Tag: Health

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

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By Stacey Long
West Paces Ferry Orthodontics Clinical Manager

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Between the ages of 16 and 23, a young adult’s wisdom teeth begin to erupt behind their back molars. Some people only have one or two wisdom teeth emerge while others have all four wisdom teeth erupt. Wisdom teeth are extracted for a variety of reasons, such as impaction, infection, and overcrowding of teeth. In some cases, they do not need to be extracted but are removed by people who do not want to worry about future problems with their wisdom teeth.

Why Wisdom Teeth Should Be Extracted

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In addition to impaction (a condition in which wisdom teeth cannot erupt because they are lying sideways in the gums), good reasons for having wisdom teeth removed include:

 

  • Damage to other teeth by pushing teeth into other teeth’s roots
  • Painful bite problems due to an uneven bite
  • Development of sinus issues, sinus pressure, and chronic congestion
  • Swelling and inflammation of gum tissue around wisdom teeth (swollen gums encourage cavities by forming pockets around teeth that attract bacteria)

If your wisdom teeth are causing pain or are negatively affecting your oral and general health, you should consider having them extracted.

Not All Wisdom Teeth Need To be Extracted

Why would a large percentage of people decide to have their wisdom teeth extracted? One reason involves the perception that all wisdom teeth need to be extracted eventually anyway. Some dentists encourage extraction of wisdom teeth by telling patients they would not have to deal with possible future problems with their wisdom teeth if they just had them removed.

Extraction of wisdom teeth is not without the risk of complications, however. If you have more than two wisdom teeth extracted, you will most likely be sedated during the procedure. General anesthesia makes some people sick to their stomach when they wake up. Also, you could suffer bleeding issues, post-extraction infections and a painful condition called “dry socket.” This happens when blood clots fail to form correctly in a wisdom tooth’s empty socket.

Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

Man with a toothache. Pain in the human bodyAlthough wisdom teeth are all-too-routinely removed, deciding whether extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary should involve a trip to your dentist for a complete examination of your wisdom teeth and an informed discussion with your dentist. You should also be aware that certain wisdom teeth myths may influence your decision in the wrong way. Some of the myths include:

  • It is easier on you physically if you have wisdom teeth removed as a young adult. Wrong & Right. You can experience the same complications as a teenager or young adult as you could as an older adult.  That said, the bone around wisdom teeth gets denser as we age making the process more uncomfortable as we get older
  • Leaving wisdom teeth in will force your front teeth to shift and become crooked. Wrong. As experts in orthodontics, we know that wisdom teeth do not crowd teeth, and should not affect the position of your other teeth at all.  They can damage other teeth, but only those teeth they are directly in contact with while growing in
  • Wisdom teeth increase the risk of oral disease. Wrong. Just because wisdom teeth are in the back of your mouth does not mean you cannot reach them with your toothbrush. If the wisdom tooth has partially broken through the gums but still remains partially covered this can be a cause for concern.  Making sure you see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning will also reduce your risk of cavities and gingivitis.

Have you had your wisdom teeth extracted? Have you chosen to keep your wisdom teeth? We are interested in hearing your stories about the pros, cons, and in-betweens of wisdom tooth extraction.  Share in the comments!

Tips For Dealing With Atlanta’s Crazy Pollen

Tips For Dealing With Atlanta’s Crazy Pollen

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By Kenny Hackett

pollen_illustrationPollen allergy symptoms emerge when your immune system thinks pollen particulates are harmful invaders, causing the immune system to actually begin attacking your own body. Inhaling irritants such as pollen, dust, mold spores, pet dander and other allergens provokes your immune system to release antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). When your immune system floods your body with IgE antibodies, you start suffering classic symptoms of a pollen allergy–sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and wheezing.

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To confirm a pollen allergy, your doctor may order blood tests that measure IgE levels or a complete blood count test that determines whether elevated levels of white blood cells exist. Doctors also dissolve and drop tiny amounts of a suspected allergen into your lower eyelid to see how your immune system reacts. Dealing with high pollen counts in Atlanta to help reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms is time-consuming but doable. Of course, the fastest way to achieve temporary relief is to take over-the-counter allergy medicines called antihistamines to eliminate histamine (the chemical causing your runny nose and itchy eyes) from your bloodstream.

These tips for decreasing pollen counts in your home can provide long-term relief to make living in Atlanta during spring and summer much more comfortable for pollen allergy sufferers.

Take Control of Your Pollen Allergy in Atlanta

  1. Cover pillows, box springs, and mattresses with pollen-proof fabric covers that have a mean pore size of fewer than 10 microns. Plastic sheets also work well but many people find them uncomfortable and hot. However, they clean easily and can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms.
  1. Clean household surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. It is natural and won’t induce allergy symptoms. If you do not like the smell of vinegar, a few drops of lemon juice will eliminate the vinegar smell.
  1. Place an air filter and dehumidifier in your bedroom after cleaning. Pollen and mold spores thrive in humidity.
  1. If you have blinds in your home, replace them with washable curtains or washable, moisture-resistant roller blinds.
  1. Wallpaper is notorious for attracting and harboring allergens. Consider removing wallpaper and replacing it with tile or a professional paint job.
  1. Vacuum fabric upholstery once a week using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
  1. Wear a paper mask when going outdoors, especially on windy days and during times of high pollen counts. You can get cheap “painter’s masks” at your local hardware store.
  1. Vacuum and shampoo living room carpets more frequently than you shampoo bedroom carpets since the living room is often the recipient of air rushing in through an open door.
  1. Use a Swiffer mop to wipe down kitchen walls and ceilings once a week. Additionally, change the cloth twice while cleaning walls and ceilings. Kitchen humidity attracts allergens that cling to walls and ceilings more readily than any other room except the bathroom.
  1. Invest in air purifiers, whole house filters, ionizers and dehumidifiers to reduce allergen content in your home. Ionizers work to inhibit the movement of allergens by altering the air’s electrical charge.

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Finally, if your home is surrounded by trees, bushes and wildflowers, consider hiring a lawn maintenance company to remove wood-bearing plants or problematic land areas and replace them with decorative stones or AstroTurf to help relieve pollen allergy symptoms.

Balloon Sinuplasty for Atlanta’s Pollen Allergy Sufferers?

Insertion of a balloon sinuplasty device is a simple procedure involving the introduction of a tiny balloon catheter into sinus passageways. Inflation of this balloon opens your swelled passageways painlessly while a gradual restructuring of the sinus area takes place. Restoration of normal sinus functioning begins almost immediately, without harming the anatomical integrity of nasal passages.

Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive, eases the uncomfortable swelling, itching, and burning of sinus passages so that you can breathe freely again and may reduce or eliminate your need to use nasal sprays or allergy medications that cause drowsiness.

Allergies & Orthodontics

Allergies can cause long-term skeletal issues for children that continue into adulthood without orthodontic intervention.  Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose at night can cause the upper jaw to form abnormally.  This can cause your child to have crossbites or even worse an overbite.  If caught at an early age, around 7 years old, an orthodontist can gently guide the upper jaw to grow into the correct position.  Without orthodontic intervention, many of these patients would require major jaw surgery to correct these issues.

For more health-related tips, please visit our website’s blog section today.

Back To School Tips For Orthodontic Patients

Back To School Tips For Orthodontic Patients

School has returned! Summer is coming to an end, fall sports are gearing up, and all the children are headed back to school. At West Paces Ferry Orthodontics, Atlanta’s top provider of Invisalign, our Orthodontists, Dr. Paul Yurfest & Dr. Kristin Huber, want to offer a few helpful tips for going back to school with braces or Invisalign® aligners!

Beautiful Teenage Woman Brushing TeethMake sure to follow the 2×2 brushing rule: brush your teeth for TWO minutes, TWO times each day! Proper brushing will help keep your teeth and braces clean, which leads to quicker appointments and healthier teeth. If you want to brush after lunch, keep the travel toothbrush we gave you in your backpack. Brush your braces!

Bring a water bottle to school. Drinking water throughout the day helps to keep your mouth clean, fight cavities and tooth decay. Sugary drinks increase your chance for cavities, so stick with water, and you cannot go wrong!

Keep an extra pack of elastics in your backpack. If you have a locker, it is wise to store some extra rubber bands in there too. Remember that those elastics help move teeth, so not wearing them consistently will result in longer treatment times!

We know you have to eat well to perform well in the classroom. Always eat smart at every meal! Avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, or chewy to prevent bending wires or knocking off brackets. Damage to your braces can cause discomfort and lengthen your treatment time. Good breakfast foods for children with braces include yogurt, fruit smoothies, and eggs.

Check out your lunch menu every week to make sure something is offered each day that you like and can eat with braces. We recommend cooked vegetables, softer foods like spaghetti,AdobeStock_132329952.jpeg macaroni and cheese, and lean cuts of meat. Avoid chips, soft drinks, and sports drinks. Pack your lunch and take it with you if the choices are not right for you.

Bananas make a great snack. They are high in potassium and fiber which promotes heart and bone health. If you like hard fruits such as apples or pears, you must cut them into pieces before you leave for school and chew them with your back teeth. Biting into hard fruits can damage your braces.

If you are wearing Invisalign aligners, it is critical to have them on for at least 22 hours a day.  The good news is you can do almost all of your normal activities while wearing your trays!  Drinking sugar-free beverages and eating light snacks does not require you to remove your aligners!  Whenever you brush your teeth, you should also clean your aligners.

Good luck in the upcoming school year and remember to care for your teeth and braces every day properly! Contact West Paces Ferry Orthodontics in Atlanta, Georgia with any questions or to schedule an initial complimentary consultation!PY_Huber.png

 

 

 

Orthodontic Treatments For Sleep Apnea

Orthodontic Treatments For Sleep Apnea

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By: Kenny Hackett

When breathing is periodically blocked during sleep you may be suffering from a common condition called obstructive sleep apnea; several conditions may be causing the airway to narrow enough to restrict airflow during sleep. West Paces Ferry Orthodontics specializes in sleep apnea orthodontics, a unique field of dentistry that treats sleep apnea. With custom-fitted dental appliances, your Atlanta orthodontists Dr. Kristin Huber & Dr. Paul Yurfest, prevent soft throat tissues from falling back into your throat and interrupting breathing during sleep.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) interrupts normal breathing patterns when airways obstruct airflow during sleep. OSA occurs when your anterior throat tissues relax so much they collapse into the airway soon after you fall asleep. Other possible causes of sleep apnea include having larger than normal tonsils, a large tongue, abnormally narrow airways or being overweight.

Man suffering from sleep apnea
Man sleeping with CPAC mask

When you are overweight, excess tissues may thicken your windpipe wall and restrict breathing. Cognitive issues associated with aging may also contribute
to the development of obstructive sleep apnea when your brain’s ability to process sleep signals decreases and your throat muscles do not remain stiff enough during sleep.

Finally, obstructive sleep apnea is often caused by your lower jaw being shorter than your upper jaw (retrognathia). Orthodontists will also measure tonsil and adenoid size to determine whether they may be contributing to airway blockage.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

In addition to experiencing unusual daytime fatigue, signs of possible sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring loudly enough that you abruptly awaken yourself throughout the night
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day
  • Feeling depressed and irritable for no reason
  • Having a parched mouth in the morning
  • Gaining weight even though your level of physical activity hasn’t changed (daytime tiredness leads to increased appetite)
  • Having elevated blood pressure when you do not have a previous history of hypertension

How Orthodontists Treat Sleep Apnea

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An Orthodontic Sleep Apnea Appliance.

Your Atlanta orthodontist, Dr. Yurfest & Huber specialize in treating sleep apnea using customized dental appliances that prevent the tongue and/or throat tissues from falling back into the airway and interrupting breathing.

Acrylic dental devices designed by your Atlanta orthodontists can help restore normal positioning of your lower jaw or work as a tongue retention appliance to prevent the tongue from falling over the airway during sleep. By holding your lower jaw in a more forward position, a dental sleep apnea appliance prevents tissue collapse, significantly reduces snoring and improves the flow of air through your airway during sleep.

Health Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea

Since sleep apnea causes extremely loud snoring, inhibits breathing and forces you to gasp for air during sleep, untreated sleep apnea will significantly reduce the amount of sleep you get. When you don’t get good enough, sound sleep night after night, severe health problems often develop, such as

Diabetes–daytime fatigue leads to cravings for high sugar, high carb foods that may induce insulin resistance, weight gain, and development of diabetes

Hypertension/Heart problems–sudden decreases in blood oxygen levels due to obstructed airways strain your cardiovascular system, elevate blood pressure and raise the risk of atrial fibrillation or abnormal heart rhythms.

Metabolic syndrome–a constellation of risk factors associated with heart disease, metabolic syndrome includes high cholesterol, high blood glucose levels, high cholesterol and expanding waist circumference.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease–Research shows that people w
ith untreated sleep apnea could present abnormal liver function test results indicating scarring and defective liver cell activity.

If you think you have sleep apnea or wish to get rid of your CPAP mask, call your Atlanta
orthodontists, West Paces Ferry Orthodontics,  today to learn more about the benefits of sleep apnea orthodontics.

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Dr. Kristin L Huber & Dr. Paul Yurfest of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.
The Legacy of Dr. Marvin Goldstein, of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

The Legacy of Dr. Marvin Goldstein, of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

The Godfather of Adult Orthodontics

Part 1 Of A 3 Part Series

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By:  Kenny Hackett

Goldstein Marvin OHC
Dr. Marvin Goldstein

Dr. Marvin Goldstein started his Orthodontic practice in 1941.  This practice would eventually become known as  West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.  Along the way, Dr. Goldstein had some impressive achievements.  In this three-part series, we will explore some of these achievements in more detail.

In 1947 in a paper entitled “Adult Orthodontics” Dr. Goldstein made an extensive study of the available literature on orthodontic treatments of the time and found little mention of adult orthodontics.  He concluded that orthodontic treatment was not attempted if the patient was over 20 years old.  Dr. Goldstein quickly realized there was no legitimate rationale as to why adults couldn’t be treated successfully with orthodontic therapy.  He also realized that adults needed to be treated differently than children.   Dr. Goldstein told the Orlando Sun Sentinel ” Many adults who have orthodontic work, even if the treatment is begun in middle age or later, may be able to keep their remaining teeth all their lives.”   This was radical thinking at the time.  Many orthodontists not willing to accept the changes Dr. Goldstein was pioneering went as far as sending him hate mail.

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An adult with braces.  picture courtesy of Usnews.com

 

Dr. Goldstein found that adults could be treated, but the treatment was not achieved the same way.  Since there is not a clinically significant amount of growth in the adult, one must consider how best to accomplish tooth movement.  For instance,  before tooth movement space may need to be secured within which to move the teeth.  This space can be achieved by extracting a tooth or several, or by interproximal reduction.

 

Another trend Dr. Goldstein changed was when a patient sees the orthodontist.  A generation ago it was all too common for the adult seeking orthodontic treatment to see the orthodontist only after having extensive periodontal or aesthetic dental work completed.  Now it is advisable for only the worst periodontal problems to be treated before seeing the orthodontist.  Also, cavities should be filled but crowns, implants, and extensive restorations should be done after orthodontic treatment is completed.  This allows for all needs to be addressed to take advantage of creating space while preserving the teeth with the greatest potential to remain healthy.

History has proven Dr. Goldstein correct, as now almost all orthodontist treat adults as well as children.  Dr. Kristin Huber and Dr. Paul Yurfest continue to innovate orthodontic therapies that make new treatments ever more efficient and effective here at West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.

Are there dental concerns you thought could not be treated?

The 411 on the 911 (of teeth)!  What to do if you have a tooth emergency?

The 411 on the 911 (of teeth)! What to do if you have a tooth emergency?

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By: Kristin Huber DMD

If a tooth is knocked out or avulsed, you should attempt to put the tooth back in the socket and soon as possible. Every minute counts. A tooth that is replaced within the first 30 minutes has a good prognosis for long-term survival. If the tooth is out of the mouth for over two hours, the chances of keeping that tooth long term is minimal. If the tooth cannot be replaced immediately, it should be placed in a solution of either milk or a balance salt solution that can be purchased from the drugstore. If neither of these solutions is available, the best thing to do is place it in saliva (it can be held in the cheek) until it can be replaced.

 

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Picture courtesy of Todaysdentist.org

If the tooth simply gets knocked out of position, see an orthodontist immediately. The sooner that it can be moved back in position, the better long-term prognosis it will have.   When trauma occurs to the tooth, the nerve/vascular bundle is disturbed. It is also not uncommon for fractures of the surrounding alveolar bone to occur.  As these areas heal, the cells of the tooth and bone can become confused, and ankylosis of the tooth can occur. This makes orthodontic correction impossible.  If orthodontics is immediately initiated, the proper signals are sent to the brain that helps differentiates bone from the tooth, and ankylosis is not as likely to occur.

 

These valuable tips are not widely known, so spread the word and knowing the 411 may help you or a friend save a tooth!

Can Straightening Your Teeth Improve Your Posture?

Can Straightening Your Teeth Improve Your Posture?

 

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Kenny Hackett, Communications Director – West Paces Ferry Orthodontics

By: Kenny Hackett, Communications Director

 

There are many obvious benefits of straight teeth.  Better chewing, a more esthetic smile, and better oral hygiene are well-known benefits of properly aligned teeth.   A new study from both the University Barcelona in Spain and the University of Innsbruck in Austria show that our posture and balance are also affected by the relationship of our upper and lower jaws while biting.  The alignment of our jaws when we bite is called our occlusion.  When there is a misalignment of the occlusion, it is known as a malocclusion.

Sonia Julia, a researcher from the University of Barcelona, states ” Postural control is the result of a complex system that includes different sensory and motor elements arising from visual, somatosensory — denoting a sensation such as pressure, pain, or warmth — and vestibular information — regarding motion, equilibrium, and spatial orientation.  Malocclusion has also been associated with different motor and physiological alterations, especially when people were fatigued.  But postural control was shown to improve — both in static and dynamic equilibrium — when different malocclusions are corrected by positioning the jaw in a neutral position.”

She continued “This relationship can play a crucial role in athletes in how well they ultimately perform as well as in the prevention of injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures caused by unexpected instability as fatigue increases and motor control capacity decreases.”

Picture courtesy of CBC News.
Picture courtesy of CBC News.

“Therefore, it would be helpful for both the general population and athletes to consider correcting dental occlusions to improve postural control and thus prevent possible falls and instability due to a lack of motor system response,” she concluded.

Orthodontists specialize in the occlusion and correcting malocclusions.  If you feel like your bite may be misaligned you should schedule a complimentary consultation with experts such as Dr. Paul Yurfest and Dr. Kristin Huber of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics.

Why I love to volunteer

Why I love to volunteer

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By: Paul Yurfest, DDS
I have been in Orthodontic practice over the last 41 years and have had a lot of time to help people while doing what I like to do.

I provide free orthodontics to families who have no means to pay for the service. It’s a lot of fun! I have been doing
ing that since 1975 at the Ben Massell Free Dental Clinic in downtown Atlanta. As part of the JFC&S and United Way organizations, the clinic helps many varied members of the Atlanta community. Helping people is rewarding!

Photo Courtesy of The Ben Masell Dental Clinic.
Photo Courtesy of The Ben Masell Dental Clinic.

Getting into an activity other than Orthodontics has great appeal to me as well. I love gardening, and I love helping people! When I decided to become a Georgia Master Gardener, I did not know I would be combining both gardening and volunteering together!

The Georgia Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Georgia has an office in many of Georgia’s counties. This office is where homeowners or businesses can contact an agent to have questions related to gardening answered.

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Photo courtesy of The Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program.

As a Master Gardener, I volunteer there to answer the questions of many homeowners related to their lawns and gardens. Also, I help teach gardening at Farm Chastain, a small farm in the center of the North Fulton Course at Chastain Park!

The doctors and staff of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics are involved in many types of volunteer activities-  all to help make Atlanta a better place!

If you are thinking of volunteering or are currently volunteering,  share your thoughts in the comments!

Make Your Teeth Whitening Gel Work Better!

Make Your Teeth Whitening Gel Work Better!

Make any brand of whitening gel work better with this easy method

kennyblogprofileBy:  Kenny Hackett

Whitening our teeth has become the norm in America.   According to NBC News, “Teeth whitening is the No. 1 requested cosmetic service today and its popularity continues to soar“.  The popularity of this service has lead to the dental product industry developing stronger and safer gels over time.   Even though these materials are improving, there is still a simple trick you can use to make any bleach more effective.

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Picture courtesy of Beyonddiseas.com

For this easy to do trick, you need baking soda, a q-tip, and just a little bit of effort.  Take the baking soda and add just enough water to create a paste.  Then use your q-tip to buff the front of your teeth.  You have to use a q-tip because a brush’s bristles are too flexible.  What you have done is buffed off the bio-film that lives on the surface of your teeth.  This film comes back in approximately 30 minutes, so it is very important to place your tray with the gel on immediately.

 

Have you been given any helpful tips by the staff of West Paces Ferry Orthodontics? If so, share them in the comments below.

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Don’t Believe Everything You Read

Flossing Is Important!

 

By: Kristin Huber DMDhubertitle

If the media reported there is no proof you needed to wash your hands would you believe it?  Would you never pick up a bar of soap again?  Of course not!  Recently an article was published that flossing doesn’t have any benefit. As a dental professional, this is mind-blowing. There is no doubt that the mechanical removal of plaque is essential to healthy gums. Plaque is bacteria that builds up on the teeth daily. If not removed, it will cause inflammation and infection of the surrounding tissues. Brushing alone cannot remove all the plaque. Plaque builds up in between the teeth as well, and only dental floss can remove it.

If you have any doubt of the effectiveness of flossing, take a day or two off.  When you floss again,  inspect some bacteria that has built up that you can remove with floss. Better yet, smell it!  Do you want to leave all that bacteria behind in your mouth?