Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

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

 

How to Pick a Toothpaste September 14, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 7:36 pm

Do you ever scan the shelves at your local grocery store’s or mega store’s toothpaste isle and feel overwhelmed by the variety and selection? Cavity control or tartar control? Whitening, sensitive… the list goes on. There is just so much variety- how do you know which one is best for you?

Most of the time, there’s really nothing special in the packages with the catchy terminology, like “anti-cavity” or “cavity protection”. All fluoride-containing toothpastes (and you’d be really hard pressed to find one that isn’t!) are going to offer a degree of cavity protection. Unless you are talking about special remineralizing toothpastes that you won’t find on store shelves (like MI Paste and Clinpro) then generally, any variety that contains fluoride will be as “anti-cavity” as the next.

It’s best to avoid “whitening” toothpastes since they usually contain abrasive that can wear down enamel over time. And they aren’t very effective at removing stains or whitening the tooth because the tooth shade lies inside, in the dentin, where toothpaste can’t reach.

If you have sensitive teeth or if you are doing some at-home bleaching that is causing sensitivity, then you may want to look for a sensitive toothpaste that contains Potassium Nitrate. This ingredient can help soothe the nerves inside the teeth and reduce sensitivity.

So, mostly all that fancy packaging and specific terminology is just marketing.  A sensitive toothpaste is a good idea for anyone with sensitive teeth, and pass on the “whitening” toothpastes.  If you are quite cavity-prone and think you might require a little something extra, then give our office a call. We have products like MI Paste and Clinpro available at Mall of Georgia dentistry and we’d be happy to talk to you about those and other options. . Otherwise, even your basic low-priced bottom-shelf variety of toothpaste will fit the bill. So don’t worry about getting one with glittery packaging and a lists of promises.  Just pick one you like it and use it twice a day for two minutes with a nice soft brush, and then smile away!

 

Do you have TMD? September 5, 2014

Filed under: Dental health — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:40 pm

If you suffer from chronic facial and neck pain as well as recurring headaches the pain may be due to Temporomandibular Disorder, or TMD.

Symptoms of TMD include:

  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Pain, ringing, or stuffiness in the ears
  • Frequent headaches or neck aches
  • Clicking or popping sound when the jaw moves
  • Swelling on the sides of the face
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw area
  • A change in the alignment of top and bottom teeth
  • Locked jaw or limited opening of the mouth

Should you notice any of these symptoms, let your doctor know. Your dentist can help indicate the presence of TMD, and create an effective treatment just for you.  You’ll find some steps you can take to lessen the severity of TMD or help prevent it altogether here.

Call us with any questions.

Mall of Georgia Dentistry

 

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

 

 
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