Posts for: January, 2018
If you’ve had issues with periodontal (gum) disease, no doubt a few things have changed for you. You may be seeing us for dental cleanings and checkups more frequently and you have to be extra diligent about your daily brushing and flossing.
There’s one other thing you may need to do: change your diet. Some of the foods you may be eating could work against you in your fight against gum disease. At the same time, increasing your intake of certain foods could boost your overall oral health.
The biggest culprits in the first category are carbohydrates, which make up almost half the average diet in the Western world, mainly as added sugar. Although carbohydrates help fuel the body, too much can increase inflammation—which also happens to be a primary cause of tissue damage related to gum disease.
Of course, we can’t paint too broad a brush because not all carbohydrates have the same effect on the body. Carbohydrates like sugar or processed items like bakery goods, white rice or mashed potatoes quickly convert to glucose (the actual sugar used by the body for energy) in the bloodstream and increase insulin levels, which can then lead to chronic inflammation. Complex or unprocessed carbohydrates like vegetables, nuts or whole grains take longer to digest and so convert to glucose slowly—a process which can actually hinder inflammation.
Eating less of the higher glycemic (the rate of glucose conversion entering the bloodstream) carbohydrates and more low glycemic foods will help reduce inflammation. And that’s good news for your gums. You should also add foods rich in vitamins C and D (cheese and other dairy products, for instance) and antioxidants to further protect your oral health.
Studies have shown that changing to a low-carbohydrate, anti-inflammatory diet can significantly reduce chronic inflammation in the body and improve gum health. Coupled with your other efforts at prevention, a better diet can go a long way in keeping gum disease at bay.
If you would like more information on the role of diet in dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Carbohydrates Linked to Gum Disease.”
Does your smile seem dull compared to those around you? Do you feel as though your appearance is brought down by your smile? If so, you could benefit from teeth whitening, a fast and simple procedure which produces big, dramatic results. Find out more about teeth whitening and how it enhances your smile’s appearance with Dr. Kenneth Sharp at Stonebridge Ranch Smiles in McKinney, TX.
What can I expect during a teeth whitening treatment?
Teeth whitening treatments will begin with a consultation with your dentist. This gives you a chance to address any concerns or ask any questions you have about the procedure. Then, your dentist will section off the teeth from the oral tissues and apply the whitening gel to the surfaces of the teeth. The gel remains on the teeth for about an hour, after which your dentist will rinse the gel and remove any dental apparatuses in the mouth. Depending on the kind of whitening system your dentist uses, a special UV light may be aimed at the teeth during your treatment to aid in the whitening process.
Teeth Whitening Treatments in McKinney, TX
If you think you could benefit from teeth whitening, you should consult with your dentist to ensure that this treatment is the best plan for you and your smile. Dentists advise against teeth whitening for those who are pregnant or nursing or who have a severe tooth sensitivity. Additionally, teeth whitening is not effective against lifting the color of porcelain dental restorations, meaning that if you have visible bridges, veneers, crowns, or other restorations, you may want to reconsider your teeth whitening treatment.
What procedures can I use alongside teeth whitening to further enhance my smile?
While whitening treatments do not work on porcelain restorations, they can work with porcelain restorations. If you decide that you want to brighten the color of your smile alongside a bridge, veneer, crown, dental implant, or other restoration, you can work with your dentist to choose the color you want, then use teeth whitening around the restorations to lighten the natural teeth to the color of your restoration. Simply plan this process with your dentist to ensure the results you desire.
For more information on teeth whitening, please contact Dr. Sharp at Stonebridge Ranch Smiles in McKinney, TX. Call (972) 984-1882 to schedule your appointment today!
Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”