300 West Wieuca Road Atlanta Georgia 30342 Call Today: 404-255-7500


facebook twitter google+

Request Appointment

[contact-form 1 "Contact form 1"]

You are currently browsing: Preventive Dentistry

Cough Medicine & Oral Health

cough syrup

Everyone knows how miserable the common cold can be. When we come down with a case of the sniffles or an annoying cough, we’re willing to do almost anything to make it stop. While medications to treat the symptoms of a cold can help suppress a cough or ease a stuffy nose, your dentist in Buckhead knows that they don’t come without risks to oral health. 

The Danger is in The Ingredients

Many medications that we take to help us feel just a little bit better when we’re battling a cold contain ingredients that can put our oral health at risk for decay and cavities. The main two culprits that concern your dentist in Buckhead are sugar, which is used for flavor, and alcohol. Let’s take a closer look as to why this duo is dangerous for our teeth. 

Sugars

The truth is, most medicines don’t taste great, but the addition of sugar can help make them a little more tolerable. However, even though these sugars may make the medicine go down, they can contribute to tooth decay. The two most concerning medications that are used often when treating a cough are liquid cough syrup and cough drops — both of which typically contain a nice dose of sugar. The dangers are made even worse when we suck on cough drops throughout the day since our teeth are essentially bathing in the sugars all day long. As we all know, dentists don’t like sugar, mostly because bacteria love it. Bacteria in our mouths will feed on sugars and release acid as a byproduct. This acid is what wears away tooth enamel and leaves teeth at increased risk for decay

Alcohol

The other dangerous ingredient in many cough medicines is alcohol. Alcohol is known to cause dry mouth which may not sound like such a big deal, but in reality, it can cause a whole host of problems. Normally, our mouths produce a lot of saliva throughout the day which helps wash away sugar and bacteria and neutralize acids. However, when the mouth is too dry to produce enough saliva to protect the mouth, it’s easier for bacteria and acid to attack teeth. 

Protect Yourself

By no means are we suggesting that you have to forego cough medicine or cough drops altogether. But we do want you to be aware of some ways you can reduce their potential side effects on your oral health. Some things you can do to protect yourself while you’re treating your cold include: 

Brushing your teeth after you take cough medicine. This can help remove the sugar and alcohol instead of allowing it to hang around in your mouth all night long. 

Taking medicine while you eat. As we chew our food we produce more saliva to help with digestion. This extra boost in saliva can reduce the dangers of sugar and alcohol.

Using a pill medication instead of a liquid. A capsule of cough medicine removes the risk of sugars and alcohol. 

During this cold and flu season, if you do happen to get sick, try these tips above to help reduce the risk of oral health concerns caused by cough medicine. 

Is Biting Your Lip Bad For You?

woman biting lip

When we accidentally bite our lip, the pain that follows can be concerning. The zing of pain, and maybe even some blood, can certainly cause us to think that we may have just done some serious damage. But is lip-biting actually bad for you? Let’s check in with your dentist in Buckhead to see just how big of a deal biting our lip (or cheek or tongue!) is. 

Biting Is Bad — Sometimes

The truth is, there are really two answers to whether biting the soft tissues in our mouths is bad for us. On one hand, occasional bites typically heal on their own and usually aren’t something to worry over. On the other hand, when biting becomes a habit or you find yourself accidentally biting your lips, cheeks, or tongue a lot, it can cause inflammation, swelling, and sores. These sores can become infected if not treated or if they’re constantly being reopened by more biting. 

Why Do We Bite? 

We’ve all experienced those accidental bites we talked about above while chewing or perhaps during a big sneeze. While these one-off biting incidents sure can hurt, even for a few days, they’re often not something to be concerned about. 

However, when the “accidental” bites happen often, you should see your dentist in Buckhead. Those who tend to bite their lips, cheeks, or tongue a lot while they’re eating or even talking may have something known as malocclusion or a bad bite. A bad bite means that our top teeth don’t line up well with our bottom teeth, and that makes it really easy for a piece of the tongue, lip, or cheek to get stuck in between them (ouch!). Additionally, malocclusion can lead to its own set of problems like headaches, jaw pain, TMJ (temporomandibular disorder), and shifting teeth. 

There are also cases where people habitually bite their lips, cheeks, or tongue. Usually, this is a response to high-stress situations or even when they’re concentrating. Constant biting on the tissues, whether caused by psychological or physical factors, should be stopped before it leads to sores or painful swelling. 

How To Stop

Depending on what’s causing you to bite in the first place, there are things you can do to help yourself stop. 

  • If biting is caused by stress… If you’re one of the people who constantly chew on your lips, cheeks, or tongue, it can be difficult to stop. However, if you’re able to recognize when you bite, you can work to consciously stop. There are also times when a type of behavior therapy can help break the habit. 
  • If biting is caused by a bad bite… Those who don’t purposely bite but find themselves accidentally nipping their lips, cheek, or tongue often can benefit from a trip to their Buckhead dentist. The best way to prevent additional problems is to seek dental help to determine if a bad bite is to blame. Your dental team can help you find the best treatment for your individual case so you can stop biting.

Avoid the Flu with These Five Easy Things

woman with the flu

Flu season has officially begun and will continue through February, or maybe even later. Nobody wants to catch this ache-inducing, sneezing-causing, and overall yucky-feeling sickness. While sometimes the flu is unavoidable, there are easy things you can do to reduce your chance of falling ill. Join your dentist in Buckhead in practicing these top tips all flu season long.  

Clean & Sanitize

During flu season, it’s wise to clean and sanitize your living and workspace more often than usual. Germs can live on surfaces for quite some time, and all it takes is touching an infected surface to come down with the flu. Make sure to clean the areas you use most often or that are touched by multiple people like the kitchen, bathroom, and conference room tables at work. Don’t forget about the little items like remote controls, toilet handles, doorknobs, and keyboards.   

Wash Your Hands

Your dentist in Buckhead and all medical professionals will tell you that washing your hands often is one of the best ways to avoid the flu and the common cold. Scrubbing your mitts with warm water and antibacterial soap is an effective way to remove any germs you may have picked up throughout the day. Cover your palms, fingers, and even fingernails with soapy water after using the restroom, before eating, and after you touch anyone. If you can’t get to a sink right away, an alcohol-based sanitizer can work in a pinch. 

Keep Hands Away from the Face

According to the CDC, another common way to transfer germs from person to person or from surface to person is by putting our hands on our face or near our mouths, eyes, or nose. Since these areas of the body contain mucus, anything that gets into them is easily transported into the rest of the body, including germs. 

Choose Healthy Meals

While we always recommend trying to eat a well-balanced diet all year round, it can be even more important during flu season. Fueling your body with all of the good stuff it needs to function optimally puts it in good fighting shape if germs do find their way inside. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins and avoid sugar as much as you can. 

Increase Your Water Intake

Besides eating well, it’s also important to drink a lot of water throughout the day. When a body is properly hydrated, it’s better prepared to fight off anything that may try to make you sick. Follow the 8×8 rule by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. 

These tips can go a long way in keeping the flu away from you and your family this season. But if you do happen to get sick, the team at our Buckhead dental office recommends treating your symptoms with sugar-free medication to protect your teeth. Also, don’t forget to swap out your toothbrush for a new one after any illness.

National Dental Hygiene Month is Here!

hygienist in the foreground

There’s a lot to be thankful for as we move into this part of 2019, but October is also a time when the entire nation comes together to observe National Dental Hygiene Month. This is a special part of the year when you, along with your dentist is Buckhead, can take some time out to talk about all of the wonderful things dental hygienists bring to dentistry. 

Without further ado, let’s give dental hygienists everywhere the respect they deserve for a job well done in dental offices across America. Let’s learn a little more about what they do and how you can even help make their life a little easier when you come in for your regular cleanings.

A Little Hygiene History 

According to Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, a new type of dental “nurse” began to help with teeth cleanings to prevent decay and disease dating all the way back to the 1880s. Dr. Albert C. Fones trained his assistant Irene Newman to act as an apprentice. Her early duties mainly involved scaling and polishing teeth, much like modern hygienists. Fones could not wrap his head around the term “dental nurse,” so he started calling his students dental hygienists instead. A whole new, exciting, and vital part of the dental field was born. (What would we do without them?)

National Dental Hygiene Month first started being recognized in October back in 2009 courtesy of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) and Wrigley gum. Together, both organizations saw the need for more Americans to put a heavier emphasis on keeping their teeth healthy.

How Can I Observe National Dental Hygiene Month?

The best way to show your dental hygienist some love is to come into our Buckhead dental office for a cleaning. While you’re there, be sure to share how much you appreciate the kind of care your hygienist provides for your smile. 

When you’re at home, you can do these things to help maintain all of the hard work dental hygienists and dentists do to keep your teeth healthy.

1) Brush Twice a Day

Remember, the golden rule to brushing is doing it twice a day for two minutes. Make sure you’re using a soft brush where the bristles are free from wear and tear. Regular brushing is going to keep bad breath away, help keep teeth free from decay, and make your dental hygienist’s day the next time your due for a cleaning. 

2) Floss at least Once a Day

As funny as it seems, flossing made headlines a while back when there was a debate about whether or not it’s necessary. Flossing can reach up to 30 percent more of your tooth surfaces where brushing can’t reach. You’ll be able to get rid of nasty food particles that can lead to decay and disease down the road.

3) Rinse Your Mouth

Mouthwash is a great way to seal the deal on your at-home oral health routine so that you know your teeth are protected and healthy. It also helps to keep your breath fresh. Aim to make rinsing with mouthwash something you do each day after you finish flossing and brushing. An excellent antimicrobial rinse can work wonders for your mouth and breath!

We hope you learned a little something about dental hygienists and what they do. We also hope you reach out to us either by phone or online to learn more about taking care of your smile. If you’re scheduled to see your dental hygienist this month for a cleaning, share a big smile and thank you with them for all that they do for you!

You CAN Relax at the Dentist! (We’ll Show You How)

young woman at the dentist

Nothing gives some people more dread in their stomach than knowing they need to see their dentist in Buckhead soon. It doesn’t matter if it’s a regular visit and cleaning or a first-time appointment to establish care, there’s a good chance you or someone you know feels anxiety no matter what the reason is for the appointment.

You should know that if you or someone in your family struggles with a fear of seeing the dentist, you’re not alone. The Cleveland Clinic estimates between 9 and 15 percent of Americans avoid going to the dentist out of fear or anxiety. 

There’s a solution for everything, including your apprehension about seeing the dentist. Here are a few ways to get you started with having a healthier smile. We promise that following these simple steps will help you feel more relaxed and at ease about dental treatment.

Step #1: Just Talk to Us

All you have to do is give our Buckhead dental office a call. Let us know what you’re feeling and what you’d like to do about your smile. It’s just that easy. If you’re not ready to talk just yet, why not send us an email or message online? All we want to do is start a conversation with you, at your own pace and always without pressure or obligation. 

By communicating with us, your stress levels should lower because you’re learning more about what to expect during your appointment, and we get to know you and your needs. Trust us when we say we see patients every day who are not too excited about having to sit in the dental chair, even for as something as routine as a cleaning. We have the right tools and training to make sure you’re always feeling comfortable and at ease.

Remember, starting with the first phone call if you’re a new patient, share your questions and concerns with our dental team. We can adapt to fit your needs and your schedule, to make seeing the dentist an experience that’s stress-free (and maybe even a little fun).

Step #2 – Learn to Breathe Easy

We know the last thing you want to hear when you’re experiencing high anxiety is to “just breathe.” But focusing on your breathing is very effective at lowering your stress levels and blood pressure, helping you to feel more at ease.

There’s even a handy little trick you can use to help you remember to focus on your breath and relax, instead of dreading your time with the dentist. It’s known as the 4-7-8 breathing technique or “relaxing breath.” Try breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. Some people say doing this deep, rhythmic breathing can even help them fall asleep in as little as one minute.

Step #3 – Keep Coming Back to Avoid Us

Now that you know how to get comfortable before seeing the dentist, you can prepare for any visit. And remember this: it may seem a bit strange, but the best way to avoid the dentist is to see your dentist regularly. If you can overcome your anxiety and get through regular, routine checkups and cleanings, then there’s a good chance you’ll be able to avoid more extensive, time-consuming procedures in the future.

We hope this blog helps you feel better about reaching out to our dental office in Buckhead. Our team is gentle, caring, and understanding of what it feels like to worry about seeing the dentist. We’ve got you covered to ensure you’re free from dental anxiety so you can enjoy the healthy smile you deserve!

The Top 3 Most Damaging Sports for Smiles

kids playing lacrosse

Your dentist in Buckhead is all about patients getting exercise and engaging in sports. It’s good for your body, mind, and spirit. However, there are quite a few sports that put your smile in danger every time you suit up. Some sports, for various reasons, put your teeth at a higher risk for injury and issues. 

Let’s countdown the top three sports that can do some serious dental damage to your smile. 

#1 – Ball and Stick Sports

There’s a reason this is number one on our list. Sports involving the combination of ball and stick or bat are a big danger to your smile. These pastimes include:

– Baseball

– Hockey

– Field Hockey

– Lacrosse

– Cricket

– And More

A hard ball or puck moving at a high rate of speed directly at your head or mouth is never going to have an ideal outcome if contact is made. 

#2 – Contact Sports – Boxing, MMA, Martial Arts, Football, and Basketball

Sports such as martial arts, mixed martial arts, boxing, and others can also spell trouble for your teeth. There’s no denying that these sports are full-contact and sometimes mean hitting someone directly in the face. Oral injury is occasionally imminent.  There is a reason football players wear mouthguards. Basketball can be just as dangerous for your smile. It can get physical “in the paint” and elbows to the mouth are fairly common. But it can be avoidable if you remember to wear a custom mouthguard courtesy of your Buckhead dentist

#3 – X-treme Sports

We’re talking to all the thrill-seekers out there. You know the ones who just can’t resist shredding some pipe on the skateboard, enjoying corduroy conditions on their snowboard, or doing some freestyle tricks on their BMX bike. You may think these sports are reserved for the pros you see killing it at the X-Games, but in all reality, they’re still pretty popular recreational activities. Sometimes you take a tumble or suffer a fall that impacts your smile. This can spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for your teeth. 

It all comes down to this: Give it your all, no matter what you do. Just don’t let your game get out of hand. Remember that it only takes a few seconds to do damage to your teeth, whether they’re broken or completely knocked out. Your smile is yours for the rest of your life, so you want to make sure you’re taking all of the necessary steps to protect it both on and off the field, court, or ice. 

Please remember to wear a mouthguard or sportsguard whenever you can while you’re engaging in these activities we’ve talked about today. Not only will it help protect your teeth but also will lessen the chance for concussions from blows to the chin.  Stay away from overly aggressive sports where you’re doing more damage to your health than helping it. Stay safe and have fun!

If, for whatever reason, you ever find yourself in a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to call our Buckhead dental office right away. There’s always someone ready to listen and help you get out of pain, fast. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment for you and your smile. 

What You Need to Know About Fluoride

fluoride concept

Fluoride has been used in the prevention of tooth decay and cavities since it was first introduced into public water supplies in 1945. But some research studies suggest that fluoride isn’t safe. At our dental office in Buckhead, we’d like to help debunk that theory and explain the benefits and importance of fluoride treatments. 

What is Fluoride and What Does it Do?

Before we go any farther, we should first take a close look at what exactly fluoride is and how it works. It’s important to note that fluoride is a mineral that’s naturally found throughout nature and even in some foods and water. But why is it an important part of oral health? Essentially, fluoride makes it more difficult for acids released by bacteria in the mouth to wear away tooth enamel. When tooth enamel erodes, it leaves teeth exposed to those acids and bacteria and increases the likelihood for cavities. By adding fluoride into the mix, the teeth are protected.

Is Fluoride Just for Kids? 

Fluoride is most important for growing smiles. Your dentist in Buckhead will most likely recommend that infants and children be exposed to fluoride from 6 months of age until they’re about 16. This may mean changing to a toothpaste that includes fluoride or receiving fluoride treatments at bi-annual dental visits. However, the benefits of fluoride don’t go away once someone hits their 16th birthday. Fluoride can be beneficial for adults too. Adults should also receive some sort of fluoride treatment occasionally to keep fighting tooth decay. Fluoride treatments may also be recommended to help combat tooth sensitivity.  

How Much Fluoride is Too Much? 

Fluoride is safe and beneficial to dental health, but there is such a thing as too much. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), kids under 8 years old should not use products containing fluoride if the public water supply in their hometown has more than 2 mg/L of fluoride. The biggest risk to kids of being exposed to too much fluoride is something called dental fluorosis, or staining and pitting of tooth enamel. 

Fluoride should be used only as directed or prescribed, and intake should be monitored. Here are a few tips to help you monitor the use of fluoride products in your family:

  • Keep fluoride supplements out of the reach of children
  • Avoid flavored toothpaste to discourage swallowing 
  • Use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste with fluoride in it

If you have any concerns or questions about how dental fluoride can help protect your family’s smiles from damaging decay and cavities, we welcome you to call our Buckhead dental office to schedule an appointment with us today. 

Can Swimming Pools Affect Your Smile?

kids swimming

Swimming pools may seem like an odd thing for your dentist in Buckhead to talk about, but besides being a long-time summer favorite and a relaxing escape from the heat, swimming pools may actually pose an unwanted threat to your teeth. Now, before you forego all pools this summer (trust us, we don’t want that!), let’s take a look at just how and why pool water may be dangerous for your smile.

Pool Water & Your Oral Health

It’s worth noting that not all pool water is dangerous pool water. But it is important to talk about the pool water that can be a threat to your oral health. The problem with pool water and your oral health arises when the pH falls below an acceptable safe range (usually 7.2 and 7.8). When the pH is too low, pool water can actually become acidic. That’s where the problem lies. Acidic pool water can not only cause burning eyes and skin irritation, but it can also contribute to enamel erosion and tooth discoloration

The Importance of Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is the incredibly tough outer layer of teeth and protects our pearly whites from decay, bacteria, and sensitivity. While tooth enamel is incredibly strong, it can become damaged over time. Often, either brushing with abrasive toothpastes or exposing your teeth to too much acid are the main causes behind enamel erosion. This includes prolonged exposure to acidic pool water. 

What are the Signs of a Problem?

The most immediate signs that your pool water’s pH is too low are burning eyes and irritated skin. But over time you may begin to notice damage to your smile, including increased sensitivity caused by the enamel thinning, or little brown spots known as swimmer’s calculus. If you notice any of these signs, call your dentist in Buckhead to schedule an appointment. 

Who’s At Risk? 

Many times a casual swimmer won’t experience the damages of pool water, but the more time spent in a pool, the risk increases. In fact, according to a study of competitive swimmers conducted in the 1980’s, nearly 40% of them had some level of enamel erosion.

Protecting Your Smile

One of the best ways to protect your smile is, of course, to brush and floss properly and see your dentist in Buckhead regularly. But when it comes to protecting your smile against the potential dangers of pool water, make sure to test your water’s pH regularly and try your best to keep pool water out of your mouth as much as possible. 

Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed?

wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth can be a pesky problem. It is most common to have wisdom teeth removed. In fact, over 90% of Americans have their wisdom teeth removed. So when can they stay and when do they have to go?  

Reasons Wisdom Teeth Need to be Extracted

There’s No Room For Them

The top reason wisdom teeth need to be removed is that there’s no more room in your mouth for four more teeth. If this is happening, your dental team will be able to identify it early through dental x-rays. When there’s simply not enough room for your wisdom teeth, extraction will be recommended. If treatment is not completed and the teeth start to erupt, a whole host of issues can occur including overcrowding, crookedness, and jaw pain. Even if they can erupt fully, they often become in the way of the lower jaw being able to go to the correct position which can lead to headaches, joint pain, and teeth cracking and wearing.

Proper Care Becomes Difficult

If you’re one of the rare cases where your wisdom teeth grow in straight and healthy, your Buckhead dentist may still recommend having them removed. This is to prevent additional problems such as cavities and gum disease in the future. You see, wisdom teeth are way in the back of the mouth and are very difficult to brush and floss properly. This can cause bacteria and plaque build-up, which will put you at an increased risk of decay. 

When Don’t Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed? 

Even though 90% of Americans need to have their wisdom teeth out, there are a few cases when wisdom teeth grow in just fine. If your wisdom teeth have enough room to fully erupt without disrupting the neighboring teeth and you’re not having trouble taking care of them, you may just be able to keep them. Remember, your dental team will continue to monitor their health to make sure they’re still ok where they are, and that your mouth and smile are staying healthy. 

Seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to determine whether or not you should have your wisdom teeth removed. If you think you may need to have your wisdom teeth checked out, give our Buckhead dental office a call to schedule an appointment today.

Why You Should Pay Attention to Gum Health

examining gums with mirror

When many people think about their dental care they immediately think of teeth and smiles. But there’s another huge part of dentistry that can not only affect your oral health but your overall health, too — your gums. At our dental office in Buckhead, we take gum health seriously, and for good reason. Poor gum health can lead to gum disease which can be very serious.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, which can also be referred to as periodontal disease, is an infection in the gum tissue. There are different stages to gum disease that describe how severe the condition is. Gingivitis is early-stage gum disease and periodontitis is more severe, advanced gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.

Gum Disease and Overall Health

Your gums can tell your dentist in Buckhead all sorts of information about your oral health and they just may indicate other potential problems throughout the body. In fact, symptoms affecting the gums have been linked to several serious health concerns such as strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, and certain cancers.

Signs of Gum Disease

Catching and treating gum disease early is the best way to keep it from affecting the rest of the body. That’s one reason seeing your dentist at least every six months is so important. You should also be on the lookout for some of the most common signs of gum disease in-between visits. Some potential signs of gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, call your dentist as soon as possible. Your dental team will see exactly what’s going on and make the best gum disease treatment recommendation for you.

Protect Yourself

There are things you can do to keep your gums healthy and protect yourself against gum disease.

  • Floss every day
  • Brush your teeth twice daily
  • Quit smoking
  • See your dentist regularly

It’s important to know that gum disease may not always show symptoms, so make sure you visit our Buckhead dental office twice a year to keep yourself protected. If it’s been longer than six months since your last appointment, call us to schedule one today.

Log in