common-dental-problems

7 Symptoms of Common Dental Problems

A clean and healthy mouth makes is essential for eating, speaking, breathing, and appearance. Dental health improves your self-esteem and enhances your social interaction, which is vital to living a happy, positive life.  You may not realize many common dental problems also attribute to health issues.

Recent Studies show that common dental problems may increase your risk of major health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Common dental problems also provide signals to many health disorders. For instance; bleeding gums are a common sign of diabetes, blood disorders, or leukemia.

1. Tooth decay

Tooth decay (also referred to as cavities or carries) are damaged areas of your teeth that have turned into holes. Most people associate cavities with children, but they affect people in all age groups. More than 90% of U.S. adults and approximately 1/3 of the world’s population have cavities.

Cavities usually occur when carbohydrates such as cereal, cake, bread, fruits, and soda get stuck between teeth. The carbohydrates, bacteria, and saliva in your mouth form dental plaque; a clear sticky film that clings to your teeth. Acids in the plaque slowly dissolve your teeth enamel, damaging your teeth and causing cavities.

To spot a cavity in your teeth, watch out for dark spots, white spots, and holes on your teeth. Small cavities are more difficult to recognize, but the trained eye of a dentist will catch them. Get rid of food particles and plaque in your mouth by brushing twice daily and flossing daily.

2. Toothaches

A toothache, also known as tooth pain, is a sharp or dull pain on your tooth and the surrounding area. The pain happens when your tooth’s nerve roots are irritated. Severe toothaches have a significant impact on the work, sleep, moods, eating, and daily activities of a person.

In general, toothaches indicate a cavity. The unpleasant pain is also caused by a variety of dental problems including; gum disease, sensitivity, teeth grinding, tooth fracture, abscess and many more. The list of possible causes is extensive, and it is best to visit a dentist immediately before the pain gets worse.

3. Bad Breath (Halitosis)

This is an unpleasant odor of the mouth. Bad breath is common among adults, but people rarely get treated because it’s perceived as embarrassing.

There are two main ways to know if you suffer from bad breath. You can lick the inside of your wrist, wait for 5-10 minutes for the saliva to dry out and then smell your wrist. You can also use dental floss on your back teeth and smell it after 2 minutes.

Bad breath can be a symptom of poor oral hygiene, use of tobacco products, or dental cavities. Persistent Halitosis may also signal gum disease, oral infections, oral cancers, and even nose or throat conditions.

4. Discolored Teeth

Discolored or stained teeth can cost someone their confidence, self-esteem and even the desire to smile. Yellow teeth are a natural part of the aging process. As your teeth enamel wears off with age, the yellowish dentin beneath starts to show. However, teeth discoloration may be a symptom of poor dental hygiene and smoking.

Beverages such as coffee, teas, wine, and colas contain substances that can also affect your enamel and cause teeth discoloration or staining.

5. Bleeding, Swollen or Tender Gums

Bleeding, swollen or tender gums are symptoms mainly caused by gum disease (Periodontal Disease). This common dental problem is caused by mouth bacteria eroding your gums and teeth. The swelling and redness are your mouth’s response to the harmful bacteria in your gum.

Dental hygiene and regular dental checkups play a significant role in preventing gum disease. What’s more, recent studies have linked untreated gum disease to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and stroke, so it’s important to have it treated immediately.

6. Sensitive Teeth

If your teeth twinge when you eat cold foods or drink hot beverages, you may be experiencing teeth sensitivity. Generally, sensitive teeth are a symptom of worn tooth enamel and exposed tooth roots. However, the sensitivity may also be caused by gum disease, cracked teeth, cavities, or a worn filling.

7. Jaw Pain

This throbbing, uncomfortable pain can affect a person’s speaking, eating or sleeping ability. The jaw is responsible for holding your gums and teeth.  Jaw pain can be a symptom of many common dental problems. Jaw pain can be a symptom of Temporomandibular disorder or TMJD (dysfunction of the muscles that move your jaw), teeth grinding, clenching, cavities, gum disease, tooth gaps, and damaged teeth.

Conclusion

Maintaining good dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups contribute significantly to reducing your chances of developing most common dental problems and the uncomfortable symptoms that come with them.

Dr. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport & Bossier area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology, and their highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Bossier dentists. Dr Mott accepts most insurances and offers alternative payment options like CareCredit and Lending Club.  Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

3D-Printing-Dentistry

Benefits of 3D Printing in Dentistry

In recent years, the concept of 3D printing for dentistry has been taking the industry by storm. Among all the major industries, dentistry is one that continues to be heavily influenced by this technology.

It seems the applications of 3D printing in dentistry are endless. From fixing a damaged tooth, creating crowns to dental implants, this innovative technology has made it easier for dentists and technicians to provide faster, effective, and cost-effective dental treatments.

A Fast-Growing Billion Dollar Industry

According to a report released in 2015 by SmartTech, 3D printing in dentistry could well be worth a whopping $3.1 billion by 2020. The company also predicted 3D printing systems sales to dental labs or professionals will rocket to approximately $480 million by the end of 2020.

Also, SmartTech predicted that more than 60% of all dental production needs could be easily fulfilled by utilizing 3D printing technology.

The Major Applications of 3D printing for Dentistry

Here are a number of 3D applications in dentistry that could make the work of dental professional much easier:

  1. Surgical Guides

Usually, dental procedures require the professionals to use drills to remove cavities or properly shape the tooth prior to installing a crown or inserting fillings.

Being a highly sensitive procedure, the drilling process must be very precise. Thankfully, 3D printing has made the procedure much easier, effective, fast, and risk-free.

A surgical guide is created by simply scanning the patient’s mouth and creating models similar to the mouth. The model will pinpoint the exact opening where the procedure is to be performed.

2. Crowns

When you break your tooth, a crown is required to fill the damaged part. However, the process of creating tooth crowns is often expensive and time consuming.

But with 3D technology, dental labs all over the world are able to create a new crown in as little as 30 minutes. The doctor scans the patient’s damaged tooth and then uses a special kind of software to create a model crown.

So far, this technology has made the crown filling process much easier, quicker, and affordable for patients. The same technology is currently being used to produce bridges, dentures, caps, and other dental products.

3. Night Guards and Aligners

One of the biggest applications of 3D technology in dentistry is the creation of transparent night guards and aligners.

Transparent night guards and aligners are gaining popularity due to their invisibility.

3D printing has made it extremely easy for dental labs to produce these devices in a fast and efficient manner. A simple scan of a patient’s mouth is required to produce an exact fitting model.

4. Creation of Surgical Tools

Besides allowing for easy creation of dental implants and devices, 3D printing has proven to be very useful in the creation of surgical tools.

By the use of 3D technology, dental labs are now able to produce surgical tools like drills to make surgical procedures easier, faster, and efficient.

Benefits of 3D Printing in Dentistry

There is no denying that 3D technology in dentistry has revolutionized the dentistry industry. Here are some of the major benefits of the technology to both the dental professionals and patients:

1. Dental products and procedures are faster and more accurate

The conventional ways of creating dental implants and other devices is expensive and can be time-consuming. Of course, this means that patients are charged more for the treatments.

The same goes for dental procedures.

3D technology has made the designing and creation much faster, accurate, less costly, and increased production capacity of implants and dental devices. And thanks to the same technology, dental procedures are now faster, safe, effective, and less expensive for patients.

2. Dental professionals get to save money

Setting up a dental laboratory is not cheap. There are numerous costs incurred in the production of dental implants and tools, not to mention skilled labor. The same goes for dental clinics that incur recurrent costs in dental tools and equipment, employees’ salaries, and more.

Imagine how much dental labs would save by making a one-time purchase of a 3D printer to produce dental implants and other products. Imagine how much dental clinics would save by purchasing less expensive crowns, dentures, bridges and more, and install faster and safely.

3. Cost-effective for patients

A big part of the costs incurred in running dental labs and clinics often reflect in patients’ bills. Therefore, by adopting 3D technology, patients will be able to save money while receiving faster and effective treatments.

Wrapping it Up

3D printing in dentistry is without a doubt growing rapidly and has shown great promise for the future. In the next few years, this widespread technology will undoubtedly achieve immense global success.

Dr. Mott proudly serves the greater Shreveport & Bossier area. His dental practice has the best in modern dental technology, and their highly trained staff is ready to assist you. Dr. Mott is one of the best, most highly rated Bossier dentists. Dr Mott accepts most insurances and offers alternative payment options like CareCredit and Lending Club.  Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

Scary and Not-So-Scary Halloween Treats: A Dental Perspective

It’s that time of year again, where goblins and ghosts haunt your streets in search of a tasty morsel or two. It’s the time of year that children love and dentists despise due to the vast amounts of sugary Halloween treats. Most kids hurry home and, after a thorough checking of their candy by an adult, dive into their sugary treats with complete disregard for their dental hygiene. After all, who’s going to stop and think about brushing and flossing at a time like this? This is Halloween, for Pete’s sake! It only comes once a year!

We parents can work together to make Halloween fun and not so devastating to your kid’s dental health. By choosing dental-friendly Halloween treats to pass out, both kids and parents can look forward to some Halloween shenanigans. Here we go over some of the healthier snacks and treats to give to your trick-or-treaters.

Not-So-Scary Treats

Most dentists will agree that it’s best to stay away from sugary treats all-together, however, they do understand that kids will be kids, so they have some healthier options to offer kids. Chocolate treats that don’t have sticky fillings are a good option. Sugar-free gum or cookies that won’t stick to kid’s teeth are good as well. Look for cookies that are soft and not filled. You could also choose to give away pretzels or goldfish crackers that are nutritious and not loaded with sugar. Pencils, stickers, notepads, bouncy balls, or yo-yos are also fun options that won’t damage their pearly whites.

Super-Scary Treats

As a general rule, anything sticky is horrible for your teeth. This includes anything gummy, taffy, caramels, or sugary nuts or coconut. Hard candies like Jolly Ranchers or suckers fall into the super-scary treat category as well, especially the suckers with the bubble gum or tootsie roll fillings. These are especially bad because your child’s teeth are exposed to the sugar for a longer time period as the candy dissolves. What’s more, if your child bites down on hard candies they could quite possibly chip or crack a tooth.

Candies such as Sour Patch Kids or any other highly acidic candy should be avoided at all cost. This acid can damage the tooth enamel and also feeds damaging bacteria in your child’s mouth.

If your child wears braces, you need to be especially careful about the types of treats your orthodontist approves of. Foods like gum, popcorn or other soft candies can become trapped in your child’s braces and either damage their braces or their teeth, and in some cases both.

Best Options for Dental Health

As we mentioned earlier, you can bypass the candy option all together and choose to hand out treats that are still fun but not edible. Rubber spiders, tattoos, raisins, crayons and mini-coloring or puzzle books are all great options, especially for kids with braces. And the best part of these types of treats is you don’t have to check them for tampering. They are safe as is.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Image courtesy of tifotter, flickr.com creative commons.

 

 

cavities

These 5 Factors Can Put You at a Higher Risk for Cavities

Cavities are areas of a tooth that have decayed because of the work of certain bacteria in the mouth. Although tooth decay is commonly associated with eating sugary foods, there are other conditions that can increase the possibility of tooth decay. Here are five important factors that can put you at a greater risk of having cavities.

1. Oral Bacteria

Generally, cavities occur when certain strains of bacteria accumulate on your tooth and feed on remnants of the sugar and carbohydrates that you eat. This process creates acids which react with the calcium-based enamel covering of the teeth and create porous areas which eventually become cavities. The volume of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth is one of most prominent factors that determines how fast you can develop cavities in your teeth.

2. Your Diet

The bacteria that cause cavities feed on sugar or carbohydrates to stay alive and multiply. Similarly, acidic foods and drinks can react with the calcium in the enamel and erode it. Increasing the level of acidity in the mouth can also make it more difficult for the saliva to restore the pH balance in the mouth. Reducing the consumption of sweets, chocolates and other sugary foods that leave residues on the teeth as well as acidic drinks can help to control the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth.

3. The Level of Dental Hygiene

Brushing your teeth correctly early in the morning and just before going to bed would reduce the risk of having cavities. Brushing and flossing dislodges trapped food particles and the plaque developed by oral bacteria. When plaque is not removed by proper brushing it can form a much harder and thicker substance called tartar. Removing tartar usually requires the help of a dentist. In addition, it is important to change your toothbrush regularly and use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Dentists recommend that you change out your toothbrush at least once every three months.

4. Dryness in the Mouth

A dry mouth can make the mouth cavity more acidic and promote tooth decay. Dryness in the mouth is frequently caused by inadequate flow of saliva. It may also be due to the use of medications and chemotherapy. However, when the saliva in the mouth is adequate, the minerals in it can neutralize the effect of excess acidity and even help to rebuild the enamel. To reduce dryness in the mouth, you should drink more water or use a mouth rinse with enamel-fortifying ingredients.

Dr. Chris A Mott

Dr. Chris A Mott

5. The Shape of Your Teeth

In many cases, tooth decay and cavities develop more in the large teeth at the back of the mouth. The premolars and molars are more prone to decay because of the tiny irregularities on their biting surface. These areas normally trap sugar, fiber and leftover food that serves as nutrition for bacteria. That is why it is very important to spend more time brushing the biting surface using a toothbrush with medium-hard bristles. However, the size of the fissures on these teeth differ based on genetics.

These are some of the most critical factors that increase the possibility of developing cavities and tooth decay. With proper dental care, you can reduce the impact of these risk factors and keep your teeth healthy for the rest of your life.

If you have any questions or concerns about your children’s teeth or are wondering whether or not you or your children may be more prone to cavities, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.

Fun Foods That Are Great for Your Kid’s Teeth

Good nutrition is important to a child’s health, but that includes their teeth too! Kids are constantly growing and developing, and so are their teeth, which is why they require foods from each food group.

The question is, exactly what kinds of foods are best? Here are the foods that will help keep your child’s dental health in tip-top shape.

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats

For optimum health, it is suggested that carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are included in every meal, but balance is key.

Normally, a child’s diet has a higher concentration of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates contain starches and sugars. Some are harmful, and some are essential. The complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and fruits are more beneficial, while the starchy carbohydrates in pasta and bread can be more problematic if consumed in large quantities.

Dairy

If your child is not lactose intolerant, try adding some yogurt, cheese, and milk to the menu. Foods rich in calcium are believed to help tooth strength and brightness. These foods are also great for promoting strong bones, which is super important, especially when it comes to growing children.

Lean proteins and nuts

The phosphorus found in certain protein-rich foods can prove helpful in restoring minerals to your kid’s teeth, which in turn protects the enamel. Protein is also the building block of muscle, and who doesn’t want to have strong muscles? Remember, the heart is a muscle too!

Fruits low in acid

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and that includes the dentist! The crunchiness of the fruit helps work your kid’s teeth as he or she chews, and the water content acts as a buffer that protects the teeth from acid. Chewing on fruits can also help work other food particles out from between teeth.

Water

Water is often overlooked, but it’s so important to your child’s health. No soda, energy drink, juice, or fortified water is better than plain old water. Most people do not get enough good, pure, wholesome water into their bodies to promote good health.

Water is a natural lubricant and cleanser. It is a necessary catalyst for the essential metabolism of the body, and it’s a cleansing agent that flushes waste and toxic materials from the cells in the body.

Water hydrates the body and is perhaps the best liquid to drink for maintaining a kid’s teeth. If your child enjoys soda, juice, or other drinks, try to limit their consumption and replace those sugary drinks with water instead.

There’s no substitute for regular brushing

All types of foods and snacks have the ability to cause dental cavities. Cookies, candy, pastries, and cake get the most attention when cavity-producing foods are discussed. Yet, fruits, milk, peanut butter, pretzels, chips, and juices can be equally detrimental. Regulating your child’s eating habits, along with promoting regular brushing habits, is the best way to support your child’s dental health.

Prevention is key

If no action is taken to maintain proper dental health, acid can attack the tooth enamel, allowing tooth decay to penetrate into the soft tissue inside the tooth. If the decay is not treated in its early stages, it will progress to the tooth pulp, a soft tissue containing nerves, arteries, veins, and lymph vessels. Eventually, an abscess will begin to form at the root, and without endodontic (root canal) treatment, the tooth will be lost. Proper nutrition can spare your child the pain and agony of premature tooth loss and dental disease. Prevention is key.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental health, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a checkup for your child and answer any questions you may have about the best foods to feed your family for optimal dental health.

child getting a dental checkup

Dental Tool Is Helping Uncover Cavities Sooner Than Ever

For the sweet tooths, occasional snackers, and soda hounds alike, cavities are the most widespread and immediate consequence of those irresistible, sugar-caked vices. Even the most tempered can run into cavities occasionally. In accordance to the World Health Organization, a huge 60 – 90% estimated of worldwide school children have had cavities, and every single adult on the planet has had at least one as well. As a result, taking up preventive measures against cavities could save a lot of time and toothache for a lot of people. With up and coming technology developed by Toronto’s York University researchers, cavities can be detected far earlier than other conventional methods with infrared inspection, allowing for much quicker and smoother treatment.

Present methods utilizing X-rays and visual inspections rely heavily on the advanced stages cavities create, scanning in particular for tell-tale grooves and marks. However, the infrared method can detect cavity-causing lesions eight days before any actual visual cues develop, saving the hassle of drilling out decay and filling in the cavity. To find the cavity so early, dentists use a simple laser system and a low-cost, low-intensity infrared camera to beam specific wavelengths of the infrared spectrum into the mouth of the patient. The absorption of these precise wavelengths are what allow dentists to find these lesions without relying on visual cues.
More importantly to consumers, the proposed implementation of this new technology will allow for not only faster detection at the dentist office, but also faster detection using iOS and Android mobile devices. Commercially available thermal detection imaging attachments can reveal cavities to in-home users, saving the hassle of showing up to a screening completely and allowing patients to receive treatment immediately.

Cavities themselves occur from periods of tooth decay, which is damage resulting from acid eating away at the enamel of the tooth. Tooth decay can dig further past the enamel into the layer called the dentin, and if the acid reaches a ways past the dentin toward the center of the tooth, or the pulp, chronic pain and permanent tooth damage is sure to result.
Until this new infrared technology is readily available to consumers, a trustworthy, experienced dentist is the most effective way to find and treat cavities before they become a problem. Dr. Mott brings more than twenty-five years of experience and expertise to the table, proving why he is the most recognized Shreveport Dentist. Flexible, efficient, and precise, his patients always know they are in good hands.

The last thing people should do with a cavity is wait. Contact Dr. Mott today!

What You Don’t Know About Gummy Vitamins Can Hurt You

With modern day parenting, it’s hard to ensure that your children get a healthy, nutritious meal. Parents are super busy with work, chores, errands and caring for the kids, making it almost impossible to have a home cooked meal most nights of the week. As a result, parents sometimes rely on prepackaged foods or fast food, which is not always a healthy option. The kids don’t seem to mind, but you know they could be eating better.

As a parent you are left wondering, how do I give my children the nutrients they need when I am unable to cook a healthy and nutritious meal for them? Many parents have opted to give their children supplements such as vitamins. Since most children do not like swallowing tablets, the most common children’s vitamins are gummy vitamins. Unfortunately, they have a number of drawbacks. These vitamins may give your children the nutrients they are lacking from their diet but they are not the best option for good oral health.

High Sugar Content

Gummy vitamins are packed with more sugar than chewable vitamins or even the multivitamin you swallow. Compared to standard multivitamins, gummy vitamins have 7 times more sugar. It’s no secret that the sweetness and flavoring are meant to make them palatable. If your goal is to have your kids eat sugar-free or low sugar foods, then this definitely not the best option for you.

Today’s children tend to lead more sedentary lives than previous generations. With the dawn of the internet and video games, kids just aren’t getting outside and exercising like they used to. With childhood obesity on the rise, parents need to be more mindful than ever about the amount of sugar and calories their child’s diet contains. Sugary gummy vitamins are some of the worst offenders.

The Sticky Truth

Though gummy vitamins have a higher sugar content compared to other vitamins, it’s not as high as most of the gummy snacks children normally eat. This might tempt some parents to dismiss the sugar content in gummy vitamins and keep buying them out of sheer convenience. Before you do that, here’s something else you need to know.

Gummy vitamins have a sticky consistency which makes them stick in teeth longer than standard chewable vitamins. It can stick for a whole day and could possibly cause cavities. The sugar sits between the child’s teeth till the child brushes their teeth. Even then, it’s impossible to know if your child has sufficiently removed all of the sticky matter from their teeth. If this happens for weeks or even months, it can lead to cavities.

Healthier, Better Alternatives

Although vitamins are a good supplement for children and adults, gummy vitamins are not the best choice. If you need chewable vitamins, choose powdery instead of sticky ones. Once your children are comfortable with swallowing pills, switch to supplements they can easily swallow and save yourself from the constant worry about them getting cavities. Your children may not like the less sugary chewable vitamin tablets, but you need to remember that it is a much healthier choice. A small amount of drinking water is enough to remove the powder left in your child’s mouth after chewing the pill. To create a routine, give the children the chewable vitamin at the same time every day.

Proper Tooth Care

Choosing the right vitamin is the first step towards proper dental care. You should also find a good dentist, like Dr. Mott,  and have your children get a check-up once in every 6 months. Ensure that your children floss and brush their teeth twice daily. They should brush their top teeth for a minute and the same should follow for the bottom.

If you absolutely can’t do away with gummies, then ensure that you give your children their vitamin just before they brush their teeth. Avoiding the negative side of these vitamins will go a long way in keeping your family’s smiles bright.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family’s dental care, give Dr. Mott a call. We can schedule a cleaning or checkup for you and answer any questions you may have.