing an achy mouth (1).


With new teeth ready to poke through their gums, babies will feel aches and discomfort in their mouth. This pain can be counteracted by biting and chewing, which may indicate why your baby suddenly has a knack for biting more often (1).


Yes, drooling is pretty common with many littles ones, but it can also be an indicator of teething, too! Teething stimulates saliva in the mouth, which means that your baby might drool more often than usual. If you’re finding excessive drool on your baby’s shirts, pillows, or toys, it might be a sign that he or she is teething (1).

Trouble With Their Sleeping Patterns

Have you finally gotten your baby sleeping on a normal schedule? Well, not so lucky for you, your baby will probably deviate from this sleep pattern when teething begins. Due to the discomfort caused by the teething process, your baby will most likely wake up earlier and nap less (2).

Ear Pulling

You may find your baby tugging on his or her ears. Because the ears are located closely to the jaw, pulling on them creates counter pressure that helps soothe mouth pain (2).

Puffy or Swollen Gums

When the new teeth are about to appear, your baby’s gums might appear red or swollen. Unless your little one took a tumble and bruised his or her mouth area, this is usually a telltale sign of teething (3).

How Can You Help?

In addition to extra hugs and kisses, there are a few ways you can help sooth your baby’s pain! Always defer to your dentist and/or your doctor, but here are a few ideas as well.

Pressing a frozen washcloth against your infant’s mouth will help alleviate some of the pain, and even numb sore gums (3).

Distracting your baby is another way to ease the pain. Just like a mild headache or tummy ache, a distraction helps get the mind off the pain (3).

Serving your baby cold food and water can also help alleviate the aching; it serves as a numbing agent to a sore mouth. Some ideas include yogurt, applesauce, or even frozen fruits (1).

Because chewing offers counter pressure to aches inside the mouth, rubber teething toys are another key for soothing the pain. Teething toys and wet washcloths can help distract your baby and alleviate the aches (1).

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We Care About Your Child’s Dental Health

Your entire family deserves a healthy smile! When those pearly whites finally do come in for your infant, we want to help keep them healthy. We enjoy their first visits as early as age 3.

Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for everyone in the family.



Genes & Your Teeth: What Did You Inherit From Your Mother?

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. And while we love to spend this day in celebration for all our mothers have done for us over the years, one can’t help but wonder… What genetic features did I inherit from my mom – both “good” AND “bad”?

Features That ARE Related To Genes

Genes play a major role in the size and layout of your jaw. This means things like overcrowding of teeth, gaps, overbites, underbites and other misalignment issues can run in the family (1).

Gum disease, though not completely controlled by genetics, does seem to have a hereditary factor. Basically, some people in the population are more predisposed and are naturally at a higher risk for inflamed gums than others (1,2). Like any genetic predisposition, it does NOT guarantee your fate. It just means you might have to work a little harder than others. Proper hygiene habits can still keep gum disease at bay, so keep up your healthy dental behaviors!

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The color of your teeth is in part related to genetics. Genes play a role in the tint of your teeth, as well as how likely your teeth are to becoming stained. This is because the porous nature of the enamel is an inheritable trait. The more porous your enamel, the more likely stains can occur. Keep in mind that lifestyle and dietary choices will also play a factor here. Drinks like coffee, tea and red wine, along with certain medications can change the color of your teeth (3).

Problems That Are NOT Related To Genes

Although it’s tempting to blame our dental problems on our parents, things like cavities, decay, and gum disease from poor dental habits are more a lifestyle factor than a heredity issue. Anyone can develop cavities, decay, and inflammation in their mouth if they don’t stick to regular and proper oral hygiene practices.

Oral cancer is only minimally related to genetics, so if this one runs in your family, don’t stress. Lifestyle choices such as tobacco and alcohol use are the top risk factors for oral cancer. This means you can help prevent oral cancers by quitting tobacco, cutting back on alcohol, and eating a balanced diet (1).

Take Control: What You Can Do

Be thankful for traits and characteristics that you inherited that you love. After all, these are things that make you uniquely you!

Accept things you cannot change, and investigate options for the things you can. If crooked teeth or misalignments run in your family, ask us about corrective techniques such as Invisalign. If you are unhappy with the color tint of your teeth, talk to us about cosmetic dental procedures to whiten the enamel safely.

Keep your stress low. Taking steps to reduce your stress levels can positively impact your overall health, as well as the health of your teeth and mouth, which will minimize inflammation and disease (2).

No matter what your age or dental health history, start taking your proper dental hygiene habits seriously today! This is the best way to prevent more issues in the future and keep your teeth and mouth healthy for the rest of your life.

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Poor oral hygiene increases your risk for dental issues and oral disease no matter what your genetics. Although some individuals are more predisposed to develop tooth decay and issues than others, no one is immune from taking good care of their teeth. This means regular flossing and brushing, plenty of hydration, regular dental checkups, and reducing your overall sugar intake.

These habits and lifestyle choices play a much larger role in the long term outcome of your oral health than the genes you inherited from Mom or Dad. So let Mom off the hook this weekend, and have fun celebrating!

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Ready to schedule your next checkup? Or have a question about Invisalign, dental health, or teeth whitening services? We are here for you! Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.






The Kentucky Derby: Racing with Healthy Teeth

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Aaahhhh… Derby Days! This weekend will be filled with celebrations, parties, and horse race watching. Get-togethers will be complete with derby attire, cocktails and lots of delicious food. Gamblers set their sights on their favorite picks…And, this event kicks off the first of the Triple Crown series for the year.

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Preparation For The Derby

An event this huge naturally has days, weeks, months and years of preparation going into it – for everyone involved: the horses, owners, riders, organizers and even the fans. An immense amount of effort and energy goes into keeping the race horses healthy, well trained and primed for these big events. And this includes their dental care and maintenance!

Just like a human needs regular dental care and dentist visits, so too a horse needs regular care by their owners and veterinarians to keep their teeth and mouths healthy. Just like we don’t want oral problems interfering with our day-to-day lives, no one wants to see a tooth problem in a horse affecting their performance on race day!

Regular Dental Care For Horses

Regular dental check-ups for horses are essential, just like they are for humans. For horses, a dental checkup is vital to their overall well-being, and should take place every six months to a year. These check-ups serve to ensure proper hygiene and function in the mouth, and to detect and eliminate any problems as early as possible, to keep the horse comfortable and able to eat and perform. Their dentist will check for teeth and dental abnormalities, potential tartar buildup, signs of infection or other issues, and gum disease (1,2).

How Does A Horse Communicate A Tooth Problem? 

When a horse experiences a tooth problem, it is sometimes mistaken for bad behavior. Signs that a horse could be dealing with a tooth problem could include head tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, excess salivation, sluggish chewing, refusing to eat, riding with his head held high, trying to avoid the bit, or problems staying on the bit mouthpiece. Understandably, the horse is trying to express his discomfort (1, 3).

Daily Chewing

Horses have, on average, 36 to 44 teeth, and chew a shocking 40,000 times per day as they eat. The high number of teeth and high usage of these teeth increases the risk that problems could arise with one of them.

For example, during the chewing process, horses normally wear down the chewing surface of the tooth slowly and steadily. As this happens, new tooth material slowly grows up to provide a fresh chewing surface.

However, this process isn’t perfect, and if the wear on the tooth is uneven, the teeth can form sharp edges. These sharp edges can cut into the horse’s cheeks or tongue, causing painful sores. These sharp edges are removed by a dental procedure for horses known as “floating”. In this process, the veterinarian uses specialized tools to smooth the sharp edges of the enamel (1, 3, 4).

Racing And Bits

The bit mouthpiece used in riding should never affect the horse’s teeth. But sometimes horses develop extra teeth called “wolf teeth” or “tushes.” In many horses, these teeth will never cause a problem. Depending on the shape and location of these extra teeth, they could interfere with the bit or become easily irritated. In this case, the horse may need a specialized bit, or the kentucky derby 2017problematic teeth may need to be removed by a veterinarian or equine dentist so they do not become sensitive or infected by irritation from contact with the bit mouthpiece (1, 4).

Keeping Horses In Top Performance

Race horse owners are especially diligent when it comes to dental hygiene for their steeds. Issues with chewing can result in an insufficient food intake, weight loss or difficulty maintaining weight. Pain and discomfort from oral issues in a horse can impact their training, stamina and race-day disposition. And for anyone who owns and loves an animal, the thought of them suffering in pain or discomfort is not a pleasant one (4).

Just like in humans, prevention in horses is typically easier, cheaper and more comfortable than waiting for a problem to occur. That’s why we commend horse owners who keep their regularly scheduled check-ups, AND why we recommend you do the same for you and your family!

Enjoy the Derby this weekend!

Questions for Dr. Hagen and the Hagen Dental Team?

We want to help keep the dental health of you and your family at its best! Call us at (513) 251-5500 to schedule your next visit.