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Tooth Decay

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Bulimia and Teeth: Side Effects, Considerations and Treatments

By | Bulimia, Bulimia and Teeth, Eating Disorders and Teeth, Oral Health, Tooth Decay | No Comments

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that involves a cycle of binging and purging, which refers to binge eating followed by using compensatory behavior, such as self-induced vomiting, laxative use, excessive exercise, fasting or using diet pills or diuretics to rid the body of calories. It’s a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that can affect all aspects of your health, including your oral health, particularly if you practice self-induced vomiting. While the effects of bulimia on the teeth can be significant, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it. Today we’ll be covering everything you need to know about bulimia and teeth from the oral health side effects of the disorder to the treatment options available to restore your smile.
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What can I do about cavity pain until my dentist’s appt?

By | General Dentistry, Tooth Decay

I made an appointment with a dentist already for a cavity, but the appt isn’t until next week. The office is closed for the holidays. I feel more sensitivity in the tooth each day and I am afraid that it’s going to get very painful before I can get the tooth treated. What can I do at home? – Zach

Zach – If your tooth is sensitive, try to limit cold or hot beverages that can increase sensitivity. If you start to experience pain, you can take over-the counter pain medication to relieve the pain.

It is unlikely that your pain will become extreme, but if it does, you may be able to find an emergency dentist who has on-call personnel who will see you and relieve your pain.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Is diet soda bad for your teeth?

By | Tooth Decay

I’ve always been a big soda drinker, but now that I have teenagers, I want to set a good example for them. My soda drinking has resulted in several cavities, and I don’t want my girls to follow my example. Instead of going cold turkey off of the soda, I am wondering if 0 sugar diet soda is a good alternative for my teeth. Thanks. Beth E.

Beth – Instead of sugar, diet soda contains sugar substitutes, such as saccharine, mannitol, or sorbitiol. All of these substitutes break down into acid, which erodes tooth enamel and promotes tooth decay.

In addition to sugar in soda, the acid in soda makes your enamel more prone to erosion, and it leads to tooth decay. Advanced decay may require more than just a dental filling; a dental crown may be needed to protect the tooth. But soda is not the only acid-containing beverage; energy drinks, fruit juice, and lemonade are all acidic.

If you must drink soda, limit your intake of it. Sipping on soda throughout the day causes more teeth erosion than drinking the soda at once. After drinking soda, rinse your mouth to neutralize the soda. Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking soda is not recommended, because the enamel has been weakened from the acid and sugar in the soda. Brushing your teeth will weaken the enamel more.

Ensure your children get regular dental checkups and cleanings.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Is it okay to get dental work done while I am pregnant?

By | Gum Disease, Tooth Decay, Toothache

Hello. My baby is due in July. I need dental work done, but it is nothing critical. My dentist says that my pregnancy is not an issue. I won’t say that I don’t trust my dentist, but I don’t know him well. We recently moved from Ohio six months ago, so this is a new dentist for me. I just want to verify that there is no known problem with getting the work done at this stage of my pregnancy. Thank you. Rachel

Rachel – At this stage of your pregnancy, one of the biggest problems with getting dental work done is your comfort. You will be reclined, so you may experience discomfort during the treatment.

What type of dental work is being done? Have you been told how long the dental procedure will take?

Dental cleanings and exams during pregnancy should continue as normal. You want your teeth to be kept clean to reduce the chances of having tooth decay or gum disease. Dental x-rays and invasive dental treatment should be avoided.

If you are in pain with a toothache, or if there is an infection in your tooth, it should be treated promptly to stop the infection.

If you have the dental work done, consider bringing a pillow or whatever back support makes you comfortable. Speak with your dentist about any concerns you have about being comfortable. The staff will make the effort to get you as comfortable as possible.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

Is bottled or tap water better for teeth?

By | Tooth Decay

Is there anything wrong with drinking bottled water or is tap water better for teeth? My husband and I have had this conversation several times. He thinks we should just buy a water filter and use tap water. I like the convenience of bottled water. Your advice? Thanks – Kim

Kim – Your husband may be concerned because most bottled water does not contain fluoride, but tap water does. There are some brands of bottled water that do contain fluoride, but you must read the labels to be sure.

When you don’t have access to tap water, look for bottled water with fluoride. You can also ask your dentist for a prescription for fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride reduces the risk of tooth decay. In addition to drinking water that contains fluoride, you can protect your teeth by limiting the amount of candy you eat, and the amount of soda, energy drinks, sport/thirst-quenching drinks, and juices you consume. Drink water throughout the day to reduce acid build up in your mouth and remove debris, and brush and floss daily.

Speak with your dentist about your risk for tooth decay and your fluoride consumption.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca of Naperville Dental Specialists.