Pregnancy and its related hormonal changes exaggerate the effects from plaque irritants. And as you know, the acids in plaque can lead to tooth decay, gum tissue inflammation and, if neglected, eventual tooth loss.
A healthy diet, daily tooth brushing and flossing, and a continued-even increased-schedule of regular dental hygiene visits are especially important for pregnant women. Please advise us if you are expecting, before your dental appointment commences.
Once baby arrives, you will need advice on dental care for his or her gums and primary teeth.
Believe it or not, research reveals that cavities are contagious, especially for babies and younger children! Children can develop tooth decay from being exposed to certain bacteria passed on from their parents. The transmission can come from sharing utensils, or any other activity that might transmit even a minute particle of saliva transferred from one mouth to another.
By keeping their own teeth clean, healthy and free of decay, parents can help reduce their children's exposure to decay-causing bacteria, and therefore reduce the chances of cavities in their children's early years.
AT THE OTHER END OF THE DENTAL SPECTRUM ARE SENIORS, AND THEIR SPECIFIC DENTAL NEEDS:
Seniors are living longer than ever and, happily, preserving their natural teeth longer than previous generations. The inevitable inconvenience of tooth loss in senior years is fading, as seniors today are recognizing that vigilant oral hygiene combats age-related tooth loss.
The understanding that tooth loss is due to oral disease, rather than the result of how many years the teeth have been in service, is an enlightening moment for many.
In addition to regular dental cleanings and checkups, open communication is also part of the long-term oral health formula for seniors. Many people require more medications as they age. The downside to some medications is their side effects on dental health.
It's important that patients keep the dentist informed on their health conditions, and any medications they are on. For example, many medications cause a decrease in the saliva flow, which can lead to a dry mouth, subsequent dental decay -often showing up in the roots of teeth where the gums have receded to expose them -and possible tooth loss. It is imperative that dentists keep patients' medical records updated -not only can this help explain some of the dental problems a patient may experience, it can also prevent potentially harmful drug interactions within the dental office.
There are different dental considerations, at every stage of life. Only with consistent daily dental care, and regularly scheduled continuing care dental appointments, can we improve our chances of healthy smiles right into our twilight years.