Book Now

Are Your Teeth Sensitive?

October 12th, 2018

Sensitive teeth can be caused by any of the following: worn tooth enamel from using a hard toothbrush and using a hard grip while brushing aggressively; tooth erosion due to highly acidic foods and beverages; tooth decay; worn leaky fillings and broken teeth that expose the dentin of your tooth. Have you ever had a cold drink that caused your teeth discomfort? Tooth sensitivity is quite a broad term that can mean tenderness anywhere on or near the tooth — the surface, the dentin, the root, and along the gum line.

If you experience tooth sensitivity, it isn't something that you should have to suffer through. There are even home remedies and, if necessary, dental procedures that can help tooth sensitivity and can lessen pain and discomfort.

Have you had a procedure done lately? That could actually play a role in increased tooth sensitivity. Dental procedures can often involve pressure, drilling, vibration, and even heat that will cause your teeth to become sensitive, more so than you experience in your day to day dealings.

Your tooth could also be cracked or damaged, which can certainly lead to increased sensitivity. In some cases, you might not even be aware that your tooth is damaged. Structural integrity of our teeth is something we all take for granted. But the reality is that eating something as simple and healthy as an almond can actually leave you with a cracked, chipped, or even broken tooth.

Decay around the edges of your fillings could be causing discomfort or increased tooth sensitivity. As your fillings age, they can weaken, fracture, even start to leak around the edges. This is fertile ground for bacteria to grow and flourish, increasing in number and accumulating in tiny nooks, crannies, and crevices. This leads to acid buildup which breaks down tooth enamel.

You might also be using harsh mouthwashes or even whitening toothpaste which can be contributing to tooth sensitivity. Many types of mouthwash and toothpaste manufacturers add whitening chemicals to their products which can make your teeth more sensitive, especially if dentin in the middle layer of the tooth are exposed (this is due to enamel wearing down from acids and everyday irritants).

The toothbrush you choose and use every day might also be contributing to your increased tooth sensitivity. The way you brush can also play a role. If you use too much force and a back-and-forth movement instead of a circular movement, this can wear down the protective layers of your teeth, exposing microscopic canals, tubes, and fissures, triggering your dental nerves. When nerves are left exposed, foods extreme in temperature, acidity, or stickiness can be increasingly uncomfortable to eat. Switching to a softer toothbrush, perhaps an electronic model where force can be even and consistently measured will ultimately be better for your teeth.

If you suffer from TMJ or grind your teeth with any sort of regularity, then you are especially susceptible to having sensitive teeth. This also wears down protective coating on your teeth, exposing your nerves. Your dentist can custom shape appliances for patients to wear in order to minimize damage from tooth grinding. These can also be worn during sleep for those who grind at night.

The cause sensitive teeth is a mystery you can solve with some input from your dentist. So if you've been suffering with painful sensitivity that keeps you from eating the foods you love, make an appointment with your dentist today – and you may be eating ice cream tomorrow.

To Whiten or Not To Whiten?

September 28th, 2018

 

Just look around and you’ll see that stained teeth are everywhere. Several factors of our modern lifestyles actively work against our ability to maintain white teeth.

Here are a few of the common daily habits that can stain teeth:
Drinking coffee, tea, or other dark liquids that can leave stains
Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products that contain tar
Not brushing your teeth often enough, or not brushing thoroughly enough when you do
Tooth trauma or injury

Staining can also occur from dental fluorosis, as well as from taking tetracycline antibiotics at a young age.

Regardless of why your teeth are stained, at some point you will likely wonder whether to look into teeth whitening treatment in order to brighten up your smile. Keep in mind, as long as the teeth are free of cavities and your gums are healthy, there is little medical harm in stained teeth.

So, the decision really rests on your personal preference and the how you feel about your smile. We can’t make this decision for you, but we can assure you that professional teeth whitening methods are safe should you choose to do it.

Evaluating Treatment Options

Once you’ve decided to move forward with teeth whitening treatment, the next step is to decide whether to visit the dentist’s office or try an at-home solution. The main difference between these options is the amount of bleaching agent used.

As you might imagine, professionally trained dentists are able to use higher concentrations of peroxide for whitening treatments versus what is available for at-home use. However, with the higher dose comes the expertise of a trained professional so you can rest easy knowing that the treatment is being administered properly.

If you decide to go the at-home whitening route, there are several different products on the market to choose from. Each has its own requirements for how often you should apply whitener and how long it should stay on your teeth.

No matter which product you choose, make sure that you follow the directions on the package very carefully. This will ensure that you are staying safe while getting the most out of the at-home whitening product.

Other Considerations

While the American Dental Association considers teething whitening safe, it is generally not recommended for pregnant women or nursing mothers. Consult your doctor and ask for safe alternatives.

Teeth whiteners, either at home or when professionally applied, can increase the sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. This can usually be managed by using toothpaste for sensitive teeth or with over-the-counter pain relievers. If you already have sensitive teeth, ask your dentist about alternative whitening options.

If you are uncertain about whether something in your dental or medical history would be affected by teeth whitening, the best thing to do is ask your dentist. No question is too silly or trivial; any good dentist or hygienist should answer all of your questions thoroughly and professionally.

Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Should be Removed

September 12th, 2018

 

Wisdom teeth are our third set of molars that usually come in during your late teens to early twenties. Over time our jaws have shrunk, leaving little room for the extra row of teeth, which is why they can cause pain and need to be extracted. Besides pain, what are some of the common signs you need your wisdom teeth taken out?

Signs You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out:

Not every patient experiences pain associated with their wisdom teeth. Sometimes a dentist will recommend pulling them based on your x-rays if the wisdom teeth will cause overcrowding or put excess pressure on the other teeth as they move.

How to know when to get your wisdom teeth pulled?

When overcrowding occurs, teeth that were once straight begin to shift. Shifted teeth can cause problems such as one tooth moving in front of another, gum issues, and even result in infections caused by trapped food.

Pain is usually the first sign that your wisdom teeth are causing problems and will need to be pulled (extracted). The pain is typically a dull, aching pain in the jaw. Certain foods that require more chewing like meats and root vegetables can make the pain worse when chewing.

Hot/cold sensitivity can be another indicator.

When there isn’t enough room in the mouth the teeth will commonly grow in on an angle and sometimes not in the same direction as the rest of your teeth. This usually results in tenderness, swelling, gum infections, and damage to surrounding teeth. When wisdom teeth are impacted, it is highly recommended to remove them as soon as possible. Impacted teeth are more likely to cause jaw issues and can cause other serious problems.

What Can I Expect With Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?

Wisdom tooth removal is a routine procedure at this point. If the teeth are impacted or require any cutting into the gums then an oral surgeon will usually perform the procedure.

Does Recovering From Surgery Take Long?

Healing from any tooth removal can take some time. A diet consisting of soft foods or even liquids will be required for a couple days to avoid chewing on the area and to help with pain. You will need to ice the area for the first 48 hours or as needed for pain.

It will be important to follow the cleaning instructions during recovery.

Caring for your Dentures and Dental Appliances

August 24th, 2018

 

If you’re one of the many Americans who use dentures (also known as a dental appliance), you probably know that it’s important to care for them.

But if you’re uncertain about how to keep your dental appliance clean and comfortable, you’re not alone. Follow the tips in this article to keep your dentures – and your mouth – healthy and clean.

Dental appliances include full and partial dentures that can be made of metal, acrylic, or hard or soft resin, and will fill in the gaps where there has been tooth loss.

Cleaning Your Appliance

No matter what type of denture you’re using, you should use a soft toothbrush (or denture brush) and water to remove food debris, plaque and stains each day. Do not use toothpaste on your dental appliance, as it may cause the denture to deteriorate over time. Rinse your appliance first, then brush to clean.

For devices with metal frames, you will also want to brush the sides of the frame and rinse again in warm water.

There are many different types of over-the-counter cleaners that may help keep your appliance clean. To pick the best one for your appliance, look at what it is made from (acrylic, metal, etc.) and carefully check the product labels to find a good match.

Storing Your Appliance

For proper storage of your device, remember:
•Store your appliance in fresh, clean water whenever you aren’t wearing it
•Always rinse the appliance before wearing it again
•Keep your storage container empty, wiped dry and open when not in use