Austin Premier Dental

NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dr. Bruce Silva and his team at Austin Premier Dental are dedicated to providing high-quality and compassionate dental health care.


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December 6, 2019

It is common knowledge that smoking cigarettes is bad for your teeth and overall health. Smoking causes dental problems such as bad breath and plaque, and increases the risk of oral cancer and gum disease. In many ways, e-cigarettes were created because they were meant to be a “healthier” alternative for you but vaping turns out to be just as bad for your oral and bodily health as traditional smoking.

What is Vaping?

Vaping means to smoke an e-cigarette, which unlike a regular cigarette, does not produce tobacco smoke. Instead, it uses a vapor, or an aerosol, to deliver nicotine into the lungs. Once believed to be harmless water vapor, it is now known that the vapors contain harmful toxic chemicals and heavy metals, which are linked to cancer, respiratory disease, and heart disease.

Health Risks of Vaping

Although tobacco is not present in e-cigarettes, nicotine is and it is harmful to your teeth and overall health. Nicotine presents numerous health risks in addition to being addictive. It increases your risk of cancer and promotes tumor growth in lung, gastrointestinal, pancreatic, and breast cancer.

Short-term data shows that vaping negatively affects your health in the following ways:

  • Weakens blood cells
  • Increases risk of heart disease
  • Weakens lungs
  • Damages the immune system
  • Recedes the gums
  • Causes dry mouth
  • Promotes bacteria in the mouth, which causes tooth decay
  • Promotes bruxism, or grinding of the teeth
  • Increases the risk of gum disease

Vaping and Gum Disease

Nicotine from vaping causes gum inflammation, swelling, and increases your risk of gum disease. Watch out for the following symptoms of gum disease if you vape:

  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, irritated, tender, or swollen gums
  • Loose teeth or loss of teeth
  • Receding gums

Vaping presents many problems to your oral and overall health just as much as smoking tobacco. If you vape, stay on top of your oral health by scheduling regular dental checkups.


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November 21, 2019

While many of us tend to believe that Americans gain 5 to 10 pounds over the holiday season, researchers have found that’s a myth. But, before you start to think you can overindulge this Thanksgiving, think again. There are many pros and cons to the foods you’re about to eat in the coming days and they all have an effect on your teeth.

Thanksgiving Foods

Some Thanksgiving dishes add nutritional value to your diet but some are just plain bad for you. What do you get from eating turkey versus pumpkin pie? You may be surprised. Here are the benefits and disadvantages of Thanksgiving dishes and the effects they have on your teeth.

Turkey: It’s the main course and it may be loaded with protein but turkey is difficult to eat and gets stuck in-between your teeth. Get the floss ready because you’re going to need it.

Cranberry Sauce: This sugary treat is acidic and will temporarily stain your teeth. To reduce the sugary effects and staining, make sure to eat it with the rest of your meal and not by itself.

Yams: Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins A and C, but a candied yam is far less healthy for your teeth. Marshmallows typically have 4 grams of sugar, which is not good. Additionally, melted marshmallow is sticky and gooey and can be bad news for people who wear braces and dentures. Eat in moderation.

Green Bean Casserole: While the green beans, onions, and mushrooms may be healthy, this is another situation to keep the floss handy after your meal.

Macaroni and Cheese: We know that cheese and milk have calcium which strengthens our teeth but did you know that pasta contains sugar that can be left behind on your teeth? Eat this in moderation, also.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy: A starch-heavy food, bacteria feeds off the sugar left behind from starch, although potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, B6, and potassium.

Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin has vitamin A, which is good for your gums and enamel. Also, eating sweets after a meal keeps the saliva flowing to help wash away leftover food in your mouth, but you may want to leave the sugar-packed whipped topping off the pie.

You are bound to come across foods that are both good and bad for you this holiday season. Think before you indulge in your favorite foods because some are harmful to your healthy smile. If you brush and floss after your Thanksgiving meal, you’re already on the right path.


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October 10, 2019

Bruxism is excessive teeth grinding or jaw clenching that typically occurs involuntary and in your sleep. It is a common ailment that affects at least 8 percent of adults, and typically occurs at night during sleep – also known as Sleep Bruxism. Oral health typically gets overlooked when caring for your overall health, but it needs to be taken more seriously.

What are Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism?

Bruxism has many symptoms, however many of those symptoms are similar to those of other conditions.

  1. Constant headaches
  2. Flat, loose, or chipped teeth
  3. Grinding of the teeth that is easily heard
  4. Diminished tooth enamel
  5. Tooth sensitivity

Discuss symptoms with your doctor or dentist to discern the problem.

Stop Teeth Grinding

Oftentimes, Bruxism is mild and may not require treatment, but if the condition is severe enough it could cause irreversible damage to your healthy smile. Worn down tooth enamel, tooth fractures, and loose teeth are all symptoms of teeth clenching, and here’s what you can do to prevent it.

  1. Reduce Stress: Learn how to manage your stress with exercise and meditation.
  2. Wear a Mouth Guard: These will help protect your teeth and help redistribute the force of teeth grinding.
  3. Fix Misaligned Teeth: A teeth alignment procedure may resolve Bruxism, as well as braces or crowns.
  4. Don’t Drink Caffeine: Coffee, tea, and soda are likely to affect the quality of your teeth and make you clench your teeth.

Prevent Sleep Bruxism

If you or someone you know suffers from Sleep Bruxism, here are three tips for coping and temporarily relieving teeth grinding at night:

  1. Try to relax in the hours before bedtime in order to reduce stress and maintain a regular comfortable bedtime routine.
  2. Create a sleep environment that is comfortable and peacefully quiet and keep off electronics off half an hour before bedtime.
  3. Try new sleep positions if you’re used to sleeping in the same position.

Speak to your dentist about treatments for Bruxism. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Bruce Silva today.


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October 10, 2019

Your healthy smile needs proper care and attention. If you lack the knowledge on proper tooth care, an electric toothbrush can be a big help in making sure your teeth are brushed the right way. An electric toothbrush is an excellent alternative to brushing with a traditional toothbrush, and sometimes, is highly recommended by your dentist for multiple reasons regarding your oral health. Here are the benefits of switching to an electric toothbrush if you haven’t already.

Benefits of Electric Toothbrushes

While it is still up to you to brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes long, electric toothbrushes help to improve your brushing technique in six important ways.

  • They help with reaching all tooth surfaces.
  • The grip is wide and easier to handle than a traditional toothbrush.
  • Bristles are interchangeable, so if your dentist wants you using softer bristles, you can easily opt for softer bristles without replacing the entire toothbrush.
  • They are designed to fit comfortably in any size mouth.
  • The brush does all the work for you as it has adjustable settings.
  • The action of the bristles removes more plaque and gingivitis.

A study shows that after one month of use, plaque was significantly reduced by 11 percent. After use for three months, plaque was reduced by 21 percent. Gingivitis was also reduced by 6 to 11 percent after an average of two month’s usage.

How to Select Your Electric Toothbrush

There are multiple types of power toothbrushes to choose from. Some models include a timer, which switches off after two minutes, while the mobility of some vibrates side to side or rotates back and forth. When selecting a toothbrush, consider:

  1. ease of use
  2. comfort
  3. bristle design
  4. brush size

Have questions about electric toothbrushes? Visit Dr. Bruce Silva to discuss the best action for you to take regarding your dental health care.


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September 17, 2019

Losing a tooth as a child may be fun as it comes with a visit from the tooth fairy, but as an adult it’s a scary and more serious matter. A loose tooth is a sign of improper tooth care that could lead to losing the tooth altogether. We want to hold on to our teeth as long as we can and fortunately, loose teeth can be corrected if taken care of early. When a tooth becomes loose, many factors may contribute to its mobility, but there are four main conditions that cause loose teeth.

Periodontal Disease

When brushing and flossing don’t remove plaque, gum disease (or, periodontal disease) can develop. Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of loose teeth. It not only affects your gums but also the ligaments and bone that surround your teeth which may lead to loss of bone and connective tissue that secure your teeth in place.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to weaken and become more susceptible to break or fracture easily. While osteoporosis more commonly affects the spine, hips, or wrists, it can also affect the bones in the jaw that support teeth. Although the disease affects both men and women, women with osteoporosis are three times more likely to experience tooth loss than women without the disease.

Injury to the Teeth

Trauma to the mouth from a fall or a hit can damage the ligaments and even the bone around the teeth. The result could lead to chipped or loose teeth.

Pregnancy

Usually a temporary situation, high levels of progesterone and estrogen during pregnancy cause the ligaments and bones surrounding the teeth to loosen. These changes will likely resolve after pregnancy and are not cause for concern but pregnant women should visit their dentist to rule out gum disease and other oral health problems.

Having loose teeth is a sign something’s wrong, but you can avoid losing them altogether. Avoid loose teeth by practicing good oral care, including brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist twice a year. If you are experiencing loose teeth, contact Dr. Bruce Silva and schedule an appointment today.


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September 16, 2019

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal diseases, also known as gum disease, are infections found in the structures around the teeth including the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. They occur when the gums become infected, showing signs of swollen and tender gums that bleed after brushing and flossing. If not cared for properly, the problem may spread to other tissues, making the disease more complicated to correct.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque, and surprisingly it is your body’s response to the bacteria that causes most issues. In order to eliminate the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that cause inflammation of the gums and bones, which then leads to swollen, bleeding gums, signs of gingivitis, loosening of teeth, and severe periodontitis. If plaque builds up on teeth, it becomes calcified overtime, and turns into tartar, also causing periodontal disease.

Keeping a good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist regularly can prevent periodontal disease. Dental cleanings will keep plaque under control in places that are hard to reach for a toothbrush or floss.

What is Periodontal Therapy?

Periodontal therapy is a non-surgical program of the treatment of gum disease. Certain stages of periodontal disease can be treated in a non-surgical program. Today there is no known cure for periodontal disease. However, it can be managed and contained through a variety of treatment options.

Dr. Bruce Silva provides a range of services to help improve and maintain your gum’s health. Non-surgical periodontal therapy services include:

  • Periodontal Evaluation
  • Periodontal Treatment Plan
  • Obtain Informed Consent and Patient Records
  • Treatment Services
  • Therapy Evaluation
  • Maintenance

Benefits of Periodontal Therapy include:

  • Improved overall health
  • Improved function of your teeth
  • Decreased risk of bone loss
  • Identification of other health problems
  • Fresh breath, tartar removal, and a great smile

Dr. Bruce Silva is knowledgeable, qualified, and highly trained to conduct periodontal therapy for patients in need. Call Dr. Bruce Silva for a consultation today.


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August 15, 2019

The start of a new school year means making a checklist for school supplies and buying new clothes. It also means that you need to talk to your child about the importance of maintaining a healthy dental routine now that they’ll be preoccupied with school and extracurricular activities. A healthy dental routine is easy to practice during the days of summer when things are less busy. It’s easy to forget to brush your teeth and floss at nighttime when there’s so much else going on. In order to prevent your child from forgetting a healthy dental routine, make brushing and flossing fun for the kids with a few exciting and rewarding techniques.

  1. Use a Sticker Calendar: Allow your child to place stickers on each day to represent brushing and flossing.
  2. Play Music While Brushing: Set up your child’s favorite songs to play while they brush their teeth and floss.
  3. Personalize Their Toothbrush: Help your child pick a toothbrush with a theme or in their favorite color.
  4. Purchase a Floss Holder: A floss holder is a kid-friendly device that provides a grip and makes flossing more comfortable.

As the school year begins, time escapes us and we get preoccupied with other priorities so if you haven’t taken your child to see the dentist, the time is now to schedule an appointment. A third of children miss school due to oral health problems so the sooner you take care of their oral health, the better they will thrive in class.

Don’t forget to talk to your child about the importance of healthy eating. Picking the right snacks instead of chips and cookies can have a beneficial effect on your smile. Choose crunchy snacks like celery sticks, carrots, and cubed cheese over candy and granola bars.

To schedule a dental checkup appointment for your child, call Dr. Bruce Silva today.


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August 15, 2019

Bad habits are hard to break. If you practice bad dental hygiene habits, it’s time to make some changes. The following are a list of bed dental habits to break now or you could see some negative affects on your healthy smile.

  1. Crunching on Hard Foods: Chewing on tough foods like ice cubes can cause harm to your teeth overtime. The cold temps may cause your teeth to fracture or cause cracks in the surface of the enamel, which could lead to bigger dental problems in the future. While less harmful, crushed ice is still not recommended.
  2. Sipping Sugary Drinks: Constant exposure to sugary drinks like soda or iced tea promotes tooth decay. Substitute sugary drinks with more water or sip through a straw to minimize exposure to the teeth.
  3. Using Your Teeth as a Tool: Think twice before using your teeth for anything other than eating. For instance, using your teeth to tear open a bag of chips, chew your nails off, or open a bottle of soda could cause them to chip or fracture.
  4. Grinding Your Teeth: Tooth grinding may be caused by stress or an abnormal bite. Your dentist may suggest wearing a mouth guard at night, but no matter what time of day, tooth grinding wears your teeth down. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your anxiety or nervousness.
  5. Using a Hard-Bristled Toothbrush: A firmer toothbrush isn’t always better for your teeth. As we age, our teeth become more sensitive and firm bristles may irritate the gums.
  6. Not Brushing or Flossing: Maintain a healthy, normal dental health routine. Remember to brush twice a day and floss daily. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months. For good measure, mouthwash helps to prevent tooth decay.

If you are guilty of doing any of the above bad habits, it’s time to see a dentist. Call Dr. Bruce Silva to make an appointment for a dental checkup today.


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July 3, 2019

Chlorine is an antimicrobial chemical used in drinking water and swimming pools for water purification. During the summer as were swimming in order to cool off is when we come into contact with it the most. Although it benefits our water, soaking in a pool for a long period of time is not recommended for many reasons, but from a dental health perspective, because the effects of chlorine on our teeth are discerning.

Chlorine Vs. Your Teeth

In recent years, evidence has shown a connection between chlorinated pools and tooth damage. Chlorine, when added to water, is pH neutral. Its addition to pool water serves to render harmless various contaminants that swimmers and the environment release. This chemical interaction can alter the pH of the pool water, allowing it to drop and thereby become acidic.  It is imperative that the pool waters pH be continually monitored and chemical stabilizers are routinely added to maintain the pH neutrality. The goal is to keep the water slightly alkaline at a pH reading of 7.3-7.8, with our bodies’ pH at 7.4. Chemical stabilizers are added to the swimming pool water to neutralize the pH, however as chlorine interacts with a variety of contaminants the chemical balance will change, the pH can drop and the pool water will become acidic. Swimming in pool water that is acidic can cause tooth erosion in addition to other symptoms such as eye and skin irritation. It is important that swimming pool water be continually monitored. In addition, swimmers can experience a slight yellowing of their teeth due to repeated chlorine exposure.

How to Protect Your Teeth From Chlorine

Pool water should register between 7.2 and 7.8 on the pH scale. It’s difficult to determine the pH levels of water with the naked eye so follow these two tips to ensure the safety of your teeth the next time you’re in a swimming pool.

  1. Carefully notice pool linings, railings, and ladders to see if they have been eaten away. If you notice erosion caused by the water being too acidic, the same thing might happen to your teeth.

  2. Hire a specialist to check the levels for you at the start of the summer, or to save money, check the levels on your own on a weekly basis.

Stay cool and hydrated this summer but watch out for poorly maintained swimming pools because they could have a damaging effect on your healthy smile. If you continue a normal and healthy dental regimen of brushing regularly, flossing every day, and visiting your dentist annually, you won’t have to worry about Chlorine.


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July 3, 2019

If you maintain a regular and proper dental health routine, you most likely have a healthy bright smile. Proper dental care goes beyond preventing cavities and bad breath, but also prevents you from getting deadly diseases. Your oral health is linked to your overall health in many ways so if you’re suffering from a cavity or signs of gum disease, you could be in danger of bigger health problems. Below are the five biggest health conditions linked to poor oral health.

  1. Alzheimer’s Disease. Reading and exercising aren’t the only things to help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Taking good care of your oral health does too. A bacteria associated with gum disease exists in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and people who have had gum disease for at least 10 years have double the risk of Alzheimer’s.
  2. Cancer. Poor oral health leads to not only oral cancer but other types of cancer as well. Diseases that affect the tissues in your mouth are linked to pancreatic cancer. The better your oral health, the lower your risk of cancer will be.
  3. Diabetes. There are more than 7 million cases of undiagnosed diabetes in the United States. It is essential to be tested for diabetes if you suffer from gum disease and other oral issues because if diabetes goes untreated, high blood pressure levels in your saliva allow for bacteria to grow in your mouth, which triggers the formation of plaque causing bad breath cavities, and even gum disease.
  4. Heart Disease. Bad oral health is even associated with cardiovascular disease as tooth loss is connected to coronary heart disease.
  5. Infertility. Poor oral health affects fertility in both men and women. Women with gum disease may take two months longer to conceive than women without gum disease. And, men with poor oral health are likely to have a low sperm count and poor semen health.

Maintain a normal and regular dental health routine to prevent the above diseases from occurring. Make a dental appointment with Dr. Bruce Silva today.






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Bruce Silva D.D.S. Austin Dentist