Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

How do dental implants work? August 29, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:45 pm
Dental implants are one of the newest innovations in modern dentistry.  As the name implies, it is “implanted” in the jaw to take the place of a tooth that is broken or decayed and functions exactly like the tooth it is replacing.  The dental implant is topped with a crown, and if you didn’t know any better you’d never be able to tell the difference between it and a real tooth.
 
But how do implants work? After all, a tooth has been removed from the jaw and replaced with a metal implant.  How in the world can that end up stabilizing and replacing the tooth that was lost?
 
The body initiates a process called osseointegration (“osseo” – bone, “integration” – fusion with).   If we’re talking about a front tooth, the tooth socket is cone shaped.  The implant penetrates the apex of that socket and is affixed to the bone in the area.  Kind of like placing a screw in a previously drilled wooden hole that’s too large.  The only way to stabilize it is to screw it into the wood beyond the screw’s original reach.  
 
The implant is very carefully placed and stabilized.  Then the process of osseointegration begins.  In about 2 months the bone will fill the remaining gap and heal by fusing to the implant.
 
Implant patients must be careful during that period, but once the osseointegration is complete, the implant and crown will function as any other tooth in the patient’s mouth.
 
If you have any questions about implants, make sure to give us a call.  We’d love to discuss them with you.
 
 

Maintiang Your Bite Guard With Some TLC August 28, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:58 pm

Bite guards are one of the best ways to help save your smile from some of life’s hard knocks. Whether you have a night guard for bruxism or a sports mouth guard (or both!), and whether it’s over-the-counter or a custom-made one, you can get the most out of it by taking good care of it. Here are some tips for caring for your night guard or mouth guard:

  • Rinse your bite guard or mouth guard well with cool water before and after use. It’s a great idea brush it with a toothbrush and toothpaste and rinse daily.
  • Never use hot water on your bite guard, it can soften the plastic and cause it to warp and no longer fit properly.
  • Store your bite guard in its case if it has one, or a clean well-ventilated container that is sturdy enough to protect it. The cases they come with are designed to protect but also provide air circulation. Do not store a bite guard or mouth guard in an enclosed place while damp. A damp bite guard, even if clean, can be susceptible to bacterial growth if kept damp and not allowed to dry.
  • Clean your bite guard case about once a week. The case can be washed with soap and hot water. Dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel or allow it to air dry completely before placing your bite guard inside.
  • Do not store your bite guard in a hot place (such as in your luggage in the trunk of a car, or in your checked baggage on a plane during summer time). The car interior or carry-on baggage are better options for transporting your bite guard. Also, some bathrooms can get hot and steamy, so a nightstand is thought to be safer place to keep a night guard. Sports mouth guards should not be stored outdoors or in a very hot garage or car.
  • If you want, you can soak your bite guard in antiseptic mouthwash about once a week (or as often as you like) to disinfect it and give it a nice minty-freshness.
  • Inspect your bite guard frequently for any damage or wear and tear. You can also bring it to your dental appointment for your dental provider to look over for you.

Wearing a night guard and sports mouth guard helps to maintain the health and beauty of your smile. Make taking great care of your mouth guard a part of your regular brushing and flossing routine to get the most out of your investment in your smile!

 

Sports and Your Smile August 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 4:36 pm

No one wants an injury to spoil the fun of a beloved sport! Get the most fun and safety out of practices and games by wearing a mouth guard, or equipping your sports-loving child with one. Using a good mouth guard to protect your teeth can make sports participation more enjoyable by preventing or mitigating mouth and tooth injuries. It’s a basic piece of equipment that is essential gear for any physical activity, from organized sports like football to activities and hobbies like skateboarding.

There are three basic types of sports mouth guards: stock, boil and bite, and custom-fitted. Let’s look at each type:

  • Stock – Stock mouth guards are pre-formed and ready to wear, but they don’t fit very well, and a poorly fitted mouth guard is not as effective at protecting the teeth. They are also bulky, which, along with the poor fit, can greatly interfere breathing and talking.
  • Boil and bite – ‘Boil and bite” mouth guards can be obtained at sporting goods stores and other retailers. They are submerged in very hot boiled water to soften the plastic, then bitten while soft, which then forms the plastic to the shape of the mouth and teeth. These offer a much better fit and better protection than stock mouth guards
  • Custom-fitted – Custom-fitted mouth guards are made at the dentist office after taking impressions of the teeth. The dentist has the tools and equipment to fabricate a mouth guard that is smooth and sized with the most comfort and best protection in mind. They are more expensive than the other mouth guard options, but they offer the best fit and greater comfort and durability. You can also get them in custom colors and show team spirit while protecting your teeth!

Although injury can still occur even with a mouth guard, the added layer of protection is capable of shielding the teeth and surrounding tissue from the force of many types of collisions, falls, and accidents. Any mouth guard that fits properly can help protect your mouth. The custom fitted are ideal and the most highly recommended, but the boil and bite are a good option as well. While a stock mouth guard is preferable to no mouth guard at all, the other two are certainly better options.

If you have questions about mouth guards or want to know more about obtaining a custom-fitted one from Mall of Georgia Dentistry, give our office a call. We are always happy to help protect a smile!

 

Study: Athletes chance of concussion less with custom mouthguard August 15, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 11:19 am

As we approach football season and the beginning of other sports as well, a recent study points to how parents can lessen the risk of concussion among student athletes:

When it comes to buying a mouthguard, parents who want to reduce their child’s risk of a sports-related concussion should visit a dentist instead of a sporting goods store.

High school football players wearing store-bought, over-the-counter (OTC) mouthguards were more than twice as likely to suffer mild traumatic brain injures (MTBI)/concussions than those wearing custom-made, properly fitted mouthguards, reports a new study in the May/June 2014 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

“Researchers and, most importantly, parents, are looking for ways to better protect children against concussions,” said lead author Jackson Winters, DDS, a pediatric dentist who also served as a high school and collegiate football official for 28 years. “Consumers may believe that today’s advanced helmet design provides sufficient protection, but our research indicates that, when compared to over-the-counter versions, a custom-made, properly fitted mouthguard also is essential to player safety.”

The study followed 412 players from six high school football teams. Three teams (220 athletes) were randomly assigned to wear custom-made mouthguards, and three teams (192 athletes) wore standard OTC mouthguards of their own choosing. All players wore the same style of football helmet.

According to the study, 8.3 percent of athletes in the OTC mouthguard group suffered MTBI/concussion injuries. For those with custom-made mouthguards, however, the rate was only 3.6 percent.

If you are in need of such a custom mouthguard, we can help.  Call us with your questions and we’ll be glad to answer them. Make sure your child is protected while they enjoy sports.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

Gingivitis linked with atheriosclerosis August 8, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:28 pm

Recent research has found a link between a bacteria that causes gingivitis and atheriorsclerosis:

Chronic oral infection with the periodontal disease pathogen, Porphyromonas gingivalis, not only causes local inflammation of the gums leading to tooth loss but also is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis. A new study reveals how the pathogen evades the immune system to induce inflammation beyond the oral cavity.

If you’re wondering what the difference between “arteriosclerosis” and “atheriosclerosis” is, the Mayo Clinic explains:

Arteriosclerosis occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body (arteries) become thick and stiff — sometimes restricting blood flow to your organs and tissues. Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic, but over time, the walls in your arteries can harden, a condition commonly called hardening of the arteries.

Atherosclerosis is a specific type of arteriosclerosis, but the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaques), which can restrict blood flow.

So the same bacteria that causes gingivitis may also be a cause of a buildup of the plaque in your arteries which can lead to atheriosclerosis.

That’s why brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing at least once a day is so important.  It doesn’t allow this bacteria to establish itself in you gums and cause gingivitis.  And gingivitis, untreated, appears to have even more dire consequences for your system than just the possibility of developing periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Practice good oral habits and you’ll find that the consequences are much wider than just clean sparkling teeth and healthy gums.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

Back to School and Dental Awareness August 3, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 4:16 pm

As kids and teens head back to fill the halls and classrooms (and football fields and lunchrooms…) of educational institutions, here are a few dental-related thoughts to help make sure they can get the best out of their learning experience:

Pack tooth-friendly foods as snacks. Avoid sticky or sugary foods and carbs that stick to the teeth.  Fruit snacks and dried fruits are sticky and cling to the teeth…. So are dry carbs like saltine crackers and pretzels! Better options are low-acid fresh fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses. Cheese can actually balance out an acidic pH!

Wear a mouth guard for most physical activities. Make sure you equip your child with a well-fitting mouth guard for after school sports practices and even physical education classes, since many types of fitness activities can cause falls and facial injuries.

Get regular cleanings and checkups. Making sure to maintain a 6-month routine check up regime is important for helping keep teeth in ideal shape and nip any problems in the bud before they turn into bigger issues. And on that note:

Get fillings and other recommended dental work done in a timely manner.  Untreated decay can turn into pain that can result in poor school performance and unplanned absences. Toothaches and dental emergencies are responsible for an estimated 2.26 million missed school days each year.

Fortify with fluoride. Fluoride during the school-aged years help strengthen the mineral composition of the enamel in developing teeth, which shores up the natural cavity defenses of the teeth. Use fluoride toothpaste and get fluoride treatments at routine dental visits.

Take advantage of sealants. Sealants help prevent decay by sealing up the tiny creases and crevices in the chewing surfaces of molars- those tiny cracks that are easily packed with bacteria-fueling food particles but hard to clean. This is best done when teeth are newly erupted as they are in school-aged children, tweens, and teens.

At Mall of Georgia Dentistry we know so many of our patients are students or parents of students. These are just a few tips and reminders for keeping your child or teen’s teeth in tip-top shape while getting back into the school year groove, and beyond. We hope you have an awesome school year – one that puts a smile on your face every day!

 

Helping your teeth survive energy and sports drinks August 1, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:25 pm

30 – 50% of adolescents and young adults con sure energy drinks and 51 – 62% drink at least one sport drink a day.  Both are highly acidic and tend to attack and deplete tooth enamel.  So what, other than not drinking them at all, can one do to help diminish the effect of these acidic drinks on our teeth?

Well, how about a few sensible precautions?

First, if you’re going to drink one, wait till mealtime if possible.  Your saliva needs about 30 to 60 minutes to neutralize the acid in your mouth.  Saliva is much more abundant during meals than in between.  Letting your saliva work during a meal helps lessen the effect of a sport or energy drink.

Secondly, since the pH of water is neutral, its a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after drinking one of those drinks.  Simply swish it around lie you would a mouthwash to help reduce the acid left by the drink.

Finally, wait about an hour to brush you teeth.  The reason you need to wait is the acid in the drinks can soften (demineralize) the enamel.  Brushing too soon could lead to a loss of that enamel.

These tips also apply to soft drinks and juices (or any other acidic drinks).  Taking these precautions will help you lessen any harm acidic drinks might do to your teeth.

If you have any questions about this, give us a call.  We’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

 
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