All posts by Flawless Dental

Please, Please, Please, Don’t File Down Your Teeth!

We’ve seen a disturbing trend in the past where people, mostly teens, have been filing down their front teeth in order to make them ‘even’ or ‘straight’. We can’t believe we have to say this, but please don’t do it. We can’t stress enough just how bad this is, but let’s discuss the gruesome details of what you’re actually doing to your mouth.

First, let’s talk about the trauma you’re inflicting on your teeth. If you’re lucky, you’ll get away with thinned enamel that increases the sensitivity of your teeth to hot and cold. This might not sound so bad, but when we say sensitivity, we basically mean the pain of a severe brain freeze, but in your teeth. And as we said, that’s if you’re lucky. If you’re unlucky you might actually expose a nerve and cause unimaginable pain.

The thinned enamel also increases the tooth’s susceptibility to really bad cavities that could result in needing a root canal. The root canal treatment won’t really hurt, but the hours or days waiting to get into the dental chair will be excruciating, as anyone who’s had a root canal can attest to.

Now let’s address the myth that filing down a tooth would even make it ‘even’ or ‘straight’ to begin with. Put simply, that is not the case, the tooth will only have the appearance of being straight when in reality the tooth will now be misshapen if it were ever to be shifted into an actual straight position later on. Not only that but changing the shape of the tooth could change the way you bite down in an unexpected way that could result in other dental complications down the line.

Orthodontists spend years in training to make sure that teeth are not only straightened but done so in a way that doesn’t cause issues at the root level or cause an uneven bite. If you want straight teeth, go to a dentist and ask about your options instead of causing major harm to your teeth.

How Fragile is Porcelain Dental Work?

Dentist Examining Patient Mouth

When you hear the word porcelain, what is the first thing that comes to mind? A fragile figurine or an old-school tea set? We normally do not usually associate the term with our teeth, but when discussing topics of crowns, veneers, and bridges, it is a common word to come across. If associated with fragility, then why exactly are dentists using this material so often? Don’t we want our teeth to withstand even the slightest of rigor and be strong enough to stay intact?

In short, the answer is yes, but you may be surprised to learn that with regards to eating, drinking, and chewing, porcelain is actually equally durable to our natural teeth… and sometimes even stronger!

There are many different types of porcelain to choose from, including “glass leucite, zirconium, lithium disilicate,” and more. Picking the right one for your smile depends on your individual teeth. Our first thoughts of porcelain may be that of fragility, but in truth, all types of porcelain that are applied to our teeth are resilient enough to last a lifetime!

If you have any questions regarding the durability of this material or the process in which your dentist uses porcelain, set up a consultation to discuss the best option for you and your teeth. Your pearly whites will not only look better and whiter but will be able to withstand many of life’s accidents and incidents.

Source

What a Dentist Can Tell by Looking in Your Mouth

Dentist Examining Patient Mouth

When your dentist looks into your mouth, teeth are not the only things they see. In fact, your dentist can tell a great deal about your health by looking into your mouth! Many dentists call the mouth “the window to the body”, and rightfully so. Just by looking into your mouth, your dentist has the ability to diagnose you with a variety of illnesses.

There are many different things that a dentist can tell just by having you say “ahhh,” but here are a few examples:

Pregnancy

During an oral examination, your dentist may come across red growths on the gums and between the teeth, which can be a sign of pregnancy. These growths are referred to as pregnancy tumors and only show up in 5% of women. These growths aren’t dangerous, but can indicate increased sensitivity. So, a trip to your dentist may result in a trip to your OBGYN.

Anemia

If your gums have lost that reddish hue and have become pink or even white, then you could be lacking iron. If your dentist takes a peek into your mouth and sees discoloration in your gums, it may tip them off that you have anemia.

Diabetes

While you might be unaware that you have diabetes, your dentist might know just by looking in your mouth. People with diabetes have an increased risk of developing abscesses. While healthy people can still get abscesses, it is a common side effect for diabetic patients.

Autoimmune Diseases

If you have sore red spots in your mouth, you could have an autoimmune disease. Diseases like Lupus and Crohn’s disease can often manifest themselves as sore red spots in your mouth. Not only do these sores exhibit bodily health issues, they can also cause serious oral health issues. These sores can lead to mouth ulcers, which can be dangerous and painful, so if you have these sores, you should visit a dentist.

The next time you want to skip the dentist because your teeth look great and you don’t have any cavities, think again. By going to the dentist you afford yourself the opportunity to not just get an oral health opinion, but also an overall health opinion.

Source

What Smoking Does to Your Oral Health

We all know that smoking is bad for our health. For years, smoking was seen as a trendy, social activity, but then the truth came out about its cancer-causing carcinogens. Now, people who smoke run a high risk of illness and disease as well as poor overall health. It is most commonly associated with its negative effects on our respiratory health. In fact, the CDC reports, that in 2011, 156,953 people died from lung cancer. While you may be aware of how bad smoking is for the lungs, you may not realize how bad it is for the mouth.

While oral cancer doesn’t account for as many deaths as lung cancer, with an estimated 7,500 deaths in 2015 by the American Cancer Society, it is still a real problem and one that smoking contributes to.

Smoking and the use of other tobacco products have a serious impact on oral health. Smoking not only endangers overall health through an increased risk of cancer, but through a slew of other oral health issues.

In addition to affecting your overall health, smoking also affects the way you look! Smoking can lead to stained teeth and tongue. Stained teeth can be a huge turn off to everyone, from potential dates to even employers. You need a top-notch smile to make a good impression and smoking just won’t let you do that.

Smoking doesn’t stop at altering your appearance; it also dulls sense of taste and smell. Smoking flattens the taste buds on the tongue and makes them less sensitive. When one loses their sense of smell, it can also lead to nerve damage.

Slow healing and gum disease are also possible health issues that may occur if you stick with smoking. Smoking weakens the immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight off infection. This means that if the gums get infected, the immune system would have a difficult time fighting off the infection, making it a lot harder for the healing process to occur.

Smoking doesn’t just harm the lungs. It can alter how teeth look, how food tastes, and gum health. If you want a healthy mouth, and a healthy body, it’s time to quit smoking.

Source

4 Surprising Risk Factors of Bad Oral Health

We all know that not brushing your teeth and eating sugary foods are predictors of bad oral health, but there are a few risk factors that are correlated with bad oral health that might surprise you.

Being male – Men, typically past the age of 35, are likelier to lose their teeth more frequently and sooner than women. This is in part because men are not as proactive when it comes to taking care of oral and general health. Men are more likely than women to wait until there is something painfully wrong with their teeth before going to the dentist, while women are likelier to make regular visits.

How can you avoid bad oral health as a male? Simple: be proactive about your health! Don’t wait until something is wrong to go to the doctor or dentist.

Taking medication – One of the side effects of many medications is a dry mouth. Dry mouths make perfect homes for cavities and bacterias that cause gum disease.

If you are experiencing dry mouth as a result of medication or physical activity, you can stimulate saliva flow by chewing sugarless gum, especially gum-containing xylitol.

Tobacco – Smoking or chewing tobacco not only puts you at risk of suffering from oral cancer, but it is also correlated with gum disease.

The solution is to stop using tobacco. We know—it’s easier said then done, but it’s one of the best things you can do for oral and overall health.

Playing sports – Playing sports without a mouthguard puts you at risk of getting serious mouth injuries. Additionally, exercise can cause the mouth to dry and become more susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria.

If you’re an athlete, remember to wear a mouthguard to avoid injuries to the mouth.

Source

Mouth Guards: The Best Way to Save Hundreds on Dental Procedures

It is estimated that 200,000 football mouth injuries are prevented each year through the use of protection. Proper protection gear not only protect you and your loved ones from injury, but also from the cost of the procedures involved in healing in the injury.

When it comes to protecting your mouth during physical activity, there are two key pieces of gear to keep in mind:

  • Helmet – A helmet doesn’t just help protect against brain injuries and concussions. It also helps protect impact on your mouth and jaw if you are involved in any accidents! Make sure to wear a helmet that fits properly in order to get the protection you need.
  • Mouth guard – Mouth guards are the best option for protecting your teeth, tongue, and lips from all sorts of sports mishaps. The best option when it comes to mouth guards is a custom one that fits your smile perfectly. If you want the security of a decent fitting mouth guard but don’t want a trip to the dentist, you can get acceptable levels of customization and fit from a boil-and-bite mouth guard.

Source

The War on Thumb-Sucking

Most pediatricians will demand that you kick your child’s thumb sucking and pacifier reliance to the curb by the time they are three. If you wait much longer, your child can end up with dental health issues that would take many years and lots of money to fix.

There are a lot of techniques out there when it comes to kicking oral fixations to the curb, but your best bet is to ask your dentist for proper guidance. Your dentist can give you insight into the types of issues that your child will face if they continue on with the pacifier or thumb sucking.

To be frank, your child will put up a fight and do their very best to hold onto the thing that gives them comfort, but many things can help deter your child from sucking their thumbs. Your dentist could have good ideas to help, and even tools to get your child to stop the habit.

Source

The Evolution of the Tooth

The mouth, like the rest of the human body, is subject to the evolutionary process. Tracing the changes in dental biology is fascinating and provides us some insight into the lives of our ancestors.

Wisdom Teeth

Humans have long had wisdom teeth, but the issue of impacted wisdom teeth is a modern phenomenon.

Due to the evolutionary process, human jaws are too short to fit all of our teeth. We no longer need to put extreme amounts of stress on our jaws—we eat mostly soft food as children—so evolution has compensated by giving us shorter jawlines, to the point where we can no longer fit all of our teeth!

Cavities

As our diets have improved, our carbohydrate and sugar consumptions have increased. Carbohydrates provide a place for bacteria to stick onto the tooth. They also provide food to the bacteria, leading to cavities becoming more prevalent.

Chewing

While humans are the dominant species, this comes at a price. Our metabolism burns fuel up to ten times faster than animals of comparable sizes. This means that converting food into energy is extremely important. Over time, humans have developed a nearly unique system of chewing as well as a complex arrangement of tooth placement and size—all towards the aim of making digestion more efficient.

Source

What You Need to Know About Grillz

Dental grills (also known as “grillz”) might draw attention to your teeth and your smile, but they are actually terrible for your teeth.

If you have ever seen a music video featuring someone wearing grills, then you are likely looking at dental grills that are made from gold, silver, or another precious metal. While expensive grills made from high-quality materials can cause less damage, many grills made from less expensive materials can cause an allergic reaction and irate your mouth and teeth.

Grills can also promote tooth decay and plaque buildup because food particles and bacteria get trapped between the teeth and the grills. The grills can also rub up against other teeth and cause abrasion and issues with the adjacent teeth, and the laundry list of negatives doesn’t end there. Grills wearers will also suffer from discoloration on their teeth!

While you may want to add “grillz” to your style, think first about your oral health.

Source

The Impressive Roots of Dentistry: Centuries-Old Evidence of Natural Fillings

Dentistry is not a modern invention… It’s actually an ancient form of medicine practiced by our ancestors!

About 100 years ago, a 6,500-year-old man’s jaw was found in Slovenia. However, it was only recently that close examination revealed a layer of beeswax lodged in one of his teeth. Although this is not the first known evidence of dental work, this is the oldest discovery of a therapeutic dental filling to date and possibly the most ancient example of prehistoric dentistry in Europe.

Researchers are now searching for similar cases in other Neolithic remains. If evidence can be found showing that this dental intervention was widespread, we will have another tool to understand prehistoric populations better.

Experiments testing beeswax as a therapy for cracked and sensitive teeth will also proceed as a result of this discovery. We cannot comment on its effectiveness so don’t try it at home yet; we whole-heartedly recommend seeing your dentist should you encounter any situations of discomfort.

Source