Last updated 5 months ago
Gum Disease is an inflammation of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. If it is severe, it can destroy the tissue and bone, leading to tooth loss. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. When plaque is not removed it can harden into calculus (tartar). When tartar forms above and below the gumline, it becomes harder to brush and clean well between teeth. That buildup of plaque and tartar can harbor bacteria that lead to gum disease. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which is the only stage that is reversible.
If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of gum/periodontal disease called periodontitis. It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are so important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Brush twice a day, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, often occurs unconsciously while you sleep. It can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw. Although it is often considered to be stress-related, teeth grinding can also be caused by sleep disorders. Your dentist’s choice of treatment will depend on the cause of your grinding, but you may be fitted with a mouthguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
The temporomandibular joints or TMJ are among the more complex joints in your body. Any problem that prevents the TMJ from working properly may result in a painful disorder, also referred to as TMJ disorders or sometimes TMD. The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is often unclear, but possible causes can include arthritis, dislocation, injury and/or problems related to alignment or teeth grinding from stress.
Symptoms can include: pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth and/or headaches
If you’re regularly experiencing facial or jaw pain see your dentist. Exercise, muscle relaxants or physical therapy may help.
Sometimes a cavity is just too deep to be fixed and may require a root canal. Root canal procedures are used to treat problems of the tooth's soft core, otherwise known as dental pulp. The pulp contains the blood vessels and the nerves of the tooth, which run like a thread down into the root. The pulp tissue can die when it’s infected or injured. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. During a root canal treatment, the dentist removes the pulp, and the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Your dentist may then place a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger and protect it.
If hot or cold foods make you wince, you may have a common dental problem—sensitive teeth. Sensitivity in your teeth can happen for several reasons, including: tooth decay (cavities), fractured teeth, worn fillings, gum disease, worn tooth enamel and/or exposed tooth root
Sensitive teeth can be treated. Your dentist may recommend desensitizing toothpaste or an alternative treatment based on the cause of your sensitivity. Proper oral hygiene is the key to preventing tooth pain. Ask your dentist if you have any questions about your daily oral hygiene routine or concerns about tooth sensitivity.
Last updated 5 months ago
Some people think tooth decay is just for children, but did you know you are at risk your whole life? Untreated dental disease can lead to serious health problems such as infection, damage to bone or nerve and tooth loss. Dental infections that are left untreated can even spread to other parts of the body and, in very rare cases, can be life threatening.
Dental Disease is Preventable
The good news is that dental disease is preventable. You can practice preventive dentistry on yourself by adopting these healthy habits: Always remember to brush your teeth twice a day, floss between teeth once a day, eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. And don't forget to schedule regular dental visits. By following healthy dental routine and making smart food choices, you can lower your risk for tooth decay.
Brushing your teeth is the cornerstone of any good oral hygiene routine. To keep your teeth and gums healthy, always be sure to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily. Also, don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Finally, make sure to use ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. It makes no difference whether you choose a manual or powered toothbrush—just make sure to brush twice a day, every day!
Flossing goes hand in hand with brushing. By flossing once a day, you help to remove plaque from between your teeth in areas where the toothbrush can't reach. This is extremely important because plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing can eventually harden into calculus or tartar. Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed by a professional cleaning.
Last updated 5 months ago
Do you ever get nervous just thinking about going to the dentist? You aren’t alone! Some of the most common concerns are:
Fear of the unknown
Fear of the dental equipment
Sensitive gag reflex
Fear of the noises
Uncomfortable lying back
Inability to breathe through the nose
With dentistry’s many advances, diagnosis and treatment is more sophisticated and comfortable than ever.
Here are some tips on how you can cut down your dental anxiety:
Share your anxiety. If you're tense or anxious, tell your dentist and the dental staff. Getting your concerns out in the open will let your dentist adapt the treatment to your needs.
Help yourself. Choose a time for your dental visit when you're less likely to be rushed or under pressure. For some people, that means a Saturday or an early-morning appointment.
Wear headphones. If the sound of the drill bothers you, bring headphones so you can listen to your favorite music. During the dental visit you might try visualizing yourself relaxing on a warm beach.
These positive techniques work wonders for many. Try them on your next dental visit.
Last updated 5 months ago
Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, get their name by being the last teeth to come in during young adulthood, the time of life when you gain maturity or “wisdom.” The majority of people have most of their permanent teeth by age 13. Your wisdom teeth should come into your mouth between the ages of 17-21. Sometimes they do not have enough room to come in normally or are in the wrong position to come straight up. When that happens, your dentist may refer to them as impacted and they may have to be removed.
Not everyone’s teeth develop on the same schedule. That’s why it’s important to see your dentist regularly so he or she can monitor the progress of your wisdom teeth. Every patient is unique, but in general, wisdom teeth may need to be removed when there is evidence of changes in the mouth such as:
· damage to adjacent teeth
· gum disease
· tooth decay (if it is not possible or desirable to restore the tooth)
Your dentist or specialist may also recommend removing your wisdom teeth to prevent problems or for others reasons, such as when removal is part of part of getting braces, treating gums or other dental procedures.
You know smoking is bad for you in general, so it should be no surprise that all forms of tobacco are also harmful to your oral health. For one, they can cause bad breath, but that’s only the beginning. Other possible oral health impacts include:
· stained teeth and tongue
· dulled sense of taste and smell
· slow healing after a tooth extraction or oral surgery
· difficulties in correcting cosmetic dental problems
· gum disease and tooth loss
· oral cancer
Quitting is the only way to decrease your risk of these and other tobacco-related health problems. The addictive quality of nicotine, which is found in cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, can make this especially difficult. That’s why it’s important to have a plan and a support network, people to help you stick to your plan. Write down your reasons for quitting.
Bottom-line: a smoke-free environment is healthier for you and for those around you. Make a plan to quit, stick to it and start living a healthier life. The National Institute on Drug Abuse considers nicotine to be the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the U.S. For tips on quitting or how to help your child quit, visit Smokefree.gov.
Oral piercings or tongue splitting may look cool, but they can be dangerous to your health. That’s because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, and infection and swelling often occur with mouth piercings. For instance, your mouth and tongue could swell so much that you close off your airway or you could possibly choke if part of the jewelry breaks off in your mouth. In some cases, you could crack a tooth if you bite down too hard on the piercing and repeated clicking of the jewelry against teeth can also cause damage. An infected oral piercing can also lead to more serious systemic infections, including hepatitis or endocarditis.
Meth Mouth, a term for the damage caused by the use of the illegal and highly addictive drug methamphetamine, is one of many devastating effects this drug can have on users’ oral health. Methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant that can cause shortness of breath, hyperthermia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, permanent brain damage and rampant tooth decay. Some users describe their teeth as “blackened, stained, rotting, crumbling or falling apart.” Often, the teeth cannot be salvaged and must be removed.
For more information, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Eating disorders arise from a variety of complex physical, emotional and social issues. They can also be devastating to your oral health. More than 10 million Americans are affected by serious eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. These eating disorders can also affect a person’s oral health. Without the proper nutrition, gums and other soft tissue inside the mouth may bleed easily. The glands that produce saliva may swell and individuals may experience chronic dry mouth. Throwing up frequently can affect teeth too. That’s because when strong stomach acid repeatedly flows over teeth, the tooth’s enamel can be lost to the point that the teeth change in color, shape and length. The edges of teeth become thin and break off easily. If you suffer from an eating disorder, it’s important to seek counseling and talk to your health care provider.
Last updated 5 months ago
Eating healthy foods helps keep your teeth and body healthy. Don't eat or drink too many sweets. If you have something sweet, try to eat or drink it with a meal to limit the exposure time to your teeth. That's because certain foods can put you at risk for cavities and other oral health problems. Here are some mouth healthy tips.
What to Eat:
According to MyPlate, a website from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, an agency of U.S. Department of Agriculture, a balanced diet should include:
Fruits and vegetables. Combined these should be half of what you eat every day.
Grains. Make sure at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
Dairy. Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy foods.
Lean proteins. Make lean protein choices, such as lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Try and vary your protein choices to include eggs, beans, peas and legumes, too. Eat at least 8 oz. of seafood a week.
Snacking is hard to resist but you can do your mouth a favor by watching the amount of soda, juice or other sweetened beverages you drink.
If you want a snack, try and choose something like fruit, low-fat cheese, yogurt or raw vegetables.
If you chew gum, make sure it’s sugarless. Certain sugarless gums have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for helping prevent cavities by strengthening teeth. Look for the ADA Seal on the package.
If you have braces: Good oral hygiene is especially important for people wearing braces. Your dentist may recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires. These foods may include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel or other chewy candy.