Lesions and ulcers, dry sockets, as
well as swollen gums, can sometimes occur during surges in a woman's
hormone levels. These periods would be a prime time to visit the
dentist. Birth control pills have been shown to increase the risk of
gingivitis, and hormone replacement therapy has been shown to cause
bleeding and swollen gums. Gum disease can also present a higher risk
for premature births.
Some research has shown that women may
be more likely to develop dry mouth, eating disorders, jaw problems
such as temporomandibular joint disorders, and facial pain—all of
which can be difficult from a physical and emotional standpoint.
Taking care of your mouth with proper oral health care is essential, and can go a long way to helping you face the physical changes in your body over the years.
Various things can cause teeth to
become crooked or jaws misaligned, including thumb-sucking or a
traumatic injury. Some conditions are inherited.
Children between the ages of 7 and 14
are typical candidates for braces because their facial structures are
still developing. Adult braces usually entail additional procedures
because their faces have already fully developed.
Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that deals with corrections involving jaw and teeth alignment.
Braces employ the use of wires and are
usually one of three types:
Old-fashioned, conventional braces,
which employ the use of metal strips, or bands.
Metal or plastic brackets that are cemented or bonded to teeth.
Brackets that attach to the back teeth (also called lingual braces).
Orthodontic procedures, also called orthodontia, are complex processes.
In most cases, a dentist will need to
make a plaster cast of the individual's teeth and perform full X-rays
of the head and mouth.
After orthodontic appliances are
placed, they need to be adjusted from time to time to ensure that
they continue to move the teeth into their correct position.
Retainers are used following braces to
ensure that teeth remain in position.
Aesthetic and Comfort Issues
Advances in technology have vastly improved appearance issues with orthodontia.
Braces today are made from extremely
lightweight and natural-colored materials. The materials that braces
attach to-brackets-are bonded to the surfaces of teeth but can be
People can expect to wear braces for
about two years—less or more in some cases. Adults are usually
required to wear braces for longer periods of time.
Because orthodontic appliances need to
be adjusted from time to time to ensure they continue to move the
teeth into their correct position, they can create pressure on the
teeth and jaws. This mild discomfort usually subsides following each
People who wear braces must be diligent in ensuring that food particles and other debris do not get trapped in the network of brackets and wires. In addition, brackets can leave stains on enamel if the area surrounding them is not cleaned on a daily basis.
Daily oral hygiene such as brushing,
flossing and rinsing are a necessity. Some people with orthodontic
appliances can benefit from using water picks, which emit small
pressurized bursts of water that can effectively rinse away such
Another caveat: Braces and sticky foods
don't mix. Crunchy snacks and chewy substances should be avoided at
all costs because they can cause orthodontia to be loosened or
Space maintainers are helpful dental devices that can help teeth grow in normally following premature tooth loss, injury or other problems.
The devices can help ensure that proper
spaces are maintained to allow future permanent teeth to erupt.
If your child loses a baby tooth early through decay or injury, his or her other teeth could shift and begin to fill the vacant space. When your child's permanent teeth emerge, there's not enough room for them. The result is crooked or crowded teeth and difficulties with chewing or speaking.
Cavities are a common culprit causing
pain. Untreated cavities can impact nerves because of infections of
the tooth and gums. Impacted and abscessed teeth and sore jaws from
teeth grinding are other common causes of pain.
Improper bite relationships and jaw
disorders can also cause pain. Other sources of pain include sleep
disorders, and headaches and neck aches.
Special splints can sometimes be applied to stabilize a bite. Bites can also be corrected with special orthodontic procedures, appliances and restoration techniques.
Making sound decisions about your
dental care and oral health is an easy thing to do with the right
Make a list of questions to ask our
office, so you don't forget anything on the day of your appointment.
This includes any concerns you have, or oral problems you've been
If you have dental insurance, remember to bring your insurance card with you.
There are many high-quality products on
the market today. There also are many products of dubious value.
Whatever over-the-counter dental
product you buy, it is strongly advised that you ensure it has the
American Dental Association's Seal of Acceptance.
Over-the-counter dental instruments are
fraught with danger. These include scaling devices and picks. Use of
the products, even when following the instructions, can put your
teeth and the soft tissue of your mouth at risk of tearing, bruising
and other injury. You also may accidentally chip a tooth.
It is best to consult our office instead of trying to do a repair job yourself.