Archive for November, 2014

The Important Role Saliva Plays in Oral Health

dentist north AustinSaliva is one of those things you never think about … that is until it is absent. The healthy mouth produces saliva day and night. If your mouth feels abnormally dry, your dentist should be consulted to determine the cause for the lack of saliva.

Saliva is the water produced by the salivary glands located in your mouth. Chewing, sucking, any mouth activity will generally induce saliva production. And this moisture has multiple responsibilities.

Saliva allows teeth and tongue to function properly allowing words to be formed correctly. If the mouth is dry or sticky, speaking becomes difficult, lips can become chapped, and your throat may become irritated.

Swallowing is aided by the moisture we produce when chewing. And the content of our “spit” aids in digestion.

Saliva has been coined “nature’s mouthwash” as this natural moisture helps keep the mouth flushed of harmful germs and bacteria. Without this constant flushing action, bad breath, dental decay, and gum disease are possible side effects. The continuous flow of saliva works to protect dental enamel.

What causes a dry mouth? There are some temporary situations like using an antihistamine when suffering from a cold or allergies. This medication is geared to dry up nasal congestion, but it usually does not stop there and can impact saliva production.

Nervousness at times like when preparing to address a crowd can make the mouth go dry.

These situations are temporary, but when your condition becomes more serious or permanent, your dentist can help.

Other more critical medications like those used to control high blood pressure or depression can cause dry mouth. Illness or advancing age can impact saliva production. When dry mouth lasts or becomes severe, this is called xerostomia. Your dentist may be able to change or adjust your medication.

When your mouth feels dry, you can try chewing sugar free gum or sucking on sugar free candy. Your dentist can recommend one of the many rinses available to promote oral moisture. Staying hydrated by consuming water throughout the day is helpful.

Saliva is critical to oral health. Brushing and flossing daily, and getting teeth cleaned by your dental professional every six months are things you can do to maintain dental health. But if you are experiencing an interruption in saliva production, see one of our dentists to improve your health and oral comfort.

Call our practice and set up a consultation with one of our dentists at Balcones Family Dental.

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Top Teeth-Staining Foods and Beverages

cosmetic dentistry Round RockA visit to the dentist results in great looking teeth. But within weeks, teeth can appear discolored or stained. Many people think only coffee or red wine can stain; however, anything you consume that is brightly colored (tomato sauce, beets, and berries) or sugar laden (soda, sports drinks, and candy) just to name a few, have the capability of staining your teeth. A consultation about cosmetic dentistry will provide a solution to match your budget and time frame.

Teeth stains can impact your willingness to eat, speak, and smile in public. After all, our teeth say a lot about us; so if your teeth have become discolored or marred by food stains or lifestyle habits, one brief dental appointment can make a life changing improvement.

Teeth stains can impact your willingness to eat, speak, and smile in public.

Your first dental appointment should be for a hygienic cleaning to remove plaque build-up. An exam will determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the most economical, yet impactful, cosmetic dentistry … teeth whitening.

With Zoom teeth whitening, your dental provider will take all the needed precautions to guarantee a successful outcome. The soft oral tissues are protected before the powerful whitening gel is applied to teeth. A laser is applied to expedite the process.

Our dentist will determine if a second application is needed to maximize the benefit of teeth whitening. But in this one brief appointment, you can expect teeth to be lightened up to eight shades. With Zoom in-office whitening, teeth can continue to brighten up to two weeks following treatment.

There are steps you can take to maintain your new bright smile. Avoiding drinking red wine, coffee, tea, and soda is not practical for many people. So, if you are going to imbibe, use a straw when consuming cold drinks. A straw will allow the beverage to bypass your newly whitened enamel. Never swish or hold beverages before swallowing.

Citrus has the capability to soften dental enamel, so avoid consumption of teeth staining foods and beverages as softened enamel can stain. Do not brush your teeth immediately after consuming citrus as dental enamel can be damaged.

Avoid tobacco products as the teeth are discolored whether smoked or chewed.

Once you have achieved your teeth whitening makeover, you can maintain your new smile by following the instructions of our cosmetic dentist … brush and floss daily and have teeth cleaned professionally every six months.

Call our office at 512-200-7422 to set up your teeth whitening appointment today.

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry

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