The profession of dentistry has experienced an amazing evolution over its lifetime. References to tooth decay can be found in various ancient texts. At one time, a local barber would provide haircuts and pull troublesome teeth in the same shop. Dentistry evolved from these humble beginnings to what we know today: a structured medical discipline where patients benefit from evidenced-
On the list of common reasons people avoid the dentist, cost is usually near the top. It is a fact — some dental treatments are expensive. However, you have some control in working to avoid pricey dental procedures. Two of the best ways to avoid needing expensive dental treatments are to visit a dentist regularly for an exam and cleaning and following proper dental hygiene advice every day.
The National Sleep Foundation estimates over 18 million adults in the United States, or about one in every 15 people, suffer from sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that interrupts breathing, resulting in disruptive sleep. Individuals suffering from obstructive sleep apnea will experience a repetitive (partial or complete) airway collapse throughout their sleep, which prevents air from reaching the lungs.
Have you ever experienced tenderness in your jaw area? Facial pain is a rather common issue in the general population, with 15 percent to 20 percent of people reporting symptoms. While some only suffer temporarily, others find their discomfort lingers for a longer period or reaches a level that significantly diminishes their quality of life. This type of pain can greatly affect chewing, biting and even speech. When the discomfort lingers or reaches severe levels, it will often prompt a doctor visit to address the issue.
According to the American Cancer Society, 51,540 new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer will be diagnosed in the United States during 2018. During the same period, a total of 10,030 deaths are expected. These statistics are even more important for Kentucky residents, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted upon reviewing data from 2015 that Kentucky has the second highest rate of oral and pharyngeal cancer in the country, with 13.4 new cases per 100,000 people.
Recent studies show periodontal disease – more commonly known as gum disease – is much more common than previously thought, with almost half of the adults in the United States suffering from it. The prevalence of periodontal disease is even worse when looking at the male population: 60 percent of men over age 30 years suffer from gum disease.
It has been over a year since Andrea Crookston made the decision to make her oral health a top priority and partner with University of Kentucky Dentistry. Prior to starting the journey, Crookston would hide her smile when taking photos. Fear and anxiety kept her from going to the dentist every six months as recommended. Instead, she would only go when the pain was too much for her to tolerate.
Many people think of orthodontic treatment when they have concerns about crowded or misplaced teeth. While metal braces are often considered a rite of passage for teenagers, there are a number of issues orthodontic treatment can help address for individuals without age limits. These issues include not only teeth and occlusion (the position of the teeth when the jaws are closed) but also facial balance and aesthetics.
Many people may be aware of adults who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder of breathing during sleep, but few realize children can also suffer from this condition. During an apnea event, a child may only be able to take a small amount of air – or none at all – into his or her lungs. A child with OSA can breathe normally during some portions of the night, but during an obstructive episode, the ribcage moves, trying to fill the lungs with air, but the airway is obstructed in....
Although the concept of digital dentistry began decades ago, advancements aided by the computerization of many tasks continue to be introduced to the marketplace and dental practices. These changes allow dental care providers to offer new options in patient care, helping to increase both the accuracy and effectiveness of care solutions, which ultimately supports greater patient satisfaction. If you’ve been putting visiting the dentist off, you may want to take a moment to see if....
It only takes something as quick as one soccer ball or basketball hitting a face to affect a smile forever. All sporting activities have an associated risk of dental trauma due to falls, collisions and contact with hard surfaces or sports-
There is no shortage of things to think about when you’re pregnant, from prepping for baby’s arrival to squeezing in enough rest. Unfortunately, some areas such as oral health are overlooked during pregnancy. Hormonal changes as well as behavioral changes occur for many women during pregnancy, both of which can directly affect the mouth. As the baby’s wellbeing can be impacted by the oral health of the expectant mother, special attention should be placed on oral health and any....
When Lexington resident Hannah Andrews started suffering from pain in her jaw that migrated toward her ear, she visited an urgent care clinic to confirm whether she had an ear infection. Ear infections may require an antibiotic for treatment. But when she was checked, Hannah was told her ears looked fine. Instead, clinic personnel thought the real culprit could be linked to an issue with her temporomandibular joint – a small joint located on each side of the jaw responsible for....
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seven times more likely to deliver prematurely (before 37 weeks) and give birth to underweight babies when compared to moms with healthy gums.
These are another common condition during pregnancy. They are an overgrowth of tissue that occurs most often between the teeth, generally during the second trimester. These bumps are not cancerous and usually go away on their own after the baby is born. They appear red and almost raspberry-
Morning sickness can wreak havoc on an expectant mother’s oral health. Stomach acid that makes its way into the oral cavity can weaken and damage
tooth enamel, the outer protective covering of the teeth. After an episode of vomiting, it is best to rinse the mouth with water or mouth rinse. Wait 20 to 30 minutes before brushing because that may spread acid around the mouth rather than removing it.
Expectant mothers should know frequent snacking on foods high in carbohydrates and sugar leads to a better environment in their mouth for the creation of bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria produces acid that weakens enamel and increases the risk of tooth decay. Vegetables, lean proteins and low-
Brushing for Two
In addition to an association between periodontal disease and premature birth or low birthweight, an expectant mother whose oral health and hygiene are lacking can pass destructive bacteria to her newborn, increasing the baby’s risk for developing a cavity very early in life. A baby’s teeth can start to decay as soon as they appear. Besides helping the baby avoid the potential pain associated with treating a cavity, protecting these teeth is essential for eating, speaking and much more.
It is important for women to maintain good oral health before becoming pregnant and to continue visiting their dentist during their pregnancy. Having regular dental checkups will help prevent oral problems and allow early detection of the issues that do occur while they are easy to treat. In addition to visiting a dentist regularly and alerting them to any changes in oral health, oral hygiene practices such as brushing at least twice daily and after each meal when possible, using a fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association and flossing at least once per day are also beneficial. Following these tips will give both mom and baby a reason to smile.
Dr. Stacie Maggard is an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Her clinical interests include general, implant and cosmetic dentistry for all ages. More information about UK Dentistry is available at www.ukhealthcare.uky.edu/dentistry.
There is no shortage of things to think about when you’re pregnant, from prepping for baby’s arrival to squeezing in enough rest. Unfortunately, some areas such as oral health are overlooked during pregnancy. Hormonal changes as well as behavioral changes occur for many women during pregnancy, both of which can directly affect the mouth. As the baby’s wellbeing can be impacted by the oral health of the expectant mother, special attention should be placed on oral health and any concerns should be addressed early on by a dentist.
Inflammation of the gums during pregnancy, also known as pregnancy gingivitis, is caused by hormonal changes that increase blood flow to the gingiva or gums, causing them to be tender and swollen. They may even bleed during brushing or flossing. This is the most common oral health problem facing expectant mothers; up to 40 percent of women are affected with pregnancy gingivitis. It is important to recognize the symptoms and visit the dentist before it progresses. Oral bacteria present in an expectant mother’s mouth has the ability to affect both child and mother. Left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis can lead to a more serious condition called periodontal disease or gum disease. With periodontal disease, an expectant mother may experience bone loss in the jawbone, which could lead to teeth loosening or even tooth loss. Additionally, periodontal disease is associated with premature birth or low birthweight. A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found women with chronic gum disease were four to