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.

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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.