Archive for March, 2019

What Your Mouth Tells Your Dentist About Your Health

Each time you visit the dentist, he or she will check for tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. This is to be expected, but did you know that your dentist might also pick up on clues to your overall health? Conditions like diabetes, sleep apnea, and eating disorders can all cause telltale changes in your mouth.

Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Diabetes and pre-diabetes are systemic conditions that can affect many aspects of your well-being. One way diabetes can change your mouth is by reducing the amount of saliva you produce. Dry mouth is medically problematic because saliva washes away food particles and bacteria. If you don’t produce enough saliva, you’re at a higher risk of tooth decay. Other things that can also occur with diabetes or pre-diabetes are gum inflammation, slow wound healing, and oral infections.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing cyclically stops and restarts multiple times during the night. It’s strongly associated with teeth grinding, also called bruxism. Your dentist can determine that you grind your teeth at night if you have multiple chips on your teeth. Scalloping along the sides of the tongue is another sign of nighttime jaw clenching and teeth grinding.

Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant are at a higher risk of oral health issues. It’s possible to suffer from enamel erosion if you vomit frequently due to morning sickness. Pregnancy can cause the gums to become more sensitive. It may even result in the feeling of loose teeth in the mouth.

Eating Disorders

Pregnancy isn’t the only cause of enamel erosion. People with eating disorders may also display thinned enamel. The vomiting associated with bulimia causes the teeth to come into frequent contact with stomach acid, resulting in erosion. Cavities can also be a sign of eating disorders, as they can result from malnutrition.
Protect your oral health and overall wellness by visiting the dentist in Tucson every six months for a checkup. You can call the office of John R. Carson, DDS at (520) 514-7203 to request an appointment. Be sure to ask us about our cosmetic dentistry services!

What to Expect When You Get a Porcelain Bridge

Missing teeth are among the most devastating of all oral health problems, both medically and emotionally. You may no longer feel like smiling and you may not feel socially outgoing when you have an incomplete smile. Plus, missing teeth can worsen your oral health by encouraging the loss of bone mass from the jaw. If you have one or more missing teeth, your dentist might suggest that you get a porcelain bridge.

What It Is

A porcelain bridge is a dental restoration that fills in the gaps in your smile. It’s comprised of a false tooth anchored on either side by dental crowns, which are affixed to the natural teeth. A porcelain bridge can restore the function and beauty of your smile.

What to Expect

It typically takes at least two dentist visits to get a bridge. First, your dentist will prepare the adjacent teeth that will receive the porcelain crowns. These teeth will need to be reduced somewhat in order to make space for the crowns. Then, the dentist will create a mold of the teeth. The mold is sent to the lab that will create your bridge. During the second dentist visit, you’ll have the bridge fitted in your mouth.

What to Do Afterward

It’s important to follow any aftercare instructions your dental office gives you. By taking good care of the bridge and the rest of your smile, you can lengthen the lifespan of this restoration. Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once daily. Be sure to clean your false teeth and crowns just like your natural teeth. While crowns can’t develop tooth decay, the rest of your mouth will still be affected by bacteria.
John R. Carson, DDS can custom-design a porcelain bridge to restore your smile and renew your self-confidence! Our dental office in Tucson offers many restorative dentistry options, including dental implants, inlays and onlays, and CEREC same-day crowns. New and current patients can contact us at (520) 514-7203.

Understanding All-on-Four Implant Restorations

Dental implants are often the restoration of choice for treating missing teeth. Since they are anchored directly into the jawbone, they’re a permanent solution. They look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. Some patients may be good candidates for All-on-Four dental implants. You can talk to your dentist to find out if this might be a good choice for you.

What They Are

Just like other dental implants, All-on-Four implants replace missing teeth.The All-on-Four approach is different from regular dental implants in that it’s intended to replace a full arch of teeth. If you have all your natural teeth missing from either your bottom or upper jaw—or both—then you can restore your complete smile with just four dental implants per arch.

How They Work

The four implant posts placed at strategic intervals along the jaw to anchor a complete row of prosthetic teeth and gum tissue. With the All-on-Four approach, you don’t need to have an implant placed for every single missing tooth. The careful placement of the implant posts ensures that the bite force is distributed evenly and that the prosthetic device is stabilized.

Who Is a Good Candidate

Only your dentist can determine if you’re a good candidate for All-on-Four dental implants. They may be right for you if you have a full arch of missing teeth, or if you’re expecting to have a full arch extracted due to severe decay or damage. For any type of dental implant procedure, it’s preferable that the patient be a non-smoker in good overall health.

In the Tucson area, John R. Carson, DDS is one of the few dentists who offers All-on-Four dental implant solutions. Let us transform your smile and help you experience the renewed self-esteem and self-confidence that comes with having a beautiful, healthy smile! Get in touch today at (520) 514-7203.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Oral Health?

Pregnancy changes a woman’s body in so many ways. While the growth of the belly is the most obvious change, pregnancy can also effect change in subtler ways, such as by impacting oral health. It’s important for expecting mothers to see a dentist for preventive oral care. Getting regular checkups, exams, and cleanings can reduce the risk of the following problems.

Gingivitis

Expecting mothers are at a higher risk of developing gingivitis. This is the early stage of gum disease. The risk of gingivitis may be attributed to the dramatic rise in progesterone levels. Progesterone is a hormone that can encourage the growth of bacteria, which can cause gingivitis. You can reduce your risk by brushing two to three times daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss at least once per day with traditional floss, and consider adding a water flosser to your routine as well. If you notice any gum swelling, bleeding, or tenderness, see your dentist right away.

Granulomas

Granulomas typically affect women in their second trimester. They are benign, red growths on the gum tissue. Usually, women will find them on the upper gum tissue. It’s possible for the granulomas to bleed and crust over. Women who have gingivitis during pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing granulomas too. Although the granulomas will go away after you give birth, they may cause discomfort, or interfere with speaking or eating. If so, your dentist may remove them.

Enamel Erosion

Some women have severe morning sickness, while others barely experience it at all. If you develop nausea and vomiting often during your pregnancy, you may be at a higher risk of enamel erosion. This occurs when the stomach acid interacts with the teeth and erodes some of the enamel away.

For complete oral health care at all stages of life, you can turn to the dentistry office of John R. Carson, DDS. Our friendly office will help you feel at ease with any dental procedure you need. New and current patients throughout the Tucson area can call us at (520) 514-7203 to request an appointment.