Why You Shouldn’t Procrastinate on Getting Cavities Filled

With all of the sugary products and junk food on the market, it’s easy for anyone to get a cavity. Getting a cavity every once in awhile isn’t alarming. And even if you don’t indulge in sweets, some people are just genetically prone to getting cavities.

Don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with Magnolia Dental to have your cavities filled.

Don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with Magnolia Dental to have your cavities filled.

But too many people procrastinate on making that filling appointment, let alone procrastinate going to the dentist in general.

Regardless of how you get them, it’s important to get your cavities filled as soon as your dentist diagnoses it. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to not procrastinate on getting your cavities filled.

Food Can Get Stuck in Your Cavities

It’s gross, but it’s true. When you eat food with a cavity, what you eat can get stuck in your teeth. This is especially common when you eat sticky foods.

If you’re still eating sugary foods when you have a cavity, the cavity can get even worse. When sugar is combined with bad bacteria, it breaks down enamel causing the hole to get even larger.

Having a cavity is bad enough; no one wants to make the situation worse.

You Can Get a Toothache

A classic toothache: it's not always severe, but it's one of the most painful experiences you'll ever face. And often, a toothache is the first sign your cavity is getting really bad.

The pain is caused by the bacteria that get into your tooth from the cavity. Fortunately, when the cavity is filled, and the bacteria are killed off, the pain will go away.

The Cavity Will Just Get Worse

When you get a cavity, it doesn’t go away on its own. Left untreated, the cavity will just continue to get worse.

When you first get a cavity, the hole is tiny and often painless. There’s a good chance you don’t even notice the cavity until the dentist finds it. But the moment your dentist informs you that you have a cavity, immediately schedule an appointment.

If you let your cavity sit without treatment, the repercussions can be as minuscule as a toothache or as severe as an abscess or tooth loss.

Kill the Bacteria in Your Mouth

When you go for a cavity filling, the dentist is doing more than filling up a hole in your tooth. They are drilling in your tooth to remove all of the bacteria.

For very severe cavities, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help kill the bacteria in your mouth and prevent further infections. They may also flush out the tooth to kill off the bacteria before the filling. Dentists do this to prevent an abscess forming.

You Can Lose Your Tooth

Let’s say you got a cavity, and you never went to the dentist. As the cavity grows worse, the once minor cavity completely decays the tooth, and more work will be required to restore the tooth.

As the cavity sits, more acid will break down tooth enamel and cause the hole to get bigger. The more plaque builds, the more difficult it becomes for your gums and bones to hold that tooth in place. This is how tooth decay forces your teeth to fall out.

You Can Get an Abscessed Tooth

Possibly one of the most painful experiences you may ever go through will be an abscessed tooth. Caused by severe tooth decay, an abscess occurs when pus and bacteria from inside of the tooth. Abscesses are most commonly caused by an untreated cavity, but you can also get them from a dental injury or gum disease.

The center of the tooth, the pulp, is the first to receive the damage. When this occurs, you’ll usually feel hot and cold sensitivity. As the infection spreads, it can go to your gums and bones. The infection will hit your nerves, causing intense pain. At this stage, the only way to rid yourself of the infection is by getting a root canal.

In some instances, your family dentist will need to refer you to an endodontist. If you show symptoms of an abscessed tooth, it’s always good to discuss the details with your dentist and to receive advice.

Don’t Forget to Replace Your Filling

While a filling fixes your cavity and prevents tooth decay, your fillings aren’t permanent. Years of eating, drinking, smoking, and other habits such as grinding your teeth will cause your filling to become weak.

If your filling starts to breakdown it is a good idea to have it replaced.  If your filling falls out and the cavity stays open, the infection will come back. It may even be worse than the infection you had before.

Your dentist will usually recommend getting a filling replaced if signs of breakdown occur and will check your fillings during your annual check-ups.

Prevent Cavities

The best way to prevent tooth decay and cavities is to have great dental hygiene, especially outside of the dentist’s office.

Brush your teeth twice a day, in the morning and before you go to bed. Use toothpaste that protects against cavities or has a high amount of fluoride. To truly prevent cavities, your dentist can prescribe high-fluoride toothpaste. Rinsing with mouthwash kills any excess bacteria that are in your mouth.

Be careful about what you eat or drink. If you consume a lot of sugar, it will weaken your tooth enamel. Don’t smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco.

Having a mouth with little bacteria and plaque is the best defense against cavities.

Book That Appointment and Get Your Cavities Filled

The best thing to do when you find out you have a cavity is to get it filled immediately. It is commonly thought that getting a root canal is an unpleasant procedure, but at Magnolia Dental we strive to see that you are comfortable. When you procrastinate on getting your cavities filled, severe complications will occur. Getting a cavity filled comes with little pain, it doesn't take a long time, and it generally isn't very expensive. It's better to go through with the filling rather than suffer through bad consequences.

If you’re looking to book an appointment to have your cavity filled at Magnolia Dental in Greenville, South Carolina, contact Magnolia Dental today to schedule your appointment for a healthier smile.

Why is it Necessary to Get Your Teeth Cleaned?

Most people understand teeth cleaning is of vital importance for their overall health. Then there are those who hate getting their teeth cleaned, and procrastinate on making that dentist appointment. It is completely understandable why some people are wary of going to the dentist; dental tools can look scary, they make loud noises and leaving your mouth open for a long period of time is uncomfortable. However, Magnolia Dental wants to dispel those unnecessary fears for you. We are here to make you comfortable in a potentially uncomfortable situation.

Teeth cleaning is essential for your dental health, and not just your oral health, so it is important to make this a habit.

If you want the best results from teeth cleaning, there are reasons why you should go to the dentist every six months and what you can do at home to improve your oral health.

Remove Plaque and Tartar

Brushing isn't enough. Reach out to Magnolia Dental for a thorough teeth cleaning procedure.

Brushing isn't enough. Reach out to Magnolia Dental for a thorough teeth cleaning procedure.

Let’s say you look at your teeth after brushing and notice your teeth look great. Your teeth are straight, pearly white, and they look healthy. So why should you have to go to the dentist? Plaque and tartar build around your teeth and gums. When you don't brush your teeth, plaque builds up and hardens. This hardened material is tartar, which is very normal and doesn't mean you have inadequate brushing and flossing habits. But the plaque and tartar will eventually need to be removed, and the best way to fully remove it is to visit your dentist for regular cleanings. While you can brush off the plaque with your toothbrush, a dentist can only remove tartar.

The best way to prevent plaque build-up and tartar forming is to brush twice a day and to floss once a day.

Cleaning the Gum Lines

When you brush your teeth, do you brush your gum lines? The average person doesn't think about tartar build-up on the gums when brushing. But this area does collect tartar, food, and other debris. These are factors a dentist looks for when cleaning your teeth. Even though the average person forgets to brush their gum lines, doing so is vital. With issues such as gum disease and gingivitis, it’s important to have healthy gums.

When you go for your cleaning, your dentist will check your gums to make sure they’re healthy. The dentist will use their tools to fully clean your gums. If the dentist sees bleeding, thinning or raised gums, and any kind of discoloration, they will inform you of how to proceed with protecting your gums. You can protect your gums even further by remembering to brush your gum lines (not your full gums) and flossing. Brush twice a day, and gently brush your toothbrush over your gum lines. Just be careful about the toothpaste you use — whitening toothpaste could damage your gums.

Gingivitis and Gum Disease

Gingivitis and gum disease are conditions that can become severe if you don’t go through treatment. During your regular cleaning, your dentist may notice signs of gingivitis or gum disease. From there, you’ll have to go through procedures to reverse its effects.

When too much plaque enters your gums, your gums become inflamed, which is one of the ways gingivitis is formed. When you don't treat gingivitis, your gums pull away from your teeth and form spaces between your teeth; these are called pockets. This is how gum disease is formed. When too many pockets develop and plaque is caught in these pockets, regular brushing cannot remove the plaque. Gum disease can cause recession of the gums and loss of bone from around your teeth.  This can cause tooth loosening and even loss if not treated.  From here, the dentist will recommend deep cleaning or another type of treatment. The best way to prevent gum disease and gingivitis is to take care of your gums by brushing and flossing daily, in addition to avoiding tobacco and sugar foods.

Prevents Cavities

The dentist does more when cleaning your teeth. They are checking to make sure you don’t have anything wrong with your oral health, specifically cavities.

When cleaning your mouth, the dentist has a good view of what's going on with your teeth and gums. In conjunction with a wealth of experience, Magnolia Dental uses state-of-the-art tools to detect any issues.  

If our experienced dentist finds a cavity during your cleaning, they will suggest the best way to proceed with the filling.

To prevent cavities altogether, make sure you are brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Avoid sugary foods and get in the habit of feeling around for holes in your teeth.

Finishing Up with Fluoride

One major treatment that only a dentist has is fluoride varnish. Fluoride varnish is a thick gel that is brushed onto your teeth after your cleaning is finished.  When fluoride varnish is used, it will help protect your teeth from cavities and sensitivity. The dentist will use this treatment after your teeth and gums are fully cleaned.

It is important to be careful about what you eat or drink when fluoride is used, especially the first couple of hours after your cleaning.

Regular Cleaning vs. Deep Cleaning

The two main types of cleaning are regular cleaning and deep cleaning.

A regular cleaning is the typical cleaning session most people are used to when they visit the dentist. But if you it has been awhile since you have been to a cleaning or your teeth and gums are filled with tartar, your dentist will suggest a deep cleaning.

A deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, is a very intense cleaning. Your dentist will thoroughly clean all of the tartar off of your teeth and gums. This type of cleaning ensures you’ll be protected from cavities and gum disease.

The best way to avoid deep cleaning is to brush your teeth twice a day and floss. Go to your dentist for a regular cleaning every year. If you’re prone to cavities, avoid sugary foods and other food and beverages that are bad for your teeth.

Time to Schedule Your Annual Cleaning

In addition to brushing and flossing every day, it’s important for all adults and children to visit the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and exam.  In instances of gum disease, your dentist will likely want to see you three to four times a year to keep tartar and bacteria levels down in order to prevent further bone loss.

Whether you need a regular cleaning or a deep cleaning, the experienced dentists at Magnolia Dental in Greenville, SC, can give you healthy teeth and gums, and a great smile.

Is Acid Reflux Compromising Your Dental Health?

Acid reflux is a frequent issue that affects millions of Americans. Commonly known as “heartburn,” it’s estimated that around 20-30% of Americans have symptoms of acid reflux at least once a week.

While mild, infrequent cases are inconsequential, chronic and intense bouts can be seriously harmful to your health, and your teeth.

Take a look at how acid reflux affects your oral health, familiarize yourself with the symptoms and causes, and let’s examine common treatment options.

How Does Acid Reflux Affect Oral Health?

Acid reflux causes stomach acids to travel back up into the esophagus. In severe cases of the condition, these acids can reach the mouth, and can cause serious damage to your teeth.

Stomach acid is extremely corrosive, and overtime, continued exposure can cause tooth decay and infection. Treatments, like dental crowns and root canals, may be necessary with a case of chronic acid reflux. Gum damage is also common due to the sensitivity of oral tissue, so specialized gum care may be required in acute cases.

Common Causes and Symptoms of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux has many causes. In some cases, multiple factors contribute to the issue. Some of these sources include:

  • Stomach abnormalities like hiatal hernias
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating large meals, or lying down directly after a meal
  • Eating spicy, acidic or fatty foods 
  • Smoking and alcohol use
  • Excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages
  • Taking muscle relaxers or NSAIDs like aspirin or ibuprofen

The symptoms of acid reflux can also be quite diverse, but common symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain and discomfort
  • Sour or bitter-tasting acid in the mouth
  • Bloating
  • Bloody or black stool
  • Excessive burping
  • Nausea
  • Wheezing or chronic sore throat
  • Dysphagia (throat contractions which can cause sensations of stuck food)

If you have one or more of these symptoms, you likely have serious acid reflux. You should take the necessary steps to treat it and prevent damage to your mouth and esophagus.

How Can Acid Reflux Be Treated?

Acid reflux can be treated in many ways, but lifestyle changes are usually recommended first. These steps typically include changes in diet, ceasing alcohol and tobacco use, and losing weight.

Antacids can help neutralize stomach acid, though mainly for acute cases of the condition. Other pharmaceutical treatments include medications that reduce stomach acid production.

Don’t Let Acid Reflux Compromise Your Oral Health!

If you have acid reflux, it may be affecting your oral health. Come to Magnolia Dental in Greenville today, and ask Dr. Zebro to give you an evaluation of your oral health. With her expert recommendations, Dr. Zebro can craft a custom-built plan to minimize the effects of acid reflux, ensuring that you live a healthy, pain-free life. 

Call us today for an appointment at 864-242-2848, schedule an appointment online, or visit our office in Greenville, SC, located at 119 West Antrim Dr., Greenville, SC, 29607. 

We look forward to seeing you!

Why are your Gums Receding?

Gum recession can be a very worrisome problem.  Many people experience varying levels of gum recession during their lives.  As our gums recess the root structure of the tooth is exposed making the tooth more prone to temperature sensitivity, cavities and bone loss.  With this being said, we want to make sure we do what we can do prevent gum recession.  The best way to do this is to first look at what caused recession in the first place.

Causes of Recession:

1. Brushing your teeth to aggressively can cause the gums to recede.  

2. A habit of clenching or grinding your teeth can cause gum recession along with other serious issues.  If you are waking up with frequent headaches, sore teeth or have a spouse/partner who is telling you they hear you grinding your teeth, contact Magnolia Dental at (864) 242-2848 to be evaluated.

3. Poor home care habits - If plaque and tartar are left on the gums and teeth for an extended period of time, you may be at risk for developing periodontal disease.  This oral disease causes bone loss around the teeth.  The teeth will become loose if periodontal disease is not treated and will eventually lead to tooth loss.  Due to the fact that gums follow the position of the bone around the teeth the gums will recede.  They will also lose their attachment to the teeth due to inflammation caused by the plaque and tartar.

4. Genetics can be a factor.  There are different types of gums.  Some are thinner than others.  Thin gum types are more prone to recession that the thicker ones.  

5. Trauma to the teeth can result in gum recession.

6. Misalignment of teeth - If teeth have crowding or displacement gum tissue can recede. 

Treatments of Recession:

It is very important to brush you teeth gently with a soft or super soft bristle toothbrush at least twice a day.  Do not scrub your teeth but instead give your gums a gentle massage.  Harder brushing does not equal cleaner teeth.  In fact, if you have an electric toothbrush, you only want to slowly guide the brush around your mouth  (no back and forth motion) and let the brush do the work for you.  New advancements in electric toothbrushes have now included indicators to let you know if you are brushing too hard.  Flossing and/or the use of a Waterpik is recommended daily to remove plaque from between the teeth aiding in the prevention of cavities and periodontal disease.

It is very important to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and check ups.  If clenching and/or grinding is detected an occlusal guard may be prescribed. If misalignment (crooked or crowded) teeth are diagnosed braces can be a great option for correction. In mild to moderate stages of periodontal disease a deep cleaning may be performed. 

In more severe cases of recession, the dentist will work with a periodontist (gum specialist) to correct the problem with surgery.

If you are noticing gum recession in your mouth please contact Magnolia Dental at (864) 242-2848 to consult with the dentist.

 

Love your coffee? Learn what coffee really does to your teeth!

It’s estimated that the average American consumes 2.7 cups of coffee per day. And it begs the question... what does coffee do to your teeth?

Dr. Zebro of Magnolia Dental in Greenville, South Carolina shares some insights about coffee, teeth, and how cosmetic dentistry can help restore your gorgeous smile!

Stains, stains, go away!  

Much like wine, coffee is chock-full of tannins. These are the molecules that are responsible for staining. A good rule of thumb – if it can stain your clothes, it can certainly stain your teeth. So when drinking coffee, consider using a straw. As silly as it seems, this helps tasty (and necessary) beverages bypass your teeth.  

Also, make sure that you brush your teeth after your morning cup of joe. Not only will this help you avoid the dreaded “coffee breath”, it will remove the tannins that are sitting on your teeth, and help prevent stains.

It’s feeling acidic in here…

Coffee is slightly acidic, and regular coffee consumption can change the pH of your mouth, contributing to a more acidic environment. These acids can damage the enamel of your teeth, and contribute to tooth decay.

To mitigate these effects, avoid sipping coffee all day long. Instead, have your morning cup in one sitting, and brush afterward. This minimizes the time that acids can build up in your mouth, and contributes to a healthier smile!

Watch the sweets.

35% of coffee drinkers in the US drink black coffee. But the majority of us load up on creamer, milk, and sugar to avoid the bitter flavor of most coffee blends. As tasty as these additions may be, they can be quite harmful to your teeth. Refined sugar is one of the greatest contributors to oral bacteria. And drinking sugary coffee can contribute to gum disease, plaque buildup, and tooth decay.

We recommend avoiding cream and sugar altogether. At the very least, try to reduce your overall consumption of refined sugars to help mitigate tooth decay. You’ll find that you crave the additives less if you don’t use them as often.

Call the pros.   

Are you a die-hard coffee drinker? Has your six-cups-a-day habit given you stained teeth? Don’t worry! Almost all cosmetic surface stains can be removed with teeth whitening services from Magnolia Dental!

At our gorgeous, spa-like facility, our team can treat your surface stains with an in-office or at home teeth whitening process, giving you a brighter, more confident smile!

Call us at 864.242.2848 and get the smile you deserve!

Crowns vs. Veneers

Many of us want a whiter and brighter smile.  This can be accomplished by several different restorative methods.  Some of these procedures include: simple bleaching, orthodontics if needed or by restoring the teeth with veneers or crowns.  Each treatment is used for specific reasons.  If you are satisfied with the overall shape and appearance of your teeth.  Simple custom tray bleaching can provide extremely satisfying results.  However when teeth are out of alignment and you do not want to go through the process of orthodontics to straighten them, then crowns or veneers can offer another option.  While it is ideal to align teeth with braces/clear retainers first, this is not always an option for some people.

Crowns and veneers provide excellent treatments to change shade, shape and position (to a limited extent) of the natural teeth.  The question for most people is when you do one versus the other.  The main thing that your dentist will look at is what is already existing in the natural teeth.

If the teeth have numerous cracks present, cavities or large fillings/fillings in between the teeth, a crown is a more suitable treatment.  This is because the cracks or the fillings have weakened the overall tooth structure and a crown will provide a full coverage restorative option protecting the entire exposed tooth.  

Veneers are excellent for teeth that are discolored, have spaces or mild crowding and may have chips or defects but are structurally intact with no cavities present.  A veneer is a more conservative restoration that can straighten a smile but only covers the front of the tooth and therefore if a tooth needs to be rotated or aligned more than slightly, the overall tooth can end up feeling bulky. 

This is just a brief overview of these two procedures.  Visit Magnolia Dental to find out more if you are interested.  We offer complimentary cosmetic consults!

IS AN ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH BETTER THAN A MANUAL ONE?

With all the advances in home hygiene care, I get a lot of questions on whether an electric toothbrush is better than a manual toothbrush.  The answer comes from how you brush.  If you brush for at least 2 minutes, 2-3 times a day with either you will have great results. However, many people do not brush for even 30 seconds with a manual brush.  

Here are the main advantages of an electric toothbrush:

  1. Most electric toothbrushes are equipped with 2 minute timers that encourage the user to brush for the appropriate amount of time and even pulse every 30 secs to allow you to brush each quadrant of your mouth equally.  
  2. The brush head of an electric toothbrush is either oscillating or vibrating to aid in more efficient plaque removal.  This is important because this movement is a great help, especially to those that have limited dexterity.  
  3. Some electric toothbrushes come with a sanitizing device allowing you to clean your brush head in between cleanings.
  4. New electric toothbrushes can change their movement to let you know if you are brushing to aggressively.

Again, both brushes are able to complete great home care as long as you put in the time!