Mouth Matters

Sept 2013

The Manitoba Home Builders' Association is celebrating 75 years.

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Most of us realize that diet and exercise play an important part in keeping us healthy. But did you know that a healthy mouth is also an important part of a healthy body? Poor oral health reduces quality of life. Oral pain, missing teeth or oral infections can influence the way we speak, eat and socialize. These health probles affect our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Oral disease, like any other disease, needs to be treated. A chronic infection, including one in the mouth, is a serious problem that should not be ignored. Yet bleeding or tender gums are often overlooked. Research has shown there is an association between oral disease and other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, as well as pre-term and low birth- weight babies. Although researchers are just beginning to understand this relationship, evidence shows that oral disease can aggravate other health problems and that keeping a healthy mouth is an important part of leading a healthy life. As part of a healthy lifestyle and to help reduce the risk of oral disease, follow these five steps to good oral health. See your dentist regularly Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are the best way to prevent problems or to stop small problems from getting worse. Your dentist will look for signs of oral disease. Oral diseases often go unnoticed and may lead to or be a sign of serious health problems in other parts of the body. Only your dentist has the training, skill and expertise to diagnose and treat oral health diseases and to meet all your oral health care needs. Keep your mouth clean Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and bacteria that cause cavities and periodontal disease (gum disease). Floss every day. If you don't floss, you are missing more than a third of your tooth surface. Your dentist may also recommend that you use a fluoride or antimicrobial mouth rinse to help prevent cavities or gum disease. When choosing oral care products, look for the Canadian Dental Association (CDA) Seal of Recognition. Oral care products that have earned the Seal of Recognition have been reviewed by the CDA and will effectively contribute to your oral health. Eat, drink, but be wary Healthy food is good for your general health and your oral health. The nutrients that come from healthy foods help you to fight cavities and gum disease. Limit how much and how often you consume foods and beverages that contain sugar. Sugar is one of the main causes of dental problems. Limit your consumption of foods and beverages that are high in acid. The acid may play a part in causing dental erosion. Check your mouth regularly Look for warning signs of periodontal disease (gum disease) such as red, shiny, puffy, sore or sensitive gums; bleeding when you brush or floss; or bad breath that won't go away. Gum disease is one of the main reasons why adults lose their teeth. Look for warning signs of oral cancer. Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults. The warning signs include: • bleeding that you can't explain • open sores that don't heal within 7 to 10 days • white or red patches • numbness or tingling • small lumps and thickening on the sides or bottom of your tongue, the floor or roof of your mouth, the inside of your cheeks or on your gums Look for warning signs of tooth decay. The possible warning signs include teeth that are sensitive to hot, cold, sweetness or pressure. Report any of these warning signs to your dentist. Avoid all tobacco products Stained and missing teeth, infected gums and bad breath are just some of the ways smoking can affect your oral health. Besides ruining your smile, smoking can cause oral cancer, heart disease and a variety of other cancers, all of which can kill you. All forms of tobacco are dangerous to your oral health and your overall health, not just cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco such as chewing tobacco, snuff and snus can cause mouth, tongue and lip cancer and can be more addictive than cigarettes. If you use tobacco products, ask your dentist and your family doctor for advice on how to quit. If you take care of your teeth and gums at home and visit your dentist regularly, your smile should last you a lifetime. You and your dentist are partners in keeping your oral health good for life. 0 2 | Mouth Matters Oral HealtH - Good for life YourBeautifulNewSmileStartswithourTeam! Dr.TimDumore&TeamOrthodonticshasraisedthebarforpatient careandcomfort.Wetreatpatientsofallages,offeringthevery latesttechnology.Westrivetomakeyourtreatment,andeach appointmentwithus-enjoyable. Yoursmilesaysalotaboutyou.Ifyoursisn'tsendingtherightmessage, therehasneverbeenabettertimeforbracesorInvisalign. 2541PortageAvenue,WinnipegManitoba. (204)832-3910 MedicatiOns can iMpact dental HealtH and care BY PAT ST. GERMAIN - For The Free Press Before you open wide, open up and talk to your dentist about your overall health. It's important to update your medical history during every visit, and tell your dentist about any medications you're taking. Common over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, herbal supplements and prescription medication can all have implications for your dental care, says Dr. Monique Raineault. "Everything is interconnected, so something you're taking for an entirely different problem can still have a direct effect on your dental treatment and your dental health," Raineault says. "It's surprising how much of an effect so many medications can have on the mouth." You may not be aware of potential side effects or drug interactions, but your dentist knows what implications medications of all types can have on your dental health and dental care. He or she may want to modify your treatment plan, use an alternate anesthetic or prescribe medication based on what's already in your medicine cabinet. So make sure your list of medications is complete. "I think the main one that people might not think about are the many people who take an aspirin a day, and that can have an impact on your dental treatment," Raineault says. "It can increase bleeding. That's a really important one that gets overlooked a lot." Patients who take a daily low-dose aspirin or stronger anticoagulant drugs may experience more bleeding during tooth extractions, minor surgical procedures and even routine cleaning. "Often, if we know ahead of time, we may just recommend that you stop taking it for a few days ahead of your procedure. Sometimes we'll contact the patient's physician for their advice on what to do." Raineault says. Herbal supplements, antidepressants and even over-the- counter antihistamines some patients use to combat hay fever in the spring and fall can all have an impact on dental health. "One of the most common side effects from medications is a dry mouth, a decreased saliva flow, which can increase your risk of tooth decay," Raineault says. "Probably the most common medications that cause a dry mouth would be antihistamines, which are really commonly taken at this time of year, and antidepressants." Your dentist may recommend a fluoride rinse to decrease your chances of getting tooth decay, recommend the best home care, and design the most appropriate schedule for your dental examinations and professional cleaning to keep on top of any potential problems before they start. Some medications used to treat high blood pressure or depression can interact with the epinephrine in anesthetics, so it's important that your dentist know if he or she should opt for an anesthetic that contains lower amounts of epinephrine, or even no epinephrine, to avoid any complications. Some antibiotics and steroids can increase your risk of getting a fungal infection in your mouth; anti-seizure and immunosuppressive drugs can cause excessive growth of the gum tissue. "So again, these are all things that it's very helpful for us to know ahead of time," Raineault says. And, of course, your dentist needs to know your complete medical history before prescribing any new medication, such as painkillers or antibiotics to treat infections. "We do prescribe a lot of antibiotics for dental infections, so again, it's important for us to know if you have any allergies or if you have taken any other antibiotics recently," Raineault says.

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