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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!

cincinnati dentist

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.

healthy teeth tips

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.

Sources:

1. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/are-oral-health-issues-genetic.html

2. http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-20/issue-1/feature/genetics-periodontal-disease.html

3. https://www.newbeauty.com/hottopic/blogpost/6038-ask-an-expert-do-genetics-make-your-teeth-more-prone-to-stains/

 

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/

 

6 Habits You Didn’t Realize Were Harming Your Teeth

Monday, February 6th, 2017

Life can get busy. And as the minutes and days and activities and events pass by, bad habits can start to form as we fall into our routines – sometimes before we are even aware of them. Let’s dive into some of the most common tooth-related negative habits, so you can avoid these pitfalls and keep your teeth strong and healthy.

avoid these negative dental habits

Chewing Ice

Chewing on ice weakens the enamel and surface areas of your teeth. Because ice is so hard, chewing on it repeatedly leads to uneven wear and tear, and long term will cause permanent chips and cracks in the teeth, which will damage the underlying tooth structure. Eventually, the cracks become large enough that you will require a trip to the dentist for repair. Ice isn’t the only culprit for this type of damage!

Habitually chewing on other hard items like pens, pencils, bobby pins, or paperclips can cause the same damage. If you need to break this habit, try keeping these items out of reach, substitute your chewing urge for sugarless gum, or avoid putting ice in your drinks while you learn to resist the urge (1, 2).

Using Your Teeth As ‘Tools’

Are you in the habit of using your teeth to crack open bottle caps, rip off clothing tags, hold heavy objects, or even as a replacement for scissors when trying to open those tough plastic bags? These and similar actions put traumatic pressure on the bones in the mouth, increasing your likelihood for weakened teeth, chips and cracks in the bone. Try to remember that teeth are there for eating (and smiling!); they are not meant to be used as a substitute for knives, scissors and hands (1,2).

Skipping Your Nighttime Brushing

Late nights out, bedtime snacks, or falling asleep in front of the television can all lead to one bad habit: skipping or forgetting your night time brushing routine. All the sugars and particles from the food and beverages you had since your last brushing session will be left to wreak havoc on your gums and enamel all night long. If you are guilty of this habit, try starting your bedtime rituals a little bit earlier – before you get too sleepy. Once you have brushed, don’t eat or drink anything else except water.

don't skip your night time brushing

Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks, especially soda, bathe your teeth in an acidic and sugary environment. This dangerous combination creates the perfect environment for erosion, bacteria growth and decay. Sodas aren’t the only culprit, however. Fruit juices, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages, especially mixed drinks, can contain surprising amounts of sugar and acids as well. Cut back your sugary drinks to a minimal number – or avoid them all together – and when you do indulge, drink through a straw and rinse your mouth with plain water in between drinks until you can get home and brush (1,2).

Playing Sports Without A Mouth Guard

According to the American Dental Association, an estimated 5 million teeth are knocked out every year during sports activities and competitions. Mouth guards successfully prevent approximately 200,000 sports-related mouth injuries each year. How many more could be prevented if participants were more diligent about wearing mouth guards? Rough play during high impact sports can occur at any time. Mouth guards are recommended for the following sports: basketball, football, lacrosse, water polo, hockey, softball, skateboarding, rugby, mixed martial arts and soccer. The guard helps cushion rapid or hard blows to the teeth and jaw, lessening your risk for soft tissue injury or tooth loss (2).

avoid tooth loss with mouth guard use

Smoking

If you still smoke or chew tobacco, here’s another petition for you to find a way to quit. Nicotine yellows your teeth and can contribute to or cause oral cancers. Tobacco products also dry out your mouth and increase the amount of plaque buildup around your teeth. Smokers have a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss because of these changes in the conditions of the oral cavity. If you have questions about quitting, discuss them with Dr. Hagen at your next appointment (1,2).

Give Us A Call at Hagen Dental Practice

Need help or advice on how to kick any of these habits, or ensure you don’t have damage already? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your dental needs and how to develop positive oral habits!

Sources

  1. http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/your-teeth-bad-habits#1
  2. http://www.onhealth.com/content/1/protect_teeth_dental_health

7 Surprising Things That Happen When You Smile

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

We grow up hearing so many things about smiles:

“It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.”

“When you smile, the whole world smiles with you.”

“Turn that frown upside down.”

“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened!”

So what exactly happens when we smile?

  1. You’ll End Up With A Better Mood

When you smile, your mood is elevated. Psychologists have found this holds true whether you are feeling grumpy or happy before you smile. The positive impact of a smile helps reduce your stress levels, resulting in a happier disposition (1,2).

  1. Your Immune System Will Get A Boost

Your body relaxes, stress decreases, and energy becomes more positive when you smile. These contribute to good health and a stronger immune system. Frequent smiling causes your body to produce more white blood cells, an important component of your immune system in helping fight and prevent illness (1). Smile your way through the cold season this year!

  1. Your Stress Levels Go Down

Learning to smile in tough or stressful situations can be a challenge, but doing so results in dramatic health benefits by lowering stress and anxiety. People who smile while recovering from a stressful situation are found to have lower heart rates and a calmer presence (1).

smiles are contagious

  1. You’ll Probably Cause Someone Else To Smile

Smiles really are contagious. Research shows that seeing someone smile activates the area of the brain that controls facial movement. Thus, the smilee becomes the smiler! A study in Sweden found that people had difficulty frowning when they looked at smiling subjects; their muscles started twitching into smiles (1,2).

  1. People Will Find You More Confident, Trustworthy And Attractive

Smiles are the most easily recognized facial expression, recognized around the globe as a sign of happiness and acceptance. Smiles make a person seem more attractive, personable, empathetic and confident. Research found that smiles rank higher in attraction than makeup! A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that smiles do indeed make you more attractive to those you smile at. A smile is an inviting expression that lets people know you are friendly and willing to talk, and helps people trust you more readily (1,2).

cute dog smile through life

  1. Endorphins Are Released

When you smile, a chemical reaction occurs in the brain, releasing endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that help you feel happier. Endorphins are those molecules in the body that are released during exercise and running as well, causing “runner’s high” (1,2).

  1. You’ll Feel More Comfortable

Smiling can make you feel more comfortable, even in situations in which you might otherwise feel awkward. Smiling also takes less effort than frowning. Easier facial expressions are a more comfortable option. Smiles also make you more approachable. If others around you feel more comfortable, it will help you feel more comfortable, too (1,2).

feel great about your smile

Call Hagen Dental Practice so That You Can Keep Smiling with Confidence

Hagen Dental wants you to feel great about your smile – so you can show it off to the world and enjoy these physical and emotional benefits! Give us a call to learn more: (513) 251-5500

Sources

  1. http://inspiyr.com/9-benefits-of-smiling/
  2. https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/15-fascinating-facts-about-smiling/

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

All I Want for Christmas is My 2 Front Teeth

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Baby teeth typically start erupting between the ages of 6 months and a year. This starts the fun and adventurous path of being able to eat more foods and textures, late night teething pain, drooling and chewing on everything in sight, and of course, dental hygiene training.

Kids can go for their first dental checkup as soon as they get a tooth, but anytime before age 3. Because tooth decay in children is on the rise, we recommend the sooner the better; closer to 18 months! You can read more about why HERE.

When kids are ready to erupt their permanent (adult) teeth, the baby teeth start to wiggle, loosen and fall out. This starts the fun adventures of tooth fairy tales, showing off those wiggly teeth, and stories and challenges for getting those stubborn baby teeth out! The top and bottom central incisors (those four teeth front and center in your kid’s toothy smile) are amongst the first to fall out as the permanent teeth grow in and replace them. This typically happens between 6 and 8 years of age.

all-i-want-for-christmas-is-my-two-front-teeth

If this milestone occurs in late fall or early winter, your child has the unique opportunity for the classic Christmas song, “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” to apply to him or her.

There’s something charming about this song, and that toothless open center space as your little one flashes their grin at you. Kids have all sorts of fun while they wait for their central incisors to re-emerge: sipping through a straw without opening their jaw, learning new ways to whistle, pronouncing words in funny and different ways, and poking the tip of their tongue through that little hole.

A child’s early years are a very impressionable and important period to take the time and teach them proper and consistent dental hygiene habits. How can you do this as a family?

Make Tooth Time fun

Brushing as a family can make getting ready for bed a fun activity for everyone to participate in. Make up a brushing song or dance, or make silly faces in the mirror. If your child has a positive experience, they will enjoy it and have good memories associated with this habit for years to come.

make-dental-habits-fun

Make Tooth Time Consistent

Make brushing a routine: every day, twice a day. Don’t skip out on brushing certain days just because your schedule is a little different or the kids are cranky. Consistency is the key to building good brushing habits. This goes for flossing too! Kids who learn to floss everyday won’t forget this important component of oral hygiene as teens and adults.

Incorporate Kid-friendly Products

Colorful toothbrushes splashed with their favorite characters, light-up timers, flossing picks, a stool to reach the sink, kid-friendly paste flavors and easy squeeze tubes all make for a more kid-friendly experience. It is amazing what products are available at your local convenience store.

Check out fun toothpaste flavors like Tom’s of Main Silly Strawberry. You can try something like these light-up timer toothbrushes from Firefly, so your kids know when 60 seconds of brushing has elapsed. Brands like DenTek make some great kid-friendly flosser picks so your kids don’t have to hassle with maneuvering regular floss before they are ready. (These are just ideas; please ask us for more specific information for your child.)

Schedule Regular Dental Visits for Everyone

Introducing your children early to the dental chair helps alleviate fears and anxieties associated with checkups. Keeping YOUR dental checkups regular each year means your kids will learn this is a normal, habitual routine for both you AND them. And keeping up to date on exams for the whole family means if any dental problems arise, we can catch them early to minimize any painful or potentially scary procedures for your little ones.

merry-christmas-from-hagen-dental

No matter what your family situation or how many teeth are present or missing, we wish you a very healthy and Merry Christmas from all of us at Hagen Dental!

Call Us Today

Are you ready to make Hagen Dental your family’s dental home? Give us a call with questions about care for you or your kids, or to schedule your next checkup: (513) 251-5500

Sources and Ideas Taken From:

  1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eruption-charts
  2. http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/949151/7-kid-friendly-dental-care-products

Save Money & Stay Healthy with Preventive Dental Care

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Good dental health prevention helps to avoid cavities, gum disease, enamel wear, and other oral diseases, dysfunctions and issues. What does this mean for you? Fresher breath, a healthy and comfortable mouth, less trips to the dentist for surgeries, and less money spent!

Preventive dentistry is simply the practice of caring for your teeth to keep them healthy, rather than waiting for a problem to arise.

dental-prevention-prevents-future-problems

Here are the top seven ways you can make preventive dentistry part of your normal routine:

1. Brush Your Teeth Daily

This is up there as one of the most important preventive habits. Brush your teeth and tongue twice daily to remove bacteria, germs and food particles from your mouth, and freshen up your breath (1).

2. Brush Properly

The WAY you brush is as important as how OFTEN you brush. Take your time, gently brushing in a circular motion to remove plaque and debris. Cross friction and brushing too hard can lead to gum erosion. Brushing too hurriedly can mean missing spots or removal of debris (2).

the-way-you-brush-is-important

3. Floss Daily

Flossing cleans out the tight spaces between the teeth, stimulates the gums, reduces plaque, and lowers inflammation in the area. This is just as important as brushing! Want to make sure you’re flossing the correct way? Ask us at your next dental appointment to ensure you’re getting the full flossing benefit.

4. Consider Mouthwash

Mouthwash helps in several ways: It reduces the acidity of the mouth, cleans harder-to-brush areas in and around the gums and base of teeth, and helps to re-mineralize the teeth.

5. Visit Your Dentist

You should see us at least twice per year for your oral exam and cleanings. Dental cleanings allow our dental professionals to clean your teeth more effectively than what you can accomplish at home. At least one of those visits should include an exam to check for early signs of problems in your teeth or gums.

The examination takes a deeper look at the health of your oral cavity: x-rays to detect early issues or changes, oral cancer screenings of the surrounding tissues, and comparative checkups to ensure continued oral health. Early detection of disease or dental issues is critical to keeping problems to a minimum.

early-detection-is-part-of-prevention

6. Eat a Balanced Diet

Just like the rest of your body, your teeth need proper nutritional building blocks and vitamins to stay healthy. Limiting your sugars, simple carbohydrates, acidic foods and acidic beverages are important choices to help lower your risk of infections and tooth wear (1,2).

7. Drink More Water

It is very important to stay hydrated for overall health, and oral health is no exception. Drink plenty of water throughout your day. This can help neutralize negative effects of various sticky or acidic foods and beverages (1,2).

Preventive dentistry habits save you time, money and toothache (literally) by helping you avoid or lessening the effects of cavities, gingivitis, tooth decay and enamel loss, and periodontitis. Prevention is more fun – and much less costly – than tooth extractions, cavity fillings and root canals. The most effective way to ensure optimal dental health is to defend against and stop disease before it even starts. Now that is something to smile about!

Give Us A Call At Hagen Dental Practice

Are you ready to give yourself the gift of better dental health this holiday season? Call us at (513) 251-5500 to learn more about your preventive dental needs!

Sources

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/preventative-dentistry
  2. http://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/best-practices-for-healthy-teeth
  3. https://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Public%20Programs/Files/bringing-disease-prevention-to-communities_adh.ashx

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