what is that smell

You walk in the door, you inhale deeply, and you immediately know you’re in a dental office. Your nose tickles with the scent of incredible cleanliness, and may trigger a sense of fear or aversion for visiting the dentist. At my dental office in Glen Allen, we think explaining what exactly causes that dental office smell may help relieve a bit of that discomfort (at least we hope!).


Infection Control Products

All dental practices should practice strict sanitation and infection control procedures (we sure do!). Just like a hospital or physician’s office, your Glen Allen dentist also needs to ensure extreme cleanliness throughout the practice. The items used to keep tools sterilized, hands covered and clean, and chairs free of germs all have super-clean aromas. Gloves, antibacterial soaps, disinfectant wipes, extreme heat sanitation ovens, and the product used to sanitize tools that can’t be cleaned through heat all help contribute to the dental office smell.



Certain dental treatments can result is something commonly known as tooth dust. When getting a filling, a root canal, or crown, tooth dust is often released into the air. At a dental practice, where these procedures are quite common, the smell from a lot of tooth dust can linger around and contribute to that dental office scent. Dentists and their assistants can minimize the amount of tooth dust during a procedure by using a lot of water and a high-suction vacuum.


Dental Materials

Many of the materials used in dentistry have smells all their own. One specific, common material that’s used for constructing dentures and temporary crowns is acrylic, and it has a strong stench that also contributes to the smell of the dental office. Another high-smelling dental material is clove oil, which is typically used in dental fillings.


Now that you know some of the reasons behind the unique dental office smell, all of us at my Glen Allen dental office hope it makes visiting a dentist a bit more comforting. If we can help ease your concerns, please give us call. We’re here to help you get healthy while keeping you comfortable and relaxed.


Welcoming patients from Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding areas.


cigarettes bad for your teeth

The average out-of-pocket price for a pack a cigarettes in the United States is $6.18. But the true cost of smoking can’t be measured in dollars and cents. At my dental office in Glen Allen, we’d like to share some scary facts about smoking and encourage you to put down the cigarettes once and for all.


When a lot of us think of the effects of smoking, we immediately think of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and premature death. While all of those diseases and very scary realities should definitely be talked about, smoking can also have some detrimental effects on oral health.



On the surface, smoking can lead to bad breath, discoloration of teeth, and premature aging. If we dig a little deeper and examine the inside of the mouth, as well as the gums and the teeth, we may find some even worse damage caused by cigarettes.


Oral Cancer

Since your mouth is the first area of your body to become exposed to cigarette smoke, it’s only natural that it be subjected to many of its hazardous ingredients. Like with other types of cancer, smokers are at increased risk for oral cancer. But that’s not all.


Gum Disease

Smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control puts smokers at seven times greater risk for developing gum disease than non-smokers. What’s more, 75% of all adult periodontal disease can be attributed to smoking. Gum disease is a serious health concern and has been linked with heart disease, stroke, difficulty controlling blood sugar, and tooth loss.


Tooth Loss

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, male smokers lose 2.9 teeth for every 10 years of smoking, and women lose 1.5. So remember that initial cost of $6.18 per pack? While that may seem rather inexpensive, we can see how each pack of cigarettes ends up costing much more.


It’s extremely crucial for smokers to keep up with regularly scheduled appointments at my Glen Allen dental office. Here, we don’t judge or lecture, but we will work with you to keep your mouth healthy and monitor you closely for any potential problems.


Welcoming patients from Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding areas.


Teeth WhiteningWe always encourage you to keep up with regularly scheduled appointments at my dental office in Glen Allen. But do you know why it’s so important? In this blog, we cover some of the top reasons seeing us at least twice a year is so crucial to your oral health.


  1. Cavities. Regular cleanings and appointments are key to preventing serious problems that may be lurking. Plaque, that gross white stuff that you can sometimes see on your teeth, is the top cause of decay and, therefore, cavities. If left alone, the plaque eats away at enamel and forms cavities. Professional cleanings are really important to remove plaque buildup and protect smiles.


  1. Keep Your Teeth. Not only can regular visits keep you healthy, they’re also really important if you want to keep your teeth. At your appointments, we look for gum disease, which is one of the major reasons adults lose their teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can weaken the bone that holds teeth in place. This can eventually cause teeth to fall out or loosen. If we catch gum disease early, it decreases the chance of this happening.


  1. Save Your Money. Regular visits help catch any potential problems before they turn into big, expensive issues. Taking advantage of preventive care appointments can help keep cash in your wallet by helping avoid big ticket procedures.


  1. Kissably Fresh Breath. While your at-home routine does help to keep bad breath germs away, professional cleanings get deep into the pockets and remove germs and bacteria below the gum line.


  1. Overall Health. There is a strong connection between your oral health and your overall health. A healthy mouth typically means a healthier body, and there’s no better way to ensure you’re in tip-top shape than with regular cleanings. Regular cleanings may help lower risk for heart disease and stroke, and we can detect many other whole-body problems early at regular dental appointments.


If you’re due for a checkup or cleaning, call my Glen Allen dental office. We’ll get you scheduled for an exam and cleaning, and check your entire mouth for any problems or potential ones. As always, we’ll also recommend that you return to see us in about six months.

Welcoming patients from Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding areas.

Heart health month

During the month of February, we celebrate American Heart Month and work to raise awareness of the best ways to keep your heart healthy. For all of us here at my dental office in Glen Allen, there’s never been a better time to talk about the link between your oral health and heart health.


The mouth is the window to whole body health. Your mouth can provide early warning signs to a variety of other whole-body problems, one of which is heart disease. Additionally, numerous studies have shown a strong link between gum disease and increased risk for heart disease.


Are You at Risk?

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), those who have gum disease are at increased risk for a heart attack. Many of the culprits that often contribute to heart disease are the same leading causes of gum disease, such as smoking, smokeless tobacco, and poor nutrition.


Already have a history of heart problems? Your dentist in Glen Allen should be a crucial part of your health care team. With an early diagnosis and appropriate treatment of any tooth or gum infections, we can help improve not only your oral health, but your overall health as well. Research from the AGD shows the earlier any oral infections are caught and treated the better, diagnosis and treatment could even lead to a decrease in the need of blood pressure medications.


Signs & Symptoms

Without regular dental checkups and cleanings, gum disease often goes undiagnosed and can put you at greater risk for heart disease. Some signs of gum disease include:

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing
  • Consistently bad breath
  • Chronic bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth


If you have any of the symptoms above, please call us right away.


This February, put your heart first and work to keep yourself at a low risk for heart or gum disease. Quit smoking, improve your diet, and always remember to maintain regular appointments with my Glen Allen dental office.


Welcoming patients from Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding areas.


Cough syrup and your teethIt’s the season of sneezes and coughs, and the risk for colds and the flu is on the rise. At my dental office in Glen Allen, we strive to keep our patients healthy, but even we don’t have a cure for the common cold. While many of us turn to over-the-counter medicines to put our pesky coughs to sleep, cough medicines can actually contribute to tooth decay and cavities.

Cough syrups and lozenges often contain sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, and alcohol. While these ingredients help relieve some symptoms and make managing a cold a bit easier, they can also cause damage to your teeth.


Mary Poppins may have been on to something when she sang, “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Many cough medicines include sugar to make the liquid easier to take and not so awful tasting. However, sugar is a main contributor of tooth decay and cavities. Mouth bacteria consume sugars which are then broken down into acid. This acid attacks the enamel and leads to decay.


Alcohol naturally causes your mouth to become dry, and when your mouth is dry, your teeth are at risk for damage. In a normal, healthy mouth, saliva is produced at a rapid rate — about a quart of saliva a day! Saliva is important for the health of teeth because it helps wash away sugar and acid. Without it, sugar and acid are left on the teeth for longer periods of time, increasing the risk of decay and cavities.

Tips to Keep Your Grin Healthy

Many cough suppressants are taken right before bedtime. This itself can contribute to a higher likelihood of decay. Since there saliva production decreases at night, the use of a cough syrup before hitting the hay can make saliva production extremely low. Additionally, taking a dose of your medicine of choice prior to falling asleep will allow the dangerous ingredients to linger on teeth even longer. That, plus the decrease in saliva, is a winning recipe for cavities. Try taking medication with meals, brush your teeth after swallowing syrup, or use a pill form of the medicine instead.

All of us at my Glen Allen dental office hope you’re staying healthy this cold and flu season. If you succumb to the pestering effects of a cold, use caution when taking medicine and follow the tips above to help protect your smile.

Welcoming patients from Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding areas.

Dentistry of the pastDentistry of the past differs drastically from what you’ve become accustomed to at my dental office in Glen Allen. There are now a multitude of options available: comfortable routine cleanings, painless fillings, aesthetically enhancing cosmetic treatments, all to get and keep your smile healthy. However, while dentistry has been around since at least 7000 BC., the level of care was extremely different.

Back in the day, the link between oral and total body health was not yet recognized. Dental care only occurred when there was already a problem, not before. Because of the lack of scientific information available, many civilizations crafted urban legends to explain tooth pain and devised excruciating treatments.

Teeth Worms

In 5000 BC., the Sumerians believed teeth worms caused tooth pain. It was widely accepted that the worms bored tiny holes through teeth, thus causing the pain. Some primitive dentists mistook the actual tooth root for a worm and extracted it (talk about painful!). Belief in teeth worms lasted until the 1700s when it was proven untrue.

Drill Like an Egyptian

Egyptians learned a lot about the human body from their practice of mummification. They figured out where things were, and developed methods for how to heal various problems, including teeth and mouth problems. The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus provides a guide for minor dental work available to early Egyptians. The guide shows evidence of drilling cavities and pulling teeth.

The Birth of Modern Dentistry

It wasn’t until sometime between 1650 and 1800 that dentistry as we know it came to life. French physician Pierre Fauchard, often called The Father of Modern Dentistry, developed many of the dental treatments we now use. Dental filling rationale was his brainchild, he helped link sugar to tooth decay, and his work  justified opening the first dental college in 1840.

Although dentistry of the past is frightening, the dentistry we perform at my Glen Allen dental office continues to improve and evolve with breakthroughs  in dental technology and treatment options. If you’re ready to experience dental care that’s designed to keep you comfortable, pain free, and healthy, give us a call today.

Accepting patients from Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding areas.

awkward dental momentsAn important business lunch. A promising first date. Meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time at a fancy restaurant. There are plenty of times in our lives when we’re nervous about picking out just the right outfit, deciding what to say and what not to say, and when it’s really important to make sure you’re on your game. While we’re not really qualified to give you fashion direction or small-talk advice, all of us at my dental office in Glen Allen can help you quickly fix any awkward dental moment with ease.


Bad Breath

While bad breath may be hard to avoid after eating a garlic-loaded pasta dish, there are several ways to beat post-dinner bad breath. Some solutions do require a bit of preparation. Before you head out to the meal, stop and grab some sugarless gum. After you eat, pop a piece in your mouth and chew quietly to successfully curb any bad smells from lingering throughout the night. If no gum is available, drink water. Water has cleansing properties that can help remove the bad-smelling agents from your tongue. If your breath is less than fresh all the time, see your dentist in Glen Allen as it could be a sign of something serious.


Something’s Stuck in Your Teeth

It happens, and while there are several ways to successfully remove the pestering piece, not all of them are appropriate at the dinner table, and some can even end up causing damage to your teeth, gums, or mouth. Play it safe. If something’s stuck in your teeth, swish some water around in your mouth to try to loosen it, or chew a piece of sugarless gum to unstick the culprit. If the food is really wedged in there, it’s best to excuse yourself and head to the restroom. Floss is always the best choice, but if you don’t have it, you can use your fingers or try the corner of a folded paper towel. However, never ever use a tool that could cause damage. Avoid wires, pens, keys, tweezers, and bobby pins.


Occasionally, one of your dining partners may be victim of the wedged parsley stuck between the canines. If this occurs, you can help them avoid that crushing moment later, when they’re looking in the mirror, see the piece of food, and wonder how long it was there and why nobody mentioned it. Be a hero. Nonchalantly point to your own mouth which will instinctively tell your pal that something is stuck in his or her grin.


No matter what the occasion, a little stop for sugarless gum, a habit of carrying floss, and a plan can go a long way toward avoiding what would be an awkward dental moment. With the right tools and tips, you’ll be an expert at easing the worry of dental faux pas.


Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding communities.


cosmetic dentistryA smile can say a lot about a person, and if you’re not comfortable with yours, it can inhibit self confidence. If you’re someone who’s more likely to hide your smile in the upcoming holiday photos, my dental office in Glen Allen has some great news for you.


Cosmetic dentistry isn’t just for the rich and famous. In fact, many procedures we perform every day fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry. This holiday season, we wanted to celebrate 12 days of some of the most popular smile-changing treatments. Ask your Glen Allen dentist which ones are appropriate for you!


Day 1: Smile whitening for simple, quick, effective brightening. This year, make your pearly whites brighter and banish stains from all the red wine you had at the office holiday party.


Day 2: Tooth-colored fillings because it’s so easy to eat too many candy canes!


Day 3: Dental implants. You don’t need to ask Santa for your two front teeth. Just ask us!


Day 4: Porcelain veneers to make your teeth look better than your Christmas tree or Menorah or your Festivus sweater!


Day 5: Fixed bridges. Make up with your Uncle Lenny or fix the gap between two molars for the holidays. We pick molars.


Day 6: Porcelain crowns. You don’t need to be King Wenceslas to wear a crown!


Day 7: Dental bonding is even better than family bonding! We’ll make your teeth so beautiful, you’ll be the envy of the holiday party.


Day 8: Tooth Recontouring. Smooth the shape of your teeth. It’s like the gym for your smile!


Day 9: Traditional orthodontics. Get your teeth lined up nice and straight like toy soldiers.


Day 10: Clear orthodontics to reduce the chance of a dangerous, metal-locked kiss under the mistletoe.


Day 11: A complete smile makeover so at least you can be confident about your smile even if you aren’t about your outfit for the office holiday party.


Day 12: Dentures. With these chompers, you can eat all the fruitcake you’d like without the worry of cavities!


With the holiday season well upon us, there’s never been a better time to reward yourself with the gift of a new smile. At my Glen Allen dental office, we’d love to talk to you about your smile goals and recommend the best cosmetic dentistry treatment for you.


Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump, and surrounding areas.

Dental health now vs dental health of the pilgrimsSince 1863, the United States has been celebrating a day of feast, complete with turkey, pies, stuffing, and too much more deliciousness to name. But Thanksgiving isn’t just about eating a plentiful dinner and slipping into a tryptophan-induced afternoon nap, it’s a day dedicated to reflecting on all we are thankful for, gathering around the table with friends and family, and enjoying a meal prepared by all.


While Thanksgiving has only been an official holiday since the days of Abraham Lincoln, the tradition of gathering together to enjoy a large dinner with friends has been in around since the Pilgrims and Native Americans enjoyed the first Thanksgiving meal together. Although the custom of joining together and eating hasn’t changed much since those first Thanksgiving dinners, oral health care sure has.


With all of the advancements in modern dentistry, it’s difficult to imagine a life where there weren’t toothbrushes available at every supermarket, drug store, and gas station, but there was a time when folks didn’t even know what a toothbrush was. At my dental office in Glen Allen, we want to dedicate this seasonal blog to talking about how Pilgrims and Native Americans took care of their grins and how dental health, along with dental care, has changed.


The Pilgrims

It’s a bit of an understatement to say that the Pilgrims didn’t have the best oral hygiene standards. They didn’t have access to proper toothbrushes and toothpaste because they hadn’t been invented yet! Instead, Pilgrims used leaves, herbs, and salt rubbed directly onto their teeth to clean their not-so-pearly whites. For a toothbrush, pig hair was affixed to a twig or animal bone, or sometimes pine bristles were used. Basically, the Pilgrims, who were new to the States and unfamiliar with what was available to them, used whatever items they could find to clean their teeth. Today, we have multiple types of toothbrushes, toothpaste flavors, floss, and other dental hygiene products. Not to mention we have the ability to see a trained dentist in Glen Allen twice a year for checkups and when we have a problem.


The Native Americans

Chances are, the Native Americans had better overall dental health than the Pilgrims. Not only were they more familiar with the land and what was available to them, their diet was healthier. Like the Pilgrims, they also used herbs like sage to clean their teeth, but they used the cucacua plant to make a substance similar to toothpaste. Additionally, while the Pilgrims were eating dried meat and fruits, beans, and a lot of hardtack –  a dry biscuit made of flour, water, and salt – the Native Americans were living off the land and eating more balanced meals of veggies, nuts, and berries. Therefore, they were eating fewer smile-damaging foods to begin with.


This Thanksgiving, take a tip from the Native Americans and try to eat a well-balanced plate (or plates!) of food and try to take it easy on the sugar-filled sweets. And when you’re reflecting on what you’re thankful for, don’t forget to be thankful for toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and modern dentistry as a whole. For it is these advancements in dentistry, plus visits to my Glen Allen dental office, that allow us to have healthy, white smiles every Thanksgiving and all the days in between.


Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, and Short Pump.


 National Diabetes Awareness MonthNovember is American Diabetes Month, during which we dedicate the entire 30 days to encouraging communities to come together and raise awareness of diabetes. While there is no cure for this disease that plagues nearly 30 million Americans, research continues to bring us closer to answers, make advancements in treatment, and link diabetes with other health problems.

Those with diabetes have surely learned that uncontrolled diabetes can contribute to problems throughout your body – your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart can all be affected by diabetes. However, we find at my dental office in Glen Allen that many of these individuals aren’t aware of the potential oral health complications that may also arise.

For example, people battling diabetes have an increased chance of developing gum disease. Not simply because those with diabetes have an increased susceptibility to bacteria, but they also have a decreased ability to fight it off. This makes flossing, brushing, and visiting your dentist in Glen Allen regularly extremely important so the bacteria that thrives in the mouth doesn’t cause major problems.

Not only that, but gum disease can affect blood glucose and make diabetes more difficult to manage and can even make it worse. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, can be treated fairly easily if caught early. However, periodontitis, a more advanced form of gum disease, is more difficult to treat and can eventually lead to tooth loss.

When gum disease hits the severity of periodontitis, your gums pull away from your teeth, and create pockets where germs and bacteria love to hide. The bacteria causes the pockets to deepen and, if left untreated, the infection will destroy the bone holding your teeth in place, causing the teeth to move, become loose, or fall out.

Other oral health problems that can result from diabetes include thrush (a fungal infection of the mouth) and dry mouth. These can create even more issues like ulcers, infections, cavities, and more.

The best way to prevent oral health problems for a patient with diabetes is to control their blood glucose level, and brush, floss daily, and maintain visits to my Glen Allen dental office at least twice yearly. People with diabetes have unique oral health needs, so it’s important to let us know about your health history including any medication and changes to your diabetes. We’re here to help you maintain optimal full-body health, not just your teeth.

Serving patients in Glen Allen, Richmond, Short Pump.