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…)

Improve Your Oral Hygiene Routine with Lafayette Dentist’s Advice

brushing teeth togetherNot every habit is a bad one. Brushing and flossing your teeth, for instance, is a habit that most people have engaged in every day for most of their lives, and is an essential one for the good of your oral health. After a lifetime of repetition, however, brushing and flossing your teeth can sometimes seem more like just a habit and less like a necessary procedure. Unfortunately, the monotony can often cause you to pay a little less attention than you should, and inadequate oral hygiene is almost as dangerous as absolute neglect. Help ensure that your hygiene routine remains effective by following this advice from your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Michael Young.

Brushing & Flossing for Your Smile’s Sake

There are many mistakes that people commonly make while mindlessly rubbing their teeth with a brush. A good routine involves thoroughly, but softly, brushing every surface of every tooth, especially along the gum line, to remove bacterial plaque and food debris. If you don’t pay proper attention, you can wind up missing a spot or two. Unlike sweeping your floor or wiping your counter, you can’t just come back later and pick up what you missed. After about 48 hours, dental plaque calcifies into tartar—a hardened, more stubborn form of plaque that’s impervious to your toothbrush and floss. Also, be sure to brush gently. Scrubbing too hard can cause you to strip the enamel from your teeth, leaving them vulnerable to damage and tooth decay. (more…)

How Serious are Bleeding Gums? Very, Says Your Lafayette Dentist

woman holding toothbrush skepticallyDid you know that your mouth can warn you of dental trouble long before a toothache or other discomfort becomes an issue? Detecting such signs is one of the main objectives of your six-month dental checkup and cleaning, but some warnings are obvious even to the untrained eye. Unfortunately, since many early warning signs do not generate physical distress, many people ignore them or mistakenly believe that their normal, allowing issues like gum disease to develop and cause discomfort. Today, we discuss bleeding gums as one of these warning signs, and why your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Young, advises you to visit our office as soon as possible if your gums bleed.

You Know, Bleeding isn’t Normal

If you noticed that your nose or ears bleed when you clean them, then you might assume that something is probably wrong. Yet, for some reason, when many people notice red in their saliva while brushing their teeth, even if their toothpaste originally had no trace of red in it, it’s often written off as normal. The truth, though, is that your teeth and gums shouldn’t bleed at any time, and if they do, a serious infection is likely developing, or has already irreparably damaged your smile. (more…)

Lafayette Dentist’s Tips for Stronger Teeth

strong toothDid you know that your teeth are the strongest part of your body?  In fact, the enamel that surrounds and protects them is stronger than any substance on earth, except diamonds. With such an impressive composition, you may wonder how tooth decay could manage to affect the permanent teeth of over 90% of adults in America. The truth is that, strong though your teeth may be, their strength lies in the level of care you afford your dental health, and without proper care and maintenance, your teeth’s ultra-resilient enamel will grow too weak to protect your teeth from even the smallest invaders. To help you preserve the strength and health of your teeth, your Lafayette dentist, Dr. Young, offers these tips for to make your teeth stronger.

The Weakening of Tooth Enamel

The secret to maintaining your tooth enamel is minerals. Enamel is comprised almost entirely of mineral crystals (mainly calcium and phosphate), and while enamel cannot repair itself when damaged, it can regain strength by absorbing more minerals when it’s weakened. The biggest threat to your enamel comes in the form of acid produced by oral bacteria after consuming sugars and carbs. This acid depletes your teeth of essential minerals, weakening your enamel in the process. Over time, enamel can grow too weak to repel the bacteria that infect your tooth and lead to tooth decay. (more…)