Dry mouth is a common, yet often-overlooked, condition that affects millions of people. While dry mouth may seem like no big deal, the truth is it can actually be pretty uncomfortable and could even cause some pretty serious oral health problems. If you’re looking for a cure for dry mouth, your dentist in Douglasville has some suggestions that could alleviate this annoying ailment.
What Is Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth, which is also medically known as xerostomia, is a condition that occurs when there isn’t enough saliva production in the mouth. It can happen to anyone, and while occasional dry mouth may be normal, chronic dryness can lead to a range of uncomfortable symptoms, and affect speech, eating, and even dental health.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Numerous factors can trigger dry mouth, and understanding the root cause is crucial in determining the best, most effective treatments. Your dentist in Douglasville will evaluate you for some of the most common causes of dry mouth including:
Certain medications, such as antihistamines, antidepressants, and diuretics, are notorious for causing dry mouth as a side effect.
Dry mouth can be a symptom of underlying medical conditions like Sjögren’s syndrome, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. By understanding the connection between these conditions and dry mouth, we can explore potential cures tailored to each situation.
External factors like smoking, alcohol consumption, and breathing through the mouth can exacerbate dry mouth symptoms.
The Consequences of Untreated Dry Mouth
The impact of untreated dry mouth goes beyond mere discomfort. For example, dry mouth can have potential consequences on oral health, nutrition, and overall well-being. Understanding these implications underscores the importance of finding viable solutions.
Available Treatments for Dry Mouth
While there might not be a one-size-fits-all cure for dry mouth, various treatments can help alleviate symptoms and improve the quality of life for those affected. Talk to your dentist in Douglasville to determine the best treatment for your dry mouth.
There’s an array of over-the-counter products specifically designed to combat dry mouth, including mouthwashes, sprays, and lozenges.
Embracing and making specific lifestyle changes like quitting smoking or limiting alcohol intake can also play a significant role in managing dry mouth.
For severe cases of dry mouth, prescription medications may offer more substantial relief.
Dry mouth may be an annoying challenge, but there are things you can try to help cure it. By determining the root cause, exploring available treatments, and making lifestyle changes, relief is within reach. If you or someone you know suffers from dry mouth, start by scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville.
While dental treatments are often essential for maintaining oral health or achieving a dazzling smile, it’s important to be aware of the possible side effects associated with them. From teeth whitening to dental fillings and root canals, each procedure can come along with its own side effects. So before undergoing any dental treatment, ease your mind by talking with your dentist in Douglasville about potential side effects, what to expect after a procedure, and the best course of action for you.
Cosmetic Dentistry & Teeth Whitening
Cosmetic dentistry has gained popularity over the years, with people seeking various procedures to enhance their smiles. One of the most sought-after treatments is teeth whitening. A bright, pearly white smile can boost confidence, but what are the potential side effects of this procedure?
- Tooth Sensitivity
Teeth whitening often involves the use of bleaching agents that can penetrate the enamel to remove stains. This process can lead to temporary tooth sensitivity, where individuals experience discomfort or pain when consuming hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages.
- Gum Irritation
In some cases, the bleaching agents used in teeth whitening can irritate the gums, causing redness and mild discomfort. However, choosing a professional whitening treatment in the comfort of your dentist’s office instead of an at-home product can help minimize the risk of gum irritation during the procedure.
Dental fillings are a common treatment for cavities, restoring the structure and function of damaged teeth. Whether you choose traditional silver amalgam fillings or modern tooth-colored fillings, both treatments can have side effects.
Patients may experience temporary tooth sensitivity after getting a filling. This sensitivity usually subsides quickly, but it’s essential to be aware of this possibility.
After your dentist places a filling, they will file it down to match the size, shape, and height of the original area. However, if the filling sits too high, you may experience jaw or tooth discomfort. The solution is easy – just call your dentist in Douglasville for a quick and painless adjustment.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canal treatment is often feared but it’s a necessary procedure to save a severely damaged or infected tooth. While it’s a highly successful treatment, some side effects may occur.
- Post-Treatment Discomfort
After a root canal, patients might experience some discomfort or mild pain, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. This discomfort is temporary and should subside as the tooth heals.
Different dental procedures may be necessary for a variety of different concerns, and we understand that you may feel uneasy about getting treatment. However, taking care of problems early is a crucial part of maintaining oral health. We encourage you to talk with your dentist in Douglasville about the pros and cons, as well as any side effects, of any recommended treatments to ease your mind and make an informed decision.
Engaging in physical activities without the proper protective gear can have serious consequences. When many people think of protective gear, they often think of things like helmets or shin guards. But one area that’s often overlooked, and one that’s important to your dentist in Douglasville, is the use of mouthguards. However, if you don’t wear a mouthguard during activities that pose a risk of dental injuries, it can increase the risk of long-term damage to your teeth, jaw, and overall oral health.
Dental Injuries & Trauma
One of the most common consequences of not wearing a mouthguard is an increased risk of dental injuries. Activities such as contact sports or recreational hobbies can lead to direct impacts on the mouth, causing broken or chipped teeth, tooth loss, and damage to the soft tissues in the oral cavity. These injuries not only require immediate dental attention but can also lead to long-term dental problems and the need for extensive dental treatments.
Jaw Fractures & TMJ Disorders
The absence of a mouthguard puts the jaw at greater risk of fractures and dislocations. With a mouthguard, the force of any strong impact on the jaw during physical activities would be absorbed by the mouthguard. Without that protection, blows to the jaw can result in severe injuries, leading to pain, difficulty in opening and closing the mouth, and TMJ disorders. These conditions can cause chronic discomfort, limited jaw movement, and problems with eating, speaking, and overall quality of life.
Tooth Movement & Root Damage
Without the protection of a mouthguard, teeth are vulnerable to being moved out of their original positions, changing their appearance. Impacts on the mouth can cause teeth to shift, rotate, or even be pushed into the jawbone. Additionally, the force from an impact can damage the tooth roots, leading to root fractures, nerve damage, and potential tooth loss. Restorative dentistry treatment such as root canals, dental implants, or orthodontic procedures from your dentist in Douglasville may be necessary to repair the damage caused by tooth displacement and root injuries.
Increased Risk of Concussions
Even though the primary purpose of mouthguards is to protect the teeth, they can also help reduce the risk of concussions. The cushioning effect of a mouthguard can absorb some of the impact forces, reducing the transmission of those forces to the head and potentially minimizing the risk of brain injuries. Without this protective barrier, the likelihood of sustaining a concussion increases, which can have both serious short-term and long-term consequences.
Choosing not to wear a mouthguard during physical activities can lead to severe consequences for your oral health and overall health. To protect your smile and safeguard your future, wear a properly fitted mouthguard during any activity that poses a risk to your oral health.
Tooth sensitivity is a common dental issue that affects millions of people. It’s characterized by a sharp, sudden pain when eating or drinking hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages. Your dentist in Douglasville understands that tooth sensitivity can be a frustrating and painful experience. That’s why we want to share some information about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for tooth sensitivity.
Causes of Sensitivity
Various different things can cause tooth sensitivity, such as:
- Tooth decay or cavities
- Gum disease
- Enamel erosion
- Grinding or clenching teeth
- Excessive brushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush
- Certain dental procedures, such as teeth whitening or dental restorations
Symptoms of Sensitivity
The primary symptom of tooth sensitivity is sharp, sudden pain when eating or drinking hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages. Some people may also experience pain when brushing or flossing their teeth.
Treatment Options for Tooth Sensitivity
The treatment for tooth sensitivity will depend on the underlying cause. Here are some treatment options that may be recommended by your dentist in Douglasville:
- Desensitizing toothpaste: This type of toothpaste contains compounds that help block the transmission of pain signals from the tooth to the nerve.
- Fluoride treatment: Fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
- Dental restoration: If tooth decay or a damaged filling is the cause of sensitivity, a dental restoration may be recommended.
- Root canal: In severe cases of tooth sensitivity, a root canal may be necessary to remove the damaged or infected tooth pulp.
Preventing Tooth Sensitivity
Prevention is the best way to deal with tooth sensitivity. Here are some tips to help prevent tooth sensitivity:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent gum disease.
- Use fluoride toothpaste: This can help strengthen tooth enamel and reduce sensitivity.
- Limit acidic foods and beverages: Acidic foods and beverages can erode tooth enamel and increase sensitivity.
- Wear a mouthguard: If you grind or clench your teeth, wearing a mouthguard can help protect your teeth from damage.
Tooth sensitivity can greatly impact your daily life. That’s why we encourage anyone experiencing sensitivity to schedule an appointment with a dentist in Douglasville. They can offer personalized treatment options to help you manage your tooth sensitivity and enjoy your favorite foods and drinks without pain.
Don’t let tooth sensitivity impact your daily life. Schedule an appointment with us today.
You’ve heard your dentist in Douglasville say time and time again just how important regular teeth cleanings are to maintaining good oral health. It’s true! Routine dental checkups and cleanings are critical to preventing dental problems, catching any problems early when they’re easier to treat, and maintaining overall health.
Decay & Gum Disease
Firstly, regular teeth cleanings help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, which are two of the most common dental problems. Plaque buildup is the leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease, and unfortunately, it can be difficult to remove through brushing and flossing alone. Professional teeth cleanings with your dentist in Douglasville remove plaque and tartar buildup, significantly reducing the risk of dental problems. By attending regular teeth cleanings, you can prevent cavities, tooth loss, and gum disease, saving you money and time in the long run.
Oral Health is Linked to Overall Health
Additionally, regular teeth cleanings can also prevent other health problems. Recent studies have shown that oral health is connected to overall health, and poor dental hygiene can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. By keeping up with regular teeth cleanings, you are not only taking care of your oral health but also contributing to your overall well-being.
More Than a Cleaning
It’s important to remember that dental cleanings are not just about cleaning your teeth. During your visit, your dentist in Douglasville will also conduct oral cancer screenings, check for signs of other dental problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis, and provide you with personalized advice on how to maintain optimal oral health. By attending regular teeth cleanings, you can catch potential dental problems early and take preventative action, improving your overall health.
Even patients with the most diligent at-home dental care routine need to see their dentist at least every six months because plaque can still build up in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth. Only professional teeth cleanings can thoroughly remove plaque and tartar buildup, helping you avoid costly and painful dental problems.
By attending regular teeth cleanings at our practice, you can enjoy a brighter, healthier smile and peace of mind knowing that you are taking the necessary steps to protect your oral and overall health.
There is any number of reasons why you may not like the way your teeth look. Perhaps your teeth appear too long or short, or maybe they aren’t as white or straight as you’d like. No matter what you dislike about your smile, rest assured knowing that your dentist in Douglasville has numerous cosmetic and restorative dentistry options available to transform any ailment.
If You Want A Whiter Smile
Perhaps one of the most common complaints people have about their smile is how white their teeth are. That’s probably why smile whitening treatment is so popular. There are various types of teeth whitening products to choose from, but not all will necessarily give you the results you want or are even safe for your smile. If you want to get whiter teeth, talk with your dentist in Douglasville about a professional smile whitening treatment. These options are usually done in the dental office under the supervision of a dental professional, and they typically work faster than over-the-counter products.
If You Want A Straighter Smile
Another common desire for patients is to have super-straight teeth. Sometimes straightening teeth begins as a teen, but if retainers aren’t worn as recommended, teeth can shift and once again become crooked or overlapped. Other times an adult is simply ready to get the smile they’ve always wanted. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to straighten teeth, and not all of them involve traditional braces or orthodontics. Your dentist in Douglasville can straighten some teeth with dental veneers, clear aligners, or even dental crowns.
If You Want A More Even Smile
When someone feels that their teeth aren’t the correct size or shape to complement their smile, it can make them feel self-conscious. But again, there are several ways to change the size and shape of your teeth as well as ways to change how much gum tissue shows when you smile. Dental veneers that are custom-made can permanently change the size, shape, or color of an individual tooth or multiple teeth. Cosmetic bonding can also accomplish this. If your smile is too gummy, gum recontouring can change the shape of your gums and change your gum line.
If You Want A Full Smile
Missing a tooth or two isn’t an uncommon occurrence, and you’re not alone. But you may feel incomplete without a complete smile. That’s where your dentist in Douglasville can help. Missing teeth, no matter what the cause or how many are missing, can be replaced through various restorative dentistry treatments. The best way to replace missing teeth is with dental implants as they’re permanent and help stimulate the jaw bone. Other options include either partial or full dentures, dental bridges, or a flipper.
With so many different options available to transform the appearance of teeth, there’s no time like the present to finally get the smile you’ve always wanted. Start by scheduling a consultation with your dentist to review the areas that bother you and develop a treatment plan just for you.
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.
Discolored teeth are incredibly common, and your dentist in Douglasville talks to patients every day who are looking to improve the appearance of their teeth. While a less than dazzling smile can certainly hurt your self-confidence, is there a chance that tooth discoloration could also mean something more serious is going on?
There are numerous things that can contribute to tooth discoloration. Some are outside of our control, but there are also things we can control. And when we limit or remove those things from our lives, it can work wonders in transforming the color of our teeth. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of discoloration.
- Foods & Drinks
Some of our favorite foods and drinks may be delicious to eat but leave stains behind on our teeth. Coffee, tea, red wine, and even pasta sauce can cause teeth to darken over time. To limit the effects, enjoy these staining foods in moderation or rinse your mouth with water after eating them.
- Tooth Decay
One of the main reasons we brush and floss our teeth regularly is to remove bacteria and plaque buildup. If we don’t, they’re left behind and can easily cause damage. Bacteria in the mouth naturally release acid, and this acid can weaken enamel and increase the risk of decay. When the tooth enamel decays, the yellow innards of the teeth become more visible and make teeth appear dark. If the decay progresses it will lead to a cavity that can also be dark in color and require treatment from your dentist in Douglasville.
There are a lot of great things about getting older. Tooth discoloration isn’t one of them. As we age, that protective enamel can become thin and once again show more of the yellowish layers underneath.
Nicotine products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, contain staining agents that, over time, will stick to the teeth and become very difficult (if not impossible) to remove.
- Old Dental Work
Thanks to advancements in technology, many of the old ways of doing dentistry have progressed. This includes things like fillings, crowns, and bridges. A lot of time, dental restorations can be made with white materials instead of metal that can quickly darken a smile. Talk with your dentist in Douglasville about any old dental work and ask about any new work to see if tooth-colored restorations are appropriate for you.
The best way to whiten your teeth depends on the cause, and not all treatments will work for each situation. This is why it’s important to meet with your dentist in Douglasville before beginning any tooth-whitening treatment, including over-the-counter whitening products. Some forms of cosmetic dentistry that can improve the color of teeth, include:
- In-office professional smile whitening
- Dental bonding
You don’t have to live with a dull or discolored smile. Your dentist can help. Call to schedule an appointment today.
Nearly 50% of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. You may also hear your dentist in Douglasville refer to gum disease as gingivitis. So what’s the difference between gum disease and gingivitis, and how can you tell if you have one or the other?
A Glance at Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection that affects the gums, but it can also travel throughout your bloodstream and cause health problems in other areas of the body. In fact, gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. There are actually three stages of gum disease including:
- Advanced Periodontitis
Each stage of gum disease progresses in severity, and the longer gum disease goes undetected and untreated, the more likely it is to lead to other problems.
Early Diagnosis Is Key
When gum disease is caught in its earliest stage, your dentist in Douglasville will probably diagnose it as gingivitis. During this first stage, gingivitis can be treated and any damage that may have occurred can often be reversed. If gingivitis isn’t treated early, it can progress into periodontitis, lead to tooth loss, and create complications in both oral and overall health.
Warning Signs of Gingivitis
Everyone should visit their dentist in Douglasville at least twice a year for checkups and cleanings. These important dental visits can catch any problems, including gingivitis, early. But it’s also crucial to pay attention to any changes in your oral health in between these appointments. Some of the most common signs of gingivitis are:
- Bleeding gums (even when flossing!)
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Swollen, puffy, painful gums
- Receding gums
- Dark red gums
If you notice any of the early warning signs of gingivitis, call to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Who Can Get Gingivitis?
While anyone can get gingivitis, there are some things that can put someone at increased risk, such as:
- Tobacco use
- Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Chronic dry mouth
- Hormonal changes
- Age — older people are more likely to develop gum disease than younger people
Prevent Gingivitis, Protect Your Health
The best way to protect yourself from developing gingivitis in the first place is to take excellent care of your teeth. This means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. You can also reduce your risk of gingivitis by adopting certain lifestyle habits such as drinking plenty of water, avoiding tobacco products, and eating a well-balanced diet that contains limited sugars.
Any form of gum disease can seem scary, but if you catch it early treatment can be very successful. So if it’s been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, call your dentist in Douglasville to schedule a checkup today.
If wearing your mask has caused you to change the way you breathe, you’re not alone. Most of us are still getting used to wearing masks day after day, hour after hour, and many of us may have felt the need to adjust from breathing out of noses to breathing out of our mouths as a result. But can this change in breathing have oral health side effects? Your dentist in Douglasville is here with the answer.
*A Quick Note
We need to first address the importance of continuing to wear a mask when in public or around people. The information included in this blog does not outweigh the overall benefits and protection offered from wearing a mask. We also provide tips on how to overcome the side effects discussed. Please continue wearing a mask whenever you’re around others or in a public space.
Mouth Breathing & Oral Health
We’re all probably familiar with what dry mouth feels like, but let’s have a refresher. Take a few deep breaths using only your mouth. Do you feel that dry, desert-like feeling? Do you feel like you need to take a drink or that you need to keep swallowing? That’s dry mouth and it’s what happens when we mouth breathe. Dry mouth is a result of a lack of saliva, and it’s something that concerns your dentist in Douglasville.
Saliva is a crucial part of a healthy mouth as it helps neutralize acids and wash away harmful bacteria. But without it, or enough of it, these bacteria and acids are left untouched and can cause damage. And that’s not all. The bacteria feed on leftover food particles and release an acidic byproduct, which just means more acid is around to cause more damage.
Acid Leads to Cavities
The problem with too much acid in the mouth is that it can easily wear down tooth enamel and leave teeth exposed to bacteria. As the cycle of bacteria and acid production continues, the more likely it is that a cavity, or several cavities, will form.
Bacteria Leads to Bad Breath
While we now know that bacteria can contribute to the development of cavities, we also need to know that elevated levels of bacteria can also cause bad breath. The truth is, mouth bacteria release sulfur compounds, and it’s these stinky sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.
Ways to Prevent Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can occur from mouth breathing but it can also be caused by certain medications, health conditions, or tobacco use. But there are ways you can prevent or reduce the effects of dry mouth such as:
- Gum or Candy. Chewing sugar-free gum or gum that contains Xylitol can help encourage saliva production and keep the mouth moist. Sucking on sugarless hard candies can also have a similar effect.
- Water. Trusty water should be everyone’s go-to drink of choice for a lot of reasons. It’s good for the body, it’s good for oral health, and it can help keep the mouth hydrated and bacteria and acid-free.
- Brush & Floss. Even though good oral hygiene won’t necessarily stop dry mouth from occurring, it can help reduce the side effects. Brushing twice a day and flossing every day can help remove bad breath causing bacteria and keep the mouth clean and healthy.
While we’re still encouraged to wear masks, try your best to breathe out of your nose instead of your mouth. However, if mouth breathing is more comfortable, make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your mouth hydrated. If you do start to experience dry mouth, call your dentist in Douglasville. There are ways your dentist can further treat dry mouth so you can get relief.