happy

Posted by & filed under Oral Health.

When patients visit my dental office in Plymouth, we make it a priority to go out of our way to make sure they feel like they’re part of our family. I truly enjoy helping patients achieve and maintain a healthy smile, while feeling comfortable and at ease. I’ve compiled a list of just a few of the many things that make being a dentist so incredibly rewarding.

I Care For You and Your Smile

As your Plymouth dentist, I care deeply about not only making sure you have healthy teeth, but also making sure you have healthy gums too. Why? Because studies are beginning to show possible links between gum disease and other illnesses such as heart disease and stroke.  That’s why it’s so important to keep up with regular checkups and cleanings. It makes me happy to see patients free of problems such as cavities and gum disease! I also care about getting to know patients personally, to really understand them as a person.

I Care For My Team

In order to make sure our patients feel like family every time they visit the office, I think it’s important to have a great relationship with my fellow team members too. If we’re happy working together each day, it translates to our patients when they come to see us for appointments. When we’re happy about who we work with and the job we do, it makes everyone smile bigger and brighter.

I Care About Comfort and Confidence

I never want a patient to feel uncomfortable or uneasy when they visit the office. My team and I never want having a dentist appointment to feel like a burden. It’s just another reason why we go out of our way to make sure you’re comfortable and feeling at ease every time you come to the office, no matter what the reason.

It’s deeply rewarding to help a patient who was feeling nervous or apprehensive. We think it’s important to truly enjoy your dental visits… It’s beneficial to helping you restore your smile and your confidence. When you’re happy, so are we!

We are always excited to have patients visit my Plymouth dental office for so many reasons, beyond what we’ve shared with you here. Please never hesitate to call the office if you or someone in your family is need of a checkup or treatment. We’re always ready to help no matter what your dental care needs may be.

Welcoming patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina and beyond. 

dentures

Posted by & filed under Restorative Dentistry.

At my dental office in Plymouth, we are always teaching patients about the effects different foods and beverages can have on teeth, and the importance of maintaining excellent dental hygiene at home. The same is true for denture patients! It’s important to try and avoid foods and drinks that can literally be a real pain. We’ve put together a list of some of the good foods, (along with the not-so-good) as a reminder. Check it out!

The Good Stuff

These foods are less likely to get caught in dentures or cause unwanted movement that can be uncomfortable. It’s also a good idea for denture wearers to be even more vigilant about what foods and drinks they’re enjoying this time of year as the holidays get into full swing. Here are some denture-friendly ideas compiled just for you:

  • Veggie Crisps – They are a great alternative to popcorn if you’re craving something salty. Remember to stay hydrated to maintain proper saliva production to avoid denture slippage.
  • Olives, Grapes, & Berries – Softer snacks are better for dentures. This includes pitted olives, grapes, and seedless berries. The best part is — they’re good for you too!
  • Smoothies – A great way for denture wearers to get their daily dose of fruits and veggies is in the form of a healthy smoothie. You can puree your favorite things into a smooth, delicious treat.

The Not-So-Good-Stuff

Now that we’ve gone over some of the denture-friendly foods you can enjoy, it’s time to take a look at some of things that might be best to avoid. And remember, if you ever have any questions about your dentures and how to properly care for them, give your Plymouth dentist a call.

  • Coffee – Did you know that caffeinated coffee is best in moderation? It can potentially cause staining and can also be dehydrating, leading to dry mouth. (That’s not helpful when you have dentures.)
  • Nuts – Nuts and dentures tend to not work well together. Little, often painful, pieces of nuts can get stuck under your partials or dentures, making them uncomfortable and unstable.
  • Popcorn and Seeds – While both of these foods can be delicious, tiny bits and pieces can get stuck in dentures and be troublesome. It’s best to opt for an alternative to avoid any issues.

My Plymouth dental office is always ready to answer your questions. Please do not hesitate to give us a call at any time. We’re always happy to help.

Accepting patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina  

toothbrushes

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

Toothbrushes aren’t meant to last forever. The brushing that you do to keep your smile looking great can really take a toll on your toothbrush. My dental office in Plymouth wants to remind patients using a brush with frayed, worn-out bristles that it may be time for a change.

Make the Change.

Worn out brushes are much less effective at keeping teeth clean, so it’s important to use a new toothbrush when needed. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends replacing your toothbrush every three to four months — and my dental office in Plymouth would definitely agree! You don’t even have to wait that long. If the brush starts looked ragged and scary earlier than that, change it anyway. And keep an eye on kid’s brushes too. They need to be changed out more often than adult brushes.

Bacteria and Toothbrushes

The ADA also wants to set the record straight about possible bacterial contamination when it comes to toothbrushes. While it’s true that the mouth does contain germs that could end up on a toothbrush, and germs could possibly land on your brush when it’s not being used — there really isn’t too much cause for concern. Why? Because your body is regularly exposed to germs and usually defends itself quite well.

Keep It Clean

We never have any reason to give bad bacteria a fighting chance. It’s important to make sure you do your very best to not give them any reason to stick around. It helps to never share a toothbrush with anyone else. Rinsing thoroughly is also a good idea, to keep debris and toothpaste from sitting around on the brush. Store the toothbrush in an upright position so it can air-dry. And lastly, always remember to store multiple brushes separately to avoid germ transfer.

And one other thing. Feel free to toss your toothbrush container. The ADA says its best to avoid keeping your toothbrush in a moist environment that helps bacteria breed.

Your dentist in Plymouth wants to always ensure you’re doing the very best to keep you and your smile healthy. One of the ways you can help do this is to keep your toothbrush from becoming scary and frayed. Keep on brushing, and remember to rinse and store your brush properly when you’re all done.

Accepting new patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, and Medina.

straw

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

When we’re on the go, it’s easy to grab a beverage from the nearest fast food restaurant or convenience store. My dental office in Plymouth wants to talk about an important, handy accessory that commonly comes with these to-go drinks – the straw.

How Can Straws Help Teeth?

It might seem strange that a bendable piece of plastic can actually help keep teeth from potential harm, but it’s actually true. One of the biggest benefits of using a straw is avoiding potential stains from dark beverages such as coffee or tea. It may seem strange to swig these drinks through a straw, but when you do, it means your drink has less contact with your teeth.

My Plymouth dental office also wants you to know that drinking beverages without a straw basically bathes your pearly whites in whatever it is you’re drinking. This means that your drink of choice is left lingering on your teeth’s surfaces long after your cup is empty. Choosing a straw over sipping directs liquids away from your teeth, reducing your exposure to sugar-packed, stain-inducing drinks and the risk of tooth damage.

Can Straws Help Hygiene?

When it comes to quenching your thirst, there are other things to worry about besides diverting your beverage away from teeth. Did you know dishes or your handy to-go cup can play host to germs? The truth is, bacteria and germs are always lurking in and around your home and restaurants on glasses and cups. Pretty gross, huh? But by sticking a straw in your cup, you can successfully avoid these germs and bacteria. The less bacteria you introduce to your mouth, the less likely your are to get cavities and suffer from decay. So while it may seem like a silly, easy thing, straws really can help keep your teeth healthy and reduce the need for advanced dental treatment.

Straw Power – Bonus Benefit!

By using a straw, we are able to easily adjust how much of a beverage we take in at one time. So this means the risk of choking is greatly reduced. Taking in smaller amounts at a time can also help you avoid mouth burns when drinking hot beverages.

Your dentist in Plymouth always wants you and your teeth to be as healthy as possible. We care about giving you the tips and tricks to always ensure your smile is free of cavity-causing bacteria. It may seem strange, but using a straw is a great way to do just that. These handy, bendable plastic beverage necessities help you and your teeth enjoy drinks both hot and cold.

Accepting new patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina.

over 50

Posted by & filed under Oral Health.

As we get older, we tend to experience more health concerns than we did when we were younger. Our dental health is no different. At my Plymouth dental office, we want all of our patients to be aware of some of the most common oral health issues that tend to affect those 50 or older.

Gum Disease

Like many oral health problems, gum disease can affect overall health. Research has shown a positive correlation between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes, as well as some cancers. In those over age 50, 30% are affected by gum disease.

Decay

Many times we think of cavities and decay as something that affects the younger population when, in fact, anywhere up to 60% of those over 50 have recently had a cavity. Decay can be caused by a variety of things including inadequate dental hygiene, softening of teeth as we age, or even dry mouth.

Dry Mouth

We already know that dry mouth can lead to decay, but why? When the mouth is dry it means there’s not enough saliva production to rinse away bacteria. Saliva also helps keep teeth from softening thanks to its levels of calcium and phosphate. Dry mouth tends to affect the older population more so because of the increased use of medication. Many medicines’ side effects include dry mouth, so it’s important to tell your dentist everything you take.

Oral Cancer

The name itself describes how serious this particular concern is, but even more so for those over 50. In fact, the likelihood of developing oral cancer greatly increases in those 50 and older. While 45,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and 8,000 actually die from it, the chance of survival greatly increases if caught early.

All of these common oral health concerns can eventually lead to tooth loss or more serious issues if not treated. To help avoid them, see your Plymouth dentist at least twice a year for regular dental check ups and cleanings.

If you’re concerned about any dental issues at any age, we encourage you to call my Plymouth dental office to schedule an appointment. We’ll discuss your concerns and determine the best treatment options to help you keep your teeth for a long time.

Accepting patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina and beyond.

gluten

Posted by & filed under Oral Health.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes those affected to have an adverse reaction to gluten. When these individuals eat foods containing gluten, their bodies don’t allow proper absorption and damage to the small intestine can occur. Most commonly, symptoms of celiac disease are found in the gastrointestinal tract. However, at my Plymouth dental office, we want to talk about some lesser known side effects of this disease and how ignoring gluten intolerance can damage your oral health.

How Does Gluten Affect the Oral Health of People with Celiac Disease?

A study by the European Journal of Internal Medicine concluded that 85% of those affected by celiac disease have severe damage to their tooth enamel. How does that happen? When individuals with celiac consume gluten, their immune systems react and actually attack the small intestine. This response also blocks the absorption of Vitamin D — an essential nutrient that helps build strong bones and protects tooth enamel. When the enamel diminishes, the likelihood of cavities and other concerns greatly increases. Gluten ingestion can also lead to:

  • Canker sores
  • Excessive mucus production
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Pitted teeth
  • Misshapen teeth
  • And more

Prevention

Many of the oral health problems discussed can’t be reversed, so it’s important for gluten-sensitive people to avoid eating gluten. And like everyone, it’s important to brush and floss regularly. Additionally, there are times when celiac disease doesn’t show signs in the gastrointestinal tract, but rather in the mouth first. Keeping regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist in Plymouth can help diagnose a potential problem early.

Does Gluten Have the Same Affect on Those Without Celiac Disease?

It’s important to know that those with a diagnosed gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease are the main people affected by these negative oral health complications. The way their immune systems work does not allow gluten to be absorbed normally. If you’re concerned about gluten and are interested in exploring a gluten-free diet, please talk to your physician first.

If your teeth have suffered enamel loss, are discolored, or you’ve been told they may fall out, whether because of celiac disease or not, you do have options. Schedule an appointment at my dental office in Plymouth to discuss restorative dentistry options or cosmetic dentistry treatments.

Accepting patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina and the surrounding areas.

toothache

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

When you have a toothache, all you want to do is make it go away. At my Plymouth dental office, we’re always willing to help ease your toothache pain, but what can you do if a toothache strikes when you’re on vacation or when we aren’t open?

What is a Toothache?

Toothaches can be caused by a number of issues. Most of the time, decay or a cavity is to blame. However, sometimes it’s something more. Severe tooth pain could be a sign of infection, gum disease, a tooth injury, or teeth grinding. No matter what the reason is, it’s important to realize a toothache is your mouth’s way of telling you, “Hey! Something isn’t right in here!” and to call your dentist in Plymouth as soon as you can. The longer a toothache is left untreated, the need for more advanced dental treatment, like a root canal, rises.

What to Do

There’s no telling when a toothache may happen, and occasionally they occur when you can’t get in to see your dentist. That doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the pain until your appointment There are some common at-home toothache remedies you can do to try and take the edge off.

  • Rinse occasionally with warm salt water, but do not swallow it. The concoction can help extract fluid away from the painful area which eases pressure on the nerves. Less pressure on nerves means less pain.
  • Use floss to very gently remove anything that may be lodged in between teeth.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory medication if your health history allows it.  However, don’t ever place the painkiller directly on the gums as it may cause burning and damage to the tissues.

Avoiding Toothaches

The best way to never get a toothache, or at least reduce your risk of one, is to maintain dental checkups and teeth cleanings every six months. Regular dental visits help catch any problems that may be lurking early. When caught early, most dental problems can be treated easily, before they have a chance to turn into an annoying and painful toothache.

If you’ve been avoiding the dentist and it’s time for a checkup, or if you’re experiencing a toothache, call my dental office in Plymouth. We’ll get you scheduled for an appointment and take care of any problems you may have. Don’t let a toothache sneak up on you…. schedule an appointment today.
Accepting new patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina  

eCig

Posted by & filed under Prevention.

There’s a new trend sweeping the nation that some claim to be a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes, also known as E-cigarettes, are purported to be less dangerous and perhaps a successful smoking cessation aid. But at my Plymouth dental office, we wanted to know about their effect on oral health. Here’s what we found.

What is an E-Cigarette?

Before we dive into any potential oral or overall health issues associated with smoking electronic cigarettes, it’s important to identify what exactly is in these popular devices. Perhaps what makes them so attractive and believed to be better for you is that the juice (often call e-juice) has all the nicotine of regular cigarettes, but less or none of the harmful ingredients. The liquid comes in a variety of flavors and allows smokers get their nicotine fix without smoking an actual cigarette.  

So, Are They Bad for You?

Ever since the increase in use of e-cigarettes began, scientists and health professionals have been working hard to figure out whether they’re actually less harmful than lighting up. Research is still pretty limited on the effects of e-cigarettes, but early studies allude to some possible concerns, and also some potential positives.

Some of the main concerns revolving around e-cigarette use are pneumonia, rapid heart rate, congestive heart failure, seizure, airway resistance, and potential for gum damage. However, there is a growing amount of research suggesting that e-cigarettes may help people quit smoking. In one study, using e-cigarettes with nicotine helped current smokers reduce the amount of cigarettes they smoked by about half.

In short, more research is needed to determine if the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes outweigh the risks.

As science works on catching up with the trend to identify the risks of smoking electronic cigarettes, there are some things you can do to limit the effects of smoking anything.

  • Try quitting on your own without the use of nicotine replacements.
  • Keep up with visits to your Plymouth dentist every six months to catch any potential oral health problems, like oral cancer, early.
  • Look for organizations that can help. The American Lung Association has some great advice and is a good place to start.

Accepting patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina.

root canal

Posted by & filed under Restorative Dentistry.

When your tooth hurts, it’s incredibly unpleasant and often described as a pain unlike any other. There could be any number of explanations for the discomfort, but sometimes the problem is pretty serious and may require a root canal. But how can you tell? Let my Plymouth dental office help.

Signs & Symptoms

Besides the obvious sign that your tooth hurts, there are other symptoms that may mean you need a root canal including:

  • Increased pain while chewing or with applied pressure
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold that doesn’t go away quickly
  • A small, raised bump on the gums near the tooth that hurts
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Gum swelling or pain

It’s Not So Bad — Really!

Root canals have a pretty bad reputation as being painful. But the truth is, root canals actually stop the tooth pain. When your tooth becomes so infected or decayed that it hits the inside pulp, it can be incredibly painful. Once your Plymouth dentist cleans out the area where the roots are located (the canal), and covers it with a filling or dental crown, relief will feel so good.

What’s The Process Like?

Before beginning, you’ll be numbed to avoid any discomfort. Once the medication kicks in, your dental team will get to work. First, a tiny hole is made in the infected tooth which allows access to the middle of the tooth, known as the pulp chamber. This is where the root canals are located. The root canals house pulp, nerves, and blood vessels. Your dentist will remove any and all of these materials, making your tooth no longer able to feel anything. After a thorough cleaning, the canals are sealed and the tooth is capped with a restoration.

Avoiding a Root Canal

The best way to prevent the need for a root canal in the first place is to brush and floss everyday to rid your mouth of the day’s bacteria and food particles. And speaking of food, limit eating sugary or acidic foods. These types of eats can weaken enamel and increase bacteria, leaving your teeth at higher risk for decay. Lastly, always keep your dental cleanings at least every six months for an extra-deep, extra-thorough cleaning you just can’t get at home.

If you’re having tooth pain and think you may need a root canal, give my Plymouth dental office a call. We’ll get you scheduled as soon as possible, get to the root of the problem, and discuss the best treatment options. Don’t let tooth pain linger, call for an appointment as soon as possible.

Welcoming patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina and beyond.

toothpastes

Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles.

Toothpaste serves a very specific purpose — to brush away bacteria and plaque that collects on teeth. But with all the developments in toothpaste technology, many options offer additional benefits like whitening, decreasing sensitivity, and adding an extra boost of freshness. With all the options available to you, how do you know you’re using the right one? Read on to learn more from the dental team at my Plymouth dental office.

Seal of Approval

Before we talk about the different types of toothpastes and what they’re used for, we need to talk about the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. The ADA researches and tests ingredients and claims made by different toothpastes, and supplies a seal of approval to those whose claims are supported by the research. This seal is something you should look for, no matter which type of toothpaste you choose.

Whitening Toothpastes

If your smile needs a little extra help in the whitening department, using a toothpaste that has magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate may help. These ingredients paired with a mild abrasive can brighten teeth. However, sometimes a whitening toothpaste alone isn’t enough to get you the results you want. If that’s the case, consider cosmetic dentistry like veneers or a professional whitening.

Tartar Control Toothpastes

Tartar, also known as calculus, is basically plaque that has been allowed to build up on teeth and harden. The only way to remove it is at your dental cleaning. But you can do things to prevent it from hardening in the first place like using a toothpaste that contains zinc citrate or pyrophosphates.

Sensitivity Toothpastes

Whether it’s sensitivity to heat or cold, or maybe both, having sensitive teeth can be painful. If you suffer from sensitivity, choosing a toothpaste that aids in desensitizing your teeth and gums may be the right decision for you. Look for a toothpaste that has the ingredient strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. Both have been shown to help decrease sensitive tooth pain.

Selecting the right toothpaste for your unique needs can help protect your smile from decay and the need for dental treatments like fillings, root canals, or dental crowns. But selecting the right toothpaste is only half the battle — you need to use it to brush twice a day every day and maintain visits with your Plymouth dentist at least every six months for optimal oral health.

If you’re looking for more help identifying your teeth’s needs, or are in need of a dentist, call my dental office in Plymouth and schedule an appointment today.

Accepting patients from Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, Medina.