Quirky Dental Facts That May Surprise You

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In this post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we share some fun facts about dentistry. Enjoy!

  • Many people are aware that before there was formal dental training and licensing, barbers often performed dental procedures. But did you know that blacksmiths also moonlighted as dentists? How would you like your dental visit to involve tools used to hammer hot metal?
  • The Mayans were accomplished cosmetic dentists. One smile style in Mayan culture was bejeweled teeth – a procedure that involved the drilling of holes to embed precious gems. That’s a grill with major bling!
  • The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough to fill up two swimming pools. (Not a very pleasant image, right?)
  • Nylon toothbrush bristles weren’t introduced until 1938. Prior to that, pig hair was a common bristle material. (“Mom, my toothbrush smells like bacon!”)
  • A popular toothache treatment in medieval Germany was to kiss a donkey. There is no evidence that it actually worked and it is unknown if the same remedy was used by donkeys.
  • Every person’s tongue is unique – just like a fingerprint.
  • In medieval Japan, black teeth were considered appealing. Style-conscious women used roots to stain their teeth.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, you won’t find pig hair, donkeys, or anvils. You will find unmatched dental care. We offer general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to 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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Know The Facts About Oral Piercings

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Body piercings are a common form of self-expression. This post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston is for anyone who has an oral piercing or is considering one.

Our brief summary? Bad idea. Unfortunately, these piercings and the jewelry they accommodate can lead to serious issues with not only your teeth and mouth, but your entire body. Oral piercings can bring about tooth damage and decay, gum disease, bone recession, compromised immune system function and even death, though that is rare.

In general, any oral piercing opens you up to an range of potential infections and complications. The mouth is full of germs, and introducing foreign objects permanently is not natural for your body’s health.

A tongue piercing can lead to unnatural chewing patterns that may, in turn, lead to swallowing problems. The jewelry produces excess saliva from the salivary glands, which throws off the natural balance of your oral cavity. Permanent nerve weakening, excessive bleeding, and allergic reactions can also arise.

Metal jewelry also can easily come in contact with your teeth, leading to cracks, chips, or other damage. Your teeth are built to last a lifetime. Damage compromises their durability and shortens their lifespan.

Complications with some piercings develop by the introduction of hepatitis and herpes simplex viruses, and even more complications have occurred with bacteria entering the bloodstream and eventually lodging in the heart valve. In rare cases, such infections are fatal.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we encourage patients with oral piercings to remove their jewelry. If you plan to keep yours, be sure to have regular check-ups. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call for an appointment 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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Regular Cleanings And Heart Health

Houston Dental News Regular Cleanings And Heart Health

Visiting The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston for a dental checkup and cleaning every six months may  seem inconvenient sometimes, but you may benefit in ways you’d never imagine.

A recent study showed that people who had their teeth professionally cleaned at least once every two years were 24 percent less likely to have a heart attack, compared to those who skipped appointments.

Not only that, but brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes may lower your risk of heart disease. The study says that eople who brushed less than twice a day, and for less than two minutes, were three times as likely to have heart issues than those who brushed at least twice, and for at least two minutes.

A cardiologist who was not associated with the study said it’s possible that those who are attentive to their dental health may simply be more health conscious overall.

Still, researchers believe it strengthens the notion that there is a clear link between your dental health and your overall health.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston we encourage all our patients to brush their teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, and to floss, too. It’s the best way to keep cavities at bay. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and checkup 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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Into The Thick Of It, The Skinny On Toothpaste

Klein cosmetic dental and tooth implants

This post from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston answers some common questions about toothpaste, and its relationship to dental health.

Why does toothpaste seem gritty?

The abrasive quality of toothpaste is to aid in removing plaque and food debris from the surface of the teeth. Forceful brushing becomes unnecessary because the abrasives in the toothpaste can snag the mouth’s lingering bits of food and polish the enamel at the same time.

What’s with the strong minty flavors?

Minty flavors are used to encourage continued use of the paste and to freshen breath. However, toothpaste alone is not designed to cure halitosis (bad breath). While unflavored toothpastes exist, the world has also seen such flavors as peanut butter, iced tea, and ginger.

To treat halitosis, it is best to prevent periodontal disease and to also brush bacteria from far back on the tongue. Removing the source is critical and more effective than covering it up with minty flavorings.

What is fluoride’s place in a toothpaste?

Fluoride occurs in small amounts in plants, animals, and some natural water sources. It is championed by health-conscious people for preventing decay and controlling gingivitis. Fluoride-containing compounds are added to many toothpastes to add another important dimension to the oral hygiene regimen for preventing decay.

How are toothpaste and flossing related?

Along with brushing, regular flossing aids in preventing bacterial growth, tooth decay, and plaque build-up by removing chunks of food or substances that could break down the tooth.

Finally, what about the relationship between toothpaste and mouthwash?

The use of mouthwash cannot replace regular brushing and flossing. Mouthwash (or fluoride rinse) simply adds yet another powerful layer of defense against bacterial growth in the mouth.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we encourage and promote dental health through brushing and flossing, and regular checkups at our office. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call to schedule your next appointment 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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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Teeth

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At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we find teeth endlessly fascinating. Since we’re a dental practice, that probably doesn’t surprise you. But think about it: while we use them every day to smile and eat, there is more to our teeth than meets the eye.

Here are fifteen things you might not know about teeth.

  1. Children’s teeth are soft until about age 10.
  2. A tooth with a crown can get a cavity.
  3. Your gum tissue is as critical as your teeth.
  4. Some prescription meds can increase your risk of tooth decay.
  5. Some home faucet water filters remove fluoride.
  6. 19 percent of kids between the ages of 2 and 19 have untreated tooth decay.
  7. Heartburn can be harmful for teeth.
  8. Allergies can cause tooth grinding.
  9. Dried fruit is just as adverse for teeth as sticky candy.
  10. Tooth enamel cannot repair itself, though dentin and cementum (the substance that surrounds the tooth root) are capable of partial regeneration.
  11. A Harvard-led team used low-powered lasers to activate stem cells and stimulate the growth of teeth in rats and human dental tissue in a lab.
  12. There are about 300 types of bacteria in your mouth.
  13. Chewing sugarless gum after meals can help remove food particles on your teeth. You still need to brush, but if you can’t brush immediately after meals, sugarless gum can help keep your teeth clean.
  14. Cavities often don’t cause pain until they have reached the root and nerve of the tooth. Visit your dentist regularly to prevent cavities or at least to detect them when they are small.
  15. Bone recession can cause tooth loss even if no decay is present.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we want all of our patients to have clean and healthy teeth, along with beautiful smiles. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next cleaning and 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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Our Top Priority At The Gentle Art of Dentistry In Houston

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At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, our top priority has always been our patients, and nothing is ever going to change that. Not only do we want want each one of you to enjoy excellent dental health, we want you to have a positive experience in our office.

What do we mean by a positive experience? After all, no one really enjoys going to the dentist, and we understand that. Most of thte procedures we offer aren’t painful, but no one likes having a bunch of tools in their mouths. One of the things we always aim for is efficiency. Rest assured, we’ll be thorough. But we won’t have you in the chair any longer than is necessary.

We always want to get to know you as a person. We know there are practices that try to rush patients through a checkup like they’re a car going through a carwash. That is just not the way we do things. No one wants to be treated like they’re just another patient!

Above all, we will keep you fully informed about what we’re doing. There is time and expense involved in your appointments, and part of our job is explaining to you everything we’re doing. Dentistry is a science with a lot of big words, but we’ll always make sure you know what’s involved with your unique situation.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, each patient is our top priority. We want you to be happy with your experience here. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call us to schedule your next checkup 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

 

ArticleID 4968

Preventing Gum Disease At The Gentle Art of Dentistry

Preventing Gum Disease at The Gentle Art of DentistryRun your tongue along the gumline behind your lower front teeth. Do you feel a ridge? This is probably tartar or dental calculus. At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we perform the most thorough dental cleanings possible.

Even if you brush and floss regularly, plaque and tartar can gradually accumulate. If not removed, these bacteria-breeding substances cause the gums to become irritated and swollen. Eventually, the gums become detached from the tooth, creating a ‘pocket’. This creates a new space for plaque and tartar to grow. In advanced stages of periodontal disease, the toxins created by the bacteria literally rot the gum, teeth and bone.

Gum disease can be reversed in its early stages. Our goal is to help our patients prevent gum disease before any damage occurs.

Cleanings include root planing and periodontal scaling. Scaling removes the plaque and calculus above and, especially, below the gumline where your toothbrush cannot reach. Planing smoothes root surfaces so it is more difficult for plaque and tartar to accumulate and grow. It also creates a healthy surface for the gums to reattach to the root if necessary.

If you are showing any signs of gum disease at all, such as bleeding when you brush your teeth, let us know at The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston. We provide 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

 

ArticleID 750

Think A Missing Back Tooth Is No Big Deal?

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Most people are embarrassed by a missing tooth in the front of the mouth. It may not be fair, but a gaping hole in their smile has negative connotations. A dental implant from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston is an ideal replacement.

When someone loses a back tooth, on the other hand, they are more likely to leave the gap. “You can’t really see it when I smile, right?” “I have another molar back there, I can chew with that one.” If the tooth had been hurting, sometimes they are so relieved that the pain is gone, it’s a done deal after the extraction.

This attitude is unfortunate. The goal of this article is to dispel the myth that a missing back tooth has no consequences.

Bone Recession

When a tooth is lost, the bone at the extraction site shrinks and recedes over time. Surrounding teeth may also move toward the space where a tooth used to be.

Since a dental implant replaces the tooth root, it maintains the health of the bone, and prevents neighboring teeth from moving.

Investing in a dental implant could be far less costly than treating the after effects. At the Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, we offer dental implants and a full range of general 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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Fluoride Treatments: Not Just For Kids

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This message from The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston is about the importance of fluoride to your teeth.

Fluoride is an important mineral that helps your teeth stay strong. It is found in some foods and water and makes toothpastes more effective at fighting cavities. Fluoride helps teeth by making them stronger and more resistant to the harmful acid that is formed by bacteria. We may recommend a fluoride treatment in addition to your dental cleaning.

The fluoride used in in-office treatments comes in either a gel or foam, and may be available in several flavors. The fluoride is applied directly to teeth through the use of a plastic dental tray that fits over your teeth. The tray is kept in your mouth for just a few minutes. Fluoride treatments are a quick and painless way to strengthen your teeth and preserve an attractive smile.

If you wonder if you or your child is getting enough fluoride, ask us about fluoride supplements. We will let you know if they are needed and determine the precise dosage.

If your child is getting adequate levels of fluoride but continues to get cavities, ask about dental sealants. They have proven to be very effective at protecting the rear molars from cavities.

At The Gentle Art of Dentistry in Houston, the dental health of each of our patients is our top priority. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Call for an appointment 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

 

ArticleID 7073

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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