By Michael J Morris, DDS
September 22, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: CDC Guidelines  

Here’s how to give your smile the care it deserves during these unprecedented times.

You should always prioritize your oral health; however, you may be a bit confused as to how to do this during the coronavirus pandemic. You not only need to keep your smile healthy but also your overall health. If you have questions or concerns about your oral care right now, our Spring, TX, dentist Dr. Michael Morris is here to help.

Preventive Dentistry Begins at Home

The good news is that you are the best tool that you have for keeping your smile healthy. You may be at home more these days, which means that you have time to focus on how you care for your smile. Here are ways to reduce your risk for dental problems right now,

  • Make sure that you are brushing at least twice a day for two minutes at a time with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss once a day
  • Avoid junk food, particularly sugary treats, and stick to balanced, whole diet that is rich in whole grains, lean protein, veggies and fruits
  • Reduce alcohol consumption (we know it’s tempting right now but heavy alcohol consumption can lead to bad breath, discolorations, cavities and inflammation)
  • Get some form of exercise (even just a brisk walk around the neighborhood for 30-60 minutes a day can improve your overall health)
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, especially before eating, brushing and flossing. Not sure how long you should be washing your hands? Sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while washing.

How Dr. Morris is Serving Patients Right Now

We know that COVID-19 has changed so much of our normal routine, but it doesn’t need to change the dental care that you and your family get every six months. Our Spring, TX, dentist is dedicated to providing care to patients, particularly those needing urgent or emergency dental care. Before coming into the office, we will screen all patients to check for possible symptoms.

We are also keeping our family dental practice even safer for you. We are hard at work sanitizing all workstations after each patient based on the CDC guidelines. We’ve also installed HEPA air purifiers with UV light sanitizers throughout the office, which removes around 99 percent of airborne pathogens and impurities. You can breathe easier knowing that you can breathe in clean air. Also, don’t forget your mask before coming into the office. We wear our masks to protect you and we want our patients to do the same!

We are all in this together, whether we are caring for your smile or trying to keep you safe during this pandemic. Our Spring, TX, family dentist Dr. Morris and his dental team are here for you. If you have questions about the ways in which we are keeping our patients safe during their six-month dental checkup don’t hesitate to give us a call at (281) 379-6939.

WisdomTeethCanStillbeaProblemfortheWorldsYoungestBillionaire

According to Forbes Magazine, Kylie Jenner is the world's youngest billionaire at age 22. Daughter of Caitlyn (Bruce) Jenner and Kris Jenner, Kylie is the founder and owner of the highly successful Kylie Cosmetics, and a rising celebrity in her own right. But even this busy CEO couldn't avoid an experience many young people her age go through each year: having her wisdom teeth removed.

At around 10 million removals each year, wisdom teeth extraction is the most common surgical procedure performed by oral surgeons. Also called the third molars, the wisdom teeth are in the back corners of the jaws, top and bottom. Most people have four of them, but some have more, some have fewer, and some never have any. They're typically the last permanent teeth to come in, usually between ages 17 and 25.

And therein lies the problem with wisdom teeth: Many times, they're coming in late on a jaw already crowded with teeth. Their eruption can cause these other teeth to move out of normal alignment, or the wisdom teeth themselves may not fully erupt and remain fully or partially within the gums (a condition called impaction). All of this can have a ripple effect, decreasing dental function and increasing disease risk.

As Kylie Jenner has just experienced, they're often removed when problems with bite or instances of diseases like tooth decay or gum disease begin to show. But not just when problems show: It's also been a common practice to remove them earlier in a kind of “preemptive strike” against dental dysfunction. But this practice of early wisdom teeth extraction has its critics. The main contention is that early extractions aren't really necessary from a medical or dental standpoint, and so patients are unduly exposed to surgical risks. Although negative outcomes are very rare, any surgical procedure carries some risk.

Over the last few years, a kind of middle ground consensus has developed among dentists on how to deal with wisdom teeth in younger patients. What has emerged is a “watch and wait” approach: Don't advise extraction unless there is clear evidence of developing problems. Instead, continue to monitor a young patient's dental development to see that it's progressing normally.

Taking this approach can lead to fewer early wisdom teeth extractions, which are postponed to a later time or even indefinitely. The key is to always do what's best for a patient's current development and future dental health.

Still, removing wisdom teeth remains a sound practice when necessary. Whether for a high school or college student or the CEO of a large company, wisdom teeth extraction can boost overall dental health and development.

If you would like more information about wisdom teeth and their impact on dental health, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth: To Be or Not to Be?

By Michael J Morris, DDS
September 17, 2020
Category: Dentistry

Preventive care is the key to healthy teeth and gums. Your Spring, TX dentist, Dr. Michael Morris, offers his patients comprehensive treatment plans which improve oral health and keep problems at bay. Look great, and enjoy vibrant oral health for life.

Keeping great teeth and gums

They stay healthy when you consistently care for them. From the time that first baby tooth comes in through the senior years, preventive dental services are so important.

What's your mouth's worst enemy? Surprisingly enough, it's bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. This tiny microbe hides in plaque and tartar the residues which cling to your teeth and hide under the gums. Fortunately, though, you can eliminate these biofilms with consistent brushing and flossing at home and a healthy diet as well.

To support your good home habits, your dentist does semi-annual check-ups and professional cleanings (teeth scaling to remove tartar and plaque) right in his Spring, TX, office. X-rays are taken as needed, and each exam checks for:

  • Gum disease (signs include bleeding, puffiness, tender gums and more)
  • Tooth decay
  • Condition of fillings, crowns, veneers and other restorations
  • Proper dental alignment and bite
  • Oral cancer (included in the adult exam)

Yes, an oral cancer assessment completes preventive care. This problem is potentially deadly. However, found and treated early, it can be cured, says the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Other dental services

Dr. Morris also offers:

  • Patient education on all your oral health needs (ask about the proper way to floss)
  • Panoramic X-rays to check interdental spaces and back teeth for decay
  • Periodontal disease screening
  • A comfortable, friendly environment with bright treatment rooms
  • Complete care plans which advise you on needed restorations (such as fillings or gum disease treatment) and cosmetic treatments (such as professional whitening, crowns and more)

Keep your wonderful smile

Have it for life when you and Dr. Michael Morris take proper care of your teeth and gums. If it's time for your semi-annual visit to his Spring, TX office, please call us to reserve a convenient appointment: (281) 379-6939.

By Michael J Morris, DDS
September 10, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: snoring   sleep apnea  
YourDentistCouldHelpYouOvercomeSleepApnea

A full night's sleep isn't a luxury—we all need it for a healthy mind and body. But 50-70 million people in the U.S. aren't getting enough sleep because of a chronic sleep disorder like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA happens when a sleeper's airway becomes blocked (most commonly by the tongue), cutting off oxygen to the brain. The body rouses from sleep to overcome the blockage. This awakening could last only a few seconds, after which the person immediately goes back to sleep. But it can occur hundreds of times a night and interrupt deeper sleep needed for a good night's rest.

Sleep disorders like OSA are a significant medical problem that could contribute to serious health issues like high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease. If you're experiencing fatigue, irritability or your family's complaints of you snoring, you should see a physician for diagnosis and treatment options.

You should also consider another health professional who could be helpful in dealing with OSA—and may even be able to provide a treatment option: your dentist. Here's how.

A dentist could discover your OSA. Because of twice-a-year dental visits, dentists often see patients more frequently than other healthcare providers. A properly trained dentist could pick up on signs and symptoms of sleep disorder, including patients falling asleep and even snoring while in the dentist's chair.

Dentists are familiar with the mouth. Few healthcare providers focus on the oral cavity like dentists. Besides the teeth and gums, dentists also have extensive knowledge of the tonsils, uvula and tongue that often play a role in sleep disorders. As such, a dentist may notice abnormalities during routine exams that might contribute to airway obstruction during sleep.

Dentists provide a treatment option. Many OSA patients use a CPAP mask to maintain an open airway during sleep. But CPAP therapy can be uncomfortable for some. For mild to moderate cases of OSA, dentists can create an oral appliance based on the patient's mouth dimensions that prevents the tongue from sinking back into the throat.

If you believe you may have OSA or a similar sleep disorder, by all means speak with your doctor. But also mention it to your dentist—your dental provider might hold the key to a better night's sleep.

If you would like more information on how we could help with your sleep apnea symptoms, 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 “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry.”

By Michael J Morris, DDS
August 31, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant  
ReplaceYourTeethinStagesWiththeHelpofDentalImplants

Complete tooth loss is a common condition among older adults, gradually occurring one or two teeth at a time. There often comes a point of realization, though, that all the teeth will eventually be lost.

This can create a dilemma: Do you replace teeth as they're lost, or go ahead and have all of them removed at one time?

Up until recently, the latter choice seemed the most practical and affordable. But most dentists would agree that keeping natural teeth for as long as practical is better for a person's overall oral health and to slow any potential bone loss.

The emergence of dental implants has made this less of a dilemma: We can use this technology to more affordably replace teeth in stages rather than all at once. This is because an implant is technically a root replacement: a dentist inserts a titanium metal post into the jawbone. Because of an affinity with titanium, bone cells grow and adhere to the implant surface, which creates a stronger hold. It also impedes bone loss.

We can, of course, use implants as individual tooth replacements. But the expense of this approach with multiple teeth puts it well out of reach financially for many people. But implants can also be used as connective points between the patient's jaw and other kinds of dental restorations like bridges, partial dentures, and full removable or fixed dentures.

Using this approach, we can adopt a strategy of allowing healthier teeth to remain until it's necessary to remove them. We initially place implants to support a bridge, for example; later we can use the same implants along with additional ones to support a larger restoration, even a fixed full denture.

An implant-supported restoration is typically more expensive than traditional bridges or dentures, but far less than replacing teeth with individual implants. And because the stages of restorations may occur over a long period of time, the cost can be spread out to make it more manageable.

If you're facing a future where it's likely you'll lose all your teeth, you don't have to lose them all at once. Staged restorations with implants could help you hold on to your natural teeth for as long as possible, slow bone loss and make for a healthier mouth.

If you would like more information on the wide array of dental restoration options, 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 “Replacing All Teeth But Not All at Once.”





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Louetta and Spring, TX Family Dentist
Michael J Morris, DDS
9318 Louetta Road Suite 600
Spring, TX 77379
(281) 379-6939
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