All Posts in Category: blog

Numb Lip? Fillings Keep Small Problems From Becoming Big Ones

YOU’RE RETURNING TO WORK after your dental appointment with a numb lip, thanks to a filling! We know it can be annoying. A filling may not be welcome news, but they’re often an important part of your preventative care plan, and much preferable to the alternatives!

If you’re ever been tempted to postpone getting a filling, think about this:

Decay Leads To More Decay… Until It’s Stopped

When decay erodes part of your tooth, fillings help us seal off and cover the compromised area. We place fillings because once a tooth starts to get decay, it’s very likely the decay will progress.

  • A cavity indicates that the area is decay-prone, whether that’s due to chewing habits, cleaning habits, or the bacterial climate.
  • Cavities can create crevices in your mouth that trap plaque and food particles, encouraging further decay.
  • The tooth’s outer enamel layer is much stronger than the inner, dentin layer. If decay breaches the enamel, it can progress dramatically, leading to severe pain and permanent tooth damage.

Fillings Need To Be Maintained, And Sometimes Refreshed

Occasionally, we may recommend that you replace a filling. The materials used in fillings can break down and weaken over time, which can lead to further decay and damage. During a replacement, we make sure that there’s no decay under the filling, and that the area is not compromised.

Be Proactive In Your Dental Care

Don’t postpone getting a filling if it’s recommended. Protect your oral health by being proactive. Save time and money by fixing the problem while it’s still small.

Let us know if you ever have any questions or concerns about the care that we recommend for you and your family. We value our relationship with you and we want to be sure that you’re always comfortable and happy with your service.

Thanks for being our patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Matthew Hunt used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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A Healthier Mouth = A Healthier Heart?

OUR BODIES ARE ECOSYSTEMS where a change in one area affects other areas. This connection is becoming clearer as scientists continue examining the links between oral health and cardiovascular health. Recent studies suggest that taking care of your gums through great oral hygiene could cut your risk of a heart attack or stroke!

Important Links Between Gum Health And Heart Health

Inflammation caused by gum disease could contribute to an increased risk for heart problems. The mouth is the gateway to the body, and gums that are infected or bleeding provide easy access for bacteria to get into the bloodstream. Once inside, certain types of bacteria cause low-level inflammation of blood vessels without causing a full-blown blood infection. Because of this, treatment is very difficult once the bacteria have become established. The constant low-level inflammation can induce atherosclerosis–the hardening of arterial walls–and lead to blockages.

Mom Was Right—An Ounce of Prevention…

Beyond diet and exercise, it’s hard to know what to do to prevent heart disease. However, gum disease and tooth decay are completely preventable!

  • Brush twice daily for two minutes, gently massaging the gums.
  • Floss once daily.
  • Brush or rinse with water after eating or drinking.
  • Don’t miss your regular cleanings and check-ups with us.

As such studies continue, it’s likely more evidence will be found linking gum disease and heart disease. In the meantime, there are already enough reasons to take charge of your oral health! Establishing good dental hygiene habits now and sticking to them will help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and a host of other problems.

Stay Healthy For The People You Love

We’re proud to assist you in your pursuit of comprehensive, lasting health. We look forward to seeing you during your next visit.

Thank you for allowing us to be your lifelong health partner. We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user Loren Kerns used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Next Time You Burn Your Mouth On Pizza…

SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN’T RESIST! It’s SO cheesy and saucy—right out of the oven! You dive in and take your first bite…

Uh oh! Too soon! You’ve got “pizza burn!”

Pizza Isn’t The Only Culprit

You’ve probably burned your mouth before on coffee, soup, and other scorching hot foods. Soon afterward, you may have noticed that the roof of your mouth, and perhaps your tongue, is very tender. In some cases, you may even have blisters! Unfortunately, your mouth will probably hurt for a few days. However, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain and irritation.

How To Soothe Your Mouth And Help It Heal

  1. Applying or sucking on ice can relieve the stinging. Gargling cold water or eating ice cream are other options.
  2. Drinking milk can coat the scorched area.
  3. An over-the-counter pain reliever can help, if the pain is really distracting.
  4. Avoid acidic, crunchy, and other hot foods, or even very salty and spicy dressings. This will stop the burn from getting irritated further.
  5. Squeezing Vitamin E from a capsule over the wound can speed up healing. It will regenerate new tissue and heal the wound.
  6. Maintain good oral hygiene while your mouth is burnt, keeping it as clean as possible to promote healing and prevent further infection. Warm saline rinses can also be helpful.
  7. Resist touching the burned area. This may be difficult, but by touching the affected area, the lesion may become irritated further.

If It’s Not Feeling Better In A Few Days, Call Us

Pizza-type burns tend to heal within three to seven days. If soreness and blistering continue beyond a week, please call us! In the meantime, have fun enjoying that delicious, cheesy pizza—that is, once it’s cool!

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user m01229 used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Don’t Like To Floss? Here Are Some Helpful Ideas

WE KNOW SOME OF YOU DON’T LIKE TO FLOSS. You may be surprised to hear us say, “we understand!” Flossing each day can be difficult. Perhaps you have sensitive gums, your mouth is small, or you feel like floss wrapped around your fingers cuts off your circulation. There are lots of seemingly good reasons not to floss—and as you can imagine, we’ve heard them all.

However, today there are options that can help make flossing easier.

Many, Many Varieties Of Floss

Try ribbon-style floss instead of thread-style. Try waxed versus unwaxed. Try one that’s specially designed to glide easily. Try a different thickness, or a different flavor. The type of floss you use doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact you’re doing it!

Consider Tools Like Flossers And Flossing Sticks

After trying several of the various options suggested above, if no brand or particular type of floss seems to be doing the trick for you, look into other tools that are designed to help.

Flossers and floss sticks eliminate the need to wrap floss around your fingers. These tools can also make it easier to reach back teeth without having to stick your hands in your mouth. They can also help you more easily maneuver the floss for better coverage.

The are many different tools and many different brands available to try. And again, which tool you use isn’t nearly as important as the fact you’re doing it!


Never Underestimate The Value Of Flossing!

Flossing is an essential part of effective, daily oral hygiene care. Flossing helps guard against gum disease, the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. In addition to the woes of gum disease, some studies suggest that gum health is linked to systemic health issues including diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Make Flossing A Daily Priority

If you have questions about how to make flossing easier, please visit with us. We want to help you be successful.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Hey Paul Studios used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Over 50? Be Aware Of These 5 Dental Issues

WE’RE KEEPING OUR TEETH longer than ever before. But in order to stay in optimal health, we need to be vigilant against potential problems. Certain risks can increase as we age.

#1 Tooth Decay Risk Increases

Aging can cause the base of teeth to become softer. In addition, roots can become more exposed. These two issues can cause cavities either around the base or root of the tooth.

#2 Dry Mouth Is A Common Problem

Thanks to medications, hormonal shifts, and the natural results of aging, dry mouth risk increases with age. Saliva is one of the main warriors against tooth decay, and without it, your risk of tooth decay and gum disease spike. Sipping water throughout the day, or chewing sugar-free gum can help stimulate saliva.

#3 Gum Disease Is The Most Common Cause Of Tooth Loss

Untreated gingivitis (inflamed gums) can easily become periodontitis. Gums pull away from the tooth and create pockets, where infections develop. Periodontitis can cause tooth loss and deteriorate jaw bone. If you have bleeding, red gums, talk to us. More frequent dental cleanings can help us keep your gums healthy.

#4 Oral Cancer Risk Goes Up

Oral cancer incidences increase as we age. Oral cancer is linked to heavy alcohol use and smoking, but even folks without those risk factors should be regularly screened at our office for early signs.

#5 Crowded Teeth Make Dental Health More Difficult

Many people experience shifting teeth as they age. Teeth can become crowded and more difficult to clean, and put extra stress on your gums and your jaw. Keep your oral health manageable, and your smile beautiful with more frequent cleanings, and perhaps orthodontic treatment to get a retainer or spacer.

Pass This Message On To Someone You Care About!

Even if you’re not over 50, you know and care for someone who is. Share this message and let them know that you care about their healthy smile!

If you have any questions about your own oral health, or that of someone you care for, give us a call. We’re always happy to talk with you.

Thanks for being our valued patients. We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user slgckgc used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Use Your Smartphone To Brush Smarter

SMARTPHONE TECHNOLOGY IS AMAZING. It brings the world to our fingertips. And now, smartphone apps can help us with our daily oral hygiene routines!

Smartphone Apps For Both Adults & Children

Sometimes we all need a little extra motivation to do the right things! If you struggle with (or if your children struggle with) effective oral hygiene, consider downloading and trying these two apps from Oral-B. They’re effective and simple to use.

Make Brushing Fun For Kids!

Oral-B and Disney teamed up to make a fun dental app for children:

The app helps children brush for a full two minutes by giving them goals to work toward!

Need A Little Extra Motivation & Support?

As adults, we can use a little motivation too:

In addition, Oral-B has developed advanced, two-way communication apps that not only receive brushing data and report it back to you, but you can also program the app to communicate via Bluetooth® with your toothbrush to monitor your personalized brushing routine!

Remember, There Are Some Things Technology Can’t Replace

No matter how awesome these tools are in assisting with daily oral hygiene, they can’t replace the professional, personalized oral health care our team provides. Schedule your regular checkups and cleanings… And when you have questions or concerns about your oral health, never hesitate to visit with us.

We appreciate having you as our valued patient and friend.

Have You Used One Of These Apps?

Or, do you know of other great dental apps for your smartphone or tablet? Comment and share below! And if you decide to try out one of the Oral-B apps above, let us know how you like it!

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Teeth Grinding At Night Can Cause Severe Damage

MOST PEOPLE CLENCH or grind their teeth from time to time. However, if you’re doing so frequently—especially while you’re sleeping—you may be damaging your teeth.

The Harmful Effects

If you grind your teeth at night (also called bruxing), you may already be experiencing the most obvious, immediate effects: namely, unexplained headaches and jaw pain.

Chronic grinding can cause tooth fractures, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. Grinding can also wear down teeth and severely damage fillings and crowns. Left untreated, bruxism can lead to eventual bone loss in your jaw.

Unconscious Habits Can Be Hard To Correct

What’s really frustrating about bruxing is that most people do it while they’re asleep. That means the problem often goes unidentified for a long time.

Do you find yourself waking up with headaches or a sore jaw? Does your loved one complain about these symptoms? If it has been happening for a while, you may actually start seeing worn-down teeth, or gums that are unusually inflamed.

We Can Help

We can diagnose bruxism, and make recommendations to help remedy it. There are many options, depending on the specific circumstances. Sometimes, treatment includes making a custom mouthguard to protect teeth. Or perhaps some dental adjustments can help your teeth better align.

Let’s talk about your lifestyle too. Perhaps stress reduction is in order and could help. We’re not only interested in your smile, but also in your whole-body health. If you or someone you care for is struggling with bruxism, let’s visit.

Thanks for being our valued patient and friend. We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user Tony Alter used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Removing The Fear Of Showing Your Teeth When You Smile

SHOWING YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU SMILE makes a huge difference in your confidence and appearance. Beautiful teeth make us all feel more approachable, better prepared, accepting of others, younger, and more attractive. Studies even show that 70% of people believe that a beautiful smile can make someone more attractive than does wearing makeup!

As We Age, Our Smiles Lose Their Luster

It’s an unavoidable part of life. As we get older, our teeth become worn, yellow, and misaligned. Micro cracks absorb stains easier and discolor teeth. Grinding and chewing can give our smiles a shortened appearance, making our faces look sunken.

Turning To Cosmetic Dentistry

People today turn to dentistry for anti-aging treatments! It’s amazing to see the difference smile improvements make in an entire look (and confidence)!

Removing The Fear Isn’t As Difficult As You May Think

We want you to show your beautiful teeth when you smile! Small improvements can make a big difference. Let’s visit soon about your particular concerns. We’re here to help!

Basic Cosmetic Procedures Overview

Veneers – Veneers are typically made of porcelain, shaped and bonded to the front of, or over teeth. Veneers are a great way to change a tooth’s color and shape and provide extra volume that can give your entire face a fuller look.

Whitening – The safest, fastest, and most effective way to whiten your teeth is with professional whitening. Talk to us about whitening options.

Composites & Implants – If you’re missing a tooth or have unsightly dark fillings, we can help. There are many options.

Straightening – Straightening your smile not only improves your appearance, but also your health! Modern options have improved the aesthetics, speed, and comfort of teeth straightening. Let’s visit about it.

Thanks for being wonderful patients!

Top image by Flickr user Thirteen Of Clubs used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Saying Goodbye To Your Old Toothbrush

THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION STRONGLY SUGGESTS that we replace our toothbrushes every 3–4 months for maximum effectiveness.

Know When To Say Goodbye

Take a close look at your toothbrush bristles. Are they frayed? Smashed? Discolored? Kinda gross? It’s time for a new toothbrush.

If you’re brushing correctly (gently), the signs of a less effective toothbrush may be less visible. That’s why it’s important to mark your calendar! After a few months, you may start noticing that although your brushing routine hasn’t changed, your teeth just don’t feel as clean.

When bristles become slanted and curved it prevents them from reaching where they need to—around the gum line and between teeth. Bristles also lose their elasticity, keeping them from achieving an important gentle-sweeping movement. Research also shows worn toothbrushes don’t reduce plaque as well as a new ones.

Turn Your Old Toothbrush Into A Playground!

TerraCycle® and Colgate® have partnered to create the Colgate Oral Care Brigade®, a free recycling program for oral care product packaging and a fundraising opportunity for participants.

Take Good Care Of Your New Toothbrush

  • Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly after each use.
  • Don’t store it in a closed container. Allow it to air-dry.
  • Don’t share your toothbrush with others.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months!

Wondering About The Cool Toothbrush Image Above?

At the top of this blog post, there’s a closeup photo of a giant disco ball that was constructed to bring awareness for toothbrush recycling:

Share this blog post with your friends and coworkers!

Together, by sharing great information, we provide value and make small differences in our health and in our lives. We appreciate having you as our valued patient and friend!

Top image by Flickr user Jennifer Morrow used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original. In text image by Flickr user Jnzl used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Our Smiles Love Healthy Snacks

WE KNOW that frequent snacking on processed, sugary foods isn’t kind to the waistline. But what about its effects on your oral health?

As we eat, naturally occurring bacteria in our mouths feed on sugars. This produces acid. When acids aren’t cleared away, they can erode tooth enamel, which leads to tooth decay.

Two Snacking Factors Can Increase Dental Decay Risk

Two major aspects of snacking affect cavity risk. They are:

  1. Consumption frequency, and
  2. The amount of time foods are in contact with teeth

The more frequently we eat, and the longer our teeth are exposed to the sugars in our food, the more vulnerable we are to tooth decay.

Consider The Texture Of Your Snack Foods

There are clues to snacking dangers that center around the texture of foods. Soft and/or sticky foods provide a more ideal environment for bacteria to adhere to teeth and thrive over time. So, given that clue which of the following snacks would you guess is better for your teeth… A hand full of animal crackers or a square of plain chocolate? You’re right—the chocolate.

Help Your Teeth AND Your Overall Health!

4 Snacking Tips

  • Avoid added sugar and acidic beverages to maintain a neutral pH in your mouth.
  • Brush twice a day (or after every meal) and floss every night before bed.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after snacking.
  • Snack on foods like almonds, cheese, fruits and vegetables with high water and high fiber content. Carrots and apples are great!

Oral Health Is Connected To Whole Body Health

It may seem silly to state the obvious… But always remember that what goes on inside our mouths is connected to what goes on throughout our bodies. In our modern world it’s really easy to get into the habit of snacking all the time. Make good choices to keep your healthy smile looking, and feeling, its best.

Thanks for being our valued patients and friends. We appreciate the trust you place in us!

Top image by Flickr user Eleazar used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
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Ste J174, Glendale, AZ 85306

1-623-939-5870