Saturday, January 29, 2011

Black Hairy Tongue...What Is It And Who Has It?

Black Hairy Tongue, medically known as lingua villosa nigra is an unsightly condition where hundreds of papillae on the tongue grow and form hairlike structures says Marietta dentist.  The tongue discolors and looks furry just like hair.  Normally papillae wear away and stay short.  The sloughing off cells is normal.  Papillae, finger-like projections grow continually, and in rare cases grow unusually long.  Normally, these cells stay short and wear away from normal eating and oral hygiene, but in black hairy tongue, they do not.  The hair-like projections can turn the color of food consumed, although many times they turn black.  The tongue can turn brown, pink, white or green depending on the food consumed or even the color of mouth rinse used.  Bacteria and other organisms become trapped in the elongated papillae.   Although it rarely occurs in healthy people, it's cause is not definitive.  It is neither an infection or cancer and usually goes away on its own.

Black hairy tongue has an overgrowth of bacteria on the tongue. It is found on the top of the tongue and not underneath, and in most cases, coats the middle to back half of the tongue.  Although, no known cause has been determined, it is usually harmless and temporary.  Your chances of developing the condition can be increased by certain medications (such as antibiotics &  anti-diarrhea).   Antibiotics in particular can kill the "good bacteria" in your system and allow an over abundance of yeast to form in the mouth.  Poor oral hygiene and mouth breathing also has been known to contribute to getting Black Hairy Tongue, as well as smoking, drug addiction and alcoholism.  Treatments for diseases such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy also put people at a higher risk.  Mouth washes and certain products with witch hazel can promote over growth in the mouth.

Diseases such as; cancer, AIDS, dehydration, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), heartburn, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency virus, and others can set the stage for Hairy Tongue.  Diabetics with uncontrolled glucose level also are at a higher risk.

People with Black Hairy Tongue suffer with halitosis, (bad breath) and can have a choking sensation as the tongue feels altered.  The sensation of taste can be interrupted and food may not taste as it normally does.

If the condition is contracted, use a toothbrush twice a day and brush the tongue well. A tongue scraper can be purchased in a local drugstore and can promote the return of good oral hygiene.  Keeping the papillae  shortened and unable to trap bacteria, will prevent Black Hairy Tongue.

Consistent, excellent oral hygiene helps prevent Black Hairy Tongue.  Since it is very rare, it is unlikely that most people will ever acquire the condition.  Brushing and flossing not only your teeth but tongue twice a day will help keep the papillae cells shortened.  A tongue scraper used in conjunction with brushing can also keep the cells from over growing, removes dead cells, bacteria and food debris.  A tongue scraper can be purchased at any drug store over the counter.  Since the condition is harmless, there is no need to seek medical advice unless it persists longer than two weeks.  However, if you have concerns or the condition doesn't clear up, seek a dentist for consult.  The health of your teeth is important, and so is your tongue says Marietta, GA dentist.

Kirk Kimmerling is a cosmetic dentist in Marietta, Georgia (GA) at Verde Pointe Dental Associates. Dr. Kimmerling is extremely passionate about helping every patient reach their optimum dental health. Having practiced as a dentist in Marietta, Georgia (GA) for over 26 years, Dr. Kimmerling strives to provide the very best treatment in a secure, relaxing environment. While Dr. Kimmerling specializes in cosmetic dentistry, he runs a full-service practice that provides everything from routine cleanings to dental implants, teeth whitening and veneers. He and the courteous staff at his state-of-the-art office are dedicated to helping patients achieve beautiful smiles and maintaining a lifetime of excellent dental health.

For the top cosmetic dentist in Marietta, Georgia (GA), please call Dr. Kirk Kimmerling at Verde Pointe Dental Associates, or visit the website for more information.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What Shade Are Your Teeth And Do You Need Teeth Whitening Asks Marietta Dentist

Healthy teeth are not the only concern people have with their mouth, says Marietta, GA dentist. Whiter teeth have become very desirable, and more and more people want to know what method to use.  Adults and teens alike wonder where their teeth stand on color. Dentists have an in-office color scale that compares teeth.  However, if a visit to the dentist is not possible, a do-it-at-home test can be done.  Compare your teeth to the white of your eyes.  If your teeth are darker, perhaps it is time to look for a product to whiten your teeth.

People are genetically programmed with different colors of teeth, but whitening can lighten the color for the better.  As a person ages, teeth begin to darken and naturally change color.  Stains appear in a multitude of colors.  The colors can range from yellow and brown to black, gray and even pink.  Since natural tooth color is genetic, many family members have the same base shade.  Teeth whitening lightens natural shades and can rid the teeth of discoloration from many stains.

Trauma to a tooth can change the color of a tooth.  This condition requires a visit to the dentist, as it is likely that the internal, nerve portion of the tooth may have been damaged and need attention.  In some instances, after a traumatized tooth has been treated, the inside of the tooth can be treated with a whitening agent, reverting the tooth back to a more natural, lighter color.

Many products are available for people to whiten their teeth, and some are better than others.  Whitening strips can be quite effective, as they are gentle on your teeth.  Toothpaste and mouthwashes are not as effective, because they do not stay in contact with your teeth to work as well as other techniques. Gels can be used in conjunction with a mouth tray, allowing your teeth to soak in solution.  Although harsher, it has a longer effect.  Other methods are laser bleaching and bleaching pens.  Some only whiten the surface of the teeth, and others actually penetrate the teeth and have the ability to whiten deeper stains.  A chemical beaching product must be present to remove deep stains.  The effects of teeth whitening is seldom permanent, and younger people usually have longer effects.

Other methods other than bleaching and whitening agents are available to lighten your teeth. Composite resin (filling material) can be bonded to the front of your tooth to lighten the color.  Veneer, a shell-like porcelain facing can be attached to the front of your tooth in a lighter shade. Although both methods work well, they are more expensive and invasive to your teeth.  A dentist can help you decide what method is best for you.

Tips and Warnings
  • Teeth whitening  can be difficult for some people, as gum recession can expose parts of your teeth that are too sensitive to bleach
  • Cracked teeth may also be too sensitive to bleach
  • Find a whitening product with the American Dental Association's seal of approval
  • Brush and floss your teeth well before whitening
  • Follow directions to avoid unwanted damage to your teeth and gum

Once teeth have been whitened, stains can reappear. Many stains can be removed during a standard cleaning at the dentist office.   Coffee, cigarette smoking, tea, soda and red wines bond more readily to teeth after whitening. Eventually teeth return to their natural shade, so occasional whitening may be a necessary touch-up.  If you are looking to whiten your teeth, you are not alone, says teeth whitening Marietta, GA dentist.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Take Care Of Your Baby's Teeth Says Marietta GA Dentist

Bottle feeding your baby can actually do your child harm if the mother is unaware of Baby Bottle Syndrome says cosmetic dentist in Marietta.  Formula fed babies are many times left sleeping with bottles in their mouth.  Although this comforts the baby and the mother is well-intentioned, it can wreak havoc in the baby's mouth.  The liquid from the bottle can pool around the baby's teeth, setting the child up for tooth decay that can advance quickly.  Bacteria in the mouth is fed by sugars coming from the bottle, and if the baby continually feeds, so does the bacteria.  As it feeds, it produces acids that become destructive to teeth.  The acids dissolve the enamel causing tooth decay.  If the bacteria is in constant overdrive, devastation occurs rapidly.

Children under two years of age are those in jeopardy for Baby Bottle Syndrome.  Napping and sleeping with a bottle allows formula to continually douse the baby's teeth.  Formula, juice and milk alike can be destructive.  Each contain sugar that feed bacteria and sometimes, by the time decay is noticed, it can be well advanced.  Since many babies like a bottle as they sleep, parents give in to alleviate crying.   What parents may not know, is Baby Bottle Syndrome is not the only concern.  Constant sucking can also cause the teeth and jaws to misaligned as they grow, leading to other future challenges.   Extracting baby teeth early due to decay can trigger unwanted secondary teeth alignment.  Parents should be aware that pacifiers and the sucking of the thumb and/or fingers can also cause misalignment and growth problems.

In today's media environment, Baby Bottle Syndrome should be a problem of the past.  It is preventable and parents need to protect their child.  The following suggestions may help remedy a situation where a baby is already using a bottle to sleep. However, if your baby does not sleep with a bottle, do not begin the practice.  Feed your child before bed and take the bottle away.  If you are already allowing your child to sleep with a bottle, perhaps diluting the bottle with water little by little can help wean. Your pediatrician may also offer techniques to take the bottle away.

If you have already noticed brown spots on your baby's teeth, then it is time to take your child to the dentist. If your child suffers from decay, then perhaps your dentist will fill your child's teeth or in an extreme case, he will extract teeth. Heavy decay may involve the nerve portion of your baby's tooth causing your baby pain.  If it is necessary for teeth to be removed, other concerns may arise such as speech difficulties and self-esteem problems.

Parents are the number one advocate for a child and should arm themselves with information .  It is simple. If you have a child that is bottle feeding, do not jeopardize the health of their teeth by allowing them to sleep with a bottle.  A baby's primary teeth are important for many reasons and need to be kept healthy says Marietta, GA dentist.

About Verde Pointe Dental Associates:  Owned and operated by Dr. Kirk Kimmerling, a dentist in Marietta and Kennesaw. He is committed to every patient's dental health.  Dr. Kirk Kimmerling won the prestigious Oral and Pathology Award demonstrating his passion for dental care.  With an award-winning dentist, Dr Kimmerling is committed to maintaining quality dental care for patients of all ages.  Offering a wide array of dental treatments and procedures, Verde Pointe Dental Associates offer bonding, sealants, implants, teeth whitening and veneers in Kennesaw and Marietta making them the best choice for dental care.

Media Contact:

Kirk Kimmerling DDS

3698 Largent Way Suite 202

Marietta, GA  30064

(770) 423-4900

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Have You Ever Gone To The Dentist And Wondered If You Really Have A Cavity?

Have you ever gone to the dentist and wondered if you really have a cavity?   Now, there's technology that is definitive and takes diagnosing cavities to a higher level.  Dentistry has had many changes and is moving in a very exciting direction, says Marietta, GA Dentist.  It gives patients added confidence in knowing their cavity is confirmed.  There now is a tool that can help your dentist be extremely accurate in detecting caries (cavities) on an x-ray, especially between teeth.  With the invention of digital radiography, (x-rays on the computer) the door has opened for the development of software aiding dentists in cavity detection.  LOGICON by Kodak Dental Systems is now available for dentists to use in office.  It analyzes  tooth density and demineralization of teeth to decipher if a cavity lesion  is present on the tooth.  It is one of a kind software that puts dentistry into a new realm of exact diagnosis.  Every dental office should invest in the software, and patients should seek a dentist with the technology.

Scientists from LOGICON  have written algorithms formulated  using CAD, a computer-aided diagnostic tools.  A laboratory database of histologically validated cavities are compared to determine if potential lesions exist on an x-ray image of a tooth.  Healthy tooth structure on an x-ray should have a certain density.   The software examines variations and has the ability to accurately determine if a cavity is present.  Cavities in between teeth can be difficult to detect with the human eye. LOGICON helps the dentist decide if a restoration (filling) is necessary in a very accurate way.  The databank in LOGICON compares and contrasts with out the possibility of human error.

Since the software uses a database that compares abnormalities to a patient's digital x-ray, it scans it and picks abnormal areas that are possible lesions.  It alerts the dentist to take a closer look at a particular tooth and surface of a tooth.  Twenty percent more cavities are found that your dentist may miss, allowing for improved patient care and diagnosis.  A tooth density variation and lesion probability chart is created and displayed for the potential lesion site.  The software decides the depth of the caries  which is the penetration level in to the tooth of the enamel and dentin.  It can keep a log of a patients teeth and track changes displaying the probability of change over time, an important evaluation tool should your dentist decide to watch an area.  Since the program informs the dentist how deep the decay has penetrated the tooth, and can watch for changes from visit to visit, your dentist does not necessarily need to do a filling that may remineralize (repair itself).  The software also gives your dentist the information needed to treat lesions needing repair earlier, that would not have been detected without the software.  It prevents a larger and deeper cavity from developing.   LOGICON helps prevent misdiagnosis of healthy teeth, an invaluable second opinion says Marietta cosmetic dentist.

The software has a feature that helps explain its findings to patients in an easy and straightforward way.  It let's patients know their tooth does or does not need treatment.  Patients want to understand their tooth and its condition and LOGICON is a good tool to do so.

LOGICON was developed by research scientists and has been clinically proven to be accurate in detecting decay.  It is FDA approved and the only software on the market with the capability.   It is a one of a kind new and innovative technology that every dental office should have.  It integrates easily with Kodak's Dental Imaging Software, excellent digital imaging.  Since it is extremely accurate, it is the best diagnostic aid in dental offices period.  If you want to know if you have a cavity, find a dentist with LOGICON, says cosmetic dentist in Marietta, GA.


About Dr. Kirk Kimmerling:  Dr. Kirk Kimmerling is a cosmetic dentist in Marietta, and Kennesaw, GA that is committed to every patient's dental health.  Dr. Kirk Kimmerling won the prestigious Oral and Pathology Award, demonstrating his passion for dental care.  In addition, Dr. Kimmerling is committed to maintaining quality dental care for patients of all ages offering a wide array of dental treatments and procedures such as; implants, teeth whitening, bonding , sealants, veneers and many other services making him the best choice for dental care.

Media Contact:

Dr. Kirk Kimmerling

3698 Largent Way Suite 202

Marietta, GA 30064


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Heart Disease, Diabetes, Respiratory Infection, Low Birth Weight And Your Gums

Preventing gum disease should be on the forefront of every person's mind, just like exercising and eating right, says Marietta Dentist.  Brushing and flossing are one of the most important daily activities a person can do to affect their overall health.  It is well documented that a healthy mouth is linked to a healthy body.  The bacteria in your mouth causes inflammation in the bloodstream. Diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infection, low birth weight can be affected by your gums.  Therefore, prevention of periodontal (gum) disease is important.

As periodontal disease progresses, gums recede and pockets form. Unkept gums become red, swollen and begin to bleed, which is an active infection in the mouth.  The pockets fill with bacteria deep between and around teeth.  Over time, the pockets deepen and the gums separate from the tooth indicating periodontal disease.  The bleeding is an entry point for bacteria to enter the blood stream.

Brushing for two complete minutes a day with a Sonicare tooth-brush and daily flossing help remove plaque that forms on teeth.  With out proper brushing and professional cleanings, a hard substance called calculus forms, trapping bacteria along the gumline  and in between teeth.  A professional cleaning at the dentist is the only way to remove it.  Normal healthy tissue fits tightly around your teeth.  If you have periodontal disease, your gums have progressed to an unhealthy state because of plaque.  The bacteria that lives in the plaque causes the gums to recede and eventually destroys the bone holding the tooth in place.  If the plaque is not cleaned away daily, tissue becomes red, puffy and irritated, eventually forming a pocket where bacteria will thrive.  If not reversed, the loss of teeth will occur.

Gum disease can affect people of all ages.  For the most part, periodontal disease does not have warning signs or cause pain until it is well advanced.  If you have bleeding, receding, swollen or tender gums, teeth are separating or shifting, have bad breath, you may have periodontal disease.

The key is to keep your gums healthy is seeing a dentist regularly, and if you haven't been to the dentist in a while, schedule an appointment says Marietta Dentist.  If he tells you your gums have a periodontal condition, it will not go away on its own.  Your dentist may suggest a procedure called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) where he will numb an area or your mouth, clean the plaque and tartar deep below your gumline down to the bottom of your pockets.   This treatment will usually require several visits if you have full mouth periodontal condition.  After you are cleaned, your gum tissue may reattach to your tooth.  If your periodontal disease is advanced, it is possible you will be referred to a specialist called a periodontist for more extensive treatment.

Much research is currently being done concerning a person's periodontal condition and other disease outside the oral cavity.  Bacteria from an unhealthy mouth can enter the bloodstream and wreak havoc.  The key to good oral health is prevention of a periodontal condition.   Good hygiene practices at home, teeth cleaning visits to the dentist, and a healthy diet help maintain the journey to great oral health.