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Avoid Back-to-School Tooth Pain in Children

Group of KidsIt’s back to school for most children in America, but tooth pain can be a real distraction from important studies. Certain dental aches and pains are inevitable, harmless, and pass quickly for kids. Babies and toddlers naturally experience some discomfort as their teeth form in their gums and break through the surface. As children get older and lose primary pearly whites, their permanent teeth emerge and may cause a slight ache here and there. All of this is a normal part of growth and development. However, if your child complains of sharp pain or prolonged aches in their mouth, you’ll definitely want to give West Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, a call.

Toothache Causes for Children

Wearing Braces: If your child wears braces or any orthodontic appliances, they may experience discomfort, especially following a visit to the have their braces altered during treatment. Tightening of the wires or a placement of new rubber bands are usually the main causes of aches. If the pain subsides in a few days, then you know it’s normal. However, if the pain continues or becomes worse, contact your dentist or orthodontist to check for other underlying concerns.

Bad Habits: Your child may have a physical habit causing their tooth pain. Does your daughter crunch ice or chew on a hard toy regularly? Help her to break the habit with reminders and a reward system. Does your son grind his teeth at night or clench her jaw? Experts report that two out of every three kids grind or clench their teeth at night. Dental professionals call this condition bruxism. Observe your children while they are sleeping. If you hear grinding and your child is complaining of tooth pain while chewing, make an appointment with Dr. Johnson so she can check for wear on your child’s teeth. Treatment can be as simple as a nightguard to halt the grinding.

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Learn about Tooth Damage from Tobacco

Cigarette PunchMost people don’t respond well to lectures, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know smoking is bad for their health, and definitely bad for their teeth. Knowledge is power, however, and sometimes the best way to open up your mind is to simply educate yourself.  West Des Moines dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, explains how smoking is detrimental to your teeth in far more ways than staining and yellowing.

How Does Smoking Contribute to Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease (gum disease) stems from bacterial growth in your mouth. The bacteria found in plaque start to build up, and cause gum inflammation. At this stage, you have gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, which can be easily treated. If ignored, however, full blown periodontal disease will develop. The inner area between the gums and bone will form pockets that can collect debris, causing severe infection. Smoking makes people more susceptible to periodontal disease by interfering with gum tissue cells. Additionally, blood flow impairment can be a side effect that will make healing from all types of infections more difficult.

Are Smokeless Tobacco Products Better for Teeth?

You may think that it is solely smoke exposure that causes damage to the teeth and gums in smokers. In fact, chewing tobacco can cause gum recession. When the gums recede, tooth roots become exposed, providing a gateway for tooth decay and tooth loss. Sand and grit are ingredients in most smokeless tobaccos that can wear down

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Are you in on the Coconut Oil Trend?

oil of coconutOil pulling is a big health trend which is believed to have dental health advantages in addition to overall health benefits. When it comes to fighting tooth decay, any natural remedies you add to your regimen certainly can’t hurt, as long as you continue to brush your teeth twice a day with a toothpaste infused with fluoride, floss daily, and visit your dentist every six month. West Des Moines dentistDr. Jessica Johnson, will explain more on how scientists are researching coconut oil for potential to offer you a leg-up in your oral health efforts.

Why do we Get Cavities?

Before you can fight tooth decay, it’s important to understand how they form. Every time you consume foods or beverages, certain bacteria in your mouth ( Streptococcus mutans) consume the sugar and carbs in your meal and convert them into lactic acid. Although tooth enamel (which coats and protects your teeth from bacteria and infection) is the strongest substance your body produces, enamel is also highly mineralized and subject to acid erosion. The more frequently you eat and drink foods with sucrose, the more often your teeth are exposed to bacteria-produced acid. This saps your teeth of essential minerals as it softens and damages your enamel. If left unchecked, your enamel will fail and your teeth may develop cavities soon after.

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Looking for Help for Halitosis?

Bad breath DateWhat summer fun do you still have ahead of you? Will there be frolicking on the beach? Picnicking in the woods? Candlelight dinners outdoors? If you plan on snuggling up with a significant other while you enjoy all of the great things warmer weather has to offer, you may want to be sure that your breath is check. Nothing can kill the moment during the perfect goodnight kiss quite like a whiff of stale halitosis.

Beware of What you Eat

Bad breath most often begins with what we eat. You may think that it’s just the odor that food leaves behind in your mouth. Yes, that can be the problem with pungent consumables such as onions and garlic. However, once swallowed and digested, foods are absorbed into your bloodstream. Blood flows to your lungs. When you breathe out, those same food molecules that were going in not that long ago, now come out in the form of a smell. The more odorous a food is, the more likely it will cause bad breath 

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The Special Dental Needs of Women

Women All AgesHormonal fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause affect your oral health. Progesterone and estrogen hormone levels rise during puberty and increase the blood circulation to your gums. As a result, some women experience menstruation gingivitis, pregnancy gingivitis, and menopausal gingivostomatitis—all of which contribute to sensitive, swollen, tender, red, or bleeding gums. Studies show that women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to have a premature or low-birth weight baby.

Enamel Erosion

Women often experience morning sickness or Gastroesphageal reflux disease during pregancy. Studies show that women are also more likely than men to experience eating disorders, such as bulimia. These conditions bring your

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MapValley Ridge Family Dental
6150 Village View Drive, #109,
West Des Moines, IA, 50266
Phone: 515.223.9764
After-hours emergency: 515.423.0445
Fax: 515.327.6230

Office Hours

Monday: 8 am-5 pm
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: 8 am-5 pm
Thursday: 7:30 am- 1:30 pm
Friday: 7:30 am-4:30 pm