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    How to Find the Best Dentist for You

    by Saunders DDS on August 9, 2018

    Finding a good dentist is more than just picking a professional to clean your teeth. Having a partner in your oral health care that you can trust is invaluable. Your teeth and gums not only affect your appearance, but a growing body of research suggests your oral health is linked to chronic disease, premature birth, and even cancer.

    So how can you find a dentist that fulfills this important role? To find an Asheville dental practice that’s convenient, trustworthy, experienced, and professional, follow these tips to find the best dentist for you to help you keep up with your oral health.

    Place a Priority on Communication

    With any professional, especially a healthcare professional, it’s important to have good communication. Dentists aren’t just doctors; they’re educators. A dentist that simply cleans your teeth and sends you on your way might not be your best choice.

    A good Asheville dentist, and dental hygienist, will explain what spots you’re missing when you brush, offer tips for reaching difficult areas, and can suggest other areas of improvement. A dentist may or may not recommend a specific type of floss or toothbrush, but they should want you to take good care of your teeth and gums and show you how to do a good job.

    In addition, if you need any type of treatments other than a cleaning, your dentist in Asheville should thoroughly explain the treatment as well as all of its risks, what benefits it offers, and any alternative treatments available. For nearly every dental issue, there is more than one treatment. Your dentist should be able to clearly communicate your choices so that you feel confident that you’re making the best decision for you.

    If your dentist can’t communicate well or doesn’t invest their time in your oral health, consider getting a second opinion or searching elsewhere for your oral care.

    Consider Convenience

    Staying on top of your dental health is a key factor in preventing diseases such as periodontal disease and catching other problems such as cavities and oral cancer early. Therefore, it’s important to choose an Asheville dentist who will be convenient for you so you can regularly make appointments.

    Depending on what’s most important to you in an oral healthcare professional, you may place a priority on a location that’s easier for you to access or hours that work with your schedule. Take convenience into account when researching dentists in your area.

    You may also consider other details of convenience, such as whether or not the dentist is in your insurance network, if you need a dentist that sees both adults and children, or a dentist that offers emergency care hours on the nights and weekends.

    Regardless of what factors you need to evaluate for convenience, be sure to choose a dentist who will suit your schedule so that you’re more likely to keep your regular appointments!

    Weigh Insurance vs. Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    Don’t let lack of dental insurance prevent you from receiving the oral care that you need. Although searching for a dentist that’s out-of-network or looking for a dentist when you don’t have dental insurance can feel difficult, you still have options.

    Many dentists offer discounts or specials, so you should absolutely ask about these. For example, many dentists offer new patient specials that involve an exam and a cleaning. If you need any work done outside of an exam and cleaning and you don’t have dental insurance, you’ll want to evaluate prices.

    You don’t have to forgo a quality dentist just because you don’t have dental insurance. You deserve the best care, and many excellent dentists are affordable.

    You may also consider signing up for a dental discount plan, but be aware that some dentists don’t participate in these plans. You can also ask a dentist you’re considering about their policy on payment plans, their payment options, and discounts for specific groups, such as military discounts or senior citizen discounts.

    Evaluate Your Comfort

    Most importantly, how comfortable you feel at your dentist’s office is the most important thing. You want to feel comfortable asking questions, asking for what you need, and communicating with the dentist as well as the staff.

    You also want to feel secure addressing any concerns you may have, such as dental anxiety. Some experts speculate that up to 15% of the American population experiences dental anxiety, so don’t feel like you’re alone in addressing your concerns. Other research estimates the number to be even higher.

    Your dentist should also have minimal waiting time, a clean office, and a friendly and professional staff. It’s imperative that you feel good about your dentist in Asheville, otherwise, you may be less likely to follow through with your oral care.

    Take the Kids

    When you need a dentist that’s good with kids to help take care of your children’s teeth, you may be able to ask your child’s pediatrician for a recommendation, or you can schedule a few visits with dentists who see children in your area. When you need to be sure your little ones are getting their checkups, having the right dentist can make the appointments go by much easier—for you and your kids!

    Where to Start

    Finding the best dentist can begin at many starting points. First, you may ask friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors for references. If you’re new to the area, this can be especially helpful instead of just trying to find a dentist on your own.

    You can also utilize the American Dental Association’s search tool for approved professionals. Your insurance company can help you locate dentists in your network, but you’ll need to do your own research to determine if any of these dentists are a good fit for you. If not, it may make sense to seek a dentist outside your network. Ask your insurance company what their policy about receiving out-of-network care is if you have dental insurance.

    If you’re moving to a new area, you can always ask your current dentist for a referral to a professional in your new location. Your former dentist will be happy to hear that you’re continuing your oral health care!

    Don’t waste time finding the right dentist for you. Whether you invest time in doing your own research or ask for a recommendation, the best dentist can make your oral care easier and make your smile healthier and brighter. Make time to visit your local dentist in Asheville to evaluate the team and maybe even make an appointment—your smile will thank you!

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    5 Dental Trends That Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

    by Saunders DDS on July 10, 2018

    Many of us hear about the latest crazes that tend to take over now and then. When it comes to health trends that claim to be good for you, it can be harmful to engage in a practice that’s not been proven to help anything!

    When it comes to your teeth, you want to be careful about what substances you use or what activities you engage in that could be damaging to your oral health.

    What trends should you stay away from when it comes to your smile? Here are five dental trends you’ll want to question in order to have a healthy mouth.

    1. Oil Pulling

    Oil pulling has been all the rage. This practice involves taking a tablespoon of coconut oil or sesame oil and swishing it around in your mouth for up to 20 minutes daily. The idea behind this practice is that the oil pulls toxins out of your mouth and reduces plaque buildup.

    But what does the research say? Although not recommended by the American Dental Association, tentative research shows that this practice has the potential to benefit your smile when practiced correctly.

    However, oil pulling poses a risk for a few reasons. People tend to use oil pulling in place of brushing and flossing, thinking that the oil takes care of bacteria and plaque. This isn’t true, and oil pulling should only be considered a supplementary practice to your regular dental routine of brushing, flossing, and visiting your Asheville dentist.

    In addition, the practice dictates that you do oil pulling immediately upon waking and then brush your teeth immediately afterward. However, this practice could be harmful to teeth. We recommend not brushing until approximately 30 minutes after eating, and while oil pulling isn’t quite considered eating, your tooth enamel has still had time to be affected by the oil in your mouth and can be more susceptible to erosion after this practice.

    If you choose to do oil pulling, some dentists recommend brushing before oil pulling, which may be more helpful. Although we don’t recommend oil pulling, if you do choose to engage in this practice, be sure to follow the correct protocol to avoid harming your teeth and keep your regular dental appointments to ensure your teeth are healthy and strong!

    2. Consuming Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar has been hailed as curing everything from high blood pressure to acne. However, the acidity of this popular health fad could have your tooth enamel suffering.

    Being more on the acidic side of the pH scale (apple cider vinegar ranges from 3-5 with 7 being neutral), apple cider vinegar can quickly work to damage tooth enamel if it’s not diluted or at least followed with water.

    Some dentists speculate that as a result of apple cider vinegar’s acidity, the liquid can be difficult to neutralize in the oral cavity and can attack tooth enamel, causing teeth to become more sensitive.

    Since apple cider vinegar has the potential to erode tooth enamel, it can also cause dentin, the softer layer of tissue underneath enamel, to become exposed. Not only does this promote tooth sensitivity; it can also cause tooth discoloration.

    Although research does support some benefits of apple cider vinegar, the important thing to remember is to consume in moderation and always drink water with apple cider vinegar or after you drink or consume apple cider vinegar to minimize damage to your teeth!

    3. Using Charcoal Toothpaste

    Charcoal toothpaste has become wildly popular in the last few years. This toothpaste uses activated charcoal which claims to naturally whiten teeth and “detox” the oral cavity. But is it harmful to your smile?

    For some people, using charcoal toothpaste may be too abrasive for their teeth and worsen gum recession or tooth sensitivity. If you choose to try charcoal toothpaste, be sure the one you’re using isn’t too gritty for your teeth. You don’t want a paste so abrasive that it’s going to hurt your tooth enamel.

    You should also avoid brushing too hard with charcoal toothpaste. Harsh brushing can be very damaging to teeth, so use softer, gentle movements when using any kind of toothpaste, but especially if you choose to use charcoal toothpaste.

    Although the verdict is not out on whether or not charcoal toothpaste actually benefits your smile, you can use it, but be sure to use it correctly to avoid any harm to your teeth and gums and as always, continue with your regular checkups.

    4. Drinking Lemon Water

    Drinking water with lemon has long been a popular practice, but more people are realizing the benefits of drinking room temperature water with more than a slice of lemon in it—some people put up to a half of lemon in their water.

    However, similarly to apple cider vinegar, lemon has a low pH (typically from 2-3) which makes it extremely damaging to tooth enamel. If you’re drinking lemon water, especially in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink, you could be putting your smile at risk for enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.

    When it comes to foods that are beneficial for your teeth, lemons share the same pH as soda, so keep this in mind when you’re drinking lemon water. To enjoy the benefits of lemon without the enamel damage, try drinking it with a straw!

    5. Getting Trendy Oral Piercings

    Of course, dentists have long known the negative effects that oral piercings can have on the mouth. Tongue and lip rings can rub against the teeth and cause gum recession, chips, and even cracks in your tooth enamel.

    However, recent trends such as the “smiley” piercing—which is piercing the piece of connective tissue that connects your upper lip to your gums—have surfaced, causing even more damage when jewelry like this rubs against the front teeth every time your mouth moves.

    These trends are not only dangerous but can cause irreversible damage to your smile which will need cosmetic dentistry to fix. Keeping jewelry out of the mouth can help protect your teeth and gums from damage and encourage a healthy smile for life!

    Conclusion

    When it comes to trends that are closely tied to your health, it’s always best to check with your doctor or your dentist in Asheville to determine if these practices are good choices for you.

    While some trends such as drinking apple cider vinegar or oil pulling might be beneficial for some people, the point is that it’s not beneficial for everyone and it carries the potential to harm your smile.

    If you’ve been engaging in any of the above practices or if you’re concerned about your smile, get in touch with your Asheville dentist Dr. Saunders to schedule an appointment today. Our team is here to keep your teeth and gums strong, healthy, and beautiful for life!

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    Your Restorative Dentistry Options

    by Saunders DDS on June 25, 2018

    If your smile has experienced any type of decay, trauma, or disease, rehabilitating your smile is important. Restorative dentistry provides you with several options to restore the function and appearance of your smile.

    Although your dentist in Asheville will do their best to protect your natural teeth, restorative dentistry also involves using tooth replacements when necessary to help get your beautiful smile back.

    What are your options when the appearance and health of your smile have been compromised? The following are your restorative dentistry options to help you be proud of your smile again.

    Dental Crowns

    Dental crowns are used for a variety of different applications in dentistry. The crown is a porcelain replica of your natural tooth but goes over your tooth to protect it, strengthen it, and restore functionality. Dental crowns are used in such instances as:

    • You have a cavity that’s too large to be filled
    • Your tooth has extensive damage, such a deep crack or cavity in your tooth
    • To cap the end of a dental implant
    • To cover a single tooth that is discolored
    • For teeth that have undergone root canal therapy

    Your dental crown will match your other teeth, resist further damage, and provide you with a functional smile again. Your dental crown is definitively adhered to your natural tooth, but may need to be replaced approximately every five to fifteen years.

    Dental Bridges

    Dental bridges typically consist of dental crowns to fill in the gap of a missing tooth or several teeth in a row.

    In order to qualify for a dental bridge, you must have at least two healthy and strong teeth on either side of the gap. This is because the healthy teeth will work as anchors to support the bridge, so these teeth will be fortified with dental crowns to effectively support the restorative piece.

    Your dental bridge will be definitively fixed into place, but like dental crowns, it may need to be replaced approximately every five to fifteen years. You and your dentist can discuss if a dental bridge is the right choice to close the gap in your smile from your missing teeth.

    Fillings

    If your tooth is experiencing a small to moderate amount of decay, you’ll need a filling to restore your tooth. Today, non-mercury fillings such as composite resin are common, and your dentist in Asheville will remove the decay and seal your tooth to stop further damage.

    If your cavity is too large to be filled or is so large it has cracked your tooth, you may need a dental crown to cap the tooth and prevent bacteria from harming your tooth’s pulpal tissue. Dental fillings don’t last forever, so getting regular checkups to be sure your fillings are in good shape and to replace or repair them as needed is essential.

    Dental Implants

    One of the strongest and most resilient forms of restorative dentistry, dental implants allow you to enjoy full functionality of your smile. A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically place in your jawbone. Once the implant has healed, a dental crown will be fixed onto the top.

    Although the crown on the top of your implant will need to be replaced every so often, your actual dental implant should never need to be removed or replaced. Dental implants offer you the benefits of:

    • Being sturdy and functional, just like your natural teeth
    • Stimulating jawbone for a more youthful facial appearance and stronger jawbone
    • Durability to allow you to speak and chew like you normally would
    • Not needing replacement, therefore helping you better control your restorative dentistry costs over the years

    In order to qualify for dental implants, you’ll need to have enough bone in your jaw to support the actual implant. Your Asheville dentist can help you determine if you qualify for these tooth replacements!

    Dental Veneers

    If your smile has more widespread issues than just a single discolored tooth, you may want to consider dental veneers. These thin shells are made of porcelain and are similar in constitution to a dental crown except they are made to only cover the front of a tooth.

    Dental veneers can solve many issues with your smile, making them a versatile application for people with all kinds of complaints, including:

    • Deep stains that won’t go away with a professional teeth whitening
    • Extensive cracks or chips throughout your smile
    • Teeth that have been worn down from teeth grinding
    • Oddly shaped teeth or pointy teeth

    Instead of capping all your teeth with dental crowns, dental veneers allow you to transform your smile with less natural tooth removal .  Veneers are considered to be an irreversible form of treatment, so talk with your Asheville dentist about whether or not veneers are right for you.

    Tooth Bonding

    In the event that your tooth has broken off due to an accident or has a chip or a crack in it, tooth bonding may be able to help. Tooth bonding uses composite resin—the same material used in many fillings today—to mend your teeth.

    Tooth bonding can even be used for gaps in the smile under certain circumstances. Tooth bonding is used for many different issues with your smile and is designed to match your teeth perfectly, making your dental fix invisible!

    Dentures

    If you’re missing all of your natural teeth, you may qualify for dentures. Dentures are fully removable and should be removed to clean every day. If you’re missing a few teeth, you may be able to receive a partial denture, which is removable just like a full set of dentures. Although not quite as sturdy as dental implants, dentures provide you with the ability to chew and speak when your natural teeth are absent.

    Let’s Consider Your Options

    No matter what’s preventing you from having the smile of your dreams, restoration dentistry can help. Your Asheville dental practice can talk with you about all your options to determine your best choice for restorative dentistry. Make an appointment with Saunders DDS today to learn what restorative dentistry can do for your smile!

    Did you know that your child’s 20 primary teeth are already included in the jaw when they’re born? These teeth begin to erupt between the ages of six months to one year old.

    In the past, there have been many misconceptions about the role of baby teeth. People once speculated that it wasn’t important to care for primary teeth since they were going to fall out regardless.

    Now, most people know better. The baby teeth may fall out, but they’re instrumental in facilitating the health of the permanent teeth. Caring for your baby’s smile now can set them up for a healthy smile for life.

    As the teeth begin to erupt (all 20 should have erupted by the time your child is three years old), you should continue to care for them and schedule regular dental visits for your child.

    Here are six reasons that show just how important it is to keep those baby teeth healthy!

    1. Help Your Child Develop Proper Speech

    Baby teeth do more than give your child an adorable smile—they actually support proper development of speech.

    As babies learn to talk, their set of teeth is going to help them pronounce words correctly and learn the proper way a language is spoken.

    Adults who are missing their natural teeth can attest to how challenging saying certain words can be. Supporting a healthy smile can also support healthy speech habits in your little one.

    1. Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

    Children who have healthy baby teeth are less likely to develop bad eating habits. Why is this?

    When a child is able to chew their food properly, they’re able to enjoy fresher, healthier foods as they get older, including vegetables. A child who is in pain because of tooth decay or who is missing teeth may opt for softer, more processed foods because they are easier to chew.

    Proper chewing of food also facilitates healthy digestion, as food can be thoroughly chewed before swallowing, placing less stress on the digestive system. Keeping those baby teeth healthy can make your job of getting your child to eat healthy foods easier!

    1. Guide Permanent Teeth into Place

    Perhaps one of the most important functions of baby teeth is to act as a guide for adult teeth to come into their proper positions.

    In fact, dentists often refer to baby teeth as “placeholders” for the permanent teeth. Your child’s permanent teeth are already forming under the gums before they come in. If a baby tooth is lost early due to decay or injury, the permanent teeth may shift and not erupt through the gumline in their proper positions.

    The result of this is often a crowded smile or misaligned teeth, which will require orthodontic treatment to correct. By taking care of baby teeth now, you can help your child have a straight, healthy smile for life!

    1. Prevent Future Tooth Decay

    Unfortunately, tooth decay among children is all too common. As soon as your child’s teeth begin to come in, there is the potential for tooth decay.

    Your child’s baby teeth can be kept healthy by your Asheville dentist. One reason is to retain a healthy baby tooth until it naturally falls out, therefore facilitating a proper path for the adult teeth.

    Another reason is that the bacteria responsible for tooth decay have the potential to affect the permanent teeth that haven’t even come through the gum tissue yet. This is because the bacteria can travel up to the developing tooth and begin to affect that tooth before it even erupts into the oral cavity.

    Your child’s teeth should be cavity-free regardless of whether or not the tooth is a baby tooth, but if your child does have a cavity, getting it filled with your Asheville dentist as soon as possible can help prevent the spread of decay.

    1. Build Self-Esteem and Confidence

    Children who are proud of their smile tend to have better self-esteem and are empowered to build confidence. When children begin to take over the task of cleaning their smile and can see the results of their hard work, it helps build their confidence.

    Supporting those healthy baby teeth can also give your child their best chance to be successful in school. Children who experience tooth decay may be distracted by the pain and discomfort of a toothache, leading them to not pay full attention and even fall behind.

    1. Help Develop a Healthy Jaw

    Healthy baby teeth can help support proper growth of the jaw and the surrounding muscles throughout childhood. Your child’s jaw continues to develop throughout the first decade of their life, so ensuring the baby teeth are present for this development may help prevent jaw problems in the future, such as discomfort from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or headaches.

    How to Clean Your Baby’s Smile

    Cleaning your child’s smile is essential for healthy teeth, and fortunately, it’s a relatively easy task to do!

    When your child is an infant, you can gently wipe out their mouth after each feeding with a clean cloth. Once your child has a tooth, you can gently brush the tooth.

    When your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to make that first dentist appointment. Your dentist can ensure no tooth decay is present and talk more with you about your child’s smile to ensure optimal oral health. As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, you can begin flossing.

    Although your Asheville dentist will advise you on the best way to clean your child’s teeth during your appointment, remember to not use fluoride until your child has reached the age of three. You should continue to monitor brushing even after your child is able to do the task themselves. Most children will need some type of brushing supervision until around the age of eight.

    Conclusion

    By gently wiping out the mouth during infancy, brushing your child’s teeth twice a day as they get older, and continuing to monitor brushing as your child takes over, you can help build a healthy smile for your child’s life.

    Your child’s primary teeth are an essential part of their life and health. Primary teeth may erupt as early as the age of six months and be around until your child enters their teenage years, as the back molars typically aren’t replaced until then.

    When your child’s baby teeth are so important, it pays to take care of them. Visit your dentist in Asheville today to ensure your baby has a beautiful healthy smile!

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    Should I Have My Amalgam Fillings Removed?

    by Saunders DDS on May 8, 2018

    Amalgam fillings—also called silver fillings—have been used in dentistry for more than a century.

    While the American Dental Association verifies that amalgam fillings are safe, many dentists are turning away from using this material for fillings and instead relying on non-mercury fillings for their patients.

    While the mercury used in amalgam fillings has not been proven to cause adverse health effects, amalgam fillings are not used as often today as they were in the past. In actuality, only 50 percent of these fillings contain mercury, while the other 50 percent contains metals such as silver.

    Mercury is used to make the filling more pliable during the setting process but once it hardens is very resistant to damage. Amalgam fillings are one of the most durable filling materials on the market.

    People who have concerns over their exposure to mercury from amalgam fillings often question whether or not they should have these fillings removed.

    Here’s what you need to know when it comes to removing amalgam fillings.

    No, Unless They Are Damaged

    Amalgam fillings do expose patients to a small amount of mercury. However, people are exposed to mercury in numerous ways, such as by eating specific types of seafood, or wearing certain types of jewelry.

    The truth is that removing your amalgam fillings, if they are not damaged, may actually cause much more damage to your tooth and expose you to significantly more mercury. If your amalgam fillings are intact and there is no decay present, these fillings are best left alone.

    To remove your amalgam filling, your Asheville dentist will need to remove more of the healthy tissue of your tooth. Removing these fillings if they aren’t damaged can be risky for both your smile and your body, as they can expose you to more mercury.

    Allergic reactions to amalgam fillings are extremely rare. If you suspect you have an allergy to amalgam, you should alert your dentist so that he or she can further evaluate your symptoms and determine if a removal is necessary.

    Types of Damage in Amalgam Fillings

    Any type of material used to fill your cavity is susceptible to damage. No filling lasts forever and will need to be replaced eventually.

    Whether you have an amalgam filling or a composite resin one, these fillings are susceptible to damage such as:

    • Cracks. Your filling can crack from an injury to your tooth or just normal wear and tear over time. Cracked fillings allow bacteria into your tooth and will eventually cause symptoms.
    • Decay. Decay can occur underneath your dental fillings, especially if your filling material is leaking and it’s gone unnoticed. Although there are virtually no early symptoms of tooth decay, your cavity will eventually become large enough to cause symptoms.
    • Faulty seal. When your dentist in Asheville is placing your filling, there is a small risk that the seal between your filling material and your tooth will be faulty. This could be because saliva wasn’t totally removed. An improper seal can allow bacteria in, therefore shortening the lifespan of your filling.

    Symptoms of a damaged filling include pain when biting, increased tooth sensitivity, or a toothache. You may also be able to feel a sharp or jagged edge on the filling with your tongue or you may even be seeing pieces of the filling come out.

    If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or seeing signs of a damaged filling, call your Asheville dentist to schedule an appointment right away.

    Importance of Getting Your Fillings Examined

    Regular dental checkups can help prevent damage to your amalgam fillings and ensure you aren’t being exposed to additional amounts of mercury.

    Many people don’t realize their fillings are damaged until it’s too late to prevent additional mercury exposure or even too late to save the tooth with another filling.

    When you get a dental exam at the recommended interval of every six months, your dentist can screen for additional tooth decay and check the health of your fillings. This simple step allows your Asheville dentist to notice the damage much sooner and help prevent further exposure to mercury.

    If Dr. Saunders finds your amalgam filling is damaged, he can discuss replacement options with you to ensure safe removal and replacement of your filling.

    Alternatives to Mercury Fillings

    At Saunders DDS, we use non-mercury fillings on our patients with the following materials:

    • Composite Resin. This is a mix of materials such as synthetic resin that can match your existing tooth color and have the flexibility to be used for cavities both small and large.
    • Glass Ionomer. A mixture of glass particles and acrylic materials, this filling material is often used for small cavities.
    • Ceramic. A durable material that’s resilient to many types of damage that matches your teeth and is mercury-free!

    These materials allow your Asheville dental practice to provide you with fillings that are free of mercury. With numerous alternatives available for replacing amalgam fillings today, dentists find their patients want to be on the safe side when it comes to treatment.

    What Should You Do?

    If you’re concerned about mercury in your amalgam fillings, the best thing you can do is keep your teeth healthy and ensure your fillings are still intact.

    If your fillings are damaged, they’ll need to be examined by your dentist and will likely need to be replaced. If they aren’t damaged, it’s best to leave amalgam fillings alone at the risk of exposing yourself to more mercury.

    Your professional dentist can screen for decay underneath your existing fillings and determine if they need to be replaced. If your fillings do need to be replaced, ask your dentist about their experience removing amalgam fillings. You need an experienced dentist who can safely remove the fillings and provide you with a healthy replacement to continue protecting your tooth.

    Conclusion

    Are you worried about your amalgam fillings? Schedule an appointment at Saunders DDS to evaluate your fillings. Dr. Saunders can help you decide if your fillings are in good shape or if they need to be replaced.

    Amalgam fillings don’t pose a significant risk if they are healthy unless you suspect you have an allergy to them. However, when damaged, they can pose a risk to your mouth through additional mercury exposure as well as tooth decay.

    It’s easy to keep your fillings healthy with regular exams. When it’s time to replace your amalgam fillings, an experienced dentist can help!

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    What Health Problems Have Been Linked to Gum Disease?

    by Saunders DDS on April 17, 2018

    It’s becoming more apparent that gum disease, also called periodontal disease, affects more than just the oral cavity. Gum disease has been linked to numerous systemic diseases in scientific research.

    Your gums are an essential part of your smile. They help protect your teeth and the ligaments that anchor them in place. Keeping your gums healthy is crucial to a healthy smile.

    When bacteria, food debris, and plaque accumulate on the gumline, the gums can become infected. This typically happens through improper oral care or lifestyle factors such as smoking, although some people can be genetically predisposed to gum disease.

    The earlier you catch gum disease, the easier it is to treat. In addition, it might just help prevent the following the health problems as well as complications resulting from them!

    Heart Disease

    Research has shown that gum disease is linked to heart disease, although a causal effect hasn’t been proven. Having gum disease appears to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and researchers believe inflammation may be the linking factor.

    Periodontal disease may actually worsen existing heart conditions. Gum disease and heart disease also share certain risk factors.

    Studies have also shown that oral bacteria such as those found in gum disease can travel through the body and trigger an inflammatory response which may lead to the formation of arterial plaque.

    Oral bacteria that influence gum disease have also been found in the arterial plaque of people with atherosclerosis. These deposits narrow arteries or clog them entirely, leading to a heart attack.

    Diabetes

    People who live with diabetes may be more likely to have gum disease. This is because people who have diabetes are generally more prone to getting infections. Gum disease is frequently a complication of diabetes.

    Gum disease can increase blood sugar and cause additional complications from diabetes. People who have uncontrolled diabetes are at more risk for problems, as gum disease may make it more difficult to control blood sugar.

    Fortunately, treating gum disease can both help lower blood sugar and prevent other complications from arising in regards to diabetes, such as heart disease. The more advanced gum disease is, the more likely additional health issues can occur.

    Stroke

    Gum disease may also be a risk factor for stroke. Researchers have found a “significant relation” between stroke and full-blown periodontal disease.

    Periodontal disease is a major cause of tooth loss, and people with no teeth have the highest risk of stroke and cardiovascular death.

    Research is clear that the presence of gum disease and tooth loss are both associated with the occurrence of strokes, making it imperative that you treat gum disease.

    Respiratory Illness

    Respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia have been linked to adverse bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria, which is present in patients with gum disease, can be aspirated into the lungs or may also be carried by the blood into the lungs.

    Many patients with respiratory diseases have been shown to have poor gum health. The presence of oral bacteria may increase a patient’s risk of developing a respiratory disease.

    Studies show an association between respiratory infection and oral disease, especially in cases of pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The higher the concentration of adverse oral bacteria in the mouth, the greater chance that these bacteria will affect other parts of the body, including the lungs.

    Premature Birth

    Research has shown that mothers who have gum disease may be more at risk to give birth prematurely or to children who have a low birth weight.

    This is because bacteria from gum disease can get into the bloodstream and affect the fetus. Women are also more at risk to develop gum disease during pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes in the body.

    Some research shows that while treatment during pregnancy can help prevent premature birth and low birth weight, a mother’s best chance is to not have periodontal disease in the first place.

    If a mother already has gum disease, pregnancy can make it worse. Getting gum disease treated can help increase the chances of carrying a baby to term and having a healthy baby!

    Cancer

    Recent research is linking periodontal disease to breast cancer, oral cancer, esophageal cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, and gallbladder cancer.  Lung cancer and esophageal cancer are more common than other cancers in patients with gum disease.

    An increased risk of cancer has been observed in patients who have severe periodontal disease, and risk factors for cancer were higher for patients who had periodontal disease and smoked.

    Inflammation may be the link here, as chronic inflammation is associated with an increased risk for cancer. Since periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums, this may result in chronic inflammation in the body, which not only taxes the immune system, but can make a patient more susceptible to developing cancer.

    Getting screened for cancers such as oral cancer can help you take control of your health and evaluate your risk. Oral cancer screenings are simple, painless, and can be done at your Asheville dental office.

    Risk Factors and Symptoms of Gum Disease

    Knowing the symptoms of gum disease as well as the risk factors can help you know where you stand when it comes to periodontal disease.

    Smoking is one of the top risk factors for gum disease and should be avoided. Age, genetics, stress, and obesity are all risk factors you should be aware of.

    Symptoms of gum disease include swollen, red, bleeding, and tender gums. You may also have a constant bad taste in your mouth or chronic bad breath.

    Fortunately, gum disease can be treated. Treatment for gum disease will depend on the severity of your gum disease. Typically, treatment involves a deep cleaning (also called a root planing and scaling) to remove the debris and infection from around your teeth deep under your gums.

    Waiting to seek treatment for gum disease is never a good idea. The sooner you get your periodontal disease taken care of, the easier it will be to treat.

    Do You Have Gum Disease?

    If you suspect you might have gum disease, it’s time to make an appointment with your dentist in Asheville. Dr. Saunders can help get your gum disease under control to curb your risk of the above systematic diseases and have a healthy smile again!

    Children are not immune from many of the same dental health problems that adults can have.  Just because a child will eventually loose his or her baby teeth doesn’t mean keeping their smile healthy is any less important!

    The following dental problems are issues that almost any child of any age can have.  This is why it’s so important to ensure your child becomes acquainted with dental care early in their life.

    It’s important to know your child is susceptible to the following oral health problems!

    Cavities

    Childhood tooth decay is a real problem. Exposing your child’s oral cavity to sugar over long periods of time has been found to be the culprit behind most childhood tooth decay.

    This includes putting milk or juice in a bottle and letting your child sip on it all day or even take it with them to bed. It’s always best to put water in a bottle and keep them away from sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.

    With more than 40% of children having cavities by the time they reach kindergarten, putting a priority on your child’s oral health is important. Children’s baby teeth set the stage for their permanent teeth to erupt, so preventing tooth decay at this age is essential!

    Children should ideally become acquainted with the dentist by the time they have their first tooth. If your child hasn’t seen a dentist in Asheville yet, it’s never too late to start familiarizing them with their local dentist!

    Sensitive Teeth

    Children’s tooth enamel on their baby teeth as well as their permanent teeth is susceptible to enamel erosion. Children can experience enamel damage for a variety of reasons, the primary cause being acid, which can happen from lack of oral hygiene or overexposure to sugar.

    Tooth sensitivity can be painful for children leading to an inability to tolerate cold foods such as ice cream or even ice water. People with sensitive teeth often can’t tolerate hot foods and sometimes even spicy or sweet foods.

    Having sensitive teeth from enamel erosion can impact a child’s enjoyment of foods as well as their oral health, as enamel erosion can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay.

    Gum Disease

    Children, like adults, can develop gum disease.  Symptoms of gum disease include irritated, swollen, red, or bleeding gums.  Your child may also have chronic bad breath that won’t go away even with brushing and flossing.

    You can reverse gum disease if caught early, so visit your Asheville dentist for a checkup. Your dentist in Asheville, Dr. Saunders, can tell whether or not your child has gum disease and begin the treatment for gum disease before it has a chance to completely disrupt your child’s smile.

    The longer you let gum disease progress, the harder it will be to reverse. Since gum disease has the potential to lead to tooth loss, the sooner you seek treatment for your child, the better.

    Tooth Loss

    Whether a tooth is lost from an accident or tooth decay, children stand to lose their baby teeth or their permanent teeth.  Some children lose their teeth as a result of decay  If these teeth are baby teeth the space needed for the eruption of their permanent teeth can be lost.  This can result in the need for orthodontic treatment just to allow for the child’s permanent teeth to erupt in the proper location.

    If your child loses a tooth in an accident, it’s essential to know what to do in this dental emergency.  If you can, find the tooth and gently place it back in the socket until you can get to the dentist.  If you can’t find the tooth, pack the area with gauze.

    Cracked or Chipped Teeth

    A cracked or chipped tooth may not seem like a big deal, but getting it evaluated as soon as possible is important. This is because the trauma could lead to an infection inside the tooth.

    Your child’s cracked or chipped tooth may be minor, but regardless, having a proper evaluation completed can give you peace of mind.  If it’s a permanent tooth an X-ray need to be taken to ensure there is no root fracture.  The gum and pulpal health needs to be evaluated and the missing tooth structure should be replaced.  After this, its just a matter of monitoring the tooth health.

    Teeth Grinding

    Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is a serious problem that could impact your child’s teeth for life. Since teeth exert an immense amount of pressure when they grind against each other, your child’s teeth could wear down quickly.

    Bruxism creates a variety of symptoms, from headaches and enamel erosion to irritated gum tissue and even tooth loss.

    Your Asheville dentist can tell whether or not your child is a teeth grinder and determine the severity.

    Thumb Sucking

    Most children suck their thumbs, although thumb sucking typically stops between the ages of 2 and 4.  If your child continues to suck their thumb as their adult teeth erupt, this can affect the growth and the alignment of teeth, possibly leading to the need of orthodontics later in life.

    Dental Anxiety or Dental Phobia

    Dental anxiety and dental phobia are real for millions of Americans, some of which are children. If your child suffers from dental anxiety or dental phobia, finding the right Asheville dentist is important.

    Although dental sedation is certainly an option, getting your child used to the dentist as early in life as possible can help curb their fears. Finding a child-friendly dentist such as Saunders DDS can help your child feel more at ease.

    Talking with your dentist beforehand is essential to helping your child feel comfortable and helping them overcome their dental anxiety or dental phobia.

    Malalignment Issues

    Having misaligned teeth or a malocclusion (a misaligned bite) can be the result of genes as well as lifestyle factors.  Mostly, though, children aren’t at fault for needing orthodontics.  Their unique smile will determine whether or not they may need braces.

    Jaw misalignment can cause headaches in addition to trouble pronouncing words and chewing. Your child may experience pain even when their jaw is still. Getting an evaluation done by your dentist for a referral to an orthodontist can determine if your child needs orthodontics.

    Conclusion

    Many of the above dental health problems in children can be prevented simply by visiting a dentist regularly. Your child has the best chance for oral health success when they are introduced to the dentist early in life.

    Make an appointment with Saunders DDS today to get your child evaluated for any dental health problems and to set them up for a beautiful healthy smile for life!

    Dental fluorosis is a condition in which your tooth enamel is hypomineralized during the developmental stage, leaving white areas on your pearly whites.

    People who have dental fluorosis have tooth enamel marked with white spots or lines. It’s estimated that slightly less than a quarter of people between the ages of 6-49 have some form of dental fluorosis.

    Although essentially harmless, dental fluorosis can impact the appearance of your smile with chalky white spots. For some people, the effect will be subtle and may not require treatment. For others, their dental fluorosis may be severe and impact their confidence in their smile.

    Regardless of how noticeable your dental fluorosis is, let’s discuss how dental fluorosis happens and what your treatment options are for this effect on your smile.

    How Dental Fluorosis Happens

    Dental fluorosis can only happen in childhood while the teeth are still forming underneath the gumline, so adults can’t get fluorosis and neither can children whose permanent teeth have already come in.

    Getting too much fluoride—whether from drinking water or toothpaste—is the culprit behind dental fluorosis. It causes the tooth enamel to not have the nutrients it needs to properly form while teeth are still developing.

    If you have children, your dentist in Asheville can help you determine the right amount of fluoride for your child. While it’s important to get enough fluoride, getting too much isn’t beneficial.

    Fortunately, dental fluorosis typically does not impact the health of your smile, only the appearance. Depending on the severity of your dental fluorosis, you may want to seek treatment from your Asheville dentist.

    The marks that dental fluorosis causes can’t be completely removed, but you can greatly minimize their appearance with treatment. Here are your options for treating dental fluorosis so that your smile can be its best!

    Teeth Whitening

    A professional teeth whitening can help make your fluorosis virtually invisible, especially if you have a mild form of fluorosis.

    Your Asheville dentist can talk with you about the level of whitening you want to receive. From a couple shades later to ultra-bright, you can customize your level of whitening to ensure you’re completely satisfied with your new smile.

    Teeth whitening can prevent your fluorosis from being the element that stands out the most about your smile. Instead, you can make your beautiful white smile the center of attention for all the right reasons!

    Having your teeth whitened is simple at Saunders DDS.  Let us make custom fit trays, give you the whitening agent and show you how to use them.  In no time at all you will have a brighter smile!

    Dental Bonding

    Dental bonding can be an appropriate form of treatment when your dental fluorosis is limited to certain areas of your smile.

    The process of dental bonding uses a tooth-colored composite resin that bonds to the tooth enamel, effectively covering up any places affected by dental fluorosis and giving you a seamless smile.

    Dental bonding might not be the best treatment choice if your dental fluorosis is extensive.  For this, teeth whitening, dental veneers, or enamel microabrasion may be better choices.

    Dental Crowns

    If your teeth have any kind of structural damage in addition to fluorosis, a dental crown may be able to help protect your tooth and cover up your dental fluorosis. Dental crowns help prevent decay and keep your tooth from experiencing further damage.

    Dental crowns won’t be an ideal form of treatment for everyone with dental fluorosis, but for some people, they can make a huge difference in both the appearance and function of their smile!

    Dental Veneers

    Dental veneers are thin shells of porcelain that resurface the front of your teeth. They can fix many cosmetic issues, from teeth with deep staining to pointy or chipped teeth. Veneers may be a good option if your dental fluorosis is extreme and can easily be seen.

    You can customize your porcelain veneers to be the right color, size, and shape to fit your smile. They will be definitively bonded to your natural teeth, so this is considered an irreversible form of treatment.

    Since veneers are permanent, it’s important to discuss the possibility of dental veneers with your dentist in Asheville to be sure it’s the right choice. You may qualify for dental veneers if you have extensive dental fluorosis in addition to other cosmetic issues with your smile.

    Microabrasion

    Enamel microabrasion is a technique that involves carefully abrading off a tiny amount of tooth enamel to help minimize the appearance of your dental fluorosis.

    Essentially, microabrasion is a technique used to brighten the appearance of your smile but in a physical way, not a chemical one like a typical teeth whitening. This form of treatment has been shown to be effective in treating dental fluorosis to help your smile have a bright, cohesive appearance.

    Enamel microabrasion is considered to be a safe procedure that only removes a small portion of tooth enamel. Your Asheville dentist will take precautionary measures to minimize any temporary tooth sensitivity you may experience after the procedure.

    Combination Treatments

    In order to achieve the most successful treatment for dental fluorosis, you may have the option to utilize treatments in conjunction with each other.

    Your smile is unique, so its treatment will need to be unique as well. Depending on your smile, your Asheville dentist can help you decide what the best course of treatment is for minimizing the appearance of dental fluorosis.

    Whether you decide on teeth whitening in addition to dental bonding or microabrasion, your dental fluorosis may be able to be treated successfully with a combination of the most effective treatments for you.

    Conclusion

    If your dental fluorosis has affected your confidence in your smile, schedule a consultation with your dentist in Asheville, Dr. Saunders, to discuss treatment options. When dental fluorosis has impacted your life, it’s time to get the smile you deserve.

    It’s essential to discuss any and all options with your Asheville dentist thoroughly before deciding on the right one. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Saunders DDS for treatment of your dental fluorosis today!

    With approximately 1 billion smokers worldwide, 7 million people die each year from tobacco-related diseases. It’s time to talk about how smoking affects the oral cavity.

    With many different types of tobacco, herbal smoke, and electronic options available today, it’s important to realize that each of these different types of smoking still damage your teeth and gums.

    Are there any types of smoking that are better or worse for you? Let’s examine how each of these types of smoking affect your risk for oral diseases such as gum disease and oral cancer and can cause your smile to deteriorate over time.

    Cigarettes

    Cigarettes have been a known public health threat since 1964, when public alerts were finally issued about how dangerous cigarette smoke was to the human body.

    Smoking cigarettes more than doubles your risk of getting gum disease in addition to causing more plaque and tartar to accumulate on the teeth.

    Cigarettes also contain nicotine, the strongly addictive substance in tobacco. Nicotine works to reduce the blood flow to the gum tissue, which stops precious nutrients from reaching this vital supportive tissue for your teeth. This inhibited blood flow can also lead to an increased risk for gum disease.

    In addition, cigarettes increase your risk for oral cancer and can cause dry mouth and bad breath. Cigarettes are just as dangerous to your bodily health as they are to your oral health!

    Marijuana

    Marijuana is one of the most controversial types of smoking, but when it comes to your dental health, the evidence is clear: marijuana smoke can damage your teeth and gums.

    Research shows a strong association between people who smoke marijuana and an increased risk for gum disease. In fact, one study notes that its participants who smoked were 60% more likely to get gum disease than non-cannabis smokers.

    Smoking marijuana also reduces the amount of saliva in the oral cavity, leading to dry mouth. Having chronic dry mouth can lead to a range of oral health problems, from tooth decay to bad breath.

    Research also remains clear that smoking marijuana comes with an increased risk of oral cancer, making it an unsafe alternative to cigarettes.

    Cigars

    Cigars aren’t any safer than cigarette smoke. Although you’re not actually inhaling the smoke, it does still come into contact with the tissues in your mouth and contains toxic substances.

    In fact, one regular-sized cigar can contain as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Cigar smoke increases the risk of numerous diseases, such as lung and heart disease in addition to oral cancer.

    Whether you smoke cigars occasionally or regularly, remember that these tobacco products contain high amounts of nicotine and aren’t any better for your smile than cigarettes!

    Pipe Tobacco (Natural Tobacco)

    “Natural” tobacco or herbal cigarettes are still toxic to both your body as well as your oral cavity. These types of smoking still produce carbon monoxide and tar, which increase your risk for cancer.

    Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that these types of smoking are safer than regular cigarettes. Burning tobacco and inhaling it still exposes your body to carcinogens.

    There is evidence that smokers of these types of hand-rolled cigarettes or pipe tobacco actually have more instances of cancer than people who smoke traditional cigarettes.

    It’s important to remember that other forms of “natural” tobacco such as chewing tobacco still increase your chances of getting oral cancer, despite the fact that you aren’t inhaling any smoke, you are still introducing nicotine and toxins into your oral cavity.

    E-Cigarettes

    One of the most dangerous things about e-cigarettes is that there are no long-term data on how these electronic devices affect the oral cavity or the body.

    We do know that while e-cigarettes remain less harmful than regular cigarettes, they are still toxic to the body and carry a similar risk for oral health issues including oral cancers.

    The nicotine contained in e-cigarettes still dries out your mouth; therefore, gum tissue does not get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to stay healthy. This can cause gum recession as well as an increased risk for gum disease, similarly to regular cigarettes.

    In fact, e-cigarettes can mask the symptoms of gum disease, making it harder to detect the infection due to lack of blood flow and swelling to the site of infection, making you think that everything’s ok when really gum disease is progressing.

    In addition, e-cigarettes not only contain dangerous chemicals such as those used in anti-freeze, but the presence of numerous heavy metals has been detected in leading e-cigarette brands. These metals are toxic and possibly carcinogenic when inhaled.

    The takeaway here is that e-cigarettes still increase your risk for oral cancer and are still toxic to your smile despite being somewhat safer than traditional cigarettes according to current research. It’s also essential to bear in mind that since long-term data regarding the effect of e-cigarettes is lacking, these alternative smoking devices shouldn’t be used lightly.

    Conclusion

    While some types of smoking such as e-cigarettes and marijuana have been marketed to be “safer” than cigarette smoke, there really is no such thing as safe smoking or any form of tobacco or herbal smoke that does not increase your risk for oral health problems.

    As we’ve seen, all of these types of smoking increase your risk for oral disease. Many of these types of smoking such as cigarette smoke can shorten your life by decades and kill millions of people each year.

    If you choose to smoke, getting an annual oral cancer screening with your dentist in Asheville is essential. These screenings are simple, painless, and can save your life if oral cancer is detected early enough!

    If you’re addicted to tobacco but want to quit, let’s talk about what your options are. Your primary care physician can also help you set up a plan to quit smoking. Other resources such as Smokefree.gov can help you set a quit date and stick to it.

    Make an appointment with Saunders DDS today to get your smile evaluated whether or not you’re a smoker. It’s essential to ensure your smile is going to last you for life!

    dentist Asheville

    Don’t Delay in Catching These 5 Dental Problems Early

    by Saunders DDS on February 26, 2018

    You know that keeping on top of your oral health is important—but many people don’t realize just how important it is.

    With gum disease affecting an estimated 47% of the American population and over 50,000 people estimated to get oral cancer this year, it’s more important than ever to take care of your teeth and gums.

    Visiting your Asheville dentist for a cleaning and exam is about more than just looking for cavities. These comprehensive exams can help catch many oral diseases early and prevent costly, painful dental problems.

    Here are five oral health issues that your dentist can help you spot and treat early to get your smile back to normal as soon as possible!

    1. Gum Disease

    Catching gum disease early is crucial. The earliest stage of gum disease—called gingivitis—is easier to reverse than more advanced stages of gum disease. At some point, it may become impossible to reverse your gum disease, although all forms of gum disease can be treated.

    Symptoms of gum disease include tender, swollen, or bleeding gums. A bad taste in your mouth (or bad breath) that won’t go away is also a symptom of gum disease. The earlier you can get professional treatment for your gum disease, the sooner your smile can be healthy again.

    Without early intervention, gum disease can progress to periodontal disease. This disease can cause gum recession, sensitive teeth, and even damage the ligaments that help hold the teeth in place. If you continue to avoid treatment, gum disease could cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

    Gum disease is not only painful and harmful, it’s preventable. The right oral care habits combined with regular checkups can help you avoid this disease!

    1. Oral Cancer

    If caught early, oral cancer that hasn’t spread gives you an 83% survival rate. If you don’t have an early diagnosis and the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, the 5-year survival rate is only 38%.

    Oral cancers include cancers of the mouth, throat, tongue, and cheek. These cancers include symptoms such as sores in the mouth that won’t heal, lumps in your face or neck, or vague pain or numbness in these areas. Depending on what type of cancer you have, an early diagnosis could save your life.

    While the top two biggest risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco and alcohol, anyone can get oral cancer. Fortunately, when you visit your dentist in Asheville for regular checkups, oral cancer screenings are conducted regularly. These screenings are simple, painless, and might just save your life!

    During an oral cancer screening, Dr. Saunders will check for any lesions or red or white patches in the mouth, any lumps in your face or neck, and ask you a few questions. Your dentist is often the first person to come into contact with oral cancer, so he or she can help you take the next step for treatment.

    1. Tooth Decay

    With 92% of adults having at least one cavity in their permanent teeth, tooth decay is a problem for just about every American.

    Many people don’t realize that tooth decay happens in stages—cavities don’t simply appear overnight. Typically, demineralization of the enamel happens first. This is when the enamel is attacked by acids and begins to break down.  During this stage, you may see white spots form.

    In stage two, decay has broken through the enamel and is advancing deeper inside the tooth. The cavity may still be tiny at this point, but your Asheville dentist can easily spot these problems during an appointment.

    When you catch cavities before they affect the inner-most tissues of the tooth you prevent the need for root canal therapy.  This will save you money and prevent pain and possible infection.

    Halitosis

    The technical name for chronic bad breath is halitosis. Halitosis can point to several problems with the mouth, including tooth decay, gum disease, or inadequate oral hygiene.

    Halitosis happens when even after you brush your teeth, the bad breath still persists. It may go away for a short time, but it always returns. This is your mouth telling you that something is wrong. If you’re not cleaning your teeth correctly and are missing spots, plaque can build up and cause cavities as well as gum disease, both of which could cause a foul odor.

    Chronic bad breath could also point to dry mouth, which could be the result of an underlying health condition, including chronic dehydration. Either way, your smile will suffer as well as your bodily health, so don’t wait to determine the cause of your bad breath.

    Getting your halitosis evaluated by a professional Asheville dentist can help you uncover the cause of your bad breath and work to resolve it so that it’s no longer an issue!

    1. Toothache

    If you have a toothache, don’t delay in getting the problem addressed. Minor toothaches can quickly turn into emergency problems. When one of your teeth is causing you pain—whether it’s been happening for a short or long period of time—it indicates that something isn’t right.

    Sometimes, a toothache means an infection and this infection has the potential to get into your bloodstream, which can cause major symptoms and even death.

    You should never avoid treatment for a toothache that appears to be minor because you might be able to save your tooth as well as save yourself pain, time, and money.  A severe toothache could mean that an extraction or root canal therapy is needed. You might even save your life!

    Fortunately, Saunders DDS offers emergency services for patients. Don’t delay in making an appointment to prevent an emergency and get help for your aching tooth!

    Conclusion

    The health of your teeth and gums is inextricably linked to your body. When you neglect your oral health, you neglect to take care of your whole self.

    Getting help for these five dental problems could mean the difference between life and death, such as for patients who have oral cancer. For others, seeking treatment could be as simple as a dental exam and a professional cleaning for your smile.

    Don’t delay in getting treatment for tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, halitosis, and toothaches. Your dentist in Asheville can help treat all these problems and get your smile back on track. Contact us for an appointment to ensure your smile is healthy for life!

    Why Your Teeth May Be Hurting More in the Winter

    February 20, 2018
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    You might be ready for spring, but we’ve still got a little while to go! You’re tired of the cold weather, the snow, and flu season being in full swing. One of the other reasons you might be ready for winter to be over is because your teeth are hurting—but why? Here are a few […]

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    Dr. Saunders Visits Asheville Elementary School

    February 13, 2018

    “Teeth—they come in handy when you chew or smile.” Kindergartners at a local Asheville elementary school found out all about teeth when Dr. Steve Saunders visited their school bringing the message of good dental health, as part of the National Children’s Dental Health Month. In celebration of the birthday of famed children’s author Dr. Seuss, […]

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    Are You Making These 7 Mistakes When Brushing Your Teeth?

    February 13, 2018
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    Brushing your teeth is an act that’s done for two minutes two times a day—but how thoroughly are you brushing your teeth during those two minutes? Paying attention to the areas that you brush is important. Hasty or incorrect brushing can lead to plaque buildup, tartar, and eventually, tooth decay and gum disease. There are […]

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    5 Ways to Have a Healthier Mouth in the New Year

    December 24, 2017
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    With 2018 quickly approaching, it’s time to think about starting fresh again in the New Year. Last year, we talked about some of the best oral health improvements you could make. This year, we’ll be discussing how you can have a healthier smile in 2018. A healthy smile is a beautiful smile. Teeth that are […]

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    Are My Oral Health Problems Hereditary?

    November 25, 2017
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    Practically everything about us is the result of genes we inherited from our parents. The same is true for not just the structure of our mouths and the position of our teeth, but research is showing genes may also play a role in your oral health. From tooth decay to gum disease to even your […]

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    Considering Dental Veneers: What You Need to Know

    November 10, 2017
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    If you’re unhappy with your smile, you’ve probably looked into cosmetic dentistry at one time or another. Dental veneers can improve the look of your smile and create an even, bright look to correct many unsightly issues. Dental veneers are custom-made, thin shells of durable ceramic that are bonded to your natural teeth. They’re considered […]

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    Top 8 FAQs About Dental Sealants

    October 23, 2017
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    Dental sealants help protect your teeth from decay by keeping bacteria out and supplementing your oral care routine to help prevent tooth decay. If your Asheville dentist has mentioned dental sealants to you, it could be because you have children who are at risk for tooth decay or because you’re at higher risk for tooth […]

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    Spotlight on Gum Care: Keeping Gums Healthy for Life

    October 9, 2017
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    Focusing on caring for your teeth is important, but your gums need some attention too. Your gums play an important role in your smile—their connective tissue actually helps anchor the teeth into place. Without your gums, teeth would be able to fall out much more easily. Gums help nourish and protect teeth from damage and […]

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    Top Snacks That Promote Dental Health

    September 7, 2017
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    Taking care of your smile means more than just brushing and flossing. Eating well is essential to having healthy teeth. Although you brush twice a day, you typically eat more often than this, making your diet crucial to your dental health. What snacks you eat during the day can help you improve your dental health. […]

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    Everything You Need to Know about the Back-to-School Dental Checkup

    August 26, 2017
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    Now is the perfect time to schedule that back-to-school dental checkup at your dentist in Asheville. If you and the kids have had a busy summer and are beginning to settle down for the school year ahead, take this opportunity to get their teeth checked! Although children should be getting dental checkups every six months, […]

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