Are sports drinks bad for your dental health?

Our healthy lifestyle may have an adverse affect on dental health because of the added sugars and sweeteners added to most sports drinks and snacks.

Dr. Van Gurp discusses the oral health risks associated with sports drinks and offers some great tips on how to protect the teeth when consuming them.

Looking for more great information on Dr. Van Gurp’s Charlotte dentistry practice? Check out our Youtube page!

Posted in: charlotte dentist, sugar and oral health

Cosmetic dentistry: an important part of long term dental health!

Modern dentistry emphasizes the importance of keeping the natural teeth as long as possible through a combination of good oral hygiene, preventive dental care and cosmetic and restorative dental procedures.

Charlotte cosmetic dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp often recommends a cosmetic treatment to not only enhance a patient’s smile but also improve their oral health. Cosmetic dentistry can strengthen the natural teeth and support keeping them strong and healthy for the long run.101857060

Patients who maintain their smile as they age are also more likely to experience a good quality of life in later years without having to compromise their diet or ability to speak well because of lost teeth or oral appliances. Being able to maintain the natural teeth is also important for bone retention in the jaw – lost teeth can lead to bone shrinkage which gives an older appearance to the face. Patients who feel confident about their smile will smile more often!

Dr. Van Gurp offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatment options:

After a thorough exam and consultation, Dr. Van Gurp will make treatment recommendations based on a patient’s dental health as well as their cosmetic concerns and goals: it is important for any underlying dental problems to be addressed for dentistry to offer lasting and comfortable results.

Posted in: cosmetic dentist charlotte, damaged teeth, dental crowns charlotte, dental implants charlotte

Make your dentistry last!

From the desk of Dr. Van Gurp:

For the meticulous dentist, protecting your dentistry starts at the examination appointment. That’s right. Prior to any definitive dentistry, whether it’s crowns, veneers or fillings, steps should be taken to evaluate what can be done to protect any dentistry you are considering.

Concerned about her front teeth wearing down and chipping, this patient came to us with the hopes that we could improve her smile. Our examination indeed showed that she was causing a considerable amount of damage to her teeth. An important part of the examination process was to determine the cause of the problems in the first place and controlling those issues before proceeding with definitive treatment. I completely agreed with the patient that if we did not address the underlying cause of the problem first, she would risk damaging her new dentistry in the same way that she damaged her natural teeth.

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We want our patients to not only be happy with their new smile in the short term but for many years to come!

Having had significant post-graduate training regarding the details of a proper and healthy bite, I was able to detect and then correct imbalances in her bite, which had led to her significant teeth grinding habit. After some in depth discussion regarding her priorities and what she wanted her new smile to look like, we developed a game plan to suit her needs and desires. At the completion of treatment, she had a bite that was very comfortable and a smile she was happy with as well.

If your teeth are wearing down or chipping and you want the best possible chance to make your dentistry last, give our office a call.

Posted in: cosmetic dentist charlotte, damaged teeth, restorative dentist charlotte, teeth grinding, worn teeth

Facial pain? Headaches? Talk with your dentist!

Many patients experience facial pain, headaches and other symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and don’t realize that their dentist may have the answer!


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These symptoms are frequently the result of stress within the jaw due to teeth grinding or an imbalance in the bite- both of which can be diagnosed and treated by Dr. Van Gurp, a Charlotte cosmetic and restorative dentist.

Left untreated, temporomandibular disorders, commonly known as TMJ, can often lead to complex dental problems and even tooth loss.

Dr. Van Gurp can evaluate your bite and determine if and/or where there is an imbalance before recommending a plan of treatment to restore oral health- and resolve your recurring pain! Dr. Van Gurp offers a variety of procedures and treatments as part of TMJ therapy.

Posted in: charlotte dentist, facial pain, family dentist charlotte, frequent headaches, tmj charlotte

Cosmetic dentistry and full mouth reconstruction.

Keeping your natural teeth for as long as possible is not only important for better long term oral health, it enables patients to maintain a good quality of life too!

Lost teeth and poor dental health can lead to general health problems and changes in social and dietary problems down the road. Charlotte dentist Dr. Van Gurp provides cosmetic dental services that can both restore or maintain oral health while giving you back your youthful smile- or the smile you have always wanted!

A recent case involved a patient who had several dental health issues to correct and wanted to straighten and whiten her teeth. Dr. Van Gurp takes a comprehensive approach to all dental procedures, including cosmetic, with the overall goal of providing the results a client is desiring using dentistry that also addresses any underlying bite problems that could affect the longevity of the final outcome.

A case study in mouth reconstruction.

Dr. Van Gurp has extensive post graduate training in both cosmetic dentistry and bite disorders as well as years of experience successfully treating patients with complex dental problems. After a thorough exam, Dr. Van Gurp will meet with a patient to discuss a recommended plan of treatment addressing dental health issues and the cosmetic desires of the patient.

In this particular case the following procedures were used to correct and enhance the patient’s smile:

  • orthodontics: straightening the lower teeth balanced the bite and also brought back a more youthful appearance to the smile
  • crowns: new crowns were placed to brighten the teeth and complete the smile makeover part of the process.

Here are the results:

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Posted in: cosmetic dentist charlotte, damaged teeth, dental crowns charlotte, full mouth reconstruction, restorative dentist charlotte

Blessing Back in Haiti- Dr. Van Gurp provides dental services to those in need.

Charlotte family dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp traveled to Haiti this April as part of a mission to provide free dental services to those in need in Haiti.

Bless Back in Haiti

477975641 In April of 2014, I had the opportunity to travel to Haiti with 19 other volunteers on what was my first international mission trip. Over the years, I have done a significant amount of “mission dentistry” but this was my first outside the United States.

Bless Back Worldwide is the organization of which I was a part. It is made up entirely of volunteers who want to better the lives of those less fortunate. Haiti definitely falls into this category. In fact, today it is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. From a devastating earthquake in 2010, followed by a cholera outbreak 10 months later and then back to back hurricanes in 2012, it seems the people of Haiti just can’t catch a break.477975641

To make matters worse, unemployment is currently at 80%. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that these people don’t want to work. On the contrary, I saw many people doing and selling anything they could to make some money – money just to support and feed their families. Many Haitians live in crudely built shanties. 70% of Haitians lack access to electricity. 600,000 are considered food-insecure.
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Bless Back Worldwide has sent 5-6 groups per year since the earthquake in 2010. In conjunction with Mission of Hope International, incrementally things are changing for the better, but I believe the positive changes these people need could not come quickly enough.

Honestly, when I decided to forego a week’s “vacation” and go to Haiti, I expected nothing in return. I was ready and willing to give all I had – a one-way street – to help these people. But I can honestly tell you that I received much more than I gave, including a new and better perspective on life.

If you would like to help or would like more information please ask Dr. Van Gurp or visit www.blessbackworldwide.org. Bless Back Worldwide can be found on Facebook as well. If you would like more information about Bless Back Worldwide or Mission of Hope International, please visit their websites at www.blessbackworldwide.org and www.mohintl.org. Both organizations can be found on Facebook as well.

It seems overwhelming at times. You ask yourself, “How can people live like this?” The reality is that they don’t have a choice. You also ask yourself, “Am I making a difference?” Afterall, this is country of 10 million people

I went down to Haiti with 19 other volunteers hoping to make a difference. The group was comprised of several physicians and other medical and non-medical personnel willing to plug in anyway and anywhere they were needed. Ages ranged from 12 to 70 years old. The teamwork and fellowship were something to be proud of.

Posted in: bless back haiti, charlotte dentist, family dentist charlotte, haiti mission, mission of hope

Charlotte Cosmetic Dentist Richard Van Gurp, DDS

Charlotte Cosmetic Dentist Richard Van Gurp, DDS

From the desk of Charlotte dentist Dr. Van Gurp:

Gum recession occurs when the margin of the gum that surrounds the teeth pulls away from the tooth exposing the tooth root.  This is typically a gradual process which can lead to tooth sensitivity, the increased likelihood of cavities in the root of the tooth and even loose teeth.

It is important to realize that if the gum around a tooth is receding, the underlying bone which supports the tooth or holds it in place is also receding making for a weaker foundation.  As for why recession occurs and how to slow or even halt its progression, there are three main things I focus on in my dental office.

First, gum diseaseGum disease is an infection that destroys the gum tissue and underlying bone that support and hold your teeth in place.   On your end, that means daily diligent brushing and flossing of your teeth.  If you thoroughly clean your teeth on a daily basis, you remove the plaque which is the culprit in causing gum and bone destruction.

Second, how you brush your teeth.  Do not believe that the harder you brush, the better.  By brushing too hard, you can create significant damage to your teeth and gums.  Proper technique in brushing is key here.  If you are using a manual tooth brush, be sure it is a soft bristled tooth brush.  Soft bristles are important.  In fact, I even recommend warming the bristles under warm water prior to brushing so that the bristles are even softer.

Posted in: charlotte dentist, gum disease charlotte, gum recession, periodontal therapy charlotte

Oral cancer can be detected early with regular dental exams! | Charlotte, NC

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month- have you been screened?

Oral cancer symptoms can include:

  • Persistent hoarseness
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Lump in the throat or neck
  • Persistent earache- often in both ears
  • Numbness in or around the mouth

Many of the early signs or symptoms of oral cancer can be noticed by Dr. Richard Van Gurp during routine preventive care in his Charlotte dental office: early symptoms are usually subtle and difficult for patients to notice. Oral cancer is on the rise globally and unfortunately leads to approximately 8,000 deaths per year. While smoking and tobacco use has long been considered the major cause of oral cancers, the rise of the HPV virus has led to an increase in the number of cases worldwide and is now considered to be a leading cause of this type of cancer. Unfortunately, oral cancer is often diagnosed in the later stages and is difficult to treat and cure. Dentists like Dr. Van Gurp, who screen for oral cancer during routine visits, are trying to reduce the number of patients who fall into this category.

Oral cancer screening is quick and painless- and can save your life! Dr. Van Gurp will use ViziLite technology to screen for oral cancer in addition to performing a visual exam. ViziLite combines the use of a special solution and light that enables Dr. Van Gurp to identify abnormal cells within the oral cavity.

Preventive dental care is even more important when patients consider that these visits offer Dr. Van Gurp and his staff the opportunity to spot developing health issues in their earliest stages, offering the best chance for successful treatment. Preventive care not only helps to support good dental health, but is a part of maintaining overall health and well being: there is often a correlation between a patient’s oral health condition and the state of their physical health.

If you have been away from the dentist’s chair for some time, now is the perfect time to schedule an appointment to restore your oral health- it may save your life!

Posted in: charlotte dentist, family dentist charlotte, general dentist charlotte, oral cancer awareness, oral cancer screening, preventive care

Why are my teeth cracking? | Charlotte, NC

Breaking or cracking a tooth is no laughing matter.  Usually patients tell me they were just eating something soft and low and behold suddenly they found themselves chewing on a hard piece of tooth. A cracked tooth can be a sign of a more significant problem – a problem with your overall bite.  Imbalances in one’s bite can lead to teeth grinding, which puts a lot of pressure on your teeth.

Studies show that when one grinds their teeth at night, they may do so for several hours at a time.  This can weaken the teeth, resulting in small, microscopic cracks which, over time, get deeper and can eventually cause the tooth to break. Because most of the force of chewing is placed on the lower molars, this is where most cracks occur.

Cracked teeth aren’t the only problems that can occur as a result of an imbalanced bite.

Worn teeth, sensitive and sore teeth, gum recession, loose teeth, “TMJ” and even headaches can be caused by bite problems.

On the other hand, when your bite is right, these problems are rare.

I have had numerous patients whose pain caused them to come see me for emergency treatment.  While most thought a root canal was needed, actually, all they needed was a modification in their bite. I have also had patients who for years thought they had “TMJ” only to find out that their bite was leading to jaw muscle fatigue and not a problem with their jaw joints.

I’ve devoted a significant portion of my post-graduate education to understanding the impact of bite imbalances and how to properly treat them. If you have had episodes of cracked teeth or any of the other problems discussed above, please contact my office.  Patients are amazed at how addressing their bite can solve so many dental problems.

Posted in: charlotte dentist, cracked teeth, damaged teeth charlotte, family dentist charlotte, teeth grinding

What could laser dentistry do for you? | Charlotte, NC

Ready for a visit to the dentist without the use of a drill or needles? Laser dentistry can make your next dental procedure with Dr. Richard Van Gurp in Charlotte a more pleasant experience!

Modern dental technology continues to offer today’s dental patients a better experience with more accurate results and fewer side effects. Dr. Van Gurp uses some of the latest dental technologies in his Charlotte dental office, including dental lasers, enabling him to perform many cosmetic and restorative dental procedures more effectively with better outcomes and less pain!

Laser dentistry enables Dr. Van Gurp, cosmetic and family dentist serving the greater Charlotte area, to treat patients for a variety of dental problems with less pain, less bleeding, fewer side effects and a faster recovery. Dr. Van Gurp uses state of the art dental lasers that enable him to more accurately treat the soft tissues of the mouth, such as the gums, without a metal scalpel. Dr. Van Gurp can perform a gum lift and other periodontal therapies in a much less invasive manner, often with superior results.

The dental laser allows Dr. Van Gurp to create small, accurate incisions with minimized bleeding and swelling: the heat and energy created by the dental laser can both numb the treated area and coagulate blood quickly to reduce bleeding and swelling. For patients, this can mean less pain and a speedier recovery: in many cases there is no need for anesthetics at all!

Laser dentistry can effectively be used for treating gum disease, placing dental implants and other dental procedures that would traditionally require a surgical incision. The use of laser dentistry reduces or eliminates the need for using sutures- which frequently require a return trip to the dentist for removal.

For patients who suffer from dental anxiety, the use of laser dentistry can provide a much more predictable experience with less noise and discomfort during treatment. If you have been avoiding the dentist due to feeling anxious about possible treatment, Dr. Van Gurp can discuss how laser dentistry may enhance your dental treatment and allow you to feel more relaxed and comfortable.

Posted in: charlotte dentist, family dentist charlotte, general dentist charlotte, gum disease charlotte, laser dentist charlotte, laser gum lift charlotte, laser gum surgery