Dental Tips Blog

Sep
11

Bad Breath—A Sign You’re at Risk for Stroke?

Posted in Bad Breath

One unfortunate episode of halitosis can have major social repercussions. But bad breath could even be a sign of something far more serious—a high risk for stroke.

The Connection Between Gum Disease and Stroke Risk

Recent studies have strengthened a link that’s been proven between gum disease and other health problems including stroke.

One study in particular showed that those who regularly visit the dentist have a 50% less chance of having a stroke than those who don’t. And further research revealed that those with inflammatory gum disease are nearly three times more likely to have a stroke than those without the disease.

The evidence is strong that chronic gum disease increases the risk of stroke. Additionally, the bacteria that cause gum disease and gum inflammation have been found in the plaque deposits inside arteries.

So what does any of this have to do with bad breath?

Bad Breath and Stroke Risk

Gum disease affects some 80% of adults in the United States. It occurs in varying degrees. Some people only suffer the occasional bout of gingivitis while others develop a more serious form called periodontitis.

Periodontitis is when the tissues in the gums, ligaments, and surrounding bone start to break down in a reaction to plaque bacteria. As the tissues become swollen and inflamed, they pull away from tooth roots and start to rot.

This results in teeth loosening up and producing an extremely foul odor.

If you suffer from chronic bad breath, then it’s possible that advancing gum disease is the cause. See your local dentist for a checkup to see what you can do to lower your risk for gum disease and the ensuing complications like stroke.

Posted on behalf of:
Marietta Dental Professionals
550 Franklin Gateway SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 514-5055

Sep
11

Are You Throwing Your Money Away on Mouthwash?

Posted in Bad Breath

Using a mouthwash can help you feel like you’re doing a really thorough job with your oral hygiene.

But unless you make an informed choice about your mouthwash, you may just be wasting your money on an utterly useless product.

What a Good Mouth Rinse Should Do

A mouthwash isn’t just a breath-freshener. The strong flavorings do help cover up halitosis (bad breath), but those effects are temporary. The real benefits come in when the product contains antibacterial agents that help slow down the growth of germs in the first place.

Mouth rinses labeled “antiplaque” or “antigingivitis” contain those agents that fight plaque growth. Less plaque means fresher breath and healthier gums.

Many mouthwash formulas also contain fluoride, a mineral essential for preventing tooth decay and strengthening enamel.

What’s in Your Mouthwash?

The unfortunate fact is that not all mouthwash formulas are created equal, but they’re packaged in similarly attractive bottles. At first glance, one brightly-colored bottle of liquid might not seem that different from the next.

Take a closer look at the label next time you shop for mouthwash. If you don’t see anything like:

  • Cetylpyridinium chloride
  • Essential oils (menthol and eucalyptol)
  • Fluoride

Or any other “active ingredients” listed, then that mouthwash may not do much good.

Some rinses are little more than food dye and flavoring mixed with alcohol and water. This solution leaves a tingling burn and temporary fresh scent, but it doesn’t do anything to your mouth besides dry it out.

Stop wasting your money on products that don’t benefit your teeth or gums! Talk with your local dentist or dental hygienist for advice on choosing the right mouthwash for you and your family.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

Sep
11

What If I Have to Move During My Orthodontic Treatment?

Posted in Orthodontics

Military deployment, college, a new job—there are many things that can prevent you from completing your braces treatment in one place.

What should you do if you have to move before your braces come off?

Visit Your Current Orthodontist

See your present orthodontist at least one last time before your move. He or she should know about your plans for relocation so that they can put on the “finishing touches,” so to speak.

Your orthodontist will make sure you’re up-to-date with your treatment and collect x-rays, pictures, and treatment records that you can take to a new orthodontic office. Your current office may even help you out in your search for a new specialist and help out by transferring everything so that you don’t have to worry about it.

Talk about the finances with your current orthodontist. You may have worked out a payment plan or paid a down payment before you knew you were going to move. You likely qualify for at least some type of refund on any treatment that won’t be happening in that office.

Contact the AAO

Not able to visit your current orthodontist? The American Association of Orthodontics has a website which is an excellent resource. You can search out a professional based on their education, experience, and area of practice.

Ask Your New Neighbors

If you don’t know what else to do after you move, ask the locals. A new coworker or neighbor can probably recommend a reliable local dentist or orthodontist.

Whatever your circumstances may be, make your oral health and orthodontic treatment a priority. Some careful planning and research will help you make a success of your braces no matter where you move to!

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Sep
10

What’s the Best Age to Get Braces?

Posted in Braces

The “best” time to get braces varies from person to person. Here are some factors that help determine when you or your kids are ready for orthodontic work.

The Best Time for Kids to Get Braces

An orthodontist (tooth-straightening specialist) can evaluate your child’s teeth and determine if and when treatment is needed. For most kids, the earlier they start braces the faster and more minimal orthodontic treatment will be. That’s because the bone in kids’ jaws is still growing and remodels itself quickly.

Some children’s smiles don’t need orthodontic intervention until they have reached their teens. Orthodontists and dentists advise parents to bring their children in for an evaluation by the age of 7 to ensure there is enough time to plan for early intervention.

The Best Time for Adults to Get Braces

Even if your teen years are well behind you, it still isn’t too late to get braces!

Adults of all ages can be candidates for orthodontic treatment. The braces process can take a little longer in adults who have more mature bone in their jaws than kids do. But even older adults can get straighter smiles with the help of braces.

The best time for adults to get braces is:

  • When they have well established dental hygiene habits
  • When the jawbone is healthy
  • Before getting a dental implant or partial denture
  • After active decay and gum disease have been treated

Your dentist and a local orthodontist will help you find out if your mouth is ready for braces by taking x-rays and conducting an exam. Call today to schedule a braces consultation for everyone in your family, no matter their age.

Posted on behalf of:
Broad Street Braces
2010 South Juniper Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
213-234-3030

Sep
10

One of These 6 Reasons May Explain Why You Have Flat Teeth

Posted in Mouth Guards

Teeth wear down after years of use, so it’s common for elderly folks to have flat teeth. But what if your teeth seem to be wearing down prematurely?

Here are six possible causes.

You Grind Your Teeth

You may have a habit of grinding your teeth and not be aware of it. Teeth grinding, also called bruxism is a common symptom of stress and can often be treated with a custom dental nightguard.

Your Teeth Don’t Line Up Properly

Teeth wear down faster than normal if the upper and lower teeth contact each other on their biting edges. The same is true for points on upper and lower molars that directly line up with each other.

You Have a Tough Diet

Do you chew on a lot of ice, tortilla chips, granola, or nuts? A gritty diet can mechanically wear down your tooth enamel. A diet high in acids can soften tooth enamel and make it prone to physical wear.

You Hold Hard Items Between Your Teeth

If you have a habit of holding a tobacco pipe, plastic pens, or hairpins between your teeth, then you may see some rapid wear in specific spots.

You’re Missing Several Back Teeth

Your back molars are supposed to do the heavy work of chewing and grinding up your food. But if you’re missing those back teeth, then your thinner front teeth will have to do all the hard work and start to wear down quickly.

You Have a Porcelain Crown or Two

Porcelain is tougher than tooth enamel. A capped tooth can flatten an opposite uncapped tooth by rubbing against it for years.

Ask your dentist which factors are to blame for your flat teeth and what you can do to restore them.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

Sep
10

How Tartar Buildup Affects Your Smile

Dental calculus (also known as tartar or calcium buildup) can cause some serious problems if it isn’t removed regularly.

What Dental Calculus Does to Teeth

You might be surprised to learn that tartar doesn’t usually do anything bad to teeth themselves. Calculus is comprised of dead bacterial debris. This means that if there were any cavity-causing germs the plaque on teeth, they’ll be long dead and harmless once trapped in tartar.

Dental calculus actually prevents food and stains from reaching your tooth enamel. It’s also good for insulating sensitive teeth against temperature extremes. Most people find that their teeth are quite sensitive right after having tartar removed in a cleaning.

So, does this mean that dental calculus is good for your oral health?

Far from it!

What Tartar Does to Gums

Tartar buildup isn’t merely a cosmetic issue or matter of personal preference. What you really need to worry about is how it affects your gums.

As dental calculus deposits grow, they chafe delicate gum tissue.

The result? Gum inflammation and recession due to the gums detaching from your teeth.

Tartar growth also triggers a vicious cycle. It promotes new bacterial growth, which causes gum inflammation. Inflamed gums puff out and leave gaps next to teeth where more germs move in and where more tartar forms. The new dental calculus continues to irritate the tissue and makes that gap or pocket a little bigger. More bacteria and debris accumulate, deepening the pocket.

Eventually, the tissue breakdown can reach the point where your teeth loosen and fall out.

A small spot of dental calculus can be a big deal! See your dentist for regular dental cleanings and checkups to prevent the complications that come with tartar buildup.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Sep
10

How Many Teeth Should Your Toddler Have?

Most parents are naturally concerned about their child’s health and development. But like many parents, you aren’t always sure what’s normal when it comes to your kids’ smiles. Do you know how many teeth your child should have by the age of two or three?

Typical Toddler Smiles

Baby teeth start developing beneath your baby’s gums and jawbone while your child still in the womb. They start to erupt out of the gums when your child is between six months and a year old. Rarely, some babies are born with one or two baby teeth already in place.

Baby teeth typically show up in pairs and slowly come in over the course of a couple years. By the time your child is three years old, he or she should have a total of 20 teeth: ten on top and ten on bottom.

Protect Your Toddler’s Smile

Your toddler’s teeth are meant to be temporary, since the adult teeth will replace them one day. But this is what makes those baby teeth so very important. If those tiny teeth fall out too soon due to decay, your child’s adult smile may never properly develop.

Brush your toddler’s teeth twice a day with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste. This will help keep their enamel cavity-resistant. Don’t let your child go to bed with a bottle of anything besides plain water.

Take your toddler to the dental office for regular dental checkups. In fact, dentists and pediatricians recommend bringing your toddler in for their first dental appointment as early as a year old. The dentist will count your toddler’s teeth, check for signs of decay, and let you know what changes you can expect next.

Posted on behalf of:
Greencastle Dental
195 Greencastle Road
Tyrone, GA 30290
(770) 486-5585

Sep
10

Gum Disease—Is There a Cure?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is not as easy to cure as some make it out to be.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection from bacteria found in dental plaque that accumulates around teeth. Germs trigger inflammation in the tissue and the plaque changes into gum-irritating calcified tartar.

The early stage of gum inflammation is called gingivitis and is reversible. Once the infection reaches deeper tissues and ligaments below the gum line, however, it turns into the more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.

Gum Disease: Don’t Treat This at Home!

If your gum disease has advanced past simple gingivitis, then it’s not likely to stop on its own no matter how many herbal concoctions you try. This is because true periodontitis means that you have toxins and irritants trapped deep within pockets around your teeth, which can’t be removed without special tools.

Additionally, gum disease causes permanent damage to the structures around your teeth. Receded gums and lost bone tissue don’t grow back on their own. The longer you wait to see if you can cure gum disease at home, the greater the danger to your smile.

The Only Way to Treat Gum Disease

You need treatment that focuses on removing the debris that’s irritating your gums and creating a healthy foundation to encourage as much healing as possible.

Professional gum therapy addresses this challenge in a few ways:

  • Deep cleaning to smooth tooth roots and remove tartar
  • Flushing out toxins from the gum tissue
  • Local antibiotic administration
  • Instructions on problem-focused oral hygiene techniques

Talk with your dentist to learn more about the best way to restore your gum health and prevent disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Sep
10

Extra Charges You May See Added to Your Dental Crown Bill

Posted in Crowns

You’re surprised to get your bill and see a list of multiple other procedures in addition to your crown.

Those supportive procedures are necessary to successfully placing a crown. Here are some of the extra charges that you may see associated with your treatment.

Crown Buildup

If your tooth is weak or has little structure left to support a crown, then your dentist may need to build it up with filling material first. Some dentists can include the cost of this procedure with your total treatment estimate. But if you end up needing it unexpectedly after your treatment starts, then this can show up as an additional “major” dental service on your bill.

Root Canal

A root canal is another major expense that is separate from the cost of your crown. As with a post or core buildup, your tooth may unexpectedly need root canal therapy. Your dentist will let you know as you go along whether one is necessary, but it’s usually planned for in advance.

X-Rays

You might see a few diagnostic x-rays listed on your crown procedure bill. This is very typical.

Initial Exam

Did you see your dentist for a toothache and come out with a dental crown? That initial exam to check your tooth and assess it for a cap may show up on your bill.

When in Doubt, Get a Second Opinion

If you see suspicious additional charges to your dental bill or if the dentist can’t satisfactorily explain why you need a certain procedure, get a second opinion.

You can minimize confusion and unpleasant surprises by asking your dentist at the outset for clarification of exactly what your total treatment estimate should be.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Sep
10

Could a Dental Implant Save You Money?

Posted in Dental Implants

Dental implants are a popular tooth replacement option for many reasons. They’re the closest you could get to having your natural teeth back. Implants are also proven to be a financially smart decision for many patients.

Could an implant save you some money, as well, despite costing more upfront? Here are three ways it very well could.

No Need to Replace Your Restorations

Choosing a dental bridge or partial denture to replace a missing tooth may cost a fraction of the price of an implant procedure.

Keep in mind, however, that getting an implant is once-in-a-lifetime deal. Once you have it, it should stay with you indefinitely. Other tooth replacement options easily wear out within ten years or less.

Although you might pay less for a bridge or denture initially, you’re going to be paying that sum time and again throughout the rest of your life.

Implants Keep Your Smile Healthier

Dental implants don’t put any strain or wear on your remaining natural teeth. This means that those natural teeth will stay healthier longer.

Getting an implant also boosts your smile’s health by strengthening the bone in your jaw and maintaining the alignment of your remaining teeth. Healthy straight teeth won’t need dental treatment any time soon.

Save on Oral Hygiene Supplies

If you have a dental bridge or a partial filling in the gap in your smile, then you may need to buy some extra cleaning tools like: special flossers, denture brushes, storage cases, denture solution, or water flossers.

To clean your dental implant all you need is a regular toothbrush and floss.

Ask your dentist whether a dental implant is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

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