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Why Your Dentist Should Focus on Overall Health (and Oral Health)

During a comprehensive dental examination, dentists usually examine your teeth and gums, as well as the tongue, jaw, salivary glands, neck, head, and other areas of your mouth, neck and head. They check for any abnormalities such as cracks, lumps, bleeding, swelling, ulcerations, discolorations, and so on. If need be, they may even recommend further diagnostic procedures such as biopsies to check for oral cancer.

Why Your Dentist Should focus on Overall Health (and Oral Health)

What you may not realize is that the health of your mouth is a direct reflection of your overall health and wellbeing. Through an oral examination, your dentist can not only detect cavities, gum disease, and other oral issues, but also spot early warning signs of other diseases in your body, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Your Mouth as a “Window” to Your Overall Health

Many scientific studies have found a close relation between oral health and a range of general health conditions. Your mouth can provide signals for various health disorders. For instance:

  • Mouth lesions are one of the early signs of HIV infection
  • Changes in the appearance of your teeth can be a sign of anorexia or bulimia
  • Pale and bleeding gums are associated with blood disorders
  • Aphthous ulcers can be a sign of Crohn’s disease or Coeliac disease
  • Lower jaw bone loss can be an early sign of skeletal osteoporosis

Moreover, poor oral health can adversely affect your overall health. Studies show that harmful bacteria in your mouth get into your bloodstream and cause infections in other body tissues when your immunity has been weakened by disease or harsh treatments. Conversely, systemic conditions and their medications or treatments can also affect your oral health, like reduced saliva production and bad breath.

Proper Oral Hygiene for Optimal General Health

Many studies have shown that some oral conditions share common risk factors with major chronic disease, like the connection between gum disease and heart disease and cancer.

Although the association between oral diseases and certain medical conditions is not well understood, the awareness that your oral health and your general health are connected is vital for devising proper oral health care routines.

A dental professional who understands the importance of integrating general health care policies into your oral health care plan can help to improve your dental health and overall quality of life.

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Teeth Whitening in Austin, TX 78759

Professional Teeth Whitening in Austin

Professional, in-office teeth whitening at Great Grins Dental can help you keep your smile at its best, safely and effectively. Depending on your choice of whitening option, the results can be achieved in as little as one hour.

Get a Dental Exam Before Whitening

It is important that you discuss the specifics of your case with Dr. Shaw at Great Grins Dental in Austin so you choose the best teeth whitening option for you. In most cases, you may require a combination of in-office and at-home treatments to preserve your sparkling smile.

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Operation Gratitude

Successful candy collection for Operation Gratitude! Thank you for participating in this drive for our troops. We’re proud to show off what we’ve collected and will be donating the candy to deployed soldiers.

Operation Gratitude Collection

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Halloween Candy Buy Back at Great Grins Dental

Halloween Candy Buy Back

$1 for 1 lb of Unwanted, Unopened Candy!
(Up to 5lbs. Ages 2-16 yo)

Candy is donated to deployed soldiers with the help of Operation Gratitude.

NOV 2nd from 4-6pm
(Drop off candy as a donation until 11/9 during normal business hours)

Make cards or write letters to our troops!

Snacks and Refreshments provided.

Great Grins Dental
5114 Balcones Woods Dr. STE 308
Austin, TX 78759
512-346-1900

Dentist Austin

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What’s the Difference Between Plaque and Tartar?

Far too often we hear the words, “Brush your teeth everyday!” and “Floss your teeth everyday!” or something of similar nature. Here’s the real reason why: because of plaque and tartar.

Many people become confused over these terms and your Austin dentist chimes in to help clear up the difference between plaque and tartar.

difference between plaque and tartar

What’s Plaque?

Plaque cannot be seen by the naked eye because it is a colorless film that sits on our teeth everyday – until we brush most of it off. The thing about plaque is it’s comprised of bacteria and will secrete acids that affect our teeth and gums, leading to decay and other periodontal problems.

What’s Tartar?

Tartar is basically plaque. The difference between plaque and tartar is that plaque is the start and tartar is the end result. For those who are not successful at brushing plaque off from their teeth every morning and night, it sits until something happens – it begins to harden. Tartar is also referred to as calculus and, on a basic level, is hardened plaque.

Here’s the catch: tartar cannot be simply removed from the force of a toothbrush. Tartar must be removed by a dental professional.

This is why visiting your dentist every 6 months becomes a great idea – to fight off any extraneous plaque and tartar that has accumulated on your teeth since your last visit.

Concluding Thoughts

Both plaque and tartar are responsible for trapping stains on your teeth, leading to tooth discoloration among other various problems such as gum disease. Cosmetic dentistry may be recommended to help restore the shine to your enamel. Other factors play a role in tooth discoloration (i.e. certain foods/drinks).

By brushing and flossing our teeth everyday, we are initiating plaque and tartar control – something that leads to better oral health, reduced tooth discoloration, and a reduced chance of developing something serious such as severe periodontal disease.

Please call our office for make an appointment 512.346.1900

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What to Do if You Have a Dental Emergency

Have you ever been in an accident that knocked out or damaged one or more of your teeth? Have you ever lost a dental crown or tooth filling? Has a toothache ever been so painful that you simply could not eat? These are, simply put, dental emergencies. If they aren’t dealt with quickly, you could have a big problem on your hands (or more specifically, in your teeth)! How long does one have to wait before they can see a dentist after making an appointment? One week? Two weeks? A month? By then, it will be too late. You’ll have permanently lost that knocked out tooth, gotten that previously repaired tooth infected again, or gone hungry because you couldn’t eat with the pain. Dental emergencies happen all the time, but you don’t have to suffer.

Austin Dental Emergency

Emergency Dentist in Austin, TX

What you need is an emergency dentist. These general and specialist dentists are the ones that are there for you when you need to get your dental problem taken care of immediately. Whether it’s midday or midnight, emergency dentists are available to save your teeth right away.

What is a Dental Emergency

A dental emergency is any accident or event that causes noticeable damage or to your teeth.  This includes physical trauma, severe toothaches, and loosened or knocked out dental restorations (fillings, crowns, veneers, etc).  When these emergencies occur, you must know how to handle them or risk even more severe and/or permanent damage to your oral health.

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

The first thing to do when a dental emergency occurs is to try to solve the immediate problem.  There are many types of dental emergencies, so it may not be possible to know exactly what to do in each situation.  In this article, we’ll go over a few scenarios and explain how to handle each one.  The most common dental emergencies involve broken or knocked out teeth.  It’s important to know that severely injured teeth have only 15 to 30 minutes before they start to die.  If your tooth is broken, quickly rinse your mouth with warm water.  Then apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.  Once this is done, you must call your emergency dentist for an appointment.  If you can locate the broken pieces of your tooth, bring them with you to the dentist.

Believe it or not, knocked out teeth can actually be reattached as they are if done quickly and carefully.  Recover the knocked out tooth by holding it from the top (keep your fingers away from the root).  Do not rinse it or remove pieces of tissue from it.  Carefully try to re-insert the tooth from where it was knocked out in the mouth and hold it in place gently.  If you cannot do this, keep it hydrated in a cup of milk or water with a pinch of salt.  Whether or not you have been able to reattach it, call your emergency dentist and make an appointment.  Knocked out teeth are significantly more likely to be saved if seen by a dentist within an hour of the injury.

Austin Emergency Dentistry

If you do not know for certain how to immediately handle a medical emergency, do not attempt to fix the problem on your own.  Always call an emergency dentist and find out what to do.  In medical emergencies, you know to dial 911.  With dental emergencies, your emergency dentist’s number is just as important to know and have available.  When you talk to your emergency dentist, it can help to tell them the answers to the following questions:

  1. What is the dental emergency that you’re calling about?
  2. How long ago did it occur?
  3. Is there swelling?
  4. On a 1-10 scale, how painful is it?
  5. Is there any sensitivity to hot or cold sensations?
  6. Are you taking any medications, antibiotics, or painkillers?

The more information the dentist has, the better they can help.  Once the situation is in the hands of your reliable emergency dentist, you’re already on your way to recovery.

Want to know more?  Ask us at: Austin Emergency Dentist

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Common Issue Explained: Why Do People Fear the Dentist?

Why Do People Fear the Dentist

One of the most feared doctors in the medical field is the dentist. But why do people fear the dentist? Why do dentists get such a bad wrap?

Perhaps because their workspace, the human mouth, is one of the most intimate and sensitive places on the body.

The mere thought of someone coming near our mouths with a sharp object, is terrifying… at least at first. The brain has a fantastic ability to assimilate. Like anything in life, we should get used to the idea of someone working on our mouths. Any anxiety we feel in relation to the dentist will dissipate from the initial exposure to the dental experience.

Now, there are some factors:

  • The reception the dentist gives his or her patients
  • The connection you feel to your dentist and hygienist
  • The over all state of mind the patient is in
  • Past experiences with pain or trauma

Any and all of these can trick your mind into thinking that the experience they are about to have will be the same. Some people think pain and fear is just a part of their trip to the dentist, so they just gear themselves up for the worst and hope for the best. If they can walk out of the dentist thinking ‘that wasn’t so bad’, then it’s been a good day.

It’s All in Your Head

The instruments dentists use, the look and feel of the dentist’s office, the smell, what music is playing, can all contribute to a fear of the dental experience. In extreme cases, these and other psychological factors can even build up so much anxiety that it results in a phobia, and a refusal to go to the dentist at all.

The dentist could be the nicest person you’ve ever met, but until the fears and blocks one has to the simplicity of dental care -because let’s face it, when we wipe away all the made up fears and anticipation of pain, it is simple – people will continue to be stuck in their prison of negative thoughts.

The Trick to Conquering Your Fears

The trick is to trick yourself into being open to the possibility that the dentist is your friend, and go from there. The more we can change our own minds into positive thinking machines, the more we can change the reputation of dentists from people to be feared, to people we can trust to care for us.

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Top Rated Dentist in Austin – Dr. Christina Shaw

Dr. Christina Shaw, Top Rated Dentist in Austin

Dr. Christina Shaw is a top rated dentist in Austin, TX. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Texas Dental Association, Capital Area Dental Society, and American Association of Women Dentists.

Read Doreen C.‘s review of Great Grins Dental – Dr. Christina Shaw on Yelp

At Great Grins Dental our goal is to provide exceptional, comprehensive dental care to our patients in a friendly and compassionate environment.

SPECIAL OFFER – $99 New Patient Exam

Please call our office for more information. 512.346.1900.

Providing Dental Services in Austin, TX 78759

We offer the following General, Cosmetic, and Orthodontic dental treatments:

Great Grins Dental team

Why Choose Great Grins Dental

  • Top rated dentist in Austin, TX
  • Highly trained dentist for children and adults
  • Easy to talk to
  • Passion for beautiful, functional dentistry
  • Comprehensive care

Serving Patients in Austin, TX

Read Katie C.‘s review of Great Grins Dental – Dr. Christina Shaw on Yelp

Request an Appointment

If you have any dental care need in Austin, contact Great Grins Dental for assessment and treatment. Contact us to request your appointment today.

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Are you a candidate for Invisalign?

invisalign austin tx 78759Visit Great Grins in Austin to see if you are a candidate for Invisalign. You can achieve the perfect smile with beautiful straight teeth without wires, brackets and metal. Invisalign in virtually invisible to see and you can remove them at any time.

Great Grins offers a Free Invisalign Consultation with Dr. Shaw. Our office is now offering a $600 off Invisalign® Special Offer. Please call our office for more information 512.346.1900.

Learn more about Invisalign in Austin and how Great Grins can help you.

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Are you considering Invisalign?

Want straighter teeth without the metal, you may want to consider Invisalign.

Invisalign is clear and virtually invisible when worn. This is great for adults or anyone who would rather keep the natural look of their teeth.

Invisalign treats the same problems that traditional orthodontic braces are designed to solve, such as:

  • Overly Crowded Teeth
  • Widely Spaced Teeth
  • Crossbite
  • Overbite
  • Underbite

We are offering a special discount of $600 OFF your Invisalign treatment, contact us for more info 512.346.1900

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