Eat Whole Grains for a Healthy Smile

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September is recognized as Whole Grains Month and is a 30-day celebration for all things grainy. These whole grains are beneficial for heart health, overall health, and may even boost oral health too. In this blog, our Plainsboro dental office covers some quick facts about whole grains and how it relates to good oral health, as well as some of the best ways you can help your family get enough of the good stuff.

How Many Servings of Whole Grains Do You Need?

Like most things, the recommended amount of whole grains varies from age to age and even by gender. Use the handy table below from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans to determine how many whole grains each member of your family should eat every day.

Recommended Daily Whole Grain Servings

Age Female Male

1-3 2 2

4-8 2.5 2.5

9-13 3 3.5

14-18 3.5 4

19-30 3.5 4.5

31+ 3 4

Great Sources of Whole Grain

Getting enough whole grains in your diet may seem difficult, but whole grains can be found in tons of delicious foods including:

- Cereals

- Popcorn

- Bread or Wraps

- Crackers

- Pasta

How Do Whole Grains Help Grins?

Whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are great for bodies of all ages. In terms of oral health, the B vitamins and iron found in whole grains help keep gums healthy, and the magnesium keeps bones and teeth strong. Research also shows that eating a good dose of whole grains can also reduce the risk of gum disease since whole grains help the body better process blood sugar. As we all know, sugar makes your dentist in Plainsboro shiver, and anything that helps protect the body against it is welcomed.

Ensuring that your whole family is eating a well-balanced diet can go a long way in keep both bodies and smiles healthy. Getting regular dental checkups every six months can help too. If anyone in your family is in need of a dentist, call our dental office in Plainsboro to schedule an appointment today.

What’s The Difference Between Gum Disease & Gingivitis?

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Gum disease is often one term used to describe what are actually three different things. While each level of infection is recognized by a medical term all its own, they are all in fact an infection of the gums. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we want to help our neighbors identify each level of gum disease, educate them on the risk factors, and talk about the complications that may result if gum disease is left untreated.

Different Stages of Gum Disease

1. Gingivitis

Let’s start with the mildest form of gum disease -- gingivitis. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and is classified by gum inflammation, redness, or maybe some bleeding while brushing and flossing. It’s caused when too much plaque builds up under the gum line. When caught before it has a chance to progress gingivitis can be treated and reversed.

2. Periodontitis

The next stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis. When gingivitis isn’t treated, the plaque buildup can start to affect the bone and tissues that are responsible for keeping the teeth sturdy and in place. If this occurs, it usually can’t be undone and recommended treatment is more about limiting any more damage.

3. Advanced Periodontitis

The most severe form of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. During this stage, bones and tissues are seriously weakened which can cause teeth to shift, become loose, or fall out. While treatment may help stop any damage from progressing, the damage that has already occurred is irreversible.

Gum Disease Risk Factors

There are several factors that may put someone at greater risk for developing gum disease. Some of these risk factors are controllable while others are not. For example, genetics are thought to play a role in the development of gum disease, and we can’t do much about the way we’re built. However, we can reduce our risk by not smoking, brushing and flossing regularly, and eating a well-balanced diet.

Signs of Gum Disease

You may have heard gum disease described as a silent disease, but what does that mean? In the earliest stages of gum disease (gingivitis), a person may have little to no symptoms and never suspect a problem. But knowing what to keep an eye out for can help you identify gum disease early and while it’s still treatable.

- Bleeding while brushing or flossing

- Bad breath

- Loose teeth

- Pain when chewing

- Receding gums

- Swollen, red gums

Gum Disease & Overall Health

If not treated early gum disease can lead to tooth loss and some other serious whole-body concerns. Numerous studies have shown that gum disease has been linked to serious medical conditions and diseases including:

- Lung disease

- Cancers

- Osteoporosis

- Heart attacks

- Strokes

The best way to protect your smile from gum disease is to brushing and floss everyday and make sure to visit your dentist in Plainsboro at least twice a year.

If it’s been longer than six months since your last dental check, give our Plainsboro dental office a call to schedule an appointment today.

Why Your Mouth Waters

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When we talk about your mouth watering, we’re not referring to the sensation you may experience when smelling or eating something delicious. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we talk about mouth watering in terms of dental health. While saliva is an important part of maintaining good oral health, too much of it could be a sign of hypersalivation.

What is Hypersalivation?
Hypersalivation is the medical term used to describe the overproduction of saliva. Basically it means a person has too much saliva in their mouth which can cause them to drool and be uncomfortable or embarrassed. What’s more is that hypersalivation may also be a sign of an underlying problem.

What Causes Hypersalivation?
There are several things that may cause someone to produce too much saliva. Some of the most common explanations are temporary, easily treatable, and no cause for serious concern. However, other times hypersalivation may be sign of something bigger. A few reasons why someone may hypersalivate include:

● Infections including gum disease
● Ulcer
● Acid reflux
● Side effect of medication
● Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease
● Toxic poisoning

How Much Saliva is Too Much? 
Typically people produce around 1.5 quarts of saliva every day. This saliva helps break down food to make it more easily digestible and protects teeth against acids and bacteria that can lead to cavities. However, if someone produces even more than that it can lead to hypersalivation.

Signs & Symptoms

● Intense desire to spit a lot
● Drool spots on a pillow
● Feeling the constant need to swallow
● Saliva easily falls out during regular activities
● Difficulty eating or drinking

Excessive saliva production isn’t something that you should ignore. We recommend talking with your dentist in Plainsboro about your symptoms, how long you’ve been experiencing them, and your thorough medical history. We’re always welcoming new patients at our Plainsboro dental office and will be happy to help. Schedule an appointment with our compassionate team and we’ll work with you to determine what’s causing hypersalivation and the best way to treat it. Give us a call today.

Smile-Friendly Labor Day Foods

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The team at our dental office in Plainsboro is pretty sure that the last thing on your mind when you’re enjoying food at a Labor Day picnic is your oral health. However, we can’t help ourselves when it comes to protecting our patients’ smiles. So in preparation for this year’s Labor Day celebration we’d like to provide a list of some of the best summer treats for your smile as well as some of the worst.

What’s Good?
A good way to determine if a certain food is good for your oral health is to think about whether it’s good for your body. Chances are what’s healthy for one is healthy for the other. Try to select foods that contain calcium and phosphorus as these two minerals help build strong teeth and protect enamel. Some foods high in calcium and phosphorus that you may find at your local

Labor Day picnic include:
● Cheese
● Chicken
● Leafy Vegetables

Additionally, pack your plate with fresh veggies such as raw carrots, apples, celery to help remove plaque buildup and stimulate saliva flow.

What’s Not So Good?
Some of the typical picnic foods that fall under the not-so-good category may be obvious, and others may a bit surprising. Let’s take a look at some of the worst foods for oral health.
● Condiments - Condiments including ketchup and barbeque sauce are loaded with acid and sugar, both of which can damage tooth enamel and cause decay.
● Soda - This is one treat that your dentist in Plainsboro will always put on the bad list. Soda is packed with sugar and greatly increases the risk for cavities.
● Alcohol - Besides causing dry mouth, alcohol can seriously affect oral health if consumed in excess. In fact, drinking too much alcohol greatly increases the risk of developing gum disease.

Besides brushing and flossing regularly, following a well-balanced diet can really help keep teeth and gums healthy. That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t indulge every once and awhile, especially at a celebration like Labor Day. However, we recommend drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated, help neutralize acids, and rinse away sugars. 

Our Plainsboro dental office team hopes you and your loved ones have a fun, safe, and delicious Labor Day!

“I’ve Lost a Filling, What Do I Do?”

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Dental fillings are super-strong restorations that help fill the space left over after we remove decay. But sometimes things happen that can cause a filling to come loose or totally fall out. Whether it’s from crunching down on a popcorn kernel or grinding your teeth while you sleep, a lost filling may cause worry. The team at our Plainsboro dental office is here to help relieve some of the worry by providing you with a few tips on what you can do if you were to lose a filling.

First Things First
The best thing you can do if you lose a filling is call your dentist in Plainsboro as soon as you can. Many offices, like ours, leave appointments open for situations just like this so we can fit patients in if needed. At the appointment, we will probably talk about what happened and check out the area. Then we’ll recommend the best treatment to restore the filling and your tooth.

Treatment Options
Recommended treatment will depend on the location of the filling and the amount of damage. In many cases the filling can simply be replaced with another filling. However, if the filling was covering a large area, a crown may be more appropriate. Dental crowns fit over the entire tooth and provide a strong protective cap.

What You Can Do at Home
Sometimes we can’t fit you into the schedule that day, or perhaps you lost your filling on a Saturday afternoon when a dental office isn’t open. But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer. There are a few things you can do on your own to help protect your tooth and reduce pain if you have any.

● Keep it clean by gently brushing the area after eating to remove any food particles that may have become trapped in the groove.
● Swishing with salt water will also help loosen food and rinse away bacteria.
● Use a pain reliever to reduce sensitivity.
● Place temporary filling material made from zinc oxide into the space. This can be found at most pharmacies. Remember, this is a temporary fix and it’s still important to have the tooth restored.

Reduce Your Risk
Nobody wants to lose a dental filling, and the best thing you can do to protect your dental restorations is to avoid things that can damage them. This includes limiting your intake of chewy, sticky foods as well as hard, crunchy snacks, treating any grinding with a mouthguard, and seeing your dentist regularly to monitor all your dental work.

If you’ve lost a filling, don’t wait. Call our dental office in Plainsboro.

6 Ways to a Whiter Smile

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Whether it’s due to your daily morning cup of coffee, your nightly glass of red wine, or time itself, there are plenty of things that can make our smiles appear dull, discolored, or simply just not as white as we’d like them to be. However, at our dental office in Plainsboro , we want everyone to know that just because a smile may have become a little less vibrant, doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way. There are plenty of things you can do to help get (and keep!) your smile your
ideal shade of white.

1. Smile Whitening
Many times tooth discoloration can be easily fixed by getting professional smile whitening from your dentist in Plainsboro . The whitening solution offered by dental professionals is different than what you can buy in the store and tends to result in more drastic results. Some dental offices offer the option of in-office whitening or take-home whitening, both of which can transform your pearly whites.

2. Dental Veneers
If your teeth are stained below the surface and a professional smile whitening won’t give you the results you’re looking for, you can talk to your dentist about dental veneers. Dental veneers are thin pieces of porcelain that cover your natural tooth and can help whiten a smile or even repair small chips or cracks.

3. Eat Well
Besides having dental treatment done to give your smile a brighter look, keeping an eye on what you eat and drink can help keep teeth white. Some common foods that can cause staining include berries, wine, tea, coffee, and pasta sauce. If you can, try to rinse your mouth out with water immediately after enjoying any staining foods and then brush about 20 minutes later.

4. Stop Smoking
Smoking or using any type of tobacco not only puts your oral health and your overall health at risk for some serious health concerns, it can also cause your teeth to appear yellow or have a spotty brown look. Tooth stains caused by tobacco are also more difficult to reverse.

5. Brush Often
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will help keep your teeth white and healthy. Maintaining proper oral hygiene keeps plaque off of teeth which, if left alone, could make stains harder to remove.

6. Visit Your Dentist
We always recommend that our patients see us at least every six months. These regular appointments not only help us keep an eye on your overall oral health, but also allow us remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth that could contribute to staining. 

If you’re unhappy with the color of your smile, we welcome you to call our Plainsboro dental office to schedule an appointment today. We’ll talk with about what you don’t like and what you’d like to change so we can put together the best treatment plan for you.

Share Your Medical History for The Best Dental Care

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Whenever you first visit a healthcare provider, you’re going to have to fill out a health history form. The same is true when you visit your dentist in Plainsboro . But why does a dentist need to know so much about your overall health, and why is it so important that you share this information? We answer these questions in this week’s blog...

“Why Does My Dentist Need to Know All of This?”
When it comes to providing you the best dental care possible, it’s important for our Plainsboro dental office to know about any former or active health conditions. Some health problems can affect what treatment is appropriate for you or if additional precautions need to be taken. What’s more is that many diseases can directly affect your oral health, and if we know about these ahead of time, we’ll know what to keep an extra close eye on at your appointments.

“Do I Really Need to Tell Them Everything?”
The most important part of sharing your medical history with your dentist is to be complete and honest. The more we know, the better. You should always disclose as much as you can. Some things you shouldn’t leave off of your health history forms include:
- Heart problems
- Asthma
- Pacemaker
- Epilepsy
- Allergies
- Joint replacements
- Autoimmune conditions

“What About Prescriptions? Do I Need to Share That Information?”
Besides sharing your health history, it’s also incredibly important to tell your dental team about any and all medications you take. Both prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as herbal supplements, can have an effect on your oral health. For instance, dry mouth is a really common side effect of many medications and may increase your risk of decay and cavities. Even though cavities are treated quickly and easily with fillings, if they’re left untreated, the decay will continue to progress and may require a root canal.

“Why Does the Form Ask About Alcohol, Smoking, and Drug Use?”
While often sensitive subjects, talking about alcohol, tobacco, and drug use can help your dental team evaluate your risk of several serious diseases. Smoking, for example, can cause oral cancer or gum disease. Additionally, regular alcohol use may also increase the likelihood of developing gum disease. When it comes to recreational drug use, it’s important to know that some drugs can interact with local anesthetics and cause an irregular heartbeat that could be fatal.

At our dental office in Plainsboro , we’re committed to providing our patients the best, individualized care. Part of what makes that possible is knowing their complete medical histories so we can cater their treatments specifically to them. We’re also dedicated to protecting the privacy of each and every person that walks through our door. If you have any questions regarding our medical questionnaire or our privacy policy, we’re here to help.

All About Veneers

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At our Plainsboro dental office we often have patients who are unhappy with the way their smiles look. But thanks to cosmetic dentistry, there are a number of ways that we can help transform the appearance of smiles. One of the most common and versatile cosmetic dentistry options available are dental veneers.

What Are Veneers and What Are They Used For?
As the name implies, dental veneers are used to cover up existing teeth. Made of porcelain, veneers are incredibly diverse and can be used to fix many cosmetic concerns which may otherwise take several separate procedures. Each veneer is custom-created to mimic the size, shape, and color of other teeth so the finished look is natural and enhances overall appearance.

Veneers can be used to correct:
- Teeth discoloration that couldn’t be brightened through whitening
- Worn teeth
- Chipped or broken teeth
- Crookedness
- Unevenness or shape irregularities
- Gaps

Veneer Treatment

Consultation: The first step to getting dental veneers is to set up a consultation with your dentist in Plainsboro . The purpose of this appointment is to have an honest conversation about what you’d like to change about your smile to see if dental veneers are the best option for what you want. You will also review a treatment plan, discuss costs, and schedule your next visit.

Preparation: Your veneer procedure will begin with your dental team preparing your tooth or teeth for the veneer. This usually includes the gentle removal of a thin layer of tooth enamel. Afterwards, temporary veneers will likely be placed and your dentist will send your permanent veneers and specific instructions to a trusted lab to be custom made.

Bonding: You’ll come back for a second appointment when the permanent veneers are ready. At this visit, your dentist will carefully and artfully place the veneers. That process requires a bit of scuffing to your natural tooth and strong adhesive material for tight, permanent bond.

You don’t need to live with a smile you’re just not happy with. Cosmetic dentistry can enhance your smile, your confidence, and your life. Call our dental office in Plainsboro to schedule a consultation today.

Manual Toothbrush vs. Electric Toothbrush

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Electric toothbrushes have been gaining popularity over recent years, and many claim to remove more plaque, tartar, and bacteria than traditional manual toothbrushes. But the team at our dental office in Plainsboro wanted to find out if these promises are actually true. Here’s what we know...

According to the ADA
The American Dental Association (ADA) releases studies every so often on whether electric toothbrushes really clean better than regular ones. Essentially, researchers say that the trick to getting teeth clean is less about the tool used and more about the technique. However, some people may benefit more from using an electric toothbrush over a manual one than others.

Who Benefits Most From Electric Toothbrushes
Those who have difficulty reaching every tooth, especially the ones in the way back, or can’t quite grip a toothbrush and follow a proper brushing motion may benefit from using an electric toothbrush. For example, people with arthritis may find it difficult to maintain a proper brushing technique or hold a manual toothbrush firmly. In this case, an electric toothbrush can simulate the motion otherwise achieved by a gentle manual scrubbing.

But Are Electric Toothbrushes Better?
It seem as if the jury is still out on whether or not a powered toothbrush actually cleans better. However, several companies that make electric toothbrushes regularly conduct their own research to test their products’ effectiveness. One study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association surveyed 16,000 patients that used an electric toothbrush. At the end of the study, 80% of participants reported better oral health.

Time is Important, Too
One feature that may help make electric toothbrushes more effective may not necessarily be because of their automatic brush heads. Instead, many electric toothbrushes also contain a timer and will shut off after a solid two minutes of brushing. This feature can help ensure that users are brushing long enough to hit each side of every tooth for a thorough clean.

What’s the Best Toothbrush for You?
When it comes to choosing your next toothbrush (which should happen every three to four months), you should select one that fits your needs and that you’re comfortable with. If you have some trouble cleaning your teeth properly, you may want to consider investing in an electric option. Your dentist in Plainsboro can also suggest which toothbrush is the best choice for you.

In short, any toothbrush, whether it’s manual or electric, is better than no toothbrush at all. And using it properly can help keep your teeth healthy. Of course, you’ll still want to maintain regular dental checkups. If you’re overdue for you visit, schedule an appointment at our Plainsboro dental office.

There’s HOW Much Sugar in That?!

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Sugar has been a hot topic in the news lately, and with good reason. On average, Americans are consuming 82 grams of added sugar every day. That much sugar puts not only puts us at risk for serious diseases such as diabetes, but as our dental office in Plainsboro knows, it also increases the risk of dental decay, cavities, and other oral health problems. What’s worse is that many people may not realize that some of the foods they enjoy are packed with sugar. We’re here to help.

Added Sugars vs. Natural Sugars
There are actually two kinds of sugar in the foods and drinks we consume everyday. First, natural sugars are ones that are found naturally in foods. Usually this applies to fruits and veggies. The other type is added sugars. Added sugars are more harmful to our bodies and our teeth and are found in many of the foods we eat.

How Much Sugar Should We Have?
Like all things in nutrition, there are recommendations about how much added sugar we should have daily. While there is no hard-and-fast rule that applies to everyone, there are limits set forth by the American Heart Association (AHA).
● Men - 150 calories per day (or 9 teaspoons)
● Women - 100 calories per day (or 6 teaspoons)

Surprising Sugars
Some foods and drinks are obviously loaded with added sugars. Think about candy and soda. These main sugar culprits can pack up to nearly 20 teaspoons in one serving! That’s more than double the recommended limit for man and three times the limit for women. But when it comes to sugar, it’s not always so easy to spot. Here are some foods that contain a lot of sugar that may surprise you.

Dressings & Condiments
How harmful could a drizzle of salad dressing or a squirt of ketchup really be? The truth is, pretty harmful. Salad dressing can contain 1 teaspoon of sugar in each tablespoon. And if you’re fan of drenching your lettuce in the stuff, sugar intake can add up quickly. Same goes for common condiments like ketchup and BBQ sauce. One tablespoon of ketchup has 1 teaspoon of sugar in it and two tablespoons of BBQ sauce can have as much as 3 teaspoons of sugar.

Spaghetti Sauce
Even though spaghetti sauce is made out of tomatoes and contains some natural sugars as a result, it’s incredibly common for some types of sauce to also have added sugars. Certain canned sauces may have 3 teaspoons of added sugar per half a cup.

Protein and Granola Bars
These bars are usually considered healthy snacks that we can conveniently eat on the go. Some of them are truly healthy and can contain tons of beneficial protein. However, others can have tons of hidden sugar. Certain protein or granola bars can contain anywhere from 3 to 7 teaspoons of sugar per bar.

The next time you’re looking to cut back on the sugar, make sure to read the nutrition labels on foods and drinks, paying particular attention to serving size. If it helps to picture sugar content instead of reading it in grams, remember that one teaspoon is equal to 4.2 grams.

Part of what keeps smiles healthy is the food we choose to eat. Select options low in sugar and without added sugars to protect your pearly whites from decay and other dental disease. Also make sure to brush and floss regularly and see your dentist in Plainsboro twice a year.

At our Plainsboro dental office, we always love seeing new patients and helping them keep their smiles healthy for a lifetime. So if you’re looking for a new dentist or are new to the area, we welcome you to give us a call to schedule an appointment.

What All Seniors Need to Know About Their Oral Health

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Getting older is a natural part of life, and as we age our healthcare needs tend to change. Oral health is no different. Our dental office in Plainsboro is committed to protecting smiles through every stage of life, and this month we want to dedicate our blog to the seniors of our community by providing them information on just how their dental care may affect their overall health.

Losing Teeth Isn’t a Guarantee
One of the most common misconceptions about our teeth is that as we get older... they’re going to fall out. We’re here to tell you that’s not necessarily a guarantee. In fact, many people can keep their natural teeth throughout their entire lives -- if they take good care of them. Of course regular brushings and flossings go a long way in sustaining oral health, but bi-annual visits to the dentist in Plainsboro are more important now perhaps more than ever. Since the nerves inside our teeth shrink as we age, we may not feel a cavity coming on like we used to and we may never suspect a problem. However, seeing the dentist every six months can catch and treat decay before it has a chance to cause some real damage. It’s when this
decay isn’t treated in time that people tend to need a crown or perhaps an extraction.

Missing Teeth Affects Overall Health
While missing a tooth, or several teeth, can certainly affect oral health and any remaining natural teeth, it can also have a direct effect on overall health. Missing teeth inhibits what we can eat, making it difficult to get all of the nutrients our bodies need. Teeth also play an important role in gum health and jaw bone health. Without them, bone density diminishes and gums tend to recede. This recession provides little gaps where bacteria can hide. If left there, this bacteria build up can lead to gum disease, which brings on a whole host of other problems.

Alzheimer’s & Gum Disease
Recent research has not only suggested a link between gum disease and heart disease, diabetes and stroke, but also Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, according to one study published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy , people over 50 who have had gum disease for ten or more years were 70% more likely to get Alzheimer’s than those without any gum disease or inflammation. Even though the researchers did state that this doesn’t prove an absolute connection between the two, it does support the idea that diseases that have some sort of inflammation such as gum disease may be directly related to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Protecting Seniors’ Smiles
Caring for your teeth by properly brushing and flossing them every day and maintaining regular visits with your dentist are crucial steps you can take to both keep teeth healthy for life and protect the mouth and body from the dangers of gum disease. At our Plainsboro dental office, we’re always accepting patients, young and old. If you or someone in your family hasn’t seen a dentist in over six months, we welcome you to call our office to schedule a visit. We’re always happy to see you!

Different Types of Sedation Dentistry

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When some people think about going to the dentist they’re immediately hit with a wave of nervousness and anxiety. The truth is, it’s quite common to be afraid of the dentist as between 30 and 40 million people report dental fear. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we want everyone to know that there are ways to overcome this fear through sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry
Sedation dentistry, also known as sleep dentistry, is a treatment used by many dentists to help ease stress and relax the mind and body. It’s most appropriate for those with dental anxiety or even during longer appointments that may cause patients to become uncomfortable. While the term ‘sleep dentistry’ may lead people to believe that they will be put to sleep during treatment, oftentimes this isn’t the case.

3 Types of Sedation Dentistry
When your dentist in Plainsboro talks about sedation dentistry, they aren’t necessarily referringto one specific treatment. There are, in fact a variety of different sedation dentistry options available to patients depending on their needs. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common types of sedation dentistry.

1. IV Sedation (Intravenous Sedation)
The deepest level of sedation is known as IV sedation. During IV sedation, medication is administered into the body through a needle that’s been inserted into a vein. Since the medicine has a direct route to the bloodstream it takes effect pretty quickly and can last the entire appointment. Sometimes dental offices may bring in an anesthesiologist to perform the treatment. Some potential side effects of IV sedation may include dizziness, tiredness, or nausea. These effect can linger for up to 24 hours after treatment.

2. Oral Sedation
If IV sedation isn’t an option or is perhaps too strong for some cases, a dentist may choose an alternative called oral sedation. Oral sedation involves simply taking a small prescription pill a little bit before the appointment. This more mild sedation option will still help patients feel relaxed, but doesn’t typically have the same lingering side effects as IV sedation. Patients will usually stay awake yet remain calm. There’s still a chance of feeling a bit tired as the medication wears off after the appointment. Patients should have a driver available to take them both to and from the appointment.

3. Nitrous Oxide
Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is also a sedation option available at many dental offices and is the lightest form of sedation dentistry. This option allows patients to breathe in a concentrated mixture that will ease nerves and create a relaxed state. The effect vanishes easily and quickly once the nitrous oxide is removed and rarely has many side effects. Sometimes patients will receive oxygen to help reverse the medication.

While we certainly understand that the anxiety often associated with a dental visit is very real, nobody should avoid getting the dental care they need to keep their mouths and bodies healthy because of a fear of the dentist. The best thing you can do is talk with the team at our Plainsboro dental office about any fears you have. We’ll go out of our way to recommend the best option for you to help keep you relaxed at every appointment

Migraine Awareness Month

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June is recognized as National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month and serves to not only educate the population on this debilitating illness, but also to increase funding to advance migraine research and treatment options. While numerous causes can be to blame, our dental office in Plainsboro wants to take a closer look at how migraines may be related to dentistry.

Migraine Facts
Over 39 million Americans are affected by migraines, including 18% of U.S. women, 6% of men, and 10% of children. Migraines are also rarely cured, but rather treated and managed through changes in lifestyle or medications. These treatment methods help help lessen the effects of the common migraine symptoms including, but not limited to:
- Throbbing or aching pain in the head
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Blurred vision
- Neck pain
- Vomiting
- Nausea

These symptoms are often so severe that many sufferers can’t go to work or complete everyday responsibilities when experiencing a migraine.

How Migraines May Be Related to Dentistry
Many migraines can be triggered by an excess surge in serotonin release caused by stress, certain foods, or bright lights or loud noises. However, more research has been showing a positive correlation between migraines and a poor bite or habitual bruxism (tooth grinding or clenching).

Poor Bite & Migraines
A poor bite is diagnosed when the top and bottom jaws don’t align properly. When this happens, the jaw muscles, neck muscles, and even the muscles in the base of the head experience unnecessary pressure every single time the jaws come together. Since that action is done repeatedly every day, those muscles get tired easily and inhibit the normal blood flow. The result could very well be a migraine.

Bruxism & Migraines
Bruxism is a condition that causes people to constantly clench their teeth or grind them repeatedly, sometimes while they’re asleep and don’t even realize it’s happening. This repetitive stress on the jaw muscles can lead to headaches or migraines.

If you suffer from migraines or unexplainable headaches in the morning, you may have a poor bite or clench your teeth at night. But you don’t need to continue to live in pain or without answers. Start your search towards relief by calling our Plainsboro dental office today. We can check for signs of bruxism and TMJ and recommend the best treatment options for you.

June is Men’s Health Month

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Every year during the month of June, healthcare providers across the nation promote the importance of prevention and early detection of diseases that affect American men. Our dental practice in Plainsboro is no different. To do our part, we’re dedicating this blog to educating our patients and community on the unique dental issues that often apply to the male population.

The Dangers of Skipping Dental Checkup
It’s typically recommended that everyone visits their dentist at least twice year for proper preventive care and a deeper cleaning than you can get at home. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control , barely 60% of American men between the ages of 18 and 64 went to the dentist in the past year. Skipping regular visits to your dentist in Plainsboro can allow problems to go untreated and lead to bigger, more complicated (and often more expensive) treatment. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry states that it’s all too common for men, in particular, to only go to the dentist when they’re experiencing a problem. Most likely, these problems could have been prevented by keeping bi-annual dental appointments.

Greater Risk of Gum Disease & Oral Cancer
While regular dental appointments can help protect teeth against decay and the need for fillings or more advanced restorative dentistry such as root canals or crowns, they can also diagnose gum disease and oral cancer early when treatment is less invasive and more successful. This is especially important for men since they’re at increased risk for both gum disease and oral cancer. The truth is, oral cancer is twice as common in men than women and, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, 56% of men have gum disease as compared to only 38% of women.

Gum Disease & Men’s Health
Even though oral cancer is certainly scary and serious, gum disease can be quite scary, too. Gum disease can contribute to a host of other problems throughout the body and has been linked to an increased risk in heart disease and certain cancers, as well as prostate health in men. Studies have shown that there is a possible correlation between gum health and prostate health due to something called prostate-specific antigen (PSA). When gums are inflamed because of periodontal disease or the prostate is unhealthy, PSA levels increase. However, PSA levels are substantially higher in those with both a prostate condition as well as gum disease suggesting a connection between the two.

Dry Mouth is More Common, Too
Dry mouth is something that may sound like nothing to worry about, however can contribute it’s own oral health issues. In a healthy mouth, there’s is an abundance of saliva production that helps neutralize acids and wash away harmful bacteria. But someone who suffers from dry mouth doesn’t have the same benefits. This leaves teeth exposed to enamel-eroding acid and
decay-causing bacteria.

This month, and every month, we’re here to keep our neighbors healthy. Whether you’re a man who may have been skipping dental visits, or you’re a woman who has men in your life you care about, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at our Plainsboro dental office today.

Doing This for 4 Minutes Every Day Can Keep You Healthy

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There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Dedicating four of those minutes to brushing your teeth will not only help protect your smile and keep your breath fresh, but it can also protect your overall health. While brushing your teeth may seem like a pretty simple task, there are a few tips our dental office in Plainsboro wants to share with you to make sure you’re getting the best clean possible so that you can keep your whole body healthy.

1. Choose the Right Brush - The right toothbrush for you depends on a few factors, including the size of your mouth. Toothbrushes come with various sized heads, so if you have a smaller mouth, choose a brush with smaller brush head. Also make sure the bristles are labeled as soft. Using bristles that are too tough can damage enamel and create problems.
2. Use Proper Technique - It doesn’t take a lot of elbow grease to thoroughly clean plaque and bacteria off of teeth. In fact, scrubbing too hard can damage teeth. Instead of using a back and forth motion, try to focus in brushing in soft, gentle circles. Don’t forget to hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle to get up under the gum line, too.
3. Replace When Necessary - If your bristles have begun to fray, it’s time to get a new toothbrush. It’s actually overdue for a replacement. When the bristles are nice and tightly fit together they can more easily get in between teeth and under the gums. When they separate, you won’t get as good of a clean.
4. Commit to Twice a Day - Your dentist in Plainsboro and the American Dental Association recommend brushing for two minutes, twice day, every day. A thorough cleaning in the morning helps remove plaque and bacteria that have built up overnight, and another two minutes before bed removes food particles and even more bacteria. Not brushing as often as you should may lead to gum disease, which not only affects your oral health, but overall health as well.

Gum Disease & Overall Health
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria under the gum line. If left untreated it can cause tooth loss and other whole-body concerns including:
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Problems
- Diabetic Complications

Following the two minute, twice a day guideline and using the right technique goes a long way in keeping your smile in its best shape. But it’s more important than that. Proper oral hygiene can reduce the risk of gum disease and help protect your entire body.

Besides a great at-home routine, maintaining appointments at our Plainsboro dental office bi-annually will do even more for your health. These regular visits provide a deeper cleaning and remove even more plaque and bacteria buildup. They also give us a way to monitor your oral health for any potential problems so we can treat them early.

If you’re overdue for a dental cleaning, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with us today.

All About Asthma and Oral Health

Asthma is a scary, chronic disease that affects over 20 million adults and more than 6 million children in the United States. If not managed and treated proactively, asthma can make it difficult to breathe, cause the chest to tighten, and can even lead to death. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we also know that asthma not affects your lungs and respiratory system, but can actually have a negative effect on oral health, too.

Asthma & Dry Mouth
Since asthma causes the airways that carry oxygen to and from your lungs to become swollen, less air is able to pass through. This can make breathing difficult. When we can’t get enough air or just can’t seem to catch our breath we will involuntarily start to breathe out of our mouths instead of our noses. While mouth breathing can make it easier to breathe, it can also cause dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when there’s a decrease in saliva production, and that’s when the
problems start. Without saliva, the bacteria and acids in the mouth that are typically rinsed away are left to attack teeth. This increases the risk for decay and cavities. Many asthma medications also list dry mouth as a side effect, which can make the problem even worse.

Asthma & Gum Disease
Besides the increased risk for cavities, asthma patients are also more likely to have gum disease. In fact, a survey conducted by the Journal of Periodontology concluded that people with gum disease were five times more likely to also have asthma. Gum disease is another serious disease caused by a bacterial infection. If not treated gum disease can affect the health of the rest of the body including increasing the risk for heart disease, even more respiratory complications, and even some cancers.

How to Protect Your Smile
If you have asthma, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease including:

Drinking Plenty of Water - The more water you can drink every day, the better. Just as water helps hydrate the body, it does the same for your mouth. Drinking water can help rinse away the bacteria that your saliva is usually responsible for.
Rinsing After Taking Medication - Since many asthma medications can contribute to dry mouth, it’s wise to rinse your mouth with water after taking any medicine. This can help remove any of the drying ingredients.
Brushing and Flossing Regularly - It’s always important to brush and floss every day, but perhaps even more so if you have asthma. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can help remove bacteria and plaque that could lead to cavities or gum disease.
Talking to Your Dentist in Plainsboro - At your dental appointments your team will ask about your health history. It’s important that you let them know you have asthma and share which medications you use so they can keep a close eye on your dental health.

We’re always welcoming new patients at our Plainsboro dental office and would encourage you to call to schedule an appointment if it’s been more than six months since you’ve seen a dentist. Preventive dental care, along with a good oral hygiene routine at home, can help protect your smile from cavities, gum disease, and other oral health concerns.

This Month We’re Celebrating Women’s Dental Health

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May is the month when we take a Sunday to thank our moms for all that they do for us. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we want to take the whole month and dedicate it to the women of our practice and our community by talking a bit about the unique oral health concerns that affect women throughout every stage of their lives.

Hormonal Changes Affect Oral Health
The truth is that since women experience fluctuations in hormone levels at different stages of life, they also have different dental concerns than men. Whenever hormones change, usually during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, other things in the body also change that cause women to be at increased risk for gum disease and other oral health problems.

Puberty
Between the ages of 8 and 14, girls will start to go through puberty and experience changes in their body. One of the biggest changes will be with their hormones. While this can affect emotions and mood, this hormonal roller coaster can also influence oral health. Increases in estrogen and progesterone boost blood flow to the mouth and particularly to the gums. Because of this, many girls will experience red, swollen gums that may even bleed while brushing their teeth. It’s important to maintain a good oral health routine of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day to help keep gums healthy.

Menstruation
Once a woman has her first period, hormones continue to rise and fall during her menstrual cycle. She may still experience puffy gums that bleed a few days before her period. During this same time it’s also common for a canker sore or two to pop up, which usually disappear in a few days. Changes in hormones may also lead to dry mouth which increases the risk for decay, cavities, and bad breath.

Pregnancy
Dental care is particularly important during pregnancy. In fact, poor oral health throughout a pregnancy may lead to a premature birth, gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia. Gingivitis is also common for pregnant women, again thanks to hormonal changes. Besides brushing and flossing daily, pregnant women should visit their dentist in Plainsboro some time during the second trimester.

Menopause
Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, but can happen earlier or later. Whenever a woman goes through menopause, estrogen decreases and increases the risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. Bone loss is concerning for dental health since it can affect the jaw bone, which holds teeth in place. As jaw bone deteriorates, there’s an increased risk for tooth loss. However, thanks to advancements in dental technology, these teeth can be replaced by either dentures or dental implants.

Our Plainsboro dental office is here to help all the women (and men!) of our community get and keep their mouths healthy, no matter what changes their bodies go through. We’re always welcoming new patients, so schedule an appointment with us today!

How Your Allergies May Be Affecting Your Oral Health

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Nobody enjoys the annoying symptoms of allergies. The stuffy nose, watery eyes, and constant nasal drip are enough to make some people do anything they can to avoid their allergens. At our dental office in Plainsboro , we’d like to give you just one more reason to hate your allergies. The truth is, the symptoms related to allergies can also affect your oral health.

Dry Mouth: A Bigger Problem Than You Might Think
Perhaps the biggest way allergies affect oral health is by causing dry mouth. When our noses are too stuffy to breathe out of them properly, we resort to the next best thing: breathing out of our mouths. Mouth breathing really slows down saliva production and leaves your mouth feeling uncomfortably dry. And when the mouth is dry with no saliva to help wash away bacteria and neutralize acids, your teeth are left exposed. This can make you more likely to have tooth decay, chronically bad breath, or can even lead to gum disease. Gum disease, if left untreated, can affect the rest of your body by increasing the risk for stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks.

More on Mouth Breathing
Mouth breathing is such a concern for your dentist in Plainsboro that it’s worth talking about the other ways it can affect your dental health. Whether mouth breathing is caused by allergies or not, the truth is it can even cause changes in appearance and developmental problems in children. When kids habitually have to breathe out of their mouths instead of their noses, it can influence how their teeth develop. Children who suffer from allergies also tend to suffer from
crooked teeth which may require braces or other orthodontic treatment.

Medicine Can Make Dry Mouth Worse
To help ease allergy symptoms and clear out sinuses so we can breathe out of our noses easier, many of us turn to medicine. Most allergy medicines available list dry mouth as a potential side effect. So while you may be solving one problem by reducing sinus stuffiness, you may be creating another by the very thing that helped you get relief. To combat dry mouth caused by medicine, talk to your doctor for other solutions or try:
- Chewing sugar-free gum
- Using mouthwash made to help lubricate the mouth
- Drinking plenty of water
- Putting a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep

Don’t stop any medicines without first discussing it with your healthcare provider.

If you are suffering from allergies or dry mouth perhaps caused by them, it’s evermore important to maintain regular visits to our Plainsboro dental office. Appointments every six months can help catch any potential dental issues caused by dry mouth and treat them before they lead to the need for advanced treatment or cause pain.

Play Hard & Protect Your Smile

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Each April, several dental associations join together to sponsor National Facial Protection Month. The goal is to raise awareness on the importance of wearing a mouthguard while participating in sports. As the weather warms up and more and more people start playing sports, its timing couldn’t be better. At our dental office in Plainsboro, we want to share a few facts about facial and mouth injuries common to sports and how you can protect you or your child’s smile during every game and every practice.

How Common are Mouth Injuries?
There’s a good reason the Academy for Sports Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Dental Association, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Association of Orthodontists decided to dedicate an entire month to educating people on the importance of protecting teeth when participating in sports. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s “Policy on Prevention of Sports-related Orofacial Injuries” attribute as many as 39% of all child dental injuries to sports, and usually from direct hits by a ball or another player. And that’s just kids. If we include college, professional, and recreational adult athletes, that number rises.

How to Reduce the Risk of a Mouth Injury While Playing Sports?
Even though an injury to the mouth can happen to anyone, those who play sports, especially contact sports, are definitely at increased risk. In fact, most sport-related mouth injuries are sustained when playing basketball, a sport where a mouthguard isn’t a required piece of protective equipment. That’s no coincidence. Wearing a mouthguard can greatly reduce the chances of a chipped or broken tooth or even getting a tooth knocked out.

All About Sports Mouthguards
The quickest and easiest way to get a sports mouthguard is to head on over your local sporting goods store and grab a boil-and-bite model in your favorite color. While these stock mouthguards can be somewhat custom-molded to your teeth after a quick dip in boiling water, they’re usually uncomfortable and don’t offer as much protection as a completely custom mouthguard, and tend to be chewed on instead of left in the mouth where they belong. The other option you have is to get a custom-made sports mouthguard from your dentist in Plainsboro.

Custom mouthguards are specifically molded to fit every contour of your teeth and provide the ultimate protection. They’re also constructed from higher end materials to ensure extended comfort. This means less time out of the mouth and more time protecting your teeth.

Our Plainsboro dental office is always here to help protect our neighbors’ smiles, and it’s important to us that as you’re getting game-ready this spring, you don’t forget your mouthguard. If you’re looking for custom sports mouthguard, give us a call!

“Why Do I Need to Have Dental X-Rays Taken?”

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When we typically think of x-rays, we may immediately think of a huge machine that’s checking for a broken bone. Dental x-rays are a little bit different. They’re an important part of diagnosing disease or other problems. In fact, at our dental office in Plainsboro, we use dental x-rays as a crucial aspect to our approach to preventive dentistry so we can catch any issues early while they’re still easy to treat. This month, we examine a few things that dental x-rays can help us diagnose as well as some different types of x-rays you may have.

What Do Dental X-Rays Help Diagnose?
At your bi-annual dental appointments, you’ll receive an in-depth exam and thorough cleaning. During these procedures, we’re taking close look at your overall oral health. But there are a lot of places in your mouth where problems can hide. Dental x-rays help us see and diagnose these issues that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. Dental x-rays can help us see:
- Decay below the surface or in between teeth
- Bone loss caused by gum disease or other issues
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Damaged bone
- Abscesses or cysts

Imagery obtained through x-rays give your dentist in Plainsboro the ability to diagnose disease or problems early and oftentimes before you experience any signs or painful symptoms. 

What Are the Different Types of Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays can be classified as either intraoral or extraoral, both of which show different views of the mouth. Intraoral x-rays are more detailed images of individual teeth while extraoral x-rays show a more comprehensive look at the overall mouth including all of the teeth and the jaw. Each type of x-ray helps your dental team identify different things. Let’s take a closer look.

Intraoral X-Rays
Since intraoral x-rays show close-up details of each tooth, they’re helpful in diagnosing:
- Decay between teeth or fillings
- Gum disease
- Bone deterioration

Extraoral X-Rays
With a broader view of the entire mouth, extraoral x-rays can help get an up-close-and-personal look at:
- Tooth development
- Potential Issues with the jaw joint (TMJ)
- Impacted teeth

Having dental x-rays taken can help save you from experiencing painful dental problems that may require complex treatment and are a necessary part of a proper preventive approach to dental care. These x-rays emit a low amount of radiation and, along with the additional safety precautions our Plainsboro dental office take, are incredibly safe.