Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

Do You Love Your Teeth? July 16, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 12:52 pm

Teeth are functional but they can also be beautiful. The purposes that teeth serve in our lives are not only daily occurrences, but they usually come up multiple times in a day if not all day long! Consider the following functions of teeth:

 Eating! Being able to chew up food and break it down so that your body can best extract the nutrients is the biological function of teeth. Without teeth, we would be very limited in what foods we could eat and could even risk becoming malnourished.

Smiling! We smile to show friendliness and express happiness to others. We smile in reaction to humor and during laughter. Smiling is a wonderful phenomenon, it feels good to give or receive a smile. The teeth are frequently exposed during a smile, and the bigger the smile, the more tooth it is likely to contain!

Speaking! Many of the sounds of human language use the teeth for their construction. When teeth are missing or malformed, it can make it a bit harder to communicate effectively when speaking.

So after giving some thought to the constant use of your teeth, don’t you love them? How do you love your teeth? Do you brush and floss daily? Do you get professional dental cleanings regularly? Do you wear your night guard, retainer, or sports mouth guard when needed? If you use false teeth, do you love them? Do you keep your denture in a safe place when not in use, clean it well, and take great care of your gums?

If you are careless with your teeth, whether they are natural or dentures, it could cause you to be without teeth for a period of time, and that sounds like no fun! So love your teeth and care for them too!

At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we love your teeth! We want to help you take great care of your smile by focusing on education and awareness, helping you keep up with your appointments, offering a variety of quality products, and more.  We do it all with a smile, because we love smiles! And we want you to love your smile… and your teeth!

 

Summer Smile Tips July 2, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 2:00 pm

Summer is here in full swing with many more backyard barbeques, vacations, days at the pools, and more in store for us. Here are just a few oral-health related tips to keep in mind to keep your smile bright:

Lavish With Lip Balm- Did you know the skin of your lips can sunburn too? You wear sunscreen when you’re going to be out in full sun for summer fun, so don’t forget your lips! Wear a lip balm with an SPF for 15 or higher. Protecting your lips can even help prevent sun-exposure-related cancers of the lips too.

Careful With The Condiments- barbeque sauce, ketchup, mustard, steak sauce… these fine features of any summer meal from the grill have an have a downside for your teeth- their deep, dark colors make them likely to stain your pearly whites and cast a shadow on your sunny smile! But don’t fret, it can take a lot of exposure over time to make a noticeable difference. Try drinking water between bites and after you finish eating to make sure your teeth are rinsed free of any lingering staining pigments and keep the exposure to a minimum.

Sip Though A Straw- A nice cold lemonade, soda, frozen drink, and other sugary and acidic beverages are even more appealing and popular in the hot weather as a cooling treat. Save your teeth some acid exposure and use a straw… most of these icy treats are great through a straw anyway! Bonus: anything deeply colored and liable to stain your teeth easily bypasses the front teeth when you use a straw too!

Floss Like A Boss- Standard fare at any barbeque can include the likes of ribs, chicken, corn on the cobb, pineapple…. Some of our favorite summer foods are notorious for getting stuck in between the teeth.  If they’re not flossed out, they can irritate the gums and the surrounding tissue can become red and swollen. Carry floss with you and go ahead and floss after you eat, as well as keeping up with your regular daily flossing routine.

Mind Your Mouthguard – If you or your child like to stay active with summer sports,and recreational activities, invest in a mouthguard.  A mouthguard can protect the teeth from chipping, breaking, or getting knocked out.  This is especially important with any type of physical contact, but also with things like biking and rollerblading.

At Mall of Georgia Dentistry we know that some of the best things in summer make us smile, and keeping your mouth healthy and happy makes for even more smiling! So just be aware of these ways to protect your smile while you enjoy your summer, then smile away!

 

Foods and Drinks That Stain Your Teeth June 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 6:24 pm

A pearly white smile may be considered a widely desirable feature, but achieving and maintaining that bright white grin may be hindered by your eating and drinking habits. Just about any colorful food or beverage can stain teeth, some worse than others, and unfortunately some of the most popular foods and beverages top the list of “most likely to stain your smile”. Check out some of the most common below:

-Coffee

-Tea

-Wine, especially red wine

-Cola/ dark-colored soft drinks

-Ketchup

-Mustard

-Berries and other intensely colored fruits and juices

-Soy sauce

-Tomato sauce

-Artificially colored things- candy, popsicles, sports drinks, etc.

Obviously all of these teeth-tainting items are really common and many are very popular – our meals, snacks, and drinks would not be so enjoyable without them. So what can we do about it? Keep reading…

Many of the worst-offending beverages can be consumed with a straw, which bypasses the front teeth and helps keep the staining pigments away. As for the solid foods and the beverages that just aren’t the same through a straw, try drinking water immediately afterward to rinse the teeth and minimize the amount of time that they are in contact with your pearly whites.

Get regular professional dental cleanings. The plaque and tartar that build up on teeth hold onto stains and pigments too, and often a profession scale and polish (the basics of a dental cleaning appointment) will do wonders for brightening up your smile.

Since some staining and discoloration is a normal part of living, bleaching treatments and whitening methods are a good option for many people to help undo some of the discoloration that can result from frequent consumption of tooth-staining foods and drinks. A carbamide peroxide-based treatment is generally the best on teeth and gives good results. Whitening toothpastes rely on abrasives to remove surface stains from the enamel, but they are damaging to the enamel and cannot lighten the dentin of the inner tooth, so we advise against using them.

Since it’s not a food or a drink, you wont find “smoking “ on the above list, but it is commonly known that tobacco products of all kinds are responsible for some of the absolute worst staining that can occur! It’s ideal to avoid ever starting, but if you already use tobacco and can quit, that is a great move towards whiter teeth.

Got a smile that isn’t as sparkly and bright as it used to be? At the Mall of Georgia Dentistry office, we offer several different whitening and bleaching methods and products. Just give us a call to discuss which one might be the best fit for you!

 

Why Is Sugar So Bad for Your Teeth? June 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 1:49 pm

As far back as you can remember, the association between candy, sweets, soda, and cavities has been declared over and over from all the experts on the topic… but have you ever stopped to wonder- what exactly is it about sugar that is so bad for your teeth? The truth is that sugar alone is not the direct cause of tooth decay- there is a sort of chain reaction that takes place, and sugar is a major catalyst. Lets look at the whole process a little more closely:

It all starts with bacteria… your mouth is full of bacteria that live there. They literally live there- eating, breeding, dying- a whole life cycle in the habitat of your mouth. They eating what you eat, and whenever you eat you feed them too. As with humans and most of the creatures we are familiar with, eating and taking in sustenance result in a process of extracting the nutrients from the substances consumed but creating waste products from the non-nutrient part of the consumed substances, and then the non-nutrient parts are excreted. In other words, eating results in excrement. Bacteria are no exception.
These mouth bacteria produce an excrement that is an acid substance. Acid has a negative impact on teeth because tooth enamel is weakened by acid- the molecular bonds that hold the hard crystalline mineral structure in place are disrupted by acid. While these bonds are weakened, tiny holes form, and if acids continue to dissolve the enamel, larger holes form. Over time, the acid can dig a hole straight through to the dentin!
Certain foods result in more excrement than others, and for bacteria, sugars and carbohydrates are the most acid-producing food that we consume… and furthermore, bacteria love these forms of fuel! Sugars and carbohydrates fuel their ability to multiply, increasing their numbers and helping them glue themselves together in a sticky yuck film known as plaque. This plaque is not easily washed away by saliva but goes on making lots of acid.
The very simple formula is that sugar+bacteria=acid, and it’s the acid that does the most harm to the teeth and makes them ripe for decay. So are the gears turning your brain… if sugar doesn’t result in tooth decay until the bacteria turn it into acid, then isn’t it the acid that is really so bad for your teeth? BINGO! Acid is a real enemy of tooth enamel! So while minimizing sugary and carby foods can help reduce the chances of decay, avoiding acidic foods is important too… sour can be as bad as sweet. Lemon juice and citrus, vinegar and pickles, soft drinks (including diet sodas!), energy drinks, fruits and fruit juices… these foods are best limited to meal times, and beverages can be sipped through a straw to help bypass the teeth.

It is possible to eat sugar and still avoid cavities if you take proper care of your teeth and don’t over-do-it with sweets, carbs, and acidic foods. Brushing and flossing daily are the best ways to remove and minimize plaque and keep it in check. Brush and floss thoroughly and visit the dentist regularly too for a professional cleaning and to check for any cavities so they can be treated before they get really bad or cause pain. And at Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we believe education and prevention are the best medicine! So get your brush on 2x2minutes a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and once daily floss floss floss… use a “c” shape and go gently up and down each tooth’s inner surface. Limiting sugary foods and making water the main beverage are good choices for your teeth too… put all this on the list of things that make your teeth smile!

 

Periodontal Measurements May 20, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 3:23 pm

So you come in for a dental exam and the dentist or hygienist is poking around all of your teeth and typing or calling out numbers… what is up with that? This is periodontal charting – they are taking a measurement of the suculus, or periodontal pocket depth. There is a natural space or “pocket” between the gums and the side tooth surface around each tooth (called the suculus), and the dept of these pockets says a lot about your oral health.

A deep pocket usually becomes an easy place for oral bacteria to hide and take up residence. These bacteria, over time, cause inflammation and damage to the surrounding tissues. Here are how those measurement relate to various categories of periodontal fitness or disease:

A normal pocket dept is 1-3 millimeters. The surrounding gum tissue will be pink or coral in color and firm, resilient, and healthy. Healthy gums will not bleed.

The presence of inflamed gums and bleeding gums, can indicate gingivitis and usually pocket depths will be 3-4 millimeters. Supporting bone is still intact at this stage.

Pocket depth or 4-5mm indicates a slight periodontitis. Inflammation of the surrounding tissue and slight bone loss are indicated., but teeth will likely not be lose at this stage.

A 5-6mm reading will indicate moderate periodontitis and a more serve level of bone and tissue destruction. Slight tooth mobility may be seen.

Severe periodontitis will exhibit 7mm pockets (or more), as much of the supporting bone has been lost and tooth mobility will be extreme. Eventual tooth loss is common at this stage.

Taking these measurements help determine the periodontal condition of your teeth and helps the dental care team determine what treatments will best improve or maintain the health and vitality of your teeth, gums, and bone. Special procedure, deep cleanings, medications, mouthwashes, or toothpastes may be recommended for deeper pocket depths, as well as maintaining a proper home hygiene routine.

Recommendations for maintaining an already healthy mouth is typically to consistently brush twice daily for two full minutes with a soft-bristled brush, and pay special attention to brushing along the gum line at a 45-degree angle. As well as flossing at least once per day, using a “C” shape and going all the way up and down each inner surface several times to thoroughly clean each side of each tooth.

At Mall of Georgia Dentistry we want to help you keep your teeth and mouth as a hole as healthy as can be, and these measurement are an essential part of making the best treatment plan for you. It’s all part of keeping your mouth healthy and your smile bright!

 

Why wear a bite guard? May 7, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 10:44 am

Your jaw is capable of exerting a tremendous amount of force, up to 1200 pounds of pressure! That’s pretty amazing, right? But when you clench or grind your teeth, that is bad news. And since most clenching and grinding is done at night while you are asleep, you may be unaware of it, and since you are not conscious you are unable to do anything about it unless you take precautions while you are awake. A few common problems that can arise from clenching and grinding (also called bruxism) can include:

-Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth

-Wearing down of the enamel, resulting in a shortening of the teeth over time and/or flat teeth

-Broken restorations (failed fillings, crowns or veneers falling off, broken bonding)

-Loose or sensitive teeth

-Toothache from bruised teeth, injury deep into the tooth root where the nerves are

-Grinding, clanking, or clicking sounds during sleep heard by sleep partner, jaw movement seen by sleep partner

-Jaw joint problems, TMD (temporomandibular disorders)

-Headache, ear aches, facial pain

Indications that you are grinding your teeth can include any of the above problems and more.

Wearing a bite guard can resolve many of the issues caused by bruxism and clenching. Instead of teeth-on-teeth friction, with two hard surfaces grinding against each other, wearing a bite guard places a protective layer of plastic in between. A bite guard is designed to take the force of the jaw, distribute it, and absorb much of it, providing protection for your teeth and taking the load off the jaw and surrounding areas.

Wearing a bite guard is an essential part of taking care of your teeth. Much bruxism is caused by stress, so finding ways to relax and handle the stresses of life may also help reduce the problem. Clenching and grinding is very, very common since most people have lives that include a fair amount of stress in our modern hectic world. And it’s a good idea to mention that while most people usually clench and grind at night, some people do so during the day as well, so bite guards can be worn during the day. Some people do in fact need that.

At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, Dr. Vancil will inspect your teeth and examine your jaw for any signs of clenching and grinding and discuss your bite guard options with you. Wearing a bite guard doesn’t only protect your teeth… since it can help reduce your chances of dental injury or jaw distress, it might also save you time and money by preventing the need for expensive dental restorations and improving your quality of life… and that’s something to smile about!

 

Taking Care of Your Sports Mouth Guard April 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 5:04 pm

April is National Facial Protection Month, but the importance of wearing helmets and mouth guards for physical activities can’t be stressed enough at any time of the year. Luckily, we’ve noticed that most of our patients are already well aware that facial protection is an essential part of any sporting activity. So you’ve already got a sports mouth guard… now, how to keep it in the best shape so it can serve its purpose most effectively? Put these care tips to use:

-Clean your mouth guard after each use. If possible, scrub it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste or a tiny bit of very mild soap. If you are not able to wash it that thoroughly right away, at least give it a good thorough rinsing with cold water. Avoid hot water though, as heat can warp it.

-Do not leave it in the sun, since, as stated above, heat can warp the plastic. So don’t store it in the trunk of the car (or any place hot) along with the rest of your sporting equipment, or in the glove box, or in direct sunlight.

-Store your mouth guard in an appropriate container. You want a hard well-ventilated container. A hard sturdy container will help to protect it from physical harm, while ventilation holes or vents will allow it to dry out thoroughly between uses. Most sports guards come with this type of container, and you should be able to find one at your local drugstore if it wasn’t included.

-Soaking your appliance in Listerine or any good antiseptic mouthwash occasionally can help to clean and disinfect it and remove stains and odors.

-Frequently inspect your mouth guard for wear and tear. Look for rips, tears, and holes that may affect the fit or the ability to protect your teeth and surrounding tissue.

-Finally, do not abandon it in an empty parking lot, like poor example pictured. It’s not possible to have it with you and in your mouth protecting your teeth during your sporting events and practices if you lose it, silly! Taking good care of it also means keeping it in a safe place at the ready for use when needed. But life happens, so if you do lose it, just get a replacement right away!

mouthguardparkinglot

Wearing a mouth guard can help save the pain and expense of repairing an injury, and dentist-fabricated customized mouth guards offers the best protection of all. But whatever type of mouth guard you use, take care of it so it can take care of your teeth. And please do bring it along to any appointments you have so Dr. Vancil or someone on the Mall of Georgia Dentistry team can look it over for you too. #brushfosssmile and #wearyourmouthguard!  :)

 

 
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