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The Common—And Not So Common—Causes Of Tooth Sensitivity

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Why do teeth become tender and sensitive? Why can some people bite into a nearly sub-arctic temperature ice cream treat with no issue, while others wince in pain, or avoid the treat all together? Can you avoid this happening to you? Eliminating some of the reasons tooth sensitivity develops can help lessen your pain or help you avoid this problem developing.

Here are some of the reasons teeth become sensitive:

Brushing Too Hard

Using a hard-bristled toothbrush or brushing with too much force can start to wear and tear on your teeth and gums. This excess force and friction wears down the protective enamel layer of your teeth, which can eventually expose more sensitive tissue or nerves. These habits can also cause gum damage or recession, exposing the very sensitive root tissue below the gum line. Avoid these issues by switching to a soft bristled brush and brushing in a circular, gentle motion along your teeth. Often times, people brush too hard because they are in a hurry. Slow down and show your teeth some TLC (1,2).

Eating Too Many Acidic Foods

If your teeth have already become sensitized, and nerve or root tissue is exposed, acidic foods will irritate these areas and cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Acidic foods include things like tomato sauce, citrus fruits, kiwis, pickles, sour candies, and soft drinks. Avoiding these foods can help you avoid the painful stimulation they cause (1).

Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth, which most commonly occurs at night during sleeping, wears down the enamel and can damage the gum tissue, leading to gum recession. Just like with brushing too hard, exposing the more porous middle layer of the tooth under the enamel means unprotected nerve fibers can be reached by irritants. If you think you’ve been grinding your teeth, or you’ve been told you are a grinder, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagen to discuss finding a mouth guard to prevent the grinding (1).

Using Certain Toothpastes

Certain toothpastes can lead or further promote sensitivity. Because people can react differently to the same product, some people might develop sensitivity from a paste that another person is not bothered by. If you noticed the sensitivity start after switching to a new whitening paste, you should switch to a different brand of paste, a different product that doesn’t contain any whitening agents, or ask us if you have questions.

Overusing Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a good part of your oral hygiene habits. However, some people overuse their mouthwash, leading to enamel wear, dentin exposure, and sensitivity of the teeth. If you think this is the cause of your sensitivity, try cutting back to swishing just once or twice a day, or try a brand that is alcohol free. And don’t forget to be proactive with your brushing and flossing so that you don’t miss the extra mouthwash rinses. (Once again, ask us for more guidance specific to you.)

Gum Disease

Gum recession, gum inflammation (gingivitis), and other forms of gum disease can all present with tooth sensitivity. In this case, you most likely will notice the sensitivity at the gum line, where unprotected tooth tissue is exposed to the elements: anything you eat and drink. In the case of gum issues, it is vital to schedule your next dental appointment right away, so that Dr. Hagen can help get your gum disease under control and talk to you about treatment options to deal with the gum disease, or procedures to seal the exposed tooth.

A Recent Dental Procedure

Procedures such as root canals, extractions, or crown placement can all cause sensitivity after the event. However, these symptoms should only be temporary. If the sensitivity persists, be sure to schedule a follow up visit to rule out infection or other complications (1).

A Cracked Tooth

A cracked or even chipped tooth can cause pain. This pain can vary, but is typically severe enough that it feels worse than just sensitivity. In a case like this, Dr. Hagen will need to analyze the issue to determine what type of treatment will be available to fix or remove the cracked or chipped tooth (1).

Contact Hagen Dental Practice for All Your Oral Health Needs

Do you think one or more of the issues listed above relates to you? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about how to prevent, deal with, or end your tooth sensitivity!

Sources:

  1. http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/10-biggest-causes-of-tooth-sensitivity.aspx
  2. https://www.danmatthewsdds.com/5-unusual-causes-tooth-sensitivity/

 

New Year’s Resolutions For A Healthier Smile

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

The New Year is here in full swing! Many of us partake in New Year’s resolutions – goals to make this year our best yet. Did you make any for 2017? Have you been sticking to them?

Often times our resolutions relate to healthy lifestyle choices. We inherently know that healthier habits keep us feeling better and enjoying life longer. Check out this list of resolutions that will help keep your smile healthy and your oral health on track – this year and always!

simple-resolutions-for-a-healthier-smile

1. Brush Daily

One of the most important commitments you can make this year – if you aren’t already – is to brushing twice per day. Brushing cleans and protects your teeth from decay and your gums from disease and inflammation. Brushing is also helpful to maintain fresh breath and a bright smile.

The best part? It only takes a few minutes per day! Without brushing regularly, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth, increasing your risk of inflammation, infection and decay (1, 2).

2. Floss Daily

Flossing is equally as important as brushing! Flossing removes plaque between the teeth and below the gum line, where brushing can’t reach. These areas account for approximately 35% of the surfaces that need cleaning and can’t be reached with brushing alone, and they are often the places where decay and gum disease first begin (1).

3. Make Water Your Beverage Of Choice

Water is the best beverage for your smile’s health for many reasons. First, it rinses away sugars and food particles after a meal or snack. It also helps restore and maintain a proper pH level in your mouth.

Acidity in the mouth from things like coffee, soda, sugars and other food items weakens your teeth and makes it more prone to disease. Water helps to neutralize the pH level. Lastly, staying hydrated helps to avoid dry mouth and the potential bad breath that can accompany it.

choose-water-over-other-beverages

4. Opt For Whole Foods Over Processed Options

Eating well is vital to your dental health. Poor nutrition affects your gums, immune system, inflammation levels, and tooth strength. Processed foods tend to have more sugars, starches and additives that are harmful for your overall health as well as your oral health.

Whole foods contain more vitamins and minerals to support and strengthen your teeth and gums. As a bonus, crisp fruits and raw veggies such as apples, pears, carrots and celery help to keep your teeth cleaner and plaque at bay because of their fibrous quality (1, 2).

5. Switch To A Soft-Bristled Brush

A firmer toothbrush might sound like a better scrubber, but it’s actually not the best choice. Harder bristles irritate the gums, can lead to gum recession, and even sensitive teeth. A soft-bristled brush works just fine; stick to brushing for 2 whole minutes (don’t rush!) and it will get the job done effectively – and most importantly – safely.

6. Avoid Using Your Teeth As “Tools”

Our jaws are strong, and our bones are tough. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for some people to use their teeth for tasks around the house: tearing open a bag of snacks or other tricky plastic containers, twisting open a beer bottle, using a bite grip to open that stubborn bottle of nail polish, or ripping a tag off clothing. But these seemingly simple “jobs” are very hard on your teeth. Even though your teeth are strong, these are not tasks they were meant to perform.

These types of activities place trauma and pressure on the bones and jaw, and can cause a weakened tooth to chip or fracture. Keep scissors, pliers and rubber grips handy so that you can easily reach for those tools when frustrated with that plastic, metal or paper – instead of defaulting to your teeth (3, 4).

7. Double Check Your Calendar

Has it been over 6 months since your last dental checkup? If so, it’s time to give us a call! It’s always surprising how fast the weeks and months fly by. It’s a good idea to check and make sure it hasn’t been longer than you realized since your last appointment. Consistent visits to our office will allow us to prevent or detect problems early – before they become painful, expensive, and tough to treat. And our examination will help let you know if there are any habits you can change to enhance your oral health.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

We want you to succeed in all your oral health resolutions so that you can love and maintain a healthy smile! Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

 

Sources/References:

  1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/new-year.html
  2. http://www.firstchoicedental.com/blog/5-new-years-resolutions-healthier-smile
  3. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/do-you-have-these-5-bad-dental-habits#1
  4. http://www.210wpfd.com/5-easy-new-years-resolutions/

Be Ready For the Mistletoe With These Breath-Boosting Tips

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

The holiday season is upon us! And with it, a host of office Christmas parties, invitations to dinners, white elephant exchanges with your friends, and ugly sweater get-togethers.

Mistletoe can be hiding in the eaves of any social gathering, so it is a great time of year to ensure your breath is fresh, whether you want to be ready for a quick peck under the mistletoe with your crush, or a long smooch with your spouse. Use these dental hygiene and better breath tips as part of your holiday-ready routine!

is-your-breath-ready-for-mistletoe

The Quick-Fix Options

Carrying a small travel (or even disposable) toothbrush and small tube of toothpaste is a great option, especially if you’re planning on going straight to a holiday get-together right after a long day of work or school. Even if you forget the paste, brushing with just water can offer a little bit of help to reduce the microbes collecting in your mouth after meals.

Flossing with a mint flavored dental floss helps remove food particles from your recent meal. Flossing on the go can be made more realistic with products such as disposable floss picks.

Gargle with an anti-bacterial mouthwash for 20-30 seconds. Many mouthwashes come in small travel-sized bottles that will fit in your pocket, purse, car or desk. This will help fight bacteria in the mouth that contribute to bad breath and give you an instant odor freshener (1).

Chew on a stick of sugar-free or natural gum. Since dry mouth can lead to bad breath, and gum stimulates saliva production, gum is a helpful choice. As an added bonus, gum can remove some of the food particles left in small gaps in your teeth. Find a nice peppermint flavor for an instant odor cover-up (1).

Chew on a sprig of mint. This herb doesn’t clean your teeth, but will offer a strong minty smell to cover up bad breath temporarily. Just be sure to check the mirror for any stray remnants of the green leaf before heading into the party.

Chew on nuts. This option works well if you are already at the party, and have none of the other options available to you. Nuts have a strong aroma. Additionally, the abrasive texture of nuts will help remove residue or food particles from the teeth, tongue and gums (2).

Order your water with lemon or lime. This acidic, citrusy combination is a powerful tool against bad breath. The moisture of the water keeps your mouth from getting too dry, which helps minimize odor. The acidity of the citrus fruit combats bacteria and masks the odor with its fresh flavor (1).

The Long Term Story: How to Prevent Breath Issues

Once the party is over, it is important you take a step back and find out the underlying cause of your bad breath. Was it just a garlic-laden lunch? Or is the halitosis (bad breath) something you deal with regularly? It could be your oral hygiene habits need a tune-up, or something more serious at play.

Proper dental hygiene habits, such as consistently using floss, mouthwash, and brushing regularly are your best defense against bad breath. These daily habits serve to keep bacteria, food particles and inflammation to a minimum. Ensuring you stick to a regular dental checkup schedule will help keep teeth clean and serve to catch any underlying problems as early as possible, or before they become a big problem.

Staying hydrated is also important to prevent dry mouth induced bad breath. Drinking hot tea after a meal helps to remove food particles, and also contains polyphenols which discourage the growth of bad breath causing bacteria.

However, if bad breath is already a frequent problem, call us to schedule an examination. Chronically foul smelling breath can be a sign of gingivitis, periodontitis, plaque buildup, infections, cavities, gastritis, or poor brushing habits. It is imperative that you consult with Dr. Hagen to discover and eliminate the offender before it affects your long term health.

dont-let-bad-breath-ruin-your-day

Worried About Getting Too Close?

We never want your dental health concerns to get in the way of your personal relationships. Call Hagen Dental practice today to discuss how we can help! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  • http://www.wikihow.com/Fix-Bad-Breath-on-the-Spot
  • http://www.livescience.com/40052-get-rid-bad-breath.html
  • http://whole30.com/2016/05/whole30-fresh-breath/

Can Gum Recession Happen In An Otherwise Healthy Mouth?

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

The short answer is that yes, gum recession can happen in a mouth that is otherwise ”healthy.”

Gum recession is the process during which the margin of gum tissue surrounding the teeth wears away or pulls back. This process causes exposure of more of the tooth’s surface, or even the tooth’s root.

Gaps can form between the teeth and gum line, creating an easy place for bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the teeth can become severely damaged, cause extreme discomfort, and even lead to tooth loss.

How Does it Happen?

Gum recession usually happens gradually. Signs include tooth sensitivity or noticing a tooth that seems to have “gotten longer”. There can also be a noticeable notch where the tooth meets the gum. It’s important NOT to ignore these signs. Prevention (when possible) and early treatment are the keys to repairing the gum and tooth and prevent further damage.

what-causes-gum-recession

What Causes Gum Recession?

Part of the reason that gum recession can happen, even if you have good oral health habits, comes down to how it happens. Here are a few scenarios that can lead to recession:

Insufficient Dental Care: Skipping or slacking on your regular dental hygiene habits makes it much easier for plague to turn into tartar. This hard substance builds on and between your teeth, and can only be removed at a professional dental cleaning. Tartar increases the likelihood of gum recession. So keep up your daily habits like regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash to keep tartar buildup to a minimum.

Periodontal Disease: Bacterial infections can destroy gum tissue and the supporting boney tissue that hold the teeth in place. Regular checkups, healthy dietary choices, and proper oral hygiene routines are paramount to preventing gum infection.

many-factors-that-can-cause-gum-recession

Remember this: even if you have an otherwise healthy mouth, and stay regular with your oral hygiene, there are many other factors that can cause your gums to start receding:

Genetics: Some people are more susceptible to gum disease. Some people have thinner or weaker gum tissue to start with. Others have larger, more prominent roots. Some studies show that approximately 30% of the population are predisposed to gum recession, regardless of how well they care for their teeth (1,2).

Brushing Too Hard: Aggressive tooth brushing creates a high risk for gum recession. This includes several components: Trauma to the gum tissue associated with brushing too hard, using too hard a toothbrush, or cross friction as you brush sideways across the gums. These factors can cause the enamel on the teeth to wear away, and irritate the gums, causing them to recede. The safest way to brush is gently, with a soft-bristled brush, in an up and down motion (1,2). Remember how we’ve talked about the benefits of flossing and using an electric toothbrush? It’s all making sense now since we don’t typically brush as hard when using an electric toothbrush.

Hormonal Changes: Women are more susceptible to gum recession related to hormone fluctuations. Across the course of a woman’s life, changes that accompany puberty, pregnancy and menopause can make gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco Products: Tobacco users develop sticky plaques on their teeth, which also can lead to gum recession.

Grinding and Clenching: The added forces and pressure placed on the teeth that are associated with clenching and grinding of the jaw serve to irritate the gums at their attachment site on the bone, causing the gum tissue to recede from the base of the tooth. A custom-made mouth guard can be helpful for night bruxism. (Ask us for more information specific to you.)

Crooked Teeth and Misaligned Bite: If teeth don’t come together evenly, increased and imbalanced forces are placed upon the gums and bones, increasing the probability that the gums will recede (1, 2). Invisalign is a great alternative to braces to help straighten issues with crooked teeth or bite.

Lip or Tongue Piercings: Jewelry in or around the oral cavity can cause repetitive irritation or rubbing of the gums, leading to wearing away of the affected gum tissue.

Trauma to the Gum Tissue: Traumatic injury to the teeth or gums from events such as accidents, fights, sports injuries or falls can lead to gum recession.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today for all Your Oral Health Needs

Do you have questions about the prevention or treatment of gum recession? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have regarding your gums or your dental health! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/receding_gums_causes-treatments#1
  2. http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/oral-care/problems/gums-receding.htm
  3. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gum-disease/article/receding-gums-and-treatment-and-causes-0214

It’s Wellness Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

By now you’ve fought through the fierce crowds and lines of Black Friday, loosened your purse strings for Small Business Saturday, and shopped from home while searching high and low for great finds on Cyber Monday.

Hopefully you’ve walked away from it all unscathed, grabbed some good deals, and accomplished much of your holiday shopping! Are you exhausted yet?

its-time-for-wellness-wednesday

We hope you have some energy left, because it’s time for Wellness Wednesday! With all this focus on shopping, potentially a lot of missed sleep, the stress of travelling and visitors, and the anticipation of the holidays, it’s easy for our WELLNESS habits and goals to get lost in the shuffle.

“Is Oral Health Really an Important Part of Our Overall Health?”

Yes! In fact, your oral health gives clues about your overall health. Problems in your mouth can not only affect the rest of your body, but can indicate underlying health issues. Your oral health is more important than you might have even realized.

dental-health-as-a-clue-towards-overall-health

Without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria in the mouth can reach levels that can lead to infections. Natural defenses coupled with regular oral health care help to keep these bacteria under control.

Chronic inflammation of gum disease can play a role in other diseases and inflammation of the body, making both conditions more severe. Inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease can be linked to infections that oral bacteria can cause, according to some research.

Your state of overall health relates directly to your heart health.

Bacteria that enter the body, including through your mouth, can spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart, leading to endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart.

Oral health is important for mom and baby during pregnancy. Inflammation and infection in your mouth has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

But That’s Not All…

Certain pre-existing conditions can affect your oral health. Diabetes, for example, reduces the body’s resistance to infection, putting your gums at higher risk for disease. The reverse is true as well: People with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, so regular dental health care can improve diabetes control. Another example is osteoporosis, in which there is an increased risk for periodontal bone loss and tooth loss, due to the weakness of the bone structure.

Medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants can all reduce saliva flow. Since saliva is so important for neutralizing acids and washing away food particles, this reduction in saliva can give bacteria a chance to thrive and potentially lead to complications, gum disease, or other inflammatory processes.

The team at Hagen Dental wants to remind you to keep up with your regular dental hygiene. Floss and brush daily, stay hydrated, and try to avoid indulging in too many of the sweets and treats that are so prevalent this time of year. If you have a dental checkup scheduled, don’t skip it! This time of year can get busy, but your health is worth making time for.

Another Wellness Wednesday tip: When was the last time you changed your toothbrush? If it’s been more than 4 months, it’s time to change… so add a toothbrush to your shopping list!

Improve Your Total Health: Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References to read more:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475

 

 

Be Thankful: How Science Says that Having Gratitude is Good For Your Health

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Thanksgiving season reminds us to be grateful for all the positive things in our lives—big and small. The practice of gratitude is not only seasonal, it’s great for your health, too!

benefits-of-gratitude

Gratitude as One of Many Positive Habits

Mental health professionals have recently started taking a close look at how qualities such as gratitude can impact our health. The findings are very positive: grateful people tend to take better care of themselves, and engage in protective and proactive health behaviors such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, good sleeping habits, and regular checkups and examinations from their general practitioner and their dentist (1).

It’s a Stress Reliever

High levels of stress, left unchecked, can make us sick. It’s linked to chronic disease, heart disease, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and a high percentage of why people visit the doctor. But it turns out, gratitude helps people manage stress and cope with daily problems (1).

Boosts Your Immunity

Gratitude and optimism go hand in hand. These characteristics seem to boost the immune system, according to research. A psychology professor at the University of Utah found that people with higher levels of optimism showed higher counts of blood cells that are important for immune system function, compared to more pessimistic people (1). Being consistently mindful of the things you have to be thankful for boosts your well-being (2).

Helps You Be a Better Friend

According to a 2003 study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, gratitude tends to boost pro-social behaviors, such as helping others, lending emotional support, or assisting with problems. This also has the benefit of strengthening your relationships (2).

learn-to-have-more-gratitude

How to Become More Optimistic and Grateful

 Those who are more mindful of benefits they’ve received, or whose perspective in life has them focusing their attention outward tend to naturally have a more grateful mindset. But you can learn to increase the gratitude in your life!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Start a gratitude journal. Keep it by your bed and write a few things in it each night for which you are grateful. Psychology Today reported this habit has a side benefit: falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer (2).
  • Tell someone you are grateful for them. Gratitude can be contagious!
  • Create a list of great things in your life. Then ask yourself, “Do I take these for granted?” Look at this list daily as a reminder of all you have to be thankful for.
  • Watch your self-talk, and your conversation with others. Are you using optimistic and appreciative sentiments and phrases? Or do your words, thoughts and conversations tend to have a negative or complaining undertone?
  • Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Changing the perspective of how you look at a situation can make you more understanding and patient about what is going on. This can help improve your gratitude as well.
  • When you feel yourself getting upset, or ready to complain about a situation, stop for a minute. Is there anything about the situation that has potential? Is there a silver lining? Can you look on the bright side?
  • Find the positive in a challenge. What positive traits might a tough situation help you improve? Patience? Empathy? Understanding? Teamwork? Courage? Be grateful for the challenge and the learning experience.

So, practice gratitude this month, keep smiling, and enjoy your Thanksgiving with your newly appreciative attitude. And be sure to sprinkle in a healthy dose of gratitude into your life all year long—for your health! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving from Hagen Dental Practice.

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/women/features/gratitute-health-boost#1
  2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/21/gratitude-healthy-benefits_n_2147182.html

Don’t Neglect Your Dental Health While Away at College

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

oral health tips while at college

Midterms are in full force, you are deep into your class load, the manager from your part time job is calling to see if you can pick up an extra shift, there are intramural sports to be played, and there’s plenty of partying to be done on the weekend. As a college student, you are busy, and you have all the freedom and independence you want to make your own health decisions. But now is not the time to let your dental health go by the wayside due to your tightly packed schedule.

A 2016 study of dental health practices in US college students found that 76% of students reported having at least one dental exam in the year prior to their survey. But the study also found that dental health care habits and regular dental visits declined annually following the students’ freshman years.

Students cited reasons such as having a healthy mouth and not feeling they needed dental care, not having the time to go to the dentist, and worries about the cost of their visit for the explanations as to why they were missing their regular checkups (1).

Unfortunately, putting your oral health on the backburner is not a good choice. When it comes to your mouth and teeth, prevention is always cheaper and easier than waiting until a problem arises. Regular checkups can allow us to find issues before you show signs of pain and more advanced dental disease.

College students are also at risk for oral health changes because of poor dietary choices, changes in routine, and putting off regular visits to the dentist. Even though there is a lot on your plate and even more on your mind, there is hope!

Try these tips to maintain good oral hygiene while you make your way through your college years!

Keep it real. Eat “real foods” rather than packaged and processed foods to help minimize unnecessary sugars. Snacks such as fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts or seeds are great choices (2).

Keep sugar to a minimum.  Avoid using sugar as a stress reliever. Increased sugar intake increases your risk for decay and cavities.

Watch your late night eating and hygiene habits. Avoid late night snacking, or falling asleep without brushing your teeth. This habit leaves sugars and acids in your mouth to wreak havoc on your enamel until morning. Leftover food particles also become a breeding ground for bacteria. Furthermore, this sets you up for a bad case of morning breath (3).

Remember to exercise! Also be sure to develop regular exercise and good sleep habits. These routines are important and helpful for managing stress levels and maintaining both dental health and overall health during your college years (2).

Look at your entire health. Minimize or avoid alcohol use and smoking. College students sometimes experiment with these two behaviors, both of which cause dry mouth, changes in the pH of the mouth, and an increased risk for tooth decay or gum disease (2). Alcohol abuse also makes it more likely that you will skip or forget your nighttime dental cleaning routine.

Start with water! Choose water over sodas, energy drinks, and other sugary drinks. The acids found in carbonated and sugary drinks are very hard on your enamel (2, 3).

Brush and floss daily. These are time-tested habits that keep your oral health up. Even when you get home late or your schedule feels too busy, be sure to floss and brush. We recommend brushing twice a day with a soft brush, and flossing once a day (4). This investment takes about 5 minutes, which means you only have to dedicate 0.3% of your day to reap the rewards of a healthy smile.

Remember your regular dentist visits! Either find a great dentist near your school, or schedule your dental checkups around visits back to your hometown – over the holidays or school breaks. Don’t leave your next appointment without scheduling your next one!

dental exams

Call Hagen Dental Today

Are you overdue for your next dental cleaning? Or perhaps you are enrolled in school in the Cincinnati area and need to find a great dental practice while you are away from home? Give Hagen Dental a call to answer your questions or to schedule your next appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1363&context=jhdrp
  2. http://www.deardoctor.com/articles/10-health-tips-for-college-students/
  3. http://compdentalhealth.com/blog/college-students-oral-health/
  4. http://dental.ufl.edu/patient-care/patient-information/oral-health-tips-for-all-life-stages/

Oral Cancer: This Is Why Early Detection Is Critical

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

oral health at hagen dental dds in cincinnati ohio

Almost 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year (1). Sounds pretty surprising, doesn’t it? This includes cancers of the tongue, lips, gums, and other soft palate tissues of the mouth or upper throat.

Talking about cancer can be scary, but there is one key component to improved odds: Early detection. Detecting the issue before the cancer has spread to other parts of the body dramatically raises the rate of survival. One of the best ways to ensure early detection is to stay consistent with your dental care and dental cleanings.

Regular dental checkups involve more than just your teeth cleaning. Dr. Hagen’s exam includes a review of the health of your entire oral cavity – teeth, gums, tongue, and palate – for signs of disease, including oral cancer. Even though you may think you know your teeth pretty well, we’re actually able to screen you for cancer when you come in!

What Are We Looking For?oral health risk factors

Dr. Hagen is trained to perform a thorough head and neck examination at your dental visit. This exam detects changes in the tissues of the mouth and surrounding areas that could signal the beginnings of cancer. Dr. Hagen knows what signs to look for, what additional tests or labs to order, and when to refer to a specialist, when necessary.

Here are some of the cancer warning signs we screen for:

  • White or red lesions that are not healing
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Lumps or thickening of the soft tissue, such as the neck or cheek
  • Soreness of the throat, or pain in the mouth that does not go away
  • Chronic feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Persistent ear pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Numbness of the tongue or mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw

Sure, that seems like quite a list, but know that just because you have a symptom on this list, doesn’t mean you definitely have cancer. Because there are so many ranging symptoms, that’s why you need someone qualified to look at your mouth and jaw for early detection.

Also, know that it indicates follow up and further analysis is typically needed, because if you do have cancer, early treatment can make a critical difference in fighting the disease.

symptoms of oral cancerAnd Why is Early Detection So Important?

Which leads us to our next point: if oral cancer is discovered early, the remission rate with treatment is nearly 90 percent (5). (Remission is what doctors use when speaking about cancer to mean that there are no symptoms and no signs of cancer. This is used rather than the word “cure.”)

Approximately 60 percent of those diagnosed with oral cancer will survive at least 5 years, but this number is an average: The 5-year survival rate for those with localized disease (cancer restricted to the mouth) is 83 percent. But if the cancer has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body), the 5-year survival rate is only 32 percent.

Said another way, early detection gives you the best opportunity to diagnose the cancer while it is still localized, and before it spreads to other areas of the body (2).  

Remembering to schedule your regular dental appointment is important. Rest easy knowing we are not only trained to help treat and prevent dental problems, but also to keep a lookout and help spot signs of more serious concerns.

Is it time for your next dental appointment? Don’t delay your visit. Early detection saves lives. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/oral-cancer/warning-signs-of-oral-cancer
  2. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/OralCancer/DetectingOralCancer.htm
  3. http://www.atooth.com/oral-cancer/
  4. http://www.dentistry.com/conditions/oral-cancer/mouth-cancer-symptoms-early-warning-signs
  5. https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/oral-cancer

This Is the Surprising History of Dental Floss

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Just how long have humans been flossing? According to the ADA, only 12 percent of us floss, even today… but our species has been flossing in some capacity for quite a while (6).

The earliest signs of floss were seen in prehistoric times. Grooves from food removal items were found in the mouths of prehistoric humans. Researchers and anthropologists think that horse hair was used as a rudimentary floss and twigs or pointed sticks as types of toothpicks. Our ancestors were creative!

Fast forward to the 19th century: In 1815, an American Dentist from New Orleans by the name of Levi Spear Parmly suggested that silk thread be used as floss for cleaning between teeth. He went on to publish a book emphasizing the importance of brushing and flossing daily! He was on to something (2, 4, 5)!

Half a century later, in 1882, the Codman and Shurtleff Company mass-produced and sold unwaxed silk floss. In 1896, Johnson and Johnson threw their hat in the ring with a silk floss made from the same type of silk that doctors used for stitches. In 1898, the first dental floss patent was granted to Johnson  & Johnson (2, 4, 5).

surprising dental factsChanges and advancements made their way into the 20th century. People were becoming dissatisfied with the tendency for the silk floss to shred. Couple that with the rising costs of silk during World War II, and an adaptation was imminent.

Dr. Charles Bass helped develop a new floss, in which nylon replaced silk as the main material. This floss had a more consistent texture and was resistant to shredding, making it a huge improvement over earlier versions. The use of nylon also allowed for the development of a waxed version of floss. In the 1980’s, interdental brushes were invented. These brushes are comprised of narrow bristles, but available in different widths to help clean the spaces between the teeth. This was touted as an alternative to flossing (1, 2, 3).

hagen dental in cincinnati ohio top dentist

So Many Choices!

Today, we have the luxury of enormous variety and choice when it comes to flossing. No more do we have to wander outside for the perfect twig or smelly horse hair to remove that kernel of corn or plaque buildup. Check out our diverse options:

Unwaxed floss – great for getting in tight spaces, but more likely to fray.

Waxed floss – more resistant to breaking, but harder to get into tight spaces. (Sometimes, it comes down to preference!)

Gore-Tex floss – made from high-tech synthetic fiber, and useful for cleaning around gums.

Dental tape – broader floss; most effective for cleaning between teeth that are not tightly spaced.

Super floss – the stiffer ends of this yarn-like floss can be guided through dental work, such as braces or implants.

Floss holder – a Y shaped plastic tool that holds floss between two prongs, making flossing easier for users. This is great for kids!

Toothpick – useful for cleaning around gums or dislodging trapped food, but has the potential to hurt the gums if pressed too hard. Just be careful you do not do damage to your teeth or gums. And it’s also not a good idea to have young family members try to use a toothpick!

Irritation devices – these motorized units flush debris from crevices and appliances, but do not completely remove plaque.

flossing is always a good choice_hagen dental

With all the great choices available to us to take care of our teeth, we really have no excuse not to incorporate some form of flossing into our daily routine! Find what works for you and aim to be consistent.

We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

Have any questions you want to know the answer to? We’d love to answer any of the questions you have! Schedule your next visit with Hagen Dental by calling us at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References

  1. http://www.hygieneforhealth.org.au/dental_floss.php
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dental_floss
  3. https://www.speareducation.com/spear-review/2013/01/a-brief-history-of-dental-floss
  4. http://oralb.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/the-history-of-dental-floss
  5. http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/22,HD29
  6. http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2014-archive/october/survey-finds-shortcomings-in-oral-health-habits
  7. http://www.oviedopremierdental.com/admin/wild-n-crazy-dental-facts/

What to Know About Composite Fillings

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

what to know about composite fillings

What happens when you visit the dentist for a filling?

To start, often times you may be given local anesthesia so that the area can be numbed. Generally, the next step will be to remove the decay from your actual tooth!

During this stage a drill or a laser may be used. Once this decay is removed, it’s time to shape the space and prepare it for your filling.

Depending on the filling, the preparation will vary. There are many options available today for fillings, with the most common including gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, glass ionomer, zinc oxide and eugenol, composite resin fillings.

Composite Resin Fillings

So what are composite resin fillings – and why is it called “composite resin”?

It’s referred to as composite resin because the material consists of a combination of glass and tooth-colored plastic and other materials. Composite fillings are commonly used to reshape disfigured teeth in the mouth or as a material to bond to your teeth – with the benefit being that they can match the exact color of your existing teeth.

Because composites can bond to your teeth, they can help support your remaining tooth structure, which can help prevent further breakage on teeth. It can also be used as a “buffer” on the tooth, serving to insulate your tooth from temperature change. People like composite resin fillings because they can look so natural in the mouth.

composite fillings hagen dental cincinnati dentist

But back to the process of getting a filling: at this stage, depending on the kind of filling, sometimes a base is placed to protect your nerves. Often times that is made of composite resin!

After a few more steps, certain fillings will be hardened using light applied to the area. Once the material has hardened, you’re almost ready to go. After shaping and polishing, your composite is placed.

cosmetic dentistrySo how do you know what kind of filling is right for you?

There are many factors that help your dentist know what kind of filling is right for you. These factors include:

  • The size of the decay
  • The location of the decay in the mouth
  • Aesthetics
  • Bonding to your tooth structure
  • Versatility (for example, if used for broken or chipped teeth)
  • Other health and lifestyle factors

From simple fillings to full crowns to veneers, CEREC is also an option that many people turn to – again – depending on the specific needs of the situation. Keep in mind we can help you decide what’s best for you based on the extent of the decay, aesthetics, durability, your insurance, and of course how the option is suited for your mouth.

Before you have the need for any fillings, aim for prevention. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss every day and visit Dr. Hagen regularly.

natural looking fillings cincinnati dentist

Sources/References