Category Archives: Oral Health

It’s All About Getting a Good Night’s Sleep | Dallas Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-453253687November is National Sleep Comfort Month. Science has yet to understand why we sleep, but we know that proper sleep improves your brain function, memory, heart health, longevity, weight loss, and overall well-being. According the American Psychological Association, almost two-thirds of all adults have trouble sleeping several nights a week. But teeth are associated with several common sleep issues, so if you’re waking up exhausted or lose energy you need throughout the day, it may be time to see your dentist.

Snoring. Many people believe snoring is caused primarily by nasal blockages, but the most common source is a misalignment of the soft tissue far back on the roof of your mouth. When air can’t pass freely through your mouth and throat to your lungs, this area can bump up against your uvula, creating that snore sound. Wearing a mouth guard can slightly shift your jaw so air flows properly to your lungs.

Grinding. Due to stress, anxiety, malocclusion (improper teeth alignment), or aging, some people unconsciously grate their upper and lower teeth together, interfere with sleep as facial muscles may become sore and pull you out of a more restful cycle. Wearing a mouth guard will prevent damage to your teeth.

Sleep apnea. If you are one of the 12 million Americans with sleep apnea, your airways become so obstructed during sleep that you stop getting adequate oxygen to your brain, forcing your mouth open to gasp for air, and you wake up, preventing a deep sleep.

 

Baby Teeth and Back-to-School | Dallas Dentist

Baby Teeth and Back to School

As we are wrapping up the final days of summer, it’s time to start preparing your little one’s from the upcoming school year. We should not only prepare them to expand their minds, but their bodies too. So, how does one keep an eye on the oral health of a little human during this time of year?

iStock_000020358353_SmallIt’s important to consider your child’s diet as they transition to the new school schedule. When it comes to the sweet snacks in their lunch, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. Opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a fun-size candy bar. When it comes to snacks, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria.

The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so handy snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. They may not love them the most, but fruits and veggies with high water content, like pears and celery sticks, are also great at keeping their little mouth’s healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the acids in your mouth so pack turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts to your heart’s content. There are so many tasty options to divert their attention away from the junk food. Back to school time is always a kid’s least favorite time of year…make it as painless as you possibly can.

To learn more about pediatric dental care, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Even Babies Need to See the Dentist | Dallas Dentist

5204965366_72b96dbea3Oftentimes, we as parents think our child is too young or doesn’t have enough teeth to make it much of an issue. In actuality, children should start visiting the dentist any time between first tooth and their first birthday. An early start with a dentist will help alleviate any trepidation they may have about these visits throughout their lives. It can also be beneficial to get some basic knowledge as to how your child’s dental health should be handled at home so that there aren’t problems growing up.

So, what is the first step to getting your munchkin’s oral health in order? First, find a dentist. You can use your personal dentist or look for a pediatric dentist. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when making the appointment? Setting it after your child has a good rest is ideal. Things will go much smoother and they will be much more willing to be cooperative.

Once you have made their first dental appointment, the next step is to get your child into the idea of going. There are lot of ways to prepare your little one for this adventure. Learning about what will happen through books and other resources is fantastic help, but it is also great to give them a bit of a preview. The more preparation you do, the smoother the experience will be.

On the day of your child’s first visit, the dentist will go over your child’s history and give you a crash course as to what you can expect in upcoming months. A thorough examination of your child’s mouth will be done so the dentist can clearly distinguish any issues that may arise due to habits like thumb sucking, poor hygienic practice or diet. And, if necessary, your dentist or hygienist may clean your child’s teeth if stains are apparent and/or apply fluoride to prevent future cavities.

 

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month | Dallas Dentist

skd284147sdcOral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Oral cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly. The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40. If you notice any of the below changes, contact your dentist or health care professional immediately:

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

Your dentist may perform an oral brush biopsy if tissue in your mouth looks suspicious. This test is painless and involves taking a small sample of the tissue and analyzing it for abnormal cells. Alternatively, if the tissue looks more suspicious, your dentist may recommend a scalpel biopsy. This procedure usually requires local anesthesia and may be performed by your dentist or a specialist. These tests are necessary to detect oral cancer early, and early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.

To learn more about oral cancer screenings, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

How Is Tartar Actually Controlled? | Dallas Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669If you’ve purchased a toothbrush or mouthwash lately, you’ve probably seen the phrase “tartar control”. And while you may not know what it is, the average person enjoys anything that says it is controlling a bad dental visit. However, many patients don’t realize what tartar actually is, or why simple brushing, flossing, and mouthwash may not entirely eliminate tartar. But to help keep your mouth healthy, it’s important to know the ABCs of tartar.

As you eat, bacteria and food particles combine to form a sticky yellow film known as plaque. Plaque coats your teeth – it’s difficult to clean, and it accumulates in cracks, crevices, and beneath the gum line even as you brush it off of the exposed surfaces of your teeth. The bacteria contained in plaque creates acids that damage your tooth enamel and cavities. If plaque is allowed to stay on your teeth, it hardens into a calcified substance known as tartar.

Typically, tartar will need to be removed with professional cleaning, which is one of the reasons dentists recommend professional cleaning every 6 months. Because tartar is so difficult to remove, it’s often best to avoid allowing plaque to harden into tartar by brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and using antibacterial mouthwash. Because tartar takes 12-24 hours to harden, brushing twice a day – or after each meal – gives you multiple opportunities to catch plaque before it becomes tartar. For any tartar you miss, you’ll need to rely on your routine professional cleaning to remove.

To learn more about tartar control, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Rinse Your Mouth Out Immediately | Dallas Dentist

skd284147sdcWe all love that fresh feeling you get after rinsing with mouthwash. Did you know your mouthwash is doing more than just giving your breath a boost? Rinsing daily with certain mouthwashes can improve your oral health. We’re talking whitening your teeth, helping to prevent gum disease and fighting plaque. Need more? Check it out:

Freshens breath. First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath.

Removes particles. Most people use mouthwash only after brushing. This is a perfectly fine practice, but used before brushing to rinse out loose particles in your mouth will make the brushing and flossing more effective.

Prevents plaque build-up. Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build-up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth. Although it prevents the build-up of plague, it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth. So, remember to always brush and floss before plaque becomes a problem.

Cavity prevention. Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Remember, not all mouthwashes contain fluoride. web services Be sure to check the label on your mouthwash before purchasing.

Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing and should be used in conjunction with good oral health habits. It takes a moment to rinse but the positive impact on your oral health is long-lasting. With rinsing daily, you can successfully navigate around dental problems.

To learn more about the benefits of mouthwash, please contact Dr Alhadef  at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Your Child’s First Dental Visit | Dallas Dentist

5204965366_72b96dbea3As a new parent, you are constantly wondering if you’re doing the job right. The last thing you ever want is to have something happen to your child because X, Y, or Z slipped through the proverbial cracks. One of these overlooked details is a child’s dental health. A survey commissioned by the Delta Dental Plans Association revealed that the average age children had their first dental visit was 2.6 years and 34% of children hadn’t seen the dentist at all. Oftentimes, we as parents think our child is too young or doesn’t have enough teeth to make it much of an issue. In actuality, children should start visiting the dentist any time between first tooth and their first birthday. Why, you ask? Well, an early start with a dentist will help alleviate any trepidation they may have about these visits throughout their lives. It can also be beneficial to get some basic knowledge as to how your child’s dental health should be handled at home so that there aren’t problems growing up.

So, what is the first step to getting your munchkin’s oral health in order? First, find a dentist. You can use your personal dentist or look for a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist is everything your dentist is, but has a couple more years of school so they are fully-equipped to focus on the specific needs of children. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when making the appointment? Setting it after your child has a good rest under their belt is ideal; fussiness is at a minimum and they are much more willing to be cooperative.

Once you have made their first dental appointment, the next step is to get your child into the idea of going. There are lot of ways to prepare your little one for this adventure. Learning about what will happen through books and other resources is fantastic help, but it is also great to give them a bit of a preview. Take them next time you have an appointment, or take turns roleplaying what the dentist will be doing poking around in their mouths. Having a dentist poking around with sharp tools is always going to be a scary thing for a tiny human. The more preparation you do, the smoother the experience will be.

On the day of your child’s first visit, expect to have lots of opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The dentist will go over your child’s history and give you a crash course as to what you can expect in upcoming months. A thorough examination of your child’s mouth will be done so the dentist can clearly distinguish any issues that may arise due to habits like thumb sucking, poor hygienic practice or diet. And, if necessary, your dentist or hygienist may clean your child’s teeth if stains are apparent and/or apply fluoride to prevent future cavities. Making sure your little one is comfortable is your first priority so be sure to bring things that soothe them, whether it be a little snack, a favorite toy or blanket. Keeping them happy will ensure you leave that first appointment ready and able to tackle any surprises that may hinder that sweet baby smile you love so much.

To learn more about how Dr. Gary Alhadef can help you maintain your child’s oral health, please contact his Dallas, Texas dental office to schedule a consultation. Visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com to learn more.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Why Are My Teeth So Yellow?

187957730Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered how your teeth got so yellow or stained? Well if you have, you’re not alone, many of us have wonder the same exact thing. Since your teeth can yellow over time, it can be easily overlooked. Fortunately, yellowing and stained teeth aren’t a sign of any serious medical conditions. As disheartening as it may seem to lose your once bright, pearly whites, you’ll be glad to know you can get it back. Before you can do that though, you must find out what’s causing the yellowing, and how you can best avoid or limit your exposer to those things.

  • Aging- As you age, the white protective coating on your teeth called enamel slowly fades away. This and the daily use of your teeth can slowly lead to revealing the natural color of dentine, which is yellow.
  • Genetics- It’s very much possible that you inherited enamel that has more of a yellowish tint rather than white.
  • Tobacco use- Tobacco products, such as chew tobacco and cigarettes are known to stain teeth, along with causing a long list of other health complications.
  • Medication- Certain types of medication, such as doxycycline and tetracycline, can darken the teeth of children that under the age eight. Other types of medications such as antihistamines, antipsychotics and drugs used for high blood pressure may also cause discoloration of your teeth.
  • Illness- A less common cause of tooth discoloration can be caused from a disease that effects enamel, or a treatment for a disease, like chemotherapy and/or radiation used to treat cancer. In this case, instead of yellow, the discoloration would be more of a brownish color.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene- When you don’t routinely brush, floss and use mouthwash to remove plaque buildup and tartar you teeth, you teeth can be come yellow or discolored.
  • Certain Drinks and Food- Coffee, tea, soda and wine are all beverages that can darken teeth. As for food, apples and potatoes, as well as a few other types of fruits and vegetables can also stain teeth.

Take Action Against Yellow Teeth

Unfortunately, unless you’ve found the fountain of youth, there’s not much you can do to reverse the effects of aging, and what you inherited genetically is also something that can’t be changed. Same goes for certain illnesses and treatments, there really isn’t much you can personally do to reverse the effects. When it comes to stains caused by food, drinks or tobacco use, it’s up to you to avoid them as much as possible.

In addition to your daily oral hygiene routine, you can try and use over the counter products, such as whitening strips, to help brighten your teeth a few shades. If you would like to learn more about them, you can ask you family dentist.

Speaking of your dentist, they can provide you with a custom teeth bleaching kit that you’re able to take home. Take home teeth bleaching kits can whiten you teeth a few shades after a few weeks or months. Most dentists also offering in-office teeth whitening procedures that can whiten your teeth up to ten shades, within one office visit.

There are many options to treat yellow teeth, ranging from whitening strips to dentists trips, so there’s no reason you shouldn’t be smiling!

If you’re sick of having yellow teeth and would like to know which treatment options you would be a good candidate for, contact Dr. Gary Alhadef DDS at 214-368-2434 to schedule a consultation today! Or visit www.dallascosmeticdental.com for information regarding teeth whitening.

The Effects of Smoking on Your Oral Health

166219324Everyone knows that smoking causes harmful effects on your entire body but what about your mouth specifically? The most obvious effects being bad breath, tooth discoloration and loss of taste and smell, but there can be more serious periodontal problems.

When you take a puff of that cigarette, cigar or pipe, think beyond what it’s doing to your lungs and your heart. Think about what it’s doing to your mouth and teeth. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. As you inhale, the smoke lingers in your mouth before you exhale, even if you don’t inhale fully. Imagine what those 4,800 chemicals hanging around in your mouth can do to your teeth and gums. None of it is good!

Every puff of smoke that gets into your body starts by passing your lips, tongue, teeth and gums.

Tobacco-related conditions of the mouth include:

  • Brown to blackish staining of teeth, dentures and dental restorations.
  • Increased risk of leukoplakia (a lesion in the mouth which can develop into cancer).
  • Increased risk of tooth decay and tooth loss.
  • Bad breath and impaired taste.
  • Smoker’s melanosis (brown spots on the gums).
  • Black hairy tongue (bacteria, yeast and debris collecting on the tiny bumps on the tongue).
  • Smoker’s palate (the roof of the mouth becomes thickened and pale or white).
  • Dental implants are more likely to fail.
  • Some enzyme activity in saliva is reduced by chemicals in tobacco smoke(Source: quit.org).

Not to mention thousands of people die yearly from mouth cancers.

If you are a smoker, you should perform self-checks on a regular basis. Smokers should check for sores around the face, mouth, and neck. If the sores persist after two weeks, it is a sign of a more serious problem. People who smoke should also check for recurrent bleeding in the mouth, lesions, swelling, and lumps. White, red, or dark patches on the inside of the mouth, under the tongue, and on the cheeks that last more than two weeks should be brought to the attention of your dentist immediately.

When you quit smoking, you’ll be at less risk for gum disease, bad breath, stained teeth and cancer. You’ll be healthier and have a huge reason to smile!

For more information on your oral health contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS. Make an appointment by calling 469-718-0128 or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Preventing Tooth Decay

cerec same day crowns dallas txWe all dread hearing the word ‘cavity’ at our dental visits. Tooth decay  is probably the most prevalent oral disease, affecting almost everyone during his or her lifetime. The good news is that it’s treatable and is essentially preventable. Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth structure and can affect both the enamel and the dentin layer of the tooth. The tooth decay process begins with dental plaque. Bacteria, which naturally live in everyone’s mouth but thrive in plaque, utilize carbohydrates from food, especially refined sugar, to produce acid. Acid, if produced frequently, will demineralize the tooth enamel structure, which is the hardest substance in the human body. From there the acid will continue to eat through the underlying dentin layer until the bacteria and their waste products reach the pulp or the nerve. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to root infection and eventually loss of the tooth.

To prevent tooth decay:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Preferably, brush after each meal and especially before going to bed.
  • Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacks. Avoid carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips, which can remain on the tooth surface. If sticky foods are eaten, brush your teeth soon afterwards.
  • Check with your dentist about use of supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth.
  • Ask your dentist about dental sealants (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth (molars) to protect them from decay.
  • Drink fluoridated water. At least a pint of fluoridated water each day is needed to protect children from tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exam.

Also mouth rinse containing fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association. Researchers are developing new means to prevent tooth decay. One study found that a chewing gum that contains the sweetener xylitol temporarily prevents the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Finally, because you may be asymptomatic and unaware of the beginning of tooth decay, it is critical that you visit your dentist regularly for a check-up. Some cavities are hard to detect, especially those between the teeth. Sometimes, only x-rays can identify them. Your dentist will also give you a professional cleaning, which is an important part of prevention.

For more information on your oral health contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS. Make an appointment by calling 469-718-0128 or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.