Sugary foods, greasy skin, and poor hygiene and skin care are all things that we typically consider to be causes of acne. But what many people don’t realize is that poor oral health, infected teeth and gum disease can also cause or exacerbate skin conditions.

Research indicates a clear link between oral health and skin disease. As such, dentists and dermatologists are an excellent resource for helping patients understand how to exercise healthy oral hygiene practices that resolve or prevent conditions like psoriasis and acne.

The good news is that because of the link between poor oral health and skin conditions, maintaining good oral health can reduce your likelihood of developing acne. This means it’s important for you to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss regularly, use mouthwash and attend your regular dental checkups.

Oral Bacteria and Acne

Some oral bacteria, such as Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis, have been identified as potential culprits behind acne breakouts. These microbes can migrate from the oral cavity to the skin, triggering inflammatory responses and contributing to the formation of acne lesions.

Propionibacterium acnes

Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) is a bacteria that can be found in various parts of the body, including the intestine, mouth and oral cavity. In some cases, when P. acnes is transferred from your mouth to your skin, it feasts on any dead skin cells and sebum it finds, causing acne comedones, like blackheads and whiteheads.

Staphylococcus epidermidis

Another oral bacteria, Staphylococcus epidermidis causes skin infections that yield swollen red pustules that are painful and warm to the touch. While the large bumps on the skin caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis are not technically acne, they can be confused with it.

Poor Oral Hygiene and Acne

Unfortunately, poor oral hygiene practices, like irregular cleanings, can increase your chances of suffering from acne. When bacteria like Propionibacterium acnes or Staphylococcus epidermidis make contact with your face, they can encourage skin inflammation and acne breakouts. Pimples located on the chin, around the lips or on the lower cheeks are the type of acne that is most likely to be the result of poor dental hygiene.

Inflammation’s role in acne onset and aggravation

When you have poor oral hygiene, you’re more likely to develop gum disease or cavities. Such problem areas are awash with harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, with such a high instance of bad bacteria, the chances of bacteria being transferred from inside your mouth to the skin around your mouth are high. This chain reaction can trigger inflammation on your face that’s powerful enough to cause acne and other skin conditions such as psoriasis.

Tips to Prevent Oral Hygiene-Related Acne

If you want to avoid the development of acne and other skin conditions caused by poor oral hygiene, be sure to incorporate the following actions into your daily routine.

Brush your teeth before you wash your face

One of the most effective ways to prevent acne through good oral hygiene is to always wash your face after you have brushed your teeth. By doing so, you will get rid of any bacteria that has been transmitted from your inner mouth to your face during brushing, effectively minimizing their chance to take hold.

Brush twice a day

If there were not already enough reasons to brush and floss twice a day, you can add minimizing your risk of facial acne to the list! Not only does this crucial step stave off cavities, it reduces the growth of harmful bacteria in your mouth.

Believe it or not, there is a right way to brush. Fortunately, it’s also a simple way! To brush your teeth properly, first think of your mouth as being divided into four separate quadrants: your upper left teeth, your upper right teeth, your lower left teeth, and your lower right teeth. It’s important that you brush each quadrant thoroughly, for at least 30 seconds. It’s a straightforward symptom made even easier with the use of a timer or an electric toothbrush.

Floss daily

In addition to brushing, you’ll also need to floss daily. Using traditional thread floss is one option, but you can make this an even easier task by investing in a water flosser, such as a Waterpik. These devices will be able to clear away all the food and debris in those hard-to-reach places between your teeth, while also making the process more hygienic. And this crucial tool is a lot cheaper than many people think it is! With a wide variety of options available on the market, you’ll find water flossers for every budget.

Cut down on sugar

Limiting your sugar intake benefits your overall physical wellbeing, including your oral health, for a number of reasons. One of them is that bacteria like Propionibacterium acnes or Staphylococcus epidermidis thrive on sugar. Therefore, to reduce the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth, it’s important that you cut down and limit your sugar consumption.

Use mouthwash

Mouthwash containing antiseptics can help kill mouth bacteria.

Visit your dentist regularly for checkups

Your dentist and your dental hygienists are your teammates in health. Even if you stick to the routine outlined above, you still need a professional checkup on a regular basis to ensure that underlying issues aren’t developing and receive a thorough cleaning. Regular dental hygiene appointments are an essential part of maintaining your overall health, so be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year!

Book an Appointment With an Experienced Dentist in Richmond, VA

Improvement in dental care and dental hygiene can cause positive outcomes in patients with acne. All of us at The Cosmetic Laser and Dental Spa of Richmond are focused on restoring and maintaining the health of your entire body—starting with your mouth!

Contact us to learn more about how regular dental visits can improve your skin health or book an appointment to start your journey to total body wellness.

 

 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious medical condition. Many people who have OSA don’t realize they have it because the most notable symptoms occur during sleep.

Fortunately, effective treatments are available. Oral appliances can provide management of sleep apnea and can help improve your quality of life.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when airflow is blocked intermittently during sleep. Sleep apnea generally can be categorized as central sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea. Central OSA occurs when the brain fails to send the correct signals to the body telling it to breathe, while obstructive OSA occurs when there is a physical blockage in the airway.

Because sleep apnea occurs during sleep, many people don’t know they have it. Restricted oxygen can cause frequent night-time wakings, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats and strokes among other issues. Therefore, it is something that requires immediate management.

What Causes OSA?

OSA is caused by anything that restricts the airway. This includes genetics, obesity, enlarged tonsils, and changes in hormone levels such as during menopause. These cause the soft tissues in your throat to temporarily relax, narrowing or closing the airway and cutting off the air supply.

What Are the Symptoms of OSA?

Common symptoms of OSA include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Using the bathroom multiple times a night
  • Headaches
  • Brain Fog
  • Dry mouth
  • Loud snoring
  • Gagging
  • Falling asleep while driving

What If I’ve Been Diagnosed With OSA?

If you’ve been diagnosed with OSA, we advise you to seek treatment as soon as possible. Treating this condition sooner than later can help manage symptoms and prevent additional health problems from developing (like high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke).

One more popular treatment option is oral appliance therapy. Custom appliances worn at night gently draw the lower jaw and tongue forward, preventing them from obstructing the airway.

Another option is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This treatment involves wearing a mask connected to a machine that uses air pressure to force the airway to stay open.

The Benefits of an Oral Appliance

Wearing an oral appliance offers many benefits, including:

  • It’s non-invasive
  • It’s silent at night
  • There is no additional apparatus
  • It’s simple to clean
  • It’s more tolerable over the long term

Why Is An Oral Appliance More Favorable Than a CPAP?

Most patients find that oral appliances are more comfortable and straightforward to use than CPAP machines. Because of this, patients tend to report fewer issues with oral appliances than CPAP machines.

However, there are several other reasons why patients feel oral appliances are easier than CPAPs.

Good for claustrophobic patients.

Individuals who don’t like being in confined spaces can find wearing a CPAP respirator distressing. Oral appliances avoid this issue.

Reduces side effects.

Oral appliances cause few side effects, while CPAP can cause dry mouth, nasal congestion, dry eyes and skin irritation.

Good for patients on the go.

Oral appliances are easily portable and convenient for travel.

Quiet.

Unlike CPAPs, oral appliances don’t make any noise at night.

No electricity required.

Oral appliances could also help people save on their energy bills! And in case the electricity goes out, you don’t have to worry about falling asleep without your medical support.

Compliance.

Patients tend to be much more compliant with oral appliances than with CPAPs, due to their advantages over CPAPs.

Better sleep to improve quality of life.

Finally, oral appliances foster better sleep. You can toss and turn freely when wearing one of these, while CPAP is more restrictive due to the tubing that connects the mask to the machine.

Oral appliances are an effective treatment for the management of sleep apnea and can help improve your quality of life. They are a much less invasive option than CPAPs, thereby increasing compliance and, as a result, effectiveness, providing you with the good night’s rest you deserve.

Explore Oral Appliance Treatment For Sleep Apnea With a Dentist in Richmond, VA

If you are interested in exploring oral appliance treatment and sleep dentistry services for OSA, book an appointment with our team. We can help you find solutions that manage OSA and help you get the rest you deserve!

Sleep apnea occurs when airflow is limited or stops while sleeping. Patients with the condition often awaken multiple times a night because they can’t breathe.

Amazingly, your dentist can often detect the signs of sleep apnea in the mouth and surrounding tissues during examinations before other medical signs begin to appear. While these cues do not confirm a diagnosis, they can become the basis for the need for further testing.

So, what do dentists look for in potential sleep apneic patients?

Oral Cues to Sleep Apnea

1. Short or worn teeth

Many people with sleep apnea have sleep-related bruxism, or grinding and clenching of the teeth due to sleep apnea. Over many years, this can wear them down and make them more prone to damage and decay.

2. Abfractions

Sleep apneic patients also develop abfractions. These occur when teeth develop fractured-out areas near the gumline because of excessive grinding forces at night.

3. Acid erosion

Patients with sleep apnea are more likely to be mouth breathers, which can increase the risk of stomach acid entering the mouth and causing both heartburn, cavities, and damage to the teeth.

4. Deep overbite

A deep overbite is where the top teeth come down too far in front of the bottom teeth.

5. Enlarged tongue

Most patients with sleep apnea have enlarged tongues. When they relax they fall to the back of the throat, causing it to block air from the nose and mouth and causing apneic episodes.

6. Scalloped tongue

A scalloped tongue occurs when the sides of the tongue develop teeth indentations, often due to pressure during sleep. Researchers believe it is more likely to present in patients with sleep apnea as they unconsciously push their tongues into the lower teeth when straining to breathe while sleeping in order to keep their tongues forward and their airways open.

7. Elongated soft palate

The soft palate is the part of the roof of the mouth connecting to the uvula. Studies suggest that patients with elongated tissue are more likely to experience muscular collapse during sleep, which thereby blocks the airway.

8. Elongated/enlarged uvula

Similarly, an enlarged uvula can also increase sleep apnea risk. The structure can tug towards the back of the mouth, blocking airflow.

9. Large tonsils/lateral pharyngeal narrowing

Tonsils sit at the sides of the throat just behind the back of the tongue. When the sides of the throat or the tonsils are enlarged, they block the airway, and the more likely a patient is to have sleep apnea.

10. Vaulted palate

Patients with narrow, high-arched palates are at higher risk of developing sleep apnea. Researchers believe that narrow arches do not provide enough space for the tongue, causing it to fall back into the throat and block the airway during sleep.

11. Mandibular tori

Mandibular tori are bony bumps on the inside of the lower jaw just below the teeth toward the front of the mouth. They are often formed by grinding the teeth, which causes the bone to grow, forming the bony bumps. Grinding, or sleep-related bruxism, is a sign of sleep apnea. In addition, like a vaulted palate, these can also reduce the space available for the tongue at night, causing it to fall back and block the airway.

Facial And Physical Cues to Sleep Apnea

The signs of sleep apnea can also show up in the face:

1. Dark circles under the eyes

Dark circles under the eyes are a sign of chronic sleep deprivation. Lack of drainage causes fluid to accumulate in the under-eye area, creating a puffy, dark appearance under the eyes.

Naturally, dark circles can have other causes than sleep apnea (such as insomnia – which can also be a sign in itself of sleep apnea), but they warrant further investigation if other symptoms are present.

2. Floppy eyelids

Likewise, floppy eyelids are another sign of chronic fatigue. Sleep apnea could cause this by preventing restful sleep due to oxygen starvation and frequent night-time waking.

3. Large neck circumference

A large neck circumference is also a risk factor for developing sleep apnea. The more weight surrounding the airway, the more likely the condition becomes.

Medical Factors for Sleep Apnea

Finally, several medical factors can suggest the presence of sleep apnea:

1. More than Two Blood Pressure Medications

When the body is deprived of oxygen, the heart has to work harder to pump the oxygen it does have to the rest of the body. This increases blood pressure. Therefore, patients who have sleep apnea may require additional medications to lower their blood pressure.

2. Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib)

Sleep apnea can worsen atrial fibrillation and increase the risk of developing an irregular heart rhythm by changing the pressures and amount of oxygen in the body, which leads to electrical changes and can, thereby, cause an arrhythmia.

3. Diabetes Type 2

Diabetes has a two-way relationship with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea alters glucose metabolism and promotes insulin resistance, leading to uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetes contributes to hormonal imbalance, which promotes obesity, a leading cause of sleep apnea. Therefore, both conditions increase the risk of the other worsening over time.

4. Acid reflux (GERD)

While the relationship is not fully understood, studies have shown that reflux impairs sleep, and sleep disturbances increase reflux.

 

Obstructive sleep apnea not only impacts a patient’s quality of life and general health, but also their oral health. Seeing a dentist who screens for sleep apnea is important, so they can catch the early signs of sleep apnea and help you to be the healthiest version of you!

Get Help For Sleep Apnea with an Experienced Sleep Dentist in Richmond, VA

Cosmetic Laser and Dental Spa of Richmond offers sleep dentistry services to help with sleep apnea. For example, non-surgical Nightlase can improve the strength of the palate, preventing it from collapsing at night.

Book your appointment today and see how it can help you!

When menopause occurs, it can cause various changes in the body, like hot flashes and disruptions to the menstrual cycle. It can also increase the likelihood of developing sleep apnea – a condition that affects your ability to breathe while sleeping.

This post explores the relationship between menopause and sleep apnea. We explore what menopause is, why it increases the risk of sleep apnea, and the treatments available for sleep apnea.

What is Menopause and How Does it Increase the Risk of Having Sleep Apnea?

Menopause is a stage of a woman’s life that marks the end of her reproductive years and usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.

During this time, the ovaries stop releasing eggs and sex hormones, such as estrogen, decline. These hormonal changes cause most of the side effects associated with the transition, including hot flashes, depression, anxiety, insomnia, waking to use the bathroom at night, and daytime fatigue.

Menopause can also increase the risk of developing sleep apnea in the first place. Declining hormone levels, such as estrogen and progesterone, can reduce muscle tone in the upper airway, making it more prone to collapse. These changes can lead to a loss of collagen in airway tissues, making them floppier and more likely to obstruct the passage of air. In fact, postmenopausal women are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea compared to those who have not gone through menopause yet.

Which Symptoms May Be Linked to Obstructive Sleep Apnea That Are Normally Attributed to Hormonal Changes, Menopause, or Aging?

Sleep apnea is a condition where the body either stops breathing completely or has limited airflow multiple times in a night and usually occurs because the muscles in the esophagus relax and block the airway, known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. When patients stop breathing, the body awakens quickly to start the breathing process again.

Since symptoms of both menopause and sleep apnea can overlap, one is often mistaken for the other. For example, a woman may be told that her symptoms are a result of menopause only, when in actuality, they are coming from sleep apnea.

But which symptoms overlap?

  1. Trouble Sleeping. Women going through menopause often experience insomnia, night sweats, and daytime sleepiness. Other than night sweats, the same can occur for those with sleep apnea. Tiredness is a sign that lack of oxygen at night is affecting them during the day.
  2. Poor Concentration or Memory Loss. Menopause can also cause changes in cognitive function that lead to poor concentration and memory loss. Sleep apnea can also cause similar dysregulation of cognition by impairing rest.
  3. Mood Changes. Mood swings, including irritability and tearfulness, are common throughout menopause. But, again, you also find them in patients with undiagnosed sleep apnea.
  4. Weight Gain. Hormonal changes can also change how the body stores fat, and menopause can lead to new types of weight gain. Sleep apnea can also cause body weight issues by depriving patients of sleep, leading to poor dietary choices.
  5. Joint or Muscle Pain. Just like menopause, sleep apnea can cause aches and pains. People with the condition frequently complain of back pain, headaches, and muscle aches.
  6. Osteoporosis. Finally, sleep apnea can affect bone mineral density, just like menopause. Reduced oxygen levels in the bloodstream during sleep can affect bone health long term.

With that said, there isn’t a perfect overlap between menopause and sleep apnea symptoms. For instance, sleep apnea is unlikely to cause irregular periods, hot flashes, or vaginal and urinary problems. It is also unlikely to affect sexual interest or discomfort by itself, though women with poor sleep might experience lower sexual desire due to tiredness.

What Are Other Signs of Sleep Apnea?

The tell-tale signs of sleep apnea include but are not limited to:

  • Loud snoring
  • Witnessed pauses in breathing
  • Episodes of gasping or choking out of sleep
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • The desire to nap
  • Dry mouth at night
  • Grinding or clenching of teeth
  • Frequent urination at night

Weight gain and loss of muscle tone (a common part of aging) can also make sleep apnea worse.

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

There are several treatment options for sleep apnea, including:

CPAP

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) devices fit over your face while you sleep and maintain high air pressure to “inflate” the airway, preventing it from collapsing at night. This solution is highly effective but can be noisy and uncomfortable to wear as you sleep.

Dental Appliance

Oral appliance therapy is another common sleep apnea treatment. You can get from your sleep-trained dentist a custom-made mandibular advancement device (MAD) that keeps the jaw forward while you sleep and reduces the risk of airway collapse. Many patients prefer these to a CPAP because they are less invasive.

Nightlase

Nightlase is a laser procedure that stimulates collagen production in the back of the throat, tightening the tissue to keep it from collapsing. It also flattens the back of the tongue to keep it from falling into the airway. Nightlase is a non-surgical, FDA approved procedure to treat snoring, and can help treat sleep apnea as a co-therapy.

Get Help With Menopause And Sleep Apnea Symptoms From an Experienced Sleep Dentist in Richmond, VA

The Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond offers various sleep dentistry services to help you get a good night’s rest and get closer to whole body health.

If you are going through menopause, you could be an excellent candidate for these sleep apnea treatments.

Book your appointment today and see how our sleep dentistry services can help you!

A beautiful smile can be great for your confidence, but the benefits of Functional Dentistry extend well beyond aesthetics by improving the health and usability of your teeth and mouth.

WHAT Is Functional Dentistry?

Conventional dentistry focuses on treating symptoms using fillings, crowns, and extractions and deals with immediate concerns such as toothaches or periodontal (gum and bone) infection.

Functional dentistry is different- It shifts the paradigm towards addressing the root causes of oral health issues by allowing dentists to solve problems before they become more severe instead of reacting to potential new problems.

HOW Is Functional Dentistry Different From Conventional Dentistry?

Functional dentistry is different from the conventional approach in the following ways:

It is holistic. Instead of limiting medical analysis to the oral cavity, functional dentists see the mouth as a gateway to the whole body, linking to broader heart and metabolic health.

It is personalized and proactive. Patients can receive individualized care with the functional approach designed around his/her/their unique health needs to prevent future disease and dental work.

It works collaboratively with other fields. Functional dentistry attempts to keep teeth and the entire body’s systems in the best condition possible for longer by working in conjunction with other fields such as sleep medicine, dermatology, myofunctional therapy, integrative specialties, and orthodontics. It, therefore, aims to maximize the time a patient’s teeth and body maintain their prime condition.

Functional dentistry could be the solution if traditional dental work hasn’t generated the desired results. Instead of addressing problems (such as simply filling cavities), it addresses causative factors, such as undiagnosed or untreated diabetes.

WHY Functional Dentistry Is Superior To Conventional Dentistry

Functional dentistry is superior to the conventional alternative for the following reasons:

Reduced Risk Of Systemic Health Issues

Functional dentistry can reduce the risk of systemic health issues caused by poor oral health. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums prevents excessive inflammation that can lead to damage elsewhere in the body.

Damaged teeth and gums provide an entry point for harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. These germs can cause more severe harm and possibly lead to additional health complications, such as heart disease and diabetes.

According to Harvard Health research, oral health issues can also increase the risk of serious cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks. Higher inflammatory signaling makes arterial plaques less stable, which increases the risk of clots or blockages in blood vessels.

Poor oral health may also be a risk factor for diabetes because of it’s effect on insulin signaling. An increase in inflammation makes it harder for cellular machinery to grab glucose molecules from the bloodstream, thereby increasing blood sugar levels.

Functional dentistry understands this and addresses these issues at the source.

Protection of Teeth From Wear And Tear

Functional dental work can protect your teeth from wear and tear. Instead of simply creating a nightguard to prevent nighttime grinding, which only helps protect the teeth at night, a Functional Dentist will address the root cause of the grinding.

Maintenance of Facial Structure And Prevention of Premature Aging

Visiting a Functional Dentist can also help maintain facial structure and reduce the risk of aging and wrinkles. That’s because Functional Dentists understand the value of supporting facial muscles and bones, which helps to maintain proper shape.

When teeth are missing, the jaw doesn’t experience the same level of chewing forces, so the surrounding muscles and bone begin to deteriorate. Failing to address these issues can lead to a sunken look and a weakened jawbone that can no longer accept implants without reconstruction.

Fortunately, early identification of oral health issues, such as periodontitis or tooth decay, can eliminate this risk. Going to a Functional Dentist regularly will enable you to maintain your face shape and prevent unnecessary aging.

Reduction of Long-Term Health Costs

Functional Dentistry can reduce your long-term healthcare costs considerably. Receiving preventive treatments can reduce future bills and prevent additional health problems from developing, as noticed above.

Call Your Functional Dentist in Richmond, VA, For Guidance

Talk to our professional team here at the Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond if you would like to learn more about dentistry’s functional and health benefits. Our Richmond-based Dentists are more than happy to discuss your options with you to help improve your oral health. Book an appointment with us to get started.

While having an imperfect smile can have an impact on your self-esteem, there is something much deeper that can go on if you do not take care of your oral health. In fact, poor oral health can be linked to various health conditions, but one surprising and emerging connection is the link between dementia and dental care.

Understanding Dementia and Oral Health

Dementia is a progressive neurological condition characterized by a decline in cognitive function, affecting memory, reasoning, and daily activities. With an aging population, dementia prevalence is on the rise, posing significant public health challenges globally.

Oral health plays a crucial role in relation to dementia as emerging research suggests a potential link between poor oral hygiene, specifically periodontal disease, and an increased risk of developing dementia. Maintaining good oral health practices may serve as a potential avenue for reducing the risk or delaying the onset of dementia.

A healthy mouth is not just a sign of a beautiful smile but is indicative of maintaining proper oral hygiene, which can prevent oral diseases like tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common problem characterized by infection and inflammation of the gums.

In fact, chronic gum disease can be a sign of systemic inflammation throughout the body, which could contribute to other health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. However, its link to dementia has developed as a major surprise.

Exploring the Link Between Dementia and Periodontal Disease

Recent studies have shown a surprising connection between dementia and oral health. According to a study in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, results showed that after a number of dental examinations conducted on adults averaging 67 years old (both with and without memory issues), those with poor oral hygiene were considered at a higher risk of developing dementia than those with good oral hygiene.

Another study published in the Neurology journal suggests that brushing your teeth can boost the brain, helping to reduce the risk of dementia. According to Professor Alpdogan Kantarci, an oral health researcher, dental implant surgeon, and faculty member at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, the risk of Alzheimer’s or neurodegenerative diseases can increase with the presence of periodontal oral disease by between 1.5 and twofold. While more studies are needed, the fact that bad oral health can cause dementia is gaining attention.

There are some theories as to how the connection between gum disease and the risk of dementia has come to be. While it’s not fully understood, some of the theories include the following:

Inflammation

Inflammation, especially chronic inflammation caused by gum disease, may trigger a number of inflammatory responses in the brain that could contribute to the development of age-related cognitive decline.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections, as the bacteria associated with gum disease may enter the bloodstream and potentially impact the brain. This could lead to the formation of potential dysfunction and destruction of brain cells and brain plaques, which are commonly characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.

Shared Risk Factors

Shared risk factors such as smoking and diabetes are often associated with a higher risk of both dementia and periodontal disease, which could contribute to the link.

Systemic Effects of Gum Disease

Systemic effects of gum disease, which may have an impact on cognitive function, such as chronic inflammation and how it may impair blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain.

The Best Ways to Improve Oral Health

The potential connection between dementia and dental care highlights the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene throughout our lives. The best approach is to undertake preventative measures, including the following:

  • Staying active, as regular physical activity can help reduce the risks of chronic diseases and inflammation, and maintain good oral health.
  • Managing chronic conditions by working with your healthcare providers to look at any potential risk factors and make lifestyle alterations where necessary.
  • Quitting smoking, which can reduce the risk of gum disease that may contribute to dementia.
  • A healthy and balanced diet that includes foods that aid oral health.
  • Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth and flossing.
  • Regular checkups, which are critical for the early detection and treatment of any signs of gum disease and other oral health issues, even from an early age.

As you can see, the surprising connection between dental care and dementia highlights just how important it is to look after your oral health. While more research is needed to understand the link, evidence suggests that the simple practices of looking after your oral health and taking preventative measures to address the earliest signs of gum disease may be invaluable in the long run. We should never underestimate the impact our dental care routine can have on our well-being, and for this reason alone, we should always place our oral health as a priority.

Call Your Richmond, VA Dentist for Guidance

If you’ve got questions or are looking for guidance on the latest research about dental care, the professional team at the Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond will be happy to discuss your options so you can make the best choice for your oral health. Give us a call today!

Damaged, broken, and missing teeth can greatly affect your smile’s appearance. That can damage your self-confidence and make you reticent to do things you normally love to do. It can also affect your speech and chewing patterns. Dental implants can be a good solution for this problem.

Dental implants look and function just like your natural teeth, but are they right for you? To help you decide, we’ve created a complete guide to dental implants and why they might be a good choice.

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants

What is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant actually consists of three parts. The implant itself is the part that is surgically implanted into your jaw in place of your natural tooth’s root. The dental abutment (or connector piece) is then attached to the implant. 

The abutment rises above the gum line and will be used to support the attached artificial tooth crown. The crown is the last part that is attached to the abutment. 

Most dental implants are made of titanium or zirconium oxide. Dental implant crowns can be made from various materials, but tooth-colored zirconia (“porcelain”) is the most common. 

What’s the Procedure for Getting an Implant?

Your dentist will usually begin by assessing your oral health and medical health to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for dental implants. They look at things like whether or not you have sufficient bone density to support the implant. If you don’t have enough bone density, your dentist may recommend a bone graft to make you eligible for the implant.

Once you are determined to be a good candidate, any remnants of the damaged tooth are extracted. Once the extraction has healed, your dentist will place the implant. 

The goal is to have the titanium implant become integrated into your jawbone, a process called osseointegration. This will ensure the implant provides a solid base for your artificial tooth. 

After osseointegration is complete, you will have a digital impression of the implant, and two weeks later your dentist will attach the crown, which is made to match the appearance of your natural teeth. 

Are Dental Implants Better than Dentures?

It can be difficult to know if you should choose dental implants or dentures. In reality, that choice depends on a number of factors. Let’s look at what you should consider. 

Attachment Forms

Because implants become part of your jaw, they stimulate your jaw in the same way that your natural teeth do. That can help prevent bone loss over time. 

Dentures, on the other hand, don’t offer that level of stimulation. 

Functionality

Dental implants can feel more like your natural teeth, and they are designed to function the same way. That can make speaking and eating much easier and more natural feeling than what you get with dentures. 

Dental implants don’t need adjustments as they fit perfectly. Dentures, on the other hand, are often adjusted on a regular basis if there is a problem with the comfort level or fit.

Durability and Cost

While dental implants can fail for a variety of reasons, one study conducted in 2017 yielded a success rate after 10 years of between approximately 90 – 95%. That’s an excellent result, particularly given that success often depends on several factors that have little to do with the implant itself.

Dentures often need to be replaced every few years, and they can put stress on the supporting structures. However, dentures are usually less expensive than dental implants, although because they need frequent replacement, they may cost more over time.

How Do You Care for Dental Implants?

Caring for dental implants is similar to caring for your natural teeth. You will want to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean them at least twice a day. You’ll also want to use an interdental brush to get to those hard-to-reach areas. Most dental specialists also recommend using a waterpik to help remove debris. Flossing the implant is NOT recommended, as the floss may shred, forming a surface to which bacteria may adhere.

Just like with your natural teeth, problems can occur, particularly if you don’t care for your dental implants properly. If an implant becomes loose or the area around it shows signs of infection, you’ll want to see your dentist immediately. 

Visit an Experienced Dentist in Richmond, VA for Dental Implants

If you’ve got questions or are looking for guidance on whether dental implants are a good choice for you, the professional team at the Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond will be happy to discuss your options so you can make the best choice for your oral health. Give us a call today!

Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you, and if you have imperfections, it can negatively affect your self-confidence. In fact, one study found that dissatisfaction with your smile is a significant predictor of low self-esteem. 

7 Ways That Dental Veneers Can Make Your Smile Shine:

1. Dental Veneers Can Close the Gap

Dental veneers can close minor gaps in teeth to improve the appearance of a smile. Many people with gaps will hide them by not showing their teeth when they smile, but dental veneers can effectively cover that gap to make you feel more confident about smiling. 

Dental veneers are thin shells that are designed specifically for your teeth. They are custom-made to fit over the surface of your tooth and can be shaped to cover minor gaps. They also closely match the color of your teeth, so they will look completely natural. 

2. Brighten Those Difficult Stains

Some people have stains on their teeth that cannot be removed by professional whitening procedures. These include stains made by a history of some types of medications, like antibiotics, or by severe fevers. 

The reason these stains can’t be removed by whitening is that they occur on the internal layer of the tooth called the dentin rather than the outer layer of the enamel. In those cases, dental veneers can cover teeth with stains that whitening can’t correct.

3. Help Correct a Gummy Smile

Some people are unhappy with their smile because it is too gummy. In other words, their tooth-to-gum ratio favors the gums. This is where veneers can help. 

Your cosmetic dentist can recontour your gums and place veneers that are sized to provide more balance for your smile. This will mean you can show more tooth and less gum when you smile. 

4. Cover Tooth Cracks and Chips

Another type of imperfection that veneers can cover is tooth cracks and chips. These can create a kind of ragged appearance to your smile. 

Veneers can often be a better choice for covering these kinds of imperfections than other alternatives like crowns. 

It is important to realize, however, that while your teeth may appear undamaged, veneers don’t correct the damage to the tooth. While you want your teeth to look good, you also want them to genuinely be healthy, so talk to your provider about what option is best for you. 

5. Correct Minor to Moderate Misalignments

Dental veneers can also be used to correct the appearance of minor to moderate misalignments. While they don’t actually correct the misalignment, they can make your teeth appear straight. 

This makes dental veneers a faster alternative to braces for helping your teeth appear straighter. For those who need a fast fix for their smile, veneers can be the way to go. 

6. Restore the Appearance of Worn Teeth

Bruxism is when you wear your teeth down by grinding them. It’s a very common problem. In fact, by some estimates, as much as 30% of the population grinds their teeth at least occasionally. 

That can create a worn look to the biting edge of your teeth. Veneers can restore the original appearance of your teeth. It doesn’t fix the problem of bruxism, but it does help your smile look better. The good news is – your dentist can address both problems!

7. Dental Veneers Give You a Natural Appearing Smile

Finally, dental veneers are virtually undetectable from your natural teeth. Their color is matched to your natural teeth, and your dentist will shape them to fit naturally with the adjacent teeth, your smile line and your facial structures.

What Types of Dental Veneers Options Are Offered?

There are a few different types of dental veneers to choose from, but all can give you a natural-appearing smile. Composite veneers are made of tooth-colored composite resin to match your smile, and are less expensive, but can stain over time. 

Porcelain veneers are made to specifically fit your dental anatomy so they will fit like a glove over your natural tooth and shine like natural teeth. No-prep veneers are a less invasive option because they don’t require as much enamel removal as traditional veneers do. 

No matter what kind of dental veneers you choose, they can give you a dazzling, natural-appearing smile that is sure to boost your confidence. 

Consult With A Dentist In Richmond, VA About Veneers

If you have imperfections in your teeth that you would like to fix, we can help. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sarah Wilmer at The Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond. She can answer all your dental veneer questions. Give us a call today, and you’ll be on your way to a confident smile! 

Taking care of your oral health is an important part of taking care of your overall health, and the same is true for young children. That’s why it’s important to start dental care at an early age and get your children accustomed to seeing their dentist regularly.

Starting early helps children build healthy, lifelong dental care habits and it also helps them feel more positive about their dental visits.

Since getting kids used to going to the dentist can seem challenging, we’ve put together these 3 pediatric oral health tips for building healthy habits and a positive experience at the dentist’s office.

3 Essential Pediatric Oral Health Tips: When to Schedule Your Child’s First Dentist Visit

1. When the Baby Teeth Come In, It’s Time for a Dental Visit

Many parents wonder just when they should start taking their child to the dentist. The answer is that when their baby teeth come in, it’s time for that first dental visit. 

Dental disease can create problems in baby teeth too. One common example is something called baby bottle syndrome. This occurs when parents use a baby bottle containing juice or milk or some form of liquid other than water as a sleep aid or keep it in the crib all night. 

Juice or milk from the bottle can pool around your child’s teeth and, over time, the bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars in that liquid to cause tooth decay. This can also happen when children carry a bottle or sippy cup of milk or juice around with them all day. 

That’s just one reason why it’s important to begin proper dental care as soon as your child’s teeth erupt. Your pediatric dentist can give you important oral health care tips to prevent problems like baby bottle syndrome or any other problems they may discover.

As your child gets older, your dentist can educate them about how to build healthy oral health care habits that will last a lifetime. 

2. Timing is Key

Another pediatric oral health tip is that timing is key when scheduling an appointment for your baby. It’s best if you can time it so it is between naps and after feeding. 

If your child is hungry or tired when they arrive at the dentist’s office, they are likely to be much less cooperative. That can easily create a negative experience that will make them reluctant to come back. 

It can also make them more leery of the dentist and their staff, and these kinds of feelings can last a lifetime. The goal is to give your child a positive experience so that they will look forward to coming to see the dentist. 

Mornings are often the best time of day for your young child’s appointment. This is likely the time of day when your young child is most alert and ready for new experiences. You want them to be as open as possible to meeting new people and having those new experiences. Morning appointments are the best time for that to happen. 

3. Bring Toys for a Better Pediatric Oral Health Experience

Another way that you can help your child form positive associations with their dentist is to make the experience a fun one for them. Bring their favorite toys to distract them from any fearful emotions they might have. 

When they have something familiar with them that they like playing with, your child will come to see the dentist as a fun place to go. 

The more your child views the dentist as a pleasant place to be where they can have fun, the more likely it is that they will maintain the oral health care habits they form at this early age for the rest of their life. 

With proper dental care from such a young age, your child’s overall oral health will be better over the long run. That also means that their overall health will be better over the course of their lifetime. Many health problems can be linked to poor dental hygiene. These include certain cardiac conditions, such as endocarditis, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia. To avoid this, it’s vital to help your child have a good experience at the dentist so they build good oral health care habits for a lifetime of better health.

Reach Out To A Kid-Friendly Dentist in Richmond, VA For Your Child’s First Visit

Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond is a kid-friendly dental office. The professional staff at their office are dedicated to helping patients of all ages, including the very youngest, to develop healthy pediatric oral health care habits so their teeth will last a lifetime. Give them a call at (804) 784-2386 today or book a free consultation through their form to get your child started on the path to a healthier smile! 

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful smile to light up a room. But over the years, your teeth can become discolored from foods or drinks like coffee and from certain habits like smoking. 

That’s why many people turn to teeth whitening to improve the appearance of their smile. But should you use over-the-counter whitening kits, or should you let your dentist handle your teeth whitening?

Let’s Look at 4 Reasons Why You Should Let the Professionals Handle Your Teeth Whitening:

1. Your Dentist Can Check Your Oral Health

One of the biggest reasons to let your dentist whiten your teeth is that your dentist can check out your overall oral health in the process. They can often catch problems before they become more serious.

They might notice if you’re developing gum disease or if a cavity is forming, for example. Identifying problems before they have a chance to become too serious can save you a lot of pain and money down the line.

2. Personalized Results When Your Dentist Whitens Your Teeth

The commercial products available in over-the-counter teeth whitening kits are really made for the masses but unfortunately can produce uneven whitening, extreme sensitivity, burns, and destruction of the tooth structure.

Additionally, just like you, your teeth are unique, and they may require personalized whitening that varies from tooth to tooth. Your dentist can provide that by carefully matching the correct shade for your teeth and varying the shades as necessary for each tooth. This will give you the best possible results for your individual smile using the highest quality materials, which will make every tooth shine.

3. The Products Your Dentist Uses are Safer

Your dentist uses top-quality materials for teeth whitening that result in less tooth sensitivity and won’t cause you harm. What’s more, your dentist monitors the process and the products carefully to ensure you’ll get the best results with little or no unpleasant side effects. 

4. Professional Teeth Whitening Removes Tougher Stains

Your teeth may have some very tough stains, and those are often no match for the over-the-counter teeth whitening kits. Stains caused, for example, by the antibiotic tetracycline, can be really difficult to remove.

Over-the-counter products won’t be able to tackle those tough stains, but your dentist’s products, such as KöR Whitening, can, and the results will last longer too.

The KöR Whitening Difference

At the Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond, they are dedicated to keeping your mouth healthy and your smile bright, and are big believers in whole-body health. That’s why they have chosen to use the KöR method of whitening. Here’s more information on the difference between KOR whitening and other whitening products.

What is KöR Whitening?

Your tooth color is the result of both natural pigment and stain molecules that get trapped in a tooth’s microstructure. When those molecules are large, your teeth will appear darker. To whiten them, your dentist needs to remove those trapped molecules by breaking apart the large chains of stain. 

Why is KöR Better?

Research has shown that conventional whitening trays only provide strong activation of the peroxide gels for about 25 – 35 minutes due to contamination from saliva, and over the counter products can actually cause harm to your mouth. But the KöR technique uses KöR seal trays to prevent saliva and other fluids from entering the trays. That provides as much as 6 – 10 hours of activity, safely. 

The extended exposure time thoroughly cleans debris from between your enamel. The end result is a rejuvenated and more youthful enamel that can whiten quickly and thoroughly. In short, you get an amazingly white smile! 

If you are looking for that gorgeous smile you’ve always wanted, let the professionals help get you there safely!

Call the Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond for a Consultation Today!

The Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond has been helping to create a brighter world, one smile at a time. Give us a call today for a teeth whitening consultation or any other cosmetic procedure you may be looking for!