Do You Suffer from Dental Anxiety?

overcoming dental anxiety causesAnxiety is an issue that comes in many different forms. It also happens to be a large part of dentistry, often keeping people from obtaining optimal oral health. The issue is known as dental anxiety.

What Research Has Shown

Estimates conclude that roughly 10-15% of Americans avoid the dentist strictly out of fear. To put this into perspective, 10-15% of Americans equates to about 30-40 million people. That’s a lot! A British survey was conducted on this topic and 36% of the respondents mentioned that the reason they did not visit the dentist was simply because of fear.

What Are People Afraid Of?

Dentists want to know this answer because it helps them create an environment that allows someone to feel relaxed and comfortable, in other words not anxious.

Common fear triggers include:

  • Pain
  • Loss of control
  • Embarrassed to reveal mouth
  • Traumatic experiences in the past

It is no surprise that people with dental anxiety, or dental phobia as it’s often referred to, have poorer oral health. They may suffer from periodontal disease or discolored teeth that impact their own self-esteem.

How To Overcome Dental Anxiety

Communicating your fears and concerns to your dentist. By being open and honest with your dentist, they can work to help alleviate your fears. If the issue is pain related, there are plenty of sedation dentistry options to consider. Perhaps the issue stems from embarrassment? Your dentist can assist with these concerns and work towards improving your oral health – which is the primary reason you’re at the dentist.

Our Las Vegas dentists @ Cheyenne Dental Group work hard towards creating an environment in which you can comfortably voice your concerns with our dentists & staff.
Did you know many people actually lie to their dentist about their flossing habits?

Have You Ever Considered Dental Sealants as a Way to Prevent Decay?

dental sealants cavity prevention adultsProper dental hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, eating a healthy diet with infrequent snacking, and regular dental visits help to prevent oral health problems from ever occurring. But there is another way to reduce the incidence of tooth decay, especially for children, namely dental sealants.

What Are Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants refer to a safe plastic cover that is painted on the grooves of the back (chewing) teeth. The sealant is applied in liquid form and solidifies in a few seconds, forming a plastic coating on the chewing surface of your back teeth that protects the grooves from decay and cavities. Sealants are easily painted by dentists or dental hygienists without the requirement for drills or needles. The application process involves:

  • Application of a special liquid on the teeth by brushing – to prevent the sealant from sticking to the teeth
  • After one minute, the liquid is washed off and the tooth dried completely
  • The liquid sealant is painted on to the teeth surface
  • It bonds directly with the teeth and hardens in a few seconds
  • The protective cover is formed

How Effective are Dental Sealants for Cavity Prevention?

The chewing surfaces of your back teeth are typically rough and uneven, owing to small pits and grooves. Food particles and germs easily get stuck in the uneven surface and stay there for a long time because your toothbrush bristles cannot adequately clean them. This makes your premolars and molars prone to tooth decay and cavities, even with proper dental hygiene. Fortunately, you can use dental sealants to cover up the grooves and provide a smooth surface for effective brushing.

Benefits of dental sealants include:

  • Decay prevention and reduced risk of cavities and fillings, caps, or crowns in the future
  • Saves you time at the dentist
  • Savings on dental bills
  • Long-lasting – up to 10 years of protection

Curious to try? Contact our Las Vegas family dentist today @ (702) 803-1796.

Do You Lie to Your Dentist About Your Flossing Habits?

lie dentist flossing habits studyTurns out, many people do! A relatively recent national study has come up with very interesting information regarding our flossing habits – or lack thereof.

Of course you already know (or at least we hope you do) the importance of flossing in maintaining oral health. Brushing alone is not enough. The reason why is because the bristles are often unable to penetrate the small pockets in between your teeth; flossing can. That’s why you are recommended to both brush AND floss.

The National Study Background Information & Results

The study was conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Periodontology to roughly 2,000 adults who submitted their answers online. Respondents were taken from the top 10 U.S. markets from those 18 years of age or older.

27% of the survey respondents had mentioned that they do in fact lie to their dentist about how often they floss. Most likely due to avoiding having the dentist briefly lecture them on flossing.

Read about why people fear the dentist.

The shocker…

The shocking part wasn’t the fact that people lie about their flossing habits, but the fact that 36% of the survey respondents said they would rather participate in an unpleasant activity than floss.

Exactly what constitutes an unpleasant activity?

  • Washing a sink full of dirty dishes (18%)
  • Sitting in gridlock traffic for an hour (9%)
  • Waiting in a long check out line (14%)
  • Do their taxes (9%)
  • Cleaning the toilet (14%)

The interesting part is that 33% of the respondents also mentioned that a smile is the first thing they notice when meeting someone – indicating the inherent importance of a nice smile.

So we have to ask, is it really THAT bad to floss? Once you realize it only takes one minute and can prevent you from a lifetime of dental problems, you might be thinking otherwise about these unpleasant activities!

Do You Grind Your Teeth at Night? Listen Up!

grinding teeth at night

Grinding your teeth typically occurs at night!

Many of us have a habit of grinding our teeth at night, a condition known as bruxism. By definition, bruxism is known as the involuntary or habitual grinding of teeth. However, here’s the problem: most of us are unaware that we’re doing it in the first place because it’ll happen when we are sound asleep in a sleep cycle known as R.E.M. sleep.

What Causes Teeth Grinding at Night?

There are a few reasons why someone may develop an unknown habit of grinding teeth at night:

  • Having an abnormal bite
  • Having a sleep disorder
  • Having teeth that are crooked or missing

However, sometimes the issue is not grinding teeth at night, but during the day when we are consciously awake. The reason here is usually anxiety. People use grinding their teeth as a nervous tic when they are under stressful circumstances.

How Do I know if I’m Grinding My Teeth at Night?

Those who do suffer from teeth grinding at night typically possess these symptoms:

  • Having a spouse or friend notify you of your sleeping patterns at night if they are awake while the event occurs
  • Dull headaches that have no explanation
  • Sensitive or irritated gums
  • Sore jaw with no reasonable explanation
  • Loose or fractured teeth with no easily identifiable cause

If you possess a couple or more of these symptoms, then there is a good chance you may be grinding your teeth at night. An appointment with an experienced dentist or orthodontist will help you solve the puzzle.

Our orthodontists help treat teeth grinding issues at Cheyenne Dental Group.

The Solution: Night Guards

A common solution is the use of night guards while you sleep. They’re similar to mouth guards you wear when engaging in sports except they are custom made to fit your mouth and prevent movement of friction between teeth, which is what causes problems. They also help stabilize your jaw while you sleep, preventing unwanted soreness.

Night guards could be purchased over-the-counter but they are not custom-fit for the mouth and will not give you the relief you seek. This is why it is recommended to visit an orthodontist or dentist in order to tackle the issue the right way.

In the News: Innovative Technology for Diagnosing Oral Cancer

dental news oral cancer screeningSpanish scientists have recently discovered a new technology to help dentists detect oral cancer quickly and more efficiently.*

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers ranking in as the sixth-leading cause of cancer.

Currently, we (dentists) rely on observation and biopsy to confirm an oral cancer diagnosis. This traditional process often requires at least a couple weeks of time just to confirm the diagnosis before any treatment may begin.

The new portable device that the Spanish scientists have discovered will be able to diagnose and confirm oral cancer on the same exact day. In terms of time alone, this is a substantial improvement. No longer will patients be required to wait for a confirmation before beginning treatment. Treatment will be able to start the same day for increased chances of successful recovery.

To add, biopsy or removal of a small piece of tissue will no longer be required, allowing the diagnosing process to be as minimally invasive as possible which is an aspect comforting to many patients. This also removes a third part from the situation, reducing costs.

It’s portability will also aid in bringing costs down as one machine will able to be moved from room to room.

A prototype of this portable machine is expected to be revealed later this year (2015) as further research must be conducted in order to finalize everything necessary for presentation at events, conferences, and to specialists around the globe as well as meeting all federal regulations and requirements.

*The full study can be found here.

Have You Been Screened for Oral Cancer?

At Cheyenne Dental Group, we provide oral cancer screenings during our thorough dental cleanings & exams. Oral cancer screening is highly recommended at any age being one of the top cancers worldwide, while also being one of the most curable with early detection.

Why Deep Cleaning is Important and Worthwhile

is deep cleaning worthwhileWe’ve all heard of scaling and root planning, more commonly referred to as a “deep cleaning”. Most of us have probably been recommended this treatment at some point because truth is, it’s hard to keep our teeth in tip-top shape without intervention from our dentist.

A common form of treatment dentists recommend is deep cleaning. Now, you may be wondering what exactly is the difference between a deep and regular cleaning. We’ll explain.

Difference Between Regular and Deep Dental Cleanings

Regular cleanings – a basic removal of bacteria and tartar buildup in the shallow spaces in between our teeth and gums. There is a small level of pain to be expected of this, which is why some people prefer sedation dentistry options. In a regular cleaning you will have your numbers read out loud (how deep your dental pockets are – the higher the worse), mouth examined, cleaned with special instruments, and then polished for a fresh smile.

Deep cleaning – deep cleanings are everything mentioned above except the cleaning takes place further into the shallow space in between teeth and gums known as “pockets”. Pockets are the numbers that hear read out loud such as 4, 3, 4 or 3, 2, 3. Anything beyond a 6 is considered severe and would make you a great candidate for deep cleaning.

Those who are recommended deep cleaning have deep enough pockets that warrant it, as well as more bacteria and tartar buildup that may be difficult to remove. The procedure often involves local anesthetics so that you are pain free throughout. No surgery is required and is considered minimally invasive.

The Importance of Deep Cleaning

It’s important for certain people to undergo this procedure because tartar is a very hard mineralized substance that can only be removed using special instruments by your dentist. Deep cleaning kits or water flossers at home will not work for this and are to be used as supplements to your daily brushing and flossing routine.

Some people are also administered antibiotics under the gum line as a way to control the bacteria in the mouth and prevent it from spreading further.

If the tartar is unable to be addressed – most often because people feel they don’t need deep cleaning, then there is the possibility of the bacteria reaching the roots. When this happen, the tooth is in danger of being decayed and worst-case scenario would have to be extracted.

Medications That May Interfere With Your Oral Health

oral side effects medicationMost of us are aware that medications we take come with side effects. However, most of us are probably unaware that the medications we take may also be interfering with our oral health.

Oral Side Effects of Certain Medications

Saliva Production Decrease

Many medications have the potential to decrease the amount of saliva our body naturally produces in order to fight bacteria. This makes your teeth vulnerable to decay if you do not respond to the matter.

These medications include:

  • Antihistamines used for allergies (i.e. Claritin)
  • Decongestants (i.e. Sudafed)
  • Painkillers (i.e. Advil or ibuprofen)
  • Diuretics (i.e. high blood pressure medication)

Sores and Inflammation Inside the Mouth

If you take one of these types of medications, then you may be prone to experiencing sores or other sources of inflammation in the mouth:

  • High blood pressure pills
  • Immunosuppressive medication
  • Contraceptives

White Spots in the Mouth

If you have asthma and use an inhaler to keep your airways open, then pay attention to fungal infections known as thrush. It causes white spots in the mouth that are painful. It is advised to rinse the mouth out after using your inhaler.

Unusual Bleeding During Procedures

This is not a direct effect, but certain blood thinner medications have the potential to cause heavy bleeding during dental procedures such as root planning, gum surgery, tooth extractions, or other procedures that cause bleeding.

Consistently Updating Your Dentist

Of course it’s important to brush and floss your teeth every day and night, but you should also update your dentist of any new medications you are on every time you see them. This way adjustments and prescriptions may be made without jeopardizing your health.


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