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Posts Tagged ‘Hagen Dental’

4 Things to Know About Acid Reflux

Monday, November 20th, 2017

what is acid reflux hagen

Acid reflux: it’s when small amounts of our stomach acid travel into the esophagus or even our mouth.

Symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn which is best described as a burning pain and discomfort in your throat area, chest area or around your abdomen. Other symptoms include a sour or bitter taste in your throat (also called regurgitation).

Other symptoms people experience include bloating, a feeling that food is stuck in your throat, burping, black stools, dry cough, sore throat, hoarseness for no reason, and more.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is a more serious form of reflux. Although a medical professional can diagnose you either way, GERD includes more persistent heartburn. It is heartburn that is sometimes also accompanied by coughing, wheezing, chest pain and possibly regurgitation. Sometimes the symptoms get worse at night.

Here are 4 more things to know about acid reflux.

#1: Acid reflux can have a negative effect on your teeth.

Both acid reflux and GERD can put you or your child at greater risk for tooth erosion and periodontal issues.

That’s because the acid can damage the enamel—as well as the dentin. Just like acid from foods can, over time, damage your teeth, so can acid that comes from your own body. Stomach acid can also irritate the esophagus.

#2. But you can do something if you have acid reflux!

First, follow your doctor’s advice to reduce symptoms and to get to the cause of your issue. This may include avoiding trigger such as spicy foods, tomato, citrus fruits, raw onions, alcohol and coffee, just to name a few (3).

Next, be sure to let us know! We can help you come up with a plan to combat the acid that may be coming in contact with your teeth.

Even our little ones can get acid reflux! If your child has acid reflux, let us know, including any changes in their medication related to acid reflux. It may even require an additional visit or two to the dentist so that their teeth can be properly watched.

Since kids don’t always know what is “normal” in terms of acid reflux, or not having acid reflux, they might not be able to report that they are having it. Or they can simply be too young to tell you! If you spot any signs, be sure to ask them or take them to their doctor.

A general rule of thumb if your child has a history of acid reflux: be sure to take extra special care of their teeth! After all, a recent student found that kids with reflux are about six times more likely to experience damage to their enamel compared with kids who do not have acid reflux (1, 2, 3). That’s where fluoride and prescription toothpaste can help.

Don’t forget: we can help spot signs and symptoms of acid reflux (and tooth erosion) in your mouth.

#3. Look at your diet if you have symptoms of acid reflux.

Can dietary changes help ease or get rid of the symptoms? In some cases, yes! A first step can be to eliminate sugar from your diet. Then reduce how much soda you drink and cut back on fruit or other acidic drinks. n some cases, if you drink something acidic, you can benefit from rinsing out your mouth after. Another tip: stay hydrated with water, since water (and your saliva) supports the natural way of getting rid of enamel-eating acids.

Other lifestyle factors that can contribute to, or worsen, acid reflux include:

Smoking (just one more reason to quit!)

  • Size of meals
  • Posture and way of sleeping
  • Certain clothes (if they are super tight around the waist)
  • Being overweight
  • Certain medications (1, 2, 3) 

fighting acid reflux hagen dental practice

 

#4. Foods can also ease acid reflux, in some cases.

It’s true that so many foods can worse, or create, acid reflux issues or symptoms. But, your diet can also help take away the discomfort, too.

Foods that can sometimes ease acid reflux include:

  • Green vegetables
  • Many lean meats
  • Oatmeal
  • Non-citrous fruits like melons or bananas (1, 2, 3)

Dental Health For Your Whole Family

Talk to us if you believe you or a child has symptoms of acid reflux. Regular checkups with Dr. Hagen are crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth! Have questions or need to schedule your next appointment? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

References

  1. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gastrointestinal-disorders/article/acid-reflux-a-dental-disaster-in-the-making-1013
  2. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2017/foods-help-acid-reflux-fd.html
  3. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/gastrointestinal-disorders/article/ada-12-acid-reflux-and-dental-health

Diabetes Prevention Is In Your Hands…And Your Mouth!

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Sugar and nutrition are the culprits behind many health concerns. You’ve heard us talk about limiting sugar for your oral health: cleaning up your diet and incorporating healthier lifestyle choices makes sense for your dental hygiene as well as your entire body’s future health!

Diabetes: Here’s What to Know

There are many reasons to attempt to avoid developing diabetes. Diabetes puts you at risk for additional health concerns, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Another complication is an increased risk for gum problems, since poor blood glucose control makes gum problems more likely. In fact, the relationship goes both ways. New research suggests that gum disease can also affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. To make matters worse, those with diabetes are more likely to develop thrush, dry mouth, and experience tooth loss (1, 2).

Type 2 diabetes is now the most common – and preventable – type of diabetes. Making lifestyle choices that support your health and prevent this disease is the best and biggest way to take a step towards prevention (3). It might surprise you to learn that sugar intake isn’t the only cause of diabetes: it’s actually a multi-factorial issue.

Tips To Preventing Diabetes

If you are overweight, have a family history of diabetes, lead a sedentary lifestyle, or currently include high amounts of sugar in your diet, you should make diabetes prevention a priority. Check out these prevention tips from the American Diabetes Association (3). Not only will these tips help prevent diabetes; they will help you maintain great oral health in the process. And we think that is win-win!

1. Aim to Eat More Nutrient Dense Foods

You have heard us talk about the health concerns of too much sugar in your diet. Sugar can sit in your mouth after eating, causing increased bacteria growth, decay, and damage to your teeth and gums. But it is also the culprit behind many health conditions. Excess sugar intake can lead to blood sugar control problems as well as weight gain, both of which are risk factors for developing Type 2 diabetes.

Increasing your fiber intake brings prevention into your hands and mouth in several ways. It helps improve your blood sugar control, it lowers your risk of heart disease, and it promotes weight loss by helping you feel full for longer. In addition, fibrous food’s rough quality helps keep your teeth cleaner – a perk we are on board with!

What foods are high in fiber? Think roughage foods – vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains and nuts. These foods pack a lot of bulky substance as well as nutrition. We call these nutrient-dense foods, compared to their more “empty calorie” high-sugar, low-fiber counterparts, such as processed candies, crackers, cookies and snacks.

Whole grains also help reduce your risk of diabetes and maintain blood sugar levels. Unlike refined sugar products, whole grains take longer to digest, thus dumping sugars into your blood more slowly (3).

2. Become More Physically Active

Regular exercise helps you lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight. It also burns calories and lowers your blood sugar – that energy currently in your blood waiting to be used or stored as fat for later. Exercise has also been found to boost your sensitivity to insulin. Insulin sensitivity is necessary to transfer sugar out of your blood into cells and helps keep your blood sugar within a normal, healthy range.

hagen dental health

ALL types of exercise help control diabetes! But the very best benefit comes when your fitness routine includes both cardio and resistance training. So mix it up! But most importantly, get moving: A sedentary lifestyle means increased risk for diabetes (3).

3. Lose A Few Extra Pounds

Being overweight also increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes. Don’t be overwhelmed if you feel like you have a long way to go! Every pound you lose can improve your health status. A recent study found that those who decreased their weight by just 7% saw a 60% reduction in diabetes risk. However, avoid fad diets. Lifestyle changes, such as diet changes and exercise, are the safest and most effective tools to achieving long-lasting weight loss and health benefits (3).

dental health cincinnati

Your Oral Health and Overall Health Are Connected

The Surgeon General’s “Report on Oral Health” reminds us that good oral health is vital to our body’s general health. Regular brushing, flossing, and a conscious effort to eat healthfully make a huge impact – not only in your mouth – but for your other body systems as well (2).

Working towards the lifestyles changes mentioned above can reverse prediabetes, lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke, improve your health overall, help you feel more energetic, and reduce your chances of diabetic-related oral health issues (4).

Keep Us In The Loop!

People with diabetes have special needs. All of us at Hagen Dental Practice are equipped to meet those needs, so be sure to tell us if you have diabetes! Keep us informed of any changes in your condition, as well as about any medication you might be taking.

Good Dental Health For All

Whether you are diabetic, pre-diabetic, or neither, regular checkups with Dr. Hagen are crucial to maintaining a healthy mouth and detecting oral health concerns early. Have questions or need to schedule your next appointment? Give us a call at (513) 251-5500.

Sources:

  1. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/
  2. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/diabetes-and-oral-health.html
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-prevention/art-20047639
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/prevention/prediabetes-type2/preventing.html

Do You Know the Top 5 Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

what to know oral cancer

Oral cancer: it’s a serious subject, and for good reason!

Cancer, as you may or may not know, is when cells in our body begin to grow in a way that is out of control. Really, any cell in our body can become cancerous.

So what about cancer of the mouth or “oral cancer”? (more…)

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

Monday, June 12th, 2017

baby teething 101

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

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

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

top signs your baby may be teething

What Are the Signs?

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

Crankiness and Irritability

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

Biting

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

Drooling

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

Trouble With Their Sleeping Patterns

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

Ear Pulling

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

Puffy or Swollen Gums

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

How Can You Help?

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

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

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

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

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

hagen dental practice total family care

We Care About Your Child’s Dental Health

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

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

Sources

  1. http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/teething/
  2. https://www.mamanatural.com/7-signs-your-baby-is-teething/
  3. http://www.parenting.com/article/guide-teething-symptoms

Cooking Alternatives for Your Sweet Tooth

Saturday, June 10th, 2017

sweet tooth

Sometimes, you just need to satisfy your sweet tooth! While some sugar is okay in moderation, be careful not to indulge too often—you might be consuming more than you think. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered; check out these clever cooking alternatives to cut back on your sugar intake.

What’s All the Fuss About Sugar?

Your teeth will thank you for avoiding large quantities of sugar. Consuming too much sugar not only causes cavities, but it also attacks your enamel, which is vital to maintaining a healthy mouth (6).

Excessive amounts of sugar can also prevent your body from getting its proper nutritional needs; this is because sugar is full of calories that lack nutrients. Calories without nutritional value can quickly lead to fat gain and even metabolic issues. Another problem with consuming too much sugar is that it can actually make you crave more food, even if you were already quite full and just wanted something a little sweet (1).

Cooking at home with natural ingredients can help you avoid some of these sneaky hidden sugars that are found in countless products off the shelf. 

Use Fruits with No Added Sugar

Did you know you can use fruit such as no-sugar added applesauce to add some extra sweetness to your baked goods? At the same time, it cuts back on calories and fat, if that’s one of your health goals as well!

Muffins, bread, and even CAKES can be made with applesauce in place of added sugar, butter, and/or eggs. When starting out with one of these recipes, just be sure you purchase the applesauce with no sugar added. It might take some adjusting, but you’re waistline and teeth will be sure to thank you.

cut back on sugar

Pour in Some Organic Milk or Cream

Making a savory soup? Or want to sweeten up your coffee just a little? Pour in some organic milk or cream. These both contain lactose, which is a natural sugar that can do wonders for sweetening up simple recipes (2). While you’re getting the sweetness you crave, you’ll also be getting the calcium your body needs (4). Bonus! (Of course always check with your dietician, if you have specific dietary needs!)

Beets? Yes, Beets!

Did you know that beets are sweet? Not only can they be used to add sweetness to your recipes, but they also add rich color. In fact, grated beets were often used in the very first red velvet cakes (2).

Incorporating this lovely colored vegetable into your diet can also improve your health. They help lower your blood pressure, boost your stamina, fight inflammation, and help your body detoxify (5). Beets can add moisture to baked recipes while avoiding butter or oil, so try throwing some grated beets into your next chocolate cake–or even a soup, smoothie, or sauce (2).

eat beets

Try Out Stevia

A healthy sugar alternative that has become quite popular in the last few years is called Stevia. Stevia is a 100 percent natural, zero calorie sweetener that is actually derived from a leafy plant (1, 7).

Just like any other sweetener, Stevia should be used in moderation. However, using it can help you lower your blood sugar level and your blood pressure (7). The great thing about Stevia is that it’s an easy swap for sugar. Whether you’re using the liquid stevia extract, stevia powder, or ground stevia leaves, it’s easy to quickly look up online the conversion between the two when you’re cooking or baking.

Your Oral Health is Our Priority

Making small changes like these while baking and cooking can improve the overall health of your teeth. We want to ensure that your mouth is at its best!

Ready to schedule your next checkup? Or have a question about dental health, decay prevention, or our teeth cleaning services? We are here for you! Give us a call at (513) 251-5500 and we will find a time that works best for you.

Sources

  1. http://www.cincyrehabcenter.com/blog/nutrition-hidden-sugar
  2. http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/how-to-sweeten-without-artificial-sweeteners/slide/9
  3. https://draxe.com/maple-syrup-nutrition/
  4. http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2013/11/02/cream-good-or-bad/
  5. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/25/beets-health-benefits.aspx
  6. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/nutrition/food-tips/9-foods-that-damage-your-teeth
  7. https://authoritynutrition.com/stevia/

Guess the Smiles: Reds Baseball Players

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

guess the smiles
The Cincinnati Reds are surely a hometown favorite here in Cincinnati. As members of the National League Central division, the Reds have quite a long history as a baseball club.

You may be a fan yourself, and maybe you even head down to some of the baseball games each year, but can you recognize some of the Reds’ players smiles—out of context, and without a clear glimpse of their jersey?

Take a guess and then scroll down below to see if you really do know The Machine like you think you do!

  1. This player is a four-time All-Star

joey votto

Photo via Wikipedia Common – user Blackngold29

2. This player might just be the fastest on the team!

billy h

Photo via MLB

3. This player could have a second career in music…

bronson

Photo courtesy of SD Dirk on Flickr

4. This Reds’ player is widely known by fans as “The Groundhog.”

mesor

Photo via rotoprofessor.com

5. Hint: he may play shortstop…

zack

Photo via Zimbio.com

6. Can you get this BONUS smile?

smile

And now for your answers!

1. If you guessed Joey Votto, you were right!

joey

2. Billy Hamilton. (He really IS fast!)

billy

3. Bronson Arroyo. (Pictured here without his guitar.)

fullbronson

Photo courtesy of SD Dirk on Flickr

4. Devin Mesoraco

meso

Photo via rotoprofessor.com

5. Zack Cozart

zack

Photo via Zimbio.com

6. Bonus: Bryan Price! Of course how could we forget the Cincinnati Reds’ manager, Bryan Price. If you knew this one you really do know your hometown team!

bryan

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Earning Your Trust, One Patient at a Time!

We’re proud to serve Greater Cincinnati—and of course, whether or not you consider yourself a Reds fan! At Hagen Dental Practice, our first goal, from the moment you walk in the door, is to earn a feeling of trust.

We believe the absolute best dentistry we can provide will only take place when there is a strong bond of trust with our patients, and we’re all working together toward the common goals of healthy teeth and gums and a beautiful smile. Give us a call today at (513) 251-5500 to schedule a visit for you or your family!

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

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

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

Features That ARE Related To Genes

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

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

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/

 

It’s Spring Cleaning Time… Don’t Forget Your Teeth!

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Spring is upon us in full force! Birds are chirping, the grass is starting to green, critters and wildlife are coming out of hiding, and plants everywhere are budding out. It’s a great time of year to start fresh: clean out your closets, open the windows, dust that shelf you’ve ignored all winter, sweep out the garage, fill trash bags with things you don’t want, and make trips to donation centers.

Spring naturally instills in us a desire for a fresh start. It’s a new season, the days are getting longer, the entire world seems to be waking up and emerging from the cold winter, and we look forward to the energy and excitement of the upcoming seasons. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could channel some of this energy into renewed zest for self-care?

Over the winter, there is a lot to distract us from proper oral health: the various holidays, travel to new places, family get-togethers, sweets and treats that accompany the celebrations and parties, school work, sporting events, and the goals of our New Year’s resolutions. The renewal mindset that comes along with the spring season offers us the perfect opportunity to check in on our oral health. We have a chance to start anew with our positive self-care habits to prevent dental issues in our future.

Check In With Your Daily Habits

Are you brushing regularly? You should brush at least twice per day, approximately two minutes each time. Use a soft bristled brush in a gentle up and down motion. Avoid cross friction or overly hard brushing.

Do you floss? Up to one third of your tooth’s enamel can’t be properly cleaned with brushing alone. Floss helps to clean debris and tartar buildup from between your teeth and closer to the gum line. Take this habit as seriously as brushing!

Check In With Your Food And Beverage Intake

Do you eat sugary or acidic foods? These types of foods create a breeding ground in your mouth for bacterial growth, decay, and plaque buildup. Make a commitment this year to renew your diet and load up on proteins, vegetables and fibrous foods. Minimize your sugar and snack consumption, and avoid acidic beverages like soda.

How is your hydration? Water is essential for many body functions, including proper oral health. Water intake helps keep saliva levels normal, minimize bad breath away, reduce tartar, and clean debris from your mouth.

Check In With Your Tools

Is your toothbrush more than three months old? It’s time to break open a new toothbrush! Spring is a great reminder to “start fresh”. Are you running low on floss or mouthwash? Stock up the next time you head to the store. Good habits are best supported by proper supplies.

Is it time to try something new? Perhaps you’ve been considering switching to an electronic toothbrush or a water flosser? These tools can add value and convenience to the way you clean your teeth at home. Confused or don’t know where to start? Ask us! We are here to help.

Check In With The Hagen Team

Take the opportunity this spring to “deep clean” your personal habits and health choices to benefit you in the years to come. We look forward to seeing your progress in our office at your next checkup and cleaning!

Do you need to get your next appointment on the books? Give us a call at Hagen Dental Practice at (513) 251-5500 and we will find a time that works best for you!

Ask the Dentist: What to Know About Sensitivity Toothpaste

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

22 percent of American adults experience tooth sensitivity, according to a survey conducted by the American Dental Association (1). Perhaps you are in that 22 percent and you have been a happy customer of sensitivity toothpaste. Or perhaps you’ll need it sometime in the future.

Either way, have you ever wondered how in the world it works? Or what makes it so much more special than regular paste?

Why Tooth Sensitivity Happens

Many causes of sensitive teeth involve enamel erosion, which exposes the dentinal tubules of the underlying tooth tissue. The dentin and dentinal tubules can also be exposed when the gums recede. These tubules lead directly to the nerve endings, found in the inside layer, or pulp, of the tooth.

That means that extreme temperatures (hot OR cold), acidic foods, and other offensive triggers can cause a lot more painful nerve stimulation than usual, and results in what we term “sensitivity” (1,2). Click here to read more about some of the causes of tooth sensitivity.

Sensitivity toothpaste – such as Sensodyne – helps many people with tooth sensitivity. Sensitivity toothpastes work in one of two ways:

Blocking or repairing your exposed dentinal tubules. Examples of this type of paste include Sensodyne Repair and Protect or Crest Pro-Health. The dentinal tubules are very tiny holes that lead to the nerves, but ingredients like strontium chloride or stannous fluoride plugs up these holes. These types of paste build up a repair layer that acts as a substitute enamel to keep the tubules covered up. In this scenario, the tubules are blocked and shielded, so no triggers ever reach the nerve endings, and no painful stimulation occurs.

Desensitizing your nerve endings found in the dentinal tubules. How is this done? The short answer is with potassium nitrate! An example of this type of paste is the Sensodyne 24/7 Protection line of products, such as Sensodyne Deep Clean. Another example of this type of paste is Crest Sensitivity Protection. The potassium ions found in this kind of toothpaste block the nerves from transmitting the sensation of pain.

So even though the offensive trigger reaches the nerve, you don’t feel it because the potassium ion interferes with the nerve signal and soothes the sensitivity. This type of product requires repeat usage before the sensitivity is reduced. Over time, the potassium ions build up in the tubules, providing protection and longer lasting relief from sensitivity if you continue to use the product.

What Else To Know About Tooth Sensitivity

Additionally, sensitivity paste helps overall oral health by working to protect teeth from gingivitis, cavities, tartar buildup and stains. Sensitive toothpastes also contain fluoride, which can strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay. These toothpastes can be used by people without sensitivity because they still provide all these oral health benefits. So that means you can still share with your spouse or family!

As a bonus, using them will help to prevent sensitivity if you start to develop tendencies towards the condition. These pastes have been studied and found to be safe, but if you continue to have sensitive teeth after using the products for more than four weeks, you should check with Dr. Hagen. We might need to prescribe you a prescription paste, or perform an examination to look for a more serious underlying problem.

Call Hagen Dental Practice For All Your Family’s Dental Needs!

Just a reminder: don’t substitute sensitivity toothpaste for your regular dental checkups and care; sensitive teeth can be a sign of more serious dental health issues. Finding the root cause is important to prevent further dental issues in the future. Talk to us the next time you are in the office, or call to schedule now! (513) 251-5500

Sources:

  1. https://crest.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/sensitivity/make-your-teeth-happy-with-sensitive-toothpaste
  2. https://www.sharecare.com/health/healthy-oral-hygiene/how-does-desensitizing-toothpaste-work
  3. https://us.sensodyne.com/about-sensodyne/
  4. http://tribecanydentistoffice.com/general/sensitive-toothpaste/
  5. http://news.crest.com/about/faq/faq_crest_pro_health

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/