Stay Hydrated, Help Your Teeth

Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, so it’s fair to say that we absolutely need to drink plenty of water each and every day to help our bodies perform at their optimal level. In fact, drinking water and staying hydrated helps organs function properly, aids in digestion, keeps joints well lubricated, and can even help fight off illness. But your dentist in Reno wants you to know there are also oral benefits to staying hydrated.

Fights Off Damaging Acids

Everyone naturally has mouth bacteria, but not everyone knows that some of these bacteria are some of the most harmful things for our teeth. As we eat throughout the day, mouth bacteria are getting a feast of their own through the food particles left behind in our mouths. The longer the food is left lingering around, the more the bacteria will consume. As a byproduct of this feeding frenzy, bacteria will give off an acid. This acid, if not removed, will attack the protective layer of teeth and cause decay and cavities. However, if we choose to drink water as we eat, we can help lower this risk. Water helps wash away the source of the bacteria’s meal and without these leftovers to feed on, no acid is produced by the bacteria. Additionally, drinking water immediately after our meals will neutralize any acids that may already be at work attacking the enamel. 

Keeps Mouths Moist

Drinking water throughout the day will also help keep our mouths moist, which is key to maintaining good oral health. If our mouths are too dry it means that not enough saliva is being produced. Without saliva, bacteria are able to flourish, feeding on anything we eat and releasing acids over and over. This increases the risk of developing decay and cavities which may require dental treatment from your dentist in Reno. But that’s not all, dry mouth can also feel uncomfortable and cause chronic bad breath. Keep in mind, dry mouth can be caused by dehydration, but it can also be a result of certain medications, mouth breathing, or smoking. While not all cases of dry mouth are easily solved by drinking plenty of water, it’s not a bad habit to pick up and it certainly can’t hurt. 

Builds Strong Teeth

Drinking water, specifically fluoridated water, can further protect teeth through a process called remineralization. Our teeth’s protective layer of enamel gets worn down over time, whether as a result of too much acid, tooth grinding, or simply time. But drinking water containing fluoride can help remineralize, or rebuild, the lost enamel for better protection. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that’s organically found in some foods. Over time, researchers have found that higher levels of fluoride resulted in lower levels of tooth decay. That’s why fluoride has been added to many public water systems. Patients can also get fluoride from their toothpaste, through foods or drinks that have been fortified with fluoride, or from their dentist in Reno.  

Water is such a simple thing, but it’s one that can make a big difference in both overall and oral health. Make sure each member of your family drinks at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each and every day.

Dental Emergencies vs. Non-Emergencies

As of March 18, 2020, the American Dental Association has recommended a nationwide postponement of all elective dental procedures and encouraged dentists to provide emergency services only. But how do you determine the difference between a dental emergency and a non-emergency? The ADA is helping out there, too and released important information and guidance to help both you and your dentist in Reno during these unprecedented times. 

What Are Dental Emergencies?

According to the ADA, dental emergencies are “potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.” The guide released to dentists back in March goes into even more detail to give specific examples of potential dental emergencies. Let’s take a look. 

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Cellulitis or soft tissue infection with swelling that can affect breathing 
  • Trauma to facial bones that may reduce someone’s ability to breathe

Urgent Dental Care

There is also a subset of the ADA’s guidelines to emergency dental needs called urgent dental care. These problems may still require dental care quickly and include: 

  • Severe dental pain caused by pulpal inflammation
  • Third-molar pain
  • Tooth fractures with pain or resulting in soft tissue trauma
  • Post-op complications such as dry socket 
  • Abscess or localized bacterial infection with swelling
  • Dental trauma that results in a lost tooth 
  • Lost or broken temporary restoration or if a restoration is irritating the gum tissue

This is not an all-inclusive list of all dental emergencies that may require immediate treatment. Other situations may include defective restorations that cause pain, extensive cavities or decay that cause pain, needed adjustments to dental appliances when they aren’t functioning properly, or the replacement of temporary fillings where the patient is in pain. 

Non-Emergencies

At this time, dental offices are discouraged from having preventive, routine appointments or seeing patients with non-urgent needs such as: 

  • Initial consultation for cosmetic procedures
  • Restorative dentistry such as fillings if there is no pain
  • Extractions of teeth that are not causing pain
  • Dental cleanings, x-rays, and routine checkups. 

Please note, while your dentist in Reno is here to help you in any way possible, there are some limitations as to what we can and cannot do at this time. The best thing to do if you think you’re experiencing a dental emergency is to call your dentist. 

*As information about COVID-19 changes regularly both at the state level and on a national scale, please check your local area for the most recent updates regarding dental care.

Protect Your Heart, See Your Dentist in Reno

Seeing your dentist in Reno in order to protect your heart may seem like strange advice, but in fact, there is a strong connection between oral health and heart health. To help celebrate Heart Health Month this February, we’d like to educate our patients and neighbors on just how important regular dental care is to protect not only your mouth but also your heart.   

The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

The main connection between oral health and heart health lies in the gums. Years of research support a positive correlation between gum disease and the increased risk for complications with heart health. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry states that those with gum disease are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those without gum disease. But how does gum health directly affect heart health? It all has to do with the way gum inflammation and infection can affect your heart. 

How Can Gum Infections Give You a Heart Attack?

Even though infection of the gums may seem like no cause for concern, nothing could be farther from the truth. Not only does gum disease put your whole body at risk for problems such as diabetic complications and lung conditions, but it can also directly affect your heart health. When gums become infected, the bacteria that caused the infection in the first place aren’t isolated to just the mouth. They can easily enter the bloodstream and cause your body to over-produce something called C-reactive protein (CRP). Increased levels of CRP is a known precursor to heart attacks. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, elevated CRP levels can be more accurate at predicting a heart attack than high cholesterol. 

Signs of Gum Disease

Knowing the signs of gum disease can go a long way in getting it treated early before your risk of other health concerns increases. Some common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing 
  • Consistently bad breath 
  • Chronic bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth 
  • Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth

What You Do to Protect Yourself 

The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene habits at home as well as visit your dentist in Reno at least twice a year for regular checkups. Make sure to brush and floss every single day to remove bacteria and plaque buildup, try to eat a well-balanced diet with limited sugary and acidic foods, and of course, avoid tobacco. It’s also important to share any health problems, changes in your health history, and medications with your dentist at each visit. 

This Heart Health Month, and every month, take the steps to protect your oral health. It may just save your life. 

Are You Leaving Areas Of Your Smile Unclean When You Brush?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day will help you fight cavities and gum disease, and maintain an attractive appearance. So if you brush consistently, and see your dentist for regular dental checkups, you should have nothing to worry about…right? When it comes to daily oral care, you should be careful to make sure that you are thorough in your efforts. If you fail to fully clean your teeth, you can allow plaque to gather, and tartar to form. Patients can discover they need a cavity treatment despite their apparent efforts because of that inconsistency. If you want to fully clean your teeth, you need to work at it effectively. You also need to do more than just brush – to effectively reach those spaces between teeth, you need to floss. Continue reading “Are You Leaving Areas Of Your Smile Unclean When You Brush?”

3 Small Diet Changes To Help You Reduce Your Cavity Risk

Your only means of improving your cavity defense will involve making adjustments to your brushing and flossing habits…right? Actually, if you think of preventive dental care as being just about these actions, you can overlook other ways in which you might be affecting your oral health. Your diet choices can shift your cavity risk in crucial ways. How can you make sure your typical meals and snacks are doing a better job protecting your smile? You may be surprised at how little changes can have a big impact. With a new approach to snacking, or an adjustment to your standard meals, you can make sure you are less likely to need a dental filling or dental crown in the near future. Continue reading “3 Small Diet Changes To Help You Reduce Your Cavity Risk”

Are You Buying The Right Kind Of Toothpaste?

The difference between a healthy smile and cavity trouble may come down to the type of toothpaste you use. At your local grocery store or pharmacy, you likely have a wide variety of toothpaste brands available, with different products boasting different properties. Is your choice delivering on its promises? Should you switch to something more potent? If you want to make sure your toothpaste is doing its job, look for the ADA Seal Of Acceptance. This means that the product you use has been evaluated, and confirmed as effective. Any toothpaste containing this seal of approval will contain fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that will help your enamel stay strong and healthy, so you are less likely to find yourself in need of professional dental care. Continue reading “Are You Buying The Right Kind Of Toothpaste?”

Should You Be Worried About The Condition Of Your Enamel?

Our teeth enjoy considerable protection thanks to their enamel. Enamel keeps them safe when you bite and chew, and the substance is able to resist damage caused by oral bacteria, up to a point. Unfortunately, because enamel does not consist of living cells, breakage can be permanent. However, physical trauma is not the only issue you should worry about when it comes to keeping your enamel safe. Wear and tear over time can cause layers of your enamel to erode. This can make it harder for you to keep your teeth safe from cavities, as they will have less protection. This loss of enamel can also lead to cosmetic dental troubles, as your smile may appear duller. Continue reading “Should You Be Worried About The Condition Of Your Enamel?”

Is Your Diet Making Trouble For Your Teeth?

As Halloween approaches, you may not want to think about how all the sugar in your favorite candy treats can affect your oral health. Unfortunately, cavities can occur at any time of year. When you have too much sugar in your diet, you put yourself in a situation where bacteria on your teeth will produce more harmful acids, which eat into your enamel. The tooth decay that results can call for restorative dental care to stop potentially serious harm. Of course, candy is only one source of sugar in a person’s diet. When you put the proper attention towards your diet, you can reduce your risk for oral health problems, and protect your smile. Continue reading “Is Your Diet Making Trouble For Your Teeth?”

Habits To Avoid If You Want To Keep Healthy Teeth

habits to avoid if you want to keep healthy teethThe services available from your dentist to keep your mouth healthy can be vital. If you are smart about your daily habits, you can reduce the level of dental assistance you need to preserve a healthy mouth. While there are no routine behaviors that can replace your dentist’s services, there are behaviors you can avoid to limit your risks. Certain foods and beverages can be more likely to create cavities than others. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco, you can be at risk for several issues. Continue reading “Habits To Avoid If You Want To Keep Healthy Teeth”

Comprehensive Dentistry Can Offer Full Mouth Reconstruction

comprehensive dentistry can restore your oral healthFor people with severe or prolonged oral health problems, a single procedure can be insufficient to fully treat their ongoing issues. A practice that offers comprehensive dentistry can perform a range of treatments to restore your oral health, and can provide replacements for lost teeth. A healthy, attractive smile can be crucial to your self-confidence, and the health of your teeth and gums can have significant effects on your overall health. With comprehensive dentistry, you can have a full mouth reconstruction that provides essential improvements to your health, and to the esthetic quality of your smile. Continue reading “Comprehensive Dentistry Can Offer Full Mouth Reconstruction”