Dry Mouth

Dry mouth happens to everyone on occasion, but sometimes the problem is unusually severe or does not improve with a drink of water. Chronic dry mouth occurs when the saliva glands do not produce sufficient saliva to keep the mouth moist. While annoying, dry mouth can also have an impact on your overall health and the health of your teeth.

Causes of Dry Mouth

One of the most common causes of dry mouth is medications, including both prescription and over-the-counter, for conditions like nerve pain, anxiety, allergies, depression and congestion. Pain medications can also be a contributing factor.
Dry mouth can happen as a natural part of the aging process, although most often people notice dry mouth as they age due to new medications or health conditions they are experiencing as a result of aging. Treatment for cancer can also cause the condition. Drug an alcohol abuse, nerve damage and a number of autoimmune diseases can also cause a dry mouth.

Problems Connected to Dry Mouth

Without sufficient saliva, you may develop problems with increased plaque, as the bacteria in the saliva will not break down the tartar that leads to plaque. This, then, can increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Mouth sores, fungal infections of the mouth, sores in the mouth, cracked lips and difficulty chewing and swallowing can also occur.

Get Help for Dry Mouth

If you are struggling with dry mouth, Dr. James J. McCall is ready to help. The treatment will depend on the cause of your condition, and may involve working with your doctor to change your medications, using products to moisturize the mouth or even using prescription medications to stimulate saliva production. You will also need to work with your dentist to protect your teeth from the problems connected to dry mouth.

To get help with your dry mouth, contact Dr. James J. McCall at his Jacksonville practice at 904-620-9225.

Tooth-Friendly Diet

Can you diet affect your teeth? Absolutely! You probably already know that eating a lot of sugary foods is bad for your teeth, and warn your children about cavities every Halloween, but there is more to a tooth-friendly diet than simply ignoring sugar. Eating the right foods and drinking the right beverages can actually help you keep your natural teeth longer while avoiding staining and other damage.

A Calcium-Rich Diet

When your mom told you to drink your milk, she was not wrong. Adequate calcium intake keeps teeth strong and healthy. When you do not have enough calcium, the body may pull it from your teeth to compensate, and this can lead to an increased risk of cavities and tooth decay. Aim for two to four servings a day of diary or other calcium-rich foods.

Vitamin-C

Vitamin C also helps promote oral health. In fact, those who eat less than the recommended daily amount of vitamin C are 25 percent more likely to develop gingivitis than those who eat more than the recommended daily amount. Adding citrus fruit or kiwi to your daily diet will help. Just one serving per day will help.

Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

Crunchy fruits and vegetables not only add important nutrients to your diet, but also help wipe away the bacteria that can lead to plaque. The chewing motions required to eat these foods also help you create more saliva in your mouth, which neutralizes bacteria in the mouth.

Avoiding Sugary Snacks

Of course, sugar is the enemy of healthy teeth. Enjoy sugary snacks in moderation. Hard candies and gummy candies, which can stick to the teeth, are particularly damaging. Acidic foods can also be a problem for teeth, as the acid breaks down tooth enamel. Soda, which contains both acid and sugar, is another dangerous food for your teeth.

Everything you put in your mouth comes in contact with your teeth, and your food also has the potential to give your teeth nutrients they need to be healthy. Make sure you protect your oral healthy by choosing foods that do not damage, but rather support, your oral health. If you have further questions about a tooth-friendly diet, talk to Dr. James J. McCall.

Teeth Grinding

Nearly everyone will occasionally grind or clench their teeth. Sometimes, this is just a minor response to a stressful situation and requires no attention or intervention. Chronic teeth grinding, however, is a condition called bruxism, and can cause damage to the teeth and other health concerns.

Why People Grind Their Teeth

Teeth grinding is sometimes a response to stress and anxiety. For some people, however, the action occurs during sleep without any stress or other problems. In these cases, it is often due to an abnormal bite that causes the mouth to line up incorrectly. Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders can also cause teeth grinding.

Unfortunately, many people are unaware that they grind their teeth, because they do it in their sleep. The only symptom they may experience is a dull, constant headache or soreness in a jaw. Others may find out that they grind their teeth when someone who lives with them mentions hearing it. Excessive wear on the teeth noted at dental appointments can also be a sign that there is a problem.

Problems Connected to Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, when it is a chronic problem, can cause fractures of the teeth or cause the teeth to wear down too far. Severe problems with teeth grinding can cause the teeth to loosen or fall out. Sometimes the action of grinding the teeth can damage or injure the jaws or cause problems with the TMJ. Some people, if the condition is not addressed, will notice a change to the appearance of their faces.

How to Stop Grinding Your Teeth

If you suspect that you are grinding your teeth, talk to your dentist. You may be able to use a mouth guard to stop the action and protect your teeth. Orthodontics may also be able to adjust your bite to limit the action.

For grinding that occurs due to stress, a dentist or doctor may be able to provide suggestions to reduce stress. For those who grind due to a sleep disorder, treating the disorder may be the answer. You can also help improve sleep and limit teeth grinding by avoiding caffeine, chocolate and alcohol consumption prior to sleep.

Teeth grinding, if left untreated, is more than just a minor annoyance. It can be a serious health risk. Talk to your Dr. James McCall if you suspect that you or someone you love is struggling with teeth grinding, so you can make the necessary changes to stop this potentially damaging behavior.

Brushing Your Teeth

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important dental hygiene steps you can take each day. Brushing your teeth removes food and plaque, helping prevent tartar buildup, enamel breakdown and cavities. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and Dr. James J. McCall recommends adding in a third brushing after your third meal.

When to Brush

Most people brush their teeth in the morning and at bedtime. This is a good routine, but you may wish to consider brushing about 30 minutes after each meal. This will remove food before it has a chance to cause problems, and will also help improve your breath. Keep in mind that you should wait for at least 30 minutes if you ate something acidic, as these foods can weaken your tooth enamel. Brushing your teeth too soon can damage the enamel.

How to Brush

Brushing your teeth seems simple, but unfortunately many people make mistakes that could damage their teeth.

First, start with the right amount of toothpaste. You only need about a pea-sized amount on a soft-bristle brush that you replace every three months. Brush for about two minutes, but do not be rough with your teeth. Sawing at your teeth will not get them cleaner, and can lead to gum recession. If your gums recede too much, the nerves will become exposed, causing sensitivity.

Next, be sure to brush all sides of your teeth, including the inside surfaces. It can be easy to miss some inside surfaces when switching positioning of the brush. Finally, when you are done, remove food and bacteria from the tongue by sweeping the brush back and front across your tongue.

Do you have further questions about brushing technique? Talk to Dr. James J. McCall to discuss your oral health and brushing technique, and ensure you are caring for your teeth properly.

Stress and Your Dental Health

Does stress affect your oral health? Stress affects every part of the body, and a recent video from Dr. James J. McCall points out ways in which stress affects oral health. According to Dr. McCall, stress can cause a variety of oral health concerns, which is one reason among many that controlling stress is important.

Canker Sores

One problem that can be made worse with stress is the development of canker sores. Canker sores are small ulcer-like sores with a white or gray base, often bordered in red. They appear in pairs or even larger groups, and medical professionals do not know what causes them to develop. However, stress and fatigue make the chances of developing canker sores much higher. These sores are not contagious, but can be quite uncomfortable. Using topical anesthetics and avoiding spicy or acidic foods, which can increase irritation, may help manage the symptoms. The sores last about a week.

Cold Sores

Unlike canker sores, cold sores have a known cause- the herpes simplex virus, which is highly contagious. These fluid filled blisters appear around the lips, nose or chin. Stress and strong emotional upset can cause an outbreak. If you are suffering form cold sores, talk to your doctor about treatment to avoid spreading them.

Clenching or Grinding Teeth

If you are already in the habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, stress can make the problem worse. Unfortunately, if left unchecked, this habit can wear down your teeth and cause problems with the jaw, including TMJ. A night guard or other oral appliance can help.

Poor Oral Hygiene

When you are under periods of intense stress, oral hygiene is easy to overlook. Unfortunately, skipping oral hygiene routines can make oral disease worse. Also, stressful periods of time can contribute to unhealthy eating, which can create further problems with the teeth and gums.

The reality is that stress does affect oral health. To ensure that the health of your teeth and gums is not compromised, find healthy ways to relieve stress, including healthy eating and routine exercise.

Comfort and Customer Service in Dentistry

With over 450 dental practices in the Jacksonville area, how can you be certain that you have chosen the right one? Dr. James J. McCall is committed to providing you with a patient-centric experience, where your comfort comes first. With one simple philosophy – the patient always comes first – Dr. McCall and his staff have created a practice where you will actually look forward to coming to the dentist.

Your dental visit starts with a friendly smile from our reception staff. While you wait, enjoy fresh baked cookies, coffee and tea in our reception area, where you will relax on comfortable couches, not hard office chairs. Pick up a magazine and get comfortable.

But your wait won’t be long. We are committed to seeing every patient on time, every time, so you will not be sitting around. Your time is valuable, and we know our patients lead busy lives, so we will be respectful of your time.

When you are escorted back to the exam area, you will be surprised at how relaxing the environment feels. Our spa-like dental clinic provides for all of your needs. When you lean back for your exam, you can relax watching the TV mounted to the ceiling. If you are feeling nervous, we will provide nitrous oxide to help you relax. For patients who feel cold, a warm blanket is available.

Throughout your appointment, we will keep you informed. We explain both what needs to be done, and why it is needed, and provide a through education of the risks if you choose to skip a treatment. We do this because we believe that patients who understand what we are doing and why will take better care of their teeth. We will never proceed until all questions about a procedure are answered, you know what is happening, and you have approved the treatment.

After your procedure, we will bill your dental plan for you. If you are concerned about the cost of treatment, we will find a financial option that works with your budget. We never want cost to be a reason that one of our patients forgoes a necessary treatment.

Welcome to the dental clinic of Dr. James J. McCall. Here, you are treated like family. We want you to keep your teeth for life with a beautiful, confidence-building smile. Let us help you take control of your dental health.

Dental Extractions

Whenever possible, your dentist’s goal is to keep your adult teeth healthy and in your mouth. Yet sometimes it is necessary to remove a tooth. When a tooth cannot remain in the mouth, your dentist will perform a dental extraction, which is the forced removal of the tooth. Here’s what you need to know about dental extractions as you prepare for your next dental visit.

When Are Dental Extractions Needed?

Dental extractions are necessary for several different reasons. Sometimes, baby teeth do not fall out as they normally should, and the adult teeth grow in behind. In these cases, the baby tooth must be removed to make room for the adult tooth. Sometimes teeth can be damaged or decay to the point that they have to be removed to protect the jaw and the surrounding teeth. Infection, gum disease and orthodontic correction can all lead to the need for tooth extraction. Of course, many young adults have to have their wisdom teeth removed due to a lack of space in the mouth.

What To Expect for an Extraction

If your dentist determines that you need to have a tooth extracted, you can expect the procedure to be fairly quick. Most extractions can be done under local anesthetic, but sedation is a possibility if you are nervous or if the tooth must be surgically removed due to its position in the mouse.

After a dental extraction, you may need to avoid eating hard foods, rubbing the area with your tongue or drinking through a straw as your mouth heals. Your dentist will watch you to ensure that the area is healing properly and your teeth are not shifting. Otherwise, you will be able to enjoy normal eating and drinking within just a little time after a tooth extraction.

If you have further questions about dental extractions, Dr. James. J. McCall is ready to answer them. Call his Jacksonville office today at (904) 620-9225 or visit www.jamesjmccall.com to learn more about tooth extraction.

Tea and Your Dental Health

If you could make one simple change to your daily diet and routine, and know that it lowered your risk of oral disease, would you make it? In this recent video, James J. McCall discusses the benefits of drinking black tea to improve your oral health.

Health Benefits of Tea

Tea has long be known to be a healthy beverage, but black tea in particular has proven to be one of the best herbal remedies for a range of physical and oral problems. It is full of natural antioxidants, which are nutrients that fight the aging process and fight the changes that lead to cancer. Black tea and its antioxidants are natural remedies for hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. People who drink three to four cups of high quality tea per day have a much lower risk of these common health problems.

Tea Provides Substantial Oral Health Benefits

Tea is a great health booster, but not just for physical health. It also supports oral health.
In the video, Dr. James J. McCall discusses the way in which black tea helps fight cavities by fighting oral bacteria. The mouth contains over 300 type of bacteria which can cause cavities and caries and increase acid in the mouth. Because of this, drinkingthree to four cups of black tea per day has a lower risk of cavities, caries and other oral health problems. Researchers at the University of Illinois studied this phenomenon, and they found that black tea was an effective dental health support, fighting both gum disease and cavities. In the study, researchers asked participants to rinse their mouths with black tea after meals. They found that just three minutes after rinsing, the activity of the bacteria in the mouth decreased substantially, and the participants also had lower amounts of acid in their mouths.

Researchers at the University of Illinois studies this phenomenon, and they found that black tea was an effective dental health support, fighting both gum disease and cavities. Researchers studied this by asking participants to rinse their mouths with black tea after meals. They found that just three minutes after rinsing, the activity of the bacteria in the mouth decreased substantially, and the participants also had lower amounts of acid in their mouths.
Based on research like this, drinking tea may help control the most common dental issues people face. Tea can also be used to stop bad breath. Overall, all types of tea, but especially black tea, can be an important tool in your oral health arsenal.

If you want more information about keeping your teeth as healthy as possible, give us a call, or visit our website at www.jamesjmccall.com.

Dispelled Dental Myths

Oral health care is surrounded by myths that many people believe to the determine of their oral health. Dr. James J. McCall has tried to debunk six of these myths in this recent video. Read over these myths, and see if you have fallen victim to one of them.

Myth 1 – A Better Toothbrush Means Cleaner Teeth

According to Dr. McCall, there is no “best” toothbrush. The best toothbrush is one you are comfortable with, as this increases the likelihood that you will brush.

Myth 2 – Regular Brushing Eliminates the Need for Regular Cleanings

Brushing regularly is crucial to your oral health, but brushing alone is not enough. When you eat, bacteria begins to grow off of the sugar in your food. These bacteria, which are the cause of tooth decay, live in plaque, and plaque begins to form within 20 minutes of eating. Once it hardens into tartar, brushing alone is not enough to remove it. You need a cleaning every six months.

Myth 3 – The Harder the Better

Brushing harder does not help your oral health. In fact, it can cause damage to the tooth enamel and recession of the gums, both of which can increase sensitivity and decay problems.

Myth 4 – Soft Tooth Myth

Tooth decay is not a genetic problem. You can catch the bacteria that cause tooth decay through sharing saliva, but it is not passed down through families. To protect your teeth, brush twice a day, visit the dentist regularly, limit sugary and starchy snacks and avoid sharing items that go in your mouth. Also, never put babies into bed with a bottle that has a sugary drink.

Myth 5 – Gingivitis and Periodontitis are Not Serious Medical Conditions

Gingivitis may not be serious when it is caught early and treated professionally, but when left untreated it turns into periodontitis, which can erode the jaw bone, teeth and gum tissue. Inflammation in the oral cavity can lead to other health risks, including cardiovascular disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and stroke.

Myth 6 – Natural Aging Causes Tooth Loss

You don’t have to lose your teeth because you are getting older. With proper oral hygiene, your teeth should last a lifetime. Tooth loss is not caused by aging, but rather by gum disease.

Have you found yourself believing some of these myths? Contact Dr. James J McCall to schedule an appointment (904-620-9225), and take the time to learn more about how you can protect your oral health.

Teeth Whitening

Do you find yourself embarrassed by your smile? Have you ever wished that you could have whiter, more vibrant teeth? Over time, the enamel on your teeth take a real beating, soaking up stains from the foods you eat every day. Teeth whitening technology can help remove stains and discoloration from your teeth, giving you a smile you will be confident to share. Here are some options available for teeth whitening.

Laser or Light-Assisted Whitening

Laser-assisted teeth whitening is a fast, effective way to whiten teeth. This system involves a special whitening gel that is applied to the teeth then activated with a light or laser to erase discoloration. Throughout the procedure, the gums are protected with a gel or guard. The treatment is fast, and after just one session you may notice teeth that are about eight to 14 shades whiter.

At-Home Whitening

You can also whiten your teeth at home using a variety of methods. Over-the-counter whitening systems apply a whitening agent or bleach directly to the teeth through a system of trays and gels or strips. These can effectively whiten teeth by a few shades.

For the most effective at-home treatment, you will want to have a custom mouthpiece and prescription grade bleaching gel, which you can get from your dentist. Because the prescription-strength whitening products are more powerful, you will achieve greater results with the prescription strength products.

What to Expect

How much whitening can you expect with these systems? The answer will depend on how stained or discolored your teeth already are. Professional teeth whitening systems can offer as much as 14 shades of improvement. However, this may be too much for you. If you whiten your teeth too strongly, you will end up with an unnatural, glowing smile. Talk to your dentist about the best whitening level to give you a natural, but more radiant, smile, that also looks natural.

To find out more information, check out Dr. McCall’s online video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPZLydy_mNI. You can also take advantage of our current teeth whitening promotion at www.jamesjmccall.com/promotions.