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Essential Gum Care Tips for Aging Adults in Huntsville | Huntsville AL Dentist

Huntsville dentist

As we advance in age, maintaining the health of our gums becomes paramount. At Gardner Family Dentistry, under the expert care of Dr. Steve Gardner and Dr. Stacey Gardner, we understand that seniors face increased risks of periodontal (gum) disease, which can lead to severe health complications if neglected. Fortunately, with proactive dental care, periodontal disease can often be prevented or even reversed.

Understanding the Risks Linked to Periodontal Disease
Studies, including notable research from the University of Southampton and King’s College London, highlight a troubling connection between periodontal disease and cognitive decline in individuals with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Findings suggest that those with periodontal disease may experience cognitive decline at a rate six times faster than those without. Moreover, periodontal disease is also associated with heightened risks of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes, which become more prevalent as we age.

Periodontal Disease: A Closer Look at the Statistics
Data from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research reveals that 14% of seniors between the ages of 65 and 74 are affected by moderate to severe periodontal disease. This percentage increases to over 20% for those over the age of 75. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as smoking significantly impact the prevalence of periodontal disease, with 32% of current smokers showing signs of the condition.

Proactive Steps to Ensure Gum Health
At Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville, we advocate for rigorous oral hygiene to combat the risks associated with periodontal disease. Regular practices should include:

  • Brushing Twice Daily: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean your teeth for two minutes, twice a day.
  • Daily Flossing: Flossing is essential for removing plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. If you find flossing challenging, consider using a floss holder, available at most pharmacies.
  • Regular Dental Visits: Schedule visits for professional cleanings and oral health screenings. Our Huntsville dental team is dedicated to providing thorough assessments to ensure your gums remain healthy.

Visit Gardner Family Dentistry in Huntsville
Whether you are looking for a family dentist in Huntsville, require dental implants, or need a consultation on implant dentistry, Gardner Family Dentistry is here to help. Drs. Steve and Stacey Gardner are committed to providing the highest standard of dental care. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist in maintaining your oral health as you age.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to reach out. We look forward to supporting the longevity of your dental health and overall well-being.

Exploring the Impact of Exercise on Your Oral Health with Gardner Family Dentistry in Huntsville | Dentist 35801

Exercise is undeniably crucial for overall health, but could it potentially harm your teeth in the long run? Several studies have associated fitness and exercise habits with an increased risk of tooth decay and erosion. Here’s how exercise can influence your dental health and what you can do to mitigate any negative effects:

Dry Mouth: Intense physical activity often involves heavy mouth breathing, leading to reduced saliva production and dry mouth. Saliva plays a vital role in protecting against decay-causing bacteria due to its minerals and enzymes. To combat dry mouth during exercise, strive to breathe through your nose whenever possible. Additionally, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise can help prevent mouth dryness and subsequent tooth decay. Consider brushing your teeth before exercising to minimize the presence of bacteria and plaque.

Teeth Clenching: Athletes exerting significant effort, such as weightlifters, may unintentionally clench their jaws, resulting in tooth wear and potential fractures. To safeguard your teeth from clenching during exercise, wearing a mouthguard is highly recommended. Mouthguards can be readily available at drugstores or sporting goods stores, or you can opt for a customized mouthguard crafted by your our dentist in Huntsville. Regardless of the sport or activity, wearing a mouthguard can effectively protect your teeth from damage.

Sports Drinks: While sports drinks are often consumed to replenish electrolytes and energy during workouts, they pose a significant threat to dental health. These beverages are packed with sugar and citric acid, making them highly erosive to tooth enamel. Opting for water instead of sports drinks can help prevent the negative effects of sugar and acid on your teeth. If you do indulge in a sugary drink, limit consumption to a short period and rinse your mouth with water afterward to minimize exposure to harmful acids.

Nutritional Considerations: Consuming foods or drinks containing sugar or carbohydrates triggers acid production in the mouth, which can attack tooth enamel for up to 30 minutes. It’s advisable to consume sugary or carbohydrate-rich foods in one sitting rather than throughout the day to minimize acid exposure. Drinking water after consuming these foods can help neutralize acidity levels in the mouth, promoting better oral health.

Regular Dental Check-ups: Maintaining good oral health involves seeing your dentist regularly. Biannual dental visits are essential for preventive care and the early detection of any oral issues. Contact our dental office at Gardner Family Dentistry in Huntsville to schedule your next appointment and ensure optimal oral health.

Exercise is vital for your well-being, but it’s equally important to prioritize your dental health. By following these tips and scheduling regular dental check-ups, you can enjoy the benefits of exercise while safeguarding your smile.

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

Unlocking the Benefits of Adult Sealants at Gardner Family Dentistry in Huntsville | Dentist in 35801

Sealants aren’t just for kids – adults can also reap the rewards of this preventive dental treatment. Sealants serve as a protective barrier by sealing the deep grooves and crevices in the chewing surfaces of teeth, effectively preventing cavities from developing on healthy teeth. Research conducted by the American Dental Association underscores the efficacy of sealants in adults in cavity prevention.

Understanding Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth. While sealants do not replace the need for daily brushing and flossing, they play a crucial role in preventing cavities.

Despite maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home, certain areas of the mouth are difficult to clean thoroughly. Molars have grooves known as “pits” and “fissures” that are particularly prone to trapping food and bacteria due to their depth, making them more susceptible to decay.

Consultation and Application Process

During a consultation with your our dentist in Huntsville at Gardner Family Dentistry, we’ll assess whether dental sealants are a suitable option for preventing tooth decay. Patients are often pleasantly surprised by how quickly and easily sealants can be applied, as outlined below:

  1. Thorough Cleaning: Your teeth are cleaned to remove any plaque or debris.
  2. Tooth Preparation: The teeth are dried and etched with a solution to prepare the surface for sealing.
  3. Sealant Application: We apply a liquid sealant material that flows into the grooves of your teeth.
  4. Curing Process: A curing light is used to harden the sealant, creating a smooth surface that is easier to clean.

Maintenance and Longevity

Maintaining sealants is straightforward – you can continue your regular oral hygiene routine, including brushing and flossing. However, it’s essential to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste containing remineralizing agents like hydroxyapatite. Additionally, rinsing your mouth after consuming staining foods and avoiding sticky, chewy, or hard foods can help prolong the life of your sealants.

At Gardner Family Dentistry, we’ll monitor your sealants during each dental visit for any signs of wear. With proper at-home care and regular professional cleanings, sealants can last up to ten years, providing long-term protection against cavities.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about sealants and their benefits. Let’s work together to keep your smile healthy and cavity-free for years to come.

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

Your Child’s Routine Dental Appointment | Dentist in 35801

The American Dental Association recommends that all patients schedule routine six-month check-up exams. This is particularly important for growing children. Their mouth is constantly changing, and they are often more prone to tooth decay. It is vital to establish the correct oral health habits when they are young so that they become a lifetime routine. 

At your child’s visit, we will screen their mouth for tooth decay and gum disease. We will also clean their teeth. Regular, professional dental cleanings are essential for a healthy mouth. During your child’s dental cleaning, we will gently remove any buildup of plaque or tartar to help prevent tooth decay.

During this visit, our team will spend time discussing proper brushing technique and oral

hygiene with your child. Depending on your child’s age, we may also teach them about the correct use of floss and mouthwash. Our team members are friendly, patient, and great with kids, and they will answer all questions that you or your child may have. 

We may recommend that fluoride be applied to the teeth as part of your child’s treatment. Topical fluoride is used to strengthen enamel and make teeth more resistant to tooth decay. The process is easy, safe, and effective. 

We may also recommend the placement of sealants for your child. Sealants are highly effective in preventing tooth decay and cavities in your child’s molars and premolars. These areas are the most susceptible to cavities due to the anatomized grooves.

Typically, children get sealants on their permanent molars and premolars as soon as these teeth come in. These sealants can protect the teeth through the cavity-prone years of ages 6 to 14. However, adults without decay or fillings in their molars can also benefit from sealants.

The process of applying sealants is easy and fast. The application steps are as follows:

●Your child’s teeth are thoroughly cleaned

●The teeth are dried

●A liquid solution is put on the chewing surfaces of the teeth

●The solution is cured using a special curing light

Sealants act as a barrier and protect the enamel from plaque and acids. They may last for several years before a reapplication is needed. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants are not a substitute for brushing your teeth. It is important to maintain proper oral hygiene and keep up with professional dental cleanings. Also, sealants do not protect between teeth, so it is essential to continue to floss daily.

Our expert dentist and knowledgeable team have the experience and qualifications to care for your child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout various stages of childhood. For more information or to request an appointment, contact our office today.

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

Creating A More Youthful Smile | Dentist Near Me

Your smile is one of the first things a person will notice when they meet you. You can create a more youthful smile with one simple procedure. Whitening your teeth can make you look younger, especially if your teeth are currently stained, dull or discolored. Our dental office provides whitening services for new and existing patients. 

Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, over time, discoloration will occur. The main causes of stained teeth are genetics, antibiotics, tobacco and certain foods. As

we age, our teeth darken as well. While preventing tooth discoloration is nearly impossible, our experienced team can help reverse the effects of discoloration by helping to create a whiter and brighter smile.

Whether it’s an in-office treatment or at-home treatment, the principles of teeth whitening are the same. A special whitening agent is applied to the teeth in order to

bleach stains and brighten your smile. Our dentist will discuss your whitening needs and goals with you to determine which option is best for you.

In-office teeth whitening is the quickest method to a brighter, whiter smile. With the supervision of an experienced dental professional, a stronger bleaching solution can be used than with at-home kits. Optimal results are achieved much faster with the professional whitening treatment, and in many ways the results are better given the nature of the bleaching agents that are used. Patients find that they appear younger just by restoring their bright, white smile. 

During a professional teeth whitening treatment, we will first clean the teeth. We will then apply a whitening agent to your teeth, carefully avoiding your gums and soft tissue. Once applied, a laser light will be directed at the teeth to expedite the process. For maximum results, the process may be repeated more than once.


If a visit to our office for professional whitening isn’t an option for you, at-home treatment may provide the whitening you need. You will find a vast variety of at-home teeth whitening products on the market, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, trays and more. We can fit you with custom-made whitening trays that will more accurately conform to your teeth for a more even whitening result. At-home teeth whitening results are less dramatic compared to those achieved in the office. 

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

Making Oral Hygiene Fun for Your Child | Dentist in Huntsville AL

As a parent, the best way to help ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth is to help them establish great dental hygiene habits as they grow. It can be difficult to get young children to cooperate with brushing and flossing. Making the routine as exciting as possible will make your life easier. Here are some useful tips for keeping your child engaged by making dental hygiene fun:

  • Pick out a special toothbrush

One great way to keep your child excited about brushing is to allow him or her to choose their own toothbrush in a favorite color or branded with a favorite cartoon character. Child-size soft-bristled brushes come in a wide variety of options designed to make your child like their toothbrush. Electric or battery-operated toothbrushes are an even better option to remove plaque and add some excitement to brushing. 

  • Choose children’s toothpaste

Another great option is to use a toothpaste that is designed for kids. While adults generally prefer the fresh taste of a minty toothpaste, many children find mint to be too powerful a flavor. This can make brushing unpleasant or even painful to sensitive taste buds. Instead, let your child choose a children’s toothpaste. There are many options available in a variety of soft mint, fruity, and bubble gum flavors. It is much easier to keep your child brushing for a full two minutes when their toothpaste tastes good. Just be sure that they don’t swallow too much. 

  • Use a timer

Two minutes can seem like a long time to a child. It can be very difficult for your child to try to estimate or count how long to brush without some kind of visual aid. You can help your child stay more engaged and ensure a full two minutes of brushing by using a timer. Choices range from a small sand timer your child can flip over, to a manual stopwatch with buttons to press, or even an app on a phone or tablet to time digitally. There are a lot of fun apps that will even make a game out of brushing. By letting your child take control of the timer, they can be more confident and more engaged in their brushing.

  • Brush (and floss) together

A parent is the first and strongest role model for their child. Brushing together can help your child model your great brushing technique, which will improve their own. Additionally, brushing and flossing together emphasizes to your child that oral hygiene is important. When your child sees that you take dental hygiene seriously, they are likely to follow suit.

For more tips on making dentistry fun for your child, contact our office.

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

The Importance of Screening for Oral Cancer | Dentist in 35801

Like with every form of cancer, early diagnosis can have a profound impact on the success of your treatment. Regular screenings are your first line of defense against oral cancer and our dentist is thoroughly trained in screening for oral cancer.

During your screening, we will check your lips, tongue, gums, mouth, and throat for any abnormalities that could be or become cancerous. We will give careful consideration to any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have experienced any oral cancer symptoms for more than two weeks without improvement, schedule an appointment and tell your dentist immediately. Symptoms that could indicate oral cancer include:

●Ear pain

●Mouth sores that don’t heal

●White or red patches in your mouth

●Dramatic weight loss

●Lumps or swelling in or around your mouth

●Sore throat without other sinus symptoms

●Sensation of something caught in the back of your throat

●Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

One adult American dies of oral cancer every hour. Though anyone can develop oral cancer, some factors can increase your risks. Some of the most common risk factors include: genetic predisposition, prolonged sun exposure, unhealthy diet, smoking, chewing tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Oral cancer is more common in men than women. 

Whatever the cause, the success of treatment depends on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. Early detection can play a critical role in your successful recovery. When found in early stages,oral cancers have an 80–90% survival rate. Oral cancers that are found in early or precancerous stages can often be removed and require less invasive procedures to treat. Later stages of cancer are likely to be larger and more complex and often have spread far beyond your mouth.

If you would like more information about oral cancer and oral cancer screening, contact our office for a consultation or to schedule a comprehensive dental exam.

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Disease | Dentist in 35801

Almost half of the population in the United States has been diagnosed with moderate to severe periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can range from gingivitis (mild inflammation) to  periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue damage, bone destruction, and even tooth loss. Our experienced dentist is trained to treat all stages of periodontal disease in both new and existing patients. 

A main cause of gum disease is the lack of practicing proper oral hygiene habits.  Habits such as daily brushing and flossing, along with regular professional exams and cleanings, are the key to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed on a regular basis, plaque forms on the teeth and underneath the gum tissue. If this plaque is not removed, within time it may harden become tartar. Only a dental professional can remove tartar from teeth during a dental cleaning. 

If gum disease is not treated during the early stages, tartar and bacteria may continue to multiply causing the disease to advance. Gums redden, swell, and become painful and prone to bleeding. When the disease reaches this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent further advancement. 

Periodontitis is generally considered the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to recede away from the teeth, creating “pockets” in between the tooth, root, and gum tissue. These spaces are very difficult to clean and require professional attention. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by the disease. In fact, one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.

Some of the most common risk factors for periodontal disease include poor oral hygiene, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, smoking, genetics, and female hormonal changes. Some medications can even cause gum tissue overgrowth, which can increase difficulty in proper oral hygiene

Our dentist has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you are experiencing bad breath, bleeding or painful gums, sensitive teeth, or teeth that are becoming loose, contact our office to schedule a periodontal evaluation. We provide excellent, comprehensive periodontal care for both new and existing patients. 

Our dentist  has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you are experiencing bad breath, bleeding or painful gums, sensitive teeth, or teeth that are becoming loose, contact our office to schedule a periodontal evaluation. We provide excellent, comprehensive periodontal care for both new and existing patients. 

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

The Benefit of Adding Flossing to Your Routine | 35801 Dentist

You have heard the recommendation from your dental hygienist or dentist over and over again: “You need to start flossing. Flossing daily is important.” Although it may sound like a broken record at times, flossing truly is instrumental to both your oral and overall dental health. It is important to understand the benefits of flossing daily to keep your smile shining bright. 

Flossing not only protects your gum tissue, but also the surrounding bone support. When you floss, you clean the plaque (dental bacteria) in between your teeth. Simply brushing your teeth does not allow you to reach the areas in between where your teeth touch together. The bacteria can build up and eventually harden into tartar. A combination of bacteria in your mouth and tartar under the gumline can lead to periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss. 

Periodontal disease not only affects your oral health, but your systemic health as well. Long term, unresolved inflammation in your body can lead to many issues. The bacteria found in the mouth that cause periodontal disease have also been shown to circulate throughout the bloodstream. It has been proven that there is a correlation between these bacteria and heart disease, stroke, increased blood sugar levels/diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, among many other diseases. 

A consistent routine of flossing, when paired with brushing and professional cleanings, can save you money in the long run. Preventative care can reduce more severe problems down the road. Flossing can help decrease the amount of decay you develop in between your teeth, therefore decreasing the amount of dental work that needs to be done. It is a great way to stop the problems before they even begin. 

Although it may sound repetitive, you truly do want to heed the advice of a dental professional when it comes to flossing. The old saying “only floss the teeth that you want to keep” holds true. Contact our office for a full dental examination and a professional cleaning, including an evaluation of your oral hygiene habits and how they can be improved. 

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

The Optimal Oral Health Routine | Huntsville Family Dentist

If it has been more than 6 months since your last dental visit, it may not be possible to regain optimal oral health care without the assistance of professional care. While creating your oral health plan, make sure to start by scheduling an examination and professional thorough cleaning with our team. Once you’ve received professional care, it’s imperative to adopt an at-home care plan to maintain your oral health between appointments.  

How often should you receive professional care?  

Your professional oral health care plan will vary based on your individual needs. For patients with mild to severe periodontal disease, a program involving 4 visits per year may be necessary to keep the disease from progressing. For others with a smile less susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth decay, 2 visits per year may suffice. Regardless of your individual needs, once set, do your best to keep to your regular schedule. This will prevent harmful bacteria from causing damage to your beautiful smile and affecting your overall health.  

Home Care 

Many don’t realize the regular dental appointments alone do not ensure optimal oral health. In fact, according to the research conducted by the American Dental Association, brushing should occur twice per day for 2 full minutes with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Interdental cleaning should occur daily and can be done with floss or alternative methods, such as with the use of a Waterpik.  

Decay can occur in a few months or less of oral hygiene neglect. Decay can also occur due to an acidic oral environment, underlying health conditions or as a result of a poor dietary habit.  

Oral Health and Overall Health 

Your oral health is directly related to your overall health. The bacteria and infection found in your mouth can travel through your bloodstream to important organs. It’s imperative to care for your smile, just as you would your heart, lungs or brain.  

Whether it has been only a few months or several years since you’ve last received professional oral health care, we welcome you at our practice. You’ll receive compassionate care, free of judgement. It’s our goal to help you achieve a smile that you’re happy to display.

Gardner Family Dentistry of Huntsville
Phone: (256) 533-1435
cash, credit card
107 Marsheutz Avenue
Huntsville, Al 35801

Gardner Family Dentistry ● 107 Marsheutz Avenue, Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 533-1435 ● Hours: Monday - Thursday: 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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