Posts for: June, 2014

June 18, 2014
Category: General Dentistry
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What To Do for a Healthy Mouth and Healthy Baby

Schenectady general dentistThere’s no denying that pregnancy is a simultaneously wonderful and stressful experience. While you’re eagerly awaiting your baby’s arrival, you’re also struggling to take in the unbelievable amount of advice the world around you offers. Between friends, family, and (the ultimate problematic guide) the Internet, there are far too many recommendations to take under consideration.

During this busy time, you’re probably not making your oral health a top priority. Why should you? Because pregnancy puts your mouth at risk. It’s far more common for expectant mothers to develop gum disease. Don’t worry just yet: with a few considerations, you’ll be able to keep your gums (and baby) healthy and happy.

Why Gingivitis Strikes During Pregnancy

Pregnancy changes so many aspects of your body, including your mouth. The hormonal changes that grip you throughout those nine months lead to sensitive oral tissues. The gums therefore have more extreme reactions to plaque and bacteria, making inflammation common – in fact, over half of all pregnant women develop “pregnancy gingivitis.” Swollen gums are more susceptible to infection, kicking off a vicious gum disease cycle. If periodontitis persists, it can even cause complications during your baby’s delivery.

Fortunately, taking early action will prevent disease from gaining a hold in your mouth. By visiting Dr. Scotto as soon as you notice oral swelling, you’ll tackle the issue head-on. For this reason, we urge you to be particularly vigilant during your pregnancy. Check in with your teeth and gums, and react to what they’re telling you. Some detailed ways to accomplish this are below.

Oral Care for Expectant Mothers

  1. Visit the dentist regularly – Dr. Scotto may recommend that you schedule exams more often than usual during your pregnancy. This will give him ample opportunity to check in, identifying inflammation.
  2. Floss consistently – Flossing is your best defense against plaque at the gum line. If you find your gums sensitive during pregnancy, we will recommend soft floss or a Waterpik. Flossing doesn’t have to make you uncomfortable.
  3. Snack carefully – We understand that pregnancy cravings can be debilitating, and may have you reaching for sugary snacks more often than usual. Be sure to clean your teeth after eating, and try to avoid treats high in sugar. If you can’t brush after snacking, rinse your mouth with water.

Nutrients Your Baby Needs to Build Strong Teeth

Schenectady general dentistIn addition to the tips we mentioned above, there’s something even more effective you can do for both your mouth and your baby’s. Getting a well-rounded, nutrient-rich diet during pregnancy is vital. You’re probably already preoccupied with what this means, and working to get all the recommended vitamins that will ensure healthy growth. When it comes to baby’s teeth, it’s important that you embrace:

  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous
  • Protein
  • Vitamins A, C, and D

Your child’s teeth begin to develop between the 3rd and 6th months of pregnancy. By providing your baby with these nutrients, you’ll help him/her build powerful teeth and bones. And by creating healthy teeth, you’ll put off the need for dental treatment (fillings for cavities) as long as possible, fostering a positive attitude toward dentistry. This will stay with your child for life.

Schenectady General Dentist’s Tooth-Healthy Tips

While pregnancy is an exciting period, it can also be difficult. If you’re looking for an extra helping hand during the process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our practice. We’ll schedule your next exam, offer personalized tips, and do whatever we can to ensure your (and your baby’s) excellent oral health.

Schenectady General Dentist | Schenectady General Dentistry | Schenectady Dental Exam

June 04, 2014
Category: TMJ Treatment
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Schenectady Botox for TMJAre you waking up to an aching jaw and dull headaches? Do you feel exhausted even after what should have been a good night’s sleep? Are you struggling to use your jaw properly and chew comfortably? Any one of these problems demands a speedy solution. And yours may lie in Botox treatment.

Botox isn’t just for wrinkles. Its unique capabilities make it a versatile medication. It can actually be instrumental in relieving discomfort associated with TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder. Believe it or not, that jaw joint can be responsible for the types of discomfort that we listed above. With Botox calming the jaw muscles, you’ll experience welcome relief – even where other treatment options have failed.

Botox’s Role in Taming TMJ

Temporomandibular joint disorders wreak havoc on your facial and jaw muscles. TMJ causes these muscles to clench without your command, leading to fatigue, swelling, and pain. While a jaw disorder can be caused by any number of problems, the effects are always uncomfortable. Because your jaw is interconnected with many other aspects of your facial musculature, it’s common for a jaw problem to lead to pain and stress in other areas. If a disorder is allowed to persist, it can cause:

  • Bruxism (chronic teeth grinding)
  • Poor quality of sleep (from clenching during the night)
  • Tooth wear
  • Facial pain
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Swollen jaw joints
  • Fatigued, difficult-to-use jaw
  • Damage to the components of the TMJ
  • A jaw that clicks or locks in place
  • Dizziness
  • Earaches and hearing problems

While methods of TMJ treatment like mouth guards can be helpful for some patients, those splints don’t always address the underlying cause of the problem. Even if a splint holds your jaw in the correct alignment, it can still attempt to clench. This puts the same level of stress on the jaw muscles, leading to associated problems.

Botox goes to the root of the issue. It calms the muscles responsible for such clenching, leaving them undisturbed. If you have been suffering from TMJ for some time, it’s likely that your jaw joints are swollen and aggravated. Getting Botox injections will allow them to heal, and return to their normal selves. Even patients who have found other methods of TMJ treatment unsuccessful experience a change with Botox treatment. It’s a new approach to soothing muscle pain.

How Botox Calms Muscle Contractions

Schenectady TMJ TreatmentBotox is a neuromuscular junction inhibitor. Simply put, it blocks communication between nerves and muscles. The medication prevents nerve endings from releasing acetylcholine. Without that chemical present, muscles will not contract. This leaves the target muscles relaxed, even when nerves are sending signals to them.

Botox is injected at specific sites to cause predictable results. With a skilled dentist administering the Botox, there’s no threat of the wrong muscle being affected. The number of units of Botox will determine the level of muscle relaxation. Depending on your pain, Dr. Scotto will determine the level of Botox that will best suit your needs. The end goal is reduced pain, not loss of muscle control.

Botox Therapeutic in Schenectady

Once your jaw has calmed down, you’ll remember what life used to be like. Without pain, stiffness, and a malfunctioning jaw, you’ll experience a return to business as usual. If you’ve been suffering for some time, you may have forgotten how this feels. Don’t put off relief another day. Get in touch with our office to learn more about Botox therapeutic.

Robert M. Scotto, D.D.S.
615 Union St.
Schenectady, NY 12305




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