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How to Concur Dental Anxiety

If you get sweaty palms and your heart starts to race when you sit in a dental chair, you are not alone. Many patients experience dental anxiety, but at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas we can help you overcome your fears. Dental anxiety can prevent many people from getting the treatment they need to maintain good oral and overall health. Studies have shown that dental anxiety increases during root canals, more so than any other procedure, even oral surgery. In this post, we will talk about dental anxiety begins and how you can concur it.

How Does Dental Anxiety Start?

Almost all the fears are learned from conditioning. In contrast, a phobia causes intense worry during a dental appointment with no explainable cause. For dental anxiety, fears can be conditioned directly or indirectly. The most common way to develop dental anxiety is through direct conditioning. For example, when you were younger, you may have experienced a painful dental procedure. During this experience, you coupled the pain with all dentists, leading to dental anxiety. The good news? The best way to reduce dental anxiety is through positive direct conditioning. Meaning, the more you couple positive dental experiences with all dentists, the easier and more comfortable a dental visit will become.  

Dental Anxiety

Additional Causes of Dental Anxiety.

You can also develop dental anxiety indirectly, by observing a parent’s anxiety, receiving worrisome information about someone else’s experience, viewing disturbing dental images, and being threatened by a previous dentist. Another way that patients develop dental anxiety is through anticipation of pain. Worrying about pain to come can often create a larger physiological response than the pain itself. Additionally, at Cox Family Dentistry, Dr. Cox will work with you to manage your pain through sedation dentistry, if necessary. Finding the root cause of your dental anxiety can help you overcome your fears and address the underlining worry. At Cox Family Dentistry we encourage you to discuss your fears and worries about dentistry with us.

The Vicious Cycle That Dental Anxiety Creates

Once patients have developed dental anxiety, the easiest way they subside their worries is by avoiding the dentist. However, this often leads to poor oral health resulting in the need for more invasive procedures like extractions and root canals. The need for more invasive procedures can exacerbate dental anxiety because of it yet again, couples unpleasant dentistry with all dentists. The best way to avoid the vicious cycle of dental anxiety is to talk to Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry about your worries.

Ways To Relieve Dental Anxiety Without Medication

A few ways that you can relieve your mild to moderate dental anxiety without medication is through distracting yourself during the appointment, asking Dr. Cox questions about the procedure, and using relaxation therapy. One of the most effective ways to reduce dental anxiety without medication is through hypnosis. If you have a dental phobia or severe dental anxiety, talk to the Cox Family Dentistry team to learn about possible pharmacological solutions to your fears.

Dental anxiety is a condition that many patients experience. However, working with Dr. Cox and the Cox Family Dentistry team, you can reduce your anxiety and receive the oral care you deserve.

Is there a connection between my Oral Health and my Overall Health?

If you have an overall health concern, such as cardiovascular disease or an infection in the lining of the heart (endocarditis), then the cause may be from poor oral health. Dentists and researchers have known for years that there is a connection between oral and overall health. However, how closely are they related? In this blog, we will talk about how your oral and overall health is connected, common body diseases that are related to the mouth, and how you can prevent disease in your mouth and body.

How is my Oral and Overall Health Connected?

Many people consider the mouth as the window to the body’s health. The mouth is an important portal of entry where numerous bacteria enter. Not all bacteria is bad. It is healthy to have ‘normal bacteria’. Actually, transient and opportunistic pathogenic bacteria are the main types that cause disease. If you fail to develop a good oral health routine, it is easier for disease-causing bacteria in your mouth. Then, as you may have guessed, the bacteria from your mouth then makes its way into your body, infecting other areas.

Medications can also cause dry mouth which can lead to a build-up of disease-causing bacteria in your mouth. How does this happen? If you take medications such as antidepressants, decongestants, painkillers, dietetics, or antihistamines, then your saliva production decreases, therefore reducing the fluid in your mouth to rinse your teeth of bacteria. There is no need to stop taking these medications. Instead, remember to stay hydrated when you take medicine to avoid dry mouth. Sugar-free gum is also a great way to stimulate saliva production and reduce the build-up of bacteria.

Oral Health, Overall Health

What diseases are related to poor oral health?

If you have a poor oral health routine you are at an increased risk to develop a number of life-threatening diseases such as endocarditis and cardiovascular disease. When you do not take care of your oral health, then disease-causing bacteria can accumulate in your mouth, travel through the bloodstream, and cause an infection. In endocarditis, an infection from bacteria in the bloodstream can begin in the inner lining of the heart. Common symptoms of endocarditis are fever, chills, and fatigue and it can be treated with an antibiotic.

However, bad bacteria can cause inflammation and plaque build-up in your blood vessels, which can lead to stroke, clogged arteries, and heart disease. This ailment, cardiovascular disease, is serious and should be treated right away. If you are pregnant, you are also at an increased risk for developing periodontal, also called gum disease. If you have periodontitis while pregnant, you could put your baby at a higher risk of premature birth and lower birth weight. Other conditions that could be related to disease-causing oral bacteria are diabetes, osteoporosis, HIV/AIDS, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Good oral health can lead to better overall health. It is important to develop a good oral health routine of the bushing for two minutes once per day and flossing once per day to avoid a build-up of disease-causing bacteria. This will lead to better overall health. For more information about oral and overall health or to plan your next visit with Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas call (972)-468-8692, today!

What Happens During a Root Canal?

Hearing that you need a root canal, can be shocking and worrisome at first. However, there is no need to worry. At Cox Family Dentistry, Dr. Cox and their team will only recommend a root canal only if it is absolutely necessary. Contrary to what most people think, root canals are not extremely painful procedures. The infection that occurs before the root canal is the painful part because the bacteria from the infection is irritating the nerves and gumline. Below we will discuss the why Dr. Cox and their team at Cox Family Dentistry may recommend a root canal and the steps of the procedure.

Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

There are many reasons why Dr. Cox and their team at Cox Family Dental may recommend a root canal. There are three main causes of a root canal: decay, damage, and disease. First, if you have a large cavity that has progressed into the center of the tooth in the pulp, then you may need a root canal. This amount of decay is too large to fix with a simple filling. Similarly, the second reason you may have a root canal is damage, which can develop decay. If you fall and damage your tooth, the exposed root can collect bacteria causing infection and pain. Lastly, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry may recommend a root canal if you have a large infection in the inner layer of your tooth, called your pulp. Whatever the reason for the root canal, it is important that you do not postpone this procedure because it could lead to tooth loss or a more serious infection.

Symptoms of a Root Canal

If you are experiencing an extreme toothache, you may be worried that you may need a root canal. Common symptoms include hot and cold sensitivity, tender or swollen gums next to the infected tooth, toothache, small bump on the gumline next to the irritated tooth, and a darker appearance of the tooth. If you have any of these symptoms, call Cox Family Dentistry today to find out how Dr. Cox and their team can help improve your oral health.

Root Canal

How Can I Prevent A Root Canal?

At Cox Family Dental, we always encourage our patients to practice good oral health to avoid expensive and timely procedures like a root canal. The best way to prevent a root canal is to develop a good oral hygiene routine. First, brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss your teeth once per day. Next, remember to visit Dr. Cox and their team at Cox Family Dental in Plano, Texas every six months for regular exams and cleanings. Actively taking care of your oral health and being aware of potential issues, is the first step into better oral and overall health.

How long do root canals last?

A root canal from Cox Family Dental in Plano, Texas will last a lifetime with the right care and good oral health routine. Actually, 95% of all root canals are successful. A root canal may be the best way to improve your oral health and increase the likelihood of keeping your natural tooth.

Getting a root canal does not have to be a scary experience. With the right knowledge, tools, and team, your procedure can be comfortable and beneficial for your oral and overall health. For more information about procedures at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas or to plan your next visit, call (972)-468-8692, today!

Dental Implant: How To Place It

If you have a missing or decayed tooth, you may my need a dental implant. There are a number of benefits from dental implants in comparison to traditional options like bridges or dentures. More importantly, dental implants can last for a lifetime with the right care. Before you invest in an implant, you should discuss the procedures, benefits, and risks with Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas. First, we will talk about the alternatives to dental implants. Then, we will explain how dental implants are placed. 

1. What is a Dental Bridge?

To place a bridge, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry fills the gap where you tooth was with a dental crown. This crown is anchored on the two surrounding teeth with additional crowns. You can think of the anchoring crowns as caps that go over the existing teeth. Overall, receiving a dental bridge is less invasive procedure than a dental implant because Dr. Cox replaces the tooth, not the tooth and the root. However, in a dental bridge procedure, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas may file down existing, healthy teeth to support the dental bridge. To some patients, this is a disadvantage because healthy teeth are altered. Overall, dental bridges do not last as long as dental implants and the teeth supporting the bridge can develop decay.

2. What is a Partial Denture?

Partial dentures replace multiple missing teeth with a pink gum-like base. The denture is placed over the gums. You can choose between removable partial dentures or fixed partial dentures, which are attached existing teeth via a metal wire. Typically, partial dentures are used to fill one more than one missing tooth, with one or more natural teeth that act as supporting structures for the partial denture.

Dental Implant, Dental Bridge

3. How are Dental Implants Placed?

Now, let’s talk about how a dental implant is done. To place a dental implant, first, Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano will decide if you are a good candidate for a dental implant. Dr. Cox and his team will examine the amount of jawbone that is left under your tooth. Then, during surgery, Dr. Cox will clear out the missing tooth’s root and place a metal dental implant post. This will act as your tooth’s new root. The next step is to wait for bone growth around the dental implant post. At this stage, there is not a visible tooth above the gumline. Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas can give you a temporary denture to place in this area until the procedure is completed. Lastly, Dr. Cox will add a permeant crown over the dental implant post.

Just like bridges and partial dentures, dental implants vary in structure and size. If you only have one missing tooth, you can receive a singular dental implant. However, if you have multiple missing teeth, Dr. Cox may attach a row teeth to four or five posts within in the gums. Overall, dental implants offer more stability and they increase the lifespan of the oral prosthetic compared to dental bridges and partial dentures.

 

Choosing a dental implant can be a life changing decision. It is important to talk to Dr. Cox at Cox Family dentistry in Plano, Texas to explore all of your options first. For more information about dental implants, bridges, or partial dentures, or to plan your next visit, call Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas at (972)-468-8692, today!

What is a Bruised Tooth?

Most of us a familiar with getting a bruised knee or elbow when we fall, but did you know that you can bruise your tooth? Well, you can! If you have localized pain in your gums or a stabbing pain in one area, you could have a bruised tooth. However, if the pain is broad and spreads to different parts of the gums you could have an infection or gum disease. These are more serious conditions that should be taken care of right away. If you think you have an infection of gum disease call Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dental, today!

 

What is a Bruised Tooth?

Just as your knee or elbow will turn black and blue after a fall so will your tooth. This is because the capillaries below the surface burst. After an injury, the tooth may look grey. Sometimes this goes away; however, other times it may be permanently damaged. If you have a grey tooth, visit Dr. Cox and his team at Cox Family Dental to see if it is bruised. If it is, it is important that Dr.Cox monitors your tooth closely to ensure that your condition does not worsen. Although, if your tooth turns pink this is good news. This is a sign that your tooth is healing itself and the color will disappear.

Bruised Tooth

Preventing a Bruised Tooth

Many teeth are bruised during sports games. It is important that you wear a mouthguard while you are playing sport to prevent a bruised tooth or other tooth injuries. Even in incidental sports like volleyball, basketball, baseball, wrestling, and soccer should wear a mouthguard to prevent injuries.

 

Is a Bruised Tooth the Same As An Infected Tooth?

No. A bruised tooth is usually less severe than an infected tooth. After an injury, you may bruise your teeth which can go repair itself overtime. However, in some cases, the tooth may not recover, which keeps your tooth grey. There are number of cosmetic procedures that Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, Texas can perform to improve the look of your smile.

 

An infected tooth can damage your oral health as well as its appearance. Some infections begin after a cavity has developed and has worsened. If the tooth infection is not treated right away, you may need a dental implant, bridge, or root canal. Further, the infection can spread into your gums and to your head and neck. This is why any toothache should be treated seriously. If you have a sore tooth, call Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry right away to plan a visit.

 

Believe it or not, you can bruise your tooth! From a sports injury to a fall, you can bruise your tooth in many different ways. However, the important thing to remember is to visit Dr. Cox right away if you have a toothache. A bruised tooth can resolve itself, but sometimes it may not heal and you may need a cosmetic treatment. For more information about oral health or to plan your next visit, call Cox Family Dentistry at (972)-468-8692, today!

 

Tips To Enhance Your Oral Health

A beautiful, healthy smile can be hard to maintain without the right tips and tricks. Brushing and flossing are only a piece of the oral health puzzle. What you eat, drink, and your habits can affect your oral health. Below are the four three tips that you can do today to improve your oral health.

Oral Health

Identify Healthy and Unhealthy Habits

Do you use tobacco products? Do you brush your teeth once a day? Or, do you sip on sweet tea or coffee all day without water? These could all be preventing you from achieving your dream smile. Talk with Dr. Cox and discuss your oral health strengthens and weaknesses. The Cox Family Dental team can also identify potential problem areas in your smile. In this case, knowledge is power. The more information that you have about your smile, the better you can protect it from disease.

 

Create an Oral Health Care Plan

With Dr. Cox and the Cox Family Dental team, you can create a plan to care for your teeth. For the best results, you should visit Cox Family Dental once every six months for a cleaning. However, if you need a crown or a filling, or if you have periodontal disease, Dr. Cox may recommend that you visit more often. This is to protect the health of your teeth and maintain a good oral health plan.

Make Realistic Goals

Oral health and a beautiful smile are great things to want, but they do not happen overnight. Depending on the condition of your mouth when you set your goal, it could take months or even years to reach your goal. But, don’t worry, that does not mean you will not see results. If you follow the two tips above, you get the smile of your dreams. The best way to set goals is to make a S.M.A.R.T. goal. This stands for a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time oriented goal. An example is, over the next six months, I will brush my teeth once a day and floss once a day along with rinsing my teeth after drinking coffee. Notice that this goal is not a want, it is something that you will do!

Stay Motivated!

Brushing and flossing daily can seem like an unwanted chore. On top of that, remembering to drink water while consuming sugar food and drinks can seem like too much to ask! Maintaining oral health can be frustrating. But, don’t give up! Remember, that most diseases begin in your mouth. So, bad oral health could worsen your overall health. Stay motivated and don’t get discouraged.

 

Yes, you can achieve your dream smile by working hard at home. At first, it may see difficult and impossible to reach your goal, but you can do this. Form your goal into a S.M.A.R.T. goal and work on it everyday Also, you can work with the Cox Family Dentistry team and Dr. Cox to achieve your results. For more information on how to improve your oral health call or visit Cox Family Dentistry, today!

Foods that Can Better Your Oral Health

The foods that you eat can directly affect your oral and overall health. Foods with added sugars can hurt your smile. How does this happen? First, in your mouth, the sugar turns to acid that makes holes in the outer layer of your tooth. Next, a cavity begins to form. However, sugar is not the only bad guy. Carbohydrates and starches in foods like bread and pasta can turn into acids in your mouth. Lastly, they may begin to destroy your teeth. But, her is the good news! There are a few foods that can improve your overall health. Read below to find out more. 

 

Calcium Rich

Foods that have a lot of calcium in them are better for your oral health. Why? Well, the calcium strengthens the outer shell of your tooth and protects it from acids. A few examples of these foods and drinks are nuts, milk, cheese, broccoli, spinach, and chicken or other meats.

 

Crunchy Fruits

Firm fruits with high concentrations of water can rinse and scrub your teeth while you eat them. When you eat foods like apples and vegetables, the water in the food and the saliva in your mouth mixes together to break down sugars before they turn into acid. Who knew?! However, be careful when eating acidic fruits and vegetables. These foods may have more acid than water. In this case, they may hurt your teeth more than help them. 

Foods

Sugarless Beverages

Drinks such as milk, water, and unsweetened tea can rinse your mouth of bacteria and acids. Remember, sugars, even in drinks, can cause tooth decay. Dr. Cox’s tip? Stay hydrated with sugarless drinks!

 

Sadly, sugary drinks and foods such as potato chips, french fries, dried fruit, candies, and sodas cause tooth decay. But, you can help your teeth be healthy! How? Fight cavities by eating healthy, brushing your teeth twice a day, and visiting Dr. Cox twice a year for a cleaning. For information about nutrition and the health of your teeth visit Dr. Cox at Cox Family Dentistry, today!

Dental X-Rays – Do I need one?

Mouth x-rays are a common activity during your dental appointment; however, you may not know why Dr. Cox requires an x-ray. Below is some information about how Cox Family Dentistry uses your x-rays to develop the best treatment plan for you.

 

Detecting Problems in Adults

Dental x-rays are used to find problematic areas on, between, and underneath your teeth that a Cox Family Dentistry team cannot see with just an oral exam. X-rays can reveal issues such as, bone loss with gum disease, infection between or underneath the tooth, cysts, tumors, and cavities that form underneath a filling.

 

Detecting Problems in Children

X-rays for children can provide similar advantages for adult patients; however, the use of x-rays is geared toward observing the development of a child’s permanent teeth rather than preventing oral diseases. Dr. Cox can locate decay, estimate the amount of space need for permanent teeth, and evaluate the development of wisdom teeth.

X-Rays

 

Are X-Rays Safe for Me and My Teeth?

The advantage of viewing your teeth in-depth to prevent the development of oral diseases outweighs the small dose of radiation from the x-ray. Actually, the amount of radiation from exposure to the x-ray is similar to the amount that you may experience from a day in the sun or opening your refrigerator. Additionally, may dentists today use digital x-rays that reduce the patient’s exposure to radiation. If you are concerned about exposure to radiation from dental x-rays please call our office at (972)-468-8692 to discuss your options.

 

X-rays can be a vital beginning to your treatment plan. The x-ray helps Dr. Cox and his team of experts identify potential problem areas in your mouth. With this information, they can determine the best way to proceed. For more information about x-rays or to schedule an exam, call Cox Family Dentistry at (972)-468-8692.

 

Is a DDS or a DMD better?

DDS or DMD

Some dentists list a DDS and others list a DMD after their name. It can be confusing to know which is better. Should you choose a dentist with a DDS or DMD? Actually, a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and a DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine) are the same degrees. Specific universities may choose one title over the other; however, dentists are taught comparable material.

What does a dentist do?

Dr. Cox, who has a DDS, is trained in numerous oral health areas. To name a few, Dr. Cox can diagnose diseases of the mouth, develop customized treatment plans, monitor oral health development, perform surgical procedures, promote oral health, and manage emergency dentistry care. Additionally, your overall health can be compromised if an infection spreads from your mouth to the rest of your body. Dr. Cox can help prevent this.

Is a dentist a Medical Doctor?

Dentists and doctors are alike in that they both promote overall health and prevention of illness. Similarly, they both attend undergraduate college for four years and graduate school for four years. However, a DDS or a DMD specializes in treating the mouth from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry. Dentists can also specialize in specific areas including public health, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, and oral and maxillofacial surgery.

DDS vs. DMD

What procedures do dentists perform?

A DDS or a DMD perform a wide range of procedures that fall under two umbrellas: general dentistry and cosmetic dentistry. General dentistry often includes: dental cleanings, exams, dental fillings, bridges, crowns, dentures, full mouth restoration, gum disease treatment, Invisalign, root canal treatment, sedation dentistry, TMJ treatment, and tooth extractions. Cosmetic dentistry typically addresses aesthetic concerns like bonding, dental implants, teeth whitening, and veneers.

If you have more questions about Dr. Cox or dentistry call Cox Family Dentistry. Also, if you have any other dental concerns or needs call Cox Family Dentistry and schedule an appointment today!

Difference between a Dental Filling and a Dental Sealant

Often our patients ask us how they can better care for their teeth. Of course, our number one recommendation is to floss once and brush twice a day for two minutes each. However, there are other preventative and restorative ways to maintain a healthy smile. At Cox Family Dentistry, we use dental fillings and dental sealants to protect and preserve your healthy teeth. These cavity-fighting cousins can be difficult to distinguish. Read below to find out the differences.

Dental Sealants are Preventative

Cavities form when the enamel on your tooth is broken down by acids in starches and sugars. To thwart this, Dr. Cox recommends that you use fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and drink plenty of water. This combination will keep the enamel clean and strong. However, natural cracks and ridges form in your teeth. It is difficult to reach these spaces with a toothbrush or floss. In this case, Dr. Cox usually recommends a protective measure, typically given to children, called sealants. A sealant fills in these naturally occurring crevices to reduce the possibility of cavity development.

Dental Fillings are Restorative

Although, if a cavity does develop, dental fillings are typically used to occupy the whole in your tooth. Once Dr. Cox removes the decayed part of the tooth, the area can be filled with a composite resin or metal which prevents future damage and strengthens your tooth. Unlike sealants, dental fillings can last decades with proper care while sealants can be removed by chewing gum, eating sticky food, or teeth grinding.

Choosing a between a dental filling and a dental sealant is more dependent on the state of your oral health than on personal preferences. If you have young children, ask Dr. Cox about applying a sealant to their teeth if [he/she] has not already. Additionally, remember that neither treatment options are a substitute for proper oral health habits such as flossing, brushing, and drinking plenty of water.

If you have more questions about dental fillings or sealants, please contact Cox Family Dentistry today. To schedule an appointment for a filling or sealant, go to our website or call 972-468-8692. We look forward to seeing you!