MORGANTOWN DENTAL GROUP

Knowledge Matters

Eager to Share our Knowledge

We are big believers in knowledge. At Morgantown Dental Group, we do our very best to care for your dental health, and also strive to educate our patients about good oral hygiene.

Jul 17th, 2019

Back to School Drive

As the new school year approaches, Morgantown Dental Group has partnered with The Pantry Plus More to support our local schools and children. Last year we hosted a back to school supply drive and many items were donated. We hope this year can be even more successful. All items collected will be given to The Pantry Plus More. Items will be used to stock free pantries in local schools. Students have access to these pantries throughout the school year and they may take items free of charge. Items offered include school supplies, personal hygiene items, food items, and some clothing items. We will be collecting school supplies and personal hygiene items. If you would like to donate, items may be dropped off at our office during regular business hours from now until August 30, 2019. Our office will be donating oral hygiene supplies. We would like to challenge other area businesses to support such a great cause. Suggested items to donate: hair products, new hair brushes and combs, deodorant, soap or body wash, feminine hygiene products, new or gently used backpacks, notebooks, folders, pens, pencils, crayons, glue sticks

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Jul 1st, 2019

Dental X-rays

Dental X-rays help dentists and hygienists to see diseases of the teeth and surrounding tissue that cannot be seen with a simple oral exam. X-rays help the dentist find and treat dental problems early, which can potentially save you money and unnecessary discomfort. In adults, dental X-rays can be used to: * Show areas of decay that may not be visible with an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth. If a cavity is detected when it is small, it can typically be fixed with a simple filling. *Identify decay occurring beneath an existing filling. Over time, existing fillings can break down and decay can reoccur. If a tooth has had a root canal, the patient may not experience any symptoms or warning signs that an issue is arising.  *Reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease *Reveal changes in the bone or in the root canal resulting from infection *Assist in the preparation of tooth implants, braces, dentures, or other dental procedures In children, dental x-rays can be used to: * Check for cavities * Monitor growth and development *Check for the development of wisdom teeth *Detect other developmental abnormalities, such as cysts and some types of tumors At Morgantown Dental Group, we currently utilize digital technology and recommend the following dental x-rays: * 4 Bitewings once per year. This type of x-ray takes a view of in between the teeth, where we cannot see with a visual exam. This x-ray helps us diagnose cavities while they are small and still easy to restore, it also helps us monitor bone health around the teeth. * Panoramic x-ray every 3-5 years. This x-ray helps us to see all of the teeth, all of the roots of the teeth and all of the jawbone at the same time. It can help detect infection or jaw abnormalities. In children, this film is also used to monitor growth and development. It can also be used to check for wisdom teeth and orthodontic (braces) needs. * Periapical x-ray as needed. This x-ray is a close up of an individual tooth and its root. It can be used to determine what is causing a toothache or problem and help the dentist determine treatment. * 3D dental scan as needed. This x-ray is comparable to a CT scan. It allows the doctor to see a three-dimensional view of the jaw and teeth. It an be used to aid with implant placement and can also help diagnose problematic teeth. Dental x-rays are one of the lowest radiation dose studies performed. A routine exam which includes 4 bitewings is about 0.005 mSv, which is less than one day of natural background radiation. It is also about the same amount of radiation exposure from a short airplane flight (~1-2 hrs). We often hear the question of why our staff leave the room if dental x-rays are safe. The answer is because the staff would be exposed all day everyday and they would be receiving more radiation than a routine exam.

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Jun 19th, 2019

Welcome Dr. Jason Wilson

In early July 2019, Doctors Mike Wilson and Josh Dolin will be joined by Mike’s son, Dr. Jason Wilson at Morgantown Dental Group. Dr. Mike is NOT retiring but will be reducing his work schedule in the afternoons. Jason has been practicing dentistry for 12 years in private practice and as a Chief Dental Officer for the Department of Justice. He has a great personality and energy, much like his grandfather, J. Fred Wilson. We’re sure you will like him very much. It is possible that Jason could be assigned to check your teeth in the near future, depending on when you are scheduled and availability at the moment. If any work is deemed necessary, you may also be presented with an option to schedule with either Dr. Mike, Dr. Josh, or Dr. Jason. Your choice! The bottom line should be increased availability and efficiency for your dental care. As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the office.

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May 22nd, 2019

Botox and Fillers

Botox and dermal fillers can both be used to treat wrinkles on the face. Each treatment is delivered via injection. Your provider will inject the muscles that contribute to the specific wrinkles that you want treated. The injection process itself takes just a few minutes with noticeable results within two weeks. The two options have slightly different uses and can be used for more than just wrinkles. Dentists are highly qualified to administer facial injections because of their experience with the anatomy and function of facial muscles. Botox is primarily used to treat dynamic wrinkles. These wrinkles occur naturally around the eyes and mouth, as well as in between your eyebrows. They become more pronounced with age. Botox injections relax the muscles near these wrinkles. Not allowing the muscles to move reduces the appearance of dynamic wrinkles. Dynamic wrinkles are caused by repetitive creasing of the skin by underlying muscles. As we age facial expressions become hyperdynamic as a result of habit. Botox works by relaxing selected muscles and allowing the skin to “recover”. Botox is not used for fine lines caused by collagen breakdown. Dermal fillers are also used treat wrinkles on the face. They’re primarily used to treat smile lines, though the fillers can also be used to plump up the lips or cheeks. Botox can also be used to treat symptoms of Migraine Headaches and Temporal Mandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD). These symptoms are often triggered by bruxism and clenching. Botox can reduce the force of the muscular contractions and provide some pain relief. The primary treatment areas of facial wrinkling are: * Glabellar/ frown lines “#11’s” (between the eyebrows) * Horizontal forehead lines *Crow’s feet (outer eye area) * Radial lip lines (water bottle lines) Botox (Botulinum toxin) is a manufactured injectable medication that is used therapeutically to reduce the strength of targeted muscles. It is not new or untested. It was approved by the FDA in 2002 to treat wrinkles and it was approved in 2011 to treat migraine headaches. Due to its intracellular action, Botox takes about 2-10 days to exert a clinical effect. Retreatment usually happens in 3-6 months. It does not freeze your face or make you lose expression. Also, it cannot cause botulism. Botox and fillers aren’t recommended if you: are pregnant or nursing have weak facial muscles currently have skin issues, such as thick skin or deep scars have multiple sclerosis or another type of neuromuscular disease Neurological disorders such as ALS, myasthenia gravis, Lambert-Eaton syndrome Flu or cold symptoms Infection or dermatitis in the are being treated Possible side effects include: bruises at the site of injection drooping eyelids, which can take several weeks to resolve headaches allergic reaction infection itching numbness redness scarring sores The process begins with a quick consult appoint. During this appointment you and the doctor will discuss what areas that you would like to treat and together you develop and discuss and treatment plan. Prior to the actual procedure you should avoid alcoholic beverage for 24 hours. If possible, avoid anti-inflammatory/blood thinning medications for 2 weeks. It should be noted that medications and supplements such as aspirin, vitamin E, Gingo Biloba, St. John’s wort, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, and other NSAIDS have blood thinning properties that can increase bruising and swelling after injections. After the procedure, you should avoid manipulation of the area for 3-4 hours. Avoid massage, facial, peel or micro abrasion for a few days and stay out of the sun.

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Apr 24th, 2019

Job Opening - Financial Coordinator

Morgantown Dental Group is hiring! We are looking for a part time Financial Coordinator to join our growing team. If you are interested, please click the link below for more information or submit your resume to kjones@morgantowndentalgroup.com. https://www.indeedjobs.com/morgantown-dental-group…/…/en_US…

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Apr 2nd, 2019

Oral Cancer Awareness Contest

Contest Rules April is oral cancer awareness month. Many oral cancer patients can no longer chew gum or blow a bubble. Oralcancercause.org launched a campain to spread awareness and lend support by blowing bubbles for those who can't. In support of this effort, we are challenging people to post a selfie while blowing a bubble. By participating you will be entered into a prize give away. One lucky participant will be selected by random on May 1, 2019. To enter the contest: 1: Like our Facebook page : Morgantown Dental Group - https://www.facebook.com/Morgantown-Dental-Group-1... 2: Post a selfie of you blowing a bubble 3: Tag Morgantown Dental Group on your post and write: #oralcancerawareness or post your picture in the comment section of our facebook post :https://www.facebook.com/Morgantown-Dental-Group-1... Please note this contest is not sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Facebook. By participating you acknowledge and agreed that Facebook is released of anything to do with this contest. Rules are subject to change.

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Mar 25th, 2019

3-D X-rays

We recently purchased new technology in our office. We have a new x-ray machine that is capable of taking traditional dental x-rays as well as a 3-D image. A 3-D image can be taken of both upper and lower jaws or a single tooth. A three-dimensional x-ray (also known as a cone beam x-ray) captures a true 3-D image of your mouth and is like a CT scan. Traditional dental x-rays only capture a two-dimensional view of a three-dimensional object. A 3-D x-ray can capture details that a traditional x-ray cannot and allow your dentist to view anatomy and bone structures from different angles. There are instances when a patient experiences a toothache, but a traditional film does not show a problem. However, a 3-D view might reveal an abscess, infection, or a crack in the root of a tooth. A quicker diagnosis would mean a quicker resolution. We also place mini dental implants in our office and a 3-D image allows us to see the thickness of the bone and aide with implant placement. A 3-D x-ray uses minimal radiation to capture multiple images. It is a quick, convenient and easy process. Many people want to know if it is uncomfortable to have a 3-D image taken. The process is very similar to having a basic routine panoramic x-ray taken. There will be a small bite stick placed between your front teeth, and the camera will rotate around your head while you are in the standing position. It is a quick and easy process.

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Feb 4th, 2019

Proper dental care starts early!

Children’s teeth begin forming while they are babies still within the womb. They should start having their teeth cleaned as part of the daily routine as soon as the teeth show in the mouth. You can begin by just wiping the teeth off with a soft wash cloth and advance to a child size toothbrush as more teeth protrude. Both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend using an amount of fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice as soon as your baby's first tooth appears. You can graduate to a pea-sized amount when your child turns 3 years old. Brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Brushing teeth before bed is a very important step in decay prevention. Flossing teeth helps to clean and prevent decay in between the teeth. Children typically do not have to ability to brush and care for their own teeth until age six or older. Do not let your child take a drink to bed with them, except for water. The sugars in milk and juice can lay on the teeth and cause decay. Usually around age six, your child can add Fluoride rinse to their routine at night. Talk to your dentist about your child’s fluoride needs. Prescription products and supplements can be prescribed to those who are not getting an adequate supply from water sources. Some bottled waters do not contain Fluoride and some filter systems may remove it. Ask your dentist about sealants. Sealants are a thin layer of material applied to the grooves of permanent teeth to help prevent decay. Your child should have a dental cleaning and check up every six months. Usually around the age of three is a good time to start unless a problem is otherwise noted. Your child will begin losing their baby teeth and start getting permanent teeth around the age of five or six. Permanent molars protrude around the age of six but come in behind baby teeth.

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Jan 21st, 2019

The benefits of fluoride

At Morgantown Dental Group, our dentists and hygienists recommend Fluoride as an aide in tooth decay prevention. Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in most water sources. For the last 70 years, Fluoride has been added to public water sources to bring the level up to the necessary amount to prevent decay. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention proclaimed this to be one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century. Drinking fluoridated water is equivalent to drinking vitamin D fortified milk or eating vitamin fortified cereal. Since public water fluoridation began, children are developing three times less cavities. Fluoride can benefit both children and adults. Teeth absorb Fluoride while they are developing and after they have erupted. Fluoride strengthens enamel, making teeth more resistant to decay. Areas on exposed teeth that are weak may absorb Fluoride and become hard again. Fluoride is also found in toothpaste, mouth rinses, and other dental products. Professional Fluoride treatments are available as part of regular preventive dental appointments. Even if the treatment is not a covered benefit of dental insurance, it is an important investment in your oral health. Prescription Fluoride supplements and toothpastes are also available to those who do not have adequate amounts in their water. It is also important to note that some bottled water does not contain Fluoride. For more information please refer to the American Dental Association (ADA).

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Dec 14th, 2017

Teeth Whitening

There is nothing more welcoming than a gorgeous, white grin. Unfortunately, as we age, our teeth tend to lose their natural luster. Dr. Josh Dolin use convenient at-home and in-office teeth whitening treatments to remove the stains that appear in your smile. Our whitening treatment can deliver incredible results on their own or in combination with other cosmetic or restorative dentistry treatments. Achieving a brighter, whiter smile has never been easier. Call today for more details! Understanding the Procedure Every patient we see at Morgantown Dental Group is treated according to a personalized care plan developed during an initial new patient visit. Whether achieving a whiter smile is your primary goal or you'd like to whiten your teeth before beginning more complex treatments, we will tailor your treatment to fit your needs and expectations. Because Drs. Dolin take your oral health very seriously, addressing more pressing problems before whitening your teeth will provide a sturdy foundation for a healthy and beautiful smile. Teeth whitening treatments yield the best results if completed immediately after a routine cleaning. When it's time to schedule your next biannual appointment, be sure to ask us about whitening too! Our cutting-edge dental office has chosen to offer several options to meet everyone’s best needs. Opalescence Go is a simple at-home procedure involving placing comfortable pre-filled trays on your teeth for just fifteen to twenty minutes per day for ten days. Professional strength Crest White Strips are also available. These stronger formulation strips are worn 2 times a day for 3 weeks. Finally we offer KoR, a combo in-office/at-home option, for the best results. This treatment provides custom fabricated whitening trays that you wear overnight for 2 weeks. The treatment is completed by an in-office whitening procedure with a higher strength whitening formulation. Upon completion, the shade of your teeth will be significantly lighter. The number of treatments you need will depend on your color preference and the original condition of your smile. Most patients notice a stunning difference after the first treatment however additional applications can help you optimize the results. Improve your smile, No Matter What Virtually anyone can benefit from our teeth whitening treatment and our patients are constantly expressing their gratitude for the difference in the appearance of their smile. Stains that have settled deep in your teeth will be less noticeable, if not entirely invisible after this non-invasive treatment and with a glistening-white smile, you will feel more confident. Expressing yourself in social, personal, and professional circles will come easily once you are proud of your smile. Additionally, it is common for patients to feel more motivated to keep a stricter hygiene routine after they've undergone a whitening treatment. Learn More about Teeth Whitening The best way to gather more information about teeth whitening is to contact Morgantown Dental Group and schedule a consultation. Your first visit with us will give you a chance to address any questions or concerns you have. We will use diagnostic technology to determine your oral health needs and establish a plan to make the most of your smile. Contact us today and one of our team members will assist you in making an appointment.

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Dec 14th, 2017

Smile Makeover

At Morgantown Dental Group, we begin each patient's experience with new patient evaluation and hygiene appointment. During this appointment, Drs. Dolin and Wilson spend valuable time with you discussing your aesthetic and oral health goals, answering your questions, and addressing any concerns you may have regarding your treatment options. For patients who can benefit from a combination of cosmetic treatments, a smile makeover may provide the most satisfying results. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. Aesthetic Goals for Every Patient Morgantown Dental is a firm believer in providing the opportunity for aesthetic improvement to each of our dental patients. Whether or not more extensive restorative work is needed, there is a cosmetic aspect to each of the treatment plans we create. Thanks to laboratory advancements, we have the chance to show you exactly how your smile will appear, even before we begin the procedure. Health and Happiness The importance of your oral health is no secret; the condition of your teeth and mouth can directly affect your overall health. Oral hygiene habits are of the utmost importance, but how your smile looks can be just as valuable. If cosmetic imperfections in your teeth are holding you back from expressing yourself candidly, a smile makeover at Morgantown Dental Group may be a great solution. With a wide variety of cosmetic treatments to choose from, our customized smile makeover can improve different aspects of your smile, including: Size Shape Length Spacing Color Minor breaks or chips Commonly Combined Treatments It is common for our patients to undergo teeth whitening treatment before the placement of crowns or veneers to ensure that the color-matching technology of our ceramic restorations is used to its full potential. Teeth whitening and porcelain veneers are often used together to help blend the veneer naturally into your smile. The same strategy is used when placing crowns or bridges. In some cases, we can also use dental bonding to correct minor cosmetic flaws. If we have included orthodontics in your treatment plan, we may suggest you wait until your smile is straight before we whiten your teeth. As your teeth shift into place, overlapping surfaces may be exposed as discolored. Whitening after orthodontic treatment will provide a fantastic end result. Smile makeover treatments can make a stunning difference in patients who have neglected their oral health for years. After meticulous care of any lingering periodontal disease, tooth decay, and structural problems, Drs. Dolin and Wilson can put his artistic touch on your new, healthy smile to provide the transformation of a lifetime. Learn More About Smile Makeovers Whether your smile could use a quick pick-me-up or your cosmetic dentistry goals make up the majority of your treatment plan, Drs. Dolin and Wilson will make the appearance of your smile a priority. At Morgantown Dental Group, no procedure is completed without aesthetic goals in mind; every one of our patients can have their own smile makeover. If you would like to learn more about the treatments we provide, we welcome you to contact us today. Schedule a consultation with us to take the first step toward a brand new smile.

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Dec 14th, 2017

Veneers

As with the rest of your body, daily wear and tear takes a toll on your teeth. Chips, breaks, and discoloration can all occur over time. Additionally, many of our patients struggle with misaligned or disproportionate smiles. Morgantown Dental Group uses high-quality porcelain veneers to help our Morgantown patients achieve the smile of their dreams. These customizable shells of porcelain are designed to fit over the front surfaces of your teeth; despite their thinness, they are highly durable with regular use. If you think your smile could benefit from porcelain veneers and you’d like to schedule a consultation with us, contact our office today. Would Porcelain Veneers be right for you? Although most of our patients are potential candidates for veneers, it is our goal at Morgantown Dental Group to provide care that is specific to your individual needs. Those who receive porcelain veneers often have teeth that are: Broken Chipped Cracked Misaligned Unevenly spaced If you suffer from gum disease, Dr. Dolin and may suggest you undergo periodontal treatment prior to the placement of veneers. In most cases, we also don’t suggest veneers for patients who habitually grind their teeth, as the porcelain can chip or crack under such stress. Understanding the Procedure Like any of our procedures, the first and one of the most important steps involved in placing veneers is the one-on-one consultation we schedule for each of our patients. During this appointment, you will have a chance to raise any questions and concerns you have about the process. Dr. Dolin will assess your goals and expectations and create a care plan that details which teeth will receive veneers and which are better suited to other cosmetic or restorative treatments. In most cases, preliminary impressions and photos are taken to allow the lab to create a unique custom wax up for your case to individualize the case to suit your needs. This allow you an opportunity to see the end result before the case is started. Every individual is different and every veneer is customized for each individual. During your first treatment appointment, Dr. Dolin will prepare your teeth by removing a small portion of your tooth’s enamel to make room for the veneer. Impressions of these teeth and specific instructions regarding the color and fit of your veneers will be sent to the dental laboratory for fabrication. Once your veneers are sent back to our office, you will come in for your second appointment. During this visit, your prepared teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and lightly buffed, optimizing the bonding surface. Your veneers will then be bonded to your teeth. Because our treatments are individually tailored and we truly don’t want you to settle for anything less than a perfect smile, the timeline for our porcelain veneers procedures vary between patients. During your consultation, we can speak in detail with you about the expected turnaround time. Undeniable Benefits The placement of porcelain veneers can be life changing. Patients with less-than-perfect smiles struggle to feel self-confident and tend to hesitate to express themselves in social, personal, and professional situations. Receiving veneers is a relatively quick and highly effective process that can completely redesign your smile. After a few conveniently scheduled appointments, you can show off your natural-looking smile. Learn More About Porcelain Veneers If you have questions about the porcelain veneers procedure or would like to find out if you are a good candidate for the treatment, we are always available to help! Contact us today and one of our team members will help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Dolin.

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Mar 17th, 2017

Mouthguards Help Prevent Sports Injuries

More than 5 million teeth are knocked out each year from sports related injuries! Many of these injuries could have been easily prevented through the use of a custom athletic guard made by your dentist specifically for you. A mouthguard is a flexible platic that is worn during sporting activities to prevent injury to teeth and surrounding areas such as the gums, lips, and tongue. These appliances can also help to reduce the severity of concussions. Mouthguards should be used anytime there is a chance of your head hitting a hard surface. Mouthguards can be divided into several categories: 1. Custom mouthguards: This type of mouthguard made by the dentist offers the best protection and fit. It is made specifically for your teeth and can be made with a thicker layer between the teeth to cushion the force from collisions. 2. Mouth formed guards: These type of mouthguards are purchased over the counter and mold to the patients teeth on the interior and have an acrylic liner on the exterior. These offer protection but can be bulky and loose fitting. 3. Stock mouthguards: This is the least expensive option. They are available in several sizes but cannot be modified so they often have a very poor fit. Mouthguards should be cleaned with a brush and water after every use. Store them in a well ventilated area to avoid bacterial growth. Do not store in direct sunlight to avoid distortion and bring the guard along with you to each dental visit for evaluation by a professional. For more information on this and other dental related topics visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com

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Sep 17th, 2016

Caring For Tiny Teeth

Did you know that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children? Tooth decay is the destruction of the outer enamel layer of your tooth. Consuming too many sugary drinks and snacks can cause tooth decay. As a parent, you should limit the number of this type of drink consumed and avoid over exposure of the liquids to the teeth. Avoid putting juices or soft drinks in sippy cups or bottles and allowing the child to drink over long periods of time, like when the child is in bed. Also, sugary or starchy foods can get stuck on the teeth and cause decay. Regular dental visits can help your dentist to identify cavities early on before they cause significant damage to the teeth. The ideal time for the first dental visit is 6 months after the child's first tooth erupts. Early dental visits, even if just tagging along with the parent to their dental visit, will help familiarize the child with the dental office making future visits less stressful. As a parent, you are responsible for your child's oral health until they are old enough to take responsibility for themselves. Clean your infants gums with a clean damp cloth. Monitor excessive sucking of fingers and pacifiers to avoid misalignment of teeth. Encourage your child to drink tap water early on. As soon as your child's first tooth comes in, begin brushing with a small soft tooth brush. Remember, the best way to teach your child to brush is to lead by example. For more information on this and other oral health topics, visitwww.knowyourteeth.com

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Mar 17th, 2016

Supplements

Many people take one or more daily dietary supplements to improve their overall health. Dietary supplements intend to provide additional nutrients to your body outside of what is consumed through your daily diet. Most are bought without a prescription. If you do not have a well balanced diet, appropriate supplements can help to provide your body with missing key nutrients. These supplements do not cure disease, although they may help to improve your overall health and strengthen your immune system. Calcium and Xylitol are two supplements which may improve your oral health. Calcium deficiencies have been linked to gum and bone disease. Xylitol is used as a sweetener in sugar free foods. This type of sugar has been shown to minimize tartar build up and decrease tooth decay. Additionally, vitamin A, C, and E may offer benefits to your gums. Some dietary supplements can increase bleeding after dental procedures or decrease the effectiveness of anesthesia. Certain vitamins may also adversely interact with prescription medications. Speak with your health care provider and understand the possible side effects or interactions before taking any dietary supplements. For more information about supplements and other dental related topics, visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com

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Mar 17th, 2016

Smoking and Your Oral Health

Smoking is not only deadly, but also harmful to your teeth and gums. Smoking is also the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The effects in the mouth are numerous and include the following: Reduced blood flow and nutrients to the gums which can lead to gum and bone disease. Decreased saliva flow. Saliva helps to wash away harmful sugars and bacteria from your teeth. Altered appearance of your teeth through discoloration that nicotine and tar leave behind. Bad breath. Loss of taste due to damaged taste buds. Chief of oral problems is oral cancer. Almost 1 person dies per hour due to oral cancer, and if throat cancer is included that number doubles. Cigars are not a safe alternative as they possess the same deadly toxins as cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes are not proven to be safer either. The place in your mouth you position smokeless tobacco is 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer. Little research exists on e-cigarettes but the nicotine inhalation is believed to cause bacterial accumulation, dry mouth, and tooth decay. Nicotine is very addictive so quitting can be difficult. Nicotine replacement therapies exist as well as prescription medications. Support groups are also available. Quitting at any age will increase your health so it is never too late to stop. For more information on this and other oral health topics visit,www.KnowYourTeeth.com.

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Oct 17th, 2015

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is particularly alarming because it is usually asymptomatic and unnoticed during its preliminary stages. Dentists can serve as the first line of defense for oral cancer because they are equipped to catch the disease early in most cases. Oral cancer accounts for 5% of all cancer cases and lead to about one death per hour in the United States! Risk factors for developing oral cancer include tobacco use, alcohol use, sun exposure (lips), and HPV (human papilloma virus) infection. Oral cancer is typically painless early on but can become painful once more fully developed. Immediately see a dentist if you notice any of the following: changes in the alignment of your teeth, oral sores that will not heal, lumps, rough spots, or crusty areas in your mouth, or difficulty swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving your mouth. During an oral exam, dentists will check the oral cavity for any of the above changes that you may not yet notice. An oral cancer screening is part of a routine dental exam even when you have no symptoms. Oral cancer can be treated by a variety of different methods including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The treatment varies depending on the type and severity of the cancer. To help prevent oral cancer abstain from all of the known risk factors and have young children vaccinated for HPV. Because treatment outcomes are dependent upon how early the cancer is detected, it is extremely important to regularly check your mouth for any changes and to maintain regular dental visits at least every six months. For more information on this and other dental related topics, visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com.

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Aug 17th, 2015

Understanding Endocarditis

Endocarditis is a rare life-threatening inflammation of the heart lining and its valves that is caused by bacteria. This can happen to anyone, but is more likely to occur in certain people who are at a much higher risk. If you are at high risk your doctor may advise you to take antibiotics prior to your dental treatment. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends people with the following conditions be premedicated with antibiotics prior to dental treatment: Prior bacterial endocarditis A prosthetic cardiac valve Cardiac valve disease Congenital heart disease (present at birth) of the following: unrepaired congenital cyanotic heart disease, repaired congenital cyanotic heart disease for 6 month after treatment, and repaired cyanotic heart disease with remaining defects. When in doubt, always consult with your physician to determine the best course of action. Patients who require preventive antibiotics typically take a single dose around one hour before dental treatment. These antibiotics are not necessary for all dental procedures so be sure to consult with your dental practitioner to determine if a preventive antibiotic is necessary. Please keep your dental office updated on any health changes you may experience to lower your risk of infection. And, as always, good oral hygiene at home is critical to your oral and overall health. For more information about this and other dental related topics, visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com.

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Aug 17th, 2015

Periodontal Disease

It is important to brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day and floss between them at least once per day. Practicing these healthy habits will help to prevent plaque build-up and gingival inflammation. An estimated 80% of Americans have some form of gum disease! Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting your teeth. Healthy gums are pink and firm with little bleeding upon brushing and flossing. Early gum disease, known as gingivitis, causes your gums to become red and swollen with increased bleeding. Four primary factors affect the health of your gums and bone. These factors are hygiene, diet, age, and genetics. Obviously we cannot control genetics and some people are more prone to plaque accumulation and gum disease. We also cannot control the normal bone loss that occurs with age. Hygiene and diet are the two factors we can control. Removing plaque daily will help to prevent bacterial growth on our teeth. Also, healthy eating habits will help to control the amount of damage done to our teeth, gums, and bone. A healthy diet also includes limiting our use of tobacco products. Reducing this bacterial growth will limit bacterial invasion into our gums and bone. Gum disease can also definitely affect your overall health! Bacteria in our gums is released into our bloodstream which then release harmful enzymes and toxins through our arteries, heart, and entire body. Regular cleanings at your dentist and good home care can limit your risk of gum disease but in some situations when the disease process is more advanced you may need a special type of dental cleaning. This type of cleaning is called scaling and root planing. This involves numbing the gums so that the dental staff can remove the bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth below the gum line. This will help the gums to become firm and healthy. Once you are diagnosed with gum disease, this disease will never completely go away but it can typically be kept under control with proper home care and regular dental visits. The best solution of course would be to prevent gum disease from beginning! For more information on this and other dental related topics, visit www.KnowYourTeeth.com.

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