Tooth Decay and Cavities | Dentist Sandy Springs

Mature woman smiling
Regular Check ups can preserve that youthful smile.

Tooth decay can happen to anyone.  Left untreated, cavities can become infected and eventually, result in tooth loss.  Don’t wait for a toothache to start taking care of your teeth.  By practicing good oral hygiene and getting regular dental checkups, you can protect yourself from tooth decay.

Perhaps there’s a need to have a better understanding of tooth decay. It begins with the normal bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria feed on food particles in your mouth and produce acid as a byproduct. The combination of bacteria, food debris, acid, and saliva in your mouth forms a filmy substance on your teeth called plaque.  If the plaque isn’t removed promptly, tooth decay will begin. Eventually, the plaque hardens into a mineral-like substance known as tartar, which without professional care is much harder to remove. Both tartar and plaque can eventually lead to the gum diseases known as gingivitis and periodontitis.

In addition to gum disease, plaque build-up also affects the protective enamel surface on your teeth, leading to cavities.  Without treatment, cavities grow larger and eventually compromise the nerves and blood vessels within the tooth.  If an abscess or other infection develops in the tooth it more than likely will result in the destruction, and probably the loss of your tooth.

The culprits in this scenario are starches and sugars we eat. In addition, sticky foods also promote cavities as they adhere to the surface of the teeth and facilitate bacterial activity.  Generally, if you snack a lot, you’re at higher risk of developing cavities from the plaque formed from poor eating and oral habits.

Although cavities are more common in younger people, adults aren’t immune.  Older fillings often deteriorate and allow bacteria to accumulate, resulting in additional tooth decay.

Most cavities are found early during regular dental checkups, but you have to show up for those checkups.  Sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods and drinks may also alert you to a possible cavity.  If you notice tooth sensitivity or pain, it’s morel than likely time to visit your dentist for an oral exam.

Once a cavity is found, treatment options include either a filling, crown or root canal therapy, depending on the degree of decay. If caught early enough the most common cavity treatment is a filling.  If you waited until you had pain, and your cavity is severe, a crown may be necessary to restore the tooth.  If decay has spread to the tooth’s root, a root canal may be required. In this procedure, the nerve tissue is removed and sealed.  Then either a permanent filling is placed or a crown may be necessary as well.

So what should you do?  The best way to prevent decay and other dental issues associated with tooth decay is to practice good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly. If you experience tooth sensitivity, make an appointment to see your dentist sooner than later.  With proper dental examinations we can eliminate problems before they start. Don’t let your dental hygiene disrupt your lifestyle, contact us now.

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200B

Atlanta, GA 30328

404-256-3620

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

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Dentist Sandy Springs: Cutting Sugar Intake

sugar
We consume way too much sugar.

Current guidelines from the World Health Organization, set in 2002, recommend that free sugars should make up less than 10% of total energy intake each day.  And while the new draft guidelines offer the same recommendation, the WHO also suggest that reducing sugar intake to less than 5% of total energy intake each day – the equivalent to 6 teaspoons for an adult of normal body mass index (BMI) – would offer additional benefits.

Notably, the WHO is concerned about how the consumption of free sugars contributing to the prevalence of dental diseases.  Recent figures show that worldwide, 60-90% of school children and almost 100% of adults have dental cavities.

In the US, consumption of sugary drinks is high.  Data from a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that 50% of the population consumes sugary drinks on any given day, while 5% consume at least 567 kcal from sugary drinks on any given day – the equivalent to four cans of cola.   Less than 5% of daily calorie intake from sugar would offer additional benefits to the consuming population.

While we can’t help you with your dietary intake, we can give you guidance concerning your oral health condition.  Contact us in our Sandy Springs office for your complimentary consultation.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta, GA 30328

404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

Related article

Cavities – the mouth is connected to the body

special-needs1It is not merely semantics, but rather a paradigm shift in thinking to consider dental caries (cavities) as a ‘complex disease caused by an imbalance in physiologic equilibrium between tooth mineral and biofilm fluid’.[1]  A consequence of dental caries being a complex disease is that on a population basis we may have success with a particular preventive oral program in one select segment of population in our country, but not necessarily in another segment with different cultural and behavioral habits. Moreover, society and the dental community may need to organize our dental health care very differently in neighboring counties, and apply fluorides, tooth brushing protocols and flossing in very different ways (mouth rinsing, toothpaste, water fluoridation and supervised brushing etc.) to obtain rather similar caries reductions from one locale to another.

Contrary to urban lore, the mouth is connected to the body.  So, whatever directions caries research should take from here it will require a multidisciplinary approach to solving complex problems and should be included in a well-planned healthcare approach. More than ever, well-educated clinical dentists set the stage and should be included in collaboration with colleagues trained in the multitude of new fields in the basic sciences (biophysics, functional genomics, proteomics, chemical biology, nano-technology, etc.) to address clinically relevant questions.

A higher standard of oral healthcare well planned.  Get the facts, ask the Right Smile Center.  If we can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta, GA 30328

404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

[1] Fejerskov O, Nyvad B: Is dental caries an infectious disease? Diagnostic and treatment consequences for the practitioner; in Schou L (ed): Nordic Dentistry 2003 Yearbook. Copenhagen, Quintessence Publishing, 2003, pp 141– 151.

Red Wine, Over the Lips and Around the Mouth – Dentist Sandy Springs

Drinking-Red-WineFor anyone searching for another reason to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, here’s a great one:

A new study has found that red wine, as well as grape seed extract, could potentially help prevent cavities.[1] They say this could lead to the development of natural products that ward off dental diseases with fewer side effects.  Cavities, periodontal disease and tooth loss affect an estimated 60 to 90 percent of the global population.[2]

This research has suggested that polyphenols, grape seed extract and wine can slow bacterial growth.  Red wine with or without alcohol and wine with grape seed extract was effective at getting rid of the bacteria found in the mouth.

The down side is you need to treat the stains caused by the red wine.  If we can be of help please give us a call.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta, GA 30328

404-256-3620

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

Related Article

https://therightsmile.wordpress.com/2014/03/

 

[1] Irene Muñoz-González, Thomas Thurnheer, Begoña Bartolomé, M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas. Red Wine and Oenological Extracts Display Antimicrobial Effects in an Oral Bacteria Biofilm Model. American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2014; 62 (20): 4731 DOI: 10.1021/jf501768p

[2] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140521133617.htm

 

Dentist Alpharetta: Babes in Oy Land!!

babyIt’s not enough that new parents have to read every label on every baby product, now they have to pay more attention to the oral health of their toothless babies. A recent University of Illinois study confirms the presence of bacteria associated with early childhood caries in infant saliva.  “By the time a child reaches kindergarten, 40 percent have dental cavities.”[1] Cavities are the most prevalent infectious disease in U.S. children, according to the CDC.  “In addition, populations who are of low socioeconomic status, who consume a diet high in sugar, and whose mothers have low education levels are 32 times more likely to have this disease.”[2]

The study focused on infants before teeth erupted, compared to most studies focused on children already in preschool or kindergarten. Through 454 pyro-sequencing, researchers learned that the oral bacterial community in infants without teeth was much more diverse than expected and identified hundreds of species. The presence of members of the bacterial community that cause biofilm formation or are associated with ECC are already present in infant saliva justifies more research on the evolution of the infant oral bacterial community.[3]

So it’s not that you don’t have enough to do raising your child, you have to be on the lookout for new issues where there is no recommended treatment.  We typically recommend you stay on top of your child’s oral health and bring them in as early as teeth begin to erupt.

If we can be of help, give us a holler.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

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Dentist Alpharetta: Cavities FAQs

no-cavitiesMost of us have had at least one.  Some of us couldn’t help ourselves and have quite a few. So what makes cavities so persistent? Usually, the answer is simple: not enough brushing your teeth, flossing and visiting the dentist.  Snacking on sweets and slurping sodas doesn’t help either.  Even healthy cran-raisins are a culprit in the cause of cavities[1].  But rather than feel guilty, get informed and do some things to prevent cavities.

Q: What’s the difference between tooth decay and tooth cavity?

A: Good question! Most people think tooth decay and tooth cavity are the same thing. But they’re not. Tooth decay refers to a gradual process during which bacteria in the mouth produce acids that destroy the surfaces of teeth. Over time, tooth decay can erode enamel to the point that a hole, or cavity, forms.

Q: Can I get cavities from kissing?

A: Actually, you can.  But I am not sure if that’s a reason to give up kissing.  You might try brushing more frequently to disrupt the decaying process and keep kissing[2]!

Q: How do I know if I have cavities?

A: Cavities are one of the first things your dentist looks for during a regular dental exam. X-rays allow your dentist to diagnose whether you have dental cavities and how extensive they are.  Other methods of discovery come from the probing in the top surfaces of the tooth[3] for ‘stickiness’.  Sometimes a tooth cavity is visible to the naked eye, but that may mean you haven’t seen your dentist in a while.[4]

Q: How do dentists treat dental cavities?

A: Treatment depends on the size of the cavity and the degree of damage.   Although many dental cavities are treated with fillings, onlays may be necessary to treat large cavities affecting the cusps of teeth, while cavities affecting the areas in between the cusps may be treated with inlays. In some cases, dental crowns are used to protect a tooth from further tooth decay. Dental sealants are often applied to children’s and adult’s teeth as a preventative measure against cavities.

Still have questions about cavities or other dental problems? Your dentist will be happy to answer them during your next checkup or give us a call or email.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

Info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

Related articles


[1] Raisins stick to your tooth, ergo bacteria attachment site.

[2] Kissing has a lot of immune building advantages.  There are costs and benefits to everything.

[3] In between the cusps of the tooth.

[4] If you see black holes in your teeth, those could be signs. Another cavity red flag is a toothache or sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks.

 

Dentist Sandy Springs: Babes in Oy Land!!

babyIt’s not enough that new parents have to read every label on every baby product, now they have to pay more attention to the oral health of their toothless babies. A recent University of Illinois study confirms the presence of bacteria associated with early childhood caries in infant saliva.  “By the time a child reaches kindergarten, 40 percent have dental cavities.”[1] Cavities are the most prevalent infectious disease in U.S. children, according to the CDC.  “In addition, populations who are of low socioeconomic status, who consume a diet high in sugar, and whose mothers have low education levels are 32 times more likely to have this disease.”[2]

The study focused on infants before teeth erupted, compared to most studies focused on children already in preschool or kindergarten. Through 454 pyro-sequencing, researchers learned that the oral bacterial community in infants without teeth was much more diverse than expected and identified hundreds of species. The presence of members of the bacterial community that cause biofilm formation or are associated with ECC are already present in infant saliva justifies more research on the evolution of the infant oral bacterial community.[3]

So it’s not that you don’t have enough to do raising your child, you have to be on the lookout for new issues where there is no recommended treatment.  We typically recommend you stay on top of your child’s oral health and bring them in as early as teeth begin to erupt.

If we can be of help, give us a holler.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com