Quick Action For Dental Emergencies!

Accidents happen. Knowing how to react to a tooth that has been broken or knocked out can mean saving the tooth or losing it forever. Read on so you’ll know what to do should this happen to you or someone nearby.

FOR A KNOCKED OUT PERMANENT TOOTH: Handle the tooth by the top portion rather than the root. Rinse the tooth, but do not clean or handle the tooth unnecessarily. Try to reinsert the tooth into the socket and have the person hold the tooth in place by biting on a clean gauze or cloth. If you cannot reinsert the tooth, place the tooth in a cup of milk or water and call us immediately. We have an after-hours number on our answering machine if our office is closed. Time is a critical factor in saving a tooth.

FOR A BROKEN TOOTH: Rinse dirt from injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses over the area of the injury. Save any broken tooth fragments and call us immediately.

Extra Oral Health TLC For Those With Eating Disorders

An estimated 10 million or more Americans have an eating disorder. While eating disorders can deplete the body of minerals, vitamins, proteins and other nutrients, they can also take a terrible toll on one’s oral health. Without proper nutrition, the gums and other soft tissue of the mouth can bleed easily. The glands that create saliva may swell, contributing to chronic dry mouth. When strong stomach acid repeatedly flows over teeth from throwing up, the enamel of the edges of teeth become thin and break easily. Hot or cold food or beverages may become uncomfortable.

While eating disorders seem to focus on body image, food and weight, they are often related to many other issues. Referral to health professionals and encouragement to seek treatment is critical as early diagnosis and intervention greatly improve the opportunities for recovery. During this time, it is imperative for these individuals to maintain meticulous oral health care related to brushing and flossing. Also, it is advised to NOT brush immediately after throwing up – but rinse with baking soda dissolved in warm water, which will help neutralize the effects of the stomach acid.

Protecting teeth and gums are imperative for any individual. However, because people with eating disorders are already at high risk for gum problems and tooth decay and breakage, we advise more frequent check-ups than every six months. You may be scheduled for exam and hygiene visits every 3 or 4 months so we can provide you with the support you need during your treatment and recovery.

A Cracked Tooth?

A cracked tooth can occur from a variety of causes. Some include:

• Grinding or clenching of teeth

• Uneven chewing pressure

• An accident, such as a blow to the mouth

• Tooth exposure to extreme hot or cold

• Chewing hard items such as ice or hard candy

• Teeth that have become brittle

A crack in teeth is often invisible to the eye and sometimes hard to detect in dental radiographs (x-rays). However, the pain typically occurs when you bite down and feel a sharp jolt of pain. This occurs because the pressure of biting causes the crack to open. When it opens, the interior of the tooth that hold nerves and blood vessels become irritated. Other symptoms include sensitivity to heat, cold, sweet, sour and sticky foods. When people have a cracked tooth, they tend to chew on the opposite side or avoid certain foods.

Repairing most cracks can be done through bonding or crowning the tooth. If the interior pulp has been damaged or become diseased as a result of the crack, a root canal will be necessary prior to crowning the tooth. A crack that extends below the gum line will require extraction.

Small cracks in teeth are not uncommon and typically do not cause problems. However, it is important to make us aware of oral symptoms you are experiencing that may indicate a problem. Like anything, tending to problems when they are small is much wiser (and less costly) than waiting until the problem becomes a major ordeal. The sooner the problem is repaired, the more likely it is you’ll avoid more extensive treatment in the future.

Some Hard Facts About Tooth Loss

As the wealthiest country in the world, it’s surprising that tooth loss is so prevalent. For example, 10% of American adults are missing all of their teeth and 63% are missing more than one tooth. For those over the age of 65, this jumps to 98%.

Once tooth roots are no longer present, the jaw bone begins to shrink. Pressure on the gums from wearing a denture actually accelerates bone loss. Eighty percent of denture wearers wear their dentures day and night. Bone loss progresses more rapidly due to this 24/7 pressure.

This bone loss is a far greater problem to one’s health than many people suspect. For instance, take someone who has recently lost all his or her teeth.  One year after the extraction of teeth has occurred, a denture wearer experiences about a 25% bone loss. Three years later, 60% of the bone is gone. The biting force with teeth is 250 pounds. The denture wearer bites with only 5 to 6 pounds of force.

On the average, when dentures are first placed, the fit can be satisfactory for one to five years.  However, once bone loss begins to progress, it continues so that the fit lasts at less-frequent intervals each time. While this contributes to difficulty with eating and digestion, statistics show that, on average, people without teeth die at an age that is ten years younger than those with teeth.

As the jaw continues to shrink, facial muscles detach and “jowls” form. As the bone thins, a pointed chin and deep wrinkling around the mouth begins. When the denture is in place, it fills out the face but does nothing to maintain bone. For a realistic picture of the extent of bone loss, a denture wearer should look in the mirror without their dentures in place.

The psychological repercussions are equally as harmful. There is a dramatic decrease in one’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and peace of mind when dentures take the place of natural teeth.

Bone loss occurs without the presence of tooth roots. When the tooth root is replaced with Dental Implants, the process is halted and biting strength is restored. With your jawbone as a foundation for teeth rather than a denture that balances on the gum, the function of natural teeth can be restored.

The success rate for Dental Implants is better than a hip, knee, or other implant attached to bone. Unlike natural teeth, implants won’t break or decay. A properly placed and maintained implant can last a lifetime. For a free consultation to discuss Dental Implants, call our office at (586) 739-2155 or toll free 1-855-9-Smiles.

Add This To Your 2012 Resolutions!

“I resolve to protect my teeth and gum health!”

This is an important resolution to add to your list for the coming year! Why? Research  shows that your oral health has an impact on your overall health. The bacteria of gum disease has been linked to coronary artery disease, stroke, memory loss, diabetes, and preterm babies. It is also the number one cause of tooth loss in this country. Once tooth loss begins, an entirely new set of ordeals begins.

For those who are missing natural teeth, most are familiar with the associated discomfort, inconvenience and embarrassment dentures or partials cause. But the problems don’t stop there. When natural tooth roots no longer exist in the jaw, the bone begins to shrink. As this occurs, the denture or partial has an ever-changing foundation. And, while denture adhesives lessen the amount of movement, they are typically helpful for only brief periods.

Other repercussions occur as a result of bone loss. Changes in facial appearance begin, including deep wrinkling and a sunken-in appearance of the mouth. Jowls form from the detachment of facial muscles. Often, the corners of the mouth turn downward, even in a smile. The chin becomes pointed and the nose moves closer to the chin. The result is a look that is far older than your actual age.

Today’s dentistry provides options in tooth replacement that are stable, attractive, and comfortable. They restore appearance, chewing strength and stability, and confidence in speaking and laughing.

If you have experienced tooth loss, investigate the latest options to replace teeth. If you have all your natural teeth, do all you can to protect them as well as the health of your gums. The best way to begin is to have a thorough oral examination to learn your current oral health status and vulnerable areas. Then, get treatment to repair, protect, or implement a daily regimen to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

Your reward? A smile at its best for 2012 and your lifetime!

Accepting New Patients? Always!

Occasionally, we are asked if we are accepting new patients. The answer is always, “YES!”

We are always happy to accept new patients. As a matter of fact, most of our new patients come to us from the recommendations of current patients. This is quite the compliment to us, and we appreciate those words of praise so much!

If someone you know desires optimal dental care in total comfort, please invite them to call (586) 739-2155 or toll free 1-855-9 Smiles for more information or to visit our web site. We’ll also be happy to mail them a packet of information to introduce our office.

Choosing a dentist is just as important as selecting your primary physician. The relationship should be one that is comfortable to you as well as beneficial to your long-term oral health and appearance. We look forward to providing you and your recommendations with a lifetime of healthy, attractive smiles!

Take Some Years Off With Your Smile!

Modern dentistry offers techniques, technology and materials that can create a flattering, more-youthful smile.  The following descriptions explain some of the options available.

• Porcelain Veneers – Because the top, front teeth are prominent in a smile, porcelain veneers are often applied to the top ones most visible when you smile naturally.  Veneers are shell-like coverings adhered to reshape teeth and blend attractively with adjacent teeth. They provide a highly-natural look and feel, even reflecting light as natural teeth.

• Bonding – Advancements in bonding materials offer an exceptional way to reshape existing teeth. Most-often applied in one appointment, this process is normally less involved than a filling. Bonding is also excellent for repairing a chipped tooth or smoothing ridges or indentions.

• Teeth Whitening – Most teeth, even those deeply stained, respond beautifully to professional versions of tooth whitening.  Dental offices provide systems that are longer lasting than kits sold in stores and give dramatic results.  Those with receded gums may experience some tingling, but no discomfort.

• Invisalign – Straight teeth give a proper balance to your smile. If you’ve avoided braces to correct crowded or misaligned teeth, Invisalign is your answer! This clear mold moves teeth at a faster pace than traditional braces and is removable for eating or brushing, all without uncomfortable and unsightly braces or wires!

Most procedures are performed with total patient comfort, minimal time in treatment and (other than Invisalign)  in only one or two appointments. Begin the New Year with a smile that shaves years off your actual age and can be a tremendous confidence booster! Call for a free consultation to discuss your desires at (586) 739-2155 or toll free 1-855-9-Smiles.