Archive for August, 2014

Cavities: Causes and Prevention

Friday, August 29th, 2014

cavity preventionA majority of the oral pain that people suffer comes from either gum disease or cavities. Cavities can be especially painful since they target the tooth itself. People of all ages can get cavities, though they’re most prevalent in children due to sugar consumption and the fact that they’re still learning good oral hygiene habits. So, what are cavities? Cavities are defined as “holes in the teeth that occur as a result of tooth decay and plaque.” The last thing that you want to hear when you go to the dentist is that you need a cavity filled. One of the best ways to prevent cavities from occurring is to know what causes them!

What Causes Cavities?

The two biggest perpetrators for causing cavities are bacteria and sugar. These two work together to form plaque, which attaches itself to your teeth and eats through the enamel. Once the enamel is gone, it begins to cause a hole in the tooth itself. The following things could be contributing to your vulnerability to cavities:

  • Foods high in sugar or carbohydrates – Carbs will eventually break down into simple sugars, which work with bacteria to create plaque. Some of the worst foods for your teeth are sticky foods (think fruit snacks), cereal, and even bread. Avoiding these foods or making a point to brush directly after eating them will help you prevent cavities.
  • Not brushing and flossing properly – A good oral hygiene routine coupled with eating the right foods is your best defense against developing cavities. Remember to brush at least twice per day and floss once to help remove plaque from the surface of your teeth as well as your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is also a good practice.
  • Dry mouth – If you’re taking a medication that causes dry mouth, or if dry mouth has been a problem for you anyway, you are more susceptible to cavities. Your mouth uses saliva to wash away the acids, bacteria, and sugars that create plaque. When you aren’t creating enough saliva, the plaques sticks to your teeth instead, which can cause cavities.

Cavity Prevention

The best way to prevent cavities is to make sure that you get regular checkups and cleanings. Your dentist will be able to tell you if you’re at risk for cavities and, if so, how to remedy the situation. You should also make sure that you practice good oral hygiene at home. To set up an appointment for a checkup and routine cleaning with your Catonsville dentist, give us a call at 410-719-7900, or fill out our contact form. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Sources: Mayo Clinic

Your Catonsville Dentist Explains: Dental Implants

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

dental implantsAs much as we may hope, our teeth don’t last forever. You may have looked into many options such as dentures or crowns, but have you considered dental implants? Implants are a great option if you’re looking for something more permanent that will make your smile look the best it’s ever been.

You might be asking, “What are dental implants?” Dental implants are fake teeth that are surgically imbedded into your jawbone. They become a permanent addition to your mouth, allowing you to carry out your daily life without worrying about your dentures coming loose, or being embarrassed about your smile. Take a look at these advantages to see if dental implants are something you may have more interest in:

  1. More stability. With more stable teeth, you will be able to chew more easily and speak more clearly than you would if you had dentures instead. Don’t think twice about biting into that crunchy apple. With dental implants, you can enjoy all your favorite foods without worrying if your teeth are going to become loose.
  2. Long-lasting. Dentures can easily grow old over time, but dental implants have been known to last 20 or more years!
  3. Easy to maintain. Dentures have to be separately cleaned and placed in with a denture adhesive each day. It is also possible that dentures may cause infection or decay in surrounding teeth. With dental implants, as long as you practice good oral hygiene, your mouth should stay healthy.
  4. A great smile. What’s better than a healthy smile? Implants look like your real teeth, so smile! You’ll have nothing to be embarrassed about with new, durable teeth.

Because it is a surgical procedure, you’ll need to visit a dental professional. Your Catonsville dentist at Affinity Dental Associates is here to help. If you have more questions about what the procedure entails, or need help figuring out if dental implants are the best option for you, give us a call! You can reach us at 410-719-7900, or by filling out our contact form. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!



Your Catonsville Dentist Explains the Importance of Fluoride

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

benefits of fluorideFluoride has been hotly debated for a while now. Some experts say that it’s great for your teeth and something that you should make sure you’re using regularly. Others say that it’s dangerous and can cause additional health problems – let’s debunk that myth right now. Many people are under the impression that fluoride is the gas “fluorine.” While it derives from this gas, it is not actually fluorine, which can be harmful in its pure form. The important thing to remember about fluoride is that it’s safe in moderation. You don’t want to swallow a whole tube of toothpaste (for obvious other reasons, too) but brushing with fluoride toothpaste is a good way to keep your teeth strong and healthy. In fact, many communities still fluoridate their water, which is good for the health of your teeth and moderate enough that it won’t cause health problems. Now that you know what fluoride won’t do to you, check out what it can do for you.

Benefits of Fluoride

  • Tooth strengthening – This benefit is particularly important for children. Fluoride helps strengthen kids’ teeth so that when they’ll grown in healthy and ready to work. Dentists used to think that fluoride was only really important for children, but we’ve learned differently from recent studies. Fluoride can help people of all ages ward off decay.
  • Assists saliva – Saliva in your mouth is there to help neutralize acids and keep plaque at bay. For those who take medications that cause dry mouth, or for people who naturally don’t produce enough saliva, fluoride can be an extra barrier against plaque and tartar build up. If you have dry mouth, you should also consider rinsing with a fluoridated dry mouth mouthwash.
  • Good for braces – Those who wear braces will tell you that it’s difficult to get a really clean mouth. Fluoride helps protect where it can and fluoridated mouth washes can reach areas that toothbrushes and floss have a hard time reaching because of braces. The fluoride gives the mouthwash an extra boost of protection and helps to kill bacteria.

Fluoride Solutions

There are a few different ways to make sure that your teeth are getting the proper amount of fluoride. First thing’s first, find out if your city fluoridates the water source or not. This will give you a better idea of whether you should go over the top trying to make sure you get enough fluoride. Second, brush and rinse with fluoridated products. Third, visit your Catonsville dentist and have your teeth cleaned. We can also give you a fluoride treatment to help your teeth stay stronger longer. If you’re due for a teeth cleaning, it’s time to make an appointment with us. If you have any questions, please contact Affinity Dental Associates by calling 410-719-7900 or visit today!

Our doctors and staff are dedicated to improving your dental health!

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Sources: Colgate, How Stuff Works

Preventing Periodontal Disease

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

periodontal diseaseWhat is periodontal disease? It’s always important to get a question like that out of the way at the get go. Periodontal disease is better known as gum disease and is often confused with gingivitis – though gingivitis is also a type of gum disease. It just isn’t as severe as periodontitis. Periodontal disease can spread down underneath your teeth and gums, which can damage the tissue there and even cause your teeth to fall out.

How Do I Know I Have Periodontal Disease?

There are a few different tip offs, though many people develop gingivitis first, which has similar symptoms to periodontitis.

  • Painful gums that are red or swollen
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth
  • Extremely bad breath that you can’t get rid of
  • Pus coming from your gums
  • Loose Teeth

These are all some basic symptoms. The big difference that you’ll see between periodontitis and gingivitis is that your mouth is more likely to hurt if you’ve got periodontal disease.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

  • Plaque – As with most problems in your mouth, periodontitis is caused by a buildup of plaque. This one just happens to build up on your gums if you don’t floss or brush them properly and on a regular basis.
  • Pockets – Once your gums have started to deteriorate from around your teeth, they form pockets. It’s easy for bacteria to get into the pockets and breed more bacteria that will eventually destroy the tender tissue around your gums.

How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease

There are many ways to avoid getting this disease altogether, and most of the center around taking care of your oral hygiene.

  • Brush and Floss Regularly – You should brush your teeth using the proper technique at least twice per day and you should floss at least once to get the food and plaque that builds up in between your teeth. Make sure to brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth as well.
  • Swish with Antibacterial Mouthwash – It’s hard to get all of the bacteria out of your mouth, even if you brush and floss as often as your supposed to. Mouthwash can get into all of the spaces that your toothbrush and floss can’t.
  • Visit Your Dentist – If you’re exhibiting any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, you need to immediately see your Catonsville dentist. You should also make sure that you’re getting regular cleanings so that your dentist can clean the area between your teeth and gums that’s easy to miss.

At Affinity Dental, we know how important it is for you to maintain your oral health. If you have any questions about sedation dentistry, or making an appointment please contact Affinity Dental Associates by calling 410-719-7900 or visit today!

Our doctors and staff are dedicated to improving your dental health!

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Source: WebMD, Perio, ADA