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Friday, January 18, 2019

Tongue Care

Good oral hygiene begins with brushing and flossing your teeth, using fluoride, and avoiding as much as sugary and acidic foods as possible. It is also important to brush your tongue. Even though your tongue can’t develop cavities, it attracts bacteria that hide in the crevices and will stay there until brushed. The consequences of not brushing your tongue are bad breath and tooth damage.


There are a few ways to maintain good oral care of your tongue and the first one is a tongue scraper which can be found in most drug stores. These scrapers help to clear bacteria while improving the appearance and sensation of your tongue. Traditional toothbrushes will work just fine to clean your tongue as all you need to do is brush back and forth, side to side, and rinse with water. Over-brushing of the tongue can break the skin so once all the areas of the tongue have been brushed, simply rinse and you are good to go.


To learn more about canker sores and the services we provide at our practice, visit www.fredrickshawdds.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fredrick Shaw in Austin, TX, call 512-451-7491.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Swelling following Tooth Extractions

Our job at the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group in Austin is to replace teeth and help preserve them, but there are occasions when a tooth has to be removed. Hopefully, the process will be the simple extraction of a natural tooth, but even then, some swelling is natural and expected. We find that patients feel more confident about the procedure when they know what to expect and how to stay as comfortable as possible.


The loss of a tooth triggers the immune system’s inflammatory response. The patient’s blood should quickly clot, sealing off the empty socket from harmful bacteria, so the patient may try to prevent inflammation from increasing. The best way to do this is through the use of cold packs. They should be held against the mouth for fifteen minutes at a time, with fifteen minutes allowed to elapse between applications. The packs should be dry. Swelling can be expected to peak on the third day, and patients should call us if it continues to increase after that.


Once swelling has maximized, patients can try reducing it by using heat packs to speed blood flow out of the extraction region. For their safety, they should follow the same fifteen-on/fifteen-off protocol. Swelling should usually disappear within a week. If the extraction was complex, swelling may be more severe, and patients will have to return to our office anyway to have the sutures removed.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.


 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Adults with Baby Teeth

Are you an adult who still has some baby teeth? It’s unusual, but not an unknown situation. At the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group in Texas, we extract and replace teeth that are compromised for whatever reason. Baby teeth in an adult mouth could certainly be a problem cosmetically, not to mention for hygiene and bite comfort, so we thought we should explore the situation more.


When permanent teeth push through, they cause the roots of the baby teeth to dissolve. Normally, the baby teeth fall out immediately before the emergence of a permanent tooth; when they don’t we call them “retained deciduous teeth.” Sometimes, the permanent tooth emerged in a radically different location than its baby counterpart, resulting in the patient having two sets of the same tooth. This would lead to overcrowding and the one that gets stuck in back would be very difficult to brush. The typical treatment is to extract the baby tooth and refer the patient for orthodontic treatment.


Sometimes, there simply is no adult tooth coming in. A small percentage of people are congenitally missing certain teeth, usually the upper lateral incisors. Many people dislike having a mix of baby and adult teeth, which is why they may want to get the baby tooth extracted and replaced with an implant or denture. Some orthodontic work may also be required to make room for an adult-sized crown, but we can provide a variety of restoration options.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.


 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Arestin to Treat Periodontitis

When the body develops a bacterial infection, we use an antibiotic to treat it. The same applies to infections in the mouth.  Doctors at Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group utilize arestin for patients with periodontitis who need a scaling and root planing procedure performed. Periodontitis is a chronic bacterial infection, caused by plaque, which has settled underneath the tooth’s surface below the gum line.


Arestin has the ability to reduce the severity of periodontal disease.  After a scaling and root planning procedure, the medicine in powder form is applied to the gums.  In a clinical study, when used in addition to scaling and root planing, arestin reduced harmful bacteria by nearly 2 times as much as scaling and root planing alone. This is because adding arestin to the mix disrupts the progression of periodontitis by specifically targeting the active infection.


If you have questions or concerns about the status of your periodontal health, please give us a call. To learn about the treatments we offer, visit FredrickShawDDS.com for more information.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fredrick Shaw,DDS in Austin, TX, call 512-451-7491.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Dangers of Tartar Accumulation

When we eat certain foods and beverages that contain sugars, these particles will remain in our mouths long after we’ve put them there. Bacteria thrive on these foods and produce acids that will attack tooth enamel. Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that won’t be eliminated unless we adequately brush and floss our teeth. If plaque isn’t brushed away, it will turn into tartar, which only Dr. Fredrick Shaw will be able to remove during a professional cleaning.


Unlike plaque, tartar is a mineral buildup that is easy to see above the gum line. The most common sign of tartar accumulation is a yellow or brown deposit between the lower front teeth at the gum line. Proper brushing, especially with a tartar control toothpaste, and flossing, are necessary to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. If tartar is left on the teeth, it may lead to periodontal disease which can cause the bone that supports the teeth to deteriorate.


If you have questions or concerns about oral care or dental health, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at the practice, visit FredrickShawDDS.com for more information.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Fredrick Shaw in Austin, TX, call 512-451-7491.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Diabetes and Tooth Loss

Our mission at the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group in Austin is to restore the teeth of people who have lost them. But we also care about prevention, and we don’t want to see our patients have relapses of gum disease. People with diabetes are particularly at risk for gum disease-related tooth loss, so it’s important for them to understand how closely oral health and the rest of the body are linked.


Gingivitis is inflammation of gum tissue. It occurs when there is an infection in a gum pocket, which triggers the immune system’s inflammatory response. Inflammation limits the spread of disease and makes cells more permeable to chemicals that white blood cells rely on, but it is painful and can damage tissues if it is prolonged. People with diabetes get inflammation more often and have more difficulty fighting infections. It is unknown exactly why this is, but high blood sugar is known to cause arteries to thicken.


If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress into periodontal disease. At this point, the gum and jaw bone tissues are receding, leaving teeth vulnerable to coming loose. While we can replace teeth, implants need jaw bone tissue to fuse with. It is important for people with diabetes to get regular cleanings and periodontal therapy for tissue loss they have incurred. Fortunately, there is evidence that following treatment for gum disease, people with diabetes have an easier time regulating blood sugar.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.


 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Avoid Tooth Decay during the Holidays

We’ve given a lot of people new teeth at the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group in Austin’s Rosedale neighborhood. Hopefully, our patients will be able to enjoy their implants and dentures for the rest of their lives. But prosthetic teeth are still vulnerable to tooth decay, and sticky, sugary treats abound during the holidays. We thought we should recommend how to enjoy food and drink safely.


Tooth decay is caused by acid that oral bacteria produce as a waste product. The materials of implants and dentures are not immune from acid, and food debris can get caught in them, just as with regular teeth. Sticky sweets like toffee and cranberry sauce are obviously likely to get stuck, but the residue from hard candies can also remain on teeth for an extended period.  Another common source of sugary residue is from drinks. Apple cider, eggnog, wine, and hot chocolate all tend to be drunk slowly, giving bacteria lots of time to metabolize them. Bacteria can metabolize starches, too, so debris from crackers, potatoes, and squash can fuel decay if it gets stuck in dental indentations.


Saliva washes away sugary residue, so it’s best to limit treats to full-sized meals when you’re producing more of it. If this isn’t realistic, you could also try chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production and remove some debris. While enjoying sugary drinks, alternate them with sips of water to remove residue. You can protect your natural teeth by drinking fluoridated water, so bring some bottles with you if you’re traveling to a house without it.


Frederick Shaw, DDS, operates the Shoal Creek Prosthodontic Group at 1500 W 38th Street, Suite 34, Austin, Texas, 78731. To schedule an appointment, call 512-451-7491 or visit Frederick Shaw DDS and fill out a contact form.