Changes in our overall health status often results in changes in your oral health. Approximately 300 common drugs can reduce the amount of saliva in your mouth – resulting in dry mouth. Women who are pregnant go through oral changes. (Inflammation of the gums = Pregnancy Gingivitis)
Come up with an effective routine. If you’re taking medication that dries your mouth, you may want to use fluoride everyday.
Fluoride strengthens developing teeth in children and also prevents decay in adults and children.
Everyone should brush at least twice a day as well as floss once a day. Both of these remove plaque, which is a complex mass of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth.
Every time you eat, bits of food become lodged in and around your teeth. This provides fuel for the bacteria in plaque. Each time simple sugars are introduced to the teeth; these acids are exposed for 20 minutes or more.
Smoking or using smokeless tobacco increases your risk of oral cancer, gingivitis, Periodontitis and tooth decay. This also contributes to bad breath and stains on the teeth.
Your dentist and hygienist only seen you a few times a year, but you should examine your mouth weekly to look for changes that might be of concern. The changes could include:
If you have a history of cavities or crown and bridge work, or are wearing braces, you should visit the dentist more often. Diabetic patients are at a high risk for gum disease so they should also visit their dental office more often as well.
They taste good-but aren’t so good for your teeth or your body. Candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods that kids love to eat between meals can cause tooth decay. Starchy snacks can also break down into sugars once they’re in your mouth. EX: Sugary Foods
Bacteria, also classified as “invisible germs” live in your mouth all the time. Some of this bacterium forms a sticky material known as Plaque on the surface of the teeth. These acids are powerful enough to dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth. That’s how cavities get started.
Proper brushing only takes 2 minutes, 120 seconds! To properly brush your teeth, use short gentle strokes, paying EXTRA attention to the gum line, hard to reach back teeth and areas around fillings, crowns and other restorations. Clean the outer surfaces of your upper teeth, then your lower teeth. Next, clean the inner surfaces of your upper teeth, then the lower teeth. After that, clean the chewing surfaces and last, for fresher breath, be sure to brush your tongue too!
You should replace your toothbrush when it begins to show wear or approx. every 3 months, whichever comes first. An important thing to remember is to ALWAYS change toothbrushes after having a cold or the flu. The bristles collect germs that can lead the re-infection.
There are 2 types of floss
**both types of floss are excellent for removing Plaque and debris**
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, is breath that has an unpleasant odor. It can strike periodically or be persistent-depending on the cause. In many people, the primary cause of bad breath comes from the little bumps on the back of your tongue.
Reasons for bad breath:
When the problem results from poor dental hygiene, proper dental care will begin to freshen the mouth immediately, with even more impressive results after a few days of regular brushing and flossing. Bad breath resulting from chronic sinusitis may be a reoccurring problem, especially if it’s caused by a structural abnormality of the sinuses.
**call your dentist promptly if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or loose teeth**
Calculus, also known as tartar, is plaque that has had hardened on your teeth. Tartar can form at and underneath the gum line and can irritate gum tissues. Tartar gives plaque more surface area on which to grow and a much stickier surface to adhere, which can lead to more serious conditions, such as cavities and gum disease.
Tartar is a mineral buildup that’s fairly easy to see if above the gum line. The most common sign of Tartar is a yellow or brownish color to the teeth or gums. The ONLY way to prevent or remove it is to call your dentist TODAY!
Proper brushing and flossing are necessary to reduce plaque and tartar buildup. The process for removing tartar is called scaling. During the scaling, the dentist or hygienist uses special instruments to remove tartar from your teeth above and below the gum line.
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film of bacteria and sugars that constantly forms on our teeth. Plaque is the main cause of cavities and gum disease, and can harden into Tartar if not removed daily.
Everyone develops Plaque because bacteria are constantly forming in our mouths. With repeated acid attacks, the tooth enamel can break down and a cavity may form.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue around the teeth. This is caused by bacteria found in dental plaque. Mild gingivitis causes little or no pain. If left unchecked, it may become severe. In some cases, gingivitis leads to periodontal complications, which leads to tooth loss. Almost 3 out of 4 adults over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease.
**You will notice red, swollen gums that bleed easily**
Gingivitis can disappear within’ a week once you start a program of good oral hygiene. To prevent gingivitis, brush your teeth regularly. Most important and best times are right away when you wake up in the morning and right before bed, with nothing to eat or drink BESIDE water. Have your teeth cleaning every 6months to 1year for prevention as well. The cleaning will also remove calculus that has already formed.
Dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay. It is caused by acid erosion of tooth enamel.
Areas to easily collect debris to form caries:
Damage can occur anywhere the tooth is exposed to plaque and acid. For instance, the hard outer enamel on the tooth crown or parts of the root that have been exposed because of receding gums. A cavity can penetrate the soft tooth pulp and the sensitive nerve fibers within’ it.
Theories of what causes the pain people get w/ cavities:
Early caries have no symptoms however, when the tooth is left untreated, it becomes sensitive to sweet foods or hot and cold temperatures. -Expected Duration How long caries last is determined by the stage at which it’s found. White spots may appear in the early stage of caries. Caries that have destroyed the enamel cannot be reversed.
You can prevent cavities from developing by reducing the amount of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. The best way to do this is by brushing and flossing daily and your routine dental cleanings twice-a-year. Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth also.
The most common way to treat caries is to fill the tooth. Fillings are usually made of a dental amalgam, which is a silver-gray material made from silver alloyed with copper or other metals in order to improve durability. Another option for filling a tooth is with a composite Resin, which is tooth-colored for a better appearance. Amalgams are used primarily in molars and premolars. Resins are used primarily in the front teeth, but are possible to use them in all teeth. If the cavity is large with extensive erosion, then the dentist will remove the decay and cover the tooth with an artificial crown.
X-rays are a form of energy that travels in waves. X-rays can enter solid objects, where they either are absorbed or continue to pass through the object. Teeth & Bone are very dense, so they absorb x-rays. Gums & Cheeks are much less dense, so x-rays pass through more easily. Dental caries (cavities) will show up on an x-ray as a darker patch in a light tooth.
X-ray images are among the most valuable tools a dentist has for keeping your mouth and teeth healthy.
**for children, radiographs are used to watch for decay and to monitor tooth growth and development**
No X-ray is considered routine however; many people require x-rays on a regular basis so that their dental condition can be monitored. Some people may need x-rays as often as every 6 months; x-rays may not be needed for as long as two years. Patients with no recent dental or gum disease and who visit the dentist regularly for check-ups, x-rays may be takes every five years or so.
Patients who need radiographs most frequently:
X-rays are divided into 2 main categories:
Intraoral: which means that the x-ray film is inside the mouth
Extraoral: which means that the film is outside the mouth
Intraoral x-rays are the most common radiographs made. There are the x-rays that allow dentists to find caries, look at the tooth roots, check the health of the bony area surrounding the tooth, see the status of developing teeth and otherwise monitor good tooth health.
Extraoral Radiographs are made with the film outside the mouth. They show teeth but their main focus is on the jaw or skull. These radiographs are used for monitoring growth and development, looking at the status of impacted teeth, examining the relationships between teeth & jaws and the temporomandibular joint or other bones of the face.
All types of radiation can cause damage to body cells. The X-rays used in dental and medical offices emit extremely small doses of radiation. Small doses of radiation that adds up can become damaging through-out time.
There are several ways dentists and regulatory agencies keep exposure to X-rays low:
Crowns And Bridges
Both crowns and bridges are fixed prosthetic devices. Unlike dentures, which are removable devices and you can take out to clean daily, crowns and bridges are cemented onto existing teeth or implants & can only be removed by a dentist.
A crown is used to cap a damaged tooth. It can also be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function.
A crown may be recommended to:
A bridge is recommended usually when you’re missing a tooth/teeth.
○ TMJ: temporomandibular joint disorders Bridges are cemented to the natural teeth or implants surrounding the empty space. These teeth (abutments), serve as anchors for the bridge. ○ Pontic: replacement tooth Pontic is attached to the crowns that cover the abutments.
Root Canal Therapy
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Since 1989, Paul Smith D.D.S. has been providing dental care in the Milwaukee Area. Our dental office is equipped with leading edge dental technology, skilled and compassionate staff to make each visit as relaxing and stress-free as possible. Call or visit us TODAY to schedule an appointment.
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