Five Habits That Can Ruin Your Dental Health

You only get one set of adult teeth.  That is why it is so important to take care of the ones you have.  With people living longer and longer today, you are going to need your teeth for a while!  If you want to maintain healthy teeth and gums and a fully functional smile, here are five habits to avoid:

1.  Chewing on Ice – while it can be refreshing and soothing for some, it can also increase your risk of cracking or chipping your teeth.  And, chewing on ice can irritate the soft tissue on the inside of your teeth, causing tooth aches.

2.  Playing Sports Without A Mouth Guard – playing sports without a mouth guard leaves you susceptible to having your teeth chipped, cracked or knocked out completely.  You can find mouth guards at sporting goods stores or visit your local dentist to get a custom fitted mouth guard.

3.  Grinding Your Teeth – grinding your teeth (Bruxism) can wear down the surfaces of your teeth and create problems with your Temporomandibular (jaw) joint.  This can lead to painful symptoms like ear pain, ringing in the ears and headaches.  Many people grind their teeth at night, when they sleep, making it harder to control.  In this case, a night guard can be worn over the teeth at night when you sleep to prevent you from grinding and clenching your teeth.

4.  Eating Gummy Candy – gummy candy contains a lot of sugar.  When the candy adheres to your teeth, the sugar sits on the tooth and can lead to decay.  If possible, keep this type of food out of your diet.  If you do eat gummy candies, you should rinse your mouth with water afterwards or, even better, brush and floss your teeth.

5.  Getting your tongue pierced – while this is very trendy these days, getting your tongue pierced leaves you more at risk for developing sores, gum damage and periodontal disease.  If you are considering a tongue piercing, it may be a good idea to talk to your dentist about the risks before you do it and about how you can properly care for your piercing if you decide to go through with it.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.



Dental Technology and Your Oral Health

Technology has had a dramatic effect on our world.  Just think about how different our daily life is today than it was ten years ago.  Ten years ago, most people owned a cell phone and a home computer.  These days, many people own a laptop, iPad, smart phone, iPod and more.  We no longer send mail through the post office, we simply send a text or an email message.  And, when was the last time you sent out paper invitations or announcements?  If you want to invite someone to a party, you send an electronic invitation.  If you want to announce that you have moved, just put it on Facebook.  Even MapQuest is now almost obsolete since most people have a map application on their cell phone.  The same can be said for the field of dentistry.  From high powered dental lasers to sophisticated intra oral cameras, dental technology has revolutionized the field of dentistry.

However, not all dental practices are embracing this new dental technology.  Dental technology requires an investment in both time and money.  Once a new piece of dental technology has been purchased, both the dentist and some of the staff members must be trained on how to use it before it can be effectively incorporated into the practice.

Most dentists find that incorporating new dental technology into their practice is worth the time and investment involved.  This is because dental technology can greatly improve patient care and the patient experience while at the same time helping the dentist to be more efficient.  The most common types of dental technology being used today include digital x-rays, paperless practice management systems, intra oral cameras, dental lasers, CAM/CAD systems, and environmentally friendly sterilization systems.  Before selecting a dental practice to care for you and your family, it is good idea to ask about the dental technology they are currently using and about any future plans for incorporating new technology in their practice. This will ensure that you are selecting the best dental practice possible to meet your needs.

Posted on behalf of Pure Dental Health

Debate Continues Over The Safety of Amalgam Fillings

For years now, there has been an ongoing debate regarding the safety of amalgam dental fillings.  Amalgam fillings contain Mercury, a known neurotoxin.  For this reason, many worry that exposure to Mercury vapors emitted from Amalgam fillings could be harmful, particularly to children and pregnant women.  In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released their findings after examining the safety of amalgam fillings.  Their final regulation in 2009 classified dental amalgam into Class II (moderate risk).

Many feel that this ruling did not go far enough.  Due to this controversy, the FDA agreed to re-examine this issue in 2011.  At this point, they have not changed their ruling regarding dental amalgam.  However, due to safety concerns, many dentists are choosing to offer only Mercury-free fillings.  And, many consumers are choosing to have their cavities filled using only materials that do not contain Mercury (porcelain, composite, etc.).  Some consumers are even going as far as having their amalgam fillings removed and replaced with composite or porcelain fillings.

Amalgam fillings provide a relatively inexpensive and long-lasting means for filling decayed teeth.  For these reasons, dentists have been using amalgam to fill cavities for decades.  However, many patients are now choosing materials such as porcelain and composite over amalgam due to both safety concerns and a desire for a more natural appearance.

If you are going to have your amalgam fillings removed, it is important that you go to a dentist who is highly trained and uses the highest precautions to decrease your exposure to Mercury vapors during the process of removing the amalgam fillings.  For more information about amalgam fillings, talk to a dentist in your local area.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.


Summer Can Mean More Dental Traumas, Especially in Kids

It is summertime!  Time to relax and hang out with your family and friends and to enjoy some downtime with your kids while they are out of school.  Unfortunately, summer also means an increased number of dental traumas, especially among children.  This is because kids are more likely to play outside during summer and to engage in activities that involve more physical contact.  This includes climbing trees, swimming in pools, playing sports such as baseball, soccer and football and just rough-housing in general.  While all this activity is great for their development, it also leaves them more at risk for dental traumas.

One way to cut down on the risk of dental traumas is to make sure that your child wears a protective mouthguard while participating in contact sports.  You can buy mouth guards at any sporting goods store, however, you can also get a custom fitted mouth guard from your dentist.  A custom fitted mouth guard is made especially to fit your child’s mouth and can be more effective in protecting their teeth from traumas and injuries.

However, even with the best of prevention, accidents can still occur.  Following are some tips on what to do about damaged teeth:

•  If a tooth is broken, find the missing piece and go immediately to the dentist.  This is especially important if the tooth appears to be bleeding from the middle and not just at the gum line.

•  If a tooth is knocked out, it is important to put it immediately back into place, then get to a dental office immediately.  If a tooth can be placed back into the mouth within a half-hour of the injury, a full recovery is much more likely.

•  If a tooth is knocked out and cannot be put back into the mouth, place it in milk and go straight to the dentist.  Avoid touching the root of the tooth and do not clean it beyond rinsing it gently under water.

Hopefully, you wil not experience any dental traumas this summer!  However, if you do, it is good to know that many dental offices including Pure Dental Health in Atlanta offer extended hours and are available the same day to handle dental emergencies.  Have a great summer!

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.



Dental Implants Save Money and Improve Quality of Life

A new report published as the lead article in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants concludes that dental implants are a cost-effective alternative to traditional treatments for missing teeth.  The report is based on a systematic review of all available studies published in English between 2000 and 2010 relating to the cost-effectiveness of various tooth replacement options.  Fourteen studies pertaining to long-term costs were included in the review.  The review cited the following conclusions:

1.  For single tooth replacement, dental implants were generally cost-saving or cost-effective in comparison with dental bridges.

2.  For patients with full dentures, dental implants represented a higher initial cost, however, over time, dental implants represent a cost-effective treatment option.  In addition, patient satisfaction, acceptance and willingness to pay for dental implants were high, particularly in the elderly population.

The conclusion of this analysis confirms what many patients with dental implants already know:  dental implants provide for replacement teeth that look feel and function like natural teeth.  Unlike dentures, dental implants are not associated with bone loss and do not require patients to modify their diets and to eliminate foods that are harder to chew.  Because dental implants look and function like natural teeth, they allow patients to once again eat the foods they desire and smile, speak and laugh with confidence.

If you are tired of wearing dentures or a dental bridge and would like to get more information about dental implants, talk to a qualified implants dentist in your local area today.  Most people with missing teeth are candidates for this life-changing tooth replacement option.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.



New Nasal Spray Could Make Dental Anesthesia Injections A Thing of The Past

According to recent studies, as many as 75% of the population report some degree of dental phobia.  For many, this fear is centered around dental anesthesia injections.  For most, it is inconceivable to think of undergoing dental procedures such as fillings or root canals without anesthesia injections.  However, for many, the thought of dental anesthesia injections conjures almost as much fear and trepidation as the actual procedure itself.

The good news is that researchers at the University of Buffalo have devised a nasal spray that could replace needles for most procedures.  The nasal spray, Kovacaine Mist, is manufactured by S. Renatus LLC and has been found to be as effective as injectable anesthesia in four out of five patients in clinical studies.  The U. S. Food and Drug Administration is currently conducting safety trials.  If the FDA concludes that it is safe, it could be approved as early as next year.

If this anesthesia mist is approved for treatment, it could have significant implications for dental practices.  By offering a nasal mist in place of injectable anesthesia, dental practices will be able to attract patients who have avoided treatment in the past due to fear of needles.  This could also have a significant impact on the dental health of many Americans.  Failure to receive needed dental care only leads to more serious, painful and expensive dental problems.  If this nasal mist causes patients to seek treatment in a more timely manner, it could significantly increase the dental health of many Americans and reduce the overall cost of dental care.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.