Great Holiday Foods for Your Teeth

When you hear the jingles in the stores and see the decorations on your neighbor’s house, you know that the holiday season has arrived. Among other traditions, you can also expect food to play a big part of the holiday, whether it’s snacks for a party or a big family dinner. Unfortunately, a lot of traditional holiday food can be harmful to your teeth, from sticky candy canes to sugary, maybe alcoholic eggnog. Thankfully, there are also lots of seasonal dishes and treats that can keep your smile as healthy as ever.

You probably already have a sizable list of foods you know to be bad for your teeth: soda, coffee, and candy. However, what about the crackers you set out as hors d’oeuvres? Even without extra-sweet ingredients added in, bread and related snacks are full of carbohydrates – that is, sugar – and their crumbly, dissolvable nature means that these bacteria-feeding carbs get stuck to your teeth. Alcohol, not counting the sugar it is often made of or mixed with, will dry out your mouth; dry mouths are the perfect environment for bacteria. Even the cough drops you take for colds and the flu not only have sugar in them, but also expose you to that sugar over a long period of time. Cough syrup, despite having similar amounts of sugar in it, is quickly swallowed and doesn’t expose the teeth to that sugar too long. Simply put, too many holiday edibles encourage the decay of your teeth.

Not to worry! Lots of holiday foods diminish, if not reverse, the damage other foods can do. Two common party snacks, for example, are meat and cheese. The calcium and proteins provided by meat and cheese can actually strengthen your teeth and gums. Nuts, like meat, also provide your mouth with a burst of protein and saliva production that help defend your teeth from bacterial build-up. Instead of sweetened cranberry sauce in your dishes, try using fresh cranberries; they can interrupt the bonding process of the decadent bacteria. Though dried fruit is a bad idea, crunchy fruit and raw vegetables can help scrub plaque off of your teeth.

The holidays and their traditions are fast approaching. If you eat too much of the wrong kinds of traditional foods, or you find yourself chewing on that food for a long period of time, your teeth can suffer. However, holiday tradition have also given us a lot of food to protect and strengthen our teeth as well. So, when planning out the next holiday party or dinner, keep these foods in mind. They may just save your smile.

Periodontal Disease 101

What it is
Periodontal disease, known as gum disease or periodontitis, is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. In the United States, it is estimated that half of Americans aged 30 or older have advanced gum disease. While highly prevalent, this dental condition is preventable with a good oral health regimen.

Cause
Periodontal disease symptoms become apparent as bacteria and debris accumulate around teeth and below the gum line and hardens into tartar. If not removed by a professional, tartar and bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums and weakening of teeth.
There are variables that can increase your risk of periodontitis that range from genetic predisposition and underlying health conditions, to certain lifestyle habits. Diet, taking certain medications, decreased immunity, and hormonal changes can also increase your chances of developing gum disease.

Stages
Periodontitis begins with the onset of gingivitis. In this early stage, bacteria builds up, irritating the surrounding gums. As bacteria accumulate and plaque builds and hardens into tartar, there is a weakening of bone and connective tissue that keeps teeth in their sockets. As bacteria spreads, pockets that trap further bacteria begin to form around teeth and under soft tissue. In patients with advanced periodontal disease, teeth become loose and fall out.

Symptoms
One of the most difficult aspects of spotting periodontal disease without help from a dentist is that the condition can progress slowly in patients and may not always produce obvious signs. Patients may notice:
– Gum tenderness
– Gum recession
– Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
– Loose teeth or a change in teeth alignment
Diagnosis of gum disease typically involves visiting a dentist for a visual examination of your oral condition, as well as charting pocket depths and using X-Rays to check bone loss in areas with deeper periodontal pockets.

Treatment
Early diagnosis gives patients the greatest chance of reversing damage with nonsurgical treatments. These procedures include root scaling and planing, which removes tartar and bacteria from surfaces of teeth and beneath the gums and smooths root surfaces,. Antibiotics that are either taken orally or topically as a rinse, can also be used to reduce bacteria and inflammation.
For patients with advanced periodontitis, dental surgery may be the most effective option to reduce pocket size and restore the healthy appearance and supportive structure of soft tissue.

Prevention
Periodontal disease is preventable by practicing consistent and good oral hygiene. As a rule of thumb, you should be taking between 3-5 minutes twice day to care for your teeth and gums by flossing first to loosen any food particles and bacteria, and brushing to clean all surfaces of teeth. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for thorough teeth cleanings. Patients displaying early signs of gum disease may require more frequent dental visits throughout the year.
If are exhibiting signs and symptoms of gum disease, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you can receive treatment, the more likely you will be able to reverse any damage caused by periodontal disease.

Take Good Care of Your Teeth By Following These Six Brushing Tips

Brushing your teeth everyday is one of the best ways to take care of your smile. For optimal dental health, follow these six tips:

1) Pick the right brush that fits your needs – Not all toothbrushes were created equal. Between varying sizes, bristle strengths, and the recommendations given to you from your favorite dental care provider, there are plenty of options to choose from.

2) Master the technique – Brush your teeth at gum line using a 45-degree angle. Gently move your toothbrush back and forth in short motions, cleaning the outer surfaces of your teeth. Move your brush in gentle up and down motions to clean the inner surfaces of your teeth. Then be sure to brush your tongue!

3) Take your time – Follow the “2 minutes x 2 times per day” rule.

4) Don’t overdo it – Ever hear of having too much of a good thing? Overbrushing can cause dental issues such as wearing down the enamel on your teeth or receding gums.

5) Good hygiene is the way to go – Always rinse your toothbrush before and after brushing; germs tend to linger if you don’t keep your toothbrush clean. (Also, do not keep your toothbrush capped or near a toilet. Trust us on this one.)

6) Let it go – Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when you start seeing frayed bristles. Also, if you’ve been sick, think about throwing out the old one and replacing it with a new brush.

By practicing proper dental care daily, we minimize the risk of cavities and developing other dental health related issues. To make an appointment with your Huntersville dentist, Dr. JC Duncan, call us today at (704) 948-1300.

How Your Heartburn Could Be Affecting your Teeth

gastric acid

How Your Heatburn Could Be Affecting Your Teeth

Acid reflux or GERD has become a common problem with many people.  With long work days, crazy schedules and constantly being on the go, the problem seems to be affecting more and more people every day. What many people don’t think about, as heartburn seems to be a common phenomena,  is that the cause of heartburn is from acid and that acid can effect their teeth.

What Is Acid Reflux or GERD?

When you ingest food, the food travels down the esophagus into the stomach.  On its way down a valve (lower esophageal sphincter) opens letting food pass and closes once the food is through.  Acid reflux is caused when the valve( at the entrance of your stomach opens after the food has entered your stomach.  This opening allows stomach acid to climb up your esophagus permitting an array of negative symptoms to happen within your body.  Most commonly heartburn.  If symptoms occur more than twice per week, it’s time to see your doctor.  This is a symptom of acid reflux symptoms or GERD

What Causes Acid Reflux of GERD?

There are many things that can attribute to the onset of acid reflux or GERD.  One of the most common causes is a hiatal hernia. Having a hiatal hernia can allow acid to move up into your esophagus inducing symptoms of heartburn.

There are many other risk factors that can contribute to the disease.  For Example:

  • Eating to Quickly
  • Eating a large meal then laying down
  • Overweight or Obese
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or blood pressure medications
  • Caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and carbonated drinks
  • Spicy, fried foods, fatty meets

How Can Acid Reflux or GERD Affect my Teeth?

As you read earlier, acid reflux or GERD symptoms not under control can travel stomach acid up your esophagus and into the back of your mouth. Once stomach has reached your mouth it has the potential to create much damage to your teeth. To put this into perspective, pH level measures the acidity of a substance on a scale of 0-14.  The lower the number the higher the concentration of acid in the substance.  Stomach acid provides a pH level of 2.0.  The pH level needed to erode dental enamel is 5.5.  This makes stomach acid a big concern for the health of your teeth.

If you feel you are suffering from regular heartburn, please talk about it with Dr. J.C. Duncan during your next dental visit.  There are many life style changes or medication available to help control acid reflux or GERD symptoms.  Our goal is to make sure we keep you and your teeth healthy.  Your dentist is part of your medical team to keep you smiling and healthy.

 

Swimming Pools and your Teeth

pools

 

Backyard fun with family and friends are what most people look forward too in the good weather.  Cookouts, sitting on your patio sipping ice tea are just a few of the benefits of warm summer days.  And when your hot, and the heat becomes unbearable, there is nothing better than a refreshing dip in the pool to bring your body temperature down to normal.  Now, with all the things that filter through your mind as your floating on your tube, I’m sure thinking about your teeth is probably the furthest thing from your mind.

With so many things to worry about to stay in good health, here is another tidbit to keep in mind the next time you take a dip in the pool.  A New York University College of Dentistry study showed that pool water that is too acidic can erode the enamel on your teeth very rapidly.  What is a too acidic?  A pool containing a pH balance below 7.  A properly regulated pool will have a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8.

Now for those of you who are fortunate enough to have your own pool in the backyard, it is important to test your pools pH level weakly. A pool with a low pH balance can be affecting your teeth and your families teeth without you even knowing it.  Your enamel protects your teeth and with it being eroded, this opens your mouth up to an array of dental problems.  Be proactive, avoid this issue by simply buying pH strips at your local pool supply store and test your pool regularly.

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:
J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 948-1300
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

 

What do you mean it’s not a cavity? My Tooth Hurts? …

 tooth PainWhat Causes Tooth Pain?

Many believe that your eyes are the windows to your soul.  But in the dental world, it is believed that your mouth is the window to the health of your body.

The most common reason someone books an appointment at the dentist is due to a tooth ache. Tooth decay is the most prevalent reason for tooth pain.  Cavities are most painful when the decay penetrates through the enamel and affects the inner layer of the tooth. This causes the tooth to become sensitive and if left untreated can become worse.

Tooth decay is not the only culprit that can emanate tooth pain. Advanced gum disease can cause a toothache even when the tooth is healthy.  Advanced gum disease causes a dull pain around the teeth from gums swelling and bone loss.  Gum abscess may also occur with advanced stages of periodontists.

Tooth grinding is a very common reason people feel tooth pain.  From constant grinding of your teeth, you can wear down or chip your teeth.  This action tends to put excess force on the gum tissue which can cause tooth pain and also your jaw to hurt.

What is not as commonly known, a crooked tooth can cause you tooth pain.  When your teeth are not aligned properly, it puts undistributed force on your teeth and nerves.  This misalignment can be the catalyst for a number of other issues including headaches.

And finally, with allergy season coming upon us, another reason a tooth or teeth might hurt is due to a sinus infection.  A sinus infection can cause a dull ache to your upper back teeth.  Because the sinuses are close to the upper jaw, a sinus infection, do to the swelling of the sinus, can make you feel as if pain is coming from your teeth.

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:
J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 948-1300
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

 

 

 

 

Stop the Chronic Headaches

trudenta headache relief Are you a regular headache sufferer?  In all actuality, headaches can be debilitating making it difficult for you to function throughout your day. I’m sure you have tried all kinds of remedies looking to alleviate the pain you are feeling.  The constant regiment of pain relievers, just to function through your day, has become a burden.  We understand and are here to help you find pain relief using a system that requires no drugs and no needles.. The office of J. C. Duncan DDS FAGD conveniently located in Huntersville, NC is here to help.  We understand the pain that you are suffering with.  We are here to let you know that many headache sufferers can benefit from the new life changing TruDenta System.

According to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches.  The most common type of headache is due to tension. The TruDenta System is designed to tackle a number of the 150 diagnostic headache categories.. By using our TruDenta system, we can provide important, objective, diagnostic information which may help identify the causes of your symptoms.

TruDenta

Finally, the office of J.C. Duncan can help!

The TruDenta systems have been designed to get at the heart of your headaches, migraines, jaw pain or face pain. Through proven, state of the art technologies in the fields of advanced dentistry and medicine, you can finally get headache and migraine relief in a way that will:

  • Reduce your pain levels and the number of days in pain
  • Provide headache relief without dependence on drug related solutions
  • Give you control of your healing process
  • Possibly even give you your life back… you know the one before all this pain took you down the path of “trying to cope”

It’s time to have a talk with your dentist and dental hygienist about how we can help you. A simple painless screening test can determine if TruDenta is right for you.

Click here to complete your TruDenta Head Health History form.

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:
J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

www.huntersvillencdental.com

Phone: (704) 948-1300
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

 

It’s a New Contest!

enter-to-win

It’s Contest Time Again!

With Summer time getting into full gear, the office of J.C. Duncan DDS, FAGD,  is offering a chance to win a FREE iPad Mini for one lucky winner. Yes, you’re reading this right!  Some lucky person will become the proud owner of a brand new iPad Mini!  Beginning July 1st and ending August 31st, the office of J.C. Duncan DDS, FAGD, will enter each NEW person who LIKES our Facebook page and all our patients that keeps their scheduled appointments at our office.  On the last day of August, Dr. Duncan will dig into his bowl of entries and pick our lucky winner. How to Enter:

1. Keep your scheduled appointments at our office between July 1st and August 31st.

OR

2. Like us on Facebook!
3. Already liked our page?  No problem!  Like the contest link and we will enter you in!

Where will the winner be announced?

On the last day of August, we will announce our lucky winner on Facebook, Twitter, our Website and Blog. Don’t worry, if we don’t hear from you within a couple of days, we will follow up with a phone call.  Please make sure during your visit that we have your current phone number on file.

Rules of Contest

  • You must be a patient of Dr. J.C. Duncan DDS, FAGD
  • Contest begins July 1st 2014 and ends August 31st 2014

Dental Insurance or Out-of-Pocket?

No Insurance

According to a new Gallup poll, more than one-third of Americans say they did not visit the dentist at all in the past year.  When asked why, lack of dental coverage and cost were targeted as the main reasons for not visiting the dentist as they should. 

With insurance cost and medical expenses rising, having insurance creates a feeling of safety for the for the person seeking treatment.  The question is, is dental insurance really the safety net that people expect it to be?  Dental coverage can vary greatly based on the cost you pay for the plan.  The more you pay, the more coverage is extended to the policy holder.  For example: Dental Coverage can provide coverage that is limited to cleanings and x-rays only or provide more extensive coverages that provide partial payment of crowns, root canals, fillings, etc.   Keep in mind, insurances are ultimately businesses trying to make money. To ensure their business model succeeds, policies typically employ deductibles, caps and a list of out-of-pocket expenses that are the responsibility of the policy holder. 

Research has shown that the average cost for paying out of your own pocket for two exams and cleanings and a set of X-rays in 2011 would have cost about $370, on average, according to the American Dental Association.  In the same year, the cost for you to have a dental insurance policy would cost $360.00 a year. As a matter of fact, dental insurance premiums can be more expensive than simply paying out of your own pocket for routine checkups and cleanings. 

Just like fixing a car, it’s all about the preventative maintenance.  Regular check-ups and cleanings along with good daily oral care can help alleviate expensive dental problems from ever occurring.  Bottom line, if you take care of your teeth, the chance of needing to invest in a high cost dental procedure to resolve a problem is reduced.  Most extensive dental care needed stems from lack of regular cleanings, check-ups and good oral hygiene practices.

 

How to Keep Dental Problems out of the E.R.

Emergency Room- J.C. Duncan DDS-dentist You have incredible pain radiating from your mouth.  You begin running a fever and overall feel quite ill.  Looking for immediate relief to the unbearable agony, you decide a prompt trip to the emergency room is necessary.  When arriving, you are told you have an abscessed tooth.

Truth be told, having an abscessed tooth can be dangerous as it can, if left untreated, manifest into a life threatening situation. The hospital, while being able to treat the infection, typically don’t have the appropriate staff or equipment to treat the problem on a permanent basis.  This needs to be done by a dentist in a dental office.

A study published on April 1 in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that 1 percent of emergency-room visits nationwide from 2008 to 2010 included a diagnosis of dental injury or disease. One hundred one of those patients died while in the ER.

With that being said, most of these dental emergency room visits could be avoided by having a primary dentist in your life.  Seeing your dentist regularly is the key to avoiding dental disease.  Just like your car, your teeth need regular maintenance to avoid any major problems down the road. The bigger the problem, the more expensive it becomes to fix it. With dental accidents, they are just that. Seeing your dentist as soon as possible is the best way to save a tooth or fix a broken tooth.  Your dentist will have all the equipment necessary to fix the problem immediately.  

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:

J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 266-1486
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

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