Myths About Flossing

November 26, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Myths About Flossing

Myth: I Only Need to Floss When I Have Food Caught in My Teeth

We have included some myths about flossing. While flossing is an effective way to remove trapped food particles from between your teeth, this isn’t the only reason to floss. Floss also removes dental plaque from between your teeth. If this plaque is left to sit between your teeth, it can make your gums inflamed and lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Floss every day, not just when food gets stuck.

Myth: I Should Stop Flossing if My Gums Bleed

Seeing blood when you floss can be a little scary, but some bleeding is totally normal. It’s definitely not a reason to give up flossing!

Bleeding during flossing can alert you to some potential problems though. Some people bleed because they’re flossing too enthusiastically. If you bleed a lot, be gentler and see whether you bleed less. You may like to get some pointers about flossing techniques from your dentist or dental hygienist. People with gum disease usually bleed more than others when they floss. Take a close look at your gum line and see whether it’s inflamed. If you think you might have gum disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Myth: Flossing Makes Receding Gums Worse

There’s no truth to the myth that flossing correctly exacerbates receding gums. In fact, flossing can actually prevent gums from receding, since it cleans food particles and bacteria out from below the gum line. That makes flossing crucial for people with hereditary receding gums and gingivitis. If your gums are already receding due to periodontitis, flossing daily can help prevent further damage.

Overzealous flossing can speed up gum recession though. See your dentist or dental hygienist for advice on the best flossing technique.

Myth: I Can’t Floss Because My Teeth Are Very Tight

Flossing teeth that have little space between them can be challenging, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to skip this important oral ritual. You might need to adjust your technique. Use a seesaw motion, moving the floss backward and forward to manoeuvre it between the tight spaces between your teeth.

Certain flosses are also easier to use when your teeth are right. Try waxed floss or floss made from a substance called polytetrafluoroethylene if you struggle to use regular floss on your tight teeth. These flosses have slippery surfaces that can slide between tight spaces more easily. Some dental flosses are also thinner than others, and thus better for people with teeth close together.

Myth: I Shouldn’t Floss Because I Have Braces

Braces can certainly make flossing challenging. But failing to floss for the months or years that you have braces is a bad idea. Just imagine how much food and bacteria will be stuck between your teeth by the time you get your braces off! There’s no point straightening your teeth if they’re not healthy when your braces are removed. If you find flossing with braces difficult, your dentist, dental hygienist, or orthodontist can help you perfect your technique.

What Symptoms Cause Tooth Decay

October 8, 2018  |  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.

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.

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.

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.

Top 3 Reasons To Whiten Your Teeth

March 26, 2018  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Top 3 Reasons To Whiten Your Teeth

Thousands of Birmingham Alabama residents get their teeth whitened every year. At Sampson Dentistry, here are the top 3 reasons to whiten your teeth. Teeth whitening from Sampson Dentistry can provide you with a gorgeous smile that’s up to 10 shades whiter.

Top 3 Reasons To Whiten Your Teeth

Prepare for that special event.  

Do you have a special event like an anniversary, wedding, or presentation coming up? Consider all the people you’ll see or meet, and the pictures that will be taken. You’ll want your best smile to be the focus so you can look back on the memories fondly. Get your teeth whitened, and you’re sure to be more confident during your next special event.

Make a good first impression.

First impressions are everything. And a bright smile can help you make the right one. Whether you’re dating, interviewing for a new job, or meeting important clients at work.

Feel confident about your smile!

Your smile says so much about who you are. But if you have stained or yellowed teeth, you may feel too self-conscious to express yourself to the world.

Today’s Porcelain Veneers In Birmingham AL

December 20, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Today’s Porcelain Veneers In Birmingham AL

Today’s Porcelain Veneers In Birmingham AL

In recent years, Birmingham Alabama residents have had two options to choose from in regards to today’s porcelain veneers through Birmingham dentist.  Birmingham residents can choose from traditional veneers and no-preparation veneers.

traditional veneers

With traditional veneers, your dentist will remove a very small amount of enamel from the tooth or teeth that will be receiving the veneer. Then, your Hoover Alabama dentist takes an impression of your slightly shaved tooth, so a veneer can be crafted for it. It’ll take between two and four weeks to receive the veneer. In the meantime, you can get temporary veneers during the interim.

No-preparation veneers

Take in consideration that with no-preparation veneers, there is no removal or shaving your natural teeth required.  Veneers fit over your existing natural teeth.

Before placing veneers permanently, your dentist checks the final veneer’s fit and appearance in your mouth. If the veneer doesn’t fit perfectly, the dentist can trim it down. After cleaning, polishing, and etching your tooth, your dentist will bond the veneer to your tooth.

Your local Hoover dentist can make a bite and fit adjustment after the veneer has been placed and cemented. Today’s veneers last for between 10 and 30 years, which is a huge improvement over the old style that barely stayed in place.

Porcelain veneers have been around since the late 1920s, and it should be no surprise that they began in Hollywood. A California dentist came up with a way to enhance the smiles of his Hollywood star patients. The stars would wear the caps during movie scenes, then remove them. Though this is a long way from the porcelain permanent veneers we think of today, it’s the beginning of using veneers to perfect someone’s smile.

Headaches and Teeth

December 13, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog
Headaches and Teeth | Birmigham Alabama Dentist

Headaches and Teeth! Did you know that many headaches are actually linked to your teeth? Bruxism is a term to describe the clenching and grinding of teeth. When a person clenches or grinds their teeth together, muscles that control the movement of the jaws work overtime.

The muscles (in particular the temporalis and masseter muscles) become very sore and cause painful tension-type headaches. Facial pain is also frequent symptom with bruxism.

In addition, bruxism is sparked by a number of scenarios.  These variables include: stress, anxiety, and bite abnormalities.

Headaches and Teeth

Treatment can significantly reduce the frequency or severity of the headaches and/or facial pain. The most common form of treatment is a dental appliance that can control your bite and jaw position. This will help protect the teeth, distribute the forces of bruxism, ease tension off of the muscles, and in some cases stop the bruxism habit all together.

Although dental devices can really help the symptoms, sometimes stress management and/or therapy can be very beneficial to get to the source of the problem. In addition, if the source is a bite abnormality, it is worth investigating if and how that can be corrected.

Make dental visits a part of your lifestyle. Maintaining dental visits early on in life is recommended. Continuing dental visits throughout the early part of your life is a great way to start a good oral hygiene.

Energy, Health, Smiles, & White Peach Tea

December 6, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog
General Dentistry In Birmingham, AL

Energy, Health, Smiles, & White Peach Tea.  Sodas, energy drinks, and coffee are being consumed in record-breaking numbers. Our society absolutely craves energy boosts to get us through our “lives on the go”. Let’s face it…most of us are addicted to caffeine and will consume it in one way or another at some point every day!

So here’s the question: Is there a way to obtain your caffeine fix that’s actually good for you?

Actually….Yes. Ever thought about a good cup ah’ tea?

Energy, Health, Smiles, & White Peach Tea

Tea typically contains more caffeine than a coke, but less than a brew of coffee. It is also sugar-free, unless you choose to add some. Tea has long been known to have many systemic health benefits including: decreasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and boosting your immune system. More recently though, tea has been linked to GREATER ORAL HEALTH.

White tea is the least processed form of tea. Basically, the leaves are picked, dried, and that’s it. Because of this, it is the most antioxidant-rich tea there is, even more antioxidants than green tea. Recent research has found that consuming white tea can help prevent cavities and periodontal disease by suppressing the growth of cavity causing microbes and interfering with the bacteria’s ability to stick to teeth. People who drank a cup of tea or two between meals were found to have lower bacterial counts and less plaque than those who did not. A caffeine fix that promotes oral health….a dentist’s dream! The other great news is that white tea is not going to cause erosion of the teeth and unlike coffee and darker teas, white tea will cause minimal to no staining of those pearly whites.

There are many options for obtaining that small boost throughout your day. Consider replacing some of your other options with a nice cup of white tea. Not only will it give you a dose of caffeine, it will promote overall systemic and oral health.

Why are dental x-rays important?

December 3, 2017  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Why are dental x-rays important

X-rays are a crucial part of diagnosis and treatment in oral health.  Why are dental x-rays important? They allow a dentist to view structures that are not visible to the naked eye because they are between teeth, under soft tissue, or within the bone.  Having  x-rays taking, some conditions can be detected or diagnosed.

X-rays help check for:

What about the radiation?

However, with advancements in technology, especially digital systems, x-rays require very low dose radiation.Radiation dosage can be measured in units called millirems (mrem). A typical dental x-raytaken digitally exposes a patient to less than 0.5 mrem.

Finally, to put things in perspective, an average resident of the U.S. receives over 360 mrem every year from background sources. This comes from all over the place: outer space, radioactive materials in the earth, small amounts of radioactive material in foods and products that we use, even over people. Variances in lifestyle likewise cause variances in each individual’s total exposure. For example: an individual who flies often is exposed to more background radiation than someone who does not.

Why are dental x-rays important

While steps should be taken to limit x-ray radiation exposure, dental x-rays are very low dose and are crucial for proper diagnosis. By being proactive, x-rays can detect much of the oral cavity in your mouth.