Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

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

 

Braces? Here are some tips for keeping your teeth clean while you wear them July 25, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 10:00 am
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Oral hygiene is especially important when you are wearing orthodontic hardware, aka “braces”.  They make cleaning your teeth much more difficult.  However it is very important that you clean your teeth as well as possible to prevent both cavities and gum disease while you are wearing your braces.   Here are a few tips on how to do that.

Brushing – Make sure you clean both above and below the wire.  Use a soft multi tufted microfine bristle brush that will reach all the necessary areas.  Be sure to brush the gum line.  Brush the chewing surfaces.  Ensure as you brush that you do so both above and below the wire as well as on both the cheek and gum side of the teeth.

Flossing – Its a little harder but very important.  You can floss with special floss holders and threaders.  You may also want to consider “interdental brushes”.  And finally you may want to consider a pick that sprays water under pressure as another way to clean between teeth with braces.

Fluoride – What you don’t want to happen while wearing braces is decay and “decalcification”, i.e. the early loss of tooth enamel.  One of the best ways to prevent both of those conditions is to use a fluoride toothpaste.

Mouthrinses – A good, over-the-counter mouth rinse will help reduce bioflim and gum inflammation.  Use it regularly when you clean your teeth.

If you faithfully follow these recommendations, you’ll reduce the possibility of tooth decay and gum disease.  And when the braces come off you’ll not only have a beautiful smile, but a healthy one as well.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

Sensitive Teeth July 17, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 1:29 pm

Sensitive teeth can be a real downer. It’s no fun when all those yummy hot, cold, and sweet foods and drinks reach the tooth nerve and cause pain. This happens when the dentin inside the tooth becomes exposed, such as from receding gums or thinned enamel. Things that may lead to sensitive teeth include:

  • Brushing too hard. Using a hard–bristled brush or brushing too hard or incorrectly can wear down enamel and expose the dentin. It can even cause gingival recession, exposing the tooth root and opening the door to the nerves of the teeth.
  • Enamel erosion. Brushing too hard can contribute to erosion, as can using abrasive tooth pastes such as “whitening” toothpastes, and acid consumption -too many acidic foods and drinks can weaken enamel and contribute to enamel erosion.
  • Receding gums. As stated above, receding gums can be caused by brushing too hard, but it can also be caused by periodontal disease as a result of continuous improper dental hygiene, or sometimes have other causes such as orthodontia.
  • Gingivitis. Inflamed and sore gums can expose the root surface of the tooth, providing a direct route to the nerve.
  • Cavities. Tooth decay that is deep enough into the dentin or that occurs near the gum line commonly results in sensitivity.
  • Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Broken or cracked teeth harbor bacteria that can make their way to the tooth pulp and result in inflammation, pain, and sensitivity.
  • Bleaching. Teeth whitening products have a reputation for causing temporary sensitivity in many people.
  • Bruxism. Grinding or clenching your teeth can wear away enamel, exposing underlying dentin.
  • Dental procedures. Temporary sensitivity can occur following procedures such as a cleaning or root planing, or crowns and other restorations. It usually goes away in 4 to 6 weeks.

To reduce the chances of tooth sensitivity occurring, maintain an excellent oral hygiene routine, brushing properly with a soft-bristled toothbrush gently but thoroughly with focus along the gum line at a 45-degree angle for two minutes twice a day, and flossing at least once per day. Avoid abrasives like so-called “whitening” toothpastes, but use a fluorinated toothpaste. Keep up with your dental check ups and cleanings every 6 months, and wear a bite guard regularly if you grind your teeth. If you are doing whitening treatment, special sensitive toothpastes such as Sensodyne can help.

If you have been experiencing tooth sensitivity, we know it can really cramp your style smile… feel free to talk to our office about your situation and let us help you get smiling again!

 

 
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