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Archive for March 2017

How Smoking Affects Your Mouth (and Ways to Treat This)

If you think smoking is bad enough because it destroys your lungs, then you haven’t gotten to the most obvious effects yet.

Tobacco and cigarettes contain tar and nicotine that build up inside your mouth. These gather in between teeth, allowing more bacteria to take refuge in these spaces and attack the surrounding teeth. Since there are about 600 bacterial species that make up the oral microbiome, just imagine how much the act of smoking further aggravates the problem by boosting the growth of the bacteria.

One of the most important things to understand about how smoking affects your mouth is that it also has other effects on your teeth. When plaque or tartar accumulate and harden around your teeth, for example, they create stains, usually yellowish and black in color, that can give you a less attractive smile.

The stains can be very difficult to remove and often cause damage to the surface of your teeth as well. Your teeth are coated with a protective layer called enamel; once the enamel is damaged, bacteria can freely contaminate and infect the core of your teeth, which eventually leads to rotting and extraction.

Another serious effect of smoking is gum disease. Because the nicotine coats the teeth and gums in plaque, oxygen is blocked from properly reaching the bloodstream. This prevents gums from healing as fast as it can, causing in the further development of different kinds of oral diseases. Although smoking can severely damage one’s dental condition, there are ways that can help you treat the damage it has done on your gums and teeth.

Brushing and flossing the right way

Brushing your teeth and flossing should be done the right way in order to achieve optimal results. Brushing three times daily and flossing after every meal is the typical advice, but keep in mind that you also have to do these correctly — you have to use the right strokes and perform the right procedures to remove every bit of tartar stuck on the surface of your teeth. By making a real effort to make a habit out of brushing and flossing regularly, you prevent the cavities from spreading further to your other teeth.

Installing crowns or veneers

When the degree of staining on your teeth is too serious too remove, you can simply cover it up with dental crowns or veneers. These dental solutions can be easily installed by your dentist and would not take too much time to accomplish. They serve as protective coverings and come in a porcelain white color to improve not just function of the teeth, but also their appearance.

Do not allow your teeth to deteriorate and completely lose their beauty. Visit a Prescott, AZ dentist today; these credible dental experts have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to help bring back the perfect smile you lost from smoking.


Celebrate World Oral Health Day by Taking Better Care of Your Teeth and Gums

Annually, people from all over the world celebrate World Oral Health Day on March 20.

But beyond this important day, it is crucial for people to pay attention to their oral health and take better care of their teeth and gums. Your oral health impacts your self-confidence, personal relationships, and even your overall health.

In fact, poor oral health has been associated with the increased vulnerability to a host of diseases ranging from diabetes to heart disease to some forms of cancers.

How can you take better care of your oral health? Here are some helpful tips from a Prescott, AZ dentist.

Change what you can change

When it comes to some dental health factors, there are some risks that you can do nothing about. These factors include your age, sex, and the genes you have inherited from your parents.

But there are also other risks factors that you can control. These include your lifestyle and habits and your behaviors. Some of the risk factors that you can change include tobacco use, your diet, alcohol consumption, and oral hygiene.

Making key changes in these areas can help boost your oral health while minimizing risk factors.

When you are looking to modify your diet, one of the first things that you need to check is your sugar consumption. That includes sweets and soft drinks which increase your vulnerability to oral diseases. As much as possible, limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks.

If you are a smoker, you need to be aware that your habit is wreaking havoc on your oral health. In fact, many studies have associated tobacco use with a long list of conditions ranging from gum disease to oral cancer.

While you do not have to totally avoid drinking alcohol, keep in mind that excessive consumption can leave you vulnerable to dental caries and oral cancer.

The easiest thing to modify is your oral hygiene. By simply brushing and flossing your teeth properly and regularly, you can protect your teeth and gums from a diverse array of conditions, including tooth decay and gum disease.

Beyond World Oral Health Day

Celebrating World Oral Health Day is a good way to underscore the importance of the health of your teeth and gums.

However, taking care of your oral health is something that you need to constantly remember every day, and not for just one day in a year. Take charge of your oral health by contacting us today!


Dental Health Facts and Fiction

People can become so concerned with their teeth that they tend to believe any information they receive about ways to care for them, which may not always be true or advisable. As a result, they observe dental routines that could be causing more damage to their teeth instead of helping them maintain strong and healthy set of chompers.

Keeping this in mind, it is important to learn about and adopt clinically proven and effective dental habits that you should practice to keep your teeth healthy — and to determine whether a piece of information about dental health is a fact or fiction.

Some examples of dental health facts and fiction include the following:

STATEMENT: Your teeth should be looked at and cleaned by a dentist once a year

VERDICT: Fiction

The frequency of your visits to the dental clinic relies entirely on your dentist and not any self-established schedule. Each person’s dental condition is different from the next one’s, so the recommendations for dental check-ups would depend on the patient’s specific dental needs.

Some individuals with relatively healthy teeth may only need to see their dentist every few months, for example, while others with more delicate or serious dental issues may be advised to head to the dental clinic to undergo treatments or procedures once a month.

Since people consume different kinds of food and drinks, follow different oral hygiene practices, and have varying health conditions that could affect the state of their teeth, mouth and gums, required dental procedures also vary from patient to patient.

STATEMENT: Popcorn is a snack that is good for your teeth

VERDICT: Fiction

Popcorn doesn’t always look the way it does when you buy it at the cinema. Its uncooked form is a hard, tough corn kernel. However, cooking doesn’t always turn every single kernel into soft, tasty and fluffy popcorn, and when your teeth accidentally bite hard on those un-popped kernels, precious white enamel on your teeth might end up chipped or cracked.

And because popcorn is often flavored with butter and powdered artificial cheese and butter, popcorn is not exactly the best choice of food to keep your teeth healthy.

STATEMENT: Sugar is the cause of cavities

VERDICT: Fact

It is true that sugary food or drinks cause cavities in teeth. Keep in mind, though, that they are also not the only reasons why people suffer from tartar build-up. There are other harmful chemicals and foreign contaminants that can cause plaque, such as nicotine and alcohol. Meat is also a culprit when it comes to cavity build-up; however, it does not directly affect the surface of your teeth. Instead, meat leftovers get stuck between teeth, allowing bacteria to gather and attack the enamel of your teeth.

In order to get helpful tips for improving the health of your teeth, you can consult dental experts such as a Prescott, AZ dentist in a fully equipped dental clinic near you.


5 Things You Need to Know About a Dental Bridge Procedure

If you have lost a tooth or a few teeth, one of the treatments your dentist will recommend is a dental bridge procedure. This is a highly recommended treatment if you wish to preserve the healthy structure of your mouth despite the loss a tooth or more.

You may be unsure about this solution especially with all the other options available, but if you’re gravitating toward this treatment, here are five things you need to know about it.

Compared to other types or restorative dentistry solutions, it’s definitely more affordable.

And if you’re just focused on appearance, it can achieve the same natural “look” that dental implants can produce because a crown would also be used to replace your missing tooth or teeth.

For a successful dental bridge procedure, you would need to have healthy surrounding teeth that would serve as an anchor for the bridge, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. Here’s something that you need to understand about the placement of a dental bridge: surrounding teeth need to be reshaped for the crown to fit securely and hold the bridge in place. This is something you need to think about especially if you care a lot about the health of remaining good teeth.

There three main types of bridges: traditional, cantilever and Maryland.

The first type, which is the traditional bridge, has a crown attached to each side of the artificial tooth. A cantilever bridge, meanwhile, is an artificial tooth attached to only one crown, and a Maryland bridge is an artificial tooth bonded to existing teeth on both sides.

When your teeth have been reshaped, the dentist will make an impression of the missing tooth and the surrounding teeth.

The will be used to customize a bridge that fits your mouth perfectly. While that is being created, your dentist will provide you a temporary bridge to use. You can expect your permanent bridge to be completed in a few weeks and once it’s ready, there’ll be evaluations on how it fits and affects your bite so it can be improved for your comfort.

And lastly, dental bridges can last you over a decade but you need to practice good oral habits.

You need to care for your dental bridge just like your real teeth because there’s always the risk of developing gum disease if you don’t.

A dental bridge procedure is a great option to consider especially if you’re not a good candidate for dental implants. It’s a quicker process to restoring the original look of your teeth and preventing your original teeth from shifting. Contact our dentists today to schedule an appointment!


What Causes Gum Recession?

After brushing, you check your teeth and gums in the mirror and you notice something unusual. It’s either your teeth have become longer or your gums have become smaller.

What’s happening here? The answer: gum recession.

Gum recession is a condition wherein the area where the teeth and gums meet pulls back. When this happens, more of the tooth becomes exposed. This also creates what a Prescott, AZ dentist calls pockets which can leave your teeth and gums vulnerable to the build-up of bacteria. Left unchecked, gum recession can lead to damage to the supporting tissues and bones, and eventually, tooth loss.

Gum recession is fairly common and most people do not know they have receding gums until the condition has progressed to a more advanced stage.

There are, however, a few signs that indicate that a person has receding gums. These include increased tooth sensitivity and longer-looking teeth.

What causes gum recession?

There are several possible causes of gum recession.

Periodontal or gum disease is the leading cause of gum recession.

This bacterial infection destroys both the gum tissues and the supporting bones of the teeth.

Another common cause of this condition is poor oral hygiene.

If you fail to properly and regularly brush and floss your teeth, plaque can easily build up in your mouth and eventually form into tartar.

But sometimes, too much of a good thing can be bad. Take brushing, for example. If you brush your teeth too hard or if you do not brush your teeth properly, you risk wearing away the enamel on your teeth and cause your gums to recede.

Some people have receding gums simply because they are genetically predisposed to suffer from this condition.

According to some estimates, about 30 percent of people will get receding gums even if they take great care of their teeth and gums.

Pregnant, menopausal, and young girls undergoing puberty are also vulnerable to gum recession as changes in their hormones adversely affect their gum tissues.

Cigarette smokers and people who use tobacco products are also highly likely to have receding gums. This is because these people have more plaque on their teeth which can cause gum recession.

If you have bite problems or crooked teeth, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to gum recession if you do not seek the appropriate treatment. Your condition places too much force on the gums and bones which may cause recession. The same thing can happen to people who clench and grind their teeth.

Gum recession may also be caused by piercings on the lip or tongue. When your body piercing jewelry rubs against your gums, this can cause irritation and eventually gum recession.

Gum recession is a serious concern and you should immediately see your dentist for the appropriate treatment.


Overbite Correction Options

Model of human jaw with wire braces attachedA person’s teeth are often the first things that will be noticed as he or she interacts with other people. It’s a prominent facial feature that most people try hard to maintain and protect.

However, not everyone is born with perfect teeth. Sometimes the teeth in the upper jaw (maxillary) protrude and overlap the teeth in the lower jaw (mandible), creating an unpleasant overbite appearance.

In cases like these, people seek out the available options for overbite correction by asking experts such as a Prescott, AZ dentist to help them with their dental problem. Contrary to what some believe, an overbite can still be treated using a wide range of dental correction techniques, including the following:

Invisalign

Much like traditional retainers, Invisalign is a type of dental correction tool that reconfigures one’s teeth. Although it is often confused with a retainer, Invisalign is significantly different from its more old-fashioned counterpart.

As its name suggests, Invisalign is hard to detect when worn. Unless one carefully and critically observes the wearer’s teeth, it is nearly invisible to the naked eye. It’s clear and translucent material is what does the trick. As much as it is aesthetic, Invisalign has also been clinically proven to be effective not just in treating overbites but other dental misalignments as well.

Orthodontics

One of the oldest teeth realignment techniques is dental braces installation. It involves attaching metal brackets to the teeth, guiding each tooth to their appropriate positions. Sometimes, the need for screws, headgear, and rubber bands arises, which can make it a less appealing option for overbite correction. It is, however, one of the most affordable and effective choices available.

Surgery or realignment of the jaw

When one’s overbite is too severe to fix with Invisalign and other non-invasive methods, it is time to consider more serious solutions. Surgery is often the last resort for those who suffer from an overbite; it is a medical procedure wherein a person’s jaw is realigned. In some cases, the lower jaw is too large to be in the same position as the maxillary, which creates the possibility of restructuring it to the right proportions.

Aside from the abovementioned options, there are many other overbite correction alternatives available on the market today. Thanks to modern technology, dental experts can now use advanced dental correction procedures to help patients achieve dental perfection without having to experience pain and discomfort.

Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!