December 20, 2012

Prepare Your Mouth for Mistletoe Surprises

boy and girl kissing under the mistletoeAre you hoping to catch someone under the mistletoe this season? Kissing under the branches and berries of a mistletoe sprig has been a worldwide tradition for generations, perhaps longer (the origins of the ritual are vague). Many people still find the tradition fresh and exciting every year, and you may be among those surprised with a kiss. If so, you’ll want to ensure that the person kissing you remembers the moment for the right reason. Atlanta dentist Dr. Peter Pate gives you these tips to ensure that your mouth remains kissable and ready for those mistletoe surprises.

Tips to a Kissable Mouth

  • To keep your breath consistently fresh, your toothbrush and floss are your best friends. Oral bacteria, the culprits that bring tooth decay and gum disease, can also bring bad breath. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day will help control the bacterial population, inhibiting the number of germs available to pass gas in your mouth. (more…)

October 30, 2012

It’s Halloween, Don’t Ignore Good Dental Hygiene!

For many people, the first thought that October brings to mind is Halloween and the hordes of candy that will inevitably assault their oral health. However, there is another reason to celebrate October as the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) marks National Dental Hygiene Month. Since most of us have been instructed to care for our teeth since childhood, oral hygiene may not seem like a problem. Yet, gum disease still affects over 75% of adults in America, and over 90% of adults under the age of 60 have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. To help lower these statistics, at least among our patients and readers, Atlanta dentist Peter A. Pate, outlines the basics of proper oral health care.

Good Dental Hygiene Practices

Brushing

While most of us can say that we brush our teeth every day (we hope!), not everyone knows that there is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth. One of the most common tooth brushing mistakes is brushing too quickly, or not thoroughly enough. (more…)

October 29, 2012

Common Breast Cancer Myths

October is an important month for more than just the ghouls and goblins that roam the street on Halloween. It is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to promote diligence and awareness of the most common cancer diagnosed among women. Studies conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate a strong connection between the presence of gum disease and the development of breast cancer. To help raise awareness of the epidemic, your Atlanta dentist, Dr. Peter Pate and his team share some facts about breast cancer while debunking some of the more popular myths surrounding the disease.

Breast Cancer—The Facts

MYTH: Breast cancer is not as deadly as most cancers, since it only affects the breasts.

TRUTH: Every year, over 220,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in America. Of those, over 40,000 cases will be fatal.   Cancer, no matter what part of the body it affects, is a deadly disease and should never be underestimated.

MYTH: Men do not get breast cancer. It only affects women. (more…)

September 8, 2012

Over, Under, Cross: What does this mean for your bite?

In order for your teeth and jaw to work properly, your bite must fit properly when at rest. When opposing teeth do not line up as they should, the condition is called malocclusion. The misalignment puts undue stress on jaw muscles and the joints that connect your upper and lower jaw (the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ). Malocclusion can occur for a number of reasons.  Dr. Peter Pate explains the most common form, called overbite.

When Your Teeth Go Overboard

In a healthy mouth, upper teeth will ideally sit about 3-5 mm in front of lower teeth when your jaw is at rest. An overbite is a condition in which this extension is greater than 5mm. Although an overbite can be inherited from parents, a child can develop or worsen an overbite with excessive pacifier use or thumb sucking. Some overbites are so minor as to be unnoticeable, while some are so severe that they visibly alter the structure and appearance of your face. Effects of an extreme overbite, however, go beyond appearance. The strain that an overbite places on the jaw can lead to TMJ disorder, headaches, and speech impediments. Overbites constitute about 70% of dental disorders in children, making it the most common form of malocclusion.

What is an Underbite?

Another form of malocclusion is the underbite.  As you’ve probably guessed, an underbite is the condition where the lower teeth sit in front of the upper teeth when the jaw is at rest. Because upper teeth are supposed to be in front of lower teeth, an underbite is usually more visible than an overbite. Like an overbite, an underbite can be genetically inherited, but can also be worsened by tongue thrusting or excessive open-mouthed breathing. (more…)

August 9, 2012

Tantalizing Tongue Trivia

Have you ever wondered why your tongue changes its appearance? Or why your tastebuds seem not to work sometimes?  When your tongue acts strangely, it may be trying to tell you something. Check out these interesting facts from Dr. Peter Pate and boost your knowledge about the tongue!

Tongue Facts

  • The tongue is the strongest muscle in the body and allows you to eat, drink, talk, and make funny faces (about 85% of the population can curl their tongues into a tube).
  • Your tongue is the only muscle that is connected at only one end.
  • Even after brushing and flossing your teeth, bacteria at the back of your tongue can still make your breath foul. In fact, approximately 50% of the bacteria in your mouth reside on the surface of your tongue. Be sure to brush your tongue as a part of your daily oral hygiene routine. You can use the soft bristles of your toothbrush or a tongue scraper, and be sure to rinse thoroughly.
  • Your tongue is like a fingerprint; no two are alike. (more…)

August 8, 2012

Getting to the Root of Tooth Sensitivity

Chances are, you have experienced the discomfort of sensitive teeth.  Sensitivity in the  mouth can be a sign of other underlying issues.  Teeth feature three primary layers: the protective outer enamel, the sensitive dentin, and at the core, a canal that houses nerves and connective tissue. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the body and the second hardest naturally occurring substance on our planet. Dentin is a softer tissue that features tiny tubules, or channels, that allow sensations of pressure and temperature to be conducted to the tooth’s nerve. The nerves that lie within the inner canal then send signals to the brain.

Thin Enamel

Acid erosion and tooth wear can thin the protective enamel on the outside of teeth. Thin enamel provides less insulation, making teeth more sensitive to temperature fluctuations and pressure. Erosion is most often caused by acid in foods or from stomach acid. Enamel wear most often results from grinding and clenching teeth, a condition called bruxism.

Exposed Dentin

The crowns of teeth are covered with enamel, but the roots are not. If the gums recede, roots become exposed. The slightest pressure, such as that from wind, can cause intense pain to exposed teeth roots. Temperature fluctuations will also cause discomfort. Gums can recede for a number of reasons, including gum disease, grinding, or aging. (more…)

June 17, 2012

It’s Father’s Day! Smile!

You can’t be the life of the party without a spectacular smile. Studies have shown that smiling at work and in your personal life can greatly improve the moods of those around you. As the saying goes, smiling is contagious.

Do you like your smile? Small blemishes and imperfections on your teeth can make you self-conscious, causing you to smile less or hide your smile in public. This Father’s Day, Atlanta’s family and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Peter Pate, can help you put your best smile forward.

A Wide Variety of Cosmetic Dentistry Choices

At Dentistry in Buckhead, we offer a wide variety of cosmetic procedures to shape your smile into a masterpiece. If you’re short on time and would like to brighten your smile quickly, our in-office Zoom! treatment can lighten your teeth in just one office visit. The procedure often results in teeth that are eight to ten shades brighter. We also offer professional-strength take-home whitening kits that enable you to whiten when your schedule allows.

Porcelain veneers can cover a variety of imperfections at once. They can change the shape, size, and color of multiple teeth to create optimal uniformity. Modern, minimally invasive veneers are secured to the front of your teeth to create a flawless smile.

For chipped or permanently stained teeth, Dr. Pate may recommend dental bonding. This quick cosmetic procedure involves applying a tooth-colored composite resin that works like sculpting clay. Dr. Pate hardens the resin using a curing light, then sculpts and polishes the resin to the ideal shape. If you have only one or two blemished teeth, bonding is a simple and inexpensive alternative to porcelain veneers.

Your Smile is Your Choice

A healthy, beautiful smile is no accident. At our office, it is the combined effort of a devoted dentist and an informed patient. After a comprehensive exam, Dr. Pate will consult with you to decide the best option for achieving the smile of your dreams. To schedule a consultation, call Dentistry in Buckhead at (404) 266-9424. We proudly welcome patients from the Buckhead area, as well as Sandy Springs, Lenox, Brookhaven, Atlanta, and surrounding communities.