Asheville Family Dentist Blog
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  • Missing teeth are nothing to smile about.

    If you’re missing a back tooth or two, you might not think it’s a big deal. Gaps that aren’t visible cannot impact your appearance, right? So why would you replace them?

    Replacing your missing teeth is actually important for the stability of your mouth. Over time, your jaw will lose bone in the site of the missing tooth and there is a good chance your remainin teeth could experience shifting.

    A denture, partial denture or a bridge was at one point the only option to replace missing teeth.  Today, dental implants have quickly become a popular alternative.

    So which is the better tooth replacement option? Let’s take a closer look at dentures and dental implants to replace missing teeth.

    Dental Implants: Stimulate Bone

    We just talked about how dentures aren’t able to properly stimulate the bone in your jaw. This means that when you lose your teeth and have either full or partial dentures, the bone in your jaw can begin to recede over time.

    With dental implants, the opposite is true. A dental implant consists of a titanium screw inserted into your jaw. This post naturally becomes part of your jaw structure and your body accepts it as a tooth root. This means that with regular use of your teeth, your jaw bone is stimulated and continues to grow.

    Why is this important?

    Your facial structure is supported by your tooth roots—without them, your face can begin to have a caved in or “sunken” appearance.

    Fortunately, you won’t have to worry about any changes in facial structure with dental implants. With dentures, this is more of a concern, especially if you are missing all of your natural teeth.

    Dentures: Less Expensive

    If you’ve ever heard of dental implants, it’s likely that you’ve also heard of how costly they can be. Dentures are a less expensive alternative. However, they don’t offer all the benefits of dental implants.

    Dentures also need to be replaced several times during your lifetime, something that dental implants may never need. Your dentures can break if dropped and will need to be repaired or replaced when this happens. Many people also don’t realize that dentures will need a full replacement every five to ten years regardless of their condition. Why is this?

    We talked above about your jawbone shrinking over time as a result of your missing teeth. When this happens, your jaw changes shape, which means your dentures won’t fit the same in five years as they do today.

    This is an extra expense although dentures are more cost-friendly upfront.

    Dental Implants: A Permanent Replacement

    When you’re looking for a more permanent replacement to your natural teeth, dental implants are your best choice.

    Dental implants may never need to be replaced. The titanium post is often connected to a dental crown .  This crown—if taken care of properly—can last upwards of twenty years. This is possibly the only part of your dental implant that will need to be replaced. That’s a lot less than a full replacement of dentures every five to ten years!

    Once your dental implant has healed properly it has the potential to last for life. Rejection of dental implants is extremely rare. If you believe you have an allergy to metal, talk with your dentist in Asheville when discussing dental implant options.

    To maximize your chances of healing after your dental implant surgery, it’s imperative to not smoke, follow your doctor’s instructions, and keep the area clean. With proper care, these sturdy tooth replacements last for life! 

    Dentures: Not Always Comfortable

    Dentures often get a bad reputation because of their lack of security in your mouth. People with dentures are often afraid that others will realize they have dentures. This is because the only thing anchoring the dentures to your smile is the suction that the dentures are designed to create with your mouth.

    Since your upper teeth often have a greater surface area, your dentures are less likely to slide around. People commonly have problems with their lower teeth when wearing dentures. Partial dentures tend to be a little more secure since they are anchored into the mouth with “arms” that clasp around the neighboring teeth, but these also tend to be more visible.

    People who wear dentures may be scared that other people will see their teeth moving around and know they have dentures. When you take advantage of dental implants, your teeth are firmly secure and you don’t have to worry about anything sliding about! 

    Dental Implants: Sturdy and Secure

    Dental implants are permanently secured in your mouth, so you’ll never have to worry about them falling out or sliding. You can still eat all the foods that you enjoyed before with your secure dental implants. The best part is that cleaning your dental implants is just like taking care of your natural teeth—just brush and floss!

    If you need your entire set of teeth replaced, you may not have to get a dental implant for every single tooth. You may be able to take advantage of all-on-four dental implants, where only four implants are replaced and then restorations of your teeth are placed securely on top.

    Regardless, dental implants offer you the option of having a sturdy and secure smile. Patients who have dental implants often experience improved confidence because they know their smile is genuine—and no one will be able to tell the difference! 

    Conclusion

     So when it comes to dentures and dental implants, which one would be the best replacement for your natural teeth?

    Dental implants offer some huge benefits and are the most secure, natural-looking, and functional replacement to your natural teeth. However, if you decide that dental implants aren’t for you, or would prefer dentures, dentures are still preferable to no teeth or missing teeth!

    Talk to your dentist in Asheville about your candidacy for dental implants. Whether you need one dental implant or several, we can talk with you about how well these sturdy tooth replacements would work for your smile.

    Don’t skip the dentist just because you’re embarrassed about your smile. We can help. Our professional and friendly staff looks forward to helping your smile be the best it can be! 

    Sugar has an addictive effect that’s been proven to be similar to both cocaine and heroin. This substance can not only cause other problems to your body—including increasing your risk of heart disease and diabetes—but is hugely damaging to your mouth.

    It’s fine to desire a sugary beverage or dessert and to one every once in a while. However; many people eat much more sugar than they realize. For instance, a conventional yogurt can have more sugar than a doughnut! Do you know how much sugar you’re consuming on a daily basis?

    Whether or not sugar is a big part of your diet, we have some ways to help you prevent it from wrecking your smile. The following tips can help you to prevent tooth decay and still enjoy sugar—just strive for moderation!

    Drink with a Straw

    If you like to drink soda, drinking it with a straw is one of the best ways to avoid damaging your enamel.  Soda is sugary and acidic—two characteristics that make it perfect for tooth decay! When you drink with a straw, you help the drink effectively bypass your teeth. This means there’s less of a chance that the sugar and acids will damage your teeth and cause cavities.

    Rinse with Water

    When you eat sugar, the pH of your mouth changes. It becomes more acidic which demineralizes the enamel.  The longer the pH of your mouth remains acidic, the more time it has to impact the health of your teeth’s most protective layer.

    In order to help combat the effects of sugar on your mouth, you can complete a simple task that helps restore your mouth’s pH- just rinse with water. After you consume your sugary food or beverage, swish some water around in your mouth and spit it out. Now, your teeth are a little more protected until you can get to a toothbrush!

    Wait to Brush

    Speaking of toothbrushes, the best time to brush your teeth may be before breakfast, but it’s definitely not immediately after consuming sugar. Since sugar alters the pH of your mouth and can soften enamel, brushing even a few minutes after is a bad idea. It can wear your enamel away over time, especially if you’re brushing aggressively.

    The best thing to do after consuming sugar is to wait a minimum of 30 minutes before brushing. It can actually take up to an hour for the pH of your mouth to return back to normal. If you’re planning on brushing after eating sugar, take care to wait between 30-60 minutes before doing so. It can help protect your teeth!

    Get Checkups

    Getting checkups with your dentist in Asheville is essential to stopping sugar in its tracks. From identifying the beginning stages of a cavity to helping you develop healthier habits, your dentist is an essential part of your oral care routine.

    When you schedule a dental exam with your Asheville dentist, you not only help ensure your smile is healthy, you can get a professional cleaning to get to all the places where plaque might have built up that you don’t know about.

    Get a dental exam with your dentist. Your teeth will thank you!

    Don’t Eat Sweets Often

    Eating sweets in moderation will also improve the health of your teeth and gums. A diet full of sugar will increase your chances for tooth decay. A more balanced diet with the occasional sugary treats can help you to have a healthier smile.

    Take a look at your diet and find the hidden sugar—we guarantee there’s some in there! From bread to yogurt to meats, sugar is lurking in just about everything.

    Evaluate how much sugar you really eat in a day, then do your best to make healthy changes to minimize your consumption. A treat every now and then, or even every day, is fine. Just be sure to care for your smile and don’t indulge too often!

    Never Sip

    If you’re drinking soda, juice, energy drinks, or another sugary beverage, then drink it, don’t sip it! Sipping these drinks throughout the day prolongs your teeth’s exposure to sugar. This means you can incur more damage just from sipping over a long period of time.

    Whether it’s fruit juice, a smoothie, or a coffee with sugar, don’t sip these drinks unless you’re using a straw. Try to finish them all in one sitting so that your teeth don’t have time to be damaged by the acidity.

    This is often why childhood tooth decay happens—parents put juice in bottles and let their child sip throughout the day. Significant tooth decay in babies and children is sometimes referred to as baby bottle tooth decay.

    Mix with Water

    When you’re consuming a sugary beverage such as juice, you can help minimize the damage to your teeth by mixing it with water.

    This makes the sugars and acids less concentrated and therefore a little easier on your smile. If you’re going to go with this method, you should still try to drink plain water afterward if you can.

    Eat Better

    We’ve discussed eating sweets in moderation, but what about healthy treats?

    Apples and other fruits like bananas, pears, dates, and many others are considered nutritious and contain lots of fiber and water. While these sugars can still impact your body, they are cushioned by their fiber and water content, something baked goods and juices can’t claim.

    Instead of drinking apple juice, eat an apple. Instead of eating a cookie, have a banana or a date. Yes, the level of sweetness may be a little different, but these treats will be easier on your smile and still provide your body with added nutrients. You can make healthier choices for a healthier smile!

    Are you surprised by just how many tips there are for protecting your teeth from sugar? You can still enjoy sweets while keeping your pearly whites healthy. Keep these tips in mind the next time you choose to eat or drink something sweet. Even simple acts like waiting to brush or rinsing with water can help immensely!

    Worried about how much your sugar consumption has impacted your smile? Schedule an appointment with us to see just how well your oral health habits are holding up!

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    6 Things You Didn’t Know about Tooth Decay

    by Saunders DDS on July 2, 2017

    Tooth decay is a problem that affects the majority of people. In fact, 92% of adult Americans have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth! With tooth decay being such a prevalent problem, it’s important to know how tooth decay could impact your health and what you can do about it.

    Decay happens when the outer protective layer of your teeth—called tooth enamel—becomes cavitated. When this occurs the enamel surface cannot repair itself.  This means that acids and bacteria now have access to the softer tissues of your tooth.  At this point the cavity will continue to progress, weakening the tooth, and eventually leading to pain and infection.

    Cavities can be restored by you dentist, but people who have had at least one cavity are at an increased risk for future tooth decay.  In order to increase awareness of how tooth decay impacts your dental health, here are six things you didn’t know about tooth decay! 

    1. Diet Plays a Huge Role in Tooth Decay

    Many people don’t realize just how much what they eat affects their teeth. Diet plays a huge role in tooth decay, so much so that the foods you eat can be largely responsible for what happens to your teeth.

    Although genetics also play an important role in our dental health, the importance of food is not to be underestimated.  Starchy, sugary foods such as candy and refined flour can damage your teeth, while more nutritious foods such as vegetables and lean meats are less likely to cause decay.

    This same concept can be applied to your overall health—foods that are healthy for your teeth tend to be healthier for your whole body. Avoiding sugary foods, that are heavily refined, can improve your blood sugar and encourage a healthy weight while also leading to fewer cavities! 

    1. Childhood Tooth Decay Is a Big Deal

    Children are susceptible to tooth decay just like adults.

    Over 40% of children ages 2-11 have tooth decay. Just because your child has baby teeth doesn’t mean that these teeth can’t get cavities.  And just because their primary teeth will eventually fall out doesn’t mean that tooth decay can’t impact their permanent teeth.

    One important job of your child’s primary teeth is to maintain the proper space for their permanent teeth, helping to guide them into their positions. When tooth decay affects your child’s baby teeth to the extent that they are prematurely lost, teeth can shift leaving no room for permanent teeth.

    Tooth decay can also become pretty painful, impacting your child’s attention span, quality of life, and even their self-esteem. It’s important to know that your child is at risk for tooth decay—and to get the necessary checkups to stop it from happening. 

    1. Early Tooth Decay Doesn’t Show Many Symptoms

    Enamel erosion is a common problem that many people have, with one of the most typical symptoms being sensitive teeth. Although sensitive teeth don’t necessarily mean that you have tooth decay, you should talk with your Asheville dentist about your tooth sensitivity to see how healthy your enamel is.

    Unfortunately, early tooth decay doesn’t show many symptoms. Unless you’re regularly inspecting your teeth—or getting checkups at regular intervals with your dentist in Asheville—you might miss the first visible signs of a cavity.

    Usually, people who have tooth decay won’t experience any pain until it’s too late. At this point, the tooth may not be able to be restored or the restorative treatment will be more expensive and time consuming to complete.  This is why routine dental exams are so important.

    1. You Can Die from Tooth Decay

    It sounds extreme, but unfortunately, it can happen. If tooth decay is left untreated bacteria can create an infection in the bone around the tip of the tooth’s root.  One way the infection can become life threatening is by entering your bloodstream and traveling to your brain.

    Remember, the sooner you seek help for your symptoms, the more successful your treatment will be. You should never let tooth decay go untreated because it will only progress eventually leading to an emergency situation.  Professional treatment from your dentist in Asheville can help treat the tooth decay and save your smile and maybe even your life.

    5.  Tooth Decay Can Come from Over Brushing

    Cleaning your teeth is a positive thing. However, just like most things, there can be too much of a good thing. Cleaning your teeth too often or too aggressively can actually cause your enamel to wear away over time. Once your enamel is gone, it can’t be replaced which can make your tooth more susceptible to decay.

    You should always brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and be gentle. There’s no need to brush aggressively—your toothbrush and toothpaste do most of the work for you; you just need to cover all the spaces of your teeth. Although cleaning your teeth excessively might seem like a good thing that’ll prevent tooth decay, it could actually increase your risk of cavities through enamel erosion. 

        6.  Tooth Decay Can Be Prevented and Treated

    The good news about tooth decay is that you aren’t stuck with it for life. Tooth decay can be prevented and treated by your professional dentist in Asheville. Your smile isn’t compromised just because of a cavity, at least if it’s caught early.

    Here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent tooth decay in your smile:

    • Brush for two minutes two times a day. This is the amount recommended by the American Dental Association. If you choose to brush more than this, try to do it gently and don’t brush sooner than 30 minutes after your last meal.
    • Floss once a day. Flossing helps remove plaque and bacteria from all the tight spaces that your toothbrush simply can’t reach. It’s an important part of any oral health care routine!
    • Visit your dentist regularly. Dental checkups at least once a year can help ensure your smile is healthy and spot tooth decay before it becomes a huge problem.
    • Eat a healthy diet. Avoid too much refined sugar—fruits are fine—and be sure to eat plenty of fresh foods. Raw snacks like carrots and apples can actually help clean your teeth throughout the day!

    How familiar are you with tooth decay? Many people don’t realize they have a cavity until it’s too late. Schedule an appointment with us to see how you’re doing with your oral care routine. Although the majority of Americans have experienced a cavity, most people don’t know these facts about tooth decay that can help you minimize your risk and seek treatment. We look forward to seeing you!

    teeth whitening Asheville NC

    6 Benefits of Getting a Professional Teeth Whitening

    by Saunders DDS on June 13, 2017

    If you’ve been down about how stained your smile looks lately, you’re not alone.

    Surveys show that as many as 80% of Americans want whiter teeth. Since teeth can lose their natural whiteness with age, teeth whitening is an attractive option for many people.

    Most dentist offices today provide in-office professional whitening with results in as little as an hour.

    This is good news as some whitening kits take weeks to show any effect. Although you might be tempted by over-the-counter whitening kits, going professional is always your best bet.

    Here are six of the best benefits of getting your smile professionally whitened!

    1. It’s Safe

    When you opt for a professional whitening with your Asheville dentist, you’re choosing the safest and most effective approach to getting that whiter smile.

    At-home kits aren’t designed to fit your unique smile, which means the strips and trays used could lead to irritation of the gum tissue if they overlap. When you work with a professional dentist, your gums are fully protected from any irritation that could result from the bleaching agent.

    2. Get Rid of Deep Stains

    When it comes to stains, there are all types of discolorations that can lead to a less-than-stellar smile.

    There are superficial stains, which can usually be controlled through proper brushing and professional cleanings, and then there are deeper stains, which can be more stubborn. At-home kits can’t always provide the level of whitening needed to remove these stains in an acceptable amount of time.

    Deep stains could result from drinking coffee and wine. Even tea and cola are culprits when it comes to tooth staining! If you’re a present or previous smoker, tobacco can often give teeth a yellow or brown tinge.

    Stains can also have other etiologies.  For example, if one of your teeth is darkened while the others remain whiter, you could have a tooth that has a necrotic pulp.  This is usually caused by a past trauma or injury. If this is the case, you may need a root canal. Once the root canal procedure has been completed, the tooth can be internally bleached to remove the discoloration.

    Your Asheville dentist can discuss this further and answer any of your questions when you come in for your teeth whitening procedure!

    3. Feel Confident

    One of the things people are most self-conscious about is their smile. It’s natural to be embarrassed by stains or to feel like you need to hide your teeth whenever you smile and laugh when your pearly whites become discolored.

    You don’t have to be held back by your smile. One of the best benefits of having a professional teeth whitening done is feeling confident again. Whether you want your beautiful smile for an upcoming wedding, a job interview, a special event, or even a first date, you can make the best first impression with your white smile.

    A professional teeth whitening allows you to smile naturally and confidently when meeting new people or posing for photos on your wedding day. Teeth whitening allows many people both young and old to boost their self-esteem and to feel happier and more attractive.

    4. Get a Comprehensive Whitening

    Your dentist in Asheville is an experienced professional when it comes to teeth whitening. People who rely on at-home kits can’t get the level of skilled detail that your dentist provides.

    Your dentist can also take into account any cosmetic dentistry work you’ve had done, as this may or may not affect your whitening. For instance, crowns and veneers may need to be done after your tooth whitening rather than before to accurately match your color.

    The whitening agent that your Asheville dentist uses is also stronger than over-the-counter kits. This means your smile will be whiter in less time!

    5. Look Younger

    It’s no secret that whiter teeth help you appear more youthful. You’ll smile confidently and proudly with your new shade of white and feel more natural doing so.

    The older you are, the more likely your teeth are to be stained. People associate whiter teeth with youthfulness, so getting a whitening treatment can help take years off you and your smile.

    Research has shown that smiling actually boosts your mood. This is because it releases endorphins, which are chemicals called neurotransmitters that help you feel less stressed and happier.

    When you’re able to fully enjoy your smile again, you won’t hold back when smiling or laughing and appear younger and more attractive–and you might just feel happier too!

    6. Take Better Care of Your Teeth

    When your smile is the best it can be after your teeth whitening, of course you’re going to want to take care of it.

    Patients who have had a professional teeth whitening done tend to be more motivated to better care for their teeth. This means maintaining the bright smile through brushing and flossing, but it also means getting regular dental checkups with your Asheville dentist to ensure your smile is healthy.

    Professional cleanings can help maintain your white smile for as long as possible. When you get a whitening, you might just improve your oral health!

     

    Isn’t it time that you stopped waiting for whiter teeth? You can get immediate results with a professional teeth whitening by your dentist in Asheville. The benefits of choosing a professional whitening are numerous.

    Whether you’re ready to smile big for your wedding day or just want to boost your everyday confidence, teeth whitening could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Saunders today to see how your smile could benefit from a professional whitening!

    dentist in Asheville

    Your Guide to Dental Emergencies

    by Saunders DDS on May 23, 2017

    Emergencies are part of life, even when it comes to your teeth.

    Not everyone has thought about what they would do in the event of a dental emergency or how the situation should be handled!

    This guide will help you not only be able to identify a dental emergency, but also to know what to do when it happens. If you have children, keeping the following tips in mind can help greatly in the event their smile should become damaged.

    Here’s how you can know what a dental emergency is as well as how to handle the incident once it happens.

    What Is a Dental Emergency?

    A dental emergency is a problem that requires immediate care in order to stop your tooth from being lost, control bleeding, or stop intense pain.

    If you have an oral health problem and think you can live with the pain, consider the following situations to see if your case may actually require immediate attention from your dentist in Asheville.

    Situations That Require Immediate Care

    When the following instances happen, it’s best to get yourself to a dentist as soon as possible. If your dentist isn’t available, go to the emergency room.

    A Knocked-Out Tooth

    If your tooth has been knocked out whether in one piece or in fragments, gather all the pieces of your tooth. Ideally, you’d want to put the tooth back in your mouth and hold it in its socket until you can see the dentist.

    If this just isn’t possible, put the tooth in a container of saliva or milk. You may also need a piece of gauze or a clean cloth to hold on the area to help slow the bleeding. Then get yourself to the dentist as soon as you’re able.

    Cracked or Fractured Teeth

    Any tooth that’s been cracked or broken as the result of an injury should be seen as soon as possible by your Asheville dentist. This is because the sooner you’re able to receive treatment, the more likely it is that your dentist will be able to save your tooth and put the pieces back. Gather all the pieces of your chipped or broken tooth to take with you.

    Injury to Teeth or Jaw

    Whether it’s from an accident or injury, any impact to your teeth or jaw should be evaluated by your dentist in Asheville. If the accident was severe enough to knock out one or several of your teeth, take the tooth with you to the dentist. Your Asheville dentist can also take x-rays to determine if your jaw has been affected by the injury.

    Severe Toothache

    Putting off a toothache is never a good idea. Toothaches rarely go away on their own and will need professional treatment to get better. Sometimes, a tooth abscess can result if there’s an infection that’s gone untreated.

    If your toothache is so severe you can’t stand the pain, this could be a life-threatening infection, so get yourself to your emergency dentist or the emergency room at your local hospital as soon as you can.

    Dental Problems That Can Wait

    There are some oral health issues that can wait until regular office hours for you to be seen by your dentist for an exam. This list includes the following issues with your smile.

    A Lost Crown or Filling

    When a crown or filling has been lost, you can wait until your dentist is open to get an appointment. Try not to put this off for too long, though. Call your Asheville dentist and see what they recommend as far as getting in to replace the crown or filling and protecting your tooth. In the meantime, try to chew on the opposite side of your mouth that’s missing the filling or crown!

    Broken or Damaged Braces

    If you or your child has broken braces, this isn’t a cause for emergency. Call your dentist or orthodontist and make an appointment to get the repairs done. You can get some orthodontic wax if there are any wires poking out to protect the gum tissue until the fix is complete.

    Mild Toothache

    When you have a toothache that’s not quite as painful as a more severe, throbbing toothache, call your dentist in Asheville to find out their recommendation for an appointment. Getting in to see your dentist in a matter of days should suffice, but if the pain worsens, insist on being seen sooner.

    What Can You Do?

    When these dental emergencies happen, it’s important to be prepared. Here are just a few things you can do in order to increase the chances that your tooth will be able to be saved when you see your dentist.

    Keep a List of Dentists

    It’s important to know where you can go for dental emergencies when they happen. Talk to your local dentist about when they’re open and available to receive emergency appointments. Have them recommend a place or a provider that’s open after hours should you need emergency care.

    Keep a list of dentists, urgent care clinics or local hospitals in your emergency kit so you can be seen as soon as possible for your broken or damaged teeth.

    Stock an Emergency Kit

    You might have a first-aid kit in your car or office, but does this include items that’ll be needed for a tooth emergency? Here’s what you should stock in a dental emergency kit.

    – Clean gauze

    – A sealable container for the lost tooth

    – Disposable cold pack for pain and swelling

    – Orthodontic wax

    – OTC temporary filling material

    You may also choose to keep gloves and additional dressings such as cotton balls in your kit. Keep it close by and include the numbers for your local dentists and hospitals.

    Know the Plan

    Out of all of your preparation, knowing what to do can help you act quickly in an emergency situation.

    This means knowing that knocked-out teeth need to be stored in saliva or milk to stay alive. It means reaching out to your dentist for advice when you need it. It also means understanding that broken teeth really shouldn’t wait until the next day to see the dentist—go there now!

    When you have a dental emergency, being prepared is half the battle. Keep these tips in mind in the event that you or someone you know has a dental problem that requires immediate care.

    Remember, you can prevent many dental health problems such as a tooth infection or a lost filling by regularly seeing your dentist. You can help save your tooth by knowing the best practices following a tooth injury. Make an appointment with us to prevent oral health issues and talk about emergency care.

    A new study published in the British Medical Journal shows that people who avoid the dentist, because of dental anxiety, tend to be unhappy and experience a poorer quality of life.

    This may be due to the fact that people who avoid the dentist tend to have more cavities. Cavities that are left untreated can grow so large that they lead to tooth loss, ultimately impacting the quality of a person’s speech, their chewing habits, and of course, their appearance.

    The study also found that people who had more cavities were also more likely to have other illnesses as well. This comes as little surprise since dental health has been linked to heart health in the past and recently, cancer.

    Here’s how skipping your dental checkup could result in more unhappiness and an unhealthy smile.

    Lack of Treatment Generates Anxiety

    The authors of the study found that dental anxiety is a vicious cycle for the people who experience it.

    For instance, those who have dental anxiety—a feeling of dread or panic when thinking about the dentist, making an appointment, or coming in for a visit—tend to avoid the dentist. The longer they go without treatment, the more dental work they anticipate needing. This, in turn, generates further anxiety about the perceived need for future treatment.

    Of course, this additional anxiety prevents them from seeking that treatment, thus leading to a cycle of anxiety and avoidance that can lead to poor dental health.

    Symptoms of the Patients

    The people who participated in the study and avoided the dentist as a result of dental anxiety had more cavities, increased plaque, and more gum bleeding than people who regularly see their dentist.

    There were, of course, other factors that led to cavities besides dental anxiety. According to the study of almost 11,000 people, the presence of cavity forming plaque was most likely found in men who brushed their teeth irregularly.

    The patients who reported dental anxiety—slightly less than 4,000 people—were also more likely to have missing teeth. Ironically, missing teeth were also associated with being female as well as being advanced in age. Furthermore, we know age is a risk factor for gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss.

    How Gum Disease Fits In

    Dental anxiety wasn’t connected to ligament damage that dentists often see with advanced periodontal (gum) disease. However, the study did find that not using floss was a factor in ligament damage.

    Bleeding from the gums, another symptom of gum disease, was found to be less of an issue among the patients who reported regularly flossing their teeth.

    Quality of Life in Those with Dental Anxiety

    The study found that there was a “significant relationship” between people who reported having dental phobia and people who acknowledged a negative impact on their quality of life as a result of poor dental health.

    This is likely because people with dental anxiety are more likely to have one or more missing teeth or decayed teeth. This is unfortunate because these people avoid the dentist despite the fact that tooth decay is preventable.

    Although previous research suggests a correlation with patients who report dental anxiety and those who have gum disease, no such correlation was found in this study. This could be because some of these patients who experience dental anxiety try and care for their teeth with the hope of avoiding dental visits.

    The Impact

    Your smile affects your life in more ways than you think. Imagine if every time your reaction to smile, laugh, or speak was immediately followed by anxiety about someone seeing your missing tooth.

    From eating and drinking to socializing with others, oral disease affects our lives. The well-being of the people in the study was found to be impacted by their resistance to seeking dental treatment. This includes their physiological, psychological, social, and emotional health.

    The study hypothesizes that people who have dental anxiety may also have general anxiety, which could lead to sadness, exhaustion, and discouragement. Being embarrassed about your smile can prevent you from fully participating in social events or your life in general.

    These patients may feel isolated, embarrassed, powerless, and of course, fearful of visiting the dentist. Everything from your work life to personal relationships can be affected by these feelings, which may result in poor self-esteem and negative thoughts.

    Help for Dental Anxiety

    Dental anxiety affects an estimated 30 million people or more in the United States. This condition isn’t uncommon and is handled with care at many offices, especially at your dentist in Asheville.

    When you find yourself avoiding the dentist because you’re afraid of the treatment you’ll need, the anxiety surrounding the dental instruments or the doctor, or even just because of financial reasons, know that there is help available.

    Dentists offer sedative dentistry options for patients who need a little extra help relaxing in the dentist’s chair. These include medications that can range from mild to heavy in order to bring you to your most comfortable level of relaxation.

    Talk to your Asheville dentist about your dental anxiety. Dentists like Dr. Saunders have experience in working with people who either haven’t been to the dentist in a long time or are afraid to let anyone work in their mouth.

    The more time you go without a dental exam, the more you risk compromising your smile with conditions that could be easily prevented or treated.

    How to Take the Best Care of Your Teeth

    Scheduling a professional teeth cleaning every six months is easy and can help prevent many dental problems that dentists commonly see today.

    If you have dental anxiety and find that you just can’t make it to the dentist as often as you should, take the best possible care of your teeth at home. This will ensure your smile is healthy, but it’ll also prevent the need for any cosmetic dentistry when you come in for your visit.

    Of course, home health habits only go so far. Find a dentist who’s local in your area who has experience treating patients with dental anxiety. Visit the office or call and ask about sedative dentistry options. You shouldn’t have to avoid the dentist and risk your beautiful smile just because you’re anxious about treatment.

    Here’s how to take care of your teeth in between cleanings:

    • Brush two times a day for at least two minutes. The quality of your brushing matters more than the force or the length of time—brush gently and pay attention to the surfaces you cover.
    • Floss once a day. This can be anytime during the day, as long as you do it! Flossing helps to cover all the surface areas of your teeth and removes plaque and food debris that could otherwise cause decay.
    • Minimize your consumption of sugar. From sodas to candy to pastries, limit how much sugar you eat. When you do eat sugar, rinse with water afterwards—it can help prevent sugar from damaging your tooth enamel.
    • Visit your dentist, even if it’s only once a year. Your Asheville dental practice is a judgement-free zone. Come in and see us, no matter how infrequently. We’re here to help you take care of your smile!

    Since skipping your checkups with your Asheville dentist could impact your quality of life in a bad way, visiting your dentist office is looking like the safer option to avoiding treatment. Even if you have dental anxiety, come in and speak with us. We’d love to help you discover your beautiful smile again!

    Oral cancer will kill almost 10,000 people in the United States this year.

    Oral cancer can be a sneaky disease. Often, people don’t notice the symptoms until cancer has already progressed in the body. This is why getting oral cancer screenings with your Asheville dentist is so important!

    Knowing your risk for oral cancer as well as the signs and symptoms can help you catch this disease early. Here’s what you don’t know about oral cancer, as well as how you can minimize your risk and seek treatment before it’s too late.

    What Is Oral Cancer?

    Oral cancer is cancer that develops in any part of the mouth, but could also include cancers in the face, neck, cheek, and tongue.

    Identifying oral cancer can be tricky, but inflammation is at the heart of this disease. Any pain, swelling, or odd-looking patches in your mouth should be evaluated by your dentist in Asheville for oral cancer.

    Oral cancer screenings are entirely painless and only take a few minutes. They can easily be conducted during your professional teeth cleaning.

    Rates of Oral Cancer in the U.S

    Nearly 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. People who receive treatment and survive the disease have a 57% survival rate after five years of being diagnosed. That’s still a large number of people who don’t survive oral cancer.

    The success of your treatment will depend on how late in its development the cancer is diagnosed. Although you may not recognize the symptoms, screening for the disease is paramount to avoid a late discovery.

    If oral cancer has metastasized to another area in the body such as the lymph nodes, this is worse than having a localized area of the disease and will be harder to treat. Get screenings so you can ensure your mouth is healthy!

    Risk Factors

    The risk factors for oral cancer are very similar to those for other types of cancers in the body. These risk factors include:

    • Smoking. More than a third of people do not realize that smoking is linked to oral cancer. The truth is that 90% of people who have oral cancer use some type of tobacco product. People who use these products are six times more likely to develop oral cancer. Smokeless tobacco raises your risk for oral cancer as well—by 50 times!
    • Alcohol. 80% of patients with oral cancer drink alcohol. This is a significant risk factor, and the combination of tobacco and alcohol is even worse.
    • Sun exposure. 30% of oral cancer patients have experienced prolonged exposure to sunlight.
    • Age. Your risk for cancer increases as you age. The vast majority of people (86%) are diagnosed at age 50 or above.
    • Being male. Oral cancers are twice as common in men as they are in women.
    • Not eating well. The fewer fruits and vegetables you eat, the higher your risk for developing oral cancer.

    It’s important to note that 90% of mouth cancers are linked to lifestyle or environmental factors. This could include your exposure to certain chemicals as well as lifestyle factors like drinking and smoking.

    It’s also worth noting that while not all of these risk factors are controllable, many of them are. Drinking and smoking are lifestyle choices. Sun exposure can be controlled or at least managed with a quality sunscreen.

    Although age and sex are genetic, you can make healthier eating choices to help reduce your risk for oral cancer!

    Screenings and Symptoms

    Receiving annual screenings for oral cancer with your Asheville dental practice can help to catch oral cancer early. As a routine part of your exam, this screening is painless and easy. Your dentist will simply check for any lumps in your neck, cheeks, or face.

    Your Asheville dentist will also look for any white or red patches in your mouth. It’s important that you talk to your dentist about any sores you have that won’t heal or other symptoms you experience.

    Other symptoms of oral cancer your dentist will ask about and look for include:

    • Persistent pain in the mouth
    • A lump in your cheek or neck
    • Patches of red or white on your gums or tongue
    • A persistent or unexplained sore throat
    • Trouble chewing and swallowing
    • Numbness or swelling in your mouth or face
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Loose teeth or bad breath, which are also symptoms of gum disease

    If you have any of the above symptoms, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Simply being aware of the symptoms can help you know when you need a checkup.

    Annual or bi-annual checkups can help assess if oral cancer is present and your dentist in Asheville can give you more tips on reducing your oral cancer risk!

    Reduce Your Risk and Get Checkups

    Reducing your risk for oral cancer is easier than you think.

    Eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and avoiding sugary foods such as sodas and sweets is paramount. Incorporate fruits and vegetables with every meal to get your servings in!

    Sugar can also promote inflammation, which is a risk factor for both cancer and heart disease. Eat more whole foods and less processed foods that contain sugar to promote wellness in your body and mouth.

    Visiting your dentist for professional teeth cleanings and an oral exam can routinely remove plaque and help improve your oral care routine. Your Asheville dentist can advise you on better brushing tips and get you motivated to floss!

    If you drink and smoke regularly, consider making changes to your lifestyle routines. Find resources for quitting the tobacco habit, and limit alcohol as much as possible. Alcohol is also extremely erosive to your tooth enamel.

    When you spend more than 10-20 minutes outside in direct sunlight, it’s a good idea to use sunscreen.

    Getting diagnosed with oral cancer is not a death sentence. Seeking treatment early is paramount to your success, but getting treatment can’t happen without a diagnosis. Be on top of your oral care and get regular screenings to ensure you don’t have oral cancer.

    Checkups are simple and can help you stay on track and reduce your risk! You can keep your mouth healthy through brushing and flossing, but remember that oral health is a comprehensive routine. Taking care of your mouth can ensure a healthy body and a healthy heart.

    Schedule a visit with us today to get an oral cancer screening with your dental exam and cleaning!

    Most of us are so busy in our daily lives that taking care of our oral health tends to be an afterthought.

    Our bodies have ways of telling us when something is wrong—the same is true for our mouth. Your mouth will let you know if something is amiss. It’s your job to notice the signs and take action before it’s too late.

    While many oral health problems can be avoided through regular brushing and flossing, some signs are obscure enough that they don’t let you know there’s a problem until it’s almost too late.

    This is why it’s imperative to visit your Asheville dentist so that you can identify and treat problems before they even have a chance to produce symptoms.

    Here are six signs that your mouth is trying to tell you something and what they might mean for your oral health.

    1. Sore, Swollen, or Red Gums

    If your gums are tender to the touch or you experience pain when brushing, you could be experiencing the beginning stages of gum disease, also known as gingivitis.

    Nearly half of all Americans have gum disease according to the Centers for Disease Control. This is a huge number of people that are experiencing symptoms such as red, swollen, or bleeding gums and compromising their oral health by ignoring these signs and symptoms.

    The good news is that gum disease can be treated by your dentist in Asheville and reversed easily in its early stages. Gum disease may not be initially painful, but it’s actually one of the most common reasons that older Americans lose their teeth.

    Another symptom of gum disease is chronic bad breath that won’t go away even after brushing and flossing. By having your mouth examined at your Asheville dental practice, you can diagnose and treat gum disease before it’s too late.

    2. Tooth Sensitivity to Temperature or Sweets

    Tooth sensitivity, like gum disease, is pretty common. It’s estimated that the number of Americans with sensitive teeth rivals that of those with gum disease.

    Your mouth is trying to tell you something through your tooth sensitivity—it could mean a number of things. Tooth sensitivity to temperature or sweets could be the result of the following oral health problems:

    • Tooth decay
    • A fractured tooth
    • Worn away tooth enamel
    • An exposed root from recessed gums

    Temperature sensitivity is usually not a problem in people with healthy enamel. However, when the enamel is damaged from one of the above problems, people tend to feel the temperature in the pulp of your tooth.

    If you don’t have your tooth sensitivity examined, you could be setting yourself up for future problems. For instance, a cavity that’s left to progress could easily lead to the need for root canal therapy.

    You may be wearing away your enamel by grinding your teeth, which could be indicative of a jaw problem. Loss of enamel can cause all types of oral health problems, from tooth sensitivity to cavities to discoloration of the teeth.

    Sensitive teeth that are the result of recessed gums could be a symptom of gum disease. When you seek treatment with your Asheville dentist, you can stop these problems before they progress!

    3. Bleeding While Brushing

    While some patients might consider bleeding during their oral care routine normal, this is actually a sign of an underlying oral health problem.

    You could have tender gums that hurt when brushing or flossing, which may be indicative of gum disease. However, if you haven’t flossed in a long time, a bit of bleeding at first is normal.

    If you’re too aggressive with brushing or flossing, bleeding may happen. Aggressive brushing can be damaging to your enamel, especially if it’s done right after a meal or after consuming sugar. Gentle brushing with a soft-bristled brush head is ideal.

    If you’re brushing with an old toothbrush with frayed bristles, you could even be cutting your gums. This means it’s time to replace your toothbrush!

    Regardless of what you may think your bleeding while brushing means, visit your dentist in Asheville to determine the true cause and seek treatment if necessary.

    4. If You Have Jaw Pain

    Persistent jaw pain is never a good thing. Your jaw pain could mean a couple different things.

    First, you may have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This means the joint that connects your jaw to your skull is not functioning as it should. You may be limited in your jaw movements or have an aching pain that’s persistent or intermittent.

    Getting treatment can help alleviate your pain. You may need orthodontics to correct your bite or perhaps you just need physical therapy and to learn relaxation techniques through your doctor. Knowing what’s causing your TMJ disorder will be imperative to getting the right treatment.

    Jaw pain could also be the symptom of a tooth abscess or tooth infection. The pain from these infections—which go deep into the root of the tooth and may need root canal therapy—may range from mild to severe.

    Your Asheville dentist can examine your jaw and help determine what’s causing your pain. You should never ignore pain, as this important symptom means your body is trying to tell you something!

    5. Changes in Color or Lumps

    White or red patches, lumps, or vague oral pain could be indicative of oral cancer. Any pain or lumps around the face or neck should be evaluated by your dentist or doctor.

    If you have unexplained bleeding, trouble swallowing, changes in taste, numbness, or any changes in texture and color in your mouth, you need to see your dentist as soon as possible.

    Your dentist in Asheville can perform an oral cancer screening during your regular checkups. If you’ve haven’t been to the dentist in a while and are experiencing symptoms of oral cancer, schedule an appointment with us.

    Dr. Saunders can talk with you about your symptoms after a thorough exam and provide a diagnosis for your problems. The sooner you seek the advice of a professional, the better!

    You can limit your risk for oral cancer by avoiding tobacco products and limiting your consumption of alcohol to protect your teeth.

    6. White Spots on Your Teeth

    If your teeth have white spots, your mouth could be experiencing a few different things.

    First, white spots on the teeth could mean you’ve been getting too much fluoride. This is especially true in children, when excessive fluoride intake before teeth are matured could lead to the formation of these spots.

    A simple dental exam for your child can tell you how healthy your child’s teeth are and how much fluoride they should be getting.

    White spots on your teeth could mean you may have experienced mineral loss in these areas.  This can cause weakened enamel and put you at a higher risk for cavities.

    Getting your teeth checked out by your Asheville dentist can identify the likely cause of your white spots and what you can do to strengthen and protect your teeth.

     

    If you’re experiencing any of these six symptoms, schedule an appointment with us. Dr. Saunders can effectively examine your mouth and determine what the problem is. Putting off your dental health care is never a good idea—you want to seek treatment while you still can.

    Consider what your mouth is trying to tell you with these symptoms!

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    5 Myths about Root Canal Therapy

    by Saunders DDS on March 8, 2017

    Root canal therapy has gotten a bad reputation throughout the years. You may have heard your parents talk about how terrible their root canal treatment was. Perhaps you even need a root canal but are dreading having one done, and are therefore putting off the procedure.

    Forget everything you know about root canal therapy. This form of treatment has come a long way since its inception. Experienced dentists like your dentist in Asheville can perform the procedure and help save your tooth, therefore avoiding an extraction.

    Why would you get root canal therapy as opposed to an extraction? Here are some of the top myths about root canal therapy so you can overcome your misconceptions about this treatment.

    Myth #1: Root Canals Are Extremely Painful

    Root canals are designed to treat your pain, not cause you more pain.

    During a root canal procedure, your Asheville dentist removes the infected, or inflamed, pulpal tissue (which consists of nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue) that’s inside your tooth. The pulp tissue could be infected, or inflamed, for a variety of reasons, among them include:

    • A cavity that’s been left to progress.
    • A fractured or cracked tooth that allows bacteria to invade the inner portions of the tooth.
    • An injured tooth, which may lead to bacteria in the pulp, therefore causing an infection.

    Infected pulp tissue is usually painful.  However, some people remain symptomless because the nerve tissue dies during the infection.

    For patients who experience pain and for those who don’t, a root canal is designed to save your tooth.

    Finally, for many patients the procedure can be completed painlessly with modern anesthetics and mild anxiolytic medications.

    Myth #2: Getting a Tooth Pulled Is Better

    Saving your natural tooth is almost always the preferred option.

    This is because there’s nothing quite like your natural teeth. Even the best tooth replacement options available do not have all the advantages your teeth do. Your teeth can last a lifetime; they’re strong, resilient, and look natural in your mouth.

    Having a tooth removed is usually not a better option than a root canal. Replacing a missing tooth is often more expensive, takes longer to complete and may not last as long.  Finally, by saving your natural tooth you’ll also maintain your natural appearance.

    Many people don’t realize that root canal therapy can save your tooth. Talk to your Asheville dental practice about this option. Although there are situations where an extraction is unavoidable, in many cases, root canal therapy is the better choice for treatment.

    Myth #3: I Don’t Need a Root Canal

    For those who don’t experience pain as a result of dead or infected tooth pulp, they may think they don’t need a root canal.

    This is a myth. Once the pulp has died, the infection can spread into other tissues and may eventually create a painful abscess in your mouth. People who have diseased pulpal tissue can treat the tooth by removing the infected pulp and sealing the canal to prevent future infections.  Furthermore, a positive outcome from a root canal procedure is predictable.

    Skipping your root canal appointment and leaving an abscess untreated, could even lead bacteria to entering your bloodstream and affecting your heart.

    Finally, you can also miss the chance to save your tooth and instead end up needing an extraction if you avoid root canal therapy long enough. This is because the tooth may become so infected or damaged that the root canal treatment outcome becomes significantly less predictable.

    Myth #4: A Follow-Up Visit Is Unnecessary

    While root canal therapy with your Asheville dentist likely won’t take several dental visits, you can and should schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure your root canal procedure was effective.

    You’ll also need to receive a restoration on your tooth (to seal the outside) after the inside has been sealed to protect the tooth from bacterial invasion.  Your follow-up visit can ensure your tooth is healing from the procedure as well as fit you with a permanent restoration on your tooth to complete the process.

    Getting a root canal procedure doesn’t take much more time than a filling these days, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid the dentist after your root canal therapy. Scheduling an appointment along with regular cleanings can help you prevent needing any future root canals and protect the ones you currently have.

    Talk with your dentist in Asheville about scheduling your follow-up appointment when you talk about root canal therapy.

    Myth #5: Root Canals Cause Illness

    The myth that root canals can cause illness and disease originated decades ago, but there is no conclusive evidence to back up these claims.

    These old ideas centered on the fact that any bacteria from the infected pulp would become trapped once the canal was sealed and could cause illness in the body. The literature says this just isn’t true. Technology has enabled dentists to have better, more precise tools to effectively remove diseased tissue inside your tooth.

    The risks of avoiding a root canal far outweigh those for getting root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is a safe and effective procedure. In fact, certain root canal treatments have a 95% success rate in patients.

    The Truth about Root Canal Therapy

    The truth is that root canal therapy is often a painless, successful procedure for the vast majority of patients. Schedule an exam with Dr. Saunders at our Asheville dental practice. He can conduct a thorough exam and determine if a root canal is needed.

    Even if you don’t suspect root canal therapy is necessary, come in and see us. Regular checkups and cleanings can help remove the bacteria and plaque that cause cavities and gum disease that could lead to infected tooth pulp in the first place.

    Consider that root canals aren’t meant to harm your tooth, but to heal it. When or if you need root canal therapy, keep these five myths in mind when you visit your dentist for a consultation!

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    Headaches? Might Be Time to See the Dentist

    by Saunders DDS on February 28, 2017

    Having a headache is an awful experience.

    From a mild headache to a tension migraine, headaches can be intense and traumatic. If you frequently have headaches, you know that they impact your daily life.

    Trying to find out the cause of your headaches can often be an ineffective and frustrating search. This is because headaches can be caused by many things, and too commonly, the cause is misdiagnosed.

    This is where getting regular checkups with your dentist in Asheville can help. Your Asheville dentist is an expert in evaluating your mouth, jaw, and teeth. Dr. Saunders can help identify problem areas that could be causing headaches.

    But how does your mouth and jaw relate to a pounding headache? Here are the top causes of headaches that your dentist can help identify and treat.

    Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

    Did you know that 80% of all headaches result from muscle tension?

    Your jaw consists of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is one of the most complex joints in your body. This gives your jaw the ability to open and close as well as to move from side to side, making you adept at chewing food.

    However, this also means that your TMJ is more susceptible to problems. TMJ disorders are usually caused by other problems, some of which include:

    • Arthritis of the joint
    • Injury to the face, jaw, or mouth
    • Misalignment of the teeth
    • Teeth grinding (bruxism)

    All of these are potential causes of TMJ disorders, which can be very frustrating. Their symptoms include a popping or clicking jaw, difficulty opening your mouth wide, or jaw pain.

    Problems with your TMJ can cause tension in the muscles that support the joint. When there’s a reoccurring problem, over time you can begin to develop tension headaches. Unless the root cause of this problem is addressed, the headaches generally continue or may even get worse in frequency or severity.

    TMJ disorders can be treated with the help of your Asheville dental practice to properly alleviate your headaches!

    Bruxism

    Bruxism is another name for teeth grinding, which is a damaging habit for your smile.

    Teeth grinding puts immense pressure on your teeth, which leads to tense muscles. This, in turn, can lead to tension headaches. However, bruxism also causes a wide range of other problems in the mouth, especially if this is a practice that’s continued over time.

    Grinding your teeth can lead to broken or chipped teeth, visually impacting your smile. As bruxism continues, the pressure eventually causes inflammation of the tooth’s roots which can lead to sore teeth.

    Bruxism can be treated by your dentist with mouthguards as well as with stress-relieving techniques. Your bruxism may be caused by issues other then stress, such as an incorrect bite.  In some patients an incorrect bite causes muscle disharmony which manifests as bruxism and potentially pain.

    Incorrect Bite

    An incorrect bite can create many problems in the mouth. These include problems chewing food properly, pronouncing words, and creating jaw pain and tension.

    When our bite isn’t properly aligned, it can create uneven wear among our teeth which can lead to enamel erosion. Once enamel is gone, it can’t be replaced and may eventually lead to tooth sensitivity and possibly cavities, further damaging teeth.

    Incorrect bites may be the result of genes passed down from parents and can usually be corrected with orthodontics. If left untreated, these bites can cause muscles to strain as your body continually works to correct the problem. This leaves you with tense muscles and often, headaches.

    Correcting misaligned bites is usually a simple process that can greatly help when it comes to correcting your jaw. If a misaligned bite is determined to be the cause of your headaches, fixing this problem will help alleviate your pain!

    Stress

    Stress takes a huge toll on our bodies in ways we often don’t realize.

    Stress is often responsible for the increased risk of chronic diseases, unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking, and yes, even headaches.

    If you experience a lot of stress at work or at home, you could be creating tense muscles in your face, neck, or jaw. All of these muscles have important jobs to do. When these muscles are tense and strained frequently, they could be causing tension headaches.

    Stress can also be a contributing factor in TMJ disorders, and will often make the disorder worse. Learning relaxation techniques as well as properly managing your stress can help alleviate tension headaches.

    Getting an exam with your Asheville dentist can also help identify any existing problems in your jaw or if you’re grinding your teeth due to stress!

    What Can You Do?

    As you can see, all of these problems are related in one way or another and they can work to cause headaches.

    It’s not always easy to determine the cause of a headache, but don’t overlook the dentist as someone who can help you figure out this problem.

    Dentists are trained to notice abnormalities in your neck, jaw, and even face. Signs of bruxism are often evident through enamel loss and sore teeth.  Odd jaw noises or jaw pain can be indicative of TMJ disorders, which your dentist can help identify and treat.

    Improper bites are often apparent in early childhood and can be corrected with orthodontics as your child gets older. By identifying problems early, you minimize the chances that you or your child will experience problems later on.

    Aren’t your tension headaches overdue for a checkup with your dentist? Talk to your dentist in Asheville about the symptoms you’re experiencing and where you’re feeling pain. Dr. Saunders can talk with you about any jaw problems you may have and help provide a solution.

    Don’t live with tension headaches any longer. Schedule an appointment with us to see if your jaw could be the cause of the problem!

    6 Oral Health Hacks You Didn’t Know About

    February 9, 2017
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    Taking care of your oral health is something that can feel easy to do—brush, floss, and visit your dentist in Asheville. Easy, right? Not so fast. While taking care of your teeth can be as easy as 1, 2, 3, there are some oral health hacks you should know about to make your oral care […]

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    Encouraging Your Child to Brush and Floss—5 Tips to Make Oral Care Easier

    January 17, 2017
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    Let’s face it—getting your child to brush is like pulling teeth at times! Tooth decay is not uncommon among children, making it imperative that your child brush and floss from an early age. Even as an infant, it’s recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) that you wipe gums with a clean cloth or gauze […]

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    Why January Is an Excellent Month to See Your Dentist

    January 8, 2017
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    Happy 2017! It’s the New Year and this is the perfect time to start things off positively. The holidays are over and your year is settling in to a more normal routine. In addition to signing up for a new gym membership, taking down decorations, and putting away gifts, have you had time to schedule […]

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    Your Top New Year’s Oral Health Resolutions for 2017

    December 21, 2016
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    2017 is just around the corner! What’s on your list for New Year’s Resolutions this year? Whether you’d like to lose weight or stop smoking, your oral health is impacted by the choices you’ll make in the upcoming year. By incorporating a few dental health goals into your list, you can have a healthy body […]

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    Look Your Best This Holiday: 5 Tips to Protect Your Smile!

    December 11, 2016
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    The holidays are here and it’s time to show the world your beautiful smile! Keeping your smile healthy and protected this holiday season is crucial when you’ve got so much going on. Maintaining your oral hygiene habits doesn’t have to be difficult in the face of the holiday frenzy. You can enjoy your time with […]

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    5 Facts to Get You Motivated about Flossing

    December 11, 2016
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    Flossing only takes as long as brushing your teeth—around two minutes—but millions of Americans are skipping this important oral hygiene practice that could help benefit not just their smile, but their body as well! From claiming there’s just not enough time or plain dislike, there are many excuses people make for not flossing their teeth […]

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    2017 Is Right Around The Corner: What You Need to Know About Your Dental Insurance

    November 16, 2016

    The end of the year is fast approaching, you have paid your dental insurance premium, but are you reaping all of its benefits? Saunders DDS, your dentists in Asheville want to make sure you are getting all of the insurance benefits you deserve. If you have not reached your dental insurance’s maximum (this is the […]

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    Give The Gift Of A Beautiful Smile This Holiday Season!

    November 16, 2016

    Let’s be honest, the holidays are a wonderful time to connect with family and friends but sometimes the stress of what to get people can be overwhelming. Let Saunders DDS, your dentists in Asheville, take some of this stress away from you this holiday season by giving the gift of cosmetic dentistry! Teeth whitening treatments […]

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    How Does Exercise Affect Your Smile?

    November 9, 2016
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    We all know that exercise can do wonders for our bodies. From helping us stay at a healthy weight to promoting heart health and reducing our risk of chronic disease, exercise has all around been promoted as a good thing. If exercise is great for your body, then surely it must be just as great […]

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    Don’t Scare Your Dentist This Halloween—Tips for a Healthy Smile!

    October 25, 2016
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