Can Poor Dental Health Really Cause Heart Problems?

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Take Great Care of Your Teeth!

One thing that everyone can agree on is that taking care of your teeth and good oral hygiene is important. However, what about the correlation between oral health and heart health? Can failing to take care of your teeth really cause problems for your heart? While there is still debate about this topic, here are a few facts that may help you understand this concern.

  • Studies have shown that those with poor oral health are more likely to suffer from heart problems. However, it may not be a direct correlation and only be incidental due to the fact that those who take better care of their teeth are likely taking better care of their bodies.
  • Robert Bonow, MD who formerly worked with the American Heart Association, noted that both gum disease and heart disease are conditions that deal with inflammation. Therefore, the link isn’t that big of a reach.
  • Several published studies show that gum disease is a risk factor for coronary artery disease–which is a major factor in many heart attacks and strokes.
  • Those who have even mild to moderate gum disease are often warned by their dentists or doctors to have their heart evaluated to check for underlying issues that may otherwise be overlooked. Getting this warning could the first sign that something may be wrong.
  • Taking care of the teeth and preventing gum disease is a simple matter for those who visit the dentist regularly. This is the first step in preventing major oral health issues. Even the possibility of it reducing gum disease risk an excellent secondary benefit.
  • The potential for gum disease and heart disease to be connected brings home the point that dentists and doctors should work together to treat the overall health of the patient. Making sure your doctor has information from your dentist, and vice versa can help these professionals get you the treatment you need.

So, even if researchers are not 100% certain about whether poor oral health can harm your heart, there is certainly proof that good oral health can’t hurt. Make sure you are taking care of your teeth on a daily basis and make time in your schedule to visit your dentist. Contact us and we’ll be happy to help you take control of your oral health today.

How should my child care for their teeth now that they have braces?

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How to care for a smile with braces

Braces lead to straighter smiles and greater confidence, but they can take some getting used to. Your child will need to take more care in his or her daily oral hygiene and choices throughout the day. Here are just a few ways to keep teeth healthy with braces:

Cleaning teeth with braces

The braces, wires, springs and other appliances can trap food and plaque. These need to be carefully cleaned to avoid staining and tooth decay. Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, carefully removing all food that may have gotten stuck between braces. A “Christmas tree” style brush is narrow enough to get between braces and can be used alongside a standard toothbrush. A fluoride mouthwash can help flush food free where toothbrushes can’t easily reach. An airflosser or waterpik can also make it easier to remove stuck food and plaque.

Flossing remains important for gum health. Floss will need to be fed through the space behind the main arch wire. Then, carefully pull the floss up between teeth, getting each side of the gum. If your child has trouble, look into floss that has stiff threader ends. These can reduce frustration and make it more likely your child will keep up with good hygiene practices.

Between brushing care

Care for teeth with braces goes beyond brushing. Special care is needed during sports, eating, and certain other everyday activities.

A child with braces can continue to participate in any sports they enjoyed before. But, if there is a chance of getting hit in the mouth, they’ll need a special mouthguard. These are designed to fit over braces and can protect the soft tissue inside the mouth from cuts and bruising.

Your child needs to be careful to avoid picking at or playing with braces, as it can cause brackets to dislodge. It might take a bit of time to get adjusted to this when braces are new. Continue positive reinforcement to develop good habits.

Most foods can be eaten as normal, particularly if they are cut up into small pieces. But, a few should be avoided. These include:

  • Sticky or chewy foods like caramels or taffy.
  • Foods that are hard to bite or chew, like whole apples, bagels, and hard rolls.
  • Crunchy foods like popcorn, hard pretzels, and nuts.
  • Corn on the cob.

Kids often take a bit of time to adjust to the new routines with braces. But, with good care, they will come out with a healthy smile to be proud of.

Are you concerned about your child’s oral care with braces? Contact the caring staff at Dr. Jon D. Smith Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry today, to make sure your child is on the right track.

3 Things to Understand About Wisdom Teeth

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Learn All About Wisdom Teeth!

Let’s start with some simple facts about your wisdom teeth that you may already know. Your wisdom teeth are a kind of molar, which are the large teeth in the back of your mouth with the flat surface, these are the teeth that you use to chew, and you have two on each side. Your wisdom teeth are your (third set of molars), you have two on the top and two on the bottom.

Over the course of the past few hundred years wisdom teeth have basically become useless. So, why do we even have wisdom teeth? It’s all evolutionary my dear Watson, our ancestors had a larger jaw and the wisdom teeth or third molars as they are sometimes called could easily accommodate the extra teeth.

Wisdom teeth were necessary for our ancestors’ survival, the food they ate was generally tough to chew. The food we consume now is much softer; we chop it, dice it, and cook it making the job of chewing much easier on our teeth.

Over time, our oral cavities have gotten smaller, and in most cases cannot accommodate the wisdom teeth. Yet, they continue to be a part of our oral cavity’s anatomy.

Reasons Why Wisdom Teeth Removed

According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 85% of people will eventually need to have their wisdom teeth extracted. Here are a few of the primary reasons why wisdom teeth may need to be extracted:

  1. Pain
  2. Wisdom teeth can cause pain for several reasons, as your wisdom teeth begin to erupt through the skin it is usually painful, you have a sharp tooth trying to poke through tissue and soft skin, and that hurts.

  3. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
  4. Impacted wisdom teeth do not always cause problems, it’s when they become infected, that they start to cause problems with for your other teeth, or they become too painful, they generally need to be extracted. Impacted wisdom teeth are usually sore, red, inflamed, your gums may be tender or they may bleed, you may experience sharp to dull pain in your jaw, or trouble opening your mouth. You may only have one impacted tooth or they may all be impacted.

  5. Infected Wisdom Teeth
  6. An infection of a wisdom tooth or teeth, is called Pericoronitis, it can be an extremely painful condition. Pericoronitis occurs when the wisdom tooth partially erupts through the gum and there is a small opening where bacteria can enter the area surrounding the tooth.

Pericoronitis has similar symptoms to an impacted wisdom tooth, it can also cause pus to leak from your gums, and if the infection is severe enough it can cause a fever. Pericoronitis occurs when the wisdom tooth partially erupts through the gum and there is a small opening where bacteria can enter the area around the tooth.

If you have questions about wisdom teeth, or if you suspect yours may need to be taken out soon – contact us today!

What Types of Pain Free Dental Treatments are Available?

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Keep a healthy smile and stay happy.

A healthy smile is essential to your health and overall well being. However, if you are worried about the pain from dental procedures, you may shy away from getting the care you need to keep your teeth and mouth in overall good shape. Luckily, today there is no need for anxiety! Here at Dr. Jon D. Smith Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry, we strive to offer more options for pain-free dental care, to reduce your stress and in turn improve your overall dental health.

Do You Know What to Expect?

The best way to feel more comfortable about your potential dental visit is to know what to expect from your appointment. When you undergo any dental procedure with us, we will take the time to explain what will occur and make sure you do not have any questions or concerns. After all, knowledge is power!

Some Procedures are Naturally Pain-Free

Did you realize that many of our cosmetic and restorative procedures do not cause pain or discomfort in most patients? Tooth whitening, bonding, and even attaching veneers are all processes that most patients report cause no pain. These procedures can help your teeth look their best and boost your confidence.

Anesthesia Options

For more severe dental procedures or for the processes we complete on our most anxious patients, we offer multiple anesthesia options. These are designed specifically to help you relax and enjoy pain-free dental care in a safe manner. Our care specialists discuss all of the options with you to help you choose the right solution. We want to make sure that pain is the last thing on your mind.

Need Further Assurance?

Don’t let the worry of pain or anxiety keep you from the dental care you need to keep your smile beautiful and healthy. Give us a call at Dr. Jon D. Smith Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry today. We are happy to discuss all possible options and ease your mind about the dental procedures that you need to look and feel your very best.