Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure, and rightfully so. It can make you look years younger, which in turn will increase your self-confidence and improve the way people judge you. A study by the American Association of Cosmetic Dentistry tells us that individuals with attractive smiles are considered smarter, friendlier, and more successful than others. Now you can claim a bright smile that will turn heads and open doors with home teeth whitening prescribed by your dentist.
The teeth whitening kits we provide have a higher concentration of carbamide peroxide than over-the-counter whitening kits. Carbamide peroxide bleaches tooth enamel to yield results that rival our highly-effective in-office treatments.
When you choose a home whitening kit to transform your smile, our team will design your custom tray, shaped like the mouthguards football players wear, but thinner, to hold professional-grade whitening gel close to teeth. You can keep the trays so, even years later, you can refresh your smile as needed with another quick treatment. We provide additional gel at a minimal cost, so you can enjoy the benefits of teeth whitening for life.
Benefits of home whitening include affordability, customization of treatment, and reduced potential for sensitivity. Home whitening kits cost less than in-office bleaching, so they appeal to the price-conscious consumer. When used as directed, you may notice results after just one treatment. Optimal results occur after about two weeks. If you notice that your smile is as white as you’d like, simply discontinue your treatment early. No light is required for home bleaching, so many patients experience less sensitivity than with transluminescent in-office bleaching.
Healthy Hygiene, Healthy Heart
Believe it or not, how you take care of your teeth and gums affects not only your oral health, but it impacts your cardiovascular health, too. Although scientists are not certain of the precise relationship between the heart and oral hygiene, studies consistently demonstrate a link. In fact, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease.
It’s possible that a mouth filled with bacteria and their toxins allows a continuous stream of poisons to enter the system. If the bacteria reach your arteries, they may cause the same kind of irritation they caused in your gums and mouth. Arterial wall irritations typically result in a buildup of protective plaque, which in turn can harden, thus blocking blood flow. Without sufficient blood flow, your heart can easily have a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack. Furthermore, loosened arterial plaque can travel through the bloodstream, reach your brain, and cause a stroke.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the gums and bone that support teeth, and it usually starts early in life, then progresses as a person ages. It all starts when plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus) below the gum line. This irritates vulnerable soft tissues and infection can set in. Combined with decaying food particles lodged between teeth and bacteria emitted by plaque, the infection can spread quickly. Symptoms are so mild in the early phase, many patients don’t recognize them: red, tender, swollen gums, bleeding when brushing teeth.
As the condition progresses, gums recede from teeth and pockets of bacteria form. The bacteria can destroy gum tissue and bone, causing tooth and bone loss.
Maintaining Good Periodontal Health
Regular dental visits at least every six months allow us to keep a watchful eye on the health of your gums. You should also brush twice a day, floss once a day, and use good mouth rinses at home. We will recommend the products that will optimize your oral homecare, and we can also show you the best methods for brushing and flossing. If you have overcome periodontal disease, we will recommend frequent checkups to ensure your mouth stays healthy for a lifetime.
You’ve probably heard of the mind-body connection. Basically, it states that your psychological well-being and your physical health are closely linked. So, if you’re prone to stress, for example, you can elevate your blood pressure and increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Well scientists are finally beginning to realize that your oral health plays a role in your physical health, as well (dentist have known this for years). Check out these headlines:
- Gum Disease Linked to Heart Disease and Stroke (AAP)
- Study Finds a Direct Association between Heart Disease and Periodontal Bacteria (NIDCR)
- Treatment of Gum Disease May Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Type 2 Diabetes (Science Daily)
- First Oral Bacteria Found Linking a Mother and Her Stillborn Baby (Science Daily)
- Presence of Gum Disease May Help Dentists and Physicians Identify Those at Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Disease (Columbia University)
Sounds intense, right? It should. Your oral health is a serious matter, and preventing gum disease may be the key to a healthier you in the future. So, what is gum disease anyway? Gum disease is a chronic infection that typically stems from poor oral hygiene (i.e. not flossing, avoiding dental visits, etc.). It’s hard to imagine that an infection in your gums can have such a dramatic impact on things like the heart, the lungs, bones, blood-sugar levels, and fetal development, but it does. Here’s how: Bacteria from your gums can affect your body in four ways:
- Circulatory System – bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the gums and travel to other parts of the body. As it travels, it can cause secondary infections or contribute to diseases already in progress.
- Immune System – the body’s inflammatory response to gum disease can trigger other inflammatory diseases (heart disease, diabetes, kidney failure) and cause arteries to swell.
- Respiratory System – the bacteria from gum disease adheres to saliva droplets that you inhale. You can actually breathe-in the bacteria every time you inhale. This can cause pulmonary infections and respiratory problems.
- Blood Sugar – gum disease increases blood-sugar levels and makes diabetes harder to control. Still not convinced? Watch this video:
The bottom line? You can eat right, work out every day, and visit your doctor regularly, but if you neglect your oral health, you’re essentially shooting yourself in the foot. Visit your dentist regularly and prevent gum disease from sabotaging your efforts to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Together, you, your dentist, and your physician can help prevent systemic illnesses from spiraling out of control.
Many people know nitrous oxide as laughing gas. In our office, we administer nitrous oxide to enhance patient comfort and relieve anxiety for patients of all ages. After you’re comfortably seated in the dental chair, you’ll inhale the gas (a nitrous oxide and oxygen mixture) through a face mask. We will control the amount of nitrous you receive to ensure your safety. You will begin to relax and will not recognize pain, so the dentist can perform your dental work while you stay completely comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide subside once we remove your mask, so if nitrous is the only anesthesia you receive, you will be capable of driving yourself home following the visit and can continue your daily activities as normal.