Posts for: February, 2015

By Today's Dental
February 20, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer   Bad Breath  

Find out just how harmful tobacco can be for your oral health.

While cigarette smoking in adults has decreased over the years, about 42 million adults still smoke cigarettes. It can be hard to ditch smoking; however, this nasty habit not only affects your overall health but the health of your teeth and gums as well. Find out just what kind of effects tobacco could have your smile and why your Houston, TX dentist recommends quitting for good if you want to preserve your smile.

Bad Breath: It probably comes as no surprise that smoking cigarettes can leave a rather unpleasant aroma behind. Those who smoke often deal with halitosis, the medical term for severely bad breath. There are several reasons why smoking causes this unpleasant condition.

First, smoking cigarettes causes smoke particles to remain on the throat and the lungs. This smell can stay in your mouth for hours, producing a rather stale and offensive smell. Second, there are over 60 chemicals found in cigarettes that can be to blame for pungent breath. If people have been complaining about your bad breath, you may want to blame cigarettes.

Unsightly stains: The chemicals from tobacco products also stain tooth enamel. These stains are usually yellow or brown and can become impossible to remove, particularly in long-term or frequent smokers. These stains are often too severe to experience much of an effect from whitening toothpastes or rinses, which means that a lot of smokers just have to put up with yellowing, discolored teeth.

Increase in oral cancer: One study conducted by the University of California in San Francisco found that as many as eighty percent of oral cancer patients were also smokers. Combine tobacco use with alcohol consumption and your risk of developing oral cancer is 15 times more likely than someone who doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol.

Increase in gum disease: Smoking cigarettes is actually the most common risk factor associated with the development of gum disease. Furthermore, smoking can even decrease the effectiveness of gum disease treatments. Uncontrolled and untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

Slower healing: Since tobacco increases the chance of gum disease or tooth loss, these conditions also require surgery or aggressive dental treatments. However, the recovery process can be significant harder and longer for those who smoke. This is because the chemicals in tobacco can affect the way the oral tissue heals and even cause abnormal blood clots to form, which will only delay your recovery.

For those looking to hide severe tobacco stains, we offer a variety of different cosmetic dental services to help you regain a whiter, healthier smile after smoking. Also you should be coming in every six months for routine cleanings. If it’s time to schedule a cleaning with your Houston, TX dentist, Dr. Tiberiu Oancea, contact Today’s Dental.

By Today's Dental
February 12, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Once upon a time, a well-known Hollywood actress might have hired a private eye to keep unflattering pictures from appearing in the media. Today, that’s no longer the case. Take timeless beauty Demi Moore: In a widely circulated set of photos, her gap-toothed grin showed she was actually missing one of her front teeth!

It turns out the actress released the pictures herself, as she live-tweeted the tooth replacement procedure from her dentist’s office. Moore later explained that the tooth fell out suddenly as she was sitting at her desk.

Celebrities are just like regular folks… except they have more followers on twitter. So we’re happy when they show us that no matter how bad a dental problem may seem, there’s almost always a way to regain a gorgeous-looking smile. We’re not sure exactly how Demi’s dentist chose to restore the damaged tooth — but depending on the individual circumstances, modern dentistry offers a number of ways to close the gap.

A crown (or cap) is a replacement for the entire visible area of the tooth. It may be needed due to accident or trauma, or as a follow-up to root canal therapy. Placing a crown usually requires more than one office visit. First, the tooth is prepared by removing any decay and shaping it, and a precise model is made of the bite. Next, the permanent crown is custom-made in a dental laboratory; this is placed during a subsequent visit. Advances in technology, however, have made it possible in some instances to deliver the permanent crown in a single office visit. If the tooth still has a healthy root structure, a crown is usually a viable option — even when most of the visible part is gone.

What if the entire tooth, including the roots, are missing? Then your replacement options could include bridgework or a dental implant. A fixed bridge is a series of crowns joined together as one unit. The teeth on either side of the gap are prepared just as they would be for crowns, and the bridge (including a replacement for the missing tooth in the middle) is attached. Bridges have been used successfully for many years, but they have a drawback: They require enamel to be removed from the healthy teeth on either side of the gap, which could lead to a greater chance of decay, gum disease, or a root canal in the future.

The optimal solution, however, might be a dental implant. With this remarkable technology, the replacement tooth is solidly anchored into the jaw via a screw-shaped post made of titanium — a metal which actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. A custom-made, lifelike crown is then securely attached to the metal implant. Dental implants are the most successful tooth-replacement procedure; they help preserve bone quality in the jaw — and with regular care, they can last a lifetime.

So if your smile is making you camera-shy, why not talk to us about your tooth-restoration options? If you would like additional information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Dental Implants.”