Oral Health And Aging

Oral health and aging, Charlotte, NC Charlotte, NC Dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp emphasizes the importance of striving to keep your natural teeth healthy for as long as possible to enjoy the best quality of life. Modern advances in both materials and technology in the dental field have made it possible to retain our natural teeth and a functional smile longer than ever before.

This means that maintaining consistent oral hygiene and routine dental checkups throughout our lifetime play a key role in our overall health and well-being. Keeping your smile healthy by taking advantage of all that modern dentistry can offer will provide you your best quality of life.

There are important considerations for your oral health as you age and Dr. Van Gurp offers comprehensive care to address your concerns and help you maintain optimal oral health and meet your cosmetic goals for a natural looking smile.

Later in life, our gums may recede, exposing the root surfaces of our teeth. Gum recession can be caused by a number of factors, including trauma, periodontal disease, vigorous brushing, and genetic predisposition. Root exposure is problematic mainly because root surfaces are covered by a material called cementum, which is much softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. In addition, certain medications can limit the flow of saliva, which is protective against cavities.

For this reason, older patients must take special care to brush and floss daily and visit the dentist regularly to discuss your medical history and ensure that root cavities do not occur. For patients with dentures, regular dental visits are also important, as a dentist can ensure they are fitting well and enabling you to eat and speak properly. We also examine your mouth for signs of periodontal disease and oral cancer, both highly treatable when caught early.

Cosmetic Dentistry for A Lasting Smile

We understand that aesthetics are also important to our older adult patients and offer cosmetic dental procedures that can keep your smile looking beautiful at any age.

Throughout our lives, our teeth may begin to darken due to staining or may abrade due to certain habits, such as teeth grinding. Teeth whitening and porcelain veneers are both great options for adult and senior patients who desire to improve the look of their smile.

If you have any questions about specific oral health concerns or would like to enhance your smile with cosmetic dentistry, contact Dr. Van Gurp in our Charlotte, NC dentist office.

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry, general dentistry, oral health

Causes Of Toothaches

Toothaches, Charlotte, NC
No matter how careful and thorough you are with maintaining your daily oral care, at some point in your life you will probably experience the pain and discomfort of a toothache. Although a cavity is normally the cause, tooth decay is only one of the several triggering factors of tooth pain or discomfort.

Tooth Sensitivity
If you experience pain when you eat or drink hot or cold food and beverages, it could signal a cavity. It could also be a sign that you have sensitive teeth, either from thinning tooth enamel or receding gums. These are common side effects of aging, lifestyle habits or can be caused by other health concerns. In addition to discussing your concerns with Dr. Richard Van Gurp during your next routine preventive care visit, try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth as this may help ease the symptoms.

Severe Toothaches
If the pain of your toothache is sudden, sharp and stabbing, the cause may be related to a cavity or cracked tooth. However, if you experience a throbbing, constant pain when you bite down on your food, you may have an abscessed tooth or an infection that should be taken care of right away. Contact our Charlotte, NC dentist office as soon as possible to schedule a visit.

Might Not Even Be Your Teeth
A less common cause of a toothache is a sinus infection. If you have pain in the upper teeth on both sides of the jaw, a sinus infection could be the cause. This type of toothache is usually combined with nasal congestion and tenderness around the eyes, forehead and sinuses.

If your ache is more identifiable as jaw pain, it may be caused by a Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). Bite problems like TMJ can be triggered by malocclusion, a jaw injury, arthritis, or tooth grinding. Wisdom teeth that have not been removed could also cause jaw pain and toothaches.

Prevent Tooth Pain

Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent a toothache and other common oral health concerns. To reduce your risk for developing decay, gum disease or other common causes of a toothache be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit Dr. Van Gurp regularly for oral examinations and a professional dental cleaning.

Been away from the dentist? Contact our Charlotte, NC dentist office to schedule a visit and restore a healthy smile.

Posted in: general dentistry, oral health

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

Relaxed patient in dental chairDental anxiety or fear of the dentist is one of the most common reasons people avoid routine dental care. Dental anxiety is a real condition affecting many people, and can often be the result of a previous bad experience in the dentist chair. Charlotte dentist, Dr. Van Gurp wants to help patients feel calm, confident and in control while they receive dental treatments.

Dr. Van Gurp understands the struggles of dental anxiety and takes the time to discuss your dental concerns. Simply discussing the dental treatment may put you at ease. Dr. Van Gurp will also take the time to fully explain a dental procedure as well as answer any questions you may have. For many, this can reduce their anxious feelings and enable them to overcome dental fears without sedation.

If you postpone your routine visits with the dentist for too long, there can be serious negative outcomes. Losing your teeth is one of the most serous consequences of avoiding the dentist. Periodontal disease or tooth decay can form and if left untreated, will lead to major problems including tooth loss. Painful toothaches, stained teeth and bad breath are other outcomes of skipping your routine visits with us.

Dr. Van Gurp and his team know patients can be scared of coming to the dentist and we want to help. We never judge patients for their dental anxiety and want to work with you to help you feel calm and relaxed. Our caring and experienced staff will talk with you during a cleaning, let you see any dental instrument that will be used and explain what is going to happen during your visit before getting started.

Ready to conquer your fear of the dentist and get back a healthy smile? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Gurp in our Charlotte dentist office today!

Posted in: dr van gurp, routine dental care

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry, Charlotte, NC
Are you embarrassed to smile? Are you afraid to show your teeth?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then cosmetic dentistry can help you gain the confidence to share your natural smile once again while improving your dental health.

Charlotte, NC cosmetic dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp has gone through advanced training to be able to help meet your unique cosmetic needs and goals. Cosmetic dentistry enhances the appearance of your smile and there are many options to fix unwanted gaps, discoloration and even damaged or missing teeth. Looking for inspiration or want to learn more about the benefits of cosmetic dentistry and treatment options? Visit yoursmilebecomesyou.com before visiting our Charlotte, NC office for your consultation.

The most common cosmetic dentistry procedure requested today is professional teeth whitening, where the dentist uses a bleaching agent to restore a brighter, whiter smile. Discoloration of teeth is a frequent concern and Dr. Van Gurp offers services that are far superior to those that are available over-the-counter for a long-lasting white smile.

For chipped, damaged or worn teeth, Dr. Van Gurp offers tooth bonding and dental crowns that look and feel natural. A dental crown restores a tooth’s shape, size, strength and appearance. This type of treatment places a “cap” over the tooth to protect and reinforce it, preventing further deterioration.

Another common cosmetic treatment option is invisible braces. This treatment is an alternative to metal braces used to align the teeth and correct mild to moderate bite concerns. Invisalign uses clear, removable retainers to address crowding, spacing, crossbite, overbite and underbite.

Porcelain veneers are another cosmetic option that can close gaps, repair teeth, cover stained teeth, and improve the overall appearance of your smile. With today’s technology, porcelain veneers cover the teeth with an ultra thin porcelain shell that looks and feels like your natural teeth.

There is no reason to be embarrassed by your teeth when there are a variety of options that can enhance your smile. Let Dr. Van Gurp in Charlotte, NC help decide which cosmetic treatment is best for you. After discussing your concerns, goals, and budget, Dr. Van Gurp will recommend a viable solution. Improving your smile will boost your confidence and your overall quality of life.

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry, smile makeover

Diabetes And Oral Health

Diabetes and oral health, Charlotte, NC
Diabetes is quickly becoming one of the most frequently diagnosed systemic diseases for both children and adults. There are a wide range of factors affecting the surge in diabetes, including increased added sugar in the modern American diet, the prevalence of obesity, and a more sedentary lifestyle.

Although you may not think of your dental health when considering the effects of diabetes, Charlotte, NC Dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp sees the affects that diabetes can have on the teeth and gums and works with diabetic patients to improve both oral and overall health through better oral hygiene.

How Does Diabetes Affect Dental Health?

When someone is diabetic, the body is either unable to produce insulin or is struggling to use insulin properly in order to remain healthy. In both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, patients need to monitor blood sugar daily and alter their lifestyle habits to avoid serious health complications.

What does this mean for your dental health?
Fluctuations in blood sugar affect the health of the teeth and gums, but this can also be a two way street!

Patients with diabetes who do not have their blood sugar in control are more likely to develop periodontal disease. But advanced gum disease can also adversely affect the progression of diabetes. Either way- maintaining good oral health is important for diabetic patients to both control disease and avoid complex dental concerns. Diabetic patients experience tooth loss at a higher rate than the rest of the adult population.

Diabetes affects the integrity of the immune system and puts patients at a higher risk for bacterial infections such as advanced gum disease. Routine dental care provides Dr. Van Gurp the opportunity to closely monitor the gum health of diabetic patients and offer individualized oral hygiene advice to help maintain oral health between visits.

In addition to regular dental care, keeping blood sugar stable through diet, exercise and proper medication will provide the best possible quality of life and reduce the risk of stroke, vision problems and other health issues commonly associated with diabetes.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and have oral health concerns or have been away from the dentist for some time, contact our Charlotte, NC dentist office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Van Gurp. We accept new patients and can help you to restore a healthy smile.

Posted in: diabetes, oral health

April Is Oral Cancer Awareness Month..

April is oral cancer awareness month, charlotte, nc
April of each year marks Oral Cancer Awareness month as sponsored by various health organizations and the American Dental Association (ADA) in an effort to shed a brighter light on this often deadly disease affecting thousands each year.

Oral Cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers statistically because it is frequently diagnosed in the late stages of development. At this point, many patients are faced with less than a 50% survival rate.

Dr. Richard W. Van Gurp provides an oral cancer screening during your routine visits to our Charlotte, NC dentist office. This quick, painless exam lasts about two minutes, but could add years to your life if an oral cancer is spotted in the early stage when treatment is often successful. Many patients do not even realize that they are being screened for the signs of oral cancer as Dr. Van Gurp performs a routine examination of the teeth, gums and neck area during their hygiene visits.

Common Signs of Oral Cancer

Although many signs of oral cancer easily go unnoticed, understanding what Dr. Van Gurp is looking for during your screening can help you to monitor your own oral health between visits, especially if you are a smoker or use tobacco products which places you in the high risk category.

  • Sore throat or feeling of something caught in the throat
  • Thickening of soft oral tissues
  • Noticeable red or white patches in the mouth
  • Numbness of the tongue
  • Swelling in the jaw area
  • Change in the fit of dentures
  • Difficulty swallowing

Although some of these signs or symptoms can be an indication of a wide range of dental health concerns, it is important to come in for a visit if you notice any of these changes. Early treatment can often avoid more complex problems down the road and in the case of oral cancer, it could be lifesaving.

Oral cancer screening provides another good reason to visit with Dr. Van Gurp in Charlotte, NC twice a year. Routine dental care not only keeps your smile healthy but can also provide the opportunity to spot early signs of larger health concerns such as oral cancer. As your dentist, we consider ourselves a partner in your overall health care, helping you to enjoy the best quality of life every day.

Posted in: general dentistry, oral cancer

Aging And Oral Health..

Aging and Oral Health, Charlotte, NC
Modern dentistry recommends that we strive to keep our natural teeth healthy for as long as possible for the best quality of life. With the advent of new technology in the dental field and improved standards of oral health in recent years, we are retaining our natural teeth longer than ever before.

This means that we must maintain consistent oral hygiene and schedule regular dental check ups throughout our lifetime. Dr. Richard Van Gurp understands that our oral health needs change as we age and would like to discuss some special concerns for adult and senior patients.

Later in life, our gums may recede, exposing the root surfaces of our teeth. Gum recession can be caused by a number of factors, including trauma, periodontal disease, vigorous brushing, and genetic predisposition. Root exposure is problematic mainly because root surfaces are covered by a material called cementum, which is much softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay. In addition, certain antibiotics can limit the flow of saliva, which is protective against cavities.

For this reason, older patients must take special care to brush and floss daily and visit the dentist regularly to ensure that root cavities do not occur. For elderly patients with dentures, regular dental visits are also important, as a dentist can ensure a properly fitting denture and can also examine your mouth for signs of periodontal disease and oral cancer, with of which are highly treatable when caught early.

Cosmetic Dentistry for A Lasting Smile

We understand that aesthetics are also important to our older adult patients and we would like to address certain cosmetic procedures that may benefit us as we age.

Throughout our lives, our teeth may begin to darken due to staining or may abrade due to parafunctional habits. Teeth whitening and porcelain veneers are both options for older patients who desire to improve the look of their smiles!

In addition to brushing and flossing, a healthy diet and exercise is important for older adults in maintaining the healthiest mouth possible. Certain chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are connected to oral health; living a healthier lifestyle can lessen our risks for these diseases.

If you have any questions about specific oral health concerns for older patients, please don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Van Gurp during your next visit!

Posted in: oral health, preventive care

Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month

National Childrens Dental Health Month, Charlotte, NCThough it may feel like your child is too young for the dentist, experts agree that the earlier children begin a healthy relationship with oral hygiene and the dentist, the better. To celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, Charlotte, NC Dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp reminds parents and caregivers that your child’s oral health is an important part to their overall health and well-being.

One of the most common chronic childhood disease is tooth decay. It affects approximately 50% of first graders and 80% of 17 year olds. Children should begin seeing a dentist by the age of 3 or when the all primary teeth have erupted- earlier if there are other concerns. Not only will this first visit help children get acclimated to the idea of the dentist, it will also help them and their parents learn how to maintain good oral health for the long run. At our Charlotte, NC family dentist office, Dr. Van Gurp and his staff take the time to teach children to learn how to properly brush and floss- and have fun taking care of their smile.

Dentists can help parents learn:

    • How to care for an infant’s teeth
    • If their child is getting enough fluoride
    • If and when to wean children off thumb sucking
    • Safety measures to prevent face and teeth damage
    • What to expect when a child starts teething and losing baby teeth
    • The relationship between a baby’s diet and oral health
    • What to do and what to not to do surrounding sippy cups
    • How babies can “catch” bacteria from utensils, fingers, and caregivers

Many people are under the impression that baby teeth don’t need to be cared for like adult teeth, but early preventive dental care serves several important purposes, including laying the foundation for a lifetime of good dental health. Children with cavities in their baby teeth are at a much higher risk for cavities later in life. Additionally, baby teeth form a path that permanent teeth will follow when they erupt. Untreated tooth decay can cause speech impediments, pain, and oral infections. Early detection of oral problems allows for conservative and inexpensive treatments.

Habits are formed when children are young. A healthy oral routine, including brushing and flossing, and twice a year visits to the dentist are extremely important to instill in a child. Professional cleanings are just as important in a 2 year old as they are in a 22 year old.

Schedule Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Call our Charlotte, NC dentist office today to schedule an appointment for your child!

Posted in: national childrens dental health month

Make a New Years Resolution For Better Oral Health…

Good oral health for the new year, Charlotte, NCThough January 1 is a great time for resolving to eat better, exercise more, and make more time for the things we love, any date on the calendar is a great time to resolve to have better oral health. Whether you need to schedule your routine dental hygiene visit, need a new local dentist or have been away from the dentist and want to restore a healthy smile- Charlotte, NC Dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp can provide the services you need.

Oral health is dependent on routine dental care. It’s necessary to visit the dentist at least twice a year for routine cleanings and checkups. Many dental issues, including cavities and gum disease, are found only when dentists are able to perform thorough examinations in a dental office. Additionally, regular cleanings including tooth scaling, which removes tartar from your teeth. This can’t be done at home and is important for your teeth and gums. If oral health problems aren’t spotted as early as possible and effectively treated, they can spread and become more serious, potentially needing more in-depth and expensive care.

You should visit the dentist at least twice a year to:
• Save on future dental costs
• Maintain clean and healthy teeth
• Potentially diagnose gum disease or tooth decay

In addition to maintaining oral health, there are many dental treatments that improve the health as well as the aesthetics of your teeth and gums. Cosmetic dentistry procedures such as porcelain veneers, dental implants, and teeth whitening not only give you a more beautiful smile, but also contribute to the positive health of your mouth. Teeth that are straight and properly aligned function better and are even easier to brush and floss.

At home oral health is equally as important as routine dental visits. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with mouthwash are the most important steps in taking care of your teeth and gums. Poor oral health can affect other parts of the body and studies have found correlations between oral health and cardiovascular disease, systemic disease, and prenatal health.

Making a resolution is a great way for both children and adults to kick off better oral health. A healthy and beautiful smile is always in season!

Schedule Your Appointment

Dr. Van Gurp is accepting new patients in his Charlotte, NC dental office. Call the office directly or schedule an appointment online.

Posted in: routine dental care

Maintain Your Dental Health Thru The Holidays

Holiday Dental Health, Charlotte, NCThe holidays are full of busy days, parties, family memories- and lots of great sweets and goodies that can affect not only our waistline- but our oral health! Charlotte, NC Dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp offers holiday wishes to all patients- as well as a few quick tips for keeping your smile healthy while enjoying the best the season has to offer.

  • Enjoy those cakes, cookies and candies in moderation- good for the smile and the waistline!
  • Chew sugar free gum or rinse with water after a sweet snack or dark beverages such as red wine
  • Never use your teeth to crack a nut or open a package- keep the right tools handy for guests
  • Brush and floss daily, even when your routine is disrupted by fun and travel
  • Be sure to visit our office for ROUTINE DENTAL CARE as needed to keep your teeth and gums healthy

In case of the unexpected dental emergency, contact our Charlotte, NC dentist office as soon as possible for advice on how best to handle the situation and mitigate permanent damage.

Is holiday stress leading to teeth grinding or jaw clenching? If so, contact our dentist office to schedule a visit and learn more about how a custom mouth guard could protect your teeth and improve dental health. Left untreated, tooth grinding (also called bruxism) can lead to tooth damage and other dental problems.

Looking for a quick smile makeover for those holiday parties and events? Schedule a teeth whitening treatment after your routine dental cleaning for a bright, white smile you will be happy to share. It may also be the inspiration you need to practice the tips mentioned above and moderate those dark foods and beverages.

Happy Holidays from Dr. Van Gurp!

Posted in: news and events, Oral Health, oral health

Top 10 dentists in Charlotte
We are proud to announce that Dr. Richard W. Vangurp, DDS was awarded the 2015 Dentistry Charlotte Patients' Choice Award.
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Top Dentist 2015