If you're intrigued by the strange and bizarre, here's one to pique your interest: geographic tongue. It's a rare condition that causes the appearance of red patches on the tongue surface, surrounded by grayish-white borders, and which look a lot like continents on a map (hence the name). But although it may look odd, geographic tongue won't harm your health.
The condition is also known as benign migratory glossitis, so named because it's not cancerous and the patches seem to move or “migrate” around the tongue surface. The most common causes are thought to be stress or hormonal disruptions in those predisposed to the condition. Many researchers believe zinc or vitamin B deficiencies in the body contribute to its occurrence. It also seems more prevalent among non-smokers and pregnant women, as well as occurring as a family trait.
The red patches are created by the temporary disappearance of some of the papillae, tiny bumps on the tongue's top surface. The patches can abruptly appear during a flareup and then disappear just as suddenly. But as “angry” as the patches may look, geographic tongue is not considered a health danger. It isn't normally painful, although people can experience stinging or numbing sensations emanating from the patches that can be mildly uncomfortable.
Because it's also rare, you're not likely to encounter it personally. But if you or a loved one does begin to notice red patches on the tongue, there are a few things you can do to lessen any accompanying irritation. For one, cut out foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, eggplant, mint or highly spicy or acidic foods, all of which have been known to increase discomfort. You might also avoid astringents like alcohol or mouthwashes that likewise irritate the patches when they occur.
Although geographic tongue can't be cured, your dentist can help you manage symptoms when they arise with the help of prescribed anesthetic mouthwashes, antihistamines or steroid lozenges. These not only can help lower any discomfort or irritations, they may also lessen the duration of a flareup.
For the most part, geographic tongue usually causes more embarrassment than physical discomfort. But with a little help from your dentist, you can keep it to a minimum. Geographic tongue may be odd, but it's nothing to worry about.
If you would like more information on geographic tongue, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Geographic Tongue: No Cause For Alarm.”
Instagram, America's humongous digital photo and video album, is chock-full of the silly, mundane, and poignant moments of people's everyday lives. That includes celebrities: Tom Hanks buying a used car; Ryan Reynolds sporting tiny sunglasses; Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran taking a hike. And then there's former Olympic alpine skier, Lindsey Vonn—posting a video of her recent dental visit.
Winner of several World Cup competitions and the first woman to gain the gold for downhill racing at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Vonn broke her two front teeth during a—you guessed it—skiing competition a few years ago. This past September, she went to the dentist to update her restoration and gave her followers a fascinating firsthand look at dental bonding, a technique for repairing a chipped or broken tooth.
Although dental bonding has been around for decades, it's taken a leap forward in the last few years because of improvements in bonding material. A mixture of plastic and glass components, composite resins can produce a strong and durable result when bonded to teeth. To begin the technique, the tooth's surface is prepared so that the composite resin can better adhere. Along with an adhesive agent, the bonding material is applied as a paste, which makes it easier to shape and sculpt for the most realistic look. This is usually done layer by layer, with each individual layer hardened with a curing light.
The technique allows us not only to achieve the right tooth shape, but also to incorporate your natural tooth color. We can tint the composite resin as we work so that your restored tooth blends seamlessly with the rest of your natural teeth. The result: A “new” tooth that's both beautiful and natural-looking.
What's more, dental bonding is more affordable than veneers or crowns and can often be done in a single visit. You will, however, need to exercise care with your new restoration. Although highly durable, it can be damaged if you bite into something hard. You'll also need to watch foods and beverages like tea or coffee that can stain the dental material.
Even so, we can help you regain the smile you once had before you took your teeth skiing—Lindsey Vonn-style—or whatever you were doing that resulted in a “whoopsie.” All it takes is a call for an appointment to start you on the path to a more attractive smile.
If you would like more information about cosmetic dental enhancements, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
A great smile boosts your self-confidence and impresses everyone you meet. If your teeth lack sparkle or have obvious defects, take charge with porcelain veneers from Gibberman Dental in Alexandria, VA. Dr. Paul Gibberman, Dr. Lauren Gibberman, and Dr. Maria Hodas use these thin laminates to disguise flaws and transform smiles from drab to superb.
A healthy smile...
You've got one. No decay, no gum disease, only a few fillings on back molars. But, wow, those front teeth are dark, chipped, and gapped. What can you do?
Come to Gibberman Dental in Alexandria for a cosmetic dentistry consultation. Ask about porcelain veneers, and your dentist will tell you if they suit your oral health and smile expectations.
What are porcelain veneers?
They're tooth-shaped pieces of high-grade ceramic individually crafted to fit over teeth marred by:
- Intractable stains from fluoride, smoking, root canal therapy, food, drinks, or prescription drugs
- Cracks, chips, pitting, craze lines, and other surface imperfections
- Small gaps, tooth rotations, and minor crowding
A tooth-colored cement holds veneers in place indefinitely, and veneers actually reinforce weak tooth structure.
Placement is straightforward. The treatment takes two to three visits to Gibberman Dental where your dentist will examine your teeth and take oral impressions. These impressions, along with details your dentist supplies, help a skilled ceramic technician create the laminates with just the right shape and size. Additionally, your dentist removes some enamel from each tooth so the laminates bite and fit well.
Finally, veneers last for years and resist stains. Everyday Health explains that the porcelain which makes up your laminates is glassy and non-porous. So, rest assured your smile will stay bright and attractive.
Reasons to get veneers
1. Improve your smile appearance, erasing defects for good.
2. Veneers require far less enamel resurfacing than crowns do.
3. Your veneers look totally real and blend right in with the rest of your smile.
4. They work well with other cosmetic services as part of a complete smile makeover which could include dental implants, whitening, bonding, porcelain crowns, and more.
It's your smile
Feel good about it again. Explore your cosmetic dentistry options, including porcelain veneers, at Gibberman Dental in Alexandria, VA. Dr. Paul Gibberman, Dr. Lauren Gibberman, and Dr. Maria Hodas are eager to help you achieve your best smile. Call for a consultation, won't you? Our number is (703) 823-6616.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is a deeply held American trait for building, renovating or repairing things without the services of a professional. The Internet has only made this tradition easier: There are scores of videos showing people how to do things on their own like build a deck, fix a dryer or bake an award-winning soufflé.
But some things are best left to the experts, which if you tried to do using too little knowledge or a lot less training could turn out disastrous. A prime example is becoming your own orthodontist and using dubious home methods to straighten your teeth. If that sounds preposterous, the American Association of Orthodontists recently reported it does happen, with one in ten of their members saying they have treated patients who attempted their own smile-straightening projects.
Often found on social media, these methods usually involve household items like rubber bands or dental floss to straighten teeth. Like other forms of DIY, the object is to save money. In the end, though, these self-orthodontic methods could result in dental damage that could cost much more to repair (if indeed it's repairable) than what might have been spent with professional orthodontics in the first place.
Utilizing extensive training, experience and artistry, orthodontists work with the mouth's natural ability to move teeth in a precise manner for a planned outcome. They carefully consider each individual patient's jaw and facial structures, along with the severity and complexity of their bite problem, as they design and implement a treatment plan involving braces, clear aligners or other orthodontic appliances.
A rigged homemade device to move teeth can't adequately take these factors into account. As a result, you may be risking permanent gum and bone damage—and you may even lose teeth in the process. Even if repairable, such damage could require oral surgery, cosmetic dentistry or more extensive orthodontic procedures.
In the end, you're highly unlikely to be successful at DIY orthodontics—and you won't save any money. A healthy and beautiful smile is well worth the cost of professional, high-quality orthodontics.
Are you looking for a dental practice to provide oral care for you and your family in Alexandria, VA? Dr. Paul Gibberman, Dr. Lauren Gibberman, and Dr. Maria Hodas provide quality dental care for families at Gibberman Dental.
Why would you need a family dentist anyway? There are many benefits to getting a dentist for you and your children.
Get an early start on your family’s dental health by choosing a family dentist to assist you with exams, cleanings, and fillings. With proper diet, habits, and oral care, your family’s teeth will gleam.
Regular fluoride treatments from your Alexandria family dentist and other techniques fortify tooth integrity and aid in the prevention of cavities and other concerns.
By conducting regular cleanings, we can monitor the health of your teeth and catch minor problems before they pose harder challenges later.
A patient’s routine cleanings with their Alexandria family dentistry practice should be easy to schedule and convenient to reach. Having a dentist that knows your family’s dental history will put your mind at ease as he or she will already be familiar with your loved one's unique situations.
Establishing a great relationship with your dentist fosters a firm foundation for making informed decisions on what to do to get your perfect smile. Discuss any questions or concerns that you may have about your routine, techniques, or goals for your oral health with your dentist.
Playground accidents, sports, and car injuries can warrant a trip to the dentist’s office. Having a great family dentist on hand helps patients navigate these emergencies faster and more efficiently.
Having a family dentist is a terrific choice
Gibberman Dental is a smart option for patients looking for a warm, compassionate family dentistry in Alexandria, VA. Call Dr. Paul Gibberman, Dr. Lauren Gibberman, and Dr. Maria Hodas at 703-823-6616 to schedule a consultation today.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.