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6 Signs that Your Gingivitis is Getting Worse

Posted by on Jun 12, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on 6 Signs that Your Gingivitis is Getting Worse

Gingivitis is a common disease that is completely reversible during its early stages. Unfortunately, if you fail to take the right steps, the condition could worsen and lead to periodontitis, which is not reversible. There are several signs that may indicate that your gingivitis has gotten worse and you are headed toward periodontitis, and if you experience them, it is important to visit us right away to discuss your options.

Red, Swollen Gums that Bleed Easily

One of the earliest signs of gingivitis is gums that appear red and puffy, as well as gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene can help to correct this issue, but if your gums continue to experience these symptoms – or they seem more severe – your gingivitis may be progressing.

Loose or Shifting Teeth

When gingivitis is untreated or is not treated properly, it can advance into periodontitis. This disease can lead to the inner portion of the gum and bone pulling away from the teeth to form pockets. Then, since so many of the supporting structures of the teeth are no longer in their proper positions, the teeth could feel loose or shift in the mouth. Your once straight smile could suddenly appear crooked, and gaps, crowding, and bite issues may result. The teeth may become so loose that they fall out altogether or require extraction because there is no longer enough supportive structures to keep them in place.

Chronic Bad Breath

Most cases of chronic bad breath are caused by anaerobic bacteria that live in the mouth and congregate in the gum pockets. Gum disease allows these pockets to form and provide a place to harbor the odor-causing bacteria. A thorough gum cleaning in our office will help to clean out these pockets of bacteria, allowing them to heal. The result should be healthier gums as well as less prevalent bad breath.

Gum Recession

Receding gums are a condition that is characterized by gums that pull back from the surface of the teeth. This can ultimately expose the root surfaces. It is a serious consequence of poor oral health and worsening gingivitis, and it can ultimately lead to tooth loss. While there are many treatment options available depending on how severe the loss of tissue might be, the best thing to do is to treat your gingivitis before it even occurs.

Pus between the Teeth

A gum abscess may result from worsening gingivitis and can display as pus between the teeth. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that develops with plaque accumulation, and when plaque isn’t removed, an infection could result in abscess formation. Besides pus, symptoms could include severe pain, especially when chewing, loose teeth, and sensitivity to hot and cold.

Developing Health Conditions

Did you know that there is a significant connection between gum disease and certain health conditions? If you have been living with gingivitis but now have medical issues like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, or respiratory disease, your gum disease could be getting worse. This occurs when the bacteria associated with gum disease travels into the blood stream and affects other parts of the body. Alternatively, treating your gum disease could improve your overall health and the prevalence of these issues.

If you’re concerned that your gingivitis might be getting worse and developing into periodontitis, don’t delay in getting an appointment set up with us. We can help reverse the problem before it leads to long-term damage, but we need to see you in our office to discuss treatment options. For your convenience, fill out an online appointment request form, or call us today at 479-646-0706.

Dental Bonding

Posted by on Jun 5, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a simple and affordable way to fix imperfections in your smile. Despite the ease of this procedure, the results can make a big difference in the appearance of your teeth. Read on to learn more about dental bonding and whether you might be a candidate.

Problems that Dental Bonding Can Correct

Many people choose dental bonding as a way to make minor changes to their smile, especially in the front teeth. Defects in this part of the mouth are most noticeable, so dental bonding may be used to correct:

-Small chips and cracks

-Gaps between the teeth

-Teeth that are irregularly shaped

-Small teeth that need to be enhanced

-Teeth that are slightly discolored

-Nerve roots that need to be protected in areas where the gums have receded

When you visit our office, we can examine your concern and will determine if they can be successfully treated with dental bonding.

Why You Might Choose Bonding Over Another Treatment Approach

If you are in good overall health and have healthy teeth, you will likely be a candidate for dental bonding. Cosmetic bonding might be right for you if any of the following scenarios sound like your situation:

-You want a beautiful smile, but don’t want veneers or another invasive procedure. If you want a reversible treatment option when upgrading your smile, dental bonding is a good selection. Dental bonding doesn’t require alteration of the natural tooth, so it is a reversible procedure. This differs from dental veneers, as a thin portion of the enamel will be shaved down in order to accommodate the porcelain shell.

-You think that veneers are on the horizon and want to experiment with your smile. If you want to try out smile improvements before you invest in veneers, dental bonding might be a good option. Some patients that go the dental bonding route want to try out alternatives before they commit to veneers for life, and dental bonding lets them do just that.

-You are looking for a less expensive way to correct your smile. Dental bonding is a more affordable way to correct your smile than other treatment and cosmetic dentistry options. While it might be less natural looking than veneers, the results can still be dramatic and stunning. However, bonding materials are not translucent like the natural tooth enamel and porcelain.

Like any dental treatment option, there are both pros and cons to dental bonding, and we can help you weigh them.

How Does Dental Bonding Work?

Dental bonding is a fairly easy process. It begins with shade selection so that the composite resin most closely matches the shade of the natural teeth. Then, the surface of the teeth is etched and roughened, and a conditioning material is placed to help the bonding material to adhere. The actual resin is similar to putty, and it is molded to match the desired shape of the tooth. A UV light is then used to harden the material.

After the bonding material hardens it is trimmed and shaped. Then, the tooth is polished so that the sheen matches the natural teeth. The entire process takes from 30-60 minutes to complete, but you may need multiple visits if you are having several teeth bonded.

Have you chipped a tooth, or do your discolored front teeth have you feeling self-conscious? Regardless of your concern, we are here to help you decide if dental bonding or another restoration is right for you. Call us today at 479-646-0706 to set up an appointment. You can also request an exam by filling out our online appointment request form at https://www.ident.ws/template_include/new_patient_sign_in.do?site=10348&practiceId=35766..

What Are the Alternatives to Traditional Braces for Adults?

Posted by on May 30, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on What Are the Alternatives to Traditional Braces for Adults?

Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean that you’ve missed your opportunity at straightening your teeth. There are several options available to you, even if you want to avoid traditional braces. By learning more about them, you can make an informed decision about which option is right for you.

Invisalign

Invisalign braces are arguably the most popular alternative to traditional, metal braces. They involve a series of plastic aligners that you swap out every two weeks so that your teeth gradually shift into their designed location. Treatment lasts about two weeks, and the aligners are so clear that other people likely won’t even know you’re wearing them.

Who is a Candidate for Invisalign?

Invisalign is a great solution for older teens and adults, but children with their growing teeth may not be good candidates. Invisalign is great for mild to moderate corrections, including:

-Gaps

-Crowding

-Overbite

-Underbite

-Crossbite

Severe cases of any of these issues may require more advanced orthodontic procedures for correction.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Invisalign?

If you are considering Invisalign, it is important to know the pros and cons. For benefits, Invisalign is comfortable and more attractive than traditional, metal braces. It is also removable, so you can take it out when you eat, floss, and brush. This allows you to practice good oral hygiene and enables you to eat foods you might need to avoid with other orthodontic solutions.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are the same shape and size as metal braces, but they are much more discreet. They offer clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires that blend in with the natural teeth. Unlike Invisalign, they are a good option for all orthodontic corrections, including severe bite and alignment issues.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Ceramic Braces?

Ceramic braces offer both benefits and drawbacks. Since they are the same color as your natural teeth, they’ll be less noticeable than bulky, silver braces. They are good options for severe corrections, and they’ll move your teeth much faster than Invisalign and other aligner systems.

In terms of drawbacks, there are a few to consider. You’ll need to watch what you eat with ceramic braces, not just because of the potential to break the hardware, but also because the brackets can easily stain. Ceramic braces also tend to be more expensive than traditional braces.

Lingual Braces

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could straighten your teeth without any brackets or appliances showing at all? With lingual braces, you can, as they are the same as traditional braces, but they are placed on the backs of the teeth. These fixed braces are virtually invisible and will correct the alignment of the teeth discreetly.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Lingual Braces?

There are many pros and cons associated with lingual braces. The most obvious benefit is that others won’t be able to see them since they are on the back of the teeth. If you play sports or a musical instrument, you can also rest assured that they won’t affect your performance.

However, there are some challenges associated with lingual braces. Due to their placement, they can be difficult to clean, and since the position affects the tongue, they may be difficult to get used to. Since the braces are more difficult to access, regular adjustments may take longer, and these braces might not be a good option for people in need of severe orthodontic correction.

You don’t have to be unhappy with your smile any longer, as we are here to help. A beautiful, straight smile is an investment in your future, and we offer the services that you need to achieve it. Call us today at 479-646-0706 to schedule an appointment, or take advantage of our convenient web form at https://www.ident.ws/template_include/new_patient_sign_in.do?site=10348&practiceId=35766

Dry Mouth and Ways to Fix

Posted by on May 22, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Dry Mouth and Ways to Fix

When your mouth fails to make the appropriate amount of saliva, dry mouth is the result. We often take our saliva for granted and fail to understand how important it is in keeping your mouth healthy. The saliva flushes food particles away from the teeth, reducing decay-causing acids, and when dry mouth occurs, your teeth are at risk. By better understanding dry mouth and what you can do about it, you’ll take the first steps in maintaining a healthy mouth.

Dry Mouth Causes

So now that you know a little more about what dry mouth is, you may be wondering what caused it. While each situation is different and unique, there are several reasons that you may have developed dry mouth:

-Part of the natural aging process. Dry mouth can be something that happens because of age, as dry mouth tends to worsen as you get older.

-Medications. There are many medications that can cause dry mouth as a side effect. These include both prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs. Among the most common to cause this side effect include medicines used to treat anxiety, high blood pressure, and depression, although decongestants and antihistamines are also culprits.

-Nerve damage. If you have suffered an injury that led to nerve damage in the neck or head, you may experience dry mouth. The same can be said if you’ve had surgery on this part of your body.

-Drug, tobacco, and alcohol use. Drinking and use of tobacco lead to a variety of oral health consequences, including dry mouth. These activities will increase your dry mouth symptoms and can exacerbate any oral health problems.

-Health conditions. In addition to the medication used to treat them, certain health conditions can cause dry mouth on their own. These include oral thrush, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune diseases like HIV/AIDS.

-Habits. If you snore at night or tend to breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, your risk of dry mouth symptoms will be much higher.

Regardless of the case of your dry mouth issue, complications will remain the same. Without enough saliva, you’ll be at risk for mouth sores, tooth decay, gum disease, cracked lips, and split skin in the corners of your mouth.

Symptoms of Dry Mouth

If your mouth fails to produce enough saliva, you may suffer from dry mouth and experience the following symptoms:

-A feeling of dryness or stickiness in your mouth

-Chronic bad breath

-Saliva that feels stringy or thick

-Problems with swallowing, speaking, and chewing

-A hoarse or sore throat

-Difficulty with fitting and wearing dentures

While you may not experience all of these symptoms, even some of them may be indicative of dry mouth.

Dry Mouth Treatment

There are several things you can do to control your dry mouth symptoms. Limiting your caffeine intake and avoiding alcohol-containing mouthwash can help. Sip water throughout the day, and try an over-the-counter saliva substitute that contains Xylitol. Speaking of Xylitol, sugar-free gum that contains it will also help to stimulate the flow of saliva in order to reduce your symptoms of dry mouth.

Other steps can help to protect your teeth if you suffer from dry mouth. Be sure to always brush with a fluoride toothpaste, and consider adding a fluoride rinse to your oral hygiene routine. Also avoid acidic or sugary foods and beverages because they will further increase your tooth decay risk.

If you suffer from dry mouth, it is important to identify the cause in order to determine the best solution. We can help you do this, and setting up an appointment in our office is the first step. You can use our convenient web-based form to request an appointment, or you can call our helpful office staff at 479-646-0706.

8 Reasons that You Should Invest in Dental Implants

Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dentures | Comments Off on 8 Reasons that You Should Invest in Dental Implants

8 Reasons that You Should Invest in Dental Implants

If you are interested in dental implants, you may have heard good things about these restorations. However, the benefits likely far exceed any rumors that you may have encountered. These are some of the wonderful reasons that you should make an investment in dental implants to combat your tooth loss.

They Look Just Like the Natural Teeth

Dental implants are securely anchored into the jawbone, and after this happens, the tooth will look and feel just like a natural tooth. It will be indistinguishable from the rest of the teeth, allowing you to smile with complete confidence that it won’t slip out of place.

Dental Implants Prevent Bone Loss

You may not know that tooth loss inevitably leads to bone loss. This can change the shape of your face and leave your jaw vulnerable to fractures. A dental implant will stop the bone loss process by fusing into the jawbone and stabilizing it. This is the only tooth replacement option that offers this benefit.

They Are Long Lasting

Dental implants are a permanent tooth loss solution, which is a big way that they differ from bridges and removable dentures, which need replacement with time. For this reason, dental implants offer the greatest long-term value of any restoration, as they are intended to last for a lifetime as long as you care for them properly.

Dental Implants Are Safe for the Natural Teeth

Unlike bridgework, dental implants don’t have any effect on the health of the adjacent, natural teeth. Bridges use the natural teeth on either side of a gap to provide support for the framework. This can stress the teeth, leaving the more susceptible to cavities, decay, and other dental health troubles. Dental implants are stand-alone replacements, and they don’t use the support of the natural teeth to stay in place, which is better for the rest of your mouth.

They Help to Boost Your Confidence

Dental implants offer a natural appearance that is more attractive than other restorations. They look like natural teeth, and because they won’t loosen or shift out of place, they can leave you with improved confidence. You can perform all of your normal activities without fear of embarrassing movement, and you won’t need to take them out for any reason.

Dental Implants Will Easy Fit Into Your Lifestyle

Dental implants are low maintenance, and they will easily fit into your lifestyle. You will still need to brush and floss daily just like with your natural teeth, but you won’t need any special supplies, creams, or adhesives. If you have questions about how to care for them, feel free to contact our office.

They Make it Easier to Eat

Compared to removable dentures, dental implants dramatically improve your ability to chew foods. A prosthetic supported by a dental implant will function just like the natural teeth, making eating an easy and enjoyable experience. Plus, since the roof of the mouth isn’t covered like it would be with dentures, the taste of food isn’t impacted.

Dental Implants Can Improve Your Speech

Another reason that some people avoid traditional dentures is the way that they alter their speech. Dental implants won’t leave you with the garbled speech that can result with shifting teeth. You can rest assured that your teeth will stay in place as you converse with others.

Are you ready to learn more about dental implants? If it is time for you to make a stand against your tooth loss, we are here to help. Feel free to fill out our easy-to-use web form to request an appointment, or call us at 479-646-0706. We can’t wait to help you restore your smile.