700 N Fairfield Rd Suite C
Layton, UT 84041
(801) 889-1044

Posts for: November, 2013

By 4 Dental Health
November 25, 2013
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Tooth Decay   Layton  
Dentist Layton UTTooth decay is the process that results in a cavity (dental caries), and occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth.  If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection and potential tooth loss.  No one wants to lose a tooth, or even experience a cavity.  Luckily, tooth decay is easily preventable by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, visiting 4 Dental Health and Dr. Steven Christensen for teeth cleaning and checkups, and avoiding foods that are high in sugar. 

Dr. Christensen Shares the Causes and Symptoms of Tooth Decay

The combination of bacteria and food causes tooth decay.  When food is not properly removed from your teeth a clear, sticky substance called plaque that contains bacteria is always forming on your teeth and gums.  As the bacteria feed on the sugars in the food that you eat, they make acids, which attack the teeth for 20 minutes or more after eating.  Over a period of time, these acids destroy tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay. 
Typically, tooth decay does not cause any symptoms until you have a cavity or an infected tooth. When this occurs, a toothache is the most common symptom experienced.  As a general and cosmetic dentist in Layton, Dr. Christensen diagnoses tooth decay by:
  • Asking questions about your past dental and medical problems
  • Examining your teeth
  • Taking x-rays of your teeth and mouth

The Types and Stages of Tooth Decay

Young children can develop baby bottle tooth decay, or early childhood caries, which destroys enamel quickly.  This type of decay is common in children who are put to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice.  The bottle exposes the teeth constantly to carbohydrates through the night.  Bacteria then rapidly grow, producing acid that decay teeth.  If a parent does not clean the child’s teeth properly, decay can worsen.  
In older adults, the exposed roots of teeth can develop cavities.  Older adults are more likely to have receding gums caused by years of hard brushing or periodontal disease.  Additionally, older adults are also more prone to have dry mouth, which provides less protection of the teeth due to a decrease in saliva production. 
Decay can form beneath fillings, or other tooth repairs, such as crowns.  Sometimes bacteria and bits of food can slip between the tooth and a poorly placed filling or crown.  This also can happen if the filling cracks or pulls away from the tooth, leaving a gap.

Listen to Your Layton, UT Dentist and Begin Prevention Measures, Now

You can help prevent tooth decay by following these tips provided by the American Dental Association (ADA):
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Clean between your teeth daily with floss
  • Eat nutritious and well-balanced meals
  • Limit snacking
  • Check with Dr. Steven Christensen about the use of supplemental fluoride to strengthen your teeth, and about dental sealants to protect chewing surfaces
  • Visit 4 Dental Health regularly for professional cleanings and oral examinations
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Christensen, our dentist serving Layton, at 4 Dental Health today for further examination of your teeth.  With regular cleanings and examinations, you can help prevent tooth decay with the help of your dentist.


The perception that orthodontics is mainly for children or teenagers is changing rapidly. The number of adults seeking treatment for misaligned teeth is on the rise, especially with the development of less intrusive treatments like clear aligners.

Still, as an adult you may be wondering if having your teeth straightened is really worth the effort. There are good reasons to consider orthodontic treatment even when your teen years are well in your rear view mirror — and improving your smile is only just one of them.

To be sure, smile enhancement is an important reason. We place a high value on presenting our best appearance; indeed, our self-assurance and esteem suffers if we feel we have a less than pleasing smile. Adults who improve their smiles through orthodontics typically see a rise in confidence and an improvement in life attitudes that can have a positive impact on their social, career and financial development.

But there is another reason: as a general rule, misaligned teeth do not function as well. Biting, chewing and speaking may be more difficult. Over the long-term misaligned teeth and the resulting poor bite can have an adverse effect on nutrition, social skills and normal tooth wear.

What's more, misaligned teeth are more difficult to clean even with conscientious daily hygiene. Despite your best efforts, this can lead to increased plaque that causes tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. In regard to gums, misaligned teeth may be more prone to receding gums which further exposes teeth to harmful bacteria. Realigning teeth can vastly improve dental hygiene.

As with considering any dental procedure, the first step is a complete dental examination to measure the level of misalignment, as well as the current health of your teeth and gums. After that, we can discuss your orthodontic options for not only correcting your smile, but improving your oral hygiene which can have a pronounced improvement in your oral health as well.

If you would like more information on the benefits of orthodontic treatment, 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 “Why Straighten Teeth.”


As America's toughest trainer on the hit television program The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels helped people learn that they hold the power to change. And if anyone knows about the power of changing oneself, it is Jillian Michaels. In her recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Jillian discusses her childhood, the trauma of being overweight as a teenager (5' 2" and 175 pounds), and the day her life forever changed when she started martial arts training at a gym. “I started training when I was 17 and always loved it but never thought it would end up being my career,” she said.

Jillian also reveals that when she was a child, she broke her two front teeth and had them repaired with crowns. She added, “Now, I generally wear a mouthguard if I am doing anything where my teeth have any chance of being knocked out.”

When it comes to replacing teeth that are broken or damaged from trauma, or teeth that are damaged because of dental decay, grinding habits, or acid erosion, crowns may be your best option. And because the tooth enamel is damaged, a bit more of it must be removed before we can place a crown. Generally speaking, we must remove about 2 millimeters of tooth structure to place a crown. Once the crown is placed, the tooth will always require a crown, as this is an irreversible procedure. However, the good news is that a crown not only mimics the look and feel of a natural tooth, but it is also the optimal long-term solution. On average, a crown last between 5 and 15 years and requires no special maintenance. In fact, you should treat your crown as you do your natural teeth, with a daily cleaning regimen of brushing and flossing and routine dental examinations and cleanings.

To learn more about crowns or other cosmetic procedures, contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, discuss any questions you have as well as what treatment options will be best for you. Or to learn more about crowns now, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.” And to read the entire interview with Jillian Michaels, please see the article “Jillian Michaels.”

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4 Dental Health

700 N Fairfield Rd Suite C
Layton, UT 84041