Your knowledge about dentistry and proper homecare practices are one of the most important factors affecting your oral health. It doesn’t matter how diligent you are with your brushing and flossing if you are doing things incorrectly. Therefore, it is time you tested your knowledge about homecare and dentistry, and what better way than with a dental quiz from your Erlanger dentist, Dr. Darlene Sand Wall. (more…)
February 28, 2013
Few things can make you more self-conscious than having bad breath. Rather than focus on a conversation with a friend or loved one, your attention will likely be more focused on ways to mask your breath. Unfortunately, this effort may be interpreted as rudeness rather than kindness. Thus, maintaining fresh breath plays an important role in your self-confidence and in your interactions with others. So if you’re looking for tips for fresh breath, look no farther than your Erlanger dentist, Dr. Darlene Sand Wall. She explains the causes and remedies for bad breath. (more…)
February 21, 2013
Did you know that over 50 percent of adults age 50 and older develop some form of gum disease? Once a person develops gum disease, it could progress into a more severe form that results in the decay of teeth-supporting tissues and ligaments, which in turn, could lead to tooth loss. But what do you think of when you hear the words “gum disease”? Many people automatically think of gingivitis. If you know your Greek and Latin, you’ll know that gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. Itis is a Greek suffix meaning inflammation, and gingiva, is the Latin word for gum. However, inflammation of the gums doesn’t sound so bad, a bit like a rash for your mouth. Surely it will just go away on its own, right? Perhaps not. Recent research shows that the bacterium responsible for gingivitis actually inhibits the immune system from fighting against it. Your Erlanger dentist, Dr. Darlene Sand Wall, discusses this research and the bacterium known as porphyromonas gingivalis. (more…)
January 31, 2013
Remember the way it feels to get corn stuck between your teeth? It isn’t very pleasant. Luckily, we have dental floss for just such a problem. But dental floss can do far more than remove pesky food from between your teeth. It’s an excellent tool for cleaning the areas of your mouth that are more difficult to access. Your Erlanger dentist, Dr. Darlene Sand Wall, elaborates on the vital role flossing plays in the health of your mouth. (more…)
January 11, 2013
If you suffer from a fear of going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Almost 30-40 million American adults fear or feel anxious about a dental appointment. A recent study indicates that a fear of visiting the dentist can start in childhood and that parents can influence kids’ impressions of oral care. Avoiding regular dental appointments puts you at a heightened risk for oral and general health issues. In this article, Erlanger cosmetic dentist Dr. Darlene Sand Wall explores the effects of fearing dental appointments.
Parental Fear of Dentists
Research indicates that when only one family member feels anxiety or fear toward visiting a dentist office, the entire family also feels some degree of apprehension. Typically, fathers transmit dental fear to children, either directly or via mothers. Even when mothers lower anxiety, fathers influence a mother’s actions through their actions at a dentist office. A palpable dental fear displayed by parents spreads to children, who carry a fear of going to the dentist with them through their lives. Fearing the dentist leads to infrequent dental checkups, which can cause oral problems to go unnoticed. (more…)
December 21, 2012
Maintaining good oral health requires that we pay attention to our entire mouth. Unsightly and sometimes painful cold and canker sores may not directly affect our teeth, but they could pose problems to our health. Do you know the difference between a cold sore and a canker sore? Understanding these lesions can help you refine treatment when either appears. In this article, Erlanger dentist Dr. Darlene Sand Wall explains the differences between cold sores and canker sores.
The herpes simplex 1 virus, which most cold sore sufferers contract as children, causes eruptions outside of the mouth around the lips. Nerve ganglions serve as the home for the virus. Nerves irritate the virus when illness or stress occurs, but the virus does not damage nerves. Trauma to the nerve area also encourages the virus to deliver its signature red eruptions around lips. You may recognize cold sores as small, fluid-containing lesions. A long-lasting cold sore eventually cracks and leaks fluid that hardens. Since doctors have yet to find a cure for the cold sore virus, the best treatment options are preventive. To avoid cold sore development, begin treating areas that itch, burn, or feel numb before a cold sore appears. Talk to Dr. Sand Wall about drugs that help suppress herpes simplex 1 to minimize appearances of cold sores.
December 14, 2012
Many of us celebrate the holiday season by attending parties and celebrations at the office, with friends, and in our homes with family. One of the most essential parts of these wintertime celebrations includes the many wonderful holiday treats that we only seem to eat during this time of year. Unfortunately, most of these holiday goodies can give us bad breath. Anyone hoping to get a kiss under the mistletoe this year had better follow the advice of their Erlanger family dentist for avoiding these commonplace bad breath culprits.
Candy is Dandy for Causing Bad Breath
From candy canes to hot cocoa swimming with marshmallows to Grandma’s famous Christmas fudge, sugary goodies pervade the snack table at nearly every holiday gathering. Unfortunately, those sweet treats don’t just widen your waistband. They also ruin your breath. Particles of sugar left in your mouth become food for bacteria. These bacteria digest the sugar and produce a foul-smelling, acidic by-product that eats away at your tooth enamel and gives you dragon breath. (more…)
November 8, 2012
Receding gums can be an irritating and unpleasant condition. Your gums have the job of sealing the inner workings of your teeth and roots. When that seal shrinks away, your roots can be exposed, bacteria and food can get caught in the spaces, and all of this opens you up to further infection. Appearance-wise, your teeth will start to look longer as your gums recede. Your Kentucky dentist, Dr. Darlene Sand Wall, offers advice on how to stop the progression of gum disease.
A Brief Overview of Gum Disease
Gingival tissue (gums) prevents food from settling in the darkest recesses of your teeth. When we don’t take care of our teeth and gums, they are both at risk for infection. Different types of bacteria create gum disease and tooth decay, but tartar (calcified plaque) exacerbates both issues. Keeping your teeth free of plaque and tartar will help keep your gums healthy, so they’re not susceptible to deeper infection. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, wherein gums become puffy and bleed easily. If not tended to, this can segue into periodontitis (severe gum disease) which includes periodontal pockets and gum recession. (more…)
September 8, 2012
Dental caries, more commonly known as tooth decay, is one of the most widespread preventable diseases in the world. By the time they reach 40 years of age, over 85% of Americans will have signs of decay on at least one tooth. Two particular bacteria currently making their home in the human mouth, Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus, digest the sugars left behind in your mouth. The digestion process turns these sugars into enamel-eating acids. Until recently, the best defense against tooth decay included a consistent and thorough at-home dental care regimen and regular checkups and cleanings with a general dentist. While you shouldn’t throw away your toothbrush and cancel your next cleaning quite yet, scientists have recently established a positive link between coconut oil and the reduction of tooth decay causing bacteria.
Coconut Oil Redeemed
Once vilified in the popular media for its high saturated fat content, coconut oil has come back into vogue in recent years. Produced by extracting the natural oil from the meat of mature coconuts, virgin coconut oil has gained popularity in the U.S. as a (more…)
July 6, 2012
We’ve been told for most of our lives to brush our teeth twice a day, floss at least once, and visit the dentist every six months for a checkup. If you’ve heeded this advice, chances are your dentist tells you what a great job you’ve been doing taking care of your mouth and teeth. A few lucky people may never need any dental work done. That does not mean, however, that the dental checkup is unnecessary. Dr. Darlene Sand Wall explains the importance of your dental checkup and why you shouldn’t ignore it.
Maintaining your Oral Health
Brushing and flossing removes bacteria and plaque from your teeth and gums before they have a chance to cause damage. Unfortunately, plaque clings to every surface of the tooth, including below the gum line. While you may pay careful attention to brushing every surface and flossing in between every tooth, nobody is perfect, and you may miss some spots or simply be unable to reach them. When plaque remains for more than 48 hours, it calcifies (hardens) into tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar cannot be removed by simply brushing, flossing, or rinsing. Our hygienist will conduct a thorough, professional cleaning to remove all traces of tartar, especially along the gum line, to prevent the formation of gum disease. If tartar is not caught and removed during your checkup and cleaning, you may not know that you’re at risk until your gums exhibit signs, at which point gingivitis has already set in, and gum disease isn’t far behind. (more…)