Tampa Dental

All About Gums

Why should teeth get all the fame?  Since the beginning of time, teeth have taken center stage in the oral health arena, while their close cousins, the gums, have occupied more of a back-seat role.  So, we have decided to dedicate this article to gums!  What makes them healthy, what makes them sick, and why they are so important for whole-body health?

 

Gingiva, or “gums”, are the mucosal tissue that cover the jaw and hold the teeth in place.  When they are healthy and properly intact, they offer a protective barrier for the jaw and tooth roots against food and bacteria.

 

Healthy Gums:

Healthy gums typically are coral pink in color, and not recessed far above the tooth.  They show a scalloped appearance over each tooth, are firm and resist movement.  They take brushing and flossing well, usually with no reaction whatsoever.

 

Unhealthy Gums:

By contrast, unhealthy gums may exhibit red, white and even blue hues, have a puffy or orange peel texture and may bleed when brushed or flossed.  Untreated periodontal disease can affect the whole body, as it is related to health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. Also, it can result in lost teeth and poor nutrition down the road.

 

Prevention is Key:

The good news is that most cases of periodontal disease are preventable.  While we don’t know exactly what role genetics play in terms of periodontal health, we do know that practicing good oral health is the first step to preventing periodontal disease.  Habits such as brushing twice and flossing once per day and regular exams and cleanings can help many people prevent or slow the progression of gum disease.

 

We hope you have learned something new about your gums!

 

If you have any questions about your gums, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

 

 

Oral Cancer: Know the Signs

Did you know that mouth cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide? The sad truth is that oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women, and the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. Now is the time to be proactive and get yourself checked for oral cancer.

 

Remember—early detection saves lives! It is more important than ever for young adults, as well as older men and women, to get regular screenings whether they think they’re at risk or not.

 

What are the risks?

Knowing the risks can help you make educated decisions about your health. There are several risks that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:

  • Smoking and using tobacco products are a known long-term historic cause of oral cancer.
  • Heavy alcohol usage also makes you more susceptible to develop oral cancer.
  • The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.

 

What are the signs and symptoms?

The mouth is one of the body’s most crucial early warning signs in the fight against oral cancer. In between regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of the mouth’s signs and symptoms. Remember, if you see any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment at the office if you don’t see improvement within two-three weeks:

  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • The development of white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth

 

Don’t wait any longer. Be proactive about your oral health, and get checked today!

 

 

Teeth Discoloration

Teeth-DiscolorationWhat color are your teeth? Of course, there is no “right” answer. Teeth come in endless shades and ranges. When we talk about tooth color in our office, we try to break it down into no fewer than 40 shades (light to dark) and ranges (color). Everyone’s teeth are unique, and the possibilities are endless.

You may be wondering, what makes a tooth the color it is now or will be in the future? We all know about coffee and tobacco as being major culprits of stained teeth, but what else goes into the making of a tooth color?

Things We Can’t Control:
• Genetics – Inheriting your tooth color is a high possibility for your current color as well. You can also inherit your tooth’s propensity for staining.
• Aging – As we age, our teeth inevitably turn more yellow.
• Medicine Use – some medicines, such as certain antibiotics, can cause your tooth color to change.
• Injury – Traumatic tooth injuries can cause intrinsic discoloration of the inner part of the tooth, the “dentin”, which is difficult to remedy. Have you ever seen a tooth that looks “dead”? That gray tone has most likely been brought on by a traumatic tooth injury.

Things We Can Control:
• Food and Drinks – Certain foods and drinks, such as berries, sauces, coffee, dark soda, black tea and red wine, cause staining over time. Limit these foods and practice good oral hygiene habits!
• Over-fluoridation – Too much fluoride in children, while teeth are still developing, can cause tooth discoloration. Be sure to follow guidelines for safe fluoride use. Don’t abandon the use of fluoride altogether though. Fluoride offers numerous benefits such as: preventing tooth decay by making teeth more resistant to acid attacks and reversing early tooth decay. But we’ve all heard that too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!
• Tobacco Use – It is well known that cigarettes and other tobacco products turn teeth yellow and eventually brown. Don’t smoke or chew.

What can you do about stained teeth? We’re glad you asked! We offer professional teeth whitening options for the best and safest results. No matter what tooth shade you’ve inherited (or created), we can help make it whiter. Give us a call today to find out more!

Can You Whiten Teeth Naturally?

whitennaturalblogFrom powders to pastes, there are many ways people try to whiten their teeth. However, not every recipe we see online truly whitens correctly. It may be tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile, but just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, DIY whitening may do more harm than good to your teeth.

With Fruits, like acid packed lemons and apple cider vinegar, you put your pearly whites at risk with prolonged contact. Using baking soda and lemons, for example, to scrub your teeth can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities. This enamel cannot be grown back, so it is very important to keep it in tip top shape.

With Scrubs like activated charcoal and baking soda mixes you may be using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth! This can end up actually making them look more yellow. Enamel is what you’re looking to whiten, but if you’re using a scrub that is too rough, you can wear it away. When that happens, the next layer of your tooth can become exposed – a softer, yellow tissue that’s called Dentin.

With Spices and Oils, like coconut oil and turmeric, there is really no evidence that these are helpful. Over using coconut oil has potential to be poor for your body, so using these strictly when cooking could be more beneficial than using them to whiten your teeth.

To best ways to whiten your teeth naturally is to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
• Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes
• Use a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance
• Cleaning between your teeth once a day
• Limiting foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine
• Not smoking or using tobacco
• Regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings

With these steps you should be well on your way to achieving that sparkling smile you are looking for, naturally! Call us today for more info, and to schedule an annual teeth cleaning Tampa Dental Phone Number 813-888-9004

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

flossing-absolutely-necessaryYes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today

Why You Should Whiten Your Teeth

why you should whiten

Just like we all have different hair and skin color, people also have different teeth color. Some teeth are naturally more yellow than others, while some yellow with aging. Your natural tooth color can also be affected by many factors like:

Using tobacco (smoked or chewed)
Drinking coffee, tea, or red wine
Eating pigmented foods such as cherries and blueberries
Accumulation of plaque and tartar deposits
The natural aging process

Because of this people often choose to whiten their teeth. Whitening your teeth can help boost your confidence and self-esteem but can also help if you want to cosmetically achieve a more youthful appearance, brighten your smile for s special event, or just simply reverse years of staining and yellowing.

Teeth whitening works very simply! The teeth whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.

A patient interested in whitening has a few different options including stain removal toothpastes, in-office bleaching, at-home custom bleaching, or over-the counter bleaching products. Talk to your dentist before starting and see what the best way is to put the shine back in your smile!

Once you’ve completed a whitening treatment, there are a few steps you can take to maintain your whiter smile:
Avoid stain-causing foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and wine
Use a straw when drinking beverages to keep stain-causing dyes away from your teeth
Eliminating tobacco because tobacco can cause teeth to become discolored

Before beginning any whitening procedure, be sure to consult with your dentist. Only he or she can evaluate whether you’re a suitable candidate for a particular treatment! These are just a few of the options you should consider when getting a whitening treatment. For more information on how we can brighten your smile with a teeth whitening procedure, contact our practice today at Tampa Dental Phone Number 813-888-9004 !

What the fluoride?

whattheflouride

Fluoride is often called nature’s cavity fighter, and for good reason! Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral, helps prevent cavities by making your enamel more resistant to the acid that causes tooth decay.

Before teeth are fully grown, the fluoride taken in from foods and beverages help make tooth enamel stronger. This provides what is called a “systemic” benefit. After teeth are grown, fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverses early signs of tooth decay. When you brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, the fluoride is applied to the surface of your teeth. This provides what is called a “topical” benefit.

In addition, the fluoride you take in from foods and beverages continues to provide a topical benefit because it becomes part of your saliva, constantly bathing the teeth with tiny amounts of fluoride that help rebuild weakened tooth enamel.

How Do You Get Fluoride?

#1 Drink Water with Fluoride
Fluoride is naturally found in most water sources. For the past 70 years, fluoride has been added to public water supplies to bring fluoride levels up to the amount necessary to help prevent tooth decay. Studies show that water fluoridation continues to help prevent tooth decay by at least 25% in children and adults, even with fluoride available from other sources, such as toothpaste.

#2 Use Toothpaste and Mouthwash with Fluoride
Toothpaste with fluoride has been responsible for a significant drop in cavities since 1960. Make sure to look for one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to make sure it contains fluoride! Be sure to brush twice a day (morning and night) or as directed by your dentist and physician.
Mouthwash with fluoride can help make your teeth more resistant to decay, by bathing your teeth and creating a topical benefit.

#3 Visit Your Dentist for a Professional Application
If you have a good chance of getting cavities, your dentist can apply fluoride directly to your teeth during your dental visit with a gel, foam or rinse.

These three steps in getting fluoride can help significantly fight against cavities and help keep your teeth strong and long lasting! If you have any more questions about the benefits of fluoride, give us a call today at Tampa Dental Phone Number 813-888-9004 !

3 Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy and Happy

3tipsforhappygums

Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. Incorporating a few simple steps into your daily oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth and gums healthy, happy and your smile shining bright for years to come.

Floss Like a Boss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once to twice a day helps to clean the hard to reach areas in-between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Keep ‘em Clean
Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth clean and cavities at bay. Be sure to brush with a fluoride based toothpaste to help to give you the best results when brushing. Next time you are shopping for toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure your toothpaste is backed by experts!

It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to finish off thoroughly cleaning your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Stay Regular
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing oral diseases and guaranteeing that your teeth stay in tip top shape.
Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and will show you the proper way to brush and floss if you need a bit of help!

These three steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. If you have any questions about how to keep your gums healthy and happy, give our office a call, today!

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Veneers

3 Reasons Why You Should Consider Veneers

Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you, so why not make it perfect? Dental cosmetic procedures can take your smile to the next level. When it comes to veneers, you’re able to enhance your smile like never before. Believe it or not, veneers have the same strength and resilience as natural teeth, except you are able to customize them to your preference—such as the shape, size, and color. When considering a cosmetic treatment for your teeth, keep veneers in the back of your mind. Below are three reasons you should consider opting for veneers.

Increase Confidence: Getting veneers is like one big makeover for your smile. This cosmetic procedure will rid your smile from stains, gaps, damaged spots and any other imperfections they may have. The better you feel about your smile, the more you will share it with the rest of the world, leading to a more confident you!

No Special Maintenance: It’s best to treat veneers the same as you would your natural teeth. You can achieve this by maintaining a typical oral hygiene routine with brushing, flossing and mouthwash. However, try refraining from indulging in hard foods and chewing ice to ensure that your veneers will last as long as they’re meant to.

Time Efficient: There are a variety of procedures that can enhance your teeth, but they do come at a cost, and often with too many appointments that can waste a lot of your time. Dental work can range from a number of days to even months, depending on the procedure. With veneers, you can have them securely placed within just two appointments, giving you the satisfaction of perfect teeth without the hassle of spending too much time in the dental chair.

Interested in how veneers can completely transform your smile? Give us a call at Tampa Dental Phone Number 813-888-9004 and we will give you all the information you need as to why veneers may be the best option for you!

The Dos and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

Dos and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene is important. Those who practice good oral habits reap the benefits, while the latter… not so much. Most of us have a great deal of control over whether or not we keep our teeth as we age. Those who don’t follow a proper routine, end up losing their teeth, thus requiring the need of tooth replacement (such as dentures, dental implants, etc.). If you want to achieve an optimal level of oral hygiene, all you have to do is follow these do’s and don’ts!

Do…
• Brush your teeth twice a day! Use a soft-bristled brush with a fluoride tooth paste and be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, even the hard to reach places.

• Floss your teeth every day! Floss removes food trapped between your teeth and the film of bacteria that forms before it turns into plaque.

• Visit your dentist every 6 months! Regular visits allow your dentist to discover early signs of cavities and gum disease.

• Eat a mouth healthy diet! Indulge yourself in foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and of course, water!

Don’t…

• Forget to replace your toothbrush! Tooth brushes should be replaced every 3 month—or after you recover from being sick. If you have an electric toothbrush, replace the head rather than purchasing a whole new one.

• Brush too soon after eating! Brushing immediately after eating acidic food can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. To be safe, wait at least 1 hour.

• Go overboard with bleaching! Over-bleaching your teeth can make them very sensitive to hot and cold foods, thus causing a variety of other problems.

• Ignore pain or abnormalities! Toothaches can be a sign of a more serious dental issue. See your dentist as soon as you discover changes in your dental health.

• Consume lots of soft drinks and sugary foods! These foods are highly acidic, which wears away your enamel overtime. Frequent consumption of sugary substances allow plaque to grow more rapidly—thus the likelihood of cavities will increase substantially.

When it comes to your dental hygiene—you have the option between keeping your teeth or not. By starting to practice these dental do’s and don’ts, you will be on the right track to a long-lasting smile. Give us a call today Tampa Dental Phone Number 813-888-9004!