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Working With My Dentist

A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.

Working With My Dentist

Two Common Dental Problems With Hypothyroidism & How To Treat Them

Siiri Puro

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition that causes problems throughout the body, including in the oral cavity. If you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, it's important that you understand the effects this medical condition has on your teeth and what types of dental treatments are available to you. Here's what you need to know. 

Hypothyroidism means your thyroid doesn't produce enough of the hormones that your body needs. Your thyroid is what controls your metabolism, which is also how your body uses food and nutrients. A slow metabolism affects more than just the rate at which your calories burn. It also affects your teeth. 

Dental Enamel & Cavities

According to research published by the National Institutes of Health, teeth extracted from patients with hypothyroidism shows changes in the dental enamel. The reason for this is due to the reduction in saliva that is one of the comorbid affects of the slowed metabolism of hypothyroidism. 

Saliva dissolves food particles so the food doesn't stick to the teeth. It also helps to restore the enamel by providing the teeth with a constant source of minerals. However, many people who have hypothyroidism have a reduction in saliva from the salivary gland, which is part of the reason for the weak enamel of their teeth. 

Without the necessary protective barrier of strong enamel, food particles and bacteria that remain on the teeth can form dental caries. It is crucial that you brush and floss your teeth after every meal if you suffer from dry mouth as part of your hypothyroidism. 

Dental restoration: Dental crowns are suitable to restore teeth that have dental enamel defects. The procedure to attach the dental crowns to the teeth is non-invasive and doesn't require the use of sedatives. 

Possible complications: This is important for people who have thyroid disease due to the risk of myxedema coma, which is a life-threatening complication that can develop in patients with untreated or uncontrolled hypothyroidism, especially when they are subjected to stressors. 

Slow Bone Cell Growth & Breakage 

Due to the slow metabolism that results from an under-functioning thyroid, your bones and teeth grow and heal at a slower rate than normal. This is due to a reduction in the binding proteins and growth hormones made by the thyroid. For this reason, if your thyroid function was reduced before you reached adulthood, you may have smaller-than-normal teeth.

Regardless of when your hypothyroidism started, your bones may be more susceptible to breakage due to the reduction in or lack of binding proteins. Therefore, your teeth are at risk of cracking or breaking if your thyroid isn't under control. If a tooth cracks or breaks, the dentin and pulp inside the tooth could be exposed, which will likely result in a trip to an emergency dentist. 

Dental restoration: A dentist may be able to restore cracked or broken teeth with dental crowns, depending on the damage. If the remaining pieces of teeth need to be extracted, a dental implant or dental bridge may be required to restore the teeth. 

Possible complications: The slow metabolism of bone cells in people with hypothyroidism is a major reason why they are not considered good candidates for dental implant surgery unless their thyroid is controlled. Dental implants need good bone growth abilities in order for the bone to grow around the implants after surgery in a process called osseointegration. 

It is crucial that your thyroid function is under control prior to getting dental treatments and procedures such as dental crowns, implants, or bridges. Be sure to have a thyroid lab panel blood test done before you schedule any dental procedures. For more information, contact a business such as Bae & Bae Family Denistry