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Health Benefits of Quitting Smoking

AUTHOR Sharise

Thinking of quitting smoking? Here are some great health benefits that may help you get the ball rolling!

  • Within 20 minutes after quitting, blood pressure and heart rate decrease
  • Within 12 hours, carbon monoxide levels in the blood decrease to normal
  • Within 48 hours, nerve endings and sense of smell and taste both start recovering
  • Within 3 months, circulation and lung functions improve
  • Within 9 months, there are decreases in cough and shortness of breath
  • Within 1 year, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half
  • Within 5 years, the risk of stroke falls to the same as a non-smoker, and the risks of many cancers (mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix) decrease significantly
  • Within 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half, and the risks of larynx and pancreas cancers decrease
  • Within 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease drops to the level of a non-smoker; lowered risk for developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

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April is National Oral Health Month!

AUTHOR Sharise

As part of a healthy lifestyle and to help reduce the risk of oral disease, follow these 5 steps to good oral health. Your whole body will thank you for it.

See your dentist regularly

• Regular checkups and professional cleanings are the best way to prevent problems or to stop small problems from getting worse.

• Your dentist will look for signs of oral disease. Oral diseases, such as oral cancer, often go unnoticed and may lead to or be a sign of serious health problems in other parts of the body.

Keep your mouth clean

• Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

• Floss every day. Flossing reaches more than a third of your tooth surface that is otherwise neglected with just brushing.

• Your dentist may also recommend that you use a fluoride or antimicrobial mouthrinse to help prevent cavities or gum disease.

Eat, drink, but be wary

• Healthy food is good for your general health and oral health. The nutrients in healthy foods help you to fight cavities and gum disease.

• Limit consumption of sugar – one of the main causes of dental problems.

• Limit consumption of highly acidic food and drinks. The acid may contribute to dental erosion.

Look for warning signs and tell your dentist

• Look for warning

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Grinding and Clenching

AUTHOR Sharise

Sore jaw, headaches, neck pain, ear aches, migraines. Do you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms? Often in the morning when you wake up? All of these could be signs of bruxism. Bruxism is a condition where one may grind (brux) and/or clench their teeth. This mainly occurs overnight when you are unaware of it, but may also be occurring during the day when under stress. Bruxism is something you should be aware of. Most are not aware of this habit until they experience pain or until their dentist notices signs within the mouth (loose teeth, receding gum tissue, worn down enamel and sensitive teeth).

Night guard splints are great options to prevent further damage to your teeth. These night guards are typically made of plastic, are fitted to the contours of your upper and/or lower teeth, and are usually worn at night.  Although this will not stop your clenching/grinding habits, it will prevent additional wearing of your teeth and temporomandibular (jaw) joints.

If you are experiencing bruxism (grinding/clenching), give our office a call. We would be happy to get you in for a quick assessment with one of our doctors, and if needed, we would be happy to have one of our lovely dental assistants take impressions for a custom night guard.

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Root Canal Therapy Myths

AUTHOR Sharise

Root canal therapy is considered to be the most feared dental procedure. Most people fear this procedure based on someone else’s experience, not their own. Because of this, patients are likely to make silly decisions like having a tooth extracted instead of saving it.

Here are some root canal myths that may change the way you view root canals.

1. Root Canal Therapy Is Painful: In most situations, people require root canal therapy because they are experiencing pain caused by infection, a fractured tooth, or a nerve that is slowly dying. All of these conditions can be very uncomfortable. Root canal therapy is a procedure where the nerve of the tooth (the source of the problem) is removed. Many people who have had root canal therapy report that the procedure was comfortable (although long) and felt immediate relief.

2. Completing A Root Canal Requires Several Appointments: While this may be true in some cases, most of the time root canals only require ONE appointment. More than one appointment depends on a few factors. 1) Severity of the infection, 2) Difficulty of the root canal (shape of the nerves, location of the tooth in the mouth, etc), 3) Referring a patient to an endodontist.

Properly restoring a root canalled tooth may require a couple more appointments, but these appointments are not associated with the actual root canal procedure.  These other

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Crowns VS. Veneers

AUTHOR Sharise

In cosmetic dentistry, crowns and veneers are both great options to enhance the look of your smile. Both veneers and crowns can change the shape of your teeth, the shade, and the way you feel about your smile. While this all sounds great, make sure you know whether or not you are a candidate for either treatments.

Veneers are the more conservative approach to a better smile. They are similar to a fake nail in the sense that your dentist will remove a thin layer of your natural tooth in order to make room for your new porcelain veneer to be cemented. Veneers are the best option when it comes to cosmetic dentistry, however, Porcelain veneers are not always the best choice if a patient grinds or clenches their teeth. These actions can cause the veneers to pop off regularly. If you already have veneers and find you are in the dental chair frequently to have them cemented back on, a night guard may help with this problem.

Crowns are a good option if your tooth has already been heavily restored, if it’s fractured, weakened with a root canal or grinding, or are in relatively bad shape where a lot of preparation will be required. The process for crown work is more involved and more of your natural tooth is removed to make room for your new crown. Because of this, make sure to discuss any alternatives with your dentist.

Every case is different, and it needs to be assessed carefully by your dentist so that you will get a set of teeth that are

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How Cool Is This?

AUTHOR Sharise

The Dental Hygiene Research center at Old Dominion University in Virginia is conducting a study to see if virtual reality can help ease a patient’s dental fears while being seated in the dental chair. The study is looking to see if visual immersion therapy will help with dental anxiety. In this study, people will wear high tech glasses (similar to those worn in virtual reality simulators) and will be able to watch a movie or something relaxing to try to take their mind off of the treatment they are receiving. Dental hygiene profession Gayle McCombs from the university states that “Many people don’t like to go to the dentist…you hear at least once a day ‘I hate going to the dentist’”.

At the moment, most dental offices use conscious sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help patients relax when they come in for dental treatment. The students at ODU are looking into a way to move away from medication.

Carmelo Padrino will be conducting a clinical trial this semester, he will then write a thesis to be submitted to a professional journal.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.maceandcrown.com/2013/03/06/conquering-dental-anxiety-with-virtual-reality/

We’re excited to hear the results of this study!

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Avoid a Nasty Toothache

AUTHOR Sharise

A recent article in Canada’s Chatelaine magazine informs readers of foods and drinks that can cause tooth discomfort.

Sparkling Water: Fizzy sipping water can increase tooth sensitivity. The bubbles in sparkling water are highly acidic. Overtime they can slowly eat away tooth enamel. Try drinking carbonated beverages with a straw to prevent the liquids from hitting the teeth directly.

Energy Drinks: Imagine dunking your teeth in acid… This is similar to what happens when you drink energy drinks. These drinks can cause irreparable damage to the enamel that protects your teeth. The caffeine in these drinks can also cause you to grind unintentionally.

Peanut Brittle and Caramels: These treats are notorious for yanking out fillings and crowns. Also, the sugars that are left on your teeth can trigger cavity-causing decay within hours

Sugary Mints: Sucking on mints bathes teeth in a slow release of sugar. This tends to start decay along the gum line where the enamel is thinnest. People who have a mint habit may experience painful nerve exposure which will likely require root canal therapy.

Dried Fruits: Dried fruits are both sugary and sticky. If you do not floss the bits that get wedged between your teeth right away, it leaves your teeth vulnerable to cavities, stains and decay.

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The Tooth Fairy

AUTHOR Sharise

The tooth fairy is a fantasy character common in English speaking countries.  Children are told that when their teeth fall out, if placed under their pillow, the tooth fairy will come and replace the tooth with money.  Most children are intrigued by this tale but eventually discover that the tooth fairy is in fact their parents.  Author Vicky Lansky advises parents to tell their children that the tooth fairy pays more for a perfect tooth than a decayed one. This promotes better home oral hygiene. Studies have shown that on average, the tooth fairy will bring children $2.60 per tooth. So, parents, please remember that your child has 20 teeth to lose!

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Natural Teeth Whitening Tips

AUTHOR Sharise

  • Natural bleaching agent- Strawberries contain Vitamin C and an astringent (tannin).  The astringent helps remove surface stains while the Vitamin C aids in removing plaque deposits
  • Natural tooth brush- Apples act like a toothbrush as you chew them. Chewing apples acts like a toothbrush removing excess bacteria and scrubs your teeth throughout the process. Apples also contain malic acid which is a chemical used in teeth whitening products.
  • Natural mouthwash- Raisins induce saliva production, this helps in naturally washing away plaque build up.

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