If it seems like no part of your body remains unaffected by pregnancy, you’re right. From the earliest days of conception, your body’s hormones undergo significant changes. You’re probably familiar with several of these changes already, such as a heightened sense of smell, nausea, and fatigue. What many women don’t realize is that pregnancy hormones affect their oral health as well. The most significant change to oral health for pregnant women is the condition of their gums.
Pregnancy and the Increased Risk of Gum Disease
According to the American Dental Association, approximately half of all pregnant women develop gingivitis before they give birth. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. It normally goes away after delivery, but not always. Some women who develop gingivitis during pregnancy go on to develop more advanced gum disease. This can happen when they don’t make a special effort to brush and floss their teeth twice a day and continue receiving regular professional check-ups.
The production of estrogen and progesterone, two essential hormones in the female body, significantly increases during pregnancy. This causes more blood flow to the gums, which in turn causes greater sensitivity and an overreaction to bacteria and plaque already present in the mouth. The higher than usual amount of estrogen and progesterone cause inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums. Eventually, this can lead to the loss of bone and teeth. It’s no reason to become alarmed, but we encourage you to pay close attention to your oral health during pregnancy and to report any concerns as soon as possible.
How Morning Sickness Can Affect the Health of Your Teeth
Nausea and vomiting are a fact of life for many pregnant women and either symptom can strike you at any time of day. The stomach acid present in vomit can damage your teeth, particularly if you’re unfortunate enough to struggle with persistent vomiting during pregnancy. You can help to prevent acid erosion of your teeth by rinsing your mouth out with water, a diluted mouthwash, or a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda and one cup of water. For the most effective results, swish and spit first and then brush your teeth approximately half an hour later.
What to Do When Brushing Your Teeth Makes Your Gag
It may feel disheartening to read that pregnancy can increase oral health issues when the very thought of brushing your teeth makes you feel nauseated. You will need to try different approaches to see what works best for you. Perhaps using a different flavor of toothpaste will decrease gagging sensations. You could also try brushing at times of day when you tend to feel less nauseated or using a toothbrush with a smaller sized head. Stay persistent until you find something that works for you to decrease the likelihood of developing gum disease or tooth decay during your pregnancy.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
You already know that a healthy diet that includes ample amounts of fruits, vegetables, and protein and few sweets is essential for the proper development of your growing baby. However, it’s just as important for your own oral health. Although it can be challenging to resist sweets when your body is sending you strange food cravings, do your best not to give in to them. If you find that you must have something sweet, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible afterwards to prevent the sugar from turning into bacteria in your mouth.
Dental Check-Ups and Treatment Are Safe During Pregnancy
If you normally visit the dentist every six months, you would be due for at least one check-up before you give birth. It’s important to keep this appointment so your teeth and gums can remain as healthy as possible for the duration of your pregnancy. The American Dental Association also states that pregnant women don’t need to delay necessary dental procedures such as crowns and fillings because these restorations can help to prevent gum disease and infections that can cause additional problems later. However, it’s probably best to wait to schedule any cosmetic procedures until after you have the baby.
Request Your Free Consultation Today
Dr. Marina Funtik of Oasis Prosthodontics is happy to provide guidance and treatment to maximize your oral health during pregnancy. You may complete a contact form or call her office at 719-574-2417 to request an appointment. Our entire staff looks forward to meeting you and providing you with exceptional care during your pregnancy and beyond.
Dealing with lost or damaged teeth can be stressful. You not only need to consider the discomfort of your situation but also the replacement cost, convenience, and the long-term effects of your choice on your health and self-confidence.
When you have a lost a tooth or, worse, have more than one lost or damaged, it's essential that you replace them as soon as possible. In most cases, your restoration options will include either dentures or implants. Here is some information to help you make this important choice.
What are Dentures?
Dentures are removable appliances that will replace your missing teeth as well as some of the gum tissue. Full or complete dentures replace all of your teeth in the upper and lower jaw while partial dentures will fill in gaps where some natural teeth remain.
Complete dentures rest on your gums, and a partial denture is supported around existing teeth by clasps or with attachments that are fitted into crowns. Dentures have an acrylic base that is colored to match your gums, and some will also have additional framework for support.
Pros and Cons of Dentures
For many years, dentures were the only option to deal with tooth loss. The most significant benefit of dentures is that they are the lowest cost solution to dealing with this widespread issue. Unfortunately, there are simply too many disadvantages to choosing dentures to ignore. These include:
- Dentures feel unnatural and bulky in your mouth.
- Dentures might feel unstable and require gooey adhesive to hold them in place.
- Dentures must be removed for cleaning and to sleep.
- Dentures only provide up to 40% of normal chewing function.
- Dentures can become dislodged while eating or while speaking.
- Dentures can impact the way that food tastes.
- Dentures may need to be relined or replaced in the future.
- Dentures can lead to changes in facial structure due to bone loss.
What are Dental Implants?
Most people don't like the idea of having to wear dentures for the rest of their life. Fortunately, there are other options. More people today are choosing dental implants over dentures because of their advantages. These include better dental health, improved comfort, and more natural function.
So, what are dental implants? Dental implants are titanium posts that are implanted into the jaw bone, which replicates the root of a natural tooth. The post bonds to the jawbone and acts as an anchor for the replacement tooth.
Implants are permanent, so they don't move around in your mouth and won't have to come out for cleaning. Implants function and feel like natural teeth, giving you as much as 100% of your normal chewing function.
While dentures are more affordable than implants considering upfront costs, it helps to look at the big picture. Once you add in buying the lifetime supply cleaning solutions, fixatives, and denture replacements, those costs go up significantly. When you choose dental implants, you don't have to purchase the fixatives or cleaning solutions that you would need with dentures. Also, removable dentures need replacing on average every 15 years, and dental implants can last a lifetime.
Preventing Bone Loss in the Jaw
Before making a choice between dentures and implants, it's critical that patients understand the biggest implication of choosing one over the other. Dentures have a tendency to shrink the jawbone over time, which can impact the integrity of the facial structure. This means that your face will begin to look sunken in, which can make you look older than your true age. Also, these changes to the jawbone will necessitate replacement dentures at some point.
Superior Function, Fit, and Freedom
Your smile and the other functions of your mouth are essential to living a full life. Not only can removable dentures shift and impact your speech, but their look and discomfort can also cause issues with self-esteem. If your dentures don't fit properly, you may get irritated gums or develop other health issues. Keeping up with cleaning and maintenance schedules for dentures can also be both expensive and time-consuming.
On the other hand, dental implants feel and function just like your natural teeth. You can speak naturally, eat the foods you enjoy, and feel confident in your smile. You will care for and clean your implants just as you would real teeth, which gives you more time and freedom to appreciate all that life has to offer.
Visit Dr. Funtik in Colorado Springs to schedule an appointment today!
Top Five Reasons Why You Should Get Your Teeth Whitened
There are many reasons to smile: you feel better, people around you react more favorably towards you, and you tend to get things done more easily when you do. So if you try to hide your teeth when you do smile, there are things you can do to help you smile more often. Collectively these things are referred to as a smile makeover. It consists of many different procedures and below we highlight a few of the most common ways to make your smile look just the way you want it to.
Dental veneers are the outer layer of porcelain that is placed on the surface of your teeth to replace eroded enamel. They help brighten and align your teeth, but they also help protect them and make them more durable. In this way they are just as much a benefit to your appearance as they are to your health.
Teeth whitening is a non-invasive bleaching procedure that helps you stand out in the crowd, and makes your teeth look whiter and healthier. Having white teeth is something that men and women value equally, both in themselves as well as in each other.
Dental implants are another product that can be categorized as cosmetic or prosthetic. This is because they can help those who are in need of tooth replacement as a result of bone loss, as well as those who have lost their teeth due to reasons other than decay. For example, victims of accidents may suffer from tooth loss.
Chipped tooth bonding is one of the easiest and inexpensive ways to repair chipped teeth. Dr. Marina Funtik uses a tooth-colored material composite resin that bonds with the rest of the tooth, giving you a brand new smile.
Now as for the cost, depending on which procedures you are interested in you could be looking at something in the neighborhood of $800 and up, but the good news is that many of these procedures are covered by insurance.
So schedule a time to sit with Dr. Marina Funtik and find out what she can do to help you today!
Gum contouring is often the solution for people who have certain problems with their smiles: either too much or not enough gums show up when they flash their pearly whites. This solution can be cosmetic in nature, as in a smile makeover, or it can be part of a necessary medical procedure, like in the case of periodontal disease. In either case, in this blog post we aim to clear up what this surgery is for, and what you can expect if you partake in it.
Gummy smiles: this is a common problem for many people. It is a case of having too much tissue covering your teeth, making it seem like the teeth sit too low. It certainly doesn’t make you a bad person, but it might make you a bit uncomfortable smiling in public, or around people you don’t know. In this case, you can have a cosmetic procedure that removes the excess tissue from the teeth, affording a well balanced smile, showing just enough tissue, but not so much that it becomes a distraction when speaking to people.
On the other end of the spectrum there are people who have receding gums. This condition, like the one mentioned above, can also make a person uncomfortable smiling in public, however, it is not always simply a matter of cosmetics. That's because receding gums can be the result of periodontal disease, which is a medical concern, and can lead to serious problems such as tooth decay and even tooth loss. In these cases it is necessary to add tissue to cover the exposed areas, which takes a similar surgical procedure.
In both cases you want the procedure to be performed by an advanced and skilled Prosthodontist, as they are more equipped than the average dentist to deal with significant dental problems. Dr. Marina Funtik is a trusted Prosthodontist in Colorado Springs. If you feel you need gum contouring surgery, call us, or email the office today to schedule an appointment. Our friendly staff will be happy to take you in!
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