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August 4th, 2020

Stay Safe When the Temperature Rises

This news is brought to you courtesy of The American Red Cross.

A blanket of heat is covering most of the country which bring temperatures to the upper 90's and 100 degrees to millions. Follow these steps to stay safe when temperatures escalate!

  1. Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle - even for a minute. The inside of the car can quickly reach above 120 degrees.
  2. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  3. Avoid extreme temperature changes.
  4. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun's rays.
  5. Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
  6. Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  7. Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks.
  8. Check on animals frequently, and make sure they have plenty of shade and cool water.

What are the signs of HEAT EXHAUSTION?

  • cool, moist, pale or flushed skin
  • heavy sweating
  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • weakness; or exhaustion

What to do if you see someone experiencing these symptoms:

  • move them to a cooler place
  • remove or loosen tight clothing
  • spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths to the skin
  • if the person is conscious, provide small sips of cool water
  • watch for changes in condition
  • if the person is refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, cal 9-1-1.

What are the signs of HEAT STROKE? (a heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency)

  • hot
  • red skin (dry or moist)
  • changes in consciousness
  • vomiting
  • high body temperature

What to do if you see someone experiencing these symptoms:

  • If you suspect someone is experiencing heat stroke, call 9-1-1 immediately
  • if possible, move the person to a cooler place and immerse them up to their neck, otherwise spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

Come on in for your examination and hygiene visit and spend an hour in the A/C in the comfort of a clean cool environment. We look forward to helping you get through these HOT summer months.

July 28th, 2020

5 health appointments you should keep, despite the pandemic...

According to The Washington Post, experts say some appointments should not be delayed.

  • Cancer screenings - over the short term, health experts generally agree that delaying these screenings is probably okay for most people. However, if a problem does exist, diagnosis gets delayed if the screening isn't performed. This could mean a poorer prognosis because the cancer has had time to progress.
  • Dental visits - check ups and hygiene visits are recommended every three, six or twelve months depending on the person's oral health status. These checkups help spot dental health problems when treatment is effective and more affordable.
  • Physical therapy - if you have sprained an ankle or have had a surgery that requires physical therapy, the best outcome is when rehab is started right away. Physical Therapists are using telehealth visits, aka; virtual therapy. This has proved to be very successful.
  • Blood tests - For those that get their blood tested more often than their annual physical due to taking an anticoagulant, such as warfarin, need to make sure their levels in a healthy range. These tests should not be delayed.
  • Emergency room visits - During a 4 week period from late March to late April, the public visited the ER nearly a million fewer times than that of the same time last year for abdominal pain, musculoskeletal pain, sprains and strains, superficial injuries and more. . A big decline in people going to the hospital for a heart attack and stroke was also noted. The pandemic will not stop heart attacks and strokes from happening. The American Heart Association has published a public awareness campaign called "Don't Die in Doubt". It stresses that a hospital is the safest place to be if you have a medical emergency, even during the pandemic.

Keep in mind, not everyone is the same and what is okay to delay for one might not hold true for his friend. Weigh the risks and benefits and discuss them with your doctors. Your health and wellness are at stake.

 

July 15th, 2020

What to expect at your next dental visit

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things about our daily lives. Visits to our dental office have changed too. The CDC and ADA guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing therefore our protocols for seeing patients are constantly evolving.

Here's whats involved in seeing the doctor or hygienist at your next visit:

  1. Answer our pre-screening questions.
  2. Call us when you arrive in parking lot.
  3. Wait in your car for us to take your temperature.
  4. Wear your mask inside the office.
  5. Only the patient will be allowed to enter the office unless a minor or patient needs assistance by a caregiver.
  6. Grab a squirt of hand sanitizer on your way in.
  7. Follow your assistant or hygienist to your treatment room.

We do our best to make sure our patients are healthy prior to their dental appointment. If you have any doubt about whether or not you have been exposed to COVID-19 (either directly or indirectly) we ask that you reschedule your dental appointment.

What about after your dental appointment?

  1. The staff will thoroughly clean the areas where you've been using disinfectants that are effective against the virus that causes COVID-19 to prepare for the next patient.
  2. If you start feeling ill with the symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of your appointment, call the dental office. You may have already been carrying the virus at the time of your appointment, so anyone who came into contact with you during that time could be at risk for getting sick too.

Remember, regular dental visits are an essential part of your overall health. Dr. Bryan Griffith's office will make sure your visit is as safe as possible for everyone involved.

June 9th, 2020

Are you hiding more than germs under your mask?

Have you heard the new term "mask breath"?

Now that you're wearing a face mask, if you have noticed an unpleasant odor, it's likely caused by your own bad breath. This could have been something happening for quite some time but you never noticed because you weren't forced to notice. Now that your breath is "in your face" you can't ignore it.

How Can I Get Rid Of Bad Breath?

  • Get on a solid oral hygiene routine:
    • Brush at least twice a day
    • Brush your tongue (especially toward the back)
    • Gargle with antibacterial mouthwash (especially at night before bed)
    • Floss daily
  • Have your teeth and gums evaluated by Dr. Bryan and his hygienist. During your annual periodontal (gum) evaluation by your hygienist, they will check your gums for pocketing which can be the culprit of odor-causing build up in between the tooth and gum tissue.
    • If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, treat it immediately to rid your mouth of smelly bacteria and germs. Periodontal disease treatment cannot be performed at home.

What If the above doesn't help? Sometimes bad breath (chronic halitosis) has many possible causes, including:

  • Diseases of the teeth, gum, or tonsils
  • Heart Disease
  • Lung issues
  • Smoking Regurgitating food
  • Zenker diverticulum. A pocket in your espoghagus where food can embed and bacteria grow
  • Tonsil stone: A crevice in your tonsils where debris can collect and harden, and bacteria can grow.

If you notice bad breath that doesn't go away with good oral hygiene, including a visit to the dentist...the next stop would be to see your primary care physician. Remember to keep all of your preventive care appointments with Dr. Bryan and his team to keep the bad breath bacteria away!

May 26th, 2020

Help for a cavity!

(USUALLY THIS IS WHERE WE SHOW A PICTURE OF OUR TOPIC...BUT WITH A COMPOSITE FILLING, THE AMAZING THING IS YOU CAN'T SEE THEM!)

Have you been told you have a cavity, crack or fractured tooth? Sometimes teeth can be repaired with a composite (tooth colored) restoration. If your tooth is decayed or fractured, the area of the tooth will be prepped for the new filling using several steps. The new filling will be placed and set with a light that hardens the material. Once the filling is placed, the bite is adjusted and polished for a beautiful, smooth result.

Common Questions about Composite fillings:

  1. How long do composite fillings last?  Five to seven years.
  2. How do I take care of my new white filling? Brush and floss every single day.
  3. Can I eat right away once it is placed? No need to wait, your new filling is hard and ready to do its job.

Dr. Bryan can often fill your tooth with a composite restoration and the tooth will look just like it did before the cavity! Be sure to have Dr. Bryan evaluate each tooth at your next periodic exam to see if you should use a composite filling to make any repairs.

April 28th, 2020

How We Keep You Safe

With Infection Control Procedures

Our office uses Infection control procedures to prevent the spread of disease. We follow The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  for dental office infection control protocols. Dr. Bryan Griffith cares about your safety and works hard to prevent the spread of infection. Before you enter the examining room, all surfaces, such as the dental chair, dental light, drawer handles and countertops, have been cleaned and disinfected. We cover some equipment with protective covers, which are replaced after each patient.

Non-disposable items like the dental tools are cleaned and sterilized between patients. Disposable dental tools and needles are never reused. Infection control precautions also require all dental staff involved in patient care to use appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, masks, gowns and eyewear when needed. After each patient, disposable gloves and masks are thrown away. Before seeing the next patient, everyone on the treatment team washes their hands and puts on a new pair of gloves.

As the CDC and the American Dental Association update their standards of care requirements, we will be right there following the protocols to the tee. We do not compromise the care and safety of our employees or our patients.

Your well-being is important to the team at Griffith Dental. Should you have any concerns or questions regarding our protocols, please let us know.

Email: office@griffithdental.com      Call or Text: 727-861-5575

April 21st, 2020

How to Make Dentistry Affordable

Getting “cheap” dentistry isn’t always what it’s cut out to be, but there are realistic steps you can take to minimize your oral health expenses and how much you spend on dental treatments in the future.

  • Treat problems AS SOON AS THEY ARISE. Chances are if you get your problem checked right away, the resolution will cost you less than if you wait.
  • Focus on PREVENTIVE care. Always schedule for your next appointment at the end of your current appointment. Life has a way of keeping us busy, so busy in fact, that we may not even realize a year or two has passed since our last dental visit.
  • DON'T LET YOUR DENTAL PLAN DICTATE your treatment. Most dental plans focus their benefits on providing assistance to the hygiene visit. Also, most plans provide a flat benefit for services and have a clauses in the packages that don't allow for many procedures (whether you need them or not).
  • Choose an office with the BEST TECHNOLOGY. An office like ours offers the newest in digital technology. Digital dentistry saves you time and your time is valuable.
  • Along the same lines as technology is QUALITY PRODUCTS. Dr. Bryan and his team use top of the line products to provide you with a quality experience. Using higher quality products gives longevity to the service.
  • FINANCING TREATMENT IS AN OPTION. Although, paying for services when they are completed is ideal, sometimes it isn't possible. We work with CareCredit, a third party company that assists patients in stretching out the payments over a period of time. CareCredit offers plans with no interest and extended plans for up to 5 years.

We are here to discuss your financial concerns. Dr. Bryan always provides a written treatment plan indicating the priorities of your dental care recommendations. We will work with you to come up with a solution for your treatment plan. Please reach our to our office for further information.

Email: office@griffithdental.com        Call or Text: 717-861-5575

April 14th, 2020

Do you disinfect your toothbrush?

One of the first things we grab when we wake each morning is our toothbrush. It's our tool for removing bacteria, bad breath and germs. But where do those bacteria go? Some bacteria go down the drain and some are left behind on your toothbrush. The routine of frequently disinfecting your toothbrush may help prevent you from getting a virus or flu!

5 ways to Disinfect Your Toothbrush:

  • Soak your toothbrush in antibacterial mouthwash (like Listerine). Rinse thoroughly before using again.
  • Store your toothbrush in a small cup of hydrogen peroxide. When you brush your teeth, change out the hydrogen peroxide.
  • Boil your toothbrush for about 3 minutes.
  • Put your toothbrush into the silverware compartment of the dishwasher to be sanitized. Run your toothbrush through on the hot cycle without soap.
  • Purchase a UV toothbrush sanitizer.

Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria so cleaning your toothbrush every week makes sense if you want to prevent illness! Also remember to change your toothbrush every 3 months regardless of your disinfecting routine. The bristles wear and become less effective over time. We look forward to seeing you at your next dental hygiene visit where you will always receive your goody bag of dental hygiene tools to keep you healthy between visits. If you are not scheduled for your hygiene visit, please contact us via email, text or phone. We will get you back on track as soon as possible.

Email: office@griffithdental.com     Call or Text: 727-861-5575

March 4th, 2020

What Causes Yellow Teeth?

Do you have yellow teeth? Are you looking for a smile makeover? According to Crest, it’s best to start by evaluating your whitening needs and goals by looking at the color of your teeth and your habits or other factors that may have caused discoloration:

  • Diet: Certain foods that are high in tannins, such as red wine, are potential causes of yellow teeth. Some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration include drinking beverages such as coffee, soda, and wine. These substances get into the enamel of your teeth and can cause long-term discoloration.
  • Smoking: Smoking is one of the top causes of yellow teeth, and stains from smoking can be stubborn. But smokers can improve their yellow teeth by quitting smoking, following a complete oral care routine of twice-daily toothbrushing and daily flossing, and using the right teeth-whitening products.
  • Illness: Certain medical conditions or medications are also causes of yellow teeth. Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy for head or neck cancers may develop yellow or stained teeth. Also, certain types of prescription medications including medications for asthma and high blood pressure are causes of yellow teeth.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: Poor oral hygiene is one of the causes of yellow teeth, but even the most diligent brushers and flossers can develop the discolored teeth that occur simply with age.
  • Fluoride: Excessive fluoride exposure is also among the causes of yellow teeth, especially in children.

If any of the causes of yellow teeth have left you unsatisfied with your smile, you have many choices of whitening products. Please be sure to check with Dr. Bryan and his hygiene department for their recommendations.

February 27th, 2020

“Brush your teeth!”


If you’re like me, and most other parents, you say this phrase more then you ever imagined you would. Need help motivating your child to brush their teeth? Try these tactics…
1. Make a “Star Chart” and reward younger children by giving them a sticker every time they brush
2. Let them choose their toothbrush with their favorite character and toothpaste in their favorite flavor!
3. Download an app so children can make a game out of brushing and earn points!
Forming healthy habits at an early age by making it fun, using specially designed age-specific products and teaching your child the proper techniques will set them up for a lifetime of healthy oral hygiene habits!
-Yvonne
Dental assistant/Patient Consultant

February 4th, 2020

When should my child's FIRST dental visit be?

February is Children's Dental Health Month!

According to the American Dental Association, your child should be seen by a dental professional within 6 months of their first tooth appearance.

Top 5 reasons to take your child to the dentist early:

  • The first visit is a "well-baby checkup" for your child's teeth. It's best for your child to have a pleasant first meeting with the dentist.
  • Your child's dentist can show you how to clean your child's teeth, talk about feeding, oral habits, and recommend dental care products.
  • Having early dental visits make the child feel more comfortable with the dental home so they enjoy going to the dentist as they age.
  • Baby teeth can start to decay as soon as they appear, having them checked early can make it treat shallow decay before they become deeper.
  • Don't wait until an emergency comes up to introduce them to the dental office.

Here at Griffith Dental, Dr. Bryan recommends children see a pediatric dentist for all dental treatment other than preventive care.

January 28th, 2020

What if my tooth hurts after a filling or crown?

A tooth that has just had a filling or new crown placed may be more sensitive to hot foods and cold foods, air temperature, and the pressure of biting. This type of tooth pain after filling or crown should resolve within a few weeks. If not, contact Dr. Bryan Griffith for a follow up appointment.

3 reasons why your tooth may hurt after a dental work

  • your bite may need adjusting
  • your tooth is inflamed inside the tooth
  • your tooth is chronically inflamed

Once in a while, patients may have dental discomfort after a dental procedure. There can be a few reasons for the dental discomfort. One of the most common is the patient’s bite being off. When you are numb, often you cannot bite down correctly as you normally would, so only so much adjusting can take place at that point. It may also take a few days to get used to your new bite. If you feel like you cannot bite down quite right or having toothache days after the placement of new fillings or crowns, a simple bite adjustment may correct the dental discomfort you are having.

Another common reason for tooth or extreme sensitivity after dental treatment is an acute inflammation inside the tooth. This inflammation arises due to the nerve inside the tooth becoming inflamed in response to dental work. This inflammation is a normal part of healing and precipitated with any dental work. The deeper the cavity, the more inflammation, and sensitivity can be expected after the placement of a new filling or crown. A patient can experience dental discomfort as a result which can last for a few days or even weeks. Most teeth do recover from this type of dental discomfort with time.

If extreme sensitivity or a sharp toothache do not get better with time or increase with time, it could be a sign of chronic Inflammation, and this type of inflammation may require additional dental treatment, such a root canal.

To prevent dental discomfort, an excellent thing you can do is to have a great oral hygiene routine at home including brushing at least twice a day, flossing no less than five times a week, and using a fluoridated mouthwash. Along with proper home care, make sure to visit us at least every six months. Not only is this important to receive a good professional hygiene visit, but for most patients, once a year x-rays are taken which will diagnose decay before it gets deep enough to cause you dental discomfort.

 

December 18th, 2019

In Case of Emergency...

During the holidays, our office will be closed for a few weeks.  In the event you experience a dental emergency, please call the office phone number and follow the directions on our voicemail.  Sometimes issues can wait, other times they need to be addressed right away.

Symptoms that may not need emergency care include, sensitive teeth (not lingering pain), a small chip or broken piece of tooth without pain, an inflamed gum or tissue area that may have been caused from trauma (hot cheese, or sharp nacho chip). A filling that came out without pain can usually be resolved when the office re-opens.

These symptoms should be addressed right away: Spontaneous pain (hurting without cause), a pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night or keeps you from falling asleep, sensitivity that causes pain with a lingering quality, for example ice water hurts your tooth and five minutes later it still hurts. Swelling, obvious, noticeable swelling when looking in the mirror should be addressed right away.

Have our office phone number at hand in case you need advise or need to make an appointment. Our voicemail is on 24/7 so please feel free to leave us a voice message and we will be happy to return your call when the office re-opens. Our voicemail will be checked periodically during our holiday break. Remember, “If you think you need to talk to somebody, you probably do,” Dr. Bryan says. In fact, more dental emergencies can be resolved over the phone than you might think (especially if you keep up regular visits). We are here to help you in any way we can.

November 19th, 2019

What is antibiotic prophylaxis?

Antibiotics usually are used to treat bacterial infections. Sometimes, though, dentists or physicians suggest taking antibiotics before treatment to decrease the chance of infection. This is called antibiotic prophylaxis.

We all have bacteria in our mouths, and a number of dental treatments-and even daily routines like chewing, brushing or flossing - can allow bacteria to enter the bloodstream (bacteremia). For most of us, this isn't a problem. A healthy immune system prevents  these bacteria from causing any harm. However, with some patients, the bacteria can travel through the bloodstream and cause an infection somewhere else in the body. Antibiotic prophylaxis may offer these people extra protection.

The American Heart Association suggests that antibiotic prophylaxis be considered for people who have:

  • an artificial heart valve or who have had a heart valve repaired with a prosthetic material;
  • a history of infective endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart or heart valves);
  • a heart transplant that develops a valve problem;
  • certain heart conditions that are congenital

Do you need antibiotic prophylaxis for prosthetic joints and orthopedic implants?According to the ADA, dental procedures are not associated with prosthetic joint implant infections, and that antibiotics given before dental procedures do not prevent such infections. The known risks for taking antibiotics may outweigh the uncertain benefits.

Always inform our office of any health concern you have and Dr. Bryan Griffith will work closely with your physician to confirm the best care for your specific medical history.

November 12th, 2019

Why is Oral Health Important for Men?

According to The Academy of General Dentistry, men are less likely than women to take care of their physical health and, according to surveys and studies, their oral health is equally ignored. Good oral health recently has been linked with longevity. Yet, one of the most common factors associated with infrequent dental checkups is just being male. Men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care and often neglect their oral health for years, visiting a dentist only when a problem arises. When it comes to oral health, statistics show that the average man brushes his teeth 1.9 times a day and will lose 5.4 teeth by age 72. If he smokes, he can plan on losing 12 teeth by age 72. Men are also more likely to develop oral and throat cancer and periodontal (gum) disease.

Do you take medications?

Since men are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, they also are more likely to be on medications that can cause dry mouth. If you take medication for the heart or blood pressure, or if you take antidepressants, your salivary flow could be inhibited, increasing the risk for cavities. Saliva helps to reduce the cavity-causing bacteria found in your mouth.

Do you play sports?

If you participate in sports, you have a greater potential for trauma to your mouth and teeth. If you play contact sports, such as football, soccer, basketball and even baseball, it is important to use a mouthguard, which is a flexible appliance made of plastic that protects teeth from trauma. If you ride bicycles or motorcycles, wear a helmet.

Taking care of your teeth...

To take better care of your oral health, it is important to floss daily, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and visit Griffith Dental at least twice a year for preventative maintenance and routine examinations.

October 28th, 2019

How often should you change your toothbrush?

The ADA (American Dental Association) recommends you should change your toothbrush every 3 or 4 months, sooner if the bristles are frayed. It is also recommended that you change your toothbrush after you have had a cold, the flu, a mouth infection or a sore throat. People with gum problems or weakened immune systems should change their toothbrush every 6 weeks.

Stick with soft bristles, hard bristles can damage the protective enamel on your teeth. Consider an electric toothbrush, many people find that these products are worth the extra expense both in terms of brushing experience and the results gained.

Contact our office today to take advantage of our Fall Oral-B electric toothbrush special. Our office now stocks the WaterPik too.

October 8th, 2019

Buying an electric toothbrush from your dentist has its P.E.R.K.S.

Curious about the difference between a manual and an electric toothbrush?

Click link https://spearedu.co/xQJ8x2x

To keep your mouth clean and healthy, did you know you should be changing your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3 months? Waterpik tips should be changed every 6 months.

When you purchase your electric toothbrush or Waterpik through our office, we throw in a free brush head or tip at every hygiene visit. October is National Dental Hygiene Month so we are running a limited time offer on our Oral-B electric toothbrushes and Waterpiks.

When you give someone a gift that involves their health, the gift’s impact runs deeper. It means you took some time out of your day, thought deeply about the person, and wanted to help them. Why? Because you care about them.

Happy National Dental Hygiene Month from YOUR Registered Dental Hygienists:

~April and Tammy~

October 2nd, 2019

Look for Griffith Dental around YOUR town

Recently, our office participated in the Pasco County School Board Health and Wellness Benefits Fair.  We were surrounded by 40 other vendors sharing knowledge to help make YOU healthier. We loved interacting with over 100 participants in the event and invite you to experience personalized dental care with Griffith Dental. We offer free dental benefits evaluations and office tours.

We are scheduled to attend three upcoming health fairs, including: Timber Oaks, SummerTree and Hernando County Sheriff's Office Annual Benefit Fair. If you see us out and about, come spin our wheel and win a prize!

Do you have any dental questions for us? Would you be interested in Griffith Dental attending your health fair or speaking at an event? If so, please email brandi@griffithdental.com for reservations.

September 24th, 2019

Is your tooth abscessed?

When it comes to your mouth, an unforeseen emergency can arise. But with a dental abscess, there are usually some signs and symptoms that will alert you to a potential problem. Knowing how to recognize symptoms can assist you with getting treatment as soon as you realize the pain is not going to improve all on its own.

Signs That You Have A Dental Abscess

A dental abscess (infection in the tooth) can give you these warning signs:

  • Severe and unprovoked pain that lingers or wakes you up at night
  • Pain on your tooth when hot temperatures touch it
  • Discomfort when you chew or bite your teeth together
  • A visible pimple-like fistula on the gum
  • Having an unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Puss coming from your mouth
  • Bleeding gums

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you’ll need a dental exam to determine how to proceed so contact us right away. If you’re not yet able to permanently fix the problem, we can at least help you get some temporary relief.

September 3rd, 2019

Word of Mouth

You may notice from time to time that we may be asking you to send your friends and family to us.  That’s because we really do want you to!

  • We hear often from our new patients that they moved here some time ago and had no idea how to find a new dentist. Where to even look!
  • Others tell us that they found us on Google, read our reviews and couldn’t wait to meet us!

Our practice grows continuously from patient referrals. Referrals are the best source to our success. We are so pleased to know that our patients trust us, feel comfortable with us, they love the work we do, enough so to let others know.

So if you have a new neighbor, or your family has just moved here, please send them our way. We will be so happy to give them the same careful attention that we give you. You can even copy and paste our website link on the right side of this blog to email or text to them. And again….

August 27th, 2019

What Can You do for a Dry Mouth?

This week's blog is brought to you by one of Dr. Bryan's hygienists, Tammy.

Dry mouth syndrome is medically called Xerostomia. Having a dry mouth makes you more prone to having cavities and gum disease. Saliva is very important in maintaining the health of your teeth and mouth. So, if you have a dry mouth you may want to try the following to help relieve your dryness, and help you be more comfortable.

-Sip water regularly throughout the day.

-Stop All tobacco use, including chew tobacco.

-Don’t use mouthwashes that contain alcohol because they can be drying.

-Limit your caffeine intake because caffeine can make your moth dryer.

-Try over the counter saliva substitutes.  Look for products that contain Xylitol. Biotene Oral Balance, Mouth Kote, and Oasis Moisturizing Mouth Spray are all good choices which will also help.

-Try a mouthwash designed for dry mouth. A few good options are: Biotene Dry mouth or Oral Rinse Act Total Care Dry Mouth Mouthwash. Avoid using over the counter antihistamines and decongestants because these products can make your symptoms worse.

-Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free mints to stimulate the flow of saliva. These products also contain xylitol.

-Breathe through your nose not your mouth.

-Add moisture to the air at night with a room humidifier.

If you ever have questions about one of our topics, please reach out to anyone of our knowledgeable team members. We would love to answer any questions you may have!

July 23rd, 2019

Improving the look of your smile

Dr. Bryan has many different techniques to shape, sculpt, and make your smile more beautiful. With a few simple steps, you can have a smile that will make you feel great. And, treatment may be more affordable than you think.

HERE ARE SOME ISSUES THAT BE CAN BE CORRECTED BY DR. BRYAN:

  • Discolored or darkened teeth can be lightened
  • Broken or chipped teeth can be repaired
  • Gaps between teeth can be filled in
  • Poorly shaped teeth can be reshaped
  • "Gummy" smiles can be corrected by reshaping/reducing the gum tissues
  • Crooked teeth can be straightened with clear braces or other methods

If you are self conscious of any of the above issues, please discuss them with Dr. Bryan or any one of our team members.  In addition, please ask to look at Dr. Bryan's before and after photos.

June 18th, 2019

ENERGY DRINKS AND YOUR TEETH

This weeks blog is brought to you by one of Dr. Bryan's Patient Consultants, Katie.

  • Dental experts say regular consumption of energy drinks can cause serious damage to your teeth.
  • Energy drinks can essentially bathe the enamel on your teeth in a highly acidic liquid.
  • People become so wired after consuming energy drinks and this can cause grinding of the teeth.

Energy drinks might help boost performance but are not good for the teeth!  Without enamel on our teeth, eating and drinking will become a nightmare!  If you are an energy drink lover, think about decreasing the amount you consume and don't sip on them.  Anytime you drink something other than water, you are best off to drink it in one sitting versus sipping on it throughout the day. WATER ANYONE???

If it's been awhile since we've checked your smile, please contact us today to get scheduled.

May 28th, 2019

Do you need a lot of treatment?

We can simplify things for you!

Whether you are concerned about time or treatment costs, we can help make things easier. There’s no need to feel overwhelmed.

Things we can simplify for you:

  • Planning your treatment to minimize how many visits you need
  • Spreading out your root planing or gum therapy
  • Financial arrangements

In dentistry, we separate the mouth into sections, quadrants is what we like to call them. That’s 4 sections, upper and lower right, and then upper and lower left.  When Dr. Griffith recommends treatment for you, we will work with you to customize your treatment plan for YOUR needs. If you are having pain or sensitivity, likely that is the area that we will be starting with. Your comfort comes first. We plan your appointments as efficiently as possible (hey, nobody wants to be at the dentist any longer than they have to, we get it!). If you are requiring treatment on one tooth on the upper right, we will plan your treatment plan to do ALL of your treatment on the upper right…don’t panic…this is planned out as efficiently as possible. The way we see it, if you need to be numbed on the upper right for treatment, why not get numbed only once? Why come back for three different visits for 3 separate teeth to be treated on the upper right? Do it once! In one day, in one morning, or in one afternoon! Why spread it all out into multiple visits and miss more work or more family time or golf time? That’s silly! We can also treat the entire right side at one visit! That’s right, we can schedule your restorative dentistry to do half the mouth if you’d like, even the whole mouth. Yes, people actually do that!

Are you concerned about how long someone will be working in your mouth?  It’s easy! We will be happy to give you a headset with your favorite music while we are working. Believe it or not, this makes the experience a whole lot easier. If you need a break, it is as simple as raising your hand while we are working. Are you cold? We will give you a blanket. Need the restroom? It’s right down the hallway. We are here to make this as easy as possible for you.

Concerned about cost? Spend some time with our financial coordinator and we can customize your arrangements for you. Everyone is unique in every way, and we can customize just about anything.

Do you need your dental appointments to be simplified? We can do that. Just give us a call!

May 15th, 2019

Got a Stubborn Canker Sore? Your Dentist Can Help!

Have you ever wondered what those weird white bumps on your inner and outer lip are? They seem to appear out of nowhere, but when you have them, they get in the way of completing the most basic tasks comfortably. Tasks like chewing and even speaking can be negatively affected if you have a canker sore. That’s why we thought it would be worthwhile to explain what they are and how to treat the ones you have.

What are Canker Sores?

A canker sore is technically an aphthous ulcer and can come in two forms: minor and major.

  • Minor canker sores– These are far more common in people between the ages of 10 and 20 and typically last between 7 and 10 days. These are smaller and less painful than a major canker sore.
  • Major canker sores– These have more noticeable depth and irregular borders compared to minor canker sores. They are more likely to appear in a spot where a previous canker sore existed, making them recurrent canker sores. This sore is more common after the age of 20 and can last anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks.

Who Gets Canker Sores?

You may be surprised to hear that only about 20 percent of the U.S. population experiences canker sores. This is because only people who are genetically predisposed to canker sores can get them. However, women are more likely to get canker sores than men because of hormonal fluctuations.

Canker sores are also more prevalent in people who often eat spicy, salty, or abrasive foods. Continuing to eat these foods while you have a canker sore will only irritate it, making it more red, swollen, and painful. Avoid these foods if you want to speed up the healing process.

How Do I Relieve Current Canker Sores?

Canker sores typically go away after a few days, but there are ways to speed up the healing process. There are a few medications available over the counter that help to provide pain relief. Look for a numbing gel such as Kank-A or Orajel and follow the instructions on the bottle. To protect your mouth throughout the day, apply Milk of Magnesia a few times a day. You can also do this with baking soda and water to make a paste.

Don’t let canker sores ruin your week. If you have a canker sore longer than two weeks and it just won’t go away, Call Dr. Bryan as soon as possible for more help!

May 7th, 2019

Understanding Dental Insurance Terminology

Thanks to Tiffany for this week's blog!

If you have a hard time understanding your dental insurance plan, particularly the treatments and services it covers, you’re not alone. That’s why we put together a cheat sheet to help you through them.

It’s common for patients to get lost in the morass of the terms and phrases that surface when you’re dealing with a dental insurance plan. Knowing the commonly used terms can help speed up the process and enable you to get the most out of your coverage.

Common Terms

Annual Maximum: The most your policy will pay per year for your dental care. It is often divided into cost per individual or per family.

Co-payment: Typically, a small amount the patient has to pay at the time of service before receiving care, and before the insurance pays for any portion of it.

Covered Services: A list of all the treatments, services, and procedures the insurance policy will cover fully under your contract.

Deductible: An amount you must pay out of pocket each year before the insurance company will contribute for any treatments or procedures. The amount can vary according to your plan.

Diagnostic Services: A category of treatments or procedures that most insurance plans will cover before the deductible, which may mean services that occur during preventive appointments with Dr. Bryan Griffith, including X-rays or general screenings.

Exclusions: Dental services not covered under a dental benefit program.

In-Network: An insurance company will usually contract with a dentist to provide services at a lower cost.  Sometimes they cover a larger portion of the cost of the care if you see an in-network provider for treatment. The dentist has to discount his fees considerably to be a provider in-network.

Out-of-Network: If you visit an out-of-network provider, the insurance company usually covers a portion of the care, and you will be responsible for a share out of your pocket. The coverage the member receives is solely dependent on the plan the employer chooses.  Lower cost plans cover less for their members.

Lifetime Maximum: The most that an insurance plan will pay toward care for an individual or family over the entire life of the patient(s).

Limitations: A list of all the procedures the insurance policy does not cover. Coverage may limit the timing or frequency of a specific treatment or procedure, or exclude some treatments altogether.

Member/Insured/Covered Person/Beneficiary/Enrollee:  A person who is eligible to receive benefits under an insurance plan.

Provider: Dr. Bryan Griffith or other oral-health specialist who provides dental treatment.

Waiting Period: A specified amount of time that the patient must be enrolled with an insurance plan before it will pay for certain treatments.

It’s essential to understand the various insurance options available to you. Knowing what your insurance covers can keep you from surprises in the future.

Dr. Bryan’s Front Staff hopes that this list of terms will help you understand your dental insurance plan better. Be sure to review your plan and ask any questions you may have about your policy the next time you are scheduled at Griffith Dental.

April 23rd, 2019

Is your Sinus Pressure causing tooth pain?

Spring has sprung and so have seasonal allergies! Along with the usual runny nose and itchy, watery eyes, seasonal allergies can also be the cause of your unexplained tooth pain.

The upper molars are very close to the sinus’ so, if they’re inflamed with seasonal allergies, your teeth can be affected as well.

If you’re questioning the cause of your spontaneously sensitive teeth, call us to schedule an appointment to rule out a tooth issue and then visit your doctor or walk-in clinic to see if they can provide any relief to your seasonal allergies.

Thank you, Yvonne, for this blog topic!

April 16th, 2019

Why are dental x-rays necessary?

Bitewing X-rays, commonly taken during routine dental visits, can show cavities starting to develop between your teeth, as well as bone loss due to gum (periodontal) disease, while periapical X-rays are used to diagnose an abscess or a cyst, and to disclose changes to the roots of the teeth and surrounding bone.

What Problems Can Dental X-Rays Detect?

In adults, dental X-rays can be used to:

  • Show areas of decay that may not be visible with an oral exam, especially small areas of decay between teeth
  • Identify decay occurring beneath an existing filling
  • Reveal bone loss that accompanies gum disease
  • Reveal changes in the bone or in the root canal resulting from infection
  • Assist in the preparation of tooth implants, braces, dentures, or other dental procedures
  • Reveal an abscess (an infection at the root of a tooth or between the gum and a tooth)

How Often Should Teeth Be X-Rayed?

X-ray frequency is not a one size fits all guideline. Our office takes into consideration several factors when determining how often x-rays are necessary for each patient, for example:

  1. Is there current gum disease or history of gum disease?
  2. Is the patient at high risk for decay?
  3. Does the patient have a lot of restorations present that might make them susceptible to recurrent decay?

According to WebMD , the frequency of getting X-rays of your teeth often depends on your medical and dental history and current condition. Some people may need X-rays as often as every six months; others with no recent dental or gum disease and who visit their dentist regularly may get X-rays only every couple of years. If you are a new patient, Dr. Bryan will want X-rays as part of the initial exam and to establish a baseline record from which to compare changes that may occur over time.

If you can't remember the last time you had dental x-rays, you might be overdue! Contact us today for an appointment.

March 26th, 2019

TMJD- What is this disorder?

TMJD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This consists of the temporomandibular joint itself, the hinge at the side of the head that connects the lower jaw and all the surrounding muscles. This joint is the most complex joint in the body. The symptoms and causes are many. Simply point this disorder results when the chewing muscles, the teeth, and the TMJ do not work together correctly. Below is a list of some possible symptoms and causes.

SYMPTOMS include but not limited to:

-popping, grading snapping sounds in the jaw joint

-abnormal jaw opening problems. When a person can’t fully open or close or move their jaw from side to side. This includes restricted muscle movements of the face, jaw and neck.

-Grinding and clenching of the teeth

-Headaches, jaw joint pain, neck pain, referred pain, and tense muscles of the face, neck and jaw.

-A change in the way your teeth come together.

CAUSES:

-Stress and emotional tension

-Missing teeth, Irregularities in teeth alignment

-Whiplash

-Trauma to the face head or neck

-Poor posture, the way you stand, move or walk can cause jaw muscle pain.

-Heredity and gender factors. Women are three times more likely to suffer from this disorder.

-Arthritis- Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis

-Nutritional Deficiencies, such as B1, B6, B12, C, folic acid as well as calcium, iron and potassium which contributes to proper bone and muscle metabolism. These deficiencies can lead to muscle pains.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog will be on How to Heal A Sore Jaw

Thank you to Tammy, one of Dr. Bryan's hygienists for this informational blog

 

 

 

March 12th, 2019

7 Best Foods for Your Teeth

This week's blog is brought to you by Tammy, RDH.

  1. Cheese: Cheese is healthy because it raises the PH in your mouth thus lowering your risk of tooth decay. It’s thought that the chewing required to eat cheese increases saliva in the mouth. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, nutrients that strengthen tooth enamel.
  2. Yogurt: Like cheese it is high in protein and calcium, which makes it a good pick for your teeth. The probiotics (beneficial bacteria), found in yogurt also benefits your gums because the good bacteria crowd out the bad bacteria that causes cavities. Choose a plain variety with no added sugar.
  3. Leafy greens: These are high in calcium which builds tooth enamel. They also contain folic acid, a B vitamin that has numerous health benefits, including possibly treating gum disease in pregnant women. Studies are currently under way by MedlinePlus.
  4. Apples: Apples are high in fiber and water. The action of eating an apple produces saliva in your mouth, which rinses away bacteria and food particles.
  5. Carrots: Like apples carrots are crunchy and full of fiber. Eating a handful at the end of the meal increases saliva production in your mouth, which reduces your risk of cavities. Carrots are also a great source of vitamin A.
  6. Celery: celery also acts like a toothbrush, scraping food particles and bacteria away from the teeth. It is also a good source of vitamins A and c, two antioxidants that give a health boost to your gums.
  7. Almonds: Almonds are great for your teeth because they are a good source of calcium and protein while being low in sugar.

Along with adding more leafy greens, dairy products and fibrous vegetables to your diet, pay attention to what you drink. Stay away from soda’s and high sugar drinks. Water is always your best pick. If you have any questions on teeth and gum health see anyone of our knowledgeable staff members. We love to talk about teeth.

January 29th, 2019

Half of American Adults suffer from Periodontal Disease!  Why we do pre-procedural rinses...

This week's blog is brought to by one of Dr. Bryan's hygienists, Tammy.

About 64.7 million adults age 30 and older have periodontal disease! Dr. Bryan Griffith and his staff always have your health and safety as our number one concern.  In our office, prior to beginning dental procedures, we have our patients do a pre-procedural mouth rinse to reduce the number of oral micro-organisms in the mouth.  This greatly reduces the bacteria that go into the air through direct contact or aerosols.  The reduction of most organisms are sustained up to 60 minutes. This procedure protects you, our staff, and the next patient.

Dr. Griffith wants to give his patient's choices, and have you be a partner in your dental care.  We now offer two choices for our pre-rinses. OraCare and Tooth and Gums Tonic.  Both are very effective. The OraCare Product line utilizes activated Chlorine Dioxide and Xylitol.  This rinse combats bacteria, viruses, fungi, biofilm and volatile compounds.  The effective rate of this mouth rinse is 98% and starts killing pathogens within three minutes.

Tooth and Gums Tonic is alcohol free.  The active ingredients are: Deionized Water, extracts of echinacea, angustofolia, gotu kola, pure essential oils, oils of peppermint, red thyme, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus globulus, plant saponins and lavender.  The tonic is more natural and has a 96% clinical effective rating.

The products we use in our office are clinically proven to fight gum disease and inflammation and bad breath.  Both products can be used long term with no staining of the teeth.  We keep these rinses in stock and you may purchase them at our office. Our goal is to keep you healthy, not only in flu season, but all year round.

If you are interested in incorporating a rinse into your daily dental hygiene routine, our hygienists will be happy to provide you with the product and protocol designed just for your periodontal needs.

January 21st, 2019

Does Fluoride Prevent Tooth Decay? Do Adults Need Fluoride?

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by slowing the breakdown of enamel and increasing the rate of the remineralization process. The new enamel crystals that form are harder, larger and more resistant to acid. Tooth enamel is hard yet porous. Plaque on the surface of your teeth can produce acids that seep into the pores (rods) of the enamel and break down its internal structure. This process, called demineralization, can create a weak spot in the tooth that may become a cavity if left untreated. Learning what fluoride does for the health of your teeth will help you become more aware of how to identify plaque and prevent it from becoming a cavity.

Tooth enamel is the outer covering of your teeth. It’s stronger than bone and made from calcium and phosphate. Your spit, or saliva, is also loaded with calcium and phosphate and bathes the teeth to keep them strong.

When you eat things like candy, crackers or noodles, cavity-causing bacteria starts feasting on the carbohydrates in these foods. This produces acids that attack your enamel. It causes calcium and phosphate to be stripped from the tooth enamel, leaving you more vulnerable to decay and cavities.

Fluoride is similar to calcium, except that it has an extra electron, and therefore is more willing to bond to tooth structure in the place of calcium. Of course, like calcium, fluoride is a hard substance that makes the tooth strong.

You may be wondering if you, as an adult, still need fluoride and the answer is: Yes!

Reasons to use fluoride:

  • if you have crowns
  • if you have dry mouth (side affect of medication)
  • areas of tooth erosion or recession
  • areas of abfraction (damaged areas of teeth with exposed dentin)
  • teeth sensitive to hot and cold
  • root decay

Topical fluoride is contained in fluoride toothpaste and fluoride mouthwash and work from the outside of the tooth when you brush and rinse. Topical fluoride treatments can also be administered at your dental office, less frequently and in higher concentrations. When you use topical fluoride daily at home, in low concentrations, you can remineralize weakened enamel and strengthen the structure of your enamel. It’s important to brush thoroughly twice a day and rinse daily with fluoride containing products that have been clinically proven to prevent tooth decay.

Majority of studies and agencies including ADA recommend fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes be used throughout your life.

 

January 15th, 2019

February Is National Pet Dental Health Month.

Dr. Griffith’s office and staff love your pets too and want them to be healthy! Oral Hygiene is an often-overlooked but important factor in your animal’s overall health. Did you know your dogs and cats can get periodontal disease too? Some symptoms of periodontal disease (gum disease) are: bad breath, yellow -brown tartar, bleeding gums, red, inflamed gums, excessive drooling, change in eating habits, pawing at the mouth or rubbing their face on the furniture or ground, difficulty chewing and dropping food when trying to eat. According to National Veterinarian Association the following tips can help you save your pets teeth.

  • Small dogs like Chihuahuas and Yorkies need to have their teeth brushed every day.  These breeds are more prone to gum disease. Larger dogs can get away with every few days.  Once a week is better than never. If they won’t let you brush their teeth at first, try wiping their mouth with a wash cloth until you can get them used to it.
  • Use a finger brush designed to clean pets’ teeth, a hand-held toothbrush or a child sized toothbrush.
  • Use toothpaste for pets only. Do not use regular people’s toothpaste. Humans toothpaste sometimes contains Xylitol which is toxic to pets. If your dog doesn’t like that you may brush the teeth with virgin coconut oil. It’s antibacterial, antiviral and excellent to maintain oral health Usually dogs love this taste.
  • When finished brushing their teeth, clean their toothbrush with boiling water or hydrogen peroxide.
  • To help maintain healthy teeth and gums, offer appropriate chew treats. Look for the Veterinary Oral Heath Council seal of approval. You will want to stay away from real bones and rawhide. These may harm your dogs’ teeth. Look for nonabrasive balls and toys and chews to help the teeth and gums.
  • See your Veterinary once a year to have check-ups and cleanings. Like humans’ teeth, if you ignore your teeth they will go away.

~~this weeks blog is brought to you by one of our pet lovers...Tammy :)

December 18th, 2018

5 things to avoid to keep your chompers healthy over the holidays

Keep these tips in mind when you are going about your day to prevent an unexpected trip to the dentist.

  1. Say "no" to nail biting! If you get the urge to chew, distract yourself for a minute or two and see if the feeling go away.  If that doesn't work, consider buying a bitter-tasting polish that's designed to dissuade you from putting your nails anywhere near your mouth.  Mavala Stop works amazing!
  2. Don't crack nuts with your teeth! Nut shells can cause serious tooth and gum damage. Grab the nutcracker or buy shelled nuts instead.
  3. Pass on chewy treats. Sticky substances cling to tooth enamel and get stuck in the grooves of the biting surfaces of your teeth. They can also remove fillings. Eat caramels and taffy sparingly, especially if they have been refrigerated.
  4. Avoid chewing on hard candy or ice cubes.  Crunching on ice or hard candy can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, they can make fillings and sealants pop out too. Resist the urge to crunch the ice in your drink and your sealants and restorations will last longer.
  5. Use proper tools to open packages and bottles.  Take the extra minute to go find the scissors, clippers or bottle opener and your teeth will thank you.  We've all been guilty of tearing packets of ketchup or special sauce with our teeth. This is so tempting but a definite no, no.

If you do have a mishap over the holidays, contact our office ASAP and we will be happy to repair your tooth and it will be our little secret!

November 27th, 2018

Do I need a nightguard?

  1. Do you wake up with a stiff, tired jaw?
  2. Are your teeth sensitive to cold drinks?
  3. Have you noticed changes in the way the edges of your teeth appear?
  4. Do you have headaches?
  5. Do you have limited mouth opening?

Yes? Well, you may be grinding or clinching your teeth during sleep.  Grinding of the teeth is a medical condition called bruxism.  Over time, bruxism will result in the wearing down of your natural tooth enamel. If you clinch or grind your teeth on a regular basis, you could be a candidate for an occlusal guard or nightguard.

A nightguard is a custom made acrylic appliance that is worn either on the top or bottom arch of your teeth, usually while you sleep.  The appliance reduces the risk of wear and tear on your existing healthy teeth and stabilizes the bite.   Please contact us today if you are wondering if you need to be fitted for a nightguard.

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