Adult Dental Care

Adult dental health take care of your teeth as you age

Gum disease and not the aging process is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults? Good oral health habits and a healthy lifestyle can help you keep your Adult Dental Caregums healthy and your smile bright for a lifetime. Developing a simple daily routine of brushing, flossing and eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is just as important for older adults as it is for younger adults. Here are some tips to help keep your mouth healthy and strong as you get older:

Brush at least twice a day

  • Brushing your teeth regularly is important in all stages of life. Brushing helps to remove the thin film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth each day and contributes to tooth decay. You should brush your teeth for two to three minutes with fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day. If you can brush your teeth after every meal, that's even better.
  • When you brush, you should keep the bristles angled against the gumline and brush along the gumline and the inner and outer surfaces of each tooth. You should finish by brushing your tongue, which helps remove bacteria from your mouth.
  • Special concerns as you age: Although decay may occur in any area of the tooth, as you age decay is more likely to develop around old fillings or in the softer root of the tooth that is exposed as gums recede. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly so that he or she can keep an eye on these vulnerable areas.

Floss daily

Flossing your teeth can help keep your gums strong and prevent plaque from building up between teeth. Make sure to floss at least once a day, preferably before bed, to clean the places where a toothbrush can't reach.
How important is flossing? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, flossing is the only activity that can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gumline, where decay and gum disease often begin.
Special concerns as you age: Most people don't realize how important it is to take care of their gums as well as their teeth. Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Most adults show some signs of gum disease.
In addition, recent research has shown that the health of your gums may have a connection to some chronic diseases. Having periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to and may be a risk factor in developing Alzheimer's disease, heart disease or diabetes. Experts are studying how inflammation in the mouth caused by gum disease may influence other areas of the body (brain, heart and pancreas), causing disease in those areas. Although the exact connection between gum disease and some other chronic diseases is not known, this connection between medical and dental conditions highlights the importance of maintaining good oral health to achieve good overall health.

Eat nutritious food

What you eat can help you keep your teeth. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body's ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums.
Some foods may actually help defend against tooth decay in special ways. For instance, recent studies have indicated that fresh cranberries interrupt the bonding of oral bacteria before they can form damaging plaque. Other foods that have beneficial effects on oral health include:
  • Calcium-fortified juices, milk and other dairy products, which are rich in calcium and vitamin D, help promote healthy teeth and bones, and reduce the risk for tooth loss.
  • Cheese, which unleashes a burst of calcium that mixes with plaque and sticks to the teeth, protecting them from the acid that causes decay and helping to rebuild tooth enamel on the spot.
  • Crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery, which help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.
Special concerns as you age: Experiencing tooth pain or other oral problems may affect your ability to eat nutritious food. You should visit My Scottsdale Dentist right away if you are experiencing any tooth pain, jaw pain, mouth sores or other oral discomfort that interferes with your ability to eat.

Keep up with dentist appointments

My Scottsdale Dentist can diagnose and treat dental health problems before they become serious. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings are an important part of maintaining good dental health as you age.
New research suggests that the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For example, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems. So, seeing a dentist regularly not only helps to keep your mouth in top shape, but also allows your dentist to watch for developments that may point to other health issues.
Special concerns as you age: As you age, you become more vulnerable to developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease. Researchers believe that symptoms of these diseases can manifest themselves in the mouth, making your dentist key in diagnosing the diseases. In fact, your dentist may be the first health professional to notice a problem.
In addition, it is important to visit your dentist regularly because some oral problems, for instance root decay, can only be detected in its early stages by x-ray examination.

If you smoke, quit

In addition to increasing your risk of many health conditions, smoking can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers, according to two 30-year studies at Tufts University that investigated the relationship between smoking and tooth loss. Another study cited in the Journal of Dental Research shows that cigarette smokers are nearly twice as likely as non-smokers to need root canal treatment.
While most people are aware of the impact tobacco use has on their overall health, some might not consider its effects on oral health. Smoking increases risk of mouth pain, cavities, gum recession, gum (periodontal) disease and tooth loss. In fact, an estimated 50 percent of adults who smoke have gum disease.
The good news is that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking. To help you kick the habit, your dentist may prescribe a variety of nicotine replacement therapies, such as a transdermal nicotine patch (worn for 24 hours over several weeks with a dissipating flow of nicotine) or chewing gum (which is slowly chewed every one to two hours and then discarded).
Special concerns as you age: In addition to increasing your risk for gum disease and tooth loss, smoking increases your risk for oral cancer. Although oral cancer can occur in any age group, it most often occurs in people over 40 years of age. See Dr. Yoon immediately if you notice any red or white patches on your gums, tongue or other oral tissues, and watch for sores that fail to heal within two weeks. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often difficult to detect in its early stages, when it can be cured more easily. Your dentist should perform a head and neck exam to screen for signs of cancer at your regular checkups.

Post Date: November 27, 2013

What do your teeth say about your health?

We know your dental health is closely connected to your overall health. We also know the mouth can oftentimes be the first place to indicate signs of health issues in the body. Recently, we found a helpful article that outlined seven warning signs that indicate it might be time to check in with My Scottsdale Dentist.

Flat, worn teeth plus headache (sign of stress)

Grind, grind, grind ¦. grind. If you live with a teeth grinder, you are probably familiar with this unpleasant sound. Emotional or psychological stress can definitely contribute to teeth grinding. In addition, headaches, which are caused by spasms in the muscles, can radiate from the mouth and head down to the neck and upper back. Night guards, which we proudly provide at (Insert Name of Practice), may relieve the symptoms, as well as protect your teeth. Speak to your dentist at My Scottsdale Dentist for more details.

Cracking, crumbling teeth (sign of Gastroesophageal reflux disease)

As we age we may notice that the enamel on our teeth starts to chip at the edges of our front teeth or form hollowed out wells on the surface of our molars. These symptoms may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid—and occasionally, bile—flows back into your food pipe. Other signs and symptoms of GERD include acid reflux, dry mouth and heartburn.

Sores that won't go away (sign of oral cancer)

More than 21,000 men and 9,000 women are diagnosed with oral cancer annually, according to the National Cancer Institute. Those most affected include the elderly (most are over the age of 60) and smokers. The survival rate for oral cancer is 35 percent. When an open sore in the mouth doesn't go away within a week or two, or when you experience unexplained bleeding or numbness, it's always a good idea to visit our office so that we may rule out oral cancer. A lot of sores and ulcers may lurk underneath your tongue, where they are difficult to find. Schedule an appointment with My Scottsdale Dentist and ask for an Oral Cancer Screening.

Gums growing over teeth (sign of medication problems)

If you notice your gum growing over your tooth, and you are taking a prescribed or other medication, please give us a call as soon as possible. Certain medications may cause the gums to overgrow; the dosage will need to be adjusted, but it's important we take a look.

White webbing inside cheeks (sign of Lichen planus)

Lichen planus, whose cause is unknown, is an inflammatory skin disease that usually affects the skin, mouth, or both, according to the Mayo Clinic. On the skin it manifests with small purplish bumps while in the mouth it takes the appearance of a whitish, lacy pattern on the insides of the cheeks. The disease can't be passed from one person to another. Lichen planus may require relatively simple at-home care or no treatment.

Crusting dentures (sign of pneumonia)

Older folks are known to inhale debris around the teeth and dentures, and inadvertently breathe in other materials into the lungs and airway, causing dangerous (even fatal) inflammation. Be sure to remove and wash dentures on a regular basis.

Post Date: November 20, 2013

How to improve taste for people who wear dentures

Taste (gustation) is defined as the ability to detect flavors from food, minerals and poisons. Taste is one of the five senses and is a basic function of life.
Taste helps to improve the quality of life and detects poisons to protect you.
There are around 10,000 taste buds in the mouth. Each taste bud has between 15 and 150 receptor cells that derives a specific flavor such as salt, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (savory). That equates to 150,000 to 1.5 million receptor cells. These cells turn over every two weeks. If you are wearing an upper denture (maxillary complete denture), the roof of the mouth (palate) is most likely covered with acrylic or metal. There are receptors for taste located all over the soft palate. Covering the roof of the mouth with a removable complete denture reduces the ability to taste foods. The technical term for reduced taste is hypogeusia. Upper complete dentures cause hypogeusia.
If you are wearing an upper complete denture (people also refer to these as plates), you may be experiencing decreased taste. Foods lose their sharpness. Food and drink may become bland. The joy of eating for pleasure gets diminished. But there is a way to improve your taste:


In the construction of an upper denture, the dentist covers the palate (roof of the mouth) to improve suction. This allows the upper denture to have better retention and increases the chance the denture will stay in place during eating.

Your upper denture can be fixed with dental implants.

The dental implants prevent the need for suction of the denture. Without the need for suction, the dentist can remove the palate on the denture. This opens up the ability to increase taste and feel temperature from food and drink. Your quality of life can significantly improve!

Dental implants = improved taste = improved quality of life

After treating thousands of patients, I have never met a patient that loved having the roof of his or her mouth covered with either metal or plastic. They all mentioned the decreased ability to feel temperatures and taste foods. They are frequently seeking methods to improve taste. Dental implants are the way.
If you are wearing an upper denture, 2-4 dental implants can be used to fix the upper teeth and prevent them from sliding around or falling down during eating. Placing dental implants to fix your denture can increase the pleasure from eating, improve digestion and improve speech.

Post Date: November 15, 2013

My Scottsdale Dentist

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Post Date: November 3, 2013