How Oral Hygiene Changes As We Get Older?

As you age, your teeth will change, as will your oral hygiene needs. By better understanding how your mouth will change as you get older, you can take steps to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Beware of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is a condition that tends to develop with older age. Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands no longer produce enough saliva to adequately clean the teeth.

As you get older, the mouth dries out, and tooth decay risk will increase. Additionally, many prescription medications can contribute to dry mouth, which is another reason the problem increases with age. Staying hydrated, using a saliva substitute, and chewing on sugar-free gum can all help.

Worn Down Teeth

Your teeth are strong and intended to last for life. However, they can wear down with age. Frequent grinding, biting, and chewing wear down the enamel and the surfaces of the teeth. While you can’t prevent general wear and tear, you can prevent it from worsening. Try to avoid putting non-food items in your mouth, and don’t chew on ice.

Gum Disease

As you get older, you may notice the signs of gum disease. This can result from difficulty brushing, or medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease might also contribute to gum disease. Some signs to look for include:

  • * Loose teeth
  • * Gums that bleed when you brush
  • * Receding gums, or gums that appear to pull back from the teeth
  • * Chronic bad breath

 

If you notice any of these signs, an improved oral hygiene routine can help. However, it is important to find the source of the problem in order to prevent future issues. We can inspect your mouth to determine the best course of action.

Do you have questions about how to keep your mouth healthy as you age? If so, call us today to set up your next appointment.

How a Cracked Molar is Treated

You’re minding your own business, enjoying your dinner when suddenly – ouch! You have sudden and sharp pain in your mouth.

If you have a recurrent discomfort to heat and cold, pain when biting, and sensitivity to sugar, it’s highly possible that you have cracked a molar. Fortunately, cracking your tooth doesn’t automatically mean that you’e going to lose the tooth; there are many options available to help you save it.

Saving Your Cracked Tooth: Treatment Options for You

Cracked teeth are highly common. We see it all the time in our office and have the skill and expertise to treat it. The course of action that we recommend for you is largely reliant upon the location and the extent of the damage.

There are five primary types of cracked teeth that we encounter at our practice:

  • Crazed Teeth: Tiny and shallow, these are primarily a cosmetic issue that can be easily buffed out.
  • Fractured Cusp: This isn’t typically painful, nor does it damage the pulp. This can be easily repaired with a filling or a crown.
  • Cracked Tooth: This is much more serious than crazed teeth or a fractured cusp, as it can go deep into the root. If caught early, we can perform a root canal and fit a crown over it to save the tooth.
  • Split Tooth: Unfortunately, a split tooth may be beyond repair. The crack often extends below the gumline and is two distinct segments. We will attempt to surgically save it, but an extraction with a bridge or implant may be required.
  • Vertical Root Fracture: Like a split tooth, this is another example of a tooth that may not be saved. If the tooth requires extraction, a bridge or implant can be installed as a replacement.

 

The severity and range of the damage determines the treatment for your tooth. If you suspect that you have a cracked molar, time is of the essence. The longer you wait for treatment, the worse the prognosis is for your tooth. Do not hesitate – give our office a call today and allow us to assess the health of your teeth during a comprehensive dental exam with our professional and skilled dental team.

Does the Brand Matter When Buying Oral Healthcare Products?

When it comes to oral healthcare products, some brand names are more popular than others. You’ve probably heard of Crest, Colgate, and a few others, and you may be wondering whether the brand actually even matters. The answer is – no! When looking for oral healthcare products, you should be more concerned about the ingredients and product features rather than the brand.

Selecting a Toothpaste Regardless of Brand

Toothpaste is one of the most important oral healthcare products in your dental hygiene routine, and there are a lot of options. To choose the right one for your mouth, focus on your particular needs rather than the brand on the box. For example, if you want a toothpaste that prevents cavities and strengthens the enamel, look for one with fluoride, sodium fluoride, or sodium mono fluorophosphates as the active ingredient.

If you have sensitive teeth, you may be in the market for an option that contains potassium nitrate or strontium chloride, and whitening toothpastes that include carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide are the best choices for a brighter smile.

Choosing the Right Mouthwash

Another big decision when it comes to your oral health needs is the type of mouthwash to choose. Listerine, Scope, and ADT are among the most popular brands, but does brand even matter? Not really. Each brand will have its own formula variation, but most use the same ingredients to reach their goals. The difference between brands usually comes down to the inclusion of alcohol and the taste. Like with toothpaste, the key to choosing the right mouthwash is to find one with active ingredient needed to help your situation.

If you need help choosing the right dental products for your oral healthcare routine, give us a call today. We’ll help you to discover the best toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, and mouthwash options needed to keep your unique teeth clean and healthy.

What is Traveler’s Breath and How Do You Steer Clear of It?

People who travel frequently can add a lot of frequent flyer miles to their accounts, but they could also add something more unpleasant for them and those who sit close to them. Traveler’s breath is real and it affects those who move around from place to place for a living. No matter what cabin you’re sitting in or if you travel by car, bad breath can rear up its ugly head anytime.

Why Do Travelers Get Bad Breath?

There are many reasons people who travel all the time can have bad breath. One of them is because they alter their diet and tend to eat more unhealthy foods and fewer fruits and vegetables. This can cause residue from sodas to stick to their teeth and plaque buildup. One of the symptoms of plaque is bad breath due to the bacteria.

Travelers also have a difficult time finding a place to brush their teeth during the day and may be eating offending foods like onions and garlic frequently. These are favorite ingredients in restaurant foods, and others will know if you’ve had them for lunch. The opposite can also cause traveler’s breath. When you don’t have time to have any food during the entire day, you can get what we call “morning mouth” at any time of the day.

Some scientific studies have found that saliva production is altered during travel, which encourages more bacteria to grow in the mouth. Less saliva will cause a dry mouth, which would, in turn, causes bad breath.

How to Deal with Traveler’s Breath

One of the most important things you can do to avoid traveler’s breath is to keep as balanced a diet as you possibly can. It is not easy, but if you eat a healthy salad for lunch and some fruit for breakfast, it could go a long way toward improving your breath.

Staying hydrated and getting enough sleep is also recommended for your overall health. Remember to brush your teeth twice daily and floss once a day. If you have tooth pain while on an airplane, it would be a good idea to give us a call as soon as possible.

What is a Rubber Dam Used For?

We use a rubber dam in dentistry to isolate a tooth that needs treatment, usually for a root canal procedure. This thin sheet of latex helps our dentist perform the work more efficiently and is beneficial for our patients because it is more sterile than if not used.

Benefits of Using a Rubber Dam

When you need to get a root canal it’s usually because of an infection in one of your teeth, generally found in the pulp where the nerves and blood vessels are located. It is imperative that the area being treated is as sterile as possible and a rubber dam is ideal to isolate the tooth and protect it from bacteria that surrounds the site. To hold the rubber dam in place, we use a clamp that grabs the tooth tightly.

Using a rubber dam allows us to control the environment treated by keeping it dry and free of saliva that can contain bacteria.

When performing a root canal, we make a hole in your tooth to reach and expose the root. Any contaminated element from other areas of your mouth can enter the opening and cause problems with the root canal procedure. If not for the use of a rubber dam, you could get an infection.

Using a rubber dam is also helpful to keep the patient’s tongue and cheeks out of the way during the procedure. This makes the process more efficient because there is no need for constant suctioning.

The use of this contraption is widely viewed as necessary to achieve a successful root canal and should be a standard anytime the procedure is needed. Our dentists are trained and experienced using this technique which is recommended by the American Association of Endodontics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Using a rubber dam for a root canal treatment increases the chances that your tooth will survive for a longer time.