Take Charge of Your Dental Health in 2024!

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to focus more on your dental health? If not, it’s never too late to make it a priority! If you focus on keeping your teeth and gums healthy, your overall well-being (and your wallet) will thank you.

So how can you improve your dental health this year? Well, a healthy smile goes beyond just brushing and flossing — it also involves regular dental check-ups and “recare” visits. Let’s take a look at why improving your dental health should be high on your list, various ways you can improve your oral health, and some examples of easy dental resolutions you can follow in 2024.

The Link Between Dental Health and Overall Health

As the new year unfolds, many of us make resolutions to lead healthier lives, the classic resolution being to hit the gym. And while many think exercise and nutrition are the end-all-be-all of health, the truth is that our body’s wellbeing is a result of many interconnected systems, each affecting the other. Your dental health, for example, can impact various aspects of your overall health, including cardiovascular health, respiratory health, and even mental health.

Oral health’s impact on the heart: Study after study has shown that people who have poor oral health (such as gum disease or tooth loss) have higher rates of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke than people with good oral health. Researchers have proposed many theories as to why this connection exists, including bacteria from the mouth traveling through blood vessels, inflammation causing an immune response, or the correlating factor of smoking cigarettes. Whatever the cause, the relationship between oral health and cardiovascular health has been demonstrated many times over.

Oral health’s impact on the lungs: According to research, oral health directly impacts incidences and outcomes of lung diseases, such as pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). In a healthy person, the lungs are usually able to fight off any bacteria that would accumulate in the mouth and travel through the respiratory system. However, when a person’s lungs are compromised by a pre-existing respiratory condition, the lung’s immune response is weaker. This makes it easier for bacteria that accumulates in an unclean mouth to travel to the lungs and cause infections.

Oral health’s impact on mental health: Studies since the COVID 19 pandemic have shown that mental health and oral health are correlated, with associations demonstrated between mental health problems and tooth loss, periodontal disease, and tooth decay. Dental decay and tooth loss can lead to more frequent pain, which often increases social isolation, and feelings of low self-esteem. All of this results in a lower quality of life, which often leads to poorer mental health.

Poor oral hygiene can have a domino effect on multiple systems of the body. By resolving to improve your dental health in 2024, you’re not just preserving your smile – you’re protecting the wellbeing of your entire body.

The Importance of Regular Recare Visits

Most people understand that brushing twice and flossing once daily are the pinnacles of good oral health. However, it’s equally important to schedule regular dental appointments, also known as recare visits — it is important to realize that these visits are much more than “just a cleaning.” It is essential to be committed to them and never skip out! When scheduled regularly, these appointments play a key part in preventing and detecting dental problems early on.

When you schedule a recare appointment with Eggert Family Dentistry, Dr. Jeff Eggert or Dr. Elizabeth Eggert can make sure that small problems like gingivitis and cavities don’t escalate into more significant (and expensive) issues, such as periodontal disease and tooth loss. When you come in for your appointment, not only will you get a professional teeth cleaning, but you’ll also receive a thorough check-up to ensure the health of your mouth and the quality of any dental restorations/devices such as fillings, crowns, dentures, or veneers.

Questions? Call Eggert Family Dentistry

Your smile is an essential part of your overall health, and when you prioritize your dental health, you’re investing in a lifetime of well-being. Call Eggert Family Dentistry at 651.482.8412 to schedule your recare appointment today or to ask any questions you have about dental health. Make 2024 the year you take charge of the health of your smile – your future self will thank you!

Power of Sour: The Candy That Has Us Spooked

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Halloween is fast approaching, and while children rejoice at the prospect of consuming as much candy as possible, parents know that copious amounts of sugar can have monstrous effects on their teeth.

But not all Halloween candy is created equal! There is a certain kind of candy that, for dental professionals, is the stuff of nightmares. We’re talking of course, about sour candies.

At Eggert Family Dentistry, we don’t want to take the fun out of Halloween, but we do want to arm you with the right information so you can make the best decisions for your family’s dental health! So, from sour gummy worms to WarHeads, let’s take a look at why sour candies are so harmful, and how you can protect your children’s dental health this Halloween.

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

Sour candies are particularly damaging to your teeth. But in order to understand why, we need to first talk about how sugar affects your dental health.

Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria in the mouth that make up plaque. When these bacteria eat sugar, they produce acids that destroy tooth enamel, allowing these harmful bacteria strains to affect deeper layers of the tooth. This results in cavities and tooth decay, and can ultimately contribute to tooth loss.

Foods and candies containing high amounts of white processed sugar are particularly damaging because these foods leave a sticky residue on your teeth that is too strong for your saliva to wash away on its own. (That’s why it’s so important to brush your teeth after consuming sugary food and drink!)

How Sour Candy Affects Your Teeth

Sour candies are a double whammy – they’re sweet with sugar, allowing them to stick to your teeth, but they’re also more acidic, meaning they have a pH balance of less than 7.0.

This acid is what makes the candy sour, and unfortunately, it also weakens and wears away at your enamel. In fact, some sour candies are so acidic that they can actually burn the tongue, gums, and cheeks. Yikes!

To get an idea of the seriousness of the problem, here’s a chart that lists some popular candies along with their acidity. The lower the number, the more acidic the candy. And, keep in mind, this chart and research was done in 2007, the number of sour candies has exploded in the last 15 years so there are many, many more!

You’ll notice that one of the worst offenders, WarHeads Sour Spray, has an acidity of 1.6 — very close to battery acid. Talk about spooky!

This predicament is made worse when you consider that kids will often challenge each other to see who can hold a sour candy in their mouth for the longest time (looking at you, WarHeads!). This keeps the acidity high in the mouth for long periods of time and saliva doesn’t have the chance to neutralize the environment back to a healthy pH.

The Worst Types of Halloween Candy

Certain types of candy are especially bad for your teeth. Along with the chart we mentioned earlier, you should refer back to this list so that you’re ready when your child brings home their Halloween candy haul.

Hard Sugar Candy

(Examples: Lollipops, JollyRanchers, JawBreakers)

When it comes to dental health, the length of sugar exposure is directly related to the likelihood of tooth decay. Hard candies require you to suck on them until they dissolve, meaning the candy is in your mouth for much longer. This increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to sugar, thereby increasing the chance of tooth decay. And, if the hard candy is sour, then your teeth are also exposed to a prolonged acid attack. As if that weren’t enough, hard candies can also break or chip your teeth!

Chewy or Sticky Candy

(Examples: Gummy worms, LaffyTaffy, caramels)

The stickier the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. That’s because sticky candy can easily get stuck in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, and is difficult to remove. As we’ve already mentioned, the longer a candy is in your mouth, the higher the likelihood of tooth decay. So even when you’re finished eating your gummy worms, the gummy worms are likely still in your mouth for hours afterward!

Sour Candy

(Examples: Sour Punch Straws, Sour Patch Kids, Warheads, Sour Skittles)

As we’ve mentioned, sour candies are highly acidic. Acid attacks the teeth by weakening and wearing away tooth enamel, and teeth without protective enamel are more likely to suffer from tooth decay. Each time you put a sour candy in your mouth, your teeth experience an acid attack that lasts about 20 minutes!

Tips To Protect Your Family’s Teeth

Luckily, there are a few ways you can protect your children’s teeth this Halloween.

  • Dental health education: Teach your children about the importance of dental hygiene. Explain what happens when acid wears away at a tooth’s enamel, and they might think twice about sucking on that WarHead!
  • Prevention: Consider making an appointment with Eggert Family Dentistry to have a dental sealant applied to your child’s teeth before Halloween rolls around. Sealants are a thin coating that protects the enamel of each tooth and prevents decay.
  • Sweet alternatives: If your child is reaching for their Halloween candy haul too often, encourage them to grab some of their favorite fresh fruits and vegetables instead. These won’t stick to their teeth and contain less sugar, but still taste great!
  • Good habits: Make sure your child brushes their teeth twice a day, and maybe more if they are eating a lot of sugary candy.  Be careful though of brushing too soon after eating sour things. Brushing will abrade away enamel under acid attack. It is best to allow your saliva to neutralize for awhile before brushing if you’ve eaten sour things.
  • Non-food alternatives: Consider offering your child a trade — extra screen time for 3 pieces of Halloween candy, a sleepover with friends for 5 pieces, a movie ticket for 10 pieces, etc.

At the end of the day, brushing, flossing, and recare appointments throughout the year will help protect your child’s teeth, especially during the spookiest time of year! Call us at 651.482.8412 to schedule your family members’ recare appointments today. We look forward to giving your family a healthier, happier smile!

The Fizz Dilemma: How Carbonated Water Affects Your Tooth Enamel

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Carbonated water, with its effervescent charm, has gained immense popularity among health-conscious individuals and soda lovers alike. It offers a refreshing alternative to sugary sodas. But have you ever wondered if those satisfying bubbles could be harming your pearly whites? In this article, we delve into the science behind the effects of carbonated water on tooth enamel, explore alternatives, and discuss how Dr. Jeff Eggert and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert, Dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry in North Oaks, MN, can help you maintain a radiant and healthy smile.

Understanding Carbonated Water

Carbonated water, also known as sparkling water or seltzer, is water infused with carbon dioxide gas under pressure, creating delightful bubbles and fizz. While it’s often considered a healthier alternative to sugary beverages, it’s not without its concerns when it comes to your dental health.

The Science Behind It

When you enjoy a bubbly sip of carbonated water, the carbon dioxide dissolves in the water to form carbonic acid. It’s this mild acid that raises concerns for your tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard, protective outer layer of your teeth. It’s primarily composed of minerals, particularly hydroxyapatite, which can be vulnerable to acid erosion.

Carbonated water is mildly acidic, with a pH around 4.5, making it more acidic than tap water (pH 7). Regularly exposing your teeth to acidic substances can weaken and erode the enamel over time, leaving your teeth more susceptible to cavities and sensitivity.

Carbonated Water vs. Soda Pop

Surprisingly, carbonated water may be just as bad for your teeth as soda pop, albeit in a slightly less severe way. The carbonic acid in sparkling water can erode enamel gradually, while soda contains not only acid but also sugars that bacteria feed on, producing harmful acids. This can lead to more immediate and severe tooth decay.

Alternatives to Carbonated Water

If you’re concerned about your dental health but still want a refreshing beverage, there are alternative choices. Plain water is, of course, the best option for your teeth, as it is pH-neutral and doesn’t pose any risks to your tooth enamel. Herbal teas and unsweetened iced tea are also great alternatives. If you prefer carbonation, you can limit your consumption of carbonated water to meal time and consider switching to unflavored options or those with added minerals like calcium, which can help counteract the acidity.

Eggert Family Dentistry: Your Dental Health Allies

Dr. Jeff Eggert and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert, our dentists at Eggert Family Dentistry in North Oaks, MN, are dedicated to helping you maintain excellent oral health. They provide expert dental care, including preventive services, dental hygiene, and advice on maintaining strong and healthy teeth. Regular dental recare visits with check-ups and professional cleanings are crucial to addressing any enamel erosion concerns and maintaining your radiant smile.

Recently, Dr. Elizabeth completed an exam for a patient we hadn’t seen in over a year. This patient had 3 fillings recommended in January, 2022 due to decay between her teeth. Unfortunately, now, not even two years later, she has 8 fillings recommended and 2 crowns because her decay rate is rampant. When Dr. Elizabeth suspected something in the diet or a health change, she questioned this patient and together they determined the patient often drinks over 4 carbonated waters each day, sipping them throughout the day.

While carbonated water may have a milder impact on your tooth enamel compared to soda pop, it’s essential to be mindful of its acidic nature. You can enjoy sparkling water in moderation and opt for alternatives that are more tooth-friendly.

And when it comes to safeguarding your dental health, trust Dr. Jeff Eggert and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert at Eggert Family Dentistry in North Oaks, MN, to guide you on your journey to healthy, vibrant teeth. Your smile is worth preserving, and they’re here to help you do just that. Call us today to schedule your next recare visit! 651.482.8412!

Comprehensive Dental Care for All Ages: Why Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert Should Be Your Family Dentists in North Oaks, MN

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Are you searching for a family dentist who can cater to the dental needs of your entire family, from kids to teenagers, adults and even seniors? Look no further than Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert, leading dentists in North Oaks, MN. We offer comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of transitioning all of your family members to our practice and highlight the value we bring in ensuring your family’s proper dental development.

The All-Inclusive Approach

Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert have earned a stellar reputation for our family-friendly dental practice. Our commitment to providing top-notch care for patients of all ages sets us apart as your go-to family dentists. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we take a comprehensive approach to oral health, including not only detection of decay and periodontal disease, but of growth and development issues, airway issues, sleep issues, and a whole lot more.

Transitioning Children and Teenagers

It’s common for kids to start their dental journey with a pediatric dentist, and this can be appropriate up to a certain age. However, as children grow and develop adult teeth, it becomes essential to transition them to a family-friendly dentist. Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert have the expertise to handle the unique dental needs of kids, teenagers, and young adults, ensuring that their oral health is carefully monitored during crucial stages of development.

Detecting Decay and Ensuring Proper Development

One of the most critical reasons to transition your child or teenager to Eggert Family Dentistry is our ability to detect dental issues early. Untreated cavities can lead to more significant problems in the future. By having your child seen regularly, you can address any decay or orthodontic concerns before they worsen.

Furthermore, ensuring proper dental development during adolescence is crucial. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we pay close attention to tooth alignment, bite issues, and orthodontic needs. Detecting and addressing these concerns early can lead to a smoother and more effective treatment plan, potentially saving you time, money, and discomfort down the road.

We Don’t Want to Scare You, But Check These Out!

This month being Halloween, we want to share a couple patient stories. These are SCARY situations where we wish we could have been introduced to the patients earlier and caught things before they became so serious. Luckily Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth know what to do to help these patients, but prevention is always our goal!

Here is an example of a teenage patient undergoing orthodontics and who was working with a pediatric dentist. Unfortunately, this patient had a cavity that got so deep before Dr. Elizabeth found it that she had to build up a serious amount of the tooth to bring it back to health.

Here is another example of excessive decay. This is a senior citizen who was going regularly to another general dental office, but her decay got so deep, she has to lose an anchorage tooth of her front tooth bridge. The patient has to invest in a new bridge in order to keep her front teeth from going missing.

Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert have seen countless families benefit from their all-encompassing approach to dentistry. It is also so rewarding to see trends in families and to be able to stop disease on the early side by paying attention. Schedule an appointment today for all your family members and experience the difference that dedicated, all-ages dental care can make. We can’t wait to bring your family to ours! 651.482.8412.

Elevating the Patient Experience: Eggert Family Dentistry’s Technological Marvels in North Oaks, MN

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

In the heart of North Oaks, MN, Eggert Family Dentistry stands as a beacon of exceptional dental care, where cutting-edge technology intertwines seamlessly with compassionate patient service.  Dr. Jeff Eggert and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert, a husband and wife team, have integrated technology into their practice to revolutionize the patient experience.

Meet the Visionaries Behind the Innovation

At Eggert Family Dentistry, Dr. Elizabeth Eggert, has been working with our community for nearly 20 years and Dr. Jeff Eggert has been here now for over 10 years.  Together, they form an unbeatable pair, especially when surrounded by their amazing team!  Their vision extends beyond traditional dental care, striving to create an environment that calms patients and utilizes modern tech tools to enhance comfort, accuracy, and communication.

A Visual and Tech-Forward Approach to Care

With unwavering commitment to providing the best possible experience for their patients, Eggert Family Dentistry has embraced technological advancements that make dental visits more efficient, precise, and pleasant.  State-of-the-art diagnostic tools, such as digital x-rays that reduce radiation exposure and enhance diagnostic accuracy, have been a cornerstone of their practice for years!

In addition, the utilization of intraoral cameras grants patients a virtual tour of their oral health, aiding in understanding diagnoses and treatment options.  You will love to learn about your oral health this way!

Revolutionizing Communication

The Eggert Family Dentistry team knows that communication is key to a successful patient-practitioner relationship.  By leveraging technology, they have streamlined communication channels, making it easier for patients to schedule appointments, access information, and receive timely reminders.

The Future Beckons

As technology continues to evolve, so does Eggert Family Dentistry’s commitment to pushing boundaries in patient care.  Our unwavering dedication to integrating technology harmoniously into our practice sets an inspiring example of a dental practice striving to enhance their patients’ experiences!

Call or Text Us!

We look forward to sharing our technology with you and!  Call or text us for an appointment soon!  651-482-8412.

Root Canal Myths vs. Facts: Debunking Common Misconceptions

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Many patients have a great deal of anxiety around root canals. This is usually because they’ve heard stories over the years about the pain and suffering others have had to undergo before, during, and after their root canal treatments.

Luckily, that’s all they are: stories. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we want to dispel the root canal myths and give you the facts. Without further ado, let’s break down the most common root canal myths so you can put those anxieties to rest and feel good about your upcoming root canal treatment.

6 Common Root Canal Myths

Myth #1: Root Canal Treatment is Painful

Fact: While this may have been true decades ago, we are pleased to report that modern medicine and anesthesia has come a long way since then! As such, a root canal procedure shouldn’t be any more disagreeable than a filling. Furthermore, Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth are very experienced in pain management and will make sure your procedure is as comfortable as possible.

Myth #2: Root Canal Treatment Causes Illness

Fact: Be careful what you read on the internet or see on the streaming networks! This misinformation is based on a poorly researched study conducted about a century ago that claimed root canals could cause illnesses, and has since been debunked. Currently, there is no scientific evidence linking root canal treatment with the development of disease in other parts of the body.

Myth #3: If My Tooth Doesn’t Hurt, I Don’t Need a Root Canal

Fact: While it’s true that most infected teeth cause toothaches, there are cases in which an infected tooth presents with no pain. That’s why it’s important to make regular appointments with Eggert Family Dentistry—Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert are trained to be able to test the tooth and detect when a root canal is needed to save the tooth, even if there is no initial pain.

Myth #4: It’s Better to Pull a Tooth Than Have a Root Canal Treatment

Fact: Saving the natural tooth is always your best option, as no artificial tooth replacement, even implants, will truly be able to look or function as well as a natural tooth. Root canal treatment has a high success rate and once treated, it’s highly likely that your tooth will continue to last a lifetime! Furthermore, root canal procedures only take a couple short appointments, while implants can be a larger time commitment.

Myth #5: Root Canals Remove the Roots of the Tooth

Fact: The root is what anchors your tooth to the jawbone, and so the root is never removed during a root canal treatment. Instead, the infected or inflamed pulp of the tooth is removed so that the root of your tooth can be healthy again.

Myth #6: Root Canals Require Multiple Long Appointments

Fact: At Eggert Family Dentistry, you can expect the entire root canal procedure to take about 90 minutes with a total of two visits. The first visit will be the main root canal procedure, and the second visit will be when we will fit a permanent crown or other restoration to protect the treated tooth and restore your bite.

Need a Root Canal Procedure? Schedule an Appointment

If you believe you have an infected tooth, it’s important that you have it treated as soon as possible to relieve your discomfort and prevent the spread of infection. At Eggert Family Dentistry, our patients enjoy successful, comfortable root canal procedures thanks to the compassionate care of Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert. To schedule an appointment, call our office at 651-482-8412, today!

Understanding Tooth Loss: Common Risk Factors and How to Protect Your Smile

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

No one wants to lose their teeth. Unfortunately, many people lose at least one adult tooth in a lifetime for a variety of reasons. But, seeing as it can impact both oral health and quality of life, it is helpful to understand the factors that contribute to tooth loss in order to adopt proactive strategies that help you maintain a healthy smile for years to come.

Let’s explore the common risk factors associated with tooth loss, as well as some practical tips on preventing tooth loss. We’ll also take a look at the various treatment options available at Eggert Family Dentistry to restore and replace missing teeth.

What Is Tooth Loss?

Tooth loss refers to the condition in which a person loses one or more of their natural teeth. Tooth loss can have significant effects on a person’s oral health, as well as their ability to bite, chew, and speak properly. It can also impact one’s self-esteem and overall quality of life. Treating and preventing tooth loss is important not only for maintaining a healthy smile, but also for preserving oral function and overall well-being.

Common Causes and Risk Factors of Tooth Loss

  • Gum Disease: Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common risk factor for tooth loss. When plaque and tartar build up along the gum line, bacteria can infect the gums, leading to inflammation and loss of the supporting bony structures for the teeth, eventually causing tooth loss if left untreated.
  • Cavities (Tooth Decay): Untreated tooth decay can result in cavities, which, when left untreated, can progress and reach the inner layers of the tooth. Severe tooth decay can cause tooth infection or abscess, leading to tooth loss.
  • Teeth Grinding: The habit of grinding or clenching teeth, known as bruxism, can exert excessive pressure on the teeth, leading to enamel wear, fractures, and tooth loss over time.
  • Injury or Trauma: Accidents, sports injuries, or other forms of trauma to the mouth can cause immediate tooth loss, or damage that may eventually lead to tooth loss if not promptly treated.
  • Dry Mouth: Saliva plays an important role in neutralizing acids, remineralizing teeth, and washing away bacteria. Not having enough saliva in the mouth increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
  • Diabetes: Poor blood sugar caused by uncontrolled diabetes weakens the immune system. A weak immune system will find it harder to fight off infections of the gums, accelerating gum disease and potentially leading to tooth loss.
  • Smoking: Tobacco use significantly increases the risk of gum disease by reducing blood flow to the gums, making smokers more susceptible to tooth loss.

How to Prevent Tooth Loss

Hygiene Habits

Make sure you brush and floss and floss your teeth regularly. That means brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Additionally, make sure you’re maintaining a regular schedule of dental appointments with Eggert Family Dentistry so Dr. Jeff Eggert and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert can monitor your oral health.

Lifestyle Choices

It should come as no surprise that you need to avoid tobacco consumption in all forms if you want to have a healthy mouth. Other lifestyle changes might include wearing a night guard for bruxism, consuming fewer sugary/acidic foods and drinks, and talking to your medical doctor about treatments for diabetes or high blood pressure to make sure your overall health is being taken care of.

Protective Measures for Sports

If you or a loved one engage in any kind of contact sports, mouth guards are a must. A properly fitted mouthguard can protect your teeth from trauma and prevent tooth loss if an accident happens. Additionally, if your sport allows it, wear a helmet! [DO WE HAVE A PREVIOUS MOUTHGUARD BLOG YOU COULD LINK HERE?]

Treating Tooth Loss

Thanks to modern dentistry, tooth loss doesn’t have to be permanent! At Eggert Family Dentistry, we can recreate the look and feel of your natural teeth using implants or dentures.

Implants are anchored in the bone and they help preserve bone mass in the jaw. Once they are established, you can care for them just as you would your normal teeth, with brushing and flossing. The feel of chewing and speaking will all feel completely familiar. Implants are built to last a lifetime, and they almost always do.

Bridges use the neighboring teeth as anchors to fill in a “tooth” where the natural tooth is missing. Bridges can be a good option if the neighboring teeth also need reconstruction or if the bone isn’t healthy enough for an implant.

Dentures or Partial Dentures are another solution and can be less expensive than implants, however, they may need to be replaced multiple times in a lifetime as the shape of the jaw, mouth and adjacent teeth change over time.

Suffering from Tooth Loss?

If you’re experiencing tooth loss, booking an appointment with Eggert Family Dentistry can be the first step towards restoring your smile. With our compassionate care and expertise, Dr. Jeff Eggert or Dr. Elizabeth Eggert will evaluate your oral health and determine the best treatment options for you. Whether it’s dental implants, bridges, dentures, or other restorative solutions, we can tailor a treatment plan to meet your unique needs. Give us a call today at (651) 482-8412!

Cavities vs. Tooth Erosion

By; Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

When we talk about cavities and tooth erosion, we’re talking about two very different dental processes. While both processes result in the breakdown of your teeth, they can be caused by different factors, and thus require different solutions.

In this post we’re going to share the differences between cavities and tooth erosion, their effects on your dental health, and offer some suggestions for prevention.

Cavities (Also Called Tooth Decay)

Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. This tooth decay can be caused by a combination of factors, including:

  • Bacteria in your mouth
  • Frequent snacking
  • Sipping sugary drinks
  • Acidic foods or drinks
  • Not cleaning your teeth well

Dental Effects

Because cavities make the tooth weaker, they can cause a number of uncomfortable side effects, including:

  • Toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot, or cold
  • Visible holes or pits in your teeth
  • Brown, black, or white staining on any surface of a tooth
  • Pain when you bite down

Prevention

The best way to prevent cavities is to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine. You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Additionally, you need to maintain a regular cadence of visiting Eggert Family Dentistry for professional dental cleanings and recare visits. While your at-home regimen is critical to preventing cavities, getting your teeth professionally cleaned on the interval recommended by Dr. Jeff or Dr. Elizabeth is key to making sure no stone is left unturned when it comes to your oral health.

Tooth/Enamel Erosion

Tooth enamel is the hard, translucent coating that covers the crowns of your teeth, protecting them from bacteria. This coating helps prevent tooth decay, and thereby plays a critical role in overall dental health. But, when enamel is eroded, problems arise.

Enamel erosion is similar to tooth decay in that it weakens the tooth. But rather than being caused by bacteria, teeth surfaces can be worn down and weakened by:

  • Acids in food and drink
  • Stomach acids
  • Misalignment
  • Clenching and grinding
  • Chewing ice
  • Naturally weak enamel

When your enamel wears down, your chances of developing decay become much higher, as there’s less of a protective layer between bacteria and the softer interior of your teeth.

Dental Effects

If you experience any combination of the following symptoms of enamel erosion, make an appointment with Eggert Family Dentistry today:

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pain or discomfort when eating something sweet, hot or cold
  • Change in the color of your teeth (with erosion, they often look gray or yellow)
  • Change in shape of your teeth (they may become sharp, chipped, or sometimes smooth like a stone)
  • Cracks in the teeth

Prevention

To prevent tooth erosion, reduce your intake of food and drinks containing acid. Or, if you’re going to have high acid food/beverages, try to eat them with other non-acidic foods to balance the acid content. Additionally, don’t brush immediately after you eat or drink food containing acid. Instead, rinse with tap water and wait about an hour until your enamel has a chance to remineralize again from your saliva before you brush.

Most importantly, to prevent tooth erosion, visit Eggert Family Dentistry for regular recare visits so we can keep an eye on your dental health! We can assess whether these damages are due to acidic foods, decay,  or bruxism, which can be prevented with appropriate treatment. Consider using a remineralization medicament, and ask about the restoration of your teeth to prevent further damage.

If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, changes in tooth color, cracks, chips, or dents in your enamel, or if you’re due for your next recare, routine dental visit, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at 651.482.8412 and set up an appointment today!

 

Replacing Maryland Bridges – Kate’s Story

By Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

How did this start?

Kate works in the medical field and came to us as a new patient in 2019.  At her new patient exam, Dr. Elizabeth noted that Kate was congenitally missing her upper lateral incisors.  The lateral incisor is the small tooth next to the central, front tooth. Missing lateral incisors are most commonly caused by a condition called hypodontia, in which someone is born with missing teeth.  This situation is more common than you realize.  Kate had her lateral incisors replaced by “Maryland” bridges over 30 years ago and she had some issues with them staying bonded in the past.  Maryland bridges aren’t used much anymore, but can be a decent way to replace teeth (temporarily) for patients that are young because over time tooth and gum changes are expected.

Kate had a bridge on her lower right side as well that came out due to the fracture of one of the abutment (anchor) teeth.  After this occurred, Kate decided it was time to work on her bite since she wanted implants to replace her lower teeth and once implants are placed, it is more difficult to idealize a bite since the implants can’t be moved with orthodontics like teeth can.

Patient Story - Kate

What did Kate want?

Kate wanted to complete her treatment as soon as possible, but she understood that changing her bite would include orthodontic treatment.  Kate worked with Dr. Brian DeVoe and had traditional brackets and wires placed.  Luckily, Dr. Elizabeth was able to section Kate’s original Maryland bridges so the teeth could still be moved, but Kate would not have to go without teeth in the front during her orthodontic treatment.  Kate was hoping to replace her missing teeth with implants so she would not have to use her adjacent teeth as anchors, however, due to the fact that Kate had been missing her lateral incisors her whole life, there wasn’t enough bone for implants without serious bone grafting interventions.  Even with surgical interventions, Kate still only would have had a guarded prognosis for implants.  Therefore, Kate decided to complete her case with conventional bridges.

Patient Story - Kate

What was involved?

Kate spent approximately 18 months in braces.  After she completed orthodontics, Kate came to our office for the pre-planning phase for her new conventional bridges.  We took impressions for a wax-up so Kate could preview her new restorations.  With the wax-up, we were able to complete a mock-up in Kate’s face so she could really see how the new bridges would look.  Kate also spent some time bleaching of her natural teeth so she could use a white porcelain for her new bridges.  This helped to brighten her smile.  One interesting thing occurred while Kate was bleaching.  She had purchased bleach online from the Amazon store, but ended up with a severe ulceration of her tissues from that bleach.  After reviewing techniques for healing, her tissue did heal and we were able to continue on with her treatment plan.

After Kate approved the mock-up and her gingival tissue healed, she returned to our office for the preparation of her teeth for conventional bridges.  We placed temporary bridges for a couple of weeks and then the final bridges were cemented.  She finished her treatment by having new orthodontic retainers fabricated.

Patient Story - Kate

What does Kate think?

When we asked Kate what she thought about the treatment once completed, she said that she didn’t understand everything that would go into correcting her bite and planning for new restorations.  She initially thought it would be a shorter process.  She was surprised at all the detail that went into the planning and the treatment.  “I am just amazed at the precision and every single thing that was considered.  Dr. Elizabeth Eggert’s skill and ability to do what she does truly amazes me.”  When asked what she would tell someone thinking of getting this done, she said, “I would tell them to trust the process and to trust Dr. Elizabeth.  It may not be the easiest to live through or it may seem long and tedious, but the end results are so worth it!”  Thank you for putting your trust in us to complete your care, Kate!  We love your new bright smile!

Patient Story - Kate

Antibacterial Therapies & Gum Disease

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Periodontal diseases are a group of inflammatory conditions affecting the gums and teeth. They range from mild gum inflammation, known as gingivitis, to more severe forms such as periodontitis (gum disease), which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

The root cause of periodontal diseases is the proliferation of bacteria on the surface of the teeth, which infects the gums. While deep dental cleanings and oral surgery are key treatments to get rid of bacteria under the gums, non-surgical treatments such as antibacterial therapies are also highly effective.

The Role of Bacteria in Periodontal Diseases

Oral bacteria naturally reside in the mouth, forming a biofilm known as dental plaque. When we don’t keep up consistent oral hygiene practices, this plaque can accumulate and become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.

These bacteria release toxins and trigger an immune response, leading to inflammation and damage to the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. If left unchecked, the bacterial infection can progress from a mild case of gingivitis to advanced periodontitis, resulting in bone loss and eventual tooth loss.

Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatments:

Non-surgical periodontal treatments aim to remove bacterial plaque and tartar, reduce inflammation, and promote the healing of gum tissues. These treatments are usually the first line of defense against periodontal diseases and may include:

  1. Scaling and Root Planing: This procedure involves the thorough removal of plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline. It helps to eliminate bacteria and smooth the tooth roots, allowing the gums to reattach to the teeth.
  2. Antibacterial Mouthwashes: Dentists may prescribe antimicrobial mouth rinses containing ingredients such as chlorhexidine. These rinses can help reduce the bacterial load in the mouth and promote healing.
  3. Local Antibiotics: In some cases, local antibiotic therapies may be applied directly to periodontal pockets under the gums to eliminate bacteria. This approach enhances the effectiveness of non-surgical treatments like scaling and root planing.

The Role of Antibacterial Therapies in Treating Periodontal Diseases

Antibacterial therapies play a crucial role in combating periodontal diseases by directly targeting the underlying bacterial infection. They can be administered two different ways: systemically and locally.

  • Locally Delivered Antibiotics: In most cases, antibiotics are applied directly to the affected areas in the form of topical gels or powders. These topical treatments can be placed into periodontal pockets, localizing the effects of the medication. This approach is usually completed immediately after scaling and root planing procedures.
  • Systemic Antibiotics: In severe cases of periodontal diseases, where the bacterial infection has spread extensively, systemic antibiotics may be prescribed for a longer period than average at a low dose. This can enhance the success of deep cleaning procedures. These antibiotics are taken orally and circulate throughout the body to combat bacterial infections.

Think You Need Antibacterial Therapies for Periodontitis?

Non-surgical periodontal treatments, coupled with antibacterial therapies, can help control bacterial infections, reduce inflammation, and promote gum tissue healing. If you think you might require antibiotics to treat periodontitis, come into Eggert Family Dentistry and consult with Dr. Jeff Eggert or Dr. Elizabeth Eggert.

When you schedule an appointment with us, we can assess the severity of the disease and determine whether topical or oral antibacterial therapies are needed. We’ll be able to provide personalized treatment recommendations based on your unique oral health situation. Call us today at 651-482-8412 to schedule an appointment!