The Pandemic and Your Teeth

Post by: Gerarda on 28 Oct 2020

We have noticed a marked increase in broken teeth and sore jaws with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) problems since the pandemic of COVID-19 started and people were in lockdown; enough to warrant more than a passing thought. The need for mouth guards to prevent people from grinding and clenching their teeth is correspondingly up.

The Spanish Dental Association (Ilustre Colegio Oficial de Dentistas de Málaga, COEMA) hasn’t done a survey to verify this increase in dental problems since the pandemic started, but reports from colleagues of pandemic-related dental problems are common says Dr. Mikael Kahn. Mikael says, “Bacteria doesn’t take a break, nor does it know there is pandemic! One can postpone dental treatment for a while, but sooner or later it gets to a point where one can´t put it off any more.”

The combination of being in lockdown and therefore, delaying treatment, the stress of being without a job or wondering how one will pay one’s rent, or the fact that one has adverse working conditions, has caused the problems of broken teeth and sore jaws.

We are seeing the amount of stress people are under, having a severe impact on their teeth because of clenching and grinding. This in turn has created problems with their jaw and TMJ. Additionally, with people working from home more often than not they don’t have appropriate chairs to sit in for long periods of time and therefore, are hunched over at their computers. This in turn can increase grinding (bruxism).

In addition to stress and delayed care, we are seeing more cavities as people are snacking more because they are working from home and have ready access to foods that they would not ordinarily have at work. Consequently, people are also brushing less frequently. When people get out of their routines, many times the oral hygiene follows suit.

Having reviewed our records from the same period as last year from June to October, we have seen a 54% increase in the need for mouth guards, 87% increase in broken teeth treated either by composite repair or crowns and a 12% increase in treatment for cavities.

While we can´t say definitively that these statistics are a direct result of the lockdown we experienced in the spring, we can say that we have treated more broken teeth and TMJ problems than ever before during the same period.

What to Expect From a Dental Appointment

Post by: Gerarda on 15 Oct 2020

When you visit a dentist for the first time for an examination (check-up) or if you have an appointment for a specific problem, the dentist will ask you various questions about your symptoms. Some include:

• What is the problem?
• How long have you had the symptoms?
• Have your symptoms been constant or sporadic?
• How often do you brush your teeth?
• Do you brush before breakfast or after?
• Do you use dental floss? How often?
• How often do you visit a dentist?
• What if any medical conditions do you have?
• Has your health changed over the last year?
• What medications do you take? Take a list with dosages.

Make notes if you have sporadic symptoms as sometimes we think we will remember how we felt, but over time we forget. It is important for the dentist to know under which circumstances you have pain.

If you have pain on the day of your appointment try not to take a pain reliever too close to your appointment as it can mask your symptoms. Sometimes the pain is so unbearable though that you need to take something. If that is the case by all means do so. With pain on that level the dentist will diagnose the problem anyway.

Remember a visit to the dentist is not something to fear. The dentist and hygienist are there to help and make your visit as pleasant as possible.

Take control of your oral health by scheduling regular appointments for a check-up and clean.

 

 

The New Normal

Post by: Gerarda on 17 Aug 2020

Coming for a dental appointment will look a little different from your pre-COVID-19 appointment. Now when you book an appointment it takes more than the two minutes it did in the past. Before being given an appointment patients are screened for their health and travel history. Following the Spanish Dental Association guidelines we also inform you of our new protocols before coming to the clinic, such as:

  • come to your appointment unaccompanied, unless you need assistance
  • take your temperature when you arrive
  • give you plastic bags for your mask and personal belongings
  • give you a set of shoe covers to wear before you enter
  • wash your hands with soap and water
  • use alcohol gel
  • sign applicable forms

When you arrive at the clinic you will see that everyone is dressed in PPE. There is a series of protocols and they are put in place for a reason. That reason is to keep you as patients safe, to keep our staff safe and to keep patients who come after you safe as well.

That is only part of the new normal before your dental treatment. When you go into the surgery there is also a set of protocols before treatment.

Rest assured we are providing an environment that is as safe as possible to minimise the risk of COVID-19 contagion.

Halitosis – Bad Breath

Post by: Gerarda on 20 Jul 2020

Overview

Depending on the condition of your health, various foods you eat, and level of oral hygiene, you can suffer from halitosis or bad breath. This condition can be embarrassing especially when it is particularly foul smelling. You don´t want to be in the position where someone smells your breath before they are close to you. Embarrassing indeed! Sometimes simply improving your oral hygiene and being consistent with it can improve the problem.

Sure there are countless products that are designed to fight bad breath, such as mouthwash, mints and gum, but they are only a temporary solution and don´t address the cause of the problem.

Things to do before you see your dentist:
• Brush after eating
• Brush your tongue
• Floss after brushing
• Drink plenty of water
• If that doesn’t work then make an appointment to see your dentist
• If your dentist decides that your teeth are not causing the bad breath, then make an appointment with your medical doctor to ensure it is not something more serious

Symptoms

There are those who worry too much about their breath and have no problem and those who have bad breath and don´t know it. A simple test is to blow your breath into a cupped hand and smell it or ask someone close to you to smell your breath. You better know this person well because it is not the nicest request.

When To See A Doctor

If you realize you have bad breath, then look at your oral hygiene. See what you need to change in your lifestyle. Maybe you need to brush your teeth if you don´t already, or maybe you need to brush more often.

Look at when you brush your teeth. If you brush them before breakfast and before you go to bed at night then you need to change your routine and brush after breakfast. If you only brush before breakfast then particles of food sit in the mouth and between teeth until you brush and floss again. Bacteria are feeding between brushing and that is when things happen. Sulfur is produced by food particles left in the mouth and then you end up with bad breath or halitosis.

If you have good oral hygiene and still have bad breath then see your medical doctor.

Making simple changes to your oral hygiene routine can make a big difference. It will also be cheaper on the wallet.

National Dentist´s Day

Post by: Gerarda on 06 Mar 2020

March 6th every year we show appreciation to dentists all over the world who keep our pearly whites in tip top shape. This day is also a way to bring awareness to dentistry so that people can learn how best to care for their teeth. It is also a reminder for those who have neglected their teeth or avoid going to a dentist to schedule a checkup.

Nothing makes a dentist happier then when a patient arrives and it is obvious they have good oral hygiene as they brush and floss regularly.

What the patient can do:
1. Decide on an oral health routine. Include both brushing and flossing and remember to floss after you have brushed.
2. Book that dental checkup you have been putting off. Ask your dentist to show you have to brush your teeth so you are not wearing away enamel.
3. If you have children, brush their teeth until they are mature enough to do it for themselves. Once you have brushed your child´s teeth, give them the brush so they feel they are doing it as well.
4. Smile and show off those pearly whites. It shows the job you do and that of your dentist.
5. Take a picture of those beautiful teeth and post it on your social media accounts.

Tips for a healthy dental routine:
1. Brush at least twice a day for at least 2 minutes.
2. Brush gently using elliptical strokes.
3. Use a soft toothbrush.
4. Brush after eating.
5. Floss after brushing.
6. See your dentist twice a year or as your dentist recommends.
7. Eat a balanced diet and limit eating and drinking between meals.
8. Limit the amount of citrus you eat and drink.

A visit to a dentist is a scary proposition for many people. Remember though, dentistry has come a long way from when Dr. John M. Harris started the world’s first dental school in
Bainbridge, Ohio in 1828.

Evolving dental technology and education are two of the things that make a visit to a dentist much more pleasant than in earlier days. That being said nothing beats a dentist who has the hands of a sculptor, the precision of an engineer, the eye of an artist and the experience to combine all of these professions to carry out either a simple or a challenging treatment and still make the result look natural.

That is in essence Dr. Mikael G. Kahn or as he is so affectionately known, Mikael.