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cancer diagnosis? see your dentist before you start chemoCancer treatment can cause some unwanted side effects in your body. It can also cause some dangerous problems in your mouth. Many of oral health side effects that occur as a result of chemotherapy can cause treatment to be delayed or even stopped. And when dealing with a serious disease like cancer, a proactive and regular treatment schedule is important, so decreasing the likelihood of these side effects is crucial to successful treatment. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer and will be starting treatment soon, it’s important that you see your dentist in Evansville about a month before treatment begins.

Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells. But they also harm normal cells in the body and mouth. When chemotherapy treatment negatively affects the cells in the mouth, side effects can include dry mouth; pain; difficulty eating, talking, or swallowing; and burning or swelling of tongue. Chance of infection also increases, which can be very dangerous when undergoing cancer treatment.

A checkup at my Evansville dental office prior to cancer treatment can help prevent these painful mouth problems and keep your treatment on schedule. Often, many of the oral health side effects that occur from cancer treatment happen to unhealthy mouths. And while not all side effects can be avoided, visiting your Evansville dentist prior to treatment ensures that your mouth is better protected from the dangerous side effects.

An appointment with us is crucial to getting your mouth in its most healthy state and ready for cancer treatment. When you arrive, we’ll check for any oral health problems, perform an in-depth exam, and thoroughly clean your teeth. We’ll also talk to you about the best way you can help make sure your smile stays healthy throughout your treatment.

An early dental appointment to make sure your mouth is healthy is one of the first steps to a successful treatment. If know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, please give my dental office in Evansville a call as soon as you can. We’d love to be a part of your health care team.

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dental care during pregnancy

We all know that when you are either planning a pregnancy or experiencing one, that visiting your doctor is extremely important. What you may not know is that it is just as important to talk with your dentist in Evansville.

In 2009, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry developed oral health guidelines for pregnant women to help them understand the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth during pregnancy and after delivery. The need for these guidelines was made apparent when a concrete connection was made between gum disease and preterm births.

Oral health complications that can result in preterm birth are even more common than you might think. In fact, pregnancy gingivitis, which tends to develop in almost half of all pregnancies, is the main culprit. However, it doesn’t always have to lead to scary results. If regular visits to my dental office in Evansville are maintained, and treatment is received when needed, pregnancy gingivitis can be kept under control and generally ends shortly after the mother gives birth. However, if dental care isn’t a priority during pregnancy, the gingivitis can also progress into a more serious dental concern.

If pregnancy gingivitis progresses into periodontitis – an advanced form of gum disease – preterm labor is possible. In fact, mothers with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to go into preterm labor and are at greater risk for potentially dangerous situations with their baby. Preterm births are a scary and dangerous pregnancy complication that can lead to additional health concerns for the baby including, but not limited to, a low birth weight.

And don’t forget, if you are experiencing morning sickness, the additional acid that your teeth come in contact with can be damaging. Don’t forget to rinse your mouth after vomiting, brush more frequently, and talk to us about keeping your teeth safe.

If you’re thinking of getting pregnant, are already pregnant, or are just overdue for a dental checkup (periodontitis can happen to non-pregnant people too!), give my Evansville dental office a call today. We’ll make sure your appointment is thorough, relaxed, and comfortable. We’re always dedicated to your, and your baby’s, overall health. Give us a call today!

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Are You Ruining Your Teeth and Don’t Know It?We’ve covered a lot of information about how to get and keep your smile healthy and strong at my dental office in Evansville. However, there are many common habits and situations that can cause damage to your teeth, and chances are, you’ve done at least one without ever thinking about the fact that you could be hurting your smile.

Crunching Ice

Using your teeth to crunch the unmelted ice in your drink can be detrimental to the health of your smile. Ice cubes can chip away at your tooth enamel and can even lead to a broken tooth or broken restoration.

Brushing Too Hard

While I’m happy you’re brushing (and hopefully flossing too!), at my dental office in Evansville, we always encourage our patients to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and to brush in small circles. This can actually protect your enamel. Toothbrushes with hard bristles, or using rough, horizontal strokes, can damage enamel and leave you open to experiencing sensitivity.

Whitening Too Often

We all want our pearly whites to be exactly that – pearly white! And while teeth whitening is safe and effective, doing it too often can cause damage to your smile. Too much whitening can cause sensitivity, irritation, and can even result in a smile that’s too white. If you’re interested in a whiter smile, my Evansville dental office can help get you the brightening you’re looking for, safely and effectively.

Eating Too Many Acidic Foods

Acidic foods and drinks like lemons, orange juice, and wine can wear away your enamel. And once your enamel is gone, you can’t grow it back. This can cause sensitivity or even pain. As your dentist in Evansville, I’m not expecting you avoid these types of food and drink, but I do encourage you to minimize the damage by drinking water with anything acidic. And if you’ve got to have that morning glass of orange juice, use a straw to limit how much juice comes in contact with your teeth.

Using Teeth as Tools

You know the feeling. You have a stubborn package that just won’t open, so instead of finding the scissors, you put the package in your mouth and use your teeth as a opening tool. Using your teeth as tools is always a bad idea and can result in broken teeth, mouth injuries, and damaged restorations.

In addition to these five smile-harming habits, there are many other ways you can be causing damage to your teeth without even knowing it. During a visit to my Evansville dental office, we can talk about any habits you may have that could be harming your smile, and how to fix them. If you’re due for a checkup, or if you’re concerned with your grin, give me a call today!

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Teeth whitening for your wedding in EvansvilleYour wedding is a time to celebrate love. A lot of planning has gone into creating the perfect day. From the dress and the hair to the flowers and the photos, your wedding has demanded a lot of attention. You’re ready, the date is set, the cake is ordered… how’s your smile?

While there are many tricks in the book to get your smile looking whiter than it actually is (wear dark lipstick!), these tricks are only masking the problem. The truth is, getting your ideal wedding smile isn’t difficult, and no dark lipstick is needed!

An important first step to getting your ideal smile is stopping by my dental office in Evansville. We’ll discuss your desires and look into a variety of smile-perfecting options that can transform your smile from dull and dingy to wedding white. In fact, scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Evansville should always be the first step you take before doing anything to your smile, including simply whitening it.

Although often cheaper, over-the-counter whitening treatments can cause damage, and they may not even give you the results you want. It’s common for the solution in these products to irritate your gums and even cause tooth pain or sensitivity if the ingredients are too strong. Also, there are times when the solution isn’t strong enough to give you the results you want.

By first visiting your Evansville dentist, you can rely on us to determine which treatment is best for your smile and the results you want. Whether we use a professional teeth whitening system, veneers, or tooth bonding, we’re sure to get you the wedding-day whites that you want. Call our office to schedule your appointment today!

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Oral Cancer Awareness MonthEvery year, dental professionals across the nation dedicate the month of April to raising oral cancer awareness. As we prepare for the 15th Annual Oral Cancer Awareness Month, I’d like to educate all of my patients at my Evansville dental office on the dangers of this deadly disease.

Around 42,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Of the 42,000 individuals, only about 57% will survive 5 years after diagnosis. The death rate associated with oral cancer is not because it’s difficult to diagnose; it’s because it is often discovered late in its development. This is one main reason why everyone at my dental office in Evansville places so much emphasis on maintaining routine checkups.

Sometimes, signs and symptoms of oral cancer can be difficult to notice. In its early stages, oral cancer can be painless and physical changes may not be so obvious. However, our team is trained to see or feel the changes in the tissues in your mouth and can help catch oral cancer early. A regular dental visit routine along with performing at-home checks is your best way to ensure an early diagnosis and, therefore, a better chance of surviving.

So what exactly would you be looking for at home in between your regular checkups?

Some common signs of oral cancer listed by the American Dental Association include:

– White or red patches inside your mouth or on your lips

– A sore on your lip or in your mouth that won’t heal

– Difficulty or pain when swallowing

– A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small eroded area

In addition to keeping up with your visits to your Evansville dentist and checking your mouth for symptoms at home, there are several factors that can increase your risk for developing oral cancer. People who are heavier drinkers and smokers and are older than 50 are at especially high risk. Additionally, the human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted disease, has been shown to increase the incidence of mouth cancer.

If you’ve noticed any of the symptoms we’ve discussed here, don’t ignore them! Call my Evansville dental office to schedule an appointment as soon as you can. Additionally, if you’re overdue for a checkup, or if you’re at increased risk for oral cancer due to the risk factors we’ve discussed, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. Remember, early diagnosis is key to survival!

 

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interesting dental factsUsually our blogs are full of useful and educational information on maintaining your dental health. But at the Evansville dental office of Dr. Glenn Norton, we’re not only about educating, we also like to share some of the fun facts about dentistry we find so interesting.

As you probably know, there are some foods that are better for teeth than others. A little known healthy snack for your grin is cheese. Cheese is packed full of calcium and phosphorous which can reduce the pH level in plaque and helps remineralize tooth enamel.

Speaking of tooth enamel, it is, in fact, the strongest substance in your body. But that doesn’t mean your teeth can be used for ripping open a pesky package or to crack open that tightly sealed bottle. Using your teeth as tools can result in chipped or broken teeth in Evansville, and nobody wants that!

Another fun fact about your mouth is that, on average, you’ll produce about 25,000 quarts of saliva during your lifetime. How much is that exactly? Well, it’s enough to fill two swimming pools! Saliva doesn’t only serve to keep your mouth moist, it actually helps keep decay at bay, so producing that much saliva is a good thing!

Even though we promised to cover fun facts in this blogs, we can’t help but include a little at-home tip for good oral health. On average, people only brush their teeth for about 48 seconds every day. That’s not even half of the time we recommend! Both our Evansville dental office and the Academy of General Dentistry recommend brushing for at least 2 minutes each time!

At the dental office of Dr. Glenn Norton, we’re all about making sure your smile is kept in its best shape and educating you on how to make that happen. But we’re also about making dentistry fun and interesting. So if you’re overdue for your oral exam, or if you’re looking for a new dentist in Evansville, give us a call today!

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Myths about Cavities

While they are many things that do cause cavities and can increase your susceptibility to cavities, at the Evansville dental office of Dr. Glenn Norton, we want to debunk some of the commonly accepted myths about these pesky pockets of decay.

MYTH #1 Sugar is the Prime Cause of Cavities

Ok, this one isn’t a total myth. However, it’s important to know that it’s not the sugar itself that causes cavities, it’s actually the acid that’s produced by bacteria in your mouth when you eat carbohydrates like sugar. When the carbohydrates enter your mouth, the bacteria is triggered to make acid. This acid can then eat into your teeth and create little cavities.

MYTH #2 Kids Are More Likely to Get Cavities Than Adults

Cavities in kids used to be a lot more common than they are now. With the help of sealants and an increase in education on the importance of preventive care, the amount of cavities in kids has decreased dramatically. However, the number of cavities in older adults has actually increased. This is in part due to certain medications that cause dry mouth and reduce saliva production. Saliva is extremely important in fighting decay because it helps to neutralize acids and wash away bacteria.

MYTH #3 If You Have a Cavity, You’ll Know It

Most people think that you’ll know you have a cavity because it will hurt. Not necessarily. In fact, mild tooth decay doesn’t have any symptoms and the pain we associate with a cavity in Evansville comes later, when the decay is more advanced and causes damage to the nerve.

 

This is one of the reasons keeping up with dental check ups from your Evansville dentist is so important. If a cavity is caught early, there won’t be much, or any, pain associated with it. However, if a cavity continues to grow, it may lead to additional dental procedures like crowns or even root canals.

If you’re due for a checkup, call our Evansville dental office today. Dr. Glenn Norton will perform an in-depth exam and we’ll work together to stop any problems before they really have a chance to cause bigger issues.

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The Pros & Cons of KissingDuring the month of February, there’s a lot of talk about love and hearts, roses and candy, kisses and hugs. And while you probably already know our stance on those little candy hearts and boxes of chocolate (easy on the sweets!), you may be surprised to learn that at the Evansville dental office of Dr. Glenn Norton, we also have some thoughts on how kissing can affect your oral health.

That’s right, a lesson on the pros and cons of kissing from your Evansville dentist. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense to take kissing advice from a dentist. After all, we know all about your mouth.

Let’s start with a positive of puckering up. Kissing is, in fact, good for your teeth. The act of kissing increases saliva production, and saliva helps to remove plaque and wash it away. So next time you’re smooching, remember that it can be beneficial not only for showing your love, but also for your teeth!

While an increase in saliva production is good for your mouth, there are a bunch of other reasons kissing may not be so good for the health of your smile. We all know that kissing can spread colds, but did you know that kissing can also spread gum disease? Research has shown that when you lock lips, it’s just as easy to catch gum disease as it is to catch a cold. If your loved one has active gum disease, you should be aware that it is possible to transfer this major dental danger.

The main lesson in kissing? It can be good for you and your health, but it’s very important to maintain your regular cleanings and checkups to make sure your mouth is in tip-top kissing shape and to avoid passing gum disease to others. Overdue on your professional cleaning or dental checkup in Evansville? Give Dr. Glenn Norton a call today!

 

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National Toothache DayWhile the origin of this February 9th holiday is unknown, it’s definitely a holiday we support. Toothaches are painful, and they’re not something we ever want you to experience. That’s why Evansville dentist, Dr. Glenn Norton, wants all of his patients to see National Toothache Day as an important reminder to maintain your checkups.

We know it may seem odd to dedicate a holiday to toothaches. However, we like to see this as a day to celebrate good dental hygiene. Good dental hygiene, and a toothache free mouth, is easily attainable with a thorough, at home routine as well as regular professional cleanings from our Evansville dental office. In fact, practicing good oral hygiene is the best preventative measure you can take to protect yourself against a toothache.

Good Oral Hygiene Practices Include:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day.

  • Flossing to remove plaque and particles your toothbrush alone can’t reach.

  • Avoiding tobacco products.

  • Being mindful of what you eat – easy on the sugary and acidic foods!

If you’re suffering a toothache in Evansville, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Glenn Norton. We’ll get you in for a visit and take a look at what’s going on in your mouth. Once we determine the cause of the pain, we’ll work with you to fix it and get you smiling again.

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GPM-1657-Blogs-Jan2

Stress. We all experience it, some of us more than others. It can result from a high pressure job, hard times in life, or when there’s just too much to do. And while a little stress is to be expected, too much stress can cause serious health problems throughout your body, including your mouth. All of us at Dr. Glenn Norton’s dental office in Evansville want to talk a little bit about the ways stress can put your mouth in danger.

Bruxism – Stress can often lead to bruxism, also known as a tooth grinding. When you grind your teeth at night, sometimes without even realizing it, it can lead to tooth damage and can even cause problems with your TMJ (jaw joint).

Dry Mouth – Dry mouth results when the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva and can cause tooth decay and increase the risk of gum disease. Dry mouth can often result from conditions caused by stress or as a side effect of prescriptions used to treat stress or depression.

Canker Sores – Canker sores can sometimes be brought on by stress and, while they are harmless, they can be quite painful.

Gum Disease – Since long-term stress affects the immune system, it’s especially concerning for your Evansville dentist. When your immune system is affected by stress, the risk of periodontal disease is greatly increased.

While we know it’s nearly impossible to avoid all stress, we do want to encourage our patients to understand how it affects your oral and overall health. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms we discussed, please call Dr. Glenn Norton to schedule an appointment. We’ll work together to find the best solution for you and get your mouth healthy.