Scott W. Grant, DMD

FAMILY AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY

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items ward off stained teeth

Items to Promote and Avoid to Ward Off Stained Teeth

At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re happy to offer teeth whitening and bleaching services among our wide range of cosmetic dental care options. For those who are experiencing staining, discoloration or any other related aesthetic issue with their teeth – generally caused by staining based on age, items consumed, medications taken and other factors – teeth whitening is a safe, affordable procedure that will easily lighten and brighten the teeth affected. In addition to these services, however, we’re also here to provide the kind of consistent preventive care and expertise that will help you avoid these staining and discoloration issues to begin with. And while factors like age, medications, trauma and others definitely play a role here, perhaps the largest factor in this kind of discoloration tends to be the kinds of things you put in your mouth. Let’s look at some of the high-risk items that will raise your risk of tooth staining, plus some other items that will actually promote a whiter, healthier smile if you consume them regularly.

High Stain Risk Items

Before we get into a number of food and beverage items that may negatively impact your mouth and raise your staining or discoloration risk, a few words about perhaps the single largest culprit here: Cigarettes and tobacco products. Whether smoked, chewed or otherwise ingested, these products contain numerous chemicals that directly harm the teeth and gums in several ways, including creating discoloration and staining concerns that are often permanent. If you smoke or consume tobacco in any other way and are concerned about tooth discoloration, attempting to quit should be one of your first steps. In addition, here are several other food or beverage items that can stain the teeth most easily:
  • Red or white wine
  • A variety of berry types
  • Soda and various other caffeinated or sugary sports drinks
  • Juices – grape, pomegranate, cranberry
  • Coffee and tea formats
  • Soy sauce
  • Tomato sauce and many ketchup products
  • Candy, particularly hard candy formats
  • Beets
It’s important to note that you don’t have to eliminate these items entirely. However, if you’re dealing with regular stains, cutting back on them – and increasing brushing frequency after you do consume them – can make a big difference.

Items With Natural Whitening Benefits

On the flip side, there are also a number of items that will actually promote a whiter and healthier smile. These include:
  • Apples, pineapple and certain other water-based fruits
  • Cauliflower
  • Hard cheeses
  • Onions, celery, carrots, cucumbers
  • Seeds or nuts
  • Milk, yogurt and certain other dairy products
  • Basil
Making these items part of your regular diet will benefit not only your white smile and oral health, but also your overall health. For more on the kinds of items to avoid and promote to avoid tooth staining risks, or to learn about any of our general dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading
sugarless gum cavity decay prevention

Chewing Sugarless Gum for Cavity and Tooth Decay Prevention

For anyone who gets regular cavities, or parents of children in this situation, it’s a constant hunt for ways to limit these concerns, and some methods here are less well-known than others. One good example of this is a popular activity that many people don’t connect with oral health at all: Chewing gum. At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, our general dentist preventive oral care services help limit cavities, tooth decay and several related areas. Let’s go over how chewing gum may assist in your efforts to fight cavities, either in your own mouth or in your child’s, plus some important differentiations within the type of gum you consider that could make all the difference.

Gum and Tooth Decay

When gum is chewed, it triggers the saliva glands in the mouth to increase their production levels. Saliva is a vital cavity-fighting tool, helping rinse out food debris and any other particles that may be harboring the sort of harmful bacteria that triggers cavities. The more saliva present in the mouth, the greater the chances that even the smallest of particles – the kind that can harbor millions of germs that lead to tooth decay – will be washed away and will not negatively impact the area.

Sugarless Gum is Preferred

Now, it should be noted that not all gum formats are equal here. In particular, the benefits of chewing gum for reducing cavities may be mitigated or eliminated altogether if the gum in question is sugar-based – this gum is advised against by the American Dental Association, and with good reason. Those same bacteria that saliva is helping get rid of? They also feed on sugar, converting it into an acid that eats away at tooth enamel. Sugarless gum, on the other hand, has several additional benefits. Several types contain aspartame, xylitol, mannitol or other ingredients that specifically neutralize bacteria on their own, this in addition to creating more saliva that washes this bacteria away.

Choosing Proper Gum

When choosing sugarless gum for yourself or your child, ensure you choose a type with the ADA seal of approval. This shows that the product is approved and safe for the mouth. Brands with this seal include certain varieties of Trident, Orbit, Eclipse and Extra.

Pet Caution

One small-but-important area of caution here: If you keep sugarless gum around the home and you own a dog, ensure the gum is kept in a place where your canine cannot get to it. Some forms of sugarless gum, particularly those that contain xylitol, can be toxic to dogs and may threaten their life with even a small amount ingested. Just ensure they never have access to it under any circumstances. For more on how sugarless gum helps ward off cavities and tooth decay issues, or to learn about any of our dental services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading
tooth oral pain telling

What Tooth or Oral Pain is Telling You, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the primary culprits that might be behind pain taking place in the mouth. Not only does understanding the source of mouth pain help you limit the symptoms, it helps you understand the potential issues that are taking place to lead to the pain in the first place, allowing for better proactive care.

At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re here to help with any oral pain issues as part of our general dentist services, whether you require sedation dentistry to correct an issue, preventive care to limit future concerns, or anything in between. In today’s part two, we’ll go over several of the other common forms of mouth pain that you or your children may experience at some point, plus what this pain is trying to tell you and what you can do about it.

Temperature Sensitivity

In some cases, you may notice pain that’s only triggered when you’re eating or drinking extremely hot or cold items. For some people, only one end of this spectrum leads to pain, while the other can be consumed normally with no issues.

This kind of temperature sensitivity can mean a few different things. It may be a symptom of gum disease or tooth trauma in some situations, or could mean that you need a new filling or crown for a cracked or chipped tooth – an ill-fitting implant here won’t cover the root properly, and sensitivity could be a result. We recommend seeing your family dentist as soon as you realize temperature sensitivity is an ongoing problem, as it can worsen and lead to infection in many cases where it’s not addressed.

Tooth or Gum Chewing Sensitivity

Another kind of mouth sensitivity takes place in the teeth or gums, and happens when eating hard foods – or in severe cases, even soft foods. Like temperature sensitivity, chewing sensitivity can mean a few things, from tooth trauma like a crack to gum disease that’s been building for years. Once again, look to have this issue assessed as soon as you can to prevent it from getting worse and risking the loss of a tooth.

Bumps and Pus

Have you begun to notice painful bumps forming on the gums, possibly including pus coming out of the area as well? This could be a sign of tooth infection or gum disease, and these are both issues that should be handled by a dental professional as soon as possible. In cases where pus is blocked from draining properly, it can lead to major swelling and pain, and could even spread infection to other areas of the body.

For more on the types of pain that may take place in the mouth and what they’re signaling, or to learn about any of our dental care services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today.

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tooth oral pain telling you

What Tooth or Oral Pain is Telling You, Part 1

No one enjoys pain anywhere in the body, and tooth or mouth pain is particularly bothersome in many cases. We use the mouth as much as any other area of the body, including for vital areas like chewing and speaking, and pain for any reason can be both a bother and a signal of concern.

At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re here to help assess and remedy oral pain that comes from a variety of causes, plus apply treatments like oral sedation dentistry and others to relieve your symptoms. Pain is among the body’s natural defensive responses that are meant to inform you when something is wrong – this two-part blog will go over several common forms of oral pain, plus what the pain might be telling you and how you can relieve the symptoms.

General Toothache

One of the more common forms of oral pain that you may experience is a general toothache. In most cases, a toothache is characterized as pain felt on the interior of the tooth, often a dull, aching sensation. Pain symptoms may be felt while chewing or otherwise using the tooth, or they could simply be constant.

Toothaches can mean a few different things. Their most common precursor is infection or decay, often significant enough that a root canal will be required in the area. If this infection is not treated, it can spread to other tissue and the jawbone, even to the point where a root canal will not save the tooth and it will have to be taken out.

Gum Bleeding

One of the more common oral pain conditions that’s possible while brushing or flossing the teeth is bleeding gums. This will take place right along the gum line, or higher up in the gums. In some cases, this is simply due to brushing or flossing with too much force.

However, if you’ve made efforts to not brush or floss too heavily and you’re still noticing red or pink runoff in your sink, this could be an indicator of gingivitis. In more extreme cases, it could even be a sign of gum disease. In both cases, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.

Gum Swelling

In other situations, the gums or gum line may actually swell up. This condition is less common during brushing or flossing, and tends to be a bit more random. In these cases, the cause is almost always early gingivitis symptoms, gum disease or a similar condition of the gums, all of which need prompt treatment to avoid concerns like tooth loss and even major health risks like heart disease or diabetes.

For more on the reasons your teeth or mouth are in pain, or to learn about any of our family dentist services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today.

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avoiding bleachorexia teeth whitening

Avoiding Bleachorexia When Considering Teeth Whitening

At the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we’re proud to offer high-quality, safety-tested teeth whitening services. We utilize a custom-made tray that patients wear during the day or at night, with products that have been proven not to lead to cavities, gum issues, brittleness or any other such concerns. Unfortunately, not all teeth whitening methods are this reliable. Whitening teeth is a growing trend in recent years, and some people try to take the cheaper route and purchase over-the-counter products here. Not only are these less effective, they may pose several specific risks to the teeth. One such risk, particularly when using products high in bleach, is known as bleachorexia – a real condition that has formed in large part due to over-reliance on these products. Let’s go over the risks associated with bleachorexia and certain teeth whitening products.

Bleachorexia Basics and Rising Occurrences

While the name may sound fake when you first hear it, bleachorexia is a legitimate condition that is characterized by major bleaching of the teeth, leading to several potential damage issues. The term draws part of its name in connection to anorexia, which is also a compulsive condition where a certain behavior cannot be avoided over repetitive periods. People with bleachorexia simply cannot shake the feeling that their teeth are not white enough, and will continue to use bleach and other low-quality whiteners over and over again to obtain the “perfect” smile. Unfortunately, the rates of bleachorexia are only increasing these days, as more and more emphasis in society is placed on perfect appearance, including white teeth.

Carbamide Peroxide

Much of the issue in these cases tends to come back to carbamide peroxide, a common ingredient used in OTC whitening products. Carbamide peroxide is a chemical that strips the teeth of its enamel, leading to major side effects like brittleness, easy breaking and others. Some who use too much of this chemical may also experience chalky exterior areas, plus extreme sensitivity on the teeth – enamel is very important for preventing this sensitivity normally.

Stripped Enamel Effects

Perhaps the largest area of concern with carbamide peroxide and stripping of enamel? Once enamel is completely gone from a given tooth or tooth area, it’s virtually impossible to get it back at the same levels. Teeth are eroded at this point, making them thinner and potentially resulting in translucent spots when the teeth are exposed to light. Those with bleachorexia may think they’re bringing themselves a whiter smile, but they’re often actually worsening their permanent ability to obtain this.

Professional Whitening

For all the reasons above, you should always count on professionals if you’re looking to whiten your teeth. We’ll assess your needs and provide you with safe, tested products that do not risk any of the concerns here in this blog. For more on teeth whitening or any of our family dental services, speak to the staff at the offices of Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today. Continue Reading

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With our office conveniently located in Meridian, our services are well known throughout the entire Treasure Valley area. Our dental office is fun and friendly with a kind and caring staff to support Dr. Grant and bring you first-class care.

With Dr. Grant you’re in the hands of a family dentist who cares for you and the Treasure Valley community.

You'll find our dentist office is fun and professional with staff dedicated to your first-class dental care. Whether you require routine dentistry, IV sedation dentistry, emergency tooth care, veneers, a same day crown, teeth whitening, or want cosmetic dentistry work, come see Dr. Grant and you'll be happier about your smile in not time!

Scott W. Grant, DMD Family and Cosmetic Dentistry
208-215-7449
2275 South Eagle Road Suite 140 Meridian, ID 83642