The Health And Beauty Consequences Of Missing Teeth

East Spring tooth implants

This messagefrom The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston focuses on missing teeth, bone health, and dental implants.

Our teeth have many critical functions. We need them to chew our food, talk, and smile. But have you ever considered their role in holding up your face? When we lose teeth, the bone around the site of the extraction begins to shrink. This, in turn, causes our facial muscles to sink in and collapse.

Bone Metabolism

We sometimes think of bone as a solid mass, unlike the softer tissues in our body. In reality, below the seemingly rock-hard surface, bone tissue is full of small holes – kind of like a sponge. In the interior bone tissue, the bone is consistently regenerating itself. This vital process is sometimes called “bone metabolism.” In the jaw bone, the movement of the teeth stimulate this process of rebuilding. When the tooth is gone, the bone starts to shrink as blood flow is reduced.

People with missing teeth not only have a gap in their smile, they begin to look older because of the bone recession and eventual facial sagging.  It is not simply an issue of attractiveness – it poses serious health dangers. It may become difficult to chew food, making it harder to get adequate nutrition.

Dental Implants Can Prevent Bone Recession

Modern dentistry to the rescue! Dental implant technology provides a tooth restoration solution that maintains healthy bone metabolism while providing near-normal tooth function. For patients missing many (or all) of their teeth, it may not be possible to replace every single tooth with an implant. In many of these cases, dental implants can be used to provide an anchor for a partial denture.

What if your bone has shrunken so much that there is not enough to support an implant? You may be a candidate for bone augmentation or bone grafting. This procedure is routinely carried out with success.

To find out whether you’re a candidate for a dental implant, please call us at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston. We offer a wide range of general dentistry services. Call today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

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Best Practices For A Healthy, Beautiful Smile

cosmetic dental North Tomball

Even if you value a healthy smile, it’s easy to become lax about smile-friendly lifestyle choices. In this blog post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston our goal is for you to evaluate where you stand, and to think about whether you could step it up a notch.

By committing to dental health best practices, you can prevent future problems and even improve your quality of life.

Brushing

Good: Brush your teeth once a day.
Better: Brush your teeth after each meal.
Best: Brush after each meal and floss thoroughly before bed.

Dental Checkups

Good: Call our office if you get a toothache.
Better: See us once a year, even if you don’t notice any dental issues.
Best: Get a thorough dental exam and cleaning every six months.

A White Smile

Good: Use a whitening toothpaste.
Better: Use an over-the-counter teeth whitening system at home.
Best: Call us for an in-office whitening treatment.

Missing Tooth

Good enough for some people: Ignore it. (We don’t recommend this.)
Better: Get a quality dental bridge.
Best: Ask us about a state-of-the-art dental implant.

Smile-Friendly Nutrition

Good: Eat a healthy diet.
Better: Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary snacks and beverages.
Best: Eat a healthy diet, limit between-meal snacking, eat lots of calcium-rich foods, minimize sugar-filled foods, avoid energy drinks and soda, and sip water throughout the day.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we are committed to the dental health of each one of our patients. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

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Bad Breath Q & A

Houston bad breath exam

This post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston offers some answers to persistent questions about bad breath.

Q. My wife says my breath is horrible, but I brush twice a day. Shouldn’t that be enough?
A. Bacteria can propagate and stink in hidden crevices that can only be reached with floss. Time to start flossing. If your breath hasn’t improved in a few months, make an appointment so we can review other possible causes of your halitosis.

Also keep in mind that brushing just the teeth may not get rid of food particles between the teeth and up in the gums. Gently brushing the gums, sides of the mouth and the tongue in addition to the teeth may make the difference.

Q. My breath seems to get worse during hay fever season. What’s up with that?
A. Allergies can change mouth odor in a couple of ways. First, anything that stimulates post-nasal drip can be a trigger because bacteria at the back of the throat mixes with the mucous and expends a smelly odor as it breaks down. Second, hay fever medications often cause dry mouth which can lead to stinky breath. Antihistamines can reduce post-nasal drip so this is a catch-22. If you take antihistamines, drink water frequently throughout the day to keep your mouth moist, suck on sugar-free mints to stimulate saliva production and rinse with a non-alcohol mouth rinse.

Q. What health conditions can bring about bad breath?
A. As explained before, any condition that decreases saliva production can cause halitosis. It is also a common side effect of diabetes, kidney failure, and liver failure. Of course, if your kidneys or liver is failing, you have bigger problems.

Q. Why did my breath become dreadful when I went on a strict low-carb diet?
A. Ketones were probably the culprit. Ketones are produced when the body digests fat—which is usually the goal of a low-carb plan. On the flip side, sounds like you weren’t cheating!

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we offer a wide range of services, including general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8029

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

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Find A Few Minutes to Floss

One common reason given by people who don’t floss their teeth is that the practice is difficult to fit into their daily schedule. If you’ve found this to be true, The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston has some suggestions for fitting this vital dental health habit into your day.

  • The most common time is right before bed, but make sure you aren’t too tired to do a good job.
  • Right when you wake up is also an option, but if food is left between teeth all night, it can lead to plaque.
  • Try just after lunch, before you go back to work.
  • Floss while you are in the car sitting in traffic. It’s easier one-handed with the pre-strung floss pics. (You might get some curious looks from other drivers, but it’s worth it.)
  • Keep some floss in your gym bag so you can floss after you exercise.
  • While you’re watching the nightly news.

We hope this gives you some ideas to help you make flossing part of your daily routine. Flossing is important for anyone who wants to have a healthy smile!

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, the dental health of our patients is always our number one priority. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8026

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

Avoid Bone Deterioration Following Extraction

Houston Jaw Bone DeteriorationIn this post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we review jaw bone health, and the benefits of dental implants.

To remain healthy and dense, your jaw bone needs to be constantly stimulated by the pressure of chewing, biting, and talking. Each tooth has a root structure the extends into the surrounding bone material. As each tooth absorbs the forces of everyday mouth function, it stimulates blood flow in the bone surrounding the root.

In some cases, tooth extraction is the only possible treatment for someone with tooth damage. However, we make every effort to retain the root structure. When a tooth is extracted, the jaw bone that surrounded the previous root structure begins to recede.

Fortunately, dental implants provide a new, artificial root which helps to keep the surrounding bone healthy and strong. A dental implant is a tough titanium post that replaces the original root and eventually integrates into the surrounding bone.

After the implant has been placed and fused with surrounding bone, a post is placed into the implant. The new artificial tooth, or crown, is attached to the post. Implant restoration is a safe and effective treatment for tooth loss.

Dental implants have transformed the lives of countless people. Please call us to find out whether they’re right for your. We also offer general dentistry, and many othe services. Schedule an appointment today.

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8026

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

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3 Ways To Keep Your Mouth Happy!

Houston Teeth Bleaching

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we enjoy helping patients maintain good oral health. This post focuses on something that doesn’t get as much attention as cavities or cosmetic dentistry: our sense of taste.

A happy mouth is not only a healthy mouth but also a mouth that can enjoy the flavors of all types of foods. Healthy oral habits benefit our taste buds as well as our smiles. Here are a few suggestions to help you better enjoy all the flavors and textures that can make each meal a delight.

  1. Treat dry mouth. Dry mouth can create a loss of taste sensitivity, so it should be treated quickly by your dentist. Adequate saliva is also necessary for avoiding decay and gum disease.
  2. Steer clear of salt- and fat-heavy processed food with artificial flavors. They will quickly desensitize you to more subtle, healthy flavors.
  3. Don’t smoke! Cigarettes are bad for a host of reasons, but many people don’t realize their sense of taste is dulled while they smoke. Olfactory nerves can even be damaged permanently.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we want all our patients to enjoy good dental health. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup with us today.

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8026

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

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Dental Sealant Q & A

dental sealants Houston

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we often recommend dental sealants as a way of protecting teeth against cavities. Not everyone has heard of dental sealants, so we’ll use this space to answer some questions about them.

Q. What are dental sealants?
A. Dental sealants are permanent plastic barriers applied to the biting surfaces of teeth. They prevent cavities by filling in the grooves and fissures where food particles are particularly difficult to remove. Most North Tomball pediatric dentists and family dentists offer sealants to their patients.

A. Do sealants significantly reduce tooth decay?
Q. Yes. Studies show that dental sealants can curtail the risk of decay by 70%!

Q. How are dental sealants applied to the teeth?
A. We apply sealant resin as a liquid. It quickly hardens and adheres tightly to the pits and grooves of your teeth. The procedure is quick, straightforward and painless.

Q. Which teeth can benefit the most from sealants?
A. Sealants are most commonly applied to the first and second molars because they are at the highest risk for decay.

Q. When should sealants be applied?
A. The best time is early – while the teeth are cavity-free. Your dentist will advise you.

Q. Are sealants just for kids?
A. Not necessarily. Talk to us about whether sealants could benefit you.

Q. Is brushing and flossing still necessary for the teeth with sealants?
A. Yes. Vigilant oral hygiene is still essential to keep teeth and gums healthy. Even the teeth with sealants are at risk for decay along the gumline.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we want the best possible dental health for all our patients, and that includes protection against cavities! Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup today.

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8026

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

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5 Cavity Basics

North Tomball Cosmetic Dentist

Preventing tooth decay is one of the main reasons people go to the dentist. In this post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we are going to talk about five things you need to know about cavities.

1. Cavities are also called caries or tooth decay. When a tooth is permanently damaged in the hard surface, tiny openings emerge. These little holes are cavities.

2. Factors that contribute to decay are:

  • Frequent eating
  • Consuming sugary beverages
  • Oral bacteria
  • Poor dental hygiene

3. Cavities may get so bad that you will see pits or holes in your teeth, but symptoms may be more subtle, such as sensitivity, pain when biting, or a toothache. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should call your dentist today to schedule an appointment.

4. Cavities are more common among young children, but that doesn’t mean adults don’t have to take precautions.

5. Preventing cavities is uncomplicated. Be sure to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, eat right, avoid frequent snacking, and have regular visits with your dentist.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, the dental health of each of our patients is always our top priority. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup with us today!

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8026

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

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Check Out The Checkup!

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we want to see each one of our patients for a cleaning and checkup twice a year. Most of the time we try to get you to schedule your next appointment even as you leave the office from your latest one.

There are some very good reasons for seeing us twice a year. Along with daily brushing and flossing, six-month cleanings and checkups are the best way to ensure you have good dental health. That means clean teeth with no cavities, and pink healthy gums.

Most appointments begin with a cleaning from the hygienist. During the cleaning we’ll scrape any tartar from your teeth. Tartar is hardened plaque, and you can’t get it off with a toothbrush and floss. That’s one of the reasons brushing twice a day is so important: it helps prevent plaque buildup! Scraping tartar off of your teeth is known as scaling.

Once your teeth are scaled, we’ll polish them with a gritty toothpaste. This is pretty harsh stuff, and it does a fabulous job removing any surface stains on your teeth. Sometimes patients wonder if they can get something like it for use at home. The trouble with that is that it’s just too abrasive to use every day.

After scaling and brushing, the last step is flossing. Then, it’s the dentist’s turn.

During the checkup we look for any new cavities that may have appeared since your last visit. We might take X-rays, although this is not done at every visit. We’ll examine your gums, too, for any signs of gum disease.

Finally, we’ll look at your tongue, throat, face and and head, and your neck. We’re checking for swelling or redness, or any signs of cancer.

And that, in a nutshell, is how your visit to the dentist goes. At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedulre your next appointment with us today.

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8026

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

Our Dental Team Takes Care Of You

Houston Dental Team

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, each member of our team helps us operate smoothly to provide a high level of care. This message will explain the duties of a dental assistant.

You probably think of the dental assistant as: “The one who suctions my mouth while the dentist is working on me,” or “The one who clips the bib around my neck,” and you are correct. However, his/her knowledge of patient care and dental lab procedures is probably more extensive than you realize.

Skilled dental assistants work behind the scenes at The Gentle Art of Dentistry. They assist the dentist during all dental procedures, including basic oral examinations, tooth prep, and cavity filling, as well as lengthy smile makeovers involving multiple procedures. They also work with our dental hygienists during cleanings and patient instruction.

When a patient arrives for his/her appointment, the dental assistant has already been preparing for the specific procedure. Before he/she is escorted to a chair in one of our pleasant patient rooms, the assistant has made sure the room is ready.

Whether the patient is receiving porcelain veneers, undergoing a routine orthodontia adjustment, or settling in for a two-hour cosmetic dental smile makeover, the dental assistant has set the stage for a comfortable and efficient procedure.

Dental assistants may also prepare tray setups, take impressions for restorations, schedule appointments, take x-rays, and maintain patient records. They must have an astute eye for detail and a first-rate memory as they organize and stock the many different dental supplies in a typical office.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, services include general and cosmetic dentistry, with our dental assistants helping every step of the way. Schedule your next checkup today.

Contact The Gentle Art of Dentistry:

281-469-8026

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

102 Vintage Park Blvd, Suite D
Houston, Texas
77070

 

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