Archive for July, 2016

Questions to Ask Your Dentist

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

As a society, we tend to focus on ways to improve our overall wellbeing. When it comes to health and prevention, many people forget about their teeth and gums. Maintaining good oral health impacts your quality of life. Taking a proactive approach to dental health can prevent problems such as gum disease, tooth loss, extensive decay, and oral cancer.

To protect teeth and gums, visit your dentist for twice yearly checkups. During the appointments ask your dentist these questions:

How is my dental health?
Your exams will give the dentist a clear picture of your teeth and gums. After finishing the evaluation, your dentist should review the findings with you so that you know the status of your oral health. If the dentist finds any problems, he or she can make treatment recommendations and explain the plans in complete detail.

What can I do to improve my dental health?
Because each person’s mouth is different, you need your dentist to offer specific instructions. For instance, you may need to brush longer, floss more often, or switch toothbrushes to receive the maximum benefits.

Can you make a difference in my oral health?
From bad breath treatments to veneers to night guards for teeth grinding, your dentist can address issues and enhance your smile. Let your dentist know about any concerns or questions you have.

Is there any information you need from my doctor or vice versa?
Changes in the mouth can indicate other health problems, so find out if your dentist thinks you need to share details with your doctor. At the same time, you should let your dentist know about any chronic conditions or changes to your medication regimens.

Family & General Dentistry Richmond VA

Fun Facts about Toothpaste

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

You brush every day to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Most people don’t think much about their toothpaste, except whether they like gel or paste. These interesting tidbits about toothpaste might surprise you.

Read on to learn more about toothpaste, and share these cool facts with your friends!

  • Before modern toothpaste existed, people tried all kinds of dry, rough substances to clean their teeth, such as crushed eggshell, pumice, and the burnt hooves of animals.
  • In the past, brushing your teeth wasn’t important so many people had black, rotten teeth, including Queen Elizabeth I.
  • Toothpaste is often flavored from plants like spearmint and peppermint.
  • Dicalcium phosphate dehydrate is the abrasive in toothpaste that helps remove leftover food and plaque from teeth. It makes up about 1/5th of the toothpaste tube.
  • Colgate began selling the first commercial brand of toothpaste in 1873. Crest made its U.S. debut in 1955.
  • A document from the 4th century A.D. provided a recipe of ingredients needed for the perfect smile: one drachma (one hundredth of an ounce) of rock salt, two drachmas of mint, one drachma of dried iris flower, and 20 grains of pepper, all crushed and mixed together.
  • Found in shampoo and soap, surfactants are the ingredients that allow the paste to foam and they help spread the toothpaste over your teeth.
  • Other than texture and flavor, gels and pastes work the same so it’s a matter of personal preference.
  • The most important ingredient in toothpaste is fluoride, which helps strengthen enamel and prevent cavities. Don’t use fluoride toothpaste on children under two because they can ingest too much and cause staining on their teeth.

Family & General Dentistry Richmond VA

Why Not Consider Dental Implants?

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

If you are missing teeth, you may feel self-conscious about your smile. And lost teeth can impact your chewing and speaking ability. Over time, bone degeneration and subsequent tooth loss can also occur. Dental implants are a great option to replace missing teeth and revive your smile.

Look at the following reasons as you way your options:

Dental implants are a permanent solution.
Designed to look and feel like your original tooth, a dental implant is surgically placed under your gum and the dentist places a prosthetic crown on each post. These replacement options create a solid, attractive smile.

Dental implants stand the test of time.
Although they may cost more money initially than dentures, dental implants have a longer lifespan. With proper home care and regular dental checkups, implants will likely last 20 years or more. Can you say the same thing about your dentures?

Dental implants offer improved stability.
With implant therapy, you can say good-bye to messy creams and embarrassing slippage. Unlike dentures, the implants won’t move out of position because they are surgically anchored into place.

Dental implants improve oral health.
When you lose a tooth, the other teeth may shift into the open space, creating alignment problems. Gaps in your smile can also weaken the supporting bone structure. Implants fill in the spaces, which keeps your mouth in better shape.

Dental implants boost your self-esteem.
Lost teeth can cause you to limit what you do and the people you see. Completing your smile with dental implants can allow you to live life to the fullest so that you can eat, laugh, and smile with total confidence.

We specialize in dental implants at Richmond Dentistry

Causes and Effects of Gingivitis

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Any stage of gum disease (or gingivitis) can cause inflammation, pain, and sensitivity. It can make eating and talking difficult. It’s important to know what causes gum disease and what can happen if it develops, so that you can avoid it altogether or at least catch it before it wreaks havoc on your mouth.

What causes gingivitis?

Plaque buildup is the main cause of gum disease, although other factors can lead to it as well. These include:

  • Illnesses, especially those that interfere with your immune system. Patients with HIV, diabetes, and cancer are often at higher risk for gingivitis.
  • Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, menstruation, puberty, and menopause.
  • Some medications affect oral health by decreasing saliva or causing abnormal growth of gum tissue.
  • Smoking can hamper the healing of your gums.
  • Poor dental hygiene, including neglecting brushing or flossing, or using improper techniques.
  • Family history of gum disease.

What are the symptoms?
Gingivitis can sneak up without symptoms, even in the later stages of the disease. However, there are signs that may point to some level of gingivitis. These include bleeding, red, or swollen gums. Ongoing bad breath and receding gums are other symptoms. Deep pockets may form between the teeth and gums, and teeth may shift or loosen. You might also notice changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite down. Your dentist can recognize symptoms even if you don’t, so make sure you have checkups regularly.

How is gingivitis treated?
Treatment depends on the stage of your gum disease, how you responded to previous treatment, and your general health. Treatments range from therapies to control bacterial growth to surgery to restore gum tissue. Often gingivitis can be controlled with dental visits and good dental hygiene.

What can happen without treatment?
Gingivitis may advance to periodontitis, causing permanent damage to your mouth. Advanced gum disease has been linked to stroke, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes complications.

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