Family & Cosmetic Care in a Comfortable, Relaxed Environment.

Serving Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada since 1999.

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and loved ones to get together and enjoy a hearty meal. It is also a time that can be dangerous for your dental health. This is because a lot of what we eat during this time can be hazardous to our dental health. This can include stuffing, sugary treats like pies and cookies, cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls. These items are all carbohydrate rich, sugary foods. This can really do some damage to your oral health, but there are some simple ways you can help combat cavities while still enjoying Grandma’s pumpkin or pecan pie.

Thanksgiving Day Dental Health Tips

-Eat a Balanced Meal. Eat a meal with a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables. This helps to counteract some of the acids produced when sugars and bacteria in the mouth come together. Also, some of the harder vegetables like raw carrots can act as a cleaning aid in your mouth as you chew. Hard vegetables can remove some of the excess food that sticks to your teeth.

-Limit your sweet, sticky foods. These can include pies, cookies, and stuffing. These foods tend to stick in the grooves of teeth and lodge between teeth, meaning they stay in the mouth longer and increase tooth decay risk.

-Do not Graze!! This might be one of the most important ones listed here. Not only will you allow these bad food items to stay in your mouth longer but you will not allow your saliva to neutralize. The acidic levels in the saliva will remain all day, allowing bacteria to destroy surface enamel without interference.It’s easy to spend all day just walking around a party eating snacks and drinking, but every time you put something into your mouth, it creates acids. Spend some time NOT eating on Thanksgiving day to cut down on the buildup of cavity causing foods.

-Come Prepared. If you are going away from home for your thanksgiving dinner bring a travel toothbrush with you even if you are just away for the day. If you are unable to brush your teeth immediately after eating for some reason? Rinse your mouth out with water to remove as much debris and neutralize the acid as much as possible. Also, bring some floss and floss following your meal as well.

Happy Thanksgiving to All!!

By following these simple holiday dental care tips, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy while still enjoying your Thanksgiving favorites.

Modern dentistry has evolved from the days of just a simple nightguard for grinders. A well trained dentist can treat a number of issues that were not even considered even 15 years ago. Bite appliances can be utilized in treatment of, the combination of clenching and bruxing, obstructive sleep apnea, TMJ pain, and sports mouthguards. These appliances allow patients to live more comfortable, healthier lives while enjoying the activites they love.

Teeth Clenching and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

These are fairly common issues for many Americans. Studies have been unable to pinpoint the exact number of people in the population that grind or clench but it is believed, that most people at some point in their life will experience this habit. This is sometimes considered to be a stress related habit. Most patients with these habits, do so while sleeping, so they are unaware of the forces exerted on their teeth while they sleep. Teeth clenching and grinding can cause a number of dental issues that include:

-Loose Teeth.

-Temperature Sensitivity.

-Tooth Chipping and Fracturing.

-Flattened teeth.

Bite Appliances are used to protect the teeth and also to re-train us to prevent continued grinding and clenching. These bite appliances are made from polymers and acrylics. They are generally custom made for each patient for added comfort and protection. These bite appliances work by not allowing the teeth to touch, making it restrictive to clench or grind. For those with an extreme form of these habits, it is not unusual to grind through the appliance over time necessitating a new appliance to be made.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

This is sometimes known as the “silent killer”. Obstructive sleep apnea can be potentially a very serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep time. Obstructive sleep apnea is believed to affect about 25% of the population. Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by:

-Excessive daytime sleepiness.

-Both habits of clenching and grinding at night.

-Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep.

-Awakening abruptly accompanied by shortness of breath.

-Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking in the morning.

There are generally two types of bite appliances available for obstructive sleep apnea. These include over the counter ones and custom fabricated ones. The idea behind either of these bite appliances is to maintain an open airway during sleep to stop the disturbances from occurring.  These bite appliances work by repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, and soft palate. The custom fitted appliances tend to work far better than the generic ones.

TMJ Disorder appliances

These bite appliances help to reposition and decompress the jaw. TMJ disorder appliances are generally worn at night, and help to decrease the inflammation and pain associated with TMJ instability.

Athletic Mouthguards

These have really come into fashion in the last decade, as more and more research has gone into sports medicine, better airway maintenance and prevention of concussions. The old days of the generic “boil and bite” mouthguard are slowly fading away. We are now in the age of custom fitted athletic mouthguards that are able to not only give better protection against injury but also increase athletic performance. The thinking is, that how an athlete clenches his/her teeth together changes the way the brain reacts. When using a proper athletic mouthguard, your brain will be better able to handle temperature regulation as well as stress.

Bite Appliances Conclusion

Bite appliance therapy has been around for quite some time but recent advances (in both technology and theory) have made the treatments even more effective than before. A small investment in a good bite appliance can make the world of difference in the health and well being of your teeth for the rest of your life.

For people who suffer with dental phobia or anxiety, a visit to the dentist is an anxiety inducing event. Even the thought of dental appointments can be frightening for individuals with dental phobia. Almost 35 million Americans suffer from dental phobia and dental anxiety so severe, that they avoid dental care altogether. This is troubling because, study after study has shown that our dental health is directly related to our overall health. The subsequent lack of dental care will put their bodies and their health at risk for complications. Many think sedation dentistry is the answer, but sleeping through dental treatment does not allow you to overcome dental phobia and dental anxiety in a healthy manageable way.

Best Methods To Cope With Dental Anxiety And Dental Phobia

Dental anxiety and dental phobia can be overcome!! You should not let dental phobia stop you from seeking regular dental care. With proper steps taken by patient and dentist, and some patience, those fears will minimize so that you can not only seek treatment, but feel comfortable in the dental chair. Some of the best methods for coping with dental anxiety and dental phobia include:

-Communication – This might very well be one of the biggest feats to overcome for many who are fearful of the dentist. Being afraid of ridicule or even being talked down to by the dentist can make it difficult to share your fears and concerns. Communication can be a very powerful tool in giving back a full sense of control over your dental care. This control helps to reduce a majority of the anxiety of helplessness that many feel. Being a part of the decision making on treatment, knowing what to expect, and knowing if you feel uncomfortable your dentist will stop, can make any dental patient feel better. Communication and control can be the differentiating factor between those suffering from dental phobia and dental anxiety, and those who have found a way to work through it.

-Distractions – Take control of your mind and allow yourself to be distracted from the dental treatment. The best ways to achieve distraction are:

1) meditation - a relaxation of mind and body musculature.

2) audio - listening to music, or the voice of your dentist while they talk you through the process with casual conversation.

3) visual –  watching television or a movie, looking at a relaxing picture during treatment. For many, the headphones help to block out the dental noises that increase their anxiety, listening to a personal story about  the dentist, visualizing a relaxing setting, and muscle relaxation can make the experience much more tolerable and possibly even pleasant!

-Muscle Relaxation Techniques - The key here is to place focus on your body parts, relaxing them one at a time. You can start with your toes or hands and work your way across your body, squeezing then relaxing each area of your body progressively. This removes your focus on the dental care and places it on your body achieving the goal of relaxing and calming yourself. Try squeezing a stress ball in 1 or both hands.

-Take A Mini Vacation In Your Mind! - To help ease your nerves and control pain during dental treatment, imagine yourself in a relaxing, enjoyable setting. For example, visualize calming colors or scenes such as the ocean, think about the sound of the waves as you relax on your favorite beach or, if you enjoy hiking, imagine yourself walking along a trail next to a river. The more detail you add to the image, the less focused you will be on the dental procedure. This technique takes practice initially, but once you gain confidence in yourself and your dentist it will get easier to do. If you find that your mind drifts away from your image, gently turn your attention back to the scene you created. Try practicing meditation with visualization at home before your appointment when you feel stressed about upcoming dental treatment.

-Breathing Exercises - This is a great technique for your drive over to the dental office, or while waiting for your appointment. Deep breathing can be a great technique to relax your mind and body prior to dental work. By taking in slow, deep breaths, the oxygen flow will have a calming effect on your entire body. Remember, slow and deep, NOT short and fast, as this can cause you to hyperventilate.

-Acupuncture/Acupressure - Often laughed off, acupuncture/acupressure have many benefits. These can include relief form pain and anxiety. For this to be effective, the acupuncture  should be completed close to the dental appointment, while some acupressure can be done during the dental appointment. This will not work for all but it has been a successful technique for many in attempting to overcome dental phobia and dental anxiety.

Conclusion

The key to overcoming and coping with your fear is to remember that you are not alone in dealing with dental anxiety or dental phobia. If you choose the right dentist and team, they will be with you every step of the way, guiding you to overcome your fears. In the beginning it may seem insurmountable but one step and day at a time, and the visits become easier and easier. You might actually begin to wonder why you didn’t do this earlier. Do not let dental phobia prevent you from being healthy in all aspects of your life.

Frenectomy -  is the removal of a frenulum (small fold of tissue that prevents an organ in the body from moving too far). It can refer to frenula in several places on theFrenectomy Marielaina Perrone DDS human body. In dentistry, this procedure is routinely done for orthodontic purposes but can also be done for other functional reasons.

Types Of Frenectomy As Used In Dentistry

-Lingual Frenectomy – This refers to the frenum attachment between the tongue and the floor of the mouth. When this tissue is too tight, restricting movement of the tongue, it is referred to as ankyloglossia, “tongue-tied”. It is easily identified by having the patient lift their tongue up and if it is too tight you will see a heart shape form from the pulling of the tongue. Ankyloglossia comes in varying degrees from mild to one where the tongue is completely attached to the floor of the mouth. As you can imagine this restricts movement of the tongue in all directions. Ankyloglossia can have far reaching effects to include speech, oral hygiene, swallowing, and even eating.

-Labial Frenectomy – This refers to the attachments on the inside of the upper and lower lips. Most commonly, the upper frenum attachment  causes a large gap (also called a diastema) to appear between the upper two central incisor teeth as well as gum recession by pulling the gum tissue away from the bone. The frenectomy procedure is generally done on two populations of patients:

Orthodontic Patients – This procedure assists in closing the front gap between the 2 front central incisor teeth. The frenum attachment will prevent the teeth from closing on their own through normal orthodontic procedures.

Denture Patients – This attachment can and often will become uncomfortable as a patients lips move through eating and talking. This will become irritated as it rubs against the dentures and often will not allow the denture to be as stable as it should be. The frenectomy in this case will remove the discomfort and allow the dentures to fit better than before.

The labial frenectomy procedure should not be done until the permanent central incisors have erupted at least 3/4 of the way into the mouth. The timing can be delicate because scar tissue can develop in this area following the frenectomy making it much harder to close the gap between these teeth through orthodontics.

How Is A Frenectomy Performed?

A frenectomy is a fairly, simple straightforward procedure, usually taking less than fifteen minutes from start to finish. The surgeon can choose to use a scalpel or a laser to excise the frenum. The laser has distinct advantages over the scalpel. The use of the laser tends to cause minimal bleeding, does not require the use of sutures, and is usually noted with little to no post operative discomfort. A frenectomy is usually done using only local anesthesia. Very small children will probably have to use general anesthesia to tolerate the frenectomy surgery.

Conclusion

A frenectomy is only necessary when the frenum attachment is causing pain, discomfort, difficult speech, eating difficulty, or a cosmetic issue. Of course, in cases of speech and eating, it is definitely recommended as it will affect a child’s development over time. Without the procedure, they will have trouble saying certain words and many children also will have trouble breast/bottle feeding. This can be a very serious matter in children with a severe form of attachment. It is important to have your child seen regularly by a dentist so that they can monitor their development and ensure these issues can be taken care of at their proper stage.