Thursday, September 29, 2022

Silent But Deadly

You could have periodontitis or a gum infection, and not even know it. Just because you're not in pain, don't be fooled! Gums show little sign of disease before the infection is well advanced. By the time you have any discomfort, there may already be extensive damage to your tissue and the bone that holds your teeth in your jaws. If it gets to this point, the teeth will become loose and eventually fall out because there is nothing to hold them in place.

So how do you know if you have periodontitis? Bleeding gums is the most common sign of the disease. While this may be common, it is definitely not normal. These represent a possible route of entry for oral bacteria into your bloodstream and heart. Poor dental hygiene has been shown to contribute to osteoporosis, insulin senstivity, kidney disease, respiratory infection, low birth weight, diabetes, and weakened immune system. These proven health risks make prevention more important than ever. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and can be prevented from worsening or even reversed with regular six-month dental checkups to the office. If your case is more severe, we recommend more frequent cleanings (every three months). Don't wait for pain, act now.


 Myth #1 - The harder you brush, the better.

 Truth - The goal of toothbrushing is to remove plaque. Plaque is very soft and will come off with a  soft bristle brush and a light touch. If you push too hard on the brush the bristles bend and don’t  work as well. You may also cause damage to your gums by abrading them. This leads to exposed  tooth structure which may cause sensitivity and eventually, decay.

 Myth #2 - Certain foods cause gum disease.

 Truth - Gum disease is caused by bacteria not by sugar or any other food. However, if food isn’t  removed from tooth surfaces it provides fuel for bacteria to grow and break down the attachment  between teeth and gums leading to tooth loss.

 Myth #3 - Gum disease naturally occurs as you get older.

 Truth - Many young people have gum disease. Dental hygiene is more of a factor than age. Getting  regular examinations and cleanings and keeping your teeth as clean as possible by brushing and  flossing is the key to good dental health.

Bonding with the Dentist

What is bonding? Bonding is the direct application of tooth colored material to restore or change the appearance of teeth. Layers of bonding material may be added to the fronts and the edges of teeth to change the color or the shape and size. Often times, this procedure is totally painless and doesn't require the use of local anesthetic. Teeth can be recontoured and changed to give the illusion of straight teeth without orthodontics. Bonding material is slightly thicker than toothpaste and is applied to the tooth surface in increments. It comes in a variety of shades so it can be matched to your teeth. It can also be used to change the appearance of your original tooth by applying a lighter color. It is then cured (or hardened) by a bright light, finished and polished smooth to look and feel like natural tooth. Dramatic improvements in your smile can be painlessly accomplished in just one visit. If you would like to improve the appearance of your front teeth in just one visit, quickly and easily, consider bonding!

Cracked Teeth

A cracked tooth can be very difficult to diagnose. It often hurts when you bite but the pain disappears quickly. It can make your tooth sensitive to temperature or certain foods. It is important to tell your dentist if you are having these symptoms because a cracked tooth, if left untreated can lead to root canal treatment or even extraction. Although the dentist may not be able to see the crack on an x-ray, there are simple tests that can be performed to be sure that a tooth is cracked. Teeth can fracture as a result of many things. For example, traumas to the mouth, tooth grinding or chewing on hard objects like ice or nuts. Teeth with large fillings are especially prone to cracking since they are already in a weakened state. Crowns (caps) may be used to cover the tooth and keep it together allowing it to function normally again.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

What are sealants?

Sealants are a quick and painless way to prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of back teeth. Molar teeth usually have pits and grooves on the biting surfaces where bacteria hides. When you brush your teeth, your tooth brush glides over the top of the tooth but it is difficult for the bristles to remove germs and tiny food particles deep in the grooves. A thin plastic coating called a sealant can provide an effective barrier against tooth decay. There is no needle or drilling necessary. The sealant is a liquid plastic that is applied to the tooth with a tiny brush. Although a sealant can be placed at any age, this is generally done first at age 6-8 and then again at age 11-13 when the first and second molars appear in the mouth. Sealants are a very simple, inexpensive way to prevent cavities in permanent teeth at a very young age. For additional information please contact our office.

Crowns....Not Just For Kings

Contrary to what you may think, a crown and a root canal are two separate procedures.  You don’t necessarily need a root canal if you need a crown but your dentist may recommend a crown on the tooth after it has had root canal treatment.  After a root canal is completed the dentist will generally place a temporary filling until the tooth can be restored.  Most dentists will recommend a crown for a molar. Teeth get brittle after root canal therapy because they no longer have a blood supply.  Teeth like this are more likely to break than others, especially in the molar region where there is more pressure from chewing.  To insure that the tooth doesn’t crack, the dentist may need to protect it with a crown.

There are many other reasons why a tooth may require a crown. The most common reasons include, cracks and severe decay. Sometimes a tooth that has an existing filling may have a problem and require a new restoration but there is too much filling material to refill the tooth. In a situations like these, the dentist may also recommend a crown.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Halitosis: Bad Breath

Bad breath or halitosis can come from many sources. The most obvious cause of halitosis is of course, food, but gum disease, tooth decay, and tobacco are also common causes. The most frequent reason for bad breath is inadequate hygiene which can lead to more serious problems if not addressed. When food particles and debris are not cleaned from your teeth and tongue, bacteria can collect and result in unpleasant mouth odors. Bad breath is often the first indicator of periodontal (gum) disease. This may be a warning sign of a more serious problem and should not be ignored.

In certain cases, dry mouth can cause bad breath as well. This condition results from sleeping with an open mouth or daytime mouth breathing. Certain medical conditions, medications or sinus and respiratory infections can also lead to halitosis. It is important to see a dentist to determine the origin of the odor so it can be treated properly. Depending upon the source of your problem an individual treatment program can be set up to control your bad breath.