Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Thanksgiving is a time of family gatherings, good food, and being thankful for all we have. Your dental health is something that should not be taken for granted. Your teeth do amazing  things that most of us do not even think about. Below you will find a few to be thankful for this holiday season.

 5 Reasons To Be Thankful For Good Dental Health

1. Chewing Tasty Thanksgiving Foods. Healthy teeth are necessary for chewing hard, crunchy foods. Soft foods tend to be high carb and not as healthy. Imagine trying to eat your turkey dinner with all the trimmings without your teeth. It certainly would be quite a challenge!  Our teeth give us the ability to tear and and break down all kinds of food, from celery sticks and crusty bread to turkey and all the trimmings.

2. Convey Friendliness and Warmth. Our smiles convey to others how we feel towards them. A warm smile and hug to an old friend or relative at holiday warms even the coldest of hearts. Smiles tend to be contagious they just make you and others feel happy! Without a healthy smile, we would not smile nearly as often as many of us do.

3. Communication. Proper speech is directly related to tongue and tooth position. Without our teeth we would have a hard time communicating correctly. Just saying “Thanksgiving” would be very difficult without your upper teeth. Speaking without teeth is extremely challenging.

4. Attractiveness. Your teeth give your face a fullness and symmetry that you lose when they are missing. When a person is missing teeth, facial support is gone, causing a sunken in appearance. Your teeth are important as support for your lips and cheeks and give your face a full, rounded, youthful, look.

5. Maintain Bones And Keep Them Strong. The bones of the face are strong because they work to support our teeth. Once the teeth are gone, the bone is resorbed and re-utilized by other parts of the body. The jaw will atrophy and shrink. As the bone atrophy’s, there is a greater risk of jaw fracture.

Conclusion

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Thanksgiving season. We all have a lot to be thankful for so do not leave out your dental health. As always visit your dentist for regular dental examinations and professional cleanings.

Having a healthy, white smile is a goal for most of us. Maintaining a good routine for dental hygiene is key to the foundation of that success.The work required to make this happen, can be difficult and even overwhelming at times. Below are just a few easy tips to keep you on track for a healthy, white smile that dazzles.

Top 10 Dental Tips

1. Visit Your Dentist Regularly. This is very important to not only keep your teeth clean but keep your mouth free of periodontal disease. Regular dental examinations along with professional cleanings can help you keep your teeth clean, white, and healthy for a lifetime.

2. Beware of stains. Drinking red wine, black tea, or even indulging in an occasional cigar will give your teeth a darker, duller appearance. Brushing and flossing alone will not be able to remove these stains that work their way deep into your teeth. A good tip for when you do indulge is to brush and floss immediately after eating and drinking any items you think might stain your teeth. There are also natural tooth whiteners that you can use like crunchy vegetables and fresh apples. Their crunchiness helps give a cleaning action to your teeth to remove some of the lighter staining. There are also whitening toothpastes, such as colgate  optic white, which are very effective at removing surface staining when used regularly.

3. Don’t Forget Your Tongue. Studies have shown that bad breath can emanate from the tongue. Dead cells and bacteria can harbor in the folds of our tongue contributing to bad breath. Tongue scraping alone will not rid you of bad breath but it can help. You can use a toothbrush for this or most stores carry tongue scrapers specifically designed for the task at hand.

4. Gargle With Apple Cider Vinegar. This has become a popular remedy for whiter teeth. However, the vinegar can promote an acidic environment in the mouth causing tooth enamel erosion. Rinse with this at your own risk. The benefits may not be worth the risk of enamel erosion and tooth decay.

5. Use An Antibacterial/ Anti-Tartar/ Fluoride Mouthrinse. Oral rinses can get to places we sometimes miss from brushing and flossing. They also have the ability to lower the bacteria count in the mouth to help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease. A good tip is to choose a mouthwash that  specifically targets your needs. There are whitening rinses, anti-plaque rinses to reduce periodontal bacteria such as listerine, anti-tartar rinses such as Periogen, Fluoride rinses such as ACT.

6. Chew Sugarless Gum (with Xylitol). Xylitol has been shown to decrease the incidence in tooth decay when chewed regularly. Xylitol enhances the remineralization of teeth, particularly in small decay spots just developing in the tooth enamel. Also, bacteria are unable to produce acid when xyltiol is present. This inhibition of acid production will help the teeth to stay safe from tooth decay.

7. Brush With A Teeth Whitening Toothpaste. While the effectiveness of these toothpastes comes into question for many they do help remove light staining. Brushing with a toothpaste like Colgate’s optic white can keep your teeth as white as possible in between dental visits.

8. Choose The Right Lipstick. This tip is for the ladies, choose a medium coral or light red lipstick. These colors can make your teeth appear to look whiter, whereas lighter-colored lipsticks tend to bring out the yellow and darker areas in teeth.

9. Floss Regularly. Many do not realize the staining that can occur in between teeth from plaque buildup. Flossing will help keep tooth decay and periodontal disease in check but it can also make your teeth whiter and brighter.

10. Strawberries. There has been some evidence showing that strawberries have some teeth whitening properties. So next time you grab for a snack think about your teeth and grab some strawberries.

 Whiter Smile Conclusion

Having a healthy, white smile can be a reality with routine dental care coupled with good dental hygiene at home. For those, who need have dental issues already and need a little boost, there are many treatments that your dentist can advise you of  that can be personalized for your individual needs. It is never too late to have a healthier looking smile!

What exactly is preventive dentistry and why is it important in maintenance of our overall health?

Preventive Dentistry – The aspects of dentistry concerned with the teeth, oral cavity, and associated structures, including early detection,  prevention of disease, diagnosis, treatment of oral tissues, and restoration of defective or missing tissue.

“The body is like a piano, and hap­pi­ness is like music. It is need­ful to have the instru­ment in good order”

- Henry Beecher Ward

Dentistry as a whole focuses on prevention and treatment of dental disease. Preventive dentistry includes both at home and in office dental care. At home dental care includes maintaining a healthy dental hygiene regimen in between dental visits, trying to eat healthier meals and snacks, cessation of harmful habits such as smoking, and managing health issues. In office dental care includes regular dental examinations along with professional cleanings, oral cancer screenings, updated health history, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and other required dental restorations. Home care and in office care work hand in hand to keep our teeth healthy, strong, and free from dental disease.

Unfortunately, many of us tend to neglect our dental care in one way or another. This could mean not following up with care recommended by your dentist or just not brushing and flossing properly (or even regularly). Tooth decay left untreated or undetected, can lead to more serious dental treatment being needed or even to loss of teeth. Periodontal disease can and will progress if not treated in its earliest stages. Periodontal disease can also lead to serious health issues such as heart disease or stroke, and recent studies link poor oral hygiene to pancreatic cancer. Preventive dentistry is an integral part to protecting not just our teeth but also our general health. Preventive dentistry acts as health guard.

What is Included In Preventive Dentistry?

-Dental Hygiene. This might very well be one of the most important things you can do to maintain both your dental health as well as general health. Numerous studies have shown that the build up of plaque, tartar, and bacteria in periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, strokes, cancer, and even alzheimer’s disease. Flossing and brushing is an integral part of guarding against tooth decay and periodontal disease but it also acts as a protector for your heart and vascular systems. Without a proper dental hygiene regimen plaque and tartar will quickly form leading to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

-Dental X-Rays. Routine x-rays are an important part of preventive dentistry. X-rays can detect tooth decay, bone loss, some tumors (oral cancer), cysts, poor bone quality, and bone infections which in their earliest forms would not be detectable using a visual examination alone.

-Fluoride Treatment. Fluoride is a mineral that plays an important part in preventative dentistry by strengthening teeth and preventing tooth decay. For those with a history of tooth decay your dentist may recommend the use of a fluoride mouth rinse, or prescription fluoride products between dental visits.

-Nutritional Counseling. Most people do not realize how important a balanced diet is to their dental health. Foods and drinks containing sugar quickly begin to attack the teeth after entering the mouth. Most dentists recommend avoiding soft drinks or sugary foods as often as possible. If you choose to eat or drink these sweets, brush and rinse your teeth as soon as possible following ingestion of these items. Keep snacking to a minimum, try to eat well balanced meals, and you will find that your healthier choices will affect your dental health in a positive way.

-Cessation of Habits. Many harmful habits can be eliminated with help from your dentist. Nail biting, tooth grinding and clenching can be kept under control with dental appliances. Smoking can be stopped with prescription drugs such as chantix, nicotine patches, and counseling, Drug use may be addressed and a rehab program suggested.

-Dental Sealants. A dental sealant is a thin plastic-like coating that is applied over back teeth. Sealants are placed in areas of grooves and ridges where plaque can hide and the toothbrush can’t reach as easily. Covering up the grooves helps to prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are most often applied as preventive dentistry for children but can also be used for adults.

-Oral Cancer Screening. Early diagnosis of oral cancers give patients the best chance for survival in the long term. Find a dentist who uses the Velscope early detection oral cancer screening system to ensure you are being checked regularly. The best defense against oral cancer is an early diagnosis. The mortality rate of oral cancer increases dramatically if not detected in its earliest stages.

Preventive Dentistry Conclusion

Considering that oral health is linked to overall health, preventive dentistry is important to your overall well being.  Oral diseases can interfere with eating, speaking, daily activities and even self esteem. Preventive dentistry can lead to less extensive (and less expensive!) treatment for any dental conditions that may develop, and help you keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.

Dentistry is about more than just checking your teeth. Most dentists have extensive training, education, and knowledge of systemic and oral diseases, and the symptoms to be on the lookout for.  A good dentist will know how to diagnose these conditions, refer you to specialists, and sometimes prevent them from progressing. All of this adds up to comprehensive dental healthcare for you and your family.

Conditions Associated With Oral Medicine

-Oral Cancer – Can be diagnosed in early stages by your dentist. If oral cancer is not diagnosed early, it can be life threatening. About 40,000 new oral cancer cases are diagnosed each year in the United States alone. Overall survival rate at the 5 year mark is just 42%. However, if diagnosed early, the survival rate significantly improves to just over 90%.

Routine dental examinations include a full head and neck examination. This allows the dentist to monitor for any changes in the tissue. Also, many dentists use a VELscope for early oral cancer detection. The VELscope is a special light that allows the dentist to see changes in the tissue before the naked eye can see them. This improves chances of early diagnosis via biopsy and thus, higher chance of survival.

If oral cancer diagnosis is confirmed, the patient needs to be monitored during cancer treatment to ensure there is minimal detrimental effect to the teeth and oral tissues. Chemotherapy tends to create oral issues like xerostomia (increases chance of fungal infections of the mouth), mucositis (very painful mouth irritations), tooth decay(due to dry mouth), radiation necrosis (bone death), and periodontal disease. This is why it is recommended that care is coordinated between the oncologist, physician, and dentist.

Following treatment, it is imperative to get routine oral cancer screenings as the chance of oral cancer recurring is quite high.

-Temperomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) – TMD issues can be extremely painful and uncomfortable. As TMD progresses it creates an imbalance in the facial muscles and bone structure leading to issues with simple facial movements and even chewing. Once it gets to this point, the issues get worse as the pain just increases as well as the imbalance. These patients will be at increased risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease since they will be unable to properly perform routine oral hygiene maintenance.

Treatment for TMD ranges from medications and steroids to manage the discomfort and pain to surgical options. Surgery is always the last resort as the surgery does not always pose the answer patients are looking for. Botox is a newer treatment used to freeze the muscles and attempting to restore facial muscular harmonies before the situation gets worse.

-Anemia- Patients who are anemic tend to lose papilla on the tongue, giving it a bald appearance, also, fissures of the tongue increase in depth. Anemics also tend to crave ace, and brgin to chew on ice. This is a habit that can easily cause tooth fractures.

-Herpes Simplx Viruses (HSV)  - This virus is responsible for cold sores (HSV-1) and genital herpes (HSV-2). Studies have shown that almost 70% of all Americans have been exposed to the herpes simplex virus. Luckily, even if exposed they do not always show symptoms of the virus. Those that do will show the classic mouth sores around the lips. These sores or blisters can be quite uncomfortable and embarassing.

Herpes Simplex virus generally does not affect our oral health unless they are so uncomfortable that we are unable to maintain proper oral hygiene. Treatments for cold sores include changes in diet, increase intake of certain vitamins like E and Zinc, as well as pharmaceutical options. Pharmaceutical options include Xerese and Viroxyn. Both have been shown to be effective in limiting symptoms of outbreaks.

-Canker Sores (also called apthous ulcers) – Often confused with cold sores, they are very different. Most canker sores are single, isolated oral lesions usually caused by stress or trauma to oral tissues. Canker sores can occur a few times per year but are not known to be contagious. It is believed that canker sores have a genetic component to them but studies have not confirmed this to date.

It should be noted that canker sores can also be the sign of something more ominous and should be ruled out. General rule of thumb, is if they go away in under 7-10 days, only appear a few times per year, and are small there should be nothing to worry about. However, if they are large, last longer than 7-10 days and occur much more frequently, the patient should be investigated further for the presence of a systemic disorder. These disorders could include anemia, autoimmune disorders, or even inflammatory bowel disease. Sometimes the answer can be as easy as changing your toothpaste to a brand that is SLS (sodium laryl sulfate) free.

Treatment for canker sores include cauterization of sore (to facilitate faster healing), use of topical corticosteroid, or application of Debacterol. Most people will just allow the lesion to heal on its own. If the sore are SLS related, then changing toothpaste to a non-bubbling, SLS-free brand can bring instant relief.

-Autoimmune diseases- Many different autoimmune diseases cause issue in the mouth, or face, and jaw joint. Oral fungal infections, arthritic TMJ, oral tissue sloughing and blistering, facial rashes, bone growth, and other symptoms can give your dentist reason to refer you to an immunologist for a thorough workup.

Oral Medicine Conclusion

The bottom line is a well educated and trained dentist is capable of diagnosing more than just tooth decay. Your oral health is inherently linked with your general health. Understanding the importance of regular dental care for you and your family will allow you to get a jump on many diseases that might develop. Early diagnosis is the key to treating many conditions and diseases.