Mall of Georgia Dentistry's Blog

"Making you smile from the inside out"

Heart Health and Oral Health… what is the link? February 11, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 3:01 pm

Research is constantly uncovering new associations between various health conditions, heart health and oral health among them.  Studies have not definitively proven a mechanism for how gingivitis, periodontitis, or poor gum health may actually cause or contribute to diseases of the heart and vascular system, meaning the official word on the subject is still “inconclusive”, but study findings are alarming and worthy of consideration.  A consensus review over 100 studies determined there seems to be a relationship between heart heath and oral health. Here are a few of the findings:

  • Gum disease by itself appears to be a risk factor for coronary artery disease.
  • Gum diseases is an inflammatory condition, and the bio-markers of inflammation are a major indicator of heart attack risk.
  • A link was found between clogged arteries in the legs and gum disease.
  • Though gum disease itself hasn’t been directly linked to stroke, gum disease is an important risk factor for diseases of the vessels and arteries that are responsible for the blood supply the brain, which is a risk factor for stroke.
  • The same bacteria found in gum disease are found in blood vessels that are going through atherosclerosis (hardening).

So be diligent with your oral hygiene routine : brush twice per day and floss daily, and get regular cleanings and checkups.
Let us know if we at Mall of Georgia Dentistry can help you with any aspect of maintaining a healthy smile. Come see us for regular cleanings and checkups, especially if you have periodontal conditions. If having great oral health isn’t a reward enough by itself, consider how your heart might benefit!

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Why do wisdom teeth so frequently need to be removed? January 27, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 2:02 pm

Most people develop one or more third molars- also know as wisdom teeth- usually in the late teens. They are notorious for becoming impacted instead erupting properly. If that is the case, having them removed is absolutely necessary to prevent painful problems.
Reasons for removing wisdom teeth can include:
•    The jaw may not be large enough for them. They may not have room to break through your gums and take their place among the other teeth.
•    They may erupt only partway, with gum tissue covering over part of them. This makes a trap for food particles and bacteria which can and lead to painful infection.
•    Often, one or more wisdom teeth comes in at the wrong angle, such as sideways, or with the top of the tooth facing to either side, which will not result in a functional tooth but can cause pain and problems.

Removal of impacted wisdom teeth must be performed by an oral surgeon since they are still partially or completely embedded in the jaw.  Impacted wisdom teeth are not like normal teeth that can be extracted by a dentist. A panoramic x-ray can show the position of the wisdom teeth in relation to all of the teeth in the jaw to help determine if extraction is necessary or advisable.

Even those who develop normal and healthy wisdom teeth may still be advised to have them removed since they are extremely far back in the mouth and very difficult to brush, floss, and clean around. Like all teeth, if wisdom teeth are not properly cared for, they will eventually cause problems, but they may even be too far back in the mouth for a dentist to reach in order to treat, in which case their removal is the best option.

At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we know that wisdom teeth can be some of the biggest trouble-makers in your mouth, so don’t be surprised for us to check them and make recommendations at any appointment at our office!  Surgery to remove wisdom teeth is very common and routine and can save a lot of suffering and more expensive problems in the long run. If you have questions or concerns about your own or your child’s wisdom teeth, please contact our office and we will be happy to help you.

 

Are you using an electric toothbrush? January 14, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 5:30 pm

An electric toothbrush is an easy way to get really, really clean teeth at home.  Electric toothbrushes remove more plaque from hard-to-reach places than manual brushing. Make sure to use soft bristles to keep it gentle on the gums. Good-quality electric toothbrushes effectively clean teeth that have braces, and they are gentle on restorations like crowns, cement, implants, as well as thinning enamel.

Did you know that most people only brush an average of 45-70 seconds? It seems we are pretty bad at estimating time, so an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer is a great thing! Most of the nicer models have a built-in timer, so you never have to count or watch a clock or worry that you have under-brushed.
At Mall of Georgia Dentistry, we highly recommend investing in a good electric toothbrush (if you aren’t already using one!) We carry a coupe of really good models at our office, and you can often find good deals from online retailers or warehouse clubs.  It’s one of the best things you can do to keep your smile healthy and bright!

 

New Georgia Dental Regulations January 1, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 3:06 pm

Effective January 1, 2018, Georgia dentists have the option to authorize dental hygienists to provide dental hygiene services under “general supervision”- that means that the dentist does not need to be physically present in the office during the cleaning. Dental cleanings are performed under general supervision throughout the country; Georgia is actually one of the last states to pass legislation that allows dental hygiene under general supervision.

According to the Georgia Dental Hygienist’s Association, “General supervision means that a licensed dentist has authorized the delegable duties of a licensed dental hygienist but does not require that a licensed dentist be present when such duties are performed.” Procedures hygienists are allowed to perform under general supervision include:

  • Oral Prophylaxis and Assessment
  • Application of Sealants
  • Fluoride Treatment
  • Oral Hygiene Instruction and Education
  • Exposure and Processing of Radiographs

In order for a patient to receive their cleaning under general supervision, they must be an established patient of the authorizing dentist, meaning that they must have been clinically examined as a new patient at an initial visit and be a patient of record. Also, a patient must be examined by the dentist at a minimum of 12 month intervals, so any patient not seen by the authorizing dentist within the past 12 months is not eligible for a cleaning under general supervision.

Offices are required to notify patients in advance of the appointment that the dentist will not be present or performing the examination during that appointment, but that they will be treated by a licensed dental hygienist under general supervision. It’s important to communicate with patients to give them an opportunity to let us know if they have any dental concerns that require a dentist at their appointment so we can schedule them accordingly.  The Mall of Georgia Dentistry staff is committed to providing top-notch care for our patients at all appointments, including cleanings done under general supervision. If you have any questions, please do hesitate to reach out to us!

 

How to Avoid a Dental Emergency December 3, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 8:22 pm

Knowing what kinds of things are most likely to put your teeth at risk of injury and taking precautions to protect them can help save you from the pain and expense of a broken tooth and unexpected trips to the dentist. Here are a few things to be aware of:

-Wear a bite guard for any sporting activities. Many dental injuries are caused by falls or blows to the face sustained during sports participation and recreational actives.

-Do not bite into or chew ice or hard candy. Those things are simply too hard for the teeth, and they are not meant for chewing. Unpopped popcorn kernels should also be avoided.

-Use actual tools or scissors- never you teeth-  for things like opening packaging or bottles or untying knots.

-Wear a night guard if you clench or grind your teeth. The wear and tear of clenching and grinding can really take a toll on your teeth.

-Get regular cleanings and check-ups and have any restorative work done within the recommended time frame. Regular exams increase the likelihood of finding potential problems early so they can be taken care of before they become urgent.

Broken teeth are no fun…. Mall of Georgia Dentistry wants to help you take great care of your teeth so that nothing takes away from your occasions to smile!

 

Brush Up on Brushing Technique November 18, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 4:23 pm

Brushing your teeth is so routine that you may take it for granted that there is a right way and a wrong way to get the most out of your two daily tooth brushings. Here are a few basic things to remember:

2 minutes. Brush for two minutes and continually move the brush around the entire inner and outer arch of the upper and lower teeth, being sure that back and front of all teeth are attended to. Most electric toothbrushes are set to run a 2-minute cycle.

Focus on the gum line. As you move your brush around, don’t just brush the teeth alone but you should also be brushing the gums, so focus along the gum line. The gum line is where most of the food debris and plaque deposits will collect anyway, and it can be like a little massage for the gums, keeping the gums clean and healthy supports the overall health of your teeth. The gums are important!

45-degree angle. Brushing at a 45-degree angle aims the bristles of the bush for optimum cleaning between the teeth and under the gums as you focus along the gum line and go around the teeth. So angle the brush upward 45 degrees on the upper arch and downward 45 degrees on the lower arch.

Opt for Soft. Soft bristled brushes are just a effective at cleaning the teeth and removing plaque as hard or medium, and unlike hard or medium, soft or extra soft brushes are gentle on those oh-so-important gums. Using a soft touch is also important. Too-hard brushing can damage the gums and cause gingival recession.

2 times per day. Brushing twice daily keeps the bacteria in the mouth in check.  In the morning and before bed are generally the ideal times to brush. Some patients may be recommended a different frequency, but 2 times is generally the best. Brushing too often may be hard on the enamel and gums.

Many people may have learned to brush a certain way at a very young age and could have developed improper or sub-par brushing techniques that have been ingrained into habit over many years.  An occasional review of the best techniques currently recognized in dentistry can also be a helpful reminder to review your own brushing routine and make sure it’s as good as it could be, and to help teach children learning to brush on their own.  All of us at Mall of Georgia Dentistry know that good brushing and flossing are the foundation of great oral health, and we want the best for our patients… so brush up!

 

Receding Gums? November 5, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — Mall of Georgia Dentistry @ 2:25 pm

Gingival recession is not just something that affects the appearance of your smile, it is an indication of an underlying oral health concern. It can be cause by various oral health issues such as one of the following:

  • Periodonal Disease
  • Bruxism
  • Trauma
  • Brushing too Hard

Other possible causes or contributing factors could be malocclusion, orthodontic movement of the teeth, genetics, systemic diseases, smoking, or other factors.  Receding gums can cause issues with tooth sensitivity or put you at risk for bone loss or tooth decay in the root of the teeth.

Good oral hygiene and routine dental care can help you avoid receding gums. If you have receding gums, it is important to get a consultation to identify underlying causes and discuss treatment options. If periodontal issues are to blame, you must treat this immediately, usually with a procedure called  scaling and root planing, followed by regular periodontal maintenance cleanings, to halt further recession. Locally placed antibiotic agents may also help. Brushing with a soft bristled brush and avoiding abrasive toothpastes or alternative brushing products is also necessary.

If gum recession is having a negative impact on your oral health or your satisfaction with the appearance of your smile, a gum graft is a possibility. This is a surgical procedure that may be performed by a specialist where tissue is usually taken from elsewhere in the mouth, often roof of the mouth. A gum graft covers exposed tooth roots to help protect them from bone deterioration and to improve the appearance of the gum line.

If you are worried about receding gums, book an appointment as soon as you can to have it evaluated and a treatment plan made for you. This is a problem that only gets worse with time if left untreated. Give us a call at either Mall of Georgia Dentistry office to discuss your concerns or with any question you may have.

 

 
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