Posts for: March, 2017
The Health Policy Institute, part of the American Dental Association, recently conducted a survey of around 15,000 people across the U.S., asking them about problems with their teeth and gums. Three issues in particular stood out, each affecting about one-third of those surveyed.
Here are those top 3 dental problems that plague Americans and what to do about them.
Tooth Pain. As with other parts of the body, tooth or mouth pain is a sign of something wrong — in some instances ignoring it could lead to tooth loss. Because there are a number of possible pain sources like tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, anyone with tooth pain should see a dentist for an examination to pinpoint the actual cause. That will determine what kind of treatment will remedy the problem and stop the pain.
Difficulty with Chewing. For 31% in the ADA survey, chewing food was a difficult and often painful task. The consequences go well beyond the mouth: with less chewing efficiency a person may be unable to eat certain foods that supply his or her body with essential nutrients. Like tooth pain, there are a number of possible causes: cracked or deeply decayed teeth, enamel erosion or recessed gums that have exposed sensitive tooth layers, or poorly fitted dentures. Finding and then treating the cause of the difficulty could help restore chewing ability.
Dry Mouth. The most prevalent dental issue in the survey was chronic dry mouth. It's more than simply being thirsty: chronic dry mouth usually stems from inadequate saliva flow. It's often caused by some systemic diseases or as a side effect to a prescription drug. Saliva helps neutralize decay-causing acid and supplies antibodies to fight infection. Without sufficient flow a person is more susceptible to diseases like tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Changing medications or using products to increase saliva could help prevent these dental problems.
So, have you experienced symptoms for any these common oral health problems? If you have, be sure you see your dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
A woman as gorgeous and funny as Sofia Vergara surely planned to be a model and actress from the get-go, right? Wrong! Sofia’s first career choice actually was to be… a dentist! That’s right, the sexy star of TV’s Modern Family actually was only two semesters shy of finishing a dental degree in her native Columbia when she traded dental school for the small screen. Still, dental health remains a top priority for the actress and her son, Manolo.
“I’m obsessed,” she recently told People magazine. “My son thinks I’m crazy because I make him do a cleaning every three months. I try to bribe the dentist to make him to do it sooner!”
That’s what we call a healthy obsession (teeth-cleaning, not bribery). And while coming in for a professional cleaning every three months may not be necessary for everyone, some people — especially those who are particularly susceptible to gum disease — may benefit from professional cleanings on a three-month schedule. In fact, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to having professional teeth cleanings — but everyone needs this beneficial procedure on a regular basis.
Even if you are meticulous about your daily oral hygiene routine at home, there are plenty of reasons for regular checkups. They include:
- Dental exam. Oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease are much easier — and less expensive — to treat in the earliest stages. You may not have symptoms of either disease early on, but we can spot the warning signs and take appropriate preventive or restorative measures.
- Oral cancer screening. Oral cancer is not just a concern of the middle aged and elderly — young adults can be affected as well (even those who do not smoke). The survival rate for this deadly disease goes up tremendously if it is detected quickly, and an oral cancer screening is part of every routine dental visit.
- Professional teeth cleaning. Calcified (hardened) dental plaque (tartar or calculus) can build up near the gum line over time — even if you brush and floss every day. These deposits can irritate your gums and create favorable conditions for tooth decay. You can’t remove tartar by flossing or brushing, but we can clear it away — and leave you with a bright, fresh-feeling smile!
So take a tip from Sofia Vergara, and don’t skimp on professional cleanings and checkups. If you want to know how often you should come in for routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor articles “Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Dental Cleanings Using Ultrasonic Scalers.”
How braces from Williamsburg can help your smile
Everyone wants a straight, beautiful smile but did you know straightening your teeth can also make your teeth and gums healthier? That’s because straight teeth are much easier to clean. It’s much easier to remove plaque and food debris from teeth that aren’t rotated or out of position. Your dentists at Williamsburg Family Dentistry in Williamsburg, VA, want to share why a straighter smile is a healthier smile.
If your teeth are rotated or out of position, plaque can hide in difficult access areas between your teeth. If you try to floss, you may break the floss between your teeth, leaving threads in between your teeth. You may just give up flossing entirely because your teeth are too tight.
Plaque contains millions of microscopic bacteria that can colonize in between your crowded teeth, producing toxins that can destroy tooth enamel, your gums and supporting bone. Badly aligned or badly positioned teeth can lead to dental decay, gum disease and periodontal disease. These conditions can lead to tooth loss.
If your teeth have spaces or gaps between them, you can also accumulate plaque between your teeth. That’s because the friction of chewing helps to natural clean your teeth. Teeth that are widely spaced apart don’t experience the friction necessary to clean in between these teeth, so you don’t get the natural self-cleansing of straighter teeth that are close together.
A poorly aligned bite can also cause tooth and jaw trauma resulting in TMJ pain and tooth wear. Chronic stress on teeth can lead to root canal treatment. If your teeth are worn down enough, you may eventually need dental crowns to protect them from breaking.
You can protect yourself from future problems by straightening your smile. Modern orthodontic treatment is easy, quick and discreet. At Williamsburg Family Dentistry you can choose from a wide range of orthodontic treatments including ceramic braces with tooth-colored wires, conventional metal braces, lingual braces or clear aligners.
For more information about orthodontic treatments available in Williamsburg, please visit the orthodontics section of the services page on the website at http://www.williamsburgfamilydentistry.com/library/7794/Orthodontics.html
A straighter smile is much healthier and more beautiful. Thanks to modern orthodontic treatments you can have a straighter smile more quickly, comfortably and easily than ever before. Find out more about which orthodontic treatments might be the best choice for you by calling your dentists at Williamsburg Family Dentistry in Williamsburg, VA. Call today!