Understanding Tooth Pathology

Understanding Tooth PathologyIn order to take good care of our teeth, we need to understand the different diseases and conditions that can affect them. One of our goals at Brar Family Dentistry is to help our patients understand the potential issues that our dental care addresses. That includes breaking down scientific terms like tooth pathology, which refers to all conditions involving our teeth that can be present at birth (congenital diseases) or acquired throughout life. Continue reading below to learn more.

Congenital vs. Acquired Diseases

Tooth pathology consists of dental conditions that fall in both the congenital and acquired categories.

Congenital Diseases

Some congenital conditions for teeth, both common and rare, include:

  • Malocclusion: Misalignment of teeth, which can affect your bite, face shape, tooth health, and speech. Most malocclusions can be corrected through orthodontic treatment.
  • Hyperdontia (Also called supernumerary teeth): having too many teeth beyond the normal amount of both primary (20) and adult (32) teeth. Interestingly, this condition is twice as common in men as it is in women.
  • Hypodontia: A condition where you are missing some teeth (six or more = oligodontia) or even missing all of your teeth (anodontia).
  • Enamel defects: Two common enamel defects that affect children are hypoplasia and hypocalcification, both of which affect the strength and health of a tooth’s enamel. Patients dealing with these conditions often complain about tooth sensitivity because the enamel is thin or worn down quickly.

Acquired Diseases

Unlike congenital diseases, acquired diseases develop after birth. Cavities (also called tooth decay) and caries are the most common acquired diseases, and two of the most common health problems in general. They are caused by several factors: plaque formation, bacteria in the mouth, sugary foods and drinks, and ineffective oral hygiene. Once plaque forms on a tooth, if it is not cleaned off properly it will create an acid that eats through the enamel and causes a cavity. Other medical conditions associated with tooth decay include diabetes, eating disorders, oral cancer, and TMD (temporomandibular disorder).

Anyone can get cavities, including infants, but cavities are more common among children, teenagers, and older adults. Cavity symptoms can vary, but they commonly include toothaches, increased sensitivity, visible holes or pits in the tooth, and dark stains. If left untreated, cavities can grow in size and depth, affecting deeper layers of your teeth and increasing the chances of infection and tooth loss.

Prevention

PreventionBeing proactive rather than reactive works in almost any circumstance, and that applies to your oral and dental health as well. Seeing a dentist now, then scheduling regular follow-up cleanings and exams, will help prevent problems and also allow your dentist to spot any potential issues early on, thus letting you get the jump on treating them.

Your dentist can suggest treatments and practices to improve and maintain good oral hygiene and dental health at home too. Some general tips for best oral hygiene and preventing tooth decay and cavities are:

  • Floss once a day, brush at least twice a day, and rinse with mouthwash once a day. This is the trinity of good oral hygiene.
  • Watch what you eat and drink. Cut back on the sugary drinks, as well as sugary and starchy foods. Instead, drink more water and eat more fruits, vegetables, and non-processed foods.

Find Your Path to Healthy Teeth

The staff at Brar Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the best dental care, whether it’s for a simple cleaning and exam or for a more serious tooth pathology issue. Please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment at our Nashua, NH office. We will gladly answer any questions you may have about your teeth and oral health. We hope to hear from you soon!

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How to Prevent Teeth Staining

pasta (1)As dental professionals, we understand that keeping your teeth white and healthy is an investment that takes a lot—from diligent oral hygiene at home to regular visits to our Nashua, NH family dentistry. However, the buck doesn’t stop there. According to Colgate, there are certain foods/drinks that create teeth discoloration or staining. If you want to protect your teeth from staining, learn about these foods/beverages and how they can affect your smile today!

Pasta Sauce

You might think twice about cooking lasagna or spaghetti for tonight’s dinner. Not only does tomato sauce have acidic properties, it is generally a bright red color, which can negatively affect the color of your teeth long term. If you are going to eat something heavy in tomato sauce, give your teeth a chance by prepping them with a green appetizer, such as a salad, steamed broccoli, brussels sprouts, or whatever your favorite green vegetable may be. These vegetables create a protective layer around your teeth that makes them less vulnerable to what comes next.

Curry

If you’re a huge fan of Thai or Indian food, chances are you also love curry. Because of curry’s deep, rich colors though—yellow, orange, red—your teeth are at risk for staining. So, if you are going to eat curry, dilute it a bit with more rice, green vegetables, etc.

Balsamic Vinegar

Because of its natural dark hue and sticky consistency, balsamic vinegar can leave your teeth with a dark film. Adding more crunchy green vegetables and less balsamic vinegar to your salads will reduce the dressing from sticking to your teeth and causing discoloration.

Dark Berries

No matter if you’re eating fresh berries, drinking them in a concentrated fruit juice, or enjoying them as a jam on toast, dark hued berries can lead to teeth discoloration. We’re not suggesting you skip out on berries altogether (they can be very healthy for you), but be sure to drink water or milk to wash away any residue afterward. Also, try a yummy alternative such as a fruit smoothie.

Certain Beverages

coffee (1)Lastly, various beverages including coffee, soda, energy drinks, wine, and tea can all cause teeth staining along with damage to your enamel. It’s both the acidic traits and colors of these beverages that pose a double threat to your dental health. Since most people drink some assortment of these beverages regularly, your family dentists recommend monitoring your intake (moderation is key) and drinking plenty of water.

Call Your Nashua, NH Family Dentistry

Our Nashua family dentistry is more than happy to help you find additional ways to keep your teeth looking beautiful past watching your intake of certain foods and beverages. We have years of experience working with patients of all ages. Feel free to give us a call at (603) 889-0601 or contact us online. We look forward to seeing you in our office!

Top 5 Commonly Asked Children’s Dentistry Questions

Top 5 Commonly Asked Children_s Dentistry QuestionsBrar Family Dentistry has been serving families in the Nashua area with high-quality dental care for many years. During our years of dental practice, we have noticed a few commonly asked dental questions regarding babies and young children. So, we decided to compile a short list of the top commonly asked children’s dentistry questions and provide answers for them.

When Should I Make My Child’s First Dental Appointment?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, you should bring your child in to see a dentist by his or her first birthday. This is because the primary teeth (baby teeth) serve not only as guidelines for your baby’s permanent teeth, but examining their development can allow your family dentist to spot identifiers that signal the possible development of speech impediments and unhealthy chewing behaviors.

What Are Some of The Signs of Teething?

Here are a few good tale-tell signs to help you know if your baby is starting to teeth:

  • Irritability
  • Biting and gnawing
  • Drooling
  • Chin rash (caused by excessive salivation)
  • Swollen gums
  • Ear rubbing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Disrupted sleep patterns

How Can I Relieve My Baby’s Pain While He or She Is Teething?

At Brar Family Dentistry, we recommend relieving your baby’s tender gums by inserting a set of cold or chilled teething rings into his or her mouth. This will help neutralize any discomfort your baby might be experiencing. Chilled pacifiers and washcloths can also help. Whichever tool you decide to use, remember to apply it to the bottom of your baby’s mouth, as this is usually where the first teeth erupt.

How Do I Prevent Baby Tooth Decay?

Once your baby has teeth, it’s certainly important to start caring for them. It’s no secret that babies love milk. But, while milk is essential to babies’ growth and development, it can also affect their dental health. Milk contains natural sugars that can increase the exposure of bacteria and acid in your baby’s mouth, especially over long periods of time. What we recommend is replacing a bottle of milk with a bottle of water or a pacifier while your baby is asleep so that there is less exposure to bacteria.

Is Tooth Decay Something I Should Continue to Monitor for As My Child Grows?

Absolutely! What people don’t realize is that tooth decay is one of the most common human diseases, second only to the common cold! It is also highly preventable. Tooth decay is particularly threatening to children because of their tendency toward more sugary diets and less adamant oral hygiene habits. We have an entire section on our website dedicated to tooth decay prevention. Check it out today to learn more about how to keep your child from developing tooth decay.

Schedule A Children’s Dentistry Appointment at Brar Family Dentistry Today!

Let our family dentistry in Nashua, NH answer any other questions you may have about children’s dentistry and keeping your child’s smile healthy and beautiful. We also offer general dentistry services for the entire family and can answer questions regarding patients of all ages. Feel free to give us a call at (603) 889-0601 or contact us online today!

National Children’s Dental Health Month – Preventing Tooth Decay

National Children_s Dental Health Month – Preventing Tooth Decay (1)The American Dental Association (ADA) first coined the month of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month in 1949. However, eight years earlier this observance started as a one-day event.

Dentists back then understood the importance of children adopting a healthy oral hygiene routine at an early age to promote beautiful and healthy smiles throughout their lives, just as dentists of the present believe now. Brar Family Dentistry shares this desire to promote children’s dental health, so we work hard to educate our patients about the benefits of pediatric dentistry and ways to prevent tooth decay.

Tooth Decay is one of the most common conditions we see in young patients at our Nashua, NH family dentistry. According to research, in 2015 tooth decay in American children was the most chronic disease. Additionally, 42% of children ages 2 – 11 suffer with tooth decay, and 23% of them have not been treated.

Healthy Choices to Prevent Tooth Decay

It’s no secret that children love sugary drinks, snacks, and foods. Sugar mixed with already present bacteria in the mouth can activate acid that then attacks the teeth causing tooth decay. Regularly brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can help prevent the presence of bacteria in your children’s mouths.

Along with minimizing your children’s intake of sugar, make sure they are receiving the proper nutrients by preparing foods that represent all five major food groups:

  • Vegetables
  • Grain
  • Dairy
  • Protein ruit

Having a balanced diet full of these healthy foods will help build up your children’s immune systems and attack infections such as periodontal disease, which is a major contributing factor for teeth loss in adults.

Schedule A Children’s Dentistry Appointment at Brar Family Dentistry Today!

Our friendly children’s dentists and dental team have years of experience working with children and families to develop healthy, beautiful smiles. Feel free to give us a call at (603) 889-0601 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Sleep Apnea

Most people don’t associate teeth with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD). However, a 2012 study revealed that many children who are diagnosed with ADHD don’t really have the condition. Rather, their behavioral problems are actually due to sleep-related breathing disorders (SRBD), such as sleep apnea.

The study, published by the journal Pediatrics, followed more than 11,000 children for six years, beginning from when they were 6 months old. The children who had SRBD were 40 to100 percent more likely than those without breathing issues to develop behavioral problems resembling ADHD by the age of 7.

It makes sense, then, to consider whether interrupted sleep might be the primary issue at work. A well-rested individual, young or old, can function much better on a good night’s sleep. But a lack of rest affects different people in different ways. Sleepy adults tend to act sluggishly, while sleep-deprived children are more likely to become hyperactive, uncooperative, and unable to focus – just like kids with ADHD.

How Can I Identify Sleep Apnea?

Sleep-related breathing disorders, including sleep apnea, are characterized by recurrent episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep. Typically, the airway becomes blocked by soft tissues near the back of the throat (e.g. tonsils or the tongue) that partially close off the windpipe. These tissues can vibrate as air passes by, causing snoring. This often gets worse while sleeping on one’s back, since this encourages the lower jaw to slip back and pushes the tongue in front of the airway.

Overweight children have a higher incidence of sleep apnea due to fatty tissue deposits in the soft palate (the soft tissue in the back of the roof of the mouth), which decrease the size of the child’s airway.

When observing your child sleeping, look for the following signs to see if he or she may have a sleep-related breathing disorder:

  • Snoring
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Chronic mouth breathing
  • Constant tossing and turning
  • Night panics
  • Bed-wetting

How Can Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea In Children?

Your family dentist can help you figure out if there are any oral issues keeping your children from getting the restful sleep they need to maintain their health and well-being. When it comes to sleep apnea treatment, there are a number of options for both young and older children.

For younger children who are still growing, the use of an orthodontic appliance called a palatal expander has proven useful in some cases. The device gently widens the roof of the mouth (palate) over time by separating bones that don’t permanently fuse together until puberty. Normally, the expander is used to create more room for crowded teeth, but the expansion can also increase airflow.

Older children who have stopped growing can sometimes benefit from Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). This involves wearing a custom-made oral appliance designed to reposition the jaw during sleep and hold the tongue away from the back of the throat, reducing the potential for obstruction.

Don’t Sleep on Your Child’s Dental Health

Brar Family Dentistry is a family dental practice that provides a variety of general, cosmetic, and restorative dental services. Contact us today at our Nashua, NH office if you have any questions, or to make an appointment with us!

Pregnancy & Your Child’s Developing Teeth

Brar Family Dentistry, it’s our mission to offer efficient and effective family dentistry and dental services to all our patients in and around Nashua, NH. This compassionate dental care doesn’t just begin in childhood; it begins even before birth!

Many people don’t realize that even though a newborn’s teeth aren’t visible, they still exist beneath the gums. Children’s primary (baby) teeth actually start forming during the sixth week of pregnancy and mineralize during the third or fourth month of pregnancy. Proper dental care should start even before a baby is born, which is why, as your trusted family dentistry, we’d like to help you make sure that your future child’s teeth are as healthy as they can be.

Eating Right for Your Child

Like everything else that has to do with your baby’s physical development before birth, your child’s teeth depend on how well you take care of your own body. Developing teeth require the intake of several key nutrients in order to grow properly. If your body doesn’t receive these, your baby’s teeth won’t either. As your trusted Nashua, NH family dentistry, we’d like to provide you with a list of the most vital nutrients for prenatal tooth development.

  • Calcium – This mineral is the main component of a person’s teeth. If you don’t have enough calcium in your diet to support fetal development, your body will actually take calcium from your own bones in order to meet your baby’s developing needs. To ensure that you’re getting a healthy amount of calcium, you’ll want to consume plenty of dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt), as well as broccoli and kale.
  • Phosphorous – Another mineral that contributes to the strength of teeth is phosphorous. It’s found in all of the body’s cells and also in many foods – especially those with high-protein sources like meat, milk, and cereals. Thankfully, this is a very easy nutrient for your baby’s teeth to obtain.
  • Vitamin D – This helps the body both absorb and retain calcium and phosphorous. While very few foods naturally contain Vitamin D (the exceptions are oily fish, such as salmon and tuna), it’s often added to milk and other beverages and foods. Additionally, it’s produced in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. Many people lack the sun exposure needed to get all the vitamin D that the body requires, so you may want to consider taking a supplement.
  • Protein – After water, this is the most plentiful substance found in the body. Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the body’s tissues. The action of a single protein will cause calcium-phosphate crystals to form tooth enamel. While the body produces certain proteins, others must come from food. Some of the most protein-rich foods include meat and dairy products.

Supplements & Medications During Pregnancy

If you believe your pregnancy diet is lacking any of the above nutrients, it is a great idea to seek out professional advice on what supplements you can take. Be advised though, while it’s highly unlikely that you’ll consume too much of any given nutrient through your natural eating habits, it’s possible to overconsume certain vitamins and minerals when taking them in pill form.

When you first find out you’re pregnant, it is important to share this news with your family dentist and all your other healthcare professionals. By doing so, medications that are potentially harmful to pregnancy can immediately cease being prescribed. Some antibiotics may be unsafe for developing babies; for example, tetracycline can permanently stain teeth in utero. In addition, fluoride supplementation isn’t recommended at this time because its effects during pregnancy are unconfirmed.

Contact Your Nashua, NH Family Dentistry Now!

If you’re looking for a family dentistry near Nashua, NH, you’ve come to the right place! Feel free to give us a call at (603) 889-0601 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Importance of Lifetime Retainer Wear

When you finish your Invisalign treatment, you are excited about your new smile and glad to be done with those daily aligners. However, while it is certainly important to revel in the freedom of your new smile, equally important is taking the necessary action to retain it. And that comes down to one word — retainers.

After completing any form of orthodontic treatment (Invisalign included) under the care of our skilled family dentists, you will be prescribed a retainer that will be custom-made to fit your smile. Your dentist will give you instructions for how and when to wear this retainer, characterizing it as your “retention phase” of treatment. This phase can last 12 – 24 months. But, while that is the prescribed time for the phase, it is truly recommended that you continue wearing your retainer past that. Maybe not with the same prescribed consistency your family dentist initially provided, but at least with some regularity.

Ongoing Shifts

Even if you’ve had the best Invisalign treatment possible, over time your teeth will start to shift toward their original positions. This is because your gum fibers will slowly, but consistently try and pull your teeth back to where they once were. Additionally, as you age your facial skeletal structure changes, and your teeth experience natural wear. As a result, the perfectly straight smile you leave the dentist with could become unstraightened over time, your teeth becoming a victim to a crowding relapse.

When to Wear

While your family dentist may prescribe consistent retainer wear for the official retention phase of Invisalign treatment, past that we recommend wearing your retainer at night as often as possible for as long as possible. This will make the difference in preserving your straight smile for the future.

A Lifetime of Straight Smiles

As your trusted Nashua family dentistry, our dentists are dedicated to helping you attain a straight, beautiful smile. Once that’s done, we encourage you to take pride in your smile by doing your part to maintain it throughout the rest of your life. Wear your retainer as often as you can past the recommended retention phase and your teeth will be less likely to shift back to their old positions. For more information about retainers or Invisalign treatment in general, contact Brar Family Dentistry now!