Healthy Gums With One Special Tool | Durham NC Dentist

Loss of teeth, bad breath, and bleeding gums are among the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease. It can, however, start without any noticeable symptoms. When left untreated or undiagnosed, you could end up causing irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. Fortunately, preventing periodontal disease is possible. In fact, one of the most effective ways only takes a few minutes every day.

The Power of Floss

Since dental floss is easy to use and effective, it can be one of the best defenses against periodontal disease. The buildup of plaque and bacteria between your teeth contributes to periodontal disease. In addition to brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes, you should also floss every day. Dental floss allows you to reach areas that a toothbrush cannot. Food, debris, and sugar get caught in the gaps and tight spaces between teeth throughout the day. Flossing helps to remove these items from hard-to-reach places. If flossing is a difficult task for you, our dental office can offer solutions.

Flossing Facts

According to a survey by the American Dental Association, only 40% of Americans floss every day. Likewise, the study found a direct correlation between regular intra-oral care and improved dental health. However, many people do not brush and floss as frequently as they should. In a study conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology, 27% of adults were not honest about their flossing habits when asked by their dentist. Even though you do not have to floss every time you brush your teeth, you should make it a habit to floss at least once a day.

How to Floss Properly

It can be confusing to know how to properly use dental floss. Take about 18 inches of floss and keep it taught between your thumb and index finger. Use about one inch of floss to clean between your teeth. Place the dental floss in between two teeth. Slide the floss up and down between your teeth, rubbing it against both sides. It’s important not to glide the floss into your gums. This might cause your gums to bruise or scratch. Take a fresh piece of floss between each pair of adjacent teeth as you make your way through the 18 inches of floss.

A few minutes of flossing each day can contribute to a lifetime of good oral health. It is one of the best ways for you to keep your gums healthy and prevent tooth decay from forming between your teeth. Floss regularly—your gums will be grateful.

Make sure you visit your dentist two times each year to have your teeth cleaned and examined. Please contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

Healthy Gums for Seniors | Dentist in 27713

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Gum health is one of the most important things to remember for seniors. Your risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease increases with age. The good news is that periodontal disease is both preventable and reversible in many cases. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications, such as bleeding or swollen gums, and even tooth loss. Even more alarming are the studies found by our 27713 dentist linking periodontal disease with serious illnesses. 

We should take special care as we age to protect our teeth and gums from any future complications. Listed below are a few tips to ensure healthy gums as we age.

Health Effects of Periodontal Disease

There is a link between periodontal disease and serious health problems. Researchers from the University of Southampton and King’s College London found a link between periodontal disease and cognitive decline in people with early Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that patients with periodontal disease experienced cognitive decline six times as fast as those who did not.

Periodontal disease is also linked to an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. The risk of these serious health problems increases with age, among other causes, and it is especially important to limit potential risk factors. Regular dental cleanings and oral health screenings can ensure that your gums are healthy to avoid any health issues associated with gum disease.

Statistics to keep in mind

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that 14% of seniors aged 65 to 74 have moderate or severe periodontal disease. This percentage increases to more than 20% for seniors over 75. Periodontal disease was more prevalent in men than in women. In addition, smoking was found to be significantly associated with periodontal disease. In the same study, 32% of current smokers had periodontal disease, compared to 14% of non-smokers.

What You Can Do

As you age, it becomes increasingly important to take care of your gums. By doing so, you reduce your risk factors for serious ailments such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. A good oral hygiene routine will help maintain healthy gums by brushing twice a day for two minutes each and flossing daily. Flossing cleans the spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. Floss holders are available in many stores and may make flossing easier for some people.

For any questions you may have regarding your oral health, please feel free to contact our Durham, NC dental office. We would be happy to schedule a consultation appointment.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

Is Exercising Bad for Your Teeth? | 27713 Dentist

27713 Dentist

It is well known that exercise is essential for good health. Can it harm your teeth in the long run? A number of studies have linked fitness and exercise habits with increased risks of tooth decay and erosion. Some of the ways in which exercise can influence our dental health are as follows:

Dry Mouth 

Exercise that involves heavy mouth breathing can reduce saliva production and cause your mouth to be dry. Saliva contains minerals and enzymes that protect against decay-causing bacteria. During exercise, try to breathe through your nose as much as possible, and drink plenty of water before, during, and after you exercise to prevent your mouth from drying out, which can lead to tooth decay. Our dentist in Durham agrees that brushing your teeth before exercising will help you reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque on your teeth.

Clenching your teeth

If an athlete puts a lot of effort into lifting weights, they can clench their jaws. Studies have shown that clenching your jaw can result in wear on your teeth and possible tooth fractures. In order to protect your teeth from clenching, you may want to wear a mouthguard. Generally, mouth guards can be purchased from most drugstores or sporting goods stores, or you can have a customized mouthguard made by your dentist. We encourage everyone who participates in sporting activities to wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks contain a lot of sugar and have been shown to be 30 times more erosive to your teeth than water, so they can potentially do a great deal of damage. These drinks contain citric acid, which can soften the enamel of the teeth to the point that even brushing the teeth after consumption can be dangerous. Therefore, you should drink water instead of sports drinks to prevent these negative effects. It is also advisable not to sip on sports drinks over an extended period of time, as this creates a continual sugar bath for your teeth. If you do consume a sugary drink, it is best to drink it in a small window of time, then rinse your mouth with water afterward.

When we consume foods or drinks containing any form of sugar or carbohydrates, our mouth develops an acid that attacks the enamel of our teeth for 30 minutes. Our teeth can recover from three of these attacks a day, which includes our meals. It is best to consume sugar and carbohydrates at one time rather than continuously throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water after sugar or carbohydrate consumption can help reduce the acidity levels in our mouths. 

It is important to see your dentist twice a year to maintain good oral health. Please contact our dental office in Durham, NC to schedule an appointment.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

Sealants for Adults? | Durham NC Dentist

27713 Dentist

Sealants are often thought of as a treatment for children, but adults can also benefit from them. Sealants are used to protect our teeth by sealing the deep grooves and crevices in the chewing surfaces. According to a study performed by the American Dental Association, using sealants for adults can help prevent cavities from developing on healthy teeth.

What is a sealant?

A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating that is painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Although they do not replace daily brushing and flossing, dental sealants can prevent cavities from forming.

Despite being able to achieve good oral health at home, there are areas of the mouth that are hard to reach, making it more challenging to maintain good oral hygiene. You have grooves on your molars known as “pits” and “fissures.” Because these grooves are so deep, your toothbrush will not be able to clean them out. As a result, they trap food and bacteria, making them more susceptible to decay.

A consultation with your dentist will be able to determine whether or not dental sealants are a viable option for preventing tooth decay. Often, patients are surprised by how quickly and easily sealants can be applied, as shown below.

  • The teeth are thoroughly cleaned.
  • In the next step, the teeth are dried and etched with a solution that prepares the tooth surface for sealing.
  • We then apply the liquid sealant material, which flows directly into your teeth’s grooves.
  • A type of ultraviolet light called a curing light is placed on the tooth to harden the sealant material, which seals off the grooves and creates a smoother chewing surface that is easier to clean.

It is not necessary to do anything special to maintain a sealant, and you can brush and floss as usual. However, there are some precautions to keep in mind. Make sure you use a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste containing remineralizing agents like hydroxyapatite. Consumption of foods such as berries, coffee, tea, or red wine can also stain sealants. To reduce the likelihood of staining, it is recommended that you rinse your mouth after eating these foods. Finally, eating sticky, chewy, or hard foods may cause the sealant to wear down. Our dentist in Durham will check your sealants at each appointment for any signs of wear. 

With proper at-home care and regular professional dental cleaning, sealants can last up to ten years. Please contact our Durham, NC dental office if you have questions, and we would be happy to schedule an appointment.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

Your Child’s Routine Dental Appointment | Dentist Durham

Durham NC Teeth Whitening Dentist

The American Dental Association recommends that all patients schedule routine six-month check-up exams. This is particularly important for growing children. Their mouth is constantly changing, and they are often more prone to tooth decay. It is vital to establish the correct oral health habits when they are young so that it becomes a lifetime routine. 

At your child’s visit, we will screen their mouth for tooth decay and gum disease. We will also clean their teeth. Regular professional dental cleanings are essential for a healthy mouth. During your child’s dental cleaning, we will gently remove any buildup of plaque or tartar to help prevent tooth decay.

During this visit, our team will spend time discussing proper brushing technique and oral

hygiene with your child. Depending on your child’s age, we may also teach them about the correct use of floss and mouthwash. Our team members are friendly, patient, and great with kids, and will answer all questions that you or your child may have. 

We may recommend that fluoride be applied to the teeth as part of your child’s treatment. Topical fluoride is used to strengthen enamel and make teeth more resistant to tooth decay. The process is easy, safe, and effective. 

We also may recommend the placement of sealants for your child. Sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities on your child’s molars and premolars. These areas are the most susceptible to cavities due to the anatomized grooves.

Typically, children get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. These sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.

The process of applying sealants is easy and fast. The application steps are as follows:

●Your child’s teeth are thoroughly cleaned

●The teeth are dried

●A liquid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth

●The solution is cured using a special curing light

Sealants act as a barrier and protect the enamel from plaque and acids. They may last for several years before a reapplication is needed. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants are not a substitute for brushing your teeth. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and keep up with professional dental cleanings. Also, sealants do not protect between teeth, so it is essential to continue to floss daily.

Our expert dentist in Durham, NC and knowledgeable team have the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, gums and mouth throughout various stages of childhood. For more information or to request an appointment, contact our Durham, NC dental office today.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

Creating A More Youthful Smile | Durham NC Family Dentist

27713 Dentist

Your smile is one of the first things a person will notice when they meet you. You can create a more youthful smile with one simple procedure. Whitening your teeth can make you look younger, especially if your teeth are currently stained, dull or discolored. Our dentist in 27713 provides whitening services for new and existing patients. 

Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, over time, discoloration will occur. The main causes of stained teeth are genetics, antibiotics, tobacco and certain foods. As we age, our teeth darken as well. While preventing tooth discoloration is nearly impossible, our experienced team can help reverse the effects of discoloration by helping to create a whiter and brighter smile.

Whether it’s an in-office treatment or at-home treatment, the principles of teeth whitening are the same. A special whitening agent is applied to the teeth in order to bleach stains and brighten your smile. Our dentist will discuss your whitening needs and goals with you to determine which option is best for you.

In-office teeth whitening is the quickest method to a brighter, whiter smile. With the supervision of an experienced dental professional, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than with at-home kits. Optimal results are achieved much faster with the professional whitening treatment, and in many ways the results are better given the nature of the bleaching agents that are used. Patients find that they appear younger just by restoring their bright, white smile. 

During a professional teeth whitening treatment, we will first clean the teeth. We will then apply a whitening agent to your teeth, carefully avoiding your gums and soft tissue. Once applied, a laser light will be directed at the teeth to expedite the process. For maximum results, the process may be repeated more than once.


If a visit to our office for professional whitening isn’t an option for you, at-home treatment may provide the whitening you need. You will find a vast variety of at-home teeth whitening products on the market, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays and more. We can fit you with custom-made whitening trays that will more accurately conform to your teeth for a more even whitening result. At-home teeth whitening results are less dramatic compared to those achieved in the office. 

If you are looking to brighten your smile and create a more youthful appearance for your teeth, contact our Durham, NC dental office for more information or to schedule a consultation today.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

Making Oral Hygiene Fun for Your Child | Durham Dentist

dentist durham nc

As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow. It can be difficult to get young children to cooperate with brushing and flossing. Making the routine as exciting as possible will make your life easier. Here are some useful tips shared by our dentist in Durham, NC for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun:

  • Pick out a special toothbrush

One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush. Electric or battery-operated toothbrushes are an even better option to remove plaque and add some excitement to brushing. 

  • Choose children’s toothpaste

Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good. Just be sure that they don’t swallow too much. 

  • Use a timer

Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally. There are a lot of fun apps that will even make a game out of brushing. By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing.

  • Brush (and floss) together

A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing and flossing together emphasizes to your child that oral hygiene is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit.

For more tips on making dentistry fun for your child, contact our dental office in Durham, NC.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

The Importance of Screening for Oral Cancer | Dentist in 27713

27713 Dentist

Like with every form of cancer, early diagnosis can have a profound impact on the success of your treatment. Regular oral cancer screenings are your first line of defense against oral cancer and our 27713 dentist is thoroughly trained in screening for oral cancer.

During your screening, we will check your lips, tongue, gums, mouth, and throat for any abnormalities that could be or become cancerous. We will give careful consideration to any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have experienced any oral cancer symptoms for more than two weeks without improvement, schedule an appointment and tell your dentist immediately. Symptoms that could indicate oral cancer include:

●Ear pain

●Mouth sores that don’t heal

●White or red patches in your mouth

●Dramatic weight loss

●Lumps or swelling in or around your mouth

●Sore throat without other sinus symptoms

●Sensation of something caught in the back of your throat

●Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

One adult American dies of oral cancer every hour. Though anyone can develop oral cancer, some factors can increase your risks. Some of the most common risk factors include: genetic predisposition, prolonged sun exposure, unhealthy diet, smoking, chewing tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Oral cancer is more common in men than women. 

Whatever the cause, the success of treatment depends on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. Early detection can play a critical role in your successful recovery. When found in early stages, oral cancers have an 80–90% survival rate. Oral cancers that are found in early or precancerous stages can often be removed and require less invasive procedures to treat. Later stages of cancer are likely to be larger and more complex and often have spread far beyond your mouth.

If you would like more information about oral cancer and oral cancer screening, contact our Durham, NC dental office for a consultation or to schedule a comprehensive dental exam.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Disease | 27713 Dentist

27713 Dentist

Almost half of the population in the United States has been diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can range from gingivitis (mild inflammation) to  periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue damage, bone destruction, and even tooth loss. Our experienced dentist is trained to treat all stages of periodontal disease in both new and existing patients. 

A main cause of gum disease is the lack of practicing proper oral hygiene habits.  Habits such as daily brushing and flossing, along with regular professional exams and cleanings, are the key to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed on a regular basis, plaque forms on the teeth and underneath the gum tissue. If this plaque is not removed, within time it may harden become tartar. Only a dental professional can remove tartar from teeth during a dental cleaning. 

If gum disease is not treated during the early stages, tartar and bacteria may continue to multiply causing the disease to advance. Gums redden, swell, and become painful and prone to bleeding. When the disease reaches this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent further advancement. 

Periodontitis is generally considered the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to recede away from the teeth, creating “pockets” in between the tooth, root, and gum tissue. These spaces are very difficult to clean and require professional attention. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by the disease. In fact, one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.

Some of the most common risk factors for periodontal disease include poor oral hygiene, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, smoking, genetics, and female hormonal changes. Some medications can even cause gum tissue overgrowth, which can increase difficulty in proper oral hygiene. 

Our 27713 dentist has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you are experiencing bad breath, bleeding or painful gums, sensitive teeth, or teeth that are becoming loose, contact our dental office in Durham, NC to schedule a periodontal evaluation. We provide excellent, comprehensive periodontal care for both new and existing patients.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713

The Benefit of Adding Flossing to Your Routine | Dentist Durham NC

27713 Dentist

You have heard the recommendation from your dental hygienist or our 27713 dentist over and over again: “You need to start flossing. Flossing daily is important.” Although it may sound like a broken record at times, flossing truly is instrumental to both your oral and overall dental health. It is important to understand the benefits of flossing daily to keep your smile shining bright. 

Flossing not only protects your gum tissue, but also the surrounding bone support. When you floss, you clean the plaque (dental bacteria) in between your teeth. Simply brushing your teeth does not allow you to reach the areas in between where your teeth touch together. The bacteria can build up and eventually harden into tartar. A combination of bacteria in your mouth and tartar under the gum line can lead to periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss. 

Periodontal disease not only affects your oral health, but your systemic health as well. Long term, unresolved inflammation in your body can lead to many issues. The bacteria found in the mouth that cause periodontal disease have also been shown to circulate throughout the bloodstream. It has been proven that there is a correlation between these bacteria and heart disease, stroke, increased blood sugar levels/diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, among many other diseases. 

A consistent routine of flossing, when paired with brushing and professional cleanings, can save you money in the long run. Preventative care can reduce more severe problems down the road. Flossing can help decrease the amount of decay you develop in between your teeth, therefore decreasing the amount of dental work that needs to be done. It is a great way to stop the problems before they even begin. 

Although it may sound repetitive, you truly do want to heed the advice of a dental professional when it comes to flossing. The old saying “only floss the teeth that you want to keep” holds true. Contact our Durham, NC dental office for a full dental examination and a professional cleaning, including an evaluation of your oral hygiene habits and how they can be improved.

Park Place Dental of Durham
Phone: (919) 484-8088
cash, credit card
245 E NC Hwy 54, Suite 204
Durham, NC 27713