It’s not uncommon for the month of February to be full of hearts — candy hearts, heart shaped boxes of chocolate, and a whole host of other gifts given in the name of love. At our Evansville dental office, we’re all for celebrating love, but this February, we’d like our patients to pay attention to a different kind of heart — the one inside you — and ways to keep it healthy.
Fast Facts on Heart Disease
February is recognized as Heart Health Month and is used to raise awareness of the seriousness and widespread occurrence of heart disease in America. Here are some important facts you should know about heart disease.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds
- Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event
- You can decrease your risk of heart disease by making lifestyle changes
The Effect of Oral Health on Heart Health
Why should you take heart health advice from a dentist? Isn’t that what a cardiologist is for? Well, yes, a cardiologist is the best person to help diagnose and treat any heart problems you may have. However, your Evansville dentist can be a crucial part of your health care team.
In recent years, there have been numerous studies that show a clear link between gum health and heart health. In fact, gum disease doubles a person’s risk of heart attack or stroke. But how?
Your gums are like a portal to your bloodstream. An infection in your gums means that the infection can easily enter your bloodstream. When there is infection in your blood, your body reacts. The liver begins to produce certain proteins such as C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and these proteins lead to all kinds of problems including:
- Inflamed arteries
- Blood clots
- Heart attacks
How Can You Minimize Your Risk?
There are ways to decrease your chance of gum disease and the overall health concerns associated with it. Start with maintaining regular visits to our dental office in Evansville. In between appointments, make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss everyday, and avoid tobacco products. Proper dental care can, in fact, save your life.
Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond.
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is a common issue that affects nearly 80 million Americans. It’s a serious problem that doesn’t only affect your oral health, but can directly impact your personal life as well. Don’t worry, your dentist in Evansville is here to help.
Your mouth needs an adequate saliva supply to keep itself healthy. Essentially, it helps wash away bacteria and neutralize acid that can lead to decay and cavities. Without it, bacteria are left to linger around and cause all sorts of problems, including bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by numerous things including some medications or mouth breathing.
Although fragrant foods don’t tend to be a serious, long-lasting problem, they are a cause of bad breath. The typical culprits like your morning cup of coffee, a garlicky pasta sauce, or a tasty onion-packed sandwich can sometimes leave an after-smell in your mouth, even after you brush and floss.
Poor Dental Hygiene
When someone doesn’t follow a proper at-home oral health routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, the chance of odor causing bacteria sticking around and creating an unpleasant stench increases. Not to mention, poor dental hygiene can lead to more problems like cavities, the need for root canal treatment, discoloration, or even tooth loss.
A Whole-Body Problem
While bad breath may seem like a small yet embarrassing issue, it may be a sign that something more serious is happening somewhere else in the body. Bad breath has been linked to:
This is why the team at my Evansville dental office encourages anyone suffering from chronic bad breath to see their dentist as soon as possible.
If you’re worried about bad breath, or it’s just time to see a dentist, we welcome you to call my dental office in Evansville to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to see you and discuss any dental concern you may have.
Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and the surrounding areas.
Everyone enjoys getting a solid night’s sleep. It not only feels great… it also provides some valuable health benefits, too. But sometime, sleep can be interrupted by any number of things — a snoring partner, a sick child, or even from biting your own tongue. If this last item happens to you frequently, my dental office in Evansville encourages you to find out why. We’re here to help.
Nighttime tongue biting is actually pretty common, but it can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful. What’s more, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on. The top reasons someone may experience tongue biting during sleep include:
- Nighttime seizures
- Grinding your teeth
- Rhythmic movement disorder
Let’s take a closer look at each cause and potential treatment.
Seizures are usually categorized by a tightening of muscles accompanied by violent twitching. Involuntarily biting of the tongue is also one of the main indicators of seizures. But the symptoms aren’t always so noticeable, and sometimes there are no daytime signs and rather only occur during sleep. Treatment: Using a seizure medication can help prevent seizures and, in turn, tongue biting.
Rhythmic Movement Disorder
This disorder causes individuals to experience jerks or sudden movements during sleep, usually in the head or neck. Typically more common in children, sometimes rhythmic movement disorder can appear as head banging and may result in injuries to the eyes, brain, and yes, tongue. Treatment: The good news is rhythmic movement disorder in children tends to go away on its own. If not, medication may be recommended.
Grinding Your Teeth
Nighttime bruxism, also known as grinding your teeth, is fairly common but can cause someone to bite their tongue unwillingly. Teeth grinding may also create additional dental problems like chips and cracks. Treatment: A bruxism night guard can protect teeth from grinding against each other, as well as the tongue from being bitten
If you suffer from frequent nighttime tongue biting, talk with your dentist in Evansville to determine if grinding your teeth may the cause and to discuss the best treatment for your specific needs. My Evansville dental office also encourages you to see your physician if another culprit is suspected.
Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and the surrounding areas.
Dry mouth is an uncomfortable feeling that all of us experience occasionally. But living with a chronically dry mouth isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s unhealthy too. At my Evansville dental office, we wanted to examine the top causes of dry mouth, why it’s so concerning, and ways to combat it for healthy, happy mouth.
Why Is Dry Mouth Concerning?
When the mouth is dry, it means your body isn’t producing enough saliva to keep it moist. Saliva is crucial for oral health and has many jobs. It helps wash away food particles, neutralizes acids, and even kills bacteria. Without it, you’re at increased risk for things like tooth decay and infections in the mouth.
Top Causes of Dry Mouth
- Medications. Many medications can contribute to dry mouth, hundreds in fact. Most commonly, these medicines are those used to treat depression, anxiety, pain, and cancer. Look at the label on your medications to see if dry mouth may be a side effect.
- Diseases & Medical Conditions. Dry mouth could also be caused by another health problems including, but not limited to, Sjögren’s syndrome, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes.
- Smoking & Drinking. Both smoking and drinking alcohol can have a drying effect on the mouth.
- Mouth Breathing. If the mouth is opened for prolonged periods of time, the constant exposure to air dries out the mouth.
Signs & Symptoms
- Cracked, dry lips
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or speaking
- Dry throat or tongue
- Bad breath
How to Combat Dry Mouth
Treatment of dry mouth can vary from person to person, depending on their own individual reason for having dry mouth. Some ways you can help stop dry mouth include:
- Drink water throughout the day
- Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages
- Chew sugarless gum to stimulate salivary glands
- Speak with your dentist in Evansville
If you’ve been suffering from dry mouth, or believe it may be a problem, give my dental office in Evansville a call to schedule an appointment. We’ll evaluate your symptoms and talk about the possible cause. Then together, we’ll determine the best treatment for you.
Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond.
A new trend in oral health care called oil pulling has been on the rise in recent years. At my dental office in Evansville, we’re always open to learning and constantly evolving our care to incorporate the latest technology and techniques. So we put oil pulling to test and here’s what you need to know.
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling, while a relatively new concept to some, finds its roots in Ayurvedic medicine — a holistic approach to medical care — and dates back nearly 3,000 years. The process is simple. All you need is a tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil, usually coconut oil is the most popular, and about 20 minutes. Take a spoonful of the coconut oil, swish it around in the mouth, pushing and pulling through the teeth, then spit it out. It’s as easy as that.
What is Oil Pulling Supposed to do?
There are vast claims of all sorts of benefits that oil pulling can help with including:
Does Oil Pulling Work?
All of these things would be great to achieve through oil pulling, but are they true? Yes. And no. Swishing with oil for 20 minutes every day can help reduce plaque, but not effectively enough to actually help protect against gum disease or prevent cavities. Oil pulling may help reduce surface staining on teeth, allowing them to appear whiter and brighter, but an in-office whitening is definitely more effective. On a brighter note, it can be used as an alternative to mouthwash for fresher breath. But, unfortunately, it can’t help treat any jaw pain, like TMJ/TMD.
What Else You Need to Know
While there can be some benefits to oil pulling, it should not replace the traditional at-home dental care routine of brushing and flossing daily. Not to mention, brushing takes only two minutes as opposed to a full 20. More importantly, it’s still crucial to maintain visits with your Evansville dentist at least twice a year, whether you choose to give oil pulling a shot or not.
If you have other questions about oil pulling or how you can get a healthy, white smile, give my Evansville dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll be happy to help.
Accepting new patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City
When patients visit my dental office in Evansville, we make it a priority to go out of our way to make sure they feel like they’re part of our family. I truly enjoy helping patients achieve and maintain a healthy smile, while feeling comfortable and at ease. I’ve compiled a list of just a few of the many things that make being a dentist so incredibly rewarding.
I Care For You and Your Smile
As your Evansville dentist, I care deeply about not only making sure you have healthy teeth, but also making sure you have healthy gums too. Why? Because studies are beginning to show possible links between gum disease and other illnesses such as heart disease and stroke. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with regular checkups and cleanings. It makes me happy to see patients free of problems such as cavities and gum disease! I also care about getting to know patients personally, to really understand them as a person.
I Care For My Team
In order to make sure our patients feel like family every time they visit the office, I think it’s important to have a great relationship with my fellow team members too. If we’re happy working together each day, it translates to our patients when they come to see us for appointments. When we’re happy about who we work with and the job we do, it makes everyone smile bigger and brighter.
I Care About Comfort and Confidence
I never want a patient to feel uncomfortable or uneasy when they visit the office. My team and I never want having a dentist appointment to feel like a burden. It’s just another reason why we go out of our way to make sure you’re comfortable and feeling at ease every time you come to the office, no matter what the reason.
It’s deeply rewarding to help a patient who was feeling nervous or apprehensive. We think it’s important to truly enjoy your dental visits… It’s beneficial to helping you restore your smile and your confidence. When you’re happy, so are we!
We are always excited to have patients visit my Evansville dental office for so many reasons, beyond what we’ve shared with you here. Please never hesitate to call the office if you or someone in your family is need of a checkup or treatment. We’re always ready to help no matter what your dental care needs may be.
Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond,
At my dental office in Evansville we are always teaching patients about the effects different foods and beverages can have on teeth, and the importance of maintaining excellent dental hygiene at home. The same is true for denture patients! It’s important to try and avoid foods and drinks that can literally be a real pain. We’ve put together a list of some of the good foods, (along with the not-so-good) as a reminder. Check it out!
The Good Stuff
These foods are less likely to get caught in dentures or cause unwanted movement that can be uncomfortable. It’s also a good idea for denture wearers to be even more vigilant about what foods and drinks they’re enjoying this time of year as the holidays get into full swing. Here are some denture-friendly ideas compiled just for you:
- Veggie Crisps – They are a great alternative to popcorn if you’re craving something salty. Remember to stay hydrated to maintain proper saliva production to avoid denture slippage.
- Olives, Grapes, & Berries – Softer snacks are better for dentures. This includes pitted olives, grapes, and seedless berries. The best part is — they’re good for you too!
- Smoothies – A great way for denture wearers to get their daily dose of fruits and veggies is in the form of a healthy smoothie. You can puree your favorite things into a smooth, delicious treat.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the denture-friendly foods you can enjoy, it’s time to take a look at some of things that might be best to avoid. And remember, if you ever have any questions about your dentures and how to properly care for them, give your Evansville dentist a call.
- Coffee – Did you know that caffeinated coffee is best in moderation? It can potentially cause staining and can also be dehydrating, leading to dry mouth. (That’s not helpful when you have dentures.)
- Nuts – Nuts and dentures tend to not work well together. Little, often painful, pieces of nuts can get stuck under your partials or dentures, making them uncomfortable and unstable.
- Popcorn and Seeds – While both of these foods can be delicious, tiny bits and pieces can get stuck in dentures and be troublesome. It’s best to opt for an alternative to avoid any issues.
My Evansville dental office is always ready to answer your questions. Please do not hesitate to give us a call at any time. We’re always happy to help.
Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond.
Toothbrushes aren’t meant to last forever. The brushing that you do to keep your smile looking great can really take a toll on your toothbrush. My dental office in Evansville wants to remind patients using a brush with frayed, worn-out bristles that it may be time for a change.
Make the Change.
Worn out brushes are much less effective at keeping teeth clean, so it’s important to use a new toothbrush when needed. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months — and my dental office in Evansville would definitely agree! You don’t even have to wait that long. If the brush starts looked ragged and scary earlier than that, change it anyway. And keep an eye on kid’s brushes too. They need to be changed out more often than adult brushes.
Bacteria and Toothbrushes
The ADA also wants to set the record straight about possible bacterial contamination when it comes to toothbrushes. While it’s true that the mouth does contain germs that could end up on a toothbrush, and germs could possibly land on your brush when it’s not being used — there really isn’t too much cause for concern. Why? Because your body is regularly exposed to germs and usually defends itself quite well.
Keep It Clean
We never have any reason to give bad bacteria a fighting chance. It’s important to make sure you do your very best to not give them any reason to stick around. It helps to never share a toothbrush with anyone else. Rinsing thoroughly is also a good idea, to keep debris and toothpaste from sitting around on the brush. Store the toothbrush in an upright position so it can air-dry. And lastly, always remember to store multiple brushes separately to avoid germ transfer.
And one other thing. Feel free to toss your toothbrush container. The ADA says its best to avoid keeping your toothbrush in a moist environment that helps bacteria breed.
Your dentist in Evansville wants to always ensure you’re doing the very best to keep you and your smile healthy. One of the ways you can help do this is to keep your toothbrush from becoming scary and frayed. Keep on brushing, and remember to rinse and store your brush properly when you’re all done.
Accepting new patients from Evansville, Newburgh, and Tell City.
When we’re on the go, it’s easy to grab a beverage from the nearest fast food restaurant or convenience store. My dental office in Evansville wants to talk about an important, handy accessory that commonly comes with these to-go drinks – the straw.
How Can Straws Help Teeth?
It might seem strange that a bendable piece of plastic can actually help keep teeth from potential harm, but it’s actually true. One of the biggest benefits of using a straw is avoiding potential stains from dark beverages such as coffee or tea. It may seem strange to swig these drinks through a straw, but when you do, it means your drink has less contact with your teeth.
My Evansville dental office also wants you to know that drinking beverages without a straw basically bathes your pearly whites in whatever it is you’re drinking. This means that your drink of choice is left lingering on your teeth’s surfaces long after your cup is empty. Choosing a straw over sipping directs liquids away from your teeth, reducing your exposure to sugar-packed, stain-inducing drinks and the risk of tooth damage.
Can Straws Help Hygiene?
When it comes to quenching your thirst, there are other things to worry about besides diverting your beverage away from teeth. Did you know dishes or your handy to-go cup can play host to germs? The truth is, bacteria and germs are always lurking in and around your home and restaurants on glasses and cups. Pretty gross, huh? But by sticking a straw in your cup, you can successfully avoid these germs and bacteria. The less bacteria you introduce to your mouth, the less likely your are to get cavities and suffer from decay. So while it may seem like a silly, easy thing, straws really can help keep your teeth healthy and reduce the need for advanced dental treatment.
Straw Power – Bonus Benefit!
By using a straw, we are able to easily adjust how much of a beverage we take in at one time. So this means the risk of choking is greatly reduced. Taking in smaller amounts at a time can also help you avoid mouth burns when drinking hot beverages.
Your dentist in Evansville always wants you and your teeth to be as healthy as possible. We care about giving you the tips and tricks to always ensure your smile is free of cavity-causing bacteria. It may seem strange, but using a straw is a great way to do just that. These handy, bendable plastic beverage necessities help you and your teeth enjoy drinks both hot and cold.
Accepting new patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City,
As we get older, we tend to experience more health concerns than we did when we were younger. Our dental health is no different. At my Evansville dental office, we want all of our patients to be aware of some of the most common oral health issues that tend to affect those 50 or older.
Like many oral health problems, gum disease can affect overall health. Research has shown a positive correlation between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes, as well as some cancers. In those over age 50, 30% are affected by gum disease.
Many times we think of cavities and decay as something that affects the younger population when, in fact, anywhere up to 60% of those over 50 have recently had a cavity. Decay can be caused by a variety of things including inadequate dental hygiene, softening of teeth as we age, or even dry mouth.
We already know that dry mouth can lead to decay, but why? When the mouth is dry it means there’s not enough saliva production to rinse away bacteria. Saliva also helps keep teeth from softening thanks to its levels of calcium and phosphate. Dry mouth tends to affect the older population more so because of the increased use of medication. Many medicines’ side effects include dry mouth, so it’s important to tell your dentist everything you take.
The name itself describes how serious this particular concern is, but even more so for those over 50. In fact, the likelihood of developing oral cancer greatly increases in those 50 and older. While 45,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and 8,000 actually die from it, the chance of survival greatly increases if caught early.
All of these common oral health concerns can eventually lead to tooth loss or more serious issues if not treated. To help avoid them, see your Evansville dentist at least twice a year for regular dental check ups and cleanings.
If you’re concerned about any dental issues at any age, we encourage you to call my Evansville dental office to schedule an appointment. We’ll discuss your concerns and determine the best treatment options to help you keep your teeth for a long time.
Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond.