Plaza Dental Group 515 612 7148  1089 Jordan Creek Pkwy #100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Tag: tooth decay

How Does Sugar Destroy Your Teeth?

How Does Sugar Destroy Your Teeth?

How Does Sugar Destroy Your Teeth?


We all know that eating too many sugary foods can harm your teeth and cause tooth decay. However, sugar alone does not cause much damage. Instead, the chain of events that follow is what deals the most harm to your teeth. Read on to see how the process works.

The starting point is the mouth

There are tons of harmless and harmful bacteria present in your mouth. Certain oral bacteria feed on the sugars you eat and create acids that can destroy tooth enamel. This process is called demineralization.

Minerals in your saliva, like phosphate and calcium, help enamel repair itself. However, repeated acid attacks eventually cause mineral losses in the enamel, which eventually weakens the enamel and creates cavities.

In short, tooth decay causes cavities, which result in harmful bacteria digesting the food sugars and producing acids. If left unattended, the cavity can spread into deep layers of the tooth, causing pain and tooth loss.

By limiting your sugar intake, you can give your mouth a chance to fix the damage.

Sugar is a magnet for harmful bacteria 

The two types of harmful bacteria found in the mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus. Both feed on sugar and form dental plaque, a colorless, sticky film that builds around the surface of the teeth.

If the plaque is not washed away while brushing or with saliva, the mouth becomes more acidic, which causes cavities.
The pH scale is used to measure acidic levels in a solution. The neutral pH level is 7. If the pH of plaque drops below normal or is lesser than 5.5, the acid levels cause minerals to dissolve and eventually destroy the tooth’s enamel. This process leads to small erosions, and over time they become larger, creating deeper holes or cavities.

Habits that cause tooth decay

  1. Sticky candies – Caramels, lollipops, and cough drops contain refined sugar and tend to stick to your teeth longer. These foods gradually release sugar and give ample time for harmful bacteria to digest sugar and produce more acid. 
  2. Starchy food – Potato chips, bread, tortilla chips, and flavored crackers get trapped in your teeth and cause tooth decay. Frequent snacking on these sugar-rich foods can harm your teeth extensively. 
  3. Sugar-heavy beverages – There are high chances of increasing cavities if you constantly sip on beverages high in sugar, as the prolonged exposure to sugar is the prime opportunity for harmful bacteria to damage your teeth. 
  4.  Soft drinks – Think twice before you grab your favorite sports drink to feel energized. All energy drinks, sports drinks, and juices contain high sugar levels, which can destroy your teeth to a great extent. Additionally, these drinks have high amounts of acids that can cause tooth decay.
  5. Alcohol and tobacco – Any substances that dry your mouth can also destroy your teeth as a dry mouth increases the chances of producing harmful bacteria. Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking as they are common substances that cause your mouth to dry.  

Ways to fight tooth decay

Here are some tips to fight tooth decay

  • Have a balanced diet. Eat whole grains, vegetables, dairy products, and fresh fruits.
  • Use a straw while drinking sugary or acidic drinks to lessen your teeth’s exposure.
  • Eat enough cheese, yogurt, and similar dairy products daily as they contain calcium and phosphate, which will strengthen your teeth.
  • Sip on green or black teas to help suppress harmful oral bacteria.
  • Drink plenty of fluoridated water.

Practicing good oral health is very important to keep tooth decay away.

  • Brush and floss twice a day, especially after meals.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva production and prevent plaque build-up. 

Eat a balanced diet, drink water instead of sugar-heavy drinks, maintain good oral hygiene, and visit your dentist in West Des Moines for regular dental check-ups every six months.

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them

Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them

Elderly Dental Problems: How to Address and Prevent Them


As you grow old, you may face a few challenges in maintaining a healthy smile. This is because aging makes you more susceptible to many oral health problems. However, dental health among seniors has greatly improved in recent years. Advanced dentistry makes it possible to address and prevent elderly dental problems effectively.

Common Elderly Dental Problems

Aging puts many older adults at risk for several oral health problems including:

1. Darkened Teeth

With age, the bone-like tissue (the dentin) that lies beneath the tooth enamel changes due to the beverage and foods consumed by us. In addition to teeth discoloration, the diminishing outer enamel layer allows the yellow dentin to become visible, causing darkened teeth.

2. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a common condition among elderly patients which frequently leads to cavities. The problem is not age related, but the dry mouth has been listed as a side effect by some prescription medications used to treat diseases including depression, pain, Alzheimer’s disease, and more.

3. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a major problem among the elderly. Plaque buildup and tartar mostly contribute to tooth decay. Over time, gum recession can take place, exposing the roots of the tooth. Tooth decay results in cavities that cause pain, inflammation, infection, and even tooth loss. 

4. Gum Disease

Gum disease in the elderly is a frequent occurrence. Since gum disease develops over a longer period of time, older citizens are more likely to experience problems with gum disease than younger people.

5. Tooth Loss

Tooth loss in seniors is a common issue. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 27.27% of elders over the age of 65 have their remaining teeth missing. Smoking and poor dental hygiene mainly contribute to tooth loss among seniors.

6. Bad Breath

Older adults often suffer from bad breath. However, bad breath isn’t a stand-alone symptom as it is linked to underlying problems such as the dry mouth and periodontal disease. Poor dental hygiene can also lead to bad breath. 

Tips to Address and Prevent Dental Problems in the Elderly

As a senior citizen, you can enjoy good oral health by making informed decisions and taking proper care of your teeth and gums. Here are some oral care tips to preserve good oral hygiene:

  • Brush twice daily with a toothpaste that has fluoride in it.
  • Floss once a day
  • Pay regular visits to your dentist for a dental cleaning and oral exam
  • Use antibacterial mouthwash to rinse off bacteria to prevent the plaque buildup and gum disease
  • Change your toothbrush every 3 -4 months, or earlier if the bristles become tattered
  • Quit smoking
  • Limit consumption of highly sugary food and beverages
  • Increase your calcium intake to strengthen your teeth
  • Clean your dentures regularly with denture cleaners
  • Remove your dentures from your mouth every four hours to maintain your mouth health

As you age, it’s essential to remember these potential risks and act accordingly. You can enjoy a sparkling, healthy smile with the help of your dentist and the right dental care. 

Contact us to learn how to maintain excellent oral health even in your senior years. Schedule your dental appointment with one of our Des Moines dentists today!

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

Signs of a Dead Tooth | Its Treatment and Prevention

Signs of a Dead Tooth | Its Treatment and Prevention

Signs of a Dead Tooth | Its Treatment and Prevention


A tooth contains three layers: the pulp, enamel, and dentin. To stay healthy and alive, the pulp of the tooth must have a continuous blood supply. When the nerves in the tooth pulp get damaged due to an injury or decay and no longer receive any blood supply, it creates a dead tooth. If left untreated, the dead tooth may affect the jaw and other teeth.

Read on to learn more about the causes, signs, and treatment of a dead tooth.

What Are the Causes of a Dead Tooth?

The possible causes of a dead tooth are:

  • Physical injury to the tooth – It may cut off the blood supply to the tooth, causing the tooth to die.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene – It can lead to cavities. If left untreated, cavities can cause infection in the tooth pulp, which stops the blood supply to the tooth and causes it to die.

Signs of a Dead Tooth

You can identify a dead tooth by these two primary symptoms:

  • Pain – You may experience pain in and around the tooth if your tooth is dead. An infection or dying nerves causes pain, which can be mild or intense.
  • Discoloration – A dead or dying tooth won’t receive any blood supply, thus causing the color of the tooth to turn yellow, light brown, gray, or black. The discoloration will increase if the dead tooth is left untreated.

People with a dead tooth may experience these symptoms too:

  • Swelling around the gum line
  • Bad taste
  • Bad breath

How Is a Dead Tooth Diagnosed?

It is recommended to visit your dentist as soon as you have a tooth injury or if you notice any kind of pain and discoloration in your tooth so that they can begin the treatment. A dentist may find a dead tooth during dental checkups and through dental X-rays.

Treatment Options for a Dead Tooth

A dead tooth can be treated by any of the following procedures:

  • Root Canal

    During this procedure, the infected tooth and its root will be cleaned to remove the abscess or infected tissue. After cleaning, your dentist will seal the root and place the permanent filling to prevent further infection.

    A dead tooth can function after treatment, but a crown or veneer may be required to provide extra strength and support.

  • Tooth Extraction

    Your dentist may recommend removing your tooth if it cannot be restored or is severely damaged. During the procedure, your dentist will completely remove your tooth. However, you can replace the extracted tooth with a denture, implant, or bridge.

Tips for Preventing a Dead Tooth

Follow these tips to prevent a dead tooth:

  • Practice good oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing twice a day
  • Wear a mouth guard if you participate in contact sports to prevent injury to your teeth
  • Limit the intake of sugary foods and beverages to decrease your risk for cavities and decay
  • Drink more water, especially after eating, to wash away food particles
  • Schedule regular dental visits for checkups and cleanings

If you are looking for the best treatment for a dead tooth, contact our leading dentists at Plaza Dental Group in Des Moines.

Plaza Dental Group

Plaza Dental Group is a leading group of dentists in Des Moines, IA that provides high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and stress-free environment. We have a team of caring and highly-skilled professionals that uses state-of-the-art technology and delivers excellent service to the patients. Request an appointment today!

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4.4
Based on 131 reviews
To the whole plaza dental family you guys are the best I strongly recommend you guys to every one🙂🙂🙂 really kind nice people and do the best job EVER!!! Doctor JAY JENSEN you rock and congratulations on your move,also to all the staff you ladies made me feel very comfortable thank you thank you god bless.Doctor Jay Jensen keep doing your thing🙂 and the ladies up front you guys double rock🙂🙂 thanks for opening the door for me Lol, Alvin Thanks Plaza!!!!read more
Alvin Lee
Alvin Lee
This place is amazing. I feel the most comfortable and at ease here over any dental office I've ever been to and I've been around the block. Lacey is best although one time she wore white after labor day, but I won't fault her for that.
David Prins
David Prins
My dental hygienist, Sara, is the kindest person to work with. She is honest with her overview and analysis. She is friendly and happy to talk to you. I’ve never had a bad experience at Plaza and would recommend anyone come in for a consult or to be a new client with the dental practice. Thank you Sara for all that you do!read more
Kevin Black
Kevin Black
I would recommend to anyone! Great and friendly staff.Really put me at ease.Kept me well informed during my visit as to what procedure was being done.Great experience overall.
Dave Gates
Dave Gates
Professional, really caring team!! It’s awesome to be able to receive such expert care and most procedures can be taken care of in one place. Highly recommend this great place!!!! So kind and helpful.
Amy Gionis
Amy Gionis
They are the best! I do not like going to the dentist. I think most people don't. My dental hygienists, Sara, is amazing! She very quick but very thorough. My teeth look great when I leave and I am in and out quickly, which I appreciate. The dentist are all wonderful and I trust them. They also have wonderful whitening options. Been going for several years now and I'm never disappointed.read more
Katie Petersen
Katie Petersen
I highly recommend! They have the friendliest staff and are so professional and seem very knowledgeable! I had the boost whitening done and loved the results.
Taylor Brummer
Taylor Brummer
Dr. Odland is the best dentist I've ever had! He was so comfortable and personable. He transformed my smile in just 30 minutes and I've never felt more confident. Thank you!!
Alexa Wolfe
Alexa Wolfe
The Staff and Doctors are friendly, courteous, and professional. I no longer have "Dentist" phobia. Early morning appointments are greatly appreciated.
Donald Ryan
Donald Ryan
They were great! I loved how the dentist came and discussed my options at length with me. Shared the truth about some of the challenges I would face with each option! It was the best dental office experience I have ever had!
Tom Byber
Tom Byber
This office was so beautiful and clean. The staff was friendly and warm. I never felt rushed and all my needs were addressed. The dentist had great bedside manner and was very informative. I would highly recommend!
Austin Fawler
Austin Fawler
I had to get fillings for the first time and I was nervous wreck. Noelle and Jennifer were talking the whole time about their lives and they kept me calm. Noelle's playlist was great and they were both professional! They made sure I was doing alright and not feeling anything every couple minutes or if I was wincing. They would stop immediately and asked if I needed a break.read more
Nicole Jackson
Nicole Jackson
My experience at Ideal was awesome! The dental assistant Kevyon is always friendly and does a good job at calming me with great attitude and energy before my work is done. The dentist was very experienced and did each procedure without causing me any pain. Brooke Shields was very knowledgeable and answered all of my questions and concerns. Thank you all for another great visit.read more
John Farny
John Farny
My daughter has had a number of bad dental experiences and has become a challenging/anxious patient. She’s now had her first cleaning and a filling, all within a week. The staff was able to help her manage her anxiety and made it a great experience for both of us - something I didn’t think was possible.read more
Mikki Neff
Mikki Neff
Susan was absolutely phenomenal! I have a huge fear of anything doctor or dentist related and she made the trip so great! She explained as she went, she took the time to listen to me and she gave me great information to everything I asked. She was very thorough and knowledgeable. She was efficient, but I did not feel rushed at all. The entire office was very nice and friendly and so welcoming. And the extra things they offer to make sure you're comfortable (warm neck towel, paraffin wax hand dip, extra water, etc) made it the most relaxing trip to the dentist I've ever experienced. 100% recommending to everyone I know and will never go anywhere else! Thank you Susan and the entire office staff! I actually look forward to my next appointment!read more
Kathrina Petersen
Kathrina Petersen
My husband and I have been getting our dental needs met at Plaza Dental since 2013, even though we live 2 hours away. The staff has been super friendly and has made our dental visits pleasant. We have been very happy with their services until yesterday. My husband had an appointment to have a cavity filled. When he arrived, he was told that the dentist scheduled to do the job had decided to take Tuesdays off. There was no text or phone call to notify my husband of the change. Furthermore, he was told he would have to come back next week because all their dentists were busy. If I have my way, we will be finding a new place where our business is appreciated.Wed, Sept, 18, 2018This morning I received a voicemail from Plaza Dental asking me to call them. I talked with Jolanda, the office manager. I learned that Dr. Mohan saw my review. She visited with her staff this morning about what had happened, which I greatly appreciate. I also mentioned to Jolanda what I thought would be a fair compensation for Bruce's inconvenience. Jolanda relayed the message to Dr. Mohan. I later recieved a voicemail stating that Dr. Mohan had agreed to my request. I thank Dr. Mohan for that, as well as taking my review seriously, and for her quickness in resolving the issue. I also thank Jolanda for listening to me , and for telling me that Plaza Dental does value my family as clients. Plaza Dental is back to being a 5 star in my opinion.read more
Cathy Clark
Cathy Clark
I had went through a frustrating experience with a whitening treatment at Plaza and upon voicing my concerns, these guys went SO above and beyond to really help me and assure that I would have an option that was satisfactory.They were more than accommodating and helpful on finding a resolution and doing everything they could to assist me with the issue. It really means a lot to me that a company would take the time to hear out my concerns and do what they could to make it right, no questions asked. I look forward to continuing my care with them in the future and the way they handled an unfortunate experience speaks VOLUMES!Thank you to everyone at the clinic who took the time to help me! It's appreciated more than you all know!read more
Courtney Mccormick
Courtney Mccormick
Ever since I started coming to Plaza Dental Group, I feel like a valued patient and don’t mind making the trip from Polk City. The staff is genuinely interested in my case and dental care and I have already had great results!
Jillian Noah
Jillian Noah
Plaza Dental Group
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