Posts for: January, 2017
As your mother used to say, “A moist mouth is a healthy mouth.” Well, maybe she didn't — but it's still true. Without the constant flow of saliva, your teeth and gums would be less healthy.
That's because among its many functions, saliva helps keep the mouth from becoming too acidic. Just after eating, your mouth's neutral pH level tips to the acidic side of the scale. Acid is enamel's number one enemy, and it takes little time for it to begin dissolving mineral content. But in thirty minutes to an hour, saliva neutralizes the acid; it also helps restore some of the enamel's minerals.
Without adequate saliva flow, acid quickly gets the upper hand. In time, this can greatly increase your risk for dental disease. And for many people, inadequate saliva — dry mouth — is a chronic problem.
There are a number of reasons why. Salivary glands may not produce as much in our later years. In addition, as we age, we may begin taking more medications, some of which can cause dry mouth. Treatments for certain kinds of systemic diseases, particularly cancer, can also inhibit saliva or even damage salivary glands.
If you feel your mouth is continuously dry, make an appointment to find out the cause, which will determine the best course of action to alleviate it. If it's related to your medication, we'll see if there's an alternative. If not, you may need to drink more water when you take your medication and more throughout the day.
There are other things you can do as well. Reduce your intake of acidic foods or caffeinated beverages. Run a cool-air humidifier at night to keep your mouth and nose membranes moist. And you can also try saliva stimulants available by prescription or even over the counter. Chewing gum with xylitol (an alcohol-based sugar) has also been shown to stimulate saliva flow.
Above all, be diligent about daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings and checkups. Keeping a watchful eye will help ensure dental disease doesn't take advantage of your dry mouth.
If you would like more information on managing dry mouth, 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 “Dry Mouth.”
What you need to know about getting dentures in Seymour.
You want to replace your missing teeth but you’re not entirely sure what the best option is. When it comes to getting tooth replacements our Seymour, IN dentists, Dr. Matthew Pierce and Dr. Lane Severe, offer different options to cater to your different needs. If you are contemplating whether dentures are right for you, discover some of the benefits to getting this oral prosthetic.
Dentures have been a tried-and-true way to replace missing teeth for many years and have been able to give people back their full smiles. It can truly be a lifesaver for those with severe tooth loss but as dental technology becomes better and better there are more reliable and long-term solutions that patients often turn to instead.
Dentures are still popular because they are a simple and fast treatment and they are inexpensive. The price point can be a major factor for patients when it comes to replacing missing teeth. However, our Seymour general dentists can talk to you about payment options to help you get the smile you want at a price you can afford.
A major drawback to dentures is that they often stay in place with denture adhesive or through suction, but dentures don’t often stay in place like they should. Those who wear dentures may find challenges securing them in place. Dentures may shift around while eating or while speaking and sometimes lower dentures can cause sores or gum irritation, particularly when they move and shift around.
You’ll also have to follow a rather strict cleaning and maintenance routine to make sure that your dentures last. Dentures aren’t designed to last more than a few years. The average lifespan of dentures is around seven to 10 years.
Of course, just because you decide to get denture doesn’t meant that you’ll just have to put up with a less-than-perfect smile. Talk to us about whether you are a candidate for dental implant-supported dentures. Implants are small metal posts that act as tooth roots and are surgically placed into the jawbone. Several can be placed along the bone to support your dentures. And since dental implants are designed to last a lifetime you won’t have to worry about replacing them every few years.
Do you have questions about dentures? Do you want to know if dentures are the right restoration for you? If so, then call Jackson County Dental in Seymour, IN today to schedule your no-risk consultation. You deserve to have a beautiful smile!
Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”