2021 Dental Insurance benefits.
Use it or lose it! Learn more
main logo
hamburger menu icon

Make Your Smile Sparkle for the Holidays!

Make Your Smile Sparkle for the Holidays!

Few things will make you feel more confident than having a sparkling white smile, especially during the holiday season! Teeth whitening has been a popular cosmetic procedure over the years. It has become so popular that you can easily find at-home teeth whitening tips online. However, not all these tips are accurate or effective, and it is essential to distinguish which tips are which. We are here to help you! In this blog, we debunk common teeth whitening myths and provide you with ways to make your whitening experience as effective as possible. Let’s get your smile sparkling for the holidays!

Having a diverse mix of opinions is generally a positive thing. However, this is not always the case for factual information, such as how to most effectively whiten your teeth. There are many common misconceptions about teeth whitening, and here are just a few of the most prevalent:

  • Over-the-counter whitening options work just as well. While these options can make your teeth look a little brighter, they will not give you the same results as whitening with a professional will. Professional whitening is safe, effective, and worth the time and money!
  • Baking soda is an effective DIY whitening method. An extremely common way people try to whiten their teeth at home is by brushing them with baking soda. Many people don’t know that baking soda can mess with the balance of bacteria in your mouth. This can eventually lead to oral health issues. 
  • Whitening toothpaste works well. Many household name companies sell toothpaste that is advertised as a whitening product. There are two main reasons why you should not use whitening toothpaste as your primary brightening technique. The first is that the chemicals that whiten your teeth need to be in contact with them for an extended period to work, not just the couple minutes it takes you to brush your teeth. The second reason is self-explanatory: whitening toothpaste costs more than regular toothpaste!
  • At-Home Teeth whitening will remove all of your stains. Depending on what types of stains are on your teeth, this may not be true. Certain people are more prone to long-lasting stains on their teeth, such as smokers and coffee drinkers. In addition to this, our teeth tend to yellow as we get older, which will, in turn, make them more difficult to whiten.

You may now be remembering a time or two when you brushed with baking soda or used Crest Whitestrips and didn’t get the results you wanted. That is okay! We have all been there, and luckily there are safe, effective ways to get your smile to shine bright. While it may seem as if there aren’t any good alternatives to the debunked myths above, we have some encouraging ones to share with you!

  • You cannot whiten an implant or crown. There are many ways around this! If you consider having your teeth whitened but are about to get an implant, try whitening them before the implant is put in. 
  • You can whiten your teeth at home! Most dental offices, including ours, offer take-home whitening kits. These kits are much more effective than drugstore whitening options and just as easy to use!
  • Good oral hygiene will prolong the effects of my whitening treatment. Your results will last longer if you stay on top of your oral hygiene! This includes brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and going to your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning! 
  • Professional whitening will last longer than over-the-counter options. This is one of the many reasons professional or dentist-approved take-home whitening treatments are the best options. You will get more for your money and your teeth will dazzle for even longer! 

At Flower Mound Family Dentistry, we want to provide you with all the information to help you make your oral health decisions as easy as possible. We hope this myth-busting session was able to do just that! If you’re interested in getting your teeth whitened, you’re in luck! We offer both in-office and take-home whitening options. You can call us today at (972) 539-4776 if you have any questions about our whitening options or would like to schedule an appointment. We want to give you a smile that will impress for the holiday season! 

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Wisdom Teeth Recovery

Do you still have your wisdom teeth? “Wisdom teeth” are the molars that are the furthest back in your mouth, and are often removed due to lack of space. They are generally ready for removal sometime during a person’s teenage years. Most young adults end up getting their wisdom teeth surgically removed at some point in their life. Whether you still need to get your wisdom teeth taken out or have someone close to you who is planning on getting the surgery, we are excited to share a few tips on how to experience the smoothest recovery possible.

  • Manage the pain carefully. There is a high chance that you will have some pain and swelling in the days directly following your surgery. One of the best ways to manage this pain is by using an ice pack. Make sure to ask your dentist about how often you should be using one. It is also important to not directly place ice on your face, as this can lead to an ice burn. Pain medication is another way to help your recovery along. Your dentist will be able to guide you in whether you need to be taking over-the-counter or prescription medications. You may also be advised to take antibiotics. Antibiotics will help protect your mouth from infection as the wounds heal. 
  • Think about what you are eating. Finding the right foods to aid your recovery can help immensely. You may not have a considerable appetite directly after surgery, and your mouth will most likely be sore. The best foods to consume while recovering are those that won’t require much chewing and will be safe for your stitches. Soup, pudding, apple sauce, smoothies, mashed potatoes, and cottage cheese are all equally yummy and safe! You should also avoid foods that could potentially get stuck in the surgery site or are too hot. It is essential to avoid drinking from a straw, as slurping too aggressively may compromise your stitches or the blood clot that protects the surgery wound. The more careful you are with what you eat after your surgery, the sooner you’ll be able to re-introduce your usual favorite foods into your diet! 
  • Take your recovery seriously when you get home. It is essential to take precautions when you get home from your surgery to avoid infections and other painful issues. Rinsing with salt water to keep the wounds clean and free of bacteria is one of the most simple and effective things you can regularly be doing. Make sure you don’t forcefully spit the saltwater when finished, but let it gently fall from your mouth. Your mouth will have some blood in it right after the surgery, so make sure to gently clean the wounds with gauze or a cotton ball after rinsing. It is also integral to avoid dislodging your stitches. This can disrupt the healing process and lead to dry sockets, which are painful and can cause a prolonged recovery process. 

Wisdom teeth removal recovery should be treated as any other surgery recovery: with time and care. Proactively managing your pain, thinking about what you are eating, and keeping the surgery wounds clean are three straightforward ways to keep your recovery short and sweet! Make sure to heed your dentist’s recovery tips too. If you or someone you know has questions about the wisdom teeth surgery process, call us today at (972) 539-4776.

Use it or Lose it

Use it or Lose it

School is in full swing, the holidays are approaching, and the year will be coming to a close before we know it! Our oral health is often forgotten about during this time of year because of all the excitement of the holidays. Going to the dentist may not be at the top of your mind, but you only have a few months left to use your dental benefits before they expire! Because many plans do not let you roll your benefits over into the following calendar year, it is important to use them while you can. To make things more simple for you, we have decided to share three easy ways to use your remaining benefits! Use it or lose it season is upon us!

  1. Big procedures. Have you always wanted a smile makeover but not known where to start? Now is the perfect time to begin! Schedule an Invisalign consultation or even give yourself a full smile restoration with dental implants before the year comes to a close. You will be able to use your leftover dental benefits to cover the costs which is the best part. It’s time to take the leap you’ve always wanted to and get your smile upgrade scheduled. It’s never too late to feel confident in your smile. This is a great way to use your benefits before you lose them!
  2. Unscheduled treatment. Do you need to complete a treatment you have been putting off for a while? We understand that certain types of treatment can be intimidating, especially if you have never had serious dental work done. We promise you won’t regret it! Whether it is getting crowns, a tooth extraction, fixing a cavity, or any other type of treatment, we stand by the fact that getting it on your schedule before 2021 ends is a good idea. You will be rid of any discomfort you have been having more quickly, and you will also save money in the long run. If you continue to put off the treatment you need, you may have to get more treatment in the future. You know what this means; schedule your treatment so you can use your benefits before you lose them!
  3. Hygiene. Have you gotten your teeth cleaned in the last six months? If it’s been since the spring of 2021 or earlier, you are due for a cleaning. Seeing your hygienist twice per year is one of the most important parts of keeping your teeth in top shape. Your hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar buildup that can cause more severe health problems in the future if not addressed early on. In addition to this, your smile will feel bright and beautiful. If you have remaining dental benefits and haven’t been in for a cleaning recently, schedule with us and use your benefits before you lose them!

Whether you want to treat yourself to a smile makeover, have pending treatment, or need to schedule a hygiene visit, now is the time to do it! Plus, we would love to see you at Flower Mound Family Dentistry before the year is over. Give us a call at (972) 539-4776 to get scheduled! The clock is ticking, which means it’s time to use it or lose it! 
Book Appointment

Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment

Are you thinking about whether you want to sign up for dental insurance through an employer or switch from your current plan? Open enrollment season is officially here, and we want to help you find the right dental benefits plan for you and your family. We offer a Membership Plan that is simple and comprehensive. It is subscription-based and covers all your preventative care while giving you discounts on other procedures. Unlike dental insurance, there are no waiting periods, approval processes, deductibles, annual maximums, or other insurance hassles. Best of all, you can sign up in as little as 5 minutes, and your benefits start immediately!

 

At Flower Mound Family Dentistry, your oral health is our top priority. We understand that dental work can be expensive and insurance companies are frustrating to deal with. That is why we offer our Membership Plan! Our plan is straightforward, affordable, and offered directly through our office. 

 

We offer three different plans: Child Complete, Adult Complete, and Perio. By signing up for one of these plans, you will be able to save up to $528 per year on dental work! Our plans include:

 

Child Complete ($20/mo. or $240/yr.):

– 2 professional cleanings

– 2 regular exams

– 2 fluoride treatments

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

Adult Complete ($24/mo. or $288/yr.):

– 2 professional cleanings

– 2 regular exams

– 2 fluoride treatments

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

Perio ($41/mo. or $492/yr.):

– 4 perio maintenance procedures & checkups

– 2 regular exams

– 2 fluoride treatments

– Routine x-rays

– 1 emergency exam

 

In addition to this, all three of our plans include up to 20% off all other procedures completed at our practice and a 10% subscription discount for additional family members.

 

Now is the perfect time to sign up. If you are interested or would like to receive more information, you can visit this link or call us at (972) 539-4776.

 

Not only do we offer a Membership Plan to our individual patients, but we also offer a plan for local businesses! If you are a business owner or an employee of a business looking to offer dental insurance benefits to your employees, our Employer Plan is a great option! 

 

We are a local business and care deeply about other local businesses. We can help to ensure your business attracts and retains the employees to make it even more successful than it already is. Surveys of US workers report that 88% of job seekers indicate that dental benefits are a key factor in their job choice. Furthermore, 2 out of 3 employees consider dental benefits to be a very or extremely important part of their compensation package. It is safe to say that the better benefits your company offers, the better employees it will attract.

 

We are excited to tell you about our Employer Membership Plan, a dental benefits package revolutionizing what it means to offer dental benefits. Our Employer Plan is unique because:

 

  1. It is affordable
  2. No deductibles
  3. No waiting periods
  4. No annual maximums
  5. No pre-approvals
  6. No paperwork
  7. Simple online sign-up and management

 

This may sound too good to be true, but we promise it’s not. Our Employer Plan is a much better option than traditional insurance because it is provided directly to your company, eliminating the unnecessary costs, hassles, and limitations of 3rd party insurance. As an employer, you can contribute whatever you would like, from $0 to the full subscription price per employee. Company enrollment is fast and simple and plan management is easily accessible through the employer portal. If you’re looking to adopt a straightforward dental coverage plan for your company, look no further. Our Employer Plan is the one for you. If you are interested or would like to learn more, you can reach us at (972) 539-4776.

 

Now is the perfect time of year to sign up for new dental benefits or start a new plan for your company. We promise our plans won’t disappoint and want to do everything we can to provide you with the best, most affordable dental care on the market. 

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month

Happy Teeth-safe Food Month! Food goes hand-in-hand with a healthy life and affects our well-being in countless ways, your oral health included! Being knowledgeable regarding what foods are healthy and which are destructive for your teeth is very important in keeping your smile healthy. 

 

Cavities, one of the most common oral issues, can be caused directly by what we eat. Refined sugar is one of the most well-known causes of cavities. When we eat it, it is broken down by bacteria and turned into acid, which can dissolve the tooth enamel. The more often you consume foods that contain refined sugar, the more detrimental it can be to your oral health. So what are some of the healthiest ways to indulge in your favorite snacks while keeping your teeth healthy?

 

  • Eat sweets at a time you know you will brush soon afterward. Most people will brush their teeth pretty soon after eating a meal. Therefore, this is one of the best times to consume a sweet treat. If you’re snacking on sweets at a random time during the day, you are less likely to brush until later, and the sugar will have more time to sit on your teeth and will be more likely to damage them.
  • If you want to snack, find substitutes! Many delicious snacks are much better for your teeth than candy and sweets but can still satisfy your cravings for something tasty! Try snacking on berries or yogurt – they are both sweet and good for your teeth!
  • Avoid having sugar in your mouth for an extended time. Some examples of this are soda and candies you suck on, such as lollipops. If you want to enjoy a sugary snack, a quick dessert like a piece of cake or pie is much better. When you are eating something quickly, the saliva in your mouth will be hard at work washing the debris away. 

 

Keeping your diet well-balanced will make or break your oral health. The right foods will keep your teeth safe while also keeping your gums and bones strong. Familiarizing yourself with foods you love that are also rich in vitamins is the key, and is not that hard to do. Foods full of vitamin B12, folic acid, calcium, and vitamin C are some of the best things for healthy gums and teeth. Here are some of our top choices…

 

  • Meat. Meats such as chicken and fish are versatile and delicious. You can’t go wrong with either because there are so many ways to cook and season them! In addition to this, they contain vitamin B12, which is great for keeping your gums healthy.
  • Citrus. Whether you prefer fresh-squeezed orange juice or peeling and eating a clementine, citrus is delicious, rich in vitamin C, and perfect for keeping your soft mouth tissue healthy.
  • Dairy. Dairy products such as cheese, milk, and yogurt will kill two birds with one stone. They contain both calcium and vitamin B12, which are beneficial to the health of your gums and teeth!
  • Beans, seeds, and nuts. These three foods have endless uses and can enhance many meals. They also contain folic acid, which will strengthen the supporting soft tissue in your mouth.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables. When people think of calcium, they usually think of milk. However, certain leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and collard greens are chock full of calcium and will keep your teeth strong. 


Food allergies are unfortunately quite common. Luckily, the foods listed above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to food that is good for your oral health. You have many options and will never get bored! Making sure you eat a wide range of foods with the vitamins and minerals mentioned above will improve your oral health and your overall well-being. We can give you lots of healthy teeth tips on our blog, but it’s always better to come to visit us! Give us a call today at (972) 539-4776 to schedule a visit!

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

How can I help my children love brushing their teeth?

You’re not alone if you have trouble getting your children to brush their teeth. But you’re in luck, there are ways to make your children not only brush their teeth but enjoy it! We are excited to share three of our favorite ways to get your children to take ownership of their oral care.

 

  • Teach your children the importance of oral health early and model good oral hygiene yourself. 

Young children tend to take in the values parents instill in them, even though they may not understand their importance. Oral hygiene is no exception. Children who see their parents brushing and flossing will start to become curious about the practice themselves. Try creating a specific brushing and flossing time with your children. That way, when they become old enough to take care of their own brushing, a particular time will already be ingrained in them. It is important to teach the benefits of certain behaviors to your children. Explain why a healthy smile will lead to a healthy life. You can even throw something in about making the Tooth Fairy smile!

 

  • Make it fun.

Try making a brushing playlist of songs your children love. These days, you can even find dental-themed songs. Whenever it is time for brushing, put this playlist on and brush your teeth with your children. You can also try taking your children shopping for fun new toothbrushes. Most drugstores carry countless kids’ toothbrushes, some of which even feature beloved cartoon characters. There are so many unique ways to get your children to view brushing their teeth not just as necessary, but as fun! Soon your kids will be asking when it is time for their daily oral hygiene routine. 

 

  • Reward good brushing behavior to reinforce it for your children. 

Children are driven by rewards just as much as they are driven by fun. Rewards don’t need to be complicated; you could start adding fun stickers to a chart every time your child complies with daily oral hygiene on their own. You could even let your children choose dinner one night of the week if they have been good about brushing their teeth. Rewards will reinforce good oral health habits in your children, trust us!

 

Every child needs to learn why oral hygiene is so important. Educating your children about why brushing is essential, modeling good behavior, making oral care fun, and rewarding them when they are doing well are all ways to boost good brushing behavior. Let’s get your kids brushing!

What is Sleep Apnea?

What is Sleep Apnea?

Do you snore? Or gasp for air in your sleep? Do you always feel tired?

If so, you may have sleep apnea or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).  Approximately 25 million adults in the United States suffer from sleep apnea. This chronic condition occurs when the muscles relax during sleep, causing the soft tissue to collapse and block the airway. Symptoms include snoring, gasping, or choking sounds during sleep.

Sapna Amin, DDS, is specially trained in sleep apnea evaluations and sleep apnea oral appliance therapy.

For those diagnosed with sleep apnea, oral appliance therapy may be an alternative to a CPAP mask. Dental appliances are a great option for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea and not CPAP compliant and/or cannot tolerate a CPAP mask. Sleep apnea dental appliances are similar in size to a dental night guard and are more comfortable to wear than a CPAP mask. The dental appliance moves the jaw forward, increasing the size of the upper airway and reduces the air resistance that leads to sleep apnea and snoring.

Sleep Apnea Treatment – From the Dentist?

Yes, you read that right. We can help treat sleep apnea here at Flower Mound Family Dentistry. For some that may seem like a rather strange thing for a dentist to do. Many people believe a CPAP machine is the only option to treat sleep apnea, and while that may be recommended for some types of sleep apnea, that certainly is not the case for all patients suffering from sleep apnea.

How can Flower Mound Family Dentistry help?

At Flower Mound Family Dentistry we look at different symptoms that may be present in a patient that has a sleeping disorder.

  1. Grinding teeth
  2. Snoring
  3. Anatomical features noted on the doctor examination
  4. Sleep apnea

If a patient tells us they have any of these issues, or if we see signs of these problems, there are a few different routes we may take to help.

When a patient comes in for a visit, we can have them answer questions from

Epworth Sleepiness Scale Self-Assessment

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is widely used in the field of sleep medicine as a subjective measure of a patient’s sleepiness. The test is a list of eight situations in which you rate your tendency to become sleepy on a scale of 0, no chance of dozing, to 3, high chance of dozing. When you finish the test, add up the values of your responses. Your total score is based on a scale of 0 to 24. The scale estimates whether you are experiencing excessive sleepiness that possibly requires medical attention.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, please complete this self-assessment (need to have it attached)

Once Dr.Amin has assessed the patient thoroughly, the next step is to use SleepTest.com and have a home sleep study done. SleepTest.com sets the industry standard in reliable home sleep testing for at-risk, sleep patients. They make sleep testing simple for patients who appreciate evaluations in the comfort of their own beds and effortless for clients with their online HIPAA compliant portal. Their portal acts as a secure ecosystem between SleepTest.com and thier clients, allowing for electronic patient referrals and easy to retrieve sleep test results.

Once this is completed, the results are interpreted by a board-certified sleep physician that works in collaboration with Dr. Amin to evaluate the patient clinically.

A customized treatment plan is devised based on the sleep results. Next a consult appointment is made to discuss the results and planned treatment with the patient and Dr. Amin.

In mild and moderate cases, we can often treat the sleep apnea with one of a few oral appliance options that we will custom fit for the patient. This tends to be less intrusive than a CPAP machine, and the number of people who will use an oral appliance vs. a CPAP is much higher. A CPAP machine is a very good option for many cases of sleep apnea, and it works for thousands of people.

In severe cases, CPAP therapy is the best first line treatment, and patients with this diagnosis will be referred to see a sleep specialist or their physician to initiate therapy.

The Results

We have had patients so excited about the treatment they received from Dr. Amin that they come back and tell us about their experience. It may be that their snoring has ceased, and they are able to sleep with their spouse again. It may be that they simply are more rested now that they are not waking up frequently. It may be that their teeth do not show signs of grinding anymore. We are excited to be able to help people treat their sleeping disorders and get them back to a healthy sleep and DREAMING again!

Contact Us

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or suffer from any of the symptoms of sleep disordered breathing, call or email us today to schedule an evaluation.

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

4 Reasons to Schedule Your 6-Month Checkup

Staying on top of your dental health is essential for various reasons. We are excited to share a few of them with you!

You may be wondering why it is necessary to go to the dentist every six months. There are countless more benefits of maintaining your dental health routine than you realize, and we are here to share just a few of them. After reading this, you will want to make sure you have your next appointment on the calendar!

  1. Overall health

    There has been in-depth research done regarding the connection between dental health and health issues in other parts of the body. Most people do not know that there have been links discovered between oral infections and heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. How does this happen? Many of these conditions begin with oral manifestations. During your routine dental checkups, your dentist can help identify these manifestations. Your dentist’s oral health knowledge can provide a key link to the detection of other issues you may be unaware of.

  2. Catch problems before they grow

    Dentists are trained and educated to catch oral health issues early on. People tend to believe that cavities are accompanied by intense pain and, therefore, are easy to detect. This isn’t always true. In some cases, you may not be able to feel your cavity at all. If you are going to your dentist routinely, painless cavities will be caught and treated before they become worse and result in more prolonged, expensive treatment.

  3. Keeping bacteria at bay

    What is plaque, and why is avoiding its removal bad for your oral health? Plaque is a layer of clear, sticky bacteria on your teeth. It is almost impossible to get rid of it during your daily brushing routine, so that is why your routine cleanings are so important. If plaque sticks to your teeth for too long, it will harden and become tartar. Tartar is impossible to remove with your at-home oral care routine. If you let it build up for too long, it can result in oral infection. Without routine cleanings, plaque and tartar buildup would be close to impossible to stay on top of.

  4. Don’t forget your gums

    The health of your gums is an important part of your overall oral health and something challenging to keep up with if you have no dental knowledge. During your routine checkup, your dentist will check the depth of the space between your teeth and gums with a unique tool. If the area is deep, you may have gum disease. Small checkups like this may seem unimportant, but you will be thankful for them later on!

Hopefully, you all can gather that your biyearly dental exams and cleanings are critical to maintaining your oral health. If you choose to skip or postpone these exams, you risk developing oral health issues that could cost you money and time down the road. We promise that routine dental appointments are something to be happy about!

Signs and Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Signs and Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, can become impacted and cause issues for you if they are tilted, crowded into the teeth in front of them, don’t have enough room, or an improper bite alignment. Complications from impacted wisdom teeth can lead to gum disease or tooth decay, damage to other teeth, infection, overcrowding of the teeth, and even cysts or tumors.

Some signs and symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:

  • stiffness or pain around jaw
  • headaches
  • bad breath
  • swelling around the jaw
  • tender, red, or bleeding gums in the back of mouth
  • unpleasant taste in mouth
  • difficult opening you mouth
  • feeling pressure on back teeth
  • shifting of teeth in the front

Typically, if your teeth are impacted, Dr. Amin will recommend extraction of the teeth. Patients concerned about pain during the procedure need not worry. Fortunately, modern anesthesia technology now makes it possible to perform even complex surgeries in the dental office (rather than in the hospital) with little or no discomfort to the patient. In cases involving dental surgery, local anesthesia that numbs the surgical area (novacaine) is used either by itself or in combination with one or more of the following: nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”) to relax you; oral premedication; intravenous “I.V.” sedation (also known as “twilight sleep” or “conscious sedation”) for relaxation. In fact, many patients report that their surgeries were remarkably pain- and anxiety-free!

Keeping up with Dental Technology

Keeping up with Dental Technology

Keeping up with dental technology is important in today’s ever changing, high-tech world. Dr. Sapna Amin at Flower Mound Family Dentistry takes pride in offering her patients the latest and greatest in the dental field. We would like to share those advancements with you!

NOMAD Portable X-Ray

This handheld x-ray unit allows our staff to take quick and precise x-rays. It is easily moved to each operatory, allowing for even the most difficult angles of x-rays to be taken with great patient comfort. The staff member using this unit stays in the room with you during your x-rays and can quickly make adjustments to get the right shot. The NOMAD, along with the digital sensors, allows for much less radiation exposure.

 PLANMECA Panoramic X-Ray 

Our digital PANO machine allows us to take crystal clear 2-D images of the head and neck region. This x-ray allows us to see numerous features of the head and neck and can help diagnose issues with TMJ, sinus cavities, bone loss, wisdom teeth, and even calcified arteries. Since the machine is all digital, we are easily able to share the images with other dental specialists you may need to seek treatment from.

 Digital Intraoral Cameras

Photos are taken at your cleaning appointments, as well as treatment appointments using our digital intraoral cameras. These cameras are roughly the size of a toothbrush, and provide us a close-up, macro size view of the tooth. Using these photos, we are able to compare and contrast the teeth over time. We can make the tooth large on the screen and check for fractures, suspicious lesions, and areas that are difficult to see in the mouth. These photos help in making the correct diagnosis.

  Diagnodent

The diagnodent is a laser fluorescence detector that aids in diagnosing decayed areas of the teeth. This tool, used in conjunction with Dr. Amin’s clinical exam, can determine areas that are beginning to have changes in the enamel. This is beneficial when determining where to focus your oral hygiene efforts.

Why Are My Gums Receding?

Why Are My Gums Receding?

Why Are My Gums Receding?

Have you noticed your teeth looking longer in appearance? Does it look like your gums are shrinking around the tooth? Do your teeth feel more sensitive to cold drinks or citrus foods? You could have receding gums, a condition caused from potentially numerous factors. Don’t worry, there are steps you can take to prevent and stop your gums from receding. The first step is to consult Dr. Sapna Amin DDS at Flower Mound Family Dentistry to find out whether your condition requires special attention.

There are numerous causes for gum recession, or gingival recession, and neglecting the issue can lead to further gum and bone loss and even eventual tooth loss.

Overly aggressive brushing– Make sure you are brushing and not scrubbing your teeth! Be sure to use a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush to reduce the

Crowded teeth, teeth out of alignment- When teeth are crooked or not as straight as they could be, plaque and bacteria can more easily collect along the gum lines. This leads to plaque hardening and forming tarter, or calculus. This buildup can slowly push the gums down the tooth and lead to gum recession. Teeth that are straight and in a healthy alignment are much easier to keep clean and therefore helps prevent that tartar from forming. If your teeth are crooked or you noticed yellow to whitish buildup forming easily soon after your cleaning appointments, you may want to consider alignment correction. Dr. Amin offers Clear Correct (similar to Invisalign) which are clear aligners that straighten the teeth and put them into a healthy occlusion. This not only creates an aesthetic appearance to the teeth, but helps in overall hygiene and health of the mouth.

Genetics- Some people are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease that will lead to receding gums. If you have parents, grandparents, siblings or other close relatives that have lost their teeth early in life, you could be at risk for the same condition. It is important

Grinding Teeth (bruxing)-Grinding your teeth both during the day and at night puts excessive forces on your teeth that can cause receding gums. If you are aware or have been told that you clench or grind your teeth, you may benefit from a night guard. Dr. Amin will evaluate your symptoms to determine if you would benefit from a professionally made night guard.

Trauma to Teeth- Trauma can be caused from numerous factors including sports injuries and falls and even orthodontic treatment. Foreign objects such as toothpicks, paper clips and even fingernails, used aggressively or inappropriately, can wear away at the gums and even your enamel.  This can lead to teeth that look longer or even discolored. If you notice any changes to your gums or the appearance of your teeth after bumping or hitting your tooth, let your dentist know.

Poor Oral Hygiene- Plaque and tartar on the teeth can cause inflammation of the gums and eventual gum disease. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic condition that causes deterioration of the gingiva and eventually the bone surrounding the teeth. As the bone levels get lower, the gums follow and this is the appearance of receding gums. If you have gums that bleed when you brush or floss, have an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth, or even are just noticing your teeth and gums feeling different, you should consult with your dentist.

Whitening Toothpastes- Whitening toothpastes are very abrasive and if used too often or improperly, can contribute to receding gums. Some toothpastes contain ingredients that are too abrasive or gritty for some patients’ teeth. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, especially to cold, and it is recommended that you switch toothpaste to a regular fluoride containing toothpaste without whitening.

Receding gums is a concern that you should take seriously. If the causes are not corrected, it could lead to bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Contact Dr. Sapna Amin at Flower Mound Family Dentistry for a consultation to evaluate the overall health of your mouth.

Dental Bridge Vs. Dental Implant

Dental Bridge Vs. Dental Implant

Replacing missing teeth has come a long way in the past 30 years. Missing or extracted teeth raise common concerns for our patients, but proper replacement is key to a confident & functioning smile. Some questions that may come to mind are “What’s the difference between a dental bridge and an implant? What’s the right option for me? Very often the dental implant is ideal, but certain factors will be considered first.

Practical reasons for both options

In the past, a bridge was your only choice, and involves more than just the missing tooth. The adjacent teeth need to be “prepped” by removing most of the enamel in order to fabricate the bridge. With dental implants, A specialist replaces just the individual tooth for a result that is stronger and permanent. A dental bridge may be your best option if the neighboring teeth have large fillings and need crowns or caps in the future. If the tooth or teeth have been missing for a long time, the gum and bone will have receded and procedures beyond the implant could be required before placement. The advantages and disadvantages to both procedures can ultimately be discussed with Dr. Amin. with a dental bridge, teeth can not be flossed in between so maintenance is key. In addition, with a bridge, the area where the tooth is missing will have a progression of bone loss. Implants help secure the bone.

Changes in your oral care routine

Your ability to keep your mouth healthy will be easier with an implant. Dental bridges are cemented or “fixed” in the mouth, and involve at least three crowns connected together to fill the space of the missing tooth. This design creates challenges when brushing and flossing, so extra oral hygiene instruction and meticulous home care are crucial. When flossing, in particular, an additional step is needed to thread the floss under the false tooth. In contrast, implants can replace teeth individually without affecting other teeth, making regular home care more successful. You can effectively brush and floss around an implant just like your natural tooth.

Durability

Dental implants are more durable than bridges, allowing them to provide protection that lasts a lifetime. The implant’s metal cylinder is normally made of titanium, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), and this material fuses with your jawbone naturally through a process called osseointegration. Because it’s made of such a strong metal, they are very resistant to decay and gum problems. The average life of a dental bridge, on the other hand, is approximately 8-10 years. A portion of your natural tooth remains beneath it and normal wear may cause the bridge to fail more easily over time. In general, the remaining tooth structure continues to be susceptible to decay and gum disease.

Esthetics

What about esthetics? There isn’t always a simple answer, but Dr. Amin will be able to advise you. Often the implant will provide the most pleasing result, Dr. Amin and the Dental Lab can make the final tooth look just like your natural enamel. Sometimes, an implant can be placed immediately after a tooth extraction, preserving the natural level of bone and improving the final appearance of the dental work. The Specialist you see will be able to advise you on your options for an immediate implant placement or if you will need to wait after the extraction has been done.

Dental Bridge vs. Implant Cost

The cost of the dental bridge is initially less, but it may need to be replaced at some point in the future. Implants – from preparation to final placement – may seem more expensive, but over time can be more cost-effective. Implants have a 95-99% success rate if done properly compared to bridges. Fortunately, most dental insurance providers are paying for a portion of or all of the steps involved. Our office staff can help you with your specific insurance and answer any questions you have. In addition, implant treatment can be more flexible, allowing patients to budget the cost in increments. After extraction, for example, a bone graft is sometimes needed. This graft typically has to heal for several months before implant placement, at which point Osseointegration can take anywhere from three to six months before the process is complete.

Dental bridge vs. implant? Make this decision after carefully consulting with Dr. Amin about all your options. She knows your mouth best and has the tools and knowledge to guide you through what’s best. Although bridges are an older procedure, dental implants have become very indicative and routine over the years, and in most cases are the preferable treatment both in time and expense.

What is a Cavity?

What is a Cavity?

Dental cavities (caries) are holes in the two outer layers of a tooth, called enamel and dentin. The enamel is the outermost white hard surface and the dentin is the yellow layer just beneath the enamel. Both layers serve to protect the inner living tooth tissue, called the pulp. This area is where blood vessels and nerves reside. Dental Cavities are common, affecting over 90% of the population. Small cavities may not cause pain, and may go unnoticed by the patient. The larger cavities can trap food, and the inner pulp or nerve of the tooth can become irritated by foods that are cold, hot ,sweet, or sour causing a toothache.

What causes a Cavity?

Cavity causing bacteria in the mouth consume simple sugars, converting them into acid plaque. Acid plaque is different from the periodontal plaque that causes “Gum Disease”. The acid plaque produced by these bacteria causes the hard inorganic layers of the enamel and dentin to soften. The softened layers are then dissolved by your saliva, leaving a hole (cavity) in the tooth. Unless filled by your dentist, the cavity can continue to grow and spread to the inner nerve or pulp of the tooth. Pulp damage necessitates either an extraction o r root canal and crown procedure to be done.

The enamel on baby teeth is not mature and is very porous as well. It is critical to treat cavities on baby teeth early on.

Cavity causing bacteria are difficult to eradicate because they are very similar to the other harmless bacteria that live in the mouth. The many cavity causing bacteria include:

  1. Lactobacillus Acidophilus bacteria reside in the pits and fissures, or deep groves of our teeth. These bacteria can cause rampant tooth decay in young children between the ages of 3 and 12, causing cavities in both baby teeth and sometimes first permanent molars that erupt around age 6.
  2. Six species of Streptococcus bacteria attack the smooth surfaces of the sides of our teeth. These (flossing cavities) are usually touching adjacent teeth. Cavities on these surfaces are hard to detect visually, and your dentist will use dental x rays to help verify these hard to see cavities.
  3. Odontomyces Viscoses bacteria live on the back of the tongue and attack exposed cementum. Cementum is the hard outer layer of the tooth root( the bottom two thirds of the tooth that is normally under dental bone). In older patients and in patients with gum disease, the tooth root and cementum become exposed and vulnerable to attack by these bacteria.

How can you prevent Cavities?

The number of cavities can be reduced by proper nutrition, good oral hygiene, fewer snacks in between meals, the use of oral and topical fluorides, and topical sealants.

  1. Nutritional Counseling- consuming less simple sugar (sucrose or table sugar) will reduce the number of acid producing bacteria in the mouth. Adequate amounts of dietary Calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamins A,D, and C promote healthy and strong enamel formation.
  2. Home Care- Brushing your teeth frequently (2 x a day and after meals or snacks) helps reduce acid plaque damage to enamel, while frequent flossing removes acid plaque from the smooth surfaces between teeth. If you cannot brush and floss immediately after a meal, you should try chewing self cleaning foods at the end of meals or rinse with some water until you can brush and floss. These foods include apples and celery, foods that are crunchy help sweep away food debris and plaque. Chewing sugarless gum for a few minutes at the end of a meal can also help.
  3. Eating fewer snacks between meals- Every snack you eat is followed by an “acid attack” on your teeth. Snacking all day causes the teeth to be bathed in acid continuously. Fewer snacks and eating desserts only with meals helps reduce the number of “acid attacks” on your teeth.
  4. Fluorides- Topical fluorides fill in the pores of immature enamel or small early cavities and help reduce cavities in already erupted teeth. Topical fluorides are “painted” on the teeth by a member of Dr.Amin’s team and is done in conjunction with your check ups twice a year.
  5. Sealants- Sealants are plastic coatings painted on the pits and fissures (deep grooves) of chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars), and are highly effective in preventing cavities. Sealants are recommended for all permanent molars in children. They are also used to reduce cavities in baby teeth and in adults that are cavity prone. The procedure is done by eitherDr.Amin or her Hygienists and is simple and painless and requires no anesthesia or “numbing”.
  6. Eliminating Acidic Drinks- These include but not limited to, Coffee, Sweet Tea, energy drinks, and sodas.

Why Floss is Boss

Why Floss is Boss

Dental Floss…It may look like a simple piece of string, but dental floss is so much more! It’s a proven partner in maintaining healthy teeth and gums and helps give your overall health a boost. Do you floss daily? What techniques help you get the most out of your flossing experience, without injury to your gums? Statistics reveal that only 50.5% of Americans follow the recommendation from the American Dental Association (ADA) to floss every day. Some 31 percent report flossing less than daily, and a whopping 18% say they never floss. Yikes!

Why You Should Floss:

Although brushing is an important part of cleaning your teeth, there are areas between your teeth that your toothbrush bristles simply can’t reach. When these hidden areas remain unclean, bacteria can flourish. This leads to the formation of plaque, tooth decay, and gum disease.

Product recommendations:

Glide- For tight contacts

Superfloss- for large spaces or implants

Floss Picks (disposable flossers)- for people who have a hard time with string floss

Floss Threaders- for bridges

Regular Waxed-General

Reach Flosser-for hard to reach “back teeth”

That’s why daily flossing is important. It does more than just remove food debris stuck between your teeth. It also removes the plaque that brushing left behind. If you really want to do what’s best for your smile, it’s time to put an end to excuses. Floss your teeth every day, not just before you visit Flower Mound Family Dentistry! At Flower Mound Family Dentistry, Dr. Amin, along with our hygienist Natalie are glad to answer any questions you may have about flossing.

Ultimate Toothpaste Guide

Ultimate Toothpaste Guide

The Ultimate Toothpaste Guide, Which is best for you?

Choosing the right type of toothpaste may not seem like rocket science. However, it is important to know what options exist and which ones are best for individual needs. For example, a person who has sensitive teeth would not want to use the same type of toothpaste that someone who wants to whiten their smile uses. This toothpaste guide will cover which types are the best for different oral needs based on key ingredients.

Best Toothpaste For Sensitive Teeth

Research suggests that as much as 46 percent of Americans have or have had tooth sensitivity at least once during their lives. Sensitivity may last a few minutes or several days. Both hot and cold foods and beverages may trigger sensitivity. The sensitivity may be due to enamel erosion, new fillings or several other reasons. There are many toothpaste products designed to help relieve the sensitivity feeling and any pain associated with it. These toothpastes typically include strontium chloride or potassium nitrate. Both substances build up blocks in the pathways that span from the tooth’s surface to the tooth’s inner nerves. Although the effects are lasting when people use the toothpaste as directed, relief may take up to several weeks for some people. Some products may also include a mild analgesic for instant pain relief.

Best Toothpaste For Teeth Whitening

People who want to maintain a bright white smile should choose a good whitening toothpaste in addition to any teeth whitening product that may already be used. Whitening toothpastes are popular for people who drink coffee, tea, wine and other staining liquids frequently. There are a few misconceptions when it comes to this type of paste. First, many people believe that whitening toothpastes contain bleach. Nearly all whitening products that come in the form of toothpaste do not contain bleach. They normally contain substances such as baking soda that are gently abrasive and bind to stains. The combination of these qualities helps the substance stick to stains on the teeth and lift them away without causing harm to the enamel. Several of the best whitening toothpaste products contain a small amount of peroxide to remove stains and lighten the color of the teeth.

Although these toothpastes can have cosmetic effects, there are some risks involved. Many of these whitening toothpastes can cause irritations and inflammation of the gums and eventually lead to receding gums and eventual recession of the tissue. We do not advocate for whitening toothpastes due to this reason. We recommend that patients stick with a professional teeth whitening or bleaching system in order to prevent these negative effects of whitening toothpastes. Ask Dr. Sapna Amin or any of her staff about which whitening system would work best for you!

Best Toothpaste For Tartar Control And Bad Breath

A layer of bacteria-filled plaque forms on the teeth after eating. When plaque is not removed, it turns into hard tartar deposits and is hard to remove. Dentists can remove it with a professional cleaning. However, tartar buildup on the teeth can further damage the enamel and cause bad breath. When it builds up under the gums, it can lead to gum disease and gum-line cavities. Products with zinc citrate or tetra-sodium pyrophosphate are designed to combat tartar. People who have chronic bad breath may also have a large amount of oral bacteria. Toothpastes that also contain Triclosan are beneficial for this. Triclosan is an antibiotic designed to kill some types of oral bacteria. When choosing a paste for tartar control, experts recommend choosing one with multiple plaque-fighting agents.

Best Toothpaste for Enamel Protection

Sugar, acidic foods, poor dental hygiene and genetics are all common causes of poor enamel on teeth. When enamel is gone, it cannot be fully restored. Although some products claim to do this, they actually have agents to help strengthen the teeth to prevent further damage. The best way to enjoy strong enamel is to prevent erosion instead of trying to treat broken-down enamel. Dental experts recommend that all adults and children use a toothpaste with fluoride to protect tooth enamel every day. When bacteria feed on sugars and other substances on the teeth, an acid is formed that normally damages enamel. Fluoride helps prevent the damage by strengthening and re-mineralizing tooth enamel. It is best to brush with a fluoride toothpaste twice daily.

Professional Strength Toothpaste

Our office offers prescription strength toothpastes as well. These toothpastes offer a higher concentration of sodium fluoride with added benefits of potassium nitrate that helps to significantly reduce sensitivity. They can help prevent cavities by re-mineralizing the enamel. There are also prescription toothpastes that contain different formulas for helping you achieve different results based on your needs. Dr. Amin or her hygienist can help guide you to a solution that will help you get the results you are striving for.

Always read the toothpaste ingredients on a package before buying it. Keep in mind that the ingredients are listed in order from the highest concentration to the lowest. Never buy a paste that contains the toxic substance diethylene glycol. It is found in some products that were made in China. The FDA actually recommends avoiding all toothpaste products that were made in China. Although there are many brands claiming to be the best, choosing quality over price should always be a priority. Quality toothpastes are approved by the ADA. If a paste has the ADA seal, this also means it contains fluoride. Remember that it is important for any toothpaste to contain fluoride. By practicing good oral hygiene and using the right toothpaste, it is easier to avoid the high costs of oral diseases and extensive dental work. Since extensive work is expensive even with insurance, it is best to receive the free or low-cost preventative cleanings and exams covered by an insurer to maintain oral health.

Sports Guards for Children & Adults!

Sports Guards for Children & Adults!

A mouth guard is a soft plastic or laminate device used in sports to prevent oral injuries to the teeth, mouth, cheeks, tongue and jaw. Mouth guards absorb the energy caused by impact and can help reduce injuries to kids teeth and mouth. Dr Amin recommends that kids playing any kind of sport where impact is possible, to wear a mouthguard during that time.

Types of Injuries that can occur:

The types of dental injuries that can occur without the use of a mouth guard are chipped or broken teeth, lip and cheek injuries, root damage to the teeth, fractured jaws, and concussions. Any athlete may be at risk for oral injury and any injury can be prevented with the use of a mouth guard. The injuries and treatment can be very costly throughout a lifetime of a child but can be avoided by asking Dr. Amin how, what kind, and where you can get a mouth guard.

Types of Mouthguards:Custom mouthguards:

Custom-fitted mouthguards are made by Dr Amin. An impression is taken of the mouth and then plastic is molded around the impression. Custom-made mouth guards provide the best protection and are the most comfortable to wear because they fit precisely in the mouth and are more likely to stay in place.

“Boil and Bite” Mouth guards:

Also known as self-adapted mouth guards, these mouth guards are molded to the mouth by boiling the guard in water and then allowing the wearer to bite down on the heated plastic. Although these offer a somewhat customized fit, boil and bite mouth guards are not as strong as custom mouth guards and do have a chance of bite-through problems. Self-adapted mouth guards are moderately priced.

Stock mouthguards:

Stock mouthguards offer basic protection by fitting loosely over the teeth. Although they are the most affordable option, these guards can make it difficult to breathe or speak because teeth must be clenched to keep the mouth guard in place.

It’s important for children and adults to wear their mouth guards during both practice and games. Be sure to discuss this with Dr Amin at your next check-up and cleaning.

What Is A Sealant?

What Is A Sealant?

A sealant is a protective coating of thin plastic or other dental material that adheres to the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. Their main goal is to prevent cavities from forming in the small grooves of your teeth. Sealants have been shown to reduce the risk of decay by nearly 80% in molars. Sealants can be placed in adults and in children.

How Do Sealants Work?

Cavity-causing bacteria produce acids that create holes in teeth after consuming leftover food particles in your mouth. The holes are cavities. A sealant will prevent those pieces of food from settling on the teeth, and therefore stops the bacteria and acid that form cavities.

Who Can Get Sealants?

Children and adults can benefit from sealants. The first molars erupt in the mouth around age 6, followed by the second molars that appear around age 12. Dr. Amin recommends placing sealants as soon as they erupt in order to prevent cavities as soon as possible. Preventing cavities can save you time and money, preserve healthy tooth structure and can reduce potential pain in the future.

How Are Sealants Applied?

The sealant application is quick, simple and painless. Dr. Sapna Amin or one of her team members will dry and clean your tooth with an Isolite device in place. She’ll then place a gel on the tooth that roughs the surface so that the sealant will form a strong bond onto the tooth. She’ll then rinse and dry the tooth. This is followed by the placement of the sealant onto the grooves of your tooth. Then, she uses a curing light, that glows bright blue, to harden the sealant.

Call our office at 972-539-4776 to schedule an appointment for sealants. Most major dental insurance companies cover sealants!

Healthy Snacking

Healthy Snacking

The Issue with Sugary Snacks

Snacking on sugary sweets may be good to your taste buds but as we know, they are not always healthy. The sugar in those snacks can start to affect teeth within minutes of consumption. Starchy foods can break down into sugars as soon as they enter the mouth. There are many different kinds of sugar that children and adults consume every day, but they all have the same effect on teeth. Although sugar is sometimes unavoidable, Dr. Sapna Amin can guide you through which snacks are better for you at your next check up.

 How do sugars attack teeth?

Bacteria start forming in your mouth as soon as you finish brushing your teeth. As the bacteria grow in the mouth, it builds up a sticky film-like substance around the teeth called plaque. Plaque digests the sugar turning it into an acid. Whenever you already have plaque on your teeth and then choose to snack on something full of sugar, the bacteria have an easier time consuming the sugar and producing more acid. The acids that have formed are strong enough to dissolve away the hard outer layer (enamel) of the teeth. This begins the cycle of cavity formation. When you avoid sugary snacks the bacteria already living in the mouth will not have anything to consume, preventing acid from forming, thus reducing the risk for cavities.

 How can I snack smart?

When deciding on when and what to snack on keep a few things in mind:

  • The number of sugary foods consumed per day
  • How long the sugary food stays in your mouth
  • The texture of the sugary food (Chewy? Sticky?)

 If you find yourself snacking after work, school, or near bedtime remember that certain snacks could break down into sugars. There are many options for snacks that Dr. Sapna Amin and her team can discuss with you to help keep your teeth and mouth happy and healthy.

 Low-fat and low-carb options, like raw vegetables, fresh fruit, and nuts are smart choices for healthy snacks. Research has shown a link between low Vitamin C and gum disease. Snacking on fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, kiwis, bell peppers, tomatoes, and broccoli can lead to healthier gums. Research has also found a probiotic effect in green tea that has an effect on gums because of the antioxidants found in the tea, acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.

 The next time you reach for a snack and are tempted by the sweet sugary ones, remember that it takes at least 20 minutes for the acid in the mouth to neutralize. The more often you eat sugary snacks throughout the day, the more often you feed the fuel for bacteria to start tooth decay. Dr. Sapna Amin enjoys having patients that are well updated and educated on which healthy snacks are suited for their teeth. She, and her team, would love to answer any questions you have during your annual check-up and cleaning.

 

Kiss Bad Breath Goodbye

Kiss Bad Breath Goodbye

We all know the pains of bad breath. We’ve all woken up and been slammed in the face with someone’s morning breath at some point or another. While morning breath is something that nobody wants to deal with, there are many of us that suffer from severe, chronic bad breath – also known as halitosis.

So what causes this halitosis? There are a number of factors that can contribute to your consistent bad breath:

  • Periodontal disease – Unhealthy gums provide a medium for bacteria to reproduce and multiply. If you notice a persistent bad taste in your mouth, or that people are shying away from you when you speak to them, a likely culprit is gingivitis, which if not treated can advance to periodontal gum disease.
  • Tobacco use – Tobacco is a guarantee of bad breath
  • What you eat, or don’t eat – foods such as garlic elicits immediate effects, but garlic is also absorbed in your bloodstream. The smell is expelled through your breath and remains there until the body processes the food.
  • Dry Mouth – With dry mouth, there is not enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria which then can build up on the teeth and produce the unpleasant bad breath smell. Drinking alcoholic beverages may promote a dry mouth and cause bad breath.
  • Infections – bad breath with no cause may indicate something going on in another part of your body. If you are a sufferer of chronic bad breath and after seeing Dr. Amin there is no explanation, see your primary care physician for an evaluation. Bad breath can be a symptom of a variety of serious non-oral health problems including liver disease, HIV, diabetes, digestive system ailments such as reflux and even lung infections. It’s important if Dr. Amin rules out any oral problems that you do not ignore the problem and see your PCP.

How to prevent bad breath

The top preventative measures you can take to fight your bad breath are first, following a thorough oral care routine including twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing and second, a healthy diet. Mouthwashes typically only mask the problem and do so for a short period of time.

  • People who are following extremely low carbohydrate diets, or any restrictive diet, may be promoting bad breath. If you must restrict your food intake and eat infrequently, drink plenty of water to help maintain the level of saliva in your mouth to help prevent bad breath.
  • Flossing daily helps improve bad breath by effectively removing food particles and bacteria that contribute to your bad breath. That makes flossing one of the easiest ways to prevent and banish bad breath.

Keep these points in mind as part of your daily oral hygiene routine:

  • Keep your toothbrush fresh – Be sure to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months
  • Drink plenty of water – keeping your mouth moist will help minimize the amount of bacteria in your mouth. With dryer mouths, you are more susceptible to plaque build up which can create an unpleasant smell on your breath.
  • With periodontal disease, ensure that you are visiting Dr. Amin more frequently.
  • Brushing your tongue, or even the use of tongue scrapers can help minimize your bad breath

Make sure to regularly visit Dr. Amin for your routine check up and cleaning appointments to keep up with oral hygiene. Give our office a call today to get scheduled!

The Truth About Gum Disease

The Truth About Gum Disease

Let’s take a moment to talk about one of the most unmentioned and under appreciated parts of the human body: our gums. You hear how important it is to brush, and how having healthy teeth is an important goal for all of us. But we neglect the gums, whose sole job is to hold our teeth firmly in place, protect them from the elements, and keep our entire mouth nourished and healthy. In short, we need healthy gums in order to have healthy teeth, AND a healthy body, too.

We know that gums are often overlooked because a 2012 CDC report confirmed that more than 50% of adults living in the United States have some form of gum disease. That rate goes up to a larger 70% of adults over the age of 65.

What Is Gum (Periodontal) Disease?

Gum disease is caused by two things: the presence of bacteria in the mouth and places for that bacteria to congregate and stay. Buildup of bacteria causes inflammation and irritation, triggering an immune response by the body. The mildest form of gum (periodontal) disease is called gingivitis. Left untreated, the condition can create periodontal “pockets” or areas where the bacteria can collect deeper under the gum line. Gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, where the bacteria and inflammation can actually deteriorate the condition of the gums and the teeth.

What are common symptoms of gum disease?

In many cases, people in the early stages of gum disease may not experience any pain or may have very mild symptoms that are easily ignored. Some of the more severe symptoms include:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

Gum disease affects more than just your mouth

Untreated gum disease can result in the loss of teeth, but it can lead to more severe issues. Gum disease can have major impacts on other body systems and has been tied to other serious health issues.

Lungs & Respiratory System

A study in 2011 found a correlation between the presence of periodontal disease and the incidence of respiratory illnesses including pneumonia, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) and acute bronchitis. If the body is busy fighting off infection in another area of the body, such as the mouth, its ability to fight respiratory infections may be limited or compromised.

Heart Disease & Stroke

Research has identified a variety of common risk factors associated with gum disease as well as heart disease and risk of stroke, including age, genetics, smoking habits, presence of diabetes, and more.

Fertility & Pregnancy

Results of a recent study show that women who have active gum disease can take two to three months longer to conceive than women who do not have gum disease. Fertility specialists often require women who are trying to conceive to show that they either do not have, or are actively in treatment to correct gum disease.

It is very common in women who are pregnant to develop gum disease at some point. In many cases with monitoring by Dr. Amin, pregnancy-related gum disease will go away on its own. However, pregnant women who have active gum disease are more likely to deliver either prematurely or have babies with unexpectedly low birth weight.

How To Prevent It

Though nearly half of all adults have some form of gum disease, it is treatable and manageable. Dr. Amin can detect the presence of gum disease or the signs it may be developing before you notice symptoms, so the best defense is staying up to date with your routine check ups and cleanings.

Helpful Tips

  1. Brush your teeth twice daily to remove this bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth, and to help avoid cavities.
  2. Floss daily in order to remove the bacteria from between your teeth and around the gum line.
  3. Regular checkups and professional cleanings by our wonderful hygienists will help to remove any plaque, build-up (calculus) and bacteria that you aren’t able to reach during your regular oral hygiene routine at home