Spring has sprung, but unfortunately, so have seasonal allergies. A change in season means itchy eyes, sneezing, stuffy noses, and sinus headaches for those with allergies.
Below we have put together ways that seasonal allergies can affect your oral health, along with our top tips to help you reduce exposure and symptoms to allergens.
Dry Mouth - People who suffer from allergies often get stuffy noses and have to rely more heavily on mouth breathing. Having a dry mouth can be a major problem when it comes to your oral health. The dryer the mouth, the more prone you are to cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis. Saliva is a key component in the prevention of tooth decay.
Tooth Pain - If you are experiencing toothaches - mostly around your upper molars - this could be due to seasonal allergies. Sinus pressure builds up on the maxillary sinuses and pushes down on the roots of your upper molars, creating pain and discomfort.
Bad Breath - Post-nasal drip can result in bad breath and cause a sore throat and swollen tonsils. Post-nasal drip can become infected, which can cause a build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Swollen gums can make it difficult to brush effectively, also leading to bad breath.
Try these steps to help reduce your exposure and symptoms:
If you experience any pain or discomfort from seasonal allergies, please call our front desk at 704-927-5499 or submit a request for your desired appointment time and date through our easy online scheduler! Our team at Belvedere Family Dentistry is always here to help and to ensure your oral health remains in tip-top shape.
Good standing oral health takes more than just brushing and flossing - improving your toothbrushing technique, ditching sweets, and scheduling a regular checkup at Belvedere are just a few important ways to maintain good oral health.
Visit one of our dentists here at Belvedere Family Dentistry located in Charlotte, North Carolina, to find out how we can help your oral hygiene. If you have any questions give us a call at 704-927-5499.
Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!
We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!
A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.
The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:
In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center! Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Dr. Bansch for a quick tutorial!
Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!
Oral hygiene/dental hygiene means the overall maintenance of the mouth, gums and teeth. It includes daily maintenance at home as well as regular dental checkups and professional teeth-cleaning treatments. Just as it is important for you to brush and floss your teeth regularly, it is equally important that you get professional cleanings done from your dentist/dental hygienist. This is the best way of keeping your natural teeth for years to come.
The Oral Hygiene Process
Regardless of how religiously and meticulously you brush & floss every day, over time there will be a build-up of calculus on the teeth. As this calculus builds under the gum line, bacteria begin invading the area and can lead to a range of dental problems. Your dental hygienist will ensure that this calculus build-up is eliminated. This helps in maintaining optimum oral health.
Maintaining Oral Health
Dental hygienists are experts at scraping away all the hard plaque & in removing calculus deposits. They take x-rays for your dentist and the latter will check thoroughly for dental decay, tumors, cysts or changes in the bone-support of the teeth.
Once the hygienist has finished cleaning the teeth, your dentist will then examine your gums and teeth for any signs of gum disease or tooth decay. The American Dental Association recommends that patients should visit the dentist & dental hygienist 2 times every year. This goes a long way in promoting good oral health.
When you lose a tooth, you have several options for replacing it. A dental bridge is a cost effective solution for a replacement tooth that stays in your mouth and is very similar to having a natural tooth. A bridge costs much less than a dental implant and can last about 10 years before needing replacement.
How a Bridge Works
A bridge works by placing an artificial tooth in the gap where your tooth is missing and supporting it with two crowns on either side. This is the most common type of bridge used for the replacement of a single missing tooth. The first step in getting a bridge is for your Uptown Charlotte dentist to prepare the teeth on either side of the gap to be fitted with crowns. These crowns are the support system for the artificial tooth, called a pontic. The pontic fits into the gap and the bridge is cemented in place.
Why Get a Bridge
A dental bridge could be considered cosmetic dentistry, but it is important for your oral health to replace missing teeth, even teeth in the back that don’t show when you smile. Just one missing tooth can cause problems including:
• Shifting of other teeth
• Oral hygiene problems from buildup of bacteria in the gap
• Problems with chewing or changes in speech
• Jaw soreness or TMJ symptoms
Other Types of Bridges
A bridge can be used to replace up to three consecutive missing teeth. If a missing tooth is on the side and has no tooth alongside of it, a different type of bridge can be used. This is called a cantilever bridge, and it relies on support from the teeth that are present on the other side of gap. This type of bridge is not as strong as a traditional bridge and may not last as long.
Materials Used for Bridges
Bridges and crowns are made of materials that are used in many restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures. Porcelain is the most natural-looking material used in dentistry. Bridges can also be made of metal or porcelain that is fused to metal. Composite resin materials are cost effective and a popular choice for dental work.
Find Out More About Bridges and Crowns
Call our Uptown Charlotte dentist now if you’d like to learn more about bridges, crowns or any other restorative or cosmetic dental services. We can set up an appointment for you to come in and chat with us or have an initial exam.
Maintaining white teeth and a confident smile is easy with the help of a dentist, and getting regular checkups from a Uptown Charlotte dentist helps you prevent problems before they even start.
How Often to Get a General Checkup
Most people find that they can see a general dentist once or twice a year to maintain a healthy smile.
If you take excellent care of your teeth, and generally have little risk of gum disease, cavities, or more serious oral diseases, your dentist will likely recommend that you come back in six to twelve months after your appointment.
Some people fall into groups that are considered to be high-risk by dentists, however. These groups include:
• People who have gum disease
• People with a history of cavities
• People with weak immune systems
• Pregnant women
Anyone who falls into this group should visit their general dentist more regularly than those who see low risk of oral disease problems. The recommended visiting rate for anyone who falls into one of these categories is every three to four months. However, people who struggle with things such as cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, or frequent bacterial infections might need to visit even more often than that.
What You Can Expect at a General Checkup
During your general checkup, a dentist will help you maintain healthy white teeth in a few simple steps.
The typical appointment will begin with a thorough teeth cleaning. Either the dentist or the dental hygienist will remove any remaining plaque or tartar from your teeth and gums using dental tools, and then, your teeth will be flossed and polished to prepare for your exam.
A full dental examination is performed by the dentist themselves. During the exam, the dentist looks at your whole mouth, including the tongue, teeth, and gums. The exam is done to look for potential problems or diseases.
Every couple of years, or in some cases, annually, the dentist may take an x-ray of your mouth. X-rays are used as diagnostic tools to look below the surface at things the dentist cannot see on their own. An x-ray can be used to find impacted teeth, tooth decay, abscesses, or damage to your jaw.
If you are ready for to create a confident smile, click here to request an appointment with a Uptown Charlotte dentist.
Thanksgiving remains a time of appreciation for all of the blessings of our lives. We appreciate food, family, parades and football. Be aware of the sugar content and nutritional values in your favorite Thanksgiving dishes and enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving dinner that helps to build great teeth and oral health. Your general dentist can give you more information about many of your favorite holiday foods and whether or not they are an excellent choice for your teeth.
When it comes to oral health, nothing beats regular dental exams at your local dentist office. You can help keep your mouth and teeth healthy by eating great tasting food that is healthy as well.
Thanksgiving Dinner Can Be Good For Your Oral Health
Many of the foods we enjoy at Thanksgiving are good for our teeth and our all over health. Turkey is a standard on the menu of many people celebrating the holiday. Turkey is high in protein and phosphorus, both of which are crucial for building the strength of your teeth. Phosphorus also rebuilds the enamel that protects your teeth.
Sweet potatoes, yams, and mashed potatoes (not instant mashed potatoes) are packed with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for the teeth. They also don’t stick to the enamel of the teeth to cause tooth decay as do some of the other starches traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving Day. Avoid melting marshmallows on the sweet potatoes or yams to keep them healthy for your teeth. Have you ever tried sweet potatoes or yams with only a pat of butter and salt? They are naturally sweet on their own.
Green beans, salad and relish trays contain vegetables with plenty of Vitamin C and calcium to make your teeth and bones strong and build your immune system. If you make the traditional green bean casserole, cream of mushroom soup adds serving or two of calcium to the dish.
Be Thankful for Your Dentist
One meal or one piece of pumpkin pie is not going to make or break your dental health. Regular visits to your general dentist at your local dentist office will prevent many dental problems before they occur, and fix any problems or dental injuries that arise. Routine dental exams and great dental care from an excellent general dentist, in addition to healthy eating even at Thanksgiving, will keep your oral health at its best throughout the whole year and through the holidays, too.
A general dentist provides a basic amount of restorative and preventative treatments to a patient’s teeth. These procedures can repair damage caused by decay, prevent infections and other issues that can cause bone atrophy, or prevent issues.
How Can a General Dentist Help to Prevent Dental Problems?
There are a number of ways that a dentist can help to prevent problems in the mouth. These include things from dental exams to more complicated procedures involving cleaning below the gum line.
Some of the preventative treatments general dentists tend to offer include:
Preventative care from a dentist tends to help reduce the number of restorative treatments that a patient may require. They can also prevent irreversible conditions, such as advanced periodontitis, from occurring.
What Restorative Procedures Do Dentists Perform?
Restorative procedures are designed to restore the function and form of your teeth. These procedures are generally conducted within your local dentist office. Most are completed within one to two appointments.
Some examples of restorative procedures your dentist may perform are:
Keeping Your Smile Healthy
The procedures listed above are just a few examples of the procedures that can stabilize and restore your mouth’s health.
When you’re ready to rejuvenate your smile, then call our local dentist office. We can schedule an appointment for exams and a consultation to ensure your is functional and beautiful.
If you were to put your toothbrush bristles under a high-powered microscope, what you would see might give you nightmares: millions of bacteria, busily crawling up and down your toothbrush bristles, consuming proteins that came from your mouth, and still clinging to the bristles even after you’ve rinsed them with water.
Rinsing your toothbrush after brushing removes some of those ferociously hungry bacteria, but not all. The American Dental Association says that bacterial infestations develop on toothbrushes within a month of daily use. The ADA also states that unless a toothbrush is sterilized before being packaged, it’s going to come with bacteria – free of charge!
Germs and Frayed Bristles: the Demise of a Toothbrush
Our staff recommends that you toss your old toothbrush in the trash and purchase a new one every three months. Children tend to bite on their toothbrushes, which makes the bristles degrade and fray faster. Chances are kids may need to have their toothbrushes changed more frequently.
Where Do They Hide?
Bacteria are tenacious little germs that head for those concealed areas between toothbrush bristles. They are highly adaptable and exist in every type of extreme environment. Some people actually go so far as to put their toothbrush in a microwave for a few seconds to kill germs, but this doesn’t always work either. In fact, you may only end up with a toothbrush that’s as bendable and still covered with germs.
Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever, and Get Rid of Your Toothbrush
When you have a head cold, your mouth is teeming with bacteria gleefully roaming around, and gobbling mucus and dead skin cells. If you brush your teeth while suffering a sinus condition, the brush will act like a magnet for ravenous bacteria. Use your old toothbrush while you are sick, but as soon as you feel better, throw it away and get a new one. Otherwise you could possibly re-infect yourself with the same cold germs!
Feel free to ask our team more about toothbrush hygiene and other helpful tips. We are always glad to help you out!
Uptown Charlotte Dentistry & Orthodontics
We do our best to make it easy for you to get the beautiful smile you deserve! Our office accepts nearly all major insurance plans. Even though dental insurance is a private arrangement between you and your company, we will file your claim, handle all the paperwork, and help you get maximum insurance benefits.
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