Posts for: February, 2018
In an age where first impressions occur both in person and digitally, confidence in your appearance is more important than ever. According to a study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, almost half of adults say they remember another person’s smile the most upon first meeting them. A professional teeth whitening session can lift the color of your teeth, giving your smile the makeover you need to feel proud of the way you look. Find out more about teeth whitening with Dr. Ashley Lloyd in Raleigh, NC.
Can professional teeth whitening help my smile?
Teeth whitening can help most people who wish they had a whiter, brighter smile. However, dentists do not recommend teeth whitening procedures for children under the age of 16 or those patients who have porcelain dental restorations in obvious places. Whitening works on natural teeth and does not lift the color of porcelain, meaning that those with restorations may end up with an uneven result. Those with tooth decay or periodontal disease need to consult with their dentist to resolve these issues before considering teeth whitening.
How does a teeth whitening treatment work?
The active ingredient in the whitening gel used during a teeth whitening procedure penetrates the teeth’s outer enamel layer, removing stains deep within the tooth to provide a whiter appearance. Your dentist will apply the gel to your teeth, then let it remain on the teeth for about an hour. During this time, the chemicals work to break the molecular bonds holding the stain together, allowing the stain to dissipate and that area of the tooth to appear whiter.
Professional Teeth Whitening Treatments in Raleigh, NC
If you think you could benefit from a professional teeth whitening procedure, consulting with your dentist is the best way to determine if this is the best treatment option for you and discuss any questions or concerns you may have. Your dentist will examine your mouth to ensure you are in good dental health before administering the whitening treatments.
For more information on professional teeth whitening and how it can help you with Dr. Ashley Lloyd in Raleigh, NC. Call (919) 828-1001 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Lloyd today!
As dentists, we often see other mouth problems besides those with teeth and gums. One of the most common is cracking around the corners of the mouth. Although usually not serious, it can be irritating and uncomfortable.
Medically known as angular cheilitis (literally “an inflammation of the angles of the lip”), it’s also called perleche, derived from the French lecher, “to lick.” The latter moniker aptly describes the tendency of sufferers to compulsively lick the sores to relieve irritation, which actually can make things worse.
Perleche has a number of possible causes, mostly from in or around the mouth (although systemic diseases or medications can cause it on rare occasions). It’s often found among younger people who drool during sleep or older people with deep wrinkles along the sides of the mouth that increase the chances of dryness and cracking. Long-term wind or cold exposure, ill-fitting dentures or a lack of back teeth (which help support facial structure) may also contribute to the condition.
Patients with perleche can also develop yeast infections from a strain called candida albicans. The infection can spread through the whole mouth, significantly increasing the chances of physical discomfort.
Treating perleche often involves topical ointments with inflammation-reducing steroids and zinc oxide, which has antifungal properties, to provide an environmental barrier during the healing process. If a yeast infection occurs, we may treat it with oral or topical antifungal medication like Nystatin for the whole mouth and chlorhexidine rinses, which has antibacterial properties.
It also helps to adopt a few preventive measures that can minimize the occurrence of perleche. If you wear dentures, for example, cleaning them often (including, if necessary, with chlorhexidine) and leaving them out at night reduces bacterial and fungal growth. We can also see if your dentures are fitting properly. Replacing missing teeth provides better facial support and could minimize wrinkling around the mouth. And, of course, keeping up daily brushing and flossing helps ensure a healthy and disease-free mouth.
If you’re experiencing cracked mouth corners, let us know at your next appointment. With our help and of other medical professionals we may be able to give you relief from this irritating condition.
If you would like more information on gaining relief from angular cheilitis, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor article “Cracked Corners of the Mouth.”