Are you Suffering from an Infected Wisdom Tooth?

2017-04-06 00:00:00

Are you passing through your teenage years right now? You can expect your wisdom teeth to pop up anytime soon if they haven’t yet. Usually, wisdom teeth occur during the age of 17 and above. It has turned out to be one of the most common dental problems people suffer from. In fewer cases, the eruption of wisdom tooth happens normally and causes no harm, but in most cases, an impacted wisdom tooth might lead to a removal of the tooth.

But impaction isn’t always the only reason for extraction. An infected wisdom tooth can also cause other problems which may land you in this common form of oral surgery.

Pericoronitis

Wisdom teeth are the four permanent teeth found at the back of the mouth; two on the top of each side and two down the same way. They are the last set of molars to erupt in your mouth. If there isn’t enough space in your mouth it may erupt partially, which may create a flap of gum tissue near the tooth that can trap food particles. Those food particles form plaque, which elevates into tartar and eventually an infection in the gum surrounding the wisdom tooth, later requiring a wisdom tooth extraction. Symptoms for Pericoronitis are:

  • The foul smell or taste in your mouth
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Swollen and painful gums around the wisdom tooth
  • Spasms in the jaw muscles

Treatment

There are ways to prevent advanced stages of Pericoronitis from occurring. There are two options; one would be to clean the gum and surrounding teeth with water and remove the food particles and pus and leave it as it is until the infection exceeds (which might lead to clearing the part of gum which might be a hurdle for the wisdom tooth eruption). Another option would be a removal of wisdom tooth. In both cases, it is recommended to see a dentist.

It is always recommended to clean and floss your teeth regularly with utmost care to avoid early dental problems. To learn more about wisdom tooth and for the treatment, call or visit our office to get an expert opinion.

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What to Do in the Event of a Dental Emergency

2017-03-21 00:00:00

It can sometimes be unclear exactly what constitutes a dental emergency. Mouth issues often cause pain and can instill fear. You may wonder if the problem needs to be addressed immediately, if it can be handled at home, or if it can wait for an office visit.

Is this a dental emergency?

Certain dental issues are urgent and should be treated accordingly, while others can surely wait. It is very important to understand the difference, especially at night or over a weekend when you don’t have access to your regular dental office.

Here are some examples of dental problems in need of urgent care:

  • Excessive or persistent bleeding
  • If a permanent tooth becomes loose or gets knocked out
  • An injury to the jaw
  • Swelling
  • Painful or throbbing toothache

The above symptoms need to be treated right away. Your dentist may have an emergency number after hours. If not, visit your local emergency room.

The following concerns are not of an urgent nature:

  • Missing filling, bridge or crown
  • Cracked or broken tooth that isn’t causing pain
  • Broken retainer or night guard
  • Dull tooth pain

You should still contact your dentist regarding non-urgent care, but it is usually not necessary for you to be seen immediately.

How should I handle a dental emergency at home?

Depending on the problem, there are some steps that can be taken at home to remedy the situation and ease your pain. The first thing to do is remain calm. Anxiety will only make you feel worse.

Here is a list of tips you can do on your own to manage the pain caused by a dental emergency:

  • Rinse your mouth with a mixture of salt and warm water to reduce swelling and ease irritation.
  • If you lose a tooth, store it in a glass of milk until you can see your dentist.
  • If you have pain around one specific tooth, try flossing around it. Something may be lodged inside the gum or between teeth.
  • Place a cold compress on the swollen, bleeding or irritated area.
  • Rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide to ease irritation and kill bacteria.
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Getting to the Bottom of Bad Breath: Causes and Treatments

2017-03-07 00:00:00

Bad breath: It happens to all of us. In fact, surveys have shown that at least 50% of adults have had bad breath—also known as halitosis—at some point in their lives, so if you’re experiencing it right now, you’re not alone. But what causes bad breath, and how do you get rid of it?

Causes of Bad Breath

Besides your standard onion, bad breath can be caused for a lot of reasons outside of your food choices. For example, in many cases, bad breath can be a result of the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth. These bacteria feed on the sugars and starches that you eat, and end up producing that “bad breath” smell as a result.

In addition to bacteria, simply having a dry mouth can lead to bad breath. The saliva in your mouth serves as a natural “mouth rinse” by helping remove small food particles. If you’re not producing enough saliva, there’s no way to remove these particles that will eventually attract bad breath-causing bacteria.

There are also more serious reasons as to why you may have bad breath. If you have bad breath that doesn’t seem to go away with regular dental hygiene and rinsing your mouth after meals, it may be a sign of gum disease.

Best Bad Breath Remedies

However, although there are many causes of bad breath, there are also different types of solutions for it too! Some ways you can bust bad breath include:

  • Practice dental hygiene – If you continuously make a habit of brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day, you can significantly reduce the bacteria that cause bad breath.
  • Clean your tongue regularly – Your tongue can actually be a safe harbor for bad breath-causing bacteria! While you’re practicing regular dental hygiene, make sure you don’t forget your tongue; use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to best remove lingering bacteria.
  • Keep your mouth hydrated – If you often have problems with dry mouth, start making a habit of drinking more water, or eating healthy foods that may require more chewing, like apples or spinach. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum to try to generate more saliva.

Besides practicing dental hygiene and keeping your mouth hydrated, it’s also important that you visit our office at least twice a year, so we can perform a thorough dental cleaning that will help eliminate bacteria. We can also check for any serious causes of bad breath—such as gum disease—that may need immediate treatment. If you’re having problems with bad breath, book an appointment with our office today!

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Your Guide to Better Dental Health

2017-02-25 00:00:00

Your permanent teeth are called “permanent” for a reason; they’re the only set of teeth you get after they grow, which is why it’s important to take very good care of them. Fortunately, there are numerous dental care practices you can take to ensure that your teeth stay healthy for a lifetime! Here are a few tips for maintaining healthy teeth and gums:

Brush Twice a Day

Proper dental care starts at home! Make sure that you brush your teeth twice a day, for two full minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Gently brush your teeth; while you may think that by brushing harder you can remove more food particles and plaque, you can actually damage your tooth enamel—or the outer layer of your teeth! Brushing too hard can also irritate your gums, causing them to bleed.

Floss Once a Day

Flossing is a dental hygiene practice many patients neglect to do, simply because it’s often forgotten and not thought of as a routine thing to do. However, by flossing, you’re actually cleaning the surfaces of your teeth that your toothbrush is unable to reach. In fact, flossing helps clean nearly 30-40% of your teeth surfaces! For better dental health, try to floss at least once a day.

Clean Your Tongue Often

Did you know that bacteria can linger on your tongue? By using a tongue cleaner—or brushing your tongue with your toothbrush—you can remove the bacteria that can cause harm to your dental health, and even eliminate bad breath too!

Limit Sugar Intake

Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that is attracted to the sugars and starches from the foods you eat. By limiting your sugar intake, you’re limiting the amount of potential plaque buildup on the teeth! If you must indulge, however, make sure you rinse your mouth with water to reduce the chances of attracting more plaque.

While these are all good starts to managing healthier teeth and gums at home, it’s also important to visit our office twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings. We can provide you with preventative treatments that will help protect your teeth and gums from decay and disease in-between visits. Is it almost time for a routine visit? Call our office to book an appointment today!

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3 Bad Dental Habits You Should Avoid

2017-02-04 00:00:00

There are plenty of positive dental habits you should integrate into your daily life to ensure that your teeth remain happy and healthy for years to come. For example, brushing twice a day and flossing once a day can help prevent plaque from building up and causing damage to your tooth structures and gums. By drinking water, you’re supplying your teeth with fluoride, a natural mineral found in the liquid that helps strengthen your tooth enamel or the outer layer of your teeth. However, there are also quite a few negative habits that are detrimental to your dental health. Here are 3 bad dental habits you should avoid for healthier teeth:

Chewing on Hard Objects

This habit is actually quite common among patients: chewing on hard objects such as ice or the ends of pencils and pens. However, doing so can cause a lot of damage to your teeth over time. For example, chewing on ice can lead to the development of fractures in the teeth. Why? The cold and brittle nature of ice can cause tiny cracks in the surface of your tooth’s enamel, and over time, these cracks become larger and more serious as you continue to chew on hard objects. Although crushed ice may seem like a refreshing treat, avoid chewing it at all costs.

Using Your Teeth Outside of Their Intended Use

Have you ever tried to use your teeth for things outside of their intended purpose? For example, have you ever used them to open up bags of chips? Cut a small piece of loose thread hanging from your shirt? Straighten out a paper clip? Each time you use your teeth for functions such as these, you’re actually putting them at risk for chips and fractures. Although your teeth are strong, when under these conditions, there’s a lot of pressure that’s being put on them. So, instead of using your teeth as tools, consider your dental health, and opt for using real tools instead!

Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding is a habit that may be a little bit harder to break, especially if you do this without your knowledge as you sleep at night. For that reason, many dentists offer a teeth grinding solution in the form of mouth guards; when worn as you go to bed, the mouth guard can protect your teeth from any teeth grinding you do while you sleep, eliminating the risk for excessive wear, fractures, and breaks in the teeth. Teeth grinding often comes to fruition as a result of stress, so during the day, avoid stressful situations, or practice healthy habits that help you de-stress!

By avoiding the above negative dental habits, and continuing to practice good ones, you can ensure that your dental health will always be at its best!

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