You may have heard about people getting their dental fillings replaced, and might be wondering if it’s something you should consider for yourself. There are a number of reasons for replacing fillings, ranging from losing it to experiencing pain to disliking its appearance. How do you know whether or not you should replace yours?
The first thing to know about dental fillings is that there are several choices for materials. Many are made from amalgam, which is a combination of metals like copper, silver, tin, and mercury. Although there is some controversy about the safety of mercury in your mouth, most experts say that it is safe. The main complaint about amalgam is its noticeable silver color. Another option is gold fillings, which can last a long time but are often the most expensive type. The most common type of filling is made from composite, a material composed of micro particles that are bonded to your teeth. They are tooth-colored and are similar in durability to amalgam fillings.
The most popular reasons that people get their fillings replace include:
- Decay – after a number of years of wear and tear, fillings begin to decay. When they begin breaking down, bacteria may enter your tooth and lead to infection. Your dentist will be able to warn you when a filling is deteriorating.
- Looseness – fillings can become loose if the cavity wasn’t administered correctly or if you bite on something that damages it. The age of the filling can also cause it to loosen. A checkup can help identify if the seal of your filling has broken.
- Pain – if you experience pain in your tooth that continues, your filling may need to be repaired by your dentist or replaced completely.
- Appearance – it is not uncommon for patients to replace fillings simply because they dislike the way it looks. Old fillings can become discolored, or you might not like the material that was used.
If you are thinking about having a filling replaced, see your dentist to ask about your options. It is often not a big deal and you’ll end up much happier with a filling that fits well and looks attractive.Read More »
If missing teeth have compromised your smile and oral health, dentures can help. Unfortunately, many people have misconceptions about dentures so they live with incomplete smiles. Separating the reality from common myths can help you make the best decision for your dental health.
Myth: Dentures will last forever
Fact: Though your prosthetic teeth are designed to withstand normal wear, they can get damaged if they are dropped, left to dry out, or placed in hot water. With time, dentures can change in appearance or function.
Myth: People can tell when you wear dentures, which is embarrassing
Fact: Usually, the signs of dentures, like slippage, odors, or stains, occur because of poor maintenance. Cleaning your prosthetic and storing it as recommended will help your dentures function properly.
Myth: With dentures, you can’t eat or speak normally
Fact: Although you can’t eat everything you want, most denture wearers can eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you experience persistent speech or eating problems, contact your dentist.
Myth: I can fix the dentures myself
Fact: You might be handy with cars or electronics, but don’t attempt to adjust your dentures because you can cause damage and possibly ruin your dental appliance.
Myth: You don’t have to visit the dentist if you have dentures
Fact: Not only does your mouth still need attention, but your dentures require care too. When you visit the dentist, your doctor will check your mouth for signs of oral cancer and other conditions that can show symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes. Your dentist will also examine your dentures to make sure nothing is loose and that the prosthetic is in good shape.Read More »
There are many issues to consider during pregnancy, and your oral health is one of them. Your mouth can be affected by hormonal changes, so it’s important to be aware of dental hazards and how to handle them.
There are certain oral health issues that women are more susceptible to experience during pregnancy. These include:
- Pregnancy gingivitis – Gum inflammation, or gingivitis, can occur due to higher hormone levels in the body during pregnancy. Your gums may become swollen and red, and bleeding may occur. Pregnancy gingivitis symptoms usually disappear after giving birth.
- Periodontal disease – Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a more serious condition that develops when an infection occurs under the gum line. It can increase your risk of tooth loss, and also may cause harmful effects for the baby due to a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
- Dry mouth – Hormone changes during pregnancy cause many women to produce less saliva. A dry mouth increases the risk of various dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
- Tooth enamel erosion – Frequent vomiting that sometimes accompanies morning sickness can cause tooth enamel to erode.
- Pregnancy granuloma – A red growth called a granuloma may appear along the upper gum line. It bleeds frequently, can affect speaking and eating, and causes discomfort. These growths are not dangerous and usually disappear after giving birth.
Special attention should be given to dental care during pregnancy. Brush and floss regularly, eat a healthy diet, use an antimicrobial mouthwash approved by your doctor, and maintain dental visits.
Consider seeing your dentist during the second trimester of pregnancy, when the baby is least at risk. Tell your dentist you are pregnant so that precautions can be taken to help guarantee your baby’s health. X-rays and medications will be considered. Avoid major procedures until after your baby is born if possible. Also, ask questions if you have concerns about any treatments so that you will feel confident you and your baby are safe.
No matter what your opinion is about a form of self-expression that has grown increasingly common these days – oral piercings – one thing is for sure, this trend does affect your oral health. Oral piercings may be on your lips, tongue, cheeks, and uvula. Most often, they are done without anesthesia and a piece of jewelry is inserted through the piercing. Oral piercings are not without complications, bringing with them symptoms like pain, swelling, and infection.
Here are some of the most common complications that can accompany oral piercings.
When bacteria access the site of the piercing, infection can result. The bacteria also often attach to the jewelry, causing bacteria colonies to form that may resist antibiotic treatment.
People with oral piercings are at higher risk for gum disease, especially when the jewelry is shaped in a way that causes it to repeatedly contact the gums. Your gums may begin to recede, possibly even contributing to tooth loss.
A very common hazard with oral piercings is chipped or cracked teeth, damage which is usually caused by jewelry knocking against the teeth. One study revealed that 47 percent of people with oral piercings have at least one damaged tooth within 4 years of wearing the jewelry.
If bacteria from an infected oral piercing enter your bloodstream, it can lead to heart inflammation. People with undiagnosed heart problems are at higher risk.
The piercing site can incur nerve damage, leaving you with loss of sensation or a numb tongue.
Some people have adverse reactions to the metal in oral jewelry, which can trigger swelling, redness, itching, and secondary infections.
Oral jewelry that becomes loose is a choking hazard, and if swallowed can cause a lung or digestive injury.