Posts for: March, 2018
Aspirin has been a popular pain reliever and fever reducer for over a century. Its effect on the clotting mechanism of blood, however, has led to its widespread and often daily use in low dose form (81 mg) to help reduce the chances of heart attack or stroke in cardiovascular patients. While this has proven effective for many at risk for these conditions, it can complicate dental work.
Aspirin relieves pain by blocking the formation of prostaglandins; these chemicals stimulate inflammation, the body’s protective response to trauma or disease. Aspirin reduces this inflammatory response, which in turn eases the pain and reduces fever. It also causes blood platelets to stop them from clumping together. This inhibits clotting, which for healthy individuals could result in abnormal bleeding but is beneficial to those at risk for heart attack or stroke by keeping blood moving freely through narrowed or damaged blood vessels.
Even for individuals who benefit from regular aspirin therapy there are still risks for unwanted bleeding. Besides the danger it may pose during serious trauma or bleeding in the brain that could lead to a stroke, it can also complicate invasive medical procedures, including many in dentistry. For example, aspirin therapy could increase the rate and degree of bleeding during tooth extraction, root canal or other procedures that break the surface of soft tissue.
Bleeding gums after brushing is most often a sign of periodontal (gum) disease. But if you’re on an aspirin regimen, gum bleeding could be a side effect. A thorough dental examination will be necessary to determine whether your medication or gum disease is the root cause.
It’s important, then, to let us know if you’re regularly taking aspirin, including how often and at what dosage. This will help us make more accurate diagnoses of conditions in your mouth, and will enable us to take extra precautions for bleeding during any dental procedures you may undergo.
If you would like more information on the effects of aspirin and similar medications on dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Aspirin: Friend or Foe?”
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.
Are you wondering whether your smile could benefit from getting braces?
Are you dealing with crooked, crowded teeth? Do you have gaps between your teeth? If you said yes then perhaps you are considering the pros and cons of getting orthodontic treatment to fix your smile. Our Mount Pleasant, SC, family dentist, Dr. Cynthia Garner, is here to tell you about the benefits of getting orthodontics.
The first and most obvious benefit is that braces will improve the look of your smile. You’ll no longer deal with crooked teeth, teeth that overlap or crowd each other, or little gaps between teeth. And with a straighter and more beautiful smile comes the obvious boost to your self-esteem. Imagine feeling so confident in your appearance that you can’t help but smile all the time? Now isn’t that a great feeling?
Of course, you may not realize the other benefits that braces can offer. Smiles that are misaligned, twisted, crowded or have gaps between them are often more prone to decay, gum disease and injury. Why? For many reasons, actually.
For example, say you have two front teeth that overlap one another. Now imagine how difficult it is to try and brush all surfaces of those teeth and keep them clean when they are crowding each other. You won’t be able to get into those tight spaces to thoroughly remove plaque, which over time can lead to cavities. Having a crooked or misaligned smile can actually put you at a higher risk for cavities or gum disease.
Plus, misaligned smiles also do not distribute pressure evenly throughout your teeth. This means that whenever you are chewing, biting down or speaking, certain teeth are taking on more jaw forces than others. Over time, this uneven pressure can wear away at certain teeth, making them prone to cracks, chips and even fractures; however, getting a perfectly aligned smile through braces will reduce this risk.
What are the different types of braces?
Tried-and-true metal braces, which can be very effective for complex or complicated tooth movements.
However, we know that some patients hate the idea of having to wear metal braces for a year or more. There are other subtler options such as tooth-colored brackets and wires.
If you are ready to improve your smile turn to Dr. Cynthia Garner at Garner Family Dentistry in Mount Pleasant, SC, to give you the smile you want. We would be happy to sit down and talk to you about your treatment options.