I have a pacemaker. Is it still safe to get my teeth cleaned?
Yes. However, some dental procedures and equipment could damage or otherwise affect your pacemaker. Always be sure to always tell your dentist that you have an implanted device so that they can take the necessary precautions.
Cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) use electrical impulses to maintain proper heart rhythm. They are becoming more common as the initial population into which they were introduced ages with an increased life expectancy, and as implantations have increased.1- This means patients, dental professionals and staff are more likely to have CIEDs, increasing the possibility of electromagnetic interference from electronic dental equipment. The link below contains information related to procedures that can safely be completed in the dental office:
My medications are making my mouth dry. Do I need to worry about getting cavities?
Dry mouth, also called xerostomia (ZEER-oh-STOH-mee-ah), is the condition of not having enough saliva, or spit, to keep the mouth wet. Dry mouth can happen to anyone occasionally—for example, when nervous or stressed. However, when dry mouth persists, it can make chewing, eating, swallowing and even talking difficult. Dry mouth also increases the risk for tooth decay because saliva helps keep harmful germs that cause cavities and other oral infections in check.
Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands that make saliva don’t work properly. An unwanted side effect of many over-the-counter and prescription medicines is dry mouth which can often result in patients developing cavities. The site below lists medications that can put you at risk of developing dry mouth. Please make your dentist aware of any medications that you are taking.
Is my water Fluoridated?
Almost all water contains some naturally-occurring fluoride, but usually at levels too low to prevent tooth decay. Many communities adjust the fluoride concentration in the water supply to a level known to reduce tooth decay and promote good oral health (often called the optimal level). This practice is known as community water fluoridation, and reaches all people who drink that water. Given the dramatic decline in tooth decay during the past 70 years since community water fluoridation was initiated, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) named fluoridation of drinking water to prevent dental caries (tooth decay) as one of Ten Great Public Health Interventions of the 20th Century. Check the link below to see if the water in your city is fluoridated:
Are my amalgam fillings safe?
The safety of amalgam fillings has been a hotly debated issue for some time. Concerns have been raised about the use of amalgam because it contains mercury. Amalgam critics argue that claims have been made since the 1840s that amalgam is unsafe because it may cause mercury poisoning and other toxicity. However, dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.
The links below contain governmental agency position statements as well as full reports from expert panel reviews of scientific literature focusing on the potential adverse human health effects caused by dental amalgam.
Which foods do I need to eat during my pregnancy to get the nutrition I need for myself,
and my baby?
Now more than ever, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet. That’s because what you eat during your pregnancy affects the development of your baby, including the teeth. A baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth months of the pregnancy. A sufficient quantity of nutrients—especially vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous—are needed. The site below can help you choose the best nutrition for you:
When will my child lose their teeth?
Between the ages of about six months and three years, you watched as your child got all of his primary teeth. Starting around the age of five or six, you get to enjoy the process all over again, as those teeth fall out and the permanent set erupts. Although it only took a few years for your child to get his primary teeth, it can take a decade or more until the final permanent tooth comes in. To help, you can use a permanent teeth chart to keep track of which adult teeth come in and when. When a child’s teeth start growing can vary, but they generally erupt in the same order for everyone.
I don’t eat candy or drink soda. Why do I still get cavities?
One possible explanation could be hidden sugars within your diet. Tooth decay, or ‘dental caries’, can occur when bacteria living in your mouth make acid that then begins to eat away at your teeth. Sugars in food and drinks play a major role in the development of dental caries. Bacteria within dental plaque use the sugar as energy and release acid as a waste product, which gradually dissolves the enamel in the teeth. When thinking of sugary foods, you more than likely think of candy and soda. However, patients at a higher risk of developing cavities need to be mindful of the hidden sugars and carbohydrates found in common everyday foods. The sites below contain information on how to find out if the foods that you are eating have hidden, cavity causing sugars.