Smokeless Doesn’t Mean Harmless

chewing tobaccoAs we near the end of April, which just so happens to be Oral Cancer Awareness Month, the team at our Lewisburg dental office thought we should talk a bit about the oral health concerns associated with smokeless tobacco. Some individuals may assume that since it’s smokeless, chewing tobacco isn’t as harmful as smoking cigarettes. However, even though there isn’t any smoke accompanying chewing tobacco, there are still health risks associated with the habit.

How Smokeless Tobacco Affects Oral Health

Just like cigarettes, smokeless tobacco is addictive, which makes quitting difficult. The longer someone uses chewing tobacco, the more they’re exposed to the dangers of it. This increases their chance of experiencing any of the numerous issues that can occur as a result:

Yellowing TeethUsing smokeless tobacco can cause tooth discoloration, making your pearly whites not so white. While smile whitening may be able to help a little bit, staining caused by tobacco typically requires a form of cosmetic dentistry, like veneers, to get your teeth back to their white appearance.

Receding GumsChew can cause gums to recede and expose the tooth roots. Once roots are left open, the chance for cavities greatly increases. The roots also contain nerves, which, if uncovered, can make teeth sensitive to heat and cold.  

Oral CancerThe most serious concern of using any type of tobacco is the increased risk for oral cancer. In fact, tobacco is the top risk factor for developing oral cancer. If it’s not caught early, oral cancer can be deadly.

Know the Signs of Oral Cancer

Everyone should be aware of the signs of oral cancer because even though the risk of the disease is greater in tobacco users, the truth is, oral cancer can happen to anyone. The signs of oral cancer can easily be misdiagnosed as something minor, so if you notice any of the symptoms below, call your dentist in Lewisburg as soon as you can.

  • A white, scaly patch on the inside of the cheek or lip
  • Sores or lumps in the mouth or throat
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • Sensation of something being stuck in your throat

If you use tobacco of any kind, it’s incredibly important for you to see your dentist at least twice a year to keep an eye on your oral health and identify any potential problems early. Don’t have a dentist? Give our dental office in Lewisburg a call to schedule an appointment today.

Accepting new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport and beyond. 

3 Things You Should Know About Whitening Your Teeth with Baking Soda

baking sodaBaking soda is a common item found in many households and has a variety of uses besides its obvious purpose — baking food. People use it to keep smells in the fridge at bay, to minimize pet odor, and even to clean carpets and clothes. For many years, baking soda has also been used to whiten teeth. But does it actually work, is it safe, and should you do it? My dental office in Lewisburg has the answers.

Does it Work?

Let’s start with the question everyone wants to know the answer to: does baking soda actually whiten teeth? Good news, it does! Baking soda has a natural, mild abrasive texture that can scrub away surface stains and allow teeth to become a purer white. Mix equal parts baking soda with water, apply to a toothbrush, brush normally and voila!, you have a brighter, whiter smile.

Does it Always Work?

While baking soda can help remove minor discoloration and staining, it’s not incredibly effective at erasing deeper stains. Some people who try to get a whiter smile through the use of baking soda are unhappy with the results. If this happens, there are several alternatives available. In-office professional whitening treatments can whiten your smile by several shades, and at-home kits provide a convenient option. If neither one of those options work, veneers or other forms of cosmetic dentistry may be the answer. Talk with your dentist in Lewisburg to determine which solution is best for you.

There Are Disadvantages

Baking soda may be an attractive tooth whitening treatment to many — it’s cheap, it’s natural, and it’s easy. But there are some precautions you should take into consideration before jumping into a baking soda tooth whitening routine. First and foremost, brushing with baking soda can cause damage to the tooth enamel if you brush too hard. This could result in increased sensitivity and a greater risk for decay. Additionally, if used with braces or on teeth that have dental restorations, there is a chance the baking soda can weaken the adhesive. Due to its abrasive nature, baking soda users often complain of gum discomfort as well.

If you’re looking to get a whiter smile and want to explore your options, give my Lewisburg dental office a call to schedule an appointment today. We’ll review the type of staining you have, what shade of white you’d like to achieve, the best way to get you a bright, white smile that you’ll be proud to show off.

Welcoming patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport

4 Ways Your Smile Can Show Your Age

agingAs time goes on, things change. Your smile is no different. Lifestyle factors like drinking red wine, smoking, or grinding your teeth can all have an affect on your grin and can add years to your appearance. Even old dental work can cause you to look older than you really are. At my dental office in Lewisburg, we hear these concerns from patients often, and we’re always happy to help provide solutions to boost both confidence and health.

Gum Recession

Gum recession can be caused by a number of things like brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or gum disease. When gums recede, more of the teeth show and they appear longer. Unfortunately, we subconsciously assume those with longer teeth are older. This is where we got the phrase ‘long in the tooth.’ There are various options available to treat gum recession and reduce how much of the teeth are visible. Talk with your Lewisburg dentist to determine which is right for you.

Yellowing Teeth

Perhaps the most common concern among patients is how to get a brighter, whiter smile for a more confident, youthful look. The appropriate treatment depends on the type and level of staining. In some cases, a professional in-office whitening will get the desired result. In other situations, veneers or replacing old, metal dental work with tooth-colored options may be recommended.

Crooked Smile

When you think of a crooked grin, you may immediately think of teenagers in metal braces. But the reality is, it’s extremely common for adults to experience shifting in their smile. It’s natural, even if they did have braces. Some of the ways to can help straighten adult teeth is through dental veneers, traditional braces, or with clear orthodontics. The right solution is unique to your specific needs.

Chips and Cracks

As we grow older, our enamel tends to weaken and the chance of chips or cracks increases. But thanks to advancements in dental technology, we’re able to repair this damage with tooth-colored restorations like porcelain inlays or onlays, veneers, or dental bonding. These treatments are long-lasting, virtually unnoticeable, and can even help whiten your smile.

No matter what your concerns may be, my Lewisburg dental office is here to help. We’ll work with you to identify your the best treatment to get you a smile that’s healthy and beautiful. Call us to schedule an appointment today.

Accepting new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport.

A Simple Smile Can Make a Big Impact

smilingSmiling is such a simple act. So simple that even babies do it while they’re still in the womb. Although effortless, smiling is actually a pretty powerful action. At my Lewisburg dental office, we know that the easy act of smiling can actually make quite an impact on your health and the health of others.

How Smiling Boosts Your Health

There’s a whole science behind what smiling does to our confidence, our happiness, and our overall well-being. When you smile, your body naturally produces antibodies and boosts white blood cells. These two things in combination with each other are key to a healthy immune system. Smiling also affects our brains, causing it to pump out more endorphins to make us feel happy, and serotonin to relax us.

How Smiling Helps Others

A smile is contagious. Numerous studies have shown that when humans see another person smiling, we experience a natural, subconscious reaction to smile back. So when we smile, those around us smile too and, as a result, reap all the health benefits of feeling happier and more relaxed.

Smiling is also universal — it knows no boundaries and there are no cultural or language barriers. It means the same thing in every country. It’s one thing we can use to help everyone around us, no matter where we’re from, what language we speak, or what background we’re from. That’s some pretty powerful stuff.

Don’t Like the Way Your Smile Looks?

If you’re one of those people who smiles with their lips tightly shut, or shies away from the camera altogether because you’re unhappy with your smile, cosmetic dentistry from your Lewisburg dentist can help. Cosmetic dentistry can:

  • Brighten discolored teeth through smile whitening
  • Fix chips or breaks with bonding
  • Enhance tooth shape or size with veneers
  • Keep your smile white with tooth-colored fillings instead of gray amalgam

Nobody should be afraid to smile. If you’re ready to learn more about how cosmetic dentistry can help you get a smile you’re proud to show off, call my dental office in Lewisburg to schedule a consultation today.

Accepting new patients from Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Williamsport.