Posts for category: Oral Health

UsetheSamePreventionStrategytoDefeatToothDecayandGumDisease

Archeologists can tell us quite a bit about our primitive ancestors. For example, because of their coarse, abrasive diet and a primitive understanding of oral hygiene, their teeth had a rough go of it. They simply wore out faster — a contributing factor, no doubt, to their short life spans of thirty or forty years.

But thanks to improvements in lifestyle, healthcare and diet, people live much longer today. And so do their teeth, thanks to advances in dental care and disease prevention. While teeth still wear to some degree as we age, if we care for them properly with daily oral hygiene and regular dental visits, we can keep that wear to a minimum. Teeth truly can last a lifetime.

Unfortunately, it's still all too common for people to lose their teeth prematurely. The main reason: the two most prevalent dental diseases, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Tooth decay arises from high concentrations of mouth acid that erode enamel, teeth's irreplaceable protective shell. Gum disease is an infection that damages the bone supporting tissues as it infiltrates deep below the visible gum line.

While they occur by different mechanisms, the two diseases have some commonalities. They both, of course, can lead to tooth loss. And, they're both triggered by oral bacteria found in dental plaque, a thin film of food particles built up on tooth and gum surfaces. Multiplying bacteria feed on plaque and produce acid as a by-product. And certain bacterial strains infect gum tissues.

Both of these diseases can be treated successfully, especially if detected early. But the better approach is to prevent them in the first place. This introduces another commonality — they share the same prevention strategy of daily, comprehensive brushing and flossing for plaque removal, regular dental cleanings and checkups, and a sharp eye for any signs of disease like bleeding gums or tooth pain.

With diligent dental care and close attention to your oral health, you increase your chances of avoiding the full threat of these diseases. And with healthy teeth, you have a better chance of living a long and healthy life.

If you would like more information on minimizing tooth wear, 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 “How and Why Teeth Wear.”

By James Hutson, DDS, PC
June 27, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj  

Jaw pain when you’re eating or talking is not normal. A clicking sound in the jaw is not normal either. Both are signs that there is a jaw painpotential oral health problem that needs to be treated by a dentist. In many cases, the problem is TMJ (short for Temporomandibular disorder). Find out the various potential causes of your pain, including TMJ, and how it can be treated by Dr. James Hutson at his Marietta, GA, dental office.

The Discomfort of Jaw Pain
Jaw pain is disruptive to your everyday routine because it makes it difficult to eat and talk. Some tougher foods like steak may be impossible to chew for proper digestion when there’s too much pain in the jaw. It’s also hard to focus on your work or a conversation with someone if you’re constantly thinking about the clicking sound coming from the side of your face (common with TMJ disorders). 

Probable Causes of Jaw Pain
One National Health Interview Survey found that about 3.5 percent of men and 6.9 percent of women in the United States report pain in the jaw. There are several reasons why you may be experiencing jaw pain:

- TMJ disorder (an inflammation of the hinge that connects the upper and lower jaw)
- Poor bite positioning
- Tooth clenching and grinding
- Yelling and screaming for long periods of time, such as at a ballgame
- Fibromyalgia (a painful, nerve-related problem)

Jaw Pain Solutions
There is likely a dental solution for many of the causes of jaw pain. Here are common treatments offered at Dr. Hutson’s Marietta dentist office:

- Orthodontics if the problem is bite-related
- A crown or bridge restoration if a damaged or missing tooth is the problem
- Mouth guards to stop grinding and clenching when sleeping
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to ease inflammation and pain
- Stretching exercises and ice or heat therapy

Get Jaw Pain Help
If you’re feeling jaw pain often, don’t let too much more time pass before you see Dr. Hutson at his Marietta, GA, dentist office. Call (770) 424-7525 today to schedule a TMJ jaw examination.

By James Hutson, DDS, PC
June 22, 2017
Category: Oral Health
AnyTimeAnyPlaceCamNewtonsGuidetoFlossing

When is the best time to floss your teeth: Morning? Bedtime? How about: whenever and wherever the moment feels right?

For Cam Newton, award-winning NFL quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, the answer is clearly the latter. During the third quarter of the 2016 season-opener between his team and the Denver Broncos, TV cameras focused on Newton as he sat on the bench. The 2015 MVP was clearly seen stretching a string of dental floss between his index fingers and taking care of some dental hygiene business… and thereby creating a minor storm on the internet.

Inappropriate? We don't think so. As dentists, we're always happy when someone comes along to remind people how important it is to floss. And when that person has a million-dollar smile like Cam Newton's — so much the better.

Of course, there has been a lot of discussion lately about flossing. News outlets have gleefully reported that there's a lack of hard evidence at present to show that flossing is effective. But we would like to point out that, as the saying goes, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” There are a number of reasons why health care organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) still firmly recommend daily flossing. Here are a few:

  • It's well established that when plaque is allowed to build up on teeth, tooth decay and gum disease are bound to follow.
  • A tooth brush does a good job of cleaning most tooth surfaces, but it can't reach into spaces between teeth.
  • Cleaning between teeth (interdental cleaning) has been shown to remove plaque and food debris from these hard-to-reach spaces.
  • Dental floss isn't the only method for interdental cleaning… but it is recognized by dentists as the best way, and is an excellent method for doing this at home — or anywhere else!

Whether you use dental floss or another type of interdental cleaner is up to you. But the ADA stands by its recommendations for maintaining good oral health: Brush twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups; and clean between teeth once a day with an interdental cleaner like floss. It doesn't matter if you do it in your own home, or on the sidelines of an NFL game… as long as you do it!

If you would like more information about flossing and oral hygiene, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

APediatricDentistCouldbeaGreatChoiceforYourChildsDentalCare

When it's time for your child to visit the dentist (we recommend around their first birthday), you may want them to see your family dentist. But you might also want to consider another option: a pediatric dentist.

The difference between the two is much the same as between a pediatrician and a family practitioner. Both can treat juvenile patients — but a family provider sees patients of all ages while a pediatrician or pediatric dentist specializes in patients who haven't reached adulthood.

Recognized as a specialty by the American Dental Association, pediatric dentists undergo about three more years of additional post-dental school training and must be licensed in the state where they practice. They're uniquely focused on dental care during the childhood stages of jaw and facial structure development.

Pediatric dentists also gear their practices toward children in an effort to reduce anxiety. The reception area and treatment rooms are usually decorated in bright, primary colors, with toys and child-sized furniture to make their young patients feel more at ease. Dentists and staff also have training and experience interacting with children and their parents to help them relax during exams and procedures.

While a pediatric practice is a good choice for any child, it can be especially beneficial for children with special needs. The “child-friendly” environment is especially soothing for children with autism, ADHD or other behavioral/developmental disorders. And pediatric dentists are especially adept in treating children at higher risk for tooth decay, especially an aggressive form called early childhood caries (ECC).

Your family dentist, of course, can presumably provide the same quality care and have an equally welcome environment for children. And unlike a pediatric dentist who will typically stop seeing patients when they reach adulthood, care from your family dentist can continue as your child gets older.

In the end it's a personal choice, depending on the needs of your family. Just be sure your child does see a dental provider regularly during their developing years: doing so will help ensure a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

If you would like more information on visiting a pediatric dentist for your child's dental needs, 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 “Why See a Pediatric Dentist?

By James Hutson, DDS, PC
April 20, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth loss  

Find out why missing teeth need to be replaced as soon as possible.tooth loss

While a gap in your smile might not seem like the biggest problem it’s all the things you cannot see that could pose further risk to your oral health. Our Marietta, GA, cosmetic dentist Dr. James Hutson is here to provide a little information about what untreated tooth loss can do to your oral health and what treatment options you have.

What problems can tooth loss cause?

Tooth loss can happen for a variety of reasons from decay and gum disease to traumatic injuries. You may be missing a single tooth or multiple teeth. Once you lose a tooth, there are certain changes that begin to take place in your mouth. Obviously, more severe changes will occur if you leave your tooth loss untreated for a longer period of time.

Now that there is a gap in your smile the rest of your teeth will begin to shift into that open space to fill the spot. As a result, your teeth will become misaligned or even crooked. Having to also need braces on top of replacing a missing tooth can be frustrating, to say the least. Sadly, this isn’t the only issue those with tooth loss will face.

The jawbone needs stimulation and it gets it from all of your teeth’s roots. Once a tooth is missing the bone is no longer getting stimulation from that tooth, which causes the bone to breakdown and deteriorate. The longer you ignore this issue the more significant your bone loss will get.

As you may be able to imagine, at this point, the jawbone has started to deteriorate and affect the shape of your face. The chin recedes and skin sags and cheeks cave in.

How do I prevent this from happening?

We can probably agree that no one wants this to happen, and luckily it can be stopped if you get the proper care right away. Our Marietta, GA, dentist is here to make sure that you get the treatment you need to replace all of your missing teeth. Whether you are looking for an inexpensive option like dentures to replace your teeth quickly or you want a restoration like dental implants, which are as close as you can get to natural teeth, we have the answers you are looking for to fit anyone’s needs and budget.

Prevent these issues from ruining your oral health for life. Turn to the Marietta, GA, family dental experts to give you back a beautiful restoration and protect your smile. Call us to schedule your consultation.



Dentist - Marietta
707 Whitlock Ave. SW,
Suite B22 Marietta, GA 30064
(770) 424-7525

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