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General Dentistry Topics

Holistic Dentistry

Holistic dentistry considers how dental treatments will affect an entire person, not just individual parts of their body. Our procedures protect and encourage your overall health, not just your teeth and gums. We only use metal-free fillings and avoid latex in our office, among other considerations.

The health of your mouth can and does affect your overall health. Likewise, your overall health can affect your mouth as well. As a general rule, we avoid materials that could be harmful to you.

Every individual who visits our practice has different needs, and knowing this we want each person who comes to our office to feel as comfortable as possible. We recognize that dental care can be a source of anxiety for many people. It’s why we have implemented comfort options and advanced technology at our practice.

Brushing

Step 1 - Place bristles along the gum line at a 45 degree angle. Gently brush using a circular motion along the outer and inner tooth surfaces.

Step 2 - Brush each tooth individually. Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Using the front half of the brush, use the same circular motion.

Step 3 - Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth and use a gentle back-and-forth motion. Brush the tongue to remove odor-producing bacteria.

Flossing

Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind some of it around your middle finger (3 turns); this finger will take up the floss as it becomes dirty. Shorten the length between the two fingers to 6 inches and wind some floss (1 turn) around the opposite middle finger. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers. Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth. Hold the floss tightly against the tooth as you gently rub the side of the tooth with an up and down motion. Before retrieving it, reverse the C-shape to clean the adjacent tooth surface as well.

As you finish cleaning each tooth, wind the dirty floss once around the first middle finger and slide more new length of floss to proceed to the next teeth.

Oral Cancer Screening

During every dental checkup, we will visually check and feel around for any signs of oral cancer. We check for signs of visible lesions inside the mouth and gently feel around the jaw for any lumps or swelling that may be present. Many early signs of oral cancer can go unnoticed by people as they go about their daily lives but we want to make sure that your overall oral health is in as best condition as possible when you see us for a dental checkup.

Oral Cancer Screening

Bad Breath

What you eat affects the air you exhale. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to objectionable breath odor. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is expelled. The odors will continue until the body eliminates the food. People who diet may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating. If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Food that collects between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums can rot, leaving an unpleasant odor. Dry mouth occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor. Dry mouth may be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the mouth. Tobacco products cause bad breath, so if you use tobacco, ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit. Bad breath may also be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment.

Woman covering her mouth

Bruxism

Bruxism, commonly known as "tooth grinding," is the process of clenching together and the grinding of the upper and lower teeth. During sleep, the biting force of clenched jaws can be up to six times greater than during waking hours.

Bruxism can cause complications over the years:

  • Wear down tooth enamel
  • Break fillings or other dental work
  • Worsening of TMJ dysfunction
  • Create jaw pain, toothaches, headaches, or earaches
  • Cause tooth sensitivity
  • Increase tooth mobility
  • Can Chip Teeth

There is no cure for bruxism; however, the condition can be managed. The most common procedure to help to alleviate pain and discomfort is a Nightguard.

Dry Mouth

Saliva flow keeps the mouth moist and aids in chewing, swallowing, digestion and speech. Dry mouth is a condition from the lack of normal saliva flow.

Causes of dry mouth:
  • Dehydration
  • Emotional stress
  • Anemia
  • Related to surgery
  • Medical Conditions
  • Medication
  • Allergy
  • Anti-depressant
  • Blood pressure
  • Some mouth washes that are high in alcohol content
Dry mouth symptoms:
  • Mouth feels sticky
  • Lips cracked and dry
  • Tongue may have burning sensation

People who experience dry mouth are at high risk for developing cavities, gum disease and bad breath.

Helping dry mouth:
  • Chewing gum / lozenges
  • Humidifier at night
  • Maintaining good oral hygiene