Nearly 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes. Besides blood sugar control, diabetes includes a number of other health complications. Recent studies have suggested that there is a two-way connection between diabetes and periodontal (gum) disease. Patients with gum disease have increased risk of other diabetic complications and patients with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease. Gum disease causes inflammation in the body, which can make controlling blood sugar more difficult for diabetic patients. Severe periodontal disease has even been shown to increase blood sugar, which can raise the risk of additional diabetic complications. Patients with diabetes are more prone to infections in general. This is especially true for patients whose diabetes is not well controlled. Diabetic patients with poor blood sugar control are more likely to develop gum disease, to have a more severe case, and to lose more teeth from gum disease. Diabetic patients are more prone to other oral health issues, such as dry mouth or thrush (a fungal infection of the mouth). Reduced saliva production or infection in the mouth can increase risks of developing periodontal disease as well. Smoking can escalate these risks even further. Studies have shown that smokers are 5 times more likely than non-smokers to develop gum disease, overall. Diabetic smokers age 45 or older have been found to be 20 times more likely to develop severe gum disease. Fortunately, when diabetes and blood sugar are well-controlled, the risks of periodontal disease and other oral health complications are no different than for patients without diabetes. Be sure to let us know if you have diabetes and how well-controlled it is. We may need to discuss your medication schedule when planning treatments or to postpone a treatment if your blood sugar is not controlled. Keep in mind that healing from treatment can take longer for diabetic patients, even when blood sugar is well-controlled. If you have questions or concerns about your risk of periodontal disease with diabetes, contact our office for more information.
About 1 in 4 adults experience tooth loss between the ages of 21 and 30. Dental implants are a safe and long-term option for tooth replacement that improve the appearance and functionality of your smile. A dental implant can be paired with a replacement crown for single tooth replacement or can be used in small groups to anchor a denture or dental bridge. Dental implants are a strong, long-lasting solution for tooth loss and serve to prevent jaw bone loss in the same manner as a natural tooth root. There are many benefits to choosing dental implants as a tooth-replacement solution. Some of these include: Natural looking smile: Dental implants are crafted to closely resemble your natural teeth, restoring a natural-looking smile. Improved oral health: Since there is no need to alter surrounding teeth to anchor implants, more of your natural teeth are preserved intact, improving long-term oral health. Improved speech: With removable, non-anchored dentures, teeth can slip within the mouth, causing slurred or mumbled speech. Dental Implants remove that concern. Improved comfort: Dental Implants avoid the slipping and discomfort of removable dentures. Improved function: Dental Implants function like your natural teeth, allowing you to eat without pain. Durability: Dental implants are stable, strong, and stain-resistant. Protect healthy bone structure: Empty spaces caused by tooth loss can, over time, lead to deterioration of the jawbone. Since Dental Implants function like tooth roots, they are able to prevent this type of deterioration, just as natural teeth do. Long-term solution: Dentures must be replaced about every 5-7 years. Dental Implants, when cared for properly, can last a lifetime. If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be right for you. We will consider your oral and overall health prior to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. Some considerations include: Adequate bone support to anchor the implant Healthy gum tissue Sinus and nerve location Overall health, including any chronic illnesses In some cases, we may recommend advance treatment for your upper or lower jaw to enable you to have the bone support needed for implantation. As always, your treatment plan is created based on your specific needs and goals for your healthy smile. If you are interested in learning more about dental implants or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our office today for an appointment. We’re here to help restore the health and beauty of your smile.
We often have visitors to our office ask about solutions for fixing stained teeth or filling in gaps between teeth. We sometimes suggest veneers. Veneers are one cosmetic option available for correcting your smile. Here’s what you should know about veneers, and whether they are right for you and your smile. What Are Veneers? A Veneer is a thin cover placed over the front of the tooth. Typically, they are made of dental porcelain and designed to cover your existing tooth, not replace it. What They Do Veneers are used to fix a broken or chipped tooth, shrink the noticeable gaps in between teeth, or reduce the visible stains on teeth. Our office specially sizes them to fit your teeth. Generally, the structure of your teeth is not altered since the veneers are placed over your teeth. What You Need to Know Those who get veneers sometimes experience a minor increase in sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold food and drinks. Veneers are typically nonreversible, as they often require a small amount of tooth enamel to be removed. After getting them, it is advisable to avoid drinks such as wine, coffee, or tea that are often culprits of causing staining. Taking care of them still requires you to brush twice each day and floss regularly as well. Your teeth are not invincible to staining or decay so be sure to continue to take care of them. It is important to know that veneers are a solution to minor tooth issues such as discoloration, gaps, or misaligned teeth. They are not a substitute for braces, bridges, or other dental work. Schedule a visit to our office to meet with our dentist. Together our team can work with you to develop a plan to reach the goals and look you are hoping to achieve. For more information on how to achieve the smile you have dreamed of, contact our office. We look forward to seeing you during your next visit with us!
Even a healthy mouth is lined with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it. What is it? Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick scrapes on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like patchy, white sores. Who does it affect? Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active to keep your mouth healthy and prevent issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more than other patients. What can it do? Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth. Thrush can spread. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush moves into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart. How can I prevent It? Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like brushing your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria. The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our doctor to see which solutions might be best for you. We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams. If you are a diabetic, it is even more important that you schedule regular visits to our office. By having your mouth checked by our staff, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush. For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.
Wisdom teeth are the last new teeth that will enter your mouth. Most patients have some form of complications resulting from their wisdom teeth. Did you know that your wisdom teeth can impact your overall health? Here’s what you need to be aware of regarding your wisdom teeth. The Basics Typically, your wisdom teeth will come in between the ages of 17 and 25. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), as many as 90% of patients have an impacted wisdom tooth. An Impacted tooth is unable to properly grow through your gums because of a lack of space. What This Means for You An impacted wisdom tooth is something you should talk to our doctor about. Impacted teeth can cause infection and damage to surrounding teeth. It is extremely important these issues are addressed early on. Your wisdom teeth are hard to clean in the back of your mouth. An infected tooth not receiving the proper care can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to infection and gum disease. Wisdom Teeth & Your Overall Health An infection of your wisdom teeth can lead to oral diseases, but it can also lead to further, more serious complications as well. THE AAOMS explains that oral bacteria that gets into your bloodstream can lead to heart, kidney, and other organ infections. That’s right, your teeth can impact your overall health! The Importance of Examinations You might not notice any pain or discomfort around your wisdom teeth, but that does not necessarily mean they are healthy. Even wisdom teeth that fit properly can be the target of a future infection. It is essential to keep up with regular examinations so that our trained, experienced team can take a close look at your wisdom teeth. What You Can Do We cannot overstate the importance of regular oral examinations. Our doctor can help assess your wisdom teeth and whether they will need to be removed. Wisdom teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health and your overall health, so we recommend staying vigilant with your daily oral hygiene routine. For more questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your examination, please contact our office.
When you are close to someone you can often be overly comfortable in sharing. This is especially true with kissing. In one kiss, more than 500 germs can be shared between two people. Sharing a kiss can have an impact on your oral health. Here are some of the dangers of kissing. Colds & Flus When you feel like you might be coming down with a cold or flu, it is best to avoid kissing. You certainly don’t want to transmit any diseases. Colds and flus are easily passed on through saliva and nasal fluids. Cold Sores If you see a cold sore near your mouth and lips, you should avoid kissing someone. Cold sores will look like small, clear blisters usually close to your lips. Cold sores are a viral infection, but are extremely contagious. Cold sores that are leaking fluids are especially contagious, however even a sore without any fluid can spread to others in contact. Avoid contact if you see cold sores! Mono – The Kissing Disease Mononucleosis, or mono, is spread very rapidly through kissing. The disease can also be spread by sharing behaviors such as sharing a cup, food, or straw. We recommend avoiding sharing your food and drink with others. Someone carrying mono might appear healthy, so always play it is safe by avoiding sharing your food and your germs. Tips for Fresh Breath It makes sense to want to have a clean, fresh breath when kissing. It is best to avoid foods that contain strong spices and flavors, such as garlic or onion. Long after they have been consumed, it is still possible to smell these foods on someone’s breath. Make sure you follow a regular daily oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily, as well as brushing your tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside of your cheeks. We suggest using a mouthwash or sugar-free gum after eating to help diffuse strong odors. Sometimes bad breath can be caused by other factors, so if you feel these solutions are not working, make an appointment with us. Hundreds of germs can be shared when kissing. Watch out for cold sores as well as cold or flu symptoms. Don’t forget to keep up with your daily brushing and flossing routine. For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy, or to schedule your next visit, contact our office. Mint 32 Dentistry 5755 North Point Pkwy #204, Alpharetta, GA 30022, USA 770-901-2719
Chewing and smoking tobacco are known to cause severe health problems, particularly in the lungs. But the risks to your mouth and teeth can be just as extensive and alarming. If you use tobacco, stop. Here’s what tobacco can do to your oral health. Chewing Tobacco According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), tobacco chewers increase their risk of developing gum and cheek cancers by 50 times. Tobacco dissolves the gums which leads to sensitivity from exposed roots. This also makes for an ideal location for bacteria to grow, leading to decay. If you are chewing tobacco, stop, and ask our experienced oral health team about what you can do to keep your mouth healthy. Smoking According to a report by the AGD, smoking one pack a day can lead to the loss of two teeth each decade of your life. Smoking increases your odds of losing teeth. Cigarettes and cigars are both damaging to your oral health. Smoking can cause staining as well, leading to an unattractive smile. Oral Cancer Oral cancer can develop in several places in your mouth including on your tongue, lips, mouth floor, and gums. Those over 50, are at an increased risk of developing oral cancer, as are men. However, Oral cancer has been on the rise, especially for people under 30 according to the AGD. Schedule an appointment with us to receive a thorough oral health examination, and ask us about an oral cancer screening, particularly if you are a tobacco user. Oral cancer screenings are often very quick as our dentist checks your mouth, teeth, and cheeks for signs of irregularities. If caught early, oral cancer can be treated. If you are a tobacco user, we strongly advise you to quit. You can work with our professional dental team as well as your doctor to overcome tobacco use. Everyone should be receiving regular oral health examinations, but if you are a tobacco user, you need to be especially vigilant in doing so. Schedule a visit to our office so that we can work with you to identify any potential issues. For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us. Mint 32 Dentistry 5755 North Point Pkwy #204, Alpharetta, GA 30022, USA 770-901-2719
Celebrities seem to have it all – perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect body and perfect teeth. It seems impossible to achieve the level of flawlessness that many celebrities attain. Believe it or not, having a celebrity-worthy smile is not nearly as impossible as you think. Teeth Whitening If you suffer from a less-than-white smile, professional teeth whitening could be a good option for you. Tooth discoloration can be caused by many different factors such as diet, hygiene habits, aging and genetics. Depending on the cause of discoloration, teeth whitening can be a safe, non-invasive way to make your smile “celebrity white.” Dental Veneers If you need to change the shape, size, length or color of your teeth, dental veneers could completely change your smile. Veneers are custom made just for you and are fixed to the outside of your tooth. They look like your natural teeth and can be used to solve a myriad of issues like gapped, worn or even broken teeth. Many celebrities use dental veneers to make their teeth look like they are naturally perfect when in reality, the teeth underneath are anything but. Dental Implants Even the most skilled dentists can’t save every diseased tooth. In those cases, the tooth must be removed. Losing a tooth can highly impact your smile and make many feel self-conscious. Dental implants are a safe, effective way of replacing a lost or pulled tooth. Not only are they safe, but dental implants can last many years if properly cared for. Celebrities will often use dental implants if they have a tooth that can’t be saved to keep their smile ready for the paparazzi. We’re excited to help you achieve the celebrity look without the celebrity prices. If you’re ready to have a red-carpet-worthy smile, please contact our office. Mint 32 Dentistry Darrell J. Morton, DMD, MBA, FAGD 5755 North Point Parkway Suite 204 Alpharetta, GA 30022
30022 Dentist For seniors, it is imperative that gum health is a top priority. As you age, your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease increases. Periodontal disease is both preventable, and in many cases, reversible. When left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications such as bloody or swollen gums, and even tooth loss. Even more alarming are the numerous studies connecting periodontal disease to other serious illnesses. Here’s what you need to know about gum health as you age. Periodontal Disease and Your Overall Health Periodontal disease has been linked to serious health issues. In fact, a recent study conducted by the University of Southampton and King’s College London uncovered a link between periodontal disease and an increase in the rate of cognitive decline in those who suffer from early Alzheimer’s disease. In patients with periodontal disease, the study found cognitive decline underwent a rapid change, occurring six times as fast on average. Periodontal disease has also been found to increase your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Risk factors for these serious issues increase with age, among other causes, and it is especially important to limit potential risk factors where possible. This can be as easy as improving your gum health with a visit to our office. The Numbers You Need to Know According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, moderate or severe periodontal disease was found in over 14% of seniors aged 65 to 74. The number increases to more than 20% for those over 75 years of age. Men were found to be more likely than women to have moderate to severe periodontal disease. Smoking was also found to have a significant impact. The same study showed 32% of current smokers had periodontal disease, compared to 14% for those who never smoked. Steps You Can Take As you age, it is essential to keep up with your gum health. Doing so is an important link in lowering your risk factors for other serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and the impacts of Alzheimer’s disease. You can keep your gums healthy by brushing twice each day for a full two minutes. Be sure to regularly floss your teeth as well. Flossing is an effective way to clean the hard-to-reach cracks and gaps where plaque builds up. Schedule a visit with our team for a complete gum evaluation. We can work with you to devise a course of action to ensure healthy gums. Resources: https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/datastatistics/finddatabytopic/gumdisease/periodontaldiseaseseniors65over.htm https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160310141330.htm 5755 North Point Pkwy, Ste 204, Alpharetta, GA 30022
30022 Dentist Your mouth contains hundreds of bacteria. Before you reach for the toothbrush and mouthwash, understand that not all bacteria are bad. Here’s what you need to know about the bacteria that makes its home in your mouth. Bacteria Basics More than 700 different oral bacteria species have been detected. Most people usually have less than 10% of these different strains in their mouth at one time. Different strains have different purposes. Bacteria that are harmless and help digest food are known as probiotics. Other types of bacteria help keep your teeth and gums healthy. The troublemakers are those that contribute to decay and periodontal disease. The Dangers of Bacteria Bacteria constantly grow and multiply in your mouth. According to Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine, certain bacteria species can double their population in 20 minutes if conditions are right. They feed on starches and sugars that are the byproduct of the food and drinks you consume throughout the day. Certain bacteria types produce an acid while they feed. This acid erodes your tooth enamel, leaving your teeth susceptible to decay. Maintain a Healthy Mouth The best way to manage the bacteria in your mouth is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice each day for two full minutes and flossing regularly is the best way to keep bacteria in check. You may want to consider an antibacterial mouthwash. Another key element to maintaining optimal oral health is sticking to a healthy diet. By avoiding or cutting back on foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugars, acids, and starches, you can reduce the multiplication of bacteria that feed on these byproducts. Not all bacteria are out to harm your teeth. Bacteria can be incredibly helpful in maintaining your overall heath. To help protect your mouth and teeth against the bad bacteria strains, keep following your oral hygiene routine. During your next visit to our office, we will provide a thorough cleaning and check for decay. We will also screen for any signs of other oral diseases. For more information on keeping your mouth healthy, please contact our team. Resources: http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-29/issue-7/columns/the-landers-file/oral-bacteria-how-many-how-fast.html 5755 North Point Pkwy, Ste 204, Alpharetta, GA 30022