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    • 26 JUL 17
    • 0

    Dental Care for the Entire Family

    We love treating entire families at Personal Care Dentistry. Our care team members are equally adept at providing dental services to 4-year-olds as they are to those kids’ grandparents. At Personal Care Dentistry, we provide high-quality, affordable dental care in a gentle, compassionate atmosphere. We believe in the Golden Rule of Dentistry – we treat all of our patients the way we would want our family to be treated.

    So make an appointment for one of your kids, or a parent, or a grandparent  – or yourself – to experience the unique care at Personal Care Dentistry.

    Here’s what some of our patients have said about us after their appointments:

    Excellent Work With My 8-Year-Old – E.E.

    “My 8-year-old needed 4 small cavities filled. Dr. Teo was able to do all of them in one quick appointment. Both she and her assistant were professional and took great care of my son.”

    High Quality Service – Maria W.

    “Service was amazing and perfectly kid-friendly for my son with autism!!! Highly recommended!”

    My 6-Year-Old Was Very Nervous – But He Forgot All About Being Scared – Adrianne H. 

    “My 6-year-old daughter was very nervous about going to the dentist for the first time. The staff was so nice and personable she forgot all about being scared. We got in fairly fast and we will be back. I enjoyed the atmosphere so much I made an appointment for myself. I highly recommend this office to anyone looking for professional, fast and friendly service. I cannot forget to mention the high-end coffee and cool play area for the children!”

    Awesome Dentist – Carol M.

    “This is one of, if not the BEST dentist in the Twin Cities. The dentists, hygienists and support staff are all totally competent and very friendly. I’ve taken my children here since they were young.” 

    Positive Experience for Our Entire Family! – Olia H.

    “Warm environment, welcoming staff, professional high quality service. Personal Care Dentistry makes going to the dentist a positive experience for our entire family! Thank you Dr. Hunt & Team!!” 

    Excellent Service! – Paulo M.

    “Genuinely friendly, professional and they provide unquestionable quality service. The quality of work Dr. Hunt provides is of the highest level you can get, I’m totally satisfied and my family as well.”

    Wonderful Experience! – Steve K.

    “Have had terrible luck finding a Dentist I can actually look forward to coming back too. Well I found them, sending my family there as well. Thanks guys!!!”

    Trusted Service and the Best Team – Geoff B.

    “My family has been coming to Personal Care Dentistry for as long as I can remember, and have always been treated with great care and expert work.”

    Professional and Friendly! – Sarah S.

    “I’ve been looking for a new dentist and found Personal Care Dentistry. Went in for a cleaning and was very impressed! All of the staff, from the front desk to the hygienist to the dentist were all very friendly, professional, and caring. They were very considerate and understanding of my needs. They took their time and I didn’t feel rushed. My kids were seen here too for the first time and they were excellent with them. My kids loved it! Will definitely be making Personal Care Dentistry my new dental home.”

    • 14 JUL 17
    • 0

    High Anxiety in the Dental Office

    It’s Not All in Your head…But A Lot of It Is

    A patient comes in with a full sleeve of tattoos on his arm and proceeds to confide his fear of dental needles and instruments. Another patient asks the hygienist to “please be gentle,” as if her name badge proclaims her as “The Butcher.” The nervous businessman insists on nitrous oxide and continually asks to “turn it up” like it’s a radio he can’t quite hear.

    What are they so afraid of? Studies say that most patients are afraid of three things at the dental office:

    Fear of loss of control – Loss of control is when patients can’t see what’s being done to them, can’t help do it, or can’t anticipate what will happen next.

    Fear of embarrassment – People may have fear of embarrassment because dental professionals work inches away from patients’ faces and are in their personal space. Some people lack self-confidence or are ashamed of how their teeth look, and they’re afraid they’ll be judged or ridiculed.

    Fear of pain – Fear of pain is probably the most common issue that keeps people from the dental office. A study at the University of Toronto, Canada, gathered data about patients’ pain expectation when they’re having dental treatment. The report says that sensation of pain was more likely to be reported by people who had past painful dental experiences or expected it to be painful. The report concluded by stating that pain is as much a cognitive and emotional experience as a physiological experience.

     

    Dental Phobia vs. Dental Anxiety

    A dental phobic may be so panicked and full of dread he or she can’t even think about entering a dental office.

    An anxious patient is uneasy or fearful and probably has unfounded or exaggerated concerns about the appointment.

     

    No One Is Born Being Afraid of Dental Visits

    Everyone who has dental fear learned somewhere that dental treatment is something to be afraid of. Some people learn this because they’ve had previous bad dental experiences. The sense of loss of control in the dental environment may be enough to avoid dental treatment forever. And still others may be afraid due to stories they’ve heard, movies they saw or other indirect experiences. The message conveyed to a child from a scared parent might be that going to see a dentist is something to be afraid of. Such messages may cause individuals to avoid treatment and not have any opportunity to learn that things can be different.

    Fear and anxiety can also be reinforced inadvertently. Think about it this way; try to remember a time when you were really afraid of something, do you remember how your body felt? Was your heart beating quickly, palms sweaty, stomach in a knot? Those and other symptoms of being afraid are all unpleasant feelings. So, if someone who is already afraid forces themselves to go have dental treatment and re-experiences those same bad feelings during the appointment, then what they will remember afterward is those same unpleasant feelings. It doesn’t matter how friendly the dentist is or how pain free and pleasant the treatment is. What you remember is the feeling of being afraid, thus reinforcing the idea that there is something to be afraid of.

    In fact, dental fear begins at the subconscious level. People have what we call an “automatic fear response.” Take example patient Jane who says, “I feel like something just takes over and I begin to sweat and my stomach tightens up. I don’t really have any control over it.” Since this automatic fear response is subconscious, it won’t go away using logic or reason. Telling Jane that “there is nothing to be afraid of” won’t help. In fact, it might make things worse because it could sound like the dental professional is saying there is something wrong with her. So, how do patients and health practitioners work together to change this pattern of fear and reinforcement? Let’s find out.

     

    Getting to Calm and Safe

    It is possible, even for those people who are the most fearful, to reduce their fear and to learn to have dental treatment in a way that feels calm and safe. The basic idea is really very simple. In order to counteract past bad experiences you need to have new positive experiences which lead to the development of improved feelings and attitudes. The more bad experiences you have had or the longer they have gone on, the more good experiences you need before you will have different reactions to the same situation. Dental health professionals know that your mouth is a very personal place and trust is a big part of allowing them to partner in your care.

     

    How Do You Have A “Good Experience” With Dental Care?

    Tell your dentist you are afraid, even when setting up an appointment and make sure the dentist is prepared to listen. If you can’t talk about it you can’t get over it.

    The patient must know that the dental professionals in the office understand their fear and are committed to working with them to help her overcome it. The best way for a dentist to convey that they care is to listen, not to provide explanations. The patient should feel confident that they are not being judged.

    Of course, some people are better at this than others. If you are afraid, find a dentist who listens to you and who cares about working with you to get over your fear. Some dentists have made themselves quite expert in this area. Work with a dentist who understands and can follow the principles involved in reducing dental fear.

    When working to reduce fear, only do things that you can do with mild or no anxiety.

    The dental professional should reassure the patient that they are in control of the situation at all times. The patient needs to tell them exactly what they are afraid of since it’s different for everyone. It’s critical to understand what brings on the persons particular fear reactions. Start trying to do things that you feel you can do fairly easily. The goal for the person is to be able to leave each visit saying “that was OK; I could certainly do that again if I needed to.”

    If you are afraid, work with your dentist and make a specific plan to reduce your fear. Don’t just concentrate on “fixing your teeth!”

    It’s critical that both the dentist and patient agree that becoming comfortable with dental procedures is something that they are going to work on. Understand that you and your dentist must consider your internal anxiety feelings by working at a pace where you will be more comfortable and trusting. Set up an agreement with your dentist to talk about the time and fees associated with treatment so you can comfortably overcome your fear and not be rushed to do things you are not ready to do. This may result in a procedure taking a little longer than usual to complete or spreading out appointments over the course of time.

    Remember, if you push yourself to do something you are really afraid of, you will remember how unpleasant your fear is and reinforce the fear rather than diminish it. The goal for each visit is for you to have a good experience rather than getting a particular procedure finished.

     

    Other Tips to Deal with Dental Anxiety So You Can Get the Care That You Need:

    Establish a signal for when you need a break.  Let the dentist know if you raise your hand, it means you need him/her to stop for a minute.

    Listen to music. Bring an iPod and headphones, close your eyes, and concentrate on your favorite songs instead of the sounds of the dentist’s office.

    Bring a friend. It can help to know you have someone you trust sitting in the waiting room and keeping you calm.

    Wear your own sunglasses. Typically, your dentist will supply protective eyewear, but the one-size-fits-all model may not be comfortable for you.

    Have something to hold.   Kids may want to cuddle a teddy bear. Adults may choose to have a worry stone, a stress relief ball or a hand grip to squeeze during treatment.

    Picture yourself somewhere else. Visualization techniques such as imagining you’re on the beach watching the waves can help relax you.

    Silently repeat a mantra. You know how people always say think good thoughts? It’s true. Telling yourself simple mantras like “I am okay” or “I am safe” can help keep you calm.

    Consider medication. Before your appointment, call your dentist about your fears and discuss whether you should take a prescription.  Make sure you follow your dentist’s instructions regarding any medication.

    Consider sedation dentistry. In extreme cases, there are some patients whose anxiety has reached the point of becoming a phobia.  In these cases, talk to your dentist about whether anesthesia may be the best option.

    Imagine a relationship with your dentist where you feel you have the time you need to go at your own pace, the listening relationship that you need to feel safe, and the sense of control you need to reduce any automatic anxiety responses. It might take some faith in the beginning to realize that this is possible, but you really do have the opportunity to have a “Lifetime of Dental Health.”

    At Personal Care Dentistry we have 40 years of experience helping patients overcome their fear or anxiety through gentle, compassionate dentistry. Take a look at what recent patients wrote about Personal Care Dentistry and then give us a call to make an appointment. You’ll find a warm, caring, gentle dental care team who will work with you to alleviate your dental fears.

    Sources: RDHMag.com, DearDoctor.com, CoastDental.com

    • 10 JUL 17
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    What New Patients Say About Personal Care Dentistry

    If you’re looking for a new dentist in the Twin Cities, here’s what new patients are saying about their experience at Personal Care Dentistry. If you’re interested in “test-driving” our clinical care, take advantage of our New Patient Special – exam, bitewing x-rays and cleaning for just $69. Call today to make your first appointment!

     

    Best Dentist Experience In My 40 Years On Earth! – Kwame O.

    Very courteous and professional staff (Everyone is always smiling). The doctor was amazing! I am extremely sensitive to pain and I did not feel a thing! Wouldn’t fix my teeth anywhere else from now on! – June 7, 2017

     

    More Efficient and Smooth Than Any Other Dental Experience I’ve Ever Had – Jim P.

    Cold-called them looking for a clinic that could solve an awful toothache. They got me in the next morning. The desk staff was understanding and helpful and Amy, my dental assistant, was extremely tolerant and understanding. Found out I needed a root canal. They got me in and out within an hour. Dr. Kyle Hunt was excellent. Overall, it was more efficient and smooth than any dental experience I’ve ever had. Highly recommended. – June 7, 2017

     

    How Do You Improve on Perfection?  – Roger R.

    I don’t know. I’ve been in more than 20 different dentist chairs and your professionalism was awesome. Both dentist, dental assistant, cashier, and secretary were concerned about ME. This is not always the case in medical treatments. You were patient with this patient, understanding and concerned about my needs for long-term dental care and you provided detailed information on each-and-every step you were about to begin. The tour by the dental assistant was wonderful – very informative since she knew about what she was speaking. The financial manager provided me with clear and concise information on my options with Delta and your in-house insurance programs and assured me that I had made the smartest decision by maintaining my Delta program. I may elect to keep both. The follow-thru and follow-up for future appointments was unexpectedly precise and welcomed. THANKS FOR A GREAT EXPERIENCE. I WILL SEE YOU AGAIN. – June 6, 2017

     

    Professional and Personable As Well As Affordable. – Arleen H.

    Great introductory offer, thank-you! June 3, 2017

     

    I Tried Several Dental Offices Before Finding this Office and They are Great – Lisa N. 

    I tried several dental offices when I moved to Minnesota before finding this office and they are great. The dental hygienists are the best – very thorough but gentle. – May 30, 2017

     

    Highly Recommended – Diane W.

    It was my first visit there for exam and cleaning. The staff was skilled and friendly. – May 18, 2017

     

     

    • 27 JUN 17
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    Why Patients Love Going to Personal Care Dentistry

    Dr. Walter Hunt’s Golden Rule Resonates Through The Entire Practice

    Determined to build a different kind of dental practice, one that focused on what he calls the “Golden Rule of Dentistry” – Dr. Walter Hunt founded Personal Care Dentistry in 1977 caring for all of his patients the way he would care for his own family.

    “Our patients truly feel we are an extension of their family and that they can always depend on us to provide excellent care based on compassion, respect and personalized service,” emphasizes Dr. Hunt. Our motto is ‘We Serve the World’s Greatest Patients’ and we take that approach with each of our patients.”

    This never-ending quest for excellence in dental care by Dr. Hunt has been embraced by all of the dentists, dental assistants, hygienists and office staff at Personal Care Dentistry. Here’s what the dentists and team leads have to say about Personal Care Dentistry and the patients they treat:

     

    Sue Anderson, Patient Coordinator, Employee of the Year

    Sue laughs a lot and her kind disposition and infectious good nature endear her to coworkers and patients alike. In her position she confers her very own style of personal care.

    “It was during the second or third office expansion move when Dr. Hunt took the phone off my desk. He wanted me to focus on the patients and not scheduling appointments or answering calls,” Sue remembers. “That changed everything for the better.”

    “I greet people by name, give hugs and see how life is going for them. I treat our patients like I would want to be treated,” Sue says, reciting Dr. Hunt’s Golden Rule. Asked why she’s stayed at PCD over 17 years Sue doesn’t hesitate to answer. “I love our patients and meeting knew people.”

    Her enthusiasm and compassion are genuine and Sue says, “People know I’m not a phony and I treat them with honesty and respect. I’m not here to make money. I genuinely care.”

     

    Jessie Pichler, Front Desk Team Leader

    When you first walk into the offices of Personal Care Dentistry one of the bright faces you’re sure to see is Jessie’s. “I really enjoy meeting new patients and having the privilege to get to know different people. Our regular patients are like family and it’s always great working with them twice a year, seeing the changes in their lives and catching up,” says Jessie.

    Her demeanor in the office conveys who she is as a person and she describes her approach to the people she greets as, “Being personable. I treat people how I would want to be treated in their specific situation with attention to their needs,” she says.

     

    Kari Olson, Hygiene Team Leader

    When speaking about treating patients, comfort is king with Kari. “I always ask what I can do to make them more comfortable in my chair. Reading body language is important and if I can sense they are uneasy I will do what I can to make them comfy. I’m passionate about doing a good job for them.”

    About her chair-side manner Kari clearly conveys a sense of caring compassion. “I don’t want people to feel like just a number… they really matter to me. I love getting to know patients and catching up with them when they come in,” she says.

     

    Tiffanie Apple, Dental Assisting Team Leader

    Tiffanie’s outlook on patient care is one that echoes throughout the office. “We have an amazing personality and culture here. Providing excellent care and building relationships with our patients are the most important things. The best way I can treat people is simply by being myself. I want our patients to know I genuinely care,” she says. “I hate seeing people in pain and do everything I can to help them and support the doctors.”

    “I truly enjoy working with our patients as well and find it incredibly rewarding. Every day I strive to go above and beyond for the people we serve. They’re like family.”

     

    Brandy Fulton, Financial Coordinator 

    Brandy is intensely driven to get patients the care and treatment they need. “The best part of my job is working one-on-one with people. I want patients to have a positive experience with the dental care they receive and with financial options. I am an advocate for our patients and I want them to know that no treatment is too big or too small for payment options.”

    Her affable nature and caring disposition endear her to the people she works with. “I love what I do and I think that really comes out. I try to find a commonality with individuals and I enjoy getting to know new faces and catching up with our existing patients,” she says. “We truly care about the people we work with and the patients we treat. It’s not just lip service.”

     

    Dr. Marwa M. Gammam-Forest

    As the newest Dentist on the team, Dr. Forest is excited about opportunities at Personal Care Dentistry and her future as a dentist. “This is an amazing clinic. You usually don’t see dental clinics where the patients are really happy and excited to come in for an appointment. There is such a good energy here and the staff is outstanding. I see a lot of respect from the staff toward our patients.”

    Dr. Forest’s philosophy of caring for her patients matches perfectly with the approach at Personal Care Dentistry. “I think you should treat your patients like they are family, and Personal Care embodies that belief in everything they do.”

     

    Dr. Teo Baylon

    Her interest in the people she treats goes beyond her desire to provide optimal care. “When they leave the office, I want my patients to not only have a step toward better health, but to have a great experience. I want them to have fun and have a great day,” explains Dr. Teo, adding, “I love going to work and helping people. It’s a natural part of my day and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

     

    Zach Hunt, M.A.L.S., Clinic Administrator

    Why does Zach love coming to work every day? “Having the opportunity to make an impact and a difference in the lives of those who I encounter every day motivates me – whether that is those who are on our care team, or the patients that we care for each and every day. If I can have a positive impact each and every day on at least one person’s life, then I consider that a win. I look at it as a sense of paying it forward.”

    Conversations with Personal Care Dentistry’s patients are a daily highlight for Zach. “We try to approach patients with a sense of understanding of each of their “personal ‘life stories,’ notes Zach. “Taking the time to listen to them makes them feel at home with us, and makes them feel like they are a part of our ‘family.’ I always like to get down on a personal level with them to understand where they are coming from.”

     

    Dr. Kyle Hunt

    What motivates Dr. Kyle as a dentist? “To help people,” he says. “To use the skills I have and will continue to develop to help people be more confident in their smile and their oral health, and to make sure every patient I see is treated with compassion and excellence.”

    “I’m proud to follow in my Dad’s footsteps and I think he’s pretty excited about it too,” says Dr. Kyle with a smile, “I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to take advantage of my dad’s mentorship and I think it has helped to greatly enhance my skills as a dentist.”

     

    Dr. Walter Hunt

    For Dr. Hunt, being a dentist and the founder of Personal Care Dentistry is not a job. It is a passion. He has had the same goal for almost half a century – treat people with dignity and respect, and as a dentist, provide them with the best care possible.

    Dr. Hunt always felt confident that he would be successful. “When I purchased this dental practice in 1977, I was determined to build a different kind of dental practice, one that focused on what I call the “Golden Rule of Dentistry” – which means caring for all of my patients the way I would care for my own family. We treated people the right way and we started getting referrals almost immediately.”

    The practice has expanded twice and now includes more than 8,000 square feet, four dentists and several dozen staff. And those referrals have kept coming – the practice now has more than 7,000 active patients.

    The entire care team at Personal Care Dentistry still follows the Golden Rule of Dentistry each and every day. “We take the time to really listen to our patients and provide close, personal attention to best customize their care,” emphasizes Dr. Hunt. “I know the kind of care that I demand as a patient, and that is the kind of care that I strive to provide.”

    “We believe in conservative care at Personal Care Dentistry,” notes Dr. Hunt. “That means we don’t overdo treatment plans and only provide the care that is necessary. I’ve never let my patient care judgement get clouded by a dollar sign. Making money for money’s sake never motivated me. People are too sacred to me to attach dollar signs to them. I’ve put my values of compassion and caring ahead of money for the last 40 years as a dentist.”

    “This is my passion, and this is how I can contribute to helping other people have better lives. Even today, I still feel like I get more out of caring for others than they do. I love being here at Personal Care Dentistry,” says Dr. Hunt.

    Don’t just take it from the PCD Team though, check out the many wonderful patient reviews that come in everyday at RateABiz.com.

    Source: Personal Care Dentistry Staff

    • 22 JUN 17
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    Summer Presents Challenges for Kids’ Oral Hygiene

    Unfortunately, teens and tweens sometimes take the summer off from oral hygiene, and that makes it harder for kids to stay on top of cavity prevention. Many dentists know that summertime often means more time for kids to drink sodas, eat sticky candy and consume starchy foods like French fries, pizzas and white bread. But aside from the quality of food itself, what is it about summer that makes the tooth care of teens and tweens more difficult?

    1) Kids have more free time in the summer so they invest much of that extra time doing what many of us like to do when the “fish are jumpin’, and the livin’ is easy” –  eat.  And much of what they’re eating lodges between their teeth, lingers in their mouth for long periods and feeds the bacteria that create cavities.

    2) Summertime is hot, and many people like chewing or sucking on ice in an effort to stay cool. While chewing on ice may be a popular summer pastime, it is never a good idea because it can cause tiny fractures in the teeth that weaken them.  Once weakened, the teeth may eventually break off or absorb extra bacteria into their fissures that become cavities.

    3) Permissive parenting often means more popsicles, sodas and ice cream for kids with time on their hands and parents counting the days until school starts again.  Because kids are often allowed to stay up later they may “forget” about brushing their teeth before bedtime and need reminded.

    4) Prolonged exposure to chlorine in swimming pools can wear away tooth enamel. Anyone know of a kid who doesn’t take in a couple of mouthfuls of pool water while swimming with friends?

    Kids Taking Care of Teeth

    Parents can ensure their kids take good care of their teeth and have a good summer with a few quick tips:

    Have kids take their sweet or gummy vitamins with breakfast and before brushing their teeth each morning

    Fun foods like nuts and yogurt strengthen a tooth’s surface so supplement your child’s sweet tooth with more healthy staples

    Apples, pears, yogurt and other dairy neutralize acids in food like tomatoes and citrus so keep these on hand to counter less healthy summer treats

    Keep your mouth closed while swimming and lightly brush your teeth afterwards

    Have kids sip sugary drinks through a straw to minimize contact with the teeth

    Encourage kids to drink water frequently during the day to wash their teeth and counter bacteria

    Keep Up That Oral Hygiene

    Brushing twice a day and flossing daily is as important in the summer as it is in any other season. But with vacations, camp and lots of days spent at the pool, don’t be surprised if you frequently need to remind your kids to brush and floss.

    Now is a great time to buy new toothbrushes to replace the old, worn out or “germy” ones. In fact, you should stock up on extra brushes, as well as travel-sized toothpaste and floss for those summer trips and days out.

    Now’s the Time for Checkups

    Parents tend to schedule dental checkups in August, right before class starts. But to prevent dental problems over summer, book the kids in June for a dental visit. This way, the kids will have a clean bill of dental health for summer. The last thing you want is a child suffering from a toothache while away on summer vacation.

    Stock a Healthy Kitchen

    Keep the summer from being an “acid attack” on your family’s teeth by investing in healthy snacks. It’s hard to limit snacking when the kids are home all day, but with the availability of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, you can stock the fridge with healthy options. Be sure to keep the fruits and veggies clean and ready to grab. You’ll feel better about snacking when the kids are reaching for blueberries and strawberries instead of candy and cookies. And swap out the sugary, acidic soft drinks with bottled water.

    Prevent Dental Emergencies

    It wouldn’t be summer without lots of swimming, bike riding, volleyball and other playground activities. And while these are great fun, they can unfortunately result in a dental injury. Parents can be prepared for the worst by following these tips:

    Make sure your kids follow the “pool rules.” According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many of the summer oral injuries dentists treat are due to a pool accident. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose.

    Know what to do yourself. Getting to the dentist right away is important, but there are things you can do to help. Use warm water and cold packs first, to clean the area and reduce swelling, respectively. Use gauze to stop any bleeding. Place a lost permanent tooth back in the mouth, if possible. If not, use salt water or milk to keep it moist for the ride to the dentist.

    Pack an emergency dental care kit to take along for vacation. Essentials for this kit, according to the AGD, are a handkerchief, gauze, a small container with a lid, ibuprofen and your dentist’s contact information.

    Summer can really throw your routine for a loop. But by following these oral health tips for summer, your kids can start the school year with great oral hygiene. While, using practical tips today can help parents enjoy lazy, carefree days without sacrificing their kids’ bright smiles in the fall.

    Sources: Washington Post, WebMD, Delta Dental, Colgate.com

     

    • 19 JUN 17
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    Say Goodbye to Your Dental Fears at Personal Care Dentistry

    Many of our new patients are among the 50% of Americans who dread going to the dentist. That “dental phobia” seems to always change once those new patients complete their first visit at Personal Care Dentistry. Why? Because we have nearly 40 years of experience understanding our patients’ anxiety and working to help them alleviate their fear. We treat our patients like they are family – with compassion, respect and the highest quality care.

    Take a look at what recent patients wrote about Personal Care Dentistry and then give us a call to make an appointment. You’ll find a warm, caring, gentle dental care team who will work with you to alleviate your dental fears.

    Best Dental Clinic Ever

    I never thought I would write the words “I love my dental hygienist”… but there it is. As someone with a deep phobia of dentist offices, Personal Care Dentistry has gone out of their way to make the experience much less frightening. I would highly recommend making an appointment here if you are as scared of having someone’s hands in your mouth as I was. You will not be disappointed. – Carrie F.

    It Was Great

    “I have never really liked going to the dentist but I really like Dr. Kyle Hunt and Kelly is a great hygienist – they are very personal and professional. I would encourage anyone who is looking for a new dentist to check them out.” – Nate T.

    Best Dental Experience Ever!

    “I had not been to the dentist in over eight years. Needless to say, I was very anxious about my visit. My dental hygienist, Kim, was outstanding! She explained everything that we would be doing and continually checked on my comfort level. It was truly the best dental experience I’ve ever had.” – Holly B.

    Excellent, Friendly Service

    “I used to LOATHE going to the dentist until I started going to Personal Care Dentistry. Great service, friendly people!” – Jonah S.

    I Hardly Fear Going to the Dentist These Days

    “I love these guys, wonderful, caring, professional, understanding, and thorough. The whole staff is amazing!!” – Shawna F.

    Consistently Excellent Service

    “This is a prompt and professional staff, and as one who has experienced many dentists and many varied procedures over the years, I count them the best I’ve come across.” – Dale V.           

    Wow! Going to This Dentist From Now On

    “As a person slightly afraid of going to a dentist I was so happy that I discovered Dr. Hunt. The assistant was very gentle yet thorough. Office is attractive and comfortable. I will have no problem going to this dentist from now on. Thanks.” – Marlys H.

    Excellent Service

    “I urgently needed a root canal done. I had heard many horror stories about this procedure. Dr. Kyle Hunt saw me right away, and he was extremely friendly, gentle, and I am pain free!” – Jeff L.

    Best Dentist Experience In My 40 Years On Earth!

    Very courteous and professional staff (Everyone is always smiling) The doctor was amazing! I am extremely sensitive to pain and I did not feel a thing! Wouldn’t fix my teeth anywhere else from now on! – Kwame O.

     

    • 19 JUN 17
    • 0

    Are Soft Drinks Harmful to Your Teeth?

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality is that no matter how refreshing that sweet, fizzy soft drinks (or “soda’ or “pop”) taste, there’s a chance it could be doing some damage to your teeth. But with so many products on the market, are they all really that bad for you?

    Answers to some of your most pressing soft drink questions are about to be answered. Get to the bottom of various soda claims, and find out if there’s a workaround that lets you keep your favorite carbonated beverages on tap without traumatizing your teeth.

    Is it better to choose clear-colored sodas over darker-colored ones?

    Neither option is a healthy choice for your teeth, but upon regular consumption, caramel-hued soft drinks have been known to stain teeth more quickly. Cosmetic differences aside, the extremely high sugar content of any soda, regardless of color, causes lasting damage to tooth enamel, resulting in decay, cavities and/or tooth loss in extreme situations.

    Do diet sodas get a pass since they’re sugar-free?

    The appeal of diet sodas is understandable, especially when the packaging comes with alluring labels of “sugar free” or “calorie free”. But the fact of the matter is, even with sugar substitutes, diet soda is still extremely acidic. This means diet soda will still have the same corrosive effect on the enamel, and should be avoided to prevent tooth damage.

    Is corn syrup a more harmful soft drink sweetener than cane sugar?

    Similar to the misconception about diet sodas, the threat of tooth decay, cavities and other oral health problems isn’t based on the type of sweetener used. No matter the source of sugar, enamel erosion will happen with regular consumption of any sweetened soft drink.

    If I drink soda through a straw, will this protect my teeth?

    Using a straw can limit contact of sugar and acid with the surface of your teeth, but only when positioned correctly. Ideally, the opening of the straw should be directed towards the back of the mouth, but the likelihood for accidental contact is still high if you become distracted or inadvertently swish the liquid in your mouth. Ultimately, the best way to prevent tooth decay due to soft drinks is to avoid drinking them altogether.

    What are teeth-friendly alternatives to soda?

    If you find carbonated beverages especially refreshing, switch to a seltzer. You’ll get the same fizz without the threat of tooth decay. For a flavorful spin, dress up seltzer or plain water with cut up fruit (instead of turning to juice, which can erode tooth enamel due to its fructose content). Milk is also another good choice due to the enamel-fortifying calcium it contains; however, it does contain natural sugar, lactose — so never have a glass before bed without brushing your teeth.

    What can I do to combat enamel erosion if I can’t quit drinking soda?

    For those unable to put aside their love of soft drinks, take these steps to minimize tooth decay and other soda-related oral problems:

    Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth afterwards to clear away sugar and acid

    Use fluoride-rich toothpaste and mouthwash to help strengthen tooth enamel

    See your dentist regularly to get professional help in preventing tooth damage

    Speak To Your Dentist

    New drinks are always hitting the shelves, but many may not live up to their health claims. Before making something your beverage of choice, get your dentist’s perspective to understand how it can impact the health of your teeth.

    Sources: Colgate.com, huffingtonpost.com

     

    • 14 JUN 17
    • 0

    Play Sports? Guard Your Grin With A Mouth Guard!

    Reduce Sport-Related Mouth Injuries with One Simple Piece of Equipment

    Mouth guards, also called mouth protectors, help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining. “Your top teeth take the brunt of trauma because they stick out more,” says Dr. Thomas Long, the team dentist for the Carolina Hurricanes professional hockey team. “Your bottom teeth are a little more protected because they are further back.”

    When Should You Wear a Mouth Guard?

    When it comes to protecting your mouth, a mouth guard is an essential piece of athletic gear that should be part of your standard equipment from an early age.

    While collision and contact sports, such as boxing, are higher-risk sports for the mouth, any athlete may experience a dental injury in non-contact activities too, such as gymnastics and skating.

     Types of Mouth Guards

    The best mouth guard is one that has been custom made for your mouth by your dentist. However, if you can’t afford a custom-made mouth guard, you should still wear a stock mouth guard or a boil-and-bite mouth guard from the drugstore. Learn more about each option:
    Custom-made: These are made by your dentist at Personal Care Dentistry for you personally. They are more expensive than the other versions because they are individually created for fit and comfort. It’s worth the extra you have to pay when you consider the alternative – thousands of dollars of costly dental work to repair or replace broken or chipped teeth.

    Boil and bite: These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. Always follow the manufacturers’ instructions.  CustMbite MVP and CustMbite Pro are a boil and bite mouth guards that have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

    Stock: These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult.

    Protecting Your Braces

    A properly fitted mouth guard may be especially important for people who wear braces or have fixed bridge work. A blow to the face could damage the brackets or other fixed orthodontic appliances. A mouth guard also provides a barrier between the braces and your cheek or lips, which will help you avoid injuries to your gums and cheeks.

    Talk to your dentist or orthodontist about selecting a mouth guard that will provide the right protection. Although some mouth guards only cover the upper teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you use a mouth guard on the lower teeth if you have braces on these teeth.

    If you have a retainer or other removable appliance, do not wear it during any contact sports.
    Mouth Guard Care and Replacement

    Talk to your dentist about when is the right time to replace your mouth guard, but replace it immediately if it shows sign of wear, is damaged or ill fitting. Teens and children may need to replace their mouth guards more often because their mouths are still growing and changing.
    Between games, it’s important to keep your mouth guard clean and dry. Here are some tips for making sure your mouth guard is always ready to go:

    Rinse before and after each use or brush with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

    Regularly clean the mouth guard in cool, soapy water. Then, rinse it thoroughly.

    During your regular dental checkups, bring your mouth guard for an evaluation. Your dentist may also be able to give it a thorough cleaning.

    Store and transport the mouth guard in a sturdy container that has vents so it can dry and keep bacteria from growing.

    Never leave the mouth guard in the sun or in hot water.

    Check fit and for signs of wear and tear to see if it needs replacing.

    Some mouth guards have fallen victim to family pets, who see them as chew toys. Store your mouth guard and case somewhere your pet cannot get to it.

     

    Sources: American Dental Association, Colgate.com

    • 12 JUN 17
    • 0

    All About Invisalign

    What You Need to Know When Considering these Clear Aligners

    One of the biggest breakthroughs in orthodontics over the last 20 years has been Invisalign clear aligners. They are custom-made tray-sets that gradually move teeth to straighten them into a beautiful smile.

    The aligners are virtually invisible and fit snugly over your teeth. Each aligner shifts your teeth slightly, moving them horizontally and vertically and even rotating them when needed. Aligners are engineered to use the right amount of force in the right place at the right time.

    When you change to the next set of aligners (typically every week) your teeth gradually move into position, following a custom treatment plan mapped out by your doctor. See below for some answers about the Invisalign experience.

     

    Why Invisalign?

    What attracts many people to an Invisalign option is the attractiveness of the device itself. Dubbed “invisible braces,” clear aligners (also called clear braces) are computer-manufactured plastic appliances that straighten the teeth without compromising smile aesthetics. Invisalign is removable (though your dentist will suggest you minimize removal for optimal treatment performance) and custom-fit to your teeth, meaning it slides comfortably over the surfaces of your teeth. The aligners must be removed in-order to eat, drink, brush and floss.

     

    Benefits Over Wire Braces

    Along with fewer visits, no repairs and an easier cleaning method, Invisalign also:

    Allows you to remove the aligner at any time.

    Makes it easier to eat the foods you love.

    Uses materials that are practically invisible, which can help wearers feel more confident.

    Offers a more comfortable experience without the need for regular wire tightening.

    Doesn’t affect the teeth or cheeks like traditional braces

     

    Invisalign is a Commitment

    Invisalign, as with braces of any kind, is a big commitment. Ideally, you should wear it 22 hours a day, every day. That gives you two hours a day to remove them for eating, drinking and cleaning (unlike wire braces which are permanent).

     

    Brushing and Flossing are a Key Part of Treatment

    It’s very important to brush and floss after each time you eat and before you reinsert your aligners. It’s tempting to skip a step, but with Invisalign on, your teeth are soaking in whatever is on them.

     

    Impact on Social Situations

    • Lisping: Invisalign can also affect your speech, causing a slight lisp. Some people find it very noticeable and for others, it’s barely there. Whether it takes a day or a few weeks, the lisp should go away. If it doesn’t, let your dentist know because that may indicate that your aligners aren’t fitting quite right.

     

    • You can still kiss: A big concern for many is how Invisalign may affect romance. Answers vary. Some say you can kiss your love life goodbye, others say it doesn’t change anything. Sometimes it’s a bigger deal to the person wearing Invisalign than it is to the significant other.

     

    • What you’re going to miss and the ‘Invisalign diet.’: Invisalign has an immediate effect on your diet. Your dentist will likely warn you to only drink water when your aligners are in. And it’s a good idea to drink a lot of it, since having the aligners in your mouth can make your mouth dry and irritated. Clients report that they miss drinking coffee or beer slowly. Now they have to remove their aligners, eat or drink quickly, then brush their teeth before putting them back in.

     

    Discomfort or Pain – Here’s What to do About It

    Some people report pain with Invisalign, but there are several things you can do about it. Using wax helps to cover sharp or rough edges on their aligners. Others have their dentists file down sharp edges.

    If you get the wax on the problem area as soon as possible, you’ll save yourself a lot of pain. It’s recommended putting a bead of wax on your tray on the spot where it hurts BEFORE you put the tray into your mouth.

     

    Total Treatment Duration and How Long Before Seeing Results?

    The duration of treatment varies, though typically 20 or 30 aligner variations are needed to accommodate most cases. The average Invisalign course for adults is about a year, but how long does it take before you start seeing results? For most people, not long – it usually takes two to three months for most patients to notice results from clear aligners.

     

    Invisalign Attachments

    Some people who get Invisalign have attachments temporarily bonded to their teeth as part of the treatment. Your dentist or orthodontist will determine if you need them. Made of tooth-colored filling material, attachments help the aligner trays grip individual teeth, which helps move them to their correct position. They are removed when your Invisalign treatment is completed.

     

    A Tip for Removing Your Aligners

    Your aligner trays will need to stay in most of the day, but they do need to come out at times. Usually, this isn’t too difficult. But if you have attachments to help the aligners grip your teeth, it might take something extra to remove the trays.

    To help with this, there is an aligner remover tool on the market called Outie (sold on Amazon in a set of three).

     

    It’s Easy to Care for Aligners

    Dentists recommend brushing your aligners with toothpaste or sometimes just water. Invisalign sells cleaning tablets, but dentists also recommend a mild denture cleaner, a diluted bleach rinse, or retainer-cleaning tablets. Keeping your teeth clean while wearing traditional metal braces is difficult.

     

    You Can Whiten Your Teeth While Using Invisalign

    People are often interested in whitening and straightening. Should you wait until after Invisalign treatment is completed, or can you do both? Yes, you can whiten during Invisalign treatment. You’ve already got the trays in all day, so use that time to get the color right while you’re at it.

     

    You’re Not Done After Invisalign.

    After you complete your Invisalign treatment, you need to wear a retainer every night to keep your teeth in place.

     

    Invisalign Isn’t Right for Everyone.

    Invisalign can’t fix every problem. Discuss with your dentist or orthodontist what Invisalign can and cannot do for you, and consult more than one expert.

     

    Sources: Colgate.com, WebMD, YourDentistryGuide.com, RealSelf.com

     

    • 05 JUN 17
    • 0

    Focus on Fillings – When You Need One and Options Available

    Fillings Save Teeth, Relieve Discomfort and Make Your Mouth Better

    First of all, let’s go back to the day you were born. As a newborn baby, there were no harmful bacteria inside of your mouth. As you grew older and became a toddler, bacteria found its way into your mouth. It could have happened when your mom kissed you or when you licked the floor as a baby. In any case, those bacteria have now set up a permanent residence inside of your mouth and you will have to deal with them for the rest of your life.

    These bacteria live on your teeth. Every time you eat something that they enjoy eating, such as candy, you provide food for them. Feeding these little creatures doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but it is!

    After they eat, they produce a very strong acid that eats away at your teeth. If you don’t remove this sticky layer of bacteria (commonly known as plaque) by brushing and flossing, the bacteria will keep destroying a tiny amount of your tooth structure every day until you get a hole in your tooth. These holes are known by many names, such as tooth decay, cavities, and dental caries.

    Our bodies have the amazing ability to repair injured structures. For example, when we break a bone, our body is able to heal the bone by creating new cells that glue the bone back together. Unfortunately, this isn’t true when it comes to our teeth. Although we do get two sets of teeth in our life, once a hole forms in a tooth, the body cannot repair it. Hundreds of years ago (before fillings existed), cavities eventually caused people so much pain that they would have the tooth removed.

    Amazingly, modern dentistry has found a way to let you keep your decayed teeth. All that needs to be done is to have the bacteria professionally removed and then to replace the hole in the tooth with a hard, tooth-like material known as a dental filling.

    White or Silver? Choose the Right Filling Material for You

    There are a variety of different materials that can be used for filling teeth. In this article, we will only address the two most common filling materials, which are amalgam and composite resin.

    Amalgam fillings are more commonly known as silver or mercury fillings. They are made up of silver, tin, copper, zinc, and mercury.

    Composite resin fillings are more commonly known as white fillings, tooth-colored fillings, and direct veneers. They are made up of very tiny pieces of silica surrounded by a plastic resin usually composed of bis-GMA.

    Amalgam Fillings

    Amalgam fillings have been in use for more than 180 years in the field of dentistry. When the metals in amalgam come together, they form a soft material that can be used to build your tooth back to its original form. After a few minutes, the amalgam begins to harden as the metals integrate together. Although pure mercury is toxic, the mercury found in amalgam fillings is locked inside when the filling hardens and is therefore not harmful. Many studies have shown that dental amalgam is a safe, time-tested filling material.

    Composite Fillings

    Composite fillings are newer than amalgam fillings and are constantly improving. The composite resin is about the consistency of modeling clay. In order for the composite to harden, the dentist shines a bright blue light on it. Through a series of chemical reactions, the composite resin hardens into a very strong material that looks very much like a natural tooth.

    Which Filling Material Should You Get?

    Many people prefer to have white fillings because they are less noticeable. Dentists usually recommend amalgam fillings for the back teeth and composite resin fillings for the front teeth. In order to assist you in making an informed decision, here is a short list of eight factors to consider:

    1 – Amalgam fillings are stronger than composite fillings. Most dentists recommend amalgam fillings on the back teeth because that is where the majority of the forces are when you bite down. Since amalgam is made of various metals, it is a very strong material. Composite resin fillings wear down faster than amalgam fillings and need to be replaced more often.

    2 – Composite fillings are more expensive than amalgam fillings. If you’re on a tight budget, amalgam may be your best choice.

    3 – Amalgam fillings last longer than composite fillings. With future technological advancements, composite fillings will probably last as long as amalgam fillings someday. But for right now, if you want your filling to last a long time, you should choose amalgam.

    4 – Composite fillings are less noticeable than silver amalgam fillings. If you get an amalgam filling on a back tooth, most likely only you and your dentist will notice it. But if you don’t like seeing silver in your mouth at all, then a composite filling is probably the way to go.

    5 – Amalgam fillings contain mercury. Amalgam fillings do release extremely small amounts of mercury. The amount of mercury released is less than the amount of mercury you’d get from eating fish, but this does pose a problem for people with a mercury allergy.

    6 – Composite fillings may leak out Bisphenol-A. Bisphenol-A is a chemical that can be toxic in large enough doses. Based on current evidence, the amount of bisphenol-A released from a filling is unlikely to cause any harm.

    7 – Amalgam fillings require the dentist to remove healthy tooth structure. Since amalgam fillings don’t bond to the tooth like composite fillings, the dentist has to make the filling wider at the bottom than it is at the top so that the tooth will hold the filling in place. In order to do this, the dentist usually has to cut away healthy tooth structure. With composite fillings, the dentist can simply remove the decay and then place the filling without cutting away healthy tooth structure to retain the filling.

    8 – Composite fillings shrink when they harden. Most composite fillings get somewhere between 2-5% smaller when they harden. Sometimes this can lead to gaps between the filling and the tooth which allow bacteria to enter and start a new cavity. Other times, when a large composite filling shrinks as it hardens, it can put stress on the tooth which results in increased sensitivity of the affected tooth. The effect of the shrinkage can be minimized if the dentist adds the composite in small, incremental layers.

    9 – Composite fillings are more technique-sensitive. This means that the dentist has to pay close attention to detail when placing a composite filling. For example, if your dentist doesn’t properly prepare the tooth with an etching solution for a specific amount of time, or if they do, but some of your saliva gets onto the tooth after it is etched, the filling may not attach to the tooth tightly and could end up leaking and ultimately needing to be replaced after only a year or two.  Our dentists have lots of experience doing white fillings and will do a good job.

    Hopefully the above section will help you figure out which type of filling will work best for you. Even if you are still uncertain, at least now you know what issues or concerns to further discuss with your dentist.

    Source: DentalFearCentral.org, WebMD

    • 26 MAY 17
    • 0

    The First Year: “It Was A Great Time and A Scary Time”

     

    Construction has been a recurring theme at Personal Care Dentistry over the last four decades as the clinic has grown from 700 square feet to 8,000 square feet.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE: Personal Care Dentistry celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, so we’re providing our readers in the coming months with a series of articles spanning those four decades.)

    When Dr. Walter Hunt graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in the Spring of 1977, his journey to getting licensed as a dentist had been equal parts hard work and laser-like focus. But the most challenging part of the journey wasn’t necessarily getting his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota.

    “In many ways, going to the UofM was the easy part,” recalls Dr. Hunt with a smile. “The hard part was juggling everything else. The last two years of undergrad, I worked at the post office from 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. sorting mail. When I was in dental school, I worked weekends and evenings as a security guard at Apache Plaza, which was down the street from my house. During summers when I was in dental school, I changed tires at Firestone. Plus, I was married the entire time during dental school.”

    While in dental school, Dr. Hunt had bought a piece of land in Blaine with plans to build on the land and then open his own dental practice when he graduated. He even worked as a laborer for the contractor whom he had hired to build the new dental office. But he also looked for a job as an associate in a dental office to earn a paycheck while he worked to get his own office built. He found an associate position in Roseville at 2233 North Hamline Avenue. The dental clinic was located on the third floor in the southwest corner – sound familiar?

    Dr. Walter Hunt founded Personal Care Dentistry 40 years ago.

    “Dr. Stende had three associates working for him, so I only worked there two days a week. But by September, the other associates had left and I was full time at that point. Dr. Stende had sold the practice over the summer to a dentist from Wyoming, and my last day was a Friday in early September. But when I looked over my contract, I realized that I had the first right to purchase the practice. The guy from Wyoming wasn’t very happy about that, but on October 1, 1977, I wrote a check to buy the practice. I was 25 years old.”

    Dr. Hunt sold his Blaine property, and started in practice with 700 square feet that included three treatment rooms and three employees. It was so crowded that when he needed to take an X-ray of a patient, he had to move whatever patient was in the hygiene room to a different room – since the X-ray machine was in the hygiene room.

    “It was both a great time and a scary time and a challenging time,” recalls Dr. Hunt. “But I am very competitive and I love challenges, so I knew I could make it work. Every night I would read the charts and histories for the next day’s patients just so I could be prepared.”

    Dr. Stende rejoined the practice 15 years after Dr. Hunt purchased the clinic and worked for the practice for another 10 years until he finally retired. “After he retired, he stayed on as a patient until he passed away.”

    Dr. Hunt always felt confident that he would be successful. “When I purchased this dental practice in 1977, I was determined to build a different kind of dental practice, one that focused on what I call the “Golden Rule of Dentistry” – which means caring for all of my patients the way I would care for my own family. We treated people the right way and we started getting referrals almost immediately.”

    That philosophy has worked for the last 40 years. The practice has expanded twice and now includes more than 8,000 square feet, four dentists and several dozen staff. And those referrals have kept coming – the practice now has more than 7,000 active patients.

     

     

    • 22 MAY 17
    • 0

    Unusual Mouth Problems

    Rare and Weird Mouth Conditions that Should Be Checked Out Immediately

    There are many common mouth disorders like canker sores and fever blisters that can usually be treated by over-the-counter medications, but when something completely foreign enters your mouth it can be alarming and may be an indicator of something more serious. Here are some examples (usually rare) of mouth and tongue maladies that can be simple to fix or require immediate medical attention.

    Leukoplakia

    This is a thick white patch on your gums, the inside of your cheeks, or the bottom of your mouth that you can’t rub off. Smoking or irritation (from poorly fitting dentures, for example) can cause it, but your dentist may do a biopsy on a small piece of the tissue to rule out oral cancer. Treatment usually involves stopping whatever is irritating your mouth, but in some cases, doctors can remove the patches with surgery.

    Reticular Lichen Planus

    This condition makes fine white lines in a lacy pattern on the inside of the cheeks, and sometimes the gums and top of the tongue, too. No one knows the exact cause, but it may be that your immune system attacks the lining of your mouth. It’s harmless and has no other symptoms, so you don’t need treatment.

    Amalgam Tattoo

    This painless blue-gray or black spot can show up anywhere in the mouth, but it usually appears on the gums next to a filling. It happens when a tiny piece of metal gets lodged in your mouth during dental work. It sounds bizarre, but an amalgam tattoo is totally harmless and doesn’t need treatment. Your dentist will be able to confirm that the spot isn’t something more serious, like melanoma.

    Thrush

    Caused by candida yeast, thrush is most common in older adults or babies. But a weakened immune system, antibiotics, diabetes, or certain medications – such as inhaled corticosteroids – can give candida a chance to grow wild. Wiping away the patches will cause soreness. See a doctor for a firm diagnosis.

    Burning Mouth Syndrome

    When you have this condition, you can feel like you just gulped piping hot coffee. The burning tends to get worse as the day goes on. No one knows the exact cause. Some experts think it’s a nerve problem, but it’s also linked to conditions like acid reflux and menopause. There’s no cure, but your dentist may suggest you make some changes, like switching toothpastes.

    Black Hairy Tongue

    Your tongue can get this dark coating when there’s a buildup of the protein keratin in your mouth. You might also feel a gagging or tickling feeling on the roof of your mouth and have bad breath. It looks alarming, but don’t worry – it’s harmless. Good dental hygiene, including brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper, is usually enough to cure the problem, but see your dentist if it doesn’t go away.

    Yellow Tongue

    If the surface of your tongue looks yellowish, there’s a good chance it’s caused by a buildup of bacteria. It could also be stained from food, drinks, or smoking. Good oral hygiene, including brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper, should take care of the problem. If not, see your dentist to rule out a more serious condition, like jaundice.

    Fissured Tongue

    This condition means you have grooves on the top of your tongue. It might be a single deep one in the middle, or it can also show up as multiple shallow fissures. There’s no known cause of fissured tongue, but it’s not contagious or harmful. It just takes a little extra effort to clean your tongue to remove any food that may get stuck in the grooves.

    Geographic Tongue

    People with this condition have red patches on and around the sides of their tongues. The spots can last for just a few hours or several months, and they can sometimes cause a mild burning feeling. (Avoiding acidic or spicy foods may help.) There’s no known cause or specific treatment for geographic tongue, but it’s not dangerous. For most people, it’s just a bit annoying.

    Bald Tongue

    Also known as atrophic glossitis, this is when your tongue sheds the bumps that give it the usual rough texture, leaving it shiny and smooth. It’s usually caused by another health condition like a nutritional problem, Celiac disease, or an infection. To treat it, you’ll need to figure out the underlying cause and address that first. So work with your doctor to find out what’s going on.

    “Lie” Bumps

    These tiny tongue bumps (also known as transient lingual papillitis) can be painful, but they usually go away within a day or two. Children and adults can get them on the tip of the tongue, and they sometimes feel itchy or tingly. There’s no definite cause, but they’ve been linked to infections, food allergies, and sensitivity to oral hygiene products. An over-the-counter numbing gel may help with the pain.

    Scalloped Tongue

    This can happen when your teeth leave indentations along the sides of your tongue. It could be a sign that you have a bad bite or sleep disorder that makes your tongue push against your teeth. Or it may be because you have an enlarged tongue – and that could mean you have another health issue, like a hormone imbalance. It’s best to get this checked out by your dentist or doctor.

     

    Source: WebMD.com