Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dry Mouth Complications

If you often suffer from a bad taste in the mouth, or if you constantly feel dehydrated, our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry might need to treat you for being a victim of dry mouth. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth don’t produce enough saliva to keep the oral cavity moist. Decreased saliva flow can range from being a mild issue to having a major impact on your oral and overall health.


If the mouth isn’t producing enough saliva, a patient may feel dryness or a feeling of stickiness in the mouth, bad breath, dry or a sore throat, and/or difficulty chewing, speaking, and swallowing. Saliva helps us chew and swallow food that we eat, when it’s lacking, it can make this everyday task a frustrating one. Treatment options may include a change in medication or recommended products that moisturize the mouth.


If you would like to discuss dry mouth treatment options, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dry Sockets

We believe in preserving teeth at Garrison Family Dentistry, but when extractions are necessary, patients are in good hands. We always make sure our patients understand how to avoid problems such as dry sockets. But if such an emergency does occur we want patients to recognize it so they can get help.


Usually, sockets close within a few days of the extraction. During that time, they will be vulnerable to drying out if they are not covered by a blood clot or medicated wound dressing. This would be extremely painful and likely lead to infection. To ensure a blood clot forms, patients will need to disclose all of their medications to us, since some are known to interfere with clotting, and should also avoid smoking. Patients are further instructed not to sip through straws while the sockets are closing because the suction can tear clots loose.


If patients notice the clot has become dislodged or they experience pain or dryness, they should request an immediate appointment. After cleaning the socket we can supply prescriptions for medications and dressings, which will need to be changed every few days. Complicated extractions, such as those requiring incisions and suturing, are known to result in dry sockets more frequently, and follow-up appointments to remove the sutures allow us to ensure the socket is healing correctly.


Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Drink Water for Your Oral Health

Considering our bodies are made up of 60% of water, it’s no secret that we need it to survive. Water that contains fluoride – nature’s natural cavity – fighter does wonders for your smile, as it contains nutrients that protect our teeth from decay. At Garrison Family Dentistry, we encourage patients to consume more water instead of sugary beverages because water cleans the mouth with every sip.


Fluoride in drinking water works from the outside in. This means that when we consume it through drinking water or professional fluoride treatments at the dentist office, we are helping keep our teeth cavity free. Water not only helps replenish saliva that assists in tooth decay prevention, it also fights bad breath, and prevents tooth discoloration.


If you have questions or concerns regarding dental health, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Scaling and Root Planing

There are numerous reasons our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry encourage our patients to practice preventive dentistry. One of the reasons includes protecting yourself from gum disease that will lead to tooth decay and eventual tooth loss. By taking care of your teeth through dental checkups and professional cleanings you can save yourself from receiving scaling and root planing in the future.


Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning procedure that has two parts. Though this method is effective in treating periodontitis, we hope your gum health never reaches this point. Scaling involves our doctor using a dental scaler to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line, while root planing smooths the tooth root and helps the gums reattach to the tooth. If you are concerned about pain during the procedure, we can discuss sedation options.


If you have questions or concerns about scaling and root planing, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Periodontitis Prevention

If you’ve been told you have gingivitis, you better get to brushing to avoid periodontitis. Periodontitis is what develops if gingivitis is left untreated and unlike gingivitis, periodontitis is not reversible. This is because while gingivitis refers to gum inflammation, periodontitis refers to the destruction of gum tissue and bone. For optimal periodontal health, you should be visiting our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry for routine cleanings to prevent any forms of gum disease.


Untreated periodontitis can usually result in tooth loss, so prevention is critical to your periodontal health. Periodontitis causes the gum tissue and bone to pull away from the teeth, leaving behind large pockets that collect bacteria. These pockets can lead to infection and not only put your smile at risk, but your overall health as well. If you notice that your gums are bright red or tender to touch, visit us to discuss treatment options.


If you have symptoms of periodontitis, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Straighten Your Smile in Six Months

The staff of Garrison Family Dentistry sees adolescent and adult patients alike who are unhappy with the appearance of their smile.  Patients may desire a perfectly straight look for their smile, but aren’t in need of braces to correct any serious orthodontic issues.  We offer adult braces that can straighten teeth in the same manner as traditional braces, but without the metallic look or extended treatment time.


Adult braces are an accelerated orthodontic treatment applied to achieve a cosmetic goal.  They are not prescribed to treat severe misalignment, and will not correct issues with the bite or jaw.  Clear brackets are used along with wires the color of natural teeth.  The final look is not totally invisible, but is much more subtle than traditional silver braces and doesn’t look metallic.  A typical treatment plan can be completed in only six months, and gives patients without any severe misalignment an opportunity to achieve the perfectly straight smile braces result in.  The best way to determine if this treatment is right for you is a consultation with your dentist, so contact us if you want to improve your smile!


To learn more about accelerated orthodontics and all the services we provide at our office, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Night Guards to Treat Bruxism

Bruxism is regular teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw. Stress can intensify bruxism, but it is most often caused by an abnormal bite or crooked teeth.  Some teeth grinders consciously grind their teeth and clench their jaw, but some only do so while asleep and may not even realize it. Waking up with a dull headache or experiencing pain and stiffness in your jaw are signs you may be grinding your teeth overnight, and shouldn’t be ignored.  Patients who continually grind their teeth often end up needing crowns, bridges, root canals and implants. In severe cases tooth loss can occur, and partial or complete dentures may be needed. Garrison Family Dentistry offers custom night guards to help patients overcome the negative effects of bruxism.


Night guards look similar to mouth guards worn for protection during sports, but they serve a different purpose. A dentist uses an impression of your teeth to ensure a custom fit, and the night guard is manufactured in a dental lab. Wearing a custom night guard protects the surface of the teeth, and also properly aligns the jaw to improve breathing and sleep. If you think you a custom night guard could help you, please contact us.


To learn more about night guards and all the services we provide at our office, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Acid Reflux and Oral Health

At Garrison Family Dentistry, we treat the causes of toothaches as well as their symptoms. One of the most common reasons for enamel erosion is acid reflux, which is formally known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Besides damaging the surfaces of teeth, it also weakens the gums and impedes the production of saliva.


Hydrochloric acid is highly useful for digestion when in the stomach, which has mucus lining to protect it. But other body parts are not similarly protected, creating problems when the sphincter separating the stomach from the esophagus fails and acid escapes. The corrosion of tooth enamel is painful and cosmetically unpleasing, and the absence of saliva puts the mouth at risk of infection and makes it difficult for the patient to sleep or swallow.


Remineralization therapies such as fluoride treatments can undo some of the harm, and patients can stimulate new saliva production by chewing gum. (We recommend sugar-free, of course.)But to prevent acid reflux, patients will have to avoid eating large meals before bed and reduce their intake of tomatoes, citrus juice, garlic, alcohol, and other highly acidic foods and drinks. They may also need to ask their primary care provider if they can switch medications which may contribute to acid reflux.


Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.


 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, which is why our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry want to take this opportunity to discuss the dangers of this type of cancer. Mouth cancer, or oral cancer, can develop anywhere in the mouth, including the surface of the tongue, the lips, the cheeks, and even in the tonsils. Next time you schedule your appointment with us, we encourage you to inquire about oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screening helps detect symptoms that the human eye may not see and helps our doctors stop oral cancer in its tracks.

Oral cancer can appear as a red or white patch in the mouth or as a sore that won’t heal. Other symptoms may include bleeding in your mouth, loose teeth, problems eating, speaking, or swallowing, and/or a lump in the neck. Oral cancer screenings are quick and painless and help detect oral cancer in its earliest stages when it’s the most treatable. Treatment will depend on the patient, but methods may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

If you have questions or concerns about oral cancer, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Thank You for Your Testimonials!

Here at Garrison Family Dentistry, our staff appreciates feedback from patients because it teaches us how to improve as a team. Our staff would not only like to thank Angie Olson for this positive review, but we would like to thank her for being an excellent patient. If you recently experienced exceptional service from our office, please let us know! 

"I always have a good time when visiting your office, which is funny because it's not necessarily a place at which most people think of having a good time. The staff, from the moment I walk in the door until the time I leave, are all so very courteous, kind, informational, helpful and understanding. The encouragement I have received during longer dental procedures keeps me calm and collected during the procedure as well as helps me through the recovery period after I leave the office. Overall, Garrison Family Dentistry is a great place to go for dental work and the staff makes the trip as sweet as possible! Thanks all!" –Angie Olson

If you would like to leave a testimonial or are interested in learning more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

What to do if You Lose a Permanent Tooth

Losing a permanent tooth is an emergency which requires immediate treatment from a dentist, but if the tooth is intact, it may be possible to save. At Garrison Family Dentistry, we want our patients to be informed about how to give their teeth the best odds in case of a disaster.

The American Dental Association endorses first aid kits which contain saline solutions which can be used to clean and transport a tooth. But when these are not readily at hand, the patient should rinse the tooth off with milk or saltwater, and then put it back in its socket. (A tooth from the upper jaw can be held in place by biting on gauze.) The tooth should only be held by the crown and the patient should take care not to scrub at the root. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, the patients should hold it in their cheek or move it in a container filled with milk or saltwater (not freshwater).

A tooth’s chances of being saved are greatest if treated by a dentist within an hour. However, since a lost tooth is not life-threatening, a patient should call an ambulance or go to the emergency room if they have suffered severe bleeding. Furthermore, a lost implant cannot be saved, and a lost baby tooth should not be because doing so could cause problems for the permanent tooth which is supposed to replace it. When a baby tooth is lost too soon, a child can be given an orthodontic device to keep the space open until the permanent tooth erupts.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

Effects of Thumb Sucking

The patients at Garrison Family Dentistry include families’ newest additions. Often, parents want to know whether their children’s thumb sucking is going to harm their oral development. Usually, this is not the case, but if the behavior continues past the age of five, when the child’s permanent teeth start erupting, they may experience bite problems.

Toddlers find it soothing to suck on something, and because their skull bones are not fully fused together, they usually do not experience problems as a result. But their faces solidify just as their first baby teeth fall out, and the continued pressure of thumb sucking could result in their front teeth or the fronts of their jaws being pulled forward. This results in misalignment which has to be corrected through orthodontics, and until then, the child may suffer difficulty speaking and maintaining oral hygiene.

When thumb sucking is a deep-seated nervous response, a child will not only have difficulty breaking the habit but could develop an equally harmful substitute habit of pushing against their teeth their tongue. Help from a psychologist may be helpful, but children old enough for thumb sucking to be a problem may be mature enough to be included in strategizing ways to change their behavior.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

The Difficulty of Detecting Oral HPV

It’s oral cancer awareness month, and we at Garrison Family Dentistry want our patients to be on the lookout for signs they need a screening. Last year, new diagnoses of oral cancer associated with the human papilloma virus (HPV) outpaced diagnoses of smoking-associated cancer for the first time, and because HPV cancer occurs further back in the throat, we depend on reports from our patients to find it.

Doctors call the back of the mouth and top of the throat the oropharynx, so throat cancer is also called oropharyngeal cancer. This part of the body cannot easily be observed with the tools we use to detect mouth cancer and sliding a camera down patients’ throats is obviously intrusive. Additionally, the skin of the throat is so creviced that it is unlikely that scraping random parts of it to test for cancer would find any unless the cancer had already progressed.

There is currently no test for oral HPV, and only one strain of HPV is known to cause oral cancer. Therefore, patients should understand that pain, numbness, or swelling in the throat, as well as soreness in the jaw and ears, could be signs of oral cancer, even if they are not smokers. The good news is that HPV-associated throat cancer has a much higher survival rate than tobacco-associated cancer.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

Leave Orthodontics to the Professionals

Nearly one year ago the American Association of Orthodontists issued a public service announcement warning people not to attempt orthodontics on themselves. The warning was issued in response to the popularity of a Buzzfeed article written by someone who 3D-printed his own aligners so he could change them out at his own pace. Earlier this year, the AAO released a study which found that 13% of its members had treated at least one patient who had experimented with orthodontics on themselves, which is why we at Garrison Family Dentistry want to educate our patients about why not to do this.

Teeth are living tissue and contain blood vessels. Tying them together may choke them. Additionally, people who attempt to make their own corrective wires often do not give themselves brackets (nor should they), allowing their improvised ties to slide into their gum pockets and get trapped. They also often use materials such as hair bands which will rot or release toxins into their mouths.

As for self-made aligners, there is a process to moving teeth which cannot be rushed. Teeth are bones, and moving them requires the jaw bone around them to dissolve and rebuild. If they are moved too quickly, the jaw bone will not be able to repair itself, and the teeth will become loose. We urge people not to harm themselves by taking matters into their own hands and to come to us for orthodontic help.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

Dental Procedure for Repairing Rotten Teeth

Saving your smile is our top priority here at Garrison Family Dentistry which is why we offer a variety of restorative services to protect what is left of teeth that have become decayed or rotten. Tooth decay is damage that occurs when germs (bacteria) in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. Here at the office, a number of procedures for rotten teeth are used depending on the extent of the decay.
  • Root Canal – A root canal treats rotting teeth with extensive decay. If a dental cavity progresses through the dentin and into the pulp – the center of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels – the nerves in the teeth become infected and a root canal is needed to remove the affected tissue.

  • Tooth Extractions – If tooth decay or damage extends to the pulp, bacteria in the mouth can enter the pulp, leading to infection. If the infection is so severe that antibiotics or a root canal cannot cure it, extraction may be needed to prevent the spread of infection.
These are just a couple of the restorative services we offer. To learn more about the services provided at Garrison Family Dentistry, visit www.garrisonfamilydentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Garrison in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Diet Affects Your Dental Health

Your body is a complex machine, which is why it’s necessary to feed it with the right fuel. The foods you choose and how often you eat them can affect your general health and the health of your teeth and gums. Dr. Matthew Garrison of Garrison Family Dentistry can’t stand behind you as you explore the fridge for snacks, but we can tell you what foods are and aren’t harmful to your dental health.

You may be able to prevent two of the most common diseases of modern civilization, tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, simply by improving your diet. To keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape, choose healthy foods from the five main food groups: fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy. If you consume too many sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks or non-nutritious snacks, you could be at risk for tooth decay. For healthy living and for healthy teeth and gums, think before you eat and drink.

If you would like to schedule a dental checkup, give us a call. To learn more about the services provided at Garrison Family Dentistry, visit www.garrisonfamilydentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Matthew Garrison in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a common and mild form of gum disease that causes irritation, redness, and swelling (inflammation) of your gums. Because gingivitis can be mild, you may not be aware that you have the condition. However, it’s important to take gingivitis seriously and treat it promptly. If you suffer from gingivitis, At Garrison Family Dentistry, we will provide you with an individualized treatment plan before it leads to periodontitis and eventual tooth loss.

Gingivitis – an inflammation of the gums – is the initial stage of gum disease and the easiest to treat. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque – the soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms constantly on teeth and gums. If the plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. Classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed when you brush. Another sign of gum disease is gums that have receded or pulled away from your teeth, giving your teeth an elongated appearance. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing.

If you have symptoms of gingivitis, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Advantages of Dental Sealants

At Garrison Family Dentistry, we want patients to know that the most important reason for receiving dental sealants is to avoid tooth decay. Tooth decay is damage that occurs when germs (bacteria) in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. If not treated, tooth decay can not only cause cavities, but it can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. Dental sealants act as a barrier to prevent cavities, so you may want to discuss them the next time you are in the office.

Because of the likelihood of developing decay in the depressions and grooves of the premolars and molars, children and teenagers are the top candidates for sealants. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants. In some cases, dental sealants may also be appropriate for baby teeth. This is because baby teeth play such an important role in holding the correct spacing for permanent teeth, it’s important to keep them healthy from the very beginning.

If you would like to discuss dental sealants, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

How to Care for Dentures

The dentures we provide at Garrison Family Dentistry have allowed many of our patients to regain their bite, speech, and beautiful smiles. But dentures need to be cared for properly if they’re going to last and do any good. There are some differences between how to care for them and normal teeth that patients should be aware of.

Natural teeth produce their own film which protects them from being scratched by small minerals, such as those found in toothpaste. But dentures do not have this protection and must be cleaned with toothpaste which is specially made for them. Patients should also be sure to brush the entire denture, not just the bits which look like teeth. They should also continue to brush their gums and tongue.

Implant supported dentures are usually removed at night, and like other dentures, they should be kept moist whenever they are not in the mouth. Room-temperature water is usually a fine for dentures without exposed metal, although there are cleaning solutions available. Dentures should not, however, be kept in water hot enough to warp them. Whenever a denture stops fitting properly, patients should have it adjusted by a professional and not attempt to bend it themselves.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

Why Orthodontic Work Should be done before Implants

Garrison Family Dental provides Smithville residents with prosthetics and orthodontics, but patients may be unsure of which order in which to receive treatment. The six-month adult braces used at our office are for the less severe cases of malocclusion, but patients should still usually complete orthodontic work before they have implants placed.

Six-month braces are commonly used to treat overcrowding. If the tooth being replaced is one in the front, there may not even be room for an implant. Unlike natural teeth, an implant should also never move regardless of what kind of orthodontic device is used on it. This is because its titanium base is supposed to fuse with the jawbone. Therefore, it is preferable for the arch of the teeth to already be in the shape an implant is supposed to fit into, because if the other teeth need to be moved away from an implant, the implant cannot be shifted along with them.

Implants can still provide a useful anchor during the orthodontic process. If a patient already has an implant, they may still be able to undergo orthodontic treatment, depending on which teeth need to be moved. Six-month braces are mainly meant for cosmetic corrections, so they may not change the arch of a patient’s teeth enough for an implant’s immobility to be an issue.

Drs. Matthew Garrison and Anna Jones operate at Garrison Family Dentistry, 14790 N. 169 Highway, Smithville, Missouri, 64089. To schedule an appointment, call 816-532-8778 or visit GarrisonDentistry.com and fill out a contact sheet.

What Happens When Wisdom Teeth Have Cavities?

As we age, we acquire wisdom, and the same goes for wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth appear between the ages of 17-21 and are known as the third set of molars. When they erupt correctly, healthy wisdom teeth can help you chomp your food a little faster.  However, if they start to cause you pain and discomfort, you may need to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry to discuss extraction.

If you bite on a piece of food that is too hard or you experience a mouth injury, wisdom teeth may become troublesome. They can also become cracked, broken, and decayed. Decay can form on any tooth surface, but when the decay begins to attack the wisdom teeth, depending on the position of the tooth it becomes difficult to clean. Depending on the individual case, one of our doctors may be able to fill the tooth, but even in cases where a filling could be successfully placed, if the wisdom tooth cannot be adequately maintained, recurrent decay can occur. Though many patients tend to procrastinate through the process, extraction is always best to avoid infection.

If your wisdom teeth are still intact and you have questions about removal, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Improve Your Smile with Veneers

At Garrison Family Dentistry, we offer Veneers to help you restore your smile as well as your self-confidence. Dental veneers are a cosmetic dental procedure in which a shell or layer of tooth-colored porcelain or composite is placed over the facial surfaces of your teeth to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment or spacing, discoloration and chips or cracks. If you have teeth that are worn down, chipped, or cracked, schedule a consultation today.

Veneers are an excellent way to redesign and reshape your mouth. Veneers are a very thin ceramic shell that covers your existing tooth structure. Although veneers do not require any special care, they generally last between 5 and 10 years. After this time has passed, the veneers will need to be replaced. The removal of any natural tooth structure is permanent, which is why the doctor prefers to offer patients with the most minimally invasive options first. If your natural teeth are functional and aesthetically adequate, dental veneers may not be an appropriate treatment for you.

If you desire a more aesthetically pleasing smile, give us a call to discuss your treatment options. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Oral Conscious Sedation: Sit Back and Relax

While one of our doctors will decide which medications are appropriate for your dental treatment, being familiar with the type of sedation we offer at the practice might make you a little more comfortable during your next visit. Whether you suffer from dental anxiety or desire a little more relaxation in the dental chair, our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry are here to make you feel as comfortable and calm as possible through oral conscious sedation.

Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. This pill will make you drowsy, but you’ll still be awake and able to respond to the doctor’s questions and commands. Recovery may take a little longer with this type of sedation, and you’ll need an escort to drive you home for your safety.

If you suffer from dental fear, please inform us when scheduling your next appointment. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Toothbrush Care

Brushing your teeth plays an important everyday role for personal oral hygiene and effective plaque removal. You may not give much thought to cleaning your toothbrush; however appropriate toothbrush care and maintenance are important considerations for oral hygiene. At Garrison Family Dentistry we want you to know how and when to replace, clean, and store your toothbrush.

The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush approximately every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed. However, toothbrushes will wear out more rapidly depending on factors unique to each patient. It is also important to never share a toothbrush because this practice could be a concern for people with compromised immune systems or existing infectious diseases. If your toothbrush comes in contact with another, thoroughly rinse the brush with warm tap water to remove any remaining toothbrush and debris. When you are done using the toothbrush, store it in an upright position and allow the toothbrush to air-dry until used again.

If you have further questions regarding toothbrush care, give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

What is an Underbite?

The main cause of an underbite is a misalignment of the lower jaw, which is usually present at birth. An underbite, clinically called prognathism, is the malocclusion or “bad bite” that happens when the lower teeth overlap the upper teeth. Just because your mouth may have this problem doesn’t mean that it’s untreatable. If you have been diagnosed with an underbite, our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry may recommend correcting the problem with dental braces.

Although far less common than overbites, underbites still affect 5-10 percent of the population. An extreme underbite can cause facial abnormality, resulting in an extended chin. In addition to the aesthetic problem, underbites including difficulty with chewing, swallowing and speaking.
Underbites may also wear down tooth enamel and increase your chances of developing tooth decay or other dental problems such as TMJ disorder.

If you would like to discuss malocclusion treatment options, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Overbite Complications

If you have been diagnosed with an overbite, this simply means that your top teeth extend beyond your bottom teeth. It is a common dental problem that our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry can correct with dental braces. Overbite teeth are considered a type of “bad bite.” It can either be noticeable or unnoticeable, but it some extreme cases it can make your jaw look significantly larger or your bottom jaw look much smaller.

Most often, overbites are inherited as traits just as the color of your eyes or the freckles on your cheeks. Other causes of misaligned bites may result from an early loss of baby or adult teeth, gum disease, or common oral health problems in children, such as thumb sucking. Once one of our doctors confirms your overbite with X-rays, he or she may take regular photographs of your face to further examine the relationship between the teeth, jaws, and head. From there, an individualized treatment plan will be developed to give you the smile you’ve always dreamed of.

If you would like to discuss malocclusion treatment options, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Why Do We Need to Floss?

Every time you visit one of our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry for a cleaning he or she probably reminds you to floss or mentions that you aren’t flossing enough. They tell you this with good reason because floss is the single most important weapon against plaque, perhaps more important than a toothbrush. A toothbrush cleans the surfaces of your teeth, but dental floss cleans between them. By flossing your teeth daily, you increase the chance of keeping them for a lifetime and decrease your chance of developing gum disease.

Flossing does more than keep your smile pretty and healthy. It removes plaque and debris that sticks to teeth and gums in-between teeth, polishes tooth surfaces, and controls bad breath. Many people don’t spend enough time flossing or they haven't been taught to floss properly. To give your teeth a good flossing, spend at least two or three minutes on the process and be gentle to your gums.

If you need assistance maintaining your oral hygiene routine, give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.

Diabetic Oral Care

People with poorly controlled diabetes are more prone to dental problems. They are more likely to develop infections of their gums and the bones that hold the teeth in place because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums. If you have diabetes, please call our office to schedule a professional exam with our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry to prevent further dental complications.

If you have diabetes, symptoms of dental problems include bleeding and sore gums, frequent infections, and bad breath. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar level is critical. The higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Additionally, high blood sugar may cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse. The decrease in saliva can cause an increase in tooth-decaying bacteria and plaque buildup. You can prevent these problems by maintaining good blood sugar control, brushing and flossing and least twice a day, and schedule a dental checkup every six months.

If you have questions about diabetic oral care, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778. 

Can You Rebuild Tooth Enamel

The tooth consists of four layers: enamel, cementum, dentin, and pulp. The enamel, cementum, and dentin are hard and calcified, while the pulp in the center of the tooth contains nerves and blood vessels. Tooth erosion happens when acids wear away on the enamel of the teeth. Enamel erosion can be caused by several factors including excessive soft drink consumption, a diet high in sugar, and environmental factors such as friction and stress. The enamel is not living tissue, so your body can’t rebuild it once it’s damaged. However, to rebuild tooth structure and protect teeth from further erosion, our doctors at Garrison Family Dentistry may recommend tooth bonding or dental crowns.
Enamel helps protect your teeth from daily use such as chewing, biting, crunching, and grinding. Although enamel is a hard protector of teeth, it can chip and crack. Unlike a broken bone that can be repaired by the body, once a tooth chips or breaks, the enamel is gone forever. Because enamel has no living cells, the body cannot repair it once it’s been damaged.

If you have a chipped or broken tooth and would like to discuss your treatment options, please give us a call. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778. 

Bone Grafting

Dental implants are meant to last a lifetime, but when the jawbone in the area is not strong enough, the implant cannot be successfully implanted. Here at Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, we are able to solve this problem with bone grafting.

Bone grafting is often needed because the ridge where the implant is placed is too small. This can happen when a tooth is not replaced quickly enough. In other cases, patients are just born with smaller ridges. In either case, we can perform a bone graft to build up the area.

Bone grafting is the process of taking bone from another area of the mouth or body and placed in the area where the jawbone needs to be repaired. Some cases may use bone material from a bone bank; a very safe source. After the area is opened up and packed with the bone graft material, the area is allowed to heal for a few months. During these months, the newly placed bone will heal and it will cause further regeneration of new bone. The end result will be a strong jawbone able to hold an implant for a lifetime. After the healing process is complete, the dental implant can be installed.

To learn more about dental implants or bone grafting, be sure to visit our website, www.garrisondentistry.com or give us a call at (816) 532-8778. To schedule an appointment in our Smithville, MO office, you can do so through our website or by phone.

Dental Bonding

When you smile, you should be confident to flash the biggest grin you’ve got! Unfortunately, many of us are self-conscious of dental imperfections. At Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, we are able to fix the look of many aesthetic dental issues with dental bonding.

Dental bonding is the process of using a tooth-colored composite resin to repair teeth that have been damaged or are otherwise unsightly. If you have gaps, cracks, or misaligned teeth, dental bonding can fix that. If you have misshapen teeth or discoloration, dental bonding can also fix that!

To begin the process of dental bonding, your dentist will first choose a composite resin that will match the color of your tooth/teeth. Then, the surface of your tooth will be lightly etched to aid a strong bond. Next, the resin will be applied to your tooth and molded into the right shape. For whitening purposes, a resin will be chosen that is brighter than your current shade and it will be applied over the entire surface of your teeth. The resin is then hardened and polished so it shines like a normal tooth. The next time something makes you laugh, you will be confident in letting that smile shine!

If you have been hiding your smile, it is time to talk to us about dental bonding or another one of our cosmetic options. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, call our office at (816) 532-8778 or visit our website, www.garrisondentistry.com.

When are Inlays and Onlays Needed?

When teeth need more than a filling, inlays and onlays are fantastic options. Rather than pull out the tooth, an inlay or onlay can keep a tooth healthy for the rest of a person’s lifetime. At Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, we gladly place inlays or onlays to save our patients’ teeth.
Inlays are onlays are commonly referred to as partial crowns. An inlay is a covering that strengthens and protects the inside of the chewing surface. An onlay serves the inside of the chewing surface, plus one or more of the cusps of the tooth. These are options for when there is a little more damage than what a filling could fix, but not so much that a full crown needs to be placed.

Inlays and onlays are able to look just like the rest of your tooth, so your smile looks natural. They can be made of porcelain, a composite resin, or gold. The porcelain and composite resin options are tooth-colored and blend right in with your teeth. With a normal oral hygiene routine like brushing twice daily and flossing once daily, inlays and onlays can last up to thirty years before they need to be replaced.

Each patient needs individual care. To set up an examination in our Smithville, MO office, call Garrison Family Dentistry at (816) 532-8778 or visit our website, www.garrisondentistry.com.

Types of Dentures

For those who are missing some, most, or all of their teeth, dentures are a convenient and attractive option for replacement. Here at Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, we are able to provide dentures that give you a smile that suits you perfectly.

Dentures are a new set of teeth that are able to be taken out. Whether all of the teeth are missing or just some of them, we have options for you. We offer full and partial dentures. We can also place them conventionally or immediately.

When teeth go missing, the jawline begins to deteriorate. This can make facial muscles sag and make a person appear older than they are. Dentures ensure an attractive smile, good facial structure, and the ability to chew through food.

Partial dentures are used when there are a few teeth left that can serve as a base for the dentures or when there are just a few teeth missing. Full dentures replace all of your teeth and are able to be applied conventionally or immediately for our patients’ convenience. The benefit to immediate dentures is that there will be no time spent without teeth (if extractions are necessary), however, in the future, they will need to be re-fit. When gums heal from extractions, they tend to shrink and change shape. Conventional dentures will be fit after the gums are healed.

If you are sporting a toothless grin, find out more about how dentures can help you! To schedule an appointment at Garrison Family Dentistry in Smithville, MO, call our office at (816) 532-8778 or visit our website, www.garrisondentistry.com.

Dry Mouth Causes

Dry mouth or xerostomia, refers to any condition in which your mouth is unusually dry. When this occurs, Dr. Matthew Garrison of Garrison Family Dentistry wants you to know what causes this to happen. Most often, dry mouth is the result of a decrease in saliva produced by the glands in your mouth (salivary glands), and it’s frequently a side effect of medication. Less often, dry mouth may be caused by a condition that directly affects the salivary glands.

Some of the common problems associated with dry mouth include a constant sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages. Dry mouth can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food. Treatment for dry mouth depends on the cause.

If you suffer from excessive dry mouth, please give us a call to discuss your treatment options. To learn more about the services we provide at our practice, visit www.garrisondentistry.com for more information. To schedule an appointment with Garrison Family Dentistry here in Smithville, MO, call 816-532-8778.