Dry mouth is a bigger problem than you think

Getting dehydrated often activates the misfortune of dealing with a dry mouth. Your mouth probably feels sticky and uncomfortable, and more than likely, your breath is not pleasant either. While it’s normal to get a dry mouth when you’re dehydrated or feeling nervous, a persistently dry mouth can be a sign of an underlying problem.

This condition can sometimes be referred to as xerostomia, pasties, cottonmouth, drooth, doughmouth, or des and produces consequences to your overall oral health – especially if you suffer from chronic dry mouth.

There are a lot of reasons you might have dry mouth, and effectively remedying it depends on tackling the root cause.

Sometimes dry mouth is the result of an underlying problem or medical condition, such as:

  • Medication –including antidepressants, antihistamines and diuretics
  • A blocked nose – having to breathe through your mouth while you sleep
  • Diabetes
  • Radiotherapy to the head and neck – this can cause the salivary glands to become inflamed (mucositis)
  • Sjögren’s syndrome – a condition where the immune system attacks and damages the salivary glands

Saliva is the mouth’s chief protection against tooth decay and it helps maintain the health of soft and hard tissues in the mouth. It washes away food and waste, neutralizes acids from bacteria and provides disease-fighting properties all over the mouth as a first-line of protection against infiltration that can lead to disease.

Without sufficient saliva, bad bacteria has more opportunity to overrun your mouth. Repeated experiences of dry mouth cause tooth enamel to suffer frequently, which can cause cavities or an infection to occur.

With less saliva in your mouth you end up with more plaque which also increases your risk for gum disease. This plaque can begin to irritate your gumline eventually leading to ongoing infection and gum disease. While brushing and flossing daily will help remove plaque, dry mouth can make plaque and its effects worse, even for people who keep up with their oral care.

Some other common problems accompanying dry mouth include a sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages.

In some cases, dry mouth can be an indicator of Sjögren’s (pronounced SHOW-grins) syndrome – a  chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own moisture-producing glands, the tear-secreting and salivary glands as well as other organs.

See your dentist right away if you’re experiencing any of the dry mouth symptoms before it gets worse.  Your dentist can help you determine what’s causing it as well as work with you to remedy the problem and take the best care of your teeth and gums to prevent additional damage.

ADG partners with high-quality, independent hometown dentists and specialist to deliver the best care and services to our members. As a Colorado-company, we get to know our providers personally so we can refer our members to providers we trust.

With an ADG membership, members save up to 58 percent on dental visits. In addition, ADG includes coverage for cosmetic procedures such as whitening treatments, which are typically not covered by traditional insurance.

With ADG’s membership plan there are no annual maximums or deductibles, and we have providers up and down the Front Range.

For more information call 1-800-633-3010

Dodging dental checkups damages your smile and your wallet

Neglecting routine visits to the dentist generates more harm than you realize. Many people think that if they’re not having oral health trouble, they don’t need to see the dentist. But a big part of keeping your teeth healthy now, as well as in the future, depends on good, consistent preventative care.

Cost is a major contributing force in people’s inclination to shun regular dental visits. Around 13 percent of working-age adults reported forgoing dental care because of cost.

However, avoiding checkups at least once a year, (preferably every six months), can significantly upset your finances in the long run.

Getting a cavity filled, treating gum disease, or fixing a missing or broken tooth can definitely get expensive, especially if you don’t have dental insurance. But preventative care goes a long way in preventing these issues, among many others, which saves more money in the end.

Some people avoid visits to the dentist because of dental phobias. But studies show that people who skip dental care because of fear or anxiety have poorer oral health and an increased risk for cavities and missing teeth. Dental anxiety or phobia is treatable, and many dentists offer sedation options to help patients comfort levels.

Most of the conditions that result from lack of good oral care end up requiring several treatments to fix, such as gum disease or missing teeth. Not only will this amplify anxiety, but it also ends up costing you more time and money.

Without regular checkups, there’s a good chance you have developed cavities or other concerns that you don’t even know about yet. Statistics show that 18 percent of children and 26 percent of adults have untreated cavities, and it’s estimated that over 47 percent of U.S. adults have untreated gum disease.

Unfortunately, dental problems don’t heal on their own and will only get worse over time. A small cavity can grow and spread, while minor gum irritation can turn into full-blown periodontitis, which can destroy tissues and bones.Every time a dental problem advances in severity, the treatments become more complex, time-consuming and expensive. Implants, dentures and other custom-created materials can also drive up the cost. Some dental procedures require the help of a dental specialist such as a periodontist or an oral surgeon.

A discount dental plan with American Dental Group, (ADG), is a membership that helps members save up to 58 percent on dental visits. In addition, ADG includes coverage for cosmetic procedures such as whitening treatments, which are typically not covered by traditional insurance.

With ADG’s membership plan there are no annual maximums or deductibles, and we have a large network of independent, hometown dentists to choose from.

For more information call 1-800-633-3010

Oral piercing’s impact oral health

Body piercing has increasingly become a popular form of self-expression. Many folks enjoy the look and styles of oral piercings, but they can actually be dangerous to your health.

Everyone’s mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection and swelling can often occur with mouth piercings. In fact, your mouth and tongue could swell enough that your airway could become closed off or possibly choke you if the jewelry breaks off in your mouth. Some piercings could crack a tooth and repeated clicking of the jewelry against teeth can also cause damage.

Oral piercings include any type of piercing that’s in or around the oral cavity, including tongue rings, lip rings, and even cheek or upper lip piercings and any type of oral piercing has the potential to affect your smile.

Oral Piercings Can Chip Teeth

Many oral piercings are made out of metal which creates the potential to chip teeth. Because it’s in the center of the mouth and is attached to your tongue, which is moving during eating and speaking, a tongue piercing is the most likely to chip teeth. The jewelry is likely to knock against your teeth chipping or fracturing them and it will require professional attention to fix.

Tongue rings also have the capacity to damage existing fillings because they can cause fillings to age faster and even come out prematurely.

Potential to Cause Gum Recession

It’s not just teeth that are at risk from oral piercings, gum tissue can be damaged as well. Lip rings and lip studs can rub against the gumline, causing gum recession that can lead to exposure of tooth roots and sensitive teeth.

Some Oral Piercings Can Lead to Sensitive Teeth

Along with the potential to cause gum recession, oral piercings can lead to sensitive teeth. Gum tissue helps cover and protect the tooth’s roots, which contain nerves that can be very sensitive when exposed. Exposed tooth roots can lead to painful tooth sensitivity.

Tongue and lip rings can also wear away tooth enamel over time, which plays an essential role in protecting our teeth from bacteria and the temperature of hot or cold foods. Without the enamel, teeth are more sensitive and subject to as well as discoloration and decay.

In the end, oral piercings are a personal choice and a form of expression for many people. Just like with any body modification, the risks should be recognized and carefully considered before any procedure that will have lasting effects on your health.

If you have oral piercings or would like to get them, it’s smart to visit your dentist on a regular basis to keep any eye out for any damage to be sure your piercings aren’t causing irreversible damage to your teeth and gums.

Your oral health is essential to living a healthy and quality life style. Whether you’re ready for a routine check-up and cleaning, implants, braces, or other procedures, American Dental Group and our outstanding network of quality, independent home-town providers can help you save money creating and maintaining a healthy, bright smile.

Call now to learn more about our discounts on dental care services, as well as discounts on eye care materials and prescription drug costs.

1-800-633-3010

Costs of dental care too high for some seniors

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the cost of seeing a dentist for older Americans is too high and many are unable to access preventive dental care or treatment to keep their mouths healthy.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all adults over 60 get annual dental exams, even if they aren’t experiencing tooth pain or other obvious problems.

Unfortunately, dental care is often a challenge for many older adults who typically have health coverage through Medicare. The federal health program doesn’t cover regular dental care, producing a financial obstacle for older adults.

With potential health consequences that can reach far beyond teeth, the report notes that dental care for older adults is often “overlooked,” and that major disparities exist in those who have access to and receive regular dental care.

In the U.S. around 29 percent of adults 65 and older had dental insurance in 2017, and about 66 percent saw a dentist in the last year, according to the survey. These percentages are much lower than younger adults with private insurance.

About 70 percent of adults 65 and older have some form of gum disease – compared to about 47 percent of adults overall. Caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease has also been linked to smoking, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and it can lead to tooth loss.

According to the CDC data, in 2017, nearly 8 percent of older adults didn’t receive the dental care they needed in the last year because they couldn’t afford it. Those rates were significantly higher for older adults who were Hispanic or black, between the ages of 65 and 74 or living below or near the poverty level.

And the situation is worse for those who already have oral health problems. In 2017, only about 15 percent of older adults who had lost all of their teeth had dental insurance – compared with about 33 percent who still had their own teeth.

With fixed incomes and no insurance, seniors are choosing to skip visiting the dentist regularly, even though many report that their mouths are dry and painful and they have difficulty biting and chewing, (not to mention avoiding smiling and social interaction if they have missing or damaged teeth).

American Dental Group’s plan for seniors provides the opportunity to obtain affordable treatment for preventative dental care as well as existing oral health problems.

American Dental Group offers discounted memberships for seniors 65 and older.  As a Colorado company partnering with local hometown dentists, our members receive high quality dental care from the state’s best general dentists as well as specialists and receive discounts on all dental treatments including, orthodontics, cosmetic procedures, dentures and implants.

Saving our members more than the best dental insurance, ADG provides discounts to family’s, individuals and small groups, with no age restrictions, no waiting periods, and no annual maximums.

Give us a call to start saving now 800-633-3010

The many kinds of dentistry

For most of us, a trip to the dentist is one of the things we have to do now and then, or at the very least when something goes wrong. However, it doesn’t seem like one single dentist handles all of our necessary dental care, especially when problems do arise.

There are various dental specialties that perform a range of different tasks. Even though you might be familiar with many oral healthcare practices, you may have questions about the assorted area of expertise.

Here’s a look at some of the different types of dentists and why you may be referred to a new provider when a condition arises.

General Dentist

These dentists, best known as your primary dental care provider, are likely what you think of when scheduling a visit or encountering a concern. General dentists are where you go to get your teeth cleaned, x-rays and advice about oral care. This type of dentist will diagnose dental conditions, treat minor conditions, and manage your overall oral health.

Orthodontist

Orthodontists specialize in teeth and jaw alignment. They handle the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of any problems that affect the teeth, the jaw, and their structures and help turn snaggle-tooth grins into beautiful movie-star smiles.

An orthodontist will help straighten teeth and identify when braces are needed, including corrective retainers and appliances that will better a patient’s bite and smile

Periodontist

While most of us think dentistry is for teeth, the gums and bones are just as important. Periodontists specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the soft tissues within the mouth, including the bones and gums. They diagnose and treat gingivitis and periodontitis. They can also help repair gum tissue that has been damaged by disease or other issues.

Endodontists

What many consider the scariest of all dentists, endodontists specialize in all issues surrounding the nerves around the teeth are perform root canals. The pulp around your tooth can become damaged, or just decay over time. Sometimes when that area cannot be treated, a root canal must be performed. It’s one of the most common procedures in dentistry.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

These specialists are responsible for any type of surgeries that involve the mouth, jaw, or face. These surgeons also treat patients who suffer from cysts or tumors or wish to receive dental implants. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons receive an additional four to eight years of training above and beyond traditional dental school and they can work on anything from the gums, cheeks, lips, tongue, facial tissues and more.

American Dental Group is proud to partner with all types of dental health care providers, from general dentists to surgeons.

Because we are a Colorado company, all of our providers are independent, hometown dentists that we have had the opportunity to know and trust. All of our dentists are required to meet our credentialing standards to be eligible to participate in our network.

For more information about our providers, as well as how you can get discounts on all of your oral health care needs, call now.

1-800-633-3010

Sugary drinks linked to higher risk of cancer

Now there’s more reason than ever to cut back on the sugary drinks we’ve come to love. 

While we have long been aware that sugar sweetened beverages have high levels of sugar and significantly contribute to tooth decay and issues with obesity, a new study shows that they may also lead to a higher risk of cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC), sugar-sweetened beverages or sugary drinks are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet. On average, U.S. youth consume 143 calories and U.S. adults consume 145 calories from such drinks on a given day.

Guzzling a small glass of 100 percent fruit juice or soda, (about 3.3 ounce), each day was linked to an 18 percent increased risk of cancer and a 22 percent increase in breast cancer in a study, according to a study published in the BMJ medical journal. 

French researchers examined more than 100,000 adults with an average age of 42 over a period of nine years with women making up seventy-nine percent of participants. The study tracked ninety-seven sugary drinks and 12 artificially sweetened beverages, including soda, sports drinks, energy drinks and 100 percent fruit juices with no added sugar. Participants filled out at least two 24-hour online validated dietary questionnaires, which calculated their daily consumption of sugary beverages.

Researchers measured the daily intakes of sugary drinks against those of diet beverages and compared them to cancer cases in participants’ medical records during the follow-up period.

While nearly 2,200 cases of cancer were diagnosed, (with an average age at diagnosis being 59), the study stops short of concluding that the sugar causes cancer, however it does imply that limiting your daily intake of sugary drinks isn’t a bad idea.

If you’re someone who sticks to low calorie or diet beverages, although these types of drinks don’t have the same overall health consequences, bear in mind that most have high acid levels that promote tooth erosion.

Some tips that will help you keep the damage to your teeth to a minimum include:

  • Drink water after sugary or acidic drinks to help rinse out your mouth and dilute the sugars.
  • Protect your teeth by using fluoride toothpaste.
  • After drinking sugary or acidic beverages, don’t brush your teeth right away. Wait at least one hour so your teeth can recover and your enamel can reharden before you take the brush to them.
  • Do not sip a sugary or acidic drink slowly or over a long duration. Doing so exposes your teeth to sugar and acid attacks for longer.
  • Never drink sugary or acidic drinks before you go to bed – if you do so, the liquid will pool in your mouth, coating your teeth with sugar and acid.

If you frequently consume sugary or acidic beverages and are concerned about the harmful effects of on your dental health, it’s time to talk with a professional. 

Taking good care of your teeth and gums, along with keeping up with cleanings and checkups will have a significant impact in the long run.

American Dental Group is a family-owned Colorado company partnering with independent, hometown dentists to deliver high quality dental care to our members. 

See how American Dental Group members save 20 – 58 percent on outstanding dental care with no deductible, no annual maximums, and no waiting period.

Call Now 1-800-633-3010

Why are there different types of fillings?

Dentists have been using fillings for more than a century to restore and protect teeth, but there is evidence that shows humans used various materials to fill in areas of damaged teeth much earlier.

Now days, when your dentist needs to fill a cavity, they have a variety of materials to choose from.

Dental fillings are restorations used to fill in the area where cavities have damaged teeth. First your dentist cleans out the part of the tooth that’s damaged, leaving a hole. Then he will fill that space to even out the surface of the tooth and to protect it from further decay.

Today, dentists use several different types of filling materials.

Silver Amalgam

Silver amalgam fillings are the shiny metal fillings you see in some people’s mouths. They are produced from a variety of different materials, including mercury, silver, tin, and copper.

The mercury content makes up approximately 50 percent of the material and the American Dental Association assures us that amalgam fillings are safe, as mercury isn’t considered toxic once it’s combined with the other materials.

Many folks, however, don’t want the appearance of metal in their mouths and prefer a restoration option that looks more natural.

Composite Resin

Composite resin fillings have become a popular alternative to silver amalgam fillings, though they cost a bit more. Made of porcelain, these fillings are durable as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Porcelain Fillings

Porcelain is a type of ceramic and is designed to match the color of your teeth. These fillings can last more than 20 years, contain no metals, have no potential for allergic reactions, and are resistant to staining over time.

Using ceramic instead of a composite though, means that it is more brittle and needs to be larger to prevent breaking. Ceramic restorations are typically referred to as inlays or onlays.

Gold

Gold used to be much more common than it is today, as well as more expensive and not very common. It can sometimes be difficult to find a dentist who offers gold as an option and it takes more than one visit to fit a gold filling properly.

Gold is sturdy and it doesn’t corrode, so a gold filling can last for more than 15 years.

Glass Ionomer

These are glass-and-acrylic fillings are commonly used to fill cavities on the front teeth or around the tooth roots and are good for children whose teeth are still changing. They last less than five years but release fluoride, helping to protect a tooth from further decay. They’re significantly weaker than composite resin and more likely to crack or wear out, and do not match tooth color as well as composite resin.

Whether you have a dental emergency, some pain that isn’t going away, or simply need a cleaning and check-up, let American Dental Group’s preferred partners help you out.  Our independent, hometown dentists are located up and down the Front Range so there’s sure to be a location near you.

Give us a call at 800-633-3010 for more information.

Are whitening strips harmful?

Nearly everyone wishes their smile was bright and white, so we are always on the lookout for fast, simple, affordable ways to get there.

Truth is though, teeth staining builds up over years and reducing or eliminating it isn’t necessarily cheap or easy.

There are many reasons teeth become discolored; age, trauma, medications, and tobacco, as well as the foods we eat and drink. Very often, this discoloration can be treated with whitening agents and bring back a brighter, more vibrant smile.

Teeth whitening strips have long been plugged as a low-cost, effective way of removing the stains and brightening teeth without needing a dentist. These strips can be an effective way of improving the appearance of stained or yellow teeth, but they do come with concerns you should be aware of.

Made from flexible plastic strips that are coated with a layer of whitening gel, the strips are applied to teeth with the gel pressed against the surface and held in place for a period of time. Using the strips daily over two or three weeks allows the stains to be gradually reduced, leaving a whiter smile.

No matter how carefully you try placing the strips, there are always places where the strip isn’t in full contact with the tooth. Some areas of your teeth may not be properly covered and therefore will not be as whitened, leaving uneven results.

While the bleaching agent in whitening strips is not as powerful as the one’s dentists use, it is still a harsh chemical which can damage the soft tissues of your gums. It’s important to avoid contact between the whitening agent and your gums as much as possible

Most whitening strips are generally safe in moderation but overdoing it can cause sensitivity and sometimes permanent damage to teeth. If the layer of enamel is eroded through excessive whitening, you will not only suffer pain, but also risk decay and other problems, which could lead to losing teeth.

Whitening strips are effective for most surface stains but only if the teeth and gums are in a healthy condition to begin with. They also work for people in many different circumstances, but it’s not a solution for every situation or every person. They will not alter the shade of dental restorations or discoloration resulting from tooth trauma, antibiotic use, tooth decay or imperfections in the enamel.

Manufacturers of whitening strips note that your habits will determine how long the whitening treatment will last. For instance, coffee, tea, wine and tobacco will likely cause tooth discoloration.

Your teeth will stay whiter longer by following good oral health habits that includes brushing, flossing and rinsing. Get regular cleaning and exams from your dentist, limit intake of foods that can stain teeth and avoid tobacco completely.

Also consider that professional whitening treatment from your dentist, will provide better long term results with lower risks, although typically at a greater cost. If you choose to try the whitening strips, it’s smart to to ask your dentist for a thorough check-up and some guidance ahead of time.

Anytime you have questions about oral health, or safe and effective options for caring for teeth, it’s always best to talk with your dental professional.  Unlike traditional dental insurance, cosmetic dental procedures are also included in American Dental Group plans, including teeth whitening.

A family-owned Colorado company, American Dental Group partners with independent hometown dentists to deliver high quality care to our members.  See how an American Dental Group membership can save you money on dental care, vision materials, and prescription drugs.

Call 1-800-633-3010

Kids are using too much toothpaste, and it’s not a good thing

Children between the ages of three and six should only be using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). Kids under three should only use a smear the size of a grain of rice.

However, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says young children are using too much toothpaste, and it could actually be a problem.

While fluoride in both toothpaste and water has resulted in significant dental health benefits, overdoing it on the fluoride at an early age can cause a condition called dental fluorosis, or when the teeth undermineralize. It’s most commonly depicted by faint white spots or streaking on teeth, but it can lead to pitting, dark brown discoloration, and sometimes defects in the enamel.

Kids are most at risk for this because their smile is still developing. Teeth continue forming under the gums until about age 8, and even then it takes three years after a tooth erupts in the mouth for it to fully mature. Too much fluoride toothpaste can actually damage a child’s tooth enamel when they swallow it, the CDC says. And most younger kids predictably do swallow toothpaste as they brush their teeth.

Most dentists agree that parents should monitor their child’s toothpaste usage, watch them brush and spit, and keep the tube out of their reach when they’re not using it. It’s really only an issue if the child consistently loads on the too much toothpaste long-term, so infrequent swallowing or overloading the toothpaste shouldn’t be alarming.

The CDC notes that “Careful supervision of fluoride intake improves the preventive benefit of fluoride while reducing the chance that young children might ingest too much fluoride during critical times of enamel formation of the secondary teeth.”

The survey also indicated that, most American children don’t see a dentist until they are over two years old, which is later than is recommended by both dental and medical professionals.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months after the first tooth erupts.

American Dental Group partners with independent, hometown dentists up and down the Front Range ready to help your family with the best opportunities for oral health care.

Offering plans for individuals and families, with discounts for seniors, ADG has been helping people in Colorado save money on dental care for over 25 years, and can also save you money on vision and prescription drug services.

Call Now 800-633-3010

Soda consumption at an all time high

Drinking soda basically bathes your teeth in sugar and acid. The bacteria already in your mouth feeds off of sugar and begins to create acids as byproducts.  These acids attack the tooth structure and enamel for at least 20 minutes.  So, every time you take a sip of soda, this 20-minute acid attack starts all over again.

And studies show, soft drink consumption in the United States had increased dramatically across all demographic groups, but especially among children and teenagers.   According to the CDC, one half of the U.S. population consumes sugary drinks on any given day, and 25 percent consume more than one 12 ounce can of soda.

Here are some additional facts about soda, according to SipAllDay.org:

  • A bottle of soda in the 50’s was 6.5 ounces. Today, a 12-ounce can is standard, and a 20-ounce bottle is common.
  • Larger container sizes mean more calories, more sugar and more acid in a single serving. A 64-ounce “Big Cup” has more than five cans of soda in a single serving!
  • There is no nutritional value in soft drinks. In regular soda all of the calories come from sugar.
  • In addition to cavities, heavy soda consumption has been linked to diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
  • One-fifth of all one- and two-year-old children drink soda.
  • Today, teens drink three times more soda than 20 years ago, often replacing milk.
  • Soft drink companies pay high schools and middle schools big bucks to offer their products.
  • Sealants only protect tooth chewing surfaces. Soda decay tends to occur where sealants can’t reach.

Most soda contains phosphoric acid and citric acid, which are both highly damaging to your teeth.  Acids can soften the enamel of the teeth which increases the risk of cavities and tooth decay.  If you have a receding gum line, keep in mind that acid will do more damage below the gum line.

Keep in mind that although drinking diet soda alleviates the problem of exposing your teeth to more sugar, diet sodas are still highly acidic and still promote tooth decay.

Removing soda from you diet completely, and drinking more water is your best bet for oral health care. But, if you cannot cut it out completely practice drinking it in moderation or only once in a while. Sipping through a straw can also help reduce the amount of contact sugar and acid have on your teeth.

After drinking soda, a drink of water that has been fluoridated can also help remove or dilute the sugar and acid from your teeth. Brushing your teeth after drinking soda, and even taking it a step further and rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash, can all help reduce the effects of the sugar and acid on your teeth.

In addition, drinking soda before you go to sleep significantly increases the damaging effects. People who keep it on their nightstands and sip on it through the night keeps your teeth bathed in sugar and acid for hours on end. Water should be your only source of hydration through the night.

If you have noticed the harmful effects of soda on your oral health, it’s time to talk with your dental professional.  Skipping dental appointments may not seem like a big deal, but oral issues can develop and progress quickly. Taking good care of your teeth and gums, along with keeping up with cleanings and checkups will have a significant impact in the long run.

American Dental Group is a family-owned Colorado company partnering with independent hometown dentists to deliver high quality dental care to our members.  See how an American Dental Group membership can save you money on dental care, vision materials, and prescription drugs.

Call Now 1-800-633-3010