What To Do If You Have Cracked a Tooth | Fayetteville, GA

There are so many ways we can crack a tooth, and it’s likely we don’t see it coming, and that it will hurt. When you crack a tooth, it’s more likely than not that you will know. Here is what you are likely to experience when you crack a tooth, and what you should do about it.

You’re going to feel it

When you bite into something like a popcorn kernel that has the potential to crack a tooth, the first thing you will do is hear it. Then, you’re going to feel the object that cracked it either lodged into the new crack or in your mouth before you experience pain. This all occurs in a second, so you may run to the nearest mirror next to double-check.

What to do

If you have in fact cracked a tooth, call your dentist immediately. Your mouth may begin to bleed, in that case, utilize a gauze to contain the bleeding and call your dentist. If tooth fragments or the whole tooth falls out, preserve it in a jar with a splash of cold cow’s milk, water, or saliva and bring them to your appointment. It’s also a good idea to apply a cold compress or ice pack to the site to reduce swelling and pain.

Ideally, your dentist will be able to see you for an emergency appointment sooner than later, but if you do have to wait, maintain your pain levels, and keep your tooth or fragments for when he or she can attend to you.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Understanding TMJ Disorder | Fayetteville, GA

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, and it can seriously impact our quality of life. If you experience consistent jaw pain, jaw pain in the morning, jaw clicking at the joint, and/ or experience frequent headaches, it may be due to existing or developing TMJ disorder. Essentially, when you have a problem with the jaw muscles or joints in your jaw, that is when these symptoms can start to appear. Here are some ways you may be unintentionally contributing to the onset of TMJ disorder.

Bruxism is the official term for grading and clenching of the teeth. People who clench or grind their teeth commonly wake up with jaw pain and wear the cartilage lining their temporomandibular joint over time. Similarly, chewing gum or biting our nails can also damage our teeth and contribute to TMJ disorder over time.

Misaligned teeth are another common cause, as it can cause one to consciously or unwittingly chew on a dominant side of their mouth, contributing to undue stress on that side of the jaw. Similarly, a prior jaw fracture or injury can contribute to symptoms such as headaches, ear pain or ringing, and dizziness. If you suffer from these symptoms and have yet to be diagnosed with TMJ disorder, it may be time to consult with your dentist about your concerns.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Soda Impacts Your Smile: Here’s How | Fayetteville, GA

We can be the absolute best at maintaining our daily oral health routine, and the negative effects of soda will still catch up to us. It may not seem like a big deal; we consume sugary, acidic foods every day, but soda is a special exception. Here are some things we think you should consider before reaching for that next can or bottle of soda, and when evaluating your soda consumption habits.

Sugar Content

More than most beverages, soda contains a high amount of sugar. Sugar can coat our teeth or get stuck in the hard-to-reach spaces of our mouths, allowing sugar-eating bacteria to feed off it. These bacteria in turn excrete acid, and that acid is what contributes to tooth decay. The more sugar we consume, the more sugar the bacteria can consume, escalating our risk of decay.

Acidity

Sugar-eating bacteria can excrete acid, but there is also acid in the beverage itself. Diet sodas are no exception as they contain the same amounts of phosphoric and citric acid as non-diet varieties, even if they don’t contain the same amount of sugar. Acidic foods eat away at our protective enamel, leaving a tooth prone to decay.

Food Dye

A tooth can be stained by artificial food dyes such as caramel color, Yellow #5, etc. While coffee and other dark-colored beverages and foods may contribute to tooth staining as well, many of us consume a lot of soda, making it a primary culprit. If you want the flavor and fizz of something other than water, start swapping your soda with sparking flavored water, for all the fun without the stains.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr.  Here’s How McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Deciding Between Dental Bonding and Veneers | Fayetteville, GA

When we consider utilizing cosmetic dentistry to enhance our smiles, there are different options available based on what we seek to accomplish. Dental bonding and veneers may accomplish the same goal, but the relative investment and overall process of each are much different. Here is what you should know about dental bonding and veneers before you embark on one or the other procedure.

Dental Bonding

Bonding refers to the use of a smooth, tooth-colored solution that is applied to a tooth that has been chipped, stained, or has a gap. Your dentist will place the solution in a way that mimics or enhances the appearance of the tooth, utilizing a UV light to harden it in place as they continue. After the desired result has been achieved, the tooth is then polished to seamlessly integrate the tooth with the new bond. It is typically employed for patients who only need one or two teeth corrected.

Veneers

Veneers are made from a solid piece of porcelain that has been created to fit over the front and underside of your existing teeth. They cover the entire surface of the tooth or teeth and can be created to lengthen or widen teeth, or fill gaps and chips. Porcelain veneers are commonly suggested for patients who would like to correct several problems or would like to make over an entire set of teeth.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Understanding Oral Cancer | Fayetteville, GA

Cancer is an uncomfortable thing to consider, and for many around the world is a trigger for distress. Yet, the key to beating cancer commonly comes down to early detection. It’s important to understand the warning signs to look out for at home so you can consult with your dentist about your concerns as soon as possible. Please note the following is not an exhaustive list within any of these categories, but they are important to keep in mind.

Risk Factors

Unfortunately, our age and certain lifestyle choices do put us at a greater risk of developing oral cancer. Here are some factors that contribute to our relative risk:

  • Being genetically male
  • Being over 40 years old
  • People 18-39 who use tobacco, drink, or have been diagnosed with oral HPV

Warning Signs

If any of the following symptoms lasting more than 7-10 days, please seek the advice of your doctor. Keep in mind that these symptoms may also present themselves in the absence of pain. Be mindful of changes that can be detected on the lips, inside the cheeks, palate, and gum tissue surrounding your teeth and tongue.

  • Reddish or whitish patches in the mouth
  • Sores that fail to heal and bleed easily
  • A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Risk Reduction

One of the best ways to mitigate risk is through regular visits to your dentist. Over half of the patients diagnosed with oral cancer later into its progression survive for more than five years, so it’s important to remain on top of potential warning signs for early detection. If you recognize yourself as being at high risk for oral cancer according to the above list, you may consider increasing the frequency with which you visit your dentist.

Here are some other ways to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer:

  • Avoid all tobacco
  • Avoid or reduce alcohol intake
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure that can result in cancer of the lip
  • Avoid exposure to environmentally hazardous materials
  • Conduct a self-exam monthly 
    • Use a small hand-held mirror so you can see the back of your mouth and tongue. If you notice something concerning, reach out to your dentist for a second opinion.

Oral cancer is serious and can happen to anyone, but if you keep this information in mind, you can mitigate your risk. Continue to attend your regular cleanings and reach out to your dentist with any concerns you may have; you may just catch a warning sign of oral cancer early, allowing you to intervene before it gets worse.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

The Dos and Don’s of Proper Brushing | Fayetteville, GA

Hopefully, you are brushing twice per day, every day, practicing those tips and tricks you learned as a kid. If you aren’t brushing twice daily, or are wondering if your technique is giving you the clean you need, here are some easy brushing dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

What You Should Do

– Use a 45-degree angle when brushing

– Use short, side-to-side strokes

– Brush gently, a touch helps prevent wear and tear on your enamel

– Brush at least twice a day, especially after consuming something sugary or acidic

– Change your toothbrush every 3-4 months

– Brush for a full 2 minutes; set a timer if you need to

– Allow your toothbrush to air dry

– Store your toothbrush in the medicine cabinet away from other bathroom germs

– Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is gentle on your tooth enamel

Things You Should Not Do

– Store your toothbrush on the sink counter where bathroom particles can get on it

  • Keep your brush flat
  • Use long strokes, short strokes are more effective
  • Brush with force

– Use the same toothbrush for life

– Brush for less than two minutes

  • Keep your toothbrush in a closed container
  • Use a stiff bristle brush

If you keep these tips and tricks in mind, your enamel and overall oral health will be much better off for it!

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Electric Vs. Manual Toothbrushes: What To Know | Fayetteville, GA

Whether you employ an electric or manual toothbrush doesn’t make or break your oral hygiene. How you use it does. If you struggle to get a thorough clean with a manual brush, or an electric brush would help you stick to the two-minute rule, it may be a good option. If you are really good about brushing for two minutes and getting to every corner of your mouth, a manual bush is just fine.

We all know the goal of brushing is to remove surface plaque before it becomes hardened tartar and eventually an oral infection. It’s important to maintain your entire oral care routine (brush, floss, rinse, and tongue scrape) twice daily for the best chance at avoiding oral health issues. Yet, arthritis, a motor disability, or simply being a kid can all contribute to someone’s inability to properly use a manual brush, so for those individuals, an electric brush may be a useful tool. Children’s electric brushes commonly play music or assist with their two minutes with a built-in timer. For those with motor disabilities or arthritis, an electric brush may ease their physical pain or discomfort.

In general, it doesn’t matter what you use to clean your teeth, it matters how thorough you can be at it.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

We All Accumulate Plaque: Here’s What To Do About It | Fayetteville, GA

Put simply, plaque feels and may even look like fuzzy house slippers that coat your teeth. It’s a sticky, colorless film of bacteria along the surface of your teeth and gum line that accumulates daily. Everyone accumulates, and subsequently removes plaque, daily. What we consume throughout the day can somewhat alter the amount of plaque we accumulate, but we can’t keep it from happening.

It’s important to retain a great oral care routine for the purpose of removing plaque. When plaque remains on the surface of, and in between, our teeth for prolonged amounts of time, it allows the bacteria in our mouth a chance to feed on it. When this happens, the bacteria release acid that wears your enamel and contributes to oral infections over time. Additionally, if you let plaque live in your mouth for too long, it turns into tartar, which takes a visit to your dentist to remove.

The most effective way to remove plaque is to brush and floss twice daily. Utilizing a tongue scraper and mouthwash can be an extra preventative measure but isn’t entirely necessary. As long as you employ proper brushing and flossing, you shouldn’t be at risk for developing tartar buildup or an oral infection.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Common Dental Emergencies | Fayetteville, GA

Dental emergencies happen and can occur at any time, anywhere. As with any emergency, its going to throw us into fight or flight mode, raising our cortisol levels and potentially even causing us to freeze in our tracks wondering what the best plan of action may be. If a dental emergency does happen, do your best not to panic, and keep the following information about what to do during a dental emergency in mind.

What is an emergency?

Dental emergencies refer to events that occur in which you need to immediately save a tooth, need to attend to a bleed or begin experiencing acute tooth or mouth pain. A cracked or lost tooth following a traumatic incident are good examples.

Common emergencies

Tooth Loss –  For children who still have their baby teeth, the loss of a tooth, be it the tooth’s “turn” or due to trauma, isn’t as much a cause for concern as the loss of an adult tooth. If your child suffers the unintentional loss of a tooth due to trauma, contact their dentist right away to ensure pieces of bone are not lingering in the socket, and do not attempt to place the tooth back in their socket. An adult who has lost a tooth should attempt to place the tooth in the socket without touching the root. If that is not possible, the tooth can be stored between your cheek and gum, in milk, or an ADA-approved preservation solution. Its important to keep the tooth wet until you can have the situation, and lost tooth, evaluated by your dentist.

Cracked Tooth – If you crack your tooth, it’s important to rinse your mouth to clear it of immediate debris that may imbed itself in the crack. Then, place an ice pack on the site to reduce the pain and swelling. Wrap the tooth in wet gauze or a piece of cloth, and call your dentist to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Toothache – Simply rinse your mouth with warm water, gently floss to remove food debris, and note any facial swelling that may occur. Swelling may signal an infection, and if the swelling does occur, place an ice pack on the site to reduce it and ease the pain. Call your dentist right away so he or she may evaluate the situation and advise you on how to proceed.

Preventing emergencies

Here are a few common ways patients increase their risk of a dental emergency. It’s best to avoid these common mistakes, as it’s easier to avoid an emergency than to recover from one.

  • Don’t use your teeth when scissors can do the job
  • Wear a mouthguard when engaging in contact or high-impact sports
  • Wear a helmet whenever engaging in activities such as biking and rock climbing
  • Avoid chewing on hard candies and ice
  • Help your child keep toys, trinkets, and hard items out of their mouth

Dental emergencies happen, and if they do, try to remain calm, and contact your dentist immediately.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.

Choosing the Right Toothpaste For Your Oral Health | Fayetteville, GA

There are a lot of kinds of toothpaste on the market to choose from. With so many different ways these options have differentiated themselves from one another, it can be daunting to figure out what the best option is for us. Here are some things you might want to consider when replacing your next tube of toothpaste.

Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is something many people struggle with, but there are a number of pastes on the market with additives that work to help. Sensitivity is commonly the result of weakened enamel, so sensitive toothpaste contains ingredients that work to strengthen the enamel to ease sensitivity.

Fluoride

Fluoride is commonly employed for its ability to keep cavities at bay, but there is a significant portion of the population that doesn’t like the idea of fluoride for daily use. That’s okay, as there are natural alternatives that may help mitigate cavities without the use of fluoride. While it won’t make or break your ability to fight cavities, it is effective and may be the most convenient option.

Flavors and Colors

In general, the flavor and color of toothpaste is simply a preference. If pink bubblegum toothpaste helps motivate your child to brush his or her teeth, it’s not going to hurt their oral hygiene to use it. Similarly, if you prefer pastes without flavoring, or enjoy spearmint over cinnamon, that is entirely up to you. If you know you are allergic to certain flavors or dyes, of course, it’s best to retain a paste that won’t make you sick.

Whitening Additives

A whitening additive such as charcoal has become a big trend in dental health over the last few years. Unfortunately, it can be too abrasive, and begin to deteriorate your enamel over time. In regard to charcoal specifically, it may be best to consult with your dentist, but in general whitening additives, like flavor and color, aren’t likely to hurt your oral health.

To schedule an appointment or learn more about the beautiful smiles Dr. Sukari McMiller has created visit us online today at www.dreamworksdentalcare.com.

Dr. Sukari McMiller proudly serves patients from Fayetteville and all surrounding areas.