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The Sun and Oral Health ConnectionOur old friend the sun has a bad habit of disappearing quite often during the winter months. During the few hours of daylight we do have, it’s usually too cold to go sit outside and soak up some rays, or we’re all stuck indoors at work. When the sun decides to hibernate during the winter, our most plentiful supply of vitamin D is compromised. That’s bad news to all of us at my dental office in Evansville!

You Are My Sunshine, My Only Sunshine!

The sun — it can give us a mood boost, jump start our immune systems, and keep our planet from freezing solid. Of course it has other benefits like giving us a nice summer glow and keeping us warm. Perhaps the most important thing the sun does (at least according to us!) is supply us with a whole lot of vitamin D.

It’s All About Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a pretty cool nutrient that not only helps boost our immune systems, but also can lower blood pressure, help the pancreas produce insulin, and aid in the absorption of calcium. Since we all know that calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, vitamin D is super important for a strong, healthy smile.

Where to Get Vitamin D

Like we often see during the winter, sometimes the sun isn’t a viable source of vitamin D. When this happens, it’s important to make sure you’re getting an adequate supply from somewhere else. Some great ways to keep up with your vitamin D intake is by:

  • Eating Eggs and Fatty Fish
  • Drinking Milk
  • Taking Supplements

Having enough vitamin D is extremely important for your smile and your body. If you aren’t getting enough of it, you may develop a vitamin D deficiency. That’s serious stuff. In fact, research has linked a lack of vitamin D to osteoporosis, increased risk for type 1 diabetes, and even breast, colon, or prostate cancer.

No matter how you take your vitamin D, make sure you have some daily. Not just for a healthy smile, but for a healthy body. As always, regular appointments at my dental office in Evansville can help keep both healthy for life.

Serving patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City, and nearby communities.


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tooth sensitivity

Do you suffer from sharp zings of pain while trying to enjoy your favorite hot or cold foods? Perhaps during a bite of a soothing popsicle or a sip of comforting hot tea, all of the sudden, it’s less about “Yum!” and more about “Ouch!” If your teeth are keeping you from the hot or cold foods and drinks you love, my dental office in Evansville is here to help.

Before we cover how to stop the pain, we should probably talk about what causes it in the first place. The several causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Decay or cavities
  • Chipped or fractured teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Exposed roots

Healthy, non-sensitive teeth have a hard layer of enamel that protects the inner anatomy where all the nerves and roots live. When this protective layer is worn away, chipped, or exposed through gum recession or eroded enamel, the nerves are at increased risk for coming in contact with hot and cold foods and drinks, resulting in pain. Once teeth become sensitive, there are a variety of ways to ease the pain.

At-Home Care

First and foremost, proper oral hygiene is key to keeping teeth and gums healthy, and enamel strong and protective. Make sure to brush (gently) twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist in Evansville regularly. Additionally, choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste can keep sensitivity away. Select a brush with soft bristles and toothpaste without sodium pyrophosphate, which may contribute to sensitivity.

Professional Dental Care

Sometimes our patients need professional help. Treatment may include:

  • Desensitizing agents
  • Bonding
  • Root canal

Suffering from sensitive teeth isn’t fun and can keep you from enjoying your most favorite foods. If you’re dealing with the pain of sensitivity, call my dental office in Evansville. We will work together to determine what caused the sensitivity in the first place, what you can do at home to keep it away, and if additional treatment is necessary.

Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City, and surrounding areas.

 

 

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biting your nails is bad for your teeth

Nail biting is one of the most common habits of humans, and the behavior is typically triggered by stress, boredom, annoyingly long fingernails, or excitement. However, at my dental office in Evansville, we want to warn our nail biters that this habit can also contribute to a multitude of dental and whole-body problems.

  1. Germs, germs, and more germs. Fingernails can hold a lot of germs and bacteria, almost twice as much as your hands. Nail biters are at increased risk for transferring those germs and dangerous bacteria into the body. What’s even scarier is that if gnawed of nails are swallowed, all that gross stuff that lives under the nail enters the body and may lead to stomach issues.
  2. Save some dough! According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), nail biters spend an average of $4,000 more on dental bills throughout their lives than non-biters. This is mostly due to the fact that nail biting can lead to some serious dental concerns.
  3. Tooth damage. Nails are hard, and when we bite them, the chance for chips and cracks greatly increases. Nail biters experience more cracks or chips in their pearly whites. Even more, nail biting can lead to bruxism, or clenching and grinding of the teeth. Bruxism itself can cause jaw pain, wear and tear on teeth, and headaches.
  4. Take a break! Like other parts of your body, your teeth also need to rest. Your teeth are there to help you chew and eat, but in between meals, they should take a break. If you’re a nail biter, your teeth are constantly working. This may cause them to wear down quickly or could lead to a bad bite.
  5. Ouch, my jaw hurts! Chronic nail biting can be detrimental for your jaw. In fact, constantly chewing your nails can cause TMJ Disorder. TMJ Disorder brings on its own set of issues like jaw pain, headaches, or popping or locking of the jaw.
  6. At my Evansville dental office, we’re always here to give you the advice you need to make sure your smile and your body are healthy. If you’re a nail biter, talk to us about it. We have tips that may help you quit, we’ll examine your mouth for any signs of damage, and work with you to get your smile in its best shape.

 

Serving patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City, and nearby communities.

 

 

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how to stay healthy during the holiday seasonThe holidays are well upon us, and there’s never been a better time to celebrate friendships, spend time with family, and be grateful for our health. However, with the hustle and bustle of parties every weekend, fulfilling wish lists pages deep, and all that food, it’s also a time when our health is at increased risk. At my dental office in Evansville, we’re always focused on our patients’ health, and not just in their mouths, but throughout their entire bodies. With that philosophy always at the forefront of everything we do, this holiday season we’d like to share some tips for making your holiday season a healthy one.

Be Stress Free

Over the holidays, life seems to become so incredibly busy, it’s like there’s never a chance to breathe, let alone enjoy it. Try breaking the cycle of constantly being stressed by following these tips.

    • Don’t overcommit. If you’re inundated with piles of invitations to holiday parties, don’t feel obligated to accept them all. Overcommitment to more events than you can handle can lead to loss of sleep and an increased risk of getting sick. Politely pass on some of those parties and stay in to relax instead.

 

  • Stay within budget. Start your holidays by setting a budget, then stay within it. Managing the amount of money you’re comfortable spending on gifts, food, and travel can keep your stress levels low and give you one less thing to worry about.

 

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry – Just Not Too Much

One of the best parts of the holidays is the variety of food and drinks available at every turn. While we’d never tell to you skip out on enjoying a holiday feast, your dentist in Evansville will encourage you to monitor your intake of food and alcohol. Overeating can lead to an upset stomach, so watch how much you consume. The same thing applies to alcohol. If you’re of age, partaking a glass of wine with dinner or a dessert of eggnog is absolutely acceptable, just don’t overdo it. Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water, and try to limit yourself to two adult beverages per party. Nothing compromises your immune system or makes you feel sicker than a hangover that belongs on the naughty list.

Wash Your Hands Often

During the holidays, we interact with more people, visit more houses, and are presented with more opportunities to swap germs. This makes washing your hands well and often really important. Scrub with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds to rinse away harmful germs that can make you sick and put a damper on your holiday.

Everyone at my dental office in Evansville wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday season. Following these tips can help make it a healthy one too.

Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City, and surrounding areas.

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i haven't been to the denstist in a few years what should I expect?

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a few years, you may be worried about going. Whether it’s due to fear of the dentist, nervousness of what they’ll find, or you really want to avoid getting a lecture, we encourage you to put your anxiety aside. We’ll never lecture you at my dental office in Evansville, and are here to give you the skinny on what to expect.

Let’s Get You Comfortable

The last thing we want to do at your first visit is make you more nervous. In fact, we want to make your appointment as comfortable and pleasant as possible. From the time you enter the office until the time you leave, let us know what we can do to make you feel at home.

No Lecturing Allowed

Whatever the reason is that you haven’t been to a dentist in awhile, the important thing is that you’re here now. We won’t look down on you, we won’t lecture you, and we won’t make you feel guilty. Our main goal for your first appointment is to evaluate your oral health and talk about how we can work together to reach your smile goals.

No Fear

We understand and respect that fear of the dentist is a common thing. If your fear started years ago because of a negative experience – maybe it hurt, maybe the personality of the office wasn’t right, or maybe the sounds were scary – we want to know so we can help you overcome it. Dental technology has come a long way and there are new ways to improve the health of your smile easily, with nothing fear.

A Longer Visit

Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve seen your dentist in Evansville, your first visit back may take longer than the last visit you remember. This is not meant to scare you but rather to comfort you. We want to take our time getting to know you and your mouth, your concerns and your goals, and the health of your smile. It’s all about making you comfortable not just with coming back to the dentist, but with our office and staff, too.

We take your concerns as seriously as we take your oral health. If we can answer any questions you have about our office, our services, or your first appointment, please call my dental office in Evansville. We’ll treat you with respect and work with you to get your smile back to health.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City, and surrounding areas.

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mouth breathingBreathing out of your mouth may not seem like a huge problem, but in terms of oral health and facial development in children, mouth breathing can create some concerns for your dentist in Evansville.

Signs and Symptoms

Before we discuss how mouth breathing can negatively affect your oral health, it’s important to mention some of the signs and symptoms of this potentially dangerous habit since many mouth breathers don’t even realize they’re doing it until serious issues develop. Some common signs and symptoms of being a mouth breather include:

  • Dry lips
  • Crowded teeth
  • Snoring and open mouth while sleeping
  • Increased number of airway infections including sinus, ear, colds
  • Chronic bad breath

If you’re experiencing any of these problems, or if you know you are a mouth breather, call my dental office in Evansville. We will work with you to fix the problem and get you back to health.

Breathing out of the mouth is usually caused by Chronic nasal obstruction (CNO). When your body can’t get enough oxygen by breathing through your nose, it automatically resorts the only other thing that can supply your body with the oxygen it needs – your mouth.

This may lead to many oral health problems. Mouth breathing can quickly dry out the mouth and decrease saliva production. Saliva is extremely important for neutralizing acid and helping to wash away bacteria, without it, the chance of tooth decay and cavities increases. A dry mouth can also lead to bad breath and other serious concerns.

Dry mouth is one of the causes of gum disease, a dangerous oral health problem that can create health issues throughout your body including stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. In children, breathing from the mouth may lead to poor sleep, lower oxygen concentration in the blood, and facial deformities.

Since humans are designed to breathe through their noses, when they try to breathe out of their mouths, their posture has to change in order to keep the airway open. This may cause developmental problems, especially in children who are prone to mouth breathing. When a child is breathing from his or her mouth, they probably won’t identify a problem since it is their norm. However, if left undiagnosed and untreated, the face can begin to grow long and narrow, the nose can become flat and the nostrils small, and the lips can be thin on top and quite pouty on the bottom. This, in addition to the other negative effects to oral health, shows that mouth breathing is a whole body problem and should be treated as early as possible.

At my dental office in Evansville, we’re trained to look for the signs and symptoms of mouth breathing and are often the first to notice a potential problem. This makes regular appointments with us even more important. If we catch mouth breathing early, we can determine what’s causing it and how to fix it to prevent other problems later on.

Serving patients in Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

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do I need to take antibiotics before my dental visit?In recent years, using antibiotics as a pre-appointment preventive tool for fighting infection was a common recommendation for dental patients with heart disease. However, with more research evidence emerging, the American Heart Association has revised the recommendations for using antibiotics prior to appointments with your dentist in Evansville.

It used to be common for a heart patient to take antibiotics before any dental appointment, including cleanings, to lower the chance of infection spreading into the heart, which may cause serious problems. It was widely believed that the bacteria in the mouth could enter the bloodstream during a dental procedure and lead to infection. However, there was no scientific evidence to support a link between dental treatments and infection.

Newer studies have shown that the overuse of antibiotics as a precaution to infection could actually do more harm than good. In fact, the new studies illustrate the fact that the risks of taking preventive antibiotics seriously outweigh the benefits. Overprescribing antibiotics could lead to the development of resistant bacteria, which means the antibiotics are ineffective at keeping infection at bay and the bacteria is left to thrive, increasing the possibility for a more serious infection. In light of the new studies, dentists have stopped prescribing preventive antibiotics as much.

Despite fewer patients taking precautionary antibiotics, there are still certain conditions where use of antibiotics is appropriate. These conditions include:

  • Artificial heart valves
  • A history of Infective Endocarditis
  • Bicuspid valve disease
  • Calcified aortic stenosis
  • Certain congenital heart conditions

No matter if your diagnosis includes one of the above conditions, or if you’re a patient with a different heart condition, we encourage you to always get advice from your cardiologist before your appointment with your Evansville dentist to see if taking an antibiotic is right for you.

One of the best ways to keep bacteria away and infection from occurring is always to make sure you brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Additionally, regular appointments at my dental office in Evansville can ensure that your mouth is healthy and at a low risk for developing infection.

Serving patients in Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

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Women's hormones and oral healthWomen, more so than men, go through several stages in their lives when hormone levels fluctuate dramatically. During those phases, women experience changes in their body as well as in their mouths. At our Evansville dental office, we’d like to explain why dental care during those key times is extremely important.

Because of the extreme changes in hormonal levels, women are actually at increased risk for gum disease and other oral health problems. What tends to happen is the surge in certain hormones affects the blood supply to the gums as well as the body’s response to certain bacteria and plaque. This can result in several issues, especially during five key stages in a woman’s life.

Puberty

Everyone goes through puberty during the adolescent years. In females, what typically happens is the level of estrogen and progesterone rise. This can cause increased blood flow to the gums, resulting in redness, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding during brushing or flossing. Additionally, this surge of blood flow to the gums can cause the tissues to react differently to bacteria a plaque.

Menstrual Cycle

When a woman begins to ovulate and starts on a monthly menstrual cycle, she is again at increased risk for some oral health problems. Because of the hormonal changes experienced during the cycle, especially the increase in progesterone, it’s not uncommon for women to get swollen gums, experience canker sores, or have gums bleed. There’s even a risk for what’s called menstruation gingivitis, which typically occurs a day or two before the start of the cycle and clears up a few days later.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most important times to ensure that you have a healthy mouth. Since hormone levels greatly change during pregnancy, and again progesterone levels are heightened, gum disease is prevalent in pregnant women. In fact, there’s a condition named especially for that. You guessed it, pregnancy gingivitis. During the nine months of pregnancy, additional visits to your dentist in Evansville may be needed to ensure your mouth is staying healthy.

Birth Control Pills

Certain types of birth control pills contain progesterone – that pesky hormone that seems to cause all this trouble in the mouth. Taking these pills increases the level of progesterone. Again, this can cause some unwanted oral side effects like swollen, red gums.

Menopause

As women mature, they begin the process of menopause. During this phase of life, hormonal changes occur yet again and can contribute to several oral health concerns. The changes in hormones can affect taste, create greater sensitivity, and contribute to dry mouth. Dry mouth is a major concern for the overall health of your mouth. Since saliva is not being produced, it’s not helping to rid your mouth of bacteria or neutralizing damaging acids. This can result in tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, during menopause, the estrogen levels plummet, putting women at greater risk for a decrease in bone density. If bone is lost in your jaw, it could cause tooth loss.

Throughout all stages of your life, we’re here to help you get, and keep, a healthy mouth. If you’re overdue for a cleaning or checkup, please call my dental office in Evansville today. We’ll discuss any oral health concerns you have and get you on your way to a beautiful, healthy smile that will last a lifetime.

Welcoming patients in Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.

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dental implantsYour teeth were created to last for a long time. But sometimes, gum disease, decay, and even accidents can cause your teeth to fall out. Millions of American suffer from tooth loss caused by a variety of problems, but at my dental office in Evansville, we’d like to talk about how you can replace your missing tooth, or teeth, with the strongest and healthiest treatment available – dental implants.

For many years, the only tooth replacement options available were dentures or bridges. But as dental technology improved, a new and stronger solution became available. Dental implants are the superior tooth loss treatment not only because they replace your tooth, but also your tooth’s root. This is important for a variety of reasons. By replacing the tooth and the root, you’re able to restore your mouth to full function. Additionally, dental implants are a healthier solution: unlike bridges or dentures, they help to keep your jaw bone intact and offer additional benefits.

Besides being a permanent, strong, and stable solution for missing teeth, dental implants have multiple advantages. Some of them include:

  • Improved appearance, speech, and comfort. Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth. This means that you don’t need to adjust your speech the way you may have to with a bridge or denture. They also fuse with your bone, so they’re a permanent part of your mouth. This eliminates discomfort that’s sometimes associated with removable dentures.

 

  • Easier eating. With implants, there’s no restrictions on what you can eat. Occasionally, dentures can slip while you’re eating, making chewing difficult and even allow food particle to get under the appliance which can cause some pain. You won’t have that problem if you choose implants.

 

  • Better oral health. There’s no soaking or removal necessary with dental implants. You can continue to brush and floss as normal. Also, a dental implant does not require your dentist in Evansville to touch other teeth, meaning that the strength and integrity of the remaining teeth are unaltered, which can improve overall oral health.

So what’s the process for getting dental implants? You’ll begin with a consultation during which your individual goals will be discussed and your treatment plan will be developed. After planning is complete, your titanium implant post is placed into your jaw bone. This is the piece that will replace your missing tooth roots. During the healing process, your bone will fuse with the metal creating a strong base. Once healing is complete, an abutment will be added to the post. Your dental team will then craft a custom crown that matches your other teeth in shape, size, and color. The crown is then attached to the abutment and you’re ready to start showing your smile to the world.

If you think that dental implants may be right for you, give my Evansville dental office a call. We’ll evaluate your individual situation and discuss all treatment options available to you. We’re focused on providing all of the knowledge you need to make the best decision for your smile.

Accepting patients in Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City, and surrounding areas.

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dental emergenciesAt my dental office in Evansville, we are asked this question a lot. There are some injuries that absolutely require you to head straight to the hospital. However, the majority of dental problems should be seen by a dentist. But how do you know which is which?

Basically, the type of injury dictates where you should head to get treated. Before you decide where you should go to get treated, it’s important to know which type of injury is usually seen at a hospital and which is seen by your Evansville dentist.

Trauma or Life-Threatening Injuries

If you’re dealing with a trauma to the face or mouth, or if the injury is, or could be, life-threatening, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention at your nearest hospital. Some of the most common types of injuries that require emergency care are:

  • Jaw fracture/dislocation
  • Deep lacerations to the soft tissues in the mouth or to the face
  • An abscess or infection that’s swollen and affecting breathing/swallowing

These dental problems are absolutely appropriate to have treated in the emergency room. In fact, we highly recommend heading to the hospital as soon as you can or calling 911 if one of these injuries is present. At the hospital, you’ll be evaluated and treated. When you’re released, the doctor may recommend that you see your dentist as a follow up. This appointment is extremely important, making sure your smile is returned to health and strength.

Minor Dental Emergencies

Although some minor dental emergencies can be painful, they should not be seen at the hospital. In fact, your dentist is the most qualified and best equipped to help relieve the pain associated with the injury and fix the problem. Some injuries that fall into this category are:

  • Broken or cracked teeth
  • A knocked out tooth
  • Toothache pain caused by decay or abscess

These types of dental emergencies are not life-threatening, but that doesn’t make the need for immediate care any less important. If you’re experiencing one of these dental problems, it’s crucial that you not ignore it and seek attention from your dentist as soon as possible.

At my Evansville dental office, we will absolutely help you through any dental emergency. We’re also big supporters of prevention and one key way to prevent a dental problem from occurring in the first place is to brush and floss everyday, keep up with your regular appointments at our office, wear a mouthguard while playing sports, and watching what you eat (easy on the popcorn!).

Serving patients in Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.