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    Surprising Health Issues Your Dental Exam Can Uncover

    by Saunders DDS on October 17, 2018

    Most people know they should be getting a dental exam regularly. While every patient will differ on how often they need to come in, a general rule is every six months to one year.

    However, many patients don’t realize exactly how important a dental exam is for their health. Yes, a dental exam can prevent cavities and gum disease, but it can also uncover surprising health issues that could be detrimental to your body.

    Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your smile checked out by a professional. If you have any of the following health concerns, your Asheville dentist might encourage you to follow up with your doctor after your next visit!

    Diabetes

    Patients who have diabetes are more likely to get gum disease. Most people who have gum disease will not have diabetes, but if your dentist suspects diabetes may be the issue based on your symptoms, he or she will refer you to your physician for a diagnosis.

    If you have diabetes and you’re managing the disease, you won’t have an increased risk of gum disease compared to other patients. However, if you have diabetes and don’t know it, you may have uncontrolled blood sugar which could lead to more aggressive gum disease and tooth loss.

    Bacteria in the oral cavity thrive on sugars, so high glucose levels in the blood can encourage bacteria to grow. In fact, the American Dental Association claims that bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream which may trigger an immune response that leads to a higher blood sugar level.

    Keeping your gums healthy can not only improve your oral health but has the potential to help you better manage your diabetes and reduce your risk of developing gum disease!

    Anemia

    Anemia is a condition in which not enough red blood cells are present in the body. Symptoms of this condition may include dizziness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and even trouble sleeping.

    If the softer tissues of your mouth are very pale, your dentist in Asheville might suspect anemia. In addition, your tongue may look smooth instead of textured or be painful or swollen.

    Anemia can be diagnosed by a blood test and there are different types of anemia, so your dentist will suggest you see your doctor if you have signs of anemia during your dental exam.

    Cancer

    Oral cancer may be localized or it may metastasize to affect additional locations in the body. Catching oral cancer through oral cancer screenings with your Asheville dentist can help you have the best chance for a successful treatment.

    Oral cancer includes cancers of the lip, cheek, tongue, gums, and on the floor and the roof of the mouth. For some patients, oral cancer will take the form of lesions in the mouth, but these abnormalities can be difficult for patients to spot on their own.

    During your exam at Saunders DDS, Dr. Saunders will check for signs of oral cancer. If he suspects you have oral cancer, he’ll recommend further testing to attain a diagnosis.

    Heart Disease

    Gum disease could put you at risk for heart disease. Bacteria involved in gum disease have been found in the arteries leading to the heart; however, a causal link has not been established.

    When there’s disharmony in the body, evidence is often present in the mouth. Symptoms of gum disease—including swollen, bleeding, or tender gums—could be an indicator that the patient is at risk for heart disease.

    If your Asheville dentist diagnoses you with gum disease, it’s imperative to get treatment to reverse the disease before it progresses and could even impact your vascular system.

    Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

    When gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is present, stomach acid can irritate the esophagus—a place it would normally never be—and even end up in the mouth. When these acids end up in the oral cavity, they can virtually dissolve tooth enamel.

    Some patients might not necessarily have symptoms of GERD but still have the disorder. Some people even experience this illness while asleep at night and the symptoms may present as insomnia.

    However, the fact remains that GERD can erode tooth enamel and ruin your smile. If your dentist sees evidence of GERD during your exam, he or she will refer you to your doctor or a gastroenterologist for a diagnosis.

    Osteoporosis

    Osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to weaken, won’t be obvious from your smile. However, the presence of osteoporosis may affect alveolar bone, which is the bone in your jaw that helps to support your teeth.

    If your dentist in Asheville is concerned about loss of alveolar bone or is seeing a receding gum line or loose teeth, he or she may be concerned that osteoporosis is present. Talking with your doctor can help establish a diagnosis and treatment that might just save your teeth!

    Stress

    We all know that stress can have detrimental effects on the body. From chronic disease to premature aging, chronic stress isn’t healthy for anyone.

    Stress can take its toll on your smile in the form of bruxism, or teeth grinding. Most patients grind their teeth while asleep and so don’t remember grinding their teeth, but they may wake with headaches or an aching jaw from teeth grinding.

    If your dentist notices premature enamel wear and suspects teeth grinding, you may need a nightly mouthguard in addition to stress reduction techniques to help stop this habit. Fortunately, you can receive treatment at your dental practice in Asheville for teeth grinding without an outside referral.

    Getting an Exam Is Easy

    Your dentist plays an important role in not just keeping your teeth and gums healthy, but contributing to your entire bodily health. Since many people see their dentist more often than their doctor, your Asheville dentist is more likely to uncover these health issues.

    From diabetes and anemia to heart disease and cancer, your dentist might just surprise you during your next checkup. Make an appointment with us for a comprehensive dental exam and oral cancer screening and be sure to follow up with your physician if suggested by Dr. Saunders—you’ll be glad you did!

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    Pregnancy can be an exciting yet challenging time. During this busy time of keeping up with appointments, taking care of yourself, and preparing for the new arrival, many women don’t give much thought to their oral health during their nine months being pregnant.

    However, oral health during pregnancy deserves more attention than you think. Hormone changes in the body as well as other changes cause a variety of oral cavity concerns that you should know about during pregnancy. In fact, dentists suggest you should get a checkup at some point during your pregnancy to ensure your smile is healthy, especially if you’re experiencing any adverse symptoms with your teeth and gums.

    When it comes to protecting your health and the health of your baby, maintaining proper oral health during pregnancy is important. Be aware of the following dental concerns you might experience during your time being pregnant!

    Gum Disease Is More Likely

    Perhaps the oral health concern you’ve most likely heard about—and the most common—is the onset of gingivitis during pregnancy.

    Although not full-blown periodontal disease, gingivitis causes gum swelling and bleeding. Fortunately, gingivitis is considered reversible, and for many pregnant women, is usually temporary, peaking in the month just before birth and subsiding after your child is born.

    Gum issues during pregnancy happen as the result of hormonal shifts in the body. Both progesterone and estrogen are higher and can lead to a growth of bacteria that are responsible for gum inflammation. Many women notice that their gums are red, tender, or bleed during pregnancy.

    Due to these changes, the immune response to these harmful bacteria is more complicated as well. Your body may not be as adept to fight off these bacteria and lead you to be more susceptible to gum disease.

    Since gum disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight, getting this issue addressed is paramount. Keeping up with your oral care routine as well as visiting your dentist in Asheville can help you keep your gums healthy during pregnancy.

    Enamel Erosion

    Although not every woman will experience morning sickness during pregnancy, more than 50% will. Morning sickness doesn’t just happen in the morning—nausea and vomiting can happen at any point during the day and is most prevalent between six and twelve weeks of pregnancy.

    Unfortunately, vomiting can have negative effects on your oral health. The acids from your stomach are extremely harsh, and when they end up in your mouth, they can erode away enamel on the back of your teeth. With damaged tooth enamel, tooth sensitivity and tooth decay are more likely.

    Although morning sickness is considered normal, you may want to visit your dentist if you’re vomiting often to see what you can do to help protect your teeth. Remember to not brush immediately after vomiting, as stomach acids will weaken your tooth enamel and make it more likely to be damaged by your toothbrush bristles.

    What you can do is rinse with water after vomiting and again before brushing about 30 minutes later. It’s essential to take care of your teeth during this time to protect against irreversible enamel damage, so consult with your dentist if you’re concerned about the effects of morning sickness on your smile.

    Dry Mouth

    Dry mouth is a less common oral health symptom of pregnancy but can be a side effect of morning sickness. The hormonal shifts we discussed earlier can also cause dry mouth during your pregnancy.

    Experiencing dry mouth can make you more susceptible to tooth decay and buildup of plaque, which, as we know, can cause tooth decay and gum disease. It’s essential to stay hydrated to help combat the effects of dry mouth. Drinking plenty of water, reducing your caffeine intake, and chewing gum with xylitol can help your oral cavity stay moist and protected.

    Dry mouth can also cause bad breath, so staying hydrated can help you curb this annoying problem. Certain medications can cause dry mouth as well, so if you’re on any of the many medications that can cause dry mouth and pregnant, your symptoms may be worse and you may need to speak with your doctor about switching medications in order to help protect your smile during this time.

    Pregnancy Tumors (Pyogenic Granuloma)

    Technically called pyogenic granuloma, pregnancy tumors are overgrowths of tissue in the mouth that only affect 5% of pregnancies.

    This tissue typically grows between the gums and is never cancerous. Appearing between the second and third trimester, these tumors are suspected to be the result of hormonal changes throughout the body during pregnancy.

    If you do experience a pregnancy tumor, you might see a period of rapid growth before the tumor stabilizes. If your tumor is obstructive or uncomfortable, you can opt to have it removed by your dentist in Asheville.

    Pregnancy tumors usually only require monitoring, not treatment, but getting them evaluated by your dentist is always a good idea, especially if you’re experiencing any discomfort or symptoms as a result of the excess tissue in your mouth.

    Since pyogenic granulomas have a lot of blood vessels, they typically appear reddish in color and can bleed. Bleeding is the most common complaint of people who have pregnancy tumors.

    Maintaining a Healthy Smile Throughout Your Pregnancy

    While pregnancy brings many changes, one of the changes you shouldn’t overlook during this time are the changes to your oral health. With some oral health issues having the potential to be hereditary, it’s important to have the healthiest smile possible for your baby.

    Being aware of changes in the oral cavity due to hormones can help you to better prepare for your pregnancy. Fortunately, you don’t have to bear the responsibility of having great oral health alone—your Asheville dentist is here to help you maintain a healthy smile throughout your pregnancy.

    Checking in with your dentist during your pregnancy can help you to ensure your teeth and gums are ready for your little one to arrive safe and sound. We invite you to schedule a consultation with us at Saunders DDS when you’re expecting to ensure a safe and healthy smile. We look forward to helping you with your oral care!

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    Does My Child Really Need a Custom Mouthguard?

    by Saunders DDS on September 18, 2018

    Fall sports are well underway with the most popular sports—soccer, football, lacrosse, and wrestling—all requiring a mouthguard for your child’s participation.

    When it comes to purchasing the right mouthguard for your child, how can you be sure that you’re getting the right one? Of course, there are the mouthguards from sporting stores that cost little and allow you to boil the mouthguard and attempt to mold it to your child’s bite.

    But do these mouthguards provide everything your child needs to have a safe and fun sport season? Unfortunately, many parents realize too late that a store-bought mouthguard doesn’t provide adequate protection for their child.

    Your child’s mouth isn’t the same as another person’s, so the mouthguard they need won’t be the same either. In order to fully protect your child’s mouth, here’s why you need to consider a custom mouthguard.

    Custom Offers a Superior Level of Protection

    Custom mouthguards are able to help protect each and every one of your child’s teeth. They help to shield the teeth and the jaw from absorbing an impact during an accident, making each and every tooth less likely to be harmed by an injury.

    With store-bought mouthguards, you’re trusting your child’s teeth to a device that wasn’t made for them. With a cheaper mouthguard comes sub-optimal protection. You won’t be able to protect your child’s jaw and teeth from an injury with a mouthguard that wasn’t made to protect them specifically.

    Keep Braces and Orthodontic Appliances Safe

    If your child has braces, protecting their smile is even more important. In the event of an injury—a fall or even a blow to the face or head—the brackets and wires can actually cut your child’s mouth and require stitches in severe cases.

    Any orthodontic work including braces and retainers can be fully protected with a custom mouthguard. The right mouthguard will shield your child’s gums from the metal braces in the event of an impact, saving you a trip to the emergency room and keeping your child safe to continue playing sports even with their orthodontic work. 

    Get the Right Fit for Total Protection

    When you invest in a custom mouthguard, your Asheville dentist ensures that the fit is the right one to protect your child.

    Dr. Saunders will take an impression of your child’s teeth, creating an accurate model which will serve as the foundation for creating your child’s perfect mouthguard. Once the mouthguard is ready, Dr. Saunders will be sure it fits your child for optimum protection.

    Enable Better Performance

    Picking up a mouthguard at the store seems harmless, but in reality, it could actually be dangerous for your child. Many of these mouthguards are too bulky to be the right size, meaning your child will have to keep their mouth closed to hold the mouthguard in.

    An ill-fitting mouthguard can not only make speaking difficult, it can make breathing difficult as well. Not being able to speak and breathe properly can be frightening and limiting during sports when adequate breathing is required for children to play their best and have fun.

    Custom mouthguards allow your child to breathe, speak, and even swallow properly, therefore allowing them to do their best and have fun with their friends without worrying about accommodating a bulky mouthguard or suffering a tooth injury by going without. The American Dental Association recommends that both children and adults wear proper-fitting mouthguards in any sport where there’s a risk for injury!

    Enhanced Comfort for Your Child

    Since a custom mouthguard is made to fit your child’s teeth, there’s no excess material. The result is just a comfortable device that protects your child’s mouth. Having the correct fit makes it more likely that your child will actually wear his or her mouthguard.

    In addition, getting a custom mouthguard for your child when they’re young will allow them to get more familiar with the mouthguard and have a positive experience with these essential devices early on, making sports and other forms of exercise fun and safe.

    Get Kids Excited About Sports (and Safety!)

    Getting a custom mouthguard allows your child to choose their favorite design or color with your Asheville dentist. You can get your child excited about wearing their personalized equipment while also reducing the chances that your child will miss a practice or a game. By helping to prevent teeth and jaw injuries, you allow your child to attend every game and not miss a moment!

    Reduce Chances of a Severe Impact

    When you properly protect your child’s smile during sports, you may actually be able to reduce their chances of suffering from a concussion. Tentative research shows that mouthguards can help to absorb the impact of a blow and may actually be able to stop a concussion from happening.

    Although the research isn’t conclusive at this time, it never hurts to protect your child’s teeth and help prevent a severe sporting accident from affecting their jaw or skull with a custom mouthguard. 

    Prevent Emergency Bills

    A custom mouthguard can help cut down on dental costs and reconstructive services that may come with a cheap mouthguard. Consider the cost of emergency services due to knocked out teeth or stitches, not to mention the restorative work that will need to happen afterward for tooth injuries.

    You can protect your child’s teeth in addition to any restorative work they may already have. Braces, retainers, or cosmetic work can be expensive to repair. Keep your bills down with one smart investment in a custom mouthguard! 

    Tips for Getting the Perfect Mouthguard

    If you’ve decided to consider your options for custom mouthguards, the process is simple. First, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Asheville to see if you can get a custom mouthguard for your child. You’ll need to tell your dentist what sport the mouthguard will be used for. Sports such as football and boxing will need to be thicker than mouthguards for sports such as tennis.

    It’ll also be important to inform your Asheville dentist of any previous restorative work your child may have had done or if your child is planning on getting braces in the future.

    Once your dentist is able to take impressions of your child’s teeth, you’re on your way to getting a custom-fit mouthguard to fully protect your child’s smile during their sport so the whole family can enjoy the season without worrying about a tooth injury.

    If you’re in the Asheville area, make an appointment with us at Saunders DDS to get your child fitted for a custom mouthguard. Investing in a custom mouthguard for your child can not only help prevent injury, but can make the sport season more enjoyable for everyone!

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    How Exactly Do Dental Implants Work? What You Can Expect

    by Saunders DDS on September 5, 2018

    Dental implants have provided patients, with missing teeth, a way to effectively restore their smile without dentures. These sturdy tooth replacements consist of a titanium screw that’s implanted in your jaw and allowed to heal, then restored with a dental crown.

    Besides offering a tooth replacement that may last a lifetime, dental implants are durable and feel and function just like your natural teeth. With all the reasons to get a dental implant, it makes sense that more patients are pursuing this option when they lose a tooth due to an accident or decay.

    How do dental implants provide a carefree smile for patients around the world? Here’s your guide to the dental implant procedure and what you can expect during this restorative dentistry process.

    Consultation with your Asheville Dentist

    Before you can begin to consider dental implants as an option, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with your dentist in Asheville to determine your candidacy.

    The best candidates for dental implants are those who have optimal oral health—this includes being free of gum disease.  Having a healthy smile gives you your best chance to fully heal from the procedure and have a strong dental implant for life.

    During your consultation, your Asheville dentist, Dr. Saunders, will examine your smile to determine the location of the missing tooth, the state of your oral health, and if you have enough bone in your jaw to properly support the dental implant.

    Without enough bone in your jaw, you may not qualify for dental implants, or you may need a bone graft before the procedure can be considered. Typically, patients who have been missing a tooth for quite some time are at risk to experience bone loss, while those who have recently lost a tooth should still have enough jaw bone to support a dental implant.

    People who are allergic to titanium, although extremely rare, may also not be considered for the dental implant procedure.  This is due to the fact that most dental implants are fabricated from a titanium alloy. Tell your Asheville dental practice if you have a metal allergy and ask whether or not a different kind of material is available.

    If you smoke, you may also not qualify for dental implants. This is because smoking can greatly hinder your oral health and your dentist may not want to risk the procedure, as there’s a greater chance that your body would reject the dental implant.

    Procedure to Insert the Implant

    If your dentist determines that you’re a candidate for dental implants, you can discuss moving forward with the procedure. You’ll schedule a time to come in and typically only local anesthesia is used, although you can discuss all of your sedation options with your dentist.

    During the procedure, a small hole is made and the post is inserted into your jaw. During the next few weeks, the post will be allowed to fuse to your bone, which makes it strong and also facilitates generation of new jaw bone. Having proper jaw bone density not only helps your smile to remain strong, but also supports a fuller face which can help facilitate a younger-looking appearance.

    After the procedure, you’ll need to follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions for healing. You should gently brush around the surgical site, but do not be aggressive. You should rest for the first day and avoid any excessive activity.

    Swelling is normal and may last for up to three days following the procedure. Should you ever have any questions or concerns, contact your dentist immediately. In the meantime, you can use ice to decrease the swelling and eat foods that are easy to chew.

    Healing Time

    Following the initial procedure to place the actual implant, your body will need time to heal. During this time, the actual implant will fuse to your jaw bone in a process called osseointegration. Once this process is complete, your dental implant will be ready for the final part of the procedure—your dental crown.

    The healing time will vary from person to person depending on how healthy your mouth is, with healing time being between two and four months. Your dentist can let you know more about what to expect based on your unique smile and how well the healing process is going during your checkup appointments.

    Your dentist may be able to fit you with a temporary restoration during this time, but this should only be worn after the swelling has gone down. Following the procedure, your dentist will need to see you back in for checkups to monitor the healing process and discuss getting your dental crown.

    Getting Your Permanent Crown

    Once your actual dental implant is fully healed, it’s time to get your definitive restoration—a dental crown. Dental crowns are made to function just like your natural teeth and are virtually indistinguishable from your real teeth.

    Your dentist will be able to make your dental crown look the exact shape and shade that you want and then fix it onto the end of your dental crown. With proper care, crowns have the potential to last ten years or more, so be sure to take care of your crown for the littlest maintenance possible!

    Once you have your final appointment for your dental implant, you’ll be ready to enjoy your new permanent tooth and be able to follow up with your dentist in Asheville for regular appointments as needed.

    Considering Dental Implants?

    If you’re considering dental implants but aren’t sure whether or not you qualify, schedule a visit with us at Saunders DDS in Asheville. Dr. Saunders will review your oral health to determine if you’re a candidate for the procedure as well as be able to talk with you more about what the procedure will entail.

    If you’re missing a tooth or several teeth, getting them replaced as soon as possible can help prevent shifting of your teeth and bone loss in your jaw. If you’re concerned about needing numerous dental implants, you have options such as all-on-four dental implants to simplify and accelerate the procedure.

    Ask your dentist in Asheville about dental implants during your next appointment to fully restore your smile and enjoy proper function of your teeth again!

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    7 Ways Alcohol Can Hurt Your Smile

    by Saunders DDS on August 21, 2018

    One of America’s most popular and widely abused beverages is also harmful to your teeth. Alcohol not only has negative consequences for your body; it also damages your smile.

    From beer to wine to liquor, alcohol is corrosive to tooth enamel and can irritate the gums, especially if you’re not brushing, flossing, or visiting your Asheville dentist regularly.

    If you choose to drink alcohol, it’s important to know how this beverage will affect your teeth and gums. Here’s how alcohol can hurt your smile and why this beverage made it to our top six worst drinks for your teeth!

    Alcohol Dehydrates You

    Similarly to caffeinated beverages, alcohol dehydrates you. Its dehydrating effect on the body also dries out your mouth and decreases your saliva production, which means there’s more of a chance your teeth will be impacted by bad bacteria.

    Dehydration can even affect cognitive function, so staying hydrated while drinking alcohol is important. To do this, simply sip water with your drink or have a glass of water after each drink to help both your smile and your body to remain healthy and less impacted by the alcohol.

    Alcohol Is Acidic

    Saliva helps to keep our mouths at a healthy pH, somewhere near neutral (7 on the pH scale). Alcohol, however, is very acidic and most alcoholic drinks fall somewhere in the 3-5 range on the pH scale. What does this mean for your smile?

    The more acidic a food or beverage is, the more likely it is to erode your tooth enamel. Acidic drinks encourage oral bacteria to turn harmful, which can actually eat away at tooth enamel, especially over long periods of time (think sipping a drink over a period of hours).

    Adding citrus fruits to your alcoholic drinks is even worse, as these fruits have even lower numbers on the pH scale. For instance, a lemon has a pH of just 2!

    Alcohol Can Stain Your Teeth (And Not Just Wine)

    We all know that red wine can stain your teeth. What many people don’t realize is that beer—especially darker brews—can also stain teeth.

    Although regular cleanings with your Asheville dental practice can remove surface stains and a professional  teeth whitening may be able to more comprehensively remove deeper stains, your best bet is to drink alcohol in moderation to avoid unsightly stains that can impact the appearance of your smile.

    You can also sip your drink through a straw, which means the liquid will almost completely bypass the teeth to help prevent staining. Another helpful tip is to drink water with your drink; this not only helps to prevent dehydration but also creates a buffer between your teeth and the alcohol that could stain them.

    Sugar from Mixed Drinks Damages Teeth

    If you enjoy mixed drinks, keep in mind that many syrupy add-ons and sugary substances such as soda can make your alcoholic drink extra harmful to your teeth.

    Sugar encourages bacteria in the mouth to produce harmful acids, which lowers the pH and can harm tooth enamel. Once tooth enamel is worn away, it can’t be replaced. Eroded tooth enamel causes symptoms such as tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and tooth decay.

    Enamel erosion is a common side effect of eating too much sugar or exposing the mouth to sugar over long periods of time. However, when mixed with alcohol, your alcohol consumption can become even more damaging to your pearly whites.

    Alcohol Abuse Increases Your Risk for Oral Cancer

    Oral cancer includes cancers that develop in the mouth. Over 10,000 people die from oral cancer every year, and over 50,000 people are diagnosed with these cancers annually.

    Alcohol abuse is the second largest risk factor for developing oral cancer with tobacco use being the first. Alcohol and tobacco use combined especially raises your risk for oral cancer.

    In fact, 70% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers. You can protect yourself from oral cancer by quitting smoking, reducing your alcohol consumption, and regularly visiting your Asheville dentist for checkups and oral cancer screenings.

    Alcohol Increases Your Risk of Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

    People who drink alcohol frequently have more dental plaque than people who don’t. Research shows dependency on alcohol leads to more plaque regardless of your oral care habits.

    As a result of increased plaque, alcohol can increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. In general, people who drink have a higher risk to develop cavities, especially if your drinking is so heavy that you frequently vomit.

    Vomit contains harsh stomach acids and is extremely corrosive to teeth, eroding away enamel and causing irreversible damage. If your drinking is so heavy that you vomit, it might be time to seek help.

    Alcohol May Be Linked to Teeth Grinding

    Although no causal link has been proven between alcohol and teeth grinding, research has shown that alcohol use has been “associated highly” with grinding your teeth while asleep.

    Teeth grinding (also called bruxism) is extremely harmful to teeth. It inflames the gum tissue and can cause fractures in your teeth. If left untreated, bruxism can even cause tooth loss.

    Bruxism is treatable by your dentist in Asheville. If you find you’re grinding your teeth or wake with a sore jaw or a headache, it’s time for a dental exam. Your Asheville dentist can talk with you about your symptoms and if your alcohol consumption could be contributing to your bruxism.

    Concerned About Your Smile?

    If you’re concerned about your smile, consider making an appointment with Dr. Saunders at Saunders DDS. From oral cancer screenings to comprehensive exams, we provide a full range of services for our patients in Asheville.

    Is your alcohol consumption causing issues with your smile? There is help for people who struggle to control their drinking. When it comes to your oral health, you can decrease your risk of oral cancer, cavities, and gum disease simply by cutting back on alcohol or quitting altogether.

    Come in and see us at Saunders DDS for an exam. We can help you protect your smile and prevent further damage!

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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!

    What Health Problems Have Been Linked to Gum Disease?

    April 17, 2018
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    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 […]

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    Watch Out: Your Child Can Have the Following Dental Problems

    April 12, 2018
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    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 […]

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    What Are Those White Spots On My Teeth? Dental Fluorosis and Treatment

    March 20, 2018
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    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 […]

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    How Different Types of Smoking Affect Your Oral Health

    March 6, 2018
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    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 […]

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    Don’t Delay in Catching These 5 Dental Problems Early

    February 26, 2018
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    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 […]

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    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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