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All Posts in Category: Oral Health

general dentistry basics

What General Dentistry Offers

At Creative Dental, we provide general dentistry services to all of our patients. Those who need or desire specialized dental care, such as implants, cosmetic dentistry, and oral surgery, can also have those needs met at Creative Dental in Westfield, New Jersey.

What is General Dentistry?

General dentistry is the foundation of oral health care. It can be compared to general physician services. You go to your general physician to monitor and maintain your overall health. Just like that, you see your general dentist for professional attention for your overall oral health.

A general dentist is educated to help patients achieve maximum oral health through careful monitoring, maintenance, and treatment. For example, during your general dentist appointment, your dental professional will inspect your mouth for any signs of trouble, such as sores, redness, swelling, infection, and other signs of bacterial issues. Recently, it’s been proven that an unhealthy dental situation can lead to bodily issues, such as heart disease. This is why general dentistry is considered to be at the forefront of ensuring overall wellness.

Dental maintenance includes the things you do at home to keep teeth and gums clean, such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing. These are essential steps for everyday maintenance.

Why are Regular Dentist Appointments Necessary?

However, home care is just the beginning. To ensure proper oral health, regular dentist appointments are needed to prevent and tackle a wide range of oral health issues, such as tartar and plaque, receding gums and more. This is an area where your general dentist and dental hygienist plays a key role. When you come in for regular visits, teeth cleaning is straightforward and effective. The teeth cleaning process involves checking the depth of tooth “pockets.” These are areas of the gum that have pulled away from the tooth. Checking pockets helps dentists identify areas in the mouth that are either infected or more prone to infection.

The teeth cleaning process also involves scraping teeth to rid them of built-up tartar and plaque. Even those who are vigilant about brushing and flossing after every meal can have tartar and plaque accumulation. These substances harden substantially, to the point where a trained hygienist is needed to remove them from the teeth. If you fail to have regular dentist appointments, tartar and plaque build-up can ultimately lead to loose or missing teeth. The good news is, this is easily preventable through regular dentist appointments.

General Dentistry services also include filling cavities, whitening, and many other services that will make your smile healthier, whiter and brighter.

What About Dental Emergencies?

Certain issues come up now and then around oral health, including cracked or chipped teeth, inflamed gums, toothaches, and other dental emergencies. These are things that your general dentist in Westfield, New Jersey is specially qualified to deal with. During your visit to a general dentist, you’ll find that all problems with your teeth and gums can be solved, often without pain or discomfort.

The more you see your Creative Dental general dentist in Westfield, NJ, the more you’ll be able to be confident that your oral health can be optimized through regular dental visits. There are so many oral health issues that can be solved with general dentistry; it makes sense to call now for your appointment!

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young woman after preventive dentistry

Understanding Preventive Dentistry

What is Preventive Dentistry?

Preventive dentistry refers to the methods used to care for your teeth so that they can remain healthy. When you use an effective preventive routine, you can prevent gum disease, cavities and other forms of dental conditions that can affect your smile.

Types of Preventive Dentistry

Preventive dental care takes place in the comfort of your home and at your dentist’s office.

  • Brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth on a daily basis is one of the most important parts of having clean and healthy teeth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing with approved fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day or after every meal. This applies to not only your teeth but also your tongue as brushing your tongue aids in removing bacteria and can make your breath fresher.
  • Flossing. Flossing is helpful in removing bacteria and bits of food from the tight spaces that exist between your teeth. If you are wearing braces, you can use floss threaders to reach beyond the metal brackets. However, it is important that you floss correctly to avoid causing damage to your gums. If in doubt, you can speak to your dentist and request a flossing demonstration to ensure that you can benefit from the practice.
  • Dentist Visits. According to the American Dental Association, regular visits to your dentists is necessary to detecting the early signs of dental problems and ensuring that you have good oral health. You should aim for at least two visits a year so that your dentist can provide you with a professional cleaning and can examine your teeth and gums. Additional visits may be necessary if there are indications of dental issues.
  • Eating a Healthy Diet. In addition to regular cleanings, your teeth also require specific nutrients and minerals, particularly fluoride, in order to remain healthy. This requires that you consume a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. You should also avoid consuming an excessive amount of certain foods that can damage your teeth. This includes sugar in any form, which can adhere to your teeth, and acidic foods and drinks, which can erode tooth enamel.

Benefits of Preventive Dentistry

Being proactive about the health of your teeth has multiple benefits:

  • Less risk of dental issues. Preventive dentistry can lower your chances of experiencing tooth loss and other major dental issues caused by cavities, tooth decay, gum disease or other dental issues.
  • Less risk of secondary health issue. Studies have shown that poor oral health is associated with some health ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and osteoporosis, just to name a few. Maintaining good oral health can help you avoid these conditions.
  • Saves money. Preventive dentistry services are far less costly than restorative dentistry services, such crown or implant installations or root canals. Even if you have dental insurance, the costs related to having poor oral health can be very expensive.

If you have questions about what steps you can take to maintain good oral health, don’t hesitate to speak with your dentist. Your dentist can advise you of the appropriate preventive care techniques for your dental situation.

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mouth body connection

The Mouth-Body Connection Could Not Be Stronger

With toothpaste ads hyper focused on fresh-smelling breath and dazzling white teeth, it’s easy to forget that the benefits of maintaining proper oral hygiene extend far beyond minty breath and pearly whites. In fact, because poor oral health can contribute to various other health issues, it becomes even more crucial to develop healthy oral habits. Need extra motivation to brush twice a day? Just read these six health issues that are affected by a good oral hygiene routine (or lack thereof).

Reduced risk of heart disease

A 2007 study published in the Harvard Health Publications linked chronic gum inflammation with heart disease. In particular, the bacteria that is known to cause periodontitis is also present in the dangerous plaque build-ups in blocked arteries. Other cardiovascular issues that can develop in conjunction with heart disease include blocked vessels and strokes. Improving oral health, particularly gum disease lowers your risk of these cardiovascular problems.

Reduce complications from diabetes

Individuals with diabetes often find it difficult for their bodies to fight infections. As poor oral health often leads to inflammation and infections, it becomes that much more difficult for a person with diabetes to fight an oral infection. Prevent gum infections by creating a proper oral routine that includes brushing after each meal and flossing daily.

Improved lung health

Just because an infection begins in your mouth doesn’t mean that the bacteria stay in your mouth. Bacteria from oral infections can easily travel to the lungs, which then increases lung problems such as inflammation. If you suspect you have an infection, call your dentist immediately before the infection grows and spreads.

Pregnancy and birth weight

While morning sickness may create its challenges by exposing the teeth to high acid levels, excellent oral health is vital for maintaining optimal health for both a pregnant mother and the baby. Experts have shown that mothers with gingivitis are at risk to give birth to babies with low birth weight. Remember to keep routine dental appointments during pregnancy and ask your dentist any questions you have regarding pregnancy and oral health.

Reduce inflammation and joint pain

While it may seem odd that inflammation and pain in joints are connected to oral health, studies show that poor oral health contributes to inflammation elsewhere in the body, and that includes joints. Particularly, the study focuses on Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease that causes painful joint swelling. How are these two conditions linked? Scientists believe that the method of tissue destruction in gum disease is the same method of destruction in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Improve mental health and memory

Perhaps the most obvious – yet least discussed –effect of poor oral health is on mental health. Poor hygiene, especially in the cases of decayed teeth, leads to extremely noxious breath, which can create embarrassing social situations and low self-esteem. On the other hand, a mouth free from infections, pain, or decay increases self-esteem and confidence. In addition to increased confidence, good oral health also affects memory; gingivitis has been linked to poorer scores on memory tests.

Keeping your mouth clean is more than just improving your smile; the mouth-body relationship is one that will improve your overall health.

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good oral health

Why Good Oral Health Can Prevent Disease and Sickness

Tooth decay and gum disease can affect more than just your dental health. Research shows that your oral health and systemic health are closely linked. The sticky plaque that builds up on teeth is made up of millions of bacteria. If you slack on your dental care, bacteria from the mouth can lead to inflammation or infection in other parts of the body. This is even more likely if your immune system is already compromised by disease or certain medical treatments. Fortunately, good oral health can significantly reduce your risk of developing a disease and other sicknesses caused by oral bacteria.

Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Poor dental care can result in much more than teeth stains and the occasional cavity. In fact, bacteria from periodontal disease and inflammation of the gums can enter your bloodstream and travel to the heart. Cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, has been associated with poor dental health. In a recent study that observed the link between cardiovascular and periodontal disease, researchers found that people with diagnosed periodontal disease are four times more likely to develop a lacunar stroke.

Respiratory infection is another risk of poor oral health. Gum disease can cause you to develop infections in your lungs, such as pneumonia. These infections are caused by breathing in bacteria from infected teeth and gums over a prolonged period. According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, people who never undergo dental checkups have an 86 percent greater risk of developing pneumonia than people who visit their dentist twice a year.

Your oral health can also affect your long-term memory and thinking skills. Bacteria from gum disease or gingivitis can reach the brain through the bloodstream or nerve channels in the head. In time, these bacteria can lead to the development of various dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study consisting of donated brain samples from ten people with dementia and ten people without, the bacteria Porphyromonas gingivalis was found in the brain of dementia patients. These bacteria have been found to induce brain changes in Alzheimer’s patients.

Tips for Maintaining Proper Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene consists of a mouth free of decay and debris. Your gums should appear pink and should not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss. Also, bad breath should not be an ongoing issue. If you struggle with these issues, it’s time to enhance your oral health care. Brush at least twice a day and floss daily to prevent the development of tooth decay and gum disease. You should also visit your dentist at least twice a year for a thorough examination and cleaning.

How you care for your teeth and gums has a direct effect on the rest of your body. Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria and must be properly cleaned on a routine basis to keep the production of bacteria at a healthy level. Neglect your teeth and gums and your health as a whole will suffer. If you are experiencing health problems that you believe are associated with your oral health, discuss your concerns with a dentist.

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Warning sign preventing dental plaque for oral health

3 Step Plan To Prevent Dental Plaque

Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless substance that is formed by food, saliva, and bacteria in our mouths. It’s what gives our teeth that fuzzy-like feeling. If plaque is not removed through regular cleaning, it can build up and harden, while also spreading further bacteria. This can also cause gum inflammation which can then lead to gum disease, cavities, and tooth decay. Furthermore, the plaque can also cause bad breath and yellowing of your teeth. The best way of defending yourself from the adverse effects of plaque is by preventing it from hardening. Follow this three-step plan to help keep harmful dental plaque at bay.

1. Practice Good Oral Health

One of the best things you can do to prevent plaque is to practice good oral healthy every day. You should be brushing your teeth thoroughly with a suitable toothbrush and toothpaste twice a day. Electric toothbrushes have been known to be particularly effective at removing all traces of plaque. Don’t forget to brush both the front and back of each tooth. This will get rid of the plaque and bacteria that is on the surface of your teeth and gums. Flossing can help you access the gaps in between your teeth, where food can get stuck, and plaque can develop. You should aim to do this a minimum of once per day. Rinsing with a recommended mouthwash twice a day can also remove plaque from hard to reach areas. As well as removing bacteria from your tongue and sides of your mouth.

2. Eating a Balanced Diet

If you eat lots of sugary, starchy food and drinks, you are increasing your chances of developing plaque buildup. So avoid cookies, sweets and soda as much as possible. Instead, introduce more fruit and vegetables into your diet. These are much kinder to teeth and can even help to neutralize plaque-forming acids. Cut down on your carbohydrates too as this is what plaque needs to form. You should be drinking eight glasses of water per day to keep your teeth and the rest of your body in top condition.

3. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Seeing your dentist at least twice per year will help you stop dental plaque from hardening. They can professionally scale and polish your teeth, which will make it harder for plaque to harden and develop. If you do have some buildup, they can also remove this for you. Your dentist can use your check up to examine your teeth and gums more carefully. They can use their tools to see areas you might be unable to. This ensures your entire mouth is getting the care and attention it needs to stay healthy. They can also pinpoint whether you might have the early signs of gum disease, which needs to be treated sooner rather than later. Contact your dentist to schedule in your next appointment today.

The methods that make up this plan are the best ways of preventing dental plaque from developing. Plaque is something we all have, and if we keep it under control, it shouldn’t be a cause for concern. For more guidance and support, talk to your dentist.

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Two girls taking a selfie with photogenic smiles cosmetic dentistry

Get A More Photogenic Smile With These Cosmetic Dental Procedures

With high-quality cameras now on smartphones, group pictures and selfies can be taken anywhere at any time. So there’s more pressure than ever to be camera-ready all day every day. Having a beautiful and photogenic smile is something many of us want. As well as practising good oral care, there are other things you can do to achieve an incredible this. Here are some excellent cosmetic dental procedure you might want to consider that can help you get a photo-worthy smile.

Teeth Whitening

If your teeth are discoloured, you’re never going to have the photogenic smile you desire. It’s usually caused by drinks such as wine and coffee or by smoking cigarettes. These can cause stains and make your teeth look dull. Thankfully, it’s not something you have to live with. Teeth whitening reduces and removes the stains and leaves you with pearly-white teeth instead. While you can buy home whitening kits from most drug stores, they won’t give you the same amazing results. It can be done quickly and give you brighter and healthier looking teeth instantly. When your teeth look this perfectly white, you’ll want to do nothing but smile from now on. Always have a consultation with your dentist before having this procedure to find out more.

Porcelain Veneers

If you’re self-conscious about misshapen teeth or have gaps, porcelain veneers could give you your confidence back. These custom-made shells are designed to fit directly on top of your existing teeth. Veneers can improve the look of your teeth by enhancing their shape, colour and alignment with instant results. Meaning you can start taking amazing selfies moments after they have been fitted. You can talk to your dentist during your consultation about the look you want to create. You can then consider the available options you have until you find ones that suit. If you’ve shied away from photos in the past due to your teeth concerns, this is the perfect solution.

Bonding

If your teeth are gappy, chipped or stained, the last thing you want to do is show it off in photographs. Bonding is a dental procedure that can be done in one session to correct many aesthetic issues. It can remove staining on teeth, close gaps and reshape teeth that have been chipped. This procedure uses a tooth-colored bonding material that is applied directly to the tooth. It is then shaped and set into place using a blue curing light. The quick transformation will be phenomenal and boost your self-confidence no end. If you have one or multiple issues with your teeth, this could be a life- changing procedure you should consider. Arrange an appointment with your dentist to see whether bonding is suitable for you.

As well as trying these procedures, why not also try practising smiling at home in front of a mirror. Stand up straight and think about something funny for a more naturally confident and less forced effect. It shouldn’t take long for you to find your perfect angle that shows your smile off in the best way possible.

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dental-crowns-bridges

Investing in Quality Crowns and Bridges

Although you may assume that crowns or bridges are the same at every dental office, this isn’t the case. Some older dental work might have received placement that didn’t have proper bite alignment or may be inferior quality to what’s available today. Paying less for a crown or bridge may seem like a good budget decision, but when the material used is cheap, the crown or bridge can appear fake, feel rough and be an overall bad fit. It’s important to invest in quality dental work because it can last longer than work that cuts corners.

Placement Considerations

Some patients might believe that when they require a crown or bridge in an area that’s not visible in a smile, the quality and fit isn’t as important. However, since such locations are usually in the back of the mouth, quality is just as important as anywhere else. How long a crown or bridge lasts depends on the materials it’s made of and having it placed properly. Better materials last longer and placing the tooth takes precision. Creating a crown or bridge in the dental lab requires knowing the shape, size, and color of the device and if it has even the slightest flaw in shape or size, it can cause problems with the teeth above or below it. A crown or bridge fitted to the incorrect height can incorrectly contact the tooth above it, and this can lead to sore jaw joints, headaches, dizziness, facial pain, ear ringing and even pain as far down as the shoulders and neck. Bridges and crowns that fit properly, look natural, and consist of quality, durable materials, can last a long time and are worth the investment.

Worthwhile Investment

It’s easy to let the cost of dental work distract you and make you believe that spending less is a better choice, but when a crown or bridge requires replacement due to some damage or failure, it can cost more in the future. Investing in a quality crown or bridge means that it looks as natural as surrounding teeth, feels comfortable in your mouth, is made of durable materials and has the correct size and shape for your mouth and bite.

Creative Dental provides quality dental work of all kinds including bridges, crowns, veneers and other cosmetic and restorative dentistry options. Make a lifelong investment in the health and appearance of your smile by contacting us today.

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Using Probiotics to Fight Gum Disease

If you’re experiencing bleeding, swollen or receding gums, these could be signs of gum disease, which is a serious gum infection. The causes of gum disease include poor oral hygiene, medical conditions or genetic predisposition. Treating gum disease may be as simple as improving oral hygiene or as involved as oral surgery, depending on the severity of the disease. Whatever the cause, gum disease requires immediately dental treatment to avoid further issues such as tooth loss. Common treatments for advanced gum disease is scaling and root planing, and new research suggests that probiotics can help support the effectiveness of this procedure.

Scaling and Root Planing Explained

When someone has gum disease, bacteria thrive and grow between their teeth and gums leading to infection. As the infection worsens, the bacteria makes the space between the teeth and gums larger to make room for their growing numbers, and this leads to larger “gum pockets.” To stop and reverse the infection, a dentist needs to remove the bacteria from the gum pockets through a procedure such as scaling and root planing. During scaling, the dentist removes tartar, the hardened oral bacteria, from the tooth surfaces. Following scaling, the dentist performs root planing that smooths out the tooth area that bacteria made rough. Without smoothing that rough surface, the oral bacteria will return quickly. To aid in the elimination of the remaining bacteria, dentists usually introduce antibiotics to prevent new bacteria growth.

Assistance from Probiotics

Although scaling and root planing is a highly effective way to treat and reverse gum disease, it’s not 100% effective, and sometimes the bacteria starts growing in the gum tissue again, causing a worse infection. This is especially a problem for patients who don’t maintain good oral hygiene or are genetically vulnerable to gum disease. According to a new study, probiotics may be able to help in the fight against gum disease. Probiotics refer to the bacterium or other organisms that have a symbiotic and beneficial relationships with the body. Probiotics can aid in oral health because they attack or compete with harmful bacteria, which helps protect dental implants and prevents reinfection of gums following root planing and scaling. Some probiotics such as Lactobacillus Reuteri can also improve the attachment between gums and teeth and lead to lower incidences of bleeding gums. Probiotics are considered safe and may be an ideal addition to traditional treatments for gum disease.

Creative Dental provides the most innovative, effective treatments to prevent and reverse gum disease so every patient can have a healthy, strong gums and teeth.

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sensitive-teeth-discomfort-treatment

Scientists Create New Treatment for Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth may not seem like a serious problem, but for those living with it, drinking and eating can be unpleasant to the point where they avoid certain foods. Adjusting a diet to include only lukewarm food and drinks to avoid tooth sensitivity is not necessary with today’s treatment options. Fortunately, new research is focused on a highly effective treatment for sensitive teeth that can greatly improve the lives of many patients.

Dentin and Sensitive Teeth

When the dentin of teeth becomes exposed through wearing down of the enamel, this results in sensitive teeth. Softer than enamel and porous, dentin contains tiny microtubules that transmit messages to teeth nerve endings, and this causes the pain and discomfort associated with sensitive teeth. Tooth enamel protects dentin from extremes in temperature, but when enamel wears down through cavities, gum disease, and teeth grinding, it leaves dentin vulnerable.

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

Current treatments for sensitive teeth include sealants in toothpaste that cover the exposed dentin microtubules. Unfortunately, this only provides temporary relief because the seal wears off easily with normal eating and drinking. Dental sealants can provide longer relief from sensitivity, but they too wear off after time.

Scientific Breakthrough in Sensitivity Treatment

Scientists recently developed a material called a biomimetic crystalline dentin barrier that has the potential to end tooth sensitivity. The biomimetic material made from nanoparticles of phosphoric acid and calcium carbonate turn up the volume of those particles already present in saliva. Increasing the particles important to enamel restoration and formation can reduce or prevent sensitivity. By applying the material directly to the teeth, it provides an artificial barrier capable of blocking dentin’s microtubules from exposure to uncomfortable temperature changes in food and drink. The biomimetic material can also increase regeneration of enamel and reduce the risk of additional health issues associated with worn enamel. The scientists responsible for creating the material hope that it can relieve the symptoms and source of sensitive teeth.

Prevention is Best Treatment

Although the new material can help those with sensitive teeth, the best treatment for sensitive teeth is preventing enamel loss through great oral hygiene and regular dental visits. There are other causes of sensitive teeth aside from worn enamel and ignoring pain when eating or drinking cold or hot substances can lead to dental issues that require treatment that is more involved.

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Men Oral Health

Men’s Unique Oral Health Aspects

Men and women are different in numerous ways, and this includes their oral health. Although everyone benefits from practicing good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly for exams and cleanings, there are certain things that differentiate men need to know. Taking a proactive approach to dental health and understanding their unique oral makeup can help men avoid serious dental issues and maintain a healthy smile.

Larger, longer tongues

For whatever evolutionary reason, human males have larger, longer tongues than females, and that may be because their mouths are usually a bit bigger too. That larger tongue needs as much attention as a woman’s smaller tongue and men need to inspect their tongue to ensure it’s healthy. Healthy tongues are firm, pink and free of unusual bumps, dry spots, discolored areas or colored coatings. An unhealthy-looking tongue can be an early indicator of health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer or an infection. If a man notices something strange with his tongue, it’s time to visit the dentist for an exam.

Healthy smile can improve dating life

One of the first things both men and women look at when they first meet someone is their smile. In the world of offline and online dating, a man with a confident, healthy smile in person and photos can greatly improve his chances of making a connection. According to certain online dating apps, a man who takes care of his oral health is more likely to take care of his overall health or at least appear that he does.

Men’s beards usually cleaner than their toothbrushes

Although bacteria exist in beards, it’s not the same type of bacteria found in the toilet, which is good news for beard lovers. What’s not good news is that while a man’s beard may be clean, his toothbrush could be teaming with bacteria found in toilets. Actually, anyone who stores their toothbrush on the sink or out in the open somewhere in the bathroom can have traces of fecal bacteria on it. The best way to keep a toothbrush free of such unpleasant bacteria is by storing it inside a cabinet and replacing the entire toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months and after any sickness. To avoid transferring such bacteria to their beards, men should never groom with an old toothbrush.

Nighttime snacking issues

Men tend to snack more at night than their female counterparts do, and they don’t concern themselves with fad diets, but they also tend to skip meals during the day. Studies show that men may start out the day by eating healthy, but by the end of the day snack more and succumb to junk food cravings at night. Add in the fact that at least half of men only brush their teeth once a day and it creates issues for men’s oral health. When men don’t brush their teeth after consuming sugars and acids before bed or during a midnight snack, that bacteria sits on the teeth overnight and leads to plaque buildup and accelerated decay. Men and women both need to brush their teeth at least twice a day, floss daily and maintain regular dental visits to ensure great oral health. A man who wants to keep his smile healthy and handsome also needs to seek treatment for bite or alignment issues to avoid tooth damage and ensure overall health.

There’s nothing “manly” about ignoring your dental health so contact Creative Dental today to set up an exam and cleaning.

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