What Symptoms Cause Tooth Decay

May 28, 2020  |  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.

Should I whitening My Teeth?

May 23, 2020  |  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.

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

May 13, 2020  |  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.

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

April 1, 2020  |  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.

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

March 28, 2020  |  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.

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.

Top 3 Reasons To Whiten Your Teeth

January 30, 2020  |  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.

Why A Missed Local Dental Appointment Can Be Detrimental

January 29, 2020  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Hoover Alabama Dental Clinic

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.

Good Dental Hygiene For Kids In Hoover Alabama

January 29, 2020  |  by James Sampson  |  News
Tips to Help Your Kids Practice Good Dental Hygiene

Sampson Dentistry believe strongly in providing good dental hygiene for kids in Hoover Alabama. We believe strongly in providing good dental hygiene for kids in Hoover Alabama striving to be sure that kids in Hoover have healthy smiles.

Good Dental Hygiene For Kids In Hoover Alabama

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.

Headaches and Teeth

December 30, 2019  |  by James Sampson  |  News
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 become sore and painful.

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.

Bruxism is sparked by stress, anxiety and bite abnormalities.

Headaches can be linked to your 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 and distribute the forces of bruxism. Furthermore, it will ease the tension off of the muscles, and in some cases stop the bruxism habit all together.

Dental devices can really help the symptoms. Moreover, stress management and/or therapy can be very beneficial to get to the source of the problem. Also, check if the source is a bite abnormality.

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

Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?

December 27, 2019  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog, News
Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?

First, let’s answer this question: What causes cavities? The answer in the simplest terms is acids. Growing up in Hoover Alabama and more importantly in the Southern part of the United States, people tend to drink more diet sodas than in other parts of the country.

Bacteria adhere to your teeth (plaque). The bacteria then use the sugar you consume and create acids. Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?  The acids eat away at your teeth and form holes. The cycle continues as the bacteria bore their way deeper and deeper into the teeth.

What is the main thing the bacteria need to thrive? Sugar.

Are diet drinks also bad for teeth?

Most diet drinks do not contain sugar. They use some form or another of artificial sweetener. The good news is that cavity-causing bacteria cannot metabolize these sweeteners to form acids. The bad news is, just like their “regular” counterparts, diet drinks are extremely acidic in themselves. Again, what causes cavities? Acids! And so, even though the typical path of cavity formation (bacteria eats sugar, releases acids, forms holes in teeth) is not followed as much, these drinks can just bypass the bacteria step and eat away at your teeth on their own. Pathologically speaking, it is a different type of cavity with different attributes than that of a bacteria caused one. However, in the big picture, it doesn’t really matter. In both situations, tooth structure is eaten away and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Drink more water. There is nothing better!
Limit soft drinks, including diet soft drinks, to meal times.
At the very least, swish around with some water after consuming to remove some of it off your teeth.