Archive for March, 2012

Oral Health and Your Heart

Monday, March 26th, 2012

The American Heart Association recognizes February as American Heart Month. Protecting your cardiovascular health can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Although you may not realize it, your oral health can have a direct impact on your heart.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) costs billions of dollars each year in treatment, medication, and disability claims. In fact, heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined. Understanding how your oral health can contribute to heart health can provide life-saving information.

Research has linked dental issues such as gum disease with increased chances of cardiovascular disease. Individuals with severe gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer heart problems as those without any oral health problems. Caused by an infection in your gums and soft tissues, gum disease produces inflammation in the affected tissue. The oral bacteria can enter your blood stream and create a defensive reaction throughout the body.

Take the proper steps to prevent gum disease and promote good oral health by following these helpful hints:

• Don’t skip your checkups. These appointments allow your dentist to examine your mouth and look for any signs of gum disease. Treating the problem before it gets worse can protect your overall wellbeing.
• Eat right. Make sure you choose healthy foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
• Maintain good home care. Brush twice a day and floss regularly to remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
• Quit smoking. Tobacco use increases your chances of developing gum disease and it makes fighting the condition more difficult.

Your oral health is important at Richmond, VA dental office – Brown, Reynolds & Snow Dentistry.

Fillings and Your Teeth

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Even with your best efforts, you may still develop a cavity. When a tooth has decay, your dentist will need to remove the diseased tissue and place a filling. These restorations will improve the strength and stability of your teeth.

At one time, dentists used amalgam, or metal, fillings to repair damaged areas. With age, metal fillings can change shape or begin to leak, resulting in the need for more dental work. Amalgam fillings also contain mercury, a metal that can cause health issues in large quantities. Many dentists now choose to generate solid, aesthetically-pleasing restorations with composite fillings.

Tinted to match the color of neighboring teeth, all-white fillings won’t compromise your smile’s beauty. As well, the composite materials bond directly to the tooth, so this type of filling can repair tooth structure and allow for less removal of healthy surface area. If you have old, amalgam fillings and you are worried about their impact on your smile and oral health, ask your dentist to evaluate their condition and talk with you about metal filling removal.

To place a composite filling, the dentist will remove the cavity and then apply the composite mixture to the tooth. Your doctor will carefully reshape the restoration and harden the all-white filling with a special curing light. Typically, your dentist will complete the process by polishing and buffing the tooth.

Richmond, VA dental office – Brown, Reynolds & Snow Dentistry – Dental Fillings

Protect Yourself against Oral Cancer

Monday, March 12th, 2012

You may not realize it, but one American dies from oral cancer every hour. In fact, oral cancer kills more people than liver, testicular, kidney brain, or ovarian cancer. If found in the initial stages, though, oral cancer has a 90 percent cure rate.

As your trusted oral health care provider, your dentist offers the best defense against oral cancer. Many times, dentists will notice a problem area even before the patient develops any symptoms. At your regular dental checkups, the dentist will examine your entire mouth, looking for anything unusual. Some dental practices use special screening tools, such as ViziLite or VelScope, to help check for oral cancer.

One way to lower your odds of developing oral cancer is to minimize the risks. Tobacco use, frequent, high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, and age are the most common risk factors for oral cancer. Though oral cancer typically occurs in people who excessively use tobacco and/or drink alcohol, 25 percent of cases develop in individuals with no identifiable risk factors.

Make sure to let your dentist know if you experience any symptoms of oral cancer, including:
• Any sore that bleeds easily or does not heal in two weeks
• Change in the color of oral tissues
• Hoarseness and/or difficulty swallowing
• Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in your mouth or on the lips
• Rough spots, crustiness, lumps, or small, eroded areas

Regular checkups can help protect your oral health. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends twice yearly visits for healthy patients. If you notice any unusual changes in your mouth between visits, contact your dentist right away.

We care about your oral health at Richmond, VA dental office – Brown, Reynolds & Snow Dentistry.

The 411 on Smile Makeovers

Monday, March 5th, 2012

A stunning smile allows you to make a lasting impression on the people you meet. Many people, thought, feel embarrassed about how their teeth look. Don’t settle for a less-than-stellar image. If gaps, chips, or stains have diminished your smile’s vibrancy, ask your dentist about enhancing your appearance with a personalized smile makeover.

During a smile makeover, your dentist will typically combine procedures to repair damage, remove flaws, and create a new look for you. Before the smile makeover process begins, think about what you want to accomplish. To successfully communicate your objectives to the dentist, try to find examples of smiles you admire, consider your budget, and commit to the process. Your smile makeover will likely take several visits to complete the transformation.

During a consultation appointment, your dentist will listen to your input and may show you examples of other finished cases. After a thorough exam, he or she will generate a complete plan for your smile makeover.

Often, a smile makeover will include one or more of the following:

• All-white fillings or crowns to repair damaged teeth
• Bridgework or dental implants to replace missing teeth
• Cosmetic bonding to fill in small cracks or chips
• Invisalign clear braces to straighten crooked teeth
• Whitening to eliminate stains and transform your smile
• Veneers or Lumineers to create uniformity

Smile Makeovers at Richmond, VA dental office – Brown, Reynolds & Snow Dentistry

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