Understanding The Importance of Sedation Dentistry

Dry Mouth: Its Damaging Effects, Current Treatment Options, And Hope For The Future

If you’re one of the 29% of adults suffering from dry mouth, you understand too well the unpleasant symptoms associated with it. Dry mouth, however, isn’t just a nuisance – it can also lead to serious dental problems, such as gingivitis, tooth decay, and even thrush. Below is an overview of the damaging effects of dry mouth, currently available treatment options for the condition, and a promising new treatment option that may be available in the near future.  

Why Dry Mouth is So Damaging to Your Dental Health

There are a number of medications, diseases, and infections that can lead to the unsavory effects of dry mouth, but while many people suffer from this unpleasant disorder, they see it as more of a daily annoyance than a real medical problem.

Saliva, however, is crucial to proper dental health. This antimicrobial and germ-fighting fluid not only helps you to swallow foods and properly form words, but it also acts as a layer of protection between foods and liquids that are consumed and your teeth’s enamel. Without that protection, gingivitis and decay are much more common, and this can lead to further issues such as tooth loss and jaw bone damage.

Current Treatment Options

The treatment options available are as numerous as the causes. With the help of your doctor and dentist, you can find a treatment option that works best for you.

If medication is the suspected cause, a dosage adjustment or change in prescription may be a necessary first step. If the medication is vital to your health, however, or medication isn’t the suspected cause, there are other options available. Your dentist may prescribe a special oral rinse to increase moisture levels in your mouth, or you may be prescribed an over-the-counter saliva substitute. While the treatment options available today can certainly help to reduce the ill effects of dry mouth and increase production of saliva, there isn’t a treatment that works for everybody or a cure that can treat the condition permanently.

A New Hope for the Future of Dry Mouth Treatment

With the help of silk fibers and stem cells retrieved from the salivary glands of rats, researchers believe they may have found the ultimate treatment for this unpleasant and health-harming disorder.

According to Professor Yeh, the researcher leading the study, “salivary gland stem cells are some of the most difficult cells to grow in culture and retain their function.” The cells they’ve generated, however, had the same characteristics of those found in the salivary glands of the mouth. If research findings are as promising as they appear now, this be-all-end-all of treatment could certainly be the next great dental discovery.

If you suffer from dry mouth, it’s time to stop ignoring the symptoms. With the help of your doctor and dentist, you can get your symptoms under control and prevent further dental damage from occurring. While researchers are currently hopeful for a more universal treatment option, it’s important to get your symptoms under control now without the treatment options currently available. 

For more details, contact a dental clinic like Wallington Dental.

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3 Ways To Care For A Retainer

Getting your braces removed can be one of the best days of your life. However, you might not be finished with wearing dental appliances. Your orthodontist could recommend wearing a retainer for a period of time after the braces removal. Here are some important things to remember about caring for the retainer.

Keep the Retainer Out of Heat

The retainer is mostly composed of plastic. As such, it can easily warp if it is exposed to heat. Do not expose your retainer to heat, such as hot water. You also need to be careful to not place the retainer in an area that is exposed to direct sunlight. 

One other reason to avoid heat on the retainer is that it can also dry out and crack. If you are storing the retainer, place it in its appropriate container in cool water. 

Wear the Retainer as Directed

Although you might be tired of wearing dental appliances, it is important that you wear the retainer as directed. In the weeks and months following the removal of your braces, your teeth can easily shift. Until your teeth have adjusted to not having the braces, you need to wear the retainer. 

It is likely that your orthodontist will direct that you wear it day and night and only remove it for meals, brushing, and flossing. Your orthodontist might modify his or her directions as time passes, depending on the placement of your teeth. You could be reduced to only wearing it at nighttime. 

Properly Clean Your Retainer

Cleaning the retainer is not overly complicated, but it is important that you correctly do it. Simply wash it with liquid soap and lukewarm water to remove the debris on the appliance.  After you rinse the retainer off, store it in its proper container if you are not required by your orthodontist to wear it. 

You should never use bleach or toothpaste on the retainer. Both substances are too harsh and can affect the shape and condition of the retainer. To avoid breaking the retainer, place a towel on the sink to provide cushion in case you drop it. Otherwise, it could break if it hits the floor. 

An orthodontist, like those at Cazes Family Dentistry LLC, can provide you with other ways you can care for your retainer. To save money on a replacement and to ensure you are getting the most benefit from it, follow your orthodontist’s recommendations during the period you are required to wear it. 

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3 Tips To Prevent Rotting Teeth From Falling Out

If you have teeth in your mouth that are in the advanced stages of decay, you could be worried that they will fall out at any moment. Along with having to deal with the discomfort of these uncomfortable and unhealthy teeth, you probably also feel pretty self-conscious about the way that they look and how your smile will look if you do lose these teeth. Although you certainly cannot save all rotting teeth, there are ways to preserve at least some of them. These are some of the things that you should do if you want to prevent your rotting teeth from falling out completely.

1. Replace Those That are Too Far Gone

The teeth that are literally about to fall out should not be ignored. The truth is that if you remove them and replace them with a dental implant, you can save the surrounding teeth in many cases. This is because an implant will provide support to help hold these damaged teeth in place. A good dentist should be able to talk to you about dental implants and whether or not you are a candidate for them.

2. Use Fluoride

Fluoride can actually effectively stop the current decay in your mouth from spreading. If the decay is still relatively minor, fluoride could be all that you need to permanently save your rotting teeth. Switch to a toothpaste and mouthwash that have fluoride, and ask your dentist for a highly-concentrated fluoride treatment. These treatments aren’t generally administered to adults, but they are great for saving teeth that might otherwise fail.

3. Have Them Filled In

The first step to saving teeth that are on the verge of rotting out is to have them filled. Many people think that teeth that are already experiencing decay are too far gone to be saved by a filling, but dental science has improved a lot over the years. With a tooth-colored filling and proper dental care in the future, you can save a tooth that is on the verge of falling out. Plus, since fillings are relatively affordable when compared to other dental treatments, they are often worth a try unless your dentist recommends otherwise.

Coming to the realization that some of your teeth might fall out of your mouth due to rotting can be very upsetting. If you want to do what you can to save them, follow these steps and work with a good dentist to avoid losing more teeth than necessary.

For more information, contact a dentist like those at Quality Dental Care.

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Worried About An Upcoming Root Canal? Here Are A Few Things To Know

If you’ve been suffering with a toothache and your dentist tells you a root canal is needed, you may be worried and afraid. Root canals have a reputation for being painful and expensive. However, your tooth is numbed during the procedure, so you shouldn’t feel pain, and, in fact, you should feel much better once the dentist is finished. Here’s some information about getting a root canal that you should know.

Why It’s Done

A root canal procedure is needed when the pulp of your tooth is infected. This infection can cause a very painful toothache along with swelling. The infection can even spread to your jaw and get in your bloodstream. An abscessed tooth shouldn’t be ignored. The only way to treat it is to remove the diseased pulp through a root canal or pull out the entire tooth.

Extraction vs. Root Canal

While it’s less expensive to have a tooth pulled, an extraction can have long-term effects. For instance, if you have a front tooth pulled, it will negatively affect your appearance. Plus, when you have a missing tooth, the other teeth in your mouth can shift, and then you’ll develop problems with teeth alignment. A root canal allows the tooth to be saved. If the decay is extensive, the tooth may also need a crown along with the root canal. When the dental work is complete, your mouth will look and function just as it would if you still had a healthy tooth in place.

The Procedure

A root canal is done similar to the way a filling is done. Your regular dentist can perform the procedure in his office by using a local anesthetic. If you have anxiety about having the procedure, talk to your dentist and see if you can be given nitrous oxide or other medication to help you relax. Once your tooth is numb, the dentist drills a hole in the enamel and scraps out all the infected pulp. He or she may insert an antibiotic and temporarily close the hole until your next appointment. Since you might have decay along with the infection, your dentist will also fill the cavity. If the cavity is too big, then you’ll need to get a crown to restore the surface of your tooth.

Insurance Coverage

If you have dental insurance, it may cover part of the cost of getting a root canal. It probably won’t pay the entire cost, so you’ll want to find out beforehand how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket. Even with insurance, you’ll probably have to pay a few hundred dollars. If you don’t have insurance, the cost of a root canal could be around $1000. The price varies depending on where the tooth is located, how badly it’s damaged, and whether the work is done by a general dentist or an endodontist. If price is an issue, be sure to discuss your situation with your dentist. The office may refer you to a medical loan company that can help you cover the expense.

While you don’t have a lot of options if you need a root canal right now, there are things you can do to prevent the need for another one in the future. Infection of the pulp usually begins with a cavity, so take good care of your teeth to prevent cavities from forming, and if you do get a cavity or toothache, don’t ignore it. Get it treated right away so your mouth stays healthy.

To get professional dental assistance, contact a dentist such as Rick Chavez DDS

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Good Brushing Techniques That Can Improve Your Oral Health

Good brushing techniques can help improve the overall health and well being of your teeth. Many people make the mistake of thinking that there is no proper way to brush your teeth and you simply take the brush and move it around inside your mouth with toothpaste on the brush. Here are some good brushing techniques that you can utilize to improve the look and health of your teeth.

Brush In A Circular Motion

You should never brush your teeth in a side-to-side motion, as it is rough on the teeth and gum lines. Brushing should be done in a soft circular motion starting at the back of the mouth and moving towards the front. In a circular motion go over all the contours of each tooth and make sure you get all the sides of each tooth. Make sure that you brush down along the gum lines to remove any contaminants that might be building up and that could sneak under the gum lines.

Time How Long You Brush For

Teeth should be brushed three times a day after breakfast, lunch and supper and for two to three minutes. Start on the right side of the mouth for 60 seconds, brush for 60 seconds on the front teeth, followed by another 60 seconds on the left side. Many people fail to brush their teeth long enough and it makes brushing less effective against fighting cavities and other oral diseases. Use a simple timer and set it for three minutes as you start brushing your teeth. This will help you develop a routine so that you know exactly how much time you need to spend working the inside of your mouth.

Replace The Toothbrush At The First Signs Of Wear

Many people think they only need to replace a toothbrush each time they visit a dentist, but that is untrue. You need to replace your toothbrush at the first signs of wear. The bristles of a toothbrush should never be frayed and be standing in an firm upward position. If the bristles are frayed they cannot apply the proper amount of pressure to clean the tooth and remove contaminants off the tooth.

Good brushing techniques can help your teeth remain healthy and clean in between trips to the dentist. You should always visit a dentist on a regular basis and never go longer than six months without having your teeth inspected by a dentist. Only a dentist can properly diagnose gum disease and things like cavities that need to be fixed immediately before they spread to the rest of the mouth. Talk with a dentist at a practice like Smile Oxford Valley Dental Associates if you have questions about your specific oral hygiene habits.

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Potential Dental Treatments For Otodental Syndrome

Otodental syndrome is a rare genetic condition that presents with overly large teeth. The affected teeth are the canines, located at the front of the mouth and used to grab and hold food, and the rear molars, which take most of the bite force. While overly large teeth typically don’t pose a major health risk, there are orthodontic and cosmetic reasons to have the teeth corrected.

What are some of the potential cosmetic dentistry treatments for otodental syndrome?

Orthodontics

The size of the teeth can create bite issues. This might include an overbite, which involves the upper teeth protruding out over the lower teeth, or a crossbite, which means one section is shifted to the left or right of its matching teeth.

Orthodontic treatment can help fix the bite issue. Clear braces might be an option depending on the severity of the bite problem. But metal braces might be a better option, as the braces can closely fit both the overly large teeth and the average-sized teeth.

Note that braces can’t correct bite problems caused by misaligned jawbones. In that case, your dentist might order a jaw surgery to correct the misalignment before realigning the actual teeth.

Extraction

The various types of teeth in the mouth are each shaped in a specific size and shape to serve a purpose while chewing. Oversized molars and canines can prevent neighboring teeth from serving their chewing roles, which in turn puts even more chewing pressure on the large teeth.

This increased pressure can cause trauma to the teeth or severe discomfort when chewing. Your dentist might recommend extracting the large teeth to improve your comfort level and, after a dental replacement, your chewing.

Dental Implants 

Several different tooth replacement options exist to fill the place of an extracted tooth. But dental implants are one of the most popular due to the relative stability and fairly natural feel when chewing.

For the implant, your dentist will drill a hole into your jawbone that will hold a metal root. The area will heal until the bone and tissue fuse the root into place. Then a post is attached to the root and an artificial tooth is snapped onto the post.

Note that if the extraction was required due to decay or trauma, there could be damage to the bone underneath. If the jawbone in the area isn’t strong enough for the implant root, your dentist might request a bone graft before the implant.

If you have more questions about cosmetic dentistry, contact a dental office like Artistic Dentistry by Gerard Wasselle, DMD.

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Using Cosmetic Dentistry To Repair Damage From Domestic Violence

In the United States, a woman is assaulted every 9 seconds. If you or a loved one were the victim of violence at home, it is crucial to get to a safe place and then rebuild your life. Unfortunately, that is not always easy to do, especially for victims who carry the evidence of the abuse in their smile. Broken and missing teeth are all too common, but fortunately, cosmetic dentistry can repair the damage in a number of ways.

There is also the possibility of financial aid for cosmetic dentistry, so don’t let your abuser hold you back from having a beautiful smile.

When One Or More Teeth Are Missing, Consider A Dental Implant

If circumstances caused you to lose at least one tooth, one of the newer, more exciting options is the dental implant. Essentially, a titanium rod is implanted within your jaw line, after removing any remaining root from the area. That rod takes the place of the root.

The rod is allowed to embed and heal within the jaw over several months. When it is healthy and has been accepted within the jaw, false teeth will be attached to a newly introduced abutment. Up to four teeth can be worn per implant.

The implant is particularly useful, because it will not slip around like a denture might and it is a permanent addition. You will eat and drink normally, while caring for it just like any other tooth for many years. 

When You Have Broken Teeth

Another common problem following domestic violence is badly broken teeth. When immediate dental care is not provided to a broken tooth, there is a higher possibility of infection, accelerated decay and pain in the future. As a result, it is even more important to see a dentist immediately after you are safe, so that those odds can be minimized. 

If your dentist does not recommend extraction and implants, he may suggest a porcelain crown or  a porcelain fixed bridge. An individual crown is often best for one or two damaged teeth, while a crown is often chosen when several teeth are impacted. All porcelain permanently covers existing damage, but it may be necessary to get new crowns or bridges in the future, due to wear and tear. 

Porcelain is a material that can be used to mimic the color, size, function and appearance of a normal tooth. It will be attached to the existing teeth, using a special resin. That resin hardens, providing you with a restored tooth or crown.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that surviving and leaving domestic violence is something to be proud of. Now, cosmetic dentistry can give you a smile you can also be proud of. To learn more, contact Associates For Family Dentistry

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