Gum Recession

Receding gums are a common dental health problem affecting a large number of Americans.  Gum recession refers to the process by which the gum tissue that surrounds to teeth pulls back or wears away, exposing more of the tooth or the tooth’s root.  When this occurs, pockets or gaps form between the teeth and the gum line, leaving a place for bacteria to accumulate and cause problems.  If left untreated, this harmful bacteria can damage and destroy the supporting tissue and bone structure of the teeth and eventually lead to tooth loss.

There are a number of factors that can lead to gum recession including periodontal disease, genetic factors, hormonal changes, overly aggressive tooth brushing, using tobacco products and grinding and/or clenching your teeth.  If your receding gums are being caused by periodontal disease, you need to visit your dentist for treatment.  There are a variety of treatments that can be used to treat periodontal disease including a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), antimicrobial medications and even surgery.  If your gum recession is being caused by hormonal fluctuations such as pregnancy, puberty or menopause, your dentist may recommend more frequent dental cleanings than every six months.  If your receding gums are being caused by overly aggressive tooth brushing, your dentist may recommend that you invest in an electrically powered toothbrush such as a Sonicare.  This type of toothbrush will prevent you from placing too much pressure on the gums when you brush and will help to prevent you from dragging the toothbrush against your gums.

One thing is for certain:  gum recession should not be ignored.  If you notice that your gums are receding or are experiencing tooth sensitivity, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.   After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate treatment or treatments to help safeguard your long-term dental health.

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

Types of Dental Fillings

There are a variety of different types of materials that can be used to fill cavities in the teeth including the following:

• gold

• silver amalgam

• composite

• ceramic

• glass ionomers

Some types of fillings are better suited for certain conditions.  When trying to decide which type of filling is best suited for you, you need to weigh the following factors:  location of cavity, severity of decay, cost and insurance coverage.  Your dentist is the best person to help you decide which type of dental filling best suits your needs.

Gold fillings are very sturdy, non-corrosive and can last up to 15 years, with proper care.  However, they are much more expensive than silver amalgam fillings and require more than one dental visit to be fitted correctly.  Silver amalgam fillings are also very strong and sturdy, however many individuals do not find them to be aesthetically pleasing.  In addition, they are more likely to expand and contract and to cause a tooth crack as compared to other types of fillings.  In addition, many individuals worry about the long-term safety of silver amalgam fillings since they contain Mercury: a known neurotoxin.  Composite fillings are an attractive option because they can be made to closely match the color of your teeth.  However, composite fillings are not as durable as silver amalgam fillings and are more expensive.  Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain and are also a very aesthetically pleasing option.  They are also very durable.  However, ceramic fillings cost more than silver amalgam fillings and can wear the opposing teeth if the porcelain becomes rough.  Glass ionomers (acrylic fillings) often last for less than five years but are a good choice for children if their teeth are changing.  They can also release fluoride which helps to prevent tooth decay.

For addition information about the different types of dental fillings or to determine which type of dental fillings is best suited to your needs, talk to your dentist today.

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

Canker Sores and Your Dental Health

A canker sore is a small shallow lesion that develops on the soft tissue of the mouth.  Canker sores are also referred to as “aphtous ulcers” and are not contagious.  They are, however, painful and can make eating, drinking and even talking difficult.  In most cases, canker sores go away on their own within one or two weeks, without medical treatment.  However, if you have a particularly large canker sore or recurring canker sores, this may be a sign of a problem with your oral health or your overall health.

There are two different types of canker sores:  simple canker sores and complex canker sores.  A simple canker sore is one that may appear three or four times a year and lasts for about a week.  A complex canker sore is larger, deeper and more painful and takes longer to heal.  In some individuals, this type of canker sore is a reoccurring problem.

The exact cause of most canker sores is unknown, however, stress or injury are thought to be the causes of most simple canker sores.  Canker sores can also be caused by other underlying health problems such as an impaired immune system, vitamin deficiencies or other nutritional problems, Celiac Disease or Chrohns Disease.

In most cases, canker sores will heal on their own, without medical intervention.  However, rinsing with warm salty water or with an antimicrobial mouthwash may help with the pain and speed the healing.  Dabbing the sore with a  Q-tip dipped in hydrogen peroxide is another simple remedy that can be used to treat a canker sore.  However, if you have reoccurring canker sores or a canker sore that is unusually large and does not heal quickly, it is a good idea to seek treatment from a doctor.  If your canker sore is complex in nature, your doctor may prescribe an antimicrobial rinse, a corticosteroid ointment or a medication to help with the pain and inflammation.

Getting adequate nightly rest and managing your stress level can go along way in preventing canker sores.  Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can also help to ward off these painful sores.  If you would like to get more information about canker sores and the available treatments, talk to your dentist today.

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

Today’s Dentures

Today’s dentures are not like the dentures of the past. In the past, many denture wearers complained of uncomfortable, loose-fitting dentures that had the appearance of false teeth.  For these reasons, this tooth replacement system left a lot to be desired.  However, with today’s advanced technology and manufacturing processes, today’s dentures look more like natural teeth, are better-fitted and are more comfortable to wear.  That is good news for the large percentage of Americans with missing teeth.

The Dentca CAD/CAM denture system represents the greatest advancements in denture technology.  The computer-aided-design and computer-aided-manufacturing system provides for a faster, more cost-effective method of manufacturing dentures that takes the margin of error out of the process.  Dentures manufactured using the Dentca system require one visit before final denture delivery as opposed to the five visits required by dentures manufactured the conventional way (by hand). As a result, a patient’s chair time is reduced from three hours to only forty-five minutes.  And, using computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing reduces the processing time from approximately thirty days to approximately ten days.

Unfortunately, tooth loss remains a problem for a large population of American adults despite advances in dental technology and dental hygiene.  To avoid tooth loss, it is important to visit your dentist for regularly scheduled dental cleanings and checkups and to seek prompt treatment for any dental health issues, especially periodontal disease.  It is also important to practice good daily oral hygiene at home.

If you are currently wearing dentures and are unhappy with their fit or appearance, or are in need of a new pair of dentures, visit a certified Dentca dentist in your local area.  After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can determine whether or not the Dentca denture system is right for you.

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


Healthy Eating Habits for Improved Dental Health

Have you ever heard the expression, “you are what you eat?” While this popular saying is not literally true, it does make a good point: what you eat has a major affect on your overall health. This is especially true when it comes to your dental health. So, if you want avoid costly and painful dental problems in the future, develop health eating habits in the present.

There are ten foods that are particularly good for your dental health including the following:

1. Kiwi
2. Green Tea
3. Celery
4. Cheese
5. Raisins
6. Onions
7. Sweet Potatoes
8. Shiitake Mushrooms
9. Sesame Seeds
10. Water

Each of the foods listed above contains certain vitamins, minerals or cleansing properties that makes it beneficial to your dental health. There are also some foods that you should avoid altogether or limit your consumption of if you want to protect the long-term health of your teeth and gums. These include the following:

1. Foods or beverages containing artificial preservatives
2. Foods or beverages containing artificial sweeteners
3. Foods or beverages containing high fructose corn syrup
4. Foods or beverages containing refined sugar
5. Foods or beverages containing refined flour
6. Foods containing partially hydrogenated oils

All the foods listed above contribute to a more acidic state in the body. This acidic state in the body increases bacteria and creates inflammation. The bacteria and inflammation can, in turn, cause periodontal disease and tooth decay.  Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.  If not treated properly, it can lead to serious dental health problems including tooth loss.  In fact, periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in America today.  Tooth decay (dental caries) is also a common problem in the United States today, especially among children.

In addition to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, oral hygiene is also an important factor when it comes to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.  This includes brushing thoroughly, at least two times per day and flossing thoroughly at least one time each day.  If you would like to get more information about how to improve your dental health through proper nutrition, talk to your dentist or a licensed nutritionist today.

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

Which Teeth Whitening Solution is Best For Me?

Teeth whitening is the most requested cosmetic dental procedure in the United States. This is because everyone wants to have a whiter, more vibrant and healthy looking smile. That is why these days, it is not a matter of whether or not you should whiten your teeth, it is just a matter of which teeth whitening solution is best suited to your individual needs.

There are a variety of different teeth whitening solutions that can be found at your local drug store or even at the grocery store. If you walk down the dental care aisle, you will see whitening toothpastes, whitening strips, whitening mouthwashes and even whitening dental floss. However, the safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter teeth whitening products varies widely. Some even have the potential to harm your teeth. For this reason, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends whitening your teeth under the supervision of a dentist.

Today, many dental offices offer two different types of teeth whitening solutions: a take home whitening kit and an in-office teeth whitening treatment. Both of these types of teeth whitening solutions are highly effective in whitening teeth. For this reason, your dentist can recommend the teeth-whitening solution that is best suited for your needs taking into consideration your budget and your lifestyle. The type of teeth whitening solution your dentist recommends may be based on the cause and severity of your tooth discoloration. If you have certain dental health issues such as gum disease or enamel erosion, this may also factor into the decision. Lifestyle and budget can also play a role. If you have a very busy schedule and want to achieve dramatic results quickly, your dentist may recommend an in-office teeth whitening treatment. These treatments involve putting a whitening solution on your teeth and then curing it with a special light and can be completed in one appointment lasting a little over an hour. If you are looking for a more economical option that can be used as needed, a take-home whitening kit may be a better solution for you. This involves wearing custom trays filled with a whitening gel over the teeth for a certain amount of time. This type of whitening solution can be used at your convenience, while you are at home.

If your teeth are discolored due to age, smoking or eating and drinking food and beverages such as red wine, berries, coffee and tea, talk to your dentist today about how you can achieve a brighter, whiter, more beautiful smile. You will be glad you did!

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