Dentist or Detective? Major Health Clues Your Mouth Provides

Chew on this for a minute: just by glancing inside your mouth, your dentist can tell you a number of things that may be news to you and your doctor! Surprising as it may sound, your oral health can speak volumes about the rest of your body, and something as simple as a routine dental checkup can benefit your health and wallet big time.

🔎 From harmful habits to life-threatening diseases, find out what clues your mouth can provide about your wellbeing. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

The Presence of Disease

Many connections between your mouth and larger health issues have to do with bacteria. Studies have shown that heart disease and endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of your heart), in particular, are linked to gum disease – a bacterial infection of the mouth. Inflamed gums can also signal a vulnerable immune system, which can be due to diabetes or disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome. Furthermore, patients who are pregnant and are diagnosed with periodontitis may be at a heightened risk for birth-related issues, as studies have shown a connection between gum disease and both premature birth and low birth weight.

In addition to gum problems, other oral matters are also telling. Tooth loss, for instance, has commonly been linked with both osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. And lesions of the throat occur often in individuals suffering from HIV or AIDS. Last but not least, a dental exam can detect both oral and throat cancer, which typically present themselves via sores or patches that don’t go away. Suffice it to say, dental checkups can prove themselves invaluable when it comes to early detection of life-threatening health conditions.

Incompatibility With Certain Medications

While you may already be aware of and treating a health condition, a dentist can help identify whether or not the medicine you are taking is causing other complications. Dry mouth, a condition that causes oral issues such as halitosis, fungal infection, and tooth decay, is a known side effect of hundreds of commonly prescribed medications including:

PainkillersAntibioticsAntidepressants
AntihistaminesAsthma InhalersDiuretics
SedativesCorticosteroidsStatins

If you’re currently undergoing medical treatment and/or using prescription drugs, be sure to have your dentist examine your mouth for any harmful side effects.

Harmful Habits

It may not necessarily mean life or death, but some habits can cause a world of trouble–and costly mouth problems are proof of that. How you sleep, for example, has a direct impact on the health of your mouth. Constantly breathing with your mouth open can cause dry mouth, and grinding your teeth overnight is a leading cause of enamel damage.

Smoking, chewing and other forms of tobacco use pose serious threats, not just to your lungs, but also to the look and health of your teeth and gums. Red flags that alert your dentist that smoking is starting to do dental damage (and possibly much worse) are the telltale yellowing of teeth, white patches along the inside lining of the mouth, persistent bad breath, and lumps that can signal oral cancer.

Finally, your mouth can offer clues about the safety and healthfulness of your diet. Severe tooth erosion and swelling of the throat and salivary glands are typical problems seen in patients with eating disorders, due to constant vomiting. Tooth decay and sensitivity can also come with excessive acid in your diet, and many times, signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (“GERD” or simply, “acid reflux”) become apparent to your dentist even before your doctor. Even your breath can be telling of certain food choices, such as garlic or onions, which have long been known to cause halitosis.

Get Peace of Mind

Given everything a brief dental exam can uncover, there’s no denying the benefits of a routine checkup. More often than not, tooth, gum and other oral problems may simply be due to poor hygiene, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Remain diligent about seeing your dentist regularly, and don’t hesitate to schedule a checkup in between your typical visits if you notice anything amiss.

Sources:

Your Mouth, Your Health. (2015, July 23). Retrieved July 25, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-teeth-gums

What conditions may be linked to oral health? (2013, May 11). Retrieved July 14, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2

The Story on Soda: Your Soft Drink Questions Answered

🥤 Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality is that no matter how refreshing that sweet, fizzy soda (or “pop”) tastes, there’s a chance it could be doing some damage to your teeth. But with so many products on the market, are they all really that bad for you? Learn more! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

Answers to some of your most pressing soft drink questions are about to be answered. Get to the bottom of various soda claims, and find out if there’s a workaround that lets you keep your favorite carbonated beverages on tap without traumatizing your teeth.

Q. Is it better to choose clear-colored sodas over darker-colored ones?

Neither option is a healthy choice for your teeth, but upon regular consumption, caramel-hued soft drinks have been known to stain teeth more quickly. Cosmetic differences aside, the extremely high sugar content of any soda, regardless of color, causes lasting damage to tooth enamel, resulting in decay, cavities and/or tooth loss in extreme situations.

Q. Do diet sodas get a pass since they’re sugar-free?

The appeal of diet sodas is understandable, especially when the packaging comes with alluring labels of “sugar-free” or “calorie-free”. But the fact of the matter is, even with sugar substitutes, diet soda is still extremely acidic. This means diet soda will still have the same corrosive effect on the enamel and should be avoided to prevent tooth damage.

Q. Is corn syrup a more harmful soft drink sweetener than cane sugar?

Similar to the misconception about diet sodas, the threat of tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health problems aren’t based on the type of sweetener used. No matter the source of sugar, enamel erosion will happen with regular consumption of any sweetened soft drink.

Q. If I drink soda through a straw, will this protect my teeth?

Using a straw can limit contact of sugar and acid with the surface of your teeth, but only when positioned correctly. Ideally, the opening of the straw should be directed towards the back of the mouth, but the likelihood for accidental contact is still high if you become distracted or inadvertently swish the liquid in your mouth. Ultimately, the best way to prevent tooth decay due to soft drinks is to avoid drinking them altogether.

Q. What are teeth-friendly alternatives to soda?

If you find carbonated beverages especially refreshing, switch to a seltzer. You’ll get the same fizz without the threat of tooth decay. For a flavorful spin, dress up seltzer or plain water with cut up fruit (instead of turning to juice, which can erode tooth enamel due to its fructose content). Milk is also another good choice due to the enamel-fortifying calcium it contains; however, it does contain natural sugar, lactose — so never have a glass before bed without brushing your teeth.

Q. What can I do to combat enamel erosion if I can’t quit drinking soda?

For those unable to put aside their love of soft drinks, take these steps to minimize tooth decay and other soda-related oral problems:

  • Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth afterward to clear away sugar and acid
  • Use fluoride-rich toothpaste and mouthwash to help strengthen tooth enamel
  • See your dentist regularly to get professional help in preventing tooth damage

Speak To Your Dentist

New drinks are always hitting the shelves, but many may not live up to their health claims. Before making something your beverage of choice, get your dentist’s perspective to understand how it can impact the health of your teeth.

Sources:

Soda or Pop? It’s Teeth Trouble by Any Name. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 3015 from http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Oral-Hygiene/Oral-Hygiene-Basics/article/Soda-or-Pop-Its-Teeth-Trouble-by-Any-Name.cvsp

Melnick, M & Klein, S. (2013, March 13). Soda Myths: The Truth About Sugary Drinks, From Sodas To Sports Drinks. Retrieved May 25, 2015 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/13/soda-myths-facts-sugary-drinks_n_2863045.html

Sealants: Stop Cavities Before They Begin

Aside from proper brushing and flossing to remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, do you know that there are other effective ways that can prevent tooth decay?

👉 With sealants, you can prevent cavities for up to a decade before they ever have a chance to start. Find out more! The Oral Surgery DC Team

Imagine you could protect your smile and preserve good oral health. Would you do it? In all likelihood the answer is yes and, with sealants, you can.

Few oral issues can be fully pre-empted or prevented. After all, genetics and other factors can play a role in whether or not you develop cavities or more serious dental complications. But with sealants, you can prevent cavities for up to a decade before they ever have a chance to start.

What Are Sealants?

Sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth, particularly premolars and molars, to prevent tooth decay. By bonding to the depressions and grooves of teeth where most cavities begin, they can prevent tooth decay in a way that regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing can’t.

Most often, sealants are used on children between the ages of 6 and 14 because this is when they are most vulnerable to cavities. Sealants can also be used on adults who don’t have current decay or fillings in their molars and on babies with deep depressions and grooves in teeth to preserve them as placeholders for adult teeth. Of course, sealants must be made age-appropriate and tailored to each patient’s unique needs.

Applying Sealants is Quick and Painless for Most

The best part about sealants is that the application process is quick and painless. In fact, there are just four simple steps involved in the entire process:

  • Cleaning – Prior to applying sealants, your dentist will clean each tooth that is being sealed to ensure the bond is as strong as possible.
  • Preparation – Once your teeth are clean, they will be dried and surrounded by cotton or another absorbent material to prevent saliva from getting the tooth wet again. An acid solution will also be applied to enhance the bond between the sealants and your teeth.
  • Rising and Drying – After the acid solution has been applied, just one more rinse and dry is required before the actual application.
  • Application of the Sealants – After all the preparation is complete, the sealants will be applied. In some cases, your dentist will use a special curing light to help sealants to harden more quickly.

Sealants Can Stand the Test of Time for Most

Few dental solutions are permanent and sealants are no different. However, they can provide up to 10 years of protection, which is great for babies, young children, and adults.

Regular dental visits are the best way to prolong the effectiveness of your treatment. Your dentist can check your sealants for chipping or wearing and replace them if necessary. By replacing them soon after they begin to wear down, you can enjoy continued protection from cavities.

With Sealants, You Can Keep Your Smile Both Beautiful and Functional

Sealants are a simple solution to prevent cavities and protect some of the most functional teeth in your mouth. They can be a worthwhile investment for you and/or your children to keep smiles looking great for years to come.

Sources: Dental Health: Sealants. (2013, April 14). Retrieved June 2, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-sealants

How to Get Whiter Teeth: Four Top Tips to Help Achieve a Brighter Smile

By: Matty Edwards, Independent

🦷 What does good oral hygiene mean for you?

Aside from brushing, keeping our teeth whiter and healthier also involves crucial steps to take. The Independent features other dental care solutions that can help protect your smile! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

How do you get whiter teeth? The answer may appear simple – to brush more – but it’s not that easy.

Firstly, there are two types of whitening, extrinsic and intrinsic, according to Askthedentist.com. The former is removing staining to restore tooth whiteness to what it once was, whereas the latter is for people who want their teeth to be whiter than natural, ie what we see from celebrities.

Good dental hygiene

First and foremost, good dental hygiene is a solid way to prevent your teeth from going yellow. The build-up of plaque can give your teeth a yellow tinge, so brushing, flossing and using mouthwash is not to be underestimated.

Although whitening toothpaste can add that little extra to your daily dental routine, Ask the Dentist argues that the toothbrush itself is even more crucial for extrinsic whitening.  

Cut out the bad stuff

Apart from the buildup of plaque, either the staining or wearing away of your enamel, the outermost layer of your teeth, can also cause discolouring. 

If you are committed to leading a life of purity then there are lots of things to avoid to protect your teeth from staining.

These range from coffee and red wine to fizzy drinks and processed sugary foods. Smoking is also a big no-no.

Home remedies

If you can’t quite say goodbye to red wine and cigarettes, then there are plenty of home remedies that may help, from the more orthodox to the outright unusual.

Although lots of sugary fruit might not be best for your teeth, munching on crunchy raw vegetables has been said to help rub plaque away as you chew. In addition, strawberries and pineapple are two fruits that have been claimed to help whiten your teeth.

Brushing with baking soda can help whiten your teeth over time, because it acts as a mild abrasive that slowly rubs off the enamel stains. 

To use this remedy, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste a few times per week, according to healthy living website, Healthline.

This paste can also be combined with bleaching agent hydrogen peroxide, but shouldn’t be used too often to avoid the erosion of enamel.  Apple cider vinegar diluted with water can be used as a mouthwash too, but sparingly. 

A slightly more exotic method is oil pulling, the swilling of oil around your mouth, which is a traditional Indian folk remedy. It can be done with coconut oil and aims to stop plaque buildup.

Healthline recommends putting one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and moving around your mouth for a full 15–20 minutes, which is safe to do daily, because it doesn’t erode the enamel.

Cosmetic treatment

If all else has failed or you are in search of a quick fix, then more severe steps and even cosmetic treatments to turn to, including our best picks of teeth whitening kits.

Whitening strips and gel trays are a relatively inexpensive treatment to get that dazzling smile sooner rather than later.

The strips are attached to your upper and lower teeth and removed after bleaching chemicals have worked their magic. Gel trays operate in a similar way except the gel is brushed directly onto the teeth.

Veneers are the most extreme and most expensive option. The process, which can cost thousands of pounds, involves your teeth being ground down and replaced by extra-white veneers.

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/how-to-get-white-teeth-fast-quick-with-braces-top-tips-diy-in-one-day-nhs-a8119036.html

Drinking Red Wine Can Improve Oral Hygiene, Study Claims

By: Olivia Petter, Independent

DYK? Drinking red wine can improve your oral health!🍷

So, how about wine-flavored toothpaste?

These facts may sound odd, but a new study has revealed drinking red wine actually offers a number of health benefits that extend far beyond the mere feel-good factor.

Sounds interesting? Keep reading for more awesome news shared by The Independent. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

Wine-flavoured toothpaste, anyone?

It might not be as far fetched as it sounds, as a new study has revealed drinking red wine actually offers a number of health benefits that extend far beyond the mere feel-good factor.

After analyzing the effect of polyphenols, the antioxidants found in red wine, Spanish chemists found that exposure to such compounds can help prevent bacteria from sticking to the gums that would normally lead to cavities and plaque.

Scientists from the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid examined the oral health benefits of two types of red wine polyphenols: Caffeic and p-coumaric acid, both of which are also found in coffee and cranberry juice.

Both were successful in preventing potentially harmful microbes from sticking to the gums which could lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the scientists said the effect was stronger when the polyphenols were combined with the oral probiotic streptococcus dentisani bacteria.

Despite the promising findings, the study’s authors were quick to warn that we shouldn’t jump to starting our day with a gargle of Merlot quite yet, as the chemicals analyzed in the study were far higher in concentration than those found in wine.

Instead, they advise using the molecules in red wine in preventative medicines that would help curb oral diseases.

Exposure would also need to be fairly extensive in order to really see the benefits, given that exposure to the polyphenols in the experiment lasted for up to 47 hours.

You might think you like red wine, but even the most hardcore of fans would struggle to keep the grape-based drink in their mouths for that long.

Plus, as Dr Gunter Kuhnle, a nutrition professor at the University of Reading, pointed out, the two compounds identified in the study are much more abundant in other foods, such as berries.

“This is interesting work done on cells outside of the body, but it is very preliminary and so one must be very cautious about extrapolating these results to any current health advice,” added Naveed Sattar, a professor in metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow. 

“The findings suggest some compounds called phenols should be investigated further for their roles in preventing bacteria binding to cells and causing infection, but this needs much validation.”

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/red-wine-oral-hygiene-health-improvements-gums-spain-study-drinking-a8222901.html

More than a smile: Importance of your kid’s long-term oral health

By: CNN Philippines

🦷 Busy days at work and school can hamper our oral care routine. Children, in particular, are prone to problems brought by poor dental health. Sadly, its consequences may escalate up until adulthood; thus, affecting their social and psychological welfare.

Thankfully, this article via CNN Philippines highlights some effective ways to encourage your child to fight the invisible enemy of cavities! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

Dental health is an essential — yet often overlooked — aspect of one’s general well-being.

Busy days at work and school can hamper our oral care routine. Kids, on the other hand, would rather munch on their favorite snacks and sweets than grab a toothbrush after meals.

But the risks that come with not brushing our teeth go beyond gum disease and bad breath — it may affect our social and psychological welfare.

Children, in particular, are the most vulnerable to problems brought by poor dental health as its consequences can escalate up until adulthood.

How poor dental habits affect kids

Global health research shows that having dental conditions during childhood will effectively limit a student’s performance in school and education — an effect of all the absences due to sickness.

Filipino children are mostly affected by this, as toothache has been listed as the top reason for absenteeism among students.

Impaired physical appearance due to oral diseases can likewise affect a child’s confidence. Tooth loss and even halitosis (chronic bad breath) can prohibit a kid from coming out of his or her shell, making it difficult for him or her to develop social relationships with peers.

In the Philippines, local data shows that dental caries, or tooth decay, have the greatest impact on the quality of life of children.

This condition has been directly linked to poor diet and nutrition which— if not managed properly— can lead to other illnesses in the long run.

What to do when your kids resist brushing

In line with this, medical experts have long urged parents and caregivers to help children practice good oral health habits.

However, it’s common for your kids to clamp down whenever they see a toothbrush nearby.

Here are some simple yet effective ways to encourage your child to fight the invisible enemy of cavities:

– Get the child involved: Letting your kid pick a colorful child-sized toothbrush and flavored toothpaste will make the process fun for your kid.

– Pay a quick visit to the dentist: Having an expert explain the benefits of good dental hygiene to your child can still do wonders. Who knows, maybe your child is in for a sweet treat at the clinic?

– Look for a win-win solution: When their children won’t cooperate, some parents resort to giving a reward system. This could mean an additional episode of the kid’s favorite cartoon— or perhaps a spontaneous afternoon walk in the park.

– Don’t take the fun out: Parents can still make brushing fun and playful for kids by humming a tune or even “accidentally” spraying their kids with water.

An early start to proper dental hygiene will contribute to good overall physical health and emotional well-being. A brush or two will lead not only to a smile — sometimes it will also last you a lifetime.

Source: https://cnnphilippines.com/lifestyle/2019/9/28/more-than-a-smile-importance-of-your-kids-long-term-oral-health.html

Dentist or Detective? Major Health Clues Your Mouth Provides

Chew on this for a minute: just by glancing inside your mouth, your dentist can tell you a number of things that may be news to you and your doctor! Surprising as it may sound, your oral health can speak volumes about the rest of your body, and something as simple as a routine dental checkup can benefit your health and wallet big time.

🔎 From harmful habits to life-threatening diseases, find out what clues your mouth can provide about your wellbeing. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

The Presence of Disease

Many connections between your mouth and larger health issues have to do with bacteria. Studies have shown that heart disease and endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of your heart), in particular, are linked to gum disease – a bacterial infection of the mouth. Inflamed gums can also signal a vulnerable immune system, which can be due to diabetes or disorders such as Sjogren’s syndrome. Furthermore, patients who are pregnant and are diagnosed with periodontitis may be at a heightened risk for birth-related issues, as studies have shown a connection between gum disease and both premature birth and low birth weight.

In addition to gum problems, other oral matters are also telling. Tooth loss, for instance, has commonly been linked with both osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. And lesions of the throat occur often in individuals suffering from HIV or AIDS. Last but not least, a dental exam can detect both oral and throat cancer, which typically present themselves via sores or patches that don’t go away. Suffice it to say, dental checkups can prove themselves invaluable when it comes to early detection of life-threatening health conditions.

Incompatibility With Certain Medications

While you may already be aware of and treating a health condition, a dentist can help identify whether or not the medicine you are taking is causing other complications. Dry mouth, a condition that causes oral issues such as halitosis, fungal infection, and tooth decay, is a known side effect of hundreds of commonly prescribed medications including:

PainkillersAntibioticsAntidepressants
AntihistaminesAsthma InhalersDiuretics
SedativesCorticosteroidsStatins

If you’re currently undergoing medical treatment and/or using prescription drugs, be sure to have your dentist examine your mouth for any harmful side effects.

Harmful Habits

It may not necessarily mean life or death, but some habits can cause a world of trouble–and costly mouth problems are proof of that. How you sleep, for example, has a direct impact on the health of your mouth. Constantly breathing with your mouth open can cause dry mouth, and grinding your teeth overnight is a leading cause of enamel damage.

Smoking, chewing and other forms of tobacco use pose serious threats, not just to your lungs, but also to the look and health of your teeth and gums. Red flags that alert your dentist that smoking is starting to do dental damage (and possibly much worse) are the telltale yellowing of teeth, white patches along the inside lining of the mouth, persistent bad breath, and lumps that can signal oral cancer.

Finally, your mouth can offer clues about the safety and healthfulness of your diet. Severe tooth erosion and swelling of the throat and salivary glands are typical problems seen in patients with eating disorders, due to constant vomiting. Tooth decay and sensitivity can also come with excessive acid in your diet, and many times, signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (“GERD” or simply, “acid reflux”) become apparent to your dentist even before your doctor. Even your breath can be telling of certain food choices, such as garlic or onions, which have long been known to cause halitosis.

Get Peace of Mind

Given everything a brief dental exam can uncover, there’s no denying the benefits of a routine checkup. More often than not, tooth, gum and other oral problems may simply be due to poor hygiene, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Remain diligent about seeing your dentist regularly, and don’t hesitate to schedule a checkup in between your typical visits if you notice anything amiss.

Sources:

Your Mouth, Your Health. (2015, July 23). Retrieved July 25, 2015, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/ss/slideshow-teeth-gums

What conditions may be linked to oral health? (2013, May 11). Retrieved July 14, 2015 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2

The Story on Soda: Your Soft Drink Questions Answered

🥤 Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality is that no matter how refreshing that sweet, fizzy soda (or “pop”) tastes, there’s a chance it could be doing some damage to your teeth. But with so many products on the market, are they all really that bad for you? The Oral Surgery DC Team

Answers to some of your most pressing soft drink questions are about to be answered. Get to the bottom of various soda claims, and find out if there’s a workaround that lets you keep your favorite carbonated beverages on tap without traumatizing your teeth.

Q. Is it better to choose clear-colored sodas over darker-colored ones?

Neither option is a healthy choice for your teeth, but upon regular consumption, caramel-hued soft drinks have been known to stain teeth more quickly. Cosmetic differences aside, the extremely high sugar content of any soda, regardless of color, causes lasting damage to tooth enamel, resulting in decay, cavities and/or tooth loss in extreme situations.

Q. Do diet sodas get a pass since they’re sugar-free?

The appeal of diet sodas is understandable, especially when the packaging comes with alluring labels of “sugar-free” or “calorie-free”. But the fact of the matter is, even with sugar substitutes, diet soda is still extremely acidic. This means diet soda will still have the same corrosive effect on the enamel and should be avoided to prevent tooth damage.

Q. Is corn syrup a more harmful soft drink sweetener than cane sugar?

Similar to the misconception about diet sodas, the threat of tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health problems aren’t based on the type of sweetener used. No matter the source of sugar, enamel erosion will happen with regular consumption of any sweetened soft drink.

Q. If I drink soda through a straw, will this protect my teeth?

Using a straw can limit contact of sugar and acid with the surface of your teeth, but only when positioned correctly. Ideally, the opening of the straw should be directed towards the back of the mouth, but the likelihood of accidental contact is still high if you become distracted or inadvertently swish the liquid in your mouth. Ultimately, the best way to prevent tooth decay due to soft drinks is to avoid drinking them altogether.

Q. What are teeth-friendly alternatives to soda?

If you find carbonated beverages especially refreshing, switch to a seltzer. You’ll get the same fizz without the threat of tooth decay. For a flavorful spin, dress up seltzer or plain water with cut-up fruit (instead of turning to juice, which can erode tooth enamel due to its fructose content). Milk is also another good choice due to the enamel-fortifying calcium it contains; however, it does contain natural sugar, lactose — so never have a glass before bed without brushing your teeth.

Q. What can I do to combat enamel erosion if I can’t quit drinking soda?

For those unable to put aside their love of soft drinks, take these steps to minimize tooth decay and other soda-related oral problems:

  • Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth afterward to clear away sugar and acid
  • Use fluoride-rich toothpaste and mouthwash to help strengthen tooth enamel
  • See your dentist regularly to get professional help in preventing tooth damage

Speak To Your Dentist

New drinks are always hitting the shelves, but many may not live up to their health claims. Before making something your beverage of choice, get your dentist’s perspective to understand how it can impact the health of your teeth.

Sources:

Soda or Pop? It’s Teeth Trouble by Any Name. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 3015 from http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Oral-Hygiene/Oral-Hygiene-Basics/article/Soda-or-Pop-Its-Teeth-Trouble-by-Any-Name.cvsp

Melnick, M & Klein, S. (2013, March 13). Soda Myths: The Truth About Sugary Drinks, From Sodas To Sports Drinks. Retrieved May 25, 2015 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/13/soda-myths-facts-sugary-drinks_n_2863045.html

Sealants: Stop Cavities Before They Begin

Aside from proper brushing and flossing to remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, do you know that there are other effective ways that can prevent tooth decay?

👉 With sealants, you can prevent cavities for up to a decade before they ever have a chance to start. Find out more! The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

Imagine you could protect your smile and preserve good oral health. Would you do it? In all likelihood the answer is yes and, with sealants, you can.

Few oral issues can be fully pre-empted or prevented. After all, genetics and other factors can play a role in whether or not you develop cavities or more serious dental complications. But with sealants, you can prevent cavities for up to a decade before they ever have a chance to start.

What Are Sealants?

Sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth, particularly premolars and molars, to prevent tooth decay. By bonding to the depressions and grooves of teeth where most cavities begin, they can prevent tooth decay in a way that regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing can’t.

Most often, sealants are used on children between the ages of 6 and 14 because this is when they are most vulnerable to cavities. Sealants can also be used on adults who don’t have current decay or fillings in their molars and on babies with deep depressions and grooves in teeth to preserve them as placeholders for adult teeth. Of course, sealants must be made age-appropriate and tailored to each patient’s unique needs.

Applying Sealants is Quick and Painless for Most

The best part about sealants is that the application process is quick and painless. In fact, there are just four simple steps involved in the entire process:

  • Cleaning – Prior to applying sealants, your dentist will clean each tooth that is being sealed to ensure the bond is as strong as possible.
  • Preparation – Once your teeth are clean, they will be dried and surrounded by cotton or another absorbent material to prevent saliva from getting the tooth wet again. An acid solution will also be applied to enhance the bond between the sealants and your teeth.
  • Rising and Drying – After the acid solution has been applied, just one more rinse and dry is required before the actual application.
  • Application of the Sealants – After all the preparation is complete, the sealants will be applied. In some cases, your dentist will use a special curing light to help sealants to harden more quickly.

Sealants Can Stand the Test of Time for Most

Few dental solutions are permanent and sealants are no different. However, they can provide up to 10 years of protection, which is great for babies, young children, and adults.

Regular dental visits are the best way to prolong the effectiveness of your treatment. Your dentist can check your sealants for chipping or wearing and replace them if necessary. By replacing them soon after they begin to wear down, you can enjoy continued protection from cavities.

With Sealants, You Can Keep Your Smile Both Beautiful and Functional

Sealants are a simple solution to prevent cavities and protect some of the most functional teeth in your mouth. They can be a worthwhile investment for you and/or your children to keep smiles looking great for years to come.

Sources:

Dental Health: Sealants. (2013, April 14). Retrieved June 2, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-sealants

In Defense of Root Canals: The Unsung Hero of Dental Care

🦷 Think you might need a root canal? It’s not the end of the world, nor is it as torturous as you might think! Even though a root canal is usually the last resort for decayed teeth, when compared with other alternatives, it’s quite practical and cost-effective.

Put your fears to rest by discovering the truth about this much-maligned treatment, and find out why it’s considered by many dentists to be the unsung hero of dental care. The Woodview Oral Surgery Team

When and Why Root Canals Are Necessary

Left untreated, tooth decay can eventually result in bacteria infiltrating the very core of the tooth, infecting its sensitive nerve tissue (otherwise referred to as “root” or “pulp”). Once the pulp has been infected, a pocket of pus known as an abscess can form and wreak havoc beyond the problem tooth itself. From swelling of the mouth, jaw, and face, to bone loss and even the spread of infection into the skin, the cost of delaying treatment can compound rather quickly.

If the problem is caught in time, a root canal may be possible, allowing the dentist to clear the infected pulp without having to sacrifice the whole tooth. Keeping your natural tooth not only helps maintain proper chewing and speech but also it requires less time and money compared to tooth removal and implant.

Signs You Need a Root Canal

If you experience any of these symptoms, you might need a root canal:

  • Acute, shooting pain when pressure is applied to a tooth
  • Noticeable darkening or discoloration of the tooth compared to neighboring teeth
  • Lingering tooth sensitivity, particularly to extremely hot or cold foods
  • A pimple on the gums that never seems to go away
  • Swelling of the gums near the problem tooth
  • Continuous pain or throbbing even when not chewing or using the tooth

See your dentist to know for sure, and let him or her know about your situation when scheduling an appointment to ensure you are seen as soon as possible. Like most dental problems, it’s best to be proactive. The sooner the dentist is able to diagnose and treat the infected area the better — and it could decrease the amount of post-procedure discomfort.

What to Expect During a Root Canal

The length of time for treatment can vary widely depending on the complexity of each patient’s situation, but it’s safe to say that multiple visits are required to complete a root canal. Anesthesia may be applied, but it is not always necessary since the nerve is already dead. The first phase of a root canal involves thoroughly ridding the tooth of any infection and decayed matter — usually by drilling an access hole, flushing out the pulp, and applying medication to the tooth and surrounding gums. The dentist will then seal off the area completely, or in extreme cases, wait several days for the infection to clear before sealing off the tooth.

The second phase of treatment focuses on filling the tooth. To do this, a dentist normally uses a sealer paste or a rubber-like compound to fill the empty nerve canal and interior of the tooth. After the tooth has been filled, a metal post is inserted into the tooth to further strengthen it.

Restoration, in which a crown is created to cap off the tooth, is the final step of treatment. Once the custom crown arrives, the dentist covers the tooth and shapes the crown to function as optimally as possible.

Post Treatment Care

As with any lengthy dental procedure, temporary tooth and gum sensitivity are to be expected but should go away within a day or two. If the permanent crown has been applied, you can return back to your normal routine immediately.

Root canals have a very high success rate, but it’s important to remember that there is always a possibility for the filling to become infected. To avoid complications and additional root canals down the road, make oral hygiene a top priority and schedule regular visits to your dentist.

Sources:

Dental Health and Root Canals. (2015, January 26). Retrieved May 25, 2015 from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/dental-root-canals

Johnstone, G. (n.d.). The Latest on Root Canals. Retrieved May 24, 2015 from http://www.yourdentistryguide.com/root-canals/

What is Root Canal Treatment and Why Would You Want It? (2010). Retrieved May 24, 2015 from http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/faq/root-canal/