July 9, 2018
Lots of people these days use electric toothbrushes to keep their pearly whites nice and bright. But are they really better? Yes, say dentists, who overwhelmingly recommend them as the best means of keeping your teeth clean and free from plaque and its damaging effects. Yet simply purchasing an electric toothbrush doesn't guarantee great results. You also need to make sure you brush at least twice daily, spend at least two minutes a session brushing and use the proper brushing technique (yes, there's a technique to it).
Before you rush out to buy an electric toothbrush, do a ... Read more
June 13, 2018
You practice good dental care: You brush your teeth, floss fairly regularly, and see your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings. Good for you! But you're probably also engaging in one or more bad habits that can undermine the good ones and compromise your dental health. Here's our list of five of the worst dental habits, why they're harmful, and what you can do to stop them.
Dental Care Problem 1: Crunching, Sucking, and Sipping
You slurp down an ice-cold soda or iced tea and then crunch, crunch, crunch the leftover ice. ... Read more
June 6, 2018
Gum disease is a common oral health issue that is surprisingly easy to overlook. Not only do people tend to focus more on tooth health than gum health, but gum disease is often painless, making it even more likely to go unnoticed. Failing to spot this condition early on could have serious consequences, since it's one of the leading causes of tooth loss for adults. Fortunately, there are several signs of gum disease that can help you catch it while it's still in its early stages.
About Gum Disease
Gum disease, which is also known as gingivitis, is ... Read more
May 17, 2018
Dentists want to provide the best possible dental care to their patients, but a visual examination doesn't tell us everything we need to know. Thanks to dental X-rays, dentists can accurately diagnose and treat dental problems early before they become more serious. And if after examining your mouth and reviewing these images, we finds no cavities or growth issues, you can rest assured we have seen the whole picture.
Valuable Diagnostic Tool
X-rays, also called radiographs, give us the ability to see between and inside your teeth. We can also view the tip of your roots and bone underneath your gums places not normally visible to the naked eye. Although they are used as part of a routine examination to rule out dental disease, X-rays also aid us in diagnosing any specific or isolated dental problems you might be experiencing.
Radiographs are used to check for cavities and evaluate the extent of decay. And because some X-rays show the root of the tooth, according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), the presence of any cysts, abscesses and other masses can be diagnosed. Congenitally missing or impacted teeth such as wisdom teeth are often identified this way, and the presence and extent of bone loss due to periodontal disease is easily seen through dental X-rays as well.
Types of X-rays
Bitewing, periapical and panoramic radiographs are the most common X-rays used in the dental office. During routine exams, we may take two to four bitewing x-rays which show the crown portions of your teeth to check for early signs of decay between your teeth. When we want to get a good look at your teeth's bone height or root tips, periapical X-rays provide the best view. A panoramic X-ray, according to the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), is taken from outside of your mouth and produces an image of the entire oral cavity on one large X-ray. Because the image shows all of the teeth, as well as the upper and lower jaws and sinus areas, this type of X-ray can identify impaction, cysts, tumors, jaw disorders and bone irregularities.
Other radiographs include occlusal X-rays, which are occasionally taken in children to evaluate their developing teeth; and cephalometric X-rays, used by orthodontists when planning orthodontic treatment.
How Often Are X-rays Needed?
Everyone's oral health varies, and as a result, we will evaluate your needs and recommend an X-ray schedule accordingly. If you're a new patient, the dentist may advise taking a full series of X-rays to assess your current oral health state, and use this as a baseline going forward. As you continue your regular checkup visits, fewer X-rays are needed to monitor the status of your oral health.
Dental X-rays Safety
Because X-ray machines and other sources of dental radiographs are designed to minimize radiation, these processes are safe and your exposure is negligible. Our office, in fact, is now using digital X-rays, which further reduces radiation exposure, as well as intra-oral cameras to get a clearer view. Nonetheless, the American Dental Association (ADA) Mouth Healthy site recommends patients have the added protection of a leaded apron to cover the abdominal area and a leaded collar to protect the thyroid. Always let your dentist know if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, though necessary X-rays don't have to be avoided as long as you're wearing a fitted lead apron and thyroid collar. Read more
May 10, 2018
How many toothbrushes do you think you have thrown away during your life? We are advised to change our toothbrush every three months, so in theory by the time somebody is 30 they will have already tossed around 120 toothbrushes.
That's a very big pile of plastic, but have you ever thought what happens to them? The Oral Health Foundation has taken a look at the potential uses for your toothbrush after it has finished its primary job of cleaning your teeth. What they have found is that we can be remarkably creative when it comes to prolonging the usefulness of our little bristled friends.... Read more
April 27, 2018
Dental sealants are a valuable tool in the fight against tooth decay, but they're typically associated with issues common to children and young adults. What about older patients? Do they work the same way? These are just a couple of questions you should ask when pondering dental sealants for adults.
What Is a Dental Sealant?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA)
, the purpose of a dental sealant is to prevent cavities by acting as a barrier. The sealant is a plastic material that covers a tooth's chewing surface, and is commonly applied ... Read more
April 9, 2018
Oral cancer is divided into two categories those occurring in the oral cavity (your lips, the inside of your lips and cheeks, teeth, gums, the front two-thirds of your tongue and the floor and roof of your mouth) and those occurring in the oropharynx (middle region of the throat, including the tonsils and base of the tongue).
Early detection may result in better treatment outcomes and may help keep you or someone you love from becoming one of the 10,030 people whose lives may be claimed this year by the disease. The 5-year survival rate of ... Read more
March 30, 2018
Bruxism is a dental condition that causes you to clench or grind your teeth, and can become a habit when awake or when asleep. The latter type is known as nocturnal bruxism or sleep bruxism. According to the National Sleep Foundation, about 8 percent of adults suffer from this form of bruxism.
Nocturnal Bruxism Symptoms
After a long night of clenching and grinding, you may wake up in the morning with a stiff jaw, headache or sensitive teeth. Your partner may even be able to hear you grinding your teeth in the middle of the night. If your teeth ... Read more
March 8, 2018
In the United States, interest in and use of alternative or complementary medicine has increased in recent years, a report from the National Health Statistics Report reveals. One remedy that's become increasing popular is essential oils, with the market for the oils expected to reach nearly $12 billion by 2022, calculates Grandview Research. People who are into essential oils claim they help relieve everything from cold and flu symptoms to hormonal imbalances and from skin problems to dry mouth. But do essential oils for dry mouth work?
What's the Deal with Essential Oils?
Essential ... Read more
November 14, 2017
Dr. May will be filling in for Dr. Coambs while she is on maternity leave this winter. Please feel free to call our office or come in to meet her.
Dr. May was raised in the South Charlotte area where she attended Providence High School.
She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a Bachelor's of Science in biology. While at Chapel Hill, Dr. May volunteered her time in rural communities, both local and abroad, through the NC Missions of Mercy and the UNC Global Brigades.... Read more