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    Important Information Your Dentist Needs to Know

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Oral health can be a strong indicator of overall health, as problems throughout the body can often cause symptoms in the mouth. In order to provide the best care for your teeth and gums, your dentist needs to be kept informed about the broader picture, including physical and even emotional health problems you’re facing.

    Health Issues

    Let your dentist know if you’ve been experiencing oral pain or any other symptoms, even if they seem minor. This can help your dentist catch problems before they become more serious. Your family’s health history, particularly a history of oral cancer, can also help your dentist calculate your risk for oral health concerns. This information may help your dentist determine how frequently you need certain screenings.

    Medication Use and Allergies

    Although it may not seem relevant, your dentist should be aware of any medications you are on. This is especially important if he or she is prescribing you additional drugs. Make sure your dentist is also aware of any allergies you have, particularly to drugs.

    Pregnancy

    Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your mouth and gums more vulnerable to diseases, particularly gingivitis. Pregnant women also sometimes develop lumps along the gum line, which are harmless but can be sensitive and bleed easily. Make sure your dentist knows if you are pregnant, nursing, or hoping to become pregnant.

    Lifestyle Factors

    Smoking cigarettes can lead to a variety of oral health concerns. Minor issues like tooth discoloration and bad breath are extremely common, but smoking also increases the risk for very serious conditions, including cancers of the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat. Smoking is also linked to lower success rates during surgical procedures, longer healing times, gum disease, and bone loss.

    South Riding Family Dentistry serves patients of all ages in the South Riding, Chantilly, Brambleton, and Aldie areas. In addition to general dental care, we also provide cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. Contact us to learn more or to set up an appointment by calling (703) 327-0327.

    A Retro PSA about Nutrition and Dental Health

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Do you often find yourself mindlessly snacking while watching TV? This retro PSA from the American Dental Association offers a friendly reminder to avoid snacking between meals for the sake of your oral health.

    This fun clip features a cartoon family snacking on junk food while watching sports. While the style may seem outdated, the message remains relevant today—good nutrition and regular brushing and flossing are crucial for maintaining a healthy smile.

    To learn more about nutrition and oral health, talk to your dentist. Contact South Riding Family Dentistry today for dental care in Virginia by calling us at (703) 327-0327

    Common Dental Problems in Senior Patients

    Last updated 11 months ago

    Dental problems are common among the elderly, particularly those who suffer from general ill health. Regular visits to a family dentist can help prevent and treat these conditions. Here are a few of the conditions that are most common among seniors:

    Dry Mouth

    Many seniors experience reduced saliva flow. This can be caused by a variety of medications, certain cancer treatments, or diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome. In addition to being uncomfortable, dry mouth can increase your risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

    Gum Disease

    Gum disease is a common problem for all age groups, but seniors in particular are likely to develop gingivitis. Several factors, including tobacco use, ill-fitting dentures, and the presence of anemia, cancer, or diabetes all increase the odds of developing gum disease, but a good diet and good oral care can help prevent it. Seniors suffering from gum disease may have a receding gum line, which can lead to root decay and other oral health concerns.

    Tooth Damage

    Over time, food and tobacco stains can accumulate on the teeth. Dentin, the material beneath the tooth’s enamel, also naturally darkens with age. Like tooth discoloration, tooth loss also becomes more common with age, and about 40% of the adult population suffers from some form of tooth loss. Traditional dentures can cause additional problems like stomatitis—an inflammation of the gum tissue—and wear down the jaw bone. Wearing dentures can also cause difficulty with chewing and speaking, so dental implants are often a better permanent solution.

    Thrush

    Thrush is caused by a fungus called Candida albicans, also known as yeast, in the mouth. It is common in seniors, particularly those with weakened immune systems. Small amounts of this fungus are present in healthy people, but can become more prominent in senior individuals. Thrush can cause pain and other symptoms, primarily white lesions in the mouth.

    At South Riding Family Dentistry, we provide dental services for senior patients. We can help you evaluate your oral health so you can avoid problems with your teeth and gums. To find out more or to schedule an appointment, contact us online or call (703) 327-0327.

    What Causes Tooth Enamel to Wear?

    Last updated 12 months ago

    Enamel is the thin, protective layer on the outside of the tooth, and is the hardest substance in the human body. Though it is quite tough, it can be worn down through grinding or chipped away with a hard object, like a fork. It can also be slowly dissolved with acidic food and drink, or acid reflux disease. When enamel is worn down, it can cause sensitivity and pain, as well as cosmetic issues.

    To protect your enamel and keep your teeth strong, avoid excessive soft drink and juice consumption. Watch your intake of sugary foods, and maintain good oral hygiene practices. If you notice dental sensitivity, talk to your dentist to determine what additional steps you can take to strengthen your enamel.

    To learn more about oral care, or to make an appointment with a family dentist in the South Riding, Chantilly, Brambleton, and Aldie area, turn to South Riding Family Dentistry. You can reach us at (703) 327-0327.

    Getting Dental Veneers? Here's What to Expect.

    Last updated 1 year ago

    If you have healthy teeth, but are self-conscious about their appearance, dental veneers might be a good solution for you. Veneers are very thin shells which are bonded to your natural teeth to create a more streamlined, white smile. They can correct different irregularities, including chips, gaps, and discoloration of the teeth. Here’s what you can expect during the process of getting veneers.

    Diagnosis and Planning

    Your dentist will examine your teeth and discuss your goals to determine if you are a good candidate for veneers. He or she may need to take x-rays or impressions of your mouth and teeth during this stage.

    Preparation

    To make room for veneers, a thin layer of enamel must be removed from each tooth’s surface. This can be mildly painful, so some patients choose to use a local anesthetic during this process. Then, your dentist will create a model of your teeth to send to a dental lab, which will create a custom set of veneers to perfectly fit your teeth. This process can take a week or two, so temporary veneers may be an option at this time.

    Bonding

    Your dentist will try the veneers on your teeth before permanently attaching them to make sure the fit and color are just right. Adjustments can be made during this period to the shape of each veneer, and the color can be adjusted using a different shade of cement. Your teeth will then be cleaned and etched. The etching process roughens each tooth’s surface to create a stronger bond with the veneer. The veneer is then bonded to the tooth using cement, and a light beam is used to activate and harden the cement quickly.

    Follow-Up

    Your dentist will likely request a follow-up appointment to check on the health of your teeth and gums shortly after the bonding procedure. Veneers usually last five to 10 years, and can be cared for like natural teeth.

    For cosmetic and family dentistry in Virginia, contact South Riding Family Dentistry today. We offer a range of services to help you and your family maintain your oral health. Call us at (703) 327-0327 for more information.

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All content and information available is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing dental advice. You should contact your dentist to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within this site does not create a dentist-client relationship.
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