gluten

Posted by & filed under Oral Health.

Eating gluten-free has been increasing in popularity over the past couple of years. Sometimes this dietary change is due to choice. Other times, it’s out of necessity. Those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance avoid gluten because it makes them incredibly sick. In these individuals, gluten can also cause irreversible tooth damage and other serious oral health concerns.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is used to describe the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. These proteins act like a glue that allows foods to maintain their shape. Many foods contain gluten, even some that may be surprising like some condiments.

What Oral Health Problems Does Gluten Cause in Patients with Celiac Disease?

When someone who is hypersensitive to gluten is exposed to it, they can become very sick. Usually symptoms of celiac disease are found in the gastrointestinal tract, but all parts of the digestive system, including the mouth, can be affected.

Gluten ingestion by those with an intolerance actually blocks the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. This includes Vitamin D. Without this nutrient, tooth enamel isn’t protected and begins to erode. In fact, 85% of those with celiac disease have enamel damage. Without the protection of enamel, teeth are left exposed to decay and other oral health problems. But that’s not all. For these individuals, consuming gluten may also cause:

  • Canker sores
  • Painful, red, swollen gums
  • Tooth discoloration
  • And pitted teeth

It’s important to note that gluten itself doesn’t affect individuals without celiac disease the same way it does those who do have it. Seek medical advice before making any significant changes to your diet.

At my dental office in Evansville, we support any diet that makes you feel healthy, including if you choose to eat gluten-free. For our patients that do have celiac disease, we encourage you to avoid gluten, not only for your oral health, but for your overall health as well.

If your teeth have suffered enamel loss or you’re at risk for losing your teeth, whether caused by celiac disease or not, there are ways to help. Schedule a visit with your dentist in Evansville to discuss your options, which may include dental implants, restorative dentistry options, or cosmetic dentistry treatment.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond. 

toothache

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

When you have a toothache, all you want to do is make it go away. At my Evansville dental office, we’re always willing to help ease your toothache pain, but what can you do if a toothache strikes when you’re on vacation or when we aren’t open?

What is a Toothache?

Toothaches can be caused by a number of issues. Most of the time, decay or a cavity is to blame. However, sometimes it’s something more. Severe tooth pain could be a sign of infection, gum disease, a tooth injury, or teeth grinding. No matter what the reason is, it’s important to realize a toothache is your mouth’s way of telling you, “Hey! Something isn’t right in here!” and to call your dentist in Evansville as soon as you can. The longer a toothache is left untreated, the need for more advanced dental treatment, like a root canal, rises.

What to Do

There’s no telling when a toothache may happen, and occasionally they occur when you can’t get in to see your dentist. That doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the pain until your appointment There are some common at-home toothache remedies you can do to try and take the edge off.

  • Rinse occasionally with warm salt water, but do not swallow it. The concoction can help extract fluid away from the painful area which eases pressure on the nerves. Less pressure on nerves means less pain.
  • Use floss to very gently remove anything that may be lodged in between teeth.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory medication if your health history allows it.  However, don’t ever place the painkiller directly on the gums as it may cause burning and damage to the tissues.

Avoiding Toothaches

The best way to never get a toothache, or at least reduce your risk of one, is to maintain dental checkups and teeth cleanings every six months. Regular dental visits help catch any problems that may be lurking early. When caught early, most dental problems can be treated easily, before they have a chance to turn into an annoying and painful toothache.

If you’ve been avoiding the dentist and it’s time for a checkup, or if you’re experiencing a toothache, call my dental office in Evansville. We’ll get you scheduled for an appointment and take care of any problems you may have. Don’t let a toothache sneak up on you…. schedule an appointment today.

Accepting new patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond. 

Ecig

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

There’s a new trend sweeping the nation that some claim to be a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, also known as E-cigarettes, are purported to be less dangerous and perhaps a successful smoking cessation aid. But at my Evansville dental office, we wanted to know about their effect on oral health. Here’s what we found.

What is an E-Cigarette?

Before we dive into any potential oral or overall health issues associated with smoking electronic cigarettes, it’s important to identify what exactly is in these popular devices. Perhaps what makes them so attractive and believed to be better for you is that the juice (often call e-juice) has all the nicotine of regular cigarettes, but less or none of the harmful ingredients. The liquid comes in a variety of flavors and allows smokers get their nicotine fix without smoking an actual cigarette.  

So, Are They Bad for You?

Ever since the increase in use of e-cigarettes began, scientists and health professionals have been working hard to figure out whether they’re actually less harmful than lighting up. Research is still pretty limited on the effects of e-cigarettes, but early studies allude to some possible concerns, and also some potential positives.

Some of the main concerns revolving around e-cigarette use are pneumonia, rapid heart rate, congestive heart failure, seizure, airway resistance, and potential for gum damage. However, there is a growing amount of research suggesting that e-cigarettes may help people quit smoking. In one study, using e-cigarettes with nicotine helped current smokers reduce the amount of cigarettes they smoked by about half.

In short, more research is needed to determine if the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes outweigh the risks.

As science works on catching up with the trend to identify the risks of smoking electronic cigarettes, there are some things you can do to limit the effects of smoking anything.

  • Try quitting on your own without the use of nicotine replacements.
  • Keep up with visits to your Evansville dentist every six months to catch any potential oral health problems, like oral cancer, early.
  • Look for organizations that can help. The American Lung Association has some great advice and is a good place to start.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond.

root canal

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

When your tooth hurts, it’s incredibly unpleasant and often described as a pain unlike any other. There could be any number of explanations for the discomfort, but sometimes the problem is pretty serious and may require a root canal. But how can you tell? Let my Evansville dental office help.

Signs & Symptoms

Besides the obvious sign that your tooth hurts, there are other symptoms that may mean you need a root canal including:

  • Increased pain while chewing or with applied pressure
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold that doesn’t go away quickly
  • A small, raised bump on the gums near the tooth that hurts
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Gum swelling or pain

It’s Not So Bad — Really!

Root canals have a pretty bad reputation as being painful. But the truth is, root canals actually stop the tooth pain. When your tooth becomes so infected or decayed that it hits the inside pulp, it can be incredibly painful. Once your Evansville dentist cleans out the area where the roots are located (the canal), and covers it with a filling or dental crown, relief will feel so good.

What’s The Process Like?

Before beginning, you’ll be numbed to avoid any discomfort. Once the medication kicks in, your dental team will get to work. First, a tiny hole is made in the infected tooth which allows access to the middle of the tooth, known as the pulp chamber. This is where the root canals are located. The root canals house pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. Your dentist will remove any and all of these materials, making your tooth no longer able to feel anything. After a thorough cleaning, the canals are sealed and the tooth is capped with a restoration.

Avoiding a Root Canal

The best way to prevent the need for a root canal in the first place is to brush and floss everyday to rid your mouth of the day’s bacteria and food particles. And speaking of food, limit eating sugary or acidic foods. These types of eats can weaken enamel and increase bacteria, leaving your teeth at higher risk for decay. Lastly, always keep your dental cleanings at least every six months for an extra-deep, extra-thorough cleaning you just can’t get at home.

If you’re having tooth pain and think you may need a root canal, give my Evansville dental office a call. We’ll get you scheduled as soon as possible, get to the root of the problem, and discuss the best treatment options. Don’t let tooth pain linger, call for an appointment as soon as possible.

Welcoming patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City and beyond.

toothpastes

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Toothpaste serves a very specific purpose — to brush away bacteria and plaque that collects on teeth. But with all the developments in toothpaste technology, many options offer additional benefits like whitening, decreasing sensitivity, and adding an extra boost of freshness. With all the options available to you, how do you know you’re using the right one? Read on to learn more from the dental team at my Evansville dental office.

Seal of Approval

Before we talk about the different types of toothpastes and what they’re used for, we need to talk about the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. The ADA researches and tests ingredients and claims made by different toothpastes, and supplies a seal of approval to those whose claims are supported by the research. This seal is something you should look for, no matter which type of toothpaste you choose.

Whitening Toothpastes

If your smile needs a little extra help in the whitening department, using a toothpaste that has magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate may help. These ingredients paired with a mild abrasive can brighten teeth. However, sometimes a whitening toothpaste alone isn’t enough to get you the results you want. If that’s the case, consider cosmetic dentistry like veneers or a professional whitening.

Tartar Control Toothpastes

Tartar, also known as calculus, is basically plaque that has been allowed to build up on teeth and harden. The only way to remove it is at your dental cleaning. But you can do things to prevent it from hardening in the first place like using a toothpaste that contains zinc citrate or pyrophosphates.

Sensitivity Toothpastes

Whether it’s sensitivity to heat or cold, or maybe both, having sensitive teeth can be painful. If you suffer from sensitivity, choosing a toothpaste that aids in desensitizing your teeth and gums may be the right decision for you. Look for a toothpaste that has the ingredient strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. Both have been shown to help decrease sensitive tooth pain.

Selecting the right toothpaste for your unique needs can help protect your smile from decay and the need for dental treatments like fillings, root canals, or dental crowns. But selecting the right toothpaste is only half the battle — you need to use it to brush twice a day every day and maintain visits with your Evansville dentist at least every six months for optimal oral health.

If you’re looking for more help identifying your teeth’s needs, or are in need of a dentist, call my dental office in Evansville and schedule an appointment today.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City.

avoid

Posted by & filed under Family, General Dental Articles.

We all need to see the dentist regularly — kids, men, and women. But one of those demographics is avoiding regular dental appointments. We’re looking at you, men! Statistically, men don’t visit the dentist as often as their female counterparts. At my Evansville dental office, we wanted to know why, so we looked it up. And now we’re sharing it with you.

Depending on the man, the reason for avoiding dental care regularly varies. Research conducted by the Academy of General Dentistry surveyed dentists on why they felt male patients didn’t maintain regular dental care. Here’s what those dentists said:

  • 45% said men don’t see a need to visit the dentist
  • 30% believed men are embarrassed or afraid
  • 18% blame lack of time

Some other common reasons we found include: only visiting the dentist when there’s a problem, societal standards that men should be tough and, therefore, don’t usually discuss things with a healthcare provider, including a dentist, and men sometimes rely on women to make healthcare decisions for them, so single men may be the biggest dentist avoiders of them all.

Why Men Should See the Dentist Every Six Months

Just like women, men should visit the dentist at least twice year for preventive dental care. These appointments allow any problems to be caught and treated early. And when we say problems, we mean a lot more than just a cavity filling or possible root canal. Regular dental appointments help catch scary things too that, if left undetected and untreated, could lead to whole-health concerns. For example:

  • Oral Cancer, which can affect the lips, tongue, throat, and cheeks
  • Gum Disease, which can lead to increased risk for heart disease
  • Sleep Apnea, which may result in high blood pressure, weight gain, and diabetes

But regular visits to their dentist in Evansville can also help men get the smile they’ve always wanted. Cosmetic dentistry options like whitening, veneers, or bonding, and restorative dentistry treatments like dental implants or bridges are all ways to transform a smile.

Feel free to pass this information on to the man (or men!) in your life. And if you’re a man reading this and you’re one who hasn’t been to the dentist in awhile, pick up the phone, call my Evansville dental office, and schedule a dental cleaning and exam today. We won’t lecture you or make you feel guilty, we’ll just be happy you came to see us and get you on the path towards a healthy smile and healthy life.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City.

toothpaste

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

First and foremost, toothpaste should be used to brush your teeth. That’s obvious. But at my Evansville dental office, we’ve been hearing of other possible ways toothpaste can be helpful around the house, besides just as a daily teeth cleanser. We thought we’d share some of the top uses for toothpaste with our patients because, after all, we’re here to help with whatever we can (except actually cleaning your house).

  • Tired of that foggy mirror? After a steamy shower, the bathroom mirror clouds up, basically becoming unuseable until the fog evaporates. To avoid a fogged up mirror, wipe it down with toothpaste before hopping in the shower.
  • Want a sparkling faucet? Sink faucets tend to get pretty grody, especially in the bathroom. Usually covered with splatters of toothpaste and backsplash of soapy water, bathroom faucets can take on almost a spotted look. Use toothpaste (yes, we just told you add more toothpaste to the already toothpaste-speckled faucet), and then sponge it up. Viola! Sparkling faucet.   
  • Miss how white your sneakers once were? There’s something to be said about new sneakers. They’re crisp, white, and super clean. Until you wear them. The more shoes get worn, the more discolored they get. But with the help of a little toothpaste, you can take them to white again. Just gently scrub them with toothpaste.
  • Did your kid Picasso the coffee table with permanent marker? It happens. Kids get ahold of a permanent maker and start doodling away on the closest surface, which just so happens to be your coffee table. Don’t panic. Internet users widely support the use of applying a dollop of toothpaste to the table, gently rubbing it in, and wiping it off for a clean, marker-free coffee table.

Of course, being a dentist and having a team full of people who are passionate about teeth, we can’t stress enough how our favorite use for toothpaste is actually using it to keep your smile healthy. Make sure you’re using it to brush twice a day, at a minimum. Besides a good at-home oral hygiene routine, maintaining regular dental cleanings and exams with your dentist in Evansville is the best way to reduce the need for cavity fillings or other types of dental procedures like root canals, onlays, or crowns.

We recommend visiting us at least once every six months. If it’s been longer than that since you’ve had a dental checkup, call my dental office in Evansville to schedule an appointment today.

Welcoming patients from  Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City.

posture

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

You know many of the common things that result in dental health concerns including not brushing or flossing enough, forgoing regular visits to my Evansville dental office, smoking, and even eating foods high in sugar. But did you know that your posture can also affect your oral health? Straighten up, put your shoulders back, and read on to find out how.

It’s All Connected.

You remember the song that first taught us all anatomy, right? The one where we learned the foot bone was connected to the leg bone. Turns out, this elementary explanation to the way our bodies are structured is right on. And that’s where we can run into problems if we have bad posture. It’s ideal to have your head, neck, and spine aligned. However, this isn’t always the case. A lot of people sit or stand with their heads a bit too far forward, which throws off the entire system. When the head goes forward, the shoulders tend to follow and the jaw actually moves backwards. This causes your bite to fall out of place, leading to a misaligned jaw and potentially TMJ disorder, migraines, and other uncomfortable problems.  

Signs of a Problem.

There are several key warning signs that you may be suffering from a bad bite, whether caused by posture or not. If you notice any of the following, call your dentist in Evansville.

  • Pain the neck or jaw
  • Worn down teeth
  • Headaches
  • Discomfort while chewing

Test It.

Want to know if your posture is a little out of whack? Test it using one of the methods below.

  • The Mirror Test – All you need for this test is a full-length mirror. Face the mirror and really look at yourself. Are your shoulders level? How about your hips? Do your kneecaps face anywhere but at the mirror? Are your ankles bending in or out? If your shoulders and hips are in line, your knees are forward, and your ankles are straight, your posture is pretty good.   
  • The Wall Test – No full length mirror? No problem. Just find a wall and place the back of your head and buttocks against it, and slide your heels six inches apart. Take your hand to feel how far the wall is from your neck and your lower back. The ideal is about an inch or two.

If you think your posture may be the reason for your pain or dental concerns, schedule your appointment at my Evansville dental office today. We can help identify the root of the problem, analyze potential solutions, and work together to find the best option for you.

Accepting patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City .

on toothbrush

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Your toothbrush is meant to rid your mouth of bacteria and germs. But at my Evansville dental office, we know that your toothbrush may not always be clean itself. In fact, your toothbrush may be home to some seriously nasty things.

Like What Nasty Things?

Were glad you asked. Some of the grossest things sometimes found lingering on toothbrushes can include:

  • E. Coli. Storing your toothbrush too close to your toilet can allow fecal matter and possibly the E.Coli bacteria to land on it (yes, we know this is super gross, but thats why were telling you).
  • Blood. If you have gum disease or mouth sores caused by trauma, chances are you bleed when you brush, allowing the blood to transfer onto the toothbrush.
  • Staphylococcus Aureus. This bacteria usually lives within your respiratory system. And when we breathe, it can cause it to come to our mouths and, in turn, on our toothbrushes. Dont fret too much though, its usually pretty rare.

Proper Toothbrush Care

To help keep your toothbrush clean and free of these scary germs, follow the tips below.

  • Rinse, Rinse, Rinse. After each and every brushing session, spend a few extra seconds thoroughly rinsing your toothbrush with water. A good rinse helps remove any lingering food that was removed, rids the brush of leftover toothpaste, and flushes germs and bacteria down the sink.
  • Smart Storage. Keeping your toothbrush stored upright allows anything that may still be lingering around to fall away from the bristles. Whats more, allowing it to air dry and not sealing it up in a container limits the opportunity for bacteria growth. Lastly, if more than one toothbrush is stored in close quarters, try not to let them touch. More on this in the next tip.
  • Sharing is NOT Caring. Sharing a toothbrush or allowing the bristles of multiple brushes to touch could allow germs and bacteria to be transferred from one person to another, increasing the risk for infections and illness.
  • Get a New One. You should treat yourself to a new toothbrush every three to four months. Bristles tend to become frayed around this time and become ineffective. A replacement toothbrush should also be purchased following a sickness.

The best ways to keep your mouth as healthy as possible are to follow a good at-home oral health program of brushing well, flossing often, and keeping your toothbrush clean. But thats only half of it. Maintaining regular visits with your dentist is crucial to catching problems early and treating them effectively. If its time for your checkup, give my Evansville dental office a call today and schedule an appointment.

Serving patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City.

Hereditary

Posted by & filed under Family, General Dental Articles.

It’s all in the genes when it comes to many traits and characteristics inherited from parent to child. In some ways, the same can be said for our smiles. At my Evansville dental office, we were curious to know if children are more likely to inherit the same dental problems as their parents and how DNA influences dental health. Let’s find out.

Blame it on the DNA

Several dental problems can be passed down from parent to child through DNA including:

  • The size and shape of the mouth, which could result in a bad bite and TMJ pain
  • Teeth alignment including gaps, crookedness, and overcrowding
  • Oral cancer risk
  • Cleft palates

Knowing your family’s medical history and what diseases tend to be more prominent is a great first step in being able to detect and treat problems early. Make sure you share this information with your dentist.

Nature vs. Nurture

Don’t place all the blame on genetics when it comes to dental dilemmas. Discoloration, cavities, and even gum disease are nurtured behaviors — not natural genetic traits. Think of the copycat syndrome where kids learn by doing. By making brushing, flossing, and checkups fun for children, they’re more likely to maintain these good habits in the future. This leads to better oral and overall health, and can provide an added defense against what nature may inherently have in the cards. Remember: decay and gum disease aren’t a result of DNA, but neglecting everyday hygiene habits.

Get on Track

Start on the path to better health immediately and increase not only your chances of improved oral health, but also help the little ones who look up to you too. It’s as simple as daily brushing and flossing, watching your diet, and being tobacco-free. Keeping regularly scheduled appointments with your Evansville dentist for both you and your kids, every six months is also crucial.

If you’re looking for dentist, give my dental office in Evansville a call and schedule an appointment. We’ll talk about your current oral health and work together to find a plan that will get your smile healthy, beautiful, and vibrant.

Accepting new patients from Evansville, Newburgh, Tell City.