I went to a new dentist today.
Honestly, I went to the first dental office I landed on with the Google search terms > "sedation dentist." And, yes I told the dentist that his website worked, it got me there, a woman who does not drive, 35 minutes away to his location. He was pleased, and he should thank his web person.
Last time or two that I went to the dentist, I got so far as the consult part, you know, where you talk actual timeline and cost, and quit. I've had at least two visits and exams with no work completed. Why? First, the cost. I am sure you know how expensive teeth get. I have never had the cash. (I have basic insurance and no credit cards, my teeth are cash pay.)
Next, the fact that It's Gonna Hurt, and how am I supposed to function -- drugged up at home after the work is done? This leads to complete and utter procrastination. "I'll get it done later."
Add that to the fact that I am now prepared to seize in the dental chair. That would be super fun! Sitting under fluorescent lighting, under severe duress, nose-breathing? Sure. to. seize. It took all I had not to bite the hygienist today -- my eyes were watering and I was just b r e a t h i n g hoping not to spit up on her while she x-ray-ed my head.
It appears my teeth have not magically repaired themselves -- crap. Procrastinating didn't help, neither does my medication which causes gum disease. I have a couple impacted wisdom teeth that never made it out, a couple fractured molars, and lots of cavities in the rest of the molars or grinding teeth. My front teeth are fine -- and the dentist said that they are all healthy and strong -- but they are obviously in need of serious repair NOW.
He asked if I spent a lot of time -- chewing.
Because the pattern of my decay is not everywhere, it's only on my grinding teeth where food might stick. I don't have cavities where teenagers might see them if they drink a lot of sugary beverages.
I'll CERTAINLY be thinking about this next time I go for the crackers --
Bacteria in a person's mouth convert glucose, fructose, and most commonly sucrose (table sugar) into acids such as lactic acid through a glycolytic process called fermentation. If left in contact with the tooth, these acids may cause demineralization, which is the dissolution of its mineral content. The process is dynamic, however, as remineralization can also occur if the acid is neutralized by saliva or mouthwash. Fluoride toothpaste or dental varnish may aid remineralization. If demineralization continues over time, enough mineral content may be lost so that the soft organic material left behind disintegrates, forming a cavity or hole. The impact such sugars have on the progress of dental caries is called cariogenicity. Sucrose, although a bound glucose and fructose unit, is in fact more cariogenic than a mixture of equal parts of glucose and fructose. This is due to the bacteria utilising the energy in the saccharide bond between the glucose and fructose subunits. S.mutans adheres to the biofilm on the tooth by converting sucrose into an extremely adhesive substance called dextran polysaccharide by the enzyme dextransucranase.
This is interesting to me -- I do eat -- more than the average bear.
I eat 6-8 times a day, but I brush twice.
The dentist suggested that the food is hanging out on my teeth and causing decay from eating often.
He also said that the state of my union likely does not help.
The likelihood that a dental health professional will provide care for a patient with a history of bariatric surgery will increase as the prevalence of extreme obesity continues to increase in the United States. (32) Subsequently, there is a need to better understand oral health implications associated with bariatric surgery. The present case study lends support to the hypothesis that bariatric patients may be at an increased risk for dental caries due to a smaller stomach volume and the need for smaller, more frequent meals/snacks throughout the day. The increased risk of dehydration and lactose intolerance among bariatric patients may also contribute to caries activity due to the occurrence of xerostomia and reduced exposure to anticariogenic factors in milk. More research is needed with an adequate sample size and controls for multiple risk factors to gain a better understanding of the relationship between recommended meal patterns for bariatric patients and dental caries risk. Further supportive evidence would stress the need for more preventive dental care among this population. Preoperative nutritional counseling and oral hygiene instruction may prove especially beneficial in helping to reduce the risk of dental caries. The delivery of preventive care to help the patient maintain a healthy dentition and good chewing function is especially important in a population already at nutritional risk.
- Via - Journal of Dental Hygiene, Spring, 2008
- More fun reading in a PDF -Dental manifestations in bariatric patients–review of literature
Aren't you thrilled you read that?! So exciting.
I return to the dentist on Monday, to lay it out there, what I need DONE and HOW MUCH it will cost. I have dental insurance, but I can't imagine it will cover much of anything.