When Do You Take Out Wisdom Teeth

September 18, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
When Do You Take Out Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars that usually come in during your late teens to early twenties. Over time our jaws have shrunk, leaving little room for the extra row of teeth, which is why they can cause pain and need to be extracted. So, when do you take out wisdom teeth?

Signs You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out:

Not every patient experiences pain associated with their wisdom teeth. Sometimes a dentist will recommend pulling them based on your x-rays if the wisdom teeth will cause overcrowding or put excess pressure on the other teeth as they move.

When overcrowding occurs, teeth that were once straight begin to shift. Shifted teeth can cause problems such as one tooth moving in front of another, gum issues, and even result in infections caused by trapped food.

Pain is usually the first sign that your wisdom teeth are causing problems and will need to be pulled (extracted). The pain is typically a dull, aching pain in the jaw. Certain foods that require more chewing like meats and root vegetables can make the pain worse when chewing.

Hot/cold sensitivity can be another indicator.

Impacted teeth is another common issue from wisdom teeth coming in crooked. When there isn’t enough room in the mouth the teeth will commonly grow in on an angle and sometimes not in the same direction as the rest of your teeth. This usually results in tenderness, swelling, gum infections, and damage to surrounding teeth. When wisdom teeth are impacted, it is highly recommended to remove them as soon as possible. Impacted teeth are more likely to cause jaw issues and can cause other serious problems.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

September 11, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay can be caused by much more than just poor oral hygiene. So, what causes tooth decay? Tooth decay is often a symptom or warning sign of something much more dangerous, happening in the body.

When you visit your local dentist for an exam, like your Hoover Alabama dentist, they are looking at more than just the physical appearance of your teeth. We are trying to understand the entire picture, along with what your mouth and oral health is telling us.

Common Diseases That Cause Tooth Decay

The mouth is a window to the rest of the body and will often show warning signs that there’s something bigger going on. Here are some of the diseases that frequently cause tooth decay. If you suffer from any of these conditions, be sure to discuss with your dentist at your next appointment.

Diabetes

Diabetes has perhaps the most significant cause and effect relationship with tooth decay. Whether you have type I or type II diabetes, your body’s blood sugar is elevated because of lowered insulin levels. This impacts many parts of the body, and the mouth is a big part of that.

As the tooth decay continues to build up, the risk for gum disease also increases. Gum disease is caused as bacteria continues to build up in your mouth. In fact, about a quarter of all people diagnosed with diabetes also develop gum disease.

Autoimmune Conditions

Autoimmune conditions are a family of diseases that involve the body attacking parts of itself. This can include everything from major organ systems, like the kidneys, to smaller systems like salivary glands. Many of these diseases have some impact on the mouth, but the one most directly tied to oral health is Sjögren’s syndrome.

People with Sjögren’s may need to visit the dentist more frequently than twice per year to keep tabs on tooth decay that results from decreased saliva production. There are also over the counter lozenges, mouthwashes, and other products that can help increase saliva production and manage symptoms day-to-day.

Anorexia and Bulimia

Both anorexia and bulimia are severe eating disorders. They occur when men or women have an extreme fear of becoming overweight and either eat less or regurgitate food as a result.

Both conditions have implications on the teeth because the body is not getting the minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients that it needs to maintain good oral health and prevent tooth decay from forming. When people with anorexia do eat, they tend to fill up on sugary, salty, unhealthy foods that are bad for your teeth.

Avoid Tooth Decay with Total Body Care

These are just a few of the more common diseases that cause tooth decay. The connections between your mouth and the rest of your body are not always apparent which is why it’s important to share your medical history with your dentist. We hope you visit Sampson Dentistry for a dental appointment soon!

Smoking’s Impact on Your Oral Health

August 21, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Smoking’s Impact on Your Oral Health

By now, you’re likely aware of smoking’s impact on your oral health. However, you might not realize the serious effects smoking has on your overall dental care. Since your mouth is the starting point for all cigarette damage, you’ll deal with significant oral health issues when smoking.

Since the nicotine found in cigarettes immediately hit your teeth as you are smoking, this is the worst side effect. These chemicals can lead to yellow stains on your teeth that are difficult to remove. Smoking also weakens the protective enamel on your teeth.  This can leave your teeth more susceptible to bacteria that cause tooth rot and weakened enamel. Overall, leading your teeth to become more sensitive.

Additionally, this build up of bacteria can lead to gum disease, which causes your gums to recede and compromises the stability of your teeth. Finally, perhaps the most major impact smoking has on your oral health is oral cancer.

Regular Dental Visits Are Important for Smokers

You’ll find a variety of mouthwashes and toothpastes marketed to smokers with claims that they can help repair damage caused by smoking. This includes toothpastes made to remove yellow nicotine stains and products used to mask cigarette odour in your mouth.

However, no product on the market is as effective at treating oral problems brought on by smoking as actually quitting smoking. Additionally, many of these products use abrasive and harsh chemicals to attack bacteria that thrive in a smoker’s mouth. Yet these products can do nothing to restore enamel, prevent gum and tooth rot, or stop any type of oral cancer.

If you’re a smoker, it’s important you regularly visit your dentist to monitor your oral health, and visit your local Hoover Alabama dentist Sampson Dentistry.

Does Soda and Juice Affect Toddler’s Teeth

August 15, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Does Soda and Juice Affect Toddler’s Teeth

Tooth decay is a dental health issue that affect children. One of the biggest culprits of tooth decay in young kids come from many of the drinks that we give them. Does soda and juice affect toddler’s teeth?

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises limiting sugar to only 10% of a toddler’s daily caloric intake. At three years old, daily caloric intake is roughly 1,100 calories. That equates to only 5.5 teaspoons of added sugar a day. Most sodas and juices contain nearly triple that amount in a single serving!

Does Brushing Teeth After Drinking Soda Help Avoid Tooth Decay?

Brushing your toddler’s teeth after consuming soda or juice can help to rid the mouth of the acid causing bacteria. However, doctors recommend to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes after consuming sugary drinks. It is recommended to swish the mouth out with water. This can be done immediately after consuming a sugary drink.

How Does Sugar Decay Teeth?

Before you completely ditch all forms of sugar, it is important to understand how sugar affects tooth enamel. Sugar alone is not the issue. What does cause the damage is acid.

When bacteria in your toddler’s mouth use sugar as their food source to break down into energy, acids are released. This acid then begins to break down the enamel and remove important minerals from your toddler’s teeth. The end result… tooth decay, rot, cavities, toothaches, and tooth sensitivity.

How Can My Toddler Avoid Tooth Decay?

The obvious answer is to avoid sugary substances. However, the occasional sugary treat is okay. A fun way to get your toddler to drink more water is by adding fruit. Fruit infused water provides a delicious flavor without adding refined sugars and other harmful ingredients.

How Often Should I Take My Child To The Dentist?

August 7, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog
How Often Should I Take My Child To The Dentist?

How Often should I take my child to the dentist? If you are asking this question then first know that you are not alone. Most parents are not sure exactly when is the perfect time to schedule their child’s first dentist appointment.

Should your child wait and go after the first tooth comes in or maybe after all their teeth come in? According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child’s first scheduled dental visit should occur within six months of the first tooth erupting, but no later than by age two.

Your Child’s first dental appointment generally is more about learning their teeth and the importance of taking care of them versus an actual examination. Typically your dentist will not do an actual exam. They may peek inside your child’s mouth so they can make sure the teeth are coming in properly and there is no bottle rot, but generally, this visit is more about building trust and awareness. Your child’s dentist will often explain all of their tools, what they are for, and why they are important. Establishing trust and building a relationship with the dentist often helps the child overcome dental fears later on as they grow and have actual appointments, or even avoid dental anxieties all together.

What Happens After a Child’s First Dental Visit?

After your child’s first visit, it is highly recommended they visit the dentist every six months, unless there is a health concern. Common concerns that call for a visit early include a lisp, teeth grinding, and mouth breathing. Once your child is ready for their second visit, this is where your dentist will begin to work on your child’s teeth. Typically, the second dentist visit will include counting the child’s teeth and brushing them with cleaning paste. Dentists often introduce treatments in stages for two reasons, one, they may not have all of their teeth and be quite ready for advanced treatments, and two, to slowly build trust and ease fears. It generally isn’t until the third visit, or after the age of three were they start receiving more advanced treatments, such as fluoride treatments.

A great way to minimize the fears of going to the dentist, is when you bring your child to one of your dental exams. When they see the dentist working on your teeth, it can help ease fears. Remember, it is never too early to begin proper oral care.

Schedule an appointment with Sampson Dentistry!

Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?

June 13, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
No matter how diligently you care for your teeth during the day, you might be harming your teeth overnight. Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?

No matter how diligently you care for your teeth during the day, you might be harming your teeth overnight. Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep? Many people experience teeth grinding and jaw clenching, while they sleep or in stressful situations.

Over time, these actions can wear on your mouth and cause permanent damage if they are not addressed.

Causes and Symptoms of Grinding Your Teeth

The most common reasons for teeth grinding and jaw clenching are stress and anxiety. This can occur during the day or while you are sleeping. Even if you are wide awake, you might not even realize that you are doing it.

Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding, is one of many ways that our body physically manifests stress even if our minds aren’t aware of it. The next time you are in a high-stress situation, pay attention to what’s happening in your mouth. Are you clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth around?

Other risk factors for teeth grinding include substance abuse (drugs, alcohol, caffeine), sleep apnea, and bite and alignment issues.

You might notice that your teeth begin to wear down in odd patterns over time. These changes might not be obvious at first since many people grind their molars and back teeth that are not always very visible.

Long-term jaw clenching can lead to earaches and headaches. You might think that you have an ear infection or a migraine, but the cause is actually the jaw because of how closely it’s related to the other parts of your face.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Teeth Grinding

No matter how diligently you care for your teeth during the day, you might be harming your teeth overnight. Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?The best way to confirm whether or not you are grinding your teeth, is to mention your symptoms to your dentist at your next appointment. Your dentist can review the wear patterns on your teeth and examine your jaw to determine whether you’ve been grinding or clenching without realizing it.

From there, your dentist will likely prescribe a mouth guard, which will prevent your teeth from touching while you sleep and give you something to bite into if you clench your jaw. It won’t take long before you are waking up pain-free and more refreshed as a result of better sleep.

The mouth guard will probably take some getting used to, but it’s important that you stick with it and continue wearing it. Your mouth will adjust over time and you’ll soon be wondering how you ever slept without one.

How to Get the Help You Need

If you’ve been waking up with an unusual feeling in your mouth or jaw, you might be suffering from bruxism.

Our team at Sampson Dentistry will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan based on your specific symptoms and lifestyle

Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

May 28, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

Are dental x-rays safe during pregnancy? Pregnancy is an exciting time and, it does not mean that you should abandon your dental care routine.

One question we often receive at Sampson Dentistry is whether dental X-rays are safe during pregnancy. The short answer is yes, dental X-rays are safe to have during pregnancy. But there are some other factors you may want to consider as you are planning your dental care during this time.

Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

The amount of radiation used in a dental X-ray is very low and, according to both the American Dental Association and the American Pregnancy Association is not enough to cause any harm to a pregnant woman or her baby.

If you’ve had dental X-rays in the past, you probably remember the dentist or hygienist placing a heavy apron over you before turning on the X-ray machine. This is a leaded apron that is designed to minimize exposure to radiation during the X-ray process.

The apron is long enough to cover the abdomen, which means a baby is protected during the X-ray process. It might seem like a nuisance, but this is definitely one of those situations where it’s better to be safe than sorry.

The apron will feel heavy when your dentist or hygienist puts it on, but it is safe to use at all stages of pregnancy.

Making the Best Dental Care Decisions For Mothers To Be.

Even though the dental X-ray process is safe to undertake throughout pregnancy, some women make proactive choices to limit their exposure to X-rays and other procedures during this time.

You should notify your dentist as soon as possible after you become pregnant. You can work with your dentist to develop a treatment plan that will work for you and your baby.

Some women choose to postpone X-rays until after the end of the first trimester. This is because, it is the most crucial time for the baby’s development. This is not medically necessary but may help provide peace of mind.

Routine dental X-rays can also be postponed until after the baby is born, but this is not something we recommend. X-rays are critical to detecting dental issues that could become serious if they are not detected and treated.

Start the Conversation

Sampson Dentistry works with moms-to-be to develop treatment plans that meet their dental health needs. We will always look out for the health of our patient’s babies.

Dental care should not stop just because you are pregnant and dental X-rays are no exception. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your specific situation with one of our dentists, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment.

Tips to Help Your Kids Practice Good Dental Hygiene

May 25, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Tips to Help Your Kids Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Sampson Dentistry believe strongly in providing tips to help your kids practice good Dental Hygiene. We strive to make sure that all of our children have the healthiest smiles they can, but we can’t do it on our own.

Practice Good Dental Hygiene: Tips for Kids

We need help from parents and caregivers to continue the good habits our dentists recommend. Here are a few good dental hygiene tips for kids and easy ways you can help us help them:

Watch Those Drinks

While fruit juices and sports drinks can be a healthy alternative to soda and other artificial drinks, drinking too much can end up doing more harm than good in the long run.

The sugar in these drinks can quickly eat away the enamel on your child’s teeth, especially if he or she is consuming them all day long from a sippy cup or a refillable bottle. These drinks taste good and might be one of the only sources of sugar your kids have so weeding them out will not be easy, but it’s the best thing for their teeth in the long run.

Begin the balancing process by moving toward a 50/50 juice or sports drink to water ratio. The water will help wash out some of the sugar left over from the other drinks and help move your child’s palate away from sweet tastes. And, drinking more water is a great thing for all of us!

Lead by Example

When it comes to brushing and caring for your teeth, your children take more cues from you than you might think. This is one area where you really do need to practice what you preach.

Make brushing and flossing a family activity each morning and evening, or maybe only in the evening if your mornings are hectic. Either way, this will allow you to make sure that your child isn’t cutting corners and allow him or her to see that you are doing the same thing.

Brushing should last for at least two minutes and cover all surfaces of the teeth and tongue. Flossing should include every tooth every time, no matter how tempting it is to cut corners.

Remember that if your child is under age 2, then you should be brushing and flossing for them.

Again, this is an opportunity for you to establish a routine that your child will continue when it’s time for them to brush and floss on their own.

You can even make a game out of brushing and flossing each day. Create a chart to track progress and reward good behavior along the way. Eventually, the habits will become so routine that the rewards are no longer needed as an incentive.

Don’t Skip Dentist Visits

If you have anxiety about going to the dentist, you may be passing down those fears to your children without realizing it. Starting dental appointments as soon as the first teeth appear (around age 1) will help establish going to the dentist as a positive experience, rather than one that’s plagued with fear about cavities or other problems.

The more your child sees a dentist, the more we’ll be able to help reinforce the dental hygiene maintenance you are doing at home. We can catch problem areas before they become serious and create a plan for addressing them.

Establishing a partnership between parents and your local dentists ensures healthy teeth for kids. Visiting a dentist provides an opportunity to check in on that partnership.

Sampson Dentistry offers a wide range of pediatric dental services. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation for your child.

Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

May 23, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

If you’ve lost a tooth, especially one that’s not visible to others when you speak or smile, you may be thinking that you can slide by without replacing it. Sure, it will feel weird for a while, but you’ll get used it — or will you? Do I Need to Replace a Missing Tooth?

Not replacing a missing tooth can have serious physical and mental consequences. The replacement process is not as difficult as you might think and will pay off in the long run.

Consequences of Not Replacing a Missing Tooth

Having a missing tooth can lead to long-term problems inside and outside your mouth.

Over time, the teeth next to the missing tooth will shift toward each other in an attempt to fill in the gap. This leads to a condition called malocclusion, which means the teeth are not aligned properly.

Malocclusion can cause serious problems like an overbite or crossbite that result in extra strain on the jaw, difficulty chewing, and even an increased risk for tooth decay. The treatment for this larger issue is braces or even surgery, which will likely end up being more expensive than a single tooth replacement would be.

The increase in tooth decay will also lead to problems with other teeth.

Missing teeth can result in not chewing your food properly (consciously or unconsciously). Not chewing your food properly can lead to digestive issues like acid reflux and malnutrition from nutrients not being absorbed properly in the digestive tract. While it may seem like a back molar hidden from view that does not need to be replaced, remember that those teeth are essential for proper chewing and digestion.

Missing teeth can also cause bone loss along the jawline, which leads to a sagging appearance around the mouth. The bone tissue no longer receives support from the tooth, so it weakens over time. Sagging faces are common among people who wear dentures. While it may be inevitable for some, you can do something about it before the sagging begins.

Restoring Your Smile

Replacing a missing tooth is no longer the ordeal it was in your parents’ generation.

The most common treatment is a dental implant. Implants consist of a titanium post covered by a crown or denture.

The dental implant process typically takes about three months from start to finish. The implant and temporary crown can be applied on the same day, allowing you to return to normal activities while the permanent crown is made.

The end result is a tooth that looks and feels just like the one you lost. Financing options are available to ensure that you can restore a broken smile without breaking the bank.

A dental implant is a smart investment of time and money. Given the serious consequences associated with not replacing a missing tooth. Consult with your local dentist!

Why A Missed Local Dental Appointment Can Be Detrimental

May 7, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News

There are times that we all have to reschedule a dental appointment. Why a missed local dental appointment can be detrimental. Even if it’s just one appointment missed, the health of your teeth and overall condition could in fact suffer.

So, why is it important to attend all your dental appointments?

Your cavities can be spotted quickly before they cause other oral problems.

Many people believe that the worse a cavity could do is cause a bit of oral pain and sensitivity. But cavities, if left untreated for even a few months too long, can cause a lot of harm.

Leaving a tooth to decay is not only painful, but it could also lead to infection and tooth loss. Cavities don’t just sit there; they get deeper, uglier, and more painful over time.

Potential oral cancers and other diseases can be diagnosed and treated ASAP.

While oral cancers and other diseases aren’t per say common in dental patients, they still have a very real possibility of developing.

With gum disease and oral cancers, these are important to detect as soon as possible as these are not curable, at least not in the late stages.

Your dentist can get rid of your plaque before it turns into hard-to-remove tartar.

This may not seem very important to some patients, however, keep in mind that plaque is a type of dangerous oral bacteria that can cause gum disease, cavities, and other health problems.

With that being said, imagine how damaging tartar is, which is a more permanent, hardened form of plaque. Looking at the short-term effects, tartar is visible in comparison to a microscopic plaque.

 

Your body will thank you in the short and long run.

The goal of having good oral standing isn’t always about having perfectly straight, white teeth and fresh breath. It’s also about keeping your oral bacteria levels down.

The less oral bacteria you have, the healthier the rest of your body will be and the less bad bacteria that will be present in the rest of your body. In general, bad bacteria can cause a distorted digestive system and gut flora and in turn cause other body-related problems and diseases.