You Can Get Whiter Teeth and a More Beautiful Smile

Have you noticed that everyone’s teeth seem to be getting whiter and whiter?  It is no longer just movie stars and models who have perfectly white teeth.  Now it is your child’s teachers, your banker, your doctor and everyone else around you.  Why is this?  It is because advances in tooth whitening technology have made it possible for virtually everyone to achieve whiter teeth.  And, our ideal is changing since so many people are taking advantage of the opportunity to whiten their teeth.  Well, if you are feeling left out on this popular trend, it is not too late.  You too can achieve whiter teeth and a more beautiful smile.

The first step in achieving whiter teeth is to talk to your dentist.  Whitening your teeth under the supervision of your dentist is the best way to achieve maximal results and to ensure that your teeth are not harmed in the process.  There are a variety of teeth whitening methods that can be used to help you achieve your goals.  There are take-home kits that you can use to whiten your teeth over time.  Their are also a variety of in-office treatments that can be performed in a little more than an hour in the dentists office and provide more immediate results. However, if your tooth discoloration is severe or due to certain factors, these treatments may not be suited for your particular case.  In this case, porcelain veneers or dental crowns may be recommended to help you achieve your goal.  Whatever the case, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate treatment based on your dental history, the cause and severity of your tooth discoloration and your lifestyle and personal goals.

Whitening your teeth can dramatically improve your appearance and make you appear years younger.  If you are feeling embarrassed or self-conscious about your smile due to tooth discoloration or if you just want to achieve a brighter, more beautiful smile, talk to your dentist today about your options for whitening your teeth.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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Time to Ditch That Messy and Expensive Denture Cream?

If you are currently wearing dentures, you are all too familiar with denture adhesive creams.  For many individuals, dealing with these messy gooey and expensive creams is a big hassle.  Or, perhaps you are concerned about the safety of your denture adhesive cream.  Many denture adhesive creams contain zinc.  High blood levels of zinc have been linked neurological damage and problems.  Although the amounts of zinc are not supposed to be harmful when the denture adhesive creams are used as directed, there is some concern about their long-term safety.  For this reason and more, many individuals are ready to ditch their denture adhesive creams.  But what is the alternative?

The alternative is dental implants.  Dental implants are a revolutionary tooth replacement system that provide a long-term, fixed solution to tooth loss.  The implants take the place of missing tooth roots and can be used to support crowns, bridges or dentures.  While the cost of dental implants are higher than traditional dentures, the money, time and hassle that is saved is well worth the cost for many people.  That is why dental implants are currently considered the gold standard for replacing missing teeth.

There are very few medical reasons that would rule you out as a candidate for dental implants.  However, if you have been wearing dentures for a long period of time, you may have lost some of the bone in your jaw.  If there is not sufficient bone in the jaw to successfully place the implants, bone grafting may be needed to prepare your jawbone for the successful placement of implants.

If you are tired of dealing with your denture adhesive cream or if you are concerned about the long-term safety of your denture-adhesive cream, talk to a dental implants specialists in your local area today.  You will be glad you did!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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What is Your Bad Breath Telling You?

Everyone has bad breath at some point.  Maybe it was the pasta with extra garlic sauce you ate last night for dinner.  Maybe you just need to pop a breath mint or chew a piece of gum.  Or, maybe your bad breath is trying to tell you something about your dental health.

In some cases, bad breath can be caused by a lack of saliva in your mouth.  Dry mouth (Xerostomia) is a common side effect of many different medications including certain blood pressure medications, anti-depressants, antihistamines and many others.  If your bad breath is being caused by dry mouth, an oral rinse to restore mouth moisture may be prescribed.  Sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugar-free gum and drinking lots of water can also help with saliva production.

In other cases, persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum disease.  Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth and, if left untreated, can cause serious damage to the teeth and gums.  The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush and floss regularly to remove food particles from the teeth and gums.  Visiting your dentist for professional dental cleanings can also go along way in preventing gum disease.

Bad breath may also be a sign of other dental and general health problems including yeast infections of the mouth, dental caries and sinus infections.  In this case, treatments to treat the underlying cause of the bad breath may be needed to eliminate the problem.

You should not ignore persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the your mouth.  If you are experiencing these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentists today.  After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate method to treat the symptoms and protect the long-term health of your teeth and gums.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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Non-Surgical Treatments for Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease is a common dental problem that is characterized by an infection of the gums, soft tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. It is progressive in nature and can range from simple inflammation to serious disease that results in damage to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth.  If it is not detected and treated early, it can lead to very serious dental health issues, including tooth loss.

The earliest stage of gum disease is referred to as “Gingivitis.”  With Gingivitis, the gums become red and swollen and/or bleed easily. This is caused by a buildup of harmful bacteria called “plaque” on the surface of the teeth. This mild form of gum disease can usually be reversed with daily flossing and brushing and visiting a dentist for a professional dental cleaning. Gingivitis does not involve any loss of the bone and tissue that support your teeth. However, it is really important to treat Gingivitis so it does not progress to Periodontitis.

Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and form spaces or pockets that become infected. As the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line, the body’s immune system fights this harmful bacteria. The body’s natural response to the infection will start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth into place. If Periodontitis is not properly treated in a timely manner, the teeth may become loose and have to be removed.

There are a variety of non-surgical treatments that can be used to treat periodontal disease including antimicrobial medications as well as scaling and root planing.  Scaling and root planing involves a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. Scaling and root planing is often followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials and host modulation, as needed on a case-by-case basis. In cases where periodontal disease has progressed to severe Periodontitis, surgery may be required.  They key is to find and treat it early, so surgery can be avoided.

If you have swollen or red gums or gums that bleed easily, this could be a sign of periodontal disease. Schedule an appointment with your dentist so you can get it treated before it progresses to Periodontitis.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health.

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What Is A Root Canal Procedure?

Nothing strikes fear in the hearts of men and women more than a root canal procedure.  For some reason, this highly effective dental procedure that can be used to treat a tooth that has become infected or is severely decayed has received a bad reputation.  Most people think that root canals are really painful when, in fact, a root canal procedure is used to eliminate the pain being caused by an infected tooth.  Although most people fear a root canal, most are not really certain what is involved.

A root canal procedure is a dental treatment that is used to restore and/or save a tooth that has an infection in the nerve and pulp contained in the center of the tooth.    The procedure involves removing the infected nerve and pulp from the center of the tooth, cleaning the area and then sealing it to prevent further infection.  Before a root canal procedure, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic using an injection at the site of the affected tooth.  This will serve to numb the area.  You may also receive either inhaled or oral sedative medications to help you relax during the procedure and to prevent pain.

In most cases, the recovery from a root canal procedure is quick and involves minimal pain.  Most people are able to manage the pain with over-the-counter, NSAID medications.  In some cases, prescription pain pills may be prescribed.  You should let your dentist/Endodontist know if you are experiencing significant pain after a root canal procedure as this may be a sign of a complication.

The bottom line is that there is no need to fear a root canal procedure.  The worst thing you can do is fail to seek treatment for an infected tooth as this can lead to serious complications such as an abscessed tooth and even tooth loss.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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The ABC’s of Dental Health

Practicing good dental hygiene is one of the most important things you can do to protect the long-term dental health of your teeth and to give your teeth the very best chance of lasting you for a lifetime.  That is good news since Americans are living longer and therefore need their teeth to function properly for a longer period of time.  Besides, replacing lost teeth can be expensive!

Here are the ABC’s of good dental hygiene:

A:  Visit your dentist an average of twice a year (every six months) for a professional dental cleaning and dental examination.  This gives a skilled dental hygienist the opportunity to remove stubborn plaque and tartar that can build up on the surface of your teeth.  It also gives your dentist an opportunity to look for any signs of dental health problems including tooth decay, tooth infection, gum disease, bite problems and oral cancer.

B:  Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly everyday.  You should brush your teeth, at minimum, once in the morning and once before you go to bed.  If you have eaten sugary or starchy foods or have had red wine or other beverages that can stain your teeth, you should brush immediately after in addition to morning and night.  If you do not have the opportunity to brush your teeth after eating or drinking these foods, at least rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.

C:  Call your dentist at the first sign of dental health problems:  do not ignore your symptoms as they will only get worse.  When dental health problems are detected and treated early, they are typically less painful, less expensive and easier to fix.  Ignoring the symptoms of dental health problems such as tooth pain or bad breath can lead to serious dental health problems including tooth loss.

For more information about how you can care for your teeth and gums to safeguard their long-term health, talk to your dentist today.  Your dental hygienists may also have some important tips that he or she can share with you.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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