Posts for: May, 2018
Eating is one of the pleasures — and necessities — of life, but people who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) may find eating no pleasure at all — and they may not be eating the right nutritional balance of foods.
TMD is a collection of conditions that affect the jaw joints, connecting muscles and other related facial structures. If you've been diagnosed with TMD, you're probably not only acquainted with severe pain, but also difficulty opening your jaw as widely as normal. This can make it difficult to chew certain foods.
There are a number of effective treatments for TMD, including thermal therapy (hot or cold packs), joint exercise, medication or surgery (as a last resort). But these treatments often take time to make a noticeable difference. In the meantime, you may still need to change what and how you eat to ensure you're getting the nutrients your body needs.
The overall strategy should be to soften and reduce the chewing size of your food. With fruits and vegetables, you'll want to peel and discard any hard or chewy skins, and then chop the fruit flesh into smaller pieces. Steam or cook vegetables like greens, broccoli or cauliflower until they're soft and then chop them into smaller portions. You might also consider pureeing your fruit (and some vegetables) to make smoothies with ice, milk or yogurt, or vegetable-based soups.
Treat meat, poultry or seafood in much the same way, especially biting sizes. Besides cooking meats to tenderness, include moisteners like broths, gravies or brazing liquids to further make them easier to chew.
Dairy foods are an important source of nutrition: eat milk-based products like yogurt or cheese as much as you can handle. If you have problems with these or also nut butters, then consider meal replacement beverages like instant breakfast or whey protein beverages.
And don't forget whole grains. Although some can be hard to chew, you can prepare them in hot cereal form (like oatmeal) to tenderize them. You can also prepare thin bread toast and cut into smaller pieces.
Hopefully, your treatment will bring your TMD symptoms under manageable control. Until then (and after, if need be) adjust your diet to eat the foods that keep you healthy.
If you think gum disease only happens to the other guy (or gal), think again. If you’re over 30 you have a 50-50 chance for an infection. After 65 the risk climbs to 70 percent.
Fortunately, we can effectively treat most cases of gum disease. But depending on its severity, treatment can involve numerous intensive sessions and possible surgery to bring the disease under control. So, why not prevent gum disease before it happens?
First, though, let’s look at how gum disease most often begins—with dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles built up on teeth and gum surfaces. If plaque isn’t consistently removed through daily brushing and flossing, it doesn’t take long—just a few days—for the bacteria to infect the gums.
While it’s not always easy to detect gum disease early on, there are signs to look for like red, swollen and tender gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss, and bad breath or taste. The infection is usually more advanced if you notice pus-filled areas around your gums or loose teeth. If you see any of these (especially advanced signs like loose teeth) you should contact us as soon as possible.
Obviously, the name of the game with prevention is stopping plaque buildup, mainly through daily brushing and flossing. Technique is the key to effectiveness, especially with brushing: you should gently but thoroughly scrub all tooth surfaces and around the gum line, coupled with flossing between teeth.
To find out how well you’re doing, you can rub your tongue along your teeth after you brush and floss—you should feel a smooth, almost squeaky sensation. You can also use plaque-disclosing agents that dye bacterial plaque a particular color so you can easily see surface areas you’ve missed. You can also ask us for a “report card” on how well you’re doing during your next dental visit.
Dental visits, of course, are the other essential part of gum disease prevention—at least every six months (or more, if we recommend) for cleaning and checkups. Not only will we be able to remove hard-to-reach plaque and tartar, we’ll also give your gums a thorough assessment. By following this prevention regimen you’ll increase your chances of not becoming a gum disease statistic.
If you would like more information on recognizing and treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Gum Disease Gets Started.”
Why should you visit your dentist? Isn't dental care just for that sudden toothache or broken tooth? Yes, emergency oral health services from your dentist in Kennesaw and Woodstock, GA, are important, but you should know that !st Choice Dental Care provides so much more. Learn more here about the preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services available to your whole family.
Reasons you should visit your dentist
Reason #1 It's time for your semi-annual check-up. The American Dental Association recommends that children through senior adults see their dentists every six months for a complete exam, X-rays as needed and a thorough cleaning. Prevention is key to lasting oral health, and the staff at 1st Choice Dental Care delivers lasting smiles by warding off tooth decay, gum disease, and other common problems before they become costly and complex. Oral cancer screening is part of every adult examination, and children benefit from fluoride treatments and plastic sealants which protect against cavities.
Reason #2 You need restorative services to keep your smile strong for a lifetime. Your Kennesaw and Woodstock, GA dentist offers many, including white fillings, porcelain crowns, periodontal disease treatment, root canal therapy, dental implants, extractions, dentures, and bridgework. If your jaw hurts, count on 1st Choice Dental Care to discover the cause and to treat those TMJ/TMD symptoms.
Reason #3 You're determined to get the smile of your dreams. Your Kennesaw and Woodstock, GA dentist plan and execute complete smile makeovers. If you can envision a stunning new smile, 1st Choice Dental Care can make it a reality. Our team of seven talented dentists offers professional teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, same-day CEREC crowns, composite resin bonding, and more. Whether your goals are simple (you want whiter teeth) or complicated (you need dental implants and porcelain veneers on selected teeth), expect superior results which meet your every expectation.
Reason #4 You have a crooked smile. A straight smile is a healthy smile. Teeth which are crowded, rotated, or otherwise misaligned are prone to cavities, abscess, dental stains, and periodontal disease. Additionally, crooked smiles impact self-esteem. So, if you or a loved one wish to explore orthodontic correction, see your dentist at 1st Choice Dental Care. You can explore traditional orthodontics (metal, lingual, and ceramic braces) and discreet and innovative Invisalign aligners. Remember, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends your child's smile be evaluated for proper alignment and eruption of teeth by age seven.
Reason #5 You'll love the care you receive. At 1st Choice Dental Care, you are treated as a complete individual, not just another exam and cleaning. We want to understand your concerns and your smile goals. We listen and we care!
Find out more
1st Choice Dental Care has three locations in Kennesaw and Woodstock, GA, to serve you. Please call (678) 293-8773 for your routine exam or to address your important dental concern.
When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?
For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.
Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.
Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:
- It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
- A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
- Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
- Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!
Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!