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Posts for: September, 2014

By Edward C. Smith, DMD, MPH, LLC
September 23, 2014
Category: Oral Health

While she was pregnant with her son Camden Jack Cutler, 25-year-old Kristin Cavallari noticed an odd occurrence in her bathroom sink: “Every time I floss, my sink looks like I murdered somebody!” the actress and reality-TV personality exclaimed. Should we be concerned that something wicked is going on with the star of Laguna Beach and The Hills?

Before you call in the authorities, ask a periodontist: He or she will tell you that there's actually no mystery here. What Cavallari noticed is, in fact, a fairly common symptom of “pregnancy gingivitis,” a condition that affects many expectant moms in the second to eighth month of pregnancy. But why does it occur at this time?

First — just the facts: You may already know that gingivitis is the medical name for an early stage of gum disease. Its symptoms may include bad breath, bleeding gums, and soreness, redness, or tenderness of the gum tissue. Fundamentally, gum disease is caused by the buildup of harmful bacteria, or plaque, on the teeth at the gum line — but it's important to remember that, while hundreds of types of bacteria live in the mouth, only a few are harmful. A change in the environment inside the mouth — like inadequate oral hygiene, to use one example — can cause the harmful types to flourish.

But in this case, the culprit isn't necessarily poor hygiene — instead, blame it on the natural hormonal changes that take place in expectant moms. As levels of some female hormones (estrogen and/or progesterone) rise during pregnancy, changes occur in the blood vessels in the gums, which cause them to be more susceptible to the effects of bacterial toxins. The bacteria produce toxic chemicals, which in turn bring on the symptoms of gingivitis — including painful and inflamed gums that may bleed heavily when flossed.

Is pregnancy gingivits a cause for concern? Perhaps — but the condition is generally quite treatable. If you've noticed symptoms like Kristen's, the first thing you should do it consult our office. We can advise you on a variety of treatments designed to relieve the inflammation in your gums and prevent the harmful bacteria from proliferating. Of course, your oral health (and your overall health) are prime concerns during pregnancy — so don't hesitate to seek medical help if it's needed!

How did things work out with Kristen? She maintained an effective oral hygiene routine, delivered a healthy baby — and recently appeared on the cover of Dear Doctor magazine, as the winner of the “Best Celebrity Smile” contest for 2012. And looking at her smile, it's no mystery why she won.

If you would like more information about pregnancy gingivitis, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Expectant Mothers” and “Kristen Cavallari.”

By Edward C. Smith, DMD, MPH, LLC
September 18, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Same Day Crowns  
Same Day Crown ImageWe live in a world where our time is as valuable—if not more valuable—than our dollars. Lately, both seem to be in high demand and in ever-dwindling supply. When you’re caught up in the hustle and bustle, sometimes it can be hard to remember to care for your teeth, and when emergencies happen, it can be almost impossible to get the care you need without compromising your other obligations and plans.

When Waiting For A Crown Is Not An Option

A lot of dental procedures occur over the span of several visits, forcing patients to rearrange their lives just to receive proper medical attention. Columbus dentist, Dr. Edward C. Smith, along with many other modern-day dental health professionals, is working hard to make getting the care you need less of a burden, especially when it comes to dental restoration procedures. He understands that in an emergency situation, waiting for a replacement crown just isn’t an option.
Affordable crown replacement procedures—which usually take several weeks to complete—can now happen in one visit with Edward D. Smith, DMD. Same-day dental bridges and crowns are now available for Columbus, GA patients in need of emergency tooth restoration.

How Do Same-day Crowns Work?

Essentially, the procedure for implementing same-day crowns is almost exactly what you’d expect from a normal crown replacement procedure, save the long wait and multiple dental office visits.
First, we will take a digital impression of your mouth using a laser scanner. From that impression, we’ll cast a dental crown to fit over your damaged tooth. Before dentists were able to create customized crowns in-office, the first crown applied would have likely been temporary. After several weeks of waiting for a dental lab to return the permanent crown, a patient would return for a second visit to complete the procedure. With same-day crowns, there are no temporary crowns or long wait periods; everything is finalized in one visit.
Our design and rendering technology allows us to be extremely precise with the measurements and shape of each crown we make. Once we know the crown or bridge will fit perfectly, we will bond it to the natural tooth permanently. These crowns are every bit as sturdy as traditional crowns and are guaranteed to keep your smile looking great. With proper care, your same-day crowns will last a lifetime.

Call Dr. Smith For Your Same Day Crown

To find out more about affordable same day crowns in the Columbus, GA area, call (706) 494-5886 today!
Did you get a same day crown? How was your experience with it, we would love to hear your feedback!

By Edward C. Smith, DMD, MPH, LLC
September 08, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

If you occasionally notice mildly irritating red patches on the top surface of your tongue, you may be one of the three percent or less of the population with a condition called benign migratory glossitis. It’s also known as “geographic tongue” because the red patches often resemble land masses on a world map.

While the symptoms may be discomforting, geographic tongue isn’t a cause for serious concern. The red patches are caused by the temporary loss of papillae, tiny bumps that grow on the surface of the tongue, which may appear and disappear repeatedly over a short time period (ranging from hours to days). As its medical name implies, this form of glossitis isn’t cancerous or contagious; it’s referred to as “migratory” because the red patches often appear to move around while changing size and shape. An outbreak can cause a mild burning or stinging sensation, and some people also encounter numbness in the patchy areas.

While there isn’t a firm consensus as to geographic tongue’s exact cause, there do appear to be triggers for it including stress, hormonal changes and mineral or vitamin deficiencies (particularly zinc and Vitamin B). There also seems to be a connection with psoriasis, a skin ailment characterized by redness and scaling — a number of people will experience both conditions. Geographic tongue appears more often in middle-aged, non-smoking adults, particularly women during hormonal fluctuations (as during pregnancy or ovulation). Individuals with deep grooves on their tongues called fissures are more susceptible as well.

There’s no cure for the condition, but there are some treatments that can help alleviate any accompanying irritation. Depending on what we find during examination, we may prescribe anesthetic mouthrinses, antihistamines, steroid ointments or other treatments to help manage discomfort. It may also be helpful to limit your intake of foods during outbreaks that may increase irritation, including high acidic foods like tomatoes or citrus fruit, as well as eggplant, mint, spicy foods and alcohol (including certain mouthwashes).

If you experience these occasional patchy outbreaks on your tongue, please schedule a visit with us for a full examination. We may be able to reduce your discomfort and certainly put your mind at ease.

If you would like more information on geographic tongue, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Geographic Tongue.”