Excel Dental Blog

10 Habits That Can Wreck Your Smile

Oral CareSpringfield, MO – There are common habits many of us have that might be doing damage to your pearly whites. If you have any of these habits, the Ozark dentists at Excel Dental encourage you to stop before you wreck your smile.

1. Using your teeth as tools.
If you find yourself unable to open a package, do you move it to your mouth and try to rip it open with your teeth?

“You aren’t alone in this habit, but it’s one you should stop now,” says Dr. Tracy Davis. “It can lead to broken teeth, or teeth that chip or crack. Your teeth should only be used for chewing food – never as tools.”

2. Thumb sucking
If your child sucks his or her thumb, try to get them to break the habit sooner rather than later. Continued thumb sucking, as well as pacifier use, can damage the teeth. If your child continues the habit once the permanent teeth begin to come in, he or she could be doing permanent damage to the teeth and structure of the jaw. It can cause the teeth to become misaligned, leading to the need for orthodontic work in the future.

3. Brushing too hard
Proper brushing is a key component to any oral care routine. But did you know by brushing too hard, you might actually be causing more harm than good?

“When you brush too hard, you risk damaging your tooth, as well as your gums,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “This can increase your risk for tooth decay as well as make your teeth more sensitive. Brushing too hard or using a medium/hard brush can brush away part of your tooth structure close to the gumline.”

4. Grinding and clenching your teeth.
Some people may unknowingly clench or grind their teeth at night while they sleep. For others, it can be a habit that happens during the day when they become stressed, frustrated or angry. But it’s a habit that you should stop.

“Clenching and grinding places excess pressure on the teeth,” says Dr. Davis. “This can lead to chipping, breaking and lots of dental work.”

If you aren’t sure if you clench or grind your teeth at night, but frequently wake up with headaches, speak with your dentist about what measures can be taken to prevent damage to your teeth.

5. Chewing on ice.
It can be a refreshing and cooling act, but chewing on ice can break and chip your teeth. It can also irritate the soft tissue inside your teeth, leading to toothaches.

6. Drinking too much soda.
“Soda is full of sugar, but it’s also full of acid,” says Dr. Matthews. “These acids demineralize your enamel, leaving your teeth susceptible to decay. And don’t think that because your drink diet soda, you’re immune to tooth damage. Phosphoric acid is still present in diet sodas and this acid is harmful to your teeth.”

7. Using tobacco products.
Smoking is harmful to your health, but it can also wreak havoc on your smile.

“Not only do cigarettes and tobacco products stain your teeth and give you bad breath, they can increase your risk of gum disease,” says Dr. Davis. “Smoking cigarettes and using smokeless tobacco increases your risk for oral cancer. It’s one habit that needs to be broken immediately, for the sake of your smile and your health.”

8. Chewing on things other than food.
Many people chew on pencils, toothpicks or other items during the day. But this habit can lead to damage to your teeth. If you feel the need to chew on something, opt for sugarless gum instead.

9. Constantly snacking.
Snacking introduces new food particles into our mouths that can the introduce sugars to the bacteria that live in our mouths. And every time this happens, it creates a breeding ground for decay to set in.

“Each time you have a snack, the pH drops inside your mouth for the next 30 minutes.” says Dr. Matthews. “This drop in pH (more acid in your mouth) contributes to teeth becoming demineralized. If you choose to snack during the day, opt for healthy choices and be sure to drink plenty of water.”

10. Drinking wine or coffee.
Coffee is dark in color and acidic, which can darken the color of your teeth and damage the enamel. Likewise, the acid in red wine can demineralize your enamel, while the pigmentation can stain your teeth. White wine doesn’t stain your teeth in the same way, but its acidity level can also weaken the enamel, leaving the teeth more vulnerable.

© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links


Do You Grind Your Teeth At Night?

Springfield, MO – Do you wake up in the morning with a headache or sore jaw? If so, this might be a sign that you suffer from bruxism. This habit of teeth grinding is dangerous because it can result in broken and chipped teeth.

woman with toothaches“Bruxism is considered a sleep disorder,” says Springfield dentist Dr. Tracy Davis. “And because it happens while you’re sleeping, you may be unaware that you do it. That’s why it is important to pay attention to any signs and symptoms that could be signaling a problem, before serious issues occur.”

Signs you may suffer from bruxism include:

  • Grinding and clenching of teeth that can be loud enough to wake your partner
  • Chipping, fractured or even loose teeth
  • Enamel that is worn down
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw or face pain
  • Tight and tired jaw muscles
  • An earache that won’t go away
  • Headaches in the temple area
  • Damage to the inside of your cheek
  • Indentation marks on your tongue

“We don’t completely know what causes bruxism,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “For some, it may be due to stress, anxiety or other emotions. For others it can be due to a misalignment of the teeth, and for others it can be due to other sleep issues, such as sleep apnea. We know that increased stress, anger and frustration can be causes for tooth grinding, and it can be common in young children but should go away by the teen years. Additionally, people who have aggressive, competitive or hyperactive personalities are at a higher risk of suffering from bruxism.”

Grinding your teeth chronically can wear your teeth down, leading to the need for restorative dental work, such as crowns, bridge and in some cases even dentures. But not only that, it can cause or worsen temporomandibular disorder and change the appearance of your face.

So what can you do if you think you suffer from bruxism?

The first thing is to schedule an appointment with a dentist. Your dentist can evaluate you for signs of tooth grinding. If you are found to have tell-tale signs, your dentist can fit your for a protective mouth guard to wear at night while you sleep.

At your appointment, you’ll want to tell your dentist if you have ever been treated for issues that could be related to bruxism, even if you weren’t aware of the condition at the time. Compile a complete list of any symptoms you are experiencing, even if you think it may be unrelated. Be honest with the dentist about any personal information that may be contributing, such as stress at work or recent life changes that may be a contributing factor. Give your dentist a complete list of any medications or supplements you may be taking, and be honest about any alcohol or tobacco use.

During your exam, you dentist will check your teeth for signs of bruxism. The dentist will check for tenderness in the haw, any obvious broken or chipped teeth, misaligned teeth, and any damage done to the teeth, bones or inside of your cheeks.

If the dentist finds signs, he will ask you to come back for a few more check-ups to be able to determine if the bruxism is progressive, and to determine the correct course of treatment. You dentist will discuss with you what the best treatment option is for you.

Splints and mouth guards are designed to keep your teeth separated in order to avoid the damage that occurs when you clench or grind. While you can purchase mouth guards from most drug or sports stores, a dentist can create a custom mouth guard that will be more comfortable and offer the most protection.

In some cases, the bruxism may be due to a misalignment of the teeth. In this case, the best course of treatment would be to properly align the teeth, and your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist. For some patients, improper tooth wear may have created uneven chewing surfaces, so your dentist will need to rebuild and reshape those surface to correct your bite.

You will also be given some other tips on how to avoid bruxism. For some patients, stress management can be a great relief to their symptoms. Other tips include:

  • Avoiding alcohol, especially close to bed time. Patients often find that their grinding intensifies after they’ve consumed alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid chewing on pens, pencils and anything that isn’t food, including chewing gum. The more used to clenching your jaw becomes, the more likely it will be to want to grind.
  • If you catch yourself clenching and grinding during the day, come up with measures to prevent it. Some patients are successful by placing their tongue between their teeth, which helps the jaw muscles relax.
  • Practice good sleep habits. Staying well rested can stave off anxiety and stress.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages at night, as these can worsen bruxism.
  • Maintain regular dental check-ups. By seeing you regularly, a dentist will notice when something pops up out of the ordinary and can treat you before serious damage occurs.

In very severe cases, a doctor may suggest taking a muscle relaxant right before bed time for a short period of time to help your jaw learn to relax. If your dentist believes your bruxism habit has developed as a side effect to a medication you are taking, he will work with your doctor to find a new medication or adjust the dose so it will not have a negative side effect.

If you think you may suffer from bruxism, schedule a consultation with Excel Dental today.

© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links


Tips to Avoid Staining Your Teeth

Teeth whiteningSpringfield, MO – The things we eat and drink affect not just the health of our bodies, but the health and look of our smiles, too. So what are the biggest culprits when it comes to staining teeth, and how can we keep our smiles white and beautiful?

“Coffee is the most common culprit for dulling our smiles,” says Dr. Tracy Davis of Excel Dental. “It’s easy to tell someone to avoid drinking coffee to keep from staining their teeth, but for those of us who love our daily cup of joe, that’s much easier said than done! But, there are a lot of other foods and beverages that can affect our smiles.”

Other common foods and drinks that can darken your smile include sodas, tea, both red and white wines, dark juices, beets and even tomato sauce. But how do these stains set in and permeate our smiles?

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the body, but it isn’t flat and smooth. There are actually tiny pits and ridges over the surface of teeth that can trap in microscopic particles of the things we consume. The pigmentation from the foods we eat can get trapped in these areas, and if not properly taken care of, will lead to permanent stains on your teeth.

And over time, extrinsic staining can actually lead to intrinsic staining on the inside of teeth, making it much more difficult to remove.

“Luckily, keeping your teeth bright is possible, but you have to be proactive about it,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, one of the Ozark dentists at Excel Dental. “It’s best to give up things like coffee and tea altogether, but we know that isn’t completely realistic. So instead, we advise patients to limit their intake of foods and beverages that can cause stains. For instance, if you enjoy sipping on a cup of coffee all day, try limiting yourself to a cup at a certain time of day. This will limit the amount of time the coffee comes into contact with your teeth, thus limiting the ability it has to stain your teeth.”

It’s also a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water after consuming a food or beverage that has a high staining ability. This can work to wash away any remaining particles that might be sticking to your teeth.

Other steps to avoid stains include:

  • Drinking through a straw. This limits the interaction of the beverage with your teeth, keeping it from getting near the visible surfaces.
  • Brush and floss regularly. Regular at home care will prevent plaque, which is a sticky substance that creates an easier surface for stain causing particles to stick to. Use a whitening toothpaste and finish with an antibacterial mouthwash for extra care.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Keeping regular check-ups with your dentist will keep your mouth healthy and your teeth brighter.

If you feel your mouth is duller than you’d like, there are options for tooth whitening. The experts at Excel Dental offer custom tooth bleaching options as well as laser whitening. If your smile is dull or discolored, Drs. Matthews and Davis can brighten your smile up to 12 shades, giving you more reason to smile brightly. To schedule a consultation, contact Excel Dental today.

© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Do You Need a Dental Night Guard?

Young man sleeping Springfield, MO – Do you wake up with a headache or jaw pain in the morning? Do you wonder what might be causing it? You may suffer from bruxism, a condition that causes you to clench or grind your teeth. While you may not be aware that it is happening, it can have serious consequences on your teeth and body.

“Bruxism can lead to tooth problems, such as abnormal wear, chipping and breaking,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, an Ozark dentist. “The action of grinding your teeth puts great force on your teeth, and can cause migraines, as well as pain in your jaw, neck, back and shoulders.”

But there is good news for those who suffer from bruxism – a dental night guard may be able to help.

“While there is no cure for bruxism, a night guard can go a long way in easing the discomfort associated with it,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “We recommend custom fit mouth guards from our office to provide the best fit for the patient.”

Patients who wear custom fit mouth guards created by their dentist often see a tremendous reduction in tooth wear, as well as lessening of the symptoms associated with teeth grinding. These mouth guards are created specifically for each patient, so they fit your teeth exactly, providing the highest level of comfort and protection.

While mouth guards can be purchased at local drug stores, they will not provide as good of a fit, and are often bulkier and more uncomfortable to wear. The dentists at Excel Dental recommend the extra investment in a custom fit one – if it is more comfortable, the patient will be more likely to wear it.

But night time mouth guards aren’t just for those who suffer from bruxism. A snore guard can be used to help prevent snoring, offering more restful sleep for the wearer and his or her partner.

“It’s estimated that as much as 45 percent of the population snores,” says Dr. Tracy Davis. “And that often means restless sleep for them, and for those who share their beds.”

A custom fit snore guard can work to curb snoring, however. A mouth guard can work to position the jaw forward slightly, thereby tightening the muscles in the throat and opening the airway. That means breathing is no longer restricted, and the tissues cannot rub together to create the snoring sound.

It is important to note that if you suffer from bruxism or excessive snoring, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist before using a mouth guard. This is especially true for patients who snore. Snoring can be an indication of a more serious issue, such as sleep apnea. Additionally, one may wish to purchase an over the counter mouth guard, such as a sports mouth guard, to save extra dollars. However, these guards will not be adequate for preventing snoring as they do not reposition the jaw. The purpose of such mouth guards is protection of the teeth only.

If you wake up with headaches in the morning, or feel you have a restless sleep, now is the time to schedule an appointment with Excel Dental.

© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Why Are My Child’s Teeth Discolored?

Ozark Family DentistrySpringfield, MO – Have you noticed that your child’s baby teeth seem to be stained? Are discolored teeth a cause for concern? The expert Springfield dentists at Excel Dental explain more.

“There are several reasons why your child’s teeth may appear to be discolored,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, an Ozarks family dentist with Excel Dental. “It is possible for baby teeth to develop cavities, so if you notice discoloration in your child’s teeth, it’s important to schedule an appointment with us. We can examine the teeth to determine if decay is causing the problem, or if it might be due to another issue.”

Decay can set in if the child’s teeth aren’t properly brushed. Bacteria can form, which can lead to discoloration. Children should always be supervised while brushing, and parents should brush their children’s teeth until the child is able to do it on his or her own successfully.

Certain medications can lead to discoloration. The antibiotic tetracycline can discolor a child’s teeth if the mother takes it while pregnant. Additionally, some infant medications that contain supplemental iron may cause dark stains on the teeth.

If a child experiences mouth trauma, it can result in discoloration. Injury to the baby teeth or gums can sometimes lead to a pink or gray tint to the teeth.

“In some cases, tooth discoloration is simply a genetic factor,” says Dr. Tracy Davis. “For some children, weak enamel can cause the teeth to look slightly discolored. If the parents have weak enamel, the child might, too.”

Excessive fluoride use can lead to white markings on the teeth, which is a sign of fluorosis. While fluoride is important for healthy teeth, too much can lead to discoloration of the teeth. Always follow your dentist’s directions for additional fluoride use.

If your child was diagnosed with jaundice after birth, that can sometimes lead to baby teeth with a greenish tint. Additionally, serious illness during infancy can discolor the baby teeth.

Baby teeth are very important, even though they will eventually fall out. It’s important that parents pay close attention to their child’s dental hygiene. If you have concerns about your child’s teeth, schedule an appointment with a family dentist to discuss the issue. Children should see a dentist by their first birthday, or after the first tooth erupts, and should visit a dentist twice a year.

© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Seniors Face Unique Oral Health Issues

Springfield, MO – As you age, you’ve probably noticed new health issues creeping up. Issues with your oral health can begin to appear, too, but by understanding issues unique to seniors, you can take better care of your teeth and mouth.

seniors couple“Senior citizens face a host of unique oral health issues,” says Dr. Nick Matthews, one of the Springfield dentists at Excel Dental. “Our bodies change, and you may once again become susceptible to cavities. In many cases this is because of a condition known as dry mouth.”

Dry mouth doesn’t go hand in hand with aging, but it does go hand in hand with many medications – in fact, there are more than 500 medications that can cause it. And as we age, more health issues begin appearing, so chances are great that you may be prescribed a medication that can lead to dry mouth. If you’re on medication for high blood pressure, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases, pain, or a host of other issues, it’s important to understand possible side effects. It’s also important to share all medications you are currently taking with your dentist. This way, he or she can understand why you may have dry mouth and then properly address it.

Older patients are also more prone to gum disease. The gums will become irritated and swollen and may bleed while brushing. If gum disease is left untreated, it can advance enough to cause bone, tissue and tooth loss.

Additionally, patients who suffer from other conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes may be more prone to gum disease. Always disclose your complete medical history to your dentist so he can be sure to understand any issues you may face.

Oral cancer also becomes more of a concern as you age, as the American Cancer Society states that the average age of diagnosis is 62. More than 35,000 people will be diagnosed with mouth cancer this year. Be sure you see a dentist who routinely performs oral cancer screenings.

You may also notice your mouth has become more sensitive as you age. This is because gums naturally receded over time, leaving more of your tooth that isn’t protected by enamel exposed. Drinking hot or cold beverages may become painful. Your dentist will most likely recommend using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth, but will also check to be sure you don’t have other issues, such as a cracked or fractured tooth.

If you wear dentures, be sure you are following proper care for them. Improperly fitting dentures can cause damage to your mouth and be painful, so if you notice any change in the way your dentures fit, be sure to call your dentist right away.

As we age, we begin to lose some dexterity and range of motion. This may make brushing and flossing more difficult, however it is important to brush and floss twice a day. Ask your dental team at Excel Dental for tips to make brushing and flossing easier for you. Especially in patients with arthritis, holding a toothbrush can be difficult. Your dentist can offer tips, such as attaching the toothbrush to an easier to grip item, to make your oral care routine easier.

It’s always important to maintain twice yearly checkups with your dentist, especially if you suffer from conditions such as gum disease or dry mouth. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings, especially if you have difficulty maintaining your oral hygiene due to a lack of mobility or dexterity.

If you ever have questions about your oral health, or need tips on how to properly care for your teeth and gums as you age, the experts at Excel Dental are always available to answer questions.

© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Common Causes of Bad Breath

DoctorSpringfield, MO – Do you worry about halitosis and wonder how you can prevent it? There are many common causes of bad breath, and knowing them is the first step to eliminating the odor.

“The most common cause of bad breath is from food particles that remain in the mouth after eating,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, a Springfield dentist. “This is why it is so important to brush and floss every day. If you don’t, or if you don’t do it properly, these food particles stay in your mouth, collecting bacteria, which causes bad breath. But not just that, the food will also begin to rot, emitting a bad odor as it does.”

The foods you eat can also play a role in halitosis. Foods such as garlic and onions can cause bad breath, and the odor can continue until the food is eliminated from the body. Additionally, people on diets can experience bad breath from infrequent eating. This is from chemicals called ketones that are released during the breakdown of fat. Ketones are then exhaled, and can have an unpleasant, sweet smell.

“Dry mouth is also a common cause of bad breath,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “Saliva works to cleanse the mouth, removing food particles that can be left to cause odor otherwise. There can be many causes of dry mouth, such as certain medications, mouth breathing or issues with your salivary glands. If you suffer from dry mouth, be sure to drink plenty of water, or ask our office for other tips to help.”

Tobacco products are also a source of bad breath. Cigarettes can dry the mouth out, but also have chemicals in them that can emit bad odors from the mouth.

Persistent bad breath may also be a sign of an undiagnosed medical problem. Respiratory infections, uncontrolled diabetes, sinusitis, postnasal drip, gastrointestinal conditions and even kidney ailments can cause bad breath. If you have excellent oral hygiene, don’t use tobacco and don’t eat a diet heavy in garlic or other pungent foods, it may be time to make an appointment with your primary care physician. Working together, your doctor and dentist can help get your bad breath under control.

Brushing and flossing every day is crucial to maintaining good oral health, and keeping bad breath at bay. When you eat, bacteria in your mouth combines with food to form plaque, and if not brushed away, the plaque can lead to gum disease. In its early stages, gum disease is painless, but it may be accompanied by bad breath.

Some people also have tonsil stones that can be the cause of bad breath. These are clusters that form in the crevices of the tonsils, and can be made up of calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. They are not harmful, however they can be hard to remove and can be a source of bad breath.

If you’re tired of having constant bad breath, it’s time to make an appointment at Excel Dental. The experienced dental team can help determine the cause of your halitosis, and create a treatment plan to help you address it.


© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Recognizing Signs of Gum Disease

Ozark Dental CareSpringfield, ILGum disease is an infection that targets your teeth and surrounding tissues. It is caused by plaque, the clear, sticky film that attaches to your teeth. If not properly removed during brushing and flossing, the plaque build-up can cause gum disease, also known as gingivitis.

“What makes gum disease dangerous is that it is often painless in its beginning stages,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, one of the Springfield dentists of Excel Dental. “That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the warning signs. If we catch it in the beginning stages, it is often more manageable.”

So what are the warning signs of gum disease? Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you have any of the following:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Swollen, tender or red gums
  • Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
  • Bad breath that persists
  • Bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
  • Permanent teeth that have become loose
  • Change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Change in the fit of your partial dentures

If caught early enough, gum disease can often be treated with a professional cleaning by your dentist. However, if your gum disease advances to a more serious form of periodontal disease, additional treatment may be needed.

You may be at risk for developing gum disease if you have any of the following factors:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • You are a smoker or use any form of tobacco.
  • Parents or other family members who have or had gum disease.
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you have diabetes
  • If you take certain medications, including steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives.

“It is estimated that as many as 47 percent of adults over the age of 30 have the more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “This is very serious, as it can lead to the loss of the tissues and bones that support your teeth. As it becomes more severe, it can also lead to loose teeth that may fall out.”

But that’s not all, periodontal disease has been linked to other systemic diseases. Patients who have periodontal disease have higher risk for stroke, heart disease and diabetes. And pregnant women with advanced gum disease have a higher risk of pre-term labor and low birth weight babies.

It is possible to have gum disease, but have no warning signs. This is why maintaining regular check-ups with your dentist is so important. Your dentist can treat you as soon as any warning signs pop up, preventing the disease from becoming more serious.

© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


How to Care for Teeth During Pregnancy

Springfield, MO – Taking proper care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy is important. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy increase the risk of developing gum disease, which can then affect the unborn baby. Periodontal disease in pregnant women has been linked to low birth weight babies and premature birth.

“If you’re planning to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to schedule a check-up with us,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, Springfield dentist. “That way, we can properly clean your teeth and assess the health of your mouth, and tackle any issues before they might become a bigger problem.”

young pregnant womanBut once you become pregnant, what should your prenatal dental care look like?

First, it’s always important to inform your dentist if you may be pregnant. This is necessary because there are some dental procedures that should be avoided during certain times of your pregnancy. The first trimester and second half of the third trimester are especially crucial times in fetal development.

“It’s best to schedule check-ups before pregnancy, and then during months four and six,” says Dr. Nick Matthews. “This is the safest time in fetal development for us to properly work on your teeth, but if you require certain procedures, we may need to discuss them with your obstetrician before.”

During pregnancy, hormonal changes can bring on pregnancy-induced gingivitis. Bleeding gums can be a normal sign of pregnancy, however, because of the intimate link between periodontal disease and premature birth, bleeding gums should be taken seriously.

It’s important to keep your teeth clean, focusing closely on the gum line. Paying careful attention to removing plaque can help prevent gum disease. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day, and avoid frequent snacking. If you have a hard time controlling plaque growth, ask your dentist about special mouth washes that may be able to help.

Frequent snacking can increase the risk of tooth decay. For snacks during pregnancy, choose foods low in sugar, and high in vitamins and calcium.

But a healthy diet isn’t just important for the mouth of the mother – a baby’s teeth begin developing between the third and six months of pregnancy. What you eat can affect the development of your child’s teeth. A pregnancy diet should be rich in vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous to ensure proper development.

Some women experience morning sickness, which can lead to frequent vomiting. The acid from the vomit can be damaging to the teeth. The first instinct after vomiting is typically to immediately brush your teeth, however, it’s best to wait about 30 minutes because the acid will soften the teeth. Vigorous brushing while the teeth are still soft can cause further damage.

If you have any questions or concerns about your oral care during your pregnancy, call Excel Dental right away. Pregnancy brings about many changes, and your mouth isn’t immune – maintain regular check-ups, and pay close attention to any changes in your mouth. Excel Dental can ensure you have a healthy mouth and a healthy pregnancy.

© 2015 Millionairium and Excel Dental. Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Excel Dental are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.


Sleep Apnea Treatment from a Dentist?

Springfield, MO – Do you wake up in the morning, still feeling tired? Or, does your partner complain about your loud snoring in the night and their lack of sleep? You may suffer from a condition called sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous sleep disorder. It is characterized by sudden cessation of breathing during the night, and is often accompanied by loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common form of the condition, and occurs when the throat muscles relax too much.

sleep apnea treatment“Sleep apnea can have a serious impact on a person’s life, besides just leaving them tired. People with sleep apnea are more likely to also suffer from high blood pressure, are at a higher risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, stroke and have a higher likelihood of being in a car accident.” says Springfield dentist Dr. Nick Matthews.

But there is good news – sleep apnea treatment is available at Excel Dental. That’s right – you can see your dentist for help with your sleep disorder.