Saliva Education with Your West Des Moines Dentist

Did you know that, on average, a human being produces approximately 25,000 quarts of saliva or spit in a lifetime? That’s enough to fill two swimming pools. Obviously, saliva moistens your mouth and makes chewing, swallowing, and talking possible, but does the liquid that your oral cavity produces serve any other purpose? Your West Des Moines dentist, Dr. James Hawks, explores this liquid’s important role in your oral health.

Your Mouth’s Natural Defense

The liquid that your salivary glands produce does more than lubricate your oral cavity. Because saliva is comprised of 99% water, it acts to neutralize acids that can attack and damage your tooth’s enamel. The protective layer around your teeth is made of calcium and phosphate crystals. Should an acid attack prove stronger than your tooth’s defenses and weaken your enamel, your tooth can strengthen its enamel by providing it with additional calcium and phosphate (a process known as remineralization). However, acid attacks also sap these minerals from your teeth, robbing your enamel of its reinforcements. Saliva contains these same minerals (calcium and phosphate), and aside from neutralizing acid, it also aids your enamel in remineralization to help prevent tooth decay. (more…)

West Des Moines Dentist Answers: Should You Use Mouthwash?

Mouthwash is a Useful Addition

Did you know that there are up to 600 different species of bacteria in your mouth? Not all of them are harmful, of course. In fact, the majority of them help you fight harmful bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay. You do your part by brushing and flossing at least twice a day (which removes food debris and bacteria from your mouth), but cleaning the crevices between and around your teeth and gums can be difficult. Swishing mouthwash around your mouth for a minute or two can dislodge those hard to reach particles for a better, more thorough cleaning. Mouthwash is an important part of our oral hygiene, but it should not be overestimated or used to replace other hygiene practices, such as flossing. West Des Moines dentist Dr. James Hawk explores mouthwash and its proper place in our daily routines.

What Does Mouthwash Do?

Cosmetic mouthwashes are designed to reduce bad breath and leave you with a pleasant, minty-fresh feeling in your mouth. The tingle of mouthwash can be misleading, however. Cosmetic mouthwashes do not effectively fight oral bacteria or directly prevent cavities and gingivitis. While they can mask bad breath, cosmetic mouthwashes do not fight the bacteria that cause it. They can be helpful in the fight against tooth decay by washing away food particles and bacterial plaque from hard-to-reach places around your teeth and gums. (more…)

West Des Moines Dentist Explains Obstructive Sleep Apnea

You’re grumpy, impatient, forgetful, irritable, and excessively tired during the day, which are all signs of sleep deprivation. This may be confusing if, to the best of your knowledge, you are sleeping through the night. If you are experiencing unexplained symptoms of sleep deprivation, you may have a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

More Than a Snore

The most prominent symptom of obstructive sleep apnea is loud, thunderous snoring. During sleep, all of the muscles in your body relax. In some cases, the throat and mouth muscles relax too much, and the tissue can block your airway. Loud snoring is a result of air trying to squeeze past the tightly-compressed tissue, and what you hear is actually the vibration of soft tissue. Every sleep apnea patient snores, but not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. The abnormally-loud snoring of OSA patients is a result of the blockage closing tighter. OSA occurs when the tissues compress so tightly that breathing pauses, usually for about ten seconds or more. The silence is interrupted by a loud gasp and snore as air is finally forced past the blockage and the patient breathes again. (more…)

West Des Moines Dentist Offers Top-Notch Cosmetic Dentistry

Do you know someone who has had their teeth whitened or received cosmetic dentistry? Have you considered improving the appearance of your smile with cosmetic dental work? Fortunately, residents of Des Moines can achieve the smile of their dreams with help from Dr. James Hawks. Our team provides a short introduction to the benefits of cosmetic dentistry and the cosmetic services we offer.

Teeth Whitening

Over time, our smiles dull from aging and exposure to certain foods and beverages. Dr. Hawks offers professional whitening treatments with effective bleaching agents that remove permanent stains. Our patients may choose from take-home whitening kits or in-office teeth whitening services. Professional teeth whitening can brighten your smile up to ten shades.

Dental Bonding

By applying a tooth-colored resin to the surfaces of teeth, Dr. Hawks can conceal chips, gaps, and stains in one short office appointment. Dental bonding is a cost-effective cosmetic dental procedure that produces natural-looking smile enhancements. (more…)

Welcome to Our West Des Moines Dental Blog!

West Des Moines dentist, Dr. James Hawks invites you to our newest venture in offering our patients complete dental care. Our West Des Moines dental office will now take part in weekly blogs that address several topics in oral health care.


Dr. Hawks Encourages You to Increase Your Dental Knowledge

Dr. Hawks believes “the combination of continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment allow us to offer you and your family the high level of care you are looking for.” We will take this new opportunity to offer insight into dental health news, advice for healthy teeth, and other interesting dentistry topics. Our West Des Moines family dentist hopes our blog will be a resource for helping you learn more about our dentistry services as well as at-home oral hygiene.

West Des Moines Dentist Offers Answers to Oral Health Questions

With weekly blog posts, we hope to create relationships of trust with our current and future patients throughout the West Des Moines area. In addition to relevant news surrounding our West Des Moines dental office, you can expect our blog to answer questions like:

  • What are porcelain veneers?
  • Can my chipped tooth be restored?
  • Why do I have chronic headaches?
  • What causes tooth sensitivity?
  • Can my dentist help me with sleep apnea?
  • What can I do about conspicuous metal fillings?
  • How will dental implants improve my oral health?

Stay in The Know about West Des Moines Dental News

If you would like to receive updates each week with information from our dental blog, click on the orange RSS feed button. This will prompt you to choose a method for delivery, either to your email, Google Reader, or otherwise. (more…)

Blogging Shall Begin!

Congratulations on your new blog Dr. Hawks. We will begin posting shortly. Feel free to take a look around. Enjoy!