What Does Your Saliva Reveal?

dentist Winston-Salem

A dental examination at Winston-Salem Dental Group can reveal issues in parts of the body other than the mouth. Because many diseases manifest in soft tissues of the mouth or cause pain in the jaw, we often refer patients to their medical doctor for further diagnosis when they encounter symptoms such as inflammation, chronic bad breath, bleeding gums, or jaw pain.

Healthcare providers may soon have another oral diagnostic tool for discovering systemic diseases—a test that analyzes the molecules in saliva.

“UCLA researchers are working on a test that could have the ability to diagnose diseases like diabetes and cancer. It’s conceivable that dentists will soon be able to take saliva samples that can be tested for numerous diseases. And if that happens, disease diagnosis will be much simpler for all parties.”

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, good dental health is always the bottom line. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and complete children’s dentistry services. Call for an appointment with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 6797

9 Tips For Preventing Gum Disease

prevent gum disease Winston-Salem

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. But it is a preventable disease, and also treatable, at Winston-Salem Dental Group.

Here’s some simple ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

  1. Brush your teeth for two to three minutes, at least twice a day, with fluoridated toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gumline. Don’t brush too hard, but be thorough.
  2. Floss daily to remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. Don’t like to floss? Try a floss holder, which makes it much simpler to insert floss between teeth.
  3. Although not a substitute for brushing and flossing, using a mouth rinse can prevent plaque accumulation and keep your enamel strong. Remember that fluoride mouth rinses are not the same as mouthwashes. Mouthwashes have alcohol and are designed to freshen breath.
  4. Eat a healthy diet. Starchy and sugary foods increase plaque. A sensible diet provides the nutrients necessary (Vitamins A and C, in particular) to keep teeth and gums healthy.
  5. Don’t smoke, or use smokeless tobacco, which may bring about advanced gum disease or oral cancer. That includes e-cigarettes.
  6. Be aware that certain medications can also threaten a healthy smile. These include oral contraceptives, antidepressants and heart medicines.
  7. Exercise preventive care and schedule regular evaluations — the best way to detect early signs of gum disease and make a plan to reverse it.
  8. Talk to your us about dental health topics such as old, broken fillings or crowded teeth.
  9. If you grind your teeth, ask us about ways to protect them.

Prevention is always the best medicine, so brush and floss your teeth twice a day. We also like to see you for regular checkups at Winston-Salem Dental Group. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and we have extended evening and Saturday hours for your busy schedule. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 8129

A Dentist’s Indispensable Tool: The X-ray

Stanleyville cosmetic dental and tooth implants

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, providing first rate dental care is much easier when we have thorough information about our patients’ dental health.

Pictures are more accurate than written notes. Since they show what’s going on below the surface, they’re worth even more than a thousand words. Along with a thorough visual oral exam, most dentists want complete and up-to-date X-rays.

There are several types of x-rays:

  • Bite-Wing x-rays give us a picture of the upper and lower back teeth. We can see how they touch each other and see if there is any decay.
  • Panoramic x-rays give us the big picture: a view of the teeth, jaws and jaw joints, nasal area, and even the sinuses. These are especially useful if we think the patient may need orthodontics or a dental implant.
  • Occlusal x-rays show us the floor of the mouth, and the bite of the upper or lower jaw. They’re good for showing the development of children’s teeth, both the baby and permanent teeth.

How often we take X-rays is largely determined by your age as well as the state of your dental health. Because children are growing and experience more changes to their teeth, they usually need X-rays more frequently.

Should you worry about X-rays? They use radiation, but are designed to minimize patient exposure. Patients only get negligible amounts, making them safe. The latest generations of x-rays reduce radiation even more. Still, we take the added safety measure of covering the patient with a heavy leaded apron and collar.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we are committed to providing the best possible dental care. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

ArticleID 6586

To Chew Or Not To Chew

To Chew Or Not To Chew In Winston-Salem

Hello gum chewers, in this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group we’re going to talk about that sticky wad in your mouth. You know that it can freshen your breath, but can it really help guard your smile from cavities?

It really depends on the type of gum. Chewing regular sucrose-based gum can be helpful in removing bits of food from the surface of teeth, but that benefit is negated by the stream of sugar washing over your teeth as you chew.

However, gum with some alternative sweeteners has an added benefit for your pearly whites. Xylitol is a sweetener which not only has fewer calories than traditional sugars, but it also has antimicrobial properties that reduce plaque build-up. This means that xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes cavities.

So if you’re headed out to a restaurant, bring a pack of sugar-free gum with you and pop it in your mouth when your meal is done. Of course, brushing and flossing are the ideal practices for your oral health, but when you can’t brush, pick a sugarless gum with xylitol.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

ArticleID 3888

Signs Of Oral Cancer: What Not To Ignore

oral cancer signs Winston-Salem

This message from Winston-Salem Dental Group focuses on a very serious matter, oral cancers. The medical community designates oral cancers as a subset of head and neck cancers.

Oral cancers can arise in the following locations:

  • The tongue
  • The roof of the mouth and under the tongue
  • The inside of the cheeks
  • The oropharynx (the part behind the soft palate)
  • The salivary glands
  • The lips

Oral Cancers Are Particularly Deadly

Over 50,000 people annually are diagnosed with a type of oral cancer. They are more than twice as prevalent in men. There is no disparity when it comes to blacks or whites. Oral cancers claim over 10,000 victims per year.

The statistics reveal that only 57 percent of those diagnosed this year will be alive in five years. Talk about a grim outlook.

Let’s discuss the common—and the not-so-common—warning signs of oral cancer.

Any sore or lump in the mouth or throat should be taken seriously. Any white or red patch could also be a symptom.

Receiving an oral cancer screening is another reason to visit Winston-Salem Dental Group twice a year for an exam. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry, and extended evening and Saturday hours for your convenience. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

 

ArticleID 8161

Think Before You Pierce

The Dangers of Oral PiercingIf you are considering piercing your lip or tongue to accommodate jewelry, this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group is for you. Please consider the following:

Infection
Your mouth is full of bacteria. Any opening in the tissue carries the risk of infection. The germs from your tongue and mouth can easily get into your bloodstream. Dentists and doctors are continually treating acute infections caused by oral piercings. Oral infections can be a real problem and should be a major consideration before getting an oral piercing.

Tooth Damage
It should come as no surprise that having a piece of metal bang around in your mouth can easily damage tooth enamel. Though tooth enamel is amazingly strong, once it’s chipped or cracked, it can only be restored with artificial material. Fortunately, we offer many tooth restoration options such as crowns and fillings, but our advice is to avoid the problem if you can.

Prolonged Bleeding and Swelling
The blood vessels in the tongue are often damaged when the tongue is pierced, causing prolonged bleeding and possible build-up of scar tissue. In some extreme cases, the tongue swells up enough to block the airway.

Gum Recession
A number of periodontal disease studies have shown that wearing oral jewelry is linked to periodontal disease which can bring about tooth loss. Periodontal disease can cause gum recession which exposes the root of your teeth, potentially causing hypersensitivity and pain. Again, our advice is to avoid the issue right from the start.

These are just a few of the dangers or oral piercings. At Winston-Salem Dental Group we suggest avoiding them by not piercing. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. We have extended evening and Saturday hours to fit your busy schedule. Call for an appointment with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 700

Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

cosmetic dentistry Winston-Salem

Everyone wants nice, pearly white teeth. It makes sense, then, to brush our teeth more often to get them – right? Well, no. As we explain in this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group, brushing too aggressively can result in receding gums.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It creates a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?
A common misconception is the idea that if you want to lighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get white teeth is to brush longer, not harder. The key, though, is to use a very light touch. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

Why?
When you brush your teeth too quickly, you may not remove all the food particles. You don’t want this debris turning into plaque.

If you truly want whiter teeth, brush in a slow, circular motion for about five minutes. Methodically go over each tooth surface.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. The fluoride helps your enamel re-harden.

Let’s Review
Brushing too aggressively can lead to gum recession. Gum recession can (and most likely will) cause a space to form between your teeth and gum line. This pocket collects bacteria. Bacteria causes cavities. Plus, if the gums continue to recede, the tooth can become loose.

The best approach is to brush longer, and with a light gentle touch. Don’t forget to floss!

If you’re gums have already begun to recede, don’t despair! It’s a treatable condition. At Winston-Salem Dental Group we offer a full range of general and cosmetic dentistry, and offer extended evening and weekend hours. Call to schedule an appointment today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 8128

If My Gums Bleed, Should I Stop Flossing?

bleeding gums Winston-Salem

This is an essential question occasionally asked by patients at Winston-Salem Dental Group. The answer, however, is “No!” Bleeding is probably a sign that you need to clean your teeth and gums more thoroughly—not leave them alone. It is all but impossible to clean effectively between teeth without using floss, or an interdental brush.

If you have never flossed before, your gums might bleed the first few times you do. The bleeding may be due to gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding generally stops within a week or two.

Gingivitis and the more advanced periodontal disease is extremely common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of American adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease.

If you don’t make flossing a habit, you may wind up with gum disease. The good news is that gum disease can be reversed with improved oral hygiene.

It is important to correctly use dental floss to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth:

  1. Cut a length of floss about 18 inches long.
  2. Securely wind each end around your middle fingers.
  3. Take hold of the floss with your forefinger and thumb leaving about two inches to work with.
  4. Thread the floss between two teeth.
  5. Hold the floss tightly against the side of the tooth and move it up and away from the gumline. You want to clean the space between the tooth and gum without pulling more gum tissue away, so it’s essential to scrape up and out of the pocket.
  6. Move the floss around the tooth to clean every surface—especially those that your brush can’t reach. As you use a section of floss, unwind from one hand to access a clean piece. With 18 inches, you should have enough to provide a clean section for every tooth. If you run out, that’s okay. Just toss the used piece and cut a new one.

Some people find it easier to start on one end on the upper teeth and clean each gap one by one until they reach the other side. Then repeat for the bottom row. Whatever operation you pick, make sure you clean around every tooth, including the back surfaces of the last molars.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we want the best possible dental health for all of our patients. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and we have extended evening and weekend hours for your busy schedule. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 6969

Has Your Toddler Had A Dental Exam?

Children’s Dental in Winston-SalemThis message from Winston-Salem Dental Group looks at dental care for our youngest patients.

For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised parents to take their children to the dentist by the third birthday. Now parents are advised to take their toddler in for a checkup by his or her first birthday, or when their first tooth breaks through, whichever comes first.

Why? Prevention, prevention, prevention! Sadly, we continue to find severe tooth decay in very young children. This is completely unnecessary in a community with sufficient health and dental services.

High-risk little ones should be seen as early as possible. Following are some of the risk factors:

  • Sleeping with a bottle (if you put your child to bed with a bottle, we strongly urge you to stop this practice)
  • Drinking juice continuously during the day
  • Abnormal tooth development
  • Thumb sucking
  • Tooth grinding
  • A mother with considerable tooth decay
  • Other health troubles

The most effective way to ensure lifelong oral health for your child is to train him or her early on correct daily dental hygiene, provide a healthy, low-sugar diet, and form a relationship with a reputable family dentist. Doctor dentist urges all North Carolina parents to be passionate about their children’s dental health.

At Winston-Salem Dental Group we offer a full range of pediatric dentistry services, as well as general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 929

Why a Water Flosser Might be a Good Idea

Winston-Salem should I use waterpik?

Water flossers have been around for more than fifty years. During that time there have been at least that many studies on their effectiveness. In this post from Winston-Salem Dental Group we present what is known about water flossers, and whether they’re any better than ordinary string floss in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues.

First of all, the main benefit of standard dental floss – string floss – is that it passes easily between the teeth to remove food debris and plaque. It is easy to use, inexpensive, readily available, and a very efficient way of removing plaque.

On the down side, some people find it hard to reach certain areas of the mouth, like way in back. It can cause minor bleeding, and gum sensitivity. People with agility issues may find it hard to use.

Water flossing

Water flossers use pulsing water to clean between teeth and along the gum line. A special machine directs a jet spray that can be very effective. They too are easy to use, and in addition to cleaning your teeth can also massage the gums.

They’re also great for people with braces and other dental work. The stream of pulsing water makes it easy to get those areas that are harder to reach with string floss. They are also an excellent solution for people with agility issues.

On the other hand, water flossers can be expensive. You need to find a place to store them when not in use. And they require electricity.

The Bottom Line

It isn’t necessarily an either/or situation. The best dental health routine at home may well be to floss, brush, and water floss (not necessarily in that order). The sequence in which these are done comes down to your personal preference. To put it another way: whatever works!

At Winston-Salem Dental Group, we think the most important thing, by far, is that you establish a dental health routine that you practice every day. We also like to see you for a cleaning and checkup in our office every six months. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Winston-Salem Dental Group:

336-450-2077

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

334 E Hanes Mill Rd
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
27105

 

ArticleID 7376