What are discount Dental Plans?

In general Dental plans are a low cost alternative to dental insurance. Dental care services become more affordable with discount dental plans for families in the lower income bracket. A dental plan is a kind of a club you join where we have a section of providers and consumers. In a discounted dental plan, the providers have agreed to provide the services at a discounted rate.

As a consumer, one just has to display his or her membership card while visiting the provider. These discounted dental plans do not purport to insurance in any way, they are just discount programs. For more information about discount dental plans simply visit True Dental Discounts today!

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Biting your tongue and cheeks

Everyone has accidentally bitten his tongue while eating or woken up with a small mark on the inside of his cheek. But what do you do if this nuisance becomes a common occurrence? Many people frequently bite the inside of their mouth during sleep or while eating, but the causes vary. In some cases, it is due to misalignment of the teeth or poor denture fitting. In that situation, the teeth can overlap with the person’s tongue, increasing the chance of a bite. In other cases, a person may constantly breathe with his mouth open, leading to a slightly swollen tongue, which can again lead to accidental bites.

In some rare cases, a person may also have seizures, causing him to involuntarily bite his tongue or cheek. Regardless of the reason, though, constant wounds in the mouth can become more than just annoying. Over time, biting can lead to scars and decreased sensitivity, so it is important to treat the bites properly and speak with a dentist about preventing future occurrences. He or she will help you identify the cause of the biting and hasten the time until you can eliminate the bites altogether.

Good oral hygiene may be linked to memory health

In the last decade, mountains of research have been conducted on the brain and the way a person’s memory changes over time. But before you reach for the Ginkgo Biloba, you may want to consider reaching for the toothbrush instead. Researchers at West Virginia University are studying the effects of gum health on a person’s memory, and many experts predict that brushing and flossing may reduce the number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Studies have already shown that gum disease increases a person’s risk for heart disease and stroke, perhaps due to the inflammatory response caused by periodontitis or microorganisms in the mouth.

Now, researchers suspect that mental health can also be affected by a person’s gums. According to the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, connections have already been found between severe dementia and gum disease. To keep your gums healthy, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily, as well as use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. Most importantly, schedule regular visits with a dentist on your True Dental Discounts dental plan and ask questions. Staying informed is the first step to staying healthy.

Did you know? Mothers can pass cavity-causing bacteria to their babies

Every time a mother shares a utensil with her baby, she could be putting the baby at risk for tooth decay. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, babies are not born with the harmful bacteria that can lead to cavities; instead, they get it from their mothers. This transfer often happens when moms put baby spoons in their mouths before feeding their child or allow a baby to put its fingers in their mouth. Mothers who have a history of dental problems are most likely to pass harmful bacteria to their children because they have an increased number in their own mouths.

The AAPD suggests that dads can also pass bacteria to their children, but not at the rate that mothers do. Moms who have not had cavities since their teens or earlier are less likely to put their children at risk, but it is still important to protect babies’ teeth. Studies have shown that infants who are exposed to tooth-decaying bacteria are much more likely to get cavities throughout their lifetime than those who do not get the bacteria until later in life. For more helpful tips about keeping your child’s teeth healthy, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist on your True Dental Discounts, dental plan.

Signs of a great toothbrush

You know how important it is to brush your teeth twice a day to fight plaque and cavities — but are you using the right brush? In reality, every person’s mouth is different, which means everyone needs different traits in a toothbrush. For instance, look at the size of your mouth: If you have a generally small mouth, it’s a good idea to find a brush with a small head. Small-headed brushes allow you to angle the brush more effectively in a small space and can get into hard-to-reach corners. In terms of the handle of the brush, look for one with a good grip. Handles are made to fit in varying-sized hands, so make sure the one you pick fits nicely in yours. If you have arthritis, pay special attention to the surface of the handle and select one that won’t slip easily.

Finally, when it comes to the bristles, most people benefit from a brush that is soft, but not too soft. Packages specifically labeled “soft” are generally not the right choice, unless your dentist recommends it for you. Instead, look for ones that feature “medium” bristles. These ones will not be so rigid that they hurt your gums, but they will also stand up under pressure and remove plaque effectively. If you have any questions about choosing the right brush, talk to a dentist on your True Dental Discounts, dental plan. He or she can recommend the right brush for your mouth and even give you pointers about improving your technique.

What happens if I have a taste disorder?

If you’ve talked to a dentist on your discount dental plan and suspect you may have a taste disorder, he may recommend you visit an otolaryngologist (also known as an ear/nose/throat doctor) for further testing and diagnosis. An otolaryngologist can measure the lowest concentration of taste you are able to experience. He or she will also conduct a comprehensive examination of the ears, nose, and throat and review your dental records.

If you do have a taste disorder, there are many possible ways of restoring your senses. For instance, your doctor may recognize that the disorder is caused by a medication you have been taking and prescribe a new one. Or, the disorder may be a result of severe allergies or a respiratory condition that can be cleared up. Until then, however, the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders gives a few suggestions to improve your eating experience with a reduced tasting capacity:

  • Eat foods that vary in color and texture. This reduces the bland quality of some meals.
  • Add herbs and spices to boost the flavor of your food. Garlic or spicy peppers can make a big difference. Do not try to increase the flavor by adding extra sugar or salt, however, as this can have negative consequences on your health.
  • Add cheese, bacon bits, butter, olive oil or toasted nuts to mild-tasting foods like vegetables if your diet permits it.
  • Avoid eating dishes that combine a bunch of flavors or foods, like casseroles. These make it difficult to distinguish individual tastes and can become bland.

No matter your strategy, it is important to work with a trusted health professional to regain your sense of taste. Although helpful in increasing the enjoyment of foods, the sense of taste also plays a crucial role in keeping you healthy. A person relies on taste to avoid eating spoiled or poisonous foods, and loss of taste can lead to many other serious health issues. People who lose their sense of taste often change their eating habits, adding too much salt or sugar in an attempt to regain flavor, and develop heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions. In rare cases, loss of taste can also indicate the presence of degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. Talk to a doctor if you have concerns and make sure you stay alert for any changes in your health.

What are taste disorders and their causes?

It’s easy to take your sense of taste for granted: you know grapefruits will be sour, mashed potatoes will be buttery and starchy, and ice cream will be sweet. But what if you could no longer experience those tastes as strongly – or at all? According to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, nearly a quarter of a million people visited a doctor last year for problems with their chemical senses, including taste. Several types of taste disorders exist, including phantom perception, which causes a person to experience a lingering, unpleasant taste with no apparent cause; hypogeusia, which reduces a person’s ability to experience the basic types of taste – salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami; and ageusia, which results in no tasting ability whatsoever. It’s important to note that complete loss of taste is not common; it is more likely that the person has a condition resulting in the loss of smell, which is closely related to the sense of taste.

Causes of taste disorders vary widely. Although it can be a congenital condition existing at birth, many people experience a loss of taste after certain types of injuries and sickness. According to NIDCD, these include: upper respiratory and middle ear infections; exposure to radiation therapy near the head or neck; exposure to insecticides or chemicals found in certain medications; injury to the head; and surgeries on the ear, nose or throat, including tooth extraction. Taste disorders can also be caused by tooth decay and poor oral hygiene. For this reason, it is important to visit your True Dental Discounts, dentist every six months and take care of any issues in your teeth or mouth. It could mean the difference between tasting a delicious strawberry and chewing on a bland piece of fruit!

What to expect after your root canal

Endodontic treatments – better known as root canals – have a bad reputation. But thanks to modern medicine, anesthetics can be applied before the procedure to eliminate a patient’s pain. Once patients get home, though, it is up to them to be aware of important practices that will help ensure the health of their teeth and a quick recovery.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, treated teeth may be sensitive for a few days after the procedure. This is particularly true for teeth that were painful prior to the treatment. Fortunately, most discomfort can be relieved with a simple over-the-counter pain medication or prescription drug. Be aware that the affected tooth may feel different for awhile; however, if you have long-lasting severe pain, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist for an exam.

Remember: Root canal treatments require a second appointment to fully repair the tooth with a crown or other restoration. Until you have completed this process, do not chew or bite with the untreated tooth, as it is at increased risk of fracturing. In most cases, teeth that undergo endodontic treatment are fully restored and will last as long as natural teeth. Rarely, teeth may need additional treatment if they become deeply decayed or experience another trauma. For more information about root canals, talk to a dentist on your True Dental Discounts, dental plan. He or she can evaluate your teeth and recommend the appropriate procedure to protect your oral health.

What is sialadenitis?

In short, sialadenitis is a disorder of the salivary gland. One of several related disorders, this condition is caused by a painful bacterial infection in a person’s salivary gland. Many times, this infection is caused by staphylococcus or anaerobic bacteria. According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, sialadenitis is most common in elderly adults and very young infants. Symptoms include a painful lump in the cheek or under the chin, or foul-tasting pus released into the mouth from the salivary duct. In severe cases, the person may experience flu-like symptoms, including a fever and chills. The most severe cases usually occur in elderly people who do not receive treatment for their symptoms.

Researchers suggest that several factors may increase a person’s risk of developing sialadenitis, including dehydration, malnutrition, chronic illness, and certain medications like antihistamines and diuretics. Infants who are born prematurely and people in professions like trumpet-playing and glassblowing may also be at increased risk. If you or someone in your family is faced with sialadenitis, it is important to seek the help of a health care professional. A doctor or dentist can gently examine your head and neck to check for any potential gland issues. Fortunately, sialadenitis can typically be cured with an antibiotic that causes symptoms to subside within a couple days. In more severe cases, surgery can be performed to drain the gland.

So remember: If you ever notice a lump or swelling in your neck, jaw, or mouth, contact a dentist on your True Dental Discounts, dental plan immediately – particularly if the lump is painful or makes it difficult to chew or swallow. Awareness of your body is the first step toward remaining healthy, so stay alert and seek help when needed.

What is thrush?

If you have ever had an extended stay at the hospital and been on antibiotics, you may have experienced “thrush,” also called oral candidiasis. Thrush is a fungal infection that appears on the tongue, mouth, or throat and is caused by an overgrowth of normal yeast in the mouth. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, people who have a weak immune system, take antibiotics or have trouble producing saliva are all at increased risk of developing thrush. This infection is also common in the very young and elderly, people with dry mouth, and people who wear dentures.

In the case of dentures, experts recommend always cleaning and removing them before going to bed. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of thrush include creamy, white lesions on the tongue, inner cheeks, or roof of the mouth. Some people also experience cracking at the corners of their lips, a loss of taste, and a “cottony” feeling in their mouth.  Treatments range from taking antifungal mouthwash to lozenges, although medicines may also be prescribed if the infection spreads. If you suspect you or someone in your family may have thrush, contact your doctor or a dentist on your True Care Advantage discount dental plan for more information about its symptoms and causes. Left untreated, thrush can become a serious health issue, so be proactive and take care of it at the first sign of infection.