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DENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR THE DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS

DENTAL HEALTH CARE FOR THE DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS

Oral health is often said to be a mirror of your overall health. Taking care of your oral hygiene is not all about looking good. It may be more important than you realize. More than just yellowing smiles, an unsightly smile and bad breath, not maintaining good oral hygiene can have an adversely affect a number of health issues like heart disease, stroke and diabetes to name a few. Preventing all types of disease – general and oral, should be the primary goal.

Despite being the hardest part of the human body, the teeth need regular maintenance to take care of it. The dental care needs change as a person age. The needs of a toddler are much different to that of an elderly person. Dental needs vary from toddlers to teens, or adolescents to adults. Even within age groups, diet, lifestyle, family dental history, medical history, all play a factor in determining the best oral hygiene practice suited for you.

Good Dental Healthcare Habits for Everyone

Irrespective of your age, there are some dental healthcare habits and practices that will always ensure healthy teeth and gums for an entire lifetime. Inculcating these practices in children, will help them grow into healthy adults.

  • Brush at least twice per day. It only takes 2-3 minutes twice a day to reduce the chances of gingivitis, cavities and bad breath. Use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss on a regular basis. Try to floss at least once every day, especially if you enjoy sweets and have sticky, sugary treats. Much like brushing your teeth, flossing takes only a few minutes, but pay you back with healthy gums and teeth.
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary food and drinks.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
  • Visit your dentist. Everyone even those people with ultra-disciplined dental care regimens need at least a yearly oral check-up. Periodontitis, cavities, gingivitis, and other dental healthcare problems can quickly surface, with little advance warning. Dental cleanings are recommended every 6 months.
  • Avoid the use of tobacco in any form.

Also, contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Ignoring the first sign of dental disease is the most common reason for dental tooth extractions. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.

Aside from these, let’s take a look at the unique dental care requirements through five different age groups.

Dental Care Changes Through the Years

  • Infancy

Some babies are born with teeth, but most are not. They require a different type of dental care. After feeds, it is advisable to wipe the infant’s gums with a damp cotton cloth. Keeping a baby’s gums clean and healthy will reduce the chance of infections when teeth start to come in. By 6 months of age, when the baby starts having solid food, the cloth can be swapped for a silicon finger brush.

Once the first tooth appears, you should brush with a non- fluoridated toothpaste and use a brush with extra-soft bristles. Children must be encouraged to brush their teeth on their own – but it should always be done under the guidance of an adult.

  • Childhood

For kids aged 2-12, it’s important to continue the healthy habits developed at the infant stage. Considering all the sweets and sugary drinks that kids have, the biggest problem the children face are dental cavities. They should be encouraged to brush their teeth after having sweet or sticky food like chocolates and cookies.

Once the child has mastered the act of spitting water, the switch to a fluoridated tooth paste can be made. Even very young children must be allowed to brush their teeth on their own – but it should always be done under the guidance of an adult. Aside from regular brushing twice a day and flossing, reduce sugar in their diet, and make sure they visit the dentist at least twice every year.

  • Teen Years & Young Adulthood

The teen years, including young adulthood, is an important phase for dental care. Adult supervision is minimal, so a whole new set of challenges – dietary choices, tobacco use, undisciplined brushing and flossing habits – pose potential problem spots.

Around the ages between 17-21, the “third molars or wisdom teeth” finally erupt. But as a part of evolution, as the jaw size has become smaller, most people don’t have enough room in their mouth to accommodate these molars. Regular dental visits can help determine whether wisdom teeth should be removed.

  • Adults

Dental care takes a back seat for adults when they are juggling busy schedules and extended work hours. From diabetes to heart disease, most of these problems develop during adulthood. This is also when most of the gum related issues start cropping up. All that is needed for a healthier mouth is regular brushing, flossing, dental visits.

  • Senior Citizens

Most older adults are less likely to visit their dentist, simply because they’re less active than younger people. A strong support system from kids and grandkids can help them keep up on their dental care. The leading problem for this age group, are weakened gums and worn teeth. Osteoporosis is a degenerative condition contributes to bone loss, which can negatively impact a senior citizen’s teeth. The American Dental Association recommends at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day to prevent or delay osteoporosis.

PMS College of Dental Science and Research – Affordable, Family-Friendly Care for Patients of All Ages!

PMS College of Dental Science and Research, is widely recognized as one of the best dental colleges in Kerala. The college has advanced dental care facilities and a commitment to high-quality dental research. From kids to senior citizens, a full range of dental services, including cleanings, oral hygiene, dentures, fillings, root canals, and more are offered here. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, or are looking for top notch dental care for you and your family, schedule an appointment today!

tooth decay

TOOTH DECAY: THE 5 STAGES AND HOW TO TREAT THEM

Have your teeth been troubling you? Are they causing you pain? If so, your teeth could be having decay or as we like to call it, dental caries. However, teeth decay don’t always start as pain.If you’re experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, it could be a sign of dental caries, a common condition taught in dental college They go through 5 different stages, from initial chalky white spots and finally culminating in teeth abscess which are extremely painful. During the initial stages of decay, the progression of the disease can be stopped or even reversed. Read on to understand how the teeth decay come about and go through the 5 different stages and what needs to be done during each of these stages to restore them to health.

STAGES OF DENTAL CARIES

Tooth decay is caused by the activity of certain species of bacteria that live in dental plaque. Plaque is a colorless, sticky film that covers the surfaces of your teeth. It’s made up of bacteria, food particles, and saliva. The bacteria in plaque convert the sugars present in your food into acids. If plaque is allowed to build up over time or if food remains on tooth surfaces for a long time, these acids can begin to damage your teeth. This is why maintaining good oral hygiene practices are key to preventing tooth decay.

Stage 1: Chalky White Spots

The outer layer of the tooth is composed of enamel. Enamel is the hardest tissue in your body and is mostly made up of minerals, however they are susceptible to attack by acids. As a tooth is exposed to acids over a prolonged period of time, the enamel begins to lose these minerals resulting in demineralized chalky white spots on the enamel. The body will initially try to protect the teeth from these acids using its own natural defences by a process called remineralization. Using saliva or the fluoride in your tooth paste, the body will try to restore the minerals. However, if this process is not successful, this leads us to the second stage of decay.

These white spots can be easily missed and a dental examination may be needed to catch such cavities. But finding them as early as possible is crucial as during this stage, the decay can be repaired without the need to excavate the tooth. Ask us about our fluoride treatments and what we can do to help you prevent cavities today!

Stage 2: Decay of the Tooth Enamel

When acid remains on the teeth for a long time, the body cannot re-mineralize quickly enough and the enamel will break down further. The white spot on a tooth darkens to a brownish color and a lesion will form within the tooth. Lesions proceed into a cavity or hole in your tooth, and they are not painful since there are no nerves in the dental enamel. However, the dentist must treat a lesion in the enamel to protect your tooth from further damage by using dental sealants.

Stage 3: Decay of the Dentin

If the cavity remains untreated, the enamel will continue to break down and soon the lesion reaches the next layer of tooth, the dentin. It is softer than enamel ad the decay progresses at a rapid pace. The dentin has many microscopic dentinal tubules which provide access to the inner core of the tooth which houses the nerves and blood vessels, the pulp. Hence, when the decay reaches this stage, you may begin experiencing sensitivity especially when having cold or hot or sweet food or drinks. At this stage, you must make a dental visit to have restorative treatment (such as a filling), or your decay may worsen to involve the pulp of your tooth.

Stage 4: Decay affecting the pulp

Once the cavity reaches the pulp, there is going to be significant pain. When damage to the pulp happens, there will be pulpal inflammation and resultant swelling which causes pain when lying down because of the pressure placed on the nerves. Now, the only way to salvage the natural tooth is to undergo Root Canal Therapy. The dentist will remove the infected pulp and seal the tooth during the root canal procedure. Now a crown, which is a prosthetic device that covers the tooth and is taught in dental colleges, is indicated for the affected tooth to provide extra protection and support.

Stage 5: Abscess formation

In the fifth and final stage of a cavity, the infection progresses throughout the pulp and reaches the tip of the root leading to a pocket of pus at the root tip, called an abscess. Tooth abscesses cause severe pain that may radiate to the jaw and ear.  They may also present swelling of the gums, face or jaws, swollen lymph nodes and even fever. A tooth abscess requires immediate treatment as the infection can spread to surrounding tissues and can damage even the jaw bone. Treatment at this stage, may involve root canal therapy, tooth extraction or even minor surgical procedures like apicectomy.

Now you know, cavities don’t happen overnight. In the early stages, regular visits can stop the progression of dental decay. Taking preventing measures like regular fluoride treatment and getting pit and fissure sealants also go a long way. If you are suffering for dental decay or if want to make sure you don’t go through these 5 stages, schedule your appointment today at Dental college in Kerala PMS College of Dental Science and Research – Affordable, Family-Friendly Care for Patients of All Ages!

PMS College of Dental Science and Research, is widely recognized as one of the best dental colleges in Kerala. The college has advanced dental care facilities and a commitment to high-quality dental research. From kids to senior citizens, a full range of dental services, including cleanings, oral hygiene, dentures, fillings, root canals, and more are offered here. Make sure to keep your smiles healthy!

GUM DISEASE: CAUSES, RISK FACTORS, SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT

What is gum disease?

It is an infection that affects the gums caused by buildup of food material that gets calcified over time.

Early-stage gum disease (gingivitis) includes swollen, bleeding gums. Some people experience no symptoms. It is reversible with timely treatment.

Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) occurs when the gums’ inner layer detaches from the teeth and forms pockets. Periodontitis is defined by the loss of bone supporting the teeth.The damage done due to periodontitis may be irreversible.

Who is at a higher risk of getting gum disease?

You may face a higher risk of gum disease if you:

  • Do not have good dental hygiene habits.
  • Use tobacco and tobacco products
  • Have crowded teeth, loose fillings or permanent dental appliances like bridges that are ill fitting
  • Have diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and immune system disorders like HIV and AIDS.
  • Have an immediate family member with a history of gum disease or early tooth loss.
  • Avoid taking regular dental check ups

Gum disease symptoms

  • Bleeding, swollen gums
  • Flaky deposits on teeth and discolored teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Tendency to suck in food between teeth

DIAGNOSIS

What type of healthcare provider can help you?

A dentist can diagnose and treat early gingivitis. You may need to see a specialist called a periodontist for advanced gum disease or symptoms that do not respond to standard management. Periodontists are specialist dentists with extra training in treating complex gum disease.

How is periodontitis diagnosed?

How long can you keep your teeth with periodontal disease? The evaluation starts by learning about your medical history and if you have any risk factors for gum disease .Your dentist then assesses your gums for signs of inflammation. They may use an instrument (probe) to measure pockets around the teeth.

How will you know if you have gingivitis if you can’t feel the symptoms?

Dental providers check for signs of gum infections during a dental check-up. If your gums appear swollen or bleed easily, it may be due to gingivitis. For gum infection treatment your dentist will use a probe to check for pockets and an explorer to assess debris and calculus. Gingivitis does not affect the bone surrounding your teeth and therefore usually can’t be diagnosed from dental x-rays. Full mouth x-rays may be carried out to determine the amount and type of bone loss due to periodontitis.

MANAGEMENT

How is early-stage gum disease treated?

The best treatment for gingivitis is a professional cleaning. Your dentist detects and removes plaque and calculus and may give you a prescription mouth wash containing chlorhexidine for subsequent use. Once these substances are gone, your gums will heal on their own, and no other treatment is necessary. Your dentist will also review the tools and techniques you should carry out to be more effective at home at preventing gingivitis from recurring.

How is periodontitis treated?

Scaling and root debridement is a procedure to clear away plaque and calculus that has spread to the tooth’s root and affected the bone. In the early stages of periodontitis, if the bone is not affected, deep scaling and root debridement under local anesthesia will help to control the condition. However, in other cases, periodontists may need to rebuild the bone surrounding your teeth that was lost from the periodontal disease by a periodontal flap surgery procedure employing bone grafts. In extreme cases the tooth or teeth may need to be extracted.

What happens if your teeth fall out?

If you do end up losing teeth, there are options for rehabilitation of teeth that may be removable or fixed that can restore a natural-looking smile. Dental implants one of the most sought after options for tooth replacement and are devices that look and feel like teeth in that they can’t be removed. The procedure to insert them is relatively quick and painless.

PREVENTION

How can you prevent periodontal disease?

Steps you can take to prevent periodontal disease include:

  • Brushing your teeth twice daily employing a proper toothbrushing technique
  • Flossing to remove plaque deposits between the teeth
  • Using mouthwash to get rid of bacteria that may remain on your teeth after brushing.
  • Getting regular teeth cleaning and dental exams.
  • Quitting smoking and use of tobacco products

 PROGNOSIS

What is the outlook for people with periodontal disease?

The impact of periodontal disease on your dental and general health depends on the severity and the treatment you receive. Seeing a periodontist and following their specific instructions for your gum health gives you the best chances for good results in the long run. Your oral hygiene habits and presence of any systemic complications may also influence prognosis.

Can periodontal disease recur?

Even with successful treatment, periodontal disease can come back. This is why regular at home self-cleansing measures as well as maintenance checkups with the dentist is of prime significance. If you start noticing symptoms, like swollen or bleeding gums, it’s important to immediately visit your dentist or periodontist.

How To Care For Your Child’s Teeth: A Guide For Parents

Primary teeth also known as milk teeth or baby teeth begins to develop  while the baby is in the mothers womb. At birth, the baby has a full set of 20 primary teeth (10 in the upper jaw, 10 in the lower jaw) hidden under the gums. The milk tooth breaks through the gums and becomes eventually  visible in the mouth by 6 months of age. By  three years of age your child will have complete set of milk teeth in their mouth.

 Primary teeth plays an important role in the growth and development of the child. It is important for acquiring nutrition, proper development of speech and for maintaining the space for permanent teeth (adult teeth) that will eventually erupt. Early dental care is important for children since tooth decay can start as soon as the first tooth erupts into the oral cavity. The decay of tooth can cause pain and swelling which can affect the proper chewing of food, which in turn is important for acquiring proper nutrition.

Some basic steps to follow for infant oral care.

-Before bedtime and after the first feeding of the day, wipe your child’s gums with a soft, clean cloth or silicone finger sleeve twice a day.

-Once the teeth have erupted, begin brushing twice daily with water and a soft toothbrush with little bristles.

-To detect any issues, take your baby to the dentist by the time they turn one.

-When your child’s first tooth breaks, discuss with your dentist or physician the possibility of applying fluoride varnish to their teeth.

-Regular trips to the dentist

Dental health in children

 Around 20% of kids between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. This is why it’s crucial to teach dental hygiene to children as early as possible. When your youngster is between the ages of 8 and 9, it’s time for them to take charge of their tooth-brushing responsibilities. 

A way to better health

The role of fluoride

Fluoride has been shown to reduce cavities in both adult (permanent) teeth and baby (primary) teeth.Fluoride is typically consumed by kids through the water. Your child might need to take an oral fluoride supplement if the water in your home lacks fluoride. To find out if your child requires this, consult your paediatric doctor. Too much fluoride can affect your child’s health and discolor their teeth. Make sure your child does not consume mouthwash or toothpaste containing fluoride.

How Can You Prevent Cavities in Your Child?

Cavities are the most common dental problem in children.If you teach your child the correct method of brushing and flossing the risk of developing cavities can be reduced.

Brushing and flossing

Children below 3 years of age

 Brush your childs teeth twice daily, using a soft child-sized toothbrush appropriate for their age. You could also mix in a tiny bit of fluoride-free toothpaste. You can switch to fluoride-containing toothpaste whenever your youngster is old enough to spit out the toothpaste. Use rice sized amount of fluoridated tooth paste for children below 3 years of age (smear layer). Ask your pediatric dentist to demonstrate the proper technique for brushing your child’s teeth.

Until they are 7 or 8 years old, your child will probably need assistance with tooth brushing. They can start using a larger-sized toothbrush at this point .Use pea sized amount of fluoridated tooth  paste for children above 3 years of age. Every three to six months or when the bristles start to look worn, replace the toothbrush. For 2 minutes, children should brush their teeth. Another essential component of your child’s dental hygiene routine is flossing. Introduce your child to daily flossing. To make flossing easier, you can purchase floss with a handle.

Role of diet .

 Kids who consume a lot of sugary foods and beverages also have a higher chance of developing cavities. It’s crucial to choose nutritious foods. Limit the amount of soda, fruit juice, and other sugary beverages your child consumes. Avoid eating or drinking anything sweet between meals. If your child does consume sweets, make sure they brush their teeth right away.

SAFETY MEASURES to be taken during contact sports

 Your youngster should wear a mouth guard if they participate in sports. This soft plastic retainer covers the lips and occasionally the teeth. It aids in preventing harm to your child’s mouth. If you require a mouth guard that is specially fitted, consult your dentist.

IS MY CHILD AT RISK OF DEVELOPING CAVITIES

Your child may be at risk for cavities if they:

-Have white spots or brown areas on their teeth.

-Have ongoing special health care needs.

-Do not go to the dentist often.

-Were born early (premature) or had a low birth weight.

WHAT IF THE CAVITIES ARE NOT TREATED

Untreated cavities might lead to tooth loss. It may harm a tooth’s nerve, resulting in an infection at the tip of the root which may need surgical treatment or extraction.Negligence can lead to loss of school days which in turn can affect the academic performance of the child. Children are often bullied in schools due to their unpleasant appearances which will affect the self esteem of the child

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE IF MY CHILD HAS ANY HABITS

Consult your paediatric dentist if your child have any of these habits:

Mouth breathing, tongue thrusting,thumb sucking, lip biting, lip chewing, digit sucking

Every parent is responsible for the overall dental health of their child. Taking proper care of their teeth through daily oral hygiene maintained and regular dental examinations can help them keep their beautiful and healthy smiles. In our country, most parents are not educated regarding the importance of paediatric dental care, which has in turn been the root cause for most of their dental problems . Knowing the path to better oral health can enable you to keep your kids healthy.Being one of the  best dental colleges in Kerala , PMS College of Dental Science and Research have all the facilities to give utmost care for all your child’s dental needs.