rows of bottled water

Posted by & filed under Oral Health.

By now you probably know that the human body is made up of mostly water, and we need to drink plenty of it each day just to keep our organs and other important parts functioning properly. At my dental office in Buckhead, we understand how important it is to stay hydrated at home, at work, and on the go. That’s why it’s super easy and convenient to grab a water bottle or bottled water and keep on chugging along. Bottled water has surged in popularity over the years for a variety of reasons. But did you know that if you and your family drink solely bottled water and no tap water, you may be missing out on fluoride?

Water, Water Everywhere

Water is essential to your body. You cannot live without it. Did you know it’s responsible for maintaining all of these things?

  • Transportation of nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • Waste removal
  • Cushioning of your joints
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Alleviating xerostomia or dry mouth

Experts recommend that you drink about 8 to 10 cups of water daily! This may change due to weather (hot temperatures) or your body size.

The Facts About Fluoride

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that has been proven to help prevent the onset of tooth decay. It helps protect your teeth’s enamel from the damaging effects of sugars and acids found in so many of the foods and drinks available to us each day. Most public water systems have some level of fluoridation. This could occur naturally or some communities will add a small amount of fluoride to the water system to ensure residents absorb its benefits. There are some bottled waters that contain fluoride too, but most do not.

How Do You Know You’re Getting Enough Fluoride?

No matter what kind of bottled water you and your family chooses to drink, your Buckhead dentist wants to make sure you’re getting enough fluoride in your diet to help keep teeth strong and healthy. If you’re drinking mostly bottled water be sure to try and choose a brand that contains some amount of fluoride. The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t require companies to show how much fluoride is added to bottled water, unless it’s been intentionally added. If you want to find out how much fluoride is in your bottled water brand, it’s best to contact the company directly and request that information. The American Dental Association says water should have around 0.7 to 1.2 ppm of fluoride, with one ppm being equal to 1 mg/L.

It’s always a good idea to make sure you take whatever steps you can to keep teeth happy and healthy. This means making sure you’re getting enough fluoride. Don’t forget that most kinds of toothpastes contain fluoride too, which can give your teeth a boost in fighting off bacteria causing decay. Do you have questions about fluoride? My Buckhead dental office can help. We’re ready to listen to your questions and your concerns. Just give us a call!

young woman bites nails studying

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, General Dental Articles.

Nail biting is a habit that can affect not only the appearance of your nails, it can also cause damage to your oral health. As with any habit, nail biting can be difficult to break, but at our dental office in Buckhead, we’re hoping that by providing our patients some information about the dangers of nail biting, both in regards to oral health as well as overall health, we’ll be able to help encourage nail biters to quit.

Oral Health Concerns

Nail biters have a higher incidence of chipped or broken teeth, gum damage, and worn down teeth. What’s more is according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), people who bite their nails are at increased risk for bruxism, or tooth grinding. Bruxism brings on its own host of problems like headaches, recessed gums and sensitivity, and even tooth loss. If someone is a nail biter and also wears braces, root absorption can be a real problem. Root absorption is when the tooth roots shorten, making the teeth weaker and more prone to premature tooth loss.

Whole-Body Issues

You don’t need your dentist in Buckhead to tell you that you shouldn’t put your hands in your mouth because they’re usually loaded with germs and bacteria. Your nails are no different. Common bacteria found under nails includes both Salmonella and E. coli which can be very easily transferred into the body through nail biting. Both of these bacteria can lead to serious infectious disease and would require immediate medical attention.

Top 4 Tricks To Quit Biting Your Nails

As we’ve discussed, nail biting is a habit, and habits are hard to break. Whether you bite your nails when you’re bored, or subconsciously when you’re nervous, identifying the triggers that cause you to put your fingers to your mouth is the first step. Once you know, try the following tips to help you quit.

  • Use a nail polish (don’t worry, it’s clear) that’s designed specifically to help nail biters quit. It has a bitter flavor and can help you associate nail biting with an unpleasant taste.
  • When people bite because of stress, it’s helpful to find an alternative stress reliever. Try taking up yoga, exercise, or deep breathing to help you relax without nibbling on your nails.
  • If the kind of bacteria that tend to live in nail beds grosses you out, look at close-up images of these germs. Just prepare yourself in advance as they can be pretty nasty.
  • The longer the nails, the easier it is to bite them. Keep nails trimmed short to give you less to bite.

While you’re working on quitting, stay persistent as it may take a few tries to totally stop. If you happen to have a setback and experience any oral health damage such as a chipped tooth or gum damage, give our Buckhead dental office a call to schedule an appointment with us. We’ll be happy to help.  

young woman in dental chair looking up

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, General Dental Articles, Prevention.

If you’ve ever been to your dentist in Buckhead and experienced several gentle pokes to your gums followed by hearing some numbers, you’ve had what’s called a periodontal charting. This charting is helpful when evaluating overall oral health and can give your dental team some insight to a proper treatment plan.

What’s Periodontal Charting Do?

What we do at our dental office in Buckhead during periodontal charting is measure gum tissue around each tooth. There are six sides per tooth to measure, that’s why you’ll hear so many numbers being called out.

What Do The Numbers Mean?

During the measuring process, you’ll hear us say numbers ranging from 1 to 7, and sometimes more. These numbers reflect how deep your gum pockets are in millimeters. Anything between 1 and 3 is a good indicator that your gums are healthy. However, if you bleed during the process, your gums may be in beginning stages of a more severe problem, even if your measurements are between the target of 1 and 3. Higher measurements than 3 could be a sign of a serious concern. Explore the guidelines below to see what’s commonly interpreted from each depth.

  • 3 mm – 5mm with no bleeding: Gum pockets of this depth could indicate a likelihood of gum disease.  
  • 3 mm – 5 mm with bleeding: It’s very likely that gums with these measurements have early gum disease.
  • 5 mm – 7 mm with bleeding: Besides almost certain gum disease, bone loss and tissue damage are also possible.  
  • 7 mm+ with bleeding: Pockets deeper than 7 mm means advanced gum disease is certain. Surgical intervention may be appropriate to resolve the disease.

If your measurement are any of the above, it may be recommended that you have professional cleanings at least every 3-4 months in order to improve both your gum health and overall oral health. If they’re deeper than 7 mm, surgery may be required.

Other Signs of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious problem that can lead to tooth loss and has been linked to several whole-body concerns including heart disease and stroke. Besides having periodontal charting complete, you should look for other signs of gum disease like bleeding gums, chronic bad breath, or receding or tender gums.

If you notice any signs of gum disease, call our Buckhead dental office to schedule an appointment. We’ll evaluate your overall oral health and determine the most appropriate treatment plan to get your smile in its best shape ever.

chewing tobacco

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Prevention.

As we near the end of April, which just so happens to be Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the team at our Buckhead dental office thought we should talk a bit about the oral health concerns associated with smokeless tobacco. Some individuals may assume that since it’s smokeless, chewing tobacco isn’t as harmful as smoking cigarettes. However, even though there isn’t any smoke accompanying chewing tobacco, there are still health risks associated with the habit.

How Smokeless Tobacco Affects Oral Health

Just like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco is addictive, which makes quitting difficult. The longer someone uses chewing tobacco, the more they’re exposed to the dangers of it. This increases their chance of experiencing any of the numerous issues that can occur as a result:

Yellowing TeethUsing smokeless tobacco can cause tooth discoloration, making your pearly whites not so white. While smile whitening may be able to help a little bit, staining caused by tobacco typically requires a form of cosmetic dentistry, like veneers, to get your teeth back to their white appearance.

Receding GumsChew can cause gums to recede and expose the tooth roots. Once roots are left open, the chance for cavities greatly increases. The roots also contain nerves, which, if uncovered, can make teeth sensitive to heat and cold.  

Oral CancerThe most serious concern of using any type of tobacco is the increased risk for oral cancer. In fact, tobacco is the top risk factor for developing oral cancer. If it’s not caught early, oral cancer can be deadly.

Know the Signs of Oral Cancer

Everyone should be aware of the signs of oral cancer because even though the risk of the disease is greater in tobacco users, the truth is, oral cancer can happen to anyone. The signs of oral cancer can easily be misdiagnosed as something minor, so if you notice any of the symptoms below, call your dentist in Buckhead as soon as you can.

  • A white, scaly patch on the inside of the cheek or lip
  • Sores or lumps in the mouth or throat
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • Sensation of something being stuck in your throat

If you use tobacco of any kind, it’s incredibly important for you to see your dentist at least twice a year to keep an eye on your oral health and identify any potential problems early. Don’t have a dentist? Give our dental office in Buckhead a call to schedule an appointment today.

Accepting new patients from Buckhead, Atlanta, Sandy Springs and beyond. 

question

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

There are times when the team at our dental office in Buckhead may recommend a frenectomy for a patient. But we understand that many patients aren’t exactly sure what a frenectomy is and why one may be needed. So we’d like to cover the basics to help all of our patients stay properly informed.

A Little About Anatomy

Before we can dive into the treatment itself, we need to talk a bit about the mouth’s anatomy. The mouth has two thin muscular attachments called frenum that can inhibit normal function of the mouth. One of these is the tight muscle found under the tongue that connects the tongue to the lower part of the mouth (called the lingual frenum). The other connects the top lip to the gum tissue above the top teeth (called the maxillary labial frenum). When either one of these effects tongue function or proper tooth placement, a frenectomy may be appropriate.

What’s a Frenectomy?

Simply put, a frenectomy is the removal or shortening of a frenum. A frenectomy is usually recommended if the frenum is clearly causing pain or hindering proper function.

Why Are Frenectomies Important?

The benefits behind a frenectomy depends on which frenum needs treatment.

Lingual Frenum Frenectomy

When the lingual frenum is too long and extends to the tip of the tongue, it can directly affect tongue function. Most common in children, a lingual frenum frenectomy can help restore proper tongue function and can make swallowing, eating, and talking easier.

Maxillary Labial Frenum Frenectomy

A large maxillary labial frenum or one that attaches close to the teeth can create a gap in between the two front teeth. Occasionally this type of frenectomy is recommended by your Buckhead dentist following orthodontic treatment that initially closed the gap but has since reopened.

How is a Frenectomy Performed?

We understand that the procedure may sound scary, but it’s actually quite simple. Treatment always begins by numbing the area. Then the frenum is cut away from the either the floor of the mouth or the gum line. Following a few stitches, the treatment is complete. Depending on the technology offered by your dental office, a laser may also be used.

If you have more questions, we welcome you to call our Buckhead dental office. We’re always happy to help.

Accepting new patients from Buckhead, Atlanta, Sandy Springs and beyond. 

wisdom teeth

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Prevention.

Wisdom teeth usually begin to develop and show on x-rays in our early teens. And that’s the best time to start monitoring their growth to see if your wisdom teeth can stay, or if it’s better to get them removed. While all wisdom teeth don’t necessarily have to be extracted, all of us at our dental office in Buckhead want our patients to know that if wisdom teeth removal is recommended, it’s for a good reason.

When Can Wisdom Teeth Stay?

Sometimes, wisdom teeth are growing in just fine and there is no reason to discuss or consider removing them. In most cases, if your wisdom teeth are healthy, completely grown in, positioned correctly so they don’t affect your bite or neighboring teeth, and are able to be cleaned properly, they can stay right where they are. However, it’s more common that they will need to be removed, sometimes before they’re fully erupted.

Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted

Proper Care Becomes Difficult

Even if your wisdom teeth came in without a hitch, you may not necessarily get to keep them. In fact, one of the main reasons wisdom teeth need to come out is that they are difficult to care for. Your wisdom teeth, the four molars in the back of your mouth, are hard to reach with a toothbrush, and even harder to floss. This tends to increase the likelihood of gum disease and cavities. If any issues are noticed during your routine checkups with your Buckhead dentist, removal may be recommended to reduce the risk of more cavities and infection later.

There’s No Room For Them

Another reason – the most common reason – why wisdom teeth need to be removed is because there isn’t enough room in your mouth. This can often be handled with an easy wisdom teeth removal before any teeth begin to erupt through the gums. However, if the procedure is delayed or avoided, the teeth can get trapped in the bone and become impacted. Once wisdom teeth are impacted, the surgery is a bit more complicated, but still fairly easy.

Keeping up with your regularly scheduled appointments at our Buckhead dental office is an important step in monitoring your wisdom teeth and making sure that everything in your mouth is healthy, functioning correctly, and looking great. If you need someone to check out your wisdom teeth, or your smile as a whole, give us a call today.

Serving patients in Buckhead, Atlanta, Sandy Springs and the surrounding areas.

sensitive

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Prevention.

Having sensitive teeth can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful, especially while eating and drinking hot or cold treats. At our Buckhead dental office, we understand how tooth sensitivity can keep you from enjoying your favorite foods and beverages, and we don’t want anyone to experience the pain and burden of it. We’re here to help.

What Causes Sensitive Teeth?

There are several possible causes of tooth sensitivity. Most often, the reasons behind sensitive teeth is due to enamel erosion. When the enamel diminishes, the dentin, or middle part of a tooth’s anatomy, is exposed and the result is painful sensitivity. Some common culprits of enamel erosion include:

  • Brushing too hard
  • Tooth grinding (bruxism)
  • Acidic Food

Gum recession can also contribute to increased sensitivity. When gums recede, the tooth roots and the multitude of nerves inside the roots, become exposed and leads to pain.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs of having sensitive teeth are pretty straightforward. Most commonly, those with tooth sensitivity experience sharp, shooting pain with:  

  • Hot or cold food and beverages
  • Breathing in cold air
  • Eating sweet or acidic foods

What You Can Do About Sensitive Teeth

What’s causing the sensitivity in the first place would determine the most appropriate solution, but here a few tips you can try to reduce tooth sensitivity:

  • Ease up on the highly acidic foods and drinks like citrus fruit, wine, and tomato sauce
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Brush your teeth using small, gently circles
  • Consider a custom bruxism mouthguard to protect your teeth against grinding
  • Maintain regular visits with your dentist in Buckhead

If you’re tired of your sensitive teeth keeping you from enjoying your favorite foods, or you think there may be a more serious problem, we welcome you to call our dental office in Buckhead. We’re here to help our patients and neighbors have healthy, comfortable smiles.

Welcoming patients from Buckhead, Atlanta, Sandy Springs and beyond. 

biting

Posted by & filed under Jaw Pain & TMJ, Prevention.

You know the feeling. You’re happily chewing away on your lunch, talking with a coworker when all of a sudden, you hear a crunch. You feel the pain. You realize you’ve just bit your cheek (or lip, or tongue — doesn’t really matter, it all hurts!). This painful accident can be an ongoing problem for many. At our dental office in Buckhead, chronic biting of any tissues in the mouth can be concerning. Let’s look at why.

Why is it Bad?

Besides the obvious reason of it hurts, there are a few additional concerns of biting the lips and cheeks. Following a bite, usually a sore appears and lasts a few days. While this isn’t concerning for the occasional nip, if biting is an ongoing problem, sores can become infected. Any infection in the mouth is concerning itself, especially if left untreated.

Why Do We Do it?

Like we’ve previously mentioned, most of the time a bite is accidental and only happens occasionally. If this is the case, there’s probably no reason to be worried. However, when lip or cheek biting becomes a chronic thing, there are a few possible explanations. Most commonly, constant biting is a nervous habit or even done out of boredom, like biting your nails. Other times, there’s an anatomical explanation. If bites are a recurring thing and it’s not because of nervousness, there’s a possibility malocclusion, or a bad bite, is causing the trouble. When the teeth don’t close together neatly, the chance of a cheek or lip getting in between them is high. Additionally, malocclusion can lead to its own problems like headaches, jaw pain, TMJ (temporomandibular disorder), and shifting teeth.  

How To Stop

You don’t have to continue to live with the pain and annoyance of constant biting. Try following the tips below:

  • Know your triggers. If your lip or cheek biting is a result of stress or nerves as opposed to a bad bite, start paying attention to when you’re doing it and work to either avoid those triggers or work to consciously stop yourself when the trigger is unavoidable.
  • Enlist the help of friends. There’s a chance you bite more often than you realize, so ask friends to point out when you’re doing it so you can work to stop it.
  • Visit your dentist. If your biting isn’t habitual and your alignment may be an issue, talk with your dentist in Buckhead.

Don’t have a dentist to talk to? Give our Buckhead dental office a call to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to help, no matter what your concern may be.    

Welcoming patients from Buckhead, Atlanta, Sandy Springs and beyond.

reduce sugar

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar indulgence every now and then. We get it, sometimes you just need a little fix with a sweet treat. But as most people know, sugar is something every dentist really doesn’t like. And with good reason (more on that in a bit). At our dental office in Buckhead, we want to help our patients limit how much sugar they consume with these simple tips.

What’s The Big Deal About Sugar Anyway?

Sugar is needed in order to have our bodies function properly. But too much of it can lead to some pretty serious issues. An abundance of sugar ingestion contributes to tooth decay and enamel erosion. When this happens, patients tend to need dental treatment like cavity fillings and perhaps even root canals to protect teeth from more damage. But that’s not all. A diet high in sugar also negatively affects the whole body. Too much sugar can cause headaches, lead to overeating, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and contribute to cardiovascular disease.

How Much Sugar Do You Need?

The amount of sugar someone should consume varies as we get older and even depends on our gender. Recommendations from the American Heart Association start at 12 teaspoons per day for anyone 3 and under, 21 teaspoons from 4 to 8, and increases to 29-34 grams in boys 9 to 19, and 23 to 25 grams in girls in the same age range. Once we reach adulthood, maximum daily sugar intake for men is 37.5 grams and 25 grams for women.

What Are The Best Ways to Limit Sugar in Your Diet?

  • Eliminate sweets, or enjoy them in moderation. This tip seems obvious, but we do understand how difficult this may be. When you crave something sweet, opt for a piece of fruit.
  • Know what you’re eating. Sugar can hide in some surprising places, and you may be unaware of just how much you’re actually eating. Get in the habit of reading the nutritional facts on your groceries.
  • Enjoy home cooked meals. Making your own meals at home allows you to control what ingredients you use and can help you not only limit sugar, but eat healthier overall.

Taking these steps to decrease your sugar intake can help keep your teeth and body healthy. But that doesn’t mean other parts of your oral health care routine can take a backseat. It’s still, and always will be, important to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist in Buckhead two times a year.

If you’re experiencing a dental problem, or if you’re looking for a new dentist, we welcome you to call our Buckhead dental office to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to help.

Welcoming patients from Buckhead, Atlanta, Sandy Springs and beyond. 

pets teeth

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

At my dental office in Buckhead, we’re in the business of helping each one of our patients get and keep a beautiful, healthy smile. We’ll even often give advice on what you can do at home to protect your dental health. But humans aren’t the only ones that can benefit from at-home dental care. Just like people, pets also rely on good oral health for overall wellness. To achieve this, follow our pet-friendly tips.

Choose the right tools

An important part of your pet’s dental care is similar to your own. We’re talking about brushing teeth. And just like we recommend you choose a toothbrush that’s right for you, you need to choose a brush that’s appropriate for your pet. There are toothbrushes designed just for dogs and cats and can be found at many pet stores. But a clean piece of gauze wrapped around a finger will work pretty well too. When it comes to which toothpaste to use, don’t use your own. Human toothpaste can cause stomach problems in animals. Instead, ask your vet for a recommendation.

Use the right technique

The technique behind brushing your animal’s teeth is not unlike brushing your own. Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and gently massage in a small circular motion. You may want to focus more attention on the cheek side of the teeth as that’s where the most tartar tends to accumulate. You don’t need to brush your pet’s teeth as often as you brush you own, however. Two or three times a week is typically standard.

Stay Aware

Animals can get gum disease too, and you should know the signs that something may not be right. Keep an eye out for:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • Loose teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your vet.

While we can’t help keep your pet’s smile in top shape, following the tips above and visiting your vet regularly can do wonders in ensuring your furry loved ones are healthy. When it comes your pearly whites, we’ll be more than happy to see you at my Buckhead dental office. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Welcoming patients from Buckhead, Atlanta, Sandy Springs and beyond.