Dentist Blog

Posts for: November, 2014

By Murphy Dental Group, PLLC
November 25, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Teeth WhiteningTeeth whitening has become a popular cosmetic procedure over the last decade, and it seems that we just can’t seem to get our teeth white enough. In America, we spend over $1.4 billion each year on tooth whitening products. In fact, tooth whitening has even increased by 300 percent over the last few years. If you’ve been trying to keep your pearly whites as white as possible, you might find it frustrating when you see yellow teeth shining back at you in the mirror; however, have you ever considered that your diet could be to blame?
While everyone knows that coffee, tea and smoking are the most common stain-producing culprits, here are some lesser known foods and beverages that could be keeping you from a brighter smile.

Common Stain-Producing Culprits:

1. Sports drinks

After a great weightlifting session or a strenuous run through the park, you might feel proud of yourself for grabbing a sports drink over soda or juice; however, sports drinks are actually highly acidic, which can cause enamel erosion. Plus, most sports drinks are loaded with sugar, which we know wreaks havoc on your teeth. If you just can’t part with your favorite sports drinks, then the best thing you can do is drink it quickly rather than sipping it. At least then your smile won’t be exposed to the acid and sugar for quite as long.

2. White wine

Everyone seems pretty well aware that red wine can stain your teeth; however, white wine might actually cause more damage than originally thought. The chemicals found in white wine can darken teeth and strip your teeth of its healthy enamel. If you do plan to indulge in a glass of white wine, wait at least a half hour before brushing your teeth so you don’t risk pushing those chemicals onto other surfaces of your teeth. The best thing you can do is wash your mouth out with water after consuming a glass.

3. Peanut butter

This sticky treat is often packed full of sugar, which makes this a double whammy for your teeth. The peanut butter will feed the bacteria and also stick to your smile, causing stains and enamel erosion. If you can’t part with your peanut butter, then try to only purchase brands that contain no added sugar.

Call Murphy Dental Group, PLLC Today!

If you don’t know what’s causing the discolorations in your smile, give us a call. We can sit down with you and pinpoint what things in your diet could be causing problems for your teeth. Plus, we can discuss whether teeth whitening could benefit you and your smile. In the meantime, keep these foods and drinks out of your diet and you’ll notice a difference.
Are you a patient of Murphy Dental Group, PLLC? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences below!

By Murphy Dental Group
November 19, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   smoking  

It’s been widely established for decades that cigarette smoking contributes to cancer and heart disease. But did you know smoking will also increase your risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, as well as nuisance problems like tooth staining, bad breath and diminished taste perception?

Its effects on your teeth and mouth are all the more reason to quit smoking. But deciding and following through are two different things: many smokers find it painfully difficult to quit due to their addiction to nicotine, tobacco’s active ingredient.

But while difficult, it can be done. Here are 4 tips to help you follow through on your decision to quit smoking.

Change Your Response to Stress. Cigarette smoking is closely tied to the pleasure and reward areas of your brain. With its “hit” of nicotine, you sub-consciously identify smoking as a way to relieve the unpleasant feelings of stress. Instead, substitute other stress relievers when it occurs: going for a walk, talking to a friend or taking a few deep breaths. In time, this substitution will wear down the trigger response to stress you’ve developed with smoking.

Gradually Reduce Nicotine. You don’t have to quit abruptly or “cold turkey”: over the course of a few weeks, try switching to brands with decreasing levels of nicotine. Each week change to a brand with 0.2-0.4 milligrams less nicotine yield than the brand you were smoking the previous week. When you reach the lowest nicotine yield you can find, begin reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. You can find a list of nicotine yields by brand at

Quitting Loves Company. While you’re responsible for quitting, you may also benefit from the support of others. Usually eight to ten weeks of peer group sessions, a cessation support group provides instruction and ample structure with others engaged in the same struggle. You can usually locate one of these support groups by asking your healthcare provider.

Talk to Your Doctor or Dentist. Next to you or your family, no one wants you to quit more than we do! We can provide you information, treatment and encouragement as you take this big step toward improving your life and health.

If you would like more information on how to quit smoking, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic and more tips for quitting by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Tips to Help You Stop Smoking.”

By Murphy Dental Group
November 04, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   bonding  

So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?

Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!

Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.

If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.

If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.

A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.

Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”