Porcelain Fillings: Could the Pirates Be Wrong? | Indianapolis Dentist

periodontal diseaseIf there’s anything that we do know, it’s that pirates love their gold. They search the high seas looking for the stuff and buried boxes of it everywhere they went so as not to robbed by other water-bound marauders. And when they lost a tooth what was its replacement? Gold. Next to Donald Trump and ancient Egypt, pirates hold high rank in the gold loving department. But were they correct in preferring to use gold in their mouths?

Let’s take a look at the pros. Gold is exceptionally durable. Your fillings will generally last over a decade but could last a lifetime if taken care of and corrosion is impossible, so this is a great way to go. If aesthetics is more important to you than durability, gold will always win out over silver. Point to the pirates. However, with every pro comes a con. Gold costs a lot more than silver and takes longer to set the filling. Like, two entire dentist visits to set the filling. But if you can handle the extra cost and time required, grab yourself a bottle of rum. You are team pirate.

But what if you aren’t in the market to look like a pirate? Well then, porcelain fillings are where you should be heading. This tooth-colored filling is not only tough like the precious metal, but it is more versatile when it comes to where you can use it in your mouth as it isn’t as obvious as a gold one. The price point is somewhat similar as well. Something that does not compare is the fact that porcelain does not adjust to hot and cold and won’t wear down as quickly as their metal counterparts. Even the installation is kept to a minimum. In fact, the American Dental Association believes that porcelain fillings are the most wear-resistant fillings on the market. Looks like porcelain has a bit more of an edge over the golden version.

There are a few factors that will lead to your final decision. Making sure you have all your options is the most important and your dentist will have those options for you after a quick checkup. Regardless of the choice you make, if you need a filling done, see your dental professional as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage you can do to your teeth. Whatever you decide to use to fill your tooth, with proper oral care, your fillings will not only be taken care of for years to come, but your teeth will be so healthy you won’t need any more fillings. Two birds!

If you need to have porcelain fillings done, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation to help treat the underlying cause, or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for information about Dr. George Kirtley and his practice.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynnedale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

How Do Dental Sealants Work?

89683018Sealants, also known as dental sealants, are made out of a plastic material that’s placed on the molars and premolars for added protection against tooth decay.

The main reason why sealants are primarily placed on the permanent back teeth, or the molars and premolars, is that these teeth have fissures or grooves. These deep fissures or “pockets” can trap bacteria and food particles, as well as are difficult to clean. This combination makes the permanent back teeth vulnerable to tooth decay. Although using fluoride toothpaste and getting fluoride treatment at the dental office does help provide protection to all the surfaces of your teeth, your permanent back teeth need extra protection and that’s where dental sealants come in.

Dental sealants help make sure that the grooves and fissures are not at more of a risk for plaque buildup and tooth decay as your other teeth are.

Are dental sealants applicable only to the permanent back teeth?

Although dental sealants are usually placed on the premolar or molars, dental sealants can also be used on other permanent teeth, so long as they have grooves or pits.

In some children, for example, their baby teeth may also have grooves that could benefit from having dental sealants placed on them.

Are dental sealants exclusive to children?

No. While children are the ones who usually get dental sealants on their molars and premolars, adults too can sometimes have dental sealants placed on their back teeth. That is, if their teeth with grooves and fissures do not have fillings or dental sealants yet.

How are dental sealants placed?

The dentist first cleans the tooth surface thoroughly using a paste and rotating brush. Then, the dentist washes the tooth and lets it dry for a few seconds or minutes. The dentist then appliances an acidic solution on the grooves of the tooth’s chewing surface. The solution is left there for a few seconds before the dentist rinses it off. The use of the solution helps create small microscopic areas in the grooves and fissures, as well as fine rough surfaces. The rough surface and microscopic areas help the dentist attach the dental sealant to the tooth.

Once the tooth has completely dried up, the dentist places the dental sealant on the tooth. The sealant is then hardened using a light. Although some dentists may choose to use a two-component dental sealant that sets and hardens on its own.

Once done, your dentist will send you on your way and you can chew on your tooth again as you did before.

Dental sealants have been used to great effect since the 1970s. There are enough studies to show how dental sealants can help tremendously in lowering one’s risk for tooth decay, essentially preventing it on the chewing surfaces it’s applied to. Dental sealants have also been known to last for years, if not decades. Although if you want and if deemed necessary, the dentist can place a new dental sealant on your permanent back teeth.

While dental sealants and fluoride treatments tremendously help lower your risk for tooth decay and other dental problems, it’s still important to take proper care of your teeth at home and to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleaning.

 

The Different Types of Gum Disease

gum diseaseGum disease is an inflammation of the gums and is caused primarily by the bacteria found in plaque. If you didn’t already know, plaque is a colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. The more often you brush your teeth, the less time that plaque has to build-up on your teeth and the lower your risk is for gum disease. If, however, you let plaque buildup by not brushing and flossing every day, the bacteria can end up infecting your gums, teeth and eventually, the tissue and bone that support your teeth. The result? A severely infected tooth that has to be removed by a dentist, or in worse cases of infection, the tooth may fall off on its own.

There are three stages of gum disease and these are:

  • Gingivitis. This is the earliest stage of gum disease and is also when the inflammation of the gums are evident, mainly due to plaque buildup at the gumline. The resulting infection also causes the gums to bleed as well, which you may notice when you’re flossing or brushing your teeth. It is important to note that gingivitis is still reversible, but only through proper dental care and by observing proper oral hygiene at home.

 

  • Periodontitis. At this stage, the damage is usually already irreversible. There may also form pockets below your gum line, which can trap food and plaque and make your condition much worse. Frequent visits to the dentist and improved oral care at home is important to help prevent further damage to the teeth and gums.

 

  • Advanced Periodontitis. This is the final stage of gum disease and is where the infection has not only affected, but has already destroyed the fibers and bone supporting your teeth. This can result into your teeth shifting or being loose, which can severely affect your bite and eventually cause tooth loss. At this stage, aggressive and constant periodontal treatment is the only way to save the infected teeth and gums. Although treatment is not always enough and the infected teeth may already be beyond saving.

How Do You Treat Gum Disease?

Gingivitis, as mentioned earlier, can still be reversed via proper brushing and flossing. Rinsing with mouthwash isn’t necessary, but will still help. If you take proper care of your teeth and gums, you’ll prevent plaque from building up in your mouth and prevent, or even reverse, gum disease.

If, however, you have failed to take proper care of your teeth and let plaque buildup and let it harden to become tartar, your only option is to go to a dentist for a professional cleaning. The only way to remove tartar that’s found above and below your gum line is to scale your teeth. If scaling isn’t enough, a root planing procedure may be necessary. This is a procedure that will help smooth out any irregularities on the roots of your teeth to help prevent plaque buildup in the future.

As early as today, make the necessary changes to your oral hygiene and take better care of your teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once and rinse with mouthwash, preferably one that’s prescribed to you by your dentist. If you do all these, and visit your dentist regularly, you significantly lower your risk for gum disease. Also, in the off chance that you do have gum disease, you increase the chances your dentist catching and treating the infection before it spreads and causes serious damage to your teeth and gums.

Four Useful Tips For A Whiter and Brighter Smile

Chewing GumGetting teeth whitened in the dentist’s office is one way to improve your confidence and make you want to smile a lot more. However, getting treatment is just a start. It’s still important that you continue to look for ways to maintain your smile, or if possible, make it whiter and brighter.

Listed below are four very useful tips for those who want to have a brighter and whiter smile.

  1. Use whitening toothpaste. Visits to the dentist are important not just to get treatment to have your teeth whitened, but also to remove the bacteria and plaque that have built up over time. Also, during dental visits, you may want to ask your dentist to recommend you a specific type of whitening toothpaste to use at home, as well as further instructions on how to use such whitening products.

 

  1. Chew gum and crunchy produce. Saliva is your mouth’s naturally means of cleaning bacteria and plaque. The more saliva you have, the cleaner your mouth will be and chewing gum has been known to increase saliva production. Although make sure that you chew gum that’s sugar-free and with Xylitol so you do not end up damaging your teeth by consuming too much sugar.

 

Speaking of consumption, munching on crunchy produce such as apples, carrots and celery can also help you keep your teeth bright and clean. Although such vegetables and fruits don’t necessarily whiten your teeth, they are naturally abrasive and help remove from your teeth the substances that can cause stains and discoloration.

 

  1. Take better care of your tooth enamel. Your smile may already be white, but it may not be as bright as you want it to be because of weak enamel. Although considered as the hardest substance in the human body, tooth enamel cannot repair itself if it breaks down. This means that if the tooth enamel has been affected by gum disease in the past, there’s no way to restore it. If it’s weak, it’s also much more susceptible to stains. As such, it is important that you take good care of your tooth enamel by providing it with necessary protection, such as by getting fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office and using a fluoride-toothpaste.

 

  1. Drink plenty of milk. Or pretty much any other dairy product you can think of. This is because dairy products are high in calcium, which helps keep your teeth white and bright. Also, aside from giving your teeth the calcium it needs to keep enamel strong, cheese can also help rid your teeth of food particles that can cause stains and discoloration.

Seeking professional treatment to have teeth whitened are certainly the best way to improve the appearance of one’s teeth. However, the effects of such treatment can only last for so long if you don’t take proper care of your teeth.

To help keep your teeth white and bright all the time, make sure that you follow the teeth whitening tips given above, practice good oral hygiene at home and of course, visit the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

If you’d like to whiten your smile, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation to help treat the underlying cause, or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for information about Dr. George Kirtley and his practice.

What Is Tooth Sensitivity?

girl eating appleIf you’ve ever experienced a sharp and annoying pain in your teeth whenever it comes contact with anything hot or cold, then you’re probably suffering from tooth sensitivity. While not all too severe, tooth sensitivity can cause you to avoid certain foods and beverages, which is why it’s important that you get to the bottom of this annoyance.

What Causes It?

Loss of tooth enamel, which leaves the dentin exposed, is the main reason why tooth sensitivity occurs. This may happen if you’ve been using a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one, as it may wear away as the abrasion can wear away the tooth enamel. However, it can also be the result of frequent consumption of acidic foods or gum recession.

It is important to take note, however, that the sharp pain when exposed to hot and cold food and beverages is not always caused by tooth sensitivity.

Sometimes, it may be because of the following:

  • A cracked, chipped or fractured tooth
  • Dental caries
  • Constant grinding or clenching of the teeth, or a condition known as bruxism
  • A broken restoration that’s been leaking
  • A side effect of certain teeth whitening procedures, namely tooth bleaching

Why Does Tooth Sensitivity Hurt?

You see, there are microscopic tubular structures in the dentin that help provide the tooth with the necessary blood and nutrients. These tubules are also responsible for connecting with the nerve fibers within the pulp. If the dentin tubules are somehow exposed to an external stimulus, such as heat, cold or a sudden change in pressure, the said stimulus alters the fluid flow in the dentin, causing the nerve fibers to perceive it as pain.

Now, that wouldn’t have happened if you had just enough tooth enamel, which, believe it or not, is considered as the hardest and most mineralized part of the human body.

What You Can Do About It

The first step is to talk to your dentist about your tooth sensitivity. Be sure to describe your symptoms in detail. Try your best to recall when the pain first started. Also, do not be afraid to let your dentist know about anything that you’ve done that has had an effect on the pain, whether it’s positive or negative.

Using your descriptions, the dentist will try to find out the possible cause of your sensitivity, and once finished, the dentist will then treat the underlying cause.

The treatment will usually vary, depending on the case. It may be something as simple as filling up a cavity, or fixing up a worn filling. Your dentist may also apply an in-office fluoride gel to help strengthen the tooth enamel, and make the experience a bit less painful. However, if your case is severe enough that the sharp pain is because your tooth’s root is already exposed, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist to get undergo gum graft surgery.

If you’ve been suffering from painful tooth sensitivity for quite some time and have avoided eating some of your favorite food because of it, be sure to set an appointment with your dentist today – and you could soon be indulging yourself on that ice cream as soon as tomorrow.

If you’re suffering from tooth sensitivity, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation to help treat the underlying cause, or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for information regarding Dr. George Kirtley and his practice.

What Are My Options For Missing Teeth?

ThinkstockPhotos-146796980If you don’t feel confident about having a few missing teeth, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact, most have had a couple of decayed or missing teeth by the time they’re adults.

Now, it doesn’t matter how you lost your teeth, what matters is that you have them replaced. This is because having missing teeth replaced can go a long way in giving you back a complete set of teeth. This means you’re getting your smile back. Not only that, but the way you chew and speak will all go back to how it once was when you still had a full set of teeth.

Listed below are some of the tooth replacement options that should be available at your dental care professional.

Dental Implants

Because they’re surgically implanted, dental implants offer a long-term and durable solution to those who have a few missing teeth.

The typical process of getting an implant involves three stages that take place over several weeks and even months. The first of the process is where the implant is surgically buried, and the second is where the implant is checked for proper integration and some of the posts are connected. In the last part of the process, the dentist installs the prosthetic tooth and the patient walks out of the clinic with a new, full set of teeth.

The lengthy process is a huge disadvantage. However, many dental health professionals do not see that as much of a problem. This is because dental implants are the most similar to natural teeth among tooth replacement options, and are the ones who can possibly last for as long as the patient lives.

Bridges

Dental bridges are, basically, dental appliances used to bridge the gap left by missing teeth.

Unlike dental implants that are surgically implanted and allowed to fuse with the jawbone, bridges rely on the adjacent teeth for support. Like an anchor of sorts. The effect on the adjacent teeth is something worth taking note of if you plan to get a dental bridge to replace your missing teeth.

Dentures

For those who are missing more than a couple of teeth, dentures may be your only hope.

Dentures are removable appliances with artificial teeth and come in as partial dentures and full dentures. The difference between the former and the latter is that the former, which as the name suggests, replaces only a set number of teeth. Meanwhile, full dentures require all of the remaining teeth to be removed first to, basically, be replaced by a full set of removable artificial teeth.

Now, as you can see, you are not entirely hopeless. More importantly, though, is that it doesn’t matter which of the three treatment options you choose. The important thing here is that you have those missing teeth of yours replaced. Because, if not, you’re going to end up with an incomplete smile and the many other complications that come with it, such as increased risk for gum disease, malocclusions, jaw pain, and so on.

If you’re interested, visit your dental health professional immediately and have yourself checked to see which of the three treatment options will benefit you the most.

If you’re interested in replacing your missing teeth with the dental restorations mentioned above, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation to see which of three treatment options will benefit you most or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for more information.

Why Implants Are Better Than a Bridge or Denture

Dental ImplantAs far as missing teeth go, you have three dental options to choose from, namely dental implants, bridges and dentures. Each one of the three has its own set of distinct advantages and disadvantages. However, of all three options, dental implants are considered as a much better option.

Why so?

Why Implants Are Better

Dental implants are permanent fixtures of titanium posts. The posts are anchored to your jawbone and topped off with an all-new replacement tooth or a bridge that’s screwed or cemented into the posts themselves.

Of the three, dental implants are the ones that feel and function like natural teeth.

To further convince you on why implants are just better, let’s talk about the different advantages of both bridges and dentures.

Bridges

Bridges are dental restorations that span the gap left by missing teeth and is connected to the teeth adjacent to the space left behind. Typically, bridges consist of filler teeth, which are anchored or attached, then bonded to a crown or the surrounding teeth.

  • The procedure for bridges is easy and rarely takes no longer than two visits
  • Bridges do not require surgery
  • Dental bridges are cheap, especially when compared to the initial costs of other procedures, such as dentures and implants.

Dentures

Dentures can either be partial or complete and are used to replace the bottom arch or the top arch of your mouth. If the situation requires it, dentures can also be used to replace all of the patient’s teeth.

Unlike bridges, it’s hard to find where dentures hold an advantage when compared to dental implants. This is especially evident when you consider the many issues concerning dentures, such as potential warping and an uncomfortable and loose fit that may lead to embarrassing moments when speaking and/or eating.

Why Implants Are Often The Best Choice 

Dental implants are not always the best choice, which is where fixed bridges and removable dentures come in. However, the majority of the time, dental implants are a better solution because unlike removable dentures, implants do not slip, or make embarrassing clicking sounds when eating or speaking. Also, unlike bridges, there’s no partial cutting involved when it comes to having dental implants placed inside your mouth.

The most important factor, though, as to why dental implants are just better is because dental implants do not put the patient’s teeth at as much of a risk to recurrent decay and gum disease as dental bridges and dentures would.

As an added bonus, dental implants can last for as long as 25 years. This is a full ten years to the 7 to 15 years that fixed bridges and removable dentures can only last for until they need to be replaced.

Getting a Dental Implant

Again, as mentioned earlier, dental implants are not always the best solution and this has often been because a patient is not an ideal candidate for the said procedure.

Ideal candidates for dental implants are those with good general and oral health, as well as having enough bone in their jaw to help support the implant. Although, those who’ve lost bone in their jaws in the past do not have to worry as much as they can still have implants if they go through a bone-grafting procedure first.

If you’re already wearing a partial or full denture, you can choose to have them replaced with dental implants. Or, you can also use implants to help stabilize and secure the denture to ensure a more comfortable fit.

For additional information regarding dental implants, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation today or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com to learn more.

Some Facts You Should Know About Porcelain Veneers

porcelain veneerPorcelain veneers are considered among the most beautiful and natural-looking means of improving one’s smile. Many people know how esthetically beneficial these veneers are, but there are a lot more one should know about porcelain veneers.

For example, it’s important that you know if whether porcelain veneers will be placed on all your teeth, or just some of them.

Below is the answer to that question and a few must-know facts about porcelain veneers.

  • The number of teeth requiring porcelain veneers is a case-to-case basis. Though, most cosmetic dentists recommend only 8 to 10 veneers on top since the upper teeth are the ones that show the most when a person smiles. It is also not surprising for most patients to opt for porcelain veneers to be placed only on the upper teeth first, and then completing the lower when they’reUltimately, however, the decision will be based on a number of factors, including the patient’s smile goals, a patient’s smile and how he or she talks, as well as their overall budget.
  • To be placed, cosmetic dentists will have to remove around 0.5 mm of the tooth’s original enamel. For this very reason, porcelain veneers are considered an irreversible form of treatment.
  • The typical fabrication time for porcelain laminate veneers is one week, though this may be cut down considerably with CEREC.
  • Preparation and insertion or cementation of porcelain veneers rarely, if at all, requires the use of local anesthetic.
  • While porcelain is a very strong and durable material, it is brittle and once placed, dentists will recommend making a few necessary changes to one’s lifestyle and diet to prevent damaging the veneer. For example, chewing on hard food, such as nuts, bones and candies are discouraged. The same goes for habits such as clenching and biting one’s na The use of mouth guards when playing contact sports is also highly recommended.
  • Porcelain veneers can last for as long as twenty years. However, treatment for gum line shrinkage may require for the veneer to be removed and even replaced. Veneers may also have to be replaced if it breaks, though it can also only just be rebounded if it chips.
  • Porcelain veneers can withstand stains, but the surrounding teeth cannot. This is why it’s recommended to periodically receive teeth whitening treatment, on top of practicing good oral hygiene at home, to make sure that the veneers do not stand out should staining occur in the surrounding teeth.

 

Generally, having porcelain veneers placed on teeth is a pretty straightforward procedure.

Without CEREC, the whole procedure usually takes two visits, with the first being requires for the fitting and taking of measurements so that the porcelain veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory. However, with CEREC, the cosmetic dentist can finish the whole procedure in a single afternoon, so make sure to check in with your preferred dental professional if he or she uses CEREC for dental restorations.

If you’re interested in having your teeth whitened through porcelain veneers, choose only the most reputable cosmetic dentist in your area to make sure that you are getting your money’s worth.

If you would like to transform your smile with the help of porcelain veneers, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation today! Or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for additional information.

Get The Smile You’ve Always Wanted With A Smile Makeover Treatment!

 

pearly whites

They say that first impressions last, and few, if any, makes more of an impression than your smile. This is why it’s important that your smile make as good of an impression as it can.

If you are, however, like most people, you’ve likely dreamt of having a better-looking smile, one that’s straighter, and preferably, whiter.

To get that smile, a process known as a smile makeover may just be what you need.

What Is A Smile Makeover?

A smile makeover is a process whose main goal is to improve the appearance of the smile through a combination of various cosmetic dentistry treatments or procedures. The list of treatments includes, but are not limited to, dental veneers, composite bonding, tooth implants and teeth whitening.

It is similar to a full mouth reconstruction where multiple procedures are involved. However, the two differ in that a smile makeover is elective, while a full mouth reconstruction is necessary.

Smile Makeovers and Your Life

Your smile is an investment whose benefits you’ll be reaping for the rest of your life, and this alone is reason enough to consider getting a smile makeover.

More than being a cosmetic procedure, though, a smile makeover carries a lot of functional and health benefits as well.

For example, those with malocclusions may find it hard to brush and floss their teeth, making them prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Correcting malocclusions through orthodontics can help solve that problem, as well as the other possible complications that come with malocclusion, such as speech impediments, accidental chipping and so on.

This is just one of the many benefits brought about by a smile makeover treatment, making it one of those things that you can do to help significantly change your life for the better!

Is It Worth It?

The fact that a smile makeover can make a huge positive impact on your life alone makes it worthy of, at least, consideration. However, making the choice is quite complicated because getting a smile makeover is far from cheap.

Cosmetic dental treatments alone are expensive enough, which makes it safe to say that a series of such treatments is bound to cost a lot – something that happens in a smile makeover. In fact, it would not come off as a surprise for patients to spend well over thousands of dollars just to get the smile they’ve always wanted.

Thus, this begs the question, is it worth it?

Well, you are the only one who can answer truly that question because you’re the one who’s wearing your smile. If you’re perfectly content with what you have, then good for you. However, if you’re like many others whose personal and professional life is and has been suffering because of how much trouble they have smiling, then you may want to really consider getting a smile makeover treatment.

Yes, a smile makeover is expensive, but as long as you see your smile as something that you’ll own and wear for the rest of your life, it should be easier for you to decide whether it is a worthy investment or not.

If you’re interested in transforming your pearly whites with a smile makeover, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation today! Or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for additional information.

Chew on This: The Good and Bad of Chewing Gum

Chewing Gum

Ever since we were old enough to have candy, we have been more than delighted by the offer of a stick of gum. As kids, it was a sweet treat to chew on as we challenged each other to blow the biggest bubbles. As adults, we pop in a stick when we have a hot date and want fresh breath. But regardless of our ages, chewing gum has been a go-to candy staple we’ve loved as far back as the Neolithic period. Yes, the actual Neolithic period! It isn’t exactly what we now know as chewing gum. Originally, it was made from trees and thought to have medicinal benefits. Today, chewing gum is more of a confection than it is a medicine. So is it still good for us? While sugar is never going to be considered an all-around good thing for us, you’d be surprised just how good gum actually is.

Of all of the reasons we decide to chew a stick of gum, fresh breath is one of the main ones. Something that may surprise you is the fact that lots of gum contains natural oils that fight bad breath causing germs, instead of just covering them up. Some of the best odor-fighting flavors are cinnamon, citrus and any minty flavor you can get your hands on. But beyond the fresh burst of flavor, chewing gum also perpetuates saliva production. Saliva helps fight against dry mouth and the odors created as it helps clean your teeth and stave off sugary snacks in between meals, thus further combatting bad breath.

While there is lots of sugary gum is available on the market, there have also been advances in chewing gum production that can help PREVENT cavities and promote other health benefits than the more cavity-inducing versions. The substitution of Xylitol for sugar has not only reduced cavity production, but it also attacks micro-organisms that damage teeth so our teeth can re-mineralize faster. Add calcium lactate to the mix and now Xylitol has help in the re-mineralization of our tooth enamel.

If you want to go even further with the health benefits of chewing gum, doctors have also used chewing gum to help patients with their cognitive brain functions, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and even abdominal or gastrointestinal surgery recovery time. So not only is gum good for your oral health, it can also help out lots of other issues!

Of course, what goes up must come down and chewing gum is no different. But I will say that the down sides of it aren’t quite as harsh as you may think. Yes, chewing sugary gum is bad for you and will give you cavities and other issues with your teeth if you don’t take care of them. Yes, some artificial sweeteners they swap out to make sugar-free gum (like aspartame) aren’t great for us either. They can cause diseases we would never even link with chewing gum. And yes, you can also develop issues with your jaw from chewing it so much. But these are all issues of excessive use. To deflect these issues, don’t make chewing gum an obsession. Just look at what happened to Violet Beauregarde in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…

While chewing gum can prevent oral problems, it can also cause them as well. To prevent oral problems, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 for a checkup or professional cleaning or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com.