North Point Dental Associates

All About Gums

 

Why should teeth get all the fame?  Since the beginning of time, teeth have taken center stage in the oral health arena, while their close cousins, the gums, have occupied more of a back-seat role.  So, we have decided to dedicate this article to gums!  What makes them healthy, what makes them sick, and why they are so important for whole-body health?

 

Gingiva, or “gums”, are the mucosal tissue that cover the jaw and hold the teeth in place.  When they are healthy and properly intact, they offer a protective barrier for the jaw and tooth roots against food and bacteria.

 

Healthy Gums:

Healthy gums typically are coral pink in color, and not recessed far above the tooth.  They show a scalloped appearance over each tooth, are firm and resist movement.  They take brushing and flossing well, usually with no reaction whatsoever.

 

Unhealthy Gums:

By contrast, unhealthy gums may exhibit red, white and even blue hues, have a puffy or orange peel texture and may bleed when brushed or flossed.  Untreated periodontal disease can affect the whole body, as it is related to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Also, it can result in lost teeth and poor nutrition down the road.

 

Prevention is Key:

The good news is that most cases of periodontal disease are preventable.  While we don’t know exactly what role genetics play in terms of periodontal health, we do know that practicing good oral health is the first step to preventing periodontal disease.  Habits such as brushing twice and flossing once per day and regular exams and cleanings can help many people prevent or slow the progression of gum disease.

 

We hope you have learned something new about your gums!

 

If you have any questions about your gums, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

 

Oral Cancer: Know the Signs

 

Oral Health: Get Your Oral Cancer Screening

 

Did you know that mouth cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide? The sad truth is that oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women, and the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. Now is the time to be proactive and get yourself checked for oral cancer.

 

Remember—early detection saves lives! It is more important than ever for young adults, as well as older men and women, to get regular screenings whether they think they’re at risk or not.

 

What are the risks?

Knowing the risks can help you make educated decisions about your health. There are several risks that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:

  • Smoking and using tobacco products are a known long-term historic cause of oral cancer.
  • Heavy alcohol usage also makes you more susceptible to develop oral cancer.
  • The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.

 

What are the signs and symptoms?

The mouth is one of the body’s most crucial early warning signs in the fight against oral cancer. In between regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of the mouth’s signs and symptoms. Remember, if you see any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment at the office if you don’t see improvement within two-three weeks:

  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • The development of white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth

 

Don’t wait any longer. Be proactive about your oral health, and get checked today!

 

Myths About Whitening

 

Everyone wants to have a whiter smile but making the decision to pursue whitening treatment can be tough. Myths and stereotypes can lead to negative connotations, inhibiting you from moving forward with treatment. Below are three misconceptions about teeth whitening:

 

  1. Teeth whitening treatments at my doctor’s office are no more effective than those purchased at drugstores.

On the contrary, the maximum strength bleach that our dentists provide delivers the best and fastest teeth whitening results. Another factor that makes dentist-provided whitening kits most effective is the fact that the trays are customized to fit each individual patient perfectly which keeps the gel in closer, more precise contact with your teeth. Don’t waste your time at the drugstore when you can get a brighter, whiter smile from us in record time!

 

  1. Tooth whitening harms enamel.

Despite this negative misconception, teeth whitening does not actually harm the enamel of a tooth. Bleaching works by opening the pores of a tooth. This allows for the peroxide to enter the inner structure of the tooth and remove stains. The pores will close again over time, leaving the enamel unharmed.

 

  1. You can never drink coffee or wine again after whitening.

While patients are told to stay away from heavy staining and acidic foods, such as red wine and coffee, it’s not forever! Dentists recommend this just for the first few days after treatment because the pores in your teeth remain open and the chemical reaction takes place over the course of a few days.

 

Whitening treatments can be intimidating, especially if you are not properly informed. It’s important to know the facts when making decisions about your teeth! We want you to have a smile that will make you feel confident. If you have any questions about teeth whitening, contact our office today. We are always here to help!

 

 

 

 

Healthy Teeth All Year Long – No Matter the Season!

It’s not easy to stay healthy during the holidays. From Halloween to Christmas and everywhere in between, sweets seem to appear everywhere you go! With all the time dedicated to family outings and last-minute trips to the store, there’s not much time to devote to you and your family’s health and well-being. But brushing should always be a priority, right?

Making it to the bathroom and devoting the time with your littles may not seem like a daunting task – until it comes time for it! Here are some tips and tricks that we believe could help when it comes to keeping all our teeth healthy and happy:

Keep a routine. Always brush the little teeth two times a day, for two minutes, and don’t forget yours too! A brushing routine can keep your mouth healthy during the holiday season and all year long. For an added measure, make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Carrots? Yes please! That even means for you mom and dad! Cookies and sweets are nice holiday treats, but instead of reaching for another candy cane, grab some carrots. Carrots are great for cavity fighting! Chewing carrots acts like a natural toothbrush that happens to be packed with Keratin and Vitamin A.

Checkup time. The holidays can be pretty busy for us all, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about your teeth. Getting your little ones in for a checkup around the holiday season is very beneficial. Remember, we recommend coming in twice a year!

Drink water. Even though you need a lot of energy for all those holiday activities, don’t run to sugary drinks first! Avoid drinking sodas, sports drinks and juices with lots of sugar. Instead, drink water with fluoride to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

We know you will do all you can this holiday season for those little teeth! Just remember, if you need any more information on routines or checkups, we are just a phone call away – North Point Dental Associates Phone Number 336-886-1747

Can You Whiten Teeth Naturally?

From powders to pastes, there are many ways people try to whiten their teeth. However, not every recipe we see online truly whitens correctly. It may be tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile, but just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, DIY whitening may do more harm than good to your teeth.

With Fruits, like acid packed lemons and apple cider vinegar, you put your pearly whites at risk with prolonged contact. Using baking soda and lemons, for example, to scrub your teeth can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities. This enamel cannot be grown back, so it is very important to keep it in tip top shape.

With Scrubs like activated charcoal and baking soda mixes you may be using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth! This can end up actually making them look more yellow. Enamel is what you’re looking to whiten, but if you’re using a scrub that is too rough, you can wear it away. When that happens, the next layer of your tooth can become exposed – a softer, yellow tissue that’s called Dentin.

With Spices and Oils, like coconut oil and turmeric, there is really no evidence that these are helpful. Over using coconut oil has potential to be poor for your body, so using these strictly when cooking could be more beneficial than using them to whiten your teeth.

To best ways to whiten your teeth naturally is to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
• Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes
• Use a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance
• Cleaning between your teeth once a day
• Limiting foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine
• Not smoking or using tobacco
• Regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings

With these steps you should be well on your way to achieving that sparkling smile you are looking for, naturally! Call us today for more info, and to schedule an annual teeth cleaning North Point Dental Associates Phone Number 336-886-1747

Teeth Discoloration

What color are your teeth? Of course, there is no “right” answer. Teeth come in endless shades and ranges. When we talk about tooth color in our office, we try to break it down into no fewer than 40 shades (light to dark) and ranges (color). Everyone’s teeth are unique, and the possibilities are endless.

You may be wondering, what makes a tooth the color it is now or will be in the future? We all know about coffee and tobacco as being major culprits of stained teeth, but what else goes into the making of a tooth color?

Things We Can’t Control:
• Genetics – Inheriting your tooth color is a high possibility for your current color as well. You can also inherit your tooth’s propensity for staining.
• Aging – As we age, our teeth inevitably turn more yellow.
• Medicine Use – some medicines, such as certain antibiotics, can cause your tooth color to change.
• Injury – Traumatic tooth injuries can cause intrinsic discoloration of the inner part of the tooth, the “dentin”, which is difficult to remedy. Have you ever seen a tooth that looks “dead”? That gray tone has most likely been brought on by a traumatic tooth injury.

Things We Can Control:
• Food and Drinks – Certain foods and drinks, such as berries, sauces, coffee, dark soda, black tea and red wine, cause staining over time. Limit these foods and practice good oral hygiene habits!
• Over-fluoridation – Too much fluoride in children, while teeth are still developing, can cause tooth discoloration. Be sure to follow guidelines for safe fluoride use. Don’t abandon the use of fluoride altogether though. Fluoride offers numerous benefits such as: preventing tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks and reversing early tooth decay. But we’ve all heard that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
• Tobacco Use – It is well known that cigarettes and other tobacco products turn teeth yellow and eventually brown. Don’t smoke or chew.

What can you do about stained teeth? We’re glad you asked! We offer professional teeth whitening options for the best and safest results. No matter what tooth shade you’ve inherited (or created), we can help make it whiter. Give us a call today to find out more!

What the Fluoride?

whattheflouride-blog

 

Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.

Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

How Do You Get Fluoride?

#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.

#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.

#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.

These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at North Point Dental Associates Phone Number 336-886-1747 !

Why You Should Whiten Your Teeth

whyyoushouldwhiten-blog

 

Just like we all have different hair and skin color, people also have different teeth color. Some teeth are naturally more yellow than others, while some yellow with aging. Your natural tooth color can also be affected by many factors like:

Using tobacco (smoked or chewed)
Drinking coffee, tea, or red wine
Eating pigmented foods such as cherries and blueberries
Accumulation of plaque and tartar deposits
The natural aging process

Because of this people often choose to whiten their teeth. Whitening your teeth can help boost your confidence and self-esteem but can also help if you want to cosmetically achieve a more youthful appearance, brighten your smile for s special event, or just simply reverse years of staining and yellowing.

Teeth whitening works very simply! The teeth whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

A patient interested in whitening has a few different options including stain removal toothpastes, in-office bleaching, at-home custom bleaching, or over-the counter bleaching products. Talk to your dentist before starting and see what the best way is to put the shine back in your smile!

Once you’ve completed a whitening treatment, there are a few steps you can take to maintain your whiter smile:
Avoid stain-causing foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and wine
Use a straw when drinking beverages to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth
Eliminating tobacco because tobacco can cause teeth to become discolored

Before beginning any whitening procedure, be sure to consult with your dentist. Only he or she can evaluate whether you’re a suitable candidate for a particular treatment! These are just a few of the options you should consider when getting a whitening treatment. For more information on how we can brighten your smile with a teeth whitening procedure, contact our practice today at North Point Dental Associates Phone Number 336-886-1747 !

All There is to Know About Veneers

Everything about Veneers

 

If you are looking for a way to freshen up your smile, veneers might the perfect choice for you.! Veneers are usually made from composite resin or porcelain and bonded to your natural. Below are some frequently asked questions veneers and how they can change the look of your smile.

Why do people get veneers?

There are many reasons as to why someone chooses to have veneers. Often people choose to have veneers due to being unhappy with their current smile. Worn, chipped, stained, or cracked teeth are all candidates for veneers.

How long do veneers last?

If you take good care of your veneers, they can last well over a decade. However, depending on the type of wear that you have on your veneers, they may need to be replaced sooner.

It’s important to practice excellent oral care in order to ensure veneers last longer. Also protect your teeth when you can by brushing, flossing, and avoiding excessive teeth grinding. All of these steps will allow your veneers to last longer.

If the veneers become worn or chipped, the veneer will need repaired or replaced.

Will you be able to tell that I have veneers?

Your dentist will take special care to ensure that your veneers match your existing teeth. They will be color matched to your surrounding teeth, making them look as natural as possible.

How much do veneers cost?

Depending on the type of veneer and how many veneers you would like, the price will differ. Contact our office to learn more about veneers pricing and payment plans.

If you are ready to take your smile to the next step or have any additional questions, contact our office to schedule a cosmetic dental consultation. North Point Dental Associates Phone Number 336-886-1747

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

 

Is there something about your teeth that is holding you back from smiling? Cosmetic dentistry is the perfect opportunity to correct your teeth’s imperfections that have been causing these insecurities. Nothing should keep you from smiling; read below for simple solutions that can give you that million dollar smile you’ve always dreamed of.

1. Teeth Whitening

Are your discolored, stained, or dark teeth shaking your confidence? This simple procedure can help boost your self-esteem by granting you a bright white smile. Your dentist will provide professional treatment that will be more effective than just store bought whitening strips. A teeth whitening appointment can range anywhere from 30-90 minutes, giving you a brand new smile in as little as one trip to the dental chair.

2. Invisalign/Clear Braces

Are your teeth misaligned or crooked? If so, this can create insecurity and a possible alteration to your bite. Misaligned teeth are not only aesthetically displeasing, but they can also cause difficulty chewing. Because of this, you can cause unintentional strain on your mouth by putting unnecessary pressure on certain teeth, while neglecting others when biting and chewing. There are different solutions for correcting this problem, including things like Invisalign, also known as clear braces. Make an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist to see if clear braces are an option that would work for you.

3. Veneers

If you have an imperfection on a specific tooth, there is always the option to suitably cover it up with the use of veneers. Veneers are used to cover up cosmetic flaws on teeth such as gaps, cracks and chips. Veneers are made from thin sheets of porcelain, which mimic real teeth, giving you an authentic looking smile that can’t be beat.

Everyone deserves the smile of their dreams; make the call today to talk to us more about what cosmetic procedure will take your smile to the next level! 336-886-1747