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Dental Cavities Treated with Composite Fillings

Dental cavities are extremely common and affect more than 90% of the population. If you have reached adulthood without ever having a cavity you are one of the lucky few. Cavities can affect anybody at any age from young to old. Oral hygiene habits, nutrition, and even normal changes associated with the aging process can play a direct role in making cavities a problem for all ages.

Cavity Is A Word We Don’t Like To Hear

Cavities are caused by decay and, as the name suggests, are tiny pitted holes in your teeth. Cavity-causing bacteria found in plaque is the primary culprit to blame for this decay. Bacteria, saliva and food intermix forming that sticky substance called plaque that attaches to your teeth. Plaque can accumulate most anywhere on the teeth and is most common along the gum line, in between teeth and in the small grooves in the tops of teeth. The bacteria in plaque interact with carbohydrates and sugars creating acid which attacks protective enamel (a tooth’s outer layer). Eating or drinking things high in sugar and starches contribute greatly to this process.

When a tooth is overly exposed to acid it weakens the enamel and forms a cavity. Once the dense, hard enamel erodes it leaves exposed the softer, porous inner layer of the tooth called the dentin. Once this occurs decay will rapidly advance penetrating the dentin and deeper layers of the tooth. You may not experience any symptoms of a cavity, such as pain or sensitivity, until the cavity actually reaches the dentin. You may occasionally be able to see a cavity as the area around a cavity may appear to be a grayish or dark brown color. In many cases, however, cavities cannot be seen and can be detected only by x-ray or a dental exam.

Do I Really Need A Filling?

A cavity will not just go away and should be treated. If cavities are left untreated they can cause pain, discomfort and may even cavities-composite-fillingslead to tooth loss. The decay will continue to spread and will eventually permeate the nerve center of the tooth which may be as painful as it sounds. Treatment also become much more involved and costly the longer it is left alone. Untreated cavities can develop into a more complicated problem such as an infection or abscess. Rather than a simple filling you may be faced with a root canal in an effort to save the tooth.

Resin fillings can also be used to repair a chipped tooth or replace an existing filling. Existing fillings can weaken over time and the seal between the tooth and the filling material loosens allowing bacteria in. Once this happens the tooth decay process takes hold.

Treating Cavities with Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are a restorative material that may be used by your Greeley dentist to treat cavities. It has become a favored choice for fillings because it closely resembles the color of your natural tooth and also creates a solid bond to the tooth. The material used for composite fillings consists of plastic resin and silica filler or tiny glass particles. Through the years technological advances in filling materials have tremendously improved composite fillings making them stronger and more durable. Composite fillings, however, can be vulnerable to staining or changes in color and can sometimes chip or wear away from the tooth.

A cavity can be filled right in your dentist’s office. Your dentist will typically numb the affected area using a local anesthetic so that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. All areas of decay will be removed from the tooth and the tooth prepared so that your dentist can rebuild the missing tooth structure with the composite filling. A bonding solution will be applied with the next step being application of the composite filling material. A blue dental high intensity curing light is used to harden the filling material which takes just a few seconds. The filling is then checked to be sure there are no rough edges and your bite is okay. Any necessary adjustments will be made at this time to ensure your tooth has the right shape and appearance.

Expectations after Getting A New Composite Filling

It is not uncommon to experience some slight discomfort after getting a new composite filling. Your dentist may recommend ibuprofen to relieve any discomfort. If symptoms persist you should contact your dentist. The decay may have permeated deep into the tooth causing the nerve to become infected with bacteria. There is a chance that the tooth may need to undergo a root canal to relieve the discomfort even though the cavity has already been filled.

dentist in Greeley CO

Dr. Scott Williams | Dentist Greeley CO | Ascent Family Dental | (970) 351-6095

Ascent Family Dental welcomes the opportunity to be your number one Greeley dentist and help you to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. You are invited to contact Dr. Scott Williams for an appointment to discuss all of your dental needs. The knowledgeable and caring staff at Ascent Family Dental will make you feel at home and will do everything possible to alleviate any fears you may have about dental procedures. If you have any questions or concerns about dental cavities, call (970) 351-6095 to schedule an appointment with a dentist you can trust.

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095

Dental Habits to Kiss Goodbye

Are you guilty of bad dental habits?

Are you guilty of bad dental habits?

Let’s face it, we’re all a little guilty of developing some bad dental habits at one point or another. What’s really the harm in not flossing every day or skipping a brushing now and then? Have you ever stopped to consider that you may be causing damage to your teeth when you hold something between your teeth like a set of car keys to momentarily free up your hands. Can it really be a good thing to tear or pry something open with your teeth? It can be very easy to fall into some bad habits and take your dental health for granted. In order to develop excellent oral hygiene practices and maintain good dental health it’s important to kick those bad habits for good.

Say Goodbye Forever to 8 Bad Dental Habits

Below is a list of some of the most common bad dental habits that are easily acquired and why those habits should be eliminated.

Poor Brushing Habits

We all know how important it is to brush our teeth but did you realize that brushing your teeth too vigorously can do more harm than good. Brushing too hard can wear down tooth structure and cause gums to become irritated and even recede. Tooth sensitivity, exposed roots and even loose teeth can result. Brushing incorrectly or using the wrong type of toothbrush can also contribute to deterioration of the teeth and gums. Using a soft bristle toothbrush is best and learning proper gentle brushing techniques from your dentist will help preserve those precious pearly whites.

Failing to Floss

We have all heard over and over again the importance of flossing yet this is still one good habit that is tough to make stick. Failing to floss on a routine basis or even at all is something that many of us are guilty of. It’s time to search for that little container of floss, keep it right next to your toothbrush, and be sure to use it every day. Just remember that bacteria loves to accumulate and hide between teeth, destroying enamel and causing cavities to develop, and the only way to truly get those areas between your teeth clean is by flossing.

Consuming Sugary Foods and Acidic Beverages

Eating a proper and nutritious diet is one way to help promote good oral health. Many of us have a serious weakness, however, for lots of sugary treats and/or beverages loaded with sugar and acid. Consuming too many sugary foods and allowing that sugar to remain on the teeth after eating can accelerate tooth decay. Beverages that are high in sugar and loaded with acids such as soda, juice, coffee, tea and energy drinks can also contribute to cavities and the destruction of tooth enamel. Cutting back or eliminating sugary treats will help. If you do eat or drink anything high in sugar or acidic content be sure to rinse your mouth with water immediately after and brush your teeth as soon as possible.

Using Your Teeth as a Tool

If you’ve ever used your teeth to tear open a package, turn the cap on a bottle, tear off a price tag, or pry something open you are putting your teeth in harms way and making them prone to cracks or breaks. This can also damage existing dental work. Instead of using your teeth as a tool buy a Swiss army knife.

Crunching on Ice

Chewing on hard objects such as pens, pencils or your fingernails or crunching on ice cubes can be one of the worst things for your teeth. This practice makes your teeth susceptible to fractures, cracks and chips and wears away at the enamel which can also promote tooth decay.

Do You Grind Your Teeth or Clench Your Jaw

These habits (the technical term is bruxism) can be very hard to break particularly because most people don’t even realize they are doing it. Grinding your teeth often occurs during sleep and can be caused by stress or anxiety, missing teeth, or an abnormal bite. Headaches, tooth sensitivity, and jaw pain are a few signs of bruxism so if you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, or you know you are grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, it is important to consult with your dentist for solutions to correct the problem. If left untreated the long term effects can be quite serious from tooth fractures to bone loss.

Foods and Beverages That Stain

Coffee, tea and wine are all beverages that can stain teeth. There are several drinks, as well as foods, that can be harsh on tooth enamel and cause discoloration and staining. Avoiding or cutting back on these items is ideal. You can also consult with your dentist on the best methods to remove stains and whiten teeth.

Avoiding the Dentist

dentist in Greeley CO

Dr. Scott Williams | Dentist Greeley CO | Ascent Family Dental | (970) 351-6095

Going to the dentist is most likely not on anyone’s top 10 list of favorite things to do but routine visits to your dentist for cleanings and checkups will help to keep yourdental health in tip top condition. Be sure to keep those scheduled dental appointments and if you experience persistent problems like bleeding gums, gum or tooth pain, mouth sores, etc. be sure to contact your dentist.

A habit is merely a behavior that is repeated regularly and becomes routine. It typically tends to occur subconsciously without any real thought. It’s never too late to break a bad dental habit but you first need to recognize that it is a bad habit that can have detrimental effects on your oral health. It can initially take some effort to break the behavior but once you do it can be replaced by healthy dental habits that will have you on the road to great dental health.

You are invited to call Dr. Scott Williams at Ascent Family Dental (970) 351-6095 for all of your dental needs. Dr. Williams is passionate about educating his patients on how to properly care for their teeth.

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095



Understanding Gum Disease

This could be a symptom of gum disease.

This could be a symptom of gum disease.

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that silently preys upon approximately 50% of American adults aged 30 and older. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) a study was conducted and published using data from 2009 and 2010 on the prevalence of periodontitis in adults in the US. Findings indicated that an estimated 64.7 million Americans have mild to severe periodontitis. The earliest stage of gum disease is commonly known as gingivitis and affects virtually everyone at some point, both children and adults. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and when caught early and treated properly with good dental hygiene and proper diet adverse effects can be reversed. If gingivitis is left untreated it can progress to periodontitis and may cause irreversible damage to the gums and bone supporting the teeth.

What is Gum Disease?

So what exactly is gum disease? Gum disease is a chronic form of inflammation that affects the gum tissue in your mouth. The bacteria associated with plaque buildup around the gum line can irritate and infect this soft tissue and when left untreated it can advance into more severe stages of gum disease. There are basically three stages of gum disease which encompass mild, moderate and severe disease.

• Gingivitis (mild gum disease): Plaque buildup is something that everyone gets and with good dental hygiene such as daily brushing, flossing and routine dental visits, in addition to a well-balanced diet, it can be controlled and eliminated. Bacteria in your mouth forms into plaque which can build up on the teeth and gums and can cause inflammation, redness and bleeding which is known as gingivitis. There is no irreversible damage to the gums or bone during this stage. If left untreated, however, gingivitis progressively works its way to a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis.

• Periodontitis (moderate gum disease): When gingivitis advances to this stage there is irreversible damage to the gum tissue and the surrounding bone that supports and holds the teeth in place. Deep pockets can form between the gums and teeth (more than 3mm in depth) where food and plaque can get trapped. Serious inflammation and infection underneath the gums can occur. Receiving the proper professional dental care and treatment as well as practicing excellent dental hygiene at home can stave off any further damage.

periodontal disease

• Advanced Periodontitis (severe gum disease): This is the final and most serious stage of gum disease. The connective tissues and bone holding the teeth in place are severely damaged which may result in teeth becoming loose or shifting. Aggressive dental treatment may be able to save the existing teeth; however, there is a good chance that teeth may need to be removed in this advanced stage of periodontitis.

Why Does it Occur?

The number one cause of gum disease is a build-up of plaque on the teeth around the gum line. Plaque is basically formed from bacteria in the mouth. It is a type of harmful bacteria that increases in mass and thickness until it forms a sticky, white-yellow type of film that adheres to teeth and the surrounding gums. Plaque can usually be removed with daily brushing and flossing; however, if it is not removed the plaque will continue to build up and the harmful bacteria will attack the gums causing inflammation and infection. As plaque buildup hardens it turns into calculus or tartar and is much more difficult to remove than plaque. Tartar should be removed professionally by a dental hygienist. Other causes of gum disease:

Genetics can be a major contributing factor to gum disease. If you have a family history of periodontal disease, you may be more likely to develop this problem and it may be necessary to take a more aggressive approach to avoiding gum disease.

Poor oral hygiene is a very common cause of gum disease. It is extremely important to develop and practice excellent oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing, rinsing after meals, and visiting your dentist on a routine basis. A lack of any or all of these practices can result in gingivitis.

stop smoking to improve dental health

Smoking and tobacco use can put you at a greater risk for gum disease. According to the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, studies have indicated that tobacco use is a significant risk factor for the development of periodontal disease. Smoking makes it more difficult for gum tissue in the mouth to repair itself.

Hormonal changes can have an affect on the development of gum disease. Puberty, pregnancy, and menopause are some instances where hormonal changes are occurring which can result in increased sensitivity in gums putting the individual at a greater risk for developing gingivitis.

Illnesses such as cancer or HIV where the immune system is compromised can adversely affect the condition of the gum tissues with a greater likelihood for developing gingivitis. Other types of illnesses like diabetes or the use of certain medications can also be linked to gum disease.

A Dental Exam Will Help Your Family Dentist Diagnose Gum Disease

As part of a dental exam, your family dentist will examine you for the following issues or conditions and will be able to diagnose the presence of gingivitis or periodontitis or the probability for developing gum disease.

– The condition of your gums. Are you experiencing redness, swelling or inflammation, bleeding or tenderness? How deep are the pockets between the gum and the tooth (healthy gums will have a depth anywhere between 1 and 3 mm). The deeper the pocket the more aggressive the gum disease is.

– Your dentist will examine teeth alignment, teeth sensitivity and teeth movement.

– Examining and possibly x-raying your jawbone will help detect any changes in bone structure and the breakdown of bone supporting the teeth.

Common Symptoms

Gum disease can really sneak up on you and you may not even realize it’s there. The most common symptoms of gingivitis are red, inflamed or tender gums. Gums will also bleed easily when brushing your teeth or flossing. Gums may also start receding which will make your teeth look longer. If you are having persistent issues with bad breath or have a bad taste in your mouth that may be a sign of gum disease. Many of the symptoms can be very subtle so if you are experiencing any of these issues it is best to schedule an appointment with your family dentist for an exam and to discuss your concerns.

If you experience any drastic changes such as the alignment of your teeth seems different or your bite has changed, the gum around a tooth appears to be pulling away from the tooth or a tooth feels loose, you should contact your dentist immediately as this may be a sign of more advanced periodontitis. One of the biggest reasons that many patients ignore the warning signs until it may be too late is because gum disease is typically painless.

dentist in Greeley CO

Dr. Scott Williams | Dentist Greeley CO | Ascent Family Dental | (970) 351-6095

Gum disease is a progressive condition; however, when caught early it can be easily treated with no damage to the gums or bone. Even if gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis (affecting millions of Americans over the age of 30 and 70% of adults over age 65) professional treatment is available which can help save your teeth and prevent further damage from occurring. Educating yourself on what gum disease actually is, the causes of gum disease and the warning signs can be a huge help in preventing gum disease.

You are invited to contact Ascent Family Dental for all of your dental care needs. Dr. Williams and his dedicated staff will make you feel welcome and comfortable and can answer any questions or concerns you may have. Make an appointment today to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095


Dental Flossing: The Key to Improving Oral Hygiene

dental flossing greeleyDental flossing may be a simple concept, but most people forget to include this important step in their daily oral hygiene routine. This may be in part because most people view flossing as an “extra” or an unnecessary step. After all, brushing is enough to keep your teeth healthy, right? The problem with this theory is that plaque not only lives on the surface of your teeth, but in between your teeth as well.

This slimy bacterium forms a coating on your teeth that can easily be removed through regular brushing AND FLOSSING.  However, when plaque is allowed to stick around, it will release damaging acids and eventually harden to create tartar buildup. At this point, only a dental professional can remove the calcified plaque. Without regular flossing, all the plaque living between your teeth will wreak havoc on your smile.

People have a tendency to confuse brushing and flossing. With many modern toothbrush models boasting the ability to clean those “harder to reach” places, many people are under the impression that flossing is no longer necessary. Similar to a toothbrush, floss is a tool used to scrape plaque from the teeth. However, both tools have their own purpose.

Much like cleaning your home, you need several tools to get the job done right. Vacuuming removes dirt and dust from the carpet, while a dust rag removes dust and dirt from furniture. You would never use a vacuum to dust your bookshelf because it simply cannot do the job quite as well as your dust rag could. The same goes for your teeth. A toothbrush cannot truly get in between your teeth to remove plaque quite like floss can. To truly provide yourself with the best dental care, you need to make dental flossing a part of your daily routine.

Dental Flossing is Essential to Optimal Dental Care

Many people claim they simply do not have the time to floss. However, spending just 60 seconds each day flossing can make a huge difference and provide you with a number of benefits, including:

Removing Plaque 

The first and most obvious benefit to dental flossing would be plaque removal. By eliminating plaque build-up in between your teeth, you take an important step towards preventing gum inflammation. At the same time, you eliminate toxins released by plaque.

Preventing Gum Disease and Other Serious Illnesses

Plaque build-up often leads to gum disease and tartar. Gum disease starts out as gingivitis, but can eventually develop into Periodontitis if left untreated. This occurs when plaque is allowed to eat away at the bone and soft tissue. Gum disease has also been linked to a number of other serious illnesses as well, such as diabetes and heart disease. Remember, plaque is a form of bacteria. When given the chance to flourish, this bacteria can eventually make its way into your bloodstream and move towards other organs in the body.

Eliminating Bad Breath

When food particles make their way in between your teeth, they eventually begin to rot and release unpleasant odors. Regular dental flossing will remove food particles and freshen your breath.

Creating a Whiter Smile

Eliminating plaque build-up in between teeth will prevent the formation of tartar and prevent the bacteria from releasing damaging acids. As a result, you can enjoy a whiter, brighter smile.

Saving Money

Ultimately, dental flossing can help you save money by reducing the number of trips you make to the dentist. Prevention is the key to optimal dental health and flossing will go a long way in preventing gum disease as well as the formation of cavities.

Flossing Techniques: Finding and Eliminating Plaque

In order to truly take advantage of the benefits listed above, you need to understand how to properly floss. Believe it or not, improper dental flossing can still leave you vulnerable to plaque build-up and gum disease. The first and most important thing is to understand where plaque lives. Once you know how to find plaque, you can gain a better understanding of how to remove it. Plaque develops in two primary locations: the space between teeth and the space between a tooth and gum tissue.

Now that you know where to find plaque, you can eliminate it through proper dental flossing techniques. It is important to remember that simply placing the floss in between teeth is not an effective way to remove plaque. The goal here is to “scrub” the plaque away by drawing the floss up the side of each individual tooth. Start by holding the floss in between your thumb and index fingers and gently slide the floss up and down between teeth. Curving the floss around the base of each tooth will eliminate plaque build-up below the gum line. Always be sure to use clean sections of floss when moving to a new tooth. Dental flossing must be performed daily if you wish to maintain optimal oral health.

dentist in Greeley CO

Dr. Scott Williams | Dentist Greeley CO | Ascent Family Dental

Daily dental flossing should be a part of every person’s oral hygiene routine. Not only does it help prevent gum disease, but it also helps keep your smile looking its best. If you are unsure of whether or not you are flossing properly, it may be a good idea to demonstrate your dental flossing technique for your dentist or dental hygienist.

Scott Williams DMD of Ascent Family Dental can assist you with all of your dental health care needs. The expert staff at Ascent Family Dental looks forward to hearing from you.

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095


Your Dental Care Provider and You – How to Get the Most Out of this Relationship

get to know your dental care providerBuilding a relationship with your Greeley dental care provider is one of the most important steps on the road to excellent oral health care. You will want to find a dentist that you feel comfortable with and can trust in providing the right recommendations for dental procedures, treatments and ongoing care to maintain healthy teeth and gums. In order for your dentist to assess your overall oral health and put the proper dental health care plan in place for you, it will be important for you to do your part and do a little homework prior to your dentist visit.

Dental appointment preparation should consist of putting a list together of all prescription and over-the-counter medicines and/or vitamins you take, updating your medical history to include any current medical conditions, a list of any questions and concerns you would like to discuss with your dentist as well as what you should be doing to keep your dental care up to speed. There is a notable connection between your oral health and your general health and well-being, and one can significantly affect the other. So, make sure your dental care provider is aware of any and all issues related to your overall physical health.

Questions and Concerns to Discuss With Your Dental Care Provider – It’s All About You!

Take the time to really consider some of the things that you would like to discuss with your dental care provider and make a list. Even if you have had a minor issue that doesn’t really seem worth mentioning you should add it to your list of questions and concerns. Your dentist will be glad you asked and will be able to put your mind at ease that it is nothing to be concerned about or it may be an early warning sign of a potential problem down the road. The better prepared you are the easier it will be for you and your dentist to put together a good oral health care plan.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself when preparing for your dentist visit. These are just a few things to get you started; however, it is not intended to be a complete list as you will want to add anything that pertains to your own personal health.

  • Do your gums bleed when you brush? This can be a warning sign for gum disease. Bleeding is a very common symptom of a mild form of gum disease, gingivitis, which causes irritation and inflammation of the gums. It is easily treated and preventable through good oral care, however, if left untreated it can lead to more serious gum disease, periodontitis, and tooth loss.
  • Are you constantly popping breath mints to cover up continuous bad breath? Halitosis (bad breath) can be an embarrassing problem and is typically caused by a build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Certain foods, health conditions or accelerating tooth decay can also be the culprit. Talk to your dental care provider to get to the root of the problem and find solutions to overcome it.
  • Do you grind your teeth or find yourself clenching your jaw? This is a common problem that many people experience, however, over time it can wear down teeth and make them more susceptible to decay. Your Greeley dentist can discuss causes and a course of action to help. Sometimes a simple mouth guard worn at night can alleviate the issue.
  • Have you experienced sores inside your mouth that seem to take forever to heal? It is imperative you advise your dentist of any sores that won’t heal as it could be an early warning sign of oral cancer. This health condition can be treated much more easily when detected early.
  • Do you have dry mouth or a lack of saliva? This condition is known as xerostomia and can significantly increase the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Certain medications or illnesses can contribute to a lack of saliva so it is important to advise your Greeley dental care provider of your medical history and any medications you are taking.
  • Do you have tooth pain or unusual sensitivity to hot or cold? Most times pain or sensitivity issues are caused by tooth decay, cavities or a broken filling or cracked tooth.

The Importance of Discussing Your Medical History with Your Dental Care Provider

Prevention and early detection is paramount in maintaining good overall health which includes oral health. Surprisingly, your Greeley oral health care dentist greeleydentist may be able to detect serious, and possibly life-threatening, health conditions in the early stages through warning signs that may be present through oral symptoms. Symptoms such as bleeding or swollen gums, mouth ulcers, bad breath, a metallic taste in the mouth, or dry mouth can be early warning signs of serious diseases that affect the body which is why it is so critical to openly discuss any issues you are experiencing with your dental care provider.

Some of the serious health conditions that can be detected early by your dental care provider through oral symptoms are:

  • Diabetes: One of the symptoms of diabetes is periodontal bleeding and inflammation. A high percentage of people with diabetes tend to have gum disease according to the American Academy of Periodontology. It is suspected that this is due to the body’s reduced ability to fight infection which affects the tissues in the mouth (the gums).
  • Cancer: One of the symptoms of cancer may be sores or lesions of the mouth that won’t heal. A routine part of a dentist visit exam is screening for oral cancers including cancer of the head or neck. Other types of cancers may also be detected by a dentist such as cancer of the jaw, thyroid cancer or skin cancer.
  • Kidney Disease: When kidneys are not functioning properly, by-products of incomplete protein breakdown get released into the body and oral symptoms such as bad breath, dry mouth or an unpleasant taste or metallic taste in the mouth may appear.

Your dental care provider can have a huge part in identifying the presence of, or the potential for, major health issues. It is extremely important to disclose your complete medical history and discuss all of your concerns and symptoms with your dentist no matter how minor or insignificant you may think it is. Early detection of a serious health condition can make all the difference in the world.

Be Sure to Bring a List of Medications Taken to Your Dental Appointment

Prescription History and Your Dental Care ProfessionalThere are actually a number of reasons why it is important to bring a list of all medications you take (both prescription and over-the-counter) for your dental care provider. While most medications are taken to improve or control a health issue and are meant to have a positive effect on the body, they can also have an adverse reaction on oral health. Some drugs can negatively affect the teeth and gums and can end up being the root cause of oral symptoms and dental problems. This can also be true for over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and homeopathic medicines and herbs.

Full disclosure of medications taken is also necessary in the event a dental procedure is necessary that will require anesthesia. Epinephrine, a common additive used in anesthesia, may have an adverse reaction for patients who are on blood pressure or heart medications. Blood thinning drugs can also cause excessive bleeding during oral procedures.

 Soft Tissue Reactions:

Many different medications can have side effects that result in oral symptoms and mouth discomfort due to soft tissue reactions. Drugs taken for blood pressure have been known to cause swelling and inflammation, tissue discoloration and mouth sores. Oral contraceptives, immunosuppressive agents and chemotherapeutic agents can also be included in this category.

Gingival Enlargement:

Overgrowth of gum tissue or enlarged gum tissue can be caused by anti-seizure medications like phenytoin, immunosuppressive drugs taken after an organ transplant, or calcium channel blockers used by heart patients. Careful and meticulous cleaning of teeth and gums is needed and, in some instances, gum surgery may even be required.

Abnormal Bleeding:

A potential side effect of taking aspirin and anticoagulants (blood thinners like heparin and warfarin) is reduced blood clotting which can result in excessive bleeding during an oral surgery or treatment for periodontal disease. Your Greeley dental care provider will need to be aware of the potential for bleeding problems during an oral procedure.

Tooth Decay:

There are many medications that can cause dry mouth which in turn causes irritation of the tissues of the mouth and opens up a greater possibility for infection. Saliva typically helps to cleanse the mouth and remove bacteria from the teeth and mouth tissues but with the lack of saliva with dry mouth teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay. Among the long list of drugs that can cause dry mouth, some of the most common ones are antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, blood pressure meds, muscle relaxants and drugs for Parkinson’s Disease.

Taking a little time with dental appointment preparation will be well worth it when you actually go in to see your dental care provider. Be sure to disclose your complete medical history as well as a complete list of all prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and vitamins, supplements or herbs you take. The list should contain drug name, dosage amount and how often it’s taken.

Don’t forget your checklist of questions and concerns to discuss with your dentist. All of this information will allow your dental care provider to effectively assess your overall oral health and come up with a personalized oral health care program for you. Also talk with your dentist about the things you need to be doing at home to maintain proper dental in Greeley CO

You’re invited to call Dr. Scott Williams at Ascent Family Dental (970-351-6095) to set up a consultation or appointment. Dr. Williams strives to become your Greeley family dental care provider and will work closely with you to create the perfect customized dental health care plan for you and each member of your family.

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095


Have Sensitive Teeth? Here are Things You Should Know

Do you experience tooth pain or twinge when you eat an ice cream cone or drink a hot beverage? If you answered yes and it seems like a daily problem for you, chances are that you are suffering from tooth sensitivity. Over 40 million people (one out of every five adults) have sensitive teeth – a dental problem in which a person experiences short, sharp pain when the teeth come in contact with something. So, if you feel discomfort while consuming beverages or foods that are cold, hot, sour or sweet; when flossing or brushing; or even when you breathe in cold air – continue to read to find out more about the types, causes and treatments associated with tooth sensitivity.

Sensitive Teeth: Two Types of Discomfort

To understand tooth sensitivity in a better way, we’ll need to look at its types and what things differentiate them. Depending on the location of your sensitivity, you may be experiencing one of the following:

Dentinal sensitivity: it happens due to exposure of dentin (the middle layer) of a tooth. Hot or cold temperatures can affect the nerve branches, resulting in sensitivity. The common causes of dentinal sensitivity include poor oral hygiene, brushing too hard, consuming acidic foods and drinks frequently, untreated cavities, an old filling with a leak or crack, or, receding gums that expose the roots of your tooth.

Pulpal sensitivity: this type of tooth sensitivity is associated with the tooth’s pulp, a bunch of nerves and blood vessels near the center of each tooth. It tends to affect a single tooth, and the common causes include excessive pressure from grinding or clenching, infection or decay, a broken or cracked tooth, or perhaps a recent filling. In case you feel pain upon biting, it’s possible that you have cracked or broken filling, whereas pain at the time of releasing a bite points to a cracked tooth.

Possible Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Being aware of the common causes of this problem, you can improve your oral health as well as potentially reduce your sensitivity. Have a look at the following factors that cause sensitive teeth, and remember them whenever you say “ouch” the next time.

Brushing too hard: when you use too much force while brushing, the protective layers of the teeth wear down. Over time, discomfort and sensitivity follow whenever your teeth are exposed to certain foods or beverages.

Acidic foods: in many cases, foods like tomato sauce, pickles, kiwi, grapefruit, and lemon are responsible for sensitive teeth.

Gum disease or excessive plaque: two reasons why it’s recommended to brush and floss regularly! Receding gums, or gingivitis, can be the cause of tooth sensitivity.

Gum surgery or dental procedure: it’s not uncommon to have an increased sensitivity after an extraction, a root canal, or placement of a crown.

Using tooth whitening toothpaste or mouthwash: you may be sensitive to the chemicals present in their toothpaste or mouthwash, especially if the dentin is exposed.

Cracked tooth: a cracked or chipped tooth can cause a lot of pain, much more than what’s caused by sensitive teeth.

3 Effective Tips for Fighting Sensitive Teeth

Who said you have to put up with all this pain? The solutions for sensitive teeth are not that complicated, and the following three tips can get you relief in the long term.

Use de-sensitizing toothpaste: discuss with your dental care professional if using toothpaste especially made for sensitive teeth is appropriate. They contain certain ingredients that block sensations and help in filling the holes (called tubules) in the exposed dentin, and protect your teeth’s roots. Also make sure that the toothpaste doesn’t contain baking soda or any other chemical for controlling tartar, as that may worsen your sensitivity issue.

Change your toothbrush: switch to a toothbrush that has softer bristles and is designed to be gentler on your teeth and gums while brushing. This way you can ensure that you don’t irritate the gum-line or wear down the enamel.Fluoride rinse for sensitive teeth

Try a fluoride rinse: an extra treatment of fluoride will help strengthen the enamel and also protect the roots of your teeth. This, in turn, can help with your problem of sensitive teeth.

If you are one of the 40 million people who can’t fully enjoy their foods and drinks due to sensitive teeth, you are not alone. But, that doesn’t mean you should ignore this issue. It’s always recommended that you visit a dentist who can help you get relief from your dental problems. You can contact Dr. Scott Williams of Ascent Family Dental, if you need to consult with an experienced dentist about your sensitive teeth.

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095


Teeth Care – Investing In Your Smile and Yourself

teeth careYou brush and floss every day, but what do you really know about teeth care? Study after study shows most people are falling short when it comes to taking care of their teeth through brushing. Consider the following:

Dentists recommend you brush for 2 to 3 minutes a day: The average person, however, only brushes for 48 seconds.  Think about that for a second. This statistic means the average person is brushing less than half as long as they should. Is it any surprise cavities and other dental care issues arise?

People who lived before the invention of the tooth brush in 1938 would have killed for the chance to maintain their dental health by brushing just a few minutes. Just do it! Besides, beyond your personal health, there is a practical reason you should maintain a dental hygiene regiment– the impact your smile has on others.

Teeth Care- How Much Does it Matter?

You already know appearance is an important factor in how people judge you. It may sound superficial at first, but we all form a first impression when meeting a person. Facial features play a critical role in the first impression we make on people we meet. Participants in a St. Louis Health and Wellness Magazine Harris Poll reported, for example, the following in relation to teeth care:

• 94% said that a smile is the first thing they notice when meeting someone.

• 71% believe people with a nice smile make friends more easily than people with crooked teeth.

• 75% of adults believe that an attractive smile is important for succeeding at the workplace.

• 45% believe that bad teeth are a sign of bad personal hygiene.

• Over 1/3 of people polled agree that bad teeth overshadow the rest of a person’s appearance.

• 86% think people with good teeth are more attractive to the opposite sex.

Tooth Care Brushing Issues

Toothbrushing can be done correctly or incorrectly. Are you making any of these mistakes?

Brushing Too Hard – There seems to be a belief that the harder one pushes when brushing, the cleaner the teeth will be. This is actually incorrect. Applying excessive pressure actually can pull the gums away from the teeth leading to sensitivity and making it easier for bacteria to get into the gums. Brush softly and let the bristles do the work.

Using Hard Bristles – Brushing your teeth is not the same as going at a food encrusted baking pan with steel wool. If your tooth brush bristles are stiff, you risk damaging the gums and veneer of the teeth. Use a brush with soft bristles and replace it when the bristles start to stiffen up. The average life of a toothbrush is three months.

The Notch – Use a mirror to look very closely at your gum line. If you see a little indention notch running along your teeth at the gum line, you may have a toothbrushing problem. You may be wearing away your teeth. This can also be a sign of too much clenching and grinding.

Bleeding – If your gums bleed when you brush, then something is wrong. While it is not uncommon for gums to bleed a bit when flossing, blood appearing during a simple brushing could be a sign of a significant dental care problem.

Horizontal vs. Vertical – Many people drag the brush horizontally across their teeth and gums. This can cause abrasions to the gums and teeth. The proper technique is to brush in small circles, covering small segments at a time. Focus on gently brushing the entire tooth, right up to the gumline.

If you’re guilty of brushing your teeth the wrong way, the good news is you can improve your dental situation by taking a few simple steps.

Teeth Care – Brushing Tips

The truth of the matter is you can improve upon the care of your teeth by brushing correctly. Invest in yourself with these brushing tips.

Brush at least 2 times a day – morning and before bed.

Brush for three minutes instead of 45 seconds.

Brush in small circles making sure to cover the entire tooth, not just across your teeth.

Be careful with baking soda and even whitening toothpaste. They can erode tooth enamel.

Rinse after teethbrushing to remove bacteria from your mouth.

Replace your toothbrush every three months.

Greeley tooth care

The good news is adopting proper dental care techniques can radically upgrade the health of your teeth and gums while putting a bright smile on your face. Remember, proper tooth care is an investment in your future given 94 percent of people report the smile is the first thing they notice on a person when meeting them.

Make sure yours sparkles!

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095

Dental Health Care – An Important Part of Maintaining a Healthy Smile

dental health care greeley

In order to achieve an effective dental health care regimen, visiting your Greeley dentist on a regular basis is a very important part of maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Your dentist will want to see you at least twice per year for a routine cleaning and check-up. X-rays are generally taken one time per year and can show your dentist important changes that have occurred with regard to your dental health. Regular brushing does not always remove plaque build-up below the gum line and failure to remove it can lead to gum disease.

Dental Health Care 101 – Plaque Build-up

Plaque is a build-up of food particles in the saliva that forms a soft deposit on your teeth. It contains a lot of bacteria which is naturally found in your mouth. When plaque builds up on your teeth it can harden into what is known as calculus. Once this substance forms under your gums, it can cause your gums to become red, sore, inflamed and generally very sensitive, making it difficult to eat and chew.

Without regular dental health care this kind of plaque build-up can lead to gingivitis, a gum disease which causes gum inflammation. By visiting a dentist regularly and having your teeth cleaned at least twice annually along with a full dental check-up, you can avoid serious gum inflammation. If you do not see a dental professional and have gingivitis, it can lead to periodontitis which is infection around the tooth which can cause teeth to become loose and fall out.

The symptoms of mild gingivitis may just be that you notice your gums to be slightly swollen and a little bit red. If you have moderate gingivitis, your gums may bleed when you clean your teeth. Periodontitis symptoms include a horrible taste in the mouth, pus which can collect in the pockets formed between the tooth and gum, loose teeth, very bad breath and pain when eating.

Dentists use a special instrument to measure the depth of pockets that are formed between the tooth and gums in the gum line where plaque builds up. Shallow pockets of 3 mm or less can be kept clear of build up through routine brushing and flossing. Deeper pockets require professional dental treatment because toothbrushes and floss will not reach the bottom of these pockets.

The Importance of Proper Dental Hygiene

dental hygiene toolIn order to properly care for your teeth and gums and keep your smile healthy you need to brush your teeth twice daily using the proper technique. Failure to properly brush and care for your teeth can lead to plaque build-up below the gum line and this can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis. It is up to you to invest the time that it takes to keep your teeth healthy and clean.

Flossing your teeth is the best way to remove food particles that become lodged in between teeth and just inside the gum line. Remove a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your elbow from your floss dispenser and wind it around your index and middle fingers leaving about a two inch gap in the center. Slide the floss between the teeth wrapping it around the base of the tooth in a “C” shape. You should run the floss up and down each side of the tooth at least three times. Remember to floss the backs of your last molars too.

If your gums bleed when you begin flossing, this is normal, especially if you have not flossed regularly in the past. As you continue to floss as a part of your dental health care regime, you will notice that your gums will no longer bleed each time you floss. If the floss you are using starts to shred, you might want to try using waxed floss which will glide more easily between your teeth. Once you have completed your flossing regimen, begin brushing your teeth directly afterwards.

A good brushing technique is an important part of dental health care. You should take the time to brush your teeth carefully and not rush to complete the job. You need to hold your brush at a forty-five degree angle to your teeth, directing the bristles to where teeth and the gums meet. Use gentle pressure and a circular motion while moving the brush up and down, but be careful not to press too hard. If you notice over time that your gums are receding, you maybe pressing too hard on them while brushing.

Clean all visible surfaces of each tooth and take your time. Brushing all of your teeth should take up to three minutes. If you tend to brush right to left, try reversing the pattern occasionally to ensure that you don’t miss any areas on your teeth.

Carefully rinse your toothbrush after you are done brushing your teeth and store it upright in an open cup. Placing your toothbrush into a container or putting a cover over the brush can cause bacteria to grow on it. You should replace your toothbrush once every three months or if you notice that the top of the brush is flayed or the bristles are bent.

What Type of Toothpaste Should be Used for Dental Health Care?

If you notice that you have a lot of plaque and tartar build-up, you may consider brushing your teeth using toothpaste which contains pyrophosphate. Pyrophosphate remains on the surface of the tooth and prevents the growth of calculus crystals that form to cause tartar build up. It also helps to break the bonds of existing stains which can help to give your teeth a whiter appearance.

You may want to include a mouth rinse that contains Fluoride as a part of your dental health care regimen. This type of rinse can help to protect your teeth and keep them healthy by killing some of the more harmful bacteria that resides in your mouth.

Dental Health Care and Eating Right

Your diet plays a very important role in your dental hygiene in that what you eat directly affects your teeth. Digestion begins in the mouth because when you chew food your mouth produces saliva and this helps to start breaking food down. Some of that saliva containing food particles will sit on your teeth, causing plaque to build-up. You should eat a diet that is low in sugar and contains many fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Low fat dairy is also a very important way to maintain bone health and keep your teeth strong.

eating right for dental healthAvoid eating excessive sweets and sugars, and if you must have something that is high in sugar, try to brush your teeth, or at least rinse your mouth with water, right after you eat that item so that the sugar does not remain on the surface of your teeth. If you already avoid sugar but still seem to get cavities regularly, you might want to talk to your dental health care professional about having your teeth protected with the application of a dental sealant which can protect teeth against future cavities.

Plaque is a naturally occurring substance that will form in your mouth after you eat. If you do not take steps to care properly for your teeth and remove the plaque that forms there, you may find that you start to suffer from a myriad of dental issues. Regular visits with your dentist along with proper dental hygiene at home are excellent ways to ensure that your teeth are properly cared for. Proper dental health care can help to keep teeth and gums healthy and your dentist is the first line of defense against gum disease and tooth loss.

Ascent Family Dental
3535 W. 12th St., Ste B
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 351-6095
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