3 Things You Can Do to Avoid Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease can be devastating to your smile. Gum disease can cause gum recession and eventually tooth loss. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to prevent periodontal disease in Owensboro and Beaver Dam KY. Below, we’ve outlined some of the things you can do to maintain good oral health.

1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene At Home

Good oral health starts with good oral hygiene at home. There are many things you can do to keep your teeth clean, with less bacteria. Some examples:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily. Brush your teeth once in the morning and once at night before bed, following the instructions provided to you by your dentist.
  • Floss once per day. Floss every night before bed, again following flossing instructions provided to you by your dentist.
  • Switch to an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes use an oscillating motion to get the teeth especially clean. Most models also come with a timer to ensure you brush your teeth for long enough.

2. See the Dentist Twice Per Year

Unless yourdentist in Owensboro and Beaver Dam KY tells you otherwise, you should go in to see the dentist twice per year. Your dentist can examine your teeth, clean away plaque and tartar, and diagnose any conditions in their early stages.

3. Know the Signs of Periodontal Disease

Know the signs of periodontal disease, and see your dentist if you notice any of them. Signs include:

  • Bleeding, swollen gums
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away with brushing your teeth
  • Loose or missing permanent teeth
  • Receding gums

Are you noticing the signs of gum disease? Get help from a dental professional. At Dr. Travis Wilson Family Dentistry, we diagnose and treat periodontal disease. Call today to make an appointment.


Best Foods for Your Oral Health

Brushing and flossing daily can do wonders for your oral health. However, did you know that certain foods can also be healthy for your teeth and gums? In this post, we’ll talk about the best foods for your oral health.

Fiber-Rich Fruits and Veggies

Fiber is great for our dental health, especially in the form of fruits and vegetables. These fiber-rich foods help to clean our teeth and gums, resulting in a cleaner, healthier smile. Furthermore, these foods get saliva flowing, which is also very beneficial for reducing dental issues. In fact, this can even help prevent cavities and gum disease.

While eating fiber-rich foods is important, you should also visit a dentist for routine checkups. To schedule a checkup and teeth cleaning in Owensboro, KY, or the surrounding area, make an appointment with Dr. Travis Wilson today!

Dairy Products

Several dairy products are also excellent for our dental health. This includes plain yogurt, cheese, milk, and other forms of dairy. These foods help to create more saliva, and the calcium and phosphates help to restore minerals lost in your teeth. Another perk is that dairy products rebuild tooth enamel, keeping your teeth strong and healthy.

Fatty Fish

Eating fish benefits many areas of our bodies, including our teeth and gums. One reason is its high source of vitamin D, which is necessary for almost every system in our body. Another benefit of this vitamin is its ability to lower the risk of tooth decay. Vitamin D and vitamin K2 work together to bring calcium to our teeth, helping to strengthen the enamel. Fatty fish is also rich in omega-3s, which supports gum health and may even help prevent and treat gum disease.

Speak with our dentist in Owensboro, KY, today to learn more beneficial foods for your oral health!


5 Reasons to Floss

Flossing refers to cleaning between the teeth. Traditionally, people used a long piece of floss to accomplish this, hence the term, flossing. However, today there are numerous easy-to-use tools designed for flossing (e.g., interdental brushes, floss picks). Along with biannual dental cleanings from a dentist in Owensboro or Beaver Dam, Kentucky, daily brushing and flossing are critical aspects of good dental hygiene.

What Makes Flossing So Important?

When food remains trapped between the teeth, harmful bacteria and fungi within the mouth are able to thrive. These microorganisms protect themselves and cling to the teeth by becoming enmeshed within the sticky biofilm (aka plaque) that covers the surface of the teeth. Removing food debris reduces plaque build up, which deprives the bacteria and fungi of the nourishment they need to survive.

Neglecting to floss can lead to a variety of problems:

  1. Tartar buildup – plaque hardens into tartar. Once hardened, at-home removal is no longer an option. Tartar must be removed by a dental professional who uses a variety of specialized tools. If tartar is not removed, gum disease (aka gingivitis) may result.
  2. Halitosis – chronic bad breath. Studies indicate that approximately 90% of chronic bad breath results from the volatile sulfurous compounds (VSCs) that the anaerobic bacteria in the mouth release.
  3. Dental caries (aka cavities) – as a tooth’s hard outer layer (i.e., enamel) sustains damage (i.e., decays), its structure weakens and breaks away. This damage is referred to as a cavity. Without restorative treatment from a dentist in Owensboro or Beaver Dam, Kentucky, the damaged tooth may become infected. At this point, the individual will most likely begin experiencing pain.
  4. Gum disease – tartar buildup can contribute to swollen, red, sensitive gum tissue that bleeds. The damage that the first stage of gum disease, which is referred to as gingivitis, causes is reversible. Nonetheless, if treatment for gum disease is not sought, once an individual develops periodontitis, any damage the disease causes is permanent.
  5. Cardiac problems – the bacteria responsible for causing the gingival tissue to swell may be able to enter the bloodstream via an opening in the tissue. Once in the bloodstream, these bacteria can contribute to inflammation in other areas of the body, including the heart.

If you are in the Beaver Dam or Owensboro, Kentucky, area, and you are concerned about your dental health, contact Dr. Travis Wilson today. To schedule an appointment at Dr. Wilson’s dental office in Owensboro, Kentucky, please call (270) 926-6040 or for an appointment at his office in Beaver Dam, Kentucky, office, please call (270) 274-3645.

5 Tips to Maintain Healthy Teeth This Summer

Maintaining healthy teeth is important at all times of the year, but it’s especially important in the summer when you’re likely to attend big gatherings with lots of food and dessert. Knowing how to maintain healthy teeth this summer can help you avoid an infection, cavity or another painful dental problem.

1. Floss Regularly – Even At Events

Floss after meals, especially when you’ve eaten summer foods that can easily be caught between your teeth, like corn on the cob and ribs. Flossing may sound challenging if you spend half your summer attending barbecues, but this gets easier when you bring floss with you. Put floss in your purse, your glove compartment, or your backpack.

2. Swish After Eating Staining Foods

Barbecue sauces, berries and iced coffee are all popular in summer – and all can stain your teeth. You can head off some of these problems by swishing with water after eating or drinking something that can stain your teeth. Chasing staining foods and beverages with water can help keep away the worst of the stains.

3. Minimize Sugar Intake

It’s hard not to eat a lot of sugar in summer. Ice cream, milk shakes, cherry pie – these popular desserts make an appearance at family get togethers, barbecues and other social events. Do your best to minimize your sugar intake. Moderation is good for you!

4. See the Dentist

Make an appointment to see the dentist in Owensboro KY this summer. Your dentist will clean your teeth and can also catch dental problems in their early stages.

5. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

In addition to getting preventative care in Owensboro KY from your dentist, it’s also important to maintain good oral hygiene at home. Brush your teeth and floss every evening, and brush in the morning as well. Have more questions? Call Travis Wilson Family Dentistry today.

Should I Be Cleaning My Child’s Teeth?

Many parents clean their child’s teeth for them until they reach an age when they can do it themselves. Knowing when, why and how to clean your child’s teeth can help you take care of your child’s oral hygiene. We’ve posted the article below to give some guidance on this issue. It’s also important to work with your dentist in Owensboro, KY to find out what you can be doing to help your child.

When and How to Clean Your Child’s Teeth

It’s common for parents to clean their child’s teeth until they’ve reached the age of about 7 or 8. Children do not have the manual dexterity to properly clean their own teeth, so they need help from their parents to ensure that their mouth is cleaned properly.

To clean your child’s teeth, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Children who are too young to understand that you should not swallow your toothpaste should not have fluoridated toothpaste. Check with your child’s dentist to get a toothpaste recommendation.

Brush your child’s teeth for two minutes. Your dentist can show you some tricks for getting their teeth brushed properly. You can use a timer to time their tooth brushing, or you can sing a song for two minutes.

How to Ensure Your Child Has Good Dental Hygiene

Take your child for regular dental exams in Owensboro, KY to ensure that your child has good dental hygiene. Your dentist can tell you how often your child should be coming in for exams and cleaning. Children are prone to getting cavities, so don’t let this appointment slide! Call Dr. Travis Wilson Family Dentistry to make an appointment today.

Where’s My Bad Breath Coming From?

Do you suffer from bad breath? Do you have this problem even though you brush your teeth regularly? Many things can cause bad breath, so brushing regularly may not be enough to make your breath smell better.

If you have a problem with bad breath, one of the things you can do is work with your dentist in Owensboro, KY. By seeing the dentist regularly, you can avoid the problems that cause bad breath.

It’s also important to know the causes of bad breath. Knowing the potential cause may help you find a solution. Here’s what to know.

Causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath typically comes from bacteria in the mouth, but can also come from the food you eat. Here’s a short list of things that can lead to bad breath:

  • Smoking
  • Eating certain foods like onions and garlic
  • Poor dental hygiene and dental hygiene problems like gingivitis
  • An infection in the mouth

Dry mouth also contributes to bad breath, because saliva helps keep the mouth clean. If you have dry mouth – maybe because you smoke or you take medications that dry out your mouth – then you may suffer from bad breath.

What You Can Do

If you have bad breath that never seems to get better, schedule a dental exam in Owensboro, KY. Most likely, your dentist can tell you the cause of your bad breath right away.

Other things you can do to keep your breath smelling beautiful include:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily
  • Floss regularly
  • See the dentist every six months
  • Brush your tongue as well as your teeth
  • Stop smoking
  • Rinse your mouth after eating
  • Drink lots of water

Are you suffering from bad breath? Contact Travis Wilson DMD to make an appointment!

How to Use Mouthwash

When your dentist in Beaver Dam, KY advises you to rinse after brushing and flossing, they are hoping you know how to use mouthwash. Using mouthwash may seem straightforward, but there are important things to keep in mind.

Don’t Drink From the Bottle

Mouthwash caps are typically large and shaped in the ideal size for one “dose.” However, you should never actually drink from the cap or from the bottle itself. Doing either of these will result in your contaminating the entire bottle with mouth bacteria. If you share a bottle of mouthwash with other members of the family, it’s even worse. Instead, keep a clean glass or mini paper cups in the bathroom for dispensing each “dose” of the mouthwash.

Keep Mouthwash Away From Kids

Children will have a hard time avoiding swallowing tasty mouthwash. Even the adult, minty varieties are tempting to swallow for kids. The best thing is to avoid buying those bright, shiny, fruity and bubble-gum flavored mouthwashes for kids, and to keep adult mouthwashes away from children. Instead, let kids simply rinse with warm water.

Finish with a Gargle

Did you know that mouth bacteria can get very far back in the throat? Gargling with mouthwash helps to remove harmful bacteria that may be lurking far back at the top of the throat. The last thing you should do before finishing up your oral hygiene routine is to gargle for 30 seconds or so and then spit into the sink.

Use Mouthwash in the Morning

When you awaken in the morning to use the toilet facilities, make a habit of rinsing quickly with mouthwash, even before you brush. This will help rid your mouth of bacteria that built up while you slept.

Visit your Beaver Dam, KY dentist for more recommendations for using various types of mouthwash and about oral hygiene in general. Contact us today to book your appointment.

Should I be Cleaning My Tongue?

Anyone who has been inside a drugstore can see that there are products available for cleaning your tongue. Your dentist in Owensboro, KY always advises patients to brush, floss and rinse, but not much is heard about cleaning the tongue. Is this extra step in oral hygiene really necessary, or is it marketing hype to get you to buy products?

Why You Should Clean Your Tongue

Hundreds of microscopic papillae, or finger-like projections that give your tongue its rough texture, cover your tongue. These papillae, interestingly, generate a pattern on your tongue that is as individual as your fingerprints. However, they also leave a carpet-like surface on your tongue, making plaque, germs, food debris, and dead skin cells easy to collect. This can result in foul breath as well as a variety of other oral health problems. In addition to seeing a dentist on a regular basis to keep your tongue healthy, there are several simple methods to keep it clean and enhance your general health.

How to Clean Your Tongue

By adding a minute or two to your daily oral hygiene regimen, you can keep your tongue clean and healthy. Here are two ways to get it done.

1. Brush your Tongue with your Toothbrush

Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush is the simplest approach, since you’re already standing there with a toothbrush in hand. After cleaning your teeth, rinse your brush and brush the whole surface area of your tongue for 15-30 seconds. Rinse once more.

2. Use a Tongue Scraper

Extend your tongue as far as possible. Place the tongue scraper on the back of your tongue. While exerting mild pressure, push the scraper on your tongue and slide it toward the front of your tongue. Rinse after every scrape by running it under warm water to remove any dirt or bacteria. During the tongue scraping, spit out any extra saliva that has accumulated. Repeat as needed.

Everybody Gets at Least One Cavity, Right?

It often seems like cavities are an inevitable part of life. After all, everyone you know has probably had at least one cavity. You yourself may have had one or more cavities over the years. But it may surprise you to know that not everyone gets cavities. In fact, there are many people who have never had a cavity.

Genetic Predisposition to Cavities

There is a large genetic factor insofar as to who gets cavities and who doesn’t. What kind of bacteria you have, the shape of your teeth, and even the composition of your saliva make you more or less predisposed to developing cavities. These are things you can’t control, but there are many things that you can control in order to avoid getting cavities.

How to Avoid Cavities

There are lots of ways to avoid getting cavities, no matter what. Of course, brushing, flossing and rinsing after each meal are essential. Regular visits with your dentist in Owensboro, KY are essential, too. Your diet plays an important part; avoiding excess alcohol and sugar is imperative. Keep in mind that fresh fruit is good, but too much exposes you to excess fructose, a naturally-occurring sugar. And now, there is a new dental treatment that creates another layer of protection between your teeth and harmful bacteria. Dental sealants are available for children and those at higher risk of developing cavities. If you keep getting cavities no matter how much brushing you do, you might be a good candidate for dental sealants.

Remember, if you aren’t genetically predisposed to cavities, that doesn’t mean you are “immune” to getting them. And those who are genetically disposed of aren’t necessarily guaranteed to get cavities. Diet, oral hygiene and having regular appointments with your dentist in Owensboro, KY are key factors, whatever your genetics are. Contact us today to book your next appointment.

Do You Really Have to Give up Candy For Oral Health?

When you visit your Beaver Dam and Owensboro, KY dentist, they will advise you to do what you can at home to support your own oral health. This will likely include avoiding certain things, like excessive drinking and smoking, and avoiding excess sugar in the diet. But, you might think to yourself, is a little candy really so bad? If you have what is commonly called a sweet tooth, do you really have to completely deprive yourself of one of your favorite indulgences?

Indulgence is the Key Word

Well, in this case, indulgence is the key word. An indulgence is something that you partake in in small amounts. It’s something you enjoy every now and then, and just a little bit. If candy is a little indulgence for you, then there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a little bit every now and then.

The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate has been shown to have certain health benefits. Dark chocolate is often sweetened much less than regular chocolate. If you and your doctor feel that a little bit of dark chocolate is beneficial to your health—even a nibble every single day—then there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy it.

Avoid Large Quantities

What you don’t want to do is to eat large quantities of candy very often. For optimal oral health, don’t be that person in the office with a drawer full of licorice and candy bars. This kind of candy consumption will almost inevitably lead to infection or cavities or both.

Most adults are very aware that sugar can cause problems or even lead to the need for tooth extraction in Owensboro, KY. Knowing the risks, this particular food item should be avoided as much as possible.