Posts for category: Oral Health
Your dentists in Mount Airy, NC, Dr. Lynette Smith and Dr. G. Bennett Smith, encourage you and your family to keep good oral hygiene habits. In short, they benefit your teeth, gums and your overall health, too. These habits begin at home and practiced routinely, help families have their best looking and functioning smiles. At Blue Ridge Dental, good oral hygiene forms the heart of great preventive care.
Why practice good oral hygiene
Without routine brushing and flossing at home and a tooth-friendly diet, expect two serious dental conditions to develop:
- Dental decay
- Periodontal (gum) disease
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults, followed by cavities and dental abscess. Tooth loss impacts smile appearance, bone structure and oral function. Additionally, research from several sources indicate links between periodontitis and health issues such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and dementia.
At the heart of poor oral health is accumulation of sticky plaque and hard tartar, biofilms formed from food residues which collect on and between teeth and at the gum line. When not removed by flossing, brushing and professional cleanings by your dentists in Mount Airy, bacteria in the plaque and tartar secrete corrosive acids, causing decay and gum disease.
Guidelines for oral hygiene
Expect bright, long-lasting smiles when you and your loved ones:
- Brush twice a day for two minutes with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste (as advised by the American Dental Association).
- Floss once a day using the product of your choice.
- Get six-month cleanings and check-ups with Dr. Smith
- Eat a diet low in sugar and high in fiber, calcium and low-fat protein.
- Drink several glasses of water a day to rinse tooth surfaces and to increase saliva which has antibacterial qualities.
- Change your toothbrush when it looks worn out, after a cold or the flu or within three months.
- Use mouthwash to freshen breath, reduce plaque and whiten teeth, depending on the ingredients.
If you have questions about oral hygiene, ask your dentist or hygienist at Blue Ridge Dental. He or she is happy to recommend floss, toothbrushes and specialty tools (especially for patients with restorations, tooth replacements or braces) suited to your unique needs and preferences.
Please contact Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC if it's time for your routine cleaning and exam. The dentists and their staff wish to partner with your in maintaining your healthy smile. Call today: (336) 789-5306.
When you experience ongoing pain in the area near your ear, a clicking or popping sound from your jaw and stiffness or pain in the muscles on the side of your face, you may be suffering from TMD or temporomandibular disorders. TMD is a group of conditions that are associated with dysfunction or pain of the TMJ or the temporomandibular joint. At Blue Ridge Dental, your dentists in Mount Airy, North Carolina Drs. Lynette and G. Bennett Smith, can fully examine you and offer you TMD/TMJ treatment options.
About TMD/TMJ Treatment
The TMJ pain or stiffness can be caused by strain, disk problems, sore muscles or inflammation. Oftentimes, TMD is genetic or comes with age. Stress can also lead to the development of TMD/TMJ symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of TMD is clicking sounds. This is caused by the shifting of the disk inside the joint itself. The jaw can even get stuck in an open or closed position for those suffering from TMD. Our dentist in Mount Airy, North Carolina can examine you and determine what type of treatment options will suit your situation best.
For some simple changes such as diet may help. For other moist heat or ice may relieve inflammation or soreness. Muscle spasms can be treated with gentle stretching. Muscle relaxants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications have been proven to be successful too. For more severe TMD cases, bridge work, orthodontics, cortisone injections or even surgery may be required. It’s important to try a variety of conservative treatments first before considering more serious ones. The Proper amount of time must be given to determine whether or not the treatment is in fact working.
Our dentists in Mount Airy, North Carolina can fully examine you and help you with your TMD/TMJ pain today. To schedule an appointment with our professional staff today, call 336-789-5306.
Flossing could just be one of the most important things you do for your smile.
Most people assume that if they brush their teeth that they don’t really need to floss. If you’ve gotten out of the habit of flossing or have never done it before you better head to your local drugstore and pick up some floss. Why? Our Mount Airy dentists, Drs. Lynette and G. Bennett Smith, are here to tell you why.
Flossing is a habit that is so often forgotten. Perhaps it feels like it’s awkward to do or you just get too tired at night to do it. If you’ve made these excuses, you aren’t alone; however, if you truly want to protect your teeth from cavities and gum disease, then you must start flossing.
Fortunately, you don’t need to floss more than once a day in order to get a clean smile. That’s right! You only have to floss once a day. When you floss is really up to you. If you find that you get too tired at the end of a long day then you may decide that flossing is better for you during your morning routine. Whatever gets you flossing is what’s most important.
Why is flossing so crucial? Most people assume that their toothbrush can clean all surfaces of their teeth and gums, but if you only brush you are leaving a good portion of your teeth unclean. Food and plaque can still accumulate between teeth and along the gumline between teeth. Even your toothbrush won’t be able to fully remove plaque and food. This is where flossing comes in. Floss can get into those tight spaces and remove plaque buildup so that when you do brush, the toothpaste can reach more areas of your teeth for a more even and reliable clean.
You may be wondering what happens if you don’t floss. If you decide that flossing just isn’t necessary for you (which we hope you don’t!) then plaque will continue to build up between teeth and along the gumline. It doesn’t take long for plaque to harden into tartar if left on teeth. Tartar will irritate gums and lead to cavities and gingivitis. If you don’t come in to see your Mount Airy, MD, general dentist regularly for preventive care you may just find yourself facing full-blown gum disease if you aren’t careful. By flossing you could just protect your beautiful smile from so many dental issues in the future.
Have questions about flossing? Need to schedule a six-month dental cleaning? Then call Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, MD, today.
Periodontal disease is a dental problem that affects a large percentage of American adults. Many patients are surprised to learn that it affects up to half of adults over the age of 30 and up to 70% of seniors who are 65 or older (CDC statistics). Without proper dental care, periodontitis can lead to serious oral care and even general health issues. Find out the periodontal treatment options that are available at Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Poor dental hygiene is the main reason why people develop periodontal disease. You must brush and floss regularly to keep the levels of good versus bad bacteria in your mouth in balance. When there's an imbalance and bad bacteria overwhelms the gums, that bacteria begins to attack the bone tissue causing periodontal disease. The gums become visibly inflamed, painful and may begin to separate from the teeth, which can lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal Treatment Options
Here are the most common solutions for periodontitis that are available at your Mount Airy dentist office:
- Deep cleaning beneath the gum line.
- Antibiotic therapy to eliminate bad bacteria.
- Bone grafting to rebuild bone tissue.
- Bite adjustment if there is stress on your teeth, causing them to move or loosen.
Avoiding Gum Disease in the Future
Periodontal disease is avoidable. Take these important steps to ensure that you never have a problem with gum disease again after it's treated:
- Be meticulous about your brushing and flossing habits. Flossing in particular is important because it removes plaque from around the gumline.
- Reduce your consumption of sugar and eat a diet that's richer in green leafy vegetables, calcium to strengthen bone tissue and crunchy fruits like apples and pears.
- Quit smoking because the tar can accelerate the growth of bad bacteria.
- See your dentist at least once every three months for check ups and maintenance after you have had periodontal treatment.
Get Treatment Right Away
If you have any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, it's important that you get treatment as soon as possible. Call Blue Ridge Dental in Mount Airy, NC at (336) 789-5306 today to set a time and date for an exam.
Some people think, “Yikes!” when they hear the words root canal. However, getting a root canal doesn’t have to be scary. In fact, root canals provide many benefits, not the least of which is preserving your natural teeth so that your dentist doesn’t have to pull them out due to decay. At Blue Ridge Dental, Dr. G. Bennett Smith and Dr. Lynette Smith, your Mount Airy, NC root canal specialists, will examine your problem teeth and determine if they can be saved by performing a root canal.
What is a Root Canal?
The interior of healthy teeth contains a soft tissue material known as pulp. The pulp extends from the center of the tooth down into the root. When a tooth begins to decay, the pulp can get infected. If left untreated, infected pulp can result in the development of an abscess below a tooth’s root. There are two main options for treating severe tooth decay in which the pulp has become infected: The tooth can be pulled out or a root canal can be performed. Root canals are the best option for patients who want to keep their natural teeth.
The root canal procedure is very similar to that of filling cavities. Just as the decayed portion of the tooth is removed, cleaned and filled when there is a cavity, with a root canal the infected pulp is also removed, cleaned and filled in. This process helps prevent further decay so that the tooth can be preserved. Once the area has been filled in and sealed, a dental crown can be placed on top of the entire tooth to protect against additional decay in the future. Your Mount Airy, NC, root canal dentist will tell you if a crown is recommended in your situation.
Root canals provide several important benefits. They preserve decaying teeth so that they do not need to be removed and they restore normal tooth function. Furthermore, they protect the other teeth that surround the decaying one. Patients tend to avoid biting or chewing with the affected tooth, especially if they are experiencing pain or sensitivity. When a tooth is not being used, the other teeth around it have to do more work. This can lead to overuse and puts additional strain on those teeth. A root canal makes it possible to use the problem tooth again.
Root canals might seem scary and leave you wanting to scream, “Yikes!” However, the procedure isn’t scary at all and is very similar to having a cavity filled. Additionally, a root canal allows you to keep a previously decaying tooth rather than having it removed. To schedule a root canal in Mount Airy, NC, contact Blue Ridge Dental by calling (336) 789-5306.