Tag Archive for: stained teeth

Your dental health is far more important than you may think. The condition of your teeth and gums impacts your overall health. Poor oral health contributes to heart disease, stroke, diabetic complications, respiratory complications, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, pre-term birth and low birth weight, and certain cancers such as kidney, pancreatic and blood cancers. Studies show that it also puts you at a higher risk for contraction of COVID-19! In addition, having an attractive smile helps boost your confidence in both social and professional situations, which can lead to new job offers, salary increases, and happier relationships. In the next few paragraphs, we will describe the top 10 dental problems that you may have to deal with, and how you can overcome them so you can live life as the happiest and healthiest version of you!

1. Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common reasons people visit the dentist. Cavities are caused by bacteria that eat healthy tooth structure. They often don’t hurt. However, if they are left untreated, cavities can get larger and affect the nerves, leading to more extensive and more expensive treatment, such as root canals and extractions. Cavities develop for multiple reasons. Genetics, poor oral care (not flossing and brushing), a diet high in sweets and carbohydrates, and dry mouth are among the top reasons decay develops. Dentists typically treat cavities with fillings. To avoid cavities, make sure you see your dentist regularly, brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, avoid letting sugars and carbohydrates sit on your teeth for long periods of time (this includes bread, pasta, Gatorade, milk, and juice), and talk to your dentist about ways to protect your teeth (prescription topical fluoride), ways to combat dry mouth, and ways to decrease the amount of the bad bacteria in your mouth.

2. Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a condition that affects millions of people. Symptoms include bleeding gums though, in the early stages, you may have gum disease without any obvious symptoms. Left untreated, gum disease leads to bone loss, which can then lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease has been associated with an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetic complications, respiratory complications, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, pre-term birth and low birth weight, and certain cancers such as kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers, and, most recently, contraction of COVID-19. Consistent and good oral hygiene practices can help to prevent gum disease. Once it has progressed, however, it needs to be treated by a dental professional. Periodontal disease will not disappear, but it can be halted and maintained through teamwork – you do your part at home, and your hygienist will do their part on a more frequent interval. This is paramount to keeping the disease under control.

3. Tooth Sensitivity

If you have sensitive teeth, you may experience tooth pain when eating sweets or consuming something very hot or cold. Sensitive teeth can be caused by a multitude of factors such as cavities, root exposure from brushing too hard, or loss of enamel from misaligned teeth. In mild cases, you may be able to correct the issue by using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. If the issue is caused by cavities or misaligned teeth, your dentist may recommend other solutions to resolve the problem and prevent further damage. 

4. Misaligned Teeth

Most people are not blessed with perfectly aligned teeth. Crooked or misaligned teeth are often considered a cosmetic issue as many people are self-conscious about their smile and would prefer to have straighter teeth. However, misaligned teeth can make chewing more difficult, contribute to periodontal disease, and make your teeth more susceptible to injuries, including tooth loss. Aligning teeth is easy to do using Invisalign, and is one of the most important things you should do to keep a healthy mouth.

5. Stained or Yellow Teeth

Aside from misaligned teeth, having stained or yellowing teeth is one of the biggest obstacles to having a perfect smile. Stained teeth can be caused by smoking or regularly drinking beverages such as soda, coffee, tea, or wine. Even certain fruits and vegetables can, over time, discolor the teeth. As almost everyone partakes in some of these foods or beverages, it’s difficult to maintain perfectly white teeth. Daily brushing along with regular professional teeth cleaning is the best way to maintain whiter teeth. Dentists can also professionally whiten teeth to give you a brilliant smile. Be careful about over-the-counter whitening products as overuse can cause problems such as damage to healthy tooth structure, damage to previous dental work, or gum irritation.

6. Oral Cancer

Oral cancer screenings are performed at every six-month hygiene appointment. If you have dentures, it is still important to see your dentist yearly to get an oral cancer screening and check for other tissue issues. Factors that increase your risk for oral cancer include smoking, a history of smoking, and alcohol use. If you have anything abnormal, such as sores that don’t heal, lumps in the mouth or difficulty swallowing to name a few, you need to make an appointment to see your dentist.

7. Bad Breath

Halitosis, better known as bad breath, is a common ailment that can be embarrassing. Strongly flavored foods and spices such as garlic and onions can temporarily cause bad breath. It’s also typical to have sour-tasting breath in the morning before brushing your teeth. However, a more persistent condition is often indicative of an underlying problem such as cavities, gum disease or other dental issues. In some cases, digestive ailments can cause bad breath. Remedies such as mouthwash, gum, and mints can temporarily mask the problem but if you consistently have bad breath you should ask your dentist about it.

8. Canker Sores

Aphthous ulcers, commonly known as canker sores, are small, often painful sores that can occur in various places in the mouth. They may also be present on the tongue. They may be red, white, or yellow in color. Canker sores can have many causes, including allergies, immune disorders, smoking, stress, physical trauma, and reactions to certain medications. You can buy over-the-counter medications that can help to treat them. If you have canker sores that persist for more than a few weeks, or that occur frequently, you should consult with your doctor or dentist. One reason to seek professional help is that cold sores, a more serious and contagious condition caused by the HSV (herpes simplex virus), can be mistaken for canker sores.

9. Cracked or Chipped Teeth

Teeth can crack due to sports injuries, accidents, crooked teeth, old fillings, cavities, or biting into something hard. A chipped tooth can be annoying and unsightly, depending on its location. It can also be painful if the injury exposes a nerve. A dentist can fix a cracked or chipped tooth with a filling or veneer. Large breaks can require crowns and sometimes root canal therapy in addition to the crown. If the tooth is damaged beyond repair, it may need to be removed and replaced with another option, such as an implant.

10. Teeth Grinding and TMJ

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a practice that can cause damage to your teeth over time. If you grind your teeth, it could be due to stress or a misalignment of your teeth. People often grind their teeth while sleeping and don’t know it. If stress or an underlying sleep disorder is present, you may need to make dietary or lifestyle changes. For example, excessive caffeine intake can contribute to insomnia and teeth grinding at night.

Two primary treatments for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders and bruxism (teeth grinding) include Botox injections and nightguards. Botox injections into the jaw muscles can help alleviate muscle tension and reduce the frequency and intensity of jaw clenching and grinding. Nightguards, on the other hand, are custom-made dental appliances worn during sleep to protect the teeth from grinding and alleviate pressure on the jaw joint. Both treatments offer effective solutions for managing TMJ and bruxism, but the choice between them depends on individual symptoms, severity, and patient preferences. Consulting with a dental professional can help determine the most suitable treatment approach for each patient’s unique needs.

Visit a Dentist in Richmond, VA to Keep Your Dental Health on Track

Your dental health contributes to the status of your overall health and your confidence level. You now know how to overcome the top 10 dental issues so you can live life as the happiest and healthiest version of you!

Book an appointment to get started on your journey to total body health, starting with the mouth.

Your smile is the first thing people notice about you and it makes a lasting first impression. Studies show that your smile has the biggest impact on the success of your personal and business relationships, more than any other part of your appearance. An attractive smile makes you feel more confident. The more attractive your smile, the more you are noticed, liked and remembered. A confident smile will get you that long-lasting relationship or that promotion that everyone in the office was gunning for. Your teeth and your smile are a reflection of how you feel about yourself and how you take care of yourself.

One of the fastest ways to make a drastic change in a smile that you are unhappy with is to whiten your teeth. In our office, we hear stories about the antibiotics our patients had as an infant that discolored their teeth and of the kids who would make fun of them in school. Many of our patients have been told there was nothing that could be done for such a deep intrinsic stain. So when we are asked, “will teeth whitening work for me?” The answer is YES! Here’s what you need to know about teeth whitening.

Advantages of Professional Teeth Whitening

Fastest Results

DIY whitening kits can slowly remove a top layer of stain, however, they don’t work for many people — especially those with deep tooth discoloration. Following professional teeth whitening at Dr. Wilmer’s office, you’ll notice an immediate and drastic change. Patients often tell us they have tried every DIY kit out there over the years and never noticed much of a change until they whitened their teeth in our office.

The Safest Form of Bleaching

Dentists are trained to whiten teeth properly by creating custom-fitted trays to keep the whitening agent in contact with the teeth and away from the gums and by using products that are safe for your teeth. Some DIY whitening products that are advertised as ‘tooth-whitening’ contain only abrasives that may remove tea, coffee, and tobacco stains, but do not actually “whiten” your teeth, and can actually cause harm by embedding the abrasives into the gum tissue. Other DIY products have a diluted bleaching solution and are mostly ineffective, while others contain chlorine dioxide, which can destroy tooth enamel (the protective outer surface of the tooth).

Gum & Tooth Sensitivity are More Controllable

One of the side effects of DIY teeth whitening is sensitivity. Our KöR whitening system produces little to no sensitivity for a few reasons. Our custom-fit tray prevents the whitening gel from contacting the gum tissue. We do not use a UV light or laser which causes a great amount of sensitivity and, contrary to popular belief, is actually ineffective at whitening the teeth. We use a buffering agent, a desensitizing agent, and revolutionary technology to stabilize the product prior to use. Hence, we have found our KöR Whitening system to be the gentlest and most effective whitening system available!

Kills Periodontal Bacteria

A CDC study showed that 47% of adults just 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. The number jumps drastically as age increases: 70% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease. Professionally whitening your teeth restores your gum and teeth’s youthful ability to absorb oxygen. The oxygen makes it difficult (if not impossible) for anaerobic bacteria (periodontal bacteria) to survive. It also breaks through the slime barrier of biofilm (plaque) to destroy the bacteria’s cell walls. We recommend that all of our patients with controlled periodontal disease stay on a whitening maintenance schedule to reduce the risk of relapse.

Types of Stains Best to Get Removed Professionally

It is best to have most stains removed professionally (would you trust the $29.99 special you saw on TV to remove that chocolate stain from your wedding dress?). Your teeth are too important to risk harming with ineffective and unsafe products.

Aging

As you age your teeth naturally darken in color. They also begin losing some of their integrity, which adds to the potential for damage with DIY whitening kits. Professional whitening agents help reduce signs of aging in your teeth while protecting them from further breakdown.

Consumption of Certain Foods

Coffee, red meat, carbonated beverages, turmeric, red wine, tea, and chocolate are all delicious but come at a price – they drastically impact tooth color. Fortunately, professional whitening performed by Dr. Wilmer can remove these stains. And with your easy home maintenance, these staining foods will have no effect on the long-term brilliant color of your teeth so you can continue to enjoy the foods you love.

Tobacco Use

For smokers, the stains on your teeth tell a tale about the number of years you’ve been using tobacco. Professional whitening can wash this proof away and hopefully encourage you to halt this bad habit.

Tetracycline Stain

Some medications, such as tetracycline, can cause significant discoloration to your teeth. Prior to KöR Whitening, improving the appearance of these teeth was virtually impossible, short of putting veneers or crowns on all of them. Our whitening system is the ONLY system that has proven to improve this appearance, giving us miraculous results over and over again.

Why Smiling is Important

Teeth Whitening Aside from the obvious (you are happy!), there are many reasons smiling is important.

Longevity

Studies show that those who smile and laugh are more likely to live a long and healthy life. Smiling causes you to relax, thereby boosting your immune system, lowering your blood pressure and heart rate, and acting as a natural pain reliever! Whiter teeth will boost your confidence in your smile and you will be more likely to show it off, increasing your chance of living a longer and healthier life!

Social Life

Stained teeth can be embarrassing, causing some people to avoid social gatherings and even avoid dating. It can also turn off others around you who assume the color of your teeth is a result of your lack of a good oral hygiene routine. A healthy bright smile will encourage you to be more social and engage in all the events you don’t want to miss.

Achieving Financial Goals

Having a bright white smile will make you feel more confident in yourself and in your abilities. It influences the way you present yourself at work and in financial interactions. Employers are searching for that self-confident person who cares about themself and their work. Gorgeous, whiter teeth will drastically increase your chances of success and wealth!

Get Your Teeth Whitened By an Experienced Dentist in Richmond, VA

Interested in learning more about teeth whitening and the way it can improve your life? Go ahead – make that drastic positive change you’ve been waiting for in your social life, love life, and career. Contact Dr. Wilmer today, and let us help you create not only a beautiful smile but also a healthy one!

Book an appointment online to get started with the Cosmetic and Laser Dental Spa of Richmond.