Monday, January 27, 2014

Resolutions for a Healthier Mouth

Are you amazed sometimes by the dazzling white, A-lister worthy perfection of the smiles of those around you? Don't write it off to good genes or good luck, chances are those friends, co-workers, family members, and neighbors work hard to look their best. In addition to maintaining healthy gums and a glistening smile, routine self-care is the key to establishing excellent mouth health.

If you resolved to do better this year in regard to your overall dental care, and have had trouble getting started, here is a quick and easy action plan just for you!
  • Start the new year by scheduling your first routine checkup and cleaning. That way, you will know if there are any issues your dental professionals need to address with you, such as sensitivity, cracked teeth, or damaged fillings. Make the most of your visit and get a refresher on the proper ways to brush and floss.  Contact our office to schedule an appointment: 919-782-0548.
  • In the spirit of new beginnings, treat yourself to a new dental "tool" kit. Having the best tools will ensure that the job is done right. Ask your dentist about new electric toothbrushes and other ADA approved items including: fluoride toothpaste, an egg timer, waxed floss, a tongue scraper, dental rinse, sugarless gum and lip balm.
  • Resolve to brush 2 X daily for 2 minutes.* This is when your egg timer will come in handy! Brushing twice daily is a step in the right direction for a brighter smile and fewer dental problems.
  • Floss your teeth and scrape your each night before bedtime.* That way, particles that cause cavities and bacteria that can lead to decay and bad breath will be banished!
  • Reach for a stick of sugarless gum 20 minutes after a meal. Recent advancements have made chewing sugarless gum a good thing because many brands now contain ingredients that can protect the teeth. Look for the ADA seal of approval before you buy that pack of spearmint or favorite fruit flavored gum.
  • Pay attention to your diet. That means eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Whenever possible, consume raw carrots, apples, and celery. These healthy snacks are great for crunching away other food particles that can cause decay. Also, avoid sugary snacks and beverages, processed foods, and drink plenty of fluoridated water.
*(or even better - after every meal)

Need more motivation? Dr. Melcher and his team of dental professionals in Raleigh, NC would be happy to see you soon! Just give us a call at: (919) 782-0548.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Common Dental Symptoms

Seeing a dentist regularly is so important for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. In addition to good health, dental professionals also help their patients keep a smile they can be confident about! Scheduling routine dental visits is perhaps the most important strategy for monitoring your overall health, which can be directly impacted by the state of your teeth and gums. Even though dental health is linked directly to the body's other systems, many find that they typically ignore common dental symptoms. Doing so can lead to more serious problems, which is why these issues should always be addressed by your dental team.

Here is a quick look at some of the most frequent complaints among dental patients:
  • Toothaches - Pain in the teeth and gums may be a sign of decay, night grinding, TMJ, or something else. The tooth could be impacted, abscessed, or signal the beginning phases of gum disease.
  • Sensitivity - Pain experienced with hot or cold food or beverages or even air, are indications of sensitive teeth. Pinpointing the cause is necessary in order to rule out a variety of conditions. Sensitivity in the teeth is often caused by tooth decay, worn out fillings, cracks in the teeth, an exposed root, or gum disease.
  • Sore or Bleeding Gums - The cause could be as simple as overly vigorous brushing or flossing or using a stiff bristled toothbrush. However, these symptoms may also be traced to something more severe, such as gingivitis, which may lead to gum disease.(See: My Gums Bleed When I Brush. What Does It Mean?)
  • Mouth Sores - These come in all shapes and sizes-some are severe-and vary in the cause. Although sores are often caused by an abrasion from a jagged tooth, dentures, or braces, they can also be indications of infection caused by viruses, bacteria, or oral cancers. Never ignore this symptom for over 1 week. (See: How to Treat Canker Sores.)
  • Bad Breath - Those plagued with frequent bad breath should first evaluate their dental hygiene routine. Proper brushing, flossing, tongue scraping and rinsing-at least twice daily-are all necessary to achieve fresh breath. Other factors that may contribute to bad breath are post-nasal drip, smoking, tooth decay, gum disease, and some medications. (See: What Causes Bad Breath and What Can I Do About It?)
  • Jaw Popping and Pain - This common complaint can be attributed to a variety of factors. Some explanations are sinus problems, teeth grinding, stress, gingivitis, and TMJ.(See: Why Does my Jaw Pop When I Open It?)
  • Dry Mouth - Many do not realize that the body's production of saliva aids digestion and helps prevent tooth decay. Having an insufficient amount of saliva may be due to a medical disorder or a side effect of some medications.
  • Problems with Oral Piercings - Because the mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, when piercings are made in unsanitary conditions or improperly looked after, numerous problems can arise. Discoloration, pain, swelling, foul odor, oozing at the site, plus chills or fever, are all signs that something is wrong.
  • Cracked or Broken Teeth - When teeth become cracked or broken, it is very important to determine the cause. Very often, the damage may be naked to the human eye, which is why it is vital to see a dental professional regularly. Regardless of the cause, whether it's from grinding, injury, or tooth decay, bigger problems are in store if cracked or broken teeth are left untreated.(See: Crowns for Damaged, Decayed, or Broken Teeth.)
  • Stained or Discolored Teeth - As we age, the ravages of tobacco use, coffee, tea, certain foods, some medications, and just genetics, can cause tooth enamel to become discolored. Regular cleanings help and there are also whitening options. Your dentist can rule out anything serious and offer the best solutions for whitening or stain removal.
Please do not ignore any of these symptoms. Make an appointment with Dr. Melcher and establish a plan of action immediately.

When ignored, dental problems can lead to irreversible conditions. Whenever a problem persists for more than 5 to 7 days, make an appointment with our office. Early detection is truly the key for eliminating dental concerns. Remember that bacteria and other infections located in the mouth can make their way into the body's circulatory and cardiovascular systems. Recent indicators show a real connection between several common dental issues and heart disease!

If you are in need of a full-service dental office in the greater Raleigh area, contact the office of Dr. Simon Melcher of Implant and General Dentistry. From bridges to wisdom teeth, our team of dental professionals is skilled and experienced in the latest strategies and treatments for improving the dental health and hygiene of our clients.

Learn more by giving us a call to schedule an appointment at 919-782-0548. Our office is located at 3340 Six Forks Road in Raleigh.  Read some of our many success stories here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Find ADA - Approved Dental Products

With so many products on the market promising whiter teeth, fresher breath, and fewer cavities, sometimes it's hard to know which ones you can really trust. That's why it is always best to locate items bearing the American Dental Association's seal of approval. Do keep in mind that an ADA seal is not an endorsement, but aimed at guiding consumers to more reliable products when interpreting labels on dental health products.

When the ADA seal of approval is present it shows that the product has gone through a rigorous scientific and safety review by qualified dental professionals. Being able to post the ADA seal is a privilege for the manufacturers of everything from floss to sugar free gum to rinses and toothbrushes. Even denture cleansers and water filters have the opportunity to go through the ADA's inspection process. Gaining this esteemed approval is not easy, which is why ADA recommended items typically surpass higher standards than those required by law.

Search ADA Approved Dental Products Here.

In an effort to promote dental health and ensure that Americans are able to obtain the very best dental hygiene and anti-cavity products, ADA testers must prove that items perform as they claim to. That is why such claims are verified before the seal is earned and even before the products go on supermarket and drugstore shelves.

Dr. Simon Melcher and his team of highly skilled and professional dental hygienists are happy to make suggestions regarding which ADA-approved products will maximize your dental routine. Please call us to schedule an appointment: (919) 782-0548

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Dentists Providing Care in the Face of Hardship

The American Dental Association's Foundation, or simply, the ADA Foundation, is a charitable organization whose mission is to unite people, interested groups, corporations and resources to "make a difference through better oral health."

Through contributions made by the general public and those in the field of dentistry and orthodontics, the foundation spearheads research, educational programs, and recruits volunteers to carry out their mission. The ADA Foundation offers scholarships for dental students, oral health care to disadvantaged areas, and assistance for dentists and their families who are experiencing difficulties. In addition to obtaining donations and grants, the ADA Foundation strives to provide accessible dental care to those in need. Thanks to their strong alliance with the American Dental Association, their membership is able to take on special challenges that affect dentistry and dental health, around the globe.

Currently, members of the ADA Foundation team are assisting victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in early November. Its impact devastated several islands in the area, and killed over 6,000 individuals. Even now, UN officials estimate that close to 11 million people were severely affected and many of them were left homeless.

Please consider helping the ADA Foundation with a donation to help its disaster relief efforts in the Philippines. Funds raised will provide much needed dental care for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

Please note that all donations will be combined, and a grant will be issued from the ADAF directly to the ADA's Division of Global Affairs, which will identify and work with a reputable non-profit (NGO) to distribute the funds appropriately to serve the greatest need.

If you would like to learn more about donations, how the funds are used or how to volunteer, here is the contact information:

By Mail:
ADA Foundation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-440-2547
Fax: 312-440-3526