Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Never Let an Abscessed Tooth Go Untreated!

Of all of the dental problems one can have, abscesses are among the most dangerous and unpredictable. Often times, people will let tooth pain go for a lengthy period of time and will not see a dentist until their pain is severe and an abscess has developed. Other times, an abscess can develop seemingly overnight. In rarer instances, an abscess can be growing under a tooth without the patient suffering severe pain and the only symptoms may be too subtle to notice by the untrained eye.... The danger in letting an abscess go untreated is that serious complications can arise. The following list should make someone sit up and pay attention!

If left untreated, abscesses can cause:

1. Loss of the tooth
2. Fever, chills
3. Spread of infection to jawbone (serious infection can cause disfigurement)
4. Spread of infection to brain, heart or lungs (extremely dangerous, can cause death!)
5. Excessive swelling leading to blockage of airway or inability to eat or drink

You cannot be too careful with a toothache, or even a can lead to an abscess.
If you or anyone you know has a toothache, don't let it progress to an abscess! If dental care is not immediately available, go to an urgent care center or the ER for treatment! Abscesses can become life threatening!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday Dental Humor!

What do dentists call their x-rays?

What do you call a bear with no teeth?
A Gummy Bear

When is the best time to go to the dentist?
Tooth Hurty

What does the dentist of the year get?
A little plaque

What did the judge sat to the dentist?
Do you swear to pull the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Hope you have a great Tuesday and remember to smile while you still have teeth;)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tooth Sensitivity

A study conducted back in 2014 showed that roughly 1 in 8 adults suffer from some type of tooth sensitivity.

I have tooth sensitivity but it only occurs with extremely cold things such as biting into a ice cream cone or drinking something that is ice cold. 

Tooth sensitivity is usually caused by worn down tooth enamel from brushing to hard, tooth erosion do to acidic foods and beverages, and gum erosion that leaves the root exposed. 

I'm guilty of the fist two, I  brush my teeth way to hard and I drink way to much soda. 

If you suffer from sensitive teeth you know the pain it causes so here are some tips for easing the pain:

  • Check your brushing technique - Brushing to hard is almost as bad for your teeth and gums as not brushing at all. Brushing to hard can contribute to receding gums leaving the root exposed...OUCH. If you are a hard brusher like myself you should change to a soft bristled brush also known as the periodontal toothbrush. 
  • Minimize acidic foods and drinks - Reducing the amount of acidic foods and drinks is important not only for your oral health but also for your overall health. If don't want to reduce your intake you should always rinse with water afterwards or in between drinks.
  • Change toothpaste - I know everyone is set on their favorite brand of toothpaste but sometimes you have to make a change, if you are using a whitening toothpaste you can be making your sensitivity worse because the whitening toothpastes are abrasive. I personal love the Sensodyne pronamel toothpaste and over the years I have noticed a change. 

If you are experiencing any type tooth sensitivity its important to see you dentist, its better to get treated early then have many problems later down the road.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

What Gets More Attention, Your Hair Or Teeth?

This is a question to ponder for sure. Think about it. How long do you spend in the morning doing your hair? How long do you spend brushing your teeth?

As beautiful as your hair is and as good as it makes you look everyday, your smile is just as noticeable. People are turned off more by bad teeth than are imperfect hair. If you are in the sales or customer service industry that could be a big deal for you.

The ADA and most dentist recommend that you spend 2 minutes brushing your teeth at least 2 times per day. Think about that when you are there in the morning getting ready to start your day. 2 more minutes can save you a lot of money at the dentist and help give you that winning smile!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Dental Care Instruction For Kids

Believe it or not this is a topic that isn't always discussed between a parent and a child! Many times a dentist will find that a child has never been taught to brush correctly (if at all) or to floss regularly, which lends to the theory that good dental hygiene is lacking in many aspects (as well as age groups) when it comes to proper oral care. {If a parent isn't properly instructed, he can't pass the knowledge along to the child.} That said, we all know how difficult it can be to get a child to brush, bathe, change his socks,, in acknowledement of that, the Colgate company has made some instructional videos about the importance of brushing and the proper way to take care of teeth for children. They have a wonderful, interactive site. Check it out at

As always, Keep Smiling!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Did You Know?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Approximately 49,750 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year? That's about 132 people a day and one person will die from it every hour of the day -  24/7/365.

According to the American Cancer Society, the average age of people diagnosed with this type of cancer is 62 years old.  Some risk factors of developing oral cancer can include: smoking of any type, chewing tobacco, excessive consumption of alcohol, family history of oral cancer, excessive sun exposure and the Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Some of the most common symptoms of oral cancer are:
  • Patches in the mouth (White, red or speckled)
  • Bleeding of the mouth
  • Swelling, thickening, bumps or sore spots in the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing
  • Sore throat or change in voice
  • Dramatic wight loss
Most dentist due screenings during every oral exam but if you notice any new and unusual spots in your mouth its very important to contact your dentist right away and ask them to do a oral cancer screening.  

Statistics can be found here and here.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Will You Lose Your Teeth To Gum Disease-Just Like Your Parents?

How many of us remember our parents wearing dentures in their thirties and forties? I do! I wonder how often a dentist hears that from a patient on a daily basis.  Most of us in the baby boomer generation have at least one parent who lost their teeth due to gum disease. Now...treatment way back then wasn't what it is today. That said, we no longer have to accept that we'll lose our teeth too...or that we're doomed.
There are many factors that can put you at risk for gum disease.  Most can be controlled, some cannot.  One of the major factors in gum disease is heredity.  If you are predisposed to it, (maybe a parent or grandparent or a sibling has the disease) then try as you might to brush and floss and have regular dental visits, you may still wind up with some form of periodontal disease in your lifetime. That is not to say that it isn't manageable or treatable. Thanks to technology, there is even a form of genetic testing that can predict whether you are at risk!  As with any disease, early detection is the key to successful treatment. Just because your parents wore dentures at a young age doesn't mean that you will!

The following is a list of other factors, including genetics, that may put you at a greater risk of contracting gum disease:

Genetics - If a parent or grandparent has it, start early with regular cleanings and exams.  Stay with a healthy regimen to prevent it if possible. Aggressive prevention...this is key.

Age - People over 50 are at higher risk and among other things, bone loss and receding gums may play a role.

Medications - did you know there are certain heart medications, anti-depressants and certain types of birth control meds that can have an effect on your oral health?  Be sure to let your dentist know if you are taking these types of prescriptions.

Smoking and Chewing Tobacco - Chewing tobacco is pretty much a given for gum disease, but smoking can be just as bad.  If you are a tobacco user, you should probably have your teeth cleaned more often than the recommended twice per year. Being a smoker also puts you at higher risk for other oral infections.

Poor Nutrition - If you eat poorly or have a deficiency in certain vitamins and nutrients, you could be at risk for periodontal disease.

Inflammatory Diseases - Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and heart disease, as well as lupus, MS and many others can affect your oral health.  Not to mention viral diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis.  Good oral care is extremely important for anyone with a lowered immune system.

Bruxism/Teeth Grinding -  Many people do this unconsciously, day and night. It can facilitate a breaking down of the bone structure in the jaw and cause the gums to become irritated and infected. It is treatable!  Ask your dental provider about being fitted with a night-guard device that can help you to stop grinding!

Try to stay as informed as possible.  Talk to your dental care provider about prevention of gum disease.

Keep Smiling!