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Can adults benefit from fluoride?
New research shows that everyone can benfit from fluoride. Experts used to think that fluoride worked mainly by strengthening teeth while they were still developing. This meant that children were the focus of fluoridation efforts. Studies now show that topical fluoride i.e. toohpastes, mouthrinses and fluoride treatments, helps fight decay in people of all ages.
How do I know if I need special fluoride treatment?
If your drinking water is fluoridated, then brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is considered sufficient for most adults with healthy teeth. 43 of the 50 largest U.S. cities add fluoride to their public water supplies to help reduce tooth decay. You can find out if your water is fluoridated by calling your local water district, or by having your water analyzed if it comes from a private well. People who drink mostly bottled water and those with the following conditions should talk to their dentist about special fluoride treatments:
-If you are taking medications that cause dry mouth or have a disease that causes dry mouth. Without saliva to neutralize the acids in your mouth and wash away food particles, you're ore susceptible to tooth decay.
-If your gums have receded or pulled away from the teeth. This gives bacteria more room to roam and hastens tooth decay.
-If you wear braces. Braces and other orthodontic appliances trap a lot of bacteria that can lead to cavities.
-If you've had radiation therapy to the neck or head. Radiation damages the salivary glands, causing dry mouth.
What are different types of fluoride treatments?
You can recieve fluoride treatments at your dentist's office. Our office has 2 types of professionaly applied fluoride. 1) Foam Fluoride treatment- Fluoride is applied to the teeth in trays on the upper and lower arch. The trays are placed in the mouth and applied for 1 minute. After treatment you will be asked to not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes. 2) Fluoride Varnish treatment- The fluoride is applied directly to the teeth with a small brush. Once the fluoride is applied you will be asked to keep it on your teeth for 2 hours. Within that 2 hour time frame we ask you do not eat/drink anything hot, crunchy or sticky because this can take the fluoride off the teeth. After the 2 hours you can brush the fluoride off your teeth with regular brushing at home. We also have Fluoridex toothpaste that contains a higher amount of fluoride that is not in over the counter toothpastes. The toothpaste is recommended for people that have a higher risk for decay.
If you have any questions, ask your dentist today!!
Gum disease is a condition that threatens your oral health as well as the health of your whole body.
It is extremely prevalent; according to the American Academy of Periodontology, half of American adults have some form of gum disease.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware they have the condition until they visit a dentist or begin experiencing symptoms.
What Causes Gum Disease?
- Gum disease is caused by bacteria, which form plaque on the teeth. The plaque hardens on the teeth and irritates the gums, causing unpleasant symptoms. At this stage the condition is known as gingivitis, and it can be reversed with proper treatment from a dentist.
- If gum disease is allowed to progress, however, the patient is at risk for serious problems. Patients with advanced gum disease may suffer loss of teeth, bone, and tissue, as well as an increased risk of heart disease, and potentially a higher risk of developing certain cancers.
- Pregnant women with gum disease are also at risk for premature birth.
Signs of Gum Disease
Though some people have gum disease without knowing it, the condition often presents itself with one or more of the following symptoms:
- Redness or swelling gums
- Bleeding gums, including when you brush or floss
- Gum tenderness/pain when chewing
- Gum recession (pulling away from teeth)
- Persistent bad breath
- Teeth or dentures not fitting together properly
- Teeth becoming loose
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to see your dentist.
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease treatment varies depending on the individual case. Often, it includes a procedure called planing and scaling and/or the use of antibiotics. Patients with advanced gum disease will need to see their dentist regularly to control the condition.
Remember, by catching gum disease in its earliest stage (gingivitis), you can reverse the disease and restore your oral health.
If gum disease is allowed to advance, however, you put yourself at risk for tooth loss and other major problems.
Seeing your dentist on a regular basis is an easy way to prevent gum disease, but if you are already experiencing symptoms, it’s best to schedule an appointment right away.
Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a dentist in the Becker area, we're excited you are here. With the dental industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote dental awareness as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including dental news, advancements in dental technology and treatment, practical dental health advice and updates from Dr. Gruenes and her staff.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best dental health.
As always, feel free to contact us with any dental questions or concerns.
--The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry Team