Why Do I Need Root Canal Treatment?

Even though regular checkups and proper dental hygiene greatly decrease the need for root canal treatment, the fact remains that it is one of the most common procedures performed by dentists today. What are some of the most common reasons you might need this dental solution?

Decay:
The primary cause for root canal procedures is decay that has entered the tooth pulp chamber and progressed to the point of causing infection or abscesses. Pain and tooth sensitivity often accompanies severe decay. Root canal treatment is the best way to avoid tooth extraction and restore oral health.

Trauma:
If a tooth endures strong force such as from a sports injury, car accident or fall, the trauma can damage the tooth so badly that root canal treatment is needed. Even if trauma isn’t completely evident at first, a severed nerve to the tooth can cause it to die over time.

Genetics:
Traits of teeth like their strength are passed along through genes. Some people inherit soft teeth that are more prone to decay, making it difficult to avoid decay even with diligent oral hygiene.

Tooth fracture:
A tooth can be fractured through chewing hard foods or ice, teeth grinding or clenching, or habits like nail biting. Even hairline fractures may allow bacteria to enter the tooth’s pulp and cause infections. Once the bacteria takes hold, root canal treatment may become necessary.

Deep cavity:
Deep cavities within teeth can allow infections to thrive, eventually causing the tooth to become inflamed or die. A deep cavity isn’t necessarily painful, so patients may not even realize they have an infection. Regular dental checkups help catch cavities early, before they are able to become so deep and serious.

Previous dental work:
Extensive or repeated dental work can cause trauma to teeth nerves and associated inflammation, making root canal therapy an important solution.


If you live in the McDonough area contact us today

Do You Need a Root Canal Procedure?

When a tooth is seriously decayed or has become infected, a root canal procedure can be done to repair the tooth and save it. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, while the remainder of the center of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then carefully sealed to prevent infection.

“Root canal” is the term for the natural space within the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerve is in the root canal, as is the pulp (or pulp chamber), which is the soft area within the root canal. Because the tooth’s nerve isn’t vital to a tooth’s health, removing it doesn’t prevent the normal functioning of the tooth.

Removing the nerve and the pulp is necessary in some cases to address irritation, inflammation and infection stemming from severe decay, damaged or deep fillings, cracked or chipped teeth or facial trauma. When the nerve tissue and pulp become damaged, bacteria begin to form within the pulp chamber. This can lead to a serious infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess can form when the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth roots.

Additionally, severe infections can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root or holes in the tooth that drain the infection into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. It can cause swelling that spreads to the face, head, or neck.

Sometimes, the only signs you need a root canal procedure are more minor. They can include tooth pain when applying pressure or chewing, discoloration (darkening) of the tooth, tenderness and/or swelling of the gum tissue, or a pimple or blemish on the gums that is recurring. Acute sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures that does not abate with time can also be a sign.

Talk to your dentist or endodontist (a dentist whose specialty is the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and trauma to the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth) about your concerns. Your dentist will know what to do so you may make the best decisions for your long-term tooth health.

 

If you live in the McDonough area and you need a root canal, contact our dental office today.

 

General dentist in McDonough

What Really Happens When You Get a Filling

You’re sitting in your dentist’s chair for your checkup, and you hear the dreaded words that you have a cavity. Is it really a cause for panic? Modern advances in equipment and methods may surprise you about what really happens when you get a filling. Let’s learn what to expect if you need this procedure.

The first thing you and your dentist will discuss is the type of filling that is best for you. One choice is an amalgam filling. It is known for its durability, but contains a small amount of mercury which raises concerns among some patients. Another option is a resin composite filling, which is a newer material that contains more plastics. Many patients like this option because its white color is less noticeable in your mouth, but it lasts only about half as long as an amalgam filling.

The first step of the process is numbing the area, unless the cavity is very small and it’s unnecessary. First, the dentist will rub a topical numbing agent on the area, and will give you an injection after it takes effect. Many patients don’t even feel the injection after the topical numbing.

Next, the dentist will separate the area being worked on from the rest of your mouth using a rubber dam or a bite block. Once your mouth is ready, your tooth will be drilled and the decay will be removed.

The actual filling will be placed after the decay is gone. If you are receiving an amalgam filling, the hole will be filled with the metals. It will be pushed down to ensure all of the space is full, and then any overflow will be removed to make the tooth smooth. If you are getting a composite filling instead, the dentist will put some blue acid in the hole to create small holes for bonding the material. The acid is then rinsed, and a bonding agent is applied. Then the composite material will be added. A blue light will be used to harden and strengthen the material. Finally, the filling will be filed to make it smooth.

Dental fillings dentist in McDonough

White fillings

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

At one time, metal fillings were the only choice to repair tooth decay. Now, many dentists have switched to composite resin fillings, which match natural-tooth color so they don’t compromise the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings have gained popularity, and many dentists only offer this option. In recent years, there has been a strong push to eliminate amalgam fillings all together.

Amalgam fillings are made of several metals, with up to a 50 percent composition of mercury. It is widely known that mercury is toxic to the body. Some of the concern about amalgam fillings is the affect mercury has on the body, including:

•    Causing damage to the kidneys
•    Contributing to infertility
•    Impacting the nervous system
•    Interfering with the function of the thyroid and pituitary glands
•    Posing unknown risk to a fetus
•    Weakening the immune system

Because each person is different, you may have no reaction to the amalgam fillings. Over time, though, these restorations may change shape or crack, which can cause them to leak. If the fillings don’t hold up, the area may become susceptible to additional damage or decay.

At your checkup, have the dentist evaluate any old fillings to make sure they are still in good condition. You can also discuss the benefits of replacing amalgams with composite fillings. The newer restorations blend with your natural tooth coloring and require less removal of health tooth structure, which allows for a more conservative repair.

We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

What Type of Teeth Whitening Treatment Should You Choose?

Are you tired of your dark, dingy smile? Have you decided it’s time to brighten up your pearly whites? Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments to quickly and effectively improve the quality of your smile. However, there are many whitening options offered, and you may be confused about which type of whitening treatment will best help you achieve the look you desire. Whether you are deciding between at-home whitening treatments or professional teeth whitening, there are some things to consider when exploring your options:

  • How quickly would you like to see results? If you are planning for a special event such as a wedding or trip, professional teeth whitening will offer quicker results than at-home treatment. With professional whitening, your dentist may be able to whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one visit.
  • Are your teeth highly sensitive? With professional whitening treatment, your dentist can take extra precautions to avoid over-exposing your teeth and gums to bleaching gels, which may be harder to do with at-home treatments.
  • Are you committed to your whitening treatment? If you are diligent and follow instructions, at-home treatment can be highly effective. However, if you neglect to wear the trays as directed or to follow whitening treatment instructions, you results will be diminished. If you are stretched for time, or forgetful, professional whitening treatment may be the best option to achieve optimal results.
  • How severely are your teeth stained? Teeth with heavy discoloration may benefit the most and show the greatest improvement with more intense professional in-office treatments.

Talk to your dentist about whitening treatment options to find out more about what procedures would best suit your needs. Regardless of which type of whitening treatment you select, with diligent treatment and proper care, you are sure to enjoy the benefits of a whiter and healthier looking smile.

Schedule your appointment at our McDonough dental office

Facial Injuries and Oral Surgery

There are a number of reasons that dentists or oral surgeons recommend surgery, but facial injuries are probably the most unexpected and alarming cause. Maxillofacial injury, or facial trauma, refers to any injury to the mouth, jaw, and face. Most of these injuries result from sports, car accidents, job accidents, violence, or an accident at home. Let’s learn about oral surgery resulting from facial trauma.

Broken bones are a common type of serious facial injury. Fractures can occur in the upper or lower jaw, cheekbones, palate, and eye sockets. Injuries in these locations may affect vision and the ability to eat, talk, and breathe. Hospitalization is often required for treatment, which is similar to that for fractures in other parts of the body. The bones must be lined up and held in place to allow time to heal them in the correct position. Because casts are not possible in facial injuries, the surgeon may use wires, screws, or plates to treat fractures. Sometimes healing takes as long as six weeks or more.

Even though some facial injuries are worse than others, all of them should be taken seriously. They affect an important area of the body, so it is recommended to seek treatment from an oral surgeon to make sure you receive optimum care. Even if stitches are all that’s required, it’s best to have them performed by an oral surgeon who can place them exactly as needed to produce the best results.

It’s no surprise that the best solution for facial injuries is to prevent them in the first place. Oral surgeons suggest consistent use of mouth guards, seat belts, and masks and helmets as required. Improvements have been made to safety gear to make these items more comfortable and efficient, so there should be no excuses for not using them to protect yourself and avoid injuries that can lead to oral surgery.


If you need a dentist in McDonough contact us today

cold sore dentist

Dealing with Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Fun in the summer sun can cause unpleasant side effects such as cold sores and fever blisters. Brought on by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), cold sores and fever blisters are transmitted from person to person by saliva or by skin contact. With cold sores, you generally develop clusters of tiny blisters on the lip. Most people are exposed to HSV-1 before age 10. After the first infection, the virus remains inactive until stress, illness, or sun exposure causes a new outbreak.

During the first exposure, you may have headache, nausea, fever, and/or vomiting. Patients may also have painful swelling and open mouth sores. Most of the time, cold sores or fever blisters appear on the edges of your lips. Usually, these outbreaks start with tingling or burning followed by swelling or redness. One or more blisters will typically appear within 24 to 48 hours.

Initial symptoms can last for 7 to 14 days. When the cold sores or blisters reappear, they generally crust over in about four days and then heal within 10 days. You may want to visit your doctor or dentist the first time you develop cold sores or fever blisters, but after that, you shouldn’t need medical attention. Keep the area clean and apply topical medication to lessen symptoms as well as promote healing.

Preventing a first infection for loved ones involves making sure that no one with an active fever blister kisses your kids or other family members. Sunscreen can help protect your lips from cold sores brought on by too much time in the sun.

Dentist in McDonough

Types of Professional Teeth Whitening

By far, the best way to brighten and whiten your smile is through an in-office treatment performed by your dentist. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel used by your dentist is much higher than that which can be obtained over-the-counter by you in a drugstore. Lasers or special lights are employed by many dentists to achieve the best results.

With the rise in popularity of in-office teeth whitening, some specialty brands have emerged that offer different methods and ingredient strengths to address even the most stubborn stains.

  • BriteSmile also uses whitening gel and a blue light, but their gel has a concentration of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide and a nearly neutral pH level, a mix that is easier on sensitive gum tissue.
  • Lumbrite employs a custom light, known as the Sapphire Plasma Arc Curing and Whitening Light. This light has no destructive UV rays, although the gel is so strong it can work without the light. Lumbrite also has a desensitizing agent in its gel to reduce problems with sensitivity.
  • GLO Science Professional has a specialized mouthpiece that employs Guided Light Optics (GLO) that works in tangent with a whitening gel, delivering light and heat to the tooth surfaces. The mouthpiece prevents oxygen from leaving the treatment area, giving optimal whitening results.
  • Philips Zoom! is one of the most popular and well-known of the teeth whitening brands available at the dentist’s office. Their whitening gel uses a 25 percent concentration of peroxide which is stimulated by a proprietary blue light to achieve maximum whitening and is said to provide a more sparkling look to your enamel.
  • Opalescence uses one of the most powerful gels available, utilizing a 40 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide as well as potassium nitrate to reduce gum and tooth sensitivity after treatment. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces decay.

Talk to your dentist today to determine which of these or any other professional whitening methods is best for you and your teeth whitening needs.


We look forward to seeing you in our McDonough dental office

Boost Your Teeth Whitening Results

There is no quicker or easier way to dramatically improve the look of your smile than professional teeth whitening. Your dentist probably offers several whitening options and can advise you about the most appropriate type of whitening treatment to ensure your brightest, whitest smile. No matter which whitening treatment you and your dentist decide will be best, there are several tips you can follow to help you achieve the ideal result:

  • Have any existing dental problems treated prior to whitening to avoid side effects or complications.
  • Schedule a professional teeth cleaning prior to your whitening appointment to remove buildup of plaque or tartar you cannot remove with home cleaning, and provide the best surface for the whitening treatment.
  • Begin brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste several weeks before whitening to limit the sensitivity that can sometimes result from whitening agents.
  • If you are extremely prone to dental sensitivity, check with your dentist about taking a painkilling medication before your whitening appointment.
  • Consult with your dental office to determine how much time you should allow for your whitening appointment.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking anything except water for at least one hour after the completion of your whitening treatment, and avoid ingesting foods and beverages that contain stain-causing agents for no less than 24 hours.
  • Make sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist.
  • Maintain excellent home oral care habits to extend the life of your whitening procedure.

By following these tips, you can boost the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment and face the world with beautiful, bright smile!


If you need a dentist in McDonough contact us today

Dental Concerns Unique to Pregnancy

Dental Concerns Unique to Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life that brings about many changes to your body. Your oral health is affected as well. There are specific things to keep in mind during pregnancy related to your teeth, gums, and caring for them. Let’s talk about the things you should be thinking about for your mouth while expecting a baby.

Medications:
Tell your dentist about any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you’re taking, so that it’ll be easier to prescribe any drugs needed for you during dental treatment. Your dentist may also want to consult your doctor to discuss safe painkiller or antibiotic options for you during pregnancy.

X-Rays:
If you have a dental emergency or a problem that needs diagnosis, an X-ray may be required. Radiation exposure from dental X-rays is very low, but your dentist will cover you with a leaded apron to protect your abdomen. A leaded thyroid collar will also be used to protect your thyroid from radiation.

Gingivitis:
It’s not uncommon for some women to develop pregnancy gingivitis, which is a gum problem that occurs during the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy. This condition is an inflammation of the gums that causes tenderness, swelling, and usually some bleeding during dental hygiene tasks. Your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings during pregnancy to prevent gingivitis, because left untreated it can advance to more serious gum disease.

Pregnancy tumors:
Some pregnant women experience overgrowths of tissue called pregnancy tumors, which appear on the gums mostly during the second trimester. They are not cancerous and are usually located between your teeth. Dentists believe they are related to having too much plaque. Pregnancy tumors bleed easily and appear red and raw. Usually they go away after the baby’s birth, but some women prefer to have them removed before then. Discuss options with your dentist to see what’s best for you.


We look forward to seeing you in our McDonough dental office

vitamins and your teeth

Vitamins and Minerals that Keep Teeth Healthy

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

Vitamin A
Besides aiding with vision, Vitamin A also helps with the development of healthy teeth and gums. As well, Vitamin A contains beta-carotene, which has antioxidant properties. These antioxidants assist in getting rid of free radicals, chemicals that speed up decay in the body.

Vitamin C
Also called ascorbic acid, Vitamin C assists with the absorption of iron, maintains healthy connective tissues, and promotes strong teeth and gum tissue. Because Vitamin C is water-soluble, it is washed out of the body once it has what it needs, people should take in Vitamin C every day.

Vitamin D
Created after exposure to sunlight, Vitamin D encourages calcium absorption as well as helping keep the right levels of calcium and phosphorous in the blood stream. Children need to get enough Vitamin D so that they will develop healthy teeth and bones, so it is often added to milk.

Calcium
No matter your age, every person needs to take in enough calcium because this mineral is crucial in the development and maintenance of teeth and bones. In fact, your jaw bone forms the foundation that houses your teeth.

Getting What You Need
Eating a balanced diet will ensure that your body has the vitamins and minerals needed to keep your smile vibrant for a lifetime. Dairy products like yogurt and cheese as well as vegetables such as broccoli and peas are high in calcium. Have lots of egg yolks, fatty fish, and fortified dairy products when you need Vitamin D. Citrus fruits, melons, berries, and tomatoes offer plenty of Vitamin C, and you can find Vitamin A in dark green or yellow fruits and vegetables, eggs, or low-fat dairy products.

 

teeth whitening

Reasons Your Teeth May No Longer Be White

It can be rather upsetting to see that your smile is no longer as bright and appealing as it used to. Most people’s teeth become stained and discolored and result of diet and poor oral hygiene habits. It can make the whole appearance look dull and unkempt, giving others the impression you don’t take good care of yourself. Let’s find out the causes and what you can do about it.

Causes
There are some reasons that teeth become stained or yellowed. The culprits for tooth discoloration are as follows:

  • Tobacco – Smoking or chewing on them stains teeth.
  • Foods and drinks – coffee, colas, wines, tea, berries, sauces, and other items that you consume can damage your tooth color.
  • Medications – certain medications are known to discolor teeth, sometimes causing severe stains that are difficult to remove.
  • Poor oral hygiene – improper brushing and flossing is key in removing plaque and stains.
  • Age – aging wears away tooth enamel and reveals the yellowish dentin underneath.
  • Disease – some diseases can harm tooth enamel and trigger discoloration. Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also discolor teeth.
  • Environment – excessive fluoride exposure can stain teeth; this is known as fluorosis.
  • Genetics – some people are more prone to tooth discoloration than others.
  • Trauma – a hit to the maxillofacial region can damage the tooth and cause discoloration due to pulp necrosis.

Prevention
Lifestyle changes can prevent tooth discoloration, such as avoiding foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Improving oral hygiene is another step in the right direction, including regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional teeth cleanings.

Treatment
The options vary depending on the severity of discoloration and goals of the patient. Whitening methods include over-the-counter whitening products, at-home whitening kits provided by the dentist, professional in-office whitening treatments, bonding, and dental veneers. These tools cater for various needs according to patient’s concern.

We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

Endodontics or Root Canal Therapy

A tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma may need endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, in order to save the tooth. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, advances in dentistry have made it a much less painful or upsetting process than it used to be. This treatment is worth it to restore your smile as naturally as possible.

How do you know you might need endodontics? You may experience pain in the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, or swelling in the area. Severe cases may have a discharge of pus near the tooth. However, not all cases of a badly damaged tooth result in noticeable symptoms. That’s one reason it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist, who will pick up on problems with a tooth that you may not realize is damaged. Examination and testing such as X-rays can help diagnose a tooth that is in dire need of repair.

When possible, dentists strive to save your real tooth. Sometimes the best way to do that is through root canal therapy, which involves removing the damaged tooth pulp from the interior of the tooth. Using local anesthesia to make you comfortable, the dentist or endodontist uses special tools to enter the root canal, remove the pulp, and clean the area thoroughly. Once the tooth is ready, a crown is usually placed on top of the existing tooth to protect it from future damage and to complete the process. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed if an infection was present to help ensure that you are in the best of health.

Endodontic treatment is often compared by patients to simply getting a regular tooth filling. The procedure is usually completed in one office visit and it won’t be long before you are back to your normal routine, with a fully restored natural tooth in your smile.


If you live in the McDonough area contact us today

Obesity and Your Oral Health

Obesity and Your Oral Health

Obesity, defined as an excess proportion of body fat, has reached epidemic levels in the United States. This condition presents health risks to many areas of your body, and takes a toll on just about every aspect of your life. What does obesity have to do with oral health? Recent studies have linked the development of obesity with oral bacteria.

By testing the saliva of overweight people compared to individuals within a healthy weight range, researchers have discovered an oral bacteria present in 98 percent of the obese subjects. Experts believe this bacteria is an indicator of developing an overweight condition. Also, they suspect that the bacteria may participate in the body functions that lead to obesity.

Preventing and controlling obesity usually begins with analyzing and changing your diet. A high glycemic diet, which generally means a diet high in sugars, contributes to weight gain. It is also connected with your dental health, because sugars in your mouth are converted into plaque. If plaque accumulates on your teeth and gums, the risk increases for tooth decay and gum disease.

While it will likely benefit your waistline to reduce the amount of sugar consumed, doing so will reduce your risks for oral disease. Likewise, regular dental checkups, proper oral hygiene including brushing and flossing twice daily, and smart diet modifications will also lower your oral health risks. As experts continue to investigate the connection between your mouth and your overall health, following recommendations for caring for your mouth will likely decrease oral bacteria and possibly limit your risks of other health concerns such as obesity.

We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

Trading Your Dentures in for Dental Implants

After suffering tooth loss for any reason, it’s important to restore your mouth’s function and appearance with restoration options through your dentist. In the past, many patients have gotten dentures for this purpose. Dental implants provide a newer and very popular option. If you already have dentures but aren’t completely satisfied with them, is it possible to change to dental implants instead?

The answer is yes! Of course, you need to consult your dentist to make sure that you are a good candidate for implants. There are a number of reasons that denture wearers might decide that implants are a better solution to their tooth replacement needs. Some patients find dentures to be uncomfortable because they don’t stay in place securely or they irritate the gums. Some find a more permanent remedy to be more appealing than dentures, and implants do provide a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. If patients with dentures don’t like them and aren’t wearing them consistently, they aren’t achieving the goal of restoration.

There are some additional complications that can occur with dentures, making implants more appealing. Trouble speaking and eating is a hazard if the dentures slip, as well as jawbone loss and increased wrinkles. Some patients even alter their diets due to problems eating certain foods. The increased dental hygiene regimen also bothers some patients who are unwilling to do the extra tasks required.

If you dislike your dentures, consider making the switch to dental implants. It might restore your self-confidence as well as your mouth’s function and appearance.

Our dental office is located in McDonough

Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods:
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits:
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations:
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects:
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations:
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.


If you need a dentist in McDonough contact us today

Stress and Teeth Grinding

Stress and Teeth Grinding

Life can be full of frustrations, demands, deadlines, and inconveniences. For lots of people, stress is a way of life. The problem is that when you’re constantly stressed out, your health can pay the price. There are many health conditions that are caused or worsen due to high stress levels, but did you know that your mouth may be affected in the form of teeth grinding?

What is teeth grinding?

The condition of grinding or gnashing your teeth together is called bruxism, and often includes clenching your jaw. It commonly happens while sleeping, so that you may not even realize you’re doing it. Sometimes a sleeping partner hears it, or your dentist may recognize the signs of unusual wear on your teeth.

What does my stress level have to do with it?

Teeth grinding has been linked to stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that people who are stressed from daily life and don’t have adequate coping methods are more likely to grind their teeth. Experts say that both adults and children facing stress sometimes cope by grinding their teeth.

How does teeth grinding affect me?

Grinding your teeth has more negative effects than you might think. It often causes headaches, earaches, and sleep problems. It can cause chipped, loose, cracked, or sensitive teeth. Tooth enamel can suffer excessive wear, and gum tissue may be damaged. Teeth grinding also often causes a painful jaw disorder of the temporomadibular joint, commonly called TMJ.

What can I do about it?

Your dentist may recommend wearing an over-the-counter or custom mouthguard at night, to protect your teeth from further damage. Medications usually are not helpful, although a muscle relaxant before bed may help prevent jaw clenching. The ideal treatment is to try to reduce or eliminate stress that may be contributing to your teeth grinding. Relaxation therapy, stress management, corrective exercises, and counseling are some of the options that dentists suggest to help you remedy the problem.

If you need a dentist in McDonough contact us today

General Dentistry Why You Should Never Skip Regular Appointments

General Dentistry: Why You Should Never Skip Regular Appointments

Most of us know we should visit our general dentist every six months for exams and cleanings to ensure optimal oral health, but it seems we find many reasons to avoid those visits. Busy schedules or fear of dental treatments often mean people skip critical routine oral care. However, there are several reasons why you should make regular appointments with your general dentist a priority.

First, routine cleanings by your general dentist will give you a brighter, healthier smile. While brushing and flossing at home are important, it is impossible to remove all of the plaque that accumulates over time. Left untreated, plaque causes decay that leads to cavities and gum disease. Professional cleanings by your general dentist removes plaque and stains, leaving your breath fresher and your smile whiter.

Second, regular examinations allow your dentist to identify potential problems before they become severe. Cavities and gum disease caught early are much simpler to treat, preventing the need for procedures like root canal therapy, crowns, or even tooth extractions. Seeing your general dentist routinely will keep these types of problems in check, and save you from more complex and invasive procedures later.

Finally and most importantly, regular checkups with your general dentist can have a direct impact on your overall health. Poor oral health affects your entire body. A decayed tooth can cause a bacterial infection that spreads to other areas of your body. A general dentist checks your mouth for signs of disease, decay, and even certain cancers.

Stop making excuses and find a qualified general dentist with hours and an office location that is convenient to you. Consult with the staff about your dental fears and learn what types of services are offered to make your visit less stressful. If you value both your beautiful smile and your excellent health, be sure to keep regular visits to the dentist on your calendar.

We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

Rules for the First Days of Wearing Dentures

Once you’ve received dentures to restore missing teeth, it will take some time to get accustomed to them. There’s no reason to be alarmed or frightened about wearing dentures, because most patients go through the same adjustment period. If you’re aware of the potential issues and how to react to them, the process will be easier for you. Here are some rules to follow as you begin wearing dentures.

Don’t try to fix them yourself.

Even though dentures are customized just for you, that doesn’t mean they always fit perfectly right away. There might be some molding defects or other minor flaws that cause the dentures not to fit exactly right or rub sores on your gums. If this happens, don’t try to correct the problem yourself. Take your dentures back to your dentist to explain what’s bothering you, and give your dentist a chance to properly and safely adjust them without damaging the dentures.

Watch your diet.

Similar to getting braces at first, you’ll want to stick to eating soft foods for the first few days of denture wear. Avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. Focus on chewing with your back teeth instead of the front part of your dentures, and cut your food into small bites.

Soak your dentures.

Soaking your dentures in a solution recommended by your dentist can help keep them hydrated. This will avoid dryness, which causes friction between your dentures and gums and can lead to mouth sores.

You’re going to unintentionally bite yourself.

It’s part of wearing dentures at first; you’ll probably bite the insides of your cheeks. It’s a natural part of adjusting to the appliance in your mouth, and it will subside as you get used to wearing them. Gargling with a fluoride rinse or other mouthwash provided by your dentist may provide relief.

If you live in the McDonough area contact us today

Make Your Big Day Special With Teeth Whitening

While life can be full of moments that are wonderful, there are days that just naturally stand out: your wedding, your graduation, a very special anniversary or birthday, or a big job interview you’ve always wanted. Many of these events are photographed, and when you look back at those photos in years to come, you naturally want to look your very best. Will you look back on your photos and wonder, could my teeth have looked better? The answer could be yes if your teeth aren’t the best and the brightest they can be.

Teeth are covered in enamel, a strong white coating on top of the internal structures of your tooth. As we age, enamel naturally wears away. Because it cannot be replaced naturally, the enamel thins, and the yellow layer of dentin beneath is exposed. This leads to smiles that are discolored and yellowed, appearing dingy and dim.

The foods we eat affect the brightness of our teeth, and some can begin to stain long-term. Beets, blueberries and blackberries can leave stains, as can tea, coffee, dark soda and red wine. Even soy sauce and balsamic vinegar can discolor your smile. If you have any crown, bridges or veneers, those structures aren’t affected by long-term stains, and can begin to stand out in unattractive contrast to your natural, darkening teeth.

Begin the process for your important day by scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Have your teeth examined and cleaned, and learn what teeth whitening procedures would best benefit your particular smile needs. Don’t wait until the last minute, as some whitening procedures take time to reach optimal effects. Some whitening methods increase the sensitivity of your teeth or surrounding gums. Planning ahead can allow your teeth some time to recover prior to your special event.

After your professional teeth whitening, you’ll be surprised at your self-confidence. Your mood will improve as you face those around you with your best and brightest smile, and everyone you meet will sense it. Love the photos you’ll be taking for years to come, and talk to your dentist today.

Schedule your appointment at our McDonough dental office

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt:
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese:
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries:
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds:
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread:
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.


We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

Reasons General Dentistry is Important

Reasons General Dentistry is Important

It’s easy to put off a trip to the dentist if you’re not experiencing any pain or noticeable issues. Maybe it’s inconvenient in your busy schedule, maybe you don’t want to spend the money, or maybe you experience anxiety about dental visits. None of these are good enough reasons to forego proper dental care so that you ensure a healthy mouth and attractive smile.

Having regular checkups with your general dentist is important for a variety of reasons. Probably the most beneficial reason is to catch problems early, before they have time to become serious and negatively impact your oral health. Cavities and gum disease are both examples of issues that can wreak havoc in your mouth if left untreated, but if handled quickly they may disappear with as little as a fluoride treatment or change in your hygiene routine. Avoiding treatments like fillings, crowns, or root canals – not to mention the associated costs to your wallet and your schedule – are great reasons to see your dentist every six months!

Another benefit of regular checkups is a brighter, more beautiful smile. Even the best dental hygiene at home can’t reach every bit of plaque or tartar that accumulates on your teeth. Professional cleanings eliminate buildup to give you a more appealing smile, as well as removing harmful and stinky bacteria from your mouth.

Your overall health also reaps the rewards of consistent dental care. Oral problems can impact your general health through things like introducing dangerous bacteria into your body that can spread and cause various health risks. Also, your dentist may notice signs of health issues you might not realize, such as cancers or diseases or nutritional deficiencies.

Make your smile a priority and visit your general dentist regularly. Don’t let excuses get in the way of receiving the rewards dentistry has to offer.

We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

Maintaining Your Dentures

Getting back your ability to smile and eat with a complete set of teeth is one of the great benefits of dentures. To prevent infections, sores, or further tooth damage, it is important to maintain dentures properly. Here are some ways that dentists advise to keep your dentures in great condition.

Cleaning

Rinse your dentures well after meals to remove food particles and avoid stains. Brush them daily with a soft toothbrush to remove plaque and deposits. Use a mild soap or product that your dentist recommends, but avoid harsh toothpaste or strong cleaners.

Soaking

Soak your dentures in water or cleaning solution when you are not wearing them, especially overnight. This helps keeps them from drying out or becoming misshapen. Do not use hot water.

Rinsing

If you use a cleaning solution, rinse your dentures well before putting them back in your mouth. Avoid swallowing denture cleaning solution because it can cause stomach upset.

Handling

Handle your dentures very carefully so that you don’t drop them or bend them. Clean them over a basin filled with water, so that if they fall they shouldn’t be damaged.

Visiting your dentist

Maintain regular checkups with your dentist to get both your mouth and your dentures examined. Most dentists recommend visits every six month for ideal results. See your dentist sooner if your dentures are not fitting well, are causing irritation, or have become loose.

We treat patients from McDonough and the surrounding area

Teeth Whitening Options

A brighter smile can make a big difference in your appearance. There are lots of choices today for improving your tooth color. Here are details about some of the options so you can decide which way you may want to whiten your smile.

Eliminating the need:
One way to eliminate the need for teeth whitening is to avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause stains. These include items like coffee, tea, red wine, berries, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and curry. If you do consume foods that stain, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible before stains can attach to your teeth.

Whitening at home:
There are many products available at your drugstore to help you brighten your smile at home. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are two types of options, although it can take a while to see results from these methods. Whitening strips are a popular choice, which are covered in a bleaching solution and attached to the fronts of your teeth. Depending on the brand and strength, they might be in place from 5 to 30 minutes daily for a week or two in order to achieve the desired results. Overuse of these strips can increase teeth sensitivity, so be careful not to use them too often.

Professional whitening:
Whitening procedures performed at your dentist’s office are usually the fastest and most effective way to spruce up your smile. Custom trays filled with a higher strength bleaching gel may be made to be worn either in the office or at home later. Another method that must be administered in the office involves a bleaching agent applied to your teeth’s surface and then a bright light to speed up the process. You can typically expect dramatic results from this type of professional whitening.


If you live in the McDonough area contact us today

teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening Trends

Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.

At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.

  • Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
  • Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
  • Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.

Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.

  • Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.

Teeth Whitening dentist in McDonough