Posted by & filed under oral health.

biting tongueWe’ve all experienced the unpleasant sensation that goes along with biting our tongues, but the positive (if there is a positive to something so painful) is that we can usually identify how we did it. However, there are some people who experience the annoying aftermath of tongue biting and have no idea how it even happened. Usually this occurs when someone bites their tongue in their sleep. But how and why does this happen? Our Asheboro dental office has some answers.

Possible Explanations

There are several potential reasons you bite your tongue in your sleep. Some common causes can include:

However, if nighttime tongue biting is chronic, there are three typical conditions that usually point to a more serious concern.

Nocturnal Seizures

While seizures can generally occur at any time, there are instances when there are no daytime signs at all and symptoms are experienced during sleep alone. These are referred to as nocturnal seizures. Like any other seizure, nocturnal seizures cause individuals’ muscles to tighten and they experience erratic, uncontrollable movements, including tongue biting. Medication can help control seizures and limit tongue biting.

Rhythmic Movement Disorder

More common in children, rhythmic movement disorder causes sudden jerks and other sharp movements during sleep. Usually the head and neck are affected and can cause someone to bite their tongue. Kids normally grow out of the disorder, but medication may be appropriate.

Bruxism

Bruxism, more commonly referred to as teeth grinding, is characterized by the continual grating of the top teeth against the bottom or consistent clenching of the jaw muscles. While this can happen while someone is awake, it’s commonly experienced subconsciously during sleep. The act of grinding your teeth can cause chronic tongue biting as well as additional dental concerns such as chipping or breaking of teeth. Usually, your dentist in Asheboro will make a night guard to protect your teeth, and your tongue, from the effects of bruxism.

Have you been experiencing unexplained tongue trauma? Call our dental office in Asheboro to schedule an appointment. If signs point to teeth grinding, we’ll work with you to determine the treatment that’s appropriate for you. If something else is suspected, we’ll recommend that you speak with your physician.

Welcoming patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman and beyond. 

Posted by & filed under oral health.

dry mouthWe’ve all experienced it at one time or another. The dry, cracked lips, the bad breath, the sticky tongue, and every other uncomfortable sensation we get when our mouths are dry. Sometimes, it’s short-lived and goes away quickly. No big deal. However, it’s those times when dry mouth is chronic when our dental office in Asheboro becomes concerned.

What’s the Big Deal?

Dry mouth may seem like a simply annoying thing that happens. But if it happens a lot and lasts a while, there’s definitely a reason to be concerned. Healthy mouths require adequate saliva production to stay healthy. It helps rinse away food particles and bacteria and it neutralizes damaging acid. Without it, the mouth is in danger of tooth decay and other oral health concerns.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

There are several possible explanations to dry mouth. Some are fairly common and are easily fixed. Others are a bit more complicated and require input from your medical team.

  • Medications. Hundreds of prescription and over the counter medicines list dry mouth as a side effect. Read the packet of all medicine and discuss regular medications with your dentist in Asheboro.
  • Disease. Diabetes, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, Sjögren’s syndrome, and others can lead to dry mouth.
  • Dehydration. This is incredibly common and easily remedied. Drink more water and you should feel relief.
  • Mouth Breathing. When people can’t effectively breathe through the nose, they open their mouths to get enough oxygen in. This constant exposure to air can be incredibly drying.

How Do You Treat Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth treatment greatly depends on the case and the cause behind it. Sometimes a shift in medication may be appropriate. Other times, adding in a medicine that helps produce saliva can help. Either way, there are some things you can do in your everyday life to keep your mouth wet, limit the severity of dry mouth, or avoid it in the first place.

  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Limit caffeinated beverages
  • Chew sugarless gum

Don’t forget, our Asheboro dental office is always here to help as well. If you’d like to speak with someone about your dry mouth or possible treatments, call us to schedule an appointment. We’ll determine the cause of your symptoms and work together to find the appropriate solution for you.

Welcoming patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman and beyond. 

Posted by & filed under oral health.

oilYou may have heard of this alternative form of oral health care called oil pulling. Within the past couple of years, it’s become an increasingly popular way to boost oral health and the appearance of teeth. But does it actually do all the things it claims it can? Our dental office in Asheboro is here to find out.

What is Oil Pulling?

First discovered over 3,000 years ago, oil pulling is an ancient technique originated by Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine was founded in India and is a holistic approach to medical care. It wasn’t until the past couple of years when the trend started to infiltrate into modern times and has since become widely used.

The act of oil pulling is simple, but does require a commitment. You start by taking a tablespoon full of liquid vegetable oil — most people choose coconut oil — and swishing it around in your mouth for 20 minutes. During this time you should push and pull the liquid in between your teeth and expose it to every part of your mouth. Once the 20 minutes is complete, simply spit it out and rinse with water. Many oil pullers recommend doing this every day for maximum results.

Oil Pulling Claims

There are a multitude of supposed benefits associated with oil pulling. We chose to focus on the ones related to oral health. Some of which include:

  • Whiter Teeth
  • Fresher Breath
  • Lower Amount of Plaque
  • Reduced Risk of Cavities

Does It Actually Work?

There hasn’t been a wealth of research conducted on oil pulling, but what we do know is that it is not a substantial substitute for brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist in Asheboro twice a year. With that said, there is some truth behind some of the benefits of oil pulling. Swishing with coconut oil, for example, for 20 minutes each day can help remove surface stains on teeth, therefore giving them a brighter, whiter look. It can also be used as an alternative to mouthwash to help freshen breath. Even more, daily oil pulling may reduce the amount of plaque in the mouth. However, the amount it removes isn’t enough to counteract gum disease or reduce the risk of cavities.

There’s still a lot of research that needs to be done to truly understand just how beneficial oil pulling may be to oral health. Until then, we encourage you to keep brushing, flossing, and visiting our Asheboro dental office regularly to ensure optimal oral health.

Accepting new patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman.

Posted by & filed under oral health.

happyWhen we come to the office each day, it’s always with one goal in mind: to help patients and their smiles feel and look great. It’s important to take the time to make sure patients never feel uncomfortable or rushed, and we go out of our way to make sure they feel at ease. At our Asheboro dental office, we are so very happy every day, for so many reasons.

Reason #1 — Treating You and Your Smile

Dentists care deeply about the health of your teeth, and especially your gums. This is because studies show potential links between gum disease and other illnesses that affect the rest of the body. We always want the very best for your oral and overall health too!

Reason #2 — Paying Close Attention to Prevention

Our patients understand why it’s so important to keep up with regular checkups and dental cleanings. We don’t want to see them develop problems such as cavities, gum disease, the need for a root canal, etc. Prevention is our best medicine. It makes us smile, and it can do the same for you!

Reason #3 — It’s All About Teamwork

The talented team of dental professionals at our dental office in Asheboro are always happy, and it translates to our patients too. We treat each other like family, because that’s how we want our patients to feel when they come in for an appointment. When we’re happy about who we work with and the job we do, it makes everyone smile bigger and brighter.

Reason #4 — Comfortable, Gentle Care

Going to the dentist shouldn’t make a patient feel uneasy. That’s why we go out of our way to make sure you’re comfortable and feeling at ease every time you come to the office, no matter what the reason. It’s deeply rewarding to helping a patient who is feeling nervous or apprehensive.

Reason #5 — Restoring Health and Confidence

Anyone on our trusted team will tell you, one of the best things about being a dentist is seeing a patient enjoy life with a renewed smile and confidence. It goes beyond simply treating teeth, to providing someone with a better quality of life that’s beneficial — both personally and professionally.

Know that a visit to your dentist in Asheboro makes us happy for so many reasons. We want you to enjoy and live life to the fullest, and that starts with a healthy smile. If you or someone in your family is in need of a checkup, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We’re always happy to see you!

Welcoming patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman and beyond. 

Posted by & filed under oral health.

eat with denturesPatients living with dentures are faced with a new set of menu challenges. Unfortunately, some foods just are no longer compatible. While having dentures is a great way to restore a natural, healthy look, they aren’t able provide the same stable durability and function of regular teeth. At our dental office in Asheboro,we want our denture patients to always feel comfortable in their dentures every day, at every meal.

We’ve compiled a shortlist of just a few foods that have been known to be a problem for denture wearers, along with some alternative choices that are deliciously denture-friendly.

  1. Avoid Sticky Situations

We don’t really like to see any patient constantly snacking on chewy, sticky candy. But for people with dentures, it’s almost certain that sticky stuff will lead to serious dentures problems.

  • A Better Option: If you absolutely need to indulge in a sweet treat, try sugar-free gum that’s specifically designed for dentures.
  1. Say No to Your Cup of Joe?

OK, so this is a bit tricky. We know how important that morning cup of coffee can be to getting your day kickstarted.Your dentist in Asheboro is not going to tell you to give it up altogether, but it’s best in moderation. It can potentially cause staining and can also be dehydrating, leading to dry mouth. (That’s not helpful when you have dentures.)

  • A Better Option: Trying lessening the caffeine intake or completely switching over to decaf. If this isn’t an option, just be sure you’re getting enough additional fluids to help keep salivary glands functioning properly. If your mouth isn’t moist, the friction from dentures can be irritating to you and your gums.
  1. Don’t Go Nuts

Nuts and dentures don’t work well together. Tiny, painful pieces of nuts can get lodged under partials or dentures, making them uncomfortable and unstable.

  • A Better Option: Pitted olives are easier to chew and even contain heart-healthy fats. You can also try fresh, seedless grapes and berries.
  1. No Need For Seeds

Try to avoid seeded breads and crackers. Pesky little poppy seeds can get stuck under your dentures and be a real pain.

  • A Better Option: Try whole grain breads where the grains are baked inside.

At our Asheboro dental office, we see a lot of patients have great success with a variety of different kinds of dentures. It’s just a matter of making them work for you, and making an effort to avoid possible problems — especially with the foods and drinks you consume. If you have any questions about denture care, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Accepting patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman.

Posted by & filed under oral health.

toothbrushWe’ve all seen one before. The frayed, worn-out toothbrush with bristles stretching and poking out every which way. Our dental office in Asheboro knows that sometimes we forget, and we use our toothbrushes until they reach the point of no return. But did you know that this can be bad for your oral, and even your overall health? It’s true! Worn down brushes and their battered bristles are a lot less effective at helping your teeth get clean.

Change is Good

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months — and our Asheboro dental office couldn’t agree more! As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to wait that long. If the brush starts looked ragged and scary earlier than that, change it anyway. And keep an eye on your kid’s brushes too, as they need new ones even more frequently.

The Bacteria-Toothbrush Connection

There’s been some conversation about the possibility of bacterial contamination in toothbrushes, but the ADA wants to set the record straight. Here’s the bacteria breakdown:

  • FACT #1: The mouth does contain germs that do get transferred to your toothbrush.
  • FACT #2: Airborne germs can land on your toothbrush when it’s not in use.
  • FACT #3: New toothbrushes may even have germs because they’re not in sterile packaging.

But guess what? Even though these germy scenarios exist, it doesn’t necessarily have any effect on your body. This is due to another interesting fact: your body is regularly exposed to germs and can usually fight them off.

Keeping Toothbrushes Clean

While some germs are bound to inhabit your toothbrush, there are a few steps you can take to limit any extra ones from nestling in.

1) Keep it to yourself – don’t share your toothbrush with anyone else.

2) Rinse well – use tap water to help remove debris and toothpaste.

3) Return to upright position – store your toothbrush standing up and allow to air-dry.

4) Separation works too – store multiple brushes separately to avoid germ transfer

The ADA also recommends avoiding using a toothbrush container that covers the brush completely. The moist environment could help germs multiply and grow. Gross!

Your dentist in Asheboro knows how important it is to keep your smile healthy. The same goes for your toothbrush. Make sure you’re changing it regularly, especially if it’s starting to look like it’s seen better days. Don’t forget to store your new brush properly to keep both you and your smile free from bad bacteria and germs. We always want you to feel your very best!
Accepting new patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, and Randleman.

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

strawOur dental office in Asheboro wants to share a little known secret with you, and it’s something so easy, so common, and even may seem a bit silly, but can do wonders to help keep your smile healthy. It’s a straw. And when you choose to use a straw instead of sipping drinks straight from a cup, it can actually help keep bacteria and cavities from damaging your teeth.

Learn more about straw power by digesting these interesting facts. Our Asheboro dental office is pleased to share them with you as another way you can help protect your teeth from decay.

Straw Fact #1 – Help Keep Teeth Stain-Free

Using a straw when enjoying your favorite beverage is good idea to help protect teeth against common staining, especially when there’s long-term exposure to dark-colored drinks like coffee and tea that are consumed daily. By using a straw, you can help avoid constant and direct contact with your front teeth and do your best to keep your smile white.

Straw Fact #2 – Great Exposure Control

Much like protection your teeth from stains, using a straw can control how much direct exposure drinks have on your smile. It’s all about directing these materials away from your teeth. Even though some contact does occur, it’s minimized when you’re slurping through a straw. This means less bacteria and sugar actually stick to your smile which limits the likelihood of decay.

Straw Fact #3 – Increased Chances of Avoiding Germs

Did you know cups, both at home and in restaurants, can host germs even if they look clean? You can avoid these germs and bacteria by sticking a straw in your cup instead of putting your mouth directly on it to sip.

Straw Fact #4 – Avoid Choking and Burns

Straws can be a real mouth and tooth saver when you’re drinking a hot beverage. These small, plastic tubes allow you to take in smaller amounts of liquid at a time which can help you avoid mouth burns and also reduce the risk for choking.

Your dentist in Asheboro does everything possible to help you keep your teeth healthy. We hope you will do the same. Using a straw is just another simple change you can make to your daily routine that could help benefit your smile. Don’t forget to brush and floss too!

Accepting new patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman.

Posted by & filed under oral health.

over 50There’s a common misconception that as we age, it’s inevitable that we’ll also lose our teeth. At our Asheboro dental office, we’d like to squash that belief and give our older patients some good news. Research from the American Dental Association (ADA) concludes that Americans are keeping their teeth longer than ever before. While that’s great news, it’s important to know that the longer we keep our teeth, the more aware we need to become of some issues that are more prominent in those over 50.

Oral Cancer

Affecting nearly 45,000 Americans each and every year, oral cancer is a very serious concern that, if not treated proactively, could lead to death. While anyone can be affected by oral cancer, some risk factors that increase its likelihood include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and yes, age. Oral cancer rates have shown to increase in those over 50, and is most common in those between 60 and 70.

Gum Disease

Another serious problem, gum disease has been shown to not only affect the mouth, but the rest of the body as well. Research has demonstrated a positive connection between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. This is concerning for the older population because 30% of those over the age of 50 have advanced gum disease.

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth is an unhappy mouth and usually means there’s not enough saliva production. Saliva is important to a healthy mouth since it helps wash away bacteria and keep teeth strong. Without it, teeth are at increased risk for attack. This is a concern for everyone, but more so for people 50+. Many times dry mouth can be a result of medication, and as we age, the use of medicine is more prevalent. Make sure to talk with your dentist about all the medications you take.

These common problems can all cause tooth loss if not caught and treated early. The best way to do your part to help keep your teeth healthy for as long as possible is to make sure to visit your dentist in Asheboro twice a year and maintain proper oral hygiene at home.  

If you’re worried that you may have any of the issues discussed, even if you’re not 50, we recommended scheduling an appointment with our Asheboro dental office as soon as possible. We’ll discuss your concerns and determine the best treatments to help you keep your teeth healthy for as many years as possible.

Accepting patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman.

Posted by & filed under oral health.

gluten freeMany people choose to eat a gluten-free diet, but there are some individuals who don’t have a choice. Those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity become seriously ill when gluten is consumed, so they avoid it as much as possible. Predominantly, celiac disease affects the gastrointestinal tract, but at our Asheboro dental office, we know it can also be dangerous to oral health.

What is Gluten?

In short, gluten is a mixture of proteins that are found in rye, wheat, and barley. It helps food stay together and keep their shape. Many foods, drinks, and even condiments contain gluten, although gluten-free alternatives are on the rise.

The Effects of Gluten on Oral Health

When someone with a gluten intolerance eats something containing gluten, their immune system reacts abnormally and doesn’t allow the absorption of certain vitamins, including vitamin D. This is concerning for teeth because vitamin D helps build strong enamel. Without vitamin D and without the protection of enamel, teeth are left exposed to decay and other oral health problems. According to a study by the European Journal of Internal Medicine, 85% of those with celiac disease have enamel damage. What’s even more concerning is that once enamel is gone, it doesn’t come back.

Other Oral Health Concerns

Enamel loss due to a lack of vitamin absorption is only one concern for gluten-sensitive people, although a pretty big one. Additional oral health concerns due to gluten ingestion include:

  • Chronic canker sores
  • Swollen, red gums
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Teeth that are thin or look transparent
  • Pitting in the teeth
  • Misshapen teeth

What Can You Do?

If your teeth have lost the protection of their enamel, they’re discolored or misshapen, or are at risk for falling out, whether due to celiac disease or not, there are ways to help. Dental implants can restore missing teeth permanently, cosmetic dentistry can transform tooth shape or color, and restorative treatments can bring teeth back to health and strength. Contact your dentist in Asheboro to discuss which options may be best for you.

Accepting patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman and the surrounding areas.

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

toothacheThere’s nothing quite like the discomfort of a toothache. While the pain could be because of something small like a cavity, it could also be something serious like gum disease or infection. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important to call our dental office in Asheboro as soon as possible so we can determine what’s happening and the best way to fix it. But what do you do if you get a toothache and can’t get to your dentist immediately?

At-Home Relief

If your toothache happens when you’re nowhere near your dentist, or on a weekend when they aren’t open, don’t panic. There are some ways you can ease toothache pain until you can schedule an appointment.

  • Cold Compress. Take a gel ice pack or a frozen pack of peas, wrap it in a shirt or towel, and gently hold it to the outside of the mouth near where it hurts. The cold helps reduce swelling and less swelling means less pain.
  • Salt Water. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water, focusing on the painful area. Don’t swallow it! Salt water naturally pulls any liquid in the area away, relieving pressure on the nerves and easing pain.
  • Floss. Gently wiggle floss in between your tooth and up into the gum line. This can help dislodge any pieces of food that may be wedged tightly in the crevices, which may be causing the toothache.
  • Antiseptic. Buy an over-the-counter antiseptic with benzocaine and apply it directly on the tooth and gum. The benzocaine numbs the area, giving you temporary relief.

Never Get a Toothache Again!

Well, we may have exaggerated a bit. While there’s no way to completely guarantee you won’t ever get another toothache, there are things you can do to greatly reduce your chance of one. First, make sure you’re brushing twice a day and flossing everyday. Good oral hygiene at home is half the battle in keeping your mouth healthy and free of toothaches. Next, see your dentist in Asheboro twice a year. Dental cleanings and exams every six months help catch any decay or other toothache-causing culprits before they have a chance to become painful.

Our Asheboro dental office is here to help you in case you do get a toothache. But we’re also here to help you avoid it in the first place with preventive dentistry and gentle treatments for any problem we may find. Whether you’re struggling with toothache pain now, or it’s been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist, call us to schedule an appointment today.

Accepting patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman.