What Causes Cavities to Form?

By Gates Family Dentistry | February 28, 2017 | Comments Off on What Causes Cavities to Form?
Wilsonville dentist

Despite what you may have perceived as a child, cavities are not the direct eating of the tooth by bacteria or sugar. In fact, your Wilsonville dentist may surprise some by saying each alone has little direct affect on the teeth. However, when combined, they create the deadly cavity forming substance – acid! When bacteria housed in the plaque left on our teeth break down sugars, they produce acid. This attacks our tooth enamel by removing vital minerals from the enamel that weaken the tooth structure. Over time, the weakened area collapses, causing a cavity to develop. The formation of cavities varies from person to person, depending on a variety of different factors that I would like to discuss with you. Bacteria Even the healthiest mouth contains millions, possibly even billions (depending on the last time you brushed) of bacterial strands. However, we all get different strains of bacteria. All bacteria produce acids in the process of breaking down the food and sugars consumed. While most of this oral bacteria is harmless, some of these strains are extremely “cariogenic,” or cavity causing. So how do you get your oral bacteria?  This occurs at a very young age.  What occurs is process called “seeding” during which your oral cavity becomes populated with bacteria from your environment.  One of the largest environmental factors is family. When people say, “my mom had bad teeth, and I got her teeth,” there is some truth to that. They likely got her bacteria, which was probably more cariogenic than dad’s bacteria.  This means that parents should keep in mind that you can directly pass bacteria to your kids when you start kissing, feeding, and caring for your little ones. This makes it important that parents maintain their oral health when caring for their children. By reducing the bacterial load you can pass on to your child, you reduce the risk of permanently damaging his or her long-term oral health. Of course, if bacteria was the only cause of cavities, dental fillings may already…

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A thank you and welcome from Dr. Gates!

By Gates Family Dentistry | December 8, 2016 | Comments Off on A thank you and welcome from Dr. Gates!
Wilsonville Dental Office

Dear Patients and Friends, Thank you to all who attended the open house, and to those I have met at the office already. You have all been so kind – I feel very welcomed! What a pleasure it has been meeting and visiting with each of you. To those I have not yet met, I look forward to seeing you in the coming months. As you know Kim, Nahid, Linda and Imelda are invaluable to the practice, and they have been instrumental during this transition period. I feel very fortunate to have them as part of my team. We will likely be adding an additional member to the team soon to help Kim and Nahid with assisting and office duties. Please welcome this new person as warmly as you have me. Since many of you ask about my family, I thought I would let you know more about me. My husband Chris and I have been married for 12 yrs. Our children include Tyler (10 yrs old) and Alaina (8 yrs old) both of whom enjoy board games, reading and sports. My two-year-old daughter, Evelyn, loves drawing and pretending. She is a master at hosting a tea party with her stuffed animals. My youngest, Tucker (9 months), is loving his new teeth, and eating as much food as we will give him! With children of my own, I am very comfortable treating the dental needs of families. If you know of a family or anyone else looking for a dentist, please keep me in mind. We are accepting new patients, and I would love to have more patients who are as friendly as you. Once again, I greatly appreciate the warm welcome you have given me. I wish you and your family all the best during this holiday season. Denise Gates, DMD

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Healthy teeth, healthy life!

By Gates Family Dentistry | May 2, 2014 |
family dentist in Wilsonville

As your family dentist in Wilsonville, Dr. Denise Gates wants all of her patients to enjoy a lifetime of quality oral and overall health. While many of our patients at Gates Family Dentistry know that brushing daily offers a variety of benefits – such as fresher breath and a lowered risk of gum disease and tooth decay – you might not realize that enjoying quality oral hygiene could also translate to a healthier heart. So how does your oral health impact the health of your heart? Our bodies are connected in ways that make quality oral health important to your overall health. More specifically, researchers believe that inflammation that develops in the mouth due to oral bacteria that causes gum disease could increase our risk of heart disease. Some studies have even identified a link between gum disease and heart disease. When it comes to lowering your risk of heart disease, while also protecting your long-term oral health, here are a few tips to keep in mind; plus, how to recognize the early signs of gum disease. Brushing and flossing Regular brushing and flossing at home, combined with scheduling dental exams and cleanings with your family dentist in Wilsonville, rank as the best habits you can have to help maintain and improve your oral health. Patients who have known risk factors for gum disease, such as a weakened immune system, family history and diets high in processed sugars, need to pay close attention to maintaining a regular oral hygiene regimen to ensure the best oral health possible. Balanced diet Eating a balanced diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables while reducing the amount of processed sugars you consume is of the utmost importance. Harmful oral bacteria use the sugars we consume to produce substances that slowly erode tooth enamel. Over time, diets high in processed sugars – such as starchy breads, pastas and sweets – increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease There are two types of gum…

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