Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry

How Aging Can Impact Oral Health

As we age, our oral health needs change. The great news is that today’s seniors are more active and staying healthy longer! However, mature patients can also face some serious oral health conditions. And because the dental health trends of older Americans may not seem obvious, the experts at Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry have listed a few ways the aging process can impact your oral health care.

Connection Between Aging & Oral Health

Bone Loss

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, nearly 54 million Americans over the age of 50 are affected by osteoporosis. More common among women, this chronic condition causes bones to gradually deteriorate and become more brittle over time. This process may also cause teeth to grow weak, increasing the risk of loss and, eventually, leading to a need for tooth repair.

Dry Mouth

tooth repairAs people age, the ability to produce saliva decreases. This condition can be exacerbated if you are taking medications that cause dry mouth as a side effect. In addition to being uncomfortable, a lack of saliva can make it difficult to rinse away bacteria and food particles throughout the day. Without this protection, the risk of cavities and oral infections greatly increases.

Reduced Sensitivity

Shrinking blood vessels are a common problem among seniors. This reduces the blood flow to nerves and making it more difficult for people to detect certain sensations—including pain. This can make it more difficult for individuals to tell if they’re experiencing oral health problems that require immediate attention.

Gum Disease

Immune systems tend to lose their strength later in life, which, in turn, can make it hard for the body to fight off infections, such as gum disease. Affecting more than 17% of adults who are 65 or older, gum disease is a serious problem that can cause gum recession and tooth loss, and it can increase other health risks, such as heart disease and diabetes.

While aging may increase the risk of certain oral health problems, employing a good oral health care regimen, including regular hygiene visits and staying hydrated can help to keep issues at bay. Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry offers  comprehensive dental care ranging from general and laser dentistry to dental implants, full smile makeovers and the Pinhole Surgical Technique to treat gum recession at our recently renovated office in Greater Boston. Visit Smileboston online to learn more about our full menu of services and call (617) 277-4100 to schedule an appointment at our Brookline office.

10 Dental Facts You Probably Don’t Know!

Our teeth are amazing! Without them we wouldn’t be able to speak, eat, sing, or smile properly. In honor of our pearly whites, Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry is sharing some interesting dental facts you may not already know!

10 Fun Dental Facts

  1. If you floss daily, by the end of the year the total length of floss used would equal the perimeter of a baseball diamond!
  2. Because birds don’t have teeth, many swallow stones to help aid in breaking up hard foods.
  3. On average, women smile 62 times a day and while men only smile eight times a day. Come on guys, step it up!
  4. The average American spends a total of 38.5 days brushing their teeth in their lifetime.
  5. 40 percent of young people aged six to 19 have had cavities in their life. That may seem like a lot but that’s down from 50 percent just a decade ago!
  6. During the Middle Ages people thought a dog’s tooth boiled in wine was an excellent mouth rinse to prevent tooth decay.
  7. The Egyptian plover, also called the crocodile bird, is known for flying into a crocodile’s mouth & cleaning its teeth.
  8. Prior to the 1850s, ‘toothpaste’ was usually powder that contained both soap and chalk.
  9. An obscure VT law states that it is illegal for women to wear false teeth without the written permission of her  husband!
  10. Different animals have different amounts of teeth; armadillos have 104, pigs have 44, and humans have 32.

Here’s a bonus fact: the narwhal’s tusk Is actually a tooth! Well, there you have it. A handful of fun facts to dazzle your family and friends at your next cocktail party. Kidding aside, remember to take care of your teeth. They do so much for you!

Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry is here to help! Our newly renovated office in Brookline, MA  Greater Boston, offers full array of services ranging from general dentistry and laser dentistry to dental implants and full smile makeovers. To schedule an appointment, please call 617-277-4100. For more information, please visit Smileboston online.

The Dangers of DIY Teeth Whitening

A Beautiful Smile with white, even teeth is a major confidence booster and helps to make a good first impression, whether you’re going on a date or sitting down for a job interview. The widespread desire for whiter teeth in today’s society, combined with internet culture, has given rise to a number of popular do-it-yourself teeth whitening methods. While these might seem like great life-hacks to try, many of them can actually do serious damage to your teeth.
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The Tooth About Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is a common oral condition that affects most people at some point in their lives. The two main characteristics of this condition are the grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw. Grinding and clenching usually occurs while a person is sleeping and occasionally while awake.

Bruxism is one of the most common known sleep disorders. Chewing is a neuromuscular activity controlled by a subconscious process, but more highly controlled by the brain. It is thought that during sleep, the subconscious process may become active while the higher control is inactive (asleep), resulting in bruxism. The most common symptoms are earaches and headaches, increased tooth pain and sensitivity, jaw, neck or face pain and soreness. And while we don’t completely know what causes Bruxism, it is likely due to a number of psychological, genetic and environmental factors. Stress, anxiety, medication and substance use, mental health and medical conditions can all contribute to Bruxism.

Should I seek treatment for Bruxism?

Gum Recession – Bruxism is a leading cause of gum recession and tooth loss. Grinding teeth can damage soft tissue  and lead to loose teeth and deep pockets where bacteria are able to colonize and decay the supporting bone.

Facial Pain – Grinding shortens the teeth and can lead to facial muscle pain and headaches.

Broken Teeth – The abnormal wear patterns on the chewing surfaces of the teeth can lead to fractures, which if left untreated, may require restorative treatment.

Arthritis – In the most severe cases, Bruxism can eventually lead to painful arthritis in the temporomandibular (TMJ) joints that allow the jaw to open and close smoothly.

Bruxism Treatment Options

Custom sleep guards are a long term solution and can prevent damage from teeth grinding during sleep. Additionally, Botox, widely known for smoothing facial wrinkles, can be injected into the muscles responsible for bruxing (clenching). Botox treatment works by disabling these muscles enough to prevent grinding and clenching incidents while not disrupting normal functions like speaking and chewing.

Are you experiencing facial pain or headaches? Smileboston can help. Call 617-277-4100 to schedule an appointment.

The Scoop on Tooth Sensitivity

HAVE YOU EVER FELT a painful jolt through your teeth when you bite into ice cream or take a sip of hot coffee? If so, then you’re familiar with the woes of tooth sensitivity, and you’re not alone. More than half of adults age 20-50 experience some degree of sensitivity, and children’s teeth can be sensitive too.

Why does this happen? In order to understand tooth sensitivity, it helps to learn a bit about the structure of a tooth and how its various parts function.

The Anatomy Of A Tooth

The crown is the white portion of the tooth that can be seen above the gum line. Each tooth is covered in a thin layer of hard enamel. Beneath the enamel is dentin, a bony substance with thousands of microscopic tubules that run through it. These tubules are how the nerves in the pulp at the core of each tooth detect what’s going on at the surface.

Causes Of Sensitivity

Most often, tooth sensitivity occurs when the hard enamel wears away. This happens for a variety of reasons, teeth grinding, erosion from acid, or even improper brushing. With the enamel compromised, the tubules in the dentin become exposed. Once that happens, eating or drinking anything hot or cold — sometimes even sweet or sour — will give the tooth a nasty shock.

Another major cause of sensitivity is root exposure. Because teeth roots don’t have that layer of enamel, their main defense is the gums. When gum recession occurs, which can also be caused by teeth grinding or improper brushing, the roots of the tooth are vulnerable. Other causes of sensitivity include cavities or having a chipped or fractured tooth.

How You Can Protect Your Teeth

If you do have sensitive teeth, there are several ways to fight back. First, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles can further damage tooth enamel and gum tissue. Another measure is switching to toothpaste that is specifically formulated for sensitive teeth. Finally, avoid sugary or acidic foods and drinks, particularly soft drinks.

Smileboston Can Help!

If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity be sure to come see us – even if your next scheduled appointment is still months away.  The professional team at Smileboston can strengthen your teeth with a fluoride varnish, perform restore areas with enamel loss, prescribe a desensitizing toothpaste or address any areas of gum recession with the Pinhole Surgical Technique.  Visit Smileboston online for more information or give us a call at 617-277-4100.

Taking Care of Your Pet’s Teeth

Many well meaning pet owners assume that furry friends don’t need dental care like we do. After all, animals can’t exactly brush their teeth, and that doesn’t seem to be a problem for them. However, it turns out that our pets’ teeth are very different than the teeth of wild animals. And they need our help to stay healthy.

Animal Teeth In The Wild

There are two main reasons that wild animals don’t need dental care. The first is diet. Unlike humans and our pets (especially cats and dogs), wild animals don’t consume a lot of sugar or carbs – which feeds bacteria causing tooth decay. In fact, wild animals are more likely to wear their teeth down than they are to get cavities.

The second reason wild animals don’t seem to get tooth decay as often is that their teeth essentially outlive them. They don’t live long enough for their teeth to rot before they die. If a wild animal’s teeth do rot, it won’t survive much longer in the wild. Unlike domesticated animals, wild animals don’t have a friendly human to feed it after it can no longer eat its usual food.

What Dental Problems Are Pets At Risk For?

While our pets have teeth that look a lot different from ours, they can get cavities and gum disease just like us! In fact, a whopping 85 percent of dogs and cats will suffer from gum disease by age three. As diligent pet parents, it’s important to keep an eye out for symptoms like difficulty chewing, tooth loss, and bad breath. Other warning signs are loose teeth, swollen or bleeding gums, and loss of appetite. In some ways, dental problems are even more serious for our pets than they are for us. While we can take care of our own teeth, and can describe how our teeth and gums feel like to our dentists, our pets can’t do any of that.

Tips For Pet Dental Care

Don’t wait for your pet to start showing symptoms of dental problems to begin a dental hygiene routine for them. Whether you’re keeping their teeth healthy or helping ward off against existing problems, you’ll be making your furry friend’s life so much better. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Brush their teeth daily.
  • Only use toothpaste made for animals, if any. (Your toothpaste will make them sick.)
  • Give them vet-approved dental treats to help clean their teeth.
  • Have their teeth professionally cleaned! Some vets offer dental services, but if your vet doesn’t, they can probably recommend a veterinary dental specialist in your area.

Do It For Those Happy Doggy And Kitty Smiles!

Pets are family members and there’s nothing better than seeing them happy and full of life. Taking good care of their oral health a great way to make sure your pet’s Smile Always!  If you have any questions about what to do for your pet’s teeth or if you’re having trouble getting them used to a dental hygiene routine, ask about it at your next visit to Smileboston. Need to schedule your next hygiene appointment? Call 617-277-4100.

Repeat After Us: Teeth Are Not Tools

OUR TEETH ARE pretty amazing, and there’s a lot they can do. They chew our food, they provide structural support for the lower third of our faces, they help us speak clearly, and they give us our beautiful smiles. However, many people also find other uses for their teeth, which can be harmful. Teeth are not tools!

Teeth Are Not Bottle-Openers

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, so it might seem like that makes teeth perfect to use when you don’t have a bottle opener handy, right? Wrong. Tooth enamel isn’t just hard, it’s brittle, and it is not designed to win a fight against materials like metal and glass.

Using your teeth as a bottle opener can easily chip, crack, or break them, as well as risking damage to the soft tissues of the lips and gums if you slip. If you do this repeatedly, you can even cause your teeth to shift out of their proper alignment and wear down unevenly. It isn’t worth it.

Teeth Are Not Nutcrackers

Similar to opening a bottle, trying to crack a hard walnut, pecan, or even pistachio shells and popcorn kernels between your teeth increases your risk of chipping or cracking your teeth. And Teeth that are already weaker due to decay or a filling are at even greater risk of damage.

Teeth Are Not An Extra Hand

When your hands are busy, it may be convenient to hold a pencil, sewing pins, or maybe a few nails between your teeth. However, making a habit out of doing this can have a number of consequences. If you trip, the items in your mouth could cause a serious injury. If a yawn or hiccup catches you by surprise, you might even end up swallowing or choking on the object. And over time, you can wear down your enamel. Pencils would be better off behind your ear, pins in a cushion, and nails in a utility belt until you’re ready to use them.

Teeth Are Not Scissors (Or Nailclippers)

A particularly common way people use their teeth as tools is to bite through packing tape instead of using scissors, and some people even try to use their teeth to cut through wire. It takes much greater biting pressure to cut through non-food items than it does to chew food, and cutting things requires grinding the teeth together. This seemingly benign action ultimately wears down chewing surfaces increasing your risk for chipping and fracturing your teeth.

A nail-biting habit is particularly bad, both for the teeth and for the nails. The germs from the nails increase the risk of tooth decay, teeth will become worn down more quickly and shift out of alignment, and pieces of fingernail can damage the gum tissue, all while the nails themselves are left ragged and misshapen.

Protect Your Teeth By Using Them Right

Did you know that cracked and fractured teeth are the third highest cause of tooth loss? Please don’t take any unnecessary risks with your teeth by using them as tools. Save yourself an expensive emergency dental visit and use your teeth only for what they are meant for – eating & smiling!  Continue your daily brushing and flossing routine to keep them healthy.

We want to help our patients Smile Always! Call 617-277-4100 to schedule an appointment or visit Smileboston online for more information.

 

Botox – More than Wrinkle Relief!

In its original form, botulinum toxin or Botox is widely known as a cosmetic solution to address fine lines and wrinkles. It is less widely known that Botox can also be used in many dental procedures. It provides relief from jaw pain, helps to retrain muscles around the mouth and as an enhancement to many dental treatments. Smileboston Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry offers Botox treatment and put together a brief guide to explain how it can be used to compliment your oral health goals.

What Is Botox? Botox is a protein that is injected into the muscles to create a more relaxed and less rigid appearance. In dental applications, Botox uses the same principle to relieve pain from oral health conditions and is used in number of therapeutic procedures. Botox can enhance dental treatment plans as well as help some serious disorders. While Botox might not often be associated with tooth repair, Botox was first created to help relax muscles in medical procedures. Likewise, it has many useful applications in dentistry.

What Can It Be Used to Treat? If you experience TMJ, jaw pain and compromised movement of the jawbone, Botox can help relax muscles and alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with this common condition. Botox can also be used to complement aesthetic dentistry and is a minimally invasive alternative to surgically treating a high lip line. Additionally, Botox is beneficial for patients having trouble adjusting to new dentures, lip augmentation, and in dental implant and orthodontic cases where it is necessary to retrain facial muscles.

What Are the Benefits? Because Botox is a minimally invasive procedure, patients can return to their normal activities almost immediately. The most common benefit is the reduction in the number of tooth clenching events and their intensity. It also helps reduce damage to teeth, the jaw and gums and helps to lessen discomfort in the teeth and jaw. Other benefits include the elimination of tension headaches and migraines and the smoothing of facial wrinkles.

Smileboston is a full-service cosmetic dentistry practice with services ranging from general and cosmetic dentistry to dental implants and complete smile makeovers. If you are interested in learning more about Botox for pain or wrinkle relief or to schedule an appointment at our newly renovated Brookline office, call us today!

Click here to read what our patients are saying about Smileboston’s amazing team!

Our Favorite Quotes About Smiling

Working in the dental industry, one of our favorite things to see is our patient’s smiling faces. So today, we thought we’d celebrate those smiles we love so much by sharing some of our favorite quotes about smiling!

Smile For Yourself

“Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.” –Kenneth Branagh

“Smile, smile, smile at your mind as often as possible. Your smiling will considerably reduce your mind’s tearing tension.” –Sri Chinmoy

“Smiling is definitely one of the best beauty remedies. If you have a good sense of humor and a good approach to life, that’s beautiful.” –Rashida Jones

“A smile is the best way to get away with trouble, even if it’s a fake one.” –Masashi Kishimoto

“Life is like a mirror. Smile at it and it smiles back at you.” –Peace Pilgrim

“I love those who can smile in trouble.” –Leonardo da Vinci

“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.” ― Charlie Chaplin

Smile For The People Around You

“A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.” –Dalai Lama

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” –William Arthur Ward

“Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” –Mother Teresa

“Smile at strangers and you just might change a life.” –Steve Maraboli

“Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.” –Christie Brinkley

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Nothing you wear is more important than your smile.” –Connie Stevens

Our All-Time Favorite Smile Quotes

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

Smiling is so closely linked to happiness in our minds that we can actually trick ourselves into feeling happier by smiling. See if you can make your day better just by smiling, even if no one else can see you.

“Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” –Mark Twain

We Love Seeing Your Smile

At Smileboston Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, we believe that whether you believe that have frown lines or laughter lines is completely up to you! We also know that having less than optimal oral health can make you want to hide your smile. The professional team at Smileboston is here to help you achieve the healthy and beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of. From teeth whitening and veneers to a complete Smile Makeover, we’ve got you covered! Read more about what our patients are saying about the Smileboston Experience. Call 617-277-4100 to schedule an appointment today!