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Dental News Blog

Periodontal Disease and Systemic Health: The Mouth-Body Link

July 22nd 2014

Shutterstock Periodontal Health BodyMost people know that gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) can cause major problems like bleeding gums, tenderness, and even eventual tooth loss. The more serious complications associated with this common disease, however, are not as readily recognizable. Keeping your gums free of infection can actually help you avoid a variety of other health problems now and in the future.

Oral Health and Your Future

When your gums are infected, the bacteria that flourish there can easily travel through your body to other tissues and organs. Because this process takes time, you may not even realize that you are at risk until more pressing symptoms arise. Medical problems that have been linked to untreated gum disease include the following:

  • Complications in pregnant women, including pre-mature birth and low birth weight infants
  • Dementia in older patients
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other bone/joint problems
  • Complications in the treatment of diabetes

Treating periodontal disease now is one of the first lines of defense against these and other medical conditions. Your dentist can discuss with you the periodontal therapy process, providing you with all the information you need to make a decision regarding your oral health and your systemic well-being.

Healthy Gums, Healthy Body

If you have noticed the tell-tale signs of gum disease (including bleeding gums, sensitivity, redness, and a receding gum line), it is imperative that you make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment of gum disease helps ensure a faster recovery, thereby reducing your risk of developing diseases and health conditions like those listed above. Call your local dentist today and take the first step toward a healthier body and a happier smile with periodontal therapy.

Four Tips for Helping Your Child Have a Better Dental Visit

July 7th 2014

children's dentistryAs a parent, helping your child create positive associations with the dentist is an important step in helping them build healthy habits. By creating positive associations at a young age, your child will be more likely to make daily care and regular checkups a priority. In today’s post, we want to offer four steps that will help your child have a better dental visit, in addition to helping him or her create healthy habits.

Encourage Regular Brushing and Flossing

Your first step should be to help your child learn the importance of daily care. One way you can do this is by demonstrating healthy habits yourself. Why not make brushing and flossing a family activity? There are even specially made toothbrushes that play music to make the experience more fun. Brushing and flossing every day will help your little one have healthy teeth, which will help him or her enjoy better checkups.

Talk to Your Child about What to Expect

If your child is visiting a dentist for the first time, talk to him or her about what to expect. Children are sometimes frightened by new places, sounds, or people. Bringing your child with on you on one of your own appointments can help dispel anxiety and get them accustomed them to the atmosphere of a dental office.

Avoid Scary Words or a Scary Tone

Whether or not your child needs extra care, avoid using words like “pain” or “shot,” and be careful about using your own dental history to relate to your child. Instead, think of ways you can encourage your little one before an appointment. Talk about the positives of having a healthy smile and the ways that dentists can help them improve oral health.

Avoid Bribery

It might be tempting to promise your child a special treat if they make it through their appointment, but this tactic can send the wrong message. Put the focus on good oral hygiene and the importance of a healthy smile instead. Teach them that healthy teeth are a reward in and of themselves.

Do you want to schedule an appointment for your child? Give your local family dentist a call today.

What Should You Do In a Dental Emergency?

June 23rd 2014

shutterstock_150543056We all know that accidents happen, and usually at the most inconvenient times. Maybe you hit your mouth hard against a doorway accidentally, or your son or daughter bit down too hard on a particularly tough food. Whatever the case is, the reason for you or your child’s dental injury doesn’t need to be dwelled on; what’s important is that you act quickly and calmly so as to preserve oral health. Your first step should always be to call your local dentist’s office and make an appointment for as soon as possible, but in the meantime, here are some crucial tips for what to do in certain dental emergency situations.

Knocked-Out Tooth

First, rinse the tooth gently to get rid of any stray debris. Then, gently place the tooth back into its empty socket and hold it in place until you can reach your dentist. If this isn’t possible, place the tooth in a cup or baggie of milk instead and be sure to bring it with you to your appointment so that they can determine whether reattachment is possible.

Temporary Crown Falls Out

Can you find it? If the answer is yes, then dry your natural tooth, apply a small amount of toothpaste to the temporary restoration, and gently push it back into place. Temporary adhesive can also be used, as well as dental wax. Contact your local dentist so that they can reattach the crown as soon as possible.

Broken Tooth

Rinse the cracked tooth immediately with mildly warm water. Then, hold a cold compress to the affected area; this will help reduce any swelling while you’re on the way to your local dentist.

Bad Toothache

Thoroughly rinse your mouth and the area around the affected tooth. Then, floss around the tooth to make sure that there isn’t any debris that could be causing the discomfort. If pain persists, contact your local dentist.

How Chewing Ice Can Be Detrimental To Your Smile

June 6th 2014

shutterstock_95116573Millions of people have odd habits- things that they do without even realizing it. For some, it is biting nails; for others, playing with their hair can be a habit. For many people, though, the habit of chewing ice is a function that is not thought of, but can surprisingly have serious negative effects on your smile. Though it may seem harmless, the act of chewing ice can leave literal and metaphorical impressions on your teeth as well as your gums.

One of the reasons why chewing ice is bad for your smile is because it wears down you tooth’s enamel. The pressure of having to crush the ice with your teeth makes your enamel less than sturdy. When your enamel is chipped, it increases your chance of experiencing sensitivity when you eat and drink. Another reason why chewing ice is bad for your smile is because of the repetitive hot and cold temperatures, increasing the possibility of your having a issue with your fillings. When the filling is exposed to hot or cold temperatures, it has the capability of expanding quicker than the tooth itself, shortening the life span of your filling.

Also, another reason why you should not chew ice is because it has the ability to hurt your gums in the process! Some parts of ice can be sharp, and because your gums are so sensitive, the sharp edges of the ice can puncture, scratch, and damage your gums. Because your gums are the foundation to any healthy smile, when they are compromised, the rest of your smile is, too. So the next time you feel the urge to chew on ice, make a healthy, smile-friendly choice instead, and you won’t be sorry!

Is Your Smile Summer-Ready? Helpful Oral Health Tips for Summer

May 30th 2014

shutterstock_98421965The temperature is on the rise and school’s letting out for summer. Everywhere you look, people are heading out to the pool, to the beach, and to summertime parties with friends and family. Make sure that your smile is ready for summer with these top tips!

Keeping Your Smile Healthy All Summer Long

While you maintain your oral health at home with daily flossing and brushing, it’s still important to visit your dentist twice per year for a thorough exam and cleaning. Summer is a great time to schedule these general dentistry checkups for kids because now they won’t have to miss school for their appointment! Also, because many popular summertime beverages contain added sugar and citric acid (think lemonade, sports drinks, sodas, and wine spritzers), it is important to rinse your mouth often with a little water after sipping on these types of drinks. Be careful not to brush for at least an hour after your last beverage, though, because the substances within them can actually cause your enamel to become temporarily more susceptible to erosion.

Perhaps you’re not comfortable with the state of your smile due to cosmetic flaws. Before summer is officially in full swing, why not treat yourself to one of the many cosmetic dentistry procedures offered at your dentist’s office? Whether you opt for professional teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, or a full smile makeover, you’ll be glad you did when you’re finally able to smile with complete confidence.

Unexpected Causes of a Dingy Smile

Naturally, you’d love it if your teeth stayed radiantly white all summer long, allowing you to show off your smile freely whenever and wherever you’d like. Unfortunately, many of the activities in which we engage during the summer season can harm our smiles, including going to the pool frequently. How can going to the pool damage your teeth? If you go swimming every day and the pH balance of a swimming pool isn’t just right, it can actually cause teeth to become yellow over the course of just a few weeks. Just remember to brush at least twice per day, or preferably after each meal!

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3701 Hulen Street, Fort Worth, TX 76107 USA
Dr. Gary L. White Fort Worth TX dentist (817) 731-2124 (817) 731-6770