January 17th, 2018
Imagine this scenario: you go to the dentist to have a cavity filled, and an hour after the procedure you have a runny nose, scratchy throat, and your arms are breaking out in blotchy, red hives. In other words, you’re in worse shape after the visit to the dentist than you were before you walked in to have the cavity fixed. If you experience any of these types of symptoms or side effects, chances are you have a latex allergy.
What is a latex allergy?
A latex allergy is a hypersensitivity to latex proteins. If you have this allergy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you avoid direct contact with any materials that contain latex. While latex gloves are known to cause allergic reactions in people with a latex allergy, certain metals, plastics, and other materials used in dental care can also cause an adverse response.
A runny nose and itchy eyes are common allergic reactions to latex. However, Dr. Bill Whitley and our team at Whitley Family Dental want you to know it can also trigger more severe symptoms, including asthma, wheezing, and cardiovascular and gastrointestinal ailments.
A latex-safe dental environment
Many dental offices screen patients for a latex allergy. This is only beneficial, however, if you’re already aware you have a latex allergy. The best thing you can do to ease your allergies is to find a dentist who has a latex-safe environment. A latex-safe dental environment observes the following protocols:
- All patients are screened for a latex allergy.
- No personnel use latex gloves.
- All latex products are removed from the patient’s vicinity, including rubber dams and elastics.
- Work areas contaminated with latex powder are cleaned frequently.
- Signs are posted to communicate all latex allergy procedures in case of an emergency.
If a latex allergy is part of your medical history, then it’s in your best interest to find a latex-free dental environment. To learn more about latex-free dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bill Whitley, please give us a call at our convenient Dallas office!
January 10th, 2018
If you’re like us, packing away the holiday decorations to make way for the rise and grind of the work routine can be hard to do. Just because the holidays are over doesn’t mean January can’t be an amazing month! Our motto this year is “Our future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades” and we want to share a few ways you can have a brighter 2018 too.
We probably all have a long list of to-dos to tackle as soon as we step back into the office. Getting back into the groove can take time so let yourself ease into it and only take on a few essential projects at first. We find that staying on track is easier with the help of our planners. Checking off boxes as you finish tasks can be really satisfying because you see all that you’ve accomplished during the day!
This year, we’re determined to not let anything hold us back from reaching our goals. This includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle and we hope our patients make their oral health a top priority! Trust us, your smile will thank you!
With a busy start to the year, dinner preparation can be limited. We’ve gotten into the habit of setting aside a few weekend hours to meal prep and let us tell you, it’s made all the difference! Casseroles, soups and stews are easy to freeze and thaw whenever you need a quick meal. Let us know what recipes become your go-tos! We’re always looking for new ones.
Remember to take time for yourself when things get busy. Even just 30 minutes in the morning reading the Bible or reviewing our daily devotions helps keep us focused for the rest of the day.
We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store! This year, we hope to spend more time with family, friends and get into that reading list starting with the “Mark of the Lion” series by Francine Rivers.
What are you looking forward to most this year? We wish you a wonderful start to 2018 and hope it is your brightest year yet!
January 10th, 2018
As you age, it becomes even more important to take good care of your teeth and dental health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one-fourth of adults age 65 and older have no remaining teeth. What's more, nearly one-third of older adults have untreated tooth decay.
Oral health, regardless of age, is crucial to overall good health. Ideally, we all want to keep your natural teeth, but whether you're caring for natural teeth or dentures, advancing age may put older adults at risk for a number of oral health problems, including:
- Dry mouth
- Diminished sense of taste
- Root decay
- Gum disease
- Uneven jawbone caused by tooth loss
- Denture-induced tissue inflammation
- Overgrowth of fungus in the mouth
- Attrition (loss of teeth structure by mechanical forces)
- Oral cancer
These conditions may not be diagnosed until it is too late. If you want to feel good, stay healthy, and look great throughout life, you might be surprised what a difference a healthy mouth makes.
Here are some tips for maintaining and improving your oral health as you become older:
- Brush twice a day with a toothbrush with soft bristles. You may also benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
- Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner.
- If you wear full or partial dentures, remember to clean them on a daily basis. Take your dentures out of your mouth for at least four hours every day. It’s best to remove them at night.
- Drink tap water. Since most contains fluoride, it helps prevent tooth decay no matter how old you are.
- Quit smoking. Besides putting you at greater risk for lung and other cancers, smoking increases problems with gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
- Visit Whitley Family Dental regularly for a complete dental checkup.
If you have any questions about keeping up with your oral hygiene at home, please give us a call!
January 4th, 2018
It’s estimated that about one in every five people is affected by tinnitus, which is a ringing or noise in the ears. But tinnitus isn’t a condition in itself; it’s actually the symptom of an underlying condition. Some of these underlying conditions could be hearing loss, injury to the ear, or some sort of circulatory disorder.
Another common cause if tinnitus is a dental injury or dental issue, whether it involves the jaw or the temporomandibular joint, better known as the TMJ. “Somatic tinnitus” is the term given to the version that is attributable to injuries to the head or neck area. Symptoms of somatic tinnitus may include noticeable fluctuations in sound volume, intermittency, headaches, memory loss or increased forgetfulness, and an increased likelihood of being depressed or sad.
Dr. Bill Whitley will tell you tinnitus usually isn’t serious and is more common in older populations. For that reason, many people won’t even seek an answer to what’s causing it. But people can also experience more severe cases of tinnitus that can affect a person’s ability to complete everyday activities, which has a larger impact on their lives. For people facing these more severe cases of tinnitus, treatment may be necessary to increase their quality of life. It’s also worth noting that tinnitus seems to worsen with age, so while symptoms might not be a problem one year, they may be more significant and distracting the next.
If you have tinnitus that is caused by the misalignment of the TMJ or an injury to the mouth, that’s a condition that can be corrected by Dr. Bill Whitley and our team at Whitley Family Dental. We will work to relieve your symptoms by realigning the jaw or adjusting your bite with routine dental care. Sometimes we won’t even have to go this far, because an oral infection or gum infection may be causing your problem. We might also recommend other life changes, such as dietary adjustments and medication.
If you're experiencing tinnitus-like symptoms and have ruled out various other reasons for it, contact our Dallas office today. Dr. Bill Whitley and our team will carefully analyze your situation and put you on a treatment course so that you can kick the symptoms for good.