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By Great Florida Smiles
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

What your dentists in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, want you to know about tooth extractions

Wisdom ToothDeciding when and why to have a tooth extracted can be a daunting decision, and it’s one you shouldn’t make alone. The truth is there are definite reasons to have a tooth removed. Your dentists, Drs. Michael O’Donnell and Chris Farrugia, at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics, want to share the facts about when an extraction is necessary. They have two convenient office locations in Santa Rosa Beach, and DeFuniak Springs, FL, to help with your dental care needs.

Pain can be one of the most common reasons you might need a tooth removed. Sometimes pain can be relieved with a dental filling, crown, or root canal treatment. Severe pain that isn’t relieved by conventional dental treatment is often a precursor to removing a tooth.

Some of the most common reasons teeth are extracted include:

  • Dental trauma due to an accident or injury
  • Dental decay which has destroyed large amounts of tooth structure
  • Tooth damage that can’t be repaired with a filling or crown
  • A failed root canal or a split tooth root

Pain is not always a symptom of the need for extraction. There are also many non-painful reasons to have a tooth removed. You may need a dental extraction if you:

  • Are having your teeth straightened with orthodontics
  • Have an impacted tooth that won’t erupt even with orthodontic treatment

Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are the most common type of dental extraction. Erupting wisdom teeth can sometimes cause pain when they press against your other teeth, however, there may be no symptoms at all. In addition to pressure and pain, other reasons to remove wisdom teeth include:

  • Inadequate space in your jaw for the teeth to erupt
  • Impaction and the potential for cyst formation
  • Inability to keep the area clean because the teeth are too far back

Bone loss due to periodontal disease is another common reason why a tooth may need to be extracted. Bacteria associated with periodontal disease can destroy the bone surrounding a tooth, causing the tooth to become loose and ineffective at chewing. Removing the diseased tooth can help your other teeth.

If you think your tooth might need to be removed, seek out the services of an expert. Call your dentists, Drs. Michael O’Donnell and Chris Farrugia at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics, with offices in Santa Rosa Beach, and DeFuniak Springs, FL. They can help you keep your smile healthy, so call today!

By Great Florida Smiles
July 24, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Professional dental cleanings are a few benefits that you may not realize. Dr. Michael O'Donnell and Dr. Chris Farrugia of Great Florida professional cleaningsSmiles & Orthodontics in Santa Rosa Beach and DeFuniak Springs, FL, help their patients enjoy healthy smiles with cleanings and other dental services and treatments.

Regular dental cleanings protect your smile

Plaque and tartar are the culprits responsible for tooth decay and gum disease, dental issues that affect many people at some point in their lives. Plaque plays a role in the formation of cavities, while tartar, an unattractive brown deposit, raises your gum disease risk. Tartar forms when plaque isn't removed after about a week and is so hard it can only be scraped away with dental tools.

Brushing and flossing is an excellent way to remove plaque, but sometimes, it's difficult to completely eliminate the sticky substance from your mouth. If your teeth are crooked or overlap, plaque can build up in hard-to-reach places and soon turn into tartar. Luckily, dental cleanings remove every speck of plaque and tartar, even in hard-to-reach places. Cleanings are particularly important if you don't remember to floss every day.

Dental cleanings offer other advantages

After removing plaque and tartar, the dental hygienist at your Santa Rosa Beach or DeFuniak Springs dentist's offices polishes your teeth. Polishings make your teeth feel clean and smooth and also remove surface stains that can dull your smile. Dental cleanings also freshen your breath by removing food particles trapped in overlapping areas or between teeth.

Regular visits also include dental examinations. After your cleaning, your dentist will examine your mouth for signs of tooth decay, gum disease or potential issues, such as cracks, loose fillings, and oral cancer, and discuss treatment options if he discovers any problems. It takes time for cavities to grow large and gum disease to progress. If you visit every six months, these issues can be detected and treated before they become serious issues.

Keep your smile healthy with dental cleanings. Schedule an appointment with Dr. O'Donnell and Dr. Farrugia of Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics by calling (850) 622-5888 for the Santa Rosa Beach, FL, office or (850) 892-2500 for the DeFuniak Springs, FL, office.

By Great Florida Smiles
April 30, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Maintaining a healthy smile doesn’t have to be challenging.oral hygiene

We know how busy life can get; however, life should never be so hectic that you forget to care for your smile. Of course, caring for your smile shouldn’t be confusing or leave you scratching your head. Our Santa Rosa Beach, FL, dentist is here to give you some key tips for keeping your smile in tip-top shape.

Brushing and Flossing are Crucial

How you brush and floss, and how often you brush and floss, are key to ensuring that you have a healthy, beautiful smile for the long run. Everyone should be brushing their teeth at least twice a day (preferably between each meal) and flossing once a day (ideally before bedtime). It only takes a couple of minutes to complete these tasks and they could just end up saving your smile from common dental problems. Other tips to follow include,

  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes each time. Make sure to set a timer to hold yourself accountable for brushing the entire time.
  • Make sure that you don’t forget to brush your tongue and roof of your mouth, which harbor nasty bad breathing-causing bacteria.
  • Make sure to replace your toothbrush head at the first signs of wear. If the bristles look splayed out this is a sign that it’s old and needs to be replaced (this will need to happen about every 3-4 months).

Your Diet Nourishes Your Oral Health

What you eat can greatly impact the health of your teeth and gums. This is why it’s important to limit the amount of sugar, white starches and junk food you consume. The same rules apply to sports drinks, sodas and alcohol. Moderation is key. Your diet should consist of a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, low-fat dairy (yogurt and cheese are great sources of calcium) and whole grains.

Visit Your Dentist

No matter how healthy your smile looks and feels you still need to visit your Santa Rosa Beach, FL, general dentist every six months for cleanings and exams. This ensures that if there are any problems like decay or gum disease that they are detected early on when they are much simpler to handle. Plus, these visits ensure that you get a comprehensive dental cleaning and that you get to ask any questions you might have about your at-home oral care routine.

Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics has offices in DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL, to serve you better. If you have questions about the services we provide or you just need to schedule a routine cleaning, don’t hesitate to call our office today.

By Great Florida Smiles
March 14, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Gum disease is a problem for nearly half of American adults and about 38 percent of adults struggle with moderate to severe periodontitis periodontal diseaseaccording to CDC statistics. This disease poses a significant risk to a patient’s oral health. The solution for many patients is periodontal disease therapy, a treatment offered at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics in DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL. 

Understanding Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis is not something that you should ignore, as it can ultimately lead to tooth loss. It is a very aggressive form of gum disease that is caused by poor dental hygiene and specific strains of harmful bacteria. First, the bacterium irritates the gum line, eventually separating it from the tooth surfaces. It then attacks the bone tissue, ultimately leading to tooth loss if the diseased matter isn’t removed. One of the first signs of periodontal disease is red, painful, bleeding gums.

Periodontal Therapy
Therapy for periodontal disease is aimed at getting the bad bacteria under control so that new healthy gum tissue can emerge. These are the common steps that your DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach dentist will take to stop and reverse the damage caused by periodontitis:

- Scaling and root planing, which removes harmful plaque from beneath the gumline.
- Periodontal surgery (flaps are exposed to surgically remove diseased tissue).
- Gum grafting to restore lost gum tissue.
- Laser treatment to get rid of bad tissue without the need for surgery.
- Dental implantation if periodontal therapy doesn’t work for every tooth.

Protecting Your Gum Health in the Future
The health of your gums is just as important as the health of your teeth—they support each other. Follow these tips to keep your gums healthy and free from disease:

- Floss more, as this is the main preventive step you can take to avoid gum disease.
- See your dentist at least every three months after periodontal therapy for a thorough cleaning.
- Ask your dentist if you can benefit from using an oral antiseptic like a chlorhexidine rinse.

Get on the Road to Healing 
Your gums will need ample time to heal after periodontal disease therapy by your DeFuniak Springs and Santa Rosa Beach, FL dentist. Start the process by scheduling an examination at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics. Call (850) 622-5888 or (850) 892-2500 today to make time with Dr. Michael O'Donnell or Dr. Chris Farrugia.

By Great Florida Smiles
January 12, 2018
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Oral Cancer  

When you think of malignancies, do you think of lung, colon, or breast cancer? Most people think of everything but oral cancer. However, oral canceryour Santa Rosa Beach, FL, dentists, Dr. Michael O'Donnell and Dr. Chris Farrugia, are well aware of it, teach their patients about it and perform routine assessments for it. Learn about the early signs of oral cancer from the experts at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics.

First, some facts...

Did you know that oral cancer is not just one kind of malignancy? The term really points to a group of cancers which affect the head and neck, says the Oral Cancer Foundation. Unfortunately, there are more than 49,000 new cases diagnosed among Americans annually, and it's difficult to cure if not detected early.

In fact, the American Society of Clinical Oncology says that only 63 percent of oral cancers found in their later stages will be be effectively cured beyond five years. However, with early detection, that percentage increases to 83 percent. Obviously, regular assessment, and detection is vital.

In addition, you should know that oral cancer affects all kinds of people. However, men over 40 are more prone, as are individuals who:

  • Have been exposed to Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Abuse alcohol
  • Smoke cigarettes or chew tobacco
  • Eat a diet low in fruits and vegetables

Early signs of oral cancer

As you partner with your Santa Rosa Beach, FL, dentist in caring for your oral health, be as informed as possible about tooth decay, gum disease, and other issues, including cancer of the lips, tongue, back of the throat, and other soft tissues of the mouth.

When you come to Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics for your usual six-month check-up and cleaning, Dr. O'Donnell or Dr. Farrugia also will inspect the soft tissues of your mouth and palpate, or feel, the sides of your throat and the angles of the jaw. The assessment takes just a couple of minutes but yields information so helpful in detecting cancerous lesions.

So what are the early signs of oral cancer? They may include:

  • White or red patches on the oral mucosa
  • Lumps
  • A change in dental bite or in the fit of a denture
  • Mouth pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Ear pain
  • Loose teeth

Be sure to alert your dentist right away if you discover any of these signs at home. Remember, the sooner a lesion is discovered and treated, the better the chances are for a complete cure.

Find out more

Your Santa Rosa Beach, FL, dentist will be happy to tell you more. Why not schedule your six-month cleaning and exam at Great Florida Smiles & Orthodontics? In Santa Rosa Beach, call (850) 622-5888. In DeFuniak Springs, call (850) 892-2500.





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