Colony Square Dental Associates

Healthy Nutrition | Healthy Teeth

Pinpointing how what you consume can directly affect your oral health

Healthy teeth and gums are essential for eating, chewing, and swallowing. Therefore the nutrients you consume, will directly affect your oral and overall health. Although many feel they are practicing perfect oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly, tooth decay and gum disease remain to be two of the most widespread diseases in the world. Drs. Hochberg & Diora promote a healthy diet and have tips on how you can properly choose foods that will in-turn positively impact your dental health.

Foods that are great for your tooth enamel are those comprised of minerals. Various acidic foods and drinks, when not consumed in moderation, may cause erosion of the enamel. Calcium and phosphorous are wonderful in aiding to replace minerals in areas they may have been lost. Calcium enriched foods that are low in sugar include yogurt, hard or aged cheese, seafood, low-fat milk, almonds, etc. Whereas some great phosphorous sources include pumpkin seeds, fish, Brazil nuts, red meat, eggs, and broth. These foods will help to strengthen your teeth and contain valuable protein.

Crunchy foods that are naturally hard usually contain high contents of water. The chewing required to eat these foods produces more saliva, which is the best way to counteract the bacteria that causes cavities. Also, the texture of these crunchy foods makes them naturally abrasive. In turn, this helps to gently scrub tooth surfaces freeing them of plaque and food debris. The best options to choose when looking for a high water content snack are celery, apples, cucumbers, and carrots.

It is also good to keep in mind the foods that can harm your dental health if not eaten with self-discipline. Beware of ‘empty calorie’ foods. These include candy, cookies, muffins, and snack foods such as potato chips. In addition to no nutritional value, these foods also contain high contents of sugar that tend to adhere to your teeth. The result is bacteria in your mouth will feed on these sugar spots, releasing acids, and then leading to eventual tooth decay. If you must enjoy a drink  with a high sugar content, try sipping on it through a straw, so that you’re not bathing your teeth in these acids and sugars directly.

 

You may reduce your risk of cavities by following the doctor’s guidance such as:

  • Always remember to brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes.
  • Limit your between-meal snacking.
  • Include dairy, a variety of fruits and vegetables, and fluoride filled water to your diet.

Remembering that brushing after eating should always be your first choice, however if it is not a viable option, try at least chewing sugar-free gum or rinsing with some water.

 

WHY ARE MY TEETH SENSITIVE?

 

WHY ARE MY TEETH SENSITIVE?

At one time or another, drinking or eating something hot or cold can elicit an ‘ouch’ moment. Which leads to frequently asked questions of Drs. Hochberg & Diora: When is tooth sensitivity a problem? What causes it? How can I decrease tooth sensitivity?

Our teeth’s protectors

To understand why sensitivity occurs, it’s helpful to learn a bit about the structure of our teeth. Nerves, blood supply and connective tissues in the center portion of the tooth, called the pulp, are our teeth’s lifeline. Protecting these vital structures from exposure keeps us comfortable when biting into an apple, drinking coffee or even just breathing air. The first layer protecting the pulp is dentin. But that’s not enough – dentin has tiny tubules that transmit hot, cold and pain sensation into the tooth’s ‘inner sanctum’.  When teeth are healthy, the enamel, a substance harder than our bones, covers and protects the portion of the tooth’s dentin that is above the gum line. Similarly, the dentin of our tooth’s root, located below the gum line, is covered by its protective covering called cementum.  It’s when these structures are damaged either from the outside inwards or from an internal disruption that the nerve is alerted. And so are we!

 

Our teeth’s adversaries (enemies, foes ….)

Dental disease, including cavities, abscesses, internal fractures and periodontal concerns are some of the well-known causes for tooth sensitivity.

  • When a tooth is exposed to hot, cold or even a sugar treat, and there is an internal root fracture, or decay extends into the tooth’s pulp – containing the tooth’s nerves – the nerves respond and let’s us know that there is a problem.
  • When the tooth’s root is exposed, due to recession of the gum tissue, bacteria can develop in the spaces (pockets) where the gums have pulled away from the tooth’s root. Ultimately, the disease process can destroy the bone that supports the root of the tooth.

But, there are other reasons that sensitivity, impacting one or more teeth, occurs.

  • Brushing, flossing & rinsing – In our efforts to maintain oral health we can be contributing to, and even creating, a problem. Hard toothbrushes, or overzealous brushing at the gum line, could not only damage the gum tissue, but also can also cause our gums to to pull away from our teeth, exposing the tooth’s sensitive roots. The solution? Change to a soft toothbrush and use a lighter touch. And, while we all like whiter teeth, there are times we need to use caution when making a toothpaste selection. Some whitening toothpastes are abrasive, which can wear down the enamel, or may contain ingredients that contribute to sensitivity. Then there are our mouthwashes. Though they leave us with a fresh feeling, some contain acids, another potential agent for increased discomfort. Ask Drs. Hochberg and Diora for their recommendations. You may be benefit from the many enamel protecting or desensitizing toothpastes and neutral fluoride rinses.
  • Grinding or clenching – Be it a habit that’s hard to break or a nighttime occurrence, both grinding or clenching place additional stresses and undo pressure the enamel of our teeth. Even though it’s extremely strong, enamel can chip or even wear with these additional forces. Oftentimes, a night guard, also called a mouth guard, or behavioral therapy is recommended.
  • Eating and Drinking Even some healthy choices! – Oranges, pickles, tomatoes, coffee, wine, and sodas– even diet sodas – and the list goes on. Why? Foods that are high in acid can erode the tooth’s enamel. This is why some patients notice a change in their tooth’s color. Wearing away the enamel exposes the dentin, which is a yellowish color, and furnishes a pathway for sensation to reach the nerves. This doesn’t mean we have to give up all of our favorite foods, especially those that are good for us, but we do have to take care. There are a few ways to consume wisely:
  • Avoid sipping acidic drinks throughout the day
  • Eat foods that are high in acid along with foods that are low in acid content, such as: cheeses, whole grains, fish, nuts, vegetables, bananas and many more. These foods are not only healthy, but also they help balance the acid intake along with changing the acid content in our saliva – working to provide protection to the tooth’s enamel.
  • Yes, brush your teeth, but NOT right after eating or drinking acidic foods. Why? While the enamel is exposed to the acid it has a tendency to become softer, and more susceptible to enamel wear from brushing. Drink water and wait – just a bit.

 

Reducing tooth sensitivity

As you can see, the answers to the questions relating to an ‘ouch’ moment are not always clear-cut. It’s important to advise Drs. Hochberg & Diora of your symptoms, when you notice sensitivity and if the pain or discomfort is localized. Absent dental disease that requires attention, they will review your daily routines and help you answer the question:  Why are my teeth so sensitive?

KEEPING CHILDREN’S TEETH HEALTHY | A toast to Tap Water!

 

KEEPING CHILDREN’S TEETH HEALTHY
A toast to Tap Water!

The month of February is set aside as National Children’s Dental Health Month by the American Dental Association (ADA). But everyday, helping our children maintain bright happy smiles for their lifetime is our goal at Colony Square Dental Associates. This year’s ADA theme, “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile”, was the focus for our visit to Primrose, a neighborhood school. We asked the class of Kindergarten students, if they knew that a simple glass of tap water is a super ally in our fight against dental decay. Dr. Mira Diora, accompanied by Ms. Toothbrush and Ms. Toothpaste (aka Karren, Dr. Diora’s dental assistant, and Candice, with our front office team), were on hand to explain how the fluoride in our tap water helps fight against cavities.

 

How does this work? Simply put, the outer portion of our teeth, called enamel, is comprised of both phosphate and calcium, combining to form a structure that is actually stronger than our bones. And our salvia, which is composed of both elements, is constantly flowing in our mouths, keeping the tooth surface strong. But, some of carbohydrate rich foods that we eat combine with natural occurring bacteria in our mouth creating an acid. This acid becomes the enemy of the phosphate and calcium protection. The result? An opportunity for the tooth to become susceptible to decay.

Over 70 years ago, the surgeon general stated that fluoride, a chemical substance formed by joining fluorine and sodium, was shown to reduce cavities. It helps our young children even before their adult teeth erupt. Fluorides found in foods and our water help teeth develop with stronger enamel. And the fluoride added into our toothpastes and our tap water, combines with our saliva forming fluoroapatite, which has been found to help prevent the formation of cavities.

 

All good news! Watching diets, teaching how to floss & brush (with an ADA approved toothpaste), regular dental visits and a glass of tap water will help to keep our children’s teeth healthy. Just ask – Dr. David Hochberg, Dr. Mira Diora and our clinical team are on hand to answer any questions and provide you and your children the tips and tools needed for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

 

SMOKING AND ORAL HEALTH

You know – Smoking is not good for you! While generations grew up smoking, some beginning as youngsters, it wasn’t until 1964 that the Surgeon General published their official report on the dangers of smoking. Over the past 50 plus years, increasing scientific evidence has been presented to the public on the consequences of both inhaled and chewing tobacco use.

These studies have shown the direct link between tobacco and a significant number of disease processes besides the more known ones such as lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. For example, did you know that besides causing ‘smokers breath’ and stained teeth, smoking is detrimental to your oral health?

 

Smoking and chewing tobacco are shown to have direct links to:

 

  • Oral Cancer – of the mouth, throat, tongue and lips
  • Loss of bone structure in the oral cavity
  • An inability for bone to heal, which can impact the success rate of dental implant placement
  • Slowed healing after periodontal treatment or tooth removal
  • Periodontal disease – smoking is linked to the bone’s ability to attach to the gum tissue creating an increased risk of infection with eventual loss of a tooth/teeth
  • Greater propensity for the development of  plaque and calculus
  • A decrease in the ability to taste foods

 

So, with all compelling reasons to avoid the use of nicotine products, why does anyone continue to smoke? Nicotine is an addictive drug. And, like all addictions, breaking the habit is quite challenging. But, smoking cessation programs, and there are many, have been proven to greatly reduce risks even if you have smoked for some time. The right program can help save your life! Talk to your internist or Drs. Hochberg and Diora to learn more about the oral health connections. We want you to stay healthy and SMILE!

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE SONICARE™ ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSH?

Since the late 90’s, electric toothbrushes have become increasingly popular.  And over the past decade, technological advancements have helped perfect this tool. It’s an easy way for everyone to help maintain his or her dental health. However, with so many different models on the market, our patients often ask both Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Diora, “Which electric toothbrush do you recommend?” Our doctors, as well as our hygienists, are here to help explain the science behind our recommendation of the Sonicare™ brand.

adobestock_45605343Before outlining how Sonicare™ works, it is important to understand the bacteria present in the oral cavity. There are two types that live in the mouth – aerobic bacteria and anaerobic bacteria. Aerobic bacteria live above the gum line and require oxygen to survive. Anaerobic bacteria live below the gum line and thrive in dark areas that contain little to no oxygen.

Each type of bacteria, both above and below the gum line, has surfaces that are covered with ‘finger-like projections’ called papilla. The bacteria use these papillae to communicate with each other and build colonies, otherwise known as plaque. Left on the surface of your teeth, either above or below the gums, plaque hardens, forming calculus and potentially providing an environment where decay and periodontal disease can become concerns.

You may ask what this scientific conversation about bacteria has to do with our Sonicare™ recommendation? It actually goes hand in hand. If we can disrupt these papilla from communicating and colonizing we can help prevent the development of plaque and calculus. In years past, brushing and flossing with a manual toothbrush was our only option – removing plaque on the portion of the tooth we could reach. We didn’t have ‘at home’ mechanism to disrupt bacteria under the gum line. However, with a Sonicare® electric toothbrush we can do much more. As the name suggests, it works by creating sonic vibrations, which reach below the gum line without actually touching the tooth’s root, damaging the papilla of harmful bacteria.

Start 2017 with a New Year’s resolution to enhance your oral health – give yourself, and your smile, the gift of a new electric toothbrush! Combining regular visits to your hygienist and periodic examinations with Drs. Hochberg and Diora, excellent home healthcare with Sonicare® helps enhance your dental health so you can smile with confidence into the New Year.

Our Office Holiday Party | A Continuation of Giving Back

It is nearly the end of a spectacular 30th Anniversary year in Colony Square. All of our staff members are busy preparing for the holidays and well deserved time spent with family. In the spirit of giving, our team was honored to participate in our annual Holiday luncheon. The day was filled with delicious food, an abundance of shopping for our Meals on Wheels Atlanta seniors, and generous gift giving. It is truly the most wonderful time of the year.

We met bright and early at the office for a delectable breakfast. Catered from our local Highland Bakery, there were bagels, fruit, and so much more. After sitting down to review our success of the Meals on Wheels Atlanta grocery challenge, we all listened closely to our next instructions. From there we were informed we would be doing a bit of holiday shopping for our seniors. Splitting into teams, one targeting the men and the other the women, we were off to Lenox Square Mall to begin purchasing the items needed.

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The hustle and bustle of shopping with co-workers was really enjoyable. Scarfs, hats, robes, and towels were only the very beginning of a long list purchased at Macy’s for the elderly. With our bags piled high, we then proceeded to Bed, Bath, & Beyond for all of the necessary toiletries. Strategically each of the teams planned the most cost efficient way to ensure every senior received a quality holiday gift.

Accompanied by festive music in our cars, we headed to an unknown location to celebrate. As we approached The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Midtown, the aroma of mouthwatering cuisine pulled us right in. The decorations were second to none, but little did we know a surprise was yet to be seen.

hp102-2Because there around the corner, sat Jamie! Jamie was a beloved member of our front office for many years. Although, it is CSDA tradition to invite past employees, Jamie has lived out of town and we weren’t expecting her attendance. Phyllis, Lynn (Barbara), and Dr. Leon Rechtman were also present. Everyone’s smiling faces lit up the room.

 

hp102-1With food being served, we began reflecting on what a wonderful anniversary year we’ve had. It could not be possible without all of our valued patients. Thank you all for a great 30 years in Colony Square. Happy Holidays and Happy New Years from Drs. Hochberg & Diora, as well as the staff members at Colony Square Dental Associates.

CSDA Gives Back | Meals on Wheels Atlanta

 

Each year our office selects a local organization to be the focal point of our community outreach. This allows each member of our team a chance to give back. Many times we are able to contribute in the form of volunteering or a donation, or both!  We were thrilled to learn that this holiday season we would be giving back to the elderly in our community by means of Meals on Wheels Atlanta.

Meals on Wheels Atlanta has been a supporter of elderly independence for 50 years. With the helping hands of many volunteers, businesses, and donations they assist homebound seniors in many areas. This includes meals, shelter, education, and community to those who many not have access to it otherwise. Their heartfelt vision of ensuring that no Atlanta area senior is hungry, cold, or forgotten is what propelled our office to pursue lending a hand.

With the elders in mind, each team member headed to the local grocery. To make certain that the products purchased were within our healthy food choice guidelines, we were provided with a checklist for precise specifications on what best would suit our seniors. In no time at all, the shopping shoppingcarts began running over with nutritious meals. Non-perishables and canned goods were among the very popular. However, to keep in mind that those we were buying for often times had a very tight spending limit, we too had to budget. It was meant to really allow us to ‘walk in another ones shoes’ and focus on buying the best nutrition for a reasonable price.

 
After many trips from the trunk of our cars to the center, the grocery bags filled with food were officially
delivered. Meeting the staff and touring the facility was definitely a treat. From different community roomsfilled with fun activities, to sorting rooms where food was divided by category, each member of their staff had a very specific space to display their talent. We were even lucky enough to be thanked personally by their CEO, Charlene Crusoe-Ingram!

groupThis was a great experience for all of us. We are humbled to serve our community and help enrich the lives of the elderly in our area.

 

 

 

 

 

KEEPING YOUR TEETH HEALTHY – NO MATTER YOUR AGE

elderly-smilingThere exists an old adage – with age comes wisdom. Along with years of wisdom comes a time when extra attention to one’s health becomes essential. Part of overall wellness is maintaining your dental health. Both Dr. Hochberg and Dr. Diora are here to help guide you along the way.

Why is attention to dental health vital to overall wellness as one gets older? The natural process of aging, which impacts your body and causes those new ‘aches and pains’, can also effect the health of your teeth, gums and supporting bone. For some, oral health degeneration results from medications. Many routine prescriptions cause a reduction in the amount of saliva produced – causing dry mouth or xerostomia. A dry mouth is more susceptible to plaque, which over time hardens into calculus, thus creating an environment that is ripe for the development of cavities. For others, a decline in oral health can be linked to dietary changes. Systemic changes that occur with aging cause the blood supply to the tooth’s root, called the pulp, to be reduced, causing the nerve to become smaller. The sensitivity to discomfort decreases to the point where you might not even know a problem exists. Eventually, the tooth’s ability to be restored lessens. Therefore, periodic examinations and x-rays are encouraged in order to ensure the disease process has not subtly infiltrated your teeth.

Another prevalent problem, periodontal disease, is not limited to the mature population. Often it’s a chronic problem, beginning earlier in adulthood. However, periodontal disease may become progressive with age, resulting in recession of the gum, or gingival, tissue. The tooth’s root structure is exposed, providing a place for plaque to accumulate with ease.

The good news is that we are living longer and staying active. To be certain that you are able to speak and chew naturally as you age, it becomes necessary to take advantage of your wisdom. Take preventative measures! Maintain a regular schedule of dental hygiene visits with periodic examinations and x-rays. Work closely with your dental healthcare professionals. Both Drs. Hochberg and Diora, along with your hygienist, will develop a program that targets your specific needs to enhance your ‘stay fit’ lifestyle.

PRESIDENT ELECT of THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF IMPLANT DENTISTRY – CONGRATULATIONS TO DR. DAVID G. HOCHBERG!

 

For decades the only way to replace a missing tooth was to restore the area with a bridge or a partial denture. While there exists evidence that the ancient Mayans used shells to replace missing teeth, modern science has been continuing to evolve dental implants as an alternative to missing teeth for over 70 years. Since 1951, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID), the oldest professional academy educating dentists on the surgical placement and restoration of dental implants, has been dedicated to improving the oral health and quality of life for the public.

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This advanced technology and state-of-the-art dentistry has been offered by Dr. David G. Hochberg since 1984 when he joined AAID. Dr. David G. Hochberg has continued his education, and after undergoing examination is a Fellow in the AAID. Soon thereafter, Dr. Hochberg became a Diplomate of the American Board of Implant Dentistry – the most advanced credential offered.

All the  while Dr. Hochberg has maintained an active presence within the AAID, not only by participating in the testing of applicants seeking membership and credentialing by the academy, but also by serving as the editor of the AAID News for 12 years. In 2013 Dr. David G. Hochberg received the honor of being selected to serve on the board of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.  Initially serving the AAID as secretary, treasurer and then vice president, this year Dr. Hochberg is now the President-Elect for the organization. With one year until his presidency, Dr. David G. Hochberg is actively working to achieve the AAID’s goal of offering education and training programs to dentists who want to offer dentalimplant care to their patients.

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COLONY SQUARE DENTAL ASSOCIATES – EXPERIENCING & EDUCATING

For 30 years the doctors and treatment team of Colony Square Dental Associates (CSDA) have been providing quality dental care in Midtown, Atlanta. It’s been a pleasure to see our patients grow up, get married, have children, and we consider ourselves privileged to partner with them in maintaining their dental health throughout the years.

During the beginning of 2016 we celebrated our 30 year milestone. Such an important event warrants a celebration with the entire treatment team. After all, it’s each and every clinician and business associate who works diligently to ensure that all of our patients are well cared for! For the past four days we enjoyed the sights of Las Vegas – touring the Hoover Dam & rafting, singing along with Lionel Richie and experiencing a Cirque de Soleil performance were some of the highlights of the weekend.

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But, that’s not all that’s happened in the busy month of our 30th – we participated in health fairs at WebMD and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. It’s always a pleasure to be on hand for our neighbors to answer questions relating to today’s dentistry – be it tooth whitening, Invisalign, dental implants or restorative needs. As a part of our community outreach, Drs. Hochberg & Diora are beginning Halloween early by hosting a luncheon for our neighbors at Triage Consulting on October 17th.

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Keep posted for our next blog about Dr. Hochberg’s attendance at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID)!