Cracked Teeth and How to Avoid Them | Dentist in 35243

A cracked tooth can affect the appearance of your smile and hinder the function of your teeth. Depending on the severity, you may experience discomfort or find it difficult to chew comfortably. Thankfully, damage to your teeth can be avoided by knowing what causes it. Below we have gathered the most common reasons for a tooth to crack and how to avoid it from happening. 

Chewing Hard Foods 

While healthy teeth are strong, they are not indestructible. Try to avoid or limit chewing on hard foods such as nuts, ice, or popcorn kernels, as these can cause cracks in your teeth. 

Grinding Your Teeth at Night 

Teeth grinding (known as bruxism) is a common occurrence and can happen without your knowledge. Most teeth grinding happens in your sleep and can gradually damage your enamel, causing stress fractures or what are known as craze lines. Combat this issue by wearing a night guard, which acts as a barrier between your upper and lower teeth and protects them from wear. 

Natural Aging 

As you age, so do your teeth. While you can’t avoid aging, you can help limit the effects it has on your oral health. Cracked teeth are commonly found in people over the age of 50 due to a lifetime of daily use. Because of this, it is important to practice strong oral hygiene habits and visit the dentist on a regular basis.  

Trauma to the Mouth 

Traumatic dental injuries can occur during vehicle or sport collisions. Often, these accidents are unavoidable and can cause damage to your teeth. While playing contact sports, we encourage you to wear a mouth guard to lower your chances of cracking a tooth. 

Cracked teeth, especially when left untreated, are one of the leading causes of tooth loss. There are ways to avoid these injuries that will help keep your teeth strong and safe. Sometimes, a cracked or chipped tooth is unavoidable. In this case, our team at Cosgrove Dental Care can help restore your teeth back to full health. 

For more information or to schedule your next appointment, contact our office today. 

Cosgrove Dental Care of Vestavia Hills
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making While You Brush | Dentist 352435

Brushing your teeth can feel like a no-brainer after decades of practice, but are you aware of the mistakes surrounding home care that you might be making? Keep your oral health top-notch by 

reading our quick list and see how you fare. 

  1. Timing – Make sure you don’t brush immediately after consuming sugary or acidic drinks. You can demineralize the enamel on your teeth by doing this. Rinse your mouth with water, then wait for 30 minutes to an hour before you brush. 
  2. Borrowing a Brush – Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to toothbrushes. When you share toothbrushes with somebody, you can spread illness and germs through oral contact. Make sure to get your own toothbrush, and label it or keep it separate to ensure you don’t get them confused. 
  3. Distance from the Toilet – Flushing a toilet can spread bacteria through the air. Make sure to place your toothbrush as far as possible from your toilet, or put a cover on your brush to protect it from contamination. 
  4. Rinsing after Brushing – Most toothpastes contain fluoride, which can help strengthen the enamel in your teeth. It takes time to work, however, so make sure you don’t rinse your mouth right away after brushing. This can wash away the fluoride before it can do its job. 
  5. Brushing Too Much – When you brush too frequently, you run the risk of wearing down the enamel on your teeth. Focus on brushing all facets of your teeth instead of how vigorously you can brush. 

There is more to brushing your teeth than you might think. These tips can help keep you aware of mistakes you might be making. Remember, daily brushing and flossing are only the foundation for optimal oral healthprofessional dental care is important, as well. For more advice or to schedule your next visit, contact our office

Cosgrove Dental Care of Vestavia Hills
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Say Cheese! | Vestavia Hills Dentist

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It has long been known that dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is important for developing and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, not all dairy works in the same ways. Did you know that a recent study has found that cheese can actually help protect teeth against cavities?

How does cheese prevent cavities?

Eating cheese helps stimulate the production of saliva in your child’s mouth, which washes away sugars, acids, and bacteria on their teeth. Additionally, cheese is a great source of both calcium and phosphorous, which can help strengthen tooth enamel. What’s more, the scientists who performed the study found that some of the other compounds found in cheese seem to adhere to tooth enamel, further protecting the teeth from acids in the mouth.

Are all cheeses the same?

No, some cheeses are healthier for your family than others. To get the greatest benefit from your child’s cheese intake, stick with real cheese varieties, rather than processed cheeses. American cheese, cheese dips, and pre-packaged cheese products, such as those found in jars or spray cans, have added sugars to enhance their flavor. These sugars can be harmful to teeth, rather than protecting them. In addition, these types of cheese products contain a significantly reduced amount of actual cheese content. These processed cheeses can even wear down tooth enamel, increasing risk of decay.

What kinds of cheese should I give my child?

There are hundreds of types of real cheese available, which are packed with calcium and great for tooth protection. If your child enjoys aged cheeses, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey jack are all tasty options. If he or she prefers softer cheeses, Mozzarella, Brie, or Camembert may be a great way to make your child smile. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and other similar cheeses have much to offer for a child with a more expansive palate.

What if we’re on a low-fat diet?

Good news! The fat content of your cheese choices do not affect its ability to protect your child’s teeth. The low-fat or non-fat versions of your child’s favorite varieties of cheese contain just as much calcium, phosphorous, and other tooth-protecting compounds as the full-fat varieties.

With so many great options to choose from, consider offering your child cheese instead of sugary or starchy options for a snack or end of meal treat. Cheese tastes great and is healthy for your child and their teeth. For more ideas for healthy snacking, contact our dental office.

Resource: https://www.sciencedaily.com

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Help! 5 Tips to Know When You Can’t Brush | Dentist in Vestavia Hills

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Occasionally you might find yourself in a situation where you won’t be able to brush your teeth, perhaps through a lack of time or your location. Though it is vital to brush twice each day, here are a few steps you can take if you find yourself in a bind.

Drink Water

When you are in a spot where you won’t be able to brush your teeth for a while, water can be your friend. Drink water to help wash away sugars and acids that are in your mouth and on your teeth. Much of the public water supply is also fluorinated, meaning it contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to build strong teeth. Water also helps your mouth produce more saliva, which works to keep enamel strong. Our dentist in 35243 suggests drinking water regularly, not just when you can’t brush your teeth.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Try chewing some gum to help keep your teeth clean. The American Dental Association (ADA) approves certain chewing gum brands with their seal on the package. ADA approved gums are sugar-free and do not contain other decay causing sweeteners. Like drinking water, chewing gum is good for saliva production, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel.

Floss Your Teeth

We suggest always carrying dental floss; it’s usually small enough to fit almost anywhere. Flossing is not a replacement for brushing, just as brushing does not replace the need for flossing, however in a pinch it is essential that you remove any plaque and build up that you can. The ADA suggests flossing once a day. Flossing will help improve your gum health too.

Use a Disposable Toothbrush

If you know you might be out of the house for a while, perhaps because of a long day at work or an overnight stay, we recommend you consider a disposable toothbrush. Disposable brushes usually come with toothpaste already applied and are easy to store and carry. They are an excellent alternative that allow you to still thoroughly clean your teeth.

Avoid Sugary Foods

A helpful step you can take if you find yourself in a situation where brushing isn’t possible is to avoid eating or drinking sugary or acidic things. Acids and sugars are what contribute to decay, as they weaken your teeth’s enamel. If you cannot brush your teeth, then don’t eat foods that lead to decay. Avoid sugary soft drinks, juices, sports drinks, and energy drinks as these drinks will leave behind sugars and acids that sit on your teeth.

Keep a Routine

Your oral health depends on your ability to brush your teeth twice-daily. Sometimes however, you might find yourself in a situation where that’s not an option. Our dental team in Vestavia suggests following these steps to minimize the damage to your teeth.

For more helpful tips on keeping your smile healthy, contact our dental office in Vestavia, AL.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

7 Ways to Combat Bad Breath | Dentist in Vestavia Hills

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Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is commonly associated with certain foods. Garlic, onion, and cabbage can all cause a foul odor and taste for several hours after you’ve eaten them. This type of temporary halitosis is easily solved by avoiding the foods that cause it. However, in some cases bad breath is a chronic problem that simply changing your diet won’t solve.

Long-term bad breath is caused by the presence of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are most often found on the back of the tongue and thrive when your mouth is dry. There are a variety of ways you can help reduce or eliminate chronic bad breath. Some of these include:

Practice good oral hygiene.

Our dentist in 35243 recommends brushing your teeth after you eat as often as possible and at least twice daily. Clean between your teeth using dental floss or another interdental (between teeth) cleaner at least once each day. Food particles between teeth will break down slowly and cause unpleasant odors and tastes.

Brush your tongue.

Even if you brush and floss your teeth as recommended, the bacteria causing your bad breath may remain on your tongue. Use a tongue scraper or toothbrush to gently scrape away any particles of food or bacteria every time you brush. For best results, place the scraper or brush as far back as you can manage without gagging. This will generally become easier over time.

Keep well-hydrated.

Dry mouths allow bacteria to thrive. By drinking plenty of water, you can help prevent the bacteria growth and reduce or stop bad breath.

Avoid bad breath triggers.

Onions, garlic, cabbage, coffee, and tobacco products are all known to cause bad breath.

Chew sugarless gum.

By chewing sugarless gum, you increase saliva production and keep your mouth moist. This helps slow or prevent bacteria growth, minimizing chances of bad breath.

Improve your diet.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and foods rich in vitamins C and D all work to prevent the growth of bacteria, keep your mouth cleaner, and increase saliva flow.

See your dentist.

Follow your regular schedule of dental hygiene appointments and exams. If you have tried the tips above without improvement, make an appointment for an exam to see if there may be an underlying condition that requires treatment. Treat any oral illnesses, such as decayed teeth, periodontal disease, or infection.

For more information about the potential causes and treatments for halitosis, contact our dental office in Vestavia, AL.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Are Your Drinks Attacking Your Teeth? | 35243 Dentist

35243 dentist

If carbonated soft drinks are part of your normal daily routine, you may be causing serious damage to your teeth. Recent studies have found soft drinks to be among the most potent dietary causes of tooth decay. Soft drinks have also been implicated in increases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Before you shop for beverages this week, consider a few things you should know about soft drinks.

Most soft drinks contain substantial amounts of sugars, which interact with the bacteria in your mouth. This interaction produces a form of acid that can damage your teeth for about 20 minutes. Each time you take a drink, you reset that time window. If you consume throughout the day, you are essentially bathing your teeth in that beverage for hours.

Most soft drinks contain acids, as well. Even sugar-free varieties contain acids that can weaken the enamel on your teeth. Colas and citrus-flavored soft drinks tend to have the highest levels of acid. Over time, this weakening of tooth enamel has a cumulative effect. This can lead to decay and even tooth loss if not addressed in early stages.

Obviously, the best solution is to stop consuming carbonated soft drinks. However, it can be a difficult habit to break. Here are some tips from our dentist in 35243 to help reduce your risks of tooth damage from these beverages:

  • Drink in moderation. Too much sugar and acid will eventually cause damage.
  • Try sparkling water. This provides the fizzy sensation without all the sugar and acid.
  • Drink more water. You will crave soft drinks less when you are fully hydrated.
  • Don’t sip. The longer you spend drinking, the more time sugars and acids are reacting with your teeth.
  • Use a straw. This can help keep the sugars and acids away from your teeth.
  • Rinse with water after drinking to dilute acids and sugars.
  • Don’t brush immediately. Wait at least 30 minutes for acids to be neutralized by saliva before brushing.
  • Practice good dental hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular professional dental cleanings and exams.

Carbonated soft drinks can be harmful to your oral and overall health. Be mindful of how often you consume them and consider reducing or stopping your use of these dangerous beverages.

For more oral health tips or to schedule an appointment, contact our dental office in Vestavia, AL.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

6 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay in Children | Dentist in Vestavia Hills

Vestavia Hills AL Dentist

Oral health is important at every stage in life. Just because your children are going to lose their primary (baby) teeth eventually doesn’t mean that we can ignore the importance of children’s dentistry. Tooth decay can be painful and uncomfortable to treat. To protect your child’s smile, it is vital to understand optimal preventive care.

  1. Explain the importance of routine dental care to your children and turn brushing and flossing into something fun that they look forward to each day.
  1. Schedule routine appointments to our office for cleanings and dental exams. Your child should start seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges. Make sure to continue visiting us twice a year for optimal oral health.
  1. Include crisp and fibrous foods into your child’s diet. Fruits and vegetables high in water content help keep your child’s mouth hydrated. Foods such as apples increase saliva which inhibit bacteria from sticking to their teeth.
  1. Avoid food and drinks that are high in sugar. Soda, juice and candy are all treats that most children love to eat. However, these can be detrimental to your child’s teeth and overall health.
  1. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. Water flushes bacteria and acid away from teeth. Encourage your children to drink water especially after eating.
  1. Ask our dental team in Vestavia, AL about dental sealants for your children. Sealants can add a layer of protection to your child’s teeth where bacteria build up to prevent damage.

Tooth decay starts out as a small problem, but left untreated can lead to serious oral health issues. By adding a few minor habits into your daily routine, your child’s oral health can change for the better. Simple changes in diet and routine can keep cavities at bay. Call our dental office in Vestavia, AL today to schedule an appointment for your child.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis | Cosgrove Dental Care

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Periodontal disease, or gum disease, and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) are a systemic inflammatory disorder, which is how they have a connection. Both diseases frustrate the immune system and attack its own tissues, eventually leading to tooth loss and pain of joints. Learn about the connection and what you can do to protect your overall health.

Studies show a strong connection between RA and gum disease, an inflammatory condition that can lead to tooth loss and other health complications. Both diseases have inflammation in common, which explains the connection. Inflammation is a protective immune system response to viruses and bacteria. RA is an autoimmune disease which causes it to mistakenly trigger inflammation even if there are no viruses or bacteria present. Also, Brushing and flossing can be challenging for those with RA. In the journal PLoS Pathogens, they found that the bacteria that causes periodontal disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis, increases the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, leads to an earlier onset of the disease, and causes symptoms to progress quickly.

It is important for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to be brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist regularly. It is very important to work with your doctors to find out what works best for you.  People who have both gum disease and RA should have an informed care team composed of both a physician and a periodontist. If you don’t have a periodontist, you should get an evaluation from your dentist in Vestavia, AL every year to monitor the status of your gums. Research has found that when patients with RA successfully treat gum disease, pain and other symptoms get better.

For patients with RA, one must pay close attention to oral health and schedule regular dental exams, eat healthy and always brush and floss. If you have trouble taking care of your teeth due to stiff, painful hands or jaws, speak to your dentist or therapist about ways to make dental care easier. Here are some tips as to how you can make dental care easier to manage:

  • Toothbrush: add a tennis ball or bicycle grip to better handle your toothbrush
  • Floss: experiment with different type of floss
  • Toothpaste: using toothpaste in a pump may be easier for you than toothpaste you have to squeeze

If you have any questions or concerns regarding periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, contact our dental office in Vestavia, AL to schedule a consultation and what we can do for you.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

The Truth Behind “Natural Whitening” Fads | Dentist in 35243

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It seems like there is a new headline nearly every week featuring someone who swears their teeth are whiter and brighter due to their natural home remedy for stain removal. These articles showcase the idea that whitening can be cheap and easy, if in some cases unpleasant. It can be tempting to consider trying for brighter, whiter teeth without investing time and money on in-office or at-home whitening under a dentist’s care. However, before you pin your hopes on one of these “natural whitening” methods, take a look at the truth behind some of the recent fads.

Fad 1: Oil Pulling

Oil pulling has been cropping up in headlines for months with claims of a wide variety of potential health benefits. It is a very old folk remedy in which a person swishes a tablespoon of edible oil, such as coconut, sunflower, olive, etc., in their mouth and between teeth for up to 20 minutes daily.

Despite the number of years this practice has existed and the number of health issues it purports to treat, there is no evidence that oil pulling whitens teeth or improves health.

Fad 2: Fruits

Due to celebrity endorsement, some people have begun to try rubbing mashed strawberries on their teeth to try to achieve a whiter smile. Others are using lemon or orange peels, and still others tout the virtues of eating pineapple or swishing apple cider vinegar.

However, there is no science to support any of these claims. In fact, one recent study found that brushing with a mixture of baking soda (which is known to have whitening effects on teeth) and strawberries did not whiten teeth. Even worse, the citric acids found in all of these fruits and vinegars can actually be harmful to the enamel on your teeth.

Fad 3: Hydrogen Peroxide

While it is true that many forms of in-office and over-the-counter teeth whitening make use of hydrogen peroxide, there is more to consider before opening a bottle. The hydrogen peroxide used in professional teeth whitening, whether in-office or at-home, is mixed with other substances and provided in a form designed for use in teeth whitening.

Simply swishing from a bottle of hydrogen peroxide will have little or no effect on the whiteness of your teeth, but may cause irritation to your gums and mouth and can be dangerous if accidentally ingested.

If you want whiter, brighter teeth, there are safe and effective ways to achieve your goal. Talk with our doctor for a recommendation for what kind of whitening will be best for your needs. For more information about whitening, contact our office in Vestavia, AL.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243

Silence Isn’t Always Golden | Dentist in Vestavia Hills

35243 dentist

Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive inflammation of the gum tissue. It is most frequently caused by bacterial infection. Left untreated, gum disease can have serious consequences for your oral and overall health.  However, one of the biggest challenges for early detection and treatment of gum disease is its silence. Gum disease can often begin and progress with few or no symptoms until reaching an advanced stage.

Gum disease is caused when the bacteria found in plaque builds up between the teeth and gums. As the bacteria grow, the gums can become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. When gum disease is not treated promptly, it can worsen, leading to increased gum recession, infection, and bone loss. In addition, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Gum disease also impacts other aspects of your overall health. Research has found links between gum disease and diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other serious inflammatory illnesses. To help prevent gum disease, ensure you are practicing strong oral hygiene habits, including brushing, flossing, use of mouthwash, and regular dental examinations. Be aware of your risk factors for developing gum disease, such as age, tobacco use, genetics, stress, medications, grinding, obesity, or other inflammatory diseases, among others. Consider having an annual periodontal evaluation.

While symptoms may not appear until later stages of the disease, it is important to watch for the warning signs of gum disease. Some of these include:

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Mouth pain
  • Bleeding gums caused by brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between gums or teeth
  • Mouth sores
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums receding or pulling away from teeth
  • Changes in your bite or the fit of dentures

Gum disease can start silently, but may cause great damage if left untreated. Once gum disease has started, it can be effectively treated, but not fully cured. Protect your oral and overall health with preventive care and regular periodontal screenings. For more information about gum disease or to schedule your periodontal screening, contact our office in Vestavia, AL.

Cosgrove Dental Care
Phone: (205) 967-4080
4221 Dolly Ridge Rd.
Vestavia, AL 35243