Know the Signs of Periodontal Disease

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

Periodontal disease is a common dental ailment that affects one out of every two American adults that are 30 years old and older. It’s no small thing. In fact, periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the developed world. But it affects more than your teeth, periodontal disease has also been linked to Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart disease and more! You may be wondering, “What are some periodontal disease symptoms?”  You may be surprised to learn that you already experiencing some of them.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal means “around the tooth” in Greek. Periodontal disease, also called periodontitis or simply gum disease, is the disease of the gum tissues surrounding your teeth and the jawbone that anchors the teeth in place. It begins with bacteria in the mouth that leads to infections in the roots of teeth and the gums and, if untreated, can end with tooth loss.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

The main cause of periodontal disease is leaving bacteria in plaque untreated. These bacteria in our mouths combine with mucus and other particles to form plaque on our teeth. The plaque that isn’t removed by brushing and flossing solidifies and forms tartar.

To kill the bacteria, our immune systems release defensive cells that cause areas around the teeth to become inflamed. As our gums swell, pulling away from the teeth and forming little pockets that more bacteria can settle in.

Other factors that can lead to gum disease include:

  • Smoking/tobacco use
  • Hormonal changes (such as puberty, pregnancy, or menopause)
  • Certain illnesses
  • Genetics
  • Poor nutrition
  • Stress
  • Clenching or grinding teeth

Stages Of Periodontal Disease

Inflammation of the gums without loss of bone is called gingivitis.  It is a mild and reversible form of periodontal disease, but not all gingivitis progresses into gum disease. Plaque builds up on our teeth and our gums become inflamed, but our teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets. However, if this is left untreated, this gum inflammation can lead to gum disease.

Periodontal disease is when the destruction has begun to affect the underlying bone. The pockets created by inflammation of gums around the teeth deepen and more and more gum tissue and bone are affected. Eventually, from the loss of gum support, the teeth can become loose and fall out.

What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

  • Gums easily bleed while brushing and flossing.
  • Swollen or tender gums.
  • Gums that pull away from teeth.
  • Changes in bite.
  • Deep pockets between teeth and gums.
  • Loose or shifting teeth.
  • Pus between your teeth and gums.
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth.
  • New spaces developing between your teeth.

When You Should See a Dentist

Periodontal disease isn’t always painful; some people don’t even know they have it. A periodontal evaluation done with x-rays is the best way to diagnose and treat gum disease. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, schedule an appointment soon. Taking care of your periodontal disease now not only improves the health of your mouth and teeth but can also positively affect your overall health.

Dr. J. Stephen Hoard in New Bern NC wants to help you prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontal disease. Regular cleanings, check-up’s and minimally invasive treatments should be enough to protect your teeth and gums from periodontal disease. However, your bleeding gums might be a sign of gum disease. Don’t wait to find out! Contact us online today to schedule an appointment or call 252.507.0373.

Posted in: Uncategorized

Are Root Canals Painful?

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

Root canal: The procedure’s name has the power to make people break out in a cold sweat. Why are so many people so afraid of root canals? If you were to ask them, you’d likely get all sorts of answers. As with a lot of things, people are afraid of what they don’t understand. But a little knowledge can bring all those fears out into the light. So let’s take a closer look at the dreaded root canal.

A root canal treatment is also commonly referred to as simply a “root canal.” It becomes necessary when the tissues inside your tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected and needs to be removed from the pulp chamber. This usually results from deep decay (cavities) or a chip or crack in the surface of your tooth. The infection in the pulp can spread down through the root canals of your teeth into tissues of your gums. This infection, called an abscess, can be very painful and can be dangerous to your overall health, possibly even leading to heart disease.

You may need a root canal treatment if you have a tooth that is sensitive to hot and cold, to touch or is painful to use when chewing. Inflamed and sensitive gums around the tooth are another indicator. Informing Dr. J Stephen Hoard of New Bern NC of these and any other symptoms you may be having during exams will allow him to decide if a root canal is necessary and appropriate for your condition. Dr. Hoard will perform some root canals, depending on the severity of the condition. For very severe cases, he may refer you to an endodontist. An endodontist is a dental specialist who specializes in treating the insides of your teeth.

In a root canal procedure, your dentist or endodontist drills down into the crown of your infected tooth and removes the infected pulp from pulp chamber and the root canals below. As adults our teeth can survive without the pulp as it they continue to be nourished by the surrounding tissues. Once the pulp has been removed, a biocompatible material will be inserted to temporarily fill the now-empty space inside your tooth until the restoration process can begin. In some cases, where tooth decay has severely broken down one of the roots and made the tooth unstable, a tiny metal rod may be inserted down into the root to secure the tooth in your gums.

During the restoration process a crown will be created and placed over the tooth that has been treated. Your dentist or specialist will construct the crown, matching it to the natural hue of your teeth, and will use it to seal up and protect the tooth from another infection. Within a few days, the swelling of the inflamed tissues goes down and the “new” tooth can be used to chew and be cleaned just like your natural teeth.

Many people avoid root canals due to the belief that the procedure will be painful or because they may have heard “horror stories” of complications from the procedure. Some even have teeth pulled rather than undergo the treatment. Dentist prefer root canals to extractions to save the natural teeth as empty spaces in your teeth can lead to teeth shifting positions and even further decay and even bone loss. There is no need to risk this. Root canals may have been painful a few decades ago but with our modern technology and anesthetics, the procedure is only about as painful as having a filling placed.

So the big, bad root canal isn’t so scary after all. Instead it’s a helpful procedure intended to alleviate pain and preserve your natural teeth, allowing you to chew properly and smile confidently. As with most ailments, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Brushing twice daily, flossing daily and scheduling regular exams with Dr. Hoard are all important steps to avoid needing a root canal, especially if your teeth have recently developed any chips or cracks. But if you do need a root canal, now you know there’s nothing to fear. To schedule with Dr. Hoard today, call 252.507.0373 or schedule an appointment online.

Posted in: General Dentist New Bern

Are You Flossing Correctly?

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

You may already be brushing your teeth twice a day. This should be an important part of your oral hygiene regimen. Equally important, if not more so, is flossing. Brushing only affects the bacteria and particles that are easy to reach and remove. This bacteria combines with saliva and food particles to create plaque, a sticky but clear and colorless substance that adheres to your teeth. Plaque creates a fertile environment for tooth decay and eventually cavities.

This where flossing comes in. Flossing can remove the plaque that your toothbrush cannot reach in places such as in between your teeth. However, it is important that you are flossing correctly. As the old adage says “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Flossing can be that ounce of prevention, helping you to avoid painful, time-consuming and potentially costly dental procedures that may become necessary due to tooth decay being allowed to flourish unchecked between teeth.

But how are we supposed to floss? What is the proper technique? The steps below will educate you on the proper method. See if your flossing measures up to how the professionals (your dentist) recommends you do it.

  1. Around your middle fingers wrap a length of floss about eighteen inches long. You can use your thumbs and forefingers to move the floss. Wind more around one finger than the other so you can wind the dirty used floss toward the finger with less floss wrapped around it and use a fresh length.
  2. Push the floss between two teeth and use a gentle “sawing” motion all the way from the top of the teeth down to their base where they erupt from your gums.
  3. Wrap the floss around the side of one tooth, making a “U” shape then gently slide up and down your tooth. Repeat this several times, making sure to go slightly underneath the gum-line, then repeat on the other side of the tooth.
  4. Again make sure you wind up the floss around your finger so you’re using a clean length of floss for each space between your teeth that you floss.
  5. Do not be alarmed if you see that your gums are bleeding as you floss. This is due to inflammation caused by the bacteria dwelling there. If you floss daily as recommended by your dentist, you should see an improvement in the health of gums in one to two weeks.

Some people prefer to use floss picks, which are “Y” shaped pieces of plastic with floss strung between the “arms” of the “Y”. Although using these is preferable to not flossing at all, dentists prefer using a length of “free” floss and your hands. Floss picks are at a disadvantage when it comes to proper flossing as you cannot wrap them around a tooth in the “U” shape recommended above due to it being already strung in a straight line.  

“Super floss”, a special thick and fuzzy type of floss, is also available. This type of floss is used to floss between teeth with extra space in between them. For teeth with very little space between them, squeezing even regular floss in between can be difficult. Floss can become stuck, shred or even break. These difficulties can lead to people choosing not to floss due to frustration. Waxed floss is available to help you get into those tight spaces you may have between your teeth.  

Whatever you choose make sure that it is American Dental Association approved to be safe for use. You should only use a length of floss once. Bacteria that has been removed on floss can linger and make you sick if reintroduced later.

Research recommends flossing after your brush as there will already be less plaque and food particles to get stuck on the floss.  If you have any additional questions about brushing, flossing or your oral health, call 252.507.0373 or schedule an appointment online with Dr. J. Stephen Hoard today.

Posted in: bleeding gums, Dental Care, General Dentistry, oral hygiene

3 Facts About Wisdom Teeth

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

wisdom teeth new bern nc dentist

Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing anxiety in patients even before they’ve experienced symptoms. Some patients may never have problems with their wisdom teeth, but it’s one of the most dreaded procedures in oral health. New Bern dentist Dr. J Stephen Hoard can help alleviate some of that anxiety.

1. Not Everyone Has Them

Some people are born without wisdom teeth! Dentists can see whether a patient’s wisdom teeth will ever erupt on a dental X-ray. If a patient doesn’t show any signs of the third molars below the gum line by their mid-twenties, there’s a good chance they aren’t going to develop. In some cases, however, wisdom teeth can erupt many years or even decades after young adulthood.

Next time you see Dr. Hoard, ask if your wisdom teeth are still hiding in the gums or if you could have been born without them. You might be surprised!

2. They Have A Formal Name

While you might be familiar with molars, the larger teeth towards the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are formally called “third molars.” This is because they are similar to the first two sets of molars, and they erupt later in life.

Third molars are commonly referred to as “wisdom teeth” because they erupt in young adulthood — usually between the ages of 17-25, when the teeth are almost finished developing. During this time, the rest of the teeth have almost completely settled into their permanent positions, and wisdom teeth will begin to show behind the existing molars.

3. They Don’t Always Come In at the Same Time

Although they are collectively referred to as “wisdom teeth,” they don’t always erupt at the same time. The ones on top may come in first, years before the ones on the bottom, or one on top and one on the bottom may stay beneath the gums while the other two erupt.

It’s also possible to have only one or two wisdom teeth causing problems. It depends on the amount of space available in the jaw and the positioning of other teeth. Because of their position, wisdom teeth can be harder to clean, leading to infection — but this doesn’t mean they will all become painful or infected.

If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Hoard today by calling 252-507-0373 or scheduling an appointment online.

Posted in: General Dentist New Bern, oral health, Uncategorized

Are Dental Veneers Right For Me?

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

Dental veneers new bern ncMany people who have cosmetic concerns with their teeth, such as gaps, cracks, or discoloration may consider extensive dental procedures to correct these problems. For some patients, porcelain dental veneers might be a great option to take care of multiple cosmetic issues all at once.

A porcelain veneer is a thin shell of dental porcelain that is permanently bonded to the tooth to improve the shape, color, size, and position of teeth. New Bern dentist Dr. J Stephen Hoard can use these veneers to correct small gaps between teeth, visually improve alignment, enhance tooth color, repair cracks or chips, or even reshape or lengthen teeth.

Over time, our teeth become less white, thanks to wine, coffee, and other pigmented foods. Teeth are porous, and the pigments in our food can stain them, making your smile less bright. Dental veneers are more stain-resistant than our own teeth, so instead of multiple whitening procedures, you might want to consider asking Dr. Hoard if dental veneers might be right for you.

Dental veneers can also help hide minor misalignment or gaps between your teeth without the need for extensive orthodontic treatment. Since veneers are placed on top of existing teeth and customized to every individual, Dr. Hoard can design the veneers to hide any small gaps, cracks, or minor misalignment.

Unlike crowns, where a significant portion of your tooth is removed or altered, veneers only require a small part of the tooth to be removed. To place a veneer on your tooth, some of the outer layers of enamel is removed, and the veneer is placed on top. You get to keep your natural teeth and fix several cosmetic issues at once.

Dr. Hoard will consult with you to help you determine whether veneers are right for you, but there are some situations where other options are better. For example, if you’re prone to grinding your teeth, you may want to see if in-office or at-home teeth whitening would work better for you. Cosmetic bonding is an alternative option for hiding minor gaps or chipped teeth.

To learn more about whether porcelain veneers are right for you, schedule an appointment with Dr. Hoard and our dental care team. Call 252.507.0373 or schedule an appointment online today.

Posted in: dental veneers, New Bern Dentist, New Bern Porcelain Veneers, porcelain veneers

Why do I wake up with a headache?

Thursday, June 21st, 2018

headaches tmj jaw pain treatment for tmj new bern ncDid you know that if you suffer from daily headaches, they may be related to your dental health?

If you wake up with headaches nearly every morning and find little relief from over the counter pain medications,  you may have TMD. Temporomandibular Disorder affects many patients, often goes undiagnosed and is commonly mistreated. Patients become frustrated by painful symptoms, headaches, and chronic fatigue.

New Bern, NC Dentist Dr. J. Stephen Hoard provides patients with comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders. TMJ has no one cause but is common in patients who grind their teeth in their sleep. Pinpointing the underlying cause of TMJ can allow for more effective treatment that minimizes discomfort.

Do I have TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint, used for speaking and eating, is the delicate joint that attaches the skull to the jaw. The jaw joint can be easily damaged or may become misaligned or overused. Patients who grind their teeth while they sleep put added pressure on the joint. Patients typically grind their teeth in their sleep which prevents the joint and surrounding muscles from relaxing and having time to regenerate. Teeth grinding is a common cause of TMD and headaches.

  • Headaches, including migraines
  • Jaw pain and dysfunction (clicking, popping and locking)
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Ear pain or loss of hearing

Dr. Hoard evaluates occlusion during all routine visits and look for signs of teeth grinding. Typicall signs that a patient may grind their teeth include excessively worn or damaged teeth.

Headaches caused by teeth grinding can be reduced with the introduction of an oral sleep appliance. An oral sleep appliance is a custom designed to reduce the tension in the TMJ caused by malocclusion or teeth grinding. The oral appliance repositions the jaw into a comfortable bite allowing the will alleviate headaches and other possible symptoms. This can be accomplished with appropriate treatment- addressing the underlying cause for lasting comfort and a healthy smile.

If you have been experiencing recurring headaches or migraines with no relief from traditional treatment options, discuss your concerns with Dr. Hoard at your next visit, or make an appointment. You may have an undiagnosed bite TMJ disorder.

Call our office or go online today.

Posted in: TMJ, tmj symptoms, TMJ Therapy, TMJ Therapy New Bern

Test Your Oral Health Knowledge

Monday, May 28th, 2018

Testing dental knowledge new bern nc How much do you know about oral health? Dr. Stephen Hoard is an experienced dentist in New Bern, NC who is dedicated to patient education, preventive dental care, and healthy smiles. To educate patients on healthier oral habits, we encourage you to test your knowledge on our New Bern dental office’s True or False quiz!

Dental Knowledge: True or False

Bleeding gums are a common sign or gum disease. True or False?

  • (True) Bleeding gums are one of the signs of gum disease. Gum disease is a progressive oral health concern that affects the health and function of the gums. When gum disease is caught early, patients can receive a more conservative, comprehensive treatment option. New Bern dentist Dr. Hoard offers a full range of periodontal therapy solution for patients with mild to advanced stages of gum disease.

You should brush your teeth immediately after eating. True or False?

  • (False) You should avoid brushing the teeth for at least 30 minutes to an hour after you eat. Certain foods create acids in the mouth that attack the enamel. Your teeth are the most sensitive after eating so brushing can weaken the enamel.

If you brush your teeth, you don’t need to floss. True or False?

  • (False) Brushing is an effective way to clean the teeth and freshen the breath. However, brushing (alone) cannot effectively remove debris and bacteria between the teeth. Flossing is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy oral hygiene routine. Flossing can even help minimize your risk of developing gum disease. Flossing should be performed at least once a day.

You only need to visit the dentist if there is a problem with your oral health. True or False?

  • (False) Most dentists recommend patients should visit the dentist biannually (twice a year) for preventive care exams. Preventive care visits allow Dr. Hoard to carefully examine the teeth, gums, muscles, and jaw joints to ensure they are are functioning appropriately. Dr. Hoard will also screen for complex dental problems like oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay. Preventive dental care is a vital part of maintaining a healthy smile.

Missing teeth do not need to be replaced right away. True or False?

  • (False) Missing teeth should be addressed as soon as possible. If left untreated, missing teeth can lead to facial sagging, bone deterioration, and infection. Dr. Hoard offers a full range of tooth replacement options in the comfort of our New Bern, NC dental facility. We offer dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants to restore missing teeth in our New Bern dental office.

Visit Our New Bern, NC Dental Office

If you are searching for a highly skilled dentist in New Bern, NC, visit Dr. Stephen Hoard. To learn more about our services, call 252.507.0373 or request an appointment online.

Posted in: oral cancer symptoms

Treating Broken Teeth in New Bern, NC

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

Broken Teeth New Bern NC As a highly trained dentist, Dr. Stephen Hoard has extensive experience treating a wide range of dental concerns. As a Dawson Academy trained dentist, Dr. Hoard never over treats his patients. Dr. Hoard takes the time to examine the entire masticatory system to check for any signs of dysfunction. It is essential that all parts of the masticatory system are working in harmony to produce a stable bite. If TMJ disorder or another bite disorder is the underlying cause of tooth damage, Dr. Hoard offers advanced, effective solutions to treat bite disorders.

After a comprehensive exam, Dr. Hoard will determine if an underlying dental concern causes your tooth damage, Dr. Hoard will address the underlying dental issues before addressing any cosmetic dental problems. Our goal is to help you restore and maintain a healthy smile.

Treating Broken Teeth in New Bern, NC

We offer a wide range of cosmetic and restorative treatments to restore broken teeth. We can work with you to create a custom-made treatment plan to improve the appearance and function of your smile. Depending on the extent of damage, Dr. Hoard may suggest one or more of these treatments to restore your smile.

Dr. Hoard will work with you one on one to discuss your cosmetic dental goals and determine which solution best suits your needs.

Schedule An Appointment

If you are looking for treatment for broken teeth, visit our New Bern, NC dental office. Dr. Hoard and our dental care team can work with you to find the most natural looking, effective solution to treat your dental concern. If you would like to schedule an appointment, call 252.507.0373 or schedule an appointment online.

Posted in: Broken Teeth

Dental Care in New Bern, NC

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Office Tour Dr. J Stephen Hoard, DDS New Bern dentist Dr. J. Stephen Hoard is committed to providing state of the art, high-quality dental care to each of his patients. Dr. Hoard undergoes continuous education to stay up to date on the current technology, techniques, and practices in dental care. Earlier this year, Dr. Hoard attended the Seattle Study Club symposium in California where he learned about the future of dentistry. Dr. Hoard undergoes continuous education to improve the patient experience in our New Bern dental office. Ensuring that our patients are receiving the highest standard of dental care they need in safe, comfortable environment is one of our top priorities. Dr. Hoard and our dental care team are dedicated to helping each patient achieve a healthier smile.

If you are looking for a dentist who can address a wide range of dental concerns from routine to complex dental problems, visit our New Bern dental office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Hoard.  Dr. Hoard offers a wide selection of general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services. We also offer convenient hours and work closely with patients to get the dental care they need to enhance their smile. If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact our New Bern, NC dental office or schedule an appointment online.
Check out what some our patients are saying about their experience in our New Bern, NC dental office.

Dr. Hoard and his staff are the most efficient and friendly I have encountered in my many years. I lost some teeth and Dr. Hoard came up with a plan that was affordable for me and I am very pleased with the outcome. The quality of the materials and replacement teeth are remarkable. I can smile again and feel confident. -Zipper C.

I was introduced to Dr. Hoard a little over a year ago after an unexpected dental issue arose. He came highly recommended to me by multiple people. He has recently completed some cosmetic dentistry for me, and I must say that I am more than pleased!! Dr. Hoard and his entire staff are incredibly knowledgeable, caring, and understanding. -Kim B.

When I needed major, extensive repair work and ultimately an entire bite adjustment- he was the man for the job. The work took numerous consultations, a mature dose of patience and many years. Dr. Hoard made the most conservative decisions to ensure my original dental work was as preserved as possible but confidently advised me when we needed to proceed with invasive treatment. I was never uncomfortable. -Anna B

Posted in: Dental Care

Oral Cancer Screening in New Bern, NC

Monday, February 26th, 2018

Oral Cancer Screening New Bern NC Getting routine screenings for complex dental problems can save your life. Oral cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because it is often diagnosed in the most advanced stages. However, visiting your dentist for bi-annual dental check-ups and knowing the signs of oral cancer can help you get the treatment you need to possibly save your life.

Dr. J. Stephen Hoard offers routine screenings for complex dental problems, including oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings are quick, noninvasive, and may help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need to restore your health. Dr. Hoard is a highly skilled dentist, trained in spotting signs of oral cancer and other complex dental problems. If you have not scheduled a biannual dental exam, we suggest you visit our New Bern dental office for the dental care you need.

Why Get Screened For Oral Cancer?

Better safe than sorry! Getting screened for oral cancer can help your dentist spot any early warning sigs. The earlier oral cancer is caught, the more options you may have for treatment. Dr. Hoard takes his time to thoroughly examine all aspect of your oral cavity, face, and neck. During your screening, Dr. Hoard will check for signs like sores, lesions, lumps, swelling, pain, numbness, and tenderness in any part of your oral cavity, throat, and face.
If oral cancer is suspected, Dr. Hoard may order a biopsy to confirm the presence of oral cancer. If oral cancer is found, Dr. Hoard will work with a specialist to coordinate your treatment.

Schedule A Screening For Oral Cancer in New Bern, NC

It is vital that patients schedule regular dental checkups. Dr. Hoard offers a wide range of services to treat patients with mild to advanced dental issues. Routine dental checkups can help you get the diagnosis and treatment you need to maintain a healthy smile and body. If you need to schedule an appointment, you can contact our New Bern Dental office or schedule an appointment online.

Posted in: Oral Cancer Screening