Although dentists recommend flossing for enhanced oral hygiene, at least a third of Americans don’t floss at all. Studies indicate that this may be due to lack of education or not stressing the importance of flossing enough to make it a habit. By not flossing, you increase your chances of developing gum disease.
Here is a more detailed explanation of the consequences of not flossing your teeth from a trusted Prescott, AZ dentist.
When you eat, food particles get lodged in your teeth and beneath your gums. It is in these types of environments where bacteria thrive and multiply. Brushing your teeth is not enough as the bristles cannot get into these hard-to-reach places. Dental floss works as a supplementary tool, cleaning the areas that your brush can’t reach. Making flossing a daily routine ensures that no substances or organisms can make your mouth their home.
Buildup of plaque and tartar
Not flossing causes a variety of dental issues. If you skip flossing for even just a few days, you run the risk of developing a buildup of plaque. Solidified plaque is known as tartar. Once a layer of tartar has formed and hardened on your teeth, it becomes more difficult to remove. You will need to visit a dentist to have all of the tartar removed.
Over time, if you don’t make flossing a daily habit, you could potentially develop gum disease. Gum disease occurs when your gums become inflamed due to the bacteria inside your mouth. The inflammation makes your gums sensitive to pressure and makes it more prone to bleeding. Even eating becomes uncomfortable at some point.
In extreme cases, you could potentially lose your teeth because of gum disease or cavities. This happens when the disease has affected your gums to the point that it can no longer provide support for your teeth. In another study, it was found that approximately 10 percent of Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 no longer had any teeth left.
Compared to men, women are more likely to develop gum disease. The probability of developing gum disease rises during pregnancy. Having gum disease while pregnant can lead to giving birth to premature babies or babies with low birth weights.
With poor oral hygiene habits, your mouth becomes the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and pathogens. By not brushing and flossing, your body will reabsorb these microscopic organisms. Some of these pathogens may end up in your lungs where it could cause a host of respiratory issues. One review established a connection between poor dental hygiene and developing pneumonia. By simply brushing and flossing, patients lowered their chances of developing pneumonia by as much as 40 percent. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!
What You Should Know About Dental Health And Aging
Aging brings about various indications of physical, physiological, and mental degeneration. Dental health is among the most common concerns for older adults. As you get older, the risk of experiencing dental problems also increases.
Because of impairments in the normal bodily processes associated with aging, older people may find it more challenging to perform oral hygiene and self-care.
The most common dental conditions experienced during old age are:
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
The golden years are considered cavity prone years. Cavities during old age are commonly caused by dry mouth. Xerostomia or dry mouth is not a normal process in aging; rather, it is a result or a side effect of various medications, which are usually taken by older adults to treat or control high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, and other illnesses that come with aging.
Dry mouth can lead to cracked lips, fissured tongue, caries, and mucositis. A Prescott, AZ dentist recommends increased fluid intake and avoidance of alcoholic and carbonated beverages to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent cavities.
Periodontitis or gum disease
Dental health and aging are linked together in many ways. As a person grows older, he may start to experience receding gums, which exposes the roots of the teeth. This increases the risk of developing decay.
In addition, poor dental hygiene also causes the buildup of plaque, causing the gums to become irritated and swollen.
In general, gum disease, in its early stages, is painless and does not present any symptoms. As such, it is often left undiagnosed and untreated until it is in the advanced stages. Advanced gum disease affects not only the gums, but also the bones and ligaments supporting the teeth.
Good oral hygiene through regular and proper brushing are very helpful in preventing periodontitis. Regular visits to a dentist for professional cleaning are also advised to remove hardened plaque.
Root and coronal caries
The four elements needed for dental caries to form are the tooth surface (enamel or dentin), fermentable carbohydrates, bacteria, and time. Dental caries could lead to advanced gum disease and tooth loss when left untreated.
Regular brushing using fluoride-containing toothpaste remains to be the main preventive measure for dental caries.
Because older adults may not be fully capable of caring for themselves, it is important to have a caregiver who can help them maintain their personal hygiene, including dental care. It is essential to discuss dental care and self-care with professionals such as dentists and doctors.
How to prevent gingivitis?
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2009 and 2010, around 47 percent of Americans suffer from the different stages of gum disease.
A trusted Prescott, AZ dentist says that Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. And left unchecked, gingivitis can worsen into periodontitis.
When gingivitis progresses into gum disease, your body’s immune system begins to fight back the plaque that causes irritation in the gums. However, this immune response can harm the tissues supporting your teeth. Apart from that, a noticeable space between the gums and the teeth develops, making the gums more vulnerable to infection.
Gingivitis occurs when the plaque bacteria build up on the tissues around the teeth. Although plaque is naturally found in the human mouth, it is essential to remove it through proper oral hygiene in order to prevent gingivitis.
One of the reasons why there are many people with gingivitis is because it can be difficult to detect due to the absence of pain. However, there are a few other symptoms that you or your dentist can check for. Among the symptoms of this dental issue are the swelling, reddening, and bleeding of the gums.
Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of gingivitis. However, some conditions can leave a person vulnerable to this problem. These include pregnancy, diabetes, consumption of tobacco products, substance abuse, stress, autoimmune diseases, and the use of some types of medications. If you’re suffering from Gingivitis, call us to schedule an appointment today!
If you want to know how to prevent gingivitis, here are some guidelines offered by dental professionals.
In order to prevent gingivitis from wreaking havoc on your gums, there are four crucial things that you need to do.
First, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Make sure that you spend two minutes brushing your teeth, preferably with an antibacterial toothpaste. Avoid brushing too forcefully.
Pay special attention to every part of your mouth, including the tongue. Make sure that you brush your teeth before going to bed because bacterial growth occurs at a faster pace during sleep.
Next, floss at least once a day to remove food particles stuck between the teeth.
Third, use a mouthwash especially formulated to remove plaque and the bacteria that cause gingivitis.
Finally, visit your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleaning. However, if you notice the signs of gingivitis in your mouth, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
8 Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums
Most people think that their teeth will always be healthy, strong and functional, and so they usually take these for granted. A reputable Prescott, AZ dentist emphasizes that proper and efficient dental care is very crucial throughout the human life cycle.
Here are some tips for healthy teeth and gums that will help you achieve a bright, big smile.
How to Achieve and Maintain Healthy Teeth and Gums
1. Deal with dental visit anxiety – If sitting on a dentist’s chair often makes you anxious, help yourself feel calm by bringing your headphones and a music player to your next appointment. This is indeed a great way of relieving your anxiety. Most of all, you must communicate with your dentist so he can help you.
2. Floss first before you brush – Flossing first will make brushing more effective since it will remove the food that gets trapped in between your teeth. There are floss holders you can buy from a drugstore if handling floss agitates you. After flossing, brush your teeth gently and rinse with a recommended antibacterial mouthwash to totally eliminate any leftover plaque.
3. Regularly replace your toothbrush – Over time, toothbrush bristles flatten, wear down and fray. Replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months is highly recommended. To avoid harboring germs, consider replacing your brush if you are sick.
4. Be gentle when using toothpicks – A toothpick is a good alternative to floss; however, be very gentle when using it because it can easily damage your gums and it may even break off below your gum line.
5. Consume cheese – The whey protein and casein in cheese will help keep your tooth enamel in its excellent form because it reduces demineralization. Moreover, cheese has tooth-building calcium. But do not forget to include vitamin D-rich foods in your diet because this vitamin can help your body absorb calcium.
6. Remove teeth stains with baking soda – If you love drinking red wine, coffee or other tooth-staining beverages, your pearly white teeth can become dim. Brushing your teeth using baking soda at least twice a month will help brighten your smile. You can use toothpaste containing baking soda if plain baking soda irritates your teeth and gums.
7. Control your acid reflux – Preserve your tooth enamel and oral health by controlling your acid reflux. Avoid consuming foods and drinks that can trigger reflux, such as tomatoes, coffee and tea, chocolate, mint, and caffeinated drinks.
8. Brush your tongue – Brushing or scraping your tongue each time you brush your teeth can help prevent bad breath. Your tongue can host different bacteria that cause bad breath, so giving it a scrub will help minimize or eliminate odor-causing compounds.
Your teeth and gums can stay healthy and happy throughout your life with proper care. Most importantly, there will be fewer risks for gum disease and tooth decay if you always have healthy teeth and gums. Schedule your appointment with one of our dentists today!
Horizon Dental Care Tips for Eliminating Bad Breath
Also known as halitosis, bad breath can be embarrassing for you when there are lots of people around you. This is caused primarily by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria cause inflammation, thereby giving off noxious gases that smell unpleasant.
Studies have shown that 80% of bad breath has an oral source. Gum diseases, trapped food particles on your tonsils, cracked fillings, and unclean dentures – all of these can lead to bad breath. Medical conditions can likewise cause bad breath. These include liver disease, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, and respiratory tract infections.
The good thing is that there are tips for eliminating bad breath that you can try.
The key to preventing and eliminating bad breath is good oral hygiene. You need to floss and brush your teeth after every meal in order to reduce the build-up of odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. Using mouth rinses can also prevent cavities as well as reduce bacteria-causing plaque. A reputable Prescott, AZ dentist recommends using an antibacterial or antiseptic rinse that will kill bacteria instead of a cosmetic rinse that only promises fresh breath.
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
1. Watch What You Eat
What you ingest will greatly affect what you exhale. The food gets digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, and is expelled when you breathe. As such, you need to eat a balanced, healthy diet and regular meals. Eating watery fruits and vegetables like raw carrots and apple slices can help clear your mouth of any food particles or debris. Diets, like very low-carb ones and extreme fasting, can actually give you bad breath. Moreover, avoid consuming breath busters like onions, garlic and spicy foods.
2. Stay Hydrated
If you cannot brush your teeth after each meal, you must drink a lot of water as this can help hasten the process of cleaning debris and harmful bacteria in between your teeth. To help deodorize some offensive breath odors, drink milk.
3. Avoid Drinking Too Much Coffee
Coffee can be very tasty; however, this has a tough smell that can stay on the back of your tongue. Drink herbal or green tea instead.
4. Avoid Smoking
Cigarettes and other tobacco products can give you horrible breath. Moreover, smoking can stain your teeth and damage your gums. Opting for nicotine patches can help tame your desire. If you think you need a bit of help, make an appointment with your doctor and tackle how you can easily and successfully quit smoking.
5. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
One cause of dry mouth is alcohol. You can suffer from bad breath if you consume too much wine, beer and hard liquor.
6. Chew Gum
If you chew gum 20 minutes after having a meal, it can help with your saliva flow. Choose sugarless gums to help reduce cavities. This also has a cooling effect, giving you a nice fresh breath. Avoid sugary mints because the sugar will just sit on your teeth and may worsen the problem.
These tips can help make your mouth feel clean and fresh. Indeed, it is very easy to keep your teeth and gums healthy and to improve your breath at the same time. Schedule an appointment with us today!
5 Things You’re Doing That Cause Bleeding Gums
Habits That Cause Bleeding Gums
Do your gums often bleed? That probably happens often because of certain practices. It may also be due to health conditions that you’re not aware of. If you wish for your mouth to be healthier and for bleeding to stop, it’s crucial to know the real causes.
So, what usually causes bleeding gums?
You floss too hard.
Flosses can often cut through the fleshy tissues of your gums if you don’t know how to handle them properly. Also, there are flossers that really are too sharp, so even if you’re careful, they cut your gums anyway. Get instructions from your dentist on how to properly floss to prevent injuring your gums, or how to be more meticulous in choosing flossers for your teeth. Perhaps invest in sonic air floss, which uses a strong jet stream of water instead of a waxed string to dislodge food debris between teeth and gums.
Brushing too thoroughly with a hard-bristled brush.
If you think a hard-bristled brush performs better in getting rid of food particles, bacteria and germs in the mouth, you’re wrong. Such a toothbrush can leave scratches on your teeth’s enamel and they can also cut your gums especially if you brush too hard. Use a soft-bristled brush instead and brush more gently to prevent scratching both your teeth and gums.
You’re using a mouth appliance that doesn’t fit well.
The wrong fit of mouth appliances (such as dentures and mouth guards) can constantly put pressure on teeth and gums, and this can lead to bleeding. They can also move out of place, especially when you’re eating or talking, which can injure your gums. This is why it’s imperative to visit your dentist regularly and have him check the fit of the mouth appliance you’re using.
You don’t brush regularly.
Not brushing regularly encourages the proliferation of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. Gum bleeding is one of the symptoms of periodontal disease and if this gum disease is not treated right away, it’s not just gum bleeding you’ll experience — you may lose your teeth eventually as well.
You’re taking medication.
There are certain drugs for the treatment of certain illnesses that have a blood-thinning effect. If you take these regularly, gum bleeding is always a risk. Therefore, you should consult your physician on what you can do to reverse this side effect of your medication, or perhaps have him recommend a different drug that doesn’t have this particular side effect.
Are you new in Prescott, AZ and you’re looking for reputable Dentist who can take care of your family’s dental care needs?
Meet Dr. Reed – make that Dr. Sean Reed, one of the most trusted dentists in the Prescott community. He’s been working at Horizon Dental Care in Prescott, AZ for many years now. Dr. Reed is a proud member of the community and enjoys raising his family here.
Originally from Chicago, IL and Denver, CO, life took him to Brigham Young University in Utah where he obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and minor in Spanish. After this, he moved to New York to secure his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at NYU.
He then returned to Utah for his yearlong residency in general dentistry at the University of Utah and now he’s enjoying his career as one of the leading providers of superior dental services to the locals of Prescott. Dr. Costes recognized Dr. Reed’s talent and hired him on as an associate and eventually a partner in our Prescott office.
Dr. Reed is a beloved personality in Prescott. He is known for building strong relationships with his patients by getting to know their families, and carefully listening to their concerns so he’s able to deliver results and ensure a positive experience for each and every one of them.
Patients have consistently provided him great reviews because they appreciate his sincerity and the dedication he displays. Likewise, they laud him for being very helpful with all of their concerns. He doesn’t cut corners when it comes to the true state of a person’s oral health, and he always makes sure to explain concerns in the most comprehensible way possible for patients, which is why patients say they remain loyal to Horizon Dental Group.
Loyal patients of Horizontal Dental Group also pointed out that Dr. Reed doesn’t only pay attention to dental concerns; he also carefully tackles his patients’ nerves. He is well aware that there are people who have dental phobia, or are just very nervous about unfamiliar procedures, or are simply the nervous kind. Dr. Reed is very patient and does his best to help patients overcome the jitters. He assures each and every one of them of the safety of treatments and even provides tips on how patients can personally deal with their nerves.
So, if you’re looking for a dentist you can trust for your family in Prescott, visit Horizontal Dental Group’s clinic (which also has a branch in Chino Valley) and meet Dr. Reed – the friendly dental expert of the community.
The 8 Common Teeth Alignment Problems
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.
Taking Care of Your Teeth As You Age
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.
- And lastly, visit your Prescott Dentist regularly for cleaning, treatments and oral cancer screening.
To schedule a dentist appointment with Dr. Costes or Dr. Reed contact us today!
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.