Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, Family, General Dental Articles.

bruixismYou wake up with a headache most mornings. Your tongue looks weirdly scalloped. Your teeth have hairline fractures and look shorter than they used to. What is happening while you sleep? It could be bruxism, otherwise known as unconscious clenching and grinding. If it is, you really need a nightguard.

What Exactly is a Nightguard?

A nightguard works almost exactly like a sports mouthguard – it protects your teeth and prevents painful damage. It is small and portable and most patients find them very easy and comfortable to wear. In fact, most of our patients love them because of the relief and peace of mind they offer.

The Symptoms of Tooth Grinding and Clenching

While all of these do not necessarily indicate that you are bruxing or grinding at night, they are a pretty good clue! If you experience any of the following symptoms, please give my Evansville dental office a call:

  • Worn, chipped, broken teeth
  • Flattened tooth surfaces
  • Exposure of tooth layers and loss of enamel
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Jaw pain
  • Headache and facial pain
  • Earache from jaw muscle tension and contraction
  • A scalloped tongue or irregular tongue edges
  • Damaged mouth tissue

Bruxism can also cause micro fracturing and sensitivity at the gum line, and it can even lead to chronic headaches and TMJ disorder. Not something we want our patients to deal with – ever!

Why am I Grinding my Teeth?

It can be hard to pinpoint the cause: It might be a result of a car accident or other injury. Sometimes chronic stress or medical conditions, such as sleep apnea, can trigger bruxism. Other times it is caused by poorly balanced dental work or missing teeth. Whatever the cause, if you clench or grind your teeth, you could be facing a long list of dental problems, including the painful effects of TMJ disorder or arthritis of the temporomandibular joints.

Let Us Help

I’d love to help you protect your teeth and let you get a truly relaxing night’s sleep. At my dental office in Evansville, my team and I can fit you with a custom-made nightguard appliance that will reduce the damage to your teeth and protect your dental investments! If you think you might grind your teeth at night, call us today!
We welcome patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

denture care

Posted by & filed under Cosmetic Dentistry, General Dental Articles.

If you’re missing some or all of your teeth, you may have selected to replace them with a denture. While dentures may seem like a simple solution to replace missing teeth, there’s actually a detailed maintenance routine necessary to keep your dentures fitting well and to keep your mouth healthy.

Dentures Deserve Care, Too!

At my Evansville dental office, we’re here to educate our patients on oral health and provide tips on how to keep mouths healthy. When it comes to our denture wearers, it’s no different. Even though dentures are not natural teeth, is doesn’t mean they don’t require just as much care. Proper denture care is crucial to maintaining the life of the appliance and to sustain oral health.

Often times if dentures aren’t cared for properly, plaque builds up and creates some serious concerns. When left alone, the plaque can cause additional tooth loss, bad breath, and even gum disease.

How to Properly Care for Dentures

  • Handle with Care. Dentures are an investment in your oral health. They’re also pretty fragile, so handle them as carefully as possible to reduce risk of damage or needing repairs.
  • Rinse Well. After every meal, rinse your dentures with water to remove any loose food particles. If left there, the particles can lead to bad breath or gum disease.
  • Brush ‘Em. Brush your dentures daily for the best care possible. Select a soft-bristled brush or a denture-specific brush to decrease the chance of damage. Also, make sure to use a denture-safe cleanser.
  • Let Them Soak. Dentures need to remain moist and hydrated. Whenever your dentures aren’t in your mouth they should be soaking in water or a solution recommended by your doctor.
  • Visit Often. Maintain regular visits with your dentist in Evansville to ensure there are no potential problems and your dentures are fitting and functioning properly.

If you already have dentures and want to make sure they’re in the best shape possible, or if you think dentures may be a good fit for you, give my Evansville dental office a call. We’re here to provide you the best solution for your missing teeth and will develop a personalized treatment just for you.

Serving patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

healthy mouth

Posted by & filed under Family, General Dental Articles.

We all know that regular dental visits can help identify oral health concerns like cavities, gum disease, or oral cancer. But did you know these visits can also tell us a lot about your overall health? At my dental office in Evansville, we stress the importance of maintaining recommended visits to us not only for the health of your mouth, but also for the health of your whole body.

What’s Your Mouth Saying?

Your oral health can say quite a bit about your overall health. In fact, recent research shows that the health of your mouth actually reflects the health of your whole body. Many systemic diseases (diseases that affect the whole body) have oral manifestations, and symptoms can show here before anywhere else. This means your dentist in Evansville may be the first person in your medical team to suspect a whole-body problem. And sometimes, those problems can be serious. Some of the diseases that have oral symptoms include:

  • Leukemia
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Kidney Disease

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the most common oral symptoms of these diseases are:

  • Red, swollen, bleeding, or receding gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Ulcers
  • Loose teeth

Tips for a Healthier Smile and Life

  • Be Open. It’s important to tell your dentist about any changes in your overall health or medication. Some chronic illnesses and medication can directly influence your oral health — and your overall health.
  • Eat Smart. Proper nutrition isn’t just important for a strong body, it’s also important for a healthy mouth. Eat balanced meals and try to avoid constant snacking.
  • Drink Smart. Choose water as often as possible. Water naturally neutralizes acids, washes away bacteria, and stimulates saliva production, which also helps remove bacteria.

If you notice any changes in your oral health, schedule an appointment at my Evansville dental office. We’ll assess your individual symptoms and talk about your health history to determine the best plan for you. It’s our job, and passion, to do everything we can to keep your mouth, and body, healthy for a lifetime.
Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

Posted by & filed under Family, General Dental Articles.

Oct4 sleepingWhat is your bedtime routine? If you are a patient at my Evansville dental office, we feel pretty sure it includes brushing and flossing your teeth. But routines and habits you may not even be aware of might be part of your night as well! And these habits won’t improve your health the way oral hygiene will. Instead, they might actually destroy your teeth and ruin your day!

These issues are snoring or sleep apnea and bruxism. Both snoring and bruxism (another word for clenching and grinding) are especially problematic in part because so few people are aware that they are doing them. How can you solve a problem when you don’t even know it is there?

We’d like to help. Here are a few signs and symptoms to look for.

Snoring/ Sleep Apnea

  • Frequent silences during sleep due to breaks in breathing (apnea)
  • Choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs
  • Loud snoring
  • Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat
  • Daytime sleepiness and feeling unrefreshed by a night’s sleep, including falling asleep at inappropriate times

If you have any of these symptoms, contact your Evansville dentist or your physician right away. Snoring is no joke; it’s a warning that something is not right. Snoring occurs when the tissues of the throat are so lax or narrowed that air cannot pass through normally. This decreases the amount of air to the lungs, the heart has to work harder, and quality sleep is interrupted, all interfering with healthy living. It could also be a sign of sleep apnea which is quite dangerous and has been linked to everything from dangerous driving to an increased risk for strokes. Don’t take it lightly.

Bruxism (Grinding and Clenching)

  • Worn, flattened, or shorter teeth than when you were younger
  • Chips, cracks, or hairline fractures
  • Chips at the gumline that may look and feel like gum recession
  • Sore jaws or teeth, especially during times of stress
  • Increased sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet food and drink
  • Unexplained earaches
  • Sores on the inside of your cheek or ridges on the sides of your tongue
  • Headache or facial soreness
  • Gum disease

Since snoring, sleep apnea, and grinding are dangerous to your health and your teeth, it is important to have yourself checked for them periodically. At my dental office in Evansville, we will look for symptoms of both of these disorders — and many more–at every checkup. Give us a call and we can get you back on the path to a good night’s sleep and better health.

Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City

Posted by & filed under Family, General Dental Articles.

dentist-medievalJust as with all medicine, dentistry is an ever-evolving field. At my dental office in Evansville, we’re constantly updating technology and improving our knowledge to better serve patients just like you.

But imagine if you lived 200 hundred years ago. What was dentistry like then? How about during the middle ages? Would the dentists of those times have been able to replace your lost tooth? Would they have been able to fill a cavity? What would they have recommended you do for a toothache?

Let’s take a look.

Dentistry in the middle ages

For the common folk, dentistry consisted mostly of self-care and occasional visits to practitioners or barber surgeons who treated a toothache by pulling the offending tooth and  suggested things like kissing a donkey to cure the toothache. It also wasn’t unheard of to recommend concocting a mixture of newts, lizards, and beetles into a powder and applying it to the painful tooth throughout the day.  

The truth is, in spite of inconsistent professional care, most medieval commoners had clean, white teeth. Why? Their diets were similar to what a modern dentist would recommend for a healthy mouth: One very low in sugar and refined flours and high in calcium.  They also used all kinds of fairly effective tooth cleaners and mouth rinses, including a paste made from crushed peppermint and rock salt.

Dentistry in the 19th Century

Dentistry didn’t begin to resemble what we think of as dentistry today until the early 18th century, and by the 19th century, dentistry began to seem quite modern. European surgeons had begun experimenting with implanting teeth; dentures were being created out of both human teeth, the teeth of animals, and porcelain; and nitrous oxide, the same laughing gas we sometimes use today, was introduced by Humphry Davy around 1800. In 1840, the Baltimore College of Dentistry, the first dental college, was founded by Chapin Harris and Horace Hayden. It was the first step into dentistry as we know it today.

Our Dentistry

At my Evansville dental office, we’ve continued to adapt and improve our services as the advancements in dental care improve. We always ensure the utmost in comfort, technology, and service. To schedule an appointment and experience the difference, give us a call today!

Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

Posted by & filed under Family, General Dental Articles.

Sept4FlossAt my Evansville dental office, we’re all about creating beautiful smiles and keeping them healthy. An important part to overall oral health is a proper oral hygiene routine, and with that comes regular flossing. However, more than half of Americans don’t floss regularly, and a whopping 20% don’t floss at all. Why are so many people so against flossing? We dug up some research and found some of the main reasons people ditch the floss.  

“I Just Can’t Seem To Do It.”

Sometimes individuals with dexterity problems, especially those who have suffered a stroke, injury, or have arthritis, can have difficulty maneuvering the floss. But there are alternatives available. Floss picks, which are those little “Y” shaped plastic devices with a piece of floss strung between the tips, can work wonders. They make it much easier for our differently abled patients.

“I Don’t Have Time.”

While flossing may seem like a time-consuming task, if done properly, it should actually only take between three and five minutes. At first, it may take a bit longer as you get used to a technique that works for you, but the more you do it, the easier it gets. Spending at least three minutes flossing can mean fewer dental problems, better check ups, and an overall healthier mouth.

“I Don’t Know If It’s Really Necessary.”

Flossing is crucial to proper oral health. Brushing is not even half the battle. If you don’t floss, all the spaces between the teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach aren’t cleaned, and bacteria is left to cause some serious damage. In fact, the most common place for cavities to form is between teeth. A lack of flossing could also lead to more serious problems.

“It Hurts and My Gums Bleed When I Do It, So I Don’t.”

Healthy gums don’t bleed or hurt when flossed. If your gums do, you should start flossing more, not less. Bleeding while flossing can also be a sign of gum disease. Gum disease not only affects your teeth, mouth, and gums, but also your overall health and has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.  

Flossing is incredibly important to a happy mouth and healthy body. If you’re having difficulty, want to learn more about the benefits of flossing, or especially if you are experiencing pain, give my dental office in Evansville a call. We’ll be more than happy to work with you to find a great, personal flossing solution.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Sept3BadBreathBad breath, also known as halitosis, can affect people of all ages. It can be embarrassing, and if it doesn’t go away, it might also be a sign of a serious problem. But what exactly causes bad breath, and how can you get rid of it?

What Causes Bad Breath?

At my dental practice in Evansville, we know bad breath can be caused by a lot of things, including some types of food and drink. That type of bad breath usually dissipates fairly quickly and isn’t something to worry about. However, when bad breath tends to linger day in and day out, you should give us a call.

Chronic bad breath (halitosis), meaning bad breath that does not go away after brushing, flossing, and rinsing, is typically an indicator of a bigger problem. Halitosis means there is a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Those bacteria live and feed off tooth plaque, and when they feed, hydrogen sulfide is produced and gives off a malodorous stench. Bad breath is also a top sign of gum disease – a serious concern for your mouth and your body.

Gum disease may also affect your overall health. Untreated gum disease has been shown to cause loose teeth, receding gums, and sensitivity, as well as increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetic complications.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

If you suffer from bad breath, there are few tips you can try.

  1. Proper Oral Hygiene. Maintaining a proper oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day can work wonders to keep your mouth fresh and bacteria free. Make sure each time you brush it’s for about two minutes (hum “Happy Birthday” twice!) and that you reach each surface of each tooth. When flossing, it’s important to clean in between each tooth and under the gum line where bacteria love to hide.
  2. Tongue Scraping. Your tongue can hold a lot of bacteria in each of its tiny bumps and grooves, which is why it’s important to gently scrub it each time you brush. Some patients have difficulty cleaning their tongues with a traditional toothbrush because it makes them gag. If this is a problem for you, try using a tongue scraper instead.
  3. Water, Water, Water. Drinking plenty of water every day can also help keep your mouth stink free. Water keeps your mouth hydrated and rinses away bacteria. If you slack on your H₂O intake, your mouth could become dehydrated. When this happens, less saliva is produced and bacteria isn’t cleared away.
  4. Your Dentist. Bad breath shouldn’t be treated lightly. If you notice a lingering odor, call my Evansville dental office as soon as possible. We’ll work with you to determine the cause and talk about the best treatment for you. We also won’t lecture you or make you feel embarrassed. We’re here to help keep your smile and your body healthy.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Aug2OsteoperosisOsteoporosis is a disease that mainly affects women over the age of 50. But it can happen to anyone no matter age or gender. Osteoporosis causes bone density to decrease, making breaks and whole-body concerns much more common. At my Evansville dental office, we want to talk about how your oral health may be linked to osteoporosis.

Your Mouth & Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis affects 10 million Americans, and there are 34 million more who are at risk. As with many serious diseases, early detection is key. You may not even know there’s a problem until it’s too late. Sometimes signs aren’t obvious. So how do you get diagnosed if you’re not experiencing any symptoms? Your dentist!

In fact, your dentist may be the first member of your healthcare team to catch osteoporosis. When patients visit the dentist, the team is not just looking at their teeth, they also look at x-rays. These x-rays provide a wealth of information about what’s going on below the teeth, including bone density, and show us signs you or your medical doctor may not see or notice.

Signs & Symptoms

While we will be vigilant at your exams, here are some of the signs and symptoms we encourage our patients to watch for:

  • Loose dentures
  • Tooth loss
  • Bone loss around the teeth or in the jaw
  • Gum disease

Prevention

In addition to maintaining visits to your Evansville dentist, there are other preventive actions you can take to decrease your chance of osteoporosis.

  • Quit Smoking
  • Consume caffeine limitedly
  • Lower alcohol intake
  • Get out and exercise
  • Get enough vitamin D and calcium

If you’re experiencing any signs of osteoporosis, visit your doctor. Even if you’re not having difficulty currently, make sure to keep up with your regular visits to my dental office in Evansville. We actively look for signs of potential osteoporosis and may be the first line of defense against the disease.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City .

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

AugFAQAt my dental office in Evansville, we get asked a lot of questions. And that’s ok. We know we sometimes use dentist speak, but we’re always happy to clarify and help make dentistry easier to understand. In this blog, we wanted to take some of the most frequent dental questions and answer them once and for all.

“Do I really need to see a dentist twice a year?”

The short answer is yes. Biannual visits are essential. However, we may encourage some patients to come in more often. If you’re at increased risk for gum disease or oral cancer, or if you have several treatments planned, visiting a dentist more than twice a year is normal. If your checkups are problem free, we’ll ask you to come back in about six months. Regular appointments are important for thorough cleaning and early detection. With early detection, you may avoid larger, more invasive, costly procedures in the future.

“Is flossing really necessary?”

Both brushing and flossing are crucial to a healthy mouth, yet about half of all Americans fail to floss on a regular basis. Without flossing, 35% of your tooth surfaces are not being cleaned. This allows bacteria to linger, food particles to fester, and decay to develop. Our best recommendation is to brush twice a day and floss once a day, at the minimum.

“I brush and floss, yet I still get cavities. What’s up?”

Brushing and flossing are only part of keeping decay and cavities away. If you have a diet that’s high in acidic foods or beverages, if you use tobacco, or if you are hard on your teeth, either by clenching, grinding, or crunching hard things, you’re automatically at increased risk for cavities. Acid eats away at enamel, and without enamel, teeth are left exposed to dangerous bacteria. Grinding and crunching alike may lead to tiny chips and cracks which are perfect places for bacteria to hide and create a cavity.

“What’s the purpose of dental x-rays?”

Dental x-rays allow us to see below the naturally visible surfaces of teeth. This helps identify potential problems early, before they become big problems. We can look at decay, bone infections, gum disease, and baby teeth patterns all by using x-rays.

If it’s been a while since you’ve seen a dentist, or if you ever have a question, just ask! We’ll be happy to help. Everyone at my Evansville dental office isn’t only here to give you the care you need, we’re here to work with you to make sure all your questions are answered and you’re always comfortable.

Serving patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

JulyToothbrushHow’s your relationship with your toothbrush? Is it working for you? Is it getting the job done well? At my dental office in Evansville, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your toothbrush relationship should never be long-term. Is it time you moved on to something better?

Toothbrushes are specifically designed to gently and effectively remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris from teeth. But they aren’t designed to last forever. In fact, the American Dental Association strongly advises against keeping a toothbrush any longer. At three-to-four months, toothbrushes begin to show signs that it’s just not working out, and nobody wants to stay in a relationship that’s not working.

Signs It’s Over

There are some obvious signs that it’s time to toss your current toothbrush and look for a newer model. Most clues of an old toothbrush are found in the bristles, so keep an eye out for:

  • Fraying
  • Discoloration
  • Flattening

If you notice any of these signs, head to the store and treat yourself to a newer, better toothbrush. You deserve it.

How to Care for Your New Toothbrush

Like any relationship, you should treat your toothbrush with care for a healthy, three-month commitment. Follow the tips below to get the most out of your time together.

  • Sharing is NOT Caring. One of the main things you can do to keep your toothbrush in tip-top shape is keep it for yourself. Sharing toothbrushes means sharing bacteria, and that’s pretty gross.
  • Rinse it Well. Following each and every cleaning, it’s important to thoroughly rinse your toothbrush. A good rinsing farther removes any bacteria that may be lingering around.
  • Store it Correctly. Keeping your toothbrush out to air dry is the ideal storage solution. Avoid trapping it in a container. Containers encourage bacteria growth.

Not only should you always take care of your toothbrush and use it twice a day, you should also maintain regular appointments at my Evansville dental office. Pairing a healthy at-home oral health routine with professional cleanings is the best way to maintain a healthy, problem-free smile. If you’re in need of a new dentist, give us a call today. We’ll be happy to have you.

Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.