Monday, July 8, 2013

Special Care for Diabetes Patients

If you have diabetes, the number one thing you can do for your oral health is keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible. Here’s why: When your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you’re more likely to develop gum disease and lose teeth than people who don't have diabetes. In turn, gum disease could cause your blood sugar to rise, making your diabetes harder to control. So it’s imperative that you keep your teeth and gums clean by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. And if you wear dentures, remove and clean them every day.

Keeping up with twice yearly dental visits is also crucial for patients with diabetes. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease. Also be sure to discuss your diabetes status and current medications with your dentist at each dental visit.

Warning Signs: Gum Disease

Because diabetes makes you more prone to developing gum disease, it’s important to be able to identify the warning signs. These are the most common:
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Receding gums
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose permanent teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures or a dental bridge

Also keep an eye on other symptoms that might develop, including white patches on your tongue, which could indicate oral thrush, an infection caused by fungus that grows in the mouth, and soreness and ulcers in the mouth, which could be a sign of dry mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist.

For more information, or to schedule a cleaning, call your favorite Williamsburg dentist, Dr. James A. Burden, at (757) 941-7079!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Gum Grafts: Stick It to Receding Gums

Take a look at your gums. Do they look like they're receding or do they feel extra sensitive lately? If yes, it’s time to come in for a visit. Receding gums are a sign of two things: gum disease or overly aggressive brushing. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and even heart disease. For early stages of gum disease, we can use a non-surgical scaling and root planing (SRP) treatment to get your gums healthy again. Excessive gum recession, however, sometimes requires a surgical treatment called a gum graft.

Once your gums start to recede, brushing with a lighter hand will only be effective if there is still adequate gum tissue left to act as a barrier from disease and bone loss. But if your gums have receded to the extent that your tooth roots are exposed, you may need a gum graft. Exposed tooth roots can cause varying degrees of tooth sensitivity or make your teeth appear longer than normal. But more importantly, exposed tooth roots can leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria and periodontal disease.

Gum grafts may also be used to correct a high frenum attachment. The frenum is the muscle between the upper or lower front teeth; if it pulls on the gum margin, recession could result. Orthodontic therapies can also stretch the gum line and cause the gums to recede. In all cases, gum grafts are an excellent way to protect the underlying bone and prevent the gums from receding further.
Photo courtesy of Daniela Vladimirova.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Loose Denture?

After dental extractions, the jawbone will resorb or shrink, leaving little to no bone available for a denture to rest upon. This causes a denture to be loose or ill-fitting making it difficult to chew food. Implant retained dentures will help alleviate this problem. Implants can be placed in strategic areas and a denture placed to snap onto the implants. This treatment significantly increases the retention of the denture. Your old denture may even be modified to snap into your new implants. Call today to see if you are a candidate for Dental Implants.

Dental Anxiety

Many people delay going to the dentist and having dental work done due to fear. This procrastination can lead to serious and costly complications. We have many tools and techniques to help you have a comfortable dental appointment. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), conscious sedation and Coming soon: I.V. sedation will help you overcome your Dental Anxiety. But you don’t have to take our word for it; here are a few testimonials to help put you at ease! “They make going to the dentist a pleasant experience!!! I often cringe at the thought of having to visit the dentist’s office but Dr. Burden, Rose and the other staff members always make it a pleasant experience.” – Talisha "The staff put me at ease, which is pretty key when someone is putting their hands into your mouth, wielding sharp instruments. My experience was great and my teeth look clean and healthy. I've been seeing Dr. Burden since I was nine years old and I don't trust my teeth to anyone else." - Kerry B Call today to see how we can help you!

Monday, June 10, 2013

More Root Canals for Smokers?



Looking for another reason to quit? Recent studies at Boston University’s Goldman School of Dental Medicine reveal that your gender, how much you smoke and how long you’ve been smoking can significantly multiply your need for root canal treatment. To sum up the findings, men and women are distinctly different when it comes to dental health.

Men, it turns out, have the odds stacked against them when it comes to cavities, gum disease and oral cancer. Smoking puts men at twice the risk for developing these dental problems than women. Men who smoke also need more root canals.

"Our study has shown that men have almost twice the risk of having root canal treatments if they smoke cigarettes, compared to men who never smoke," said Elizabeth Krall Kaye, author of the Boston University study and professor in the department of health policy and health services.

So does that mean women are in the clear? Not really, says Kaye. Historically, women haven't smoked as long or as much per day as men but Kaye believes that the risk associated with smoking and root canals still applies.

Although it might seem obvious, why smoking makes men and women more susceptible to dental problems is still somewhat of a mystery. Kaye and her associates think the answers lie in what smoking does to your overall health: It affects your ability to ward off infection, increases inflammation and damages your circulation system.

The good news is you can greatly reduce your need for root canals by quitting cigarette smoking and staying smoke-free. In fact, if you stay smoke-free for at least nine years, your chances of needing a root canal treatment can drop as low as a non-smoker's. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Impact of an Impacted Tooth




The Impact of an Impacted Tooth

A tooth is considered impacted when it only partially grows through the gums. This can happen because another tooth blocks it, or it grows in crookedly. The third molar typically erupts from age 17 to 21 and is the last tooth to appear, which is why it’s the most likely tooth to become impacted – there’s usually no room left for it.

In many cases, these impacted teeth can cause swollen gums and toothaches.  If this occurs, it is important to call your dentist for an appointment!  At Dr. Burden & Associates, same day appointments are available for these situations.

Although an impacted tooth does not always lead to pain or discomfort, the impaction can cause other problems. A partially erupted tooth can create an opening in the gum where food and other particles can accumulate, leading to gum infection. Impacted teeth can also develop tooth decay, and they can also push on adjacent teeth, causing all your teeth to shift.

For these reasons, it’s usually recommended to have wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 21. The younger you are the better (and faster) the surrounding tissue and bone will heal. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the symptoms if you’re over 21, though.

No matter what age you are, if an impacted tooth is causing you pain, soreness, sensitivity or inflammation, come in for a visit. Better to get treatment than unnecessarily endure pain and discomfort!

Persistent pain or an infection usually means the tooth will need to be removed. Check out our website at www.smilesofwilliamsburg.com for more information and to schedule your appointment!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Even Seniors get Cavities






Even Seniors Get Cavities


As we entered the new millennium, it was discovered that seniors were getting more dental cavities than children. Today, children and seniors are still the two highest at-risk groups for tooth decay. Aging puts us at greater risk for dental problems. The wearing away of tooth enamel, receding gums and loss of jawbone are signs that our mouths are aging along with our bodies.

Fortunately, there are now dental technologies and treatments to keep our smiles intact longer. That's great news for seniors. The bad news is anyone with natural teeth can get dental cavities. And the longer we have our teeth, the more we expose them to the elements that can cause tooth decay.

Unfortunately, geriatric teeth are less able to handle the normal wear and tear of those in younger generations. There are several reasons why seniors may be prone to more dental cavities:

·        Difficulty brushing & flossing
·        Not enough fluoride
·        Gum disease
·        Dry mouth
·        Poor diet

There are several ways seniors can stay cavity-free. A diet low in sugar and high in calcium promotes tooth health. Fluoride toothpastes, mouth rinses or tablets can help. Drinking water, sucking on sugar-free candy or chewing sugarless gum promotes saliva production and reduces dry mouth.

For seniors with mobility or dexterity problems, wrap tape or an elastic bandage around the toothbrush. If a wider grip is needed, try taping a tennis ball, sponge or rubber bicycle grip to the handle. An electric toothbrush may also be helpful for those who cannot maneuver a manual toothbrush easily. And daily flossing should not be forgotten, either -- floss holders and waxed floss may make it easier for seniors to continue their oral hygiene routine.

Because of the special dental needs of seniors, regular dental visits are still essential. We use this time to check for the dental problems that affect older patients, including cavities, gum disease, root decay and oral cancer.  For more information about the senior citizen discounts and services such as complimentary transportation through www.newportnewshomecare.com
  visit www.smilesofwilliamsburg.com or call us at 757-941-7079!  We are here to help!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Protecting Our Smiles: The Unsweet Truth About Your Sweet Tooth

 


Soda Drinkers More Prone to Cavities

Dentists can usually spot a soda drinker, especially the dentists here at James A. Burden, D.D.S. & Associates! These patients are often prone to dental cavities and white spots on their teeth known as decalcifications, which are actually the start of new cavities.
                
A cavity is an infection caused by a combination of carbohydrate-containing foods or beverages and bacteria that live in our mouths. Sweetened soda contains a high amount of sugar, a carbohydrate that can promote cavities. Soda may be even more damaging to the teeth than other sugar containing beverages because it is acidic as well.

Before we drink a sugar-sweetened soda, the pH in our mouth is about 7.0, which is slightly more acidic than water. When the bacteria in our mouths are exposed to sugar, they metabolize it and produce acid. The acid causes the pH on the tooth surface to drop. At a pH of 5.2 or below, the acid begins to dissolve the hard enamel that forms the outer coating of our teeth. Over time this leads to erosion that causes cavities and painful toothaches!

A study examined the effect of several types of sweetened soda and mineral water on the teeth. Teeth exposed to cola, orange and lime soda had significantly more decalcification than those exposed to mineral water. Of all of the sodas tested, cola caused the most decalcification. Sweetened soda seems to damage teeth in two ways. The soda has a low PH and makes the mouth acidic, and the sugar content promotes tooth decay when it comes into contact with bacteria in the mouth.

The easiest way to prevent cavities is by brushing your teeth at least three times a day, especially after eating or drinking and before bed and visitng your dentist at least every six months for a dental cleaning. Reducing the amount and frequency of eating sugary foods and beverages can decrease the risk of forming cavities. 

If you have to have sweetened soda, it is better to drink it at one sitting than sip it throughout the day. Better yet, drink it through a straw in one sitting, to bypass the teeth altogether.

To determine whether your sweet tooth has caused any decay or decalcification, call our office today at 757-941-7079 and see why our community recently voted James A. Burden, D.D.S.,

Best Dental Office in Williamsburg, VA!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Are Your Medications Affecting Your Dental Health?




How Medications Affect Your Dental Health

If you're taking medications for certain health conditions, it may not have crossed your mind that they can also impact your oral health.

After all, medications are supposed to bring equilibrium back to your system, not stir things up, right? The truth is a variety of prescribed medications can affect your teeth.

Voted Best Dental Office and Best Customer Service this year, Dr. Burden & his dental team are very knowledgeable about the effects of these medications on your oral health!

Antihistamines may cause dry mouth syndrome, which can lead to sore gums, making the mouth more prone to infection. Contraceptives and blood pressure medications may cause mouth sores, gum inflammation and discoloration. Blood thinners can interfere with your ability to form blood clots or cause heavy bleeding after a tooth extraction. Anti-seizure medications can cause an overgrowth of gum tissue (gingival hyperplasia) and make it difficult to practice good oral hygiene.

When you're taking medications and start taking other medications — whether prescribed, over-the-counter or illegal - it can change the effects of both the original and the new medications. Simply put, when certain drugs interact, they may increase or decrease the effects or produce another, unintended effect. This is why it's so important to keep your dentist informed about all the medications you take; any teeth medications you are prescribed will take this into consideration.

If you are concerned about the medications you are currently taking and how they may be affecting your teeth, call our office for a free consultation with one of our doctors or dental hygienists, today, or visit our website at www.smilesofwilliamsburg.com, for more information!

757-941-7079

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Aesthetic Dentistry Helps Self-Esteem of Children

Aesthetic Dentistry Helps Self-Esteem of Children
Children with damaged, discolored or missing teeth sometimes have problems with self-esteem that can be improved through aesthetic dentistry.
When a child has lost one or more front teeth, the dentist can replace these teeth with an aesthetic maintainer. The artificial teeth can be placed onto a removable or cemented dental appliance. Also, dentists can apply aesthetic veneers, or plastic facings, on discolored primary front teeth.
For mildly or moderately decayed front and back teeth, dentists now are able to place tooth-colored dental fillings. These materials have been dramatically improved and eventually, dentists no longer will need to place silver fillings. These tooth-colored fillings are bonded to the tooth surface and they not only are beautiful but strong as well.
For severely decayed front and back teeth, silver-colored dental crowns no longer are the norm. Dentists now have tooth-colored plastic and porcelain materials that can be used to cover the entire surface of the tooth to restore both function and aesthetics. Some of these crowns have metal linings but still have tooth-colored facings that allow for beautiful aesthetic restorations.
Many children benefit dramatically from aesthetic dental care on their primary teeth.
 Give our office a call today at
 757-941-7074
or visit our site to learn more about all of the services that we offer for children at www.smilesofwilliamsburg.com

About Me

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With over 20 years of creating smiles, we are proud to provide gentle, family-oriented dental care to the adults and children of our community. We are located in Williamsburg, just minutes from York county, Toano, Denbigh/Newport News and surrounding areas.