Thursday, February 26, 2015

4 Ways Saliva Helps Your Smile!

We have all heard how important it is to drink water for body health. Here's why it's important for your smile too.

1.     Being hydrated keeps saliva flow going.
"Saliva is necessary to keep oral health in tip-top shape as it provides natural cleansing for your mouth," says Dr. Judith Strutz.

2.     Saliva means less debris and particles will stick to teeth and cause decay.
         a. Water is not only an important source for your body, it is fantastic for your smile. Saliva helps to remove food particles from your teeth in between brushing. Food that stays on your teeth causes buildup, which can cause cavities or decay. Less debris also means a brighter, whiter smile.

3.     More saliva also reduces bacteria that can cause periodontal disease.
         a. Periodontal disease is caused from the buildup of bacteria that cause inflammation and bleeding around your gums . The more water you consume, the more saliva you produce, and the salvia then washes food and other particles from the teeth, decreasing the amount of bacteria that stays stuck to your teeth for long periods of time.
4.     Hydrated gum tissue looks and feels better
         a. Water ensures your gums look and feel healthy. As your mouth dries out, your gums begin to stick to your lips becoming uncomfortable. Water helps reduce this problem and allows your mouth and teeth to function in the proper manner, and gives you that beautiful cosmetically appealing smile that we all want.       

So drink up!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

5 Things your Cosmetic Dentist Recommends for a Whiter Smile

The stats are in: people tend to create a first impression based on your smile. Now is the time for you to consider how you can get and keep your smile its whitest.

1.     Stay away from staining foods and drinks
         a. A white smile isn’t just cosmetics, it is a true reflection of how healthy your smile is. If you find your smile is not as white as you’d like, your cosmetic dentist will recommend being mindful of what foods you are eating and drinking. A diet that increases the amount of some fruits and vegetables that have a high concentration of water can help reduce the staining on your teeth.

2.     Use a dentist prescribed whitening system - either take home or in office
         a.  There are plenty of whitening options available to you in the office and in the dental aisle at the grocery store. Unfortunately not all whitening products are created equal, nor is all staining the same. Be careful about which products you purchase. In fact, it’s probably best to ask for a recommendation from your cosmetic dentist before you purchase anything in order to get a product that is going to provide the results you are looking for.

3.     Veneers are an easy way to cover resistant stains, fix chips, or to re-shape teeth.
         a. Veneers are a thin covering that goes over the front portion of your teeth to enhance your smile. They will require a couple of visits to your dentist, but when completed can help restore a smile to a beautiful, healthy look.

   4. See your dentist regularly
           a.      The easiest way to keep up on your dental health and ensure your smile looks the way you want is to remove the build-up that accumulates on your teeth after eating by visiting your dentist on a regular basis. This will allow any food, plaque or calculus build-up that hasn’t been removed through brushing, to be taken care of.

5. Wear a particular shade of red lipstick   
         a. Red lipstick in the correct shade allows your smile to stand out. "Choose a true red color – not too blue, nor too orange in tone to get the best tooth brightening power," suggests Dr. Judy Strutz.

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Teeth Are Chipped. What Are My Options?

   Despite your best efforts, do you have cracked teeth? Are you embarrassed to smile because your teeth are chipped? There are several options available to you depending on the severity of your problem. Prosthodontist, Dr. Judy Strutz suggests, "If you have very minor chipping you may be able to have a procedure called smoothing done.  Small amounts of the tooth are reshaped to help restore the look of your tooth. This procedure can be completed in one visit and usually does not result in any discomfort. 

   If you are struggling with one minor chipped tooth, a tooth colored filling may be used in order to help it blend in with your other teeth.  This procedure is relatively easy, and generally takes one visit.
  "For more severely chipped teeth you might want to consider veneers," says Dr. Judy Strutz. While some patients believe that this procedure is purely for cosmetic use, veneers help restore the quality of your smile and may also help protect against further damage. Veneers are a thin, custom layer that matches the color of your other teeth. It provides a very natural look and improves the overall look.

  If none of the above are options, if might be time to have a crown fitted to restore the tooth to full chewing, biting and cosmetic function. 

There are pro’s and con’s to each choice. When the decision is made, you’ll want the most naturally looking choice that is cost efficient and, depending on the severity and number of chipped teeth, will provide you with the best long lasting result. Choose today to improve your smile tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

4 Tips to Fixing Occlusal Wear

Keeping your smile at its best means doing some basic things like brushing and flossing and seeing your cosmetic dentist on a regular basis. It may also mean watching for the signs of occlusal wear and taking steps to protect your beautiful smile.

1. Wear an occlusal guard if you brut, clench or grind your teeth.

            a. Wear on your occlusal surfaces can happen slowly over time. If you are feeling sensitivity or your teeth are beginning to wear down due to grinding or bruxism it is recommended you wear a night guard. "The dentist in two simple visits can fit you for an appliance which will have you feeling like your old self in no time," Dr. Judith Strutz.

2. When nerve tissue is impacted, crowns may be needed to replace tooth structure
            a. Unfortunately over time, you can begin to wear down the crowns of your teeth from continual use. If you begin to feel sensitivity it is recommended you be assessed to determine what steps can be taken to fix or restore your tooth structure. This can be a problem that leads to a more serious problem. It is important to take care of any discomfort right away.
3. Many times tooth colored fillings can be placed to restore the tooth's natural shape
            a.  Many times there is an option for colored fillings in order to restore the tooth’s shape and so your smile looks natural and has a white and polished look to it.

   4. Sometimes occlusal wear is due to bite issues that an occlusal analysis can correct
            a. Our bite is critically important to our teeth. You may find that you are wearing down your teeth or are cracking or breaking teeth due to your bite being off. If this problem lasts too long, you may find that you begin to develop jaw trouble or more serious problems.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bruxism-What Is That?

Your jaw is designed to fit comfortably together. However over time you may find that you grind your teeth. As the surface of your teeth begin to wear down and you clench or grind, you run the risk of breaking teeth and broken teeth can make it painful to eat or drink certain items.

Grinding can be caused by multiple problems. While most people believe that grinding is only linked to stress, research suggests that if your jaw is not properly aligned or does not close correctly, it can also cause grinding. Each tooth in the upper jaw is designed to comfortably fit into the surface area of the lower jaw. If every time you close your mouth you grind, then you may begin to flatten the surface of your teeth.

If you grind your teeth at night, it may be recommended by the dentist that you wear a night guard. A night guard is a hard plastic device that fits directly into your mouth. The process is a simple one. You will visit Dr. Judith Strutz once for the molde to be made - she will take an impression of your smile in order to get the right fit, after a through exam has been conducted in order to make sure that this is truly the problem. Once the impression is complete, it will be sent to a lab in order to get the final custom appliance made.

You’ll visit a second time in order for the actual mouthpiece to be fit and then you are on your way to protecting your teeth. Don't wait any longer if you are experiencing jaw pain, or if you find yourself choking on the foods you enjoy, be assessed and see if you could benefit from some help.

Friday, February 13, 2015

(TMD)-How It Impacts Your Health

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Dizziness, headaches, jaw pain, earaches, neck, shoulder, and back pain are just a few of the problems you may experience if your teeth are misaligned. You may also struggle to open up your mouth wide, hear a clicking and/or a popping noise when eating or talking.  You may have had these problems for a few days or a few years. Don’t rush off to see a chiropractor or a doctor, however, because they may be unable to help fix the main problem.

The temporomandibular joint holds the lower jaw in place.  If it is not in the right place, the jaw will realign itself in order to adjust and attempt to make it more comfortable. When you do this, it makes the problem worse not better. TMD may be caused by an injury to your jaw, misalignment or arthritis. Extreme stress can cause TMD to flare up due to clenching the jaw when stressed or lifting heavy items.

There are multiple treatment options and, according to Dr. Judy Strutz, “You will want to visit someone who is knowledgeable about different types of occlusion problems. TMD does not go away on its own and it is important to get the right information. It can be difficult to diagnosis and treat.” This is why it is important to visit the dentist. If you have a problem with how your teeth are aligned, the dentist may adjust the teeth or bite to fit better. They may also recommend ibuprofen or another pain reliever to help you relax.

Whatever the treatment is, Dr. Judy Strutz suggests, “Your dentist should do a thorough and complete exam to find the source of your problem.”

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Is Diver’s Mouth Syndrome Real?

When the summer comes almost four million individuals in the US will put on their wet suits and enjoy the journey of diving. Some die hards enjoy diving all year round in warmer parts of the world. No matter where you are diving you should be aware that you can experience jaw joint pain, gum tissue problems or what is called, “squeeze mouth.”

"Jaw joint pain and gum tissue problems are symptoms that when combined equal diver’s mouth,” says Dr. Judy Strutz. These problems occur when the air pressure changes or when a diver bites too hard on their mouthpiece for long periods of time.  Squeeze mouth usually occurs when the pressure changes and the diver has a periodontal abscess, incomplete root canal or fillings.

In order to avoid these problems make sure that you are not biting too hard on your mouthpiece. You want to apply enough pressure to be able to breath comfortably but you should not feel jaw pain. You also may want to meet with your dentist before you dive in order to make sure you do not have any fillings that need to be filled or any work that needs to be completed prior to diving. If you have dentures you’ll want to make sure that the pressure you apply is not going to impact them and that they are placed correctly and are secure.