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A Microscopic Look At Flossing’s Benefits

A Microscopic Look At Flossing's Benefits

Oral hygiene plays an important role in your overall health. But simply brushing your teeth twice a day might not be able to keep all the bacteria in your mouth at bay.

The oral microbiome refers to all the bacteria that live within your mouth. Some of these healthy bacteria can prevent problems like tooth decay, while other harmful bacteria in your mouth can lead to more serious issues like cavities and disease. Maintaining the proper levels of good and bacteria in the oral microbiome is important. If the balance is thrown off, the excess harmful bacteria can lead to gingivitis, bad breath, cavities, and tooth loss.

A recent study compared the microbial diversity of flossers and non-flossers, discovering that by physically removing the bacteria the flossers had less harmful bacteria in their mouths. Follow along for oral hygiene tips from Taylor Dental to protect your oral biome, strengthening your overall health.

Why Flossing Is Important

Flossing plays a vital role in removing bacteria from your mouth, creating a happier and healthier you. While brushing your teeth cleans the surface of your teeth, your toothbrush can’t always reach the gaps between your teeth — causing a buildup of plaque. When this happens, you’re subjecting yourself to cavities, tooth decay, and gingivitis. If gum disease goes untreated, you’re putting yourself at a greater risk for health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Along with impacting your overall health, flossing also improves the appearance of your teeth and helps minimize bad breath.

4 Tips for a Healthier Mouth

To keep your mouth healthy you should be flossing daily. If you’re looking for other ways to step up your oral hygiene game, you’re in luck. Our team has compiled a list of tips to prevent dental issues and promote good oral hygiene.

1) Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day (At a Minimum!)

This should be a no-brainer by now, but you need to brush your teeth twice a day (more depending on the types of food and drinks you’re consuming). When plaque builds up on your teeth and transforms into bacteria, it can impact the structural integrity of your teeth. Reduce plaque buildup with a consistent brushing schedule—and don’t forget to brush your tongue too!

Pro Tip: Use an electric toothbrush for an extra clean mouth. The oscillation and vibration of the electric toothbrush make removing plaque and bacteria a much easier process. Those who use an electric toothbrush regularly have much healthier teeth and gums.

2) Schedule Semi-Annual Cleanings

The easiest way to maintain a healthy smile is through preventative care, such as visiting the dentist twice a year for a checkup. Professional teeth cleanings are the most effective way of cleaning up buildup, tartar, and plaque bacteria. Regular dental cleanings allow for early detection of tooth decay, cavities, or other harmful oral diseases. While your dentist is well equipped to treat any dental issues that might arise, it’s a lot easier to prevent problems before they start.

3) Reduce the Amount of Sugar in Your Diet

A high sugar diet encourages the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to problems like periodontal disease. Whether you’re prone to cavities or simply looking for a way to improve your oral hygiene, reducing the amount of sugar you consume is a great first step. Limit sugars in food, especially condiments or sticky candy. These sticky ingredients can get caught between your teeth, and if not properly removed with dental floss, can lead to tooth decay.

4) Eat a Plant-Based Diet

A plant-based diet consists of foods derived from plants, including vegetables, grains, lentils, tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Introducing these more heavily into your diet can help create a more balanced oral biome, leading to overall better wellness. Even if you can’t go all plant-based, reducing animal products and increasing plant-based food will make a difference.

Pro Tip: Incorporate vegetables like carrots or celery into your diet. Because of their texture, these vegetables will naturally brush the surface of your teeth (you’ll still need to brush though!).

Schedule Preventative Dental Care with Dr. Taylor

With proper oral hygiene, you’ll find yourself with a cleaner, healthier smile — reducing the amount of plaque buildup and bacteria that can lead to harmful oral diseases. Dr. Taylor and his exceptional staff can help you determine the steps to take to improve your oral hygiene. Contact Taylor Dental in Billings, MT, to schedule an appointment for preventative care. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health!

Dental Veneers: A History

Dental Veneers - A History

They say you’re never fully dressed without a smile. But aesthetic issues like cracks, discoloration, gaps, or misalignment can put a damper on flashing those pearly whites. To address this, dentists offer porcelain veneers that are bonded to the front of the teeth, creating a flawless smile with a more balanced, uniform appearance.

You might be surprised to learn that cosmetic dentistry isn’t a new fad—porcelain veneers have been around since the 1920s! Let’s dive in as Taylor Dental explores the history of porcelain veneers and see how they’ve continued to transform smiles over the years.

What Are Porcelain Dental Veneers?

If your teeth have aesthetic imperfections like discoloration, cracks or chips, gaps, and misalignment, you might be looking for a way to create a perfect white smile. Porcelain veneers are a standard solution in cosmetic dentistry because it’s a relatively quick, non-invasive procedure. During this procedure, thin shells of medical-grade ceramic are bonded to the fronts of teeth to create a uniform appearance. Dental veneers can be used to fix one tooth, a small section, or your entire smile.

History of Porcelain Dental Veneers

While dental veneers have become quite popular as of late, they’ve been used in cosmetic dentistry for a century! Let’s take a look at the major advancements over the years.

1920s

In early Hollywood, celebrities were often looking for ways to enhance their smile—looking for a cosmetic treatment that would allow them to look their best on-screen! With this in mind, Dr. Charles Pincus invented the perfect smile for his Hollywood celebrity clients. He created the first iteration of dental veneers using acrylic shells that were temporarily bonded to the fronts of teeth with adhesive.

1930-40s

By the 1930s and 1940s, more than just Hollywood actors were interested in dental veneers. Former cosmetic dentistry solutions for diseased teeth like fake teeth were noticeable. Dentists wanted to provide a solution for everyone, so dental veneers made of porcelain or composites became more accessible. However, while the veneers looked beautiful, dentists struggled to find a bonding agent that would permanently hold the veneers in place long term.

1950s

Instead of merely bonding the veneer to the front of the tooth, Dr. Michael Buonocore discovered that etching the teeth with a mild acidic solution helped create a stronger bonding surface for the veneers to adhere to.

1980s

Combining the techniques invented by Pincus and Buonocore, J.R. Calamia and R.J. Simonsen discovered a new method of making the bonding surface strong and adhering the dental veneers to the teeth permanently. Over the years, this process was refined and modernized, making dental veneers more accessible and affordable.

Today

You’d be surprised to learn how many people you know have veneers! When installed well, porcelain dental veneers seamlessly blend in with your smile to create a natural and uniform look. Veneers aren’t only used to create a beautiful smile but are used in emergency restoration procedures or to fill gaps of missing teeth. Through proper care and diligent oral hygiene, porcelain veneers can last an upwards of 30 years!

Call Dr. Taylor for Cosmetic Dentistry in Billings Montana

If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry to enhance or correct your smile, Dr. Taylor and his staff can help you determine if porcelain veneers and crowns are the right solutions for you. Contact our team to schedule a free smile design consultation, during which you can sit down with Dr. Taylor and have him answer any questions you might have.

How Oral Health Is Key To Overall Health

How-Oral-Health-Is-Key-To-Overall-Health

While maintaining your oral health will help keep your teeth looking and feeling great, did you know that it will also improve your overall health as well? A healthy mouth, protected by good brushing and flossing, can help ward off a number of diseases and infections that can plague not just your mouth, but your body. Alternatively, failure to properly maintain your oral health can increase your risk of suffering from heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimers, pneumonia, diabetes, and other common viral and bacterial infections. Due to how interconnected your overall health is to your oral health, our dental team in Billings, MT is here to help you be aware of the dangers you face, along with how to reduce and prevent such infections from occurring.

How Oral Conditions can Impact your Overall Health

Without proper care, improper flossing and brushing will commonly lead to cavities, tooth decay, dry mouth, plaque, and ultimately gum disease, also known as periodontitis. While periodontitis and other forms of oral inflation are very harmful on their own, they will also cause major health problems as well.
For pregnant women, periodontitis has been proven to have a direct link to premature births and below-average birth weights in children. Bacteria and other germs in the gums spread through the bloodstream to the rest of the body, leading to clogged arteries, heart problems, and strokes. Lastly, certain bacteria that aren’t properly brushed away or removed with mouthwash can be sucked into the lungs, which can result in respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.

Following proper oral care is very important than to protect your body as a whole, especially for those who have pre-existing conditions that can be exacerbated by diseases. Here are a few of our top suggestions to further protect and improve your oral health:

How to Protect/Improve your Oral Health

  • Proper teeth care – Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste. Remember to replace your toothbrush head at least every three months. Replace sooner if bristles are worn out or frayed, or if you are recovering from a recent illness.
  • Flossing and mouthwash – Floss daily, and use mouthwash after flossing to further washout and remove food particles that have been dislodged from your teeth. Remember to also brush your tongue as well at least daily to remove plaque, bacteria, and lingering food particles.
  • Improving your diet – Drink more water, and try to cut back on sodas, juice, and other sugary drinks. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and incorporate more crunchy fruits and vegetables. Incorporate more healthy fibers into your diet. Also, avoid nicotine, and cut back on alcohol consumption.

With these practices, you will significantly improve your ability to protect yourself against harmful diseases while also improving your overall oral hygiene and smile. However, those with more severe oral health complications or a history of improper oral care may struggle or already have oral health issues. If you have one of these conditions below, we recommend seeing your local dentist, including our team in Billings, MT, for treatment and additional help.

When Should I Get Oral Health Treatment

Consider seeking treatment if you have one or more of the following issues:

  • Red, swollen, or extremely tender gums.
  • Gums that have receded or otherwise pulled away from your teeth.
  • Gums that bleed during brushing and flossing.
  • Loose, separating, or teeth that have partially fallen out.
  • Put between your teeth, gums, and in other parts of your mouth.
  • A sudden or dramatic change in the way your teeth fit together, especially when you bite.
  • A sudden or dramatic change in the way your partial or full dentures fit in your mouth<.

Even if you do not suffer from one of these conditions, visiting your dentist at least twice a year can be very helpful in maintaining your oral hygiene. Professional teeth cleanings are the best, most efficient way of cleaning up calculus buildups, or tartar, which traps plaque bacteria and are a major source of harmful oral diseases.

With good oral hygiene, you’ll not only find yourself with cleaner, whiter teeth, but with other benefits that range from better breath to improved protection against a wide range of major health issues. So, be sure to get in the habit today of the things you need to do to improve your oral hygiene and visit Taylor Dental in Billings, MT, for additional dental aid. We look forward to helping you improve your oral health for a longer, and healthier life!

Why Do Dentists Suggest Tooth Extractions?

Why Do Dentists Suggest Tooth Extractions

Getting the news that your dentist is suggesting a tooth extraction can be jarring news. For those who are not a fan of medical procedures, a tooth extraction may be intimidating. However, there are many valid medical reasons that explain why a tooth extraction is indeed important to resolve underlying dental issues and prevent future concerns.

What medical concerns do tooth extractions resolve?

Having a trusted Billings, MO dentist is important, especially when you are told you need a tooth extraction. Be sure to keep the communication open with your dental team and ask the right questions. Do not be afraid to ask your dental team to explain to you why the extraction is necessary, and ask for clarity if you do not understand. Here are some examples of questions to ask:

  1. Why is this tooth extraction required?
  2. How will the tooth extraction benefit my health in the future and prevent other problems?
  3. How can I avoid getting another tooth extraction?
  4. Will I be receiving anesthesia?

Rest assured that a tooth extraction is a standard dental procedure that rarely causes problems. Tooth extractions are necessary for teeth that may be rotting or decaying, or teeth that are partially broken and may cause further issues. Extractions typically occur when there is too much damage for the tooth to be saved. Here are a few more common medical reasons for tooth extractions:

  1. Extra teeth are blocking other teeth from coming in
  2. Decay is too deep into the bone for the tooth to be saved
  3. Emerging teeth may interfere with orthodontic procedures (for example, wisdom teeth are removed before they emerge to avoid reversing the correction that braces/headgear has provided).

Once the tooth extraction has occurred, it is common that a dental implant is the necessary next step. This is dependent on the type of tooth extraction that is occurring. Implants are important not only for functional purposes (cutting/tearing food), but also for aesthetic purposes as well. The type of implant and its function depends on the location of the tooth extraction, as teeth located in various places in the mouth serve different roles. Dentists insert implants by making small incisions and drilling a small hole into the jawbone. This is painless for the patient not only because the area is anesthetized, but also because the jawbone does not contain any nerves.

Ask your dentist about the next steps after your surgery and be sure that you are clear about the plan.

Simple vs. Surgical Extractions

A simple extraction means that the tooth being extracted is visible in the mouth. The patient may receive a local anesthetic for this procedure. The dentist uses an elevator tool to loosen the tooth, then pulls it using a forceps.

A surgical extraction is a bit more involved. This typically occurs for teeth that are broken (below the gum line) or teeth that haven’t yet pushed through the gums. Wisdom tooth extraction is a common example of this procedure, and typically happens in late adolescence/early adulthood. This may involve the patient being “put under” using an anesthetic delivered through an IV. However, surgical extractions vary from person to person. To ease anxiety, be sure to ask your surgeon about the plan for the surgery so that expectations are clear.

There may also be pre-surgery care that is involved for a surgical extraction. For example, the surgeon may ask that you do not eat or drink anything for a few hours prior to the surgery. This is why communication with the surgeon is not only essential for your own comfort and stress levels, but also for the success of the surgery.

Post-tooth extraction care: Dos and Don’ts

Post-tooth Extraction Do’s:

  • Brush and floss with care around the surgical area
  • Closely follow your dentist’s instructions
  • Take pain medications (over the counter or as prescribed) as needed
  • Flush out your extraction site after eating. Food particles may get stuck in the site and cause infection. It is important to make sure your mouth is properly rinsed each time after eating until the wound starts to close up and heal.

Post-tooth Extraction Don’ts:

    • Engage in heavy exercise (such as weight lifting or intense workouts)
    • Remove gauze from the mouth immediately following the surgery, as it may disrupt the clotting process
    • Drink from a straw – again, this may disrupt the clotting process
    • Eat too soon after the procedure. Doing so may cause food particles to get stuck. It also may delay/disrupt the healing process. Soft foods, like apple sauce, smoothies, or mashed potatoes, may be suitable a few hours after the procedure.

Overall, tooth extractions are simple procedures that should not cause a patient any issues or distress. Most tooth extractions are a good thing, since they are able to prevent more serious medical concerns that may arise if the problem is not resolved. As always, speak with your dentists if you have any concerns or questions about these procedures.

Why Do My Teeth Feel Like They Tingle?

Why Do My Teeth Feel Like They Tingle

Everyone loves that fresh, clean feeling after their dental cleanings. Yet, if other sensations are felt, such as tingling, it often causes people to worry.

While the source of the tingling may not be serious, it can be a sign that there is something that needs correction, like you are brushing your teeth too hard.

You Have Nerves And Blood Vessels In Your Teeth

The enamel of your teeth—the hard outermost layer of your teeth—is the hardest substance in your body. However, just because the enamel is hard doesn’t mean that everything inside the structure of your tooth is equally tough.

Under the dentin—tooth layer directly below the enamel—you have your dental pulp, which includes highly sensitive nerves and blood vessels to keep your teeth alive. These nerves help you determine how much pressure you need when biting food, assist with speech as you move your mouth and tongue around your teeth to shape words, and more.

So, temporary discomfort, tingling, and other responses to doing things like scraping your teeth on a fork are to be expected due to the nerves in your teeth. However, if your teeth tingle with no clear indicator or will sporadically start and stop tingling, it may be time to visit our dental clinic for a checkup.

Reasons Why Your Teeth May Tingle

There can be many reasons why your teeth may start tingling. Some of these issues can be resolved at home, but for others, you will need to access dental services to fix the source of your dental discomfort.

  • Hard teeth brushing – When you use a hard-bristled toothbrush or simply brush your teeth too hard, you can wear down the enamel of your teeth. The more worn-down your enamel, the more of your sensitive dentin is exposed, and the more likely that your teeth will tingle. There is no way to replace the enamel, but you can work on using a more gentle toothbrush and toothpaste that is formulated for sensitive teeth.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching – Often an unconscious action, bruxism—grinding your teeth in your sleep—or clenching your teeth can make your teeth tingle. Repeated clenching or grinding of your teeth can wear them down, exposing your sensitive dentin and potentially developing cracks in your teeth with the excess pressure. Using a custom nightguard can help protect your teeth in your sleep.
  • Cavity – Pain is a common response when a cavity develops; however, it is not the only response you may feel. For a small cavity, your tooth may just tingle initially. As the cavity progresses, the tingle can change to pain until the issue is addressed.
  • Acidic foods and drinks – Foods and drinks that are highly acidic can erode the enamel of your teeth, leaving them more sensitive and prone to tingling. Rinsing your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and drinks can help reduce the impact.
  • An issue with a dental filling – A dental filling can become loose over time, especially as your tooth expands and contracts around it. Your tooth may start tingling when a filling becomes loose and starts to move, which can only be corrected by having the dental filling replaced.

Visit Your Dentist In Billings, MT To Care For Sensitive Teeth

To take care of your tingling teeth, a dental cleaning is the first place to start. So, if you live in Billings, MT, you can visit Taylor Dental for all your dental needs.

If you need to schedule an appointment to have a dental cleaning and to have your oral health checked, please contact us today to schedule your appointment. We look forward to helping you enjoy the best dental health possible!

Will Going Vegan Help Or Hurt My Teeth?

Will Going Vegan Help Or Hurt My Teeth

Following a vegan diet can provide you with a number of benefits, from losing weight to reducing your carbon footprint. However, what many individuals don’t know is how going vegan can impact their teeth.

When done right, sticking to a vegan diet shouldn’t have a negative impact on your teeth. But, as our Billings dental clinic has seen, there are many ways a vegan diet can become unbalanced and lead to dental issues from increased cavities to gum disease.

Going Vegan Can Lead To Dental Damage

Often, when picturing a vegan diet, the image of a person chowing down on bowls of salad and other veggies comes to mind. But, it is easy for vegans to have a diet that skews more towards simple carbohydrates—such as pasta, rice, cereal, crackers, and bread—and fruits. A diet that predominantly features carbs and fruit is one that is very high in sugar, even if that sugar technically comes from healthy sources.

The higher the amount of sugar in your diet, the more food for the harmful oral bacteria in your mouth has to eat. As these bacteria consume the sugar, they excrete acid, which compromises the enamel of your teeth and causes cavities to form. Also, many fruits—particularly berries—can lead to long-term staining on your teeth until you need professional teeth whitening services to revitalize your smile.

Vegans often have to eat more, from snacks to meals, as the caloric density of a lot of their foods is not that high. With more snacking, there is more opportunity for bacteria to consume the leftover food particles and excrete acid. Eating foods higher in fat and protein—such as nuts, quinoa, oats, soy products, etc.—can help with fullness and reduce the need to snack.

Vegans Need To Focus On Vitamin And Mineral Diversity

Vegans already have to pay more attention to what they are consuming than most people, but that attention should also be applied to vitamin and mineral diversity. Some of the key nutrients that vegans should be sure to have in their diet are:

  • Phosphorus – This key mineral works in concert with calcium, and is often found in dairy and meat products. So, as a vegan, you will need to ensure that enough phosphorus-rich foods are in your diet.
  • Vitamin D – The body naturally produces vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight, which is needed to process calcium.
  • Calcium – Being calcium-deficient can make vegans more prone to tooth decay and periodontitis. As calcium is often consumed in dairy products, vegans will need to supplement with calcium-fortified liquids and foods like edamame, spinach, tofu, and other high-calcium foods.
  • Vitamin B12 – This vitamin is essential to both your dental and overall health, and since it is generally found in non-vegan food options, many vegans need to take vitamin B12 supplements. You can also find B12 in almonds, spinach, and pasta.
  • Amino acids – Dietary amino acids help break down the dental plaque on your teeth and assist in preventing gum disease. Vegan sources of amino acids are things like chickpeas, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, lentils, and peanuts.
  • Iron – With low iron levels, sores and inflammation can develop in your mouth. Many individuals on a plant-based diet are lower in iron, but you can supplement by eating dark leafy greens, seeds, nuts, and peas.

While there are clear issues associated with following a vegan diet, as long as steps are taken to ensure the proper dietary diversity is addressed, you should be able to follow a vegan diet safely.

Work With Your Billings, MT Dentist To Protect Your Oral Health

For those who are following a vegan diet, you may want to talk to your dentist about your diet to help them keep a lookout for any diet-related issues that can crop up.

If you are ready to work with our dentist, whether you need a dental cleaning or are interested in cosmetic dentistry, contact us today to set up an appointment to start managing your oral health!

Long Term Benefits Of Flossing

Long Term Benefits Of Flossing

During every dental cleaning here at our Billings, MT, dental clinic, flossing is bound to be brought up. We don’t bring up flossing to shame your oral care routine—in fact, the exact opposite is true! Our staff wants you to enjoy the long term dental health benefits of flossing, and want to ensure you know how to floss properly.

If you are on the fence about flossing and aren’t convinced it can really provide any benefits to your oral health routine, here are five reasons why you should add flossing to your daily schedule.

Routine Flossing Helps Fight And Prevent Gum Disease

Brushing your teeth does much of the work to remove harmful oral bacteria that builds up in your mouth over the course of the day. But flossing once a day also plays an important preventative dental care role.

With dental floss, you can get into the tiny spaces between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t fit. In these areas, bacteria may hide and multiply as you sleep. By flossing before bed, you can prevent excess bacteria from sitting on your gums and potentially slipping between tooth and gum tissue. When these harmful oral bacteria are able to penetrate the area between tooth and gums, periodontitis (gum disease) is the result. But, with routine flossing, you can prevent even developing the early stage of gingivitis.

Use Floss To Safely Remove Leftover Food Particles

When something gets stuck between your teeth, your first instinct may be to grab a toothpick to dislodge the offending bit of food. However, it is far too easy to scrape your gums and cause bleeding with a toothpick, which leaves an opening for bacteria. Also, as most people use wooden toothpicks, you can run the risk of lodging a splinter of wood in your gums.

Instead, you can simply use floss to remove any stuck food particles and prevent any accidental scrapes and splinters.

Daily Flossing Assists In Cavity Prevention

Plenty of cavities form in the small space between your teeth, as your toothbrush isn’t able to fit between these tiny areas. And, if a cavity forms on one side of a tooth, the other tooth that touches that area will often develop a cavity as the decay spreads.

To prevent cavities from forming in these areas—as well as preventing tooth decay spread—you should be flossing once a day as part of your evening dental oral hygiene routine.

Protect Your Dental Work With Regular Flossing

If you have any dental work, such as fillings, crowns, dental bridges, or dental implants, by flossing, you can protect your investment in your dental health. Depending on the type of dental work, bacteria can more easily hide in crevices that are difficult for teeth brushing alone to take care of properly.

With daily flossing, you can carefully work around your dental work and keep bacteria from damaging the supporting tooth structures that are around your dental work.

Prevent Dental Plaque And Tartar Build Up

While dental plaque—sticky biofilm on your teeth—can be helpful, when there is too much plaque buildup, it can become damaging to your teeth. Also, calcium deposits can buildup, turning into tartar, which contributes to tooth decay.

By flossing regularly, you can actively prevent the excess of dental plaque buildup and keep from forming tartar along the gums of your teeth.

Whether you need a kickstart to your oral hygiene routine, are looking to start cosmetic dental treatments, or just need to schedule your biannual dental cleaning, feel free to contact us today to set up your appointment. We look forward to helping you have the best smile possible!

Why Does My Dentist Care If I Have Diabetes?

Why Does My Dentist Care If I Have Diabetes

Diabetes can have a widespread impact on your health, primarily if it is not being carefully managed, as diabetes impacts your ability to correctly process sugar. For Type 1 diabetics, their bodies aren’t able to produce enough insulin, while Type 2 diabetics have become insensitive to insulin and no longer responds appropriately.

Both types of diabetes can lead to dangerously high blood sugar levels, which in turn impacts your blood flow, and from there, the rest of your body.

So, where does your local Billings, MT, dentist come into this problem? Well, your smallest blood vessels are among the first impacted by diabetes, such as the ones in your feet and mouth. This impact can range from a higher risk of developing cavities to advanced periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease And Diabetes

Periodontal disease—also called gum disease—is particularly hard on those individuals living with diabetes. In fact, gum disease is the most common dental problem that is experienced by diabetics, as the blood sugar levels in their mouths have a direct impact on oral bacteria.

We all have many types of bacteria in our mouths, some good and some harmful. However, when blood sugar levels are not carefully controlled, the harmful bacteria can over-produce and attack the gums, leading to periodontal disease, gum infections, and other dental issues.

Signs Diabetes Is Impacting Your Oral Health

There are several oral health signs associated with diabetes. If you suspect that your diabetes may be impacting your mouth, look for these signs:

  • Inflamed and tender gums
  • Gums easily bleed
  • More likely to have oral infections, which will stick around
  • Your mouth is often dry
  • Children have teeth erupt ahead of schedule
  • Food will taste different or lose all taste
  • Tooth pain triggered by cavities

Should you recognize one or more of these signs, it is likely that your diabetes is interfering with your oral health, and you will need to take steps to protect yourself.

How To Protect Your Oral Health While Living With Diabetes

Depending on what stage you intervene, you can keep your diabetes from causing too much trouble when it comes to your oral health. Along with encouraging you to carefully control your blood sugar levels, below are some of the recommendations we make to our dental patients with diabetes.

Periodontal therapy – If you are suffering from periodontal disease, Dr. Taylor provides a range of periodontal therapy services. These therapies range from non-surgical deep cleaning to different surgical interventions to save your teeth and improve your overall oral health.

Stop smoking – If you have diabetes, it is important that you avoid smoking, as it can compound the problems you face, from losing your ability to taste to making oral infections last longer.

Clean dentures thoroughly – For those who wear partial or full dentures, be sure to clean them thoroughly every day—in the morning before putting them in and at night after taking them out. With consistent cleaning, you can prevent bacteria buildup, sores, and infections from poor cleaning habits.

Regular dental cleanings – Every six months, you should be coming into our dental clinic for regular dental cleanings. During these cleanings, Dr. Taylor can monitor your oral health and ensure that you are on track or make needed recommendations.

Maintain home dental hygiene – Most importantly, you will need to be vigilant when it comes to your home dental hygiene routine. It can be easy to slack off, but just as you need to stay on top of managing your diabetes, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day and floss nightly to keep your oral health in top condition.

If you have diabetes and are concerned about your oral health, be sure to contact us to set up a dental cleaning! During your cleaning, our dental staff can check for issues, and Dr. Taylor can give you specific advice on what dental and oral care you need to keep your smile healthy.

Don’t Let A Little Cavity Become A Big One

Don't Let A Little Cavity Become A Big One

Sometimes, individuals can be tempted to push off their visits to the dentist. Whether it is due to finances, dental-related anxiety, or simply a lack of time, it can be difficult to make your biannual dental cleanings.

While we understand that at our dental clinic when a patient comes in after a long time away, it is essential to get your dental issues like cavities addressed early on.

Small Cavities Can Become Big Problems

Cavities can start out so small that dentists won’t even fill them in, as it can damage an otherwise healthy tooth. Instead, our dentist will tell you if we want to watch a tooth, which means we will check up on the tooth during your next visit. Along with monitoring your tooth, our dentist will recommend brushing your teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride, as well as carefully flossing at night. Depending on other factors, mouthwash may also be recommended.

All this work is to prevent future serious dental issues. Most of the more invasive dental work—from needing root canals to tooth loss—starts as a small cavity. That’s because the tooth decay that allowed the cavity to form doesn’t simply go away. Instead, the harmful oral bacteria continues to wear away at the opening in your tooth until the small cavity evolves into a severe dental problem.

How To Tell If You Have A Cavity

Small cavities may not be easily visible, especially if they are located between two of your teeth or on the back of your teeth. That’s generally why it’s not a good idea to wait until you see a cavity before coming into our dental clinic. However, some cavities do show up as discolored spots, either a dark spot or abnormally pale. This spot can continue to discolor, changing to brown, yellow, or black as the cavity worsens.

There is also often pain associated with tooth decay. Cavities in their early stages aren’t usually painful, as they have barely penetrated the enamel. But as cavities reach deeper into the layer of dentin below the enamel, your tooth can become more sensitive to pressure, cold, and heat. If the cavity is allowed to progress to the dental pulp, you will definitely be able to tell you have a cavity, as it is generally painful and can lead to an extremely painful dental abscess.

What Dentists Do To Fix Cavities

What our dentist does to treat your cavities will depend on what stage it is caught at. Some of the options are:

  • In-office fluoride treatment – For small cavities that haven’t developed into directly treatable issues, having an in-office fluoride treatment can help remineralize your tooth and halt the tooth decay.
  • Fillings – With many cavities, cleaning out the decay and using non-metal fillings is the main treatment method our dentist will use.
  • Root canal and crown – If your cavity has penetrated into the dental pulp of your tooth, a root canal is needed to clean out the infection and sterilize the tooth. After the root canal, enough of the tooth material will have been stripped away, so a dental crown will need to be placed to protect your remaining tooth.
  • Tooth removal – Lastly, sometimes, the tooth is unable to be saved if the infection introduced by the cavity ends up killing the tooth’s blood supply. In this case, the removal of the dead tooth is needed. From there, our dentist can go over tooth replacement options, such as dental bridges and dental implants.

If you are having dental pain or are concerned about your oral health, it’s time to contact us and schedule an appointment with our dentist. We will do our best to find the source of the problem and get you cavity-free as soon as possible.

Direct From The Dentist: Is It Okay To Brush My Teeth With Baking Soda?

Direct-From-The-Dentist-Is-It-Okay-To-Brush-My-Teeth-With-Baking-Soda

When it comes to cleaning your teeth, there are a lot of options out there. But, not all of them offer equal cleaning and protective power. Since you don’t want to deal with tooth decay, cavities, infection, and more, it is essential that you are using the right kinds of oral hygiene products.

A question our dentist, Dr. Taylor, and our dental hygienist are often asked is if it is okay to use baking soda to brush the individual’s teeth. There are some proven benefits to brushing with baking soda. However, there are more downsides that make it clear that brushing with baking soda isn’t a good idea.

Pros To Brushing Your Teeth With Baking Soda

There are some verified positives to using baking soda to brush your teeth and many unsubstantiated claims. Below are the established benefits of brushing with baking soda.

  • Baking soda is cheap – A 16-ounce box of baking soda costs less than a dollar and will last for a long time if its primary use is for teeth brushing.
  • It can clean off dental plaque – Research has shown that brushing with baking soda can help remove built-up dental plaque from your teeth. In fact, the study inferred that the higher the concentration of baking soda, the more effective the removal process is when it comes to plaque.
  • Remove teeth surface stains – Using baking soda to brush your teeth can help with light stains on your teeth, generally the ones that come with eating and drinking things that can stain. Also, the yellow coloring can be lightened.

Drawbacks To Using Baking Soda To Brush Teeth

While there are positives to choosing to use baking soda to brush your teeth, there are more downsides, and the cons may be enough that you stick to regular toothpaste.

  • Non-ADA approved – At this time, the American Dental Association does not approve of only using baking soda to clean your teeth. As proper teeth brushing is a critical part of your preventative dental care, it is a bad idea to use something that is not ADA-approved.
  • Baking soda is abrasive – As baking soda is grainy, it is abrasive when used to brush your teeth. The impact of using an abrasive cleaner on your teeth can take a toll on the enamel of your teeth and create grooves as well as thin spots.
  • Leaves a gritty feeling – Once you are finished brushing, you may be left with a gritty feeling in your mouth. Even after rinsing out your mouth, the baking soda granules can remain to make your mouth feel less fresh and clean.
  • Using baking soda is messy – The use of baking soda can be a messy process. There are several different methods to try, but they all can be quite tough to do without making a mess until you are used to using baking soda as your teeth cleaner.
  • No fluoride – By using baking soda, your teeth aren’t getting fluoride that you would get from fluoride-enriched toothpaste. As fluoride is a great cavity fighter, you may experience more tooth decay, cavities, and other dental issues by using only baking soda.
  • Removes too much biofilm – Our teeth need a certain amount of biofilm to protect them from bacteria and corrosive foods. We control the biofilm growth by brushing twice a day. But baking soda is too harsh on our natural biofilm and doesn’t allow for proper protective growth.

What About Using Baking Soda To Whiten My Teeth?

Okay, you know how in the pros section, we mentioned that baking soda can whiten teeth? Well, it is important that you understand that the whitening effect of using baking soda is minimal. Simple surface stain removal and slight lightening of yellow teeth is the extent of what baking soda can do, which is the same that your average whitening toothpaste can provide.

But, if you need extensive teeth whiting, professional dental whitening is the only way to go. Our dentist can get your teeth whiter in one session of using professional-grade whitening treatment than you can ever hope from baking soda.

To ensure that your teeth are in the best condition and as healthy as possible, be sure to call us today to set up your biannual cleaning. We are ready to help you smile more brightly!

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT:406.652.9204