DON’T PLAY FAVORITES xenia dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on December 3, 2015 , Comments Off on DON’T PLAY FAVORITES xenia dentist

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There are two different connections between heart disease and your oral health:

  1. Studies have shown that people with moderate or advanced periodontal (gum) disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums.
  2. Oral health holds clues to overall health.  Studies have shown that oral health can provide warning signs for other diseases and conditions including heart disease.

Gum disease affects 80% of American adults and often the condition goes undiagnosed.   Warning signs that you may have gum disease include:

  • Red, tender, or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
  • Gums that seem to be pulling away from your teeth
  • Chronic bad breath or a bad tasted in your mouth
  • Teeth that are loose or separating from each other

The moral of the story is this:  YOU can play a major role in preventing gum disease every day!!  The best way to be proactive in maintaining your oral and overall health is scheduling regular dental check-ups, getting professional cleanings, and regular BRUSHING AND FLOSSING!

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DON’T LOSE IT! xenia ohio dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on October 20, 2015 , Comments Off on DON’T LOSE IT! xenia ohio dentist

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The days are getting cooler and shorter, there is frost on the pumpkin, and that busy time of year (aka the Holidays) is rapidly approaching!  That can mean only one thing:  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE UNUSED DENTAL BENEFITS!  (You thought we were going to tell you to start holiday shopping, right?)

Most dental insurance companies, along with flexible spending and HSA accounts have a roll-over in January.  That means any benefits that are unused in 2015 will be LOST FOREVER!  New maximums and new deductibles go into effect as well.  So…the moral of the story is if you are overdue for your professional cleaning or have been putting off dental treatment, now is the time!

Your overall health and wellness are very important to us.  If you are unsure about your dental needs or the status of your benefits please call us, we are happy to help!

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WHAT THE HECK IS TMJ? / affordable dentist

by Lee Anne Austria on July 2, 2015 , Comments Off on WHAT THE HECK IS TMJ? / affordable dentist

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You may have heard the acronym “TMJ”.  But what does is stand for and what in the world does it mean??  TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints and they are actually the two joints that connect your jaw to your skull.  More specifically, they are the joints that slide and rotate in front of each ear.  They include the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (the side and the base of the skull.)  When the mandible and the joints are properly aligned, a smooth muscle action, such as chewing, can take place.  When the joints are not lined up properly, the result may be a TMJ disorder.


TMJ disorders can cause a variety of signs and symptoms.  This includes:

  • Chronic pain in the jaw muscles
  • A stiff jaw
  • Jaw “locking”
  • Painful clicking or popping when moving the jaw
  • A change in how the upper and lower teeth fit together


In many people, dental experts are not sure what causes TMJ disorders.  While stress may play a role, many cases of jaw problems come about for no apparent reason.  Pain for existing medical conditions may overlap with and cause increased risk of TMJ pain.


First, a definite TMJ diagnosis  is needed.  This can be obtained through a clinical examination, oral history of the problem, medical history, x-rays and study casts.

Treatment can vary depending on the risk factors, severity of the problem, condition of the bite and relationship of the jaws.  Usually, it is necessary to refrain from chewy foods such as bagels and pizza for awhile.  Of course, chewing gum is taboo.  Sometimes the bite is adjusted (smoothed down.)  Certain mouth exercises and relaxation techniques may play a part.  Often moist heat is applied to the back of the mandible or on the face, or over the TMJ joint.  Medication can be used to minimize pain.  If it is determined that you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, an appliance called a night guard can be custom fabricated to cover your teeth at night to absorb the force of grinding.  Most people get relief within a few days.  If the problem has been longstanding, treatment will probably take more time.  Just remember, it’s not a life or death matter – but it could mean some adjustments to your life style.

(reprinted in part from Delta Dental Oral Health Library)

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by Lee Anne Austria on May 21, 2015 , Comments Off on STRESS AND YOUR MOUTH – THE CONNECTION/ XENIA DENTIST
Chill out

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“Today I will live in the moment unless the moment is unpleasant in which case I will eat a cookie”-unknown

Reprinted from (Delta Dental Oral Health Library)

De-Stress for Better Oral Health

A furrowed brow, a tense look, a fresh acne breakout – you can often tell on sight when someone is under pressure.  If you could look into a stressed-out person’s mouth, you might learn even more of their story.

More and more researchers have been studying the link between stress and gum disease.  When you’re anxious or depressed, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol.  This compound harms your teeth and gums, contributing to the risk for periodontal (gum) disease.

There is also evidence that stress and depression impair your immune system, making chronic infection throughout your body – including your mouth – more likely.  In addition, hard times lead to bad-for-your-teeth habits.  These include smoking, drinking alcohol, and skipping your nightly brushing and flossing.

The following dental conditions also have been linked to stress, depression, or anxiety:

  • Burning mouth syndrome.  This is a painful condition that sufferers describe as a scalding feeling in the tongue, lips, and roof of the mouth.
  • Canker sores.  Small, painful ulcers develop inside the mouth.  Doctors aren’t sure what causes canker sores, but they are thought to appear more often when the individual is stressed or very tired.
  • Cold sores.  These fluid-filled blisters are caused by the herpes virus.  If you’re infected, you’ll often experience an outbreak in response to being upset.
  • Bruxism.  People who grind their teeth (a problem called bruxism) tend to do it more when under stress.  Grinding can wear and chip teeth and put pressure on jaw muscles and joints.

You Should Relieve the Pressure!  But How??

Don’t let your mouth take the brunt of the stress.  Try positive stress-reducing techniques instead.  Here are some strategies:

  • Change your outlook.  Some things, like the weather, are out of your hands and for that reason are not worth getting worked up about.  Try to see life events as positive challenges rather than threats.
  • Keep your body healthy.  Eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet and get enough sleep.  And exercise on a regular basis.  Not only will you get in shape and feel better overall, you’ll release anxiety and produce mood-boosting brain chemicals.
  • Practice relaxation techniques.  These include meditation, stretching, and deep breathing and progressive relaxation of muscle groups.

The Moral of the Story:  Put these techniques into practice and not only will your oral health benefit, but your whole body and mind will feel the positive effects as well!

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by Lee Anne Austria on May 4, 2015 , Comments Off on YEAH YEAH YEAH, DON’T EAT SUGAR: ADVICE FROM YOUR FAMILY DENTIST

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Wait a second, there’s more to it than just sugar.  Plaque is a thin, invisible film of sticky bacteria and other materials that cover all the surfaces of your teeth.  When sugar or starches come in contact with plaque, the acids that result can attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating.  Repeated attacks can break down the hard enamel on the surface of teeth leading to tooth decay.  Plaque also produces toxins that attack the gum and bones supporting the teeth.  Learn the difference between different foods and help protect your entire mouth from the bad stuff!

Click here to learn more about Brilliant Smiles and the services we provide!

(Reprinted in part from

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by Lee Anne Austria on April 2, 2015 , Comments Off on THE INFO ON IMPLANTS

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For many people, a dental implant is a great solution to replace missing teeth.  A dental implant takes the place of a tooth’s root.  A crown or bridge can then be secured to the implant providing a functional and esthetic solution.  Click here to learn more about the benefits of dental implants and be sure to check out our Pinterest page for more fun infographics!

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by Lee Anne Austria on March 3, 2015 , Comments Off on IS IT TIME TO TOSS THAT TOOTHBRUSH?

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As you reach for your toothbrush each morning, you may not realize what’s hanging out on its bristles.  “Toothbrushes can become contaminated with oral microbial organisms whenever they are placed in the mouth.” says Sharon Cooper, PhD.  Viruses and bacteria from an infected person’s mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush surface, and continue to cause illness, says Cooper, a clinical associate professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry.  Even normal, healthy microorganisms can cause infections, especially if they enter your gum tissue due to an injury, a break, or an oral ulcer, she adds.  Toothbrushes don’t have to be sold in sterile packaging, so they may have bacteria right out of the box, says the American Dental Association’s official statement on toothbrush care.


You may not give much thought to cleaning your toothbrush, since you’re wetting it every day to scrub your teeth.  However, it’s important – and easy – to do.

WASH IT – Give your toothbrush a thorough rinse with tap water to remove debris.  If you have a systemic illness or immune disorder, you want to soak it in antibacterial mouthwash or run it through the dishwasher, Cooper says.  Some use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms.

TRY DEEP CLEANING – There are many types of toothbrush sanitizers on the market, Cooper says.  Some use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms.

STORE IT PROPERLY – After use, don’t pop that wet toothbrush back into your medicine cabinet, drawer, or bathroom cup and forget about it.  Store it upright, in a rack or cup, where it can dry out.  Look for a cover that lets air circulate and prevents mold, but isn’t completely sealed.  The lack of air can foster bacteria.

WHEN TO CALL IT QUITS – How long should you keep a toothbrush to prevent the ick from building up?  Here are a few useful tips:

Know when to let go – Replace your toothbrush about every 3 to 4 months, or when it shows signs of wear.  “Frayed bristles will not clean the teeth and gums adequately,” Cooper says.

Toss toothbrushes after illness – Throw away a brush you or anyone in your home used while sick.

Yes, that means ALL toothbrushes – Treat electric or power models the same way you handle an old-fashioned one.  Chuck the brush attachment after an illness or when the bristles begin to show signs of wear, Cooper says.

No sharing – Tempted to lend a toothbrush to a family member?  Don’t.  Toothbrush sharing can transfer saliva and bacteria – even the kind that cause tooth decay.  “Tooth decay is considered an infectious disease – one more reason not to share or borrow a toothbrush,” Cooper says.


Sharon Cooper, PhD, RDH< MS, MEd, clinical associate professor, University of Florida College of Dentistry, Gainesville, FL.

American Dental Association

The Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute

Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on March 3, 2014

Copyright 2010 WebMD, LLC.  All rights reserved.

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by Lee Anne Austria on January 26, 2015 , Comments Off on SMILE AND SAY “CHEESE”!

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Did you know that there are more than 1,000 types of cheese?  This melted gooey goodness pleases your taste buds, tummy AND teeth.

Your teeth are made mostly of calcium, and without enough in your diet, you risk developing tooth decay and other problems.  Smile and say “cheese” for the good news:  Cheese is a natural source of calcium, a key nutrient for building and maintaining strong teeth and bones.  Cheese also contains a protein that prevents bacteria from sticking to your teeth.  With that being said, here are the best types for your teeth, as well as a few you should enjoy in moderation…

Take these words of wisdom – aged cheeses are a smart snack choice.  Made with a semi-soft texture, aged cheeses may lower the likelihood of tooth decay by cutting the acidity of your saliva.  There are several types of aged cheese – Monterey cheese is a “jack-of-all-trades”, while cheddar is always a sharp selection!  Bacterial element cheeses, such as bleu cheese and Brie are healthy standouts that break the mold.  These cheeses are good for your dental health and contain probiotics – beneficial bacteria that can help your immune and digestive systems.

Enjoy processed cheeses in moderation.  Most processed foods, including cheese, contain added sugar.  When you regularly eat sugar-filled foods, tooth enamel can erode, thus increasing your chance for cavities.  Always check your labels!  Even if the cheese doesn’t taste sweet, it still might contain sugar.

Anything processed is not your best choice…however, if you are craving that queso, try to use fresh ingredients to make your own healthy cheese dip.

What are your favorite cheeses?  Comment on our facebook page!

(Reprinted in part from

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Drop The Ball On Bad Breath!

by Lee Anne Austria on December 30, 2014 , Comments Off on Drop The Ball On Bad Breath!

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Are you ready to ring in the New Year with a smooch from your sweetie?  Routine brushing and flossing are essential to a minty mouth.  But if you’re looking for that extra pop of minty freshness, consider a mouthwash.  Read more here

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