Wadesboro Dentist Explains Seriousness of Gum Disease

Gum disease doesn’t seem very serious. After all, tooth decay is the major need for dental repair, isn’t it?

Gum disease begins very subtly, and, unlike decay, doesn’t cause much discomfort at first. This is why gum disease can become very serious without a person being aware of the condition.
A general dentist discovers gum disease through a routine cleaning treatment, but dental cleaning treatments may seem rather unnecessary if a person’s teeth appear to be in good condition. This is where the fallacy lies. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss.

Gingivitis
In the early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, plaque builds up and hardens on the necks of teeth. Plaque build-up is a feature of most Western dietary customs. Refined foods are a large part of Western eating habits, and refined food intake quickly attaches to the necks of teeth unless mechanically removed. Other factors that may contribute to gingivitis are pregnancy, substance abuse, certain medications or immune deficiencies.

Plaque on the necks of teeth and its toxins promote a chronic, inflammatory response in which the gums swell and become red. They gradually separate from the teeth, creating pockets, eventually destroying tooth enamel and bone.

Periodontitis
Without an examination by a general dentist, the condition of gingivitis is often overlooked, until periodontitis occurs. Chronic periodontitis happens when the inflammation and detachment of gum tissue undermines the tissues and bone supporting a tooth. As this support gives way, the tooth becomes loose and falls out. Often, this loosening is very painful, because serious infection from the toxins emitted by harmful bacteria is now pocketing within the gum tissue and underlying bone. Death of the tissues and systemic inflammation is almost certain at this point. Arterial inflammation is a common side-effect of periodontal disease, resulting in reduced blood flow, heart attack or stroke.

How to prevent gum disease
Gum disease prevention begins right at home. Flossing between the teeth is the most effective way to prevent gum disease. Flossing is not simply drawing a string between two teeth. The flossing must be performed so that the floss is drawn up along the necks of the teeth, cleaning them of plaque from bottom to top. Then the teeth need to be carefully brushed, with an eye towards thoroughly eliminating plaque and debris from each tooth. Rinsing the mouth with peroxide is often recommended.

A professional cleaning is advised for every six months, especially if bleeding of the gums has occurred. Click here to request your appointment now to see our Wadesboro, NC dentist.

Gum disease is a major contributor to adult tooth loss. Regular brushing and flossing, combined with professional cleaning, is an effective way to prevent gum disease.

Kick Bad Breathe to the Curb with These 5 Easy Solutions

Do you have a stinky breathe? 

The mouth is the area in the body that gathers the most refuse. It is, after all, the part that we use for ingesting food, and as a result germs can accumulate here if proper care is not taken. When that happens, the mouth can give off a bad odor. Human beings are, after all, “hard wired” to respond adversely to the smell of an unhealthy body part so that they can remedy the situation. Here are five dental hygiene tips to keep the mouth healthy and smelling pleasant. Our Wadesboro general dentist will also discuss oral hygiene, cosmetic dentistry, and other solutions to rid your mouth of bad breath.

Tip #1: Brush and floss your teeth regularly.

The importance of brushing at least twice a day is, of course, one of the first things that a child learns. The brush should be replaced at least every two months; one that is too old will be too hard on the teeth.

In many ways, flossing is more important than brushing in maintaining a healthy mouth. Food particles can get trapped between the teeth, where a toothbrush cannot get. It is the buildup of tartar from such particles that causes gingivitis. Trench mouth, a painful gum infection in which the mouth has an extremely bad odor, may also result.

Tip #2: Brush your tongue.

Many people do not realize this, but brushing the tongue is an essential part of brushing your teeth. Germs that can cause halitosis and tooth decay are ever-present here, and this stuff can stink very badly. The American Dental Association recommends using a tongue scraper rather than a toothbrush for the purpose.

Tip #3: Do not smoke or chew tobacco.

Tobacco is one of the worst things for your gums.

Tip #4: Chew sugar-free gum.

This is a good thing to do if you are in a situation where you cannot brush or floss. As it presses against the teeth, it absorbs some of the buildup of food residue.

Tip #5: Visit your dentist regularly.

The last of our dental hygiene tips is naturally the regular dental checkup. You should have two of these annually.

A general dentist can help spruce up your mouth so that it both looks and smells attractive to others. Our Wadesboro cosmetic dentist can do porcelain veneers and teeth whitening in addition to general dental work.

Our Wadesboro Dentists Teach You How to Brush Your Teeth the Proper Way

Our Wadesboro dentists are eager to show you the proper tooth brushing tips in order to prevent gum disease. Most people report some confusion when it comes to tooth brushing tips. Some dentists will recommend one way, while other dentists say something else. There doesn’t seem to be one uniform recommendation for oral health. But as long as you following the tips of our Wadesboro dentists, you will experience a healthier oral hygiene routine in no time.

Split Mouth into Four Groups

Draw an imaginary line down the middle of your two front teeth on the top and bottom of your mouth. You should now have four distinct sections of your mouth: the top left, the bottom left, the top right, and the bottom right. Brush each section thoroughly for 30 seconds. This is how you can be sure that you’re spending enough time with your brushing habits. Many people just don’t brush long enough.

Use Gentle, but Firm Strokes

Don’t grip your toothbrush with a tight fist. Use the same grip you would use for a pencil. All you need is short, gentle strokes to get rid of plaque and prevent gum disease. Applying too much pressure to the brush will irritate your teeth and gums. As long as you brush for two full minutes twice per day, you shouldn’t have to apply a lot of pressure when you brush.

45 Degree Angle

You want to hold the brush at a 45 degree angle when you use it. This is the most effective angle to remove plaque and keep it from building up in your mouth. Use short, horizontal strokes in a circular motion. This can be difficult on the sides and in the back of your mouth. But you should be able to fit the brush into those areas of your mouth enough to get the job done.

Twice Per Day

It can’t be stated enough that you must brush twice per day. It’s easy to get into the routine once you make an effort. You won’t even need to make an effort after a while since it will be automatic. You could set reminders on your phone each morning to tell you to brush your teeth. You need to brush twice per day so that the plaque doesn’t build up too much. Your breath will taste and smell better with regular brushing, and your oral health will improve.

Our Dentist in Wadesboro Shares FAQs Regarding Dental Sealants

What are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin coatings that are made out of plastic. They are placed over the teeth in order to prevent them from decaying. They help keep the food particles and germs out of the grooves of the teeth. Sealants are considered preventative dentistry.

Are Sealants 100 Percent Effective?

Some studies have shown that sealants can be 100 percent effective. The tooth will be protected as long as the sealant remains in place.

Can you see Sealants?

Sealants are clear and white. That is why they can only be seen up close.

How Long do the Sealants Last?

The sealants can potentially last for several years. In some cases, sealants can last over 10 years.

Are Sealants Expensive?

Sealants are affordable. Because they can prevent tooth decay, they can also help you save money on dental care. Your general dentist will discuss the cost of sealants.

Will my Teeth Look Different?

One may feel the sealants on their teeth. However, because the sealants are thin, they do not cause discomfort.

Who Needs Sealants?

The best candidates for sealants are children because their permanent teeth have just come in. However, older patients may also benefit from getting sealants. If your general dentist believes that you are at a higher risk for getting tooth decay, then you may need to get sealants.

Will I Still Need Fluoride Treatments?

Fluoride treatments are still needed. It helps strengthen your enamel and provides additional protection from tooth decay.

Why do I Need Sealants?

Decay can cause permanent damage to your teeth. Sealants help you save time and money by protecting your teeth. It is also important to remember that a filling is not an easy fix for a cavity. A tooth gets weaker every time that it is drilled.

If you are interested in getting sealants, then you will need to contact our dentist office.

Our Wadesboro NC Dentist Explains the Importance of Annual Dental Checkups

Top Rated Wadesboro NC Dentist

Getting an annual dental checkup is as important as finding a top rated dentist in Wadesboro NC. Herein lies the biggest misconception. Just because a person is looking for a top rated dentist in Wadesboro NC, doesn’t mean that dentist will provide the best care. Finding the right dentist and dental care is not just about finding the best Wadesboro NC family dentist. Finding the best dental care consists of knowing a few things first.

What Makes Our Wadesboro Family Dentist Stand Out?

1) A good family dentist will offer annual dental exams. Having annual dental exams are important. It’s not enough to brush and floss twice day. That part is important, but not all important. The rest lies in the care that the family dentist provides. Dental exams can give all parties involved an overview of what is going on.

2) Another reason for having checkups is a person avoids having future problems with their teeth.. When a person goes in to have a checkup, the dentist can see if there are any issues. If there are, he or she will know how to tackle them the best.

3)If a person waits too long, it could prove detrimental to their mouth and pocket book. This is especially true with the really big treatments.

4) It shows the person knows how to take care of themselves. Those who take proper care of their teeth and gums, will always look attractive and appealing to others. The person will also feel more confident about who they are inside. A persons’ smile can tell a lot about who they are. By skipping this step, a person winds up not feeling to good about themselves.

5) Having regular checkups reduce the chance of gum disease. It’s not just about making sure the teeth are pretty and attractive. One must also look at their gum tissue. Are the gums starting to bleed a little bit? This could be a sign that the person is not taking proper care of their mouth. That is why having annual checkups are so important.

4 Things to Consider When Choosing a Dentist in Wadesboro NC

Are you new in town or looking for a different dental experience?  There are many dentists to choose from in the Wadesboro area and so sometimes it can be overwhelming as you try to find a good fit for you and your family. It is important to choose a dentist who you feel you can trust. Look for a dentist who…

 1)  Is an Active Listener

You should feel like your dentist gives you a customized dental experience. Not a one size fits all appointment.  This can only be done if the dentist takes time to not only look in your mouth, but to listen to you.  The dentist might be an expert on what is going on in your mouth, but you are the expert on why.  What’s is going on in your life and how is that effecting your overall and dental health?  Are you a mom who is busy doing a fabulous job taking care of your children but tend to put yourself on the back burner?  Are you a bride preparing for your wedding and want the best smile of your life?  Did you just get your first job, have dental insurance for the first time since before college and want to get back on track? How do you feel about your smile?  If there is something you could change about your smile, what would it be?

Your dentist should be interested in you.  Not just your mouth.

2) Respects Your Time and Your Resources

A dentist should not keep you in the waiting room too long and should be punctual for appointments.  Scheduling coordinators should give you options for appointments that are convenient for you. If taking off work is difficult, find a dental office that offers appointments on Saturdays or late weekday hours.

 A dentist should also offer different billing options so that your financial resources can be optimized.  For example, hopefully they file your insurance, have financing options, and/or offer a cash discount if you are a cash paying patient.

3)  Educates You about all aspects of your appointment

The entire dental team should be good educators.

The dentist will educate you on all matters related to your oral health and how it effects your overall health and well being. This includes performing oral cancer screenings as a part of a head and neck exam.

The dental hygienist should educate you on what you can do daily to keep your teeth healthy and maintain your smile.

Insurance can get confusing.  What you will pay, what insurance will pay? Do you pay up front?  Or only the difference? The financial coordinator’s job is to help you understand all aspects of your financial arrangement.

4)  Stays Current with Technology and Continuing Education

You wouldn’t use a phone from 15 years ago.  So why go to a dentist who does not stay up to date with current technology?  Advancements in technology in the dental field offer many of the same benefits as those outside the field.  More comfort, less time, better results. For example, same day CEREC crowns mean less wait time for patients. They also mean no annoying temporary crown while you wait for the permanent one to come back from the lab.

Continuing education allows dentists to stay current with technology and procedures.  It gives them an opportunity to brush up on procedures they are already comfortable with and expand their scope of practice.

Not sure what your dentist does to stay up to date?  Just ask!  If your dentist is already doing this, he/she would most likely love the opportunity to share this information with you!

Overall, just remember to trust your gut.  Taking some time to find a dental practice that meets your specific needs is worth the effort. Perhaps that means calling to ask for an office tour and to meet the dentist and staff before scheduling your first appointment.  Once you find the right fit, you will be glad you did!

Tips for a Healthy Back to School Smile from a Family Dentist in Wadesboro

Along with school supply shopping, it is also time to start thinking about what to pack in your child’s lunch.  Among the seemingly endless options there are prepackaged lunches and individual serving sizes of chips and cookies. These foods are usually high in sugar, sodium, and fat and, while easy to grab at the last minute before you miss the bus, do not make the best choices for school lunches.  Sticky foods, such as fruit roll ups and fruit snacks, get stuck in the grooves of your child’s teeth and will likely stay there until they brush later that evening…giving bacteria an abundant supply of sugar.

The good news is that there are other choices that are convenient and far healthier for your child’s teeth and body.

Here are a few ideas the are both convenient and healthy (and please feel free to share your ideas in the comment section below…we believe in the “it takes a village” philosophy).

Cheese- Cheese is actually one of the best foods for your teeth because it neutralizes acids caused by bacteria and contains calcium, which can help the teeth remineralize. Cheese sticks are convenient because they offer single portion servings.

Hard boiled eggs-another healthy and convenient option that provides protein which is helpful for tissue development.

Nuts-especially raw nuts, the rough texture can help clean acid off the teeth and the provide protein.

Vegetable cups- vegetables are much lower in sugar than fruits and also tend to provide more fiber.  Carrots and cucumbers are popular, but try sugar snap peas or sweet bell peppers to keep kids from getting bored as this often makes them crave quick and often unhealthy alternatives.

Water-Opt out of sending juice boxes and sport drinks to school and just send water, which neutralizes the acids in the mouth and cleanses your teeth.

Another important part of helping keep your child’s smile healthy is by keeping them up to date with their dental exams, cleanings, and fluoride treatments. In 2015, the CDC reported that almost 20% of school age children have untreated dental decay.  Taking your child to visit their Wadesboro Dentist helps keep their teeth healthy and helps them have positive dental experiences from a young age.

If your child is old enough to play sports requiring mouthguards, ask your Wadesboro Dentist if they can provide you with a custom mouthguard.  It is important for your child to protect their teeth by wearing a mouthguard. One thing we know is that a better fitting mouthguard is one your child is more likely to actually wear.

Good luck to all our beautiful kids on their first day back at school, whether its the first day of kindergarten or their senior year of high school.  They grow up so fast, so remember to cherish every moment and every (healthy) smile!

What’s the Difference Between Plaque and Tartar? Ask a Dentist in Wadesboro

WE OFTEN GET THIS QUESTION from our patients, “What’s the difference between plaque and tartar?” Many patients think they are the same thing. However, there is an important difference between the two.  Understanding how they are different can help explain why a daily oral hygiene routine is so crucial, as well as twice-yearly visits to your dentist.

What Is Plaque?

Dental plaque is the soft, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and under your gums. It starts forming soon after you finish brushing. In other words, plaque is constantly accumulating on your teeth. And guess what? It contains millions of bacteria! When you eat—especially carbohydrates or sugar—you’re not the only one getting a meal…so are the bacteria on your teeth. After these bacteria dine on sugar, they produce acids that erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities.

That’s why good daily oral hygiene is essential to preventing tooth decay and protecting your smile from the bacteria in plaque. To prevent plaque buildup, remember to brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. Drinking water and chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can also help!

What Is Tartar?

So if that’s plaque, what’s tartar? Tartar is what accumulates on your teeth when plaque is not removed. If plaque is left on your teeth for too long, it will harden into tartar and is much more difficult to remove. In fact, tartar can only be removed by a dental professional–you can’t get rid of it with regular brushing and flossing. Tartar removal is one of the reasons that visiting your dentist every six months is so important!

Plaque buildup that hardens into tartar can cause more than just cavities. It can cause tooth discoloration and sensitivity as well as gum recession and periodontal disease. To reduce plaque buildup and tartar from forming, make sure you are brushing and flossing daily.

Come And See Us Every Six Months

No matter how great your oral hygiene is, plaque and tartar formation are inevitable. So come in to see us every six months! Our job is to help you maintain a beautiful, healthy smile that’s plaque- and tarter-free!

Wadesboro Oral Surgeon Explains Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Cracked Teeth

Have you ever had dental pain or discomfort when biting into food or after eating/drinking something that is hot or cold?  This pain or discomfort might not be constant like it is with a cavity, but intermittent.  If so, it is possible you may have a cracked tooth.

There are several reasons that patients develop cracked teeth.  Some situations that can result in fractured teeth are:

  • teeth with large fillings

  • teeth with root canals

  • clenching or grinding teeth

  • chewing ice or other hard foods

  • trauma to the tooth from an accident

  • too much pressure on one tooth as a result of the patient’s occlusion (the way the teeth come together in the mouth)

If the crack in the tooth does not extend further than the enamel, your dentist may not recommend any treatment.   These cracks, known as craze lines, are common in adult teeth.  Think of a teacup with a crack in it but that is still able to hold water without it leaking.

However, if the fracture extends beyond the enamel, it is very important to have the tooth treated. In this situation we have a leaky teacup! It can be difficult for patients to distinguish between the different types of cracks, so it is important to visit your Wadesboro dentist so the fracture can be properly evaluated.  Try to pay attention to exactly where the pain is coming from so that you can tell your dentist.

Molar are more vulnerable to cracks because they absorb most of the impact when chewing food.  Front teeth are more commonly fractured due to trauma.

Your Wadesboro dentist will determine a treatment plan based on the severity of the fracture. Treatment typically includes placing a dental crown on the cracked tooth.  If the fracture effects the pulp chamber a root canal may also be necessary.  If the tooth is split beyond repair, an extraction is likely necessary.  In this situation tooth replacement is possible with implants or bridges.

Postponing treatment can lead to more serious complications such as an infection or a deeper fracture.  That is why it is important not to ignore warning signs or dental pain and sensitivity.  By seeking treatment early, there is a typically better prognosis for the tooth. which also usually results in a lower financial cost of treatment.

Our Wadesboro Dentist Explains The Importance of Replacing Missing Teeth

Everyday we see patients that have missing teeth. Sometimes they are teeth that have been recently extracted.  Other times they have been missing for years.  The reasons for why the teeth are missing vary.  But the answers about why to replace them are usually the same.  So we wanted to share these answers with you!

In the US, about 70% of the population is missing one or more teeth.  Tooth loss can lead to reduced self confidence because of gaps in a person’s smile.  Unfortunately, effects on physical appearance are not the only result.

Teeth are lost or missing for several reasons such as trauma, decay, periodontal disease, or even genetics.  It is important to replace missing teeth because when a tooth is missing there is no contact with the opposing arch.  This can cause opposing teeth to gradually extrude which leads to other problem, such as fractures, mobility, tooth loss, shifting in surrounding teeth, and gum problems.

There is more than one option available to patients for replacing missing teeth.  Like most choices, each option has pros and cons.  The 3 most common options are replacing the missing teeth with implants, crowns and bridges or dentures. Sometimes a combination of two of these options can be used, such as a denture that is supported by implants, or a bridge that is supported by implants.  We will cover more about what the pros and cons of each of these treatments are in upcoming blog posts.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, so whenever possible try to avoid loosing the tooth in the first place.  The financial cost of saving a tooth with a crown or even a crown and a root canal is substantially less than the cost of an implant and crown or a bridge.  Not to mention that by saving one tooth, you are also helping keep the surrounding ones healthy as well.

The loss of a tooth is not always preventable, such as in the case of trauma or when a tooth is congenitally missing.  But no matter the cause, it is important to understand the effects of missing teeth so that you can take the necessary steps to prevent further problems. Your Wadesboro dentist can answer questions you have about what treatment best fits your needs and your smile.  And check back here when we explain more about each treatment in the upcoming weeks!