Gingivitis: What Is It and How Is It Treated? | Dentist Hanover, PA

Dentist in Hanover

If you haven’t been brushing, flossing, or getting your teeth professionally cleaned, you may have gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed with proper oral hygiene practices and a little help from our dental team.

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What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal (gum) disease. There are several symptoms, including red, swollen, and tender gums; sensitivity to heat or cold; gums that bleed easily; and lingering bad breath. Untreated gum disease can progress to periodontitis, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.

Who gets gingivitis?

Gingivitis is very common. Over half of all adults over the age of 30 suffer from some form of gum disease.

There are several factors that increase the risk of gum disease: 

  • males, though researchers are unsure of the reason for this. There may be a hormonal component to this, or that men are more likely to contract related diseases. In addition, men are less likely to go to the dentist.
  • poverty-stricken individuals and those with less than a high school education. A number of diseases are associated with these factors.
  • smokers, since tobacco weakens the body’s ability to resist infection.

Gingivitis: What Causes It?

Plaque and tartar can accumulate on the teeth without good oral hygiene practices and regular dental cleanings. Bacteria in plaque irritate gum tissues, causing inflammation and infection.

Other risk factors for gingivitis include having crooked teeth that are hard to clean; smoking or chewing tobacco; hormonal changes during pregnancy; and dry mouth. Gum inflammation can also be a side effect of certain medications and be caused by certain medical conditions, including diabetes.

How Is Gingivitis Treated?

A deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing is the first line of treatment for gingivitis and periodontitis. The process of scaling is similar to that of a routine dental cleaning. Scalers are used to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and in between teeth. Root planing involves cleaning and smoothing out the tooth’s root surfaces to encourage the gum tissue to heal.

A gingivitis treatment plan should also include maintaining daily oral hygiene habits, such as brushing your teeth, flossing, and rinsing your mouth with mouthwash. Please schedule an appointment with our dental office as soon as possible if you notice any signs of gingivitis. Our team will evaluate your condition and assist you in restoring your healthy smile.

We invite you to schedule your routine dental examination and cleaning with our dental office. We provide preventive services to ensure your smile remains healthy for as long as possible. You can always count on our team for the highest level of care and service. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment!

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

The Four Symptoms of Jaw Cancer | Dentist Near Me

Dentist in Hanover

An oral cavity cancer that spreads to the jawbone typically results in jaw cancer, which is a rare type of head and neck cancer. Our dental team understands how unsettling it can be to receive a diagnosis of jaw cancer. We believe, however, that being educated, prepared, and proactive can help ensure the best possible outcome.

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Symptoms of Jaw Cancer

The majority of jaw cancers are benign, which means they do not spread to surrounding tissues. Occasionally, jaw cancers can be aggressive, spreading to surrounding structures and causing serious health complications.

Jaw cancer is characterized by four symptoms:

  1. Jaw Pain: The majority of jaw pain is attributed to TMJ disorder. However, it is imperative to visit a dental professional to exclude the possibility of oral cancer if you experience jaw pain. Occasionally, aggressive jaw tumors may spread to surrounding bone and tissues, resulting in tooth displacement, which is often painful.
  2. Jaw Swelling: One of the most significant symptoms of jaw cancer is swelling in the jaw area that can be seen on the side of the face. The swelling may also occur on the roof of the mouth or beneath the teeth, depending on where the tumor is located.
  3. Lumps on the jaw: An enlarged lump on the roof of the mouth or on the gums should be evaluated by a dentist if it does not resolve within two weeks. There may be lumps associated with infections or benign growths, but they can also be caused by cancer of the jawbone. 
  4. Loose teeth: Squamous cell carcinoma, which can reach the jawbone through tooth sockets, is the most common type of malignant jaw cancer. A jawbone tumor may cause your teeth to move out of place, causing them to loosen. Whenever you notice that a tooth is loose, you should seek immediate assistance. 

How Does Jaw Cancer Develop?

Smoking and chewing tobacco products are the leading causes of jaw cancer. Furthermore, poor nutrition, poor oral hygiene, genetics, excessive alcohol consumption, and viruses such as HPV are all risk factors.

What Can You Do to Reduce the Risk of Jaw Cancer?

Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, eating a balanced, nutritious diet, and maintaining a meticulous oral hygiene regimen are all effective ways to reduce the risk of jaw and other oral cancers. Make sure you visit our dental office twice a year for dental exams and cleanings. We are always on the lookout for signs of oral or jaw cancer so that early intervention can be provided, if necessary, to ensure the best possible outcome.

Contact our dental office to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning. To rule out any abnormalities, we will perform an oral cancer screening. You can always count on our team for exceptional service and care. Make an appointment with us today!

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

Top 5 Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth | 17331 Dentist

Dentist in Hanover

17331 Dentist

When it comes to your oral health, what you should eat is just as important as what you shouldn’t. By limiting certain types of foods and focusing on others, you can set yourself up for a lifetime with a healthy smile. Here is a list of foods recommended by our dentist in 17331 that you should strive to eat, and others to consume with moderation. 

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Best Foods for Your Teeth 

Cheese and other dairy products. Dairy is high in calcium and protein, which strengthen tooth enamel. Cheese, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products are all great sources. 

High-fiber foods. Fiber keeps saliva flowing, which helps to get rid of bacteria and fight decay. Leafy greens, beans, and many fresh fruits contain high amounts of fiber. 

Water. Water should be your main drink of choice. It helps rinse food particles or sugars away and keeps saliva levels high. 

Sugar-free gum. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), sugar-free gum can protect your teeth by increasing saliva flow. Chewing a stick after a meal can also help clean any food particles that remain. 

Lean protein. Foods like eggs, fish, chicken, and various red meats contain phosphorus, which is necessary for your body to fully absorb calcium. 

Worst Foods for Your Teeth 

Acidic foods. The acids found in citrus fruits, wine, and candy can wear down the calcium buildup in your teeth and create opportunities for tooth erosion. 

Sodas. Soft drinks contain high levels of sugar and acidity which are both equally destructive to your teeth. 

Sports drinks. While sports drinks may help you rehydrate during physical activity, they also contain a lot of sugar. We recommend limiting sports drink consumption and switching to water. 

Alcohol. Alcohol is known to dry out your mouth, which prevents saliva from doing its job. Alcohol can also stain your teeth. 

Sticky or sugary candies. Our Hanover, PA dental team shares how sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay and is commonly found in candy. Limit how much candy you eat and drink water afterwards to wash away any remaining sugars. 

By watching what you eat or drink, you can protect your oral health. Minimize your consumption of problematic foods and aim for those that will benefit your teeth. In addition, regular dental cleanings and exams will help keep your smile bright and healthy. Contact our dental office in Hanover, PA today to schedule your next appointment.

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

How to Maintain Your Oral Health While on Vacation | Dentist Hanover PA

Dentist in Hanover

Dentist 17331

Keeping up with your dental hygiene and oral health can be easy during your work-week, but being on vacation can complicate things. Follow the advice of our 17331 dentist to ensure your smile stays bright while you enjoy your vacation.

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Plan Ahead

Make sure you pack everything you will need, such as a toothbrush, floss, and travel-sized mouthwash. Your toothbrush should have a cover or a separate bag, so that it can dry and avoid contamination between uses. Buying supplies while on vacation can be a hassle, so hit the store before you skip town. If you are in need of dental care such as a root canal or a filling, it is better to have treatment done ahead of time to avoid any emergency care away from home.

Set a Routine

At home, routines for oral hygiene are easy to follow. On vacation, however, your time management might be hectic or sporadic. Our dental team in Hanover, PA suggests to set a routine to ensure you brush twice a day and floss at least once, and stick to it as best you can.

Watch your Diet

Enjoying delicious cuisine while on vacation can be a fantastic experience – just make sure to do so in moderation. Avoid too many sugary or acidic drinks and foods, which can cause damage to the enamel of your teeth. Cocktails are a great example of this. In addition, bring healthy snacks along with you. These can save money while on-the-go, and are easy on your teeth. Try to bring a water bottle or canteen to rinse your mouth when possible, which helps prevent decay and plaque growth.

You can maintain your oral health on vacation without any stress if you plan for it. Bring the right tools, set a routine, watch what you eat, and your optimal oral health will remain. If you need treatment or a cleaning prior to your trip, contact our team to schedule an appointment to our Hanover, PA dental office.

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

Cracked Teeth and How to Avoid Them | Dentist in Hanover

Dentist in Hanover

17331 Dentist

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 our dentist team in Hanover PA has gathered the most common reasons for a tooth to crack and how to avoid it from happening.

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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 our dentist in 17331 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 can help restore your teeth back to full health.

For more information or to schedule your next appointment, contact our dental office in Hanover, PA today.

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

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

Dentist in Hanover

Dentist 17331

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 shared by our 17331 dentist and see how you fare.

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  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 shared by our dental team in Hanover, PA can help keep you aware of mistakes you might be making. Remember, daily brushing and flossing are only the foundation for optimal oral health – professional dental care is important, as well. For more advice or to schedule your next visit, contact our Hanover, PA dental office.

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

How to Keep a Healthy Tongue | Dentist in 17331

Dentist in Hanover

17331 Dentist

When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips shared by our Hanover, PA dentist.

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Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue.

Drink Plenty of Water

If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar.

Visit our Dental Office

By visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine dental cleaning and examination, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs.

Don’t let your oral health slip by neglecting proper care for your tongue! Put these four tips into practice so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile. Contact our dental office in Hanover, PA today to learn more about proper oral care or to schedule your next appointment.

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks | Hanover PA Dentist

Dentist in Hanover

Dentist 17331

Many sports drinks contain electrolytes which can be helpful to maintain energy levels when engaging in physical activities. You may believe that sports drinks are healthy but the truth of the matter is, they are not healthy. Energy drinks are those like Monster and Rockstar. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also seen as a tasty alternative to water when it comes to staying hydrated. Our dentist in 17331 agrees that it is important to know the negative effects and damage that these drinks do to your teeth. 

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Up to 62 percent of children of the same age drink at least one sports drink per day and between 30 and 50 percent of teenagers in the United States drink these types of beverages regularly. With these numbers being so high it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth. The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days.

There is a lot of damage being done to your oral health when consuming sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erodes or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay.

While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, our Hanover, PA dental team says to rinse your mouth with water afterwards and do not brush your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems.

Getting healthy is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. One must maintain oral health to make sure to have a lasting smile. Talk to your dentist about preventative care for your oral health. contact our dental office in Hanover, PA today to schedule an appointment.

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

I Chipped a Tooth! What Can I Do? | Hanover Dentist

Dentist in Hanover

17331 Dentist

It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth.

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Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things our dentist in 17331 can do to restore your beautiful smile:

Tooth Bonding

Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with. 

Dental Crown

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth. 

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again. 

If you have a chipped tooth and would like more information on these methods, or to schedule a consultation, contact our dental office in Hanover, PA today.

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331

Daily Flossing | Dentist in 17331

Dentist in Hanover

17331 Dentist

We’ve all been told at least once in our life that flossing daily is crucial. Here are four reasons shared by our 17331 dentist on why flossing may be beneficial for your oral health routine:

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  1. Preventative care. Food and bacteria buildup between your teeth is unavoidable. Over time, these bacterial colonies lead to tooth decay and the destruction of your dental health. Our dental team in Hanover shares how flossing helps remove food and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach.
  2. Helps prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Your teeth aren’t the only part of your mouth that needs attention. Many people take care of their teeth but ignore their gums. Researchers at the New York University College of Dentistry explain that the people who floss regularly experience much lower instances of periodontal pathogens, gum bleeding, and decay-causing bacteria in contrast with people who do not floss.
  3. Protects your smile. Flossing does more than just prevent cavities—it also preserves the bones that support your teeth. By preserving the height of that bony structure as well as a healthy smile, you’re maintaining a healthy and youthful appearance that will benefit you for years to come.
  4. Gives you better overall health. Gum disease doesn’t just affect your mouth and jaw. It has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even respiratory diseases. Flossing daily is more than just an optimal habit—it can help keep you healthy as you age.

We are pleased to offer a variety of oral health solutions to keep your smile healthy. We are also able to customize a health plan tailored to your specific needs. Book your appointment with our dental team at our dental office in Hanover, PA today.

Smiles on Broadway of Hanover
Phone: (717) 637-2255
214 Broadway
Hanover, PA 17331