Quiet Corner Dental Blog
September 4, 2018
Did you know that it’s National Gum Care Month? Although dental hygiene and healthy gum care should be practiced year-round, September is a good reminder that we should all be taking care of our gums just like our teeth and other parts of the body. Keep reading to learn some tips on how to keep your gums healthy, why preventing gum disease is important, and what your dentist in Putnam can do to help!
August 11, 2018
If you have white spots on your teeth, you probably know how a seemingly small cosmetic flaw can become the entire focal point of your smile. No matter how the rest of your smile looks, you probably zoom right in on the white spots every time you look in the mirror. It doesn’t help that they’re stubborn and can’t be polished away like other types of discoloration. But that doesn’t mean a cosmetic dentist in Putnam can’t do anything about them! There are multiple solutions that can completely mask your white spots and bring the focus of your smile back to where it belongs. Keep reading to learn what causes white spots and how you can treat them!
July 18, 2018
You just got your beautiful new dentures, and now you’re ready to show off your smile at your niece’s wedding and at all the backyard barbecues that you’ve been invited to. You’re looking forward to good company, good weather, and, of course, good food. But be careful — don’t dig into those delicious summertime treats without first reviewing the following tips for eating with dentures from your Putnam dentist.
June 5, 2018
The field of professional dentistry is young relative to the history of the world, but there are still thousands of incredibly interesting facts your dentist in Putnam has learned about since she completed her many years of education. Some of these facts are interesting for the historical or cultural aspect, while others can prove helpful in your daily life!
Either way, your dentist hopes you’ll find these six facts to be interesting!
May 31, 2018
There are many things that can cause dental problems—and it doesn’t all stem from skipping your brushing routine, either (although that’s pretty bad, too!). Sometimes, the decisions that form our lifestyle can contribute to your dental concerns.
If you want to improve your overall smile, taking a hard look at your lifestyle can do the trick. In this post, we’re going to challenge you to truly look at your habits and how you may be able to change them for the better.
April 11, 2018
April is known for the first signs of spring weather and for those first showers that bring May flowers — but your dentist in Putnam knows there is one other thing that happens this time of year. It’s also Oral Cancer Awareness Month! This is a perfect moment to talk about what this disease is, what happens in a routine oral cancer screening, and how getting one could save your life. Keep reading for the answers to all that and more!
March 26, 2018
When you have that very first date, you try to go all out to show them that you’ve taken an interest, right? You might make a reservation at a restaurant with romantic lighting or even plan a quirky picnic to get closer to your crush—but there’s one thing that could truly ruin your first date: bad breath.
If you have done everything to get rid of your bad breath, but it’s still lingering around, you might need professional help from a dentist in Putnam. Learn more about the causes of bad breath and treatment in this week’s blog post!
February 4, 2018
Whether you’ve decided to buy your oral care products in bulk (smart move by the way) or you’ve decided to do some spring cleaning and came across a drawer filled with oral care products from your bi-annual dental visits, it’s easy to lose track of how old our dental supplies can get. However, just like many other grocery items and over-the-counter products, much of them are good past the manufacturer’s use by date.
So, to save you some money and protect you from ineffective toothpaste, your Putnam dentist is stating once and for all what you can use and what you should pitch.
January 2, 2018
When you’re faced with the decision to choose your own dental tools, do you feel confident in your ability to make a great decision? It’s important to feel good about the dental tools you use at home—especially your toothbrush. You should feel comfortable and confident that your toothbrush will really get het job done!
Which is what brings us to a posing question that many patients have—which is better: electric or manual toothbrushes? Your Putnam dentist is here to help you make a solid decision to help you improve your oral health.
December 10, 2017
It can be devastating to find out you or a loved one has cancer. Even when treatment is available, side effects are notorious for occurring long after cancer has gone into remission. According to your dentist in Putnam, some of these side effects can affect your oral health.
You’ll want to prepare for the process that comes after cancer treatment. Take a moment to read what common side effects occur and how to treat them when they do.
Side Effects Common After Cancer Treatment
Several cancer treatments can cause side effects in your mouth, teeth, and salivary glands, making it difficult to eat, chew, or swallow. These can vary depending on the type of cancer treatment you experienced, so keep that in mind as you review them below.
Radiation therapy to the head and neck can cause:
- Dry mouth
- Decrease in saliva production or thickened saliva
- Loss of taste
- Mouth sores
- Stiffness in the jaw
- Increased risk in tooth decay
- Bone disease
These side affects can be temporary or occur for several years after treatment, so be sure to tell your dentist when they appear or discontinue. Chemotherapy as well as stem cell/bone marrow transplantation can have the above-mentioned side effects as well the following:
- Pain in the mouth and gums
- Peeling or burning of the tongue
- Changes in taste
- Temporary decrease in your body’s ability to produce infection-fighting cells
You’ll want to keep track of the medications you’re currently taking or have previous taken as they can also cause unexpected effects. For example, if you take bisphosphonates you can get osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) which causes weakening and loss of bone in that area. If you opted for targeted therapies to remove cancer, you may have been prescribed mTOR inhibitors which can cause canker sores.
Managing and Treating These Side Effects
It’s important to practice palliative care, or care that’s specifically for side effects during and after cancer treatment. For example, use mouth rinses containing salt and baking soda to treat mouth sores. If you are taking blood pressure medication, use a prescribed rinse designed to soothe sore spots. Pain medications can also be used to treat pain from these mouth sores and come in several applications.
Drink plenty of water and other sugarless fluids to reduce dry mouth. Avoid soda, fruit juice, tobacco and alcohol as this can exacerbate your dry mouth. Some medications can help you produce more saliva such as topical oral gels. If you’re experiencing infection, your doctor should prescribe you antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and/or antifungal drugs for treatment.
Taking Preventive Measures for Future Treatments
It’s recommended to see your dentist at least 4 weeks prior to starting your cancer treatment. This way they can treat tooth decay, ensure any oral devices are properly fitted, and remove any devices that could irritate parts of your mouth. Be sure to tell your dentist to share relevant information with your cancer doctor so they can plan your care together.
For at-home care, gently brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day. Soak an extra-soft toothbrush in warm water to reduce irritation brushing may cause. Include a fluoride gel or rinse to catch extra bacteria that’s missed after brushing. Avoid alcohol; very hot, cold, spicy, acidic, or crunchy foods; and watch your sugar intake to reduce bacteria. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D and calcium each day to help your jaw and teeth stay strong.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Putnam before starting your cancer treatment today.
About the Author
Dr. Walter McGinn attended Providence College before achieving his Doctor of Dental Medicine at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The following year, he completed his General Practice residency at Long island Jewish Hospital. To learn more about this practice, contact him at (860) 928-3723 or visit his website.