Posts for: October, 2015

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
October 22, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease   birth control  

One of the health issues pregnant women should be concerned about is a higher risk of periodontal (gum) disease. But you don’t have to be pregnant to have an increased risk — you also may be more susceptible to dental disease if you’re taking certain birth control pills.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by plaque, food debris that builds up on tooth and gum surfaces due to poor oral hygiene. If left untreated gum disease can eventually lead to the breakdown of connective gum tissue and cause tooth loss.

Pregnant women are at greater risk because of an increased level of female hormones (estrogen) in their blood stream. This causes a change in the blood vessels that supply the gums, making them more susceptible to the effects of bacteria. A number of birth control options also increase estrogen levels, causing much of the same effect. To heighten the effect, you may also have a predisposition toward gum disease by your genetics or a high stress level.

There are some things you can do, however, to help lower your risk if you’re taking birth control medication. First and foremost, practice a consistent, daily habit of brushing and flossing. If you’re unsure if your technique is effective, we can provide guidance and training to make sure you’re performing these tasks properly. You should also visit us at least twice a year for office cleanings and checkups: no matter how effective you are with brushing and flossing, plaque can still accumulate in hard to reach places and form hardened deposits known as calculus.

You should also be on the lookout for signs of disease like gum redness, swelling or bleeding. If you see any of these signs, contact us as soon as possible for a thorough examination. As with many other issues involving health, the sooner we begin treatment for gum disease the better your chances of stopping it before it does too much harm.

If you would like more information on the relationship between gum disease and pregnancy or birth control, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pregnancy & Birth Control.”

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
October 12, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces  

While braces offer aesthetic advantages, did you know that they can also boost your oral health?

Who doesn’t want that straight, Hollywood smile? While most people don’t come by it naturally it can still easily be achieved with Bracesorthodontics. Not only will braces give you a more confident and attractive smile but it also comes with other health benefits. Find out in what ways getting braces in Marion, AR from your Marion dentist Dr. Wayne Cook can improve your oral health.

Why might my Marion dentist recommend braces?

There is a variety of issues that can benefit from orthodontics:

  • Bad bites
  • Crooked or protruding teeth
  • Overcrowding
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Poor jaw alignment

If you are dealing with any of these problems then braces will not only give you the smile you want but will also improve your oral health.

How can braces boost my oral health?

If you are dealing with crooked or crowded teeth it can be challenging to brush and floss thoroughly, particularly between hard-to-reach areas. When you miss these areas you allow bacteria and plaque to build up and turn into tartar. When this happens decay and gum disease are more likely to occur, which can lead to other serious complications like tooth and bone loss.

But braces can straighten your smile and eliminate overlapping teeth, making it significantly easier for you to brush and floss all surfaces of your teeth.

Also, a bad bite can affect one’s ability to chew or speak properly. This can cause unnecessary wear and tear on healthy enamel, which can lead to damaged teeth and jaw issues. By wearing braces, you can prevent these problems from happening altogether.

If you want to prevent decay and gum disease from affecting your beautiful smile then it’s time to find out if braces are the right treatment for you. Schedule a consultation today and let your dentist in Marion give you a smile to be proud of.

By Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
October 07, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”

Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.

A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
  • Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
  • Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
  • Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.

If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

Marion, AR Family Dentist
Wayne Cook, D.D.S.
303 Bancario Rd.Suite 7
Marion, AR 72364
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