Posts for category: Oral Health
If you've been avoiding visiting your dentist due to fears about pain, loss of control or embarrassment, you're likely one of the millions of people who deal with dental anxiety. This common fear puts about 15 percent of Americans at risk for complications from gum disease or cavities, but Dr. Bianca Chan McWilliams, your dentist in Chandler, AZ, is prepared to help calm your nerves with sedation dentistry. Learn how the various medications and treatments we offer at Solaris Dentistry can help ease your fears and allow you to maintain good dental hygiene.
What is sedation dentistry?
Even patients without extreme dental anxiety can have trouble relaxing during a dental procedure. Not knowing what to expect, concern about pain, and even the sound of the equipment can be bothersome and make people put off necessary dental procedures. Your Chandler dentist, Dr. McWilliams, recognizes the need to help her patients feel comfortable during treatments, which is why she has been educated in the specialized classification of sedation dentistry. She uses various medications and other therapeutic treatments that help calm patients' nerves to allow Dr. Williams to perform procedures safely and accurately.
How is sedation dentistry used?
The type of sedative you need for dental procedures has a number of factors: How much time will your procedure take? What is your level of anxiety? What health issues do you have? Sedation dentistry can range from administering oral sedation to nitrous oxide. A consultation with Dr. McWilliams will make that determination. In general, it's advised to have someone drive you to and from your appointment, as some sedatives will take some time before the effects wear off completely, but full instructions will be given to you prior to your procedure.
If you have dental anxiety, you don't have to let your dental hygiene lapse. At Solaris Dentistry in Chandler, AZ, there is a way you can stay current with your dental procedures while remaining calm and comfortable! Contact our office today to schedule an appointment!
Find out how your dentist could help you manage your sleep apnea symptoms.
Have you just recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea? Are you concerned that you will have to worry about wearing an awkward facemask to bed each and every night? Do you find CPAP therapy to be a bit noisier than you bargained for? If so, then it might be time to talk to our Chandler, AZ, dentist Dr. Bianca Chan McWilliams about another way to treat your symptoms.
In fact, those suffering from only mild-to-moderate sleep apnea may not even have to worry about using CPAP therapy. While CPAP is the most standard form of treatment when it comes to sleep apnea, it isn’t the only option. In fact, many people have found success through oral appliance therapy.
This oral device is only worn while you are sleeping. While there a wide variety of different oral devices on the market for treating obstructive sleep apnea, our Chandler, AZ, general dentist will work with you and your sleep doctors to provide the right oral appliance to fit your needs. Instead of wearing a facemask while you sleep you will just pop in this retainer-like device, which will cover over your upper and lower teeth and help painlessly reposition your jaws to keep the airways open.
Oral appliance therapy is not something you can purchase over the counter. You will need to visit your Chandler, AZ, sleep apnea dentist in order to get an oral appliance that is tailored to fit your mouth and provide you with the relief you need. Of course, if you only suspect that you have sleep apnea but don’t actually know, the first step you will need to take is scheduling an appointment with a sleep doctor who will then run a sleep study to determine if sleep apnea is the cause of your symptoms.
Once you’ve received a diagnosis then it’s time to schedule an appointment with us. Oral appliance therapy offers some great benefits over CPAP therapy. In fact, oral appliance therapy is easy to use, more comfortable and more portable. If you are someone who travels often, having a small oral appliance over large, cumbersome CPAP equipment can be a real advantage.
If you want to find out whether oral appliance therapy could be the ideal way to treat your sleep apnea then it’s time you turned to the dental experts at Solaris Dentistry in Chandler, AZ, to get the answers you want.
Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.
“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into caviÂties. How did this happen?
Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.
While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.Â Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.
This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”
Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:
- Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
- Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
- Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.
Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.
“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”
If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”
You have a great smile: beautiful white teeth all perfectly aligned. But unbeknownst to you, periodontal (gum) disease might even now be damaging your gum tissues, setting the stage for future tooth and bone loss — and a ruined smile.
While it’s easy to miss the early stage of this disease caused by bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces, there are a few signs if you pay close attention. Bleeding gums after moderate brushing or flossing could indicate normally resilient gum tissues have begun to weaken. You may also notice a slight redness and swelling around the margins of the gums and a bad taste or breath. As it progresses, you may experience painful abscesses (infected pockets that develop between the gums and tooth) and loose teeth, a late sign of tissue detachment and bone loss. If you are a smoker, nicotine reduces swelling and bleeding of the gums, removing signs you have a disease. If you smoke, you need to see your dentist regularly.
While renewed daily oral hygiene is important for stopping gum disease, you may also need professional care to bring it under control. The main treatment calls for the manual removal of plaque and calculus (hardened deposits of plaque) that are sustaining the infection. Dentists and hygienists both can perform scaling, which removes plaque and calculus at or just below the gum line, and root planing to clean accessible root surfaces.
In more advanced cases, though, you may need the services of a periodontist, a specialist in treating diseased or injured gums, bone and other connective tissues that support the teeth. They’re also skilled in more advanced treatments like gum flap surgery that more fully exposes a tooth’s root area for plaque and calculus (or tartar) removal, or tissue grafting procedures that improve the health and appearance of damaged gums.
If you suspect you have gum disease, the place to start is with your family dentist. They can determine if your case will respond to basic scaling, root planing or antibiotic treatment. If the disease appears more advanced or with complications, they will most likely refer you to a periodontist for treatment.
If you’ve already seen bleeding, swelling or redness, see your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you begin treatment for any case of gum disease, the less likely it will lead to the loss not only of your teeth but your beautiful smile.
If you would like more information on the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease, 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 “When to See a Periodontist.”
Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.
Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?
In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.
As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.
And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.
Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.
So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.
Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”
If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”