You Can Tell if Your Child is at Risk for Caries

Tell-Tale Signs Your Kid is High-Risk

Most 2 year olds have never been to a dental clinic and, in fact, 25% of kids in kindergarten have not seen a dentist face-to-face. If parents know what to watch out in their toddlers, including what they feed them, they’d be aware that bad or good habits are forming contributory to their oral health. As parents, you have to ask yourself.

Does your child have special health care needs including physical, developmental, mental, sensory, behavioral, cognitive or emotional impairment?

A child with such a special need have difficulties learning proper oral care; parents themselves will have to perform brushing and flossing on the children. In some cases, the child will have to be reminded all the time. And then, does he or she snack several times a day? Constant exposure to sweet or starchy foods enables the buildup of tartar on tooth surfaces and crevices, including under the gums and hard-to-reach areas. Same thing happens if your child frequently takes sodas, juices, shakes, or sports drinks in lieu of water.

And is your child currently on the bottle or nursing?

Know that it can lead to baby bottle syndrome, a condition of tooth decay that develops on the infant or a nursing child’s dentition due to long- staying bottle feeding. This can happen if the child sleeps with his bottle or if it is used as a pacifier. The liquids rich in sugar tend to stick around, especially on the upper front teeth, and are a magnet for bacterial attack.

Have you brought your child to the dentist already?

It is advisable that at the appearance of his first baby teeth, parents should already have dental consultations. The dentist will advise you properly. He will tell you to brush baby’s teeth before bedtime with a soft cloth or wet soft toothbrush, to lessen snacking and intake of sugary drinks, to drink fluoridated water, and to wean your toddler off the bottle by one year of age, at least. He will certainly also ask you to bring the patient to him regularly.

Meeting Your Toddler’s Issaquah Dentist

Know more about keeping your child away from tooth decay. Without knowing it you might be starting your toddler on certain habits affecting his oral health. We are just as concerned. Come visit us at Meadow Creek Dental for your baby’s first exam.

The Causes of TMD

A disorder in your temporomandibular joint, known as a TMD, comes in many forms.

“What Is the TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is the area just in front of your ear, where the lower jaw connects to the side of your skull. The joint comprises a complex system of muscles, ligaments, bones and cartilage discs that act together as a hinge and enable you to move your lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side. Any situation that causes the jaw to malfunction is called a TMJ disorder, and its symptoms can carry discomfort to the ear canal.” (Source: Colgate)

They generally represent a problem with the joint of your jawbone or the muscles that are used to manipulate this bone. The root cause of many TMD’s is often hard to pin down, but some of the most common problems include the following:

  • If you are a woman, particularly a woman between the age of twenty and forty, you are statistically more likely to develop a TMD. The reason behind this is not well understood.
  • An injury suffered around the area of your jaw, neck, or head.
  • Excessive clenching of the jaw or grinding of the teeth, which puts a lot of stress on your jaw muscles.
  • A TMD is occasionally the symptom of a more serious disease, like gingivitis or oral cancer. These can affect the way your jaw fits into your skull.
  • Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in your jaw can come in the form of a TMD.

Meadow Creek dental can help you to overcome your TMD’s. Consult our Issaquah dentist during normal business hours to learn more.

Dealing With Tooth-Grinding

Is tooth-grinding starting to cause you pain? Your Issaquah dentist can help you out! Try following these simple tips to reduce your grinding and spare yourself the grief of broken teeth and jaw pain:

  • People often grind when they are feeling stressed. Figure out the cause of your stress, and find a way to cope with or alleviate this stress.
  • Pain in the teeth or jaw area can cause you to grind. Have your dentist look at any potential aggravators in your oral cavity.
  • Cut back on caffeine.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol.
  • If you habitually chew items that are not food, like pens, bottle caps, or even gum, you’re training your jaw muscles to clench. This can lead to grinding.
  • If you grind during the day, you can train your jaw muscles to relax by placing the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
  • If you grind while you sleep, try relaxing your jaw muscles. Hold a warm washcloth against your cheek for a few minutes before going to bed.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Our Issaquah dentist is proud to be able to offer sleep apnea treatment. This unfortunate condition affects the lives of many Americans, many of whom don’t even know that anything is wrong. It can sap your energy, increasing stress levels and contributing to heart disease, so be on the lookout if you think you may be at risk.

Sleep apnea is a condition in which you frequently stop breathing while you sleep. This forces your brain to wake up, often only partially, so as to start the air flowing again. You could potentially have your sleep cycle interrupted throughout the night without even being aware of it. If you think you might have sleep apnea, look for the following symptoms:

  • You’re prone to loud snoring.
  • Your partner reports that your breathing occasionally stops while you sleep.
  • You sometimes wake up suddenly, choking or gasping for air.
  • You frequently wake up with a sore or dry throat in the morning.
  • You sleep restlessly, or suffer from insomnia.
  • You are unusually sleepy during the day, even if you think you got a full night’s sleep.
  • You suffer from frequent morning headaches.
  • You experience forgetfulness and changes in mood.

Sleep apnea is very difficult to diagnose, and can only be properly identified by a medical professional. To find out more about sleep apnea and to explore your options for getting treatment, contact Meadow Creek Dental.

The Condition called ‘Halitosis’

Causes of genuine bad breath

The causes may be any or a combination of these factors:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Decaying cavities, infected gums, food debris stuck between teeth or under the gums.
  • Tobacco products
  • Dry mouth, producing less saliva flow
  • Mouth infections as gingivitis, periodontitis, impaction, tooth abscess
  • Disease conditions, like diabetes, sore throat, bronchitis, liver failure
  • Certain foods like garlic, onions and spices
  • Certain medications can cause bad breath (ex. insulin)
  • Ill-fitting and unclean dentures and braces
  • Large doses of vitamins, like the Vitamin B group
  • Chronic alcoholism

What one must do
Firstly, a visit to Meadow Creek Dental, the Issaquah dental clinic, could do you a lot of good . This state of affairs can be cured with proper oral hygiene. Simple, everyday hygienic practices like brushing, flossing and mouth gargles are teeth and gum-saving. Here at the Issaquah dental clinic, corrective and restorative measures will be employed on presenting oral situations like cavities, infected gums, and other mouth infections.

This bad breath is not life-threatening and you will be on your way to renewed oral health with some life-style adjustments. Your good Issaquah dentist should see to that. However, if your halitosis is a symptom of a medical condition, your dentist will certainly encourage a medical consultation.

Warning Signs of a Cracked Teeth

A crack in your tooth is nothing to trifle with. Any fracture in your tooth represents a breach of your protective enamel layer, which invites decay at least as bad as any cavity. To make matters worse, you can have a crack in your tooth without even realizing it for weeks on end. They might feel normal to the touch, and not exhibit any symptoms until the bacteria infect your pulp and you require a root canal. With this in mind, be on the lookout for the following warning signs:

  • A potentially erratic pain, particularly when you chew. The pain might come when you release your bite.
  • Swollen, pocketed, or painful gums.
  • Sensitivity to exposure to hot or cold substances. It is common for cold temperatures to be particularly painful.
  • Irregular feelings on the surface of a tooth, like a rough or sharp feeling.

If you think that you may have cracked one of your teeth, make an appointment with our Issaquah dentist right away. It may be your best shot at saving the tooth.

Why is My Tongue Red?

Normally, your tongue should have that common pink coloration. If your tongue ever turns red, it may be harmless, or it may be indicative of an unfortunate disease that requires the attention of your dentist or doctor. What follows is a list of some of the more common conditions that might make your tongue turn red:

  • Geographic Tongue: Also known as benign migratory glossitis, this condition gets its name from the irregular patterns that form on your tongue. These patches, which may be outlined with a white border, resemble geographic formations. It is usually nothing to worry about, but talk to our Issaquah dentist if it persists for more than a couple of weeks.
  • Kawasaki Syndrome: Children are generally the only people who exhibit this condition. It is paired with a very high fever, and possible swelling in the hands and feet. This is a condition that should be brought to your doctor.
  • Scarlet Fever: This is an infection that sometimes causes your taste buds to become inflamed, giving your tongue a strawberry-like appearance. Your doctor will need to give you an antibiotic treatment.
  • Vitamin Deficiency: Red tongue may simply mean that you need to get more vitamin B12 or folic acid.

Do Tooth-Colored Fillings Stain?

One of the most appealing attributes of a tooth-colored filling is that it blends in seamlessly with the remaining natural structure of your tooth. This is a marked improvement over unsightly, metal fillings. Unfortunately, the attractive appearance of a tooth-colored filling is not a permanent thing. As you expose your filling to coffee, fruit juices, smokables, and other staining substances, they can stain unevenly with your natural enamel and stand out like a sore thumb. Over time, a brown outline may start to form around your filling, spoiling the pristine appearance of your smile if it’s located on one of your front-facing teeth.

When a filling gets stained, it’s not as easy to bleach the stain away in the same way that you can bleach your natural tooth structure. You can, however, polish the filling until it regains its former appearance.

More importantly, a stained filling may be indicative of tooth decay. If you notice any stains on your teeth, pay our Issaquah dentist a visit to make sure that there’s nothing wrong.

Bruxism & Social Anxiety

Dentists have known for some time now that stress is a big contributing factor to tooth grinding, or bruxism. As social anxiety generally causes stress in social situations, it can naturally be concluded that people struggling with social anxiety are more prone to bruxism.

To further understand this relationship, a group at Tel Aviv University studied a group of seventy-five participants. These participants were men and women in their early thirties, forty of which experience social phobia, about half of which were on medication for their problem. These participants underwent an oral and psychiatry examination. Researchers found that there was moderate-to-severe wear on the teeth of 42.1% of the group with social phobia, and only 28.6% of the control group. Meanwhile, 32.5% of the first group exhibited jaw play, as opposed to only 12.1% of the control group. Waking bruxism was observed in 42.5% of the first group, and a mere 3% of the control group.

Indeed, it would appear that social interaction is a major trigger for bruxism in people struggling with social anxiety. To find out more about how you can protect your teeth and overcome tooth grinding, talk to Meadow Creek Dental in Issaquah.

Your Genetics and Your Oral Health

Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth is a good way to help assure that you will continue to have a strong and healthy set of teeth and gums well into old age. However, despite our best efforts, some people will always have an easier time with their oral health than others. Indeed, there are various aspects of your health that hinge largely on your genetics, including the following:

  • If you have a family history of gingivitis, it may be that you have a genetic disposition for this disease.
  • Though teeth can come in crooked due to environmental factors, many people have crooked teeth due to their genetics. If you have a family history of braces, you may need to wear braces as well.
  • Some people are born with clotting problems or other bleeding disorders. Such conditions pose a problem for your dental treatments.
  • Some people are genetically disposed to diabetes, which has unfortunate implications on your oral health.

Should you struggle with any of these genetic problems, talk to our Issaquah dentist so that we can tailor your treatments appropriately.