Category Archives: Stress Free Dental

What Impact Does Alcohol Have on Your Teeth?

Beer

 

Have you ever heard how good that ice cold beer taste on a hot summer day? That one beer is not the issue.  So enjoy!  However, having multiple beers becomes a problem for your teeth as well as other vital organs inside your body.  Moderate alcohol consumption can co-exist in a healthy person’s lifestyle.  In spite of that, alcohol consumption is typically not considered healthy.

Alcohol’s Affect on your Teeth

The American Dental Association (ADA) warns that one of the side effects of alcohol can be just as damaging to your teeth: dehydration. Alcohol consumption leads to a decrease in saliva flow, so instead of being washed away naturally, bacteria clings to the enamel and increases your risk of tooth decay.

What About the Teeth?

If you have a preference for mixing liquor with dark sodas or drinking red wine, say goodbye to a white smile.
Timothy Chase, D.M.D.

People who suffer from alcohol dependency tend to have higher plaque levels on their teeth and are three times as likely to suffer from permanent tooth loss.

But are moderate drinkers at risk for serious tooth and mouth disease? There isn’t much conclusive medical evidence, but dentists say that they see the effects of moderate drinking regularly.

 

Staining

“The color in beverages comes from chromogens,” explains Dr. John Grbic, director of oral biology and clinical research in dentistry at Columbia’s College of Dental Medicine. Chromogens attach to tooth enamel that’s been compromised by the acid in alcohol, and stain teeth. One way to bypass this is to drink alcoholic drinks with a straw.

“If you have a preference for mixing liquor with dark sodas or drinking red wine, say goodbye to a white smile,” says Dr. Timothy Chase, D.M.D., of SmilesNY. “Aside from the sugar content, dark colored soft drinks can stain or discolor the teeth. Remember to rinse your mouth with water between drinks.”

Beer is only marginally better, according to Dr. Joseph Banker, D.M.D., of Creative Dental. “Beer is acidic just like wine. That makes teeth more likely to be stained by the dark barley and malts found in darker beers.”

Dryness

Dr. Banker also notes that drinks high in alcohol, like spirits, dry the mouth. Saliva keeps teeth moist and helps to remove plaque and bacteria from the tooth’s surface. Try to stay hydrated by drinking water while you drink alcohol.

Other Damage

What Is “Heavy Drinking”?
  • For women, more than 8 drinks per week
  • For men, more than 15 drinks per week
  • The CDC says moderate drinking is 1 a day for women, 2 a day for men

Tooth damage related to alcohol is increased if you chew the ice in your drinks, which can break your teeth, or if you add citrus to your beverage. The American Dental Association notes that even a squeeze of lemon provides enough acid to etch away at tooth enamel.

One study did conclude that red wine kills oral bacteria called streptococci, which is associated with tooth decay. Of course, you shouldn’t start drinking red wine just for that reason!

References:
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How do you prevent TMJ?

tmj

What is TMJ?

Feeling stressed out?  Your not alone.  A survey released on February 15, 2017 by the American Psychological Association reports that Americans say they’re feeling more stress than ever before.  Unfortunately, there is quite a down side to lot’s of stress.  It will ultimately affect your health in one form or another.  This stands true with dental issues as well.  TMJ problems are rising due to high stress levels in the world. TMJ or Temporomandibular Disorder is a condition that indicates the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn’t working properly.

So what behaviors contribute to TMJ?

Many people who are stressed tend to develop some bad behaviors.  Biting on fingernails, pen caps, or the inside of your mouth can cause jaw pain. Other conditions such as when that feeling of anxiety kicks in, we find a cheesy pizza, bag of chips or even ice cream.  Let’s face it, there are many stress eaters out there.  Unfortunately, when “stressing out”, people tend to eat larger bites while eating.  To alleviate symptoms of TMJ, you need to avoid the behaviors.  Stop chewing on your nails, or pen.  While eating, take smaller bites.  You can also regularly massage your jaw, cheeks and temple muscles.

Another symptoms of TMJ is spasms. Most patients find heat is helpful in relieving pain and muscle tension.  This pain may radiate to your neck or shoulders. It can also cause ear pain, ringing the the ears and hearing loss.  Symptoms typically manifest when talking, yawning or chewing.  If symptoms occur, apply moist heat to the spasm area.  Also, try to maintain good sleep posture with neck support.  Good sleep posture is achieved when you maintain the curve in your lower back.  It is recommended that a person lye on their back with a pillow under their knees.  If that doesn’t work for you, try sleeping on your side with your knees slightly bent.

Another habit that adds to TMJ symptoms is teeth grinding.  Teeth grinding and clenching is a habit over time that will damage your teeth and will also add to TMJ symptoms.  The best way to resolve this issue is to see your dentist and ask about a night guard.  A night guard is a device that you where in your sleep and will prevent you from grinding.

The Amazing Powers of Water!

the-amazing-power-of-waterWe all know we need water to live, however many people don’t know about the amazing powers of water.  Our bodies are made up of 60 percent water.  Drinking  water throughout your day assist in distributing nutrients throughout your body and gets rid of waste from our system.  As an added benefit, it helps give our skin a healthy glow and keeps are muscles hydrated for top performance.

What people are less familiar with is the benefits that water can provide for your teeth. Drinking the required 2 liters per day will help in the battle to maintain good dental health.

Water Keeps Your Mouth Clean

Your mouth has lots of bacteria.  That bacteria in your mouth loves to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away enamel.  Most drinks such as soda, juice or sport drinks are loaded with sugar.  Many of these drinks also have added acids (phosphoric, citrus or malic acid) to make them taste less sweet, but those acids also eat away at your teeth.

Drinking lots of water washes away bacteria and dilutes acids in your mouth with each sip. It also washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for.  Many of us don’t carry a toothbrush throughout our day to brush after every meal.  So when in a pinch, sip on some water until you can thoroughly brush later in the day.

Water Keeps Your Mouth Hydrated

A dry mouth breads and multiplies the bacteria in your mouth.  That bacteria eats away the enamel of your teeth.  Drinking water keeps your mouth hydrated and washes away harmful bacteria and dilutes acids in your mouth.

Drinking Water with Fluoride Strengthens Your Teeth

Drinking water with fluoride is a great way to strengthen your teeth. Per the ADA, Water fluoridation is safe, effective and healthy. Seventy years of research, thousands of studies and the experience of more than 210 million Americans tell us that water fluoridation is effective in preventing cavities and is safe for children and adults.

What’s Up With Morning Breath?

whats-up-with-morning-breathHave you ever woken up in the morning snuggling with your significant other?  Waking up happy, relaxed and comfortable as reality begins to roll back in ?   As you’re thinking, “How could life be any better?”, when a devastating new thought pops in your head.  The reality of your offensive morning breath rushes to the front of your thoughts.  Now that could be an ugly end to a perfect moment.  Being careful to keep your mouth shut, you hurry to the bathroom to begin your morning ritual. Sound familiar?

Why Do We Have Morning Breath?

The big question is why do we have morning breath?   The main reason for morning breath is from a lack of saliva. When we sleep, saliva production slows down.  Saliva is what is needed to wash away bacteria, food particles and acids from your mouth and teeth.  As your mouth begins getting dryer, bacteria flourish, causing bad breath to increase.

What Makes Morning Breath Worse?

Everyone has a degree of bad breath when they wake.  The degree of your morning breath can be affected by many things.

Mouth Breathers are susceptible to bad breath.  When your mouth is open, it becomes very dry causing the bacteria in the mouth to flourish.  This happening over an 8 hour period can make for a foul smell come morning.

Many medications cause dry mouth. Medications such as Aleve or Advil Cold and Sinus, Benadryl, Lipitor Tabs or Omeprazole can cause your mouth to become more dry. If you are a person using one of these medications, you might be affected by dry mouth which will in turn increase morning breath.

Another indicator of excessive morning breath is a person with gingivitis or periodontal disease.  These conditions indicate that food, plaque and bacteria has entered underneath the gums.  As saliva production reduces, this condition will intensify a persons morning breath.

How Do You Reduce Morning Breath?

There is not much that can be done to eliminate bad breath in the morning but it can be made better.  Brushing and flossing your teeth before bed is important for removing excess bacteria from your teeth. As we mentioned, bacteria flourishes in a dry environment.  Removing as much food particles and bacteria from your mouth before bed will help the problem.   The use of a tongue scraper at bedtime is also helpful as it too will eliminate bacteria from your tongue.  Drinking a glass of water at bedtime is also helpful.  Keeping your body hydrated is good for your health and well as your teeth.

Why Do I Need A Root Canal?

root canalMost people have heard of a root canal.  The idea of needing a root canal tends to create unneeded fear for its recipients.  Most of a persons anxiety in relation to this procedure is caused by misinformation or a lack of knowledge of what to expect.  The question is,”what is it and why do you need it?”.

Why Do You Need a Root Canal?

Let’s start by explaining why a root canal is needed.  This procedure is needed when your tooth’s root becomes damaged either by injury or a deep cavity.  The pulp (soft tissue inside the tooth) has become inflamed or diseased.   At this point, a patient typically displays symptoms of pain and swelling.  If this situation is not addressed, the tooth can become irreparable.  However, that is not the only thing.  A  patient with an untreated infection, even in a tooth, will become more ill as time passes.

How Is A Root Canal Performed.

First of all, not all dentist will perform a root canal.  If your family dentist does not perform that procedure, he will recommend an Endodontis (which is a dentist that specializes in root canals). During a procedure, the troubling tooth is numbed.  An opening is made in the crown of the tooth where special tools are used to clean out the infected canals and root of the tooth.  Once that is complete, your tooth is filled with a permanent material to ensure that your tooth remains free of contamination and infection.  The final step fills the crown of your tooth with a temporary filling.  The temporary filling  will remain until a permanent filling or crown is used to replace it.

What Is The Alternative To A Root Canal?

The only alternative to a root canal is to pull the tooth.  As a dentist, I always recommend working to keep all your pearly whites as they are not replaceable.  It is a cheaper option but ultimately can cause you other dental issues as time moves on.  For example, teeth shifting, eating, bone loss.

Top Ten Frequently Asked Dental Questions

faq

We at Glasscock Dental,  are frequently asked a number of questions in relation to ones dental health.  We love answering all your questions!  Our goal is to give you as much information as possible to ensure you maintain a happy and healthy smile.  Below is a list of the top ten questions that we hope will  help you with your dental education. 🙂

Top Ten Questions

1. How safe are dental X-rays?

All x-rays produce radiation.  Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during a dental  X-rays is extremely small.

2. What are dental sealants, who should get them, and how long do they last?

Sealants are a thin, plastic coating that is put on the chewing surfaces usually of the back teeth (the premolars, and molars) — to prevent tooth decay.  It provides a protective barrier over the tooth enamel. Sealants are typically applied to children’s teeth between  the ages of 6 to 14.

 3. When will drill-less dentistry become a reality?

It is already being done.  Air abrasion or micro-abrasion, is being offered by some dentists.  Air abrasion can be used to remove some tooth decay,  old composite restorations, preparation of tooth surface for bonding or sealants, and to remove some stains and discolorations.

4. What’s the latest word on the safety of amalgam-type fillings?

The American Dental Association (ADA) and the FDA say amalgams are safe.  They conquer that any link between mercury-based fillings and disease is unfounded.

5. How do whitening toothpastes work and how effective are they?

Whitening toothpastes can only help remove surface stains as they do not contain bleach.  To get significant whiter teeth, a professional teeth whitening is recommended.  Our office will give you the smile you are looking for.

6. I’m interested in changing the shape of my teeth. What options are available?

There are a number of options:

  1. Bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a special light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth.
  2. Crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed and cemented in place over teeth to the gum line.
  3. Veneers  are thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover and bond to the front surface of teeth.
  4. Recontouring or reshaping of the teeth is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth’s length, shape or surface.

 

7. I have a terrible fear of going to the dentist. What should I do?

The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist and dental staff.  The office of Glasscock Dental specializes is stress free dental.  If you experience dental fear, let us know.  We will put your mind at ease.

8. There are so many toothpastes to choose from; how do I know which one to use?

Each persons dental needs can be different.  After meeting with your dentist and/or hygienist, ask what particular needs your mouth requires.  Then choose a toothpaste that provides those needs.  (Example: Tartar Control)

 

9. I can’t afford regular dental care. Are there some resources available to me?

We at Glasscock Dental offer a number of payment options to try and make your dental procedures affordable.  If these are not an option for you, The American Dental Association’s website provides links to state dental associations local societies, and state dental schools. Ask your dentist or call your local social service organization for assistance in locating these types of services in your community.

 

10. I recently moved and need a new dentist. How can I find one?

Glasscock Dental has been nominated  as a Top Ten Dentist by Charlotte Magazine.  We would love to have you as a new patient.  Our goal is always to provide our patients with the highest level of dental care.