What To Eat After Having Dental Work Done

Having dental work isn’t like other procedures where you can eat whatever you want afterward. In fact, it can be difficult to find something you can easily eat after dental treatment. Whether you’re recovering from oral surgery, a dental implant placement, a root canal, or even a filling and are having trouble finding easy-to-eat foods, you’re in luck. Your dentist in Boerne has a whole list of foods you can eat after having dental work done. Let’s check out a few of our favorites. 

Avocados

A mushed-up ripe avocado is one of the best things you can eat after dental treatment. Not only is it easy to eat, but avocados can provide your body with needed healthy fats and a ton of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and fiber. These are some of the reasons that it’s often called a superfood. 

Broth

Broth or soup is another excellent choice. Not only is it comfortingly warm, but it also requires little to no chewing. Beef bone broth, in particular, is also packed with protein, which is important. In fact, according to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, soft foods with healthy fats and protein like beef bone broth may also even help promote healing by repairing muscles and tissues and fighting off infection. Remember, if you’re recovering from wisdom teeth removal or other oral surgery, keep your broth warm and not hot. Hot foods and drinks can irritate gum tissue and make recovery take longer. 

Scrambled Eggs

This breakfast favorite isn’t only for mornings and would be easy to eat at any time following dental treatment. Similarly to bone broth, scrambled eggs are a healthy, protein-packed option that’s easy to eat and promotes healing. Besides, who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? 

Fish & Potatoes

If you’re looking for something that feels more like a complete meal, look no further than fish and potatoes. Fish such as tuna, salmon, and tilapia are soft and easy to chew, and they contain a lot of heart-healthy fats. Pair fish with delicious mashed potatoes for a delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-eat meal. Spice up the dish by choosing sweet potatoes over russet. 

Ice Cream

We couldn’t complete this blog without turning to the age-old favorite of ice cream. This sweet treat is a go-to option for your dentist in Boerne because it’s easy to eat and it’s cold. The coolness of ice cream is the perfect way to get some relief if you’re feeling sore and may even reduce swelling. Make sure to avoid flavors that contain nuts, frozen candy bars, or other hidden crunchy goodies. 

Even if you don’t necessarily feel like eating after dental treatment, it’s important that you do. If it’s easier, choose to eat several smaller meals or snacks throughout the day instead of large meals. Also, make sure to drink at least 64 ounces of water daily to keep your body and mouth properly hydrated. 

Your dentist in Boerne is always here to help you if you have any questions about your dental treatment, or what you can comfortably eat afterward. Just ask

Do Facemasks Cause Cavities?

A lot has changed over the past couple of months, and one thing that we’ve all introduced into our daily lives is the use of facemasks. Used to help minimize the risk of COVID-19, facemasks are supported by scientists and are now required at many public places. However, this daily use may raise some concerns for your dentist in Boerne.

An Important Note About Facemasks

Before we go any farther, we want to be clear that we are not suggesting that you stop wearing a mask, as the potential benefits outweigh the risks. What we are recommending is that you become aware of how your facemask can play a role in your oral health and learn what you can do to help.

Mouth Breathing

While the mask itself isn’t causing cavities, the changes we experience as a result of wearing them can. For example, most of us are not used to wearing a facemask at all let alone daily or perhaps all day every day. Because of this new factor, many people may begin to breathe out of their mouths instead of their noses because it’s more comfortable. However, this change in breathing is what can cause concerns for your dentist in Boerne.

When we breathe out of our mouths, whether because of a facemask or not, it can quickly dry out saliva production and create dry mouth. Dry mouth is concerning because a mouth needs saliva to help wash away things like bacteria and neutralize acids. Without it, teeth are at increased risk for tooth decay and other intraoral problems.

Bad Breath

Besides an increased risk of decay, mouth breathing can also cause bad breath. Since there’s not enough saliva around to wash away bacteria, they’re left free to feed on leftover food particles. As a result, these bacteria release a stinky byproduct.

Avoid Dry Mouth

Now, even though your dentist in Boerne knows that mouth breathing and dry mouth aren’t great for oral health, there are things you can do to help avoid dry mouth or treat it if it does occur such as:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help keep the mouth hydrated and moist.
  • Suck on sugar-free hard candies or chew gum with Xylitol. Both of these tricks can stimulate saliva production.
  • Brush and floss your teeth every day. Maintaining proper oral hygiene can help remove bacteria buildup.
  • Talk with your dentist. There are products designed to produce saliva. Your dentist can guide you on what’s the best way to fix your dry mouth.

If you’re concerned that dry mouth may be causing dental problems, or you’d like to talk to someone about getting some relief, call your dentist in Boerne. As with many dental concerns, the sooner dry mouth is diagnosed and treated properly the less chance it has to cause serious, more complicated problems.

More Stress, More Oral Health Problems

An article recently published by the New York Times details one dentist’s experience seeing an increase of patients with cracked teeth over the past few months. What could be causing this? Well, all of our lives have been flipped upside down and shaken up this year, and this can cause some stress — naturally. This stress may just be the cause of some dental problems, including cracked teeth. Join your dentist in Boerne as we share just how stress and other factors can influence your oral health. 

Teeth Clenching & Grinding

Our bodies react to stress in interesting ways. Sometimes our gut health is affected. Other times it’s our oral health. During periods of high stress, many people may begin clenching or grinding their teeth, and oftentimes they don’t even know it or they may be doing it subconsciously while sleeping. This repeated movement of teeth against teeth can cause teeth to wear down and appear shorter. It can also cause teeth to crack, break, or chip, requiring treatment from your dentist in Boerne. But even that’s not all. Clenching and grinding your teeth puts unnecessary and unnatural stress on the jaw joint and can cause severe TMJ pain or TMJ disorder. 

Gum Disease

Prolonged periods of stress can also increase someone’s risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease is an infection deep under the gum line that requires professional dental treatment. However, if it’s not treated, gum disease can cause other problems throughout the body and put overall health at risk. Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, respiratory disease, and even certain cancers. Besides stress, other things that increase the risk of gum disease include poor dental hygiene, smoking, and seeing your dentist in Boerne every six months for deep cleanings. 

How To Decrease Stress

We understand that the current state of the world can easily cause stress levels to spike and put us at risk for both oral health problems and whole-body concerns. But one of the best things you can do during uncertain, stressful times is to learn effective ways to lower stress. Some stress-reduction techniques include: 

  • Sleeping. Falling and staying asleep can be difficult when we’re stressed out and our minds won’t stop racing. But it’s crucial to your health to get enough sleep every day. Not only can sleeping enough lower stress (and probably make it easier to fall asleep), it can also give your body time to recover and keep you healthy. Try listening to calming sounds, avoiding your phone an hour before going to bed, and keeping a regular sleep schedule. 
  • Meditating. Mediating has been proven to lower heart rate and help us feel relaxed, thus lowering stress. Find a free app on your phone that will guide you through meditations and teach you how to effectively lower stress by simply breathing. Meditation is like anything else, you need to practice it to get really good at it so be sure to schedule time each day to focus and meditate. 
  • Exercising. Another proven way to lower stress and boost health is to exercise often. Whether you choose an online spin class, practice yoga, or run or walk, make sure you get a good sweat session daily. 

Now and always, it’s important to keep your stress levels low and immune system high to keep yourself healthy. Find a stress-reduction plan that works for you, eat a well-balanced diet, and see your dentist in Boerne every six months.

Comparing Dental Implants & Dentures

There are a number of things that can cause our teeth to fall out, including accidents, age, decay, and disease. In fact, tooth loss is incredibly common among American adults and affects more than 178 million of us, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. But if you’re one of the millions of Americans missing a tooth or even several teeth, your dentist in Boerne wants you to know that you don’t need to live without a full smile. There are tooth replacement options such as dental implants and dentures available that can help. 

What are Dentures?

Dentures are a tooth replacement treatment option that has been around for quite some time but has been improved upon as technology advanced. Dentures can either replace all of your natural teeth or even only a series of missing teeth (called a partial denture). They are removable, non-permanent prosthetics that are custom-created to fit in your mouth and appear like natural teeth. 

Pros of Dentures

There are several benefits of dentures, including: 

  • More affordable than dental implants
  • Can be good for those who just had their teeth removed and who want time for their mouth to heal before dental implant surgery
  • There’s no surgery involved
  • Dentures or partial dentures can be modified if more teeth are lost later in life

Cons of Dentures

As with anything, your dentist in Boerne also wants you to be aware that dentures can also come with a few cons such as: 

  • They may not look as natural as dental implants 
  • They have to be removed, cleaned, and stored properly every night
  • They require adhesive to stay in place which can get costly over time
  • They can slip while eating and talking which can be uncomfortable
  • They may not allow you to eat all the foods you want to eat such as corn, apples, or things with tiny seeds
  • They can increase the likelihood of gum disease if they aren’t cleaned properly or if food gets trapped 
  • They’re very delicate and can break easily and require a brand new prosthetic
  • Partials can weaken the teeth supporting it leading to additional problems

What are Dental Implants?

Like dentures, dental implants can also replace either one missing tooth or an entire mouth of missing teeth. But unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent, and instead of sitting on top of the jaw bone, dental implants are secured into the jaw bone. Dental implant treatment starts with a titanium post being placed into the jaw bone where it will act as your tooth root. As it heals, your bone will actually grow around the post, securely locking it into place. Afterward, an abutment is added to the post, and a brand new crown custom-created by your dentist in Boerne is placed on top. Now, if you’re missing more than one tooth, a few posts may be implanted into your bone then a full set of brand new teeth will be permanently secured to them, giving you a brand new look. 

Pros of Dental Implants

Dental implants can be the best and longest lasting tooth replacement for you and can also provide some of the following benefits.  

  • Dental implants tend to be more comfortable than dentures
  • You can eat what you want with dental implants
  • They don’t affect speech
  • They don’t require daily removal and reinsertion 
  • You can care for them just like your natural teeth
  • Dental implants can last for decades with proper care
  • They can reduce the risk of additional oral health problems

Cons of Dental Implants

Even though dental implants may appear to be all positive, there are a few cons as well. 

  • Dental implants are more expensive than dentures
  • They do require surgery
  • Not everyone is a candidate for implants 

If you’re tired of living your life with missing teeth, call your dentist in Boerne and schedule a consultation. Together, you can find the best way to replace your teeth and begin treatment so you can start smiling fully again. 

What’s the Best Milk for Teeth?

When you’re choosing the right milk for your family, you certainly have a lot of options to pick from these days. From milk made from almonds to milk made from coconuts, and from soy milk to cow’s milk, the dairy aisle is packed with so many different varieties of milk — how can you possibly choose?! Don’t worry. Believe it or not, your dentist in Boerne is here to help. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at how two of the most popular forms of milk, soy and cow’s milk, can affect your teeth. 

Cow’s Milk

The tried-and-true milk choice of dentists and many healthcare professionals is good old fashioned cow’s milk and for good reason. Cow’s milk is packed with two of the most important ingredients that our teeth (and our bones!) need to stay strong and healthy. We’re talking about the combination of calcium and vitamin D. This powerful duo is crucial for replenishing minerals in the teeth. You see, tooth enamel weakens when it’s attacked by acids and its otherwise suburb protection is diminished. This leaves teeth at increased risk of infection, decay, and cavities. To help remineralize tooth enamel, we need to supply our bodies with calcium and vitamin D, and as you know, cow’s milk is an excellent source of these two minerals. 

Soy Milk

Soy milk, on the other hand, still contains calcium and vitamin D but in significantly lower amounts. But that’s not all. One study found that bacteria commonly found in the mouth produced five to six times more acid when introduced to soy milk as compared to cow’s milk. An increase in acid means an increase in enamel erosion as well as an increase in the risk of decay and cavities. Keep in mind, this was one study and more research is needed to suggest a strong correlation between soy milk and cavities. 

A Few Exceptions

While the benefits of cow’s milk can certainly help build strong, healthy teeth and bones, some people can’t drink it due to lactose intolerance. Those who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting lactose, which is naturally occurring in cow’s milk and other dairy products. Instead of cow’s milk, individuals with lactose intolerance should choose a type of milk that’s easier to digest, such as calcium-fortified coconut or almond milk.

Other exceptions to choose an alternative to cow’s milk may be for religious, moral, or dietary reasons. In all cases, it’s important to your dentist in Boerne that those who can’t drink cow’s milk should supplement their calcium intake with other foods such as nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetables, and to talk with their doctor about whether or not they need a calcium supplement. 

As always, even though diet plays an important role in oral health, it’s still incredibly important that you and your family see your Boerne dentist every six months. These dental checkups give your dentist the opportunity to ensure that there aren’t any tiny problems lingering around just waiting to cause a bigger, potentially painful problem, and they give your dental hygienist the chance to thoroughly clean those pearly whites. Plus, it’s always nice to you. 

If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental visit, call us to schedule an appointment today! 

Is Dry Mouth Serious?

Think back to the last time your nose was so stuffy you had no choice but to breathe out of your mouth. Do you remember what your mouth felt like? It was probably dry, scratchy, and almost sticky. This is appropriately known as dry mouth. While dry mouth is an annoying and uncomfortable feeling, it’s usually not serious when experienced occasionally. However, if you have a dry mouth that doesn’t go away, it could lead to some concerning oral health problems for your dentist in Boerne

What’s So Bad About Dry Mouth? 

When your mouth feels dry it means that your salivary glands aren’t producing enough saliva to keep the inside of your mouth wet and well lubricated. This can be a problem if it happens day after day. Healthy mouths need saliva in order to help fight off damaging bacteria and acids that can cause decay or other oral health problems. But when there’s enough saliva to rinse away these acids and bacteria, your teeth are at risk. 

Causes of Dry Mouth

Like many ailments, unfortunately, there’s no one cause for dry mouth. But there are a few top culprits that your Boerne dentist sees regularly. Some of the most common causes of dry mouth include: 

  • Dehydration – Perhaps the most common explanation behind dry mouth is simply dehydration or not drinking enough water. It’s important to drink at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water throughout the day every day to keep your mouth (and your body) properly hydrated. If you work out or just sweat a lot, you will need to up your water intake. Usually, dry mouth caused by dehydration is quickly reversed once you replenish your body with lost water. However, if your dry mouth still doesn’t go away, you should consider other explanations. 
  • Medications – Medications are another common cause of dry mouth. Now, dry mouth caused by medicine doesn’t usually go away by drinking water and staying hydrated. It’s usually chronic and ongoing. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications are known to cause dry mouth. In fact, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of meds that list dry mouth as a side effect. Make sure you read the precautions and common side effects of any medicine you take, and if you notice that your medication may be causing dry mouth, talk with your dentist in Boerne. Never stop taking medication without talking to your doctor. 
  • Alcohol & Tobacco – Those who use tobacco products or drink alcohol regularly are more likely to have dry mouth. Both tobacco and alcohol are naturally drying, and when they’re introduced to the mouth regularly, dry mouth can become a chronic condition. 
  • Disease – Have you ever wondered why your dentist needs to know your whole health history and not just your oral health history? The reason behind this is because there are many ways your oral health affects your overall health and vice versa. For example, some diseases and medical conditions can cause dry mouth, and in turn, increase the risk of decay. Some common diseases that have been linked with dry mouth include diabetes, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, and Sjögren’s syndrome. Make sure you’re honest with your dentist about your overall health so you can get the best dental care for you. 

How Can You Treat Dry Mouth? 

Every person’s case of dry mouth is different, and that means that treatment will vary depending on what’s causing the dry mouth in the first place. Your dentist in Boerne will be able to help you find the best dry mouth treatment for you, but it’s also important to make sure you’re doing all the right things at home to help. Make sure you: 

  • Drink enough water 
  • Limit or avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco
  • Chew sugarless gum to help boost saliva production

If you’re concerned dry mouth may be causing dental problems, or you’re just ready to get dry mouth relief once and for all, call our dental office to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to help. 

Sun’s Out, Gums Out: How Sunshine Benefits Oral Health

We’re heading into the dog days of summer, which typically means really hot days and a lot of sunshine. This can be great for enjoying some time in the pool, on the lake, or at the beach, but your dentist in Boerne wants you to know that all of this sun can also be great for your oral and overall health thanks to the extra boost of vitamin D. 

The Power of Vitamin D

The sun is a pretty powerful thing — it helps us grow food, it keeps us warm, and it prevents the planet from turning into a giant ice ball. But the sun’s benefits run even deeper. In fact, we have the sun to thank for helping our bodies stay happy and healthy thanks to a little thing called vitamin D. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps our overall and oral health in so many ways, such as: 

  • Calcium Absorption – We all know that calcium is needed to help build strong bones and teeth. But your dentist in Boerne also knows that without vitamin D, the benefits of calcium don’t go as far. Calcium needs vitamin D in order to absorb properly and completely, and in order for your body to get all of the benefits of calcium. 
  • Protection Against Tooth Decay – Similarly to the above, several studies also suggest a positive correlation between vitamin D and the prevention of tooth decay. Researchers have even shown that vitamin D can lower the risk of tooth decay by 50%!
  • Immune System Support – Vitamin D can also help support the immune system and help it function properly. While this connection is complex, there is proof that vitamin D helps regulate and balance the immune system to protect us from germs, viruses, and infections. 

The best way to get vitamin D is through some good old fashioned sunshine. But as we all know, too much sun can have negative effects, such as a painful sunburn and an increased risk for skin cancer. Enjoy sunlight in moderation and know your limits. Most researchers agree that anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes of sunshine a day is all it takes to get enough vitamin D. 

Good Sources of Vitamin D

Getting enough vitamin D can be difficult, especially during winter months or over several days of dreary, rainy weather. When the sun isn’t an option, you can get your vitamin D by choosing foods that contain it. Some foods that are good sources of vitamin D are: 

  • Fatty fish such as salmon or tuna
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Fortified cereal, orange juice, or yogurt 

Knowing all of the benefits associated with sunshine and vitamin D, trust your dentist in Boerne when they say to get outside, enjoy the weather, and soak up some rays. Just make sure you limit your exposure to direct sunlight and wear sunscreen if you’ll be outside for an extended period of time.

Risks of Oral Piercings

Piercings of all kinds are popular, especially among adolescents, and can help people feel a sense of individuality or self-expression. Plus, they tend to have the connotation of being cool or trendy. However, when it comes to oral piercings such as tongue or lip piercings, they also come with a host of potential problems and concerns for your dentist in Boerne

Potential Problems with Oral Piercings

Besides the fact that oral piercings are painful to get, there are other potential problems you may not have considered, but that are important to know, before getting your tongue or lip pierced. 

  • Permanent Changes. When a piercing is new, it’s common to experience changes in the way you speak and eat. After all, there’s a brand new obstruction in the way that your mouth needs to get used to. While these changes are usually temporary, there’s always the possibility of permanent changes thanks to nerve damage. Our tongues and faces contain a complex web of nerves and if a needle hits one the wrong way, your sense of taste can be permanently altered or you may experience irreversible numbness. 
  • Tooth Damage. Nerves aren’t the only thing at risk for damage when it comes to a lip or tongue piercing. In fact, one of the most common concerns for your dentist in Boerne is the increased likelihood of tooth damage. You see, many people who have an oral piercing tend to play with the jewelry habitually, and this constant hitting of metal on teeth means a greater risk of chipped or broken teeth or damaged enamel. All of these forms of tooth damage require early dental treatment before they have a chance to develop into more serious and painful problems. 
  • Gum Disease. The gums are another area that can sustain damage from an oral piercing, which is particularly concerning. When the gum tissue is damaged, it allows mouth bacteria to work their way up under the gum line and find a permanent home. This leads to an infection in the gums, or gum disease. Gum disease can not only cause chronic bad breath and tooth loss, but it can also affect the rest of the body and increases the risk of heart disease and even certain cancers.
  • Infection. While all potential risks associated with oral piercings are serious, perhaps the most serious concern is infection. Infections can happen with any piercing and are actually quite common. However, oral piercings pose a unique problem. Since these piercings are in or around the mouth, and the mouth is naturally loaded with bacteria, the chance of infection may be higher. Additionally, if an infection does occur, the dark, wet, and warm environment of the mouth provides an ideal place for bacteria to multiply and thrive. This can make an infection serious. In fact, an oral piercing infection can even result in swelling of the tongue, which can block the airway and make it difficult to breathe. 

Decrease Your Risk

If you want to get an oral piercing, we encourage you to take some steps to decrease your risk of complications such as:

  • Picking the Right Piercer. Selecting a professional, trustworthy person to pierce your tongue or lip is the best way to initially protect yourself. Make sure the person you pick has a good reputation and follows sanitization standards. 
  • Practicing Proper Care. Taking care of your oral piercing can greatly help decrease the likelihood of a problem. Make sure you clean the area thoroughly and rinse your mouth after eating to lower the chance of infection. 
  • Following Good Oral Hygiene. Everyone should brush their teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and see their dentist in Boerne twice a year. However, this may be even more important for those with an oral piercing. 
  • Knowing the Signs of Infection. If you notice any redness, fever, pain, or swelling seek medical attention immediately. 

We want everyone to feel the freedom to express themselves as they wish, and we want them to do so safely. If you’re considering an oral piercing, talk with your dentist and do your research before jumping in feet first. 

Does Flossing Cause Gum Pain?

It’s important to brush and floss your teeth every day to maintain good oral health. But what does it mean when your gums hurt afterward? Is it normal for gums to be sore or even bleed while flossing or shortly after flossing? Let’s check in with your dentist in Boerne to see just what may be causing your gum pain. 

Don’t Blame The Floss

While it’s true that flossing can cause gum pain, it’s usually not the action of flossing itself that results in soreness. The only reason why flossing alone will cause pain is if you’re flossing too hard or too often — once a day is the typical recommendation. If your gums bleed or become inflamed and sore while flossing gently, or you notice the pain shortly after flossing, it’s usually a sign that there’s something else going on in your mouth. Some of those possibilities aren’t very serious, while others are cause for concern. 

Canker Sores

One of the not-so-serious causes of gum pain is a canker sore. These non-contagious sores can affect anywhere in your mouth, including your gums. They’re usually a small red bump but can also be covered by a white coating. Canker sores can be painful, but they’re usually short-lived. There’s typically no reason to worry about canker sores as they’ll go away on their own, however, if you have one that doesn’t disappear within two weeks, schedule a visit with your Boerne dentist. 

Minor Burns

Another potential reason behind gum pain that shouldn’t worry you is a minor burn. These painful and pesky burns can happen from eating hot food or drinking a hot beverage too quickly before it has a chance to cool. The result can be a minor, yet painful, burn that can affect your gums, roof of the mouth, or really any of the mouth’s soft tissues. There’s no treatment for these incredible common minor burns and the pain will resolve on its own. Just try to avoid biting into a hot slice of pizza too quickly. 

Hormonal Changes

This cause of gum pain only applies to women, but it’s still worth talking about. Women’s hormone levels fluctuate often, especially prior to and during menstruation as well as with pregnancy. These changes in hormones can affect a lot of areas of the body, and surprisingly, the gums are one of those areas. Gum tissue can become swollen, red, and tender, but these symptoms are typically temporary and should resolve on their own. 

Oral Cancer

One of the more serious potential causes of gum pain is oral cancer. Similarly to canker sores, oral cancer can first show signs as a sore, sometimes with pain and sometimes without. While the sore or the pain doesn’t need to occur on the gums, it certainly can. In fact, oral cancer can affect any area of the mouth including the gums, tongue, cheeks, and throat. Oral cancer can be treated successfully, but it’s important to catch it in the early stages. That’s why seeing your dentist in Boerne every six months is so important. Any abnormalities or changes that have occurred can be thoroughly examined, and any problems can be caught and treated before they have a chance to develop into more serious, harder to treat problems. 

Gum Disease

The other serious cause of gum pain that we’ll be discussing in this blog is gum disease. As we mentioned earlier, bleeding when flossing isn’t normal, and there’s usually another explanation. Oftentimes, gum disease is to blame. Gum disease usually shows the following signs and symptoms in addition to bleeding: 

  • Tender, swollen gums
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

If gum disease isn’t diagnosed and treated, it can lead to tooth loss as well as other problems related to overall health such as heart disease, kidney disease, certain cancers, and Alzheimer’s. 

Any type of gum pain that doesn’t resolve itself or lasts a few weeks is usually a sign that you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Boerne sooner rather than later. Your dental team will help determine the root cause of your gum pain and talk with you about the best treatment for your specific situation. 

Migraines & Dentistry

An estimated 39 million Americans suffer from headaches or migraines regularly. That’s about 12% of our population that experience these often debilitating, painful, and difficult-to-treat neurological conditions. However, even though this is such a widespread problem, there’s still the need for more research to determine just what causes a headache or migraine, how to prevent them and treat them, and eventually, how to cure them. That’s why every June, medical professionals, including your dentist in Boerne, join together to raise awareness and increase education about headaches and migraines during National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month

How to Differentiate Between a Headache and Migraine

Oftentimes, the terms headache and migraine are used interchangeably. However, they are technically two separate conditions and present themselves with similar, yet different, symptoms. Both conditions involve pain in the head and it can either be a throbbing or dull pain in both. But there are a few differences in other symptoms that can help identify whether you have a headache or a migraine.  

Headache Symptoms

  • Pain is usually spread throughout the head
  • Pain remains consistent and doesn’t tend to worsen with activity
  • Usually has the feeling of constant pressure 
  • Symptoms are localized to only the head

Migraine Symptoms

  • Pain usually affects one side of the head more than the other, but not always
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Aura symptoms such as blind spots, zig-zag lines, or shimmery, glowy patches

Are Migraines and Headaches Related to Dentistry?

We know that it may seem odd to have your dentist in Boerne talk about conditions that seemingly only affect the head, but the truth is, there may be a connection between chronic headaches and migraines and dentistry. After all, the head is connected to the neck which is connected to the jaw, and there are muscle groups connected to each, so it’s certainly worth a closer look. 

Numerous studies have shown a potential correlation between a poor bite as well as habitually grinding or clenching teeth and an increased risk of chronic headaches or migraines. When someone has a poor bite or constantly grinds their teeth together, the muscles in the jaw joint are under constant and abnormal pressure and may cause a painful condition known as TMD (or TMJ). But the pain may not end at the jaw joint alone. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the head, neck, and jaw are all connected through a complex system of muscles, so when pain affects one section, it can also spread to affect other areas, such as the head. The theory researchers are studying regularly is that this constant muscular pressure may just cause certain headaches or migraines. 

We always encourage migraine and headache sufferers to talk with their primary care physician, as well as their dentist in Boerne, to see if their pain may be caused, or a least exacerbated by, something related to their oral health. Additionally, there is no concrete cause of migraines or headaches, so intervention from your medical team is necessary to diagnose just what may be causing your individual migraines or headaches in order to determine how to treat them effectively.