Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Enamel: The Shield for Your Teeth

Tooth enamel is perhaps the most important aspect of your oral anatomy. Tooth enamel is the hardest and most mineralized substance in the body and serves as a shield on your teeth. However, enamel does not grow back, so it is vital to understand what it is and how to protect it.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Dentists Debunk 14 Teeth Myths

Two dentists debunk 14 of the most common myths about teeth. They explain the science behind white teeth and what really causes cavities. They also debunk the idea that electric toothbrushes are better than regular toothbrushes. In fact, it's more about how you brush your teeth. And they mention how aligners, without X-rays and thorough analysis from an orthodontist, could be harmful to your teeth.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Get Wise About Wisdom Teeth

With age comes wisdom – and wisdom teeth! Learn more about what to expect when this third set of molars come through in your late teens.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Oral Health in the Down Syndrome Community

We know that proper dental care should be a part of everyone’s healthcare routine, but often, extra attention needs to be paid in people with certain conditions. For people living with Down Syndrome, common symptoms include jaw, tongue, and teeth problems that can lead to a greater risk for oral complications.

With March 21 marking World Down Syndrome Day, we aim to shine a light on the specific oral health issues that can affect children and adults living with this condition.

What is Down Syndrome?

The genetic makeup of a child is formed by the chromosomes of their biological parents. Each of the parent’s 23 chromosomal pairs split apart and come together to create a new set of 23 pairs in the child.

Down syndrome occurs when the 21st chromosome of the one of the parents doesn’t separate properly, creating a full or partial extra copy of that chromosome in the child. This extra genetic material changes how the baby’s brain and body develop during pregnancy, causing mental and physical differences after birth.

According to a study cited by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Down syndrome occurs in about one in every 700 children, making it the most common genetic disorder in the United States. (For more information on the causes and risk factors of Down syndrome, visit the CDC website or the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).

Facial and Oral Signs of Down Syndrome

Many of the signs of Down syndrome usually include a combination of physical features in the face and mouth.

According to the NDSS, the following can impact dental health in people with Down Syndrome:

  • A large tongue
  • Late tooth growth
  • Short tooth roots
  • Small and missing teeth
  • Small bones in the nose
  • A small upper jaw

Common Oral Complications of Down Syndrome

It’s important to understand the potential oral health complications so that good daily routines can be established at home and treatment can be addressed early if needed.

Difficulty Chewing

Missing or irregular teeth and a misaligned jaw can cause difficulty chewing. This can also be a result of a symptom known as hypotonia, which is a lack of muscle tone that can affect the ability to chew and swallow. As the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) explains, improper chewing contributes to “inefficient natural cleansing action, which allow[s] food to remain on teeth after eating” and can lead to an increased risk for cavities.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth (aka a lack of saliva) might occur in people with Down syndrome for a number of reasons: mouth breathing because of small nasal passages or a protruding tongue, chronic respiratory infections, or as a side effect of medication for hypertension. Dry mouth can result in trouble speaking, a burning sensation, or a constant sore throat. What’s more, without the proper amount of saliva to help clear away food, bacteria, and other disease-causing substances in the mouth, they’re more likely to suffer from tooth decay and gum disease.

Early Onset Periodontitis

The NIDCR calls periodontal disease “the most significant oral health problem in people with Down syndrome” — and it can happen much more quickly than to those without the condition. Several factors contribute to this including poor immunity, prolonged wound healing, short tooth roots, teeth grinding, and poor oral hygiene. When not addressed, this advanced form of gum disease can lead to visibly receding gums, lost teeth, and even certain cancers.

Overgrowth of Gums

Known as gingival hyperplasia, an overgrowth of gums can occur in people with Down syndrome who take medication for seizures. It can also simply be a side effect of poor oral hygiene. Left untreated, gingival hyperplasia can cause pain, visible gum growth over the teeth, teeth misalignment, and an increased risk for developing periodontal disease.

By keeping up with proper at-home care, scheduling preventative visits, and working with a dentist on an individualized plan, anyone with Down syndrome should be able to enjoy a happy, healthy smile for years to come.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

How This Dentist Crafts $80,000 Veneers For Celebrities | Beauty Explorers

Celebrity-loved dentist Michael Apa is known for his boutique veneers, which can cost clients up to $80,000 for a whole smile. Apa’s technique for making porcelain veneers ensures that no two smiles are the same. Everything about the fake teeth is customized depending on the client, and the veneers are handmade by a team of master ceramicists in Apa’s New York City office. 

Apa’s worked on the smiles of celebrities including actress ChloĆ« Sevigny, Victoria’s Secret model Elsa Hosk, Vinny Guadagnino of "Jersey Shore," and Kyle Richards of "Real Housewives." 

We got a look inside his New York office to see everything that goes into crafting a celeb-worthy smile of porcelain veneers.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

How Gum Disease Affects Your Heart

You do everything you can to take care of your health. From maintaining a healthy diet to exercising regularly, you make your health a priority. But if you’re not equally as diligent about your oral health, your heart may be in jeopardy.

Recent research suggests that there’s a strong link between gum disease and heart disease. While the two may not seem like they have much in common at first glance, the more you learn about their connection, the easier it is to see how they’re related.

Gum Disease
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, typically starts out as an inflammatory gum infection called gingivitis. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque — a sticky film of bacteria — on your teeth and gums. As gum disease progresses, it can advance to periodontitis, which happens when plaque sits in small pockets beneath the gum line.

Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease, is caused by an entirely different type of plaque called atherosclerosis, which is made from cholesterol and fat. This gradual buildup of atherosclerosis is a serious health concern if left untreated. It’s one of the leading causes of heart attack.

How They're Connected

While medical experts don’t know exactly why gum disease increases your chances of developing heart disease, they believe that untreated periodontitis can cause bacteria from your mouth to travel through your bloodstream, which clogs your arteries and raises your risk of heart infection.

As your arteries become clogged with plaque and bacteria, they can narrow and harden, preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Gum disease is certainly not the only condition that’s been connected to heart disease. Diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), poor diet choices, and unhealthy lifestyle habits all increase your risk of heart disease.

However, you can protect your gums and heart by making yourself aware of the early warning signs of gum disease, before it advances to periodontitis.

The most common gum disease symptoms include:
  • Gum inflammation;
  • Bleeding gums;
  • Gum sensitivity;
  • Pain when chewing;
  • Loose teeth;
  • Receding gums;
  • Halitosis (bad breath);
Inflamed gums are typically the earliest warning sign of gum disease, so it’s important to talk to your dentist about your symptoms at the first sign of trouble. Early intervention and gum treatments, such as deep cleanings, scaling, and root planing, can help reduce the symptoms of gum disease and protect your heart from infection.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Why Does Sugar Make My Teeth Hurt?

Picture this: you're gorging on leftover Halloween candy. You take a bite of a fun-size chocolate bar and instead of sugary goodness, you get a flash of blinding pain in your tooth! What's the deal?

Hosted by: Stefan Chin