• Diabetes and Oral Health: How to Protect Your Teeth

    There is a link between diabetes and oral health. If you have uncontrolled diabetes it can boost your risk for oral health problems such as gum disease. But the link goes the other way as well. If you have gum disease, it may make it harder to keep blood sugar under control. So the diabetes and oral health link is a two-way street. The good news is that taking care of your oral health will help not only your teeth and gums, but perhaps help control your diabetes.

    Other oral health problems associated with having diabetes are:

    • Slower healing time after dental surgery

    • Fungal infections

    • Dry mouth

    • Cavities

    Diabetes And Oral Health Risks Explained

    Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to gum disease. The early stages of gum disease is called gingivitis. The gums are red, swollen, soft, and may bleed, particularly during brushing or flossing. If gum disease progresses, however, the gums may begin to separate from the teeth, forming pockets that can trap bacteria and boost the risk of infections. Untreated, the infections can destroy the underlying bones that holds the teeth in place. Surgery may be needed.

    If you have diabetes, you are also at risk for fungal infections in the mouth, called oral candidiasis or thrush. Denture wearers can also get oral fungal infections.

    Dry mouth, called xerostomia, is another common problem among people with diabetes. Saliva is important to oral health. When you do not have enough saliva, bacteria thrive, tissues can get irritated and inflamed, and your teeth can become more prone to decay.

    If you have diabetes and signs of inflamed, bleeding gums, dry mouth or signs of oral fungal infections please contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at 401-237-4038.

  • The Benefits of Invisalign

    Maple Avenue Family Dentistry offers Invisalign, and it may be just the thing for you! With this state of the art solution to fix crooked teeth, you can have the smile you’ve always dreamed of through a process that is practically invisible. Invisalign can often be a suitable alternative to metal braces, since the teeth are moved with removable trays.

    What Is Invisalign?

    Invisalign treatment consists of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every two weeks. These aligners are individually manufactured to fit your smile through exact calculations so that your teeth will gradually shift into place. This creates a smile that truly fits your personality and facial features. Since the aligners are removable, patients are more easily able to drink, eat, brush and floss their teeth while in treatment. This prevents the staining and decay that can be caused by metal braces. Typically, an office visit for Invisalign involves taking impressions of the teeth, after which multiple clear trays are delivered. These trays are worn over a period of 2 – 4 weeks. A patient’s specific dental needs determines the number of trays and the length of treatment they will need.

    Invisalign Can Help With:

    Crowded Teeth when there is simply a lack of room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit normally.

    Widely Spaced Teeth with abnormal continued growth of the jawbone. If teeth are missing, this can also be caused by the other teeth shifting to fill extra space.

    Crossbite when the upper and lower jaws are misaligned.

    Overbite when the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth. This is typically caused by either genetics, bad oral habits, or over development of the bone that supports the teeth.

    Underbite when the lower teeth protrude past the front teeth. It is usually caused by undergrowth of the upper jaw, overgrowth of the lower jaw, or both.

    However, Invisalign is not necessarily the perfect solution for everyone. There are many factors that our experienced team must evaluate to determine what the best solution is for you.

    Contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry for your consultation today at 401-237-4038.

  • How to Prevent Gum Disease

    Gum disease is a common oral health concern that can happen to almost anyone. With the proper home care early on you will be able to reduce your risk of developing gum disease.

    • Brush Your Teeth Regularly

    As obvious as this may sound, regular brushing can do wonders for gum disease prevention. Brushing your teeth gets rid of bacteria and plaque that forms around the gums and it keeps your smile bright and white. Brush your teeth twice a day, every day.

    • Fluoride Toothpaste

    Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste that is used to strengthen teeth. The fluoride helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay by warding off bacteria that tries to stick around. If you want to get even more fluoride out of your dental routine, you can use ACT mouthwash or a similar product that boost fluoride levels in your mouth.

    • Tongue Scraper

    Tongue scrapers can remove a ton of bacteria that gets trapped on your tongue. Your tongue is really nothing more than a giant sponge in your mouth, soaking up bacteria that will eventually work its way into your gums.

    • Eat Healthy Foods

    Maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet will help your smile stay clean and bright. With the proper nutrients in your body, your immune system will naturally fight the bacteria that causes bad breath and gum disease. Drinking water throughout the day will continuously rinse out your mouth, which again will get rid of bacteria.

    • Visit Your Dentist Twice a Year

    Maintaining your dental cleanings will get rid of the plaque and bacteria that you cannot get out on your own. These visits will also allow your dentist to see early signs of gum disease and suggest ways to avoid them before they fully develop.

    To learn more about gum disease prevention please contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry at 401-237-4038.

  • What Is Periodontal Maintenance?

    Periodontal maintenance therapy is an ongoing program designed to prevent the progression of periodontal disease in the gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth. Periodontal maintenance is usually necessary for patients who have been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal disease.

    Maintenance visits to the periodontist can help to prevent additional dental problems in the future, such as further bone and tooth loss. Treating the disease in their early stages can help to save you oral and overall health problems.

    Why Is Periodontal Maintenance Necessary?

    Gum disease is caused by the bacteria found in plaque. The toxins produced by these bacteria cause our bodies to destroy the bone that supports our teeth. If plaque is not removed, it can harden and form calculus that can exacerbate the periodontal problem.

    Even someone dedicated to good oral hygiene will be unable to completely prevent the formation of all calculus on the teeth. Calculus forms when the minerals in the saliva harden, or calcify, the plaque on the teeth. Plaque is soft and sticky, and is continually forming. It is therefore important to ensure proper, thorough brushing and flossing on a daily basis to remove the plaque before it has the chance to solidify into calculus.

    Flossing and brushing will help to keep the calculus formation to a minimum, but regular maintenance is needed to professionally remove what has accumulated because even the best flosser cannot reach beyond 2 mm into the periodontal pockets. During your maintenance cleaning, the hygienist will evaluate and record your periodontal pocket depths and check for hidden periodontal problems.

    How Often D o I N eed A M aintenance Visit?

    Once you have been diagnosed with periodontitis, you will always be in periodontal maintenance. Gum disease is chronic and because of this, periodontal maintenance will need to be performed. Adherence to a program of conscientious home oral care and regularly scheduled maintenance therapy visits with your dentist will give you an excellent chance of keeping your teeth for your lifetime.

    To find out more about periodontal disease and periodontal maintenance please contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry 401-237-4038.