How to Keep a Healthy Tongue | Dentist in Opelika AL

When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips. 

Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene 

Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath. 

Maintain a Healthy Diet 

Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar. 

Visit our Dental Office 

By visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and examination, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs. 

Don’t let your oral health slip by neglecting proper care for your tongue! Put these four tips into practice so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile. Contact our office today to learn more about proper oral care or to schedule your next appointment.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks | Opelika Dentist

Many sports drinks contain electrolytes which can be helpful to maintain energy levels when engaging in physical activities. You may believe that sports drinks are healthy but the truth of the matter is, they are not healthy. Energy drinks are those like Monster and Rockstar. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also seen as a tasty alternative to water when it comes to staying hydrated. It is important to know the negative effects and damage that these drinks do to your teeth.  

Up to 62 percent of children of the same age drink at least one sports drink per day and between 30 and 50 percent of teenagers in the United States drink these types of beverages regularly. With these numbers being so high it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth. The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days. 

There is a lot of damage being done to your oral health when consuming sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erodes or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay. 

While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and do not brush your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems. 

Getting healthy is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. One must maintain oral health to make sure to have a lasting smile. Talk to our dentist about preventative care for your oral health.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Root Canal Therapy for Children | Family Dentist Opelika

Primary (or baby) teeth play a vital role in the proper growth and development of your child’s permanent teeth. This is the reason why we may recommend root canal therapy for your child, rather than simply extracting a severely decayed baby tooth. Please review the information below to learn more about what symptoms may indicate the need for root canal treatment and how to prevent tooth decay in baby teeth. 

In early stages, your child may not experience pain or discomfort from tooth decay. However, if your child suddenly develops sensitivity to hold, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks, this could be a sign of decay. Other signs your child could need root canal therapy can include pain or throbbing in a tooth, which may indicate pulp damage or infection. This is most common when a tooth has been previously chipped or cracked and exposed the pulp within. We may recommend diagnostic x-rays to determine the extent of the damage or infection before advising treatment. 

Root canal treatment for children proceeds in similar fashion to the adult experience. Local anesthetic medication is generally used to ensure comfort throughout. In most cases, your child’s root canal therapy will be a pulpotomy – removal of infected pulp only. Since less structure is affected by this treatment, it usually requires less time and discomfort to complete and to heal. 

After your child’s root canal therapy, a dental crown will be fabricated and placed on the tooth to protect the remaining tooth structure from further damage. This crown will be strong and designed to perfectly fit within your child’s mouth. When the baby tooth falls out, the crown will go with it, allowing the permanent tooth to move into place normally. 

There are actions you can take to help protect your child from tooth decay requiring root canal therapy. Some of these include: 

  • Start twice yearly dental visits by age 1 
  • Brush your child’s teeth until they are old enough to take over 
  • Teach your child how to brush and floss correctly 
  • Practice healthy nutrition in your home 
  • Talk to your child about the value of healthy teeth and gums 

For more information about childhood root canal therapy, contact our office.  

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Kill the Pain, Save the Tooth | Cosmetic Dentist La Fayette

Root canal, or endodontic, therapy treats inflammation or infection within the pulp of a tooth. If you are awaiting your first root canal treatment, you may feel anxious or uncertain. It can be difficult to separate myth from fact when trying to learn what to expect. Here is some useful information about root canal therapy and some common misperceptions you may encounter. 

Despite common belief, root canal therapy does not cause pain. Instead, it relieves the pain you are already experiencing by treating the underlying cause of the infection or inflammation. Some common reasons for tooth pulp inflammation or infection include: 

  • Deep tooth decay 
  • Chip or crack in tooth structure 
  • Tooth root fracture 
  • Periodontal (gum) disease 
  • Repeated treatment on a single tooth 

Once inflammation begins, the pulp experiences swelling and pressure that cause pain. If left untreated, permanent damage to the pulp can occur, including pulp tissue death. When this happens, you may experience temporary relief of pain, but it may lead to painful infection and tooth loss. 

Root canal therapy is the removal of diseased or dead pulp tissue from the inside of a tooth. We use specially designed instruments that clean out the pulp chamber and root canals. Next, we disinfect the canals with special medications and clean them once more. Finally, we seal the canals to prevent re-infection. You may experience minor discomfort for a few days, but this can usually be managed with over-the-counter medications. 

After your root canal treatment, your tooth will need a permanent restoration to replace the lost tooth structure and protect the remaining tooth. This may be a filling or crown, depending on your need. We will discuss your restoration plan with you prior to your root canal therapy. 

Whenever possible, saving your natural tooth is our goal. Root canal therapy can help to preserve your tooth. To learn more about root canal therapy or to schedule an appointment, contact our office. 

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

What is Periodontal Disease? | Dentist Opelika

Dentist in Opelika AL

Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.  

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional like our dentist in 36801 can remove the tartar from teeth. 

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build unchecked. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance to gingivitis. In this stage, gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. Some other common symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, and difficulty or pain with chewing. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the gingivitis from advancing to periodontitis. 

When gingivitis is not treated in time, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gum line. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis. 

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes in women. Some medications can cause gum tissue to grow abnormally, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease. 

Many recent studies have found that untreated periodontal disease may negatively impact other aspects of your overall health, especially for patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of developing certain pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight or premature birth. 

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our Opelika, AL dental office to schedule a consultation.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Changing Your Spots: White Areas on Teeth | Dentist in Opelika AL

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White spots on your teeth can be irritating and affect how you feel about your smile. The good news, however, is that they are preventable and rarely cause for concern. Here are things our dentist in Opelika thinks you should know about what causes white spots, how to prevent them, and what options are available should you already have them. 

What causes white spots on teeth? 

1.       Dental Fluorosis This can happen when a child consumes or is exposed to too much fluoride during the development of their teeth. While undesirable, this is harmless and can happen before teeth even emerge. The most common cause of fluorosis in the US is the use or ingestion of too much toothpaste. 

2.       Poor Dental HygieneForgetting to brush regularly can cause white spots to develop. 

3.       Braces – Wearing braces for an extended time can affect the coloration of your teeth and create white spots.  

4.       Acidic or Sugary Foods – These foods can damage your teeth as well as change the color of their enamel. Rinsing your mouth after you consuming acidic or sugary items can help negate these effects. 

How can I prevent them from appearing? 

Following a proper oral hygiene regimen is the best way to prevent white spots on teeth. Ensure your child uses the correct amount of toothpaste – children under 3 should use a smear the size of a rice grain, and children over 3 should not use more than a pea-sized amount. It is common for children to accidentally swallow or fail to spit out toothpaste, so be sure to supervise your child as they are learning. 

What are options for treatment? 

If you are already dealing with white spots, you have options. Whitening or bleaching can make the coloration of your teeth more uniform. Dental veneers can restore the entire appearance of your teeth, solving not just the problem of white spots. In some cases, topical fluoride or enamel microabrasion upon the white spots themselves can do the trick.  

Our doctor will recommend the optimal solution for treating white spots on your teeth. Contact our dental office in Opelika, AL for a consultation today.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Modern Dentistry: Managing TMD Discomfort | Dentist in La Fayette

36801 Dentist

Discomfort and pain in your jaw, clicking while you talk or chew, and swelling on the sides of your face can be caused by Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD). TMD can make talking and eating both painful and uncomfortable. Our team understands how TMD can make your day a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for managing TMD discomfort, but also encourage you to schedule a visit to see us for a full evaluation. 

Finding Relief at Home 

If your jaw is swollen, try applying a cold compress to your face. We recommend holding the compress in place for about 10 minutes. If you are able, try a few gentle jaw stretches. After the cold compress, apply warm, moist heat to the same area. You can keep this warm compress in place for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.  

If your discomfort is particularly noticeable, try over-the-counter pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or ibuprofen. If you find yourself taking pain relieving medications daily, please contact us immediately. 

The “Don’ts” of TMD 

Applying excess pressure to your jaw can make your TMD discomfort worse. Don’t use your hand as a rest for your chin, as doing so increases the amount of pressure and strain placed on your jaw. If you talk on the phone frequently, avoid holding the phone on your shoulder while bending your neck to keep it in place.  

Clenching your jaw and keeping your teeth tightly closed can also lead to a build-up of pressure in the jaw. During the day, try to keep your teeth from touching. By create a little space between your teeth, you will be relieving pressure from your jaw. 

Contact Us 

Our team is here to help you. Schedule a consultation with our dentist to learn more about the solutions available for people just like you dealing with TMD discomfort. We will provide a thorough examination to determine the best course of treatment for your TMD.  

Relief may be closer than you think. Contact our dental team to learn more today. 

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Should You Brush Right After Eating? | 36801 Dentist

Dentist in Opelika

Enamel is the guardian of your teeth and the hardest material in the body. It’s the first defense against harmful bacteria which may lead to tooth decay. When you eat certain foods, it creates bacteria which attack your tooth enamel. Carbohydrates and sugary foods are examples of these foods. Brushing directly after eating can be harmful to your enamel. 

Why this is a problem 

When eating or drinking, the pH balance in your mouth changes. After each bite of acidic food, the pH balance moves towards a level which causes demineralization. The new acidity softens the enamel which can cause bacteria to get into the teeth. Brushing right after you eat may damage your enamel. This is important because enamel protects your teeth from damage.   

Steps you can take to protect your enamel: 

If you’ve had anything acidic, don’t brush for at least 30 minutes.  

Fruits with citric acid are one example. If you are planning ingesting acidic foods or drinks, you can brush beforehand. 

A glass of water will help remove the acid. Follow this by chewing sugarless gum. These steps help create saliva which will help bring back the necessary pH balance needed for a healthy smile. 

Try to avoid soda as prolonged phosphoric acid can cause permanent damage

Brushing your teeth twice a day is an important habit for optimal oral health.  

Have you ever been told you should brush your teeth right after eating? While this may sound like the right habit to adapt, this practice could be detrimental to the health of your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after eating may be a better option to keep enamel strong. Visit our office for an exam and we can give you for tips for healthy, strong teeth. Call our office today. 

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

Self-Care: A Woman’s Priority | Dentist in Opelika

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When you travel by plane, your flight attendant will advise that in the rare case of an emergency, you must first put on your air mask before attempting to help those around you. When this is not followed, the results can be catastrophic, both for you and for those you might otherwise have been in a position to assist. While this is crucial information for all, our Opelika dentist agrees thatmany women particularly require this gentle reminder to prioritize their own needs above those of others. 

All too often, we meet women who work tirelessly to fulfill the needs of their families. We see working moms, both at home and in office, who prioritize the health and wellness of their children, spouse and even friends before their own. 

We get it: there’s joy and fulfillment in taking care of others. However, it may be time to “put on your oxygen mask” and consider whether you are remembering to care for yourself. Your health, both mental and physical, should be one of your top priorities. This will allow you to have the energy and strength you need to assist with the needs of those around you. 

Smile restoration can take years off your appearance, while adding years to your life by improving your health. If you’re looking for a way to jump start your new self-care inclusive way of living, contact our Opelika, AL dental office for a cosmetic consultation. Your friends and family will love to see you with a vibrant, beautiful, healthy smile. You deserve it.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801

How Candy Threatens Your Child’s Smile | Dentist in 36801

36801 dentist

How often does your child eat candy? According to a study conducted by the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar in one year. While candy is not the sole source of sugar in a child’s diet, the impacts of sugary candy treats are particularly harmful to teeth. Here’s what our 36801 dentist needs you to know about candy and how it might be damaging your child’s smile.

The Impact of Sugar on Teeth

The real culprit in candy is the high sugar content. Certain types of bacteria that are present in your mouth can feed on sugar. These destructive bacteria then create acid that wears away tooth enamel. When enamel is weakened, your risk of developing decay increases. Your mouth is effective at neutralizing acids and aiding minerals that strengthen enamel if the amount of sugars and acids is not excessive. Your mouth can only do so much, which makes it essential to limit your sugar intake and maintain a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine.

Watch Out for Sticky, Sugary Candies

Not all candies are made equal. For a general rule of thumb, the sticker the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. Sticky candies leave sugary residue on your teeth long after you are done eating. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to start demineralizing enamel. Watch out for sticky candies like gum drops and taffy. 

Suckers, lollipops, and hard sucking candies are troublesome because they are in your mouth for an extended period of time. Like sticky candies, this allows for more time for harmful bacteria to get to work by weakening your teeth. You can also chip or crack a tooth if you bite too hard.

Other problematic candies include those that are gummy and coated in sugar. Think of gummy worms or another sour covered, chewy critter. Not only are they high in sugar content, but they also typically contain harmful acids that contribute to a loss of enamel.

Steps for Preventing Decay

You can help your child by limiting their candy and sugar intake. In some instances, this can be tricky and even out of your control when your child is at school or a friend’s house. What you can do is instill good oral hygiene habits in your child. Make sure they are brushing for two minutes twice each day. You can make brushing fun. Sing a song together for the two minutes, and allow them to choose a fun toothbrush and toothpaste flavor. 

Candy is a fun treat. You don’t have to take it away from your child altogether, but limit their exposure to such treats and educate them about the impacts candy can have on their teeth. When left untreated, decay can spread leading to pain and infection. Maintaining a schedule of regular visits to our office is essential. More than just a dental cleaning, we will provide a thorough examination to check for decay. 

If you haven’t already scheduled your child’s next appointment, please contact our dental office in Opelika, AL.

Auburn Opelika Dental
Phone: (334) 745-6295
1610 2nd Ave
Opelika, AL 36801