gummy candy

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Oral Health, Overall Health, Prevention.

This is the time of year when sugary sweets and candy seem to be lurking around every turn of the grocery or pharmacy aisles. There are so many ooey, gooey, colorful, delicious treats we want to eat. But as we all know, your dentist in Erdenheim will tell you to step away from the sweets because they’re bad for your teeth. Now, we’re not saying you can’t enjoy fall-flavored fun this month, just remember to brush your teeth too!

There are some super easy things you can do to avoid those cravings for candies and cakes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common ways you can help steer clear of sugar.

1) Stay Hydrated – Sometimes, when our bodies don’t get enough water, we crave things or become extra hungry, even “hangry.” If you find yourself daydreaming about Devil Dogs or Coffee Cakes, try drinking a full 8-ounce glass of good old water. If you want to make it tastier, try adding some fruit for an infusion that can dress up any beverage.

2) Find Fruit – Refined sugars are very bad for teeth of all ages and stages of life. Instead of having a candy bar, bite into a piece of fruit like bananas, apples, oranges, pears, and watermelon. Sure, fruits contain sugar too, but they’re better for you than sweets.

3) Get SleepYour Erdenheim dentist will tell you that when you’re not sleeping right, it can cause issues throughout your body. When you’re feeling tired or rundown, it’s easy to gravitate towards foods that are not-so-healthy and filled with sugar. Getting the right amount of rest should help ward off cravings and restore your clarity and the ability to make healthy diet choices.

4) Stop Stress – Just like when you’re a sleepless zombie, being crazy stressed is just as bad for your diet. Excess stress leads to cravings for things that we know aren’t good for our oral and overall health. Fighting these urges when you’re stressed and tired can be a big battle. Remember to relax and do your best to stay mindful and in the moment each day.

5) Eat Regularly – This ranks right up there with our first tip. If your body is out of water or food, then you’re basically out of fuel. Your body is going to take whatever it can get for some much-needed calories. Sometimes our bodies tend to go right for the sweets when we’re hungry instead of healthy options like fruits, veggies, proteins, etc.

The easiest way to avoid a sugar craving is to not be around it at all. We know, it’s not easy to do that this time of year. If you have a bite here and there, please remember to brush and floss. We don’t want sugar taking your smile from healthy to scary. Don’t forget to call our dental office in Erdenheim if you have any questions about your oral health! We’re always here for you and happy to help. 

woman eats breakfast

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, Gum Disease, Oral Cancer, Oral Health, Prevention.

As research continues and more scientific advancements happen each year, there is mounting evidence that your oral and overall health are connected. Your dentist in Erdenheim is here to tell you this is 100 percent true. This gives a whole new reasoning to why it’s super important to brush, floss, and see your dental hygienist regularly. Having teeth and a mouth that are healthy means that the rest of your body can stay healthy, too. It works both ways, though… if you’ve got issues with your teeth or gums, you could increase your risk for more severe health issues elsewhere in your body.

Let’s dig a little deeper to learn more about this powerful connection that you can’t afford to ignore…

Think of Your Mouth as a Window

That’s right. Picture your mouth as a window, giving us a glimpse of what’s going on in other parts of your body. This is key when doctors are trying to detect early signs of systemic diseases. These kinds of diseases are dangerous to your entire body, not just a specific part. The Academy of General Dentistry says that more than 90 percent of all systemic diseases produce symptoms in the mouth. People with AIDS or diabetes often find one of the first symptoms appear in the form of a lesion in the mouth or problems with their teeth or gums. 

Don’t Turn Your Back on Plaque

Did you know that there can be more than 500 types of bacteria in your mouth right now? They like to form plaque on your teeth. This colorless, yet sticky film sticks to your dental enamel and can even lead to health problems. When plaque and harmful bacteria build up in your mouth and around your gum line, this can sometimes lead to periodontal disease or gingivitis. 

Your Erdenheim dentist will tell you that gum disease can lead to infections in your mouth. The bacteria from these infections can sometimes end up in your bloodstream. This is where the research comes into play that we talked about earlier. Scientists are starting to find evidence in their research that oral infections can be associated with health issues such as:

– Diabetes

Cardiovascular disease

– Preterm births

– Pneumonia

– Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

What You Should Do to Protect Yourself and Your Smile

We’re always going to fight against bacteria and plaque to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Because now we know that if your mouth is healthy, the rest of your body can stay in good shape too. You see why it’s so critical to protect your oral health so that your overall health doesn’t suffer. Make sure to:

– Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day. (Don’t forget to floss! This is super important for getting bacteria out from in between teeth that your brush didn’t catch.)

– Use mouthwash to remove any unwanted or trapped food particles.

– Keep sugary foods and drinks to a minimum

– Eat a diet rich with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins.

– Replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles begin to break down.

– Avoid tobacco use in its many forms available today.

The biggest and most important step you can take to protect your smile and your overall health is to keep regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings with our dental office in Erdenheim. If you notice a change in your teeth or your gum health, always give us a call as soon as you can. Remember that taking care of your teeth today is an investment in your overall health for tomorrow. 

woman getting dental filling

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention, Restorative Dentistry.

One of the most common restorative treatments your dentist in Erdenheim uses is fillings. Whether they’re specially crafted for you out of an amalgam (metal) or composite material, we want them to stand the test of time. If your bite isn’t right, then there’s a good chance your filling or dental restoration could fail or even fall out. 

If you have a dental filling that’s fallen out, there’s no reason to panic. We’re going to walk you through what you need to do in just four easy steps. Take a deep breath and read on.

Step #1 – Remove and Replace

If your filling comes loose, you must get it out of your mouth ASAP. You don’t want to run the risk of swallowing it or choking on the material. It might not be a bad idea to keep your filling and bring it with you to your dental appointment. Your dentist will be able to determine if it can be cleaned and restored, or if you’ll need a whole new filling. 

Step #2 – Take Action

If your filling is loose and comes out, it’s also important that you see a dentist right away. But if you’re unable to get to the office, you can take some preventive tips to help preserve your smile health. An unfilled tooth is a welcoming environment for harmful bacteria to make a home and destroy your tooth. Be sure to brush gently and carefully. Rinse with water to make sure you’re removing any debris. (Pro Tip: Saltwater works wonders. One cup of warm water and just a teaspoon of salt will do the trick.)

Step #3 – Find Temporary Pain Relief

Your Erdenheim dentist would recommend that you take over-the-counter pain medication to help with any sensitivity or discomfort. Be wary and cautious of any temporary dental cement, as it can be messy and make your issue worse.

Step #4 – Avoid Certain Foods

Until you have a chance to see the dentist, it’s probably a good idea to avoid certain foods and drinks that could affect your damaged tooth now that the filling is gone. Stay away from hard or sticky foods that could get stuck in your tooth. Be careful with extremely hot or cold foods and drinks too, as your tooth will probably be a little sensitive. Keep your diet simple and soft until you see us!

If you have a filling that’s come loose, the best/first thing you need to do is call our Erdenheim dental office. The simple steps above are meant to be a temporary solution to your dental issues. One of the first steps we’ll need to take is a thorough diagnosis and state-of-the-art photos of your smile. We want to understand why your restoration or filling failed in the first place. We’ll take a look at your tooth, and if it hasn’t deteriorated, we should be able to replace your missing filling. We may need to do a little preparation of the tooth, before getting it filled for you again. Either way, we’ll make sure you’re comfortable and pleased with the results!

If you have questions about how fillings work or if there’s something we didn’t cover here today, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re always happy to be your dental partner and make sure your smile gets the very best, VIP treatment – no matter what your dental needs might be!

man smoking e-cig

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Oral Health, Prevention.

By now you’ve probably heard of the relatively recent rise in the popularity of vaping as an alternative to traditional smoking. You’ve probably heard that this new craze isn’t as safe as you may have originally thought. New research suggests that vaping has a direct correlation to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. But that’s not all. Our dental office in Erdenheim also wants you to know that vaping can have a serious effect on your oral health, too. 

Limited Research

With the relatively fast increase in e-cigarette popularity, research has been a little slow to catch up. But that doesn’t mean researchers aren’t working hard to report their findings. While more research needs to be done to find out just how bad vaping can be for our bodies and oral health, there are a few things several studies have already found. Here’s what your dentist in Erdenheim knows.

Dry Mouth

One part of vaping is selecting a juice or flavored liquid. However, some of these liquids contain ingredients such as propylene glycol that are known to contribute to or cause dry mouth. Dry mouth may not sound like that big of a deal, but if it’s untreated, it can increase the risk for decay, bad breath, and gum disease. 

Inflamed Gums

Evidence found in a 2016 study suggested that vaping can cause gum tissue to inflame, which can put you at risk for gum disease. One possible explanation for this inflammation may be the nicotine itself. Nicotine may reduce blood flow to the gums, and without proper blood flow, the mouth’s ability to fight off bacteria diminishes and the likelihood of inflammation and gum disease increases.

Cell Damage

Another study conducted in 2018 found that vaping may also cause damage to the cell’s DNA. This lowers or eliminates a cell’s ability to divide and grow and can essentially kill off a cell’s life prematurely. The same study suggests that cell damage is directly linked to bad breath, bone loss, tooth loss, and gum disease. 

Many companies that sell vapes claim that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking, and some even say it can help people quit smoking. However, studies contradict this. For example, one study concluded that e-cigarettes helped current smokers reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked by about half, while another suggested that smokers who use e-cigs are 59% less likely to quit. Before you decide to use e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking, consider trying another option such as:

  • Reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke a day and continue to decrease over time. 
  • Using a nicotine replacement that has been approved by the FDA. 
  • Researching different ways other people have quit. You can start by visiting the American Lung Association

If you’re a smoker or use e-cigarettes, it’s never too late to quit. Work on finding the right solution for you and of course, call our Erdenheim dental office if we can help in any way. 

seniors take selfie

Posted by & filed under Gum Disease, Oral Health, Prevention, Restorative Dentistry.

August 21st is Senior Citizen’s Day, and there’s no better way for our dental office in Erdenheim to celebrate than by sharing some oral health information for the favorite senior citizens we have in our lives and their families.  

The truth is, our oral health needs will vary as we celebrate more birthdays, and needs will also differ from person to person. That’s one reason we believe in treating each person with individualized, custom care. When it comes to the senior population, there are a few unique things to be aware of. 

  • Discolored Teeth – While anyone can experience discolored teeth, there’s usually an explanation. Maybe morning coffee is to blame, or perhaps smoking or red wine. But when it comes to seniors, discoloration may occur without any obvious explanation. Most commonly, tooth discoloration as we age is a typical sign that the white outer layer of our teeth (enamel) is wearing away and becoming thinner. When this happens, your teeth can become a little transparent and the inner workings of the tooth become more visible. As it turns out, the insides of teeth are not as white as the outsides, and the more we’re able to see them, the more dark or yellow teeth can appear. 
  • Dry Mouth – Dry mouth is another condition that can happen to anyone, but it does tend to be more common in seniors. Many times, medication is to blame. There are tons of over-the-counter medications and prescription medications that list dry mouth as a side effect. When these medications are taken regularly, saliva production slows down and the mouth becomes dry… and there is nothing bacteria like better than a dry mouth. Without saliva on hand to rinse away bacteria and neutralize acid, teeth are at an increased risk for developing cavities. If these cavities aren’t treated, they could lead to the need for a root canal, cause tooth sensitivity, or even tooth loss. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, do not stop taking your medication as prescribed, but do talk to your dentist in Erdenheim
  • Tooth Loss – Let’s start by saying that there’s no guarantee that we’ll lose our teeth as we get older. There are plenty of people who keep their teeth for a lifetime, especially if they see their dentist regularly and practice good oral hygiene habits. However, tooth loss can be a real concern for many people. The best ways to reduce the risk of tooth loss is to avoid smoking or using tobacco, limiting alcohol intake, and seeing your dentist in Erdenheim every six months. These preventative dental appointments help identify problems early while they’re still often easily treatable and can help save your teeth. 
  • Gum Disease – One of the more serious concerns for seniors’ oral health is gum disease. In fact, research suggests a strong link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and stroke. Gum disease occurs when bacteria isn’t removed and it works its way under the gum line. Once this occurs, it becomes difficult to remove and can lead to an infection or advanced gum disease. If not treated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. The common signs of gum disease include red, bleeding, and inflamed gums. 

Unfortunately, there’s no way we can stop ourselves from getting older. But there are things we can do to help protect our teeth for life. Always brush twice a day and floss once a day, and get a professional dental cleaning and check-up at least twice a year. If you’re overdue for your dental appointment, we welcome you to call our Erdenheim dental office to schedule a visit with us today. 

dental implant

Posted by & filed under Dental Implants, Restorative Dentistry.

If you’re missing a tooth, or even several teeth, you may feel as if you don’t have any options to get your smile back functioning as it should. However, your dentist in Erdenheim wants you to know that that’s just not the case! There are many tooth replacement procedures available including a dental bridge, dentures, and dental implants. Today, we’re taking a closer look at one of the more preferred treatments — dental implants.  

What are Dental Implants?

Like a dental bridge or removable denture, dental implants essentially replace a missing tooth or several missing teeth. But that’s where the similarities end. Dental implants, unlike bridges or dentures, replace both the tooth’s root as well as the crown. They’re also permanent, non-removable restorations that function very similarly to natural teeth. 

Benefits of Dental Implants

Since dental implants provide complete, permanent restorations, they’re often considered the best tooth-replacement option available. They’re not only incredibly strong, but they can also last a lifetime and give patients their smiles back. Some benefits of dental implants include: 

  • Increased comfort. With dental implants, there’s no worry about food getting stuck under your dentures and no concern of slippage. Just a solid restoration that you won’t even be able to tell isn’t your natural tooth. 
  • Ability to eat what you want. Many denture wearers and those with a dental bridge don’t like that they can’t eat what they want when they want to. However, dental implants don’t limit your diet to only soft foods. You can even eat corn on the cob if you want!
  • Easier to care for. Dental implants are non-removable, permanent fixtures in the mouth. This means that there is no need to remove them to clean them or soak them overnight. You can take care of a dental implant just like you would any natural tooth! 
  • A healthier mouth. When a dental implant procedure is done, there is no need for your dentist in Erdenheim to touch any other teeth in the mouth. This keeps all of the other teeth structurally sound and strong. This doesn’t apply to a dental bridge or dentures as you do need to rely on natural teeth to anchor in both of those options. 

Getting a Dental Implant

When some patients first hear of a titanium post being placed into the jaw bone, they’re understandably concerned and perhaps a little scared. But thanks to advancements in dental technology, getting a dental implant is pretty easy and pretty painless. Here’s what you can expect: 

  • Place the post. The first step of getting a dental implant is to have the titanium post surgically placed into the jaw bone. This is the foundation for the entire restoration and may cause a bit discomfort but nothing severe. 
  • Give it time. Your body won’t immediately fuse the bone and post together as this will take a little time. During that healing process, you will have a temporary crown covering your post for comfort and protection. 
  • Restore the crown. Once the post is healed and fully integrated with the bone, you’ll have a sturdy base for the rest of your restoration. At this time, your dentist will replace your temporary crown with a custom-created permanent crown that’s designed to match the rest of your teeth. Once this step is complete, nobody will ever notice that it’s not your natural tooth! 

You don’t need to live with a missing tooth or teeth. There are many options available to you to get your smile back to health and get you back to having confidence. We welcome you to call our Erdenheim dental office today to schedule a consultation so we can work together to find the best way to replace your missing tooth. 

calendar

Posted by & filed under General, General Dental Articles, Prevention.

A visit to your dentist in Erdenheim is a pretty easy thing to check off your to-do list. But did you know that there are things you can do prior to your visit to make the process even easier? In this week’s blog, we provide you with a free checklist that you can use to make sure you’re prepared for your dental appointment. 

Appointment Confirmation

Many dental offices will send a pre-appointment reminder to you via text or email or call you directly to confirm your appointment. However, if your dental office doesn’t provide this service, you should confirm your appointment 24-hours in advance. These reminders not only help keep your appointment on schedule, so your dental team is able to be courteous of your time, but they’re also a great way to remove any chance of miscommunication. 

Know Your Medical History

Whether you’re visiting a new dentist in Erdenheim for the first time or you’ve been going to the same place for years, make sure you know your medical history as well as any changes that may have happened since your last visit. Things to remember include, new medications along with dosage, a new diagnosis or changes to overall health, and of course any concerns you may have with your dental health. 

Be Ready To Share

If you have any concerns about your oral health that you want to discuss with your dentist, make sure to be ready to share those concerns. The more specific you can be, the better. Consider things such as: 

  • If there’s pain and when it started 
  • The level of discomfort and where you feel it 
  • Any signs that worry you including bleeding or swollen gums 
  • If you’re unhappy with your smile and ideally what you would like to change 

Being open and honest with your dental team will help make sure your appointment is catered just to you and your concerns or desires. 

Look Six Months Ahead

Most people will see the dentist every six months, and you should be prepared to schedule your next appointment at the end of your first visit. Take a quick look at your schedule six months down the road so you know what you may need to avoid. Coming in with dates in mind will help make sure you’re appointment remains on the schedule and you can be seen when you want to be seen.  

However, even though you’ll be set to see your dentist again in six short months, you should always continue to do your part in between appointments to keep your teeth and mouth healthy. Make sure to brush and floss regularly, take it easy on the acidic and sugary foods, and don’t smoke or use tobacco. 

If you’re overdue for a dental appointment, call our Erdenheim dental office to schedule one today. We’ll be happy to see you! 

summer foods

Posted by & filed under Dental Hygiene, General Dental Articles, Oral Health.

One of the best parts about summer is all of the picnics and the delicious foods that go along with them. And while all of the treats are delicious, they may not all be great for your teeth. At our dental office in Erdenheim, we’re here to help by giving you a list of the best and worst summertime snacks for your smile.

Best Summertime Snacks for Teeth

  • Veggies

Yummy raw, crunchy vegetables aren’t only great for your body, they’re fantastic for your teeth, too. Snacks like broccoli, carrots, celery, and peppers gently scrub away plaque buildup and give your teeth a little bit of a cleaning. This helps protect your smile against decay and can even help freshen breath.

  • Fruits

Veggies sweeter cousin fruits are also a great snack option. Not only are many fruits fresh and in season this time of the year, but they can also help clean your teeth and rub away plaque. Kiwis, for example, have calcium which is always great for your bones and, of course, your teeth. Another fan favorite is raw apples.

  • Cheese

Another tasty snack that can help remove plaque is cheese. But this yummy food is also loaded with calcium and vitamin D. The duo of calcium and vitamin D is a powerhouse that works together to build super strong bones and teeth. Cheese can also increase saliva production, which will help rinse away bacteria and sugar.

Summer Snacks That Can Harm Teeth

  • Condiments

Dressings, sauces, and dips can seem harmless enough but the truth is these condiments are a sneaky danger. BBQ sauce and ketchup, for example, contain a lot of sugar and are acidic — both of which are bad for teeth.

  • Soda

It’s well-known that your dentist in Erdenheim isn’t a huge fan of soda, and with good reason. Soda is packed with tons of sugar which essentially coats your teeth when you drink it. Sugar is one of your smile’s natural enemies as it can feed bacteria, wear away enamel, and increase the risk of decay.

  • Alcohol

Drinking alcohol can greatly increase the risk of gum disease and decay. Certain types of alcohol can also lead to tooth discoloration. Lastly, alcohol can cause dry mouth, further putting teeth in danger of decay.

At our dental office in Erdenheim, we’re not here to tell you to avoid these summer treats, we simply recommend enjoying them in moderation. Additionally, it’s always wise to drink plenty of water after eating or drinking alcohol to help wash away sugar or food particles.

dental emergency

Posted by & filed under Dental Emergency, Oral Health, Prevention.

Emergencies of any kind can cause fear and discomfort. Dental emergencies are no different and can be particularly concerning. What exactly are you supposed to do if you experience a dental emergency such as a broken tooth, a knocked out tooth, or a painful toothache? The team at our Erdenheim dental office is here to give you some advice on how to handle some of the most common dental emergencies.

Top Dental Emergencies & Treatment Tips

It’s important to note that any dental emergency, including injuries to the mouth, teeth, or gums, should be treated by a dentist in Erdenheim as quickly as possible. But if you can’t get to the dentist right away, there are some things you can do to help minimize discomfort and protect your tooth.  

Chipped or Broken ToothWhether caused by a pesky popcorn kernel, sports injury, or grinding your teeth, a chipped or broken tooth may cause you to panic. Not to worry, there are many forms of cosmetic dentistry that can restore your tooth and smile. However, right after the injury happens, you may be in some pain or bleeding. The best thing to do is to rinse your mouth with warm water, apply gauze and a bit of pressure to help stop any bleeding, and use a cold compress to help reduce any swelling.

Knocked Out ToothHaving a tooth knocked out can certainly be scary. If this happens, the first thing you should try to do is stay calm and remember the following tips:

  • Only touch the crown of the tooth. Do not touch the roots.
  • Try to replace the tooth into the socket.
  • Place the tooth in a glass of milk, store it in a cup of spit, or keep it safely under your tongue and get to a dentist. Your tooth has the best chance of survival if it’s returned to the socket within an hour.

ToothacheA toothache is usually the mouth’s way of telling us that something isn’t right, and it definitely shouldn’t be ignored. See your dentist as quickly as you can to increase the chance of easier and successful treatment. Prior to your appointment, you can ease the pain by using a cold compress or over-the-counter pain reliever.

We never want our patients to experience a dental emergency, but the truth is, they happen. If they do, we welcome you to call our dental office in Erdenheim. We’re here to help protect smiles and treat them if something happens. Call us today.

dental x-rays

Posted by & filed under Oral Health, Prevention, Technology.

If you see your dentist in Erdenheim regularly, then you’ve probably had a dental x-ray or two taken in your life. The reason we rely on x-rays so heavily is that they’re absolutely a crucial part of creating a custom treatment plan that’s going to address your dental issues and needs, the right way.

We know it may seem like they’re just any other x-ray and you might even wonder why you actually even need dental x-rays in the first place. The truth is, these images can save your smile and maybe even your life. Let’s learn more about what x-rays are and what they do for you.

Why Do We Need X-Rays?

Radiographs or x-rays are relied on heavily for preventive dentistry or to help fix issues such as cavities, decay, and breakage. Generally, dentists rely on 2D or 3D imaging to gain a better understanding of what’s going on inside your mouth, highlighting your jaw bone health and tooth structure that lies beneath your gums and enamel. It gives us the added ability to find out if something is going on inside your mouth or teeth that’s not 100 percent visible to the naked eye.

Are Dental X-Rays Going to Expose Me to Radiation?

Most of the x-rays used in dental offices across the country today give off a minimal amount of radiation. It’s important to note that you should always limit your exposure to x-rays and avoid repeated use as it can damage cells over time due to the small, continued radiation aftereffects.

Dental x-rays are certainly safer than ever thanks to advancements in dentistry over the years. Dentists now rely on using lower x-ray dosages, higher quality film, film holders, and well-designed, full-body aprons lined with lead. It’s important to note though that most of the modern dental x-ray technology that’s available today give off very little stray radiation.

How Do Dental X-Rays Work?

The process of obtaining a good dental x-ray image can occur a few ways. Usually, a dentist or a dental specialist will cover you with the iron apron for protection before putting a small plastic device in your mouth and asking you to bite down. Your bite is going to hold the x-ray film in place for accurate, immediate results.

In instances like this where we’re x-raying the inside of your mouth, it’s referred to as obtaining intraoral photos. There are also several extraoral x-rays that your Erdenheim dentist and orthodontists can use to help fix a smile, with extra meaning outside of your mouth. These images are useful in seeing your jaw bone and entire skull as a whole how it relates to your mouth and oral health.

If you’re experiencing a problem or if you feel like something isn’t right with your smile, please call our Erdenheim dental office. We may need to use one of these super cool x-ray techniques to help get you and your smile back into tip-top shape.