Dizziness – Gone! Headaches – Gone! Sleeping – Terrific! Thanks To Neuro-Muscular Dentistry!

I’d like to share a story about an elderly lady who recently came to us because of dizziness, which had prevented her from driving.  I’m happy to report that after two weeks of wearing a neuro-muscular orthotic (a small oral appliance we custom-designed for her), she’s back to driving.  She is now only worried about driving on weekends when traffic is so busy! (I feel the same way!) She also shared that she’s surprised by how energetic she is and at the great sleep she’s getting.  Too, she’s no longer taking aspirin on a frequent basis because her headaches have ceased.

I share this with you because I’m always amazed at how people respond to neuro-muscular dental treatment. We’ve seen remarkable improvements in patients that go far beyond what are deemed to be obvious symptoms related to the mouth, head and neck.

As a neuro-muscular dentist, I am specifically trained to diagnose and treat problems that go much deeper than bite alignment. I take head and neck muscles, shoulder muscles, jaw joints and bite alignment as well as the size of the tongue and mouth into consideration during diagnosis. We use sophisticated equipment to thoroughly diagnose problems that may have been overlooked by other doctors, even other specialists.

Once we have pinpointed the source of the problem, we recommend the most conservative treatment possible. Like the lady mentioned above, results may be seen in a couple of weeks but many patients have immediate improvement.

At our office, your cosmetic and restorative treatment includes the skills of neuro-muscular dentistry. This helps our patients have a fabulous outcome along with a terrific smile!

If you’ve experienced frequent headaches, migraines, dizziness, ear ringing, facial pain, sore jaw joints, or chipped or worn teeth, call 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation. The solution may be just a few steps away!

Reduce Risk Of Dental Implant Failure

Although the success rate for dental implants is very high, about 95%, dental implants can fail. Knowing what contributes to implant failure before you have implants placed can help you enjoy a successful treatment outcome.

Some health and lifestyle issues can complicate the body’s ability to enable implants to integrate with your jaw bone and heal successfully. Those who smoke, have uncontrolled diabetes or other health problems tend to have lower success rates.

Incorrect placement of implants can contribute to implant failure, which occurs when the implant perforates the sinus cavity or nerve running through the lower jaw.

Dental implant recipients should also be prepared for more-frequent dental visits for thorough cleanings, often four times a year versus twice a year. This helps to minimize bacteria at the implant sites, which can lead to infection.

Overall, dental implants are safe, successful for the majority and recreate the most natural look, feel and function of the teeth you once had. Along with your commitment, having your implants placed by a Doctor who is specifically trained and highly experienced in all types of implants can greatly reduce your risk for implant failure.

To learn what type of implant will work best for your needs and goals, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation. We’ll answer your questions and make recommendations so you can decide what’s right for you.

Oral Bacteria Feed Off Your Mouth To Live

You may have seen a TV commercial for a nail fungus treatment. To illustrate its presence, the fungus is portrayed by a nasty-looking cartoon character. The ‘creature’ is representative of living cells that decompose nutrients. Although it is a viewer-friendly way to think of nail fungus, fungi are actually ugly and destructive.

As a dentist, I wish there was a similar illustration for oral bacteria. I have a firsthand view of just how devastating bacterial accumulation in gum tissues can be. However, the American population is still widely unaware of the destructive effect this can have on one’s overall health and well-being, not to mention their smile.

When an individual cuts himself, he will wash the cut and bandage it. This prevents bacteria from creating an infection that can become serious, even deadly. Yet, when a person’s gums are bleeding from a simple act as brushing teeth, this warning sign of gum disease is often ignored, even thought of as normal.

Think of bacteria as living creatures in your mouth – because they are! Bacteria are micro-organisms that feed on your tissues. They reproduce in your mouth and even create waste! Oral bacteria destroy gum tissues and attack supporting bone. Untreated gum disease will result in eventual tooth loss.

Yet, the damage of gum disease bacteria doesn’t stop with your smile. Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream through tears in diseased tissue. Once bloodborne, the bacteria can trigger inflammatory reactions in the body. Research has linked gum disease bacteria to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, preterm babies and even impotency.

If you see blood in the sink while brushing, it’s anything but normal. Remember that this symptom represents an enormous colony of ugly little creatures who’ve claimed your mouth as their home. Then, vow to react. Ridding yourself of oral bacteria can be done comfortably and affordably with early treatment.

Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a thorough examination. Your smile will thank you and you’ll be safe-guarding your overall health as well.

Me? Bad Breath???

When someone has bad breath, it can hit you like a boxing glove. Unfortunately, it can also make a lasting impression, and not a good one! In addition to cavities and gum disease, bad breath, also known as halitosis, is among the top three reasons people go to the dentist.

While we can all recall an encounter with someone’s rank breath odor, the thoughts of having it ourselves is terrifying, although about 20% of the population reportedly do to some degree. When halitosis is our own, we don’t smell it although it is typically suspected by having a bad taste in our mouth or feeling our mouth is sticky and dry.

In most cases, bad breath is caused by bacteria accumulated in the gums and embedded in the back of the tongue. Certain conditions, including disorders in the nasal cavity, sinuses, throat, lungs, stomach or esophagus can also cause halitosis.

Ridding yourself of common bad breath is easy. Be committed to a twice-daily oral hygiene regimen, use a tongue scraper (particularly on the back of the tongue), floss daily and have regular dental check-ups to detect bacteria in the gums. If your mouth is dry, drink lots of water and use an oral rinse specifically formulated to replace moisture in the mouth.

Just as you avoid body odor with daily showers, you can avoid the ‘label’ of having bad breath by being proactive with your oral hygiene. If you have been irregular with dental cleanings, your mouth may be overly burdened with oral bacteria. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a consultation so we can discuss ways to improve your smile’s health for fresher breath!

Exposed Tooth Roots

Do you feel your smile makes you look older than you really are?

Gum recession causes the tooth root to become exposed, which makes your teeth look long. Recession can occur as a result of a variety of causes, including periodontal diseases.  Whatever the reason, exposed roots are unappealing and also create risk for developing cavities.

Several procedures are available to cover exposed roots, reduce further gum recession and protect vulnerable roots from decay. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule a free consultation to discuss options that are best for you.

Take Years Off With Smile Enhancements!

At a certain age, we can’t help but notice signs of our years. Crow’s feet, sagging skin, age spots… these are typical reactions to Father Time that reveal we are, indeed, getting into more mature years. While eyelid lifts, micro-dermabrasion, injectable fillers and Botox can conceal one’s actual age, nothing reveals the truth like your smile.

In addition to teeth that discolor as we age, teeth can chip or wear down over time. Fortunately, today’s cosmetic dentistry provides exceptional options for a more youthful appearing smile. Most are completed in just one or two visits.

Teeth whitening: Dull gray, yellow or brownish teeth are often the result of age. This build up is deep within tooth enamel and cannot be brushed away. Although over-the-counter whitening systems give some degree of shade adjustment, most discoloration responds best to a professional whitening system. We use Zoom II, an effective, safe system that causes minimal sensitivity and provides dramatic, long-lasting improvement for a bright, flattering smile.

Gapped or uneven teeth: If your smile has chipped, wide-spaced teeth or uneven lengths, porcelain veneers can dramatically improve your smile’s appearance. These give a highly natural appearance, even reflecting light as do natural teeth. In some cases, bonding can improve minor gaps or elongate teeth, creating an even smile line that projects a more youthful look.

Crowded, crooked teeth: As we age, crooked teeth seem to stand out more prominently, also causing the lips to appear thinner in some cases. While porcelain veneers can esthetically correct crooked teeth, severe misalignment may require braces or Invisalign. This is best for individuals who have crooked but nicely-shaped teeth. Straightening teeth that are small, short or uneven may not result in the attractive smile you ultimately want.

A smile is the most frequent aspect of your appearance that others notice when first meeting you — your ‘first impression.’ Having a bright, flattering smile tends to make people smile more often. This projects a happy, upbeat individual – an ageless, beautiful feature!

Think about your life with a terrific smile. Then call us at 1-866-9-Smiles for a free consultation. During this time, we’ll discuss esthetic options to create the smile you desire. Also, ask about payment plans that allow you to enjoy a more youthful smile while making easy payments that fit your budget.

Overuse of Denture Creams Could Lead To Zinc Poisoning

One of the ingredients in denture creams is zinc. When overuse put too much zinc in the body, it depletes the body’s natural balance of copper. Since copper regulates neurological activity, such an imbalance can lead to nerve damage or even neuropathy, a painful nerve disorder for which there is no cure.

The problem has to do with the amount of denture cream an individual uses on a regular basis. Although the manufacturers estimate that one tube of denture cream will last between 1-2 months, some users admit to using a great deal more.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas) studied characteristics of denture-wearing patients who developed nerve damage after using more than the recommended amount of the product on a continual basis. Some were using as much as two tubes per week, and the findings showed this was the only commonality shared by those with nerve damage or neuropathy.

When an excessive amount of denture cream is used, it is typically due to trying to secure an ill-fitting denture or partial. When dentures are first made, they are shaped to conform to the gum ridge for which they are designed to adhere. Denture creams help to keep the denture on this foundation.

However, without natural tooth roots in the jaw bone, the bone begins to shrink. As the ridge declines in height and width, there is less and less of a foundation to hold the denture. Reapplying denture cream several times a day may help for a brief amount of time, but no cream or adhesive can overcome a loose fitting denture for very long.

Poor fitting dentures often cause adults to eat soft foods that dissolve easily in the mouth. These tend to lack a healthy balance of protein rich meats, hearty grains, and fruits and vegetables packed with vitamins and minerals. Not being able to chew properly compromises an important part of the digestion process. It is a fact that denture wearers have more gastrointestinal problems and take more medications than adults who have their own teeth.

Because dental implants are held by the jaw bone, just as natural tooth roots, they restore chewing comfort and biting stability. Dental implants allow you to eat the foods you love and laugh without worry. Too, dental implants are safe, successful, and designed to last a lifetime.

If your dentures need more denture cream than is recommended by the manufacturer, consider dental implants, the nation’s preferred method of tooth replacement.  Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to discuss the types best suited for your needs.

Does A Shrinking Jaw Bone Occur From Missing Teeth?

Natural teeth are held into your jawbones by their tooth roots, which are embedded in the bone. Throughout the day, actions such as biting and chewing create physical stimulation to the jaw by each root. The tooth roots stimulate the bone so it maintains a healthy mass.

Once natural teeth are removed, the lower and upper jaw bone structures begin to shrink (or ‘resorb’) due to the lack of stimulation. While conditions such as osteoporosis, gum disease and oral cancer can attack healthy bone structure, the leading cause of bone loss (‘resorption’) is missing tooth roots.

Although dentures and partial dentures provide low cost replacement of teeth, they actually accelerate this rate of bone loss. These rest on top of gum tissue, placing pressure on the jaw bone ridge whiling providing no direct stimulation to the bone.

Custom bridges, a popular treatment for replacing missing teeth, are no help, either. The bone underlying the span of missing teeth will experience resorption since no bone stimulation is provided.

There are many repercussions to bone resorption. Facial changes can be seen at early stages by removing dentures or partials and looking in the mirror. Once bone loss is underway, you’ll notice your mouth seems to collapse into the face, the chin becomes more pointed, and deep wrinkles form around the mouth. Eventually, jowls form from the detachment of facial muscles from the jaws.

Profile comparison of healthy jaw bone and one with severe resorption.
Profile comparison of healthy jaw bone and one with severe resorption.

Other signs of bone loss are: Periodic changes in the way your denture fits; Sore spots on gum tissues; Food becoming trapped between the gums and denture; and, Difficulty chewing even with the help of denture adhesives and pastes.

Because they are secured by the jaw bone, Dental Implants recreate the stimulation of the natural tooth roots you once had. This halts the rate of bone loss and preserves bone mass.  For those who have already experienced severe bone loss, bone rebuilding procedures can be performed to restore adequate bone structure.

Let’s discuss a confident, secure and dependable smile during a free consultation appointment. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule.

Precision-Fitted Partial Dentures

Although we advise dental implants for most tooth replacements, we also offer full and partial dentures. If partial dentures are needed, there are several choices, some giving a higher level of aesthetic appeal and security than others.

Most conventional partial dentures are held in place by clasps made from a metal alloy or plastic material. These clasps wrap around the bottom of adjoining, natural teeth on each side to hold the partial in place. Because the clasps resist springing back away from teeth, the partial is held in place while eating, speaking and other activities.

One downside to traditional partial dentures is with clasp resistance that prevents a person from comfortably removing their partial. Another is the visible presence of clasps when smiling or laughing. Also, remaining natural tooth structures may be inadequate to secure conventional clasps, meaning a crown or crowns are necessary for adequate tooth support.

Most of our patients prefer precision-fitted partial dentures. A precision-fitted partial is cosmetically enhanced compared to conventional partial dentures. Metal clasps are not visible and the partial blends attractively with remaining natural teeth.

Precision-fitted partials are also designed for dependable function to an even greater pressure on remaining natural teeth than conventional partial dentures. However, this also means they are more costly to fabricate.

If you feel dental implants are not right for you, we are happy to discuss other tooth replacement options during a free consultation appointment. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a time.

Replace Missing Teeth For Social & Health Reasons

When it comes to teeth, some American adults assume that missing one, two or a few won’t upset the apple cart. But it does.  Even though your missing teeth may not be visible in a smile, the gap disrupts the natural balance necessary for proper bite alignment.

For example, if you are missing two lower teeth in the back, the upper teeth that once ‘met’ these teeth begin to grow longer. The lower tooth next to the area of missing teeth begins to tilt out of position due to bone resorption. This ‘shrinkage’ of jaw bone occurs when natural tooth roots are no longer present in the bone to provide stimulation. Without them, the bone declines in mass and height.

In addition to chips and tooth fractures, improper bite alignment contributes to jaw joint disorders, which can lead to sore jaw joints, headaches, clenching or migraines. However, when missing teeth leave a gap in your smile, the social perception of others can have a negative impact as well.

Although it is assumed that there are minimum social consequences for individuals missing visible teeth, a study shared by the National Institutes of Health (published in their U.S. National Library of Medicine) shows differently. The study measured 200 college students’ “Social perceptions of individuals missing upper front teeth.” In the study, volunteer students with a medium age of 21 years rated five photographs, each depicting tooth presence or absence. The photos ranged from those clearly having all their teeth to those missing as many as four upper teeth. The students rated the photos on attractiveness, health, education, satisfaction with life, active social life, aggressiveness, intelligence, trustworthiness, friendship, potential of dating, and how likely they would be to live as a neighbor.

The findings suggested a person missing visible teeth was more negatively perceived on all social traits than a person with a full smile. Results were strongest when students were proposed to be linked to the individual who was clearly missing teeth in a personal way, such as their likelihood of dating or living as neighbor. Both men and women agreed on perceptions of social traits, seeing missing teeth as creating significant barriers to personal and social success.

If you are missing natural teeth, whether they are visible when you smile or not, replacement is recommended for the well-being of other teeth as well as how you are perceived in the world in which we live. We advise Dental Implants for tooth replacement for their ability to recreate the presence of tooth roots in the jaw bone, halting bone loss. They are also the closest thing to natural teeth when it comes to biting strength and stability, chewing comfort and self-confidence.

Begin with a free consultation to discuss treatment options. For example, if you are missing 2 to 3 teeth in one area, one implant may be all that’s necessary to support a bridge of teeth. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to schedule a convenient time.