Dr. Phillips Blog
Dental Trends Expert
DENTAL IMPLANT RESTORATIONS
FORT WORTH TX
What happens if an implant fails?
If you suspect that your dental implant is not healing properly, not tightly attached to your jaw bone, or is showing any signs of failure such as looseness or swelling, it is important that you contact your dentist right away. Many times, there are simple steps that can be taken to save the implant and restore a healthy mouth. Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth dentist is an expert in dental implant repair and restoration services.
When a tooth is lost, so is the function of the mouth and confidence in one’s appearance. Should the missing tooth not be replaced, bone loss and damage to surrounding structures will occur. Luckily with the use of dental implant restoration, Dr. Brit Phillips can safely restore an aesthetically pleasing smile and improve the full function of the jaw/mouth. Today’s cutting-edge dental implants are strongly designed to endure the test of time. That said, there are common situations that necessitate seeking dental treatment when implant problems occur.
Dental Implant Problems and the Causes of Failure
There are a few situations that may require further dental work or repair of dental implants. Many times, problems with dental implants are minor and therefore are easily corrected. Learn more about common issues with dental implants. However, if a problem does occur with any dental implant, it is important that patients seek assistance immediately, so that proper care can be received.
More significant issues related to dental implants are:
Failed Implant to Bone Bond
Like with any surgery, there are a variety of factors, both internal and external, that can cause complications to occur once a dental implant is in place. The most common issues occur when the bone does not grow and fuse properly with the dental implant. This situation, known as failed osseointegration, will cause the connection between the implant and the jaw to become weak. When failure to fuse with the natural bone occurs, chewing can be difficult, and the implant may become uncomfortable, loose, or even fall out completely. Failed osseointegration can be caused by poorly positioned implants that result in excessive loading (allowing too much pressure to be placed on the implant), bones without sufficient density, infection, and trauma.
Insufficient Bone Density
Oral bisphosphonates, or medications prescribed for osteoporosis, can get in the way of properly bone healing after an implant is placed. Patients taking Fosamax, Actonel, or Boniva should let their dentist know prior to receiving a dental implant.
Peri-implantitis is an infectious disease that can lead to an inflammation of the gum and bone surrounding a dental implant. The inflammatory process causes bone to deteriorate, and the dental implant may become loose. Issues that can lead to Peri-implantitis include smoking, diabetes, a poor immune system, thin gums or exposed bones, and poor dental hygiene.
For antibiotic therapy to save the dental implant, the infection must be caught early, but unfortunately, Peri-implantitis may evolve unnoticed and undetected for months or years. In this situation, there are a multitude of techniques, including a laser, to improve the health of the implant without the use of undergoing surgery.
Signs of Peri-implantitis
- Abnormal bleeding at the gumline
- Gum very red or purple/blue (gum irritation or inflammation)
- Pus coming from gumline near the implant
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Looseness to the crown or implant
- Gum pain
- Bad breath
Nerve or Tissue Damage
Dr. Phillips uses a variety of tools, including digital radiography and CT scans to ensure a dental implant is safely placed. Implants that are not properly placed can harm normal anatomic structure such as nerves, blood vessels, sinus cavities, etc. While some bleeding and pain are common after a dental implant is placed, if they last longer than a few days, patients should contact a periodontist.
When replacing upper teeth with implants, there is a slight risk to perforating the sinus cavities. Should an implant protrude significantly without the proper repair during surgery into the sinus cavity, inflammation and infection can occur. As a preventative measure, Dr. Phillips may suggest a bone graft to create the barrier necessary in between the implant and the sinus cavity. If a sinus problem does occur, there are methods to correct the problem during surgery.
Problems due to foreign body rejection or allergic reactions are rarely seen with modern dental implants. Bending and breaking are also uncommon thanks to strong materials and innovative design. Trauma, external force, and long-term pressure from years of teeth grinding may cause an implant to crack or fracture, however. These issues are generally easy to address by Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth.
If you are experiencing any common or more serious issues with your dental implants, call our Mira Vista dental office at (817) 361-1999 and let Brit Phillips DDS get you on the road to oral wellness!
If you live or work in the Mira Vista area of Fort Worth, Texas, we are YOUR implant dentist. Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth implant dentist Mira Vista Smiles is located at 6610 Bryant Irvin Rd. Today’s dental implants are so close to natural teeth that if you are missing teeth, you should not hesitate to opt for a dental implant.
ALL-ON-4® TREATMENT CONCEPT BY NOBEL BIOCARE
Dr. Phillips specializes in the ALL-ON-4® dental implant treatment concept by Nobel Biocare.
On a daily basis, new technology is introduced to improve the quality of our patients’ lives and optimize their dental health. For over sixty years, dental implants have dramatically increased treatment options for those who have lost one or more teeth due to accidental injury or dental disease. And, when there is adequate bone volume, there are instances when Dr. Hochberg can place a dental implant at the time the tooth is removed. Other patients, when the bone surrounding the tooth is of insufficient volume to support an implant, benefit from the placement of a bone graft; the graft helps augment existing bone. In a few months, the new bone will mature and strengthen, ultimately providing enhanced support for the dental implant. In turn, the implant is restored with a dental implant crown. The excellent news – a missing tooth, or teeth, can be replaced without involving adjacent teeth.
However, until the past decade, the treatment options were more complicated for those already wearing a denture as well as for many patients whose remaining teeth cannot be restored and require extraction, becoming edentulous (missing all teeth in the upper, lower or both arches). The reason is that more often than not, there is inadequate bone to support dental implants. When the teeth’s roots are no longer in the bone to stimulate bone and bone growth, keeping the tissue healthy, the bone volume decreases. Dentures are not the optimal prosthesis solution. They can be uncomfortable, slip, loosen, and requiring adhesives. Patients report that dentures irritate the roof of their mouth and complain that speaking and eating is challenging. A new approach to address lessened bone volumes while still providing the benefits of dental implants, was developed in the late 90s. Nobel Biocare, along with Dr. Paulo Malo, an alternative to traditional non-implant supported removable dentures, the All-on-4® treatment concept, became available.
This approach is viable due to a different method that is utilized to place the posterior implants. Instead of implanting these implants vertically, which requires adequate bone volumes typically lacking in most edentulous patients, they are placed at a 45-degree tilt. This technique exposes a greater amount of the implant to be exposed to the remaining bone and better anchors the back most implants. Also, as these implants are fabricated out of titanium, they naturally fuse to the remaining bone.
According to Nobel Biocare’s continuing research results, this approach has been successful for “hundreds of thousands”. To determine if this is an option for you, Dr. Phillips will complete a comprehensive examination, typically along with a 3D CBCT (CAT scan). He will evaluate the findings of the scan and discuss your treatment needs and expectations. If you are a candidate, 4, or sometimes 6, dental implants are placed in the arch; these implants will be secured to an upper or lower (or both) prosthesis.
The best news is not only does the placement of dental implants into the jaw helps to prevent further loss of bone in those sites, but you will leave our office smiling with confidence and ready to eat your favorite foods in comfort and in no time.
Fill out the confidential dental implant request form below or call our office today at 817-361-1999 to schedule your dental implant consultation.
Why dental implants?
Dental implants are widely considered to be the most successful method of tooth replacement used today, because they provide Fort Worth dental implant patients with a number of benefits over other solutions. Brit Phillips DDS is a Nobel Biocare implant dentist in Fort Worth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant functions as the root of a new tooth. Made out of titanium, only a few millimeters long, and carefully engineered, this small screw is placed in your jawbone by your dental provider and serves as the foundation for your new tooth. Advances in bio-materials and computerized production can provide you with an individually customized high strength restoration designed to provide long term function and fulfill your appearance expectations.
Healthy natural-looking smile
Modern dental restorations, supported by dental implants, look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. Their color, shape, and contour are made to match that of your natural teeth as closely as possible.
Healthy remaining teeth
Diagram of a jaw with a dental implant.Dental implants do not sacrifice neighboring teeth to provide support like alternative treatments can. A dental implant can also lessen the loads to your remaining natural teeth while chewing by replacing structural support for your biting forces. By replacing the root structure of a missing tooth you are also replacing support for your bite that has been distributed to your other teeth. Previous bridge solutions replaced the top of a tooth but depended on your remaining teeth to provide the increased support necessary.
Stable comfortable fit
Dental implants are fixed in your jawbone, providing a comfortable and stable foundation for your restoration. Moreover, they are made of bio-compatible materials and your body tolerates them easily.
Long-lasting proven solution
Implant solutions are very durable. With proper care and good oral hygiene, they will last many years, or even a lifetime. The first patient was treated with modern dental implants in 1965. When the patient died in 2006, the implants had worked without problems as the foundation for a series of oral prostheses for 40 years. Since then, millions of implants have been placed successfully all over the world. See dental implant history for more information.
Call Brit Phillips DDS at 817.361.1999 if you have any questions about dental implants or complete the form below.
Dental implant placement is one of the most successful restorative techniques used to replace missing, broken, or damaged teeth. They have become an attractive option for patients to consider because they look, feel, and act like natural, healthy teeth. And, when cared for properly, dental implants can last a lifetime.
The first step in the restoration process is to see Dr. Brit Phillips for an initial consultation. During this appointment, we will present you with all your options for tooth replacement, including dental implants, and assist you in making the best decision to meet your oral health goals. We will complete a thorough oral examination and X-ray evaluation of the missing tooth site to develop a personalized treatment plan for your procedure.
In some circumstances, patients require additional procedures, such as tooth extraction or bone grafting, to prepare the mouth for dental implant placement. When this is the case, patients sometimes require a separate procedure before placing the dental implant. During the first surgical procedure, the oral surgeon places the dental implant post into the missing tooth socket. We offer a broad range of sedation options to make patients feel comfortable throughout this surgery.
During the healing period, the dental implant post integrates with the jaw bone, creating a sturdy base for the rest of the restoration. This allows patients to function as though they have natural teeth, chewing tough foods like steak, biting into apples, and cleaning their teeth with routine dental hygiene habits. When the dental implants have integrated with the bone fully, the restorative dentist will fabricate the final crown, place it in the mouth, and secure it to the post using the abutment.
With proper care, dental implant patients do not need to have future procedures or investments to replace their implants, unlike other restorative options. By investing in dental implants early, patients can enjoy cost savings over time and enjoy all the rewards of a beautiful new smile.
If you are interested in dental implants, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with Brit Phillips DDS at our office in Fort Worth, Texas. We look forward to helping you regain confidence and restoring your smile at Mira Vista Smiles!
Invisalign® treatment has truly changed lives. With Invisalign braces you can straighten your teeth and no one will even have to know! The second benefit is also a fairly obvious one. The Invisalign brace system is made with soft plastic trays which are much more comfortable for the mouth than traditional wire braces. And in general Invisalign take less time than braces to move teeth into the proper position due to the type of force this process uses.
Brit Phillips DDS is an Invisalign® trained doctor. Dr. Phillips has the expertise to help you get the smile you want.
See results that will inspire you to take your next step in Invisalign treatment. Watch the video and learn how Jenn finds balance in her busy life as a mom and business owner by making self-care a priority. Now her new smile is helping her shine more than ever.
Call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth if you or one of your family members is interested in learning more about Invisalign treatment.
Many people dread going to the dentist. The one consolation is that they can usually be assured that the procedure will help them in the long run and is beneficial to their overall dental health.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Instances of substandard dentistry causing problems or exacerbating existing problems are common. However, we all have a right to great dental care. Thankfully, it is possible to fix most of the problems that subpar dentistry causes.
If you have been negatively impacted by poor dental work, we can guide you through many options for solving these problems.
Why does substandard dentistry happen?
Many instances of subpar dentistry occur due to poorly done cosmetic dentistry procedures. The American Dental Association doesn’t recognize cosmetic dentistry as a specialty, so no additional training is needed to perform these services and dentists are automatically licensed to perform them.
Cosmetic dentistry is also difficult to define because many procedures toe the line between being practical and cosmetic in function. Dr. Brit Phillips has spent a great deal of time repairing failed cosmetic work of other dentists.
What are the most common botched dentistry jobs?
When patients get veneers for their teeth, especially if they are done at different times, the new veneers may not match the thickness or whiteness of the old ones. It is also common to have veneers which do not fully match the color of the surrounding teeth. Poorly done veneers can also fall off, leaving an embarrassing tooth exposed and causing pain and other potential hazards.
Poor bonding technique is also a common problem among dentists who are not properly trained in cosmetic dentistry. The bonding may not match the color of the surrounding teeth and can look gray or brown. This is caused by the color of the underlying tooth showing through the bonding material. Bonds and veneers can also look different under different types of light, so a dentist may do a procedure in the office which looks completely different in natural outdoor lighting. Trained cosmetic dentists have experience in opaquing techniques which can reduce these issues, but many dentists do not and so try to improvise with the knowledge they do have, leading to unpleasant-looking teeth.
Botched implants are even more harmful, because not only do they cause unwanted cosmetic effects, they can lead to infection and extreme pain. Poorly done implants can cause pain by interfering with a person’s bite.
Ill-fitting dentures are another common complaint. Precise measurements are required to prevent ill-fitting dentures. Brit Phillips, DDS goes above and beyond to ensure our patients’ denture sets are comfortable and perfectly shaped.
Root canals can also fail for a variety of reasons. The seal may not be properly keeping contaminants out, leading to infection or further tooth decay. Likewise, the tooth may not have been properly cleaned before the procedure. Root canals are tricky because a tooth can have more canals than expected or canals that branch out, and these are hard for dentists to identify. If they are not identified, the canals can remain untreated and lead to pain and damage.
What can patients do who’ve had bad dental experiences?
If the dentist who provided the subpar dental service is not helpful in resolving your concern, call Brit Phillips, DDS. Dr. Phillips can evaluate the situation and advise you on the best course of action.
We want patients to have healthy teeth and be happy with their service. While patients may not want to undergo a full second treatment, it can be crucial for your dental health to get dental issues fixed.
In cases of extremely poor dentistry or a particularly difficult tooth, further treatment may be needed. In these cases; such as a failed root canal or cracked tooth, the tooth may need to be extracted fully and replaced. While this is costly, time-consuming, and painful, it is sometimes the only option. Leaving a poorly treated or cracked tooth can lead to recurring infection, pain, and difficulty eating throughout the patient’s lifetime.
Dr. Phillips has the expertise to fix problems caused by substandard dentistry. With some effort, patient’s pain and aesthetics can be restored. More importantly, Brit Phillips DDS will restore your faith in dentistry. Please call us at 817-361-1999 if you’ve had a bad dental experience. Let’s get you back on the road to oral wellness!
Toothpicks, Tooth Picking and Flossing
Some people really struggle to keep their teeth clean. Some will use a wooden or plastic toothpick after eating to remove the food stuck between or on their teeth. Others prefer to vigorously floss between teeth after a meal.
While paying attention to oral health and cleaning your teeth is certainly a good thing, the popularity of toothpicks and flossing begs the question, are these tools actually safe for your teeth? The short answer is “yes” if used correctly.
To Pick or Not to Pick with a Toothpick
Like your toothbrush, many people argue that tooth picks can significantly benefit you if used with care. However, when used excessively or improperly, toothpicks might scrape or damage your sensitive gum tissue. Since toothpicks are limited in their ability to reach between your teeth, most dentists recommend relying on a dental floss.
A toothpick could cause quite some damage to your gums whether it is made of wood or plastic. A toothpick may not be damaging to the teeth, but the gums take a battering when one uses the toothpick too aggressively. And you aren’t going to believe this, but here goes…Toothpicks are one of the most commonly swallowed items making them a danger to you as well.
To Floss or Not to Floss with Dental Floss
Although dental floss is generally more effective than a toothpick, it can also damage your teeth and gums if not used properly.
For proper use of dental floss, wrap each end of a length of floss around your index fingers and use your thumbs for leverage as you carefully maneuver the floss between your teeth. Angle the floss around the side of one tooth and gently move it up and down. Angle the floss around the other tooth and repeat the movement. Never cut across the gum with dental floss, but rather use the gentle up and down motion, hugging the tooth, to get the floss between the tooth and gum area.
Some foods are notorious for sticking between teeth, but if you constantly find yourself picking food from your teeth, then you may have a problem such as too much space from gum recession or gum disease. Dentists can easily examine your teeth for improper spacing, or perhaps cavities or holes that allow food and bacteria to gather inside of them. If your teeth aren’t properly shaped or aligned, or if they are infected with decay, then picking and flossing won’t address those issues.
We recommend you visit the dentist regularly for a thorough dental check-up! If you find yourself flossing and picking to remove food stuck from teeth. You may have improper spacing or other issues that may be causing the food to lodge in between your teeth or literally collect in your teeth.
With Age Comes Wisdom Teeth
If your wisdom teeth are coming in or have already erupted, call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth. Dr. Phillips will examine your mouth and take an x-ray to check how your wisdom teeth are developing and if there are any signs of trouble.
Wisdom teeth usually develop between the ages of 17 and 25. Why are they called “wisdom teeth”? Because these third molars come through at a more mature age. From babyhood to adolescence, teeth erupt in stages. First we develop incisors, then canines, then premolars and molars and, finally, wisdom teeth.
When they come through correctly, healthy wisdom teeth can help you chew. It’s normal to feel a little discomfort when your wisdom teeth appear, but if you have pain, see your dentist immediately.
Room to Grow?
Wisdom teeth can lead to problems if there isn’t enough space for them to surface or they come through in the wrong position. If your dentist says your wisdom teeth are impacted, he or she means they are trapped in your jaw or under your gums.
As your wisdom teeth make their way through your gums, your dentist will be monitoring your mouth for signs of the following:
- Wisdom teeth that aren’t in the right position can allow food to become trapped. That gives cavity-causing bacteria a place to grow.
- Wisdom teeth that haven’t come in properly, which can make it difficult to floss between the wisdom teeth and the molars next to them.
- Wisdom teeth that have partially come through can give bacteria a place to enter the gums and create a place for infection to occur. This may also lead to pain, swelling and stiffness in your jaw.
- Wisdom teeth that don’t have room to come through are thought by some to crowd or damage neighboring teeth.
- A wisdom tooth that is impacted can form a cyst on or near the impacted tooth. This could damage the roots of nearby teeth or destroy the bone that supports your teeth.
Why You Might Need to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:
- Infection, Swelling and/or Bleeding
- Damage to neighboring teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)
Dr. Phillips may also recommend removal of wisdom teeth as part of treatment for braces or other dental care.
Before making any decisions, our Mira Vista dental team will examine your mouth and take an x-ray. Together, you and Dr. Phillips can discuss the best course of treatment.
Keeping Your Wisdom Teeth?
Historically, dentists have had the view that it’s better to take them out–better to be safe than sorry. For decades, having wisdom teeth removed was sort of a rite of passage. The thinking was that it was best to lose those mostly useless, ill-fitting teeth before they caused infections or other trouble.
Wisdom teeth that are not removed should continue to be monitored because the potential for developing problems later on still exists. As people age, they are at greater risk for health problems—and that includes potential problems with their wisdom teeth. Be sure to, floss around your wisdom teeth and visit your dentist regularly. Regular dental visits allow your dentist to evaluate your wisdom teeth and your overall dental health.
In a nutshell: some healthy wisdom teeth may be OK to keep, as long as you undergo regular exams and X-rays to catch signs of trouble.
Stress affects your teeth. If you are dealing with stress and clenching or grinding their teeth, call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth (817) 361-1999. Solutions like mouth guards worn at night can help protect your teeth from grinding!
Stress affects everyone. Some people may have disrupted sleep patterns. Others may be regular users of tobacco, alcohol or narcotics.
Side effects from stress have a way of going unnoticed by most–except the dentist. For example, patients who are stressed out may consciously or subconsciously deal with stress by tightly clenching their teeth during the day and grinding them at night, a condition known as bruxism.
Over time, bruxism can wear down teeth and create orthodontic problems or changes in a person’s actual bite. Grinding can cause problems with the joint that connects your jaw to your head, just below your ears, the temporomandibular joint (also known as TMJ). Eventually, this leads to “clicking” when the jaw moves, which can really drive a person nuts. TMJ problems caused by grinding also result in discomfort on the sides of the face, difficulties chewing food and even headaches.
Stress can affect your teeth in other ways, too. People who are under stress might let their regular dental hygiene practices go by the wayside. They may be too stressed to remember to brush and floss regularly. This can lead to increased cavities and gum disease, especially if you turn to sugar-laden foods or drinks when anxious.
When stressed, we may have increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol or depressed immune functioning. Studies have shown that stress causes increased dental plaque, even if it’s short-term stress.
You can, however, take some steps in these situations to help keep your teeth healthy. Figure out some strategies to help deal with the sources of stress. See your dentist for an examination. To address TMJ issues, Dr. Brit Phillips Fort Worth dentist can provide mouth guards to be worn at night, which should prevent you from grinding your teeth.
Mouth breathing is a complex health concern that can lead to sleep apnea and in children it can cause speech impediments and improper facial growth. Most people don’t know that mouth breathing can truly have devastating effects on the health and development of a child, and it should be taken seriously. Talk to Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth about mouth breathing treatment options.
What Is Mouth Breathing?
It is perfectly natural to breathe through your mouth at certain times, such as when lifting a heavy load or exercising. What we are referring to in this article as “mouth breathing” is breathing through the mouth most of the time.
Mouth breathing starts when we can’t get enough air through the nose, so the mouth takes over. This forces us to breathe through the mouth out of sheer necessity, and this can become a life-long habit if not corrected.
It is important to realize that mouth breathing and having an open mouth are really the same thing and are equally detrimental to your health.
What Causes Mouth Breathing?
The most common causes of mouth breathing are:
- Allergies and/or food sensitivities
- Enlarged tonsils or adenoids
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Respiratory infection
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
Each of these factors make it physically impossible for a person to nasal breathe. If breathing through the nasal is not possible, the body’s only choice is to breathe through the mouth.
How Does Mouth Breathing Affect the Body?
Mouth breathing has a number of detrimental effects on the mouth and body:
Mouth breathing changes the way the tongue works and where it rests in the mouth.
Your tongue should naturally rest in the top of your mouth, however, when your mouth is open it rests in the bottom. This leads to underdeveloped oral musculature, and can cause problems with speech, swallowing, breathing and chewing. When the tongue rests low in the mouth, it must push forward to swallow – this is called a tongue thrust.
A tongue thrust and mouth breathing always go hand in hand – so if you’re mouth breathing, you also have a tongue thrust swallowing pattern.
Facial Growth and Development
Believe it or not, breathing through your mouth can actually change the shape of your face and alter your appearance.
This is especially true for children because they are still growing. Children whose mouth breathing is not corrected may suffer from abnormal facial and dental development.
Symptoms of untreated mouth breathing include long, narrow faces and mouths, less defined cheekbones, small lower jaws, and weak chins. Other facial symptoms include gummy smiles and crooked teeth.
A “mouth breather” facial expression is typically not viewed as an attractive or desirable appearance.
Other Effects on the Body
Using the mouth for breathing disrupts our natural body mechanics. The root of the problem in many cases is oxygen deprivation, which can affect a number of bodily functions and lead to symptoms such as:
- Gingivitis and gum disease
- Sore throat and cold symptoms
- Bad breath
- Increased risk of cavities
- Poor sleep leading to chronic fatigue
- Digestive disturbances – gas, upset stomach, acid reflux, etc.
In children, mouth breathing has been linked to poor growth and weak academic performance, as well as ADD and ADHD symptoms.
In adults, poor oxygen concentration in the bloodstream has been associated with high blood pressure, heart problems, sleep apnea and other medical issues.
In addition, breathing through your mouth can lead to postural changes and spinal issues. When the tongue is in the wrong position, the head tends to rest forward, causing the shoulders to slump. When the mouth is open, it’s also more difficult to sit up straight.
The Teeth and Braces
Mouth breathing can also affect the position of your teeth and your bite. When the mouth is open, the lips are weak and there’s no external support for the teeth. The tongue simultaneously pushes forward, progressively moving the teeth over time.
This can cause problems with orthodontic treatment. Time spent in braces will be longer, and the chance that the results won’t be permanent is far higher.
What Can Be Done to Treat Mouth Breathing?
Mouth breathing may seem like an easy habit to change – just close your mouth, right?
Unfortunately, for people who struggle with mouth breathing, it’s not that easy. The body simply doesn’t know how to breathe normally, and the muscles of the face and mouth have compensated and learned to work incorrectly.
The best way to fix mouth breathing depends on what is stopping you from breathing through your nose. If your child has a deviated nasal septum, for example, they might need surgery to correct that. If your child has asthma, you may need to talk to your doctor about treatment.
It’s also important to stay in touch with your dentist. Everyone should have a dental appointment once every six months or so, but seeking care is especially important if you have been breathing through your mouth for quite some time.
If you or your child are mouth breathing, call Brit Phillips DDS 817-361-1999 for a dental exam and recommendation for treatment that will help.
Maybe you’ve always wanted dazzling white teeth. Or maybe your teeth have yellowed as you’ve aged. Or perhaps you’re not happy with stubborn teeth stains as a result of drinking coffee, tea, wine or cola. Or maybe you recognize that whiter teeth make you look younger and healthier. Whatever your reason for wanting whiter teeth, you’re not alone.
Just like we all have different hair and skin color, people also have different tooth color. Some teeth are more yellow than others, while others yellow with aging. Your natural tooth color can also be affected by many factors.
Surface stains and internal discoloration can be caused by:
- Using tobacco (smoked or chewed)
- Drinking coffee, tea, colas or red wine
- Eating pigmented foods such as cherries and blueberries
- Accumulation of plaque and tartar deposits
- Ingesting too much fluoride when teeth are forming
- Treatment with the antibiotic tetracycline during childhood
There are several options available over the counter or professionally whitening techniques from your dentist.
The over-the-counter products all have essentially the same whitening ingredient – the bleaching agent peroxide. If you go to your dentist for a professional tooth whitening, we’ll use a more concentrated peroxide product.
With the in-office procedure, you get a lot of whitening very quickly, but it requires expertise. With such a high-powered bleaching agent, the gums must be protected.
The over-the-counter products are weaker. That means less active whitening but also less risk to the gums, should the whitening agent come in contact. All of the products are safe if used as directed. Still, they can increase sensitivity of teeth and they can irritate gum tissue. If you decide to use these do it yourself whitening products, see your dentist if anything doesn’t feel right.
Tooth whitening is best done in a “healthy mouth condition,” Dr. Phillips says. “Have a thorough exam, make sure your teeth are clean and that plaque and tartar have been removed.” Also, be aware that tooth whitening doesn’t work on crowns or most fillings.
Professional whitening, which will be immediate and last for years, might cost more and is not generally covered by dental insurance, but is more effective. Products to use at home usually require multiple applications over a week or two, will have a gradual and lesser whitening effect, and will not last as long.
A quick bit of tooth anatomy: Enamel is the thin hard outer layer of the tooth; dentin is the next layer in and is less dense than enamel. In the middle is the pulp, which is the soft tissue that holds the nerve center.
“Enamel is what you’re bleaching,” Dr. Phillips says. “It’s really thin near the gum line. If you have receding gums, it exposes your root tissues.” Dentists try to avoid applying the concentrated product on or near the dentin.
Dentin comes into play for aesthetics as well, because it’s got a naturally yellowish hue. As people age, their enamel can become thinner, a result of decades of wear and tear. The thinner the enamel, the more likely the yellowish dentin shows through. That’s why older people often have yellowed teeth. Bleaching products won’t help in this situation because they don’t affect the dentin.
There are a few other discolorations that whitening procedures cannot change. If you took tetracycline as a kid, say for an ear infection, you might have antibiotic staining of the teeth. Or if your teeth suffered trauma when you were young and your enamel was still forming, whitening won’t work. Dentists refer to these discolorations as intrinsic stains.
There are things you can do to help prevent your teeth from becoming stained. Avoid substances like red wine, coffee and tobacco. Other foods on the staining list are tea, tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar. If the thought of avoiding any of those makes you want to cry, Dr. Phillips advises rinsing with water after eating. Brushing your teeth is even better.
And, of course, Dr. Phillips advises good oral hygiene: regular brushing, flossing and checkups.
If you are interested in teeth whitening services, call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth at 817-361-1999.
Gum disease is a big problem and it can sneak up on you and destroy your teeth. Stop receding gums and periodontal disease before it is too late. Do not ignore gum recession.
Bacteria are present in everyone’s mouth. 24/7, these micro-organisms eat away our most precious resources – your gums. There is nowhere to buy a new set of gums no matter how rich you are. Receding gums are one of those things that most people don’t think about until it happens to them. As gum loss typically begins to occur between the ages of 35-40, many adults attribute tooth sensitivity, in its beginning stages and other changes, to the aging process. Left unchecked, the gingiva or gums can recede considerably to the point of exposing the roots of a tooth. The process is gradual, with possibly a few discreet signs, such as sensitivity to hot or cold beverages or food items, slight bleeding at the gum line, perhaps even some minor discomfort or puffiness from time to time.
Gum recession is the process in which the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth’s root. When gum recession occurs, “pockets,” or gaps, form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up. If left untreated, the supporting tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be severely damaged, and may ultimately result in tooth loss.
Gum recession is a common dental problem. Most people don’t know they have gum recession because it occurs gradually. The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, or you may notice a tooth looks longer than normal. Typically, a notch can be felt near the gum line.
Causes of Gum Recession
Periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession.
Your genes. Some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.
Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.
Grinding and clenching your teeth. Clenching or grinding your teeth can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede.
Tobacco products. Tobacco users are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove and can cause gum recession.
Insufficient dental care. Inadequate brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash makes it easy for plaque to turn into calculus (tartar) — a hard substance that builds on and between your teeth and can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning. It can lead to gum recession.
Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.
Gum recession is not something you want to ignore. If you think your gums are receding, make an appointment with your dentist. There are treatments that can repair the gum and prevent further damage.
If your gum recession cannot be treated with deep cleaning because of excess loss of bone and pockets that are too deep, gum surgery may be required to repair the damage caused by gum recession.
Contact Brit Phillips DDS 817-361-1999 if you are experiencing gum recession and get started on a treatment to heal your gums.
We recently had a patient whose gums were receding at a rapid pace even though her dental hygiene was impeccable. There could be many causes of gum recession. Did you know that one of them could be what you are or are not eating?
One way to heal gum disease is through your diet! The top 12 Foods To Prevent Gum Disease are shown below.
Over half of Americans have some form of gum disease (also called periodontal disease). Fortunately, if you catch your gum disease early enough you can stop the progression and reverse damage.
Gum disease is difficult to treat and reverse without accurate information and much of what most people have been told actually does more harm than good.
You can only stop the progression of gum disease with a combination approach including three essential elements:
These are listed in order of importance in the long term.
The problem with treating gum disease is that there’s a lot of misinformation out there on how to properly prevent and reverse it. A majority of the misconceptions are related to dental hygiene, so I’ll briefly touch on those.
First, make sure you actually have good oral health habits and aren’t unintentionally causing your gums any harm. Check the list below – some might surprise you.
You ARE using extra soft bristles
You ARE swapping out your toothbrush every three months (Bristles sharpen over time)
You aren’t brushing too hard
You aren’t using Listerine or strong antibacterial mouthwash
While dental hygiene is important in fighting gum disease, diet is more effective and should be priority number one.
If you aren’t getting the right nutrients to support a robust immune system you can have great dental habits and still wind up with gum disease. Food should be considered medicine and its influence on gum disease is no exception.
Hippocrates said it over 2400 years ago, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Key Nutrients for Fighting Gum Disease
A healthy body naturally fights gum disease. There are however some nutrients that are especially effective. The key is to eat foods that nourish your oral microbiome. To make sure you have the right nutrient building blocks within your diet, make sure you follow the guidelines below.
Aim to eat foods that are high in:
Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – CoQ10 is an antioxidant found throughout the body and needed for proper cell function. Studies have found that people with sufficient CoQ10 are less likely to have gum disease. In fact, if you have enough of this antioxidant and you also have gum disease, your CoQ10 levels in your gums will increase in concentration. This can suppress the progression of periodontal inflammation.
Collagen – When you have gum disease, your gums will reorganize the tissue makeup to deal with the inflammation – this results in collagen degradation. To combat this, you’ll need to eat foods with lots of collagen.
Catechins – These are disease fighting phenols and antioxidants. Catechins have shown to be effective in treating gum disease through inhibiting harmful bacteria and preventing gum inflammation.
Vitamin C – Studies have found that gum disease is associated with low Vitamin C levels. By increasing your Vitamin C intake, you can boost your immune system so it can fight the disease causing bacteria and help regenerate your gums. Additionally, you need Vitamin C for collagen maturation, which helps keep the periodontal ligament and other tissues healthy.
Beta Carotene – Studies have found eating foods high in beta-carotene help those with gum disease heal better. Beta carotene is a provitamin your body turns into Vitamin A, which reduces inflammation.
Omega-3s – Omega-3s are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and our body’s need them for a healthy immune system. One study found that omega-3 intake was inversely associated with gum disease.
You need to increase your intake of each of these important nutrients if you want to tackle your gum disease head-on. On the other hand, you’ll support your oral microbiome even more effectively if you eat less harmful foods.
To reduce the impact of gum disease you’ll want to starve the bad bacteria by eliminating:
Now that you know the best things to put in your body for fighting gum disease, here’s a closer look at the top 12 foods that contain these key ingredients.
12 Best Foods to Eat if You Have Gum Disease
1. Nuts and seeds high in omega 3s
These include macadamia nuts, pistachios, sesame seeds. Omega-3s are essential to a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet. Omega-3s are great for you because they are anti-inflammatory but also have an inverse relationship with gum disease. These nuts are great sources of nutrients as well.
2. Salmon or other fatty fish
Oily fish such a salmon, herring, and mackerel are great sources of nutrients and are high in omega-3s. Due to their oil content, they have anti-inflammatory effects on the body and are great for the immune system.
3. Grass-fed beef
Because we don’t eat organ meats like our ancestors did, we need to be conscientious about our collagen intake. Grass-fed beef contains collagen, which is great for fighting gum disease.
It’s also high in omega-3s, which is one of the reasons so many health gurus specify the feed of the cow. Grain fed beef is packed with omega-6s, antibiotics, and other inflammatory, disease causing components. It’s just not worth it to eat grain-fed beef anymore.
Chicken contains CoQ10 and collagen, which are both excellent in the fight against gum disease. Don’t skip the skin either. Many people forgo eating the chicken skin because it’s high in fat, but chicken skin is packed with collagen.
5. Bone broth
We don’t eat the whole animal like we once did, which means we’re missing out on important nutrients like collagen. But you can get more of this nutrient in your diet with bone broth. Bone broth is gaining popularity as a health superfood because it’s a delicious way for us to get more of the nutrients we miss out on in the modern world.
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6. Shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, which is a polysaccharide only found in this particular type of mushroom. Lentinan attacks the harmful gum disease causing bacteria while leaving other bacteria alone. Shiitake mushrooms are also powerfully anti-inflammatory and have been seen in studies to reduce numerous inflammatory markers.
Broccoli is packed with Vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C has been inversely associated with gum disease. Broccoli also provides tons of other nutrients. Broccoli contains Vitamin B1, magnesium, iron, calcium, niacin, and selenium. Any nutrient dense diet should contain broccoli.
8. Red and green bell peppers
High in Vitamin C, red and green bell peppers are a great addition to a gum disease fighting diet. One cup of red bell peppers contains over 300% of your daily recommended allowance of Vitamin C. While green bell peppers contain over 200% of the Vitamin C you need in a day. In fact, both red and green bell peppers have more Vitamin C than an orange. Add more bell peppers to your diet for an easy and delicious boost in Vitamin C.
9. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of many nutrients but they made this list specifically for their beta carotene content. Beta carotene is an essential nutrient in the fight against gum disease. It reduces inflammation and provides your body with the elements it needs to create Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes also contain high levels of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and Manganese.
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10. Green tea
Green tea is high in catechins. Remember catechins? Those were one of the key gum disease fighting nutrients listed above.
Not only is green tea high in catechins, but it’s also been found to have an inverse relationship with periodontal disease. One study that analyzed 940 men found there was an inverse association between green tea consumption and periodontal disease. Meaning those that drink more green tea have a lower chance of developing gum disease.
Cacao is also high in disease-fighting catechins, which help stop gum disease. Cacao is great for your teeth overall because it fights cavities, plaque, and tooth decay. Compounds in cacao are more effective at fighting tooth decay than fluoride. Cacao also contains a compound called CBH, which hardens your enamel.
To eat cacao that’s actually good for you and not loaded with sugar, go for a raw chocolate that is 70 percent or more. Look for a low sugar content too. Cacao and cocoa differ in processing. Cacao hasn’t been exposed to high heat, is still raw, and still contains it’s 300+ compounds, many of which are beneficial to your health.
12. Probiotic containing foods
These include kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Probiotics support the good bacteria in your mouth and reduce gingivitis and plaque buildup. Fermented foods are also thought to suppress the growth of oral pathogens.
One study found those who drank fermented dairy benefited from protective effects against gum disease – though it wasn’t clear whether it was due to the increase calcium or the probiotics (or both!).
Cosmetic dentistry takes the concept of dental health to the next level when feeling good merges with looking good to create an overall sense of well-being.
There are many theories on why cosmetic dentistry is booming, one of them being the strong Hollywood influence in our lives. Other schools of thought also attribute it to increasing awareness of medical advancements, along with conscious decisions to improve looks to enhance self-esteem. Whatever the reason, the focus is chiefly on image and appearance, while regular dentistry still focuses more on overall dental health, including oral hygiene, diagnosis and treatment.
As more and more people are focused on a perfectly aligned smile, the rise in demand for dental devices to enable this perfect smile has also been set in motion.
Various cosmetic dentistry procedures include removing teeth stains, professional teeth whitening, reshaping teeth, filling gaps and cracks, placing crowns, veneers, bridges, dentures, dental implants and oral restorations through dental fillings. Key components include:
- Porcelain veneers — These can take care of cracks, chips and gaps, hide stains and discoloration, permanently whiten teeth, and straighten a smile without invasive procedures. Veneers are getting more and more advanced every day. They are strong and damage resistant which makes it easy to maintain dental hygiene. Some of these are ready to fit veneers, while some are customized to perfectly complement the shape of your face and smile.
- Porcelain crowns — These offer permanent prosthetic caps to cover damaged teeth. They not only straighten severely damaged teeth but also prevent them from further decay. It can improve the tooth’s function as well as your smile in one go. Advanced technologies have made it possible to get these restorations done and enhance the appearance in a single session instead of the weeks it used to take even a few years ago.
As the science and technology of cosmetic dentistry keeps improving, new procedures are constantly being developed which are safer and more reliable, more efficient as well as cost effective.
If you have any desires to improve your teeth, your smile or overall dental health, call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth and ask how our cosmetic dentistry services can help you!
Dental implants help maintain and strengthen bone structure. This means they do much more than replace a missing tooth – they also protect existing teeth by helping to preserve bone structure.
Once a tooth is lost, several things begin to happen that are not immediately noticeable to a patient and which can have a significant negative effect on both health and appearance. Tooth roots help hold teeth in place, but they are also critical in maintaining health in the surrounding gums and supporting bone structures. Bone loss in the jawbone is one significant problem that naturally occurs once a tooth is lost. This bone loss can compromise the integrity of neighboring tooth roots and tooth stability, and it is also a large part of what causes the “sunken” look that is seen in people who have lost several or all of their teeth. It is the reason patients who wear dentures find that over time their dentures are harder and harder to fit and keep in place.
Although having a beautiful smile and the confidence that comes with it are important, there are also important health reasons to have dental implants. Whether replacing one tooth or several, implants are an important solution to restoring and maintaining dental health.
Call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth if you have any questions about how dental implants could help you or fill out the form below.
Vicky had braces in high school, but as an adult, she noticed her teeth had shifted back and her overbite reappeared. She started to doubt her ability to present to clients. She says Invisalign treatment has taken that worry away and given her confidence back, as a professional and as a mom.
Vicky’s story may be similar to yours. If you had traditional metal braces when you were a teen and now your teeth have shifted again, call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth. Invisalign treatment is a great solution. The clear aligners allow you to continue life as usual while your teeth are placed correctly. It’s fast and effective! With treatment up to 2x faster, you’ll be smiling in no time! Straighter teeth and a happier you are well on their way.
Wondering if Invisalign is right for you? Call Mira Vista Smiles now 817-361-1999.
The All-on-4® treatment concept is a dental implant solution strategically designed for toothless jaws. If your teeth need to be pulled or you no longer want to live without teeth, the All-on-4® treatment concept might be the right solution for you.
With only four dental implants, the All-on-4® treatment concept can restore a complete jaw of missing teeth.
This technique offers you several advantages:
Shorter treatment time, lower costs
The low number of implants needed for the All-on-4® treatment concept considerably reduces treatment time and often makes this solution more cost-effective than comparable treatment alternatives.
A very elaborate way of placing implants at the back of the mouth also makes it a treatment option for patients whose jaw bone is severely reduced after years without teeth.
Fixed teeth from day one
Depending on your individual dental situation, your dentist can connect your implants to a temporary bridge on the day of surgery. This means you can leave the dental office with a full set of teeth and return to leading a normal life. After a certain healing time, your dentist will exchange your temporary bridge with the final bridge created by a dental laboratory.
Call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth Nobel Biocare dentist to find out if the All-on-4® treatment concept is the right solution for you.
Dental implants are widely considered to be the most successful method of tooth replacement used today. Why choose dental implants? Dental implants give a number of benefits to patients and Dr. Phillips is a huge advocate of implants. Here are a few reasons –
Dental Implants Give You A Natural Smile
A dental implant looks and feels just like your natural tooth. The color, shape and contour of the new tooth can be made to match. The result is a natural smile, that can bring back your confidence and quality of life. With your new teeth sparkling on the outside, you will soon feel a smile coming back on the inside.
Dental Implants Allow You To Eat and Speak Normally
Did you have to give up on some of your favorite dishes since you lost your teeth? Dental implants restore the full function of your natural teeth. No matter how chewy, hard, crunchy or sticky the food, dental implants can put it back on your menu. Enjoy your favorite meals again thanks to dental implants
Do you feel self-conscious when talking to your colleagues and friends, because missing teeth or dentures make it more difficult to speak clearly? Dental implants can bring back your clear speech for the next business presentation or long chats with your friends.
Dental Implants Allow Neighboring Teeth To Stay Intact
Other restoration methods often require neighboring teeth to be ground down to anchor the restoration in your mouth. Dental implants do not harm neighboring teeth.
Dental Implants Are A Stable and Comfortable Fit
Since dental implants are fixed to your jaw bone, they are usually more stable, more comfortable and long-lasting than other restorations. On top of that, dental implants are made of biocompatible materials, which means that your body tolerates them.
Dental Implants Are A Long-lasting Solution
Dental implants are very durable. With proper care and good oral hygiene, implants will last for many years or even a lifetime. Decades of research have gone into their functionality and stability, since the first patient received modern dental implants in 1965.
Dental Implants Are Cost-effective
Implant treatment can be considered a long-term investment into your health and your well-being. Dental implants are an investment into your LIFE. Compared to other restorations, costs can seem higher at first glance. However, higher maintenance costs, the potential increase in lost jaw bone, and, ultimately, the loss of even more teeth can make other restorations more expensive in the long run.
If you have any questions about dental implants and how they can restore your mouth, call Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth today!
Brit Phillips DDS Fort Worth recommends that you see your dentist every 6 months for follow-up visits after you’ve received dentures. That will allow your dentist to check your mouth for sore spots and make adjustments so you continue to be comfortable with your new smile. When is it time to get new dentures? Normally, dentures will last somewhere between five and 10 years. Here are some telltale signs you likely need new dentures. Answer the following questions yes or no:
- Am I having difficulty chewing food?
- Do I have difficulty speaking?
- Am I always biting the side of my mouth or cheek?
- Have my mouth and/or gums become red or inflamed?
- Am I experiencing continued discomfort wearing my dentures?
- Are my dentures cracked or chipped?
- Are my dentures over five years old?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is time to make an appointment to visit your dentist. However, it is important to visit with your dentist regularly to check the fit and function of your dentures.
Call Brit Phillips DDS today if you have any questions about your dentures 817-361-1999.