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  • Raising a teenager comes with its own challenges and worries. Oral health can get pushed to the bottom of the priority list when it comes to your child’s adolescent years, especially as your teen becomes more independent and you’re no longer able to monitor their dental health like you did when they were a child.

    However, teenagers need to care for their smiles just as much as, if not more than, adults. Changes in the body during puberty as well as a teenager’s lifestyle and emerging individuality and freedom can give them more pressing oral health concerns. How exactly does adolescence affect dental health?

    Teens May Be at Higher Risk for Tooth Decay

    Teens may not take the best care of their teeth, especially if they’re overwhelmed with school, sports, homework, and other social activities. Tooth decay is unfortunately common in teenagers, so getting a checkup and cleaning with your Asheville dentist every six months is good idea.

    Your dentist can spot problems before they have a change to fully develop, which can prevent cavities and gum disease. Encouraging your teenager to brush and floss every day is important for their oral health. In their childhood years, you’ll have established a routine of brushing, and you can and should encourage them to continue with the routine even as they become more independent and develop their own rituals and habits!

    Changes in Dietary Habits Can Influence Oral Bacteria

    According to research, 80 percent of teenagers in the United States have a less than ideal dietary intake. Teens are at particular risk to develop unhealthy eating habits as they tend to gravitate towards convenient foods, and some may not know how to cook healthy, wholesome foods to support their health.

    Adolescents often consume too much sugar in the form of sodas and sports drinks. Other popular foods for teens include those that can be detrimental to oral health, including candy, granola bars, chips, and other processed foods.

    Teens can experience an increased risk of oral health issues due to the bacteria changes that come with eating the wrong kinds of foods—think refined sugars and flours.

    We know it can be challenging to control your teen’s diet, but you can encourage them to eat healthy, and you can also help prevent damage to their teeth by bringing them in for regular teeth cleanings! 

    Shifting Hormones Affect Gum Health

    Puberty brings an increase in certain hormones that can lead to changes in gum tissue. Fluctuating and increasing levels of estrogen and testosterone that influence puberty can cause symptoms that mimic those of gum disease, including bleeding, sensitive, and red gums.

    Your teen could also have gingivitis, the beginning stages of gum disease. Girls are slightly more at risk than boys to develop sensitive gum tissue during this time, but boys are affected as well. For many teens, these symptoms are temporary, but for others, they can lead to periodontal (gum) disease that needs to be addressed by your dentist! 

    Encourage Your Teen to Take Extra Care When Cleaning Their Teeth With Braces

    Millions of teenagers are currently getting orthodontic work done, whether in the form of metal braces or clear aligner systems. If your child has metal braces, they need to take extra care when cleaning their teeth, as it’s easier for plaque to build up underneath orthodontic brackets and wires.

    You may need to purchase supplemental oral care items for your child, such as interdental flossers to get underneath their braces when cleaning. Keeping up with oral health while receiving orthodontic treatment with metal braces is essential to preventing issues such as gum disease, which teens are at an increased risk for with orthodontia! 

    Never Overlook a Mouthguard to Protect Your Teen’s Smile

    Many teenagers today are active in sports, especially sports that carry a risk for injury, including football, basketball, and soccer. When your child is playing sports such as these—whether or not they have braces—they need to be wearing a mouthguard.

    Not only do most sports require some type of mouthguard to play on the team, but they can be instrumental in protecting your child’s teeth and gums from injury. In fact, some evidence shows that custom-made mouthguards may even help absorb an impact, and could even reduce your child’s risk for concussions, more so than a store-bought mouthguard.

    You could buy a mouthguard at the store, but investing in a custom mouthguard is always your best bet. Over-the-counter mouthguards are not made for your child’s specific smile, and don’t provide the level of protection that custom mouthguards do.

    Your dentist in Asheville can custom make your child a mouthguard that will last for many sports seasons to protect their teeth and prevent a dental emergency!

    Be on the Lookout for Wisdom Teeth

    Wisdom teeth generally don’t emerge until your child’s latter teenage years (ages 17-21), but you can and should still be aware of their emergence. If your teen complains of a bad taste in their mouth, pain, or other discomfort, it could be time to schedule x-rays to determine where the wisdom teeth are and if they are coming in properly.

    While most people will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, not everyone will. Your professional dentist can let you know if your teen’s incoming wisdom teeth will be harmful to their smiles as they develop!

    Schedule a Checkup With Us at Saunders DDS

    Keeping your teen’s teeth healthy takes more than a reminder for them to eat nutritious foods and brush their teeth every day! Schedule a checkup for your teen with us at Saunders DDS. We’re a family-friendly dental practice that can fully assess your child’s smile for any issues, and we prioritize preventative care to ensure the healthiest smile possible with minimal need for intervention. Contact us today to schedule an appointment at (828) 277-6060, or click here to request an appointment!

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    These Are Your Top Dental Health Resolutions for 2020

    by Saunders DDS on January 13, 2020

    Keeping up with New Year’s resolutions can feel difficult once you get back into your normal routine after the holidays. That’s why it’s so important to make healthy habits a regular part of your daily routine for your best chances of success!

    The health of your teeth and gums is important to keep up with this year as we move into 2020. Fortunately, prioritizing your oral care means practicing just a few simple habits, and, of course, visiting your dentist in Asheville regularly.

    The following should be on your list for your top dental health resolutions for 2020!

    Keep Up With Your Oral Hygiene

    It goes without saying that brushing and flossing are some of the biggest defenders against oral disease, including tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

    Most people have a routine of brushing twice a day, but if you’re in the habit of only brushing once, skipping brushing on your days off, or reaching for sugarless gum instead of reaching for your toothbrush, it’s time to shift gears for 2020.

    Make it a habit to brush twice a day for two minutes. That’s four minutes every day that you can easily dedicate to keeping your teeth healthy! There’s no need to brush after every meal—in fact, you should wait at least 30 minutes and ideally 60 after eating to brush!

    Drink More Water

    It’s hard to understate the importance of water for your teeth and gums. Water not only helps to hydrate your body, which can work to prevent dry mouth, but also helps to rinse your mouth throughout the day, helping to get rid of leftover food particles that could stick to your teeth and cause  enamel damage.

    Incorporate more water into your daily routine this year—aim to carry a bottle with you that you can refill at work or while out. How much water should you be getting? While individual needs will vary based on your weight, activity level, and other factors, a general rule is to get a minimum of 2 liters (about 8.5 cups) a day, which you can get from foods as well. Just remember that caffeinated beverages and alcohol don’t count towards your water intake!

    Floss Every Day

    Daily flossing is essential to cleaning your mouth. Your toothbrush simply can’t reach all those small spaces in between your teeth. Flossing is necessary to remove bacteria, plaque, and food particles that can build up between your teeth and lead to bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.

    Make it a habit to floss every day. It doesn’t matter if you floss in the morning or the evening, and once a day is all you need to see the benefits. Flossing is an investment into your smile that can save you money in the long run!

    Eat Better

    Your diet absolutely affects your oral health. Eating a diet high in processed foods and refined sugar increases your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. While you don’t have to eat healthy 100 percent of the time to see the benefits, make it a goal this year to eat nutritious, whole foods the majority of the time.

    Start small—make one meal a day a nutritious one, then gradually increase to two, then make your snacks more wholesome. This includes adding more vegetables, fruits, healthy proteins such as nuts and beans, and, of course, drinking water instead of sugary beverages. This will be an investment into both your oral and bodily health that you won’t regret!

    Make That Cosmetic Dentistry Appointment

    What better time than now to invest in your perfect smile? If you’re unhappy with the way your smile looks, schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation to review your options. Many dentists in Asheville offer affordable treatments that can dramatically improve the appearance of your teeth, whether you opt for an in-office teeth whitening or are considering dental veneers.

    This year, don’t put off your perfect smile any longer. Make a goal to schedule that appointment and see if you qualify for cosmetic dentistry options that could improve your smile for life!

    Get an Oral Cancer Screening

    Whether or not you smoke or use tobacco products, getting an oral cancer screening is important. Fortunately, your dentist in Asheville can conduct a simple and painless oral cancer screening during your regular checkup. Catching oral cancer early can make all the difference for a successful treatment.

    If you smoke, quitting is always an option. There are more resources than ever before for people who want to quit in 2020. Talk to your dentist, primary care doctor, or find support online to set your quit date!

    Reduce Your Intake of Things That Can Hurt Your Smile

    If your goal is to be healthier this year, reducing your intake of substances that can hurt your smile can also support your bodily health! These substances include tobacco, other types of smoking, alcohol, soda, and excess refined sugar.

    You don’t have to try to reduce everything at once. Again, start small—try giving up alcohol for a week and see how that goes, or aim to reduce your intake of refined sugar. Your body and your smile will thank you for these small but significant changes!

    Commit to Those Checkups!

    You miss more than clean teeth when you miss your checkup with your dentist. In addition to a professional teeth cleaning and oral cancer screening, your Asheville dentist can catch tooth decay or gum disease early, which can not only eliminate the need for extensive or costly treatment, but give you your best chance for a healthy smile.

    This year, commit to regular dental checkups. They typically don’t take long but can make a big impact on your smile. The best part is that regular checkups and cleanings can help reduce stains from building up on your teeth, which means you can have a whiter, brighter smile simply by taking care of your teeth and gums!

    Get in Touch With Us

    At Saunders DDS, we’re invested in our patients and are dedicated to helping you have the healthiest smile possible. We’re a full-service dental practice in Asheville serving both adults and children. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services by calling us at (828) 277-6060, or to schedule an appointment with us. All of us at Saunders DDS wish you a very happy and healthy 2020!

     

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    When it comes to your teeth and gums, you want to do everything possible to ensure your smile remains beautiful and healthy. Of course, brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist in Asheville for checkups are essential.

    But have you heard that sugar-free chewing gum can have a positive effect on your smile? While we know that gum that contains sugar contributes to tooth decay, there is research supporting the use of gum without sugar for certain oral health benefits.

    Here’s what you need to know about the research behind sugar-free gum and your teeth!

    Sugar-Free Chewing Gum Stimulates Saliva Flow

    When you chew food, the action of chewing stimulates saliva production in your oral cavity. Saliva is beneficial to your smile in a few key ways.

    Saliva not only acts as a buffer between acidic foods and drinks and your teeth, but it also helps to remineralize tooth enamel and support a healthy smile.

    Research shows that sugar-free chewing gum enhances the positive effects of saliva. Not only does chewing gum boost saliva production, which can help prevent acids from damaging your tooth enamel, but you also swallow the excess saliva, which helps remove harmful acids from the mouth.

    In addition, stimulated saliva contains higher concentrations of minerals, and has a better ability to act as a buffer between foods and your teeth, which can further help protect against enamel erosion.

    Saliva also helps get rid of carbohydrates that remain in the mouth after eating, which oral bacteria begin to break down. This metabolizing process creates acids that can damage tooth enamel—so extra saliva is yet another way sugar-free gum can protect the teeth!

    May Protect Teeth Against Dry Mouth and Acid Reflux

    Sugar-free gum may also help protect your teeth against the effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease, sometimes called acid reflux disease. This condition can be hugely damaging to teeth, as harsh stomach acids can end up in the oral cavity and wear away tooth enamel over time.

    However, by chewing sugarless gum and having more saliva, you may be able to reduce the effects of acid reflux on your teeth. Of course, you should also receive treatment or manage acid reflux instead of relying solely on chewing gum!

    Sugarless chewing gum may also be an effective treatment for dry mouth. Chronic dry mouth can negatively impact tooth enamel, making it more likely that acids and bacteria attack your teeth and leave them more susceptible to tooth sensitivity and tooth decay.

    People experience chronic dry mouth for a variety of reasons. By managing the cause of your dry mouth in addition to utilizing sugar-free chewing gum, you may be able to help remedy the condition and protect your smile in the process!

    Chewing Sugarless Gum Is Proven to Have an Anti-Cavity Effect

    Other research states that chewing sugar-free gum has been proven to have an anti-cavity effect on teeth. It stimulates strong saliva production, clears sugars from the mouth, and provides enhanced remineralization effects for your tooth enamel.

    Chewing gum may even be used as a preventative treatment for cavities, although it should never be used in place of your regular oral care habits such as brushing, flossing, and visiting your Asheville dentist in addition to a healthy diet!

    May Help Reduce Plaque Development

    There’s been specific research focusing on sugar-free gum that contains xylitol, which is a natural sugar alcohol that’s used as a sweetener.

    Chewing gum with xylitol may help reduce plaque in the oral cavity, which could result in a lower risk for both tooth decay and gum disease.

    In one study, the weight of plaque collected in people who chewed gum with xylitol was 40 percent lower than people who chewed gum sweetened with sucrose, which is common table sugar. This evidence demonstrates how important it is to choose sugarless gum over regular gum!

    Decreases the Acidity of Saliva

    Chewing gum can stop saliva from becoming acidic, which can mean that the chances of tooth decay are reduced. When looking at the effects of sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol, researchers found that xylitol wasn’t metabolized by oral bacteria, meaning it couldn’t contribute to tooth decay.

    The pH of saliva can constantly change and become more or less acidic depending on a variety of factors, including what you consume. Eating foods higher in sugar or consuming acidic drinks can cause your saliva to become more acidic in nature, which can contribute to tooth enamel damage.

    However, chewing gum with xylitol can prevent this effect, making your oral cavity a more friendly place for bacteria that help your teeth and gums rather than hurting them!

    Chewing Gum Best Practices

    Now that you’ve seen some positive research about the effects of chewing gum on your smile, it’s time to review chewing gum best practices to ensure that if you choose to chew, you get the most benefits out of this practice and support your oral health instead of harming it!

    1. Always choose sugarless gum or gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance. This seal will guarantee that the gum is free from conventional sugar and instead uses sugarless sweeteners. For added benefits, you may choose to look for a gum with xylitol as the sweetener!
    2. Don’t let chewing gum replace your regular oral care habits, including brushing, flossing, and getting those regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist in Asheville.
    3. It’s best to chew sugarless gum immediately after eating for about 20 minutes. You may choose to chew more or less often, but remember that chewing too much can aggravate the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on either side of your head, which supports jaw function. If your jaw gets tired, it’s probably time to stop!

    The Verdict

    Chewing gum may help prevent cavities when used appropriately and when used in conjunction with other oral care treatments. Do you enjoy chewing sugarless gum? It could just help your smile! If you have questions about your oral health, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Saunders DDS. We’re your professional family dentist in Asheville! Contact us today at (828) 277-6060 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about what we offer.

    If you have a problem with your teeth or gums, you might be wondering if it’s safe to wait until normal business hours to get seen by a professional dentist. It can be difficult to know whether or not an issue requires emergency attention based on your symptoms.

    While some issues such as extreme pain, uncontrollable bleeding, or a fever may be obvious enough that you need attention as soon as possible, other signs aren’t so subtle. Some people may not get medical attention soon enough to prevent bigger issues with their smile later on.

    Don’t be caught off-guard in the event that you or a family member experiences a dental emergency. Here are seven signs you need to get to your dentist in Asheville as soon as possible!

    1. You Cracked or Chipped a Tooth

    While you likely won’t need immediate medical care for a cracked or chipped tooth, you should ideally see your dentist as soon as possible. If your cracked tooth is severe–meaning it’s very painful, bleeding, or in fragments–getting in sooner rather than later is always a safe choice.

    You should always call your Asheville dentist and let them know what happened. Based on your symptoms, and particularly if you have pain or sharp pieces leftover of your tooth, you may need to be seen that same day.

    For some patients, cracks can start out small, then with repeated pressure on the teeth, extend down the tooth. Eventually, you could risk losing your tooth, or else need a root canal to repair the issue.

    Don’t ignore a cracked or chipped tooth—call your dentist and make sure you get it repaired promptly to prevent pain, sensitivity, and even an extraction.

    2. You Have a Bad Toothache

    If one of your teeth or one side of your mouth is very sensitive or painful, you need to see your dentist as soon as possible.

    Toothaches almost always get worse without professional treatment. You could have a dental abscess, in which a painful infection is forming beneath your gumline as the result of deep tooth decay or an infection, or there could be another issue going on.

    Regardless, a toothache isn’t something to ignore and hope it’ll go away on its own. Some could be the result of infections that could even be life-threatening. Before the pain becomes unbearable, schedule an appointment with your local dentist to get the problem addressed!

    Other symptoms of a dental abscess could include a swollen jaw, a persistent bad taste in your mouth, or a fever. If you have any of these symptoms, time to go to the dentist!

    3. You Were in an Accident That Affected Your Jaw

    If you were in an accident that impacted your face or jaw, it’s always smart to get checked up by your dentist. Sometimes an injury can impact our teeth in jaws and ways that aren’t apparent immediately after the accident.

    Whether you experienced a fall, a sports-related injury, or a car accident, it’s a good idea to get your smile checked out to ensure your teeth, jaw, and gums are safe from injury and won’t cause issues later on.

    For some patients, an injury could cause a dislocated or broken jaw, knocked-out teeth, or cuts to the soft tissue of the oral cavity that will require emergency attention.

    4. Your Tooth Is Loose or Has Been Knocked Out

    As adults, loose teeth are a thing of the past. If you have a loose tooth now as the result of an accident or infection, it’s time to see your dentist. In the event that your tooth has actually been knocked out, take your tooth and any pieces with you to your dentist in water, saliva, or milk.

    Getting to the dentist in a timely manner can ensure that your tooth has a better chance of being saved! Whether or not your loose tooth is painful, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible. A loose tooth could even be a sign of gum disease!

    5. Bleeding or Sores in Your Oral Cavity

    Any uncontrollable or unexplained bleeding in your mouth should always be evaluated by a professional dentist.

    Bleeding could be a sign of gum disease, or it could be indicative of a more serious problem. In addition, you should also see your dentist if you have any unexplained sores, lumps, or lesions in your oral cavity.

    These could be benign, such as a canker sore, or they could be early signs of oral cancer, which your dentist in Asheville can help identify and refer you to a specialist for an official diagnosis. Never ignore these signs that something is wrong!

    6. A Broken or Missing Dental Restoration

    Generally, dental restorations that break or fall out aren’t an emergency. However, if your dental restoration issue is accompanied by pain, bleeding, swelling, or other signs of an infection, call your dentist as soon as you’re able.

    Dental restorations that can fall out or break include fillings, bridges, crowns, dentures, and even orthodontic appliances. If you have questions about whether or not you need to be seen promptly, don’t hesitate to call your Asheville dentist!

    7. Complications of Wisdom Tooth Removal

    Although most cases of wisdom tooth removal heal without any complications, some people experience signs of a potential infection or another problem following their procedure.

    These signs could include:

    • Pain that isn’t relieved by the recommended medication
    • Pain that gets worse in the hours or days following the procedure
    • Swelling that gets worse or doesn’t go away
    • Fever
    • Bad taste in the mouth
    • Visible white or yellow discharge

    If you see any of these signs, it’s time to talk to your dentist and get in to see them as soon as possible to get the issue addressed!

    We’re Here for You at Saunders DDS!

    Most dental emergencies can be avoided with regular checkups—however, some are unexpected and can’t be fixed by waiting it out or even preventative care.

    At Saunders DDS, we’re here to assist with you with all types of dental emergencies in the Asheville area. Reach out to us to let us know what’s going on—our team can usually see you that same day so you don’t have to wait in the emergency room for a problem that should be treated by a dentist!

    Call us at (828) 277-6060 or request an appointment through our contact form today!

    Did you know that babies are born with all of their primary teeth just waiting to erupt through the gumline? Many children already have a few teeth by the time they turn one.

    However, every baby is different and some children will see teeth earlier and some later. The average age for children to begin teething is around the age of six months.

    Teething can be uncomfortable for children as the teeth push through the gumline, which can cause some initial irritation. The majority of children won’t have this same discomfort when getting their adult teeth a few years down the line.

    How Do I Know if My Baby Is Teething?

    Most children will have some symptoms of the teething process, which can last for a few days before you see the tooth coming through their gums. Once the tooth has broken through the surface, the pain and discomfort should begin to subside, and your baby should start feeling normal again!

    During the teething process, your child may be irritable or have trouble sleeping. They may also have a decreased appetite or be trying to bite or chew things more often (as we’ll soon see, pressure can help alleviate discomfort on the gums!).

    Other common signs of teething include drooling, rubbing cheeks or ears, and for some babies, even cold symptoms such as coughing or a low-grade fever. You should always follow up with your child’s pediatrician if your child has a fever or diarrhea, as these are not common symptoms of teething. 

    5 Ways to Help Relieve Teething Discomfort 

    Caring for an uncomfortable baby can be challenging, and it’s never easy to see your child in pain. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to help your baby feel better while their primary teeth are coming in!

    1. Gum Massage

    Pressure can help alleviate the pain associated with teething, which makes a simple gum massage the perfect tip to try. Here’s how to do it.

    Ensure your hands are clean and gently use one or two of your fingers to gently but firmly massage your baby’s gum tissue. This is a great practice for when you’re out with baby and he or she is inconsolable, as it doesn’t require any additional tools besides clean hands!

    1. Firm Teething Toys 

    Similarly to the concept of a gum massage, firm teething toys can help baby apply pressure to the gums and feel better. Consider a teething ring, which is too large for baby to swallow and provides a safe way to relieve pain.

    However, don’t freeze these teething rings, especially if they’re made from a material such as rubber or silicone. Freezing these toys and then giving them to your baby to chew can make them too hard and they could cause harm to the gum tissue.

    You should also always supervise your child when he or she is playing or chewing with a teething ring to ensure safety!

    1. Cold Foods

    If your baby is beginning to eat solid foods or is a comfortable solid food eater by the time they begin teething, consider giving them cold foods to chew on the help reduce the inflammation and redness that can often come with getting their primary teeth in.

    Consider chilling cucumbers or celery sticks and give them to your baby to chew. Always supervise your child to ensure a larger piece doesn’t break off and present a choking risk.

    For softer foods, applesauce or yogurt can be a great way to help soothe aching gums. Some parents even purchase mesh teething feeders, which are specifically designed for teething. With these products, a cold or frozen food item such as a strawberry or banana is placed in the mesh and given to baby to chew on.

    These teething nets prevent large pieces of food from breaking off and posing a choking risk to your child. Always supervise your baby with any object, especially one they’re chewing on! 

    1. A Cold Washcloth

    Going along with the cooling theme to help combat inflammation and pain, a clean, cool washcloth can be a great way to help calm baby. You can chill the washcloth in the fridge or freezer, but don’t let it freeze completely solid, as it could be too hard for your child’s gums.

    Give your child the washcloth and allow them to chew on it, under supervision, of course. Babies who are teething like to bite and suck and will likely enjoy gnawing on the washcloth, and it can help them feel better, too! 

    1. Medication and a Word on Teething Gel

    While generally not considered first picks for a baby’s teething pain, medication may be considered. If your baby is inconsolable even after trying the above tricks, contact your child’s doctor about any over-the-counter medication they may be able to take.

    Since babies who are teething tend to drool excessively, many teething gels won’t sit long enough on the gums to work. In addition, you should never give your baby gels or creams that contain benzocaine, as it’s not recommended for babies. Always follow up with your child-friendly dentist in Asheville or your child’s pediatrician for further advice!

    Beware of These Practices

    There are many teething products and toys out there, and using your discretion is important to get a safe and effective option for your baby during their teething process. For instance, there are some practices that aren’t recommended.

    Fluid-filled teething rings are no longer recommended, as some children can puncture them and swallow the fluid inside, posing a health risk. Going with a solid teething ring such as rubber, silicone, or wood is considered to be a safer option.

    In addition, amber necklaces have been gaining popularity, and are sometimes advertised as a way to help relieve baby’s teething pain. However, these products haven’t been proven to work, and they can pose a safety risk to babies for choking or breaking the necklace.

    When in doubt, contact your professional Asheville dentist or doctor, and keep your baby as comfortable and stress-free as possible during this uncomfortable time. It’ll be over before you know it! 

    We Provide Kid-Friendly Dental Care!

    Saunders DDS provides dental care for people of all ages in your family. When you have questions about your little one’s oral care, or need a checkup for those first teeth coming in, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (828) 277-6060 or request an appointment with us!

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    What Are the Best Dental Products? Here’s How to Choose

    by Saunders DDS on October 13, 2019

    It can feel overwhelming shopping for dental products at the store. From the many flavors of toothpaste to waxed and unwaxed floss, how do you know what’s best for you? And what about your toothbrush—should you go for electric or a manual option?

    At Saunders DDS, we know patients struggle to know which products are the best for the health of their teeth and gums. Keeping up with your oral care is essential, and choosing the right toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss for both you and your children should feel simple.

    We’ve put together a guide to help people better choose their oral care products to support their oral health, from your toothpaste all the way down to your mouthwash. Here’s how to choose the best oral care products! 

    Look for Fluoride Toothpaste 

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    Going with a fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance on it is your best bet to prevent tooth decay.

    Fluoride has many benefits for teeth. It helps strengthen tooth enamel and protects the teeth against tooth decay. For adults, fluoride toothpaste is essential, unless you have an allergy or have otherwise been directed not to use fluoride by your dentist.

    Children can also benefit from fluoride. However, too much fluoride can cause children to develop what’s called dental fluorosis, which are irreversible white spots on the teeth.

    Fortunately, visiting your dentist in Asheville can help you know if you and your children are getting the right amount of fluoride. Some patients live in areas where fluoride is added to the drinking water, and so may not need as much fluoride as patients who have no other source of fluoride.

    Getting the right amount of fluoride is essential for both adults and children, so schedule an appointment with us to ensure your fluoride exposure is beneficial to your smile!

    What About Mouthwash?

    Many patients have questions about mouthwash—whether or not it’s necessary and how it can help protect the teeth and gums.

    Traditional mouthwash can help freshen breath and inhibit plaque growth, while mouth rinses such as fluoride rinses can help prevent tooth decay, especially in children. Again, looking for the ADA seal of acceptance when shopping for mouthwash is essential.

    For most patients, whether or not you really need to use mouthwash is more of a personal preference. Some mouthwashes have benefits such as helping to prevent tooth decay and reducing surface stains on the teeth.

    Your dentist in Asheville, Dr. Saunders, can recommend the use of mouthwash if he thinks it’s necessary, and may recommend fluoride rinses for young children that are susceptible to tooth decay and aren’t getting enough fluoride at home.

    Generally, children younger than six shouldn’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol. If you’re interested in a mouthwash for your child, look for kid-friendly versions!

    Picking the Right Floss

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    Flossing is integral to removing plaque, food debris, and bacteria from in-between your teeth. Without flossing, it’s estimated that you’re missing 40 percent of your tooth surfaces when cleaning your mouth.

    So what type of floss is best for your smile?

    Research has shown that there’s no difference between the efficacy of either waxed or unwaxed dental floss, so what product you choose really comes down to personal preference. There are many different kinds of floss, including flavored to help freshen your breath and even silk, which is a purportedly more eco-friendly floss of choice.

    Choose the kind of floss that will motivate you to keep up with the habit at least once every day. For patients that have orthodontia or limited range of motion, water flossers can be excellent options for removing debris between teeth to keep your smile clean!

    Other types of floss, including interdental cleaners, are also very helpful for those that have orthodontia. Similarly to other oral health products, you can look for the ADA seal of acceptance for your best picks!

    Get a Softer Toothbrush 

    Most oral health experts agree—a soft-bristled toothbrush is better for your teeth than one with stiff or firm bristles.

    Why is this?

    A toothbrush with harsher bristles can more easily damage tooth enamel. When brushing your teeth every day, the idea isn’t to brush so hard that it removes the protective layer over your teeth, your tooth enamel. Instead, gentle, more thorough brushing is what you should aim for.

    Getting a soft-bristled toothbrush will help you be more easy on your teeth and prevent the enamel erosion that can come with years of harsh brushing with a stiff-bristled toothbrush. And, if your teeth or gums are already sensitive, harsh brushing can aggravate your smile even more.

    But Wait—Is Electric or Manual Better?

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    There is evidence supporting the use of an electric toothbrush for patients who have a history of gum disease and tooth decay. Electric toothbrushes have been shown to be better at removing plaque, and keeping the gumline clear of plaque buildup which can contribute to gum disease.

    While any type of toothbrush will be better than no toothbrush, some people still prefer the manual option due to cost as well as traveling, as there are no chargers to pack when using a manual toothbrush.

    No matter what type of toothbrush you use, just be sure to use it twice every day to clean your smile and keep cavities away! And you’ll still need to change your toothbrush (or, for electric options, the head of the toothbrush) approximately every three months to prevent fraying. 

    Have More Questions? Contact Us!

    Regardless of what products you choose, maintaining your oral health has lasting benefits for both your smile and your body, as increasing evidence is showing. At Saunders DDS, we’re here to help you have healthy teeth and gums for life!

    Our experienced team can help answer all your questions during your appointment with us. We’re a kid-friendly dentist in Asheville, and can help you and your family maintain your oral health and prevent cavities and gum disease.

    Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling us at (828) 277-6060 or request an appointment here.

    The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is located on either side of your head near your ears and connects your jaw bone to your skull. It’s a ball-and-socket joint with a disc in-between that allows the jaw to move freely without friction.

    The combination of joint, muscles, disc, and connective tissue allows the jaw to perform complex movements that otherwise would not be possible, such as opening your mouth and moving your jaw from side to side. These movements allow us to chew, speak, and yawn with ease.

    However, as a result of the TMJ’s complexity, it can cause adverse symptoms if something’s wrong with the joint. For example, a misaligned bite could put unnecessary pressure on the TMJ, leading to chronic symptoms.

    TMJ disorders encompass a range of problems in which this necessary joint doesn’t function properly. What are some of the signs or symptoms of a possible TMJ disorder?

    Headaches

    Frequent headaches could originate from an issue with your temporomandibular joints. When these joints don’t work properly, whether due to an improper bite, genetics, or extra stress placed on the joint from teeth grinding, muscle tension can result.

    Muscle tension can be chronic and radiate throughout the head and even the neck, shoulders, and upper back. Whether you experience frequent headaches or even migraines, it could be time to visit your dentist to determine if your jaw could be at the root of the problem.

    Ear Problems

    Tinnitus is defined as the sensation of noise in the ear, and can only be heard by the person experiencing it. Tinnitus could present as a ringing in the ears, but it could also be other sounds, such as popping, roaring, or buzzing.

    There is evidence that links tinnitus and TMJ disorders. The temporomandibular joint is very close to the ear, and as such, any issue with the joint can cause ear pain or a dull aching in the ears. Some patients may also hear a clicking or grating sound when moving their jaw.

    If you have ear pain, tinnitus, or other odd sensations in your ears (such as feeling as though your ears are clogged), consider following up with your Asheville dentist. A thorough evaluation of your TMJ can help determine if there’s an issue that’s causing your ear symptoms!

    Jaw Clicking

    As we’ve mentioned, some people hear odd sounds when their jaw is in motion. These sounds may be only audible to the person experiencing them, or others may hear a popping or clicking noise as well when the person opens their mouth, is eating, or even speaking.

    Why is jaw clicking a sign of a problem with the TMJ? This clicking noise comes from the displacement of the disc that helps cushion the joint. The disc moves forward when you’re closing your mouth, and if the joint is inflamed or out of alignment, you may hear a click, then you may hear a cracking noise as the disc repositions itself upon opening your mouth.

    These noises aren’t normal and people who may have a TMJ disorder could hear popping, clicking, or cracking sounds when opening and closing their mouth.

    Facial Pain or Aching

    Temporomandibular joint disorders can cause discomfort or pain in the muscles that help your jaw function, which are located in the face. If there’s an issue with your TMJ, you could experience a sore jaw or painful facial muscles without knowing why.

    The tension that often results from a problematic TMJ can also cause discomfort at the joint itself or near the ears. People may also experience pain when chewing originating from outside the oral cavity with no known source.

    For many people with a TMJ disorder, this pain is chronic. For others, the pain may come and go. Either way, discomfort in your facial muscles is a sign something else is going on, and your professional dentist in Asheville can help diagnose the problem.

    Trouble Opening Your Mouth All the Way

    People who have a problem with their TMJ may not be able to fully open their mouth, such as when yawning. Some patients who have a severe TMJ disorder may even experience a locked jaw, which occurs when a person can’t move their jaw until the joint is repositioned.

    When opening your mouth, the cartilage disc in the ball and socket of the TMJ helps keep jaw motion smooth. However, if you experience pain when yawning or even just with opening your mouth all the way, your temporomandibular joint could be to blame.

    You Grind Your Teeth

    The relationship between teeth grinding—also called bruxism—and the TMJ is complex. Teeth grinding in and of itself is an issue that can have numerous causes, and can place additional stress on the TMJ, leading to an worsening of TMJ symptoms that may already exist.

    However, teeth grinding could also play a role in causing TMJ disorders, as it puts pressure on the muscles, connective tissue, and the joint itself, which can cause inflammation. If your grind your teeth and also experience some of the TMJ symptoms we’ve discussed above, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your experienced Asheville dentist!

    Get a Professional Exam with Dr. Saunders

    There is treatment for TMJ disorders, and it all depends on your symptoms and the suspected cause of your disorder. When you make an appointment with us at Saunders DDS, we review your symptoms and take x-rays to determine what’s causing your jaw discomfort and why.

    Therapy for TMJ disorders could range from anti-inflammatory medication to physical therapy to treatment for suspected underlying causes, such as bruxism. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary. However, for the majority of patients, TMJ pain can be managed with simple lifestyle changes.

    Have you been experiencing jaw pain or discomfort without knowing what the cause is? You could have a TMJ disorder and not realize it. Call us at Saunders DDS today at (828) 277-6060 or click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Saunders for your jaw pain. We can help you address the cause of your discomfort so you can live a pain-free life!

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    Scientists Get One Step Closer to Regrowing Tooth Enamel

    by Saunders DDS on September 4, 2019

    Regenerating tooth enamel—the hard, translucent, protective layer over your teeth—has so far been impossible. It’s the toughest substance in the human body, and has a complicated structure that hasn’t yet been able to be replicated by modern science.

    In previous research from 2015, scientists came close to regrowing tooth enamel by replicating a component in the enamel to help the body regenerate new enamel.

    However, scientists have now created a new gel that may actually be able to grow new tooth enamel to protect the teeth and change the way we treat cavities and tooth sensitivity, both of which are common results of enamel damage.

    In new research, scientists have designed a material composed of calcium phosphate ion clusters that they’ve used to create a foundation to grow enamel. This foundation would essentially create a new layer that mimics hard tissue development, such as that seen in our natural tooth enamel.

    Once the gel is used, the damaged enamel can essentially regenerate itself because the base layer replicates the structure and biological properties of natural tooth enamel.

    This new science could lead to an effective way to regenerate tooth enamel at your dentist in the future. Here’s what that could mean for your smile!

    First, What Exactly Is Tooth Enamel?

    Our teeth are essentially made of two different parts—the crown of the tooth, which is the part that you can see in your mouth, and the root, which is anchored in your jaw and lies deep in the center of the tooth.

    Leading down to the roots of your tooth is an area called a pulp chamber, which contains nerves and blood vessels that keep the tooth alive, sometimes referred to as simply the pulp of the tooth.

    The roots that anchor the tooth are surrounded by a material called cementum, which is a type of connective tissue that protects your tooth’s root in the jaw.

    The crown of your tooth is mostly made up of dentin, which is the layer beneath tooth enamel and cementum. It’s softer compared to enamel, but is still an essential component of your smile. Your tooth’s crown is covered in enamel, which is the shiny, hard substance that protects our teeth.

    The importance of tooth enamel can’t be overstated. It protects teeth from chips, fractures, and breaks. Enamel is also designed to keep our teeth safe from the acids and bacteria that exist in our mouths to prevent tooth decay.

    The smooth texture of enamel also helps prevent food from sticking to your teeth. Tooth enamel forms in the womb when the teeth begin to develop during the third month of pregnancy, so all the teeth are mineralized with tooth enamel before birth!

    How Tooth Enamel Is Damaged

    Since tooth enamel contains one of the highest mineral contents, it can be damaged in a process called demineralization, which can effectively weaken tooth enamel and lead to cavities.

    Of course, tooth enamel is designed to protect teeth, but it’s not immune to damage as the result of the foods we eat, the bacteria in our oral cavities, and physical damage such as from brushing too hard.

    Demineralization can happen for a variety of reasons, including poor oral care, which can lead to plaque buildup (a mixture of bacteria and food particles that can accumulate on our teeth) and cavities.

    Diet also plays a role in our enamel health, as nutrient-dense foods have been shown to support enamel health while processed foods—including sugars—can work to hurt it.

    Tooth enamel can also be damaged from acidic foods and drinks, which cause the oral cavity to produce bacteria that can attack tooth enamel. Dry mouth has a similar effect—it causes lack of saliva which can lead to less of a buffer between bacteria and acids and your teeth, and can cause weakened tooth enamel.

    Currently, there’s no way for tooth enamel to be regenerated—if a cavity or tooth sensitivity results from your missing tooth enamel, your dentist in Asheville would need to treat the problem with fillings or fluoride to protect your teeth where your missing tooth enamel is.

    The Future of Fillings

    The research notes that while modern filling materials contribute to restoring tooth enamel, they aren’t able to permanently repair the enamel because they’re foreign materials. However, the new layer of regenerated tooth enamel would naturally be integrated with your original tooth enamel in a way that would be permanent.

    Their hope is that this process could one day lead to an effective cure for enamel erosion in clinical practice. The researchers say the key to regenerating enamel is the duplication of its structure, which would present an effective natural approach to missing tooth enamel.

    Currently, modern dental fillings are the only way to rejuvenate teeth that have been affected by tooth decay. While fillings certainly do their job to protect the tooth and its structure following decay, fillings don’t last forever and all fillings need to be replaced at some point.

    With this new gel, one day your dentist in Asheville could utilize enamel regeneration treatment to help your body grow new enamel instead of using a dental filling!

    Protect Your Enamel!

    Until the day comes when we’ll see tooth enamel regenerated at the dentist office, it’s important to protect your enamel in the meantime to prevent tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, discoloration, and a weakened tooth structure.

    Keeping your tooth enamel healthy is as simple as following just a few general guidelines:

    • Brush and floss your teeth. This will keep plaque and harmful bacteria off of your pearly whites, allowing your tooth enamel to do its job.
    • Eat healthy. A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean protein with vitamins and minerals including calcium and vitamin D can help your tooth enamel stay strong.
    • Visit your dentist. Your Asheville dentist will conduct regular exams and cleanings of your teeth, allowing your tooth enamel to stay strong and healthy while you enjoy a beautiful, clean smile!

    While the gel hasn’t yet been approved for human trials yet, this marks yet another step closer to scientists being able to regenerate tooth enamel, which could change the way we treat tooth decay and care for our smiles in the future!

    Asheville dentist

    Do I Qualify for Cosmetic Dentistry?

    by Saunders DDS on August 27, 2019

    More than one-third of Americans are unhappy with their smile. People associate a healthy, beautiful smile with a better social life, a better love life, and even success.

    It makes sense that people would want to correct flaws in their smile to create a better self-image and confidence so they don’t have to hold back and can freely smile, laugh, and speak in public. Cosmetic dentistry from your dentist in Asheville can help make this possible.

    Cosmetic dentistry includes a number of dental procedures specifically designed to enhance the appearance of your smile. For people who want to change the color, shape, or alignment of their teeth, cosmetic dentistry offers something for everyone.

    While more focused on your appearance, cosmetic dentistry can also help restore your smile’s health and function, and so these procedures may overlap with some that would traditionally be considered restorative dentistry.

    Who qualifies for cosmetic dentistry? Here’s what you need to know when it comes to the available procedures and your candidacy for each.

    Teeth Whitening

    Teeth whitening is a popular procedure that can remove stains in your smile and leave you with flawless white teeth. People not only associate whiter teeth with youth, but with health and cleanliness as well.

    Anyone who wants whiter teeth is a potential candidate for teeth whitening. However, it’s important to note that if you have tooth decay or gum disease, you’ll need to get these underlying health issues treated before moving forward with your whitening procedure.

    People who have sensitive teeth are still candidates for teeth whitening procedures, although your Asheville dentist may take extra precautions to ensure any sensitivity you experience in the hours following your procedure is kept to a minimum, such as by applying a fluoride treatment to your teeth.

    Dental Veneers

    Dental veneers are a form of cosmetic dentistry that consists of a durable yet lightweight shell that’s placed over your natural teeth. Dental veneers are typically made of porcelain ceramic, which is highly stain resistant and strong.

    Your natural teeth will require a bit of preparation work, but for patients who qualify for veneers, the treatment can be transformative and cost-effective.

    Patients who qualify for dental veneers may have one, several, or all of the following dental concerns:

    • Deeply stained teeth that don’t respond to a professional teeth whitening
    • Teeth that have numerous chips and cracks
    • Crooked teeth
    • Teeth that are pointy or otherwise oddly-shaped
    • Smiles that have severe dental fluorosis

    People who have numerous issues with their smile may want to consider dental veneers to correct all their issues at once. Veneers are considered an irreversible form of treatment, so it’s important to be sure you’re making the best choice when opting for dental veneers!

    Dental Implants

    While also a form of restorative dentistry, dental implants also play a crucial role in the appearance of your smile.

    While partial dentures and bridges can help fill in the gap left by a missing tooth, many patients find that dental implants are a more functional, secure option—and one that looks just like your natural teeth.

    A dental implant is a post made of ceramic or titanium that’s surgically implanted into your jaw and allowed to heal, which will function as an artificial tooth root. Once the post is healed, a dental crown that’s made specifically to match your natural teeth will be placed on the end, allowing you to chew, speak, and smile like normal.

    Patients who qualify for dental implants are those that have enough remaining bone in their jaw following a missing tooth; otherwise, the implant post won’t be properly supported.

    People who are missing natural teeth may experience bone reabsorption, meaning the jaw bone is no longer being stimulated by the missing tooth’s roots and so the body no longer sees a need for it.

    X-rays with your Asheville dentist can tell if you’re a candidate for dental implants. However, even if you don’t qualify for dental implants, don’t fret—you may have the option of doing a bone graft to support a regular dental implant, or you may qualify for mini dental implants instead, which are typically used for front teeth instead of molars.

    Dental Crowns

    While most patients will qualify for a dental crown, a dental crown isn’t always appropriate for every given situation.

    Dental crowns are typically made of porcelain ceramic and are extremely durable. People who have teeth that have undergone root canal therapy  or a dental implant procedure will have their tooth fitted with a dental crown.

    When else would someone qualify for a dental crown?

    • When a tooth has extensive decay that can’t be fixed with a filling alone
    • For teeth that have been cracked and need extra protection
    • People who opt for dental bridges will receive dental crowns as part of the reconstruction
    • For teeth that are irreversibly discolored
    • To restore teeth that have a compromised structure due to numerous dental procedures

    Dental crowns are designed to protect teeth and restore your appearance, but are also considered a permanent form of treatment. Your dentist can suggest the appropriate use of dental crowns for your unique smile!

    Dental Bonding

    Dental bonding is when your Asheville dentist uses composite resin—a tooth-colored material that’s also used for modern fillings—to correct minor issues with your smile.

    Dental bonding has many uses, including for smiles that have been chipped, cracked, or discolored. Dental bonding can even help fill in gaps between teeth.

    People who qualify for dental bonding will be those experiencing the above issues with their smile. Dental bonding can help a single discolored tooth, and is a minimally-invasive treatment can play an instrumental role in restoring a smile’s appearance.

    Almost everyone will qualify for dental bonding, although you’ll need to have this procedure completed every few years to maintain your appearance.

    Schedule a Consultation with Us!

    At Saunders DDS, we know the importance of a smile goes beyond its function. People want to feel secure about their teeth in regards to more than just their health.

    If you’re located in the Asheville area, give us a call to learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services or to schedule a consultation with us. Dr. Saunders is experienced in helping patients of all ages have the smile they’ve always wanted.

    Why wait for your dream smile? Call us at (828) 277-6060 or click here to make an appointment!

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    What Could Be Causing a Dry Mouth?

    by Saunders DDS on August 27, 2019

    Dry mouth, the technical term for which is xerostomia, is when a person experiences an unusually dry mouth. While some people might think experiencing dry mouth isn’t a big deal, it has a bigger impact on your oral health than you think.

    Saliva helps protect our tooth enamel and provide it with the minerals it needs to stay strong. Without enough saliva, tooth enamel is prone to bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

    In fact, lack of saliva has been linked to increased risk for fungal infections in the mouth, such as oral thrush. Not to mention dry mouth can make chewing and swallowing feel difficult, and contribute to chronic bad breath.

    But what could be causing your dry mouth? Here are a few of the top causes of this condition that could be impacting your oral health!

    Medications

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    There are hundreds of different medications—both prescription and over-the-counter—known for causing dry mouth as a side effect. Some of these medications include:

    • Antidepressants
    • High blood pressure medication
    • Anxiety medication
    • Antihistamines
    • Muscle relaxants
    • Decongestants
    • Pain medication
    • Medications for urinary incontinence

    Some chemotherapy medications and treatments, including radiation therapy, can also cause dry mouth, although this effect usually subsides once the treatment is complete.

    While some of these medications are, of course, necessary, if you suffer from chronic dry mouth, it might be helpful to talk to your doctor to determine if there are different medications you can try or for tips on how to combat your dry mouth to support your oral health.

    Drugs and Alcohol

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    Drugs such as marijuana and methamphetamine are known to cause dry mouth, in addition to smoking or chewing tobacco. Smoking not only contributes to dry mouth, but to bad breath as well!

    Alcohol will also cause dry mouth, since it has a dehydrating effect on the body. Alcohol has also been linked to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, in addition to oral cancer.

    The nicotine present in e-cigarettes or “vaping” products also contributes to dry mouth—these products are still being researched and their effects on the body and the oral cavity are not yet clear, but we do know they contain dangerous chemicals and can dry out the oral cavity.

    Quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol consumption can help you have a healthier smile and reduce your risk for dry mouth!

    Dehydration

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    It’s estimated that 77 percent of Americans don’t drink enough water during the day. Your fluid intake will depend on your weight and activity level, with two to three cups per hour being a general rule, although you may need more if you work or exercise in the heat.

    Dehydration can quickly dry out the oral cavity and lead to an imbalance of bacteria that can harm your tooth enamel. Remember, caffeine works to offset your fluid intake, meaning drinking coffee, caffeinated teas, or energy drinks won’t help you stay hydrated.

    In addition, older people tend to be less thirsty and drink less water, increasing their risk for dehydration and making it even more important to stay hydrated throughout the day. Many older adults can benefit from gentle reminders such as an alarm or note on the fridge to help them reach their necessary fluid intake every day.

    Certain Health Conditions

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    There are a few health conditions that have the potential to cause dry mouth on their own. For example, unmanaged diabetes can cause you to have less saliva, leaving you with a dry mouth. Dry mouth is a symptom of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

    Sjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which causes dry eyes and dry mouth. Nearly every patient with Sjogren’s will have some degree of dry mouth, which can be managed with increased water intake, sugar-free chewing gum, and even using a humidifier for the dry seasons.

    Even Alzheimer’s disease has been associated with dry mouth. In addition to not being as thirsty as they used to be, people with Alzheimer’s may be on certain medications that make dry mouth more likely. People with Alzheimer’s may also not be able to communicate to caregivers that their mouth is dry.

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can also contribute to dry mouth, and could indicate the immune system has been damaged and that white blood cell count is low.

    Sleep Apnea

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    Sleep apnea refers to sleep disorders where a person will actually stop breathing while sleeping. People with sleep apnea typically snore and sleep with their mouths open.

    Not only does this dry out the oral cavity at night, but can lead to a dry mouth upon waking and for some, dry mouth during the day as well.

    If you suspect you have sleep apnea or your partner hears you gasping for air at night, it could be time to seek an evaluation from a sleep specialist. Sleep apnea can have serious consequences and should always be treated so you can get a full night’s rest and help stop your symptoms!

    Don’t Ignore Dry Mouth!

    Ignoring your chronic dry mouth can increase your risk for oral health problems. Experiencing dry mouth once in a while usually isn’t problematic, but experiencing it on a daily basis is.

    When you come in to see us for a checkup at Saunders DDS, we can evaluate your smile for signs of dry mouth and ask you questions about your experience with dry mouth. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, it could be time to follow up with your dentist in Asheville or your doctor to determine the cause.

    People who have to manage dry mouth may need to come in more often for a checkup, which can help prevent oral health issues. We can let you know our professional recommendation for the frequency of your visits with us as well as what you can do to help prevent and manage dry mouth.

    Schedule an appointment with us at Saunders DDS to discover if you could be suffering from dry mouth and to help protect your teeth and gums. Call us today at (828) 277-6060 to schedule your consultation!

    What to Expect When Getting a Root Canal

    July 16, 2019
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    A root canal is a procedure that’s performed by your Asheville dentist or sometimes an endodontist (a specialist in saving teeth). During a root canal, your dentist will restore your tooth instead of extracting it, giving people a way to save their teeth without the need for a replacement. It’s suspected that some ancient cultures […]

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    Under What Circumstances Does a Tooth Need to Be Removed?

    July 1, 2019
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    No one wants to hear that they need to have a tooth removed. Dentists have the job of protecting and saving your teeth, but unfortunately, sometimes a tooth extraction is necessary. How can you know if a tooth needs to be removed? There’s not one answer for everyone. Tooth extractions are evaluated on a case-by-case […]

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    Busting Six Common Myths About Oral Care

    July 1, 2019
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    You want to take the best care of your smile. When you were young, your parents probably taught you how to take care of your teeth and now, you’re responsible for your own oral care. But have you been doing things right or have the things you’ve been taught not been as helpful? Many of […]

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    Can a Professional Teeth Whitening Help My Smile?

    May 21, 2019
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    Have you ever considered getting your teeth whitened? A professional teeth whitening involves using a whitening agent to remove stains and brighten your smile. Typically, these appointments only take about an hour to complete at your local Asheville dental practice and can leave you with dazzling white teeth. Many patients want whiter teeth but aren’t […]

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    Here’s How You Can Take Care of Your Teeth in the Warmer Weather

    May 7, 2019
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    With spring in full swing and summer not far away, people are enjoying the weather by spending more time outdoors and planning trips to make the most out of the warmer seasons. Did you know that as the seasons change, your oral health can change, too? Whether there are freezing or scorching temperatures, your smile […]

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    6 Facts About Dental Fillings: Everything You Need to Know

    April 19, 2019
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    A dental filling, sometimes referred to as a dental restoration, is a treatment that repairs missing tooth structure as the result of a cavity. Tooth fillings have come a long way since their inception. Researchers have found evidence that our ancestors attempted to use substances such as beeswax to repair teeth thousands of years ago. […]

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    What’s the Best Way to Care for My New Dentures?

    April 4, 2019
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    Dentures are replacements for natural teeth that can either be full sets (for people who are missing all of their natural teeth) or a partial set (for people who are only missing a few natural teeth). People who may not qualify for dental implants or other restorative dentistry options may choose to get dentures. When […]

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    All About Baby Teeth: Best Practices for Your Child

    February 18, 2019
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    When it comes to caring for your child, healthy teeth are just as important as their overall health. Your child’s primary teeth—also called baby teeth—play an instrumental role in their adult smile. During your child’s lifetime, they’ll grow up to 32 teeth in their mouth and use these teeth to help them speak and chew […]

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    Is It Time for a Smile Makeover in 2019?

    December 18, 2018
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    When you’re making New Year’s Resolutions this year, chances are you’ve made some commitments to live healthier. Perhaps you’ve resolved to better manage your stress, eat more vegetables, or visit your dentist every six months. Either way, the New Year is a time to start fresh. If you’re unhappy with your smile, it’s time to […]

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    Avoid Dental Emergencies This Holiday with These Tips

    December 6, 2018
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    It’s officially holiday season and people are preparing to enjoy this time of year and all that it offers. From spending time with family and friends to taking vacation time, the holidays provide people with a chance to catch up with loved ones and relax. No one wants to deal with a dental emergency this […]

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