Stick Out Your Tongue!

Las Vegas oral cancer examsAt Providence Dental in North Las Vegas we diagnose and treat conditions of the teeth and gums. These conditions affect the entirety of your dental health, including the tongue. Let’s talk about the tongue.

Have you ever considered all the critical things your tongue can do? It helps us talk, perceive the texture and flavor of food, chew, and swallow.

This strong and nimble gymnast is in near-constant motion during our waking hours. It is a wonder that we don’t accidentally bite it more often as we smile, chew, drink, breathe, swallow, cough, and laugh.

Your tongue can also reveal physical problems. This may include digestive problems, infections, and diseases of the blood.

Here are some tongue abnormalities and possible causes:

  • Swollen tongue: reaction to food/drink/medication, strep infection, leukemia, hypothyroidism
  • White tongue: dehydration, yeast infection, irritation to tobacco, enteritis, gastritis, colitis, anemia, or other nutritional deficiency
  • Canker sores: may be linked to stress or reaction to food, toothpaste, or mouthwash.

If you have persistent canker sores, you may want to try cutting out products that contain sodium lauryl (or laurel) sulfate (SLS). SLS is a cheap foaming agent that is found in many personal care products.

It can be difficult to find SLS-free dental products. The following brands have previously offered SLS-free versions, but read labels carefully every time you buy a new tube. We have noticed that SLS has re-appeared in some brands. (Providence Dental has no affiliation with any of these companies.)

  • Biotene
  • Sensodyne Pronamel
  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Rembrandt Low Abrasion

If you can’t find an SLS-free toothpaste at your local grocery store, try health food stores, specialty drug stores, or trusted online sites.

Some of our patients ask about tongue-scraping. We recommend thorough dental hygiene including cleaning the tongue.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, the dental health of our patients is our top priority every day. Services include orthodontics and pediatric dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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Think Before You Pierce

The Dangers of Oral PiercingIf you are considering puncturing your lip or tongue, this post is for you. The dentists at Providence Dental in North Las Vegas would like you to consider the following:

Infection
Your mouth is full of bacteria. Any opening in the tissue carries the risk of infection. The germs from your tongue and mouth can easily get into your bloodstream. Dentists and doctors are constantly treating acute infections caused by oral piercings. Oral infections can be a real problem and should be a major consideration before getting an oral piercing.

Tooth Damage
It should come as no surprise that having a piece of metal bang around in your mouth can easily damage tooth enamel. Though tooth enamel is very strong, once it’s chipped or cracked, it can only be restored with artificial material. Fortunately, Providence Dental in Las Vegas offers many tooth restoration options such as crowns and fillings, but our advice is to avoid the problem if you can.

Prolonged Bleeding and Swelling
The blood vessels in the tongue are often damaged when the tongue is pierced, causing prolonged bleeding and possible build-up of scar tissue. In some extreme cases, the tongue swells up enough to block the airway.

Gum Recession
A number of periodontal disease studies have shown that wearing oral jewelry is linked to periodontal disease which can result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease can cause gum recession which exposes the root of your teeth, potentially causing hypersensitivity and pain. Again, our advice is to avoid the trouble right from the start.

These are just a few of the dangers or oral piercings. At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we strongly recommend not getting any. Our services include family dentistry and emergency dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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Between-Meal Cleaning

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we constantly advise our patients to brush and floss, brush and floss, brush and floss. It is the best thing you can do to maintain your dental health.

Most of our patients, we’re pleased to say, take that advice to heart. But what happens in the middle of the day? You’re out and about, but your usual stuff – that favorite brush, the container of dental floss – is at home in the bathroom.

What’s the best way to keep your teeth clean during the day?

One of the best things you can do is rinse your mouth with water after you eat. That will give your whole mouth a quick cleansing.

An excellent trick is what we call dry brushing. That means brushing your teeth without toothbrush. Yes, it sounds a little strange – but it’s effective, and we know some dentists who do it themselves. It isn’t quite the same as how you would brush at home, but it’s going to clean the surfaces of your teeth – and that’s half the battle.

The other half of the battle is the stuff that gets between your teeth. A good solution here is using floss picks. They fit easily into a purse, pocket, or backpack. Floss picks are no substitute for regular dental floss, but because they have a convenient handle, you can do it one-handed and without the aid of a mirror. (Just be sure you use regular floss later on, before bed.)

Another effective trick is chewing sugarless gum. It only takes about five minutes of chewing to get the benefits. The gum will remove a lot of the surface debris from your teeth. It also gets your saliva going, which in turn promotes re-mineralization. That’s the process of replacing minerals in your teeth.

Another good idea is to eat healthy snacks. Raw vegetables and nuts are always a better choice than a cookie or candy bar, or some other sugary treat. Not only that, these rough-textured foods help to scrub your teeth as you chew.

And that’s just about all there is to it. Remember, though, that these are just between-meal cleanings. You’ll still want to brush twice a day and use regular dental floss at least once.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we promote dental health with regular checkups and cleanings. Our services include general and cosmetic dentistry, and take care of serious issues like wisdom teeth extraction. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166


Be Glad For Our X-Ray Vision

family dentist Las Vegas

At Providence Dental in Las Vegas, we know it isn’t very  comfortable. You have to put on the heavy apron, hold an awkward piece of film in your mouth and sit really, really still while a dental assistant takes x-rays. Is it really required for your dental health? Absolutely! No question about it.

No dentist can see everything that is going on with your teeth, bone, and surrounding tissue without x-rays.

What Hidden Problems Do Dental X-rays Detect?

  • Cavities below existing bridgework, crowns, or other restorations
  • Abscesses, cysts, and infections
  • Cavities between teeth just beneath where adjacent teeth touch (interproximal cavities)
  • The position of wisdom teeth

How Often Should X-rays Be Taken?
This depends on the patient. Someone with no history of tooth decay, no present tooth decay, no braces, and no existing crowns, veneers, or bridgework is at low risk for cavities. A high-risk patient is in the opposite situation and may have one or more of the following: previous dental caries, existing restorations, braces, worn-away enamel, chipped or cracked teeth. In addition, patients with an eating disorder or other medical condition may be considered high risk. People who haven’t had their wisdom teeth extracted also need to be followed with x-rays more frequently.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we do everything necessary for the dental health of our patients. Our services include general and pediatric dentistry. Schedule your next appointment today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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Does My Dentist Treat Bad Breath?

Cure Bad Breath In ProvidenceWhen dental patients ask if mouthwash cures bad breath, one of us on the team at Providence Dental in North Las Vegas tells them that treating bad breath with a mouthwash is like drenching yourself with cologne instead of taking a shower. It’s only a temporary mask for odor caused by poor oral hygiene, tongue bacteria, or digestive conditions.

The best-selling mouthwashes have a considerable amount of alcohol, which can exacerbate bad breath by drying out the mouth. Some bacteria grow even speedier in a dry environment.

To do away with bad breath, you need to find the cause. To get rid of hidden bacteria multiplying between teeth, pay more attention to thorough flossing and brushing.

A haphazard, thirty-second brushing won’t prevent halitosis (or cavities). Try to brush for at least three minutes. It may seem like overkill if you have been a speed-brusher, but remember that there is a lot of area to cover on multiple planes.

Devise a system to brush every reachable surface of every tooth. Then floss carefully around every tooth, pulling the floss down into the space at the gumline on both sides. Brush your gums, sides of mouth, palate, and tongue, also.

Schedule a deep dental cleaning at Providence Dental with the best hygienist in the area and request a refresher (no pun intended) course on brushing and flossing.

If your tongue is the culprit, you might want to start using a tongue scraper. Tongue scraping has become quite popular, especially among the college crowd. A tongue scraper works like a squeegee to scrape bacteria and food particles off the surface of the tongue.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we treat many people with bad breath. There is no reason to feel embarrassed. Our services include family and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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Find A Few Minutes To Floss

Las Vegas family dentistry

One common reason given by people who don’t floss their teeth is that it’s hard to fit it into their daily schedule. If you’ve found this to be true, the team at Providence Dental in North Las Vegas remind you how important flossing is to dental health, and offer some suggestions for finding the time.

  • The most common time is right before bed, but make sure you aren’t too tired to do a good job.
  • Right when you wake up is also an option, but if food is left between teeth all night, it can bring about plaque.
  • Try just after lunch, before you go back to work.
  • Floss while you are in the car sitting in traffic. It’s easier one-handed with the pre-strung floss pics. (You might get some peculiar looks from other drivers, but it’s worth it.)
  • Keep some floss in your gym bag so you can floss after you exercise.
  • While you’re watching the nightly news.

We hope this gives you some useful ideas to help you make flossing part of your daily routine. Flossing is critical for anyone who wants to have a healthy smile.

At Providence Dental in Las Vegas, we advocate for good dental health by providing a full range of family and pediatric dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

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5 Critical Oral Cancer Facts

oral cancer dental checkup Las Vegas

At Providence Dental we urge people to come in twice a year for a dental checkup and cleaning. These are an important part of your dental health. You’ll receive a thorough cleaning and exam, including a screening for oral cancer.

In the last few decades, lung and breast cancer have attracted a lot of attention. There is relatively less awareness of oral cancer even though it claims almost 10,000 lives every year in the United States. If you smoke or have acquired HPV, you have a higher risk for developing oral cancer.

At Providence Dental, we work to increase awareness of oral cancer and the significance of early diagnosis. Here are five essential things to know about oral (mouth) and oropharyngeal (back of mouth and throat) cancers.

  1. About 80% of people with oral cancer use some type of tobacco (cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes).
  2. 40% of individuals who receive late-stage diagnosis of oral cancer die within five years. The survival rate for early stage diagnosis is 90%.
  3. In many cases, it is extremely challenging for the individual to detect oral and oropharyngeal cancers because they can produce inconspicuous symptoms or no symptoms at all. Any abnormality in the mouth or throat, even if small and painless, should be analyzed by a dentist or doctor.
  4. HPV (the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease in the US) is the most common cause of oropharyngeal cancer. Of the various strains of HPV, HPV16 is the one most frequently linked to oropharyngeal cancer.
  5. African American men have a higher risk of dying from oral cancer than do whites.

At Providence Dental in Las Vegas, oral cancer screenings are included in every checkup, to ensure your dental health and overall health. We also offer family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

ArticleID 7438

Dental Sealant Q & A

dental sealants Las Vegas

Dental sealants, available at Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, are one of the most effective ways to protect your teeth. But a lot of our patients aren’t sure exactly what they are, so we’re using this blog post to talk a little about them, and answer the most common questions.

Q. What are dental sealants?
A. Dental sealants are permanent plastic barriers applied to the biting surfaces of teeth. They prevent cavities by filling in the grooves and fissures where food particles are particularly difficult to remove. Most pediatric dentists and family dentists offer sealants to their patients.

A. Do sealants significantly reduce tooth decay?
Q. Yes. Studies show that dental sealants can curtail the risk of decay by 70%!

Q. How are dental sealants applied to the teeth?
A. Your dentist applies the sealant resin as a liquid which quickly hardens and adheres tightly to the pits and grooves. The procedure is speedy, simple and painless.

Q. Which teeth can benefit the most from sealants?
A. Sealants are most commonly applied to the first and second molars because they are at the highest risk for decay.

Q. When should sealants be applied?
A. The best time is early – while the teeth are cavity-free. Your dentist will advise you.

Q. Are sealants just for kids?
A. Not necessarily. Talk to your Las Vegas dentist about whether sealants could benefit you.

Q. Is brushing and flossing still necessary for the teeth with sealants?
A. Yes. Vigilant oral hygiene is still essential to keep teeth and gums healthy. Even the teeth with sealants are at risk for decay along the gumline.

At Providence Dental in North Las Vegas, we offer our patients family and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule your next checkup and cleaning today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

ArticleID 6887

Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?

porcelain veneers cost Las Vegas

Are yellowing teeth getting you down? If so, you are not alone! Over time, teeth have a way of losing their luster. You can do something about it with professional teeth whitening at Providence Dental in Las Vegas, or you can try using an over-the-counter product.

Because many dental products such as toothpastes and mouthwashes say they can enhance your teeth, it’s natural to look at changing your brand of toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes work by adding chemical agents that can gently polish and whiten teeth. However, these substances can only remove stains that are on the surface of the teeth. This often results in whitening by roughly one shade.

On the other hand, Providence Dental offers rapid in-office teeth whitening procedures that can typically whiten your teeth anywhere from three to eight shades. That is quite a difference!

At Providence Dental in Las Vegas, we offer a fully range of cosmetic dentistry procedures, as well as orthodontics. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166

 

ArticleID 6623

Why a Water Flosser Might be a Good Idea

Las Vegas should I use waterpik?

Today, we’re discussing the water flosser, also known as interdental cleaner, interdental irrigator, or water jet, a tool favored by the dentist at Providence Dental.

The first water-shooting device for cleaning between teeth was created in the early 1960’s by Colorado dentist Dr. Gerald Moyer and John Mattingly, a hydraulics engineer. The instrument is now known by the brand name Waterpik, though many people use the term generically. Since its conception, numerous other companies have entered the market with similar products. (Note: Providence Dental does not necessarily endorse any particular brand.)

A water irrigation gadget oscillates a stream of water through a small, targeted tube to shoot out particles of food and plaque from around and between teeth. To use it, you place the tube into your mouth, turn it on, and then lean over the sink with your mouth slightly open to let the water dribble out as you direct the stream of shooting water around the gumline, pausing momentarily at each gap between adjacent teeth.

There have been over 65 studies that have substantiated the safety and efficacy of water flossing for calculus reduction, plaque biofilm removal, bleeding reduction, inflammation reduction, and gingivitis care.

Should I Use a Water Flosser?
If you don’t floss at all, absolutely. If you have periodontitis, maybe. It may also help you keep your teeth and gums healthy if you have orthodontia.

First, communicate with us to receive an oral care treatment plan that factors in your tooth and gum health, physical dexterity, and lifestyle. The following elements may impact whether or not we advise you to use an interdental irrigation device.

  • Braces or other orthodontic appliances
  • A physical impairment that reduces ability to brush and/or floss
  • Periodontal disease
  • Gums that bleed when flossing
  • Bleeding around dental implants when flossing
  • Aversion to flossing
  • Sensitive teeth

The team at Providence Dental in Las Vegas would love to help you learn the best suited processes for keeping your gums pink and healthy and firmly attached to cavity-free teeth. We provide family and cosmetic dentistry. Make an appointment with us today.

Contact Providence Dental:

702-852-2244

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

7181 N Hualapai Way Ste 105
Las Vegas, Nevada
89166