Bad Breath Happens, Here’s Why | Fayetteville, GA

Even if we brush, floss, and use mouthwash before bed, we will likely wake up with less-than-favorable breath. Having halitosis, or bad breath, is normal- it happens to all of us. There are so many ways we can develop bad breath, so it’s important to understand what contributes to it, and how we can go about mitigating our chances of having and retaining the bad breath.

Bad habits may seem like an obvious contributor, but many who practice these habits, have become accustomed to or disassociated from the connection between them. Habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco, and failing to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine will all contribute to bad breath.

The next one is food- onion, and garlic being the most notable two foods that play a part in our breath. Essentially, any food that one might find to smell bad (despite how delicious it may be), can contribute to bad breath. Then, there are bacteria. If you suffer from dry mouth or don’t drink enough water to generally keep your mouth moist and recycle food particles throughout the day, bacteria will begin to take over. Oral bacteria feed on the sugars left behind when we eat or drink sugary or acidic foods, producing foul-smelling acids in kind.

A lesser-known cause of bad breath is our tonsils. Our tonsils have deep holes called crypts that are commonly associated with bad breath. These crypts can harbor bacteria that is typically described as smelling like cheese which, you guessed it, gives you bad breath.

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 Tooth Extraction | Fayetteville, GA

The thought of visiting the dentist for a tooth extraction can put fear into anyone; it’s pretty much one of the last things we want to experience at the dentist. Yet, severe tooth decay, an infection, a cracked tooth, gum disease where the bone is compromised, and impacted wisdom teeth are more detrimental to your quality of life and oral health. The momentary anxiety and recovery time are well worth it when compared to the health complications of a tooth that needs to be extracted.

Extractions generally fall into two categories – simple extraction, and surgical extraction.

Simple:

When you need a simple extraction, you will likely be provided general anesthetic to the area of your mouth where the extraction will take place. Once completely numb, your dentist will gain a grip on your tooth using special instruments to physically loosen the tooth to the point where it can be easily pulled. Once completed, you may be prescribed antibiotics and a gentle means of cleaning the area to mitigate the chance of infection as the socket heals. It’s important to not allow food particles to get healed over in the socket, as they will eventually rot and require removal later on.

Surgical:

Surgical extractions, as you might imagine, are more involved. They require an oral surgeon and the use of anesthesia because these extractions usually occur below the gum tissue, or require cutting the surrounding tissue or the bone itself to remove. Just like with a simple extraction, you may be prescribed antibiotics and a gentle means of cleaning the area to mitigate the chance of infection as the socket heals. Again, it’s important to not allow food particles to get healed over in the socket, as they will eventually rot and require removal later on.

If you do require an extraction, discuss your concerns and questions with your dentist, and gain an understanding of the healing process, so you can arrange a driver or request time off work ahead of time if necessary. Your dentist will provide you with all the information you need to know prior to and following your extraction to ensure you understand what you are entering into, and can assist you through the recovery process.

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.

A Brief Guide On Dental Crowns | Fayetteville, GA

A damaged tooth can be the result of, or invite decay, causing the tooth to become frail. When that happens, the application of a dental crown can help protect it from further exposure to cavity-inducing circumstances. Crowns help restore the strength, longevity, and durability of the tooth and cover any discoloration that may have occurred as a result of its decay. It will improve your overall oral health and restore your beautiful smile. Here are a few more benefits of employing a dental crown:

  • Improve the look of broken, cracked, or replace lost teeth
  • Dental crowns are made of porcelain, and look natural against other teeth
  • Dental crowns are stain resistant and won’t discolor when properly cared for
  • Crowns can last up to 15 years and won’t fall out of place
  • Dental crowns are restorative and preventive
  • They decrease the amount of bacteria build-up that can lead to the loss of more 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.

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.

Your Child Has A Crossbite, Now What? | Fayetteville, GA

Learning that you or you or your child may have a crossbite can be an intimidating moment. A crossbite can seriously impact one’s quality of life, and treatments can seem scary. Yet, questions like “How soon should a crossbite be addressed” and “What means of intervention might we take” are better addressed sooner than later.

Signs of a Cross Bite

Simply put, a crossbite is when your upper and lower jaws do not align properly. Your upper jaw may rest to the right or left of your lower jaw, causing an improper alignment. This can cause a variety of issues such as grinding down your teeth, temporomandibular joint disorder, inability to chew effectively, facial asymmetry, uneven jaw development, and biting your cheek or tongue frequently.

Treatment Options

Opinions are divided about when to begin treatment for a crossbite, some suggesting at the time of diagnosis (for a child, this could mean around the age of three), while others want to wait until a child’s molars arrive (commonly around the age of six). No matter when you decide to begin treatment, dentists and orthodontists alike agree a cross bit should not be left untreated for the reasons mentioned above.

Depending on the kind of crossbite, and how severe the misalignment is, its likely treatment will involve dental appliances that work to correct the bite pattern. This can be in the form of braces, sagittal expanders, and retainers that all work to correct the alignment over time. These methods are commonly employed when the entire alignment is off. If misalignment is being caused by a single tooth, it is more likely that a dental face mask, clear aligners, or braces are employed.

While crossbites are not very common, they are generally considered a genetic occurrence. In the case of discovering your young child has a crossbite, it should be treated before they sustain permanent damage to their face and jaw. Listen to all the options provided by your dentist, and choose the course of action that best suits your child.

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.