Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Popular Dental Myths

We’re setting the record straight on these popular dental myths.


My teeth are fine. I do not need to visit the dentist.
MYTH! No matter the condition of your mouth, visit your dentist at least 2x per year. Did you know 90% of dental problems occur without any symptoms? By visiting your dentist regularly, any issues can be found before they become serious.


My parents have great dental health, so I will too!
MYTH! This statement is somewhat true, but not completely. While genetics does help with good dental health, you must brush and floss daily to maintain good dental health. Visit your dentist regularly for good long-term dental health.


It is not important to take care of my child’s baby teeth. They will eventually fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth.
MYTH! Baby teeth can remain until 13 years of age. Neglecting the baby teeth will cause loss of the teeth before the proper time. This causes problems with a child’s bite, speech, and development of permanent teeth.


If my gums bleed, I should stop brushing my teeth.
MYTH! Your gums are bleeding for attention! The bleeding is caused by bacterial plaque and food debris not being removed. Thoroughly and gently brush and floss your gums 2x per day. Visit your dentist immediately if the bleeding continues after 4 to 5 days.


Bleaching ("whitening") my teeth will damage my enamel.
MYTH! Today’s bleaching materials, over-the-counter or from the dental office, will not damage your enamel. Keep in mind, teeth whitening products are not recommended for sensitive teeth, exposed roots, unfilled cavities, broken fillings, those under 21, and pregnant or nursing women. Consult with your dentist before beginning any whitening procedure.


Chewing a xylitol sugar-free gum after a meal is the same as brushing.
MYTH! Though chewing xylitol based gums has some dental health benefits, such as increasing saliva flow (which rids teeth of food debris and freshens breath), chewing gum is not a replacement for brushing and flossing your teeth.


Placing an aspirin tablet next to an aching tooth will relieve the pain.
MYTH! This home remedy will lead to a painful chemical burn without any relief to the aching tooth.


I am pregnant and should avoid all dental treatment.
MYTH! A healthy mouth and a healthy mother correlate with a healthy infant. While there are a few dental procedures to avoid during certain times of pregnancies, it is important to attend regular dentist visits and inform your dentist if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

 

Brushing my teeth more than 1x per day harms my enamel.
MYTH! Most dentists recommend using a soft toothbrush to remove plaque 2x per day. It is best to brush and floss after every meal.


After a cavity is filled, I cannot get another cavity in that tooth.
MYTH! After a tooth has a cavity, it is more likely to get another. Have good oral hygiene to decrease the chance of another cavity.


If my wisdom teeth are not causing any problems, I should keep them.
MYTH! Studies show it is better to remove all wisdom teeth at an early age, even if they are not problematic. This helps avoid gum disease in these areas later in life.

Visit Paducah Dental Care to learn more! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Gum Disease Linked To Other Deadly Diseases?

Heart Disease

Heart disease is America’s leading cause of death, and it is linked to gum disease. But how? Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can affect conditions outside of the mouth. It begins when plaque builds up around our teeth. Bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and attach to heart blood vessel’s fatty deposits. The fatty deposits can cause blood clots, which may lead to heart attacks.

Inflammation is the common characteristic of heart disease and gum disease. Harm to the body can be minimized by stopping the infection of gums.

If you have heart disease, be sure to…

brush and floss daily for good oral hygiene

Visit your dentist regularly

Tell your dentist you have a heart problem

Follow your physician’s and dentist’s instructions, and use prescriptions as directed

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine claims that treating gum disease can lead to better overall health. The study researched health and dental records from about 339,000 people who had periodontal disease and a chronic illness. Those who had at least one periodontal disease treatment had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations within four years of treatment compared to those who were not treated.

Symptoms of gum disease
Continuous bad breath

Red or swollen gums

Tender or bleeding gums

Painful chewing

Loose teeth

Sensitive teeth

Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

How is periodontal (gum) disease treated?
There are several options for treating gum disease. You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease if it is treated properly. The first step is having the plaque and tartar deposits removed by "scaling and root planing" by your dentist. This procedure heals the gum tissue and shrinks the periodontal pockets. Your dentist may recommend a medication to help control the pain and infection. If your dentist sees progress in healing from the "scaling and root planing" you most likely will not need further treatment, only preventive care. But if the periodontal pockets are deep and bone is lost, surgery may be needed to help prevent tooth loss.

Vanessa Felts, Dental Hygienist with Paducah Dental Care, suggests several ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy:

Brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste).

Floss regularly to remove plaque from between teeth. Or use a device such as a special brush or wooden or plastic pick recommended by a dental professional.

Visit the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning.

Don’t smoke.


Visit Paducah Dental Care to learn more! 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dangers of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is any condition is which your mouth is abnormally dry. It is usually caused by a decrease in saliva produced by the glands in your mouth, and is mostly commonly a side effect of medication.

Saliva is one of the most important protective mechanisms of the teeth. It assists food digestion, protects the body from microbes, balances the pH in the mouth, and supports the remineralization of teeth. Without saliva, teeth would dissolve. Denise Hunerkoch, Dental Hygienist, with Paducah Dental Care says, "20% to 40% of people are affected by dry mouth. In fact, dry mouth affects more women than men and is most common amongst older adults."

Causes of dry mouth include medication, aging, hereditary, poor diet, stress, cancer therapy, nerve damage, certain health conditions, tobacco use, and methamphetamine.

Dry mouth is a common problem that can be simply a nuisance by altering your appetite or enjoyment of food, or have a significant effect on your health and health of your teeth.


Symptoms of dry mouth
Dryness in mouth or throat

Thick and stringy saliva

Bad breath

Difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing

Changed sense of taste

Problems wearing dentures

More frequent tooth decay

Irritation of gums and gum disease

 
Before seeing your dentist about dry mouth, make a list of the following information:

Any symptoms you have (include any that may seem unrelated to your teeth or mouth)

Personal information including major stressors or recent life changes

Prescribed medications including vitamins, supplements, over-the-counter medicines and their dosages

Questions to ask your doctor or dentist

During your visit, your dentist will likely examine your mouth and review your medical history and medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medicines). Your tests may take blood tests, imaging scans of your salivary glands or conduct a test to measure how much saliva you produce to identify the cause of your dry mouth. Examples of saliva test include the stimulated saliva test and the resting saliva flow test.

Visit Paducah Dental Care to learn more! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Slipping Dentures? Not With Dental Implants

Problems with dentures start with the pain that occurs from improper fit and function. This pain leads to a lack of self-confidence when doing day-to-day functions such as smiling, laughing and eating. Complete tooth loss is also a major health issue. It has the same characteristics as a chronic disease and has no cure. In the past, the only option for total tooth loss was dentures.

 
Dentures provide a level of function for total tooth loss, but also complications. Nearly half of all people with lower dentures are not pleased with the function or comfort. This is caused by the lower dentures accelerating the deterioration of tissues by pressing down and compacting them. Studies show bone loss in the lower jaw is nearly 4x greater than the bone loss in the upper jaw. As a result, dentures feel loose because of the bone deteriorating underneath them. The bone loss results in the loss of jaw height, leading to facial structures collapsing over time.



Problems with Dentures:
Bone loss in the mouth

Face droops and collapses over time as the bone deteriorates. This shifts muscles in the facial structure.

Dentures must be thickened, or relined, to fit the changes in the mouth due to bone loss

Bad breath from the bacterial odors on the dentures.

Messy adhesives are often used to hold dentures in place. Some adhesives contain zinc which can cause neurological problems if used over a long period.

Day-to-day activities such as smiling, laughing and eating become difficult and lead to a lack in self-confidence.

Visible aging process is accelerated. The "witch’s beak" appearance alters the mouth’s appearance as the jaws deteriorate, causing the chin to jut out and up appearing too close to the nose.

Wrinkles around the mouth are increased

Pain and sore spots on gums are caused by dentures rubbing on soft tissues.

Difficulty chewing leads to nutritional and digestive problems due to the inability to fully chew and digest certain foods (such as fresh fruits and vegetables).


The Alternative: Dental Implants
Eliminate the problems of complete tooth loss with dental implants. Dentures can be stabilized and many problems can be reduced. The treatment of choice for many patients with loss of bone and lip support is a denture that fits over the dental implants.


Dr. Walden, Paducah Dental Care, lists several benefits of dental implants for stabilizing dentures:

Prevention of further bone resorption (deterioration) caused by complete tooth loss and wearing dentures.

Stabilize and improve the function of dentures with improved comfort and confidence.

Improved facial appearance including restoring lost lips and minimizing wrinkles.

Increased biting and chewing abilities allow patients to eat what they want again.


If you would like to learn more we will be offering a FREE Dental Implant Seminar Tuesday, June 13th at 5:30 pm. Seating is limited so call our office to reserve your spot, 270-444-6414.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Missing Teeth? Why Dental Implants Should Be Your First Choice.

Do you have missing teeth or wear dentures? Dental implants may be the best option for you.

Dental implants are a long-term, popular and efficient option for restoring your smile. "The development of dental implants is one of the biggest advances I have seen in my dental career," says Dr. William Walden. Implants are changing people’s lives! They are made from safe and compatible materials for the human body, and the procedure is essentially pain free.


Why You Should Choose Dental Implants

Bone Preserved
When a tooth is lost, the bone that supported the tooth deteriorates. Dental implants provide the same function as natural tooth roots and stimulate the bone. This preserves the bone from melting away and provides a stable foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.


No Harm to Surrounding Teeth
The surrounding teeth are affected when a tooth is lost or removed. The adjacent teeth will move into the space left by the lost tooth. This creates many problems with the gums and how the teeth fit together and function. Dental implants serve as substitute tooth roots, so none of the surrounding teeth are affected. Other methods of tooth replacement require cutting down the adjacent teeth for a bridge or hooking a partial denture onto other teeth, risking the long-term health of those teeth.

 

Long-Term Success
The best thing about dental implants is that they are designed to last a lifetime. Other options, such as bridges and partials can possibly fail over time. The American Dental Association states the lifespan of a bridge is 10.1 years due to the teeth under the bridge being more likely to decay or fracture. Partial dentures normally last between 3 and 5 years but also need to be relined (made thicker) as the bone underneath the dentures deteriorate.

 

More Cost Effective
Because of their high success rate and documented success, dental implants are the most cost-effective option. Alternatively, bridges do not last as long and need repairs and alterations over time. If a tooth is lost, it needs to be replaced by either a tooth-supported bridge or an implant-supported crown. Studies show that bridges last approximately 10.1 years, while implants are documented to be more than 95% successful and last 20+ years.

 

The Process

 
The Procedure: The implant is placed into the jawbone.

 

The Healing Process: The healing process is called osseointegration. It means "combines with the bone" and takes time. During this process, the bone around the implant heals. The bone grows around the implant, holding it in place. This is how the implant is so strong and sturdy. Some patients can have a replacement tooth attached to an implant during one visit, while others must wait up to several months before a replacement tooth can be placed.

 

The Artificial Tooth is Added: First, the dentist places an abutment, a cylinder made of titanium that connects the implant and artificial tooth. Then, the artificial tooth is placed. If a single tooth is implanted, your dentist will customize a dental crown, or new tooth, for you. With a custom size, shape, color and fit, the crown is designed to blend in with your natural teeth. If multiple teeth are implanted, customized bridges or dentures will be made to fit your mouth and your implants. (Replacement teeth usually take time to make. A temporary crown, bridge or denture may be provided by your dentist to help you function until your permanent replacement is ready.)

Then it’s time to celebrate your new smile!


Visit Paducah Dental Care to learn more! 

 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Dental Concerns for Adults Over Forty

It’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums as an adult. Though problems can develop no matter how well you brush your teeth and floss, good dental health practices can prevent tooth loss, dental problems, and mouth diseases.


Common Dental Conditions and Concerns for Adults
Gum disease
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is caused by bacterial plaque and tartar accumulating on your teeth. The plaque and tartar can cause serious damage to your jawbone and tooth loss if left untreated. In the early stages, called gingivitis, gum disease is reversible. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen and sensitive gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. Seek dental care immediately to help reduce the chance of tooth loss.


Breaking down of dental fillings
The durability of a dental filling is 8 to 10 years, but they can last up to 20 years or more if cared for properly. If the filling breaks down, food and bacteria get underneath the teeth and cause decay within the tooth. The decay can affect the nerve and lead to necessary treatment through a root canal and a crown to replace the tooth.


Cavities around Fillings
Cavities around fillings, called recurrent decay, or decay on the surface of roots can cause problems to dental hygiene. To reduce the cavities around the fillings, brush 2x per day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss every day. Visit your dentist to treat a cavity and maintain good care of fillings.


Sensitivity
Sensitivity can be caused from cavities, fractured teeth, worn fillings, worn tooth enamel, gum disease, or exposed tooth root. It can be treated by using toothpaste specifically for desensitizing teeth or treatment recommended by your dentist.


Dry mouth
If your mouth is abnormally dry, you may have dry mouth. Medications and health conditions commonly cause dry mouth. Your dentist can help reduce and stop dry mouth through saliva tests.


Temporomandibular Joint Problems
Grinding teeth and biting issues can lead to temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ). This can be caused by teeth shifting position in your mouth due to the extraction of a tooth or several teeth. If your bite is altered, eventually the movement of your jaw will cause pain and locking of your jaw. Dental implants can replace missing teeth and reposition the jaw to its proper place. If grinding is the issue, your dentist may recommend a night guard to stop the teeth grinding at night and relieve stress on the jaw joints.

Dr. Matthew Mangino, Paducah Dental Care, says, "It is important to keep teeth and gums healthy to reduce the risk of developing dental problems, disease and loosing teeth." Follow these easy steps to improve or maintain your dental health:

Brush your teeth 2x per day with fluoride toothpaste

Floss regularly to remove plaque from between teeth

Limit the amount of snacking between meals and sugary or starchy foods you eat

Visit the dentist at least 2x per year for checkups and cleanings

Do not smoke

It is also important to note that many adults are prone to oral cancer, and it is most commonly found in men over 40 years old. Symptoms of oral cancer are tiny, unnoticed white or red spots in the mouth, sore spots and swelling in the mouth or throat, numbness or pain, and a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite. Use of tobacco products and alcohol heighten the risk of oral cancer. Please remember that if oral cancer is found in the early stages it can be treated more easily. Visit your dentist on a regular basis to check for oral cancer symptoms.

Visit Paducah Dental Care to learn more! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oral Hygiene

"Every day, your mouth has more than a million micro-creatures feeding, reproducing and depositing waste in your mouth," says Amber Broadway, Dental Hygienist at Paducah Dental Care. Doesn’t that make you want to brush your teeth?

Healthy teeth lead a great smile and help you eat and speak properly. Plus, good oral health is essential for your overall health.


What is good oral hygiene?
Clean teeth free of debris
Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
Bad breath is not a common problem

How do you maintain good oral hygiene? Follow these easy steps from Paducah Dental Care


Brush Your Teeth
Why? To remove plaque, the leading cause of tooth decay.

Brush your teeth 2x per day

Don’t rush when you brush. Take your time to clean thoroughly.

Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Choose an electric or battery-operated toothbrush to reduce plaque and mild forms of gum disease more than manual brushing.

Practice brushing correctly by holding your toothbrush at a slight angle and aim the bristles where the tooth meets your gum. Brush back and forth gently continuously throughout your mouth. Be sure to brush the outside, inside and top of teeth as well as your tongue.

Keep your toothbrush clean by rinsing with water after usage. Store in an upright position and allow it to air dry until you use again. Keep away from other toothbrushes to avoid cross-contamination. To prevent a growth of bacteria, yeast or mold, do not cover with a closed container.

Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months. If the bristles are frayed, worn, or irregular, replace sooner.


Floss Your Teeth
Why? To remove plaque from between your teeth and under your gum line before it hardens into tartar. Once tartar forms, only a professional cleaning can remove it.
Use about 18 inches of dental floss. Wrap most of the floss around the middle finger and index finger. Hold the floss tightly around each tooth in a "C" shape. Move it back and forth up and down between each tooth.
Gently guide the floss between your teether. Be careful not to "snap" the floss into the gums. When the floss reaches your gum line, curve it around the next tooth.
Make sure to use fresh floss around each tooth as you make your way around your teeth. Only floss between one tooth at a time.
Stay consistent with your flossing. If you find it hard to use dental floss, use an interdental cleaner such as a dental pick, pre-threat flosser, Waterpik or a wooden or silicone plaque remover.


Regular Visits To Your Dentist
Visit your dentist at least 2x per year for checkups and cleanings.

Think About What You Eat
Eat a balanced diet by limiting the amount of sugary and starchy foods you ingest.
Reduce regular snacking in between meals.


Other Tips
Consider using mouthwash containing fluoride
Do not use toothpicks or other harsh objects that could produce bacteria or injure your gums.

Visit Paducah Dental Care to learn more!