Six Reasons Why Dental Crowns Are the Best Option 

Having cracked, chipped, weak, or discolored teeth do more than damage your appearance; they also weaken your dental structure. Several dental solutions are available from veneers to bridges. But, if you are looking for a long-lasting dental treatment, the dental crowns offer a better solution. Not yet convinced? Here are six reasons to make you rethink dental crowns.

1. The Crowns Cover a Range of Dental Problems

Most dental procedures address one dental problem at a time. But, with dental crowns, you can fix a range of problems such as:

  • Tooth cavities and decay. Our dentist may recommend crowns if you have moderate decay to prevent new bacterial growth.
  • Cracked or chipped teeth. Minor cracks don’t require dental crowns. However, you may need crowns to protect against further damage and tooth sensitivity.
  • To restore the function and strength of teeth after a root canal. A root canal treatment weakens the teeth and you need dental crowns to strengthen them.
  • Teeth discoloration. For people with severe discoloration, teeth whitening doesn’t work, and the dentist will opt for crowns.

2. The Procedure is Not Lengthy

On average, the dental crowns need two to three dental visits and it takes about three weeks for the treatment to be complete. The initial consultation involves an assessment and evaluation of your dental health. An x-ray may be done to check for dental decay. If none, the dentist will trim and reshape the teeth to make room for the dental crown.

He will also take an impression of your teeth to make the permanent crowns. It may take two to three weeks for the permanent crowns to be ready. In the meantime, a temporary dental crown will be placed on the teeth to protect them from damage and sensitivity.

The second dental appointment is for fixing the permanent crowns. The dentist may set up a follow-up dental visit to monitor the progress and how well you are tolerating the crowns.

If you don’t want to wait for two weeks, you can opt for the same-day crowns. These caps eliminate the need for temporary crowns as they are fixed on a single dental visit, but they still undergo the same process.

3. The Dental Crowns Are Available in Different Options

You can choose between porcelain, metal, ceramic, resin, or porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns. But, of all these types the porcelain dental crowns are the best because they closely resemble your teeth and don’t stain easily.

4. The Procedure Is Non-invasive

Although the enamel is trimmed and reshaped, the procedure is non-invasive compared to other dental procedures such as dental implants. Furthermore, you only need local anesthesia to numb the area and ease discomfort.

5. The Crowns Are Long-lasting

The dental crowns can restore your dental appearance, but they don’t last forever. You can use the crowns for one to two decades based on how well you take care of them. After that, the crowns will need to be replaced.

6. No Special Instructions Required

The dental crowns resemble and function just like your natural teeth, and thus there are no special instructions for the permanent ones. However, you will need to maintain healthy dental hygiene to prevent bacteria and tartar buildup which can cause decay.

Keep in mind though, the dental crowns can chip or discolor. Therefore, avoid overconsumption of tea and coffee. Plus, don’t chew or bite hard objects to prevent the crowns from cracking or loosening. 
If you notice that your dental crowns are cracked, call us immediately for a replacement. Remember, the cracks can provide a breeding room for bacteria to fester.

Should You Get Dental Crowns?

If you have chipped, cracked, discolored or weakened teeth, then the dental crowns are the best dental treatment. This restorative dentistry treatment provides a long term solution especially if done by a qualified dentist. Don’t risk your treatment, contact us today for the best dental treatment. We offer dental crowns among other restorative dentistry services to cater to all your dental needs.

Canker Sores 101

Have you ever had tiny bruises in your mouth that make it hard to eat or speak properly? Well, you are not alone. Most of us have at one time or another suffered from mouth ulcers that cause excruciating pain. These ulcers are referred to as canker sores, and they are more common than you think. Plus, they affect people of all ages but are common in women and young adults.

Although canker sores sound serious, they are nothing to be worried about because they are treatable. Keep reading to find out more about canker sores.

What are Canker Sores?

Canker sores or aphthous ulcers are small wounds found inside the mouth which make eating and drinking a challenge. Mouth ulcers range from minor to severe depending on the cause and the symptoms.

Minor or simple canker sores are tiny wounds that mostly affect people aged 10 to 20 years. These wounds heal after a week without scaring.

Complete or major canker sores, on the other hand, are large wounds that scar easily and take two weeks to clear up.

Are Canker and Cold Sores Same?

Although they both affect the mouth, canker and cold sores are not the same. Canker sores appear on the inside while cold sores affect the outside. Cold sores also called herpes simplex type 1 or fever blisters are highly contagious and can also appear under the nose. Canker sores are not contagious.

What Are the Risk Factors of Canker Sores?

The cause of canker sores is not known, but doctors believe that factors like compromised immunity, stress, vitamin deficiency, allergies, and diet are triggers.

Mouth ulcers are also common in women because of hormonal imbalance. Genetics may also play a role in the recurrence of the canker sores.

What are the Canker Sores Symptoms?

A tingling sensation in your mouth is always a warning sign of canker sores. Afterward, you will experience pain, fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.

Canker sores clear up in a few days. However, if you have unusually huge sores, ulcers that last for more than three weeks, high fever, or sores that spread, you need to come to visit us immediately for treatment.

What is the Recommended Treatment?

Various treatment options are available, but at Graham Family Dental we offer laser therapy for the treatment of canker and cold sores.

Our dentist applies a gentle light for ten minutes on each sore to promote healing. The laser light penetrates deep within the tissues, thereby treating the mucosal sores and preventing a re-infection.

Additionally, laser therapy has less discomfort and gives relief in the first 24 hours and healing within three days.

Laser therapy is effective as you will have fewer recurrent episodes after the treatment.

Other treatment that you may use include:

  • Mouthwashes especially antibacterial can help relieve the discomfort. Additionally, they detoxify the mouth and clean off any bacteria that may increase the risk of infection.
  • Nutritional supplements can also be given if vitamin deficiency is the cause of the mouth ulcers. Vitamin B12 and zinc deficiencies are common culprits for canker sores.
  • Oral medications can also help, but our dentist will prescribe the appropriate medication to ease discomfort.

Are There Home Remedies?

Yes. If the sores are minor or mild, you can use home remedies to get rid of the pain. Topical products such as medicated gels and creams work effectively. You can also use an ice pack and milk of magnesia.

Avoiding acidic, hot, and spicy foods can help hasten the healing process.

What Can You Do to Prevent Canker Sores?

The cause is unknown, but you can reduce a reoccurrence, by using a soft-bristled toothbrush, eating nutrient-dense foods, dealing with hormonal imbalance, and protecting your gums.

Come for an Assessment

If you have a recurrent canker or cold sores, it could be a sign of an underlying condition. Come to our dental clinic for an assessment and discussion on the risk factors. At Graham Family Dental we offer canker and cold sore treatment as part of your general dentistry services.

Periodontitis and Birth Control Pills

Oral contraceptive use is linked to increased gingival inflammation due to an increase in the concentration of sex hormones in the gingival tissues. Newer formulations of oral contraceptives contain lower levels of hormones; however the number of years taking the drug may influence gingival conditions. There were 21 smokers in the oral contraceptives group and 20 smokers in the control group. The incidence of moderate to severe periodontitis was nearly twice as high in those taking oral contraceptives and smoking compared to controls who smoked. Those taking oral contraceptives more than three years also had a higher prevalence of moderate to severe periodontitis. Clinical Implications: Women taking oral contraceptives and smoking are at greater risk of periodontal disease and should be advised to pay careful attention to their daily oral hygiene.

Respiratory Bacteria in Oral Biofilm and Saliva

Oral bacterial biofilm contains an estimated 700 species including oral as well as respiratory pathogens. Poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease provide and inflammatory condition and biofilm environment conducive to the proliferation of respiratory pathogens. The risk of nosocomial pneumonia may be increased in hospitalized patients as the biofilm provides a reservoir for pathogenic species. Clinical Implications: Oral hygiene for hospitalized, intubated patients should be considered not only for oral health, but also to prevent aspiration of bacteria into the lungs.

Periodontal Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dental researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry have found the first long-term evidence that periodontal disease may increase associated with Alzheimer’s disease in healthy individuals, as well as in those who already are cognitively impaired.

The NYU study offers fresh evidence that gingival inflammation may contribute to brain inflammation, neurodegeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease. The research team, led by Dr. Angela Kamer, assistant professor of periodonotlogy and implant dentistry, examined 20 years of data that support the hypothesis of a possible causal link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

“The research suggests that cognitively normal subjects with periodontal inflammation are at an increased risk of lower cognitive function compared to cognitively normal subjects with little or no periodontal inflammation,” Dr. Kamer said.

The study builds upon a 2008 study, also by Dr. Kamer, that found that subjects with Alzheimer’s disease had a significantly higher level of antibodies and inflammatory molecules associated with periodontal disease in their plasma compared to healthy people. Dr. Kamer’s latest findings are based on an analysis of data on periodontal inflammation and cognitive function in 152 subjects in the Glostrop Aging Study, which has been gathering medical, psychological, oral health, and social data spanning a 20- year period ending in 1984, when the subjects were all 70 years of age.

Dr. Kramer’s team compared cognitive function at ages 50 and 70 years, using the Digit Symbol Test a part of the standard measurement of adult IQ. The DST assesses how quickly subjects can link a series of digits to a corresponding list of digit-symbol pairs. Dr. Kamer’s team found that periodontal inflammation at age 70 years was strongly associated with lower DST scores at age 70 years. Subjects with periodontal inflammation were 9 times more likely to test in the lower range of the DST compared to subjects with little or no periodontal inflammation.

This strong association held true even in those subjects who had other risk factors linked to lower DST scores, including obesity, cigarette smoking, and tooth loss unrelated to gum inflammation. The strong association also held true in those subjects who already had a low DST score at age 50 years. Dr. Kamer plans to conduct a follow-up study involving a larger more ethnically diverse group of subjects to further examine the connection between periodontal disease and low cognition.

Dealing with Diabetes, Oral Health and Dentistry

Our office is very concerned about our patients who have diabetes. These patients present a special challenge in achieving and maintaining optimum oral health due to a compromised immune system and complications caused by the destructive nature of diabetes. This can become even more of a challenge because periodontal patients often present treatment and maintenance issues due to the chronic and non-curable nature of periodontal disease.

When managing a periodontal patient with diabetes, the difficulties go up several notches due to the mutually destructive effects of these two diseases. Favorable treatment outcomes may not occur if blood sugar control is not taken into account. At Dr. Glover’s office, we have taken additional continuing education courses concentrating on treating patients who have diabetes.

Diabetes is the No. 1 systemic risk factor for periodontal disease through several mechanisms. In hyperglycemic conditions, the body’s ability to kill periodontal pathogens and repair damaged gingival tissue is severely impaired. Additionally, the inflammatory mediators responsible for periodontal destruction are elevated in hyperglycemic states. On the other hand, periodontal disease worsens blood sugar control by increasing insulin resistance, which prevents the transport of glucose from the blood vessels into the cells, resulting in high sugar concentration in the bloodstream resulting in hyperglycemia.

How is diabetes related to gingivitis, periodontal disease (gum disease) and other systemic problems? Poorly controlled individuals have a higher incidence of complications not only to periodontal disease, but also have a higher incidence of complications such as retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, stroke, infections, low birth weight babies, pancreatic cancer and cataracts. Unfortunately, the list of related complications is getting longer every day as more medical research is conducted.

When diabetic patients are well under control, the risk of periodontal disease development and progression is the same as a non-diabetic individual. However, the likelihood of a favorable treatment outcome is much lower when the patient has hyperglycemia. Successfully managing the oral contribution to blood sugar control, by preventing and aggressively treating periodontal disease, can improve the quality of life for these patients. Utilizing the various methods we have today to combat the bacteria which cause periodontal disease, we are able to help our patients get control over this debilitating disease.

Besides the different types of cleanings available, we recommend power toothbrushes, antimicrobial rinses, interdental cleaners (floss), and antibiotics. The primary reason why it is so important to prevent periodontal disease from developing in the first place, and aggressively addressing existing periodontitis In diabetic individuals, is because 65% of poorly controlled diabetics die from a heart attack of stroke.

Brush Off Heart Disease

If you’re one of the 40 percent of women who confess to cutting corners on their dental hygiene, know that you may be harming your heart as well as your grin. A new study in the British Medical Journal found that people who brushed their teeth twice a day were 30 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who did do only once. Even minor gum inflammation may take a toll on your arteries, say experts. Set aside those five minutes to smile pretty now and for decades down the road.

Why Can’t I Fall Asleep?

Obsrtuctive Sleep Apnea refers to the blockage of the upper airway during sleep which can disrupt your breathing. This disruption (SDB: Sleep Disordered Breathing) can range from mild snoring to extreme blockage of the airway. Mild (benign) snoring with no airway obstruction does not usually result in any health issues, however, OSA, where there is complete blockage of the airway for longer than ten (10) seconds can be life threatening.

Obstruction of the airway occurs when the base of the tongue presses against the soft palate and the back of the throat producing an airway which is smaller than normal, or an airway which is totally blocked. Snoring is the noise the air makes as it passes the soft palate and other soft tissues in the back of the throat causing these tissues to vibrate. The result of this tissue vibration is noise–snoring.

With the airway partially blocked or totally blocked, air cannot enter the lungs normally. When sufficient air cannot enter the lungs the oxygen level in the lungs drops. As the amount of oxygen in the lungs drops, the oxygen level in the blood drops, also. This lack of oxygen will now effect the rest of the body because the body does not have adequate amounts of oxygen to function properly, leading to significant consequences to your overall health.

In mild cases of OSA, the cycle of apnea (no air) and normal breathing occurs only a few times during the night, in severe cases the cycle may repeat several hundred times.

It is estimated that over 18 million Americans suffer from OSA, and many are not even aware of it. Symtoms and medical conditions causing increased risk of sleep apnea include:

Night time Symptoms:

  • Loud snoring
  • Choking and gasping during sleep
  • Apneas or cessation of breathing witnessed by a bed partner
  • Ecessive movement of arms and legs (Restless Leg Syndrome)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Heartburn due to acid reflux
  • Nonrestorative sleep; feeling groggy first thing in the morning upon waking

Daytime Symptoms:

  • Excessive sleepiness and fatigue
  • Dryness of mouth on awaking
  • Morning headache
  • Inattention, forgetfullness and lack of concentration

If you have any of the following conditions, you may need to be tested for Sleep Apnea:

  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Large neck circumference
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Recurrent atrial fibrillation
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Insomnia
  • Overweight
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Depression
  • Morning headaches
  • GERD

Consequences of Sleep Apnea:

  • Increased risk of death
  • Risk of high blood pressure
  • Risk of coronary arterial disease
  • Risk of stroke
  • Impairment of memory
  • Risk of heart failure
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Risk of automobile accidents

What Causes Dry Mouth?

Dry mouth or Xerostomia is a condition when the amount of saliva present in the mouth is reduced. This reduction can vary from a little to a lot to the total loss of saliva. The amount of saliva a normal person produces during the day is about 2 cups. The ability of a patient to detect a decrease in saliva is when the volume of saliva decreases about 50%, or down to one cup.

Patients who have a decreased salivary output will notice the sensation of stickiness in the mouth with the inside of the cheeks and the tongue sticking to the teeth. They will also notice difficulty in swallowing during meals and that the saliva is more ropey or foamy.

What Causes Dry Mouth:

  • Medications
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Tobacco
  • Anxiety
  • Mouth breathing
  • Irradiation during cancer treatment
  • Menopause
  • Systemic Disease: Diabetes, Parkinson’s, Sjogren’s Syndrome, salivary gland stones or tumors

More than 400 medications can cause the salivary glands to produce less saliva:

  • Antihistimines
  • Decongestants
  • Diuretics
  • Tranuilizers
  • Antidepressants

Signs of Dry Mouth (Xerostomia):

  • Altered tongue and mucosal surface
  • Sticky lips/dry lips
  • Excessive plaque accumulation
  • Cavities/abrasion/erosion
  • Oral fungal infections
  • Parotid gland enlargement
  • Difficulty in swallowing dry food
  • Need to sip water all day to make the mouth comfortable
  • Bad breath

Consequences of Dry Mouth:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive plaque accumulation
  • Oral fungal infections
  • Cavities

Dry Mouth Management

It is difficult to cure dry mouth, so management of dry mouth is critical for oral health, tooth integrity, and overall systemic health. The important aspect of dry mouth management is preventing all the possible ill effects of Dry Mouth. Therefore, the patient must attempt to keep the mouth moist and use adjuncts which will help prevent growth of harmful bacteria, reduce plaque accumulation, and help prevent decay.

The following list of products are important in the management of Dry Mouth:

  • Toothpastes
  • Topical Moisturizers
  • Topical Sprays
  • Lip Care
  • Sugar Free Gum and Mints
  • High Fluoride Toothpastes
  • Fluoride Rinses
  • Fluoride Gels with Applicator Trays
  • Fluoride Varnish
  • MI Paste
  • Xylitol: a natural artificial sweetener with prevents tooth decay
  • 10% Carbamide Peroxide Gel with Applicator Tray
  • Bad Breath Products: rinses, tongue scraper and toothpaste

If you have any questions after reading this information, please feel free to call us at (903) 455-7673, so we can discuss what will work best for you.

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