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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Four Ways To Prevent Bleeding Gums

If you are starting to see a little red in your saliva when you are brushing your teeth, it normally means that your gums are bleeding somewhere. This is normally around the base of one or more of your teeth. If this bleeding gets to be too bad, it could actually interfere with you being able to properly care for your teeth. Starting to see a little bit of red does not always mean that you have severe gum disease, but it does usually mean that something is wrong. Fortunately, there are ways that you can address this before it does become a major problem.

Take Your Time

Did you know that to properly brush your teeth you should be spending at least two full minutes on the task? The average person only brushes for less than a minute. Brushing for two minutes or more allows you to take the time to not only focus on your teeth, but to also focus on your gums and clean your tongue. To ensure you get your mouth as clean as you can, in addition to brushing, you should also factor in enough time to floss. Do you think that you are taking enough time? Set a stopwatch on your mobile phone and time your next brushing routine.

Don’t Brush So Hard

Although plaque is a soft and sticky, if you are brushing and flossing twice a day, it is not all that difficult to remove. You do not have to apply a lot of pressure when you are brushing your teeth to get the job done. When you brush too hard, you could actually be breaking the skin on your gums, which could be causing the bleeding. Use soft, smooth, up-and-down or small circular strokes to brush your teeth. Focus on the main areas of your mouth. These include:  

  • The outside of your upper and lower teeth
  • The inside of your upper and lower teeth
  • The bite surfaces of your teeth
  • Your gums
  • Your tongue

Use The Right Toothbrush

Sometimes you could be seeing blood in your saliva because you are actually causing irritation and injury to your gums by using a toothbrush that is too hard for the task of brushing your teeth. Although there are various hardness levels of toothbrushes on the market, most dentists recommend a soft-bristled brush to do the job.  

Choose a toothbrush with a small head; this allows you to have greater access to all areas of your mouth. The shape and style of your bristles are not as important. Choose the one that gives you the most comfort. 

Consider using one of the powered toothbrushes on the market. These can be a great addition to your tooth-brushing routine. Although a manual brush can get the job done, a powered toothbrush will provide you with more brush strokes per minute. No matter which one you use, it is recommended that your toothbrush, or brush-head in the case of a powered brush, be replaced when it starts to show signs of wear, every three months, or after you have had a cold, flu, or other a similar type of infection.

Schedule Regular Dental Cleanings

One of the best ways to prevent bleeding gums is to ensure that there is no medical reason for them to be bleeding. By scheduling regular dental cleanings at least twice per year, you will give your dentist and/or dental hygienist the ability to check your oral health. Not only will they clean your teeth, but they will perform a full oral exam to look for any other potential problems. By identifying and addressing these problems early, you have the best bet in maintaining your best oral health. If you do not already have an appointment scheduled, call your dentist and schedule one today.

For more information on dental health, contact a dental office like TLC Dental Center.

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Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Ways to Strengthen & Protect Your Tooth Enamel

Enamel is something found on the outside of your teeth, and its main job is to protect your teeth and keep them strong. The problem is that enamel can wear off over time. As this happens, your teeth will lose their strength and will be more vulnerable to decay, cavities, and other problems. If you want to keep your teeth as strong as possible, you should focus on protecting and strengthening the enamel on your teeth, and here are three ways you can do this.

Use The Right Type Of Toothbrush

When you purchase a toothbrush, it might be tempting to choose a medium or hard-bristled brush, but these are not the best options. It might seem like these types clean your teeth more thoroughly; however, they can actually damage the enamel on your teeth. Enamel is something that does not regenerate. Once it’s gone, it is gone forever, and a hard-bristled brush can speed up this process.

To avoid losing enamel from your daily brushing activities, you should stick with a soft-bristled toothbrush. This type of brush will be strong enough to scrub off the sugar, bacteria, and plaque, but it will be gentle enough not to cause any damage to your teeth.

To ensure that your toothbrush is doing its job properly, you should replace it every three to four months. Keep in mind, too, that if you are sick, you may want to replace your toothbrush once you feel better. This will help keep the germs away from your mouth, which could help you avoid getting sick again.

Use Fluoride Products

Fluoride is a mineral that is known for strengthening the enamel on teeth. While using fluoride will not help you produce more enamel, it will help you keep and strengthen the enamel you currently have on your teeth. There are a number of different ways you can use fluoride, but here are some of the best options you have:

  • Make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride—A lot of toothpaste brands contain fluoride, and using a toothpaste like this daily could help a lot.
  • Use a daily fluoride rinse—Fluoride rinses also can help a lot if you use one daily. After brushing your teeth, you can rinse with one of these products to keep your teeth strong.
  • Get fluoride treatments at dental exams—Each time you visit the dentist for a checkup, he or she will ask if you would like a fluoride treatment. This treatment is professional strength and will make a difference in the strength of the enamel on your teeth.

You can also consume water that contains fluoride to make sure your teeth are exposed to this important mineral enough.

Eat the Right Foods & Snacks

There are also certain foods and snacks you can consume that may also help you keep the enamel on your teeth strong. In addition, chewing sugar-free gum is also a good idea. When you chew sugar-free gum, you will not be exposing your teeth to anything harmful, and the gum will cause an increase in your saliva production.

Saliva is a natural cleanser for your teeth. It washes away bacteria from your teeth, and this reduces the chances of developing cavities. If you can keep cavities away from your teeth, the enamel your teeth contain will be stronger.

Some good food options to eat for stronger enamel include apples, carrots, and cucumbers. As you eat these crunchy, healthy foods, they will actually be cleaning your teeth. The crunchiness from the foods will wipe away plaque from your teeth, and these foods are healthy so they will not cause any harm to your teeth.

If you can take daily steps to keep your enamel strong, you may have stronger teeth for the rest of your life. To learn more about this, contact a dentist such as Kyle J Frisinger DMD.

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Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Two Procedures Used With Clear Aligners To Advance Dental Movements

If you have extremely crooked teeth and a small mouth, then you may be able to invest in the use of clear retainers or aligners to straighten the teeth properly. Sometimes, aligners can be used on their own to shift the teeth around. However, this might not be true if you do not have a lot of space in the mouth or if you do not want to use aligners for an extended period of time. In these cases, your cosmetic dentist may complete some procedures in addition to providing you with aligners. Some of these procedures are outlined below.

Interproximal Reduction

Interproximal reduction (IPR), enamel stripping, or tooth slenderizing is an orthodontic approach that has been used since the 1940s to increase the space in the mouth a small amount so the teeth can sit next to one another without touching or crowding one another. Extra space is often needed if you do not want to have teeth pulled or if teeth have already been removed and several extra millimeters of space are needed. The reduction technique will not only make your teeth look better when the clear aligner straightening is completed, but it will allow you to clean between the teeth properly with dental floss. Also, if the teeth do not sit as close to one another, they are likely to be stable and remain in a good position after you are done using the aligners.

IPR is often completed after the teeth are fully aligned so your cosmetic professional can identify the teeth that touch after they are positioned correctly. Once these teeth are identified, the dentist will shave a small amount of dental enamel from both sides of the tooth. Typically, the front teeth will be the ones that are contoured. Lidocaine will not be needed during the procedure, because it is not likely to cause any pain. However, a small amount of numbing gel may be placed across the gums to reduce pressure sensations.

Either manual removal is completed or a pneumatic tool will be used. Manual removal will occur with a handled device where a thin wire-mesh strip will sit. The strip will be moved between the teeth to remove enamel much like a piece of sandpaper. A thin metal stripping disc will be placed on a pneumatic tool if your dentist decides that manual removal is not desirable. 

Bone Stimulation

If you have extremely crooked teeth, then you may need to go through dental straightening over a longer period of time than you expect. The average person will be given 20 to 30 aligners that must be worn for about two weeks each. This will mean that you need to wear the aligners for close to a year. However, as many as 50 aligners may need to be worn and result in about a two year wear period. If your teeth are stubborn, then some of these aligners may need to be worn for three or four weeks, and this can extend the wear period to well over two years. If this is not ideal for you, then you can ask your cosmetic dentist to use bone stimulation techniques in conjunction with your aligners to quicken the process.

Bone stimulation or alveocentesis involves the placement of small holes in the jawbone to quicken the process of bone remodeling. Basically, when the teeth are moved during the orthodontic process, the bone in the tooth socket wears away to allow the tooth to move over. Once the tooth has moved, new bone cells build around the tooth. This is called remodeling, and the holes placed during alveocentesis help to stimulate the breakdown and building of bone cells in the region so the teeth can shift more quickly. These holes are extremely small and placed with sharp steel pins that protrude from a handheld device. The holes do not hurt when they are placed. This means bone stimulation can take place during your regular orthodontic checkups.

For more information about your options for straightening your teeth more quickly, contact an experienced dentist like Samuel D Knight, DDS

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Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Missing Teeth: More Than Just a Cosmetic Issue

If you’ve ever had a missing tooth, you’ll know how strange it can feel to look in the mirror and see a space where your tooth should be. It can make your smile look “off” and it can be annoying when you’re trying to eat, but are missing teeth really a problem? Don’t dismiss your doctor’s suggestion to consider dental bridges or implants for missing teeth, because he or she is worried about more than your self-confidence when suggesting them. Here’s why missing teeth are more than just a cosmetic issue and what you can do to have the missing teeth replaced.

Damage to surrounding teeth and jaw

When you have a missing or broken tooth you’ll probably notice that you compensate for it by chewing more on the other side of your mouth. This extra pressure on your teeth can cause some to wear down earlier than normal, and it can cause strain on your jaw that can be painful. Missing one or more teeth can also cause the other teeth to shift out of place and destabilize, making it more likely you’ll lose more teeth later on.

If you have one missing tooth, you may not notice any significant problems until long after the tooth has been removed. Teeth don’t shift overnight, but once they do, it can be more difficult to get them back into their proper alignment than it would have been to replace the original missing tooth. It can also be more expensive trying to correct several teeth than it would be to replace one or two missing teeth. A dental bridge or dental implants can stop the remaining teeth from shifting and allow you chew normally, eliminating undue strain on the surrounding teeth and jaws.

Bone loss

One of the most disturbing problems that can occur when you lose teeth is bone deterioration in your jawbone. Teeth stimulate the bones of your jaws to remain alive and healthy, so if you lose one or more, there is also a loss of stimulation to the bone. This can cause the bone to resorb, or deteriorate, which can lead to a sunken, hollow appearance to your face. It is more obvious at the front of the mouth, but missing back teeth can also have a big impact on the way your smile looks. 

Since bone loss is due to the lack of stimulation in the jawbones, dentures do nothing to prevent this. Dental implants act as substitute tooth roots, stimulating the bone and stabilizing it. They can preserve the bone structure and keep your smile looking natural.

Problems with digestion

Digestion starts in your mouth, with your teeth and saliva being the tools that prepare your food for absorption in your digestive system. There’s a reason why you don’t swallow food whole; in order for your food to be properly digested, it needs to be chopped up and mixed with saliva, which begins breaking down the food into units that can be used by the body. If you swallow large chunks of food that haven’t been properly chewed, your digestive system has to work harder to get the nutrients from the food. Unless you want tummy troubles as well as dental problems, you need to chew your food properly.

Dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants all replace lost teeth, but the implants and bridges offer a more secure chewing surface. Some people find that dentures slide around too much to allow for proper chewing, even with adhesives. Implants and bridges offer a more natural chewing solution, and they don’t shift or fall out while you’re eating.

If you have missing teeth, speak to your dentist about finding a way to replace them. If you don’t, you could find yourself missing more than just a few teeth. You could end up with a whole host of dental and digestive problems. Get in touch with a dentist like Dale D. Lentz DDS for further information.

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Posted by on Jan 11, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Root Canal Retreatment: What to Expect

Most of the time, a root canal (also called endodontic therapy), in conjunction with a crown, can last a lifetime. Occasionally, however, the root canal treatment fails and it must be retreated. This retreatment is generally done by a root canal specialist, or endodontist. If you find that your endodontically treated tooth needs to be treated again, here is what you can expect from the procedure.

Removal of Old Filling Material

If you’ve had a root canal done within the past decade or two, your canals were most likely filled with a rubbery material called gutta percha. After your endodontist drills an access hole in the biting surface of your tooth, he or she will place a solvent in your tooth to begin loosening up the gutta percha. A series of small drills and files will be used to remove the old material from your canals so they can be thoroughly cleaned.

If your root canal is older, you might have thin strips of metal called silver points in your canals. These are no longer used, because they tend to corrode over time, but they were a popular root canal filling material in years and decades past. If you have silver points in place and you need to have your endodontic treatment redone, an ultrasonic machine will often be used to loosen them enough to allow them to slide out. Care will be taken to avoid breaking them, but in some cases the silver is corroded enough that they break off inside of the canal. This may or may not lead to the necessity of an additional procedure later.

Widening and Shaping of the Canals

Once the old material is removed, the endodontist will widen and shape your canals more than they were in the original procedure. Sometimes, a root canal retreatment is done because there is an additional canal that was not found during the first treatment. Your specialist will use a surgical microscope to search for additional canals if this is suspected to be the issue. Most of the time, these hidden canals are found in molars, but occasionally there will be an extra canal in a bicuspid tooth.

The endodontist will use tiny files and reamers to widen the canals, just like your dentist did during the first root canal treatment.

Refilling the Canals

In some cases, a temporary antiseptic canal filling will be placed for up to several weeks before the permanent canal filling can be placed. This might be necessary if you have a draining abscess or infection, and it will allow your infection to heal. (If your endodontist gives you a prescription for antibiotics, be sure to take all of them as directed to allow the healing to take place.)

Once there is no more draining infection, your endodontist will refill the canals with new gutta percha filling material. Tiny flexible cones of the gutta percha will be slid into your canals, then heated so they melt and fill every bit of space. Liquid gutta percha is often also injected to continue filling the canals. You might detect a slight burning smell, but you will not feel anything; the nerve in your tooth is gone and the heat will not affect your gums or the other teeth in the vicinity.

When your retreatment is complete, you’ll be referred back to your general dentist to have your final restoration done. Often, this will just require filling the hole that was drilled in the crown. Occasionally a new crown might be needed. Be sure to get this taken care of promptly to avoid cracking or fracturing either the crown or the natural tooth.

To learn more about root canal retreatment procedures by speaking with an endodontist, go to sites like this one.

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