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Teeth whitening has become quite popular over the last 2 decades. From over the counter whitening toothpastes to teeth whitening strips to professional teeth whitening. People are in pursuit of that perfectly white smile. Teeth whitening is a positive thing if it makes you feel good about yourself.

Marielaina Perrone DDS Teeth Whitening

Methods Of Teeth Whitening

There are multiple ways to achieve the same goal…..whiter teeth. Some methods can be done at home by yourself and others will need the supervision of a dental professional.

Teeth Whitening Toothpastes. This method is probably the cheapest and easiest to use but also will give limited results. Many premium toothpastes now include teeth whitening ingredients to help you achieve a whiter, brighter smile. Unfortunately, teeth whitening tooth pastes have their negatives. The results are extremely variable from individual to individual. If your smile has extensive staining and discoloration, these toothpastes may not work as well as for someone who has very light discoloration and tooth staining. However we are brushing anyway, so why not give it a try and see what the results may bring for your individual smile.

Teeth Whitening Strips. This method has an increased cost over the teeth whitening toothpastes and can give very good results. You can buy a box of teeth whitening strips at your local pharmacy.The active teeth whitening ingredients in the strips are generally the same as dentists use in their professional teeth whitening products but the concentration of the teeth whitening ingredients in the store bought products will come in at a much lower level. The drawback to the lower concentration of whitening ingredients is that they may not get your teeth to whiten as much as you would like. The other drawback is the application of the teeth whitening strips. The whitening strips must be placed across all the teeth evenly, and cannot be directly applied to one that is stained more. The fit is sometimes not the greatest, and they have the possibility to irritate periodontal tissues.

Teeth Whitening With Custom Trays. This procedure is completed in a dental office. The custom trays fit your mouth comfortably and allow for an even distribution of the teeth whitening gel across all teeth or can only applied to specific teeth or even a single tooth. The trays can be worn day or night (even overnight) over a period of one to 4 weeks, and are very convenient for people with active schedules on the go. The other advantage is that this type of teeth whitening is that your dentist will use a stronger whitening agent. The main disadvantages to this type of teeth whitening versus the at home techniques is that the cost is higher, and sensitivity may be greater, but the results are usually far better.

Teeth Whitening Performed In Dental Office. This is by far the highest cost, fastest, and generally most effective Teeth Whitening option available. This teeth whitening procedure is performed by your dentist using a special dental light and teeth whitening gel. This type of teeth whitening can deliver fantastic results in as little as 1/2 hour to one full hour. This teeth whitening technique utilizes a highly concentrated whitening agent accelerated by heat and light  to speed up the teeth whitening process. The disadvantage is the higher cost of  Teeth Whitening.

Teeth Whitening Conclusion

As written above there are many choices available for teeth whitening whether at home or in your dentist’s office. Discuss the various options for teeth whitening with your dentist to see what would be the best for your individual smile. Teeth whitening has seen a rapid growth. Talk to your dentist at your next visit to see what options are right for you.


Most people do not realize that our dental health and our general health are inherently linked. Below is a discussion of the various links to be aware of to maintain your health.

Oral Health = Overall Health?

 Just like most areas of the body, your mouth is full of various bacteria — most are just harmless but others can be far more dangerous. Your mouth is the beginning or entry to the digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these dangerous bacteria have been found to cause disease in the body.
In normal situations, a person’s natural immune system and maintaining good oral health can keep this bacteria in check. However, not following dentist recommended protocols can allow bacteria levels to reach new heights leading to oral disease and infections such as tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Prescription medications can also play a role — such as decongestants (example Sudafed), antihistamines (example Benadryl), painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can cause a condition known as dry mouth. Saliva is necessary to wash away food and neutralizes the acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth. Saliva plays an important role in helping to protect you from bacteria that can quickly multiply and lead to disease in the mouth and body.

Recent scientific studies have been released suggesting that bacteria found in the mouth and the inflammation associated with the severest form of periodontal disease (periodontitis) might play a factor in some systemic diseases. General disease also has an affect on the oral cavity as well. Diseases such as diabetes and HIV(AIDS), can lower the body’s immune reaction to infection, making oral health problems even more severe.

Conditions can be linked to oral health?

Oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
-Endocarditis – This is an infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) and typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body(possibly even the mouth) spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.
-Cardiovascular disease(Heart Disease) – Although this connection is not yet fully understood, there has been some research suggesting that heart disease, clogged arteries and even stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
Pregnancy and birth complications – Gum Disease (specifically Periodontitis) has been shown to be linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
-Pneumonia – Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:
Diabetes Acts by reducing the body’s resistance to infection, diabetes can put your gums at risk. Periodontal disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Studies have shown that diabetics who have periodontal disease have a more difficult time controlling their blood sugar levels. Regular periodontal care can aid in diabetes control.
-HIV/AIDS – Oral issues, like painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
Osteoporosisis a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D. This disease is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Certain prescription drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
-Alzheimer’s disease – Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses probably due to inability to maintain proper dental regimen at home.

Other conditions that are believed to be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers and an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome).

It is important that you tell your dentist about the various medications you take and about any changes in your overall health, especially if you’ve recently been ill or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes.

How can I protect my oral health?

 To protect your oral health, practice and maintain a good oral hygiene regimen.
-Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste.
-Floss after every meal.
-Use an antiseptic mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
-Eat a balanced diet and limit food with excessive sugars.
-Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
-Maintain a regular schedule of dental checkups and dental cleanings.
-Avoid tobacco use. This includes chewing tobacco.

Conclusion

 Contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. The longer you wait the bigger than issue it may become both for your dental health as well as your overall health. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.




Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Stress can arise from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious.

Too much stress is known to play a role in our overall health but did you know that stress can also cause issues to your smile?

Stress Induced Dental Health Issues

Poor Dental Hygiene

When a person is under a lot of stress they tend to lose focus on basic habits and this can include maintaining optimal dental hygiene. If you do not take care of your dental hygiene on a daily basis, your dental health along with your overall health will begin to suffer and consequences can develop. This is especially important if you already have an issue with periodontal disease. Neglecting any part of your dental hygiene regimen can cause your periodontal disease to worsen. Another issue that can occur from stress is changes to your nutrition. Most people under heavy stress tend to develop very unhealthy eating habits. This can include frequent snacking on greater quantities than normal of sugary foods and drinks. These dietary changes will increase the risk of tooth decay.

An excellent way to defend against stress in your life is to regularly exercise. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help you relieve some of that built up stress and give you an extra energy boost to fight back. Exercise will also boost your immune system which will keep you stronger and healthier over the long haul.

Teeth Grinding (also referred to as Bruxism)

A main factor for people who grind their teeth is due to stress. Bruxism or teeth grinding can occur any time of day or night but it is usually an act we are unaware we are doing. Stress is not the sole cause of bruxism but it can make it worse. Dental issues associated with bruxism can include:

-Headaches

-Pain In Ears

-Wearing down of teeth.

-Temporo mandibular Joint (TMJ) Issues

Sensitive Teeth

-Chipped or cracked teeth

Receding gums or teeth with notches along the gum line

Your dentist following a thorough examination may recommend a night guard to wear while you sleep to minimize the damage to your teeth. Generally, if stress is the root cause the bruxism will stop when the stressor(s) are removed.

Sores In The Oral Cavity

Mouth sores come in multiple forms. These forms can include:

-Canker sores. These are tiny ulcers with a white or grayish base and a red border.  There has been extensive debate among scientists regarding what is the root cause of canker sores. Some believe it is an immune system deficiency, bacteria, or even an underlying virus. The consensus belief is that stress can increase the risk of them appearing. Canker sores are not believed to be contagious.

Canker Sores Marielaina Perrone DDS

Canker sores generally last about a week to ten days. Spicy foods along with highly acidic foods should be avoided as they may irritate the sores. Your dentist can recommend a prescribed medicine called Debacterol. This prescription medicine is applied directly to the mouth sore and can reduce symptoms as well as thetime that the sores are present in the mouth.

-Cold sores (also called fever blisters). This type of sore is caused by the herpes simplex virus and are highly contagious. These sores are blisters that are filled with fluid that often appear on or around the lips. They are also seen under the nose or around the chin area. Emotional stress can trigger these sores to develop. Other triggers for these sores include fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion.

Cold sores generally heal on their own in about 7 days time. Many treatments are available for relief, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Talk to your doctor or dentist if these medications could help you. It is imperative to start treatment as soon as you feel or visually notice the cold sore forming. The sooner you begin treatment the effects of the cold sore can be decreased.

Periodontal Disease (also Known as Gum Disease)

Stress can often lead to depression. Scientific studies have shown that patients who are dealing with depression have 2 times the risk of poor treatment outcomes from periodontal disease treatment compared to those who are not depressed. Most doctors agree that learning healthy strategies to cope with bouts of depression can help reduce the risk of periodontal issues getting worse.  Also, people who are in a depressed state tend to have poor overall hygiene including dental hygiene.

Stress Conclusion

Remember, we all have events that trigger stress during our daily lives. Development of techniques to deal with stress can make a marked difference in the maintanence of our dental health as well as our overall general health. As always, see your dentist for regular dental examinations along with professional cleanings to ensure you can keep your smile looking and feeling as healthy as can be!

Reminder:

-Eat a balanced diet

-Regular Dental Visits

and good oral hygiene help reduce your risks of periodontal disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss daily.




Orthodontics have become a new tool to recreate our smiles. For the longest time, orthodontic braces was a treatment only for children. Advances in orthodontic materials have led to changes in the appearance of orthodontic appliances, and increased speed of movement of our teeth. Orthodontics have become a treatment of choice for many teens and adults. There are multiple options for orthodontic treatment today to make them as aesthetic as possible with shorter treatment lengths along with more cosmetic appearance. While teeth are being moved, changes occur to the mouth, lips, chin, and cheeks. The million dollar question is…..Can Orthodontic treatment change a person’s facial appearance?

Once orthodontic treatment is completed, many patients will look in the mirror and notice changes in their facial appearance. The bigger change happen when exhibiting a full smile, as this will show off the new found symmetry of your smile. The change will be even more noticeable if there are major corrections during your orthodontic treatment.

 Orthodontic Corrections = Changing Facial Appearance

Correction Of Overbite.  An overbite can cause the upper lip to protrude otward. In very extreme cases the upper lip is so far advanced that the lips are not able to completely cover and close the mouth at rest. In side profile the upper lip flares and the convexity of the mid face is pronounced. After completion of orthodontic movement, the facial area from nose down to chin flattens and the appearance can soften.

Correction Of Underbite. An underbite causes the chin to protrude and lower lip to retrude, giving you a “Moon Shape” profile. After orthodontic movement, the face loses much of this concavity. This again helps to flatten and soften the features, bringing the lips together in a more natural look. Underbite correction may in some cases require surgery.

Open Bite Correction. Prior to correction, the mouth and lips may seem a bit overstretched. In more severe cases the lips do not touch at rest. After movement, The mid face appears more relaxed and the lips come together at rest. Severe open bite may require surgery to be fully corrected.

Upper Or Lower Jaw Expansion. There are times when a patient has too little space in one or both of their arches.  The middle of the face may be narrow, and cheeks a bit hollow. If space needs to be opened, a device is custom fabricated called an orthodontic expander. If it is used on top jaw it is referred to as a palatal expander and if used on lower jaw it is called a mandibular expander. Expanders are used more often on children but they can also be used on adults in coordination with surgery. The expansion is usually done in very small increments and usually will go unnoticed by many. A more symmetrical smile and wider mid face will be the end result.

Conclusion

Orthodontic treatment can change a person in multiple ways. These changes can include a bigger smile, straighter teeth, and balancing of one’s facial appearance. The changes to a person’s face are usually more pronounced when surgery is involved.  A person’s side profile is what changes most dramatically. When teeth are in proper alignment, the profile of a person will be more in line with the rest of their facial features creating a more symmetrical balanced appearance.

The facial changes can usually be predicted prior to treatment. Ask your dentist what changes you can expect based on your individual smile