Posts for: April, 2018
The classic movie Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, starring Gene Wilder, still brings back sweet memories of childhood to people everywhere. Recently, the news broke that a remake of the beloved 1971 film is in now development in Hollywood. But at a reunion of the original cast members a few years ago, child star Denise Nickerson revealed that her role as gum-chewing Violet Beauregard caused a problem: she ended up with 13 cavities as a result of having to chew gum constantly during the filming!
It should come as no surprise that indulging in sugary treats can lead to cavities: The sugar in your diet feeds harmful bacteria that can cause tooth decay and other dental problems. Yet lots of kids (not to mention the child inside many adults) still crave the satisfaction that gum, candy and other sweets can bring. Is there any way to enjoy sweet treats and minimize the consequences to your oral health?
First, let’s point out that there are lots of healthy alternatives to sugary snacks. Fresh vegetables, fruits and cheeses are delicious options that are far healthier for you and your kids. Presenting a variety of appealing choices—like colorful cut-up carrots, bite-sized cheese bits and luscious-looking fruits and berries can make it easier (and more fun) to eat healthy foods. And getting kids off the sugar habit is a great way to help them avoid many health problems in the future.
For those who enjoy chewing gum, sugarless gum is a good option. In fact, chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of healthful saliva in the mouth, which can help neutralize the bacteria-produced acids that cause cavities. Gums that have the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance have passed clinical tests for safety and effectiveness.
But if you do allow sugary snacks, there are still a few ways to minimize the potential damage. Restrict the consumption of sweets to around mealtimes, so the mouth isn’t constantly inundated with sugar. Drink plenty of water to encourage saliva flow, and avoid sugary and acidic beverages like soda (even diet soda) and “sports” or “energy” drinks. Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. And don’t forget to visit our office regularly for routine checkups and cleanings. It’s the best way to get a “golden ticket” to good oral health.
If you would like more information about sugar, cavities and oral health, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Nutrition & Oral Health” and “The Bitter Truth About Sugar.”
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is an infection of the structures around the teeth. Gum disease ranges from gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the bone and soft tissue that support the teeth. In the severe cases, teeth are lost. Dr. Joseph Zeigler and Dr. Nina Zeigler are some of the top dentists in St. Louis, MO. Here are the warning signs of gum disease.
#1- Bad Breath- Chronic bad breath may be a sign that you have gum disease. If you have chronic bad breath, see your dentist. Finding out what's causing your bad breath puts you one step closer to getting rid of it. If your gums are the culprits, breath mints won't help -- they are just temporarily covering up the problem.
#2- Receding Gums- Receding gums is a sign that you may have periodontal disease. Receding gums is a condition in which the gums have pulled away from the teeth. Periodontal disease is the main cause of gum recession. If your gums are receding, make an appointment with your dentist.
#3- Red Gums- Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It causes the gums to become purple or bright red. Periodontal disease results from an infection that causes swelling. This inflammation process causes discoloration of the gums.
#4- Bleeding Gums- If your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth, you may have periodontal disease. That bit of blood in your sink is something you shouldn't ignore. Bleeding gums are never normal. The best way to find out what is causing your gums to bleed is to see your St. Louis, MO, dentist.
#5- Swollen Gums- Gum inflammation may be a sign that you have gum disease. In gingivitis, the gums become inflamed and swollen. For many people with gum disease, this inflammation is not painful. If the cause of your gum inflammation is periodontal disease, good dental hygiene is the first step to recovery.
Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on your mouth. Gum disease can erode your jawbone, destroy your gums and lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is also linked to many health problems in other parts of the body. Say goodbye to gum disease for good! Call our dental office at 314-872-7590 to schedule a dental consultation in St. Louis, MO.
There are well-known holidays on the calendar this month, but here’s one that might have escaped your notice: “Keep America Beautiful Month,” which is observed throughout April! At this time, people from coast to coast are encouraged to clean and beautify their communities. So why not think of it as an occasion to spiff up your smile? Here are five ways to do exactly that:
Have your teeth professionally cleaned. A routine dental visit, which includes a professional cleaning and exam, is one of the best preventive healthcare values there is. It’s a chance to catch dental problems (including potentially serious ones like oral cancer) before they become more difficult to treat. A dental professional can remove built-up deposits of tartar from your teeth using specialized instruments—something you can’t do at home. Plus, you’ll leave the office with a freshly polished smile that looks and feels great.
Get a professional teeth whitening. Having whiter teeth often makes people look more youthful. And one of the best ways to brighten dull teeth is with professional teeth whitening. You can achieve the fastest, most dramatic results with an in-office treatment—up to ten shades in just one visit! We can also make you a custom take-home kit to achieve similar results over time.
Repair chipped teeth. If you feel self-conscious about a chipped tooth, consider cosmetic bonding. In this relatively inexpensive procedure, which often takes just one office visit, tooth-colored resin material is applied to the chipped area and hardened under a special light. The translucent resin is built up layer by layer, bringing teeth with minor flaws back to a great, natural-looking appearance.
Replace old dental work. Sometimes old dental work can stand out more than we’d like it to. This is especially true of amalgam (silver) fillings—but even white fillings can absorb stain after many years. If you feel old dental work is detracting from your smile, it may be time to replace it with up-to-date dental materials.
Straighten your smile. Did you know that there is no maximum age for successful orthodontic treatment? It’s true: Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. And if you think metal braces wouldn’t fit in with your look or lifestyle, consider one of the less-visible alternatives to traditional orthodontic hardware—such as ceramic braces and clear aligners.
Having the smile you want can make you feel more confident in any month of the year. If you’d like more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger” and “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”