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Periodontist in Alexandria | Flossing or Waterpik? Which is Better for Your Oral Health

In 1962 the waterpik was first invented. Since then, people have been curious to know which is better for your oral health, regular flossing or water picking? Which one do dentists recommend? Before we skip directly to the answer, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each of the techniques.

Flossing
It may just seem like a boring piece of string, but it’s so much more. Flossing is a great way of removing food that is in between the teeth or below the gum line. It’s a very efficient method of doing so and it’s probably one of the cheapest things you’ll ever buy. Flossing is quick, easy, and you can get it done just about anywhere.

Unfortunately, in unpracticed hands, normal flossing can make it hard to reach some areas of the mouth. It can also cause minor bleeding, worsening or causing gum sensitivity.

Water Picking
Today, we’re more dependent upon our technology than ever before. The waterpik is a special machine that shoots a stream of water into the mouth, using pressure to massage the gums and push food away from your teeth. It’s incredibly easy to use, making it a great choice for people with braces or other types of dental work. The massaging effect can be a great benefit to gum health. Water picking is also easier to maneuver, getting to those hard to reach places that regular floss just can’t seem to reach.

However, Waterpiks can be expensive and clunky to store in your bathroom. It also requires access to electricity and clean water too, meaning that you can’t travel with it as well as you can with a handy pocket sized floss container.

The truth is, there really is no right answer as to which is the better flossing option. Depending on your needs and your circumstances, both are great options to get your flossing done. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry found that water picking reduced plaque by 74.4 percent while flossing only reached 57.7 percent. Water picking can also reduce your chances of gingivitis or bleeding gums when compared to traditional floss. However, many dentists still recommend string flossing as the best way to clean the gaps between your teeth.

Whatever you decide, our experienced dental team is here to help you maintain your oral health for life. Call our office today to schedule your next appointment.

Alexandria VA Dentist | 3 Eco Friendly Oral Care Tips

Your oral health is important to you. But taking care of your smile is just as important as taking care of the planet. With these three easy to use tips, there’s a way you can do both at the same time.

Alexandria VA Dentist | 3 Eco Friendly Oral Care Tips

Keep an eye on your water usage

It may seem obvious, and even common knowledge. But reducing the amount of water you use while brushing can truly make a significant difference. If you turn the water off while your brushing, you could potentially save up to 8 gallons of water a day. That’s over 200 gallons a month per person in your home. If you have children, teaching them these habits early will set them up for a sustainable lifestyle.

 

Choose your toothbrush wisely

When it comes to eco friendly toothbrushes, you have a lot of options. There are brushes made out of recycled plastic or aluminum. There are also biodegradable toothbrushes made out of wood. There’s even an electric toothbrush out there that only requires a one hour charge every six months. With so many great options available to you, it should be easy to find one that works for you. Make sure you do your research.

 

Recycle

Your oral health care routine probably uses more than just a toothbrush and water. You can find green toothpaste options at every major store. If you have bottles of mouthwash, plastic containers to hold floss, or other plastic materials, make sure you recycle them properly. If you’re unsure of whether some of your containers are recyclable, you can ask your local recycling center and they’ll provide you with the information. This can go a long way in keeping your plastic out of places it shouldn’t be.

 

More dentists than ever are practicing eco-friendly dentistry. Surprisingly, some of them may not even be aware that they are doing so. These environmentally conscious dentists use digital x-rays and patient records. They could also use sustainable dental materials while avoiding adding hazardous substances to wastewater.

 

Keep yourself, and the planet smiling by thinking green. Schedule your next appointment by contacting our office today.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Protect Your Liver, Remember to Floss

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the incidence of liver cancer in the United States has more than tripled since 1980. The ASCO lists it as the fifth most common cause of cancer death for men. Now, evidence suggests that poor oral health may increase your risk of developing this cancer.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Can Extra Sun Boost Your Oral Health?

The exacerbating effects of unhealthy mouths on a large number of conditions, including heart disease and diabetes, is well documented. Reaffirming this fact, a large scale study done in the United Kingdom found that those who reported having poor oral health (sore and bleeding gums, loose teeth) had a 75% higher risk of developing liver cancer than those who did not.

 

Conducted by Haydee Jordao, the study analyzed the effects of oral health on several cancers of the digestive system including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and of course, the liver. They found no link between oral health and overall risk of gastrointestinal cancer.

 

However, when they examined cancers of specific organs, they found a strong correlation in the liver. Why this may be the case, the researchers were still unsure. One possible explanation is that the liver is responsible for eliminating bacteria from the body. It could be that when diseases such as cancer strike the liver, they impair its function. Another reason could be that decreased oral health is usually accompanied by decreases in quality nutrition, leading to obesity and other health concerns that put stress on the body.

 

Your oral health is incredibly important to us, and it should be to you as well. Contact our office and schedule your next appointment today. It might just save your life.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Can Extra Sun Boost Your Oral Health?

A sunny day can make it seem like the whole world is smiling. But it turns out that all that extra sun could be doing wonders for your gum health too. How? We’re glad you asked.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Can Extra Sun Boost Your Oral Health?

Most of us get the majority of our vitamin D directly from the sun. Despite this, nearly one billion people around the world are vitamin D deficient. In addition to keeping bones and teeth healthy, vitamin D is critical to supporting a healthy immune system, making it extremely important to our overall health. When your immune system is weakened, it leaves you vulnerable to a wide array of health issues, including gum disease. Gum disease comes from a swelling or soreness of the gum tissue and can cause loose teeth, painful gums and even tooth loss.

 

Getting an extra helping of sunshine could help make a tangible difference in your immune health. While it can’t and shouldn’t replace your daily oral health routine, that extra bit of sun could help keep your gums happy and healthy. And the best part? It’s completely free.

 

So as you’re enjoying some outdoor fun, rest easy knowing that you are doing something great for your oral and overall health. Keep gum disease at bay and contact our office to schedule your next appointment.

 

Alexandria VA Periodontist | 3 Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Our experienced dental team wants to remind you that no matter how busy life gets, your oral health and wellness are equally as important. With that in mind, here are three easy tips to keep you out of the dentist’s chair and enjoying your life with beautiful teeth and gums.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | 3 Tips for Healthy Teeth and Gums

  1. Moderation is Everything

The world is full of delicious food that we can’t wait to try. Unfortunately, some of that food can negatively impact your teeth and gums. Sugary drinks, such as lemonade, sweet tea, soda and alcoholic beverages have acids and sugars that can soften tooth enamel. Foods like corn on the cob and bone in meats not only stick in between teeth, but can also cause injury. Make sure to keep some floss handy. While it’s no fun to try and avoid all the sweets, neither is a painful toothache, so remember to limit your consumption of sugar.

 

  1. Your Teeth Should Not Be Used as a Bottle Opener

We’ve all seen someone try it, or maybe done it ourselves. You struggle to open a bottle and in your haste to get back to the festivities, you use your teeth. But teeth aren’t meant for this purpose. This can leave you with a painful, broken tooth. While it may seem like a quick and easy solution, take a few seconds and reconsider. Your teeth are precious, don’t treat them like a tool.

 

  1. Safety First

According to the American Dental Association, more than 200,000 oral injuries are prevented each year by wearing a mouth guard. Whether you’re a professional athlete, or play recreationally, it’s important to remember the proper mouth protection to make sure you keep your teeth.

 

The best thing you can do for your oral health is to stick to your normal oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice a day, floss daily, and be sure to schedule your next appointment with us to keep your teeth and gums healthy for all that life has to offer.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Providing Relief from Periodontal Disease

Over 45% of U.S. adults have moderate to severe periodontal disease. Periodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage and even tooth loss.  Our experienced dentist is providing periodontal treatments to both new and existing patients who are suffering from any form of periodontal (gum) disease.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Providing Relief from Periodontal Disease

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove tartar from teeth.

 

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance. Gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the disease from advancing further.

 

When periodontal disease is not treated in a timely manner, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gumline. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis. One of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.

 

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and female hormonal changes. Some medications can cause gum tissue to develop abnormal tissues, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease.

 

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office to schedule a consultation. Some symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, red or swollen gums, sensitive or bleeding gums, and difficulty or pain with chewing. Our dentist provides excellent periodontal care for our patients, and welcomes new patient consultations. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.

 

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Dentistry – Past, Present, and Future

“Tooth worms” are the cause of tooth decay. That was the headline of a Sumerian text from around 5,000 B.C.E. Fortunately, the dental industry has evolved since then and we know “tooth worms” don’t exist. Here’s how dentistry has evolved into the comfortable, safe, and beneficial science of today.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Dentistry - Past, Present, and Future

In the Beginning

Did you know that the ancient Egyptians had designated doctors for teeth? Evidence has been uncovered suggesting the Chinese used acupuncture to treat pain associated with tooth decay as early as 2700 B.C.E.

Additionally, in 500 B.C.E., Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote of treating teeth and oral diseases by using sterilization procedures and red-hot wires. They also spoke of using these red-hot wires to stabilize jaw fractures and bind loose teeth.

The Visionary Thoughts of the 1600s-1700s

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, the 1600s and 1700s were a gold mine of innovation in the dental world. In 1695, Charles Allen published the first ever English dental textbook entitled The Operator of Teeth. In the book, he advises using a homemade toothpaste from powdered coal, rose-water, and “dragon’s blood” to keep teeth clean and white. Allen also suggests using dog’s teeth for transplants and even references wisdom teeth in his book.

In the 18th century, Pierre Fauchard was well ahead of his time in the medical practice when his master work The Surgeon Dentist was published. For the first time, dentistry was described as a modern profession. Some notable highlights in the book include sugar being the cause of dental caries (cavities), braces being used to correct teeth position, and the concept of a dentist’s chair light.

The Progressive 1800s

The discoveries and inventions of the 1800s were significant. In 1816, Auguste Taveau developed the first form of dental fillings made out of silver coins and mercury. In 1840, Horace Wells demonstrated the use of nitrous oxide to sedate patients and Thomas Morton employed the use of ether anesthesia for surgery.

That same year, Horace Hayden and Chapin Harris boosted modern dentistry by opening the first dental school, inventing the modern doctorate of dental surgery, and starting the first dental society. By the end of the 1800’s, porcelain inlays, the first mechanized dental drill, and the toothpaste tube had all been invented.

Scientific Advancement of the 1900s

The scientific development of the 1900s gave birth to some amazing advancements in the dental industry. Electric drills became available due to the invention of electricity. In 1907, precision case fillings made by a “lost wax” casting machine was invented to fill cavities, and Novocain was introduced into US dental offices.

In 1955, Michael Buonocore described the method of tooth bonding to repair cracked enamel on teeth. Years later, the first fully-reclining dental chair is introduced to put patients and dentists at ease. By the 1990s, “invisible” braces were introduced, along with the first at-home tooth bleaching system.

What Will the Future of Dentistry Hold?

Today, dental professionals are investigating the links between oral health and overall health. The use of gene-mediated therapeutics to alter the genetic structure of teeth to increase resistance to tooth decay is receiving attention. Some researchers believe that there may be a way to grow a new tooth structure around weakened enamel. Only time will tell what the future of dentistry will bring, but our office is dedicated to seeking the most effective modern technologies as they arise.

Schedule your visit to our office and experience what modern dentistry can do for you.

Alexandria VA Periodontist | How Probiotics Improve Oral Health

Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.

However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.
Reducing Gingivitis

A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status.

Combating Periodontitis

Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth.

Fighting Cavities

Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.

Minimizing Bad Breath

Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.

The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body.

Contact our team for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit today.

General Dentist in Alexandria | Plaque: Your Teeth’s Number One Enemy 

General Dentist in Alexandria When buying a toothbrush, toothpaste, or coming in to our office, you often hear the word “plaque” associated with the health of your teeth. Plaque is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing two times each day for at least two minutes, and flossing regularly as well. Here’s what you need to know about plaque and what it can do to your smile. 

 

What is Plaque? 

If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might feel a film-like, sticky buildup on your teeth. This is plaque, a bacteria layer that grips onto your teeth. There isn’t anything you can do to stop plaque from forming, but brushing and flossing as well as keeping up with regular dental visits are your best defenses for cleaning plaque off your teeth. 

 

What Plaque Does to Your Teeth & Mouth 

Without regular brushing and cleaning, plaque builds up and multiplies. As plaque is left untreated, it hardens to form tartar (also known as calculus). Plaque also leads to decay, as it produces an acid that damages your teeth. When you come into our office for a dental examination, we thoroughly clean your teeth to ensure that any buildup is taken care of. Tartar can cause staining on your teeth if left untreated. Plaque is the leading cause of gingivitis, causing your gums to swell and become red or bloody. 

 

What You Can Do 

The most important steps of keeping plaque in check is to stick to a daily brushing routine. This means brushing twice each day, for two minutes each time, and flossing at least once daily. Plaque occurs naturally, and when you come into our office for a complete examination, we work with you to clean off any buildup. Maintaining regular visits to our office is one way to ensure tartar buildup is minimized and managed. It is particularly important that you are brushing your teeth all the way to the gum, because the gum line is an area that is prone to plaque buildup. Brush gently, as vigorous brushing will only do more damage than good, especially to your gums. 

 

Sticking to your daily brushing and flossing routine will help keep your teeth free of plaque buildup. Make sure you are brushing in the morning and before bed. If you don’t brush before bed, bacteria and plaque will build up throughout the night. Schedule a visit to our office so our experienced, professional dental team can clean your teeth, giving you a smile you can be proud of. 

 

For more tips on keeping your teeth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office. 

Oral Surgeon 22302 | Tooth Decay – Something You Need to Know About 

Oral Surgeon 22302Painful, infected teeth are not a pleasant experience, but they are common symptoms of tooth decay. The good news however is that tooth decay is preventable. Your best defense against decay is a daily oral hygiene routine, as well as regular visits to our office. It can be helpful to know more about tooth decay and what causes it so that you are better equipped with the knowledge to prevent it. 

 

More Than Just Sugar 

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay. Sugar build-up and deposits on your teeth lead to the erosion of the tooth. While it is important to be mindful of the sugary products you are consuming, sugar is not the only culprit in causing tooth decay. Acids can also damage your teeth. Foods that are high in acidic content can speed up the process of decay. Our dentist suggests you avoid drinks and candies with high sugar or acid content. If you find yourself consuming such things, make sure to keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine. 

 

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends avoiding snacks between meals, limiting sugary drinks and fruit juices, and not eating or drinking before bedtime after brushing.  

 

You Can’t Always Tell 

Decay doesn’t always have noticeable signsWhen discomfort is felt, it could be a sign the decay has spread beyond one tooth. In other words, by the time you do feel it decay is far along. This can be prevented by regular visits to our office. Our doctor can help identify potential issues early and you will receive the best possible treatments for your teeth. 

 

Teeth with Fillings Still Need to Be Cared for Properly 

Previous fillings do not mean that your teeth are free of decay forever. It is essential you maintain proper daily care of your teeth. It is possible to develop decay around existing fillings, so be sure you are taking extra care especially around fillings. If you feel your existing fillings are giving you trouble, schedule an appointment to see us. 

 

Tooth Decay Not Just a Kids Thing 

All age groups are equally at risk of developing tooth decay.  Parents should keep an eye on their children’s sugary snacks and treats, but this advice holds true for everyone. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable because of certain medications can damage their teeth. It is essential that all age groups are receiving twice-yearly dental examinations. 

 

Tooth decay is a common dental issue. However, with the right knowledge you can prevent damage to your teeth. Watch your diet and make sure you limit sugary candies and snacks. Remember, you won’t always be able to see or feel decay, so contact our office to schedule a regular visit. 

 

For more helpful tips on preventing decay, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office.