Noticing a piece of food stuck in your teeth can be embarrassing, but it can also be uncomfortable. Even though it’s normal for food to get wedged between teeth on occasion, it’s a whole other story when this happens time and time again in the same spot. These areas are known as food traps, and they can collect food each and every time you chew. It’s important to see your dentist in Douglasville if you recognize this happening as it could be a sign of a bigger problem.
How Are Food Traps Formed?
Food traps can develop due to any number of issues, but a lot of food traps are caused by some other type of dental problem. The most common causes of food traps are:
- Gaps Between Teeth
There should be small gaps, also called loose contact, between teeth. This allows them to sit and function properly. However, when gaps become too large, they create the ideal space for food to get lodged. Gaps can occur naturally and even people with once super-straight teeth can start to notice gaps over time. Additionally, dental fillings can change the natural contact between teeth and may cause a food trap.
- Chipped Tooth
Our teeth naturally have crevices where food and bacteria can get stuck, but if there’s a broken or chipped tooth, you may notice food getting stuck in the same spot over and over again. You may also experience this if you lose a dental filling or older dental restoration.
- Gum Disease
One of the more serious causes of food traps is gum disease. Gum disease will cause pockets to form in the gum tissue and provide a great hiding spot for food particles. But what’s worse is that untreated gum disease can lead to a bunch of other health concerns such as tooth loss and an increased risk of heart disease. Treatment can be successful when gum disease is caught in the early stages, but later forms of the disease are irreversible. This is one reason why you should get seen by your dentist in Douglasville if you have a food trap.
Problems Cause By Food Traps
Food traps that aren’t fixed can continue to cause long-term problems such as:
- Bad Breath
- Gum Disease
While food traps can certainly be annoying, they can also be dangerous. It’s important to tell your dentist in Douglasville if you’re experiencing repeated problems of food getting stuck in your teeth so they can take a closer look at what may be going on and recommend the best treatment for you. Additionally, it’s always important to brush and floss your teeth every day to remove any food particles that may have built up in the teeth throughout the day.
Your denture may have once been one of the best things to happen to you. In fact, many people throughout history have benefited from dentures as they allow people to smile freely, chew confidently, and feel whole again. Dentures are a great solution for missing teeth and are often a comfortable option. However, over time, your denture may start to not fit like it used to. Don’t worry, this is normal and your dentist in Douglasville is here to help.
3 Reasons Why Your Denture Doesn’t Fit
Dentures can last for many years with proper care. But they aren’t meant to be a permanent solution to missing teeth. There are things that can happen that can make a denture no longer fit like it once did. These can cause a denture to slip, making it hard to eat and speak. They can even cause some minor discomfort. So what’s happening? Why would a denture no longer fit correctly?
- Bone Loss
Our natural teeth have both a root system and a crown. The crown is the white part of the teeth we see while the roots are secured into the jaw bone. Natural teeth constantly stimulate the jaw bone, reducing the risk of bone loss. However, a denture doesn’t have any roots to continue this stimulation. This can result in bone loss. When the jaw bone deteriorates, the shape of the jaw and the fit of the denture can change.
- Changes in Gum Tissue
Similar to the jaw bone, gum tissue can recede over time, making dentures feel uncomfortable. Additionally, if someone develops gum disease while using a denture, this can cause inflammation and swelling, making it difficult for a denture to fit the way it did initially.
Life happens, and this can include damage to your denture or unexpected damage to your mouth. Things like mouth calluses can make a denture feel uncomfortable. Additionally, damage to a denture is more common than you think. A denture that’s at the end of its lifespan can become flexible or become more fragile and easier to break. Also, if a denture isn’t cared for properly, it can change in shape thanks to deposits.
How to Fix an Ill-Fitting Denture
Luckily, you have a few options to fix a denture that no longer serves you. But first, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville. Your dental team will perform an examination to determine the best course of action to get you a denture that feels comfortable again. One of the solutions may be a reline. This is when your dentist will either work on your denture while you’re in the chair or use new impressions to have a lab create a new denture for you. Either way, you’ll be well on your way to smiling confidently.
If you no longer want to deal with dentures, you have other options such as dental implants. Dental implants permanently replace both the crown of the tooth and the tooth roots. This can make it easier to care for your teeth and reduce the risk of bone loss. If you’re interested, talk with your dentist in Douglasville about dental implants.
We believe that everyone has the right to smile and eat confidently, whether that’s with their natural teeth, a denture, or dental implants. So if you’re dealing with an uncomfortable denture, make sure you talk with your dentist about your options.
In honor of Root Canal Awareness Week, which occurs each May, your dentist in Douglasville thought it would be fun to talk about this treatment that patients often dread. Why? Because it has a bad reputation for being painful — when the total opposite is the actual truth. Root canals are probably one of the most recognized and misunderstood dental services used today, with over 41,000 completed treatments on patients every single day, according to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). The AAE also says more than 15 million root canals are performed each year in the United States.
If root canals are that bad, why are they so popular?
The Tooth Truth About How Root Canals Work
As scary as you might think it’s going to be to have a root canal, there’s really nothing to worry about, thanks to your dentist in Douglasville, who has some of dentistry’s most innovative technology. Having a root canal today is not a lot different from having a deep filling. There’s little or no discomfort because a local anesthetic is used to numb your tooth and surrounding gums for complete comfort. During the actual procedure, the:
- Inside of your damaged tooth is thoroughly cleaned
- Infected pulp and nerve tissue are removed
- Tooth is cleaned to avoid further damage
You won’t feel pain, maybe just some pressure. Sometimes patients experience tenderness in their gums following a root canal, but acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) will certainly help.
Root Canals Actually Get Rid of Pain (Not Cause More)
Instead of causing you more dental discomfort, think of your root canal as the solution that can get rid of:
- Pain when chewing or biting
- Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
- Pimples on the gums
- Swollen or tender gums
- Discolored gums or teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
A 2011 review of 72 studies of root canal patients looked at pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment pain. These results showed that while the pain was high in patients before their root canal, it dropped moderately within one day of treatment, before dropping even more substantially to minimal levels within a week.
Prevention is Always Best
While we use root canals as tooth-savers, it’s best to avoid having to have the treatment altogether, right? To prevent the need for future root canals or other dental issues, always brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once. Using a fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse is also beneficial for protecting your teeth from harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay that leads to needing a root canal. We know you’ve probably heard this before, but try to limit the amount of sugary food and refined carbohydrates you eat. Sometimes these foods stick to your teeth and cause cavities.
Did you know there have been studies showing that older women with gum infections are more prone to developing common forms of cancer? Women with optimal oral health are less likely to get various forms of cancer. Your dentist in Douglasville wanted to take a moment to shed some important light on how critical it is to maintain good oral health, especially in your gums.
What is Periodontal Disease?
When conducting their studies, researchers focused on what we call periodontal or gum disease. There are two forms of the disease:
- Gingivitis – This is the mildest form of gum disease, and it causes the tissue around your teeth to become red, swollen, and bleed more easily. Gingivitis can be mildly uncomfortable, but it’s generally reversible with help from your dentist in Douglasville and good at-home dental care.
- Periodontitis – When you don’t treat gingivitis properly, it can worsen into a condition called periodontitis. Over time, plaque can spread and grow beneath your gum line and allow bacteria to irritate your gums. This can stimulate a chronic inflammatory response elsewhere in your body that can cause your body to break down its own bone and tissue that help support your teeth.
It’s essential to treat your gums with care, ensuring they stay healthy enough to support your teeth for a lifetime of comfortable oral health.
What Did the Study Find?
Researchers found that compared to women with no issues with their oral health, women who had trouble with their gums and teeth were 14 percent more likely to develop cancer. The most significant risk was developing cancer in your esophagus, which is three times higher in women with periodontal disease. The study also found that, “Women with periodontal disease were also 31 percent more likely to be diagnosed with lung tumors, 73 percent more likely to get gallbladder cancers, 13 percent more likely to have breast tumors, and 23 percent more likely to have melanoma.” If left untreated, periodontal disease can also lead to tooth loss, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
The Connection Isn’t All Clear
There are still questions about the exact causes of the connection between periodontal disease and cancer; it’s not 100 percent clear. Doctors think it’s due to the bacteria present in your mouth that travel to other parts of your body. The bacteria destroys your gum tissue, forming pockets where infection thrives. This is what ends up in your bloodstream. It can get stuck in other sites around your body, causing inflammation that could lead to cancer.
As you can see, going to your dentist in Douglasville for regular checkups and cleanings is important, especially if you’re a woman who is aging gracefully. Call us today to schedule an appointment or hygiene cleaning. We can help answer any questions you might have about your gum health and taking care of your smile. Take the time to care for yourself and your oral health, and enjoy all of the benefits that come with it.
One of the top priorities of your dentist in Douglasville is to prevent dental problems from occurring in the first place. However, there’s one condition that affects more than 90% of adults over the age of 20 – cavities. Treating cavities is usually quick and easy, especially if they’re caught early. This is one reason why it’s so important to see your dentist every six months. In between appointments, it’s also important to be able to recognize the signs of a cavity so you can seek treatment sooner rather than later.
1. Hot & Cold Sensitivity
Cavities are a result of weakened tooth enamel, allowing the nerves and roots of a tooth to become exposed. This can cause increased sensitivity when eating or drinking something hot or cold. Someone who has a cavity may experience that sudden surge of pain that shoots through a tooth when the inner workings of the tooth come in contact with the temperature extremes.
2. Sweet Sensitivity
Similar to hot and cold tooth sensitivity, another common complaint of those with a cavity is sensitivity to sweets. Your tooth may hurt briefly after biting into a piece of candy or chocolate bar, then the pain will most likely subside. However, even if the pain goes away quickly, you should still consider seeing your dentist in Douglasville if this remains consistent whenever eating sweets.
Some people have tiny white spots on their teeth that formed during childhood. These are typically nothing to worry about. However, if you notice a new white speckle, or even worse, a dark brown, gray, or black area on a tooth, it may be caused by decay. There are other potential explanations for tooth discoloration so it is important to get it checked out sooner rather than later.
A cavity is essentially an area of decay in the tooth. Decay shows itself as a pit or a small hole. In the early stages of cavity development, this pitting may not be noticeable with the naked eye. But your dentist in Douglasville would be able to see this through dental x-rays or an exam. Now, if you do happen to see a hole in your tooth, you should schedule an appointment as soon as you can. This may be a sign of a large cavity that may require a dental crown restoration or it could be a symptom of an old filling falling out. Either way, it’s important to have it treated quickly.
The most common sign of a cavity is a persistent toothache. This pain can seem to come on suddenly or you may notice it after eating. The pain may also get worse when chewing or biting down. It’s important to remember that any pain in your mouth is usually a sign that something isn’t right, and you should get to your dentist for a checkup.
Knowing what to look out for is one of the best ways to make sure you catch and treat a cavity in the earliest stages. If you notice any of these signs of a cavity, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville today.
Oral health is a crucial part of your overall health, and it’s important to see your dentist in Douglasville at least every six months to maintain a healthy mouth and healthy body. However, we understand that there are some things that can keep a patient from seeing us as often as they should. If it’s been a couple of months, years, or even decades since you’ve seen your dentist, you’re not alone, and we’re here to help.
What to Expect
Your visit to a dentist for a long time may be intimidating, but the best thing you can do is prepare yourself for what to expect.
- Exam – Every patient that visits us will receive a comprehensive oral exam. This means that we will take a gentle look inside your mouth to look for any signs of decay, gum disease, or other problems.
- X-rays – No matter how long it’s been since a patient has seen us, we will take x-rays so we can get a closer look at what’s happening beneath the surface of what’s visible to the naked eye.
- Review of Oral Health – During your exam, we encourage you to review your oral health with your dentist in Douglasville. If you have concerns, pain, are grinding your teeth, or want to talk about enhancing your smile through cosmetic dentistry, now is the time to share that information.
- Review of Overall Health – You will need to complete a health history form prior to your visit. Make sure to be honest about any medications you’re taking or health problems you have. Believe it or not, a lot of health problems can impact your oral health, so it’s important for your dentist to know this information.
How To Prepare for Your Appointment
Knowing what to expect at your appointment is important, but it’s also important to prepare yourself for the visit. Try to schedule your appointment for a time that’s convenient for you and during a day when you have limited chances for other stressors. Also, it’s not uncommon for patients who haven’t visited in a while to need more treatment, such as a few fillings. Understanding this before you’re in the dental chair can help keep you relaxed during your exam. If you have dental anxiety, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Make sure you mention this during scheduling and during your appointment. Also, take the following steps to help reduce anxiety:
- Avoid caffeine prior to your appointment
- Bring your phone and headphones and ask if you can listen to music during your appointment
- Take deep, slow breaths to remain relaxed
- Never hesitate to use hand signals to let your dental team know you need a break
There are a number of reasons why patients put off visiting their dentist in Douglasville. Sometimes it’s due to fear, or maybe life is just too busy and you forget. No matter what your reason is, we promise to care for you in a kind and understanding environment without judgment. Schedule an appointment with us today!
Your dentist in Douglasville has known for quite some time that there is a strong link between gum disease and other whole-body concerns, such as an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. But recent research by the American Academy for Cancer Research has also shown a connection between gum disease and the development of colon cancer. During this Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we want to share the findings so our patients can do everything possible to protect themselves from gum disease and the potential negative side effects.
This new long-term study followed the health of 42,486 Americans, both men, and women, for several decades. The goal was to monitor the health, diet, and results of colonoscopies to determine if there was any possible link between gum disease and colon cancer. While the results did support the theory, researchers say more studies are needed to back up these findings.
Scientists were interested in looking at two particular types of intestinal lesions that often precede colon cancer — serrated polyps and conventional adenomas — as well as participants’ history of gum disease. They found that those patients who had a history of gum also had:
- A 17% increased risk of having a serrated polyp
- An 11% increased risk of having a conventional adenoma
- A 20% increased risk of having a serrated polyp if the participant had lost four or more teeth
6 Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease can present itself in a number of ways, but there are some signs that are more common such as:
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed
- Loose teeth
- Gum recession
- Pain when chewing
- If you recognize any of these signs of gum disease, call your dentist in Douglasville to schedule an appointment as soon as you can. When gum disease is caught in its earliest stages it can often be treated successfully. However, when gum disease becomes more serious, it can become irreversible.
Reduce Your Risk of Gum Disease
It’s important to remember that uncontrollable factors such as age and genetics can increase someone’s chances of getting gum disease. But there are also habits and lifestyle factors that we can control that can also increase the risk. Following these tips from your dentist in Douglasville can reduce the likelihood of developing gum disease:
- Follow a proper oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Stop using tobacco products
- Keep seeing your dentist for bi-annual checkups and cleanings
Gum disease isn’t something to take lightly, and it’s crucial to monitor any changes that occur in the mouth to catch problems before they have a chance to become bigger concerns and cause health problems. If you notice any of the signs of gum disease or it’s been longer than six months since your last visit, schedule a dental appointment today.
Spring is a time when many people start to clean out their homes after the winter season, opening windows, cleaning out closets, and even scrubbing baseboards. When it comes to your dental health, your dentist in Douglasville wants to remind all of our patients and neighbors that giving your teeth a “spring cleaning” too can help protect teeth. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Get a New Toothbrush
You should replace your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months, according to the American Dental Association. If you’ve gone all winter without treating yourself and your teeth to a new toothbrush, now’s the time to start fresh. Choose a toothbrush that has soft bristles, as medium or hard bristles can actually damage your teeth. If you’re using a manual toothbrush, consider upgrading to an electric version. Your dentist in Douglasville can help you find the best toothbrush for you.
- Check Your Supplies
One key part of spring cleaning a house is to remove all of the expired stuff from the fridge and pantry. Don’t forget to also check your dental supplies. Like most things, dental care items like toothpaste and mouthwash have expiration dates, and it’s important to toss anything that has expired. This may also be a time to try out a new toothpaste or mouthwash. Again, your dentist can make recommendations as to what new items are available and which may be right for you
- See Your Dentist in Douglasville Regularly
While spring is when most people deep clean their house, it’s also a wise time to schedule a checkup and dental cleaning, especially if it’s been longer than six months since your last visit. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are crucial to maintaining a healthy smile all year round. Preventive dentistry appointments help:
- Remove plaque buildup that at-home brushing and floss can’t touch
- Catch potential problems early when they’re often easier to treat
- Give your dentist a look under the surface of your teeth through dental x-rays
Oral & Overall Health
There’s a strong connection between oral health and overall health, so it’s important to take care of both. Seeing your dentist twice a year, replacing your toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash regularly, and brushing and flossing every day can go a long way in protecting your smile against decay and oral health diseases such as gum disease.
Celebrate the spring season by treating your teeth to a gentle dental checkup and cleaning. Call us to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville today!
There have been close to 400 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic. While one of the telltale signs of COVID can be loss of taste, among many other symptoms, there may be additional oral health concerns associated with a COVID-19 infection both during illness, as well as recovery. Your dentist in Douglasville is here to explain some potential oral health side effects of COVID-19.
Lesions or Ulcers
According to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research, over 80% of patients that were hospitalized with COVID-19 noticed lesions or ulcers in their mouths. Why would this happen as a result of respiratory disease? Well, the truth is, the respiratory system begins in the mouth and the nose, so it’s not uncommon for these areas to be affected. Keep in mind, ulcers should go away on their own. If they don’t schedule an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville. Besides ulcers and lesions, some patients also experience something coined “COVID tongue.” The symptoms of COVID tongue can range from loss of papilla (the teeny bumps on the tongue), enlarged tastebuds, or a burning taste or sensation.
Dry mouth is estimated to affect up to 65% of the population and is not a unique side effect of COVID-19. However, it can develop or become worse during or after infection. When we get sick with COVID, the virus can cause salivary glands to underproduce saliva. Healthy saliva flow is what allows our mouths to feel moist and comfortable, and it also helps reduce the risk of decay. Without enough saliva, the mouth may feel overly dry, you may experience bad breath, and you may be more likely to develop serious health problems such as gum disease. If you’re suffering from a dry mouth, drink lots of water every day, chew gum, and make sure to talk with your dentist in Douglasville.
One of the main concerns associated with COVID-19 is how the body responds to the infection, causing sometimes extreme levels of inflammation in certain parts of the body. This inflammation can also occur in the mouth. The gums are usually the most obviously affected, and COVID-19 long-haulers may notice red, swollen, and sometimes bleeding gums after recovery. It’s important to keep an eye on gum inflammation as it can also lead to or be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease does have connections to overall health and has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and respiratory disease. With that said, those with active gum disease when they become infected with COVID are more likely to have a serious case.
While some people find COVID-19 recovery simple, some of the 400 million people infected continue to experience long-term side effects. If you’re one of them and you have lingering oral health side effects, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist in Douglasville to schedule an appointment.
There are so many different kinds of toothbrushes to choose from, and while they may all look the same outside of the color, not all brushes work the same. In fact, there are some big differences between the types of toothbrushes available, and it can be difficult to know which one will be right for you. To help you find the perfect toothbrush to fit your oral health needs, check out this guide from your dentist in Douglasville.
One of the most important things to consider when deciding on which toothbrush to use is the bristles. When your dentist in Douglasville considers the bristles of a toothbrush, they look for two things – the shape and the density.
- Shape – Bristles are either straight or rounded, and this difference is sometimes very subtle, so make sure to look closely. Rounded bristles are usually recommended for most people as they’re effective at removing plaque and bacteria while also being gentle. Straight bristles, on the other hand, can cause gum or enamel damage, especially if you brush too hard.
- Density – Toothbrush packaging will also list information about how dense the bristles are. You’ll see this referenced as soft, medium, or hard. Most likely, your dentist in Douglasville will recommend that you use a soft-bristled toothbrush as opposed to a medium or hard. Soft bristles are gentle enough to get a thorough clean while not causing damage to your teeth or gums.
Sometimes, bigger is better. But not when it comes to your toothbrush. You don’t want a toothbrush that you can’t comfortably fit in your mouth or one that’s too difficult to manage. Look for a toothbrush that has an appropriately-sized head and handle. The head should be large enough to be able to brush two teeth at once but not too large that you can’t reach your back teeth.
The cost of toothbrushes can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors. The most obvious is whether you’re looking to buy a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes and their replacement heads are often more expensive than manual toothbrushes. However, if you’re someone who finds manual toothbrushes difficult to use, an electric toothbrush may be recommended. Don’t worry though, there are now affordable electric toothbrushes that your dentist can recommend.
The ADA Seal of Approval
No matter if you choose a manual toothbrush or an electric toothbrush, make sure you look for the ADA Seal of Approval. Toothbrushes that have earned the seal have undergone testing to make sure they’re safe, durable, and won’t increase the risk of gum or enamel damage.
So, which toothbrush should you use? The one that you will pick up every morning and night and use for two minutes. However, we also want to make sure that your toothbrush isn’t doing more harm than good, so talk with your dentist in Douglasville about which toothbrush you typically use and see if they have any other suggestions for you based on your specific oral health needs.