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Posts for: October, 2016

By Denise A. Perrotta DMD
October 30, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: infection control  

The chances of contracting an infectious disease from a dental visit are extremely low, thanks to the stringent safety standards practiced by over 170,000 dental care providers across the U.S. Without these standards, you and your family would be at risk for diseases like hepatitis from even a routine office visit.

The main prevention focus centers on blood-borne diseases in which blood from an infected person is introduced into the body of another through a cut, incision or injection site. While HIV/AIDS (autoimmune deficiency syndrome) is perhaps the most well known of blood-borne diseases, a more common and thus a more threatening disease is hepatitis. Caused by a pair of viruses known as HBV and HCV, hepatitis damages the liver, which disrupts normal bodily function and can even cause death.

The spread of hepatitis and similar diseases is a major concern for blood transfusion and surgical centers that commonly use invasive procedures and intravenous (IV) equipment. It’s also a concern in dental offices where even a hygienic cleaning may result in some bleeding. To reduce the risk of disease, the dental profession has several layers of both mandatory and recommended standards for protection against viral or microbial transmission.

The Center for Disease Control, for example, publishes and regularly updates recommended procedures for equipment sterilization and disinfection. State level dental licensing boards also mandate safety procedures and require continuing education for infection control as a requirement for re-licensing, as often as two years. Professional organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA) also encourage safety protocols among its members.

The vast majority of dentists place infection control among their highest priorities. These care providers institute and practice daily protocols and procedures for hand washing, use of masks, gloves and other biohazard protection, and disinfection. Through effective infection control you and your family can receive the dental care you need without endangering your general health.

If you would like more information on health safety in the dental office, 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 “Infection Control in the Dental Office.”

By Denise A. Perrotta DMD
October 27, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

You should know you have options when it comes to whitening your smile.

There are so many things that can cause our teeth to look less than white over time. Unfortunately, this is just one ofteeth whitening the facts of getting older; however, this doesn’t mean that you just have to accept that you’ll always have to go through life with stained teeth. Our Winston Salem, NC cosmetic dentist, Dr. Denise Perrotta, is here to make sure you get the cosmetic care your smile deserves to become vibrant and more youthful.

How Will Teeth Whitening Brighten My Smile?

Our teeth whitening system involves applying a whitening solution over the teeth that people will see when you smile. When the bleach is applied to these teeth it immediately goes after the stain molecules that are found in the enamel and dentin layers of the teeth.

The whitening gel may be left on your teeth from anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. A dental laser may also be used to help activate the gel and speed up the bleaching process. This is a great way to get rid of surface stains caused by certain foods or drinks, or just stains caused by aging. While our whitening system is able to easily remove yellow stains and some brown stains, it won’t work on gray stains (internal stains). Teeth whitening also won’t work to brighten dental restorations like fillings or crowns.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Getting professional teeth whitening in Winston Salem is completely safe. There is no research to suggest that whitening could actually harm your teeth when performed correctly. Of course, it’s important to note that some people may experience temporary side effects such as minor sensitivity, particular to hot and cold.

There are two types of active ingredients that are often used to whiten teeth: hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is often used in more home-based whitening systems because it can be left on teeth for longer periods of time without causing sensitivity. Most professional systems, on the other hand, use a faster-acting hydrogen peroxide, which can whiten teeth by as much as 10 shades in just one hour.

A whiter smile can instantly make you younger without the invasive cosmetic surgery. Call our Winston Salem, NC dental office to schedule your next whitening session with us or to find out if it’s right for you.

By Denise A. Perrotta DMD
October 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health

Exchanging passionate kisses with big-screen star Jennifer Lawrence might sound like a dream come true. But according to Liam Hemsworth, her Hunger Games co-star, it could also be a nightmare… because J.Law’s breath wasn’t always fresh. “Anytime I had to kiss Jennifer was pretty uncomfortable,” Hemsworth said on The Tonight Show.

Lawrence said the problem resulted from her inadvertently consuming tuna or garlic before the lip-locking scenes; fortunately, the two stars were able to share a laugh about it later. But for many people, bad breath is no joke. It can lead to embarrassment and social difficulties — and it occasionally signifies a more serious problem. So what causes bad breath, and what can you do about it?

In 9 out of 10 cases, bad breath originates in the mouth. (In rare situations, it results from a medical issue in another part of the body, such as liver disease or a lung infection.) The foul odors associated with bad breath can be temporarily masked with mouthwash or breath mints — but in order to really control it, we need to find out exactly what’s causing the problem, and address its source.

As Lawrence and Hemsworth found out, some foods and beverages can indeed cause a malodorous mouth. Onions, garlic, alcohol and coffee are deservedly blamed for this. Tobacco products are also big contributors to bad breath — which is one more reason to quit. But fasting isn’t the answer either: stop eating for long enough and another set of foul-smelling substances will be released. Your best bet is to stay well hydrated and snack on crisp, fresh foods like celery, apples or parsley.

And speaking of hydration (or the lack of it): Mouth dryness and reduced salivary flow during the nighttime hours is what causes “morning breath.” Certain health issues and some medications can also cause “dry mouth,” or xerostomia. Drinking plenty of water can encourage the production of healthy saliva — but if that’s not enough, tell us about it: We may recommend switching medications (if possible), chewing xylitol gum or using a saliva substitute.

Finally, maintaining excellent oral hygiene is a great way to avoid bad breath. The goal of oral hygiene is to control the harmful bacteria that live in your mouth. These microorganisms can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath — so keeping them in check is good for your overall oral health. Remember to brush twice and floss once daily, stay away from sugary foods and beverages, and visit the dental office regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

So did J.Law apologize for the malodorous makeout session? Not exactly. “[For] Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, yeah, I’ll brush my teeth,” she laughed.

Hemsworth jokingly agreed: “If I was kissing Christian Bale I probably would have brushed my teeth too. With you, it’s like, ‘Eh. Whatever.’”

If you would like more information about bad breath and oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath: More than Just Embarrassing.”

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