Can Diabetes Affect Your Smile? | Tyngsboro Dentist

Do you have diabetes? You aren’t alone – Diabetes affects 34.2 million Americans, and that’s just the ones that have been diagnosed. Unfortunately, diabetes doesn’t just affect our bodies, but also our smiles. Diabetic patients with poorly controlled levels are more apt to develop numerous oral complications, such as periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, infection, neuropathy, and poor healing. Because this is American Diabetes Month, let’s take a look at the ways your diabetes can affect your smile:

There are two major forms of diabetes recognized, type-1 and type-2. Both are characterized by inappropriately high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia). In type-1 diabetes, the patient cannot produce the hormone insulin, while in type-2 diabetes the patient produces insulin, but it is not used properly.

Oral changes are evident in poorly managed diabetics. These patients are at risk for numerous oral complications, such as periodontal disease, salivary gland dysfunction, infection, neuropathy, and poor healing. Their presence may serve as an early clue to the possible presence of diabetes, prompting your dentist to perform or request further testing.

Periodontal disease is a commonly observed dental problem for patients with diabetes. Nondiabetic patients can obviously develop gum disease, but for those patients with diabetes, the symptoms and progression will develop quicker and more severe.

In conclusion, we can summarize the above by citing the American Dental Association, which states that those with diabetes are more at risk for getting periodontal disease and those with periodontal disease are more likely to contract diabetes. Good hygiene and regular visits to the dentist will lower our risk for gum disease, as well as diabetes and other diseases. Keeping your blood sugar level within the normal range by proper diet and exercise will keep your body healthy and lower the risk of gum disease.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. James Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Why Does My Breath Stink? | Tyngsboro Dentist

Keeping your mouth clean is not only good for your health, but it is also good for your breath. As you eat food, chewing breaks food into small particles that can become stuck between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. As bacteria break down that food, the bacteria can release foul odors, which will be exhaled and noticeable to others. Patients with cavities caused by tooth decay are more likely to have food particles and bacterial colonies present – the cavities provide a protected space for bacteria, increasing the likelihood of odor causing bacteria being present. Sure, chewing a bit of gum after eating some garlic will mainly do the trick, but there are also some underlying circumstances that could be making your breath smell. If you find that your breath is less than lovely on a regular basis, consult your dentist – it could mean something more serious.

Like tooth-born bacteria, patients with periodontal disease are likely to have bad breath. Periodontal disease is an infection within the gums, typically caused by poor oral hygiene. As plaque and tartar build up against the gums, bacterial colonies build beneath the surface of the gums, creating large colonies that not only produce foul odors, but also damage gum and bone tissue, and could potentially cause severe dental issues such as tooth loss.

Because the root cause of bad breath is often bacteria, an antiseptic mouthwash can often help mitigate bad breath – at least for a while. However, it’s important to remember that mouthwash doesn’t necessarily remove all bacteria; it only kills some bacteria for a short period of time.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. James Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

How Clean Is Your Toothbrush? | Tyngsboro Dentist

There is one hygienic tool we interact with on a daily basis. In fact, if we are using it correctly, we use it on a couple of occasions throughout the day. That handy tool? The toothbrush. Manual or electric, soft or hard bristles, our toothbrush not only keeps our smiles bright, but it also affects our overall health. Unfortunately, there may be things left on your toothbrush after these cleanings you may not notice after the rinse.

Blood. When you brush your teeth, it is not uncommon to find traces of blood from time to time. It may be the way you are brushing, it may be something more serious, like the beginnings of gum disease. So, if you find that you have begun bleeding during a tooth-brushing session, make sure you rinse your toothbrush well. Also, make an appointment for a check-up so you can catch any developing issues.

E.Coli. We don’t want to bring up anything gross, but there is the likelihood of fecal matter being on your toothbrush, especially if you store your toothbrush on the sink. What’s worse is that dangerous bacteria, like E. Coli, can come along with it. If you brush with a toothbrush that has E. Coli on it, it can make you very sick.

Staphylococcus Aureus. These bacteria live in our respiratory systems and on our skin. While rare, if conditions are just right, it can lead to a MRSA infection.

Thankfully, your mouth doesn’t need to be a vessel of terrible things. Here are ways to keep your toothbrush bacteria-free:

  • Don’t let anyone use your toothbrush.
  • Let your toothbrush air-dry upright.
  • Store your toothbrush at least six feet from your toilet.
  • Replace every 3-4 months.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

You Need to Keep Your Dental Appointment | Tyngsboro Dentist

For whatever reason, we have a tough time keeping our dental appointments. Sure, it can cause us some anxiety, but isn’t your smile worth the sacrifice? It’s the first thing strangers see when you introduce yourself. Shouldn’t we be taking care of those pearly whites? Of course we should. But we can’t do it alone…we need to be able to lean on someone to tell us if something is going awry. That person is our dental professional.

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Periodontal disease is typically painless, and you may not know you have it, and therein lies the problem. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. Here are some warning signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Many factors that can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease including smoking, pregnancy, and diabetes. This is why it is so important to make (and keep) your regular dental appointments. We cannot diagnose ourselves – we don’t have the knowledge or the tools to be able to do so. They are the final word on our mouth’s health. This is why we need to do our best to look after our teeth in between visits as well. The better we do in between visits, the easier our visits will be.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

A New Year and a New Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

It could be as simple as a new haircut, but any positive change will always bring a smile to our face. And if that makeover is a smile makeover, all the more reason to show it off. It’s a new year – why not get yourself a new smile? After the year we had, you deserve a reason to show off that gorgeous grin. Here are some benefits to consider:

Improved self-esteem and self-confidence. This is, unarguably, one of the many reasons why people are interested in getting a smile makeover in the first place. And, well, there’s no shame in spending money to improve your own look, which may help improve your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Fixed bad bites. In many cases, especially in orthodontics, braces or Invisalign just aren’t fitted just for esthetic reasons. Many times, it is to correct a bad bite, which can help improve or fix the function of one’s teeth and may even help prevent gum disease.

Prevention of jaw atrophy. Those with missing teeth are candidates for implants, which are great for preventing jawbone atrophy, while at the same time, helps in maintaining that youthful and vibrant smile.

Lowered risk for tooth decay and cavities. Chipped and broken teeth, as well as excessive gaps in between and cavities can all eventually lead to worse complications down the line. Fillings aren’t exactly cosmetic but having tooth-colored fillings is still a far better-looking option. And the use of dental crowns and bridges that are made specifically to blend well with the rest of your teeth means that one no longer has to sacrifice esthetic offer function when it comes to preventing further dental complications.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Dodging the Situation Isn’t Doing You Any Favors | Tyngsboro Dentist

We all do it – but that doesn’t mean it’s the best idea. In fact, skipping out on your dental appointments is only going to cause more issues for you down the road. And what does that mean? Well, longer appointments, that’s for sure. Naturally, it will take longer to examine a mouth that hasn’t seen a dentist in a while. So, what should you expect when you finally keep that appointment? Here are the basics because patients are like snowflakes – each one is different…

You’ll almost certainly start with x-rays. X-rays allow dentists to get an understanding of the state of your mouth, so there will be quite a few. Once the x-rays are complete, the dentist will likely check your teeth manually for anything that they noticed when reviewing the x-ray, and also check the health of gums for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease.

If you’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination and possibly treat the problem immediately. Lastly, your dentist or dental hygienist may follow your examination with a thorough professional cleaning. If you haven’t seen a dentist in quite some time, the professional cleaning may be more involved, with techniques such as periodontal scaling, which can take multiple visits.

So, as you can see, the only reason this appointment may be extensive is because you kept putting it off. Don’t worry about it – dental visits aren’t the scary ones you’re thinking of. Today, a dental checkup could almost be as relaxing as a day at the spa. Don’t believe me? Make the appointment and see.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

How You Can Protect Your Smile | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental treatment

Whether we like it or not, dental checkups and cleanings are designed to help patients keep as many natural teeth as possible. They’re necessary. Yes, proper brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings are three key components to maintaining natural tooth health. However, there are many threats to good oral health, and knowing the threats can help patients minimize risk. Here are some common threats to consider when you think about your overall oral health:

Smoking damages oral tissue causing gum recession, increases risk of oral cancer, stains teeth, and causes other long-term health risks.

Periodontal disease – infections below the gum line – can spread to teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and can cause one or more teeth to be lost.

Obesity has been linked to an increase in oral bacteria, which contributes to increased rates of periodontal disease among obese patients.

Patients who regularly bite their nails are more likely to chip, crack, or cause atypical wear on their front teeth, and are statistically more likely to suffer from bruxism (tooth grinding or clenching), which can cause issues with tooth sensitivity, recessed gums, and tooth loss.

Research shows that patients who get less than six hours of sleep per night are shown to be more likely to have periodontal disease, which is generally attributed to a lowered immune response due to fatigue.

Patients with a diet high in sugar, especially sugary drinks, are significantly more likely to suffer from tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Extended periods of anemia (often due to poor diet) can contribute to periodontal disease and the body becomes unable to push sufficient nutrients to the gums to combat infection.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

How Can Plaque Affect My Oral Health? | Tyngsboro Dentist

We are on the cusp of one of the most dangerous times in our mouth’s life – Halloween. Yes, this spooky holiday not only enjoys scaring us, but also scares our smiles if we aren’t careful. Candy is running rampant through the streets and if you aren’t careful, you can invite the cavity creeps into our mouth to wreak havoc. Their first moves? Plaque build-up.

Dental plaque is a sticky, colorless or pale, yellow film that is constantly forming on your teeth. When saliva, food and fluids combine, plaque – which contains bacteria – forms between your teeth and along the gum line. And it starts developing 4-12 hours after brushing.

Plaque is the root cause of many oral health issues. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel causing cavities. The bacteria in plaque can also cause the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. Plaque can also contribute to bad breath and can make your teeth look dingy and yellow.

If plaque is not regularly removed from your teeth by proper brushing and flossing, it mineralizes into tartar, a hard, yellow or brown deposit that tightly adheres to the teeth and can only be removed by a dental professional. If tartar is not removed it can lead to more serious gum disease.

Now, you may be wondering how you remove plaque from your teeth before it causes harm to your smile. Fighting plaque is the most critical factor in protecting and preserving your teeth, and gums, for a lifetime. The answer is simple – practice proper dental hygiene every single day and visit your dental professional for regular check-ups. They are the only ones that can tell you if you’re developing dental issues.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Reduce Your Chances of Gum Disease | Tyngsboro Dentist

periodntal disease

When we go to the dentist, we cross our fingers that all of the effort we’ve put in between checkups is good enough to keep our mouths healthy. After all, a dentist is there to help keep your smile healthy, but your efforts are really what keeps things running smoothly. If you put in the work, the checkups go much smoother. If not, trouble will be afoot. One of the more common issues is developing gum disease.

While it is a common occurrence, periodontal disease, or gum disease, can cause a significant amount of unwanted damage to your oral health and hygiene. These dental damages include swelling, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, and permanent tooth loss. If you find that you have these symptoms frequently, it’s a good idea to have a dental professional examine the developing issue in order to ensure things are okay.

The good thing is gum disease can be prevented, and it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort. To avoid having these long-term damages and prevent periodontal disease, follow these simple steps:

Brush after meals. Brushing after meals is highly effective when preventing periodontal disease because brushing allows you to remove food particles and plaque that accumulate in the mouth. Just make sure you wait a half hour after your meal.

Flossing. It may not be your favorite part of the day, but flossing is also extremely important when preventing periodontal disease because it removes any plaque buildup that cannot be removed from brushing alone.

Keep your dental appointments. Only a professional can thorough examine your teeth to determine how well your oral health is. Schedule regular appointment to ensure you are steering clear of periodontal disease.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.

Dental Cleaning vs. Periodontal Maintenance | Tyngsboro Dentist

Dental treatment

A typical patient thinks all dental checkups are the same but that’s completely untrue. There are various procedures used to keep your smile maintained. After all, you are the main person keeping your smile healthy, but there are some spaces even your toothbrush and floss can clean thoroughly. But don’t worry – regular dental visits will make up for these gaps in dental hygiene. Many patients have asked the question, “What is the difference between a dental cleaning (prophylaxis) and a periodontal maintenance visit?” This is a great question and it is important to understand the difference.

The medical term for a professional dental cleaning, prophylaxis, is purely a preventive measure and not a treatment for disease. Part of your dental checkup, prophylaxis is used to remove dental plaque and other irritants from the oral cavity. As these deposits build on your teeth, they form dental tartar, which contributes to most dental problems. Unfortunately, some of these deposits can’t be removed with regular brushing and flossing and it is important to have them removed by a dental professional.

The term periodontal maintenance refers to a dental cleaning performed by a dental professional that is for the treatment and maintenance of periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost. Periodontal disease is a condition that cannot be cured unfortunately, but with regular visits for these more detailed dental cleanings it is a condition that is very treatable and patients with periodontal disease can keep their teeth for a lifetime.

Call Tyngsboro dentist Dr. James Yankowskas for a consultation at 978-649-7773. Also, visit our website at tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com.

Dr. Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Tyngsboro and all surrounding areas.