Monday, July 26, 2021

What Is a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

A wisdom tooth extraction is a surgical procedure to remove one or more of your wisdom teeth. Learn what to expect, before during and after the surgery.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Why Quitting Smoking Will Benefit Your Oral Health

Despite the fact that tobacco use remains the largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world, a staggering 32.4 million Americans still smoke cigarettes.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that overall rates of smoking have declined drastically over several decades, yet more than 16 million Americans are currently living with a smoking-related disease.

We all know smoking increases the risk for many conditions, like lung cancer and heart disease. But, many smoking-related problems present themselves early and most obviously in the mouth. These can range from less serious issues, like tooth discoloration, to potentially fatal diseases such as cancers of the mouth and throat.

The nicotine, tar, and other chemicals in tobacco lead to a buildup of bacteria that is harmful in many ways. What’s more, tobacco weakens the body’s immune system which makes fighting these illnesses more difficult.

Read on to get a better understanding of how tobacco is connected to your oral health, the signs and symptoms to look for, and why smoking cessation will be the best thing you can do for your mouth.

Smoking and other tobacco products lead to oral health issues in three primary ways:
  • Tobacco increases the amount of the bacteria in the mouth;
  • Tobacco interferes with the normal function of gum tissue cells, causing a greater risk for infection;
  • Tobacco impairs blood flow, which makes it harder for your body to heal;
Not all the oral effects of smoking are the same for everyone. They can vary for several reasons, including how much you use and how long you’ve been smoking.

Smoker's Mouth

Due to the nicotine and tar in tobacco, “smokers mouth” can happen incredibly quickly. It can include:
  • Discolored teeth;
  • Bad breath;
  • Increased buildup of plaque and tartar that leads to cavities and gum disease;
In some cases, people may even develop mouth sores from smoking cigarettes, or a condition known as “smokers tongue” which causes the tongue to look hairy and even turn a shade of yellow, green, or brown.

Gum Disease

One of the greatest oral health risks for smokers is gum disease. According to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research, smokers are at twice the risk of developing gum disease.

There are two main types of gum disease:

1. Gingivitis: When plaque and tartar build up and get under the gums and create harmful inflammation. Symptoms include red, tender, swollen gums that bleed easily.

2. Periodontal Disease: If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis.

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory infection that breaks down the gum tissues. Over time, it can cause receding gums, deep pockets and bone loss that can lead to more frequent and serious infections. Without treatment, teeth may become mobile, fall out or need to be extracted.

Deep cleaning below the gum line, or surgery, are treatments for periodontitis.

Mouth and Throat Cancer

In the most serious cases, the use of tobacco can lead to cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat. According to the Mouth Cancer Foundation, smokers are six times more likely to develop these cancers than nonsmokers. Symptoms could include swelling or lumps around your neck or mouth, persistent sores or patches, difficulty swallowing, or repeated bleeding in the mouth and throat.

Your dentist is specially trained to evaluate you for signs of oral cancer, and keeping regular dental check-ups improves the likelihood of any abnormalities in the mouth being detected as early as possible.

How to Quit Smoking and Improve Your Oral and Overall Health

The number-one way to reduce all these risks is to stop smoking. Or better yet, never start. The American Lung Association offers these tips to quit smoking:
  • Just quit. Don’t switch to e-cigarettes, which can be just as harmful. Talk to your doctor about medications or counseling services that could help you quit smoking.
  • Write down a list of your personal motivations for quitting.
  • Make a plan to quit and find a support network to help keep you accountable.
  • Ask questions and do your research. Know what to expect when quitting and the challenges to be prepared for.
  • Find healthy ways to keep yourself occupied. Exercise, take up a new hobby, or do something fun with friends who don’t smoke.
The process may be difficult, but the benefits of quitting are significant. Over time, your heart rate and blood pressure will drop, your lung function increases, and your risk of heart disease drastically drops. The ACS offers a Quit Smoking Timeline that describes the health benefits you can expect within with just minutes to over a decade of kicking the habit.

With proper at-home care and visits to the dentist, some gum disease can be reversed or stopped in its tracks. What’s more, a study published by the Journal of Periodontology found that the likelihood of developing periodontal disease decreased significantly with each additional year since quitting smoking.

As Robert Silverman, DDS, a Delta Dental consultant, has summed it up,
“The lesson is: Don’t smoke if you want to save your teeth — and your life.”

The Centers for Disease Control also offers some amazing resources to help you quit smoking. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free support, download the quitSTART app to get tailored tips, and connect with others on social media who are also looking to live a smoke-free life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

What Can You Do to Make Your Teeth Whiter?

Having concerns about how white your pearly whites are? Get details on how to brighten your smile, directly from a dentist.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

What Is A Root Canal?

If your tooth is infected with dental decay, it may spread into the pulp that cause tooth pain. Dentists usually recommend a root canal procedure. Learn more about root canal from our illustrative guide here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Gum Disease and Glaucoma

According to the American Glaucoma Society, studies suggest that periodontal (gum) disease and recent tooth loss increases our risk of developing open angle glaucoma (OAG).

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly half (47.2%) of American adults have mild to severe periodontal disease. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on your which attract harmful bacteria. It develops gradually over time and can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene and going in for routine dental exams. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bone loss, chronic bad breath (halitosis), and permanent tooth loss.

Glaucoma has been labeled as the “silent thief of sight,” and consists of a group of disorders which cause slow and irreversible loss of vision that can lead to blindness. OAG is the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for 90% of all glaucoma cases, per the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Our eyes have small drainage canals that help regulate our eye pressure. OAG occurs when fluid drains too slowly from the eye and causes pressure to build up and, if left untreated, it can lead to blindness. Like periodontal disease, OAG develops gradually over time and can be prevented with routine eye exams.

Tips for preventing periodontal disease:
  • Brush for 2 minutes, twice a day;
  • Floss at least once a day;
  • Stay on top of your preventive dental visits;

Tips for preventing glaucoma:
  • Wear eye protection;
  • Know your family’s medical history;
  • Stay on top of your preventive eye visits;

Talk to your dentist to learn more about your risk for periodontal disease and how to prevent it. Visit your eye doctor to learn more about your risk for OAG and how to prevent it.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Veneers vs Crowns - Whats the Difference?

Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between crowns and veneers? Dr. Joseph Nemeth explains why you might need a veneer over a crown!

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Risks to Oral Health During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time for women to take extra care of their bodies and to practice good oral hygiene. After eating, the sugars from foods form into an acid that attacks your tooth enamel and overtime, can result in tooth decay. Find out what are the best methods to take care of your teeth and maintain a healthy smile during your pregnancy

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

What to Do If Your Tooth is Cracked

Some teeth have cracks too small to show up on X-rays, or cracked are under the gum. These small cracks are known as cracked tooth syndrome

Saturday, June 26, 2021

What Causes Tooth Decay?

What causes tooth decay? 

What is it that lives on our teeth, gums, and tongue?

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

How Dentures Are Made | The Making Of

Dentures are a removable set of teeth that are meant to create a new smile for a patient. In order to make a set, it requires several appointments with the patient and lengthy procedures in the lab to get the right fit and look. It can be a tedious process for all, but worth it in the end once the patient has a beautiful new smile.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Oral Hygiene Tips for Children: When to Replace a Toothbrush & How to Brush

Does your child know when their toothbrush should be replaced? Does your child know how to best brush their teeth using small circles? Join the Kids' Dentist as they demonstrate these tips to improve your child's dental health.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Dos & Don’ts of Teeth Brushing & Whitening!

Dentist Dr. Zainab Mackie shares her top dos and don’ts to tooth brushing. She also warns that foods can stain your teeth, and to avoid teeth whitening gimmicks. Also, she warns not to use charcoal to whiten your teeth – it’s way too rough.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

How Do You Get Rid of a Canker Sore?

Do you suffer from canker sores? These little white balls of blinding pain can be annoying, but there is hope.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Fluoride is the Key to Preventing Cavities, Study Says

Make sure your toothpaste has fluoride as an ingredient. That's according to a new study that officially confirms that's the key to preventing cavities.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Should You Rinse After Brushing?

Dentist Dr. Sako Karakozian joins The Doctors to answer this important question.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Tips for Tiny Teeth

Dental health was the #1 unmet health need for children during the COVID-19 pandemic. In honor of National Smile Month, our 7 Tips for Tiny Teeth video is designed to help families learn the basics of good oral health care to create smiles that last a lifetime.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

New Way to Prevent Tooth Decay?

Every day, our mouths are the scene of a battle. With toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash, we attempt to eradicate plaque - but it always comes back. Is there a better way?

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

What Is TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ, affects the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw. Find out more about what TMJ is and how to treat it.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

What Too Much Flavored Water Does To Your Teeth

If you're a fan of drinking flavored water, you might want to make sure you're drinking it in moderation. It's a common notion that flavored water is healthy, but due to acids in the drink, you could be damaging your tooth enamel beyond repair.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Kids & Flossing | Advice From a Pediatric Dentist

How do you floss a two-year-old’s teeth? When is the best time to floss your child’s teeth? Dr. Emily Hahn, a pediatric dentist with St. Louis Children’s Hospital, answers these questions on kids & flossing, plus more! In this video, you’ll find tips on flossing your kid’s teeth and advice on helping your child establish good oral hygiene habits.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Sugar's Impact on Your Oral Health

Over consumption of sugar is becoming a national health crisis. Sugar feeds the bacteria that form together to become plaque. It's not always easy to limit your sugar intake, but you can make healthy changes that limit the toll it takes on your teeth.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Real Reason Humans Have Those Sharp Front Teeth

We share our sharp canine teeth with lions, hippos, and other mammals. But believe it or not, they have nothing to do with tearing into meat. Instead, our ancestors originally used them to fight for mating rights, and they shrunk over time as we stopped using our teeth as weapons.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

What Causes Bad Morning Breath and How To Fix It

Your alarm shreds the early dawn tranquility, yanking you into consciousness. You slap snooze, roll over and yawn…and out wafts a malodorous cloud of ‘morning breath.’

What is that smell? Why do you have it? And most importantly, how do you get rid of it?

Why Do I Have Morning Breath?

Your mouth is a virtual Petri dish of biology and lifestyle. First the biology: Everyone’s mouth harbors bacteria, both good and bad. We play host for their entire lifecycle – bacteria are born, they eat, produce waste, and die – in our mouths. Icky as it sounds, we need the good bacteria and the bad comes along for the ride.

Your lifestyle can up the ante for bad bacteria when you partake of things such as onions, tobacco, and medications. When all these bacteria are confined to simmer in eight hours of slumber, they combust into bad breath.

So, don’t fret. Funky morning breath is normal. And it’s different than halitosis, which is a chronic bad-breath condition that you cannot remedy with a good brushing and mouthwash.

Causes of Bad Morning Breath

Certain foods instigate bad breath more than others – such as onions, garlic, and other spices. You boost your chances of morning odor if you eat these things close to bedtime.

Dry Mouth
Saliva – or spit - is your mouth’s natural cleanser and deodorizer. It helps break down bacteria and wash away food particles left behind after eating. Saliva production naturally decreases during sleep, but those with dry mouth experience an even greater reduction in saliva. With less saliva to clean your mouth, the bad stuff will breed.

Poor Oral Hygiene
Most of us are aware that brushing twice a day is crucial to good oral care. However, failing to floss – particularly before bed – can leave food particles in your mouth that will add to bad breath. Without diligent brushing and flossing, you set yourself up for bad breath and gum disease.

Smoking – especially cigarettes – deposit smoke particles in your lungs and throat. And chemicals in tobacco linger in your mouth several hours after just one smoke. Tobacco use also escalates your chances of gum disease. In addition to its own set of dangers, gum disease adds to bad breath.

Some medications cause dry mouth, and dry mouth, in turn, can bring stinky breathy. Also, certain medications break down in your body, which can leak a foul smell into your mouth.

Mouth Breathing
Again, another dry-mouth motivator. But how do you know if you’re breathing through your mouth at night? If you’re waking with an exceptionally dry mouth or tongue, or irritated throat, you’re probably mouth-breathing. Ailments such as clogged sinuses and sleep disorders often inspire mouth-breathing.

How to Get Rid of Bad Morning Breath

A certain degree of morning breath is normal, so you can’t completely halt its development. But you can take measures to minimize its severity and eradicate it once you wake.

The 2-Minute Minimum
Brush your teeth for no less than two minutes. Time yourself. Going for a full two minutes washes away more food leftovers than a few quick swipes.

Floss, Floss, Floss
Flossing gets what brushing can’t. Brushing removes only 60 percent of food debris. Flossing reaches the other 40 percent. Flossing before bed is exceptionally important, as sleep offers food the opportunity to fester for hours, without beverages and sufficient saliva to flush it away.

Wash It Away
Maybe you don’t have time for a good brushing, but still need to freshen up – a vigorous rinse with mouthwash will give you a quick refresher. But opt for sugar-free brands. Sugar feeds stink-causing bacteria, so you can end up with an even yuckier mouth.

Grab Some Gum
Chewing gum gets your saliva flowing. But go for sugar-free and mint-flavored – sugar fuels odorous, bad bacteria, and ‘cookies and cream’-flavored gum won’t deliver that fresh, cool breath you’re after.

Get Your Greens
Chomp some fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro — their chlorophyll neutralizes odors. Cloves, fennel seeds, and anise also supply antiseptic powers along with fresh breath promotion.

Drink Up
If you wake in the night with a dry mouth, keep a glass of water by your bed. A few swigs of water will stir up your saliva and wash away musty breath.

Keeping It Fresh

Now that you know what causes morning breath and how to fight it, you can step up your game to turn that early-morning funk into freshness.

And don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly. If you feel your morning breath is following you throughout the day, your dentist can determine whether other underlying issues or conditions are at play.

Article Source:

Monday, April 19, 2021

Regency Dental Testimonial Video

Open in the same location for over 25 years, we are dedicated to quality service in a home away from home atmosphere.

We strive to make each and every visit a pleasurable experience. Extra care is taken to ensure that the highest standards of disinfection and sterilization are adhered to. This gives all of our patients the confidence to know that they are the top priority and their well being is the most important concern.

Our ultimate mission is to assist in making a contribution to overall health by providing the highest quality dental care possible. You will not only be delighted with the quality of clinical care but also by the way in which you are treated as an individual.

We want this to be your happy dental home.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Stress and Your Oral Health

2020 was a stressful one.

But now, as vaccine rates continue to climb and business and day to day life begin to look familiar, we’re all facing a new kind stress – the stress of getting back to ‘normal.’

Whether you’re dreading the return to an in-person work environment, anxiously awaiting your vaccine, or simply coming to terms with the idea that the pandemic is nearly over, you’re probably feeling at least a little stressed right about now.

And we know stress is hard on the body, but have you ever considered the ways in which stress can affect your smile? April is Stress Awareness Month and frankly, it couldn’t have come at a better time. As we prepare for the return to ‘normal’ life, we’re highlighting the ways in which stress takes a toll on your oral and overall health and offer a few easy tips to help you manage it.

How Your Mouth Responds to Stress

When we humans sense danger, our bodies respond by unleashing a surge of hormones, called the “Fight or Flight” response. This is necessary in the short term as it helps you to react quickly and protect yourself from harm. But when the stressors don’t go away, your body can get stuck in fight-or-flight mode, leading to a whole host of unintended consequences — especially when it comes to your mouth.

Increased risk of gum disease: During times of increased stress, you produce more of the hormone called cortisol. This helps turn off bodily processes not directly related to survival. But it also lowers your ability to fight off infection, including infection in your gums.

Canker sores: Canker sores are small, sensitive ulcers that grow on the soft tissue of your mouth, including cheeks, tongue, and gums. They’re caused by a whole host of things, but one of the most common is stress. Stress also increases your chances of developing canker sores. While canker sores are neither contagious nor cause for concern, they’re usually a sign that something bigger is going on and that it might be time to practice some self-care.

Bruxism (tooth grinding): When your body enters fight-or-flight mode, it sends a message to your muscles: tense up and prepare to fight or flee. Most of us clench our jaws or grind their teeth in response. You might not even be aware it’s happening – the Sleep Foundation estimates that around 8% of adults grind their teeth while they sleep. This constant, heavy pressure on your teeth increases your risk of fractures or chips, which may lead to more serious issues down the line.

Reducing Stress — For the Sake of Your Mouth

You deserve a little TLC. Here are few techniques you can try to help manage your stress and keep your body balanced.

Get your beauty rest: Aim for eight hours of sleep each night. Studies show that a lack of sleep can raise stress levels. On the other hand, a good night’s sleep can go a long way toward helping you feel balanced.

Smile: Simple, right? Smiling releases endorphins, which can help lower stress. Endorphins also naturally reduce cortisol, which can in turn protect your teeth and gums from unwanted infections.

Get a move on it: Exercise helps keep your body and your stress in check. If possible, block out 30 minutes for activity each day – we’re sure Fido would appreciate it!

Maintain Your Oral Care Routine

Keeping up on your oral hygiene helps protect your teeth year-round. But did you know that the simple routine of brushing and flossing can actually help with reducing stress levels? Research shows that poor oral health leads to increased anxiety and low self-esteem, so maintaining your daily brushing-and-flossing routine is especially important.

You might be feeling like the world is speeding back up and you can’t quite get a grip on it all. But you can take charge of your oral health. And sometimes, that’s all you need to make a big difference.

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

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Why Dental Sealants for Kids

Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the US. In Washington State, nearly 40% of kindergartners and 58% of third graders have cavities. This might sound dire, but it doesn’t have to be: cavities are preventable.

In addition to brushing, flossing, and regular checkups, dental sealants are another important measure for protecting kids’ teeth against decay. But despite their importance, many parents don’t know much about dental sealants — how they work, whether they are safe, and what they do to protect kids’ teeth.

So, what exactly are dental sealants, and why do kids need them?

Why Kids Need Dental Sealants

Early cavity prevention is extremely important. Cavities in baby teeth lead to cavities in permanent teeth, and to a lifetime of oral health problems. Preventing cavities before they start sets kids up for success — which is where dental sealants come in.

Cavities don’t happen overnight — they are more like a slow erosion. The bacteria in our mouths feeds off sugar in foods we eat. This process leaves behind nasty acids, which weaken our enamel little by little. A dental sealant is a protective coating placed on the chewing surfaces of your child’s back teeth, or molars. Sealants fill the deep grooves that are hard for kids to properly clean when brushing.

In this way, dental sealants are like little tooth-sized levies — one more barrier protecting our children’s teeth against the slow erosion caused by bacteria and acids.

When Should Kids Get Dental Sealants?

The ADA recommends dental sealants for kids ages 5 to 14. Ask your dentist about dental sealants for your child as soon as their first permanent molars come in, between the ages of 5 and 7. Another set of dental sealants can be applied when kids get their second set of permanent molars, usually between age 11 and 14.

Dental sealants are also a good preventive measure for any teenager particularly prone to cavities.

Are Sealants Covered by Dental Benefits?

Dental sealants are considered a preventive benefit, just like regular exams and fluoride treatments. Most plans cover preventive services and dental sealants at 100%, so your child gets all their protective sealants at little or no out-of-pocket cost.

Article Source:

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Should I Pull Out My Child’s Loose Tooth?

Forget tying your child’s loose tooth to a piece of string and attaching it to a doorknob (Or a foam dart gun. Or even a drone.). There is an easier and safer way to help your child wiggle that loose tooth free.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Improve Your Smile with These Tips from Dental Experts

The Doctors share tips about keeping your tooth enamel, the dangers of trying to move your teeth yourself, and how to stop grinding your teeth!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

How Can I Get My Child to Brush Her Teeth?

Does your child run in the other direction every time you reach for the toothbrush? Get some tried-and-true tips for making brushing fun from a dentist who’s been in your shoes.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Dead Tooth: Signs and Symptoms

Your teeth are strong —- really strong. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body. But strong as they are, your teeth aren’t superhuman. In fact, teeth can die just like any other living thing. And if you end up with a dead tooth, it is no laughing matter.

Not only can a dead tooth be unsightly and painful, but it puts you at risk for serious infection, abscess, and tooth loss. Because of this, it is important to know the symptoms of a dead tooth and understand when to seek treatment.

What is a Dead Tooth?

It’s strange to think of a tooth as dead. After all, isn’t it just a lump of enamel attached to your jaw? Actually, no. The outer layers of your tooth — the enamel, dentin and cementum — are hard and bone-like. But beneath this armor lies a chamber of soft, sensitive pulp that is very much alive with nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels.

Like any other part of the body, when your tooth pulp loses its blood supply, it eventually dies. (I’ll get to how this happens in a minute). When the pulp in your tooth dies, your tooth becomes what dentists refer to as a non-vital, or necrotic, tooth. This non-vital tooth is what we commonly call a dead tooth.

Dead Teeth and Infection

Dead pulp isn’t actually the worst part about a dead tooth. According to the American Association of Endodontists, your teeth need their pulp as they grow and develop. However, once a tooth fully matures, it can be retained and function without the pulp because the surrounding tissues continue to nourish the tooth.

But this doesn’t mean you can just leave a dead tooth alone. The inside of your tooth stays healthy in part because living tissues transport white blood cells and other immune cells to the tooth pulp. When a tooth dies, this access is cut off. Without these immune cells, the pulp chamber can become a breeding ground for infection.

It goes without saying that an infection in your mouth is bad. But an infection caused by a dead tooth is particularly troublesome. Because the infection is deep within your tooth, it can spread to the bone and space around a tooth’s root(s). If left untreated, this infection can create a pocket of pus known as an abscess, and may cause significant pain and swelling.

As I said, a dead tooth is no joke. But what exactly causes a tooth to die in the first place?

Causes of a Dead Tooth

The two primary causes of a dead tooth are decay and trauma.

If decay reaches the center of your tooth either through a crack in the tooth or through an untreated cavity it will inflame the pulp. To protect itself, the blood vessels inside the pulp constrict. But eventually, without enough blood supply, the pulp dies.

A tooth can also die if it sustains a trauma such as a sports injury. If your tooth pushes upward into the bone or gets knocked out, the nerves can get pinched, cut off or damaged. If the blood supply at the tip of the tooth’s root is severed, the pulp dies from lack of blood flow in much the same way as it does from untreated decay.

Smell, Color and Other Symptoms of a Dead Tooth

Now that you know the seriousness of a dead tooth, you should understand the signs and symptoms.

Common symptoms of a dead tooth:

  • Discoloration: A dead tooth often looks yellow, grey, or slightly black.
  • Smell: A dead tooth sometimes smells bad or causes a bad taste in your mouth. This is from tooth decay or other infection.
  • Pain: This pain comes from inflammation and infection in the pulp cavity or surrounding bone.
  • Pimple at the gum line: This is a sign of a chronic tooth abscess that has made its way through the bone to the surface of your gums.

Treating a Dead Tooth

A dead tooth is commonly treated with endodontic therapy, commonly termed a root canal. During a root canal, your dentist or endodontist drills a hole in the top of your tooth and cleans the dead material out of the pulp chamber and root(s). The canal(s) in your tooth root(s) are then filled with a rubber-like material to seal against bacteria and future infection.

Depending on the level of damage, the dentist sometimes places a metal or plastic post inside your tooth to keep a filling in place. In many cases a crown may be placed to further protect and restore your tooth.

If your dead tooth can’t be saved, or if for other reasons you and your dentist choose not to do a root canal, your dentist will likely recommend extracting your dead tooth. This empty space can then be replaced with an implant, partial denture, or bridge.

Contact your dentist right away if you sustain an injury to your teeth, or if you suspect your tooth is decayed. Your dentist will assess your teeth and all the structure and tissues in your mouth, and recommend the best course of action to keep your smile healthy and strong.

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Monday, March 8, 2021

History of Women in Dentistry

Did you know that women make up approximately 50% of dental school graduates but only 30% of practicing dentists in the US identify as female?

And while at first glance that number might not seem impressive, it is when you consider how far women have come in the field of dentistry.

March is Women's History Month and to celebrate, we’re taking a trip through time to explore the journey our foremothers and she-pioneers have taken to get us to where we are today.

Emeline Roberts Jones

A native of New England, Dr. Jones married practicing dentist Daniel Jones in 1854 at the age of 18. Her husband believed that women had no place in dentistry due to their “frail and clumsy fingers”, but Emeline persisted.

She studied extractions and fillings in secret and by the time she turned 19, she had extracted and filled over a hundred teeth. After showing her husband what she was capable of, he invited her to work alongside him and in 1855, she became the first practicing female dentist in the United States.

Lucy Hobbs Taylor

Like Emeline, Lucy Hobbs Taylor was not content to give up on her dream of practicing dentistry. But at the time, dental programs were not admitting women. At least, not until Lucy came along.

After being denied entry into the Eclectic Medical College in Cincinnati, Dr. Taylor took her education into her own hands and reached out to the faculty for training. After studying under a supervisor from Eclectic Medical College, Lucy applied to the Ohio College of Dentistry. But because she was a woman, the college denied her entry. So again, she reached out to a member of the OCD’s faculty, Dr. Jonathon Taft to continue her education.

In 1861, Dr. Taylor opened her own practice in Cincinnati and began practicing dentistry. It was only then, after 7 years, that the Ohio College of Dental Surgery awarded her a DDS in 1866, making her the first woman to ever graduate from dental school.

Ida Gray

Born in Tennessee and orphaned as a child, Ida Gray quickly rose to prominence in the dental field. After moving to Ohio to live with her aunt, Dr. Gray took a job working in the dental office of Dr. Johnathon Taft (yep, the very same Jonathan Taft that tutored Lucy Hobbs Taylor!).

Under his tutelage, Ida was admitted to the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1887, graduating 3 years later with a DDS and became the first African American woman in the United States to do so!

M. Evangeline Jordan

Before Minnie, or “M” for short, started down the path toward dentistry, she worked as an elementary school teacher in California. So, it’s only natural that when she did discover a passion for oral healthcare, her efforts would be focused on children.

In 1909, M opened her own practice in the Los Angeles area and focused solely on the dental needs for children. She introduced ways to ease children’s fear of the dentist and became the first person to specialize in pediatric dentistry.

She also pioneered preventative care in children, publishing papers on the connection between diet and oral health and advocated for a healthier diet consisting of milk, whole grains, and vegetables. Sound familiar?

Jeanne C Sinkford

At the tender age of 16, Dr. Sinkford enrolled at Howard University. Originally pursing a degree in psychology and chemistry, Jeanne found her calling in dentistry and enrolled in Howard’s dental program.

After graduating, she went on to teach prosthodontics, work part time at her dental practice, and pursued a PhD in physiology at Northwestern. She rose up in the ranks, eventually chairing the prosthodontics department at Howard and completing a pediatric dentistry residency in 1975.

That same year, Dr. Sinkford was named the dean of the dental school at Howard University, becoming the first female dean at a US school of dentistry, where she remained for 16 years.

Kathleen O'Loughlin

In 2009, Dr. O’Loughlin was appointed the Executive Director of the American Dental Association, becoming the first woman to hold that position since its founding in 1859.

Before that, though, she had a rich career in the dental industry, graduating with her bachelor’s cum laude from Boston University in 1973 and a doctorate summa cum laude from Tufts in 1981. Currently, Dr. O’Loughlin holds faculty appointments at Tufts University and the University of Illinois at Chicago and previously served as president and CEO of Delta Dental of Massachusetts.

At the time of her acceptance as ADA’s executive director, Dr. O’Loughlin cited her father “who as a socially conscious practicing dentist was my role model and inspiration.” That inspiration continues today and her work as executive director has focused on improving public oral health in underserved communities.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

National Dentist's Day

Today is National Dentist's Day, an opportunity to spotlight regular dental cleanings and checkups. Dr. Cary Berdy talks about the importance of consistency in oral hygiene.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Candy and Cavities

Pediatric dentist and Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Pediatric Dental Clinics, Dr. Dan Shaw, explains how sugar affects teeth and why some candy may actually be worse than others.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Aging and Cosmetic Dentistry

You're never too old to improve your smile. With age, teeth sometimes become discolored, worn or chipped, or other damage may occur. Find out how treatment options like tooth whitening, veneers, tooth-colored fillings or dental implants can make your smile look years younger.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

What Is a Dental Bridge

Dental bridges should be used to bridge gaps between teeth, where teeth are actually missing and in cases where the tooth stump is present. Speak to your dentist for more information.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Why Do I Need to Floss?

Dr. Ward demonstrates the importance of flossing. Remember, if you're not flossing, you're only cleaning two-thirds of your teeth.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

What Is Causing Tooth Pain After My Filling?

The first few days after a tooth filling, it is normal to have some pain in the surrounding area. If after a few days, the pain has not subsided, there may be an underlying issue with the tooth or filling. If this is the case, it is important that you schedule a follow-up appointment with your dentist immediately.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Why Do We Have Such Crooked Teeth?

A lot of humans need or want braces to fix their crooked teeth, but why do you never see a dog walking down the street with headgear? Our ancient ancestors and mac and cheese may be to blame! 

*Correction: Even though hyraxes look similar to rodents, they're actually in the order Hyracoidea, not Rodentia! They're more closely related to elephants and manatees than to mice and guinea pigs.*

Friday, February 12, 2021

Home Remedies for Toothaches

What can you do when you get a toothache and can’t get to your dentist? Try a home remedy to help manage your pain until you can get in to see a dentist.

Over-the-Counter Toothache Treatments

When you need to relieve the pain of a toothache, you can go with the tried and true over-the-counter pain relievers.

Benzocaine gels, like Orajel, can be applied directly to the affected area and provide a temporary numbing sensation that can help manage toothache pain.

You can also try anti-inflammatory analgesics like Ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve toothache pain that is caused by swelling.

*Always call your dentist before taking any medication for your toothache.

Homeopathic Toothache Treatments

Not a fan of over-the-counter medications? There are some natural, homeopathic remedies you can try. Many of them may even be hiding in your pantry or kitchen cupboards.

Saltwater Gargle – Saltwater cleans out infected areas, loosening debris and providing temporary relief. Swish a small amount for 30 seconds and repeat once or twice. This will help to get rid of some nasty bacteria and pus for short term relief.

Clove Oil – Clove have a natural anesthetic called eugenol. It numbs whatever it comes into contact with. Put a couple of drops on to a cotton ball and place it on the affected area. That should give you a few minutes of relief.

WARNING: Clove oil can make the pain worse if it comes in contact with other sensitive areas of your mouth. Be very careful.

Peppermint Tea Bags – Peppermint has similar numbing properties to cloves. Wet a peppermint tea bag and place into the freezer for a few minutes. Then, apply the cooled tea bag onto the affected area. Keep it on for 20 minutes. Also, like clove oil, it’s a short-term remedy.

Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse – Like salt water, hydrogen peroxide acts as a cleansing aid. However, it doesn’t just remove bacteria, it attacks it. Mix equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and water and swish for 30 seconds. (Repeat once or twice.)

WARNING: Do NOT ingest and DO NOT use this remedy for children

Bourbon-Soaked Cotton Ball – Like most alcohols, bourbon has numbing properties. Put some on a cotton ball and place on the affected area. You’ll get some short-term relief that wears off as the alcohol evaporates away.

WARNING: Do NOT use this remedy for children.

Garlic – Acting like an antibiotic, garlic can inhibit the growth of bacteria that is attacking your tooth. To use it, first mash a garlic clove with a pinch of salt and apply to the affected area. Next, pop a clove of garlic in your mouth and chew. Repeat this process a couple of times a day. You may get some temporary relief unless the pain is caused by temporomandibular joint disorder, in which case you get no relief.

*Always call your dentist before trying a homeopathic toothache remedy.

Toothache Next Steps

Call your dentist and make an appointment. Your toothache pain may be an indicator of a serious oral health condition like an abscess, TMJ, sinus trouble, or heart disease.

Whether the cause is serious or not, a toothache lasting more than a day warrants a visit to your dentist.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Causes of Yellow Teeth | Crest

Poor oral hygiene is one of the causes of yellow teeth, but even the most diligent brushers and flossers can develop the discolored teeth that occur simply with age. In this Oral Care Tip, learn about the causes of yellow teeth.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Does Bottled Water Have Fluoride?

Drinking water with fluoride can reduce your risk of cavities by 25%! Still, not all bottled water has nature’s cavity fighter. ADA dentist Dr. Matthew Messina explains what to look for when buying or drinking bottled water.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

When Should a Child Have Their First Dental Visit?

Let’s be real. Taking your child to their first dental visit? Probably not top on your list of fun ways to spend the afternoon. You know it is important to schedule regular dental exams for babies and children, but do you really know why?

In fact, you probably have a whole host of questions going through your head, like: When exactly should I schedule my child’s first dental visit? Or: Why do I take my child to the dentist when her baby teeth just fall out anyway? Or even: How in the world do babies sit still enough for a dental exam?

The thought of scheduling a dental exam for a baby makes many parents break out in hives, but there is a bright spot to all this worry. Your child’s first dental visit is actually pretty quick and easy, and over the long term, establishing a dental home early helps reduce stress for both you and your child.

Your Child’s First Dental Visit Before Age One

If you aren’t sure when to schedule your child’s first dental visit, you’re not alone. University of Michigan Health surveyed 2,000 parents with kids under age five and found that over half (55%) didn’t get any instruction from their baby’s pediatrician about when to start dental exams. Many parents just don’t know enough about that first dental visit or what to expect when they get to the dental office.

The majority of children get their first baby tooth by six months old, but some kids stay toothless until fourteen or fifteen months. So, if your child is a late bloomer in the tooth department, don’t wait. If you haven’t seen any teeth yet, schedule your child’s first dental visit for around the same time as their one-year checkup.

The Long Road to a Set of Healthy Teeth

As with most things in the crazy world of parenting, we play the long game here. When it comes to dental exams for babies, starting early builds a solid foundation for lifelong oral health. A child’s first dental exam is important, even though their mouth is still pretty empty of pearly whites.

During your child’s first visit, the dentist checks for early signs of decay. Early tooth decay is tough to spot in adults, let alone in young children with itty bitty teeth. Don’t wait until you notice problems - start those trips to the dentist at an early age.

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Visit

A dental exam for a baby typically lasts about 30-45 minutes. Sometimes, this includes a gentle cleaning, but don’t be surprised if that doesn’t happen during the first visit.

Expect to answer questions about his or her medical history. Bring a list of any medications, the name and contact number of your pediatrician, and information about your dental insurance.

The dentist will also check for healthy growth and development by examining bite, gums, and overall structure of the mouth and jaw. And as a bonus, you might score some quality tips for soothing a teething baby and saving your sleep-deprived sanity.

If you’re nervous, it helps to write down questions beforehand so you don’t forget them in the hustle and bustle.

Tips for a Positive Trip to Your Child’s Dentist

If your child turns into a banshee during new experiences, don’t worry. Experts at Mouth Healthy for the ADA remind parents that dental professionals expect a child’s first dental visit to be a little rough.

“If your child cries a little or wiggles during the exam, don’t worry,” say the experts at Mouth Healthy. “It’s normal, and your dental team understands this is a new experience for your child.”


It’s also okay to sit your baby or young child on your lap. Even if a child is capable of sitting alone in the dental chair, a lot of parents opt for the lap the first time around.

Many dentists recommend scheduling dental exams for babies and young children in the morning, when most kids are rested and more cooperative.

Also remember: a calm parent is one of the best recipes for a successful trip to the dentist. If you personally panic within a two-mile radius of the dentist’s office, take steps to reduce your own stress before and during the appointment.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Exams for Babies?

And finally, the pocketbook. Raising a child is expensive, but at least going to the dentist doesn’t have to be.

Most dental insurance plans have low or no out-of-pocket costs for routine checkups and cleanings. Dental exams for infants usually fall under the category of “routine care.” This means that unless the dentist finds cavities or other unexpected problems, you’ll likely pay little to nothing for your child’s first visit.

That being said, every insurance plan is different, so check with your insurance provider about the specifics of your coverage. After that? Go forth, schedule a first dental exam for your baby, and check one item off your new-parent to-do list.

Friday, January 29, 2021

10 Things You Didn't Know About Teeth

Here are 10 interesting facts about teeth, human and otherwise.

Other than when it’s time to brush or fix them, you may not think much about teeth. Well, they’re actually pretty fascinating.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Gum Disease and Glaucoma

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, which means it’s a great time to knock out two important preventive health visits – a dental exam and an eye exam. Why? Well, it turns out that your mouth may have a lot to say when it comes to the health of your eyes.

According to the American Glaucoma Society, studies suggest that periodontal (gum) disease and recent tooth loss increases our risk of developing open angle glaucoma (OAG).

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly half (47.2%) of American adults have mild to severe periodontal disease. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on your which attract harmful bacteria. It develops gradually over time and can be prevented by practicing good oral hygiene and going in for routine dental exams. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bone loss, chronic bad breath (halitosis), and permanent tooth loss.

Glaucoma has been labeled as the “silent thief of sight,” and consists of a group of disorders which cause slow and irreversible loss of vision that can lead to blindness. OAG is the most common form of glaucoma, accounting for 90% of all glaucoma cases, per the Glaucoma Research Foundation.

Our eyes have small drainage canals that help regulate our eye pressure. OAG occurs when fluid drains too slowly from the eye and causes pressure to build up and, if left untreated, it can lead to blindness. Like periodontal disease, OAG develops gradually over time and can be prevented with routine eye exams.

Tips for preventing periodontal disease:
  • Brush for 2 minutes, twice a day;
  • Floss at least once a day;
  • Stay on top of your preventive dental visits;

Tips for preventing glaucoma:
  • Wear eye protection;
  • Know your family’s medical history;
  • Stay on top of your preventive eye visits;

Talk to your dentist to learn more about your risk for periodontal disease and how to prevent it. Visit your eye doctor to learn more about your risk for OAG and how to prevent it.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Smile! Tips for Proper Tooth Brushing for Kids

Cynthia Johnson, CDA, RDH demonstrates proper tooth brushing techniques for kids, and offers tips for good dental health in children

Monday, January 18, 2021

Folic Acid is Great For Your Teeth - Here's Why!

We’ve finally ushered in a new year (so long, 2020!), and many of us are setting goals for 2021. If you’re anything like the estimated 51% of resolution-makers who vow to improve their diets, then consider upping your intake of vitamins.

And the one to pay extra attention to is folate or folic acid, otherwise known as vitamin B9. This powerhouse nutrient plays an essential role in many functions throughout the body, including maintaining the health of our mouth, teeth, and gums.

With the first full week of January marking Folic Acid Awareness Week, we couldn’t think of a better time to shine the spotlight on this vital vitamin. Learn what exactly folic acid is, how it affects our health, and how much is recommended to keep your smile sparkling each day.

What is Folic Acid?

Folic acid is necessary for ensuring the proper production of red blood cells. By managing the ways our cells divide and carry oxygen throughout the body, the vitamin is a key component to the health of our hearts, brains, and more, including the soft tissues of our mouths.

Studies have also shown that the vitamin plays a crucial role in the formation of our DNA. A lack of folic acid has been linked to chromosome breakage which can lead to an increased risk for certain cancers and cognitive defects. Other studies have shown that folic acid is even more important for women who are pregnant. Ensuring the proper intake of B9, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, can dramatically reduce the risk of fetal brain and spine defects.

How Folic Acid Affects Oral Health

Vitamin B9 is remarkably important in supporting the cells that make up the gums, as well as the mouth’s ability to fight off inflammation and disease. Those who lack adequate amounts of folic acid can find themselves at risk for early signs of irritated gums such as bleeding, bad breath, and cavities.

If not addressed with proper diet and dental care, these symptoms can lead to advanced periodontal disease, potentially causing loss of teeth, visibly receding gums, and the need for invasive periodontal treatment.

The good news is that a diet high in folate or folic acid could help prevent gum disease from developing. What’s more, those looking to stop receding gums from getting worse can turn to folic acid to stop it in its tracks. And if a patient does end up needing periodontal treatment, folic acid could help with post-procedure healing and may even prevent symptoms from returning later.

How Much Folic Acid Do You Need Per Day?

As with most essential vitamins, it’s best to get as much of your folate as you can from a healthy and balanced diet. However, many people may still benefit from adding a folic acid supplement to their daily routine.

The National Institutes of Health offers the following recommendations by age for daily doses in micrograms (mcg):

AgeRecommended Daily Amount
Birth to 6 months65 mcg*
7 to 12 months80 mcg*
1 to 3 years150 mcg
4 to 8 years200 mcg
9 to 13 years300 mcg
14+ years400 mcg

*Equivalent to the intake of folate in healthy, breastfed infants.

Certain groups may need even higher doses to get the full effects of the folic acid. These might include:
  • Women who are pregnant or lactating as the body’s demand for folate increases;
  • People with malabsorptive conditions such as celiac disease or IBS;
  • People with limited diets who might not be getting enough folate for whatever reason;
  • People who consume excessive amounts of alcohol as alcohol interferes with folate absorption;

Keep in mind that, while folic acid certainly has its benefits, taking too much could have potentially negative side effects. This might be especially true for people who eat high volumes of folic-fortified foods or take other daily supplements. (A typical multivitamin already has the recommended dose for most adults, so an additional supplement may not be wise.)

As for your oral health, eating a diet of folate-rich foods — along with making regular trips to the dentist and staying on top of proper at-home care — is your first line of defense for keeping your mouth happy and healthy. But should your teeth and gums still need a little help, speak with your dentist to see if a folic acid supplement could be right for you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

How To Stop A Toothache And Get Out Of Pain Fast

I call this the 3-3-3 method for getting out of tooth pain fast, until you can see your dentist to do something about the toothache. Be sure to discuss with your doctor or dentist before you take ibuprofen (the generic name for Advil) and remember that tooth pain almost never goes away on its own -- if you're in pain, you'll have to see a dentist.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Cracked Tooth: Symptoms and Repair

Inside our teeth is a dense network of nerves and blood vessels known as the pulp. When the pulp is irritated it can make our teeth one of the most sensitive parts of our body. This sensitivity means we may experience pain as a symptom of a cracked tooth.

A cracked tooth can be serious business. Ignoring the symptoms of a cracked tooth can lead to further dental problems down the road, including infection and even tooth loss.

Why Teeth Crack

Just like a chipped tooth, there are several reasons teeth crack. A strong tooth sometimes cracks because of an accident or a blow to the mouth. But more often than not, a tooth is weakened first before it eventually cracks.

As you age, your teeth weaken from the daily forces of chewing, biting, and grinding. In some cases, you might not even realize the exact moment in which your weakened tooth finally cracks.

Different Types of Cracked Teeth

There are actually several distinct types of cracked teeth. The way your dentist addresses your cracked tooth depends on which type of crack you have, its location in your mouth, and its severity.

The five types of cracked teeth are:

  • Craze lines: A shallow, hairline crack in the enamel of a tooth. Craze lines are common in adult teeth and don’t require treatment.
  • Fractured cusp: A crack in, and including, the chewing surface of a back tooth.
  • Cracked tooth: A crack extending from the chewing surface down toward the root. The tooth is still in one piece.
  • Split tooth: A tooth split into two separate parts.
  • Vertical root fracture: A crack in the root of a tooth.

Diagnosing a Cracked Tooth

It can be frustratingly difficult to locate and diagnose a cracked tooth. This is because cracked teeth may not be visible during a dental exam or show up on an x-ray. It also turns out that our brain is bad at locating the exact source of tooth pain within our mouth. Is the pain coming from the top teeth or the bottom teeth? Sometimes the brain just doesn’t know. As a result, cracked teeth can be confused with sinus pain, headaches or earaches.

To pinpoint the location of a cracked tooth, your dentist will have you bite down on a small item like a plastic stick or a wood dowel, one tooth at a time. He or she may also place a light directly on your tooth or use dark-colored dye to highlight fracture lines.

How to Fix a Cracked Tooth

Treating a symptomatic cracked tooth as soon as possible improves the chances of saving the tooth. Even if the crack in your tooth is small, it can expand with the pressure of biting and eating, eventually turning from a cracked tooth to a split tooth. If the crack in your tooth becomes large enough, it could become vulnerable to decay. If untreated, tooth decay can spread to the pulp and cause a larger infection, eventually leading to a dead tooth or even tooth loss.

How your dentist repairs your cracked tooth depends on the location and type of crack. Some don’t need repair, some might require filling the crack or place a crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage.

If a tooth splits, your dentist will need to remove part of the tooth and repair it with bonding, an onlay or a crown. If the split is severe, the tooth will need to be extracted.

Since there is a range of severity for cracked teeth, the best thing to do is call your dentist right away if you feel pain or suspect a cracked tooth. And of course, maintaining your healthy smile with twice annual oral exams can help your dentist diagnose a problematic crack before it becomes unmanageable.

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