An Important Reminder About Your Next Dental Appointment

Portland, OR Dentist

At times, life can seem to move quickly. Between work, school, sports, and social events, it can seem there is little time left for you and your health. It’s imperative for a healthy mouth and body to always have your next dental appointment scheduled and to prioritize this care. Our team will work with you to find the most convenient day and time for you. If you need to reschedule, we will do our best to accommodate you. Advanced notice of a change is greatly appreciated, whenever possible. Missed appointments without notice are harmful to our practice, as we’ve reserved your appointment time exclusively for you.

Missed dental appointments can lead to worsened oral and overall health. Whether receiving preventive or restorative care, if left without professional treatment, plaque and decay will progress and the state of your oral health will likely decline. Some of our patients are predisposed to more frequent oral health issues. Many times, these guests prefer more frequent office visits. Please know this is an option for you as well. Investing in one extra cleaning each year can often prevent more costly concerns.

We know it can be tempting to skip your dental appointment. Perhaps you’d rather be relaxing at home or you’ve had a last-minute obligation arise. Please make every effort to prioritize your healthy smile, as it significantly contributes to your overall health.

Please know we’re here for you. If you have any questions about our care or practice philosophy, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Portland Dentist | 4 Tips for Healthy, White Teeth

Portland, OR Dentist

Dentist Near Me

Your smile is one of the first things that people notice about you. One way to make a lasting impression is to have a healthy-looking smile. Over the years, teeth whitening has become immensely popular. People turn to in-office whitening, over-the-counter whitening, and home-made whitening techniques. Did you know that there are ways to keep your smile white with just small changes to your daily routine? Read the tips below to keep your smile looking pearly white.

  1. Brush and Floss

To keep your mouth clean, healthy, and stain-free, brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Brush your teeth after drinking coffee, tea, soda, or red wine to help fight discoloration.

  1. Diet

Some of the food and drinks you are consuming may cause your teeth to look dull or stained. Wine, coffee, tea, soft drinks, and berries all contain substances that stain teeth. Chromogens are molecules found in all of these items that stick to the enamel of your teeth causing a dull look.

  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking is not only bad for your heart and lungs, it is also bad for your mouth and teeth. Smoking causes tooth discoloration, increased plaque buildup, gum disease and more.

  1. Visit Your Dentist

Dental cleanings and exams are an important part in keeping your teeth healthy and bright. You may need frequently follow up visits based on your oral health care. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment twice a year.

Even if you do use in-office whitening or over-the-counter products, your teeth need extra care to keep up with the initial results. By flossing, lifestyle changes, and regular dental visits your teeth will be looking bright.

Call our office to schedule your dental cleaning today.

Dentist Near Me | Oral Health and Cancer

Portland, OR Dentist

Dentist in Portland

There are over 12 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year. There are a large variety of different kinds of cancer, some of which are more preventable than others. It might seem obvious that practicing good oral health and avoiding tobacco and other harmful substances can help protect you from the risk of oral cancer. However, there are other types of cancer that can be prevented through good oral care as well.

Dental Care and Oral Cancer

While it’s long been known that tobacco and heavy alcohol use are the main causes of oral, head, and neck cancer, poor oral health has recently been added to the list. A 2007 study published in American Journal of Epidemiology found that poor mouth health and missing teeth were strongly linked to the development of oral cancer. Likewise, patients with good oral health were found to be far less likely to develop oral cancer. If you have been diagnosed with oral cancer, know that common oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay could be making the condition worse. Visiting our dental office regularly for professional cleanings, examinations, and oral cancer screenings to help catch signs of oral cancer early and make treatment easier and more effective.

Oral Health and Other Cancers

Poor oral health has been shown to be tied to other types of cancers outside of the mouth. For example, a recent study conducted by NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center found that certain types of bacteria found in patients with gum disease was tied to a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer. While esophageal cancer only accounts for 1% of new cancer cases diagnosed annually, over 90% of patients will die of the disease. Untreated gum disease opens up the tissues around the teeth to bacterial infection, allowing these harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of the patient’s body. Maintaining optimal oral health can help protect you from this threat.

Your oral health effects much more than just your mouth. If you’re not taking care of your teeth, tongue, and gums, you could significantly increase your risk of developing cancer without even realizing it. If you’d like to learn more about the connection between oral health and cancer, contact our dental team to schedule an examination and cleaning today!

97205 Dentist | Are You at Risk for Hairy Tongue?

Portland, OR Dentist

Dentist in Portland

You may not realize it, but you could be at risk of developing an unsightly medical condition known as hairy tongue. While it is harmless in most cases, hairy tongue is still an unpleasant ailment. The causes are not always completely known, but practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting our dental office for cleanings can help prevent the issue. Here’s what you need to know.

What is hairy tongue?

With hairy tongue, your tongue may look like its covered in fuzz or hair, but this condition is actually caused by an accumulation of bacteria. The surface of your tongue is covered in small, rough papillae which gives it its rough texture. Overtime, these papillae grow, shed, and are replaced. Occasionally, the older papillae may fail to shed properly. This causes a buildup on the tongue and can cause a hair-like appearance.

Who is at risk of hairy tongue?

According to the American Academy of Oral Medicine, as much as 13% of the population may have hairy tongue. Anyone can develop the condition, but certain risk factors such as age and tobacco use increase your chances.

What causes hairy tongue?

While the exact causes of hairy tongue are not known, there are a variety of factors that can put you at a higher risk of developing the condition. Poor oral hygiene and a diet of soft foods can put you at an increased risk, as a lack of stimulation on the tongue can prevent the shedding of older papillae. Excessive consumption of certain substances, including tobacco, alcohol, coffee, and tea have been shown to contribute to this condition. Dehydration and dry mouth can slow down the tongue’s natural refresh cycle of replacing papillae.

The best defense against hairy tongue is a regular at-home oral hygiene routine that includes twice daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash. Visiting our practice at least twice a year for cleanings can also give us an opportunity to regularly examine your mouth and catch any early signs of hairy tongue.

If you’re past due for your regular cleaning or are concerned that you might be developing hairy tongue, don’t hesitate to contact our practice for an appointment today.

Dentist in Portland, OR | 5 Tips for Denture Wearers

Portland, OR Dentist

Portland Dentist

Taking care of your dentures can seem like an added chore. Don’t worry, with a little effort your dentures can stay clean. Here are 5 tips for keeping your dentures clean and your smile healthy.

  1. Rinse Thoroughly

Prior to brushing, it helps to rinse your dentures off.  Run them through water to help wash away food and other small particles. Be extra careful when handling your fragile dentures. Avoid using hot or boiling water, as that could damage your dentures.

  1. Clean Your Dentures

Just as you would brush your teeth, your dentures need to be brushed as well. Never use cleaning solutions while your dentures are in. Rather, remove your dentures and carefully brush using a soft toothbrush. Avoid using whitening toothpastes or harsh cleaning materials like bleach products. Talk to our dentist about the right type of cleaner for your dentures. Using too strong a solution can cause damage to your dentures.

  1. Don’t Forget to Brush Your Teeth

You still need to take care of your natural teeth. Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush. Be gentle when brushing and cleaning your gums. Cleaning your gums will help you reduce your risk of developing an oral infection. If your toothbrush is too rough on your gums, an alternative is to use gauze. Be sure to come see us if you are experiencing gum pain and we can make recommendations.

  1. Keep Them Covered

When you remove your dentures for bed, be sure to keep them in a covered container overnight. Use a denture-soaking solution to keep them clean overnight. Water works as a substitute, as your dentures need moisture to retain their shape. If you have any questions about storing your dentures, talk to us and we’ll help you.

  1. Care with Adhesives

It can sometimes be difficult to remove your dentures with an adhesive. If you are having trouble, try swishing warm water or a mouthwash around your mouth. Never use any cleaning solution, tool, or foreign object to remove your dentures. Take special care to ensure the grooves of your dentures that attach to your gums are clean and free of adhesive.

When taken care of properly, your dentures will provide you with a lasting smile. Be vigilant in keeping up with cleaning your dentures. If you have any questions about caring for your dentures, get in touch with our office. We would be happy to work with you to figure out a solution for your denture concerns.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next appointment, contact us today.

Dentist Portland | 3 Health Issues Linked to Your Oral Health

Portland, OR Dentist

Portland Dentist

Your mouth is a gateway to the rest of your body. Bacteria of all kinds are present in your mouth. While some are benign, others may pose a threat to your health. Maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine and visiting our dental office for regular appointments can help keep your mouth free of harmful bacteria. Below are 3 common ailments that have been shown to be negatively impacted by poor oral health. Read the information below if you suffer from any of these conditions and are worried that your oral health might be a contributing factor.

Diabetes

Millions of Americans suffer from diabetes, and the disease can have many complications associated with it. A connection has been shown between diabetes and gum disease in many patients. Oral health problems often increase in frequency for patients with diabetes. Gingivitis and periodontitis are more common because these patents are at a higher risk of bacterial infection and are less able to combat harmful bacteria. Blood glucose levels can also be affected by gum disease, potentially putting a patient with diabetes at a higher risk for additional health problems.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

RA is an autoimmune disease that affects 1.5 million people in the US alone. This chronic inflammatory disorder affects joints and is caused by the body’s immune system attacking its own tissues. Patients with RA are more likely to suffer from gum disease and periodontitis. Likewise, patients with periodontal issues have been shown to have nearly twice the risk of developing RA according to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Lung Conditions

Once bacteria enters your blood stream through your mouth, it can travel through your body and affect other areas. Conditions like bronchitis and pneumonia can be caused by malignant bacteria settling into a patient’s lungs. Other existing issues such as emphysema and pulmonary disease can be exacerbated by invading bacteria.

If you suffer from any of these conditions or are concerned that poor oral health might be putting you at risk, please contact our office today. Our dedicated team will be happy to provide you with a treatment plan and prevention tips based on your current health.

Why Dental Cleanings Are Essential

Portland, OR Dentist

Your Oral Health is a Window to Your Overall Health

At Downtown Dental Associates of Portland, we’re passionate about not only your dental health but also your overall health. And that takes us right back to your dental health because the two are inescapably linked.

It makes sense, since the body is a whole, and what happens to part of it happens to all of it. That’s why your dentist can spot health problems through dental cleanings and exams that you may not have any symptoms of — yet.

Regular dental cleanings can keep your smile looking its best, prevent gum disease and early tooth loss and help you have better breath. They can also help your dentist spot other health conditions like oral cancers that kill close to 10,000 people each year in the United States.

As well, researchers have found strong links between cardiovascular disease and gum disease, so keeping up with your oral health could help you protect your cardiovascular health as well.

Apart from being a barometer of your overall health, poor oral hygiene can contribute to preventable conditions like bone loss, stroke and other health issues. During a regular cleaning, your hygienist can compare the current state of your mouth with how it was on your last visit. This knowledge of your oral health history is an important window into which direction your health is going and turn it around if things aren’t going well.

At Downtown Dental Associates of Portland, we are serious about meeting your dental health needs. We seek to exceed your expectations as a partner in your dental and overall health and ensure that you and your loved ones receive the finest care possible.

Contact us today if you have questions about dental health or if you’d like to schedule an appointment. You can also make an appointment online here.

What to Expect When You Come for a Dental Exam

Portland, OR Dentist

This Routine Procedure Can be Unnecessarily Intimidating for Some

Even though we’re used to all the trappings of a dentist’s office — because that’s where we work — we get why people are intimidated by coming here.

The simplest procedure at a dentist’s office has you in a vulnerable position with people probing around in your sensitive mouth. It would be odd if at least some people didn’t find this intimidating.

But we at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland want to put you at ease, so here’s a rundown of what you can expect during a routine dental exam. It’s not a vacation, but it’s nowhere near as bad as some people fear.

First, we’ll clean your teeth, so we know what we’re dealing with. If it’s been a while since you were in, it’s likely you’ll need scaling, and this can be a two-visit procedure, depending on how much work you need.

The cleaning is followed by an exam by one of our dentists, who will look for signs of decay and disease. The dentist will check for inflammation, swelling and signs that you might have gum disease. These are important steps because we want to stop decay and gum disease as early as possible because of the damage they can do.

The dentist will also check how your upper and lower teeth come together, looking for evidence that you might be grinding your teeth when you sleep and unaware of that fact. The exam includes a check of the temporomandibular joint that can cause problems for some people as well as a check of your neck, lymph glands, palate and your cheeks, tongue, lips and the floor of your mouth. It’s not all about your teeth. When we say oral health, we mean everything. The exam includes X-rays so the dentist can see what’s going on inside your teeth as gums as well.

Your dentist will also check for signs of oral cancer, which is a disease that is treatable in its early stages but still manages to claim close to 10,000 lives each year.

The dental health professionals at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland are ready and willing to help you take care of your teeth. Contact us if you have questions about this blog post or any dental health-related matter. You can also schedule an appointment online here.

Technology Can Help Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Portland, OR Dentist

Electric Toothbrushes and Water Flossers are Excellent Tools for Better Oral Hygiene

When you think about how technology makes your life better, chances are you won’t think about the electric toothbrush and/or water flosser — the most well-known of these is the Waterpik — that (we hope) is in your bathroom. But you’d be missing one of the better uses for technology when it comes to the impact it has on our lives.

We’ve talked many times about how good oral hygiene is a benefit on many levels and for everyone. What these tools do is help you do an even better job of keeping your mouth in great shape.

No doubt the advent of these tools has made choosing a toothbrush a bit more difficult. It forces you from simply deciding among soft, medium and hard bristles to having to choose one product from among many that may have different features.

But we highly recommend adopting this technology as soon as you can.

Here’s why.

Electric toothbrushes are a plus for every age group. Kids like to use them because of the novelty at first and for the ease of use later on. One less obvious plus is that kids get used to having a cleaner mouth, and for we dental nerds at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland, that’s always a plus.

Older folks and others — those who may suffer from conditions that make fine movements difficult or painful — benefit as well.

Electric toothbrushes:

·      Encourage you to brush longer by incorporating timers into the device. On a side note, we recommend brushing for at least two minutes, and it often surprises patients who’ve switched to electric toothbrushes with timers how long that really is.

·      Do the work for you.

·      Do a better job of cleaning

Water flossers:

·      Force bits of food from between your teeth.

·      Rinse bacteria from places your toothbrush can’t reach.

·      Are gentle on your gums.

Knowing the benefits of thorough plaque removal from between teeth and at the gum line, we also continue to recommend flossing. But we think the addition of a water flosser is a plus, and every little bit helps when it comes to oral hygiene.

Talk to us today about any questions you may have regarding this or any other topic on dental care. We’re here to help, and we love it when our patients are interested in what we do.

Special Needs Patients Must Have a Variety of Treatment Options

Portland, OR Dentist

Dentistry Tailored to Special Needs Patients Results in Better Outcomes

Dentistry tailored to special needs patients results in better outcomes.

One thing we know for sure at Downtown Dental Associates of Portland: Each patient is a unique individual and that there is no “one size fits all” in dentistry. We know this because we’ve treated thousands of patients and come to understand that each has needs particular to themselves.

Because of this, we look at each patient carefully, their dental needs and medical conditions, before deciding what approach to use and what will get the patient the best result. This is especially true for our patients with special needs.

That’s why certain members of our team are dedicated to treating patients with special needs so that those patients get the appropriate care to fit their situation. For instance, the right kind of anesthesia can and does mean the difference between a very difficult dental office visit and one that is smooth sailing for the patient and their family.

We take this aspect of dentistry quite seriously and have team members who are trained and experienced in working with patients who have special needs.

Through these team members we offer several sedation options, including:

· Nitrous oxide
· Oral sedation
· Intravenous sedation
· Hospital based general anesthesia

Having a choice about how we deliver the needed treatment to our special needs patients is key to having a successful treatment session and a positive outcome.

Consider that certain behavior management challenges are made easier or even require sedation and anesthesia service. Among these are:

· Dental phobias
· Uncooperative patients
· Patients who don’t respond to local anesthesia
· Patients with mental and/or physical challenges
· Lengthy, complex and comprehensive dental procedures

If you or a loved one have special needs, we are here to help. Contact us today to talk about how we can meet your individual needs and help you or your loved one have the vibrant dental health you deserve.