“Dentistry is essential health care because of its role in evaluating, diagnosing, preventing or treating oral diseases, which can affect systemic health.”
Your head hurts, you have a fever, and, weirdly enough, you have a toothache. You might think those three things are unrelated but, chances are, you’re probably suffering from a sinus infection. Sinus infections occur when a virus or bacteria wreak havoc on the sinuses, causing painful congestion and inflammation.
The most common symptom of a sinus infection is congestion and pain in the sinuses. Sinuses are located in a few different areas including behind the eyebrows and right below the eyes, in the upper cheek region. Sometimes, if inflammation in the sinuses becomes severe enough, tooth pain can occur. The pain is usually centered around the upper molars since they’re located near a sinus cavity. The tooth pain can be severe enough to cause people to become confused about its origin.
The best way to figure out if your tooth pain is coming from a sinus infection is to look at your other symptoms. Are you running a fever? Do you have nasal congestion or a headache? Are you having difficulties smelling or tasting? If you answered “yes” to those, your tooth pain is most likely related to sinus inflammation.
If you are not suffering from any of those symptoms, your tooth pain is related to decay or damage. Get to a dentist as soon as possible so they can do an exam of the tooth. You may need a filling, a root canal, or an extraction.
Viruses, not bacteria, are frequently the culprit when it comes to sinus infections. This is both a good and bad thing. It can be good because, in most cases, viruses only last a week. It can also be not so good because viruses are not easily treatable. You can treat the symptoms (stuffy nose, fever, inflammation, etc.) but you cannot rid your body of the virus. You have to wait for it to work through your system, which is typically a fairly quick process.
If the sinus infection is bacteria-based, you may have to get antibiotics from a doctor. You should resort to antibiotics only after experiencing symptoms for over ten days. Antibiotics can become ineffective after excessive use.
If the tooth pain from your sinus infection is unbearable, go to the doctor immediately. If it’s uncomfortable, here are a few ways to help keep that pain at bay:
“We know that these past few weeks have been the most challenging that many of us have seen in our lifetime. In our twenty-five year history, we’ve seen a lot of changes but the uncertainty and complexity facing us now seem bigger than ever. But even during these challenging times, we never lost sight of what was most important: our patients.
Now more than ever, we want to say thank you. Thank you for letting Stanley Dentistry be a part of your healthcare team and a part of your lives. Thank you for continuing to show up for us even in the midst of these trials. Thank you for being a part of our family. And a part of being family means no matter how difficult this is, we will continue showing up for you and that’s our promise. To protect you, to care for you, and to keep you healthy. We’ll show up for you and we won’t stop. While you’ve been away, we’ve been implementing new and innovative ways to keep you and your loved ones safe. We’re eager to serve you and your family. We’re here and we’re ready to help you find your smile.”
Making sure you and your family feel safe when coming into Stanley Dentistry is our team’s number one concern. We know these are scary, uncertain times which is why we’re going the extra mile to create a safe space where you can get the dental treatment you need. A few of our new COVID-19 prevention methods include:
“Pregnancy gingivitis is inflammation of the gums that comes from a surge in hormones. It can be many different hormones but progesterone is the number one cause of it. It [progesterone] causes red, swollen, irritated gums. That’s called pregnancy gingivitis. It can turn into something even more serious called periodontal disease. That’s not just from pregnancy. Periodontal disease is a more serious condition where bacteria actually creep below the gum line and causes an infection in the bone. It can end up causing you to lose your teeth down the road if you were not to treat it along with other health issues. Pregnancy gingivitis can be the precursor to periodontal issues so you want to make sure it doesn’t cross into that dangerous stage.
Periodontal disease can complicate the immune system and it can hurt your overall health. That’s true for men and women — but with women, it can cause preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Preterm birth can cause all types of issues for kids. They can have learning disabilities down the road, hearing and vision loss, and/or chronic health problems like asthma infections. You really want to do everything you can to make sure that the baby goes full-term.
Believe it or not, 40% of pregnant women have some form of periodontal disease. Come in and see your hygienist and your dentist and let them do an overall exam check of your periodontal health. They’ll make sure you’re healthy and that way, if you do have any issues going on, they can either give you some home care instructions or possibly treat any periodontal issues you might have. For gingivitis, that just means a really food cleaning and follow-up home care. Sometimes you’ll need some medicines and mouthwashes — things like that could help you get through it.
And then, if you have periodontal disease, there is treatment. We do periodontal therapy where we clean below the gemlike to clean some things out. You’d want to make sure that you schedule regular visits. Here at Stanley Dentistry, we like to see our pregnant patients at least every three to four months to make sure that, if there are any bacterial infections going on, you can get those taken care of before they become an issue.
I make sure I floss every day once, if not twice. Before, I was just a once-a-day flosser. I brush two to three times a day and I do get my cleanings more often while I’m pregnant.”
“I’m a big wuss. So, I need somebody that’s going to take care of my teeth on the painless dentistry side. I was looking for somebody who practices that. I heard about Dr. Stanley — the dentist to the stars. So, I came in and, once again, I never looked back. It’s an easy experience. I don’t mind coming to the dentist anymore.
Each and every time I’ve gotten more comfortable coming here. I’ve never been sedated — but I did get needles in the gums, which is fine. Both Stanleys, the docs, they’re great. I tell everybody — come on down.
They’re very professional at all times. Very friendly and easy-going. [They] explain to you everything that’s going on. They make sure that you’re comfortable with it. It’s just a great overall experience every time you come in the chair. Never an issue. They’re there for you the whole time — even afterward. Whatever work you have done — you can call them, they’ll call you. You’re going away, they’ll give you someone to talk to when you’re going away — if god forbid something should happen. They’re great people.
Absolutely. You gotta come down and see the Stanleys. Both of them. I got two screws [dental implants] in my mouth so I’ll say I got screwed by Drs. Stanley. Everything was good. It was awesome. That’s about it. I can’t say enough. Great job, guys!”
At Stanley Dentistry, we know getting dental work done (and sometimes, just entering a dental office) can be difficult for some people. Dental anxiety is a very real phenomenon for many of our patients which is why we take it so seriously. If you suffer from dental anxiety, we will do everything we can to make your dental visits as stress and pain-free as possible. Our hygienists, dental assistants, and doctors are experts on minimizing discomfort during dental procedures (even ones as simple as routine cleanings). When you’re here, we want you to be as comfortable as possible so if there’s ever anything that makes you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, please let us know. We’re here to help improve your health — not progress your anxiety.
If you’re ready to get started on your dental treatment, feel free to set up a complimentary consultation with one of our doctors. They’ll go over your different options and how they can help improve the health and function of your teeth. We’ll see you soon!
We are reopening our office for elective procedures (including cleanings) on May 11th! While we’re very excited to see and help our patients again, we first wanted to quickly go over the precautions that we will be taking to keep you and your family as safe and healthy as possible.
At Stanley Dentistry, our responsibility to our patients is to provide the highest standards of dental office infection control. We consider protecting the health of our patients and our team our top priority.
It is important to us that our patients feel safe and well-cared for during their appointments. We have always maintained a high standard of cleanliness but we are now taking it a step further to curb the spread of COVID-19. In order to follow the infection control guidelines recommended by the ADA & NCDS, we are implementing some new protocols. When you come in for your appointment post-May 11th, you can rest assured that your overall health and well-being is our major concern. Below are our new sanitation guidelines.
We always tell our patients to brush their teeth twice a day — or, even better, after every meal. While brushing your teeth isn’t a difficult task, it does take time away from your daily schedule so we understand why frequent brushing may be a little annoying. However, the tried-and-true rule of brushing right after waking up and right before bed is non-negotiable if you want to keep tooth decay and periodontal disease at bay. Here’s why:
Brushing your teeth after waking up in the morning doesn’t just knock out morning breath — it also disturbs any plaque that managed to begin growing overnight. Plaque is a sticky white film that forms over your teeth. It’s made out of harmful bacteria that, when left alone for long enough, can produce acid that can then break down tooth enamel, causing cavities. During the day, drinking water and eating foods that contain a lot of water (like cucumbers, lettuce, and spinach) can somewhat slow the growth of plaque. At night, plaque is able to grow uninhibited for an extended period of time. This is why skipping a morning brush can be dangerous. If you don’t get rid of that plaque in the morning, after the bacteria had the chance to multiply, you increase your risk of the plaque becoming strong enough to break down your tooth enamel.
Do you have trouble remembering to brush in the morning? As with a lot of things, brushing your teeth has to become a habit. If you wake up and take a shower first thing in the morning, try brushing your teeth first, right before hopping in the shower. Make sure your toothbrush and toothpaste are sitting out on the counter, ready to go. You can also try writing a little sticky-note and putting it on your mirror as a daily reminder. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you’re brushing in the morning. It could very well mean the difference between needing a filling at your next appointment and not.
So, if you brush your teeth in the morning (and do a good job), why do you have to brush again before you go to sleep for the night? If you don’t brush your teeth after every meal, brushing your teeth before bed is necessary to remove any leftover food particles that can encourage the growth of bacteria (and thus plaque). Neglecting to brush your teeth at night is just like if you went for a run, came back to your house all sweaty, and didn’t take a shower. Your teeth need to be cleaned after encountering sugary and acidic foods and drinks throughout the day.
If you’re having trouble remembering to brush at night, remember that it needs to become part of your routine. If you put on face lotion before bed, brush your teeth first. Get into the habit of brushing before bed and before you know it, you’ll be doing it on autopilot.
If you are prone to cavities or you want to take your oral and dental health to the next level, try brushing your teeth after every meal with a soft bristle brush. This will remove any dangerous sugars or acids from your teeth’s many jagged surfaces before they have the chance to become plaque. If you eat or drink something acidic, drink some water and wait at least half an hour before brushing. Immediately brushing after ingesting acids can actually hurt your dental enamel instead of helping it.
We encourage you to use a soft bristle brush because excess use of a harder bristle brush can wear down enamel over time. Brushing too often and too vigorously can be just as bad for your teeth as rarely brushing.
Drinking water is good for your whole body — your teeth included. We recommend that all of our patients drink about two liters (or eight 8-ounce glasses) of water every day in order to keep their teeth in tip-top shape. So, how does water affect teeth? And why does your dentist recommend the tried-and-true 8×8 rule? It all has to do (as gross as it sounds) with saliva.
Tooth decay and periodontal disease occur where there’s a build-up of dangerous bacteria in the mouth. If you don’t manage to remove that bacteria through brushing or flossing, it can eat away at your teeth and gums. While at-home oral care (brushing, mouthwash, flossing, etc.), is the real key to ridding your mouth of that bacteria, your saliva also plays a very important part. Saliva is constantly working to remove bacteria and prevent infection and decay. It’s your mouth’s natural way to clean and protect your teeth.
When you drink water, you supplement your saliva and give your teeth a cleansing “shower” that washes away some of that harmful bacteria. Drinking water throughout the day allows your body to create the necessary amount of saliva so, even when you aren’t actively drinking water, your mouth can still stay as clean as possible. If you don’t have a toothbrush nearby after eating, try taking a few sips of water to remove any leftover food particles. It’s an easy and useful way to inhibit the growth of food-borne bacteria and keep your pearly whites as pearly as possible.
Struggle with remembering to drink water throughout the day? You’re not alone. A large percentage of the population drinks less than the recommended two liters a day. Luckily, drinking water is a habit so once you begin drinking more water, it will become a natural part of your routine. Here are a few ways to get into the habit of drinking water:
Smoking damages nearly every single part of your body, including your teeth. If you’re a longterm smoker, you have a much higher chance of losing your natural teeth at a younger age. Why? As strange as it sounds, it has to do with saliva.
If the human mouth didn’t have saliva, we’d be in trouble. Saliva is the body’s natural way of halting a massive build-up of dangerous bacteria in the mouth (bacteria that leads to tooth decay and periodontal disease). Brushing and flossing are the best ways to keep your mouth bacteria-free but saliva is so efficient at keeping things clean because it’s working all the time — not just in the morning and right before bed. Drinking lots of water supplements your saliva, making it even more potent against bacteria.
The chemicals in tobacco products slow down the natural cycle of saliva regeneration. Less saliva equals more tartar. As the tartar builds up, causing periodontal disease, the gums recede, revealing more and more of the tooth’s root. Eventually, the bond between the tooth and the gums will become so weak that the tooth will fall out. This happens to smokers and non-smokers alike but the chances of getting periodontal disease are much higher if you use tobacco products.
The deadly chemicals in cigarettes make them menacingly effective at delaying natural healing in the mouth. If you’re a smoker and you consider yourself a “slow healer” when it comes to oral surgery, you need to realize the connection between the two. Smoking and gum tissue don’t get along well. Cigarettes cause decreased blood flow in the mouth and a higher risk of infection — both of which can spell danger for oral surgeries. Chances are, your oral surgeon will try to encourage you to give up smoking prior to the procedure. It can wreck that much havoc post-surgery.
With dental implants, smoking can cause the dental implant to fail completely, wasting both the surgeon’s time and the patient’s money. The problem is, a lot of people who get dental implants are getting them because they lost their teeth from smoking. We regularly see patients who choose to allow their dental implant(s) to fail rather than give up smoking. It’s an incredibly difficult habit to break but, if you care about your dental health (and your overall health), you have to do it.
From a cosmetic dentistry standpoint, smoking is far from forgiving. Like the tips of their fingers, smokers’ teeth frequently become a sickly yellow color. The yellow stains from smoking sink deep into the enamel, making them impossible to remove with at-home whitening methods. Professional whitening has varying levels of success when trying to remove smoking stains.
We all know smoking leads to cancer but did you know that, according to WebMD, about 90 percent of people diagnosed with cancer of the mouth, throat, or lips used tobacco? The same study showed that smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancers. While there are ways to treat oral cancer, it’s still incredibly dangerous and deadly. The best way to prevent it is to give up any and all forms of tobacco.
Save your teeth and save your health by quitting smoking. You can find some useful resources from the CDC here.
In response to the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina, our office has decided to postpone all elective treatment until May 11th. Your health and wellness is always our number one priority. Elective treatment includes cleanings and new patient consultations. As always, we will still be open for emergencies and for major procedures that could not be rescheduled. We will also be conducting virtual consultations for people who would like to start their dental treatment while in the safety and comfort of their homes. Simply go to our Make an Appointment page and let us know that you’re interested in setting up virtual consultation. We will call you shortly to schedule.
Like our in-person consultations, our virtual consultations are 100% free. They offer patients some time with the doctors to ask questions about different procedures. The doctor may ask you to take some pictures of your smile so they can start putting together a customized treatment plan. Once our office opens back up, you can come in and immediately get started with whatever procedures the doctor has recommended.
Unless you are experiencing an emergency, we recommend scheduling a virtual consultation at this time. We may not be able to give a diagnosis, but we will be able to answer some of your questions and begin your journey to a healthier, brighter smile. So many of our patients go into their first consultation thinking they need one thing and, after talking to the doctor, leave knowing they need something completely different. This virtual consultation is a time to clear the air and get both the patient and the doctor on the same page.
We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone. We’re more than willing to work with you when it comes to choosing a good platform for your virtual consultation. If you have an iPhone, we recommend using FaceTime. If that doesn’t work, we are open to using other platforms including Zoom and Skype.
We are also offering virtual consults that do not need to be scheduled. For these, you can simply send in a description of your smile along with a few pictures. One of our doctors will create a short video for you explaining a good course of treatment. If this style of consult interests you, please click here.
This is the easy part! To schedule a virtual consultation with one of our doctors, you can either call 919-371-4454 or you can go to our Make an Appointment page and request one. We’ll handle it from there!