• What Your Mouth Says about Your Health

    When your dentist looks around inside your mouth while simultaneously asking you questions about how often you floss, it’s not just cavities they are looking for and there is a lot more than tooth decay that they can see. Poor dental health is often linked to poor general health. However, even seemingly healthy teeth can reveal valuable information about your health.

    • Irritated And Bleeding Gums

    Inflamed gums that bleed when you brush or floss can be a sign of periodontal disease, an infection that affects the gum tissue and underlying structures. However, they can also be evidence of a hormonal imbalance. Women are particularly prone to sensitive gums during their menstrual cycles and menopause.

    • Tooth Damage

    Worn, eroded, cracked or broken teeth may be signs of advanced dental disease. They can also be evidence of GERD or gastro-esophageal reflux disease. GERD is associated with stomach acids washing back up into the mouth, which can weaken and wear down teeth. Damaged teeth can also indicate high levels of stress or anxiety, particularly if you also have headaches, neck pain or other symptoms. Teeth grinding can significantly increase your risk of damaged teeth, and you may be more prone to TMJ disorders.

    • Halitosis

    Bad breath can be a sign of serious health issues. Kidney and liver disease, respiratory disease, post nasal drip and uncontrolled diabetes are all associated with bad breath. Diabetes can cause a sweet or fruity odor that is indicative of ketoacidosis.

    • Sharp Tooth Pain

    Slight discomfort in your mouth may mean nothing if it lasts for a day or two. However, if the pain is persistent especially when biting, then you may have cavities also known as decay, or even a tooth fracture. It may also signal a sinus infection if the ache is in the upper teeth.

    If you are experiencing any abnormal symptoms please contact us so we can help you determine the cause and create a treatment plan that will restore your dental health. Call Maple Family Dentistry today to schedule your appointment at 401-237-4038.

  • Root Canal vs. Dental Implants: Which is Right for You?

    In the past, saving a tooth with a root canal and a permanent crown was considered state of the art. Today, however dental implants offer an alternative that is safe, long lasting and close to the appearance and function of natural teeth.

    You have two options for restoring a seriously damaged tooth. Undergoing a root canal to repair the tooth, or extracting it and replacing it with a dental implant. One option allows you to “save” your natural tooth while the other removes it entirely and replaces it with a dental implant. The right option for you will depend on exactly how damaged your tooth is, which influences how predictable each procedure is in your unique case. Both treatment options require a dental crown for a final restoration.

    In order for a root canal to be successful, your tooth needs to have good bone support and enough remaining tooth structure to be a functional part of your bite. If the tooth is too damaged or compromised, a dental implant may be the better option.

    Dental implants are usually preferred over root canals when a tooth:

    • Is severely decayed
    • Is loose
    • Has a root fracture

    However, if there are too many variables that may cause a root canal to fail, then we will discuss the process of extracting the tooth and placing a dental implant. Remember that dental implants can last you decades. Dental implants do not get cavities, gum disease, and protect your natural teeth and support the bone around them. They are the next best thing to natural teeth.

    Here at Maple Avenue Family Dentistry, we are committed to providing the best treatment for our patients. If you have questions about root canal therapy or dental implants, please contact us today at 401-237-4038.

  • Keeping Your Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy

    Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy have many benefits for you and your baby. Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy and some of these can affect the health of your gums and teeth. During pregnancy our hormones change. Fluctuating hormones can cause dental problems or make existing dental problems worse, like loose teeth, gum disease, pregnancy tumors on gums and tooth decay. The most common issue pregnant women experience is pregnancy gingivitis and it typically settles down after a mother gives birth.

    To avoid irritated and inflamed gums from gingivitis, we recommend a solid routine of proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, flossing, and using a mouthwash.

    While the gums are usually of biggest concern during a pregnancy, there are other potential issues that can arise. Some pregnant women often experience an increase in cavities. Tooth decay risks increase during pregnancy due to increased acidity in our mouths. The gastric acid that comes up with morning sickness is extremely acidic, which weakens the enamel, making a great environment for bacteria to thrive.

    Another common cause of increased decay during pregnancy is the misinformation out there about not taking x-rays while pregnant. Dental x-rays are actually a very, very low dose of radiation (equivalent to standing outdoors in the sunlight), safe, and still necessary to detect cavities.

    We highly recommend regular dental checkups during a pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing inflamed, red or bleeding gums. A thorough cleaning by a hygienist can help reduce the effects of gingivitis.

    If you have any questions about your oral health, and what the best practices may be for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, feel free to contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324.

    Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy have many benefits for you and your baby. Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy and some of these can affect the health of your gums and teeth. During pregnancy our hormones change. Fluctuating hormones can cause dental problems or make existing dental problems worse, like loose teeth, gum disease, pregnancy tumors on gums and tooth decay. The most common issue pregnant women experience is pregnancy gingivitis and it typically settles down after a mother gives birth.

    To avoid irritated and inflamed gums from gingivitis, we recommend a solid routine of proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, flossing, and using a mouthwash.

    While the gums are usually of biggest concern during a pregnancy, there are other potential issues that can arise. Some pregnant women often experience an increase in cavities. Tooth decay risks increase during pregnancy due to increased acidity in our mouths. The gastric acid that comes up with morning sickness is extremely acidic, which weakens the enamel, making a great environment for bacteria to thrive.

    Another common cause of increased decay during pregnancy is the misinformation out there about not taking x-rays while pregnant. Dental x-rays are actually a very, very low dose of radiation (equivalent to standing outdoors in the sunlight), safe, and still necessary to detect cavities.

    We highly recommend regular dental checkups during a pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing inflamed, red or bleeding gums. A thorough cleaning by a hygienist can help reduce the effects of gingivitis.

    If you have any questions about your oral health, and what the best practices may be for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, feel free to contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324.

    Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy have many benefits for you and your baby. Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy and some of these can affect the health of your gums and teeth. During pregnancy our hormones change. Fluctuating hormones can cause dental problems or make existing dental problems worse, like loose teeth, gum disease, pregnancy tumors on gums and tooth decay. The most common issue pregnant women experience is pregnancy gingivitis and it typically settles down after a mother gives birth.

    To avoid irritated and inflamed gums from gingivitis, we recommend a solid routine of proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, flossing, and using a mouthwash.

    While the gums are usually of biggest concern during a pregnancy, there are other potential issues that can arise. Some pregnant women often experience an increase in cavities. Tooth decay risks increase during pregnancy due to increased acidity in our mouths. The gastric acid that comes up with morning sickness is extremely acidic, which weakens the enamel, making a great environment for bacteria to thrive.

    Another common cause of increased decay during pregnancy is the misinformation out there about not taking x-rays while pregnant. Dental x-rays are actually a very, very low dose of radiation (equivalent to standing outdoors in the sunlight), safe, and still necessary to detect cavities.

    We highly recommend regular dental checkups during a pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing inflamed, red or bleeding gums. A thorough cleaning by a hygienist can help reduce the effects of gingivitis.

    If you have any questions about your oral health, and what the best practices may be for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, feel free to contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324.

    Keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy have many benefits for you and your baby. Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy and some of these can affect the health of your gums and teeth. During pregnancy our hormones change. Fluctuating hormones can cause dental problems or make existing dental problems worse, like loose teeth, gum disease, pregnancy tumors on gums and tooth decay. The most common issue pregnant women experience is pregnancy gingivitis and it typically settles down after a mother gives birth.

    To avoid irritated and inflamed gums from gingivitis, we recommend a solid routine of proper oral hygiene. This includes brushing at least twice a day for two minutes, flossing, and using a mouthwash.

    While the gums are usually of biggest concern during a pregnancy, there are other potential issues that can arise. Some pregnant women often experience an increase in cavities. Tooth decay risks increase during pregnancy due to increased acidity in our mouths. The gastric acid that comes up with morning sickness is extremely acidic, which weakens the enamel, making a great environment for bacteria to thrive.

    Another common cause of increased decay during pregnancy is the misinformation out there about not taking x-rays while pregnant. Dental x-rays are actually a very, very low dose of radiation (equivalent to standing outdoors in the sunlight), safe, and still necessary to detect cavities.

    We highly recommend regular dental checkups during a pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing inflamed, red or bleeding gums. A thorough cleaning by a hygienist can help reduce the effects of gingivitis.

    If you have any questions about your oral health, and what the best practices may be for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, feel free to contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324.

  • The Benefits of Fluoride for Adults

    As we age and get older our gums start to recede and our root surfaces soften. This makes for a more high-risk opportunity for tooth decay where it once was pretty resistant. At your next dental cleaning your hygienist may recommend applying Fluoride varnish to your teeth at the end of the appointment.

    What is Fluoride Varnish and why are they recommending it for you?

    Fluoride varnish is a highly concentrated Fluoride applied by a Dentist, Hygienist, or Assistant. Fluoride varnish is used for tooth sensitivity the prevention of cavities and to also strengthen the tooth surfaces. Fluoride varnish is recommended for both children and adults. It is used for cavity prevention and desensitizing teeth. Research is supporting that for adults it should be used for the same reasons, but also for enamel demineralization, preventing cavities around fillings, crowns and bridges, dry mouth, and recession areas.

    If you are an adult & have any of the following listed – you could benefit from Fluoride!

    • frequent decay
    • gum recession
    • sensitive teeth
    • dry mouth
    • drink lots of soda or juice
    • eat a lot of fruit
    • high sugar diet
    • infrequent brushing & flossing
    • are currently in braces
    • deal with reflux
    • defects in teeth
    • head or neck cancer with radiation

    Will insurance cover fluoride?

    Most plans cover up to age 16 years old and two times a year. All insurance plans are different. If your insurance won’t cover it, that does not mean you don’t need it! Fluoride is VERY inexpensive, especially when compared to the costs of restorative dental care. By getting the fluoride treatment you will be reducing your future dental treatment needs and costs.

    You’re never too old to be concerned about preventing tooth decay! Fluoride is beneficial to our teeth from infancy to senior! Fluoride is safe, easy, painless and quickly applied. To learn more about fluoride treatments. Contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324.

  • Different Types of Mouth Sores

    At Maple Avenue Family Dentistry we know many people have experienced some form of irritation or sores. Some mouth sores are harmless and go away on their own after a few days, while others are more serious and should not be ignored. Mouth sores occur for many different reasons, but viruses, bacterial infections, or funguses often trigger them. The best way to tell the difference between a canker sore and a cold sore is that canker sores occur inside the mouth while cold sores occur on the outside the mouth.

    The most common mouth sores are:

    Canker sores: A canker sore (aphthous ulcer) is a mouth ulcer or sore that is open and painful. They are the most common type of mouth ulcer. Some people notice them on the inside of their lip or cheek. Canker sores are non-contagious. While outside factors such as stress, fatigue, or allergies may increase the chances of developing a canker sore, most health experts believe they stem from bacteria or a virus that attacks the immune system. Canker sores typically heal within a week or two.

    Cold sores: Also called fever blisters, cold sores are contagious groups of fluid-filled blisters that often erupt around the lips and sometimes under the nose or around the chin. Cold sores are the result of the herpes simplex virus, and once infected, the virus remains in the person’s blood stream.

    Leukoplakia: A potential warning sign of oral cancer, leukoplakia is a premalignant lesion that appears as a white patch on the inside of the mouth, tongue, or gums. The lesions, which are caused by excessive cell growth, usually afflict those who smoke tobacco.

    Oral candidiasis: Also called oral thrush or moniliasis, this condition is caused by the overgrowth of a type of yeast called candida. Common symptoms of oral candidiasis include white spots inside the mouth and on the tongue, redness or discomfort in the mouth area, sore throat,difficulty swallowing, and cracking at the corners of the mouth. If left untreated, it may infect your bloodstream, which can be very dangerous. Healthy adults do not usually get thrush, and the condition is most often seen in infants, the elderly, patients undergoing chemotherapy, or people with AIDS or other diseases that are known to weaken the immune system.

    Should you have a mouth sore that lasts a week or longer, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule an examination. Contact Maple Avenue Family Dentistry today at (401) 237-4324.