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. 

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

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. 

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

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. 

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

acid refluxAcid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, is an incredibly common problem associated with the digestion process. So why in the world is your dentist in Asheboro writing about something that’s typically seen as a stomach problem? The truth is, acid reflux can wear down tooth enamel and increase the risk for decay.

What Is GERD? 

Acid reflux is that uncomfortable burning sensation that some people experience after eating. Usually, it’s described as chest pain or heartburn. But what’s really happening is stomach acid is moving up into the esophagus, creating that burning sensation. When this happens periodically, it’s known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER). If it occurs more than twice a week over the course of several weeks it may be a sign of GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. 

How Does Acid Reflux Affect Teeth 

We’ve already noted that acid reflux can wear down tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay, but there are other ways acid reflux can affect your teeth. As your dentist in Asheboro knows, acid is one of the worst things for teeth and can lead to a whole host of dental problems including bad breath and tooth sensitivity. In fact, the sensitivity can be so bad that it can keep people from brushing their teeth. However, it’s crucial that those with acid reflux brush twice a day. Using a soft toothbrush and toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help reduce discomfort.  

Tips to Protect Your Teeth

If you have GERD or even occasional acid reflux, there are things you can do to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of the acid. The best place to start is to talk to a gastroenterologist to help get your symptoms under control. They may recommend shifts in your diet or habits such as: 

  • Avoiding acidic foods and drinks
  • Limiting spicy foods
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Quitting smoking

Then, your dentist in Asheboro can recommend additional ways to keep your teeth healthy and protected. Some of these recommendations may include: 

  • Swishing your mouth with water after eating
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
  • Waiting an hour to brush your teeth after you eat or drink something acidic
  • Brush and floss your teeth every day

Now, even though it’s important for everyone to see the dentist at least once every six months, it’s even more important for those who suffer from acid reflux. Oftentimes, patients are unaware of the damage happening to their teeth until it’s too late. Your dentist will be able to catch any problems early and recommend the best treatment option for you. 

If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve had a dental checkup or cleaning, we welcome you to call us to schedule an appointment today. 

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, oral health.

This is one of the most common questions your dentist in Asheboro gets on a daily basis, and it’s one of the most important questions you can ask if you’re unhappy with your smile. Even though many patients think that cosmetic dentistry is only reserved for celebrities or the rich and famous, the truth is that there are many different types of cosmetic dentistry available to fit any desire and any budget.  

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry in Asheboro

Depending on the goals you’re trying to achieve with your smile, your dentist will be able to find the best cosmetic dentistry treatment for you. Your search for your ideal smile will often begin with your dentist asking you what bothers you about your teeth and what you wish was different. Then, depending on your answers, some of the recommended treatments may include:  

  • Smile Whitening – For those patients looking to make their teeth whiter or brighter, a smile whitening treatment is a great option. In fact, tooth whitening is the most common cosmetic dentistry treatment done in the United States. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s affordable. Now, it’s important to know that just because you can buy smile whitening treatments at the store or even online, not all of these products are created equally. You should always talk with your dentist in Asheboro prior to beginning any tooth whitening regimen. Many times, professional in-office whitening will give you the results you want quickly and safely. 
  • Veneers – If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your teeth but aren’t a candidate for traditional smile whitening, your dentist may recommend veneers. Dental veneers are thin slices of porcelain that are placed on the front surface of your teeth. They’re custom-created to the perfect color, shape, and size to give you a dazzling smile. Veneers can cover up hard-to-treat stains, fix uneven teeth, and restore a chipped or cracked tooth. 
  • Tooth Bonding – Another excellent cosmetic dentistry option is tooth bonding. This is a simple treatment that can quickly improve the appearance of teeth. Dental bonding can close small gaps, fix chips or areas of decay, and can also improve the color of teeth. The tooth-colored bonding material will be placed in the treatment area and harden with a special light. It’s a restoration that’s so flawless, nobody will know it’s there. 

Depending on your specific wants and needs, your dentist will recommend either one or a combination of cosmetic dentistry treatments to get you the smile you want. The best way to find the best way to make your smile look better is to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Asheboro

Nobody should be kept from a smile that they’re truly proud of. Start your journey to a better-looking smile by scheduling an appointment with your dentist today!

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

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that affects nearly 75% of Americans at some point in their lives. Usually, when gum disease is caught in this stage it can be treated and any damage can be reversed. But if it’s left alone it can quickly progress into more severe stages of gum disease and actually affect your overall health. In fact, research shows that more serious forms of gum disease can lead to tooth loss, heart disease, and stroke. This is one reason why it’s so important to see your dentist in Asheboro at least every six months. 

Gum Disease, Gingivitis, and Periodontitis

Let’s start by quickly taking a look at the confusing world of gum disease. Gum disease is a term used to describe an infection in the gums. However, not all forms of gum disease are the same. There are three stages of gum disease: 

  • Gingivitis — The first and mildest stage of gum disease.
  • Periodontitis — The second stage of gum disease. Damage that occurs here can’t be reversed
  • Advanced Periodontitis — The most severe stage of gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. 

What Causes Gingivitis?

Everything has to begin somewhere, and gum disease begins with gingivitis. This early stage of gum disease occurs with too much plaque builds up on teeth and up under the gums. Plaque, which occurs naturally in the mouth, is a sticky film that adheres to the teeth. Usually, it can be removed by brushing and flossing. However, when it’s not removed, the bacteria found in plaque can wiggle into the gum tissue and cause an infection. There are several things that increase someone’s risk of gingivitis including: 

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Tobacco use
  • Chronic dry mouth 
  • Hormonal changes
  • Crooked, hard-to-clean teeth

If you notice any signs of gingivitis, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Asheboro as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment are key to successfully treating gingivitis before it can progress into more severe forms of gum disease. 

Signs of Gingivitis

What makes gum disease so hard to detect, especially in the early form of gingivitis, is that sometimes there are no symptoms. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist in Asheboro at least every six months for checkups. Your dental team can catch what you may not see and get you treatment early. However, when there are signs of gingivitis, you may notice: 

  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Red, swollen, painful gums

Treating Gingivitis 

As we’ve mentioned, treating gingivitis early is key to successfully reversing the disease and any damage it may have caused. This may include a deep cleaning from your dental hygienist and/or the use of prescription medications. It’s important to know that gingivitis can’t be treated at home and requires a dental professional. 

We welcome you to call us to schedule an appointment if you’re overdue for a dental checkup or suspect you may have gum disease. We’re here to help. 

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

Your dentist in Asheboro is a key part of your healthcare team, and while we’re dedicated to protecting teeth, we know that there’s a strong connection between oral health and overall health. In fact, when we talk about good oral health, we need to look beyond the bathroom sink and look towards the kitchen. After all, what we eat affects our teeth. 

National Nutrition Month

Every March is recognized as National Nutrition Month. Sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, its purpose is to raise awareness of how healthy eating and proper nutrition can impact overall health. While eating a well-balanced diet may seem simple, the truth is many Americans don’t eat enough of what they should. Why could that be? 

As it turns out, nutrition is complicated. It’s not as easy as eating your vegetables and avoiding high-fat foods, though that’s part of it. Nutrition can be so confusing that even the Food Guide Pyramid created by the USDA changed twice since it was first developed in 1992. What scientists and healthcare professionals have found out is that different people have different dietary needs. This is one reason why MyPlate was developed and why National Nutrition Month exists. 

But what does all of this have to do with your dentist in Asheboro?  

What We Eat Affects Our Teeth

Even though the MyPlate recommendations are focused on fueling our bodies with the nutrients we need to stay healthy and protect us from whole-body health problems, similar recommendations can also help protect your teeth. You may even be able to find foods that pack a double punch in protecting your teeth and your body at the same time. Some foods that your dentist recommends include:  

  • Delectable Dairy – Diary foods and drinks such as milk, cheese, and yogurt provide us with bone-protecting (and teeth-strengthening) calcium and vitamin D. 
  • Crunchy Carrots – Raw, crunchy vegetables such as carrots and celery are loaded with vitamins our bodies need and they can gently clean teeth. 
  • Mouth-Watering Meats Lean meats and fatty fish are phosphorus-rich foods that help strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Wonderful Water – Water helps wash away bacteria and neutralize acids in the mouth, further protecting against decay. 

The Danger of Sugar & Carbs

Two of the types of foods that increase the chance for decay are sugary sweets and carbohydrate-rich foods. Sugars feed mouth bacteria which increases the presence of acid. This acid wears away tooth enamel, bacteria settle in, and cavities develop. Carbs are similar even though they aren’t sweet. When carbs are digested, they break down into simple sugars. These sugars also feed bacteria, increase acids as a result, and can damage enamel. 

Fueling your body with the foods it needs to function properly can protect you against developing some health concerns such as heart disease. Eating a well-balanced diet can also protect your teeth against decay. So when you’re shopping for snacks for planning family meals, stick to nutritious, body-friendly, and smile-friendly options.