Mouth breather? This can lead to dental problems

Mouth breather? This can lead to dental problems

If you are a mouth breather, it can have negative impacts on your dental health such as risk of decay and periodontal disease, the pathological inflammation of the gum and bone support surrounding the teeth. Mouth breathing leads to dry mouth and decreases the production of saliva. Saliva is important to regulate your mouth bacteria and neutralize acids.

In 2016, a study showed that individuals who are a mouth breather while they sleep experience higher acidity levels than those who do not.

This study measured ten healthy volunteers who slept with a nose clip to force them to breathe through their mouths. They slept with a device that measured the pH and temperature of their mouth. The volunteers wore this device to sleep for two sets of 48 hours. In addition, they wore the nose clip on two nights and without it for two nights to prevent any natural bias from affecting the study.

Mouth Breathing & Teeth: The Results

PH measures acidity, with pH 7 being neutral, under 7 is acidic, and above 7 is basic. An acidity level of pH 5.5 is the threshold in which tooth enamel begins to break down.

The results showed that a daytime mouth pH was 7.3 and during sleep it was 7.0. The mean pH during sleep with mouth breathing was 6.6. At some points during the night, mouth-breathing individuals had mouth pH levels of 3.6, which is far below the level in which tooth enamel breaks down.

The significance of the results shows that breathing through your mouth is detrimental to your overall oral health, but specifically tooth enamel through acid breakdown.

Are You A Mouth Breather?

Signs of breathing though your mouth include:

– Dry lips & throat
– Chronic bad breath
– Crowded teeth
– Snoring
– Red, inflamed gums
– Frequent cavities
– Regular respiratory and sinus infections
– Enlarged adenoids

Recent research has shown similar information

I clench and grind, and also snore. Are these connected?

I clench and grind, and also snore. Are these connected?

Dr. David WilhiteQuestion: My dentist has told me that I clench and grind, and I also snore. Is there a connection between the two?

David Wilhite says:

The problem frequently begins in childhood with allergies and enlarged tonsils. This sets off a whole cascade of events.

The allergies and enlarged tonsils result in a constriction of the airway. The constriction causes the child to breathe through the mouth as opposed to the nose. Now, the tongue assumes a lower position in the mouth to assist the mouth breathing. Without the tongue in the roof of the mouth, the upper jaw does not develop properly and stays too narrow and too highly vaulted. Thus, it takes up space for the nasal airway, further compounding the difficulty of nasal breathing. Under normal conditions, breathing through the nose filters and humidifies the air, removing allergens so that they don’t pass into the lungs.

The increased exposure to allergens inflames the tissues of the throat, enlarges the tonsils, and increases the level of inflammation in the body. Thus, the airway is narrowed and causes snoring– which can lead to sleep apnea even in children as young as 2-3 years old. Therefore any child who snores or grinds their teeth needs to be evaluated for sleep apnea.

Many patients with apnea also clench and grind to open their airway so that they can breathe. Unfortunately, clenching does not completely solve the problem of a constricted airway.

A high percentage of the patients with sleep apnea have acid reflux and vice versa. After an apneic event, the first breath is usually a gasp that brings stomach acid up into the throat or mouth.

Sleep apnea also leads to an accumulation of stress hormones, mainly cortisol, and this leads to more clenching and grinding.

Dental pediatric fear: helping your child

Dental pediatric fear: helping your child

Can you think of a time when the unknown has made you uneasy? Dental pediatric fear can be similar. Familiarizing your child with the dentist and how it is an extension of their at-home dental care can help squash those worries and reduce anxiety. Skipping dental pediatric care can be very harmful as it is an important part of maintaining overall health.

At David Wilhite DDS, you are welcome to bring your child in prior to his or her first visit to look around the office and meet Dr. Wilhite and his staff. Introducing and reiterating that the dentist is just an extension of at-home dental pediatric care will help the experience seem less daunting. Phrasing around the topic will also be important.

Be careful with how you phrase things so not to put thoughts in a child’s head that wouldn’t have been there before. Words like “don’t be scared” or “it won’t hurt” may seem harmless, but they could actually add new fears.

Getting started early on helping your child’s dental pediatric care fears can help reduce anxiety, make dental visits easier and transition into adult dental visits better. Contact us today to set up your consultation. We can discuss your goals and options for pediatric dentistry treatment. Plus, we’ll talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure your child gets the dental care they need.

Dental tips and treats for fall

Dental tips and treats for fall

Dental tips for children are important this time of year. As Halloween may not be first the major show, and fall treats alone steal the spotlight! Before we share those tips to help your kids care for their teeth during this time of year, we will share some of the treats we’ve come across.

The first treat comes from “15 Fabulous Fall Treats That Aren’t a Mouthful of Pumpkin Spice,” so you don’t necessarily have to be a fan of the pumpkin flavor that seems to be all the rage. Full articles listed later.

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisp: “You’re going to want to serve this crisp while it’s warm from the oven, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.”

The next recipe is something a little different… what do you think of Sweet Potato Snicker Doodles?!

Our last recipe comes from a hearty list, “40 of Our Best Fall Desserts,” Chai Cupcakes. “You’ll get a double dose of the spicy blend that’s frequently used to flavor tea in these moist single-size cakes. Both the cupcake and frosting use the blend, which combines some of the best flavors of the season.”

In order to help, we’re going to share some holiday dental tips for kids provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Read the tips below to keep your kids healthy.

  • The AAPDS recommends that a child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist should be by the AGE OF ONE or when the FIRST TOOTH APPEARS. Regular check-ups should occur every SIX MONTHS.
  • Parents should help their children brush their teeth TWICE DAILY – after breakfast and before bedtime are ideal. It’s recommended that parents/caregivers supervise the brushing for school-age children until they are 7 to 8 years of age.
  • The BEST TOOTHBRUSHES for children have soft, round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. The handle should be proportionate to the size of the child’s hand.
  • Parents can begin FLOSSING for their children when two teeth are touching. Children can begin flossing on their own around age 7.
  • Look for FLOURIDE TOOTHPASTE with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
  • Sugary candy, food, and drinks are part of the holidays. With this, the risk of cavities and poor dental health also increases. Parents should try to moderate sugar intake, and WATCH OUT FOR CARBONATED DRINKS, which actually erode teeth more than sweetened drinks.
  • Keep an eye on on snacking – ideally, children should have NO MORE THAN THREE SNACK TIMES a day.
  • COOKED STARCHES CAN LEAD TO CAVITIES just as sugars can. In fact, cooked starches such as bread, crackers, pasta, pretzels and potato chips frequently take longer to clear the mouth than sugars.
  • LIMIT SUGAR INTAKE by checking labels and buying sugar-free varieties of food options, if available.
  • CHEESES such as aged cheddar, Swiss, mozzarella and Monterey Jack are great as a snack or to eat after a meal because they clear the mouth of food and neutralize the acids that attack teeth.
  • This story originally appeared on The Mouth Monsters

Oatmeal Cookie Apple Crisp Recipe

Sweet Potato Snicker Doodle Recipe

Chai Cupcakes Recipe

 

COVID-19 Dental FAQ

COVID-19 Dental FAQ

COVID-19 Dental FAQ

Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are designed to make you feel both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the directives of these agencies so that we are up to date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will conduct a health screening and temperature check upon your arrival.
  • We have hand sanitizer available throughout the office.
  • You may see that our waiting room no longer offers magazines, books, children’s toys, etc. to reduce the spread of germs.
  • Our clinical staff will wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) to better protect themselves and their patients.
  • Appointments will begin with an oral rinse to reduce bacteria in the mouth prior to treatment.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at (972) 964-3774 or contact us today.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Can I put off my dental appointment until after the COVID-19 pandemic is over?

Regular dental appointments are an important part of taking care of your overall health. While it can be tempting to put off your regular checkup until things feel more “normal” again, I advise against it. Routine appointments give me an opportunity to check for a number of health conditions and catch them early. Some conditions, like tooth decay, can be more difficult, painful and expensive to treat if they’re left undetected.

Your health and safety is, and has always been, my top priority. My staff and I are taking every precaution to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission at your visit.

What about teledentistry? Can / substitute a virtual visit for my regular appointment?

A phone or video appointment isn’t the same as your regular appointment. Teledentistry can be helpful in some situations, such as deciding if an oral health issue you’re experiencing is an emergency that requires immediate treatment or if it’s something that can wait a bit. If you think you may be experiencing a dental emergency, call my office and we’ll help you decide if you need to come in.

What are you doing differently because of COVID-19?

There are a number of science-backed steps my staff and I are taking to help limit the spread of COVID-19. These include:

  • Increased personal protective equipment including masks, face shields, goggles and surgical gowns or long-sleeved lab coats.
  • Increased cleaning protocols. This includes using disinfectants known to kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, removing high-touch items like magazines and toys from waiting rooms and frequently cleaning items like pens and clipboards.
I’ve heard it’s safer to schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning – the office will be cleaner because there haven’t been patients coming through before me. Is that true?

You should schedule your dental appointment for the time of day that works for you. The same enhanced cleaning protocols occur all day long, including leaving the room empty after a patient leaves to allow the appropriate time necessary as part of thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the space between patients.

How is your dental team monitoring themselves for COVID-19?

Staff at our practice are subject to daily health screenings. This includes taking their temperatures to make sure they don’t have a fever and asking them a series of health-related questions each day to make sure they’re not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

You said you cannot see me as a patient because of my COVID-19 risk. Can you do that?

Yes. The safety of our patients and the dental team is our highest priority. As Dentists, we use our professional judgment and guidance from the CDC and the American Dental Association (ADA) to determine risk levels for seeing patients. If it was determined that you were high risk, or had a high temperature on the day of your appointment, we can have a conversation about which factors determined delay of service, so that you can self-monitor and reschedule.

Children dentistry…fun facts about animal teeth

Children dentistry…fun facts about animal teeth

Children dentistry is part of our specialty and one thing we know about children dentistry is…animal tooth facts are always fun for dental pediatric time! We pulled some of our favorites to share with you this time around. Get ready to learn!

A is for…alligator! Did you know… alligators have between 74 and 80 teeth in their mouth at a time, but as their teeth wear down, new ones constantly replace them.

children dentistry

B is for Blue Whales. Even though they’re the largest mammals in the world, blue whales only eat tiny shrimp called krill, so they don’t need teeth to chew their food. Instead, they have bristle-like filters called baleen that comb through the water.

What’s next? Giraffe! Giraffes have 32 teeth just like humans, but no upper front teeth. Most of them are positioned in the back of their mouths. They use their lips and 20-foot long tongues to grab leaves and twigs and grind them up with their back teeth.

children dentistry

Hippopotamus. Hippos have the longest canine teeth of any animal. At three-feet long, the incisors of a hippo can bite right through a small boat.

Mosquitoes……. have teeth that help them saw into your skin. Yikes!

children dentistry

Rabbits, squirrels, and rodents have teeth that never stop growing. They have to chew on tough foods like nuts, leaves, and bark to wear down their teeth and keep them from growing too long.

Zebras…are the same! They must constantly gnaw on bark, leaves, and grass to shave down their teeth.

Sources:

10 Fun Facts about Animal Teeth

10 Fun Facts About Animal Teeth We Bet You Didn’t Know

Groundhogs & Other Animals with Interesting Teeth