Did you know that over 70% of Americans have reported experiencing some level of fear or anxiety when faced with an upcoming appointment at their local dentist’s office? These feelings are understandable, but they can also be dangerous for your oral health. After all, someone who dreads going to the dentist will put off needed appointments, allowing any problems they have to worsen to the point that they require even more time to fix. Thankfully, many practices now offer sedation dentistry, which can help patients relax and feel at ease during their appointment.
If the answer to any of the following questions is “yes,” you may want to talk to your dentist about using sedation dentistry to increase your comfort level at your next visit:
There are several kinds of sedation dentistry available for patients. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is the mildest type, inducing feelings of warmth and contentment that wear off quickly after the procedure is finished. More severe dental anxiety may be better treated with oral conscious sedation or IV sedation, which helps patients achieve such a deep level of relaxation that they often don’t remember anything about their appointment. Please contact your local dentist to learn what kinds of sedation dentistry they offer and what they recommend for your unique situation.
Did you know that the month of March is National Nutrition Month as designated by The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? Everyone knows that diet and nutrition are critical to general health. The fact of the matter is, however, your oral health is equally dependent on and affected by nutrition. Of course there are foods to limit for the sake of your oral health, like those that are loaded with sugar or highly acidic. But there are also foods, specifically certain fruits and vegetables, which are good for your teeth and gums. And with National Nutrition Month upon us, this seems like the time to offer worthwhile tips for your oral health.
Citrus fruits, such as oranges, pineapples and tomatoes, are chock full of vitamin C, which is critical for the health of your gums. Without enough vitamin C, gums might become unhealthy and even bleed, an early sign of gum disease. Eventually, unhealthy gums may lead to tooth loss, so be sure to include lots of fresh citrus fruits for healthy gums and stable teeth.
When you chew fruits that are high in fiber, salivation increases to help wash away food debris and bacteria that can be harmful to teeth and gums. Some of these fresh fruits are apples, oranges, pears, and watermelons. This increase in saliva reduces the acid level in your mouth and helps avert dry mouth, which makes teeth more vulnerable to decay. In addition, as you chew fiber-rich fruits, you’re also massaging your gums.
Eating hard and fibrous vegetables, such as carrots and celery, provide your body with a good source of beta carotene. Your body needs beta carotene to make vitamin A, which is a nutrient that is vital to building strong teeth. These and other hard vegetables also massage your gums as you chew. And the water content in these vegetables cleans your teeth and gums.
Onions are great for your oral health, because they contain antibacterial sulfur compounds. These antibacterial compounds help kill the bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. And, of course, they are strongest when eaten fresh and uncooked, so be sure to brush your teeth or rinse with a refreshing mouthwash after boosting your oral health with onions!
So, here’s to your health… your oral health!
Do you often awaken in the morning to find that your jaw is sore or that your neck and shoulders feel tense? Perhaps you suffer from frequent headaches that tend to begin in the area surrounding your temples. These symptoms are common in individuals with nighttime teeth grinding and daily jaw clenching, or bruxism and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Fortunately, treatment for these orofacial issues is typically non-invasive, affordable, and easily accessible at your dentist’s office.
There are a variety of reasons that people with TMD and bruxism engage in the unconscious behavior of teeth grinding and clenching. Malocclusion, or an improper bite, is a major factor, as is daily stress. While you are sleeping, you are not able to stop the overworked muscles in the jaw and face from overtaking themselves further, leading to numerous symptoms that can affect you all day.
For many, the primary complaint related to TMJ disorder is headache pain that interferes with daily functioning. The delicate joints that connect your lower jaw to your cranium can become irritated and inflamed, causing nerve pain that can even spread to your upper back. This can lead to posture problems that further exacerbate the issue. In cases of teeth grinding, the patient is typically unaware that their jaws are placing inordinate amounts of pressure on their teeth all night. Bruxism can cause tooth fractures and enamel erosion, both of which can prove to be serious problems if not treated in a timely manner.
In the majority of cases, a nighttime mouthguard is used to prevent damage to the teeth caused by clenching and grinding. This custom oral appliance fits comfortably in your mouth as you sleep, helping position the jaws properly so that the muscles aren’t unnecessarily strained. Patients who have been clenching their jaws for years are surprised to find that they experience relief from their discomfort in as few as one or two nights with their new appliance.
If you believe that you or someone in your family is suffering with the ill effects of TMJ disorder or bruxism, ask your dentist about a custom oral appliance. Relief could be a phone call away!
A beautiful smile can make a significant difference in your life. That’s why so many patients look for cosmetic help every year. With the care provided by an experienced cosmetic dentist, you can face the people in your life with an improved sense of confidence and wellbeing.
The most common cosmetic services are:
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic services available today. Depending on your needs and your level of sensitivity, your dentist may recommend an in-office whitening solution or a take-home option. Regardless of which you use, both will help you see amazing results.
Veneers are handcrafted from quality dental porcelain to produce results that look natural and beautiful. Once in place, veneers can help you create a smile that looks straighter and whiter without the need for teeth whitening or braces. A complete veneers procedure is typically completed in two or three visits.
For teens and adults who want a straighter smile but don’t want to wear traditional braces, clear braces can be an excellent alternative. They’re more discreet, allowing patients to maintain their mature and professional image while going through treatment.
Tooth-colored fillings are used to help patients treat decay, which is among the most common oral health problems. Made from composite fillings, they will blend in with your smile for results that are seamless and durable.
Cosmetic bonding is a simple procedure that, similar to porcelain veneers, will help you improve the appearance of a cracked, chipped, or stained tooth. Bonding is a single-visit procedure that takes just a few minutes to complete.
If you’re seeking cosmetic help, your dentist will complete a full oral health assessment before recommending a specific treatment plan. Some patients may need just a single service to achieve the results they want to achieve while others will benefit from a plan that includes multiple services.
Call your local cosmetic dentist to schedule a consultation appointment.