Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Truth About Acid Reflux and Your Teeth From our Dental Office

Dental Office
In our dental office, we help patients that suffer from acid reflux disease and are dealing with tooth erosion as a result.  Reflux-induced erosion is a common problem that can impact both children and adults.  As acid travels up through the esophagus, it enters the mouth and can start to attack the teeth.  The acid will start to wear away the teeth one layer at a time until they become thin and brittle.

According to a report by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project between twenty and thirty percent of U.S. adults, experience the symptoms of acid reflux or GERD on a weekly basis.  A full sixty percent of the population has these symptoms at least yearly.  This manifests as a burning sensation in the chest and throat as acid works its way backwards and up the esophagus. This proves problematic for many people, making it difficult to eat and sleep along with interfering with their concentration at work. Acid reflux also creates health problems in the stomach, esophagus and throat in addition to impacting the teeth.

In our dental office, we want to know if our patients have acid reflux so that we can help to prevent erosion in addition to treating it.  By keeping teeth healthy and clean, they will remain stronger.  For example, people that have cavities or gum disease will naturally be more susceptible to getting cavities and suffering other dental health issues. While cleaning teeth, we can remove bacteria from the teeth and gum lines so that they can remain healthy and cavity free.  We can also provide a fluoride treatment for teeth that need strengthening and are at risk for erosion. These preventative steps aid in keeping the mouth healthy.

If the erosion does occur, it will first attack the enamel and cause it to wear away.  As it does, the dentin underneath will become exposed which leads to sensitive teeth.  When food touches the dentin it is simultaneously touching the nerve endings inside of it.  This can lead to the pain signal being transferred to the brain, leading to an increase in sensitivity that many patients complain of.  In this early stage, we can help by completing a bonding procedure to seal the dentin.  This works well in the beginning stages but as erosion becomes more advanced; the teeth will become weak, thin and brittle.  At this point, the best way to protect the teeth is to place a crown around them.  A crown is a cap that surrounds the tooth and prevents anything from touching it.  This procedure allows us to save a tooth that may have otherwise been pulled due to erosion.

In our dental office, we also recommend that patients take medication to control their acid reflux.  By seeing your doctor, you can get a prescription that will help you to feel better and to protect your teeth.  If an attack does occur, you should avoid brushing your teeth for an hour, but be sure to rinse your mouth in order to neutralize some of the acid.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Why You Should See an Invisalign Dentist

Invisalign DentistAn experienced Invisalign dentist can transform your smile into something straight and beautiful, without anyone knowing you are having a dental procedure completed. The best thing about this process is that your teeth can be straightened using a clear device that is unnoticeable and inconspicuous. This is ideal for busy professionals, teens, or those concerned over how metal braces could impact their appearance.

In order to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure, schedule a dental exam and consultation. Our team of professionals will evaluate your teeth, gums, and jaw to determine if Invisalign will accomplish the goals that you have for your smile and your dental health. Patients that have a misaligned jaw may still need traditional metal braces in order to correct it.

The Process

An Invisalign dentist will create a treatment plan that takes you from where your teeth are today to completely straight and gorgeous, using clear aligners.  An aligner looks like a clear retainer. It completely surrounds your teeth, and patients are typically provided one for both the upper and lower teeth. To start, a mold will be taken of your mouth.  In the lab, aligners will be produced for your entire treatment plan. Each aligner takes your teeth one step closer to being straight.

At home, you will switch out the aligner every couple of weeks. This will keep your teeth moving in the right direction, without requiring constant visits to the orthodontist. Since this is done on your own time, scheduling follow up appointments becomes much easier.

The aligner is supposed to be worn for around 22 hours a day.  This leaves time to enjoy a special dinner out, brush your teeth, and eat your favorite caramel apple. One of the benefits of Invisalign is that you have the freedom to take the aligner out, instead of being stuck with braces regardless of the occasion. In addition, your teeth will look straighter throughout the process, helping your appearance to improve immediately.

While you are straightening your teeth, it is important to practice good oral health care at home.  Brush your teeth twice a day, use floss, and an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria. You can also brush your aligner with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste. Visit your Invisalign dentist for regular teeth cleanings to remove any additional bacteria that may form in your mouth. This will help to prevent cavities and gum disease while keeping your teeth healthy for the procedure.  Since the aligner is replaced every couple of weeks there is less risk of it carrying infection causing bacteria, as well.

An Invisalign dentist can do wonders for your smile and help you to look positively radiant.  As your teeth continue to straighten, you will notice changes and improvements to your appearance.  We also recommend that patients have their teeth whitened as part of their big reveal. We offer professional teeth whitening services that can whiten your smile by up to eight shades. Once the process is complete, you will be delighted with your bright, straight smile.