What Symptoms Cause Tooth Decay

September 28, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
what causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is often a symptom or warning sign of something much larger, and possibly more dangerous, happening in the body. What symptoms cause tooth decay?

Some Common Diseases That Cause Tooth Decay

Below are some of the most common 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.

One of the most common symptoms of diabetes is a dry mouth, which is due to a lack of saliva. Beyond making your mouth feel more comfortable, saliva also helps protect your teeth against the bacteria that cause tooth decay. If you don’t have enough saliva, your teeth are more vulnerable, and your risk of developing cavities is higher.

As the tooth decay continues to build up, the risk for gum disease also increases.

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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.

Sjögren’s reduces the amount of saliva the mouth produces, which has the same effects we described earlier with diabetes. In extreme cases, patients may not even produce saliva at all.

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.

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.

Other effects of bulimia include bad breath, swollen glands, and teeth that appear to be worn down.

Avoid Tooth Decay with Routine Dental Visits

The relationship between your mouth and the rest of your body are not always apparent which is why it’s important to communicate your medical history and dental hygiene with your Hoover Alabama dentist.

Should I whitening My Teeth?

September 23, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Should I whitening My Teeth?

Should I whitening My Teeth? For a lot of us, we wish that our smiles were a little whiter. However, should i risk my health for a brighter smile?

Teeth whitening has come a long way over the decades and is for the most part, is considered safe. However, there are still some important factors to consider as you decide whether to start teeth whitening treatment.

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Should I whitening My Teeth?

There are several factors of our modern lifestyles that actively work against our ability to maintain white teeth.

Here are a few of the common daily habits that can stain teeth:

  • Drinking coffee, tea, or other dark liquids that can leave stains
  • Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products that contain tar
  • Not brushing your teeth often enough, or not brushing thoroughly enough when you do
  • Tooth trauma or injury

Regardless of why your teeth are stained, at some point you will likely wonder whether to look into teeth whitening treatment in order to brighten up your smile. So, the decision really rests on your personal preference and the how you feel about your smile. We can assure you that professional teeth whitening methods are safe should you choose to do it.

Treatment Options

Once you’ve decided to move forward with whitening treatment, the next step is to decide whether to visit the dentist’s office or try an at-home solution. The main difference between these options is the amount of bleaching agent used.

As you might imagine, professionally trained dentists are able to use higher concentrations of peroxide for whitening treatments versus what is available for at-home use. However, with the higher dose comes the expertise of a trained professional so you can rest easy knowing that the treatment is being administered properly.

If you decide to have your local dentist administer the whitening treatment, rest assure that your dentist has the knowledge and expertise to administered properly.  If you are looking for a local dentist close by in Hoover Alabama to perform your teeth whitening, give Sampson Dentistry a call.  We would love to earn your business and keep you as a dental patient.

 

Are All Toothpastes Good

September 18, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Are All Toothpaste Good?

You want to take care of your teeth, just like anyone. So, are all toothpaste good? One of the basic decisions you’ll face in safeguarding your teeth is which toothpaste to use.

Each day, the toothpaste you pick will clean your teeth and will have ramifications for years to come. Here’s a guide on which one you should use.

The Importance of Fluoride

Any good toothpaste will include other components to make it more effective. Fluoride is the most important one. In fact, it’s the primary reason tooth decay and cavities have declined dramatically over the past 50 years.

Fluoride counters this problem in two ways. It strengthens tooth enamel, the protective layer on the outside of your teeth, and that added strength makes your teeth less susceptible to chipping and cracking.

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Other Toothpaste Components

Many toothpastes will also include artificial sweeteners. The minty taste that you associate with toothpaste isn’t a natural flavor. Manufacturers add saccharin and other ingredients to make the taste of toothpaste better.

Without it, the process of brushing your teeth wouldn’t feel as pleasant. If brushing your teeth left you with a bad taste in your mouth, it might reduce your desire to brush regularly. Toothpaste now comes in flavors as diverse as lemon, grape, and bubblegum to make them more appealing – not just for adults, but for children too.

 

Are All Toothpaste Good

Are All Toothpaste Good?

Now that you know the key components of toothpaste, you can pick the brand that’s right for you. If you’re a smoker or coffee drinker, you should choose a product with the highest amount of fluoride. Without a prescription, you’re looking for a brand that’s at least 1,000 parts per million (PPM). A product with the CDA Seal has received independent review and validation of its product claims.

If you’re someone with yellow teeth, you’ll want a brand with a higher number of silicates. A product that includes whitening will gradually alter the shade from yellow back to white. If cavities are a big issue, you want a product with special cavity-fighting power.

If you have a plaque problem, you can prevent tartar buildup with toothpastes that are specifically formulated to fight tartar. Finally, if you have sensitive gums and/or teeth, the best product is one that treats the underlying problem of sensitivity.

No matter the problem, simply consider your needs and choose the correct toothpaste.

Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habits

September 13, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog
Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habits

One of the most common phrases we hear our dental patients say is “I wish I would have taken better care of my teeth.” Helping kids enjoy healthier dental habits early on, will increase their chances of having a healthier smile.

Many instances we tell kids “brush and floss and don’t eat candy or you’re going to get cavities.”  Sometimes, it’s hard to help children, who understandably see the world with a “here and now” vision.

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Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habits

As an effort to motivate children to take care of their teeth, you have to show through your own actions.  If you realize the importance of preventative care today, the long term positive effects will be evident later on.

So while it is very important to teach our children about prevention and the consequences of not doing so, it can be equally as important to supplement that with positive reinforcement to help them learn to enjoy the preventative dental measures themselves.

If we can teach our children to actually enjoy healthy habits at a young age, instead of just using scare tactics to avoid unhealthy habits, they will certainly have a more solid foundation for a lifetime of choosing a healthy path.

Helping Kids Enjoy Healthy Dental Habit tips:

  • Have an assortment of healthy and natural “treats” (carrot sticks, fruit pieces, etc) available.
  • Allow the child to be part of the decision making process.
  • Be a good role model in what your choices and habits are.
  • Use fun dental hygiene products! Tooth Tunes toothbrushes are an excellent example. It plays music when the brush touches the teeth. Having fun while brushing positively reinforces the habit, whether they understand the concept of prevention or not.

Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

September 10, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

Providing a nutritious lunch for your kids during the Hoover Alabama school year is essential.  Healthy eating is good for your Dental Hygiene. Fruits, Vegetables, and Protein are a good starting point.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are always best.  Apples, snap peas, celery, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and asian pears are great for the health of your teeth.

Hard and crunchy fruits and vegetables help to clean in the crevices of teeth when chewed. They contain lots of water which helps to wash away oral bacteria. Including fruits and vegetables will provide additional vitamins and minerals not found in carbohydrates and proteins.

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Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

Healthy Eating Is Good For Your Dental Hygiene

Adding additional protein through dairy products help to curb hunger. Some options may be yogurt, cheese, or yogurt based dips such as tzatziki which they can dip vegetables into.

The calcium typically associated with dairy is abundant in other things like beans, green veggies, almonds, and seeds.  As far as non-dairy beverages go, alternatives such as soy milk boxes, edamame beans, or tofu are great sources of calcium and protein.

Keeping Hydrated

What your child drinks throughout the day is extremely important as it will ideally keep them hydrated which will help them to stay focused and alert. Remember that if your child’s drinks contain sugars, these will stay in their mouths until they are removed and can cause teeth and gum decay over time.

Large influxes of sugar will also give your child a rapid burst of energy followed by a drop that can make them tired and less focused for long periods. Sugars that absorb more slowly over time will help to avoid that problem, and will limit the potential hazards surrounding sugar highs.

The best beverage for your child to have throughout the day is water. You’ll never get tired of water.

The sooner you start, the easier it will become routine.

Does Soda and Juice Affect Toddler’s Teeth

September 3, 2022  |  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!

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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.

When Do You Take Out Wisdom Teeth

August 30, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Hoover Alabama Dental Clinic

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.

Dental X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

August 25, 2022  |  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.

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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.

Are You Grinding Your Teeth While You Sleep?

August 23, 2022  |  by James Sampson  |  News
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.

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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

How Often Should I Take My Child To The Dentist?

July 31, 2022  |  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.

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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.

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