Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention.

woman indicates gum irritationAt our dental office in Asheboro, we tend to put a lot of focus on our patients’ teeth and any concerns they have in relation to the appearance of their smiles. But there’s so much more to consider when evaluating overall oral health. The gums, for example, are one area that is commonly ignored, yet they are pretty important to talk about.

Why Do We Have Gums?

Before we dive into one of the most common concerns related to gums, let’s take a look at why we even have them to begin with. First and foremost, gums are part of a complex system that holds your teeth in place. When gums are healthy, they’re tight to the teeth and keep them securely in place. Additionally, gums cover and protect the sensitive tooth roots. If gums become unhealthy, teeth can become severely sensitive and may even fall out.

Gum Recession

An extremely common problem with gums is gum recession. Gum recession is basically that — when the gum tissue begins to recede or pull up and away from the tooth. Gum recession can make teeth appear longer than normal and can result in some serious dental problems, including:

  • Severe inflammation
  • Increased susceptibility to bacteria
  • Erosion of bone and supporting tissues
  • Tooth pain
  • Eventual tooth loss

What Causes Gum Recession?

There are so many things that can lead to gum recession, which may be why it is so common. Some of the top causes of gum recession are:

Know the Signs

Since gum recession is usually a slow process that tends to progress over time, recognizing symptoms may be difficult. However, some common early signs may include:

  • Teeth that appear longer
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Little indentations on the teeth near the gum line

While you can catch any of the signs of gum recession at home, the best way to catch it early (which makes treatment more successful) is to maintain regular visits to your dentist in Asheboro.

If you notice any signs of possible gum recession, or are experiencing pain that may be related to it, we encourage you to call our Asheboro dental office to schedule an appointment.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

young woman smilingAt our dental office in Asheboro, we want your smile to look its very best to help you get more satisfaction out of life both professionally and personally. We know your smile is a powerful tool that can tell the world quite a lot about who you truly are. Did you know that evolutionary scientists believe that smiling has its origins as a social signifier? Think of it like a dog wagging his tail. With this action, he can let you know that he wants attention, is happy, etc. A smile does the same thing!

Feeling Self-Conscious About Your Smile

When our smiles say so much about who we are, it’s important that they look their very best. Sometimes due to wear and tear or a dental injury, teeth become cracked, chipped or broken. This can lead to missing teeth and lowered confidence to smile proudly. It can also lead to bad habits such as slouching or poor posture and mumbling. Your smile is your best accessory, so it’s always good to make sure it’s healthy and looking brilliant. This is why it’s important to maintain regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist in Asheboro. Don’t forget to brush twice and floss once daily to keep teeth looking and feeling great.

Teeth and History

Like dentists, archeologists are big fans of teeth when it comes to discovering more information about how people of the past lived their lives. It’s easy to determine how old teeth are and the kind of person they belonged to because all teeth follow similar growth patterns. A teenage boy will have slight variations that differ from those of an adult female. These differences can tell scientists a lot about who a person is, how they lived, what they ate, and how old they are. Your teeth are also one of the very few parts of the body that can start to wear down but still function properly.

Teeth Tell Your Story

Your teeth have something known as universal signifiers, meaning characteristics that are commonly found in people of a certain age, gender, etc.

  • Central incisors – When you’re younger your central incisors (your front teeth) tend to be a little bit more curvier and rounded at the edges. But the older you grow, these teeth tend to become more square in shape.
  • Lateral incisors – Right next door to the front teeth are your lateral incisors. These teeth are good for chewing and are round at the ends in women and longer and more square shaped in men.

And guess what else your teeth tell us? If you grind your teeth, it’s usually evident in breaks and chips in your enamel. We can also tell if you smoke, drink coffee and alcohol, and even snore!

If your teeth are painful or making you self-conscious it’s probably a good idea to give our Asheboro dental office a call. We can do a thorough exam and collect x-rays that will give us a more complete idea of what your teeth might be trying to tell you. It’s important to take the steps to have a healthy smile so that you can present your most healthy you to the world!

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

anxious woman in dental chairAt my dental office in Asheboro, we generally advise patients to see the dentist regularly, about every six months, to help maintain excellent oral and overall health. However, sometimes things happen in our lives and we just forget to keep up with appointments or schedule a checkup. We see and treat many patients who have not been able to see the dentist for many years because of many different reasons, but we’re always happy to welcome them!

Why Patients Don’t See The Dentist

These are common, valid reasons people tend to avoid the dentist – for a few months to a few years.

  • A bad experience at the dentist in the past makes you nervous
  • You’re afraid to find out what is wrong or what repairs you may need
  • You’re feeling embarrassed because it’s been awhile since your last visit
  • You just simply don’t have time to make it to an appointment or cleaning

Let’s Get Your Smile Back on Track

Your dentist in Asheboro is here to help! You don’t have to feel embarrassed or nervous about coming to the office. Thanks to so many advancements in dentistry and a wealth of state-of-the-art technology, going to the dentist is a whole new experience compared to even just a few years ago. If you have an issue that needs to be addressed, we will talk about your options. You’ll never feel pressured to proceed with any treatment you don’t feel comfortable having. We definitely understand how busy your life can be. That’s why we’ve made it easy to schedule an appointment. From the moment you walk in the door, we will make sure you’re comfortable and that you feel at home. We owe it to you and your smile!

What Will Happen At The Office

When you come to see us, we will be there to help you every step of the way. First, we will make sure we have all of the necessary paperwork on file. We can also work with your previous dentist to obtain any past records or x-rays you may have on file there. If you’ve moved or that office is no longer open, it’s no big deal! We will get you set up and comfortable at the office for a thorough exam (including a new set of state-of-the-art x-rays) to get a better understanding of what’s happening with your teeth. Our team will also take a look at your gums too! This way we know if you need extra special care and treatment for gum disease. We will take the time to get to know you and your needs.

My Asheboro dental office is your new home for comprehensive dental care that you can trust. Our team is educated and excited to work with you to get your smile back in the best shape possible, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve sat in the dental chair!

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Prevention.

biscottiThere are a lot of things that can cause tooth damage. We’ve seen cracked teeth from sports injuries, loose teeth caused by clenching and grinding, and there’s always the chance for us to treat someone for a simple cavity. But at our Asheboro dental office, it’s also pretty common for us to have patients come in with tooth damage caused by eating. There are several types of foods that are most often responsible for these types of cases, so we’ve put together a list of some of the top culprits for you to help you avoid tooth damage from foods.

  • Popcorn – Notoriously viewed as the #1 worst food for teeth, popcorn can seem harmless, but the danger tends to hide within the puffy, airy, buttery treat. We’re talking about the kernels. These sneaky, hard bits of popcorn can cause some serious damage if bitten on, so snack away carefully.
  • Baguettes – When we talk about bread, we typically think about soft, easily chewable sandwich bread. But there’s another type out there that isn’t so easy to nibble. Baguettes have a hard, crispy texture that’s hard to rip and difficult to chew and it can cause some problems for teeth and dental restorations.
  • Olive Pits – Any type of food that naturally contains a pit or a seed, like olives, is dangerous to your teeth. While oftentimes the pit is removed, there are occasions when it’s not. Since we may not know when the pit is gone, we recommend eating these types of foods with caution as to not quickly bite down and crack a tooth.
  • Candy – It’s pretty well known that candy isn’t great for teeth, but some types of candy are worse than others. Sticky candy like caramels aren’t only tough to chew, they can loosen fillings and other dental restorations. Hard candy isn’t much better. Although it’s meant to be sucked down and softened to a manageable size, sometimes we become impatient and start chewing right away. This can break teeth.
  • Ice Cubes – Ice cubes are hard by nature and can be useful when helping to cool down a drink. But we should never chew on them. Eating ice can cause teeth to chip or even to sustain tiny cracks. These cracks may remain unnoticeable, but over time, they’re a great place for bacteria to hide and eat away at enamel creating cavities.

We want our patients to enjoy what they eat, so we’re not asking you to avoid these foods altogether. We’d just encourage you to use caution when eating them to reduce your risk of damage. If you do happen to crack a tooth with a popcorn kernel or lose a filling thanks to a caramel, give our dental office in Asheboro a call. We’ll be glad to help.

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

male dentist examining dental x-rayDental x-rays are a vital diagnostic tool used to properly identify any underlying conditions that may not yet be visible on the surface. At our dental office in Asheboro, we perform dental x-rays only as often as necessary, which can vary from patient to patient depending on their oral needs and health history. We also understand our patients may have questions regarding dental x-rays, and we’d like to answer them so you can make the best informed decisions about your health.

Intraoral & Extraoral

Dental x-rays, or radiographs, are usually separated into two categories — intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral x-rays mainly focus on the details of the teeth themselves. While extraoral x-rays still showcase the teeth, the aim of these photos is to look at the bigger picture of the teeth within the jaw and skull.

A Closer Look at Intraoral X-Rays

We already know that intraoral x-rays focus on teeth. They’re also the most common types of x-rays and can help:

  • Find cavities
  • Check bone health around teeth
  • Detect gum disease

Bitewing x-rays are the most frequently used intraoral x-rays. They allow your dentist in Asheboro to see cavities in between teeth that aren’t yet visible on the surface. The images produced from bitewing x-rays also help keep an eye on the wear and tear of any dental restorations, such as a filling or an implant.

Explore Extraoral X-Rays

Extraoral x-rays are less detailed than intraoral images, but still serve a helpful purpose when it comes to looking at:

  • Impacted teeth
  • The jaw and teeth relationship
  • Growth and development

The most common extraoral x-rays are panoramic x-rays. These images show the entire set of teeth as well the jaws in one photo. Panoramic x-rays are great when looking at tooth development or wisdom teeth eruption and can help identify problems with the jaw (TMJ).

We recommend visiting our Asheboro dental office at least every six months. We may not perform x-rays at every appointment unless it’s necessary, but visits twice a year are recommended so we’re able to catch problems early, making them easier, and often less costly to treat.

Posted by & filed under oral health, Prevention.

oral cancer awarenessNobody likes talking about any type of cancer. It’s a scary epidemic that continues to take the lives of thousands each and every year. Oral cancer, specifically, is a fairly common type of cancer in the United States with over 45,000 cases diagnosed every year. Of those diagnosed, about 9,700 will lose their battles with the disease. At our Asheboro dental office, we want to take time during Oral Cancer Awareness Month to educate our patients and neighbors on the risk factors and signs of oral cancer, and why it’s so important to catch it early.

The Importance of Early Detection

Oral cancer is very treatable when caught early, which is one of the reasons that maintaining appointments with your dentist is so important. In between your dental visits, it’s best to know the early signs of oral cancer so you’re able to seek treatment quickly.

Recognize the Signs

Oral cancer can develop anywhere from the lips, tongue, and cheeks to in and around the throat. But sometimes diagnosis can be tricky. A lot of oral cancer symptoms can easily be mistaken for other problems. If you recognize any of these signs, call your dentist in Asheboro immediately to schedule an oral cancer screening:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • A sore or several sores that don’t go away
  • A lump on the cheek
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Changes in your voice

Know the Risks

There are several lifestyle and hereditary factors that can increase someone’s risk of developing oral cancer. Please know that while these are common risk factors, anyone can develop oral cancer even if none apply to them.

  • Gender: Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women.
  • Age: The majority of oral cancer patients are over the age of 55 and on average, most people are diagnosed at 62.
  • Tobacco: Nearly 80% of oral cancer diagnoses are in tobacco users.
  • Alcohol: About 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers.
  • Tobacco & Alcohol Combo: Those who use tobacco and drink heavily have a 15 times greater risk.

This Oral Cancer Awareness Month, take control of those risk factors that you CAN change and quit smoking, chewing tobacco, or using alcohol excessively. If you have other questions about oral cancer, call our dental office in Asheboro.

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

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

numbSometimes we get asked why certain patients have more difficulty getting numb before a dental procedure than other people. At our dental office in Asheboro, we wish we could provide one, solid answer as to why this happens. But the truth is, the reason can vary from person to person, and even from dentist to dentist.

Reason #1: It’s Not You, It’s Us

While nobody likes to admit when they’ve made a mistake, the truth in everything is that mistakes do happen. Including during administration of a numbing agent. Most dentists have more than enough experience, training, and education to get it right most of the time. But if we miss, please know that we don’t like giving you additional injections any more than you like receiving them. We will always do everything possible to keep you relaxed, comfortable, and free of pain during each and every visit, even if we do need to give it another shot (pun intended).

Reason #2: It’s Not Me, It’s You

Now that we’ve established that your Asheboro dentist may accidentally miss the mark, we need to talk about why it’s so important for you to stay as still as possible during the injection. If you flinch or jump, there’s a chance the anesthetic won’t hit the right spot. We know it’s not what anyone really wants to do, but we promise to make it as quick and painless as possible.

Your body can also be the anti-numbing culprit in a variety of ways. First, some people react to the numbing agent differently, and their bodies remove it from the system too quickly. If this happens, you may not get numb at all or only numb for a small period of time. Another possible explanation could be your anatomy. While we know pretty much exactly where each nerve is supposed to be, sometimes we find a patient whose nerve positioning is shifted slightly. So when we think we’re hitting the spot right on, we’re actually not.

Reason #3: It’s Neither of Us, It’s Your Nerves

If you have a tooth that hurts a lot, your nerves don’t behave like they normally do. Sometimes known as a ‘hot tooth,’ an area that’s particularly painful could have nerves that are either overactive or have actually added on additional receptors. Whichever may be the case, both situations require more anesthetic and could make it more difficult to become numb.

We never want our patients to be uncomfortable while in our Asheboro dental office. If you’ve had trouble getting numb in the past, please let us know. We’ll go out of our way to ensure you’re completely relaxed and pain free at all of your visits.

Accepting new patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman and beyond. 

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

dental emergencyNobody ever wants to experience an emergency of any kind, and dental emergencies can be particularly concerning and confusing. What’s the right thing to do? What shouldn’t you do? Don’t worry, our dental office in Asheboro is here to help.

Different Emergencies Require Different Care

Not all dental emergencies should be handled the same way, so we’ve outlined some of the most common emergencies and what you can do if they happen to you or a family member. No matter what type of emergency you have, a good rule of thumb is to call your Asheboro dentist as soon as you can.

Chipped or Broken Tooth – First, rinse the mouth and any broken pieces you happen to find with warm water. If there’s blood involved, apply gauze and a bit of pressure to help stop it. Swelling and pain can be reduced with a cold compress.

Knocked Out Tooth – The key to saving a knocked out tooth is to find it as quickly as possible. Once you do, make sure to only touch the tooth crown, not the roots. You can then try to replace the tooth into the socket. If that’s not working, place the tooth in a glass of milk and get to a dentist. Your tooth has the best chance of survival if it’s returned to the socket within an hour.

Toothache – A toothache is typically a sign of a bigger problem and shouldn’t be ignored. Get to your dentist as soon as you can. In the meantime, relieve pain with a cold compress and some medicine. A quick rinse with warm salt water can help too. Whatever you do, do NOT place aspirin directly on the gums as it can cause tissue damage.

Lost Filling – If a filling falls out, it may cause pain because essentially there’s now a hole in your tooth. While you’re waiting to get to the dentist you can buy dental cement at most drugstores that can fill the space. If that’s not an option, a piece of sugarless gum is a short-term fix. Do NOT use gum with sugar as that will increase the pain

At our Asheboro dental office, we’re in the business of keeping smiles healthy, and we never want one of our patients to have a dental emergency. But the truth is, emergencies happen. When they do, we welcome you to call our office for help.

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

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

become a dentistAt our Asheboro dental office, we love what we do and we find our jobs rewarding. We get to help our patients’ mouths stay healthy, which can directly affect their overall well being, and we even get to see some dramatic smile transformations and change lives. We’d go as far as to say it’s the best job in the world. But how do you know if a career in dentistry could be right for you? Let’s take a glimpse at how you become a dentist and what your job could look like.

What Does a Dentist Do?

You’ve been to a dentist before (or at least we hope!), so you have a basic understanding of what a dentist does. But depending on your own dental experiences, you may not know that a dentist can do a whole lot more than your routine dental exams, x-rays, and sometimes cleanings.

Dentists are responsible for diagnosing problems, developing treatment plans, and treating conditions that affect oral health. They not only look at the health of teeth, but also the gums and the mouth as a whole. Depending on the needs of their patients, dentists’ duties can include removing decayed sections of teeth and replacing them with fillings, eliminating damaged tooth roots and placing a dental crown, and even extracting teeth. They’re a key component to anyone’s medical team and their work is a unique blend of art and science.

Steps to Becoming a Dentist

  • Get a Bachelor’s Degree. Most dental schools require a 4 year Bachelor’s degree before admitting students into their doctorate programs. Try to take some classes in biology, chemistry, and other sciences during undergraduate school.
  • Pass the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). This exam tests a scholar’s aptitude and knowledge of the sciences. A minimum score is needed to gain entrance into dental school.
  • Earn a Dental Degree. In dental school, students will traditionally focus on coursework their first two years, and gain some clinical experience during the final two years.
  • Obtain State Licensure. Licensure requirements vary depending on the state you’d like to practice in, but all states require that dentists-to-be pass the National Board of Dental Examinations.

Does the Country Need More Dentists?

If you think dentistry may be the career for you, we have good news. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth for dentists is around 18% through 2024, which is more than double the average growth for other occupations.

At our dental office in Asheboro, we encourage anyone exploring a career in dentistry to perform their own research to see if it sounds like something they’ll enjoy doing.

Accepting new patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman and beyond. 

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry.

love your smileAt our dental office in Asheboro, we love helping our patients get a smile they’re proud of. But visits to our office twice a year are only part of what you can do to make sure you’re showing your smile the love it needs to stay healthy. If you want to get and maintain a smile you’re happy with, check out the top 7 ways to care for your smile.

  • Brush, brush, brush. This may seem like a no-brainer, but we have to say it. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mouth free of decay causing bacteria.  
  • Floss everyday. We get asked often if flossing is really that important. The short answer: Yes! If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 35% of each tooth. Food particles and bacteria love to hide in between teeth, and you don’t floss, it’s left there and can lead to cavities.  
  • Kick the tobacco habit. About 80% of those with oral cancer use tobacco. Whether it’s chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes, if you want to keep your mouth healthy, you should try to quit.
  • Ease up on dark-colored drinks. We’re talking about drinks like coffee, tea, and red wine. These colorful beverages can stain teeth. Usually a professional whitening can reverse that, but other times, the staining seeps into the enamel requiring a more advanced cosmetic dentistry treatment to mask it.
  • Drink more water. If we could have our patients drink only one thing, it’d be water. Not only is it free of sugars and coloring, it helps neutralize acid that contributes to cavities.
  • Resolve dental problems early and quickly. If you suspect a dental problem, don’t let it go, especially if you’re in pain. Early resolution of many dental concerns can reduce the likelihood that you’ll need more advanced treatment or that a more serious issue will arise.
  • See your dentist in Asheboro twice a year. Ok we already covered the importance of this one, but it’s worth repeating. Getting a dental cleaning and checkup every six months is the best way to ensure no serious problems are creeping up and to remove plaque build up.

If you’re looking for a dentist, have a dental concern, or you’d like to talk about other ways to get a smile you love, schedule an appointment at our Asheboro dental office today.

Accepting patients from Asheboro, Randolph County, Randleman