Crowded Teeth Put You at Risk for Oral Issues | Fayetteville, GA

Are you claustrophobic? Even if you aren’t, your mouth sure is. Crowded teeth can negatively impact a number of things that begin to deteriorate your oral health, and even the way your jaw functions. Usually, crowding is a natural occurrence, it’s just the way your teeth grow in or how they move over time. The Mesail Drift Phenomenon is when your front teeth begin to ‘drift’ towards the middle of your mouth. Originally believed to be triggered by the growth of one’s wisdom teeth, we now know it’s due to insufficient space. While Mesail Drift is a common way overcrowding happens, Periodontal disease also contributes to misalignment and overcrowding.

Misaligned or crowded teeth are more than a cosmetic issue, they can increase your risk of periodontal disease, and decay, as TMJ (jaw-joint) problems such as an irregular bite may strain the jaw over time. Correcting the alignment of your teeth will ensure your jaw doesn’t become misaligned or painful over time, it will allow you to clean your teeth more thoroughly and allow you to chew properly; the cosmetic advantages are secondary to the physical preventative benefits.

Crowded or misaligned teeth, whether they have contributed to oral issues yet or not, it’s important to bring any concerns you may have to your dentist’s attention at your next appointment. Unfortunately, these things will not take care of themselves, and intervention, however minor or invasive, is the only way to ensure the continued retention of optimal 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.

How Diabetes Negatively Impacts Your Smile | Fayetteville, GA

According to the World Health Organization, “diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves.” This condition impacts one’s life in several ways, a few of them being how your gums get infected, the actual bone of the tooth, and oral tissue. If you currently have or develop diabetes, here are a few ways you can support the continued well-being of your oral health.

Overall Health Comes First. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to make the lifestyle changes necessary to retain your overall health. Of course, your doctor will inform you what these changes may be based on your specific health evaluation. You will be unable to maintain proper oral health if your overall health becomes unmanageable.

Hygiene is Key. Even if you had a great oral care routine prior to being diagnosed with diabetes, it becomes even more imperative that you tend to your oral hygiene. Be sure to brush twice daily, floss at least once daily, and use mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste on top of regular visits to your dentist.

Leave Smoking Behind. The smoke from cigarettes and cigars contributes to dry mouth, gum disease, and tooth decay. Furthermore, tobacco is known to cause oral cancer and gum disease.

Dental Implants. Anyone who has dental implants prior to being diagnosed with diabetes understands how to care for them, yet it becomes even more important post-diagnosis. The reason why is that patients with diabetes have a higher risk of post-operation infection and implant failure.

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.

Fluoride: Friend or Foe? | Fayetteville, GA

Proponents of fluoride tout its ability to aid in the fight against cavities and tooth decay. Opponents say fluoride is a harmful neurotoxin that has been pumped into our community’s water without express permission by the people. Fluoride is and has always been, a controversial mineral. Its place in dentistry is long-withstanding, so we feel it’s important to have a deeper understanding of fluoride.

While trace amounts of fluoride have been added to public water for decades, it has yet to cause widespread neurological issues. According to smiledentalcenterct.com, “research has shown that by adding fluoride to public water supplies, tooth decay-related conditions decline by 25 percent among adults and children.” The addition of fluoride is meant to be a public health benefit, rather than a source of controversy.

As with anything, there is such thing as too much fluoride; two dental visits a year and drinking community water, however, isn’t likely to cause harm. Too much fluoride can cause dental fluorosis that changes the color of tooth enamel and is likely to impact children ages eight and younger as their teeth grow in. As a result, it is not recommended to give children fluoride toothpaste- especially as they develop the motor skills to properly brush and not swallow the paste.

A dentist may dissuade a patient from using fluoride toothpaste if they experience an allergic reaction, or if the individual feels strongly about the amount of fluoride in their daily lives. Fluoride-free formulas offer the same cleaning power and is recommended over not using toothpaste; the difference is that on average, fluoride formulas reduce the number of cavities and occurrence of tooth decay one may experience over their lifetime.

In general, trace amounts of fluoride in drinking water works to improve the oral health of our communities and the use of fluoride toothpaste is safe for adults. The decision to use fluoride toothpaste lies with the individual, but he or she may need to take extra steps such as mouthwash and flossing to ensure they receive the cavity-fighting benefits normally provided by fluoride formulas.

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 Real World Benefits of Smiling | Fayetteville, GA

Everything in the human body is connected, and smiles have real-life implications for our physical and mental health. Friends may even encourage one another to smile during difficult times; that is because even a fake smile produces real endorphins. Smiling can trigger mood-boosting and relationship enhancing effects on our lives. Here are a few benefits of smiling:

Health Connections. When we smile, our brains release neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that alleviate the stressors of our day. The most common hormones associated with these results are dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Dopamine and serotonin are “happy hormones”, acting as antidepressants. Endorphins offer mild pain relief; together, they have been shown to reduce stress and our heart rate. A smile a day can go a long way to making us feel better and look out onto the world with a positive attitude.

More Positive Relationships. People who smile more often are seen as being more approachable, likable, creative, and productive. Smiling can also have a “ripple effect” as one person’s expression of joy can cause an onlooker to also feel joy and smile too. The next time you are out with friends, or a loved one could use a pick-me-up, remind them of their positive attributes and share a smile with them!

It is important to note that there are individuals who experience smile anxiety, which occurs when an individual becomes reluctant to smile in public because he or she dislikes, or is embarrassed by, the aesthetic appeal of their smile. There are many factors that may cause someone to feel this way including trauma, decay or the angle adult teeth may have grown in.

Its important to retain gentle kindness if you know a loved one struggles with the appearance of their smile, though there are several means of restoration your dentist may recommend.

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.

IV Sedation and You | Fayetteville, GA

If you experience a physical reaction to the idea of certain stimuli being triggered by going to the dentist, you may have dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is common among kids and adults alike. Continue reading to learn if IV Sedation may be right for you.

When dentists perform restorative procedures, there are typically a variety of sedation options available to the individual. The two main ones being nitrous oxide or intravenous (IV) sedation. The inhalation of nitrous allows a patient to relax, but IV sedation can guide the patient into a deeper relaxation and in some cases, lull them to sleep.

The following are benefits to utilizing IV sedation for sleep dentistry.

– Administration of the drug tailored to the patient’s needs

– The results of IV sedation are reliable and the most effective means of sedation

– If you are particularly sensitive to your gag reflex, IV sedation will relax the reaction,    but your dentist may recommend nitrous oxide

– In contrast to general anesthesia, IV sedation is safer and allows you to retain    consciousness.

– Due to the amount of control your practitioner has with the dosage of IV administered,    your recovery time is shorter than with oral sedation.

Remaining consistent with your oral health in your daily life, as well as with regular check-ups, are the best way to avoid unfavorable experiences at the dentist. If you do enter into a restorative process, discuss your concerns with your dentist to see if IV sedation may be right for 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.

Oral Infections | Fayetteville, GA

We all know that brushing our teeth for two minutes, twice a day along with regular dental visits contribute to positive oral health. You may not know the infections that can occur as a result of not practicing consistent oral hygiene routines. Here are some of the most common oral infections that may result from poor oral hygiene.

Gingivitis– Simply put, Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It is the precursor to Periodontitis, the escalation of Gingivitis should it go untreated. Gingivitis is the result of plaque buildup that spreads from the gums to the ligaments that support the teeth.

Periodontal Disease– When left untreated, Gingivitis may spread below the gum line, affecting the supportive tissues and bone of our teeth. This progression is known as Periodontal Disease which deteriorates these supports leading to the potential loss of teeth and may even spread to the lungs causing pneumonia.

Canker Sores– These are cuts that develop on the gums and other mouth tissues and are common in children and teens. Vigorous brushing, cheek bites and sports injuries – as well as hormones and immune problems may lead to canker sores.

Oral Herpes– According to centerforbeautifulsmiles.com, “50-80 percent of American adults” carry the Herpes Simlex Virus. This can lead to “blisters and ulcers on the gums and tongue, flu-like symptoms, or no symptoms at all.” While there are things individuals can do to keep the virus dormant, an outbreak may last ten days to two weeks.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease– Toddlers and school aged children are the most susceptible to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. The virus Coxsackie A16 is spread by direct contact with saliva and mucus; children are particularly unconscious of their direct exposure to these fluids. Children may experience fever, sore throat, and the development of painful blisters on their body but should only last a few days.

Herpangina– Similar to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, Herpangina typically affects children and presents itself with fever symptoms and difficulty swallowing. Yet, unlike Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, it forms blisters on the back of the mouth that once ruptured, become ulcers. Symptoms typically only last a few days.

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.

What To Know About Dental X-Rays | Fayetteville, GA

Having our X-rays taken at the dentist is considered standard procedure. Yet, there are reasonable reservations individuals may have about the risks associated with inviting x-rays into their lives. Here are some things you should know about dental x-rays.

The Basics

X-rays are an important tool for every specialty within dentistry. They are generally considered to be a safe, effective means for dentists to understand your unique oral structure and health. Dentists will take four different types of x-rays; bitewing, occlusal, panoramic and periodical. Each of these focus on a different aspect of your teeth and bite.

The bitewing will show how well your teeth align and may also show cavity development. Occlusal x-rays capture all your teeth in a single image and can help detect abnormalities in the anatomy of your mouth or palate. Panoramic images let dentists check your wisdom teeth, jaw and any implants you may have. Periodical images show the entire tooth from root to crown.

Purpose

The purpose of a radiograph, or x-ray, is to analyze oral health. They capture what is happening on the interior if your teeth and gums. Images allow dentists and orthodontists to evaluate positioning, decay and impact of the teeth. Whenever you enter a new practice without existing or current imagery your dentist will take them for your file with their practice.

They are also used to track the progression of growing teeth in children and the progress of any treatment you may undergo. 

Safety

While there is no official preparation to receive an x-ray, there are measures dentists take to ensure your safety and theirs. Whomever takes your x rays will outfit you with a lead vest to protect your internal organs and other essential body parts from radiation exposure. It effectively blocks the radiation from your person without hindering the ability to produce an image.

The level of radiation is very low, but the different types of x rays show dentists different things. Periodical X-rays show abnormalities in the bone and root structures. Occlusal X-rays share a story of tooth development and placement. Each work to show dentists and hygienists an in-depth view of the condition of your teeth, and how they may proceed with your oral care.

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.

Cosmetic Dentistry | Fayetteville, GA

Cosmetic dentistry, while not a recognized dental speciality, can transform the appearance of your teeth while retaining or enhancing your oral health. According to AACD.com “…cosmetic procedures can range from basic color correction to replacing missing teeth, and everything in between.” While cosmetic dentists may employ the use of anesthesia for a surgical improvement, most procedures are non invasive. Here are a few procedures a cosmetic dentists perform.

Dental Bonding– for chipped, cracked or gapped teeth, your dentist will apply a tooth colored resin to the chipped area. They will layer resin, utilizing a UV light to harden it as they go, in order to build back the original look of the chipped tooth or teeth.

Veneer Application – you can think of a veneer as a thin shell that fits over the surface of your existing teeth to improve the color, shape, size or length of teeth. Veneers are made of porcelain or a resin composite and permanently bonded to the teeth.

Crowns – similar to a veneer, dental crowns are a porcelain or ceramic tooth look-alike that fits over a weak or damaged tooth. Crowns are made to fully encase the tooth and can last between five to 15 years depending on how well they are cared for.

Braces – these are within the realm of cosmetic dentistry because braces shift the teeth into optimal position for your bite and mouth size. Braces are one of the most common procedures a cosmetic dentist may perform, as tooth alignment is just as much about oral health as it is aesthetics.

Teeth Whitening – another common procedure for cosmetic dentists is teeth whitening. Coffee, tobacco, alcohol, predisposition and many other things can contribute to a less-than-white smile. If over the counter methods haven’t quite worked to bring back your pearly whites, you may consider speaking with a cosmetic dentist for a more intense treatment.

Gum Reshaping – when your gums appear more pronounced than your teeth, or your gemlike is uneven, a cosmetic dentist may recommend gum reshaping. Essentially, a small amount of gum or bone tissue is removed or contoured to even out the appearance of your gum line or tooth ratio.

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.

How to Care for Baby Teeth | Fayetteville, GA

Our babies and children may never acknowledge the benefits caring for their teeth at that age has on their adult teeth later. Yet, their health will always be better off for early interventions in proper oral hygiene. “Baby teeth” are the precursor for adult teeth, they are the placeholder and it’s important they be maintained for gum health and reduction of harmful bacteria.

Oral hygiene for our children begins the day their first tooth breaks through the gum. With a damp, soft cloth, lightly wipe your babies gums after feeding. Once more prominent, you may begin using a soft toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste twice a day until preschool age. At that age, the amount of toothpaste the can be safely used increases to the size of a pea.

When your child is at that age and able to brush on his or her own, it’s important to keep an eye on them. Many children find the process of brushing teeth to be boring or unimportant, but this is an important age to develop good habits. Singing toothbrushes and flavored toothpaste help encourage kids to find the process more enjoyable and help them guide them towards brushing their teeth for two minutes. Another great way to encourage your child is to brush with them and show them how to get to their molars, back of their teeth and along the front.

Tooth health matters from the day they appear, so parents who take their children’s oral hygiene seriously and encourage good habits aid the child’s adult teeth later- even if they don’t know it yet.

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.

Best Practices for Veneers | Fayetteville, GA

Porcelain veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures people seek for their smiles. The longevity of your veneers can vary depending on how they are cared for. Here are some best practices for maintaining your veneers for years to come.

Good Oral Hygiene- Maintaining good oral hygiene such as regular brushing, flossing and incorporating a mouthwash is great for your natural teeth and veneers. Veneers are placed along the gemlike to retain the appearance of being natural, so it’s important to keep your oral hygiene up to avoid a receding gemlike that may expose the veneer.

Avoid Unnecessary Force- Nail biting, chewing ice and forceful brushing can break or dislodge a veneer; they can also be the reason your dentist recommended veneers to begin with. It’s important to make an effort to avoid these habits for the longevity of your veneers.

Stop Clenching and Grinding- This bad habit is a great way to chip or break your veneers over time. Bruxism, or the grinding of teeth at night, can be avoided by incorporating a night guard when you sleep. Reducing stress or finding alternative means to clenching your teeth will also go a long way in maintaining your new pearly whites.

Limit Staining- Porcelain is a material that resists stains, but the dental cement used to keep them in place unfortunately is not. Coffee, tobacco, wine and any other food and beverage that may stain your teeth will stain the cement over time. Eventually, if not properly cared for along the way, the cement will become discolored and look odd against your veneers – or even start to make your veneers look discolored by association.

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.