Alex May, a lifelong Hattiesburg resident and dentist given that 2016, is on a mission to enhance the oral well being of his patients and, in doing so, also guide with both equally their physical and psychological well-becoming.
The father of two – who is married to Tiffany – at first struggled to pick a vocation, and it was at his wife’s suggestion that he took up dentistry.
The field was a superior in shape for his various passions, which involve drawing, sculpting, photography and numerous branches of science, these kinds of as biology and chemistry.
“As soon as my spouse prompt dentistry to me, it just sounded proper, and the extra I seemed into it, the far more it appeared like it was a good healthy,” May possibly claimed.
May well applied for admission at the College of Mississippi Health care Middle Faculty of Dentistry in Jackson, and he was recognized into the plan on the first check out. It did not consider him lengthy to learn he was a “dyed in the wool” dentist.
“Once I discovered the type and philosophy of dentistry that I desired to pursue, it definitely ignited my enthusiasm,” Might reported. “It showed me that I was just born to be a dentist.”
He practices biomimetic dentistry – which strives to protect natural tooth and take care of complications before they require reconstructive medical procedures – at the office environment of Virginia Tatum on South 28th Avenue in Hattiesburg.
A distinct method
“Biomimetic means ‘mimicking daily life,’ and 1 aspect of that … the aspect that operates via all my strategies … is that I try to be as minimally invasive as attainable,” May possibly stated. “So, I do not put together teeth for total protection crowns due to the fact, in my viewpoint, it is just really aggressive.”
He included that when it is important – when a tooth is “badly broken down” and a crown would ordinarily be recommended – he will rather supply his patients with “partial coverage restoration.”
May discussed that, when he goes to restore a tooth, he thinks about the system “from the inside of out … and from the base up.”
“The tooth that we’re restoring, irrespective of whether we’re sealing it off and preserving it before we set some sort of onlay or inlay on there to safeguard the tooth … the products that I’m applying, the bond – which is type of like tooth glue – and the composites, or the tooth-colored filling resources … all of those supplies are, to the best of our ability, mimicking their respective tooth constructions,” Could reported.
People structures include enamel on the exterior of the tooth, which May possibly likened to glass, and dentin on the inside of the tooth, which he in comparison to wooden. The tooth also homes a nerve.
“Many occasions, we conclusion up getting resources that fill the hole in your tooth, and all those do great, but they conclude up not lasting a extensive time,” he reported. “They may possibly be a large amount more challenging than the tooth or probably a good deal softer than the tooth, and, when the tooth is currently being utilised and chewed on … and it’s flexing the filling or the crown, and they never flex with it … those materials finish up getting rid of their bond, and it will come out, or it breaks.”
Alternatively of tolerating this normal procedure, Might alternatively works in just every single layer in an effort and hard work to mimic its hardness and other qualities.
“The cause for that is … whenever the tooth is being utilized, and the tooth is flexing – which they all do, even nevertheless they come to feel tricky to us – the restoration moves with it, and the stress moves through the tooth as just one unit,” he stated. “As a final result, the bond stays powerful, fillings last extended, and the nerve stays happier.”
The value of a smile
Could stated right dental care – which contains common dentist visits together with very good dental hygiene – is critical for a selection of factors, but he is particularly fascinated in the psychological wellbeing positive aspects at the rear of a dazzling smile.
“Of class, a awesome smile plays a genuinely big function in good psychological well being,” he said. “All too usually, there are persons – and I specially see it in adult men – who will forgo doing a little something for them selves cosmetically … and perhaps because of some kind of cultural norm. They allow their smile to go downhill in excess of the decades, and, following you obtain their rely on, they’ll explain to you it is a little something they haven’t been delighted with for decades.”
May well extra that men and women who are sad with the physical appearance of their tooth will modify the way they smile to stay clear of getting observed or to conceal perceived flaws.
“This affects their means to express contentment simply because, when they go to chortle or smile or talk, they establish these unconscious behaviors to hide their teeth,” he explained. “It’s really regrettable because it delivers notice back to this self-mindful consciousness of what you never like about your smile, and it can take you out of the second. It can take you out of currently being able to share your emotions and express your joy.”
People feelings of inadequacy or shame can guide to considerable emotional damage more than time, he observed, and that harm can, in turn, impact bodily wellness.
May well stated oral overall health can influence the physique in a myriad of other techniques.
For example, the mouth is whole of microorganisms, and most of it is harmless. Nonetheless, the mouth is the entry place for both digestive and respiratory tracts, and some germs can wreak havoc.
“The coronary heart can be affected by the germs in the mouth, and the bacteria that lives in the abdomen – the micro organism that assists us digest our food stuff – can be afflicted by all the germs in the mouth,” he explained. “Additionally, the microorganisms that clings to our enamel and gums … it can have an impact on people that have artificial coronary heart valves or synthetic joint replacements or particular coronary heart flaws that persons are born with.”
May perhaps additional that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the require for fantastic dental cleanliness.
“One major thing that we’ve read just lately – and this was backed by exploration – was that the presence of gum disease or periodontal ailment produced people a lot extra probably to deal COVID-19,” he mentioned. “And, of system, as dentists, we see gum condition all the time.”
He claimed oral health difficulties can go unnoticed for extensive periods of time, and, during that interval, significant problems can manifest.
“It’s form of like blood stress,” May said. “People won’t even know it, but there is something terribly mistaken likely on. And, simply because it does not instantly bring about a unfavorable symptom – like a fever or some sort of suffering – they generally will not go after therapy. It can complicate not only oral overall health, but over-all health … since it is currently being revealed, far more and a lot more, that oral wellbeing contributes to pretty much every other principal method in the human body.”
Strategies for a healthy smile
May stated he is usually requested by patients – and even by close friends, family members members and random acquaintances – for his suggestions on improving upon oral cleanliness or even for a record of his favored drugstore brand names and items.
He mentioned his response is often the exact.
“The principal detail is the frequency with which we clean up our teeth and how well we do it when we do it,” Might claimed.
He suggests brushing for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and he also explained to brush “at any time that you know you’ve eaten something wherever it is gotten stuck to your teeth.”
“Just get in there, even without having toothpaste, and knock it off your tooth, and that is likely to vastly boost your oral health and fitness in the extended time period,” May possibly reported.
Moreover, he endorses:
• “The main point I glance for in a toothpaste is that it is not extremely abrasive,” he noted.
He likes the brand Sensodyne, and he advises in opposition to charcoal toothpaste or brushing with baking soda, which can put on down enamel and trigger yellow teeth.
• “Flossing is just one of those factors that no one does exactly as generally as they will need to,” Could claimed.
He advises using applications like dental picks, string floss, h2o flossers or small brushes that access among the enamel, and this ought to be accomplished on a everyday basis.
• “It’s crucial to have a cleansing and a dental examination – with a comprehensive set of X-rays – each and every six months, which is really significant for general wellness,” he explained. Might additional that test-ups are important at any time but specifically in the course of a pandemic, which could see a dental emergency tacked on to an now overloaded healthcare facility method.
“If you can be on best of these items … on best of your oral overall health … you’re absolutely likely to be thanking yourself in a few of decades,” Might explained. “These items will make a substantial change with your enamel, the way your smile appears to be like and your general well being.”