Don’t Try These 4 Social Media Tooth Trends At Home

There’s an appropriate time and place for do-it-yourself, at-home projects, and improvements. But your dentist in Reno wants you to know that any social media trend involving your oral health isn’t one of them. While you should take great care of your teeth at home by regularly brushing and flossing, you shouldn’t try these four social media dental trends under any circumstances. 

  • Office Supplies Orthodontics

If straightening your teeth or tightening up small gaps is your goal, there’s a right way to go about achieving a super straight smile, and that’s by talking with your dentist in Reno. Moving teeth is a science and an art, and if done incorrectly, can cause some serious problems. One trend popular on social media is using typical office supplies to shift teeth around. This is incredibly dangerous and can cause permanent damage to your teeth. It can also lead to jaw problems or even make teeth fall out. 

  • “Veneers Check” Trend

A highly disturbing trend circulating on social media platforms is something called the “veneers check” where users file down their own teeth into small stubs or just in an attempt to even out some ridges. The result is the appearance of “shark teeth.” Many users are showing these filed-down teeth as a before picture prior to getting veneers. The problem is dental veneers don’t require that type of preparation. But there’s more. Filing down your teeth can be painful, lead to permanent damage, and may require additional treatment from a dentist in Reno such as dentures. 

  • Whitening Experiments

While there are ways to whiten teeth at home, this should be done only if given approval by your dentist and only by using appropriate whitening solutions. Never dig for smile-whitening ingredients in your pantry or cleaning products and mix up a social media concoction that claims to whiten teeth quickly. Many of the ingredients used are highly acidic and when applied directly to the teeth can quickly weaken the enamel. Not to mention, cleaning products can be very harmful to overall health. 

  • Artfully Crafted Teeth

Even other trends involve using art supplies to craft individual teeth. This could be in the form of a crown, partial dentures, or even just filling in a tiny crack. Either way, the materials are often not approved as safe to use in the mouth and there’s a good chance you may be covering up a bigger problem that should be properly addressed by your dentist. The longer dental concerns go undiagnosed and untreated, the bigger issue they can become. 

When it comes to improving the appearance of your smile, never take the DIY approach. Always start by talking with your dentist about your cosmetic dentistry options so you can get the smile you desire safely. 

What Are Examples of Cosmetic Dentistry? 

Cosmetic dentistry can transform any smile and make it brighter, whiter, straighter, or more even. There are tons of cosmetic dentistry treatments to choose from, and finding the best cosmetic dentistry procedure for you depends on what you’re trying to achieve. Use this guide of examples of cosmetic dentistry from your dentist in Reno to get started. 

Teeth Whitening

Perhaps the most popular form of cosmetic dentistry is teeth whitening. This treatment can whiten teeth by several shades, although it does depend on the product used. From whitening strips to trays and even a professional in-office whitening treatment with your dentist, the options are endless. While you can venture out on your own and buy an over-the-counter whitening treatment, we always recommend starting by talking with your dentist in Reno about the best way to whiten teeth. The truth is, that some types of tooth staining won’t be touched by some whitening products, so before you spend your money on a product that may not work for you, schedule an appointment with your dentist. 

Dental Veneers

Another type of cosmetic dentistry that’s very popular is veneers. Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are placed on the front of your teeth. They’re custom-designed and custom-colored to create a natural, yet very appealing, appearance. Veneers are so popular because they can help fix a variety of concerns including covering up stains and changing the size, shape, or length of individual teeth. 

Bonding

One of the fastest cosmetic dentistry procedures is dental bonding. The whole process can usually be completed in 30-60 minutes, and it’s usually pretty affordable, depending on the case. Your dentist in Reno will apply a tooth-colored resin and mold it into the desired shape. The resin is then hardened, or bonded to the tooth, with ultraviolet light. Dental bonding may be the best way to repair decay or chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth. 

Dental Crown

While this cosmetic dentistry procedure can also be considered a form of restorative dentistry, it can be used to enhance the appearance of specific teeth, making it fall into the cosmetic category. A dental crown is often referred to as a cap as that’s essentially what it does – it caps a tooth. Crowns are custom-created so they blend seamlessly into a smile. You may be a candidate for a dental crown if you need to restore the size, shape, or strength of a tooth. Dental crowns are also typically used following a root canal to strengthen the treated tooth. 

No matter what your wants or needs may be, know that your dentist in Reno has plenty of cosmetic dentistry treatments available to help. The best place to start is by scheduling a cosmetic dentistry consultation today. 

What Does It Mean When You Have Too Many Teeth? 

Most people are more concerned about losing their teeth and having fewer teeth than they are about having too many teeth. But the truth is, it can happen. When someone has more than the usual 20 baby teeth and 32 adult teeth, it’s known as hyperdontia. Luckily, this condition doesn’t typically need treatment, but you should still see your dentist in Reno

What Exactly Is Hyperdontia?

Hyperdontia is a condition when too many teeth grow in the mouth. These extra teeth are called supernumerary and can grow in various places in the mouth and also be of different shapes. Usually, the additional teeth appear in the arches or the areas where teeth attach to the jaw. Hyperdontia can happen with both baby teeth and adult teeth, but it’s more common to see the condition in kids. 

Recognizing Hyperdontia

You think it’d be pretty obvious if you developed extra teeth, and it usually is. Supernumerary teeth typically pop up directly behind the already erupted teeth, so it’s pretty easy to spot. However, your dentist in Reno can also tell if there are more teeth under the gum line that have yet to show themselves by looking at images obtained from dental x-rays. This condition usually doesn’t cause pain, but a slight discomfort can happen. 

Teeth Shapes & Positioning

Supernumerary teeth, just like regular teeth, show up in different places in the mouth. The most common place where these extra teeth tend to erupt is behind the four front teeth, but they can pop up in other areas. 

  • Paramolar – extra teeth in the back by the molars
  • Distomolar – additional teeth that grow in line with the molars rather than behind 
  • Mesiodens – show up behind the front teeth

 Additional teeth can also vary in shape. 

  • Supplemental – looks like the tooth right next door
  • Tuberculate – looks like a tube
  • Compound odontoma – looks like it’s made from several growths close together
  • Complex odontoma – looks like a random grouping of tooth-like tissues
  • Conical – looks like a peg that’s wide at the bottom and pointy on top

Hyperdontia Causes

Unfortunately, hyperdontia is one of those conditions that we don’t quite know the cause of. But it has been tied to other heredity conditions, including: 

  • Cleft palate or lip
  • Gardner’s syndrome
  • Ehler-Danlos syndrome 
  • Fabry disease
  • Cleidocranial dysplasia

Treatment & Potential Complications

As we’ve mentioned before, many times cases of hyperdontia won’t need treatment. But there are times when intervention from your dentist in Reno is recommended. Occasionally, extra teeth can cause discomfort in the jaw or gums. Other times a patient is unhappy with the appearance of their smile due to their extra teeth. Most commonly, too many teeth cause problems with proper brushing and flossing and can lead to decay, gum disease, and other concerns. If any of these things are apparent, you may want to consider treatment

Treating hyperdontia can be as simple as removing the extra teeth. Sometimes, your dentist may recommend some other forms of cosmetic dentistry afterward to give you a smile you’re proud of. 

Damaged or Bad Teeth? You Have Options.

Time can take a toll on your teeth, and everything from trauma, diet, habits, and even medications can affect your smile. When this happens, patients may be hesitant to smile as much as they used to, and they may even find it difficult to eat all the foods they enjoy. But there’s good news. Your dentist in Reno has several options to help restore a smile, no matter how damaged teeth may be. 

Dental Fillings

Perhaps the most common type of dental treatment completed today is dental fillings. This routine dental procedure is one of the best ways to stop decay in its tracks and keep your natural tooth healthy. Keeping up with your dental appointments every six months can help identify cavities early when they can still be easily treated with a filling.

Bonding

Another way to fix a bad tooth is with dental bonding. Typically used to fill in teeth that are chipped, cracked, or broken, dental bonding can custom-match the other teeth for a seamless restoration. This treatment is usually fast and more affordable than other options. 

Dental Crowns

Also known as a cap, dental crowns are used to cover up an entire tooth. They too are also custom-made to match the size, shape, and color of other teeth, so nobody will even know it’s there. Crowns are more appropriate for larger cavities and are often used following a root canal to further protect the treated tooth. 

Tooth Whitening 

Like fillings, smile whitening is an incredibly common dental procedure used to brighten the appearance of teeth. Even though many products are available without the recommendation of a dentist, we always recommend discussing smile whitening with your dentist in Reno before starting any product. Some products may not work well for your specific concerns and sometimes whitening products can do more harm than good. 

Dental Veneers

Veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that are placed on the front surface of teeth and can help with many dental concerns. For example, if you have tooth staining that can’t be fixed through smile whitening, you can cover up the stains with veneers. Veneers can also help: 

  • Repair minor chips or cracks
  • Change the size and shape of teeth
  • Close gaps in between teeth
  • Make teeth appear straighter 

Dental Implants

If you’re missing a tooth or even several teeth, there are still solutions available to restore your smile and regain your confidence. The best way to replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth is with dental implants. This restorative dentistry treatment is a permanent solution to missing teeth and can help you smile, eat, and speak without worrying about dentures slipping. To find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno

No matter what your dental needs are and no matter how bad you feel your teeth are, there are ways to help. Don’t give up hope on getting a smile you’re proud of. Schedule an appointment with your dentist and start the conversation today. 

Why Does Food Always Get Stuck in Between My Teeth?

We’ve all experienced getting a piece of food stuck in between our teeth at some point, and this is common with several types of food. However, if you find yourself getting food stuck in the same places almost every time you eat, you may have something called a food trap. While this may sound like a minor inconvenience, your dentist in Reno wants you to know that a food trap could cause problems. 

What Causes a Food Trap? 

A food trap can be caused by a number of things, some of which should be diagnosed and treated by your dentist in Reno . The most common causes of a food trap include: 

  • Gaps

Larger gaps in between teeth provide a great place for pieces of food to hide. Even if you had braces when you were younger, teeth can shift over time and cause gaps. Your dentist may suggest some additional type of orthodontic solution such as clear aligners, traditional braces, or certain types of cosmetic dentistry

  • Cavities

Cavities cause tiny holes in teeth where both bacteria and food can get stuck. The longer a cavity goes untreated, the bigger it can get and the more problems it can cause. However, getting a cavity filled is often an easy treatment that you shouldn’t put off.  

  • Gum Disease

Gum disease occurs when there’s an infection in the gum tissue. This can create pockets between your teeth and up into your gums. Again, these small spaces give food a nice place to get stuck. Gum disease can be serious and can lead to other problems, including tooth loss, so it’s important to catch it early while treatment is still often successful. 

It’s important to talk with your dentist about any dental problems you may have, including if food gets stuck in your teeth, so they can take a closer look and help prevent problems. 

Food Traps Can Be Dangerous

Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, if food particles are lingering around in between your teeth all day long, they can feed mouth bacteria and increase the risk of tooth decay and other problems. This is why it’s so important to brush your teeth and floss regularly. If you do feel a piece of food stuck in your teeth, try to remove it as soon as possible. 

How to Remove Food From in Between Teeth

When you’re dealing with a pesky piece of food wedged in between your teeth, you’ll use almost anything to get it out. However, your dentist in Reno  recommends that you only use dental floss or a toothbrush. These tools are designed to be gentle, yet effective, and reduce the risk of damage. If you have something that’s really stuck, call your dentist to schedule a quick visit. 

We always recommend that our patients brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily to remove bacteria, plaque, and leftover food particles that have accumulated throughout the day. Practicing good oral hygiene habits can help prevent food traps and keep your teeth protected. 

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

Are you struggling with a painful tooth? Are you at your wit’s end trying to get it to go away, but there’s always discomfort no matter what you do? Maybe it’s time you talked to your dentist in Reno about having a root canal. We know those two little words can cause big anxiety for some patients, but if you leave your troublesome tooth untreated, things could get a whole lot worse. 

Why Root Canals Are Necessary (and a Good Thing)

We might recommend root canal treatment when you have a tooth where the pulp or soft tissue inside the root canals becomes inflamed or infected. We’ll do a root canal as a last resort when we cannot restore your tooth. Here are some common symptoms that a root canal could help to soothe:

  • Constant toothache
  • Lingering sensitivity
  • Discharge
  • Pain in your jaw bone
  • Discomfort when chewing
  • Swelling in your gums

If any of these sound familiar, it’s essential that you schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno as soon as possible so we can do a thorough checkup.

How Long Will it Take to Complete Root Canal Treatment?

When you need a root canal to help heal your smile, how your treatment progresses will be personal to your needs and schedule. Generally speaking, root canals can take up to two appointments, ranging in length from 30 to 90 minutes. What determines how long your procedure will take is the severity of your individual case. The initial appointment is when we do the actual root canal, where all of the infected pulp is safely and effectively removed from your tooth. The second appointment is when your tooth is permanently or completely crowned for a brand new, healthy tooth. 

Root Canals Are More Common Than You Think

In honor of Root Canal Awareness Week, which occurs each May, let’s praise this common dental procedure that happens over 41,000 times a day, according to the American Association of Endodontists (AAE). The AAE also says more than 15 million root canals are performed each year in the United States. 

We hope you’re feeling a little bit better about the not-so-dreadful root canal procedure. If you want to avoid having root canals or worrying about them in the future, it’s always best to take good care of your oral health today. Always remember to brush your teeth at least twice every day and floss them once. Be sure to limit how much sugar and refined carbohydrates you take in too. They can lead to cavities, tooth decay, and the need for root canals. 

Are you experiencing dental issues? Are you nervous about seeing your dentist in Reno? Relax, and call us. We’re here to help and make sure you’re comfortable every step of the way. 

We’re Talking About Women’s Oral Health This Month

Did you know that May is Women’s Health Month? Your dentist in Reno thought this would be the best time to talk about the specific needs and issues women can face regarding oral health and hygiene. There’s a lot to uncover and understand, and we hope you’ll join us to learn a little more about your oral health. 

Understanding How Hormones Work

Hormones like estrogen and progesterone play a role in both oral and overall health. They become more active during our teenage years, leading to periodontal or gum tissue issues in adolescent girls. Parents should be on the lookout for any inflammation, redness, swelling, or bleeding as your teen ages. Also, if you rely on oral contraceptives or pills for birth control, you’ll want to let us know that you take this medication. Maintaining your oral health while using these pills is very important. Hormone levels in women on the birth control pill, especially brands containing progesterone, can increase the risk of developing gum disease due to increased blood flow. Sometimes, prescription antibiotics will be necessary to help treat your gum disease.

Pregnancy and Healthy Gums

There are so many things an expecting mother has to do to prepare for their little one’s arrival. It’s important to know that your baby can be affected by your oral health during development. You might see changes in your mouth, especially in your gums, due to an abundance of estrogen and progesterone, similar to the onset of puberty. Due to this hormonal increase, “pregnancy gingivitis” can occur with painful inflammation in your gum and surrounding tissue. Unfortunately, gum disease has been linked to preterm or low birth weight in newborn babies. If you’re planning a family or recently found out you’re expecting a child, please schedule an appointment with your Reno dentist to ensure you’re healthy and ready. 

Gum Infections and Cancer

A recent study found that older women experiencing periodontal or gum tissue infections are more likely to develop some common cancers than their peers without any oral health issues. When plaque builds up on your teeth, it can lead to an early form of gum disease called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can worsen into another condition called periodontitis. Over time, plaque can spread and grow beneath your gum line and allow bacteria to irritate your gums. This can stimulate a chronic inflammatory response elsewhere in your body that can cause your body to break down its own bone and tissue that help support your teeth. The study also found that women with periodontal issues were 14 percent more likely to develop cancers in the esophagus, lungs, and gallbladder than women with healthy teeth. 

No matter what month it is or what stage of life you may be in, women of all ages should keep up with their regular visits to see their dentist in Reno. This is when we can monitor your oral health and look for any changes or issues, especially with your gums. Call us today to schedule an appointment or hygiene cleaning. We can help answer any questions you might have about your gum health and taking care of your smile. Take the time to care for yourself and your oral health, and enjoy all of the benefits that come with it. 

How To Tell If You Have A Cavity 

Cavities are one of the most common dental problems your dentist in Reno sees and treats every day. Now, while a teeny, tiny cavity may seem like no big deal, the truth is, it’s important to treat any area of decay quickly to keep other problems from popping up. If cavities aren’t treated quickly, they can lead to an abscess or even tooth loss. However, a cavity may not always be easy to recognize on your own, so it’s important to know what to look out for. 

4 Signs of a Cavity

Symptoms of a cavity can differ from person to person and can be pretty subtle, so much so that you may never have feelings of discomfort and you may not know decay is present until your next appointment with your dentist in Reno. Here are some common tell-tale signs that a cavity may be lurking in your tooth. 

  • Toothache

The most common sign of a cavity is, of course, a toothache. Tooth pain can occur suddenly, and there are many times when a toothache does not have any clear sign as to what caused the pain in the first place. However, any pain in the mouth is typically a sign that something is wrong, and you should schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno. Most often, lingering tooth pain that lasts for a few days is a sign of a cavity. 

  • Sensitivity

Similar to a toothache, tooth sensitivity may also be a sign of a cavity. Unlike a toothache, however, sensitivity usually causes shooting pain when eating or drinking something hot, cold, or sweet and may not be persistent. Sensitivity can occur when the protective layer of tooth enamel is worn away, leaving nerves and roots exposed to heat, cold, sugar, as well as the bacteria that cause cavities. 

  • Staining

There are also some key signs of a cavity that are visible such as tooth staining. While some types of discoloration are natural, such as staining due to coffee, tea, or red wine, other stains can indicate a problem. If you notice a new tiny white spot on your tooth or darker areas of brown or gray, it’s likely that decay is present and is progressing deeper into the tooth. Any new signs of discoloration should be discussed with your dentist

  • Pitting

Another visual cue that a cavity may be forming is a pit or hole in a tooth. These two symptoms may also start with a small white dot and progress into pitting. Now, keep in mind, some of the most common places for cavities to develop are between the teeth where you won’t necessarily be able to see the pitting. This is one of many reasons why it’s so important to see a dentist near you every six months. 

How to Prevent Cavities 

Besides seeing your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings, exams, and x-rays, it’s also important to make sure you’re taking great care of your smile at home. Some of the best ways you can help prevent cavities are to: 

  • Brush and floss every day
  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Limit sugary sweets and drinks 
  • Eat a well-balanced diet

We recommend that every patient visit the dentist at least every six months to check for any early signs of decay when a cavity is typically easy to fix with filling. More severe cavities may require additional treatment such as a root canal or extraction. 

How Do You Go To The Dentist After A Long Time? 

Your dentist in Reno usually recommends that all patients visit us at least twice a year. However, we understand that any number of things can keep you from seeing your dentist as often as recommended. Perhaps you have a fear of the dentist or life simply got in the way of scheduling your next appointment, either way, you’re now ready to get back. Here’s what you need to know. 

Communicate With Your Dentist in Reno

One of the most important things you can do when you’re visiting your dentist after a long time is to be upfront and honest with your dentist and dental team. Explain your individual situation as well as any fears or worries you may have. We promise to welcome you with open arms and pride ourselves on our ability to care for patients in a gentle, caring, and non-judgmental way. 

Expect That You May Need Some Treatment

Dentists recommend visits every six months because our oral health can change quickly, and it’s important to catch any problems or potential problems early. However, if it’s been a few years since your last visit, that’s ok. We’re just glad you’re back. You should expect that some things in your mouth may have changed since your last checkup, and you may need some more initial treatment to get your smile back to optimal health. Entering your appointment with the mindset can help put you at ease. 

Stay Stress-Free

We understand that seeing your dentist can be stressful, especially if it’s been a while since your last checkup. Scheduling your appointment first thing in the morning or at the end of your day can help ease any additional stress. Also, if you can, consider giving yourself plenty of time to get to your appointment. That way you won’t be faced with additional stressors such as traffic or worry about being late. 

What To Expect

Knowing what to expect when you walk into the office can help you relax. First, you will be welcomed by our caring and friendly team. They may ask you to complete or confirm any paperwork, such as your health history form. Then, you’ll have a gentle exam, perhaps with new dental x-rays, so we can get a thorough understanding of your current oral health. The most important thing to remember throughout your appointment is to communicate with your team. Your dentist in Reno and the entire dental team is here to help you with anything you need. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, we welcome you to schedule an appointment at our office. Our team is dedicated to caring for every member of our community and will work with you to get your smile back in the best shape possible, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve sat in the dental chair!

Gum Disease Linked to Colon Cancer: Know Your Risk

An updated study conducted by the American Academy for Cancer Research of nearly 43,000 people over several years has shown a potential positive correlation between gum disease and an increased risk of colon cancer. While the whole-body complications associated with gum disease, such as heart disease, aren’t new, the link to colon cancer is a relatively recent topic of interest to researchers and your dentist in Reno

The Link Between Gum Disease & Colon Cancer

The study that examined the potential link between gum disease and colon cancer took several things into consideration – health, lifestyle, and pathology reports from routine colonoscopies. Those pathology results showed something interesting about those participants who had serrated polyps and conventional adenomas, the two types of intestinal lesions that can cause colon cancer, and who also had a history of gum disease.  

Patients with a history of gum disease had:

  • A 17% increased risk of having a serrated polyp
  • An 11% increased risk of having a conventional adenoma

But that’s not all. Patients who had lost four or more teeth, which is a very common side effect of gum disease, had a 20% increased risk of having a serrated polyp. 

While this research does suggest a correlation between gum disease and colon cancer, the scientists did state that more research is needed to fully understand how oral health can affect gut health. 

Signs of Gum Disease

If caught early, gum disease can be reversed and the risk of other oral health and overall health complications decreases. However, untreated gum disease will eventually reach a point where it can no longer be cured. This greatly increases the likelihood that gum disease will lead to tooth loss and cause other problems throughout the body. This is why your dentist in Reno encourages all patients to know the early warning signs of gum disease so you can seek treatment sooner rather than later. 

Some of the most common signs of gum disease include: 

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Swollen, red gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum recession

4 Ways to Protect Against Gum Disease

Gum disease can be caused by any number of things, but there are some habits that can substantially increase someone’s chances of getting it. The best ways to protect yourself against gum disease are to: 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco products

If you suspect that you may have gum disease, we recommend scheduling a dental appointment as soon as you can. After all, early treatment is key to protecting your teeth and your body.