Acid Reflux and Dental Care

Effects of Acid Reflux on Oral Health

Some patients have the common condition called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, where stomach contents go up the esophagus from time to time usually caused by relaxation of the sphincter muscle of the stomach that prevents the escape. Doctors call it GERD or more informally as acid reflux. Some patients experience it several times a day while others, less often.

Stomach fluids are highly acidic and their passage up and down the esophagus causes some degree of burning sensation felt at the middle of the chest or the heart area. Hence, it is commonly called heartburn. Sometimes contents reach the top of the esophagus and into the mouth, referred to as a regurgitation. On the other hand, some patients don’t notice because they are symptom-free.

People who suffer from acid reflux also have tooth erosion and periodontal issues. Stomach acid, with a pH of 2 or 1, dissolves tooth enamel (pH of 5.5) on a day-to-day contact leading to thinning and weakening of the protective coating of teeth. It will soon expose the inner dentin and that is when a person with GERD will feel tooth sensitivity. If it goes on untreated, other symptoms can manifest, like bloating, burping, nausea, hiccups, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and weight loss. It merits medical attention. Even brushing, flossing or mouthrinses may be unable to protect teeth.

Patients will feel tooth sensitivity to hot, cold and sweet drinks, gum and mouth irritation, sharp tooth edges, shortened or darkened teeth, especially the back molars. And even if you don’t notice the symptoms, and hence not go to your doctor-specialist, your dentist certainly will notice.

Regular Dental Visits Matter in Issaquah

That is why regular dental visitations can do you a lot of good. Over at Meadow Creek Dental, your regular visits can tell you not just the state of your oral health but your overall well-being as well. This comes from fresh oral examination every time you see us. Our experienced Issaquah dentist can tell you more about systemic conditions seen in your mouth.

Dental Care for the Pregnant Patient

Modifying Dental Treatment for the Mom-to-be

During a patient’s first trimester, the dentist resorts to a preventive care program. This means plaque control and oral hygiene instruction. Only cleaning can be done at this time, elective procedures are better postponed, though emergency needs can be considered. If it is absolutely necessary to have radiographs, the lowest dose possible exposure is allowed with no harm to the developing fetus. At this time its organs are forming and are most sensitive to radiation and chemicals.

From the second trimester through the first half of the third is the safest time for dental treatment. If the patient is under periodontal maintenance and preventive care, those can be continued. Simple restorative procedures may be done. No complex or elective dental care at this time.

To minimize hormonal gingival changes, scaling and prophylaxis may be repeated in the third trimester. Caution must be taken when seating the patient in the dental chair. Supine position can lead to loss of consciousness, not elevating the right hip will cause blood pooling in the legs. She must position herself on her side if feeling faint. Emergency dental treatment should be provided.

As far as medications go, lidocaine with epinephrine is safe, penicillin, clindamycin, and cephalosporins are safe antibiotics, acetaminophen is alright for most patients for pain, oxycodone is considered safe for severe pain. For analgesia, nitrous oxide is controversial but probably safe as long as there is oxygen administered as well.

Expectant Mom and Baby in Issaquah

Over at Meadow Creek Dental, we show concern for our pregnant patient’s well-being as well as her baby’s. It matters that the mother feels relaxed and have confidence in the treatment. It is best to avoid any dental emergency, but efficient, compassionate care reduces stress, says our Issaquah dentist.

How Effective are Fluoride Mouthwash?

Worldwide Systemic Review Confirms Benefits

Dental professionals have seen research supporting the evidence of the benefits of fluoride. It is known that fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and increasing the rate of the remineralization process, making the enamel more resistant to acid. While dentists see the effects of fluoride in their general practice, can this be proved by statistics? Research is still ongoing and needs to be constantly systemically reviewed.

In 2016, the Cochrane Oral Health Group published its most recent review in which the objective was to determine the effectiveness and safety of fluoride mouthrinses in preventing dental caries in the child and adolescent population. This review included 37 trials involving 15,813 children and adolescents from different countries and spread over two to three years. Mostly trials based in schools and under supervision, the children were tested with sodium fluoride mouthrinses in specific concentrations.

There appear to be no significant differences regarding baseline caries severity, background exposure to fluorides, rinsing frequency or fluoride concentration. It confirmed that supervised, regular use of a fluoride mouthrinse can reduce tooth decay in both children and adolescents.

The combined results showed a 27% reduction in dental caries in subjects with decayed, missing and filled tooth surfaces when compared to another group that didn’t use fluoride mouthrinses. There was limited information on adverse effects or tolerance of children to the rinsing. The trial didn’t include children with primary teeth. Hence, there’s still room for more research.
The review has demonstrated the beneficial effects of fluoridated mouthrinses and more and more dentists trust the use of this compound in their practise.

Issaquah Dentists and Evidence-based Care

Over at Meadow Creek Dental, our professionals are in sync with trends and latest research findings in the dental field. When it comes to products and tools to advance patient care, we are always at the forefront of continuing education . Know more about the benefits of fluoride mouthrinses from your Issaquah dentist.

When Should I Pull Out a Loose Tooth?

When is it safe to pull out a loose tooth?

Having a loose tooth can often be uncomfortable and inconvenient for a child. It makes it difficult to eat, and some people become worried that the child might swallow it in the middle of the night. However, it is generally best to allow the tooth to come out on its own, rather than yank it out prematurely.

Firstly, it’s important to be mindful of how delicate a child’s mouth is. When you reach in to remove a tooth, it’s difficult to avoid damaging his or her gum tissues. Only the child can know for sure how painful it is to force the tooth out, so it’s important to allow him or her to judge the situation.

Though it’s possible that your child may end up swallowing a loose tooth, this is really nothing to worry about. Teeth are small enough to usually pass harmlessly from your system.

The only time you should consider helping a loose tooth along is when the permanent tooth begins to emerge underneath it. There is some risk that the new tooth will come in crooked if its way isn’t clear. Should this become a concern for you, talk to our Issaquah dentist to make sure that it is extracted properly.

A Parent’s Guide to Child Dental Emergencies

Most Common Dental Emergencies among Kids

Yes, it is very distressing when your little child encounters a dental emergency. These accidents are extremely common among children at two points in their development. Firstly crucial is that period between 18 to 40 months when exploration begins, and the second being that of the preadolescent to adolescent stage when sports injuries happen.

So what are the most common emergencies to expect? Toothache is the most commonplace among children across all ages and doesn’t happen without reason. Most times, it’s due to tooth fractures, tooth decay, tooth trauma, and wisdom teeth eruption. A dental visit is in order. There’s what’s called a tooth avulsion or when a tooth gets knocked-out. Right away the dentist will attempt to reimplant the tooth if it’s a permanent one; otherwise not, if it is a primary (or baby’s) tooth, less it will only damage the emerging permanent tooth bud just after it.

Then there are occasions of tooth intrusion, or the tooth is pushed upwards into the jaw bone. The force might be great enough to tear the ligaments and fracture the socket. Whether it is a primary or a permanent tooth involvement, the dentist may perform root canal treatment to save the tooth.

Tooth luxation is a lateral displacement where the tooth remains in its socket but is unnaturally inclined.It might be due to trauma that could fracture the bone underneath. A primary tooth partially out of its socket will heal on its own. The dentist, though, should save a permanent tooth and prevent infection. A dental concussion occurs after a bang, knock or fall that may not displace any tooth and didn’t cause fracture. However, if it involves a toddler’s teeth, discoloration can occur.

Crown fractures, from enamel cracks to pulp exposure, are also common emergencies. The dentist will immediately treat according to the level of involvement. Root fractures are determined by X-rays and depending on the child’s discomfort, the dentist will monitor and treat, or extract the tooth in certain scenarios. Other conditions like fractured jaw, head injury or head trauma, and uncontrolled bleeding from cuts or injury to the cheek, lips or tongue require immediate medical attention. A trip to the Emergency Room of a hospital is in order.

Do You have a Child Dental Emergency?

Don’t be agitated or frightened. Just call your Issaquah dentist right away who will tell you what to do and properly guide you. Or drop by Meadow Creek Dental – emergencies are our priority.

What’s with DNA Testing at Issaquah Dental?

Your Periodontal Health is on your DNA

Gum disease is a very common affliction and most people are bound to have it, anywhere from gingivitis to its severer form which is periodontal disease. There are reports that say 75% of Americans over 35 years of age have some degree of a periodontal problem.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacterial invasion, coming from poor oral hygiene, poor nutrition, and unhealthy habits. With its predominant symptoms of gum swelling, discoloration, gum recession and sometimes bad breath and bleeding, this advanced form can pervade other teeth and gum tissue. You may lose your teeth eventually.

However, studies show that even if widespread, different people respond to bacterial plaque differently. Certain populations are more prone to higher risks of developing severe periodontitis, while others are not. Their genetics seem to spell the difference. It becomes of clinical significance to test your DNA to find out if you are predisposed to the disease so that you are forearmed.

Test and Know at Issaquah Dental

To have your DNA tested at Meadow Creek Dental can establish a clear window to your periodontal health. Our Issaquah dentist employs this test to identify if you have a pathway to this condition, your risk is assessed and a personalized treatment may be necessary to manage it before it starts or before it worsens. Have this simple test at our Issaquah dental clinic and know how to win the battle.

Toothpicks are No Substitute for Floss!

Some people like to use a good toothpick or similar pick-like device to clean out between their teeth. However, there is really no substitute for a proper string of floss.

While toothpicks are good for extracting a corn husk or piece of spinach after a meal, they’re just not built to do the job of floss. Floss lets you get all the way into the gap between your teeth, which is the only way to reliably clear away plaque and detritus that has gathered there. Trying to force a pick to go where your floss is meant to go only risks of spearing your gums or even splintering the pick, leaving irritating bits of wood amid your fragile tissues. The length of the floss also lets you cycle in a fresh bit of thread with every tooth, while a toothpick forces you to use the same plaque-stained tip for every gap between teeth.

Our Issaquah dentist recommends that you always get your daily flossing in, and never try to use a toothpick in its place. Consult Meadow Creek dental for more information on proper oral hygiene.

No Pain? Doesn’t mean you don’t have Cavities

Some people will never go to the dentist’s office unless they feel pain or sensitivity.

After all, people will think the pain will go away or take medication to decrease the pain. Why should they go through the effort if there’s nothing wrong with their teeth?
This is a very unhealthy mindset to have and is a concern for many dentists because this mindset, of many people, puts them at serious risk of debilitating dental problems.

The fact is that, when it comes to tooth decay, you’re most likely not going to feel any pain until your cavity has penetrated all the way to the soft pulp at the center of the tooth. Once this occurs, you’re past the point where you can benefit from a simple filling and will need a full root canal, which a bit more of a procedure, may cost more, etc.

Indeed, if you need a filling, the only way to know for sure is to have a dental x-ray. This is why it is so important to go in for a dental checkup every six months. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your teeth are healthy just because you don’t feel pain, and always keep your routine appointments with our dentist in Issaquah.

Have you thought about Quitting Smoking?

From Color to Cancer

As a dental professional, our Issaquah dentist, will encourage the smoker to kick the habit. Teeth show the visible signs of this deadly addiction quite clearly. Nicotine and tar components attach themselves to tooth surfaces, become sticky and attract food debris and bacteria. They become colonized areas where underneath the decay cavities form, usually in the backs of the teeth and under the gums.

Hardened and resistant to routine brushing and flossing, they turn brownish. The decrease saliva flow of smokers is incapable of hydrating the mouth or washing away cigarette debris.

Apart from the yellowish coloring of tooth surfaces and the accompanying undesirable breath, more serious effects of smoking are predictable. Smokers have a higher risk for gingivitis and periodontal disease. Their oral healing capacities are delayed, salivary glands are blocked, and loss of bone in their jaws is hastened.

This is not to mention the risk for oral cancer – which may involve the throat, tongue, jaw bone, or floor of the mouth. Not a pretty picture.

Getting the Assistance you need to quit smoking

Our dentists at Meadow Creek Dental, are a team of caring professionals who care about not just your oral health, but the overall health of our patients. Come over for a cleaning and, possibly, a whitening to start you off fresh.

When you come in for your appointment, mentioning that you do smoke or you are a nicotine user, we may keep an eye out for other concerns related to those who smoke.

Issaquah Dentist says: What you Eat Affects Your Teeth

Are there good foods and bad foods for teeth?

It will be beneficial for us to mind certain foods that are helpful to our dentition. Foods rich in calcium and phosphorus supply the mineral content of teeth that are lost over time to acid. Calcium sources as dairy products – low-fat milk, hard cheese and yogurt – are good for teeth and bones. Leafy green vegetables, fruits and seafood also supply the lost calcium in teeth. A calcium-poor diet has been associated with risk of developing periodontal disease.

On the other hand, calcium needs phosphorus to potentiate its bone-strengthening capabilities. Cereals, sardines, salmon, and skim yogurt are phosphorus-rich. Also, get those foods with high water content like fruits and vegetables that keep the mouth hydrated and counteract the effects of sugar and acid, and increase saliva flow.
On the bad side, foods and drinks with high sugar content are poor choices for dentition. They attach to tooth surfaces and get into crevices which later attract bacteria. Acidic foods and fruits, and carbonated drinks, including diet sodas, are harmful to tooth enamel, causing a slow erosion of its protective layer.

Advice from Dentist

Dr. Dipti Srivastava is not saying not to enjoy your favorite food and drink, but if you must, then be mindful to keep your mouth cleaned up and washed off of those potential dangers. Keep your basic oral hygiene practices – brushing, flossing, mouth washes – every time you have to indulge. Our Issaquah dentist says that eating healthy affects oral health and general well-being. Stay with mouth-healthy foods instead and keep the smile.