4200 Columbia Rd, Martinez, GA 30907
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Posts for category: Oral Health

By Augusta Smilecare
May 26, 2020
Category: Oral Health

What's the best way to keep a smile healthy for a lifetime? At Augusta Smile Care, your family dentist, Dr. John Massey, tells patients that good oral hygiene habits make a huge difference.

Read on to learn why prevention is everyone's best medicine.

What attacks your smile?

Oral bacteria wreaks havoc on your smile, so it is important that you guard it by removing as much plaque as possible. Biofilms, such as plaque and the tartar it eventually becomes, are the perfect environments for dangerous Strep microbes. Have too many of these little germs, and you develop decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

In addition, certain careless habits can degrade your oral health. Brush too vigorously, neglect wearing a mouth guard during a hockey game, or ignore your teeth-clenching habit, and your enamel, bone integrity, and gum tissue will all suffer.

Enter: good oral hygiene habits

They're simple and will become part of your daily life if you stick with them. They include:

  1. Eat a sensible, low-carb diet. Sugars and starches accelerate plaque formation. Substitute high-fiber fruits and veggies and low-fat proteins for those carbohydrates.
  2. Drink a lot of water to hydrate soft oral tissues and keep them clean.
  3. Brush twice a day with a soft brush. Choose a fluoride toothpaste, and add an antimicrobial mouth wash if you are prone to decay and gum disease.
  4. Floss every day without fail. Flossing gets at the plaque that your toothbrush cannot reach or remove. Be gentle with your floss, and stick with it for at least two minutes.
  5. See your family dentist in his Augusta, GA, office for a complete oral exam, X-rays, and a professional cleaning semi-annually. Eyes-on and hands-on care with your dental team at Augusta Smile Care ward off serious problems, detect issues with tooth alignment/existing restorations, and discover dangerous oral cancer symptoms.
  6. Take a toothbrush or floss to work and send one to school with your child, particularly if he or she wears braces. Mid-day oral hygiene keeps ahead of bacteria and its corrosive acids. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) says that lots of in-between meals snacking happens in the workplace.
  7. Stop smoking. Yes, it may be easier said than done, but your primary care physician can help you toward this important goal. Just ask him or her.

You can finish well

Have a great smile your entire life. Take care of it with consistent oral hygiene practices. At Augusta Smile Care, we're here to help. Call today if you have questions for your family dentist, Dr. John Massey: (706) 868-1322.

3SurprisingThingsYouShouldBeDoingtoImproveYourDentalHealth

You already know the basics for healthy and attractive teeth and gums: brush and floss every day; and have your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist every six months. But there are also some lesser known things you can do to improve what you're already doing—and some of them may go against popular wisdom.

Here then are 3 counter-intuitive tips for turbo-boosting your teeth and gum health.

Avoid brushing too hard and too often. While it may not seem like it, “The more, the better” isn't necessarily a good thing when it comes to brushing your teeth. Vigorous brushing several times a day could actually damage both your teeth enamel and your gums, eventually leading to problems like sensitive teeth. So, easy does it on the brushing pressure—let the mild abrasives in your toothpaste do the work removing disease-causing dental plaque. Likewise, avoid brushing more than twice a day.

Wait on brushing right after eating. If your first instinct right after a meal is to head to the sink to brush your teeth, curb your enthusiasm. Your enamel is actually in a slightly softened state right after eating and drinking because of an increase in mouth acid (especially if you've consumed sodas, sports drinks or juices). Saliva restores the mouth's pH balance and helps remineralize enamel in about an hour. If you brush before then, you could be sloughing off microscopic bits of enamel—an eventual problem if this is a regular habit.

Stop snack “grazing.” If you're one of those that likes to munch on food throughout the day, you could be thwarting your overall efforts to maintain good dental health. Remember saliva? As mentioned, it effectively neutralizes acid in a few minutes. But continuous snacking maintains a constant high level of acid in the mouth—saliva has little chance to catch up. As a result, your mouth stays acidic, which can lead to higher risk of dental disease. If possible, limit your snacking to mealtimes.

These tips might be surprising, but they're based on sound science and research. Incorporating them into your regular, ongoing dental care, could increase your chances of healthy teeth and gums.

If you would like more information on how best to clean and care for your 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 “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”

TheHowieMandelEffectAvoidDentalDiseaseThroughDailyBrushingandFlossing

Howie Mandel, one of America’s premier television personalities, rarely takes it easy. Whether performing a standup comedy gig or shooting episodes of America’s Got Talent or Deal or No Deal, Mandel gives it all he’s got. And that intense drive isn’t reserved only for his career pursuits–he also brings his A-game to boosting his dental health.

Mandel is up front about his various dental issues, including multiple root canal treatments and the crowns on his two damaged front teeth. But he’s most jazzed about keeping his teeth clean (yep, he brushes and flosses daily) and visiting his dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.

To say Howie Mandel is keen on taking care of his teeth and gums is an understatement. And you can be, too: Just five minutes a day could keep your smile healthy and attractive for a lifetime.

You’ll be using that time—less than one percent of your 1,440 daily minutes—brushing and flossing to remove dental plaque buildup. This sticky, bacterial film is the main cause of tooth decay and gum disease. Daily hygiene drastically reduces your risk for these tooth-damaging diseases.

But just because these tasks don’t take long, that’s not saying it’s a quick once-over for your teeth: You want to be as thorough as possible. Any leftover plaque can interact with saliva and become a calcified form known as calculus (tartar). Calculus triggers infection just as much as softer plaque—and you can’t dislodge it with brushing and flossing.

When you brush, then, be sure to go over all tooth areas, including biting surfaces and the gum line. A thorough brushing should take about two minutes. And don’t forget to floss! Your toothbrush can’t adequately reach areas between teeth, but flossing can. If you find regular flossing too difficult, try using a floss threader. If that is still problematic, an oral irrigator is a device that loosens and flushes away plaque with a pressurized water stream.

To fully close the gate against plaque, see us at least every six months. Even with the most diligent efforts, you might still miss some plaque and calculus. We can remove those lingering deposits, as well as let you know how well you’re succeeding with your daily hygiene habit.

Few people could keep up with Howie Mandel and his whirlwind career schedule, but you can certainly emulate his commitment to everyday dental care—and your teeth and gums will be the healthier for it.

If you would like more information about daily dental care, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health” and “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”

By Augusta Smilecare
April 13, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dental Pain  

Find out why you may be dealing with a toothache.

Are you noticing that your tooth hurts whenever you bite down or chew? Noticing an achy, pounding or throbbing pain in your mouth? Yikes! You’re probably dealing with a toothache. Our Augusta, GA, family dentist Dr. John Massey knows that a toothache is the last thing you want to deal with; however, here’s why you need to see a dentist right away,

It could be a cavity

This is one of the most common causes of a toothache. Since decay will continue to spread throughout the tooth it’s important that you seek immediate care from our family dentist and his team here in Augusta, GA, to prevent the cavity from getting worse. A cavity can destroy both the enamel and dentin layers of a tooth, and even cause an infection within the tooth if it’s not treated quickly enough.

You may have a damaged tooth

You may assume that because your tooth looks fine that it is fine, but that isn’t always the case. Not all cracked or broken teeth show a visible crack or cause pieces of the tooth to break off. A toothache is typically the first sign that you are dealing with a fractured or cracked tooth, and the pain may get worse when chewing or biting down on the tooth. You may also notice lingering tooth sensitivity to extreme temperatures.

You could have gum disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and this disease affects millions of Americans. While you may just assume the gum disease only affects the gums, this isn’t true. In fact, one symptom of gum disease could be tooth pain accompanied by tender, swollen gums. During gum disease, the gums begin to recede, which can expose the roots of the tooth and potentially cause a toothache.

While all routine visits and appointments are on standby due to coronavirus, our family dentist team here in Augusta, GA, is still providing treatment and care dealing with dental emergencies. So if you find yourself waking up in the middle night with a toothache give Augusta Smile Care a call at (706) 868-1322.

ConcerningYourOralHealthVapingIsntaSafeAlternativetoSmoking

The first week of April is National Public Health Week, putting the spotlight on health issues that impact us all. The popular practice of vaping is one of those top issues this year due to its connection with recent lung illnesses and deaths. But this isn't a new problem—dentists have been critics of vaping for some time now over the growing evidence of its effect on oral health.

Vaping is the popular term for inhaling aerosol vapors through an e-cigarette (or e-cig for short). The electronic device contains a small reservoir filled with flavored liquids that contain nicotine and other chemicals. The device heats the liquid, turning it into a vapor that's inhaled or “vaped” into the lungs.

Vaping has been touted by proponents as a safer alternative to cigarette smoking. But there's growing evidence that vaping isn't a kinder and gentler way to “smoke.” A good portion of that evidence comes from dentists who routinely treat oral problems caused or worsened by vaping.

In reality, the adverse effects of vaping on oral health aren't much different from smoking. Like smoking, vaping ingredients can irritate the inside of the mouth and cause dryness, an ideal environment for dental disease. And nicotine, the main chemical in both vaping and smoking, constricts blood vessels that deliver nutrients and disease-fighting antigens to the gums and teeth.

If these hazards weren't bad enough, recent clinical findings seem to indicate they're only the tip of the iceberg. Researchers from New York University's (NYU) College of Dentistry have found evidence from a combined study of cigarette smokers, e-cig users and non-smokers that vaping may significantly alter the mouth's microbiome to the ultimate detriment of oral health.

A “microbiome” is a term describing the intricate relationship between the millions of microorganisms inhabiting the human body and the body itself. While a few are malicious, many, namely in the gut and mouth, help the body obtain nutrients from food and fight against disease. Disrupting that delicate balance opens the door to diminished health.

The NYU researchers found that both smokers and e-cig users had higher levels of pathogenic bacteria in their saliva than non-smokers, suggesting both habits disrupted the mouth's microbiome balance enough to allow less benevolent bacteria to flourish. They also found that both smokers and e-cig users had significantly higher incidences of gum disease (72.5% and 42.5%, respectively) than non-smokers (28.2%).

If you're a smoker, a cessation program to quit the habit—not switching to vaping—is the way to a healthier life. If you would like more information about the effects of vaping on your oral health, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Vaping and Oral Health.”



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John D. Massey, DMD
4200 Columbia Road
Martinez, GA 30907

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