Dental Work Does Not Have to Be Painful

Advances in dental technology have dramatically improved the comfort of dental work and orthodontic procedures. However, once the anesthesia wears off, it is possible that you may experience some pain or discomfort as your mouth starts to heal. You don’t have to be uncomfortable throughout this process. Use these over the counter medications in order to feel better fast.

Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is often sold under the brand names of Advil and Motrin, and it is a great option for post-dental work pain. It is available in a variety of options, including gel caps, tablets, and even oral suspension. Ibuprofen is an NSAID, and it is beneficial in treating dental pain because it is an anti-inflammatory drug. Most dental pains and aches are a result of swelling, so this makes it a good option. However, people who are taking aspirin, blood thinners, ACE inhibitors, and some other medications may need to avoid ibuprofen.

Acetaminophen

If you have ever taken Tylenol, then you have used acetaminophen. This is another extremely popular over-the-counter medication used to deal with dental pain, especially for that group of people who cannot take ibuprofen. This drug is an analgesic, and while it doesn’t have anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to turn off pain signals that may be firing after your dental work. Make sure you talk to your pharmacist before taking acetaminophen to avoid any potential drug interactions, and remember that you shouldn’t drink alcohol when you are using this painkiller, as liver damage could result.

After dental work, your pain or discomfort should subside within a couple of days. If it doesn’t, or if you start to experience other symptoms, be sure to call us right away. If you have any questions about an upcoming or past dental procedure, please give our office a call. We are here to help.

Should Your Mouth Be More Basic or More Acidic in pH?

When we discuss oral pH with our clients, many of them ask whether the mouth should be more basic or more acidic. The answer is neither! The pH scale ranges from 0-14, and the lower numbers indicate more acidic chemicals.

A neutral pH is 7, which is the pH of normal water, and we want saliva to be in that range – 6.2-7.6. However, the pH of your mouth will change throughout the day as you eat and drink, but you can take steps to neutralize it when it becomes too acidic.

Why is Oral pH Important?

Like the rest of the body, it is important that your mouth maintains a balanced pH. If the saliva drops to a pH value of under 5.5, the acids in the mouth will start to break down tooth enamel. As the enamel demineralizes, it becomes thin, and the dentin layer may be exposed. This can lead to sensitivity, cavities, and decay.

How Should You Balance Your Oral pH?

A healthy diet involves foods and drinks from a variety of pH values, so it is important that you take steps to balance the pH of your mouth. The best thing that you can do is to drink a lot of water, as water has a pH of 7. This will wash away acids from other foods and can keep the pH balance of your mouth stable. Avoid sugary drinks and black coffee, but if you do drink them once in a while, do so in one sitting rather than sipping on them all day. Additionally, chewing sugar-free gum that contains Xylitol can help to restore pH balance in the mouth.

Do you have questions about how your diet might be affecting the pH value of your mouth? Call us today to set up your next appointment.

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Intake and Why You Need To

For many people, getting enough vitamin D is easy. They spend time outside, take a daily multivitamin, and they drink milk. However, not everyone gets enough vitamin D. If you are one who is prone to cavities or sensitive teeth, then you may need to increase how much vitamin D you get regularly. It is a very important component of healthy teeth.

How to Boost Your Vitamin D Intake

One of the easiest ways of increasing how much vitamin D you get is by going outside. Make sure to wear sunscreen when you go out, but make sure to spend a few minutes outside each day in the sunlight. You naturally get vitamin D from sunlight, so if you tend to only be outside for a minute or two per day while commuting to work, you may need to add a few minutes to your routine. Also, increase how much dairy you eat. This boosts your vitamin D plus your calcium. That helps to ensure that you have the healthiest, strongest teeth possible.

Why You Want a High Vitamin D Intake

If you do not get enough vitamin D, it can mean that your teeth are going to weaken over time. In order for your body to properly use calcium, it needs to bind those calcium particles to vitamin D. When those two particles combine, your body can then add it into weak spots in your bones and enamel. If they do not combine, you do not get the benefits such as stronger bones.

If you are not sure if you are getting enough vitamin D, then call us. Let us look around in your mouth and see if we notice any signs of weak spots. We can look during each cleaning and exam you come to us for, or we can look between appointments if you begin to notice signs of a problem.

Causes of Tooth Enamel Loss

Enamel erosion is a common condition that can cause irreversible damage to the teeth. There are many causes of tooth enamel loss, and by identifying them, you can take steps to avoid these issues.

Acid Erosion

Acid erosion is one of the leading causes of enamel loss. Excessive consumption of acidic foods like soda and fruit juice is very harmful to the teeth. These beverages contain high levels of citric and phosphoric acid, which erodes away at the enamel over time.

Bacteria Destroy’s Teeth Enamel

After you eat a snack or a meal, the bacteria in your mouth will feast on sugars. If you eat starchy or sweet foods, there will be plenty of sugars on which bacteria will gorge themselves. This process creates other acids that will destroy the enamel. As the acids caused by bacteria wear through the enamel, cavities and tooth decay may also result.

Stomach Problems

If you suffer from chronic gastrointestinal problems like acid reflux, you may experience enamel loss. A reflux of acid from the stomach into the mouth will allow these acids to contact the teeth. The tooth enamel will wear away, resulting in erosion of the tooth.

Poor Oral Health Habits

If you have poor oral health habits, you may experience damage to the enamel. This includes failure to brush and floss regularly, which can lead to gradual tooth decay. Chewing on hard items like ice or pens can also lead to enamel damage.

Sadly, once the enamel is lost, it is lost for good. The body does not regenerate enamel, so you need to take care of your existing enamel to avoid future problems. Regular dental evaluations give us the chance to inspect the health of your teeth, including the enamel. Call us today to set up your next appointment, and let us evaluate your mouth for signs of enamel loss.

What Happens When We Notice Signs of Problems During an Exam?

When you come in and see us for a cleaning, we also perform an exam. This means that we look at each tooth individually, and we also look at x-rays regularly to look for the signs of any type of problem.

The earlier a problem is spotted, the easier it is to treat. So, what happens if we notice the signs of a problem when we do that exam? The truth is, it depends on the problem we spot.

How to Figure Out the Next Step If Problems Are Noticed

When looking at your teeth, there are many signs of problems we could spot. Do we see signs of acid erosion? If so, then we will talk with you about your diet and brushing habits. We may also suggest things like sealing some of your teeth to help prevent problems from acid.

If we spot the earliest signs of bruxism, then we will likely just talk with you about what we see and how to prevent the problem from getting worse. If the signs quickly develop into something more serious, we will then figure out the best treatment options for you, including an oral appliance or even helping you to manage your stress.

When the early signs point to a cavity, we will usually clean the area out and fill it. If the problem is small, we can sometimes fix it at the same time as your appointment. If not, we will schedule a time for you to come back in the next few days to fill it in.

Some problems need immediate attention, while others need for us to keep an eye on them to see if they get worse. We will always make sure you know what is going on, but we may have to wait to see if a problem gets worse or stays where it is before deciding on if it needs treatment.