Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

Best and Worst Halloween Candy October 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 7:57 pm

It’s late October and Halloween is on the mind. Most of us are looking forward to Trick-or-Treating, so let’s talk candy and how to keep treats from playing mean tricks on your teeth!

The worst Halloween candies are the ones that stick to your teeth. Things like caramels, gummies, and taffy cling to the teeth and are hard to remove. As the sugar sits on your teeth, it’s feeding the bacteria in your mouth and producing enamel-eroding acids. Then there’s the sour candies… sour candies contain acidic ingredients to give them the sour taste, so they already contain acids before the bacteria even get to work on them. Of course, sour candies and that are also sticky and chewy are the worst of the worst.

The best candies are sugar-free hard candies and gum, especially if they use xylitol as the sweetener. Xylitol has an anti-cavity effect. Plain chocolate is also a fairly good choice. Chocolate melts and washes off the teeth more easily than most other sugary Halloween-night goodies.

It is a good idea is to eat candy at meal times or in one limited sitting and follow it by drinking plenty of water to rinse and wash off the teeth. The more frequently you eat candy, the more often you would introduce sugar to the bacteria that love to turn it into acid, so the idea is to keep those times few and far between rather than constantly grazing over the day.

Thanks to the bacteria that live in your mouth, sugar can be hard on your teeth, but you don’t have to avoid all treats! Just be moderate and smart about it, and take great care of your teeth with an impeccable home hygiene routine and regular dental visits. Dr. Vanci and the Mall of Georgia Dentistry team want all our patients and friends to have a really smiley Halloween!


Oral health helps the whole body October 24, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 11:35 am

Athletes are taught from an early age to take care of their body. Without good care, they’ll not be as competitive as they might be. They know if they’re not fit, they have less chance of success. And those going to the Olympics face a serious set of challenges. It takes years and years of preparation, An intensive training regimen, and a long series of trials before anyone can qualify for the Olympics.

But a recent study done of athletes at the 2012 London Olympic Games revealed one part of total health that seems to have been overlooked.

“Oral health is important for well-being and successful elite sporting performance,” says Professor Ian Needleman of the Eastman Dental Institute, part of University College in London. “many professional athletes do not have sufficient support for their oral health needs.”

In a study of athletes at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Dr. Needleman’s group found that over half of the participants had dental caries (tooth decay), three-quarters had gingivitis (early gum disease), and that 15% showed signs of periodonitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Furthermore, 18% of the athletes said they thought poor oral health was negatively impacting their training or performance.

Dr. Needleman points out that poor oral health doesn’t just impact an athlete’s confidence or comfort level. “infection in the mouth, four instance from periodontal disease, increases the level of inflammation in the rest of the body, and this can impair performance as well as increase the risk of injury.”

The point, of course, is that oral health is a very important part of your whole health. No matter how hard they train, even elite athletes can hurt their performance by not addressing their oral health. And that’s true for all of us. So make your oral health a priority and it will also help your overall body’s health as well.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry


What’s the Matter with Malocclusion? October 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 1:46 pm

Malocclusion is misalignment of the way the teeth fit together, such as with crowding, gaps, overbite or underbite, rotated or twisted teeth, or other problems with the “bite” or way the teeth align and occlude. Although a large part of malocclusion is genetic and inherited, certain activities can contribute to it. Here are a few things, including some that you should be sure to avoid or to discourage in your children, that can contribute to malocclusion:

  • Prolonged use of pacifier or bottle after infancy
  • Thumb sucking
  • Abnormal or impacted teeth
  • Trauma or injury
  • Improperly fitted dental restoration or orthodontic devices
  • Other medical or developmental disorders of the mouth or face

To help prevent or minimize malocclusion, parents are encouraged to limit pacifier or bottle use and thumb sucking to help prevent them for causing changes in jaw. Beginning treatment to correct malocclusion early is helpful in minimizing symptoms and problems. Malocclusion may cause symptoms such as discomfort when chewing or biting, bruxism, speech or breathing problems, altered facial appearance, a misaligned appearance of the teeth, as well as other long-term effects that can compromise the health and integrity of teeth. Some examples of that would be bruising and nerve injury or nerve death for teeth that receive the brunt of the bite force of the jaw over time, or increased risk of caries between crowded teeth that are difficult to clean around properly.

Treatment for malocclusion may include braces or orthodontic procedures, extractions, placement or replacement of dental restorations, and in some severe cases, jaw surgery or wiring. Seeking orthodontic treatment with a focus on occlusion as well as appearance of the teeth is usually the best treatment for most cases.

Since Dr. Vancil is very aware of the problems that can arise from a “bad bite”, he is a serious proponent of the importance of proper occlusion…. don’t be surprised about how much you can learn about it at Mall of Georgia Dentistry! So if you have any questions or concerns about malocclusion, give our office a call and see if we can help improve you or your child’s smile!


Sensitive teeth tips October 10, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 9:08 am

Did you know the American Dental Association found that one in eight adults suffer from sensitive tooth pain?  That’s the pain triggered by eating or drinking cold, hot, acidic or sweet foods or liquids.

There are a number of causes.  As we mentioned last week, bruxism – clenching and grinding of teeth – can lead to sensitivity.  So can overzealous brushing of your teeth.  And some people notice sensitivity after whitening procedures.

The biggest cause of sensitivity, however, is gum recession.  That’s when gum tissue is lost and exposes the surface of the root of the tooth.  That leaves the nerve in the tooth more susceptible to pain triggers such as hot and cold.

What can one do to help ease the sensitivity?  First be more gentle when you brush.  And you may want to try a tooth past made to address the sensitivity problem.  The key ingredient is potassium nitrate.  It may take a few weeks to feel the helpful effects, but keep at it.  Secondly, if you drink acidic foods or drink (fruit, orange juice, coffee), have a drink of water immediately afterward to rinse the majority of acid out of your mouth.  Don’t brush immediately.  Wait at least 10 or 15 minutes.

If you’re doing in-home whitening, take a break.  They can alter the physical structure of your teeth and help increase sensitivity.  Finally, consider a night guard to decrease the effect of clenching and grinding your teeth. That will also help decrease that effect on tooth sensitivity.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us, we’ll be glad to review sensitivity with you.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry


Bruxism Basics September 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 9:59 pm

Bruxism, or grinding your teeth…  What causes it? How does it affect your dental health? What can be done about it? Let’s take a look:

The cause of bruxism is not always entirely clear, but in most cases bruxism is believed to be an unconscious reaction to stress or anxiety. Common, everyday life stress factors are thought to be the main cause for most people. Certain dental problems like malocclusion and some medications can also cause bruxism.

Bruxism can be very detrimental to your teeth. The force exerted by the jaw is more than typically required to chew food yet the contact is teeth on teeth. This can wear away enamel, crack and break teeth, bruise the roots of teeth and cause all kinds of havoc that can result in tooth loss and/or expensive restorations. Bruxism can also cause cosmetic issues and lead to TMJ disorders and headaches.

Treating bruxism is usually as simple as wearing a bite guard as needed.  The majority or sufferers only clench and grind at night, but some people also wear theirs during the day if they find the stresses of life are unconsciously taken out on their teeth all day long. A bite guard cushions and protects the teeth from grinding against each other and distributes the force to minimize the impact. Boil-and-bite/over-the-counter bite guards are affordable and easily obtainable, but typically wear out in a few months. Pricier custom-made ones can last years. Rarely, certain patients with bruxism can benefit from muscle relaxers or other oral or injectable medications. Sometimes some patients can be helped by orthodontia if there are bite issues that contribute to bruxism.  Healthy lifestyle and relaxation techniques can help reduce stress factors that lead to bruxism. Bite guards are generally the most beneficial in most cases.

Whatever the cause of bruxism, it can be extremely hard on your teeth and is worth the investment to treat it.  Dr. Vancil is very familiar with the symptoms of bruxism and constantly strives to help raise patient awareness of any signs or effects of grinding as well as recommend a course of action. Patients are also encouraged to contact us for more information if desired. The entire Mall of Georgia Dentistry staff is aware of how treating bruxism can help our patients maintain the healthiest and happiest smile!


A word about premedication before dental visits September 26, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 3:27 pm

If you have certain medical conditions, your doctor may call for you to take an antibiotic dose prior to many dental procedures – such as a cleaning.  That’s because there is a risk that the bacteria in your mouth could accidentally be introduced into your bloodstream and cause an infection for a small number of patients with specific heart conditions:

  • Artificial heart valves.
  • A history of an infection of the lining of the heart or heart valves known as infective endocarditis.
  • A heart transplant in which a problem develops with one of the valves inside the heart.
  • Heart conditions that are present from birth:
    • Unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, including people with palliative shunts and conduit.
    • Defects repaired with a prosthetic material or device—whether placed by surgery or catheter intervention—during the first six months after repair.
    • Cases in which a heart defect has been repaired, but a residual defect remains at the site or adjacent to the site of the prosthetic patch or prosthetic device used for the repair.

In the past, patients with artificial joints were also prescribed antibiotics before a dental visit. But:

In 2012, the ADA and American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons updated the recommendations and no longer recommend antibiotics for everyone with artificial joints. As a result, your healthcare provider may rely more on your personal medical history to determine when antibiotics are appropriate for people with orthopedic implants. For example, antibiotic prophylaxis might be useful for patients who also have compromised immune systems (due to, for instance, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, chemotherapy, and chronic steroid use), which increases the risk of orthopedic implant infection. If you have a heart condition or an orthopedic implant, talk with your dentist or physician about whether antibiotic prophylaxis before dental treatment is right for you.

The fact that the ADA and AAOS no longer recommend antibiotics doesn’t mean you may not need to take them.  That is for you and your doctor decide.  The reason for the decision to forego premedication with antibiotics is due to the growing problem with antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

If you have any questions about this, please contact us or your doctor to ensure whether or not antibiotic premedication is appropriate for you.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry


Toothache remedies through the ages September 19, 2014

Filed under: Dentistry — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 10:18 am

Tooth aches have been with us throughout the history of mankind. And mankind has found A number of ways to deal with them.

In Egypt, Egyptians wore amulets in order to prevent toothaches. If that didn’t work, the protocol was to apply a dead mouse to the affected area.

The Romans had quite a different approach to curing toothaches. One Roman writer, Pliny, advised rubbing the bad tooth with the brains of a dogfish boiled in oil. If that didn’t work, he recommended catching up frog under a full moon and spitting in it’s mouth while commanding the toothache to go away.

In the 17th century, conventional wisdom dictated that the “tooth worm” was the cause of cavities. And while noone ever found a tooth worm, there were numerous remedies offered to try and rid the mouth of these mythical creatures.

Thankfully we live in a modern era where we know what causes toothaches and cavities and can offer relatively pain free relief.  And we promise – no dogfish brains.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry



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