The Smoking Gun: Tobacco & Oral Health

They say not everything natural is good for you. Nature has many poisons that humans have experimented with and learned the hard way to avoid. Tobacco is a popular plant that we’ve learned can really do a number on your health. Using tobacco is a personal and communal practice that can be really hard to avoid, even if you know it’s bad for you. Working with your doctor and Bangor dentists Dr. James Sevey and Dr. Natalie Sigwart will be essential if you’re concerned about your health and want to stop using tobacco.

What Is Tobacco?

Tobacco is a green, leafy plant that has long been grown, dried, and used by cultures around the world. It’s usually smoked but is sometimes chewed or inhaled. Tobacco is known to affect the way people think, feel, and behave by interrupting the brain’s normal communication with the rest of the body. The tobacco plant contains the addictive stimulant nicotine, which is why a smoking habit is so hard to break. Cigarettes contain 2,000 ingredients known to be toxic and harmful to the human body.

Effects of Tobacco on Oral Health

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Malocclusion: Sometimes It Bites

Malocclusion is the dental term for misaligned teeth, a common condition affecting about 200,000 people in the United States every year. Many seek cosmetic solutions to feel better about their smiles, but there are also negative health consequences including pain and discomfort that result from improperly aligned teeth.

The most severe cases may require surgical treatment beyond orthodontics, such as orthognathic (corrective jaw) surgery. Bangor dentist Dr. James Sevey would like to share some information about malocclusion, the effects it can have on oral health, and potential treatment solutions.

Occlusion & Bite

Occlusion refers to the alignment of your teeth, specifically the way your upper and lower teeth fit together. The way your upper and lower dental arches fit together is called your bite. If your upper teeth fit slightly over your lower teeth with the points of molars fitting the grooves of the molars directly opposite, you’ve got a healthy occlusion and bite. While the upper teeth keep us from biting our cheeks and lips, the lower teeth protect the tongue.

What Causes Malocclusion?

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Hate Flossing? – 5 Flossing Alternatives

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who floss, and those who don’t. Diligent flossers everywhere inspire those of us who live with them or know them. Flossing may not be a philosophical virtue but it’s certainly high on the list of qualities amongst people who “have it together.” Read more below from Creative Dental Solutions about why flossing is so important and what alternatives you have if you don’t like traditional floss.

The Point of Flossing

After you eat, tiny pieces of food are left everywhere in your mouth. Even though your saliva does a good job of rinsing a lot of food debris away, some leftovers stay stuck on and between your teeth and gums and must be brushed and flossed to get rid of it. You do have tons of natural bacteria in your mouth that help break down food buildup, but the bacteria leave behind a sticky film on your teeth called plaque that needs to be removed.

Everyone (even young kids) should brush for two minutes, twice a day, and floss once a day to remove food buildup and plaque from the places that are hard to reach with a toothbrush. If you don’t stay on top of it, food buildup and plaque can quickly turn into bigger problems that cause tooth decay, gum disease, and inflammation in your mouth.

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Applesauce to Zucchini: What Should I Eat After Dental Surgery?

If you need dental surgery, you may have a lot of questions and concerns. How much will it cost? How much will it hurt? Who is going to drive me home? And perhaps most importantly, what can I eat? Recovery can seem a lot more stressful if you don’t stock up on acceptable soft foods in advance. Bangor dentists Dr. James Sevey and Dr. Natalie Sigwart share a comprehensive list of foods in this article to help ease your mind—at least about one aspect of your procedure!

Types of Dental Treatments

Each type of dental treatment is different, so it’s important to follow post-operative instructions from Creative Dental Solutions regarding appropriate foods to eat. Certain surgeries require a strict liquid diet for a certain amount of time before transitioning to soft foods. Types of dental procedures that require soft foods while recovering may include:

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I Had Braces, Now My Jaw Hurts: Can Orthodontics Cause TMD/TMJ?

You had braces when you were younger and never experienced any jaw pain or other TMD/TMJ symptoms prior. Then, after you completed your orthodontic treatment, you developed a pain in your jaw, maybe accompanied by popping, locking, clenching and grinding. Maybe you developed these symptoms shortly after having your braces removed, maybe it was a decade later. Either way, could these two things be related?

What is TMJ?

First, let us explain a little bit about TMJ—what it is, what causes it, and how it’s treated. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction and is used to describe any condition affecting the jaw joint—but TMJ is often used to describe the dysfunction as well.

Your TMJ is a complex structure made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, lubricating systems, and shock-absorbing discs—all of which are subject to strain, sprain, and injury just like your other joints like your knees and shoulders. There are many factors that may contribute to TMJ dysfunction, including stress, injuries, habitual behaviors, as well as tooth alignment and bite problems.

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“Lasers”: A Groovy Tool for Dentists

At Creative Dental Solutions, we take pride in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest and greatest in dental treatments and technologies. That’s why we think dental “lasers” are truly smashing. And if you’re worried about paying one million dollars, rest assured laser treatments are more accessible and affordable than ever. Austin Powers jokes aside, we’re here to tell you how lasers work in dentistry and how they can benefit your smile—and make for a more comfortable dental experience!

How do dental lasers work?

Advanced laser technology has been one of the most important improvements in modern medicine and dentistry, allowing us to hang up our other tools while providing treatments that are less invasive, more comfortable, and with healthier results than ever before.

All lasers work by creating energy in the form of light, but the precise function in dentistry depends on the type of procedure. With surgical and other types of restorative dental treatments, the laser functions as a cutting device, replacing sharp dental tools, or as a vaporizer of diseased or decayed tissue—leaving healthy tissue intact. For teeth whitening, the laser functions as a heat source to speed up and enhance the effects of bleaching agents.

No Fear Here

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The Good, The Bad & The Crossbite

If your teeth or jaw don’t line up well with each other, you may have a crossbite. Bangor dentist Dr. James Sevey explains more about this condition, its effects and what you can do to treat it below.

A Good Bite

In a perfect world, your teeth would all be straight, and your upper jaw would rest nicely on top of and just a little in front of your bottom jaw. Of course, this frequently isn’t the case. Sometimes teeth are crooked or twisted and sometimes your top jaw rests awkwardly on your bottom jaw. How your teeth and jaw line up together is called your “bite.”

When we talk about this alignment, the medical term is “occlusion.” If you have a problem with your bite or alignment, it’s called “malocclusion.” Crossbite is a condition of malocclusion.

A Bad Bite

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Filling in the Gaps: Restoring Your Smile & Quality of Life

Life is full of unexpected surprises, and while we’d love for all of them to be smile-inducing, that’s not entirely realistic—and there may be many reasons you hide your smile. If you’re hiding your smile because of one or more missing teeth, we want you to know you’re not alone. In fact, 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, and more than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth at all.

Whether the cause is tooth decay, gum disease—#1 on the list of reasons, with 50% of Americans over the age of 30 having the most severe form of periodontitis—illness, or injury, there are solutions. The Bangor dentists of Creative Dental Solutions would like to fill you in on your options, which have expanded and improved over the years thanks to technological advancements and continuing education.

An Ounce of Prevention

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I Had Braces, Now My Jaw Hurts: Can Orthodontics Cause TMJ?

You had braces when you were younger and never experienced any jaw pain or other TMJ symptoms prior. Then, after you completed your orthodontic treatment, you developed a pain in your jaw, maybe accompanied by popping, locking, clenching and grinding. Maybe you developed these symptoms shortly after having your braces removed, maybe it was a decade later. Either way, could these two things be related?

What is TMJ?

First, let Creative Dental Solutions explain a little bit about TMJ—what it is, what causes it, and how it’s treated. TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint, or the jaw joint. TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction and is used to describe any condition affecting the jaw joint—but TMJ is often used to describe the dysfunction as well.

Your TMJ is a complex structure made up of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, lubricating systems, and shock-absorbing discs—all of which are subject to strain, sprain, and injury just like your other joints like your knees and shoulders. There are many factors that may contribute to TMJ dysfunction, including stress, injuries, habitual behaviors, as well as tooth alignment and bite problems.

Read more ›

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Biofilm: The Most Important Film of the Year

is quite literally a “film” or layer of biological matter that forms on teeth, in sink pipes, on river rocks, and more. Biofilm is made of many different things. Think of it as concrete, which contains cement as well as a slew of other materials. It’s likely you’ve been aware of biofilm on your teeth when they feel slimy or fuzzy instead of smooth and clean. Bangor dentists, Dr. Sevey and Dr. Sigwart explain more below about biofilm and the role it plays in your oral wellness. Read more ›

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