Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Costs of Preventative Dental Exams

In tough economic times, it is not uncommon to overlook preventative care for your teeth. If they are not hurting, then many people see no reason to visit the dentist. However, preventative dental exams can be both healthy and cost-effective and here’s why

A little now, a lot later

A preventative dental exam is kind of like a tune-up. Dentists make sure everything is in working order and provide you with some fluoride protection before you get back in the eating race. It is also a way to detect minor problems before they turn major. This could alert you to a minor cavity that can be filled at a relatively low cost. But if you avoid preventative exams, that cavity could turn into a root canal, the cost of which is typically ten times greater.

Avoid tooth decay

Plaque naturally builds up on our teeth as a product of our digestive system. It takes as little as 12 hours for that plaque to calcify on our teeth. When that occurs, it turns into a hardened state and can only be completely removed by a professional. Regular dental office visits remove this buildup and help to keep the enamel on your teeth strong.

Fight gum disease

Over the course of time, both tartar and plaque surmount and can be damaging to soft tissue in your mouth. Preventative dental exams will reduce this buildup and lessen your chance of infection. Gum disease has different stages and when it is ignored, it can develop into problems such as tooth decay, bad breath and gum recession.

Discount plans

There are many discount plans that require a yearly fee, but they offer a lot of savings. This is not dental insurance per se, but is still a way of reducing costs. There are dental discount plans that cut costs by more than half. This can also be applied to preventative exams. In many instances, you won’t pay even close to what you might expect. It is a good idea to look into dental discount plans. Ask about Ashley Dental Associates costs and financing today.

A healthier you

Preventative dental exams promote better oral health and that can extend throughout your body. It will decrease your chances of contracting oral cancer. Gum disease has also been linked to other medical issues, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Ashley Dental is ready to contribute to the health of your teeth by providing you with a preventative dental exam in North Charleston, SC and the surrounding communities.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Foods that are Beneficial for Your Teeth

There is plenty of information available on foods that are harmful to your teeth. Avoiding sugar is the No.1 priority in the quest for healthy teeth.  There are also some foods that can benefit the health of your teeth. Here is a deeper look at which foods contain all the following essential nutrients and vitamins.


Milk is the top choice for healthier, stronger teeth because it is rich in calcium. Cheese also falls into this category and, like milk, it helps to strengthen the enamel on your teeth. Another function is that these foods thwart the growth of bacteria. Yogurt is also rich in calcium, although it is good to choose carefully when shopping for this item. Some yogurt brands contain a lot of added sugar, which is very harmful to your teeth. Opt for the natural yogurt choices if possible.

Folic Acid

Leafy greens are full of folic acid, which is an excellent source of Vitamin B. The folic acid is a health benefit for your gums. These are also packed with calcium and have that advantage as well. For those who are not too high on eating leafy greens, try blending them up in a smoothie.

High Fiber

Apples are a type of hard fruit that contains a good amount of fiber. They also require a lot of chewing. This is also a benefit because it produces saliva, which is able to wash away plaque from your mouth. Chewing these high-fiber fruits also stimulates gums and helps that area of the mouth as well. So, next time you or your child have a craving for apple, skip the apple sauces and juices for whole or sliced apple. This will also help you to avoid extra sugars normally added to processed apple products, and extra trips to Ashley Dental.

Vitamin A

Foods like carrots and celery are each equipped with plentiful Vitamin A. This is good for both teeth and gums. Celery doubles as a way to remove traces of bacteria. It is essentially nature’s toothbrush as it helps to clean out your teeth while also packing a punch of Vitamin A.


Protein in milk is great for your teeth and almonds are another similar item that is also high in calcium. Almonds typically leave your mouth dry so to be sure you still get the most out of them, complement it with some water and this will also continue to help you avoid drinks high in sugar.

Incorporating all these foods into your diet should be done on a regular basis. And when it is time for your regular checkup or general dentistry in North Charleston, SC, contact the professionals at Ashley Dental.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Caring for Your Gums and How to Avoid Gum Disease

Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease and it affects millions of Americans. It is important to be well-informed about how gum disease occurs as well as what you can do to prevent it. Let’s start with a quick explanation from our Charleston dentists.

Gum disease features two separate stages. The first is known as gingivitis. This occurs when bacteria becomes trapped between teeth and gums. It is denoted by inflammation and can be remedied with regular brushing and flossing. The second stage is periodontitis and causes permanent damage to the gums. There are a lot of preventative measures people can take before reaching this point.

Reduce Risk

One way to reduce the risk of gum disease is to avoid tobacco. That means no smoking and no chewing tobacco as both are bad for your gums. Avoiding sugary foods is also a good idea as that could induce a myriad of problems.

Brush, Brush, Brush

It is recommended that people brush their teeth twice a day. Also, teeth cleaning should not be just a quick brush. Two minutes is a good amount of time to brush the top and bottom teeth. It is also a good idea to change your toothbrush every couple of months.

Floss Daily

Just like brushing, flossing is recommended twice a day. This helps with the areas a toothbrush cannot reach while also removing small particles from between your teeth.

Regular Checkups

Dentist visits should take place every six months. During a regular teeth cleaning, a dentist can identify any problem areas and recommend a solution. Even though a regular checkup examines your teeth, the gums are also a big part of it.

Eat Healthy

A well-balanced healthy diet is not only good for your body, but good for your teeth as well. Try to make sure you get ample servings of dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, and meat/poultry on a daily basis. Eating healthy also means avoiding foods that are high in sugar and salt.

Early Identification

The biggest key to preventing gum disease is spotting problems early. You don’t have to wait for a six-month checkup to see your dentists about a gum problem. Symptoms such as irritation, bleeding and pain are all good enough reasons to schedule a dentist appointment.

Ashley Dental is ready to help you attend to any issues you have with your gums. For the best general dentistry North Charleston has to offer, contact Ashley Dental today.

Monday, May 27, 2019

The Benefits of Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening North Charleston has become an affordable and common procedure. There are over-the-counter methods, although the best teeth whitening is conducted by dentists. This is considered cosmetic dentistry and has a number of benefits.

Better Oral Hygiene

Teeth whitening is not going to improve the health of your teeth alone. However, when most people see the results, they will be more inclined to take better care of their teeth. Regular flossing, brushing and upkeep are part of maintaining that brightness, but also contribute to good oral health.

Quick Results

Teeth whitening is not going to take months to show results. You could schedule an appointment on your lunch break and have whiter teeth by dinnertime.

Painless Procedure

Most people associate with trips to the dentists with some sort of pain. While good dentists are able to make even difficult procedures as painless as possible, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to teeth whitening. It is pain-free and all about making your smile beautiful.

More Self-Confidence

Most people see a boost in self-confidence when they whiten their teeth. There is something uplifting about being able to smile widely and show off your pearly whites to the world.

Better First Impressions

When meeting someone new, a bright smile is one of the first things that is noticed. This can go a long way in building a good impression. It also comes in useful when dating as people tend to favor a big, bright smile.

Designed Just for You

A simple whitening tray or gel that is sold at a store is kind of a one-size-fits-all type of product. However, cosmetic dentistry N Charleston teeth whitening allows patients to select an exact shade. Dentists offer a variety of shades and choosing the most optimal one is part of the process.

A Safe Treatment

There is no reason to worry about getting sick or experiencing any side effects. The teeth whitening process that is now common in cosmetic dentistry is completely safe and does not have any strict rules to follow.

Easy Preparation

Going in for a teeth whitening treatment does not require hours of fasting beforehand. Unlike oral surgery, there are no steps that need to be taken immediately after the procedure. Just come into the dentist’s office, sit down, relax and go.

Let Ashley Dental North Charleston boost your confidence and make your smile shine with our affordable teeth whitening procedure.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Should You Replace Your Dentures With Dental Implants?

Some people are faced with the question of whether to replace their dentures with dental implants. While dental implants may cost a little more, a lot of people believe they are well worth the investment. Here is a look at a host of reasons to replace your dentures with dental implants.

No health issues

Dentures that do not fit perfectly can cause a variety of problems. A lack of comfort is just the beginning. An improper fit can also lead to oral health problems. For example, dentures that do not fit can be a source of irritation to the gums. This will also require some kind of adhesive to hold them in place.

More freedom

Dental implants will not place a limit on the types of food you can eat. You can pretty much enjoy anything you want with fewer trips to the dentist Charleston SC. There is no worry of slippage when talking with dental implants. Feel free to converse for hours on end and there will be no stopping to fix your teeth.

No replacement

Dental implants are one and done. They are permanent and something you can enjoy for a lifetime. Dentures always have to be replaced, some sooner than later. Choosing dental implants means you will never have to worry about replacing dentures ever again.

A superior smile

There is not even a close comparison to how much better your smile will look with dental implants as opposed to dentures. The results speak for themselves as people tend to stop and take notice of superior smiles. Dental implants can do just that. 

dental crown, dental bridge, dental implant, dentures, dentistry, cosmetic, health

A natural feel

Regardless of how well constructed a pair of dentures may be, they are never going to feel like real teeth. Dental implants, on the other hand, will come to feel like your real teeth. There is no substitute for that kind of authenticity.

Protect the jawbone

Dentures are not able to provide any type of protection from the deterioration of the jawbone. However, dental implants are planted into the bone and that allows them to act as a substitute root. The benefit can be that it continually stimulates the jawbone. Consult directly with a dental clinic to learn how crowns and bridges may benefit you.

No impacting other teeth

With a dental implant, you do not need to worry over any negative impacts on the other teeth. The dental implants are attached firmly and will not irritate or otherwise damage any of the surrounding teeth Meanwhile, dentures can cause an array of problems to remaining teeth and especially to the gums.

When you are ready for dental implants in North Charleston, SC, contact Ashley Dental Associates.  We will make your smile shine brighter than ever.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Effects of Smoking and Your Teeth

It remains no secret that smoking is bad for your teeth. Continued use can dull their color and provide an unattractive smile. But there are other ways smoking can be detrimental to your dental health.

First, it is important to know the ways in which tobacco attacks your teeth. It starts out by decreasing your ability to defend against infection. Smoking cigarettes makes your teeth more prone to collecting bacteria. This results in the inability to fight off the onset of a yellowing color and it also makes you more prone to root canals and even the loss of teeth. In short, smoking attacks your immune system and defenses while also accelerating the process of tooth decay.

Smoking also inhibits the circulation of blood in your mouth, which can lead to a variety of problems. Most smokers are less likely to go to the dentist on a regular basis and they have a much longer recovery time after any type of oral surgery. Not only do smokers grip cigarettes with their teeth, but inhaling smoke exposes their teeth to hazardous toxins. That combination is not healthy.

Smoking also impacts your gums. The first sign of problems shows itself in bleeding gums. They can also become tender and red while sometimes causing pain during chewing. Smoking also enhances the chance of contracting gum disease. But how exactly does this happen?

It is basic science. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which reduces the oxygen level that flows to the mouth’s soft tissue. Nicotine also serves the function of constricting blood vessels and this can make it more difficult to diagnose gum disease, even when gum disease exists. Smokers who have a gum infection will not experience bleeding the way non-smokers would This contributes to the lapse in being able to identify gum disease.

Another side effect of smoking is that it causes foul breath. And in the event that a smoker would require dentures, all those years of smoking would make for a looser fit. Gum lines also have a tendency to recede after years of smoking and that can be yet another unattractive side effect. Regular smokers may also find that such a habit impacts their bite alignment.

The healthiest way to avoid these issues is to quit smoking. But if that is not an option, dental implants, veneers and teeth whitening are three ways to deal with the negative effects of smoking. Ashley Dental can provide you with the right dental services in North Charleston, SC and the surrounding areas.

Monday, February 18, 2019


A damaged tooth needs to be restored as soon as possible. Chips and cracks make the tooth susceptible to further damage, and leaving a broken tooth in your mouth can make it harder to chew and speak. One way to return your oral function to normal is to get a dental crown placed over the affected tooth.

The Best Reasons

There are plenty of dental restorations out there. However, there are some key reasons why you should consider crowns as opposed to anything else.

•  Crowns made out of porcelain look just like your natural teeth
•  Porcelain is resistant against stains
•  Crowns are capable of restoring your ability to chew and speak
•  They can restore confidence in your smile
•  They stay in place, so you do not have to worry about them slipping around

The process of getting a dental crown is fairly straightforward. Your dentist will go over the procedure in detail with you before getting started. You will also be told of what you need to do immediately after getting the crown to ensure it is safe.

If you require a dental crown, then you cannot delay. Get it immediately so that your oral function can be restored to normal. In the event you need to find a skilled dentist Charleston SC to give you a crown, contact Ashley Dental Associates at 843-790-8808.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


big bright smile
Cosmetic dentistry is most commonly associated with teeth whitening and porcelain veneers. However, it can benefit more than just your smile. Look at these three advantages of modern cosmetic dentistry.

1. Boost Self-Confidence
If your crooked or yellowed teeth have left you the straight-faced subject of photos and social gatherings, then you are an ideal candidate for this life changing dentistry. Not only will you smile with more confidence, but you will find yourself laughing and posing for pictures without a care in the world.

2. Climb the Career Ladder
Did you know whiter teeth could help you climb the corporate ladder? It may seem unrelated to your employment, but cosmetic teeth procedures can give you the extra confidence to apply for higher-ranking jobs and reach for management positions. When you look the part of a leader, you will feel like one.

​3. Preventive Treatment
Cosmetic dentistry can also prevent future damage to your teeth and gums. These procedures include:
  • Gum contouring
  • Clear alignment braces
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Bonding

While many cosmetic procedures for teeth are focused on appearance, these procedures benefit both the health and look of your smile.

If you are weary of your stained and cracked teeth, cosmetic dentistry is your answer to greater health and confidence. For the services of an expert cosmetic dentist, contact Ashley Dental Associates today.

Thursday, September 27, 2018



Your child's smile lights up your life, and one of your biggest responsibilities is making sure that your child learns how to take care of their teeth. Naturally, you keep an eye out for changes in your child's appearance that let you know when something might be wrong, and yellow teeth are concerning.

As you prepare to schedule your child's next dental appointment, use these possible causes of yellow teeth in children as a springboard for a conversation with their dentist that helps you find a solution.

1. Know What Is Normal

People often think that teeth should be perfectly white, but the truth is that natural teeth colors can range from white to slightly yellow shades without anything being wrong.

Permanent teeth also tend to have thinner enamel and more of the underlying dentin than baby teeth, which can cause your child's adult teeth to look yellow compared to their bright white primary set. If your child is in the middle of losing their first teeth, then you may not notice the yellow once all of their teeth come in.

2. Inquire About Developmental Defects

Changes within your child's body can affect the appearance of their teeth. In some cases, yellow teeth are caused by defects that occur as the teeth are being formed. For instance, enamel hypoplasia is considered to be a cosmetic condition that has several different causes.

One of the most common causes of enamel hypoplasia in children is exposure to too much fluoride at an early age when the teeth are still developing. Taking certain medications or genetic factors can also cause enamel hypoplasia.

During your child's dental checkup, be prepared to answer questions about your child's family background and life experiences to help with the diagnosis. For instance, knowing that your child grew up in an area with heavy fluoride levels helps your dentist offer solutions to prevent further damage.

When yellow teeth are caused by intrinsic factors, traditional whitening treatments may not work. For this reason, you may want to explore other options for covering the weakened areas of enamel, such as crowns or veneers, once your child is in their later teens.

3. Watch Out for Food and Beverage Stains

Staining is a common cause of yellow teeth. You should consider your child's diet to be the culprit of their yellow teeth if they frequently consume highly pigmented foods or beverages, such as soda and tea.

Keep in mind that kids with a healthy diet can still develop yellow stains. For instance, spices such as turmeric contain high levels of pigment, and fruits such as pomegranate can lead to staining. The good news is that most surface-level stains are removable during your child's regular dental cleanings.

4. Get Them Checked for Cavities

Tooth decay does not always start off as a big black hole. When tooth enamel is exposed to acids and bacteria, yellow and white areas form that are considered to be early forms of decay. Over time, these areas may turn darker yellow or brown shades if they are not treated.

If tooth decay is detected during your child's exam, then a tooth-colored composite filling can be used to help the restoration blend in with the rest of their teeth.

5. Consider the Possibility of Tooth Trauma

Children play hard, and they may not notice right away that they hurt a tooth bad enough to cause serious trauma. If only one or two of your child's teeth look darker than the others, then a dental injury could be the culprit.

Once a tooth is severely damaged, blood can leak into the dentin and cause staining similar to a bruise. The root could also become infected or die, which alters the tooth color. Since tooth trauma is often only visible on an X-ray, an urgent appointment is critical for preserving a tooth and restoring the color.

At Ashley Dental Associates, P.A., we understand the importance of helping your child maintain their bright smile. Give us a call with your concerns so that we can identify the source of yellow teeth and make recommendations for treatment.

Sunday, July 22, 2018



Every parent wants their child to be healthy and happy, but what happens when your little one resists crucial wellness checks like dental visits? Dental anxiety can be debilitating for sufferers, and unfortunately, kids are no exception. Here are three common dental fears kids often struggle with and how you can help appointments to go smoothly.

1. Unfamiliar Faces

It's healthy for kids to have a natural anxiety about strangers, especially in this day and age. However, when kids are afraid of the people who are trying to help them, both the care provider and your little one can become frustrated. You can help your child to avoid feeling anxious about the team at your dental office by making regular visits to the office.

Bring your child along with you to the dentist when you go in for your appointment, and be sure to point out all of the fun parts of visiting the office. Show your child the play areas, introduce your little one to the kind receptionists and dental assistants, and make a point to give your child the chance to get to know the dentist.

By visiting the office regularly, your child can get to know the staff, making dental appointments that much less intimidating. Furthermore, when kids have the chance to build friendships with dental technicians, they might be more likely to hold still throughout the exam so appointments are more productive.

2. Stark, Intimidating Exam Rooms

Sometimes, kids are nervous about the hospital-like appearance of some dental offices. Along with strange looking chairs and white walls, some practices look more like spaceships than a fun place to get a dental cleaning. You should look for a dentist with warm and welcoming office so your kids can feel right at home.

If your child is nervous about visiting the dentist, look for a practice that takes pride in creating a beautiful office. During your child's appointment, point out the relaxing things about the practice, such as the pretty flowers at the reception desk, the neat pictures hanging on the wall, or the interesting toys in the children's play area.

Although decorations might seem insignificant, distractions are a powerful tool for helping kids with dental anxiety, general anxiety disorders, and attention hyperactivity disorders. When they have lots of things to look at, kids can take their mind off of the fact that they are at the dentist and focus on thinking about other things instead.

3. Simple Pain

While many kids can remain calm when they are sitting in the dental chair waiting for an appointment, things can change on a dime the second a needle is introduced. However, great family dentists focus on making the entire dental care process as simple as possible, even if your child is getting something as simple as a routine teeth cleaning.

Mild anesthetics like nitrous oxide can be administered through a simple nose mask, which means your child will still be able to talk with you while they calm down. Additionally, dentists can also use topical anesthetics on the gum tissue before injection-based anesthetics are administered, soothing nerves and preventing additional pain.

Keep in mind that your dentist's top priority is your child's health, which means certain anesthetics may not be right for every child. However, a great dental care provider will carefully evaluate your child's dental health and medical history to develop a treatment plan that works for them.

If your little one struggles with dental anxiety, bring them to Ashley Dental Associates, P.A. From the moment your child steps through the front door, they will be greeted with a smile and walked through every step of the appointment. To learn more about our kid-friendly approach to dentistry, stop by our office today.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018



Sometimes teeth hurt and you might not always understand why. If you're suffering from a toothache, the reason why can reassure you and also help you decide what to do next.


A cavity is decay that happens on the surface of the teeth. Cavities are typically caused by bacteria. Cavities can cause localized tooth pain and tooth sensitivity. If the cavity isn't taken care of by a professional, it could even become a bigger problem like an abscess. Once a cavity begins to form, the best way to get rid of it is to see the dentist. Extra brushing and mouthwash can't fix the problem.

If you believe that you have a cavity but you're not sure, see a dentist right away. He or she can diagnose your condition and suggest a treatment that can help.

Sinus Infection

The nerve endings of the teeth go deep into the skull and stop somewhere near the sinuses. When a person develops a sinus infection, the pressure from the sinus cavity can cause the upper teeth to hurt. Often this type of pain is somewhat dull and dispersed, seeming to come from many teeth instead of just one.

Sometimes you can't tell the difference between a sinus infection and a dental problem like a cavity. The best indication that the problem is sinus-related is the location of the pain (upper teeth only) combined with the symptoms of a sinus infection such as headaches, runny nose, and congestion.

If your teeth hurt and you believe you have a sinus infection, talk to a doctor. The symptoms should go away when the sinus infection clears up. If they do not, or if your doctor determines that you don't have a sinus infection, see a dentist.

Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can occur for many reasons. Often people crack their teeth when they bite into something hard or bite with too much force. People can even crack their teeth from grinding at night while they sleep. A cracked tooth can cause pain when chewing, biting down, or when drinking something hot or cold.

Cracks are not always visible, so you may not be able to tell when your tooth has become cracked. If you have the symptoms of a cracked tooth, however, see the dentist as soon as possible. He or she can make a recommendation for treatment. Sometimes the dentist will recommend doing nothing if the damage is not very severe. Other times, the dentist may recommend a crown, filling, or even tooth removal.

Worn-Away Enamel and Gums

Aggressive brushing can cause a variety of problems, including gum recession and wearing away of the enamel. Over time, these problems can cause the sensitive parts of your teeth to be exposed, which ultimately leads to pain. Signs include sensitivity to hot and cold drinks and a loss of gum near the tops of the teeth. These signs appear subtly over time and may be hard to notice.

The best way to prevent worn enamel is to avoid brushing your teeth very hard. The use of a soft-bristle electric toothbrush can help. Once the gums and tooth enamel have worn away, the damage is already done.

Your dentist may be able to fill in some of the missing enamel with filling material or even use a gum graft to restore your teeth to their original state. Talk to your dentist to find out whether or not brushing too hard is your problem.

If you have questions about why your teeth are hurting, contact Ashley Dental Associates, P.A. We're happy to answer your questions about tooth pain and other dental problems.

Monday, April 2, 2018



You may reach into your medicine cabinet for a specific bottle and take one or two pills with a glass of water on a daily basis. During this routine, you likely think about the intended effect of the medication rather than any side effects.

However, in addition to the intended effects, many common side effects impact other bodily systems, often including the teeth and oral soft tissues.

In this blog, we list nine ways that the over-the-counter or prescription items in your medicine cabinet may affect your oral health.

1. Changes in Taste

Some medication leaves an ambient taste in your mouth, usually a metallic or bitter aftertaste, while others completely change your taste perception. Changes in taste are most likely with nicotine patches, central nervous system stimulants, and respiratory inhalants.

2. Increased Risk of Tooth Decay Related to Dryness

Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can change saliva production and cause dryness. Shortterm dryness usually comes from antacids, decongestants, and antihistamines.

While short-term dryness can be uncomfortable, long-term dryness dramatically increases your risk of tooth decay because it allows bacteria to settle on the teeth. Long-term dryness is most likely when you take prescription medication like antidepressants, high blood pressure medication, opioids, and Parkinson's disease drugs.

4. Jawbone Density Loss

Antidepressants are the second-most prescribed medications in the United States. Unfortunately, these medications could impact patients' eligibility for implants.

While the research is preliminary, a 2016 study suggests that long-term antidepressant use could decrease jawbone density enough to increase the risk of implant failure by four times.

5. Mouth Sores

Many medication-related mouth sores feel and look similar to canker sores, but others can grow large, create discharge, or become chronic. Medications most likely to produce sores on the cheeks or tongue include chemotherapy drugs, contraceptive pills, and immunosuppressants.

Mouth sores can cause mild to intense discomfort and may make your body more vulnerable to both oral and whole-body infection since these sores provide an open access point for microbes.

6. Soft Tissue Discoloration

Certain medications can cause color changes in the gums, cheeks, or tongue. For example, the acne drug minocycline can leave black spots on the gums. These reactions may resolve when you stop the medication or may become permanent.

Discoloration is a minor concern in most cases but can feel disconcerting or even embarrassing. Your dentist can assess any underlying serious conditions and make recommendations to restore your smile.

7. Soft Tissue Swelling

Many medications cause soft tissue swelling resembling early stage gingivitis. If left untreated, this swelling may become actual periodontal disease. Advanced periodontitis leads to high risk of tooth decay and loss.

Watch for this symptom if you take anti-seizure medication, immunosuppressants, and high blood pressure medications.

8. Thrush

Thrush, an oral yeast infection clinically known as candida, can appear as white and fuzzy growths on the soft tissues of the mouth. Thrush is highly common when taking antibiotic or steroid regimens, but can also occur with chemotherapy.

Thrush can cause itchiness, minor bleeding, and feelings of self-consciousness. In advanced cases, thrush may also affect swallowing, create cracks around the lips, and cause persistent pain.

9. Unexplained Bleeding

Many medicines alter the way that you bleed, a characteristic that may be most evident in your mouth. For example, simply taking aspirin may make you more likely to bleed the next time you floss. Any drug that causes blood thinning may contribute to abnormal bleeding.

Abnormal bleeding indicates a higher risk of infection since it stems from open wounds in the mouth. In some cases, this bleeding can also disqualify you from important dental procedures.

Because medication can have such a significant impact on your oral health, always let your dentist know when your medication type or dosage changes.

If you experience any of the issues listed above discuss your symptoms with your dentist. He or she can help you develop a plan to protect your smile.

Monday, January 29, 2018



When you think about tooth extractions, you may picture dental floss tied to a door handle or remember trinkets brought to you by the Tooth Fairy. However, while natural tooth loss generally occurs during childhood, extractions can become necessary at any age.

Adult tooth extraction only occurs when tooth removal is the best option for the patient's smile and oral health. You may need this procedure by any of the following five reasons for adult tooth removal.

1. Advanced Tooth Decay

For many adults, cavities seem like a tiny problem that most likely won't affect the appearance or health of their smile. However, when cavities and other forms of dental decay are left untreated over long periods of time, they can compromise the entire structure of the affected tooth.

In some cases, they can remove the decay through root canal therapy. But if there is not enough structurally sound tooth left, extraction may be necessary instead.

Removing the decay prevents the issue from spreading from tooth to tooth or even to the jawbone. Additionally, since many teeth that become this decayed cause immense pain, the extraction can help a patient smile, chew, and speak normally again.

2. Complications of Periodontal Disease

Sometimes extraction is needed not because of the characteristics of the tooth itself, but due to the characteristics of the gum tissue that supports it. Developed periodontal disease can cause numerous oral health issues, from bad breath to tooth looseness.

With this type of periodontal disease, the tooth would likely eventually fall out on its own due to the loss of gum tissue support. Professional removal reduces the risk of complications and eliminates the discomfort of a loose adult tooth.

3. Extensive Tooth Damage

Not all tooth damage occurs over long periods of time. Oral trauma can happen suddenly and may affect the structure of multiple teeth. Some types of dental trauma can be handled similarly to minor tooth decay, such as through the use of fillings.

However, if the damage has reached the root structure, the natural tooth will likely always cause the patient pain and put him or her at risk of tooth decay. In this situation, your dentist will likely recommend removal instead of restoration.

4. Risks Related to Serious Oral Infection

While many oral infections heal easily due to the chemical characteristics of the mouth, persistent oral infections can sometimes become dangerous. Not only can infections reach secondary teeth and the jawbone as mentioned in section one, but infections may affect whole body health as well.

Because the mouth is near the brain, spinal column, sinuses, and ears, if an oral infection spreads, it can have devastating consequences for the patient. Tooth removal may protect the patient from more serious future issues. This reason for extraction is particularly common in patients with autoimmune diseases or current chemotherapy.

5. Tooth Positioning That Would Inhibit Cosmetic Work

Most adult tooth extractions occur out of medical necessity, but extraction may also be part of your cosmetic dental plan. For example, extraction may be needed to fit a patient with dentures or to provide effective orthodontia to a patient with closely crowded teeth.

In cosmetic situations, the missing tooth is almost always replaced with an artificial tooth, whether that replacement comes in the form of a bridge, implant, or dentures.

While the prospect of adult tooth extraction can be intimidating, the removal can eliminate your oral pain or give you the opportunity to achieve your ideal smile. If you have questions about the specific reasons why your dentist recommended extraction over another treatment, bring up your concerns during your consultation before the procedure.

For expert general and cosmetic dental care, including tooth extractions, trust the experienced team at Ashley Dental Associates, P.A.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017



A bright white smile doesn't have to take days of using trays, weeks of applying strips or months of using pastes. An in-office cosmetic whitening procedure can give you that celebrity-caliber smile you've been dreaming about.

​Before making the decision to get a professional-level whitening treatment, talk to your dentist about whether this is a procedure that will work for you or not. Keep in mind, every patient has different needs, meaning that different treatments may work better for some of them.

If you're considering an in-office treatment, learning about the process can help you to discuss your options with your dentist. What do you need to know about whitening? Take a look at the answers to some of the top questions on this subject.

What's the Quickest Way to Get White Teeth?

You don't have time to spare. Between work, your family's needs and everything else you do every day, it seems like extra time is hard to come by. That means you don't want to waste your valuable free moments sitting at home and waiting for your teeth to whiten.

A dentist's office whitening procedure can give you brighter teeth in as little as one session. Keep in mind, your specific needs may mean that you need a repeat session or some at-home care too.

The products that your dentist uses are stronger, or more concentrated, than over-the-counter whiteners. This doesn't mean they use completely different ingredients to whiten your teeth. Most whiteners are peroxide-containing bleaching agents. The difference comes in the concentration of bleach.

Can Patients With Sensitive Teeth Use In-Office Whiteners?

Sensitive teeth can make whitening uncomfortable. And that's to say the least. Before beginning a whitening treatment, let your dentist know if you often experience sensitivity. There may be an underlying problem, such as a cracked tooth or gingivitis, that is causing the issue. If the dentist determines there is a problem, treating it first can reduce the likelihood that you'll feel sensitivity when you do whiten your teeth.

In some cases, the dentist may recommend waiting to whiten or not whiten at all. For example, if you have serious gum disease, your dentist may want to wait until you have it completely under control before starting any other treatments.

Is Whitening Permanent?

An in-office whitening procedure can give you the smile you want. But it won't last forever. A professional-level whitening can keep your teeth looking pearly for much longer than at-home options. That said, you are likely to need a repeat procedure at some point down the road.

The length of time that your whitening lasts depends on several factors. If you regularly eat staining foods or drink staining beverages, your white teeth won't stick around for as long as you'd like. The same goes for patients who don't care for the dental health. You need to regularly brush and continue to visit the dentist for check-ups and cleanings.

If you want a whiter smile for a longer time, an option such as dental veneers provide a more permanent fix. Veneers are layers of ceramic material that coat your teeth. After the dentist applies these to the fronts of your teeth, you'll have a whiter, more even smile for years.

What About the Price?

Yes, in-office whitening is more expensive initially than the at-home pastes and kits. But over time an in-office procedure may equal out to the costs of repeatedly buying over the counter strips or gels. You may need to buy more strips/gel or use them more often than you would when using a professional-level treatment.

Do you want whiter teeth? Ashley Dental Associated, P.A., can help.

Sunday, October 1, 2017



There are a wide range of cosmetic dental procedures that can help to alter your smile. Dental veneers are one of the options that are growing in popularity. Just hearing about them for the first time? Interested in learning more? Here's an overview.

What Are Dental Veneers?

The word "veneer" usually refers to a thin sheet of nice wood that's usually applied over a rough or coarse piece of wood to make it look more beautiful and refined. Veneers for your teeth are used for a similar purpose—to cover teeth you want to hide. However, they are obviously not made of wood, but feature porcelain instead.

What Are Porcelain Veneers For?

Porcelain veneers can be used in a variety of circumstances. If you have cracked or discolored teeth, putting on veneers hides those blemishes. Cosmetic dentists also use them to change the shape of your teeth. Generally, only adults get veneers, but in special situations teens or even children may be eligible. Your dentist can let you know if you're a good candidate.

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Veneers are semi-permanent, and they last anywhere from 10 to 15 years. After that point, you typically have to replace them. However, if your mouth sustains an injury, the veneers can be damaged. For example, if you fall while skateboarding and hit your tooth on cement, it could crack the veneers.

What's the Difference Between Veneers, Onlays, and Inlays?

There are actually a few different porcelain covers that work for teeth, and you may have also stumbled across the words "inlay" and "onlay".

Dental inlays are porcelain covers that are used in lieu of fillings. Once dentists remove the decay from a tooth, they attach the inlay to cover the missing enamel. Onlays perform the same function, but they are just a bit bigger. Because of that, onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.

Like veneers, inlays and onlays are also made of porcelain, but you can also choose gold or composite resin inlays and onlays as well. Finally, inlays and onlays are both used in restorative dentistry, while veneers tend to be exclusively cosmetic.

How Do You Prepare for Veneers?

If you think you might want veneers, you should contact a dentist to set up a consultation. It helps to have an idea of your objectives whether you want to fix discoloration, change the shape of your teeth, or address another issue.

If you have a particular "look" that you want to go after, you may want to bring in photographs. If you haven't had a regular exam for a while, the dentist may do x rays and look over your mouth for decay. Then, you may need to get that work done before you get the veneers.

The dentist will also make a mold of your teeth to send to the lab that is making the veneers. About two to four weeks later, you get a follow up appointment, and during that appointment, the dentist puts the veneers on your teeth. If you are getting multiple veneers, it may take a few appointments to get all the work done.

To prepare the surface of your teeth, the dentist shaves off some enamel. Then, he or she bonds the porcelain veneers to your teeth.

Do You Need Novocaine When You Get Veneers?

Usually, the process is relatively pain free, but patients who are especially sensitive may opt for a local anesthetic. Other patients may even opt to use sedation dentistry.

If you want a new smile, contact Ashley Dental Associates, talk about veneers and other cosmetic dentistry options. We also offer bridges, teeth whitening, and a range of other cosmetic and restorative dental procedures.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Did a recent trip to the dentist end in discovering that you need a crown? If so, this will leave you with many questions about getting a dental crown. Here are three common questions about dental crowns that you may have.

Why Do You Need a Crown?

There are many situations where a dental crown is needed to provide strength and stability to a tooth. A dental crown can also help reshape a tooth that's an odd shape or just worn down. If you are having an implant installed, a crown is used on the fake tooth to make it stronger.
For instance, one of your teeth may need a root canal. The procedure will leave the tooth weak and a crown is necessary to give it additional strength and prevent the tooth from cracking, so a crown is placed on the tooth. Practicing good oral hygiene with regular flossing and brushing will help prevent decay that can lead to a weak tooth.

Are There Multiple Kinds of Crowns?

Your dentist will pick the right type of crown for your specific needs. They are key to knowing which crown is best based on the pros and cons of each material.
Stainless steel is recommended for when a temporary crown is needed for permanent teeth. The purpose is to give the tooth protection until you can receive the permanent crown. It is also common to use a stainless steel crown on a baby tooth since the tooth will eventually fall out.
Metal crowns use nickel or a gold alloy for the material and are ideal when the goal is to save your natural tooth. Metal will be quite durable as it is able to withstand the pressure caused by chewing. A metal crown is often used on molars since the color of the material is quite noticeable, which works great since those teeth are used for chewing most often.
Resin can be used when you need to save some money, but be aware that resin crowns wear down quickly. The material is also more susceptible to chipping than the other materials. However, the color of a resin crown should blend in very well with your natural teeth. This makes resin ideal for any front teeth that need a crown, even though the material may need replacement sooner rather than later.

How Do You Care for a Crown?

Caring for a crown involves some common sense that is easy to remember. For starters, avoid eating any foods that are sticky. For example, a Jolly Rancher can easily stick your teeth and put a lot of pressure on the crown when you open your mouth. This could cause the crown to become dislodged if you are not careful.
You must take more care when flossing. It's possible for dental floss to get caught around the base of your crown and cause you to accidentally pull on it. This is another behavior that can cause the crown to become loose even though you have good intentions by flossing. Try using a side-to-side motion when you floss around a crown to avoid causing accidental damage.
Extremely hot or cold foods can cause a crown to feel sensitive. This is due to the materials used to make the crown that will conduct the food's temperature. This is not a problem that can be fixed with toothpaste to treat your sensitive teeth because the surface of your crown is unable to absorb the ingredients used to prevent tooth sensitivity.
Still have questions about getting a dental crown? Reach out to Ashley Dental Associates, P.A. for help. We specialize in crowns and bridges and can answer any other questions you may have.

Monday, June 19, 2017



You're on top of your dental health. You brush, you floss, and you visit the dentist every six months. And, it doesn't stop there. You've also been known to use germ-fighting mouthwashes and whiten your teeth with strips or gels.

What more could you possibly do to keep that mouth of yours in top-top shape? Even though you're certainly taking the right steps, you can add an extra layer of protection with sealants. What do you need to know before choosing this dental option?

Protective Coating

Sealants aren't dental devices, and they don't brush or wash off like whitening gels. They are protective coatings that "seal" your teeth. That means the sealants coat your teeth (invisibly) and protect them from the bacteria, acids, and gunk that can damage them.

Your dentist can even apply sealants over areas of decay—in other words, cavities—to stop future damage from taking place. This doesn't mean the sealant corrects the decay or can be used in place of a filling. Instead, the dentist applies it where there is early decay to slow or stop the cavity from getting worse.

All Ages

You may have heard of sealants before, but in reference to children. Yes, children do get sealants. While dentists don't typically apply sealants to baby teeth, children can get the coating on their permanent teeth.
Sealants may help children who are still working on their brushing skills or who tend to rush through their dental care. Of course, they aren't substitutes for daily maintenance, and children should continue to practice healthy dental practices such as brushing and flossing.

Even though kids do get sealants, they aren't only for pediatric patients. Plenty of adults also choose sealants as a way to protect their teeth.

Reasons for Choosing Sealants

Most patients choose sealants to get extra protection. Your teeth have grooves on them. This makes them vulnerable to decay. Teeny-tiny food particles and other debris can get stuck in these grooves. The longer the gunk sticks around, the better chance there is that bacteria will breed. This can result in decay. Sealants helps to protect these areas, as well as other not-so-smooth areas of your teeth.
In many cases, only the chewing surface of the molars are sealed. That said, you'll certainly find exceptions to this. Patients may want to get a protective coating on other surfaces or on other teeth that have grooves or pits.

Your Appointment

What happens during your sealant appointment? If you're worried about possible pain, don't. These protective coatings don't hurt. You'll need clean teeth to start the sealing process, so before the dentist starts sealing your teeth, they'll clean and dry them. The dentist will need to make sure that all the teeth getting the sealant are free from any debris. This also includes the gum area.
The sealant is painted onto your teeth, but it won't stick well unless the dentist "roughs" the surface. The dental pro will put an acidic gel onto your teeth and rinse it off. After your teeth are dry, the dentist will put the sealant on. The last step is to harden the sealant with a blue light.

Long-Term Care

Just because a sealant covers the tooth's surface doesn't mean you can slack on after-care. It's still important to brush and floss. Keep in mind that it's not likely that you'll seal each and every surface of your smile. That leaves plenty of spaces and places for bacteria to grow. At-home dental care will keep these areas healthy.

With proper care, most sealants are effective for several years. If your sealants begin to fail, it may be possible for the dentist to re-seal the tooth or the surface.

To learn more about dental sealants, contact Ashley Dental Associates at 843-767-2600 for more information.