Shreveport Dentist: Why You Shouldn’t Hate Dentist Visits

How To Get The Man In Your Life To Go To The Dentist

Most of us grew up with the knowledge that one must visit the dentist “at least 2 times a year”. If you’re one of those people who has never missed a dental appointment, then you are well aware of the many benefits of having your teeth checked by a professional dentist every year.

The benefits of regular dental cleanings and dental exams have proven to be beneficial for everyone- from adult men, women, and children. However, there is a sad fact from extensive research that about a 1/3 of American women are more likely to get preventative dental care compared to men.

As a woman who is serious about her dental wellness, it can be very frustrating to see that the man in your life, whether husband or boyfriend, pays little or no attention to his oral health. What’s worse is as a lady with a man who has oral health issues like bad breath or noticeable cavities, getting the courage to at least talk to them about it and persuade them to make the necessary changes can be a very big challenge.

The good news is that there is still a chance that your man may agree to attend a dentist appointment with a little persuasion from you. The truth is, some men don’t even realize the importance of basic dental hygiene like brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing.

Why Don’t Men Visit Dentists as Regularly as Women?

Statistically, men tend to avoid dental visits more compared to their female counterparts. This prompted the Academy of General Dentistry to conduct a survey on dentists and asked them why most male patients often avoid dental exams and care compared to their female counterparts.

According to the dentists, approximately 45 percent of men don’t see the importance of seeing a dentist. About 30 percent of the dentists revealed that most men are embarrassed or just afraid to go to the dentist. And finally, about 18 percent of the dentists said that some men blamed their failure to make dental care appointments to busy schedules.

Other research has found that most men only visit the dentist when they have a problem with their oral health, even though the problem could have been possibly avoided through regular exams and cleanings. Other reasons are societal beliefs where men who visit dentists are perceived by the society as “weak” and that they should just “tough it out”.

So Why Should You Get Your Man to See a Dentist?

As we stated earlier, regular dental cleanings and exams are important for every single person. As a matter of fact, there is no single excuse as to why anyone should miss dental appointments. Just two visits a year are more than enough to prevent a wide array of dental issues.

Getting your man to see a dentist will help:

•Reduce their risk of developing cavities and tooth decay which might lead to expensive treatments thereafter

•Reduce the risk of gum disease which not only causes bad breath, pain, and discomfort, but also increases the risk of heart disease

•Reduce the risk of developing bad breath, which can strain your relationship with him

•Prevent sleep apnea, a condition that has been linked to high blood pressure

•Prevent browning of teeth and plaque, two problems that often lead to low self-esteem

So How Can You Get the Man In Your Life to Go to the Dentist?

Dental care for men is as important as it is for women and children. And given the fact that men tend to avoid dental visits, it’s important that you take the initiative and encourage them to do so. But how do you do it without making them feel embarrassed?

Well, first things first, find out their actual reason for avoiding dentists. If their reason has something to do with fear, anxiety, or a bad previous experience with a dentist, try to approach the issue in a gentle manner. They might feel a little bit embarrassed or even find it extremely hard to share the intricate details at this point. It’s your job to encourage them and show them how having their oral health taken care of by a professional dentist is important to you.

Another common reason is cost.  Many times men will opt to avoid the dentist as a way to save money.  the reality is if they wait to go to the dentist when they have an issue it may end up costing more than routine visits would have.

Luckily, Dr Mott can address any reservations a man has causing him to avoid the dentist. 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.

 

The Link Between Food and Oral Health Explained

According to the World Health Organization, proper health doesn’t merely mean being free of any disease. It also means that you have good general well-being which includes oral health.  Poor oral health is almost always linked to diet. Below you will see an analysis of how some oral conditions are linked to poor dietary choices.

1. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay occurs when the calcium component in your teeth dissolves. The decay can be triggered by many factors including:

Presence of bacteria in the mouth-

The harmful bacteria in your mouth triggers the entire process. This bacteria comes from the remains of food left in your mouth. That is why you are advised to brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing your teeth removes the tiny bits of food that introduce bacteria into your mouth.

Amount and type of sugar in your diet-

Sugar is introduced into your mouth via the food you eat. Studies have shown that eating food with high quantities of sugar increases the chances of development of tooth decay. One particular study found that isolated communities that have a traditional lifestyle have very few incidences of tooth decay. This is because of the food they eat. They mainly consume food that has low sugar quantities. However, when sugars and carbohydrates were increased in their diets, the rate of development of tooth decay rose. This study clearly shows that your daily nutrition needs to involve food with lower sugar quantities to prevent the development of tooth decay.

Another study found that there is a relationship between when you consume sugar and the development of tooth decay. It showed that the development of tooth decay increased when the sugar was consumed in between meals. The development of tooth decay was lower when the same amount of sugar was consumed during meals.

The lowering of the effects of sugar during meals was attributed to the other foods in the diet. For instance, fiber in the food absorbs the sugar present in other foods. Minerals such as calcium and phosphorus found in food reduce the risk of developing tooth decay. Wholesome foods require a lot of chewing and this leads to the production of more saliva which inhibits the development of tooth decay.

You should ensure that your diet has low quantities of sugar.  You should also note that the type of sugar in your diet matters. Refined sugars such as sucrose are more acidic than natural sugars. Refined sugars thus increase the likelihood of developing tooth decay.

2. Poor Development Of The Enamel

Enamel is the outer coating of the tooth. Its development can be easily affected by poor nutrition. Insufficient quantities of both vitamin A and vitamin D can cause underdevelopment of the enamel. An underdeveloped enamel does not show the bright white color of teeth. Instead, it shows an unpleasant yellowish color.  Fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon are high in both vitamin A and D.

3. Gum Disease

Various studies have shown that gum disease is prevalent in areas where there is malnutrition. Folic acid in foods lead to strong gums. Conversely, inadequate quantities of folic acid in food can lead to weak gums.  Foods rich in folic acid are leafy green vegetable, citrus fruits and beans.

Some gum diseases like Gingivitis can be cured solely by a change of diet. Gingivitis is characterized by the formation of a yellowish sticky bacteria around the teeth. It also causes inflammation of the gums. Gingivitis will clear if one consumes a diet rich in Calcium and vitamin C. Calcium will strengthen the tissue that holds the teeth in place. vitamin C has anti-inflammatory bodies that will remove the inflammation.  Some foods high in vitamin C are broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, red or yellow peppers and oranges.

4. Oral Cancer.

The more than 300,000 new cases of oral cancer reported per year are closely linked to the use of tobacco and alcohol. Smoking and chewing of tobacco are closely linked to oral cancer since tobacco causes redistribution of important nutrients in the body.

The smoke causes important nutrients to be distributed to parts of the body where they are not needed. Important nutrients such as antioxidants are not distributed to areas of the mouth thus increasing the likelihood of oral cancer. Antioxidants reduce the likelihood of cancer by neutralizing metabolic properties and inhibiting the activation of procarcinogens.

The situation is worsened when the smoker does not observe proper nutrition. The likelihood of oral cancer development in a smoker increases if the smoker does not have the proper vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in their diet.

As you can see there is a strong link between the food we eat and oral health. The link is so strong that the oral health of a fetus that has not been conceived yet can be affected by the diet of the mother.

You should ensure that you eat a balanced diet to ensure that you maintain proper oral hygiene. You should reduce the amount of sugar that you intake. You should also strive to stay away from tobacco and alcohol. In addition, make sure you brush your teeth after each meal.

Easing Dental Phobia and Anxiety

Climbing into the dental chair can be an unnerving experience for some. It is estimated that nearly 40 million Americans avoid visiting the dentist every year because of dental phobia or fear. Unfortunately, when patients do not receive needed treatments and preventive care, serious oral health consequences often result.

Dental phobia or anxiety may stem from a previous unpleasant experience with a dentist, a fear of needles, or an aversion to perceived potential pain. Additionally, patients may struggle with feeling a lack of control or with shame about the condition of their teeth. The willingness to face these fears and anxieties head-on is an important step in overcoming dental phobia.

Signs of Dental Phobia

People with dental phobia are often panic-stricken and terrified at the thought of going to the dentist. It is a more severe reaction than simple fear or anxiety. Patients with this kind of phobia only visit the dentist when they can no longer bear extreme pain associated with a dental ailment, if they go at all. 

Here are some other common signs of dental phobia:

  • Inability to sleep the night before a dental exam
  • Nervousness, especially when waiting for the dentist
  • Feeling of physical illness before visiting the dentist
  • Uneasiness at the thought of objects being placed in your mouth

Patients with severe dental phobia may need to seek help from a mental health professional.

Managing Dental Phobia and Dental Anxiety

Patients can ease their fear and anxiety by using one or a combination of the following strategies.

  1. Be open about your fears.

Being honest and open about your fears is the most effective and easiest way to manage your anxieties. Once your dentist is aware of your anxiety, he or she can work with you to calm your fears. It is important to trust that your dentist has your best interests in mind when performing a dental exam or procedure.

  1. Have someone you trust at your side.

During your dental exam, consider bringing someone you trust along with you. This strategy is especially effective with children who may be nervous at the dentist. It can also help many anxious adults who need to be reassured that the dental exam is for their own good.

  1. Practice self-care before your visit to the dentist.

Drinking too much caffeine or not getting enough sleep the night before your appointment will make it more difficult to feel at ease in the dentist’s chair. Restful sleep before your dental procedure goes a long way in helping you feel at ease and relaxed. Avoid consuming too much caffeine, as it only exacerbates feelings of anxiety. Sugary foods should also be avoided. Try protein-rich foods, such as plain yogurt, which are known to have a calming effect.

  1. Get distracted.

Embracing distraction is a strategy that works well for both children and adults. Distraction may be in the form of watching an interesting TV program or listening to some relaxing music through earbuds. They not only drown out any unpleasant sounds but can also help you feel more at ease.

Prevention is key.

Annual or biannual dental care is important to ensure optimal oral health. Regular professional dental check-ups will help prevent cavities, as dentists have advanced equipment that can remove plaque more effectively than your ordinary electric or manual toothbrush. Dentists can also remove calcified plaque or tartar, which is difficult to remove even with the best oral care routine. Tartar can cause gum disease and may eventually lead to tooth loss if not checked.

These regular appointments can help dentists identify early signs of gum disease, cavities, and other common dental problems. Your dentist will be able to provide the right treatment before these problems become more serious. Prevention is often much less invasive than correcting issues that have compounded while avoiding dental care.

 

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

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. Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

 

Halloween Candy

8 Tips to Avoid the Halloween Candy Creep

It’s the Halloween season. Scary costumes and spooky decorations aren’t the only things out to frighten you. Halloween candy has a way of creeping up on you. The thought of overindulging in Halloween candy can be particularly troubling for those trying to lose or maintain their weight or those wanting to prevent tooth decay.

Here are 8 tips to avoid the Halloween candy creep.

1. Choose Wisely

Want to hand out candy on Halloween but need to avoid the temptation of eating all the leftovers? When you’re purchasing candy, buy something that kids will love but you don’t. Not a fan of chocolate? Hershey’s bars are a good choice. Mini packs of sugar-free gum are also a nice alternative. Kids love gum, and if you sneak some for yourself, you can do so guilt-free.

Giving out packs of pretzels or crackers is surprisingly popular with kids. They get a fun school-approved snack, and parents appreciate something for their younger trick-or-treaters who aren’t ready for candy.

Non-food goodies such as tattoos, crayons, glow sticks, stamps, or pencils are another option. Kids with braces or food allergies will be glad to get something they can actually enjoy.

Curious to know which popular candy is best and worst for your teeth? We break it down here.

2. Eat Breakfast

Eat your breakfast. Filling up on protein in the morning can leave you feeling full longer. You’re less likely to mindlessly reach for candy when you’re not hungry.

3. Keep Candy Out of Sight

Between now and Christmas, it seems like candy jars are everywhere in the workplace. Ask your co-workers to stash their candy in a cabinet or their desks. You could even gift them with a colored candy jar with a lid. Out of sight, out of mind.

4. Establish Limits

If you want to treat yourself with a little candy this Halloween, decide on a certain time of day to eat your sweet. Eat slowly and take time to enjoy it. Choose preportioned candy such as a mini Snickers rather than snacking from a large bag of M&Ms. Setting some limits can help keep your candy consumption in check.

5. Chew Gum

Instead of reaching for sugary candy, chew sugarless gum. You will get the same sweet sensation without the extra calories and damage to your teeth. Cravings for sweets tend to come when you are feeling stressed. Studies have shown that chewing gum can help you feel less stressed.

6. Find Healthy Options

Enjoy fruit as a healthy alternative to candy. Cantaloupe, blackberries, strawberries, and grapes can easily be brought to the office to fulfill that mid-morning sweet craving.

7. Go for a Walk

If you’re feeling especially tempted, take a walk. Apart from helping you avoid the sweets, it will give you a burst of energy get you through the day.

8. Donate Your Candy

Operation Gratitude is an amazing organization that sends care packages to armed services members, first responders, veterans, and their families. Their Halloween Candy Give-Back Program collects your candy to add to their care packages. Click here to learn how you can ship your Halloween candy donations or to find a local drop-off site.

 

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

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. Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

 

Solutions for Managing Keto Breath

Have you started a ketogenic diet and suddenly noticed you have bad breath? You’re not alone in your keto breath. The ketogenic (keto) diet is a popular weight loss diet in which users consume foods high in fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates in order to achieve ketosis.

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that occurs when a person consumes fewer carbohydrates than the daily recommended amount, causing the body to start burning fat for fuel. With low carb intake and the body burning fat for fuel, weight loss often results.

What Is Keto Breath and How Does It Occur?

Keto breath is a type of bad breath that occurs when the body is in ketosis. The breath is characterized by a distinct taste or odor in the mouth that’s quite different from ordinary bad breath. The breath has also been described as tasting metallic or having a nail polish remover–like odor as well as a fruity smell.

So how does the bad breath occur?

Ketosis occurs when your body breaks down stored fat for fuel. When your body burns the stored fats, a natural chemical known as ketone is produced.

Ketones are usually harmless and exit from the body through the mouth and urine. When ketones are released through the mouth, you experience keto breath. This unpleasant breath is one of the signs that your body has entered into ketosis. This unsavory breath can occur on any low-carb diet, including a paleo diet.

How Long Does the Breath Last?

For most dieters, the distinct breath may only last a few weeks after starting a low-carb diet. Fortunately, the breath is temporary and will significantly subside as your body adjusts to the diet.

What Can You Do to Manage Keto Breath?

While the bad breath only occurs for a short time, it can have a negative impact on your self-confidence. Here are some simple solutions for easily and effectively combating your keto breath.

  • Floss and brush your teeth at least 2 times daily.

Poor dental hygiene can worsen your keto diet–induced breath. Although brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis may not eliminate your bad breath completely, it can greatly reduce the odor from your mouth.

Consider carrying an extra toothbrush so you can brush right after lunch or after snacking at work or on the go to prevent your breath from becoming worse. 

  • Chew sugarless gum.

Chewing gum stimulates the production of more saliva in your mouth. Saliva prevents bacteria from sticking in the mouth and also helps break down plaque and eliminate acids in your mouth. Saliva basically rinses your mouth, keeping it clean, fresh, and odor-free.

Consider chewing sugarless gum that contains xylitol, as it helps break down bacteria that causes bad breath.

  • Drink plenty of water regularly.

Drinking plenty of water on a daily basis is not just good for your skin and overall health, it can also help combat your bad breath.

When you drink water, the bacteria, plaque, and stuck food particles in your teeth are washed away. While on a keto diet, make a habit of drinking a lot of water, and swish your mouth after eating snacks. This will prevent the odor from building up, keeping your breath fresh all day long.

  • Rinse your mouth with fluoridated mouthwash.

A fluoridated mouthwash can be an effective yet temporary means of eliminating bad breath. Rinsing with the mouthwash helps prevent the formation of plaque and bacteria in places the mouthwash can reach and removes food particles from the mouth.

  • Eat foods that help mask bad breath.

Several foods can help mask bad breath, and there are some great keto-friendly options! Unsweetened yogurt with live cultures and probiotics inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and spinach are all high in vitamin C, which also helps prohibit bacteria growth.

Keto diets are extremely popular right now, but the bad breath that comes with it can be a huge turnoff. Fortunately, you now have some options to help keep the keto breath at bay.

 

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Always consult your doctor before beginning a diet. If bad breath is an ongoing problem for you, it could indicate a more serious condition and you should schedule a visit with your dentist. Dr. Chris A. 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. Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

 

Top 4 Foods to Avoid After Teeth Whitening: Good Oral Health

Teeth whitening is an easy and affordable way to restore brightness to your smile, making it a popular procedure in the field of cosmetic dentistry. While there are few restrictions to such a procedure, avoiding certain foods and drinks can help you maintain your teeth whitening for a longer period of time.

As Bossier dentist Dr. Chris Mott explains, “Teeth are specifically vulnerable to staining immediately following a thorough whitening session, and adjusting your eating habits after the procedure can assist your teeth to remain to brighten to their whitest possible shade.”

The foods and drinks discussed in this piece have proven to be those that can cause discomfort to other sensitive areas of your mouth as well as your teeth. It is suggested that these items be avoided if you choose to receive teeth whitening treatments.

Dark Beverages

Clear or light-colored liquids such as milk or water are perfectly fine following a whitening treatment, however, colored beverages can leave stains on your freshly whitened smile. Avoid drinking dark soft drinks, tea, coffee, and red wine for several days after undergoing a teeth whitening session.

Colored juices like tomato juice, grape juice, orange juice and cranberry juice may also stain your teeth, according to teeth whitening precautions. You can  reduce the contact of any liquids on your teeth by only sipping beverages through a straw.

Staining Foods

As with the beverages we just mentioned,  many foods and ingredients are more likely to stain your teeth. Staining culprits include dark soups, dark chocolate, tomato sauces, soy sauce, stews, beets, dark marinades, and blueberries. Indian and Spanish cuisines may also darken your teeth due to the liberal use of curry and tomato sauces. Avoiding these foods can keep your teeth bright and white. 

Cold Drinks and Foods

Teeth may be sensitive to cold temperatures for nearly 36 hours after a whitening session. To reduce pain due to temperature sensitivity, avoid direct contact with any cold foods and drinks. If your sensitivity is high, avoid eating some foods straight from the refrigerator and only consume items at room temperature or warmer.

Acidic Foods

The process of teeth whitening can easily leave teeth temporarily sensitive to all acidic foods and drinks, resulting in discomfort and pain while eating.

As the bossier dentist, low-pH items such as limes, oranges, vinegar, lemons, pineapple, pickles, grapefruit, and soft drinks can raise the acidity of your saliva, possibly damaging areas of your teeth that have already weakened by whitening chemicals.

Avoiding these items after your whitening treatment can assist you to prevent food-related pain. According to the Consumer Guide to Dentistry, you may be specifically sensitive to acidic foods or drinks if you have preexisting cracks in your teeth, gum recession, or leaking dental restorations.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Dental Visit

An essential step before teeth whitening is consultation from your Bossier dentist to determine if whitening is recommended and to determine whether or not you may have sensitivity issues afterwards. Your dentist can easily carry out an evaluation of your teeth and also conduct a “touch and air” test to find out the kind of whitening treatment that would be most appropriate for your specific teeth.

If you need more advice about teeth whitening, visit Dr. Chris A. Mott. 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. Stop in and see what everyone is talking about. Make your appointment with Dr. Mott today.

 

3 Possible Dangers of Using Electric Toothbrushes

Electric toothbrushes are battery-powered or rechargeable toothbrushes with spinning, vibrating, or oscillating bristles that help clean the teeth. Because of these additional features, they are often perceived as being more effective in cleaning teeth with minimal effort. Despite these beneficial aspects of electric toothbrushes, they do offer a certain amount of danger if used incorrectly. In fact, according to Dr. Chris Mott, continuously using such a brush incorrectly can leave your teeth in worse shape than before. Below are some of the possible dangers of using these types of toothbrushes:

Danger to the Enamel

Brushing vigorously with an electric toothbrush can exert enough pressure to wear away your protective tooth enamel. This can be attributed to the abrasion that is caused by the spinning, vibration, or oscillations of the bristles when brushing hard with an electric brush. Dr. Chris Mott an experienced local dentist recommends moderation and light handed control in the use of these toothbrushes. In fact in extreme cases, the patient may be advised to stop using these types of toothbrushes altogether.

Receding Gums

After long-term use, you may also begin to notice that your gums are also receding. This is particularly common with the bottom front teeth. It often results in excessive sensitivity, where you experience pain whenever you drink something cold or hot. You may also begin to experience excessive bleeding when brushing your teeth. The teeth may also begin aching whenever you start brushing them. If you initially had healthy teeth, you may want to switch back to a normal brush and visit your dentist to assess the damage.

Over brushing the Teeth

Electric toothbrushes are very powerful gadgets. For this reason, brushing your teeth using these devices requires you to be extremely careful. However, so many people damage their teeth because they either brush them too often or too hard. Ideally, brushing your teeth vigorously or for more than two minutes can result in complications. In fact, this is the main cause of gum problems and abrasion cavities with these toothbrushes. This can be particularly challenging with children using these types of toothbrushes as they might not be aware of how hard they are brushing. To be on the safe side, Dr. Chris Mott advises that you supervise your little ones when they are brushing their teeth using these gadgets.

In spite of all these shortcomings, electric toothbrushes do have their own merits. For instance, besides being quite effective in their performance, they are also known to reduce incidents of gingivitis, a serious dental condition which is characterized by gum inflammation. If left untreated for long, this condition can even lead to the loss of teeth.

Although they are known to be more effective in removing plaque from teeth, electric toothbrushes need to be handled with great care. You do not need to apply excessive force in order to remove the plague. Instead, you need to be gently and let the bristles do their job. Just guide the brush and everything else will go well. Taking all these precautions will ensure that you have good dental health and you are not prone to irreversible teeth enamel damage or gum recession. If you have noticed any unusual dental problems, you can consult Dr. Chris Mott a local Shreveport Bossier dentist who provides quality advice and dental care to those people with dental issues.

 

 

Need a Root Canal? Here’s What You Can Expect

Toothaches can be quite uncomfortable. Nobody can deny this. The best way to deal with dental pain is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Regular checkups and cleanings with Dr. Mott can help keep your teeth and gums clean, healthy, and pain-free. We realize, however, that sometimes things happen and tooth pain is inevitable.

There are times when a root canal is the best possible course of treatment for particular dental ailments. Root canals have a history of being one of the most vilified dental procedures of all-time. There are so many joke and stories swirling around about root canals that people tend to avoid them altogether unless their dental issues prove so excruciating that they are forced to face their fears.

But, are root canals really so scary? Is there any truth to the stories people tell about them? We’re here today to solve that mystery and put your mind at ease once and for all concerning root canals. Let’s get started…

Before building up huge amounts of anxiety about whether or not you need a root canal, let’s discuss some of the times dentists opt to perform this procedure.

Reasons You May Need a Root Canal

Root canals become necessary when the natural cavity surrounded by pulp within one’s tooth where the nerve resides becomes infected. When a bacterial infection attacks this cavity, the bacteria in question produce a gas that exerts pressure upon the tooth’s nerve. It is because of this pressure that pain manifests.

Some people have been known to struggle with additional symptoms such swelling of the face and neck. The excruciating pain resulting from these infections isn’t always immediate. Most people first struggle with mild levels of discomfort which manifest whenever they are eating or drinking.

Rather than waiting for the pain to emerge, such problems can be identified using an X-ray, at which point you could come in to see Dr. Mott and seek treatment.

What Exactly is a Root Canal?

The term refers to a dental procedure during which the nerve of a tooth (and the pulp surrounding it) are removed. As scary as it may sound, this procedure will not affect the health of your tooth. The nerve and the pulp in your cavity only exist to fulfill sensory purposes. This nerve is the reason you can feel hot and cold temperatures around your teeth. Removing the nerve will do little to affect the health of your tooth.

The Procedure

Root canals are relatively straightforward procedures. Before one is performed, an X-ray must be carried out to identify the problem and determine the extent of the damage. Once the actual procedure begins, the area around the tooth in question is numbed.

A hole is then drilled into the tooth, providing access to the nerve and pulp which is then removed, along with any decayed tissue. The cavity of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then sealed. It is that simple.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

Sometimes, the root canal cannot be completed on the same day, in which case the hole in the tooth is covered using temporary filling until the next appointment.
Root canals are almost always a success and are generally painless. People who complain about the pain of a root canal are usually talking about the discomfort they were dealing with before they sought the dental care to relieve the pain. When performed by an experienced professional such as Dr. Mott, root canals will relieve pain and restore your mouth to its original pain-free condition.

Dr. Chris A. Mott is a highly-experienced and well-respected dentist serving the Shreveport and Bossier areas. If you feel you may be in need of a root canal or just need a cleaning or checkup, please feel free to call our office and set up an appointment. We would love to welcome you into the Mott dental family.

Weird Facts – Why do some people have no wisdom teeth?

Impacted third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, can cause a lot of suffering. However, some people are free of this curse – in fact, certain ethnic groups, like the Inuit, have remarkably low rates of wisdom teeth. But why do some people have wisdom teeth while others do not? New research may provide the answer.

According to Alan Mann, a Princeton University researcher, a random mutation took place thousands of years ago resulting in the suppression of wisdom teeth formation. This trait has spread and is the cause in certain people and groups of the total or partial lack of wisdom teeth.

The oldest fossil to be found missing the third molar comes from China and is about 300,000 years old, suggesting the date of the first mutation. Humans, like other mammals, originally had four sets of three molars for a total of 12 teeth to help in chewing food. According to Mann, when humans underwent an evolution that resulted in a significant brain expansion, there was an architectural problem; the jaw had to become narrower to be able to connect to the lower end of the skull.

During this period, and even after, the genes controlling brain size developed differently from those controlling dental quantity. Narrower jaws left little room for the wisdom teeth to erupt from the jaw, leading to a mismatch. This is a familiar problem for most people. Wisdom teeth often don’t fit, and if they don’t make it through the gum (become impacted), they can become infected, potentially leading to real health problems. Even when not infected, impacted wisdom teeth can still cause pain.

These reasons may partly explain the mutation causing a lack of wisdom teeth in certain people and groups. Following basic evolutionary theory, we can assume that the pain could have made humans less likely to reproduce, therefore favoring those with the mutation.

About 10 to 25 percent of Americans who descended from European ancestry miss at least one third molar in their dentistry; however, 45 percent of the Inuit who live in the Arctic regions of Alaska, Greenland and Canada lack at least one of their third molars.

One reason for this disparity is that this group had its origins in Asia, which is where this mutation began. And, like Asians, the Inuits have flatter faces and, hence, narrower jaws, making it even harder for the wisdom teeth to grow.

As years go by and people continue to marry across races, this mutation will continue to spread until, one day, most of the global population will have no third set of the molar in their dentistry. This will be a relief, cutting down on dental problems and visits to the dentist to extract wisdom teeth due to infections or chronic pain at the end of the jaw and ears.

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.

water fluoridation

What You Should Know About Water Fluoridation

Using fluoride in drinking water has been debated since its first use in US more than 50 years ago. This issue has resurfaced after Portland, Oregon decided to implement water fluoridation back in 2014. Before this time, Portland was the only large city in USA not having fluoride in their drinking water. What exactly is fluoride, and how much of it is contained in the water that comes out of the tap? Here are some facts about water fluoridation that you should know.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally and it is known to strengthen the tooth enamel as well as prevent dental cavities.

Why is fluoride routinely added to public water supplies?

Almost all naturally occurring water sources contain fluoride but its level is too low to effectively prevent the teeth from decaying. Over 70 years ago, scientists began to perform tests in order to find out if adjusting the concentration of fluoride in water would enhance the general oral hygiene of the society. This project was referred to as community water fluoridation.

In the 1930s, it was noted that the severity and occurrence of tooth decay was much lower among people whose water contained higher level of natural fluoride which made other cities like Grand Rapids, Michigan to start adding fluoride to their water supply. Today, over 204 million people in the United States of America alone live in places where fluoride is added in the water supply.

How safe and effective is water fluoridation?

According to research, fluoride has been proven to reduce tooth decay by about 25% and water fluoridation is named among the 10 greatest public health inventions of the 20th century. The sources of fluoride have also increased to include certain dental products such as mouthwash and toothpaste, professionally applied fluoride products like gels and varnish, and prescription fluoride supplements. In the year 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency recommended that the level of fluoride in the water supply be lowered to 0.7mg per liter of water. Previously, the fluoride content ranged from 0.7mg-1.2mg per liter of water.

After a careful study of the communities whose water supply was fluoridated, it can be stated that indeed fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities.

Argument Against Fluoridation

Though most of the water supplies in the USA are fluoridated, the risks and benefits of having fluoridated water are still debated.

Dr Mott

Dr Chris Mott

There has been an argument where critics states that adding fluoride to water can lead to certain health conditions, the most common one being dental fluorosis; a condition that is caused by intake of excess fluoride. It leads to teeth discoloration and

streaks on the teeth. Other studies suggest that there is a link between brain damage, fractures, cancer and fluoride though no clear connection has been found.

According to Dr. Chris Mott, a downtown Shreveport dentist, the recommended amount of fluoride should provide an adequate level of mineral salt that helps to reduce tooth decay in both children and adults as well as minimize dental fluorosis. If you have any questions concerning water fluoridation and dental health, please contact our office. Dr. Mott would be more than happy to discuss this issue with you further.