How to fix a gummy smile

Just like Dr. Silberg says in the video above, when the majority of people smile, we raise our upper lip,  and show our teeth with a little bit of gum.  It’s natural and looks like a normal smile.  But there are instances where individuals will smile, raise their upper lip and show a lot of gum and a little bit of teeth. It is much more of a gummy smile.  Which can be lead to make them believe that they have smaller teeth than most. This is not true in the slightest.

We all have the desire to smile. Someone says a joke, we want to pose for a picture, or you just naturally want to express your sense of happiness, but having a gummy smile can make us feel hesitant to show our teeth in public. It can feel embarrassing, and you may struggle to feel confident about your smile. If you believe that you have a gummy smile and may need some help then it can be very wise to schedule an appointment to come and talk with Dr. Silberg about your situation.  As he said in the video, with very minor shaping and resculpting of your gums, your entire tooth (or teeth) can be made visible. Your gums will finally compliment your teeth rather than cover them up. Your self confidence will grow and finally you will not be hesitant to hide your natural and beautiful smile when you are spending time with others and going throughout your day. With the experience and expertise that Dr. Silberg and the staff at Silberg Center for Dental Science have, it is a simple procedure that creates lasting smiles by simply changing the way that your gums sit between your natural teeth.

Now there are also instances that there would be a need to reshape your gums because of gum disease, commonly known as Gingivitis. More often than not when you are faced with gum disease it’s caused from a lack of brushing and flossing, doing it improperly, or a piece of food or different particle that is in a place you can’t reach on your own.  There are a lot of nooks and crannies inside of your mouth that can be difficult to reach.  If this problem is left untreated then your gums will start to become inflamed, which means they turn red, are sensitive if touched, and when brushed can start to bleed.  If you have any of these symptoms with your gums then it is vital that you come in and see Dr. Silberg before more damage can take place.

He can recommend the proper treatment to help your gums become healthy again, and in some instances there might be the need for gum reshaping or repair.  Dr. Silberg’s goal is to provide a healthy happy smile to all of his patients and if your gums are not treated with as much care as your regular teeth, you might actually lose your teeth. Gum disease can lead to bone loss and even loss of teeth.  We want to work with you to prevent those kinds of problems from ever happening to you.  But, do keep in mind that if you have had such an instance happen, you can be rest assured that there are methods to fix the problem. Dr. Silberg is an expert in dental implants, and they can be used to replace missing or lost teeth. What is even better is that they look, feel and act like your normal teeth.

For any additional questions, or if you would like to come in and meet with Dr. Silberg, please contact us to schedule an appointment. We are happy to talk with you about any procedure you might be interested in.

Does Alcohol in Mouthwash Treat Gum Disease?

Gingivitis, we all have heard the name and we all know that it isn’t good when we have it in our mouths.  It’s gum disease and can lead to even more problems in our mouths if it is left untreated. One of the things that can be very important to help prevent any kind of gum disease is to use a mouth wash along with your standard brushing and flossing. With all of the small crevices that are within out mouths there can be times that our toothbrush or line of floss just can’t get to.

There are a lot of mouth washes out there and you more than likely have seen the different commercials that promote a mouthwash that gives you that fresh clean feeling inside of your mouth. They motivate you to swish in your mouth for 30 seconds and to power through the burning feeling in your mouth.  Have you ever wondered what that fresh feeling is from and if it really is helping clean your mouth? We wanted to discuss this a little more and let you in on a secret that you may not be aware of.

Getting that fresh, yet sometimes burning sensation from leading mouthwashes can be irritating to some, or down right unbearable. There also have been complaints of a strange aftertaste after using these kinds of mouthwashes and bouts of dry mouth.  Where does all of that come from? Alcohol. There are many that may not be aware that alcohol is an ingredient in many popular mouthwashes. It burns and makes the whole process, even when it’s only a short amount of time, feel unbearable. It could be stopping you and other patients from using it to help keep your mouth free of plaque, tartar build up, halitosis (bad breath), whiten teeth, and having a healthy and clean smile.

There have been toothpastes developed for those who have sensitive teeth and you’ll be happy to know that there are also options out there for those that may not like the burning sensation they feel using a standard mouthwash.  These alcohol free mouthwashes provide the same preventative effect as those that have alcohol, and won’t give you that burning feeling you are wanting to avoid. There are even versions that are formulated specifically for treating gum disease if you do have a minor form of gingivitis.

There have also been studies conducted by BioMed Research that suggest using a mouthwash without alcohol can actually improve the gloss, color, hardness, and wear of your teeth compared to a mouthwash that does have alcohol. Dr. Silberg and all of us at the Silberg Center for Dental Science want you to have a healthy smile with no gum disease to speak of, and looking at a mouthwash without alcohol can be an option if you would like to try it.

Even a minor issue with gum disease can turn into a very serious thing if you don’t take care of it. Adding mouthwash to your daily routine when you are brushing your teeth can help prevent it from developing in your mouth and causing more problems. It could lead to periodontal disease, bone loss, and even loss of permanent teeth. These all can be treated if you have had any of those situations, but Dr. Silberg wants to help avoid them as they can be very time consuming and at times costly to treat.

Remember that if you do have questions or concerns about your mouth, or even feel like you might have some form of gum disease, please do give us a call.  We will be happy to talk to you to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Silberg and you can talk with him about your personal situation.

How to Brush your Teeth

The simple act of brushing your teeth is often taken for granted. Many people assume there isn’t much to brushing your teeth or overlook it when conducting their day-to-day routines. However, the importance of teeth brushing should not be underestimated or overlooked. It is not only important to brush your teeth, but it is crucial that you brush your teeth in the proper way in order to take care of your teeth and avoid damaging them.

Common Toothbrush Mistakes

There are numerous little mistakes many people commit while brushing their teeth that can impact your oral health. First and foremost, you want to have the right toothbrush for the job. That means having a toothbrush with soft bristles and can fit in your mouth comfortably. After three to four mouths, you should consider switching out your toothbrush for a new one or replacing the head of your electric toothbrush. This is due to the bristles wearing out and becoming less effective.

Along with choosing the right toothbrush, you’ll want to choose the right fluoride rinse and toothpaste. Whitening toothpaste can actually be harmful to your teeth as the particles that whiten your teeth can sand away the structure of your tooth if used in excess. Beyond utilizing mouthwash and toothpaste, you’ll want to pick up some floss. Flossing is an important part of your oral health care routine as floss can reach places that your toothbrush can’t; ensuring that all food particles and bacteria are removed.

From there, you need to spend the appropriate amount of time brushing your teeth. Twice a day is the minimum you should be brushing your teeth with three times being ideal. Additionally, you should be brushing your teeth for at least two minutes; 30 seconds for each of the four sections of your mouth. It is important not to brush in excess though as more than this can result in tooth damage. You don’t want to brush too hard as well; you should be using a lighter touch and guiding the toothbrush which lets it do most of the work for you.

Proper Brushing Technique

We’ve already touched briefly on proper technique; which is, brushing for at least two minutes while ensuring that you reach each of the four corners of your mouth. This is in addition to not brushing your teeth too hard and utilizing a soft bristle toothbrush. There is more to brushing your teeth than just that. You should utilize these additional tips to ensure that you are practicing proper brushing technique:

  • When brushing your teeth, ensure that your toothbrush is at a 45 degree angle to your gums.
  • Use short, tooth-wide strokes and brush back and forth.
  • Ensure that you are brushing the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of your teeth.
  • The inside surfaces of your front tooth can be cleaned by tilting your brush vertically and making up and down strokes.
  • Finish brushing your teeth by brushing your tongue in order to remove any bacteria which can be the cause of bad breath

Questions?

The importance of tooth brushing cannot be overstated. At its core, tooth brushing is the first line of defense for your oral health. Many people don’t know the proper way to brush their teeth which can lead to serious problems in their mouths. If you are lax in your tooth brushing it could even lead to the extraction of some of your teeth. Should you have any questions regarding the importance of brushing your teeth or proper brushing technique, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Brushing Isn’t Enough: 3 Additional Tips to Taking Care of Your Mouth

While brushing your teeth is often considered to be the foundation of good oral health care, brushing alone is often not enough when it comes to removing harmful bacteria. There is more to good oral health than just brushing your teeth! It’s recommended that you incorporate several other things into your oral health care routine in order to get take care of your mouth and smile!

Tip 1: Flossing

Many people underestimate the importance of flossing your teeth and gums. Do you know that when you don’t floss, you’re leaving 35% of your tooth unclean? That fact is one of the reasons that brushing your teeth just isn’t enough! By including flossing into your routine, you’ll be able to more thoroughly clean your teeth and gums; removing the excess food and bacteria that brushing can’t reach on its own.

Many people avoid flossing due to discomfort or laziness. But if you start to incorporate it into your daily brushing routine it will not feel like an extra chore or be as uncomfortable. If you aren’t sure how exactly to floss Dr. Silberg or one of his dental hygienists can show you the proper way to floss you teeth, and often will provide you with dental floss as well.

Tip 2: Eat a Balanced Diet

Your diet has a lot to do with your oral health care. While you have no doubt been told to avoid sugary foods, you might not understand why. Sugary foods in excess are one of the leading causes of tooth decay and gum disease when a patient is not utilizing proper oral health care. But keep in mind that sugary foods aren’t the only types of food you should avoid either.

It is recommended that you limit the acidic foods and drinks you consume also. Acidic foods and drinks consumed in excess can result in damage to your tooth enamel. Your enamel is important as it helps prevent damage done to your teeth and makes your teeth white! All in all, it is important to avoid foods & beverages that damage your teeth and only consume them in moderation. Focus on eating a balanced diet ensuring that you receive proper nutrition from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins. This is crucial not only for your overall health, but your oral health as well.

Tip 3: Regular Dental Visits

After reaching adulthood, many patients avoid going to the dentist. We cannot stress this enough: the Dr. Silberg is your friend! Scheduling regular dental checkups is crucial to your oral health. At these checkup appointments, we can assess whether or not you have any issues that can help you stay healthy, and what the current state of your oral health care is. This is also a great time to receive a professional dental cleaning—leaving your mouth happy, healthy, and refreshed!

Questions?

As covered above, it is important to realize that brushing your teeth is not enough when it comes to your oral care. You need to ensure that you floss, and receive regular dental checkups with professional teeth cleanings. Your oral health care is extremely important since you use your mouth everyday; from eating to talking. Don’t you want to do everything you can do keep your teeth happy and healthy? Should you have any questions about proper care of your mouth, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Dental Implant Care

Dental implants are often utilized when a patient is missing one or more teeth. It acts as a substitute for the missing tooth; restoring function to the patient’s mouth while improving the aesthetics of the patient’s smile. Just like your regular teeth, dental implants require special care in order to keep your oral health in good standing. We’ve provided some dental implant care tips to help our patients get a better understanding of how to care for them!

Dental Implant Cleaning and Caring

You ultimately need to care for your dental implants like you would your natural teeth. This means that you’ll need to practice good oral hygiene in order to prevent diseases from occurring. You will need to utilize standard home oral care like teeth brushing, flossing, and mouth rinsing alongside regular dental visits and professional cleanings. When brushing and flossing at home, make sure you are using proper technique so that you don’t harm your natural teeth.

Beyond that, you’ll need additional dental tools to properly take care of your dental implants. There are numerous products out there that can assist you with cleaning your dental implants. We can recommend some of these products for you based off of your own individual needs. For example, there are water picks and toothbrushes that have various attachments with angled necks or also they can apply a different kind of pressure to allow for the utmost cleaning. There also are flossing tools that can help clean around the dental implant and prevent infection for stuck food particles. Infection around the base of your dental implant can cause it to loosen and ultimately fall out.

Once you have a dental implant placed, it is very important that you maintain it properly. In the end, you want to be sure that you are not only using the right cleaning techniques, but that you also have the right dental tools that you need to care for them.
You’ll want to remember these key pieces of information when practicing proper dental implant care:

  • Utilize proper technique: when it comes to your dental implants, you need to exercise proper dental care. This includes flossing and brushing in the right way.
  • Use the right tool for the right job: dental implants can require additional dental tools beyond floss and a toothbrush. Speak with a Dr. Silberg and he’ll be able to recommend any specific tools that you’ll need for your dental implants.
  • Get help: If you need to reach out and ask some questions about your dental implant visit with Dr. Silberg and make sure you get the help that you need. This includes regular checkups with Dr. Silberg and cleaning appointments.

Questions?

Taking proper care of your dental implants is the most important thing you can do for your oral health. Your dental implants serve a major role in your overall well being and the aesthetics of your smile. Should you have any questions regarding dental implant care, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Dental Implants vs. Dentures and Bridges

Whether it was during a consultation in our office or perhaps while you were doing your own research online, you have probably come across the term “dental implant” at some point. A dental implant is a great way, often the best way, to replace a missing tooth.

Dental lmplants vs DenturesSo how do you decide if a dental implant is the right path for you, or if a more traditional tooth replacement method such as dentures or bridges is the best way to go?

We have been asked this question many times, and have compiled a comprehensive breakdown of the benefits that implants offer over their conventional counterparts. We hope that this guide will help make the decision process easier for you.

Dental Implants vs. Dentures and Bridges: Things to Consider

  • Longevity: Dental implants offer a long-term solution (often lasting a lifetime) to missing teeth, while dentures and bridges require replacement every 5 to 10 years. Not only does this mean less hassle, it also means that implants may be more affordable over time.
  • Quality of Life:
    • Simply put, dental implants look, feel and function more like natural teeth than do dentures and bridges.
    • With a dental implant, our patients can hardly notice the difference when biting into hard objects. They also look more natural.
    • In addition to that, dental implants are fixed – they are not going to fall out while you are talking or smiling, and you don’t have to put them away each night when you go to sleep. They remain in your mouth, anchored to your jawbone at all times.
  • Bone Stability and Health: Just like muscles, bones also need a “workout” in order to maintain their mass and health. So when a tooth is missing from the jawline, the bone underneath the old tooth site becomes atrophied and shrinks. Dentures and bridges do nothing to help this deterioration. However, dental implants actually screw into the bone and integrate with it, actually encouraging new bone growth.
  • Overall Health: Because implants allow for a normal range of food choices in the diet (a benefit not afforded by dentures), they encourage you to continue your healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life!

Do you still have questions? As always, we are here to answer any questions you have. Give us a call for more information!

Teeth in the News: Dental Care Reduces Respiratory Infections in the ICU

We are always pleased to pass along any oral health information to our patients and their families as we come across it in our various news sources. Simply put: we love it when we find teeth in the news!

Tooth illustration with iconWhile we don’t spend significant time in hospitals ourselves, we were still happy to hear about a recent study that suggests that patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital benefit from enhanced dental care in more ways than you would expect!

Typically, in an ICU setting, patients receive routine oral hygiene treatments from the nurse staff. However, when researchers assigned half of the patients to receive enhanced dental care from a dentist that included brushing, tongue scraping, calculus removal and more, they found that those patients were 56% less likely to develop a respiratory tract infection during their ICU stay.

This is significant because hospital-acquired infections such as respiratory infections are not uncommon due to the nature of the hospital environment and can be dangerous for vulnerable patients. You may be wondering “What is the connection between oral hygiene and respiratory infections?” In fact, infections such as these often originate in the oral cavity. Catching them early before they get into the major organs of the body may be one way to combat healthcare-associated infections.

This is just another example of how your oral health affects the health of your whole body! Be sure to employ excellent brushing and flossing habits at home while you are well to avoid additional problems in your body down the road!

Facts About Bone Grafting

Did you know that with today’s modern techniques, bone grafting is now considered a routine treatment? A bone graft can fix a variety of facial and dental problems and may be required in some cases. If you’ve been told in the past that you’re not an ideal candidate for getting a tooth implant, call us to ask about how a sinus graft makes it possible for many of our patients to receive dental implants. Here are a few things you should know if you’re thinking about getting a dental implant or think a bone graft could help you.

Facts About Modern Bone GraftingIt’s a routine procedure!

Bone grafting has become a standard practice. Depending on the quantity and quality of jawbone, most procedures take place in our office and we use local anesthesia or conscience sedation to relieve any anxiety.

Bone loss has been virtually eliminated!

The only reason our jaws have the amount of the bone that they do is because of the presence of existing teeth. Complicated procedures were developed in the past to attempt to rebuild jaws that had atrophied due to missing teeth and disuse but with the modernization of bone grafting and dental implants, we can prevent jawbone atrophy all together.

There are a variety of materials that can be used.

The bone grafting material you need could come from a variety of sources. Generally, we use bone taken from your hip, jaw, or lower knee but today we have the ability to grow bone where needed or obtain bone from a tissue bank. We also use special membranes to help protect the bone graft and encourage bone regeneration.

Bone grafting allows your body to rebuild itself.

The human body uses most bone grafting materials as a frame on which it can grow new bone. Over time the graft material will be replaced with new bone through your body’s own process of bone regeneration. Maintaining a healthy amount of bone tissue around your teeth is crucial in keeping up your oral health.

If you have a missing tooth, congenital defect, or have had a traumatic jaw injury, and you’re wondering whether you may need bone grafting, give us a call. We can answer your questions, and present the treatment options that are best in your individual situation.

Heart Disease and the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

Heart Disease and the ImportanceDid you know that poor oral hygiene could increase your chances of developing heart disease? Practicing good oral health habits isn’t just an important part of preventing tooth decay; it’s crucial in maintaining your overall health. But how are heart disease and oral health connected? What we’ve come to understand is that bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream and attach to blood vessels, which can increase clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart and in turn cause an elevation in blood pressure thus increasing the risk of a heart attack.

We can help patients who have a history of heart disease by examining them for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation. Brushing and flossing combined with annual check-ups will help to fight the harmful bacteria that cause inflammation and eventually lead to heart disease. Check out these oral hygiene facts and make sure to establish a routine to ensure a great smile and a healthy life.

According to the American Dental Hygienists Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Eating healthy snacks like celery, carrots, or apples help clear away food loosely trapped in-between teeth.
  • The leading oral health problem for infants is baby bottle tooth decay, which can be caused when babies are given a bottle filled with sugary liquids, like milk or juice, when put to bed.
  • Nearly 78% of Americans have had at least one cavity by age 17.
  • Men are more likely than women to have more severe dental diseases and oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in men as women.
  • Dental fluorosis (overexposure to fluoride) is higher in teens than in adults and highest among those aged 12–15.
  • Three out of four patients don’t change their toothbrush as often as is recommended. Toothbrushes should be changed every two to three months and after illnesses.

Issues that go untreated can end up costing a lot more than routine visits to your dentist. Prevention through daily cleaning and regular office visits is the best for both your health and your budget. Remember, regardless of how old you are, it’s never too late to start taking serious care of your teeth and mouth.

The Benefits of Periodontal Laser Treatment

Traditionally, the methods used for periodontal treatment included scaling and root planing, a way of physically removing plaque and tarter deposits beneath the gum line. We now have, however, an additional tool for treating periodontal disease: the laser.

The Benefits of Periodontal LaserLaser treatment for gum disease is the use of laser light energy to vaporize bacteria and infected tissue in a deepened gum pocket. During the procedure, topical local anesthetic is provided.

It is important to note, however, that laser gum therapy is not usually prescribed as a treatment alone. Most often it is used in conjunction with scaling and root planing. You may be wondering, “What benefits does laser treatment provide that are not afforded by traditional periodontal therapies?”

Here are the five top reasons why we recommend laser periodontal treatment to our patients when it is an appropriate treatment option:

  1. Less pain = less anesthesia. Because laser treatment is less invasive, it tends to cause less discomfort. This means that usually, the only pain blocker needed is a simple topical anesthetic.
  2. Sterilization: Simply put, lasers sterilize the treatment site as they work and leave a sterile wound behind when finished, reducing the risk of further infection.
  3. Minimal Bleeding: A bonus for anyone, especially those taking blood thinners, laser gum therapy causes less bleeding than scaling and root planing.
  4. Less Swelling: The less invasive nature of laser therapy equates to less swelling in patients.
  5. Almost No Post-op Pain: Because swelling is minimized, we send you home with less discomfort.

Ask us how we can help you take good care of your gums with a combination of laser and traditional periodontal therapies.