Everybody Hates Cavities

When patients come to me for their bi-annual cleaning, they’re usually a little worried and say something like “I hope you don’t find any cavities.” I don’t blame them. Nobody wants to have cavities, because it often involves the use of needles (delivering something to numb pain) and my handpiece with drilling attachment.

Unfortunately, the only way to fix a cavity is by removing the damaged portion of the tooth. It’s like rust on a car – if left alone, the damage will continue to spread eventually destroying the tooth.

Cavities are caused by tooth decay from plaque that that damages the tooth.

Tooth decay happens when foods with carbohydrates like bread, cereal, milk, soda, fruit, cake, or candy stay on your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth turn these sugars into acids. Then the bacteria, acid, food debris, and your saliva combine to form plaque, which clings to the teeth.

When the plaque stays on the tooth long enough, it affects both the outer coating of a tooth called enamel and the inner layer called dentin. The acids in plaque eventually dissolve the enamel, creating holes in the tooth called cavities.

Your cavity treatment will depend upon how bad the cavity is:
Healthy tooth

 

This is what a healthy tooth looks like

 

tooth stain

 

This is a cavity stain, it may not need to be treated. But should be monitored closely by your dentist.

 

mild davitymoderate cavity

These are a mild and moderate cavity. These will probably need to have the affected areas of tooth removed, and replaced with a filling. There are different filling types, but I use composites, which are tooth-colored (and not the silver-colored amalgams). The longevity of composites depends upon your oral health, they can easily last a decade or more.

severe cavity

 

This is a severe cavity and it will probably need more serious treatment like a crown or root canal.

 

That’s the bad news.

The good news? Cavities are absolutely preventable!

Brushing properly 2-3 times a day and flossing once a day will dramatically reduce your chances for developing cavities. Eating a healthy diet that avoids carbohydrates and sugars, will help you even more. Lastly to keep those cavities at bay, always be sure to schedule a bi-annual checkup and cleaning with me, or your dentist, so you can get an up-to-date evaluation of your oral health and keep a healthy smile.

Follow those simple tips, and then you won’t need to be worried when you visit your dentist. Instead of saying “I hope you don’t find any cavities,” you’ll be able to tell me “You won’t find any cavities, Dr. Taj.” And hearing those words will bring a smile to my face.

-Dr. Taj

For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations shown below, go to my website at modernfamilydentalcare.com, or watch my Dental Minute videos that deal with cavities.

Concord Location
Concord Mills
8455 Pit Stop Ct. NW, Suite 140
Concord, NC 28027
(704) 979-3436
Monday: Coming Soon
Tuesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Charlotte – Davis Lake:
Shoppes at Davis Lake
8505 Davis Lake Pkwy, Suite AB-3
Charlotte, NC 28269
(980) 498-1037
Monday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Friday: Coming Soon

Charlotte – Northlake:
8150 Mt. Holly – Huntersville Rd, Suite A
Charlotte, NC 28216
(704) 817-9547
Monday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday: Coming Soon

How to Floss Your Teeth

Once a patient comes into my office and I have a look into his or her mouth, I know right away if they’re a “Last-Minute Flosser.” You know those people — and you might be one of them — who only begin flossing a day or two before their dental appointments? These are the patients who try to fool the dentist into thinking that they take good care of their teeth. Those patients are very easy to spot.

Their gums are still puffy from gingivitis. Their gums still bleed when we floss their teeth at the office. And there’s a good chance that they have bad breath and a cavity or two.

But, do you know who’s also easy to spot? Good flossers. Those are the patients who routinely floss once a day. These patients have healthy gums. Minimal plaque build-up, and they can often leave without seeing my drill.

Flossing once a day is one of the most important and effective ways to keep your teeth and gums both clean and healthy. And if you pair it with brushing at least twice a day – you’re going to have a healthy mouth and shining smile for a very long time.

But one of the most important things to remember with flossing, is that the proper flossing technique is very important to minimize your chance of gingivitis and cavities. Remember, flossing gets the places that you toothbrush can’t.

So here are some tips for some fantastic flossing results:

1) Use a piece of floss about 15 inches long, slide it between your teeth

2) Wrap it along the side of each, making the shape of a C, then polish the tooth up and down, ensuring that you’re getting down into the gum on each side of the tooth.

3) If your fingers aren’t very flexible, get a floss holder. They’re cheap, easy to use, and allow you to floss with one hand.

So, don’t be a “Last-Minute Flosser.” You’re only fooling yourself if you think that starting to floss before your dental appointment will do any good. Brush twice a day and floss daily, and you’ll have a gorgeous smile that can last a lifetime.

-Dr. Taj

For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations shown below, go to my website at modernfamilydental.com, or watch my Dental Minute videos that deal with flossing.

Concord Location
Concord Mills
8455 Pit Stop Ct. NW, Suite 140
Concord, NC 28027
(704) 979-3436
Monday: Coming Soon
Tuesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Charlotte – Davis Lake:
Shoppes at Davis Lake
8505 Davis Lake Pkwy, Suite AB-3
Charlotte, NC 28269
(980) 498-1037
Monday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Friday: Coming Soon

Charlotte – Northlake:
8150 Mt. Holly – Huntersville Rd, Suite A
Charlotte, NC 28216
(704) 817-9547
Monday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday: Coming Soon

Bad Breath Causes and Treatments

Bad breath is something all of us have worried about at some time. Whether it’s leaning-in for a kiss, or speaking during an important business meeting, we always want to make a good impression – and bad breath can definitely tarnish that impression.

If you’re constantly worried about bad breath, you’re not alone. Chronic bad breath, also called halitosis, is a common problem. Understanding what causes your bad breath will help determine what you can do to prevent it.

Morning breath is caused by reduced saliva flow during sleep. While other types of bad breath can be caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease, dry mouth, tobacco use, dieting, dehydration and some medical conditions, including sinus infections and diabetes. Even the foods you eat, like garlic, onions and peppers can cause bad breath.

Also, any problems with your mouth, such as gum disease, dry mouth (Xerostomia), or other dental conditions — like cavities — may also cause persistent bad breath.

One of the easiest ways to treat bad breath is to brush your teeth at least twice a day (after every meal is better) and flossing once a day. Also be sure to brush your tongue, especially the back areas. It can really make a big difference in how clean your mouth feels — and smells.

If you can’t brush after meals, try using a sugar-free gum instead. This can remove food particles from your mouth. In addition, it can temporarily hide any residual smells left over from especially fragrant meals.

Also, if you wear dentures be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly before replacing them the next morning.

By following these tips, you should be able to control your bad breath and confidently meet with your colleagues, or more importantly, lean-in for that special kiss.

-Dr. Taj

For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations shown below, go to my website at modernfamilydental.com, or watch my Dental Minute videos that deal with Bad Breath.

 

 

Concord Location
Concord Mills
8455 Pit Stop Ct. NW, Suite 140
Concord, NC 28027
(704) 979-3436
Monday: Coming Soon
Tuesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 3:00pm

Charlotte – Davis Lake:
Shoppes at Davis Lake
8505 Davis Lake Pkwy, Suite AB-3
Charlotte, NC 28269
(980) 498-1037
Monday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday: 9:00am – 3:00pm
Friday: Coming Soon

Charlotte – Northlake:
8150 Mt. Holly – Huntersville Rd, Suite A
Charlotte, NC 28216
(704) 817-9547
Monday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday: Coming Soon