Understanding oral hygiene is important to everyone wishing to achieve optimal health. Oral health problems affect not only the ability to eat and speak can be connected with other serious health issues. A healthy smile for life starts with healthy habits, and the good news is that most oral health problems are preventable. We have provided topics that you may find interesting.
An abscessed tooth is typically an infection caused by tooth decay. If not treated, bacteria can enter the soft tissue and lead to serious infection of the jaw bone and teeth. Common symptoms of an abscess includes: swelling, redness in the gums, and fever.
The good news is that an abscessed tooth can be effectively treated with antibiotics, cleaning/drainage of the infection, and root canal treatment if the abscess is caused by decay or a cracked tooth.
Dental anxiety can leave people panic-stricken and terrified. Individuals with dental anxiety understand their fear, however, are typically unable to do much about it. As a result, they will do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist. Unfortunately, visits to the dentist are usually because of extreme pain or discomfort, which most of the time could have been avoided with regular dental appointments.
With the advancements in today’s dentistry there are many techniques that can alleviate dental anxiety, such as sedation dentistry and even wearing headphones to listen to your favorite music. Take the step to talk to your local dentist, and you will be amazed at options available to you.
First, there are numerous reasons why your gums could bleed. If your gums bleed regularly, you should make an appointment with your dentist, as this could be a sign that something else is wrong.
If you just stared flossing your gums could bleed as they get used to your flossing routine. In normal situations, the bleeding should go away within a week or so.
If you take blood thinners, often these medications may be the reason your gums are bleeding when brushing. You should contact your dentist if bleeding does not stop soon after brushing.
Another example includes brushing too aggressively. We recommend our patients use soft-bristled toothbrushes when brushing.
Bleeding gums also can be a sign of gingivitis. If your gums bleed when you brush, you should make an appointment with your dental for an oral health check up. Often your dentist can help reverse gingivitis as this disease is preventable.
Orthodontic treatment (braces) have many useful purposes, however, the most common is to correct teeth that are crowded or crooked, as well as a the alignment of your bite (your upper and lower jaws may not meet properly). There are many reasons that can cause misalignment, such as early or late tooth loss, thumbsucking, and injury.
Correcting an abnormal bite should be a priority as this can cause other oral health problems such as; tooth decay, gum disease, and abnormal war to tooth enamel.
The first step is for your dentist to determine if you truly need braces. Understanding why you may need braces can be complex and varies with each individual. If you have an abnormal bite, you should visit your dentist for an oral health exam. Your dentist may recommend braces or another orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day. This will help remove food and plaque, that forms on your teeth and contains bacteria, which can break down tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Plaque that isn’t removed can also harden into tartar, which makes it harder to keep teeth clean.
Brushing your teeth should be part of every individuals daily routine. It is recommended that you brush with a soft-bristled brush that fits your mouth allowing easy reach to all areas. It is also recommended that you use ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
Taking these simple measures will help ensure long lasting oral health.
Cold sores, are groups of fluid-filled blisters that often erupt around the lips. The skin around the blisters is often red and swollen. The blisters may break open, and then scab over after a few days. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 and are contagious. Once a person is infected, the virus stays in the body and causes occasional attacks.
Cold sores will usually start to heal on their own within a few days. But if they cause pain or make you feel embarrassed, they can be treated. Over-the-counter topical anesthetics can provide some relief. Treatment may get rid of the cold sores only 1 to 2 days faster, but it can also help ease painful blisters or other uncomfortable symptoms. Your dentist may prescribe antiviral drugs to reduce these kinds of viral infections.
Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel. It can be a significant problem for individuals of all ages. Plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on your teeth. When a tooth is exposed to acid frequently — for example, if you eat or drink often, especially foods or drinks containing sugar and starches — the repeated cycles of acid attacks cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals. This is a sign of early decay and can be treated by your dentist. However, the longer this condition goes untreated the enamel becomes destroyed and forms a cavity. A cavity is permanent damage that is typically repaired with a filling.
Dry mouth is caused from inadequate flow of saliva. It is a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of certain medications, such as pain killers, antihistamines, diuretics, decongestants, and many others.
Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay. Among other benefits, saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
There are some steps individuals can take to help minimize dry mouth, including:
• Drinking water often and during meals
• Avoiding drinks with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, sodas
• Avoid tobacco or alcohol, which dry out the mouth
• Minimize spicy or salty foods, which may cause pain in a dry mouth
• Avoid sugar and acidic foods
Sedation / Anesthesia
There are many options available to patients for creating a relaxed and comfortable dental visit. Our dental office uses conscious sedation that is administered with a simple pill, to help our patients relax and enter into a deep sleep during dental treatment.
Depending on the type of procedure, your overall health, history of allergies and your anxiety level – we will determine the best approach for your particular situation. Rest assured we will take the appropriate steps to make your dental visit as safe and comfortable as possible.
Bad breath (halitosis), usually results from poor dental health habits and at times may be a sign of other oral health issues as well as unhealthy lifestyle habits. Bad breath can also be heightened by the types of foods you eat such as garlic or onions. Although brushing and flossing can “cover-up” the odor, often this exercise is temporary. However, brushing and flossing daily is critical, not only to overall oral health, but to ensure food particles are removed from your mouth. Food that remains in your mouth promotes bacterial growth between teeth and even on the tongue, ultimately causing bad breath.
Regular dental visits enable your dentist to detect any problems such as gum disease or dry mouth and stop them before they become more serious.
Cosmetic bonding is when the dentist attaches (bonds) materials to your tooth for the purpose of changing the color or shape.
Although bonding is used for different purposes, the most common is for the repair of chipped teeth. The tooth enamel is then fused with the bonding material (porcelain and resins) to promote a strong structure that will look and feel like your original tooth.
There are some limitations of dental bonding and some dentists view it as best suited for small cosmetic changes, or for correction of teeth in areas of very low bite pressure (for example, front teeth). It is always best to consult your dentist about the best cosmetic approach for your particular situation.
Bridges are a great option if you are missing one or more teeth, or you notice a difference in chewing and speaking. Bridges replace missing teeth with artificial teeth by “bridging the gap” where the missing teeth used to be.
Typically bridges are made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and are attached to surrounding teeth for support. Fixed bridges can only be removed by your dentist, while individuals can take out and clean removable bridges.
Dental bridges offer several advantages over other forms of tooth replacement. Typically, bridges can be installed in a few dental visits and provide excellent chewing comfort. Further, bridges have a long life-expectancy. You should consult your dentist to determine the best option for your dental health.
Cavities can be a problem for individuals of all ages. Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth enamel. As we consume food and drinks, bacteria constantly form on our teeth. As a result, the bacteria in plaque creates acids that destroy tooth enamel and eventually forms cavities.
The acid removes minerals from the enamel, which if left untreated can cause a cavity. Decay begins in the main portion of the tooth (the enamel) and as the enamel is broken down the decay can go deeper into the dentin and can eventually reach the nerve (pulp) of the tooth.
There are a variety of ways to help prevent cavities which include:
• Regular dental cleanings.
• Brushing and flossing daily; this will help reduce the amount of dental plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
• Eating sugary or starchy foods less often during the day to help reduce the amount of tooth-damaging acids in your mouth.
• Use of fluoride toothpaste, which strengthens teeth, as well as fluoride treatments provided by the dentist or taking fluoride supplements as recommended by the dentist.
If you have any questions regarding your oral health, please contact our dental office today.
A crown can help strengthen a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling. Crowns are a great option for making your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. Crowns can also help restore a tooth to its normal size.
There are many additional benefits for crowns including the attachment of bridges to protect a weak tooth from breaking. They offer the benefit of covering teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. Further, a crown can also help individuals bite and chew better!
Crowns are a secure way to fill gaps and help restore your smile. Helping patients keep their teeth healthy is what we do. Contact us today if you have any questions regarding dental crowns.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth to help restore your smile. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth. Complete dentures are either “conventional” or “immediate.” A conventional denture is placed in the mouth after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed.
If you have lost all of your natural teeth, dentures will benefit your appearance and your health. That’s because dentures make it easier to eat and speak. Dentures can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much.
It is important to continue having regular dental checkups so that your dentist can examine oral tissues for signs of disease. To maintain a proper fit over time, it may be necessary to adjust your denture or possibly remake your denture.
An endodontist is a dentist who specializes in saving teeth. Endodontics is the branch of dentistry concerning dental pulp and tissues surrounding the roots of a tooth. “Endo” is the Greek word for “inside” and “odont” is Greek for “tooth.” Endodontic treatment, or root canal treatment, treats the soft pulp tissue inside the tooth.
Less than three percent of dentists are Endodontists. Endodontists are specialists because they have completed an additional education and training beyond dental school. More can be found at the American Association of Endodontists.
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