Pregnant Moms & Oral Health: Brushing & Flossing for Two

There are so many things to be concerned about when you find out you’re expecting. Eating right, taking enough vitamins, getting enough rest, telling your husband there is absolutely no way you are naming your firstborn son Bud Light… but what about your teeth? There’s an old saying—“you lose a tooth for every baby”—but those beliefs are outdated, thank goodness! Still, Incline Village dentist Dr. Matt Milligan has some important information to share about pregnancy and oral health.

Taking Care of Yourself is Taking Care of Your Baby

Moms-to-be can become so focused on preparation for the new bundle of joy that they neglect their own health—but try to remember that taking care of yourself is taking care of your baby. If you are pregnant, remain proactive about your oral hygiene routine and don’t skip your regular dental visits. Your teeth and gums need special attention during this time, so be on the alert for symptoms like bleeding gums and dry mouth.

Gingivitis & Gum Disease

Hormonal changes and diabetes during pregnancy can cause pregnancy gingivitis (inflamed, tender and irritated gums)—about 75% of pregnant women end up with it. Left untreated, gingivitis can become periodontitis, an even more severe form of gum disease that leads to actual bone loss. Older mothers have a higher risk of gum disease in general, and research has linked preterm delivery and low birth weight to gingivitis—sufferers were seven times more likely to have either or both conditions. Researchers also estimate that advanced gum disease could be linked to about 18% of premature births in the United States.

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Do You Have TMJ? You Might Have Sleep Apnea

Your jawbone (the mandible) meets your skull bone (the temporal bone) at the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. On a good day, this joint allows your mouth to open and close, to speak and eat or rest. On a bad day, you can develop pain and dysfunction in the TMJ that affects many areas of your life and health. Incline Village dentist Dr. Matt Milligan explains more below about how problems with your TMJ are connected to problems with sleep.

TMJ Disorders

If you have a recurring problem with your temporomandibular joint, it’s called temporomandibular disorder (or TMD, although TMD and TMJ are often used interchangeably). The National Institutes of Health estimates that 10 million people have TMD, though the cases are usually mild.

TMD frequently includes pain, clicking or popping, and tight, sore facial muscles. TMD can be caused by genetics, arthritis, or jaw injuries. Sometimes it’s hard to diagnose what’s exactly causing the problem because stress and jaw problems can turn into a painful, self-perpetuating cycle.

Clenching and grinding your teeth may be chronic or stress-induced habits that make TMJ pain worse. You may also notice that pain from TMD can spread into your face, neck, head, and shoulders. Many TMD sufferers suffer from chronic headaches and migraines.

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The Smoking Gun: Tobacco & Oral Health

They say not everything natural is good for you. Nature has many poisons that humans have experimented with and learned the hard way to avoid. Tobacco is a popular plant that we’ve learned can really do a number on your health. Using tobacco is a personal and communal practice that can be really hard to avoid, even if you know it’s bad for you. Working with your doctor and Incline Village dentist Dr. Matt Milligan will be essential if you’re concerned about your health and want to stop using tobacco.

What Is Tobacco?

Tobacco is a green, leafy plant that has long been grown, dried, and used by cultures around the world. It’s usually smoked but is sometimes chewed or inhaled. Tobacco is known to affect the way people think, feel, and behave by interrupting the brain’s normal communication with the rest of the body. The tobacco plant contains the addictive stimulant nicotine, which is why a smoking habit is so hard to break. Cigarettes contain 2,000 ingredients known to be toxic and harmful to the human body.

Effects of Tobacco on Oral Health

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Top 5 Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

If you’re one of the 40 million Americans with sensitive teeth, you must be familiar with the painful zing that follows a hot drink, a bite of ice cream, or just a deep breath of cold air. These and other elements can cause a sudden discomfort if you have sensitive teeth, also called dentin hypersensitivity.

Each of your teeth has an important protected layer called enamel. If your enamel gets worn down, your teeth can become more sensitive over time. Your enamel is the visible, white part of the tooth and it protects the softer, inner layers of each tooth. Receding gums can also reveal sensitive parts of the tooth that aren’t protected by enamel.

If you’re living with sensitive teeth, it’s good to know what causes the pain and how to avoid it. You should also talk with Incline Village dentist Dr. Matt Milligan about how to treat sensitive teeth and prevent further damage to your enamel or gums.

Causes of Sensitivity

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Dental Implants: A Brief History of Tooth Replacement Innovation

Today’s dental implants boast a long-term success rate of near 97%. Because implants support surrounding teeth, encourage new tissue growth and continued bone formation, and give patients back full chewing ability and a complete smile, they have become the industry standard for tooth replacement.

Today, Incline Village dentist Dr. Matt Milligan would like to share some interesting history about dental implants and how we got to where we are today.

History of Dental Implants

 

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Biofilm: The Most Important Film of the Year

Biofilm is quite literally a “film” or layer of biological matter that forms on teeth, in sink pipes, on river rocks, and more. Biofilm is made of many different things. Think of it as concrete, which contains cement as well as a slew of other materials. It’s likely you’ve been aware of biofilm on your teeth when they feel slimy or fuzzy instead of smooth and clean. Incline Village dentist Dr. Matt Milligan explains more below about biofilm and the role it plays in your oral wellness.

My Teeth Aren’t Cold, Why Do They Need Sweaters?

It’s true; the texture of biofilm can feel like fuzzy little sweaters on your teeth. Biofilm occurs when bacteria stick to a wet environment, creating a slimy layer of microorganisms and random debris. Biofilm is a diverse and highly organized group of biological matter all webbed together. Some of the microorganisms are neutral but some are pathogenic and cause a lot of problems for your oral and overall health.

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Dentistry in the Digital Age

Technology has changed nearly every aspect of human life and modern society. New tools, programs, and education can greatly improve your healthcare, too! Let’s say you need any kind of standard dental restoration for a cracked or missing tooth. From x-rays and impressions to surgery and installation, your whole treatment could be digital. We’re so used to digital tools these days, you may not even notice how much technology a dentist can utilize to best serve your oral health needs. Below are some of the ways your oral care may be digitized.

CAD/CAM Software

Short for computer-assisted design and computer-assisted manufacturing, this software brings you better fitting crowns, veneers, inlays and onlays, and bridges. CAD/CAM technology comes out of industrial engineering and manufacturing and into the dental office to provide faster, superior products and services in oral health. Using computers to design oral appliances increases accuracy, efficiency, appearance, and function.

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Applesauce to Zucchini: What Should I Eat After Dental Surgery?

If you need dental surgery, you may have a lot of questions and concerns. How much will it cost? How much will it hurt? Who is going to drive me home? And perhaps most importantly, what can I eat? Recovery can seem a lot more stressful if you don’t stock up on acceptable soft foods in advance. Incline Village dentist Dr. Matt Milligan shares a comprehensive list of foods in this article to help ease your mind—at least about one aspect of your procedure!

Types of Dental Treatments

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Oral Piercings: Not Cool for Teeth

Remember that guy with the lip ring you had a crush on in high school? I wonder how his teeth are doing now. Don’t get us wrong–at Incline Dental Care, we’re all about the freedom of self-expression, and if body modifications like tattoos and piercings are your thing, we support you. However, as your dental health professionals, we strongly advise against oral piercings specifically because they can be really harmful to your teeth—and we want you to keep your teeth healthy, so you can continue to express yourself with your beautiful smile.

Oral piercings refer to any piercing in or around the mouth. In the old days, the only options were more traditional tongue or lip piercings, but today there are more options than you can shake a stick at. If it’s in your mouth, you better believe someone has pierced it. From the tongue web piercing to the vampire or upper frenulum piercing, to the gum piercing, venom bites, snake eyes, smiley piercing, frown piercing, and even the uvula piercing—yes, apparently you can pierce your uvula. There’s even a “dental piercing” which is not necessarily a drilled hole, but jewelry that is embedded onto the tooth surface. But of course, we don’t recommend any of these, so don’t get any ideas!

Incline Village dentist Dr. Matthew Milligan is here to share some reasons oral piercings are not cool for teeth.

Infection

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Filling in the Gaps: Restoring Your Smile & Quality of Life

Life is full of unexpected surprises, and while we’d love for all of them to be smile-inducing, that’s not entirely realistic—and there may be many reasons you hide your smile. If you’re hiding your smile because of one or more missing teeth, we want you to know you’re not alone. In fact, 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth at all.

Whether the cause is tooth decay, gum disease—#1 on the list of reasons, with 50% of Americans over the age of 30 having the most severe form of periodontitis—illness, or injury, there are solutions. Incline Village dentist Dr. Matthew Milligan would like to fill you in on your options, which have expanded and improved over the years thanks to technological advancements and continuing education.

An Ounce of Prevention

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