Monthly Archives: September 2013

Huntersville Dentist | Do You Know the Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Dentist in Huntersville

When it comes to fighting off cancers, the most important tool that every patient needs to be equipped with is awareness. Especially since cancer, in general, does not have any known cure, you’re best bet of surviving any kind of malignancy is to catch the cancer early. During the early stages of cancer, the effected cells are still contained within the effected organ, making them easy to single out and destroy through radiation therapy. Did you know that one of the dental services in Huntersville, NC Dr. Langdon offers is oral screening for cancer?

Worrying Oral Cancer Awareness Rates

However, while awareness rates for other known malignancies, such as breast cancer, are high, dentists aren’t so sure about how informed the public is with regards to oral cancer. According to a survey which was participated in by more than 800 people, researchers have found out that three in every four parents were not able to recognize the early signs of oral cancer. The respondents were composed of children aged between 12 to 16 as well as their parents. Among the younger participants of the survey, 85 percent did not know any of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer.

Implications of Not Knowing the Early Signs of Oral Cancer

Although oral cancer isn’t one of the most prevalent forms of cancer, this form of malignancy is still something which one has to be wary of because self-diagnosis for oral cancer is rather difficult. This complexity is compounded when a person is not aware of the early signs and symptoms for oral cancer because individuals will not know what to watch out for.

Oral Cancer in Males

Cases of oral cancer are increasing per year. In fact, the number of oral cancer has jumped by almost 50 percent in the past ten years. One way for you to combat this form of malignancy is by taking the time to find out if you are at risk for oral cancer. Aside from individuals who smoke, men are also more likely to get oral cancer as compared to their female counterparts. However, in the same study, it has been found out that only 17 percent of males know the symptoms of oral cancer.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Some of the signs of oral cancer include a sore which never heals as well as bleeding anywhere inside your mouth. Because oral cancer can also involve your throat, another symptom of oral cancer is soreness in your mouth or throat and sufferers may feel like there’s a lump at the back of their throat.

As stated earlier, early detection is your best defense of combating oral cancer. Get your comprehensive oral screening from Dr. Tate C. Langdon today.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | Good Dental Health in Four Easy Steps

Huntersville Dentist

If you ask Tate C. Langdon in Huntersville, NC what exactly is the root cause of tooth decay and other dental problems including gingivitis, then you will get this simple answer — poor dental hygiene. So the remedy seems to be very clear: start brushing your teeth regularly. But this is often always easier said than done. Here are the things that you have to know more in order to have good dental health:

Choose the right toothbrush

In order for you to be effective in cleaning your teeth, then you need to be armed with the right tool. First off, the size of the toothbrush matters. The head should be large enough to clean around two teeth at a time but it should be small enough in order to get to the small spaces in your mouth especially around your molars. With regards to your bristles, the softer the bristles, the better it is for your teeth. Hard bristles can irritate your gums every time you brush which can cause gingivitis. Finally, Dr. Langdon recommends that patients replace their toothbrush every three to four months.

Use the right toothpaste

Not all toothpastes are created equally. Some toothpastes contain different formulations and have differing fluoride concentrations. Fluoride is a necessary component of toothpaste, especially since this mineral is crucial to the remineralization of enamel crystals in order to fortify the enamel layer and even to reverse the effects of early cavity formation. Cosmetic toothpastes do not contain fluoride so make sure that you read the label and check out its ingredient formulation before you pick out any toothpaste off the shelves.

Know how to brush properly

Just because you know how to rub your toothbrush against the surface of your teeth does not mean that you already know how to brush properly. Dr. Langdon recommends that patients angle their toothbrush on a 45 degree angle towards their gums in order to really remove debris which may be trapped in this area. Plaque, and consequently tartar, can accumulate along the gumline and cause infections such as gingivitis. Also, brushing should be done in circular strokes using little force. And don’t buy the false idea that the more forceful you are, the better you are at removing bacteria- you can cause more damage by brushing too hard.

Floss before you go to bed

Your day should never be complete unless you floss. While brushing enables you to get rid of plaque found on the exposed surfaces of your teeth, plaque can still accumulate in between your teeth. In fact, most cavities start to form in between your teeth because the plaque in these areas are not removed promptly. Only flossing can get the job done.

Twice yearly check ups at Tate C. Langdon in Huntersville, NC should also be considered an important step in optimal oral care.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | Picking the Perfect Toothpaste

Huntersville, NC Dentist

With our grocery stores and drugstores filled with so many toothpaste brands, picking out the best toothbrush for your pearly whites can be one of the most perplexing consumer dilemmas there are. Should you reach for the toothpaste which promises tartar control? Or should you go for the one which has the higher fluoride content? And what about the emerging trend of using natural ingredients? With so many questions you may have in mind, what should your criteria be in picking out the most appropriate toothpaste for you?

Toothpaste Ingredients

In order for you to make the most well-informed decision, you need to evaluate every single ingredient which goes into the tube of toothpaste that you plan to purchase. While every brand comes up with a unique combination of ingredients, here are some of the basics:

Abrasives

These agents scratch into the enamel of your teeth and are used to remove bacteria, food debris as well as remove stains that might be trapped within the enamel region of the teeth. Examples of abrasives include calcium carbonates and silicates.

Humectants

This toothpaste agent is placed into the formulation in order to prevent the toothpaste from drying up. Glycerol is one example of a moisture retention agent.

Detergents

Detergents such as sodium lauryl sulfate are used in order to induce the production of suds when you start brushing your teeth.

Flavoring

The most common flavor that toothpastes have is mint but flavors like bubblegum, cinnamon and lemon-lime are also used in toothpastes, especially those which are specifically marketed for kids. Since sugar encourages the growth of bacteria which would lead to more cavities and tooth decay, it makes sense that toothpaste manufacturers use a special kind of sweetener called saccharin.

Fluoride Toothpastes

Of all the different components of toothpastes, the most important ingredient would have to be fluoride. Fluoride is important in the re-mineralization of teeth crystals which is needed to reverse the development of cavities and prevent tooth decay.

Tartar Control Toothpastes

This kind of toothpaste is recommended in individuals who are at risk for gum diseases or already have some degree of gingivitis. Tartar is plaque which has been allowed to settle for 72 hours and accumulates along the gum line. Tartar is toxic to gum tissues and can cause a slow but constant degeneration. Pyrophosphates and zinc citrate are known components that prevent tartar build-up while triclosan is an antimicrobial agent that also limits bacterial growth which tartar is known for.

If you are unsure if you are using the right type of toothpaste, ask Tate C. Langdon in Huntersville, NC which brand is best suited for your mouth.

Visit Dr. Tate C. Langdon, your dentist in Huntersville, NC, to talk about the perfect toothpaste for you.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | Fluoride and Your Kid

Dentist Huntersville

One question which parents often ask is how much fluoride should their children receive? This question is a very tricky one. To start off, fluoride is crucial to any person’s dental health. In fact, children who do not receive enough fluoride are actually prone to cavities. But on the flip side, when too much fluoride is given to a child, the condition called dental fluorosis can also develop. So how do you know that you’ve struck a balance? And is fluoride really that important among children?

Fluoride and Infants

When your child has first started to grow out his or her milk teeth, then your dentist will not advise that you use toothpaste right away. On the other hand, all that you need is to wet a clean washcloth and use this to rub the surfaces of your child’s gums and his or her first few teeth.

When your dentist finally gives you the go signal to use toothpaste, then use just a small smear since your child does not really need too much fluoride at that point. In the other hand, too much fluoride could lead to the development of dental fluorosis. Fluoride overexposure can lead to discolorations in the enamel layer of the resulting primary teeth and, in severe cases, can even lead to notches and ridges developing on the enamel. For this reason, its best that you limit your child’s use of toothpaste and to always encourage your child to spit rather than swallow toothpaste when tooth brushing But when your child gets all of his or her permanent teeth, then the threat of dental fluorosis is no longer that prominent.

Fluoride and Its Sources

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral which is found in plant sources but most notably in tap water. Tap water systems are fluoridated in order to ensure that individuals are getting the optimum amounts of mineral. In the past, when water systems were not yet fluoridated, cases of cavities were extremely rampant and epidemics were frequent. However, the numbers have all dropped ever since this public health policy has been introduced. But with people preferring to drink bottled water rather than drink straight from the tap, experts are questioning if individuals are still getting the right levels of fluoride. Luckily, most dental hygiene products contain optimum levels of fluoride which enable individuals to still get the RDA of fluoride even without drinking from the tap.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | Dental Tips for Pregnant Women

Dentist Huntersville

Part of being a woman is the inevitability of getting pregnant. This phase is one of crucial stages in a woman’s life where taking care of their health is does not only impact them but also ensures the proper growth of the baby that’s growing in the womb. If you are expecting or are thinking about getting pregnant in the near future, there are a few dental concerns that you have to be aware of. Not all of the procedures are safe for the mother and the child. So better be careful.

During the process called pregnancy, everything that you eat is being shared to your baby and this includes all the minute levels of vitamins and minerals. So if you aren’t that particular with your diet while there is that growing bun in your oven, there is a big chance that you will have a weaker immune system which will make you and your baby more prone to infection, brittle bones that can lead to structural problems with the growing child, and poorer oral health. Some women who are pregnant usually forget the importance of their oral health being preoccupied only by their general health, which usually leads to an assortment of teeth and gum issues during this critical time. The rule of thumb is that if you are having any issues with your teeth or mouth no matter how minor they may be, see your dentist as soon as you can.

However, as mentioned earlier, there are some common dental procedures that cannot be performed on pregnant women. These procedures, especially the tooth extraction, can be very painful and stressful which can lead to complications such as hemorrhaging. Bleeding is a very common complication among pregnant women because their blood flow increases by 30 to 50 percent when expecting. And because women tend to lose huge amounts of blood during delivery, it’s wise to steer clear of any kind of bleeding episode early into the pregnancy.

The increase in a woman’s blood flow when pregnant may also lead to the condition called gingivitis. Mild inflammation is the hallmark of gingivitis ad if you notice that you’re sporting red and tender gums, you might be having pregnancy gingivitis. This is normal though and will resolve itself once you’ve delivered. However, this condition might attract bacteria to remain in your gums and cause another gum inflammation but this time due to microbial infection. To prevent any of this from happening, it is important that you keep your mouth clean by regularly brushing your teeth and using mouthwash to remove any bacteria-laden plaque.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | Seemingly Harmless Drinks Which Can Endanger Your Teeth

Dentist in Huntersville

When it comes to taking care of our teeth, the only rule that we really know of is to stay away from candy. But is that the only thing that could endanger our oral health or are there other dental threats lurking out and about?

Sports Drinks

No game of basketball or any other sport could ever be complete without chugging down an entire bottle of sports drinks. And it seems like these energy drinks are fast becoming a staple in our lives what with individuals living very hurried and hectic lifestyles these days. But while these drinks are able to pump back energy into our systems, they are also loaded with acids and sugars.

The problem with the high acid content of sports and energy drinks is that they can erode the enamel of teeth. The enamel is an important protective layer of our teeth which prevents substances from gaining entrance into the very heart of the tooth – the pulp. But when you down an entire bottle of energy drink, the acids slowly eat away at the enamel which can create cavities and slowly lead to tooth decay.

And if you think that you can brush away the harmful effects of energy drinks, think twice. Once your teeth has been doused with all that acid, the enamel turns into a soft, permeable material and brushing your teeth when the enamel is at this state will only increase the layer’s erosion.

Juice Drinks

How could juice drinks ever be bad for your teeth when they contain vitamin C, the substance which is responsible for the protection and repair of connective tissues which includes your gums? The same way that sports drinks are harmful for your enamel – sugars and acids.

Citrus fruits naturally contain acids which can eat away at the enamel of teeth but while eating an orange a day won’t really hurt your oral health, it’s a different matter if you decide to drink up the fruit. In its liquid form, acids will be able to surround your teeth and penetrate into the deeper layers which they could cause all havoc. This is unlike eating fruits because the exposure of your teeth to these acids is limited.

Now how about sugar? Commercial juice drinks are filled with so much added sugar which serves as a wonderful food source for bacteria found inside your mouth. So on top of juice slowly eating away your dental enamel, it also transforms your mouth as a perfect environment for harboring cavity-causing bacteria.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | Cosmetic Dentistry 101

Dentist in Huntersville, NC

While cosmetic dentistry procedures are considered elective, the impact that a simple teeth whitening procedure can do to a person can be extremely profound. We are able to show our self-esteem or exude confidence with a single flash of our pearly whites. So naturally, it’s excruciating to have to keep your smile in just because you have less than perfect teeth.

Choosing the Right Procedure for You

With the help of technology, more and more cosmetic dentistry procedures are being introduced year in and year out. However, the basic cosmetic procedures still remain to be whitening, bonding, contouring, crowns and veneers. If you think that you are in need of a smile makeover, then it’s best that you consult your dentist first. A professional will be able to assess exactly what type of procedure is necessary for correcting any problem you may have with your teeth.

Once your dentist has suggested all the procedure which would be appropriate for correcting your dental problem, try asking the following questions so that you can have a clearer grasp of what that specific procedure is all about and how it will change your teeth:

1. How will the procedure change my smile?

It’s important that you get your expectations all clear right from the very beginning. Sometimes, ads can paint very unrealistic expectations about a certain procedure, making it seem like one procedure is a cure-all for every smile problem you have. When you know exactly what a certain procedure can do including its limitations, you can choose wisely whether it’s something you really need or whether it really addresses the problem you have with your smile.

2. What will the course of treatment be like?

While a procedure may address your problem square on the nail, you may not have the time required to see the treatment through. For instance, getting veneers require more than a trip to the dentist while crowns and bonding procedures can be done within just one day.

3. What kind of maintenance is required for the procedure?

In order to prolong the life of whatever work you had done, it’s only expected that you submit yourself for maintenance. You may decide that a procedure is not for you if it requires a lots of maintenance work which you do not have the time or resources to support.

In choosing a cosmetic dentist, make sure that you check out his or her portfolio including before-and-after photos of previous patients. At the same time, ask your friends and family for any dentist they can recommend. Lastly, look around for proof of continuing education. A good dentist always stays on the top of his game and that involves continuing education.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | How Your Pregnancy Might Be Affecting Your Dental Health

Huntersville Dentist

Being pregnant doesn’t just induce mood swings or force you to temporarily banish fish from your diet. Being with child can also affect your oral health as well. Your teeth and gums are affected by fluctuations in your hormone levels which can lead to some peculiar changes to your dental health. But you do not just need more urgent dental attention when you are pregnant; you also need to take certain precautions when seeing your dentist at such a state.

If you want to stay on top of your oral health while you’re expecting, here are some of the dental conditions that you should keep a keen eye on:

Gingivitis

Pregnant women are at higher risk of developing mild inflammation of the gums or gingivitis. This is because of the increased levels of progesterone while one is pregnant. At the same time, a more compromised immune system while you are expecting can cause gums to bleed more easily even when you’re simply brushing your teeth or flossing. If you have pregnancy gingivitis, the condition will usually resolve itself once the baby is born.

Periodontitis

This is the most severe form of gum disease and develops when the milder gingivitis is left untreated. Periodontitis causes extensive gum tissue and jaw bone destruction which can eventually lead to tooth loss. While gingivitis may be nothing more than a mere annoyance, full-blown periodontitis could actually affect the health of your baby since it has been found out that women with periodontitis have higher risks of delivering low birth weight babies and giving birth pre-term.

Granuloma

A granuloma is a red growth that is found along the upper gum line which occurs during pregnancy. Sometimes, these growths can induce bleeding and can even develop a crusty appearance. While these growths aren’t really that serious, they can cause discomfort, and make eating and talking difficult. Most of the time, these granulomas often occur during the second trimester of pregnancy and will start vanishing once you deliver.

Dry mouth

The decrease in the secretion of saliva could lead to dry mouth in expectant mothers. The decreased secretion is due to hormonal changes that come with the pregnancy. If you’re concerned that your dry mouth could lead to bad breath and cavity formations, try chewing sugarless gum all day long to promote saliva secretion.

Dissolution of dental enamel

Because some women vomit while pregnant, the vomiting, all the gastric acid juices could erode the enamel of your teeth. The enamel is the tough, white, outer protective layer of teeth which protects the pulp region where all sensitive nerves and blood vessels can be located.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | Nitrous Oxide Sedation – Are you a Good Candidate?

Huntersville, NC Dentist

Dental sedation is for patients who are anxious about undergoing dental treatment. Relaxing the nerves through sedation techniques helps keep patient comfortable during major procedures. If you are one of the many people who have a particular fear of sitting on the dentist’s chair, dental sedation may be the answer.

There are different techniques when it comes to sedation dentistry. One of the most effective is nitrous oxide sedation. It is a kind of inhaled gas best for people with different levels of dental anxiousness. This technique is also used for pain management.

Nitrous oxide is a type of gas that is odorless and colorless. Also known as laughing gas, it creates a feeling of euphoria that will leave you in the perfect state to receive comprehensive dental treatment. This makes it a wise choice for people who are highly emotional and have dental procedure anxiety and apprehension. This sedation technique also uses oxygen. In many cases, the ratio of nitrous oxide to oxygen is often adjusted to achieve the right level of sedation.

After several minutes of inhaling the gas, you will start to feel a tingling sensation in your arms and legs. There is no need to fret when this happens, as this is normal. A feeling of lightheadedness often follows. This makes you feel relaxed even if you hear the sound of the dental drill or when you taste the medicines. After the treatment, the sedation will have no lasting effect and you may drive home safely.

Nitrous oxide sedation is safe for most people. Patients with multiple sclerosis, however, may not be good candidates. The same is true for pregnant women on their first trimester of pregnancy.

We understand that not all patients may be comfortable with this treatment. This is why we give only the appropriate sedation technique to help you manage your anxieties. Schedule an appointment with us to help you see what’s best for you.

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map

Huntersville Dentist | Why Prevention is Always Better than Cure When it Concerns Oral Health

Dentist Huntersville, NC

Some believe that preventive dentistry may put itself “out of business” because of its strong emphasis on prevention. This may be true for other practitioners, but our clinic is more focused on improving your quality of life by addressing possible oral diseases before they develop any further. The best recommendation is to visit our clinic at least twice a year for comprehensive oral examinations and cleanings.

Improper oral habits can cause potential tooth decay and gum disease in just six months. Following a strict oral maintenance regimen regimen, we can help you with any issues you may have. If we do see a possible disorder, we can prevent it quickly by treating it right away. This will not only be an easy and efficient method, but it can also save you from big expenses in the future.

Preventive dentistry is the key to long-term oral health and wellbeing. Regular dental visits with our dentist in Huntersville, sealants, fluoride, diet, and home oral hygiene kits are all important in the prevention of costly dental problems. Waiting for your teeth to hurt before scheduling an appointment is a bad practice. It is important to catch problems immediately before they turn into severe pain and infection.

The problem is that some people are unaware of the potential risks of bad oral practices. Adults who fail to teach their children good oral hygiene can also influence poor teeth and mouth care habits. This is when proper oral education steps in. Our clinic provides patients young and old with basic education on preventive measures to keep teeth healthy and strong. In fact, these preventive measures are easy procedures that you can apply at home.

Preventive dentistry is all about the maintenance of healthy oral habits: brushing your teeth twice a day, regular flossing, gargling, and eating a balanced diet. These procedures alone will ensure a beautiful smile for a long time and promises lesser trips to our clinic to address pains and other conditions. Do take note, however, that it is still important for you to have extensive oral assessments. In some cases, oral diseases and conditions may develop even with good oral habits. Combining oral checkups with these preventive measures will always ensure excellent oral and general health. As they all say, prevention is the best medicine!

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Tate C. Langdon, DDS, PA

15329 Hodges Cir
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 875-0123
URL of Map