Dental Expert Tips:

1. Regular dental exams are a necessary part of your total health care regime. Infection and bacteria in the mouth can affect the health of your entire body. Semi-annual check ups will monitor tooth decay, gum disease and early detection of oral cancer. Preventing and treating gum disease in its early stages are the best ways to keep your smile healthy. Think of good oral care as part of a healthy lifestyle.

2. X-rays are a necessary addition to your dental treatment plan in order to gather pertinent information regarding your oral health. The radiation dose that a person incurs from a series of dental x-rays is significantly less than an airplane flight from NY to LA, indicating the benefits out weigh the risks one my have concerning radiation dosage.

3. Energy drinks and sports drinks have a higher acidity than regular soft drinks and fruit juices, causing irreversible damage to enamel, which is the glossy outer layer of teeth. These drinks have additional citric acid which adds the tartness desired by consumers. For strong, decay-resistant teeth, our bodies need protein, vitamins and minerals (especially calcium, phosphorus and proper levels of fluoride).

4. Do you suffer from headaches, earaches, tenderness of the jaw muscles or dull, aching facial pain? Any of these symptoms may indicate that you are clenching or grinding your teeth in your sleep. The muscles and joints may not function properly, resulting in cycles of pain and spasm. Being fitted for a night-guard may help alleviate these symptoms and can also protect your teeth and the jaw joint.

5. Bleeding gums are not normal! Gums should not bleed upon brushing. If they are, this could be a sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease, which is caused by the bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth. The plaque bacteria have toxins that inflame the gums. You should visit your dentist to evaluate your oral health.