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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/

 

How Cavemen Took Care of Their Teeth

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Imagine living in a time when modern conveniences, inventions, hygiene and healthcare were not just luxuries; they were non-existent. Sure, the simplicity of our ancestors’ lifestyle may have had some benefits. But we should all be thankful for modern dentistry, and the convenience of items like toothbrushes, floss and mouthwash. Not to mention the training of dental professionals.

Over the course of humankind, people have been testing and trying things they had access to in an attempt to keep their mouths and teeth clean. Twigs and sticks, powdered concoctions from eggshells and ox hooves, pig’s neck bristles, salt, chalk, and rough cloths make the list of historical dental instruments and tools that people tried and used in an attempt to keep their teeth free of debris (1).

Recently, researchers have discovered clues that tell us how cavemen cleaned their teeth. Karen Harder, a researcher, took a deeper look at calcified plaque from some of the oldest human remains in Europe. How was she able to analyze plaque from thousands of years ago?

As she explained: “The dental plaque is a film that covers your teeth and that’s why you have to brush your teeth every day. If not, it hardens and becomes calcified. Within about 10 days, it’s attached onto your tooth as this extremely hard material that you can’t get off unless you go to the dentist.” Since the caveman had no dentist to speak of, Harder was able to chisel off and analyze this material for further insight into the caveman’s lifestyle.

This analysis of the calcified dental plaque gave insight into the diet and environment of this archaeological specimen. She was able to determine that people in his era ate grasses, seeds, plants and meat. All of these items were eaten raw (2,3).

Grooves between the teeth, combined with indigestible wood fibers she found between the teeth, suggest rudimentary toothpicks that were jammed into the teeth to clean between them as a type of oral hygiene activity (2,3).

cavemen used sticks as rudimentary toothpicks

What Did The Cavemen Have Going For Them?

The evidence Harder found showed the caveman’s diet included mostly starchy plants and meat consumption. Their teeth were actually in pretty great shape despite not having access to today’s toothbrushes, toothpastes and floss.

This is because the processed, sugary and carbohydrate-laden foods and drinks that are so abundant in our society today were not present in his surroundings. This means the cavemen were not as predisposed to things like sugar and acid-related tooth decay, bacteria growth or inflammation, as we are with today’s typical diet (3).

Our teeth are whiter and straighter than our ancestors’ teeth were, but we are still more likely to develop cavities because of the sugars, processed carbohydrates and dietary and lifestyle differences. This means we can’t rely on toothpicks (or sticks) to keep our teeth clean. We must stay diligent with good oral hygiene practices and habits. Thankfully, our dental health practices have progressed into the 21st century, giving us access to skilled dental care and tools and resources for fresh breath and healthy mouths, without having to rummage for and rely on twigs or homemade toothpastes.

today's oral hygiene depends on daily brushing and flossing

Call Hagen Dental Practice Today

Are your oral hygiene habits backsliding into those of a caveman? Give Hagen Dental a call at (513) 251-5500 and we will help you achieve a healthy smile!

Sources:

  1. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/12/AR2009041202655.html
  2. http://link.springer.com/epdf/article/10.1007/s00114-016-1420-x?shared_access_token=JTuGtofFrWkm76yOABrZt_e4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY4elA6FNFLLnlVqGmzv8ewk3pOw-TMnmrQ9de4WZSb2CJufJ81Mpvwv3EQlU56y1Hxk_VJOU3IyR4cRyLfz4j_bTKcJJEJC6Uq7Vv8QuHbX4fcDgI7fMO_V8yf2OAnR2KE=
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/12/19/a-researcher-discovered-how-cave-men-cleaned-their-teeth-it-will-make-you-want-to-brush-yours/?postshare=4671482250662620&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.ed8f16f9fac6

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 Health: Does It Have An Updated Meaning Today?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

oral health hagen dental in cincinnati

The World Dental Federation is a worldwide organization for the dental profession, representing over a million dentists across the globe! It’s called the FDI for short, because it was established in Paris as the “Fédération dentaire international” (1).

It’s now located in Geneva, Switzerland. Each year, approximately 300 delegates meet to discuss issues, debate changes, and define the future of dentistry across the world. These members are representatives from over 200 national dental associations and over 130 specialist groups from various countries. One of the missions of the FDI is to “promote optimal oral and general health for all peoples” (2, 3).

Earlier this month, the World Dental Federation launched an updated definition of the term “oral health.”

The term “oral” refers to all the components of your mouth and oral cavity: The teeth, gums, connective tissues, jaw bones, soft palate, mucosal tissue of the mouth and throat, tongue, lips, chewing muscles, salivary glands and the branches of the immune, nervous and vascular systems that supply, protect and nourish these tissues. That part hasn’t changed!

The FDI wanted to bring the definition up to contemporary standards by designating oral health as an integral part of an individual’s general health and well-being. The new definition was created by the Federation’s “Vision 2020 Think Tank”, which includes experts from oral health backgrounds, public health officials, and health economics experts (3).

So What Has Changed?

So what is the main differences between the old definition and the new definitions being used—and why does it matter?

Dr. Michael Click, co-chair of the FDI’s Vision 2020 Think Tank explains: “The old definition lacked a theoretical framework that made assessment and evaluation of oral health hard to measure,” he said. “Furthermore, this new definition moves dentistry from treating disease to treating a person with disease.” He went on to say they created a new definition so it could resonate with more people.

The intention is that more people will be able to understand concepts related to our oral health!

These changes might seem subtle, but they do have big significance. Oral health does not occur in isolation…in other words, the health of your teeth, gums, and entire mouth are a part of and acutely related to, your overall health. These new definitions help to clarify and validate that!

In summary, the main points, as defined by the World Dental Federation:

  1. Oral health is multifaceted. A “healthy smile” is more than being “cavity-free” and we agree with that, too! It includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and express emotion through facial movements. It means being able to do these things confidently and without pain, discomfort or disease.
  2. Oral health is a fundamental part of health, including both physical and mental wellbeing. Another area we agree with! Oral health and our overall health is influenced by the values attitudes of individuals and communities. This means that although oral health is always important—even if the quality of care varies depending on what country you live!
  3. Oral health is a reflection of the physiological, social, and psychological factors that are essential to the quality of life. That’s a mouthful, but also true! The point is: oral health is engrained in more facets of our lives than we may realize.
  4. Oral health is influenced by a person’s experiences, perceptions, expectations and ability to adapt to circumstances. Our overall health affects our oral health, just as our oral health has effect on our overall health (3).
    oral-health-quote

This broadened definition of oral health serves to update the definition to a complete state of physical, mental and social well-being, rather than just the absence of disease or health issue.

It embodies our understanding that everything in the body is intrinsically connected: oral health and general health go hand in hand, rather than being two separate concepts.

What does this mean for you? You cannot be truly healthy without good oral health! This puts enormous importance on good oral hygiene, positive lifestyle habits, and regular dental visits. At Hagen Dental Practice, we strive to help you achieve oral health, with the understanding that it helps you maintain and enhance your overall health.

We Can’t Wait to Meet You & Your Family

Don’t delay your visit. Early detection saves lives. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Sources/References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FDI_World_Dental_Federation
  2. http://www.who.int/workforcealliance/members_partners/member_list/fdi/en/
  3. http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2016-archive/september/fdi-adopts-new-definition
  4. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/DataStatistics/SurgeonGeneral/sgr/chap1.htm

 

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

Foods (And Drinks) That Damage Your Enamel

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Did you know? Your tooth enamel health is directly related to what you are eating, including those beverages you are drinking!

Keeping your teeth healthy involves more than just brushing and flossing.

foods and drinks that can damage your enamel hagen dental

Your enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth. In fact, it’s the hardest substance in the human body—and for good reason! This surface layer helps protect the sensitive inner parts of the tooth from decay and damage. However, even enamel is subject to harm if not treated well. It is normal for some wear and tear to occur, but by focusing on what you are feeding your body (and thus putting into your mouth) you can keep that outer barrier of your teeth stronger (5).

Maintain the Health of Your Enamel

Here are some foods to avoid or minimize for optimum enamel health:

Sugary Foods: Increased sugars feed bacteria in your mouth. Left unchecked, these bacteria produce acidic byproducts, which can soften and slowly wear away at your enamel. Candy, especially sour candies, which are sugar-filled and acidic, are the least friendly combo for your teeth! But sugar doesn’t just hide in candy…Check your food labels on condiments, cereals, and other desserts and snacks for high amounts of added sugar (1, 2).

Sugary Beverages: Just like sugary foods, beverages can be a sneaky source of sugar and acid, ready to harm your enamel! Soda is especially bad, because not only is it sugary, it has additional acidic components. Coffee is high in acidity, and people often load it with syrups or sugars, too! Just imagine what happens if a highly acidic, sugary drink sits on your enamel for hours on end. Try cutting back on that cup of joe, or leaving out the sweetener. Frequent use of sports drinks in recent years, especially in children, has also been shown to harm enamel since the sugar sits on their teeth during activity, in many cases. Even fruit juices should be taken in moderation, because they are high in simple sugars and acid as well (1, 2, 6).enamel facts hagen dental

Foods that give you heartburn: Severe heartburn means stomach acid is moving up the esophagus. Those stomach acids that escape the stomach can reach your mouth and erode the enamel as well. So if you have certain foods that trigger heartburn, avoid them (1).

Ice: Simply put, ice is for chilling, not chewing! But isn’t water good for you? Yes! And ice is fine in your beverages – but avoid chewing on it! Chewing on hard substances such as ice can damage the enamel. The same is true for very hard candies that you crunch on (3, 6).

Citrus Fruit: Fruits are an excellent choice for incorporating more vitamins into your diet, especially the citrus variety. But heed this warning: frequent exposure to acidic foods, such as citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, limes and lemons, can erode your enamel over time. Your best bet? Eat these foods as part of a meal, rather than by themselves (3, 6).

Sticky Foods: Sticky foods, such as sticky candies, taffy, caramels, or even dried fruit such as raisins, can leave residue in your teeth, which means the sugar will sit on the enamel, leaving a food source for bacteria, which will in turn release enamel-damaging acid (2, 3, 6). Limit your intake of these foods to avoid potential damage to your enamel over time.

Starchy Foods: Starch-filled foods, such as potato chips, cookies, cakes, muffins and other starchy, processed snacks, tend to get trapped in your teeth. These starchy carbohydrates stay in your mouth and breakdown into sugar and acid more slowly, thus creating a longer period of sugar and acid threat to the teeth. Bacteria in your mouth love to feed on the left-behind sugars from these foods (3, 4, 6).

Protect Your Enamel

Analyze your diet over the next few weeks to discover which of these simple, daily changes you could make to ensure better health and protection for your enamel! Call Hagen Dental at (513) 251-5500 or visit our website here to learn more.


Sources/References

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-mouth-15/beautiful-smile/tooth-enamel-damage
  2. http://www.divinecaroline.com/self/wellness/mind-your-mouth-seven-foods-damage-tooth-enamel
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-Foods-That-Damage-Your-Teeth/
  4. http://www.healingteethnaturally.com/foodstuffs-that-can-attack-teeth.html
  5. https://www.humana.com/learning-center/health-and-wellbeing/healthy-living/tooth-enamel
  6. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips

 

Your Child’s First Dental Visit: When Should It Be?

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Did you know? While in previous years, we would have recommended children to have their first dental visit around age 3, we now advise parents to come visit us earlier than that age!

hagen dental dds

We now recommend bringing in your toddler at around 18 months. This is typically about the time when some, but not all, of their baby teeth are in!

Why The Change Now?

We like to see your children to make sure that everything in the mouth is normal! Most children’s baby teeth, also known as primary teeth or even milk teeth, come in with no problems, but sometimes lifestyle factors can affect the health of those teeth…

Let’s dig deeper!

More and more frequently in recent years, for a number of different reasons, the rate of tooth decay in young children is rapidly increasing.

In fact, in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 42 percent of children, from age 2 to 11, have had cavities in their baby teeth. This high percentage of children with dental decay is much higher than in previous years.

family dentist in cincinnati

Why Is This Happening?

This rapid increase in early childhood caries – or ECC – is actually being called an “epidemic” because of just how prevalent it has now become. Early childhood caries (which in the past has also been called baby bottle tooth decay) can develop with infants or toddlers who go to sleep with a bottle in their mouth. Other children might get into the habit of walking around with a “sippy” cup or using a similar kind of cup, where they expose their teeth, for long periods of time, to sugary liquids or foods – such as sugary or starchy foods. That habit can also lead to decay, especially when it happens day after day.

hagen dental in cincinnatiAnother contributing factor is more widespread use of bottled water and the lack of fluoride. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay because it increases the rate of re-mineralization in the mouth and it slows down the breakdown of enamel in our children’s mouth as well.

Because many children are drinking more water without fluoride, they aren’t experiencing those same benefits.

As mentioned, historically, this kind of tooth decay was not present to the same degree, and therefore most dentists would recommend a child’s first dentist be around age 3. Now you can put a reminder on your calendar to be sure you come in and see us around 18 months!

Your Child’s First Visit to Dr. Hagen: Timing is Everything!

Before getting worried, remember that tooth decay is preventable and bringing in your child earlier to see us is also a key preventative measure you can take. Bringing your child into the dentist can make sure that children’s teeth are coming in as they should!

taking your child to the dentist cincinnati ohio

It’s also an opportunity to talk about any habits that the baby may have that could be contributing to tooth decay.

Clearly, a healthy mouth is something we all want for our kids. When we have a healthy mouth we promote the ability to chew properly, which in turn, impacts a child’s ability to maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth from a young age also help encourage speech development, it ensures a space for permanent teeth, and it promotes confidence in the long-term.

Starting young helps promote a lifetime of healthy and bright smiles.

Be sure to bring your child in around 18 months so that we can examine their teeth and gums and help you know the proper oral hygiene methods and techniques for their oral health. Before then, be sure that you are giving your children nothing but water at bedtime so that you can avoid sugary liquids or carbohydrates being exposed to teeth all night long. 

Sources/References

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/02/cavities-children-teeth/5561911/

 

Gum Disease? Here’s What to Know About Scaling & Root Planing

Friday, May 27th, 2016

At any given time, we’re all developing some degree of plaque in our mouths. But when we brush, floss, and get regular dentist cleanings, we help to make sure it doesn’t become a problem.

So what is plaque?

Plaque is a biofilm, mostly made of bacteria, that adheres to the surface of our teeth. Plaque has an organized structure and its components – glycoproteins and polysaccharides – make it impossible to remove with water or by just using mouthwash.

In as little as a day, the biofilm that is in our mouth can transform from the soft and removable kind of plaque into a hard state – also called tartar – and that is much harder to remove.

The bacteria in dental plaque is what can lead to periodontal disease. (“Peri” means around, and “odontal” refers to our teeth.)

root planingOur bodies strive to get rid of the bacteria we have in our mouth, and therefore the cells of your immune system have an inflammatory reaction. This inflammatory reaction is how and why our gums then become swollen and can bleed. The more that nothing is done to fight off this bacteria, the more this can become a problem, and the more the bacteria will thrive.

And that’s where scaling & root planing come in…

Scalers are a tool that your dentist uses during – you guessed it – scaling and root planing. These are special tools that are used professionally in order to fight this bacteria build-up. The scaler can come in a couple of different sizes, but generally, it is a tool that is narrower at the tip. No matter what the tool looks like, they are simply specialized tools used to remove tartar and plaque.

scaling removes plaque

And what exactly does the scaling and root planing treatment involve?

The treatment works towards fighting periodontal disease – both on the teeth and the roots of your teeth. First, your teeth and gums are numbed so that all the plaque and tartar can be removed without any discomfort. Next, the professional tools are used to remove calculus. That may be by ultrasonic, sonic scaler, or power scaler.

After the bacteria is removed beneath the gum line, then teeth are smoothed and cleaned so that the gum tissue not only properly heals, but so it “reattaches” to your teeth. Part of the reason teeth can be smoothed is to get rid of surfaces and areas where bacteria are trapped or held – the same places where that bacteria would otherwise be much more likely to thrive. That’s also part of the treatment designed to get your gums back to their healthiest state.

Certain patients may have additional steps as part of their scaling and root planing treatment, depending on their vulnerability to gum disease and their medical history.

For example, there is ARESTIN®, which allows antibiotics to be slowly released over time in your mouth. Your dentist simply adds ARESTIN® to the your most vulnerable areas in the mouth – the pocket between your gum and tooth. This means that not only have you killed a great deal of bacteria during scaling and root planing, but you are now killing bacteria left behind after your procedure.

arestin hagen dental

Who benefits from scaling and root planing?

Your dentist will be able to recommend and tell you if you have periodontal disease, including any appropriate treatments – such as scaling and root planing – that can help you get back your healthy smile. Your dentist will not only take into account the current state of your teeth, but also your entire health history. Typically, if your dentist determines that you have gum disease that has progressed to a certain stage where bone loss is more likely to occur, he or she may recommend this kind of treatment.

Getting Your Teeth & Gums Feeling – and Looking – Healthy Again

Does your infection go away forever thanks to this treatment? The answer is that it is important to know that just because you have scaling and root planing, doesn’t meant you should go back to and bad oral health habits. Rather, the treatment is going to be maximized only if brushing, flossing and regular dentist visits (among other behaviors you want to avoid such as smoking) are kept up after your treatment. With that said, scaling and root planing does greatly support those looking to regain healthy-looking, firm gums.

In the end, the entire procedure can be done in an environment in which you are comfortable, and it can typically be done in a single visit. For some people, after the treatment, the mouth may be tender. In certain scenarios, the treatment can be broken into several visits when requested by a patient.

Want to learn more about scaling and root planing or ARESTIN®? Whether it is for a cosmetic consultation, scaling and root planing, or your regular visit, we’d love to see you. Read more about Dr. Hagen and the team, including our state-of-the-art dental methods and technologies, and give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

keep up with oral habits hagen dental

Sources/References

9 Famous Toothpaste Slogans That’ll Make You Smile

Sunday, April 24th, 2016

Think you know toothpaste? How many of these taglines do you recognize?

1. “Brings Mouths to Life”

1

2. “Look Ma, No Cavities”

2

3. “Clean to the Extreme”

3

4. “No One Will Ever Know”

4

5. “The Fountain of Youth”

5

6. “Gets You Noticed”

6

7. “Take AIM at Cavities”

7

8. “Brusha…brusha…brusha”

8

9. “Until They Gleem”

9

Source/References:

http://www.buckybeaver.ca/buckys_story.php

http://www.thinkslogans.com/slogans/advertising-slogans/toothepaste-slogans/