Posts for: January, 2017
Learn about dental implants from your Macon dentists.
Have you considered replacing your missing tooth with a dental implant? Implants are an excellent choice if you're looking for a long-term tooth replacement option. Dr. Clinton Watson and Dr. Nicole Jackson, your Macon, GA dentists, explain how dental implants can improve your smile.
Something to smile about again
It's not unusual to feel a little depressed after losing a tooth, but the change in your smile doesn't have to be permanent. Thanks to dental implants, you can replace your entire tooth, not just the part you can see. Your implant is placed in an opening in your jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Implants are made of titanium, a type of metal that bonds to bones. Once bonding is complete in a few months, your new implant will become part of your jawbone. Adding a crown to your implant is the final step in the process. Your crown not only replaces your tooth above the gum line but also restores your ability to chew normally.
A flexible solution
Dental implants can replace multiple teeth or a single tooth. They're even a good option if you wear dentures. Implant-supported dentures don't require one implant for every tooth. Instead, four to six implants can usually support an upper or lower denture.
Thanks to your dental implant, you'll be able to enjoy your favorite foods again. Since your implants is securely fastened to your implant, you won't have to worry that it will slip when you eat hard foods. In fact, your dental implant will probably feel just like the tooth you lost.
A better option for your jawbone
Bridges and dentures effectively replace missing teeth, but they don't address one common problem after tooth loss - bone loss. Your tooth roots play a part in keeping your jawbone strong by constantly pressing on it. When you lose teeth, your jawbone starts to shrink. Eventually, the receding bone may not be able to support your other teeth and they may begin to loosen. Thanks to dental implants, bone loss won't be a problem.
Do dental implants sound like a good option to you? Call Dr. Watson and Dr. Jackson, your Macon, GA dentists, at (478) 475-1976 to schedule an appointment to learn if you're a good candidate.
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.
There's more to your dental visit than preventing or treating teeth or gum problems. We're also on the lookout for a number of potential soft tissue problems that could occur in or around your mouth.
Here are 4 examples of such problems we can detect and help you manage.
Lumps. Whenever you accidentally bite the inside of your mouth, the wound you create forms a protective layer of hard collagen. Unfortunately, the “callous” can rise higher than the surrounding cheek surface and easily get in the way of your teeth again. With successive bites and more scar tissue you'll soon notice a prominent lump. Although not a health danger, it becomes annoying with each successive bite. We can surgically remove the lump and flatten out the mouth surface.
Canker sores. Known as aphthous ulcers, these round sores with a yellow-gray center and a red “halo” can break out on the inside cheeks, tongue or back of the throat. Unless they don't heal within a couple of weeks or seem to be increasing in frequency, they're nothing to worry about. They can, however, cause a burning or stinging sensation. We can reduce this discomfort and speed healing with over-the-counter ointments or prescription options like topical or injected steroids.
Cracked mouth corners. Also known as perleche (from the French lecher, meaning “to lick”), your mouth corners can become dry and irritated and you may begin licking them to soothe the discomfort. Accumulated saliva can trigger a yeast infection, which can spread to other parts of your mouth. We can usually prevent this by prescribing antifungal ointments, and a steroid ointment to control inflammation.
Mouth rash. Peri-oral dermatitis is a red, scaly rash that appears around the outside of the mouth. Because it's often mistaken for acne or other conditions, it's often treated with topical steroids. This actually suppresses the skin's normal healing effects and can actually make the rash worse. The best way to treat it is to stop using any kind of ointment or cream and use only mild soap to wash the area. We can also prescribe antibiotics to help speed the healing process.
If you would like more information on these and other soft tissue problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Common Lumps and Bumps in the Mouth,” “Mouth Sores,” and “Cracked Corners of the Mouth.”