Posts for: April, 2015
Even after decades emphasizing oral hygiene and supplemental fluoride to fight dental disease, we’re now seeing an increase in tooth decay, especially among children. What’s causing this alarming trend?
Many in both the dental and medical professions link this and other health problems to a rise in the amount and consumption of sugar added to food products. A number of years ago our annual average consumption of added sugar was about 4 pounds per person; today, it’s closer to 90 pounds.
The increase in sugar consumption can be traced to the 1970s when the food industry began adding more sugar to make processed foods stripped of oils and fats taste better. Today, 77% of the approximately 600,000 food items sold in the United States contain some form of sugar (under a variety of names).
This additional sugar, however, has produced an unintended consequence: sugar triggers the release of a brain chemical called dopamine that regulates our sense of reward when we engage in a desirable behavior. The excess dopamine creates a weak addiction to sugar, which then leads to overconsumption, contributing to our current obesity epidemic and the rise in health problems like heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. This is especially alarming among children: thirty years ago Type 2 diabetes was unheard of among children — today there are over 55,000 diagnosed pediatric cases.
For both you and your family’s general and dental health, you should consider ways to reduce your sugar intake: purchase and eat most of your food from the “outer edges” of your supermarket — meats, dairy, and fresh vegetables and fruits (which do contain the sugar fructose, but are mostly fiber that slows the liver’s processing of the sugar); limit processed foods with added sugar, and learn to recognize its inclusion in products by reading ingredients labels. You should also be wary of sweetened beverages such as sodas, sports drinks, teas or juices, and try to drink more water.
The recommended daily sugar consumption is less than six teaspoons a day (about two-thirds the amount in one can of soda). By restricting this consumption, you’ll improve your general health and reduce your risk for dental disease.
When you look in the mirror in the morning, are you proud of what you see? If not, a quality set of veneers from Geetha L. Sripathi, DMD, PLLC at Elite Smiles in Morrisville may be for you. A very versatile dental treatment option, veneers can fix a wide variety of dental problems from large to small.
1. Stabilize Minor Cracks and Chips
If your teeth have small cracks or chips that are unsightly but not necessarily hurting anything, cover them up with veneers. Not only will veneers hide the imperfections, but they will help stabilize your teeth, preventing the crack or chip from spreading.
2. Hide Discoloration
If you've tried other teeth whitening methods before with little to no success, maybe it is time to try the one that is guaranteed to work. Veneers completely cover your existing teeth, hiding any discoloration you once had.
3. Achieve Minor Tooth Straightening
If your teeth are only slightly crooked, don't wear unsightly metal braces for months to gradually bring them back into alignment. Veneers from Elite Smiles in Morrisville can quickly and easily smooth out any minor crookedness.
4. Correct an Awkward Size or Shape
Are your teeth too pointy, too narrow or too short? Veneers from Dr. Sripathi in Morrisville can fix that. Dr. Sripathi can create veneers of any shape and size so you get the perfect size and shape for your unique smile. You won't believe what a difference this little change can make.
If you're not in love with your smile and you're ready for a change, you likely have several options. There's one option that stands far above the rest, however: Veneers from Dr. Sripathi in Morrisville. Achieve whitening, straightening and an improved appearance with one quick, safe and effective treatment. Call Elite Smiles and schedule your appointment today!
Not long ago, Glee star Lea Michele had all of her wisdom teeth removed. This is a very common procedure that people in their twenties, like Michele, often undergo to prevent serious dental problems down the road. The actress found that the procedure really was actually not very difficult to tolerate.
“Feeling all better from my surgery!” she tweeted to fans a few days later. “Back to work tomorrow.”
Why do wisdom teeth so often cause problems? For one thing, they come in years later than the other 28 permanent teeth — usually between the ages of 17 and 25. By that time, there is often no room in the jaw to accommodate them. As man has evolved, the jaws have actually become smaller in size — often creating a lack of space for the wisdom teeth to erupt into proper position. If wisdom teeth become blocked (impacted) by other molars that are already there, infection and damage to neighboring teeth may result.
Sometimes the wisdom teeth themselves cause the problem by growing in at an odd angle. They push against other teeth, often compromising the adjacent tooth's supporting bone. While you would think pain would occur if any of these problems were present, that does not always alert us to a wisdom-tooth problem. It's usually diagnosed with the help of x-rays.
Wisdom tooth extraction is often performed in the dental office using a local anesthetic (numbing shot) to keep you from experiencing any pain, along with conscious sedation to help you relax. The type of anesthesia that's best for you will be determined before the procedure.
After we gently remove the tooth or teeth, you may need to have the site sutured (stitched) to promote healing. You will rest for a short time before going home, and may need to have someone drive you, depending on what type of anesthesia you were given.
Once you get home, you should apply an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for about five minutes on, five minutes off for as many hours as possible to help reduce any postoperative swelling on the first day. Starting on the second day, the warm moist heat of a washcloth placed on the cheek and hot salt water rinses will make you more comfortable. You may want to eat soft foods and brush your teeth very carefully during the recovery period, which lasts only a few days as Lea Michele discovered. Before you know it, you'll be “feeling all better!”