Daily personal care is essential for optimal oral health. Brushing and flossing in particular keep bacteria and acid, the main causes of dental disease, at manageable levels. But to gain the most benefit from your personal care, you need to perform these tasks effectively with the proper techniques and equipment.
For most people brushing begins with a soft-bristled, multi-tufted toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste that helps strengthen enamel. You should hold the brush at a slight angle and brush with a gentle motion to remove plaque, the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay — if you’re too aggressive by brushing too hard or too long, you could damage the gums. You should brush no more than twice a day for two minutes, and at least thirty minutes to an hour after eating to allow saliva time to neutralize any remaining acid and help restore minerals to enamel.
Although some people find flossing difficult to perform, it remains an important component of daily care. Flossing once a day removes plaque from between teeth where a brush can’t reach. If you need help with your technique using string floss, we’ll be glad to provide instruction at your next visit. If you have bridges, braces or other dental restorations or appliances that make string flossing difficult, you might consider other options like floss threaders or a water flosser.
There are also dietary and lifestyle choices you can make to enhance your daily care: limit sugary or acidic foods to mealtime and avoid between meal snacks to reduce bacteria and acid in the mouth; drink water to keep your mouth moist, which will inhibit plaque buildup; and stop tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and chewing habits like clenching or biting on hard objects. Above all, be sure to visit us at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups, or when you notice abnormalities like bleeding gums, pain or sores.
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can be done, but it requires a daily care commitment. Performing these hygiene habits in an effective manner will help preserve your teeth for a lifetime.
We’ve all experienced eating or drinking something hot enough to scald the inside of our mouths. But what if you regularly have a burning sensation but haven’t consumed anything hot to cause it? You may have a condition called burning mouth syndrome, or BMS.
In addition to the sensation of feeling scalded or burnt, BMS can also cause dryness, tingling and numbness, as well as a change or reduction in your sense of taste. You can feel these sensations generally in the mouth or from just a few areas: the lips, tongue, inside of the cheeks, gums, throat or the roof of the mouth.
The root cause of BMS isn’t always easy to pinpoint, but it seems related to systemic conditions like diabetes, nutrition or vitamin deficiencies and acid reflux; it’s also been known to accompany the use of irradiation or chemotherapy for cancer treatment or psychological problems. It seems to occur most often in women around the age of menopause and may be linked to hormonal changes.
To determine the best treatment course, we must first eliminate the possibility that another condition besides BMS may be causing your symptoms. Some medications (both prescription and over-the-counter) cause mouth dryness, which can irritate the inner linings of the mouth or contribute to yeast infection, either of which could result in similar symptoms to BMS. Allergic reactions to dental materials in dentures or toothpastes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, whiteners or cinnamon flavor can cause irritation and skin peeling within the mouth.
If we’ve determined you have BMS, there are a number of strategies we can try to bring relief, like stopping or cutting back on habits that worsen dry mouth like smoking, alcohol or coffee consumption, or frequently eating hot or spicy foods. You should also drink water more frequently to keep your mouth moist, or use biotene or products containing the sweetener xylitol to promote saliva production. If mouth dryness is related to medication, you should speak with your physician or our office about alternatives.
In some cases, BMS resolves over time. In the mean time, though, promoting good saliva flow and reducing stress will go a long way toward diminishing this irritating condition.
If you would like more information on the causes and treatment of burning mouth syndrome, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Burning Mouth Syndrome.”
Dental implant technology has advanced at such an astounding rate in recent years that you can now walk into a dentist's office with a problem tooth and out the same day with a new one. Unfortunately, not all dental situations allow for this possibility.
For example, you might be considering an implant many years after losing a tooth. But there's a potential problem: there might not be enough supporting bone. While an implant might still be possible, inadequate bone complicates the matter.
Because implants are essentially tooth root replacements, they require a certain amount of bone for stability and the best attractive outcome. As a general rule, implants need to be surrounded by at least 1.5-2.0 millimeters of healthy bone to support an implant. But you might not have enough if your tooth has been missing for awhile, regardless if you have or haven't worn dentures or other restorations.
That's because bone has a life cycle in which older cells die and newer ones form to take their place. As we chew or bite, the force generated travels up through the teeth to the bone to stimulate this new growth. Without a tooth the bone doesn't receive this stimulus, which can slow the growth rate. Over time the affected bone can lose its volume and density.
If we find you've experienced loss to the point your bone won't support an implant, that doesn't automatically mean this popular restoration is out of the picture. But it will require us first performing a procedure known as augmentation or bone grafting to help rejuvenate some of the lost bone.
With grafting, we place processed bone grafting material in the jaw through a minor surgical procedure to form a scaffold for new bone to grow upon. After several months this can result in several millimeters of new growth maintaining the width of the underlying bone, which in turn may be able to support an implant.
Bone grafting is quite common, often performed at the same time as tooth extraction if there's going to be a time lag before installing an implant. Even if performed later, though, it can successfully rejuvenate lost bone and make it possible for you to take advantage of durable, life-like implants.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants after Previous Tooth Loss.”
Find out what to do if an urgent dental problem happens to you or a loved one.
We know that dental emergencies can happen at the worst of times. That’s why our Asheville, NC, dentists Dr. Barry Duncan, Dr. Alexander Pence, and Dr. Milton Poulos, want you to know that they are here for you whenever an emergency surprises you. After all, the sooner you treat the problem, the better it is for the health of your smile!
More about Dental Emergencies
Common dental emergencies include,
- A toothache
- Bitten tongue or cheek
- Cracked tooth
- Dislodged tooth
- Knocked-out tooth
- Broken braces
- Dental restorations that are damaged or have fallen out
If you’ve bitten your tongue, lip, or cheek, gently clean the area and apply pressure to the wound for 10-15 minutes. If you’re still bleeding heavily, go to your nearest emergency room.
A toothache could mean you have a cavity, an infected dental pulp or a fracture. This is why it’s important to visit your Asheville, NC, emergency dentist as soon as possible to get the treatment you need, whether that’s a dental filling, root canal treatment, or a crown.
If you have knocked out a tooth, gently rinse the tooth to remove any debris. Handle the tooth by the crown only and try to place it back in the socket. If it won’t go, do not force it, just place it in a container of milk and come into our office immediately. We may be able to save the tooth if you receive treatment within 1 hour of the incident.
If a crown, bridge, or dental filling has fallen out, it can leave the tooth susceptible to damage. This is why you should come in right away. If there is no damage, we will just place the same dental work back in place; however, if the crown or filling is cracked or broken, we will need to replace it.
Our emergency dentists set aside time to be able to handle these extreme situations, so give us a call before heading to our office and let us know what’s going on. The more you can tell us the better, for we can then inform you of whether your situation warrants an immediate appointment.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
Here at Biltmore Dental Group in Asheville, NC, we believe that everyone should get the quality dental care they deserve. No matter whether you are dealing with a toothache or you just need to schedule a cleaning, turn to our team of emergency dentists today by calling (828) 665-1111.
Let our Sun Prairie, WI, dentist treat your tooth loss or damaged smile right away.
Whether our Sun Prairie, WI, dentist Dr. Peter Lotowski just recently told you that your smile could benefit from a dental crown or bridge, or you are doing research to find out how to improve the health and appearance of your smile, you’ve come to the right place. Countless people have been able to restore damaged or missing teeth with the help of crowns and bridges and you can too.
If you have cracked, broken or discolored teeth…
Then the best option will be to get a dental crown. In most cases, the purpose of a dental crown is restorative in nature. This means that it’s often placed over a tooth that has been weakened or damaged and isn’t as strong as it once was. Once the crown is placed over the tooth it will restore and preserve the rest of the tooth.
A dental crown may be placed if the tooth:
- Is cracked, broken, or fractured
- Is weak from an infection, decay, or traumatic injury
- Is severely decayed (when a dental filling won’t be able to fully support the tooth)
- Has undergone root canal therapy
- Is malformed, misshapen, or severely discolored
If you are dealing with any of the issues above, it’s important that you visit your restorative dentist in Sun Prairie, WI, right away to find out how a dental crown could restore and protect your natural smile.
If you are missing a tooth…
Then a dental bridge may be the easiest solution for getting your full smile back. A dental bridge spans the gap where your missing tooth is and fills it with a false tooth. In order for the false tooth to stay in place, we will need to place dental crowns on either end of the gap. From there, a false tooth will be connected between the crowns to hold the tooth in place.
Wisconsin Dental Solutions offers full dentistry services to Sun Prairie, WI and the Madison, WI, area. If you have questions about getting dental crowns and bridges and how they could improve your smile then call us today to schedule a consultation.
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