Thursday, June 29, 2017

8 Dental Problems You Can Fix Yourself

Here are a few ways to treat some dental problems from home, until you can visit your dentist.

Sensitive Teeth:
Cause~ Exposed nerve root.
Treatment~ Lay off whiting treatments, brush teeth a little softer than normal.

Lost Tooth: 

Cause~ Sports.
treatment~ Rinse it with milk and push it back in right away, then bite down gently on a soft cloth or moistened tea bag to hold it in place. Then visit your dentist.

Burned Palate:

Cause~ Hot food.
Treatment~ Try using Kenalog in Orabase, an over-the-counter corticosteroid paste that creates a protective coating on the burn and speeds healing.

Burned Tongue:

Cause~ Hot drink or food.
Treatment~ Rinse your mouth with a solution of 1 teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water.

Jaw Soreness:

Cause~ Temporomandibular joint disorder.
Treatment~Try sleeping on your side or back with a supportive pillow, instead of facedown.

Canker Sore:

Cause~ Sugary foods/Citrus.
Treatment~ Apply vegetable oil to a cotton ball and hold it against the sore three or four times a day.

Lost Filling:
Cause~Popcorn, Peanuts, Carmel.
Treatment~You can use sugarless chewing gum (chew it first) or soft wax to caulk the hole and reduce the sensitivity until you can visit your dentist.

Gum Pain:

Cause~Gingivitis (gum disease), tobacco use.
Treatment~ You can ease the pain by swishing peppermint tea around your mouth.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vitamin D is Essential To Healthy Teeth

Vitamin D controls almost every cell in the human body, and is a very potent stimulator of the immune system as a whole. It is the only vitamin that is also a hormone! Vitamin D is essential to the absorption of Calcium, as well as many other nutrients. When the body cannot absorb these nutrients, it can impact your overall health and, just as importantly, the health of your teeth and gums. Many people are not aware that they have a deficiency...Vitamin D deficiency is easily detected, but rarely tested for on a routine basis.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency can include bone loss, (which can lead to periodontal disease), also fatigue, depression, stroke, heart disease (which has also been linked to periodontal disease) and even weight loss!

Good sources of Vitamin D are: Fish (Salmon and Tuna) Milk (fortified) Eggs, (yolk contains the vitamin) and Sunlight! 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight per day is recommended.

If you are over the age of 50, discuss the possibility of routine testing for Vitamin D deficiency with your doctor. It is estimated that 10,000,000 Americans over the age of 50 have osteoporosis.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Temporomandibular Joint Problem?

In talking to a friend today that has TMJ problems, I remembered this blog that Dr. C did back in 2008. Some great information in it so I though I would re-blog it for everyone to see!

Could your aches and pains be a Temporomandibular Joint Problem? Let's review some of the symptoms of TMJ problems.
1. A malocclusion which is an imbalance in the way your teeth come together.
2. A 'clicking' or 'grinding' sound when you open or close your mouth.
3. A ringing or aching in and around the ear.
4. A pain or tenderness of the hard or soft tissue in and around the jaw area.
5. A facial pain.
6. A pain or ache when chewing or swallowing.
7. A headache.
8. A 'locking' jaw joint.
9. A shoulder and/or neck ache.
Although any of these signs and symptoms could be a Temporomandibular Joint Problem, it takes a health care professional that is trained in Temporomandibular Joint Problems to diagnose a TMJ problem.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Finance Options For Dental Care

Ok, so you've just been to the dentist and found out that you need thousands of dollars of restorative work. You have what we commonly refer to as "sticker shock". You know that you don't have that kind of money just laying around......
Whether you are in need of restorative work or cosmetic dentistry, there are a variety of creative financing plans available to help. Dentistry is among the most expensive in healthcare, with costs rising even as the economy is failing. Here are some suggestions for those who are in need of major restorative work, but who cannot afford the out of pocket expense. 
First of all, make sure you have good dental coverage (a good dental plan used in conjunction with your credit plan will go a long way toward lowering the costs, thereby making your money go farther.) 
Here are some credit organizations to consider:
  • Care Credit Healthcare Plan is a financing company that is offered by GE Money Company. It offers financing for personal healthcare, i.e. dental, (cosmetic or restorative) vision care, surgical procedures, (and just FYI) there is financing available for pet care as well! This option does require that you qualify for a loan. Click here to read more....
  • Citi Health Card is a program that offers dental financing with a variety of flexible payment options. The have some no interest payment options, options that are for certain periods of time and a revolving card option with no minimum expense. According to their website, they have a quick approval process! If you have a need for an immediate procedure and are low on funds, this one may be the one to try.

    Unfortunately, there are many who may not qualify for financing. Don't give up! Many dental providers are now offering in-house financing options for people with no insurance, or who might need a little help with funding for an expensive treatment plan. Additionally, dental school clinics are a consideration, as they can perform most procedures at discounted fees and all work is done under supervised conditions.
Believe it or not, there is something out there for everyone in the way of affordable dental care! Don't be discouraged! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bad Breath-Is it Perio related or....NOT?

Generally, when we encounter someone with bad breath, we think of gum disease or poor oral hygiene habits. The first thought that comes to mind (after trying to escape the close proximity) is that they probably don't brush their teeth regularly. Judgmental lot, we humans! But there may be a much more sinister malady at play.  Think tongue plaque.  Yep, that gross, slimy coating on your tongue that builds up over time and wrecks havoc on the bacteria count in your mouth...  Epiphany! Oh, so this is why the dentist includes a tongue scraper in that little hygiene goody bag you get when you have your teeth cleaned!  Turns out it is an important part (or it should be) of your daily oral routine. Why?  Because that bacteria can cause gingivitis.  That's right, gum disease, aka  periodontal disease, infection, bad breath and extreme embarrassment.  Or, to mention the extreme, loss of teeth.
So why take a chance?   Brush, floss and then scrape your tongue for goodness sake!

Keep Smiling!

Did You Know Eating Disorders Can Effect Your Oral Health?

Many Americans are affected by eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. It is often the pain and discomfort related to dental complications that first causes patients to consult with a health professional. Dentists are often the first health professionals to observe signs and symptoms of eating disorders.

Anorexia-Involves an extreme fear of weight gain or a dread of becoming “fat” even though these individuals are markedly underweight.

Bulimia-Discrete periods of overeating (binge eating) which may occur several times a week or at its most severe, several times a day. This leads to self-vomiting.

Binge Eating-Binge eating may involve rapid consumption of large amounts of food with a sense of loss of control. Feelings of guilt and shame may lead to repeated episodes of binge eating.

Eating disorders that may include frequent vomiting and may result in nutritional deficiencies can also affect oral health. Salivary glands may become enlarged. Lips are often red, dry and cracked. Lesions may appear on oral soft tissues which may also bleed easily. There may be changes in the color, shape and length of teeth. Teeth may become sensitive to hot and cold foods.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Oral Cancer- The Forgotten Killer?

So many people just don't take this deadly disease seriously...  

There are approximately 30,000+ new cases of oral and pharyngeal cancer diagnosed in the United States each year. Out of these cases as many as 8,000 people will die from the disease. This works out to be about 22 deaths per day, each and every day, from oral cancer in the United States. On top of this staggering statistic, the 5 year survival rate is only 50%. Although survival rates for most cancers are increasing in the United States, the rate of survival from oral cancer has not improved in decades. 
What people don't realize about oral cancer is that regular screening can help to detect it in it's early stages, when it is easiest to treat and cure.  Make sure you have an oral cancer screening at your next visit to the dentist.  It could save your life!  Early detection is the key to curing this deadly form of cancer. Don't put it off and risk becoming a statistic! Ask your dental provider about your risk today.

Keep Smiling! 


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Antacids Weakening Your Teeth?

We all have taken antacids such as Tums, Alka-Seltzer or Prilosec at some point in our lives to quickly relieve heartburn, indigestion or an upset stomach.

Although antacids neutralize the acid in our stomach it can cause major damage to your smile.

Below are some ways antacids have effects on the teeth:

Weakening the teeth: Antacids can inhibit the absorption of calcium and protein which are the vital components for having strong teeth and a strong jaw.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease:

  • Antacids can cause dry mouth - Without normal saliva production its hard to wash food debris from the teeth and neutralize acid produced plaque. Leaving your more susceptible to tooth decay.
  • Antacids are full of sugar - Chewable antacids can get stuck in between the teeth witch can cause cavities.

If you have to take an antacid please follow these recommendations so you can avoid negative effects on your smile in the long run:

  • Use "sugar free" antacids
  • Rinse mouth with water after taking chewable antacids and brush your teeth after 30 minutes. 
  • Baking soda can help clean your teeth and neutralize stomach acid. 

Remember to stick to a proper oral health routine and visit your dentist on a regular basis!  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Over-diagnosing in Dentistry

You can't avoid the shell-shock reflex....imagine you've just been to the dentist and he said you need, what?  A half dozen crowns.. or maybe it was veneers....or even a full mouth restoration? $5000, $10,000....or eeek!  $35,000? Your head is spinning. You can't even think! Surely he was kidding, right? What now?

This is a growing problem in dentistry...it truly has become an art and as such, well, artists can command their price, right?  It is unfortunate but in today's market it is a reality.  One can visit 5 dentists and get 5 separate and varying opinions at various levels of expense. Why is that, you ask?  It's a legitimate question.  Let's touch on the obvious, although I hate to bring more negativity, but greed is a factor.  Then we can move to the less obvious, the things that most wouldn't think of;  The Dental Schools.  Frankly, some dental schools teach a more conservative curriculum than others and where he went to school makes a difference as to the quality and ummm..[ambition] of a dentists practice. Geographical location is yet another factor...it stands to reason that if you are in a more affluent area you will pay more for just about everything, right down to the cost of an ordinary hamburger.  Other factoring points are high overhead costs such as equipment, payroll and malpractice insurance. The thing is, however, all of that aside; it isn't like dentists are starving here...their median income is probably right around $120,000 per year. Now, I'm talking about general dentists.  I'm not even going to venture into the financial world of the specialists. That's another topic for another day.

So, the question here is:  What can you do if you suspect you've been over-diagnosed or upsold? The first thing is to not panic!  As long as you haven't signed a contract then your treatment plan is exactly that...a plan.  You can opt in or opt out, but before you make any decision you should get a second opinion.  Maybe even a third, just to find medium ground. Solicit your friends and family members for the name of their trusted dentist.  Get a good, solid recommendation. Talk it over with a professional consultant or someone whose opinion you trust. You can never research too much.

This is the best advice I can offer!  Forewarned is forearmed.

Keep smiling!

The Advantages Of Digital Dental X-Rays

The advancement in x-ray technology is nothing short of amazing. The old days of having to hand develop the images, use lighting boards and wait a while are long past us.

The digital x-rays today are quicker, clearer, readily available at any time and more accurate than ever before. Almost every dental center is now using them. The feedback that I have received from the dentist on them have been great. It really makes their job easier and making tracking the treatment progress easier as well.

For the patient it is less intrusive, the process is quicker and they have the peace of mind that their dentist is getting the best image possible of their teeth and mouth. Not to mention that the dental office now has the ability to save multiple x-rays digitally and they are not placed in a file and need to be located every visit.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

How To Suppress Gag Reflex

Whether your brushing your back molars, tongue or  having dental x-rays you may have experienced gagging.

Gag reflex is also known as laryngeal spasms which is a contraction of the back of the throat evoked by touching the roof of the mouth, back of the tongue and the area around the tonsils and uvula.

If you're in a situation where something is setting off your gag reflex try these short term suppression tips:
  • Squeeze your thumb - Form a fist with your left hand. Position your thumb under your finger and squeeze. * This method commonly used in dental offices. 
  • Immediate Remedies - This method helps numb the soft palate. Use a over the counter throat numbing spray or your can apply a topical numbing medication like orajel. .
  • Salt on the tongue - Moisten the tip of your finger, dip it into salt, touch the salt to the tongue. The salt in this method activates the taste buds and temporarily suppresses the gag reflex. 
"Curing" your gag reflex will help make brushing your teeth, tongue and visits to the dental office much more enjoyable. Follow these desensitizing techniques:
  • Find where your gag reflex starts by using your toothbrush. The point nearest to the front of your tongue that makes you gag is where you want to concentrate. 
  • Brush your tongue right where the gag begins. Spend about 10 seconds brushing that area.
  • Repeat the process daily while gradually increasing the brushing time and moving the brushing behind the initial gag starting point. Eventually you will hit the soft palate.
  • Be patient this process can take about a month to complete!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

To Protect Your Teeth, Keep These Bad Habits at Bay!

Many people have bad habits that, when accidents strike, can be devastating to your oral health!  The following is a list of things one should never do!  Take heed!  Dentistry is very expensive!  

~Never, ever chew ice.  Ice chips your teeth and causes minute cracks in the enamel, which weakens the structure of your teeth.  


~Never open can tabs or bottles with your front teeth.  It will cause chips in your teeth.


~Beware of biting into fruit that has pits in it.  More broken teeth and dentures are caused by cherry pits than any other fruit!  


~Try to avoid biting your nails.  It just isn't a good practice all the way around.  You can chip your teeth and your mouth contains bacteria that you can deposit near your nail bed and cause infection. 

In addition to these things, you should also avoid putting small objects (choking hazards) into your mouth such as:

Marbles 
Coins
Paper Clips
Hairpins


These things can all pose a threat to your teeth.  No one wants to visit the dentist because of a silly accident!   

Be careful and Keep Smiling!  

Question From Our Member - I Had A Root Canal Done 6 Months Ago, Why Am I Still In Pain?

Questions From Our Members

M. Luedke of Surprise, Arizona asks: 

“I had a root canal performed on one of my molars in November of 2016. They covered the tooth with a porcelain crown. 6 months later I am still experiencing extreme sensitivity to pressure and constant pain.  I've been back to my general dentist and the endodontist and still can't get any relief.  What could be causing this pain?”

Savon’s Answer

Before I start with the answer, it is imperative to know that we are not dentists!  With that being said I did some research on the website "“RealSelf” and here are some suggestions from other dentists.

Dr. Scott Young of Houston TX states:  “Though it is rare, there are times when a tooth that has had a root canal can produce discomfort. One of several things could be happening.
  1. The tooth has an accessory (extra) nerve that is small and perhaps was not found.
  2. The tooth has a crack that is usually between the roots.
  3. The existing crown may not be fitting as well as it could.
I would have your dentist do an evaluation and take an X-ray. He/she can then give you possible causes of the pain and solutions to correct it.”

Dr. Murray Bruckel of Norwalk CT. states:  “It sounds like one of the nerve canals was overlooked, or incomplete removal of found nerves.  Have your dentist take an xray for signs of infection and have the rootcanal redone right through the crown.”

Dr. Soheyla Marzvaan of Orange County CA states:  “When a tooth hurts after root canal, Several factors may be involved.  If temperature sensitivity or pain exists, its either another tooth next to the tooth in question, or an accessory or main nerve still exits in the tooth and the root canal needs to be retreated.  If temperature does not cause any throbbing pain then a crack in the tooth, and a in ill fitting crown could cause it.”

The one thing that these dentists agree on is you should not be in pain.  Get in touch with the dentist(s) that treated the tooth and push the issue!


Originally posted to our June 2017 Newsletter!