Posts for: February, 2019
Children's permanent teeth normally erupt over several years after first forming below the gum line. All their permanent teeth should come in by the time they reach early adolescence.
Unfortunately, this process doesn't always happen as it should. If the erupting teeth become crowded due to a poor bite (malocclusion), teeth still to come in may not have enough room to fully erupt. They become impacted, a condition in which the visible crown remains partially or completely submerged below the gum line.
Impacted teeth create consequences for other teeth and dental health overall. They more readily cause abscesses (a localized infection within the gum tissue) and can damage the roots of nearby teeth. Impacted front canine (eye) teeth can interfere with bite function and their visual absence mars an otherwise attractive smile.
If your child's canine teeth have failed to erupt properly, there is a way to help them fully come in if you act before their mouth structure fully matures. The first step is an orthodontic evaluation of their entire bite. This will determine if there's enough space to move other teeth to make room for the impacted canines.
If so, we would then find the exact position of the impacted teeth using x-rays and possibly cone beam CT scanning for a detailed three-dimensional image. The teeth could be in a variety of positions, such as angled toward the roof of the mouth or cheek or buried high in the jawbone. If the teeth are too far out of position the best course of action may be to remove them and replace them later with a dental implant.
If the impacted teeth, though, are in a feasible position for retrieval, we first expose each tooth through the gums with a minor surgical procedure and bond a small bracket to it. We then attach a small gold chain to the bracket that loops over an orthodontic appliance attached to other teeth. The appliance will exert pressure over several months to pull the tooth into proper position.
If successful, your child will gain the use of these important teeth and a more attractive appearance. But don't delay — this desired outcome will become much harder if not impossible to attain as their teeth and jaws continue to develop.
If you would like more information on treating impacted teeth, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”
At this time of year, hearts are everywhere you look, so it's fitting that February is American Heart Month, a time to focus on cardiovascular health. Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the number one cause of death around the world. But did you know that there's a link between the health of your heart and the health of your mouth?
People with advanced gum disease have a higher risk of having a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular event, but what is the connection? For one, oral bacteria found in gum disease can enter the bloodstream, where it has been found in artery-clogging plaque. In addition, untreated gum disease has been determined to worsen high blood pressure, a major contributor to heart attack, stroke and heart failure. One study reported that when gum disease was treated, high blood pressure fell by up to 13 points. But perhaps the most significant common denominator between gum disease and heart disease is inflammation, according to many researchers.
Gum disease is the most common inflammatory disease, affecting nearly 50% of US adults over 30, and 70% of those aged 65 and older, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The body's inflammation response is a key weapon in fighting infection. However, when there is chronic low-level inflammation such as occurs with untreated periodontal (gum) disease, many adverse health effects can result. In one Harvard University study, chronic inflammation was found to triple the risk of heart attack and double the risk of stroke.
The relationship between gum disease and heart disease is still not completely understood, but there's no denying that a connection exists between the two, so it's worth doing what you can to take care of both your gums and your cardiovascular health. Here are some tips:
- Eat a heart-healthy—and gum-healthy—diet. A diet low in refined carbohydrates, high in fiber, vitamins C and D, antioxidants and Omega-3s has been shown to lower inflammation, benefitting your gums and your heart.
- Quit smoking. Using tobacco in any form is a risk factor for developing both gum disease and heart disease.
- Take care of your oral health. Gum disease can often be prevented—and reversed if caught early—simply with good oral hygiene, so be diligent about brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day.
- Come in for regular cleanings and checkups. Regular cleanings can help keep your gums healthy, and an examination can determine if you have gum disease. Be sure to tell us about any medical conditions or medications.
As you think about what you can do to take care of your heart health and overall health, don't forget your gums. If you have questions about how to improve your oral health, call us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall” and “Carbohydrates Linked to Gum Disease.”
How the dental team at our Matthews, NC, office can rejuvenate your look!
Have dull or misshapen teeth got you down? Here in Matthews, NC, our cosmetic dentist Dr. David Feeney wants to make sure that you have a smile that you feel proud of. Here are some of the ways we can enhance your smile through the wonders of cosmetic dentistry!
Do you have a tooth that is a little uneven or perhaps just a little too pointy? If so, the best way to even out the tooth and make it blend with the rest of your smile is to get tooth reshaping from Dr. Feeney. This non-invasive cosmetic technique involves shaving off very small amounts of enamel from the teeth to improve their overall shape and size.
If you want to hide a small imperfection such as a discoloration, chip, crack, or gap between your teeth, this simple cosmetic treatment could easily hide these issues and improve the look of your smile in just one visit. During bonding, our dentist will use a tooth-colored resin to cover up any imperfections on a tooth. Once the bonding resin has been shaped, we will then harden it into place using a dental laser.
Are you dreaming of a brighter smile? Are you dealing with yellow stains that make you feel embarrassed of your appearance? Luckily, professional teeth whitening offers a quick treatment with visible results after just one session. Imagine getting your smile up to five shades whiter in just one hour! Teeth whitening is perfect for those dealing with dull, yellowing smiles who want to get a more radiant set of pearly whites before a special occasion or event.
Sometimes you are dealing with more widespread or serious cosmetic imperfections that have really taken a toll on the overall appearance of your smile. When this is the case, porcelain shells can save the day. By bonding these ultra thin tooth-colored caps to the front of your teeth, we can alter everything from the shape and size of multiple teeth to the brightness and straightness of your smile.
Interested? Give Us a Call!
If you want to get a fresh new look, then it’s time to contact our cosmetic dental office in Matthews, NC, today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Feeney. Dial (704) 847-1000 today, so that we can talk about the many ways we can help you get your dream smile!