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How Does Your Mouth Affect Your Overall Health?

In the past, oral n associated only with the mouth. New research has found that the advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis, is linked with health problems such as heart disease and stroke. Some researchers have even suggested that periodontitis can cause premature birth, low birth weight, pancreatic cancer, high blood sugar levels and even bacterial pneumonia.

Even though studies have linked gum disease to many health problems, the American Dental Association states, “just because two conditions occur at the same time, doesn’t necessarily mean that one condition causes the other.” Much more research is needed on this subject.

Bacterial endocarditis is a common risk associated with periodontal disease. Bacterial endocarditis is an infection in the lining of the heart or heart valves, which could damage or destroy these valves.

Bacterial endocarditis can also occur in patients who have minor heart valve problems, especially if periodontal disease is present. The consensus is that bacteria can get into the bloodstream from infected gums, which can activate infection in the bloodstream within the heart.

According to the American Heart Association, bacterial endocarditis happens when bacteria in the bloodstream, called bacteremia, lodge on heart tissue that has been damaged or on abnormal heart valves.

What Is Tooth Decay?

Decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Decay occurs when plaque, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.

If decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth.

Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay. Pregnancy is a very exciting and busy time. There are so many changes going on in your body and your mouth is no exception. Good oral hygiene is extremely important during pregnancy because the increase of hormone levels during pregnancy can cause dental problems to be intensified.

What Is A Veneer?

A veneer is a thin shell made out of porcelain or composite material. They are custom made and cemented to the front side of the tooth. A veneer can be used to treat dental conditions such as a slightly crooked tooth, discolored teeth, chipped teeth or they can even be used to cover spaces in between the teeth.

A veneer can be made by the dentist or in a dental laboratory, depending on the materials used and the preference of the dentist.

What Is A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a metal device designed to replace missing teeth. The device is usually made out of titanium and is surgically placed into the jawbonewhere the tooth is missing. Unlike a dental bridge, an implant is permanent. A dental implant is designed to act as the tooth root and can anchor an artificial tooth or teeth such as a crown, bridge or denture.

What Is Calculus?

Calculus, also known as tartar, is the hardened residue that forms on your teeth when plaque is not removed. Plaque can be removed by brushing twice a day and flossing. If tartar is allowed to remain on the teeth and below the gumline, it can lead to chronic infection and inflammation. The only way to remove tartar is to have your teeth professionally cleaned at your dentist.

Why Is Oral Health Important During Pregnancy?

One of the most common dental problems associated with pregnancy is a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis, which usuallyoccurs during the first trimester. Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis are usually bleeding, swollen, red and tender gums.

Good oral health during pregnancy could also be important to your fetus. Some researchers have suggested that the serious stage of gum disease, periodontitis, could cause premature birth and low birth weight.

What Is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint, also known as TMJ, is the ball and socket joint that connects the lower jaw to the bone on each side of the head. The temporomandibular joint is stabilized by muscles that make it possible to open and close the mouth. The pain,discomfort or tenderness in or around these joints are referred to as TMJ disorders.

What Is Tooth Erosion?

Tooth erosion is the wearing away of tooth enamel by acid. The enamel is the hard calcified tissue that covers and protects the outside of the tooth. It is the hardest substance in our bodies.

The saliva in our mouth contains calcium, which helps to strengthen and remineralize the teeth. However, remineralization can not occur when a great deal of acid is present.

The high amount of acids in the food and drink that you consume can cause tooth erosion. Soft drinks and pure fruit juices contain a high amount of acid

Tooth erosion can also be caused by medical factors such as a decrease in saliva, acid reflux disease, certain gastrointestinal conditions and the eating disorder bulimia.

What Is An Abscessed Tooth?

An abscess of the tooth is an infection. An abscess can include pus and swelling of the soft gum tissues surrounding the tooth. An abscess can develop from tooth decay or tooth trauma, such as a broken tooth. If there is an opening in the enamel of a tooth, such as a cavity, bacteria can get in and infect the pulp (center) of the tooth and cause an abscess.

Once an abscess happens, the infection could spread throughout the mouth and body. A root canal is usually the only option to save a tooth once it has become abscessed. If you suspect that you have an abscessed tooth, call us as soon as possible.

Can I Prevent Bad Breath?

Regular dental check ups & cleanings, flossing daily, and brushing your teeth & tongue twice a day can greatly reduce and possibly eliminate bad breath. It is also possible that odors are coming from infected teeth, or even stomach problems.

Is Nitrous Oxide Safe?

Nitrous oxide, commonly called “laughing gas”, will help you relax. While inhaling nitrous oxide, you remain fully conscience and aware of your surroundings. After coming off of the gas, the effects of it are gone.

If you have respiratory problems or other breathing problems, such as asthma, you should talk with your dentist to see if you are a candidate for nitrous oxide. You cannot use nitrous if you are pregnant.

What Are Sealants?

Sealants are a clear and protective coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the back teeth. The sealant protects the tooth from getting a cavity by shielding against bacteria and plaque. Sealants are most commonly placed on children’s permanent back teeth because they are more prone to cavities. Most insurance companies pay for sealants.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the clenching and / or grinding of your teeth, especially at night. Clenching refers to tightly clamping your top and bottom teeth together. The force of clenching causes stressful pressure on the muscles, tissues and jaw. Jaw disorders, jaw pain, soreness, headaches, earaches, damaged teeth and other problems can result from bruxism. If clenching causes jaw pain, it can disrupt sleeping and eating, lead to other dental problems or create TMJ problems. We can make you a clear night guard for you to sleep in to alleviate the clenching or grinding.

Is There Any Harm In Whitening My Teeth?

There can be harm to your teeth and gums using some of the rapid “one-hour” or “laser whitening” bleaching systems. These systems can cause gum irritation and even cause the nerve in the tooth to die.

We take a more conservative approach to whitening. Plastic trays are fabricated, and you are given the bleach to take home. Then, you whiten at your own pace. As long as you don’t over do it, most people have little or no sensitivity. As always, whitening is complementary at our office.

What Is “Conscious Sedation” Or Sleep Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry allows you to be sedated just enough to be pain free and unaware of the treatment, as if you were relaxing. It also allows us to do longer appointments.

So if you have sensitive teeth, a fear of dentists, have a bad gag reflex, dislike needles, or have limited time to spend on dental care, sedation during dental procedures can make the visit much more enjoyable.

“These definitions were taken from www.about.com/dentistry You can visit their site for an even broader range of topics on dentistry”

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Same-Day Crowns
  • 2 Convenient Locations
  • 24/7 Emergency Availability
  • Advanced Dental Technology
  • Average Staff Tenure 15+ Years
  • Ideal Exact Placement of Implant
  • Certified Envirostar “Green” Practice
  • Emphasis on Education & Prevention
  • Free Teeth Whitening for New Patients
  • Believe in Giving Back to Local Community
  • See What We See with Our Intraoral Digital Cameras
  • Dr. Scoles is a Veteran of the U.S. Navy
  • In Network with Regence Dental
  • Premier Provider with Delta Dental