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21

Jun

Comments Off on Do I Really Have to Get My Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?
Oral Health, Prevention, Wisdom Teeth

Do I Really Have to Get My Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?

Do I Really Have to Get My Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?

Extracting wisdom teeth is an incredibly common procedure. In fact, over 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. While there are some occasions when wisdom teeth surgery isn’t necessary, more often than not, it’s recommended to prevent additional problems and pain in the future. Let’s take a look at why so many Americans have their wisdom teeth removed and why our dental office in Douglasville may recommend it for you.

There’s Not Enough Room

Perhaps the most common reason your dentist in Douglasville may recommend having your wisdom teeth taken out is that there simply isn’t enough room for these four teeth to fit. If there’s not enough room in your mouth and the teeth are allowed to erupt anyway, other teeth may shift, and this can cause additional problems. For example, you may need orthodontics to correct any overcrowding or crookedness that may occur. Your bite can also be affected by overcrowding, which can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and neck pain.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Another problem with not having enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt properly is that they can get stuck developing in the bone. This is referred to as having impacted wisdom teeth. Once the teeth are impacted, treatment tends to become more complicated, so it’s best to catch any potential problems with wisdom teeth and remove them early. If your wisdom teeth become impacted, your Douglasville dentist will talk to you about the most appropriate treatment to help.  

Wisdom Teeth Are Hard to Take Care of

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are situated all the way in the back of the mouth. Because of this positioning, it can be difficult to reach them with a toothbrush and floss. When not cleaned thoroughly, bacteria can linger around and increase the risk of cavities and even gum disease.

Seeing the dentist at least every six months is important for everyone, but especially for those who are in the prime years of wisdom teeth development, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. At your visits, your dental team can keep an eye on your wisdom teeth development through regular x-rays and make the appropriate treatment recommendation for you when it’s the right time.

If your regular checkups at our dental office in Douglasville show that your wisdom teeth are putting you at risk for impaction or greater problems later on, we will probably recommend having them removed to keep your mouth in its best, healthiest shape.  

10

Jun

Comments Off on The Importance of Healthy Gums
Gum Disease, Oral Health, Prevention

The Importance of Healthy Gums

The Importance of Healthy Gums

Often we think of a healthy mouth as straight, white teeth. But the truth is, a healthy mouth goes beyond our smiles. Our gums are easily overlooked when it comes to talking about our oral health. However, our gums are crucial to not only our mouths but to our overall health. At our dental office in Douglasville, we strive to educate our patients about the importance of healthy gums, so in this blog, we’re going to talk about just how serious of a role our gums play in our bodies.

Gum Disease

When we don’t take care of our gums, we can develop a serious condition called gum disease. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque. Plaque is loaded with dangerous bacteria that if not removed, can lead to infection of the gums. This infection is gum disease. There are three stages of gum disease — gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

GingivitisThis is the earliest stage of gum disease and can be treated.

PeriodontitisIf gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into periodontitis when the disease starts to affect the bones holding our teeth in place.

Advanced PeriodontitisAs periodontitis gets worse, it can turn into advanced periodontitis. If this happens, the bones supporting our teeth are beginning to break down, and we may experience tooth loss.

Gum Disease & Your Body

The bacteria that cause gum disease can also lead to other serious problems in the body. In fact, many research studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and several health conditions, such as:

Signs of Gum Disease

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth

In the early stages, gum disease may not necessarily show any signs. This is why appointments with your dentist in Douglasville every six months are so important. Your dental team is trained to look for early warning signs of gum disease so they can recommend treatment quickly. Early diagnosis is key to successful treatment.

If it’s been more than six months since your last visit or you notice any signs of gum disease, call our dental office in Douglasville to schedule a visit.

14

May

Comments Off on Pregnancy & Dental Care: Is it Still Safe?
Oral Health, Prevention

Pregnancy & Dental Care: Is it Still Safe?

Pregnancy & Dental Care: Is it Still Safe?

To all of the expectant mothers out there, both current and potential patients, everyone at our Douglasville dental office wants to say, “Congratulations!” Whether you’re a new parent experiencing every special moment for the very first time, or a seasoned parental pro who knows exactly how this all goes, it’s essential not to put off your upcoming cleanings or treatments.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons you need to proceed with dental care when you’re expecting.

1) Your oral health and overall health are related.

Not one but three of some of the country’s most respected dental/medical organizations (the American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics) encourage every mother to see the dentist, especially during the earlier phases and stages of your pregnancy. What’s going on in your mouth (i.e., gum disease or infections, cavities, decay, etc.) can have a direct result on the rest of your body. It’s important to address issues early for improved health for you and your baby.

2) Hormonal changes can lead to changes in your gum health.

Some women notice no changes in their teeth or gums throughout their pregnancy, but some mothers develop inflammation in their gums causing tenderness, swelling, and bleeding. This condition is commonly referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis.” Your Douglasville dentist will tell you it’s important to monitor your gum health and make sure your gingivitis symptoms are taken care of with more frequent cleanings.

3) Changes in diet and sickness can lead to increased tooth decay risk.

There’s no secret that when you become pregnant food can either be your best friend or your enemy, depending on much you’re forced to face morning sickness issues. Increasing the amount of carbohydrates or sugar you regularly consume or excess acid in your mouth from morning sickness can both lead to decay and tooth enamel erosion.

4) Dental treatment and cleanings in all three pregnancy trimesters is safe.

Depending on the nature of your procedure, it’s rare that we have to postpone treatment due to pregnancy concerns. The second trimester is usually the safest, most easiest time to get your dental work done. It’s also safe in the last trimester, but some patients find uncomfortable or difficult to sit back during treatment. It’s certainly your choice on how to proceed with treatment during pregnancy. If your procedure is vital to your medical health (and your baby), you should get the work done. If it’s something you’ve elected to do on your own and can wait, you’re encouraged to do so until you’re 100% ready.

Seeing your dentist is crucial during your pregnancy, and so is maintaining your regular brushing and flossing routine at home. We understand that there are so many things you have to do, so many new emotions to handle, and so many days where you’re just too tired to even think. No matter where you’re at in your pregnancy, you can always call our Douglasville dental office. We’re happy to answer your questions, schedule you for a visit, and alleviate your anxiety.

23

Apr

Comments Off on What is a Tooth Abscess?
Oral Health, Prevention

What is a Tooth Abscess?

What is a Tooth Abscess?

An abscessed tooth isn’t a very fun topic to talk about, but it is necessary. Many people will experience an abscess in their life as well as the pain that often comes with it. At our dental office in Douglasville, we’re here to share some important information about tooth abscess, so you’re able to recognize the signs and get treatment quickly.

What is an Abscess?

A tooth abscess is a painful collection of pus that’s brought on by a deep tooth infection that has spread into the tooth’s root and even the bone. If treatment is not sought early, the infection can lead to serious problems and perhaps require a tooth extraction.

Signs & Symptoms

Tooth pain is a common sign of an abscess. Other signs and symptoms of an abscess include:

  • Face or jaw swelling
  • Sensitivity with increased pressure
  • A bad taste in your mouth that may taste salty
  • Pain in the jaw, neck, or ear

It’s worth noting that, occasionally, an abscess won’t show any symptoms at all. When this happens, your dentist in Douglasville is usually the one to diagnose an abscess at one of your dental checkups through the use of a dental x-ray.

Causes of an Abscessed Tooth

Often untreated decay is the main cause of an abscess. But there are other things can lead to a painful abscess, including an injury to the mouth, certain dental treatments (such as a root canal), crown, or filling, or from clenching or grinding.

Risk Factors

There are several things that can increase your risk of getting an abscess including:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Eating too much sugar
  • Dry mouth
  • Not seeing your dentist in Douglasville every six months

All of these factors increase your risk of decay, and in turn an abscessed tooth.

Prevention

Since many abscesses are caused by untreated decay, the best thing you can do to prevent an abscess is to follow a good oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing every day. It’s also recommended that you visit our dental office in Douglasville at least twice a year for preventative care, professional dental cleanings, and x-rays.

If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental appointment or you’re experiencing any pain or discomfort, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today.

15

Apr

Comments Off on Oral Cancer Awareness
Oral Cancer, Oral Health, Prevention

Oral Cancer Awareness

Oral Cancer Awareness

Every April, the dental community recognizes Oral Cancer Awareness Month to educate our patients and neighbors on this scary, and sometimes deadly, disease. In fact, oral cancer kills one person every hour, every day. More than 50,000 people are diagnosed every year. At our dental office in Douglasville, we want to do our part and help our community recognize the risks and signs of early cancer.

Who is at Risk of Getting Oral Cancer?

Anyone can get oral cancer. But there are several things that can put someone at greater risk. While we can’t change some of these risk factors, there are definitely some we can control. Some factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include:

Tobacco Use: 80% of oral cancer diagnoses are in tobacco users including those who smoke cigarettes, cigars, or use smokeless tobacco.

Drinking Alcohol: Nearly 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers.

Gender: Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women.

Age: Those over the age of 50 are at increased risk of oral cancer.

The Sun: Unprotected sun exposure tends to put people at greater risk of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

Even though oral cancer can be treated successfully, treatment and survival increase greatly when oral cancer is caught early. This is why it’s incredibly important to know the signs of oral cancer. Some common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • A sore that doesn’t go away
  • Irregular areas such as lumps, rough spots, or erosion
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain or numbness
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, or swallowing

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your dentist in Douglasville and schedule a checkup.

Regular dental appointments don’t just help protect your teeth from cavities. They’re also crucial to monitor your overall oral health. During your dental cleanings and exams, your dental team will be on the lookout for any concerning areas or warning signs that there may be a problem so that treatment can begin sooner rather than later. Early diagnosis of oral cancer may save your life.

Don’t put off your dental appointments. Call our Douglasville dental office to schedule an appointment today.

29

Mar

Comments Off on I’m Missing a Tooth. What Should I Do?
General Dentistry, Oral Health, Restorative Dentistry

I’m Missing a Tooth. What Should I Do?

I’m Missing a Tooth. What Should I Do?

Sometimes no matter how much we take care of our teeth, they get damaged and injured or become susceptible to decay and deterioration. This means a tooth can come loose and eventually fall out… if it didn’t get knocked out due to a trauma like a car or sports accident.

If you’re missing a tooth, then you should call your Douglasville dentist as soon as possible so we can do a comprehensive exam and talk about how we can fix your smile and make it whole again. We understand what it’s like when you’re missing a tooth. Do you hide your smile? Do your teeth make you feel more self-conscious? Do you have to avoid certain foods or chew on one side of your mouth due to the pain or discomfort?

Let’s take a look at some of the dental solutions that are available to you to fix your missing tooth (or teeth) so that we can restore your smile’s function and beautiful look.

Common Tooth Replacement Options

It’s important to call your dentist in Douglasville as soon as you lose a tooth or if you have one that is loose and in danger of falling out. Depending on your individual needs, there are numerous treatment options delivered with some of dentistry’s most state-of-the-art dental technology.

  1. Single Dental Implant

A dental implant is a life-changing restoration that actually acts like your missing tooth’s natural roots to help keep your jaw bone stimulated and healthy. To top it off, you’ll get a custom, tooth-colored crown that will create a natural look. Dental implants restore your smile to its former function so you can eat foods you may have been avoiding. They can last a long, long time or even for a lifetime.

  1. Bridge

Just like the name implies, a dental bridge can bridge the gap that’s created when you end up missing a tooth or even multiple teeth. Dental bridges are usually made up of two or more dental crowns. The entire restoration is then anchored to neighboring healthy teeth. The result is a custom solution that can give a full smile again.

  1. Dentures

When you’re missing multiple teeth, dentures may be the right solution for you. Thanks to advancements in dental technology, dentures of today look and feel natural and can give you back a confident, healthy smile. Dentures can be used to replace both upper and lower missing teeth.

If you’re missing a tooth or teeth, don’t hesitate to call our dental office in Douglasville. There are plenty of options available to help bring life back to you and your smile. Your renewed confidence and a healthy smile starts with a phone call and a visit to our office. We’re ready when you are!

19

Mar

Comments Off on Why It’s Important Not to Ignore Your Snoring
General Dentistry, Oral Health, Prevention

Why It’s Important Not to Ignore Your Snoring

Why It’s Important Not to Ignore Your Snoring

Think back to the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on your daily demands. It’s so nice to have the energy and mindful clarity to help you be productive and make the most of your day. Has it been a while since you felt like this? Does your bed partner complain because your snoring keeps them up at night?

Your Douglasville dentist will tell you that if snoring is disrupting your life (and your family’s sleep), it might be time to consider learning more about something called sleep apnea. It could be the annoying (and dangerous) condition that’s keeping you and the ones you love from enjoying a peaceful, rejuvenating night’s sleep. Let’s take learn more about sleep apnea, its symptoms, and side effects.

What is Sleep Apnea?

If you think snoring while sleeping isn’t that common, think again! The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates nearly 90 million Americans are snoring away while trying to achieve a healthy night’s sleep. Sometimes snoring is just that, and people who have this condition are called “simple snorer’s” or primary snorers. This generally true for about half of the 90 million people sawing logs at night.

But for the other half, there’s a good chance they’re struggling with a more serious sleep disorder known as sleep apnea without even knowing it. Sleep apnea is dangerous because you can wake up as many as 100 times during the night, stop breathing, snore loudly, and struggle to regain a normal breathing pattern – and you don’t even know it!

Are There Different Kinds of Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is usually classified in two distinctively different ways:

1) Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – This is, by far, the most common form of sleep apnea being diagnosed across the country today. If you or someone in your household is diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s usually caused by a blocked airflow during sleep due to your soft tissue collapsing in the back of your throat. At our dental office in Douglasville, we’ll always tell you to seek help if you or someone in your family continues to have issues with snoring.

2) Central Sleep Apnea – This type of sleep apnea is more difficult to diagnose because it involves a specific problem with how your brain signals your breathing muscles to respond. Unlike OSA, your airway isn’t blocked. In this case your brain fails to signal your muscles to breathe. Brain tumors, brain infections, and strokes are often to blame.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Even though snoring can be a big indicator of sleep apnea, it also wreaks havoc on your oral health due to dry mouth because everyone needs saliva in their mouth to help:

  • Rinse and cleanse your teeth to help reduce plaque build-up
  • Wash away food particles leftover from brushing and flossing
  • Remove dead cells that can lead to sore, infections, and bad breath
  • Neutralize acids that cause plaque and erode your tooth enamel

Our Douglasville dental office will always go out of our way to keep you and your smile healthy. If you think snoring is affecting your teeth, don’t hesitate to talk to us. We’re always happy to help and answer any questions you may have.

11

Feb

Comments Off on How Does Oral Health Affect Heart Health?
Gum Disease, Oral Health, Prevention

How Does Oral Health Affect Heart Health?

How Does Oral Health Affect Heart Health?

February marks the beginning of a month-long dedication to heart health. It’s officially known as American Heart Month, and its purpose is to raise awareness of the risks associated with heart disease. Many people know that things like smoking and a poor diet can cause troubles with the heart, but at our dental office in Douglasville, we also know that your oral health can affect your heart health.

The Mouth is the Window to Whole-Body Health

You may have heard the expression that the eyes are the window to the soul, and while that may be true, another part of your body can tell you a lot about your overall wellbeing. The truth is, your mouth can give your dentist in Douglasville insight to other problems that may be going on in the rest of your body. More specifically, researchers have found a connection between gum disease and an increased risk for heart disease.

More About Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious dental problem that requires early treatment to resolve. Without proper intervention, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other health concerns throughout the body. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has concluded that people who have gum disease are at increased risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. This happens because the bacteria that cause gum disease have a pretty easy path into the bloodstream and can raise the levels of something called C-reactive protein (CRP). High levels of CRP can cause some scary problems such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Stroke
  • Inflamed arteries
  • Heart attack

Signs of Gum Disease

Some of the most common signs of gum disease are easy to explain away and some may think they’re actually normal. However, any of the following signs could mean that you may have gum disease.

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Consistently bad breath
  • Chronic bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth

If you notice any of the signs of gum disease, it’s important to see your Douglasville dentist as soon as possible.

The team at our Douglasville dental office wants to encourage all of our patients and neighbors to practice a good oral hygiene routine at home as well as get professional teeth cleanings and dental checkups at least twice a year. These appointments can help catch and treat gum disease before it has a chance to cause bigger, more serious complications.  

Don’t leave your heart at risk, call to schedule an appointment today.

29

Jan

Comments Off on Can Dental Problems Be Linked to Vitamin Deficiencies?
General Dentistry, Oral Health, Prevention

Can Dental Problems Be Linked to Vitamin Deficiencies?

Can Dental Problems Be Linked to Vitamin Deficiencies?

We are well into winter, and that typically means we spend less time soaking up the sun, and in turn, our bodies get less vitamin D. While there’s a well-known link between overall health and even happiness and vitamin D, it may surprise you learn that there’s also a strong correlation between a lack of vitamin D and oral health problems. Our dental office in Douglasville wants to help our patients not only understand why vitamin D is so important for oral health but also learn other ways (besides sunshine) to get it.

Why is Vitamin D Important?

Getting a healthy dose of vitamin D daily not only helps boost our immune systems, but it can also help keep us healthier. Vitamin D keeps blood pressure low, aids the pancreas in producing insulin, and lowers the risk for infections including, but not limited to, gum disease. However, when we aren’t getting enough vitamin D, our bodies and teeth are at risk.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to osteoporosis, increased risk for type 1 diabetes, and even breast, colon, or prostate cancer. But the dangers don’t end there. Numerous studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency also increases the risk of dental decay. This is because vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphate — both of which are crucial for building and keeping strong tooth enamel. Without an adequate intake of vitamin D, our teeth are at risk for weakening and developing cavities.

Where to Get Vitamin D

The sun is a great way to fuel our bodies with vitamin D. But during winter months it becomes difficult to spend time outside enjoying the sun’s rays. To compensate, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D from somewhere else. Some great ways to keep up with your vitamin D intake is by:

  • Eating Eggs and Fatty Fish
  • Drinking Milk
  • Taking Supplements

Don’t Forget the Calcium

Perhaps vitamin D’s most important job is helping us absorb calcium. The truth is, without vitamin D our bodies don’t absorb nearly enough calcium to protect our bones (and our teeth!) from deterioration. Make sure to pair foods high in vitamin D with those containing a lot of calcium such as:

  • Dairy products
  • Leafy green veggies
  • Nuts

Providing your body with the right amount of vitamin D is important not only for your body but also for your oral health. Make sure your diet is packed with enough vitamin D and calcium to protect your smile. As always, our dental office in Douglasville is here to help get and keep your smile healthy for life.

11

Jan

Comments Off on Stress & Oral Health
Gum Disease, Oral Health, TMJ Treatment

Stress & Oral Health

Stress & Oral Health

Even though the craziness of the holidays is behind us, it doesn’t necessarily mean our stress levels have decreased. Everyday life can certainly cause anxiety and contribute to more stress. As many people know, stress can impact our health and overall well-being, but did you know stress can also contribute to oral health problems? Today, the team at our Douglasville dental office will cover some ways your oral health may be affected by stress.

Increased Jaw Pain

When we’re overly stressed, our bodies respond in different ways. Sometimes we aren’t even aware of how our bodies are reacting. One common side effect of high stress that can go unnoticed is tooth clenching and grinding. When we continuously grind or clench, we place unnatural, increased force on our teeth and our jaw joints. Not only can this cause teeth to break or chip, but it can also increase jaw pain. If left untreated and clenching and grinding continues, you could develop TMD (also known as TMJ).

Gum Disease

Gum disease is often caused by poor dental hygiene, but there are other factors that can put you more at risk for developing it. Stress just so happens to be one of those things. Studies show a positive link between prolonged exposure to high levels of stress and a greater risk for gum disease. If not treated promptly by your dentist in Douglasville, gum disease can contribute to concerns throughout the body such as heart disease and tooth loss.

Canker Sores

These annoying and often painful sores can seem to pop up out of nowhere, and the truth is nobody truly knows what causes them. However, research has concluded that canker sores seem to have some sort of correlation with both certain foods and also high stress. Unlike cold sores, canker sores aren’t contagious, just annoying, and should go away on their own.

Relax & Protect

The best way to protect your oral health against the damaging effects of stress is to find ways to relax and lower stress levels. Some healthy relaxation methods include:

  • Eating. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to function properly can help fight off stress. Balance your diet with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Sleeping. Many Americans don’t get enough sleep regularly, and when we’re tired our bodies aren’t able to adapt and overcome stressful situations as easily. Try to get the recommended 7-9 hours of shut-eye every night.
  • Moving. Exercising helps our bodies release more endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, and testosterone, all of which help make us feel happy and good and lower stress. Go for a walk, hop on a treadmill, or take a yoga class.

As you embark on a new year, make a commitment to yourself to keep stress low. Your body and your mouth will thank you.