Lafayette Dentist’s Straight Facts About Crooked Teeth

pretty woman straight smileAlthough malocclusion, or the issue of crooked teeth, can have a significant impact on your smile’s aesthetic value (not to mention your confidence), many patients opt to keep their teeth crooked rather than straighten them. This may be largely due to apprehension about traditional orthodontic treatment, which requires the use of metal brackets and wires for up to two years or more. However, as a dedicated Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young warns that crooked teeth can prove hazardous to your oral health as a whole. Today, we explore some of the facts you may not know about malocclusion, including the role that your teeth’s positions play in your mouth’s good health and proper function.

Exploring Malocclusion

  • Aside from making your smile more appealing, straight teeth serve a vital function—displacing the pressure of your bite. When your teeth are perfectly aligned, the impact from biting and chewing is evenly distributed among your teeth, minimizing the pressure absorbed by each of your teeth. When this balance is disrupted, some teeth can be forced to withstand more pressure than they were meant for, and may sustain structural damage (i.e., cracks, fractures, and breakage) for their efforts. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist Explains the Truth About Root Canal Treatment

pretty thinkingHave you ever had a root canal treatment? Have you ever been told you that you needed one, but postponed or neglected it out of apprehension for the procedure? Although root canal treatments are designed to save your tooth from decay and stop its discomfort, the procedure has gained a notorious reputation, which causes many to place their oral health at further risk by prolonging the necessary treatment. Your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young, explains how serious tooth decay can become, and why root canal treatment shouldn’t be neglected if it becomes necessary.

Understanding Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a progressive disease, and as such, the proper treatment depends on how severe it is once detected. Root canal treatment is typically reserved for severe tooth decay that threatens your tooth’s existence, and is usually the last resort before extraction becomes necessary. When it’s less severe, tooth decay is often treated by removing the infected tooth structure and replacing it with a dental filling, which seals your tooth from further infection and reinforces it against further damage. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist Explains Dental Implants’ Effect on Tooth Loss

pretty lady smiling holding an appleReplacing lost teeth is about restoring your quality of life and confidence. The ability to bite, chew, and speak properly is largely dependent on a full set of healthy teeth, or adequate replacements for those that are missing. Since your teeth are meant to withstand the everyday pressures of biting and chewing, their replacements require a strong foundation to support the same pressures. As your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young, explains, dental implants are the only option that can provide your replacement teeth with a supportive foundation that mimics your natural teeth’s root-and-crown structure.

Steadying Your Replacement Teeth

Conventional replacement teeth, like dental bridges and dentures, involve discrete clasps, special adhesives, and the support of existing teeth to hold them in place. By contrast, dental implants are surgically inserted into your jawbone, which fuses to the implants’ titanium surfaces through a process called osseointegration. Once healed, your new prosthetic tooth roots can serve as anchors for your replacement teeth to keep them steady and secure while you eat, speak, and smile. (more…)

The Evolution of Dentures, with Your Lafayette Dentist

all white teethThe need to replace lost teeth has been present throughout human history, and like most necessities, solutions to tooth loss have evolved significantly over the ages. Perhaps one of the most well-known dental replacement devices is dentures, which have long helped patients regain their smiles and quality of life after suffering total tooth loss on one or both dental ridges. Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young, explores the road that led to today’s modern, dental implant-supported dentures by examining three defining milestones in the history of teeth replacement.

The Need to Replace Teeth

Some of the earliest examples of tooth replacement come from the Etruscans who populated the hills of ancient Rome. Efforts to restore lost teeth consisted of crude dentures made from animal and other human teeth. These dentures didn’t have a very long shelf life and deteriorated quickly, but in some cases, the practice lasted well into the 19th century, even in the midst of significant dental advancements. During the 16th century, the first functional denture appeared in Japan. Carved from wood, they resembled today’s upper dentures, which utilize the suction created by the concave shape of your mouth’s roof to stay in place. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist: Is the Oral-Systemic Connection Relevant to You?

many people thinkingFresh breath and a clean, bright smile are the obvious benefits of good dental hygiene, but the consequences of your oral health extend beyond an appealing smile. According to numerous studies by researchers around the world, the mechanisms behind destructive oral health issues, like gum disease, can be significant risk factors in certain serious systemic illnesses. Today, your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael J. Young, explores some of the research that suggests how your oral health can influence your physical health; a relationship known as the oral-systemic connection.

Oral Health and…

Respiratory Illness

A study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that patients with preexisting gum disease were at a significantly higher risk for respiratory infections such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). As a progressive disease, gum disease begins with a bacterial infection among your soft gum tissue, while respiratory infections typically develop after inhaling bacteria from the upper throat into the lower respiratory tract. The study included 200 participants, half of which were hospitalized with respiratory disease. After extensive oral examinations, researchers found that the hospitalized patients had significantly worse periodontal health than their control counterparts. (more…)

Three Surprising Dental Implant Facts with Your Lafayette LA Dentist

Dental Implant SurprisesUnless you live on the dental care equivalent of the moon, you’ve probably heard of dental implants. Dental implants are famous for lasting longer and providing a higher level of restored chewing ability than any other dental prosthetic. It seems as though this cutting-edge tooth replacement procedure is everywhere and information about the procedure isn’t terribly difficult to find. However, for all you thought you knew about dental implants, Dr. Michael J. Young, your Lafayette LA dental implant dentist, has a few surprising facts you may not have heard. (more…)

Simple Fixes for a Stunning Smile with Your Lafayette LA Cosmetic Dentist

smile makeoverThanks to the popularity of reality makeover shows where contestants completely overhaul their bodies, their cars, or their homes, we tend to think makeovers have to be big and dramatic. This “bigger is better” attitude even intrudes into the world of cosmetic dentistry, where many patients believe that a smile makeover has to involve complex, multi-part procedures that utterly and completely changes the look of their smile. In reality, very few patients require such drastic treatment plans. Dr. Michael J. Young, your Lafayette LA cosmetic dentist, describes just a few of the simple procedures that can noticeably improve the look of your smile.

Teeth Whitening: America’s Most Popular Smile Fix

According to an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry survey, the one aspect most respondents would want to change about their smile is the overall whiteness and brightness of their teeth. Luckily, your dentist can provide you with several teeth whitening options depending on your unique needs. (more…)

Top 3 Surprising Facts about Dental Cleanings with Your Lafayette, LA Dentist

dental cleanings lafayetteEnjoying vibrant health is all about balance. When it comes to keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you have to strike just the right balance between regular at-home dental care and professional maintenance. While it’s no surprise that regular dental cleanings and checkups are a vital part of keeping your smile bright and healthy, you may be surprised to learn that many of the things you assumed about preventive dental care aren’t true. Today, Dr. Michael J. Young, your Lafayette, LA dentist, reveals the truth behind dental cleanings.

A Dental Cleaning is Different from a Dental Checkup

While these two procedures are generally performed at the same preventive care visit, a dental checkup and a dental cleaning have different purposes. (more…)

Exploring TMJ Disorder & Chronic Migraines, with Your Lafayette Dentist

old man with jaw painChronic aches and pains can have a significant impact on the quality of your daily life, especially if you don’t know why they occur. Many people have fruitlessly sought diagnosis and treatment for their chronic discomfort, failing to realize that their frequent earaches, migraines, and other craniofacial troubles may result from a functional issue with their jaws. Today, your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Young, explains the trouble of TMJ disorder, and why the jaw dysfunction can have a wide variety of symptoms.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder affects the joints that allow your jaw to move, called the temporomandibular joints (or TMJs, for short). When healthy and perfectly aligned, these gliding joints allow the pressure of your bite to distribute evenly, creating a smooth and uninhibited flow of movement. Unfortunately, many factors can cause these joints to fall out of alignment or become damaged, forcing your jaw to work over time. Crooked teeth (malocclusion), a jawbone deformity, or an unconscious habit can throw your bite off balance and possibly lead to TMJ disorder. (more…)

What You Should Know About Summer’s Most Beloved Cold Drinks

summer drinksAs the months become warmer, thirst becomes greater, and little says summer like an ice-cold glass of tea, lemonade, or even a fruit smoothie. In fact, for many people, summertime refreshments are among the greatest things about summer. Nevertheless, just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’re necessarily good for you or your oral health, and over-indulging without proper dental care can spell a disastrous summer break for your smile. Your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young, explores summers famous pastime beverages, and the dangers that they can pose to your oral health if you’re not careful.

Lemonade, Iced Tea, and Smoothies—Oh My!

Tall glasses of ice-cold beverages are as much a symbol of summer as swimming pools and school vacations. Lemonade, iced tea, and fruit smoothies are common favorites for their sweet flavors, and as healthier alternatives to soda. As far as your teeth are concerned, however, these drinks are hardly any safer than their infamous carbonated counterparts. (more…)