10030 Ocean Highway
Pawleys Island, SC 29585
1212 Haywood Rd
Greenville, SC, 29615
Carolina Orthodontic Ctr
1010 Highway 501 Business
Conway, SC, 29526
Wade, Nichols J D.D.S.
303 Highway 90 E
Little River, SC, 29566-9447
J Wade Nichols Dental
4605 Oleander Dr # 2
Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577-5739
When women enter menopause, changing hormone levels bring about a variety of symptoms and raise new oral health issues. Women and their doctors must consider the entire range of physical and emotional health implications, including their oral health.
As natural levels of estrogen decline, women may find themselves at risk for loss of bone density. Jawbones are no different; these structures hold our teeth in place, and loss of jawbone density can lead to tooth loss.
When women lose teeth, there are other immediate considerations. One is the potential loss of nutrition, as people with fewer teeth or with problem teeth tend not to eat well. Second is the loss of confidence or self-esteem that results from any cosmetic changes to our bodies. And third, the financial cost of replacing one or more teeth can stretch even the best-planned budget.
Hormonal changes also can have an impact on the health of gums and teeth. Women may find that their gums become inflamed and bleed easily, and may discover that their teeth are more cavity-prone. Both gum disease and tooth decay can result in losing teeth, another good reason to consider your oral health during this significant time of your life.
Women may notice a burning sensation or dryness in their mouths. They also may discover that these changes cause food to taste different, leading to a loss of appetite. Be alert to an appetite loss that persists, particularly if you begin to lose weight.
If gums become inflamed or bleed easily, alert your dentist who will check for early signs of gum disease. A receding gum line may indicate bone loss in your jaw, so ask your dentist to examine your mouth and jaw carefully.
Both you and your doctor should discuss prevention techniques, including calcium and vitamin D supplements, and replacement therapy for hormones. These are personal decisions that vary from woman to woman, and your doctor is best equipped to advise you.
What you can do is pay attention to your nutritional needs. Make sure you eat a wide assortment of healthy foods. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Exercise also is important to maintain your oral health and a healthy lifestyle.
Finally, keeping tabs on your emotional health as you enter menopause is important. A healthy outlook on life enables women to value themselves and seek the care required including: maintaining good oral health, seeing the doctor and dentist regularly, and focusing on healthy eating and exercise.
By Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO
A. As soon as the first tooth erupts, primary teeth may be cleaned with a clean, wet wash cloth or wet gauze. The gums should also be gently wiped. If a toothbrush is used, it should be an appropriate size.
A. With inappropriate or prolonged use of the baby bottle, decay may occur on the upper front teeth (incisors). The second most-often occurring site are the upper primary molars, which are found furthest back in the mouth. If there is no spacing between the primary teeth, there is a much greater chance of decay between the primary molars. These teeth should be flossed as soon as they come in.
A. Dental sealants are applied by your dentist as protective coatings for the chewing surface of permanent molars. They protect the teeth from decay. Read on for more information.
A. A dental implant is a permanent artificial tooth replacement.
A. Dental implants are inserted surgically in two steps. The first step is to insert a “post” into or onto the jawbone. This post will then become the “anchor” for the artificial tooth that will be placed over the “post”.
A. Getting a dental implant is a two step process. Once the “post” is inserted into the jawbone, the patient will have between three and six months with a temporary restoration. During this period, the bone and gum area around the post will heal to create a strong and healthy bond.
Once this bond is complete, an additional set of smaller posts is attached to the original post and then the artificial tooth is secured to the posts. The entire procedure could take anywhere from three to ten months.
A. While the “post” is bonding with your jaw and gums, your dentist will place a temporary artificial tooth on the post. During the bonding period, you will need to eat soft foods.
A. Yes and No. Dental implants need to be brushed, flossed and checked regularly by a dentist, just as you would do with your regular teeth. But dental implants don’t need special brushes or pastes.
A. Yes. Consider that natural teeth can absorb up to approximately 540 lbs. per square inch of biting pressure and properly placed dental implants can withstand up to approximately 450 lbs. per square inch of the same pressure.
A. With proper placement, excellent home care, regular dental visits, and good overall health, dental implants should be permanent.
A. Wisdom teeth are the third molars.
A. It is necessary to remove wisdom teeth to avoid problems, such as an impacted tooth destroying the second molar.
A. Wisdom teeth generate problems because the shape of the modern human mouth is too small to accommodate these teeth, and they become impacted or unable to come in or move into their proper place.
A. Partially erupted wisdom teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs that may cause infection. Cysts and tumors may grow on trapped wisdom teeth.
A. Wisdom teeth are removed by surgery. The gum tissue over the tooth is removed, the connective tissue is stripped gently away from the tooth and bone, the tooth is removed, and the gum sutured.
A. Lasers are used in oral surgery, gum surgery, tooth whitening, cancer sore treatment, and the treatment of gums that have been diseased.