Someone once said, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” How true!
It can be disorienting and frustrating to watch your health change with age, but you don’t have to accept poor oral health and tooth loss as just a part of the game. On the contrary, your oral health is just as important now as ever, and it’s linked closely with your overall health and wellness.
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Nicknamed for the fact that they come into your mouth (and your life) by the time you are finally mature and supposedly “wise” wisdom teeth are simply molars in the far back of your mouth. Whether or not these molars cause you problems is anyone’s guess, but if you’re experiencing some specific pain in your gums and jaw, you may be wondering if you have impacted wisdom teeth.
Dr. Priscilla Shih takes care of wisdom teeth from all around West Salem! Let us tell you more about impacted wisdom teeth and what to do if you have them. Read more ›
Good News for Grown Ups
“Adulting” can be hard. Between rent, bills, kids, a career, and other responsibilities, it can be hard to make time for yourself. But independence, parenting, fulfilling work, and the wisdom that comes with age can be pretty fantastic, too. So how does your oral healthcare fit into a grown-up lifestyle?
- Priorities: You manage a lot on any given day. Brushing your teeth and making a dental appointment may not feel like the most pressing of matters, but you know they are important in the long run—so you do it.
- Family Life: Many people are more motivated to take care of themselves when the habits easily fit in with family life and when you know someone is looking to you to set a good example. Whether you are caring for children or aging parents, preventative oral healthcare is more fun (and more likely to happen) together as a family.
- Benefits: If you have a job that provides dental coverage, there’s really no reason not to see the dentist. You should even be able to use paid time off for the appointment. Can anyone say “me time”?
- Holistic Dentistry: As we get older, we tend to know ourselves better. Holistic medicine is getting more popular as people consider all the ways one part of their health affects another. Keep solid notes on how your whole body and mouth are doing and share the notes with both your doctor and your dentist.
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What is Gum Disease?
The short answer: Gum disease is a common gum infection that can become very problematic, but you can prevent it!
The long answer: All over your body, tissues have a self-defense mechanism called “inflammation.” When bacteria build up in your mouth, your gum tissue will inflame to try and kill it. Inflammation of your gums is called gingivitis. Gingivitis looks like red, soft, and sore gum tissue.
Over time, gingivitis can lead to more troublesome gum disease (called periodontitis) that can grow even deeper and start to harm the bones of your teeth and jaw. Severe gum disease can wreak havoc in your mouth. Pregnant women need to be especially careful because gum disease is linked with pre-term births and babies with low birth weight.
Every mom and mom-to-be wants the best start for their little one, and their journey into parenthood. Read on from Dr. Shih at Waterloo Heights Dental Center to learn more about gum disease and pregnancy.
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There is a law of nature that “function follows form.” It’s a saying that means that how something looks actually determines how it works.
For example, you may own many screwdrivers of different sizes and shapes (form) to loosen all different kinds of screws (function). Think of a watering can with a long spout that’s perfect for pouring water right where you want it, versus one with a broad spout to cover large areas more quickly.
This principal can also apply to your smile! A mouth missing teeth is not nearly as functional as a mouth with a full set of chompers. Enter: cosmetic dentistry. The word cosmetic makes these treatments sound optional, but many times they are truly needed to improve physical function or mental and emotional wellbeing.
Read more from Dr. Shih to learn about cosmetic dentistry and the impact it can have on your life.
Kinds of Cosmetic Dentistry
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Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a really long name … so let’s call it TMJ. Ah, yes, that’s right, now the name is more familiar! You’ve heard it before. Maybe even some lingering pain in your chewing muscles and bones has you wondering if you’ve got it.
TMJ dysfunction is sometimes called TMD, TMJD, or TMJ Syndrome if there seems to be a collection of related issues with your jaw. Dr. Shih at Waterloo Heights Dental Center is here to tell you more about TMJ and what to do if you’ve got it.
What is TMJ?
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If you’re a new mom or you’re about to be, you’re likely already used to putting your needs second to the needs of this beautiful new little person in your life. But your oral hygiene is still important for keeping you and your baby in tip top shape. If something comes up and you need dental work, it shouldn’t prevent you from continuing to breastfeed regularly, or from seeking the dental treatment you need.
Dr. Shih is an experienced dentist in West Salem and can explain how prioritizing your own health needs is safe and important during this stage of a woman’s life.
Dental Procedures Safe for Breastfeeding
You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that regular brushing and flossing is safe for breastfeeding mothers. In fact, it’s probably never felt more luxurious! Especially as you’re likely eating everything in sight (and perhaps indulging in sweet treats, too), it’s a good idea to keep those pearly whites as clean and healthy as possible. Read more ›
What is oil pulling?
Claiming everything from whiter teeth and healthier gums to decreased body aches and pains, oil pulling is the latest trend in DIY detox therapies. Newly popular among celebrities and lovers of natural health and wellness, oil pulling is a hygiene practice that actually dates back centuries through the Indian medical tradition Ayurveda. Simply put, oil pulling uses common plant-based oils (coconut is a favorite) in place of store-bought mouthwash.
Users swish, or “pull” one tablespoon of oil in their mouth for 10-20 minutes every day. The oil usually doubles in size due to collecting saliva and toxins from the mouth. Users are strongly warned to spit out the oil because it contains the microorganisms which pulling aims to extract. Oil is believed to draw toxins out of the mouth by sticking to their outer, fatty layer. Since oral hygiene is linked to health in all parts of the body, it’s believed that the benefits of oil pulling go beyond just your mouth. Read more ›
So you’re missing a tooth—or a few!
An apple a day will not take care of this one, unfortunately. It’s time to consider dentures or dental implants. A variety of personal and practical factors will determine which solution is best for your new smile. Don’t feel lost among all the pros and cons of choosing a tooth-replacement plan. Waterloo Heights Dental Center in West Salem is an experienced practice you can trust to help guide you on your journey from missing teeth toward a complete, natural, and healthy smile.
Not your grandma’s dentures
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Dental Insurance FAQ: The Basics
We at Waterloo Heights Dental Center understand that dental insurance can be a tricky thing to navigate. Evaluating dental plans and considering deductibles, benefits, which treatments are covered, and the mountain of other information insurance companies provide can be a headache in and of itself. Dr. Shih wants every West Salem resident to have the power to control their own health, so here’s a simplified guide to the basics of dental health insurance. As always, if you have a question, don’t be afraid to give us a call!
Dental insurance is an excellent investment that helps West Salem residents ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles. However, in order to get the best value from your dental insurance, there are a few things you need to know. Here are the answers to the most common questions we hear at Waterloo Heights Dental Center:
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