Dental Care and Diabetes: Important Things to Know as a Diabetic

Ongoing dental care is even more important than usual when you have been diagnosed with diabetes. You may be more at risk of certain oral health problems and issues that can affect your smile. Controlling your blood sugar levels will help protect your smile, which is a good reason to make sure you are following the guidelines of your doctor, eating a well-balanced diet, and taking prescribed medications. However, there are a few things every person with diabetes should know about their dental health.

1. You may be more prone to periodontal disease as a diabetic.

Diabetes can change how blood circulates throughout your body, including into your gums. This change can make you more at risk of developing gum disease than the average patient.

2. You may need more frequent checkups at the dentist to monitor your oral health.

Even though some patients can get by with having only one dental checkup annually, as a diabetic, it is better if you seek a check every six months if possible. Since you are more prone to dental health issues, these more frequent visits will help to keep a closer watch on small problems so they can be handled quickly.

3. Halitosis can be an issue for diabetics.

One of the symptoms of diabetes or unstable blood sugar levels is dry mouth. Unfortunately, having a mouth that is drier than usual can also mean that you are more prone to experiencing bad breath. This occurs because there is not as much saliva to keep bacteria and food particles washed away from your teeth.

4. People with diabetes can be more likely to lose their teeth.

Bone infections, soft tissue breakdown, and lack of saliva are all issues that can contribute to tooth loss. As a diabetic, you are more at risk of all three, so you can have a higher risk of losing your natural teeth.

Lets Talk About Diabetes and Your Oral Health in Sarasota, FL

Overall, you need the help of a good dentist when you have diabetes because your smile could be even more at risk than usual. If you would like to schedule an appointment, reach out to us at the office of Dr. Keneth Schweizer DDS PA in Sarasota, FL so we can get a conversation started about taking care of your teeth.

 

A Bridge vs Dental Implants: What is the Difference?

After losing a tooth, or several teeth, you have several replacement options. Two of these options are fixed. Unlike dentures, partials and flippers, a fixed dental restoration remains in the mouth, indefinitely. The two standard fixed restoration options are dental implants and dental bridges. If you are considering a fixed restoration, knowing the differences between these two options can help you determine which one is best for you.

A Bridge vs Dental Implants: What is the Difference?

Both of these restoration options can look natural because each is created using custom-designed, porcelain-covered crowns. Nonetheless, there are several differences between these two restoration options.

How Each is Anchored

One of the key differences between these two options is the way they are anchored within the mouth.

Dental bridges are anchored by crowns placed over the natural teeth that sit adjacent to the gap. The existing gap is filled by a dental crown/crowns (i.e., pontic/pontics) that is attached to the bridge. One drawback to a bridge is the need to crown the anchor teeth because in order to apply a crown, the natural tooth must sustain some degree of damage.

Dental implants have a metal anchor, which essentially serves as the ‘root’ of the prosthesis. Just like natural teeth, dental implants are anchored into place by the jawbone. Furthermore, no other natural teeth need to be damaged to accomplish this restoration option.

Limitations on Resembling a Natural Tooth

Since a bridge essentially rests on the gum, there is a gap between the two. This gap can trap food and affect how natural the restoration looks. Another factor affecting the natural appearance of a dental bridge is the fact that the teeth are connected, which can be obvious.

A dental implant is attached to the jawbone; therefore, it sits flush, eliminating concerns related to a visible gap and food entrapment. That said, there are occasions when the metal anchor used for an implant appears as a dark spot beneath the gum.

Restoration Longevity

Both dental implants and dental bridges offer longevity, however, since a bridge is attached to natural teeth, as time passes, these teeth may decay. In addition, the jawbone adjacent to the replacement prosthesis is not stimulated, therefore, deterioration is likely, therefore, a bridge usually lasts from five to 15 years.

Dental implants do stimulate the jawbone, which prevents bone loss due to resorption. The anchors of dental implants are made of titanium, which is a metal that actually fuses with the jawbone. In addition, the abutment heads holding the visible crowns are designed to securely hold the prosthesis in place. Furthermore, since these abutment heads are metal, they will not decay, thus, dental implants can last a lifetime.

If you have a missing tooth/teeth that you would like to replace, contact our Sarasota, Florida, office today at 941-926-4888 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kenneth Schweizer. He is an experienced cosmetic, implant and restorative dentist dedicated to helping people improve their smiles.

 

Are Your Teeth Sensitive to Heat or Cold? Here’s Why That Happens

If you’re like most people, you truly enjoy a nice cold dish of ice cream or a freshly scooped ice cream cone no matter what time of year it is. However, few things are more unpleasant than taking a big bite of your favorite ice cream and experiencing sudden tooth pain as a result. Or perhaps you love starting your day with a just-brewed cup of hot coffee but have lately been noticing that your teeth have become increasingly sensitive to hot temperatures. Millions of Americans experience this condition, and the good news is that it’s almost always treatable. Here’s why tooth sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures happens and what you can do about it:

Tooth enamel wears down over time, and because it provides a protective cover for the interior of the teeth, tooth sensitivity can occur.

Cracks in the Surface of the Tooth Enamel

One of the most common reasons for tooth sensitivity is small cracks in the enamel that you may not have even noticed. These cracks allow hot and cold sensations to seep through the enamel to the underlying nerves.

Worn Enamel

Worn enamel is another possible culprit when tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures is a part of the picture. This is a normal part of aging and is usually mild.

What You Can Do for Tooth Sensitivity

Many people find they are able to get relief from minor tooth sensitivity by using an enamel-building toothpaste. Be sure to choose one that’s recommended by the American Dental Association, and ask your dentist to recommend one if you’re unsure of which one to use. You can also switch to a brand of toothpaste designed for use on sensitive teeth as well as use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

Should You See a Dentist

Tooth sensitivity that persists or that turns into pain means you’re due for a visit to your dentist. This could be an indication that the inner pulp has somehow become infected. When this happens, the usual remedy is a root canal. Fortunately, advances in modern dentistry mean that today’s root canal procedures are less uncomfortable than their counterparts of the past.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience for more information on dental health issues or to set up an appointment.

 

Implant Aftercare — Everything You Need to Know

Dental implants provide an excellent alternative to conventional dentures. However, patients sometimes make the mistake of thinking that because prosthetic teeth themselves don’t suffer from tooth decay like their natural counterparts, it’s safe to dial back on oral hygiene practices. It’s important for those who have implants installed to understand that best oral hygiene practices play a significant role in determining how long implants will last and even their overall success rate. Here’s what you need to know about taking care of your implants:

Use a Non-Abrasive Toothpaste

Because materials used to manufacture prosthetic teeth aren’t quite as hard as natural tooth enamel, so you’ll want to use a non-abrasive toothpaste that’s formulated for use on prosthetic teeth to keep them from getting scratched. You can also purchase unwaxed dental floss for use on implants. Your dentist may also recommend that you use an oral irrigation system.

Use a Soft-Bristled Brush

Using a soft-bristled brush serves the same purpose as brushing with a low-abrasive toothpaste — it will help keep your prosthetic teeth from becoming unnecessarily scratched. To thoroughly clean hard-to-reach places, use a nylon-coated interdental brush.

Use an Antibacterial Rinse After Brushing and Flossing

Plaque buildup is the number one culprit when it comes to causing gum disease, and it occurs just as easily on prosthetic teeth as it does on natural ones, which is why it’s essential to continue practicing impeccable oral hygiene. The leading cause of gum disease is bacterial buildup in the mouth, so keep this to a minimum by using an antibacterial mouthwash after you finish brushing and flossing.

Avoid Hard Foods

Biting down on hard foods can damage prosthetic teeth, so avoid eating items such as hard candies and nuts. You should also avoid chewing on pencils and other items. These are often nervous habits that people engage in without even thinking about, so you may need to make a conscious effort not to do this.

See Your Dentist Every Six Months

Preventive dentistry is an essential component of making sure your implants last as long as possible — and with the proper care, implants can easily last the rest of your natural life.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at your convenience to schedule an appointment or for more information on keeping your smile healthy and beautiful.

Dental Care During Pregnancy | Big Questions Answered

Pregnancy affects your entire body, including your teeth. However, with so much excitement going on and preparation taking place, it is easy to allow your dental care to fall by the wayside. You may come across a few questions about your dental care while you are expecting. Find out what you need to know about taking care of your teeth during pregnancy.

Is it normal for your gums to bleed during pregnancy?

Hormonal changes during pregnancy can bring about a lot of undesirable changes, and one of those changes can be gums that are more tender and may bleed. If you see a little more pink on your toothbrush than usual when you are expecting, this is not something that should be alarming. However, if you are having a lot of pain and tenderness along with the extra blood, it is best to discuss your symptoms with your dentist.

Is routine dental treatment safe while you are pregnant?

Routine dental care is perfectly safe during pregnancy. According to AmericanPregnancy.org, the main concerns are doing x-rays and taking certain medications. For example, if you have to have a tooth extracted, the use of lidocaine may be necessary, which may cross the placenta and enter the baby’s bloodstream. While routine care like cleanings is fine, it is best to discuss the risks of any other treatments with your dentist and possibly create a plan of care for after the baby is born.

Can poor oral health affect your growing baby?

Poor oral health can possibly affect your growing baby. For example, if you have a severely decayed tooth, you may be at risk of developing an infection, which would put both you and your baby at risk. Emergency treatment is often necessary to prevent any of your oral health issues from being a concern for your child.

Reach Out to Us for Dental health care During Pregnancy

Your oral health is an important part of a healthy pregnancy, and there is no reason to neglect your smile while anticipating a new bundle of joy. If you have questions about dental care during pregnancy, reach out to us at the office of Keneth Schweizer DDS PA in Sarasota, FL for advice.

Have Your Gums Started to Bleed? Here’s What You Need to Know About Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a common occurrence involving the accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gum line area. The most prevalent sign of gingivitis is red, swollen gums that may be tender to the touch as well as bleed during brushing and flossing. Many people tend to become alarmed when they first notice that their gums are bleeding, with good reason — left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into full-blown periodontal disease, which can lead to loss of teeth and create serious health issues. Here’s what you need to know about gingivitis:

There Are Two Types of Gingivitis

The most common type of gingivitis is the type mentioned in the previous paragraph that is caused by plaque buildup in the mouth. The other type involves small lesions on the gum line and often caused by allergies or genetics. Your dentist will be able to tell you which type you have in order to formulate an effective course of treatment.

Gingivitis is Often Reversible

When caught in the early stages, gingivitis is almost always reversible with the right type of oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice per day, every day is essential if you want to win the war on gingivitis. Using a toothpaste designed for those with emerging gingivitis is also recommended as well using an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing. Some patients have reported success with at-home oral irrigation systems.

If Not Treated, Gingivitis Can Turn Into Periodontal Disease

As mentioned earlier, gingivitis turns into periodontal disease in time if it’s not treated. Periodontal disease can result in the loss of teeth and can also adversely affect cardiovascular health if allowed to reach advanced stages.

Risk Factors For Developing Gingivitis

Poor oral hygiene is the biggest risk factor when it comes to the development of gingivitis. It also tends to affect older adults in greater numbers as well as those who smoke, use alcohol, and don’t get enough vitamin C in their diet. Research suggests that there may be genetic factors as well, and those with diabetes and certain forms of cancer may be more prone to developing gingivitis than others.

Please contact us to schedule an examination if you’ve noticed bleeding gums or other potential signs of gingivitis or other dental disorders.

What is Tooth Bonding?

Tooth bonding is a very straightforward procedure where a tooth-colored resin is applied to areas of a damaged tooth and then hardened using a special light. It is one of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry procedures available. If you have a chipped or cracked tooth, chances are that you would benefit from tooth bonding.

What Conditions Can Tooth Bonding Treat?

Tooth bonding can help fix issues such as repairing chipped or cracked teeth, improving discolored teeth, closing gaps between teeth, making teeth seem longer, changing the shape of teeth, and even protecting roots that have been exposed by gum recession. Your dentist will be able to tell you if tooth bonding is an appropriate solution for your dental issues.

How Long Does Tooth Bonding Treatment Take?

Tooth bonding is one of the easiest procedures available to those looking to improve the appearance of their smile. It’s a treatment that can usually be done in one 30 to 60-minute visit. Further, if you get tooth bonding during a workweek, there’s no reason to think you can’t return to work immediately after your dentist visit.

How Tooth Bonding Works

First, your dentist will choose a resin color that closely matches your existing tooth color. Your dentist can mix up a custom shade that matches your teeth color exactly. Next, the dentist will make a certain area of the tooth rougher so it can receive an application of a conditioning liquid. This liquid is like a primer that helps the bonding resin adhere to your tooth better. The dentist will then apply the resin to the tooth, sculpt it to the right shape and then use a UV light or laser to harden the material. The hardening process only takes a short while. Once the resin is fully hardened the dentist will touch it up and polish it so it blends in well with the rest of the teeth.

How to Care For Tooth Bonding

The beauty of tooth bonding is that no special care is required once the treatment is completed. You can literally leave the dentist’s office and go out for lunch. As long as you continue brushing and flossing your teeth, that’s all that’s required to care for your tooth bonding.

If you have one or more teeth that are cracked or could use some cosmetic adjustment, speak to your dentist about tooth bonding. Chances are, you can benefit from this simple and straightforward dental treatment option.

 

5 Tips to Prevent Stained Teeth

Stained teeth not only look unsightly; they also make you look older and can inhibit your self-confidence. Almost everyone experiences stained teeth at one time or another. However, some people have more problems with staining of the teeth than others. If you suffer from chronically stained teeth, chances are there’s something in your life that’s specifically leading to this condition. Here are four tips to prevent stained teeth.

1. Review Side Effects of Medication

Consider all the prescription medication that you take. Review the side effects of each one. There are many prescription medications that have stained teeth as a side effect. If you’re taking something that causes this condition and it’s serious enough to impact your self-confidence, ask your doctor if they can help. You may be able to use a different medication that doesn’t carry that particular side effect.

2. Quit Smoking

The tar and nicotine in tobacco products stain teeth and tongue as well as your fingers. Smoking is harmful to your health, but the teeth staining is also very harmful. Do what you can to stop smoking. The positive results on your health and your teeth will be well worth the effort.

3. Brush After Drinking Red Wine

Since red wine is made from grapes and red grapes cause a stain, it stands to reason you should avoid red wine because it will stain teeth. Consider switching to white wine. Otherwise, simply make it a habit to brush your teeth after having red wine to drink.

4. Brush Regularly

Surprisingly, simply brushing your teeth on a regular basis will also help to prevent stained teeth. Chances are that you’ve consumed something during the day that may lead to teeth staining. If you just make it a habit to brush frequently, the amount of staining will be lessened.

5. Use a Straw

If you’re super serious about avoiding stained teeth at all costs, use a straw when drinking things like iced tea and cranberry juice. The straw will ensure that the stain-inducing liquid will bypass your teeth, thereby preventing stains from occurring in the first place.

Finally, regular dentist visits are always recommended. Your dentist can thoroughly clean your teeth and remove any visible stains. Book your appointment today.

FAQs About Dental Sealants

Dental sealants are one of the greatest weapons against tooth decay. Yet, many people are unclear about what dental sealants are and what they can accomplish. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about dental sealants.

1. What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are comprised of a clear coating that is applied to the surface area of the teeth.

2. How Long Do Dental Sealants Last?

Dental sealants can last between two and four years, with gradually decreasing protection as time goes on.

3. Does It Hurt to Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are a non-invasive treatment. There is zero pain or discomfort involved in the application. In fact, some patients say that the treatment is so fast and pain-free that they didn’t even realize when it was over.

4. How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Dental sealants are applied with a brush applicator. The dentist essentially “paints on” the dental sealant to each tooth.

5. Do Dental Sealants Discolor Teeth?

Some dental sealants dry clear. There is no visible sign that you have dental sealants on your teeth. You can also get white or slightly tinted dental sealants that brighten the appearance of the teeth. Even if you get tinted dental sealants, the appearance is completely natural and others will not know that you have dental sealants on your teeth.

6. Who Can Get Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are considered to be 100% safe and effective for people of all ages. Even children with baby teeth who have not yet gotten in their permanent teeth can get dental sealants. In fact, dental sealants are often recommended for children and teenagers specifically because of the amount of sugar they consume and the higher possibility for cavities.

7. Do Dental Sealants Change The Way Teeth Feel?

Dental sealants may make your teeth feel smoother. This is because dental sealants fill in pits and grooves in the teeth. This results in a smoother surface that can enhance the surface texture of the teeth.

8. Can Dental Sealants Be Reapplied?

Yes, you can have repeat treatments of dental sealants indefinitely, as long as your dentist recommends it.

For more information about dental sealants, and to find out if you are a good candidate for this preventative treatment, please consult with your dentist.

Do You Have Gum Disease? What To Know If You’re Pregnant

Dental care is important for everyone. But if you are pregnant, a healthy mouth takes on a whole new meaning. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gingivitis affects 60 to 75 percent of pregnancies. If you already have red, swollen, or irritated gums, look at the top pregnancy-periodontal disease questions answered.

What’s the Pregnancy-Periodontal Disease Link?

Pregnancy hormones are change-makers in your body. Along with mood swings, thicker hair, and dewy skin, hormones can increase blood flow to the gums. This can result in inflammation, irritation, sensitivity, and easy-to-bleed gums.

The hormonal changes of pregnancy can also change the body’s response to infections. Gum disease happens when bacteria overrun the mouth and cause an infection. Decreased ability to fight off bacteria can increase the risk of periodontal disease.

What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Do you have pregnancy-related gum disease? While some of the symptoms are noticeable, others may give you pause — but not complete concern. If your gums bleed once after you eat something sharp (such as a tortilla chip), you likely have an injury.

Even though this type of injury should heal on its own, you should pay extra attention to the area and call a medical provider at the first sign of infection. The increased blood flow to the gums and decreased ability to fight off bacteria may increase the chances that a simple scratch on your gums turns into something more serious.

Gum disease signs can range from minor beginning symptoms to severe red flags. Many periodontal disease patients experience redness, swelling, discomfort, and bleeding. If you notice blood when you brush, inflammation, or a foul taste in your mouth (with no other known cause) you may have gum disease.

When Should a Pregnant Women Visit the Dentist for Gum Disease?

A healthy mouth is part of a healthy pregnancy. This makes early detection and treatment of gum disease important. Pregnant women should continue to see their dentist on a regular visit schedule. If you don’t have a visit scheduled during your pregnancy, make an appointment as soon as possible — especially if you have bleeding, irritation, or any other periodontal symptom.

Why Shouldn’t Pregnant Women Ignore Gum Disease?

No one should ignore periodontal disease symptoms. Gingivitis can progress into a serious infection that leads to tissue or bone loss. Without an adequate amount of healthy tissue or the proper bone support, you could lose a tooth. Likewise, tissue and bone loss/infection may make extraction necessary.

In pregnancy, gum disease can cause problems beyond oral issues. The infection increases the risk of pre-term birth or a low birth-weight baby.

How Can You Stop Gum Disease?

If you already have the symptoms of gum disease, you can make changes — and now. A 2018 study in the journal Advances in Preventative Medicine found that pregnant women who brushed less often had a higher likelihood of having poor birth outcomes than those who brushed more.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Make sure to brush all areas of the mouth, and floss to get the in-between spaces. Brush after meals, if possible, too.

Again, a visit to the dentist is necessary. Don’t wait to schedule an appointment. If you have concerns about caring for your gums before the appointment day, ask the dental office staff for recommendations. Gum disease patients may need to visit the dentist more often for professional cleanings or check-ups during pregnancy.

Are you pregnant? Are your gums inflamed, red, or irritated? Contact the office of Kenneth M. Schweizer, DDS, PA, for more information.