Perfectly aligned teeth are not that common. If you see someone with really straight teeth alignment, it’s quite likely that she wore braces — that’s because most people just don’t naturally grow their teeth that way. On top of that, there are certain habits that affect proper teeth alignment such as thumb sucking and pacifier use. Plus, other variables contribute to the problem as well.
So, what are the common teeth alignment problems most people suffer from? A Prescott, AZ dentist rounds up eight of them below:
Malocclusion – This condition is also known as “poor bite” and it basically means you have crooked teeth. It is often hereditary and it’s frequently associated with other dento-facial deformities.
Deep overbite – This is when your upper teeth cover the entire row of your lower teeth when you bite. This condition may not be unsightly and it also may not look like a big problem but when lower teeth bite into the palate or gum tissue behind the upper teeth, this can lead to bite discomfort and bone damage.
Underbite or lower jaw protrusion – This is the complete opposite of an overbite and it tends to look more unnatural. It can create speech difficulty, with the lower jaw protruding to some degree longer than the upper jaw.
Crossbite – This is when the upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth. This can make biting and chewing difficult, which is why early orthodontic treatment is recommended for correction.
Overjet or protruding upper teeth – While it may seem similar to a deep overbite, an overbite doesn’t necessarily mean that the upper front teeth protrude a lot; with this case it does. It’s a serious problem because it makes the lower front teeth quite prone to injury. Typically, this condition is associated with a lower jaw that is shorter in proportion to the upper jaw.
Open bite – This when the upper and lower incisor teeth do not touch when biting down. You can see an open space between the upper and lower rows. Apart from the fact that it doesn’t look nice, this teeth alignment issue overworks the molars.
Teeth crowding – This usually happens when the dental arch is small and/or the teeth are just too big.
Teeth spacing – When teeth are small or a few teeth have been removed, this causes “shifting,” which then creates spaces between teeth. It doesn’t look nice and it also makes the gums more prone to damage.
Thankfully, all these teeth alignment problems have solutions. Consult your dentist if you have any of these issues to see which corrective treatment is most suitable for you.
Aging gives birth to a lot of health woes, which is why it becomes more and more important to pay close attention to your well-being as you continue to get older. It can be a lot of work, but you can be certain that your efforts will have a huge impact on your overall health.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Teeth As You Age
For example, with oral care, taking care of your teeth as you age will involve additional steps and even special products at different stages in your life. But if you commit to all of these, you do not only get to preserve your teeth and their proper functioning — you also avoid health complications associated with common mouth diseases for aging folks.
If you want to get serious with your oral health in order to feel and look good throughout your life, a Prescott, AZ dentist has these tips for you:
Use soft-bristle toothbrushes – they’re kinder to aging teeth and gums.
Consider an electric toothbrush, especially if meticulous brushing is difficult for you. An electric toothbrush doesn’t need much manipulation to effectively clean your teeth.
Use sonic air floss instead of waxed nylon flosses. This product may be a tad expensive but you can use it for a long time. The advantage provided by this special kind of floss is that it’s so much easier to use and you can avoid cutting your gums as you try to dislodge food debris between your teeth and gums.
If you have dentures, make sure to clean them regularly and to use the appropriate cleaning agents. Don’t clean your dentures with toothpaste – that’s a big no-no. Also, it’s healthier to remove your dentures before going to sleep; doing this will help preserve your gums.
Use a mouthwash to maintain the pH balance of your mouth and prevent bad breath-causing bacteria from proliferating.
Drink water often. Water can also contribute to maintaining the right pH level of your mouth. Plus, it contains fluoride which can help prevent tooth decay.
If you still smoke, better stop. Smoking dehydrates the mouth and a dehydrated mouth is the perfect breeding place for bad breath- and tooth decay-causing bacteria. Likewise, it increases your risk for lung and other cancers.
Eat healthier. Getting loads of vitamins and minerals from your meals will boost your immune system. A healthy immune system will make you less prone to oral diseases.
As you approach or go through your early 20s, you may think that you’re just about done with all the growing and developing that your body does. By this time, you think to yourself, you ought to have successfully hurdled the crucial biological stages and are now ready to live life to the fullest.
Unfortunately, typically from the ages of 17 and 21, you will still be going through some significant changes. In particular, your teeth aren’t all fully and perfectly erupted at this point — you may still discover your wisdom teeth beginning to emerge.
Why the name, wisdom teeth?
These teeth are called such because they appear in a person’s mouth when they are at a slightly older and ideally wiser age.
You may indeed be older, but you can still feel pain all the same — and pain is something that wisdom teeth usually create. Sometimes these teeth come through correctly, but more often than not, there is no longer enough space for them to emerge properly in the right position. Wisdom teeth often become impacted, which means that they are unable to come out from under the jaw and to the surface of the gums.
Should you have your wisdom teeth removed?
Your dentist can closely monitor the development of your wisdom teeth. With regular brushing, flossing and check-ups with your dentist, wisdom teeth that come out correctly can help you chew better and cause no issues at all.
However, if you notice some of the following signs, your wisdom teeth may become increasingly problematic as time goes on:
Your wisdom teeth are starting to crowd or even cause damage to your other teeth
You feel pain and some swelling in the jaw caused by a bacterial infection to a partially erupted wisdom tooth
Food is often trapped around an improperly erupted wisdom tooth, leading to cavities
A cyst forms near the impacted tooth, putting the surrounding teeth’s roots as well as the bone supporting the teeth at risk
Thorough and routine examinations of your mouth, along with x-rays of the affected area, can help your dentist determine if removing the wisdom teeth is the ideal solution to your particular dental situation. Removal is also often recommended if you are being treated for certain other dental conditions and if you will be getting braces.
Talk to your trusted Prescott, AZ dentist about the best options for your teeth and find out whether your wisdom teeth can prove to be beneficial for you.
Since you were a young kid, you’ve heard the adults tell you to limit your consumption of sugary treats. They reasoned out that food laden with sugar can lead to tooth decay, or even worse, tooth loss.
“How does sugar cause tooth decay?” you might ask.
It’s actually not the sugar in food
Contrary to what you may have heard, it is not exactly sugar itself that causes tooth decay and other dental problems.
Sugar is just one of the major factors involved in a series of events that occur after eating sugary and starchy food.
A glimpse into your mouth’s eco-system
Much as you would like to believe that your mouth is clean and free from bacteria, the truth is that it is home to hundreds of bacteria.
Now, some of these bacteria may be harmful, but there are also beneficial bacteria that can be found inside your mouth.
When you consume food rich in sugar, you are essentially feeding the harmful bacteria in your mouth. Some of the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and then release acids.
In turn, these acids corrode the teeth’s enamel, the protective layer of the tooth. Over time, these acids can create a hole in your teeth. Left unchecked, these holes can go to the deeper layers of the teeth which lead to toothaches and even tooth loss.
Little helpers inside your mouth
Your teeth are constantly bombarded by acids that corrode the enamel. But your teeth are not defenseless.
The acids in your mouth remove minerals from the enamel through a process known as demineralization.
But another key process takes place inside your mouth: remineralization. In this process, the minerals leeched away from the teeth’s enamel are replaced and the teeth are strengthened.
Your saliva plays a crucial role in this process, providing the teeth with minerals like calcium and phosphate. These minerals help repair the teeth.
Your teeth need your help
However, the saliva can only do so much. When you eat too much sugary and starchy food, your teeth has little time to repair themselves.
This is why it is crucial to limit your intake of treats laden with sugars and starch.
But apart from limiting your consumption of sugars and starches, a Prescott, AZ dentist says there are a few other things that you can do to protect your teeth against cavities.
For one, you should add more fruits and veggies to your diet. These facilitate the production of more saliva. Dairy products, on the other hand, are rich in the minerals that help strengthen the teeth. Drinking green and black teas can also control the population of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
Dentists also recommend drinking fluoridated water and brushing the teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay and even reverse it during the early stages. Schedule an appointment with our doctors today!
Most people just brush their teeth day in and day out, not knowing that this won’t remove all the harmful bacteria in their mouth.
For you to gain the best oral health, you need to brush both your teeth and your tongue.
Bacterial Live and Proliferate on Your Tongue
Biofilm, a specific type of bacteria, makes up a huge amount of the bacteria in your mouth. Similar to other bacteria, biofilm will contribute a lot to creating different oral health problems for your teeth, gums and mouth. These bacteria live on your tongue in the ridges and spaces you can’t see. A few hours after brushing your teeth, these bacteria can transfer from your tongue to your teeth. Mouthwash alone won’t eliminate them, which is why brushing your tongue is very important.
Tongue Brushing Tools and Techniques
Toothbrush – Focus on brushing your tongue after you’ve brushed your teeth. You can use the bristles of your toothbrush or a specialized brush with a built-in tongue cleaner. Start brushing by reaching to the back of your tongue, and working forward toward your mouth’s opening. You must brush the entire tongue’s surface with gentle pressure. After that, rinse with water.
Tongue Scraper – This is a flat, soft and flexible plastic tool that is used mainly for brushing your tongue. When using a scraper, start from the back of your tongue going forward. Since it lacks bristles, it may be more difficult for you to reach certain areas. After each swipe of the tongue, you must rinse the scraper. Avoid using the scraper with too much force to prevent tongue sores and bleeding. And since the center of the tongue has the bulk of bacteria, concentrate on this area when scraping.
Cleaner – This is an excellent tool for brushing your tongue because this is a scraper with bristles. It combines the best of a scraper and a toothbrush. The bristles, though, are rubber.
How Often Should You Brush Your Tongue?
Cleaning your tongue, a Prescott, AZ dentist says, must be done at least once in the morning and once in the evening before going to sleep. Whenever you feel your mouth is dry or has a foul taste in midday, cleaning your tongue immediately will be the best solution.
Aside from that, consider using a mouthwash rinse after brushing your tongue to moisturize your mouth and to kill other bacteria.
Indeed, maintaining fresh breath and a healthy mouth is not just about brushing your teeth. Make it a habit to give your tongue sufficient attention to ensure fresh breath and good oral health. Call us today!
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.
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
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
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
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.
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!
How Do You Detect Gum Disease Symptoms? — How Does It Manifest?
Improper oral hygiene is the top cause of gum disease. When you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly and in the right way, bacteria in plaque (the sticky film that forms on the teeth) proliferate, turn into tartar, and affect the health of your gums.
When this happens, brushing and flossing will no longer be able to do much and you will need your dentist to perform deep dental cleaning and recommend specific oral health products, as well as treatments to completely cure gum disease and prevent it from recurring.
Listed below are the most common signs and symptoms:
Appearance of pus (a clear indication of infection) surrounding the teeth and gums
Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away even with frequent brushing and rinsing with a mouthwash
Change in the way partial dentures fit
Difficulty in chewing food due to sharp or dull tooth and gum pains
Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing, or even with contact with “tough” food
Loose teeth accompanied by a receding gum line and a change in the appearance of how teeth are aligned or positioned
Persistent sensitivity of both gums and teeth to cold or hot temperatures
Swollen, red or tender gums
The severity of these signs and symptoms are directly linked to the severity of the gum disease. If you only have the mildest case of gum disease (also known as gingivitis), many of these signs and symptoms may not be evident. However, if you already have periodontitis or advanced periodontitis, all of the aforementioned manifestations will be present, along with a few other discomforts.
How can you prevent gum disease?
Gum disease in its early stage can easily be treated because the teeth and gums are not affected much yet. However, once teeth become loose and gums have receded, there’s no way of easily reversing these damages, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. If you wish to restore your teeth and gums, advanced restorative procedures such as surgery and dental implants will need to be carried out.
Therefore, if you start seeing and experiencing any gum disease symptoms, change your oral care habits and do set up an appointment with your dentist right away. Gum disease is an urgent health issue — it is known to spawn other health complications. Immediate and appropriate dental care from your Prescott Valley dentist is key to resolving this dental problem. Contact your dentist at Horizon Dental Group to learn additional effective ways to prevent gum disease.
Dental Crown Expectations | What Is Getting a Dental Crown Like?
When one of your teeth (or more than one) becomes damaged, there’s no reason to leave it as it is. A broken tooth can affect your appearance or the way your mouth functions, so it’s best to see a dentist as soon as you can so that the appropriate solution can be applied.
One of the tooth restoration options in Prescott is the dental crown. Unlike other prosthetic devices like dentures which are removable, crowns (as well as bridges) are cemented onto your existing tooth. The crown serves to strengthen the damaged tooth and help it appear like a natural tooth again, or to provide a tooth-like structure for a dental implant.
Crowns can be made with a variety of materials. For front teeth that are highly visible, ceramic or porcelain crowns are ideal because they look like natural teeth. For teeth that are located further inside the mouth, gold and metal alloys or porcelain bonded to a metal may be used.
What is getting a dental crown like?
To help you understand what your dental crown expectations should be a Prescott Valley dentist provides a brief summary:
Two visits are typically required to complete the installation of the dental crown. During the first appointment, your Prescott, AZ dentist will examine the affected tooth and determine whether it can support a crown or not.
If the tooth is too damaged, the dentist may fill it in until it becomes large enough to receive the crown. If it can already provide sufficient support, on the other hand, the tooth will be filed down in preparation for the crown.
Next, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth (along with the surrounding teeth). This will be sent to a lab where the permanent crown will be created. Meanwhile, the dentist will provide you a temporary crown so that you can go home from your first visit with the affected tooth properly protected.
When you return for the second appointment, the finished permanent crown will replace the temporary one; a special adhesive will be used to attach it securely.
It will take some time to get used to your new dental device, but your dentist in Prescott can provide helpful tips for resuming your usual routine and caring for the new crown. Make sure to observe proper oral hygiene habits and to pay regular visits to the dentist as advised so that the crown can be frequently checked.