Quiet Corner Dental Blog
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.
November 16, 2017
The holidays are an exciting time of year as you gather with friends and loved ones over warm meals. No gettogether is complete without a few yummy sweat treats, like cookies and cakes. While it may seem like a few days of overindulgence will not cause any harm, this could not be further from the truth. Not only are sugary treats bad for your waistline, but your dental health as well. If you are not careful, it could lead to some unexpected news at your next appointment with your dentist in Putnam. To protect your smile during the holidays, there are some simple tips to keep in mind.
October 17, 2017
Thinking about choosing toothpaste is enough to cause a panic attack for some people. With so many options to choose from where do you even start? Staring at the wall of choices can feel daunting, and how will you know which brand or type is right for your needs? Your dentist in Putnam has advice on choosing the right toothpaste so the next time you face the toothpaste aisle will be a breeze.
September 24, 2017
A recent study published in the Journal of Oral Microbiology just revealed something rather surprising, even for dentists who have studied the mouth quite a bit. In this study, researchers wanted to find what kinds of bacteria are typically present in clinically healthy coronary and femoral artery tissues. The human body is filled with bacteria, and most of it is harmless or even helpful, but they wanted to see if anything in this particularly sensitive part of the anatomy could have serious health implications. While they did find a large array of bacteria, the one particular strain that turned out to be the most common was actually P. gingivalis, a highly toxic, common oral pathogen. How did it get their? What does this mean for your oral and heart health? Your dentist in Putnam discusses this little known connection. (more…)
August 30, 2017
Are you unhappy with the way your teeth look? Millions of people suffer from the embarrassment of having chipped, discolored, or otherwise unattractive teeth. Your cosmetic dentist in Putnam is happy to help you achieve the smile of your dreams! One of the ways through which this is possible is via cosmetic bonding and shaping. What does this process involve, and what can it do for you?