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11/13/2018 8:36:00 AM | ProSites, Inc. SMM

If you burned the roof of your mouth eating something hot, like pizza, first try cooling your mouth down with a cold drink or a popsicle. Ice cream or yogurt can also do the trick. It’s best to stop eating the pizza until it cools, to prevent damaging your mouth further.

Once the pain has subsided, you can gargle salt water to clean and disinfect the area. Medical professionals recommend using a mixture of ½ teaspoon of salt and 8 ounces of water.

If you’re in a lot of pain, you can take an ibuprofen or try a topical numbing spray. However, if you think the burn is serious, contact your doctor right away. Most burns are first-degree burns, but second- and third-degree burns can cause long-lasting nerve damage to your palate. Symptoms of these types of burns include severe pain, blistering, swelling, redness, or white patches.

It can take up to a week for the skin in your mouth to heal. While your mouth is healing, avoid food with sharp edges like chips, which can aggravate the roof of your mouth. Spicy foods, citrus, mint, and alcohol can also irritate the burn. Additionally, if your mouth doesn’t heal within a few days to a week, follow up with your doctor.

8/10/2018 1:07:00 PM | ProSites, Inc. SMM

We know that flossing can be a task that’s easy to forget, but by flossing daily, you can actually help to prevent gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath!

Brushing your teeth can’t remove plaque from your teeth and gums the way that floss can, which is why we encourage our patients to make flossing a daily ritual. 

Floss comes in all kinds of flavors and sizes, and you can do it just about anywhere. Whether it’s, at your desk, or in the comfort of your own home, you can take your floss with you wherever you go!

5/18/2018 12:38:00 PM | Anonymous

Sleep apnea is a problem that affects more than 18 million US adults. There are potentially serious consequences of untreated sleep apnea, so it is important to talk to your doctor about the diagnosis and a solution of the sleep disorder.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is caused by a blockage of your airway when you’re asleep. This prevents constant streams of air from getting into your lungs, which leads to oxygen deprivation, and can cause you to wake up. This can occur as rarely as a few times every couple of nights to a dozen times in a single hour.

People can develop sleep apnea for several reasons. For instance, some people acquire this sleep disorder if they are overweight because excess fat around the neck or chest area contributes to airway blockage. However, you don’t need to be overweight to have sleep apnea; some people have a naturally narrow airway that increases their risk. If you have an allergy or another condition that contributes to airway congestion, you may have an increased risk of developing this sleep disorder.

Common Signs of Sleep Apnea

      Snoring caused by partial airway.
      Pauses in breathing.
      Daytime fatigue like falling asleep during the day, feeling tired all the time, or having a hard time concentrating.
      Often waking up with a headache or high blood pressure, as both conditions can be the result of low blood-oxygen levels.

What are the Risks of Sleep Apnea?
One of the most common issues with sleep apnea is the way it affects your quality of life. This restless disorder leads to daytime sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and even mood swings, all of which tend to make life more difficult and less enjoyable. The snoring and sleep disturbances may also affect your partner, who might find it difficult to get to obtain quality rest.

Sleep apnea has some potentially serious long-term consequences, too, as the lack of sleep and oxygen can put strain on the cardiovascular system. If you have an untreated rest disorder, you face an increased risk of reflux disease, diabetes, stroke, and heart problems.

In addition, because people with sleep apnea tend to be tired during the day, there’s a higher risk of workplace accidents, traffic accidents, and other potentially dangerous situations.

While sleep apnea does have serious consequences if untreated, there are effective treatments that prevent apnea and normalize your sleep—so if you suspect you have a rest disorder, it’s important to see your doctor for advice.

5/16/2018 1:01:00 PM | ProSites, Inc. SMM

This week, we’d like to share with you a few words of wisdom to help you prepare for the removal of your wisdom teeth. 

While wisdom teeth do not always cause obvious pain and discomfort, it is important to remove them in order to avoid these issues (and others) in the future. 

If you were to forgo removing your wisdom teeth, your teeth could become impacted or stuck, which can be damaging to the surrounding teeth. 

We’re happy to provide you with a complete breakdown of the procedure so that you’re comfortable and ready to part with your molars. Have any questions? Feel free to ask!

3/20/2018 9:15:00 AM | Anonymous

Many people with missing teeth have an urge to hide their smile as it does not meet their aesthetic standards. While they may want to restore their dental appearance, the variety of teeth replacement options available can be overwhelming. It can be hard to know which restorative method is best for you and how it will help you achieve optimal oral health and dental function.

Dental implants are one of the best replacement methods available. While traditional prosthetics do well to rejuvenate the visual aspects of teeth, implant-supported restorations comprehensively restore a tooth from root to crown. This makes dental implants the ideal solution for missing teeth. A few more benefits of implant treatment are shown in the following:


One of the main disadvantages of traditional teeth replacement methods such as conventional dentures and bridges, is their susceptibility to move. Dental implants eliminate the risk of your prosthetic shifting because the restorations gain stability directly from the jawbone. Dentures that receive support from suction or dental adhesives can keep you from enjoying a conversation or eating with confidence in fear of the appliance dislodging. Implant-supported replacements allow you chew, speak, and smile with a renewed sense of self.


Dental implants are surgically placed into the jaw to provide a stable foundation for your restoration. Not only does the implant post keep the prosthetic sturdy, it also stops the resorption process. This is when the adjacent bone is used to fill the gap left by the lost tooth. Resorption can cause a person to appear prematurely aged. An implant-supported restoration not on maintains the aesthetic of your smile, but it also preserves healthy jawbone density as well.

Another advantage of dental implants is that they help maintain straight teeth. The empty space left by a lost tooth can lead to neighboring teeth shifting into the gap. This causes misalignment and crowding which often requires orthodontic intervention to correct. The replacement tooth or teeth fill the void, keeping surrounding teeth in place and stopping malocclusion from occurring.

The dental team at the office of Richard J. Stuart, DDS, is dedicated to improving your oral health and dental function. Dr. Richard J. Stuart sets patients on the path to rejuvenated facial aesthetic by providing high-quality restorative care. Our Indianapolis staff makes every effort to help you achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.

3/8/2018 8:11:00 AM | Anonymous

There are certainly plenty of foods that cause bad breath, but did you know that these five foods can help fight it? 

Cheese and yogurt - Cheese can help neutralize acids and unsweetened yogurt can reduce hydrogen sulfide, both of which can cause bad breath. 

Sugarless gum and candy - Both increase saliva which helps to reduce odor. 

Tea - The polyphenols in green and black teas prevent the growth of bacteria. 

Water - A dry mouth can be rather odorous, but as long as you stay hydrated, you won't have to worry about it. 

Crunchy foods - Foods such as apples and carrots act as teeth scrubbers, helping to remove any leftover food particles.

1/30/2018 2:06:00 PM | Anonymous

We all know that brushing and flossing helps maintain our teeth, but did you know that these foods and beverages can also help with dental health? 

Cheese - Cheese can reduce levels of acid in our mouths. 

Tea - Polyphenols, which are found in black and green teas, slow the growth of bacteria that causes gum disease and cavities. 

Milk - Milk lowers the level of acid in the mouth. 

Raisins - Raisins contain phytochemicals, which may kill cavity-causing plaque bacteria.

Cranberries - Just like tea, cranberries have polyphenols, which may prevent plaque from sticking to teeth. 

Gum - As long as it's sugarless, gum creates more saliva, which clears away bacteria.

11/7/2017 8:00:00 AM | Anonymous

If you’ve ever needed a dental restoration, you know how long it takes. All-in-all, it could be three weeks before you have a fully functional smile again. CEREC is a dental technology that mills the restoration you need in a single visit. You don’t have to waste time with an uncomfortable false tooth or go a single day without a full smile; this in-house restoration technology makes dental prosthetics quickly and according to your unique smile.

What is CEREC?

CEREC is CAD/CAM technology that uses digital instructions to make fully-customized restorations from durable materials such as porcelain or zirconia. Inside this mini-dental lab are sculpting and milling tools that take a block of the chosen material and turn it into a usable dental prosthesis, such as a crown. Typically, dentists use impression molds to give dental labs the necessary specifications for your prosthetics, but CEREC uses digital scans. These do not use uncomfortable putty and can provide more precise specifications.

After restorations are made, they are stained and cured to match the shade of existing teeth, creating a perfect fit.

Convenient Same-Day Treatment 

When you need a crown, veneer, or another dental restoration, CEREC reduces the number of appointments required to obtain them.  This is especially useful when undergoing root canal therapy, as CEREC crowns are completed within the span of your visit; you can return to daily life with a fully functional tooth. After veneers have been planned and designed, all your dentist has to do is prepare teeth and set the CEREC machine to work. The amount of time required to affix veneers will vary, depending on the number of teeth that are being covered.

Many patients who choose implant crowns and bridges to replace teeth can also benefit from this advanced technology. Having Implant-supported restorations made in-house grants an additional measure of control over the quality and design. You don’t have to wait weeks for your replacement teeth to be produced, instead you can have a complete smile in a few days. 

Contact Richard J. Stuart, DDS in Washington Township

Our practice offers the latest in dental technology and pairs it with experienced care. Dr. Stuart is passionate about helping patients find renewed confidence in their smiles in less time. If you want to see how CEREC can benefit you, call us today!

10/13/2017 11:30:00 AM | Anonymous

We've all heard the expression "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." But perhaps that should be changed to dentist. In addition to being good for your health, apples are also quite good for your teeth. In fact, if you find yourself without a toothbrush, an apple can fill in nicely. 

Apples actually act like toothbrushes because of their fiber-rich flesh. This works like a scrub on not only your teeth, but your tongue and gums as well. An apple can also help remove food particles that are hiding out between your teeth and sticking to your gums. 

As well as cleaning your teeth, because they are mildly acidic and slightly astringent, apples can also help get rid of plaque and stains. On top of that, apples can freshen breath. Is there nothing this super fruit can't do? The next time you have an after lunch meeting and forgot your toothbrush, head down to the cafeteria and grab an apple instead.

7/10/2017 9:00:00 AM | Anonymous

Often, a family trip to the dentist will feature the use of an x-ray camera. The dental hygienists will cover you or your children with a heavy apron and make you chomp on some bitewings, while the camera moves and clicks around you. Of course, the images produced by the x-rays have a purpose: cavities, jawbone degradation, and other oral health issues are made easily visible, allowing the dentist to address these issues directly. However, x-rays are a form of radiation, and some people are concerned with that exposing someone to dental x-rays will cause cancer. These concerns are especially strong for parents taking their children to the dentist.

X-rays are a type of ionizing radiation, and ionizing radiation has been shown to cause cancer. Ionizing radiation, upon passing through the body, strip electrons from the atoms this energy passes. The resulting protons, known as free radicals, then can damage the cells of the body. While these cells return to normal most of the time, on rare occasions the cells will heal with some abnormalities. These abnormal cells, consequently, can grow into cancer. From this alone, people believe that dental x-rays will cause cancer.

However, you’re always exposed to ionizing radiation. On average, your body is exposed to 3.1 millisieverts (mSv) of natural radiation alone per year. At .005 mSv, the radiation you receive from the aforementioned dental x-ray is less than 1.6% of your daily background radiation exposure. You are exposed to the same level of radiation just from sunlight each day. Additionally, each x-ray is an individual dose rather than constant exposure, which is another factor in the cancer risks of radiation exposure. X-rays only increase the odds of dying of cancer by 1 in 2,000; compare this to the natural 1 in 5 chance you have of dying of cancer.

Moreover, there are precautions in place for younger patients to help minimize their exposure. Technically, children do have a higher risk of developing cancer from radiation than adults, so dentists make up for it with stricter safety measures. Lead aprons are almost ubiquitous, but many doctors will also reduce the amount of radiation emitted by the camera when taking x-ray images of pediatric patients. The same precautions can be given to pregnant women, as fetuses are assumed to be just as vulnerable as children. Your children could be receiving special considerations regarding radiation exposure risks already.

Ultimately, the benefits of detecting an oral health issue as early as possible far outweighs the negligible cancer risk. Not only are healthy teeth and gums alone something worth keeping, but many recent studies have shown connections between oral health and overall bodily health as well. Being able to detect and address these issues is paramount to your health and your children’s health. So, the next time your dentist readies the bitewings and camera, don’t be afraid. The benefits are high, the risk is low, and the dentist is likely being extra careful with your children anyways.

4/5/2017 3:00:00 PM | Anonymous

Knocking out a permanent tooth is a true dental emergency. Don’t be afraid to contact your dentist right away. If you knock out a permanent tooth, here is what to do. 

1. Hold the tooth by the crown and not the root so as not to spread bacteria unto the root 

2. Rinse dirt or any debris off with room temperature water but be gentle with the root. 

3. Try to reinsert the tooth until you get to the dentist and hold it into place. 

4. If reinserting is not an option, keep it moist by covering it with milk or water. 

5. For optimal outcome, try to get to a dentist within 30 minutes.

1/18/2017 3:19:00 PM | Anonymous

What It Is
Periodontal disease, known as gum disease or periodontitis, is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. In the United States, it is estimated that half of Americans aged 30 or older have advanced gum disease. While highly prevalent, this dental condition is preventable with a good oral health regimen.

Periodontal disease symptoms become apparent as bacteria and debris accumulate around teeth and below the gum line and hardens into tartar. If not removed by a professional, tartar and bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums and weakening of teeth.

There are variables that can increase your risk of periodontitis that range from genetic predisposition and underlying health conditions, to certain lifestyle habits. Diet, taking certain medications, decreased immunity, and hormonal changes can also increase your chances of developing gum disease.

Periodontitis begins with the onset of gingivitis. In this early stage, bacteria builds up, irritating the surrounding gums. As bacteria accumulate and plaque builds and hardens into tartar, there is a weakening of bone and connective tissue that keeps teeth in their sockets. As bacteria spreads, pockets that trap further bacteria begin to form around teeth and under soft tissue. In patients with advanced periodontal disease, teeth become loose and fall out.

One of the most difficult aspects of spotting periodontal disease without help from a dentist is that the condition can progress slowly in patients and may not always produce obvious signs. Patients may notice:

- Gum tenderness
- Gum recession
- Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth or a change in teeth alignment

Diagnosis of gum disease typically involves visiting a dentist for a visual examination of your oral condition, as well as charting pocket depths and using X-Rays to check bone loss in areas with deeper periodontal pockets.

Early diagnosis gives patients the greatest chance of reversing damage with nonsurgical treatments. These procedures include root scaling and planing, which removes tartar and bacteria from surfaces of teeth and beneath the gums and smooths root surfaces,. Antibiotics that are either taken orally or topically as a rinse, can also be used to reduce bacteria and inflammation.

For patients with advanced periodontitis, dental surgery may be the most effective option to reduce pocket size and restore the healthy appearance and supportive structure of soft tissue.

Periodontal disease is preventable by practicing consistent and good oral hygiene. As a rule of thumb, you should be taking between 3-5 minutes twice day to care for your teeth and gums by flossing first to loosen any food particles and bacteria, and brushing to clean all surfaces of teeth. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for thorough teeth cleanings. Patients displaying early signs of gum disease may require more frequent dental visits throughout the year.

If are exhibiting signs and symptoms of gum disease, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you can receive treatment, the more likely you will be able to reverse any damage caused by periodontal disease.

10/21/2016 9:51:00 AM | Anonymous

Halloween is just around the corner carrying with it a common tradition to eat your weight in sugary sweets. While trick-or-treating in your neighborhood with your children dressed as your favorite ghoul or ghost can be one exciting night out of the year to indulge in fun, eating too much candy can cause a lifetime of dental problems. One day out of the year shouldn’t ruin all the hard work of maintaining good dental hygiene, so here are five tips to be aware of this Holiday season.

How does sugar cause cavities?

Before getting into these tips, we need to understand what causes dental caries, more commonly known as cavities. Contrary to popular belief, sugar doesn’t directly cause cavities. However, the bacteria living in the mouth sharing your leftover sweets produces an acid byproduct that causes plaque, in turn developing tooth decay as the acid eats away at the enamel creating the cavity.

Top 5 Tips to Prevent Cavities

#1: Remember to Brush and Floss
A good hygiene routines is essential to prevent the development of cavities, so it’s necessary to teach children at an early age how to care for their teeth. Brushing and flossing removes bacteria that potentially will harm teeth if left to form plaque. Practicing good dental hygiene this Halloween is your best bet for preventing a lifetime of dental ailments. It’s especially important to brush before bed as plaque can easily develop while you sleep.

#2: Rinse with Mouthwash
Some would say mouthwash can be overkill when a person already brushes and flosses, but cavity fighting rinse can help. Mouthwash cleans behind all the hard-to-reach areas a toothbrush or floss couldn’t reach, killing hidden germs that create plaque and tartar. Mouthwash that contains fluoride will also help to strengthen enamel to protect your teeth and gums.

#3:  Eat in Moderation
While it can be tempting to eat all the sugary treasure you’ve collected from your neighbors, if there’s any time to start practicing moderation, Halloween is the perfect night. Nibbling on candy throughout the day gives the bacteria a thriving environment. Portion the treats to give your teeth a break and make sure that if you cannot brush right after, that you at least rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum to help remove dangerous bacteria.

#4: Share
You don’t need to eat all that chocolate and candy. As a society addicted to sugar, we need finding ways to get rid of the excess sweets without eating or wasting them. Not only will your friends and family appreciate your consideration, your teeth will be thanking you over and over with a beautiful smile.

#5: Stay Hydrated
Dry mouth causes an increased production of bacteria in the mouth. Additionally, drinking water causes the bacteria and excess sugar residue to wash into the stomach, an area of the body that can easily break down and digest the material that would otherwise damage teeth’s enamel.
While it can be scary to think of all the cavities developed on Halloween, taking the proper precautions will help you prepare for the sugar overload and still allow you to enjoy the holiday. With these five tips to keep your mouth safe from bacteria, you can bravely go into Halloween properly equipped with your trusty toothbrush and anti-cavity dental floss.

8/17/2016 11:51:00 AM | Anonymous

Brushing everyday is one of the best ways to take care of your teeth. However, it's not just that simple. For optimal dental care, follow these six tips.

1. Pick the right brush - Not all brushes are the same, and you need to choose one that fits your mouth.

2. Brush the right way - You should hold your brush at a 45-F-degree angle to your gums and use an up-and-down motion with short strokes.

3. Take your time - While brushing twice a day is recommended, three times is probably best. Also, whenever you brush, make sure you do it for at least two minutes.

4. Don't overdo it - Conversely, don't brush too much or for too long, as this can wear down enamel and hurt your gums.

5. Keep it clean - Always rinse your brush, as germs can linger on it.

Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months or if the bristles are becoming frayed or broken.

4/14/2016 8:30:00 AM | Anonymous

Dental sealants are an effective tool for preventing tooth decay, especially for children. Sealants are made from a clear, plastic-like material and painted onto the surfaces of the teeth. Most often, sealants are applied where the majority of chewing is performed, on the premolars and molars. While regular brushing and flossing is imperative to good dental health, brushing and flossing alone can’t always protect the teeth from decay. Harmful particles can get trapped in the grooves of back teeth, however, sealants can prevent damage from occurring.

Sealant Application 

Sealants are applied by your dental professional following an exam and cleaning. Once teeth are thoroughly clean, they are dried and an absorbent material like cotton is placed around the teeth to absorb excess moisture. The surfaces of teeth are lightly roughed by an acidic solution, which helps the sealant grip the teeth. After being rinsed and dried, teeth are painted with the sealant. Some dentists use a special light to harden and cure the sealant.

Are Sealants Right for You? 

Sealants are commonly applied to children’s teeth to prevent tooth decay. Young teeth are especially susceptible to tooth. Usually, kids between the ages of 6 and 14 are good candidates for sealants. However, children even younger may benefit in some cases. Even some adults are good candidates for sealants, that is, if they don’t have fillings or any current decay. The protective effects of sealants can last 10 years or even longer.

Modern Dentistry in Indianapolis 

At the Indianapolis office of Dr. Richard Stuart, we not only apply sealants but offer comprehensive preventive and cosmetic dentistry services as well. Our Indianapolis dental office provides compassionate dental care from a highly experienced team of oral health professionals. Whether you need a routine cleaning or a more in-depth dental service, we can help. From restorations to implants, whitening services to laser dentistry — we do it all!

Get on the path to a healthier, more confident smile today. Don’t delay your dental health — good oral health is imperative to overall wellness. Dr. Stuart and his staff are eager to welcome you to the practice; call 317-660-6223 to schedule your appointment.

4/7/2016 4:31:00 PM | Anonymous

The American Dentistry Association seal of approval is awarded to consumer oral hygiene products that meet ADA-defined standards. The seal is intended to help consumers make informed choices about the products they use.

Products that are ADA-approved have undergone extensive testing for safety and efficacy, to ensure that any claims made about them are factually correct. Companies that submit products for assessment have to submit ingredient lists and data from laboratory studies and clinical trials that support the product claims, and show that the product is being made using good manufacturing practices. Each product is assessed by around 100 consultants, from a variety of scientific disciplines relevant to oral health and hygiene. Once a product has been approved, the packaging is required to display the ADA seal.

So is it okay to use products that are not ADA-approved? If a product hasn't been approved, that doesn't automatically mean it's unsafe or ineffective—but using ADA-approved products takes the guesswork out of choosing and using effective products. For example, if an ADA-approved toothpaste claims to be effective at preventing tooth decay, the presence of the seal means you can be sure it's a valid claim. Many Crest, Aim, Listerine and Tom products are ADA approved, just to name a few.

4/4/2016 11:15:00 AM | Anonymous

Halitosis — also known as bad breath — is an embarrassing problem no one wants to have. Bad breath can occur in people of all ages; some people may have more risk factors for bad breath than others. The first step to alleviating this problem is a thorough dental examination. There are a number of oral health issues that can cause or exacerbate bad breath.

Causes of Bad Breath

There are numerous reasons why bad breath may occur. One of the most obvious is from food. Although smelly foods like onions and garlic can make your breath temporarily smell bad, so can eating too infrequently.  In addition, food particles can get stuck between teeth and decay there — causing a rotten odor.

Another cause of bad breath is dry mouth — a condition caused by certain medications, tobacco use, and aging. Saliva washes away the odor-causing bacteria; when enough saliva isn’t produced the particles can build up and cause the unpleasant smell. Smokers often suffer from bad breath, not only caused by the cigarettes themselves but also the dry mouth that smoking can cause.

In some cases, an underlying medical condition can cause bad breath. Your dentist can determine whether or not a visit to your medical doctor is in order following an examination. Conditions that may affect breath odor include but aren’t limited to sinusitis, respiratory tract infections and kidney or liver problems.

How to Help Prevent Bad Breath at Home

Good oral health habits can help prevent bad breath. In addition to getting regular checkups from a dental professional, it’s important to brush and floss daily. If bad breath is a problem for you, consider adding a tongue scraper to your home care routine. Your dentist can educate you further on caring for your dentition at home; they can recommend which products are best and show you the right techniques for oral health care.

Schedule Your Checkup Today

At the Indianapolis office of Dr. Richard Stuart, every patient is given personalized dental care based on their unique needs. Services offered include not only preventive dentistry such as exams and cleanings, but also cosmetic restorations as well. Schedule your appointment today by calling 317-660-6223. Dr. Stuart and his experienced, friendly staff are waiting to provide you with the superior dental care you deserve!

3/23/2016 9:51:00 AM | Anonymous

A cavity is a hole in the tooth left behind after the removal of tooth decay. Cavities are caused by bacteria in the mouth that will build up over time. Culprits to the development of cavities are the absence or lack of proper daily oral hygiene routines, skipping biyearly dental cleaning visits and poor eating habits. Both children and adults are susceptible to the development of cavities.

How a Cavity Develops

Everyone needs food to survive. Unfortunately, the bacteria contained in your mouth also need food — to produce the harmful acids that erode tooth enamel. You’ve probably heard that sugary foods and sweets are bad for your teeth; however, it’s actually any carbohydrate that’s the culprit. Simple carbs known as fermentable carbohydrates are found in foods like bread, crackers, cereal, chips — even bananas. The sugars react with the bacteria and begin to dissolve the protective layer of the teeth.

In its earliest stages, tooth decay manifests with a white spot. At this stage, further damage can be prevented by professional fluoride treatments. If left unchecked, the acids will continue to eat through the tooth enamel — causing lasting damage to the tooth. The only thing left to do at this point is remove the decay and fill the cavity. The longer the problem goes untreated, the more severe it can become; decay can reach all the way to the nerve of the tooth.

Risk Factors for Cavities 

Some people are more likely to get cavities than others. For example, young children are susceptible because their new teeth don’t have strong enamel. Baby bottle tooth decay, as its known, is very common in youngsters and can cause serious cavities within a short period of time.

For adults, cavities are often caused by periodontal disease. Dry mouth and certain medications can cause this problem. Saliva is important because it washes away harmful bacteria and acids, so anything that causes a decrease in saliva production can contribute to tooth decay.

Sometimes, tooth decay occurs underneath fillings, crowns, or other restorations — especially if the restoration is cracked or placed incorrectly.

Cavity Prevention

Regular dental examinations and cleanings can prevent cavities from forming. For patients of all ages, early detection is key. Although home dental care such as regular brushing and flossing is important, only a professional cleaning can remove harmful tartar buildup. In addition, your dentist can protect your teeth with fluoride treatments and sealants — minimizing your risk of developing cavities.

Schedule Your Appointment 

Don’t take your chances with cavities — schedule your appointment with Dr. Richard Stuart today by calling 317-660-6223. Dr. Stuart and his friendly staff are proud to serve Indianapolis; services offered include preventive dentistry and cosmetic dentistry for patients of all ages.

3/10/2016 8:56:00 AM | Anonymous

If you have lost most or all of your teeth, denture options can range from traditional, adhesive-based dentures and bridges, to the stable, fixed implant-supported dentures. One of the most reliable denture options, and growing in popularity are hybrid dentures.

Hybrid dentures offer the strength and stability of a fixed denture restoration, as well as the advantages of a removable denture. The denture is fixed in place using dental implants, but can be removed by the dentist or hygienist for professional cleanings. Hybrid dentures are a great solution when there is significant bone loss in the jaw, but patients want the convenience of having a “fixed” denture.

Advantages of Hybrid Dentures

  • Comfort: Hybrid dentures are customized to fit the natural face shape and jaw line. Because they replace the natural teeth without covering the palate, dentures don’t cause the mouth shape to alter and don’t feel bulky or too big. 
  • Stability: Hybrid dentures are fixed in place using biocompatible and durable titanium or zirconium implants that fuse to existing jaw bone. Once the implants have been surgically placed and given time to heal, the implants are fitted with an abutment upon which the dentures are securely fitted.  
  • Minimally-Invasive: Although implants are surgically placed below the gum line, they take the place of the natural root and the procedure usually requires minor sedation and pain relief. The process itself can take as little as a couple of hours from start to finish, and recovery from the procedure is rapid. 
  • Health: Hybrid dentures replaces gum tissue with pink acrylic between the teeth to allow for correct positioning and appearance. This means the dentures are often indistinguishable from natural teeth when it comes to everyday activities, including eating and drinking, speaking and smiling. Hybrid dentures allow patients to bite and chew without restriction, which stimulates the remaining bone and prevents further loss to bone and tissue. 
  • Aesthetics: Hybrid dentures are created using resilient, durable and natural-looking materials, and are customized to fit the individual. Because they are retained using dental implants that are below the gum line and not visible, the new dentures look natural and fit closely to the gum line. 
  • Dental Well-being: Hybrid dentures can help patients regain control of their dental health. Hybrid dentures must be kept clean through daily brushing and with the help of regular visits to the dentist for a thorough, professional cleaning. 

Hybrid dentures are not for everyone, and a full analysis of the jaw bone, existing mouth structure and dental health will be required before establishing a treatment plan. And though they are durable and resilient, hybrid dentures may need to be repaired after years of wear. However, if you are interested in hybrid dentures as a permanent solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist whether you would be a good candidate for this remarkable and reliable denture option.

Contact Dr. Richard J Stuart to schedule an appointment and find out more about hybrid dentures.

2/29/2016 12:11:00 PM | Anonymous

Mouthwash, or mouth rinse, can be effective for many reasons. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) mouthwashes are often relied upon to tackle bad breath, to reinforce brushing and flossing, and to help rid the mouth of harmful bacteria.

Mouthwash contains active ingredients, such as fluoride, which help reduce plaque and significantly delay the development of tartar. Although rinsing with a mouthwash can help remove debris from the mouth and reduce the risk of infection and cavities, mouthwash should not be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing teeth.

Mouthwash can:

  • Improve the freshness of your mouth: Bad breath is often caused by the accumulation of residue in tiny crevices and folds in the tongue and teeth/gum line, or the presence of bacterial infection. When bacteria breaks down the residue and is allowed to colonize, it produces sulfur compounds to include hydrogen sulfide, which is the same chemical that gives rotten eggs their nasty odor. Mouth rinses can work by masking the odor, or by neutralizing the bacteria. 
  • Fight gum disease: In many cases, the key to effectively preventing gum disease is to stay on top of your dental hygiene habits. That means brushing teeth twice a day, flossing daily to remove debris between the teeth and around the gum line, and keeping up with your regular dental visits. But, you can improve your chances of staying disease-free by using an antimicrobial mouthwash to remove or neutralize disease-causing bacteria. 
  • Prevent cavities: Mouthwash and rinses that contain fluoride offer a fantastic opportunity to help protect your teeth’s enamel from tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens the teeth’s enamel and delays the buildup of tartar that causes decay. 

Most mouthwash can be bought without a prescription. However, your dentist may prescribe a specific chemotherapeutic, or antibacterial mouth rinse to treat dental issues such as gingivitis, or advanced gum disease.

Caring for your teeth and gums should always include using dental floss and brushing your teeth. Dental well being can also be improved by keeping your tongue clean (gently brush it after brushing your teeth), drinking plenty of (sugarless) fluids, remaining tobacco-free, and maintaining a healthy diet.

Prevention is the key to long-term oral health. Contact Dr. Richard Stuart to schedule your next dental appointment.

2/22/2016 9:21:00 AM | Anonymous

Bleeding gums are usually a sign the soft tissue is damaged or inflamed. If you notice your gums are bleeding while brushing or flossing your teeth, it’s a good idea to take note and take action. The cause may be straight forward and temporary; however, even serious problems can be easily and effectively treated.

Why are my gums bleeding?

Here are five common reason why your gums bleed:

Gingivitis – The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. It develops when the sticky bacterial film, known as plaque, is allowed to take up residence along the gum line, irritating the soft tissue, and potentially causing inflammation and swelling of the soft tissue. Gingivitis can be prevented and treated with regular and thorough brushing and flossing, and by going for regular dental cleanings.

Pregnancy Gingivitis – Hormonal changes during pregnancy can wreak havoc with your skin, hair, and yes, even teeth! Higher levels of progesterone actually diminish the pregnant woman’s ability to fight off disease-causing bacteria, and may make gum tissue more sensitive to the effect of plaque. Although this phenomena only lasts during the pregnancy, it must be treated by increasing oral hygiene and professional cleanings from a dentist to prevent long-term damage.

Medication – Some medications, such as blood thinners, can cause the gums to bleed. These medications prevent blood from clotting, which means gums can bleed more easily if scraped or punctured while brushing. By using a soft-bristled brush and a very soft floss, it is still possible to keep plaque at bay without causing yourself and your gums any further harm.

Poor Dental Hygiene Habits – the American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and daily flossing will remove any bacterial buildup from between the teeth and along the gum line. The ADA also recommends visiting the dentist for regular cleanings. While many of us do try to stay the course, even a slight lapse can open the door to gum disease and inflammation.

The Tools – Selecting the right toothbrush and floss can make all the difference when it comes to gum health. For instance, switching to using a hard-bristled toothbrush after using a soft-bristled toothbrush can certainly hurt the gum and may cause it to bleed. The same is true with dental floss, which is available in many different forms. If your gums are bleeding when you floss, try using a softer thread or thinner floss designed for sensitive gums.

Bleeding gums can be an indicator that professional help is needed. If your gums bleed for more than a couple of days without any sign of improving, it is time to see your dentist. Contact our Indianapolis dental office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Stuart. Prevention and early detection is the most comfortable way to maintaining a healthy smile.

2/19/2016 10:43:00 AM | Anonymous

Wine lovers everywhere, rejoice! Already known for its health benefits, research shows red wine protects against cavities, too! A recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explores the effect a selection of red wines and grape-seed extract has on communities of disease-causing bacteria, called biofilms. Biofilms erode the teeth causing gum disease. Gum disease is a result of the build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, and in the soft tissue of the gums – pockets of infection cause inflammation and discomfort and pain. But some treatments can be abrasive, and side effects of some mouthwashes include discoloration of the gums, and altering taste.

In order to understand how effective red wine is in preventing the growth of biofilm, researchers developed a biofilm model of plaque that combined five types of bacteria most commonly found in gum disease and tooth decay. The biofilm cultures were then dipped in numerous varieties of wine – with and without alcohol – for a couple of minutes. The results showed that all red wine and red wine containing grape seed extract were more likely to get rid of the bacteria. Of course, the study wasn't designed with excessive drinking in mind; everything in moderation! Rather, as the researchers said, "these findings contribute to existing knowledge about the beneficial effect of red wines (one of the most important products of agriculture and food industries) on human health." We'll drink to that – cheers!

10/6/2015 11:30:00 AM | Anonymous

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Dr. Richard J. Stuart blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Dr. Richard J. Stuart, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!

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