Thursday, November 29, 2012

Stress & Oral Health

Stress can cause mouth-grinding, which can be a danger to your oral health. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Importance of Dental Check-Ups

Regular dental check-ups play an important role in maintaining healthy teeth. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year can prevent infections from spreading, minimize the amount of dental work that is needed, provide whitening for teeth, and keep your gums disease-free. More frequent visits may be necessary if you are at a higher risk of oral diseases.

During a dental check-up, both your teeth and gums are thoroughly examined. Infections, tooth decay or other non-optimum dental condition are immediately addressed, and preventative measures such as teeth cleaning are taken to avoid potential future problems.

Mouth infections can occur for many different reasons, including dietary changes, stress and a weakened immune system. Left untreated, an infection can lead to cavities, abscesses and other dental issues that can require costly and extensive dental procedures. When an infection is caught early and cavities are filled quickly, your teeth will also last longer.

Another benefit of regular check-ups is the prevention of gum disease. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease and is often reversible. Periodontitis is a more serious gum condition involving an infection of the ligaments and bones that brace the tooth. The infection and resulting inflammation causes tooth and bone loss.

Gum disease can also lead to health issues. Gingivitis for example, has been linked to heart disease and stroke due to the higher levels of bacteria that develop in areas of the mouth where the infection is located. As the disease progresses, the risk of cardiovascular disease becomes greater.

Teeth cleaning by a dentist is one of the best ways to ensure your gums remain healthy. It is a routine procedure that also reduces the likelihood of cavities. During the cleaning, several small tools are used to remove dental plaque, including a scaler and polisher. Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria (and sugars) that come from the food you eat. It is the acid from plaque that causes cavities. The scaler is used to remove the hard pieces of plaque that can form on and between teeth. The polisher gets rid of smaller plaque particles and buffs the teeth. The teeth cleaning procedure is usually performed by a hygienist, and takes approximately 30 minutes.

During your dental check-up and cleaning, you may also be given advice on how to improve your home brushing and flossing. All necessary so you never have to find out what are dentures. If needed, you can learn about cosmetic dentistry options available to you.

Taking proper care of your teeth can reduce your dental expenses and prevent tooth loss as you get older. Regular check-ups and cleaning are part of the maintenance process, and should be scheduled as often as necessary with your dentist.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Learn the three stages of the disease, what to watch for and simple preventive techniques.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5 Benefits of a Great Smile

A great smile has many functions. It can brighten a room, shine in a picture, increase happiness, and even help you get that date you've always wanted. But if you've always been embarrassed of your smile, you may think these things are impossible. However, a beautiful smile is within your reach. You don't have to hate your smile any longer! By utilizing the latest cosmetic technology, you can work with your dentist to achieve the smile of your dreams. Whether it's through dental implants, teeth whitening, smile makeovers, or crowns and bridges, you can work with your dentist to attain your perfect smile. Now that you know it is possible, here are 5 benefits of a great smile!

• Great Pictures

Have you ever posed for a picture, and instead of showing your teeth, you go with the closed-mouth lip smile? Let's be honest, it's kind of awkward and everybody knows you are hiding something. With a new and improved smile, you can avoid this embarrassing moment and show off your beautiful smile to the whole world.

• Positively Affect Others

Smiling helps create a positive environment. The more you smile, the happier you feel, and this happiness reflects on those around you as well. This can help you build lasting relationships and increase your emotional well-being. Instead of hesitating and holding yourself back every time you have a happy, you can relax and smile wide.

• Increased Confidence

Your confidence will increase, especially in social environments. You can smile freely on dates without worrying about your partner noticing your slightly yellow teeth or that pesky missing front tooth. You'll be able to fully be yourself once you don't have to hold anything back. Not to mention that your big smile will be much more attractive than your awkward close-mouth lip smile. With your newfound great smile, you can smile, laugh, and have a great time around anybody. Self-consciousness be gone!

• Stress Relief

Without the anxiety caused by your old smile, you'll enjoy a great amount of stress relief. You will be smiling much more, which has been proven to reduce symptoms associated with anxiety. By reducing stress, you may lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, and even improve digestion. Not only will your emotional health improve, but your physical health will increase as well!

• You'll Feel Better

Think about this for a second: you do most things in life because you think they will make you happy. You think you'll feel good. Well, a great smile can certainly lift your spirits. Studies have shown that the act of smiling can dramatically improve your mood. Smiling increases happiness, so why not give yourself the motivation to smile more?

With all the new technology in cosmetic dentistry, your bad smile can become a thing of the past. Once you are confident enough to show off your great smile, the benefits are countless. Stop pouting and start moving towards your perfect smile today. The world is waiting, it's your time to brighten it!

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Busy Girl: Adults Under 40

Maintaining a bright and healthy smile is easy to do, even with a busy schedule! 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cosmetic Dentist - Tooth Bonding

A cosmetic dentist often uses a method of treatment which is known as tooth bonding. This type of treatment is used on teeth that are decayed to restore them and make them healthy again. The color of the teeth can even be changed can be changed and improved with this procedure. Bonding is also used to change the shape of the teeth and give them a more even appearance. Teeth that are crooked and teeth that have gaps in them can be improved with this treatment. When teeth are badly stained, bonding can be used to minimize the stains.

Any problem that makes the teeth appear uneven can be corrected with bonding by a cosmetic dentist. This treatment consists of using a coat of a plastic substance on the surface of the teeth. When that's been applied, the substance used to bond the teeth is applied. This is used to sculpt the teeth and shape them for the desired result. A light is used to harden the plastic and keep it in place. When it's completely set, a polish is used to make the teeth clean and brighter looking. This is a good alternative to traditional fillings which usually last about seven years. Bonding can last from seven to eleven years.

The types of bonding that a cosmetic dentist uses are for small spaces, which match the color of the tooth. This type of bonding is affixed to the surface of the tooth to correct small imperfections. They are used to give the teeth more strength. Your dentist will determine if this type of bonding will be adequate for your needs. For larger areas, a mold is made of your teeth. A temporary filling is put into the area until the permanent filling has been made at a dental lab. They're generally created out of porcelain. When you have your second visit to the dentist, the permanent filling is bonded to your tooth.

Before having a cosmetic dentist do a dental bonding procedure on you, you should find out if this is the best method of treatment. You should also find out if your dental insurance will cover the procedure. The price of having dental bonding done will depend on the area you live in. It also depends on how extensive the treatment is. In many cases, dental insurance will cover most of the cost of a dental bonding treatment, especially if it's a case of a structural problem which must be corrected. The appearance of your teeth after the treatment is completed is the main reason for having dental bonding done.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

What Is Involved In A Dental Examination?

When a patient is seen for his or her routine dental examination, these are some of the major points involved. First: The patient is asked to fill out a recent medical questionnaire. In most cases this is a verbal confirmation, where the patient is asked about recent health concerns, changes or new medications. The oral area cannot be separated from the general health of a patient. A recent heart problem should be addressed, as there could be dental / general health ramifications. For example, cardiac surgery may involve premedication with antibiotics, as a thorough dental cleaning could cause oral bacteria to enter the circulatory system. This can cause potentially serious problems in areas where recent scar tissue has formed. As well joint surgery and artificial joint placement may require antibiotics.

Other recent conditions should be discussed as well: pregnancy, diabetes, cancer treatment, stoke, and any surgeries. Most conditions do not require special attention; but, the dental team will ensure that no consequences occur as a result of an oversight in recognizing potential problems.

X-rays are taken on a varying basis depending of the oral status of the patient. A patient with a full mouth of fillings is perhaps more vulnerable so may require more frequent x-rays., every year in some cases. Patients with minimal dental problems can do well with x-rays every two years. Some patients require more that the standard 'bite wings'. These are the x-rays that show if there are cavities between the back teeth. Patients who have had root canal therapy should receive what are called, 'periapical' x-rays, that monitor the progress of root canal treatment. Not all patients follow through; but, it is a worthwhile and challenging goal for the dental team to ensure they do. And all dental clinics like to ensure that patients return for regular exams. This ensures that any problems are noted and as importantly, it helps to ensure the patient is motivated to take a full role in his or her oral hygiene and home care.

In some offices the hygienist does a thorough cleaning. She / he can often detect cavities through the manual act of scaling. When the dentist comes for the exam phase, the hygienist will be able to supplement this exam with observations that he/she has seen. This team work helps a patient achieve the greatest of care. The dentist will physically touch each tooth with a sharp instrument called an 'explorer" This can show if an area of concern is in fact decay or just a stain. An interesting addition to the dental exam is a laser instrument that can detect decay. One model is a Diagnodent. It emits a low power laser beam which is directed, from close distance, to the tooth surface. Some of the light reflects back and is read by the instrument. The nature of the reflected light will signify a possible decay. This has been an excellent way of detecting decay before it gets larger.

The dentist will also do, what is termed,a soft tissue exam. The tongue, cheeks, palate, upper throat, and gum tissues are examined for any problems. Of special concern are smokers, who do have a tendency to have more intra-oral cancers. As well the neck from the collar bone to the chin is examined for any hard lesions. The dentist is looking for cysts, signs of infection and cancers.

The gums are given a thorough exam both visually and with an instrument called a probe, which is demarcated in millimeters. A normal gum pocket, the area around the teeth, is 3 mm. In gum disease some pockets can range to 10 mm. In such severe cases the patient is referred to a gum specialist, for possible surgery. In less severe cases some dentist do minor gum surgery. The laser is now a popular and successful instrument to correct gum problems.

An important aspect of the dental exam is to motivate and encourage the patient to take more attention to home preventive care. It is felt that a good habit takes 21 days to achieve. The hygienist and dentist work to reach that part of the patient that registers the need for better home care, if this is required. Not all patients follow through; but, it is a worthwhile and challenging goal for the dental team. The initial exam should always be followed by scheduled examinations. The time frame will be selected depending on the oral health status of the patient and the level of home care motivation, shown. In subsequent exams progress should be noted. One simple way to compare oral health between visits is what is called a bleeding index. During cleaning bleeding may occur in patients with poor home care. A scale of zero to three is chosen to represent the amount of bleeding. Three sites are chosen on the outer surface of upper teeth and three inner surfaces of lower teeth are selected. If there is bleeding the score is calculate. A person with heavy bleeding in all sites will score a 12, this can be compared at subsequent visits. Low scores are also calculated and the patient is encouraged to maintain this level. This index is not a scientific measure but one that can objectively be repeated and used for motivation and comparison purposes

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