How Does Sugar Affect Your Teeth?

While candy and sugary soft drinks taste good, the reality is that they are not doing your teeth any good whatsoever. In fact, the more sugar you consume, the more damage you are doing to your teeth, and the more help you’ll need from your dentist in Athens, TX. Should you be curious as to just what sugar does to your teeth, here are some facts that may leave you bewildered.

Sugar Turns into Acid

Yes, thanks to sugar-loving microbes in your mouth, all that sugar that goes into your mouth gets turned into acid. When this happens, tooth enamel breaks down, resulting in tooth decay and eventually one cavity after another.

The Onset of Gum Disease

When you consume lots of sugar and combine it with not brushing and flossing as you should each day, you are setting the stage for the onset of gum disease. If left unchecked, this will turn into periodontitis, ultimately affecting your gums as well as the bones that support your teeth. When this occurs, you may start having teeth that are loose or even fall out, which could result in you needing dental implants or other procedures.

Other Health Problems

Once sugar starts impacting your teeth by way of decay and gum disease, you can expect other health problems to develop as well. In fact, oral health is closely linked to your overall health. For example, should you let yourself develop a severe case of gum disease, this may increase your chances of developing heart disease, dementia, and other health issues.

Needless to say, your dentist in Athens, TX wants you to know that sugar doesn’t do your teeth or your body much good. While you may not have to say goodbye forever to an occasional piece of candy or soft drink, keeping these as a small part of your diet will have your teeth and body being very grateful.

4 Ways to Avoid Staining Your Teeth

Over time, teeth can become stained. When we first get our teeth, they’re pearly white and beautiful. Over time, our teeth can become yellowed due to exposure to staining foods. You can prevent your teeth from becoming stained through good eating, drinking and tooth care.

1. Know Which Foods and Drinks Stain

Some foods stain worse than others. Foods that are dark red, have tannins and foods that are saucy are usually the worst for staining. The biggest offenders include:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Soda
  • Wine (red and white)
  • Berries
  • Grape and cranberry juice
  • Beets
  • Soy sauce
  • Sports drinks
  • Tomato sauce

2. Brush Or Rinse Your Mouth After Consuming Staining Foods and Drinks

If you’ve been eating foods that stain your teeth, rinse or clean your teeth after your meal. You can do this by swishing your mouth with water while drinking, or you can actually brush your teeth. Carry a toothbrush around in your purse or in a handbag to make teeth brushing easier after you’ve been out.

3. Use Straws

Straws carry liquid past your teeth and enable you to drink without coating your teeth in a staining agent. Keep a supply of non-disposable straws at your house, and get used to using them.

4. Visit the Dentist Regularly, Whiten Your Teeth

Cleaning your teeth on a regular basis helps keep them white. Visit the dentist every six months (or as often as recommended) to keep your teeth white. If your teeth have become stained, get your teeth professionally whitened. You might also use tooth whitening toothpaste, but professional whitening is more effective and faster-acting.

Teeth whitening is an effective procedure that can make all the difference. To make an appointment at Athens Smiles, call today.

How to Care For Tooth Enamel  

Although teeth look like one hard substance, they are actually comprised of different parts; enamel, dentin, pulp, crown, and root. Tooth enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth. You can’t see tooth enamel because it’s translucent. But it’s there unless you’ve eroded it for some reason or another.

Why Protect Tooth Enamel?

You need to protect your tooth enamel because it’s there to protect your tooth. Tooth enamel is considered a bodily tissue, even though it’s hard. In fact, tooth enamel is the hardest tissue that you have. But it’s not invincible. Tooth enamel can be damaged. When that happens, the tooth is exposed and vulnerable to decay and damage.

How to Care For Tooth Enamel

Certain lifestyle habits can damage enamel over time. In order to ensure that your tooth enamel doesn’t erode, care for it with these tips.

Avoid Acidic Foods

Acidic foods and ingredients can erode tooth enamel. Examples include lemons, limes, and vinegar. Of course, you don’t have to avoid these things entirely. Just make sure they don’t comprise the majority of your diet and make sure to brush and rinse thoroughly afterward.

Get Fluoride Treatments

If your town’s water doesn’t have fluoride, ask your dentist in Athens about fluoride treatments, which strengthen enamel.

Don’t Over Brush

Brushing your teeth should be done after every meal. But over-brushing can wear away tooth enamel. Over brushing is defined as brushing too often and brushing too hard. You should also make sure you don’t use a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm. For most folks, a medium-bristle toothbrush works just fine.

For more tips on caring for enamel and to have the health of your teeth looked after with a dental appointment, please contact your Athens dentist today.


5 Common Causes of a Cracked Tooth

Your teeth are very strong, but they aren’t invincible. Certain things can cause damage to the tooth, including cracks. Cracked teeth are bad because that creates an entryway for bacteria into the interior of the tooth. To avoid cracked teeth, consider these common causes:

1. Chewing on Ice

Lots of people chew on ice after they’ve finished a drink. But this habit often causes cracked teeth. If you have this habit, toss your ice right away so you aren’t tempted.

2. Eating Hard Candy

There are many kinds of popular hard candy that, unfortunately, can lead to a cracked tooth. They include favorites like peanut brittle and pralines. Avoid this type of candy if you want to keep teeth healthy.

3. Experiencing Mouth Trauma

Blunt force trauma to the mouth can also cause a cracked tooth. These most often occur as sports injuries, car accidents or falls. You can wear a mouth guard while playing sports to avoid injury, but the other incidents cannot be predicted.

4. Teeth Grinding

If you grind your teeth either while awake or asleep, you may be causing one or more of your teeth to crack. This is because the chronic lateral force being applied to your teeth isn’t natural. If you are a teeth grinder, talk to your dentist about wearing a teeth guard that will help you to break the habit.

5. Age

As you age, your teeth may become slightly weaker. This makes them more susceptible to cracking and other injury. More teeth cracks occur in those over aged 50 than in younger people. There’s nothing you can do to prevent this from happening, but regular dental checkups will help to ensure that any cracks are detected right away.

Your Athens dentist can help if you have a cracked tooth. There are treatments available that can restore the look and strength of your cracked tooth. Contact us today for details.


Prevailing Myths About Tooth Extractions

When a tooth has grown to the point that it can likely not be saved, it may have to be extracted. Decay, dental trauma, and severe crowding are all common reasons for tooth extraction. Here is a look at some of the unfortunate myths about getting a tooth extracted patients should know.

Myth: Most dentists prefer to extract a tooth instead of saving it.

Every good dentist is going to go to great lengths to try to save an ailing tooth before deciding that it should be extracted. Removing a tooth permanently affects your smile, and while solutions are available for restoration, natural teeth and natural root systems attached to the bone are always preferred. If the dentist is recommending a tooth is extracted, you can rest assured they have considered:

  • The overall condition of the tooth
  • The probability that the tooth could be saved
  • The way the tooth should be extracted for the greatest chance of restoration

Myth: Extractions are one of the most painful dental procedures.

Extractions can be painful, but you should not feel anything when the procedure is performed. The dentist will use a combination of techniques to make sure you are as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure. You may feel some pressure as the roots of the tooth are removed from the bone, but there should be no pain experienced. After the procedure, anesthetic given during the procedure will gradually wear off. At this point, you may feel a bit of discomfort, but it is usually nothing that over-the-counter pain medications can’t normally relieve.

Myth: Most people have problems after a tooth is extracted.

On the contrary, the majority of tooth extractions are performed without any problems. Most patients will experience minimal pain and discomfort and see the gum tissue start to heal up and close soon after the procedure. If an issue occurs, it is usually an issue that can be treated relatively easily. For instance, problems with prolonged bleeding can be tended to with temporary packing for the wound done by the dentist.

Talk to an Athens Dentist About Tooth Extraction

If you have a tooth that needs to be extracted, it is important that you don’t wait to seek treatment. Reach out to us at Athens Smiles in Athens, TX to schedule an appointment.