Southlake Dentist on the Oral-Systemic Connection

Many people don’t consider oral health a part of their systemic wellbeing. However, numerous studies throughout the advancement of dentistry have shown that a patient’s mouth is not as distinct from his/her physical health as many believe. In fact, a healthy mouth is a vital component of your continued overall wellbeing. As your Southlake dentist explains, the food you eat, the beverages you consume, and most of the air you inhale all pass through your mouth before entering your body. Therefore, it should be no surprise that what you put in your mouth can affect the rest of your body. By the same token, the elements that cause most oral health issues can also theoretically enter your body, wreaking the same destruction that they do within your oral cavity. Experts believe there are numerous ways that the oral-systemic connection can affect your health, but most (if not all) share one thing in common—the spread of oral bacteria.

Oral Health and Your Heart

A common oral-systemic theory involves your oral health and heart health. One of the most common causes of death is heart complications (i.e., heart attack, atherosclerosis, etc.). A contributing factor to poor heart health is inflammation. When your mouth is infected, diseased, or injured, the damaged oral tissue can provide a convenient pathway for bacteria to enter your bloodstream. If the bacteria responsible for gum disease and inflammation (the microbe, Porphyromonas gingivalis) were to enter your body, they could incite inflammation in other areas of the body, as well. This theory is supported by studies that have shown patients with poor periodontal health are at a significantly higher risk of developing heart health issues.

What Else Are You Inhaling?

Damaged oral tissues aren’t the only pathway into your body. Many respiratory infections, such as severe bronchitis and pneumonia, are caused when bacteria are inhaled into the lower respiratory tract. Research suggests that patients with moderate to severe periodontal disease are more at risk for lung infections than patients with healthy gums, and experts believe that the inhalation of excessive oral bacteria may be a contributing factor.

About Gregory Wright, DDS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.

Unleash Your New Smile Fast with Zoom Whitening

Have you had it with hiding your stained teeth when you smile? Do you want to get the smile you’ve been yearning for as fast as you possibly can? If so, you won’t find many options that are faster than the Zoom Whitening treatment offered by your Southlake TX dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright. An in-office treatment that takes about one hour, Zoom Whitening shows instant results, meaning that you can check out your new smile in our dental office, in the reflection of your car windows, in your rearview mirror, and in your visor mirror during stoplights on the way home. You can then proceed to show your loved ones and spend the rest of the day exuding confidence and happiness. (more…)

The Necessity of Good Dental Hygiene

Have you ever run your tongue over teeth, only to cringe as it came in contact with some sticky, uncomfortable gunk? That gunk is plaque, and as you may know, it’s the everyday target of your teeth brushing and flossing routine. However, removing plaque from your teeth is about much more than just comfort; when left unattended, the biofilm is responsible for the development of destructive dental conditions like tooth decay and gum disease. Maintaining a good dental hygiene routine at home and at your Southlake dentist’s office entails controlling the buildup of bacterial plaque and its calcified form, tartar.

Beware of Invading Bacteria

Technically, plaque isn’t an invasion, since the bacteria that form it already inhabit your mouth. Nevertheless, bacterial plaque is harmful to your teeth and gums, and maintaining a healthy smile depends on controlling its presence. By brushing and flossing your teeth least twice a day, every day, you can eliminate plaque before it gains a strong hold on your oral tissues. Attending a dental checkup and cleaning at least every six months can allow Dr. Wright to remove plaque that you may have missed during your daily routine. After 48 hours, plaque calcifies (hardens) into tartar—an insoluble substance that can’t be removed with water and a toothbrush. Neglecting your regular dental checkups and cleanings can allow the germs hidden in plaque to actively harm your teeth and gums.

The True Nature of Dental Plaque

So why is controlling dental plaque so essential? Other than grossing people out, the sticky annoyance oral bacteria to cling to your teeth and gums, safe from your mouth’s natural defenses, like saliva. Not all of the over-600 different kinds of bacteria in your mouth are harmful, but a few of them behave in manners specifically detrimental to healthy teeth and gum tissue. For instance, some microbes convert sugars and other carbs from your meals into acid, which eats away at tooth enamel in preparation for tooth decay. Others can irritate your gum tissue, leading to gum recession and inflammation—the telltale signs of gum disease’s beginning stage, gingivitis. Though tooth decay and gum disease can prove extensively damaging as they progress, their beginning stages are difficult detect without professional attention.

About Gregory Wright, DDS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.

The True Damage of Gum Disease

Gum disease alone is a fairly destructive disease. If left unchecked, it can destroy your gum tissue and jawbone, eventually resulting in the loss of one or more teeth. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in America. These effects have long been known by dental professionals across the world and have driven efforts to raise awareness about gum disease prevention and treatment. Research over the last few decades, however, has shown that the effects of gum disease extend beyond the integrity of your gums and teeth, and can negatively impact your overall wellbeing. As Southlake dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, explains, experts have linked untreated gum disease to a host of other systemic illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The Development of Gum Disease

For all of its pomp and circumstance, gum disease has rather humble beginnings. It all starts with the accumulation of bacterial plaque along your gum line. These bacteria release toxins that irritate gums and cause them to pull away from a patient’s teeth, forming pockets for plaque and bacteria to gather and continue their destruction. The irritation also causes inflammation in your gums, which is the reason behind gum disease’s continuing destructive prowess. As it progresses, gum disease destroys the connective tissue between your gums and teeth, then works its way down continuing its destruction throughout your gum tissue. Eventually, it will reach your supporting jawbone structure, which gum disease will destroy, as well.

From Your Mouth to Your Mind

Among the many theories that highlight the oral-systemic connection, many of them involve the formation of dementia. For the first time, however, researchers from the NYU College of Dentistry have provided long-term evidence that gum disease significantly increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The study examined 20 years of medical, dental, and social data on 152 subjects. The results? Subjects that exhibited signs of periodontal disease were up to nine times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease in their later years. To further their understanding of the connection, the researchers plan to conduct numerous follow-up studies involving larger and more ethnically diverse groups of people. This study, like many before it, highlights the resounding importance of maintaining a clean and healthy mouth.

About Gregory Wright, DDS:

As a native Texan, Dr. Gregory Wright opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He is happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment with your cosmetic dentist, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.

Successfully Manage a Dental Emergency

By its definition, an accident isn’t always possible to prevent. When it comes to your dental health, accidents typically mean an emergency, and prompt action may be necessary to save your smile, depending on the extent of accidental damage. Though strong and meant to withstand a great deal of pressure, teeth are peculiar in the fact that they cannot regenerate damaged tissue. For instance, if a bone breaks, it will heal itself, provided you set the broken bone correctly. Broken teeth, however, will remain broken unless treated, and in extreme cases, fast action can mean the difference between restoring and replacing the compromised tooth. Southlake dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, is proud to provide emergency dental services to all of our patients and their families, and happy to provide tips for successfully weathering a dental emergency.   (more…)

Southlake Dentist’s Advice to Stop Snoring

Snoring is an odd, often annoying, phenomenon that many people consider normal and nothing to worry about, aside from alienating a sleeping partner. A chronic snoring problem can pose serious risks to a patient’s health by inhibiting proper airflow and forcing the lungs and heart to work harder. Snoring typically occurs when the airway is obstructed by over-relaxed mouth and throat tissues, which vibrate violently as air is forced through the smaller space. In extreme cases, snoring may indicate the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)—a sleep disorder that causes the patient to repeatedly stop breathing while asleep as oral tissues completely block the airway. Southlake dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, has helped many patients that have been diagnosed with sleep apnea through the use of special appliances designed to keep the airway open. If you haven’t been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but would like to learn how you can stop snoring, then try these tips before seeking a professional diagnosis for OSA. (more…)

What’s the Difference Between Dental Fillings and Crowns?

If you’ve ever had to restore a tooth, either from infectious disease or from a traumatic injury, then you are probably aware that you have a wide range of choices for dental restoration, each designed for a specific need. Among the most common dental restorations available today, dental fillings and crowns have come a long way over the last few decades. Aside from restoring teeth from damage, the modern dental restorations also focus on discretion, allowing patients to enjoy healthier, stronger teeth without announcing their dental treatment to the world. With extensive experience and a professional joy in seeing patients enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles, Southlake cosmetic dentist, Dr. Gregory Wright, can custom-design tooth-colored dental fillings and crowns to restore the beauty and function to our patients’ smiles. (more…)

Instant Smile Rejuvenation in Southlake, TX

Do you feel self-conscious about your smile’s appearance? According to a recent study conducted by Wakefield Research, over a third of American adults feel embarrassed of their smile. Teeth stains, misalignment, and other common issues dull the beauty of a person’s smile. Fortunately, your Southlake dentists, Dr. Gregory Wright and Dr. Victoria Heron, offer a solution for complete smile transformation in as little as two visits.

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Natural Looking Fillings from Your Southlake Dentist

Tooth decay affects millions of Americans. Over 92% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have dental caries in at least one tooth. Over half of all American children between the ages of 12 and 15 suffer from cavities. In order to return the tooth to full function and health, your Southlake dentists, Dr. Gregory Wright and Dr. Victoria Heron, offer strong and esthetically pleasing dental fillings.

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Porcelain Veneers from Your Southlake Cosmetic Dentist

Let Porcelain Veneers Transform Your Smile

Maintaining your smile’s health and beauty doesn’t typically involve difficult procedures; brush and floss your teeth twice a day, watch your eating habits, and visit your Southlake dentist at least once every six months for a comprehensive dental exam and cleaning. However, should a blemish mar your smile in spite of your best efforts, your prompt action may be necessary to restore your smile’s glory. Porcelain veneers are among the most versatile and effective cosmetic dentistry tools, and when placed by an expert, they can completely revamp most patients’ smiles even in the midst of multiple imperfections. Using porcelain veneers, Dr. Gregory Wright, your dedicated Southlake cosmetic dentist, combines impressive knowledge and skill with a carefully cultivated artistic eye to substantially transform patients’ unsightly smiles. (more…)