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

Have you ever heard of tonsil stones? Your Asheboro dentist thought it might be a good idea to shed some light on this often overlooked health issue. Let’s talk a little about what exactly it means to have tonsil stones and how you can help yourself at home should they occur. 

What Do I Need to Know About Tonsil Stones?

If you have ever looked at your tonsils or the back of your throat in the mirror, then you know there are a lot of tiny spaces that could be a good place for harmful bacteria to call home. When they become trapped with other food debris, tonsil stones begin to form over time. It’s very common for them to develop while you’re feeling ill with so many common forms of virus or bacterial infections. 

What You Can Do to Help Yourself

If you experience frequent tonsil stones or inflammation, it’s important that you make an appointment with your dentist in Asheboro. We can work with you and your primary care provider to determine if a tonsillectomy or removal of your tonsils altogether would be beneficial. If that’s not possible, there are preventive steps you can take to keep your tonsil stones from returning, such as:

  • Make sure to practice excellent dental hygiene at home with proper flossing and brushing — including your tongue!
  • Try gargling with salt water if you feel discomfort or swelling due to tonsil stones. A quarter teaspoon of table salt in a cup of lukewarm water should do the trick.
  • Be sure to keep your body hydrated. Every doctor in the world will tell you that getting plenty of water every day will keep you going. Water also helps with saliva flow and can improve the chemistry in your mouth.
  • A short-term solution could be antibiotics, as they’re effective at lowering bacterial counts that play an essential role in developing tonsil stones. 

Are you having trouble with tonsil stones? You can schedule an appointment at our dental office in Asheboro to talk with you about your experience and goals. We can work with you and your primary care physician to help you get rid of tonsil issues and stay healthy. Please call us to get started!

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

From cosmetic reasons to health concerns, there are many different reasons why someone may want to straighten their teeth. Even if you had braces growing up, you may have noticed some shifting, especially if you didn’t wear a retainer after treatment. But if you’re looking for ways to get a straighter smile without traditional orthodontics, turn to your dentist in Asheboro

Ways to Straighten Teeth

Whether or not you had braces as a teen, you may find yourself wanting to improve the appearance of your smile by straightening your teeth. Or perhaps your dentist in Asheboro has suggested straightening your teeth for oral health reasons. Either way, you now have options that don’t include metal braces. 

  • Clear Aligners

Thanks to advancements in dental technology, we can now get straight teeth almost invisibly through the use of clear aligners. These tough, plastic aligners are designed to slowly move your teeth and are meant to be worn throughout the day and night. Now, you may have seen commercials for at-home orthodontic treatment through clear aligners. But before you begin this type of treatment, talk with your dentist. 

  • Veneers

Veneers are a type of cosmetic dentistry that can not only help straighten teeth but can also help hide other imperfections such as chips or discoloration. They are custom-made to your ideal shape, size, and color and are adhered to the front surface of your teeth. The result is a seamless improvement in the appearance and alignment of your smile.

  • Crowns

Another treatment that can help straighten a twisted tooth or two is a dental crown. Your dentist in Asheboro will remove some of the natural tooth structure to make room for a crown, often called a cap. The crown will be custom in size, shape, and color. 

  • Contouring & Bonding

Usually reserved for minor crooked teeth, contouring and bonding can transform the shape of teeth to make them straighter and easier to clean in between. Contouring treatment will remove small amounts of enamel to reshape the tooth then, in some cases, bonding may be used to smooth out the area. Bonding may also be used on its own to fix a tooth that appears to sit back too far.

Benefits of Straight Teeth

There are numerous benefits to a straight smile. Of course, there are the cosmetic factors of wanting a gorgeous set of perfectly aligned teeth. But did you know that there are other little-known positives to having your teeth straighter? 

  • Healthier Teeth – Straighter teeth are easier to clean, which often means fewer cavities and a reduced risk for other dental problems such as gum disease and tooth deterioration. 
  • No More Jaw Pain – Crooked teeth can sometimes cause the jaw to be misaligned. This can lead to TMD (or TMJ disorder). TMJ is an often painful condition that can cause headaches, ear problems, and jaw pain. 
  • Improved Digestion – Believe it or not, straighter teeth can even help your body digest foods. Straight teeth allow you to chew more efficiently which is easier on the digestion process.  

If you’ve been feeling self-conscious about your smile and you’ve been looking to elevate the appearance of your teeth, or if you’re having trouble cleaning your teeth completely, talk with your dentist in Asheboro about how cosmetic dentistry can help straighten your teeth. 

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

If you’re trying to quit smoking, you may wonder if your oral health will improve as a result. The good news is that, yes, your teeth and mouth will likely get better. In this blog, your dentist in Asheboro tells you what to expect when you stop smoking and how to make sure your mouth stays healthy as long as possible after you’ve kicked the habit once and for all.

The Great American Smokeout

The third Thursday each November is recognized as The Great American Smokeout. Its mission is to encourage smokers to pick that day as the day they start working towards a smoke-free lifestyle. So this November, we want to encourage all of our patients and neighbors to pick a date to quit smoking or to support a friend or family member in their quitting journey. Quitting smoking has numerous benefits for overall health and oral health, and together, we can help protect each other from the dangers of smoking. 

Quitting Can Help Oral Health

It’s probably no surprise that smokers are at increased risk for several health problems, such as cancer and heart disease. However, they’re also at increased risk for developing oral health problems, including: 

  • Gum disease
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth loss
  • Oral cancer

But there’s good news. Quitting smoking can essentially help reduce or reverse the negative health effects of smoking, even if you’ve smoked for a while. The American Cancer Society lists several whole-body benefits of quitting, but your dentist in Asheboro wants to highlight a few additional reasons why quitting is best. 

Quitting Can Save Smiles — And Lives

No matter how long you’ve smoked, you can benefit from quitting. In fact, quitting smoking can reduce your risk of not only gum disease and tooth loss, but even oral cancer. Study after study shows that quitting smoking can reduce the risk of developing or the progression of gum disease. Researchers also found that if smokers kept smoking, they have an estimated 80% higher risk for bone loss and gum disease than non-smokers. Quitting can also lower the risk of oral cancer, heart disease, and other problems.  

Tips to Quit Smoking

There are numerous methods for quitting smoking. Some may work better than others in certain people, so it’s important to continue to try and find a method that works for you. Some tips to quit include: 

  • Stick With Support

Quitting is hard, but it can be easier with a support system. Tap on friends, family, or professional resources to help support you through the tough times. 

  • Stay Busy & Avoid Triggers

Some people smoke when they’re bored. Others have specific triggers that cause them to light up. Whatever your situation is, try your best to avoid anything that may make you want to smoke. This may mean avoiding alcohol or other friends who smoke for a period of time. 

  • Setbacks Are Ok

Quitting smoking is really, really hard. Setbacks may happen. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do have a setback. As long as you get back up and keep trying. 

It’s never too late to quit smoking, and your dentist in Asheboro is here to help. Make sure you’re honest about any tobacco habits at your appointments and get a dental checkup at least twice a year. We want you to have the healthiest smile and body possible, so let us know if there’s anything we can do to help. 

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, oral health.

When it comes to kissing, it may be easy to tell if someone has bad breath, and you’d rather opt for a cheek kiss instead of locking lips. However, it’s not as easy to tell if someone has a cavity. But should you care if your smooching partner has cavities? Your dentist in Asheboro says you should. 

Catching Cavities

The truth is, you can technically catch a cavity from someone else through kissing and even other ways. However, the problem isn’t necessarily the cavity itself but rather the bacteria that may have caused that cavity in the first place. You see, we all have millions of bacteria in our mouths and a few dozen different types. Some of these bacteria are good and can benefit oral health. Others, such as Streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivalis, aren’t so good and are actually flat-out considered bad, cavity-causing bacteria. 

Bad Bacteria

If you take great care of your oral health and brush and floss regularly, you may not have bad bacteria in your mouth, or at least not much of it. However, when you kiss someone who does have those bad bacteria, they can easily be transferred to your mouth. While there is no way to kiss someone without swapping some saliva, there are numerous ways you and your partner can help protect each other from bad bacteria. 

Prevention is Key

Besides brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day, there are various other things you can do to keep your mouth healthy 

  • Don’t share utensils
  • Don’t allow anyone to use your toothbrush
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated — but don’t share straws
  • Have regular checkups with your dentist in Asheboro 

Other Ways Bacteria Can Be Transferred

As we briefly discussed above, kissing isn’t the only way bad bacteria can be transmitted from person to person. Even something as simple as sharing chapstick can also cause bacteria to swap between people. Other things include biting off of the same piece of food, drinking from the same cup, and using the same fork or spoon. Additionally, one of the most common ways mouth bacteria are spread is between parent and child.  

Talk With Your Partner

If you or your partner have any concerns about catching or giving a cavity, we encourage you to talk to each other. Then, talk to your dentist in Asheboro. Discussions about oral health can be uncomfortable, so be sensitive and allow us to help. 

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

watch faceDental insurance can be a good thing to have, but the benefits don’t last forever. If you have dental insurance, there’s a chance that it’s going to expire at the end of the year. Unfortunately, many people let their benefits sit unused. However, there are several good reasons why you should see your dentist in Asheboro before your benefits are gone and you have to start over.

Ask yourself: 

  • “Do my insurance or FSA benefits expire at the end of the year?”
  • “Have I met my deductible but never got around to taking advantage of it?”
  • “Will I have to start all over in January?”

If you said “yes” to one or more of these questions, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Asheboro as soon as possible to take advantage of all the benefits dental insurance has to offer. 

A New Year. A New Deductible.

Some dental insurance plans will require patients to pay a certain amount of money before patients can take advantage of the benefits. This is called a deductible. Many times, people will reach their deductible but never use the perks that come afterward. However, once the new year is underway, new deductibles will apply and patients will need to start paying all over again. If your dental insurance has a deductible and you’ve met it, don’t miss out on your benefits. Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Asheboro today. 

An Important Note About FSAs

Instead of traditional dental insurance, some employers offer their staff the option to pay pre-tax money into an FSA (Flex Savings Account) that can then be used on dental and medical needs. However, this money doesn’t last forever and usually needs to be used by the end of the year. 

That’s why there’s no better time than right now to call and schedule some well-deserved dental work. 

We’re Here to Help

Whether it’s something as simple as a cleaning or a more transformative treatment like cosmetic dentistry, we know you care too much about your smile, your health, and your investment to throw away the dental benefits you paid for all year long. Let us help you figure out the best way to use your dental benefits before you lose them. 

But don’t wait. The end of the year can be a busy time for your dentist in Asheboro. Call Now To Schedule Your Appointment!

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. 

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

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.