Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health.

Your teeth are an important part of your body, so it’s normal to be concerned about how wisdom teeth extraction will affect you, especially if you’re not used to dental procedures. After having your wisdom teeth removed, it’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions closely so that you can recover as quickly and safely as possible. This includes avoiding some of the things that you may normally do on a regular basis. Luckily, your dentist in Asheboro put together a quick guide to show you what you should avoid during recovery. 

Smoking

One of the most important things to avoid after having your wisdom teeth removed is smoking. Smoking is one of the main causes of dry socket, an infection that can happen in the surgical site. Dry socket can cause severe pain that may last for several days, so it’s wise to do everything you can to avoid it. Smoking can also slow down the healing process because it causes blood vessels to shrink which also diminishes the amount of oxygen that can get to the wound to promote healing. Less oxygen means a longer healing time and more risk for infection. Avoid smoking for at least five days after your procedure.

Exercising

You may think that if more oxygen flow means faster recovery then exercising would be beneficial. However, exercising or performing strenuous activities such as bending or lifting can actually encourage bleeding and cause pain and swelling. The best thing to do for a few days after surgery is to get comfortable on a bed or couch, find something good to watch on TV, or read a good book. Relax until you’re cleared by your dentist in Asheboro to exercise. 

Drinking

While it’s important to drink plenty of water during recovery, you should avoid alcohol for at least 72 hours or as recommended by your dentist. It’s also important to remember to avoid drinking anything out of a straw. The sucking pressure required when drinking from a straw can easily loosen the blood clots in the surgical sites. These clots are a necessary part of proper healing so we don’t want them to become loose too soon. 

Brushing

Usually, your dentist in Asheboro recommends that everyone brushes their teeth twice a day. However, after having your wisdom teeth taken out it’s important to not brush your teeth until 24 hours after surgery or as recommended by your dentist. After the first day, you can most likely resume brushing, but make sure to brush gently during healing. 

Eating

Your dentist in Asheboro will recommend eating a soft diet for a few days after your surgery. This is an important part of the healing process, so you don’t want to eat anything too hard, crunchy, or chewy. Avoid foods like nuts, seeds, veggies, pretzels, or crackers. Instead, try some of the following safe foods: 

  • Applesauce
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Warm soup (not too hot)
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pudding

While wisdom teeth removal can cause stress and worry, there are things you can do to make the experience go quickly. Use these tips and tricks to recover fast and avoid unnecessary pain. The sooner you begin following these steps, the sooner you’ll be able to get back on your feet. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll soon find yourself feeling more refreshed than ever before. 

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Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the United States. It can be caused by poor dental hygiene habits, like not brushing and flossing your teeth daily and avoiding regular dental checkups with your dentist in Asheboro. Not only that, but gum disease can even lead to other more serious health issues like heart problems later on in life. If you notice any of these common signs that you may have gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to receive treatment and preserve your oral health.

Gum Disease Facts

Gum disease is a serious infection in the gums, and more than 60 million Americans have some form of it. One of the most common problems with gum disease is that it needs to be caught early in order for it to be cured. Otherwise, the disease can only be treated and managed. To make matters more complicated, sometimes the symptoms of gum disease aren’t recognized as a problem, so patients go too long without seeking treatment from their dentist in Asheboro. This is why it’s so important to understand what gum disease looks like in its various stages so you can get treatment quickly if you notice any signs of a potential problem. 

The First Signs of Gum Disease

Knowing what to look for can make all the difference in catching and treating gum disease successfully and having it cause bigger problems. Keep an eye out for: 

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Pain while chewing
  • New tooth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath

If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your Asheboro dentist. Diagnosing gum disease in the early stages can help prevent some complications of gum disease such as tooth loss, an increased risk of decay, and heart disease. 

Risk Factors

Even though poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of gum disease, there are other factors that can make someone more likely to develop issues. Some risk factors include: 

  • Tobacco use
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal changes (such as with pregnancy)
  • Some medications that can cause dry mouth
  • Certain diseases like diabetes and Crohn’s 

The Good News

There is some good news when it comes to gum disease — it’s usually preventable since it’s most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene. To reduce your risk of developing gum disease, make sure to keep your gums healthy by: 

  • Brushing and flossing daily
  • Avoiding tobacco products
  • Using an ADA approved therapeutic mouthwash
  • Seeing your dentist in Asheboro at least twice a year

If you’re noticing any signs of gum disease, it’s best to visit your dentist right away for treatment. The earlier gum disease is caught, the easier it is to treat. To keep your teeth (and body!) healthy and strong for years to come, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and schedule regular dental cleanings at least once every six months.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health.

Have you been searching for ways to get whiter teeth? Do you feel as though your teeth are stained from all the coffee and wine that you drink? Well, the good news is, there are plenty of ways to reverse staining to get whiter teeth. In fact, if you follow these simple steps from your dentist in Asheboro, you’ll be sure to see a brighter, whiter smile in no time. 

  • 1. Avoid Staining Foods

It’s true that certain foods and drinks, such as coffee, red wine, and berries can stain your teeth. A good rule of thumb to follow is – if it can stain a white shirt, it can probably stain white teeth. However, this doesn’t mean you need to avoid staining foods. You can still enjoy them, we just recommend doing so in moderation or rinsing your mouth out with water or a quick brushing after eating. Your dentist in Asheboro suggests snacking on fresh veggies such as carrots for a healthy treat that can also help wear away surface stains on your teeth. 

  • 2. Brush Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth twice a day does a lot for your oral health. It can help wash away bacteria, remove food particles, and reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease. But brushing can also help remove surface stains and keep teeth white. If you’re already brushing your teeth twice a day, consider brushing after meals as well, just be sure to wait a bit to brush after eating or drinking anything acidic. You can also consider a whitening toothpaste. Talk to your dentist in Asheboro about which toothpaste would be the best for you. 

  • 3. Consider Tooth Whitening Treatment

There are so many different smile whitening products available nowadays — from whitening strips, powders and trays, and in-office whitening. When considering your options, remember that there’s no one size fits all here, and what works for one person might not work for another. There are numerous factors that determine how quickly a product will work for you such as sensitivity level, how often you need to use the product, and types of staining. Be sure to discuss your options with your dentist before choosing which method is best for you!

  • 4. Evaluate Cosmetic Dentistry Options

There are some cases where tooth whitening treatment won’t be enough to tackle deep stains. But don’t worry, there are cosmetic dentistry options available to cover up imperfections in your teeth, including discoloration. One of the most common cosmetic dentistry treatments used to mask stains is veneers. These thin pieces of porcelain are affixed to the front of your teeth and are custom-colored to give you the smile you want. 

  • 5. See Your Dentist in Asheboro Regularly

Visiting your dentist twice a year serves many purposes, such as catching any problems early when they’re still easy to treat. But these bi-annual appointments are also a great opportunity for your dental hygienist to thoroughly and professionally clean your teeth. Hygienists have special tools that help remove plaque buildup, and even some stains, that you can’t remove at home. 

In conclusion, there are a number of different options you can choose from when it comes to whitening your teeth, so don’t be afraid to experiment and try out some of these tips and methods. Once you find what works best for you, take it all one step further by maintaining a healthy diet and routine dental hygiene habits that will help ensure your teeth stay healthy and bright.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health.

What’s the best way to freshen your breath? We’re glad you asked! August 6th is recognized as National Fresh Breath Day, and your dentist in Asheboro wants to take a closer look at what you can do to get that minty freshness all day long, as well as what may cause bad breath in the first place.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Stinky breath, also known as halitosis, occurs when bacteria in your mouth form plaque on your teeth and gums, creating an unpleasant odor that can be embarrassing during even the most normal of conversations. Some of the main causes of bad breath include: 

  • Food, which is usually temporary
  • Dry mouth
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease
  • Certain medications

Did you know that your breath can reveal the health of your teeth and gums? So before we dive into some ways to freshen your breath, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Asheboro to check out your gums and teeth.

How to Freshen Breath

If you have bad breath, don’t fret. There are things you can do to reverse bad breath and keep it minty fresh. 

Eat Smart

Avoiding sugary or processed foods can help reduce the risk of bad breath. We recommend incorporating fresh vegetables into your diet every day. These crunchy veggies can gently remove bad breath bacteria and moisten your mouth.  

Drink Smart

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help wash away bacteria, neutralize acids, and help keep your mouth hydrated. 

Snack Smart

People who have bad breath often turn to treats like gum or mints to mask the stink. This is fine, however, make sure that whatever you use doesn’t contain sugar — this can actually make bad breath worse. Instead, look for treats that contain Xylitol.

Brush Smart

One of the easiest ways to get rid of bad breath is to make sure you’re taking excellent care of your oral health. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Ideally, you should brush in the morning and at night. But that’s not all. Make sure you brush your tongue and floss in between your teeth daily to remove bacteria. 

Schedule Appointments with Your Dentist in Asheboro

Visiting your dentist every six months (or more often) can help keep your mouth healthy and help you avoid a buildup of germs that could be causing bad breath. Additionally, getting regular cleanings helps remove bacteria-filled plaque from around teeth and along gums and helps prevent gum disease, which is another common cause of bad breath. These bi-annual visits provide a chance for your dentist to spot and treat any issues early on, while they’re still easy to handle. 

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health.

There’s a common misconception that vaping is healthier than smoking. In fact, vaping is often used as a way to try and help smokers quit smoking. But is this method actually safer than traditional cigarettes? Research suggests that it’s not. Many studies have shown that vaping causes similar health concerns as smoking such as an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. But that’s not all. Your dentist in Asheboro wants to know that the oral health risks associated with vaping are also similar to those of smoking cigarettes. 

Vaping & Overall Health

Vaping has been around in the United States since 2007, but has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among young adults and even teenagers. As more research about the effects of vaping is being conducted, we’re starting to see that it has similar health effects as smoking such as: 

  • Increased risk of pneumonia
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stroke. 

Vaping & Oral Health

Unfortunately, the health concerns don’t end there. Vaping can affect oral health as well. Some reported ways that e-cigarettes can damage or teeth and overall oral health include: 

  • Facial & Mouth Damage

There have been reports of e-cigarettes exploding, whether in a pocket or while inhaling. This can cause serious injuries to the mouth, face, and even the neck. In fact, these explosions can be so intense that some people have even died as a result.

  • Gum Disease

Nicotine is a prominent ingredient found in vaping liquid. This is why some smokers may find vaping helpful when trying to quit. Now, even though many e-liquids contain less nicotine than cigarettes, it’s still highly addictive and can cause damage in the mouth. Since many studies have been conducted regarding the effects of nicotine in cigarettes on oral health, we know that this ingredient can damage gum tissue and increase the risk of gum disease. Gum disease is a serious oral health condition that can contribute to tooth loss as well as heart disease, stroke, and respiratory problems. However, if treated quickly by your dentist in Asheboro, the disease can be reversed. 

  • Decay & Cavities

Two liquid ingredients found in e-cigarettes are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, both of which can cause damage to the teeth. Propylene glycol, when inhaled orally, creates toxic byproducts that erode tooth enamel and the soft tissues in the mouth. This leaves teeth at risk for decay, dry mouth, bad breath, and gum disease. Vegetable glycerin is the ingredient that makes vaping liquid have its sweet taste. In fact, it’s found in some of the foods we eat. It’s good in the sense that studies suggest that it doesn’t cause cavities. It’s bad in e-liquid because when it merges with flavoring (which most liquids have) it can become thick. The vapors can then easily stick to the surfaces of teeth and trap bad bacteria into the crevices. The result? Decay and cavities. 

Can Vaping Help You Quit Smoking? 

Many people turn to vape pens as a way to wean off of cigarettes, but is it a viable way to quit? Well, some research suggests they are. Others show quite the opposite. For example, one study found that vaping helped current smokers reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked by about half, while another suggested that smokers who use e-cigs are 59% less likely to quit. 

The consensus? What works for one person may not work for another, and it’s usually not a good idea to replace one addictive habit with another. Instead, your dentist in Asheboro recommends starting by looking at the resources offered by the American Lung Association

It’s never too late to quit smoking or using e-cigarettes. Even though it takes some time, there is a method that will work for you.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health.

Your dentist in Asheboro has always told you that you need to brush your teeth twice a day. But how important is that rule, really? The truth is, it’s pretty important to brush your teeth (and floss them!) every single day, twice a day, for two minutes. Skipping a brushing session once in a while won’t be detrimental to your health, but not brushing regularly can lead to some serious oral and overall health problems. 

The Lifecycle of Not Brushing

If you go without brushing your teeth every morning and every night, something bad will start to happen. It starts with almost no warning but can end in some scary results. 

  • Plaque Attack

The problems of not brushing begin with plaque. Plaque is a sticky substance that covers our teeth. Normally it’s removed by brushing. However, if it’s left alone, it can quickly harden into tartar. In fact, it only takes 24 hours for plaque to transform into tartar. Tartar can’t be removed through at-home brushing alone and will need to be cleaned off by your dentist in Asheboro. If that doesn’t happen, you may start to see your teeth take on a brown or yellow appearance, and it’s also when the serious problems begin. 

  • Gum Disease: Part 1

Even a few days without brushing can put you at risk of developing an early gum disease called gingivitis. You may notice red, swollen gums or bleeding while you brush and floss (note: you should never bleed while caring for your teeth!). Now more than ever, it’s important to quickly turn to a proper oral hygiene routine to reverse the problem. 

  • Cavities

Another thing that may happen around this time is your teeth can develop cavities. The plaque we talked about earlier is packed with bacteria. These bacteria will feed on the foods we eat and release an acidic byproduct. This acid will attack tooth enamel and start to decay the teeth. Cavities can often be fixed through a simple filling by your dentist in Asheboro, but if not treated promptly and decay progresses, you may need more complex treatment such as a root canal. 

  • Gum Disease: Part 2

Now, back to the dangers of gum disease. Untreated gingivitis can quickly progress into full-blown periodontal disease. At this stage, bacteria have found their way under the gums, and the tissues can become detached from the teeth and bones. If this occurs, there is no treatment available to reverse the disease and it can eventually lead to tooth loss.

  • Tooth Loss 

Even though tooth loss probably won’t happen overnight, it can happen gradually, and it can affect both your oral and overall health. Loss of our permanent adult teeth can make it difficult to eat a well-balanced meal, hurting our ability to get all the nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. Also, when teeth are no longer around to stimulate the jawbones, the bone can deteriorate and make the face appear collapsed. Now, if tooth loss does occur, there are many ways to replace them. Whether it’s with a bridge, dentures, or dental implants, your dentist in Asheboro can find the best solution for you. 

Brushing your teeth twice a day is the best way to take care of your teeth at home and protect yourself from oral health problems. But it’s also important to maintain regular appointments with your dentist and see them every six months for checkups and cleanings. 

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, oral health.

Losing a dental filling can be a scary experience, but your dentist in Asheboro wants to remind you not to panic. There are many reasons why a filling can become loose or completely fall out, and it’s important to seek treatment quickly. But other than that, what should you do now? We’ve put together some essential things you can do if you lose a filling. 

Call Your Dentist in Asheboro

The very first step you should take if you lose a filling is to call your dentist to schedule an appointment. If it happens after hours or when your dentist is closed, leave a message so the team can call you back quickly and get you in. The worst thing you can do is wait too long to have your tooth looked at. In fact, the longer treatment is withheld the more likely it is that other problems will develop. 

‘Baby’ Your Tooth

Prior to your dental appointment, it’s important to take extra special care of your tooth to keep bacteria from settling into the old restoration area. You should absolutely still brush your teeth, just perhaps a little more gently than normal. This can remove any bacteria that already found their way into your restoration. Swishing your mouth with warm water can also remove bacteria and any leftover food debris. Warm salt water can also help reduce pain or discomfort. 

Reduce Discomfort

Speaking of pain and discomfort, it’s common to experience tooth sensitivity and ‘zingers’ when you lose a filling. If you can, take over-the-counter pain medications to help manage your pain. However, be cautious about using dental cement to try to replace the filling on your own. This material is messy and can actually damage the tooth and restoration more. Leave treatment to your dentist in Asheboro

Avoid Certain Foods

If your tooth is feeling sensitive, try to avoid eating foods that are hot or cold. Foods and drinks of extreme temperatures can make tooth sensitivity worse. You should also avoid eating hard foods like candy and pretzels as they could break your tooth. 

What If Your Filling Is Just Loose?

A loose filling is a failing filling, and it’s still crucial to see your dentist in Asheboro quickly. In the meantime, try to gently remove the filling so you don’t swallow it, which can put you at risk of choking. 

If your filling is loose or you’ve had one fall out, schedule an appointment with your dentist sooner rather than later. None of the above recommendations are meant for long-term use, and the longer you wait to get treatment the more complex treatment may be. 

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We’ve all heard our dentists talk about how important it is to take it easy on the soda. But did you know that there’s another drink out there that can also harm your teeth? It turns out that the sugar content in sweet sodas isn’t the only thing that concerns your dentist in Asheboro. Acid is also a problem, and it’s commonly found in many popular sports drinks. 

The Problem With Acidic Drinks

Yes, too much sugar is certainly bad for teeth, which is why many people choose less sugary sports drinks over sodas. But it’s important to know that acid can also wreak havoc on a smile. In fact, acid is often the main factor in cavity development. When we drink beverages that are highly acidic, such as sports drinks or even some juices, the acid can wear down the protective layer of enamel. This loss of enamel leaves teeth exposed to bacteria. These bacteria work their way into the tooth, feed off sugars from the foods we eat, and release even more acid as a byproduct. This endless cycle can easily create decay and cavities. 

Cavities Aren’t The Only Concern

Of course, nobody wants a cavity or to need treatment from their dentist in Asheboro. But getting any area of decay treated quickly is the best way to protect your teeth from additional problems. When decay isn’t treated promptly, the decay will continue to eat away at the tooth and may require additional dental treatment such as a root canal. While nobody wants a root canal either, this treatment can save a tooth and relieve any pain that’s commonly associated with deep decay. If the decay is still not treated when it gets to this point, you may develop a painful infection known as an abscess, or worse, you may even lose the tooth. 

Signs of Decay

As we mentioned, treating a cavity early is the best way to protect your tooth and ward off any additional damage. If you notice any signs of decay, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Asheboro as soon as possible. Some signs of decay include: 

  • Toothaches
  • Pain with hot, cold, or sweet food or drinks
  • A change in tooth color
  • Painful chewing
  • Noticeable pits or holes

We always recommend dental appointments every six-months to prevent any problems from going too long without proper treatment. So make sure you see your dentist at least twice a year for preventive care and seek treatment quickly for any problems. 

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Tooth staining can seem to happen overnight, but chances are, something has been introduced to your teeth over time that slowly darkened your teeth. With the exception of dental trauma, tooth discoloration is mostly caused by repeated exposure to staining ingredients or because of something health-related. So what can you do about discolored teeth? Just ask your dentist in Asheboro

Identify The Cause

Before your dentist can find the best way to whiten your smile, we need to know what caused the discoloration in the first place. Tooth staining can be a result of many different things, and it’s important to know exactly what’s contributing to your specific problem as treatment will vary based on this information. Some of the main causes of tooth discoloration are: 

  • Beverages & Foods

Foods and drinks such as red wine, coffee, tea, and spaghetti sauce can all contribute to tooth staining. 

  • Tobacco

Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco all contain ingredients that will stick to the tiny pores in teeth and create a dark or brownish appearance. 

  • Oral Hygiene

There are many reasons why your dentist in Asheboro recommends daily brushing and flossing. Keeping your teeth white is one of them. Proper oral hygiene routines help remove bacteria and plaque buildup that could lead to decay and discoloration. 

  • Whole-Body Health

There’s a well-known link between oral and overall health, and, believe it or not, some whole-body health concerns can affect the color of your teeth. Certain diseases and their treatments, such as cancer and chemotherapy, can contribute to tooth staining. Other over-the-counter medications, such as allergy medication can also lead to discoloration. Don’t stop the use of any medication without talking to your doctor, and make sure you discuss all medicines with your dentist in Asheboro.   

The Best Way to Whiten Your Smile

The best way to treat tooth discoloration depends on your specific situation and cause. But the good news is that there are many cosmetic dentistry options available to brighten any smile. 

  • White (composite) dental fillings
  • Veneers
  • In-office professional smile whitening
  • Dental crowns

Avoiding The Problem

Many times, tooth discoloration can be prevented by taking just a few easy steps. 

  • Stop smoking
  • Brush and floss your teeth daily
  • Limit staining foods and drinks and try to rinse with water after eating them
  • Discuss all medications and health conditions with your dental team
  • See your dentist in Asheboro twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings

Tooth discoloration is something that can often be fixed, so don’t settle for a smile you’re not proud of. Call your dentist to schedule an appointment today. 

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, General Dental Articles, oral health.

The sun is shining. The flowers are in full bloom. Your allergies are on high alert. This could only mean one thing — it’s springtime. Even though this season brings the outdoors to life, it can also kick-start your body’s response to some allergens in the air. The symptoms of an allergy flare-up can be annoying and cause you to feel stuffy, itchy, sneezy, and drippy. But these side effects can also concern your dentist in Asheboro

Why Your Dentist Cares About Allergy Season

Hearing your dentist in Asheboro talk about allergies may seem odd, after all, allergies don’t affect teeth. Or do they? Well, the truth is, allergies can affect your oral health in several different ways, so it’s important to talk with your dentist about any allergies you have and when they tend to affect you. Your dental team may have some recommendations about how to treat your symptoms and reduce unwanted oral health side effects. Speaking of oral health side effects of allergies, let’s take a look at some of the most common correlations. 

Unexplainable Molar Pain

When our allergies are running high, our sinuses are packed full of pressure, particularly our maxillary sinuses. This pressure is what causes that full-head feeling. But it can also put excessive force on the nerves and roots of our back teeth. In fact, when there’s no other explanation for molar discomfort, your dentist in Asheboro may suggest sinus inflammation as the culprit. 

Dry Mouth

Anyone who’s ever had allergies, or really anyone who’s ever had a cold, understands how difficult it is to breathe with a stuffy nose. So, as an alternative, we will subconsciously shift to breathing out of our mouths. Even though this helps us get the oxygen we need, mouth breathing over a long period of time can contribute to several oral health concerns such as dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there’s not enough saliva being produced or when the saliva is evaporating too quickly for production to keep up. Saliva is an important part of good oral health as it helps neutralize acids and wash away bad bacteria. Without it, teeth are left exposed to bacteria. This can cause bad breath, increase the risk of cavities, and make someone more likely to develop gum disease. 

Potential Problems With Allergy Medicine

Most allergy sufferers will turn to over-the-counter medicines to help ease their symptoms, and understandably so. However, your dentist in Asheboro wants you to know that some allergy medicines can also cause dry mouth. But there are some things you can do to help relieve dry mouth discomfort and the dangers that go along with it, such as: 

  • Chewing sugar-free gum
  • Using mouthwash made to help lubricate the mouth
  • Drinking plenty of water 
  • Putting a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep

Don’t stop any medicines without first discussing them with your healthcare provider. 

It’s always important to see your dentist twice a year for preventive care. But if you suffer from seasonal allergies, make sure you talk to your dentist about when they occur, what causes them, what symptoms you have, and how you typically treat them.