Dry mouth, tooth decay and dexterity issues in Baby Boomers!

March 8, 2017

As Baby Boomers continue to age, Dr. Fred Schroeder and Dr. Thad Schroeder observe and diagnose many common oral health concerns within that unique population. As a service to our patients, we love to review common concerns and simple treatments that may be of use for the Baby Boomers.

Baby Boomers

  • Dry Mouth

Xerostomia (dry mouth) is an extremely common oral concern for those on a myriad of medications, have a history of systemic disorders, or are chronically dehydrated. Although salivary substitutes like Biotene may be of some help, we find a few lifestyle changes can help resolve many complaints. These lifestyle changes include taking regular sips of fluoridated water, chewing sugar-free gum and avoiding alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and sugar consumption. Diuretics like caffeine and alcohol drastically reduce the bodies water volume which has a direct impact on saliva production!

  • Tooth decay

Cavities are 3x more likely to be diagnosed in those with chronic dry mouth. Furthermore, Saliva contains important minerals, enzymes, and buffers to fight decay-causing bacteria. Most importantly, maintaining excellent oral hygiene and following the lifestyle changes above must be followed to avoid future decay.

baby boomer toothbrush

  • Manual dexterity/Oral Hygiene

It can be difficult to watch friends and family lose manual dexterity or tremor with age. This does not necessarily mean their  oral health must wane as a consequence. Many of our patients find Waterpik’s to be extremely useful in lieu of flossing. Also, we suggest placing a tennis ball around the handle of your toothbrush if brushing becomes difficult as it does for many Baby Boomers. Find a picture above of the suggested augmentation.

 

As always, if you have questions or are in need of a cleaning, feel free to give us a call at (859) 276-5496! We love helping the Baby Boomers thru this most important time in their lives.

Do I have bad breath?

March 6, 2017
gingivitis

Welcome back to the Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Blog! We love answering common questions as well as elucidating dental quandaries. We are commonly asked about the sources and treatments for bad breath. Although bad breath may sometimes be temporary, bad breath or halitosis may indicate more serious underlying issues.

We all want to make a good first impression and bad breath is not always the right foot forward. We have plenty of patients that are curious why they are stricken with a case of halitosis (bad breath). A multitude of reasons could exist but we’ll highlight in the list below some common etiologies.

  1. Dental Decay– Dental decay or “cavities” that contain active infection allow bacteria to produce gasses that are very potent. If dental decay is rampant, discoloration of the teeth may also be present as well as sensitivity and pain. It is important at this point to seek dental care as soon as possible. tooth decay
  2. Gingivitis or Periodontitis- Infections/inflammation of the gum or bone indicate poor oral health and potentially poor systemic health. Infections that are odoriferous arising from the gums or bone need evaluation by a dentist immediately.                                                                                                                                                                                              gingivitis
  3. Xerostomia (dry mouth)- One of the most common sources for halitosis is dehydration and/or poor saliva quantity or quality. When saliva isn’t flushing debris away from the oral cavity, bacteria in the throat and mouth take advantage of the acidic environment.
  4. Systemic Disorders- Acetone smell is associated with severe diabetes and a mousy smell is associated with liver failure! Of course, avoid jumping to conclusions but it is definitely a good idea to seek medical attention if you can smell these odors on the breath of a loved one.

As always, we encourage our patients to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day, maintain a healthy vegetable-based diet and brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes after flossing! Have any questions? Give us a call at 859-276-5496 to learn more about avoiding bad breath!

To floss or not to floss? Is that really a question?

February 22, 2017
dental floss

Welcome back to the Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry blog! It is truly a blessing to have so many patients interested in their oral hygiene recently after a New York Times article proclaimed that flossing may be of little or no use when attempting to prevent gum disease. As clinicians, we see the difference in patients that do floss or clean their teeth interproximally (between the teeth) with another device. We ALWAYS recommend flossing become a part of your daily routine!

dental floss

Although the traditional “C-Shaped” flossing method has proven beneficial in reducing interproximal plaque, we’ve also found the Waterpik water flosser to be exceptional at reducing plaque around lingual ortho wires, orthodontic brackets (braces), bridges (fixed partial dentures) and implant restorations. The Cocofloss video shows great execution of the “C-Shaped” flossing method we recommend:

 

Wondering what a Waterpik is and how it works? The Waterpik is another part of your home care regimen that can make it much easier to clean in tough to reach places. We do not suggest completely eliminating string floss from your nightly regimen but there have been research from Tufts University showing similar, and in some respects better, efficacy for cleansing the teeth.

 

 

The Waterpik comes with several tips to reach difficult areas as well as multiple pressure settings. We suggest beginning at the lowest setting for two weeks and slowly increasing to about halfway thru the power settings. Be sure to place the tip in your mouth before turning on and placing your head over the sink! This will allow your gums to adapt to the new physical insult while improving your oral hygiene. The Waterpik can be most handy around implants, bridges, and orthodontic brackets.

Have questions about using a Waterpik? Feel free to make an appointment and discuss a potentially new weapon in your oral hygiene arsenal with Dr. Fred or Dr. Thad today! Have a great week Lexington!

 

Need an Emergency Dentist Near You?

February 10, 2017
dental emergency

Welcome to our new and improved Schroeder Cosmetic and Family Dentistry Blog! We’ve got plenty of topics to discuss to help you become a better steward of your oral health!

What do I do when a dental emergency happens? What is a true dental emergency? What will be done when I come to the office looking for an emergency dentist? These are questions we intend to answer below!

dental emergency

Dental emergencies include but are not limited to:

  • Pain in the teeth (throbbing, sharp, etc.)
  • Lost or chipped teeth from trauma during sports or more serious events like motor vehicle accidents.
  • Injured gums or soft tissue that is bleeding excessively, causing discomfort or is growing abnormally.
  • Broken dental caps, crowns, fillings and other work can cause discomfort and even lacerations to the tongue if not smoothed. These situations can be handled easily with one of our doctors.

Immediately:

  • If a tooth is lost or avulsed, pick it up by the crown (white enamel) and place in a cup of milk or even saliva from the person whom lost the tooth and call us immediately.
  • If the tooth is lost but a more severe injury has occurred, call 9-1-1 emergency services and save the tooth for post-emergency care.

Diagnosis

Typically, it is necessary for us to take an x-ray image(radiograph) and evaluate your symptoms when you’re in desperate need of care. Symptoms associated with teeth like prolonged sensitivity to hot/cold and keeping you awake at night indicate a more serious condition with the tooth that is most likely irreversible. Symptoms such as slight sensitivity to temperature changes or biting pressure usually indicate a more reversible problem.

Emergency dentist Lexington, Ky

Treatment

So what do we need to do when your tooth is irreversibly damaged and waking you up at night? Without going into great detail, the two options are simply to have a root canal performed to save the tooth or have the tooth extracted. Since we are dentists, we love saving teeth but if a tooth needs to be removed due to extensive decay, we have plenty of replacement options if you would like to fill that space. If a reversible problem is present, a simple replacement filling or even a bite adjustment may completely rid you of any sensitivity. Also, I can ensure you that our office will go to great lengths to keep you comfortable no matter the treatment of choice. We offer exceptional sedation options and are known for “catering to cowards.”

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