Posts for: June, 2018
Just like other parts of your physical body, teeth naturally wear as we get older. Just the effect from chewing during hundreds of thousands of meals in a lifetime can take its toll.
But there are some factors that can make tooth wear worse. By addressing them promptly should they arise, you can keep age-related tooth wear to a minimum.
Here are 3 areas to watch for to avoid excessive tooth wear.
Dental disease. Tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease are most responsible for not only the loss of teeth but for compromising tooth health overall. But the good news is they’re largely preventable through proper oral hygiene practices to remove bacterial plaque, the main trigger for these diseases. Prompt treatment when they do occur can also minimize any damage and help your teeth and gums stay strong and healthy.
Your bite. Also known as occlusion, the bite refers to how the upper and lower teeth align with each other when you bite down. When they don’t align properly, regular chewing and biting can create abnormally high forces in the teeth and cause them to wear unevenly and more rapidly. Correcting the bite through orthodontic treatment won’t just improve your smile, it can improve bite function and decrease accelerated tooth wear.
Bruxism. This is a general term describing habits like teeth clenching and grinding in which the teeth forcefully contact each other beyond normal parameters. There are a number of causes for bruxism, but for adults it’s typically related to stress. Over time, bruxism can accelerate tooth wear and cause other problems like TMD. There are a number of ways to stop or at least reduce the effects of bruxism like relaxation techniques or a night guard worn during sleep that prevents the teeth from making forceful contact.
If you suspect you’re experiencing any of these factors, see us for a full examination. We’ll then be able to discuss your condition, the potential impact on tooth wear, and what we can do to protect your teeth.
If you would like more information on protecting your teeth as you age, 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 and Why Teeth Wear.”
Fans of the legendary rock band Steely Dan received some sad news a few months ago: Co-founder Walter Becker died unexpectedly at the age of 67. The cause of his death was an aggressive form of esophageal cancer. This disease, which is related to oral cancer, may not get as much attention as some others. Yet Becker's name is the latest addition to the list of well-known people whose lives it has cut short—including actor Humphrey Bogart, writer Christopher Hitchens, and TV personality Richard Dawson.
As its name implies, esophageal cancer affects the esophagus: the long, hollow tube that joins the throat to the stomach. Solid and liquid foods taken into the mouth pass through this tube on their way through the digestive system. Worldwide, it is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths.
Like oral cancer, esophageal cancer generally does not produce obvious symptoms in its early stages. As a result, by the time these diseases are discovered, both types of cancer are most often in their later stages, and often prove difficult to treat successfully. Another similarity is that dentists can play an important role in oral and esophageal cancer detection.
Many people see dentists more often than any other health care professionals—at recommended twice-yearly checkups, for example. During routine examinations, we check the mouth, tongue, neck and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. These may include lumps, swellings, discolorations, and other abnormalities—which, fortunately, are most often harmless. Other symptoms, including persistent coughing or hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained weight loss, are common to both oral and esophageal cancer. Chest pain, worsening heartburn or indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also alert us to the possibility of esophageal cancer.
Cancer may be a scary subject—but early detection and treatment can offer many people the best possible outcome. If you have questions about oral or esophageal cancer, call our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”
Do the gaps in your smile make you self-conscious, cause issues with eating or speaking, or make you feel as though your smile is not up to par? If so, you may be a candidate for dental implants. This tooth replacement option is a permanent, natural-looking way to close the gaps in your smile. Find out more about dental implants with Dr. Joseph Reed at Arlington Dental in Arlington, TX.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a tooth replacement option. However, unlike other options like bridges or dentures, an implant also replaces the missing tooth’s root. This unique procedure is safe, effective, and permanent, leaving you with a natural looking addition to your smile which will last for many years to come. An implant is made up of a fixture, which your dentist implants into your jawbone and replaces your tooth’s root below the gumline, a prosthetic tooth, which replaces the tooth above the gumline, and an abutment which connects the fixture and prosthetic.
How can dental implants benefit me?
An implant lies within the jawbone under your missing tooth. The bone grows around the fixture to anchor it permanently into place. Though a denture or bridge can also fill a gap in your smile, these dental restorations do not grow into your smile naturally. Additionally, implants save you from future replacement procedures in the future and come with only minimal maintenance, saving you time and money in the long run. Dental implants look, feel, and function like real teeth and will never require you to do anything more than simply brush and floss them daily.
Dental Implants in Arlington, TX
If you think you can benefit from dental implants, you should consult with your dentist to ensure that this is the best teeth replacement option for you. An implant can replace a single tooth, several teeth in a row, or even a whole arch of teeth using implant-supported dentures. No matter your teeth replacement needs, dental implants and your dentist have you covered.
For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Joseph Reed at Arlington Dental in Arlington, TX. Call (817) 303-5700 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Reed today!