You may think that you have problems with your smile that are too severe to be treated. That’s not the case with cosmetic dentistry. New technologies and treatments provide both aesthetic and functional solutions for all kinds of dental issues. Cosmetic dentists can perform safe, accurate, effective, and timely procedures that can save your smile.
One of the most common reasons patients visit cosmetic dentists is for yellowed or stained teeth. If your teeth are discolored, they often respond to professional whitening methods performed in a cosmetic dental office. The whitening gel usually contains higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide than you can find in home whitening products, and ultraviolet light is often also used to enhance the treatment. In a session that takes less than an hour, your smile can be dramatically brightened.
If your teeth are severely stained, especially from medication or tobacco use, they may not respond well to standard whitening methods. Teeth that fit this category of discoloration, along with problems like gaps, breaks, chips, and misalignment, can be covered with dental veneers. These porcelain shells hide many types of flaws when they are bonded to your teeth, and permanently improve your smile.
Sometimes the best solution for fractured or crooked teeth is dental contouring. This involves reshaping individual teeth to alter the length, shape, or position to make it look more appealing and fit better with the rest of your smile.
If your problem has to do with how your gums fit into your smile, cosmetic gum surgery may be helpful. It is a corrective surgery that makes your smile look more balanced by reducing the amount of gums you have, making your teeth look longer.
These are just a portion of the issues that cosmetic dentistry can address. It is important to find a qualified and experienced cosmetic dentist to visit for a consultation so you can learn what types of treatments might be possible to enhance your smile.
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Tooth pain that occurs when you eat or drink something cold or hot is an indicator that your teeth are overly sensitive. It can also result from eating sour or sweet foods, and sometimes just from breathing in cold air. Usually tooth sensitivity happens when your enamel has worn down, exposing the inner part of your tooth where sensitive nerves are located. It’s important to know what kinds of things may trigger tooth sensitivity, in hopes of avoiding it in the future.
Decay leads to cavities, which are holes in your teeth or damage to their structure. Tooth decay and the resulting cavities are often preventable with good dental care. If you develop a cavity, however, it’s vital to get it repaired so that area of your teeth doesn’t become overly sensitive and painful.
Early gum disease, called gingivitis, is usually caused by poor dental hygiene that leads to gum inflammation and redness. Your gums may bleed easily and become sore. As gingivitis worsens, your gums can recede and expose the roots of your teeth. Your roots contain nerve endings, and sensitivity will likely increase.
Accidents to your teeth or gums may lead to sensitivity. Fractured or knocked out teeth are certainly susceptible to painful sensations in your mouth.
Many people who use teeth whitening methods complain that their teeth become more sensitive with use of these products. Some whitening techniques cause this sensation more than others, so you may have to try several if you want to pursue teeth whitening without the sensitivity.
One way to treat this problem is to use toothpaste intended for sensitive teeth. Also, avoid foods and drinks that tend to increase your symptoms. If you do consume items that cause discomfort, gently brush your teeth afterwards to help reduce the effects.
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The ability to smile with confidence because you are happy with your teeth is a great asset. On the other hand, if you are embarrassed of teeth that are stained, cracked, or chipped it can be difficult to present a carefree smile. Dental veneers allow you to hide imperfections with your teeth so that you’ll be willing to smile every chance you get.
Veneers are very thin layers that cover your natural teeth. They are securely adhered to the fronts of your teeth, leaving behind them any embarrassing flaws. Some of the problems that veneers hide include:
- Discoloration that can’t be improved to your liking with the usual whitening methods
- Uneven teeth that are not uniform in size
- Worn teeth that have been damaged with chips or cracks
- Gaps in your smile that you’d like to simply hide instead of have other more extensive treatments like braces
Porcelain is the most popular material used to create veneers. It is durable and resists stains, allowing you to maintain your brand new smile without major concerns of damage or discoloration. Porcelain veneers are created in a laboratory before your dentist places them on your teeth. Another material option is composite resin, and is used more often for minor corrections. Many times these can be made in the dentist’s office instead of a laboratory. Your dentist will be able to help you decide which material is best for you.
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Stinky breath is embarrassing for you, and downright unpleasant for those around you. That’s why there are so many products on the market that focus on this annoying problem. Luckily there are some home remedies you can use to combat mouth odors. Try some of these to see if they work for you to keep your breath clean and fresh.
Your first line of defense is to get rid of food particles and bacteria lingering in your mouth. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly helps remove the major contributors to stinky breath.
Visiting your dentist every six months allows an examination for decay and disease, and provides a more thorough cleaning than you can accomplish yourself.
There is a large selection of toothpastes available today, many offering combinations of benefits. An example is mint toothpaste with whitening powers that is made to strengthen your teeth and freshen your breath. It’s easy to experiment with various brands and flavors to see which one you like best, and helps solve your mouth odor problem.
You can also use baking soda on your toothbrush, because its abrasive qualities help remove bacteria from your teeth. You can use baking soda once a day by itself or in addition to toothpaste.
Although the breath benefits usually don’t last very long from mints, they still can be effective right before entering a social situation or after eating a strong-smelling food.
Some herbs can fight bad breath. Chewing on spices like fennel, cardamom, and cinnamon sticks can aid your breath for a while. This is a popular remedy in other countries where less man-made options are available.
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Maintaining good oral health includes more than just brushing and flossing. You also need to see a dentist regularly to treat any problems that arise with your teeth and gums, and to have more extensive cleanings than you are able to do yourself. Many oral health problems go unnoticed by the patient, but your dentist can detect and treat them before the problem becomes severe. Here is what you can expect when visiting your dentist.
What happens on the first visit?
Your first appointment with a dentist requires some extra time and examination. First, you’ll be asked to complete medical history forms about past dental work, conditions, diseases, and similar issues. You will need to list any medications you are taking and dosages. There will also be questions about your general health, because sometimes other medical conditions and drugs affect your oral health. Next, you will be examined to determine your current dental condition, and asked questions about pain or problems. If you have any dental anxiety or fears, share that with your dentist so that you can work together to make you more comfortable. Also, it is likely that your dentist will recommend a set of initial X-rays to look for problems and establish a baseline for your care.
What about follow-up visits?
As you maintain regular dental visits twice a year, your dentist will get to know you and your oral health. Your medical history won’t be required, unless you have updates about changes in your health or medications. The main focus of follow-up visits will be addressing concerns you may have, and performing a thorough examination and cleaning. Your dentist will check your neck and head to look for any unusual lumps or swellings in lymph nodes or salivary glands. Your gums will be examined for redness, swelling, or easy bleeding that may indicate gum disease. The soft tissues of your mouth like lips, tongue, and insides of your cheeks will be checked for spots, cuts, or swelling. Your dentist will examine every tooth looking for possible cavities or other problems. X-rays may be needed if anything requires further evaluation. Keeping a regular schedule of dental checkups will increase your chances for good oral health and a nice smile.
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Even with good home care, you will probably need a filling at some point. Restorative work of any kind, including inlays, onlays, or crowns, can renew the strength and beauty of your smile. Once you have dental work completed in your mouth, you need to make choices that will preserve these restorations. The following helpful hints will allow you to enjoy a bright, lasting smile:
Avoid hard substances
Chewing certain candies, foods, and ice can damage natural tooth enamel, which means these items can have an even greater impact on dental work.
Choose toothpaste wisely
Stay away from toothpastes that contain harsh abrasives. These substances can cause your restorations to look dull and faded.
Make cleaning a priority
Areas with dental work can provide an easy target for cavity-causing bacteria, so make sure you brush and floss regularly.
Watch for signs of teeth grinding
Also called bruxism, teeth grinding is often a subconscious action that can wear down your teeth. Your dentist can evaluate your mouth and determine if you need a night guard, a custom oral appliance to keep you from grinding your teeth.
Schedule dental checkups
For optimal oral health, you should visit the dentist every six months. At these appointments, your dentist can evaluate your restorations and make sure they are holding up well. The hygienist will also clean and polish teeth, restoring your smile’s vibrancy.
Contact the dentist if you have trouble
You may have a filling chip or a crown break despite your best efforts. Call the dentist’s office right away so that they can repair the area and prevent more damage.
Looking your best helps you convey grace and confidence. Cosmetic dentistry can remove unsightly flaws and give your smile power a boost. The following options will allow you to turn back the clock and enjoy a gorgeous, new image.
Certain foods, lifestyle choices, and aging can lessen your smile’s radiance. Teeth whitening will remove stains and create a more youthful image. For the best results, consider professional teeth whitening, which many dentists offer through in-office sessions or take-home kits.
For small gaps, chips, or cracks in your teeth, dental bonding is often a good solution. With dental bonding, your dentist will use a tooth-colored resin and harden the material with a special light. Dental bonding matches your natural teeth and restores the vibrancy of your smile.
Crafted from thin shells of dental porcelain, veneers can cover flaws and restore your appearance. Durable and stain resistant, veneers can change your image from drab to dynamite.
If you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the decay and fill the tooth. In the past, most dentists used amalgam metal fillings. Now, dentists often place composite fillings to re-establish strength and protect your white smile.
Sometimes, you want to change several aspects of your smile. Custom smile makeovers will allow patients to completely transform their appearances. Usually, the smile makeover process involves a consultation appointment and a detailed plan for changing the features you want to update.
Most people who bite their nails wish they didn’t do it. If you’re a nail biter, you probably know that it spreads germs and leaves your nails looking unattractive. But did you know that it can harm your teeth? Let’s find out the connection between nail biting and tooth damage, and learn some ways to stop this nasty habit.
What does nail biting do to my teeth?
Just like chewing on hard items like ice, nails are hard and put stress on your teeth when you bite down on them. With time, your teeth will weaken and your teeth can chip or break. Since nail biting is a repetitive habit, constant chewing on your teeth wears them down faster than they should. Your teeth also can become more sensitive when the enamel is worn down. Additionally, biting your nails can move your teeth out of place. Your gums are at risk too from the additional stress the nail biting puts on them, eventually leading to gum disease and even tooth loss.
What if I wear braces?
Braces already add pressure on your teeth, so nail biting can stress them even more. The roots of your teeth can be weakened, which leads to problems like tooth loss.
How can I stop biting my nails?
Here are some tips to help you stop the nail biting habit:
- Get a hobby that uses your hands, like video games, knitting, or painting.
- Occupy your mouth by chewing sugarless gum, sucking on mints, or eating carrot sticks.
- Add foods to your diet containing calcium and magnesium because they help repair and grow your nails.
- Cover your nails with tape, petroleum jelly, fake nails (for girls), or foul-tasting liquid.
- Get manicures to make your nails look nice, so you will be less inclined to bite them.
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Diabetes impacts oral health more than many people recognize. The management of your blood sugar can affect your teeth, gums, and entire mouth. Let’s examine why oral care is so important for diabetics.
Experts have discovered a definite link between diabetes and gum disease, with diabetics being at higher risk for gum disease than non-diabetics. This is due to high levels of blood sugar making you more prone to bacterial infections. When bacteria are present, the gums get irritated and infection can result. Gingivitis is the mildest level of gum disease, but if not treated the problem will worsen. Once gum disease occurs, it can be hard to control because infections usually heal more slowly in diabetes patients. Gingivitis can easily progress in diabetics to the most serious level of gum disease, or periodontitis.
Dentists have suggested ways to avoid dental problems associated with diabetes. These include:
Controlling your blood sugar. Increased levels of blood sugar create more sugar in your saliva, rapidly causing tooth decay and infection if you’re not careful.
Brushing at least twice daily with a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. It’s also helpful to brush your tongue to remove bacteria there too.
Flossing daily to remove plaque between teeth.
Seeing your dentist for checkups every six months, or sometimes more if your dentist recommends it.
Providing your dentist with a list of medications you’re taking, because some of them have side effects such as dry mouth that can affect your oral health.
Waiting to have non-emergency dental work done only when your blood sugar levels are acceptable. This will help you heal quicker and decrease your risk of infection.
Consulting the doctor who handles your diabetes before having oral surgery or other significant dental treatment.
Diabetes and gum disease act like a viscous cycle, directly affecting each other if either is not treated or controlled. There can be serious repercussions from either of these diseases. It’s important to take control of your health in both areas, and maintain close contact with your physician and dentist in order to maintain the best level of your overall health.Read More »
More than 23 million Americans have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, which can affect various parts of the body depending on the type of disease. Basically, the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies some part of its own body as a foreign enemy and attacks it. The mouth is not safe from the effects of autoimmune disease. Even though the disease may not be attacking the mouth itself, the effects from the disease on the body may indeed impact the oral area. Here are some common autoimmune diseases and how they affect oral health.
Over 50% of lupus patients develop sores on the lips, palate, and inside the cheeks. These lesions may be treated with topical ointments. Lupus patients also often experience dry mouth, increasing the risks of cavities and gum disease. Regular dental checkups are vital. Another potential oral problem is TMJ, which is a painful problem at the joints where the jaw comes together. A dentist can provide treatment options for TMJ as well.
Although it is a disease that causes joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis has been linked to gum disease. Good oral hygiene, regular dentist visits, and eating a balanced diet are all ways to reduce risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Also, some of the medicines for treating rheumatoid arthritis can irritate or dry out the mouth. A dentist may recommend extra fluoride or other treatments to help.
The main oral effect of Sjögren’s syndrome is xerostomia, which is severe lack of saliva. This can worsen the risks of cavities, gum disease, oral fungal infection, and bad breath. Patients may also become more sensitive to spicy foods, and problems may arise with wearing dentures due to the mouth dryness. Oral treatments related to Sjögren’s include at-home fluoride application and frequent teeth cleanings.
This disease often restricts the jaw from opening as wide as normal, and making it move less easily. Scleroderma may make it hard to clean the back teeth, and difficult for the dentist to provide dental care. It is often tricky for the dentist to treat scleroderma patients with dentures, appliances, and crowns. Therefore, it is very important to maintain healthy teeth and gums to avoid future problems.
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