Tooth Sensitivity and Your Smile

tooth sensitivityEvery year, dentists all across the country hear complaints from their patients about tooth sensitivity. As a common oral health problem, tooth sensitivity is caused when the gums recede, exposing tooth roots. When hot or cold stimuli come into contact with these roots, a sensation is passed through the tubules in the roots directly to the nerve of the tooth, creating pain.

But, you might be wondering, what causes the gums to recede in the first place? Here are five of them:

Age – Believe it or not, aging plays a role in the level of tooth sensitivity you might experience. Research indicates that patients who are between 25 and 30 could experience more sensitivity than patients of other ages.

Brushing Technique – Depending on how you brush, you could be wearing down the enamel on your teeth, in the process exposing the sensitive dentin underneath. What’s more, brushing incorrectly can also harm the soft tissue of the gums and cause tooth roots to become exposed.

Bruxism – Bruxism is a medical term for something more simple and common—teeth grinding. Patients who struggle with teeth grinding may, over time, cause hairline fractures to develop in their teeth, making them vulnerable to hot or cold stimuli. What’s more, teeth grinding can also wreak havoc on tooth enamel, resulting in erosion of this protective barrier.

Cracked Teeth – When cracks develop in a tooth, it’s possible for bacteria to find a way inside, where it can irritate the interior pulp. As a result, teeth can respond negatively, with the end result being sensitivity.

Gum Disease – Gum disease is caused by bacteria and plaque that have built up around the teeth and gums. If left untreated, this common oral health problem will eventually result in the loss of gum tissue. As a result, tooth roots are exposed and left vulnerable to outside stimuli.

How Can I Protect My Teeth?

If you have problems with sensitive teeth, here are a few tips to keep in mind. First, try using a toothpaste brand that treats sensitivity. For many patients, this can bring the much-needed relief they’ve been looking for. Second, finish your brushing and flossing routine by rinsing with a fluoride rinse. Fluoride draws important minerals to teeth, strengthening them in the process. And lastly, visit your local dentist. By talking to your dentist and letting him or her see your smile, other recommendations can be made about how to help your smile.

Bad Breath 101: Why You Have It and How to Avoid It

837375_98129162SmHave you noticed friends or co-workers stand further away than necessary to talk to you? Do you receive daily offers of gum and mints? Does your dog run away when you bend down and say hello? If the answer is yes to any of these questions … you probably have bad breath, also called halitosis.

How is it possible for you to have bad breath and not know it? Your body uses a process called acclimation to filter out its own scents so you can use your nose to detect outside smells. This means your nose is used to whatever odor is emitting from your mouth. Even if you cup your hand and breathe into it, you probably won’t detect foul aromas. So, how can you tell if you have halitosis?

The easiest test for determining if your breath is rank is to ask someone. Friends or family members will probably be more than happy to render an honest opinion. Another way to test for bad breath is to wipe your tongue with a cotton ball and give it a whiff. Or go to a mirror, stick out your tongue, and see if it looks whitish. Ew! That’s accumulated bacteria, which produces the sulfur compounds that create halitosis.

Why do I have bad breath?

The most common reason people have bad breath is decaying food particles and bacterial growth in the mouth, especially on the tongue. If you have poor oral hygiene habits, the accumulation of food and bacteria will make your breath smell like you ate gym socks for lunch.

Continue reading Bad Breath 101: Why You Have It and How to Avoid It

Gum Disease and Heart Health

tooth-heartNearly 80% of American adults suffer from gum disease! Gum disease can devastate your oral health, causing serious dental problems. In fact, the number one reason for adult tooth loss in the United States is untreated gum disease. Worse, though, is the effect that gum disease can have on your heart health.

Research conducted recently found that patients who had suffered heart attacks also suffered from poor oral health, too. And the American Academy of Periodontology notes that people diagnosed with gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease. Continue reading Gum Disease and Heart Health

What Does Shark Week Have to Do With Gum Disease?

While Shark Week continues to strike fear into the hearts of Americans nation-wide, we’re keeping on our eye on another, more sinister threat: Gum Disease. We think gum disease is infinitely scarier than anything a silly ol’ shark can dish.


Take a look at these statistics and tell us if you agree.

Sharks: Chances of being attacked by a shark are one in 11.5 million
Gum Disease:
Chances of being attacked by gum disease are about one in three (conservatively)

Sharks : Account for less than 1% (way less) of annual deaths
Gum Disease
: Accounts for 70% of all tooth loss

Continue reading What Does Shark Week Have to Do With Gum Disease?

Smiles Needs Protecting When You’re Expecting

pregnancy healthGetting ready to welcome a new member into your family is an exciting time. Between much-needed rests (sustaining a growing baby saps a lot of your energy!), you focus on all sorts of preparations. You’ll decorate the nursery, attend check-up visits and sonogram appointments with your doctor, and some unfortunate soul will be tasked with the job of putting together the baby’s crib.

In the flurry of anticipation, don’t forget to take care of your teeth and gums. It’s likely more important now than ever to keep brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for preventive maintenance like professional cleanings and checkups. Studies suggest a link between gum disease and instances of premature births, as well as other pregnancy complications, so you want to keep a very close watch on your dental health during this most formative stage of your child’s development.

Swollen, bleeding gums are a common complaint for pregnant women, and it stems from the higher progesterone levels in your body. The increase of this hormone means your gums are more prone to irritation from plaque, which can quickly cause gingivitis. Continue reading Smiles Needs Protecting When You’re Expecting

Keep Smiling after 50

50 on the beachIf you’re over 50, you probably have new aches and pains every day. That’s just life. Sure, Madonna has graced the cover of AARP, but honestly, she probably has the same issues. Quality of life is the key to staying on top of your game once you’re over the hill… and a few miles down the path.

Oral health plays a big role in overall health, and overall health contributes to good quality of life. So, taking care of your mouth is important. The dentist can help keep your smile pearly white, super clean, and functioning comfortably, so you can retain your natural teeth long into your golden years, if not forever. (A dentist can even help with sleep disorders, chronic headaches, and TMJ pain!)

People over 50 should watch out for these common oral health hiccups:

Continue reading Keep Smiling after 50

5 Tips for Tip-Top Teeth

child_brushingDental caries (cavities) is the most prevalent childhood disease, and 90% of adults have had a cavity. Gum disease is responsible for 70% of adult tooth loss. A few simple habits could help you reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease – and improve your potential for keeping natural teeth long into your golden years. Kids and adults alike can benefit from these 5 quick and easy oral health tips. Some you’ve known since kindergarten, while others may be news. Continue reading 5 Tips for Tip-Top Teeth

FAQs: Women and Oral Health

Women and periodontal healthStatistics show that women are more likely to visit a dentist then men—but does this mean women have better oral health? Not necessarily. Women have specific oral health needs, and hormonal fluctuations throughout their lifetime can make them more susceptible to periodontal disease. Here are a few frequently asked questions concerning women’s oral health at various stages of life. Continue reading FAQs: Women and Oral Health

Important News for Patients with Diabetes

The link between gum disease and diabetes has been debated for some time. Researchers agree that the link exists, but the relationship is unclear. Are patients with diabetes more shutterstock_2010341susceptible to gum disease, or is it the other way around? In recognition of National Diabetes Month, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has released some new guidelines on oral health for people with diabetes.

According to recent studies, a two-way relationship exists between oral health and diabetes. Gum disease, an infection of the soft tissues that support the teeth, increases blood sugar levels, which elevates the risk of diabetic complications. Patients who already have diabetes are more susceptible to infection, and therefore, more likely to contract the disease. The bottom line? Everyone, especially diabetics, needs to pay close attention to his or her oral health. Continue reading Important News for Patients with Diabetes