What A Dental Examination Reveals Just By Looking Into Your Mouth

dental examination looking into mouthYou might often hear the words “your oral health is important for your overall health”. If this were true, then we would be able to point to signs in which these two were connected. Well, truth is: we are able to point to signs. Your dentist can determine a decent amount of information on your overall health just by looking into your mouth during a dental examination.

A great analogy is given by the President of the American Academy of Periodontists, Dr. Stuart Froum: “if the eye is the window to the soul, then the mouth is the window to the body.”

5 Signs Revealed By Looking Into Your Mouth During Dental Examinations

You may be depressed – antidepressants (i.e. Zoloft, etc.) are commonly known to cause dry mouth in many. Dry mouth may stem from other issues, but a mouth that is noticeably dry may point to the fact that you are on antidepressants. Your Las Vegas family dentist could suggest ways for you to re-hydrate your mouth.

You may be pregnant – small red growths on the gums point to pregnancy. In fact, they are often referred to as pregnancy tumors. They are benign tumors – they are not dangerous. Pregnant mothers are encouraged to stay up to date with oral hygiene for the duration of their pregnancy.

You may be iron deficient – when people are iron deficient, it has a possibility to show in the mouth. Your gums will begin to lose their normal, healthy red color and appear pale or pink.

You may be stressed – when people are stressed, they develop more sensitivity in their gums and teeth, as well more stress hormones which have been connected to inflammation and gum disease.

You may have an autoimmune disease – white spots in the mouth that are painful and/or tender could lead to ulcers of your mouth. The white spots could point to an autoimmune condition known as Lichen planus, which is linked to immune function.

Dentists are able to look for questionable signs as they are performing a routine dental examination and check-up. During this time, dentists are also able to screen for oral cancer.

Don’t be a victim of preventable conditions. Practice proper preventative dentistry measures as a way to keep your mouth and body clean and free from gum disease, a condition that affects half of American adults.

Is There a Difference Between Plaque and Tartar?

is there a difference between plaque and tartar

To win the war you must brush and floss daily.

Perhaps you’ve read on your very own toothpaste: “Tartar control” or “Reduces plaque”. We’re betting you looked at this and subconsciously concluded that it sounded like a positive benefit. We’re also betting that you had no idea as to what these terms even meant (if you did then brownie points for you!).

Surprisingly, plaque and tartar are very similar in a couple of ways:

1. They both form on your teeth through a chemical reaction that takes place inside of your mouth when you begin to break down food and

2. Unfortunately for us, they both are comprised of bacteria that happen to be harmful to our teeth and gums.

So Exactly What is Dental Plaque and Tartar?

Well, dental plaque is actually a colorless film that sticks, or adheres, to our teeth. It develops on our teeth throughout the day as we break down food. Because it’s colorless, the naked eye cannot detect it.

The good news is that plaque does not terribly threaten our oral health as long as we maintain a steady routine of brushing and flossing.

When we do not keep up with our oral hygiene routine, then plaque that has been resting on your teeth will eventually become a hardened solid that is known as tartar (some may also refer to it as calculus – they refer to the same thing). Tartar becomes troublesome because once formed, a toothbrush cannot remove it. Toothpastes that claim “tartar control” do not help remove tartar, they help prevent tartar formation.

A Never Ending War

Picture the whole idea behind plaque and tartar as a war. On one side we have you and your army of toothbrushes and dental floss with plaque/tartar and their army of bacteria on the other side. It’s a battle that never ends – it takes place every single day. The best thing you can do is keep your enemy at bay (in this case keeping plaque at bay).

Now, when you visit your dentist every 6 months you begin to really shove the enemy back. This is because your Las Vegas dentist is able to provide you with a professional cleaning that not only wipes out any plaque on your teeth, but also removes any tartar as well.

Fight the battle, win the war – make sure you brush and floss your teeth every day so that you do not fall victim to more serious problems such as gum disease, gingivitis, or bone loss.

Activated Charcoal – A Simple Home Remedy for Whitening Teeth

home remedy teeth whitening

Don’t give up after just one try!

It seems counter intuitive, but charcoal can help you to get cleaner and healthier teeth. This is not regular charcoal that you would find in your fireplace, that charcoal is loaded with impurities.

That type of charcoal is porous and contains a lot of elements that should not be placed into your mouth.

How does activated charcoal work as a home remedy to whitening teeth?

Activated charcoal is a type of charcoal that has been treated with specific gasses to make it more pure. It is also converted into a super porous material that draws impurities from the environment that it is placed in.

This is how activated charcoal works – it draws the impurities out of something and adsorbs them.

Adsorbtion differs from absorption in that it draws materials to it similar to a magnet, and holding those materials inside pores. The area where the charcoal has been used is left clean.

Using activated charcoal can be an effective way to whiten teeth because it draws tannins and removes them from teeth.

Tannins are the ingredient in food that stain your tooth enamel and cause your teeth to look dingy.

The effect of charcoal in the mouth is that it makes your whole mouth black and nasty looking, but it really does do a great job of cleaning up your teeth and removing impurities.

How can you use activated charcoal?

You can sprinkle activated charcoal into toothpaste or create a tooth powder or you can mix up a charcoal slurry which is created by mixing a small amount of powder with a small amount of water.

You can also hold it in your mouth against the front teeth for a few minutes after you have brushed your teeth.

You can purchase activated charcoal in bulk and use it in powder form or the slurry method described above. This is not always possible and sometimes it is difficult to find charcoal powder, so you can also purchase it in capsules or in tablets.

The capsules can be opened up and poured into water and the tablets can be crushed into a powder. Activated charcoal tablets are widely available at drug stores and health food stores near you.

If you cannot find success with activated charcoal in whitening your teeth, then you can always turn to your dentist for a professional teeth whitening procedure that used advanced technology.

If you want other home remedies for teeth whitening, then check out our post on foods for a white smile!

Easy, Healthy Snack Ideas to Enjoy this Summer!

Summertime is a time where many people want beach bodies and the like, but it’s also easy to fall into a never-ending trap of barbeques and ice cream. Las Vegas has recorded temperatures in the triple-digit range, making it an appealing choice to host a barbeque or indulge in creamy ice cream or other snacks. Our mouths are already watering just mentioning it.

easy healthy summer snacks

Fruit is Nature’s Candy

Barbeques are not absolutely terrible, depending on what you decide to grill. A BBQ is bad when you overdo it with the BBQ sauce, a sauce that is generally loaded with sugars that give it the flavor you enjoy. Ketchup is the same way. You can’t let these options fool you into believing otherwise. However, it’s not the end of the world as there are BBQ sauces out there that contain reduced sugar or no added sugars. Granted, they may not taste as great but the compromise may be worth it – assuming you’re even concerned with not only your overall health, but your oral health as well. Avoiding sugary foods are always beneficial to your oral health!

And ice creams… don’t even get us started on that. It’s great, but these snack ideas we have are much better and most importantly, healthier!

Easy To Make Healthy Summer Snack Ideas That You Won’t Regret

Juice Cubes – this is a brilliant idea and terribly simple to craft. All you do is find a flavor of 100-percent fruit juice, pour it into an ice tray, and let it freeze over. They’re great for adding to any type of sparkling water. A great low-calorie option that doesn’t contain unnecessary sugars.

Frozen Grapes/Cherries – are you seeing a trend? Your freezer is your best ticket for healthy eats during the summer. All you have to do here is buy your favorite type of grapes/cherries, throw them into the freezer until frozen, and enjoy. A very low-calorie option that tastes phenomenal.

Fruit Skewers – missing skewers that much? No problem. Try a fruit skewer, no freezing necessary. Just get a medley of fresh summertime fruits, some skewers, and skewer away! We like to believe fruit is nature’s candy, not that man-made stuff that’s filled with tooth decaying amounts of sugar.

Grilled Peaches – you don’t always have to grill meats. Try grilling a halved peach and top it off with some cinnamon. You may be surprised at how tasty this simple treat is.

Kiwis – We only mention this because we believe it’s vastly underrated. That or it’s just too hard for people to find. Let us remind you the fact that kiwi contains antioxidants and may be correlated with lowering blood pressure. A great summertime snack!

Grilled Corn on the Cob – most people are already aware of this, because it’s great. Remove a few layers from the husk, soak the corn in cold water for about 15 minutes, throw it onto the grill for about 15 on medium heat (300 degrees), and you’re set.

Orange Water – grab a pitcher, fill it up with water, slice a few oranges, drop them into the pitcher, add some cucumbers, and then let place it into your refrigerator for a couple of days. Take it out, pour it, and taste how natural it is compared to popular brands that feature insane amount of sugar.

There are plenty of other ideas out there, but we gave you the ones we found truly exciting and have course, beneficial to both your teeth and body. After all, that’s really what counts. Plus, you can even impress your friends and family with some of these simple recipes. Relax, soak up the sun (be sure to wear sunscreen), and eat like a real champion this summer!

Do Oral Piercings Affect Oral Health?

common problems of oral piercingsOral piercings may be fashion statements, but it’s a statement that comes with risks. Before you settle on an oral piercing, consider the long term consequences that are associated with this phenomenon either on the tongue, lip, or cheek. The simple answer to the question, “do oral piercings affect oral health?” is yes, they do.

Common Problems of Oral Piercings

Infection – there’s always a good chance that swelling may occur when you receive the actual piercing. If your tongue swells up enough, you can block airflow. Infections from oral piercings should be treated promptly.

Numbness – if the oral piercing results in any sort of numbness around the area that was pierced, then you may have induced damage to your nerves. This will alter the way you move your tongue, lips, or cheeks, as well as affect your taste.

Excessive saliva production – your body will automatically respond to an oral piercing by increasing the amount of saliva production in the mouth. This happens because your body believes the piercing is a “foreign object”. This increased saliva production results in frequent drooling as well as interference with chewing, swallowing, and speaking on a daily basis.

Chipped teeth – a common habit people wit oral pierce have is to play with their piercings. Playing with a tongue piercing often results in unintended chipped teeth. There’s also the possibility of damaging dental fillings as well.

The four problems above are just the common problems that exist with an oral piercing. There are other risks of oral piercing as well. It’s always best to approach situations that involve choice with a balancing of positives and negatives. If you have any questions regarding oral piercings, then you an always ask your local Las Vegas family dentist for more specific information.

Family Dentist in Las Vegas Looks at Popular Root Canal Myths

root canal mythsRoot canals are a procedure designed to save your tooth when decay has reached a point where tooth extraction is considered. Unfortunately, a few root canal myths have gained popularity over the years, undermining what could be a great alternative in keeping most of your tooth intact. The popular root canal myths are:

Root Canals are Time-Consuming
Because people believe root canals are too long a procedure, they may decide to forgo the event altogether, which could cause harm to your oral health. Your Las Vegas family dentist can perform the whole root canal procedure in about 1-2 hours, with no additional appointments to complete. Your dentist will of course schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure everything is as planned as well as to discuss the possibility of a dental crown to complete the natural look of your tooth.

Root Canals are Painful
Maybe back in the old days when anesthesia wasn’t made readily available as it is today did root canals hurt. Nowadays, anesthesia is used carefully in order to ensure every patient undergo a procedure with minimal to no pain involved. Sedation dentistry is always a possibility when you’re the type of person who is anxious about dental visits.

Root Canal or Extraction
Some dentists may recommend a tooth extraction under certain scenarios, but you should always consider a root canal if applicable. The reason being: because you still have a portion of your real tooth still intact, which is better than having a tooth extracted and then receiving an artificial dental implant.

Root Canal and Illness
Speculation looms around the topic of root canal and illness/disease. Theories have been proposed, but no scientific evidence suggests any correlation between root canal and illness. The main goal of a root canal is to prevent illness by restoring and repairing the damage that has been done to the tooth through a long period of decay.

Root canals are not a procedure anyone looks forward to, but it sure is better than living with a lifetime of severe pain, which left untreated, could pose serious health risks. Don’t let root canal myths steer you away. When in doubt, ask your family dentist in Las Vegas for advice for the best scenarios. They have performed the necessary research to help make informed decisions.

Pediatric Dentist Explains Latest on Dental Insurance

A very recent report from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has released startling news: Roughly 60% of children in the U.S. will have had cavities by the age of five years old. The articles go on to mention how these same children are more likely to develop ear and sinus infections, obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease as a result of poor dental hygiene.

The article brings about the importance of having your children visit a pediatric dentist as soon as they can to prevent such problems from occurring. Paul Reggiardo, the chairman of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s Council on Dental Benefits Programs, notes that early dental problems can affect your child’s ability to learn, their ability to eat, as well as their ability to interact with other children.

pediatric dentist What’s to blame? The fact that parents have not purchased dental insurance for their children. According to the report, 10 million children aged 2 through 18 did not have dental insurance in 2011. A big reason for this comes down to one thing: the process of buying insurance is complicated and confusing. And those who do have dental insurance are unsure as to what they are exactly receiving from it. Aside from that, it’s an expense many feel comfortable skipping on.

Here’s the bottom-line: It’s worth the trouble of going through the dental insurance process in order to provide your child with the dental support they need to help them grow and flourish in the ever-expanding fast-paced world we currently live in. You should never skip out on dental insurance as your overall health really does depend on your oral health.

Your Las Vegas family dentist offers several payment options designed to fit anyone’s budget, helping you and your child receive necessary dental care. Ask us about it.

You can read the full report here.

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