We can't stop getting older or completely avoid many of the consequences that come with aging. Even so, there are things we can do to age more gracefully.
That includes your smile, which can also suffer the ravages of time. Teeth naturally wear and yellow over the years. We're also more susceptible to both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease as we age.
You can help slow some of these age-related dental problems by simply caring for your teeth and gums. This includes not only brushing and flossing every day to remove dental plaque (which can cause disease and dull your smile), but also seeing a dentist every few months for more thorough cleanings.
You can also take advantage of certain cosmetic enhancements to address some of the age-related issues that could keep you from having a more youthful smile.
Discolored teeth. Teeth tend to get darker over time, the combination of stain-causing foods and beverages, habits like smoking and age-related changes in tooth structure. You may be able to temporarily attain a brighter smile with teeth whitening. For a more permanent effect, we can cover stained teeth with porcelain veneers, dental bonding or dental crowns.
Worn teeth. After decades of chewing and biting, teeth tend to wear, with habits like teeth grinding accelerating it. This can cause teeth to appear abnormally small with hard, sharpened edges in contrast to the soft, rounded contours of younger teeth. In some cases, we can restore softer tooth edges with enamel contouring and reshaping. For more severe wearing, veneers or crowns could once again provide a solution.
Recessed gums. Because of gum disease, over-aggressive brushing or a genetic disposition to thinner gums, gums can shrink back or “recede” from normal teeth coverage. This not only exposes vulnerable areas of the teeth to harmful bacteria, it can also make teeth appear longer than normal (hence the aging description, “long in the tooth”). We can address recession by treating any gum disease present and, in extreme cases, perform grafting surgery to help rebuild lost tissue.
Losing your attractive smile isn't inevitable as you get older. We can help you make sure your smile ages gracefully along with the rest of you.
If you would like more information on keeping a youthful smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”
“Personalize Your Plate” is the theme for this year's National Nutrition Month in March, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It means there isn't a single diet for all of us: We're each unique with differing body types and tastes, and our diets need to be unique as well. Still, though, you'll want to be sure to include basic nutrients that are generally good for all of us—including for our teeth.
As you “personalize” your daily diet, be sure it includes dental-friendly vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the more important ones that contribute to strong and healthy teeth, and the kinds of foods in which you'll find them.
Vitamin D. This vitamin is a key element for growing and maintaining healthy teeth and bone, mainly by helping the body absorb calcium. You'll find vitamin D in milk, eggs or fatty fish—and you'll also gain a little strolling outdoors in the sunshine!
Vitamin E. As an antioxidant, vitamin E helps the body fight free radical molecules that contribute to cancer development, including oral cancer. You'll find vitamin E naturally in seeds and nuts (and derivative cooking oils), wheat germ and whole grains.
Calcium. When included with vitamin D and phosphorus, calcium is an important “construction material” for building strong teeth and bones. You'll find calcium in dairy products like milk and cheese as well as greens, legumes and tofu.
Phosphorus. Eighty-five percent of the body's phosphorus, a companion mineral to calcium, is found in teeth and bones, where it helps to keep them strong and healthy. You'll find this important mineral in meats, milk and eggs.
Magnesium. This mineral helps mineralize teeth and bones, giving them strength and protection against disease. You can get magnesium by eating nuts, legumes, whole grains, dark leafy greens, seafood and—if you limit the added sugar content—chocolate.
Fluoride. Most people are familiar with fluoride added to drinking water or toothpaste to strengthen tooth enamel against tooth decay, but the mineral also occurs naturally in some foods. You can obtain low amounts of fluoride in seafood and black or green tea.
One last thing! While we're promoting foods that you should eat for healthier teeth, there's also one you'll want to cut back on: processed sugar. This carbohydrate is a major factor in oral bacterial growth that causes tooth decay and gum disease. So, eating foods low in sugar and high in these key vitamins and minerals will help ensure your teeth stay healthy.
If you would like more information about the importance of nutrition in dental care, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nutrition: Its Role in General & Oral Health.”
How a root canal from your dentist in Noblesville, IN, can save your smile
If you have tooth pain, you may be wondering if you need a root canal. The truth is, only your dentist can tell for sure if you need a root canal. Chronic tooth pain is an excellent reason to visit your dentist for an examination and x-rays, to see if you and your smile can benefit from root canal therapy.
Dr. Jaclyn Ridder of Cumberland Pointe Dental in Noblesville, IN, offers comprehensive dental care services, including root canal therapy to save your smile.
You might need a root canal if you:
- Have experienced trauma to your face, jaws, or mouth
- Are suffering from untreated tooth decay
- Have chronic habits like grinding or clenching your teeth
You need a root canal if the innermost layer of your tooth, an area known as the pulp chamber, has been bruised or damaged. The pulp chamber is where the blood supply and nerve supply to your tooth are located.
When the pulp chamber is damaged, inflammation begins, followed by a buildup of fluid inside your tooth. Fluid buildup leads to pressure and pain, and it’s a bit like a teapot getting ready to boil. Your tooth is getting ready to boil too!
You may experience signs and symptoms like these when you need a root canal:
- Acute dental pain when you bite down on something
- Increasing dental pain when your tooth is exposed to hot or cold foods or drinks
- Dental pain that radiates to other areas including your jaws or face
- Tooth pain that doesn’t go away or gets worse, even after restorative treatment
You may also notice your gums swelling up around the painful tooth, and a red or white bump appearing next to the root of the tooth. You may also notice drainage coming from the bump.
When you suffer tooth pain, go see your dentist as soon as you can. Your dentist will open up your tooth as a first step, which decreases the pressure and starts drying up the fluid inside your tooth, so you can feel better fast.
To find out more about how root canal therapy can help you and your smile, call Dr. Jaclyn Ridder of Cumberland Pointe Dental in Noblesville, IN, at (317) 770-4783. Call now!
If you often wake up with headaches or a sore jaw in the morning, you might be grinding your teeth at night. Habitual night grinding, a condition known as bruxism, can cause teeth to become worn down and damaged. The stress of grinding can also aggravate the temporomandibular joints that connect the jaw to the skull. Dr. Jaclyn Ridder, the skilled dentist at Cumberland Pointe Dental in Noblesville, IN can help you protect your teeth from night grinding with a custom night guard.
Bruxism is a condition associated with habitual teeth grinding, often occurring at night while sleeping. There can be many reasons why some people grind their teeth, but some common causes include stress and anxiety. Chronic bruxism can lead to several problems, including headaches, jaw discomfort, and tooth pain. Regularly grinding the teeth also causes the protective enamel surface to wear away, which makes teeth more vulnerable to staining and decay.
Another problem that can develop in conjunction with bruxism is a condition known as TMJ disorder. This condition can result when the temporomandibular joints connecting the jawbone to the skull become irritated. Some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder include a locked jaw, difficulty chewing, jaw pain, and clicking of the temporomandibular joints. Protecting your teeth from night grinding can help prevent TMJ disorder from developing.
Custom Night Guards
Night guards or a highly effective method for treating night grinding. The guards are worn at night over both arches of teeth so they cannot touch. By preventing the top and bottom rows of teeth from coming into contact with each other, night guards prevent the teeth from grinding. When night grinding is prevented, jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms should disappear.
Custom night guards are the best way to go since they offer a perfect fit. The experienced dentist at our office in Noblesville can have custom night guards made for you based on an impression of your teeth. With your new custom night guards, you can be free from night grinding.
Night guards can protect your teeth from night grinding and alleviate the side effects associated with it, such as jaw pain. Dr. Ridder can help you obtain custom night guards. To schedule an appointment with our knowledgeable dentist call Cumberland Pointe Dental in Noblesville, IN at (317) 770-4783.
Now that the holidays are behind us and spring is ahead of us, winter doldrums may be setting in. If you are feeling a little blah, it might be time for a pick-me-up—and what better way to lift the spirits than by giving your smile a boost?
There are several ways to achieve a more attractive, confident smile, depending on your individual dental situation. Here are some possibilities:
Teeth Cleaning. If it sounds simple, it is! During your regular cleaning appointment, in addition to getting rid of plaque and tartar that cause dental disease, we use a polishing paste that removes surface stains.Not only will your teeth feel smoother, they'll look brighter.
Teeth whitening. If your teeth are yellowed, they can take the pizzazz out of your smile and make you look older. Professional teeth whitening is an easy way to upgrade a smile, and we can control the level of whitening—whether you want dazzling Hollywood white or a more subtle shade.
Dental bonding or veneers. If your teeth have gaps, chips, discoloration or a poor shape, dental bonding or veneers may be in order. Bonding is a way to repair minor defects in a single visit by applying tooth-colored material to the tooth. Veneers, which can be applied in as little as two visits, are thin porcelain shells that cover the entire front surface of your tooth. With both bonding and veneers, we custom color-match the materials so your smile looks completely natural, only better.
Crowns, bridges or dental implants. If you have a tooth that is not sustainable on its own, a lifelike crown can replace the visible part of the tooth, making it look good as new. If you have one or more missing teeth, a crown or bridge supported by dental implants can look and function like natural teeth.
Orthodontic treatment. If your teeth are not as straight as you'd like, orthodontic treatment can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile and give you newfound confidence. This original “smile makeover” is not just for teens; people of all ages undergo orthodontic treatment. Not a fan of traditional metal braces? Not to worry—you may be a candidate for clear orthodontic aligners, which are nearly invisible and can be removed for meals and special occasions.
Gum surgery. If your teeth seem small or you think your gums show too much when you smile, changing the contour of the gums through periodontal plastic surgery can have a big impact on the look of a smile. Reshaping the gums also helps the teeth appear more prominent.
As you see, there is an array of options for enhancing your smile, and we're more than happy to help you develop a treatment plan that is right for you. So consider sprucing up your smile and boosting your spirits with a tip or two from this list.
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