Posts for: April, 2016

By Today's Dental
April 28, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: aspirin  

Aspirin has been a popular pain reliever and fever reducer for over a century. Its effect on the clotting mechanism of blood, however, has led to its widespread and often daily use in low dose form (81 mg) to help reduce the chances of heart attack or stroke in cardiovascular patients. While this has proven effective for many at risk for these conditions, it can complicate dental work.

Aspirin relieves pain by blocking the formation of prostaglandins; these chemicals stimulate inflammation, the body’s protective response to trauma or disease. Aspirin reduces this inflammatory response, which in turn eases the pain and reduces fever. It also causes blood platelets to stop them from clumping together. This inhibits clotting, which for healthy individuals could result in abnormal bleeding but is beneficial to those at risk for heart attack or stroke by keeping blood moving freely through narrowed or damaged blood vessels.

Even for individuals who benefit from regular aspirin therapy there are still risks for unwanted bleeding. Besides the danger it may pose during serious trauma or bleeding in the brain that could lead to a stroke, it can also complicate invasive medical procedures, including many in dentistry. For example, aspirin therapy could increase the rate and degree of bleeding during tooth extraction, root canal or other procedures that break the surface of soft tissue.

Bleeding gums after brushing is most often a sign of periodontal (gum) disease. But if you’re on an aspirin regimen, gum bleeding could be a side effect. A thorough dental examination will be necessary to determine whether your medication or gum disease is the root cause.

It’s important, then, to let us know if you’re regularly taking aspirin, including how often and at what dosage. This will help us make more accurate diagnoses of conditions in your mouth, and will enable us to take extra precautions for bleeding during any dental procedures you may undergo.

If you would like more information on the effects of aspirin and similar medications on dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Aspirin: Friend or Foe?

By Today’s Dental
April 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

What you need to know about preventing stains on your teeth

Everyone knows that tobacco stains your teeth, and it’s obvious as you get older your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be. What’s not common knowledge are the foods which work to make your smile dull and stained. Your dentists at Today’s Dental in Houston, Texas Teeth Whiteningwant you to know what foods to avoid to keep your teeth at their whitest.

Your dentists at Today’s Dental recommend avoiding:

  • Black tea- you can try adding milk, or switching to white or green tea
  • Berries and cherries- try switching to light colored grapes
  • Red wine- try switching to white wine
  • Dark coffee- try adding milk or rinsing your mouth out
  • Balsamic vinegar- try limiting use to salad dressing
  • Tomato sauce- limit your intake because of the high acidity and pigment

Of course, if you consume any darkly pigmented food that may stain your teeth, including those listed above, you should always at least rinse out your mouth with water. This will get the food off of your teeth and limit staining.

Your dentists at Today’s Dental want you to know that ideally you should try to brush and floss after eating, however, that is not always possible. Try to carry a toothbrush with you to at least “dry brush” without toothpaste. This removes food particles and the friction of the brush will remove any light coating of staining material on your teeth.

If you do get stains on your teeth, or your teeth are yellowing due to aging, your dentists at Today’s Dental want you to know they can help with a professional strength tooth whitening treatment. Whitening treatments are a speedy way to lighten and brighten your smile. Treatments can whiten your teeth up to 8 shades and the results can last up to 5 years.

It’s difficult to avoid eating what you love, and who doesn’t want that first cup of coffee or tea? You can limit the staining by avoiding certain foods and drinks, or rinsing with water. If you have stained teeth, don’t worry! Help is just a phone call away from your dentists at Today’s Dental in Houston, Texas. Call today and enjoy a white smile tomorrow!

By Today's Dental
April 13, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”

Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.

A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
  • Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
  • Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
  • Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.

If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”