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January 22nd, 2018

This Is Why Cold Weather Can Hurt Your Teeth

Category: cincinnati dentist

Did you know 1 in 8 people have tooth sensitivity?

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

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

Taking a Closer Look at Cold Weather

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

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

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

Exposed Layers

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

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

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

Jaw Tension

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

Sinus Pressure

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

cincinnati dentist

What to Do About Sensitivity or Pain

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule An Appointment with Hagen Dental Practice

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

Sources:

  1. http://thedentistsofficefallon.com/burr-is-cold-weather-making-your-teeth-hurt/
  2. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/tooth-sensitivity-in-cold-weather.html
  3. http://www.familycedarrapidsdentist.com/cold-weather-effects-your-teeth
  4. https://www.carefreedental.com/resources/24-your-teeth/58-how-does-the-winter-affect-your-teeth

 

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January 17th, 2018

New Year, New Brush Head

Category: cincinnati dentist

toothbrush facts and oral health hagen dental practice in cincicnnati ohio

Can you remember the last time you changed out your toothbrush?

Maybe it was when you came in to see us!

Whether or not that was the last time you replaced your toothbrush head, here are a few of the things we think you should know about toothbrush care…

Toothbrush Replacement: Here’s What to Know

Did you know that there’s millions of bacteria growing in your mouth!? And, of course your toothbrush is a fertile breeding ground many of those viruses and bacteria, including ones that make you feel…well, not so great!

The American Dental Association recommends that you change out your toothbrush (or brush head) every 3-4 months, at minimum. If you see that the bristles look worn, its definitely time to trade out your toothbrush for a new one so it’s still working as well as it should (1)!

Here’s just a few more reasons to remember to trade out that toothbrush:

  • Your toothbrush is typically stored in the bathroom, a place with a ton of germs! By regularly switching out your toothbrush, you can help avoid some of microorganisms that may come and go in your bathroom environment. (Yes, a little gross when you stop and think about it!)
  • If you find that you often are that person getting sick in the winter, you might even want to change out your toothbrush more often than that recommendation! After all, your putting your toothbrush right in your mouth…and you are still brushing your teeth when you don’t feel great. It’s an easy step to take to stay healthy!
  • Sharing toothbrushes has been shown to also share illness and germs. That’s not too surprising! But what is surprising is that so many of us put our toothbrushes right next to another toothbrush (such as in a toothbrush holder). Because of this, you can, in theory, be exposing yourself to even more germs. Long story short: if you store your toothbrush close to someone else’s toothbrush, it’s all the more reason to regularly change out both of your brushes!

blog post hagen dental practice in cincicnnati ohiCleaning Your Current Toothbrush: The Takeaways

Although it’s not guaranteed to work or to kill off all germs, you can also clean your toothbrush itself. Some people will:

  • Use a UV toothbrush sanitizer. Now…is that the easiest route? Probably not, but it’s a choice!
  • Soak your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash. Before you use it again, you’ll want to rinse it off. Ask us for more details, but just know that this does not guarantee you will kill off all germs.
  • Run your toothbrush through extremely hot water for 3 minutes. The water needs to be hot enough to kill germs, so be careful that you don’t burn yourself! (Hey, if you really don’t want to buy a new brush, it’s worth a try!)

Not Even Sure Which Toothbrush Type Is Right For You?

So…you are ready to buy a new toothbrush to replace your old one?!

When it comes to a manual toothbrush versus electric, lots of people have a personal preference for one or the other, and that’s okay!

If you are thinking you might want to try or switch to an electric toothbrush, consider the Sonicare toothbrush, one that we recommend and that you can purchase from us.

With this toothbrush, you are able to improve how you clean beyond the “reach” of each of the bristles.

Thanks to its oscillating power brush, the bristles create a motion that better allows the toothbrush to get into those hard-to-reach places throughout your mouth. You can think of the technology powering the Sonicare toothbrush in two ways: First, you have a scrubbing action that keeps the surface area of your teeth as bacteria free as possible.

dentistry hagen dds blog cincinnati ohio dentist(This is the same as your manual brush.) But then there’s the second component—how the bristles are vibrating. That cleans in a way that your traditional, manual brush cannot. Imagine this: the Sonicare brush head vibrates more than 30,000 brush strokes per minute you brush! That’s more than a manual brush delivers in a month of brushing, just to compare.

A Recap On What You’ve Learned

So, to recap, it’s best to change out whatever kind of toothbrush head you have every 3-4 months. A few more tips: Don’t share your toothbrush and thoroughly rinse your toothbrush after each use. You also want to avoid covering your toothbrush regularly, which traps in germs, and it can create a moist environment where microorganisms thrive.
Have any more questions? We’d love to answer them! Keep up with your consistent professional cleanings and dental exams to ensure we can catch issues early and do our part to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth! Give us a call to schedule your next appointment at (513) 251-5500.

Source:

  1. http://www.ada.org/en/about-the-ada/ada-positions-policies-and-statements/statement-on-toothbrush-care-cleaning-storage-and-

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January 5th, 2018

What Your Tongue Says About Your Health (INFOGRAPHIC)

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

Hagen-Infographic-What Your Tongue Says About Your Health

See the PDF version of the “Your Tongue Can Indicate Your State of Health” infographic here.

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December 18th, 2017

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

Category: cosmetic dentistry

tooth whitening options

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

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

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

1. Use A Whitening Toothpaste

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

2. Try An Electric Toothbrush

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

3. Brush Your Tongue, Too!

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

4. Rinse After Acidic Foods Or Beverages

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

5. Sip With A Straw

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

6. Choose Lipstick Wisely

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

7. Fruits And Vegetables

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

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

Professional Tips For Whiter, Brighter Smiles

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

Zoom Whitening

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

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

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

hagen dental cincinnati

Maintain Your Procedure With Healthy Habits

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

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

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

merry christmas white teeth

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

Sources:

  1. https://toilettreeproducts.com/11-tips-to-whiten-your-teeth/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/whiten-teeth-naturally#section3
  3. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-10-secrets-to-whiter-teeth
  4. https://www.bustle.com/articles/177437-6-teeth-whitening-tips-to-follow-for-a-brighter-smile-according-to-a-celebrity-dentist

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December 12th, 2017

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

Category: cincinnati dentist

What’s The Mistletoe Tradition All About?

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

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

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

cincinnati dentist

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

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

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

Don’t Be Caught With Bad Breath Under The Mistletoe

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

kissable breath dental tips

10 Ways To Stay “Kiss-ably” Fresh

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

1. Brush Daily

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

2. Floss Daily

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

3. Brush Your Tongue

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

4. Mouthwash

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

5. Visit Us

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

6. Avoid Tobacco

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

7. Stay Hydrated

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

8. Chew Sugarless Gum

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

9. Munch On Fiber

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

10. Quick Rinse

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

Regular Dentist Appointments Are Important, Too!

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

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.history.com/news/ask-history/why-do-we-kiss-under-the-mistletoe
  2. https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/mistletoe.shtml
  3. https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/hollyandivy.shtml#kissingbough
  4. https://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/fighting-bad-breath.html

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December 4th, 2017

Mouth Sores: The Basics You Should Know

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

cincinnati dentist

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

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

Causes Of Mouth Sores

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

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

cincinnati dentist

The Most Common Mouth Sores

1. Canker Sores:

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

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

 2. Cold Sores:

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

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

3. Thrush:

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

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

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

cincinnati dentist4. Leukoplakia:

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

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

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

We Are Here To Help!

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

Sources:

  1. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/m/mouth-sores
  2. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/canker-sores
  3. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/c/cold-sores
  4. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/thrush
  5. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/l/leukoplakia

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November 29th, 2017

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

Category: cincinnati dentist

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

cincinnati dentist

Types of Teeth

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

Incisors

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

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

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

Canines

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

Premolars

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

Molars

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

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

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

A Clean And Healthy Mouth Is Good For Your Body!

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

Sources:

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/basics/types-teeth-how-they-function/
  2. http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/basics/mouth-and-teeth-anatomy/article/four-different-types-of-teeth-plus-more-0115
  3. https://www.dentalhealth.ie/children/toothdevelopment/types.html
  4. https://aci.edu/five-types-human-teeth-function/

 

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November 20th, 2017

4 Things to Know About Acid Reflux

Category: dental health

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

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November 7th, 2017

Diabetes Prevention Is In Your Hands…And Your Mouth!

Category: dental health

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

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November 2nd, 2017

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

Category: dental health

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”?

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