Alzheimer’s Connection to Poor Oral Health

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You’re probably at least a little familiar with both gum disease and Alzheimer’s, but did you know there’s a link between these two seemingly unrelated health problems? Yes, that’s right: doctors have recently determined that there is a connection between Alzheimer’s and poor oral health.

The Link

In a recent study, British scientists found bacteria usually associated with gum disease in the brains of patients affected with Alzheimer’s, meaning the presence of gum disease is linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s. These harmful bacteria usually live in the mouth, and they can enter the bloodstream and travel to the brain through daily activities like eating and brushing your teeth. Additionally, invasive dental surgery increases the risk that the bacteria will enter the brain. A previous study from New York University in 2010 also connected gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s.

How Does It Work?

When plaque builds up in our gums from lack of flossing, our bodies’ immune system is activated, and when this happens, your body’s standard level of health can start to deteriorate. In fact, bad dental health increases the chance that you will have cognitive issues by 30% to 40% over a three-decade period, according to the International Society of Vascular Behavioral and Cognitive Disorders.

What You Can Do

While gum disease is partly genetic, you can lower your risk of the plaque buildup that causes gum disease by flossing regularly (at least once a day!). The more you floss, the less plaque builds up in and around your teeth and gums. The less plaque you have in your mouth, the fewer harmful bacteria will reside there with the potential to travel to your brain and affect your cognitive functions. By taking care of your teeth every day you can make a difference!

If you are concerned about your dental health, or think you might be at risk for gum disease, contact our office today to speak with one of our friendly professionals.

What Makes Teeth Turn Yellow?

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We can all agree: no one wants yellow teeth. In addition to showing bad dental health, they can hurt your self-confidence and make you less likely to smile. While it is possible to whiten teeth artificially, the best way to avoid stains or discoloration is prevention so it’s important to know what turns teeth yellow in the first place.

Smoking


If you smoke, stop! Smoking is one of many things that stain teeth yellow. Lay off the stuff not just for your health, but for your teeth too!

Sugary Drinks


Acidic drinks can wear away your teeth’s natural enamel, turning your teeth yellow. Cut out soda, juice, and sweetened iced teas to decrease the chance of this happening to you.

Coffee & Tea


Unfortunately, two of the most popular drinks in the world can turn your teeth yellow with prolonged use. Always brush your teeth after consuming coffee or tea.

Certain Foods


Specific foods can end up discoloring your teeth. These include tomatoes, curries, and berries. If you eat any of these foods, make sure to rinse your mouth out after, and brush your teeth as soon as you can to avoid staining.

Fluorosis


Fluorosis is when you get too much fluoride in your diet, either from your tap water or from other sources. You only need a little amount of fluoride to protect your teeth, so as long as you’re getting it from one source (tap water, toothpaste, or tablets), you should be all set.

Bruxism


Bruxism, also known as grinding your teeth while sleeping, can be very harmful to your mouth and cause headaches and jaw problems. As your teeth grate against each other and the enamel cracks and wears away, it can make your teeth yellow.

To help prevent yellow teeth, make sure to brush and floss daily, stick to a healthy diet, and visit the dentist regularly. If you are at all worried about the color of your teeth, or you’d just like to talk to someone about your dental health, contact our friendly team today!

10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Dentist Was Doing at Your Checkup

brunette woman in dental chair, dentist taking intraoral images, pointing to image on screen

You know it’s important to go for your semi-annual dental checkup. But do you really know why? The truth is that your dentist and dental team do much more than just clean your teeth at a checkup. Here are ten things you might not have known:

1. Scraping Away Plaque and Tartar

Either your dentist or your dental hygienist will use a small tool called a scaler to scrape off any plaque and tartar.

2. Polishing Your Teeth

Besides cleaning and flossing your teeth, they will polish them to make them smooth and help prevent plaque from accumulating.

3. Checking Each Tooth

With a probe and a small mirror, your dentist will go over every area of your teeth. This is so they can see if there are any health concerns, or if anything has changed in your mouth since your last visit.

4. Examining Your Gums

Your dentist will check your gums for any bleeding or swelling, which are both signs of gum disease. They will also measure the pockets between your teeth and gums to make sure they’re not bigger than they should be, as large gum pockets are a sign of unhealthy gums.

5. Looking at Your Bite

By checking out your bite, your dentist can see if your teeth have moved recently. Or, if you have braces, your dentist can make sure your teeth are shifting at an appropriate rate.

6. Performing a Cancer Screening

If you’re getting a complete exam, your dentist will also check your head, neck, lymph nodes, palate, cheeks and tongue for signs of infection or cancer.

7. Inspecting Your Salivary Glands

Your dentist will examine your salivary glands to make sure they are working properly and producing enough saliva.

8. Examining Your Tonsils

Your dentist will check the back of your throat and your tonsils for any signs of infection.

9. Checking Your Temporomandibular Joint

This important joint connects the jawbone to the skull. Your dentist will make sure it is healthy and working normally.

10. Checking Your Tongue

The texture and size of your tongue can reveal important information about your dental and overall health. Your dentist will give it a look to ensure there are no concerns.

See your dentist every six months for a checkup—you’ll be glad you did!

If you have questions about your dental health, contact Rigby Advanced Dental today!

Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

brunette girl wearing a scarf and jacket with a fur hood looking up and smirking

It’s almost a rite of passage: before heading off to college, or perhaps while still in college, many young adults will get their wisdom teeth removed. Then there are some people who don’t have them extracted until years later. But why do people get their wisdom teeth removed, and is it actually necessary? Let’s break it down.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?


Wisdom teeth are a set of extra molars that come in in the very back of our mouths. Most people don’t have sufficient room in their mouth for their wisdom teeth, and that is why they are so often removed. It’s a common procedure that many people go through, but some people do prefer to keep their wisdom teeth and forgo the minor surgery that removal entails.

Why We Remove Wisdom Teeth


Removing wisdom teeth can prevent major dental problems later on. When wisdom teeth grow in and crowd your mouth they can leave you prone to all sorts of issues, like jaw problems, damaged nerves, cavities, misalignment, and gum damage. Not to mention, wisdom teeth coming in can be painful itself! Removing them can help you avoid all of these concerns.

A Personal Choice


While many people have their wisdom teeth removed, some don’t, and the bottom line is that it depends on the person. Every person’s wisdom teeth are different, and only your dental professional can tell you if they should be removed or not. Perhaps you are one of the lucky few who have enough room in their mouth for wisdom teeth. Your dentist will be able to examine your mouth and see things you can’t see.

No matter what, it’s important to be informed and know what your options are so you can make the best medical decisions for yourself. If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, contact us at Rigby Advanced Dental!

Healthy Alternatives to Halloween Candy

dark chocolate bar

Halloween, and all the candy that comes with it, is just around the corner. But it’s no secret that sugar is bad for your teeth, causing cavities and even tooth decay. So what can you snack on this Halloween that won’t make your dentist cringe?

Why Is Candy Bad For Teeth?

Sugar is acidic, and acid causes erosion of the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of the tooth. When enamel wears down, you can develop cavities and experience painful tooth decay. Consuming large amounts of sugary, sticky candies is a major culprit when it comes to tooth decay and even tooth loss.

Fresh Fruit

Ditch the processed sugar for equally sweet and much healthier fruit. Apples, berries, and grapes are all great alternatives for your favorite candies. Feel free to get creative and make healthy baked cinnamon apples or freeze grapes for a refreshing treat. Just try to avoid dried fruits and citrus, since they can be damaging to teeth due to their sticky and acidic qualities.

Yogurt

Creamy, tangy, and packed with calcium, yogurt is a tooth-healthy and delicious alternative to candy. Add nuts, berries, cinnamon, or honey to the mix for an even more delicious snack.

Nuts

Some of our favorite candy bars contain almonds and peanuts, so why not just have them on their own? Mixed nuts are a great way to get vitamins and protein in your diet without having to sacrifice on taste. Nuts are also full of fiber, which keeps you feeling full so that your sugar cravings won’t get the best of you.

Dark Chocolate

Not all chocolate is bad for you! A couple squares of dark chocolate (containing at least 70% cacao) will satisfy your cravings for the sweet stuff and also give you a healthy dose of antioxidants.

Peanut Butter Toast

A slice of peanut butter toast as a snack is a sweet and delicious alternative to a candy bar that is loaded with sugar and saturated fats.

Protect your teeth this Halloween with these healthy candy alternatives, and remember that now is a perfect time to also see your dentist and make sure that your teeth are healthy and strong. Our team at Rigby Advanced Dental is here to assist you with your oral healthcare needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment!

5 Tips to Freshen Your Breath

tin box of breath mints

From eating foods with too much garlic to even taking certain medications, bad breath can put a damper on anyone’s day. Here are five surefire ways to freshen your breath even if you’re pressed for time.

Chew Gum or Mints

Chewing mints and mint-flavored gum is an easy way to freshen your breath when a toothbrush isn’t handy. We recommend mints and gums that contain the sugar replacement xylitol, since sugar can wear down tooth enamel and actually lead to bad breath. Want a more natural breath freshener than mints or gum? Try chewing on fresh mint leaves!

Use Mouthwash

Some people avoid mouthwash because of the strong sting from the alcohol, but there are many alcohol-free options on the market that are just as effective at freshening breath. While mouthwash is a great way to freshen up your breath and kill bad breath germs temporarily, it should not replace traditional brushing and flossing in your everyday routine.

Ditch the Coffee

We all know that coffee causes bad breath because of its high acidity. Instead of your usual morning coffee, opt for a mint tea. Strong mint teas like peppermint and spearmint are known for their breath enhancing qualities. Best of all, you can get it hot or iced depending on the season! If tea doesn’t appeal to you, swapping out coffee for plain water is an excellent choice, since water naturally washes away bad breath germs.

Eat Healthy

Eating crunchy, nutritious foods like apples, celery, and almonds can clear away plaque and bacteria from your mouth while also satisfying your hunger! Avoiding acidic foods like citrus and candy will keep your breath fresher longer.

Brush and Floss

Brushing and flossing are the most effective way of getting rid of plaque and bacteria that cause bad breath. Don’t forget to clean your tongue, too, since most bad breath germs live there. If you have the time and access to sink, it’s always worth a quick brush to freshen up your breath.

If you are still having difficulty managing bad breath, our team at Rigby Advanced Dental can help you find a solution. Contact us to book an appointment today.

Foods That Are Good for Your Teeth

apples in a wooden crate

As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.” While brushing and flossing are great ways to maintain a beautiful smile, they are not the only things you must do for your oral health! Try eating more of these smile-saving foods and keep the cavities at bay.

Apples

A crisp, fresh apple is full of fiber and water, cleaning your teeth with every bite. Try to avoid dried apples and other dried fruits, though, since they’re full of sugar that can actually wear down tooth enamel and cause tooth decay.

Nuts

Certain nuts, like Brazil nuts and cashews, are packed with phosphorous, a mineral that delays tooth decay.

Celery

Those stringy fibers that get stuck in your teeth actually helps clean them! Celery is also full of vitamins A and C.

Dairy

Milk, cheese, and yogurt all contain calcium, which is necessary for strong bones. They also lower the acidity in your mouth, slowing down the decaying process.

Leafy Greens

Spinach and kale are excellent for teeth since they are rich in calcium and folic acid, which support strong and healthy teeth and gums.

Tea

Tea contains polyphenols, which can actually kill bacteria in your mouth. It’s important to drink tea in moderation, however, since it also contains tannins that can stain your teeth.

Garlic

One of garlic’s many health benefits is that it can prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Ginger

Ginger not only prevents bacteria growth in your mouth, it also freshens your breath!

Strawberries

Did you know that strawberries can whiten teeth? They are a great source of malic acid, which can actually brighten tooth enamel.

Water

A glass of water acts the same way that saliva does, washing away bacteria from the surface of your teeth. If your water is fortified with fluoride, even better!

Foods to Avoid

Try to stay away from sugary, acidic foods that can wear away your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Citrus fruits, sugary candies like lollipops and gummy bears, and soda are all known for wearing down enamel.

Your diet can have a major impact on your oral health, but it’s also important to schedule a routine cleaning every six months for your cleanest, brightest smile. Our staff is happy to assist you with all of your dental care needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

What Is Full Mouth Reconstruction?

woman looking off to side thinking

If you need to restore most, if not all, of your teeth, you should consider full mouth reconstruction, also known as full mouth rehabilitation. It is usually best to see a prosthodontist for full mouth reconstruction because prosthodontists have been specially trained to perform more intense procedures.

Our very own Dr. Rigby is a prosthodontist who is skilled in both the technical and design aspects of full mouth reconstruction, and he can come up with a successful plan to restore your smile.

Full Mouth Reconstruction Procedures

The treatments themselves can very greatly as no two cases are like. We take a good look at your mouth in order tailor a unique and effective procedure plan for you. We will always give you a cost estimate of your procedure before you hop into the dental chair, so don’t worry about sticker shock! We also offer flexible financing options to offset the costs of your procedure.

Who Should Consider Full Mouth Reconstruction?

Full mouth reconstruction can benefit those with missing teeth due to disease and decay, jaw pain, ill-fitting dentures, misshaped or misaligned teeth, and fractured teeth, just to name a few circumstances. In short, if your teeth are not in good shape, you may want to consider full mouth reconstruction.

You may think that your smile is beyond repair, but it is always good to schedule a consultation before you give up. Full mouth reconstruction allows you to have the smile you’ve always wanted and restore functionality of your teeth so you can lead a happy life. Take a look at our before and after photos to see just what a difference full mouth reconstruction can make!

To learn more about full mouth reconstruction or to schedule an appointment, contact us today!

What Procedures Does a Prosthodontist Do?

guy looking at book in library

What is a prosthodontist?

A prosthodontist is a dentist who specializes in tooth replacement and restoration. In addition to regular dental school, prosthodontists must attend three extra years of training, in which they learn how to best restore your smile. Here are Rigby Advanced Dental, Dr. Rigby, DDS, MS, helps people every day with his training as a prosthodontist. Prosthodontists like Dr. Rigby must keep up with the latest research and literature about advanced methods for restoring your smile.

Who needs a prosthodontist?

You might need a prosthodontist if you have missing teeth that you’d like to replace, already have dentures, are interested in getting dentures, or just want a nicer smile in general. As we age our smile tends to degrade, so it is very common for people over sixty to see a prosthodontist.

What procedures can a prosthodontist provide me?

Dr. Rigby is experienced in dental rehabilitation, and he performs these procedures regularly:

  • Dentures & Partial Dentures: Dentures are a natural-looking, removable way to improve your smile and bite. Dentures fill in the space created by missing teeth, giving you back your smile.
  • Dental Implants: Implants are a permanent, durable, and preferred method for replacing a missing tooth, in which a metal post is inserted into to the jawbone and supports a crown which is cemented on to create a natural-looking tooth.
  • Bridges: Dental bridges help “bridge” the gap from a missing tooth with support from natural teeth on either side of the gap.
  • Crowns & Veneers: Crowns and veneers serve as coverings for damaged teeth. Crowns cover the whole tooth, while veneers cover only a tooth’s front surface, visible to others.

If you think you might need to see a prosthodontist, give our friendly office staff a call today at (512) 992-2822 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rigby.

How Do You Fix a Cracked Tooth?

small figure chipping at tooth with tools

Tooth enamel may be strong, but there are still plenty of ways you could crack your tooth, including chewing down on something hard like a pencil or suffering some sort of dental injury while playing sports. Cracking a tooth doesn’t mean you’ve ruined your smile forever. At Rigby Advanced Dental, we offer a few solutions to help make your smile good as new. Nobody will even notice that anything happened to your smile!

Fillings

Fillings are not just for cavities. If you have small chips in your teeth, a tooth-colored filling can do just the trick in making your teeth look like new. We only use tooth-colored fillings, so you don’t have to feel self-conscious about having them. On top of that, we use state-of-the-art, pain-free laser technology to ensure that you have effective and well-fitted fillings. No need for multiple visits to address the same problem!

Dental Crown

Dental crowns are a simple and easy way to restore your smile. A crown is essentially a false tooth that can be used by themselves, along with a dental implant, or in bridges. In the case of a cracked tooth, you will likely receive a crown by itself. Our porcelain and high-strength metal crowns are durable and natural-looking so you never have to afraid to smile.

Veneers

Veneers are like thin covers placed over teeth. We may be able to place a veneer over the crack to have your tooth looking good as new again.

Dental Implant

If your cracked tooth is unsalvageable, a dental implant is a great option. It’s a long-lasting, realistic solution that you can brush and floss just like a regular tooth.

You have your options at Rigby Advanced Dental when it comes to fixing cracked and broken teeth. To find out which solution is best for you, contact us today to schedule an appointment!