Four Ways Stress Can Harm Your Mouth

In today’s world, stress is simply part of daily life for many people. Whether due to work, family, or other obligations, many people are overly stressed – and their dental health is taking a hit as a result.

If you’re under a high amount of stress on a regular basis, it’s time to look at ways to manage it so your smile – and your overall health – can be its best.

Stress and Your Daily Habits

You’ve had a long, hard day at work, stayed up all night to help a sick child, or you’re dealing with a family crisis. Any of these stressful situations may tempt you to just crash in bed without touching your toothbrush or floss. But in times of stress, don’t neglect your mouth! It takes less than 24 hours for plaque to begin to harden to tartar. Then it takes a dentist’s tool to remove it. You’ll feel better if you take the two minutes you need to get your teeth clean and ready for sleep. And, your next dental visit will likely be easier, which can ease some stress too!

Skipping Dental Visits

Many stressed-out people put off their regular cleaning when the schedule gets full. It seems easy to say, “I’ll get to it later,” and put it off for more “urgent” matters. But skipping your regular check-up allows your teeth to accumulate extra plaque and bacteria, and you miss important screenings, including an oral cancer screen. And, with nearly half of all adults suffering from some form of gum disease, this is one appointment you can’t afford to miss.

The Stress and Gum Disease Link

Speaking of gum disease, several studies have found that people with the highest levels of stress are also the most likely to have periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease is most treatable when caught early, so seeing your dentist twice a year is one of the best things you can do when you’re stressed!

Tooth Grinding

Tooth grinding is a common issue for people who are under stress. And often, you may not even realize you’re doing it. Grinding, or bruxism, can lead to serious issues, including cracked or chipped teeth, jaw pain, headaches, and wearing down of the tooth enamel. If you think you may be grinding, talk with your dentist about ways you can break the habit and protect your teeth from further damage. Your dentist can also repair any cracks or chips to keep your smile healthy.

If you’re feeling the pressures of daily life, you’re not alone. Try to find healthy ways to deal with stress such as relaxation, regular exercise, support groups, or seeing your physician if needed.

Don’t let stress or anxiety ruin your smile! Contact Dr. Armstrong’s office to schedule your dental visit today!

Original Source:

Post-filling sensitivity: is it normal?

Ice cream, popsicles, a bowl of frozen strawberries. Sound tasty? If you’ve recently had a filling, you may cringe at the thought of eating any of these.

But there’s no reason you should have to swear them off completely. Tooth sensitivity after a filling is a common issue, and, fortunately, it usually resolves itself. If you notice sensitivity or pain when your newly filled tooth comes into contact with cold foods, there are some things you can do to alleviate the problem.

March is National Frozen Foods Month, and we want you to be able to celebrate with your favorite frosty treat. (Just make sure you brush your teeth afterward!) Here’s what you should know about sensitivity after getting a filling.

Why is My Tooth Sensitive?

Tooth decay can cause irritation in the tooth, leading to pain and sensitivity. This compromises the health of your tooth and requires your dentist’s expertise. The repair of the cavity, although necessary, can temporarily cause sensitivity as the tooth heals. This is a natural response to the irritation that occurs from filling the tooth, but it should not be permanent. Just like any medical procedure, you’re likely to notice a little soreness afterward as the body works on its recovery.

In some cases, the filling may be close to a nerve, which can make the tooth even more sensitive for a few days. So, even if you’ve not experienced sensitivity after previous fillings, each tooth is different. You may notice this issue with a new filling even if you’ve never had it in the past.

How to Get Relief

The good news is, once you’ve had a tooth filled, you are on the path to healing. As the tooth adjusts to its filling, the sensitivity should become less and less obvious. In the meantime, you may wish to use a desensitizing toothpaste to calm the nerve if it bothers you. This can make eating cold foods more tolerable.

Over the next few days and weeks, you should notice improvement of any sensitivity. If you notice pain when you bite down or the sensitivity doesn’t seem to be lessening at all, be sure to call your dentist. In some cases, the filling needs to be reshaped in order to more closely match your bite. Your dentist should examine the tooth and discuss what kind of pain you’re having to determine the best way to provide relief.

Options for Fillings

Dr. Armstrong provides his patients with a full range of restorative dental services, as well as cosmetic, emergency, and preventive dental care. If your tooth requires a filling, Dr. Armstrong will discuss your options of amalgam (silver) or composite (tooth-colored) fillings. Together, you can decide what works best for you.

Our expert staff is ready to help you restore your smile to a healthy, beautiful state. To schedule an appointment at our Houston dental office, please contact us today!

Original Source:

Top cavity culprits for kids – and ways to avoid them

It’s no secret that children naturally have a crazy sweet tooth. From a young age, children are attracted to juice, candy, and anything with a high sugar content.

Unfortunately, all this sugar is causing a tooth decay epidemic in children. Dentists are seeing an increasing number of very young children – many even younger than age 3 – who need invasive dental surgery due to decay. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so it’s the perfect time to cover how we can help children get a healthy smile – and keep it that way for life.

Cavity Culprit: Sugary Drinks

Soda, juice, and sports drinks are a major cause of tooth decay in children. Sipping these drinks coats the entire mouth in sugar, and many kids drink these beverages throughout the day.

Better choice: Water, milk, and fruit water

Water is the best hydration for kids, but milk is also needed due to its calcium and vitamin D content. Be sure your child is getting three glasses of milk each day. If your children don’t like plain water, add some fresh or frozen berries, lemon, and herbs like mint leaves for a tasty twist without a lot of sugar.

Cavity Culprit: Bottles in Bed

Allowing your toddler to fall asleep with a bottle can lead to dental problems, even if the bottle contains milk. The natural sugars will sit on the child’s teeth at night, which is a prime time for decay to start.

Better choice: Switch Your Routine

Feed your child the last milk bottle before bed and brush his teeth afterward. If he is attached to a bedtime bottle, put water in it instead.

Cavity Culprit: Gummies and Dried Fruits

Chewy foods have a texture that loves to cling to teeth and push sugar into the tiny crevices. Even healthier options like dried fruits cause this problem. Gummy candies or gummy vitamins are a big part of this issue, as fruit snacks and chewy vitamins are consumed by kids every day.

Better choice: Fresh Fruits and Sugar-Free Vitamins

Fresh fruits are better than dried, and can be just as tasty. For a dessert, try a dash of whipped cream or frozen yogurt on top of berries. Look for sugar-free or xylitol-sweetened vitamins instead of the sugary gummy varieties.

Begin Good Habits Early

It’s never too early to start cleaning your child’s teeth. Use a damp washcloth to clean an infant’s teeth and gums. Toddlers can use a child’s toothbrush and water with your help. Your child can begin using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste (with supervision) at age 3, and they should be brushing twice a day.

The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist within six months of the eruption of your child’s first tooth, or no later than age 1. Those baby teeth are important placeholders for your child’s permanent teeth, so start caring for them early!

Dr. Armstrong offers complete dental care for all the members of your family, including the littlest ones. Contact us at our Houston-Westchase office today to schedule your child’s dental visit. It could be one of the best things you do for your child’s smile!

Original Source: