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Cypress, TX 77433

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Do I really need to pay attention to my tongue?

dentist in CypressThe appearance of your tongue can be very informative. White markings or patches, tongue discoloration, a swollen tongue, growths, sores … many problems associated with your tongue can be harmless. But some may be indicative of a more serious problem. If you notice changes in the appearance of your tongue, it is always best to err on the side of caution and see your dentist for an examination.

The tongue is an important muscle; it is used for tasting, chewing, and swallowing food. And the tongue is needed and used constantly to speak.

Tongue Conditions

Two of the more common conditions that can alter the appearance of your tongue include oral thrush and leukoplakia. They are both recognized by white patches on the surface of the tongue.

Thrush is often caused by an overgrowth of yeast fungus in the mouth caused when the natural balance of bacteria is impacted. This can occur due to illness, medicines, antibiotics, and even stress.

Leukoplakia can resemble thrush, but unlike thrush the white patches cannot be scraped away. Tobacco use is a common cause of leukoplakia; and is often considered a precursor to oral cancer.

A hairy black tongue sounds serious, but it is probably more of a nuisance than a medical concern. The bumps you see on the surface of the tongue grow larger. The rough texture of the tongue appears “furry” and can be discolored from tobacco use, food, and beverages like coffee. Good oral hygiene (and perhaps a tongue scraper) are tools to treat a hairy tongue.

Canker sores can be very painful, and often form on the tongue. Although there are products that will bring relief, there is no cure. They usually run their course in ten days to two weeks.

Causes of Tongue Problems 

Some things are beyond your control such as a viral infection or a weak immune system. But there are lifestyle habits that can contribute to problems such as smoking (or any tobacco use); excessive alcohol consumption; a poor diet; unchecked stress; and negligent or poor oral hygiene habits.

If you should note changes in the appearance of your tongue, have it checked. In many cases, what you see may be harmless. But it could also be something serious like oral cancer; seeing your dentist could actually save your life.

4 Dental Fads to Drop

Cypress TX dentistSometimes a DIY recipe can come in handy when you’re low on makeup remover or a household cleaner. Unfortunately, it’s not always wise to trust “do it yourself” information from people we know or from content on social media.

Following are four dental fads to avoid. Be sure to consult a dentist before attempting any home remedy or DIY project.

DIY Toothpaste & Teeth Whiteners

Many DIY recipes geared toward oral hygiene or teeth whitening contain ingredients that can actually damage our teeth. These ingredients could be dangerous because they’re abrasive (like charcoal) or incredibly acidic (like lemon juice or vinegar).

Avoiding Fluoride

While there are some reasons a person might benefit from fluoride-free toothpaste, it’s best to discuss your oral health needs with a dentist.

Fluoride is beneficial to people the overwhelming majority of the time. In fact, this naturally-occurring mineral is scientifically proven to strengthen teeth. We recommend choosing fluoridated toothpaste with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval.

Oil Pulling

The practice of “oil pulling” consists of swishing around about a tablespoon of oil throughout the mouth. People who tout the benefits of oil pulling cite that this home remedy is great for cleaning one’s mouth and whitening teeth.

While oil pulling was used by various ancient cultures to clean teeth, there’s actually no scientific proof that oil pulling makes a significant difference in oral hygiene. This practice won’t lift permanent dental stains, either.

Grills

Not to be confused with the grates you cook a steak on, a “grill” in this case refers to wearing jewelry inside the mouth or cosmetic enhancements to teeth made from jewels or metal. These kinds of grills are magnets for debris – many times accumulating food particles and tartar on their surfaces.

The truth is that a white smile with clean, healthy teeth is always in style. Fortunately, the trend of grills and tooth jewelry is dwindling in popularity.

Beyond practicing proper oral hygiene with ADA-approved tools and toothpaste, we encourage patients to schedule regular checkups with their dentist. Call the office of Dr. Lori Logan today to reserve an appointment.

Does it matter when I brush my teeth?

dentist 77433When it comes to certain tasks, timing is important. In addition to brushing thoroughly and carefully, when you brush your teeth matters. Many patients have asked our dentist about when and how they should brush. Following is helpful information.

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. The first time you brush should occur shortly after you wake up – preferably before you eat. We suggest drinking a glass or two of plain water when you wake up before heading to the bathroom to brush. Afterwards, have your morning beverage and food of choice.

The second time one should brush is just before bed. This is a great time to work in your once-per-day interdental cleaning, a.k.a. “flossing”, too.

Why does it matter when I brush?

Before we brush, we need to think about when the last time we ate or drank something that contains sugar and/or acidic particles (which is just about everything).

Just after we eat is never a good time to brush. This is because tooth enamel temporarily softens after bacteria release acid, which occurs after they feed on sugary or starchy food.

If you will be brushing following a meal or beverage, be sure to wait at least 30 minutes before cleaning your teeth.

How long should I brush my teeth?

You should brush your teeth for about two to three minutes each time. While this may seem like a long time, if you consider all surfaces that require brushing for a proper clean, two minutes is actually quite quick.

Will my dentist be able to tell if I brush incorrectly?

You might be surprised what your dental checkups reveal about your lifestyle and dietary habits. Your checkup can reveal everything from excessive stress and tobacco use to poor oral hygiene practices.

Our mission though, isn’t to shame our patients. We are here to help you achieve vibrant oral health with comprehensive services and treatments. If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, call the office of Dr. Lori Logan today.

4 Important Steps to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

Cypress dentistOur teeth are important to support daily life, but we may take them for granted assuming they will always be there to support our ability to chew, speak, and smile with confidence. There are four important steps needed to help you maintain great oral health … none are difficult, but require diligence and a little effort. Your dentist can educate you on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy for your lifetime.

Visit Your Dentist Every Six Months

Regular visits accomplish a couple of things … plaque that has formed since your previous visit is removed. Plaque builds on teeth leading to the potential for dental decay and gum disease. You can’t remove plaque by brushing once it has hardened on your teeth; your dental provider will remove plaque and polish teeth to look their best. A dental exam will identify any problems before they have a chance to escalate possibly preventing the need for time consuming dental work.

Brush Every Day

In order to be effective, it is important to use the proper brushing tools and technique. A soft bristle toothbrush is recommended along with a fluoridated toothpaste. Brush the front, top, and back of all teeth employing a circular motion. It is not necessary to scrub teeth to clean them; an incorrect method of brushing can damage the protective enamel and lead to premature gum erosion.

Floss Daily

Brushing only reaches two thirds of the teeth’s surfaces. Flossing will clean between teeth to remove food that your toothbrush missed. There are many different types of dental floss available; with daily use you help keep teeth clean and invigorate gum tissue.

Watch What You Eat and Drink

The daily diet should be made up primarily of fruits, vegetables, dairy, proteins, and healthy grains. Drink water; soda and sugary drinks can be damaging to teeth.

It has been established that oral health is closely linked to overall health. So anything you can do to protect your teeth will likely contribute to enjoying great health. This includes lifestyle habits such as tobacco use; smokers are much more likely to develop gum disease leading to the potential for teeth loss.

A great smile and maintaining your oral health are rewards you will enjoy for your lifetime. If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today.

What causes tooth decay?

dentist Cypress TXCavities are preventable. It takes vigilance; and your dentist has many helpful options that can work with your own diligence to keep your mouth decay free for life.

Help From Your Dentist

Caring for teeth begins in infancy. We must rely on caregivers to do what is best to provide the optimum start in life for our oral health. Many parents don’t realize that they should take their child to the dentist for their first visit at age one. Regular visits will provide all the information and treatment options available to help defeat dental decay.

Two important aids that occur with regular dental visits include fluoride treatments to help fortify dental enamel; and dental sealants can be placed on the chewing surfaces of molar teeth where dental decay can be so pervasive.

Regular dental cleaning will remove plaque that has formed since your previous visit. Plaque build-up can lead to dental decay and gum disease.

Leading Causes of Tooth Decay

Negligence and diet choices are two of the main reasons decay develops. It takes time and diligence to develop great habits; children must rely on parents to help form those good choices. And since cavities seem more likely to occur in the underdeveloped teeth of children, this is an important time in cavity prevention.

Daily brushing and flossing – children require supervision; if these two acts are ingrained as children, it is likely they will carry over into adulthood. Use age appropriate toothpaste and toothbrush; once children have learned to spit toothpaste out, switch to a fluoridated paste or gel. Dental floss comes in a variety of styles and flavors – find one your child is most likely to use.

The foods and beverages consumed are very important for dental health. The daily mainstay should be made up of fruits, vegetables, dairy, protein, and healthy grains. Sugary treats and beverages should be reserved for special occasions. Soda and juice should be limited. Drink water for hydration. If you are going to drink soda or juice, drink with a meal and use a straw to allow as much beverage as possible to bypass teeth. Never put juice or soda in your child’s sippy cup or baby bottle.

Lead by example – do not use tobacco; eat a healthy diet; and make sure to visit our dentist, Dr. Lori Logan, every six months for cleaning and dental exam.

Break These Bad Brushing Habits

dentist CypressRegular visits to the dentist cannot take the place of consistent and correct teeth brushing. It’s important to know that the wrong tools and incorrect technique can actually damage teeth and gums so become informed about the proper way to care for your teeth on a daily basis.

Facts to be Considered

Toothbrush: Use a soft bristle toothbrush. An electric toothbrush is a fabulous tool; you provide the guidance and let the rapid movement of the brush head do all the work.

Toothbrush Care: You need to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Worn bristles are ineffective for proper and complete teeth cleaning. Also, where and how you store your toothbrush are important. Your toothbrush should be allowed to air out between uses so never keep in an enclosed place; do not allow your brush to touch anyone else’s; never share a toothbrush; and keep in mind where you are likely to brush your teeth – store your toothbrush as far away from the toilet as possible to prevent airborne particles from contaminating your toothbrush.

Brushing Technique: You should apply light pressure employing a circular motion cleaning a few teeth at a time. Never scrub teeth or use a sawing back and forth motion. This can result in premature gum erosion and damage to protective dental enamel.

When you brush is important. Many people like to brush after eating; this is fine as long as you have not consumed anything known to soften the enamel on your teeth. To be safe, rinse your teeth thoroughly after eating; wait sixty minutes to actually brush.

You should brush at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste for two minutes each time you brush. Timing yourself is one way to know if you are brushing long enough; most electric toothbrushes have a built in timer that signals when you’ve brushed the recommended two minutes.

Positive Results 

In addition to brushing, you will benefit from consuming a healthy diet (limit treats to special occasions); drink water in lieu of sugary drinks and soda; do not smoke or use tobacco in any form; and visit your dentist every six months for teeth cleaning and exam. Your chances of maintaining good dental health are greater if you follow these guidelines and adhere to the advice given by your dentist for brushing and flossing.

If it’s time to schedule your next visit, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today.

Tips to Protect Tooth Enamel

dentist in Cypress TXEnamel is the protective covering on teeth; it is extremely hard (but not invincible); it is clear so you can’t see if it’s still there; and most importantly, once it is damaged it cannot repair itself … and once it is gone, it will not regenerate. There are many things you can do to help maintain healthy tooth enamel; your dentist is a great source of solutions as well as care to protect tooth enamel.

Things that Can Damage Dental Enamel

Sugar – you can enjoy the occasional sugary treat, but be aware that the bacteria on teeth thrive on sugar so rinse thoroughly following consumption. Acidic foods can erode enamel as well. Limit the foods known to damage enamel in your diet.

Acid reflux, regurgitation, and vomiting produce acids that can eat away at dental enamel. People suffering from eating disorders often face dental decay as a side effect.

Lack of saliva allows bacteria to remain on teeth instead of flushing it away naturally. If you suffer from a dry mouth, your dentist can help diagnose and find a solution.

Grinding and teeth clenching can have a serious impact on dental health. Often starting subconsciously during periods of sleep, grinding can become a habit that can seriously damage dental enamel. A solution might be to wear a night guard to eliminate grinding.

Incorrect brushing or using the wrong tools can lead to enamel damage. Use a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste; you do not need to scrub teeth … even pressure working in a circular motion cleaning a few teeth at a time is best. Brush for two minutes twice every day.

Tips to Protect Enamel

Obviously a good daily oral hygiene regimen coupled with visits to the dentist every six months (or as recommended) are your first lines of defense in enamel protection.

Your daily diet plays a significant role in dental health. Learn which foods and beverages damage teeth; limit or avoid them altogether. If you do consume, rinse your teeth thoroughly when through. Wait an hour before brushing as many foods soften dental enamel; brushing too soon can do more harm than good.

Stay hydrated with water; use a straw when drinking sugary or carbonated beverages.

Dental decay can result from damaged or diminished enamel so do whatever you can to protect it. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan today.

The Important Role Saliva Plays in Oral Health

Cypress TX dentistWe need saliva to continuously flush our mouth … it allows us to speak properly, process food and aid in digestion, and is needed to protect the hard and soft oral tissues of the mouth. If a dry mouth becomes a persistent problem, a visit to the dentist is needed to diagnose the reason and find a solution.

Saliva and Its Origin

Saliva is secreted from three paired major salivary glands; it consists primarily of water (99%). The remaining 1% is comprised of a variety of electrolytes and proteins.

Since the body is largely water, if the body becomes dehydrated saliva production may be reduced. There are many reasons for dehydration … medications taken (short or long term); injury or illness affecting the head or neck can impact salivary glands including treatment for this problem; exercise, especially in the heat … if you suffer from dehydration, the side effects can be debilitating for your oral and overall health.

How do you know if you’re producing sufficient saliva?

A dry mouth can lead to chronic bad breath; cracked lips; difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing; frequent sore throat … these are a few of the signals that can mean you lack sufficient saliva. Your dentist will also be able to see the signs.

Some of the overlaying factors that can result in a dry mouth include aging, tobacco use, illness and the medications taken to treat it, anxiety, depression, caffeine and alcohol consumption … there are many reasons for a dry mouth.

How can teeth be impacted?

Lack of saliva can mean serious complications for your oral health. Dental decay and gum disease are two major concerns. Since we rely on saliva to flush bacteria, it stands to reason that if bacteria is allowed to remain it has more time to promote the acids that result in cavities and periodontal problems.

You might increase saliva production by chewing sugar free gum, sucking on sugar free candy; you can stay sufficiently hydrated with water (soda, alcohol, and caffeinated beverages are not the appropriate beverages for hydration), and there are over the counter oral rinses designed to ease problems associated with a dry mouth.

Brush and floss daily; visit our dentist as recommended to prevent dental decay and gum disease. Do not allow a lack of saliva to negatively impact your dental health.

4 Unexpected Ways Your Teeth Can Get Chipped

dentist Cypress TXTeeth are very strong, but are not invincible. And some individuals may have softer teeth than others making them more susceptible to chipping or breaking. If you should chip a tooth, you should plan to see the dentist as soon as possible depending on the severity of the break. There are several ways to chip a tooth with most of them being very preventable.

Habits that are harmful to teeth

1. Biting fingernails – In addition to the possibility that nail biting can chip your teeth, habitual nail biting is seen as unsanitary, can result in infection and over time, can even create a malocclusion.

2. Chewing on ice – All it takes is one ice cube to chip or break a tooth. People who munch on ice throughout the day are risking their dental health. And it’s not just ice that can chip a tooth … anything hard (nuts, popcorn kernels, hard candy, etc.) can chip a tooth.

3. Using teeth to open packages – This is what scissors are for. People who use their teeth to tear into packaging should think twice before ever doing it again.

4. Mindless acts – You go throughout the day without giving thought to the same mundane actions that you experience day in and day out. Getting a drink at a water fountain, bumping into a door, or contact from a fall or accident can result in chipped dentition. Paying better attention can prevent many of these things from occurring.

Solutions for a Chipped Tooth

A minor chip can be resolved by the application of a tooth colored resin that your dentist will artfully apply and trim to the natural contour of your tooth.

If dental bonding is not a sufficient option, your dentist may recommend a dental veneer. A veneer is a thin, tooth colored shell that is ultimately bonded to the front of the tooth requiring correction.

If the tooth chip is large or the tooth has been weakened, a dental crown may be the best option. The tooth is filed down, an impression is taken, and sent to the dental lab to be made. A temporary is provided until the final restoration can be delivered.

A chipped tooth may be preventable; but there are many solutions for repair if the unthinkable should occur – schedule an appointment with our dentist as soon as you can! Call us today though to get more tips at the office of Dr. Lori Logan!

Get a Good Start on your New Year’s Resolution to Maintain Oral Health

dentist Cypress TXHave you decided to prioritize a healthy smile in 2018? Here are a few tips to help you follow through on that worthwhile resolution.

Regular Dental Visits

Of course, you should plan to see your dentist regularly – at least every six months – in order to maintain your oral health. These routine checkups and professional cleanings go far in reducing the severity of oral diseases and sometimes help to prevent those conditions entirely.

If your teeth and gums are monitored twice each year, it’s much more likely that any concerns like tooth decay or gum disease will be identified much earlier, before they have the chance to do much harm to your smile. It’s also easier to treat these conditions in their milder forms, while more advanced oral diseases may require more complex or invasive interventions.

Professional Dental Cleaning

The cleanings provided by the hygienists who work with your dentist also are crucial to your oral health. Even if you are diligent about brushing and flossing your teeth, you may still accumulate some plaque or tartar on your teeth, especially in the spots that are hard for you to reach with your toothbrush on your own. Hygienists have better angles on these spots and can use specialized instruments to clean your teeth, which tends to be more effective at removing plaque.

Oral Hygiene at Home

Going to your dentist for routine care isn’t all that you need to do, however. You must also commit to taking good care of your teeth at home between these visits. Brush twice each day, for two minutes each time. Floss daily. Consider an anti-bacterial mouthwash if you tend to accumulate plaque pretty quickly.

If you make a good plan for a robust home oral hygiene routine and obtain routine professional care at recommended intervals, you will go far to keep your resolution of maintaining a healthy smile. Is it coming up on six months since your last checkup and cleaning? Call the office of Dr. Lori Logan to schedule an appointment and get off to a good start.

Sugary Drinks and Dental Health

dentist Cypress TXThe variety of beverages available today is extensive. Many of them have negative nutritional value making them an unwise choice. Your dentist will caution you about consuming sugary beverages … they promote dental decay so they should be limited to special occasions.

Some of the sugary beverages to avoid include soda, sweetened coffee or tea, lemonade, sports drinks, juices, and chocolate milk. Cold beverages that contain sugar should always be consumed using a straw … this allows much of the beverage to bypass teeth. Never swish a sugary beverage.

What happens when you drink a beverage that contains sugar? The mouth is already laden with bacteria that clings to teeth. When sugary or high carbohydrate foods or beverages are consumed, they promote bacteria growth on teeth producing damaging acids.

Acids lead to enamel erosion … when the protective enamel coating on teeth is permeated a cavity can form. If the cavity is deep or bacteria impacts the dental nerve, the patient may require a root canal to save the tooth.

The ideal alternative to sugary beverages is water (tap water is best as it contains fluoride, a mineral that works to strengthen dental enamel). Unsweetened tea or coffee, sparkling water, milk (milk contains calcium that supports dental enamel and promotes strong teeth), or diluted juice are better options than those that are sugar laden.

If you do drink one of these sugary beverages, make sure to drink it quickly. Don’t sip it over an extended period of time. If you should drink a beverage that contains citrus, do not brush your teeth for at least an hour following consumption. Citrus softens dental enamel and brushing too soon can damage teeth.

Make sure you follow your dentist’s advice … brush at least twice every day with a fluoridated toothpaste. Invest in a timer or electronic toothbrush so you will brush the recommended two minutes every time you brush.

Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove what your toothbrush missed; when flossing is done correctly your gum tissue will be invigorated.

Visit your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning, polishing, and dental exam. Your teeth will look their best, and regular visits with the dentist will allow any dental problems to be diagnosed and treated before they have a chance to escalate into costly or time consuming treatment. 

Contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan to schedule your next visit.

Is flossing really that important?

dentist Cypress TXYou brush twice a day and visit the dentist every six months. You’ve been curtailing sweet treat and junk food consumption, and have limited the number of sodas you enjoy to special occasions. So is flossing really that important to your dental health? The short answer is yes … absolutely.

When done correctly, flossing is beneficial for invigorating healthy gum tissue. Flossing in between all teeth will remove food particles that your toothbrush did not reach. This is important to help keep plaque build-up to a minimum.

Everyone has a certain amount of bacteria in their mouth. Many of the foods we eat and beverages we drink contain sugar or carbohydrates that cling to bacteria on teeth. Daily brushing and flossing are needed to remove as much bacteria as possible. What is not removed will harden forming plaque on teeth.

Plaque starts out as a sticky substance; once it hardens it is no longer removable with your toothbrush or dental floss. Plaque buildup can lead to dental decay and/or gum disease. It is easy to see why flossing and brushing are so important to your dental health.

Dental Decay – Bacteria can damage enamel, the protective covering of a tooth; when the enamel is breached, a cavity can form.

Gum Disease – The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Symptoms can include bleeding or swollen gums; chronic bad breath; receding gum tissue. The more serious gum disease condition is periodontitis – teeth appear to be pulling away from gums or may even feel loose … a visit with the dentist is needed right away.

Advanced gum disease can impact more than just your gums … the bones that hold your teeth in place can also be affected. Tooth loss can occur without immediate and proper care. That might include root planing and scaling where the dentist will remove plaque that has formed below the gum line.

Dental floss comes in many varieties … waxed, plain, flavored, floss tape, or floss picks. Your dentist can demonstrate the correct way to use floss for maximum benefit.

In addition to flossing every day, you should brush your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste. Visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning, polishing, and dental exam. Some patients may require more frequent dental visits to maintain optimum dental health.

If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and cleaining, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan at 281-256-6866.