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August 28, 2015

VITAMIN D

Berries: A Good Source of Vitamin DSometimes an active lifestyle and nutritious meals are not enough to maintain a healthy way of life. Vitamin D deficiency is common even among those who claim to consume a balanced meal of fruits and vegetables. The reason being: even the best dietary sources of vitamin D, such as salmon, aren’t loaded with enough vitamin D to suffice the daily required amount.
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March 6, 2015

Dental Health When Aging

186584941As you age it becomes even more critical to take care of your teeth. One common misconception about dental health when aging is that losing your teeth is inevitable. This is not true. If cared for properly, your natural teeth can last a lifetime. Still, every day wear and tear takes a toll on your teeth as you age so it is important to see your dentist on a regular basis to maintain your pearly whites!

One of the most common misconceptions people have about their teeth is that they will fall out as they age or that they will break. This is not the case! According to the ADA, the primary cause of tooth loss is gum disease, not age. When the gums surrounding our teeth become inflamed, they can no longer properly retain the teeth, and hence they may become loose. Gum disease is usually the result of poor oral hygiene, but other risk factors include diabetes and heart disease, which are common as we age. To prevent gum disease and maintain the health of your teeth, be sure and schedule regular cleaning appointments. These appointments are important to your overall oral health, as they also serve as an opportunity for your dentist to discover any discrepancies before they become bigger problems.

By far, the greatest threat to the health of our teeth is sugary foods. These sugars ferment in our mouth, causing acids to form that result in tooth decay. Most of us assume that candy is the main culprit, but were you aware sports drinks and sodas are an even bigger threat? The constant stream of sugar provides a favorable environment for bacteria to convert those sugars to acids. We realize that you may have a craving for sweets from time to time, but there are some healthy habits you could adopt to protect the health of your oral cavity. For example, chewing sugar free gum curbs your sweet craving and also increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, flushing out food particles and preventing any decay. Another healthy option is dark chocolate, as the antioxidants in dark chocolate have been found to prevent cavities.

Also, did you know that as we age our teeth become less receptive to pain? This means that if you get a cavity, you may not even realize it until you are in severe pain and require a root canal. To prevent unnecessary root canals, consider visiting your dentist for regular checkups. The dentist is well equipped to catch the cavities that you may not even be aware you have, saving you both time and money in the future!

The common thread in all these problems is that preemptive visits your dentist is mandatory to maintain good oral health, and as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

February 6, 2015

Sugar & Your Teeth

candy-southlake-dentistWe all know that sugar is the bane of your oral health. Previously the WHO recommended 10 % of sugar daily but later dropped it to 5% of sugar after realizing that it is an even bigger threat to health than previously imagined. New research by the University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggests that even 5% is too much.  Researchers at the university advocate that 3% should of free sugars should suffice for your daily energy intake. Anything more, just adds to an increased likelihood of obesity and tooth decay.

So why is sugar so bad? The most obvious answer is that it causes tooth decay and obesity, but did you know that there are so many other negative aspects of sugar? For example, sugar can cause insulin resistance and promote diabetes.  Also, increased amounts of insulin can cause a proliferation of cells and in turn result in cancer. Furthermore, added sugar, otherwise known as fructose, is known to overload the liver and cause nonalcoholic fatty liver.

In respect to tooth decay, research shows that when sugar is completely expelled from one’s diet.  An example of this can be seen in post war Japan where there was no access to sugar. At that time, there was a significant drop in tooth decay and once sugar was reintroduced into the diet, the incidence of decay rose dramatically.

Researchers argue that sugar, has effects similar to many illegal drugs making it highly addictive. Cutting sugar from your diet completely can prove to be quite a challenge, however, the results are usually well worth the sacrifice. If you feel that you cannot live without sugar, try and make smarter choices about the sugars you do consume. Attempt to eat more fruits or even a piece of dark chocolate.

January 2, 2015

Is Exercise Ruining Your Teeth?

running-southlake-arlington-dentistIn a recent study conducted at the University Hospital Heidelberg in the southwest region of Germany, researchers discovered that those who trained at least 10 hours each week had an increased likelihood of having acidic saliva. In fact, out of the 35 participants in the study, it was noted that the harder an individual trained, the more acidic their saliva.

One of the most common complications with acidic saliva is xerostomia, or dry mouth. As the name suggests, the condition can be defined as the perpetual dryness of the oral cavity due to a reduction in salivary fluids. In severe cases, even drinking water does not alleviate the condition. Saliva’s primary function is to cleanse the mouth and the teeth of debris. The decreased amount of saliva combined with the acidity promotes an environment ideal for bacteria and cavity formation.  Add to this that most runners and other athletes often consume foods high in carbohydrates as well as sugary sports drinks and the end result is often increased amounts of tooth decay.

While exercise is essential to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there are some preventative methods that you could take to protect yourself from “runner’s mouth.” Avoid sugary sports drinks as much as possible and try and at least rinse out your out after consuming any power bars. Most importantly, always remember to stay hydrated. Make sure to drink ample amounts of water before, throughout and subsequently after your workouts. Another helpful tip could be to increase your salt intake as salt helps to retain water better.

December 2, 2014

Antidepressants & Dental Implants in Arlington & Southlake

72541514Has an Arlington or Southlake dentist asked about antidepressants or other medications you’re taking during a dental implants consultation? Many of you may understand the concept of drug interactions and assume that before your dentist can prescribe you anything, he may need to know what you are already taking to make sure there are no harmful side effects from the combination of both.  But did you know that your medications may interfere with certain dental procedures as well?

Millions of Americans require antidepressants to function and help them with the daily grind of life, and the most commonly prescribed are a group of antidepressants known as SSRI, or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. This group of drugs includes Prozac, Celexa, Luvox, Zoloft, Paxcil, and Lexapro. Recent studies have shown that those who take any SSRI have a higher chance of implant failure than those who do not.  The rate of failure is 10.6%, which is more than double that of those who do not take any SSRIs, and even rivals the failure rate of lifelong smokers!

With the popularity of dental implants rising, it is important to discuss all your health concerns and medications with your dentist. Both you and your dental practitioner should be aware of any aspects that can adversely affect your treatment so that together you can devise a plan that best fits you and your needs.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Ravi Doctor today if you are interested in dental implants in Arlington or Southlake and also regularly take any medication—he has the expertise and experience required to ensure your procedure is safe and successful.

November 5, 2014

Dealing with Dental Emergencies

158817458When thinking of emergencies, most people do not consider tooth related instances to truly be a matter of significance; however, if you have ever dealt with it, you will understand how traumatizing it can be. Please keep in mind that any dental emergency can be potentially serious and ignoring it is not the solution. Make sure to see your dentist right away to avoid any complications!

So, let’s discuss some examples of dental emergencies and what you should do in the event that they occur. In the case of a toothache, thoroughly rinse your mouth with a warm salt rinse. Also, be sure to floss the area to remove any food that may be lodged between your teeth.  Try placing a cold compress against the area, and if the pain has not subsided take a pain killer to ease your discomfort.

In the case of a chipped tooth, try and keep the small piece if you can and Apply pressure with a piece of gauze to stop any bleeding. Also, to prevent any swelling and to ease the accompanying pain, place a cold compress on the affected area.

If your tooth gets knocked out, there are a few precise but simple instructions you must follow. First, only hold the tooth by the crown, or the part of the tooth that you usually see when you smile. If your tooth is dirty, rinse it gently under running water and DO NOT scrub it clean.  If you can, try and reinsert the tooth gently back into the socket and bite down on a piece of gauze to hold the tooth in place. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in milk, or if milk is not available, place the tooth between your cheek and gum area and immediately see your dentist. In the case of a knocked out tooth, the chances of saving your tooth are highest within the first hour after the incident, and decreases exponentially with the passage of time.

While there are numerous other situations in which you should immediately consult your dental care professional, these are often the most traumatic. As is the case in any situation, prevention is always better than cure. If you play any contact sports make sure you wear a sport guard. Also, avoid chewing ice and biting down on anything hard such as candy or popcorn kernels. But if you ever do find yourself in one of these situations, call your dentist immediately!

October 9, 2014

Teeth Sensitivity

488914471Do you ever find yourself wincing with pain when eating ice cream or when drinking a cup of coffee? If so you may be suffering from sensitive teeth. Sensitive teeth are typically the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots. This can occur due to improper brushing or even as a result of clenching your teeth. Sometimes, however, tooth discomfort is caused by other factors, such as a cavity, a cracked or chipped tooth, or it can even be a side effect of a dental procedure, such as bleaching.

If teeth sensitivity is something that concerns you, start by visiting your dentist. He or she can identify or rule out any underlying causes of your tooth pain. Depending on the circumstances, your dentist might recommend one of several options. For example, the most common method may be to use a desensitizing tooth paste. Another option may be the topical application of fluoride. Fluoride application can help to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, preventing further breakdown and thereby reducing the sensitivity. However, at times the mere topical application of fluoride or desensitizing tooth paste may not suffice. Here, your doctor may determine that you need a filling or a root canal.

As with all things, prevention is always better than cure. In order to prevent sensitivity you must perfect your oral hygiene habits. Make sure you are brushing your teeth in a circular manner without applying too much pressure. Also, use soft bristle tooth brushes as they will not abrade the surface of your teeth causing you to loose enamel, and make sure to visit your dental care provider on a regular basis to keep your pearly whites in top condition!

September 4, 2014

Mouth Piercings & Precautions

177444694In an age where self-expression is everything to one’s identity, body piercings have become a means to convey one’s individuality and to stand out. Although the most common site for piercings are traditionally the earlobes, nowadays, more and more unconventional piercing sites are becoming the norm.

One such unconventional area is the mouth. You may have noticed many individuals with lip or tongue mouth piercings, or even a slit tongue. While this is definitely a unique channel of self-expression, there are many factors that should be taken into consideration before piercing or traumatizing a sensitive area such as the oral cavity. For one, keep in mind that the mouth is a moist environment teaming with bacteria. Such an environment is always ideal to encourage the onset of infection. Furthermore, a tongue piercing can swell after infection and block your airway.

Another complication that can be expected after mouth piercings is temporary or even permanent nerve damage. A damaged nerve can affect the way your tongue moves or even your taste sensations. You may even experience burning or tingling sensations in your mouth.Other complications may include allergic reactions to the metal placed in your mouth, as well as mutilation to the adjacent teeth and gums along with excessive drooling.

If however, you already have a piercing, make sure and keep the area clean and rinse with warm salt water. Also, avoid smoking, alcohol and spicy foods as these can aggravate the newly pierced area and result in infection, and finally, avoid playing with the jewelry, as this may result in it becoming loose and accidental aspiration as well as damaging the surrounding teeth and gums. If despite meticulous care, any problems arise concerning the area of your piercing, visit your dentist immediately to avoid any further complications!

June 26, 2014

Tooth Decay in Toddlers: What You Need to Know About Cavities in Young Children

Shutterstock Child at DentistEvery child needs strong, healthy baby teeth. These teeth help children chew food, form words, and even help guide future adult teeth into their correct positions in the arch. Early childhood caries is a highly aggressive form of tooth decay that affects children well into their preschool years. The decay is usually the result of consuming large amounts of sugary food. The sugar serves as food for bacteria, which in turn produce acid that decay the teeth.

So you may be wondering how you can protect your child from early childhood decay. It’s actually quite simple. Avoiding sugar may seem like the obvious answer, but we have to be realistic. Occasional treats are okay and shouldn’t be discouraged. Did you know that dark chocolate is actually good for your overall dental health? However, what needs to be taken into consideration are the consistency of the food and how long the sugary substance was consumed. For example, a hard candy that dissolves in your mouth is a better choice than a sticky caramel which is difficult to chew and may remain stuck in the crevices of your child’s teeth. In reference to duration, consider whether the food was consumed in a matter of minutes or was it something that the child slowly sipped on throughout the evening, like a juice or soda. By slowly sipping the sugary drink, your child is exposed to a continuous stream of sugar, resulting in a good environment for the growth of bacteria. To avoid this, don’t let your child walk around with a bottle or a sippy cup of juice. Try and appease your child with a pacifier.

We recommend that you brush your child’s teeth after every feeding, even if they don’t actually have any teeth at the moment. You can do so by gently wiping the gums with a wet gauze or wash cloth wrapped around your index finger. When teeth do start erupting; use a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste to gently wipe the teeth.

Finally, keep in mind that dental checkups are just as important for your child as they are for you!  Contact our office today to learn more about childhood tooth decay and to set up your appointment. Make sure you schedule your child’s visit by the time their first tooth erupts. Early dental care is important in maintaining a healthy smile and serves as the stepping stones for a great relationship with your dental team!

June 13, 2014

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

Shutterstock Happy Dental Patient (2)Most people know the significance of tobacco smoking and its impacts on lung cancer, however, many are still unaware of oral cancer and the threat that it poses. Did you know that, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 43,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year and that out of these individuals, 8000 will die due to oral cancer?
So what exactly causes oral cancer? It’s sad to say, but sometimes our genetics play a role, however, for the most part, our lifestyle choices are what greatly increases our chances for oral cancer. The usual culprits are tobacco and alcohol. According to the Cancer Centers of America, about 80% of the people with oral cancer use tobacco and 70% are heavy drinkers.

Despite the grim prognosis for cancers of the oral cavity, early oral cancer screening is considered to be the key to the successful treatment of the disease. Here at the office, Dr. Ravi Doctor and his skilled dental team provide a thorough and comprehensive exam to all patients. The oral cavity is always systematically examined for any discrepancies in color, texture, or feel. More specifically, Dr. Doctor will feel the different areas of your mouth with his fingers for any abnormality, as well as checking whether there are any ulcerations or abnormally colored areas. So come in at your convenience and have a screening done by our skilled dental team and experience gentle dentistry.

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261 E. Southlake Blvd., Suite 100, Southlake, TX 76092 USA
Ravi Doctor, DDS Southlake TX dentist (817) 328-2400 smile@docdds.com
1810 S. Bowen Rd., Suite A, Arlington, TX 76013 USA
Ravi Doctor, DDS Arlington TX dentist (817) 274-8667 smile@docdds.com