Dental Benefits of Breastfeeding

With the 2015 World Breastfeeding Week being the first one in August, and all of August being dedicated to National Breastfeeding Month- today your Rowlett dentist wanted to discuss some of the dental benefits of breastfeeding!
The perks of the actual breastmilk itself, and how it can help the developing child, has always been a point of focus for years. What we wished to focus on in this article, however, is how the act of breastfeeding, the system of delivery, can benefit a child and their oral development for years to come.

 

After some years of studies and research, recent reports have been published showing the advantage of being breastfed exclusively, in comparison to a combination with bottle feeding. Those children who were exclusively breastfed were 33% less likely to develop overbite or cross-bite issues later in life. This same category of children were also 45-72% less likely to develop teeth misalignment as they matured.
But what factors drive these substantial odds?
That seems to be directly correlated to the muscles in the mouth that develop during breastfeeding. The breastfeeding child also develops a stronger ability to breathe through their nose at a younger age, which also assists in the development of the oral cavity.
And while these numbers are impressive, certainly, there are factors that can disrupt these statistics, specifically pacifier usage. If a child uses a pacifier past the 6-12 month mark, they are much more likely to develop the misalignment and bite issues that breastfeeding can help diminish. Typically this type of long-term pacifier habit will result in the need for some type of orthodontic work later in life.
Your Rowlett dentist respects the individual needs of your child, and the individual choice of a family as it comes to feeding. We just felt that with this upcoming health month and the importance we see that these factors can play, that it was worth mentioning in this post today.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call our office today at (972) 412-5064.

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Foods to Avoid

There are well-known items to avoid your teeth from becoming stained. Coffee and smoking are two of the most popular, but there are other harmful substances that can damage the surface of your teeth and make them become that unattractive yellow color that patients do their best to steer clear of. Here are some foods and drinks that your Rowlett dentist wants you to think twice about before using.

 
Tea
People believe that just because they avoid drinking coffee and switch to tea means that they’re off the hook, but that’s not the case. Tea is still a dark liquid, much like coffee. Many different kinds of tea have tannin in them, which is also in wine, and it is notorious for damaging the surface of your teeth. If you’re unable to avoid tea altogether, then try drinking more water in your daily regimen, while also brushing your teeth when you’re finished.

 
Berries
Since it’s summer and nothing feels better than a handle of fresh berries, it’s easy to pop these in your mouth for a quick snack or add them to a meal. But berries have the ability to damage your enamel, as well, since they have a large amount of color pigments within them. You’ve seen how easy they can stain clothes and other surfaces—why would your teeth be any different?

 
Cough Drops
Even though these are beneficial for your throat doesn’t mean you should substitute it if you have a sweet tooth. Cough drops do the same damage to your teeth that other candies do because you’re sucking out the flavors, which are sticking to your mouth and teeth. Also, make sure you don’t bite down on these! They can cause chips or cracks on your teeth, maybe without your knowledge, which can cause serious damage down the road!

 
If you’re wondering what other foods and drinks could be doing more damage to your mouth than you previously knew, don’t hesitate to contact your Rowlett dentist at (972) 412- 5064 to schedule an appointment today!

Significance of Speech Disorders

Rowlett dentist on Troublesome Tongues

With the month of May being “National Better Hearing and Speech Month,” your Rowlett dentist wanted to take the opportunity to discuss the importance of the latter half of this: speech. Every day your teeth, tongue, lips, cheeks and rest of your mouth plays a huge factor in the way that you speak by combining multiple complex systems in hopes of articulating a clear result.

 
Sometimes, however, there are mouth-related conditions, such as OMDs, Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, that can negatively impact speech.

 
What are OMDs and how do they affect my speech?

 
OMDs correlate to the tongue’s placement in the mouth either while speaking or swallowing. It may move too far back or forward, in between the teeth during speech or rest. This can result in an outward tongue thrust and speech impediment with certain sounds (such as “ch” “sh” or “th”) that can dissipate with age, but can also stay around until corrected.

 
Causes of OMDs?

 
Although allergies, enlarged tonsils, and heredity can cause OMDs, so can some dental related issues. Chronic thumb sucking, teeth grinding and biting at other objects, especially while still young, can alter the shape of the jaw and teeth- that may lead to OMDs. These causes may also lead to other orthodontic and dental work being required as the patient ages, as well.

 
How are OMDs diagnosed and/or treated?

 
A dentist or orthodontist may be able to diagnose OMDs when the tongues continual pressure affects alignment or eruption of the teeth. Consistent airway blockage due to this behavior could also be a warning sign.

 
Some of the best forms of treatment are related to behavioral therapy. These means will help the patient increase strength in, coordinate with and become aware of the muscles in the mouth and tongue, helping them to speak and swallow easier.

 
Disorders like OMDs are just some of the ways that the mouth can affect speech and overall impact an individual’s life. Other issues such as TMJ disorders, oral cancer, saliva reproduction issues and various misalignments of the teeth can also affect speech, and be diagnosed and potentially treated with the assistance of dental professionals like your Rowlett dentist.

 
To further discuss the importance of your mouth in speech, or to schedule an appointment today, please call (972) 412-5064.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Rowlett Dentist Provides Prevention with Information

 
April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and as your Rowlett Dentist, we wanted to bring awareness to our patients in this month-long event, and what it concerns.

 

Cancer, no matter where it is located in the body, is a terrifying disease for anyone to encounter. When it comes to oral cancer, there will be approximately 43,000+ new diagnoses THIS YEAR ALONE. This statistic makes it qualified as one of the fastest growing types of cancer today. Amongst those diagnosed, it is estimated that only approximately 57% of them will be alive in 5 years’ time. That means that this death rate is higher than many of the more “heard about” cancers, such as skin cancer, cervical, thyroid and more.

 

How has oral cancer spread so rapidly?

 
Through tougher and tougher government regulations in the past years, the number of people smoking has declined. This, however, does not mean that all people have stopped or that number is too significant. Smokers and drinkers are considered “high risk” for developing oral cancer, as well as those who have the sexually transmitted disease HPV, the human papillomavirus. This quiet, often times hard to diagnose, disease can be spread amongst sexual partners all-too-easily. If you are of an age in which you engage in sexual contact- you are old enough to be screened for oral cancer.

 
How does the screening work?

 
Typically an oral cancer screening will be performed every 6 months at your routine cleaning and exam appointments. This means that dentists are ultimately the first ones to discover and on the front lines of defense against, oral cancer.

 
The exam is quick, often free, painless, non-invasive and most of all: NEEDED.

 
The exam is done primarily by vision and with the aid of certain dental tools. Special lights, dyes and rinses may also be used in determining the signs of oral cancer.

 
We cannot stress enough how important it is to maintain regularly scheduled appointments with oral cancer exams performed at everyone. Don’t become one of the nearly 50% who may suffer from what could be an avoidable loss at the hands of a terrible disease.

 
For more information on Oral Cancer, please head to The Oral Cancer Foundation Website.

 
To schedule an appointment with your Rowlett Dentist, please call (972) 412-5064.

Root Canal Awareness Week

Rowlett Texas Dentist talks Root Canal Importance

With Root Canal Awareness Week coming upon us this March 22nd-28th, your Rowlett Texas dentist wanted to do their part, and is here today to discuss the benefits and process of this tooth-saving procedure with you, the patient.
Did you know an overwhelming majority of the population, some 70%, fear not only the loss of a tooth, but the procedure of a root canal? Tall tales of the pain endured during root canal therapy are widespread, but on average- not very likely or accurate. The ultimate irony is derived from the fact that the only way to NOT lose a tooth in many circumstances is to give it a root canal, making it one of the most frequently utilized endodontic treatments.
A root canal could be helpful in cases where a patient is in severe pain because of a tooth that has suffered at the hands of substantial decay, repeated procedures on the same tooth, or fault dental work causing cracks. Quite literally at the center of the procedure, and the pain, is a pulp tissue that contains blood vessels and nerves that have become inflamed or infected.
To resolve this pain, the pulp must be removed and the tooth filled. Due to the surrounding tissues being quite nourishing all by themselves, the tooth can continue having a “healthy life” without the pulp present.
For this procedure, the pulp is removed via an opening made in the crown of the tooth. Once all of the infected pulp is eliminated, a thorough cleaning of the cavity of the tooth is performed, then filled and sealed. A permanent crown and filling will be created to give the tooth a natural color and bite, being applied, more than likely, at a follow up visit.
And that is all! Just these few steps and you can keep the natural appearance, sensation and biting force of your natural tooth, compared to replacement of it altogether.
The need for a root canal can only be diagnosed by your Rowlett Texas dentist. Call our office at 972-412-5064 to make an appointment to address any tooth pain you may be experiencing, today!

Awareness of Gum Disease

Your dentist in Rowlett TX has treated many patients with gum disease. They know how dangerous gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can be for your oral health. It is important to seek advice from your dentist if you see signs of gum disease.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is inflammation of the gums and is usually caused by plaque and poor dental care. It can progress to the bones supporting your teeth if not treated early. It may be required to have your teeth extracted due to gum disease, and if the disease is at a progressed stage, your teeth may fall out on their own.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

There are many signs that may mean you have gum disease. It is important to take notice of certain symptoms and to see a dentist.

The following are signs that you should look out for:

  • Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  • Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
  • Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
  • Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

The earliest occurrence of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. Typically patients with gingivitis will experience bleeding of the gums after brushing and flossing. At this stage it is still early enough to reverse the damage.

The next stage is referred to as Periodontitis. At this stage the bones supporting the teeth are irreversibly damaged. Pockets may begin to form below the gum line, and food particles and plaque are likely to get trapped in them. It is important to ask your dentist how to prevent your gums from being damaged any further.

If the disease advances past the point of periodontitis, it is referred to as advanced periodontitis. At this stage the fibers and bone supporting the teeth are destroyed which may result in your teeth shifting, loosening, and possibly even falling out.

If you think you may have any form of gum disease, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist in Rowlett TX by calling (972) 412-5064 to schedule an appointment. The earlier gum disease is discovered and treated, the more of a chance you have of reversing the damage!

5 Tips to Avoid Plaque Buildup

What is dental plaque?

Dental plaque is a thin, sticky film made up of bacteria and food particles. These bacteria feed off of sugar and, as a result, produce an acid that attacks the teeth. Continuous acid attacks on the teeth will eventually cause dental decay and other oral health issues.

If you wish to avoid cavities and other dental problems, it is important to do what you can to decrease the amount of plaque on your teeth. Your Rowlett TX Dentist has a few tips to help you get rid of and avoid dental plaque.

  1. Brushing Regularly.

It is recommended by the ADA that you brush your teeth twice daily, for two minutes each time. Failure to do so can result in a buildup of plaque and tartar.

Tartar is a hardened form of plaque that forms if plaque is left unremoved. Tartar is more a more difficult substance to remove and often patients require a dental cleaning.

  1. Floss Daily.

Your Rowlett TX Dentist reminds you that it is important to floss daily as well to brush. Unfortunately brushing only removes 65% of the bacteria and plaque/ Flossing will remove the remaining 35%.

Flossing is extremely vital to the health of your teeth and gums. It helps to clean the spaces between your teeth and along the gum lines. Dental floss can reach the places in your mouth that a toothbrush cannot.

  1. Keep Up with Dental Checkups.

Even with careful brushing and flossing you may miss some of the dental plaque. Overtime the plaque will buildup and eventually turn into tartar. It is important to visit your Rowlett TX Dentist as recommended so that the tartar can be removed.

The ADA recommends visiting your dentist once every 6 months, but some patients may need to go more often than that.

Be sure to keep up with your dental visits. Those who avoid the dentist and neglect the health of their teeth are at an increased risk of getting cavities and losing their teeth!

  1. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

A hydrated mouth is a healthy mouth. Your teeth are at higher risk of decaying if your mouth is dry. Eating fruits and vegetables helps to increase saliva flow and naturally removes some of the plaque an bacteria.

It is better to eat raw fruits and vegetables with the skin on for the best results. Before toothbrushes and toothpaste existed fruits and vegetables acted as nature’s natural toothbrush.

  1. Fight off your Sweet Tooth

Bacteria that make up dental plaque feed off of sugar. Eating and drinking things that are high in sugar helps the bacteria to thrive. Sugary foods and beverages that are soft and sticky are even worse for your teeth.

For more tips on how you can avoid dental plaque, or to schedule an appointment for a checkup with your Rowlett TX Dentist call (972) 412-5064!