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Can Exercise Damage Your Teeth? | Dentist in East Tucson

Exercise is important to good health, but can it have a detrimental effect on our teeth?  Studies have shown that exercise and fitness habits can result in an increase in dental decay and tooth erosion.  Exercise can impact our oral health in many ways, including: 

Decreased Saliva Flow:  Breathing heavily through the mouth during exercise can result in a reduction in saliva and cause the mouth to dry out.  Saliva is filled with minerals that work to fight bacteria, protect tooth enamel, and prevent decay.  To prevent decay caused by a dry mouth, learn to breathe through the nose during exercise and hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout.  You can also brush your teeth before you exercise to reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque. 

Jaw Clenching:  Athletes often clench their jaw when straining to lift weights.  This pressure can result in wear and even cracked teeth.  To protect teeth from the effects of clenching, consider using a mouthguard.  These can be purchased at most drugstores or sporting goods stores or our dentist can make a custom fitted mouthguard for you. 

Consuming Sports Drinks:  Studies have shown that sugary sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to the teeth than water.  The citric acid they contain can soften the tooth enamel so much that even brushing can cause tooth damage.  Taking frequent, small sips of sugary liquids increases the chance of tooth decay.   Avoiding the use of sports drinks and hydrating with water instead can prevent these negative effects.  If you feel you must use sports drinks, don’t drink small amounts over an extended period of time, rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and avoid brushing immediately after consuming. 

Contact our office to schedule your next preventative dental appointment.

Is Periodontal Disease Treatable?

Even for those with the healthiest habits, periodontal disease might become an issue at some point. Genetics, lifestyle habits, and dental hygiene can all affect your risk of getting periodontal disease. If you’ve been curious about this serious oral health problem, we have the answers to your questions.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an umbrella term for any affliction of the gum tissue and the bones below the gumline. It its earliest forms, periodontal disease is called gingivitis and is characterized by mild inflammation and irritation of the gums. If allowed to progress, gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. This can lead to serious complications, including severe pain, infection, tooth loss, and irreversible damage to the jawbone.

Causes of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease begins with poor dental hygiene. Failing to brush, floss, and visit the dentist mean that the buildup of plaque and tartar can erode tooth enamel and cause irritation in the gums. As the gums become more and more inflamed, they begin to pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets expose the teeth’s sensitive roots to bacteria, increasing your risk of sensitivity and infection. Gum disease can be worsened by several factors, such as malnutrition, tobacco, dehydration, uncontrolled blood sugar, overall body inflammation, and stress.

Signs & Symptoms

Gingivitis often begins with red, swollen, and irritated gums. You may also notice blood in the sink after brushing or flossing. As gum disease progresses, it negatively affects the tissues holding the teeth in place. Loose teeth, new spaces in between teeth, bad breath, and tooth pain may all be warning signs of severe periodontal disease and should be taken seriously.

Is Periodontal Disease Treatable?

The treatment for periodontal disease varies depending on its severity. Those with gingivitis should begin by seeing the dentist for a routine cleaning and examination. From there, we can assess how to modify your oral healthcare routine to reverse the signs of gum disease. Twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular rinsing with an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash will be helpful. Patients with periodontitis may need more advanced treatment, such as planing, root scaling, and antibiotics. Surgery is a last resort, but may involve grafting of soft tissue or bone. But whatever the condition of your gums, we can help get you back to a healthy and pain-free smile.

Consult with Us About Your Gum Health

If you’re noticing any of the warning signs of gum disease, contact us today to schedule a checkup and cleaning. Problems with the gums will only worsen over time, so don’t delay! We look forward to helping you get your oral health back on track.

Benefits of Sugar-Free Gum

You’ve probably heard it many times before–candy is bad for your teeth. Well, that’s almost always true. But there is one sweet treat that gets our seal of approval, and that’s sugar-free gum! Read on to learn the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum.

1. Stimulates Saliva Production

Chewing sugarless gum encourages your mouth to produce more saliva. Saliva is a natural wash for your mouth, and it is packed with minerals that strengthen enamel and enzymes that fight cavity-causing bacteria. Another plus, chewing sugar-free gum can help those dealing with dry mouth.

2. Protects Enamel

Sugar-free gum has a hand in keeping your mouth clean, both by stimulating saliva and by removing plaque and food particles from your teeth. As you chew, the gum can detach some of the bad bacteria and debris that cling to your teeth. If left alone, that bad stuff would otherwise damage your precious enamel, causing issues like tooth sensitivity, decay, and bad breath.

3. Freshens Breath

Gum often has powerful flavors and scents, from spearmint and cinnamon to watermelon and berry, that give your mouth a boost of delicious fragrance. But instead of simply masking the foul odor like a breath mint, chewing sugarless gum (particularly kinds that contain xylitol) can actually help eradicate the lingering food particles and bacteria that are known to be sources of bad breath.

4. Curbs Candy Cravings

Last but certainly not least, we like chewing sugar-free gum because it keeps you from constantly indulging in sugary delights, such as candy. Candy is packed with sugar, and sugar feeds the bad bacteria in your mouth. In turn, well-fed bacteria accumulate and produce acids that destory enamel and irritate gums. Whenever possible, limit your consumption of candy and reach for a piece of sugarless gum instead.

Comprehensive Care in Tucson, AZ

Though chewing sugar-free gum is a great supplement to your oral hygiene, it is no substitue for daily at-home oral care and routine dental checkups and cleanings. Contact us with any questions about chewing gum or to book your next appointment at Stratman Family Dentistry.

Funniest Dentist Jokes

Drawing of a megaphone and the LOL acronym for Laugh Out Loud in response to funny dentist jokes

By now you probably know that a dentist’s favorite time of day is “tooth-hurty”, but do you know these other less common dentist jokes? We’d like to lighten your mood by sharing our favorite dentist jokes.

9 Dental Jokes

1. What Do You Call a Dentist Who Was in the Army?

A Drill Sergeant

2. Why Did the Donut Go to the Dentist?

He needed a filling

3. What Does a Marching Band Member Use to Brush Their Teeth?

A tuba toothpaste

4. What Do You Call a Dentist’s Advice?

Their floss-ophy

5. Why Did the King Go to the Dentist?

To get his teeth crowned

6. What Is a Dentist’s Least Favorite Movie?

Plaque to the future

7. Why Did the Deer Need Braces?

He had buck teeth

8. What Does the Dentist of the Year Get?

A little plaque

9. What Did the Dentist See at the North Pole?

A molar bear

Share Your Favorite Jokes with Us!

If you enjoyed these jokes, share them with your friends and family. We also invite you to share your favorite dental jokes with us at your next appointment! We’d love to hear them.

Don’t Joke Around with Your Dental Health

We aim to educate individuals and families about the importance of preventive oral healthcare practices since poor dental health isn’t fun or funny to deal with. Remember to:

  • Brush your teeth twice every day for at least two minutes each time
  • Brush your tongue every day
  • Floss every day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat a variety of healthy, nutritious foods
  • Keep your sugar intake to a minimum
  • Chew only sugar-free gum
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Never hesitate to ask us any questions about your oral health–we are here to help!

It’s important to take great care of your teeth, otherwise you’ll end up like the golfer who was told by the dentist he had a hole-in-one! So contact us if it’s time to schedule your next appointment. We’d love to see your smile very soon.

Foods & Drinks That Trigger Sensitive Teeth

Blonde woman wearing a blue shirt cringes in pain and touches her cheek due to sensitive teeth

If you’ve ever cringed after biting into a popsicle or eating a spoonful of ice cream, you know the discomfort of tooth sensitivity. Certain foods and drinks can set it off, making for a painful mealtime experience. Read on to learn about what can trigger teeth sensitivity and how to reduce it.

Foods & Drinks That Trigger Sensitive Teeth

Some of your favorite foods and beverages may be on the list of things that cause teeth sensitivity. These include extremely hot coffee, tea, and soup, in addition to extremely cold ice cream, popsicles, and iced beverages. You’ll notice when you consume these that they can worsen your dental pain. Other foods on this list can include hard or sticky candy, which can make chewing painful and difficult, and highly acidic citrus fruits and soda that can erode enamel.

How to Reduce Tooth Sensitivity

There are a few things you can do to reduce your discomfort. In addition to limiting your consumption of the foods and drinks listed above, gently brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time using a soft-bristled toothbrush and an anti-sensitivity toothpaste that contains fluoride. This will help to strengthen your teeth and to reduce tooth pain when you eat. Also, drink plenty of fluoridated tap water throughout the day, and chew only sugar-free gum. Keep in mind that chronic tooth grinding and clenching (or bruxism) can also worsen tooth sensitivity. If you grind or clench your teeth at night, consider getting a nightguard to protect your teeth from damage.

Consult with Our Expert Team!

Contact Stratman Family Dentistry in Tucson, AZ if you’re having chronic tooth sensitivity or pain. We want to help reduce your pain and make eating enjoyable again! We can assess if it’s from enamel erosion, advanced tooth decay, an infection, bruxism, or another cause. We can suggest additional ways to protect your teeth from sensitivity and damage, and provide you with a custom-fitted nightguard if you grind your teeth. Let us know if you have any questions.

What Causes Enamel to Deteriorate?

Most dental issues can be traced back to one thing: the deterioration of enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth. We’ll take a look at what causes your enamel to weaken, and how you can help protect your smile!


Common Causes of Enamel Damage

1. Diet

Sugar is harmful for your teeth because bacteria and plaque feed upon your dietary sugar and produce acidic byproducts that destroy enamel. Acid in foods and beverages can also slowly strip away the minerals in your enamel. This means that a diet heavy in sugar, refined carbohydrates, starches, and acids (like from citrus fruits, alcoholic beverages, and soft drinks) can increase your risk of tooth decay. A balanced diet rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals can help strengthen and protect your enamel.

2. Injury & Friction

If you grind your teeth at night or if you have chipped or broken a tooth, you’ve damaged your enamel, which means that it’s easier for bacteria to access the more vulnerable inner layers of your teeth.

3. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition where you do not produce enough saliva to properly coat the surface of your teeth. A healthy amount of saliva wicks away bacteria from your teeth, rinses away leftover food particles, and aids in remineralization. Without enough saliva, you have an increased risk of developing more plaque and bacteria, which means you are more likely to suffer from tooth decay.

4. Genetics

Your DNA or certain genetic disorders can make you more prone to thin enamel that is easily weakened and damaged.

5. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a condition where acid and bile regularly flows up from your stomach into your esophagus, creating an uncomfortable burning sensation. Sometimes, this acid can reach your teeth and cause your enamel to gradually deteriorate.

How to Prevent Enamel Deterioration

Daily At-Home Preventive Oral Care

The best way to protect your enamel is to maintain proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, brush your tongue every day, and floss between your teeth and under your gumline to keep your teeth and gums clean and free of plaque. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is another very important way to keep plaque and tartar at bay.

Routine Dental Visits

In conjunction with your at-home preventive oral care, twice yearly dental visits will ensure that your mouth is healthy, strong, and cavity-free. So make sure that you schedule your next visit soon! Here at Stratman Family Dentistry, it’s our top priority to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Tips for Treating Denture Discomfort

Dentures can give you a totally new lease on life—they help you eat, talk, smile, and keep your jaws strong. Even though we’ve come a long way in how dentures look and feel, it is common to have some discomfort as you adjust to wearing them. Here are a few tips for dealing with denture discomfort.

1. Dental Pain Relieving Creams & Gels

If your gums are sore, applying a topical dental cream or gel can help alleviate any pain you’re experiencing.

2. Aloe Vera Leaf

The aloe vera plant is known for helping with burns, itchiness, and pain. Applying the juices of the actual leaf (not the skin care product) to your gums twice a day may bring you just as much relief as a topical cream or gel.

3. Salt & Water

Doing a 15-30 second salt water rinse without your dentures can help reduce inflammation that you may have after wearing your dentures. It also helps clean your mouth out.

4. Adhesives

You can try an adhesive to help your dentures stay in place comfortably and relieve pressure on your gums. You can also look into denture liners.

5. Gum Massage

Regular massage will help increase the blood circulation in your gums and reduce any swelling. Not to mention, it feels pretty good!

6. Medication

Your dentist may prescribe you some pain medication to help you adjust to your dentures faster, but you can also use an over-the-counter medication depending on the severity of the pain.

7. Taking Breaks

Give your mouth a break by removing your dentures every once in a while, especially overnight when they need to be cleaned and soaked.

Denture Adjustments

Getting dentures is a wonderful option for those missing their natural teeth, and can dramatically improve your quality of life. At Stratman Family Dentistry, we want to make sure that your dentures are comfortable and functional for you. We don’t charge for denture adjustments for the first year that you have your dentures and we include soft relines with our fees. If you have any questions about adjusting to your new dentures, contact our expert team today!

What Is Bruxism?

Do you ever wake up with a sore jaw and a headache? Do you find yourself clenching your jaw when you’re stressed? Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding, is a common issue that can cause oral health issues, and even lead to tooth loss. In this post, we go over warning signs of bruxism, as well as treatment and prevention tips so you can get your oral and overall health back on track.

Warning Signs of Bruxism

  • Sore jaw & temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Morning headaches
  • During the night, you wake your partner with grinding noises
  • Damaged enamel & an increase in tooth decay
  • Cracked, discolored or chipped teeth

Alleviating Bruxism

Depending on the state of your teeth, you may benefit from wearing a custom-fitted nightguard when you sleep to protect your teeth from further damage. This nightguard will not only prevent your teeth from grinding against each other, but it will also help your chewing muscles to remain relaxed. If your teeth have already suffered extensive damage and have cracks, breaks, chips, discoloration, and/or sensitivity, we can help you decide whether a restorative treatment (such as veneers, bridges, crowns, dental implants, or dentures) is a good fit for your unique needs. All of these treatments are quite different from one another, but we will work with you to figure out if one is right for you.

Preventing Bruxism

The main cause of bruxism is stress and anxiety. Stress can wreak havoc on your entire body, so it’s important to identify the cause of your stress and implement healthy ways to eliminate, or at least cope with, the source. Many patients find that exercising, maintaining a healthy diet, spending time with loved ones, enjoying nature, getting a therapy animal, and meditating are all great ways to combat stress!

Consult with Our Expert Team

Don’t let bruxism prevent you from enjoying a healthy, beautiful smile. Whether you’ve just started grinding your teeth or need help restoring your smile after long-term damage, our team at Stratman Family Dentistry is here to help you! Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Why Choose a Family Dentist?

There are so many different types of medical professionals out there that it can be difficult to determine what kind of doctor you and your family should see. And that includes dentists. For patients with families, choosing a family dentist can make dental health a lot more convenient. Keep reading to find out what we mean.

What Exactly Is A Family Dentist?

It’s important to clarify what a family dentist is, as many confuse them with general dentists. While they are very similar, there is a difference. Family dentists have extensive experience in performing dental procedures for all ages and are well equipped to meet a variety of smile needs. In contrast, general dentists may limit their practice based on certain qualifications—age, for example. So let’s delve into why you may want to see a family dentist instead of a general dentist:

1. Family Dentists Can Save Time And Energy

If each member of your family has a different dentist, that means you’re going to have a make a lot of calls making different appointmenta. It also means you’re also going to have to drive to a lot of different offices. Over time, yearly appointments and multiple checkups can turn into quite a hassle for the average busy family. With a family dentist, however, all you need to do is set aside one day for dental visits at our office, and that’s it. You, your child, and your elderly parent can all receive dental treatment under the same roof.

2. Family Dentists Are Often More Flexible

Family dentists understand the unique needs families have in a way a general dentist may not. We know parents have demanding jobs, and kids have busy school schedules and extracurricular activities. Thus, we try to accomodate your schedule more than the average dentist who works 9-5. At our North Wilmot Road location, we are open Monday 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Thursday from 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Friday from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM. For our Oracle Road location, we are open Monday through Wednesday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Friday from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. We look forward to seeing every smile in your family at a time that is most convenient for you.

We Can Treat Your Entire Family!

At Stratman Family Dentistry, we are able to give your whole family all the care they need for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Contact us today to set up an appointment with our friendly team.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Dental Crown?

When the team at Stratman Family Dentistry recommends a dental crown, you’re bound to have questions. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Read on to learn why you’d need a dental crown and how our advanced dental technology can give you a dental crown in just one visit.

Reasons for a Dental Crown

There are several reasons why Dr. Stratman may recommend that you get a dental crown:

  • Extensive decay or when your tooth has a very large cavity that requires a filling that will compromise the strength of the natural tooth
  • After root canal therapy
  • Cosmetic reasons, including discoloration and damage like a chip or uneven wear

How Long Does It Take to Get a Dental Crown?

When Dr. Stratman advises his patients to get a dental crown, this is one of the first questions they ask – how long will it take? Although for years crowns were a complicated, multi-step, and multi-visit procedure that was inconvenient and disruptive, this is no longer the case with the advent of CEREC one-visit crowns.

What Is CEREC?

CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic. This advanced dental technology uses computer software, special cameras, and an in-office milling machine. With the use of CEREC, we can eliminate the middleman in many cases and create your custom crown in our office for same-day service. CEREC is also pivotal in other dental procedures, including bridges, inlays, and overlays.

A New Crown Over Lunch!

Before CEREC, a crown would take at least two visits – one to X-ray, numb, take an impression of the tooth, send the information off to an off-site milling lab to create the crown, fit a temporary crown, then a second appointment to cement the permanent crown. With CEREC, we will get the images needed to design the restoration, create your custom crown, and cement it to the tooth, all in one visit to our Tucson dental office! Generally we advise our patients to set aside two hours for this procedure – so, essentially an extended lunch break.

Contact Our Team with Additional Questions!

Are you still wondering if a CEREC crown is right for you? We’re happy to answer all of your questions and explain to you why we recommend CEREC crowns for so many of our patients. Contact us today.