Understanding & Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a common disorder where you stop getting the proper amount of oxygen at night when you are sleeping. There are several reasons for a person to have sleep Apnea.

It is common in overweight people, men with a barrel shaped chest, and men in general, having a thick neck, large tonsils or a nasal obstruction. It can also come from a family history of Sleep Apnea or even GERD.

There are two types of treatments that are commonly used to help treat this disorder. A CPAP machine which forces air flow pressure and a dental appliance, or mouth guard. Many people experience negative side effects from a CPAP machine such as dry mouth, feelings of confinement from the mask on their face, sinus issues and stomach discomfort. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about trying a mouth device.

A mouth device can be used for someone who has moderate or mild Sleep Apnea. This is a device that you will have to go to your dentist to be fitted and will be worn at night to help with apnea episodes.

The most commonly used mouth guard is a mandibular advancement device or MAD. It looks like a sports mouth guard and will snap over your upper and lower dental arches and has metal hinges that make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased forward. The other less commonly used is a tongue retaining device that helps hold the tongue in place at night while sleep to help prevent blocking air flow.

Sleep Apnea affects us in several ways. It can lead to restlessness, day time tiredness, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and headaches. It can affect children as well and can lead to the worsening of ADHD and can affect their daily performance in school and other activities. If you are experiencing any of this problems or your sleep partner has witnessed you stop breathing, snoring or gasping for air, talk to your doctor and your dentist to figure out the best method of care.

Food That’s Good for Your Teeth

Whether we’re sitting down for dinner, digging through the fridge for a midnight snack or grabbing a quick bite to eat with some friends, our choice of foods are usually governed by our stomachs and our taste buds. Keeping a balanced diet may also come into play as well, but chances are most of us don’t really think a whole lot about what’s good for our teeth while browsing the menu.

But the fact is, there are is a plentiful array of great foods and drink that offer some superb benefits for your dental health. So the next time you dine, think about giving your teeth a little boost with these tasty (and healthy!) vittles.

Cheese

Here’s the thing about cheese that most people don’t know – it makes it really hard for plaque to prosper in your mouth. Cheese has a natural ability to raise the acidity in your mouth while increasing saliva production, making it tough on bacteria that have intentions on nibbling away your enamel. Cheese gets extra credit points for also being rich in calcium and protein – nutrients essential in strengthening your teeth.

Yogurt

Another calcium-rich dairy delight, Yogurt is naturally good for your teeth just based on nutrients alone. But it’s got another unique benefit that’s also great for your gums as well as your teeth – Probiotics. The good bacteria in probiotics make for bad company amidst the harmful microbes trying to make cavities, and often prevent them from growing or causing additional damage. Also, yogurt is super tasty – one of its best benefits – just try to avoid varieties with lots of sugar.

Green or Black Tea

Tasty treats that boost your teeth aren’t just limited to food. Drink your way to dental health with delicious green and black teas. This particular beverage contains unique, toxin-fighting micro-nutrients called polyphenols and help to mitigate bacterial growth in your mouth. Furthermore, tea has fluoride in it, adding even more protection against cavities.

Fish

For good dental health, you really want to look for the ‘fatty’ fishes like salmon. They’ve got lots of essential minerals in them, plus a healthy dose of Vitamin D. You really can’t go wrong with a good grilled salmon, and your teeth will thank you for it!

Meat

Sure, this is kind of a broad category, but most meats are an essential part of a healthy diet for you and your teeth. Red meats are especially beneficial due to the high protein and nutrients that strengthen your bones, muscles teeth and gums.

Leafy Greens

We’ve covered meat and dairy, it’s time we appeal to all you herbivores. Veggies like broccoli and spinach are packed with tons of great vitamins and minerals. Plus they’re a low calorie offering that fits nicely into just about any meal. Furthermore, leafy greens have folic acid which is widely known for numerous health benefits including oral health.

Milk

And of course, we can’t round out our list with anything but the most famous dental health consumable we all know and love – Milk. There’s a reason we drink lots of this stuff from infancy and on throughout most of our lives. We even produce milk to feed our young, making it pretty much a sure-fire nutritional powerhouse. Super rich in calcium and other vitamins, Milk strengthens our bones and teeth, fortifies our immune systems and it’s a great place to put cookies – for just a couple seconds before eating them.

When Should I take my Baby to the Dentist? (And Who’s Going to Help Me Through IT?)

If you’re a new parent or perhaps expecting the newest addition to your family soon, one question you may have on your list is “When should I start thinking about a dentist visit for my little one?”.

Surprisingly, the answer frames a timeline earlier than most parents expect. The ideal time recommended for bringing your child to his or her first dental visit is at the first sign of a tooth coming through. The reason: Cavities can happen even in just one tooth! It is important to stay proactive about your baby’s dental health.

If you do decide to wait a little longer before that first dentist visit, make sure your baby gets a checkup no later than his or her first birthday. We understand -A trip to the dentist with a young tot does not sound like it’ll be the most pleasant experience.

But don’t fret – we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves that may help abate some of those fears and help you prepare for a hassle-free dental appointment for your little one.

Throughout the first few months of your baby’s life, you’ll see a lot of opportunities to focus on good dental habits. The teething phase may be particularly tough, and there are lots of solutions and treatments available to get your child (and you!) through that tearful time. As your child progresses towards the 8-12 month mark, you’re likely to see a tooth or two make an appearance.

When you start seeing teeth, begin preparing your child for that first visit to the dentist. Explain to your child what the dentist is all about. Reading children’s books about the dentist, or watching similar videos with your child can help prepare the little one for what’s ahead.

Establishing a pleasant, positive dental hygiene routine with your child can help tremendously. Using a soft bristle baby toothbrush, you can get your child acclimated to the usual dental health regimen. You may even find it more enticing by making it into a game.

During toothbrush time, do some mouth-opening exercises with your child and explain how we have to sometimes hold our mouths open big and wide so the dentist can see everything that’s going on.

Once you and your little one feel comfortable and prepared for that first dentist visit, contact the dentist’s office and ask if you can prepare any necessary paperwork ahead of time, before you schedule the appointment. This will save a ton of time and hassle in the waiting room.

You may also want to prepare a list of questions ahead of time that you’d like to ask your dentist. If you have particular concerns about any abnormal symptoms you may have noticed, make sure to include those things on the list as well and get feedback from your dentist.

Try to schedule your appointment in the early afternoon, as it’ll make it easier to make sure your child has had nap and a lunch before heading to the dentist visit (make sure to brush after eating!). Make the trip to the dentist a fun and uplifting ride and encourage your child with a treat for being good at the dentist. Need any more tips? Have any further questions? Contact us today, we’re here to help!

Sensitive Teeth – What Causes Sensitivity and How to Control the Pain

Just about everyone has, at one time or another, endured the pain of sensitive teeth. Whether it’s triggered by cold foods and liquids or simply chewing regularly, tooth sensitivity can become a bothersome burden if left unchecked.

Did you know that our teeth are most sensitive between the ages of 25 to 30? While your age could certainly be a causative factor in your tooth pain, the sensitivity usually comes from other sources.

The most common causes of tooth sensitivity are often related to some form of damage to the affected tooth (or teeth). Here’s a roundup of the usual suspects causing your dental discomfort:

  • Chipped, cracked or broken teeth can become infected and inflamed
  • Grinding your teeth (often while sleeping) can cause wear on your teeth
  • Some Tooth-Whitening products have been linked to sensitivity
  • Acidic foods and drinks can wear away at your tooth enamel
  • Some dental procedures can cause short term sensitivity
  • Loose or lost fillings can expose sensitive parts of your teeth
  • Cavities, tooth decay and gingivitis are common culprits of sensitivity
  • Plaque build-up can reach the surface of your roots and prompt the pain

While the above list isn’t entirely exhaustive, it is prudent to practice preventative care and avoid all of the possible causes therein. Proper dental care is the surest way to avoid tooth sensitivity.

So now we know what usually causes our sensitive teeth, but you may not be able to hop into the Dentist’s chair right away – so how do you cope in the mean time?

  • Continue to brush and floss regularly
  • Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth
  • Use a fluoride rinse after each brushing
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash at least once per day
  • Try a soft-bristled tooth brush, or look for a toothbrush designed for sensitive teeth
  • Use a mouth guard at night to prevent teeth grinding while sleeping
  • For acute, high intensity pain from sensitivity, try an over-the-counter oral ointment

Furthermore, you may find relief in avoiding certain things that tend to cause more pain, such as:

  • Piping hot coffee or tea, soups and similar hot liquids
  • Ice-cold or frozen beverages and foods
  • Chewing hard candy, cough drops, ice and other hard crunchy foods
  • Sugary foods, sweets or chewing gum
  • Acidic foods, citrus fruits, sodas

Remember that the best solution for sensitivity is preventing it before it can manifest, which means proper dental hygiene and regular checkups with your dentist. Let us help you relieve your sensitive teeth and put the proper preventions in place today!

Why Most Americans Have Some Sort of Gum Disease

About eighty percent of all Americans have some sort of periodontal gum disease (source: American Dental Hygienists’ Association). Mostly seen in adults, the percentage of those with the disease increase as age increases. Here are a few interesting facts regarding Gum Disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The condition is more common in men than women
  • 65.4% of people living below the poverty level have gum disease
  • 66.9% of people with less than a high school level education have gum disease
  • 64.2% of smokers have gum disease

It is also 100% preventable, so why do so many U.S. adults live with it? The sad truth is that the one of the primary reasons that people have gum disease is lack of motivation for home care. This is not the case for everyone; other reasons include genetics (hereditary), health related issues like diabetes, AIDS, or even hormonal changes such as pregnancy. Some reasons are self-inflicted. Smoking, stress, and poor oral hygiene are examples of these. While many hereditary or health causes cannot be prevented, the self-inflicted reasons can and should be reversed.

Gingivitis is the most common form of periodontal disease. Signs of gingivitis are swollen, red gums that can bleed. If not treated, this can lead to periodontitis that includes bone loss and even loss of teeth. There are warning signs that can let you know if your gums are unhealthy. First and foremost, check the color. Healthy gums are generally a nice pink color. If your gums are red and or swollen, you are displaying a warning sign of gum disease. Other signs include bad breath, painful chewing, sensitive teeth, bleeding gums when you brush and/or floss, or gums pulling away from your teeth.

Treating Gum Disease

As established earlier, one of the primary reasons for gum disease is lack of oral hygiene care. This should not be the case, but sadly many do not take proper care of their teeth and gums. The good news is that in the early stages of periodontal disease, the condition is reversible and treatable. The best way to prevent or reverse gum disease are two simple solutions.

  • Brush AND Floss twice a day
  • Get cleanings at your local dentist twice a year (or more as recommended)

Pretty simple, right? If you practice these two simple steps, your dental health has a great chance of being the best it can be. If you have more questions about your dental health, or think that you might have periodontal disease, make sure to schedule a visit to talk with your dentist today.

Fill the Gap: Treatments for Tooth Gaps

Here at University Dental Arts, we take great care to ensure that each patient undergoes the right treatment for their needs. This is allowed us to become one of the leading dental practices in the greater Denver area.

When it comes to treating tooth gaps, there are advanced cosmetic dentistry treatments and restorative procedures that can improve the look and health of a smile. Let’s consider these matters right now.

The Problems Associated with Tooth Gaps

Tooth gaps are linked to cosmetic problems and issues that affect dental health and general wellness.

In terms of pure aesthetics, a tooth gap can leave you feeling self-conscious about your smile. This is especially true with gaps between your most prominent teeth. When you have tooth gaps (whether between teeth or the result of missing teeth), it can dominate the overall look of your smile.

In terms of dental health and general wellness, tooth gaps can lead to malocclusion, which is one of the main causes of or contributors to dental pain, teeth grinding (bruxism), and TMJ disorders. Gum recession, tooth damage, and further tooth loss may occur as a result.

Dental Bonding for Minor Tooth Gaps

For very miniscule gaps between teeth, dental bonding may be a good option to consider. Dental bonding uses tooth-colored dental resin that is painted directly onto the teeth to help mask imperfections and flaws. This allows dentists to build out the size of a tooth and fill a minor gap.

Porcelain Veneers for Serious Yet Primarily Cosmetic Gaps

If you have a more serious tooth gap that cannot be treated with dental bonding but is still primarily cosmetic in nature, porcelain veneers may be an ideal option. Porcelain veneers are thin shells of dental ceramic that are used to mask imperfections on a tooth. With a porcelain veneer in place, problems with size, shape, alignment, and symmetry can be addressed, and that includes gaps between teeth.

Orthodontic Treatment for Major Misalignment Issues

For significant problems with tooth gaps, the best option to consider for treatment is orthodontic care. By undergoing orthodontic treatment, the overall alignment of the teeth can be improved. This helps close gaps and address issues with crowding, allowing your smile to look great and be healthy as well.

Appliances to Replace Gaps Caused by Missing Teeth

When you have lost a tooth and have a small or significant gap remaining, it’s important to have a dental appliance created to restore appearance and overall function. For most patients, this means the crafting of a dental bridge, partial denture, or full denture. In addition, dental implants may be placed, which are artificial tooth roots designed to support crowns and the other listed appliances.

Tailoring Treatment to Your Needs

We take time to tailor treatments to every patient, which is why it’s important that you come in for a consultation if you suffer from tooth gaps or tooth loss. We will provide detailed information on your treatment options, listing all of the risks and benefits so you can make smart choices about your treatment options.

Schedule a Consultation at University Dental Arts

For more information about treating tooth gaps and helping your smile look its very best, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at University Dental Arts looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.

Treatment Options for Chipped Teeth

A chipped tooth can affect more than just the appearance of a smile. It can be an indication of oral health problems on the horizon. Once a tooth is structurally compromised, it is vulnerable to further damage, which can lead to excruciating pain and costly treatment down the road. If you have a chipped tooth, it truly is best to have it taken care of now, even if it isn’t causing you any immediate problems.

Fortunately, modern restorative dentistry offers a number of highly effective treatments for chipped teeth. At one point, repairing a chipped tooth might have meant sacrificing the aesthetic appeal of your smile by filling your mouth with conspicuous metal. Those days, thankfully, are long gone. At University Dental Arts, Dr. David Redford and his team use only the finest materials to restore damaged teeth to their former glory. Dr. Redford offers a comprehensive range of treatment options for chipped teeth at his Denver, CO cosmetic dentistry practice, all of which leave patients with smiles that are as attractive as they are healthy.

If you have one or more chipped teeth, don’t wait another day to seek treatment. Schedule your initial appointment at University Dental Arts, and make your smile whole once again.

How Does Dr. Redford Treat Chipped Teeth?

Before he can treat a chipped tooth, Dr. Redford must first determine how the chip occurred. Was it the result of trauma or injury, or did it occur due to an underlying oral health issue? How severe is the chip? How badly damaged is the tooth enamel and the dentin that lies beneath the enamel? If there are issues that must be tended to before restoring the tooth, they must be identified first and foremost.

For small chips that affect the front teeth, it may be possible simply to conceal the tooth using one of two methods:

  • Porcelain veneers: Crafted from the highest-quality porcelain, veneers are layered onto the front surfaces of teeth to conceal chips and other aesthetic flaws. Like enamel, porcelain is translucent, meaning that it allows some light to pass through its surface, so it looks remarkably natural.
  • Dental bonding: A cost-efficient alternative to porcelain veneers, dental bonding involves the application of a composite resin material to the surface of a chipped tooth. When this material hardens, it is sculpted and polished to resemble a natural tooth.

For chips that affect the side and back teeth, the treatment used will depend on the size and severity of the chip:

  • For smaller chips, a tooth-colored, composite resin filling will be used.
  • For moderate chips that occur within the protruding cusps of a tooth, a ceramic inlay will be used.
  • For moderate chips that extend to one or more of the protruding cusps of a tooth, a ceramic onlay will be used.
  • For chips too large to support a filling, an inlay, or an onlay, the entire tooth will be covered by a dental crown.

Learn More about Treatments for Chipped Teeth

To learn more about treatments for chipped teeth, please contact University Dental Arts today.

Bad Dental Habits That you Should Avoid

When it comes to having a healthy and beautiful smile, patients in and around the greater Denver area can count on the team at University Dental Arts. We offer comprehensive general dentistry services, including tips and basic do’s and don’ts for lastng dental wellness.

With that in mind, let’s look at some common bad dental habits that you have to avoid if you want to have healthy teeth and gums.

Not Brushing Your Teeth Enough

People really should brush their teeth at least twice a day, but you might be surprised how infrequently some people brush. To have the best dental health possible, consider brushing after every meal.

Not Flossing Your Teeth Enough

Flossing should be done once a night, but most times people can’t even manage that, which is unfortunate since food particles and plaque get trapped between teeth. Ideally you should consider flossing after every meal.

Brushing and Flossing Too Aggressively

Sometimes people brush and floss enough, but they do it too aggressively. This can harm the gum tissue and make gum recession more likely. Be gentle when brushing and flossing, and be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Using Tobacco Products

Smoking and using chewing tobacco are bad habits in and of themselves that cause many health issues, including cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. Tobacco can also lead to bad breath and tooth discoloration. These are just other reasons to finally quit for good.

Biting and Nibbling Inedible Items

Sometimes as a nervous habit, people may bite their nails, chew on pen caps, nibble on straws, or chomp down on ice cubes. All of these can potentially weaken teeth and cause chips and cracks to occur. Consider avoiding these kinds of actions.

Using Your Teeth Like a Pair of Scissors

Sometimes when a bag or some packaging is difficult to open, people use their teeth to open it rather than scissors. This can result in serious damage to the teeth. When you need scissors, just grab scissors.

Not Wearing Mouth or Face Protection

If you play contact sports or participate in combat sports, potential injury to the head and face is a risk you take. To avoid serious injuries to the mouth and your face, wear proper mouth guards and protective gear.

Snacking on Sugary Foods

Junk food really can rot your teeth out since the oral bacteria in the mouth loves sugar and carbs. Think of healthier options for snacks if you’re feeling hungry.

Drinking Too Much Soda

Soda and other kinds off carbonated beverages can lead to changes in the pH of your mouth, weakening the enamel of your teeth. Go easy on the soda so your teeth can stay healthy for years and years.

Not Staying Hydrated

Dry mouth is sometimes caused by not being hydrated properly. Drink water throughout the day to hydrate. It will keep your mouth moist, remove food particles between teeth, and help control bad breath to a certain degree.

Not Visiting Your Dentist Regularly

Twice a year may not seem like too much, but meeting with you dentist can make a world of difference for preventative care and more advanced treatments. Be sure to meet with your dentist today if you haven’t in a while.

Schedule a Consultation at University Dental Arts

If you would like more information about good dental health habits and how you can improve the quality of your smile, bee sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team at University Dental Arts will work with you to address all of your concerns.

The Effects of Smoking on Oral Health

Patients in the Denver area can trust the team at University Dental Arts to offer the best dental care possible. This includes restorative dentistry procedures to improve health and wellness as well as cosmetic dentistry treatments to enhance smile aesthetics.

We also believe in preventative care and total wellness as a way of improving your smile. That’s why we’re always keen to help patients who are smokers. Smoking can have many negative effects on your smile, which we’d like to explore in more detail below.

Smoking Causes Bad Breath

One of the noticeable issues with smoking is that it causes you to have bad breath. Compared to the other problems we’re about to discuss, the bad breath is a minor issue, but already compelling on its own as a reason to quit.

Smoking Can Lead to Dental Stains and Discoloration

If you smoke regularly, it’s not uncommon for your teeth to become stained, particularly the front teeth. Many people who have smoked for years have smiles that are tinged with yellow or that are generally dingy or brown.

Smoking Makes Gum Disease More Likely

When people smoke, they increase their risk of gum disease. Infections and inflammation of the gums are more likely when any tobacco products are used, which means potential issues with bleeding gum, discolored gums, and gum recession. Left untreated, patients are more likely to suffer from advanced periodontitis due to smoking.

Smoking Can Make Tooth Decay Worse

In addition to affecting the gums, smoking has been shown to make plaque and tartar buildup worse in many patients. When more plaque and tartar is present, this offers oral bacteria an ideal means of attaching to a tooth’s surface and damaging the enamel and other layers of tooth structure.

Smoking Can Lead to an Increased Likelihood of Oral Cancer

One of the most significant issues with smoking is that it increases your likelihood of developing oral cancer. Smokers and people who use chewing tobacco are at significant oral cancer risk. The problems begin with sores, lesions, and pain, and if the oral cancer is not caught early, it can have a disastrous impact on your overall wellness.

Treatments for the Dental Problems Caused by Smoking

There are many different dental treatments out there that can help address the negative effects of smoking.

To improve the appearance of a smile that’s been yellowed by years of cigarette smoke, for instance, there is teeth whitening treatment, which bleaches discolored tooth structure.

To address gum disease and recession, there are many different periodontal procedures that will address infection and also rebuild damaged soft tissue.

For tooth decay and tooth erosion, restorations can be used rebuild compromised tooth structure. Common restoration options include fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns.

As for oral cancer, dentists can screen for early signs of cancer so the problem can be treated as soon as possible. This is why regular dental visits are so crucial for ensuring total wellness.

Consult with Experts to Help You Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is easier said than done. If you need assistance with quitting, you can speak with your doctor or with our team. We can discuss various techniques for quitting and the various resources available to you to help you kick the habit for good.

Speak with Our Advanced Dental Care Team

For more information on enhancing the appearance of your smile, improving your dental health, and achieving greater overall wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team here at University Dental Arts looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.

Tooth-colored Fillings offer Patients Long Term Restoration

Preserving the health of the teeth is important. While general dentistry services allow some patients to avoid dental complications all together, it is not at all unusual for patients to develop mild to moderate degrees of decay, or to experience an injury that results in mild trauma. In these cases, restorative dentistry treatments stabilize the affected tooth and restore oral strength and function. There are many restorative treatments to consider, but the most common procedure is placement of a dental filling. Dental fillings are formed directly to the tooth and replace healthy tooth structure that has been lost or damaged. At University Dental Arts, Dr. David Redford prefers to work with tooth-colored fillings. For our Denver patients, tooth-colored fillings offer a long lifespan and superior strength and durability.

How Long Do Tooth-colored Fillings Last?

As with any dental treatment, the lifespan of a tooth-colored filling will vary from patient to patient. Tooth-colored fillings are fabricated using a naturally strong composite and form a bond with the natural tooth, strengthening these restorations even further. Unlike metal fillings, tooth-colored fillings do not react to temperature variations and will not expand and contract, which can potentially cause damage to the natural teeth. For all of these reasons, tooth-colored fillings are considered superior to metal fillings in both strength and durability. On average, patients can expect a tooth-colored filling to last a minimum of 10 years, with many patients enjoying the benefits of these dental restorations for between 15 and 20 years. In general, smaller fillings tend to last longer, while larger fillings may eventually need to be replaced with a larger restoration, such as a dental crown. Still, despite the strength and durability of these restorations, and no matter the size, the lifespan of tooth-colored fillings will depend largely on how they are cared for.

Extending the Lifespan of Tooth-colored Fillings

Consistent and effective oral health care is vital to extending the lifespan of a tooth-colored filling. Tooth-colored fillings should be treated and cared for in the same way as the natural teeth, with regular brushing and flossing. It is also important to continue to schedule regular dental exams so that, if any complications do arise that threaten the structure of the dental filling, they can be addressed as early as possible. Aside from these oral hygiene practices, the following tips can help patients to maintain strong and functional tooth-colored fillings:

  • Avoid exposing the teeth and fillings to excessive force or pressure (this includes avoiding hard, sticky foods and refraining from teeth grinding, clenching, or nail biting)
  • Protect the teeth when playing sports or participating in athletic activities to avoid injury to the teeth
  • If aware of teeth grinding or clenching, ask about a custom-fit mouth guard to be worn at night to protect the teeth

Schedule an Appointment

Tooth decay, no matter how minor, can threaten a person’s oral health if it is not treated in a timely manner. Tooth-colored fillings offer effective treatment for minor to moderate degrees of injury or decay without compromising the appearance of the smile. To learn more about these durable dental restorations, schedule an appointment with Dr. David Redford at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!