Our Blog

More Reasons to Start Invisalign Today!

February 26th, 2019

THE MOST OBVIOUS impact of orthodontic treatment is a straighter, more attractive smile. While it is true that we tend to perceive people with properly aligned teeth as happier and more successful, the benefits aren’t just superficial.

Healthier Digestion

We don’t give our teeth enough credit for the role they play in good digestion. Chewing is a very important part of the process. It doesn’t just chop the food into small enough pieces to fit down the esophagus, it mixes the food with saliva, which begins the chemical digestion process.

When we wolf down our food without much chewing — or when we chew with misaligned teeth that don’t do the job effectively — it forces our stomachs to work harder than they should. If you already have straight teeth, put them to good use by chewing each mouthful for longer. If you don’t, your digestive system will thank you for getting orthodontic treatment.

Better Breathing

Having poorly aligned teeth can make it difficult or even impossible to comfortably close your jaws when you aren’t moving them, which can lead to habitual mouth breathing. Mouth breathing has a number of negative effects, including dry mouth, bad breath, snoring, chronic fatigue, and brain fog. The effects are an even bigger problem for kids, sometimes going as far as changing the development of their facial bone structure.

Clearer Speech

Do you remember the lisp you had between losing your two front teeth and the adult ones growing in? Based on that, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that our teeth are a crucial component to our ability to speak and enunciate clearly.

In order to make the right sounds, our lips and tongues have to maneuver around our teeth. When teeth are properly aligned, this is simple, but misaligned teeth can result in a lisp, slurring, or difficulty making certain sounds that require tongue-to-tooth contact, such as the “t,” “s,” and “ch” sounds. Orthodontic treatment can solve these problems by moving the teeth into their proper positions.

Better Oral Health

Straight teeth also help keep your teeth healthy.  Misaligned teeth can put unintended forces on areas of your teeth and lead to cracks, broken teeth, and receding gums.  And of course teeth that are lined up nicely are much easier to clean and don't harbor as much bacteria, so you are less likely to get gum disease and can even help eliminate active gum disease in people who have it.

Straight Teeth For A Better Life

Not only do straight teeth make it easier to speak, eat, and breathe properly, they’re also easier to clean! Maybe you’ve been avoiding orthodontic treatment because you’re happy with the way your smile looks, but the many benefits of straight teeth are worth considering.

Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller are both Certified Invisalign Providers and have used Invisalign to improve the health of their patients since 2005!  Come in for a complimentary consult.  We can even digitally scan your teeth and show you a simulated outcome of your new smile!

Straight teeth lead to better oral health and better overall health!

Alcohol’s Effect On Our Gum Health

January 21st, 2019

EVEN IF YOU only enjoy an occasional glass of wine, it’s important to know how it can affect your gum health. A recent study published in the Journal of Periodontology brings new light to the connection between alcohol consumption and gum disease.

Drinking Can Raise Our Risk For Gum Disease By 27 Percent

Over 500 study participants were asked about their drinking habits, and their gum and overall oral health was evaluated on several levels. This revealed a surprisingly close relationship between alcohol and gum disease risk.

  • Men who drank regularly were shown to have an 18 to 27 percent increased risk of gum disease.
  • For people who already had periodontal disease, levels of alcohol consumption increased the rate and severity of the condition.
  • In participants without periodontal disease, heightened alcohol consumption increased risk factors for gum disease: symptoms like gum detachment, gum bleeding, and increased plaque levels.

Correlative Relationship May Be Caused By Dry Mouth

While further research is needed to evaluate the precise reason for this connection, it seems to be greatly due to dry mouth, a common effect of alcohol consumption. Saliva neutralizes acid in the mouth, and serves to cleanse our mouths from harmful bacteria. Alcohol decreases saliva production, and can strip our mouths of the protection they need.

Preserve Your Smile By Taking Gum Disease Seriously

Gum disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults. 50 percent of those over 30 are affected by some level of gum disease. The good news is that in its early stages, gum disease is reversible with strategic oral care.

Here at our practice, we know how to deal with gum disease and we can help you get control of it.

Talk With Us About Your Habits So We Can Give You The Best Care

Here’s our advice to you: be aware of the risks that alcohol poses to your oral health, especially if you enjoy an occasional (or not-so-occasional) drink. Be upfront with us about your habits, and we can help give you the most effective care and advice to preserve your healthy smile for life.

Thanks for your trust in our practice! We appreciate you.

Our Team’s Favorite Smile-Friendly Snacks

December 3rd, 2018

EVERYONE KNOWS that snack time is one of the best times of the day! Getting a tasty treat in the middle of the workday or grabbing a snack after school can be just the pick-me-up you need to tackle the rest of your day with a smile.

But before you reach for the chips or chocolates, we have a few smile-friendly suggestions! Today we want to share our team’s favorite snacks that protect your teeth and benefit your smile.

 

Eat More Of These
Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, and magnesium; all essential for healthy teeth and gums.
Cheese, Milk, and Yogurt: Dairy is a delicious source of calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth.
Kiwi, Oranges, And Other Vitamin-C-Rich Foods: Vitamin C boosts your body’s ability to fight infection that causes gum disease.

Eat Less Of These

Soda And Energy Drinks: These acidic, sugary drinks attack and gradually deteriorate your protective tooth enamel.
Sticky Candy, Gummies, And Dried Fruit: These foods stick in your teeth and continue to bathe your teeth in sugar for hours after eating.
Highly Processed Carbs: This includes crackers, white bread, and pastries, which feed decay-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Keep In Touch To Learn More!
Now that we’ve shared our favorite healthy snacks, we want to hear from YOU! If you have any healthy recipes you make make at home, share them in the comments below or on our Facebook page! We’d love to see what kinds of creative snack ideas you’ve come up with.

Thank you for CHEW-sing our practice!

Can Poor Dental Health Lead to Dementia?

July 3rd, 2018

As part of our focus on Alzheimer's awareness this month, Dr. Powell and Dr. Tiller wanted to share a study showing a possible link between dental health and Alzheimer's Disease.  It is a small and early study which showed a link but much additional research would be needed to discover whether one caused the other or was the result on the other.

Researchers at the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry conducted a small study which looked at donated brain samples in order to further investigate suggested links between oral health and dementia. Half of the brains were from people who had dementia while the other half of the brain samples were from people with no known dementia.

Researches noted the presence of P. gingivalis, a known bacteria in gum disease in 40% of the brain samples of the dementia patients and none in those without.  Dr. Sim Singhrao, PhD a senior research fellow at the university noted that it is possible that "when the brain is repeatedly exposed to bacteria from our gums, subsequent immune responses may lead to nerve cell death and possibly memory loss."  She points out that this could mean that regular visits to the dentist could be essential for brain health according to an interview by Tim Locke.

There is currently on-going research into a link between dementia and inflammation caused by many factors including poor dental health.  Dr. Simon Ridley, PhD, of the Alzheimer's Research UK pointed out that we do not know whether the presence of the bacteria could contribute to dementia or whether perhaps people with dementia are more likely to develop gum disease due to lack of oral hygiene and regular dental care.  More studies will be needed before we have a good understanding of this possible link.

In the meantime, keeping your teeth and gums healthy is a wise idea.   If you know someone with dementia who could use your help caring for their dental health, feel free to ask us or read our blog on Alzheimer's Disease and Dental Care.

Also, don't forget that if you write a review on our office and let us know about it, we will give $5 to the Alzheimer's Association this month.

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