Posts for: May, 2016
As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.
What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.
For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.
Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.
Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.
So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”
What you need to know about root canal treatment from your Madisonville dentist
Dental pain is something you shouldn’t ignore, especially when your pain can be relieved by root canal therapy. There are some definite signs and symptoms you might need a root canal. In other cases, you may not feel any pain at all and only your dentist can tell you need a root canal. Your dentists at Baldwin Dental Group, in Madisonville, Kentucky, want to help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to knowing if you need a root canal.
Your dentists at Baldwin Dental Group want you to know you may need a root canal if you experience:
- Constant throbbing pain or pressure in your mouth
- Sharp, acute pain when you bite down on food
- Pain that lingers after you’ve eaten hot or cold foods
- Swelling in your gums where the root tip of your tooth is
- A white bump with or without pus in your gums where the root tip is
When you make an appointment with your dentists at Baldwin Dental Group, they will take x-rays and look for a dark (radiolucent) area at the tip of the root of your painful tooth. This indicates an abscess and the need for a root canal. They will also do pulp testing to determine the health of the pulp, the area inside your tooth containing nerves and blood supply. They will test your tooth for sensitivity to temperature, and for the vitality of the pulp to determine whether or not the pulp of your tooth is damaged or diseased.
You may need a root canal because you have suffered a traumatic injury or accident involving your teeth. Root canals are also often needed for deep dental decay which has reached the pulp of your tooth. Root canals relieve the pain by eliminating the disease inside your tooth while still enabling you to keep your tooth.
To find out for certain if you need a root canal, stop in and visit your dentists at Baldwin Dental Group. You can be assured of excellent care before, during and after your appointment. To find out more about root canal treatment call your dentists at Baldwin Dental Group in Madisonville, Kentucky. Get some help for your painful tooth and call today!
Ask people about the “Great American Smoke-Out,” and many could tell you about this annual promotion encouraging tobacco smokers to quit. Ask them about “The Great American Spit-Out,” though, and they may look puzzled. That’s because most of society’s attention is on quitting smoking; but the truth is smoking isn’t the only tobacco habit that needs to be kicked.
Whether chewing tobacco or the more finely ground snuff, smokeless tobacco is a popular habit especially among young athletes. It doesn’t receive the attention of smoking tobacco because it’s perceived as less dangerous. The truth is, though, it’s just as hazardous — especially to your oral health.
While any form of tobacco is considered a carcinogen, smokeless tobacco in particular has been linked to oral cancer. This is especially dangerous not only because oral cancer can lead to physical disfigurement and other negative outcomes, but it also has a dismal 58% survival rate five years from diagnosis.
And because it too contains highly addictive nicotine, smokeless tobacco can be just as difficult to quit as smoking. Fortunately, the same techniques for smoking cessation can work with chewing habits. Nicotine replacements like nicotine gum, lozenges and patches, as well as Zyban, a cessation medication, have all been shown helpful with quitting smokeless tobacco.
Often, however, it takes a change in perception — taking chewing tobacco down from its pedestal of “coolness” and seeing it for what it is: a dangerous habit that increases the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease and even decreased sexual arousal and function. And although not life-threatening, it can also give you bad breath, dry mouth and an assortment of dental problems that incur financial and social costs. Teeth and gums in that environment aren’t so cool.
The first step is to consider the consequences of continuing the chewing or dipping habit and making the decision to quit. You may also benefit from the help of others: counselors experienced with tobacco cessation programs or a support group of others trying to quit. Following through aggressively will help ensure smokeless tobacco won’t lead to the loss of your teeth, health or life.
If you would like more information on quitting smokeless tobacco, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Quitting Chewing Tobacco.”