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

You’ve been having some tooth pain. You decided to finally make the call for a consultation with your dentist in Asheboro. Then you learn that your best treatment option is a dental treatment we’ve all heard of by now, and that’s a root canal. A million thoughts start racing through your mind:

  • How long will my root canal take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How bad is it going to hurt?

We’re here to soothe your anxiety and calm your fears because the tooth truth is that root canals aren’t really scary at all. 

Root Canals Get Rid of Pain

Instead of causing you more dental discomfort, think of your root canal as the solution that can get rid of:

  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Pimples on the gums
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Discolored gums or teeth
  • Chipped or cracked teet

In honor of Root Canal Awareness Week, which occurs each May, let’s praise this common dental procedure that happens over 41,000 times a day, according to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). The AAE also says more than 15 million root canals are performed each year in the United States. 

Everything You Need to Know About Your Root Canal

Your dentist in Asheboro will recommend root canal therapy to repair and save a tooth that’s badly damaged, decayed, or infected. During the actual procedure, the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned, removing the pulp and nerve. Your tooth is then sealed to avoid infection. You won’t feel pain, maybe just some pressure. Remember, root canals relieve your pain, not cause more. Sometimes patients experience tenderness in their gums following a root canal, but over-the-counter pain medications will certainly help. 

How Long Does Root Canal Treatment Take to Complete?

When you need a root canal to help heal your smile, how your treatment progresses will be personal to your needs and schedule. Generally speaking, root canals can take up to two appointments, ranging in length from 30 to 90 minutes. What determines how long your procedure will take is the severity of your individual case. The initial appointment is when we do the actual root canal, where all of the infected pulp is safely and effectively removed from your tooth. The second appointment is when your tooth will get a custom crown, matching the rest of your teeth for a seamless restoration.

More Facts You Never Knew About Root Canals

We hope you’re feeling a little bit better about the not-so-dreadful root canal procedure. As we talked about earlier, root canals are commonly thought to be the most painful kind of dental treatment. Also, a 2016 study found that root canal symptoms varied depending on the type of bacteria in the infection.

Don’t be afraid to see your dentist in Asheboro because you’re worried about having a root canal. Please schedule a consultation and talk with us! We have the technology and years of training that make the experience as comfortable and easy as we said it would be in this blog.

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

May is Women’s Health Month, so your dentist in Asheboro thought it was an excellent time to learn more about the connection between women, hormone levels, and oral health. Women have a unique set of issues that we wanted to shed some light on during this important time of health awareness and wellbeing.

The Teenage Years

When a young girl hits puberty age, estrogen and progesterone play a role in both oral and overall health. They begin the process of puberty that can trigger reactions in your gums that result in redness, bleeding, and swelling within the mouth. Gums may react differently to different germs and bacteria, which could lead to bad breath, cavities, and unnecessary pain. Canker sores and swelling in the salivary glands can also be symptoms of an impending menstrual cycle once puberty has fully set in. It’s essential that adolescent girls regularly see their dentist in Asheboro for regular checkups and cleanings.

Using Birth Control

If you’re someone who relies on oral contraceptives or pills for birth control, you’ll want to let us know that you take this medication. Maintaining your oral health while using these pills is very important. Hormone levels in women on the birth control pill, especially brands containing progesterone, can increase the risk of developing gum disease due to increased blood flow. Sometimes, prescription antibiotics will be necessary to help treat your gum disease.

During Your Pregnancy

Few things are more exciting in a woman’s life than having a child. However, a mother’s oral health can affect the baby’s overall health, so dental care is critical during this time of crucial development. Again, women might experience changes in their oral health due to an abundance of estrogen and progesterone, as we spoke about earlier during the onset of puberty. Due to this hormonal increase, “pregnancy gingivitis” can occur with painful inflammation in your gum and surrounding tissue. Gum disease has been linked to preterm or low birth weight in newborn babies. 

All About Menopause

If you’re a woman going through menopause, it’s important to pay close attention to what’s happening with your oral health and any changes. Women at this stage of life often experience dry mouth due to a decrease in how much saliva their body creates. When there’s not enough saliva in your mouth, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria that leads to dangerous gum disease. You also need saliva to fight tooth decay, wash food away from your teeth, and fight germs. It’s also important to note that certain medications we start to take as we age can also lead to dry mouth as a side effect. Hormonal changes during menopause can also lead to issues with osteoporosis. This could lead to bone loss in your jaw, ultimately leading to tooth loss. 

Hormonal changes are a normal part of a woman’s life, but they don’t have to interfere with how you take care of your teeth. All women should have access to outstanding care like we provide as your dentist in Asheboro. This Women’s Health Month, don’t overlook your dental care. Talk to us about how we can help you stay healthy for a lifetime. 

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

If you’re experiencing unexplained tooth pain, you’re probably wondering if you have a cavity. While any number of things can cause a toothache, it is one of the most common signs of a cavity and should be treated by your dentist in Asheboro promptly. However, besides a toothache, there are other signs and symptoms that a cavity may be present. 

Symptoms of a Cavity

Any kind of tooth pain can certainly be alarming, and it’s always wise to see your dentist if this pain persists. A toothache may be a telltale sign of a cavity, and the earlier it’s treated, usually, with a filling, the easier treatment can be. If it’s left alone, a small cavity can quickly become large and may require advanced treatment such as a root canal, a dental crown, or even a tooth extraction. Here are some of the other symptoms of a cavity besides tooth pain. 

  • Sensitivity

Many people have sensitive teeth, and tooth sensitivity may not necessarily be a sign of a cavity. However, if sensitivity is new, it’s worth a visit to your dentist in Asheboro . Cavities can cause increased sensitivity when eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet. 

  • Discoloration

Our teeth can become darker in color over time thanks to any number of things, including what we eat, drink, and our habits. But when it comes to cavities it’s important to look out for any new areas of discoloration. A cavity can first show signs as a small white dot or even a brown, gray, or black spot on a tooth. 

  • Pitting

In their early stages, cavities may not be able to be seen without the help of dental x-rays or your dentist in Asheboro . However, when a cavity progresses and becomes larger, you may notice a pit or a hole in your tooth. You may also be able to feel these indentations with your tongue. 

Preventing Cavities

Cavities are incredibly common in both children and adults. In fact, the CDC estimates that 90% of Americans over 20 years old have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. So while anyone can get a cavity, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cavities. 

  • Take great care of your teeth by brushing them twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Don’t forget to floss at least once a day to remove bacteria from in between your teeth
  • Drink plenty of water every day to keep your mouth hydrated and able to wash away bacteria
  • Avoid eating a diet high in sugar, acid, and carbohydrates
  • Visit your dentist at least every six months for routine checkups and cleanings

Just because cavities are common doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take precautions to try to prevent one from forming. Of course, if you do think you have a cavity, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to get it treated quickly.

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

If it’s been a few years since you’ve seen a dentist, you may be wondering what could happen to your oral health or just what you should expect when you schedule an appointment. We understand, and we’re here for you. We want to do everything we can to make every visit to our dental office comfortable and stress-free, so let’s take a look at what you can expect on your first visit. 

Why Do We Avoid the Dentist? 

Before we dive into what you can expect at your next appointment with your dentist in Asheboro, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons people avoid the dentist in the first place. 

  • Fear of the dentist in general
  • Fear of judgment 
  • Moving 
  • Life simply got too busy

Whatever your reason may be, we’re ready to help you with open arms. 

Setting Expectations

The best thing you can do when you’re preparing to see a dentist for the first time in a few years is to understand what you can expect. 

  • X-rays – Your dentist in Asheboro will usually take dental x-rays once a year to monitor your oral health. If it’s been a while since your last visit, this will be crucial to helping your dental team understand the current state of your dental health. 
  • Exam – Besides x-rays, your dentist will perform a thorough and gentle visual and manual exam to take a look at your teeth, gums, tongue, and overall oral health. This helps establish a baseline of your current oral health. 
  • Cleaning – Most patients will get a cleaning at their first visit, however, this isn’t always the case. If you have gum disease or advanced dental needs, we may need to schedule your cleaning at a different time. 
  • Treatment – It’s not uncommon for people who haven’t seen a dentist in a few years to need more treatment. Don’t be surprised if we find a few cavities or other things. However, this is nothing to be afraid of. We will walk you through everything we find and talk with you about the best treatment. 

Preparation
There are a few things you can do to prepare for your appointment. Make sure your health history is filled out and up-to-date, including any medications. Try to schedule your appointment for a day and time when you won’t be busy with other things. This can help reduce stress levels. Lastly, make sure to communicate with your dentist about any concerns or fears you may have so they can make you as comfortable as possible during your visit. 

Seeing your dentist in Asheboro regularly is an important part of preventing any problems from occurring or making sure we catch any problems early when they’re still easy to treat. Skipping dental appointments could lead to: 

  • Gum disease
  • Cavities
  • Bad breath
  • Infection
  • Oral cancer

We always recommend that our patients see us at least twice a year so we can monitor their oral health. If you’re ready to see us, we’re ready to welcome you. Schedule an appointment today

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

Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems your dentist in Asheboro sees every day. In fact, the CDC reports that nearly 50% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease. While gum disease can certainly cause some unwanted side effects in patients’ oral health, it has also been linked to overall health concerns such as an increased risk of heart disease. Now, recent research from the American Academy for Cancer Research also shows a potential link between gum disease and colon cancer. 

Survey Says…

The exhaustive study completed by the American Academy for Cancer Research surveyed just over 40,000 men and women for more than 10-years to monitor their health, diet, and, most importantly, results of colonoscopies. Just what exactly were the scientists looking for? They were most interested in two types of intestinal lesions that are often precursors to colon cancer –  serrated polyps and conventional adenomas. Since the study followed along with all aspects of the participants’ health history, the researchers were also able to see how many people had a history of gum disease. The results were interesting. 

  • There was a 17% increased risk of having a serrated polyp if there was also a history of gum disease.
  • There was an 11% increased risk of having a conventional adenoma if a history of gum disease was also present.
  • If a participant lost more than four teeth, a common side effect of gum disease, there was a 20% increased risk of having a serrated polyp.

While these survey results certainly seem to point to a correlation between gum disease and colon cancer, researchers say that more studies are needed.

What Does Gum Disease Look Like? 

There are some tell-tale signs of gum disease that all patients should be aware of. After all, early detection of gum disease is key to treating it effectively before it has a chance to cause bigger oral health or overall health problems. Some of the most common signs of gum disease are: 

  • Bad breath or bad taste that doesn’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gum recession

If you experience any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Asheboro 

How to Prevent Gum Disease 

One of the best ways to protect your body against the potentially fatal side effects of gum disease is to avoid it in the first place. However, that’s not always possible thanks to genetics and age, two of the things that can affect someone’s likelihood of developing gum disease. This means it’s even more important to follow these tips from your dentist in Asheboro to do everything you can to prevent gum disease development. 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Quit smoking 
  • See your dentist at least every six months

If you have questions about gum disease and its link to overall health, schedule an appointment with your dentist. 

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

Spring is the season of new beginnings when trees begin to blossom, the days become longer, and many people start to open up and clean out their houses after what always seems like a long winter. Anyone who “spring cleans” their home every year knows just how much of a difference a deep clean can make – you feel more energetic, refreshed, and perhaps even happier. Did you know that you can also get these feelings from a springtime dental cleaning

Squeaky Clean & Feeling Fresh

Many patients tell us that, after their dental cleanings with our hygienists, their teeth feel so smooth and squeaky clean. Why is this? Professional dental cleanings are more than simple brushings and flossings. In fact, bi-annual preventive cleanings remove plaque build-up that accumulates on teeth, even if you brush and floss every single day. The smoothness you feel afterward? That’s truly clean teeth.

Beyond The Cleaning

Yes, you will always get a cleaning at your bi-annual dental checkups, but these appointments are also about so much more. Your dentist in Asheboro is also focusing on the prevention of disease, cavities, and other potential problems during these visits. 

  • Performing Dental X-Rays – Safe, low-radiation dental x-rays allow your dental team to see what’s going on inside your mouth. Through x-rays, your dentist can detect decay that may not yet be visible from the surface, monitor the integrity of the jaw bone, and review the overall health of gum tissue. Many dental problems begin where we can’t see them. Without the help of x-rays, small problems can become big (and costly) problems quickly so it’s important to get these x-rays as recommended by your dentist. 
  • Measuring Gum Pockets – Your dental hygienist will also measure the depth of your gum pockets before performing a cleaning. These new measurements are compared to previous measurements to monitor any recession or changes that may have occurred and may be at risk for gum disease. 
  • Looking for Cavities – During your dental cleaning and checkup exam, your hygienist and dentist will check for any signs of cavities. When a cavity is tiny, it can be treated quickly and easily. However, if a cavity is left untreated, it can grow into the inside of teeth and may require advanced treatment such as a root canal, dental crown, or even extraction. 

Spring Cleanings Protect Your Health

Oral health is directly related to overall health, and as such, dental care should be a top priority of your overall healthcare routine. After all, many health problems may first show signs in the mouth such as diabetes, kidney disease, certain cancers, and heart disease. The best way to protect your teeth and keep your mouth and body healthy is to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and see your dentist in Asheboro for cleanings and checkups at least every six months. 

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, oral health.

Masked Mona LisaWe’re nearing the two-year mark since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while the virus attacks the respiratory system, it can also affect other areas throughout the body, including the mouth. Those who have contracted COVID-19 and recovered may have little to no lingering side effects. However, others may have what’s called “long-COVID” and continue to have lasting symptoms. In fact, according to your dentist in Asheboro, some of these side effects can show in the mouth and cause some additional unwanted problems. 

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can be caused by any number of reasons and isn’t solely related to COVID-19. However, both those who have contracted COVID-19 and those who haven’t might be experiencing more dry mouth than normal. One explanation for this is that the virus can affect saliva production and cause your glands to produce less saliva. This can result in a dry mouth.

Another possible explanation is the wearing of facemasks. Masks can make people feel as if they need to breathe out of their mouth instead of their nose, reducing saliva and making the mouth feel dry. Please note, this is not a good enough reason to forego the mask. Instead, your dentist in Asheboro suggests drinking plenty of water throughout the day, chewing sugarless gum, and trying to breathe out of your nose.   

Bleeding Gums

COVID is an infection, and whenever there is an infection, the body will respond by sending blood carrying white blood cells to the area to help fight it off. While this can help ward off dangerous intruders, it can also cause inflammation in the body. This inflammation can also occur in the mouth, specifically in the gums. Inflammation in the gums can result in swelling, tenderness, and bleeding. But that’s not all. It’s important to know that there is, and always has been, a connection between gum inflammation and whole-body health. For example, gum disease on its own increases the risk of respiratory disease, stroke, and heart disease. However, your dentist in Asheboro can help catch and treat gum disease or potential gum disease before or after a COVID-19 diagnosis. 

Ulcers

Patients who have had COVID are more likely to experience mouth ulcers or sores, sometimes for months after their recovery. Since COVID affects the respiratory system, which starts in the mouth, this isn’t surprising. Ulcers and sores in COVID long-haulers can range in severity, and some may even develop “COVID tongue.” COVID tongue symptoms include raised tastebuds, flattened tastebuds, or a burning feeling. Now, most ulcers should go away on their own. If you notice an ulcer that lasts longer than two weeks, contact your dentist in Asheboro for a checkup. 

Many patients may have missed a dental appointment or two during the past two years, but it’s always important to see a dentist at least every six months, especially if you notice any oral health side effects of post-COVID. 

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

Your toothbrush should be an essential part of your oral hygiene routine, so it’s important to choose one that will work best for you and your specific needs. But there are so many different options out there to pick from. How do you find the best toothbrush for you? Here are five tips from your dentist in Asheboro to help you choose the best toothbrush for you and get the most out of brushing your teeth every day. 

1. Pick The Right Bristles

You may notice that toothbrushes come with different types of bristles, from soft, medium, or hard. However, soft bristles are usually recommended for patients as they can effectively remove plaque and bacteria but not cause damage to the teeth or gums. Medium or hard bristles, on the other hand, can irritate the gums and even damage tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to decay and other problems. You should only use medium or hard bristles if your dentist in Asheboro recommends it. 

2. Consider The Size

Similar to bristles, there are also various sizes of toothbrush heads, and selecting the correct size is important. A toothbrush head that’s too big can be uncomfortable to use and you may find yourself not brushing for a full two minutes. Additionally, a head that doesn’t fit comfortably in your mouth can actually mean that you may be missing cleaning some areas of your teeth, especially in the back.  

3. Cheaper Isn’t Always Better

While there are plenty of cheap toothbrushes out there, some are better meant to clean tiny crevices in your house and not your teeth. If you find an affordable toothbrush, it’s still important to make sure that the bristles are soft, the size of the head is appropriate, and that the shape of the bristles is rounded. Oftentimes, extremely cheap brushes have straight bristles instead of rounded ones. Straight bristles can actually do more harm than good. 

4. Your Budget Matters

Since we’re on the topic of affordability, your budget does matter when it comes to finding the best toothbrush for you. There are a lot of high-quality toothbrushes that don’t need to break the bank, and you probably don’t need the most expensive, latest, and greatest toothbrush you see on TV. Talking with your dentist in Asheboro can help you find a toothbrush that will keep your teeth clean and your wallet happy at the same time. 

5. ADA Approved

One of the most important things to look for when finding the best toothbrush is the ADA Seal of Approval. Toothbrushes that have the ADA seal have gone through quality testing, were found to have safe bristles to remove plaque effectively, and to be sturdy.

Essentially, the best toothbrush is the one that is used and used properly. When it comes to finding the best toothbrush for you, look for the above criteria or talk with your dentist in Asheboro

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, oral health.

demonstrating proper brushingWe’ve all seen the commercials boasting that an electric toothbrush can do wonders for your oral health — from cleaning your teeth more thoroughly to whitening them. But are these claims true? Is an electric toothbrush really better than a regular manual one? Or is it just overhyped marketing? In this article, we’ll take a look at what your dentist in Asheboro has to say about the differences between these two kinds of toothbrushes and whether an electric toothbrush really is the better option.

A Look at The Research

When it comes to the research behind electric toothbrushes and manual toothbrushes, there is some debate about which is better. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), both types of toothbrushes are effective at removing plaque and bacteria and the technique used to brush is more important than the tool. However, a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association stated that over 81% of participants had improved their oral health after using an electric toothbrush. So, what’s the truth? Your dentist in Asheboro believes that it’s based on individual preferences and needs. 

Who Should Choose An Electric Toothbrush?

Manual toothbrushes have been tried, tested, and withstood the test of time. However, some people can find them difficult to use properly. Ideally, patients should brush each section of their mouth (called quadrants) for about 30 seconds, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle, and making sure to clean the top, front, and back of each area. If someone has difficulty reaching all the way to their back molars or holding on to a toothbrush, they can benefit from an electric toothbrush. Some people who can find an electric toothbrush easier to use include: 

  • Those with arthritis
  • Children
  • People who have braces

Take 2-Minutes 

Your dentist in Asheboro recommends brushing your teeth for two minutes every time you brush. This can seem like a long time, especially if you’re ready for bed or are running late for work, causing people to rush through the routine. Most electric toothbrushes solve this problem by offering a timer. Some of the most popular electric toothbrush models time 30-second increments and notify you when it’s time to move to a new area of the mouth. Brushing for the full 2 minutes is one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting a thorough clean. 

When it comes to selecting your new toothbrush, which should be done every 3-4 months, take some time to weigh your options and determine which type of toothbrush may be right for you. We always recommend talking with your dentist or dental hygienist about the tools you use to care for your smile. They can have some great insight and advice based on your individual dental health and needs.

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

citrus fruitIf you ask any doctor or dentist in Asheboro, you’ll probably hear them say that it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet, including fruits and vegetables. These healthy foods are high in nutrients that can help keep your body in tip-top shape. However, could it be true that something so good for you may also be bad for your smile? Let’s take a look at whether fruit is good or bad for your teeth and how you can continue to reap its many health benefits.

Acid & Sugar

Fruit, while healthy and powerful in fueling our bodies, also naturally contains sugar. As everyone knows, sugar isn’t a friend of your dentist in Asheboro. You see, when we eat foods with sugar, we essentially feed the bacteria in our mouths. As a result, these bacteria produce an acidic byproduct. The acid can wear down tooth enamel and leave teeth more susceptible to decay and other problems. Some signs of tooth enamel erosion include:

  • Increased Tooth Sensitivity
  • Cracking Teeth
  • Tooth Discoloration
  • Transparent Teeth

Schedule an appointment with your dentist in Asheboro if you suspect enamel erosion. 

Should You Forego Fruit?

In short, fruit is a necessary part of a healthy diet and you shouldn’t pass on it simply because there are minor risks to your oral health. However, there are things you can do to reduce the potential negative side effects of fruit. 

  • Choose Wisely

When selecting a piece of fruit to enjoy, consider those that contain a lot of water. Fruits like apples, pears, watermelon, and cantaloupe are all great choices.  

  • Enjoy in Moderation

There are also some types of fruit that you can enjoy but should do so in moderation. Citrus fruits and sour fruits, such as grapefruit, lemons, limes, and pineapple are both sugary and already acidic, making them more likely to cause enamel erosion 

  • Pass on the Juice

Drinking fruit juice may seem like an easier way to get the benefits of fruit without the hassle of eating fruit. But be wary. Fruit juice usually contains higher amounts of sugar and can coat your teeth easily. 

  • Rinse with Water

After you eat fruit or drink fruit juice, we recommend rinsing your mouth out with water. This can help wash away sugars and neutralize acids. 

Remember, your diet is a key part of your oral health and you should eat well-balanced meals, including fruits and vegetables. Additionally, make sure you brush and floss your teeth every day and see a dentist near you at least twice a year.