3150 North Elm Street, Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
336-286-9897

Margaret Szott

  • Are Energy Drinks Bad For Your Teeth?

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    October 25, 2021

    Are Energy Drinks Bad For Your Teeth?

    As dentists we’ve been preaching the harmful effects of soda and other sugary drinks for decades. But what about popular energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Bang? Often replacing other caffeine and sugar filled beverages, energy drinks are popular in the United States and are expected to reach $72 billion by 2024. The largest consumption group is men ages 18-34. Almost ⅓ of teens drink them on a regular basis.Some energy drinks are marketed as beverages and others as dietary supplements. In fact, next to multivitamins, energy drinks were reported to be the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults. 

    Ongoing research is still determining the long term full scope health effects of energy drinks. We do know that excessive amounts of caffeine can be associated with heart issues, digestive problems, dehydration, sleep problems, and anxiety. But what about our teeth? Are energy drinks bad for our teeth? Yes. Dental experts agree that regular consumption of these highly acidic beverages can cause serious damage to your teeth. Your tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, harder than bone. Yet the acid in energy drinks can dissolve tooth enamel. Read that again... it can dissolve the hardest substance in your body!

    A key factor in this effect is the impact of acidic drinks on your saliva’s pH levels. The pH levels in your saliva help protect your teeth. A single sip of an energy drink can make your pH levels drop significantly. It takes your body approximately 30 minutes to restore the pH levels back to a normal status, but the reality is that most people aren’t taking a single sip. They are consuming a full 12-16 ounce can. Energy drinks with a pH of 3.2 are almost as acidic as battery acid. 

    Acid can also lead to bacteria growth which in turn can increase your chances of tooth and gum disease. The American Beverage Association believes that tooth decay and other dental problems are more complex than a canned or bottled drink noting that “No single food or beverage is a factor for enamel loss and tooth decay. Individual susceptibility to both dental cavities and tooth erosion varies depending on a person’s dental hygiene, lifestyle, total diet and genetic make-up.”

    But dentists nationwide are seeing the effects of energy drinks. One dentist in Michigan reported that for decades he found the leading cause of tooth decay in children to be juice, and now in adults, it’s energy drinks. A dentist in California observed that because people are so wired after drinking an energy drink, many grind their teeth. That sometimes causes tooth breakage and tooth loss. She added that energy drinks can also spur more acid reflux production, which can in turn cause more cavities. 

    Ways you can combat the negative effects of energy drinks:

    • Limit consumption.
    • Rinse your mouth with water after drinking energy drinks to help restore the pH levels in your mouth. 
    • Use a straw to avoid direct contact with your teeth.
    • Drink your energy drink at the end of a meal. The saliva in your mouth will help maintain the natural level of pH and mineralize your tooth enamel.
    • Wait 30 minutes after consuming an energy beverage, before brushing your teeth. Your teeth are softer after acid exposure and brushing them will wear away the enamel possibly making them more sensitive.   
    • Chew sugar-free gum to increase the production of saliva in the mouth.

    Some natural alternatives to energy drinks you may want to consider include:

    • Green tea: Contains natural caffeine in trace amounts. 
    • Green juices and smoothies: Try using natural sources of vitamin B in your smoothies
      such as parsley, kale and spinach. 
    • Water: Helps increase energy levels when metabolic processes slow down. 

    The bottom line is that energy drinks can have a significant effect on your oral health. Beverages high in sugar and acidity can cause irreversible damage to tooth enamel, which leaves teeth more susceptible to sensitivity and decay. Limit consumption and seek natural alternatives to boost your energy. Make sure you see your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and evaluation.

    Margaret Szott DDS, PA is a general and family dentist in Greensboro NC offering the highest standard of personalized dental care for her patients. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients of all ages. Please contact us at (336) 286-9897 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Szott.

  • Dental Care During Pregnancy

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    November 23, 2021

    Dental Care During Pregnancy

    Congratulations! You’re having a baby! What an exciting, and somewhat exhausting time. Expectant mothers under a doctor’s care are educated on the importance of self-care during pregnancy. Your oral health is no exception. Proper dental care during pregnancy is an important part of your prenatal care.

    First things first, tell your dentist if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant. Tell them how far along you are in your pregnancy and any medications or prenatal vitamins you are taking. If your pregnancy is high-risk or you have certain pregnancy related conditions, your dentist may recommend that some treatments be postponed.

    It is important that you continue your routine dental appointments for cleanings and exams. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can put you at risk for tender gums that bleed easily, pregnancy gingivitis, and an increased risk for periodontal disease. If you have a pre-existing gum disease, pregnancy can make it worse. It is safe to have dental x-rays. During x-rays, your abdomen and throat will be covered with a lead apron and collar to protect you and your baby. Although the radiation is extremely low, we do not recommend x-rays in the first trimester unless it is a dire dental emergency at which time we would place two lead aprons. If you are in need of a filling or root canal while pregnant, know that local anesthetics and numbing medications are safe for you and your baby.

    Pregnancy can elevate pre-existing dental problems or create new ones. Hormonal changes can cause inflammation of the gums and gingivitis. Pregnant women are more prone to cavities and tooth decay. This can be caused by eating more carbs and sweets than usual or the acid from morning sickness. Some women experience overgrowths of tissue on the gums known as “pregnancy tumors”. It’s important to note that these are not cancer. They often appear during the second trimester and usually disappear after your baby is born. 

    Limit dental problems during your pregnancy by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Clean your mouth after vomiting to reduce acid in your mouth. Brushing your teeth after acid exposure of vomiting causes erosion of the teeth.  After vomiting, it is recommended that you rinse your mouth with water.  It is safe to brush 30  minutes AFTER vomiting. Eat a healthy diet and limit sweets including sugary foods and drinks. The American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics all encourage women to get dental care during pregnancy.

    If you are pregnant and looking for a dentist, we’d be honored to be part of your prenatal care team. Contact our office at (336) 286-9897 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Szott.

    Margaret Szott DDS, PA is a general and family dentist in Greensboro NC offering the highest standard of personalized dental care for her patients. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients of all ages and works with all insurance providers.

  • INVISALIGN: An In-Office Solution For Adults Seeking Straighter Teeth

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    August 23, 2021

    INVISALIGN: An In-Office Solution For Adults Seeking Straighter Teeth

    Chances are you have heard of the popular clear aligners used to straighten teeth called Invisalign. Invisalign treatment is the process of wearing a series of clear, removable aligners that straighten your teeth without brackets, wires, and the restrictions that often come with metal braces. These clear aligners are made of a patented thermoplastic material called SmartTrack® created exclusively for Invisalign. They are thin, clear, and fit snugly over your teeth, making them virtually invisible.

    More and more adults are seeking Invisalign as a treatment option to straighten their teeth. Some of them had metal braces as a child and their teeth have shifted over the years. Others may have never had the opportunity to have orthodontic treatment, but seek the confidence and attraction of straight teeth. Invisalign treatment offers multiple benefits making it the ideal treatment for adult patients. We are proud to offer Invisalign at the dental offices of Margaret Szott DDS.

    Why do adult patients prefer Invisalign as a treatment plan for straighter teeth?

    They are discreet. Invisalign clear aligners are virtually invisible! Most often, people do not even notice them. This is a significant benefit for most adults who often associate braces with adolescence and want to maintain a mature and professional image. The subtle, often undetected, look of Invisalign is a great solution for adults.

    They are convenient. Invisalign offers patients the opportunity to remove the aligners and eat their favorite foods, many often deemed “off limits” to patients with traditional metal braces. This also includes the convenience of cleaning your teeth and aligners. Simply pop them out to brush and floss your teeth without the frustration of trying to clean around metal brackets.

    They take less of your time. Invisalign patients require less in-office appointments, an important factor for many working adults who don’t want to take extra time off for an orthodontic appointment. In addition to saving you time in the office, Invisalign patients don’t have to worry about scheduling extra appointments for issues with metal braces like a broken bracket. While each treatment plan will vary, patients can expect to visually see results of their Invisalign treatment within a few weeks and some refinement cases may only require treatment for a few months.

    And perhaps one of our favorite benefits of Invisalign treatment, they can be done in the trusted convenience of our office. As your dental provider, we know your dental history, your insurance options, and you as a person. We know that many of our adult patients are seeking options to straighten their teeth, but don’t want the hassle of having to be referred to an orthodontist.

    Whether you had braces in the past and you are looking for a refinement or you’ve never had any orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth, we invite you to call Margaret Szott DDS at 336-286-9897 to learn more about Invisalign for adults and schedule a consultation.  

    Margaret Szott DDS, PA is a general and family dentist in Greensboro NC offering the highest standard of personalized dental care for her patients. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients and works with all insurance providers.

  • Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

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    April 26, 2021

    Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

    Oral cancer is defined as cancer of the mouth and throat. Every hour of every day, someone dies of oral cancer. It is estimated that over 54,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed in 2021 with 43% of those patients not surviving more than five years. This shocking and concerning death rate remains high because oral cancers are often discovered and diagnosed late in their development.

    Regular oral cancer examinations performed by your dentist remain one the best methods to detect oral cancer in its early stages, but it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of oral cancer so that you can check your mouth between dental visits. 

    Tobacco use in all forms and high alcohol consumption put you at risk for oral cancer.   However, the fastest growing cause of mouth and throat cancers is actually a common virus, the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus 16 (HPV). This is the same virus commonly associated with cervical cancer. 

    Signs and symptoms of oral cancer caused by tobacco usage or excessive alcohol consumption:

    • Any sore or mouth ulcer that does not heal within two weeks.
    • Red, white, or black discoloration of soft mouth tissues.
    • An abnormality that easily bleeds when touched.
    • A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth.
    • A sore under a denture that does not heal.
    • A painless, firm, fixated lump felt on the outside of the neck, that has been there for at least two weeks.

    Signs and symptoms of oral cancer caused by HPV (Human Papillomavirus 16):

    • Hoarseness or sore throat that does not resolve within a few weeks.
    • A swollen tonsil on just one side. (Usually painless.)
    • A painless, firm, fixated lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks.
    • A persistent cough that does not resolve after many days.
    • Difficulty swallowing; a sensation that food is getting caught in your throat.
    • An earache on one side (unilateral) that persists for more than a few days.

    All the above symptoms can be persistent and resistant to healing. Be sure to contact a dental professional if any of the listed signs or symptoms do not improve or disappear after two to three weeks. Also, call your dentist right away if you have any immediate concerns. Early detection of oral cancer is critical. To learn more about oral cancer, visit the Oral Cancer Foundation website at www.oralcancer.org.

    If you are concerned that you are experiencing oral cancer symptoms, we encourage you to call Margaret Szott DDS at 336-286-9897 to schedule an appointment for a screening. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients and works with all insurance providers.

     

     

  • What Is The Best Way To Whiten Your Teeth?

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    February 20, 2021

    What Is The Best Way To Whiten Your Teeth?

    In a world filled with social media selfies, FaceTime, and video conferencing; teeth whitening continues to be in popular demand. And while filters and photo editing apps can make your teeth appear to look whiter, many prefer the real deal, seeking solutions to whiten their teeth. An online search for “teeth whitening” can take you down a digital rabbit hole recommending everything from at-home concoctions to expensive laser treatments. The challenge is finding a solution that is safe, affordable, and effective.

    Many dental offices offer professional teeth whitening treatments ranging from LED lighting to custom trays with whitening gels. Over-the-counter teeth whitening products are available in everything from chewing gum and dental floss to toothpaste and mouthwashes. Perhaps the most popular of these consumer products are whitening strips.

    Many of our patients are surprised when I share my professional recommendation for teeth whitening: Crest 3D Whitestrips. They are affordable, easy to use, and gentle on your tooth enamel. Results may vary depending on the product and patient.  The duration can also vary depending on the patient’s consumption of things like coffee, red wine, dark sodas, and tobacco. 

    As a rule, 90% of patients will experience success with tooth whitening. Yellow and brownish colored teeth tend to respond well to whitening. However, gray stains, caused by some antibiotics used during childhood or ingesting too much fluoride during permanent tooth development, may not see dramatic changes. Tooth whitening may not be effective if you’ve had bonding,  tooth-colored fillings, crowns, or veneers placed on your teeth. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends dentist supervision for any whitening treatment, including over-the-counter options like whitening strips. A professional teeth cleaning by your dentist can often remove external stains. Be sure to visit your dentist for a thorough cleaning and examination before you decide to whiten your teeth. 

    Regardless of the teeth-whitening treatment you choose, most all tooth-whitening products are likely to offer you some results giving you a brighter, whiter smile and a boost in your self-confidence. If you’re in need of a professional cleaning and ready to explore teeth whitening solutions, we invite you to call Margaret Szott DDS at 336-286-9897 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients and works with all insurance providers.

     

  • When Is It Time To Consider Dental Implants?

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    July 23, 2021

    When Is It Time To Consider Dental Implants?

    Dental implants are the ideal treatment for missing teeth. Poor oral hygiene, decay, disease or an accident can contribute to  missing teeth. As we like to say, dental implants allow you to keep a one tooth problem...a one tooth problem. 

    Dental implants are man made tooth roots that are placed in the bone by an Oral Surgeon or Periodontist. The implant fuses to the bone in your jaw and is the foundation for the replacement tooth.  After the implant has fused to the bone, our office will restore the implant with two parts:  an abutment, which screws into the implant itself, and a crown, which  is cemented to this abutment.   The implants can last for a long time, and they don’t decay. Dental implants are safe and believe it or not, a relatively painless procedure. 

    Many patients appreciate the aesthetic benefits of dental implants saying they make them less self-conscious about their smile and more confident. In addition to improving their appearance, dental implants also help them get back to eating the foods they love.

    Dental implants are necessary if you do not want dentures or bridges to replace missing teeth. If you have missing teeth and do not replace them, there can be severe consequences including bone atrophy, chronic pain, tooth movement, and destabilization of the bite. These consequences adversely affect your daily life tasks like chewing and speaking. Delaying tooth replacement  most often leads to more dental complications and issues, and more invasive and costly treatment in the future.

    The most common use of dental implants is to replace missing teeth, but they are also very helpful in stabilizing and securing dentures.  

    While dental implants have been around for awhile, emerging and constant state-of-the-art technology continue to revolutionize the way dental professionals treat missing teeth, allowing patients to have teeth replaced so that they look and perform just like their natural teeth. 

    If you have a missing tooth or other conditions that you think might make you a candidate for dental implants, we invite you to call Margaret Szott DDS at 336-286-9897 to schedule an appointment. Margaret Szott DDS, PA is a general and family dentist in Greensboro NC offering the highest standard of personalized dental care for her patients. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients and works with all insurance providers.

     

     

  • Yes, Flossing is THAT important.

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    September 25, 2021

    Yes, Flossing is THAT important.

    A survey conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology revealed that an estimated 27% of adults lie to their dentist about how often they floss their teeth. Many oral health professionals suspect this number to be too low and I would have to say that I agree. We know that many of our patients are most likely “stretching the truth” about their flossing habits, but trust us when we tell you that your gums are telling on you before you have time to confess.

    It’s no secret that dentists are big fans of flossing and there’s a reason. Several, actually. So why are we so persistent about the importance of flossing?

    Flossing is the act of cleaning between your teeth and is a critical part of your oral hygiene. The American Dental Association recommends flossing daily to prevent cavities and gum disease. Cleaning between your teeth helps remove plaque. This plaque holds bacteria from leftover foods that can cause cavities, gum disease, and potentially put you at risk for heart disease. Yes, heart disease.

    Essentially the bacteria found in the plaque between your teeth can cause an inflammatory response that contributes to gum disease. According to Dr. Wayne Aldredge, Past President of the American Academy of Periodontology, "Gum disease is typically caused when prolonged exposure to bacteria in dental plaque causes an inflammatory reaction. Flossing is an effective and useful way to remove the plaque, especially in between the teeth or under the gum line-places where a toothbrush cannot reach."

    Gum disease can play a part in the development of heart disease. Recent research and studies have linked these two diseases finding that gum disease increases a person’s risk of heart disease by approximately 20 percent. Both the American Dental Association and American Heart Association have acknowledged the relationship between gum disease and heart disease, noting gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease because inflammation in the gums and bacteria may eventually lead to narrowing of important arteries.

    So when we encourage you to floss, know that it is about more than a pretty smile and fresh breath. It’s about avoiding problems like bleeding and receding gums and bone and tooth loss. It’s also about reducing your risks of cavities and consequential heart disease. 

    Avoid the temptation to use random items to clean between your teeth. Use dental designed tools like string floss, water flossers, and tiny dental brushes that reach between teeth. Talk to your dentist about your daily routine and find a tool and time that works best for you to be consistent. Click here to watch a video from the ADA on How To Floss Your Teeth. 

    So, no more fibbing about how often you floss your teeth. Let’s work together to make flossing part of your daily routine. Because, yes… it is THAT important.

    Margaret Szott DDS, PA is a general and family dentist in Greensboro NC offering the highest standard of personalized dental care for her patients. Dr. Szott is currently accepting new patients and works with all insurance providers. We invite you to call Margaret Szott DDS at 336-286-9897 to schedule a consultation.  

Where We Are Located

3150 North Elm Street
Suite 210
Greensboro, NC 27408
Call us today to Schedule an Appointment:
336-286-9897