What is Gingivitis? And How Do I Control It?

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It is the REVERSIBLE early stage of periodontal (gum) disease. Seventy-five percent of all adults may have some degree of gingivitis at some time during their lifetime; it can also affect children. With gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and they bleed easily; it is usually painless.Gingvitis Gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease, which, if left untreated, can cause teeth to loosen and eventually need to be extracted.

How to Control Gingivitis?
To control gingivitis, it is necessary to control plaque on a regular basis. Plaque is a thin, colorless, sticky film that forms on the teeth everyday.
To remove this film from the teeth:
1. BRUSH at least twice a day, vibrating the bristles into the gum line at a 45-degree angle.

2. FLOSS daily to remove plaque from places the toothbrush cannot reach – between the teeth and under the gum line. With proper home care, gingivitis can be controlled and prevented.

Thankful for Our Patients!

Dental Patients

Celebrating Easter this week, we are giving these beautiful cookies away to our dental patients. Thank you for being “Egg”cellent patients.

Thank You to Our Patients

Wake Forest Dentist

We are celebrating Easter this week. Giving cookies away to our Dental Patients for being “EGG”cellent patients! Have a great week.

You Are What You Eat!

You only have one set of pearly whites, so you’d better keep them healthy. One of the best ways to keep teeth in tip-top shape is to watch what goes into your mouth. Did you realize that some food and drink will not only help keep your teeth in shape, but also feed them, too?

Top 10 Foods for Your Teeth:

1.    Green Tea has a well-deserved reputation for providing many benefits. With teeth, green tea offers up natural antioxidant compounds prevent plaque from accumulating, therefore reducing the risk of cavities and bad breath. Some green teas also contain fluoride that can further prevent tooth decay – check the label before you buy.

2.    Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are low in acidity and sugar making them great choices to quench your thirst or have as a healthy snack. This is good news for both tooth erosion and tooth decay. Milk is rich in calcium, which means you are fortifying teeth and bones while refueling during the day.

3.    Cheese is another dairy product with significant dental benefits. Being high in phosphate and calcium, cheese promotes healthy teeth. It also balances the pH in your mouth, produces more saliva, rebuilds tooth enamel and kills the bacteria that cause tooth cavities and gum disease.

4.    Fruit is great for your teeth especially when eaten in whole, raw form. It keeps down plaque and massages your gums. Choose the fruits rich in Vitamin C, which holds our body cells together. If you are short of Vitamin C, your gums may become tender and more susceptible to gum disease.

5.    Vegetables are another good idea if you are trying to build a good foundation for your teeth. Broccoli, carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin are rich in Vitamin A from which tooth enamel forms. If you eat them raw you will get more Vitamin A, as well as clean
your teeth and massage your gums.

6.    Onions are rich in powerful anti-bacterial sulphur compounds, which kill the bacteria that harm your teeth and gums. If you can stand the stinky side effects, eat onions raw for best results.

7.    Celery is another great friend of the dentist. Eat it raw and it will not only massage your gums, but clean your teeth. It will also induce the production of more saliva that will neutralize the bacteria that cause cavities.

8.    Sesame Seeds, which are best combined with bread and rolls, dissolve plaque and help build tooth enamel. The tasty seeds are also rich in calcium, which will keep your teeth and jawbone healthy.

9.    Proteins like beef, chicken, eggs and turkey are rich in phosphorus. Calcium combines with phosphorus and Vitamin D to produce our teeth and bones. Make sure you get enough protein to keep your teeth healthy, and reduce decay.

10.    Water is not only the gift of life. When you rinse with water, it cleans your mouth so that your saliva can nourish your teeth, hydrate your gums, and help wash away trapped food particles that can create plague.

Dr. Morehead and our team of hygienists constantly remind our patients that their smiles are reflective of the food and liquids that go into their mouths.  Remember to eat healthy and continue to brush and floss after eating!




Why Flossing is SO Important!

While most of us do not really “enjoy” flossing our teeth on a daily basis, it is something that really needs to be done.  While there is no instant gratification in flossing besides removing food and buildup that gets stuck between teeth, in the long run, it helps to prevent periodontal disease and gingivitis. Harvard Medical School researchers found that flossing removes bacteria and plaque from the teeth and gums, the same plaque, which is absorbed into the blood stream and can clog arteries and veins.

Alla Wheeler, RDH, MPA, associate professor of the Dental Hygiene Program at the New York University School of Dentistry explains that flossing after meals, especially after your last meal of the day, will help you become healthier in a number of ways. “Flossing does about 40% of the work required to move sticky bacteria or plaque from your teeth”, states Wheeler.   Since each tooth has 5 surfaces, by not flossing, you are leaving two of them unclean.”  As a result, this causes plaque buildup and generates acid, which can cause cavities, irritate the gums, and lead to gum disease.

Do you know someone who suffers from halitosis or has really bad breath?  They probably do not floss very often.  When you don’t floss, you leave bacteria stuck between your teeth that just sit there like trash in a garbage can (and we all know what that smells like).   It can be helpful not only to keep floss at home, but with you either at work in your desk, your purse, or in your car.

You might be asking how to properly floss your teeth? Edmond Hewlett, DDS, associate professor of restorative dentistry at UCLA recommends using a piece of floss 15 to 18 inches long, slide it between the teeth, wrap it around each tooth in the shape of a “C,” and polish with an up and down motion.  It’s important not to let a little blood scare you or deter you from flossing your teeth.  That is generally normal when gums are a bit inflamed.  Should the bleeding continue after a few days, it may be a sign you have periodontal disease and need to come into our dental office.

A smile is a terrible thing to waste, so be good to your teeth and gums.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding flossing, you know all of us here at the office can help.  We look forward to seeing you at your next cleaning and encourage keep those teeth and gums healthy by flossing at LEAST once daily!

“Building” a Business

People talk about reusing buildings, but not many make the dramatic change I undertook. In 1985 I turned a town eyesore, the abandoned water treatment plant, into an office for my dental practice. This building has an interesting history to it, and I thoroughly enjoyed transforming it into a place to practice dentistry.

The plant was built in the mid-1920s on Elm Avenue, across from the brick building that housed the town’s first source of electricity, a generator fueled in part by sawdust from the mill across the railroad tracks. The town had built a small dam on Smith Creek and tapped the pond behind it for its water supply.

In 1964 they completed the Smith Creek Reservoir and water treatment plant on Wait Avenue, and this building was then abandoned. In the next few years, Ellis Nassif, who lived next door in the Rolesville granite house, frequently complained about the mosquitoes, which bred there. In addition, it became a home for bats and birds that bred there as well and fed on the mosquitoes. Nassif’s complaints were noted because he was a distinguished attorney in Raleigh and Wake Forest for over 27 years until his death. Although there were many suggestions and student plans to use the building, nothing happened until I took it in hand.

My husband and I moved to Wake Forest in 1985 and were fortunate enough to win the bid on the unoccupied historic water treatment plant being auctioned by the town of Wake Forest. It was a square brick building with huge concrete water holding tanks. We covered the floor-level tank in the center of the building and it became the record area. The suspended metal staircase and catwalk overlooking the tanks were transformed into a beautiful wooden staircase and balcony with recessed windows. This and the intricate woodwork framing the two story windows and the crown molding were executed by a master carpenter.

The renovation took about nine months, as there were many unexpected complications due to the unique and massive construction of the water plant. Plumbing couldn’t be added, so treatment rooms and bathrooms were part of an addition to the side of the building.

A doorway was opened into one internal concrete holding tank to become a storage area. It took many man hours to jackhammer the opening for the doorway since the rebar-reinforced concrete was 15 inches thick. A pitched roof and copper covered entrance were added to soften the harsh squareness of the exterior.

To me, the tall windows and spaciousness of the waiting room give a comforting and calming feel, like a vaulted sunroom. With its unusual recesses it also becomes the perfect showcase for the things I love. Although I’ve never traveled to Japan, I think kimonos are beautiful with their intricate embroidery and stunning colors. I’ve collected Japanese dolls and other Asian memorabilia that are also on display.

The treatment rooms contain many of my shell art mosaics known as “Sailor’s Valentines” (since my house is full!).

The window bird feeders give us the opportunity to closely watch all varieties of birds with their unique feeding habits.

While many patients come to us through word of mouth from friends and coworkers, others are attracted by the building’s unusual exterior and smiling face on the huge oak tree. But all find our practice to be warm and friendly like the interior of our office. It gives me great pleasure to hear our patients remark on the uniqueness of our building, but even more so to see them relax and enjoy the ambiance we have been able to create.

It gives me great pleasure to hear our patients remark on the uniqueness of our building, but even more so to see them relax and enjoy the ambiance we have been able to create.