5 Myths About Mouth Cancer

Female Hygienist Performing Dental Screening Atlanta GAOral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses and pharynx (throat). Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about this type of cancer. Here are 5 myths and facts to set the record straight.

Myth #1: Oral cancer is not serious.

Fact: Oral cancer is easily treated at its beginning stages. However, if the disease is not detected early, it can be fatal. In fact, oral cancer is one of the deadliest diseases of the mouth.

Myth #2: Oral cancer is rare.

Fact: More people in the U.S. were diagnosed with mouth or throat cancer in 2017 than cancers of the cervix or stomach, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Myth #3: Oral cancer is not a concern for young people.

Fact: It is true that the risk for oral cancer risk increases with age (especially after age 50). However, not all forms of mouth cancer are linked to age. Due to the recently discovered link between oral cancer and sexually transmitted forms of the human papillomavirus (HPV), there are an increasing number of younger patients being diagnosed.

Myth #4: Oral cancer only affects smokers.

Fact: While tobacco use is a primary culprit for oral cancer, it is not the only way you can get oral cancer. Drinking alcohol, HPV, sun exposure and even genetics are considered risk factors.

Myth #5: Oral cancer screenings are only for high-risk patients.

Fact: Oral cancer screenings are a standard part of all routine dental exams for adults. At Pure Dental Health, we use modern techniques to examine the entire oral cavity for signs of oral cancer, which includes investigating any unusual sores, lumps or discoloration in the mouth, tongue, lips or throat. Don’t worry; oral cancer screenings are non-invasive and painless. Most importantly, they could save your life!

Have you been checked for oral cancer this year? Schedule your routine dental exam at Pure Dental Health in Atlanta.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott

Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Are Porcelain Veneers Right for You?

Cosmetic Dentist Dunwoody GA Porcelain veneers are one of the most innovative solutions in cosmetic dentistry. In fact, they have been used by countless celebrities and public figures as a way to create an attractive and perfectly balanced smile. Veneers involve shaving off a small portion of the tooth surface in order to bond a wafer-thin shell of porcelain. Since veneers are purely cosmetic, they are only placed on the teeth that are visible when you smile. In most cases, they involve just 2 to 3 painless visits to the dentist.

Porcelain veneers certainly aren’t the only way to improve your smile appearance. So how do you know if veneers are the right solution for you? Ask yourself these questions:

Do you want to change the size or shape of a tooth without a dental crown?

If you have a healthy tooth but want to change the way it looks, a porcelain veneer can be an excellent option. In fact, it involves much less structural removal of your tooth to place a veneer than it does a crown. Veneers can be used to make the teeth look longer, bigger, wider or even just more symmetrical within your smile.

Do you have stubborn stains that won’t respond to teeth whitening?

Sometimes stains are too stubborn to be removed with professional whitening agents. These are often intrinsic stains that develop beyond the surface of the tooth. Veneers may be the best and only way to attain a whiter smile if you have permanent or stubborn staining across your teeth. In fact, you can customize the exact shade you want with porcelain veneers, and they are resistant to future staining too!

Do you have cracks or chips on your front teeth?

As long as the health of the tooth is not compromised, minor tooth fractures can be erased cosmetically with porcelain veneers. Keep in mind that if the damage is too severe, the tooth may not be able to support a veneer, and a crown or filling may be warranted.

Do you want to avoid orthodontics?

There are many patients that can forgo wearing braces and choose veneers to instantly correct their crooked or gapped front teeth. Veneers don’t actually move the teeth, so it is important to know whether your bite and alignment needs to be adjusted or if your misplaced teeth are just cosmetic in nature. Minor tooth gaps and crooked front teeth can make excellent candidates for porcelain veneers.

Ready to know for sure whether or not you can benefit from porcelain veneers? Call Pure Dental Health today. We love helping patients attain a beautiful and more confident smile!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott

Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

3 Myths About IV Sedation Dentistry

Patient Under Sedation in Dentist Chair Dunwoody GA Sedation dentistry is one of the most valued solutions in dental care, as it allows certain patients to receive dental care that they would otherwise be too fearful or anxious to attempt. Sedation dentistry typically comes in three broad forms: Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), Oral Conscious Sedation (a sedative pill) or IV Sedation. Not every dental office is equipped to offer IV sedation, the most advanced method of relaxing and calming a patient during a dental procedure.

Unfortunately, the term “IV sedation” can be misunderstood. Many patients do not have a full understanding about what IV sedation is and what it is not.  Here are some truths and myths surrounding IV sedation so that you can learn if its right for you or someone in your family.

What Is IV Sedation?

IV sedation, or intravenous sedation, involves the slow release of a light sedative into the bloodstream of a patient in order to calm their anxiety while they are in the dental chair. Local anesthetics are used to numb the oral pain, but the sedative allows the patient to fully relax during their procedure. IV sedation is best for moderate to severe anxiety, and can also be beneficial for patients with physical or mental limitations who are not able to sit still during longer periods of time. It is ideal for those who need complex or lengthy dental work in one appointment.

In general, IV sedation allows the patient to remain awake but mostly unaware of his or her surroundings. It can also be monitored and adjusted by trained professionals at all times. Lastly, IV sedation must be administered by a dentist that has undergone additional training and licensure to safely provide this level of sedation.

What IV Sedation Is Not

Now it’s time to debunk the myths surrounding IV sedation.

  • IV sedation does NOT involve being “put to sleep.”
  • IV sedation does NOT have to be administered in a hospital setting
  • IV sedation is NOT only used for oral surgery

Ready to learn more about IV sedation from a qualified dentist who cares about your wellbeing and state of mind while in the dental chair? Call Pure Dental Health. Beyond our IV sedation certification, our office offers spa-like amenities and minimally-invasive dental technology to promote a comfortable and relaxed experience at the dentist.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott

Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

3 Reasons to Choose a Composite Filling

When a tooth suffers an area of decay or damage, it must be repaired. Unless the repair is large enough to require a crown or onlay, the tooth can be restored in one of two ways: amalgam fillings or composite resin fillings. Amalgam fillings have been around since 1895 and include a combination of metals. Composite fillings, however, are a newer option in dental fillings. Composite is a ceramic and plastic compound that matches the color of your teeth. Many patients find that these tooth-colored or white fillings are a preferred solution in repairing cavities or even making minor cosmetic improvements to the teeth. In fact, it is not uncommon for patients to want their amalgam fillings replaced with this composite resin alternative.

If you can agree with the following, you may want to consider a dentist who offers composite fillings:

#1 You want your filling to blend in, not stand out.

The hallmark advantage of choosing composite resin is aesthetics. Instead of flashing a metal filling when you laugh or speak, you can opt for a tooth-colored filling that provides a seamless and inconspicuous blend within your natural smile.

#2 You don’t want metals or mercury in your mouth.

While it is still a large debate among dentists, there are a large majority of patients that simply want to avoid the potential dangers of having metal in their mouths. Amalgam fillings are made of 50% mercury. Mercury vapor can release or leak out from amalgam fillings, and many people are concerned about the toxicity of this element within the body. Furthermore, silver fillings may not be a good choice if you have an allergy to metal.

#3 You want to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible.

Unlike amalgam fillings, composite resin is very flexible and bonds directly to the surface of your tooth. This means that less drilling is required and more of your healthy tooth structure can be preserved.

Want to learn more about white fillings offered at Pure Dental Health? Please schedule your appointment. We value the importance of providing patient-preferred options when repairing tooth damage.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

How Does Brushing Your Teeth Protect Your Heart?

Man Brushing His Teeth Atlanta GA In honor of Valentine’s Day this month, let’s talk about the link between your teeth and your heart. Heart disease is a very prevalent and very serious condition. You may be familiar with ways to ward off heart disease, such as more exercise and less salty/fatty foods. But did you know that you are also protecting your heart when you brush your teeth every day? Countless studies have shown that routine brushing is not only vital to your oral health, but it can play a strong role in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

How It Works

Your heart demands a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients through your blood. If one of the branching coronary arteries that delivers this oxygenated blood becomes blocked, a portion of the heart is deprived and starved of oxygen. This is referred to as cardiac ischemia. If cardiac ischemia lasts long enough, the starved heart tissue can die – which is more commonly known as a heart attack.

Where does tooth brushing come in? We know that proper oral hygiene (brushing your teeth) can keep the gums in good condition. When the gums are diseased or infected, the bacteria can travel through your bloodstream and impact your heart. In other words, the inflammation found in your mouth can also be present in the heart. This is why the American Academy of Periodontology reports that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have coronary artery disease. Another study found that the common oral problems, such as gum disease (gingivitis), cavities and missing teeth, were also good at predicting heart disease.

The Mouth Body Connection

So, the next time you feel tempted to skip brushing your teeth, consider the ramifications it may have on your smile as well as your heart! At Pure Dental Health, we value the importance of teaching patients the strong link between oral health and body health. To schedule your dental visit, please call our Buckhead or Dunwoody office.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Straight Talk for Your Crooked Teeth

Woman Smiling and Pointing to Her New Braces Atlanta GAAre you an adult who needs braces? Do you assume that your orthodontic issues are purely a cosmetic concern? Not so fast. If you are avoiding orthodontic treatment as an adult, you may also be neglecting your oral health. Crooked teeth and malocclusion pose serious threats to the health of your teeth and gums over time. Sure, a pretty smile is a major reward of undergoing orthodontic correction, but you could also be saving yourself from costly dental problems down the road.

Did you know that you can reduce your risk of periodontal disease by caring for your crooked teeth? Malocclusion refers to teeth that are not aligned properly in your mouth. Left untreated, malocclusion can lead to periodontal disease, which can create abnormal amounts of stress on your teeth and jaw. This condition leads to premature wear.

Here are some common orthodontic issues and what they can do to your dental health:

Crowding: When teeth are too closely aligned, or overlapping, there’s an increased chance for bacteria and plaque buildup. This can lead to decay, gum disease and eventual tooth loss.

Gaps/Spacing: How can a gap between your teeth be a cause for concern towards your smile health? You may have frequent episodes of food getting lodged between your teeth. This puts you at risk for sore or tender gums and other periodontal issues. In certain places, teeth gaps can also impact your ability to chew and speak.

Deep Bite: Over-erupted or protruding lower front teeth can damage the palate as well as cause the premature wear and chipping of those lower teeth.

Crossbite, Open Bite and Overjet– Again, when the teeth don’t bite down on each other the way they should, it can result in the fracture of teeth due to the excessive forces. In addition, abfraction can develop, which is a small notch in your tooth at the gum line. Periodontal disease, gum recession as well as tooth and bone loss can also become a concern in severe cases.

As proven above, straight teeth are not just attractive teeth. When the teeth are correctly aligned in the mouth, it supports your overall oral health. Untreated malocclusion makes it difficult to keep your teeth clean and can put pressures on your teeth and jaw that they are not intended to withstand. From TMJ problems to serious gum disease, there are notable factors to consider if you’ve been told you need orthodontics as an adult.

Don’t worry; Pure Dental Health offers some of the most advanced and preferred orthodontic treatments available, including Invisalign, Six Month Smiles and Adult Braces. Call now to schedule your consultation in Buckhead or Dunwoody!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Could A Night Guard Be the Solution to Your Migraines?

Man Putting in His Mouthguard Atlanta GADo you catch yourself clenching your teeth during the day? Have others told you that your grind your teeth while you sleep? This is called bruxism, and it may be the reason you are suffering from daily headaches or migraines.

Clenching and grinding puts hundreds of pounds of pressure on tooth surfaces. Typically, chewing exerts 20 to 40 pounds on the teeth, but the pressure from grinding can be 250 pounds, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. This excessive pressure doesn’t occur without consequences. Not only can bruxism lead to worn out teeth and TMJ discomfort, but the tension is also a leading cause for headaches. Your teeth are connected to your jaw, and your jaw is connected to your skull. If your clenching and grinding occurs over a significant period of time (such as all night), the pressure and pain can spread beyond your teeth and jaw joint to include your ears, neck and head.

Causes of Nocturnal Bruxism

While many people clench their teeth and jaw during the day, such as while they are stressed, concentrating or exercising, most bruxism sufferers perform this involuntary habit while they sleep. This is referred to as nocturnal bruxism, which can occur as a result of one of the following factors:

• Stress and anxiety
• Misaligned teeth
• Sleep disorder
• Medication side effect
• Excessive alcohol and drug use

The NTI Night Guard May Relieve Your Daily Headaches

The presence of tension headaches and daily migraines can be a real threat to your quality of life. If you’ve tried other headache remedies and failed to find relief, it may be time to look to your dentist for answers. At Pure Dental Health, we are proud to offer one of the most proven systems for bruxism-related headaches.

Our practice uses an FDA approved therapy called the NTI night guard system. The NTI night guard is much smaller than a typical night guard, which reduces the common concern that it will be uncomfortable to wear through the night. In addition to migraines, the NTI guard also helps with TMJ disorders, muscle pain, ear aches and muscle spasms.

To learn more about addressing your headaches with the NTI night guard system, call Pure Dental Health today!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Kick These Bad Habits for Your Teeth

Patient Smiling at Dental Checkup Atlanta GA We all have habits, but not all habits are good ones. In fact, there may be some habits that you are doing every day that are wreaking havoc on your dental health. To ensure you aren’t caught off guard when tooth damage or discomfort occurs, here’s some insight from American Dental Association on which bad dental habits to avoid:

Grinding Your Teeth—The most common cause of teeth grinding is stress. Unfortunately, stress is all too common in today’s fast-paced society. Even worse, teeth grinding often gets going at night during your sleep, when you aren’t even aware of it. Over time, this habit may lead to chipped teeth, worn down teeth (or dental work), sore jaw, TMJ disorder and even tension headaches. Consider a mouth guard if you suspect a nighttime teeth grinding habit.

Chewing Ice — There’s nothing wrong with consuming ice in terms of your body health. After all, it’s just frozen water – what could be bad about that? Well, if you are trying to keep your teeth healthy and strong, chomping, crunching or chewing ice is a very bad idea. Your teeth aren’t designed to breakdown something so hard. This can cause your teeth to break as well as irritate the soft tissues inside your mouth.

Using Your Teeth as an Opener — We know it is quite convenient to rip open a bag with your back molars or even use your teeth to open a bottle. But trust us, there are specific tools for these kinds of tasks, and your teeth are not one of them. Save your teeth and use the scissors or bottle opener instead.

Bottle-Feeding in the Crib – You’re tired and you just want to let your baby finish his or her bottle in the crib so you can call it a night. We get it. However, the consequences towards your baby’s oral health just aren’t worth it. Whether you have an infant or a toddler or its breast milk or formula, it’s a “no-go” when it comes to allowing anything other than water in the crib.

Frequent Snacking — Are you a grazer? Do you get the munchies throughout the day? It may be okay for your metabolism, but snacking for brief periods all day long can compromise your oral health. It doesn’t allow your mouth to produce saliva like it should after a regular meal, which means it is harder to rinse away bacteria and break down food particles. Your oral environment may also remain acidic, which is also bad for the enamel of your teeth for long periods of time. If you absolutely need to satisfy your snack craving, consider a food that isn’t starchy or sugary.

Smoking — We hope this one isn’t a surprise to you. Nonetheless, it must be mentioned that cigarette smoking is one of the worst habits for your oral health (and your body health)! Cigarettes stain your teeth, contribute to gum disease, cause bad breath and even increase your risk for mouth cancer.

Is there a habit you need to kick for a better smile? At Pure Dental Health, we are happy to help you determine which habits are healthy and which ones are harmful.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

FAQs About IV Sedation Dentistry

Woman in Dental Chair Under Sedation Atlanta GA If you have a fear of the dentist or have ever had to have a lengthy dental procedure, you may already be familiar with the term sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry is used to help patients relax in the dental chair. There are many forms of sedation dentistry, however, and not every dentist is equipped to offer them all.

What is IV sedation dentistry?

IV moderate sedation involves administering a sedative through your veins (or intravenously). This allows it to work quickly, and it also gives the dentist an easy way to adjust the level of sedation during treatment.

Does IV sedation put you to sleep?

This method of sedation does not put a patient to sleep. Instead, patients remain in a semi-awake state, or a “twilight sleep.” In most cases, you’ll have little to no memory of the procedure if you receive IV sedation.

When is IV sedation used?

IV sedation may be recommended in a variety of circumstances. It can be needed for patients that are severely anxious or fearful of the dentist and need more than nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help them relax. IV sedation is most commonly used for patients who are undergoing a more complex or lengthy dental procedure, such as dental implants, extraction or a full mouth reconstruction.

How is IV Conscious Sedation different than General Anesthesia?

It is important that patients understand the difference between general anesthesia and IV conscious sedation. While both may be administered through an IV, you will remain awake during IV conscious sedation but in a deep sleep with general anesthesia. In fact, patients cannot be aroused while under general anesthesia and will need support for breathing and vital sign monitoring.

IV conscious sedation allows patients to avoid discomfort, but remain in a safer “semi-awake state.” This is often all that is needed to reduce anxiety and provide a relaxing dental treatment. While under IV sedation, you can even respond to a verbal command or light physical touch and will not need oxygen or other breathing support.

Can Any Dentist Perform Sedation?

While most dentists now offer minimal or moderate sedation, such as nitrous oxide or oral sedation, only an elite percentage of dentists are qualified to administer more complex sedation techniques such as IV conscious sedation. At Pure Dental Health, we are proud to have a licensed IV sedation dentist on staff to ensure all patients have a comfortable and pleasant experience in the dental chair.

How Will I Feel After My Treatment?

Most patients feel surprisingly very good after having IV sedation. For your safety, however, we ask that you arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home. You will not remember your procedure but should easily return to an awake/alert state of mind.

Have more questions about IV sedation from your dentist? We’d love to answer them. It can be a remarkable solution that enables patients to get the dental treatments they need and deserve.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Is Your Energy Drink Wearing Down Your Smile?

Woman Receving a Dental Exam at Pure Dental Health Atlanta GAEnergy drinks are becoming more and more popular. People consider them a “healthier” alternative to sodas and a more effective beverage at improving sports performance and boosting energy levels. Unfortunately, despite their flavor and claims of enhancing your level of play, these drinks pose an overwhelming risk to your teeth.

Double Whammy

Sports and energy drinks contain two major threats to the health of your teeth: sugar and acids. In fact, they contain high amounts of each. While sugar most certainly contributes to cavity formation, it is the acids in these energy drinks that is most detrimental. The pH is acidic enough to dissolve your tooth enamel, or the glossy outer layer of your teeth. Once this layer breaks down, it doesn’t grow back. Furthermore, it exposes the less hard dentin layer to decay and infection.

Sip or Gulp: It Matters

If you must consume an energy drink, there is actually a right and wrong way to drink it if you are trying to protect your smile. To reduce the harmful effects on your teeth, it is best to consume the beverage all at once, rather than sipping on it throughout the day – or through a two-hour sports practice. According to an article in SELF, your saliva remains acidic enough to dissolve your enamel for upward of 20 minutes after just one sip of an energy drink.

To protect your teeth even more, consider chasing your energy drink with a few sips of water. Even chewing a piece of sugarless gum can help neutralize the acids in your mouth and save your enamel from irreversible damage. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after you indulge on an energy drink, as the scrubbing can cause acid abrasion if you don’t wait about an hour.

Symptoms of Enamel Damage

If energy drinks are your go-to source for hydration and sports fuel, you need to watch for signs of enamel erosion. Do you suffer from discoloration, sensitivity or frequent cavities? This may indicate that you need to see a dentist and cut back on your energy drink habit. There are treatments for these disruptive dental symptoms and we can explain your options at Pure Dental Health. Schedule your appointment in Buckhead or Dunwoody today!

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott
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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642