Silent Signs of Gum Disease, Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Silent Signs of Gum Disease, Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Gingivitis, gum disease, periodontal disease, what exactly are they and how are they different?

The terms gingivitis, gum disease and periodontal disease all have one thing in common, they all relate to disease in the gums. Gum disease, in one stage or another, affects an estimated 50% of adult americans today.

When the tissue that surrounds and support your teeth becomes infected or inflamed, you have gum disease. Initially gum disease is painless, many patients don’t know they have it, however gum disease happens to be a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Gingivitis is a milder stage of gum disease than periodontal disease.

If left untreated gingivitis can progress to a more serious form of gum disease called periodontal disease. All forms of gum disease are caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacterial colonies that are constantly forming on teeth.

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

Fight Gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis, save your smile!

Fight Gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis, save your smile!

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • any change in the fit of partial dentures

Some factors increase the risk of developing gum disease. They are:

  • poor oral hygiene
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

If you suspect you have gum disease or have any of the above conditions, see the dentist, because the sooner you treat it the better.  If you have gingivitis, the beginning stages of gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Advanced gum disease, also called periodontitis, is much more chronic and can be tougher to eliminate. Periodontal disease, left untreated, leads to the loss of gum tissue, connective tissue, and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. Left untreated, teeth can begin to feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. This is the most common form of periodontitis in adults but can occur at any age. Usually periodontal disease progresses slowly but it can progress quite rapidly. The best way to prevent progression of periodontal disease is to closely work with your dentist, regular cleanings, never skipping brush or flossing, and discontinue use of nicotine and alcohol, both of which contribute to gum disease.

Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke. Other links have been established to the progression of gum disease, besides tobacco and alcohol one study now conclusively links lack of sleep to worsening gum disease.

It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. To prevent gum disease and its effects, regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.

Save teeth by fighting gum disease

Save teeth by fighting gum disease

Remember: You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. Brush your teeth twice a day, clean between your teeth daily (flossing), eat a balanced diet, get seven or more hours of sleep, reduce the use of alcohol, stop using tobacco and schedule regular dental visits to ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth and beautiful smiles.

Dental Restoration; a New You

In a state of restoration

Statistics suggest the average American between 35 and 65 will lose 3 adult teeth in their lifetime, not including wisdom teeth that many adults remove intentionally.  That number may seem staggering, to some but is drastically lower than statics dating back to the 1970s when losing 6 to 8 teeth or more in a lifetime was normal.

Where to start

If you have ever been faced with tooth restoration due to loss or infection you know that the choices can be overwhelming. Once you know that you are going to need to replace a natural tooth with an artificial one you begin weighing all options.  Ceramic implants are considered the gold standard of restoration but the choices can still seem convoluted, considering dentist have so many procedures available to patients. For a multitude of reasons, cost and time being two big factors, patients occasionally find themselves considering getting a bridge, just for now, until they are ready to take that big step into oral surgery and getting a permanent ceramic implant.

Pros and cons of a temporary fix

Getting a bridge will have a permanent and detrimental effect on the teeth nearest the tooth that needs replacing:

  • To get a proper fit and bonding to the bridge your healthy teeth will need to be filed down, stripped of their outside protective cover, made small enough to allow for the substantial bridgework to fit and be secure
  • Should those nearby teeth not be in the greatest shape, then you may have to sacrifice additional teeth, further away, to bond the bridge to.
  • Bridges have a finite life span.
  • Ten years is about the max but even that is not guaranteed.
  • Bridges can be pulled off from eating sticky foods.
  • Cracked or broken bridges can result from a variety of foods consumed also.
  • Bridges can discolor or the areas around the bond yellow or fade.
  • Since the nearby teeth must be compromised in order to secure the bridge, those sacrificial teeth are more prone to disease, infection and rot.
  • Eventually the healthy gum tissues often recede, shrink and pull away from the bridge.
  • This can leave an unsightly and noticeable gap between the bridge and the gum line. (Besides leaving a noticeable gap it also becomes a trap for particles of food and debris that feed pockets of stinky bacteria)
  • Additionally, since there is not a tooth in the jawbone the bone mass in that area will diminish over time. This can affect the surrounding teeth, especially if you have multiple teeth replaced, it can also affect your jaw line and the contours of your face.
  • Outcome: a bridge means you will need additional dental work just to maintain and support a tooth replacement that will still, no matter how well you take care of it, need replacing.
    Permanent solutions for your dental restoration

    Permanent solutions for your dental restoration

    Did you know that getting a ceramic implant would allow you to skip all that? Yes, Often in one or two visits you can have a permanent, lifetime restoration of a lost tooth. Usually there is a visit to ensure the procedure went well and that you have healed all the way. After that? After that you are set. Smile away and be confident that you have the closest thing to your natural teeth possible.  Feel good that you  are supporting the rest of your teeth and even your overall health.

    Call our qualified team to get your restoration consultation today.

Healthy Mouths Are Juicy

Healthy Mouths Are Juicy

Healthy mouths are juicy

Millions of Americans experience dry mouth often enough for it to affect their oral health. Dry mouth, also called Xerostomia, is the result of not having enough saliva in your mouth. Having less saliva in the mouth may be only slightly noticeable or extremely uncomfortable depending on the severity and duration of the condition.

  • A dry, sticky feeling in the mouth
    • Or food clinging to teeth or the roof of mouth
  • Dry nasal passages, a dry or hoarse throat
  • Excess or frequent thirst
  • Trouble tasting, chewing or swallowing
  • Sores in the mouth or dry cracked lips
  • Burning tongue or tingling sensation

These are some of the most common symptoms associated with dry mouth. Besides being uncomfortable, prolonged or frequent, dry mouth increase the incidence of gingivitis, tooth decay and mouth infections.

It’s bad to get dry

  • Less saliva makes mouths more acidic
    • Acidic saliva creates the ideal condition for bacterial growth
  • Without enough saliva to dilute the acid teeth are weakened and easily attacked by bacteria
    • The constant increased acid makes teeth more susceptible to decay
  • Less saliva, means more chewing to make food easier to swallow
    • More chewing means more wear and tear on teeth
  • Remineralizing teeth with healthy foods and strengthening enamel can only happen if there is adequate saliva in the mouth.
    • Dry mouth prevents remineralization

With hundreds of things that contribute to dry mouth, individuals may experience multiple conditions that add to the likelihood of having dry mouth. With over 500 types of medications potentially creating or adding to the condition of dry mouth, learn as much as you can to keep your teeth as healthy as possible.

Some of the most common causes:

  • Medications, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and certain drugs all are common culprits of dry mouth
  • Medical conditions like lupus, diabetes, sjogren’s syndrome, cerebral palsy and several other conditions are also associated with significantly elevated risk of dry mouth
  • Nerve conditions or nerve problems
  • Salivary duct obstruction
  • Normal changes associated with changes in hormones
    • Especially related to pregnancy or menopause
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol and excess caffeine intake
  • Inadequate hydration
  • Age
    • It’s common as people age for the mouth to be more prone to xerostomia

What can you do?

Get juicy

Get juicy and crunchy! The best ways to combat a dry mouth include increasing your hydration efforts and snacking on things that naturally help the mouth create more saliva. Sugar free candy or gum are handy for between meals, road trips, and times when you may not be able to sip on extra water.  Juicy snacks like apples and fruit are an excellent source of mouth hydrating juices, plus the crunchy fruits and veggies help dislodge detris and bacteria from teeth surfaces.

Get enough water

Staying hydrated, can drastically help combat the effects of dry mouth. Slippery saliva coats teeth, carries minerals that help strengthen enamel, dislodges food particles, rinses away bacteria, and dilutes acids in the mouth. Double check that you’re getting enough water. Various studies recommend 8 or more glasses a day, some newer studies suggest converting total body weight to ounces and drinking 2/3rds of that volume daily, adding more in hot or humid climates, and up to 11 additional ounces per thirty minutes of vigorous exercise.

Get in touch

Make sure and discuss dry mouth with your dentist. Your dentist can pay close attention to prevalence of changes associated with dry mouth and make suggestions that are most likely to improve the condition.  Discuss symptoms with your regular practitioner to make sure medications you are using aren’t contributing to the problems and if they are your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons and if other choices are available.

Children; First Dentist Visits

Children; First Dentist Visits

The First Year

By twelve months old your child can have as few as one or two teeth or as many as twelve teeth. In the time between two and three years of age kids get their full set of baby teeth with molars appearing last and the front middle teeth usually emerging first. Often the exact moment a child’s first dental visit is recommended can seem arbitrary. Some recommendations call for a dental visit at age one and some recommend as soon as teeth first appear. With such a wide range it may be hard to decide how urgent that first dental check up should be.

First Impressions and a Positive Experience

A good rule of thumb is to start regular check-ups with the dentist after the first tooth has erupted, or by the age of one at the latest. Very young children become accustomed to visiting various places and can quickly build a positive impression of the dentist office when they have several quick, easy and positive visits. Learning to sit in the dental chair, open up and say, “ah” and having fingers and tools in their mouth can seem strange for a little one. A small child with a few positive past experiences will be much more inclined to trust the dentist if and when a bigger issue should arise.

Quick and Invaluable

A first visit to the dentist can be a very brief visit or last up to thirty minutes. The dentist will check bite alignment, teeth, and soft tissues. Since decay can start as soon as teeth erupt, the dentist will also thoroughly check teeth for signs of decay, and go over at home care with you and your child, and if indicated they may perform a gentle cleaning to remove plaque, tartar, any stains and quickly polish teeth.

Questions and History

If you have any questions or concerns there will be time to discuss these things as well. Questions you have may range from fluoride use, number of times and length of time to brush, appropriate tooth brushes, or discussing previous bumps and tumbles that may leave teeth chipped or injured, mentioning those events can help your dentist evaluate potential future issues.

Best Times To Set Up Appointments

Earlier in the day many children will have a much higher tolerance for new experiences and new people. A goodnights rest, and a nice breakfast will set the stage for successful dental visit and exam. Bringing a favorite toy, book, or blanket can also be helpful in building confidence while visiting a new place like the dentist office.
Finally

First time dental check-ups are ice-breakers. They set young children up for positive experiences when visiting the dentist in the future. Being extra patient and calm go a long way in sending the message that there is nothing to be worried about or afraid of. Talk to your little one in the days leading up to your appointment. Telling small children how dentists help keep our teeth healthy and strong also relays a comforting, reassuring message.

If your child is already older than one and has not yet been to a dentist or more than six months have passed, this is a good review, now is the perfect time to get that appointment booked.

Besides Brushing, 6 Smile Fixers You Didn’t Know

Besides Brushing, 6 Smile Fixers You Didn’t Know

Time savers and smile makers

Get the whitest, healthiest smile by not ignoring these simple things you already have time for.

We all want the best of both worlds more free time and the best versions of ourselves. The latter generally involves a considerable amount of time, the last thing any of us have time for is to add more things into our routine. Surprisingly, when it comes to your smile there may be a few things that you can do with the time you already are using. Here’s the quick rundown of things to nix and things to fix your brushing routine for the strongest, whitest, brightest smile.

Things to Nix:

Multitasking while brushing

With every minute of almost everyday scheduled, time is precious. It’s tempting to do other things while you’re brushing. Weather you find yourself brushing while you dress the kids, or shower, scroll through your Twitter feed, try using those two minutes for brushing alone. When you stand in front of the mirror you are more likely to cover each surface of the tooth adequately, mapping out where you have covered and where needs better brushing.

Over-cleaning your toothbrush

Have you considered a way to sterilize or clean your toothbrush? There are recommendations

floating around to run toothbrushes through the dishwasher, zap it in the microwave, dip it in rubbing alcohol. Think again about all of these random options, the CDC says that there’s no evidence that anyone has ever gotten sick from using their own toothbrush. Instead try simply holding your toothbrush under running water from the tap, storing it upright and letting it air-dry with no other toothbrushes touching it. More drastic cleaning measures may damage your brush, and that defeats its purpose.

Using social media as your dentist

There are so many weird, whacky, (seemingly) wonderful cure alls on the web. When it comes to your health, including your oral health there are also many, many tips that can do more harm than help. So don’t even go there. The Pinterest, the google, and the various personal blogs sharing the latest and greatest ways to whiten teeth. Maybe—by swishing with straight peroxide, for example—one example that is really bad for teeth. Use ADA-approved products that have been tested.”

Ignoring your daily (or nightly) grind

see your qualified dentist if you have any symptoms of grinding your teeth.

see your qualified dentist if you have any symptoms of grinding your teeth.

While mild bruxism—that is, clenching your teeth or grinding your jaw—might not seem like a big deal, severe cases can lead to everything from chipped and worn teeth to headaches, jaw trouble, and even changes in facial appearance. It’s hard to know if you grind your teeth at night if a partner doesn’t tip you off, of course, but if you experience telltale signs such as jaw soreness or a dull, constant headache, make haste to the dentist; he or she will have several options to help eliminate this, often overlooked threat to your teeth and smile, not to mention your sleep.

So far we’ve just listed a few of the things you can eliminate and actually improve your dental health. Here are a few of the things to start doing immediately to improve your dental health.

Things to fix:

Start flossing

Skipping flossing leaves behind a significant amount of bacteria. The spaces between teeth and below the gum lines account for more than 40% of the surfaces that bacterial colonies attach to. Flossing every day, after brushing, improves gum health and significantly strengthens tooth attachment to the periodontal ligament.

Try a new old thing; tongue scrapers have been

around for generations.

Your tongue can host the majority of bad breath causing bacteria in your mouth

Your tongue can host the majority of bad breath causing bacteria in your mouth

A number of health benefits have been associated with the practice of tongue scraping. Everything from better tasting food, to improved immune response have been tied to tongue scraping after brushing. Tongue scrapers, typically look like a small curved device that is meant to gently curve over the back of the tongue and scrape of biological deposits and debris that can accumulate on the back of the tongue. It literally takes seconds to add this to your morning routine and can help remove bacterial colonies from the mouth that are responsible for causing bad breath.

 

By all means, keep doing what you’re doing when it comes to seeing your dentist routinely, brushing twice a day, drinking plenty of water, and eating all the fruits, vegetables, cheese, and other foods that help keep your teeth strong and healthy. Call our office so we can help you make sure you have the best possible smile.

Whole Body Wellness

Whole Body Wellness

Keeping your whole body healthy starts in the mouth.

The road to getting and staying healthy is often a lifelong commitment to making and setting goals, re-evaluating ability and circumstance, then course correcting as needed. In the span of a lifetime this pattern can become a cycle repeated often.

As our understanding of the human body and whole wellness expands and science expands to include things previously not validated outside of traditional western medicine. New emerging information tells us that many things are responsible for influencing our whole health. For decades practitioners believed there to be a link between many traditional medical practices and other less conventional practices and now many of those perceptions are finding validation through extensive research.

In recent years science has confirmed that even the health of our teeth and gums affect our overall health. Heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and many other disorders can all be affected by the health and wellness of teeth and gums.

As we build healthy habits and healthy bodies, and as we remember to be vigilant in the ways to preserve our healthy teeth and maintain optimal health be mindful of the many other ways we can integrate to optimize our best level of whole health.

Integrative Medicine and Whole Body Wellness.

Integrative Medicine is not a new practice but more of a merging of traditional Western Medicine and more nontraditional methods of medicine such as acupuncture. In a recent article from Kurir Magazine the effectiveness and principles are outlined and explained. Dr. Momir Dunjic a gynecologist in Belgrade contributed to and provided the information discussed in the article. He is the president of the European Integrative Medicine Congress and Assoc. Prof. of Gynecology & Obstetrics at the School of Medicine Pristina, Serbia.

“…- We forgot that if some lifestyle and environment caused the disease, then we have to teach that patient that they must change those circumstances, because they will not be saved from their disease by returning to the same environment and the same way of life as before.”

For more information and for the full article click here.

Pearly Whites, Their Whitest

Pearly Whites, Their Whitest

The new year is looking brighter and whiter.

We all like to start off the new year refocusing on what’s important and dialing into priorities that may have gotten set aside in recent days. Many of us take inventory and realize that we are so busy taking care of our families and our careers that it’s no surprise that New Year tends to reinvigorate the desire to take better care of our own selves.

Cleaning up our diets, kicking up our physical fitness routines, and getting other affairs into order so we feel healthy, vital, organized, and ready to reach new levels of success.

While setting up parameters to uncover the new you don’t forget to include your teeth and getting the best and whitest smile you can!  With all the choices out there for brightening your smile you can be sure to find a method that works for you. After all, one thing that everybody would like, is whiter teeth.

The ADA (American Dental Association) strongly recommends that people go through in office dental whitening treatments, yet  many ways availe themselves to whiten your teeth at home. Methods of Teeth Whitening vary, here are a few: oil pulling at home, baking soda make-at-home-paste, dental strips, dental trays (often in kits), whitening pens, specialized toothpaste or washes, whitening kits, and in-office-dental procedures.

Teeth whitening strips: Lately teeth whitening strips have gained a lot of popularity. They are reasonable in cost and easy to use and usually very efficient. Strips are applied to teeth one to two times per day for a prescribed length of time. One drawback can be that patients may experience increased tooth sensitivity after each treatment or application.

Whitening paints: Whitening paints are not actual paint. They are effective based on the same mechanics that make traditional strips and trays work, a hydrogen peroxide product that but instead of a strip or tray that shields the product and keeps it on the teeth it is just painted onto the tooths surface and allowed to dry, then slowly dissolves rather than being removed. One drawback to paint, as tooth whiteners go, can be the inability to achieve uniform coverage, despite this paint on types of whiteners remain fairly popular.

Whitening toothpaste or mouthwash: This is by far the easiest method to whiten teeth. All you have to do is put some toothpaste on your brush or rinse your mouth with some whitening mouthwash. Though these two things have proven to be very slow in whitening the teeth, over time they are consistent and don’t require much hassle.

Make-at-home-whiteners: A quick search on the internet will yield a dozen methods to making at home whiteners. The most popular of these utilize baking soda and or hydrogen peroxide. Some methods are as simple as using coconut oil and the old fashioned technique of oil pulling that readily reduces yellowing and plaque growing bacteria. These various techniques can help remove yellowing that has accumulated due to staining but ultimately can cause some tooth sensitivity (especially if hydrogen peroxide is utilized) and usually yield only moderate results.

Above the rest whiteners

Chairside or in office Whiteners: Still considered the best way, as mentioned

Mouth and teeth before and after whitening

Mouth and teeth before and after whitening

above, is to get in house treatment. Through innovation and science the in office whiteners are the most specialized and easily protect teeth from issues with hypersensitivity. Dr. Marilyn K Jones, a well established dentist in Houston, provides teeth whitening chairside and can offer other options that you may want to try instead of in office. Additionally, many patients find it impressive how much discoloration and yellowing can be reversed just by starting with a routine dental cleaning.

Should you have any questions concerning teeth whitening through in house method or at home methods please feel free to give us a call for more information or an appointment.

Call our office now at (713) 785-7767 to schedule your next appointment. We look forward to meeting you and earning your trust.

Implants: Single visit vs multiple visit

Are Single visit dental implants the right choice for you?

Multi-visit placement vs single day placement

Models of dental, implants, dental dentist objects implants composition collage

Models of dental, implants, dental dentist objects implants composition collage

Dental patients are a savvy bunch these days. Research and consults are made and lots of planning. If you are faced with one of a handful of extensive oral restorative procedures you’re more likely to really do research, dental restorations are no exception. Ceramic restorations are, hands down, the best option for restoring your smile.  Ceramic implants, far and away, are the best looking, strongest, and most natural option for tooth replacement. Other concerns about longevity or durability have been put to rest since we know that ceramic options can last as long as natural, healthy, teeth. Add to that how much ceramic implants actually increase the viability and vitality of your whole mouth in comparison to other replacement options and the choice was made for you.

The Process

Now you’re considering your options for the restorative procedure itself. You can find a dentist that will do the entire implant in one day, many however, prefer several visits to complete the implant process. The promise of instant gratification and less planning or scheduling has you considering if it really makes a difference in the outcome. It’s comforting to hope that such a big procedure could be over and done with in a single day. That’s likely the reason it’s offered in the first place, because we are programmed to go looking for the easy button, instant gratification.  The science and the research indicates that one of the factors that can contribute to implant failure is not allowing time for bone and soft tissues to heal before completing the procedure.

Your Investment

Long vs short term words on a toggle switch to illustrate a greater time investment to do the job right for lasting or permanent improvement

Do your mouth a favor and give it the proper time to heal. A ceramic implant is anchored in the jaw bone. Depending on several factors including the number of teeth to be restored, and the quality and quantity of jaw bone you may be able to start with the initial procedure being the anchor itself. In some instances there may be recommended procedure to do prior to implanting the anchor in order to ensure proper bone mass and health. After the anchor is given

adequate time for the bone around it to heal and be strongly attached there may be a follow up exam to confirm this. The next step is placing a new, ceramic, fixed, permanent tooth.

Most implant procedures are very predictable and your skilled dentist can make the entire procedure seem as though it was nearly effortless.  It’s worth the wait to know you’ve got the most advanced system. You are investing time to ensure the most successful outcome giving yourself the best odds of a restoration that will last your entire life and look great doing it.  Lets face it, this was no small decision and you should know, you’ve done your research. When you come in to see us we will be happy to work with you to find the best time and availability to fit your schedule.


The entire process requires very specialized, advanced equipment and training.  We have the training, the expertise and are ready to give you the smile you deserve.  While in our care all aspects of your overall health will be taken into consideration, your comfort, health, convenience, investment and satisfaction matter to us. Call today and get started.

Beauty Sleep For Your Teeth

Beauty Sleep For Your Teeth

Can not getting enough sleep really be hurting your teeth?

They call it beauty sleep but getting a good night’s rest can do a lot more than preserve your good looks.

Research proves a relationship between sleep deprivation and the onset of many health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Now we can add periodontitis–or gum disease– to that list.

The Link Between Sleep and Oral Health

The amount of sleep you get per night is related to the onset of periodontitis–a disease in which deep pockets form between the teeth and gums, leading to loose and shifting teeth, and the destruction of the bone and connective tissue which hold teeth in place.

A study at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine examined over 200 factory workers to assess whether various lifestyle factors (i.e. exercise, diet, stress) had an effect on periodontitis. Throughout the four year-study, researchers used periodontal probes to monitor any changes in the pockets between teeth and gums.

According to the findings, workers who slept seven to eight hours per night were had a lower risk for periodontitis than those who slept less than six hours per night.  In fact, sleep deprivation was the second most influential factor associated with the onset of periodontitis, right behind smoking.

Lack of Sleep and Inflammation

The root of this association is most likely inflammation. Sleep deprivation is a known cause of increased inflammation, which in turn is a risk factor for other serious diseases like heart disease and stroke.

Research at the Emory University School of Medicine found that, when you are sleep deprived, there is an increased production of inflammatory hormones.  One such inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein, was 25% higher in subjects who had less than six hours of sleep per night.

In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, inflammation is also a sign of gingivitis, the mild form of gum disease that can lead to periodontitis.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep

It’s not how long, but how well you sleep that counts too.  Even if you get a full eight hours each night, you don’t get the same health benefits if you wake up often.

A few tips for those that have trouble getting a good night’s rest:

Routine: Your body clock wants to adjust to your needs, but it cannot adjust if those needs are always changing. Establishing a routine alerts the body that this is the time you need to go to sleep.

Wind-down without your electronics: Giving yourself time to wind-down before you sleep helps your mind relax. There are many different ways to wind-down, whether it’s reading, yoga, or sipping a cup of hot tea. Just be sure not to use electronics. The latest research shows that artificial light from laptops, TV’s, and iPhones suppress the hormone which regulates sleep, melatonin.

Get up instead of tossing and turning: You want to keep your bedroom associated with sleep rather than being awake. So if you are tossing and turning, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel tired again. Then try and go back to sleep.

To offset some of the inevitable lack of sleep when things get way too busy and remember to:

Dental Emergency 101

Dental Emergency 101

Dental emergencies are extremely common in America. Recent surveys indicated as much as 22 percent of the general population admit to severe oral pain in the last six months. School age children miss more than 1.5 million school days annually in America due to acute dental problems. While dental emergencies cannot be defined as easily as regular medical emergencies and are not generally considered life threatening, dental emergencies whether they involve pain or just cosmetics can be debilitating.

Unfortunately, the safest way to avoid a dental emergency is to not get one in the first place. Obviously things happen in life and sometimes a toothache in unavoidable, but most patients wait too long and a preventable dental problem escalates into a major dental emergency and often a major dental procedure.

So how do you know when you should see a dentist? What are the early warnings signs so you nip things in the bud before they escalate to major problems?

  1. Floss regularly. I know you’ve heard it before, but I’m not telling you to floss to keep your teeth clean (you already KNOW that). If you floss regularly you will notice small cavities or other problems between the teeth sooner. A small cavity is MUCH easier to fix than a big one – which might require an extraction and dental implant. If you floss and feel a small pain, twinge, or anything else weird or out of the ordinary, give us a call and we can probably prevent the problem from getting any worse.
    Having sensitive teeth affects millions of people and is preventable

    Having sensitive teeth affects millions of people and is preventable

  2. Look in the mirror. Most people are so used to brushing their teeth that they don’t watch themselves do it anymore. But spending a few minutes before or after you brush to look in the mirror can prevent a lot of problems. Pull your lips back and check along the gum line. Are there any bumps? Any discoloration? Lesions? All of those things could mean major problems forming under the gumline. And most of those early warning signs can prevent major dental work – and a major toothache – later.
  3. Pay attention when you eat. Pain or twinges in your mouth while eating are often a sign of bigger problems. If you eat sugar and have some pain, you might be getting a cavity (did you know many cavities, when treated early, don’t even need to be drilled out? Catch them early to save yourselves the whir of the drill!). Pain when eating hot or colds things? Your gums could be having an issue or maybe a cavity. Hurts when you chew on one side? Maybe an abscess, infection, cavity, cracked tooth… any number of things.
  4. Do your teeth hurt when you wake up in the morning? This is a classic sign of bruxism – or grinding your teeth. Why does it matter? If you grind at night, you are at risk for TMJ problems, cavities, cracked teeth, and more. All of which can be avoided with a simple bit guard if caught early. If your mouth hurts when you wake up, call and schedule an appointment.
    Mouth pain and oral emergencies affect millions of Americans every year, avoiding dental emergencies can save you time, money and a lot of pain.

    Mouth pain and oral emergencies affect millions of Americans every year, avoiding dental emergencies can save you time, money and a lot of pain.

90% of dental emergencies can be avoided by taking the simple precautions above. Regular visits to the dentist don’t have to be scary or painful – they can prevent scary and painful visits later, in fact. So give us a call. Check for the early warning signs, and prevent future dental emergencies.

And if you do have an emergency, come visit our holistic dental practice in Houston – we are happy to help keep your mouth beautiful and healthy – and out of pain!