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

No Dental Insurance? No Problem.

Doctor Consulting with PatientNearly 23% of the American population has no dental insurance coverage, according to a recent article in USA Today. Are you avoiding dental care because you lack dental insurance? In many cases, people without dental coverage wait for something to go wrong before they see a dentist. This is can be a costly and very unfortunate mistake because routine dental care (such as professional cleanings, x-rays and exams) can prevent a host of disruptive dental problems for all ages. Whether you can’t afford coverage or don’t see the benefit, this shouldn’t be a reason to cancel your dental appointments altogether. In fact, many offices such as Pure Dental Health, offer special financial plans to help those without traditional dental insurance.

There’s no denying the fact that paying out of pocket for your dental care can be pricey, especially if you need a specific restorative procedure such as a root canal, dental implant or crown. The goal is to avoid these treatments in the first place, which undoubtedly begins with seeing a dentist twice a year.

At Pure Dental Health, we offer a variety of methods to help make your dental care more affordable if you do not have insurance. Patients love the freedom to choose between the following options at our Buckhead practice:

  • In-House Financing(monthly payment installments for certain procedures)
  • Pure Dental Plus(discount plan that includes 2 dental cleanings/exams per year, free whitening gel, and discounts on all of our services for $269 per year)
  • New Patient Specials(discounts basic dental care for introductory services)
  • Third-party Financing Plans(CareCredit and Compassionate Finance)

Dental care is not something you should avoid due to cost. Your oral health plays a critical role in your overall health and neglecting dental problems can lead to very serious (and costly) issues within your smile. Attaining a healthy and confident smile can be financially feasible by taking advantage of one of our payment plan options. As an added bonus, many of our financing services can be utilized for cosmetic dentistry – a dental specialty that is rarely covered under dental insurance but one that is just as valued towards your smile confidence and self-esteem.

To learn which payment plan fits your family budget best, please call Pure Dental Health. Don’t let a lack of dental insurance keep you away from a rewarding experience at the dentist!

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

Toothpaste: Should You Go All-Natural?

Toothpaste on a ToothbrushDo you prefer organic foods? What about all-natural products for your skin care or household cleaning products? If chemical-free, organic products are important to you, then you are highly likely to also see the value in using an all-natural toothpaste – after all, your toothpaste is a product you put in your mouth, not just on your skin or hardwood floors.

What is organic toothpaste?

Organic toothpaste is most commonly referred to as “all-natural toothpaste.” It means that it contains nature’s own ingredients to fight bacteria, scrub away stains and freshen breath. Many conventional toothpastes have chemicals or synthetic filler products to clean the teeth, some of which are simply added just to create some suds or foam during your brushing session. An all-natural toothpaste typically contains herbs, essential oils and natural sweeteners. Considering you use your toothpaste twice a day, it may be important for you that it contains xylitol or stevia instead of saccharin and other artificial ingredients.

Is an all-natural toothpaste just as effective?

Yes! Contrary to popular belief, using an all-natural toothpaste can be equally effective at fighting decay, bad breath, gum disease and staining. You’ll be surprised at how powerful some of nature’s ingredients can be.

What about fluoride?

Fluoride is a key component of optimal oral health, and most patients get it through their toothpaste. However, some people get enough fluoride in their drinking water or other sources. While many all-natural toothpastes don’t contain fluoride, there are some that do. So you don’t have to make the choice between going organic and getting fluoride!

What are other non-dental benefits?

Another less discussed advantage of choosing an all-natural toothpaste involves animal testing. Most organic toothpaste manufacturers take a strong stance against testing the product on animals. In addition, organic toothpastes are free of dyes. They tend to be a tooth-colored white instead of blue or pink for a more purely formulated product. If animal testing and extra dyes makes you cringe, you may feel better about switching out your conventional toothpaste for an all-natural brand.

Need more help on choosing the best toothpaste for your unique smile? Contact Pure Dental Health. We treat every patient with the individualized dental care plan they deserve, which includes helping you find all-natural products for your teeth if that is important to you.

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

What Can Modern Dentures Mean For You?

Woman Discussing Dental Options with Dentist at Pure Dental Health Atlanta GAComplete dentures are still the preferred choice for replacing an entire arch of teeth. However, the process of getting dentures has changed dramatically over recent years – for the better! Conventional denture fabrication was somewhat grueling, as it often involved up to five visits with your dentist and a chair time of up to 3 hours. In many cases, the final product of conventional dentures takes up to 30 days. That is a long time to wait when you need to replace a full set of teeth! In addition, many patients experience changes in their gum tissues during that time span, which means the final denture may not fit as well as originally planned.

The good news is that modern denture technology has revolutionized the process for patients so that they don’t have to endure such a lengthy wait for their final dentures to be ready. One of the most impressive denture systems is Dentca. Dentca dentures rely on advanced CAD/CAM technology, which means they are fabricated using precise and fast 3D images of the entire maxillofacial region. A stark contrast to the conventional denture experience, Dentca only requires a single visit to the dentist with only 45 minutes of chair time. In one short week, patients can receive their final Dentca denture product.

Not only does this 3D technology and cutting-edge computer software greatly reduce your denture process time, but it also produces a denture model that is more accurate and comfortable than past denture systems. Lastly, your dentist will save the 3D model of your Dentca denture in the event that a replacement or additional set is needed. From start to finish, the efficiency and success of Dentca dentures is unrivaled!

According to The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, the number of US adults needing dentures is projected to increase from 33.6 million in 1991 to 37.9 million by 2020. If missing teeth are affecting your self-esteem, your nutritional health or your quality of life, call Pure Dental Health to learn more about modern denture options. It may be easier than you think to regain a beautiful and confident smile!

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

Healthy Foods That Can Stain or Whiten Your Teeth

Atlanta GA Cosmetic Dental PracticeIf you want to maintain white teeth, you probably already know to stay away from dark-colored sodas, coffee, red wine and smoking. However, did you know that there are healthy foods that can stain your teeth too? Don’t worry; there are also some nutritious food choices that can help whiten your teeth too. Knowing which foods impact the appearance of your smile can help you eat smarter for a whiter, brighter smile.

Whether you are trying to retain the results of a recent teeth whitening procedure, or you simply want to try and achieve a lighter tooth shade on your own, consider these good and bad food options.

Healthy Foods That Stain

 Due to their exaggerated color and often acidic nature, the following food options are known for staining your teeth, or leaving them more yellow, dark or dull than you’d like:

  • Berries – including blueberries, pomegranates, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, and other colored fruits.
  • Beets – watch out for the more concentrated juice form.
  • Nuts – black walnuts in particular will discolor teeth.
  • Sauces – soy sauce, curry sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup and other deeply colored sauces.

Healthy Foods That Whiten

You’ll be glad to know that there are ways to naturally scrub your pearly whites and prevent extrinsic tooth staining with what you eat. Try these healthy food choices to keep your teeth a brilliant white:

  • Apples
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Strawberries
  • Cheese (cheddar cheese counteracts acids in foods, cleaning your teeth and restoring the pH balance in your mouth)

In addition to the above mentioned foods, try chewing sugarless gum after meals or taking frequent sips of water throughout the day when you can’t brush. Also, consider using a straw when drinking dark-colored beverages.

If you’re currently suffering from a dingy or stained smile, we can help you at Pure Dental Health. We proudly offer the best in modern teeth whitening. In fact, we offer free whitening for life  for our patients. When you continue coming to us for your routine cleanings every six months, you will receive free teeth whitening gel during your visits.

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