Gum Disease And Tooth Loss

Here is a statistic that should make everyone sit up and take notice: nearly half of all Americans over the age of thirty have some form of gum disease. That works out to about sixty-five million people. Gum disease treatment is available at Durham Dental Group.

These statistics come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they refer specifically to periodontal disease, the more advanced form. In its earlier, milder stages, gum disease is called gingivitis.

Gum disease is usually the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. When you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, there is a build-up of plaque, which hardens into a substance called tartar. That’s why we recommend our patients brush and floss twice a day. It’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up.

No amount of brushing and flossing will remove tartar from your teeth. It takes a professional cleaning to remove it, which is why we want to see our patients twice a year.

Risk factors for developing gum disease include:

  • Smoking, which is the most significant
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Certain illnesses, like AIDS, and their medicationMedication that reduces the flow of saliva

The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

The type of treatment a patient gets for gum disease depends on the extent of the condition. Part of the treatment might include behavioral changes, like giving up smoking. And it is essential that the patient adopts good daily dental care.

We think there already are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, and to start brushing and flossing twice a day. But if you’d like another, there it is: to head off a disease that could result in losing your teeth.

The unfortunate truth is that anyone can get gum disease. But there is hope; the earlier it is detected, the sooner treatment can begin. The periodontist at Durham Dental Group provides gum disease treatment. We also offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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A Wise Investment That Pays Off Every Day

You may not sport a sparkling 3-carat diamond on your finger or zip around town in a shiny Ferrari, but you can flash a celebrity-caliber smile. Cosmetic dentistry from Durham Dental Group is an investment in you, and it pays off every single day.

There are a number of cosmetic dentistry procedures available. The most popular are teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. Clear braces have generated a lot of interest, too.

While creating beautiful smiles is our goal with any cosmetic dentistry procedure, it isn’t that simple. The overall objective is ensure the health and function of our patients’ smiles, along with their appearance.

Our teeth are subjected to a lot of wear and tear, and even the brightest smiles can become dull over the years. If you teeth have unsightly chips or cracks, cosmetic dentistry can address them with porcelain veneers. Veneers are thing shells of medical-grade porcelain that are attached to the front of your teeth to produce a smile your friends will envy.

These and other cosmetic dentistry procedures can all be drawn together into a smile makeover that leaves you with a brilliant, dazzling smile. A smile makeover brings out your very best!

At Durham Dental Group, our cosmetic dentistry will leave you saying “Wow!” We also offer children’s dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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3 Reasons Not To Skip A Dental Checkup

cosmetic dental Durham

Life gets busy. Sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with everything on your to-do list. At Durham Dental Group, we understand that. But we encourage you to think twice before you cancel or postpone a dental checkup because you think it’s less important than the other twenty items on your to-do list.

Twice-yearly dental exams are crucial for keeping your smile in ideal shape!

“But my teeth feel fine.”
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Dental problems can be progressing without you being aware of it.

1. Your Gums May Be Receding
Gum recession doesn’t happen all at once. Gum tissue can move back almost imperceptibly until teeth and bone are in jeopardy.

2. Decay May Be Lurking
When the acids in plaque start drilling into a tooth, we usually don’t feel it until it has passed through the enamel and dentin and hits the nerve. Ouch! By that time, there is a crater in the tooth. Regular cleanings remove plaque before it can do any damage.

3. Prevent Oral Cancer
About 50,000 individuals will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. We will screen for oral cancer during your exam. As with all types of cancer, early diagnosis is vital.

After your entire mouth has been examined, we’ll review what is required moving forward. Whether that’s flossing more often, or just staying the course with your dental hygiene regimen, we will make sure that you get all the information you need to ensure your smile is bright and beautiful!

At Durham Dental Group our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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5 Critical Things To Know About Periodontal Disease

gum disease exam Durham

Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part, it is preventable by brushing and flossing at home twice each day, and see the dentist at Durham Dental Group for regular checkups.

Gum disease condition is so omnipresent in the US that it has been called a ‘health crisis’ by the American Dental Association. Fortunately, periodontal disease can be treated.

  1. If left untreated, it can cause irreversible damage such as tooth loss.
  2. Practicing proper dental hygiene and having 6-month dental exams are the best way to prevent periodontal disease.
  3. Periodontal disease can be present where there is no tooth decay.
  4. Almost half of all 30+ adults in the US have periodontal disease.
  5. In some cases, periodontal disease produces no noticeable symptoms.

Even if you have an excellent dental health regimen at home, we strongly recommend seeing us at Durham Dental Group for a cleaning and checkup twice a year. It’s the best way to ensure good dental health. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 


Lighten Up!

Lighten Up In DurhamThis post from Durham Dental Group is for people with stained teeth. Do you think your teeth are too stained for teeth whitening to have any effect? Think again.

There are two types of stains on teeth: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Extrinsic stains are caused by dark colored foods and drinks, smoking, and normal aging. Durham Dental Group cosmetic dentistry patients with extrinsic stains achieve great results from both in-office and take-home teeth whitening systems.

Intrinsic stains form on the inside but can be seen from the outside. Tetracycline, excessive fluoride, trauma, and aging can cause intrinsic staining for unfortunate men and women. Though these stains are harder to remove, many patients with intrinsic staining can whiten their teeth with take-home whitening kits. The process often takes longer, but with persistence, intrinsic stains can be lightened.

In addition to teeth whitening, Durham Dental Group provides a full menu of general and  cosmetic dentistry. We also offer children’s dentistry for your little ones. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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7 Surprising Causes Of Bad Breath

bad breath treatment Durham

People with chronic bad breath know the embarrassment and frustration associated with this condition. In this post from Durham Dental Group we look at possible causes, some that are often overlooked:

  1. Poor oral hygiene
  2. Digestive problems
  3. Systemic infection
  4. Bacteria on dentures
  5. Gum disease
  6. Food particles on tonsils
  7. Dry mouth

We can help you with this uncomfortable issue. If your bad breath is the result of inadequate oral hygiene, you’re in luck—this is one of the easiest types to treat. If you have visited our dental blog before, you know step one: make sure you brush for a full three minutes and floss before you climb into bed.

People with no idea how long they brush can set a timer (there is probably one on your smartphone). In addition to cleaning tooth surfaces, scrub your tongue! Then take the time to carefully floss around each tooth to wash away the plaque between your teeth and keep your gums healthy.

Some people brush after each meal to prevent particles of food from sitting on their teeth during the day. Excellent idea! In addition to freshening your breath, consistent oral hygiene will improve your health.

Possible dental causes are: a cavity, a broken crown, or gum disease. If we suspect that your bad breath is related to a non-dental condition, such as a respiratory infection, you will be referred to an appropriate medical professional.

Treating bad breath starts with a visit to Durham Dental Group. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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Are Toothpicks Good For Cleaning Teeth?

At Durham Dental Group, our dentists always remind patients how important it is to clean their teeth on a regular basis. Not just the front surfaces, but between the teeth, too. This is essential for cavity prevention.

What’s the best way to go about getting those narrow spaces between teeth? That’s an easy one: dental floss. Our rule of thumb is to brush your teeth twice a day, and floss at least once – ideally, just before bedtime.

What about during the day, though? You’ve just had lunch, or a mid-afternoon snack, and you can feel the gunk that’s stuck between your teeth. It isn’t always easy to pull out dental floss in the middle of the day, especially if you’re in a meeting or some other appointment.

How about a good old-fashioned toothpick? They’re quick and convenient, easy to carry around, can be subtle, and have pointy tips that are good for digging into tight spaces.

Our quick answer? No. In fact, we frown on toothpicks. For one thing, they don’t do a very good a job compared to other options. For another, it is not unheard of for people to get splinters in their gums when a piece breaks off. You might also poke into your gums by accident.

But the bottom line is that they don’t clean off plaque. Which brings us back to those other options: when you’re out and about during the day, we recommend using an interdental cleaner. There are several types available at any grocery store: they’re usually made from a soft plastic with bristles on the end. They’re slender and compact, so you can slide them easily between your teeth to dislodge and remove food particles.

We’ll admit that chewing on a toothpick looks pretty cool. But they are not recommended for cleaning teeth. Use an interdental cleaner like those made by DenTek, or GUM. Floss picks are also good.

Above all, see us at Durham Dental Group for a professional cleaning and checkup every six months. Our services include general and pediatric dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 


Is Your Low-Carb Diet Giving You Dragon Breath?

bad breath treatment Durham

This post from Durham Dental Group focuses on a sometimes-unpleasant topic, bad breath. Many people mistakenly believe that it is always linked to poor brushing. The truth is that there are many causes of halitosis. We can help you pinpoint the cause of yours, and discuss how to cure it.

Your diet greatly impacts your breath. Because foods begin to be digested the second they enter your mouth, and because they are absorbed and distributed throughout the body, you probably will be able to smell strong foods like onions and garlic long after you’ve eaten them.

Therefore, using a mouthwash will only mask the smell. Constantly sucking on breath mints is also not smart. This may bring additional oral issues—especially if the mints have sugar. If you want real relief, you may need to avoid the strong foods altogether.

Additionally, many dieters find that their diet regimen is making it harder to keep their mouth fresh and clean. Low-carb and no-carb diets promote fat burning, but the the chemicals released during this process can lead to the side effect of bad breath. Increasing water intake can help alleviate this.

Lastly, flossing regularly is often the key to truly fresh breath. Many men and women don’t realize how much food can be stuck between their teeth, and this food can cause halitosis if it isn’t removed. More importantly, the food particles turn into plaque which can cause cavities and gum disease.

At Durham Dental Group, we want all our patients to enjoy fresh breath. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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5 Cavity Basics

Durham Cosmetic Dentist

The desire to prevent tooth decay is one of the main reasons people visit the dentist at Durham Dental Group, in Durham NC.

This blog post highlights five things you need to know about cavities.

1. Cavities are also called caries. When a tooth is permanently damaged in the hard surface, tiny openings emerge. These little holes are cavities.

2. Factors that contribute to dental caries are:

  • Frequent eating
  • Consuming sugary beverages
  • Oral bacteria
  • Poor dental hygiene

3. Cavities may get so bad that you will see pits or holes in your teeth, but symptoms may be more subtle, such as sensitivity, pain when biting, or a toothache. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should call us right away to set up an appointment.

4. Cavities are more common among children, but that doesn’t mean adults don’t have to take precautions.

5. Avoiding cavities is a straight-forward process. Be sure to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, eat right, forego frequent snacking, and have regular dental checkups.

At Durham Dental Group in Durham NC, we offer general and cosmetic dentistry. We have extended evening and weekend hours that fit just about any busy schedule. Call for an appointment today!

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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Infant And Toddler Teeth Q&A

Durham pediatric dentistryThis post from Durham Dental Group is for new parents. You’ve got a lot of new responsibility and a lot to remember. Make sure pediatric dentistry is one of them.

Here is some Q&A about caring for baby and toddle teeth.

How should I clean my toddler’s teeth?
For infants, gently wash their gums with a piece of gauze or soft cloth. The ADA does not recommend any toothpaste for infants. When your child is three, a pea-sized amount (but no more!) is recommended. Young children rarely spit after you brush their teeth, they swallow. When your child’s teeth start to appear, you can use a very soft brush to softly wipe away food and liquid left on the teeth after feeding.

When should my child see a dentist for the first time?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents to take their child to a dentist before their first birthday, or when their first tooth appears. This is vital for their oral health and also to help them become comfortable with a dentist from an early age.

What should I do if my toddler has a toothache?
First, call us to make an appointment. Before that you can rinse the sore tooth and surrounding gums with warm salt water. Never put aspirin directly on the tooth, not even children’s aspirin. If your child will let you, use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek to relieve swelling.

How can I prevent my toddler from getting cavities?

  • Have your child get a dental check-up every six months.
  • Brush your child’s teeth gently but thoroughly before they go to bed.
  • If possible, brush your child’s teeth after meals, or have them rinse with water.
  • Don’t let your child sleep with a bottle unless it only contains water.
  • Don’t let your child drink juice all day – it is best to have juice along with a meal.
  • Limit or avoid sugary snacks – especially gummy types that stick to the teeth. (A fresh apple is better than a pack of fruit snacks).
  • Consume acidic foods and beverages with meals to guard enamel.
  • If your child sucks his/her thumb after the age of three, talk to your dentist or pediatrician.
  • If your child grinds his/her teeth, seek guidance from your dentist or pediatrician.
  • Make sure your child has a healthy diet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
  • Follow your dentist’s or pediatrician’s recommendations regarding fluoride supplements and fluoridated water. Remember that too much fluoride is toxic.
  • Ask us about dental sealants.

Should I avoid dental x-rays of my child’s teeth?
No. Modern dental x-rays are extremely safe when standard procedures are followed. The diagnostic boon greatly outweighs the almost non-existent risk of detrimental radiation exposure.

If child’s baby teeth are widely spaced, does that mean their permanent teeth will be too far apart?

No, this is normal and does not necessarily mean that their permanent teeth will be spaced too far apart.

At Durham Dental Group we offer pediatric dentistry, and general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:

919-322-3585

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina
27713

 

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